Friday, February 25, 2011

$10,000 prize offered for news ideas

Detroit Media Partnership announced today IdeaQuest 2011, a contest with $10,000 in prize money for the two best ideas that help the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News better serve the community and help grow their audiences. 

Ideas might include improving news coverage (in print, digitally and other ways), helping others in our communities, ways to save people time and money or about doing business more effectively.  Ideas can be submitted in two categories -- employee and non-employee – at  The deadline for entries is midnight, March 31 and is open to anyone 18 years or older. 

Once submitted, ideas will be voted on from April 1 through April 14 by the public, and the top five vote-getters in each category will have the opportunity to pitch to the judging panel on April 29, why their idea should win.  The judges are:

    * Patrick Doyle, CEO/Domino's Pizza
    * Susie Ellwood, CEO/Detroit Media Partnership
    * Myron Maslowsky, Sr. VP Group Finance & Administration/ USA TODAY

"We are committed to getting as many ideas from as many sources as possible," said Susie Ellwood, CEO, Detroit Media Partnership.  "The best way for us to serve our community is to solicit feedback and understand what they want and need in this ever-changing media environment," she said.  

Click on the headline to read the full news release.

Ex-Rocky Mountain News staff still working

People who were on the editorial staff of the Rocky Mountain News on its last day February 27, 2009 are working as journalists across the country and across the globe.

In Cincinnati, Nairobi, Los Angeles, Gilroy, Colorado Springs, Raleigh, Chicago, Louisville, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Albuquerque, Corpus Christi, Toronto, Pueblo, Las Vegas, New York, Salt Lake, Lincoln, Australia, Korea and Guadalupe County, N.M., too.

Of the 146 former staff members who responded to a survey about their lives two years after the paper closed, 92 said they're still working as journalists.

Read more on a survey by former Rocky Editor John Temple

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Michael Holley is talk of Boston sports airwaves

Michael Holley’s star power continues to get brighter in Boston.

On Tuesday, the Akron native and former Beacon Journal sports writer was named the co-host of sports talk radio station WEEI’s afternoon drive-time show, after a successful 6-year run as a co-host on WEEI’s mid-day show.

The move is seen as an attempt by WEEI (850-AM) to turn around its lagging afternoon ratings. Long the rating leader in sports-crazed Boston, WEEI’s ratings have slipped of late behind an upstart FM sports talk station, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

“I thought it was a brilliant move. I think Michael is one of the most talented people I've ever worked with,” said Dale Arnold, Holley’s mid-day partner and a 20-year veteran of the station.

Boston Globe sports media columnist Chadd Finn wrote: “Holley, a former Globe columnist, a best-selling author, and the host of Comcast SportsNet New England’s “Celtics Now,’’ is the big winner in the move. His contract with WEEI ran out in March; now he not only has a higher-profile role, but a new multiyear deal as well. (Terms were not disclosed by WEEI, but a raise is a certainty in a move from midday to afternoon drive.)”

Holley starts his new job on Feb. 28.

Click on the headline to read the Globe article.

Glenn Guzzo still rolling the dice

Former Beacon Journal managing editor Glenn Guzzo was quoted in a New York Times article Monday about a weekend gathering of Strat-O-Matic Baseball devotees in celebration of the table-top game's 50th anniversary.

Guzzo, the Beacon Journal M.E. for six years in the 1990s, is an authority on the dice-and-card game, having played it for almost all of its existence, and even writing a book on the pastime, "Strat-O-Matic Fantatics." He also writes a column and answers questions on a Strat-O-Matic website.

“Like Othello or chess, you can learn the game swiftly, but you’ll never tire of the strategies,” Guzzo said in the Times.

Guzzo left the Beacon Journal in 1999 to become editor of the Denver Post, a job he held until 2002. He later was an adjunct journalism professor at the University of North Florida and co-authored a college textbook, "Writing and Reporting the News as a Story."

Click on the headline to read the New York Times article.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Black Keys take home Grammys

Carney (right),  Auerbach accept award
The Black Keys, the blues-rock duo from Akron, are officially ”the Grammy-winning” blues-rock duo as their album won four awards on Sunday evening.
Drummer Patrick Carney and singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach took the stage twice in dark matching suits during the Grammy pre-telecast show streamed online at to thank friends, family and the city of Akron.

