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New Indian Fukudome excited to be in playoff hunt

July 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

CLEVELAND – The Indians were one of the teams listed in the no-trade clause in Kosuke Fukudome’s contract with the Chicago Cubs. But according to the Osaki, Japan, native, the prospect of playing for a contender was too good to pass up.

Fukudome, 34, agreed to waive the no-trade clause Thursday and the Indians acquired the outfielder for minor leaguers Abner Abreu and Carlton Smith.

“Cleveland was the first team that had interest in me,” Fukudome said through an interpreter prior to making his Indians debut Friday as the starting right fielder. “The Indians are competing for a division title. It’s definitely a great motivation for me to be good. This is something I want to do.”

Fukudome said he received no compensation for waiving the no-trade clause, choosing to come to a second-place team, while leaving a fourth-place club in Chicago. He hit .273 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 87 games for the Cubs and ranked 14th in the National League with a .374 on-base percentage.

With Shin-Soo Choo (broken left thumb) out until at least mid-August, Fukudome will fill in as the regular in right field.

“He makes us better immediately,” Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. “We’re getting an everyday player who’s a veteran presence in the lineup. He’s here to play. I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

Fukudome will bat sixth for the Indians after hitting in the leadoff spot for the Cubs.

“We’ve got that covered here with (Michael) Brantley,” Acta said. “Where (Fukudome) can help me the most is that spot. In that part of our lineup, we need some professional at-bats.

“You can look at the home runs and RBIs, but in the National League, you lead off the game with no one on base and then you hit behind the pitcher.”

Fukudome, who went 0-for-4 in his Tribe debut, said he has no preference where he hits in the lineup.

“It doesn’t matter hitting sixth or hitting leadoff,” he said. “I just need to do the job.”

It will be Fukudome’s first experience in the AL after spending his first three seasons in the big leagues with the Cubs, who signed him out of Japan to a four-year contract worth $48 million.

“I don’t know until I play,” Fukudome said of the difference between the two leagues.

On the majority of days, the Indians outfield will consist of Fukudome, Ezequiel Carrera in center and Brantley in left. When Choo returns, Fukudome will most likely shift to center, though Acta would not confirm that.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Acta said.

Fukudome’s acquisition could be a sign the Indians are not overly confident Grady Sizemore will make it back from injury. Sizemore is on the DL with another knee injury and also underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia July 21.

Acta, whose injury-depleted offense has struggled for the majority of the season, said he spoke with Fukudome about not trying to do too much for his new club.

“I told him that I wasn’t expecting him to carry this team on his shoulders and to just be Kosuke,” Acta said. “‘Give me quality at-bats in the sixth spot.’ It was a very good conversation.”

Indians fans weren’t enamored by the acquisition of Fukudome, who was largely a bust in Chicago. But Acta said he expects his team to make more moves prior to Sunday’s trading deadline.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “I expect a lot out of life, but, yeah. (The front office) is non-stop working. We’ll see. It’s a complicated process.”

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Man gets jail for his role in scalding

July 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

MEDINA — A Harrisville Township man was sentenced Friday to a year in prison for his role following a bath scalding incident involving his wife and stepdaughter last year.

Roger Graham, 32, who did not seek treatment for the girl for days after the incident. pleaded guilty two months ago to a third-degree felony count of child endangering. He also was indicted on three counts of felonious assault, second-degree felonies, but those charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

“I’m sorry,” Graham told Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler before he was sentenced. “I misjudged the whole aspect of everything.”

On May 7, 2010, Roger Graham’s wife, Jessica, tried to wash her 4-year-old daughter with scalding water after the girl soiled herself. The girl’s burns were treated with over-the-counter products containing lidocaine, which is a local anesthetic.

On May 11, emergency crews went to the Grahams’ Avon Lake Road home because the girl reportedly was having a seizure. They later learned she was suffering from lidocaine poisoning, the Medina County Sheriff’s Office has reported.

