Saturday, October 31, 2009


Friday, October 30, 2009


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Amherst – Police in Amherst have arrested an Elyria man, Kenneth R. Messer of Phillips Court, for Safe Cracking, Grand Theft, Breaking & Entering (B&E), Possession of Criminal Tools, Tampering with Coin Machines and Vandalism.

On October 21st, the Amherst Police Department received a complaint of a Breaking and Entering at the American Legion Post located at 921 North Lake St. The break in was discovered by a cleaning person. During the investigation it was discovered that suspects had made entry into the business and used heavy prying bars to enter one safe and attempted to enter another safe. Police say the suspects also entered the Juke Box and cigarette machine, as well as cash registers. Several thousand dollars were reported missing as well as several thousands of dollars in damage done to the business.

The Amherst Police Department Detective Bureau along with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations processed the scene for evidence.

The following day, it was discovered that an alert Amherst Police Officer, who was on duty the evening of the B&E, observed an unoccupied van parked on the entrance ramp to Route 2 eastbound around 3:00 AM. The van appeared to be broken down. The Officer ran the license plate and continued his patrol. The following day that information was relayed to the detective bureau as possibly being involved in the B&E. A detective had prior knowledge (and photo) of a van that was used in a previous B&E of the Amvets Post in Elyria in August of 2009 which is being investigated by the Lorain County Sheriff's Department Detective Bureau. The Officer was able to recall details of the van on the entrance ramp which matched the suspect van from Amvets.

The owner of the van also had an extensive criminal history. The Detective Bureau followed up with that information and located the van on Phillips Ct in Elyria. After comparing the van on Phillips Ct. to photos from the B&E of the Amvets Post, a search warrant was obtained for the van and the residence.

On October 22nd, Officers from Amherst Police, Elyria Police, and the Sheriff’s Office executed the search warrant on 17 Phillips Ct. Additional evidence was obtained from the residence and interior of the van.

Messer was held without bond until his arraigned in Oberlin Municipal Court on October 27th. He was found to be indigent and assigned an Attorney and was bonded out at $7.500.00.

Police say there have been several social clubs in Lorain and Erie counties that have been broken into during the past several months. The Amherst Police Department is working with those other agencies and the investigations remain ongoing. Anyone with information on any of the social club burglaries are encouraged to contact their local police agencies.


Carlisle Township – A crash between a car and semi ended with one man under arrest for drunk driving and a half loaded semi full of milk stranded.

Carlisle Township Firefighters and Paramedics responded to the intersection of Russia Road and West River Road late Tuesday night for a reported crash involving a semi and a passenger car.

Troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that Glen West of Lorain was traveling south on West River when he went left of center and struck the oncoming Smith’s Dairy semi. The crash caused heavy damage to the driver’s side of both vehicles but both drivers were able to walk away with no injuries. A passenger in the car also refused treatment or transport from Paramedics.

West failed several tests at the scene and was arrested for OVI and Left of Center.


Monday, October 26, 2009


Photo & Story by BRIAN WOODS
Elyria – Elyria Police began receiving calls around 1 a.m. Sunday morning of a hit skip crash on Ohio Street. Our own Brian Woods was in the area and went over to check it out. When he arrived he found that the suspect vehicle, a Chevy Tahoe, was still at the scene with the driver inside. Woods went to the Tahoe to see if he could help and found the driver to be unresponsive, slumped over the wheel. He quickly alerted the Police that the driver was still on scene and that she was passed out.

Just as Woods was finishing up with the Dispatcher Officers arrived on scene.

It took a few minutes but the Officers were able to wake the woman who thought she was inside of her living room at home. The woman said she had no idea that she had been involved in a crash and was being uncooperative with the Officers.

As Officers attempted to give the driver a field sobriety test at the scene they cut it short when the woman was not even able to stand on her own two feet. The Officers showed her the damage that she had caused to the pickup truck and the car ahead of it just before placing her into custody.
The woman was arrested for OVI and Failure to Control.



LaGrange – A car filled with kids traveling north on Diagonal Road late Saturday night crashed and rolled over near Whitney Road.

Trooper Dylag of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that 17 year old Alexandra Becker said that she had been having trouble earlier in the night with the steering saying “it wasn’t steering right and felt jerky.” Becker told Dylag that while on Diagonal the car “suddenly jerked and went off the right side of the road and into a ditch.”

The car rolled an unknown amount of times before coming to rest back on its wheels. Troopers estimate the speed of the car at 40 MPH at the time of the crash.

Dylag said that all of the people in the car were wearing their seatbelts at the time the car crashed. “If not for the seatbelts they could have easily been ejected from the car.”

Becker and both of her passengers were treated and released at the scene to parents.

Dylag said that upon inspection of the car the tie rod was found to be broken, and the cause of the crash was determined to be “mechanical failure.”


Friday, October 23, 2009


Elyria – Police were called to the Elyria Midway Mall early Thursday morning after a 20 year old Elyria man broke in and went on a vandalism spree.

Police say Josh Nowicki, a former Mall Security Officer, entered the Mall through the roof and began breaking into stores and vandalizing various areas of the Mall.

When the first Officer arrived he noticed that the Fire Department was also on the Mall property. The Police Dispatcher advised that Fire had been dispatched for a fire alarm that turned out to be a false alarm. They also advised that Mall Security was chasing a subject in the C dock area. The Officer approached the C Dock he noticed a white male, later identified as Joshua Nowicki of Elyria, throw a stone cigarette container at a plate glass window.

The Officer rode up the sidewalk and stopped short of Nowicki. Once the Officer shined a spotlight on Nowicki he ducked down behind a garbage can. When the Officer yelled to stop, Nowicki rose up from behind the garbage can and threw a long metal pipe at the Officer. The pipe struck the Officer’s cruiser, bounced and then struck the windshield. Nowicki then ran south near Dillards.

