Wednesday, October 31, 2007


For most people dressing up as a ghost or a goblin on Halloween and going to a party or two is enough to celebrate the ghoulish holiday. For one Elyria man that is not nearly enough, he has taken his love of the holiday and created a business.

Bob Haas, a Lorain Firefighter and proud Gold Card member of TMC NEWS, has been creating an elaborate Halloween display for years and now putting his services on the market. If you have driven down North Abbe Road around Halloween you have certainly noticed his display, complete with a real casket and flying witches. To see photos from his display: CLICK HERE

One of Haas’ first customers this year is none other then a bride who has been planning a Halloween Wedding. Sherry Tollett of North Ridgeville heard of Haas through a friend who had seen his display, after a couple phone calls she was in tough with Haas and the madness began.
Haas listened to Tollett’s ideas and went into his laboratory, otherwise known as his garage, and began work. Tollett provided Haas with one of her fiancé’s uniforms from Lorain Correctional Institute along with other personal items to make the display unique.

When asked the obvious question, WHY, Tollett said that aside from the fact that Halloween is their favorite holiday, it was also their first date. “It kinda fell into place that it being our favorite holiday and our first date it was perfect. We started off on a smaller scale but as time went by it has grown into much more and we love what we have happening.” Tollett said that the wedding itself will not have all the Halloween decorations except for some black flowers, the reception is where all the craziness begins for their 200 guests. “Some of our friends and family think we are crazy but a lot of them really support us and love the idea. We plan on just having fun with it and that’s what it’s all about.”

Tollett said that they couldn’t be happier with Haas’ creations and are thrilled that they were able to find him in time to put it all together. “We know how hard he has worked and the time he has put into making it just right and we love him for helping make our special day that much better.”

To see more photos: CLICK HERE
To see photos from Haas’ own display: CLICK HERE

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Making a wrong turn while leaving a Strongsville bar proved costly for two Cleveland area men early Sunday morning.

Brandon A. Simmons of Cleveland Heights and Nicholas Kristek of North Royalton had finsihed up a night of drinking in Strongsville and apparently headed west on Route 82 instead of east and got lost.

Trooper Scott Roark of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that while westbound on 82 in Eaton Township Simmons, behind the wheel, lost control of the car and crashed. “The car went off the right side of the road just east of Durkee Road. The vehicle went down into a ditch striking a culvert which launched them in the air and they struck a parked vehicle in the driveway, after striking the car they flipped a couple of times before they landed in the front yard of this house.”

Trooper Roark said that when he arrived Simmons got out of the car and approached him right away. “I asked him at that time if he was the driver, he said yes and that’s when I could smell the strong odor of alcohol coming off of him. I brought him back to my vehicle and asked him if he was ok and he said yes at which time I did a couple of sobriety tests and then placed him under arrest.”
Eaton Township Firefighters and Paramedics responded and were able to extricate the 22 year old Kristek without using any tools. Kristek was treated then transported to Elyria Memorial Hospital. The 23 year old Simmons, who was sitting handcuffed in the back of the patrol car said he didn’t believe he was injured but because of his intoxicated condition Firefighters were unable to let him sign off on scene so he was also transported to Elyria Memorial.

Fran Beatty and her husband were watching TV shortly before the crash. “I had just fallen asleep and then heard this loud noise, I thoght it was a loud crack of thunder or something at first. My mom came and knocked on our door and said you had better come see this. When we looked out the window though we could see their car in the front yard all smashed up.”

Beatty and her husband went outside and were able to see Simmons getting back into his car, then Beatty said that they saw her mother in laws car had been struck. “My mother in law lives in Elyria and we had just put this car out here two days ago to try and sell it.” Beatty said that since 1972 five other cars, some of their own and some belonging to frends, have encountered the same fate. “Over the years we have had family and friends ask to put their cars out here because of the high visibility but with this car being the sixth one to get smashed up Ithink people might stop asking.”

Trooper Roarke said that Simmons has been charged with the crash and for operating a vehicle intoxicated. When asked if more charges could follow Trooper Roarke said; “well, he doesn’t have a drivers license so that will be another one.”
To see more photos: CLICK HERE


Ah, the smell of…wait, what is that smell? Why it’s the smell of irreverent, satirical and blatantly offensive banter; and it seems to be seeping from my pores! Well then get me the air freshener and let’s have at it! Shall we dance my friends?

First, I hope none of our readers have any family displaced by the fires in California, that being said; I thought the media coverage was very interesting. Why? Remember the Katrina aftermath? People with no where to go, the over crowded shelters and most importantly…the fact that people there still have to live in trailers, with little to no resources. Well, I just thought it was funny to see the people displaced from these fires and the contrast to what is provided for them. They have “dog havens” so their precious pooches can eat. There are “media lounges” so they can still have their internet access. Shutters on the Beach, Viceroy in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills' Peninsula and Four Seasons hotels were all over-booked with people taking “refuge”. One resident even said, "It sounds terrible, but I'm glad it's [my house] gone. How would you like to sit in your house when one third of your neighbors are gone?” Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not comparing this to Katrina. I just think it is a bit of a joke to hear people say they are “destitute” and are “forced to live in their Manhattan loft” until their house is rebuilt. I hope there is help for the people who really need it. Moving on…

I don’t want to talk about the Petric boy who killed his mother and almost his father. He was raised better than that. Anyone who could kill their mother is a waste of air. But, let’s just say this; my heart goes out to the family. I know Pastor Petric will forgive his son, providing he recovers, that is an honorable attribute that I admire. I went to school with many a pastor’s kid, and though they were never perfect, they weren’t murderers either. I do know they have a bit more pressure on them to do good, or at least “look” like they are good. But that just isn’t enough to push someone over the edge. But Video Games? I have played Halo, it was not addicting. I was born in the generation of technology; there was never a time without video games for me. No matter how many times my mom told me to turn off my favorite game, I never thought to kill her. I just can’t put a handle on this one.

In case you missed it, this was National School Bus Safety Week, so do what I did: Next time you come to a railroad crossing, stop before the tracks, turn on your hazards, open your door and peek your head out to make sure no train is coming. Then proceed to cross. Believe me, it’s so much fun. The people behind me thought I was an idiot, oh wait, I am.

What else has happened this week? Another car crashes into someone’s Elyria home. Here’s a suggestion: If you live in Elyria, and your street name is a number (i.e.: 8th, 9th, 10th). Do yourself a favor and install some big concrete pillars in your front yard. Or even better… move!! There have been 2 or 3 of these kinds of accidents around that neighborhood the past few months. Maybe the cars are trying to prune the neighborhood of ugly houses, I dunno.

I loved the story about Officer Rick Walker and his K9 partner Stuka. On the trail for a fugitive, Bounty-Hunter-Style! I tell you, if every neighborhood had a Stuka, this world would be crime free. Hey Officer Rick, throw that dog a bone!

