Friday, August 31, 2007

"MOW YOUR OWN GRASS"


Firefighters at Elyria Station 3 on Bell Ave today received a little present from City Hall. Lieutenant Dave Street, President of the Fire Union, said 3 city employees pulled up in a truck and dropped off a 21” cut lawn mower with a note attached. The note in part said; “Per Jim Hutchson, cut your own lawn from now on.”

Lt. Street said that when the station opened the Firefighters cut the lawn themselves as they have done at each of the 4 stations, but over the years the lawn mowers became beat up and broken down. Last year the city said they could not afford to purchase any new lawnmowers so they would just have city employees swing by and cut the lawn at Station 3. Lt. Street said that when the city would come by and cut the lawn they used a zero turn large riding mower and with that it would take about one hour to cut it all.

Lt. Street said that shortly after the mower arrived Gary Dickerson, the man in charge of the city Street Department, arrived. “Mr. Dickerson wanted us to know that he was just doing his job and following the orders of Mr. Hutchson. He also told me that it is possible that the city may not be able to provide plowing services for us this winter due to low manpower in his department.”

When reached by phone this afternoon Jim Hutchson, Assistant Safety Service Director, said he was unaware of the note that Dickerson had left with the lawnmower. After reading the note to him over the phone Hutchson went right to Station 3 to see it for himself. Hutchson said that the lawnmower was dropped off because the part time help that the city had hired is heading back to school. “We hire a lot of college and high school kids to work over the summer and even here recently with all the rain they have been out cutting a lot more along the highways. I asked Mr. Dickerson to drop a mower off to the Fire Station so that they would be able to take care of their lawn; it is something that they have done for years."

When asked about Mr. Dickerson’s comments to Lt. Street about the snow removal this winter Mr. Hutchson wanted to make it clear that the city will absolutely continue to take care of removing the snow for all of the Fire Stations. “Mr. Dickerson had no right to make those statements and I will be investigating that today. I intend to speak to him after I leave here and I am returning to City Hall because the Mayor wants to see the note that was left behind as well.”
Mr. Hutchson said that in no way was this retribution from City Hall to the Fire Department. “It is just the end of the summer and we are losing our part time help that use to cut the grass here.”

Thursday, August 30, 2007

BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE


For those of you circulating that petition to bring Piccolo Uno back to Middle and 6th Street you can close up shop. Construction workers today brought that rattrap down. The son of the former owner of the late night pizza shop said that he and his brother are scouting locations in the downtown area to possibly reopen the famous pizza shop using all the same recipes. Piccolo Uno was best known for the late hours, providing pizza delivery until 4 a.m. every day.

Clearing the way for the construction of the new Elyria High School crews demolished a house and the old Piccolo Uno Pizza shop this afternoon.

To see more photos of the demolition: CLICK HERE

POLICE: INVESTIGATION CONTINUING

Elyria Police say the investigation continues after today’s incident on Gates Ave where two men received stab wounds during a fight.

Police say that a 42-year-old man went to the home of 25-year-old Chris Chafin at 212 Gates Ave in Elyria. The suspect entered the home after Chafin opened the door; it is still unclear if the two men knew each other before this incident. An altercation took place in the residence between the two men; Chafin went to the rear of the residence to get a baseball bat. The suspect took a knife from the kitchen and pursued Chafin with the altercation continued inside the home. Both the suspect and Chafin exited the residence with the suspect fleeing the scene on a bicycle and Chafin sitting on the front porch waiting for Police and EMS.

Police confirm that the knife was found behind a nearby residence and the baseball bat that Chafin used was sitting on the front porch. Both were seized as evidence.

Chafin received knife wounds to the body and arm while the suspect received knife wounds to his hand and wounds suffered after being struck by a bat. LifeCare Paramedics and Elyria Firefighters treated both on scene before being transported to Elyria Memorial Hospital where helicopters were waiting to fly them to Cleveland.

Police say that at this time no charges have been filed but it is possible that the suspect could be charged with Felonious Assault and Tampering with Evidence.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

STABBING ON GATES AVE

BREAKING NEWS
Elyria Police responded this afternoon to Gates Ave after neighbors called in a possible stabbing in the 200 block.

Officers were told that the suspect in the stabbing was a black male riding a bike, he was found, covered in blood, on Gates near Middle Ave by Officers.

LifeCare Paramedics and Elyria Fire Department were dispatched to both the residence at 212 Gates, for the victim, and to the corner for the suspect. Both men were treated on scene by Medics and Firefighters then transported to Elyria Memorial Hospital where they were both flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. The victim at the house had multiple stab wounds and was bleeding profusely; the injuries to the suspect are still unclear.

Chris Harrold who lives a couple doors down from 212 Gates said he could hear a woman yelling for help so he ran outside to see what was happening. “This lady come over here and was like they’re stabbin him, they’re stabbin him go help him, so I ran over to the house and I heard Quit stabbin him Quit stabbin him and I could hear them scuffling in the house so I turned around and called the Police.”

Harrold said he then saw the two men come out of the house. “I saw the Chris dude and the other dude come out of the house, I don’t even know who the other dude was, the black dude. I just saw a bunch of blood and then the black dude hopped on a bike and took off.” Harrold said that he watched as the suspect went a couple doors down and ducked between the houses returning a moment later but without the knife. Police Officers later found the knife behind the house where Harrold saw the suspect go.

Elyria Police Detective Bureau is investigating the incident.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE - WARNING: Photos are graphic

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

FROM THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR

Mayor Bill Grace today said that he wants to make it clear; he is not the one closing Elyria Fire Station #2. In an interview this afternoon with Mayor Grace, he spoke about the current situation with the Elyria Fire Department and the information Firefighters are circulating through fliers at their picketing sites.

“Essentially, in a broad prospective, we set the budget and it is up to the experts within each department to determine the best way, the most efficient way to spend those dollars. We monitor that of course but on the whole it’s their expertise that we rely heavily on especially in Police and Fire. We set that budget within the Fire Department for this year based on competing desires from Police and other departments all of which have been reduced over the years, Fire has not.” Mayor Grace said that handling the overtime in the Fire Department is different then in any other department because in other departments if someone calls off the department just works without that person. The Fire Department has to have a certain number of personnel working in order to perform their duties. The Mayor said that the city has made cuts in every department and the only place to go now is within the Fire Department and reducing the minimum staffing. The Mayor had hoped that the Fire Department could have staffed all four stations with 15 Firefighters. “We challenged the Chief to come up with a game plan for that but it was his opinion, with the leadership of the Department, that with anything less than 17 it would be more effective to just close the #2 Station given how close #2 and #1 are, it makes more sense in his judgment to close one of them and just have more people at the other stations.”

The Mayor wanted to make clear that closing a station was never his directive, rather the decision of the Fire Chief. “Our directive was not to close the station it was about minimum staffing. It was his judgment that said anything less than 17 I need to close the station.”

