Sunday, January 31, 2010


Story & Photos by: BRIAN WOODS
Carlisle Township – Firefighters from several communities worked to extinguish a fire on Indian Hollow Road in Carlisle Township Saturday night in frigid and icy conditions.

Chief Kevin Dembiec of the Carlisle Township said the fire was contained to room and contents inside a multi-use structure. “The fire did extend into the tin ceiling of the structure which made it especially difficult to fully extinguish. The icy conditions on the metal roof also created hazards for the Firefighters.”

The fire was called in at 7:53 p.m. and was located at “Raymond’s Landscaping” on Indian Hollow Road.

Mutual Aid was provided by Elyria, Eaton Township, LaGrange and Oberlin Fire Departments.

The fire is currently under investigation.


Saturday, January 30, 2010


Elyria – The Elyria Police Detective Bureau is currently investigating a shooting that occurred on North Abbe Road early Saturday morning.

Police say that they were called at 4:04 a.m. for a reported disturbance at the Briarwood Apartments at 601 N. Abbe Road. Neighbors reported that a man had been breaking out an apartment window with a snow shovel.

When Police arrived they discovered that 22 year old Derek Peterson of Elyria had suffered a gunshot wound to the groin area.

Peterson was treated on scene by LifeCare Paramedics and then transported to Elyria Memorial Hospital where he was later flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. Peterson, who underwent surgery at Metro, is currently listed in fair condition.

Police state that as a result of the investigation, 33 year old Doniel L. Mitchell of Elyria, was arrested for two counts of Misdemeanor 1 Assault. Mitchell is currently being held at the Lorain County Jail.

Sergeant Lee Frank of the Elyria Police Department Detective Bureau said that the shooting is still under investigation. “The events leading up to the shooting of Derek Peterson are currently under investigation by the Elyria Police Department Detective Bureau. There have been no other arrests made at this time in reference to the shooting of Peterson.”

Police were called back to the apartment about an hour later and a young man was seen being lead away in handcuff by Officers. It is unknown at this time why he was taken by Police.

More details will be posted as they become available.



Elyria – A Windsor, Ontario man adjusting his GPS ran a red light and crashed into a Jeep Cherokee on Route 57 at Bell Ave late Friday night.

Police say that 18 year old Zachary Sedergren of Windsor, Ontario was traveling north on Route 57 Friday night around 9:30 p.m. when he ran a red light and crashed into Ermetta Parker of Elyria.

Parker was traveling east on Bell Ave and was crossing Route 57 with a green light when her 1993 Jeep Cherokee was struck on the passenger side by Sedregren’s 1992 Ford F-150.

Parker was treated at the scene by LifeCare Paramedics and was transported to Elyria Memorial Hospital for further evaluation.

Sedergren told Police that he was adjusting the GPS and failed to see the traffic signal. Police cited Sedergren with running a red light.


Monday, January 25, 2010


Lorain – Officials at the Lorain Fire Department have deemed two more house fires on North Central Drive as suspicious after having to extinguish two separate fires Sunday night.

Firefighters first responded to 814 North Central Drive Sunday after receiving reports of a possible house fire. When Firefighters arrived they found smoke and fire coming from a front window of a vacant duplex. The fire was brought under control and extinguished in a short amount of time.
After Firefighters had left a Fire Investigator was still on scene trying to find the cause of the blaze. As he was finishing up he spotted another fire coming from a vacant house just down the street at 852 North Central Drive.
The second fire did not cause as much damage because it was spotted early.

Fire officials say that both fires are suspicious in nature. In both cases the back doors were kicked in.

On Thursday, January 14th, Firefighters responded to two separate house fires on N. Central Drive. Like Sunday the second fire was called in not long after Firefighters had left the scene. Neighbors told us then that they feared that someone would be hurt or killed if this person continues setting the fires.

As Investigators try to figure out who is responsible for the string of fires, residents on North Central fear going to sleep. If anyone has information about the fires they are asked to contact the Lorain Fire Department at 440.204.2221.

Fire scene from January 14th – PHOTO GALLERY

Fire scenes from January 24th – PHOTO GALLERY

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Elyria – Smitty’s has always been known for their burgers and as being the place where all the big name people go to have lunch. Well, Friday the biggest name in the Country stopped in for a burger – President Barack Obama.

Steve Frank, owner of Smitty’s Place, said he started hearing that the President might be having lunch in his restaurant early Friday morning. “We were pretty sure around 11 this morning but then we knew for sure at about noon when the Secret Service Agents came in and closed the place down. After that point nobody else was allowed in.”