Additional Officers began to arrive along with a Lorain County Sheriff’s Deputy and an Elyria K9 unit. As the additional Officers started to get out of their cruisers Nowicki came out from behind the bushes and started to run north along the east side of

Nowicki was eventually captured on the north side of the Mall by Elyria Police K9 Stuka.

Police had LifeCare Paramedics respond to the scene to evaluate injuries to Nowicki but he refused any treatment or transport.

Witnesses told Police that they saw Nowicki climb onto the Mall roof around 2:45 a.m. A witness and a Mall Security guard checked the area and spotted Nowicki on the roof and then several minutes later spotted him in the area of the Security Office wearing a black security jacket.

The Security guard and witness noticed that the Security office had been vandalized along with several other businesses in the mall.

Police took photographs of damage that Nowicki caused to The Added Touch, the Professional Consultant and several other hallway areas that are under construction. Officers found the mall security office to be in disarray to where items (computers, books, papers, etc.) were thrown all over the floor area. Officers found a mall security coat in the construction hallway area by C dock. Officers also observed several holes in the dry wall.

Joshua J. Nowicki was arrested for 2 Counts of Breaking and Entering F-5, Assault on Police Officer F-4, Vandalism F-5, Vandalism F-5, Resisting Arrest M-2 and Underage Consumption M-1.



Camden Township – A semi & minivan collided Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of Route 511 & Route 303. One man was Lifeflighted from the scene while his wife was taken by ground to Allen Community.

Troopers investigating the crash say that 63 year old Tony Zenner was traveling west on 303 and failed to yield a posted stop sign. Semi truck driver Ahmednur of Columbus was traveling south on 511 and struck Zenner as he rolled through the intersection.

Camden Township Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to pull the passenger side door off the minivan so Paramedics could treat Zenner’s wife. While Firefighters were working to free the woman a helicopter from Toledo was landing at a nearby field.

Paramedics from Central Lorain County Ambulance District and LifeCare Ambulance treated the victims in the minivan while Ahmednur refused any treatment or transport.

Zenner was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland and his wife was transported by ambulance to Allen. Both were treated and released.

Troopers say that Zenner will be charged with Failure to Yield a Stop Sign.


Monday, October 19, 2009


Elyria – Police were called to the area of Melvyn Lane and Allen Street early Saturday morning after neighbors reported hearing multiple gunshots ring out.

Witnesses gave a description of the car that the shots came from as a light blue four door sedan with tinted windows.

As Officers were responding to the area one Officer spotted a light blue Grand Marquis turning onto West Ave from West 15th Street. The Officer followed the car east on 16th Street, where the car blacked out his lights momentarily, to Middle Ave. The car then went south on Middle one block to 17th Street where the driver pulled into a driveway at a high rate of speed.

The Officer, who was all alone at the time, pulled in behind the vehicle and quickly got out with his gun drawn and ordered the man out of the car. Moments later several more Officers arrived and the man was taken into custody. The vehicle was searched for more suspects but nobody else was found in the car.

Officers did find several .223 caliber rounds; both spent and live, inside of the man’s car after doing a thorough search.

The driver of the car was not charged with the shooting but was charged with Driving Under Suspension, Reasonable Control and seat belt.

Police did a Gunshot Residue test on the suspect and are awaiting the results.

A witness told Police that the suspect vehicle pulled into a driveway in the complex and the driver went into a home for a few minutes before leaving east on Allen. Police spoke to people inside the home and they say they didn’t see or hear anything. Officers however did find a spent .223 caliber casing in the front yard.



Gunshots rang out early Wednesday morning on Depot Street near Washington Ave but nobody was injured. Officers in the downtown area heard the 5 shots fired around 2 a.m. Witnesses say that two men were shooting guns on Depot but shooting into the air. The men ran from Depot to Broad Street and people told Officers that they saw them going into an apartment building at 581 Broad. Officers swarmed the area but were not able to locate the men. Both men were described by witnesses as wearing hooded sweatshirts.


Just an update for those of you who placed an order for the new TMC NEWS T-Shirts – They have been ordered and will be in late next week. If you weren’t able to get your order in but would still like one let me know as we ordered a few extra. Shirts are $10.00 from Small through XXLG. Please Email TMCNEWS1@AOL.COM

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Wellington – Hundreds packed into a hall at the Lorain County Fair Grounds Saturday night for the Wellington Fire District First Annual Chili Cook Off.

Chief Robert Walker of the Wellington Fire District
said that the event was organized to raise funds for a local group called Well-Help Inc. Well-Help serves residents in our district that are in need of food or clothing. “Over the last several years when our Chili Cook Off guys would go to competitions in other cities they would donate whatever money they won to the Well-Help people. We have also had food drives where we will fill up a couple pickup trucks of food and donate that to them as well – so we have developed a good relationship with them over the years.”

Walker said that the idea of the event has been kicked around for a couple years, but it was decided last year to go ahead. “We took the year to make sure we had everything done right. Our biggest concern was that we had enough power to run all of the cookers and I’m glad to say that was not an issue tonight – we didn’t blow one breaker.”

Chris Stanfield, Brighton Township Trustee and Wellington Fire District Board member, and Jeff Hyde, Councilman for Wellington Village and also a Wellington Fire District Board Member, were just two of the Judges for this year’s Chili Cook Off. Stanfield said that he got involved as soon as Chief Walker asked him to be a Judge. “I have such respect for the Chief so of course I agreed to come here tonight and help out – plus, this is an event that greatly helps our community by supporting Well-Help.”