Today the Mayor’s Office directed the Firefighters to remove the signs from Station 2 stating that the building is closed and in case of an emergency to call 9-1-1. The Mayor this afternoon said that he believes the sign is inappropriate. “It’s not necessarily appropriate to announce a building closed or not, to put a sign out that says in case of an emergency to call 9-1-1, people in the United States are well accustomed to the fact that if they have an emergency they don’t knock on the door of a Fire Station they call 9-1-1 so that is kind of a redundant statement to make on that point.” The Mayor also said that the building, even when Firefighters are not staffing Engine 2, is not closed stating that the Fire Chief, Fire Prevention and the secretarial staff works out of that station Monday through Friday during regular business hours. “That building is open, we may not be dispatching a Fire Engine on any given moment out of there but the building is open to the extent it is not appropriate to put sign out.”

Monday morning phone calls! The Mayor’s Office and the Mayor’s residence have been inundated with phone calls from citizens asking what is going on with the Fire Department. The Mayor said that at this point the calls are about 50/50. “I would say honestly the calls have been about even saying why are you closing the station but by the time we finish the conversations with them nearly all of them understand and they understand the tough decision that it is so they get a better understanding cause there are quite a number of misleading, to be kind, statements in those fliers so we clarify it number one and they usually understand. But many calls we receive have been “it’s about time” or “I understand you need to be fiscally responsible” things of that nature.”

The Mayor is quite sure that he has made the right decision for the city and believes that the citizens stand behind the decision. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the community recognizes that we had to do this and they support it. There is no question in my mind whatsoever; we’ve had numerous meetings with the 2015 process, between long extended conversations and shorter conversations where people voted on what their priorities were and overwhelmingly, and it wasn’t even close, the high school was the number priority but safety as related to Police services was right there behind it.”

The Mayor said that this decision was not made in haste or without much thought. “There has been a lot of anguish, a lot of discussion, making cuts everywhere else, everywhere else and every department is just barely able to do their job. Most departments are not able to do their jobs as they would like to do it. You can pick almost any other service we do and say that the Fire Department is more important, and it is and that is why we spend 8 to 9 million dollars a year on the Fire Department. They do get our primary funds, they do get the overwhelming share but it’s not Fire Service at the expense of every single thing.” Mayor Grace said that while watching a clip from the Chronicle Telegrams YouTube site heard the Union President, while being interviewed, comment about a street sweeper that drove by. “One of his comments was Here we have a street sweeper going down the street, gotta clean the street but we have to close the station. They would suggest that everything get sacrificed before the station is reduced. The other thing I would say to that is that on that one narrow item, the street sweeping contract is paid out of our waster water department funds, the whole premise is to keep the streets cleaned to keep debris out of our sewers to keep the sewers running better. That fund is not even legal for us to use towards Police or Fire.”

In closing the Mayor said that the current situation is frustrating but that he has thick skin so he is trying not to let it all bother him. “My greater mission is to make Elyria a great city and this is just one of those blips of debate and turmoil along the way to get there.”

Monday, August 27, 2007

TAKING IT TO THE STREETS

Elyria Firefighters took to the streets last night passing out fliers telling residents about the Mayor lowering the minimum manpower for the Fire Department.

Union leaders this morning held a press conference outside of the now closed Station 2 at 330 East Broad Street. Immediately following, Firefighters and family members began picketing at the station and also outside of Elyria City Hall, right below Mayor Grace’s office windows. Fliers that were passed out last night listed Mayor Grace’s home and office phone numbers, encouraging residents to call and ask him why lowered the manpower. This morning a number of angry residents did make those calls to the Mayor’s office only to be referred to the Fire Chief. That didn’t sit well with one resident Michael Evans. “That is horse shit plain and simple. When I heard about this last night I read what the Firefighters put out but I wanted to hear the Mayors side so I called up there and was told that I had to talk to the Fire Chief. I told the woman, I already know his side and that I wanted to talk to the Mayor, she again told me that all calls are being refereed to the Chief. I was mad as hell but I didn’t want to yell at that young lady, not her fault that the Mayor was being cowardly. I suppose when you know that you have the next election wrapped up you just don’t care.”

Neighbors who were just learning of the closing were not happy to hear that the neighborhood station would not be available to them. Bonnie Brannon lives right across the street from Station 2; “I don’t understand it, it just seems like games are being played with our safety here and I don’t like it. We pay our taxes for protection and now we are being told that the Mayor is not letting the Fire Department have the money needed to run their station? That is insane.”


Chris Langdon lives in Station 2’s district; “If the Mayor feels that the Chief or the guys in the Department is mishandling the funds they were given then he needs to prove that and hold those accountable, otherwise free up the money needed to run the Department and quit playing politics.”

Thomas Alonge received his flier downtown this afternoon and although he doesn’t live it Station 2’s district he is concerned about what happens when the truck in his district goes out to cover a call for the closed station.
“I am not sure if the Department is spending their money prudently or not. I see the brand new SUV’s they are driving and not sure if that was a wise purchase if there is a money crunch. However, I do believe that Police and Fire are the absolute last two departments that you cut funds from. Do away with the guys on tractors watering flower pots downtown everyday. Do away with the other fat in the overall city budget. I wonder how much money was spent on consultants about the new school being brought downtown. As a tax paying citizen the last place I want to see cuts are in the Fire or Police departments.”

Firefighters will continue to protest over the cuts and continue to tell the public their side.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

SUNDAYS WITH JASON

This is no ordinary Sunday, today I am deemed Judge Jason: I am Judge and Jury, dishing out some well needed justice! Here we go; the subjects and stories have not been changed (to further embarrass them).
Where’s my gavel?

Michael Vick, a bon-a-fide waste of air, born to a poor couple of teenage losers (another reason I advocate abstinence and birth control). It’s partly our fault. Our money was used to bring him up out of the ghetto, free ride him through college and make him a top draft pick in our country’s favorite sport. What else do you want for your money? Just read the story about the cruel and sadistic “punishment” inflicted on the dogs that lost their fights; you’d agree he is a disgrace. This is why I’m not in the justice system (that and my inability to have compassion) because I wouldn’t spare him. MY JUDGMENT: No more plea bargains! What a crock! The only plea I want to hear is Vick crying to some guy, strapping him on the same “rape stand” he had for the dogs. (Gavel slams)

Here’s a question for you 40 something’s. It’s midnight, raining and pitch black; what are you doing? Well, if you are a Lorain County Fair vendor, you’re tooling around on an ATV and nearly killing yourself and your lady. Talk about a dumb way to almost die, I think they were just trying to get out of there. JUDGMENT: Forced to work the fair every summer, oh wait, that’s what you do now... NEW RULING: Forced to take a shower… WITH SOAP!

As far as the fair-goers, here’s a tip: eat the food and pet the animals, just make sure you’re tested for E. coli, Ebola and maybe Chlamydia (just for kicks). NO, I personally didn’t go to the fair, and NEVER will, until there is a vaccine or immunization shot at the gate.

