Thursday, May 31, 2012

Buffet says community papers have good future

Warren Buffet in a letter published by the  Gwinnet (GA) Daily Post says Community nespapers have a good future.  Thanks to Dick McBane who noticed it in his newspaper and alerted us.

Read the letter

Monday, May 28, 2012

A note from Dick McBane

    All is well with us here in Lilburn, Ga., assuming that we disregard the usual aches and pains of growing older. My wife and I will be hosting our oldest son and his family this afternoon for the "holiday." To my mind, Memorial Day is still May 30, but I'm mostly stuck somewhere back in the 20th century anyway. It hardly seems possible that our oldest grandson will be off to college in the fall. Our local paper, The Gwinnett Daily Post, has now gone to five-day publication -- Wednesday through Sunday. It's a good paper that understands its strength has to be local coverage and it sticks to it. Of course, Gwinnett County is a big hunk of geography and has about a 700,000 population, including the largest public school district in Georgia, so the Post has plenty to cover.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Times-Picayune goes to 3 days a week

Times-Picayune publisher Ashton Phelps Jr. has confirmed that the newspaper will cease daily publication, moving to three days a week in the fall: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. He also confirmed staff cuts, though he didn’t say how large they will be. The New York Times’ David Carr reported Wednesday night that the paper likely would cease daily publication and that the two managing editors would leave.
This would make New Orleans the largest U.S. city without a daily newspaper. The Times-Picayune, with a circulation of about 155,000 on Sundays and 134,000 weekdays, would be the largest paper in the U.S. to shift to non-daily publication. Its circulation in March 2005, before Hurricane Katrina flooded the city and shrank the city’s population: about 285,000 on Sundays and 257,000 weekdays.

In 2009 Advance Publications, which owns The Times-Picayune, shifted to twice-weekly printing for The Ann Arbor News and started to focus more on its website. It expanded that approach to other newspapers in Michigan last year.
“I think this is a big blow,” said Poynter business analyst Rick Edmonds. “Yes, it’s happened in a few places, but Saginaw and New Orleans are not the same thing. You’re talking about a major-league city.”

David Knox, John Higgins leaving BJ

Posted on the BJ newroom bulletin board:

It is with mixed emotions that I share the news that John Higgins will be leaving us in August.

The good news is that John is the recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT. The bad news is that John is, well, leaving us.

This fellowship is a high honor that only a few experience. John is interested in how the brain of a young child changes as he or she begins and goes through the process of learning. He will be able to explore this subject in detail during his fellowship at MIT.

John will be missed in our newsroom. His name has appeared 2,547 times in the Beacon Journal since he joined the old night rewrite desk on June 24, 1997. Through his Beacon career John has:
  • Covered crime and courts.
  • Written about Stark County.
  • Had the pleasure of being the Akron City Hall reporter.
  • Carefully told the tragic story of a University of Akron student who took his own life.
  • Shared the uplifting story of a youth basketball program that helped build character.
  • Gotten to know a lot about how school budgets work in the state of Ohio and Akron.
  • Reported on the impact of charter schools on public education.
John and Mary Ann have family in Washington State. At the conclusion of his fellowship, John hopes to move back there.

David Knox - our baseball bat-wielding, motorcycle-riding, datatbase expert Census numbers guy - has announced that he will be leaving the Beacon Journal on June 15. David, who also has been known to share an opinion every now and then over his 20-year career at the Beacon Journal, will become the new editor of the Medina Gazette.
While I wish David luck in his new job, his presence in the newsroom will be missed. Numbers make sense to him and David helps us all make sense of the numbers. 

 David has been involved in a number of significant stories, including the current America Today project and our in-depth look at the middle class in 2008. He participated in the Question of Color series. He also handles the U.S. Census numbers and our online election data.

David has been our computer-assisted reporting man\ger since 1999. He also has been a reporter in the Medina and Stark bureaus, a bureau chief and a substitute metro editor. He was able to land a spot in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at Ohio State University (not a bad gig).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A note on government jobs

Noted in the May 24 issue of  The Week Magazine:
In the 23 years that Democrats have occupied the White House since John F. Kennedy took office, in January 1961, non-government jobs have increased by nearly 42 million, compared with 24 million jobs created during 28 years under Republican presidents."

Newspaper Guild to rally in Canton.

Bernie Lunzer, president of the Newspaper Guild-CWA,  will be the featured speaker at a rally at 4:30 p.m. today at the South Plaza in downtown Canton to support Northeast Ohio guild members at the Repository newspaper.

