Monday, November 29, 2010


The Sheffield Lake Fire Department is mourning the loss of their mascot and friend “Quint.”

Quint the Fire Dog was laid to rest last Friday after serving as the official mascot of the Sheffield Lake Fire Department since 1998.

Scott Kozlowski, President of the Sheffield Lake Fire Fighters IAFF Local 2355, said Quint adapted well to his duties as a greeter for the many visitors to the Fire Department. He also was a companion to the many Firefighters who worked at the station during his time there. “It didn’t matter what your day brought, Quint was always at the station happy to see you and ready to be a friend. He was a member of the department and a member of our family.”

The Sheffield Lake Firefighters have traditionally always had a dog and in time they will consider getting another one Kozlowski said, but for now they are still mourning the loss of their friend. “Quint brought much joy to us, the community and other communities. Quint used to attend the North Ridgeville Corn Festival with the North Ridgeville Fire Fighters and take pictures with the kids to raise money for MDA. He will forever be missed and remembered by the Sheffield Lake Fire Fighters.”



Elyria – The friends of AJ Vincent are organizing a fundraiser to help the Vincent family bury their 18 year old son.

A special fund has been set up through First Merit Bank – anyone who wishes to make a donation may do so any FIRST MERIT BANK location.

The Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser will be held on Saturday December 11th beginning at 2 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church on West River Road North behind I-Hop. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for kids 10 and under.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Organizers are also looking for volunteers to help with the dinner. Anyone interested in volunteering are asked to call April Mackert at 440.610.2154 or Tracee Barbee at 440.752.6809.

Along with the delicious spaghetti guests will also have opportunities to participate in raffles and door prizes. Live music will also be provided.


Columbus – Provisional numbers released today by the Ohio Department of Public Safety show fewer motorists were killed on Ohio’s roadways this Thanksgiving Holiday. In addition, the Ohio State Highway Patrol handled 8.5 percent less crashes than last year’s holiday.

During the reporting period, which began Wednesday, November 24, at 6 p.m. and ran through Monday, November 29, at 6:00 a.m., 10 people were killed with three of those deaths attributed to alcohol. As compared to the 18 people who lost their lives last year, with 10 being alcohol-related. In addition, in this year’s fatal crashes, 60 percent of those killed were not wearing a safety belt.

Throughout the extended weekend, troopers, alongside local law enforcement, used high visibility enforcement combined with OVI checkpoints to reduce fatal and injury crashes state-wide.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety is encouraged by the reduction of fatalities this holiday weekend and hopes that this decline will continue throughout the holiday season.

Troopers would like to remind motorists to buckle-up during the upcoming holidays and emphasize that wearing a safety belt is the only way to avoid serious injury or death during a crash.


Sheffield Village – A Detroit Road barn burned to the ground Sunday afternoon and now Fire Officials will sift through the rubble to determine the cause.

Chief Jeff Young of the Sheffield Village Fire Department said they received the call at 12:51 p.m. Sunday. “When our guys arrived the fire had busted through the roof and the entire structure was fully involved.”

Heavy black smoke from the fire could be seen for miles away. Lorain Fire Department received calls of thick black smoke in the area of Homewood on the city’s south side. Firefighters checked but confirmed the smoke was from Sheffield Village.

Chief Frank Root of the Avon Fire Department lives close by and was one of the first to arrive. Root said he first saw moderate white smoke conditions but it quickly turned black as the fire broke through and grew.

The barn was leased from the property owners and used to repair cars and semi’s. The man who owns the business was taken to Avon Emergency Care Center by Firefighters after he complained of chest pains.

Exactly one hour after they were called to the scene Chief Young announced to Lorain County 9-1-1, their Dispatch, This Fire is Out!

Sheffield Village received mutual aid assistance from Avon, Sheffield Lake and Sheffield Township Fire Departments.

The fire remains under investigation.


Sunday, November 28, 2010


Elyria – A couple hundred friends and family gathered in the east parking lot of Elyria Catholic High School, just feet from where AJ Vincent lost his life the night before.

Patrick Humphrey, St. Jude’s Church Deacon and teacher at Elyria Catholic High School, said he was called around 7 p.m. by one of the organizer’s parents. “She told me the kids had planned a candlelight vigil for AJ and they wanted to know if I would come down to say a few words and just be here with them, and of course I said yes.”

Humphrey led the vigil in prayer and remembrance. “I said a few words to try and comfort those who were here tonight but more importantly were the friends that spoke and shared stories about AJ. One of his friends talked about how they shared a blanket when they were just infants and that got a chuckle out of the crowd.” Humphrey reminded the kids that it was ok to laugh while remembering the friend that they lost. “It is ok to laugh; I think a lot of them are afraid to laugh but its ok. Once they all got together and started telling stories I think they felt it was ok and together they are helping each other heal and get through this tragedy.”

