Update: Daniel Ott, the geriatric version of Nic Cage's character in Gone in 60 Seconds, was sentenced yesterday to 51 months in federal prison and saddled with a bill of $533,000 to pay restitution for the (at least) 14 sports cars he swiped, according to the ABJ. (The article also has some fun details, like Ott surreptitiously making imprints of keys while checking out cars at dealerships so he could return and drive them off the lot.) — Grzegorek
Daniel Ott likes to steal cars. He stole them in the 80s, he stole them in the 90s, and continued on through the new millennium. At the ripe old age of 71, Ott has finally been caught. A federal grand jury has indicted Ott for "stealing at least 14 new and used Corvettes throughout northern Ohio and Pennsylvania in the last year."
Update: Jacqueline Ricks was sentenced this week to six months in prison for gnawing off part of Lachelle Johnson's ear during a fight last June. (WOIO)
Must be the heat. The details are slim right now, but 19 Action News is reporting on a backyard brawl that turned Tysonesque. According to the report, Cleveland resident Lachelle Johnson rolled up her sleeves and went to work on a neighbor. Before the fisticuffs were done, the unnamed combatant had chomped off a part of Johnson’s ear.
The Republicans have their sights set on retaking the majority in the House and John Boehner has his sights set on becoming the Speaker of the House.
To do so, the GOP will not only have to win a bunch of races around the country, but raise a small fortune in the process. And if John Boehner wants to be seen as anything other than an out-of-touch D.C. insider, he's going to have to remake his image.
Boehner began the makeover with the "Boehner for Speaker" committee, which will raise funds, lobby influentials, and spew forth the message that John Boehner is just like you and me and your neighbor. He is just a regular guy. A colorful brochure was produced by the committee, all fancy-like, with all the reasons why John is just a regular Joe. Reason number one: He played high school football. Anyone who plays high school football was and always will be just a regular guy, at least that's their logic.
Salon.com's Steve Kornacki doesn't think this image retooling is going to work for Boehner, however, much like it didn't work for Nancy Pelosi. His logic: Lots of people played high school football and lots of those people grew up to be Not Regular People. Actually, that's not his logic. This is:
If this all sounds vaguely familiar it's because Nancy Pelosi tried something similar four years ago, when Democrats found themselves with the political winds at their back — and in position to end their 12-year exile from House control. Back then, Republicans were insisting that they'd retain control of the House by playing up the prospect of a Pelosi speakership — Jane Fonda with a gavel, as one GOPer said to me at the time. And more than a few influential Democrats, still spooked by the savage effectiveness with which the GOP caricatured John Kerry in 2004, feared they might be right.
And so, Pelosi launched her own preemptive image campaign, one that downplayed her San Francisco liberalism and played up her Catholicism and family life. As the GOP increasingly featured her in their attacks, the stock reply from Pelosi's office would go something like this: Why are the Republicans attacking a churchgoing mother of five and grandmother of five? The Democrats' triumph that November seemed to vindicate the strategy, and when Pelosi was sworn in as speaker in January 2007, she surrounded herself with nearly a dozen children from her family — hammering home the grandmother image.
But the minute she became speaker, everything changed and Pelosi became the face of an institution that Americans perpetually dislike. When it comes to national public opinion, it seems, the best a speaker can do is to seek anonymity — sort of like Dennis Hastert, who hid in the shadows while his deputy, Tom DeLay, racked up awful headlines and dreadful poll numbers. But Pelosi was never interested in being another Hastert.
When it comes to Boehner, there's no reason to believe his image campaign — should he become speaker — will yield any more long-term success than Pelosi's has. The public just doesn't seem interested in learning about and relating to the personal side of legislative leaders. Voters are never that happy with Congress; it's just a question of how unhappy they are. And that unhappiness bleeds over into their opinions of congressional leaders.
The dominoes in the Cuyahoga County corruption scandal continue to fall.
