Saturday, August 19, 2017

Contact info for John Kovatch

I got this email from John Kovatch, retired BJ vice president/finance and administration, married to Carolyn Pope Kovatch:

John Kovatch
Hi John,

I hope you are doing well and enjoying the Ohio weather before you head back to The Villages.

Could you add my email and USPS to the BJ Alums when you get a chance?

Address: 6760B Wales Crossing St NW North Canton, OH 44720


John Kovatch

The Kovatches also have a home in The Villages, Florida, where Paula and I spend our winters away from Ohio’s blustery months.

One winter Paula and I ran into John and Carolyn dancing the night away in The Villages’ Spanish Springs, one of three squares in The Villages which have free live music and dancing every night of the year.

John and Carolyn bought a home in The Village of Charlotte. Paula's house is in The Village of Silver Lake.

Spanish Springs is my favorite of the three Villages squares. It feels more like down-home West Virginia.

John’s career included University of Akron associate vice president/controller, Knight-Ridder vice president finance and administration, Ernest & Young CPA and JEK Accounting Service before his Kent State and Euclid High days.

He’s from Massillon, where Paul Brown began his fabulous coaching career.

Friday, August 18, 2017



BJ newsroom retiree Tom Moore, king of the goddammits during his Ol’ Blue Walls time, and Dot are celebrating their 68th wedding anniversary.

You read that right:


Richmond, Virginia native Tom went from Bluefield, West Virginia, birthplace of John S. Knight, to the BJ after witnessing the demise of three Ohio newspapers (not his fault in any of the times).

But his marriage to Dot has been solidly on track for three score and eight years.
In retirement Tom has been a conductor on the Cuyahoga Valley Park Scenic Railroad.

Tom was adopted by Spotswood and Virgina Moore in Tazewell, Virginia, just across the border from Bluefield. Tom and Dot have four children, including three daughters who were copygirls at the BJ.

That would be Amy Moore, Tom and Dot's youngest daughter; Caroline Jean Krack, their oldest daughter, who lives in Minnesota; Katherine Ann Moore, who lives in Cuyahoga Falls, after retiring from the Environmental Protection Agency; and Tom's son, also named Tom.

Tom's 41-year newspaper career was on the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Zanesville News (now defunct), Lorain Journal, Columbus Citizen-Columbus Citizen Journal (both defunct) and the BJ. Plus four years part-time in the Ohio State Patrol headquarters in Columbus, editing the patrol's magazine, The Flying Wheel.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Albert Davis as a sailor and during interview by Congressman Tom Sawyer

Akron’s USS Indianapolis sinking survivor passes away

Albert Morris of Akron, who survived the 1945 Japanese submarine’s topedo sinking of the USS Indianapolis and five nights and four days in shark-infested waters, passed away today.

There are only 19 still alive from the worst U.S. Navy disaster in history, including James “Jim” Jarvis, 90, who lives in Lake Township.

Morris was among the 316 sailors from a crew of 1,196 who survived the initial strike and days of dehydration and shark attacks that followed. The 880 deaths was the worst loss of life at sea in Navy history.

No one knew the Indianapolis’ whereabouts because its mission was so secret. It was delivering parts for Little Boy, the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How the Blade cut to front of national coverage

Lauren Lindstrom
Eagle-eyed copy editor Toledo Blade Tommy Gallagher put the Ohio newspaper in the spotlight for its coverage of the car that rammed through a crowd and killed and injured in Charlottesville, Virginia during a white supremacists rally.

Gallagher blew up the photo and saw that the car had an Ohio license plate with a “48” county registration tag. That meant it was registered in Lucas County, where Toledo is the county seat.

Three Blade reporters checked voter and vehicle registration records and found that the car was registered to James Fields, Jr. of Maumee, a suburb of Toledo.

Blade reporter Lauren Lindstrom, usually a health reporter, went to the address and got an interview with the driver’s mother. The Blade also went to Florence, Kentucky, where the driver grew up and talked to his teacher.

Before police announced Fields’s arrest and released his mugshot.