The band took home its first two Grammys for best alternative music album for Brothers and best rock performance by a duo or group with vocals for the single Tighten Up. Carney’s brother, Michael Carney, also won his first Grammy in best recording package for his art direction on Brothers.

Click on the headline to read the Beacon Journal story by Malcolm X Abram

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jolene Limbacher's former husband dies

Guy F. Limbacher died Saturday in a Dover nursing home of Agent Orange poisoning. He was 66.

Guy was born Feb. 4, 1945, in the kitchen of the family's dairy farm near Baltic. He graduated from the former Baltic High School in 1963. He served with the Army in Vietnam in 1966-1967.

He and his wife, the former Jolene Delbert of Dover, now of Plain Township in Stark County, were married for 38 years before divorcing. They have two children; and five grandsons, Christopher Limbacher of Dublin and Dr. Kellie Zaylor of Rocky River.

Guy was diagnosed with prostate cancer and a rare brain disease - progressive supra nuclear palsy - both of which are caused by the toxin, Agent Orange. By the time Guy arrived in Vietnam, millions of gallons of Agent Orange and other toxins had been dumped on Vietnam to rid the jungle of its thick foliage. Guy fought the brain disease for many years, constantly trying to keep his mobility. Hundreds of times he fell, and hundreds of times he got back up. Over the years, the disease robbed him of his ability to walk, move, see, speak and swallow. Even death was an elusive and monumental struggle.

Calling are Monday, Feb. 14, 4:30 to 8 p.m., in the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory, Dover. A service honoring Guy will be held Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 11:30 a.m. in the funeral home. Guy's ashes then will be interred in Dover Burial Park, where military rites will be presented by the Dover post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. TOLAND-HERZIG, DOVER,


Published in Akron Beacon Journal on February 13, 2011

Jolene Delbert Limbacher, Dover High and Ohio State graduate, was a reporter for the Dover Times-Reporter before joining the Beacon Journal as a reporter. She was at the BJ from 1986 till 1996.

Her stories about Thomas Lee Dillon, Stark County serial sniper from 1989 to 1993, who called Jolene day and night for five months, got Jolene on a "Connie Chung Tonight" broadcast of the situation and on CNN's Wolf Blitzer airing. Dillon's friend, Richard Fry, tipped authorities off about Dillon. Dillon is serving five consecutive 30 years to life sentences in the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

Jolene also covered Stark County rapist William E. Griffith Jr., who got 20 to 50 years in prison for 50 rapes, including 20 in other counties.

Jolene lives in Plain Township.

Jim Carney: Proud in triplicate

Beacon Journal reporter Jim Carney, in today's BJ, writes about how he is proud of all three of his sons, not just Patrick, who is up for music's Grammy Awards tonight as part of the Black Keys band.

There's oldest son, Will, 33, who turned his childhood obsession with railroads and trains into a career as a railroad engineer and, today, as superintendent of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

And youngest son, Michael, 29, whose passion for art led to a Columbus College of Art and Design degree and a Grammy nomination for his Black Keys "Brothers" album art.

And Patrick, 30, who played guitar in a multitude of bands with his friends before switching to drums and joining guitarist Dan Auerbach to form the Black Keys.

The Carney boys are all Firestone High graduates, as is Auerbach.

Jim's wife, BJ reporter Katie Byard, is their stepmom.

For an Oct. 20, 2010 BJ Alums article on Jim's reaction to being a rock star's dad, click on proud dad

Thursday, February 10, 2011

David Giffels in rock band

Former Beacon Journal columnist David Giffels will perform Friday, Jan. 11, at Thursday’s Lounge, 306 E. Exchange Street in Akron, as a member of the local May Company band. The evolved from Giffels and Dave "Doc" Rich trading songs in Giffels' basement.

Giffels is on guitar and vocals, Pat McNulty on drums, keyboards and vocals, Rich on guitar, keys and vocals. "Friday" Mike Wilkinson is the other band member.

Thursday's Lounge in 1983 took over the Zips Varsity Club space. Fred Nemr came from Lebanon -- the country, not the Ohio city -- and, after unsuccessful bars in Barberton and North Akron, found the right combination adjacent to the University of Akron campus. Fred and wife Barbara's children, Monique, Mark and Mario, were involved with the business over the years. Fred died in 2005.

