Monday, December 31, 2007


Yes, I am here, and although my mind is usually and unorganized mess of thoughts and rants; you should have heard me yesterday. What a brain-ache; I just couldn’t put a full sentence together. I kept expecting the short bus to pull up and take me away. And to all the fathers of little girls: how hard is it to see your little sweetheart so unhappy? She’s a trooper but it breaks your heart to see them in pain, with fevers and chills and everything in-between.

Okay so let’s move on and if I don’t make any sense…well, that wouldn’t be a first.
So, Santa has run outta town with all our money in his big red bag. I hope you at least have something to show for it! This is a year in review, courtesy of "Sundays with Jason" (yeah, the whole Monday thing really messes up everything for me too).

January, yes, it was only 12 months ago that Hazel’s restaurant was begging non-smokers to inhabit their “diner.” They invited them by posting a message on their sign. It would be interesting to see how the smoking ban has affected them a year later. You have to admit; nothing says, “family dining,” like the smell of tobacco and gravy. I would venture to guess people still miss that old familiar scent!

February kept our kids out of school for 2 reasons: #1: we were pelted with snow (yes snow) and everyone was stuck indoors. Secondly, there were a slew of bomb threats throughout the county. The good thing about bomb threats is that they are “threats” and we are fortunate that none were carried out. My favorite February story of course was the Elyria K.F.C sign debacle; if you are an avid reader you’d know that the campaign against adult illiteracy just can’t make enough stops at this local chicken joint. Apparently the management staff couldn’t run bath water, let alone a restaurant. But in their defense, spelling is hard, especially if you can’t read in the first place. (and the colonel rolls over in his grave)

March put Lorain County in the path of Mother Nature’s wrath as she unleashed a whirling tornado on Elyria. I for one thought it was about time, all we ever have are tornado warnings, they get old. Besides, we had a chance to see a house fall on a wicked witch but, unfortunately, my elementary principal made it through the ordeal unscathed.

In April, the country was baffled and disgusted by the Virginia Tech shooting, and that is still a firm reminder of the unpredictable minds of and actions of some of our lost and unmotivated youths.

But those “April Showers” kept pouring into May as our community endured through the loss of Army Sergeant Lane Tollett and the bomb threats in our schools continued across the county. We also “felt the burn” as gas prices soared to over $3.50 a gallon. But there were some things to cheer people up like the Convenient Food Mart on Cleveland Street’s Rib Burn Off (woof), and the 400th episode of The Simpson’s. My favorite story from May was: the moron who went “hiking” in cascade park at 1:00 in the morning and fell 50 feet. Let me say; if you go for a “walk” through Cascade Park without the proper attire or tools in the dead of night, you deserve the valuable lesson of a good fall. May also debuted the cars vs. trains series. Those of you keeping score will recall the train is still undefeated.

June, what was June all about? A total mess, that’s what. A sexual predator search in Avon, shooting on High Street, break-ins at the Shupp Shoppe, armed robbery at Chapman’s Food Mart, kids drowning in lake Erie, the murder of Jessie Davis and her unborn child, the murder of Granny D’s Pizza owner David Kowalczyk, baby Jayden Davidson killed by his father Kevin Kimbrough and the loss of Lorain’s Airman 1st Class Eric M. Barnes. Oh and the Cav’s lost the series. I’m out of breath, and overwhelmed just looking at the list! June is officially the worse month of 2007, so if your birthday was during June, sorry, better luck next time.

July, TMC’s first birthday, and we were fresh out of diapers. July was all about the heat as we saw our first 90-degree days and plenty of house fires. There was Moss' Prime Rib & Spaghetti House’s first ever "Dining Under The Stars" and numerous summer events taking place. The Lorain School board chaos began with picketing, and heated board meetings. I for one thought all they needed was a good ol’ fashioned fisticuffs match, which would have straightened out the whole situation.

July was also the scene of the infamous McDonalds shooting, if you are not familiar; just don’t go to McDonald’s in Lorain on Monday.

August, the best thing to ever happen to the blogger world…Sundays with Jason premiers! That should be enough but I guess there were some other things that happened. Lorain County flooded, Amherst throws a pretty good party for, well, itself, we saw the video clip of the “taser lady” and my kidneys still hurt from laughing. There was also the Red Parrot “riot” (is that place still open?), and all the summer “festivals.” You’ll reminisce with me a moment about the Corn festival tragedy, and the fact that I am still in therapy over the images I endured there. WHY ME? That was an accident waiting to happen, and I walked right into it.

In July we also saw the EFD pitted against the politics of Elyria, and the wars of words began against Mayor Grace.

As far as the past few months have gone… well do you really want to remember them? The beef recalls, the car crashes, house fires, the Tribe’s failure, murders by people, murders by trains. YUCK. I don’t know about you but now I realize why we throw parties at the end of the year. We’re glad they’re over. People get drunk, trying to erase the previous 12 months from their memories. But it’s the same as each year passes, I’m sure. As they say, “Hindsight is 20/20” (and with Barbara Walters on 20/20, I’m glad I don’t have “hindsight,” if you know what I mean). So, sure we coulda, woulda, shoulda… but let’s look ahead and try a little bit harder. How’s about that?