The rally is among other activities today by guild locals at newspapers from Peoria, Ill., to Ohio and other properties owned by Fairport, N.Y.-based GateHouse Media. GateHouse, the Repository’s owner since 2006, holds its shareholders meeting today at its corporate headquarters.

The Northeast Ohio Newspaper Guild-CWA, Local 1, and the Repository are in contract negotiations. Local 1 also represents newsroom employees at the  Beacon Journal and at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

'Shits’ happens in downsized newsrooms

“We’re all horribly embarrassed” by this typo in Saturday’s Register Citizen, says Emily Olson, managing editor of the Torrington, CT-based newspaper.
“It’s something that happens when we don’t have enough people working here and we’re in a hurry and slammed by nine publications coming out of here at one time. It just slipped through, and ultimately it was my fault because I’m the last one to check the pages.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

That "Pubic" problem -- again.

Susan Binford, assistant dean for communications at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, says the “pubic” typo was spotted after the programs were distributed at Saturday’s commencement exercises.
“Obviously, we are mortified. It’s beyond embarrassing.”
The program went through “lots of layers of approval” without any catching the error.
“As soon as we realized the mistake, everybody went into overdrive and we went to work to reprint it.” All grads will be sent new copies of the program.
“Graduates have already received apology letters from the dean,” says Binford, as well as an apology tweet, which misspells egregious. (strong>UPDATE: They’re now corrected that.)

The dean says her biggest fear is the typo getting mentioned on “The Daily Show.”

“No one is laughing about this at the LBJ School.”
Dear 2012 Graduates,
The cover of this year’s commencement program contained an unfortunate typographical error, which has since been corrected and is in the process of being distributed. The error originated with UT Printing, but we failed to catch it. The mistake was inexcusable, and we are mortified. As soon as we caught the error ­ after the programs had been distributed, unfortunately ­ we immediately began work on a corrected version that we will send out electronically and in hard copy to all our graduates, with our deepest apologies. We will send three hard-copy versions to each of you so that you can pass those on to your families and friends. Let us know if you need additional copies. No one feels worse about this than I do, so please accept my deepest personal apology.
With best wishes,
Robert Hutchings, Dean
LBJ School of Public Affairs


Do you know of other bloopers? Let us know.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New CEO takes over at McClatchy

With a few swift sentences, The McClatchy Co.'s top management officially changed hands Wednesday.
During the annual shareholders meeting at Vizcaya Pavilion in midtown, Gary Pruitt concluded 28 years with the Sacramento-based company, vacating the posts of board chairman, president and CEO.

Pruitt will take over as president and CEO of the Associated Press in July. 

He introduced Patrick Talamantes, formerly McClatchy's vice president of finance and chief financial officer, as its new president and CEO.

Kevin McClatchy, a fifth-generation member of the company's controlling family and a board member since 1998, was introduced as the new chairman of the board, a position that Pruitt had also held.

Those changes were announced in March.

On Wednesday, the company also announced that Treasurer Elaine Lintecum is the new vice president of finance and CFO. Lintecum, a 24-year veteran of McClatchy's corporate finance department, has served as McClatchy's treasurer since 2002 and will retain those duties.

McClatchy owns The Bee and 29 other daily papers.
While noting the changes, Talamantes said McClatchy's management core remains intact.

"It's still the same management team that's powering this company's strategy, and it's the same playbook that we've been using these past several years," he said.

Talamantes said management remains committed to driving new revenue, growing its audience, reducing costs, producing quality journalism and paying down debt.

The McClatchy Co. is still paying off debt for the 2006 takeover of newspaper chain Knight Ridder Inc. for $4.4 billion.
The company said Wednesday that it repaid $140 million in 2011 and has repaid $70.5 million so far in 2012. Total debt now stands at $1.56 billion.

During questioning from shareholders, Talamantes and Pruitt did not rule out the possibility of McClatchy selling portions of its stakes in the online companies CareerBuilder and Classified Ventures, to pay down debt.

Talamantes cited several company growth areas, including a 14 percent increase in digital-only advertising in the first quarter. He said digital advertising now accounts for 22 percent of the company's overall advertising revenue.

Talamantes added: "I'd like to assure you – as the former CFO and as the new CEO – The McClatchy Co. is in strong financial shape and getting stronger. We are poised to benefit from improvement in the economy and we will continue to work and reorganize our operations to meet the demands and garner the opportunities of the digital age."

