Wednesday, December 31, 2008

3 ATTEMPTED TO ROB APARTMENT

ALL THREE QUICKLY ARRESTED

Elyria – When the “Alert Tone” sounded across the Elyria Police radio Tuesday night – Officers were being advised of a possible burglary in progress on Georgetown Ave. Officers began to swarm the area as additional information began coming in.

A woman contacted the Police and was advising the Dispatcher, who was relaying the information immediately to Officers, that three men, two of which were wearing black hoods, were attempting to break into an apartment in the “J” building of Sherwood Forrest Apartments on Georgetown – next to North Rec.


Officers quickly surrounded the complex while another Officer began to walk toward the courtyard behind “J” building. As soon as that Officer rounded the corner he spotted a male wearing a hooded jacket about 50’ away – the Officer ordered him to stop twice but the man continued to run west. The Officer began searching the area and within a few minutes spotted the man lying against a building using bushes as a cover. The man was taken into custody and identified as 19 year old Carlos Frias of Lorain.

While that man was being arrested other Officers searching the complex spotted two males attempting to the leave the parking lot. While speaking to the two males Police say that the men told them that they were lost and made a wrong turn. The two men insisted that they did not Frias. When Officers found an Ohio Identification card belonging to Frias in the back seat and showed it to the two men they continued to say that did not know him.

Officers who went to the apartment that the men were attempting to break into found pry marks to the wooden door at apartment J33 and wood shavings on the floor. While searching the car Officers found a flat tip screwdriver under the drivers seat, hidden up inside the seat. While another Officer was doing a search around the “J” building he spotted a lug wrench that was sticking up out of the ground. This tool matched the damage to the door exactly.

Police say that while all three men continued to say they were not involved in the attempted break in, Frias did admit to knowing the other two men.

The eye witness told Officers that all three men had taken turns trying to break into the apartment using a crow bar. She also advised that all three men were wearing dark clothing and jackets. Once outside, two of the men went in one direction while the third walked between the buildings. The witness also advised Officers that she believed the men were driving a black colored vehicle.

The other two men arrested were identified as 26 year old Paul Morales Jr. of Jacksonville, Florida and 36 year old Antonio Luis Arocho of Orlando, Florida.

Frias was charged with Attempted Burglary (F-3) and Obstructing Official Business (M-2). Morales was charged with Attempted Burglary (F-3) and Possession of Criminal Tools (F-5). Arocho was charged with Attempted Burglary (F-3). All three men were held pending the posting of bond or a morning court appearance.


PHOTO GALLERY

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

FBI CAPTURE SERIAL BANK ROBBER

AMHERST & SHEFFIELD VILLAGE POLICE
INSTRUMENTAL IN CAPTURE
The serial bank robber who hit two local banks in Lorain County along with 9 others in Ohio and Pennsylvania was captured Monday after he knocked off a National City Bank in Cleveland.

FBI Agents had already deemed 33-year-old Kenneth Gibson a suspect and had taken out an arrest warrant before Monday’s bank robbery.

Gibson was arrested several miles away after a witness to Monday’s robbery led Cleveland Police to Gibson’s car. He will be charged with one Federal count of Bank Robbery for Monday’s heist and will likely be charged with the others after a review by the United States Attorney’s Office.

The FBI credit the meticulous Detective work by Sheffield Village and Amherst Police Departments in the capture of Gibson. Because of the work done by local Detectives the FBI had a suspect car and eventually a suspect that they had begun searching for when Gibson walked into the Cleveland bank.

Gibson is suspected of robbing a total of 12 banks.

Monday, December 29, 2008

LORAIN FIRE LEVELS BUILDING

Lorain – Calls began coming in at 3:29 a.m. to the Lorain Fire Department – people reporting a large structure engulfed in flames on Cooper Foster Park Road. The calls continued to pour in while Firefighters were on route as the flames could be seen shooting into the air from Route 2.

Lorain Firefighters arrived on scene just 8 minutes after the first call was made – the first Pumper reported a “large fully involved single story building.” It was then that the attack was deemed to be defensive only.

Lorain Tower One was set up to hit the structure with water from the air while two handlines were put in operation from two Pumpers to operate defensively.

Within 10 minutes of the Fire Departments arrival a large section of the roof and a 40’ section of the front wall collapsed.


Lorain and Amherst Police Officers blocked a section of Cooper Foster Park Road to protect the 5” lines that Firefighters had stretched across the road to attach to a hydrant.

Ohio Edison and Columbia Gas were called to the scene and confirmed for Fire officials that there was no gas or power in the building.

Defensive aerial and exterior handline operations continued until just after 5 a.m. A hazard assessment of the remaining structure was conducted and a secondary search was performed in areas that did not present collapse dangers. The secondary search was concluded with an all clear.

The Fire Prevention Bureau was called to the scene and continues to investigate the cause of the blaze.

Fire officials place the damage to the structure at $335,000.00.


PHOTO GALLERY

T-BONE CRASH IN CARLISLE TOWNSHIP

Carlisle Township – A two car crash Monday afternoon sent one driver to the hospital with minor injuries.

The crash occurred around 1:40 p.m. in the intersection of West River and Russia Road in Carlisle after one car ran a stop sign and rammed into southbound car.

Carlisle Firefighters and LifeCare Paramedics treated the driver that was struck while the other driver refused treatment or transport.

Officials said that crashes in the intersection have decreased since the 4 way stop has been put in but say once in awhile you’ll have a driver who tries to sneak through and you end up with a crash like the one today.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

PHOTO GALLERY

O Romeo, Romeo...

...Wherefore Art Thou Romeo?
Not in the coach’s office, that’s for sure. The Cleveland Browns “relieved Crennel of his duties” as head coach this morning. Crennel is due to meet with the team at noon today.

Crennel was just given a two-year extension on his contract (thru 2011) in January of this year. Crennel was 24-40 with the Browns and just 5-18 inside the AFC North. More importantly he was 0-8 against the Steelers. The door has been left open for Crennel to remain with the Browns organization, just in a different position.

ESPN is reporting today that Owner Randy Lerner informed Phil Savage about his termination last night after the Steelers game – over the phone.

Wasting no time, the Cleveland Browns have already removed Crennel’s bio from their website.

FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE FIRE IN LORAIN

FORMER SPORTS COMPLEX A TOTAL LOSS
Lorain – Firefighters in Lorain are battling a blaze at this hour at the old Sports & Stuff on Cooper Foster Park Road – just east of Leavitt Road.

A newspaper delivery person alerted Amherst Police of the fire who then notified Lorain Fire. Witnesses say that the entire roof was on fire and within moments after Firefighters arrived the roof was gone.

Police have a section of Cooper Foster blocked off because of fire hoses laid across the road to hydrants.

Elyria and Amherst Fire Departments are providing mutual aid to Lorain by covering their stations.

There have been no injuries reported at this time.


Check back later for complete details and PHOTO GALLERY

Sunday, December 28, 2008

REPORT OF FIREFIGHTER LAYOFFS

Elyria – The Mayor’s personal cell phone number came down from the sign on Cedar Street Saturday afternoon after the owner of Heavy Duty Graphics discovered that 9 Firefighters could be laid off in 2009 – the Mayor’s number was replaced by Councilman Bullocks’ home phone number.

Brian Allen said that he put Bullocks’ number up because he heads the city’s finance committee. “We’ll start with Councilman Bullocks and each week I’ll display another Councilpersons name and phone number. The only chance we have to save the safety forces is if the community puts pressure on Council and the Mayor – they must be told that we supported and passed Issue 15 and now we want the safety forces to be left alone.”

The report quickly made its way through the Fire Department and the community that 9 Firefighters might be let go and Officer’s in the department could be demoted. Sources also say that overtime might be gone or drastically cut in 2009 along with the possible closing of another station, leaving the city covered with 2 firehouses.

Allen originally posted the sign after Elyria Police Chief Michael Medders released his recommendations that 11 Police Officers, 5 Corrections Officers and 10 civilian employees be let go if the 6% cuts become a reality in 2009. In addition to the cuts 8 Officers would be demoted.

It is important to note that at this point any talk of cuts is just that – talk – they are recommendations from the Chiefs. Mayor Grace has said his administration is searching for other ways to save money. The Mayor and Auditor Pileski have said they will forgo their scheduled pay raises in 2009. Outgoing Assistant Safety Service Director Bill Olgle’s position will not be replaced anytime soon. Pools and special events in the city could also be cut to save money.


Editors Note: The number in this photo was not blurred because the number is listed.

GM FIRED - COACH NEXT

Cleveland – Cleveland Browns Senior Vice President & General Manager Phil Savage got the ax after today’s 31-0 loss to the Steelers. Savage was named Senior Vice President and General Manager on Jan. 6, 2005. He was also given a three-year extension (thru 2012) in May of this year.

Coach Romeo Crennel has a scheduled meeting with Browns owner Randy Lerner, it is widely expected that Crennel and his 24-40 record will be shown the door during that meeting. Crennel was 0-8 against the Steelers and just 5-18 inside the AFC North. The Browns extended Crennel’s contract by two years (thru 2011) in January of this year.


“WE’RE JUST TRYING TO GET HOME”

DRIVER CHARGED WITH OVI – TWICE

Elyria – A LifeCare Ambulance crew heading back to their station late Saturday night probably did a quick double take as they were crossing the 4th Street bridge. The crew spotted a car lodged on the sidewalk between the bridge wall and a concrete barrier.

The crew spun around to check it out – they found two people inside alert and laughing.

Arriving just moments after the LifeCare crew called in the crash we asked the driver, Gina Triplett, where she was heading. “Well, we’re trying to get home but we’re stuck.” Triplett then attempted to start the car again to get back on the road – one of the Paramedics was able to get her to turn her keys over to him at that point.

A Paramedic climbed into the car through the back seat to access Triplett and her passenger – neither claimed of having any injuries and refused treatment or transport.

When Police arrived they took Triplett into custody for Reckless Operation and OVI.

While technicians from Mug’s Elyria Auto Service were in the process of removing the car from the bridge a Trooper rolled up and inspected the Impala. He had been looking for the car in relation to an earlier crash in Carlisle Township.

Laird Bell lives on East River and says he and his wife woke up after hearing crashing noises. “We heard a couple loud noises and then the tires on the pavement so we looked out the window. We saw the car on the road heading north then they cut left and went into our daughters yard.”

Triplett took out a street sing, mailbox and shrubs – not to mention turfing lawns – along East River before heading into Elyria and crashing on the bridge.

“How are they going to get that car out of there” is the question that was being asked by Police, neighbors and even a Domino’s pizza delivery guy who stopped by to watch. With all of those eyes on them, and the eyes of Bones the dog (see pictures 14 & 15 in the gallery) Technicians carefully lifted the rear of the car and pulled to towards the street and set it down. They then did the same to the front of the car successfully removing it without causing further damage to the bridge.

Troopers say that they will also charge the driver with OVI for the crash in Carlisle. For those of you keeping count, that is two OVI’s for Triplett in one night.

PHOTO GALLERY

WEATHER ALERT

The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a WIND ADVISORY for Lorain County – the advisory will remain in effect until 4PM Sunday afternoon.

A strong cold front will move through Western Ohio this morning. Westerly wings between 30 & 40 MPH will accompany this front and occasionally gusts to near 50 MPH cannot be ruled out right along the front. Winds will diminish by early afternoon and should be light by this evening.

A WIND ADVISORY is issued when sustained winds are forecast to be 31 to 39MPH or gusts will range between 46 and 57MPH. Winds of these magnitudes may cause minor property damage without extra precautions. Motorists in high profile vehicles should use caution until the winds subsides.

HOW DID THEY GET UP THERE?

The answer to that question, how they got the car down and the complete photo gallery – minus the driver flipping off the photographer – later today on TMC NEWS.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

EARTHA KITT DEAD AT 81


Eartha Mae Kitt,
actress, singer and cabaret star, died today of colon cancer at the age of 81.


Kitt was best known for her role as the Catwoman in the 60’s TV show Batman and equally as famous for her 1953 Christmas song “Santa Baby”.

.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

WEATHER ALERT

The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a Special Weather Statement for Northwest & North Central Ohio.

A strong cold front will move across Ohio and Northwest Pennsylvania this evening – directly ahead and behind the front winds will increase to 25 to 35 MPH with wind gusts to 45 MPH.

