Saturday, December 31, 2011

Earthquake reminds him of Craig Wilson quip

The earthquake today reminded retired BJ artist Art Krummel of the late Craig (Action Line Wilson.
The note from Krummel:.

The earthquake today reminded me of a saying craig wilson wrote. He had written a collection of these. not sure what he called them I think it was a fortune for a fortune cookie. I put this on Facebook but I know not everyone on the blog is a "bookie".

Only Craig could come up with something like this:

"Earthquake in kitchen? No, only cookie jar."

Have a great New Year all you alums

art krummel

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ex-BJ staffer named Indiana Journalist of Year

John Russell with stack of documents used to document case

The Society of Professional Journalists has named John Russell, a former Beacon Journal business reporter, as the Indiana Journalist of the Year.

Russell, who worked at the Beacon Journal in 1997-2005, is now at the Indianapolis Star where he was able to identify an all-too-cozy relationship between Duke Energy officials engaged in a multi-billion dollar coal gasification plant in Edwardsport and the state officials charged with oversight of the project.

The story began when an editor received a Citizens Action Coalition news release decrying Duke's hiring of Scott Storms, an administrative law judge and general counsel at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. The editor told Russell, whose regular beat had nothing to do with utilities, that the story merited a little digging.

Twenty-three open-records requests later, with enough damning email to make even the most jaded and duplicitous executive blush, The Star was able to print what Russell calls "my favorite headline in 26 years of journalism — 'Scandal Topples Duke Executive.' "

The probe resulted in other firings and reassignments at Duke and within state government.

The story's not over yet. The Edwardsport project continues and Duke would like to bill consumers for its more than $1 billion in cost overruns. Russell is still on the case.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

4 with BJ ties among 'Best Local Books of the Year'

Beacon Journal reporter Phil Trexler, former BJ reporters Mark Dawidziak and Kymberli Hagelberg and Cinda Williams Chima, sister of the BJ's Mike Williams, are among the authors of "The Best Local Books of the Year," according to today's BJ story.

Trexler wrote "Ballparks: Yesterday & Today," about baseball stadiums.

Plain Dealer television writer Mark Dawidziak and Kent book dealer Mark Bauer
authored "Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler."

Hagelberg's contribution is "Wicked Akron: Tales of Rumrunners, Mobsters and Other Rubber City Rogues."

University of Akron grad and former clinical dietician Chima's book is "The Gray Wolf Throne," about a princess who flees to escape a forced marriage and returns to claim her throne.

Click on the headline to read the BJ story.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

NY Times sells 16 newspapers

The New York Times | News Release
Halifax Media is buying 16 newspapers from The New York Times in a deal that is expected to close within the next few weeks. The Times acknowledged the likely sale last week after Halifax prematurely published the newspapers’ names on its website, in a list of properties it owned. The regional papers are no longer as profitable for the Times as they once were, and the company is eager to invest in its digital future and other ventures. Halifax also owns the Daytona Beach News-Journal, which has cut staff and promoted a pro-business agenda since Halifax CEO Michael Redding took over, reports Rick Edmonds. In a news release about the sale, Redding said:

“The purchase of the Regional Media Group reflects Halifax Media’s belief that a good newspaper is an essential part of any vibrant community. The strong local news coverage these papers provide represents not only an important community service, but, in our eyes, a good investment.”

Friday, December 23, 2011

Brian Usher, former BJ staffer, Celeste aide dies at 65

Brian Usher, a former Statehouse newspaper reporter and press secretary to then-Gov. Richard F. Celeste, died early yesterday. He was 65.

Usher, who was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago, died in a hospice facility
with his daughter, Karyn Usher, and other family members at his side.

Usher graduated from high school in Muncie, Ind., and received an undergraduate degree from Ball State University and a master's degree from Northwestern University. He workers for 15 years as a reporter for The Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal and Knight News Service in Ohio and Washington D.C.

Usher was a politics writer for the Beacon Journal in 1984 when he was tapped to be Celeste's press secretary.

Celeste, reached in Colorado Springs, where he recently retired as president of Colorado College, said Usher served Ohioans well as both a reporter and press secretary.

'Brian was an individual who stepped across the street from his tremendous career as a journalist to become a press secretary for a governor and did so with uncommon grace and good humor,' Celeste said. 'He was a tremendous friend and an enthusiastic Buckeye. I don't know of any finer person that I worked with in the years that I was governor.'

In more ways than one, Celeste said jokingly, Usher made his life easier as governor: 'I sort of felt relieved when I brought him over, because he asked me a lot of tough questions as a reporter.'

Usher left the governor's office in 1988 and opened a media-consulting firm.

He was co-editor and an author of Ohio Politics, a history of politics and government in Ohio in the second half of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st. It features chapters written by Ohio journalists and university political scientists.

The family plans a memorial service in January.

[Photo courtesy of Beacon Journal]

Reporters complain about White House press office

Journalists complain the White House press office has become overly combative

The White House’s relationship with the reporters who cover it has blown hot and cold throughout history. And this year, some reporters say, things have taken a decidedly frosty turn.

When a reporter gets something wrong or is perceived as being too aggressive, the response is often swift and sometimes at top volume, reporters say.

Read more of this from the Washington Post

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chicago Sun-Times sold

The deal to acquire Chicago's No. 2 newspaper is done.

Sun-Times Media Chairman Jeremy Halbreich confirmed Wednesday evening that a new company led by Chicago technology entrepreneur Michael Ferro and media executive Timothy Knight has entered into a definitive agreement with Sun-Times Media Holdings to acquire the media company's properties.

The acquisition by Wrapports LLC includes Chicago-area daily newspapers, weekly newspapers and more than 40 websites. The transaction, which is valued at more than $20 million, is expected to close by year's end.

Knight, the former publisher and CEO of Newsday, which was once controlled by Chicago-based Tribune Co., will take the reins as CEO upon closing, news first reported by the Tribune in Wednesday's editions.

"It's a very exciting opportunity," Knight said Wednesday night. "The Sun-Times properties across all of Chicagoland are very strong brands in their markets, have deep commitments to their communities and provide a great platform for us to build our technology-enabled content business."

While the flagship paper will remain an integral part of the company, the primary emphasis for the Sun-Times going forward will be on evolving its digital strategy, Knight said.

"The paper is still a very important part of the portfolio, but we know that consumers want information where, when and how they want it, and we want to be there to serve that need," he said. "We expect over time to develop unique content portals that really serve the needs of our communities and provide our advertising partners with different products and services to help them grow their business."

CEO Jeremy Halbreich, who joined the company in 2009 as chairman and interim CEO, successfully guided it out of bankruptcy. He will step down as CEO after Christmas, a role he assumed after the death of James Tyree in March. Halbreich said that while the paper was never officially for sale, successfully transitioning the company was always in the back of his mind.

