Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mark is Twain again Thursday

After traipsing around the country impersonating Mark Twain, PD and former BJ entertainment critic Mark Dawidziak will be at the Nordonia Hills Branch Library at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1 with wife Sara Showman doing their show based on the “Mark Twain’s Guide to Diet, Exercise, Beauty, Fashion, Investment, Romance, Health and Happiness” book that Mark wrote.

Mark will autograph that book and his “Mark Twain in Ohio” tome.

The Nordonia Hills library is at 9458 Olde Eight Road in Northfield.

Happy 28th wedding anniversary today – Sept. 29th -- to BJ reporter Katie Byard and retired BJ reporter and sometimes radio guy Jim Carney!

Katie recalls that day in 1987:

“Twenty-eight years ago it was a beautiful fall day in Richfield. Jim and I decided it would be fun to dress up like a couple from the 50s (we were ahead of the curve when it came to themed events!), make Patrick, Will and Michael dress up like little maitre d’s, enjoy the evening with a bunch of friends in the upper room of the Richfield Tavern, share too many cocktail weenies with the group, cut a cake from the fab Budd's Bakery in Akron (decorated with Mickey and Minnie Mouse) and say "I do." Other stuff from Common Book of Prayer, thank u very much.
"Miss those who were there and are no longer with us. Blessed for those still supporting us and new friends we have made along the way. Blessed to share my life with Jimmy.”

Then they zipped off to their New Orleans honeymoon.

Patrick Carney, Will Carney and Michael Carney are Jim’s sons by former Cleveland Scene and BJ reporter Denise Grollmus. 
Patrick has a ton of Grammy Awards as part of the Black Keys band and lives in New York City with second wife Emily Ward;  Michael, Columbus College of Art and Design grad with a Grammy for his Black Keys album art, lives in Brooklyn with Joanna Grant; and Will supervises engineers for Amtrak out of St. Louis. 
Will moved from Peninsula where he was Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway superintendent. Railroading has been his passion and life since he was a teenager.  

The Carney boys are all Firestone High graduates, as is Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach.
The Carney boys' paternal grandparents were Wheeling, West Virginia native William "Bill" James Carney, who died in 2010, and Madge Slate Carney, a former Army nurse who passed away in 1995.
Jim's siblings are Patsy Carney Hughes, who died in 1997, and Ralph Carney (who lives in San Francisco with Deena Zacharin and is the father of Hedda Carney).   

Cheryl double-dips in celebrations

Cheryl Scott Sheinin is celebrating her 36th wedding anniversary to Neil Sheinin – and her birthday on the same day, today, Sept. 29.

Cheryl retired from the BJ after 45 years in the Finance Department. Neil was in the Packaging Department until his 2012 “retirement,” when he began working part-time in the same department.

Cheryl is a Garfield High graduate.

Neil is a baseball aficionado. He threw out the first pitch at a 2012 Akron Aeros baseball game (they are the RubberDucks now, but still play minor league ball in Canal Park). In two decades he made his way to 350 baseball stadia, mostly in minor league parks.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Cleveland’s first superstar reporter, Doris O'Donnell, who covered the Sam Shepard murder trial, the Kremlin, the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Huff riots, died at age 94.

She reported for the Cleveland News, starting in 1944; the Plain Dealer, beginning in 1960; the Lake County News-Herald; Greensburg, Pennsylvania’s Tribune-Review and, finally, the Plain Dealer again. Her public television show won local Emmys. She was a spokeswoman for Cleveland's mayor in 1973.

She wrote about her career in an autobiography, "Front-Page Girl," a memoir published in 2006 by Kent State University Press.

She was convinced till her death that Shepard killed his wife in their Bay Village home.

She was inducted into the Press Club of Cleveland Hall of Fame in 1984.

She grew up in Cleveland's Old Brooklyn neighborhood. Her father was a fireman, her mother a Democratic ward leader and her uncle the county sheriff. Her husband, former Cleveland News City Editor Howard Beaufait, died in 1976.