So get your New Years Resolutions together and try to stick to it. Let’s hope for bigger and brighter and better things for 2008. Thanks for a great year of comments and opinions and for the chance to say things that my brain just can’t keep bottled up. I will be back and healthier and just as stupid as ever next time.

Till then, be safe, be smart, and keep your eyes on the road.


So, since we can't beat up our relatives (it's the holidays after all), how about a chance to watch someone do your dirty work. Answer this trivia and win TWO FREE TICKETS to Superior Cage Fighting’s “PLAYING FOR KEEPS” that will be held on January 11th in the gymnasium of St. John Lutheran Church on West River Road by Target.

On my first Sundays with Jason, my Highlight of the Lowlight was about the story, "Violence erupts in Lorain: 1 killed." In it I thanked reader "matt" for leaving a comment about the price of Mc Griddles. How much were they on that fateful day? Now, that's trivia!

Answer the question in the comments section and leave your email so we can contact you about the tickets.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


For those who just grabbed your Sunday morning cup of Java and were hoping to read “Sundays with Jason”, you will have to settle for watching Huckabee and Obama on Meet the Press.

Jason has called in sick today. Jason, his wife Jenna and 5 month old daughter Lainey are all down with the flu.

No fret, Jason is working through the pounding headache to bring you his year in review column tomorrow. I know it won’t be the same as reading it today but we all have to suck it up and give the man an extra 24 hours to turn it in.

Another reason to check out his column tomorrow, as if his thoughtful insights and humor were not enough, Jason has two pairs of tickets to the January 11th "Playing For Keeps" Mixed Martial Arts fights at the St. John Lutheran Church to give away.

One last note. Our crack investigative staff will be looking into any foul play that may have caused the Gilbert household to fall ill so close to his deadline. Not that there would be anyone who would want to see Jason sick right?

From everyone at TMCNEWS.NET and most of the Gold Card members, I would like to wish Jason and his family a speedy recovery.


If you enjoy seeing two guys climb into a fenced cage and beat the crap out of each other, then mark your calendar for January 11, 2008.

Nate White, CEO of Superior Cage Fighting, said that his organization has put together a night of phenomenal fights and fun as they present “Playing for Keeps”. “We have 20 fights scheduled at this time and that is subject to change of course, but the audience can expect to see some really explosive action right up close. Most of these fighters are stand up fighters, boxers and Muay Thai, so there will be a lot of punches, a lot of kicks and a lot of hell in the cage.”

White said that aside from fighters who are traveling to Elyria for the fights the audience would be able to see several Elyrians as well. “We have a couple people from right here in Elyria, Marcus Washington, Derrick Bohannon, Chris Hayes and DJ "The Juggernaut" Jacobucci will be taking on Chris Hayes for the 185 title.”

A fight to watch for will be with Elyria native Ryon "Hollywood" Berkel. Berkel will be taking on 6’2 320lb Brad Crawford. White said they are both first time fighters in the cage and believes it will be a great fight. Berkel was at the gym during my interview with White and told me to mark his words; he WILL WIN the fight, not a doubt in his mind.

With the Mixed Martial Arts fights being one of the fastest growing spectator sports in the world White said that his organization is the place where champions begin. “The goal of the Superior Cage Fighting organization is to provide the fans the best night of Mixed Martial Arts fighting they will get to see under one roof. Our competitors come from all walks of the fighting game. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, and many other styles are represented and encouraged at SCF events.”

For those who think this is just cage brawling White wants to make sure that people understand that this is an official sanctioned event. “Yes, we have been sanctioned by the State of Ohio Athletic Commission, all of the fighters are registered with the state and we will have Officials, Judges and medical personnel on hand during the fights.”

White, a native Elyrian also, said that Mixed Martial Arts fighting has helped him turn things around in his life and he sees it helping many others as well. “Absolutely, I grew up here in Elyria and on the eastside of Cleveland and things weren’t always good for me. Getting involved in this type of fighting gave me an alternative to the other things I was doing in my life. I am motivated now to provide others the same opportunity and I have been able to do that and I will continue to do that for as long as I can.” White said that once kids get involved they get in the gym and off the streets and that’s not a bad thing.
“Once they get in here and they start training they quickly see that this is a better alternative to what they have been doing. Also, once they get their card from the State of Ohio as a sanctioned fighter that gives them a sense of pride and that helps them keep their focus and discipline.”

Many of the local fighters you will see on January 11th are training at the Time 2 Train gym located on Oberlin Road in Elyria. Owner Matt Gembka echoes White’s thoughts on getting kids in the gym and off the streets.
“I have been doing this for a long time in different settings but if you get a kid into the gym and they have that in their lives I believe they can turn around.”

"Playing For Keeps" will be held on January 11th, 2008 inside the St. John Lutheran Gymnasium at 1140 West River Road – Elyria. The first match starts at 7:00pm.

For more information on the fights and how to get tickets visit the Superior Cage Fighting website: CLICK HERE



Eaton Township Firefighters were called out to Route 57 just north of the Grafton Village border for what they were told was a car on fire, when they arrived they discovered a two car crash with 4 victims.

The crash occurred Saturday night around 6:30 p.m. when 42-year-old Patricia Zsigray of Spencer was traveling southbound on 57 heading towards Grafton and went left of center. Heading northbound at that time was 68-year-old James Harsh. Harsh said he saw Zsigray’s car start heading into his lane so he began slowing down.