See more

Unions earmark $350,000 to fight NY Times

Labor unrest is simmering just below the surface at the New York Times Co.,

Sources say that the Communications Workers of America, the parent union of the Newspaper Guild and others, has earmarked a $350,000 war chest and hired the politically connected public relations firm of BerlinRosen to advise in what seems to be shaping up as a pivotal battle among several unions.

The Newspaper Guild, which claims to represent about 1,000 journalists and photographers at the flagship, and the smaller Mailers Union Local 6, with about 170 production members, both have been without a contract since March 31.

Back in October, six different locals — including the Guild and the Mailers — sent a letter to Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr., chairman and publisher of the Times, and then-President and CEO Janet Robinson.

The letter went out from Allied Printing Trades Council President Art Delanni but was signed by Guild President Bill O’Meara, and Pressman’s President John Heffernan, whose local contract still has another six years to run, and three other locals.

“Notwithstanding the improvement in the Times’ economic picture, you have given damaging proposals to the Guild representing your reporters and staff, who are at the core of the very product the Times offers to its customers,” said Delanni.

The letter also claims that current Times management is reneging on past lifetime job guarantees given to trade unions in exchange for previous concessions. “

Read more

Newsrooms hit harder than other departments

Alan Mutter [Reflections of a Newosaur] says his figures confirm suspicions that newsrooms have been hit harder than other departments at newspaper companies. He figures that a fifth of the 3,775 job losses that Paper Cuts counted in 2011 came from newsrooms.

With the ASNE reporting that 52,600 journalists were on the job in 2007, then the projected newsroom headcount at the end of this year would be 22% lower than it was in 2007. In other words, the decline in newsroom employment has been twice as great since 2007 as the 11% drop in over-all industry employment. This also means … that newsroom staffing now is at the lowest level since the ASNE inaugurated its newsroom census in 1978.

Long-ago BJ writer Ethel Rita Aspell dies

VENTURA, Calif. -- Ethel Rita Aspell passed away December 14, 2011, of sudden heart failure.

The daughter of Thomas A. and Margaret Ferns, she was born May 29, 1923, in Pittsburgh, Pa. Ethel was a graduate of St. Vincent High School in Akron and
received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from The University of Akron. During college she performed in theater and was a member of the Lambda Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

Ethel married John F. Aspell in 1946, and they enjoyed 58 wonderful years of marriage before his passing in February 2005. Her love of live theater, film, classical, and popular music strengthened through the years. The TV was always set on classic movies - Bette Davis and Jimmy Stewart were her favorites. The day Frank Sinatra died, John bought her a dozen roses. They loved to dance to that big band swing sound. Their family, which grew to five children, relocated frequently due to John's U.S. Navy Officer and engineering duties, finally settling in Ventura County, Calif. in 1968.

Ethel wrote for the Akron Beacon Journal and later worked at the Ventura Star Free Press as an Editor and Copy Writer. In the late 1970s she excelled as Public Relations Manager for St. John's Hospital in Oxnard, Calif., and, in the 1980s, as Business Manager and Publicist for the Ventura County Symphony. Her love of Native-American culture was evident in vacation adventures to Taos, New Mexico; Mesa Verde, and her favorite place on earth - next to New York City - Monument Valley. Ethel possessed a keen wit, dramatic, infectious laugh, and a razor-sharp sense of social injustice. She will always be remembered by her family and friends for spiritual devotion and unsurpassed sweetness of character.

She is survived by her beloved children: sons, Thomas and his wife, Barbara Lebeau, of Pittsburgh, Pa., John Kevin of Hayward, Calif., Dennis Michael of Ventura, Calif.; daughters, Julie Ellen Cariani and husband Peter, of Boston, Mass., Anne Aspell Stevens and husband James of Ventura, Calif.; grandchildren, Arthur John and Elise Aspell, Brady and Devin Stevens; sister-in-law, Mary Aspell; and her dearest cousins, Helen Shields and Dorothy Miller of Pittsburgh, Pa.; as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Tuesday, December 27, at Sacred Heart Church in Ventura, Calif., where Ethel was a parishioner for nearly 40 years.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorial donations to Sacred Heart Church, Ventura, Calif.; or to the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal World.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home, Ventura, Calif.

Published in Akron Beacon Journal on December 22, 2011

Russ Mitchell to replace Romona Robinson

Russ Mitchell, who has been with CBS News for about 20 years, has been named the lead anchor of WKYC Channel 3's 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. He also will be the Gannett-owned Cleveland station's managing editor for evening news. His first day on the air at the NBC affiliate will be Monday, Jan. 16.

Channel 3 has been weighing anchor options since contract talks stalled with Romona Robinson, the station's solo anchor for the 6 and 11 newscasts since Tim White's departure in
late 2008. Robinson's contract expires at the end of the year, and her last day on air at Channel 3 was Friday.

Mitchell’s hiring was confirmed today by Channel 3's president and general manager, Brooke Spectorsky. Mitchell is wrapping up his tenure as anchor of the "CBS Evening News'' weekend editions and the "The Early Show'' on Saturday. He's also a national correspondent for "CBS News Sunday Morning,'' the weeknight editions of the "CBS Evening News" and "The Early Show."

A St. Louis native and 1982 University of Missouri journalism graduate, Mitchell spent 10 years in local news before joining CBS as the anchor of the 2 a.m. "Up to the Minute" newscast in 1992.

"I've been thinking about going back to local television for a few years," Mitchell said during a telephone interview. "It's been a great run at CBS, but I miss the pulse of a local newsroom, and, being from the Midwest, I miss being part of a community. But I wasn't going to go just anywhere. Cleveland reminds me a great deal of the city where I grew up, and I'm looking forward to bringing my family because I think we're going to have a really good life there."

Mitchell, 51, will have company at the Channel 3 anchor desk. Spectorsky and Channel 3's news director, Rita Andolsen, are narrowing the search for his 6 and 11 p.m. co-anchor.

Click on the headline to read the full story by Mark Dawidziak.
CRead the full story by Mark Dawidziak

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

L. A. Times blogger fired

Ed Padgett, the founder and chief contributor to the blog The Los Angeles Times Pressmen’s 20 Year Club, got canned last week. No reason has been given, but it’s worth noting that Padgett’s blogging has long been a thorn in the sides of LA Times execs. A union activist, Padget frequently rallied for employee rights and openly discussed the inner workings of the LA Times Operations department on his website.

See more

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A quote for this week

The hard part of professional journalism going forward is writing about what hasn’t been written about, directing attention where it hasn’t been, and saying something new.”