Ferolia Funeral home in Sagamore Hills is handling arrangements for Mrs. O'Donnell's funeral Mass at St. Mary's in Hudson.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

New Horizon's Band performs at 2015 Mumfest

There were many colors in bloom at the 2015 Barberton Mumfest on Sunday, but the most obvious color was Ol’ Blue, as in a gathering of former BJ workers at Ol’ Blue Walls.

Retired Composing room printer Rita Stapleton was there. She’s gone on a cruise to Mexico and visited New York City after her linotype went the way of the dodo bird.

So was Sandy Bee Lynn, retired BJ Librarian, whose husband, Glenn Lynn, performed in the New Horizons Band at the Mumfest, as did Paula.

And John Olesky, once Paula’s boss when she was a 1970s State Desk reporter and John was one of Pat Englehart’s assistant editors. Later, John was electronics coordinator for the newsroom and, for his final 16 years, television editor.

After the concert by the Cuyahoga Falls band, there was a water skiing show by the Chippewa Lake Water Skiing Club.

And thousands upon thousands of mums, in a variety of colors . . . including BJ blue.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Warners: Stuart, Emilie, Denise, Debbie
Stuart & Debbie’s daughter promoted at Billboard
& happy anniversary, Stuart and Debbie !!!

Denise Warner, daughter of former BJ  newsroom folks Stuart Warner and Debbie Van Tassel Warner, is editorial director/digital at Billboard, which has been serving the music entertainment business since 1894.

Launched in 1995 as Billboard Online, Billboard.com draws more than 10 million visitors a month in more than 100 countries.

Writes Stuart, whose 33rd wedding anniversary to Debbie is Friday, Sept. 25, from Phoenix:

“Congratulations to the new Editorial Director/Digital at Billboard, Denise Warner. But no surprise given the strong female journalism influences that surrounded her growing up, especially her mom, Debbie Van Tassel Warner, and the late great Michelle LeConte and former ABJ design director now Medill prof Susan Mango Curtis. "
Stuart & Debbie have three daughters. Emilie Warner Clemmens and Denise Warner are in the photo above.

For his 33rd anniversary, Stuart posted 33 photos of his life with Debbie. You can check them out by clicking on


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Kent ties WVU in best college rankings

Kent State tied West Virginia for 175th in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report 2016 best college rankings.

Ohio State, at 52nd, was the highest ranked Ohio university. Dayton was 108th, Ohio University 135th.

Akron, Toledo, Wright State and Cleveland State didn’t make the top 200 list.

Yogi Berra takes final fork in life’s road

Yogi Berra, as famous for his mangled quotes as for being in the Baseball Hall of Fame,  died Tuesday. He was 90.

He was a catcher with 10 Yankee championship teams, an All-Star for 15 consecutive seasons and manager who led both the Yankees and Mets to the World Series.

He was the inspiration for the cartoon character, Yogi Bear, born in 1958.

Legendary manager Casey Stengle once said: “Mr. Berra is a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.”

Yogi’s most famous quote was: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” giving directions to his house. Either path, it turned out, got you there. So it wasn’t as stupid as it sounded without the context.

Yogi also said of a popular restaurant: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

Berra published a book in 1998, “The Yogi Book: I Really Didn’t Say Everything I Said!”

Berra’s Yogi-ness was exploited in advertisements for Puss ’n Boots cat food, Miller Lite beer and, most famously, Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink. Asked if Yoo-Hoo was hyphenated, he replied, “No, ma’am, it isn’t even carbonated.”

The world can always use characters like Yogi to make life more enjoyable. St. Peter, he’s yours. Make sure he takes the fork in the road to your house.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Andale Gross visits BJ friends

Andale Gross, once a BJ reporter and Guild unit chairman, dropped in to visit his former colleagues the BJ. Those who are still there, that is.