Teddy Bears, flowers, signs and other mementos were placed by a utility pole in the tree lawn next to where Vincent’s car came to rest.

The vigil was organized by friends quickly and the power of Facebook and Text messaging seemed almost more powerful then getting the word out through the media as hundreds showed up.

Humphrey said that although the kids and others that showed up may not know it, but their vigil helps the family of Vincent. “Seeing the outpouring of love from the friends gives them strength, the family will pull from this and use this as they move forward through these very difficult days. In these days when people are cynical about kids all they need to do is look at what has happened here tonight, to see the kind of love they show for each other. I teach right there at EC and I see it every single day – every single day and this is just a big outpouring of people sharing their love for each other.”

“Friends make the good times better”, said Humphrey. “But they are also there to divide the grief and help support each other in times of grief. They’re always coming together in the good times but it’s in these tragic times that you really see them shine and as I look out here and see all these people – it gives you hope doesn’t it?”

A special fund has been set up to assist the family financially. If anyone would like to donate you may do so by visiting any FIRST MERIT BANK and making a contribution to the AJ VINCENT FUND. A fundraiser dinner is also being organized for December 11th. We will post those details as they become available.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Elyria – Working off a grant titled “High Visibility Enforcement” by the State of Ohio Department of Public Safety, Elyria Police Officers and State Troopers set up an OVI Checkpoint Friday night on Lake Ave near the Elyria Police Station.

Just minutes after the traffic cones and signs were set up the Checkpoint nabbed its first OVI arrest. In total 414 cars passed through the Checkpoint, 5 were arrested for driving drunk and one was cited for Open Container.

One of the people arrested turned onto West from Broad Street and after noticing the sign alerting drivers to the Checkpoint he made a right turn onto Kerstetter Way. The man then made a left turn into the parking lot of the Police Station. He drove through the lot around the station and ended up at the driveway leading out of the parking lot right into the Checkpoint with the Commander of Post 47, Lt. Travis Hughes standing in front of him. Hughes said he first thought it was a Police Dispatcher and he signaled to the SUV asking if they wanted to turn left or right out of the lot. When the vehicle didn’t move Hughes approached and smelled the strong odor of alcohol coming from inside – at this point he had the man step out. The man agreed to a field sobriety test but was unable to stand without assistance so he was taken to the trailer for further tests which he refused. He was cited for OVI.

The Checkpoint was shut down just before midnight and the Officers and Troopers took to the roadways looking for impaired drivers. A State Trooper arrested one on Route 57 near Chestnut after he clocked him driving in excess of 100 MPH.

About 90 minutes after the Checkpoint shut down is when the crash on Poplar Street occurred. The driver of the Chevy Malibu informed Officers and Troopers that he had been drinking and that he was driving approximately 60 MPH on the 35 MPH posted street.



Elyria – Family and friends of the victims from this morning’s crash on Poplar Street will gather at Elyria Catholic tonight at 8 PM for a candle light vigil. The public is welcome to attend according to organizers.

Police have released the names of the victims involved in the crash.

Mark S. Ralich, 21 of Elyria, was the driver of the Chevy Malibu that struck the Ford Focus.

The Focus was driven by Andrew J. “AJ” Vincent of Elyria. Vincent was pronounced dead at the scene by LifeFlight personnel. Passengers in Vincent’s car were Cody Toboz of Grafton, Mitchell Johnson of Elyria and Patrick Desouza of Sheffield Village.

The Elyria Police Department continues to investigate the crash and ask that if anyone has information related to the crash to contact the Department at 440.323.3302.

The PHOTO GALLERY of the rescue has been posted.

WARNING: Some of the images in the gallery are graphic

Friends and family have been posting updates and best wishes to the victims on our facebook page. If you would like to post words of comfort or tribute you may do so HERE



Elyria – A crash on Poplar Street near Elyria Catholic High School has claimed the life of one victim and sent four others to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Poplar and Brandston just east of Gulf Road early Saturday morning.

The driver of a Ford Focus was traveling south on Brandston from his home with 3 friends in his car. The driver was attempting to cross Poplar when the driver of a blue Chevy Malibu crashed into the driver’s side door of the Focus. The impact threw the Focus 150 feet pinning 3 of the four occupants.

The 21 year old driver of the Malibu told Police at the scene that he had been drinking prior to the crash and that he was traveling approximately 60 MPH on Poplar.

