Monday, July 8, 2013

Raymone Clements Sentenced to Nearly 23 Years in Jail

Posted By on Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 1:48 PM

  • Clements
UPDATE: Raymone Clements was sentenced to 275 months - nearly 23 years - behind bars. U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent announced the sentence today.

Clements was charged with being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition after federal investigators homed in on animal cruelty charges filed against him late last year. Clements was initially arrested after he shot his dog in a Cleveland Heights park and left him for dead.

His previous felony convictions include the rape of two girls (ages 7 and 14) in 2006, drug trafficking in 2003 and aggravated robbery in 1991.

Originally published April 4:

Raymone Clements was convicted of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

Sentencing is slated for June 13, and Clements could face 19 to 24 years behind bars.

This week's trial in federal court wraps up one of many tangents that began when Clements brought his bull mastiff Forrest into a Cleveland Heights park, tied him to a tree and shot him four times.

Filling out the courtroom were numerous animal protection advocates, who have rallied around Forrest and promoted his story as an illustration of Ohio's lukewarm animal cruelty laws. Clements was not charged with any counts of animal cruelty, save for a county charge that was later dropped. Nonetheless, shooting a companion animal amounts to little more than a misdemeanor and a proverbial slap on the wrist in this state.

The trial, for the federal justice system's part, did highlight the ongoing issue of trying to crack down on career criminals continuing to arm themselves.

“This case demonstrates why rapists and other felons are forbidden from having firearms,” U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach says. “Whether is a person using a gun to commit a violent crime, a felon illegally obtaining ammunition or a straw purchaser trying to circumvent the law, we will aggressively pursue those who would violate our nation’s firearms laws."

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rick Steves Enjoys Cleveland's Impressive Skyline and Plunging Necklines

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Steves with WVIZs Kent Geist
  • Steves with WVIZ's Kent Geist

Jesus, do you guys need a babysitter? First we’re all over the Atlantic for our gross algae blooms, now we’re baring our titties to esteemed travel writers.

Via Freshwater Cleveland, Rick Steves’ latest entry for his HuffPo travel series “Road Trip USA” touted some of Cleveland’s, er, charms: namely, our gambling cab drivers and slatternly travel writing fans.

First of all, “Road Trip USA” is a little disingenuous: Steves “rushed to the airport” to catch his plane to Cleveland, which, last time we checked, qualifies as more of a “sky trip.” But no matter: on his ride from the airport, Steves was treated to our city’s “impressive skyline” and a glowing soliloquy from a local cabbie on Cleveland’s most prided landmark: the casino. Check for this little gem in next year’s Best American Travel Writing:

My cabbie couldn't stop talking about Cleveland's Horseshoe Casino. She couldn't believe I'd missed it. "You can gamble and have your food brought right to your machine. And there's a shopping mall right there!"

Who needs Monaco, right?

The northern hospitality didn’t stop there.

After Steves’ March 20th presentation at Playhouse Square, “Europe Through the Back Door,” we offered up all but, uh, the back door. After enthusing about vibrant opening day banners at Progressive Field, Steves himself rounded second base:

…during autograph time, a woman made her plunging neckline a little deeper and asked for my John Hancock on her chest — the highlight of my Sharpie's day. I was given a fun little ornamental guitar and reminded that the next time I visit, I have to make more time for the city — including its beloved Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

We’ll leave remarks about Rick’s “Sharpie” to a less classy rag, because we’re heading on over to Horseshoe for some delivery. And Tower City for some turtlenecks. For everyone. Because every day isn't a Mötley Crüe concert and children need boundaries.

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Free Indians Shuttle May Become Reality for Tremont

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 4:58 PM


The successful free shuttle program that currently transports Indians fans between Ohio City and Progressive Field will now be tested in the Tremont neighborhood.

"If we have a strong participation for the Indians free shuttle on opening day, this will turn into an expanded game program. If not, it's a one-time deal," says Justin Clemens, co-owner of Bourbon Street Barrel Room, which is slated to open in late summer. "We really need to get the word out and have an overwhelming support on Monday for this shuttle."

