This probably won’t do much to improve his chances in a congressional district drawn to pack in as many Democrats as possible. But the Cuyahoga County Republican Party has endorsed Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher of the Toledo area over opponent Steven Kraus of Huron in its congressional primary. If he wins March 6, he’ll have the opportunity to get crushed by whoever wins the Democratic primary between incumbents Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich, and political newcomer Graham Veysey in the new 9th district which stretches along the lake shore from western Cuyahoga County to Toledo.
After meeting with both candidates in the 9th District Republican Primary race, the Scanning Committee recommended to the general body on Sunday morning that the endorsement go to Wurzelbacher. The Committee then heard from both candidates and entertained speeches from members in support and opposition to the recommendation. Former Committee Chairman Jim Trakas and candidates for State Representative Patricia Gascoyne spoke on behalf of Mr. Wurzelbacher. The Committee then overwhelmingly approved the endorsement for Wurzelbacher.
Wurzelbacher first rose to “fame” when he posed as a neutral questioner at an Obama campaign event in Toledo in 2008. His subsequent use of Tea Party-style language about Obama possibly being a “socialist” and his adoption as a mascot by the McCain campaign cast doubt on that. Since then he’s been trying to cash in on that initial burst of reality TV-style fame, signing with an agent, writing a book, and even threatening to become a country singer. And it looks like a futile run for Congress might be yet another attempt to beef up his personal bottom line. This afternoon the Plain Dealer is reporting that he’s paying himself a salary from his campaign funds. — Anastasia Pantsios
You don't have to wait until Sunday to see the new teaser commercial for The Avengers that will air during the Super Bowl.
You can just click the play button on the above video for 15 seconds of intense action and shit blowing through the streets of Cleveland.
Almost everyone makes an appearance. There's Thor. And Robert Downey Jr. without his Iron Man costume. And Scarlett Johansson looking all hot.
But best of all there's the Hulk, who looks about ready to rip someone's arms off.
All we can say is "Fuck yeah!" And pass the nachos. —Michael Gallucci
Well, it's finally curtain time for Cowell & Hubbard, Zack Bruell's modern French bistro in PlayhouseSquare. Slated to open this Friday, February 3, the restaurant will be the chef and restaurateur's fifth within Cleveland's borders.
Named after Cleveland's famed jewelry store, which occupied the space from 1920 to 1981, the historic space features 18-foot ceilings, walls of windows, and 6,500 square feet of space interrupted by little more than the occasional support column.
The cavernous space is broken up into smaller, more intimate nooks, separated from one another by low-slung walls. Each is lined with cozy banquettes — a signature Bruell design feature. Black and white photos plucked from the Playhouse Square archives will adorn the walls. Overall, the restaurant and bar will seat approximately 140.
"The challenge is to not be a 'theater restaurant,'" says Bruell, "but to be a restaurant for regular diners who happen to be in the Theater District. I believe this is one of the next neighborhoods to pop," he adds of PlayhouseSquare.
Described as "Cuisine Vanguard," the menu will include French-inspired dishes like Beef Ceviche with Black Bread, Foie Gras Donuts, Lake Superior Whitefish with Coriander and Tomato Lime Compote, and Frog Legs with Butter-Poached Radishes and Thyme Butter.
Andy Dombrowski will serve as chef de cuisine, relocating from his current post at one of Bruell's other restaurants, Chinato.
Cowell & Hubbard will be open for lunch and dinner every day but Monday.
Manufacturers’ News, Inc., which publishes industrial directories, has some mixed news about Cleveland. On its just-released its annual list of the 50 U.S. cities with the most industrial jobs, the city of Cleveland, the country’s 45th largest city, has the 12th greatest number of such jobs. Currently, that’s 61,068, a loss of 1,046 from last year when it ranked 13th. (Only 17 of the 50 cities posted gains).
But Cleveland is bested by its counterpart at the other end of the state, Cincinnati. Despite being only the country’s 62nd most populous city, it ranked an impressive number six on the list, with 78,975 manufacturing jobs, down about 2,389 from last year. Columbus ranks 23rd, since it primarily “manufactures” political bickering and Buckeyes fans, neither of which is counted in this study. — Anastasia Pantsios
[Ed. Note: Welcome back Peter Rogie, sometime Scene contributor and Cleveland sports fan, who has some thoughts about Brad Childress.]
January usually brings colder temperatures to Cleveland, but it’s really going to get “Chilly” in Berea now that the former Vikings’ Head Coach is on board. (Ba dum tss.)
Alright, moving on.
While many columns and blog posts have decried the hire of Brad Childress, the move ought to be seen as nothing but positive news for Cleveland Browns fans. After a season where the Browns ranked near the bottom of the NFL in nearly every offensive category, the logical answer is that there is nowhere to go but up, so anyone would be an improvement.
However, there is one singular reason why Childress is the right guy for the job: We are now one: one unit, one vision, one goal.
Whether you agree with what that means or not is moot right now. The Browns have finally established an identity.
Her birth certificate — and now her Ohio Corrections paperwork — might say Stacy Matthews, but you probably know the 23-year-old Clevelander as the lead-footed nutjob who plowed over five people in a McDonald's parking lot during the burger slinger's much advertised hiring day last April.
After trying to plead her case before a judge in a bench trial, Matthews was found guilty of six counts of felonious assault stemming from the incident. This morning she was slapped with seven years in prison plus an additional five years on parole, according to Fox8.
The courtroom account also dragged new facts into the light of day: mainly, that Matthews and pal Cedrica Johnson rolled up on that Golden Arches that day not looking for jobs, but with the express purpose of picking a bone with two teenage girls on site for the hiring day. An altercation broke out, which ended when Matthews racked up the body count with her car and fled. Luckily, no one was killed.
Johnson has yet to be sentenced.
And, ya know, ever.
Super Bowl weekend is upon us, and — cue the the dramatic TV commercial voice — cops are cracking down. Over the limit, under arrest. How snappy.
Just a PSA from your friends here at Scene: They're serious. Brunswick is doing DUI checkpoints, and Lorain County also plans on spreading its forces across town looking for folks who had too many pops.
There are bound to be more announced as we get closer to the weekend.
Call a cab, walk home, sleep on a futon in your friend's basement, rollerblade, stay home and watch the Puppy Bowl instead — just don't drink and drive.