Also during Wednesday's meeting, 11 directors were elected to one-year terms, and Deloitte & Touche LLP was appointed the company's independent registered public accounting firm.

Read more here:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Montague reports on hospital visit

I was quick-step wheelchaired into City Hospital ER about 8 p.m. Friday and walked out  the front door about 1 p.m. Monday after 65 eventful hours in which I acquired my latest bionics.

You would think I was Bernie Madoff the way those papparazzi-like medical pros hurled questions at me, most of the time talking all at once.  I could tell they were impressed  by the way I fired back, not getting flustered despite the growing pain, the most intense ever for me, making the pain  of the first 72 hours of a hip replacement, of which I have had two -- and it is hell -- seem inconsequential. No time to tell them  I'm a newspaper guy who's fired his share of questions.
 But I just had an EKG four hours ago, I protested.  The glare back from the Pretty Woman was unmistakable: "We're doing another one, patient boy."

A few seconds later -- maybe longer, time now becoming irrelevant,  all I care about is somebody, anything ending the still-growing, no-contest, by-far-the-worst-expletive-pain of my 65 years and nine months -- PW is back, saying, with just the right drama:

"They think you're having a heart attack."

At that moment, Patient Boy thinks that, as with a number of bad Beacon Journal news management types over the years, I really could have done without this life experience. Her pronouncement sets off what my younger son, Joshua, still outside the exam room before being dismissed to the waiting room, said later was a scene that reminded him of TV's "ER." (I try to lock eyes as he turns to go, but he is gone. I have a quick thought:   The first time you hold him, you say, How amazing is this.  You think of all you're going to do for him. You don't think about how someday, unexpectedly, you'll make him part of a hectic race against your death.)

