You are browsing the archive for 2009 July.

Big party celebrates big dreams

July 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

LORAIN — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County is throwing a party to celebrate 15 years of providing professionally supported one-to-one relationships between young people and adult mentors.

And, appropriately, the party gifts will go to the children of Lorain County.

Backpacks filled with school supplies will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis at the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Back-2-School Ice Cream Luau 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 8 at St. John Lutheran Church, 1140 West River Road, Elyria.

Participants will be able to create their own sundae with ice cream provided by Tofts, Baskin and Robbins, Friendly’s and Petrucci’s Ice Cream.

Other sponsors are White House Springs, Giant Eagle Convenient Express, Pump-It Up, Eat N’ Park, Lorain VFW, Amherst Eagles, Avon Automotive Specialties, First Federal Savings of Lorain, Elyria Home Depot, Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will, Lorain County Community College, Beta Sigma Phi, Domestic Relations Judge Debra Boros and Arby’s.

“Our community partnerships mean a lot to our organization and to all of the children who will be impacted by their wonderful contributions,” said Lise Day, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters. “Their investment brings hope to the life of each child we serve.”

In addition to creating their own ice cream sundae, there will be games and a raffle featuring items such as an autographed Manny Ramirez photo, Jet Express tickets to Put-In-Bay, Kennywood tickets and more.

The organization is still in need of basic school supplies to fill the backpacks. To donate notebooks, pencils, crayons and other school supplies, visit any of the Arby’s locations in Sheffield or North Ridgeville, or the Big Brothers Big Sisters offices at 1917 North Ridge Road, Lorain.

Tickets are $5 per person, and free sundaes will be given to individuals who enroll as a “Big” or “Little” in the program. To purchase tickets call (440) 277-654 Ext. 31 or visit

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a donor and volunteer supported organization helping to improve children’s odds for succeeding in school, behaving nonviolently, avoiding drugs and alcohol and breaking negative cycles.

Contact Tracie Dakters at 329-7155 or

Elyria teen pleads guilty to break-in at judge’s house

July 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

ELYRIA — A 16-year-old boy pleaded guilty Friday to aggravated burglary, robbery and theft for an incident in which he forced his way past a judge’s wife during a break-in at the judge’s house earlier this year.

When sentenced later this month, the boy could be sent to the Ohio Department of Youth Services until his 21st birthday, said Doug Messer, Lorain County Family Court administrator.

The boy is one of four Elyria teenagers accused of breaking into the home of Family Court Judge David Basinski in February.

Three of the teens forced their way past the judge’s wife, Ellen Basinski, and one of them took the phone from her. She was talking to her husband at the time and he ordered his staff to call police as he and his bailiff raced to his Columbus Street home.

Meanwhile, Ellen Basinski has said the three boys began to rummage through the house, including her purse. She said she grabbed an Emeril Lagasse saucepan and began to beat one of the robbers with it.

One of the teens, 18-year-old Patrick Kostal, is accused of throwing a bottle of the judge’s Jack Daniel’s whiskey at her, leaving a bruise on her foot before he and his alleged accomplices fled. They were arrested a short time later.

Kostal and 18-year-old William Brown-Nettles, who was 17 at the time of the robbery, are facing adult charges. Both have pleaded not guilty.

A fourth boy, who was 15 and reportedly remained outside the home, also is awaiting trial in juvenile court. His attorney, Kenneth Lieux, has said the 15-year-old left the scene when the other three boys said they were going to rob the Basinski house. Police contend the boy was the lookout. The robbery drew national media attention because of Ellen Basinski fending off her attackers.

Lagasse gave her a new set of cookware while she was doing a call-in interview on “Good Morning America” to replace the pot police took as evidence in the case.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or

Garfield School takes second place in Big Lots contest

July 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

LORAIN — Garfield Elementary School received a $2,500 check Friday from Big Lots for its second place prize video detailing why it needs financial support.