Again, what’s up with TRAINS? Another kid hit by a train. Not in a car, but walking. This time however, there was an accomplice, his phone. Apparently he was texting as he walked across the tracks, horn blaring and was struck. Now, He’s not dead, (No comment) but it is time to go back to my first “Sundays With Jason” and reiterate a poignant credo, “KIDS AND ADULTS: THE TRAIN WILL ALWAYS WIN. YOU WILL ALWAYS LOSE.” Texting has killed us in the car and now by train. Put that along with McDonald’s on a Monday in Lorain and WHAM! Here today, gone tomorrow. I’M RULING WITH THE TRAIN, FOREVER. (Gavel slams)

ON a side note: to all Gold Card Members, due to the recent rain and flooding, I am constructing an ark. If the time comes when the waters overtake us; only you Members may sail with me.(BYOB) … and sparkling grape juices.

Also, as if the price of gas wasn’t enough to keep you from filling up, now you have to watch out for moronic people crashing into you. Take this Elyria woman-fool who plowed down a pump at the ever-popular Speedway on 57 nearly burning the place down: WHY can’t people drive anymore?? JUDGMENT: Revoke her license, hereby ordering her to personally pump our gas 24-7 without pay. Your first fill-up is on her tab, and wash my windows hag. (Gavel slams)

So my HIGHLIGHT OF THE LOWLIGHTS: Corporal Punishment arguments? Mr. Petruzzi opened a stinky can of worms when he decided to ask for your feedback on the child beating story. Here is where my Judging prowess takes center stage. First, the boy was flogged, not spanked. That picture was taken a day later and still looks like a bad wax job on a gorilla. There is no doubt that this judge had an agenda to make clear. Is he an expert on being able to differentiate between “deep tissue” and “mere surface blemishes?” Let’s get this straight; beating on your kids takes finesse, you have to have aim, hand-eye coordination and control of force. If you don’t have that at the time, take a breather and smack ‘em up later. But here’s the clincher. Kids will grow up stronger, smarter and faster. Parents will shrink, shrivel and lose their glasses everywhere. Discipline your kids out of love, or at least constructive correction. They’ll get even with you later, I guarantee. “Those who spare the rod hate their children, but those who love them are careful to discipline them.” (Removes monocle; puts down pipe) Mr. Petruzzi, I rule in your favor. (I love this gavel)

Forgive me in advance for this next one-liner, but for some reason everyone got off track with corporal punishment so here’s my take:
If teachers were going to start spanking our kids again, they’d have to stop sleeping with them first. GAVEL SLAMS!! (I love teachers?)

On a serious note (I’m always serious) my heart goes out to the family of Ohio State Trooper Jack P. Holland Jr. who lost his life due to an allergic reaction. God Bless our law enforcement and the people who risk their lives for us. Especially our Firefighters, like the ones that are being put on the chopping block by some readers and the Mayor of Elyria. Shame, I hope all your houses burn down. (Gavel Slams)

Well, I broke my Gavel and though I like dishing out the hard justice, but these robes are itchy and I look like a nun. That’s all for now folks.
Have a good (safe) week.


Jason

Saturday, August 25, 2007

SHARING HER STORY

AS A TWO TIME BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR
Hundred’s of women packed into the main ballroom at LaCenter in Westlake Saturday morning to raise funds for Breast Cancer research and awareness. This annual event, “Horizon of Hope” is sponsored by Longaberger Baskets. Longaberger has had a long relationship with the American Cancer Society and has raised over 13 million dollars in 12 years. Every year the Chairperson chooses a Key Note Speaker, this year that honor went to a local woman who is a two time Breast Cancer Survivor.

Suzaane Leffew, Chairperson for the Horizon of Hope, said that she met Renee’ Laubenthal last year through a neighbor. “I met Renee’ through a good friend and after hearing her story and what she went through I knew that she would be an outstanding speaker for today’s event.” Renee’ Laubenthal is from Grafton and is married to Tom Laubenthal of Laubenthal Funeral Home. Renee’ works for Hospice of Western Reserve as the Director of Alternative Home Care.


Laubenthal was nervous going into today but when she took the stage she commanded the audience from the first word of her 20-minute speech to the last. During the emotional testimonial Laubenthal was able to sprinkle in some humorous moments. One instance she was discussing meeting with one of her Doctors accompanied by her Aunt (To save her embarrassment I will not divulge her name) and Mother. Laubenthal spoke how after the Doctor had left the room the three women discussed how good looking her Doctor was with her Aunt adding; “I’d do him”. Laubenthal had to wait a couple minutes to return to her speech as that line brought the house down. She returns to the speech telling her gripping story about how she discovered she had Breast Cancer. A phone call with her Doctor on a November morning is how she found out. “I am told over the phone at 8 in the morning that I have to go in and see the Doctor because I have Breast Cancer. My body and my mind feel numb, I could not breathe, I could not speak. All I could feel is numbness and the thought; I am going to die.” Laubenthal beat it, only to discover 5 years later that it had returned.

Laubenthal said it was important to her to “come out” today and tell her story, something that she had not really done before. “I am a private person so for me to stand in front of all these women and tell this story was a big deal. I believe it is very important though because I am a two time Breast Cancer Survivor and I am also an “under 40” Breast Cancer Survivor.” Laubenthal said that being under 40 years old is important for people to know because in those cases the Breast Cancers tend to be more aggressive and the survival rate is much lower.

Laubenthal said that if she can send just one message to women who find out that they have Breast Cancer it would be to be your own best advocate. Early on Laubenthal said she kicked a few people off of her “team”, meaning certain Doctors who she didn’t feel comfortable with. “Some Doctors will just try to take you through the normal process but you must be an advocate for yourself and you must feel comfortable and have confidence in the team that you select. If you are not comfortable with your Doctor then move on and find another one, you can do that.”

Another point that Laubenthal touched on was how she had such a strong support base from not only family but also many friends. Near the end of her speech she invited a number of family members, including her Aunt, and friends to stand so she could thank them for their continued support. She called them her “team”; “Without them I would not have had the will, the strength, the courage or the motivation to overcome my bouts with Breast Cancer. Gandhi said; “Some people say courage takes incredible difficult strength” I say it takes indomitable will.”

LORAIN DOING THE RIGHT THING


Thousands of Lorain school kids and their parents headed downtown Lorain today for the 6th annual “Do The Right Thing” back to school event. The event provides a day of fun and free stuff for local school children getting them ready for the new school year.

Six years ago the Lorain Police Department, the Lorain City Schools and the Lorain Morning Journal got together to come up with away to recognize kids in the community who were “doing the right thing” and to create something that could bring the community together. The result of that get together: “Do The Right Thing”.

The program goes year round and recognizes a child each month for doing the right thing. Kids chosen for the awards receive a $100.00 savings bond, a Do The Right Thing plaque and T-Shirt, a pass into all Lorain sporting events for one year, and gift certificates that have been donated by various businesses to the program.