Hyde said that the Judges met just before 5 p.m. in a room just off the main hall area and were presented with bowls of chili with only numbers printed on them. “We did now know who the Chili belonged to, only the number on the bowl. We were asked to only Judge the Best Overall Chili from the participants and it was not an easy decision. We all took notes as we tried the different bowls and then made our final decision after trying all nine. I will tell you that I am a fan of hot and spicy and the first two bowls were hot and spicy so I had my favorite right away.”

Stanfield said that even though the first two were hot and spicy the event showcased all types of chili. “They had a great selection tonight including chili with chicken that looked like a soup but was very good and a Hawaiian chili as well and that was different but also very good.”

Although Hyde and Stanfield may disagree on the type of chili that is their favorite, they do share the same opinion on the Wellington Fire District. “These are some of the most professional and dedicated Firemen around, I would put them up against any other Department without a doubt,” Hyde said. “From the equipment to the personnel we have one of the finest Fire Departments.”

Stanfield credits Chief Walker with the success of the Department. “Chief Walker is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet. He runs a great Department and I’ve just never met anyone like him before. One thing that sticks out is that he is not a reactive Chief but a very proactive one. He makes sure his Department is in the ball and ahead of the game – just a very well run Department that the entire District is proud of for sure.”

Admission to the event was $5.00 or $2.00 with a donation of canned good for Well-Help. As guests made their way from table to table they received a healthy portion of chili and most had bowls with onions or cheese that you could add to the chili. People said that for the admission price and the amount of chili that they were able to load up on it was certainly worth the price. Some say that by the time they made it to the last couple of tables it was hard to finish the chili because they were so full.

Guests received a ballot with their admission and were able to make one vote for best chili.

And the winners are:
Judges Choice –
1st Place – Grafton Township Fire Department
2nd Place – Wakeman Fire Department
3rd Place – Oberlin Fire Department

People’s Choice Award
Rochester Fire Department

There were several raffles going on throughout the evening such as 50/50 and door prizes. I can’t really tell you who one any of those prizes, nor do I care, I can only tell you who took home the Oberlin Fire Department Fire Gift Basket – that would be TMC NEWS! Thanks Oberlin Fire.

In the end though, Chief Walker said that the real winners are Well-Help and the people of the Wellington Fire District.



COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol reminds children and motorists that National School Bus Safety Week runs Oct. 18 through 24.

This year’s theme, “Avoid Harm, Obey The Stop Arm,” reminds motorists that they are required to stop for stopped school buses that are displaying flashing red lights and an extended stop arm. When buses are stopped, kids are either getting on or off the school bus and motorists need to pay extra attention to children crossing the roadways. Motorists approaching from either direction are required to stop at least 10 feet from a stopped school bus until the bus resumes motion. If a school bus is stopped on a road divided into four or more lanes, only traffic driving in the same direction as the bus must stop.

While school buses remain the safest mode of travel on Ohio roadways, school bus crashes do occur. In 2008, there were eight crashes resulting in motorist fatalities and a total of 1,751crashes involving school buses around Ohio.

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Elyria – When smoke began filling the house on 16th Street Friday afternoon the homeowner, aided by a cane, attempted to get out and away from the smoke. Slowed by her age and physical condition she began yelling for help when she reached the doorway.

Neighbor Dean Martin Jr. heard the calls for help from his home across the street. “As soon as I heard her yelling I looked out the window and saw the smoke coming from all around her house so I ran out of the house to go see if I could help.” Martin ran so fast across the street he actually came out of his shoes in the roadway.

Martin, along with several other neighbors who heard he call for help guided her out of the house and off the front porch with smoke pouring out through the front door.

Firefighters arrived as she was being led down the driveway. Paramedics assisted the woman to a driveway next door where a relative had arrived to take care of the woman. She received no injuries and refused any additional help from the ambulance crew.

Firefighters entered the home to investigate the source of the smoke and only found a stove that had been placed on “Self Cleaning” – but no fire.

The home was ventilated by Firefighters and the woman left with relatives.

As for Dean Martin Jr. and the other neighbors they say all they did is help a neighbor. “Isn’t that what neighbors do for each other,” Martin said. “If I were in a situation like that I would hope that my neighbors would do the same for me and I believe these folks would too.”


Thursday, October 15, 2009


Elyria – An Elyria man was held up at gunpoint Wednesday night on Middle Ave. The victim, Herman Larkins, said while driving on Wayne Street he observed three black males standing at the corner of Wayne and Middle. When he stopped at the intersection he said the three were looking at him as if they were “eyeing him up.”

Larkins headed north on Middle and pulled into his driveway and pulled his car into his garage. Larkins turned the vehicle off and observed two black males at his driver’s door and another black male at the front passenger door. Larkins advised that these men were the same as he observed at the corner of Wayne and Middle Ave.

Larkins told Police that the men pointed pistols at him and demanded all of his money. Larkins attempted to get to his wallet, but was unable while he was seated in the car. As Mr. Larkins was attempting to locate money, the men continued to yell, “hurry up, hurry up.” The man at the passenger side opened the front passenger door and leaned into the vehicle, pointing his gun at him. Larkins advised that one of the men began pounding his gun on the roof of his vehicle while they were yelling for him to hurry up.

Larkins reached into his front jean pocket and pulled out a handful of loose coins and handed it to the man at the passenger door. The man yelled, “We don’t want that,” and fled the area on foot.

Larkins believed that a vehicle drove past the driveway and scared the men at the time he was handing over his loose coins. Larkins told Police that he was unsure which direction the men ran but said that they did not get any of his money.

The suspects were all between the ages of 16-20yrs. old, 5’10-6ft., tall and slender build. The two black males that approached the driver’s side door were wearing dark colored hoodies and had dark colored handkerchiefs over their faces. The black male at the passenger side door had a white hoodie with a dust mask over his face.