Seth Godin on lazy journalism

Dispatch to print Cincy Enquirer; 200 jobs lost

Enquirer Media announced it will close its printing plant in fall 2012 after reaching an agreement with The Columbus Dispatch to print The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Kentucky Enquirer. The roughly 200 plant employees will lose their jobs sometime in the fourth quarter of next year, when the Enquirer moves to the Dispatch’s “three-around” printing press that enables faster press runs or more color usage. With that change, the newsprint page will shrink to 10.5 inches by about 14.5 inches, which Gannett touts as “a more compact and easy-to-handle size.”

the old and new format

Greetings from the BJ Alums blog

Merry Christmas

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. ~Dr Seuss

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas

~Harry Liggett

Friday, December 16, 2011

A foursome recalls the good old days

There may have been only four us at the ChrIstmas luncheon of the BJ retirees, but we had a great time recalling the past...the good old days when those working at the BJ were family.

You enjoyed going to work because you weren't working for somebody, you were working with them...from John S. Knight down to Smitty in the maintenance department.

And we four bemoaned the passing of those days.

Al Hunsicker, Gene McCellan, Carl Nelson and me.

I brought along three old “Tower Topics” I found in my basement...articles on the long-gone 25-year-dinners, golf and bowling outings and the family picnics.

And one was the issue about John S. Knight's death.

Somebody brought up the subject of the Indianapolis Speedway. A couple of the guys had been there to witness races.

Which led me to add that I also had visited there and had a tour of the track compliments of the Indianapolis Newspaper Guild.

That was 1959.

I was Guild chairman of the Columbus Citizen Journal and attended the Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio district conference.

And there I first met Al Fitzpatrick, Craig Wilson and a young lady from the morgue, Sheila.

Got acquainted with the group and spent some time with them.

Little did I know that three years later I'd have a reunion with them when I joined the copy desk to begin my career at the BJ.

Only four of us at the luncheon, but, as I said at the beginning, a good time was had by all and we four wish everybody a great Christmas and a grand New Year.

El Camino is No. 2 on Billboard charts

The Black Keys’ new album El Camino will debut this week at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 charts.

The album, released Dec. 6, sold more than 200,000 copies in its first week, making it the Akron-born duo’s best sales week and highest-charting album in their seven-album career, besting 2010’s Brothers, which debuted at No. 3 on the charts.

As drummer Pat Carney predicted, El Camino was beaten out by the band’s Warner Bros. corporate label mate Michael Buble, whose Christmas album has held the No. 1 spot for three weeks.

Carney is the son of BJ reporter Jim Carney. Jim Carney's wife, BJ reporter Katie Byard, is his stepmom.

[Source: Beacon Journal]

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Most print newspapers will be gone in 5 years?

“Most print newspapers will be gone in five years,” says a new report from the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future. The forecast by center director Jeffrey I. Cole, based on 10 years of studies, says, “America is at a major digital turning point … We believe that the only print newspapers that will survive will be at the extremes of the medium — the largest and the smallest.” The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal will likely survive, along with some local weeklies, Cole writes. John Robinson responds: “Wanna bet?” || Related: Ken Auletta: “Digital is almost as disruptive to traditional media as electricity was to the candle business” (

Check the source

Elements of Style reinvented as rap song

Click here to see the video

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book by Mark J. Price: The Rest is History

Mark J. Price, whose popular weekly column "This Place, This Time" has appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal since 1998, has a book coming out in March.

“The Rest is History: True Tales from Akron’s Vibrant Past” should become a best-seller. It’s being published by the University of Akron’s Ringtaw Books.

Price explores the history of Akron and Summit County through compelling vignettes, bringing to life bygone days through painstaking research of archival materials, local
histories, newspaper records and vintage photographs, plus contemporary interviews. The real-life stories range from quirky to poignant, from humorous to tragic, and all points in between. Read about the U.S. president who strolled through the countryside, the Akron stagehand who became a Hollywood icon, the beloved beagle that attended elementary school, the natural landmark that slid underground, the pop concert that made girls faint, the lost cemetery that turned into a city park and the world-famous gadget that caught on in Northeast Ohio. A true treasure trove of the varied places of this historic region. This collection is as much about the present as it is about the past.

Price has been a staff writer and copyeditor for the Akron Beacon Journal since 1997. He graduated from Kent State University with a degree in journalism. He is married to BJ copy editor Susan Gapinski Price

Price: $19.95
Pages: 225; Size: 8.5 x 11
Imprint: Ringtaw Books
ISBN: 978-1-935603-67-2

Tracy McCool named night anchor on Fox8-TV

Copley Township native Tracy McCool will become the new 5 and 10 p.m. weeknight co-anchor on WJW (Channel 8) as the new year begins.

She succeeds Stacey Bell, who left WJW to be closer to her husband, a former Browns assistant coach now working for the New York Jets.

McCool has been with WJW since 2000, when she joined it as a general-assignment reporter; she became a co-anchor of the station’s morning show in 2005. A morning replacement has not yet been named, although it is possible that Channel 8’s Kristi Capel will add that task to her duties.

Read full story
by Rich Heldenfels in today’s Beacon Journal

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Pearl Harbor front page from LA Times

A front page from the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 8, 1941. (Newseum)

Thursday, December 01, 2011

DOCTOR Cathy Strong is busy

Former BJ reporter Cathy Strong, now that she's a doctor (PhD style), had a busy November.

She released her latest study: "Influential Young A
rab Women Turn Their Backs on Facebook." Did you ever think you'd see a writing with that title?

She went to a conference in Beirut, Lebanon; then to Fernandina Beach, Florida; back home to Dubai; then to Palmerston North, New Zealand, her old haunts.

Cathy is a communication and media sciences professor at Zayed University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Previously, she spent decades in New Zealand and got an international reputation for her work in journalism.

All this after working on the BJ State Desk!

Carney kid gets another Grammy nomination

The Black Keys, a music duo that includes BJ reporter Jim Carney's son, Patrick, got another Grammy nomination.

The Black Keys received a nomination for best pop duo or group perfomance for their cover of Buddy Holly’s “Dearest.” The song was featured on the covers compilation
album, "Rave On Buddy Holly." The Keys have been nominated for six Grammy Awards in their career and have won three.

The 54th Grammys will be held Feb. 12 in Los Angeles.

Last year drummer Patrick Carney and singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach, who began their partnership while at Firestone High when they lived around the corner from each other, won Grammys for best alternative music album ("Brothers"), best rock performance by a duo or group with vocals (the single "Tighten Up"). Carney’s brother, Michael Carney, won for best recording package for his art direction on "Brothers."

The Black Keys have performed on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and appeared on Comedy Central cable channel's "Colbert Report." Pat and Dan live in Nashville.

Jim Carney's wife, BJ reporter Katie Byard, is the Carney Grammy-winners' stepmom.