The crash was not a head on collision, rather a collision of driver’s sides left corners.

Eaton Township Firefighters called for mutual aid from Grafton Village after they realized that four people would have to be treated and transported from the scene. Zsigray received the more severe injuries and was transported by Eaton to Elyria Memorial where Metro LifeFlight flew her to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

Grafton Village EMS arrived on scene and took over car of Harsh, his 60-year-old wife Gladys and the 9-year-old back seat occupant. All three were taken to Elyria Memorial Hospital to be evaluated with minor injuries.

It is likely that Zsigray will be charged with “Operating a Vehicle Intoxicated” after she is released from the hospital.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE

Remember if you are driving and see an accident scene ahead, “SLOW DOWN AND MOVE OVER”. Allow Police, Fire, EMS and Tow Services to do their jobs without becoming a victim.


An early morning crash in Henrietta Township on Saturday sent two people by helicopter to Cleveland, one directly from the scene.

According to reports from the Ohio State Highway Patrol 47 year old Robert Spishak of Collins Ohio was driving his 1989 Chevy Suburban eastbound on Route 113 near Gore Orphanage Road while 71-year-old Alice Ross of Wakeman was driving her 2005 Honda Odyssey westbound. Ross drove left of center and struck Spishak sending his Suburban into the guardrail and detaching the trailer he had hooked to the back of his truck.

Florence Township Firefighters, Central Lorain County Ambulance District Paramedics and LifeCare Ambulance Paramedics arrived on scene and treated three victims. Metro LifeFlight flew Spishak from the scene, LifeCare took Ross to Community Health Partners and Spishak’s wife transported their 15-year-old daughter to MetroHealth for treatment.

Ross was charged for crossing lanes.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE

Remember if you are driving and see an accident scene ahead, “SLOW DOWN AND MOVE OVER”. Allow Police, Fire, EMS and Tow Services to do their jobs without becoming a victim.


Shortly after being in a brew-ha-ha in the area of Bugsy’s Speakeasy in downtown Elyria Saturday night this young man crashed a truck into a pole in the 100 block of Clark Street, a short distance from downtown.

The driver and passenger fled the scene but Elyria Police Officers caught up to them a short distance away. The driver was given a field sobriety test and was taken away in handcuffs while the female passenger was taken to Elyria Memorial with facial injuries.

The Elyria Police Department is investigating the brew-ha-ha and the crash.
To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE


Residents of the West Ave & 16th Street neighborhood were treated to something that is usually only seen on TV.

Elyria Police surrounded and trapped a car in front of the Al Lalim Temple at 1519 West Ave Friday afternoon. Three juveniles were pulled from the car and taken into custody. An Avon Police Department Detective arrived on scene a short time later and took custody of the car and had it taken back to Avon.

The Elyria Fire Department was called to inspect the building where the cars struck it but found little to no damage to the building.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE

Friday, December 28, 2007


While on patrol late Thursday night Elyria Police Officer Rick Walker spotted a 1988 Silver Chevy pick up truck, emitting a large amount of white smoke, traveling westbound on 57 near Cleveland Street. Officer Walker attempted to catch up to the smoking truck but for safety reasons, near zero visibility, he had to keep a safe distance.

Once the truck, driven by Donald Alheit, passed North Abbe Road Officer Walker was able to see the taillights go off the right side of the road then he heard a loud crashing sound. Alheit had struck two light poles sending them crashing down onto the highway. Debris from the light poles hit Walkers car and covered a good portion of the westbound lanes.

Alheit’s truck came to rest in the median strip a short distance away from the crash. Alheit was able to exit the truck on his own. Officer Walker approached Alheit to make sure he was ok and although he had a few bumps and bruises he refused any medical treatment.

Elyria Firefighters were called to the scene due to the large amount of smoke coming from the truck. Police also dispatched LifeCare Paramedics to the scene to evaluate Alheit; he again refused any treatment or transport.

Police have charged Alheit with Reasonable Control, Excessive Blood Alcohol Content (1.66) and Possession of Marijuana.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE


The City of Vermilion has issued a “BOIL ADVISORY” for ALL areas throughout the city.

The Water Treatment Plant began producing water around 6 p.m. Friday night and officials say the pressure will gradually increase throughout the course of the evening. The Boil Advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

Residents in effected areas should boil all drinking and cooking water for 3 minutes.


It is once again safe to patronize the Cleveland Street Subway as the man who has held up the sandwich shop twice within the last two weeks is in custody.

The “suspect” was spotted by an alert manager of Subway lurking around the shop Thursday night and quickly called the Elyria Police Department. Officers once again converged on the area and were able to apprehend the alleged thief.

The first robbery occurred on Friday December 14th around 8:30 p.m. and the second was one week later on Saturday December 22nd, also around 8:30 p.m. In both cases the white male entered the store and held up the employees using a knife.

The manager didn’t have a real difficult time spotting the crack thief as he was wearing the same clothing that he wore in the first two robberies.

Check back with TMCNEWS.NET for more details later. The photo above is a file photo taken after the December 22nd robbery.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


A multi car crash on Route 57 near Grafton Road in Carlisle Township has killed one elderly man and sent four others to the hospital.