Larkins stated that all the subjects had dark colored pistols, but was unable to give any further description of the weapons.

Several officers checked the area for the subjects and were unable to locate anyone in the area.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Elyria Police Department at 440.323.3302.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Elyria – A portion of Henry Street was blocked and several neighbors had to be evacuated Tuesday afternoon while Police and Task Force Officers surrounded a home searching for men with outstanding warrants.

Officers were able to take Manuel J. Lattore into custody without incident at noon on Tuesday. A Special Response Team was assembling to respond to Henry Street when Lattore’s mother arrived and convinced him to give up. Shortly after that he walked out of the front door with his hands in the air and was arrested.

Police say that Lattore had outstanding warrants for Felonious Assault and Obstructing. As a result of the arrest one of the Task Force Officers signed two affidavits for 2 counts of Preparation of Drugs for Sale F4, Having Weapons Under Disability F5, Obstructing Official Business M2, and Drug Paraphernalia M4.

Officers re-opened the road and allowed residents back into their homes after the scene had been secured.



Eaton Township – A Grafton man was injured Tuesday night after he rolled the car he in on South Reed Road in Eaton Township.

Trooper Joe Cirilo of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that 46-year-old Dennis Meyer of Grafton was traveling south on South Reed Road when he lost control of his truck and went off the right side of the road. Meyer struck a mailbox and a utility pole before coming to rest on its side.

Eaton Township Firefighters had to remove Meyer through the sunroof because the utility pole was lying across the top of his truck. Meyer was treated by Paramedics then transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Meyer told Troopers that he swerved to miss a deer that was crossing the road. Troopers say that there is no evidence of a deer and noted that Meyer’s skid marks going off the road were gradual – not quick as they would be if a deer in the roadway had startled a driver.

Cirilo said that Meyer was charged with OVI.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Elyria – Stand Up Elyria, the group that has been collecting signatures over the last year to recall Elyria Mayor Bill Grace, walked into Elyria City Hall Tuesday afternoon and handed the Secretary in the Clerk of Council’s office their petition.

Craig Bevan of Stand Up Elyria said that today is a sad day for the City that he loves. “This was once a great City and we believe that it can once again be a great City but we believe that it will not happen under the management of Mayor Grace.”

Bevan said that he started having serious issues with the Mayor and his administration over a year ago when he saw what he believed was mismanagement of funds and a complete disregard for the safety of the citizens of Elyria. “One of the biggest issues I have a problem with and many of the citizens that we have met share is the Route 57 project. Here we are a city that is in a financial crunch and we are lining the highway with tons of light poles and rose bushes. Instead of being financially responsible and just paving the road and using lights from Ohio Edison, that they would maintain, this Mayor had to have pretty flowers and fancy light poles. In my opinion it was just way too overboard and unnecessary. We have been door to door, at festivals and other events and have met many wonderful people who share our feelings and if this Mayor thinks that we are just a minority, he needs to wait and see how this election turns out.”

Although many cities like Elyria are having financial problems all across the United States, Bevan says that Elyria could have been different. “This Mayor came into office with a 4.7 million dollar buffer and now we’re in the negative. When you go over and you hire people to fill positions that haven’t been filled in years or hiring people for certain departments yet laying off in others – when you won’t take a serious cut in your own department then why should anyone else follow. I believe that this Mayor should have cut two of his Safety Service Directors and two of his secretaries.”

With turning in the petitions today that completes another step for Stand Up Elyria. Now it’s all up to the Council and the Board of Elections. “The Clerk of Council will now take the names to the Board of Elections (BOE) to have the names certified. They will have 20 days to certify the names.”

Once the BOE certifies that enough names were collected then Mayor Grace will have 5 days to either step down or chose to fight. At that time a special election will be held within 45 days. Bevan said that the ballot will simply read; “SHALL WILLIAM GRACE CONTINUE AS MAYOR OF ELYRIA”.

Bevan, along with his partner Kim Ach was out just this last Sunday collecting the last few names. Bevan said the signatures were collected by doing door to door and traveling to events throughout the city. “When we had the office location downtown a lady came into sign and said that her husband wishes he could sign but he was in the hospital so I went to him with the petition. I remember him thanking me for going out of my way to go to him.”

Bevan said that he does not have a dog in this race; his committee is not endorsing any candidate for Mayor. “It’s never been about that; it’s always been just to get this Mayor out of office. We did not want to get behind anyone because we did not want this to look like we’re doing it to get a certain person in as Mayor. We strongly believe that there will be some very smart, well qualified people stepping up once this goes through and we believe that this city will be great once again. I would like to see someone who is fiscally responsible, someone who will look out for the safety needs of our community and someone who can handle these tough times. I believe Mayor Grace entered this job with good intentions, I just believe he got in way over his head and now it’s all falling down.”



Elyria – While the committee to oust Mayor Bill Grace from office on the second floor of City Hall, we spoke to him on the first floor. Mayor Grace did not hesitate to say he had no plans of leaving his office and that if it came down to a recall election – he’ll fight to keep his job.

If the Board of Elections certifies the names on the recall petition, Mayor Grace will have an opportunity to step down as Mayor. That is an option he doesn’t even consider. “No, not at all. I think the people of Akron showed during the recall effort of Mayor Plusguellic it’s a lot easier to reach the number needed to place such a measure on the ballot then it is to get enough votes to overturn an elections that happened less than two years ago.”

“I think that Mr. Bevan and a handful of the other people that have appeared to be leading this effort they have personal issues with me,” Grace said. “I think it all comes down to personalities between us and they don’t care for me. They have found this area of the law that allows for a recall – there have been recall conversations and prelude to recall all over the state of Ohio. This has become a common conversation in older, industrial cities all over the United States brought on in part because of the poor economy and Mayor’s and other elected officials have become a target for this type of action.”