The event today, which kicks off this year’s Do The Right Thing and celebrates the program involves a total of 60 to 100 organizations supplying volunteers to help work the event. There are 32 groups that have booths at the event but volunteers come from many other groups to help make the day a success. Last year there were an estimated 3,000 kids through the event, this year looks to exceed that number easily.The event costs $12,000.00 to $15,000.00 to put on; all of that money comes from donations from local businesses.

TMC NEWS would like to commend the Lorain Police Department, the Lorain City Schools and the Lorain Morning Journal for coming up with such a phenomenal event for the community. These organizations truly have done The Right Thing!

If you would also like to do the right thing by getting involved you may contact the Lorain City Schools at 440-233-2203 and ask for Dean Schnurr. We encourage you to look at the photos from this event, you will see what a success it is and you will want to “Do The Right Thing”.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE

Friday, August 24, 2007

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?


This is what one Gold Card member of TMC NEWS asked when he called the news tip line this morning asking why the buses would park on West Ave instead of the designated bus parking area. We were told that cars traveling northbound on West Ave had to go into the southbound lane to get around the buses. We sent our Chief Photographer out to check into the situation and he found 4 First Student buses parked on the street directly behind the High School and 3 more parked on the street between 6th and 7th Street indeed causing traffic to go into oncoming traffic in order to get around the buses.

The Elyria City Schools had a district staff meeting at the high school today that is why all the buses were there. However, our calls to the school to explain the parking situation were unanswered. We did receive a response from First Student Vice President Brad Tate out of Cincinnati, he said that he was told a lead bus had mechanical problems and that caused a bottle neck on the street. Tate said that the traffic problem was certainly not done on purpose and they apologize for any problems it may have caused.

Just another example of TMC NEWS answering questions from our Gold Card members.

We were going to say, TMC NEWS, On Your Side, but someone already took that line.

FIRE STATION IN JEOPARDY, AGAIN

Officials at the Elyria Fire Department received word from the Mayor’s Office today that as of Monday their minimum staffing level is to decrease from 17 to 14.

Elyria Fire Chief John Zielinski said he called the Mayor’s Office this morning on another matter when he heard the news. "I received the memo through fax from the Mayor’s Office and it says “As of 0800hrs Monday August 27th the Fire Departments threshold for necessitating overtime will be reduced to a 14 man level.” What that means is our daily manning level which has been at 17 will be dropped to 14, so when you have people calling off, where before we would call people in to bring up to 17 now that threshold will be 14.”

Chief Zielinski said the memo also said; “You are directed to staff and stations that you find most efficient. We are both responsible for providing the best possible service to the citizens of Elyria while remaining financially viable.” What he is telling me here is that I have to find away to operate with 14 being my minimum. Each time you drop a number it changes how we operate. The line that I have drawn, as the Chief of the Elyria Fire Department, when you drop to 16 I go to 4 man engine companies, for safety factors for my Firefighters, and that in essence closes Station 2 on East Broad Street.”

Today the Elyria Fire Department is running 4 Engines out of 4 stations, a “jump crew” that runs either the Aerial or the Rescue, a man in the watch office and the Chief’s car.
When the number hits 16; 3 Engines with 4 and the Rescue with 2, Chief’s car and watch office.
When the number hits 15; 2 Engines with 4, 1 Engine with 3, Rescue with 2, Chief’s car and watch office.
If the number ever gets to 14; 3 Engines with 4, Chief’s car and watch office.

Chief Zielinski said that there is a 17/10 Standard that calls for the first Engine to arrive on the scene of a fire within 4 minutes with the remaining Firefighters and equipment arriving within 8 minutes putting 17 Firefighters on the scene. In the case of Elyria meeting that standard puts all of the Firefighters on duty responding to the scene to effectively fight that fire. If the manpower is 14 rather then 17 they will not meet that standard and then the Officer in charge of that scene will be forced to make a decision about how tactically to handle the fire until they can get the adequate number of people there needed to fight the fire. Chief Zielinski said that no matter how you look at it, when you run a Department with one less truck or fewer men then you run out of resources faster and become a less effective Fire Department.

Chief Zielinski drew criticism in the past when people in the Administration would say he needs to work within his budget. The Chief said that the budget he present to the city for 2007 was returned to him minus $593,000. The Chief said that if that money had been left in his budget the Department wouldn’t be in this problem right now.

In a conversation with Mayor Bill Grace this afternoon he said that every Department submits a budget to the City and that if they simply Ok’d each request the Fire Departments budget would had to have been cut by a million or more. “This is all about them being on pace not to meet their budget, so this is an effort to get the Department to have a chance to come within budget as established at the beginning of the year. Right now they are projected to be three or four hundred thousand over budget, so this is an attempt to help them reach their budget. No department got all that they asked for. Based on priorities and minimum requirements of departments we adjust the budget, that’s just how the process works. To make the budget work the number that was given to them was what was available. Which was a clear message at that time that adjustments would be necessary to fit within that budget. Essentially the only meaningful way to reduce expenses in the department is through minimum staffing, there really aren’t other options available. There are in other departments, you just cut out overtime or cut back on other expenses, in the Fire Department minimum staffing is the lone way to reduce their expenses of any meaningful way.”

When asked how he responds to critics who say just take money away from parks or other departments that are not charged with safety issues the Mayor said that all departments have received cuts and are operating with less funds then they have in the past. The Mayor said that with the exception of the 10 month period when Station 2 was shut down before, the Elyria Fire Department is the only Department that has not been reduced. “I’m a resident of the city just like everyone else and there are certain expectations that I have as a resident. There is feedback that we get, we’ve gone through a city wide planning process in the last year and a half or so where the community has voted, so to speak, at these planning sessions what their priorities would be, they overwhelmingly, in addition to building a new high school which has passed the ballot, but overwhelmingly the community has expressed that they would like to see more resources put into the Police Department. To deal with neighborhood nuisance issues and other criminal activities.”

The Mayor did confirm that the city has made “conditional offers of employment” to four candidates for Police Officers.

The Mayor said that although Police and Fire are their top priority in the budget, it is not at the exclusion of everything else.

Chief Zielinski said that he worries about his Firefighters when this happens because he knows his guys are an aggressive group. “I worry because I know when they go to a fire they will fight it like they would if we were at full manpower, that’s just the way they are. These guys want to beat the fire; they don’t want the fire to beat them.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

READER DISAGREES WITH JUDGE

This recent story troubled me so much I wanted to voice my opinion and to also find out what others thought. Here is the story:

Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge last week cleared James Smith, 28 of Lorain, of Domestic Violence and Child Endangering charges. Judge Burge said that the Prosecutor did not prove their case saying “they failed to prove the necessary element of the crime”, that being that Smith’s 8 year old son had suffered serious physical harm and that the punishment was excessive.

The boy has been in trouble at school and Burge said that Smith had tried several other ways of punishing his son including grounding and taking away various toys and video games. The man then resorted to corporal punishment only after believing he had no other options.
The Police released a photo that they took a day after the father punished the boy showing large red marks across his back. Police and Children Services, after seeing the injuries, were concerned by the seriousness of the injuries. Judge Burge is on record saying that the injuries looked worse than they actually were. Judge Burge said the injuries cosmetically looked bad but he didn’t see any deep tissue problems, only red marks.