Speaking of bones; there’s a story of some bone-heads who crashed their SUV while arguing. Does the phrase, “Take it outside,” mean anything? That means fight outdoors, not indoors and not in a moving vehicle (that you happen to be driving). MORONS! Whatever happened to pulling over and duking it out? This young couple needs to grow up. Kids these days!

Could it possibly be true? Is it time for the infamous…. HIGHLIGHT OF THE LOWLIGHTS?? Yes, and many of you saw this one coming. The story “DUDE, WHERE’S MY CAR?” Not only will I use my words to cut these lamebrains’ down to size, I will also use a witty graphic! Back up, I’m attempting to multi-task!
Now, that’s the only way you get a truck into the water! So here’s the thing, I really love to see a story like this. A man and a woman, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I… Sorry. Two lovebirds that were too broke to go on a real date. So he takes her to a state park in Wellington? What a rip-off! On top of that, he backs his truck down a boat ramp (with no intention of getting wet) and loses his vehicle to the raging waters. Actually, they weren’t raging and he says his truck “slipped on algae. Now the question is, was he really just “viewing the foliage” with his girlfriend? By the way, who says foliage? And how do you see it while backing down a boat ramp? I bet they were “distracted” with each other.

But there’s more to this story, the TMC RESEARCH TEAM found a bit of dirty laundry on Mr. Scott Morgan. He’s got a record, and not for truck-boating either. In fact here are some charges: 2907.31- Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles, Committed, 2911.13- Breaking and Entering, Committed2911.11- Aggravated Burglary, Committed, 2907.09- Public Indecency, Committed. Yes, he’s an ex-con and registered sex offender. I am not making this up. Take a look yourself: PERV. Maybe this was his “favorite spot”. My, “What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” But, nice try to Mother Nature, who was obviously trying to lure this guy to the bottom of the river. Better luck next time!

Well, we did it. Another lap of the rat race has passed. What are we running for and what do we win? I trust you are all getting in those abdominal exercises before the holidays. I know I am, be proud of me, as I have already gone up a pant size! Until next time, who knows what’ll happen. But you know TMC will be there and I’ll follow-up to put the “stank” on it!

Slap on a smile, or slap one on someone else (that’s more fun). Don’t forget to floss after you steal your kids’ candy. No one wants rotted teeth in their Christmas photos.


Saturday, October 27, 2007


While our friends at the Avon Lake Fire Department were enjoying their Boo Bash at the Irish Heritage Center Saturday night, another group of guys spent the night kicking the crap out of each other at the St. John’s Lutheran Church on West River in Elyria.

The Modern Warrior Combat Challenge brought their Cage and about a dozen Mixed Martial Arts fights to Elyria Saturday night.

Ian Oskins, also from Elyria, said that tonight’s fights were “kickass.” “All I could think about through all of the matches was man, I gotta start training.” Oskins, a pole vaulter at Elyria High School said that although he has never been to one of these fights before, he will surly be back for the next one.

One of the more popular fighters came from Team Total Revolution out of Lima, Ohio. Chris Henderson, weighing in at 153lbs. and fighting his eighth fight, is close to turning professional according to his manager. Henderson’s opponent was 146lb Elijah Wallace. The fight didn’t make it through the first of 3 scheduled 3-minute rounds before the fight was stopped by “TKO” after the ref saw that Wallace just wasn’t able to defend himself any longer.
Gage Hume from Wellington also enjoyed the fights. “The fights were great; it’s something I’m sure plenty of teenage guys would like to see. It’s the first time I’ve been to an actual match but I know a few fighters and I would definitely go to again. I couldn’t see myself doin it, I’m too tall.”

Another fighter for Team Total Revolution is 136lb Brent Sidle who went up against 184lb Cory Ruthgatz. Sidle’s fight didn’t end in victory like Henderson’s but it did get into the third round before it was called. Sidle and Ruthgatz did put on one of the more entertaining battles for the bloodthirsty audience. Outweighed and perhaps outmatched Sidle got his clock cleaned but held in there well into the third round.

Justin Willis from Elyria said that he has been to see fights like this before, but never in this area. “I think this is new to our area and everyone I saw had a great time. I am looking forward to the next one, I am sure there will be more people and more fighters too.” When Willis was asked why he enjoyed it he said he liked watching people beat each other up. “I am thinking about training for it, I might give it a shot.”
To see more photos: CLICK HERE


Bill Erick was sleeping pretty soundly late Friday night in his Butternut Ridge Road home, when a crashing noise woke him up. “I heard this really loud crash and I got out of bed to see what was going on, I figured it had to be pretty close with how loud it was. When I looked out my window, there they were in the side yard and a guy was laying on my driveway.”

Erick called 9-1-1 who dispatched Carlisle Township Firefighters and LifeCare Paramedics. One Carlisle Firefighter lives across the street so he was on scene rendering care immediately to the passenger who was lying on the driveway.
Trooper Lance Deshuk of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that prior to the crash the two people inside the car were having an altercation. “Right now it appears that the driver and passenger were eastbound on Butternut Ridge Road, the two were in the midst of an altercation, some type of verbal argument at which time the driver stated that the passenger grabbed the wheel. The passenger steered the vehicle off the left side of the roadway between a tree and a home and in fact struck a tree about 40 feet off the roadway.”

LifeCare transported the 20-year-old male passenger to Elyria Memorial Hospital. The 17-year-old female driver refused treatment or transport. Metro LifeFlight flew the male to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland from EMH.

Trooper Deshuk said that although the crash is still under investigation they would be pursuing charges against the passenger for his grabbing the wheel and interfering with the driver.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE

Friday, October 26, 2007



Daniel Petric, the 16 year old who has been accused of shooting his parents in their Brighton Township home last weekend, has ask for and has been denied permission to attend his mother’s funeral scheduled for tomorrow morning. However, Petric will get a private 30 minute supervised viewing of his mother this weekend at an undisclosed location.

Funeral services for Sue Petric are planned for Saturday morning at the Avon Christian Heritage Center on Chester Road in Avon. Burial will follow in Wellington at Greenwood Cemetery.

A memorial fund for the Petric family has been established and donations may be made at any Fifth Third Bank.
UPDATE: Daniel Petric, moments after private visitation was granted, entered the New Life Assembly of God Church in Wellington along with a court employee and Lorain County Sheriff Deputies. No family members were present during the 30 minute visit.

Daniels father, Pastor Mark Petric, is still listed in critical, but stable condition at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.



A crash early this morning on West River Road South at the intersection of 16th Street sent 2 people with serious injuries to Cleveland by helicopters.

Captain Joe Pronesti of the Elyria Fire Department said that the first call came in as a crash involving a Semi and a school bus. “We were first told that a semi and school bus had crashed but then while responding we were told that it was a semi and 3 other vehicles, no busses but there was entrapment involved.”

LifeCare Paramedics treated the two victims from the cars while the semi truck driver and the driver of the mini van refused treatment or transport. Michael Bridge, Supervisor at LifeCare Ambulance said that the two victims that were transported were considered to be in serious condition. “With the type of injuries that they sustained during the crash we had LifeFlight dispatched to Elyria Memorial right away. We were concerned that one of the victims who at first seemed fine and was talking was growing lethargic in the ambulance.”