Frank said that they brought the President in through the back of the restaurant and he began shaking hands and talking to people right away. “I’m not one who is impressed by a lot of people – but this is the President so that is super, that is a great thing. He met everybody in the place and shook everybody’s hand.”

The President stayed clear of the famed Smitty Burger because of the mayonnaise but did order a hamburger with mustard, lettuce and tomato – a side of French fries and a glass of water. Frank said that The President sat and ate lunch with Elyria Mayor Bill Grace and that he paid for his own meal. “He paid for his own as everybody does here, nobody eats free. We will be framing the dollar bills however, that is something that will we hang onto for sure.”

Frank said that everyone in the restaurant seemed to enjoy meeting The President. “He’s the leader of the free world, this is the most important man in the United States and we were all able to stand a foot away from him and shake his hand – of course this was special for everybody in the restaurant.”


Elyria – When President Barack Obama walked into Smitty’s Friday afternoon he met one man that had been waiting 98 years for such an encounter.

Charlie Raymor, a 98-year-old lifelong Democrat, said he was honored to meet The President of the United States. “My first vote for President was for FDR and I have voted Democrat ever since. So I joked with The President that it took me 98 years to finally meet a President. He laughed because he said he couldn’t believe I was actually 98.”

Raymor has been going into Smitty’s since 1934 when his brother in law opened the doors. He said back then you could only order 3.2 beer – anyone care to admit they remember back to those days?

Raymor did not know that The President was going to be at Smitty’s but said he wondered why there were so may Police cars in the area. “There were cops everywhere. I thought maybe something was robbed because you could hardly get around. I had to use a lot of back roads to get here and I sure am glad that I did. I am really happy that I had this opportunity and what a great day for Elyria.”

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Amherst Township – A Lorain man was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center early Thursday morning after crashing his Ford F150 head on into a tree on Oberlin Road.

Trooper Lance Deshuk of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said that 46 year old Robert C. Hensley of Lorain was traveling north on Oberlin Road from Route 113 when he crashed. “Mr. Hensley was traveling at a speed unreasonable for the conditions when he went left of center within the curve. He was then unable to maintain control of the vehicle and went off the right side of the road where he struck a mailbox, a split rail fence and then the tree in a private yard.”

Deshuk said that the truck suffered serious damage but that Hensley only sustained “superficial injuries.”

Paramedics from LifeCare Ambulance, along with Troopers and a Deputy Sheriff, extricated Hensley from his truck. He was treated at the scene then transported to Amherst Emergency Room where he was later flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

Hensley was conscious and speaking to Troopers and rescuers at the scene. He did advise them that he had been drinking just prior to the crash. Deshuk stated that Hensley has had 5 previous OVI convictions within the last 20 years. If blood tests prove that Hensley was over the legal limit he will be charged with a Felony OVI.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Elyria – A car thief in need of gas money asked the wrong person for a dollar Tuesday night at a local gas station. The man he asked, Fred Songer of Elyria, is a friend of the person who owns the car and knew it was stolen. What are the chances?

Songer said that he and his wife were at the Speedway gas station on Griswold Road Tuesday night when he saw the car in the parking lot. “I knew right away that it was my buddy’s car and I knew that it had been reported stolen. I was already on my cell phone dialing the Police when the guy walked over to me and asked for a dollar for gas.”

Songer told the man that he didn’t have a dollar to give him and the man walked back to the stolen car and jumped in the driver’s seat. “I contacted the Police and told them what was going on and that the guy was about to pull out of the parking lot.” Songer jumped into his car and fell in behind the stolen car while giving information to the Police Dispatcher who was relaying it over the radio to Officers.

As the two car made their way across the 49th Street Bridge Songer said he could see Police cars ahead waiting for them. “I was shocked, yet real happy, that they were right there already. Then as we made it to the traffic light at the other end of the bridge I saw a Deputy Sheriff coming up behind us so I moved and got out of the way to let them do their job.”

Once the man in the stolen car saw all the Police he took off down Griswold Road heading to West River. Police attempted to stop the man but he began driving at a high rate of speed. Elyria Police backed off due to the dangers that the man was creating on the roadway and just continued without lights and sirens according to Songer.

When the man reached the intersection of West River and Route 254 he ran a red light and smashed into a car that was attempting to make a left turn onto West River.

The man ran from the now smashed up car and fled on foot through the neighborhood.

