Monday, June 26, 2017


BJ newsroom in O’Connor novel

The BJ newsroom co-stars in former BJ features writer Bill O’Connor’s third novel, “The Era of Long Thoughts.” It’s the setting under an assume name in the book.

Bill joined the BJ in 1979. That was long after he was a Franciscan friar

Above is the BJ’s review of Bill’s followup to “Bums and Hershey Bars” and “The Legend of Horn Mountain.”

Bill O'Connor did his undergraduate work at St. Francis College, and got his Master's degree at Bowling Green. He was an instructor of English and drama for 10 years at Montana University.

He lives in Bath Township with Elsbeth, his wife since 2002.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

766,377

Page views so far!

Apparently someone must be reading the BJ Alums blog founded by the late Harry Liggett.

We must be doing something right.

It IS a way for BJ alumni to keep track of each other.
 
Thank you for visiting this site ... again and again.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A BJ farewell to Larry Froelich

Former BJ reporter Jim Ricci, a Los Angeles Times retiree, crossed the country to attend Larry Froelich’s memorial June 20 in Lexington, Kentucky, where Larry lived with wife Suzanne Dolezal Froelich.

Larry Froelich
Another former Steubenville resident and BJ reporter, Charles Montague, also was there, but from much-closer Akron.

Montague wrote:

“I asked him why he had made such a long and expensive journey to attend memorial and he said, ‘Hey, this is Fro’


“That sums up why I went, too, and really says it all about Larry.

“Another Akron guy from past who was there was Steve Ferrer, who did PR for Goodrich -- I think; wasn't taking notes. (Hope I am spelling his last name right.) He said Fro was best labor reporter he ever encountered.”


Jim Ricci
Unfortunately, Paula Tucker and I were cruising down the river – the Illinois River out of Peoria – and couldn’t make it to Larry’s memorial.

Except in spirit.

Larry passed away June 5 in the Akron area.

Froelich grew up in Dover, Ohio and is an Ohio University graduate.

In 1970, he was part of the Beacon Journal team that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Kent State massacre, in which Ohio National Guardsmen shot and killed four unarmed students and wounded nine others, including some who were not part of the protest as bullets were sprayed everywhere.

Larry is survived by his wife, Suzanne; three children, Mark (Christa) Froelich, Britta (Marc) Spanke, and Eric (Stephanie) Froelich; and five grandchildren, Jack, Halle, Lindsay, Clare and Robert. 

He will be buried later in Dover.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thrity reading of her novel June 20 in Hudson

Although former BJ reporter Thrity Umrigar is doing readings of her latest novel, “Everybody’s Son,” around the nation, the closest reading in the Akron area will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 20 in the Hudson Public Library.

Thrity writes: “It would be nice to see some of my old peeps.”

Thrity began her reporting career with the Lorain Journal. Two years later, in 1987, she came to the BJ.

Thrity has been teaching creative writing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland since 2002.
 
 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Time slashing 300 jobs

Time, Inc., which publishes Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune, is eliminating 300 jobs.

This on the heels of a Meredith Corp. offer to buy time in April failed because the price was too low and activist hedge fund Jana Partners sold its substantial stake in Time, Inc.

Magazines, like newspapers, are losing circulation and advertisers to the Internet.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Larry Froelich obituary

Former BJ reporter Larry Froelich’s widow, Suzanne Dolezal Froelich, provided his obituary. They lived in Lexington, Kentucky.

Larry Froelich
Larry’s first wife was former BJ reporter Janis Froelich, who lives in Tierra Verde, Florida (near St. Petersburg) with her husband, St. Petersburg photographer Ray Bassett.

Larry fell and passed away June 4 in Ohio. His memorial service will be June 20 in Lexington.

Larry’s obituary:

Larry Norman Froelich died at age 77 on June 5, 2017 after a sudden accident. He worked at the Beacon Journal as a reporter and editor from 1968 until 1980. He was a police reporter, labor writer and business editor.