Lindstrom made an important point in this day of newspaper layoffs and Internet “news reporting”:

“I think it shows the benefit of local news. We’re the hometown paper, and we were the ones on the ground. We were able to get there quickly.
My thanks to Roger Mezger, who was pretty eagle-eyed himself during his BJ days, for tipping me off about the article in the Columbia Journalism Review.

If you want to congratulation Tommy Gallagher, his email address is

Monday, August 14, 2017

Former BJ photography director Michael Good and wife Sally Good are celebrating their 46th wedding anniversary.

Michael owns Michael Good Photography, his business on Puget Sound. They live in Seattle, where they moved in 1998.

The photos that Michael takes of weddings were named Seattle Bride Magazine’s Best of 2009.

Michael is an Ohio State graduate from Ashland, Ohio.

In his career Michael also was photography director at the Washington Times, the Lorain Journal and the New York Journal-American.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

-30- for Murv Perry
Murvin Perry, 95, former Kent State Journalism School director, passed away Tuesday, August 1 in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Murv Perry

Kent State followed stays at South Dakota State, Iowa and Kansas State before stops at Ohio State and, finally, East Tennessee State.
Not bad for a South Dakota farm boy.
In retirement Murv was restoring his 1966 Mustang Fastback and 1935 Ford Cabriolet, and authoring “Murv’s Motoring Memories,” as he had for more than two decades for the Early Ford V-8 Club.
Murv’s obituary:
Murvin Henry Perry - Johnson City, Tenn.
April 28, 1922 – Aug. 1, 2017
Stop the presses!  A great journalist and muckraker has left the pressroom. 

Dr. Murvin Henry Perry of Johnson City, Tennessee passed away Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at the age of 95.  Murvin was born April 28, 1922 in Bruce, South Dakota. 

He moved to Johnson City in 1979 and retired from East Tennessee State University in 1988.  He is survived by his wife Rita married for 65 years, his five children, Gail, Mark, Scott and wife Heidi, Todd and Chris and wife Patty, and his grandchildren, Rebecca, Heather, Kent, Brock and Kristen.

He was the eldest of 10 children born to Earl and Lorraine Perry.  He was preceded in death by his brothers Lyle, Dale, and Wayne, and sisters Bonnie, Donna, and Doris.  He is survived by his three younger brothers Loran, Robert, and Ronald. 

He served in World War II in the Seebees on the South Pacific Island of Tonga Tabu.  He returned home to teach high school English in South Dakota.  He earned his Bachelor's degree from South Dakota State and his Master's and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. 

His career started in 1945 at South Dakota State University in Brookings South Dakota.  In 1952 he moved to the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, and in 1959 to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and in 1964 to Kent State University in Kent, Ohio and in the summer of 1981 taught at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In 1979 he moved to East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee where he retired in 1988.

During a career spanning nearly 70 years, Dr. Perry played a national role in both professional journalism and higher education.  

He was a member of the first team of American journalists allowed to go behind the Iron Curtain.  He served as an officer of chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and a member of its national committees on Freedom of Information and Historic Sites, as a member of the Accrediting Committee of the American Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications for 12 years and as a member of the screening committee for the Pulitzer Prizes.  

He was on a committee of journalists charged with selecting a journalist to go on a space flight when the Challenger exploded and the project was cancelled.  He played a leading role in the Ohio Newspaper Association's successful campaigns to develop and get sunshine laws passed and to defeat the bar association's efforts to close the courts. 

He taught at six universities, heading accredited professional programs at two. He was honored as a distinguished alumnus of South Dakota State University, for professional achievement by the Society of Professional Journalism, by Tennessee Right to Life for 32 years of pro-life service and by East Tennessee State University for Lifetime Achievement. 

He was a passionate organizer and advocate for the Right to Life movement since the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973. 

His book, Murv's Motoring Memories, is a collection of anecdotes, written originally for his column in the newsletter, Ford Words, which he edited for the Early Ford V8 Club for more than 20 years. 

In the last days of his life he completed the writing of a book to be published on Amazon titled "Can We Save These United States?".

The Department of Communication at ETSU created the Murvin H. Perry Award for Creative Achievement, which each year honors a student for creative achievement.