Lieutenant Bob Henmer of the Carlisle Township Fire Department said the crash occurred around 7:30 p.m. in the area of Wukie Furniture. “Initially there was a two car crash involving a Mercury and a Mini-Van in the southbound lanes of Route 57. While outside of their vehicles accessing the damage a Ford Focus came up from behind and rear-ended the Mini-Van pushing it into the Mercury. A 84-year-old male was standing between them at the point of impact and he was crushed between the two cars.”

Lieutenant Henmer said that when their Firefighters and LifeCare Paramedics arrived on scene the male was lying on the ground semi-conscious. “Due to the critical injuries we had Metro LifeFlight dispatched to the scene. However, we were able to get him into the ambulance quickly and we diverted the helicopter to Elyria Memorial.” It was there that Emergency Room Doctors pronounced the man dead a short time later.

In total five people were transported from the scene by LifeCare and Eaton Township Fire & Rescue to Elyria Memorial with non-life threatening injuries.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

UPDATE: 1:12a.m.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol has released information on the two crashes and names of the people involved.

The initial report from the State Patrol says that Nell Fike, 58 of Elyria, was driving a Mercury Marquis southbound on Route 57 and was stopped to turn left.

Mary Ansel, 55 of Columbia Station, was driving a Dodge Caravan southbound and struck Fike’s Marquis. Occupants exited their vehicles including a passenger from Fike’s car, Robert Fike, 84 of Leipsiec, Ohio.

Wiley Martin, 58 of Grafton, was southbound in a Ford Focus on Route 57 when his car struck the rear of Ansel’s Caravan pinning Robert Fike between the Caravan and the Marquis.

Troopers do not suspect alcohol at this time. The crash remains under investigation by the State Patrol.


The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported 10 people were killed over the Christmas holiday weekend in traffic crashes on Ohio roads, as compared with only 8 people killed last year. This year there was a longer reporting period; five days this year compared with 3 ¼ days last year.

The following Ohio traffic fatalities and traffic data are for the weekend of December 21 at 12:01 a.m. through December 25 at midnight.

On State and Federal Highways there were 6 fatal crashes killing 7 people and injuring 13.

On County Roads there were 2 fatal crashes killing 3 people and injuring 1.

There was one fatal crash on an Interstate Highway (Inside a city) killing one and injuring 3.

There were no fatal crashes on the Ohio Turnpike or on any city streets during the holiday weekend.

In the 8 reported fatal crashes 2 involved alcohol use, 4 did not and 2 are still not know if alcohol was used or not.

Of the 10 people killed 4 were wearing seatbelts, 4 were not, one was a motorcycle and the last victim did not have seatbelts installed.

With less than a week remaining in 2007 the State of Ohio fatality count is down from the same time last year. In 2006 1215 people were killed in traffic crashes on Ohio roadways. To date, 1190 people have been killed on Ohio roadways.

Remember if you are driving and see an accident scene ahead, “SLOW DOWN AND MOVE OVER”. Allow Police, Fire, EMS and Tow Services to do their jobs without becoming a victim.


When Sharon Whitman returned home Monday night and found that fire had struck her West 30th Street home.

Lorain Firefighters were called to the home after food left on a stove unattended started a blaze just before 5 p.m. on Christmas Day. The woman who owns the home, Sharon Whitman, had left the house while the food was still cooking on the stove. Whitman lives in the home with only her cat but was playing host to 10 out of town relatives. Aside from the kitchen area the fire also crawled into the attic and a portion of the living room causing an estimated $30,000.00 worth of damage.

With the blaze rendering the home uninhabitable by Firefighters that left 11 people, 3 adults and 8 children without a place to stay, that is until the local chapter of the American Red Cross arrived on scene and began making arrangements for the family.

In the end the Red Cross volunteers placed all 11 people into a local hotel and was also able to provide them with much needed clothing that was destroyed in the fire.

As David Letterman always says; “And if that weren’t enough, and by golly don’t ya think it ought to be?” The Red Cross also made arrangements for the family to be able to visit nearby restaurants for dinner, all compliments of the Red Cross.

The Lorain Firefighters, while facing all the dangers that go along with fighting a house fire, showed their compassion towards a family losing their home on Christmas by covering furniture and other items throughout the home in an attempt to minimize the water damage.

To assist the Lorain County Chapter of the American Red Cross in continuing helping our neighbors throughout Lorain County visit their website by CLICKING HERE.

The Lorain Fire Department has been protecting lives and property since 1883 and continues to show that they care about the citizens they serve.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Authorities have released the names of the victims from Sunday night’s crash on Route 57 that claimed the life of one woman.

The driver of the Honda was pronounced dead at the scene has been identified as 65-year-old Olga Melendez.

The driver of the red Blazer was 17 year old Josh Hensley and his passenger 17 year old Chad Weekman, both of Elyria. Both Hensley and Weekman received non-life threatening injuries in the crash.

The Elyria Police Department continues their investigation into the circumstances leading up to the crash.


A late night Christmas Eve house fire serves as a reminder for homeowners to properly maintain their fireplaces and have them serviced at least once a year.

Elyria Firefighters responded to a Bowling Green Ave. home just before midnight Monday night after someone spotted smoke and flames coming from the front of the home.