Click on the headline for Malcolm X Abram's BJ story on the band.

Catching up with . . . Don Bandy

BJ Alums blog received this letter from Ruth Burton, niece of retired Beacon Journal rewrite expert Don Bandy, who moved from Aqueduct Street in Akron to Bradenton, Florida in 2006.

To all the many friends of Don Bandy:

Don has been in and out of the hospital at Blake Medical Center since November 2nd. At that time he was admitted for dehydration and depression. He was released on November 5th to my care for four days, then went to live in his condo.

On November 19th he fell in the parking lot while taking out trash and old newspapers. At this point he was taken to the hospital and the X-rays revealed that he had a broken
left hip. He had surgery the following day at Blake Medical Center. He received physical and occupational therapy.

Later, he was moved to Heritage Park to receive more services. In the middle of January, Don’s days for the insurance to pay were up. He found an assisted living care facility where he is currently living. He has a few of his favorite things – chair, TV, bed, Ohio State shirts, lamps, pillows, bookcases and pictures of family and friends. (Rather cozy, I might say.)

Don needs your support through cards and letters. Postcards are a good source of communication. He likes to re-read them. He has a cellphone. Please be patient as he must find the phone and then push the right button.

Enclosed is his card with address and phone number.

He wants to hear from you.

Many thanks for your help.

Ruth Burton, a niece
4350 Beckman Place
Sarasota, FL 34235-2286

Address for cards to Don's assisted living facility:

Don Bandy
Emeritus at Bradenton
450 67th St. W Apt. 229
Bradenton, FL 34209

Don's cellphone (in his apartment):

(941) 545-1528

Blake Medical Center is in Bradenton. Heritage Center is a Bradenton rehabilitation facility.

Don, who left Washington Court House for Ohio State and his newspaper career, moved from Akron into the same Bradenton, Florida condo complex with his sister. Their brother and sister-in-law lived in Naples, 130 miles south of Bradenton. Another brother also lived in Florida.

Don threw parties at his Aqueduct home in Akron for his leaf-raking friends. He had an inexhaustible supply.

Don took part in the 2005 BJ reunion in Columbus that included Jim Ricci, who came up with the idea; Mike Cull, who made it happen; Mike Clary, Bill Hershey, John and Georgia MacDonald, Jim and Karen Toms and Larry Froelich. Ricci came from Los Angeles, Clary from Miami, Froelich from Lexington, Kentucky, Bandy from Akron, the MacDonalds from the Washington, D.C. area. The Tomses and Hershey live in Columbus.

Don visited Akron in 2006 when his grand niece was married in Hudson.

Click on the headline to see photos of Don during his BJ reunions in Akron, Columbus and Florida.

Carrie Moore Krack update

BJ newsroom retiree Tom Moore's daughter, Caroline "Carrie" Moore Krack, had a setback Monday. A problem with her tracheal tube caused cardiac arrest till it was solved. She has been returned to her previous facility, Select Speciality Hospital, 200 E. Market.

Carrie began the year battling meningitis at Akron City Hospital.

Click on the headline for an earlier post on Carrie's situation.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Paula Schleis' mother dies

Beacon Journal reporter Paula Schleis' mother, RoseAnn Schleis, died Sunday. Paula's dad, Stephen, died in 2009.

Here's her obituary, which sounds like it was written by Paula:

She was only ours to borrow, but how blessed we were to have qualified for such a loan. RoseAnn Schleis was 82, when heaven called that loan on Sunday, February 6, 2011, and her family returned her to the waiting arms of her loving husband, Stephen.

RoseAnn never graduated from high school, yet she was the first person people turned to when they needed advice. Whether it was a grandchild crying about being picked on by a sibling or a son or daughter with financial or marital problems, RoseAnn's comforting words and wisdom soothed all manner of ills.

She also expressed her love in the kitchen. Many were the summer days she'd stand over a pan of hot oil, funnel and palachinta batter in hand, as her family begged for repeated
servings of her ``snakes.' If she made beef stew and dumplings, the telephone lines would light up till stragglers were coming through the door, and no gathering was complete without her stuffed cabbage.

RoseAnn was an avid Facebook user, posting daily status updates, sharing songs she found on YouTube, and staying connected with relatives around the country. At the age of 80, she scoured the Internet for polymer clay designs and started making beads, leaving every friend, relative and acquaintance who crossed her path with beautiful hand-made necklaces and earrings.