The crash is still under investigation by the Elyria Police Department but what is known for sure is that the semi was southbound on West River and a black 4 door rabbit was pulling off of 16th Street when it was struck by the semi throwing it into a nearby field. Two other vehicles involved were a mini van and a Ford Taurus. The Taurus was found about 200 feet north of the crash but that was because the driver moved it there before rescue crews arrived.

Captain Pronesti said that Firefighters used hand tools to extricate the victim from the Rabbit while other Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to extricate the victim from the Taurus.

Metro LifeFlight landed one chopper on the roof while the second landed at McKinley School for the two victims. Both were flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE


Two men fleeing from a Lorain County Deputy Sheriff early Friday morning attempted to make a turn onto 8th Street from East Ave but slammed into a house instead.

A Deputy Sheriff sitting at the intersection of East Ave and Fuller around 3:30 a.m. Friday morning observed a vehicle with no front license plate. When the Deputy attempted to stop the vehicle on East Ave the driver took off. Traveling north on East Ave the driver attempted to turn west on 8th Street but was going too fast to make the turn. The car drove across the lawn of 715 East Ave then buried itself in the front porch.

Lillie Jackson lives in the side-by-side duplex at 715 East Ave and was sleeping at the time of the crash. “I had just gotten to sleep not that long before the crash and I feel the house shake and this horrible noise. So I get up and opened the door to see what was going on, that is when the Officer told me to get back in the house and that they think someone in the car has a gun, so I did just what I was told.” Jackson is a receptionist and was due at work at 7:30 a.m. “I think I am going to be a little tired at work today, but I am just glad that nobody was hurt in all of this.”

Elyria Firefighters were called to the scene to check and secure the structure. Jackson said that the Firefighters checked her electrical boxes to make sure everything was ok.

Lieutenant Silva of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office said that the Deputies found a 9mm high point handgun under the butt of the driver, 18-year-old Dashawn Martin. Martin faces multiple charges from the incident including, Fire Arms, Receiving Stolen Property, Failure to Comply, Failure to Control, Reckless Operation, No Operators License and Obstruction of Official Business.

The passenger, 18-year-old Tony Carter faces charges including, Receiving Stolen Property, Obstruction of Official Business and Weapons Under Disability.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE

Thursday, October 25, 2007


When an Elyria Police Officer spotted Tremayne L. Wallace driving erratically along Prospect Street late last night he attempted to stop the vehicle to see what was wrong. Once the lights were turned on Wallace refused to stop, even running a stop sign. Wallace turned onto Cambridge Ave heading westbound with the Officer following behind still attempting to get him to stop. Apparently not familiar with the area, Wallace headed down Cambridge where it dead ends. Not letting a little thing like a dead end road stop him, Wallace drove through the backside of Elyria Memorial Hospital and then through the school yard of McKinley Elementary only coming to rest once his car struck fire hydrant at East River and Lincoln Street. Wallace then jumped from his car and fled on foot. Officers surrounded the area setting up a perimeter to box Wallace in for Officer Rick Walker and his K9 partner Stuka.

Lieutenant Andy Eichenlaub of the Elyria Police Department said that Stuka performed just as he was trained to last night. “When Officer Walker and Stuka arrived they started at the suspects car to begin their tracking. During the search Stuka was able to track the suspect over various surfaces such as pavement, grass and gravel.” Lt. Eichenlaub said that Stuka lead his Handler to a sweatshirt that Wallace had discarded in a back yard then shortly after that directly to where Wallace was hiding. “He was smart enough to give himself up once he heard Stuka, he then followed all of Officer Walkers commands and was taken into custody.” Lt. Eichenlaub said that had Wallace not given up Stuka would have been let off his leash to go in after Wallace.

Elyria Police Officer Rick Walker, who has been Stuka’s handler since October of 2006, said that temperature, wind conditions and terrain play a major role in the success of tracking. “As far as different surfaces go, each one has pro's and cons. By far, pavement, such as asphalt, and concrete make tracking pretty tough. Stuka is going off the scent from ground disturbances. Dry cut grass is the best in my option because more scent particles are disturbed. Wet or moist surfaces hold the scents in making for tougher tracks. Unfortunately, in a City track, you encounter almost all the above.”

Lt. Eichenlaub said that Wallace has been charged with Driving Under Suspension, Reckless Operation, Stop Sign and Speeding.

TMC NEWS featured Officer Walker and Stuka in March. To read that story: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


It’s been awhile since we have had to make an addition to our “What Were They Thinking” file but after what happened in Findley State Park in Wellington Tuesday afternoon we had no choice.

Ohio State Patrol and Wellington Fire District Dive Team responded to the park after they received a call of a truck in the water near the boat launch ramp.

Trooper Christopher Aussie of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that at first they were told that the truck’s brake failed and the truck slipped into the water. “When we arrived we spoke with the driver and he told us that he and his girlfriend were just driving around looking at the foliage and the water when the truck slipped into the water.”

The driver, Scott A. Morgan of LaGrange, then told Trooper Aussie that he attempted to back his truck down the ramp and it slipped on the algae and slid into the water.

Morgan’s girlfriend then told Trooper Aussie that when they went down into the ramp area she egged him on to see how far into the water they could go without, well sliding all the way in.

It is noteworthy to point out here that there was neither a boat nor a trailer attached to Morgan’s 1986 Toyota truck at the time they slide into the water.
Wellington Fire District Dive Team suited up and went into the water to secure the truck and to assist Vaughn’s Auto in removing the submerged vehicle. Dave Vaughn Jr. of Vaughn's Auto Repair said that Firefighters on the Dive Team went under and secured a line to the front of the truck. “We were lucky, this truck had a tow hook right on the front so the Firemen were able to attach a line to that then we just brought it up slowly.”

Vaughn said that as they were bringing the truck out of the water they stop every now and then to allow water to drain out. Once the truck was out of the water Vaughn said the horn started honking and the radio was on. “The radio was still playing when I got it back to the garage.”

Trooper Aussie said that the State Park Rangers would take over the case and it will be up to them if any charges will be filed against Morgan. Although his fate in the legal system is still uncertain, there is one thing that Morgan can count, and that is a mention in this Sunday’s “Sundays with Jason”.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


NASA satellites continue to capture remarkable new images of the wildfires raging in Southern California. At least 14 massive fires are reported to have scorched about 425 square miles from north of Los Angeles to southeast of San Diego.

These latest images, captured by NASA satellites on the afternoon of October 22, show the thick, billowing smoke coming off the numerous large fires and spreading over the Pacific Ocean. Fire activity is outlined in red.

Dry, drought-stricken vegetation and Santa Ana winds, which can reach hurricane speeds, have contributed to the devastating effect of these blazes. The National Interagency Fire Center reports that the Santa Ana winds are expected to continue through Wednesday.

Today, President Bush issued an emergency declaration for seven California counties, ordering federal disaster relief to the area. The President also plans a visit to the region on Thursday.