The winds will be strongest across northwest and north central Ohio – and the Erie Lake Shore. Winds will weaken late this evening as the front moves quickly east of the area.

Motorists in high profile vehicles should use caution until the winds subside.

Tonight: Rain and snow showers before 10pm, then a slight chance of snow showers between 10pm and 1am. Low around 25. Breezy, with a west wind between 15 and 25 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Christmas Day: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. West wind between 11 and 14 mph becoming light. Winds could gust as high as 24 mph.

FIRE HITS HOME ON CHRISTMAS EVE

TWO DOGS JUMP TO SAFETY
Elyria – An alert neighbor on Chestnut St in Elyria spotted smoke and flames coming from a home located right behind hers early this morning. A quick call by her might have saved the home and the two dogs inside.

Elyria Firefighters responded to the home at 223 Chestnut Street around 4:30am – when they arrived they found smoke and fire coming from the home. The home sits off the road behind other houses and to get to the house Firefighters had to go down ice covered driveways making the approach very dangerous.

A quick attack from the outside started knocking down the fire coming from a bay window area – then as Firefighters made entry they were able to knock down the rest of the fire in a short amount of time.


Although the home had been unoccupied for the last two months – by humans – two dogs were still living inside. Once Firefighters began attacking the fire from inside the home – one of the dogs, snowball, popped out of a window to safety. The second dog, Lil Grau, also escaped without injury. Neighbors took both dogs in to clean them up and to warm them up. A Christmas Miracle?

The Fire Prevention Bureau was called in to investigate – the cause of the blaze is listed as undetermined and still under investigation. Although there was a lot of slipping and sliding – and a couple spills on the ice, no injuries were reported.


PHOTO GALLERY

ICY ROADS CAUSE OF CRASHES

The icy rain began to fall across the area around 6 p.m. Tuesday night causing streets and highways to become ice rinks.

Almost as quickly as the ice hit the pavement the reports of cars sliding off the road and car crashes started coming in – one crash in South Amherst on Route 113, just west of Baumhart road left one man dead. Mark Smitkowski, of Henrietta Township, was traveling on 113 when he began sliding and went left of center – an oncoming truck then struck him. In that crash, Central Lorain County Ambulance District Paramedics transported one other victim, with minor injuries, to Allen Community Hospital in Oberlin.

Troopers and Firefighters from Elyria Township Fire Department had their hands full with a 34-car crash on Route 57 near Route 254 – one person was transported from that crash with non-life threatening injuries.

Not to be out done Elyria had their own 30-car crash on Route 57 between East Broad Street & Chestnut Ridge Road. The crash, in the northbound lanes, resulted in no injuries. Police shut down that section of Route 57 until the mess was cleared away.

A crash on the Ohio Turnpike at the 146 Mile Marker sent six people to Elyria Memorial – four children with serious injuries. All four children were later transported to Cleveland hospitals by ground due to helicopters being grounded by bad weather.

The weather also had Police shutting down portions of 480 and I-90.

Temperatures will rise overnight and hit near 45 on Wednesday – rain is expected throughout the day with a chance of snow during the evening hours.


The Next 24
Wednesday:
Rain. High near 45. Breezy, with a south wind between 13 and 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Wednesday Night: Rain showers likely before 10pm, then a chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a low around 26. Breezy, with a west wind between 21 and 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Christmas Day: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. West wind between 6 and 16 mph.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

SERVE PRO VAN FIRE ON SAMUEL

Elyria – An electrical problem is believed to be the cause of a fire in a Serve Pro van today on Samuel Street in Elyria.

Firefighters responded to the 200 block of Samuel after receiving calls of a van on fire in the driveway. Neighbors gathered to watch the van burn and then they were given a show when Firefighters started hitting the van with water. Once the water hit the magnesium in the steering column the sparks started flying.

There was a brief concern about the truck being just below power lines but Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze before any harm was caused to the lines.

Captain Cawley of the Elyria Fire Department said that a wiring problem near the passenger compartment is believed to be the cause of the fire.

There were no injuries reported.


PHOTO GALLERY

WEATHER ALERT

The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Northeast Ohio – the Advisory will be in effect from 6 p.m. this evening until 7 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Light snow will begin to overspread the area this evening around 6 p.m. The precipitation will transition to sleet and freezing rain from the south to the north. Temps will eventually warm above freezing after midnight. This will cause the freezing rain to become just rain.

Precipitation amounts are expected to be light through tonight – no more than a light glaze of ice is expected at most locations. Most of the icing will occur between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. The snow and sleet accumulations are expected to be an inch or less.

Monday, December 22, 2008

TRUCK GOES OFF ROAD IN CARLISLE

DRIVER PINNED IN FREEZING TEMPS
Carlisle Township – “It didn’t sound like a car crashing, it was just one loud noise – kind of like a plow hitting the pavement.” That is how one neighbor described the noise that woke him up late last night after a truck crashed across from his home.

Troopers say that the truck was southbound on West Ridge Road, just north of Russia Road, when the driver lost control and went off the side of the road. The truck went into a yard sideways taking out a mailbox then striking a group of trees.

Neighbors and a nearby Deputy Sheriff spotted the truck in the trees and called for Carlisle Township Firefighters and LifeCare Paramedics.

Firefighters had to cut the truck’s roof off to get access to the victim and begin treatment. Once the man was freed from the truck Paramedics transported him to Elyria Memorial Hospital.

Troopers were unable to speak to the victim at the scene due to his condition so they were unable to determine why he left the road. The investigation into the cause of the crash continues.


PHOTO GALLERY

PLOW TRUCK SLAMS PARKED CAR

Elyria – A trip from Strongsville to Elyria to enjoy an evening with his family celebrating Christmas a couple days early was going well for Tom Conn – well, right up until the end of the night.

Conn said that all evening he had his car parked in his mother’s driveway on Longford, just south of Poplar Street. “I went out to move my car because I had my brother blocked in – so when I backed out I just left my car parked on the street and then went back inside for a few minutes.” Shortly after Conn got back inside of the house he heard a loud crashing noise. “I had a real bad feeling as soon as I heard the noise.”


When Conn went outside he quickly saw that a truck had smashed into his car.