Garfield was selected to compete in the “Lots2Give” video and essay contest after Big Lots researched Title 1 funding information.

Garfield’s video, “We are Garfield Gators, and we want to succeed in life” was one of 46 entries nationwide.

Respect, responsibility, trustworthiness and caring are some of the words the students recited in their 90-second video.

“The contest was a nice tie-in because lots of parents come to Big Lots for their school supplies,” Big Lots spokeswoman Toni Fink said. “The majority of the organizations or causes that Big Lots supports always revolve around education, so this was a no-brainer for us.”

Twenty-two schools nationwide received a $2,500 prize, three received $5,000 prizes and one received $10,000.

People had about a month to cast online votes for their favorite video, and more than 300,000 votes were cast.

A second part of the Lots2Give program featured in-store donations of $1 or $5 with 100 percent of the money raised going directly to 103 schools across the nation, Fink said. Garfield and Toni Morrison Elementary School each will receive $766.75 from these funds.

The prize money will allow the school to hand out Gator Bucks to students who “practice character words, have good attendance and are making academic progress.” The Gator Bucks can be used for school supplies, clothing, shoes and snacks at the school’s Gator Store.

Garfield Principal Barb Kapucinski said she was happy to learn Garfield was getting some extra money.

“I am absolutely thrilled, just ecstatic,” she said. “It will be used for incentives for attendance, behavior and curricular items. It’s a wonderful way for us to be supported by a local organization and to allow us to buy our items for our incentives program. It’s a good way to keep our Gator store going.”

Contact Alicia Castelli at 329-7144 or

Attorneys petition to retain acquittal in Head Start case

July 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

ELYRIA — Prosecutors shouldn’t be able to appeal a county judge’s decision to acquit Nancy Smith in the controversial Head Start child molestation case, Smith attorneys argue in court documents filed Friday.

Jack Bradley and Michael Stepanik wrote that prosecutors, who sought permission to appeal the decision last week, don’t have a sound legal argument.

“The only alleged error that the state of Ohio complains of is Ms. Smith’s acquittal of the charges against her,” they wrote. “Dissatisfaction with that result does not constitute adequate grounds for appeal.”

During a June hearing, Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge also cleared Joseph Allen, to whose Lorain home Smith was accused of taking the 4- and 5-year-old children on her Head Start bus route in the early 1990s.

The pair was accused of molesting the children.

They were convicted in 1994 and Smith, now 52, was sentenced to 30 to 90 years in prison. Allen, now 56, received five consecutive life terms.

Both continued to maintain their innocence and have denied even knowing each other before they were charged.

Burge freed both Smith and Allen earlier this year while he prepared to conduct new sentencing hearings because of an error in the original sentencing entries that sent them to prison. Bradley and Stepanik also argued that the appellate court should consider the prosecutors’ appeal request separately.

Part of the argument for the appeal by prosecutors is that a request for an acquittal must be filed within 14 days of a jury conviction. Bradley said he did that after Smith was convicted, but Allen’s trial attorney, Joe Grunda, did not. Prosecutors have conceded that there was an error in the original sentencing entries but argued that it could have been corrected with new entries.

A new hearing wasn’t necessary, they argued.

Burge said when he acquitted Smith and Allen that he didn’t believe the evidence against the pair he reviewed as he prepared for Smith’s new sentencing hearing justified their convictions. He said he could revisit any motion in the case because the original sentence had been voided.

But prosecutors contend that Burge exceeded his authority. They have said that they are worried that if Burge’s decision stands in the case, it will allow previously convicted people to continuously challenge their convictions, meaning no criminal case will ever be truly closed.

Bradley said that even if prosecutors are successful in their appeal — and he doesn’t believe they will be based on the case law — it will likely only affect future cases.

Once someone is acquitted, he said, he or she can never be charged with the same crime again.