Some perspective:
This is the largest evacuation in California history with over half a milion people fleeing their homes and businesses.

More than 1,400 homes have been burned.

One person has died as a result of the fires.

42 people have been injured, including 21 Firefighters.

400,000 acres have been burned.

8,000 Firefighters are currently battling the fires.

The fires are threatening 68,000 more homes.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Daniel Petric appeared in court Monday morning wearing his Detention Home uniform and listening as charges of Murder and Attempted Murder were leveled against him.

Petric will now be bound over to Lorain County Common Pleas Court, where it is possible he could be tried as an adult for allegedly shooting his parents after an argument in the family home on Saturday night.

Petric, a Halo 3 video game fanatic had been arguing with his father after being told he couldn’t play the violent games. Petric had told authorities that he grew tired of arguing with his parents about it, that is when he retrieved his fathers 9mm semi automatic hand gun and shot them.

Shortly after the shooting the Petric’s oldest daughter, Heidi Archer and her husband Andrew Archer, arrived at the home to watch the Tribe game. Daniel would not let the couple enter the home, stopping them at the door. The couple feared something wrong and forced their way inside and found the couple shot and lying on separate couches. Andrew Archer checked Mrs. Petric for a pulse but could not find one so he then moved to Mr. Petric and performed CPR until Medics from Southern Lorain County EMS arrived.

While the Archers were checking the parents Daniel grabbed the keys to his fathers van and fled the home. He was spotted and detained by Wellington Police a short time later in Wellington. Daniel could be heard on the Police car Dash Cam blaming his father for the shooting.

Lorain County Sheriff’s Department say that through interviews and physical evidence gathered at the scene they believe that Daniel was the shooter and acted alone. During the call to 9-1-1 that night, Heidi Archer named her brother as the shooter.

Daniel is scheduled to be back in court next month for a probable cause hearing.
Courtroom photos courtesy of Chronicle Telegram Chief Photographer Bruce P. Bishop. Bishop was chosen to be the courtroom pool photographer.


The Ohio State Highway Patrol reminds children and motorists that National School Bus Safety Week runs Oct. 22 through 26.

This year’s theme, “Be Aware, Cross With Care”, reminds children to be extra careful crossing the street when getting on and off the school bus or on their way home. Also, it emphasizes to motorists that they are required to stop for stopped school buses that are displaying flashing red lights and an extended stop arm. Motorists approaching from either direction are required to stop at least 10 feet from a stopped school bus until the bus resumes motion. If a school bus is stopped on a road divided into four or more lanes, only traffic driving in the same direction as the bus must stop.

“While school buses remain the safest mode of travel on Ohio roadways, school bus crashes do occur,” Colonel Richard H. Collins, Patrol superintendent said. “In 2006, there were seven crashes resulting in motorist fatalities and a total of 1,809 crashes involving school buses around Ohio”.

Throughout the entire school year, there are special concerns that need to be considered when sharing the roads with school buses.

Motorists can do their part by starting to think about school bus safety the moment the car is started. When backing out of a garage or driveway, watch for children walking to the school bus. Many times children who are walking or riding their bicycle are paying more attention to getting to school and less attention to their personal safety.

“With the cooperation of motorists, parents, and children, we can all help make the bus ride to and from school as safe as possible for our children, and make this a safe school year throughout Ohio,” Colonel Collins said.

For additional information on National School Bus Safety Week, visit the National Association for Pupil Transportation Web site at



Well I will now be officially boycotting the 2007 World Series. I am a die-hard baseball guy, and I will flat out refuse to watch a single pitch. I played baseball from the time I was six years old, all the way up to winning a MAC Championship with Bowling Green State University. I coach baseball at Amherst Steele, and umpire five days a week in the summer. My father had his book on coaching high school baseball published, and when I watch games on TV, not just the Indians, I study every aspect of the game, from the coaching points, to the pitcher's and hitter's approaches, to the different umpires. All that baseball running through my veins, and I will not watch a single pitch thrown the rest of 2007. And it really has nothing to do with the fact that the Indians were just blown out of Boston, dropping three straight to end their remarkable season, (although that does play a small role in it). I absolutely can not stand it that the media does not think good baseball exists outside of Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium.

Throughout the ALDS, against the Yankees, even though the Tribe prevailed three games to one, you would never have known it as a casual Sportscenter viewer. If you happened to tune in five minutes late, all you would have figured out was that New York lost. No mention of how good the Indians played to beat the $200 million pay roll, or even that it was Cleveland that upended them. Just that the Yankees lost. Cleveland didn't win, New York lost. It's not what the Indians did to beat the Yankees; it was what the Yankees did to lose to the Indians.

And you got the feeling, especially through the first four games of the ALCS, against Boston, that it was much of this same coverage. It wasn't that the Indians hitters were putting together good at bats, and the Indians pitchers, especially their bullpen were making great pitches to retire Red Sock after Red Sock. The story was how bad Boston was playing.

Watching Game 7 was more of the same. During the pre-game there was no mention of how the Indians acquired the 3-1 series lead, just what Boston had done to tie it up and force this deciding game. Six times before the end of the third inning was talk about the 2004 3-0 comeback against New York. Numerous times Tim McGarver referenced Joe Torre, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter excerpts. Why? New York was not playing. And you really got the sense that during the game McGarver and Joe Buck were almost rooting for the Red Sox. It was actually sickening. People in Denver should expect more of the same in the next week and a half. If the Red Sox lose game one, it will not be because the Rockies have been playing unbelievable ball and will have won 22 of 23. It will be that Boston did something to blow it, or choke. No credit was given to Cleveland, and I expect none to be given to Colorado.

Now to my thoughts on the actual game... I should note that from the moment I woke up this morning, I had zero hope that the Indians would win. Why would I? And if you did, you were fooling yourself. Come on, its CLEVELAND. Are we so quick to forget the following: Red Right 88, The Drive, The Fumble (I just threw up in my mouth a little), Art Model, Jordan over Ehlo, Jose Mesa and Tony Fernandez, The Indian's late season collapse in 2005, etc, etc, etc... We had no chance to win. We could've had the 11-2 lead Boston had going into the 9th inning, and I still would have been expecting the worst, (earlier this year when Phil Dawson was lining up for a game winning field goal attempt against Oakland, I had the same feeling, and of course I was right).

The Tribe showed signs of life, trailing 3-2, when Lofton reached second base on a Julio Lugo error with one out in the 7th inning. This was the only point in the game when I was on the edge of my seat hoping and expecting something good to happen. And it did. Almost. Franklin Guitierrez scorched a single down the left field line. It careened off the billboard and dribbled into an unoccupied shallow left field. Third base coach Joel Skinner inexcusably held Lofton at third base. The still speedy veteran would have undoubtedly scored, probably without a play at the plate. And in true Cleveland fashion, Casey Blake promptly followed with a 5-4-3 inning, and ultimately season ending double play. Chalk it up to the name of the city on the jersey. Some may argue that tying up the game at 3-3 would've have been a moot point, considering the Red Sox teeing off on the Indians bullpen in the final two innings. These people know nothing about the game. A tie game drastically changes the dynamic of every situation from there on out, so the transitive property would not apply.