Froelich grew up in Dover, Ohio and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University. After college, he attended U.S. Army Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, GA, and served two years as an Army Public Information Officer there.

As a Beacon Journal police reporter, he worked with the Akron police to design a successful anti-crime program that later inspired the national Neighborhood Watch program.

In 1970, he was part of the Beacon Journal team that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Kent State massacre, in which Ohio National Guardsmen shot and killed four unarmed students protesting the Vietnam War.

In 1980, he moved to the Detroit Free Press, where he worked as assistant copy desk chief and assistant news editor for a decade.

In 1990, he moved to Lexington, where he served as news editor until he retired in 2005. “Larry was the engine of the newsroom after 4 p.m.,” said Will Scott, Herald-Leader copy editor. “He sometimes came across as gruff, but he really was warm, gentle and witty. He set a high bar for the paper, and any story that didn't meet his standard didn't get printed until it was made right.”

In retirement Froelich pursued his lifelong passion for learning, taking a wide range of courses through the University of Kentucky’s Donovan Scholars Program. His special interests were military history and science.

Froelich maintained enduring friendships with many who shared his journey through life, but his greatest source of pride was his loving family.

He is survived by his wife, Suzanne; three children, Mark (Christa) Froelich, Britta (Marc) Spanke, and Eric (Stephanie) Froelich; and five grandchildren, Jack, Halle, Lindsay, Clare and Robert. 

There will be a memorial service in Lexington on June 20 and there will be a private burial later in the summer in Dover. Memorial donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or the Lexington Humane Society.

Suzanne's email is suzfroelich@hotmail.com

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Snell’s amazing comeback

 Former BJ Roger Snell thinks he finally has a handle on his health problems.

Roger Snell
Roger lives in Frankfurt, Kentucky with wife Linda and daughters Rachel and Hannah and administers a marketing program called Kentucky Proud that helps farmers transition away from tobacco and find retail markets for alternative crops such as fruits, vegetables and more.

 For more than two years his immune system attacked his cerebellum and brain stem and stopped his breathing when he felt asleep. He was “on death’s doorstep,” as Roger put it.

He found a doctor who rebuilds an immune system after cancer and chemo without prescriptions but with vitamins, minerals, nutriets and diet.

In four days, Roger reports, the holistic plan stopped 30 days of dehydration and serious stomach problems. Within seven days, a body-wide rash that has been with him for years quit itching. In 10 days, the rash began healing. In 14 days, it “virtually disappeared” and Roger’s sugar readings dropped so low that he stopped his diabetes medications he had been taking for 8 years.

Roger reports: “I went from bedridden to wheelchair to walker in three weeks.” Now Roger is using only walking sticks.

Snell won a number of awards throughout his 18-year newspaper career, including the Silver Gavel, the American Bar Association’s top national journalism award, in 1992 for his investigation of ethical abuses on the Ohio Supreme Court. The Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers named Snell the Ohio Reporter of the Year in 1992 and 1993.
PD reporter Dave Roberts passes away

Dave Roberts, 99, who once was a reporter in the Akron bureau of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, passed away Thursday, June 1.

Later, the Kent State graduate and wife Lyla F. Roberts operated a commercial photography business in Barlow, Florida before returning to Kent in 1955.

Dave’s obituary:

David W. Roberts

David W. Roberts, of Kent, Ohio, died late Thursday, June 1, 2017, at age 99.

He was born in Glouster, Ohio on January 2, 1918 and lived in Kenmore, Ohio from ages 9 to 14, before moving back home, and graduating from Glouster High School in 1936, where he was Class President, and played for the football team.

Later, he moved to Akron, and was a cub reported for the Cleveland Plain Dealer-Akron Bureau. Dave covered the city of Kent and Kent State University while attending Kent State. After Pearl Harbor, Dave volunteered for the Army Air Corp as an Aviation Cadet. He later married Lyla F. Leever, whom he met in Kent, Ohio. For several years following the war, he worked with Lyla to establish a commercial photography business at Barlow, Florida. In 1955, they returned to Kent.