Elyria Police, with the assistance from Lorain County Sheriff’s Deputies and State Troopers, began tracking the man through back yards. After a short foot chase they found the man several blocks away and took him into custody.

The man was returned to the scene and was positively identified by Songer as the man who was driving the car.

Sheffield Township Firefighters treated and transported the driver of the car that was struck. She was taken to Elyria Memorial with minor injuries.
Songer said that his friend who owned the car arrived at the scene shortly after the crash. “He was clearly upset that his car was damaged but was grateful that it was found. He thanked me profusely for being alert and spotting his car at the gas station. I just told him that it was the least that I could do, he’s a friend and how could I in good conscious not do something in that situation. I told him though that the people he really needed to thank were the Police who responded so quickly and worked so hard in searching for the guy – I just played a small role compared to the Police but was happy to help.”



Elyria – Detectives from the Elyria Police Department are investigating a shooting that occurred at 215 8th Street just after noon on Tuesday.

The victim told Police that a man entered his home and shot him in the leg before fleeing.

The suspect was described as a black male – 6’ to 6’2” – wearing all black clothing and a ski mask with one hole for the eyes.

LifeCare Paramedics treated the victim at the scene before transporting him to Elyria Memorial. He was later flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

Although Police searched the area and went door to door throughout the neighborhood no suspects were found. There was approximately a ten-minute time lapse from the time of the shooting to when Police were called.

Elyria High School was on an exterior lock down during the incident.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact the Elyria Police Department at 440.323.3302.



Carlisle Township – No injuries were reported Monday afternoon after a cement truck rolled over on Oberlin Elyria Road in Carlisle just before 2 p.m.

The truck was making the curve from Oberlin Elyria Road to LaGrange Road when the driver lost control and failed to negotiate the turn.

The driver refused any treatment or transport from Paramedics at the scene.

Troopers from the State Patrol closed a section of LaGrange Road while workers from Dunlaps pulled the truck back onto its wheels.


Monday, January 18, 2010


Officials have released the names of the four victims that were killed in this afternoon’s plane crash at the Lorain County Airport.

The two passengers were 89 year old Donald Brown and his 87 year old wife Shirley Brown both of Vermilion.

The Pilot was identified as 30 year old Wesley Roemer and the fourth victim is 46 year old John Mengelson who was believed to be a mechanic, both men were from Florida.

All victims have been recovered and removed from the scene. Mrs. Brown was the 4th victim to be found, she had been ejected during the crash and was found under the wreckage.

The plane, a Mitsubishi MU-2B-60, reportedly flew in low, just barely clearing the fence, before it crashed nose first into the ground then flipped over several times before coming to rest in the field.

Mr. Brown is the inventor of the drop ceiling and lived on a massive lake front estate on Route 6 in Vermilion.



Lieutenant Travis Hughes of the Ohio State Highway Patrol has confirmed three fatalities at the scene of this afternoon’s plane crash.

Hughes stated that the plane was on approach to the airport when it crashed just inside the fence. “At this point we have confirmed 3 fatalities with a possibility of a 4th. We do not know why it crashed and the wreckage is severe. Our role in this right now is to secure the scene until the FAA or one of their representatives arrive – until then we will secure and hold the scene.”

Hughes is the Commander of the Elyria Post of the State Patrol.


A medium size plane has crashed at the Lorain County Regional Airport this afternoon and officials say there are no survivors.

Firefighters from Oberlin, Carlisle Township and Amherst were all on scene along with Paramedics from LifeCare Ambulance and the medical team from Metro LifeFlight that is stationed at the airport.

Troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol are on scene conducting the initial investigation.

The plane suffered heavy front-end damage trapping all victims inside of the aircraft.

The plane is resting on the west end of the airport property just a couple hundred yards east of the Oberlin Road fence line.

More details will be posted as they become available along with a complete PHOTO GALLERY

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Lorain – The Lorain Fire Department responded to Community Health Partners West Campus Saturday night just after 7 p.m. when an alarm sounded indicating a possible hazardous materials incident.

Lorain Firefighters and the Lorain County Hazardous Materials Team said that a medical sterilization chemical called – ethylene oxide – may have been present. However, after doing complete readings they found no creditable evidence of a leak or heightened readings.

Officials say that nobody, including patients, were ever at risk during the incident. The hospital will perform comprehensive testing of the alarm system.


Avon – Fire Officials in Avon are looking at electrical issues as the possible cause of the early morning fire that destroyed a warehouse in their city.