Did the Indians deserve to win the series? To win in the post-season, you need your big guns to come up big in big situations. CC Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, Rafael Perez, Grady Sizemore, and Travis Hafner were all downright putrid throughout the ALCS. They all had chances to put their stamp on a triumphant Cleveland victory, and all came up short.

”You can say what you want about the home plate umpires squeezing every Cleveland pitcher that stepped on the mound... As a matter of fact, I will be the first to say it: The home plate umpires squeezed every corner of the strike zone on the Indians' staff. I really believe that Bud Selig hatched a conspiracy to make sure that there was not 6 days without baseball being played, (if Cleveland would have closed out the series and won game five at home on Thursday). He informed the umpiring crew to do what they could to ensure that this series would go seven games. And they did. Just my beliefs, you can form your own opinion.”

The Indians probably didn't deserve to win the series. But they definitely could have. And I won't say that they choked, or that they blew it, or that they gave it away. The Indians simply had no chance to go to the World Series. They're from CLEVELAND. I am thoroughly convinced that if the Cavs, Indians or Browns ever win a World Championship, the earth will implode.

But because of this, we are, and will continue to be the best and most loyal fans on the face of the planet. We will continue to hope and pray and passionately cheer our teams on, no matter what heartache they cause us. We are the fans, that everytime ESPN replays the 1988 AFC Championship Game, even though we KNOW the outcome, watch to the bitter end, and think to ourselves, "He is not going to fumble this time. He is going to break that tackle and we are going to the Super Bowl." We are the fans that are patiently, or maybe not so patiently waiting for one of these teams to deliver us to the promised land. And when that day comes, and the earth begins to implode, it will be the Cleveland fans that refuse to let it. For nothing will be able to ruin the celebration on that day. That day, was just not today.

If you look on the bright side though, die-hard Cleveland fans, like myself, the Browns didn't lose today.

Matt Rositano

Rositano is a TMC NEWS Gold Card member and wanted to share some thoughts on the Tribe and being a Cleveland sports fan. Feel free to share your opinions by posting a comment.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Lorain County Sheriff’s Department said today in a press conference that they believe Daniel Petric, the 16 year old son of Pastor Mark & Sue Petric was soley responsible for the shootings.

Captain Rich Rezendez of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department: “We were able to determine through interviews and the physical eveidence that we had gathered, that at this time, we believe that Daniel, the 16 year old, he is sole person responsible for this tragic act.” Police say Daniel has admitted to getting his father’s 9mm semi-automatic hang gun and shooting his parents.

Daniel Petric was confronted by his oldest sister and her husband Sunday night when they went to the house to watch the Tribe game with her parents. When they entered the home they found the couple lying in the floor, bleeding from gun shot wounds.

Daniel fled the home in his fathers 1999 Windstar mini van but was spotted a short time later in Wellington by Police who had been advised to “be on the lookout” for the van. Daniel was taken into custody at that time and turned over to the Sheriff’s Department. Charges have not yet been filed but a hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Pastor Petric is still listed in critical condition tonight at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.


A spectacular crash in Elyria Sunday afternoon sends three people to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The crash occurred in front of Elyria Memorial Hospital at the intersection of East Broad Street and East River. Assistant Chief Ron Brlas of the Elyria Fire Department said the driver of the blue F-150 was west on East Broad heading home from church at the time of the crash.

Robin McCallie, a Nurse at Elyria Memorial was heading to her car in the parking lot at the northeast corner of the intersection when she witnessed the crash. “I saw the blue truck heading west on Broad Street heading towards downtown and the white truck was crossing East River Street, and I don’t know what the traffic lights were doing, but then the blue truck t-boned the white truck and it rolled over and the blue truck went into the building.” McCallie said she saw the driver of the white truck get out on his own and people from inside the building were coming out and assisting the people in the blue truck so she immediately called 9-1-1.

Elyria Firefighters and LifeCare Paramedics treated three victims at the scene and transported to EMH. The passenger of the blue truck was later flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

The Elyria Police Department is investigating the crash.
To see more photos: CLICK HERE


Virginia Tippton said she was sleeping when she heard the crash just after 4 a.m. Sunday morning. “We were sleeping and all of a sudden there is this really loud crashing noise just outside of our house. When I got out here I could see the truck smashed up but all the power was out so it was hard to see much.”

Tippton said shortly after she stepped out onto her front porch she could hear a familiar voice coming from the area of the wreckage. “I recognized the voice right away, I knew it was my best friend and I could hear her crying.” Tippton’s husband was on the phone with 9-1-1 calling for help while she went to check on her friend.

The crash occurred on West River Road South at Second Street. The SUV was traveling northbound on West River at the time of the crash. There were no skid marks on the pavement leading up to the crash site.

Elyria Firefighters and LifeCare Paramedics responded and worked to extricate the driver of the SUV. Once out the paramedics loaded the driver, the only person in the car, into the ambulance and transported him to Elyria Memorial Hospital. The driver was then flown a short time later to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

Tippton said that the driver of the SUV had just assaulted her friend and had taken her vehicle from her house. “She said that he had beat the hell out of her and she was calling the Police when he took off in her truck. That’s how he ended up here smashing into the pole.” Tippton, who lives two houses from the corner, said she was happy that her two daughters were spending the night away from home so they didn’t have to see the crash.

The Elyria Police is investigating the crash.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE


GO TRIBE! I put that in there for all you Indians fans. I am not saying anything more but at least people have something out there to be happy about. I am sure that the people who experienced the power outage on Friday were at least happy it was not during the games on Thursday or Saturday.

So the colors of fall are upon us. The leaves are turning, the air is getting drier and I am already sick of the color orange. (Go Browns?) But it is a nice change, especially when we can break out the sweaters & hoodies. Me personally, I start my special-stomach-stretching-techniques around this time of the year. I sure wouldn’t want to show up to Thanksgiving dinner unprepared. That would be a messy catastrophe!

Well, how about some news…Congratulations to Lynda for a successful gastric bypass… wait, wrong story. Okay, News, here we are: So last week it was about chili, this week it was spaghetti and next week will be about drunken dancing with Avon Lake Fire. (Remember, we’re building momentum to expand our Holiday capacity) The chili cook-off at Elyria Harley sounded like it was a blast (smelled like a blast too, nasty; yeah I’m not above a good fart joke.) Word on the streets is Pete “the Meat” from Avon brought his “A” game to the bout. Now in Eaton Township (or as I refer to it, “WHERE?”) people were stuffin’ themselves to the gills with pasta. Remember, “All you can eat,” is not a challenge, it’s an offer. But if you’re gonna bust a gut, do it for a good cause. But if you’re not still on the “john” after chili day; and if you’ve got the marinara stains out of your white T-shirt, then you got one more party to attend. So make sure you show up to the Avon Lake Firefighter's Boo Bash! It sounds like they’ve got the best prizes and a real plan (which is obviously overlooked throughout most of the “events” in this county). You all know I had my share of “Festivals” this year (the Ridgeville Corn Nightmare) but I’ll put my money on this one being a success. So go on Saturday, so I don’t have to.