Captain Tim Mitchell of the Elyria Fire Department said that when they arrived they found fire on the outside of the home coming from the base of the chimney. “Upon walking around to the side of the home we found flame and heavy smoke in the interior of the home. We made an aggressive attack on the inside to push it out, the boys knocked it down pretty quick on the inside.”

Captain Mitchell said that after performing primary and secondary searches of the home they discovered that there were no occupants in the home at the time of the fire.

It is believed that the fire started in the fireplace because of a crack in the liner somewhere and it extended to the outside.

Captain Mitchell said that it is important for people with fireplaces to have them inspected each year and cleaned if needed.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE

Sunday, December 23, 2007


A driver going the wrong way was the probable cause of a fatal crash on Route 57 in Elyria between North Abbe and Cleveland Street Sunday night.

Brian Arndt was traveling northbound on Route 57 from Cleveland Street following behind a red SUV when the crash occurred. “The green car was coming down the road going the wrong way, they were going south in our lane and it crashed into this red Blazer. I had to hit my brakes quickly so I wouldn’t crash into the back of the Blazer.” Arndt said that he was doing about 50mph at the time of the crash and estimates the Blazer around the same speed. At the point of impact Arndt said that the back end of the Blazer lifted up off the ground.

Arndt had one of the people in his car contact 9-1-1 while he went to check on the people involved in the crash. “The guy in the passenger seat of the Blazer had a lot of cuts to his face and was bleeding pretty bad. The woman in the green car wasn’t breathing when I got over there so we told 9-1-1 that they had better get some help here for her right away.” Arndt also provided his car as refuge to the two victims from the Blazer until Paramedics were available to treat and transport them.

Captain Joseph Pronesti of the Elyria Fire Department said that they were first told that they had a crash with no entrapment. “While we were responding we were notified that we had entrapment. When we arrived we found three victims, two in the Blazer and one in the Honda Civic. The female in the Honda was trapped, pinned by the dashboard. It took us about 10 minutes to remove the door to be able to extricate her but she was in full arrest and they pronounced her here at the scene.”

Captain Pronesti said that they had immediately put LifeFlight in the air when they thought extrication would lengthy; they also dispatched North Ridgeville Fire Department for extra manpower. “We canceled both after we were able to get her out of the car as quickly as we did and with her being pronounced here at the scene by Medical Control we canceled Metro LifeFlight.”

The Elyria Police Department had their Accident Reconstructionists on the scene starting the investigation. The names have not yet been released.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE

Remember if you are driving and see an accident scene ahead, “SLOW DOWN AND MOVE OVER”. Allow Police, Fire, EMS and Tow Services to do their jobs without becoming a victim.


A single car crash Sunday afternoon in Elyria sent one person to the hospital; left a light pole lying on the ground and sent mail flying in the wind.

The crash occurred in the 200 block of Third Street in Elyria and was spotted by Paramedics from LifeCare who were responding to an emergency call on East Ave. with the Fire Department.

Assistant Chief Ron Brlas of the Elyria Fire Department said that while Ladder 7 was passing Third Street on East Ave the Captain spotted the crash and the LifeCare squad. “Once the crew arrived on scene at East Ave the Captain sent two of the men upstairs to that medical call while he and another Firefighter ran down to the crash.”

Chief Brlas said that the female passenger of the car was treated at the scene and transported to Elyria Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. “She had her seat back and was sleeping at the time of the crash, the impact woke her up so she wasn’t sure what had happened.” The wife believed that her husband had dozed off for a moment before the crash.
The crash took down a light pole as well as smashing into a United States Postal Box scattering letter onto the sidewalk. Firefighters on scene were able to retrieve wayward letters and return them to the box.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE


Finally that Christmas “feeling” has come over me. It is the final countdown and I thought instead of making fun of how stressed out Donna is, well, I just wouldn’t go there. So I decided to end this season on an “up” note. So where were we? Yes, that “Christmas feeling.”

So what does Christmas mean to you? After 26 years on this planet, I am not quite sure if I know. My family has shrunk down since I was a kid. My favorite relatives all passed away around the past holidays and it seems like it made me a bit of a miser at an early age, not to mention my mother, sister and brother all became “snow birds” and are in Ft. Myers for good. But as a new father and with the 4 sister-in-laws I have now, the family seems to be on an upswing. So I am still getting used to trying to slap on a Merry Christmas face, when appropriate. But this year I asked myself the same thing I asked you. So, what does it mean to me? Well, if you don’t believe in Christ I would have to ask why you celebrate Christmas at all, and I would probably expect your reading to taper off as I continue on today. That being said, beyond the tree, the garland, the presents, the in-laws and the food, Christ is really what Christmas is all about. So if you argue that point, bear with me, there’s a lesson here. Because in addition to that, there is the old saying, “Christmas is the season of perpetual hope.”

The fact that we still celebrate the birth of Christ 2000 years later is a true testament to the very foundation of hope. Let’s face it; the circumstances under which Christ was born were perilous by the standards of that time; but even with modern medicines and the conveniences of today, I'd say his chances of survival would still be slim. Nonetheless, the baby Jesus endured and was the hope of the entire world.