Click on the headline for the BJ story on this year's Grammy nominations.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Warren Buffett buys his hometown newspaper

Warren Buffett bought his hometown newspaper on Wednesday. Not just one copy but the whole darn thing.

The billionaire investor's Berkshire Hathaway company announced that it has agreed to purchase the parent company of the Omaha World-Herald from its employee shareholders and the Peter Kiewit Foundation. According to the paper, the deal is expected to close in December, pending approval from the company’s shareholders.

In a statement, Buffett praised the paper as "one of the best-run newspapers in America" and stressed that its "editorial independence" will continue. The deal also includes other dailies owned by the Omaha World-Herald Company, including one in Iowa and a handful scattered throughout Nebraska. Berkshire already owns the Buffalo News and a sizeable chunk of the Washington Post.

See full story

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Governor Kasich does not read newspapers

Checking in with Scott Bosley

Hi John,

Good to hear from you. It sure looks like retirement is active and good for you.

We're settled in in Kalamazoo and liking the neighborhood, our new church and the community. And we're enjoying being near our daughter, Julie, who works nearby at
Kellogg's in Battle Creek. Our two grandchildren and son Jeff are in the Bay Area and he works in SF as a labor and employment lawyer. They got here last winter and we had a ice storm in their honor.

I don't have an email for Tom (Melody), though I did talk to him this summer after hearing that one of his younger brothers (a former HS football teammate of mine) passed away. Tom still lives in Norton.

Meanwhile, all best to you and Paula. Give a holler if your Michigan travels come near us. We'd love to have lunch and catch up. I hope the Mountaineers can get past South Florida without so much drama and that Cincinnati will kindly do what we need!


Scott was the BJ's managing editor, and the best ME that I had during my 43-year newspaper career.

Scott and wife Carol lived in Bethesda, Maryland, while he was executive director of the American Society of News Editors (1999-2009). Scott also was managing editor at the Detroit Free Press, editor of Knight Ridder Tribune Information Services, editor of The Journal of Commerce and publisher of the Post-Tribune in Gary, Ind.

Scott and Carol moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan after his retirement.

Scott and another BJ newsroom retiree, Tom Melody, are in the Keyser (West Virginia) High School Hall of Fame. Both are West Virginia University School of Journalism graduates. Tom and his wife still live in Norton.

Click on the headline to see the obituary for Tom's brother, Mike Melody, 68, who died in Keyser, West Virginia in April.

Steve Colbert reports on I-reporters

Monday, November 28, 2011

Warner writes about Connie Schultz's resignation from PD

Stuart Warner tells the inside story of Connie Schultz’s resignation from The Plain a piece in Cleveland Magazine.

See the article.

Composing retiree Leo Osmar dies

Leo V. “Vern” Osmar, 83, went home to be with the Lord on November 24, 2011. He was born in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

Leo served with the US Army during the Korean conflict. He had retired from the
Akron Beacon Journal after many years of service. He was a member of St. Bernard-St. Mary Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.

Leo and his wife, Theresa, spent many years running the coffee and doughnut hour after Sunday morning mass and also volunteered for many years at the Hot Meals Program at St. Bernard’s Church. He was also a member of the Patterson Park senior club.

Preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Emma Osmar; wife, Theresa; sisters, Lorelei Babich, Joy Young, and Terese Coleman; brothers, Clayton and Walter.

Survivors include sons, Ludlow (Leisa), Vincent, Michael (Pam), and John (Christina); daughters, Ann (Michael) Wintrow, Christine Bohn, Bertha (Blake) Thompson, and Susan (Frank) Jarvis; grandchildren, Joshua, Clayton, Amber Osmar, Megan (Zach) Kalil, Marisa (Justin) Jones, Richard Bohn, Christina and Cynthia Thompson, Theresa Sue and Frank Jarvis, II, and Alexander Osmar; and several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be Tuesday, 4-8 p.m., at NEWCOMER FUNERAL HOME, 131 N. Canton Rd., Akron. A prayer service will be held Wednesday, 9:45 a.m. at the funeral home, followed by a funeral mass at 10:30 a.m. at St. Bernard-St. Mary Catholic Church, 44 University Ave., Akron.

Inurnment will take place at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Bernard’s Hot Meals Program.

Leo's wife, Theresa Ann Osmar, 78, died Nov. 16, 2010. Leo and Theresa were born in Saulte St. Marie, Michigan.

Click on the headline for Newcomer Funeral Home's information about Leo.

Sign a guest book at

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The old girl was just too tired

“The old girl was just too tired to continue,” said Mike Dean, the Beacon Journal’s building and facilities manager.

Demolition of the Beacon Journal parking deck got under way October 31 and should be finished by mid-December. Demolition will cost about $60,000.

The parking deck probably will produce up to 800 tons of steel and about 3,640 tons of concrete, The steel beams will be sold to a steel manufacturer to be melted and turned into new steel. The concrete is being hauled to Eslich’s crushing facility at the former site of General Tire near Brittain Road in East Akron, he said. The crushed concrete is used as a base for buildings and new roads, he said.

When the demolition is done, the two ground-level parking areas of the deck will remain with 60 parking spaces, Dean said.

The 10-level, 381-space parking deck at Cedar and South High streets opened in August 1959 The parking deck cost $600,000 to build. That is equal to about $4.5 million today.

The company also has more than 100 parking spaces north of the main office building at High and East Exchange streets, at its Erie warehouse on South Broadway and on Wheeler Alley next to its production building.

Although the company has 411 staffers, its 169 permanent parking spaces are sufficient because Beacon Journal employees work different shifts

Photo by Beacon Journal photographer Paul Tople

See the story
by Bob Downing

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

BJ Thanksgiving paper to weigh over 4 pounds

The Beacon Journal Thanksgiving Day edition will weigh more than 4 pounds--about three pounds coming from two insert packages.

The holiday historically is the largest single circulation day for papers, in large part because they come full of pre-printed, Black Friday shopping-related advertising inserts.

This year’s Akron Beacon Journal, for instance, will weigh more than 4 pounds — about 3 pounds of that coming from two insert packages--— the heaviest the Akron paper has been in years as advertisers spend more money, company executives said.

See how it goes together:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ad in memory of Ralph Iula

This memorial ad appeared today on obituary
page B5 of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Read Iula's obituary written by Jewell Cardwell

Friday, November 18, 2011

A note from Kathy Fraze on Oblander

Terry Oblander was Ornery.
He was Bold.
He was Lusty.
He was an Antagonist.
He was a Newshawk.
He was Devoted.
He was an Egalitarian.
He was a Rascal.

It broke my heart the day he left the Beacon Journal. It was the right move for him. He had a young family to support, and it was a smart decision.