Judge Burge used corporal punishment while raising his own children and believes more parents and teachers should do the same. He also has stated that he believes Smith is a good father.

Smith has a record of Domestic Violence and drug charges but Judge Burge said that Smith has not been arrested in the last several years.

I would think that first and foremost the concern should be for the child. As I read the reports in the C-T and Journal it appeared to me that perhaps Judge Burge has his own agenda here. He may believe in corporal punishment but when does it go too far? By looking at the photos and knowing that the Police and Children Services believed Mr. Smith had gone too far, not to mention Prosecutor Will’s office, I believe Judge Burge made a horrible mistake and I fear for that child in the hands of his father. I just hope I don’t see a story soon where this child is injured again or dead. Will Judge Burge still think that Mr. Smith is a good father then?

I would like to know what other people think about Judge Burge’s decision. Maybe I am wrong.

Michael Petruzzi

FIRE AT REP

DEVELOPING STORY
Lorain Firefighters were busy fighting a fire at Lorain Republic Engineering Products on E. 28th Street this afternoon. Elyria Fire Department assisted Lorain at the scene while Sheffield Village filled in Lorain’s Station 3 on the south side of town.

No injuries have been reported at this time.


To see more photos: CLICK HERE

PAIN AT THE PUMP


It’s been awhile since we have handed out a TMC NEWS “D’OH” Award but that all changed after a woman drove into the Speedway gas station on Lorain Blvd. in Elyria Tuesday night and ran over a gas pump. Elyria Firefighters, stationed next door to Speedway, responded and extinguished the fire and secured the car. Although LifeCare Ambulance Paramedics responded because the driver was complaining of a bump on her head, she refused treatment or transport to Elyria Memorial.

An employee who was working at the time of the crash said that it was very scary but it happened so fast and the Firefighters were there right away and put out the fire she was able to laugh about it in short time.
“I mean it was scary but the best part is that none of our customers were hurt in all of this.”

The Elyria Police Department is investigating the crash and I am pretty sure Jason will have a mention of this crash in this weekend's "Sundays with Jason".

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

STATE PATROL MOURNS LOSS

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is mourning the loss of Trooper Jack P. Holland Jr., a Salvage Inspector for the Massillon District, after he passed away today after being stung by a yellow jacket.

Trooper Holland was conducting salvage inspections at the Seville CDL Facility in Medina County. After returning to his desk at approximately 1:00 p.m. he was stung by a yellow jacket. He had a severe reaction and was transported by Westfield EMS to the Lodi Emergency room at 1:13 p.m. where he was pronounced dead at approximately 2:30 p.m.

“This is a tragic loss for the Patrol Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Trooper Holland’s family and friends,” Colonel Richard H. Collins, Ohio State Highway Patrol superintendent, said.

Trooper Holland, a 19-year Patrol veteran, began his career in April 1987 as a member of the 116th Academy Class. He earned his commission in September of that year and was assigned to the Findlay Post. In October 1990 he transferred to the Sandusky Post and in September 1993 to the Elyria Post. He transferred to the Ashland Post in February 1999. He transferred to Massillon District Headquarters as a Salvage Inspector in September 2003, where in 2004 he earned the Trooper Recognition Award.

He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and children, Sabrina, 14, Alexis, 10, and John, 8.

FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES

A FLOOD WARNING remains in effect for the Black River until Wednesday evening. Flood stage is 9.5 feet, tonight at 6 it was 11.8 feet. The river is expected to continue to rise tonight and crest near 12.4 feet by midnight. Based on current rainfall forecasts the river should fall below flood stage early Wednesday afternoon.

LOCAL FIREFIGHTERS HELP SHELBY

When the heavy rains flooded southern Ohio overnight last night and early this morning the call for help went out statewide, one of the calls came right here to Lorain County.

Recently the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association developed a Statewide Mutual Aid Plan for when large-scale incidents occur, such as a major flood. Avon Fire Chief Frank Root is Lorain County’s contact for the Statewide Mutual Aid Plan; he received a call this morning just after 10 for Swift Water Rescue Personnel to assist Shelby Ohio in rescuing people trapped by the flood waters. The town of Shelby received 6 inches of rain in just 4 hours causing widespread flooding. Many roads were blocked after being deemed impassable, trucks and cars were stranded in high water after stalling out. The high school football field was completely submerged and for the first time in Shelby history, postal workers were unable to perform their duties.

Chief Root contacted Elyria Fire Department Captain Joe Pronesti to discuss who they would be sending and where they would be leaving from. It was determined that the Elyria Fire Station on Cedar Street would be the staging area and that the team would meet and respond from there.

Captain Pronesti said that 7 Elyria Firefighters who have received the highest training in Swift Water Rescue, that of Technician, along with two Firefighters from Avon were assembled this morning and sent to the small town in Richmond County. “Nine guys took two boats and all the necessary equipment down there to aid in the rescue efforts. They were able to help pull families from their homes and get them to safety.” Captain Pronesti said the families included small children, one as young as two months old.

Wellington Fire District has Firefighters trained in Swift Water Rescue but they stayed behind in case something happened here in Lorain County.

ATV CRASH VICTIM CRITICAL

Lorain County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant L. Silva said that the ATV crash at the Lorain County Fairgrounds late last night was probably caused by excessive speed and weather conditions. “We are still investigating but at this point it looks like he was going to fast for the conditions around that area with the recent rainfall.” Lieutenant L. Silva identified the driver of the ATV as Michael Zahurak, 46 of Southington, Ohio. His passenger has been identified as Kristen Ruble, 31 of Farmdale, Ohio. Both Zahurak and Ruble are concessionaires at this year’s Lorain County Fair.

Lieutenant L. Silva said they received the call of the crash at 12:25 a.m. early Tuesday morning. Wellington Fire District, Southern Lorain County EMS and the Sheriff’s Department responded. Ruble had been thrown approximately 8 to 10 feet when the ATV crashed but Zahurak was pinned under the ATV. Both were transported to Allen Medical Center in Oberlin by EMS. Zahurak was later transported to MetroHealth Medical Center by Ambulance instead of helicopter because of weather conditions. Zahurak is currently in the Intensive Care Unit at Metro in critical condition.
Lorain County Fair President Ron Picworth said that although there are no written rules banning concessionaires from having ATV’s or Golf Carts on the property it is something that they try to discourage.

TEXTING TEEN STRUCK BY TRAIN

A Cincinnati teen, while on foot, was struck by a train yesterday morning in the little town of Elmwood Place, Ohio. The teen, 18 year old Zach Smith was waiting for a southbound train to pass before crossing. Once that train passed Smith began making his way across the tracks unaware that another train was coming from the other direction. Witnesses say Smith, while crossing the tracks, was texting on his cell phone. The train struck Smith launching him about 50 feet. Witnesses say the trains horn was “blowing like mad” but Smith just kept texting away.

Smith was taken to University Hospital in Cincinnati and is currently listed in serious condition.