Roger Graham was not home when Jessica scalded the girl.

Before sentencing, Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman asked Kimbler to impose a five-year prison sentence for Roger Graham.

“He allowed the child to suffer,” Holman said. “… Most people wouldn’t treat a dog this way.”

Andrea Whitaker, Graham’s attorney, said her client should have sought medical care for the child. However, she noted there was no evidence he participated in scalding her.

Graham “was not present at the time, and he did attempt to aid the child with ointments,” Whitaker said.

Kimbler credited Graham with 44 days served in the Medina County Jail.

In December, Jessica Graham, 25, was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading no contest to felonious assault, a second-degree felony, and two counts child endangering, one a second-degree and the other a third-degree felony.

Contact Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.

Barn burns to ground

July 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

WADSWORTH TWP. — A barn used mainly to store heavy equipment at Ramsier’s Willow Spring Farm burned to the ground early Friday.

The 80-by-80-foot wood, metal and steel structure caught fire shortly before 4 a.m. Friday, and more than 30 firefighters from multiple agencies were called to help extinguish the blaze, according to Assistant Fire Chief Ron Likley of the Wadsworth Fire Department.

“It was through the roof when we got here,” said Likley, who, along with other Wadsworth firefighters, did not leave the scene until after noon Friday.

Likley estimated the fire resulted in losses of approximately $2.5 million. The barn contained heavy farm equipment, including tractors, Bobcats or skidders and trailers. Some hay and straw also burned, but no livestock losses were reported.

“There might be a couple kittens missing,” the assistant chief said.

The cause of the fire is undetermined, Likley said, but noted the blaze could have been caused by spontaneous combustion of hay.

“We’ll probably leave it (listed) as undetermined,” Likley said. “(The barn) is too far gone to really tell.”

Marvin Ramsier, a lifelong resident and owner of the farm, said a neighbor called him shortly after 4 a.m. to report smoke and flames coming from the property.

“I’ve been here all my life,” Ramsier said. “In 65 years of living, we’ve never seen anything like this before.”

Ramsier, a dairy and grain farmer, said a family friend told him later Friday he could see the glow of the fire seven miles away in Sterling.

About 100 cows were trucked from the property to nearby farms by friends to be milked so the Ramsier family could tend to the fire, Ramsier said.

The barn was built in the 1830s, which is about the same time as the family home, Ramsier said.

Ramsier’s Willow Spring Farm is at 2477 Eastern Road near Rittman.

Firefighters from Medina, Sharon Township, Sterling, Rittman, Chippewa Township and Norton assisted Wadsworth firefighters in battling the barn fire, Likley said.

Contact Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.

Ohio los votantes una identificación con fotografíaplan de muertos, del Partido Republicano Casalíder dice

July 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

ohio-flag2AP

COLUMBUS - El líder republicano de la Cámara de Ohio, dice una propuesta para requerir que los votantes muestren una identificación con foto en las urnas es aparentemente muerto.

Cámara de Representantes, William Batchelderapoya la propuesta pero dijo a The Columbus Dispatch que no espera que legisladores de la Cámara para verla de nuevo. El proyecto de leyaprobado por la Cámara, pero enfrenta la oposición de los republicanos del Senadocontrolado por la secretaria de Estado JonHusted, que también es republicano.
Ohio presidente del Partido Demócrata ChrisRedfern dice que está claro que la propuesta nopasaría. Él llama a la medida como una”extralimitación dramática” de los republicanos en la Cámara.
Redfern dice que la lucha por los derechos de votocontinúa en calidad de organizadores tratan deanular una nueva ley que limita el número de díasde votación anticipada y no permite que los condados de pagar el franqueo de boletasenviadas por correo.

Ramos wrong is alcohol legislation

July 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Marcus Atkinson

Marcus Atkinson

Marcus Atkinson

HispanicOhio.com editor

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Editor’s Note – The views and opinions expressed in this article are of those of the author only.  They in no way reflect the views and opinions of hispanicohio.com or its partners and affiliates.

