Friday, June 28, 2013

This Cuyahoga Falls Odometer Scam Looks Like Something Straight Out of Matilda

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 5:30 PM


A Cuyahoga Falls man was indicted on multiple felony charges on Thursday for defrauding car buyers by selling high-milage vehicles on Craigslist after he had rolled back their odometers.

Sounds a lot like the Danny DeVito character from the 1996 film Matilda, no?

35-year-old Shannon G. Payne was indicted on six counts of tampering with records and single counts of theft, forgery, and identity fraud reported 19 Action News.

The charges involve three instances in which Payne is accused of purchasing vehicles on Craigslist and having the owner assign the title to him.

He also used fake power-of-attorney forms and solicited the notary services of his wife in order to obtain replacement titles, after which he rigged the odometers in the vehicles to reflect a lower mileage.

Payne's wife was not charged in the case, but she has surrendered her notary commission.

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The Most Adorable Family Photo of Anthony Bennett Has Just Surfaced

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 4:28 PM

The most adorable family photo of Anthony Bennett has just surfaced.

Not a whole lot about Bennett's personal life is known. The 20-year-old basketball player was thrown into the limelight last night after he became the Cleveland Cavaliers' number 1 draft pick.

ESPN has produced one of the most complete bios of him we've read so far.


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Fans First Coalition president praises Kid Rock’s anti-scalping measures

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 2:06 PM


Whether or not you like rap rocker Kid Rock's music, you’ve gotta admire the approach he’s taken on his current tour. Tickets only cost $20 and he's made it difficult for scalpers by enlisting a “paperless ticket” policy for all dates of the tour, including the one coming up on Tuesday at Blossom Music Center.

One person who’s praising Kid Rock’s approach is Michael Marion (pictured). Four years ago, Marion worked together with other concert venue owners and promoters to form the Fans First Coalition in order to fight the legislation that would ban paperless tickets. Marion, who currently works as the General Manager of Verizon Arena in Little Rock, serves as president of Fans First.

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Cleveland Has Lots of Amazing Sister Cities: Slideshow

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Guadalajara, Mexico, is one of Clevelands sister cities.
  • Guadalajara, Mexico, is one of Cleveland's sister cities.
If only through mildly formal partnerships, Cleveland is connected with all sorts of amazing cities across the world. "Sister cities" are typically tied by cultural cooperation or etymology.

Vaguely informative, Sister Cities International explains: "They interact with each other across a broad range of activities, often including education, business, the arts, or health care."


Here's a tour of the globe, via Cleveland's close friends:

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Rising Star Chef: Lindsey Auten @ Crop Bistro

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 11:57 AM


You might not have heard of her, but Lindsey Auten is a rising star pastry chef.

Even if you haven’t heard of her, you likely have consumed one of her decadent desserts at Crop Bistro (2537 Lorain Ave., 216-696-2767, in Ohio City, where she's been for two years. But the road to Crop wasn’t as well defined as a cake recipe.

The 25-year-old Middleburg Heights native was unsure of her future after graduating from Olmsted Falls High School. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I didn’t want to spend the next four to six years — and thousands of dollars — trying to figure it out,” she says. Upon graduation she jumped into the massage world, attaining her massage therapy license. But that wasn’t the answer. After some soul searching, Auten decided to focus on her passion for cooking, which led her to Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. After graduating with honors in 2010, Auten turned her externship at the popular A Cookie and a Cupcake in Tremont into a full-time pastry assistant position.

Mentored by co-owners Wendy Thompson and SynDee Bergen, Auten quickly realized that you don’t learn everything in culinary school. “They don’t tell you about how you won’t have nights and weekends to hang out with your friends," she says. "And if you thought you were too sick to work, you were wrong, and you were going to work a 12-hour shift to prove it.”

After two years at the Tremont bakery, the winds began to shift. “Wendy and SynDee taught me so many things, not just about baking and decorating, but about speed, confidence and attention to detail," she notes. "They even guided me in my personal life and they became close friends. I felt I was ready for a different challenge.”

Opportunity came knocking when Crop's pastry chef Lauren Stephenson asked Auten to join the team at the newly relocated Ohio City restaurant as their pastry assistant. So, in November of 2011, she resigned from A Cookie and a Cupcake and started work at Crop.

“I saw it as a great opportunity to work with Chef Schimoler," she explains. "I took a leap of faith on him and his company and he took one with me. Steve recognized my talents and supported my desire to work for him fulltime.”

