Friday, February 27, 2009

FIRE UNION VOWS TO KEEP FIGHTING

“These Firefighters are the backbone of the Fire Department; they’re the future of this Department. We will continue to work at reversing today’s decision – both for the Department and for the City of Elyria.” Assistant Chief Ron Brlas

Elyria – Eleven Firefighters were called into the Chief’s office Friday morning and were handed their two week notices. Elyria Fire Union President Dean Marks said it would have been nice if he had been notified. “I found out from the Firefighters, I would like to have been in there with them when they found out.”

Marks is hopeful that the suit he filed through the Law Directors Office as a tax payer will move forward come Monday morning. “Mr. Shilling has agreed to work with us so he, along with some of our own representation will file the suit on Monday morning. Hopefully that will go through the court system and that will hold this up.”

Marks released numbers today of the City’s top 10 overtime earners, citing that only one Firefighter is on that list. “People have been lead to believe that Firefighters make so much overtime, that we drain the city with overtime but when you look at the numbers that is not the case. We pulled these numbers directly from the Auditors report and it shows one Firefighter on the list at number 7. The top of the list is an employee from Waste Water, he made $30,914.39 in overtime last year and number 9 is a Parks & Rec employee who made $21,698.30 in OT last year.”

The Firefighter who came in at number 7 earned $22,781.23 in overtime in 2008. The remaining employee’s on the top 10 list included 5 Police Officers, one more employee from Waste Water and one more from Parks and Recreation.

Marks said that when the public sees the top 10 wage earners in the local newspaper each year they get upset because they see Firefighters listed each year. He said he wishes that along with the amount they earned that the newspaper would print how they earned it, including base pay, longevity and any bonuses. Marks maintains that overtime within the Department could have been cut along time ago had the Grace Administration hired more Firefighters. “We’d just like to educate the public on the actual numbers; we’d like them to know what the figures actually are.”

The layoffs are effective March 14; Marks said that once that happens citizens will see the four stations reduced to one. “Everybody will be down to one station; everybody will run out of here (Cedar Street). It’s up to the Chief as how he will run those guys but essentially with those numbers you are looking at one Engine Company and one Ladder Company running the city. When it comes to running EMS – that is something that might be affected as well. We’ll of course do the best we can but as of right now all of the protocols are being rewritten to accommodate these new numbers.”

Another issue that Firefighters are dealing with is mutual aid agreements; Marks said that Departments that have responded to help cover Elyria in the past might not be there in the future because of their own staffing and financial issues. Elyria might have a problem sending help to other cities in the future as well. “These are not my decisions but I believe that if we have only 11 guys on duty it will be almost impossible to empty our city of all its protection to cover another city.”

Of the 11 being laid off from the Fire Department, 7 were hired 4 months ago and the remaining 4 have been with the Department for just under 4 years.

Assistant Chief Ron Brlas said that throughout all of this Firefighters had no input throughout the process. “I know Chief Saddler ran a lot of numbers, but he didn’t know what the final tally would be, the number of lay offs until he went to the Mayor’s Office this morning with the other department heads.”

Brlas said that he is not optimistic about the future of the Department. “As long as this Administration is in power, I don’t see anything good – I don’t think Fire or safety in general is a high priority in this Administrations mind.”

Brlas, like Marks, talked personally to each of the Firefighters who received their notices today. “I told them that we will work diligently and very hard to get their jobs back for them. We will leave no stone unturned and we will do whatever we can to help them out. The number one priority is to get them back on the Department. These Firefighters are the backbone of the Fire Department; they’re the future of this Department. They’re the young ones, they’re the ones getting in there and doing the work at the fire scenes. Now, people in their late 40’s are going to be the ones having to do a bulk of the work and it’s going to be difficult. But like I said, we will continue to work at reversing today’s decision – both for the Department and for the City of Elyria.”

PULSE RATE GOES THROUGH ROOF

Elyria – Merchants and residents in downtown Elyria are upset with the crowds of people standing in long lines outside of the Minute Men Services office at 144 Middle Ave.

Hundreds of people have been lining up in hopes to land one of the $27 an hour clean up jobs at the College. Minute Men has been contracted by Belfor Property Restoration, who was hired by LCCC to clean up their buildings after last weeks fire cause over 1 million dollars in damages.

Since word got out that the pay level would be just above $27 an hour for 12 hour shifts hundreds of people have been showing up.

With the unemployment in Elyria being 7.9% and Lorain at 9.3%, local business owners and residents that surround the temp agency say that Minute Men management should have seen this coming. On Thursday afternoon more than 100 people had to be turned away causing some anger amongst those who were left without jobs after waiting in line for so long. The Elyria Police Department had to be called to maintain crowd control.

Friday was not much better according to Lee Stacey who works at the Pulse Café, directly next door to Minute Men. “The people waiting have been crowding around right in front of our restaurant and even in our doorway. I have had to go out there a couple times and asked them to leave the doorway clear but the one lady just looked at me and said fuck you bitch. That is when I called the Police that was way out of line. These people are scaring people away from coming into the restaurant and times are bad enough as it is, we don’t need this problem.”

Another business close by had a similar incident with members of the crowd when she asked them to clear the doorway. “They are out there smoking, eating and drinking and of course that is all ending up on the ground in front of our business. Then when you ask them nicely to pick up the mess and to leave our doorway clear I am being called a bitch and to fuck off. This is totally out of line.”


Police, who have been called numerous times, were back on Friday afternoon after the incident with the employees at Pulse Café. Police instructed the crowd that they are not to block any doorways or the sidewalks.

One of the people who had been in line stopped inside of the Pulse Café to grab a bite to eat, she said there is little organization at Minute Men. “I think this is bigger then they are able to handle Lisa Hendrix said, or maybe it just got thrown at them too fast. I do feel sorry for the businesses around here because I see the amount of people just standing around in front of the stores and doorways and I just feel sorry for them. We were actually told by the people inside of Minute Men to not stand in front of their building, rather stand in front of this place (Pulse Café) and then wrap around the corner.”

With the clean up at the college expected to last about a month, downtown merchants and residents hope the management of Minute Men come up with another plan because they say this one is just not working.

NO CHARGES IN ROSENBAUM CASE

Elyria – After a nine member Grand Jury sat through 3 hours of testimony from 5 witnesses, including Jonathan Rosenbaum, the final word is that no charges will be filed for the August 23rd shooting of Rosenbaum by his son Aaron.

The case stemmed from a shooting on August 28th at the Sportsman Gun and Reel Club on Middle Ridge Road in Amherst Township. Rosenbaum and his and a friend were skeet shooting when the gun that Aaron Rosenbaum was carrying fired, striking his dad in the back. Aaron maintained that it was all an accident, although the 9-1-1 tape from that day suggested possible foul play.