State Rep. Daniel Ramos (D-Lorain), is drafting legislation that would raise the amount of alcohol content by 57 percent.  Ramos says the raise would allow Ohio to meet the percentages of neighboring states and give brewers more options to provide to buyers.

“It’s about letting Ohio brewers do what other companies can do,” Ramos said, and added that the idea was brought to him by people in the growing craft brewing industry throughout the state. “There’s an art to it. Brewers want to expand their art and give consumers what they want.”

Rep. Ramos appears out of character with this legislation.  As a freshman in Ohio’s assembly, Ramos has aligned with fellow Democrats to oppose Senate bill 5 (which will be on the Nov. ballot) and has shown opposition to Gov. Kasich’s cabinet appointments, saying it was “concerning” that minorities were not even recommended, however public pressure seemingly forced the governor to concede and appoint one.

As a member of the commerce and labor committee, one can supposed Ramos is doing his job by looking into this opportunity, however Ramos campaigned on creating jobs for the 56th District, he stressed the importance of Ohio’s Frontier program, which invests in new energy sources to crate jobs.

This legislation does not create jobs, it gives the brewing industry a plausible explanation to increase their prices and give the hourly wage earners of Ohio more of an opportunity to spend more of their already limited income.

“It seems like a simple, common sense fix,” Ramos said, and added that the current law doesn’t only limit the alcohol content of beer, but of the potential growth of the craft beer industry throughout Ohio. “We don’t want Ohioans to be at a competitive disadvantage in any industry.

According to the bureau of labor statistics, during the Great Depression, approximately 21 million Americans were out of work; right now approximately 21 million Americans are out of work.

What is the difference?  The population has grown, so the percentage is smaller, but tells 1 of those 21 million Americans we are not in a recession or depression.

Therefore, despite what our federal government says, our nation is still in a recession and Ohio’s economy is bleeding, Ohio’s liquor sales have risen each year since 2006, study after study has shown alcohol consumption rises as the economy worsens; no exemptions.  With a raise in the amount of alcohol allowed in drinks, those who are more likely to purchase alcohol (the middle and lower class) will spend even more, thus having even less income to support themselves and their family.

Ohio’s economy is wounded, we are barely getting by, there is no line of credit, foreclosures are still on the rise, record number of people are applying for aid via the Department of Jobs and Family Services, and Ohioans are going 8-12 months without a consistent livable wage (and that statistic is only calculated by those who don’t give up looking for employment).

A rise in alcohol percentage is bad for the middle class, and bad for the working poor, the same people Ramos and the Democratic Party say they rely on to win elections.  Surely, Rep. Ramos can use his time as state legislature to find jobs, not to put more money in the pockets of the brewing industry.