A back seat passenger was able to get out of the car just after the crash and ran for help. The remaining 3 victims inside of the car had to have Elyria Firefighters cut the car apart to free them.

Two helicopters from Metro LifeFlight landed in the parking lot of Elyria Catholic and assisted treating the victims while other helicopters, one from Toledo, responded to Elyria Memorial for the other victims.

Even with the combined efforts of the 5 LifeCare ambulances, the Metro LifeFlight Medical Team and Elyria Firefighters the driver of the Focus did not survive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


WARNING: Some of the images in the gallery are graphic

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Amherst – Two Lorain men had to be cut out of a car late Wednesday night after they crashed on North Main near West Martin.

The two men were traveling north on Main when they went off the left side of the road crashing into a large concrete post before coming to rest in a front yard.

Amherst Firefighters had to cut portions of the car apart to free the two men. According to Amherst Fire officials the driver was unresponsive the entire time while the passenger was semi responsive during the rescue operation.

LifeCare Paramedics treated the victims at the scene before transporting to Amherst Hospital Emergency Room. Helicopters were requested for both victims but because of inclement weather they were unable to fly. Both victims were later transported by LifeCare ambulances to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

Amherst Police are investigating the crash.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Elyria – Lieutenant Travis Hughes of the Ohio State Highway Patrol has announced that Trooper Cliffton D. Dowell has been selected as the 2010 Trooper of the Year for the Elyria Post.

The selection of Trooper Dowell, 27, is in recognition of outstanding service during 2010 at the Elyria Post. Fellow Troopers selected Dowell based on leadership abilities, professional ethics, courteous treatment of others, enthusiastic work attitude, and cooperation with supervisors, peers and the public.

Trooper Dowell is now in contention for the District and State Trooper of the Year Award to be announced at a later date.

Trooper Dowell joined the Highway Patrol in 2004 and has served at the Chardon and Elyria Posts. Originally from Lorain, Dowell is a graduate of Admiral King High School. He earned the Patrol’s Health & Physical Fitness Award, Criminal Patrol Award in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Dowell was also selected as the Elyria Post Trooper of the year in 2008.

You can see more scene photos with Trooper Dowell visit our FACEBOOK PAGE

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Elyria – Just hours after Officers in Elyria finished their Pizza Perp Operation they were right back on the hunt for a bad guy with a gun in downtown Elyria.

Elyria Police Officer Joe Figula Jr. was on patrol on Broad Street in downtown Elyria around 2 a.m. Sunday morning when he heard a single gunshot ring out from Kerstetter Way just off of Broad Street. Figula slowly moved up and looked down the street and saw a black male fire two more shots and then run west through the ally that runs along the railroad tracks. Figula alerted other Officers and responded to the area of McDonalds to find the suspect. As he pulled into the parking lot the man ran through the lot and across the street towards First Merit Bank.

Officers quickly began setting up a perimeter around the area of the bank. Figula spotted a 4 door Ford Focus stopped on Court Street by the bank with three males standing outside of it and asked if they had seen anyone run out from behind the bank. The males advised no and told him that someone had just shot at their car.

Officers then began closing in behind the bank and found the suspect hiding behind a large electrical box behind the building.

Officers then spread out and began retracing the steps of the suspect in search of the gun after they couldn’t find it on the suspect. Officers climbed up on air conditioning units, vehicles and walked along the railroad tracks during the search. Elyria Firefighters responded to the ally with ladders to search rooftops as well.

During a secondary search of the ally Officer Figula found the gun behind Moss’ Spaghetti House.

The three victims in the Ford Focus were Bruce Freeman and Thomas Stroup of Vermilion and Steven Solomon of Elyria. Freeman said they had stopped at Vic’s that evening because his cousin works there. After a couple hours of dancing Stroup said they were heading home. “We were on Broad Street heading past the camera store and as we passed the road (Kerstetter Way) we heard a gunshot and then the window blows in on us.” Freeman was driving and Stroup was in the passenger seat were both covered in glass from the shattered window.

Solomon said they turned onto Court Street and stopped the car and got out. “We were all shaken up of course; Thomas had to lean against the car because his legs were giving out on him. I mean that bullet just missed him and it was there lying on the dashboard of the car now.”

The three stood by their car and watched Officers as they searched for the suspect. “When we found out that they caught the guy we were so happy” said Solomon. “It was just a scary situation and glad the cops found him and the gun.”