Grace said that these are tough, challenging times for our city. “We’ve been on the edge for a number of years and the national economic downturn that just hit us has almost pushed us over the top. Myself or any other elected Official anywhere – you’re going to have 40 to 45% of the public that doesn’t agree with the positions of that leader, in the best of circumstances. So there’s always going to be people who second guess or have their differences of opinion with me or anyone else and this is just an avenue that this 40 or 45% can exercise – this whole recall effort.”

Grace said he is not sure if the group will have enough qualified signatures or not, he said he will wait and see with the rest of us. But when it comes to the question of him leaving office because of the recall effort he is very clear that he has no plans of going anywhere. “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished – we’ve done some very positive things for this community and I believe that most of the community recognizes that fact.”

Communication between City Hall and the community is still something Grace said he would like to see improve. “We can always do a better job communicating with the public, there’s no question about that. I think part of the issue here is newspaper circulation has dropped across the country and we’ve historically relied on newspaper coverage to convey what’s going on in the community and not everybody is reading and fewer people are reading everyday – so we need to find other avenues of getting our information out to the community.”

When it comes to the Route 57 project, Grace believes that there was a lot of misinformation floating around early on but now believes that the true story and numbers are out. “Early on people said that we spent $500,000.00 on rose bushes alone when in fact the entire landscaping budget was 500K and our share of that is less than $50K. And that will be paid back in payments over a 10 year period with the first payment due in January of 2011.”

Grace points out that some of his critics have said that the recent layoffs were done at the expense of the Route 57 project. When in fact Grace says the City has not spent a penny yet on the highway project. “Our entire share has been borrowed and again payments are not even due to start until January 2011.”

Grace wants to assure the people of Elyria that this recall effort will not distract him from conducting the City business. “Mr. Bevan and his group – they have been talking recall for a year and a half. I think they’ve been talking since the day I started this term and it hasn’t been a distraction, around the community a little perhaps. But myself and my administration we’ve been doing the business of the City right along and we will continue. My focus is on the City, always has been. I think if anything I have proven over the 10 years I’ve been Mayor, I’ve put the interest of the City ahead of my own.”


Eaton Township – Two people were able to walk away from a single vehicle crash Monday afternoon after the van they were riding in rolled over.

Eaton Township Firefighters responded to Route 10 near the on ramp from Route 57 after getting reports of a vehicle that had rolled over and possibly two people trapped inside.

When Firefighters and Troopers arrived on scene the two people who were riding in the van at the time of the crash had already gotten out on their own. Firefighters took the two into the back of their ambulance but both refused treatment and transport to the hospital.

Firefighters say that where the van crashed is a popular location for similar crashes. They say as people accelerate too fast up the ramp they usually lose control as they make the final turn onto Route 10. In this case the driver of the van lost control, spun and rolled over into the ditch and came to rest on its side.

Vaughn’s Towing picked the van, loaded with DJ equipment, out of the ditch.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Elyria – Police arrested Michael Hennes of Elyria Sunday afternoon on multiple charges including Assault on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest and Burglary.

Police were called to 110 Princeton Ave Sunday at 4:30 p.m. after it was reported that Hennes was at that address. Hennes had several active Felony Warrants through the Elyria Police Department for violent offences at that home.

When Police arrived at the home they received no response after knocking on the door. Police say a TV was on and they could see that a cigarette had just been put out in an ashtray on the floor. While Police were knocking a 6 year old boy, who a neighbor identified as her neighbors son, rode up on a scooter. Police asked him where he was and who was supposed to be watching him. The boy told Officers that he was with a friend “6 blocks away”. Police say that the boy looked nervous while being asked the questions and that it was apparent that he was scared.

After a Police Dispatcher could not reach the boy’s Mother the Grandfather was contacted and on his way to the home. Once the boy was told that Police say the boy looked happy.

When the Grandfather arrived Police told him that the home was not secure and that the boy was left alone. He told Officers that his daughter would never leave the home unlocked or leave the boy alone. Worried for his daughter’s safety he asked Officers to check the home.

The neighbor advised Police that in the past when Hennes has assaulted the woman he would try and get away by crawling through a ventilation area that separates their attics and hides in her attic.

Officers Moss and Ilcisko checked the home but were unable to locate anyone. They checked the ventilation area that the neighbor had informed them about but the area was too small for either of the Officers to gain entry. The neighbor asked Officers if they would check her attic as she was concerned Hennes might be hiding there.

The Officers entered the attic and could hear banging sounds. Officers called out to Hennes and could hear him crawling back to the other side. As one Officer stood by another went to the other side with additional Officers.

Officers called out again to Hennes to come out or that they would send in the K9 to search for him. While conducting a search Officer Moss leaned down into a low area and observed Hennes hiding in the corner. Moss yelled for him to come out and attempted to grab his arm and pull him out – Hennes pulled away and as Moss pulled harder Hennes swung and struck Moss on the lower lip as he was pulling away to avoid being struck. While pulling away Moss struck his head on a ceiling rafter and scraped his head on a nail. Moss then pulled Hennes flat onto the ground and leaned on top of him to avoid being further assaulted. Hennes refused to put his arms behind his back and was trying to get up at which time Moss administered strikes to his muscular areas on his arms and side to try and gain compliance and control of his arms.