I am jumped by about 20 people -- doctors, nurses, support techs and second-job-working firefighter paramedics. They have done this  before or -- rather, and -- they have practiced the drill a lot. Very efficiently, they strip me, poke me, tape me, get aspirin down me and do all the other things to what? -- I don't know. All I know is I hurt all over, shoulders and elbows just boiling, a lattice across the muscles of my chest wall pushing against me and, finally, in the center of my chest, for the first time in my pain saga the focused soon-to-be agony inside the center of my chest --  my heart, for goodness sake -- that I always thought would  be the only pain of ticker trouble.
I am rolling on the gurney down the hallway, the City Hospital walls shining like a national guitar (forgive me, Paul Simon, the Mississippi delta metaphor doesn't work in a freakin' hallway, but your words and music were in my head). I am going  not to Graceland (but maybe I am), but to the cath lab, as in catherization, which I know means stick something in you, do some incredibly delicate work and get out without messing you up.
Gosh, what neat toys. I am awake for this, don't you know, but they have taken my glasses. Who cares? About that pain... 
Looking at really  big computer monitor screens, the picture better than HD, even in my blurry view, this plastic globe, much better than anything on the bridge of the starship Enterprise, arcing back and forth above me,  a doctor who seems to be  near my age (somehow reassuring), who obviously has great small motor skills, works with two assistants. He enters through my right groin, runs the gizmo up to my heart and puts four  -- count 'em four -- stents in the f---ed up, blocked main artery of my heart and fixes me.   And saves my ass.  His name is William Bauman.
Not 18 hours later, around noon Saturday, I have no pain, no irritation, no discomfort. And I accept the suggestion from cagey veteran in-charge nurse Marie, after she puts on me a second gown  to cover the back slit of my against-the-skin gown, to walk around the Coronary Care Unit -- packing my telemetry, of course (See photo caption below).
I discover I am the least-sick person in the place and one very lucky son of a bitch
Marie gives me before and after pictures of my heart. In one of the many immortal words of my legendary former boss, (Kathy Fraze):  "Sheesh." I see one of the stents opening that artery, clearing the way for the blood into my heart. In the "before" picture, nothing. 
My room phone rings.
Six hundred fifty miles away, in Marietta, Ga., north of Atlanta, a woman watches a kid baseball game. A man nearby talks on his cell phone. The woman and her husband are casual acquaintances of the man and his wife. Their 8-year-old boys are usually on opposing teams, but playing together in this "all-star " game.
She hears: Dad. Stow. Heart attack. Soccer referee. She knows he and she are transplanted Akron-area people. She texts her  brother, another Akron transplant, who lives in Charlotte, N.C.
Proverbial long story short, the woman is the sister  (didn't know he had one) of a former prominent Akron soccer referee and referee instructor. He moved to Charlotte several years ago. He's a software architect, a digital dynamo. I had just visited him and his family  in late April  on the  way to Kennesaw, Ga., for my grandson's 8th  birthday. 
It was my older son on the line when the phone rang. An hour later, John Wargo of the Charlotte Wargos, one of my three referee mentors, is on the line and we are talking small world and WTF moments.
For the record, I didn't ignore, as my blob-blabber good friend chose for his verb, the pain that started three days before my "event." 
When you have DJD (Degenerative Joint Disease), as I do, as in two hip replacements, you ache somewhere every day. You keep moving, you exercise, you hit the glorious 104-degree moving water of the whirlpool, take your medicine and move on. That ache subsides, but you know the next day something else will ache.
So, I thought the simmering in my shoulders and elbows was DJD making a call. And it went away. Next day, when my left jaw ached so much I had to sit down, I called my dentist and an hour later was in the chair and he was trying to determine if my artificial implant tooth, my $4,000 replacement for a tooth I broke, was irritating the real teeth fore and aft, as it has done occasionally. He finds nothing. The ache subsides.
My Big Friday, as it turns out, starts with no pain -- for a while. When the simmering starts in my chest wall -- it feels like muscle strain from curling a too-heavy barbell rather anything ticker-related -- I call my doc.  He is on the last day of vacation, but I will be his first patient at 8:15 Monday.  Pain goes away.
At 3 p.m., I awaken from a nap hurting -- nothing like what is to come, but thinking it's not right to get up from a nap in pain.  I go right away to the Summa urgent care place in Stow about a mile from me. I get the first EKG of the day, the first of I don't know how many over the next 70 hours. The doc says it shows nothing remarkable.
I had told him I was coming off a viral infection.  I know it was viral because I had two cold sores, one on the upper lip and one on the lower.  I am susceptible to them. The doctor theorizes that my pain episodes are viral, says I could be getting shingles -- oh, boy, I've heard about that, what fun that would be (NOT). He  tells me to see my doc (already scheduled) and go to the ER if a rash breaks out. When I leave urgent care, pain has subsided.
I go home, don my soccer kit (Brit term alert) and walk through the trees to the Oregon Corners fields next to my place to referee a U9 boys game, 6v6 on a very small field that means for me, after 22 years of doing this in all 50 states, a 25-minute walk, sit 5 minutes, another 25-minute walk. All goes well.  Everybody is having fun.  Until I start the second half.
All that pain in all those places comes back big-time. Then it ebbs. Then it comes back worse.  Then it ebbs. I end the game a few minutes early -- the score is 5-1 and a comeback is not going to happen.  I pull my cell phone out of my pocket, call Josh in Cleveland and ask him to come drive me to the ER.  I am not thinking heart, because I have intense muscle burning, not what I would call inside-your-chest pain.  I think I'm having a shingles attack.
Doh, if I had suspected heart, I would've called 911 and then Josh and told him to meet me at the ER.
 One Thing I've Learned is that EKGs, of which I've had many over the years in my yearly physicals, show a lot of things. 
But they don't show artery blockages or that a heart attack is imminent...
(There was a great British play-by-play man on German soccer telecasts who hosted a German soccer highlights show called Soccer Made in Germany that was on PBS in the US in the early '70s. Toby Charles was literate and articulate. 
His signature comment would come when there was a big flurry in the penalty area and a goal was about to be scored.  
He would state the incredibly obvious, but it was just so perfect. He would say:
"It's all happening right here!")

  ...An EKG WILL show if you are having a heart attack IF "It's all  happening right here" right then, which it did in the City ER.

 OK, I misinterpreted what the pain was signaling, but I reacted to it based on my knowledge of my body and medical advice, Now I know more.

I started smoking in the spring of '65,  completing my freshman year at Ohio University.  I quit for 17 months in the mid-'70s, resumed (I'll have just one -- Hah) and quit for good in March 1995. 
 I believe that's why I had a heart attack. (Family history -- just one instance, exacerbated by extreme non-heart problems.)
Every time I see somebody light up, I will think of the new meaning for me of jump up and bite you  in the ass.
 I have received a lot of documentation on my medicine, diet and exercise future, including the quaint pamphlet that says, in effect, in the words of an unknown humorist far more skilled than me: After a heart attack, no sex with your spouse for two weeks and no sex with someone else's spouse for four weeks.
I will be embarking on a 12-week, 3-times-a-week cardiac rehab program that I expect will get me cleared to return to the soccer field and those 9s and 10s kickers.  Even if it doesn't, I will continue as a referee mentor and licensed instructor.