The suspect was identified as 24 year old Akeem L. Stafford of Lorain. Stafford was charged with the following:
3 counts of Felonious Assault
Having Weapons Under Disability
Tampering with Evidence
Discharging a Firearm within the City
Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Receiving Stolen Property
Obstructing Official Business
Resisting Arrest




Elyria – For the last year or so many food delivery people have been in fear after a rash of fake orders that lead to armed robberies of drivers. That fear was lessened late last night after Elyria Police arrested 3 teenagers on West River Road North after they ordered a pizza from Marcos.

Elyria Police received a call from Marcos Pizza late Saturday night after they got suspicious of a caller. The employee from Marcos took an order for delivery to 748 West River Road North and believed it was the same voice that had called in an order for a delivery on Foster Ave that turned into an ambush on one of their drivers. Police knew they didn’t have a lot of time so they quickly put together an operation.

Police requested that Marcos bring them a car top sign, pizza box and a Marcos ball cap. Police then began to surround the area of the home on West River.

An employee from Marcos said that while Police were preparing to make their move the teen called back asking where his pizza was and that he had seen a driver in the area. That driver was going to another location and the employee assured him that his driver would be there in a few minutes.

Elyria Police Officer Tom Baracskai, aka Pizza Delivery Guy Tommy, suited up with the Marcos ball cap and a large Adidas jacket over his Police K9 uniform and headed out to the house.

As Baracskai made the turn onto West River from Lake Ave in another Officers private vehicle the Police radio went silent – the next voice you would hear would be Baracskai when he was ready for the sweep.

Baracskai said as he approached the house carrying a single pizza box. The box was not filled with a hot Marcos pizza but a .40 caliber handgun. Police had cut a hole in the bottom of the box so Baracskai could have his hand on the gun throughout the operation. He first spotted one black male in the front yard, “As soon as I pulled in the driveway he ran into the house and then came back out and met me in the front yard. When I asked him if he called for a pizza he said for me to go inside that the other guys had the money.”

Knowing that things could only go bad if he were to enter the house Baracskai told the teen to just have the other guys come out for the pizza. The teen continued to try to get Baracskai to enter the home and do the deal inside.

Feeling that the friends inside were not going to play along with the plan Baracskai told the teen in the yard that he was going to get his money bag from the car and would be right back. As Baracskai turned he reached into the Adidas jacket and through his shoulder mic he told the other Officers to approach. The teens must have spotted him talking into his jacket because the teen in the front yard bolted as did another teen from the front porch through a side door on the north side. Both teens ran between the houses and jumped fences to get into the back yard – little did they know that Officers would be right there. Both were apprehended just moments after they ran.

Once both teens were secured Officers went to search the home for additional suspects and any weapons. Officers walked up the steps just behind Elyria Police K9 Fokey who had been waiting in the back seat of the fake pizza car. As soon as Officers took the first step into the enclosed front porch the found the third suspect hiding just to the left of the door. Officer quickly took him into custody and then found a loaded sawed-off shotgun lying beside him on the floor.

All three teens were certified and taken to the Lorain County Detention Home.

When TMC NEWS went to Marcos Pizza and showed the employees the photos of the three teens in custody they cheered and were visibly relieved.

NOTE: Like in the past incidents where delivery drivers were robbed the house was a vacant home and the three teens were able to get in the enclosed porch area. Also, in one of the previous robberies a victim told Police that he was struck with a small shotgun type weapon.


Saturday, November 20, 2010


Elyria – A 20 year old Elyria man, Antonio Lynch, ran from an Elyria Police Officer during a traffic stop on West Ave near 14th Street late Friday night.

Lynch was traveling north on West Ave, along with two passengers, when Elyria Police Officer Todd Straub pulled him over near 14th Street. Lynch bolted from the car and began running north on West Ave with Straub close behind alerting other Officers on the radio that he was in foot pursuit. Straub caught up with and tackled Lynch at the corner of West and 12th Street.

Elyria Police Officer Nick Eichenlaub was the first Officer to arrive at West and 14th and found the car Lynch was driving empty with the rear passenger door still open. Eichenlaub continued north and found Straub on the ground struggling with Lynch on the ground. According to Eichenlaub’s report, “Officer Straub appeared to be attempting to hold the subject on the ground while waiting for assistance from other Officers and the subject appeared to be attempting to get up off the ground.”

Elyria Police Officer Joe Figula arrived and attempted to assist getting Lynch in handcuffs. From Figula’s report, “Officer Straub was shouting for Lynch to provide his arms. Lynch’s arms were tucked under his upper torso. Lynch was not complying.”

Figula and Eichenlaub were finally able to get one of Lynch’s arms out and was able to get one handcuff on while Lynch continued to struggle. Straub continued to control Lynch’s upper body and head while Officers got the second handcuff applied.