The truck had been traveling south on Longford when the driver lost control and struck Conn’s car. The impact spun Conn’s car around causing heavy damage to the front end and sent the truck up into a yard.

Just after the crash the occupants all exited and neighbors watched as two girls left the scene and heading for Poplar. An Elyria Police Officer heading to the crash found the two girls as they were trying to make their way to a home on Sherwood – he brought them back to the scene to allow witnesses identify them. Other witnesses identified two males who were also in the truck at the time of the crash – one of them was identified as the driver.

No injuries were reported.

Conn said that he had just purchased the car two weeks ago and had just put 1,000 miles on it – and now this. “This certainly isn’t what I wanted for Christmas, but everybody is ok so I am not going to let this put a damper on my holidays.”



PHOTO GALLERY

FIGHTING A FIRE IN THE COLD

Lorain – A fire Sunday afternoon in Lorain has left one man homeless just days before Christmas.

Fire ripped through the Livingston Ave home just before 5 p.m. – fueled by the high winds and bitter cold temps. Thick black smoked filled the neighborhood as Firefighters worked against the elements to extinguish the blaze. The fire was so intense at times because of the winds Firefighters had to be pulled from the home and fight the fire defensively.

The man who lived in the home had suffered from smoke inhalation and was treated on scene by LifeCare Paramedics. The man refused to be taken to the hospital, instead left with family members.

Lorain received mutual aid assistance from surrounding communities including, Sheffield Village, Amherst and Elyria.

There were no injuries reported. Firefighters were even able to rescue the man’s cat from the home.

Temperatures during the fire were holding around 5 with wind chills well below zero.



PHOTO GALLERY

Saturday, December 20, 2008

KITCHEN FIRE IN LORAIN

Lorain – A fire on Edgewood Drive in Lorain Saturday night caused approximately $10,000 in damage to the home and contents.

The fire started after a woman in the home started heating cooking oil on the stove – she left the room and a few minutes later heard noises coming from the kitchen area. When she returned she found the stove on fire and quickly spreading. The woman fled the home and called 9-1-1 for the Fire Department.

A neighbor ran into the house with a dry-chemical fire extinguisher in an attempt to put out the fire – An act that Fire officials never recommend people try because of the hidden dangers involved.

The woman was taken to a neighbor’s house with what appeared to be slight smoke inhalation. LifeCare Ambulance Paramedics were called to the scene to evaluate the neighbor. The woman ended up refusing treatment or transport.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire and then worked to ventilate the home.


PHOTO GALLERY

SNOW & HIGH WINDS FORECASTED

With a small hit of snowfall early this morning emergency crews were kept busy with car crashes throughout the area – including a single car, non-injury, roll over crash on Route 2 in Amherst Township.

The National Weather Service has issued a HIGH WIND WATCH for our area beginning Sunday morning through Monday morning.

A low-pressure system is expected to move east and then northeast across the region Sunday morning. A strong cold front will move east with the low-pressure system during the morning hours. The front is expected to usher in strong gusty winds along the Lake Shore and the wind could be sustained at 40MPH or greater into Monday morning.

The strong winds in combination with the cold temperatures will cause wind chills to drop to about 10 degrees below zero or lower at times. If you are planning to be outdoors Sunday into Monday morning, be sure to cover exposed skin to protect yourself from frostbite.

A HIGH WIND WATCH means that the potential exists for strong damaging winds to develop. Theses strong winds could bring down trees, power lines as well as cause property damage. If a HIGH WIND WARNING is issued you should stay inside and away from windows. Be prepared for trees blocking roadways and power outages.

The Next 24:
Tonight: Snow, mainly after midnight. Low around 23. East wind 6 to 13 mph becoming south. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Sunday: A chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 23. Wind chill values as low as -3. Windy, with a west wind 21 to 24 mph increasing to between 29 and 32 mph. Winds could gust as high as 43 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Sunday Night: Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 9. Wind chill values as low as -14. Windy, with a west wind between 34 and 37 mph, with gusts as high as 48 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

HOUSE DEMOLISHED AFTER FIRE

Elyria – A house fire on East Ave in Elyria Friday night caused so much damage the house had to be brought down.

Elyria Firefighters were called to the side by side duplex just before 8 p.m. Friday evening. Fire inside of the home was extensive and as the interior began collapsing Firefighters went defensive.

Only one half of the duplex was occupied but the tenant was out of town at the time of the fire.

Fire officials determined that due to the damage the fire caused inside of the home that it was too unsafe to leave the house standing. A demolition company was contacted by the city to bring the house down.

Just after 12:30 a.m. the sound of the bulldozer’s tracks could be heard driving through downtown Elyria. The owner of the demo company said that when he got the call he was going to transport the bulldozer to the scene on a trailer but he found a problem when he got outside into the cold. During the warm stint the trailer wheels had sunk into the ground – then when the temps took a quick drop the ground froze locking the wheels down. A Police escort was provided to get the bulldozer to the scene.

The operator of the bulldozer methodically took the house apart, piece-by-piece – section-by-section. In the end he had collapsed the house right into a nice neat pile in the center of the home. Neither of the surrounding homes were touched by any of the debris.

Lorain and Avon Fire Departments provided mutual aid by covering the Elyria Fire station.

The Elyria Fire Department is investigating the cause of the blaze.


Friday, December 19, 2008

TRUCK SLAMS POLE ON EAST AVE

TRUCK ROLLS OVER – DRIVER FLEES
Elyria – The Elyria Police Department is sorting out the details to a single car crash that occurred on East Ave late Thursday night.

Officers were called to the 1200 block of East Ave near the Palm Crest East Nursing home after a truck ran into a utility pole. When Officers arrived they found the truck on its roof on the tree lawn in front of the nursing home – but no occupants.

Witnesses at the nursing home say they didn’t actually witness the crash – just heard the loud boom. When they looked out the window several saw a white male running south towards the apartment complex across the street.

A man came forward about 30 minutes later but was sketchy on the details of the crash. LifeCare Paramedics took him to Elyria Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The investigation into the actual details into the crash continues.


PHOTO GALLERY

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A SIGN OF FRUSTRATION

Elyria – Upset over recent news that the Elyria Police Department may have to cut 11 Officers, 10 civilian employees, 5 Corrections Officers and demote 8 Supervisors, Elyria business owner Brian Allen utilized his outdoor sign to send a message to the Mayor.