 I am bummed that my big 10-week To Alaska By Car adventure, my fourth trip to the Great Land, which was to start May 29, will be postponed until 2013.  God willing, Alaska will still be there. Me, too.

Your calls and emails meant a lot.  Your friendship means the most of all.

I walked out of City on the arm of a CCU nurse because the busy nurses couldn't find a wheelchair without a hassle.  Fact is, I suspect not very many folks come into the Coronary Care Unit in a wheelchair. You  come in flat on your back. hooked up to all manner of high technology.  And, sadly, despite the best efforts of many skilled people, I also suspect a lot of patients leave on their back.

Not me, and seeing those two words I've written, I know I am being selfish.

But stepping out that door never felt so good.

Walking Wi-Fi: a well-equipped cardiac kid

 In the crook of each elbow is a stuck-in, well-taped-down IV attachment. One is for your nitroglycerine drip.  The other is  for all manner of things going in and for blood going out.   I have improved, so I have been taken off the pulse-ox monitor taped to my left index fingertip and have moved up smartly from a stationary to a portable heart monitor in the breast pocket of my show-your-ass hospital gown. (Would the Foxists, Tea Partiers and extremists of all ilks be amenable to Obamacare if it solved the major national health issue of hospital gowns? Silly me.) The portable monitor is wired to leads on my partially shaved chest (not a pretty picture; aren't you thankful I spared you one? Trust me, you are.) I am talking ticker, if not Tribe, via Wi-Fi to who knows where, probably including my Facebook account, if I had one. On my left arm (photo taken in a mirror, so it is on the right) is my in-place blood pressure cuff, which I later didn't have to wear when I improved enough to no longer be telementary-necessary. You can barely see that I have on my wrist my purple ER ID band and my white CCU ID band.  Hot stuff. But the best thing is right outside my room. Hot coffee, 24-7. (It's part of Obamacare.)

Pruitt leaves McClatchy, new veep named

The McClatchy Co. announced today that Elaine Lintecum who has worked in the company's finance department for 24 years has been promoted to vice president of finance and chief financial officer.

She takes over from Pat Talamantes, the new president and chief executive officer of the newspaper chain. Talamantes replaces CEO Gary Pruitt, whose last day at McClatchy is today. Pruitt is leaving to head The Associated Press.

Lintecum started at McClatchy in 1988 and has held a variety of positions. She has been corporate treasurer since 2002, and will retain those responsibilities.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

10 ways to protect your money

The April/May 2012 issue of AARP magazine has an interesting article by financial planner Allan Roth of CBS'  "Money Watch."

He lists 10 things to watch for if you have or look for a financial planner.

No. 1 in my book: Does the planner make money for himself more than he makes money for you

Email address link is at left above

The link to the email addresses is now  at the top left just above Share This Blog.

Beacon Journal staff wins awards

Beacon Journal staff report
Several members of the Akron Beacon Journal were honored in the annual Associated Press Society of Ohio newspaper competition on Sunday.

Staff members recognized as the best in the state among newspapers with daily circulation of more than 75,000 were Bob Dyer, best columnist; Jason Lloyd, best sports columnist; and Phil Trexler, best news writer.

Ed Suba Jr. finished second in the best sports photo category and Karen Schiely placed third for the best general news photo.

The newspaper staff also earned second-place honors in the best special section category for 9/11: 10 Years Later and in the best breaking news category for Carnage in Copley. In addition, the paper earned third-place honors in best enterprise reporting for the Kelley Williams-Bolar case.

The newspaper’s website,, placed No. 2 in the best website category.

The Columbus Dispatch received the General Excellence award in the annual competition, which judged entries published in 2011.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Report on Montague's heart attack

A report from Larry Froelich on Charles Montague heart attack:

  Did you know Montague suffered a heart attack Friday and is in the cardiac care unit of Akron City? Just got an email from him that says, in part: "Damndest thing happened to me Friday night: I had a heart attack. Didn't know I was at risk. Worst pain of my life, much worse than the hell that is the first 72 hours after a hip replacement. So here I am in the coronary care unit of City Hospital with four new stents in the main artery of my heart taking things one step at a time."