Once secured Officers searched Lynch and found a “clear plastic baggie tied in a knot containing numerous tablets of suspected MDMA Ecstasy” in Lynch’s right front pocket. Lynch told Police, “That’s why I ran, because I had those pills.” Officers also found a black ski mask stocking hat in Lynch’s front sweatshirt pocket.

Eichenlaub reports that while transporting Lynch to the Police Station he repeatedly stated, “I see how you guys are, just looking for someone to beat up.” Lynch then told Eichenlaub he did not know why Officers were “picking on him.”

After Police had Lynch secured in a patrol car a neighbor approached and told Officers that the suspect tossed a gun in their yard. Officers went to the area where the neighbor told them and they located a 9MM Semi Automatic Hi-Point handgun.

Lynch was charged with Drug Violations, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Having Weapons Under Disability (Felon or Indictment), Tampering with Evidence, Obstructing Official Business, Resisting Arrest, Improper Handling Firearm in Motor Vehicle.


Friday, November 19, 2010


Amherst – South Amherst Firefighters had to cut a semi sleeper cab apart early Friday morning in order to free a man trapped inside after the semi rolled over and off the Ohio Turnpike.

The semi was traveling east on the Ohio Turnpike before the driver went off the right side of the road and rolled down a hill. The driver of the semi was able to free himself from the wreckage but his passenger, who was in the sleeper area, was trapped. Firefighters worked for about 30 minutes before freeing the man. LifeCare Paramedics were able to climb into the cab and begin treating the 62 year old victim during the extrication.

Once the man was freed he was hoisted up the hill to the ambulance and then transported to Amherst Hospital. The victim was later flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. The driver was also taken to Amherst Hospital with minor injuries.


Elyria – One teenager suffered a gunshot to his neck after being shot at on Lake Ave near Dewey Street early Friday morning. Police say the wound is “non-fatal gunshot wound.”

The time was 2:13 a.m. and Elyria Police Officer J. Figula was parked in the lot at Paul’s Drive Thru on Lake Ave observing traffic flow when he saw two cars traveling on Adams Street and it appeared that one was chasing the other. The two vehicles then turned onto Lake Ave and Figula reported that he saw an unidentified male sitting in the driver’s side rear passenger window. He described the male as being outside of the vehicle seated in the window lying across the roof of the car. The suspect was firing multiple shots into the first car. The shots were being fired in the direction of Officer Figula who took cover inside of his patrol car.

The suspect vehicle was last seen traveling onto Dewey while the victim’s car continued south on Lake towards town. Although Police searched the area for the suspect vehicle they were unable to locate the car.

The victim’s car was spotted on West Ave near the Police station. Officers found three teenagers inside of the car including the 16 year old driver who had gunshot wound to the back of his neck. LifeCare Paramedics responded and treated the victim at the scene before transporting him to Elyria Memorial Hospital.

Police Detectives are now trying to piece together what led up to the chase and shooting. Police believe that there were two to three suspects inside of the vehicle that they describe as a newer model blue in color midsize with tinted windows.

Anyone with information about the incident are asked to contact the Elyria Police Department at 440.323.3302.

PHOTO GALLERY (will be posted soon)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Camden Township – A horrific crash Tuesday afternoon claimed the lives of a family of four, including an unborn baby.

Trooper Jeff Kaess of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said the crash occurred when Gar A. Cole, 23, of Wellington, Ohio, was southbound on Baumhart Road in a 2007 Ford Taurus, drove left of center, and was struck by a northbound commercial vehicle (LOWES box truck)driven by Jeremy A. Hofecker, 31, of Vermilion, Ohio.

Hofecker told Troopers that he saw the car come into his lane so he started honking his horn and even moved as far right as he could. He believed the car would get back into its lane but never did.

Cole and his wife Simone sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash. The Cole’s 18 month old baby, Ryleigh, was restrained in a child safety seat in the back of the car. Ryleigh was transported to Allen Emergency Room and then flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. Trooper Kaess said he received the news late Tuesday night that Ryleigh had passed away at Metro.

Metro LifeFlight Medical personnel attempted to save the Cole’s unborn baby by doing an emergency c-section at the crash site. Simone Cole was 8 and a half months pregnant. Attempts by the Physician on board were unsuccessful.

Hofecker and his passenger in the Lowes truck, Michael J. Dipietro, 42, of Fairview Park, Ohio, were transported to Allen Memorial Hospital by LifeCare with non-life threatening injuries. Hofecker and Dipietro were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

Kaess said it is not clear as why Cole went left of center and that the investigation is still ongoing.