Officers Varga and Ilcisko then came into the closet area to assist and Hennes continued to resist. Officer began trying to pull him out of the closet and control his arms as he still resisted. Officers finally pulled him into and opened area and were able to free his arms and apply handcuffs. Officer Whiting arrived in the attic to assist and stood Hennes up onto his feet. He began to escort Hennes out and down the stairs that had miscellaneous items and two window type air conditions stacked on them. Hennes was still resisting and pulling away as Whiting tried to walk him down the attic stairs. Hennes pulled away and fell over the air conditioner and into the wall. Officers assisted getting Hennes all the way down to the first floor and as they approached the front door Hennes lifted his legs and began kicking the front door, forcing himself back into the Officers. Hennes was taken to the ground and told repeatedly to stop resisting. He advised that he was finished fighting and Officers Moss and Whiting stood him back up and escorted him outside and towards a cruiser. Once on the sidewalk Hennes began taunting and screaming then began trying to strike the officers with his elbows and head. He was taken down into the grass until Officer Varga was able to drive over a caged cruiser.

Officers then stood Hennes up and secured him in the cruiser. Varga then transported Hennes to the Sheriff’s Office.

The neighbor told Officers that she wanted to pursue Burglary charges against Hennes for breaking into her attic. The Grandfather told Officers that he was still unable to reach his daughter and that he would be taking care of his Grandson.

Officer Moss sustained injuries to his head and his hand. He was treated at Elyria Memorial Hospital for those injuries and released.

Hennes was charged with the following: Assault on a Police Officer F4, Burglary F2, Obstructing Official Business M2, Resisting Arrest M1, and active warrants for Domestic Violence X2 F4, Intimidation of a Victim F3, and a Bench Warrant.


Elyria – Police arrested an Elyria man, Antwine Battiste, early Sunday morning after a brief pursuit and foot chase off Middle Ave.

An Elyria Police Officer spotted Battiste traveling at a high rate of speed on Court Street and failed to stop at the intersections of Court and 2nd & 3rd Streets – making a wide left turn onto 3rd. After Battiste failed to stop at a light at 3rd and Middle Ave the Officer attempted to pull him over. Battiste continued south on Middle ignoring the lights and sirens from the Officers car.

Battiste turned east onto Pronesti Lane and then turned into a private drive of an apartment building. Battiste jumped from the vehicle. Battiste looked at the Officer who was now out of the vehicle and he was ordered to stop. The Officer stated that the Battiste had turned and was going to run from the traffic stop. Battiste began to run from the Officer who observed him reached into his left front pocket and drop an unknown object in the parking lot that bounced a few times and was loud. The Officer followed Battiste briefly but then returned to secure the item that he had dropped. The Officer found magazine from an automatic pistol with bullets still inside. The Officer called out to other responding units that the suspect might have a gun on him.

The Officer then turned around and went back to the vehicle in the parking lot when Battiste came from around the building straight towards the Officer. The Officer pulled out his weapon and ordered the Battiste to stop and go to the ground. Battiste turned and ran away from the Officer and again ran south until he reached Pronesti Lane then ran west in an attempt to get away from the Officer. The Officer called out the foot pursuit and then lost sight of the Battiste as he went around a garbage dumpster in the alley.

Additional Officers responded to the area to help locate the suspect. Officers Eichenlaub and Orsik observed the Battiste running north from Pronesti Lane and ran after him.

Eichenlaub observed Battiste turn north into backyards upon observing the police vehicle turn onto the street. Eichenlaub exited his car and yelled for Battiste to stop. Battiste continued running west through the backyards. Eichenlaub ordered Battiste to the ground and he refused to comply. Eichenlaub heard a chain link fence rattle to the west and observed Battiste stumbling backwards. Eichenlaub made contact with Battiste and placed him on the ground.

Eichenlaub observed Battiste lock his hands above his head. Eichenlaub ordered Battiste to place his hands behind his back and he refused to comply. Officer Orsik arrived and Officers used joint manipulations to place him into custody after a brief struggle. Officers ordered Battiste to stand up and began attempting to help him up. Battiste refused to comply using dead weight. Officers got Battiste to his feet at which time he began walking towards the patrol vehicle.

Officers asked Battiste his name and he refused to speak. Officers Moss and Straub who are familiar with Battiste identified him. Eichenlaub pulled up a previous booking photo and Battiste’s identity was confirmed.

Once Battiste was secured Officers began the search for the handgun.

Sgt. Cunningham located the black in color, 40 cal. Bursa Firestorm automatic pistol on the top portion of 240 4th Street, which faces 4th Street. Officer Marsico was assisted to the roof and he retrieved the weapon. Marsico cleared the weapon and handed it down to Eichenlaub. Officer Merrill gave the magazine with rounds still inside to Eichenlaub who inserted the magazine into the weapon and the magazine was a match to the gun. Officer Eichenlaub checked the rounds and observed that they were 40 cal.-jacketed rounds.

Battiste was charged with the following: Receiving Stolen Property F4, Weapons Under Disability F3, Carrying a Concealed Weapon F4, Failure to Comply with Police Orders M1, Weapons while Intoxicated M1, Resisting Arrest M2, Obstruction of Official Business M2, OVI, Stop Sign & Red Light.



Sunday, October 11, 2009


During the rescue operation on Saturday afternoon Brian Woods was positioned along the riverbank with Firefighters and Divers as they searched for Logan Spradlin. To view those photos: CLICK HERE



New Russia Township – A two car head on collision Saturday night left one woman in critical condition and another man in stable condition.

