Thursday, September 30, 2010

Big game & Big Easy

Paula and I took in the West Virginia-LSU football game (the Mountaineers lost to No. 10 Tigers, 20-14) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana before heading down to New Orleans for a few days, where music gushed from every building orifice on Bourbon Street along seven blocks restricted to pedestrians. There was St. Louis Cathedral, sitting within spitting distance of aged Preservation Hall jazz performers, streetcars, the cemetery from Ann Rice's vampire novels. And all that jazz.

Louisiana became the 44th state that I've visited, to go with the 33 countries, since my 1996 retirement from the Beacon Journal.

If you want to see our photos, click on the headline.

What about YOU? Let's hear about your travels, or family events, or career situations. Your former co-workers are interested. Spikes in viewing when we post personal stuff proves that. Email John Olesky at

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gallup: Media distrust hits record high

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- For the fourth straight year, the majority of Americans say they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The 57% who now say this is a record high by one percentage point.

1997-2010 Trend: In General, How Much Trust and Confidence Do You Have in the Mass Media When It Comes to Reporting the News Fully, Accurately, and Fairly?

The 43% of Americans who, in Gallup's annual Governance poll, conducted Sept. 13-16, 2010, express a great deal or fair amount of trust ties the record low, and is far worse than three prior Gallup readings on this measure from the 1970s.

Click on the headline to read the full report.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Janis Froelich on radio Wednesday

Former BJ staffer Janis Froelich will be on WMJI's "Lanigan and Malone" at 740 a.m. Wednesday (Sep. 29). That's 105.7 FM on your radio dial. She will discuss her book, "My Life Looking Back at a Murder," based on the 1974 slaying of her friend, Linda McClain.

Click on the headline for more details on the book and Linda's death.

Financial chief named publisher of Bellingham paper

McClatchy Company named chief financial officer Mark Owings as president and publisher of The Bellingham Herald, once a Knight-Ridder newspaper. The Brazil native has lived in Bellingham, Washington since he was 13. The 1994 graduate of Bellingham's Western Washington University began at the Herald in 1998 as a staff accountant.

Bellingham is between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. on Puget Sound.

Click on the headline for the story.

Friday is Punctuation Day

National Punctuation Day: a great day to celebrate commas and apostrophes

By Colette Bancroft

St. PetersburgTimes Book Editor

Feeling uneasy about mystery quotation marks?

We have "fresh" sandwiches.

Badgered by errant apostrophes?

Our employee's are at you're service.

Confused by AWOL commas?

Smoking pets and bicycles prohibited.

Stop worrying about whether your dog smokes and start worrying about punctuation. Friday would be a good day to start: It's National Punctuation Day.

Many of us are worried already. As a former English teacher and copy editor, I despair for humanity when I open an e-mail that bristles with so many exclamation points I can hardly make out the words in between them.

Read the story

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Donuts to dollars

I saw this item on BJ newsroom retiree Harry Liggett's Facebook page:

"I have hit Aetna's donut hole on prescriptions. I paid $901.27 for drugs just for August. Actos, for diabetes, cost $240.83 for 30 tablets ($8.26 per pill); $195.61 for Levimir insulin, and $106.47 for Novolog insulin."

I emailed Harry and asked what his out-of-pocket costs for 2010 were for prescriptions and he replied:

"I had paid $1,801.76 as of July 31 plus $901.27 for August which totals $2,703.03."

This year's out-of-pocket prescription costs for me (John Olesky) are $1,261.57.

Because we hit the donut hole -- when the total costs of your prescriptions, no matter who pays for it, hits $2,830 in any year -- it automatically triggered a $250 check from Medicare. That pays a little more than one-fourth of Harry's August costs. I also have prescriptions that run more than $250 apiece for a 90-day supply.

Remember, once you hit the donut hole, you pay 100% of brand-name prescriptions for the rest of the year.

The law, written mostly by pharmaceutical lobbyists, uses two math formulas. To get to the $2,830 donut hole threshold, all the costs of all the prescriptions count, no matter who pays for them. Aetna gets BJ retirees to the donut hole quicker by listing a higher "cost" for some prescriptions than what you would pay at a local pharmacy. And the Aetna "cost" is up to four times more than what the same prescription costs in Canada.

Once you hit the donut hole, the math changes. Then Aetna (and the law written by the lobbyists) only counts what YOU paid for prescriptions. Instead of starting at $2,830, you usually start at $300 or so. Since you pay 100% for brand-name drugs till you reach $4,550 for the year, few people ever get out of the donut hole.