So who’s to say that we can’t hold on to that same kind of hope during our small existence? A hope for the very best, no matter the dangers or adversity that come along the way. Hope for today, tomorrow and forever. I know in my heart that it is an attainable, tangible concept. It’s goes hand in hand; first, we need to be fueled (motivated) by hope. Secondly, with hopes and dreams we have a reason to fight our way through everyday, it just takes some effort. I am not preaching but I am sure that some of the tragedies this past year could have been avoided (or better yet, prevented) if people had a real sense of what hope is.

Today, young people, lacking motivation, are being sold a lie that they are alone in this great big world and that no one really cares about what’s going on with them. Without the hope that there is a God and that He wants the very best for them and cares about them just as they are. How can we expect kids to be motivated? What do they see in us that would convince them to buckle down and work hard, to make good choices? Do they see the possibilities in life; or the dead ends? Even if you don’t believe in God or Christ or you believe in Buddha or Gandhi, or nothing at all; you have to agree that the belief (or faith) in hope is a mighty power. We need to believe things will work out for the greater good; it’s our lifeblood.

So let’s remember the people who carry that passion with them not just on December 25th, but also on every day of the year. Like, the firefighter who runs into a burning building, or an EMT responding to an accident, how about a police officer answering a call for back up, and every time the phone rings in the emergency dispatch; all these people are put into situations where their hope has to be bigger than their own strength. Hope that they can make the difference between a tragedy and a modern-day miracle.

What about our men and woman who are fighting (and have fought) for our freedom? The very freedom that allows us to “dream big” and go after our hopes. The very fact that we can stop and say, “I have hopes and I have dreams,” is a pure representation of the sacrifices made for us every single day. Me, I’m just a regular old bloke, I have hope that I can make a difference by living a responsible lifestyle; by passing that on to my children. By reaching into my pocket for noble causes, and giving the shirt off my back when my pockets are empty. I have the hope that everyone has a talent to contribute to the betterment of mankind; that our youth are the next generation of great thinkers, and maybe they should be treated that way.

Hope isn’t just for the people with badges or uniforms. It’s the fiber that holds us all together. So, as we head into the New Year, and the dust of 2007 settles, the question therein lies: what do you hope for and maybe; who has hope in you?

That’s all friends, just a bit of nonsense to get you to think and maybe brighten up your season too. I hope you didn’t miss me making fun of people too much. Oh, and if I die by drowning in a vat off eggnog, or am electrocuted while stringing up Christmas lights: promise that someone makes fun of me! (Just don't let Donna do my eulogy; she has such a sense of humor)

So relax, lend a hand and don’t be afraid to tell someone you care.

Merry Christmas everyone! Be smart, be safe and take time to appreciate the beauty of being able to laugh, even if it’s at yourself.

Till next time,



Elyria Police converged on the Subway sanwich shop on Cleveland Street Saturday night after receiving a report that the shop has once again been held up at knife point.

Elyria Police Officers blanketed the area after receiving the call around 8:30 p.m. from the Subway employee saying that a white male in his 20’s sporting a beard with no mustache had just held him up at knife point. It was believed that the man fled the store heading west towards Winckles Street, but the clerk was not 100% sure wich direction the man went after leaving the store.

A perimiter was set up by Police Officers and Elyria’s K9, Stuka, and his handler Officer Walker responded and began tracking. A thorough search of the area turned up no suspects. Police viewed video from the store survielence camera and dusted various areas for finger prints.

The same Subway was held up at knife point last week by a man fitting the same description.

If you have any information on the Subway hold ups, please contact the Elyria Police Department at 440.323.3302.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE

Saturday, December 22, 2007


A two-car crash in Amherst Saturday night sent both drivers to the hospital with chest pains.

The crash occurred on Cooper Foster Park Road in Amherst around 5 p.m. Saturday when the driver of the blue mini-van, while attempting to make a left turn onto Williamsburg, pulled into the path of an oncoming red Ford Escape.

Lorain Police Officers were first dispatched to the scene but learned only after arriving on scene that the crash was on the Amherst side of the street. LifeCare Paramedics treated the drivers of each vehicle, both complaining of pains in their chest. Both drivers were transported to Community Health Partners in Lorain for evaluation.

Lorain Police Officers remained on scene assisting Amherst by directing traffic while they investigated the crash.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE

Remember if you are driving and see an accident scene ahead, “SLOW DOWN AND MOVE OVER”. Allow Police, Fire, EMS and Tow Services to do their jobs without becoming a victim.


Chief Ray Anthony of the Columbia Township Fire Department said they received a call of a structure fire early Saturday morning. “When we arrived the north portion of the home was fully involved. The homeowner said that he woke up to the smell of smoke and went to check on his wood burning stove and that is when he discovered the fire.”

Chief Anthony said the man then tried to extinguish the blaze by throwing water on it but by that time the fire was too out of control. The man received burns while trying to put it out and was transported by Columbia Fire to the hospital for further treatment.

The fire occurred on Marks Road just south of Route 82 right on the Lorain / Cuyahoga county border. Strongsville Belden City and Valley City Fire Departments assisted in bringing the fire under control.

Columbia covers about 25 square miles and Chief Anthony said that throughout the Township they have less then 100 fire hydrants, they were fortunate enough that a hydrant was close by for them to tap into for this fire.

The fire is currently under investigation.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE


Carlisle Township Firefighters and LifeCare Ambulance responded to Route 20 just before midnight Friday night for a car crash. When they arrived on scene they found a heavily damaged car, 30 plus feet of ripped up guardrail and surprisingly the driver out of the car walking and talking.