Dave was a long-time cancer survivor, and did an amazing job overcoming his vision and hearing difficulties. He was an avid gardener, and fitness enthusiast. All who got to know Dave were enriched by his perspective on life. Dave passed away due to complications with his heart. He donated his body for study to the Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio.

Dave was preceded in death by Lyla F. Roberts (wife); David M. Roberts (father); Edna Roberts (step-mother); Bertha M. Roberts (mother).

We will be celebrating Dave’s life at “Ode to Joy” at the Kent Garden

Club, on Saturday, June 17 from 10 to 12 p.m. The address is 480 Ravenna Rd., Streetsboro, OH 44241, at the corner of Ravenna Road and Seasons Road. In lieu of flowers, please bring a memory of him to share.

Friday, June 09, 2017


June 20 memorial for Larry Froelich

The memorial service for former BJ editor/reporter Larry Froelich will be June 20 in Lexington, Kentucky, where he lived with wife Suzanne Dolezal Froelich.

He was cremated Thursday in Ohio. He will be buried in Dover near his parents.

Suzanne remains in Ohio attending to details connected with Larry’s passing.

Larry’s first wife, former BJ reporter Janis Froelich, will be busy. She’ll be driving to Michigan next week for her son Jack’s high school graduation, then heading for Kentucky for Larry’s memorial.

His obituary has not been published yet.

Larry, who was battling leukemia, fell during an Ohio visit and struck his head Sunday, June 4.

1964 Ohio University graduate Larry began with Knight in 1967 at the BJ as a police reporter, followed managing editor Scott Bosley to the Detroit Free Press in 1981 where he became assistant news editor before going to the Lexington News-Leader in 1989 and retiring in 2005.

Larry Froelich has a son, Mark, who graduated from Kent State and is married to Bowling Green grad Christa. Their children are Jack and Lindsay.


Larry has a daughter, Britta, married to Michigan State grad Marc Spanke. Their children are Halle and Clare.

Janis is Mark and Britta’s mother.

Janis is married to St. Petersburg photographer Ray Bassett.

Today is the 16th wedding anniversary for Maura McEnaney and Ken Krause, who live in Medford, Massachusetts after their BJ days.

They did the deed in Medford’s St. Raphael Church.

Ken’s love note to Maura: “Seems like yesterday.”

It’s a long way from Ken’s days in the Copley Athletic Assocation H League baseball in 1967.

Or his days as BJ sports editor.

Ken is an Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School graduate. He has five siblings.

Syracuse University graduate Maura works for Fidelity Investments in Boston, which is where I keep some of my financial assets.

During more than three decades as a BJ business writer and editor Maura was on the BJ team that won a Pulitzer Gold Medal for its “A Question of Color” about race relations in the Akron area. She left the BJ for Boston in 2000 and later worked for Bloomberg News.

Ken and Maura wound up in Medford because Maura has a lot of family in the Boston area.

The late BJ Features editor and pet columnist Connie Bloom did an art quilt for Maura as a Christmas gift for Ken of the late Belle, a lab mix that Maura found tied to a fence in Firestone Park in Akron years ago. It was the first Christmas in 20 years without a dog in the Ken and Maura household.

Connie also she did a memorial quilt art for BJ reporter Kim McMahan’s late daughter, Brooke McMahan. I have one of Connie’s remarkable art quilts (“Help”) hanging on the wall between our Tallmadge kitchen and dining area.

Maura authored “Willard Garvey: An Epic Life.” Garvey built homes in the USA, South America and Asia for people with low incomes, is owner-operator of the “world’s largest” grain elevator, is the “largest private landowner in Nevada” and builder of Kansas’s tallest building—the Epic Center with its slanted copper roof.

Monday, June 05, 2017



The kid from Dennison and the kid from Dover are together again in the Newsroom in the Sky.