We said we'd keep in touch, but like many old friends, we drifted apart, occasionally promising to get together but never quite managing it until....

he had the unmitigated gall to die first....

rushing headlong into that ultimate story....

always getting the scoop.

Codladh samh leat mo chara,


Thursday, November 17, 2011

San Diego Union-Tribune sold

The owner of The San Diego Union-Tribune announced Thursday it has signed an agreement of sale for the 143-year-old newspaper to MLIM, LLC, owned by local entrepreneur Doug Manchester. He is joined by longtime media executive John Lynch, who serves as President and CEO of MLIM.

The terms of the agreement are confidential and the deal is expected to close by Dec. 15.

Manchester is well-known for his hotel and commercial property development in the county. Lynch is a founder of the Broadcast Company of America and has a long history of owning radio stations.

Platinum Equity purchased the company in May 2009 and has led the media organization through critical changes that have resulted in circulation growth, increased advertising revenue and creation of new digital and print products.

Read the full story on San Diego Business

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Turning the tables on Terry

Former Beacon Journal and Plain Dealer reporter Terry Oblander was known as a great storyteller. For his 10:30 a.m. funeral service Friday in the Waite & Son Funeral Homes Medina Chapel, 765 N. Court Street, the family announced:

On Friday during the service, we will be inviting friends/family the opportunity to say a few words or share a story about Terry Oblander. For the guy who always had a story, it just seemed appropriate to tell a few on his behalf.

Calling hours will be 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Waite Funeral Home.

Donations can be made in his name to Project: LEARN of Medina County at 105 W. Liberty St., Medina, 44256. Terry volunteered frequently at LEARN.

Terry died Sunday.

Late BJ printer's son in BJ article

Beacon Journal photo by Mike Cardew
Rick Bochert outside of Erie Station Grille

Retired printer Cal Deshong, who will be 93 on Nov. 24, sent this email to BJ Alums blog:

I noticed in today's BJ Section B-1 at the bottom of the page is a picture of Rick Bochert, owner of Erie Station Grille in Tallmadge. His father, Fred Bochert, worked with me in the composing room.

I know all the old-timers will remember him.

Fred passed away recently.

The article mentioning Rick Bochert, owner of the restaurant on the circle at East Avenue, concerned the City of Tallmadge loosening restrictions on businesses not as close to the Traffic Circle.

Click on the headline for the Tallmadge story that includes Rick Bochert.

Cal has moved from his home and into the residence of his daughter, Mary Pat Deshong-Kinkelaar, who is married to David Kinkelaar, at 268 Hollywood Avenue in Akron.

He's using his daughter's computer to remain in contact with the world.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pittsburgh Press publishing again -- online only

The first e-edition of The Pittsburgh Press, which the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette bought and closed after a brutal strike that stopped publication of both papers in the early 1990s, went out Monday. “We sensed a hunger in Pittsburgh and elsewhere in our diaspora for something that provides afternoon news in a newspaper format that was offered digitally,” said Post-Gazette Executive Editor David Shribman. The Pittsburgh Press’ Wikipedia page has already been updated with a section about its “resurrection online.”

Elizabeth Hallowell dies at 53 after fall at home

Elizabeth Hallowell, 53, an attorney and journalist, died Wednesday, Nov. 9, at Cooper University Hospital after a fall on Saturday at her home in Laurel Springs, Camden County, NJ.

Ms. Hallowell was passionate about causes dear to her heart - women's issues, the rights of adopted children. Bright and focused, she reinvented herself professionally on more than one occasion.

She graduated from Collingswood High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University's Douglass College and a juris doctor from the University of Akron.

After working as a clerk at The Inquirer in the early 1980s, Ms. Hallowell shifted gears to become a reporter. She worked at a small newspaper in central Massachusetts before returning to The Inquirer as a correspondent, covering Bucks County and Dover, Del.

Later, she moved to the Akron Beacon-Journal, where she got interested in the law.

"She covered courts in Akron, and she got to know a couple of judges and lawyers really well," said Jack Severson, her husband of nearly 17 years and a former Inquirer editor. "With their encouragement, she thought: 'I'd like to try this.' "

Ms. Hallowell earned her law degree at night. She returned to the area to care for her parents and worked as an editor for IntelliHealth, an online health-information company, and as a part-time copy editor at The Inquirer.

She was admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and eventually ran a solo law practice in Voorhees, concentrating on wills, estates, and contracts.

David Sullivan, an Inquirer assistant managing editor, described her as "enthusiastic, very positive. She was upbeat and always looking for something new to take on."

Ms. Hallowell was "fun to be around, very honorable, and a real stand-up person," said Paula Goff, a former Inquirer copy editor and friend.

Ms. Hallowell had strong opinions, wasn't shy about expressing them, and was always able to back them up, Goff said. "She also never hesitated to challenge the opinions of others, which forced you to back yours up. Those were great assets for a journalist and for a lawyer."

Ms. Hallowell was passionate about women's rights and fought against laws that prevented adopted children from locating their birth parents.

An adopted child herself, Ms. Hallowell eventually tracked down her birth mother, homeless and living in Western Pennsylvania. Ms. Hallowell helped her find a safe place to live.

She loved music and played piano and guitar. She enjoyed travel and working with stained glass.

She was a "hard-core news junkie," her husband said, voraciously consuming news in print and online.

Friends admired her warm relationship with Severson, the mayor of Laurel Springs. She was a strong supporter of his political career.

"She really liked the idea of being Mrs. Mayor," said Goff.

In addition to Severson, Ms. Hallowell is survived by her stepchildren, Nicole Severson, John Severson, and Camille Morgan, and five step-grandchildren.

Friends may call Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Danks-Hinski Funeral Home, 125 N. White Horse Pike, Lindenwold.

Memorial donations may be made to the Douglass College Women's Studies Program, 100 George St., New Brunswick, N.J. 08901.

[Philadelphia Inquirer, November 13, 2011]

Contact staff writer Kristen Graham at 215-854-5146, or

Grumpy Abe: Terry It was great knowing you

Reprinted from the blog of former BJ columnist Abe Zaidan

THE PASSING 0f Terry Oblander, a colleague and friend, has opened another hole in the ranks of enthusiastic newspapermen who considered it a privilege to show up at the office every day. His disheveled presence at his desk, whether he was trying to fill in a few more blanks for a feature story or grinding out hard news, was usually a sight for the journalistically correct reporters and editors in his midst. One moment he would be bellowing, the next he would erupt in violent laughter. His gestures were broad; his personality, for better or worse, never suppressed. The world, for "The Dutchman" was never a neat place where the spoons and forks were properly placed at the sides of the plate.

He wasn't crazy, folks, Just a very good - and honorable - reporter who was happily dedicated in his work. It was serious fun, richly expressed.