Visitation will be at St. Mary's Catholic Church Friday, August 4, 2017 from 10 to 11:30 with a Funeral Mass to follow at 11:30. Burial at Mountain Home National Cemetery will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 2211 E. Lakeview Dr., Johnson City, TN 37601, in his name or to the Tennessee Right to Life.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the Perry family via .


Thursday, August 03, 2017

Tim Smith is chief of Portage public defenders

Former BJ managing editor Tim Smith was appointed head of Portage County’s Public Defender Office.

That’s for those who can’t afford an attorney and have one appointed by the court. There are seven lawyers in the public defender’s office.

Tim, 73, also is a retired Kent State professor.

Tim got the post on an interim basis when Dennis Lager, who had held the post for 20 years, was put on administrative leave.

Tim resigned as Public Defender Commission chairman to qualify for the interim role. As chairman, Tim said Lager’s ouster was because “the morale in the office needed some addressing.”

The Public Defender Commission includes attorneys Mark Hanna, Bill Lentz and Bill Simon and former municipal court bailiff Jerry Beach.

Smith, a 1977 graduate of the University of Akron law school, started teaching at Kent State in 1986, retiring in 2014. Smith lives in Rootstown with his wife, Jane, a retired Akron schoolteacher. They have three grown children and five grandchildren.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Jim Moore, who was tapped by a BJ Circulation director manager to deliver the newspaper at Akron General Medical Center, passed away July 26.

It was one of his career hats. He owned Lori-Lee Dry Cleaners.

Jim’s obituary:

James William Moore

WADSWORTH, OHIO James William Moore, 89, passed away on July 26, 2017. Born in Akron, Ohio, he lived in this area all of his life.

He was a U.S. Navy Veteran, served in the South Pacific, and a University of Akron graduate. He was owner of Lori-Lee Dry Cleaners, manager of Coit Cleaners for many years, and a 25 year Akron Beacon Journal newspaperman at Akron General Medical Center, keeping him active in retirement.

He enjoyed history, gardening and anything about the sea. He was a dedicated cat rescuer, loving husband, father, grandfather, greatgrandfather. He was always a soft spoken man of few words but these words were always kind, genuine and worth hearing.

He is reunited with his parents, Luther and Lillian; brother, Robert; sister, Virginia; first wife, Jeanene; and beloved wife, Gretchen. He is survived by his children, Mark (Janet), Mari Lee (Brian), Lori (Bob); grandchildren, Marina (Tommy) Sharp, Paul, and Ami; great-grandchildren, Derek, Stephanie, Kaitlynd, Cameron, Reed and Noah; along with many nieces, nephews and their families.

There will be no calling hours, a private family gathering will take place.

The family requests loving thoughts and donations be made to your favorite animal rescue.

Ed Gemind passes away

Ed Gemind, who was in the BJ Circulation Department for 41 years, passed away July 7.

He moved to Clearwater, Florida with his wife, Mary Jean Crossland Gemind, in 1989 but returned to the Akron area in 2013.

Ed Gemind
Ed’s obituary:

Edward J. Gemind

Edward Joseph Gemind, 92 years old, passed peacefully from this life on July 7th. Edward, known to friends as Ed, was born in 1925 to Adam and Helen (Esson) Gemind in Akron, Ohio. He spent his first 67 years living in Akron and Cuyahoga Falls before moving to Clearwater, Florida in 1989 with his wife, Mary Jean. He returned to the Akron area in 2013 to be closer to family and friends.

Ed attended St. Sebastian Grade School and St. Vincent High School. Following graduation in 1943 he enlisted in the Army Air Force where he began his military career in the pilot training program. He left the service in February of 1946 having been honorably discharged and began a long, illustrious career with the hometown newspaper, the Akron Beacon Journal. Ed retired 41 years later in 1987 having spent all of his time at the Beacon Journal in the Circulation Department.

Edward was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jean (Crossland); his youngest son, John; his sisters and brothers-in-law, Helen Therese and Paul McCann, Margaret and Charles Mosher, Dorothy and James Hyland; sister-in-law, Thomasine Hyland and nephew, Mark Hyland. Also, his mother-in-law, Ruth Crossland; and in-laws, Robert and JoAnn Crossland, Eileen and Lee Milne and nephew Lee Milne, Jr.