Lieutenant Randy Feakins of the Carlisle Township Fire Department said that the driver was adamant that he was not injured and continued to refuse treatment from the LifeCare Paramedics.

The driver was placed under arrested by the State Patrol for Operating a Vehicle Intoxicated. The man was cuffed and placed in the back seat of the Patrol car. A short time later a Medic checked in on the driver and saw that his knee was swelling up a great deal so the decision was made to transport him to the hospital to be evaluated.

State Patrol said that once they get the results back from the driver’s blood test back and review his blood alcohol level more charges are possible. The man told the Trooper that while driving westbound on Route 20, just west of Grafton Road, he “zoned out” and didn’t remember much more.

The driver, at this point, has been charged with OVI and Failure to Control.Firefighters found and retrieved the hood of the car 100 plus feet away in the field below the highway.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE

Remember if you are driving and see an accident scene ahead, “SLOW DOWN AND MOVE OVER”. Allow Police, Fire, EMS and Tow Services to do their jobs without becoming a victim.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


It is now believed that the man who drove off of I-90 this morning and plunged 100 feet down to the Black River might have taken that path on purpose. Friends say that Cavanaugh has suffered from mental illness and has been talking about killing himself for the last couple of days.

The van that Cavanaugh was driving belonged to Debbie Quimper of Riverview Lane in Lorain. Quimper had allowed Cavanaugh to move into her home one month ago because he had no money or a place to stay. Cavanaugh had talked about killing himself over the last couple days, then this morning after an argument in the home he left in Quimper’s van.

Lorain Police say that from the moment they attempted to pull Cavanaugh over he never exceeded any posted speed limits. Once on I-90 the Officer who was directly behind Cavanaugh said that it appeared that the path off the road appeared to be intentional. No skids marks or any signs of Cavanaugh attempting to stop could be found.

Quimper had her van loaded with camping equipment, children’s crafts and a large collection of seashells. She should be happy to hear that once the van was lifted from the Black River Firefighters, still in their wet suits, were picking up as many of those shells that fell from the van and boxing them up.

Cavanaugh remains in guarded condition in MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.


Lorain Police received a call early Wednesday morning of White Econoline Van that had just been stolen from a driveway on Riverview Lane. The Dispatcher gave out the call and description of the van and almost immediately an Officer, who was on patrol near the Firment car dealership on Grove, spotted the vehicle traveling southbound.

Once the Officer got in behind the van the driver, Blake Cavanaugh, took off refusing to stop. The van headed into the Elyria area and entered I-90 eastbound. While traveling on I-90 Cavanaugh, while in the left lane, swerved to the right crossing a lane and going off the road just before the Black River Bridge. The van got air born taking out trees then plummeting approximately 75 to 100 feet to the river below landing on the passenger side.

Police said that for 5 to 7 minutes they did not see anyone come out of the van, then all of a sudden they saw Cavanaugh’s head pop out. Cavanaugh was able to make his way out and sat on the van waiting to be rescued.

Captain Charlie Norris of the Elyria Fire Department said that when they arrived they found Cavanaugh sitting on the van communicating to Officers on the shore. “We saw that he was situated safely on the van and the van was stable, not moving down river, so we decided to put the boat in the water instead of doing an immediate rescue. We sent two of our guys over there in the boat and they were able to safely return him to shore where LifeCare Paramedics took over and transported him to Elyria.”

Captain Norris said that the two Firefighters that went into the water are on the Department’s Dive Team and practice at least once a month. “These guys keep up to date on Water Rescue technology and continually practice rescues. If you are in the water you want these guys coming to get you. This rescue didn’t seem to be that big of a deal, the rescue seemed to go easily but even on a more serious rescue, these guys would be the ones you want to come get ya.”

Lieutenant Rick Thraser of the Elyria Fire Department Dive Team said that when they made it to Cavanaugh he was complaining of being cold and of pains in his left leg. “We were able to get a PFD (personal floatation device) on him right away then we got him into the boat. It took a little convincing to get him into the boat but we were able to explain to him that he needed to get up on shore as quickly as possible for treatment.” Lieutenant Thrasher said that they were worried about hypothermia setting in. “Almost immediately when you hit these temperatures hypothermia can set in, the colder the water the quicker it will set in and the dirtier the water the worse the situation because you open yourself up to possible infections.”

Lieutenant Thrasher said that had Cavanaugh been under another couple of minutes he could have gone unresponsive and then there would have been a much different outcome.

Herb de la Porte, Vice President of LifeCare Ambulance, said that Cavanaugh was treated at the scene for possible fractures and hypothermia. “After the victim was transported to Elyria we had another Ambulance stand by on scene while the Firefighters and Tow Truck Operators recovered the vehicle, just in case there were any problems.”

LifeCare Paramedics transported Cavanaugh, who has a prosthetic right leg, to Elyria Memorial Hospital with a fractured left leg. He was later flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE


A chase that began in Lorain ended in with a van in the Black River in Burr Oak Park.

The man driving the van was rescued by Elyria Firefighters and was taken to Elyria Memorial Hospital by LifeCare Ambulance Paramedics with a fractured leg.