MAN FLEES POLICE IN STOLEN TRUCK


Elyria Police attempted to stop a truck late Monday night after discovering the plates came back as stolen. Once the Officer turned on his lights and siren the truck fled with Officers following behind.

The pursuit began on Route 113 near Lake Ave and traveled through multiple jurisdictions before ending with the truck crashing head on into a utility pole on North Lake Street near the new Target store in Amherst. The driver of the truck took off on foot after striking the pole.

Throughout the pursuit various agencies attempted to stop the truck by deploying stop sticks across the road to flatten the trucks tires.

Elyria was assisted in the pursuit by the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department, Amherst Police and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE

ATV CRASH AT THE FAIR


A crash involving an ATV late Monday night on the Lorain County Fairgrounds sent two people to the hospital.

Lorain County Fair President Ron Picworth said that the two people who were riding the ATV were concessionaires. “I don’t know them personally but I am aware that they are concessionaires for this years Fair.” Picworth said that he was at home at the time of the crash but received a call immediately after the incident. “I came right over from my house and when I got here the rescue people and Sheriff were all here. Right now the Sheriff is conducting their investigation so I don’t want to say too much right now, plus the family have not been notified yet.”

Picworth said that although there are no written rules banning concessionaires from having ATV’s or Golf Carts on the property it is something that they try to discourage. “It’s tough because we have so many guests walking the property then to have these motorized carts or ATV’s driving around can cause problems. It is an issue that we are looking at for the future.”

The Lorain County Sheriff’s Department is investigation the crash.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE

Monday, August 20, 2007

MICHAEL VICK IN THE DOGHOUSE

Michael Vick’s Attorney Billy Martin announced today that his client would be accepting a plea deal with Prosecutors. Martin, in a press release said, "Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes he has made.”

Vick is expected to be back in Court Monday for sentencing where he could face anywhere from 1 to 5 years in a Federal Prison and fines that could exceed a quarter million dollars.

Three others charged along with Vick had already struck plea deals with Prosecutors in exchange for evidence against Vick.

The National Football League must now decide what to do with Vick since he will be taking the deal and pleading guilty.

The case against Vick began back in April when Investigators searched one of Vick’s homes for drugs and discovered 66 dogs and items normally used in dog fighting. The items included a “rape stand” that holds aggressive dogs in place for mating and a “breadstick” used to pry open a dog’s mouth. Until now, Vick has claimed he knew nothing about what went on at that residence claiming a cousin lived there and that he rarely visited. Prosecutors have claimed that dogs that lost fights were sometimes executed by hanging, drowning, electrocution or other vicious means.

In his statement Billy Martin said, “Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter.”

Sunday, August 19, 2007

FATAL INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT

An industrial accident in Lorain Sunday night leaves one employee dead.

Paramedics were called around 10:30 p.m. to Brush Wellman Inc. on Industrial Parkway off Baumhart Road after an employee became trapped in a piece of machinery. Fellow employees were able to extricate the man from the machine but attempts to perform CPR and even the use of an AED were unsuccessful.

Paramedics from Lorain LifeCare Ambulance arrived on scene but discovered that the man had already passed away. Herb de la Porte, Vice President of LifeCare Ambulance said that it was a horrible accident. “The people at Brush Wellman did everything they could to help the man, however, the injuries were so bad the patient died at the scene". The Lorain Police Department has been called to investigate the scene. Lorain County Coroner Dr. Paul Matus said that the man died of head injuries and that the case is being investigated by his office and Ohio Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Brush Wellman Inc. is the only fully integrated producer of beryllium, specialty and beryllium-containing alloys, and beryllia ceramic in the world. Headquartered in Cleveland, the company employs 1,100 men and women at manufacturing facilities in Elmore and Lorain, Ohio; Reading Pennsylvania; Tucson, Arizona; and Fremont, California, as well as distribution, R&D, service and sales locations throughout the United States. Products from Brush Wellman can be found in a host of critical and demanding applications requiring superior levels of strength, reliability, miniaturization, weight reduction, thermal and electrical conductivity, power distribution and reflectivity. The company’s products primarily serve the global telecommunications and computer, automotive electronics, aerospace and industrial markets.

SUNDAYS WITH JASON

Sunday already? Well, you got me up from a lazy summer nap, forgive me if I’m cranky. This week was a bit humdrum, so I’ll just give ya’ll a few tidbits.

Obviously, the woman who flipped her car over last Sunday, and RAN OFF, did it because she saw my post was already up. But she will not be spared. If there were an Idiot of the Week Award, she would be the recipient. How inebriated do you have to be to flip a car and just leave it behind? It was the dead of night and she damaged another vehicle. Good thing the witnesses who were playing “corn hole” (yes, it is a real game, get your mind outta the gutter) were able to make sure she wasn’t mortally injured. Although, I’ll be honest, it would have been no detriment to the gene pool had she not made it (ouch). Come on; if you’re drunk and driving, do us all a favor and drive over a cliff, a big cliff. Enough said?


So, another week of festivals in the books, fortunately I did not attend any. Don’t get me wrong, they looked fun, but I’m still emotionally scarred from the Corn Festival. (I just barfed in my mouth a little) It’s up to you now, go to one that you think is worthwhile and support your community, yuck.

Changing the subject, I was reading the story “Antique Show on the River” and saw a life-like, replica of The Wizard of Oz. I almost got in my car and drove to Lorain to see it (WHAT?). Turns out; I got my stories mixed up. The picture was actually of Elyria Mayor hopeful, Tim Quinn. He was handing out literature (or are those Diplomas, scarecrow?) Now in his defense, he had a lot of inspirational things to say about how he’d save Elyria. Then again, he’s lived in Elyria since it’s founding in 1816 and has personally consulted with all 46 of its previous Mayors. I can hear it now; “I’m Quinn for Mayor! That’s Quinn, spelled Q-U-I … I … where am I?” (Leave him alone)


Turning the page, on a somber note, another young man washes up (dead, obviously) in Avon Lake. I guess I don’t understand why people can’t swim during the day, with lifeguards and other people around. It’s late, dark and you’re alone, isn’t that enough reason to stay on the shore? Guess not. Let’s all go back to the days when we waited for the neighbors to fall asleep jumped their fence and skinny-dipped in their pool. It’s a win-win for everyone. FYI: I am currently investigating the recent string of stories from Amherst too. I am still convinced that Amherst is receiving runaways (or rejects) from Lorain…. Stay tuned.