Andale Gross (right), Bob Dyer in BJ reunion
Bob Dyer, named the best columni in Ohio so many times that it’s hard to keep track, wrote:

“Surprise visit today from former ABJ reporter and good guy Andale Gross, who is now an editor for the Associated Press in Chicago. It has been nine years since he worked for us, and five since he set foot in Akron. He was back in town for a quick visit with family and friends. The guy hasn't aged a day. Must be that mellow lifestyle in Chi-Town.”

Andale went with the AP in Kansas City, 100 miles from where he grew up in Mobley, Missouri, immediately after leaving Ol’ Blue Walls. Later, he migrated to AP in Chicago.

Andale left the BJ in 2006 with 14 staff members who had a combined 264 years of experience at the BJ. Andale had been at the BJ for 9 years and was Guild unit chairman. Others in that devastating wipeout included Diane Paperone Evans, Debby Stock Kiefer, Jane Snow, Mike Needs, Sara Vradenburg, Mary Ethridge, Dave Hertz, Tim Good and Robin Sallie. You know, a Who’s Who of the newsroom staff at the time.

In that same year, the BJ lost 24 with 335 years of service. Others who went out the door forever that year were Bonnie Bolden, Dennis Balogh, Gloria Irwin, Jim Kavanagh, Kathy Spitz and Jocelyn Williams.

More than 1,000 years of BJ experience has left Ol’ Blue Walls in the past decade. It’s a story, unfortunately, common to newspapers all over America.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

"Crowd" watching Polka Pirates perform Sunday under sunny skies

"Crowd" strolling Front Street during Falls Oktoberfest on Sunday

Polka Pirates band performs to mostly empty seats at Falls Amphitheatre

Congratulations, Falls Mayor Walters

You eliminated the crowd & noise & money from Front Street

When Don Walters are elected mayor of Cuyahoga Falls last November, succeeding 28-year mayor Don Robart, he received complaints about the noise and hours of Rocking on the River every Friday night through the summer on Front Street.

Well, he shoved Rocking on the River promoter Bob Earley, a hometown guy, into the Cuyahoga River and up to Lorain.

No noise. No hours. No crowds now.

Mission accomplished.

In previous years, you had to push your way through the crowd to walk from the water fountain to the Amphitheatre at Front and Broad streets. There was standing room only during performances at the Amphitheatre, not just with Rocking on the River but on other days throughout the summer.

I attended the Falls Oktoberfest Sunday with the temperature comfortably in the 70s and sunny skies. A perfect time to enjoy outdoor entertainment. I counted 35 people seated at the Amphitheatre while the Polka Pirates performed. We had hundreds of empty seats to pick from.

When we walked from the Amphitheatre to the foundation and back, you could have fired a canon and not hit injured many people.

Nice job, Mayor Walters. You turned Front Street from a thriving mass of humanity to a near ghost town.

Meanwhile, Rocking on the River at Lorain’s Black River Landing with its classic rock, country and pop draws 5,000 to 10,000 people on Fridays through the summer, at $5 per admission for 17 shows. It’s billed as “Northeast Ohio’s longest running and highest attended outdoor concert series.” They could have added: And Cuyahoga Falls’ No. 1 export.

Rocking on the River had been in Cuyahoga Falls, and run by a hometown guy, for 28 years, till Walters got himself elected mayor. Maybe his honor didn’t like Earley’s ponytail which reminded me of Bob Golic, the former Browns linebacker with the headful of curls.


The Earleys love their new hometown, although it still smarts that their hometown mayor shoved them out the door. Earley’s daughter, Carlie Schmidt, began teaching at Hawthorne Elementary School in Lorain in September.

“I hope we stay here until I die. I love it here,” Earley said.

As for the Falls residents who complained about the noise and the hours: It’s really quiet now. The only sound is from the money leaving town.


Novelist Jackie Collins dies

Jackie Collins
Jackie Collins, whose 32 novels were written originally in longhand with a felt tip pen that probably sizzled over what it produced in the way of racy sex, died Saturday in Beverly Hills, California. She was 77, another victim of breast cancer.

Her full name was Jacqueline Jill Collins when she was born in London.

Her sister, actress Joan Collins, dipped into sizzling sex, too, on ABC’s long-running “Dynasty” series.

