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Jono Kontur, a student of entrepreneurship at Kent State University, started his company, Fresh Priority Food, after spending a semester in Florence last year. He’s importing gluten-free pizza crust mixes, Italian oregano and sauce from Ciro and Sons pizza shop in Florence. Jono already has the products in four stores in Northeast Ohio including Krieger’s in Cuyahoga Falls, where he’s giving out samples today until 2 p.m. And he’s in discussions with many other stores. Check out his website for more information.

Julie Johnson, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, and Eric Chojnacki, marketing chairman, talked about Aspire, the largest fundraiser for their organization. It’s an inspiring event that supports all the good work of the Boys and Girls Clubs. It also promises to be a fun evening of jazz, great food, and short talks by inspirational guest speakers, and it all takes place at St. George Fellowship Hall and Family Center in Fairlawn. But order your tickets now. They need your name and meal preference by 9 a.m. Monday. Visit the website for more information and to register for the event.

If you’re in the market for new floor coverings, Matt Moten, who owns the local franchise of Floor Coverings International, invites you to give him a call. You won’t have to go to a showroom to check out the inventory. Instead, a company representative will come to your home to talk to you about your tastes and what you want in a floor covering, and then one of Matt’s design associates will bring a mobile showroom right to your home. You’ll be able to choose from an array of samples in the actual space where the new floor covering will be installed. Call Matt at 330.842.4514 or visit his website for more information.

Greg McNeil is the founder of Cover2 Resources, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight the opioid epidemic through education and advocacy. Greg, whose son Sam died from a heroin overdose, does a series of Cover2 podcasts with interviews on the people and programs (including Quick Response teams and the Drug Free Clubs of America) that are helping young people avoid drug addiction or overcome it. Greg’s organization is instrumental in bringing noted journalist Sam Quinones to town on April 12. Mr. Quinones, who wrote Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, will speak at three local venues: At 7 a.m. at Firestone Auditorium, he will be part of a panel about “Leaders in the Community Making a Difference”; at 11:30 a.m., he will speak at the Akron Roundtable luncheon at Quaker Station; and at 7 p.m. he will speak at the Akron-Summit County Library. The morning and evening presentations are free; the luncheon costs $20. Seating is limited at all three. For more information, visit the Cover2 website.

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Deborah O’Brien, a sales representative for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, brought two lovely rose wines to the show today. One is brand-new to the Akron market. Now available at West Point Market, this is a South African wine by Rustenberg made from Petit Verdot grapes and costs approximately $13. The other, which is available at Papa Joe’s in the Merriman Valley, is a sparkling rose from Cote Mas in France. It’s a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir and costs approximately $16. Both wines are dry and delicious, and prove that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to discover great new tastes. Deb does a lot of wine tastings. You can find out about them by getting on the email lists of your favorite stores and restaurants including West Point Market and the Mustard Seed in Akron, and Viva Bene and Solaire Wine Bar in Hudson.

Don Corbett, the founder of ServiceMaster by Corbett, told a fun story about meeting a winemaker who was from Italy. The winemaker noted how attitudes toward wine have changed in the United States. The Italian said he used to be called a wino but is now considered a connoisseur. On a business note, Don said that ServiceMaster has been summoned by numerous homeowners to remove wine stains out of carpets. In addition to routine carpet and furniture cleaning, ServiceMaster cleans up after floods and fires. With the coming of spring, flooding becomes a concern. Don recommends that homeowners add a rider to their insurance policies that protects them if a sewer backs up into their basement. Standard insurance policies don’t generally cover such an occurrence. To stop other water problems before they get out of hand, know where your main water shut-off valve is located, Don says. You can get a free yellow tag for the valve by calling ServiceMaster at 330.864.7300. Ask for Carol. If you tell her you heard about ServiceMaster on “My Beautiful Home,” you’ll get 15 percent off your next carpet or furniture cleaning.

Helen Dauka, Communications and Volunteer Project Manager for Keep Akron Beautiful, and Leah Heiser, the organization’s Flowerscape Director, talked about some of the terrific programs that improve the quality of life for Akron residents by beautifying the city. Thirty-two Flowerscape sites throughout Akron brighten residents’ days during late spring and all summer long. Also, the 64 sites in the Adopt-a-Site program improves area neighborhoods, because Keep Akron Beautiful helps neighbors and other volunteers clean up and beautify what otherwise would be unkempt and littered lots. Also, Helen and Leah are looking forward to the next Dreamscape raffle, a fundraiser that’s held every year. The raffle winner receives a front- or back-yard makeover. More about Dreamscape when tickets go on sale later this year. For more information, visit the Keep Akron Beautiful website.

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Bruce Miller is The Well Doctor, and his aim is to “get the smell out of your well and the stink out of your drink.” He’s busy this time of year helping homeowners whose wells have stopped working because of lightning strikes. Bruce says that when a bolt hits the ground, it can create “a giant spider web of fried earth” that can wreak havoc with your well pump and anything else that’s connected to it, including your hot water tank, water softener, washing machine and dishwasher. Damage from a lightning strike is often covered by insurance, but you need an expert like Bruce to diagnose the problem correctly so that you have the proof to give to your insurance company. To reach him, call 330.815.2471 or visit his website.

A leprechaun visited the studio today. Actually, it was Meralie Pocock, owner of Mr. Fun’s Costumes & Magic Emporium, who was dressed in kelly green from her miniature top hat to her cutaway coat and shamrock bow tie. Meralie loves to dress in costume, and she and her team relish helping their customers express themselves that way as well. Even those who are shy about dressing in character can celebrate a holiday with a well-placed accessory like a green and orange beaded necklace adorned with plastic shamrocks. Mr. Fun’s rents, sells and even makes and repairs costumes and accessories. Visit the store at 4130 State Rd. in Cuyahoga Falls. For more information, call 330.923.3339 or visit the website.