Aetna plays other games, too. That's why Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) imposed sanctions April 21 on Aetna. That means Aetna can't add new customers until CMS is satisfied that the wrongs have been righted. The Hartford, Conn., company switched its Part D prescription drug coverage from an open formulary to a closed one of payment tiers and failed to properly transition some customers from drugs covered under the old formulary to those covered under the new one. Also, some customers received incorrect denials of medications, which delayed their prescriptions.

Click on the headline for Cheryl Powell's BJ story on 1.8 million Ohioans affected under the new health care law.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stephanie Warsmith featured in ad

Another BJ promotion ad. This one features Stephanie Warsmith for her first place for election coverage in the Press Club of Cleveland's 2010 contest.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Death of a newspaperman: PD's Don Bean

By Grant Segall
PARMA -- Unfortunately, this obituary isn't just another of Don Bean's pranks.

The long-time Plain Dealer scribe, who phoned in tycoon Cyrus Eaton's death under deadline in 1967, 12 years too soon, died Sunday at MetroHealth Medical Center from pneumonia. He was 82.

As Bean often shouted, "It really happened."

In a free-wheeling field, "Beaner" led the way. He convinced rookie reporters to go interview the mother of the unknown soldier and cover a convention of black governors when there were none. He persuaded editors to run a fictional story about "Johnny Pot," supposedly the Johnny Appleseed of marijuana.

When Bean wasn't funny, he was passionate. Short, stocky and loud, he climbed onto chairs at meetings and exhorted colleagues as president of the Cleveland Newspaper Guild and as a trustee of Church in the V.

During a strike, he stood up to a charge by mounted police. He also pressed charges in vain against a member of a rival union who supposedly struck him in the head from behind.

But Bean didn't just inspire stories. He wrote them. Colleagues say that beneath the commotion was a great reporter and mentor.

"He had sources all over the place and got all the information the rest of us couldn't get," said Tom Gaumer, a retired reporter and editor.

Bean covered the Hough and Glenville riots and Dr. Sam Sheppard's murder trial. He persuaded George Steinbrenner, who ran American Ship Building Co. before the Yankees, to release the names of three workers killed in an explosion. He said he pressed a suburban police chief so hard for information, the chief lunged across the desk and grabbed Bean's throat.

He could be sensitive, too. "This guy felt for the people he wrote about," said long-time colleague Jack Hagan.

Bean was inducted to the Press Club of Cleveland's Journalism Hall of Fame.

He once played Santa Claus on downtown streets. The rest of the year, he felt like Santa's favorite.

"There wasn't a day that I didn't want to go to work," he recently wrote.

A pro to the end, Bean wrote up material for his obit. He said he was one of five boys raised in Northfield. He graduated from what's now Nordonia Hills High School in 1946 and served in the U.S. Air Force off the Bering Strait. He graduated from Kent State University in 1954.

He worked for the Cleveland News, Cleveland Press, wire services and radio stations. He lost a race for Parma city council in 1959.

In 1961, Bean joined the PD. He variously worked as assistant city editor and covered features, courts, cops, City Hall, general assignment, obits and more.

While working at a southwest suburban bureau, the long-time Parma resident swung by the downtown office in a Stroh's T-shirt, Bermuda shorts and white socks.

Working nights for years, Bean was the rare father in the 1960s at his three children's school events and on their field trips, including a three-day tour of Washington, D.C.

Bean wrote a PD magazine piece in 1983 about giving up liquor. He'd been one of many hard-drinking reporters and driven a company car into wet cement.

In 1980, he checked into Edwin Shaw Hospital for four weeks of treatment for alcoholism. He said he never had another drink. But other habits died hard. After checking out, he bought a carton of pop, called the city desk and bragged about downing a six-pack.

Bean retired in 1994. He golfed, hiked, wrote a history of his church and gave several gallons of blood over the years.One of the most popular Bean stories has him pushing the publisher out of a first-story window.

"Wish I had," Bean said last year. "Great story."

Donald Lee Bean


Survivors: Wife, the former Olga Fedorovich; children, Nadine M. Bean of West Chester, Pa., Matthew M. of Wickenburg, Ariz, and Scott A. of Parma; six granddaughters and a great-granddaughter.

Funeral: 11 a.m. Saturday, Church in the Valley, 2241 Everett Road, Boston Township.

Arrangements: Mallchok Funeral Home

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hundreds of OLD photos of Akron area

Market Street in 1880

Retired printer Dick Latshaw, who lives on Pawleys Island, South Carolina near business department retiree Harold McElroy, sent along long-ago photos of the Akron area. The web site is run by "Mr. Ed" of Tallmadge, who moved from Akron five years ago.

Click on the headline to see the photos.