9-1-1: "9-1-1, do you need Police, Fire or Ambulance"

Aaron Rosenbaum: "I need an ambulance; I just shot my father in the back. I’m very sorry."

For the next couple minutes the 9-1-1 Operator then attempts to get location and medical information from Rosenbaum’s son. Rosenbaum’s son, very upset, keeps saying that he is sorry for what happened. “He’s not very conscious, he’s fading fast. I just killed my father.”

Then at 3 minutes into the phone call with Rosenbaum’s son he says to his father, “I was just angry.” The following conversation took place between the father and son:
Jonathan Rosenbaum: “You fucking shot me on purpose”
Aaron Rosenbaum: “No, I did not, I’m sorry”
Jonathan Rosenbaum: “You liar”
Aaron Rosenbaum: “I did not shoot you on purpose”

The son then told 9-1-1 how he believed the shooting happened. “The shell was jammed in the gun, I was just trying to get it out and it just went off.”

Four minutes into the call Rosenbaum tells his son to stop talking to the 9-1-1 Operator: “He said you better hurry; he does not want me talking to you” 9-1-1: “This is not the police; I am trying to give you medical advice”

Moments later Paramedics from LifeCare Ambulance arrived on scene and the call was completed.

Although Jonathan Rosenbaum testified for the Grand Jury, Aaron did not.

To see the original story and to hear the 9-1-1 call: CLICK HERE

ELYRIA HANDS OUT NOTICES TODAY

Elyria – Mayor Bill Grace met with all Department heads early Friday morning informing them of which employees would be let go. In all 34 full time employees and all part time employees received their notices today.

The breakdown:
Elyria Police Department – 12 Full Time and 8 Part Time
Park Rangers 2
Parking Attendant 1
Records 3
Secretary 1

Corrections Officers 5

Corrections Officers, Part Time 4
Dispatchers, Part Time 4

Police Officers & Park Rangers: December 1999 – 100 March 2009 – 86

Fire Department
Firefighters 11

Parks & Recreation
Laborer 4
Secretary 1

Building & Lands
Laborers 2

Building Department
Housing Inspectors 2
Secretary 1

Engineering Department
Secretary 1

The following Elected Officials’ Department will reduce their payroll by their payroll by their employee’s working one less day per two week pay period – that will amount to a 10% reduction in work hours and pay:
Clerk of Council
Auditor
Law Director
Mayor


The lay-off’s are effective March 14th.

THAT’S A KRAZY MESS

TRUCK DUMPS LOAD
ALL OVER THE ROAD
Elyria – A dump truck carrying a load of… well, a bunch of junk, lost part of its load on Cedar Street just off of Broad Thursday afternoon. The truck had just turned onto Cedar from Broad when the back gate opened allowing debris to completely coat a single lane from Broad for about 100 feet.

Ken Behner, aka Dirtdigger, was in a nearby office when he witnessed the dumping. Behner, not known for walking away from helping, ran out into the intersection to direct traffic away from the debris. “As cars are making the turn onto Cedar from Broad they couldn’t see the mess because of the other traffic so somebody had to get out here.”

Brian Allen, owner of Heavy Duty Graphics on Cedar Street, also witnessed the dumping and contacted the Police right away. Police were able to later find the dump truck right around the corner in the parking lot of Advanced Auto. The crew was located while cleaning up another pile of debris that had fallen from their truck near the auto shop.

Employees from the DRX trucking company returned to scene and began cleaning. By the time they had arrived they found others assisting in getting the road cleared for traffic. Those pushing brooms and humpin shovels included employees from the City of Elyria Street Department and a couple men in blue. Two Elyria Police Officers, one Captain and a Sergeant to be exact, were in the middle of the road getting their hands dirty to help get that lane reopened.

With so many people pitching in, the front-end loader that arrived later was not needed.

The clean up lasted less than an hour and the lane was reopened to happy travelers.

It should be noted that TMC NEWS pitched in by helping keep Good Samaritan Ken Behner safe by loaning him a reflective safety vest. Our crack Photographer would have lent a hand but all of the brooms and shovels were taken already.


PHOTO GALLERY

New Comment Policy

Thursday, February 26, 2009

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE LIFTS BAN

MEDIA ALLOWED ACCESS TO DOVER
BUT ONLY WITH FAMILY PERMISSION

DOD PHOTO
Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Thursday that a controversial 1991 policy under President H.W. Bush of not allowing photographs of flag draped coffins of U.S. Soldiers returning to Dover Air Force Base has been reversed. “As you know, the president asked me to review this policy. After receiving input from a number of sources, including all of the military services and organizations representing military families, I have decided that the decision regarding media coverage of the dignified transfer process at Dover should be made by those most directly affected: on an individual basis by the families of the fallen. We ought not presume to make that decision in their place said Gates.”

Gates, who stated he was never comfortable with the ban, said in the press conference that he has instructed a working group to come up with a plan to implement the new policy and to examine ways in which they might further assist families of those who have made the supreme sacrifice for our Country.

White House Press Secretary Gibbs said that the decision on allowing the media to cover the return of Soldiers is now in the right place – the families. "This policy allows them to make that decision and protect their privacy if that's what they wish to do. And the president is supportive of the secretary's decision."

Some groups don’t agree with reversing the ban. “We at Families United are not advocating overturning the current ban, but if the Obama Administration is demanding a change then we strongly believe that the decision to permit media at Dover AFB should be left to the family members of the fallen hero,” said Families United Executive Director Brian Wise. “Over the past few days, we have heard from hundreds of military families who have a wide range of feelings on this issue. Some Gold Star families view the presence of media and photographers as a way to celebrate the life of their hero, while many others question the motives behind media access or understandably want to keep that solemn moment private.”

There have been times throughout the years when news groups were allowed access, until President George W. Bush and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

TMC NEWS POLL

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CAR SLAMS BUS LOADED WITH KIDS

“She said the bus kept going and stopping, going and stopping – I told her, that is what school buses do when they drop kids off.”
Carlisle Township – A School Bus loaded with 38 students from the Midview School District was struck from behind Wednesday afternoon on Grafton Road near Indian Hollow Road – Luckily, no students on board were injured.

Trooper Charlie Jackson of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said the crash occurred while kids were getting off the bus. “The bus had come to a stop to let off some kids and a 1992 Honda Civic, traveling northbound behind it, struck it and actually got caught up underneath. It’s what we consider an under ride crash.”


Lieutenant Randy Feakins of the Carlisle Township Fire Department said they received their call from the Sheriff’s Department reporting a car under a school bus. “When we arrived we found a little Honda with the hood underneath the school bus. The driver of the Honda was outside of the vehicle uninjured but shaken up. Inside of the bus were 38 students and one driver. One child was shaken up but after speaking with the parent they said to just release her on scene.”