Trooper Lance Deshuk of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that a 1993 GMC Sierra, driven by 39-year-old Loretta Gregory of Oberlin, was traveling west on US Route 20 – while 53-year-old Michael Birdiak of North Olmstead was traveling east on Route 20 in his 1999 Ford E150 Van. “According to witness statements, the van was attempting to pass another vehicle while traveling east and struck the 1993 Sierra. Both vehicles went off the north side of the highway. It was at this time that the Sierra caught fire. When I arrived the truck was unoccupied and fully engulfed in flames. I attempted to extinguish it with my extinguisher but there was just too much fire. The Fire Department arrived shortly after and extinguished the fire.”
Before Deshuk arrived on scene several witnesses and bystanders rushed to the cars to see if they could help the victims. John McAnallen was on his way home to Wakeman from an off duty Police job in Cleveland and spotted the crash. “At first I just saw the lights blinking and wasn’t sure what it was because of how dark it is here on the highway. Then as I got up closer I could see that at truck was in the ditch and the front of it was on fire.”

McAnallen got out of his car to see if he could help, he said as soon as he stepped out of the car people were telling him that a woman was pinned inside of the burning truck. “I’m not sure of the mans name, but I worked with another man to try and get her out. We saw that the passenger side door was open but we couldn’t get to her that way so we went back to the driver’s side door but it was crushed and we couldn’t get it open. I remember she just kept saying “get me out of here; get me out of here” so with the flames getting bigger every second we just pulled her out through the drivers side window.”

The other man was Manolo Florian of Oberlin.

The two men pulled Gregory out of the truck and carried her to a safe area away from the truck.

Deshuk said that Birdiak was trapped inside of his van with the dash up on his knees.

Paramedics treated Gregory while Birdiak was being extricated from his van. Due to a long extrication time a helicopter landed on Route 20, just east of the scene. Gregory was transported by Central Lorain County Ambulance District Paramedics to Allen Community and then flown to MetroHealth Medical Center a short time later by Toledo Life Flight in critical condition according to a hospital official.

Birdiak was flown from the scene with fractures but in stable condition to MetroHealth by a Metro LifeFlight chopper.

Deshuk said that the crash is still under investigation and charges are pending. Deshuk added that the two men who pulled Gregory from her truck saved her life. “Absolutely they saved her life – I arrived just moments after they had pulled her out and the driver’s compartment was totally involved in fire. So yes, they saved a life tonight.”



Elyria – Chief Richard Benton of the Elyria Fire Department announced Sunday morning at an 11 a.m. press conference that Divers have recovered the body of 13-year-old Logan Spradlin. “Operations resumed at 8 a.m. this morning and at 10:33 a.m. Divers were able to locate the victim. There were some false reports going around last night that the Sonar located the young man – actually what the Sonar was picking up was some of the debris that was in the water.”

Benton today reiterated his warning about the dangers of the Black River. “Parents need to explain to their children the hazards of being by the river. It’s hard to keep track of your kids at all times so you hope that they listen to the things that you tell them – but sometimes it’s just too tempting for them to go down there.”

Firefighter / Dive Specialist Dean Marks from the Elyria Fire Department said that although the water was cold yesterday (51 degrees) they only had about an hour to make a rescue. “The cold water would help you survive longer but after about 45 minutes to an hour your chances of survival decrease.”

Marks was the first Diver in the water this morning, he said that it was important to the team they had assembled to recover the boy to help bring closure to the family. Marks also spoke about how the task of recovering the body of a young man affects the Firefighters & Divers. “I don’t want to say that you become immune to it, essentially you know you have a job to do so your focus is on the job. You know you’re going in there for a victim but you try to keep them nameless and faceless. It’s once you locate the victim that it hits you. A majority of the guys have families and we know it could just as well be one of our kids. I think it’s at that point that it really hits you – especially since we couldn’t find him last night. We felt it a duty to get back in there this morning and get him out of there for the family.”

Marks said that all of the Divers were conscious of the fact that the boy’s family was gathered on the observation decks above watching the operation this morning. “We’re all parents and we have loved ones too and like I say we know it could just as easily have been one of our kids. So although it is our job, we also have emotional ties to the operation as well.”

Moments before the boy’s body was brought up the hill Chief Benton spoke with the family and suggested that they leave the site and head for the hospital before he was

Benton said that Firefighters and Divers involved in the operation would go through a debriefing immediately following the press conference.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Elyria – What began as a rescue operation has turned to a recovery operation after Firefighters and County Divers spent 5 hours searching the Black River for a 13-year-old Elyria boy.

Just minutes after 2 p.m. Saturday a young boy ran into the lobby of the Elyria Police Department, franticly looking for someone to help him and his friend. The boy informed Police that he and his 13-year-old friend had been playing by the water falls behind the Police Station on Lake Ave. He said his friend climbed on the wall that borders the falls and fell off the ledge and onto the falls.

Police quickly notified Fire and went outside with the boy to see if they could find his friend. The boy led Police and Firefighters down the boardwalk of the Observation Decks and showed them exactly where his friend was climbing and fell.

Chief Ron Brlas of the Elyria Fire Department made calls for Lorain County 9-1-1 to start activating mutual aid resources for manpower and Dive Teams.

Firefighters made their way down to the riverbank and began searching for signs of the victim but could not locate him.

Chief Richard Benton of the Elyria Fire Department said that his Department responded with boats and divers right away. “We put the boat in the water and as soon as Divers began to arrive and suit up we started putting them into the water as well. Once we got the Sonar into the water we began working off of the images we received. The Sonar was able to give us about three different hits, but with the amount of debris that is in the water it was throwing them off and we would just find wood or other debris.”

Benton said that Rescuers are focusing in on the area right at the base of the waterfall. “There is usually a “wheel” created underneath the water from the waterfall – we’re concentrating in that area right now cause that’s usually the area that traps the debris. Once they get that area checked then they will fan out across the rest of the water area.”

Operations were halted around 8 p.m., about 5 hours after they began. “We’re suspending operations now due to darkness and we’ll start again tomorrow at 8 a.m.” Benton said. “We will have pretty much the same Divers that are here tonight back in the morning for the search.”