Allen’s attorney, K. Ronald Bailey, has not yet filed a response to the appeal request from prosecutors.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or

Official wants fellow trustee to pay legal fees Eaton Township

July 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

EATON TWP. — The long-running feud between Eaton Township trustees Linda Morrison and Douglas Edwards is heating up again in the court system.

Edwards is now demanding that Morrison pay the legal fees he racked up while defending himself from a civil stalking protection order Morrison filed against him and later dropped just before a hearing was to take place in June.

He also wants Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi to declare that the protection order was “frivolous.”

Morrison has countered by seeking another protection order that would bar Edwards’ attorneys from obtaining numerous documents they have requested from her as part of the legal proceedings.

Morrison’s attorneys also suggest that Edwards’ request for information on talks she may have had with the Ohio Ethics Commission, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the FBI “may constitute obstruction of justice or interference with an investigation.”

The two trustees, both of whom are seeking re-election this year, have been fighting their battle both in the Township Hall and in the courts for years.

Matthew Dooley, one of Edwards’ attorneys, said a large part of the dispute centers on Edwards’ support of the construction of a Lorain County Rural Wastewater District sewer in parts of Eaton and Carlisle townships. Edwards sits on the LORCO board.

Morrison has been a vocal opponent of LORCO.

The pair also has clashed over an investigation into the handling of a 2007 crash by the township’s Fire Department. That incident, which included Edwards’ son, who used to be a paramedic, was presented to a county grand jury, but no indictments were returned.

Morrison’s husband, Roger Morrison, also has accused Edwards of attacking and threatening him, but Edwards was never convicted of a crime.

Morrison’s attorney, Gino Pulito, declined to comment on the case through his secretary. Morrison did not return a call seeking comment.

In his most recent court filings, Pulito said that the civil stalking protection order had been resolved in June when Miraldi and Assistant County Prosecutor Gerald Innes brokered a deal to get Morrison to drop her protection order, which required Edwards to stay 500 feet from her.

In her request for the protection order, Morrison wrote she went to court after Edwards “became enraged, turned red in the face, called me a profane name, continued screaming at me while demanding I look at him” during a May 19 executive session. But Dooley said Edwards brought six witnesses to the hearing to refute Morrison’s various accusations against his client. After seeing the witnesses, he said, Morrison dropped the case.

The only agreement, he said, was that the township trustees would follow Robert’s Rules of Order during meetings.

Morrison’s true objective, Dooley said, was to spread lies and misinformation about Edwards.

“She’s talking out both sides of her mouth,” he said.

Pulito wrote that Edwards’ efforts to win attorneys fees was designed to “harass and annoy” Morrison and force her to spend money on a legal defense.

Edwards declined to comment.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or

Lorain, Sheffield, Sheffield Lake notebook: August 1, 2009

July 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

Today & Aug. 8

Baby-sitting basics, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Lorain County Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2929 West River Road N., Elyria, is sponsoring spring break training classes for youths 11 to 15 years old at a cost of $40 per person. Call (440) 324-2929.


73rd annual Hungarian day “Magyar Nap” picnic, noon to 8 p.m. at St. Lad’s Picnic Grounds, Clinton Avenue, Lorain. There will be a program at 3 p.m. featuring Hungarian folklore, dancers and the Hungarians from 4 to 8 p.m. Menu is chicken paprikas, dumplings and gravy, stuffed cabbage, cabbage and noodles and more. Carryout meals are available.


Lorain County Retired Teachers Association meeting, 5 p.m. at DeLuca’s Place in the Park, 6075 Middle Ridge Road, Lorain, at picnic pavilion. All retired teachers are invited to attend. Entertainment is Scott Brotherton. Reservations are due Friday. Call Gerry Wilson at (440) 327-8237.

Tuesday & Thursday

Standard first aid courses, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Lorain County Chapter of the American Red Cross offices, 2929 West River Road N., Elyria, adult CPR is also included. A certificate good for one year will be issued upon successful completion of the course. Classes will also be Aug. 25 and 27. Call (440) 324-2929.