Despite several phone calls, HispanicOhio.com was unable to reach Daniel Ramos

Quotes obtained from www.morningjournal.com

Nicol aims to turn Blue Devils into power

July 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Dan Brown
The Gazette
BRUNSWICK — With Medina and Strongsville just minutes in opposite directions, Brunswick is in the middle of the girls soccer hotbed of the state.
Ross Nicol is ready for the challenge of one day adding the Blue Devils to that list of powers, as the Glassford, Scotland, native has taken over the program from Nikki Pucillo, who stepped down after two seasons as head coach.
“I look at Brunswick as an untouched source that just needs a kick in the butt,” Nicol said, noting Pucillo will remain with the team as an assistant coach. “It has the ability to be just like (Medina or Strongsville). We have the numbers and we have a growing community.”
Nicol knows it isn’t going to be easy in the rugged Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division, but the 26-year-old is ready for the challenge and didn’t hesitate when the position opened. He approached his good friend, Blue Devils athletic director Pete Demonte, about the idea of taking over the program.
“I know Pete through club soccer and I have decent experience with coaching girls,” said Nicol, who works with Demonte in the Cleveland Futbol Club in the spring and summer. “I look forward to it. We’re not as strong as Strongsville, Medina or Walsh, but it’s a challenge.
“I just have to get my hands dirty and start from the ground up with some new ideas.”
Nicol’s playing experience includes a stint as the captain of the Milngavie Boys Club Amateur Futbol Club. He also played for the Glasgow Celtic Youth Academy in Scotland.
Along with coaching for CFC, he is a staff member for the Ohio North Olympic Development Program and has had coaching stints with Challenger British Soccer and the Wadsworth Amateur Soccer Association.
But the key for his first prep coaching gig will be introducing the sport to the youth of Medina County’s largest city.
“We have to start young and, more importantly, get them involved in club soccer,” Nicol said. “When they’re 9-10 years old they should be getting started, because when you’re 12-13, you’re too far behind.”
Nicol, who is currently pursuing a teaching degree at Cuyahoga Community College and resides in Brunswick with his wife Nicole, takes over a Blue Devils team that went 8-6-3 last fall, but finished dead last in the Valley Division with an 0-4-1 mark.
While Nicol has already had some time to see what he has on his roster, he’s excited to get going when the team takes to the pitch Monday for its first official practice.
“We have a good crop of players and our freshman class is very strong,” he said. “I’m excited for them. We’re going to keep the roster small and get everyone playing time. Our starters can hang with anyone, but we just have to stay injury free.”
Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.

Porter keeps Dynamo running

July 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Dan Brown
The Gazette
While working as an intern in the operations department of the New York Red Bull, Mike Porter knew he wanted to work in Major League Soccer.
So when an opportunity came about to become the equipment manager of the Houston Dynamo, the Highland graduate literally dropped everything and headed to Texas.
“Oh man, the move was crazy,” Porter said. “I threw everything I had in my car and drove 20 hours. It was a pretty crazy experience.
“When I got there I hit the ground running with preseason, and our second trip of the year was to Cancun, but it’s been a great experience. I’m definitely glad I came.”
The Granger Township native and former Hornets soccer standout is in his third season with the Dynamo, which currently sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
While the change in scenario was a major adjustment, Porter also had to adapt from working on the operations side to the day-to-day duties of making sure the team is properly equipped.
“It was a little more complicated than I thought it would be,” he said. “From figuring out to transport equipment to purchasing, all the behind-the-scenes things I had to learn how to do.”
No matter what day it is, Porter is busy tying up all the loose ends for players in terms of jerseys, shoes and other equipment needed to compete in the MLS.
A typical day starts with him arriving at 7:30 a.m., at which time he proceeds to get each player’s jersey, shorts and training kits out, along with any other supplies the coaching staff may need for that day’s practice.
When training begins, he does anything the coaches may need before heading back to the club’s facility in the afternoon to repair any broken equipment, do laundry and gett on the computer to check on orders.
While it’s not the most glamorous of jobs at times, working for the biggest soccer league in the United States has allowed Porter to have experiences most followers of the sport would die to have.
“I definitely have fun,” he said. “When I was working in New York, I gave David Beckham a ride back to his team bus and it was one of those moments where I was like, ‘Wow, this is really cool.’
“Sometimes our goalkeeping coach (Tim Hanley) will come over to me and say, ‘This is your job. It’s not so bad.’”
On game days, Porter gets a front-row seat at the end of the Dynamo bench to watch the sport played at the highest level.
The 25-year-old has been involved with the sport since he was 5 and went on to be a standout goalkeeper for the Hornets. He then played four years for Malone University, serving as captain the last two.
Porter still plays in an indoor soccer men’s league with other staffers from the Houston club, but none of that prepared him for something that happened recently.
“We have three keepers on our roster and were down to one active, so I got to play in our two training sessions,” said Porter, who noted it was the second time he’s had to step in and play. “It was awesome for me, but it made me super nervous. There is a reason why they’re pros and definitely a reason I’m not.”
While being the manager is nice, Porter would like to move back to the operations side of the business in the next couple of years. Ideally, he’d like to be in charge of the production of a game he has enjoyed his entire life.
Porter, who will return to Ohio on Sept. 14 when the Dynamo travels to Columbus to take on the Crew, was a business administration and sports management student at Malone and did an internship in New York.
Little did he know he would make a living at the sport he loves.
“Not in a million years,” Porter said. “I always had a long-term goal to work in pro soccer, but I got this job totally out of luck. It’s surreal sometimes and it’s pretty neat.”
Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.