After that, if you want to see a photo of Mr. Ed and hundreds of more photos from the Akron area's past, go to Old Akron photos

Betty Lin-Fisher featured in promo ad

Here's another Beacon Journal promotion ad. This one is on Betty Lin-Fiher for a first place for a business column in the Press Club of Cleveland's 2010 contest:

Friday, September 17, 2010

49 more exits for Miami Herald

The Miami Herald, through buyouts and layoffs, will trim 49 more from its payroll. That's on top of 175 shown the door last year with 5 to 10 percent pay cuts for those who remained.

The Miami Herald, at one time extinct Knight-Ridder's flagship station, is among 30 newspapers owned by the McClatchy Co.

Click on the headline to read the story.

Catching up with . . . Carol Camp

Carol Camp lives behind No. 2 hole at Akron’s Good Park golf course, but he traveled 3,500 miles in 1994 to play golf in Scotland. And he paid a deposit on a golfing trip to Ireland
Camp with rifle
but not enough of his fellow Davidson College alumni came forward the year after the 9/11/01 attacks on America so he was refunded his $300.

Carol was a fixture on the Beacon Journal copy desk for years till his 1993 retirement.

Davidson, North Carolina is 20 miles north of Charlotte. With only 1,700 students, Davidson had no journalism school so, after his 1952 graduation, Carol climbed up the newspaper ladder to the BJ by starting at the Sanford (NC) Herald and then the Norfolk (VA) Pilot. The next and final stop was the BJ.

It was Mike Cardew’s BJ photo of Carol and two other uniformed Veterans of Foreign Wars buddies at Saturday's Kenmore Alumni reunion honoring Kenmore’s war dead that brought him to the BJ Alums attention. But Carol wasn’t from Kenmore--ever. He grew up and graduated from high school in Norfolk, Virginia, where his family lived during World War II.

What brought Carol to Kenmore on 9/11/10 was to fire his weapon to salute Kenmore’s military heroes. Carol has been local VFW commander “a couple of times,” he said. Carol served in Korea in 1953-54.

While he’s a wedge shot from Good Park, where he’s played only a time or two, Carol mostly frequents Pine Valley golf course in Wadsworth where he plays with a friend.

Although Carol has had a couple of heart attacks and angioplasty and had three stents put in three years ago, he’s “doing OK,” he said. A million people a year have angioplasty in America. A balloon is inserted in the artery, then inflated to crush fatty deposits before it is withdrawn.

If you want to contact Carol, his phone number is (330) 836-9230. He lives on Mull Avenue. Just look for No. 2 hole at Good Park golf course.

Click on the headline to see Rick Armon’s BJ article on the Kenmore Alumni reunion that honored Kenmore’s veterans and the photo of Carol with his VFW gun-toters.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

BJ Circulation retiree Raife Woodall dies

Raife ``Woody' Woodall, 69, passed away September 12, 2010.

He was born in Akron, Ohio and graduated from South High School. He served in the U.S. Army and was a member of Wesley Temple AME Zion Church. Raife was a Golden Glove boxer and a member of the Summit County Hall of Fame Boxing Association and was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in September, 2009. He was a Golden Heritage Member of the NAACP and a member of the Cleveland Chapter of the Westfield Alumni Association. He worked for Firestone Tire & Rubber Company and the Akron Beacon Journal from which he retired. He was an avid runner and he enjoyed doing things to help others.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Raife and Bertha Woodall; brother, Andrew Woodall; foster father, Samuel Culver; and foster brother, Aaron Culver.

Raife leaves to cherish the legacy of his life, his wife, Ethel; his son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Lora Woodall of St. Petersburg, Fla.; grandchildren, Odessa Woodall Biandudi and her husband, Jeremy of Landover Hills, Md., Mallory Woodall Williams and her husband, Tyrone of St. Petersburg, Fla., Megan Woodall Hires and her husband, Justin of Burbank, Calif., Robert DR Woodall of Baldwin City, Kan.; great-granddaughter, Alyssa Williams of St. Petersburg, Fla.: foster mother, Mary Culver; foster brothers, Alvin Culver and his wife, Gwen and Bobby Culver, all of Akron, Ohio; and a host of relatives and friends.

Services will be held Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 12 Noon at Wesley Temple AME Zion Church, 104 N. Prospect Street, Akron, OH 44304, Rev. Vince L. Munden officiating. Interment at Mount Peace Cemetery. Family will receive friends at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Procession will form and condolences may be sent to 418 Barwell St., Akron, OH 44303. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Hospice & Palliative Care of Visiting Nurse Service, 3358 Ridgewood Road, Akron Ohio 44333.
(330) 535-1543

Woody retired from the BJ Circulation Department as a truck driver. The Woodalls live in Akron.

Woody's cousin, Elmer Johnson, passed away several weeks ago. Another cousin, Alabama native Lucy Felton Lee, died in Akron Dec. 29, 1998.