He is survived by his children and their spouses, Edward and Linda Gemind of Lancaster, Pa., Karen Ann Gemind of Jacksonville, Fla., Phillip Gemind of Cherry Valley, Calif. and Patty and Wayne Weber of Copley, Ohio; grandchildren, Amanda and Jeff McCrary, Melisa and Bill Gibb, Adam and Ashley Weber, and Maggie and David Strickland and Sara and Anna Gemind; eight great-grandchildren; and twenty-two nieces and nephews.

Ed was a devout Roman Catholic and he and his wife were charter members of Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Cuyahoga Falls. He also enjoyed playing cards, especially bridge and poker, bingo, golf, coin collecting and most all sports - in particular baseball. His passion in life, beside his family, was rooting for the New York Yankees and taking great enjoyment in the numerous world championships they won during his lifetime.

Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 11 a.m. at St. Hilary Catholic Church, 2750 W. Market St. A private family interment of ashes will take place at a later date in Holy Cross Cemetery. Friends may call at Hummel Funeral Home COPLEY, 3475 Copley Rd. on Monday, from 4 to 7 p.m. Memorials may be made in Ed's name to St. Vincent St. Mary High School, 15 N. Maple St., Akron, OH 44303.

Published in Akron Beacon Journal from July 9 to July 10, 2017


Monday, July 31, 2017

Cathy Strong
pointed article
Strong words
for The Mooch

Former BJ State Desk reporter Cathy Strong, senior lecturer in journalism at Massey University, writes a searing rebuke of Anthony Scaramucci, who lasted 10 days as President Trump’s Communications Director.

He proved himself over-the-top vulgar, spiteful, bullying, slanderous of his colleagues and intent on spinning a message,” Cathy wrote for Stuff, a New Zealand publication.

To read Cathy’s cutting article about The Mooch, click on the blue

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Former BJ political cartoonist Chuck Ayers no longer draws “Crankshaft,” a spinoff of the school bus driver in “Funky Winkerbean.”

Dan Davis, one of the “Garfield” pencilers since 2012, took over Chuck’s role on April 2. Dan lives in Celina, Ohio with his wife, Lisa.

Chuck was at the BJ for more than 25 years, 13 as the political cartoonist.

Kent State graduate Chuck has been drawing “Crankshaft,” written by his former KSU  classmate Tom Batiuk of Medina, since 1987. In 1994, Chuck started also drawing Batiuk’s other comic strip, “Funky Winkerbean.”

At a Kent State gathering several years ago, Chuck gave me his “Crankshaft” autograph on a restaurant take-home box. Chuck said it was his first styrofoam autograph.

It has a place of honor in my Tallmadge den, known in my family as the West Virginia University Shrine.

McBane, Charlene get thank-yous from the grave

Retired BJ reporters Dick McBane and Charlene Nevada got a posthumous thank-you from Vera Grace Snyder Cogan-O’Neill, who passed away July 16 in Sarasota, her residence since 2002.

McBane wrote a 1977 BJ article about Vera’s many achievements in education and community work.

Charlene in 1975 wrote about Vera becoming Kenmore High’s first woman principal.
Both got space in Vera's obituary in the BJ.

Vera taught at Harris and Betty Jane elementaries and was principal at Howe,  Stewart and Rankin elementaries, Perkins Junior High, Kenmore High and Innes Junior High.

Vera’s family also made its mark in the Akron area. Her dad was on the Lakemore Town Council and the Springfield School Board. Her mother was president of the Lakemore Elementary School PTA.

McBane came to the BJ after stints at the Marietta, Ohio Times and Garrettsville Journal (during his Hiram College days). He retired from Ol’ Blue Walls in 1997.

Dick and wife Marylyn have been married more than a half-century. They moved to Georgia in 2004.

Dick’s book, “A Fine-Looking Lot of Ball-Tossers: The Remarkable Akrons of 1881,” was published in 2005. Dick is an expert on minor league baseball.