From the Paramedics to the State Troopers and even the seasoned Medical Team on board Metro LifeFlight today many were shaking their heads as they walked away from what one rescuer called, “the worst I’ve ever seen.”

Day in and day out these people go to work and see some of the worst scenes imaginable, yet they continue to show up for their next shift.

Today, the fear that most rescuers have came true – rolling up on scene and knowing the victim. With heavy hearts they performed their duties and gave it all they had to help their friend and her family. In the end it just wasn’t meant to be.

The Metro LifeFlight team along with Paramedics from Allen Hospital, surrounded by the wreckage, valiantly tried to save the unborn baby by performing an emergency C-Section. Troopers, neighbors and others watched from a distance seeing only the wreckage and sheets that were held up for privacy. Then members of the LifeFlight Team emerged visibly upset, the sheets came down. It was apparent to all that the attempt to save the baby did not work.

People ask rescuers how they do what they do every day and 9 times out of ten they will simply say “it’s my job.” Perhaps today some rescuers might be asking themselves “why do I do this job?”

For those of us who do not do their jobs, let’s just hope they find the right answer and keep doing theirs.


Sheffield Village – This wasn’t your typical rescue but Firefighters were called to a home on Colorado Ave Tuesday afternoon when a resident hanging Christmas lights and decorations on his house hurt his leg and couldn’t get back down. The injury was not serious but painful enough where the man just couldn’t get back down on the ground on his own.

Chief Jeff Young of the Sheffield Village Fire Department said his Department trains year round in rope and other types of rescues so today was a fairly routine mission.

Firefighters first secured the man to a SKED STRETCHER on the roof. Three ladders were placed against the house, one for the SKED to slide down and the other two for Firefighters to help guide it down.

Chief Young said the man told him it was an old injury but while on the roof he heard a popping sound and then couldn’t move. That is when he decided to call for the Firefighters to help him down.

A little side note to the story, the entire rescue took place with Christmas music playing from the garage.



Sheffield Village – Twenty plus rail cars jumped the tracks early Tuesday morning somewhere between Abbe and Harris Road.

The cars were from Norfolk Southern and were mainly carrying sand. Officials say there were no injuries reported. Officials did not provide a reason why the cars jumped the tracks.

Sheffield Village Firefighters were on scene for several hours and will continue to inspect the cleanup process.


Elyria – One woman was injured early Tuesday morning after striking a utility pole in the 500 block of South Abbe Road.

An employee of Mug’s Elyria Towing discovered the crash on his way home from work just before 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Police say 29 year old Shannine Wildhaber of Lorain was traveling south on Abbe when she went off the right side of the road and struck a pole.

LifeCare Paramedics treated Wildhaber at the scene before transporting her to Elyria Memorial Hospital Emergency Room.

Police cited Wildhaber with Operating without Reasonable Control.


Friday, November 12, 2010


Sheffield Village – One female occupant of a Ford Explorer was injured Friday afternoon after another vehicle cut the Explorer off causing it to go off the highway.

Police say that the Explorer was traveling eastbound on I-90 in the fast lane, just east of Route 254, when the driver of a pickup truck traveling in the slow lane changed lanes and clipped the Explorer. The collision caused the driver of the Explorer to go off the road and into the median where it rolled over at least once before coming to rest back on its wheels.

Firefighters from Sheffield Village Fire Department treated and transported one of the occupants from the Explorer to Avon Emergency Care Center. All others involved denied injury and refused treatment or transport.

The eastbound fast lane was closed down for about an hour.

Police cited the driver of the pickup for the illegal lane change.

The best part of the story you can see in photo #8 in the gallery where both driver’s shook hands before leaving the scene.



Elyria – The suspect in this case, Paul Gordon of Elyria, has been charged with Inducing Panic (M1) and Carrying a Concealed Weapon (M1).

Gordon faced Judge Lisa Locke Graves Friday morning where he plead Not Guilty to both charges. Graves set a cash / surety bond of $25K for each charge along with the following conditions:

Hearing comment: Condition of bond defendant must keep one mile away from Elyria High School, comply with treatment orders from Dr. Christian. Defendant is to be evaluated by NORD for psychological status before release.

Gordon will face Judge Graves again on January 6th.

Thursday, November 11, 2010



Elyria – Kids walking home from school Wednesday afternoon were frightened when a man wielding a knife began chasing them on West Ave near 2nd Street.

Police responded in force after receiving multiple calls of a black male with no shirt on chasing kids with a knife in the area of West Ave. and Second. As Police responded they were told the man took off running through the First Merit parking lot towards City Hall, still with the knife in hand.