Benton says that the Black River is a very dangerous river and people should treat it as such. “I cannot tell you how many victims we have had in this river over the years – it’s very deceiving. People a lot of times will think of a river as just being a couple feet deep and under the falls it can be as much as 30 feet deep.”

When asked if Benton thought something should be done to block off the area to prevent kids from playing in that area he said that no matter what they do – the falls are too enticing to kids. “Before we fixed this area up there was a chain link fence with barbed wire on top and kids still found away to get over to the falls. It’s too tempting and I believe that no matter what you put up people will find away to get around it unfortunately.”

Police will have an Officer posted at the Observation Deck throughout the overnight hours making sure that scene remains secure until Firefighters and Divers return Sunday morning.

Today’s operation included multiple agencies from across Lorain County and even into Cuyahoga County. According to Benton Elyria received assistance from Avon, Amherst, Sheffield Township, Elyria Township, Wellington, Lorain County Emergency Management Agency – Command Post, LifeCare Ambulance and the Lorain County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Special assistance was provided by experts trained in the use of Sonar from Cuyahoga County and a representative from Lorain Police Department’s Dive Team.



LaGrange – An overnight crash on Biggs Road in LaGrange ejected one man and trapped another in the wreckage.

Trooper Lance Deshuk of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that the truck was traveling west on Biggs at the time of the crash. “The three men were traveling west on Biggs Road in a 2005 GMC Sierra. The driver, 24-year-old Jared Lease of Grafton, lost control of the truck – spun around and then went off the left side of the roadway. Once the truck crossed the ditch it flipped numerous times before coming to rest on its wheels in the field.”

Chief James Rader of the Lagrange Township Fire & Rescue said that when Firefighters arrived they found one victim on the ground, one trapped and one walking around. “With finding three victims we requested mutual aid with LifeCare for another ambulance and then at the same time we received a call through 9-1-1 for another ambulance at the Police Station for an unknown medical problem so Central Lorain County Ambulance responded to that call for us and treated that patient.”

Rader said that extrication of the driver was prolonged due to the extensive damage to the truck. “While our guys were cutting the truck open LifeCare transported the victim that had been ejected from the truck to Allen Community Hospital in serious condition. He was then LifeFlighted to MetroHealth in Cleveland. The other passenger was also taken to Allen and he was alert and oriented at the time so he was not as serious as the other two victims.”

With the prolonged extrication Chief Rader had a Metro LifeFlight helicopter land on a nearby driveway. “Once the driver was freed from the truck we loaded him into the back of our ambulance

According to Trooper Deshuck the victim that was ejected from the truck is 24-year-old Ryan Griffin of Grafton. The third victim is 24-year-old Marc Bowman of LaGrange.

Deshuk said that the crash remains under investigation. “We still need to speak with the victims and try to determine what caused the driver to lose control and go off the roadway.”


Friday, October 09, 2009


Lorain – Officials say that a woman drove her 2003 Rendezvous into the side of the Hostess Bakery Outlet store on Colorado Ave Friday afternoon.

According to witnesses the woman selected the “D” instead of the “R” when leaving the store. The crash ripped some siding off the building and knocked over product inside of the store.

LifeCare Paramedics treated the driver on scene and transported her to Community Health Partners with minor injuries. The passenger of the car refused any treatment or transport from Medics.

Damages are believed to be just under 10K. The store was closed due to wiring issues from the crash.



Elyria – Almost 7 months to the day, Elyria Firefighters returned to a vacant home at 417 West River Road North after a neighbor discovered a fire in a back room.

Assistant Chief Ron Brlas of the Elyria Fire Department said that neighbors smelled smoke shortly after 1 a.m. “They checked the house and discovered the fire in one of the back rooms. The door had been broken down so the gentleman made some attempt to put the fire out but it was just too much for him.”

Brlas said that the fire had begun to climb the walls and was onto the ceiling when they arrived but Firefighters hit it quick and prevented it from extending into the second floor.

Firefighters responded to the same home on March 14th of this year after Police Officers spotted smoke coming from the house. That fire was also quickly extinguished and deemed suspicious.

Brlas said that today’s fire is also being considered suspicious.


Thursday, October 08, 2009



Lorain – A three car crash in Lorain has left one man dead and another in critical condition.

Firefighters and Paramedics responded to the crash just before 3 p.m. after receiving calls of a serious crash with a victim trapped. Firefighters arrived on scene and found the driver of one car already dead and another in critical condition.

Officials say that 52 year old Larry Durasin of Lorain was sitting at a traffic light in the westbound lane of East Erie at Kansas Ave when the driver of a Chevy Malibu crashed into the rear of his Ford Taurus – sending it into a utility pole, sheering off the bottom of the pole.

As the Malibu continued through the intersection a Dodge truck – that was making a left turn onto Erie from Kansas – collided with the Malibu. The impact sent the truck into the front yard of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. The Malibu ended up on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street.

Paramedics treated the driver of the Malibu at the scene and then transported him to Community Health Partners Emergency Room where a helicopter was waiting to fly him to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland – he remains in critical condition.

The driver of the truck, 45 year old Dwight Clark, said he didn’t see the crash coming. Clark refused any treatment from Paramedics or transport. He stated that his mother was coming to the scene and he might go on his own later if he felt it necessary.

Firefighters remained on scene until the Lorain County Coroner’s Office arrived and completed their own on-scene investigation. Once they were done Firefighters had to cut the car to extricate the Durasin.

Firefighters were also keeping a watchful eye on a utility pole that was struck during the crash. A lower chunk of the pole was cut out leaving the pole resting in a precarious position. Ohio Edison arrived a short time later and secured the pole before making repairs.

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