So, you were waiting for it and here it is…. My HIGHLIGHT OF THE LOWLIGHTS! Elyria, sad and depressed. Oh, Elyria. Who’s to blame, what’s to blame? Well, I will answer. First, do yourself a favor (or an injustice) drive into Elyria at 2:30 am. I know it’s late but what else are you doing. Weeknight or weekend doesn’t matter. First of all, don’t be scared, everyone is relatively harmless (as long as you don’t make eye contact or stand out so people can see you). The fun part is; you can walk 2 blocks and pass a “black bar” a “biker bar” an “I-don’t-see-any-under-age-drinking teen bar” a “parents-who-left-their-kids-at-home bar” and a “strip club”. The real kicker is watching them all convene at the same time. They fight each other, themselves, men and women, boys and girls, I even saw a guy fight a street sign. TMC NEWS doesn’t have the manpower to cover the stories. Trust me, an eyewitness account is priceless. This cesspool known as, “downtown” may be the reason Elyria is fighting to keep their head above water. I don’t want to hear about the businesses or quaint shops, blah, blah, blah. 95% of the people going downtown (and not for court) are going to drink, and not well. It would be different if life-loving people had “night clubs” to party at on the weekends; or artsy restaurants to eat at on weeknights, and then off to work in the morning. But these are bars, dozens of nasty bars. And these people are going home, and in the morning off to middle school (just kidding?) or just sleeping it off till noon because they don’t have a job. Now if you’re the exception to the rule, good for you, but I don’t want to hear about it. Let’s get this straight. There’s always been talk about revitalizing downtown, but the old saying stands, “If I you shine up a turd and put a tux on it, IT’S STILL A TURD.” I am an old fashioned guy and I believe that the dark, underbelly of your city should be just that, and hidden away. Keep your ugly parts covered. In the end; if you don’t have enough respect (or love?) for your town, who’s going to believe in your town, invest in your town or move into your town? That’s all, and it’s not a cure-all, but it’s a start. Move out the trash and pull up your rugs before you start painting. Don’t blame anyone; just see what you can do to start. Elyria, that’s my piece (and get your hand off it). So ladies & gents; see you next time, same bat time, same bat channel.

Jason

PIZZA SHOP OWNER JUMPED


The owner of Mater Pizza on Cleveland Street in Elyria was jumped early Sunday morning while leaving his store. Joe Monteleone said he had just locked up his store around 12:30 a.m. and was walking to his truck that he parks near Cleveland Street. “I was opening my door when a Hispanic male walked up to me and asked where I was going. I told him that I was heading to Sunoco and he asked for a ride, I told him no and he asked me again and I told him no again.” Monteleone said he could see the man getting angry then the man grabbed at him getting the keys out of his hands. Monteleone began running west on Cleveland Street with the man in toe. A short time later he looked back and the man was no longer behind him. He went to a friend’s house on Harwood Street where he called the Police. Officers arrived at the store but could not locate the man and no damage was done to the truck or the store.

Monteleone said that fortunately he had two sets of keys on him, the set that he still had was to his truck. Monteleone believes he has seen the man in the neighborhood before but says the man has never been inside of his pizza shop.
Elyria Locksmith was able to get Monteleone back into his shop and created a new set of keys for him.

A STEAK IN THE COMMUNITY


Sheffield Township Fire Department held their annual Steak Fry Saturday night at St. Lad’s picnic grounds on Clinton Ave. Fire Chief Joe Bandagski said that it is a lot of work to put on the event but it is worth it. “All of our Firemen, wives and other volunteers spend a lot of hours making sure that everything is just right for the people attending.” Another group that was on hand assisting the Firefighters is a group that is no stranger to helping them. The Blazettes! The Blazettes will go to fires and provide drinking water and snacks at fire scenes for the Firefighters, Sheffield Townships own little Red Cross canteen. “They are wonderful, they are made of up some wives and other volunteers who just want to help out and make sure that our Firefighters are taken care of while doing their job.”

Chief Bandagski said that with the money raised from the steak fry the Department will be able to purchase items like new jackets, shirts or even equipment like Pulse Ox’s. “Say we want to have a spare Pulse Ox, instead of going to the Trustee’s we can just purchase one using this money.”

Guests enjoyed great food, music, door prizes and other raffles but the night’s highlight flew in around 8 p.m. and landed in the field next to the pavilion. Metro LifeFlight arrived to an audience of a couple hundred people watching, but there was one three year old who was a little more familiar with the helicopter then most three year olds. He and his family were there to see the helicopter up close and to say Thank You to the medical team and Pilots. The father told us that his son was flown from Amherst Hospital to Metro a couple months ago and even though it was a very stressful time for him he said the crew set his mind at ease. “They were awesome, the flight was really smooth and to be able to watch them work with my son was amazing. We use to watch helicopters from our back yard and wonder about them, know we know what they do. We just wanted to be here to say Thank you to the crew.”
Chief Bandagski wanted to make sure that all of the citizens of the Township were properly thanked for all of their support. “It’s for them that we do this and to receive the tremendous amount of support from them is amazing and it is very much appreciated by everyone on the department.”

To see more photos: CLICK HERE

Friday, August 17, 2007

BODY FOUND IN AVON LAKE


File photos of Miller Road Park

Avon Lake Police Lieutenant Duane Streator said that the Avon Lake Police and Fire Department responded after receiving a call of a body being spotted in the water off Miller Road Park around 8 p.m. Thursday night. “We talked with 3 witnesses who described seeing what appeared to be a body in the water approximately 50 yards out near the east end of the park in the beach area. A search of the area was initiated by the Avon Lake Fire Department rescue personnel. The Coast Guard was also called in for assistance in the search effort. While the search was being conducted in the water Avon Lake Police Department Officers located some personal items on the beach area. There was a shirt; some shoes and a wallet was located on the beach that appeared to be unaccounted for by other personnel at the scene. At 12:01 a.m., rescue personnel in the water located a body in the area that the witnesses described as the last place he was seen. The body was that of a white male, it was brought on shore by rescue personnel and the Lorain County Coroner was then contacted."

Lieutenant Streator said that Investigators later learned that the items that were discovered on the beach did in fact belong to the man they found in the water.

The man was identified at 23 year old Kyle Karkoff of North Ridgeville. Karkoff had left his sister a note that morning saying he was going for a bike ride to the park to go swimming in the lake. Karkoff’s family said that Kyle was not a strong swimmer but because of his mother recently dying of a heart attack, due to being overweight, he was becoming more active. His family said that over the last year or so he has lost about 60 pounds.

Lieutenant Streator said that the Coroner will rule on the cause of death but at this point they are looking at it as an accidental drowning with no foul play.
Just one month ago two Elyria men, Brandon Glass, 20, and Daniel Smith, 19, drowned at Miller Road Park after going for a late night swim with a storm passing through and high waves.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

THE BLAST IS COMING


This weekend the Elyria Parks and Recreation, The City of Elyria, The Elyria City Schools, the Elyria YWCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lorain County will be hosting “Summer Blast 2007”.

Summer Blast will be held at South Park Recreation Center on 16th Street in Elyria from 11 to 4 on Saturday, August 18th.

Annette Solet, Recreation Supervisor for the Elyria Parks and Rec, invites you to bring the family and enjoy food, games and music. Free school supplies will also be available for kids up to the age of 14 years old. Games will include soccer, double dutch, 3 on 3 basketball tournament and Dance Dance Revolution.

If you would like to donate school supplies for the event please contact the Elyria Parks & Recreation Department at (440) 326-1500.