An assistant entered her flawless handwriting into a computer for novels that sold more than 500 million copies. They included “Hollywood Wives,” “The World Is Full of Married Men,” “The Santangelos” (9 novels about a family connected to organized crime).

Romance novelist Barbara Cartland called Collins’ work “disgusting filth,” but in 2013, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Collins the Order of the British Empire for services to fiction and to charity.

The Collins family suggested donations be sent to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Organization (in the U.S.) and Penny Brohn Cancer Care (in the U.K.).

Friday, September 18, 2015

Circulation’s Jonah Lampley passes away

BJ Circulation Department retiree Jonathan “Jonah” Lampley, whose musical son dotted the “i” in “Ohio” THREE times with the Ohio State University marching band, passed away Tuesday, September 15.

Son Jon is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist based in Brooklyn, New York. He played the sousaphone in the OSU Marching Band when he dotted the “i.”

Jonah Lampley
Jonah’s son Jon studied with Kenyatta Beasley, who has performed with Jay-Z and Prince, and was influenced by church gospel and jazz music. He is a founding member of Brooklyn instrumental group the Huntertones and is the trumpet/sousaphone player and backing vocalist for the OAR (Of A Revolution) rock band, a trumpet player with Seattle-based soug singer Allen Stone and sousaphone player for funk/go-go/party grass band Red Baraat.

He also has performed with Ricky Martin, Felix Pastorius, The Beethoven Found Philharmonic Orchestra, Sean Jones and Reggie Jackson.

He plays a Yamaha Custom Model Trumphet, Antoine Courtois Paris Flugelhorn and Conn 20K Sousaphone.

The obituary for Jonah Lampley:

Jonathan (Jonah) Lampley

Jonathan (Jonah) Lampley went on to be with the Lord on Tuesday, September 15, 2015.

He was born on May 7, 1948, in Akron, Ohio, to Heskiah and Berniece Lampley (Gregory). Jonathan attended Akron Public Schools, he graduated from Central Hower in 1966. He then went on to college and graduated, from The University of Akron, with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration. He was a member of First Apostolic Faith Church where he served as a Church Trustee and Business Manager. Jonathan worked for the Akron Beacon Journal in Circulation Management for 35 years.

Jonathan was an avid sports fan, especially of football and basketball. Until his illness, Jonathan attended all home games during the Ohio State University Football Season.

He was preceded in death by his father, Heskiah Lampley. He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Rebekah McDonald Lampley of 33 years; and two children, Joye Marie Lampley of Akron, Ohio and Jonathan David Lampley of Tallmadge, Ohio; five grandchildren; brothers, Handy (Jo Ann) Lampley, Larry Lampley, Heskiah (Gloria) Lampley, Duyane (Betty) Lampley; sisters, Michelle Brown, Cherryln Lampley, Sabrena (James) Lampley-Talbert; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Service will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2015, at First Apostolic Faith Church, 790 Easter Ave., Akron, OH 44307, Pastor Samuel L. Hampton II, eulogizing. Interment at Mt. Peace Cemetery. Friends may visit at Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home on Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and friends may visit at the church from 11 a.m. until time of service. Condolences may be sent to 724 S. Munroe Rd., Tallmadge, OH 44278, and procession will form at 724 S. Munroe Rd. Tallmadge, Ohio, and 706 Inverness Rd., Tallmadge, Ohio.


Published in Akron Beacon Journal from Sept. 16 to Sept. 18, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Radio’s Matt Patrick has cancer

Matt Patrick, who wowed Northeast Ohio for 30 years with “The Matt Patrick in the Morning Show” on WKDD, has esophageal cancer.

He has been hosting a conservative talk show at KTRH in Houston, Texas since 2011.
Matt Patrick
In Akron, Patrick first made his name in rock 'n' roll radio and conducted an annual radiothon for Akron Children's Hospital, which has raised more than $6 million since its debut in 1999. His career took him from Ohio to New York to Indiana to Texas.