State Patrol contacted the Midview School District and had them dispatch another bus to the crash so they could transfer the students over.

Once all of the students were transferred over to the new bus, technicians from Dunlap’s arrived and worked to free the Honda from the grips of the hooks under the bus.

Trooper Jackson said he asked Straka-Cokaj why she struck the bus – “She said the bus kept going and stopping, going and stopping – I told her, that is what school buses do when they drop kids off.”

Straka-Cokaj was charged for Assured Cleared Distance.


JUDGE’S HOUSE INVADED BY TEENS

WIFE STRIKES ROBBER WITH SKILLET – TWICE
Elyria – Four Elyria teens, ages 18, 17, 16 & 15, pushed their way into a Columbus Street home Tuesday afternoon with the intentions of robbing it – What they weren’t planning on was the 70-year-old woman inside who was 1. On the phone with her husband who is a Judge and 2. Pretty good at swinging a frying pan.

Elyria Police received a call at 3:09 p.m. Tuesday from an associate of Judge Basinski’s saying that 3 to 4 males were attacking Mrs. Basinski in her home on Columbus Street. Police quickly swarmed the area and after receiving descriptions of the males they were able to find them and take them into custody within 15 minutes.

The 4 males went to the home and knocked on the door, when Basinski answered they pushed their way inside. Basinski yelled at them to leave the house and told them that she was on the phone with her husband – who is a Judge. One of the teens grabbed the phone and hung it up. Judge Basinski then told an associate to call 9-1-1 while he and his Bailiff headed for his house. While one of the teens stood watch outside the other three began searching the home for valuables. One pulled a bottle of Jack Daniels from a cabinet, Basinski yelled at him to put it back and he threw it at her striking her on the foot. Basinski decided it was time to act – picking up a frying pan she began striking one of the teens.

Taking off with only a wallet containing $10.00 the group fled through the neighborhood.

Neighbors assisted Police by pointing out the directions the teens were running. All 4 were captured and placed into custody.

Taken into custody were, 18-year-old Patrick A. Kostal of Elyria and three other juvenile males. All suspects were being held at the Elyria City Jail – Police say the three juveniles would be transported to the Boy’s Detention Home at a later time. All four were charged with Aggravated Burglary, a Felony 1.

Basinski was evaluated on scene by LifeCare Ambulance Paramedics but she refused any treatment or transport.

The top photo is of 18-year-old Patrick A. Kostal. Because of their ages the other three suspects mug shots were not available.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

FIREFIGHTERS PUT ON NOTICE

12 TO BE GIVEN 2 WEEK NOTICE THIS FRIDAY
Elyria – Four Elyria Firefighters, along with their Union President, were called to the Chiefs Office today and were told that Friday is the day.

Dean Marks, President of the Elyria Firefighter’s Union, said that the Firefighters were given paperwork today pertaining to what their severance package would be and Cobra information about getting health insurance. “We were told today that nothing is official but that Friday is the day that it will be official. On Friday they would be given a fourteen day notice.”

Right now the number is 12 and possibly a 13th Firefighter could also be handed a notice come Friday. Marks said that they were also told today that come June another wave of layoffs is possible.

Marks said that their meeting was cut short by the alarm for the West Ave house fire. “I was the Officer on the truck at the time and two of the potential people to be laid off were on the Rig with me. We were the ones on the line that went in and extinguished the fire.”

Marks said that he is hopeful that a letter he sent to Elyria Law Director Terry “Pete” Shilling yesterday will put a hold on any layoffs. The letter was sent to Shilling by Marks as an Elyria taxpayer – in it Marks says; “The announced layoffs of Firefighters and resultant closings of Elyria Fire Departments scheduled for February 27, 2009 are an immediate threat to the public safety of the people of Elyria and the property of Elyria.”

Marks letter says that it is the “statutory and constitutional duty of the municipal Fire Department to protect the lives and property of those people.” The letter requested Shilling’s office to “initiate and immediate equitable action under 733.57 of the Ohio Revised Code, and or the common law to mandate the pubic safety obligation of the City of Elyria by maintaining the status quo of the currently manned and operated Elyria Fire Departments until the delivery of recommendations currently underway by the professional consultation ordered by the City of Elyria and commenced on February 17th, 2009 by McGrath Consulting Group.”

Marks said that before the audit he believed the staffing to below standards and says that if the new layoffs would go through it will “decimate those standards making it impossible to fulfill the Firefighters’ duty to protect lives and property of the people of Elyria.”

In response to Marks, Shilling responded through a fax today that his office will proceed with his request. “This Office and myself as Law Director will proceed per your request with the necessary research and filing of such action (suit) as we determine appropriate and allowable under ORC section 733.57 et seq., Rule 65 (A) Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure and Ohio Common Law regarding said “Public Safety Obligation.”

BABYSITTER & 5 KIDS ESCAPE FIRE

CHILD PLAYING WITH LIGHTER THE CAUSE
Elyria – A fire broke out in an upstairs bedroom of a West Ave home in Elyria Tuesday afternoon while 5 children with downstairs with their babysitter.

Captain James Cawley of the Elyria Fire Department said that when Firefighters arrived they had light smoke showing from an upstairs window. “We were advised right away that all of the occupants were already outside of the home. The first crew pulled a hand line and entered the home to initiate an attack. They were met with thick smoke in the stairwell which made their visibility zero going into the second floor.”


Firefighters ventilated the home by breaking out windows on the second floor – sending clouds of thick smoke into the air. Cawley said that Firefighters were able to find the seat of the fire and knocked it down. “Once they got the fire knocked down they checked for extension and began overhaul. The fire was contained to one room and our guys placed salvage covers on as much furniture as possible to prevent any further damage. As of right now we have $5,000.00 in damage to the structure and another $5,000.00 to contents.”

Cawley said that the babysitter told Investigators that she was in the living room when she heard one of the children “fussing to get up” from an upstairs bedroom. The babysitter was heading upstairs when she saw fire and smoke in the one of the bedrooms. She quickly grabbed one child and brought her downstairs “dropped her on the couch” then ran back up for the second child and brought him down. She then grabbed a child from a playpen in the living room and placed him in the kitchen with the others.

The babysitter went and got one more child and returned to the kitchen and began putting coats on the kids – at this point Officers from the Elyria Police Department arrived and helped them all get outside and onto a neighbors porch. The babysitter, in two trips, took the children to a neighbor’s home across the street.

Cawley said they were able to determine that the cause of the fire was one of the children playing with a lighter in the upstairs bedroom.

The Lorain County Chapter of the American Red Cross has been called in and will be assisting the family.

Lorain and Avon Fire Departments provided mutual aid by covering the City of Elyria during the fire.