Allen posted the sign encouraging Elyrian’s to contact the Mayor in an effort to prevent any cuts to the Police or Fire Departments. “I was a strong supporter of Issue 15, even posting those campaign signs in front of my business – but I supported it because the Mayor told me to my face at City Hall that it was to maintain the safety forces. Today I read that cuts will be made and deep cuts and I have had enough, I think the people of Elyria need to let the Mayor know how they feel.”

Allen said that 30 minutes after posting the sign he received a call from Mayor Grace who had driven by the business and was surprised to see his personal cell phone number posted on the sign. “It was a very spirited conversation, he asked that I post his home phone number – but he is never at home or his office number. I felt that either at home or in the office he doesn’t have to accept the phone calls, he does have to answer his cell phone. I believe that this matter is very critical and we need to get his attention – we cannot let this happen to our safety forces or to our community.”

During the phone call with the Mayor, Allen said that he asked the Mayor if he was going to place a tax increase on the May ballot. “His answer to me was – perhaps – and I have a real problem with that. Will he again tell the voters, pass this increase or you will lose your safety forces? I have personally seen the city payroll and there is a lot of fat that can be trimmed long before cutting Police Officers. I asked the Mayor on the phone if he would promise that he would not hire one IT person until the Police and Fire Departments are back to where they should be, personnel wise, he would not make that promise.”

The next conversation between the Mayor and Allen will be in the Mayor’s office on Monday at 10am; Allen received and accepted that invitation shortly after the conversation with the Mayor.


Editors note: We have decided to blur part of the cell phone number in the photo because it is the Mayor’s personal cell phone. Neither the Mayor, anyone from his office or on his behalf asked us to blur the photo, it was our decision alone. If anyone would like to contact the Mayor his office number is 440.326.1402 – his home phone number is 440.322.2600. If anyone has a problem with the Mayor not responding to their calls, please let us know.

THE ICEMAN COMETH

The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for Northeast Ohio – the WARNING will be in effect from Midnight tonight until 4 p.m. Friday.

Snow will move northeast into the region this evening and then change to a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain. The wintery weather is expected to continue through Friday afternoon.

Temperatures at the surface are expected to slowly warm through the night but will remain below freezing. The precipitation that falls after midnight will likely be in the form of freezing rain. A quarter inch of ice accumulation can be expected overnight into Friday morning before possibly changing over to all rain for a brief period in the morning. Snow and sleet accumulations of 1 to 3 inches can be expected through Friday.

The mixed precipitation is then expected to change back to snow during the late afternoon hours on Friday.

The Lorain County Emergency Management Office participated in a conference call with the National Weather Service and about a dozen or more County EMA officials across Ohio and part of Pennsylvania this afternoon to receive an update on what we can expect this weekend. Tom Kelley, Director Lorain County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security: “Whenever the Weather Service feels that there might be a significant weather event they always give a briefing by way of conference call to the County EMA Directors and in turn we invite Police, Fire and road crews to participate in the briefing. We are told to expect snow over the next couple of days but the concern is with the threat of an ice storm that may arrive Saturday into Sunday. The possibility is there for us to get 1 quarter to a half inch of ice during that time – that’s a lot of ice.”

The exact track of that ice storm will not be certain until about 6 hours out – Kelley said that although the Weather Service has been wrong in the past, they were dead on this last Valentines Day when we got smacked with 22 inches of snow.

Kelley said that with the trees not having leaves on them a quarter inch to a half inch of ice could cause problems. “The branches will be more brittle so we could have problems with the trees and that in turn will bring down power lines.”

The first storm is expected to roll into the area around 6am Friday morning.

A WINTER STORM WARNING is issued when severe winter weather is expected. Heavy snow and or ice will cause hazardous. Heavy snow and or ice will cause hazardous driving conditions. If you will be traveling in the warning area you should choose an alternate route if possible, or you should use extreme caution if travel is unavoidable.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

CARLISLE SENDS HELP TO CLEVELAND

SEVEN THOUSAND GALLONS OF HELP
Cleveland – When a major water main break occurred in Cleveland this morning, leaving many homes, businesses and hospitals with either low water pressure or no water at all – a call for Water Tankers went out to Fire Departments in three counties, including Lorain.

The 111 year old, 42-inch water main, located in the area of East 39th and Hamilton in Cleveland, broke around 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. The break left much of downtown and the near east and west sides of the city with little to no water pressure. Cleveland Division of Water Commissioner Chris Nielson said that crews are working hard to fix the broken pipes and that they had been focusing on the two largest valves, in order to shut them down. Nielson said that involves turning the valves 800 times.

When water supply was low or lost to area hospitals The Ohio Fire Chief’s Emergency Response Plan was activated and a request was made for a dozen Water Tankers from surrounding communities.

Carlisle Township Fire Department was one of the Departments who responded to the call, sending their tanker loaded with 7,000 gallons of water. They, along with about 2 dozen other Tankers, staged at the Independence Fire Department and awaited an assignment.

The Firefighters never received an assignment, just a Thank you and they headed home. Assistant Chief Wayne Simms of the Carlisle Township Fire Department said they were happy to go and help Cleveland. “If someone calls, if someone needs us, we’ll be there.”

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

WEATHER ALERT

The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Northeast and North Central Ohio – the advisory remains in effect from 4PM this afternoon through 7AM Wednesday morning.

Low pressure will move into the upper Ohio Valley tonight – this storm will bring a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain to the area. Snow is expected to spread into the area this afternoon and early evening. It will likely become mixed with or change over to sleet and freezing rain.

Heavy amounts of snow or freezing rain are NOT expected – but it will be enough to make roads and surfaces quite icy. Snowfall will likely be an inch or two and around an tenth of an inch of freezing rain is possible.

A Winter Weather Advisory is normally issued for a variety of winter weather conditions such as light snow, blowing snow, sleet, freezing rain and wind chills. While the weather will be significant, the word advisory implies that severe weather is not anticipated.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

PRESIDENT DODGES INCOMING SHOES

Welcome to Baghdad Mr. President – here are my shoes.