 I called him a few minutes ago and he sounds pretty chipper. He started ignoring the signs on Tuesday, starting with pain in both shoulders and elbows and fatigue (thought it was arthritis), to jaw pain on Wednesday (thought it was from a dental implant), to a lattice work of chest pain on Thursday (which eventually went away). In any case, it all kicked up again Friday when he went to referee a kids' soccer game, severe chest pains. He called Josh to take him to the hospital and he was quickly diagnosed as being in the depths of an attack. If he's still at City, he can be reached at 855-345-4677. Doesn't want visitors and hopes to be released Sunday or Monday, but faces extended cardio-therapy. ~ larry

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Courtroom scene fabricated

Not only did the London Daily Mail get the Amanda Knox verdict wrong, it made up the courtroom scene when the "verdict" was "read."

The Daily Mail wrote this (remember, none of this happened):

Amanda Knox looked stunned this evening after she dramatically lost her prison appeal against her murder conviction. …

As Knox realized the enormity of what judge Hellman was saying she sank into her chair sobbing uncontrollably while her family and friends hugged each other in tears.

A few feet away Meredith’s mother Arline, her sister Stephanie and brother Lyle, who had flown in especially for the verdict remained expressionless, staring straight ahead, glancing over just once at the distraught Knox family.

Prosecutors were delighted with the verdict and said that ‘justice has been done’ although they said on a ‘human factor it was sad two young people would be spending years in jail’.

Following the verdict Knox and Sollecito were taken out of court escorted by prison guards and into a waiting van which took her back to her cell at Capanne jail near Perugia and him to Terni jail, 60 miles away.

Both will be put on a suicide watch for the next few days as psychological assessments are made on each of them but this is usual practice for long term prisoners.”
Read  the  story

How Obama same-sex marriage support treated

How news sites treated Obama support of same-sex marriage.

See Screen Shots

BJ mailroom retiree Ron Edwards dies

Ronald W. "Ron" Edwards, 70, went to be with the Lord on May 8, 2012.

Ron was born on January 3, 1942, to the late Emory and Alberta Edwards. He retired from the Akron Beacon Journal after 28 years of service. Ron was an avid fisherman, golfer, and Tennessee fan.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Leonard. Survivors include his wife, Charlotte; son, Kevin (Tracie); grandchildren, Kaylei and Kody; sisters, Carol (Larry) Shaffer, Mary Ann Vaughn, Janet Clark, and Charolette Ledbetter; brothers, Perry (Chris) and Emory.

Calling hours will be Saturday, 2 to 4 p.m. at NEWCOMER FUNERAL HOME, 131 N. Canton Rd., Akron. Interment will take place in Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Faith Bible Fellowship Building Fund, 126 West Overdale Dr., Tallmadge, OH 44278.

To leave a special message for the family online, visit


[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Thursday, May 10, 2012, page B5, col. 1   ]

The family will receive friends from 12-1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at Carter-Trent Funeral Home, 1115 Hwy 11W, Church Hill, TN.

A funeral service will follow at 1 p.m. in the funeral home chapel. Burial will follow in Bethel Church Cemetery (Stanley Valley).

Carter-Trent Funeral Home in Church Hill, Tennessee is serving the Edwards family.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Sandra Block leaving USA TODAY for Kiplinger

Sandra Block, former BJ staffer, is leaving her position as personal finance reporter at USA TODAY at the end of this month for a position as senior associate editor at Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine. She has been at USA TODAY for  nearly 17 years.

Sandra worked for the Beacon Journal from 1994 through 1995 as a reporter on the business desk when Geoff Gevalt was editor and still keeps in touch with many former and current BJ employees.

Her email address is

You can find Sandra’s  stories and columns at:

or follow her on twitter at:

Muddy flight for Carl Nelson

Retired printer Carl Nelson, at the monthly BJ retirees lunch today at Papa Joe's on Akron/Peninsula Road, recalled the time he and his military buddies went flying through the air when their jeep overturned.

This happened in Germany. Carl and his military companions had, let us say, more than a few too many to drink. The driver imbibed way more than anyone else.

The Autobahn was covered with mud from tank tracks (this is World War II, remember). The jeep slid off the road and overturned.

"I thought I was dead," Carl said. "My duffelbag and I went flying. So did the guy sitting next to me and his duffelbag. We landed in the mud on our hands and knees.

"We knew we were OK, so we looked around for the jeep driver.  We heard a voice say, "Get me the hell out of here. We had a trenching tool in the overturned jeep, which we used to dig him out."