PHOTO GALLERY

Monday, February 23, 2009

REPO ATTEMPT GONE BAD

“just get my damn knife”
Carlisle Township – Sign of the times? Perhaps. Two repo men were attempting to snag a pick up truck out of a driveway on Grafton Road late Sunday night when the owner of the truck pulled a gun on them.

Marcus Berndt and Matt Watson were working for Midwest Recovery when they were detailed to 2345 Grafton Road in Carlisle Township to repo a 2002 Ford Ranger. According to Berndt and Watson they had backed their tow truck into the driveway and began hooking up the Ranger just after 10 p.m. Sunday. Just as they were ready to pull out of the driveway, a man, later identified as Scott Birney, approached them, pointing a handgun to the face of Berndt yelling “put this fucking truck down or I’ll shoot your ass.” At this point Berndt yelled “gun” to his partner – Watson then took off running towards the street and called 9-1-1.

Watson then started to pull out of the driveway with the Ranger as Birney jumped into the pick up truck and was pointing the gun at Watson yelling at him to stop. Watson stopped the truck on Grafton Road.

At this point Briney’s wife arrived and began talking to Berndt for a moment before her husband yelled to her, “just get my damn knife.” According to Berndt the wife did as she was asked and returned a short time later with a knife. Mr. Birney then started chasing the guys around the truck with the knife – the repo guys then got away from Birney and the trucks. Birney then began cutting the straps that held the Ranger to the tow truck. He then attempted to drive the pick up off the tow truck, getting it stuck. Even with it stuck Birney continued trying to drive it off the tow truck.

It was at this time that Deputies arrived and found the tow truck stopped in the road facing west in the east bound lane of Grafton Road. Deputies spotted Birney standing near the Ranger while the repo guys were standing off the road near the wood line.


Deputies, with the assistance of K-9 Officer Ozzy, took Birney into custody. Deputies noted smelling an odor of alcohol on Birney and said that he was unable to walk without assistance and that his speech was slurred.

Deputies ran into another problem while arresting Mr. Birney – his wife.

Tonya L. Birney, upset with her husband being arrested, began screaming at the Deputies to let him go. Mrs. Birney was then taken into custody as well.

Deputies say that while speaking to the repo guys they both said that they feared for their lives, they both believed Birney was going to shoot them.

Birney told Deputies that although he did damage the tow truck, he denied having a handgun. Beyond that Birney refused to say anything else.

While Deputies were performing an inventory on Mrs. Birney’s car – so it could be towed – they recovered two large kitchen knives and another cutting took on the front passenger seat.

Deputies then began to search around the driveway of Birney’s residence and located a .380 caliber Bersa brand handgun.

Mr. Scott Birney has been charged with Aggravated Robbery, having weapons while intoxicated, vandalism, aggravated menacing, tampering with evidence and possession of criminal tools.

Mrs. Tonya Birney was charged with complicity to aggravated robbery, possession of criminal tools, obstruction of justice and complicity to vandalism.


PHOTO GALLERY

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Click image to enlarge

KRAZY FOR INDEPENDENTS

Last July we ran a piece called “Celebrate your Independents.” The piece talked about how people should support locally owned businesses in their community. Studies have shown that money you spend with locally owned independent businesses keep approximately 3.5 times more money in our community then spending it with chains.

Every couple weeks we will feature a locally owned independent business – we encourage our readers, when looking to spend your hard earned dollars, first look at local businesses first.

Our first featured business is Krazy Mac’s located at Broad and Cedar in downtown Elyria.

Krazy Mac’s became famous at first because of their battle with Elyria’s Design Review Committee over their sign. That battle is over and now it’s time for people to put their butts in the seats to see that the food is what will make Krazy Mac’s famous for the long haul.

Last Friday the owner of Krazy Mac’s changed the menu around to accommodate a few new items. Although he removed my favorite dish, Cheeseburger Mac, I chose to forgive him and gave the new menu a try on Saturday. I ordered the Homemade Meatloaf which comes with a side of either Mac & Cheese or Fries – I went with the Mac & Cheese – and mixed vegetables. I switched up the veggies for a side of slaw. First let me say that when Krazy Mac’s labels something “Homemade” they mean it! This was, by far, the best Meatloaf I have ever had at a restaurant. (Disclaimer: Nobody makes a better Meatloaf than my Mom, but she lives in Texas.) The Meatloaf was very tasty and the gravy was great. Someone asked me if they have the option to have mashed potatoes as a side, I don’t believe they do – but you gotta try it with the Mac & Cheese, very good. My bill for the two generous slices of Meatloaf, Mac & Cheese, Cole Slaw and Bread Stick was $7.95.

Also new on the menu you will find, a Breaded Shrimp Basket, Breaded Pork Chops and Crispy Chicken Tenders.

Krazy Mac’s has Lunch Specials that run Monday through Friday from 11am to 3pm for only $5.95.

Although carry out is available I encourage people to sit down and enjoy the atmosphere inside the restaurant – you can also sit and watch the traffic go by!

If you have a suggestion for our readers of a great locally owned independent business – doesn’t have to be a restaurant – please feel free to let everybody know by writing them in the comment section. You are able to do this without signing your full name too.

The last time we did this our readers really created a long list – let’s do that again and get the word out on some of our local businesses.

If you have a business that you want featured please drop me an email @
tmcnews2@aol.com - please put Featured Business Idea in the subject line.

Now head to downtown Elyria and get Krazy with Krazy Mac’s, might see you there.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

TEEN TRAPPED AFTER CAR CRASH

HEAVY SNOW FALLS DURING RESCUE
Henrietta Township – A single car crash on Gifford Road Sunday afternoon left one teen in serious condition.

Troopers say that 19-year-old Sarah Haynes of Wakeman was traveling north on Gifford Road when the crash occurred. They say at some point Haynes lost control of her car and went off the right side of the road – striking a utility pole. Troopers say that when the car left the road heading for the pole it was on its side – the car crashed into the pole roof first.

Firefighters from Camden Township responded and found Haynes still inside of the car – trapped with serious head injuries.

Along with the normal extrication equipment Firefighters knew that they would have to get creative and think outside the box to get Haynes out of the mangled car. One of the Firemen, who lived close by, went home and returned with a Bobcat Super Boom. Utilizing all of the tools Firefighters carefully cut away and created an opening to remove Haynes. All during the extrication the Firefighters and Paramedics were aware of the amount of pain Haynes was in as she cried and screamed.
Once extricated Haynes was placed on a backboard and taken to an awaiting ambulance. Paramedics from Central Lorain County Ambulance District continued their treatment and transported her to Allen Community Hospital in Oberlin.

During the extrication process the weather turned against the Rescuers – snow began to fall and became heavier and heavier. At times it was almost blizzard conditions with low visibility.