During a surprise visit to Baghdad Sunday President George W. Bush was giving a press conference when a reporter jumped to his feet and threw a shoe at the President. The President was able to dodge the shoe that had been hurled towards his head. The reporter shouted;
“This is a gift from the Iraqis. This is the farewell kiss, you dog.”

The reporter chucked a second shoe at the President while shouting; “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.” President Bush was able to avoid being struck by the second shoe as well.

Although Secret Service Agents began to rush in the President waived them off saying it was ok – preventing the situation from becoming and even bigger event.

Just after the man was removed from the room Bush stated; “All I can report is it is a size 10.”

Saturday, December 13, 2008

and the winner is...

...Quarterback Sam Bradford of Oklahoma
The winner of the 2008 Heisman Trophy was announced tonight in New York City – and the winner is, Quarterback Sam Bradford of Oklahoma.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SMASH & GRAB IN AVON LAKE

Avon Lake – The Avon Lake Police Detective Bureau is investigating a smash and grab style robbery from a local jewelry store Thursday evening.

Police responded to a hold up alarm from Peter & Company Jewelers at 372 Lear Road (Learwood Square Shopping Center) at 6:17pm Thursday evening. While responding Officers learned that a robbery did occur.

Store employees told Police that a white male has entered the store – smashed a display case and took an undetermined amount of jewelry from the case. The man was only in the store for a short amount of time and after using the hammer to smash the case he stuffed the jewelry in a bag and fled on foot north through the shopping center parking lot.

Although no weapon was displayed, the man told employees that he had a gun.

The robber was described by employees as a white male, under 6’ tall with a thin build. He was wearing a dark flannel shirt with a grey hooded sweatshirt underneath and a black ski type mask.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Avon Lake Detective Bureau at 440-933-2211.

MAN DIES IN LORAIN APARTMENT FIRE

A Lorain man was found dead in his East 28th Street apartment early Thursday morning after Firefighters were called to the apartment building to extinguish a fire.

The building, located at 228 East 28th Street, houses two small apartments in what use to be the Safe & Reliable Taxi / Limo company building. Officials in the city of Lorain did not know that the building had been converted into apartments. With no gas lines to the building the tenants were forced to use electrical space heaters to warm their apartments. It was the space heater that caused the early morning blaze and death of 52-year-old Eugene Smith.

Roger Martinez was Smith’s neighbor in the building and returned home from working a 12-hour shift at Safe & Reliable Cab just after 6am – it was then that Martinez spotted smoke in the hallway. Although he knocked on Smith’s door, there was no response. Martinez then quickly called 9-1-1 for the Fire Department.
When Firefighters arrived they made entry and found a smoldering couch and a smoke filled room. Smith was found dead on the bathroom floor. It is believed that he died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Debris from the fire was strewn across the front sidewalk during the morning hours after the fire but neighbors say Smith’s burnt out couch was removed before noon.

The State Fire Marshall’s office has begun an investigation along with the Lorain Police, Fire and Building Departments. The building has been sealed by order of the Health Department who deemed it “unsafe for human occupancy”.

Smith was injured in May of 2007 when he fell asleep on a couch in another East 28th Street apartment and the carpeting caught on fire. At that time Smith was treated for minor injuries.
There were no working smoke detectors in the building and Fire officials say that had there been working detectors Smith might be alive today.

IT'S DOWN TO THREE QB'S

New York - Two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin of the The Ohio State University announced the finalists for the 74th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Award live on ESPN's SportsCenter this evening. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow were revealed as the three contenders for the award in the Heisman Gallery at the Sports Museum of America.

They will all be in New York on Saturday night when the award is given to the most outstanding college football player. This is first all-quarterback group of finalists since 2001.

Bradford looks to be Oklahoma's fifth Heisman recipient behind Billy Vessels ('52), Steve Owens ('69), Billy Sims ('78) and Jason White ('03). He has led the most explosive offense in college football this season averaging 54 points per game. Oklahoma will face Tebow's Gators in the BCS Championship game.


The junior has completed 302 of his attempted 442 passes for 4,464 yards with six interceptions and 48 touchdowns. He has scored five rushing touchdowns on the year. His 4,464 passing yards and 48 touchdowns are the most when compared with seasonal statistics of the last 10 quarterbacks to win the Heisman Trophy.

This season, Bradford broke Heisman winner Jason White's record for touchdowns in a season (48) and career touchdowns (84). He threw for 468 yards against Kansas which ranks first in Sooners' history for passing yards in a game. In addition, Bradford surpassed Florida's Rex Grossman with most touchdowns through the freshman and sophomore year with 82.

Colt McCoy is looking to join Earl Campbell ('77) and Ricky Williams ('98) footsteps to become the third Heisman winner and first quarterback from the University of Texas.

The junior is 291 of 375 attempts this season with seven interceptions for 3,445 yards and 32 touchdowns. He has also produced on the ground rushing for 576 yards and 10 touchdowns. McCoy's passing efficiency of 77.2 percent ranks first in the NCAA this season. His career statistics of 9,007 passing yards and 81 touchdowns are the best in school's history under those categories.

Archie Griffin is the only player to win the award twice doing so in 1974 and 1975. Tebow looks to follow in his footsteps.

This season Tebow is 174 out of 268 passing attempts for 2,515 yards and 28 touchdowns with only two interceptions. The junior also ran for 564 yards and scored 12 touchdowns on the ground.

Tebow set a new school with 303 passing attempts without a pick and surpassed fellow Heisman winner Steve Spurrier on Florida's all-time offensive yardage list. In addition, Tebow broke Emmitt Smith's all-time rushing touchdowns record with 43.

These finalists will be invited to New York City for the live Heisman telecast on ESPN Saturday at 8pm EST.

The Heisman trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college football player in the United States as determined by 870 media representatives, 55 living Heisman winners and one overall fan vote through a partnership with Nissan, Heisman's presenting sponsor.

"This has been a tremendously exciting year for college football," said Robert Whalen, Executive Director of The Heisman Trophy Trust. "We eagerly await the announcement of the newest member to the elite Heisman Fraternity."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

BMV CHANGING THEIR WAYS

“Change affects temporary driving permits,
Commercial Driver Licenses
and Motorcycle Endorsements”
Columbus - Effective Dec. 15, 2008, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP), divisions of the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS), are implementing new measures to increase efficiency and security when issuing temporary driving permits, commercial driver licenses and motorcycle endorsements.

