December 23, 2021

44 of the Most WTF Cleveland Stories of 2021

Looking back on the year that was 2021 leaves us laughing and crying. But before we move on, we thought we needed to take a look back at the strangest, most ridiculous and craziest stories from the year that was. There was no shortage of odd and bizarre Northeast Ohio stories from 2021. Some of these stories we just can't believe actually happened and some just blow our minds. They all made us say 'What the Fuck'. Happy New Year to all and here's to all the weird stories we know are coming our way in 2022.

All photos via Scene Archives unless otherwise noted

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44 of the Most WTF Cleveland Stories of 2021
 “CMSD Occupational Therapist Resigns After Photographs Suggest She Participated in Storming of Capitol, Says She's Moving On to Fighting Pedophilia in Government”
January 8th 
“A CMSD occupational therapist submitted her resignation the day after photos surfaced and allegations followed that she participated in the riots in D.C., including entering the Capitol and posing for photos on the floor of Congress…The district confirmed Christine Priola's resignation to Scene and shared her resignation letter, which said she was leaving her position because she refused to take a COVID-19 vaccine, because she doesn't agree with how her union dues were used, and because, "I will be switching paths to expose the global evil of human trafficking and pedophilia, including in our government and children's services agencies."

“CMSD Occupational Therapist Resigns After Photographs Suggest She Participated in Storming of Capitol, Says She's Moving On to Fighting Pedophilia in Government”

January 8th

“A CMSD occupational therapist submitted her resignation the day after photos surfaced and allegations followed that she participated in the riots in D.C., including entering the Capitol and posing for photos on the floor of Congress…The district confirmed Christine Priola's resignation to Scene and shared her resignation letter, which said she was leaving her position because she refused to take a COVID-19 vaccine, because she doesn't agree with how her union dues were used, and because, "I will be switching paths to expose the global evil of human trafficking and pedophilia, including in our government and children's services agencies."
 “She Asked for the Chicken Wings to Be Taken Off Her Bill. Oak & Embers at Pinecrest Called the Cops”
January 13th 
“Shirelle Copeland was all set to pay her family's dinner bill at Oak & Embers in Pinecrest on Sunday evening, Jan. 3, but first had a request to the server: Could they please take an order of chicken wings off the tab? Copeland's young son had ordered them and didn't like them. They'd sent an order back almost entirely uneaten, got a new batch from the kitchen with sauce on the side, tried one wing, and left the plate again. Everything else on their tab, which was about $60, was fine…As Copeland didn't expect, the answer wasn't to give a discount or offer a free dessert or one of the many responses usually delivered in circumstances like this. The answer was that Oak & Embers was calling the Orange police department.”

“She Asked for the Chicken Wings to Be Taken Off Her Bill. Oak & Embers at Pinecrest Called the Cops”

January 13th

“Shirelle Copeland was all set to pay her family's dinner bill at Oak & Embers in Pinecrest on Sunday evening, Jan. 3, but first had a request to the server: Could they please take an order of chicken wings off the tab? Copeland's young son had ordered them and didn't like them. They'd sent an order back almost entirely uneaten, got a new batch from the kitchen with sauce on the side, tried one wing, and left the plate again. Everything else on their tab, which was about $60, was fine…As Copeland didn't expect, the answer wasn't to give a discount or offer a free dessert or one of the many responses usually delivered in circumstances like this. The answer was that Oak & Embers was calling the Orange police department.”
 “Cleveland to Give Rocket Mortgage Another Handout, Economic Development Brain Worm Thrives”
February 3rd 
“The City of Cleveland will give Rocket Mortgage roughly $1 million over the next five years as part of a so-called job creation incentive package. The grant is now a standard offering, one of the city's go-to tools in its economic development toolbox. It is equal to 0.5 percent of a company's new payroll.”

“Cleveland to Give Rocket Mortgage Another Handout, Economic Development Brain Worm Thrives”

February 3rd

“The City of Cleveland will give Rocket Mortgage roughly $1 million over the next five years as part of a so-called job creation incentive package. The grant is now a standard offering, one of the city's go-to tools in its economic development toolbox. It is equal to 0.5 percent of a company's new payroll.”
 “YouTube Pulls Ohio House Hearing Video for COVID-19 Misinformation From Attorney”
February 19th 
“Tom Renz, an attorney for Ohio Stands Up, filed a lawsuit in federal court in September seeking to overturn any and all health orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A federal judge last week deemed the arguments nearly “incomprehensible” and ordered Renz to show cause for why he shouldn’t dismiss the suit for procedural errors. The Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom, an anti-vaccine activism group aligned with Renz, posted to YouTube footage of Renz’s 35-minute, oftentimes rambling testimony to the House State and Local Government Committee. The video was soon taken down for violating YouTube’s terms of service.”