Check back later for more details and photos on TMCNEWS.NET

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


DAYTON – For the second time this month, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers in Preble County have made a significant seizure of marijuana hidden in Christmas wrappings during a traffic stop.

This time, a Tuesday morning traffic stop at 10:19 a.m. yielded 45 pounds of marijuana, valued at $102,690, wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper located in the trunk within suitcases of a rented 2008 Dodge Stratus. On December 8, just two miles from today’s seizure, state troopers made a similar seizure of 25 pounds of marijuana, valued at more than $56,000 during a traffic stop Interstate 70 in Preble County near milepost 8.

In today’s seizure, troopers stopped the vehicle on Interstate 70, near milepost 6 in Preble County for an unsafe lane change. A drug-detecting canine alerted to the vehicle, and a probable cause search revealed the marijuana wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper located in the trunk within suitcases.

The driver, Qiturah H. Muhammad, 23, of Danville, Pa., and passenger Shawn E. Williams, 25, of Mifflinville, Pa., were each charged with second-degree felony Trafficking in Marijuana, and fifth-degree felony Possession of Criminal Tools. If convicted, each suspect could face up to nine years in prison and up to a $17,500 fine.

The suspects were incarcerated at the Preble County Jail, and will be arraigned tomorrow in the Preble County Court. The vehicle was returned to the rental company.

Through September of 2007, the Patrol had seized more than 3.3 million grams of illegal narcotics valued at approximately $53.8 million. In 2006, the Patrol seized more than 4.9 million grams (11,000 lbs.) of illegal narcotics, valued at nearly $55 million.

Monday, December 17, 2007


While many of us were sitting at home, work or our favorite pub watching the Browns game here in Ohio many Texas Longhorns fans were rooting right along with us.

The Austin Browns Backers, including some native Elyrians, gathered at Aussie's Bar & Grill near downtown Austin to enjoy the game as well. Pat Costigan of PWC News out of Buda Texas grew up in Elyria and played football at Elyria Catholic. A lifelong Browns and CAVS fan Costigan said that his love for the Browns and CAVS will never change, even though on Saturdays during college football he wears the burnt orange. When asked how far the Browns will go this year Costigan said, “All the way baby! We've already booked the hall for a super bowl party.”

If you look in the back row you will see a former Browns player – find him and tell me who he is and you will win a FREE Master Pizza Classic.


Amherst Firefighters were fighting a fire deep in the woods off of Milan Ave Sunday night after a camper inside of a garage caught fire. The fire was on Milan Ave across from The Junction.

Assistant Chief Jim Wilhelm of the Amherst Fire Department said that the building is basically being used as storage and is divided into three sections separated by block walls. “The camper was in the center unit and when we arrived the fire was heavy inside, our initial problem was getting into the garage to fight the fire. Once we got past the door we also had fuel barrels inside to worry about as well but we were able to get the fire out pretty quick and now we just have a lot of clean up to do inside to make sure the building is safe.”

The owner of the camper, who has been living out of it in the garage, was not at the scene and no injuries were reported.

Chief Wilhelm said that their department received mutual aid assistance from Elyria Township, South Amherst, Florence and Vermilion Township Fire Departments. LifeCare Ambulance was on scene as a precaution.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE


Eaton Township Firefighters were battling a barn fire in blizzard conditions Sunday night on Butternut Ridge Road.

The homeowner said he was in the barn earlier in the evening working on a relative’s truck with a wood burner keeping him warm. He left the barn to go back inside the house and when he returned he found the barn on fire.

Chief Phil Slack said that his department received assistance from Columbia Township and Eaton Township Fire Departments with tankers and manpower.

The homeowner said that nobody was in the barn at the time of the fire except for the family cat who he believed would not have been able to make it out in time because he had closed the barn up tight before going into his home.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE


Sheffield Township Firefighters responded to a call of a car under water near Apples on North Ridge Road Sunday afternoon.

Assistant Chief Jim Gula of the Sheffield Township Fire Department said that the driver was leaving apples and attempted to make a right turn onto the access road heading out of the parking lot but his car just kept sliding. The car went off the road and into a drainage ditch that was full due to the recent rains. “He was sitting in his car when we arrived and the water was up inside of the vehicle but we believed it wasn’t really deep so our guys were able to just walk over to him and safely walk him out.”

The driver was checked out at the scene and took a few minutes warming up in the back of the ambulance but insisted he was ok and signed off at the scene.

To see more photos from the scene: CLICK HERE


An alert Avon Police Officer spotted a dangerous situation during the storm Sunday afternoon on Route 611.

One of the traffic lights on Route 611 near the westbound entrance and exit ramps was hanging by a thread, well maybe not a thread but a very small wire.

Avon Police stood by blocking the lane under the light until the traffic department was able to get on scene and fix the dangling signal.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


If your living room is still missing the Christmas tree, hurry on over to Twist N Shake on Cleveland Street in Elyria. Rae Anne Brady said Twist N Shake Ice Cream Stand and Tree Lot said that the trees are moving fast now that Christmas is only a week away but they still have about two dozen left. “The storm today kept some people away but we still had a few people brave the elements to come get their tree.”


Sledders came from all over with all different types of sleds, skies and even a large black hefty bag. Everyone enjoyed the runs down the hill but it seemed that they enjoyed the crashes and spills the most.

See more photos from the HILL: CLICK HERE
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