With the new procedure, customers will first visit an OSHP Driver Examination Station (DX) to take the knowledge test, rather than purchasing a temporary packet before taking the test. A temporary photo will also be taken at this time. Customers will be required to show two acceptable documents before taking the test. The acceptable documents list can be viewed online at:
http://www.bmv.ohio.gov/driver_license/aid.htm.

Results of the knowledge test will be stored electronically and will be verified at a BMV Deputy Registrar (DR) before a temporary permit or endorsement is issued. Customers will be able to purchase the temporary permit from the DR only after successfully passing the knowledge test. The Digest of Motor Vehicle Laws is still available for pick up at DRs, DXs or by download on
www.bmv.ohio.gov to study for the knowledge test.

“This new procedure will not only reduce paper use and increase efficiency, but also ensure that the person taking the knowledge test, skills test, and the person receiving the license are the same, and is a great example of two divisions working together to improve service and security for customers,” said ODPS Director Henry Guzmán.

Passing the knowledge test does not guarantee a license, temporary instruction permit or endorsement will be issued. Acceptable documents must be presented and verified at the DR, and a corresponding photo must be taken. The new temporary permit is an all inclusive plastic document. All documents presented, and the photo taken, at the OSHP DX are to establish a testing record only.

Customers should note that beginning with the statewide implementation date, Monday, Dec. 15, 2008, they will not be able to purchase temporary packets from DRs until they have passed the knowledge test at the DX. DX stations are closed on Mondays, making Tuesday, Dec. 16, the first day knowledge tests will be available at DX locations.

The new procedure is being implemented after successful pilot programs in the Columbus and Toledo areas were completed.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

ROCK & ROLL

Elyria – A routine drive home didn’t end so routinely for one woman early Tuesday morning.

The woman was heading home and had just pulled into her apartment complex on Fox Hill Lane when she went off the right side of the road and struck a stop sign. The car bent the sign down thus making it a launching ramp sending it up and over a large rock, which turn the car onto its side.

The car slide across the pavement before coming to rest on the driver’s side.

The woman was able to get out of the car on her own and refused any treatment by Paramedics.

The Elyria Police is investigating the crash.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

BUCS & HORNS TO MEET IN AZ

It was announced Sunday night that THE Ohio State Buckeyes will meet The Texas Longhorns in Glendale, Arizona on January 5, 2009 at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Final rankings and match ups were announced tonight with the Buckeyes coming in at #10 and the Horns at # 3.

Number 1 Oklahoma will take on Number 2 Florida on January 8, 2009 in Miami, Florida at the FedEx BCS National Championship Game.

Number 12 Cincinnati will meet Number 19 Virginia Tech in Miami at the FedEx Orange Bowl.

To see the complete list of match ups: CLICK HERE


Final BCS standings
1. Oklahoma, 0.975; 2. Florida, 0.947; 3. Texas, 0.929; 4. Alabama, 0.844; 5. USC, 0.820; 6. Utah, 0.784; 7. Texas Tech, 0.784; 8. Penn St., 0.738; 9. Boise St., 0.698; 10. Ohio St., 0.698; 11. Texas Christian, 0.584; 12. Cincinnati, 0.538; 13. Oklahoma St., 0.486; 14. Georgia Tech, 0.451; 15. Georgia, 0.377; 16. Brigham Young, 0.356; 17. Oregon, 0.339; 18. Michigan St., 0.286; 19. Virginia Tech, 0.243; 20. Pittsburgh, 0.237; 21. Missouri, 0.162; 22. Ball St., 0.146; 23. Northwestern, 0.137; 24. Boston College, 0.104; 25. Mississippi, 0.083.

BANK ROBBER'S PHOTOS RELEASED

The Amherst Police Department has released new photos of the “Too Tall Bank Bandit” – the man is wanted for seven bank robberies in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

To view the photos: CLICK HERE updated

Police encourage people to contact them as soon as possible if you have any information about the man or the robberies – they believe he will strike again.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

COUNTY CASINOS RAIDED FRIDAY

After several weeks of investigations, several law enforcement agencies around Lorain County obtained search warrants for seven (7) different “casino-style” gambling locations who are suspected of violating Ohio’s gambling laws as outlined in Chapter 2915. of the Ohio Revised Code.

The search warrants sought by the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department, Amherst Police, Lorain Police, Elyria Police, and North Ridgeville Police were issues after the showing of probable cause to believe that several state laws had been violated. The search warrants were served the evening of December 5th 2008.

The search warrants focused on the following locations in Lorain County:
Sweeps Internet Café 1925 Cooper Foster Park Road, Amherst
Gamers Club 612 Leona St, Elyria
The Lucky Penny 1202 East Broad St, Elyria
Cyber Lounge Internet Cafe 33133 Center Ridge Road, North Ridgeville
Cyber World 1980 Cooper Foster Park Road, Lorain
Games People Play 1219 Cooper Foster Park Road, Lorain
Skill Fever 142 Sheffield Center Lorain Oh

The investigating agencies had received numerous complaints from anonymous callers and other legitimate non-profit charitable organizations. The investigating agencies conferred with the Ohio Attorney Generals office throughout this investigation. One person was arrested at Cyber World in Lorain for gambling related charges as well as obstructing the investigation. Her name was not available at the time of this release. At this time, no additional arrests have been made.

The matter will remain under investigation and other charges are likely to be filed

WOMAN SLAMS POLE – FLEES SCENE

Elyria Township – A woman driving on Griswold Road late Friday night lost control of her car and slammed into a utility pole.

The woman was attempting to jump on Route 57 south from Griswold Road when she didn’t make the turn her car ran up on the island and crashed into the pole. The driver fled the scene before Police arrived.

As Police and Paramedics started pulling up on scene they received a call of a woman inside of the Red Carpet Inn lobby bleeding from the face. Paramedics and Firefighters responded there and treated the driver.


She was transported to Elyria Memorial hospital where she was later flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

PHOTO GALLERY

Friday, December 05, 2008

SERIAL BANK ROBBER HITS AMHERST

Amherst – The man who walked into the Fifth Third Bank in Sheffield Village Thursday afternoon and held it up struck again – this time in Amherst.