“YouTube Pulls Ohio House Hearing Video for COVID-19 Misinformation From Attorney”

February 19th

“Tom Renz, an attorney for Ohio Stands Up, filed a lawsuit in federal court in September seeking to overturn any and all health orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A federal judge last week deemed the arguments nearly “incomprehensible” and ordered Renz to show cause for why he shouldn’t dismiss the suit for procedural errors. The Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom, an anti-vaccine activism group aligned with Renz, posted to YouTube footage of Renz’s 35-minute, oftentimes rambling testimony to the House State and Local Government Committee. The video was soon taken down for violating YouTube’s terms of service.”
 “Cleveland Councilman Ken Johnson Arrested on Corruption Charges”
February 23rd 
“Cleveland City Councilman Ken Johnson was arrested by local FBI officers Tuesday morning after a federal grand jury indicted him on 15 corruption-related charges. The charges stem, per the Department of Justice, from a scheme in which Johnson and his assistant, Garnell Jamison, defrauded the city by submitting false monthly expense reports for a decade. Johnson received the $1,200 monthly maximum as reimbursement for "ward services" that were never performed. Johnson is also alleged to have benefitted from federal dollars he steered to the Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corporation.”

“Cleveland Councilman Ken Johnson Arrested on Corruption Charges”

February 23rd

“Cleveland City Councilman Ken Johnson was arrested by local FBI officers Tuesday morning after a federal grand jury indicted him on 15 corruption-related charges. The charges stem, per the Department of Justice, from a scheme in which Johnson and his assistant, Garnell Jamison, defrauded the city by submitting false monthly expense reports for a decade. Johnson received the $1,200 monthly maximum as reimbursement for "ward services" that were never performed. Johnson is also alleged to have benefitted from federal dollars he steered to the Buckeye Shaker Square Development Corporation.”
 “Ohioans Bought a Ton of Guns in Turbulent 2020, FBI Data Shows”
February 26th 
“In the United States, we’ve hoarded a lot of surprising things over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, especially in the beginning. Toilet paper. Beef. Puzzles. And here in Ohio, we apparently bought up all the guns. According to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), 976,751 firearm background checks were performed in Ohio in 2020. That’s a huge jump over the 638,495 checks performed in 2019.”

“Ohioans Bought a Ton of Guns in Turbulent 2020, FBI Data Shows”

February 26th

“In the United States, we’ve hoarded a lot of surprising things over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, especially in the beginning. Toilet paper. Beef. Puzzles. And here in Ohio, we apparently bought up all the guns. According to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), 976,751 firearm background checks were performed in Ohio in 2020. That’s a huge jump over the 638,495 checks performed in 2019.”
 “Behold This Cleveland Bollard Art”
March 9th 
“Captured by ace WEWS overnight news photographer Mike Vielhaber, this ingenious rogue bollard art can be seen at the corner of East 30th and Prospect. Bollard art!”

“Behold This Cleveland Bollard Art”

March 9th

“Captured by ace WEWS overnight news photographer Mike Vielhaber, this ingenious rogue bollard art can be seen at the corner of East 30th and Prospect. Bollard art!”
 “Ohio Abortion Ban With Felony Charges Back in the Works, Targeting Roe v. Wade”
March 12th 
“The battle on abortion in Ohio will only be stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court or a change in the U.S. Constitution, according to reproductive law experts and those once again pushing for abortion bans. Two state legislators have introduced a bill making abortion procedures a felony, which marks the second time in as many years that a bill was introduced hoping for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the national Supreme Court decision that said abortion was legal nationwide. A physician accused of “causing or inducing an abortion” would face an official charge of “criminal abortion,” which would be a fourth-degree felony under the newSenate Bill, introduced recently in the Ohio Senate.”

“Ohio Abortion Ban With Felony Charges Back in the Works, Targeting Roe v. Wade”

March 12th

“The battle on abortion in Ohio will only be stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court or a change in the U.S. Constitution, according to reproductive law experts and those once again pushing for abortion bans. Two state legislators have introduced a bill making abortion procedures a felony, which marks the second time in as many years that a bill was introduced hoping for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the national Supreme Court decision that said abortion was legal nationwide. A physician accused of “causing or inducing an abortion” would face an official charge of “criminal abortion,” which would be a fourth-degree felony under the newSenate Bill, introduced recently in the Ohio Senate.”
 “Car Dealer, Blockchain Evangelist Bernie Moreno Launches U.S. Senate Bid, Promises to Fight Socialism and Cancel Culture”
April 6th 
“Bernie Moreno, the luxury car dealer, blockchain evangelist and erstwhile member of the MetroHealth Board of Trustees, has formally announced his bid to claim Rob Portman's seat in the United States Senate. Moreno, 54, is a Republican and first-time candidate who intends to run as an outsider and successful businessman in the mold of Donald Trump.”

“Car Dealer, Blockchain Evangelist Bernie Moreno Launches U.S. Senate Bid, Promises to Fight Socialism and Cancel Culture”

April 6th

“Bernie Moreno, the luxury car dealer, blockchain evangelist and erstwhile member of the MetroHealth Board of Trustees, has formally announced his bid to claim Rob Portman's seat in the United States Senate. Moreno, 54, is a Republican and first-time candidate who intends to run as an outsider and successful businessman in the mold of Donald Trump.”