Click on the headline to post condolences to the Woodall family.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NBC veteran Edwin Newman dies

Edwin Newman, 91, who was an NBC anchor, news reporter, commentator, moderator and a host during his long career, died. He also was an expert on the English language.

Click on the headline to read his obituary.

Retired BJ printer Cecil Kolb dies

Cecil C. Kolb, 93, of Tallmadge, passed away September 12, 2010.

Cecil was born October 2, 1916 to the late Arley and Madge Kolb in Lebanon, Indiana. He retired from the Akron Beacon Journal. He was a member of the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf for over 70 years. He was also a member of the Akron Club of the Deaf, the Ohio School for the Deaf Alumni Association, and the Columbus Senior Citizen of the Deaf.

Cecil was preceded in death by his brother, Carl Kolb; sister, FaryBelle Conrad; and son-in-law, James Kirt. He will be deeply missed by his loving wife of 69 years, Martha. He was a wonderful father to his son, Timothy Kolb; and daughter, Cheryl Kirt (Sammy Brewer). He was a patient and kind grandfather to his grandchildren, Daniel White, Angie Radick, Grace (Steve) King, Daniel Kirt, and Mark (Stacy) Kirt. Cecil truly enjoyed watching and holding his great-grandchildren, Tyler, Alyssa, Trenton, Mark, Anna, Isaac, Jacob, Elizabeth, Wyatt, and Waylon.

Family and friends may call on Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m. at NEWCOMER FUNERAL HOME, 131 N. Canton Rd., where funeral services will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. Interment at Hillside Memorial Park. To leave a special message for the family online, visit

[Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Tuesday, September 14, 2010, page B4, col. 6]

Retired printer Calvin Deshong, who has BJ employee directories going back to the beginning of time, found that Cecil retired 3-1-81 at the age of 64 with 28 years of service.

Click on the headline if you want to post condolences.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Catching up with . . . Jane Snow

Jane Snow and her husband with his family

When I saw the story in the Beacon Journal about former Akron Beacon Journal food writer Jane Snow crafting the menu for the Sept. 11 Sapphire Ball benefit for Summa Health System's Women's Health Services, I emailed Jane for more details.

Here's her reply:

Hi, John.

Great to hear from you. I haven't been to New Orleans in so long I can't advise you, but I did find an interesting site that lists locals' favorites:

New Orleans

I hope you and Paula have a great time.

As for the rest of your questions, I'd be delighted to respond:

I helped design the menu and provided some recipes for the Sapphire Ball. Officially I was chairman of the food committee, although the committee consisted of just me and ball chairwoman Mary Ann Jackson. She asked, and I couldn't think fast enough to say no.

I'm keeping busy with book signings and my weekly Internet newsletter, See Jane Cook. The latter is the successor to Second Helpings, which the Beacon Journal dropped abruptly (i.e., no advance notice) a year after I left the newspaper in 2006.

Former BJ advertising VP Mitch Allen picked up the newsletter and has been publishing it ever since. He sells the ads and his staff does the technical stuff. Mitch owns the cool little shopper, Mimi Vanderhaven's Fabulous Buys. I freelance for him occasionally. The signup for my newsletter is free. (Click on headline to go to Jane's newsletter web site.)

My cookbook, Jane Snow Cooks, is in its fifth printing. Published last October by the University of Akron Press, it is a compilation of the best recipes from my 24 years as the Beacon Journal's food editor (I was there 28 years altogether).

It's available in local bookstores, from Amazon and directly from the University of Akron press 

I have endured and mostly enjoyed the hectic speaking and book-signing schedule the AU Press lined up for me. And it continues, with seven more this month and next (Sept. and Oct. 2010). I figure at some point everyone will have a copy of the book and I can just stay home.

I'm trying to make time to start a second book, with little success so far. As you know, I married a sushi chef/restaurateur just after leaving the newspaper, and last year we got permanent custody of Tony's 16-year-old son.

I became a first-time mom at age 60, for crying out loud. We have teen-aged boys in and out of the house constantly, and I feel like I'm cooking for a battalion. It's kind of fun...most of the time.

Occasionally I help out at Tony's restaurant, Sushi Katsu in the Merriman Valley. He likes to keep me in the back, doing dishes.

Tony is a sushi master from Japan. His parents, whom I adore, visited us for three months this summer. I haven't visited Japan yet.

That will have to wait until Tony retires, because he's the only chef at his restaurant and works six days a week with no real vacations.

We're having a ball, though, on our two acres in Copley.

Here's a photo we took of the whole family on Tony's cherished 1955 Allis-Chalmers tractor.

This is long, so edit at will. That's the first time you've ever heard me say that, eh?