Clemens and fellow Tremont business owner Tom Leneghan have been championing this grass-roots initiative to connect Tremont fans with Progressive Field. "This will add such value to Tremont throughout the summer and fall for fans to enjoy the restaurants, bars, shops and galleries of Tremont before and after a game," says Leneghan of The Treehouse.

The Indians have recognized downtown's rapidly shrinking parking inventory, especially following the opening of the Horseshoe Casino. "Our ultimate goal when we launched the shuttle program last July in Ohio City was to provide our fans with as many convenient and affordable transportation means as possible," explains Curtis Danburg, Director of Communications for the Cleveland Indians.

The test shuttle will begin running two hours before the 4:05 p.m. home opener start on Monday, April 8. It will run continuously until one hour after the game ends. There will be two Tremont stops, one at W. 11th Street and Fairfield Ave. (across from South Side), and the other on Professor Avenue between Fahrenheit and Treehouse. Both locations will be clearly marked.

If demand is strong on opening day, the Indians will continue to run the Tremont shuttle for all Thursday night, and Saturday and Sunday games throughout the season.

"This is huge for Tremont," adds Sherman DeLozier of South Side. "Baseball is an outdoor event and Tremont is a walking outdoor neighborhood. It just makes sense."

Tremont West, the neighborhood's development corporation, is thrilled about the prospect of a free shuttle as well. "It is great seeing the businesses come together to increase the vitality of the neighborhood. And working with the Cleveland Indians is a great opportunity." says Cory Riordan, executive director of TWDC.

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Concert Review: Wavves at Grog Shop

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

A Wednesday night doesn’t have a big expectation to live up to; it’s just another bland workday before the freedom of the weekend bestows itself upon everyone. However, last night’s sold-out Wavves show at the Grog Shop was a surprising experience of a night for everyone. Though Coventry has tried its best to reduce the amount of minors roaming the infamous street at night, a substantial part of the crowd was made up of high-schoolers that were washing off the sharpie-marks from their hands to see if the bar would serve them. And though one would expect the vast majority of the crowd at a Wavves show to be high and mellow, they had an unprecedented amount of energy that blew away both the bands performing and the security trying to keep them in check.

Opening for the night were the Cheatahs, an indie band from London, England that fit the bill well in terms of music style. Performing with efficiency and very little faffing around, they played a set worthy of being the opener: not too energetic, not too docile, and unfortunately, not too memorable. Guitar solos weren’t astounding, but the bassist on the other side of the stage had some impressive fills in songs; but with his instrument being mixed the way it was, his playing wasn’t fully appreciated (welcome to the world of a bassist). The band wasn’t very energetic on stage- no head-banging, no jumping, etc. - but the crowd began to get a bit rowdy by the end of their set. Perhaps the most notable part of their set was the end, when they told the crowd that they were looking for a place to crash that night; hopefully they found someone willing to take them in, or at the very least, a furniture store that forgot to lock its door.

Continue reading »

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Plain Dealer Announces Home Delivery Cuts, New 'Media Group'

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 10:57 AM

[UPDATE, 5:14 p.m.] Robert Smith penned a news article about the PD transformation, including a takeaway from the staff meeting in the newsroom today.

He touches on much of the same information from the release this morning, save for the input from top brass.

To wit, here's Editor Debra Adams Simmons' less-than-enthusiastic quote: "I think we're still positioned to do quality work. I think we're in a good place."

And Publisher Terry Egger's trip to the corporate workplace thesaurus: "We have to make sure our eye is on where the puck is going."

And, probably most significantly, newly appointed Plain Dealer Publishing Co. General Manager Virginia Wang's reference to readership: "It's all for meeting the needs of readers. The readers have more ways of getting information. I think this is our chance to make it right."

Any and all of the above remains to be seen as The Northeast Ohio Media Group looks toward the "end of summer" - that vague time frame during which these changes are set to take place.