Troopers, who conducted their investigation through the heavy snowfall as well, said that they discovered Haynes had been traveling in the wrong lane just before the crash. Marks on the road indicated that she was in the southbound lane before cutting across and going off the road. When Hayne’s Ford Contour Sport hit the ditch the car began to roll – that is when the car struck the pole. The impact collapsed the roof in on Haynes – bending the car in the center.

Paramedics had initially requested Metro LifeFlight to meet them at the hospital but due to the weather conditions the helicopter had to turn back. Haynes was later transported by ground to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland where her condition is unknown at this time.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash.


For best Photo Gallery viewing, click the Slideshow button on the gallery page.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

LCCC CLOSED UNTIL THURSDAY

Campus Schedule
The LCCC Children's Center will be CLOSED the week of February 23 - 27.
LCCC learning centers in Lorain, Elyria, Wellington and Midpoint Campus in Brunswick will be OPEN as scheduled. IVDL classes at these locations will NOT be available.
The Bass Library/Community Resource Center is CLOSED.
The Stocker Arts Center is CLOSED.
The Spitzer Conference Center will be OPEN as scheduled.
The Center for Leadership in Education (CLE) is OPEN.
All Allied Health and Nursing clinical courses will run as scheduled with the exception of those that are located on the LCCC Main Campus (until Thursday).
All non-credit business/IT courses and programs are canceled until further notice.


Please check www.lorainccc.edu for further updates.
If you have questions, please email chering@lorainccc.edu.

Faculty and Staff
We ask that all faculty and staff return on Monday, Feb. 23 beginning with an 8:30 am briefing in the Spitzer Grand Room. At that time, we will share with you our transition plan for restoring our campus.

Everyone should dress comfortably and in warm clothes, as not all systems will be fully operational throughout campus. Individuals who work in the Multipurpose Center and Health Sciences Building will need to be prepared to pack up personal belongings for the necessary cleaning that needs to occur in your facilities. Additionally, those individuals located in the Multipurpose Center will be temporarily relocated beginning Monday.


Due to the fire, many classes have been moved to new locations.
Please click here to view the list of classes that have been relocated

This list will be updated as new locations are determined.
All classes will be held at their normal days and times.

WEATHER ALERT

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

Snow will expand across North Central and Northeast Ohio late this afternoon. Snow will be briefly heavy along with some blowing snow. Temps will start out above freezing but they will drop and as it gets dark there is a better chance for roads to become snow covered and icy. Total snow accumulations will average one to two inches with locally three inches.

Motorists should expect bursts of snow and reduced visibility late in the afternoon and early evening. Motorists should also be alert for icy or snow covered roads – especially towards dark.

Let’s be careful out there tonight!

DEPUTIES DISCOVER BUILDING FIRE

Carlisle Township – Two Lorain County Deputies checking on an alarm at Ron’s Transmission on Oberlin-Elyria Road in Carlisle Township early Saturday morning might just have saved the building from being engulfed in flames.

When Deputies arrived they began checking to see if the building was secure, not knowing that inside there was a fire burning. While checking they smelled smoke and then spotted the smoke coming from the roof area. Deputies quickly had Carlisle Township Firefighters dispatched to the scene.

As part of an automatic mutual aid system, Carlisle also had Firefighters responding from Oberlin and LaGrange.

When Firefighters arrived they found fire breaking through the roof towards the center of the building. Additional Departments were requested at that time to set up a water shuttle and to cover the Carlisle Station.

Firefighters entered the structure and within 30 minutes brought the blaze under control and knocked it down.

Officials at the scene say that the fire started near the furnace in the building but said it is still too early to say what sparked the fire. Officials do not believe foul play was involved in the fire.

Additional mutual aid was provided by Eaton Township and Elyria Township at the scene with Elyria sending an Engine to cover the Carlisle Fire Station.


PHOTO GALLERY

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Friday, February 20, 2009

FIRE GUTS SHEFFIELD LAKE HOME

Sheffield Lake – A fire in Sheffield Lake Friday afternoon gutted a Pasadena Street home and the dreams of a newly married couple.

Dave Sperry had been renovating the home that he grew up in as a child for the last two months. Friday afternoon he had gone to the home to make sure it was secure. “I had just brought my wife home from the hospital and knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get out here this weekend to do any work I came out to make sure the place was locked up. I checked the garage and made sure all the tools were locked up inside and that the home was locked. Then about an hour and a half later I started getting calls from neighbors telling me that the house was on fire.”

An alert neighbor spotted smoke and fire coming from Sperry’s home around 2:30pm and quickly called 9-1-1. Firefighters from Sheffield Lake arrived within 3 minutes from the time of the call and found the single story home fully involved in fire. Firefighters went defensive against the blaze.

Mutual Aid arrived moments later from Sheffield Village with their Aerial, Lorain, Avon and Avon Lake with Engines. Lorain Firefighters removed a large tree limb from the front of the home so that Sheffield Village’s Aerial truck could set up and attack the blaze through windows and holes they would cut in the roof with chain saws.

Sperry stood and watched as the home he had hoped to move into with his new wife and stepson went up in smoke. “I just got married last November and we have been living in her Condominium in Elyria since the wedding. Her son is still in school there so we didn’t want to pull him out early so I figured I would use this time to really get the place fixed up so it would be nice for us to move into.”

Sperry said it was hard to stand and watch the house burn. “I grew up in this house. My parents bought it back in 1956 – my dad died here in the house. A lot of memories – a lot of sentiment. I am very happy though that nobody was hurt, these Firemen are working hard to save what they can and I appreciate that, I really do.”

Firefighters had the fire knocked down by 4pm.

Officials say that it is still too soon to say what started the fire; they did confirm that the doors to the home were locked when the first crew arrived. Investigators will be at the home Saturday.


PHOTO GALLERY

RIG ROLLS OFF SNOWY PIKE

Elyria – A quick, heavy hit of snow late Thursday night left many roads snow covered and slick. This may have been the cause of a semi driver losing control of his rig on the Ohio Turnpike.

The rig went off the Pike near the 146 Eastbound – just east of the North Abbe Road overpass. The rig busted through a guardrail and came to rest in a ditch about 100 yards off of Route 57. Holes in the rigs fuel tanks caused fuel to begin spilling into the stream, requiring the Elyria Fire Department to respond to control the leak.

Firefighters say just under 200 gallons of diesel fuel spilled out of the rig and into the frozen stream.


Firefighters built dams to prevent the fuel from traveling any further then the immediate area.