WKDD morning host Keith Kennedy wrote lovingly to Patrick on his Facebook page: "Cancer knows better than to mess with a Texan.”

Patrick also worked at WTAM AM/1100 in Cleveland.

Brian Fowler, morning man at WGAR, said: “Matt Patrick was the guy to beat. He owned Akron radio."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Gorge Dam fate may be disclosed

The fate of the 57-foot-high Gorge Dam on the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cuyahoga Falls will be discussed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency at a public meeting Sept. 24 at the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium.

California-based Tetra Tech conducted a $22,500 feasibility study. The dam’s removal and disposing of the sediment would cost $30 million.

Dams in Kent, Munroe Falls and the Sheraton and LeFever dams in Cuyahoga Falls have been removed or modified.

The dam was built in 1911-1912 by the Northern Ohio Traction & Light Co. to generate electricity for its Akron trolley cars and cooling-water storage for a coal-burning power plant

The hydro facilities were discontinued in 1958, the coal-burning plant decommissioned in 1991.

Previously, Summit Metro Parks opposed removal of the Gorge dam and denied access to Advanced Hydro Solutions, based in Fairlawn, which wanted to conducts tests for possible hydropower use.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Best Oktoberfest in Northeast Ohio.

Love the food and the flying frauleins dances.

Both youth and adult groups do the dancing.

We got every year. Never miss it.

It's better than the Greek dancing in Akron or Sarasota, Florida and other ethnic festival dancers, in my opinion.

It's my favorite dancers and German food.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Retired BJ Librarian Diane Wright, who spent more than two decades inside Ol’ Blue Walls, got an unwanted surprise from Mother Nature.

That’s Diane’s tree toppled in her yard.

Diane is a 1995 University of Akron graduate. Perhaps she should have majored in forestry.

At least she’ll have plenty of firewood if she has a fireplace.

Fortunately, no one was injured. But it’s a sight no one wants to behold.

BJ reshuffles Metro lineup

Cheryl Powell-Fuller is the new BJ Metro editor.  

Joe Thomas will remain a deputy Metro editor and will be joined by Yuvonne Bruce.

Craig Webb moves to features.

Metro has two new reporters.

Monday, September 07, 2015

It took BJ Alums founder and newsroom retiree Harry Liggett’s son TWENTY MONTHS to get the date of his father’s death on the tombstone that Harry shares with wife Helen Smolak Liggett in Akron’s Holy Cross Cemetery.
Harry & Helen Liggett
Writes Bob Liggett:
FINALLY! My Dad passed away January 2014. It took until September 2015 to get the tombstone engraved with date of death. The run-around I got from the funeral home was horrible. I did not get any action until I got my attorney involved. The customer service I got was inexcusable but finally it is done.”
Harry, with his penchant for accuracy and timeliness, must be spinning in his grave over this affront.
But it’s not the first time tardy treatment has affected Harry after his passing. It took the BJ 16 months to give him a 9-month refund for a subscription he was unable to use while resting below ground in Holy Cross Cemetery.
I have a double grave marker with my late wife, Monnie Turkette Olesky, in Northlawn Memorial Gardens. It will be up to the Summit Memorials, which sold me the Matthews Memorials grave marker,  to add my death date to it when I take the Big Dirt Nap. Sure hope my children don’t have the problems that Bob did with Harry’s death date.
Harry and Helen were married in the Immaculate Conception Church in 1956. They moved to Akron when Harry was hired by the Beacon Journal in 1965. Helen was a 1948 graduate of Immaculate Conception High School in Dennison. She died in 2010 and is buried in Akron's Holy Cross Cemetery.
Harry was a long-time member of St. Paul Catholic Church on Brown Street in Akron and lived on Firestone Boulevard.
Harry was hired by the Beacon Journal in 1965. 
Hoban and University of Akron graduate Bob, an account, lives in Akron. Harry & Helen’s other son, Tom Liggett, also a Hoban & Akron U. grad, is Community Pregnancy Center director of development. He is married to Susan and lives in Akron.