She also loved music. In her younger days, she would polka with passion to her father's accordion. When her legs no longer cooperated, she found reason to sing every day. When her voice was silenced, her children sang for her. It was in the midst of the love song RoseAnn and Steve used to sing to each other that she took her last breath.

In the final days of RoseAnn's life, a grandson asked her children, ``What did she teach you?' The answers came swiftly: ``Respect, compassion and forgiveness.'

RoseAnn was born in Barberton to Balthasar and Rose Seigfried. She was an active member of the former Holy Trinity Church and made military fuel tanks at Seiberling as one of many ``Rosie the Riveters' during World War II. But most of her attention was focused at home, where she carried on a 62-year love affair with Steve and raised five children.

She is survived by those children: Susanna (Jerry) Freeman of Bath Township, Thomas Schleis of Barberton, Barbara (Dave) Yoder of Barberton, Paula Schleis of Barberton and Michael (Loretta) Schleis of Akron. She leaves 33 grand and great-grandchildren; brothers, Steve (Betty) Seigfried and Paul (Cathy) Seigfried; sisters-in-law, Clara Schleis and Rosie Seigfried; and too many admiring nieces, nephews, cousins and friends to list. She also leaves her card-playing buddies of more than 40 years: Barb, Barb, Sandy, Eleanor and Ann.

Calling hours will be noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday at Cox Funeral Home, 222 Norton Ave., Barberton, with services beginning at 2 p.m. RoseAnn and Steve used to spend hours tossing peanuts to the blue jays, crows, squirrels and chipmunks in their backyard, identifying what birds came to their feeders, and waiting for the deer to amble by. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the National Wildlife Foundation or any other wildlife organization would be welcomed.

[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Tuesday, February 8, 2011, page B5, col. 2]

Click on the headline for the obituary on Paula's father, which Paula also probably wrote.

Orange County Register put up for sale

The Orange County Register and other newspapers and TV stations have heen put up for auction by Freedom Communicatuions.

Leading contenders to buy the Register appear to be MediaNews, with nine dailies in the area, and the companies that own the L.A. Times and the Union-Tribune.

Executives in the thick of the deal expect bids to be submitted by early next month and a decision made not long after that. But there are many complications. A deal for the whole company is possible, but it's more likely Freedom will be sold in chunks, according to those involved, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.

The Irvine-based company has 32 other dailies, 70 weekly newspapers and eight TV stations. Different suitors are likely to be attracted to each of those segments. Returns from TV have been the best, presumably making the stations an easier sale. The papers are a mixed bag and would likely draw most interest from regional players.

Publishing executives and financial managers who own parts of the region's dominant newspaper companies believe that the sale of the Register will be just the first in a series of consolidations. They predict that eventually could result in what once would have been unthinkable — a single owner for most of Southern California's substantial daily newspapers.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Beware of using Orbitz for trip

Bob Dyer, BJ columnist and my former Blue Room lunch partner, details the problems that I had when Orbitz, without my knowledge and consent, switched my planned flight from Akron to Fort Lauderdale to Akron to an open-jaw flight -- Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale, then back to Akron. It cost me $231.40 extra to cancel and get the Akron-Fort Lauderdale flight I put in for originally -- and a lot of time dealing with Orbitz, the Ohio Attorney General and online travel ombudsmen.

The flight was needed so that Paula and I could board the Grand Princess in Fort Lauderdale for a 15-day cruise.

-- John Olesky

Click on the headline to read Dyer's story, and let it be a lesson for you if you're thinking of using Orbitz to book a flight.

After a month of exchanging emails with Orbitz and finally threatening to withhold our business from Orbitz -- we have spent about $20,000 on flights, car rentals and lodging, all areas where Orbitz makes money -- Orbitz relented and sent me a travel voucher for $231.40, the extra cost to us when we "re-booked" the flight with only Akron and Fort Lauderdale as the airports. Since AirTran also waived the $150 "re-booking" fee, we got every penny of our potential $381.40 extra cost back.

Marilyn Marchione information request

Former BJ staffer Diane Paparone Evans is seeking information about former BJ staffer Marilyn Marchione.

Diane's email:

BJ Friends,
Do any of you have current contact information for Marilyn Marchione?
Please let me know if you do.