YOUR WEEKEND WEATHER

This Afternoon: Occasional snow. High near 34. Breezy, with a south wind between 18 and 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Total daytime snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

Tonight: Snow showers, mainly before 9pm. Low around 23. Breezy, with a west wind between 16 and 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Sunday: Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 26. Breezy, with a west wind around 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Sunday Night: Scattered snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16. Wind chill values as low as -1. Breezy, with a west wind between 18 and 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Updated: Saturday 12pm

GROUP UPSET OVER CUTS TO PARKS

“I am a die heard democrat, always have been but this is just killing me inside to see what is happening, not just to the Parks but to the entire city” said Sandy Perkins as she tried to fight back tears. “I love Elyria and I just hate to see this happen.”
Elyria – Ladies from the “Active Group” – one of the Elyria Parks and Recreation Department programs slated to be cut – met Thursday at Krazy Macs in downtown Elyria for some good food and conversation.

The ladies discussed old times, old and new friendships and mostly questioned; “where do we go from here.” You see for most they have been part of the “Active Group” for 20 or more years and now the program is ending due to budget cuts in the City of Elyria.

Virginia Paull lives on Elyria’s north side and has been going to the exercise program for over 20 years; “I’m just devastated by this, we are all devastated by this news. This low impact exercise program is wonderful for us senior citizens – or Active People as they call us – and to lose it now is just a shame.”

Paull says that the instructors who work with the group exercise their arms and legs, “this program is great for joint pain and our Doctors have told us that it is great for diabetics too. It just helps keep you healthy and active. We have been looking for another place to go but so far we just can’t find anything like this program.”

Aside from the exercise and keeping active, Paull and her friends said that the program is also an opportunity for the group to just be together and talk – share their thoughts and ideas. That part of the program they say will be sorely missed.


In another corner of Krazy Macs we found two ladies who were a little feistier and certainly more emotional. Sandy Perkins and Pat Bauer both say that they are going to miss the program and all of the other benefits that the Parks Department provides. “I am a die heard democrat, always have been but this is just killing me inside to see what is happening, not just to the Parks but to the entire city” said Perkins as she tried to fight back tears. “I love Elyria and I just hate to see this happen.”

Bauer said that she is tired of seeing wasteful spending in the city. “Why did our city spend all that money on the River Walk or those flower baskets? I also cannot believe what they are doing to the Fire Department, if I need help and call for them I want them to be there. As a tax paying citizen I expect them to be there.”

While the ladies enjoyed their Krazy Mac dishes, Paull circulated a Recall petition that she picked up from the Stand-Up Elyria headquarters located next door to the restaurant. “Each one of us signed the petition because we believe that the city is not heading in the right directions, we do not believe in what is happening. We want our grandchildren to have the wonderful experiences and opportunities that we had in our great city.”

Thursday, February 19, 2009

COLLEGE ARSON SUSPECT CAPTURED

Elyria – The Elyria Police Department has announced that they have taken an Elyria man into custody after their investigation into the fire that struck at the Lorain County Community College Wednesday.

According to Police – Investigators from the Elyria Police Department, the Elyria Fire Department and the State Fire Marshals Office initiated an investigation into the cause of the fire. The fire scene was processed and available evident seized and interviews with witnesses began.

As a result of the initial investigation Police say that Drew Manns, 24 of Villanova Circle, Elyria, was arrested without incident and charged with Aggravated Arson (F2). Manns is being held in the Elyria City Jail without bond pending his arraignment in Elyria Municipal Court.

Police say that the investigation into the fire continues.

Manns is no stranger to the law, in September of 2007 he escaped from a jail facility, stole a car and then barricaded himself in his parents home on Villanova Circle. Manns held Police at bay while Negotiators talked to him on the phone – eventually getting him to walk out the front doors to be taken into custody. To read this story CLICK HERE

MAIN CAMPUS CLOSED THURSDAY

UPDATE FROM LCCC: Thursday
The LCCC Main Campus will be CLOSED on Thursday and Friday. All day and evening classes canceled.
Other LCCC learning centers in Lorain, Elyria, Wellington and Midpoint Campus in Brunswick will be OPEN. IVDL classes at these locations will NOT be available.
The Stocker Arts Center will be CLOSED on Thursday and Friday. Friday's performances of "The Silent Boy" have been canceled.
The Spitzer Conference Center will be CLOSED on Thursday and OPEN on Friday.
The Center for Leadership in Education (CLE) is OPEN.
****

NOTICE FROM LCCC:
A fire began at approximately 5:30 pm in the basement of the Business Building at Lorain County Community College. All faculty, staff, and students were safely evacuated and the campus was closed.

The College’s emergency siren, public address and text messaging systems alerted students and the public that the campus was being evacuated. There are several thousand students on the LCCC campus for evening classes.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by fire officials. For ongoing updates on the campus status, please check our website homepage at
www.lorainccc.edu.

On Thursday, February 19:
The LCCC Main Campus will be CLOSED.
Other LCCC learning centers in Lorain, Elyria, Wellington and Brunswick will be open.
IVDL classes at these locations will NOT be available.
The Stocker Arts Center will be CLOSED.

The Spitzer Conference Center will be OPEN.

The Center for Leadership in Education (CLE) will be OPEN.

1 MILLION PLUS IN DAMAGES AT LCCC

“I knew we had a major problem early on – Everywhere you looked there was smoke in every building I could see, there was smoke coming out through the ground and through vents. It was not a good feeling.” Assistant Chief Ron Brlas
Elyria – The fire that broke out on the campus of Lorain County Community College Wednesday afternoon has left many sections of the campus shut down – Authorities say some buildings are without power and could be for an extensive period of time. Officials from the college encourage all students to check the school’s website to find out which classes will be canceled.

The fire started in a tunnel below the business building sending smoke through the tunnels and into the ventilation system throughout the college.

Dylan Trupo of Grafton was inside of the College when the smoke started filling the hallways and they began evacuating. “There were plumes of smoke coming out of every air vent around the business building – new library and old connections center. The smoke got so bad you could barely see in front of you – all of the teachers and security guards were running through the buildings evacuating people.”

Trupo said that when the evacuation process began there was really no panic – just some confusion. “People didn’t seem scared or panicked, just wondering what was happening. The problem for us leaving was the traffic jam – that was absolutely horrible.”

According to Tom Kelley, Director of the Lorain County Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security, Lorain County 9-1-1 Operators began receiving hang up calls from the College at 5:21 pm. “Those calls came in from the area of the fire, and then at 5:40 pm, 9-1-1 received the first call of smoke in the building.”

Assistant Chief Ron Brlas of the Elyria Fire Department was in command through the entire incident. Brlas said that from the beginning there were obstacles to overcome. “We had trouble accessing the area to begin with – we had to stretch a long 21/2 inch line from behind the administrative building to the Business building. We had a difficult time accessing the area and then once they forced open the doors they were met with a big wall of fire.”

Brlas said that the first crew was not making much headway from their entry point so they decided to have another crew make an attack from a different direction. When that crew was also met with a large wall of fire and was not successful making any headway they decided to go back to their original plans. Brlas said Firefighters continued to feed several hundred feet of hose line down into the tunnel system as the fire worked itself through the tunnels at will.

