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Plain Dealer columnist Sam Fulwood III gets an embarrassing welcome to Cleveland

Despite his attempts to endear himself to the community with platitudes about multiculturalism and goodwill, new Plain Dealer columnist Sam Fulwood III was reportedly the laughingstock of the newsroom thanks to the silly-looking photo of him that ran with his first column on July 31. Head cocked to the side and sporting a professorial-looking pair of glasses, Fulwood, who moved here from Washington, D.C. to take the gig, has an exaggerated look of pretension on his face that had the PD staff in tears. The photo was deemed so embarrassing that the paper reshot the photo for his second column on August 1 and will no longer run the initial one. Welcome to Cleveland, Sam.

Getting with the program in Columbus, someone has finally driven the anti-death penalty bandwagon into the statehouse. Freshman State Representative Shirley A. Smith recently introduced a bill calling for a moratorium on capital punishment until a commission reviews whether the death penalty is administered fairly. Acknowledging the slim chance of passage in pro-death Columbus, Smith promises, "I'm going to get more [out of the bill] than people anticipate. I will keep pushing and pushing." The two inmates whose cases the Democratic representative is pushing at the moment are Anthony Apanovitch and Kenneth Richey.

At a packed board meeting of the Ohio City Near West Development Corporation last week, Councilman Nelson Cintron agreed to cough up $25,000 in ward funds to assess the level of environmental contamination at a plant on the corner of Fulton Road and Monroe Avenue in Ohio City. The former site of the North East Chemical Corporation, subject of Scene's July 20 cover story, has long concerned nearby residents, who over the past 17 years have witnessed its fires and hazardous waste leaks, among other environmental horrors. Whatever the future holds for the plant, they want its tenants to make sure the site is clean. And that can't happen unless they find out the extent of its toxicity. Enter Cintron, who insists the assessment will use emergency ward funds, because "this is an emergency case."

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