The monthly gatherings at Papa Joe's, at Akron/Peninsula Road and Portage Trail Extension, is a place to share memories.

BJ folks gather at 1 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month.

Besides Carl, others in attendance were retired printer Al Hunsicker and newsroom retirees Tom Moore and John Olesky.

Only February 2012 -- with three -- drew fewer people to the monthly lunch since no one showed up during a January 2011 snowstorm. Maybe that's because Gene McClellan, who made 88 of 89 monthly lunches, died in March.

Prom dresses fashioned from newsprint

In March, The Detroit Free Press announced a $500 contest for high school students to design prom dresses from newsprint. On Sunday it announced eight finalists.

The fact that there are fewer home-delivered print editions of the Free Press with which to make the dresses hasn’t seemed to slow anyone down. An extensive slideshow shows off the dresses, which are supercool — Ari Diaz’ painted dress, for instance, and Ashley Hicks’ complex dress made from advertising circulars — but the stories behind the dresses, collected in Sunday’s story introducing the finalists, are more fun.

Atiyah Anderson made her dress in three days. And if Emily Bankes wins, “she will buy a dress with the money for next year’s prom, since she’s not going this year, and use a bit for her creative pursuits, too.”

Most of the dresses are wearable; a few feature the Free Press’ masthead prominently.

See full story

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Photos added to Gene McClellan's online album

The late printer Gene McClellan's daughter, Erin, has provided additional photos for the online album of Gene, who died March 19.

There are 40 photos in the album now.

Blooming idiots!

Who knew that planting flowers in your 5 x 8 foot flower bed could be so costly.

Kimberly Bois did that outside her Portsmouth, New Hampshire condo. Nothing elaborate -- daylilies, hibiscus, lavender. Pretty close to what I have planted, plus tulips, in the 6 x 15 foot flower bed outside our Tallmadge condo that was set aside for Paula and me to use.

The condo association board decided the flowers had to go. Kim refused. So the board started fining her daily.

The total is $5,800 plus thousands in attorney fees. The condo association put a lien on Kim's property, too, according to the story in the AARP Bulletin magazine.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Email address list updated

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Sunday, May 06, 2012

Vatican Archives displays fascinating documents

The public will now have the opportunity to look at more than 100 original documents in the Vatican Archives that hold ome 35,000 items on 52 miles of shelves. The collection, usually available only to scholars, was started in 1611 by Pope Paul V.

Among the notable items on display is the 1521 decree from Pope Leo X excommunicating German monk Martin Luther, a 1530 petition — complete with wax seals — from British Parliament asking Pope Clement VIII to annul King Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and an 1887 letter from an American Indian Ojibwe chief to Pope Leo XIII.

Other fascinating documents include a document signed by Galileo Galilei from his trial, manuscripts signed by Michelangelo and Napoleon Bonaparte, and a handwritten letter in French from Mary Queen of Scots to Pope Sixtus V, penned just weeks before she was beheaded by Queen Elizabeth of England.

The exhibit includes an original Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory XIII, who reduced the errors of the Julian calendar by introducing the leap year and eliminating the days between Oct. 4-15, 1582, with the bull Inter Gravissimas.

One document in the exhibition is a letter written in 1793 by Marie Antoinette, while she was in prison, to Louis XVI’s brother Charles Philippe, count of Artois, who became King Charles X of France in 1824.

See full article

NBC video on preparations to get Bin Laden

Last Wednesday evening, NBC's "Rock Center with Brian Williams" program consisted of an excellent report on the preparation for and implementation of the Navy Seals raid last year that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.
See the video

Friday, May 04, 2012

$452 million in false Medicare billing

107 individuals, including doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, are charged with participating in Medicare fraud schemes involving $452 million in false billing.

The Medicare Fraud Task Force made the arrests in Miami, Houston, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Los Angeles, Detroit and Tampa.

The charges included unnecessary medical treatments and care that was never provided.

To read the Health and Human Services press release, click on

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Is your email address correct?