He was doubtless the last demonstrative vestige of the shrinking hometown business in which newsrooms have been quieted by vanishing staffs, energized voices and clicking typewriters. Today a lot of people communicate with lowered voices, hopeful, among other things, of keeping their jobs before retirement in a few years, months or weeks.

For many years, Terry, stricken by heart failure at 64, gallantly hung on to the end despite the loss of his wife and the need for care for his kids as an everyday workingman. But his bad luck seemed to follow him in his post-Beacon Journal days at the Plain Dealer. He worked in the PD's once-flashy bureau in Montrose, joined the subsequent move to the paper's windowless office in a basement on the Medina Square that could have passed for submarine quarters and continued his odyssey to various other points that wound up in Cleveland - all with a family home in Medina. He was one of the victims of the paper's confusion over what it wanted to be if it ever sank some roots south of Cuyahoga County.

I had worked part-time(!) for the PD and witnessed the upheaval before deciding there could be a decent life as a writer free of newspapers. During the later years, Terry called from time to time, beginning with "How's it going?" (He was the sort of person who really wanted to know, instead of the usual conversation gambit.)

I began to sense that the vitality in his voice was absent. Cynicism had crept in to his hung-ho love of a reporter's life. I wish I could have told him that things were bound to improve, but that would have been a lie to one of most conscientiously honest human beings that I had ever met in the business - or anywhere else, for that matter.

So I listened. We talked. After the newspaper talk, he would tell me about his kids' love of sports, and the memorabilia of the passion. Finally, he would say, "Well, I gotta go. Let's have lunch sometime". Just like that.

I' m sorry I took so long to share another beer and shelled peanuts with him. Too soon, his heart, as well as his business, let him down.

Terry Oblander's obituary in the BJ

By Jim Carney
Beacon Journal staff writer
MEDINA: Terry Oblander was a storyteller.

When the downtown Akron O’Neil’s store held a final sale before it closed forever in January 1989, the Beacon Journal’s Terry Oblander described the event this way. “Remember when your great aunt died and after the funeral all your greedy relatives showed up at her place to divvy up the quilts, antique plates and photo albums? In a way, the funeral for the downtown Akron store has already been held. … The elegance has died.”

Mr. Oblander, 64, of Medina, whose newspaper career included coverage of the Kent State shootings in May 1970 for the Record-Courier in Ravenna, died Sunday at the Cleveland Clinic of congestive heart failure following a heart attack.

Mr. Oblander worked two years for the Ravenna paper and nearly 20 years for the Beacon Journal, where he covered a variety of topics including Portage County news, labor issues and county government. He left Akron to work another 18 years for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“He knew how to get at what everybody wanted to know,” said his son Terry Oblander, of Medina. “He captured the essence. He was as good of a storyteller as a
writer. He had a wonderful sense of humor. He could make light of any serious situation.”

His son said his father had taken on a new role as grandfather and spent much time baby-sitting his two grandsons.

Mr. Oblander, who received an associate’s degree from Cuyahoga Community College and attended Kent State University, was part of the Beacon Journal staff that won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Goodyear takeover attempt by Sir James Goldsmith.

Along with being a writer and storyteller, Mr. Oblander was a puzzle maker. He was the author of the puzzle Groaners that appeared in the Beacon Journal for many years and the Public Square puzzle in the Plain Dealer, his son said.

“You were fun to sit next to at the BJ, fun to compete against when you went to the PD, fun to argue labor issues with and fun to share a drink with and have lunch,” wrote retired Beacon Journal reporter and editor Charlene Nevada, on Mr. Oblander’s Facebook page. “Your laughter will be forever missed.”

Thrity Umrigar, a novelist, Case Western Reserve University professor of English and former Beacon Journal reporter, said Mr. Oblander encouraged her to save for her retirement when she first started working at the Beacon Journal when she was just in her 20s.

“What I most remember about Terry was that smile,” she said. “It was always there, along with the twinkle in his eye. He was full of mischief, almost spritelike in his sense of play and fun.”

Former Plain Dealer reporter Steve Luttner described Mr. Oblander as “a pure, battle-tested newsman who had accumulated tremendous context about Northeast Ohio from numerous perspectives.”

Luttner, now vice president of Lesic & Camper Communications in Cleveland, said Mr. Oblander always helped young reporters and “never lost his enthusiasm for a good story, and he had a deep, refreshing respect for good grammar and proper word usage.

“Terry was perhaps the most principled person I ever worked with during 30 years I spent in newsrooms,” he added. “He was highly ethical, totally honest and unflinchingly direct. I loved that directness – there wasn’t a phony bone in Terry’s body. He was a devoted and proud family man — his three sons had an extraordinary father.”

Mr. Oblander was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary, and is survived by wife, Linda, sons, Terry (Maureen) and their son, Jake, of Medina; son Chris (Caitlin) and their son, Josh, of Middleburg Heights; and son Nick of Medina.

Donations can be made in his name to Project: LEARN of Medina County at 105 W. Liberty St., Medina, 44256 where Mr. Oblander volunteered.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Waite & Son Funeral Home at 765 N. Court St., Medina. Funeral service will be at the funeral home at 10:30 a.m. Friday.Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or at
[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Tuesday, November 15, 2011, page B#, col.1]

Photos added courtesy of Paul Tople.

Jim Ricci's Terry Oblander remembrance

Former BJ reporter Jim Ricci, who later worked for the Detroit Free Press and the Los Angeles Times, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and was portrayed by Matthew Modine in the “Redeemer,” a 2002 USA Network cable movie "inspired by" stories Jim wrote in Detroit to free Ahmad Rahman, a Black Panther imprisoned 20 years for a murder he didn’t commit. Rahman became assistant professor of history at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Jim wrote the screenplay for "Redeemer."

In 2008 Jim took a buyout from the L.A. Times. He has two daughters by his first wife, Kathy, and a daughter and son by his current partner, Carrie.

Hello, John.

I was deeply saddened to learn by e-mail from Bill Hershey today that Terry Oblander had died.

Terry was a terrific guy, whom I admired and enjoyed. I'll never forget the way, when telling one of his inimitable tales of human foible gleaned from a township trustees or school board meeting, he'd dissolve into uncontrollable laughter soon punctuated by that uncontrollable cigarette-cough of his.

In 1980 -- it was March 30th, to be precise -- he and Bill O'Connor and I entered into a last-man-standing pact by which we vowed to quit smoking as of midnight that night, and that any one of us who ever in his life took a drag of cigarette smoke again was honor-bound to pay each of the others $100, no matter where we were.