Finally, with the possibility of there being more power outages in the near future, I took it upon myself to come up with a few things for you all to do when the “boob tube” doesn’t come on. #1: Read a Book: Since it will be pitch black, you’ll finally be able to tell someone you read something in turn making you look and sound smarter, although you really are still dumb as a can of peas. #2: Use the time to play, “Good battery, Bad battery.” Maybe you’ll get lucky and find one to put in the flashlight. And last one #3: When your annoying neighbor (you know the one) starts lighting candles, feed a complimentary gas line through his mail slot (well, that may be illegal, but there would be plenty of “ambient light” for the whole block) Anyways, that should help get you through a few dark hours.

I’ll keep this one short. I seem to have been caught with verbal diarrhea the past few weeks (and I can’t blame that one on the chili). Thanks everyone for your thoughts and insight. We have some very intelligent readers and it is always a pleasure to hear from them.

Don’t walk any train tracks, and remember its drunken season, so watch yourselves on the roads! Maybe offer to drive someone home (or out to a large field to fend off coyotes). But above all else, have fun and smile. It’s the time of the year where the Holiday stresses start bringing out the nastiness in people. You know, the ones who beat up people over Tickle Me Elmo’s and stuff. So relax, and enjoy your life, breathe it all in, even if it stinks.


Saturday, October 20, 2007



Lorain County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 51899 Peck Wadsworth Road in Brighton Township just after 7 p.m. Saturday night after two people were found shot inside the home.

The two victims have been identified as New Life Assembly of God Pastor Mark Petric and his wife Sue. Sue Petric was shot once in the head and once in the arm and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pastor Petric was shot once in the left side of the head and was taken to Allen Medical Center in Oberlin by Southern Lorain County Paramedics where they met Metro LifeFlight. The Pastor was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

The Lorain County Sheriff’s Department issued A BOLO (Be On Look Out) for the families 1999 Green Windstar mini van Saturday evening. A Wellington Police Officer spotted the van a short time later in the city of Wellington, stopped the vehicle and took the driver into custody. The driver was the Petric’s 16-year-old son who is being interviewed by Detectives in relation to the shootings.

A New Life Assembly church member told TMC NEWS that the couple’s daughter and son-in-law arrived to the Petric home Saturday night to watch the Indians game and found the couple shot. She also said that the son had been upset with his father after he was told that he couldn’t play his video games.

Mark and Sue Petric have been pastors of New Life Assembly of God for over 2 years now. Prior to coming to Wellington they were youth and associate pastors at Eastgate Assembly of God and foster parents of the Bair Foundation while in Columbus, Ohio. The Petric's also worked with troubled teenagers as house parents and assistant directors of the Choice Place Boys Home in Ashland.

The Lorain County Sheriff’s Department is investigating.

Friday, October 19, 2007


It wasn’t exactly the tornado from the wizard of oz but the winds that blew through Lorain and the northern portion of Elyria this afternoon wiped out power to more than 10,000 residents and some businesses. Police in Elyria and Lorain were busy at major intersections directing traffic where the lights were knocked out.

Reports of wires down throughout the area kept First Energy crews busy as well this afternoon searching for the source of the outage. Officials believe that a 69-kilovolt transmission line that connects substations between Elyria and Lorain may have been knocked out by the strong winds this afternoon. Mark Durbin of First Energy said crews are trying to find the break in the cable between the two cities, once that is determined they can route power around the break and start making repairs.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Polly Tallos, Director of Christian Education and Youth at North Eaton Christian Church. Would like to invite you to an “all you can eat” Spaghetti Dinner this Saturday October 20th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Church in Eaton Township.

The proceeds will help fund the group's annual mission trip to repair and paint the homes of low-income, elderly or disabled residents. This will be the 8th Mission Trip for the High School Youth Group. The Junior High Youth Group supports a treatment center in Cleveland that works with severally abused boys.

Tallos says the group spends a week with about 400 other youth from all over the United States, and sometimes Canada, from various Christian denominations. “The youth and adults are put into groups of six, then they are given a resident to help. Projects can include building new porches or wheelchair ramps, installing/repairing drywall, and all manner of painting. In general, they weatherize and repair the homes of elderly and or underprivileged people. The most important job the kids have that week is to act out their Faith by helping others without any thought of personal gain. The ironic thing is that the youth go home with more rewards than the residents they took the time to help.”

The group will spend the week sleeping on the floor of a local school using the locker room showers. “Two of the girls that went last year made the comment "Boy do I appreciate my own bed and shower!"

Tickets for the all-you-can-eat (on site) meal are $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-10. Take-outs are also available. The meal includes spaghetti, meatballs, salad bar, desserts, and beverages. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

North Eaton Christian Church is located at the corner of Rt. 82 and Rt. 83 next to the Eaton Township Fire Department.

If you have any questions please call the church office at 440-748-2230.

TMC NEWS: "In The Community"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


A single car crash in Elyria sent three people by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland Tuesday night.

Lieutenant Charlie Norris of the Elyria Fire Department said that a Honda Accord, driven by Debra Adkins, clipped the mirror of a truck while traveling on Route 57 near East Broad Street around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night. The Accord then went off the road striking a guard rail and utility pole on the northeast corner of the intersection, pinning Adkins and her 15-year-old son Gabriel in the front seat. Adkins’ one-year-old daughter was in the back seat fully restrained in a car seat at the time of the crash and had no visible injuries. “When we arrived on scene a bystander had the baby out of the car and was holding her. The driver (the mother) was pretty easy to extricate from the car however the passenger was fully trapped and took more time to extricate."

Lieutenant Norris said that the dashboard was pushed so far in it was on the passenger’s chest. “The airbag had deployed on the drivers side but not on the passenger side. We were fortunate that after the car struck the pole it bounced back about 18 inches giving us a little room to get in there with our cutting tools to take that car apart. While we were cutting him out we had a Medic from LifeCare in the back seat holding C-Spine on him and rendering care.”

With the extent and mechanism of injuries Metro LifeFlight was requested to land at the scene for the passenger. While Firefighters were removing Gabriel from the wreckage, LifeFlight was setting down on Route 57 just north of the intersection. Gabriel was then flown from the scene to MetroHealth with multiple fractures and abdominal injuries.

Debra Adkins was flown a short time later from EMH to Metro for fractures abdominal injuries. The baby was also flown with Adkins for possible abdominal injuries.

Lieutenant Norris said that from the time crews arrived on scene until the time the last victim was extricated was a total of 27 minutes, he attributes that to great teamwork. “The scene couldn’t have run better tonight. The teamwork between the Firefighters, Paramedics, Police and the LifeFlight Crew is exactly how you want scenes like this to run. There was a lot going on and every single person on that scene had a job to do and each person performed flawlessly.”