Chief Frank Root of the Avon Fire Department said they received the call at 1:37 a.m. Saturday morning of a possible structure fire at 1200 Center Road. “When our guys arrived they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the structure. This building once housed a trucking company but is currently being renovated to be the Children’s Museum of Avon. Due to the amount of fire we immediately began an defensive attack on the fire.”

Avon’s Automatic Mutual Aid brought them Firefighters and Engines from North Ridgeville and Sheffield Village. Root said that they knew they would need additional resources so he requested a MABAS Alarm. “I called for the First Alarm and that brought me Avon Lake with a squad, Westlake with an Engine, Elyria with a Ladder and Sheffield Lake with an Engine. Crews worked exterior for a bulk of the battle. Once it was deemed safe crews went into the front of the structure which is like an office area and began hitting small hot spots to prevent any fire damage to the front.”

Root said that with the exception of a couple small hot spots the front of the building only received smoke and water damage during the blaze.

Avon Lake Paramedics treated one Firefighter for an injury to his ankle. He was taken to the Emergency Room for further evaluation.

Root said that several factors allowed the blaze to get a good head start on Firefighters. “It’s in the middle of the night, there are no detectors inside of the building, unmonitored, unoccupied building – generally this is the result.”

A Fire Investigator from North Ridgeville Fire Department is assisting Officials from Avon in trying to determine the cause of the blaze. “We believe it started in the rear of the structure and everything right now points towards electrical. Nothing looks suspicious but the Investigators will look at everything to narrow it down to the actual cause.”

Root and his Command Staff on scene determined that it would be necessary to bring down portions of the building in order to finish off fighting the fire. “It’s all about safety. The crews did a great job tonight getting this fire knocked down and saving the front portion of the building and now to finish hitting the remaining hot spots we felt it was best to bring down a couple of the walls. We couldn’t risk sending Firefighters in there with the walls being as weak as they were and having them fall on our guys. Bill Biro from our Service Department brought the front end loader out and he is the one taking the walls down.”

With the exception of the one Firefighter receiving the minor injury, no other injuries were reported.


Lorain – Residents in Lorain have feared for a while that an arsonist might be on the loose – but residents on North Central Drive say that they are now afraid to go to sleep at night.

Lorain Firefighters responded to two vacant building fires Thursday night, both in the 800 block of North Central Drive. The first fire was located in the living room area of 824 N Central and was extinguished quickly. No damage estimate was given due to the fact that the building is slated for demo by the city.

The second fire call came in about an hour later at a quadplex a short distance away from the first. This fire was more extensive with heavy fire on two floors. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in just under an hour.

Fire Officials say that they discovered “several points of origin” and have deemed both fires as suspicious.

Neighbors praised the quick response and work by Firefighters for extinguishing the fires and not allowing them to spread to occupied homes, but say they are afraid that they might not be so fortunate next time. One neighbor who did not want to be identified said she hopes whoever is responsible is caught. “They have to find him before someone is hurt or killed. I know its been a lot of vacant buildings but what if a homeless person is in there or God forbid if one of the Firemen get trapped inside while trying to put it out. It’s just a very scary situation.”



Avon – An early morning fire ripped through a warehouse in Avon on Route 83 north of I-90 destroying the warehouse but Firefighters were able to save the front office section.

Avon Firefighters were assisted by Sheffield Village, North Ridgeville, Elyria, Westlake and Avon Lake in battling the blaze.

Check back later today for complete details and PHOTO GALLERY

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Avon — Lake Erie Crushers’ starting center fielder Tyler Johnson will be join former teammate Paul Fagan in the independent Atlantic League next season as a Southern Maryland Blue Crab. Also traded this week is right-handed relief pitcher Jacinto Gonell, who was dealt to the Florence Freedom for a 2010 Frontier League first round pick.

Johnson joined the Crushers after the All-Star break and finished the regular season appearing in 39 games. Johnson ended his 2009 regular season campaign with six home runs, 29 RBIs, and a .277 batting average. He provided the team with solid power in the middle of the line-up as his six home runs in only 137 at bats placed him second on the team in home runs per at bats.

“We approach every season looking to put the best talent possible on the field, but we also want to provide the best opportunities for our players to reach their goals,” explained Field Manager John Massarelli. “This trade provides Tyler a chance to prove himself in what is considered to be the top independent league, talent wise.”