With the grist of the rumor mill finally coagulating into a rather milquetoast press release this morning, Plain Dealer management announced several changes for the paper's future:

a) Home delivery will be cut to three days each week. Sunday will be one of them. The paper, however, will continue to be printed everyday. It will be available at "thousands of outlets" across the region (just not anywhere near your doorstep).

b) The Northeast Ohio Media Group is being formed to usher in the digital renaissance playing out at Andrea Hogben, senior vice president of sales and marketing at The Plain Dealer, will serve as president of the group.

c) Staff cuts were hinted at in the news release, but nothing concrete was announced. Last December, an agreement was reached that staunches the blood-letting at about one-third of the newsroom. If past experiences with Advance's small- and mid-sized market choke-holds is any indication, positions will open up at, and Plain Dealer employees will be encouraged to apply.

According to sources, staff members were not told of the news prior to the release being published on the home page of Others are on vacation this week, portending brutal surprises when their social media accounts blow up today. Columnist Mark Naymik also tweeted out similar information:

In essence, the news comes off as a bit of a slap in the face of loyal readers.

To illustrate, the users who siphon off content from for free will see little to no change in their reading habits. (Staff cuts will likely cause a setback in news coverage, but it's unclear when and how that will go down). But daily subscribers will see their morning paper evaporate on the majority of mornings each week.

Sussing out the opinion of the customers, arguably one of many jobs for Terry Egger et. al., reveals a concern for e-edition costs and practicality, as well as journalistic quality. commenters aren't known as the most well spoken crowd in town, but their reactions to the news release highlight the steadily brewing backlash that's become so visible in this city.

Here are a few voices:

5437: "The PD will struggle with this decision for a long time. Somewhere out there, possibly a current PD employee, there's a person who will be creative, step up and start a business filling the news void in this region of the country."

flueger: "'quality journalism' is why I ditched the PD subscription a long time ago. At least is free and serves up some entertainment value."

gadgetking2010: "on top of hurting seniors without computer access, this will also hurt the people that deliver the paper daily."

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Experts Say Asian Carp Have Infiltrated Great Lakes

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 10:53 AM


A new scientific report released yesterday from a team of marine biologists in Canada suggests that Asian carp have probably found their way to the Great Lakes.

There have been DNA samples recovered throughout the region — including several in Lake Erie in 2011 — but government officials have long maintained that the DNA arrived by other means. Like bird poop. That's their big theory. Bird poop.

The Canadian scientists say their new evidence casts doubt on the bird poop theory, especially where Lake Erie is concerned.

The DNA that was found there was more than 100 miles from waterways infested with Asian carp. So if birds were the source, it seemingly would mean they feasted on carp, flew a long distance and excreted feces within a few hours of when the researchers collected water samples.


There hasn't been a live Asian Carp specimen caught in these parts since 2000, but they're out there... waiting to strike... lurking in the murk... assembling their bacterial artillery... coordinating as only Asian Carp can coordinate the havoc they will wreak upon sensitive maritime ecosystems and a $7 billion Great Lakes fishing industry.

At which point maybe we'll have finally revamped Edgewater Park!

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Tom's Foolery Applejack a Medalist

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 10:48 AM


Tom's Foolery Applejack was recently awarded a silver medal at the American Distilling Institute 7th Annual Judging of Artisan American Spirits. There was no gold medal awarded in their category.

Over the course of the competition, judges evaluated 317 artisan American spirits: 127 whiskies, 66 gins, 36 moonshines, 47 rums and 41 fruit spirits were submitted from 124 independently owned, small-batch distillers. Judges awarded 23 gold, 44 silver and 46 bronze medals. The tasting was totally blind and evaluated in terms of Nose, Palate, Finish and Balance.

In the Applejack/Brandy category, Tom's Foolery and one other label secured silver medals.

"We are pretty excited that the Applejack got recognition," explains co-owner Lianne Herbruck. "There were no Gold or Bronze winners in the Applejack category, but two, including our Applejack, received silvers. It makes us pretty proud that the care and attention to detail is resulting in a pleasant product! We can't wait until they get the finished Bourbon and Rye to taste!"

Neither can we.

Read more about Tom's Foolery here.

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