The tunnels were packed, Brlas said, with office furniture and paper products. On top of that drop ceilings were collapsing into the tunnels as well, further hampering access for Firefighters.
“The ceilings caved in and then you had wires hanging all over the place – the fire melted the fiber optic cables for the College, it was quite extensive.”

Although it is still too early to determine a cause of the blaze, Brlas said it is suspicious. “We have our Fire Investigators looking into this and the State Fire Marshall has been notified as well. Right now it appears suspicious because of the time of day and the amount of fire we had down there. But at this stage nothing can be ruled out, that is what the Investigators are here for.”

When asked if fighting fires in a tunnel like this, with furniture and other office products packed in along with collapsing ceilings and dangling wires was, on a scale of 1 to 10, close to a 10 in difficulty – Brlas didn’t have to think twice. “It’s a ten. Really, you are going down a concrete tube and there is nowhere for the hot gases and smoke to go other than right back on top of the guys. It makes firefighting extremely dangerous.” Brlas said that unlike in a house fire where Firefighters can cut a hole in the roof to ventilate the smoke, heat and gases you are unable to do that down in the tunnels. “Plus the heat that stays inside of that concrete tube – the concrete itself magnifies the heat. Just think what it’s like standing on hot pavement during the middle of summer how much you feel that heat – now imagine that surrounding you in a tunnel.”

Because of the heat and other obstacles of the tunnels crews would rotate through, usually as their air bottles would empty. “We didn’t want to lose ground with the fire so usually when one crew started to lose air another crew would come up behind them and take over the hose and the other crew would leave the building for rehab, fresh air and fresh bottles. That system seemed to work well for us, the continuity and the pace of the fighting went very well.”

Brlas said that although he knew within 10 or 15 minutes that they had a big fire on their hands, he had no idea in the beginning how far it would progress. “I knew we had a major problem early on – Everywhere you looked there was smoke in every building I could see, there was smoke coming out through the ground and through vents. It was not a good feeling.”

Three Firefighters were injured while battling the blaze; two were treated at the scene while a third was taken to the Emergency Room. “Firefighters Wood and Shannon were treated at the scene for exhaustion and dehydration after rotating through 3 or 4 times. They collapsed on scene and taken into the back of the Ambulance and given I’V’s and rehabbed right there at the scene.”

The third Firefighter was Captain Joe Pronesti; he was taken for smoke inhalation. “The last I knew his Carbon Monoxide levels were quite high so they treated him at EMH for that and then he was released.” Brlas said that Pronesti’s crew was one of the first on scene so when their air bottles ran out and they exited the building there were no fresh crews to return – so they would replace their bottles with new ones and return to the tunnels. Brlas said they had gone through 4 bottles before Pronesti collapsed.
“They had come out after their fourth bottles emptied and he stood in front of me to brief me on the situation – then all of a sudden he just went to his knees. A couple of the guys grabbed him and quickly moved him to the ambulance where the Paramedics started working on him before taking him to the hospital.”

Brlas said that even though Pronesti is a close friend he had to continue as Command of the fire. “Joe was always in my thoughts as we continued but of course we had a lot more Firefighters still in dangerous situations so you have to keep your head in the game. The nice thing is that I had Mike Bridge, LifeCare Supervisor, right there with me and he would constantly give me updates on Joe’s condition that he was receiving from the ER.” Brlas said that in the Command area he also had Sgt. Pelko from the Elyria Police Department who oversaw the scene security. Pelko also made sure the ambulance transporting Pronesti had a Police escort.
“That was great having him there and he did a great job as did all of the Police Officers and Campus Security guards. Dealing with the evacuations, the traffic and the security for us was a huge task and they were outstanding.”

Brlas said that at this point the damage estimates range anywhere from 1 million to 1.5 million dollars.

Tom Kelley said that in total 14 Departments were involved, 12 at the scene and 2 covering at Elyria’s downtown station. LifeCare and Central Lorain County Ambulance District provided EMS coverage. The Lorain County Chapter of the American Red Cross provided a canteen for the emergency crews.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

FIRE AT LCCC


Photo Credit: Dylan Trupo
DEVELOPING STORY
Elyria – Firefighters from all over Lorain County are battling a fire on the campus of Lorain County Community College at this hour.

The fire is located in tunnels below the campus and thick black smoke is venting throughout the campus buildings.

One Elyria Firefighter was seen being rushed to Elyria Memorial Hospital by LifeCare Paramedics with a Police Escort. The condition of that Firefighter is unknown at this time.

Elyria Fire Department is receiving mutual aid from Lorain, Avon, Amherst, Sheffield Village, North Ridgeville and others from Lorain County.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

DRASTIC CUTS COMING TO ELYRIA FIRE

“The way we fight fires will have to change – the statement I made to one of the guys is that the most important thing we can ask of the citizens right now is to install smoke detectors and make sure they are working.” Union President Dean Marks
Elyria – Mayor Bill Grace presented his “State of the City” address today and the numbers were sobering and staggering. Elyria Firefighter’s Union President Dean Marks said he was blindsided by the numbers he heard today. “The numbers we have been given before were from Council meetings and they were cuts of $600,000 and now today we were told that they will be cutting $900,000 from the Fire Department budget.” Marks said that the Firefighters was one of the only Unions to sit with the Mayor and try to work through options to stave off the cuts and layoffs to “properly protect the city.”

It is projected that the cuts will lower the minimum manpower from 14 to 11 guys per shift and potentially closes another Station. “With this new policy there are going to be massive amounts of layoffs, I’ve heard upward of 20 to 25 guys to make that number work. I don’t have concrete numbers, but when we were at the $600,000 cut from the budget it was 10 to 12 guys – now you’re talking an additional $300,000, that’s an astronomical amount. So essentially what you are going to do now is you won’t have a lot of guys left on a shift.”

As it stands now, the Elyria Fire Department has 75 on staff. That number includes one secretary and the current Fire Chief who is set to retire in March and 5 or 6 guys that Marks said is on extended sick leave and two are serving in the Military.

Marks said there will be many changes in the Department if these cuts become a reality he said the most noticeable change that people will see is the decrease in response times to certain areas of the city. “The way we fight fires will have to change – the statement I made to one of the guys is that the most important thing we can ask of the citizens right now is to install smoke detectors and make sure they are working. Here’s why I say that; essentially you are only sending 9 guys to a fire that can effectively work. Our tactics here at the Elyria Fire Department are going to have to change unbelievably. We can no longer aggressively fight fires like we’re accustomed to and try to save property.”