Gonell began the 2009 campaign as the team’s closer and ended the season with 36 appearances out of the bullpen. Gonell posted a 3-4 record and a 4.63 ERA in 44.2 innings of work. Prior to joining the Crushers, Gonell pitched four seasons in the Yankees organization after signing as an undrafted free agent.

“This trade benefits both the team and the player,” said Massarelli. “It gives us a little more flexibility to work within the League’s roster restrictions, which limit us to carrying only a certain number of veteran players. It also gives Jacinto the opportunity to fill the closer role with another competitive team within the League.”


Springfield – The Springfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is currently investigating a fatal crash on Interstate 70 eastbound near milepost 62 in Clark County. Four are confirmed dead.

A commercial vehicle traveling westbound on I-70 lost control and crossed the median into eastbound traffic, clipping a car and crashing into a 17-passenger motor coach, killing the driver and three passengers and injuring six others. The six injured in the motor coach and the driver of the commercial vehicle were transported to a local hospital. The driver of the car was not injured.

Interstate 70 eastbound is closed. Traffic is being redirected onto US 41.

UPDATE 7:35 p.m.
The crash occurred when a westbound 2006 Mack commercial truck, driven by Zygmunt Wieckowski, age 59 of Chicago, IL, lost control and crossed the median into eastbound traffic. The commercial vehicle clipped a 2007 Acura, driven by Robin McCann, age 45, of Cuyahoga Falls, OH. Ms. McCann was not injured in the crash.

The commercial vehicle continued on, striking an eastbound 2008 Chevrolet 17-passenger motor coach driven by Traci Williams, age 42, of Springfield, OH. The driver of the motor coach and three passengers, Kenny Fry, age 61, Lonnie Acton, age 28 and Alonso Ruffin, age 37, all of Springfield, OH were pronounced deceased on scene by the Clark County Coroner’s Office. The six additional passengers in the motor coach and the driver of the commercial vehicle were transported to local hospitals for treatment. The names and conditions of the six passengers are not known at this time.

The crash remains under investigation. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash. Troopers are reminding motorists to use extreme caution when driving on snow covered roadways.

I-70 reopened at approximately 7 p.m. and all lanes of traffic are flowing normally for winter weather driving.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


UPDATE: 11:00p.m.
The WINTER STORM WARNING remains in effect until 10 a.m. Saturday. Snow will continue through the overnight hours with an additional 2 to 3 inches expected by daybreak. Snow will continue Friday and Friday night as Lake Effect snow showers develop with an additional 4 to 6 inches expected by Saturday morning.

Update 3:00pm: The National Weather Service has just upgraded the WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY to a WINTER STORM WARNING for Northeast Ohio. The WARNING will be in effect until 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

Widespread snow will continue into Friday while transitioning to Lake Effect Snow Showers which will then continue into Saturday before tapering to light snow showers and flurries.

Most locations should see 3 to 5 inches of snow by Friday morning and another 3 to 5 inches by Saturday morning. Both primary and secondary snowbelts will be affected – this means the heavier snowfall will also affect Lorain County.

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

The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Northeast Ohio and Northwest Pennsylvania beginning Thursday from noon until 10 a.m. Friday.

A low pressure system will move out of the Southern Plains and move across Ohio Thursday night and into Pennsylvania Friday. This system will cause a general 3 to 5 inches of snow across the region and then some Lake Effect snow will develop for Northeast Ohio that could linger through Saturday.

Snow should develop by early Thursday afternoon and begin tapering off early Friday morning. By daybreak Friday we should all see the 3 to 5 inches of snow.

Thursday: Snow, mainly after 10am. High near 28. South wind between 5 and 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Thursday Night: Snow. Low around 20. South wind at 11 mph becoming west. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
Friday: Snow showers. High near 23. Northwest wind between 10 and 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Washington DC – In a press briefing this afternoon, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced that President Barack Obama will be visiting Lorain County on Friday, January 22nd.

Gibbs announced the visit at the beginning of the Tuesday afternoon briefing with the White House Press Corps. “Before we get started with a few questions here let me just make one quick scheduling announcement. The President will travel to Lorain County in Ohio on Friday, January 22nd, the next stop on the White House to Main Street tour. During the visit, President Obama will meet with Ohio workers, local CEOs, small business owners, and other local leaders about ideas for continuing to grow the economy and put Americans back to work.”

It is obvious that the White House Press Corps is not too familiar with our area as the first question after the announcement was, “Sorry, we didn’t understand the county.” Gibbs reiterated Lorain County in Ohio.

Specific locations throughout the County will be announced at a later date.
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