Charlene retired in 2005 after 35 years at Ol’ Blue Walls before working for Burton D. Morgan Foundation, a philanthrophy that provided grants to colleges. She is married to Art Krummel, who was the BJ’s chief artist.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dave Hess laid to rest

By Bill Hershey, former BJ Columbus bureau reporter

COLUMBUS, OH – Two military honor guards flanked the flag-draped casket Saturday at the graveside service for David Willard Hess at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens.

Hess died July 19 after complications from a series of strokes. He was 83. Relatives and friends gathered for the brief service under a clear blue sky.

Celebrant Sean Warren said Hess had the intelligence to pursue any career but chose journalism after being inspired by The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

Hess was a reporter with “instant credibility”, said Warren. Hess was dedicated to righting the wrongs he found in the world, Warren added.

“He looked out for his fellow man,” said Warren.

Hess also served as a mentor to other reporters, Warren said.

He spent a “life of learning” with wide-ranging interests including coins, stamps and books, said Warren.

His serious pursuit of journalism was matched by a ready sense of humor, characterized by belly laughs, said Warren. Hess laughed so loud during the last visit one friend had with him at a suburban Columbus care facility that the people in the next room shut the door to keep out the noise.

Hess, a West Virginia native, earned a bachelor’s degree in geology and a master’s degree in political science from Ohio State University in Columbus. His late father Willard Hess was also a journalist.

Hess moved to Springfield, Va. in 1971 after being named the Washington, D.C. correspondent for the Akron Beacon Journal in the Knight Newspapers – later Knight-Ridder – Washington bureau. He later became a national correspondent for the bureau, covering Congress, the White House and other beats.

He contributed to the coverage of the 1970 shootings of four students at Kent State University by Ohio National Guardsmen that won a Pulitzer Prize for the staff of the Beacon Journal in 1971.

He won other awards, including the Worth Bingham prize for investigative journalism and the grand prize for consumer journalism from the National Press Club. Hess was president of the Press Club in 1985.

Hess moved back to Columbus in 2013 to be with family and friends. Hess’s many friends from his newspaper career were represented by Bill Hershey, a colleague from the Beacon Journal and the Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau, and Lee Leonard, a retired Statehouse reporter for United Press International and the Columbus Dispatch.

Hess served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict and also in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Dorothea, children, Daniel and Laura, sister Mary Kay Rogers and his ever-loyal pet Boxer, Champ.

He is survived by nephew Darren (Laura) Burnham; nieces, Kathryn Burnham and Mary Lynn (Harry) Hicks; great-nephew Nathan (Molly) Hicks and great nieces, Carly Hicks, Kate Burnham, Kerry Burnham and Bryn Burnham.

A trumpeter played taps as the honor guards folded the American flag and presented it to Hess’s niece, Mary Lynn Hicks.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Abraham leaving Dispatch for Kent State
Former BJ food writer Lisa Abraham is leaving the Columbus Dispatch Aug. 4 to become a senior writer at Kent State in the communications and marketing department.
Lisa Abraham

Lisa wrote:
“This will end my 32-year journalism career, which makes me a little sad, and will end my 11 years of food writing, which makes me even sadder.
“However, I am beyond excited about my new job, the amazing people I will be working with at Kent State and the chance to do some great writing for a great institution. As an added bonus, I'll be back in my northeast Ohio homeland! Go Golden Flashes!!!”
When BJ newsroom retiree Tom Moore told me had heard a rumor about Lisa’s departure, I asked Lisa to confirm. She did.
And added:
“I am excited to be working there and to be getting back to Northeast Ohio. Any BJ alums who are at Kent, please look me up for coffee or lunch! Thanks for asking.”
Lisa left the BJ in 2014 for the Dispatch.
She comes from a long line of outstanding food writers at Ol’ Blue Walls: Glenna Snow, Polly Paffilas, Charlene Nevada, Connie Bloom and Jane Snow.
Niles native and Niles McKinley High and Ohio University graduate Lisa was at the Toledo Blade and Warren Tribune Chronicle before coming to 44 E. Exchange Street.
She is married to Richard Hart.