Police Dispatchers were quickly notifying City Hall to lock down in case the man wanted to get inside.

As Police arrived they found the man outside of City Hall on the Second Street Side. Police took the man to the ground and subdued him before taking him into custody.

Students from Elyria High School stood on the opposite side of Second Street and said they were very happy to see the man in custody.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Sheffield Village – If you live in Sheffield Village you might have noticed a severe loss of water pressure or a complete loss of water all together late Tuesday night.

Sheffield Village Police Department began getting calls from residents of little or no water pressure just before midnight Tuesday. The Police Dispatcher even checked and discovered that the Police Station had no water. Officers began searching for a water main break in the area but instead discovered that a car had struck a fire hydrant on East River Road north of Detroit. The driver of the car had already fled the scene.

Police found water gushing from the tipped over hydrant and a small pond was forming in a resident’s yard. Street department employees were called to the scene to turn the water off.

Officers found the teenage driver, shirtless, bleeding and walking west on East 31st Street heading towards Lorain. He was brought back to the scene where he underwent several Field Sobriety tests. After not doing very well with any of them he was transported to the Police station.

Once the Street Department employees turned the water off pressure to homes and the Police Station were restored.

No injuries were reported other than some blood on the driver’s arm.



Elyria – Hundreds stood in long lines Monday night waiting to snag their copy of the new x-box game – CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS.

Some of those gamers were found at Game Stop on Midway Blvd in Elyria camping out waiting for the door to open at midnight. Many of them had been camped out since 3 p.m. to be the first in line.

As more people showed up the number system fell apart and the gamers were getting upset. Police had to be called to the area to help control the close to 300 gamers. Once Police were on scene and took control of the situation the line flowed smoothly and without any further incident. Once the gamers had their new Call of Duty they hustled home to play – for hours and hours.


Monday, November 08, 2010


Elyria – QUIZ: When you drive the wrong way on a highway and crash head-on into another car, then cause a second crash, what do you do? A. Get out and make sure everyone is ok? B. Call your insurance agent and lawyer right away? C. Take pictures and email them to TMC NEWS? Or D. Continue driving home; park your car in the garage close the door and go hide inside of your house?

Police say that 59 year old Thomas Szantay of Emerson Court in Elyria Township chose D on Friday night.

Szantay was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of Rt. 113 between 57 and Lake Ave Friday night at 7:30. Szantay first struck 28 year old Casey Keathley of Elyria who was traveling eastbound about 1000 feet west of 57. Szantay then drove away while another crash occurred while cars were trying to avoid his 1990 Cavalier.

Witnesses spotted Szantay leaving the scene and followed him north on Lake and saw him pull into his driveway then notified Police.

Elyria Police, along with Deputies from the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office, went to Szantay’s home and began pounding on the doors. After a short period of knocking on the door Szantay finally appeared in the living room and then opened the front door.

While speaking with Officers and Deputies inside of the home Szantay admitted to being the driver of the hit skip vehicle. He then opened the garage door from inside the home for Officers to inspect the car.

Szantay was arrested and taken away by Police and charged with the crash.

Four people were taken by LifeCare Paramedics from the scene all with non life threatening injuries to Elyria Memorial Hospital.


Saturday, November 06, 2010


Story & Photos by BRIAN WOODS
Lorain – One man was flown from the scene of a two car collision Saturday night in critical condition after officials say the driver of a Buick went left of center.

The crash occurred just after 10 p.m. Saturday day on the Henderson Bridge near Access Drive. Police had to block traffic on the bridge while Firefighters worked to extricate the driver of the Buick by removing the driver’s side door.

While Firefighters were cutting the car and LifeCare Paramedics were treating the victim a helicopter from Toledo LifeFlight landed on the opposite side of the bridge across from Denny’s. Once the victim was freed from the vehicle he was transported by LifeCare to the chopper.

The other driver was treated but his injuries did not seem serious.

The Lorain Police Department Traffic Division is investigating the cause of the crash.



Wellington – Firefighters from the Wellington Fire District invite you to join them TONIGHT from 5 to 11 p.m. at the Wellington Eagles Club for the 2nd Annual Firefighter’s Chili Cook-Off.

Admission is ONLY $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for kids with all proceeds to benefit Well-Help inc. You will also be asked to donate a dollar for each sample of Chili.

Live music will be provided by one of northeast Ohio’s Premier Island Bands – KEYMOTION – so you are encouraged to bring your dancing shoes to work off the awesome chili.