To see photos from Summer Blast 2006: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

TIM QUINN RUNNING FOR MAYOR


Tim Quinn spent a better part of the afternoon today meeting people and dishing out Root Beer at Dog N Suds on North Ridge Road in Elyria Township. Along with the Root Beer Quinn was also dishing out his plans for changes he would like to make in the city of Elyria if he is elected Mayor.

Quinn is running as an independent candidate in the upcoming General Election for Mayor of Elyria against incumbent Mayor Bill Grace. Quinn said that Grace has lost site of what is important to the city and that his main issue will be jobs.
“I believe we have one of the best work forces, I get to talk to a lot of people and I think we have one of the best available work forces in the United States but we have to put them to work. When Invacare left it bothered me and has for 4 years, that announcement has brought me to this point. It was kind of coincidental that they waited until the day after the primary last time against Deery to announce that the Invacare work force is leaving and heading to China. I think there are things out there that haven’t been tried; I don’t think we have advertised Elyria enough, if any. I’m embarrassed as a citizen, to pick up the paper last week and see that Amherst landed a company with 500 Tech jobs. I’m embarrassed, we have one of the greatest Community Colleges right here in Elyria and we didn’t get that company.”

Quinn spoke about how the current administration seems to have ignored a great asset in our community, the small businesses.
“All you have to do is drive a little south of here to Wellington and take a look at their downtown, all of the upper floors are occupied, and the street level store fronts are not only occupied but looking good and I wonder why our downtown, our main street isn’t looking that good?"

Quinn has an extensive background in construction and running a large construction company, in fact he is called many times as an expert witness for trials to discuss his field. Quinn feels that with Jobs creation being the number one issue his background will be a huge benefit to the city. Quinn is reluctant to announce specific plans right now saying that he will lay them all out one week before the election.
“I am not going to lay out my plan now so people can take my ideas, but I have definite ideas; which are simple.”

When discussing the issue of Safety Forces in the city and the current administration suggesting that a Fire Station might have to be shut down, Quinn said that this is an issue that he is certain to look into.
“You’re dealing with lives here, not political tools. I see the Fire Department is already ahead of their projected overtime, but in my position now I can only get so many answers, will I delve into it, absolutely.”

Quinn says his status as an Independent is also a plus to the community.
“The major thing the people of Elyria are getting with Tim Quinn is an independent. Nobody in a party will say, keep your mouth shut if you value your political future. That is what the people will get in me. I’m trying to bring integrity to the Mayor to a point where it is not a political party that governs what they do, it’s the Mayor and the people and if I can do that, then I have done my job.”

To learn more about Tim Quinn and his positions:
CLICK HERE

Note: TMC NEWS was invited to meet Mr. Quinn today at Dog N Suds to discuss the issues that he believes are important for the future of our city. We welcome an invite from Mayor Grace and would be happy to sit with him to discuss the issues as well. If that happens we will bring it to you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Antique Show on the River"

The Black River Historical Society will be hosting the 4th "Antique Show on the River" on Saturday, August 18, 2007, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Black River Landing pavilion.

This year there will be three gentlemen giving values in theses specific categories; carnival and Depression glass; Indian artifacts, antiquities and paintings; and general antiques. The price for this will be $5.00 for one item and $8.00 for two items. This will include your show admission.

The food vendor will be Chubby’s Family BBQ. Vendor space is still available by calling (440) 245-2563. The space is in a covered pavilion with concrete floors and electricity included for $40.00.

This year “Antique Show on the River” will be a part of the Lorain Port Authority’s all day event “Taste of History” which includes a Farmer’s Market, Tours of the tall ship “Niagara”, “Ohio Wine on the Water” Wine Tasting, and the evening concert by Colin Dussault’s Blues Project.

To visit the Black River Historical Society site: CLICK HERE

To see photos from a previous story we did on the BRHS: CLICK HERE

THE NEXT DAY


The fire that ripped through the old Wagner Seed and Packing factory left the 147 year old historic building in a pile of rubble today.

Fire Officials estimate that flames were shooting up to 75’ in the air and they have said that this fire for sure is one for the record books as being the largest fire in Wellington history.
Although a determination of what caused the fire is still somewhere down the roads, Officials do not believe it was arson saying nothing here points in that direction.

Citizens and City Officials are all hailing Wellington Firefighters and the Firefighters from the surrounding Departments who aided in the battle for their exceptional work at this blaze. Nicole Perkins who works close by and witnessed the early moments of the blaze said she was impressed by the performance of all the Firefighters and was happy that they were all ok.

To view more dayside photos: CLICK HERE

HUGE FIRE IN WELLINGTON


A fire at the old Wagner Seed and Packing building in the center of Wellington drew Firefighters from multiple departments to assist in bringing the blaze under control.

Wellington Fire Chief Bob Walker said the structure has been abandoned for about 6 or 7 months. “Wager Seed and Packing use to make bird seed and then distribute it throughout the country. The fire was in the three story building and it looks like it started on the first floor and spread up between the second and third floor.”
Next to the three-story building, just to the east, is a two-story structure that concerned the Firefighters. “We were able to cut what we call a Trench Cut and that was going to give us a good defensive stop to the fire right there so it didn’t expand into the next building.” (A trench cut is about two foot wide by about twelve foot long hole that is cut into the roof so that if the fire did spread to the next building Firefighters would be able to hit it with the aerials or the ground monitors.)

Chief Walker said that the heavy wood timbers that construct this building and the design made the fight a challenge. “Along with the timbers there are three floors and in the three floors there are several openings that are very hazardous to our people because the old elevator shafts went up through all three floors in different spots so we weren’t going to allow them to go into the three story building but we did allow them to go into the one story building to do the stop and so far we have been very successful with that.”
As of 2am Chief Walker said that the Firefighters were trying to “cool down” what was left of the burning materials. “There are a lot of burning materials, heavy timbers, still left in the first floor where we had a collapse of the roof. We believe the third floor has collapsed but we are not sure if the second floor has collapsed because we do not have a good visual on it yet.”
People were evacuated occupants from apartments on Depot Street, North Main and some on West Herrick Street. The Red Cross set up temporary shelter in the Village Town Hall as well as a canteen for the Safety Forces. Most of those who were evacuated were allowed to go back into their homes by 2am.

Chief Walker said that his Department received assistance from Oberlin with an aerial, Amherst with an aerial; LaGrange covered their station in case of another call in the area. Carlisle Township Fire Chief Russ Gardner was the Water Supply Officer; he coordinated tankers from Carlisle, LaGrange, Wellington, Rochester, Camden and Wakeman.
To see more photos: CLICK HERE

Monday, August 13, 2007

ST. MARY'S SUMMER FESTIVAL


People attending St. Mary’s Summer Festival on Sunday were treated to good food, games, a version of a dunk tank that I have never seen before and of course entertained by the incomparable talents of Michael Moore. Even Elyria Fire Departments “Bobby the Boat” was on hand to teach kids water safety tips.

To see more photos: CLICK HERE
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