Friday, July 13, 2007

Odds and Ends ...

Busy Friday. We had our most lively NewsNight Akron taping yet debating the new County Executive, Art Museum, and who might take over at CSB. Nothing like Ed Esposito and Jody Miller going at it. Good stuff today.

Had a nice chat with Police Chief Paul Callahan at the University of Akron this afternoon. While the students have been off on their summer jobs, Callahan's group has been ramping up for the "new era" in protecting campuses in the wake of VA Tech. He told me that a reverse 9-1-1 system is now in place and an instant alert system that sends text messages to cell phones will be on-line on August 1st. To me, that makes the most sense to get info out quickly as every student on campus is carrying a cell phone; only a handful would be at the web at one time to get an email alert. What Callahan needs is more $$ for training and staff. It's a campus that's surrounded by open, urban terrain. Tough to really secure the entire campus with only 34 officers.

I'm beginning to believe that we're going to see folks wearing "Somebody I know took part in 'Fugitive Safe Surrender' and all I got was this lousy T-shirt." I stopped by the operation today for the first time and was amazed at the feeling inside the House of the Lord. In the holding area where folks are waiting to be called forward to be fingerprinted and see a judge was a tremendous amount of positive. You can really feel the emotions of the folks who have come in to get their lives back. I interviewed a mother of four who has been living in fear for six months knowing she was wanted a parole violation. She prayed all morning and then surrounded herself with family so she could come in and clear her name. She was tearful but told me she really felt better being there. By weekend's end, we could end up seeing close to 1,000 folks surrender. That's amazing.

Well, day one on the job for new County Executive Russ Pry didn't score a high grade, but it wasn't his fault. Pry took the oath of office this afternoon, but you won't see or hear much about it because his Communications Director failed to notify the media. Hello??? Here's a guy who needs every bit of press he can get and an easy, golden photo op is dropped by folks too busy (or lazy) to pick up the phone and call the press? I ended up talking to Mr. Pry later in the evening and sharing with him the frustration that I felt about a media shutout. Let's just say he wasn't pleased either.

Thanks to those of you who've followed this blog from its original launch on the NEO site over to this home. Yesterday, nearly 400 of you took time to read what was here, and many of you left comments too. Thanks for reading and sharing. If you've got thoughts on what you'd like to hear more about .. or how to make this blog more efficient and/or interesting .. drop me an email.

Happy Friday the 13th everyone. By the way, Friday the 13th doesn't scare me. I graduated from high school, took my first flight, and left for basic training ALL on Friday the 13ths!!!


Anonymous said...

Am I just naive or does 1,000 fugitives turning themselves in this weekend sound like there's a lot of fugitives living among us?

Jim in Stow

Cinda said...

Keep up the great work on the blog. I don't always agree with your thoughts, but I love reading them and debating you in my mind (does that count for voices in my head?).


Anonymous said...

What, at over $100K a year as county communications director, you expect Jill Skapin to actually do her job and notify the press of Pry's oath of office?
Let's hope Rusty's first act as Executive is to put McCarthy's worthless hack of a communications director out on the street...and Doty and Sowa with her.