FBI officials say that the robber entered the Amherst First Merit Bank on Leavitt Road Friday afternoon at about 12:20pm. The man approached a teller, handed her a note demanding cash and left within minutes.

The suspect once again displayed no weapon and again did not attempt to hide his face. This time though he ditched his tan colored Carhart style jacket and entered wearing a black jacket and black hat.


Authorities believe this man has hit banks in the Pennsylvania area as well as banks in the Akron and Youngstown area – 7 in total. FBI and Police believe that the man will strike again.

Anyone with information about the man is asked to call authorities: FBI 216.522.1400 – Sheffield Village Police Department 440.949.6155 – Amherst Police Department 440.988.4422.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

LOOK FAMILIAR?

Police in Pennsylvania are searching for a bank robber who closely matches the description of the man who walked into the Fifth Third Bank in Sheffield Village Wednesday afternoon and held it up.

Police in Millcreek Township, Pennsylvania say a man held up two banks in the Erie Pa. area. Both banks were located near Interstates 90 & 79, allowing the man easy getaways.

The Pennsylvania suspect is described as a white male, 6’4”, light-colored hair and wearing a tan jacket. The man also made no attempt to hide his identity in either robbery. Officials there believe the suspect might have been traveling there from Ohio or New York area.

The suspect in the Sheffield Village bank robbery also made no attempt to hide his identity and was described as a white male, 6’4” and wearing a Carhart style jacket. The suspect was last seen on foot heading north from the bank, believed to be making a run for I-90 for his getaway.

The photo shown is from a bank robbery in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

BANK HEIST AT HIGH NOON

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?
DEVELOPING
Sheffield Village – A brazen midday robbery today at the 5/3 Bank on North Abbe Road in Sheffield Village has authorities searching for a suspect.

The robbery occurred just after noon at the Fifth Third Bank on North Abbe Road – a man described as a white male, approximately 6’4”, wearing a Carhart type jacket and a dark hat. The man was last seen on foot from the bank going north towards Sam’s Club.


Police from Sheffield Village were assisted in the search by Officers from Elyria, Avon, Sheriff and Sheffield Lake. Officers searched the shopping areas nearby as well as the wood line around the businesses and I-90. Several people were stopped and released. One man that was found behind the movie theatre was detained by Officers – although the man proved not to be a suspect in the robbery, he did have outstanding warrants through the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.

It is believed that the man did not use a gun during the robbery.

The FBI was also on scene conducting an investigation.


PHOTO GALLERY


Suspect photo courtesy: FBI

7 DAYS LEFT - DON'T FORGET

The American Red Cross is sponsoring a national "Holiday Mail for Heroes" campaign to receive and distribute holiday cards to service members and veterans both in the United States and abroad.

Holiday Mail for Heroes, which began Tuesday, Veterans Day, is a follow-up to the 2007 effort that resulted in the collection and distribution of more than 600,000 cards to hospitalized service members. This year's program will expand its reach to not only wounded service members but also veterans and their families.

The goal is to collect and distribute 1 million pieces of holiday mail.

"As we enter this holiday season-a time to celebrate with family and friends-it's important to remember the thousands of men and women who serve our nation in harm's way and those who are recovering in military and veterans hospitals," said Army Col. Norvell V. Coots, Commander, Walter Reed Health Care System. "The Holiday Mail for Heroes program is a wonderful outreach effort and a great way to acknowledge the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform."


Holiday cards should be mailed to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD. 20791-5456

All cards must be postmarked no later than Dec. 10. Cards should not be mailed or delivered to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. For more information, visit www.wramc.amedd.army.mil or www.redcross.org/holidaymail for Holiday Mail for Heroes program guidelines.

Walter Reed is not accepting mail addressed to "A Recovering American Soldier."

Monday, December 01, 2008

SAFEST HOLIDAY WEEKEND SINCE 2001

Columbus – The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported today that 11 traffic fatalities occurred on Ohio roads during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend marking the safest Thanksgiving holiday weekend on Ohio roads since 2001 when there 10 fatalities. Thanksgiving weekend fatalities were down from 17 traffic deaths last year during the holiday period.

Law enforcement agencies reported 11 fatal crashes, killing 11 people, from 6 p.m. Wednesday to midnight Monday.

As part of enforcement and motorist safety efforts, the Patrol arrested 501 motorists for OVI and assisted 3,741 motorists during the holiday weekend.

Some numbers: Of the 11 crashes 6 were on State or Federal Highways with 6 fatalities and 3 injured. 3 on County Roads with 3 fatalities and 4 injured. 1 on a City Street with 1 fatality and 1 injury. 1 on an Interstate Highway within a City with 1 fatality.

Of the 10 people killed in automobiles, 7 were wearing safety belts and 3 were not. The 11th fatality was a pedestrian.

ARE YOU PREPARED?

Columbus – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is urging motorists to make safety their first priority while driving in inclement weather.

The Patrol is offering the following tips to assist motorists with winter driving:
· Allow extra time to get to your destination.
· Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and traffic ahead.
· Pay attention to the roadways and weather conditions, as they can change rapidly.
· Always pay close attention to bridges and overpasses, as they are often the first to freeze over.
· If you do slide off the side of the road, stay with your vehicle and call the patrol at 1-877-7-PATROL.
· If you get stuck in snow, make sure that your tail pipe is free of all snow and debris, to decrease your chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Patrol recommends that in the event of a vehicle breakdown, turn on hazard warning lights, safely position the vehicle as far off the road as possible and open the hood. Place a "help" sign in the rear window, and stay inside the vehicle until help arrives. If a cell phone is available, dial 1-877-7-PATROL for assistance and the call will be directed to the nearest Patrol post.

Troopers suggest all motorists have the following items in their vehicle in case of a breakdown:

· Cell phone
· Road flares or reflectors
· Help or Call Police signs
· First aid kit
· Flashlight
· Blanket/Sleeping bag
· Small shovel
· Bottled water and energy foods
· Candles and matches
· Tow strap/chain

Up-to-the-minute road conditions are always available by logging onto the Ohio Department of Transportation's (ODOT) Web site, www.buckeyetraffic.org, which received more than 117 million hits during last year's winter driving season.
ODOT also reminds motorists: Ice and Snow...Take It Slow.
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