Marilyn lives in Milwaukee, where she is one the AP’s senior medical writers. Husband Ernie is photo editor for Birders World, a bird-watching magazine for Kalmbach Publishing in suburban Milwaukee. Their children are Melissa and Mike.

Before starting at the AP in 2004, Marilyn's reporting jobs included 10 years at the Beacon Journal, a year at the Chicago Sun-Times and 18 years at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Kent State University and Youngstown Ursuline High School graduate last year won the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting. Her mother, Alice Marchione, lives in Boardman, Ohio.

The email address we have for Marilyn is:

Later, BJ Alums got this email from Diane:

Thanks – and I did reach her. How are you doing?
I miss my BJ alums.

Click on the headline for BJ Alums articles on Marilyn winning the Cohn award.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Wadsworth's TV dog lady dies

Jan Sponsler, host of "Animal Crackers" on Wadsworth's cable system for 381 episodes, passed away Monday. Jan was famous in the Wadsworth community for her love of dogs, as attested by many who signed her funeral home guest book. Her obituary:

Jannis Pauline Sponsler, 81, of Wadsworth, passed away Monday, January 31, 2011.

She was born July 23, 1929 in Everett, Pa. to the late Blair and Mildred Clark. She was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, a member of Wadsworth Eagles #2117 and the Medina County SPCA. Jannis was the host of Animal Crackers on WCTV having hosted 381 episodes and received numerous Clapper Awards.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Helen Karns and one brother, Joe Clark. Mrs. Sponsler is survived by her husband, Dick, with whom she would have celebrated 60 years of marriage in April 2011. There are three sons and daughters-in-law, Jeff and Diane Sponsler, Scot Sponsler, and Rich and Donna Sponsler, all of Wadsworth; her grandchildren, Katie (Gregg) Conley, Kevin, Jennifer (Dan) Knechtel, Amanda, Jessica and Steven; her great-grandchildren, Grace and Cal Conley, Mason and Riley Knechtel; and her sisters and brothers, Betty Cornell and Lillian Bennett, both of Clearville, Pa., Elsie (John) Mellot of State College, Pa., John Clark of Everett, Pa., and Jim (Joyce) Clark of New Jersey.

The family will receive friends 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Hilliard-Rospert Funeral Home, 174 N. Lyman St., Wadsworth. Funeral service will be conducted 11 a.m. Friday at Trinity United Church of Christ, 215 High St., Wadsworth, with Rev. Daniel Doty officiating. Interment will be at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Medina, 797 N. Court St., Medina, OH 44256 or Medina County SPCA, 245 S. Medina St., Medina, OH 44256. Hilliard-Rospert


Published in Akron Beacon Journal from February 2 to February 3, 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Black Keys get 2 Woodie nominations

Add two mtvU Woodie Awards nominations to the Black Keys' credits. Pat Carney and Dan Auerbach form the Black Keys. Carney's dad is Beacon Journal reporter Jim Carney; BJ reporter Katie Byard is Pat's stepmom. The article on

NEW YORK – The Black Keys have hit the right note with the mtvU Woodie Awards.

The Keys are the only act nominated for two awards for the college network's awards show.

They are up for Woodie of the Year, which goes to the top artist. Their competition includes B.o.B and Arcade Fire. B.o.B called the nomination "an honor and a pleasure."

The Black Keys also are up for best video for "Tighten Up." Others nominated in that category include Duck Sauce for "Barbra Streisand" and Vampire Weekend for "Giving Up the Gun."

Other Woodie nominees include LCD Soundsystem, Kanye West and Das Racist.

The Woodies will be March 16 from the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. They will be aired live on mtvU as well as MTV and MTV2.

The Black Keys also have received six Grammy nominations. Pat and Dan live in Nashville. They were classmates at Firestone High when they lived around the corner from each other.

Pat's brother, Michael, also got a Grammy nomination for his artwork on one of the Black Keys' six albums. Michael is a Firestone High grad who is a graphic designer for American Eagle Outfitter in NYC. He lives in Brooklyn.

Jim's oldest son, Will, 33, lives in Peninsula and is Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway superintendent.

Click on the headline to hear the Black Keys' interview on National Public Radio's "Fresh Air," hosted by Terry Gross. Thanks for the tip, Ken Krause (see Comments).