Kendall Taylor, chairman of external events for the Akron Woman’s City Club, said that the club, which started in the 1920s, has many membership levels and also offers events and activities that are open to non-members. They all take place at the club’s Italian Revival mansion at 732 W. Exchange St. For example, the public is welcome to enjoy the twice-monthly Sunday brunches that are held in the club’s restaurant, or attend the March 16 “Spring Canvas and Cabernet” event, which involves happy hour and painting. Coach House Theatre, located in the mansion’s coach house, has a great lineup of plays that also are open to the public. Nancy Cates, artistic director of Coach House Theatre, says that the community theater has been producing plays for 90 years. It’s one of the four oldest community theaters in the country, Nancy says. Carol Landis, chairman of the theater’s board of directors, says that she and all the others on the board are involved because they love theater. Carol says that they appreciate the terrific work of Nancy and her husband, Terry Burgler, who’s also active with the theater. The next production, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, opens March 16 and runs through April 9. For tickets, call 888.71.TICKETS (888.718.4253, option 1) or 330.434.7741. For more information, visit the website.

Bruce Yacko is the creator of JAWS, the Just Add Water System of concentrated, environmentally sensitive cleaning products for the home. Sales have been booming, he says. In 2016, store sales doubled and online sales tripled. The company keeps expanding internationally and recently moved into the Netherlands, Norway, the Middle East and Australia. And Bruce says they’re working on Korea. The products include a window cleaner that’s safe enough to use on computer and TV screens. There’s also a granite cleaner, and cleaners for wood floors and bathrooms. They’re available at Discount Drug Marts in the Akron area, at other stores throughout the U.S.  and online.

Now available: D.A. Schafer’s book on Akron’s premier artist Don Drumm. Titled Don Drumm: The Sculptor-Designer Craftsman, the large-format paperback has full-color photos of Don’s works. You can get it on Amazon for $19.99.

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Nate Eppink, chief of community engagement for the Summit Metro Parks, says that area residents have been contacting his office to find out when the salamander migration will take place at Sand Run Park. Conditions have to be just right for the yearly amphibian crossing of Sand Run Parkway, Nate says — rainy and not too cold. You can get the scoop on this and other events in the parks by calling the seasonal information line, 330.865.8060, or checking the Metro Parks’ Facebook posts or Twitter feeds. The Metro Parks, which at 95 are the second oldest of Ohio’s park systems (the oldest is Cleveland MetroParks), run 50 to 60 programs a month in 16 communities throughout the county. The smallest Metro Park is Peninsula’s 72-acre Deep Lock Quarry Park; the largest is Twinsburg’s 3,000-acre Liberty Park. For more information, visit the Metro Parks website.

Jan Lindstrom, president of WITAN (Women in Touch with Akron’s Needs), is enthusiastic about the 40th French Market, which takes place on Friday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and next Saturday, March 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Of the 68 artists and craftspeople there, 30 will be new to the juried show. It offers a great opportunity to find unique items for yourself, for others and for your home. For the second year, the event will take place at St. George Fellowship Centre, 3204 Ridgewood Rd., Fairlawn. A shuttle bus will run continuously between the parking lot and the two buildings where you can shop, have lunch, buy artisan breads and enjoy the blooms in the flower shop run by WITAN. For information about the French Market, which provides funds for local community nonprofits, or about becoming a WITAN member, visit the website or follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter.

Just a reminder that the HBA Akron Home & Flower Show, presented by Dominion, is continuing today, Feb. 25, until 8 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 26, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron. Visit the Home & Flower Show site for more information and discount tickets.

HBA Akron Home & Flower Show Free Friday Ticket 

Andy January and Kathy DeLong invite our listeners to the HBA Akron Home & Flower Show at the John S. Knight Center from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24.  There is an added bonus.  We will be interviewing Don Drumm from Don Drumm Studio and Gallery at 2 p.m. on the main stage.  Don will be discussing Art in the Home. Simply print as many copies of the ticket below as necessary.  You will need one ticket for each person in your party.

Click the image to open the ticket and print

If you can’t attend the HBA Akron Home & Flower Show on Friday, you can buy discounted tickets for Saturday and Sunday online.

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Today’s show featured three great guests. Chris Stranahan, owner of the Wild Birds Unlimited store on Howe Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls, talked about the Great Backyard Bird Count, which is going on this weekend. Be part of this worldwide activity by spending as little as 15 minutes in your backyard or at a park counting different species of birds. Then go to and register your name, location and the number and types of birds you saw. It’s as simple as that. Last year, a record number of 160,000 participants recorded 9,956 species across the world. Visit Wild Birds Unlimited for bird feeders, seed and all kinds of supplies for birds and bats. More information is available online.

Jennifer Davis, coordinator of engineering for Dominion East Ohio, will be on hand for a good portion of next weekend’s Akron Home & Flower Show. She and other knowledgeable representatives of the utility will have a booth with information and giveaways pertaining to gas line safety. Stop by to learn more about 811, the utility location service, and many other topics. You also can visit Dominion’s website for information.

Jeff Strauss is the creator of the Forks on the Left podcast, which he co-hosts with Jeff Phelps, a fellow TV writer. They interview people about food, drink and entertainment. Their tagline is “Listen to your stomach. Feed your ears. Fresh episodes weekly.” You can listen to them anywhere podcasts are streamed, including iTunes and Google Play. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Oh, and Happy National Drink Wine Day!

WAKR AM Streaming

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