-- Jane Snow

Click on the headline to go to Jane's cooking web site.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Black Keys win MTV video award

Black Keys, the two-piece Akron band with Patrick Carney as drummer, won an MTV Music Award in the video category on Sunday. Carney is the son of BJ reporter Jim Carney and stepson
Top: "Tighten Up" video participants, the
"children"  in foreground and Carney (left) 

and bearded Auerbach in background.
Bottom left: Auerbach, the 
Bottom right: Carney, the drummer.
of Jim's wife, Katie Byard, also a BJ reporter.

Black Keys won for "Tighten Up," with their fictional children fighting and Carney and guitarist Dan Auerbach intervening and having a bloody battle with each other. Their music has been described as "sweaty Delta blues riffs, heavy pounding and textured grooves."

Firestone High graduates Carney, 30, and Auerbach, 31, grew up near each other in Akron. Auerbach and wife Stephanie have a daughter, Sadie, and they are thinking about moving to Nashville. Carney, though he still owns a house in Akron, has moved to New York. He married Cleveland Scene and former BJ reporter Denise Grollmus on 7-7-07 -- all lucky 7's -- in the Glendale Cemetery chapel. Later, they divorced.

The Black Keys' 2002 debut, “The Big Come Up,” was recorded on an 8-track in Carney’s basement. They have made eight albums. Their sixth, “Brothers,” debuted No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 chart with more than 73,000 copies sold in the first week. Auerbach does the songwriting and singing.

The Black Keys have toured Europe, Australia and North America and played to a sellout crowd at Akron's Civic Theatre. Their "Desperate Man" was the background music for a Heidi Klum Victoria's Secret bra commercial in 2006.

Click on the headline for the story about their MTV award.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ken Sprague obituary

The obituary in today's Beacon Journal for Ken Sprague, brother of retired BJ printer Sid Sprague, who moved from Cuyahoga Falls to Pawleys Island, South Carolina to Loveland, Colorado:

Kenneth E. Sprague, 77, passed away September 9, 2010 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

Born in Akron, Ohio, Kenneth was retired from Bridgestone Firestone.

Kenneth is survived by his brother, Sidney, of Loveland, Colo.; nephew, Jeffrey Sprague and his wife, Valerie, their daughters, Shannon and Lindsay of Greenwich, Conn., Suzanne Rutherford, her husband Kevin, their sons, Kevin and Brian of Hilliard, Ohio, Ellen Sprague and children, Kyra and Aidan. Kenneth was preceded in death by his sister-in-law, Sandra and his nephew, Steven Sprague.

Kenneth truly enjoyed his many cousins and appreciated their cares and concerns for him, especially Don and Gloria Draper.

A memorial service will take place Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. at Adams Mason Funeral Home, 791 E. Market St., Akron, OH. 330-535-9186 Donations to the Paridise Club, 1710 Front St., Cuy. Falls, OH 44221

Published in Akron Beacon Journal on September 12, 2010

Click on the headline for an earlier story on Ken Sprague's death.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sue Reynolds retires after decades at BJ

Sue Reynolds, newsroom administrative assistant for decades, has retired from the Beacon Journal.

BJ Photo Editor Bob DeMay said that Sue "most recently held down the message center, keeping the plane in the air for the newsroom. She had also done some time with in her years here."

Retired BJ staffer Charlene Nevada, who with her husband retired chief artist Art Krummel has
vacationed with Sue and her husband, said "Sue was the glue that held the newsroom together for the better part of three decades.

"She and her husband, Roger – a retired history teacher and coach from Green – have two grown kids. Their daughter, Mandy, teaches science at Green. Son Alex lives in Florida.

"Sue heard about the job from another secretary who was working there at the time. Sue was working at a title bureau. The other secretary told Sue there was a Metro Desk clerk job open, and that all she would have to do was read the paper and answer the phone. That was before phone mail.

"I think it was Tim Smith who quickly saw Sue’s organizational abilities, and kept giving her more and more responsibility."

BJ Managing Editor Doug Oplinger, who was barely tall enough to climb onto a John Deere tractor when Sue first began at the Beacon, is effusive in his praise of Sue:

"I'll give you a little, and I'll give you a lot.

"Susan was many things to the newsroom.

"She was of course the person who had all the answers to every administrative
question, among them: How much vacation do I have? What's the mileage rate?
And where are the batteries?

"She was the public's entry point into the newsroom, and she was able to
provide them with the answers they needed.

"She knew everyone in the building. Gotta question about obituaries or the
parking deck? She knew the name and number to call.

"She could see trouble coming a mile away, and let you know it was headed
your way.

"She also was like your mother: She was pretty much your fan, but if you
screwed up, she didn't mind letting you know.