The Elyria Police are investigating the crash.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE


South Elyria Neighborhood Development Corporation (SEND) will be hosting their 3rd Annual Education Luncheon on Thursday, October 25th at the Elyria Holiday Inn from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. “The Foreclosure Crisis, It’s Impact on Lorain County, the state and the nation” will be the focus. Ohio has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, with the Cleveland area including Lorain County as one of the hardest hit. State Treasurer Richard Cordray will discuss what is being done at the state level including the initiative “Save Our Homes” and the Honorable Anna Escobedo Cabral will discuss the newest initiatives from the federal level.

SEND Director Chris Baker said she is honored to announce that the Guest speakers will include HUD Field Office Director Douglas Shelby, State Treasurer Richard Cordray and the Honorable Anna Escobedo Cabral. “With the situation of foreclosures in Ohio we joined with other groups including the LC Clerk of Courts to begin the Lorain County Foreclosure Task Force. We had Richard Cordray and Doug Shelby committed after hearing them speak in June on the situation in Cuyahoga County. I felt with Lorain County, already 50% above the 2200 foreclosures we had last year, and considering the LC Foreclosure Task Force beginning to form, it would be very beneficial for them to speak in Lorain County.”

Baker said that the SEND organization was born 3 years ago to assist the community development efforts by providing an educational event that would help accelerate community redevelopment in the community. “Hunter Morrison and Jane Campbell were our speakers the 1st two years as we were undergoing a citywide strategic planning process known as the Elyria 2015 Plan. SEND being a 501 c 3 organization must raise funds to continue its operation so we utilize this event as a means to do so.”

In 2006 Ohio had over 80,000 foreclosures and this year it is estimated that number will rise dramatically. Baker said that just one reason this event is so important to our community. “Nationwide, homeownership is at 68% in south Elyria we have a rental population that matches the national homeownership rate. Our goal is not just getting people to become homeowners but to keep their homes for the long haul.”

Baker said that SEND just received their certification to be homeownership and foreclosure counselors just this past August from NeighborWorks. “This is a wonderful opportunity for SEND but a great opportunity for Elyria and Lorain County! I hope we can come together and represent our community, as it deserves to be seen.”

To purchase tickets for the luncheon you can contact the SEND office by calling 440.284.0041.

Monday, October 15, 2007


On Sunday Jason, from “Sundays with Jason” reminded us that Hallows Eve is fast approaching. If you are like most red-blooded Americans, this means you are searching for a good Halloween party to attend. Well, not only did we find you a great party but also one that allows you the chance to win some pretty phenomenal prizes.

The Avon Lake Firefighters Union 1361 presents “Boo Bash”, a night of fun, food and dancing. Oh, and don’t forget the phenomenal prizes!

Gary Madej of the Avon Lake Fire Department said that one lucky raffle winner would receive a $400.00 voucher from Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines: “Share the Spirit”. (For those of you who are not aware, Southwest has several flights leaving Cleveland to Las Vegas daily.)

The winner of the Best Costume contest will win a new Q220 Weber Grill from the Avon Lake True Value. Another big prize package contains the following: a complimentary Limo ride, dinner at a fine restaurant and an overnight stay at a top Hotel. Other prizes include a Sunday Brunch for two at the Oberlin Inn and ton of quality gift certificates and a 50/50 raffle.

Madej, who is also the Vice President of the Avon Lake Firefighter’s Local 1361, said that he is very grateful to the local businesses supporting the event. “Our local businesses are always very supportive of the Fire Department and they are really coming through for us once again. BW3 and Lenny’s Delicatessen are donating food for the evening and there will be one of our own Firefighters cooking up some of his specialties as well.”

DJ Tom Henry will provide entertainment throughout the night and more importantly, he will probably be the one announcing those great prizes.

The dance will be from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday, October 27th at the Irish Heritage Club (726 Avon Belden Road, Avon Lake).

The $25.00 per person ticket price gets you beer, pop, plenty of great hot food and the chance at all these phenomenal prizes. For those of you who have a lot of friends, a table can be reserved for parties of 10. To increase your chances of winning the raffle prizes additional tickets will be available.

The money raised from the dance will be donated by the Firefighters throughout the year to the many local and national charities. Madej said that the Firefighters have supported many youth sport organizations, the local Genesis House and on the national level the MDA and the 9/11 Victims Fund. So aside from having a great time, winning phenomenal prizes and grubbin on some great food, you will be helping the Firefighters support these charities.

To reserve tickets of for more information: call (440) 933-8305.


Elyria – Margaret Soplata was in her back yard Sunday night tending to a lost dog when she looked over her fence to St. Jude’s and couldn’t believe what she saw.

Someone, under the shadow of a giant Cross, was turfing the field behind St. Jude’s Church around 10:15 p.m. Soplata quickly called to her husband Bill and had him call 9-1-1. The driver of the car took off though before he was even connected to the Police.

Bill Soplata went out to the field to survey the damage done by the car and said that he is just glad that we haven’t had any serious rain recently so that kept the level of damage low. Soplata said that it’s sad that someone would do this, especially to this part of the property. “A lot of people have been working hard on getting this area ready for the new JV football field and I just feel bad that someone would come back here and do this. I don’t know what they were thinking.”

Soplata whose house butts up against the St. Jude’s property said that he keeps an eye on it for reasons like this. “My wife and I will keep looking after it, I just hope that whoever did this doesn’t come back. We have a nice neighborhood here and it’s just unfortunate that people would do this to a church of all places.”

The car is described as a white, midsize GM car, possibly a Regal. If anyone knows who is responsible (you know how people like to talk and brag - and in some cases even videotape these escapdes) they are encouraged to contact the Elyria Police Department at 440.323.3302.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Hello again, and welcome to our 11th Sunday together. It seems like yesterday when my big, opinionated mouth blurted out all sorts of rigmarole. How the time flies.

So this week contained a few catastrophes, didn’t it? First, just let me get it out of the way, TRAINS!? I need to get to the bottom of this, I am half tempted to call up one of these idiots who have been struck by a train and just say, “What is you major malfunction?” Because I just can’t seem to get a handle on the reason someone would walk on a train track and not get off it when a train came BLARING behind (or in front) of them. It just don’t make no sense. That’s all.

So congratulations Lorain County for not having the worst story in the news this week. But nevertheless, it’s time to get some insight from Mr. Jason (I almost said Dr. Jason) on this Cleveland School shooting. I have read all that you have been saying and hearing all the information about this tragedy and I felt it was an appropriate time for me to give a little input on it.

Now believe me, I am not into getting “serious” but when it’s needed, it’s needed. Not to mention TMC has been begging me to give up a little background info on myself to our readers. So here we go.