Royals 12, Indians 0: Tribe blasted in series opener

July 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

CLEVELAND — Right about now, Kosuke Fukudome probably has some strong reservations about waiving his no-trade clause to come to Cleveland and play for the Indians.

The Indians and their fans weren’t real enamored by their newest addition, either.

With Fukudome making his Cleveland debut Friday night at Progressive Field, the Indians were clobbered 12-0 by Central Division rival Kansas City, losing for the seventh time in eight games and for the ninth time in 12 tries.

Fukudome went 0-for-4, striking out in his first at-bat and grounding to second for the final out of the game, but he was far from the cause of the Indians’ latest defeat. That dubious distinction belonged to starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco and a sagging offense that has reached its lowest point of the season.

“We always say pitching sets the tone, and it wasn’t set tonight,” said manager Manny Acta of Carrasco, who allowed seven runs on seven hits over just 3 1/3 innings before being ejected from the game for throwing behind the head of Billy Butler after Melky Cabrera hit a grand slam. “Carlos didn’t have his A game tonight. He didn’t bring much at all, and we continue to struggle offensively.

“I’m glad it only counts as one (loss), because we got beat up pretty bad.”

Frustration reached its pinnacle for the Indians in the fourth inning after Carrasco allowed the third of three home runs off him — Cabrera’s grand slam that put the Royals up 7-0.

Cabrera remained at the plate and admired his blast to right field before flipping his bat. The following batter, Butler, paid the price for the display, with Carrasco’s first offering to the Royals’ designated hitter buzzing past his head. Both benches emptied with Kansas City players and Carrasco shouting at each other from across the field, but nothing escalated. Some Royals waived at Carrasco as he made his way to the home dugout.

“He’s a young guy, immature at times,” Acta said. “He showed his frustration in the wrong way. We don’t condone throwing at people’s heads. That’s a dangerous situation.”

Carrasco, 24, admitted to being angry at himself and at Cabrera for posing but claimed the inside offering to Butler was not intentional.

“I didn’t try to throw at anyone,” Carrasco said. “My fastball ran away. I know it looks bad after the home run, but I’m not trying to hit anybody.”

Acta did not have a problem with Cabrera’s actions, other than the grand slam.

“He’s got the right to do whatever he wants he wants to do,” Acta said. “He’s been in this league a long time. I think you have to make pitches to get guys out.”

Butler hit the first of Kansas City’s four homers on the night three batters into the game to give the Royals a 2-0 lead. Alex Gordon hit a solo shot off Carrasco in the second.

“I didn’t have anything today,” Carrasco said. “I couldn’t command my fastball and when I tried to throw my breaking pitches, I couldn’t command them either.”

Acta said he and pitching coach Tim Belcher spoke to Carrasco after the game.

“They said I have to calm down and keep pitching,” Carrasco said. “They said don’t let anybody (tick) me off.”

A sparkling outing from Carrasco wouldn’t have done the trick anyway. The Indians, who were no-hit by the Angels’ Ervin Santana on Wednesday, continued to struggle offensively, managing only five hits for the game.

Royals starter Jeff Francis, who entered the night with a 3-11 record and 4.65 ERA, shut them out on four hits, while striking out six over eight innings.

The Indians have scored two or fewer runs in six of their last eight games, three total over the last three.

It’s enough to shake a club’s confidence.