"One of the most enjoyable things about her was that she was a faithful
reader of the Beacon Journal. She carefully reviewed every page every day,
and offered running commentary that was a reality check for those of us who
sometimes lost sight of our constituency. Her thoughts often came in the
form of "OHHH MYYYY GAAAAWD DID YOU READ THIS" outbursts that would stop the newsroom as we awaited her analysis.

"Perhaps what is amazing is that all of these attributes were a constant. You
could always depend on Susan to do all of the above, all of the time. In a
room full of chaos, her corner of the newsroom felt like a safe place -- as
long as you don't screw up the photo copier.

"As a tribute, there was a little roast in the newsroom, for which resident
humorist Jim Carney put together some great lines, all of which had a little
truth and a lot of exaggeration

"You might hear Susan saying the following:

"Oh my gosh, they're having a skunk festival in North Ridgeville. It says:
"Skunks must be on a leash. Not responsible for accidents." The contact
person is Richard Phew. I don't believe it. Do you believe it?

"This letter to the editor I just typed says we're doing a good job covering
the city, but it's signed "Don Plusquellic." That's gotta be a hoax. Do ya

"Don't we read this stuff before we put it in the paper?

"Anybody know anything about stuffed cabbages on the highway in Barberton?

"Into the phone: Oh my God! How many were shot? Right across the street from
the Beacon? Well that's gotta be news to us.

"Howie Chizek just called Bob Dyer a demented buffoon. Does anybody here

"Did someone order 45 tuna sandwiches from Subway? I swear to God a guy is
bringing them up here right now.

"Where is Pat Englehart when we need him?

"Oh my God. Someone just found a moldy old pizza under Carney's desk. It's no
wonder, the guy can't smell anything.

"Is there anybody working here today?"

In keeping with Sue's reference to the late Pat Englehart, a newsroom legend with his DeNobili cigar and passion for getting the news and getting it right, particularly during his State Desk reign, Doug also sent along a photo of Pat and Sue in the Golden Era of the BJ (well, that's what we oldtimers call it now that we're retired and on the outside looking in).

Enjoy the hell out of your retirement, Sue. You earned it. But who's going to keep the BJ running?

Sid Sprague's brother dies

This email was sent Friday by Nancy, who moved to Loveland, Colorado with retired BJ printer Sid Sprague a year or so ago after both their spouses died, to retired BJ printer Dick Latshaw and BJ business department retiree Harold McElroy:

Hi all of you,

I'm really sorry to give you more bad news - Kenny passed away very unexpectedly yesterday. He was in good spirits the day before when speaking with Sid and Sue & Kevin had just seen him last week end and felt he was doing well. We are leaving tomorrow to take care of details and his apartment.

The memorial service will be on Wed. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Paradise Club, 1710 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221. This was his AA Group.

Sid has had too much bad news this year.........please keep him in your prayers. He is being strong and holding up really well.

Love, Nancy

Sid's son, Steve, 38, of Middleburg, Virginia, died May 4. Sid's wife, Sandra, 64, died in 2003. Dick and wife Pat live on Pawleys Island, South Carolina, two blocks from Harold McElroy and wife Linda. Sid and Nancy also lived near them on Pawleys Island, until their spouses died. Then they moved to Colorado to be near Nancy's family. Sid lived in Cuyahoga Falls for decades before moving to the BJ enclave on Pawleys Island.

Click on the headline for Ken Sprague's obituary in the Beacon Journal.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Marilynn Marchione wins Cohn award

Marilynn Marchione, a medical writer at the Associated Press, has been awarded the 2010 Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Journalism for her compelling and enterprising reporting for a worldwide audience.

Marchione's wide-ranging daily and in-depth consumer health coverage has sought to bring medical science
findings to readers in a way that is relevant to their own health choices. She was recognized for her insight and narrative skills as reflected in stories on the overuse of diagnostic radiation, the hazards of alternative medicine, the plight of severely wounded U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq, a preview of the world's first face transplants, and the dangers of soda increasing obesity.

The Victor Cohn prize, for a body of work published or broadcast within the last five years, was established by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, a not-for-profit organization of journalists and scientists committed to improving the quality of science news reaching the public.
Marchione will receive a $3,000 check and a certificate in New Haven, Connecticut, on Sunday, November 7, at an awards ceremony to be held in conjunction with ScienceWriters2010, a joint meeting of CASW and the National Association of Science Writers (NASW). The annual gathering includes NASW's professional training workshops and CASWs 48th annual New Horizons in Science briefing for reporters at Yale University and the Yale School of Medicine.

The judges of the Cohn prize were impressed by Marchione's authoritative approach to timely medical issues and her ability to juggle the demands of day-to-day wire service coverage with in-depth reporting that is rich in human interest.