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Betty Lou Iula, widow of Ralph

CUYAHOGA FALLS -- Betty Lou Iula, 85, passed away April 30, 2012. Mrs. Iula was born in Indianapolis, Ind. and had resided in Cuyahoga Falls since 1954. She retired in 1993 from Lawsons/Dairy Mart as administrative assistant in the Communications office with 26 years service. She was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Akron where she helped with the free lunch, did accounting and belonged to the Congregational Senior Women and most recently the First United Methodist Church of Cuyahoga Falls. She enjoyed playing bridge, collecting plates and spoons and traveling.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Jeff and Nancy Iula of Cuyahoga Falls; daughter and son-in-law, Jerri and Gary Roberts of Indianapolis, Ind.; son, Jay F. Iula of Cuyahoga Falls; grandchildren, Christopher, Matthew J. and Courtney L. Roberts, Carrie (David) Lee and Kelly (Mike) Kulick; great-grand-children, Trinity and Zoe Kubick; nieces and nephew, Carol Byrd, Robert Baynes, Marsha Marmon and Mary Jane Bennett; husband, Ken Adriance and special care giver, Nicole Wagner.

Friends may call from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 4 in The Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home, 1930 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221, where a funeral service will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 5, Rev. Marv Brown officiating, and where friends may also call one hour prior to service time. Interment at Northlawn Memorial Gardens. In lieu of other remembrances, memorials may be made to Cuyahoga Falls Bicentennial, P.O. Box 1182, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223. Her video tribute will be viewable at:

[Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, Wednesday, May 2, 2012]

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Dawidziak's wife, Sara, & friends perform benefit

The Largely Literary Theater Company premieres ‘She Stories’ at Books for Africa Benefit

The Largely Literary Theater Company will premiere She Stories, a multi-cultural program of stories about strong women, at the Books for Africa Library Project’s annual fundraising dinner. The event begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 19, in the St. Bernard/St. Mary Church Social Hall.
The church is  in downtown Akron at Broadway and State streets. Parking is available at the University of Akron lot opposite the church.

 The Books for Africa Library Project is a non-profit organization that helps communities set up libraries in rural Africa. The project has established libraries in Ghana and Liberia.

She Stories features tales from Sweden, Africa, Russia and Australia. Largely Literary co-founder Sara Showman is joined on stage by local actors Helen McWilliams and Emma Picht.

“As a storyteller, I read many folk tales,” Showman said. “And I began to notice that there are so many stories from all over the world about strong, courageous women. Having been influenced and inspired by so many strong women in my life, I wanted to celebrate them with stories of humor, adventure and courage.”

A Cuyahoga Falls resident, Helen McWilliams is a physical therapist and adjunct faculty member of Kent State University’s Biology Department.  She has performed at community theaters in Ohio and Pennsylvania for 35 years. Favorite roles include the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz and Mary Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life.

Her most recent role was the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland for Antic Theatre, a production that also featured her husband and three children. McWilliams is vice president of the Cuyahoga Falls Library Board. An avid runner, she is currently training for her third marathon.

Emma Picht, also making her Largely Literary debut, recently appeared in Magical Theatre Company's Peter and the Wolf and Weathervane Playhouse's production of The Taming of the Shrew. She performed in Actor's Summit production of Woody Guthrie's American Song and in Ohio Shakespeare Festival's Richard III and Love's Labours Lost.

Picht, a Hudson resident, is a seventh grader at Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Akron. She plays classical violin and Irish fiddle and is a member of the Miller South Orchestra and Akron Youth Philharmonic. She sang solo Broadway tunes for Akron's First Night at Actor's Summit.

The May 19 dinner and performance are free, but donations will be collected. This is the fifth consecutive year the Largely Literary Theater Company has appeared at the annual Books for Africa Library Project dinner at the landmark downtown Akron church.

The benefit will begin with dinner at 6 p.m. Books for Africa’s Kirt and Hilda Bromley will describe their recent efforts to build libraries in West Africa.
Specializing in faithful adaptations of great literary works, the Largely Literary Theater Company was founded in 2001 to promote literacy, literature and live theater. The troupe is best known for: Twain By Three, a two-act adaptation of humorous sketches by Mark Twain;  The Tell-Tale Play, a two-act collection of poems and stories by Edgar Allan Poe; and its three-person version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Showman performs “Eve’s Diary” and portrays other characters in Twain By Three.  She plays 15 roles in A Christmas Carol, and performs “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Bells” and “Alone” in The Tell-Tale Play. She also performs various storytelling programs for grades K-2 and 3-5, including Animal Tales, Earth Stories, The Poetry Show and Mother Goose (for pre-schoolers).

She recently added a program for senior citizens titled Stories for the Ages, ideal for Red Hatters, senior church groups, clubs and civic organizations. To book She Stories or any other productions, contact the Largely Literary Theater Company: 330-923-8350 or at

For information about Books for Africa Library Project, visit