Tuesday & Aug. 25

Adult CPR, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Lorain County Chapter of the American Red Cross offices, 2929 West River Road N., Elyria. CPR certification for one year will be issued upon successful completion of the course. Gift certificates for birthdays and holidays are available. Call (440) 324-2929.

Thursday & Aug. 20

Child immunization clinic, 1 to 4 p.m. at Lorain City Health District, 1144 W. Erie Ave., Lorain, open to families of children ages birth to 18 years old. Call (440) 204-2300, (440) 323-7595, (440) 236-8722 or visit


Taco sale, 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at AMVETS Post 47, 3009 Broadway, Lorain. Call (440) 244-2160.
Moore House Museum, 309 W. Fifth St., Lorain, will have tours available 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 per adult and $1 per child (5 to 18 years old). Membership is open to interested parties for $15 per year.
Active senior fitness class, 9 to 9:50 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Community Wellness and Fitness Center, 3700 Kolbe Road, Lorain; the program offers cardiovascular exercise, outdoor walking on the fitness trail or use indoor equipment, free weights, stretch bands and resistance machines. Cost is $36 per four-week session. Call (440) 960-3931.
Alzheimer’s Association caregiver support group meeting, 6:30 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Healthstone Assisted Living Center, 3290 Cooper Foster Park Road, Lorain. The public is welcome.
YMCA Step Dynamics, 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Janasco Insurance Building, 562 Broadway, Lorain. Enter through door on Sixth Street. For information and registration details, call (216) 263-6895.
Submit calendar items at least two weeks prior to the event by faxing to 329-7282 (Attention: Lorain-Sheffield-Sheffield Lake news) or e-mail

New trend: Swimming in Crocs, but is it unhygienic?

July 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

By Vanessa McMains,  Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Jessica Rosenberg has noticed one of this summer’s hottest trends right in her family pool in Santa Clara, Calif.: kids wearing their Crocs while swimming.

“My kids have been wearing their Crocs in the pool for two summers now,” said Rosenberg, 33, the mother of two children, ages 2 and 4.

But because Crocs are worn everywhere — public bathrooms, playgrounds, home, sidewalks — some poolgoers are wondering if the Croc-wearers are tracking extra germs into the water.

“As for the sanitary issue, I doubt putting Crocs in a chlorinated pool is any less healthy than letting a child whose feet are black with grime from walking around in flip-flops get into the same pool,” said Rosenberg. “But, then again, we swim in a private backyard pool.”

Experts say the street-shoe aspect of Crocs makes them problematic.

“I don’t think it is hygienic to wear street shoes into the water that should be clean,” said Elizabeth Scott, co-director of the Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community at Simmons College in Boston.

Many public pools have rules that ban street shoes from being worn in the water. Crocs are quickly replacing water shoes as the footwear of choice for kids in private pools and places that allow shoes, however.

Many public pools have rules that ban street shoes from being worn in the water. Crocs are quickly replacing water shoes as the footwear of choice for kids in private pools and places that allow shoes, however. (CT file photo.)

Parents looking out for their children are often faced with conflicting concerns, though. Wearing shoes in the water can protect kids’ feet from rocks, shells, concrete scrapes and other elements — and the already-popular and waterproof Crocs serve that purpose well. Does that outweigh the tracking in and out of germs that might be happening?

“The more germs you throw into the pool, the harder to keep the pool clean,” Scott said.

Many public pools have rules that ban street shoes from being worn in the water. Crocs are quickly replacing water shoes as the footwear of choice for kids in private pools and places that allow shoes, however.

Furthermore, kids like to wear their Crocs in the water because they float. Crocs can change a kid’s buoyancy like anti-gravity boots and double as a pool toy — think of the Fun Noodle craze with the floating tubes.

“The shoes are ideal because they become weightless in the water and no one burns their feet on hot cement when getting out,” said Rosenberg. “As an added bonus, the shoes come out squeaky clean.”