Daniel Weaver, the director of Cuyahoga County's Information Services Center, was indicted on bribery charges today. The filings allege that Weaver bribed "Public Official 2," who is most definitely auditor Frank Russo.
The Plain Dealer reports that Weaver allegedly passed bribes including cash and gift cards to Russo over two years, a practice which Weaver stopped only after the FBI raid.
In return, Weaver expected Russo's support on specific information technology projects that came before the county, prosecutors claim.
The charges were filed by way of criminal information, as opposed to an indictment. That is usually an indication that the defendant has cooperated with investigators.
Good morning, Cleveland. Here's some stuff to read while Manny Acta considers using you as a pitcher.
— An Ohio town has seen the sign for "Wildman Street" stolen one too many times. According to the AP:
Greene County Engineer Robert Geyer in southwest Ohio explains that the signs vanish too quickly, probably to decorate bedrooms, garages and dorm rooms. He said the unusually named road is "out in the boonies," making the signs easy to swipe.
In other news, County Engineers consider the phrase "out in the boonies" a technical term. (AP)
— A Cincinnati woman led police on a chase, which is illegal, but made sure to stop at all red lights during her attempted escape, which is legal though probably not especially helpful considering her previous illegal actions. (AP)
— There are just no words for the sick and depraved parents in this story.
Police in Ohio say an 8-month-old baby who died from multiple injuries appeared to have adult bite marks, including one on the leg.
A police report on the death of Caleb Durig says officers in Troy in western Ohio also found blood on the floor and the infant's crib. They went to the home Monday in response to a 911 call from parents Jason and Tara Durig, who said the boy was not breathing.
An autopsy found the baby died from multiple blunt force trauma. Detectives said in their report that they found many bruises and signs of possible strangulation, and that the child may have been dead for some time.
— Publishing companies in South Carolina work on a surprisingly high number of books about Ohio. Ohioans are still unsure where South Carolina is located. (Dispatch)
In other Matthew Bellamy updates:
Fox 8 caught up with Matt, the guy who wore the Miami Heat LeBron jersey to the Indians game the other night, for an interview.
The biggest piece of news from the Fox 8 exclusive: Bellamy, who wore a white Heat jersey to the game, wore a red Heat LeBron jersey for the taped interview.
This will conclude Matthew Bellamy coverage for good now. Thanks for reading.
Far from the gulf, far from deep sea oil wells, Ohio still suffers plenty of oil spills. Bet you didn't know that, did you?
Enough natural gas leaks, enough faulty equipment fails, enough injuries are incurred that Ohio ranks 8th nationally for oil spill incidents according to a National Wildlife Federation report.
Federal regulators have recorded 27 spills from fuel pipelines here totaling more than 323,000 gallons from 2000 through 2009. The state's 74 natural gas and fuel pipeline incidents rank eighth nationally, according to a National Wildlife Federation report that was released yesterday.
They include six deaths, 12 injuries and $36.5 million in damage.
It's nowhere near the scale of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, or the more than 1million gallons estimated to have spilled from a pipeline into Michigan's Kalamazoo River this week. But despite industry claims that the oil spill in the Gulf is unique, environmentalists say leaks, explosions and other incidents are too common.
It doesn't sound intuitive until you consider just how much oil and gas Ohio uses. Turns out Ohioans churn through gas like Jimmy Dimora churns through milkshakes.
The Dispatch reports:
Terry Fleming, executive director of the Ohio Petroleum Council, which represents pipeline operators, said pipelines remain the safest, most efficient way to move fuel, replacing thousands of tank trucks.
Coming in eighth in pipeline incidents isn't bad, he said, when you consider that Ohio is a major transportation hub with four oil refineries.
"We sell more gasoline in Ohio than all but five states," he said. "We have 11 million people and 5,000 service stations. We sell more diesel than all but two states.
"So you're going to have more pipelines, more terminals, more service stations than you have in Montana."
More than 3,732 miles of pipeline carrying "hazardous liquid," mostly fuel, crisscross Ohio, according to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. There are an additional 10,194 miles of major natural gas transmission lines.