I am not going to pretend that I have any answers to why our youth behave the way we do but if anyone has any clue, it would be me. After all, I was in high school myself, and only 8 years ago. Yeah, I am 26 and although I wish I were a product of the innocent 50’s, not even my mother is. I was brought up in a single mom household, the oldest of three. My mom and dad got divorced when I was in 4th grade but to be honest, he never really lived in our house. We lived in low-income housing, a trailer and numerous apartments, all in Lorain County. We were on welfare and my dead-beat dad found a way to get out of child support. My mother actually forgave him of $20,000 worth, just so that she didn’t have to talk to him and she couldn’t keep getting out of work to go to all the hearings to fight him. I’ve since reconciled, to a degree, with him but I’ll be honest, there was many a time where I wanted to look him up and burn his place to the ground.

I did experience some bullying in the Elyria school system, everyone did, it didn’t help that I only weighed 70 pounds and never really acted like a “man.” How could I? I didn’t really know any. My family is pretty diverse. My mom is white (whatever that means, she’s German, Hungarian, Polish and American Indian) and my dad is as black as a charcoal briquette. So, what does that make me? Well, I never really was asked, I guess that makes me black right? I didn’t really care, but when I was going to a nearly all-white private school, it made me different. The only reason I could go is because my mother worked as a secretary there and I also had friends from church sponsoring me to go. So I was the poorest person there too. In all honesty, I never really felt threatened by anyone. But I had plenty of adversity to overcome in my personal life at home. My dad managed to really get into my head and on my nerves, more than a regular dad because he didn’t understand me. So we had our scuffles and being 6 feet taller than me definitely was an advantage for him.

But here’s my point. I have seen and experienced first hand the same things that these “kids” have. I have always made the decision to take the higher road. But I had a foundation, like it or not I went to a Christian School and grew up in church. There has never been a time where I thought to myself, “I don’t like so and so, I’m gonna kill them.” I was “awarded” 40 detentions my 7th grade year for not doing my homework and although I hated my principal for it I never borrowed my neighbors rifle for a sniper shot on him.

It is all about the foundation in my opinion. I have however, thought of getting even with an adversary and maybe even pulled a few “pranks” on them. But to me, getting even wasn’t about eye for eye or life for life. As a husband and a parent, I’ve often thought about the chance that someone could harm my girls, and I would feel sorry for that person because I WOULD kill them. But, sitting in prison for life would be a fine sentence for good retribution. But, that’s because I have them to live for. When you’re a kid in high school, you’re numero uno. You live for yourself; you don’t own anything worth dying for. But, if you don’t have the self worth instilled in you by your parents or friends or someone, there’s nothing worth fighting for.

My mother and my friends love me, they were the foundation that kept me from being another kid who lashes out and attacks classmates. So, I kept to the higher road. It’s not just my honor on the line, it’s the family and friends that invested their time and hearts into my well being. That is something to live for, something to do good for. Even when people don’t believe in you today, they might tomorrow.

You need to root for your kids, you need to instill in them the sense of worth to go to school, get an education not just for their betterment but because you are there to help them along the way. Too many parents wash their hands clean of their kids and the way they are raising themselves. Only to turn around when they start shooting people and saying, he was a good kid. How do you know? So if you don’t want to defend a killer, don’t raise one. On the flip side, some parents lose control and their kids will do whatever they want, but it’s still your job to be as nosy as possible and make sure you hear what these kids are saying. There are plenty of warning signs before these killers take their plan from action. PAY ATTENTION. At least you’ll have something smarter to say than, “I dunno, he was very angry as a child.”

Well, that’s enough today. It’s Sunday. I am not making excuses; we all have problems and deal with them differently. But I believe if a killer is being raised under your roof, it’s your problem.

See ya,


Saturday, October 13, 2007


Robert Howard of Wolf Court in Elyria was just relaxing watching some TV Saturday night when the unexpected happened.

“I was sitting in my living room watching NASCAR and my wife was upstairs on the computer. She come running down the stairs and said look at the fire across the street. So I grabbed my fire extinguisher and went over there.”

Howard, with fire extinguisher in hand, could see a man on fire as he was crossing the street. “I could see the clothes burning on his back and as I got closer I just stated shooting the extinguisher on him and the car to get the fire out. The man was screaming so loud it was just awful. He was sitting on the car at first but then he just fell to the ground and stayed there until the Fire department got here.”

Captain Tim Mitchell of the Elyria Fire Department said they received the call as a car on fire next to a home. “When we arrived the fire had been extinguished by the neighbor and the victim was lying on the ground next to the car. We assisted LifeCare Paramedics with treating the victim and realizing how seriously burned he was we had our dispatch put LifeFlight in the air to meet us at the hospital.”

It is believed that the victim, who did not live at the home but was a friend of the homeowner, had fallen asleep inside of a car in the driveway while smoking a cigarette. Burned clothes and shoes remained on the ground after LifeCare took the victim to Elyria Memorial. Officials estimated that the victim was burned over 60% of his body.
Robert Howard and the fire extinguisher he always keeps in his front room may have saved a life tonight. Howard said that he always has an extinguisher close by, “I know what fire can do, I know what it can do to a person so I will always have one close by.”
To see more photos: CLICK HERE
UPDATE: The victim in this story, 50-year-old Donald Secrist, died Sunday afternoon at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. The cause of death is still under investigation.


TMC NEWS: “In The Community”

Firefighters and Bikers came together today in Elyria to eat Chili and raise money for local charities.

Elyria Harley Davidson on Cleveland Street hosted the first annual Chili Cookoff Saturday afternoon with six area Fire Departments cooking up some of their best Chili. Fire Departments competing for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies were: Elyria, Lorain, Wellington, North Ridgeville, Wakeman and Vermilion.

Fire Departments were given a free table from the people at Elyria Harley Davidson along with all the necessary paper products for guests to sample the chili. Guests would slip a couple bucks into a boot as a donation toward the Departments charity of choice for their taste of that Departments Chili.

Linda Orlando, Elyria Harley Davidson Motor Clothes Manager said that today is all about giving back to the community. “Since this is Fire Prevention Month our owner felt that this was a good time to have this event to honor and show our respect and thanks to our local Firefighters.” Orlando said that guests are treated to live music from “The Roadhouse Band”, free hotdogs and free drinks. “This is all about people coming together and it’s all about fun and friendship.”

Mike Stevens, General Manager of Elyria Harley Davidson said that being involved in the community is very important to his business. “We have been in business here since 1939 and we’ve always been involved in the community, it’s away for us to give back.” Stevens said that today’s event, to him, has deffenatly been a success. “You know weather is always an impact on our events and that worked out for us today, but without the hard work of Linda Orlando and the rest of our staff here and the participation of all the local Fire Departments of course this couldn’t have happened. I am very happy with the way everything turned out today, everybody is having a great time and the Firefighters are having fun and raising money for their charities.”

One of the highlights of today’s event was the special appearance of Wellington Fire Districts “Patches”. Ok, maybe more of a highlight for the smaller children, but they loved him. Patches was available for photos, although I didn’t see him sign any autographs, and also available for hugs.

The winners today, aside from the many charities that will benefit from the Chili sales, were: 1st Place went to Wellington Fire District. 2nd Place went to Wakeman Fire Department and 3rd Place went to Lorain Fire Department.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE
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