Official Crocs are made of a patented antimicrobial material called Croslite. Many of the other Croc-like shoes are made from different materials, some that rival the comfort of Crocs — such as Holey’s made from SmartCel memory foam — but do not claim to prevent bacteria from growing on them. Other knock-offs, while cheap and slip-resistant, are made of rubber and have no extra antibacterial properties.

Even though Crocs are antimicrobial, the company recommends that wearers occasionally disinfect their shoes with a simple solution of 10 percent bleach, which can be made by adding 1 cup of bleach to 9 cups of water.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends always showering before and after going swimming and if you will be wearing Crocs or other kinds of shoes, then shower with them too. This prevents the transfer of germs from the environment into pools and prevents any bacteria that could be lurking in pools or beaches to be carried home.

2 women taken to the hospital after chain-reaction crash

July 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

LORAIN — A semi driver making a delivery in South Lorain apparently misjudged a tight turn resulting in a chain reaction accident that sent two women to the hospital this afternoon.

Shortly after noon, the semi driver, from Smith Dairy in Orrville, Ohio, struck a black Nissan 200SX SE-R that was waiting in line for the drive-through at First Federal Savings of Lorain on East 42nd Street across from Southview High School. The Nissan struck a black Ford Escort, and the Ford struck a tan Ford Windstar GL minivan.

The female driver and another woman in the tan minivan were taken by LifeCare to Community Regional Medical Center in Lorain.

Both women were in stable condition Friday afternoon. Their injuries “didn’t appear to be serious,” according to Lorain firefighter Andy Bucher. One lady was vomiting and complained of chest and back pain, he said.

Firefighters said they’ve seen similar accidents before at this location. Lorain police said no one would be cited because the accident occurred on private property.

The Smith driver was making a delivery to the Convenient Food Mart on East 42nd Street, just east of Grove Avenue.

The Nissan, which wasn’t drivable after the accident, had to be towed from the scene.

Contact Rona Proudfoot at 329-7124 or

A semi from Smith's Dairy, a tan Ford Winstar GL, a black Ford Escort and a black and green Nissan 200SX SE-R were involved in a chain reaction crash this afternoon behind First Federal Savings of Lorain in South Lorain.

A semi from Smith's Dairy, a tan Ford Winstar GL, a black Ford Escort and a black and green Nissan 200SX SE-R were involved in a chain reaction crash this afternoon behind First Federal Savings of Lorain in South Lorain.

2009 Cleveland National Air Show

July 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

Title: 2009 Cleveland National Air Show
Location: Burke Lakefront Airport
Link: Click here
Description: Featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Family Fun, Educational Exhibits, Rock Walls, Bungee Jumps, Aviation Souvenirs, Food and More! For the Best Seats in the House check out The WAVE Barnstormer Club; your own table with an umbrella, a box lunch with soft […]

11 cars broken into overnight in North Ridgeville

July 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — A number of North Ridgeville residents in the Meadow Lakes subdivision woke up this morning to find someone had gone through their vehicles, according to police Capt. Allan Dent.

Police responded early in the morning to several calls of cars being broken into and found nu-merous other vehicles that looked as if they had been entered as well.

By Friday afternoon, 11 car owners had reported their vehicles had been entered. All 11 vehicles had been left unlocked.

“The main thing that we’ve been stressing, and people don’t seem to be getting is ‘You need to lock your cars,’ ” Dent said.
Items that were taken included cash, cell phones, GPS units and MP3 players, according to police Lt. Greg Petek.

Just Wednesday a 20-year-old man from the Youngstown area was charged with a felony count of theft, misdemeanor theft and underage consumption for stealing hundreds of dollars worth of items overnight Tuesday from homes and vehicles at Meadow Lakes.

According to Dent, 90 percent to 95 percent of those thefts were from homes and vehicles that were left unlocked.

“People should take items with them, or lock them in the trunk,” Dent said Wednesday. “Make sure nothing of value is visible.”

Contact Rona Proudfoot at 329-7124 or