We lasted a long time. It was nearly a decade later, as I recall, when I was writing for the Detroit Free Press, that Terry contacted me and said he was going to be in metro Detroit for a Scrabble tournament. We arranged to get together at a bar in Farmington, Michigan. I was sitting at the bar when Terry showed up, sat down beside me, lighted a cigarette, and handed me a check for $100.

After a long night of laughter and remembering, I made him pick up the bar tab, but tore up his $100 check, and tossed it into his ashtray.

I stayed "clean" for 30 years, until I took up smoking the occasional cigar a year or two ago.

I'll be sending my check for $100 to Project: LEARN of Medina County, as requested in his obit.

It's very melancholy to think that Obs is gone.

Jim Ricci

Click on the headline, go to the "Terry Oblander dies" headline and click on the yellow "Comments" at the bottom of the article to see additional tributes to Terry, a former BJ and PD reporter who died Nov. 13.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tibute to Oblander from PD Alumni

Terry Oblander dies

PD's obit by Grant Segall

Medina -- An official once called a press conference at the Akron-Canton Airport to announce that he'd fly to Texas to promote the airport.

A small story, to be sure, but reporter Terry Oblander made it a little bigger. He learned that the official would fly out of Cleveland Hopkins International.

Oblander, a long-time area journalist and Public Squares puzzle maker, died Sunday, Nov. 13, at the Cleveland Clinic about two weeks after a heart attack. He was 64.

His life was fairly short and challenging. He nursed a dying wife in 1992, then raised their three boys, including an infant. He brought the boys to some meetings he covered and somehow attended all their ballgames.

There were triumphs, too, at Ravenna's Record-Courier, the Akron Beacon Journal and The Plain Dealer. Among several prizes, he shared a first place from the Associated Press of Ohio for coverage of a murder and a 1987 Pulitzer for coverage of a threatened takeover of Goodyear.

Through the ups and downs, the big, shaggy-haired Oblander told memorable stories with memorable laughter. It would start as a little wheeze. Then look out.

For the past 10 years, he tickled Plain Dealer readers six days a week with Public Squares, a puzzle of scrambled words and homegrown puns:

"Q. What did tipsy sailors say when they returned to the USS Cod from a bar?"

"A. Down the hatch."

The generous author made a few free puzzles to help readers commemorate birthdays or anniversaries.

Over the decades, he covered politics, labor, suburban news, the Kent State shootings and much more. He was also president of the Beacon's Local 7 for journalists and janitors.

Plain Dealer Editor Debra Adams Simmons said, "Terry Oblander was a thoughtful, dedicated journalist who spent his career chronicling the stories of Northeast Ohio. He was creative and quirky and always looking for new ways to push Public Squares to the next level."

Steve Luttner, a former Plain Dealer reporter, said, "Terry Oblander was a pure, battle-tested newsman.... He was totally honest and unflinchingly direct."

Oblander was born in Cleveland and raised in Olmsted Falls. He graduated from Cuyahoga Community College and attended Kent State University.

He spent 13 months with the Record-Courier, partly as religion editor and farms editor. He lived with some colleagues in a Ravenna home they called the "Lock Street Rock Festival."

Then came 19 years at the Beacon, mostly as a reporter, but also a copy editor, assistant metro editor and assistant state editor. He also wrote a puzzle called Groaners and a column of short news items called Ideas and a citizens band radio column called CB Break.

He tried to be objective but never dull. A Republican leader once complained that Oblander had registered as a Democrat. Oblander retorted that Ohio wouldn't register voters as Socialists.

Bob Downing, now the Beacon's environmental reporter, teamed with Oblander for a couple of years to cover Portage County. Said Downing, "He'd come back so excited about what he'd seen at government meetings. He'd chase little stories down. His passion rubbed off on everybody."

In 1990, Oblander wrote a folksy application to The Plain Dealer: "I like being a reporter. A lot." He mentioned his "lousy grades" at Kent State but said, "I'm sure we could stick it to any competition."

He warned that he'd need comprehensive health insurance for his wife, the former Mary O'Neill, who went blind from juvenile diabetes. Her father, Dan, moved in with the family in Stow to help out. In 1992, she bore her last child and died five months later.

Oblander took a leave of absence for a time. He raised the children with help from Dan. In 1996, he married the former Linda Monroe and moved the family to Medina.

He spent most of his PD career at bureaus in Summit and Medina counties. He also planned and oversaw reports of election results at the main office in Cleveland.

As a young boy, he could instantly unscramble words. He won many Scrabble tournaments over the years and organized a few. He started freelancing Public Squares in 2001.

Oblander moved to the PD's downtown office in 2007 and left the paper in 2008. In his final years, he kept freelancing Public Squares. He also wrote features for the Beacon, babysat his grandsons, competed in a fantasy baseball league and helped start and run bookstores for Project: LEARN of Medina County, a literacy program.

He always wrote Public Squares a few weeks ahead. The last one is scheduled to run on Dec. 3.

Terence Leroy Oblander


Survivors: Wife, the former Linda Monroe; father, Jacob Leroy of Parma Heights; sons, Terence Jacob of Montville Township, Medina, Christopher Daniel of Middleburg Heights, Nicholas Patrick of Medina and two grandsons.

Memorial Service: 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at Waite & Son Funeral Home., 765 N. Court St., Medina, Ohio.

Contributions: Project: LEARN of Medina County, 105 W. Liberty St., Medina, OH 44256,

Calling hours for Terry Oblander

From former BJ & PD reporter Terry Oblander's Facebook page:

Calling hours for Terry Oblander will be from 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm on Thursday (Nov 17). On Friday (Nov 18), a short memorial service will be held at 10:30 am followed by a funeral procession to Spring Grove Cemetery where he will be laid to rest.

Waite & Son Funeral Homes Medina Chapel
765 N. Court St.
Medina, Ohio 44256
Phone: 330-723-3229

Spring Grove Cemetery, on South Spring Grove Street, dates to the 1880s.

Click on the headline for Terry's death notice in the BJ Alums blog.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Terry Oblander dies

Terry Oblander, who worked at both the Beacon Journal and the Plain Dealer, died today.

He had a heart attack Tuesday morning and was taken to cardiac intensive care at
Cleveland Clinic.

Terry is survived by his wife, Linda Monroe Oblander; father, Jacob Leroy of Parma Heights; sons, Terence Jacob of Montville Township, Medina, Christopher Daniel of Middleburg Heights, and Nicholas Patrick of Medina; and two grandsons.

His first wife, Mary Louise O'Neill Oblander, died in 1992.

Terry went from the BJ to the Plain Dealer and its Medina County bureau, then returned to the BJ last year to write feature stories about Medina County.

He was part of the Beacon Journal staff that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for its coverage of a threatened corporate takeover of Goodyear and has won several Ohio and regional journalism awards.