Marks said that the number one priority has always been and will remain to be saving lives. “If there is a life hazard our guys are still going to go in – they know they won’t have the backing behind them and help if something were to go wrong inside. These guys are professionals and they still stand today on that line and they’re going to go in and unfortunately I think that is what bothers the spouses the most is that they know that’s still going to be the case. But aside from there actually being a rescue we’ll probably have to sit back and wait for our off duty guys or a second Engine Company to arrive before we effectively start an interior attack. You’re going to see a lot of fires that could have been stopped – let’s say you have 4 stations / 17 guys and a small fire that are probably going to balloon into some pretty good house fires if not total losses.”

Another service that is set to be affected is the EMS first responding. “Each Firefighter is certified at least as an Emergency Medical Technician, there are also about a dozen guys who are certified as Paramedics. Every Rig has an Automatic Defibrillator; and we can intubate at this time in the City of Elyria – so we are First Responders to all life threatening emergencies in the City of Elyria. I am not certain but I have heard if the number hits 11 that the First Responding might cease. We may no longer run EMS in the city because of the cutbacks.”

Marks said that the idea of not running EMS in the city bothers him because he said he got into this line of work to help save lives. “I don’t care if it is pulling someone out of a fire, cutting a kid out of a car or it’s the 50 year old man who was in Full Arrest and we bring him back – I don’t care, to me it’s all apart of my job and I love doing it. Unfortunately we’re to a point now to where we just can’t do it all.”

This May will mark 15 years on the Department for Marks, by far he said this is the worst he has ever seen it. “Our state association Secretary Treasurer, Mark Horton, made a statement earlier today that if we run this city with 11 Firefighters on a shift, we will be one of the lowest, if not the lowest, protected cities, of its size, in the State of Ohio. Unfortunately I don’t see this changing anytime soon, if you look at the Mayor’s plan we are at the top of the list when it comes to cutbacks – now if he passes a tax levy and money starts coming in we’re at the bottom of the rung when it comes to getting additional funds. So no, I don’t see this administration allowing us to get back to where we need to be to be provide the most effective service to the people of Elyria.”

In reaction to the interview we had with Mayor Grace, where the Mayor suggested that the Elyria Fire Department, during negotiations continually asked for more and more and when they got more they would ask for even more – Marks said that is simply not true. “We have never asked the city or this administration for hand outs, we have only asked for what we needed to provide the best protection for the City. We have only ever asked for a fair shake.”

Marks also wanted to clear up one other point and that’s about the current campaign to recall the Mayor. “It has been suggested by this Mayor that we are behind this and that is simply not true. We do not support the recall and I have said in meetings to our members that as a Union we do not in anyway support the recall. There might be Firefighters or family members who have signed the petition, but none of the members have worked with the group. There is a retired Firefighter heading up the campaign but no current Firefighters are a part of that group. That is not our job, our job is to provide safety for the citizens of Elyria and that is what we will continue to do.”

Dean Marks also said that if any citizen would like to speak with him directly about the current situation he welcomes the opportunity. You can reach him by calling the Fire Station at 440.323.4815.

As of today the changes presented are not final – the final, precise numbers are expected by the end of this month – perhaps by the end of the week. Full time employees are expecting their two-week notice on Friday, February 27th.

CHECK YOUR CHILD’S CAR SEAT

Wellington – Wellington Fire Department responded Monday afternoon to a crash on Route 58, just south of Hughes Road, and like with the crash on I-90 in Avon last Saturday this one involved a vehicle with a child in a car seat.

In Saturday’s crash, the front-end impact sent a child flying out of his car seat up to the front of the minivan in which he was riding. That child was immediately taken to Fairview Hospital’s Trauma Center. According to Avon Fire Chief Frank Root, the child in that crash was ejected from the car seat because he was not properly restrained.

In Monday’s crash a 2-year-old child was in a car seat located in the rear passenger side of the vehicle. The crash occurred when a semi, that had been hauling 7-UP, attempted to pass another truck on Route 58 just south of Hughes Road. The truck ended up in the lane of the car with the child on board. The driver of the car swerved to miss the semi but the car spun and struck the semi – the impact to the car was the rear passenger side, right where the child was seated.

According to Wellington Firefighter and specially trained Child Car Seat Technician Derick Oswald, the child in this crash was properly restrained. “The passenger side was heavily damaged, right where the child’s car seat was located. The impact was so great that it pushed parts of the car in where it was touching the car seat.”

Oswald said that even with the severe impact of the crash the child remained in the car seat. He also said that had the child in the Avon crash been properly restrained that child would have also remained in the seat. “In my opinion and with my training in child car seat safety, I believe that had the child in Avon been properly restrained there is no way he would have come loose from the seat.”

Paramedics from Central Lorain County Ambulance District treated the child and her mother, 22-year-old Brittany Gregory, and transported them to Allen Medical Center. They were both later flown to MetroHealth Medical Center for further evaluation. Gregory, who is 22 weeks pregnant, received only minor injuries and her daughter was released Monday evening.

The driver of the semi, 52-year-old Bryan Kovacevich and the driver of the Focus, Daniel Gregory refused treatment or transport.

Oswald said that this should be a reminder to anyone traveling with children in car seats to properly restrain them. “It doesn’t matter if you are just driving down the street to a local store or for a long drive, the child must be properly restrained. I encourage anyone who travels with small children to inspect their child’s car seat and make sure it is properly installed. You should read and review not only the car seat manual but also read and review the vehicle’s manual and how the manufacturer says it should be installed. Each car is different so anytime you move the car seat to another vehicle you must review the manuals.”

TMC NEWS covered Oswald and other Technicians performing safety checks last August at the Wellington Fire Department. ( AUGUST STORY )Two weeks after that story ran we covered a story in Wellington after a mother rolled her SUV with her children inside. In that crash the child in the car seat was properly restrained – the child was found still strapped in the car seat hanging upside down. The child received no injuries in that crash. ( ROLL OVER CRASH )

Oswald said that anyone with questions about child car seat safety can contact him at the Wellington Fire Department by calling 440.647.2245 or by Emailing
wfdcarseat@gmail.com - Oswald said he would be happy to schedule an appointment to inspect a child’s car seat.

If you live up north, Chief Frank Root of the Avon Fire Department said that several of his Firefighters are Technicians as well – you can contact the Avon Fire Department with questions by calling 440.934.1222 or you can Email questions to
info@fdavon.com

For those of you between Wellington and Avon, the Elyria Fire Department also has a Car Seat Safety Technician. You can contact him by calling the Fire Department at 440.323.4815.

Oswald said that the short amount of time you might spend reviewing manuals and learning how to properly install seats and properly restrain your child is nothing compared to what could happen. “Properly restrained children in properly installed car seats saves children’s lives – no question.”


To read the Child Car Seat Inspection story: CLICK HERE

To read the Roll Over story: CLICK HERE

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