The Dover guy, Larry Froelich, who was battling leukemia, fell during an Ohio visit and struck his head Sunday, June 4. Former wife Janis Froelich, a former BJ reporter, relayed the news to BJ folks.

The Dennison guy was Harry Liggett, the late founder of the BJ Alums blog.

As Larry recalled on the blog when Harry passed away:
I'll miss you, old friend. We shared common ground during our youth, you in Dennison and me in Dover. We'd reminisce about the old Dover Reporter and the Dennison paper where we lost our journalistic baby teeth. I'm just so sorry I never got up your way during these last couple months to see you. Rest in peace, Harry.”

You rest in peace, too, Larry.

Larry’s widow is Suzanne Dolezal Froelich. They lived in Lexington, Kentucky, Larry’s final newspaper and Knight-Ridder career stop.
1964 Ohio University graduate Larry began with Knight in 1967 at the BJ as a police reporter, followed managing editor Scott Bosley to the Detroit Free Press in 1981 where he became assistant news editor before going to the Lexington News-Leader in 1989 and retiring in 2005.

Larry’s Dover Reporter editor was Harry Yockey, father of Nancy Yockey Bonar. While visiting Harry Yockey in his Dover office, Harry told Larry that the Dover job was his old job was his for the taking since Larry was ending his military career.
Larry told Harry that he wanted to work for the BJ. So Yockey called BJ publisher Ben Maidenberg while Larry sat in Harry’s office and Ben hired Larry sight unseen.
Maidenberg was like that. I owe the revival of my newpaper career to Ben’s willingness to hire a guy fired at the Dayton Daily News because of his union activities.


Larry Froelich has a son, Mark, who graduated from Kent State and is married to Bowling Green grad Christa. Their children are Jack and Lindsay.


Larry has a daughter, Britta, married to Michigan State grad Marc Spanke. Their children are Halle and Clare.
Janis is Mark and Britta’s mother.

Larry and Suzanne, a feature writer at the Free Press, have a son, Eric.
Larry’s brother, Steve Froelich, passed away in Findlay, Ohio in 2012. Steve taught high school English and journalism for 35 years in Findlay and performed in the local theatre.

 
Janis Froelich, who is married to St. Petersburg photographer Ray Bassett, grew up in an 1853
farmhouse right off Hudson's downtown Main Street and was a close friend of the late Features editor/columnist Joan Rice, "my how-to-be cool role model."

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Dyer on #1 treadmill

It wouldn’t be a Cleveland Press Club Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards if the BJ’s Bob Dyer wasn’t named best columnist. The 2017 first for my former Blue Room lunch partner, I think, puts him in double digits, or close to it.

Since joining the Akron Beacon Journal in 1984, Bob Dyer has earned 51 regional and national writing awards by 2014 and was Best Columnist in Ohio for seven consecutive years. In 2008, he was voted Best Columnist in the Nation and in 2013 he was voted Best Humor Columnist in the nation by the National Society of Professional Journalists. A native of suburban Cleveland, Dyer was one of the lead writers for "A Question of Color," a year-long examination of racial attitudes in Akron that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994. He came to Ol’ Blue Walls from the Wooster Daily Record.

BJ Cavs reporter Marla Ridenour was named best sports columnist in Ohio.

Other first-place winners were Mary Beth Breckenridge (lifestyle), Stephanie Warsmith (obituary), Rick Steinhauser (illustration), Paula Schleis (general news), Michael Chritton (general and sports photography), Mike Cardew (feature photography) and Phil Masturzo (studio and portrait photography).

Cleveland Plain Dealer was named #1 newspaper with the BJ #2.

Saturday, June 03, 2017


Thrity’s NPR interview

There’s an excellent interview by Scott Simon’s of author/former BJ reporter Thrity Umrigar about her latest novel, “Everybody’s Son.”

It’s about a black child adopted by a wealthy white couple.

To read the National Public Radio interview, click on