A 1965 graduate of Olmsted Falls High School and Cuyahoga Community College (1967), he attended Kent State University through 1969, worked for the Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier from 1969 to 1971 and at the Beacon Journal from 1971 to 1990 when he joined the Plain Dealer.

Terry was among 27 PD staffers who were let go by a phone call from the editor in 2008 a few weeks before Christmas.

Oblander did the pun-based Public Squares Puzzle for the Plain Dealer.

In a 2001 letter that Terry wrote to a friend who is a Chicago lawyer, he recalled his days in Kent:

"The Record-Courier group was an odd-ball collection of washed-up newspaper
people or young folks just learning the business. You were there because you
loved the business. $125 was the top salary of the day for a 44-hour work week
-- not much above minimum wage.

"Most of us lived in a home we called the 'Lock Street Rock Festival' in 1971 or 1972. It was so named because we lived on Lock Street and our home was like Woodstock most days."

Terry was a great storyteller who laughed vigorously as he spun his tales. So did those who heard them.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Vradenburg writes book on Metro Parks

Former Beacon Journal reporter and editorial writer Sarah Vradenburg has written a book on Metro Parks titled
Steps in Time: Ninety Years of Metro Parks, Serving Summit County.

Summit County’s park district is celebrating its 90th birthday with the new book that focuses on key figures from its past, including longtime director Harold Wagner and naturalist Bert Szabo.

Vradenburg will be at Seiberling Nature Realm, 1828 Smith Rd,, from 1 to 4 p.m. today for a book signing.

The 146-page book is published by Ringtaw Books/University of Akron Press and costs $19.95

BJ owner buys San Francisco Examiner

The owner of the Akron Beacon Journal will become the new owner of the free daily San Francisco Examiner.

Black Press Group, based in Canada, is purchasing the Examiner from Clarity Media Group, a Denver-based holding company owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz. Black Press and Clarity Media are privately owned companies.

The deal is expected to close by Nov. 30. Terms were not disclosed.

“We are delighted to become involved with such a strong newspaper,” David Black, president and owner of Black Press, said in a statement. “Readership is second to none in San Francisco and on the peninsula.”

Read the rest of the story in today’s Beacon Journal.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Catching up with . . . Rita Stapleton

At my request, Composing retiree Rita Stapleton provided some details about her BJ years and her retirement.


I retired in February along with David Cummings. We both have 42 years of service.

I am enjoying retirement. I help with the USO of North Canton, visit my 88-year-old dad more often, play tennis and in general am just having a good ol' time.

I started out as a typesetter in November 1968, did paste-up, proofreading, worked the computer room, Camex operator, worked in CTS in graphics arts, then data entry, then worked in call center typing and was switched to operating the tearsheet room for a few years before it got phased out.

Went from there temporarily to finance before ending up in Marketing and helped with Newspaper in Education and anywhere else when needed. Ended up in the packaging department before finally retiring.

It was a fun time working with all the printers. Enjoyed all the excitement of helping put the paper to bed on night shift and all the comradeship of the men, never a dull moment.

But 42 years was long enough. I was kinda tired of working, but thankful for the time served. It was a blessing to have worked for such a fine newspaper, especially when times were great.

Thanks for thinking of me,


Rita Stapleton

Rita's email is

and her phone number is 330-699-4407.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Terry Oblander suffers severe heart attack

Terry Oblander suffered a severe heart attack Tuesday morning and is in cardiac intensive care at the Clinic. He can't have visitors or phone calls for now, but his wife, Linda, says cards would be welcome. Send them to his home at 1068 Woodglen Circle, Medina, OH 44256.
[Information provided by Bruce Winges, Beacon Journal editor]

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Send Cal Deshong a birthday card. 93 !!!

Retired printer Cal Deshong will be 93 years old on Nov. 24.

Calvin E. Deshong was born November 24, 1918 in Johnstown, PA.

He was married Sept. 8, 1962, to Mary Louise. She died in February 2001.

Cal worked at the BJ (1952-1983) before retiring 28 years ago!

If you want to mail Cal a congratulatory card or note, his address is:

Calvin Deshong
3682 Vira Rd.
Stow, OH 44224

If you want to email Cal, his email address is:

Ol' reliables at monthly BJ retirees lunch

The usual trio showed up at today's BJ retirees lunch in Papa Joe's Restaurant on Akron/Peninsula Road -- retired printers Al Hunsicker, Carl Nelson and Gene McClellan. Newsroom retiree John Olesky, between trips, made it a quartet.

That matches the year's lowest total of September and May.

The lunch is at 1 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Press Club's 40th reunion is November 12

Press Club 40th Reunion Banquet

Saturday , November 12


From: Ronald Syroid <>
Past President * 330.607.6811

Subject: Akron Press Club 40th Reunion Saturday, Nov 12


* from Bruce Winges, President *
Celebrate the Press Club’s 40th birthday

After four decades of lunches, speeches, auctions, scholarship fund-raisers, book sales and good times we are ready to celebrate the Akron Press Club’s 40th birthday. The Press Club board invites present members, past members, former speakers, and those who have been connected with the organization over the years to join us for a birthday bash at the club’s long-time home,
the Martin Center, 105 Fir Hill on the University of Akron campus. The evening will be more like a Reunion than an anniversary celebration. Many have not gathered together for years.

The Press Club started when some like-minded individuals got together at their favorite watering hole, the Mayflower Hotel Bar. With Mickey Porter guiding the formation of the association, the first official meeting was in January 1971 where, according to Press Club archives, Jerry Healey of WAKR was elected president.

Through the years the Press Club has provided a forum for a number of newsmakers, politicians and other speakers to reach out to the Akron community. It has held numerous fund-raisers and dinners.
The club has made significant contributions to young journalists and public relations professionals through its unwavering support of scholarships. That support continues with the John S. Knight and Ludel Sauvageot scholarships. An additional scholarship was awarded in 2011 in the name of the Press Club itself. Hopefully some past award winners will be at the party.

Join us for dinner and an evening of fellowship and a memorable evening on Saturday, November 12. Dave Osterland will be Master of Ceremonies and displays will be presented to rejuvenate recollections.

Join Al Fitzpatrick, Tom Kock, Abe Zaidan, Dave Osterland, Howard Tolley and other Club members at the banquet.

The dinner will be held at the Martin Center at the University of Akron. Cost is $35 per person, and meal choices are steak, chicken or veggie. Reservations may be made by calling 330-564-4211. DEADLINE Now

Deadlines are part of the profession, and the need for commitment is now. So act promptly to guarantee an enjoyable and succesful birthday party.

And if you have any photos or other Press Club memorabilia that you would like to share, contact board members Ron Syroid (
330.607.6811 or Ed Kalail (

Visit web site for additional information and details..

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