Last year TMC NEWS was at the Inaugural Chili Cook-Off and even won a door prize from the Oberlin Fire Department. The Chili was AWESOME and there was one Fire Department that had some of the hottest Chili I have ever eaten. I’ll let you figure out which Department that was all on your own.

To view photos from last year’s event: CLICK HERE

Friday, November 05, 2010


Eaton Township – After serving within the Eaton Township Fire Department for 41 years, the past 13 as Chief, Phil Slack turned in his resignation today citing a yearlong battle with a Trustee.

Slack offered the following open and blunt letter to the citizens of Eaton Township.

To The Citizens of Eaton Township:
I have had the honor and privilege of serving you as a member of the Eaton Township Volunteer Fire Department for 41 years, nearly two-thirds of my life. For the past thirteen years I served as your Fire Chief. Throughout my time in the Department my highest priority has been to keep you and all my fire and emergency personnel safe and out of harm’s way. As I look back, I am proud I was able to accomplish that with the help of some extraordinary firefighters and emergency crews. I thank them for the many sacrifices they made and their willingness to serve our township. YOU ARE THE BEST!

As some of you know, this past year has been a trying one for the Department and me, personally. While I had a clean record during my many years with the Department, this year, I have been suspended twice, largely upon the initiative of Trustee Donna Hicks, who, as many of you know, is friends with a former member of the Department that I disciplined for insubordination. In my opinion, Trustee Hicks never got over that.

Trustee Hicks has had the backing and support of Trustee Linda Morrison and the Trustee they handpicked, Del Roig. My impression is that Trustee Roig won’t ruffle any feathers among the Trustees and seems to go along with Hicks and Morrisons’ agenda. I do not believe that this panel, even when Hicks was recused, was impartial and unbiased. Neither time that the Trustees took disciplinary action against me did I believe it was deserved. And neither time did I believe that the Trustees cared what my witnesses and I had to say in my defense. In my opinion, the Trustees had their minds made up and they carried out their agenda.

Some of you told me I should appeal the suspensions and take the Trustees to court. Well, I didn’t even know I could do that after the suspension in July—no one told me about my right to appeal. I was also told that I didn’t need a lawyer. Believing the Trustees was a mistake. Frankly, after the second one, the handwriting was on the wall plain enough for me to see that Hicks, Morrison and their go-along sidekick, Roig, wanted me out as chief. Based on what I saw, the Trustees would do whatever it took to achieve their goal. So, why should I waste your tax dollars and my own money to fight that fight? I won’t do that.

Some of what the Trustees went after me for was just plain silly—like when Trustee Hicks sent me a write-up for not responding to her email—an email where she incorrectly typed my public email address so I never received it. (By the way, when confronted with her mistyped email under oath, she would not admit she made a mistake. Foolishly, she contended that it was my personal email address—it was not even close!) Some of what they did was mean-spirited—for example when Trustee Morrison admitted trying to ask me a “trick question” to see how I would answer it. Most of it made no sense—as when they totally ignored the testimony of two experienced firefighters on the operation of our pumper.

As I have stated, what the Trustees should have been doing was working with the Fire Department to find a solution for this Township’s pressing need for newer equipment—a new fire truck. Right now we operate one fire engine that is 29 years old and the other is 14 years old. I have had the good fortune of having firefighters who volunteer their mechanical skills and free time to work on the trucks and save the Township money. Unfortunately, there are some things we can’t fix ourselves. But, at a recent Township meeting the Trustees tabled the Fire Department’s request for repairs to one of our fire trucks, even though those repairs involved some real safety concerns. Maybe without me around, they will get down to serving the people of Eaton Township.

Where the Department goes from here, I can’t say. We have many excellent and skilled members. However, I do know that some members have actively, and they mistakenly thought secretly, fed information, regardless of whether it was accurate, to at least one of the Trustees. I have heard too many times about one firefighter meeting with a Trustee to deliver information and discuss his future in the Department and about Trustees bad-mouthing me behind my back. They don’t seem to realize that folks can hear raised voices even when the office door is closed. At this point there are too many people with their own agendas and ambitions for my taste. Politics, either in the Township or in the workplace, has never been to my liking.

And so, now that I am back on duty, I have decided to resign my post as Fire Chief, effective immediately. It is with a strong sense of how this Township is run and who has the power. My decision also comes with a sense of pride for my years of service. I wanted to and am leaving with my reputation intact. So, if you hear something about me, instead of just believing it, stop me on the street and ask about it. I’ll be glad to talk with you.

In closing, thank you Citizens of Eaton Township for the great support and encouragement you have given my family and me over the years. And thank you for the opportunity to serve this community as a firefighter and your Fire Chief.

Phillip Slack
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