AP health and science editor Kit Frieden's nominating letter said that Marchione "has been at the front of the pack in reporting whats essential, compelling and useful to ordinary people trying to make sense of it all." Former AP medical editor Daniel Q. Haney, a 2002 Cohn award winner, noted that with the decline of newspaper medical coverage and the shortening attention span of the news business, her stories rise far above the clutter. They are clear, nuanced, graceful and dead-on accurate. She helps steer the AP way from miracle cures in mice, the statistically weak clinical trials and the other flotsam that can underpin medical coverage."

Marchione, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, joined AP as a senior medical writer in 2004 and, in September 2005, was the first to report that doctor and patients were trapped in flooded hospitals in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She came to AP after having spent 28 years as a reporter and editor at metropolitan daily newspapers, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press Managing Editors Association as well as health and medical organizations. She earned a degree in journalism from Kent State University.

This year's entries were judged by Ron Winslow, deputy bureau chief for health and science and medical writer at the Wall Street Journal; CASW president Cristine Russell, a freelance writer and senior fellow at Harvards School of Government; and Ben Patrusky, CASWs executive director.
This marks the 11th presentation of the Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Journalism. The inaugural award in 2000 was shared by Laurie Garrett of Newsday and Lawrence K. Altman of The New York Times. Subsequent recipients, in addition to Haney, were Jon Palfreman, a public television documentarian; Shannon Brownlee, a widely published magazine and newspaper journalist; Michelle Trudeau of National Public Radio; Rick Weiss of the Washington Post; Jerome Groopman of The New Yorker; Geeta Anand of the Wall Street Journal; Joe Palca of NPR; and Denise Grady of The New York Times.

The award honors the late Washington Post medical writer and health columnist Victor Cohn, who distinguished himself by the clarity, honesty and effectiveness of his reporting during a 50-year career. He was also a co-founder in 1959 of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.
[Source: press release]

Sharing condolences: When parents die

The BJ Alums blog attempts to post obituaries of all retired or former BJ staffers, but many go unnoticed becuase they have moved elsewhere in the U.S. and we have no way to
keep in touch.

It would be even more difficult if we tried to post obituaries of family members.  There were two in the last week, however, that caught our attention

William "Bill" James Carney, father of BJ staffer Jim Carney,  worked for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., in Akron for 34 years, retiring in 1987 as manager of polyester research. He died September 7.       

See his obituary

Carol F. Guregian, mother of former BJ staffer Elaine Guregian, a teacher with a master’s degree in education, died September Ann Arbor, Michigan

See her obituary

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Diane Lore running for Georgia office

Former Beacon Journal newsroom staffer Gloria Irwin went to an arts and crafts show in Marietta, GA, and ran into former BJ medical writer Diane Lore. Diane is a Democrat running for the Georgia legislature in the 41st district against its current House occupant, Republican Sharon Cooper.

Diane is president of Atlanta-based Deep South Digital, which helps public relations free-lancers. Most of her staff have the last name of Lore. Diane and her husband have three children.

A fourth-generation journalist, the Ohio State graduate lists editing and reporting for the BJ, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (also as a medical writer), Editor & Publisher and web sites WebMD and among her credentials.

Diane survived an MRSA -- methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus -- bacterial infection acquired during her 2003 hospital stay for the birth of her third child. That involved six months of being isolated from her own daughter and fighting infections at $100 a pill. And battling the insurance company over payments on the enormous bills.

BJ promo ad touts award to Jim Carney

This promtion ad in the A section of the Beacon Journal today was published to congratulate staff writer Jim Carney for a first place for obituary in rhe Press Club of Cleveland awards

Engravers reunite at monthly lunch

Former Beacon Journal engravers Chuck Schmook and Pat Dougherty had a reunion today at the monthly lunch for BJ alums at Papa Joe’s restaurant. Chuck and Pat talked about their BJ days together in the 1980s and '90s. Everyone at the table talked about being chewed out by the late icon,
Fran Murphey. Fran gave the engravers what-for, too. Not just editors. And she was one of a kind, and many people got their only photo in the BJ because it was in Fran’s column. Often, those photos also were in their obituaries.

A lot of the conversation revolved around people that Chuck knew from his BJ days –- too many dead, some still kicking.

Chuck, who is a life-long Parma resident, worked at the now-extinct Cleveland Press before coming to the BJ. He and his wife, Eleanor, drive their motor home to Florida to visit his relatives in Bonita Springs. And elsewhere.

Pat was preparing to spend time in a tent with his grandson at Camp Butler, a Scout overnighter. Of course, that meant he had to pay the fee, buy a tent, a cot and other equipment. Maybe $200. An outing with his grandson: Priceless.

Others at Papa Joe’s were retired printers Cal Deshong, Carl Nelson and Gene McClellan and newsroom retirees Tom Moore and John Olesky.