“I wouldn’t say that’s it great,” said designated hitter Travis Hafner. “This can be a pretty brutal game. We’ll find out what we’re made of. We just need to score some runs.”

With a Detroit win Friday, the Indians’ deficit in the Central Division standings grew to 2 1/2 games.

“Our guys in this clubhouse are going to have to be the ones to get out of this,” Acta said. “We’ve been counted out so many times and we bounced back. We’re going to bounce back again.”

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.


Royals 12, Indians 0: KC routs Tribe in Fukudome’s debut

July 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Kosuke Fukudome era began in dubious fashion Friday night, with the Indians getting clobbered by the Royals 12-0 at Progressive Field.

Fukudome, acquired in a trade with the Cubs on Thursday, went 0-for-4 in his Cleveland debut, grounding out for the final out of the game.

Carlos Carrasco started for the Indians and allowed seven runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. He was ejected after Melky Cabrera hit a grand slam off him in the fourth and he threw behind the head of the following batter, Billy Butler.

Indians: Fukudome happy to land in Cleveland

July 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

CLEVELAND — The Indians were one of the teams listed in the no-trade clause in Kosuke Fukudome’s contract with the Chicago Cubs. But according to the Osaki, Japan native, the prospect of playing for a contender was too much to decline.

Fukudome, 34, agreed to waive the no-trade clause Thursday, with the Indians acquiring the outfielder for minor leaguers Abner Abreu and Carlton Smith.

“Cleveland was the first team that had interest in me,” Fukudome said through an interpreter prior to making his Indians’ debut Friday as the starting right fielder. “The Indians are competing for a division title. It’s definitely a great motivation for me to be good. This is something I want to do.”

Fukudome said he received no compensation for waiving the no-trade clause, choosing to come to a second-place team, while leaving a fourth-place club in Chicago, where he hit .273 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 87 games. He ranked 14th in the National League with a .374 on-base percentage through Thursday.

With Shin-Soo Choo (broken left thumb) out until at least mid-August, Fukudome will fill in as the regular in right field.

“He makes us better immediately,” Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. “We’re getting an everyday player who’s a veteran presence in the lineup. He’s here to play. I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

Fukudome will bat sixth for the Indians after hitting in the leadoff spot for the Cubs.

“We’ve got that covered here with (Michael) Brantley,” Acta said. “Where (Fukudome) can help me the most is that spot. In that part of our lineup, we need some professional at-bats.

“You can look at the home runs and RBIs, but in the National League, you lead off the game with no one on base and then you hit behind the pitcher.”

Fukudome said he has no preference where he hits in the lineup.

“It doesn’t matter hitting sixth or hitting leadoff,” he said. “I just need to do the job.”

It will be Fukudome’s first experience in the AL after spending his first three seasons in the big leagues with the Cubs, who signed him out of Japan to a four-year contract worth $48 million.

“I don’t know until I play,” Fukudome said of the difference between the two leagues.

On the majority of days, the Indians outfield will consist of Fukudome, Ezequiel Carrera in center and Brantley in left. When Choo returns, Fukudome will most likely shift to center, though Acta would not confirm as much.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Acta said.

Fukudome’s acquisition could be a sign that the Indians are not overly confident that Grady Sizemore will make it back from injury. Sizemore is on the DL with another knee injury and also underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia July 21.

Acta, whose injury-depleted offense has struggled for the majority of the season, said he spoke with Fukudome about not trying to do too much for his new club.

“I told him that I wasn’t expecting him to carry this team on his shoulders and to just be Kosuke,” Acta said. “‘Give me quality at-bats in the sixth spot.’ It was a very good conversation.”

Indians fans weren’t enamored by the acquisition of Fukudome, who was largely a bust in Chicago. But Acta said he expects his team to make more moves prior to Sunday’s trading deadline.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “I expect a lot out of life, but, yeah. (The front office) is non-stop working. We’ll see. It’s a complicated process.”

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.