BJ alumni have lunch at Papa Joe's at 1 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month. Show up and join in the chatter and laughter.

Chuck’s photo with wife Eleanor at a Cleveland Indians game appears five items down from this article in this BJ Alums blog. Chuck’s sister from Sacramento was involved in getting them to the baseball contest.

Click on the headline to see photos of the lucky seven at Papa Joe’s today.

Thrity reading Friday in Columbus

Former BJ staffer Thrity Umrigar is doing a reading at the Thurber House in Columbus this  Friday, September 10, 2010, 7:30 p.m.
Columbus Performing Arts Center
549 Franklin Avenue

Thrity Umrigar
: The Weight of Heaven

Thrity Umrigar brings the scent of spices and the vibrant Indian culture to life in her latest book, The Weight of Heaven. This emotionally charged story of a couple, who travels from the United States to India after the loss of their son, captures the hardship of their transition and the hope for enlightenment. Umrigar is the author of three other novels, and a memoir. She is an associate professor of English at Case Western Reserve University.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Janis Froelich back for book-signing

Former Beacon Journal staffer Janis Froelich will leave her Tierra Verde, Florida home for another Ohio book-signing on Sept. 20. She will sign "My Life Looking Back at a Murder" at 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Kent Free Library, 312 West Main Street, Kent.

The book is built around the 57th PGA Championship at Firestone Country Club and the murder of Janis' friend, Linda McClain, after they both volunteered at the 1974 golf event.

Tierra Verde is south of St. Petersburg at the tip of Pinellas County and the Gulf of Mexico.

For BJ and Kent State friends who want to contact Janis, her address is

Janis D. Froelich
751 Pinellas Bayway
Unit #206
Tierra Verde, FL 33715

Her email address is

Click on the headline to read an earlier story about Janis' book.

Another Brian Windhorst award

It may be old news but I couldn't find anything in the BJ Alums blog archives that had this
information, which comes from the St. Vincent High School alumni web site (Brian is a 1996 St. V grad):

Brian Windhorst was honored by the Professional Basketball Writers Association for writing the “Best Game Story in 2009.” The article was his account of the Cavs' 96-95 victory over the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. The game was decided when LeBron James nailed a 3 point shot as time expired.

Brian has covered the Cavs for the Akron Beacon Journal and presently the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Brian is a graduate of STVM Class of 1996 and Kent State University. Brian has authored two books, "The Franchise" and "The Making Of An MVP."

Brian has about a week left of his 30-day trip around the world to help friend Jon Wiles celebrate his 30th birthday Sept. 13. It started in mid-August.

Click on the headline to read about the journey around the planet.

Brett radio show starts Wednesday

"The Regina Brett Show," a call-in radio show with guests and hosted by former Beacon Journal and current Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett, will begin Wednesday at 7 p.m. on WKSU, 89.7 FM. She also is on National Public Radio affiliate WCPN-FM 90.3 from 9:05–10 a.m. Fridays.

Click on the headline for an earlier BJ Alums blog story about Regina’s WKSU show.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Former BJ engraver and wife enjoy game

Here's Chuck Schmook and wife, Eleanor, at a Cleveland Indians game last month. “They actually did win this game.’ Chuck said. “Miracles never cease!”   Chuck formerly toiled as a photo engraver at the Beacon Journal. He and Eleanor live in Parma. 

His email address is

Saturday, September 04, 2010

BJ photographer Paul Tople at work

Here's a photo of Beacon Journal photographer Paul Tople on assignment.  It is among facebook photographs  of  photographer friends by Tom Scott  of Woodard Photographic in Akron.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Connie Bloom moves into new studio

BJ Alums got this email from former BJ staffer Connie Bloom, who has become a star in Ohio's fabric arts (aka quilt art) community:

Dear art quilt friends:

I am now the resident quiltmaker at Summit Art Space, which is next door to the Akron Art Museum at 140 E Market St.

I am enjoying the company of the other artist-painters and have my own lovely 350-square foot studio with a 16 foot wall of windows in which to create.

Please come visit during our monthly Artwalk, which is 5-10 pm Saturday and noon-4 pm Sunday.

There will be art for sale, snacks, great conversation and free rides from Lolly the Trolley to all the other studios in the art district.

Connie Bloom

Connie moved from her Red Light Galleries, 111 N. Main Street, next door to Luigi’s.

She is publisher/editor of QSDS (Quilt Service Design Symposium), a quarterly online magazine abut fabric art. Her works have been on display at Weathervane Community Playhouse.

She is married to Bob Shields. They have been together for more than a decade.

Click on the headline for photos of Connie, QSDS and her fabric art.

Connie's website is at Connie