Buzzing around the bustling, open-air Crop Bistro, Auten quickly adopted the nickname “Blondie," owing to her glowing locks. When Stephenson left Crop to focus on motherhood, Auten was promoted to head pastry chef. Since landing the gig, Auten has worked feverishly to craft a pastry menu that reflects her skills.

“I remember the first complete dessert idea that I brought to chef Steve and kitchen manager Pete Joyce," she recalls. "We started bouncing around ideas and feeding off of each other. The end product that went on the menu was so much better than my original idea. This sparked my passion more than any other moment in my career."

While Crop's dessert menu is ever-shifting, Auten does have a few personal favorites. “Right now it's Fire and Ice — a coconut lychee panna cotta with a pink peppercorn habanero gastrique, finished with sour kiwi/passion fruit pâté de fruit. The dish is about stimulating the senses more than anything. It has heat with the habanero, the cool panna cotta, and it’s refreshing without being boring." Another star on the dessert menu is the Baked Alaska, a rich chocolate cake topped with Mitchell’s coffee ice cream and finished with toasted Italian meringue and dark chocolate sauce.

As for where she'll ultimately end up, Auten neither knows nor particularly cares. “Not sure what's in the future just yet. I'm very happy with my Crop family and have been given opportunities to develop other skills outside of pastry. Maybe I'll end up a general manager someday or in a quiet bakery."

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A Tour of Cleveland's Finest Fast Food Joints By Way of Yelp Reviews

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Everyone loves a quick trip to the Yelp well for a little conventional wisdom on their upcoming night out on the town, right? Or maybe you're in a need of a double cheeseburger and you just can't decide which fast food joint will best cater to your refined taste?

Either way, it's always an, um, interesting trip down the rabbit hole. Yelp reviewers are often a fickle and toxic bunch. There's no answer to the mystery of why someone would actually review, say, a Burger King. But, hey, we're all hanging out on the Internet today; let's read up on our options.

Take a tour of Cleveland's various fast food spots, won't you?

That really fancy McDonald's at Rockside Road and Route 21 in Independence

Really? Have you ever heard the phrase "polishing a turd?" McDonalds is what it is, mass produced terrible food. Having a fancy building (because of local code) doesn't mean it's anything more than that. I'm thinking (hoping) these other reviewers were on some sort of drugs. I seriously question the validity of yelp when I see that McDonalds has a higher average rating than the Winking Lizard which is within walking distance.


The Steelyard Burger King

Well, I sat down waiting for my family while they waited for the food.. Wasn't done for another 10 minutes or so. Mind you it was after 1:30 and was not busy AT ALL! The workers were rude, not professional at all and the only thing they even cared about was which coworkers pants they were going to get into that night.

When my mom came to the table I took a sip of my "iced tea".. It was completely hot, tasted disgusting and had no ice whatsoever. The burgers were completely cold, barely a half of a piece of bacon! The fries were overcooked, hard and tasted stale.

Rally's on West 117th

You know you've hit the dregs of post-2 A.M. grub when you see that anything quick and fit for human consumption is closed and you turn your wearied eye towards Rally's.

If it's not the homeless man who tried to wedge himself between your car and the window and offers to give your money to the cashier for a fee that gets you, it's the disgruntled teenagers hanging out that shower your car with what's left of their milkshakes.

I can say this for certainty: This place sells food ostensibly for humans. Whether you should purchase and willingly put it in your body is a question only you can answer.

On the Pearl/Brookpark White Castle, in full:

This makes cleveland look bad.

Popeye's on Broadway, which calls to mind frightening, theatrical images

Close this joint already. I will never understand how a chicken place runs out of the whole freaking menu 4 hours before closing time. Only legs and thighs, in one flavor, really?

So either supreme laziness is the culprit or a poorly managed location, either way forgetaboutit.

And here's a positive quip, via the Burger King on Rockside:

Obviously, this BK has no higher standards than any other and they're not serving gourmet or anything, but I've never experienced better service at a fast food restaurant (and most restaurants for that matter).

I can't remember our cashier's name, it started with a D, I think, but she was an absolute treat. Bubbling with personality, NOT acting like she hates her job and joking around with us, D is pretty much the best thing that's ever happened to BK. I hope D goes on to do big things, but I also feel like I'll never experience customer service like hers again. (ed note: emphasis added)

Duck down to the comments section below and leave your own rambling reviews of wherever the hell you find yourself binging on drunk food this weekend. We're predicting three Cheesy Gordita Crunches to the face around 2:30 or so tonight, followed by a backseat bongload laced with Doritos Locos' very special "flavor dust." Happy Friday.

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Movie Review: Dirty Wars

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 10:46 AM


It's not an exaggeration to say that Dirty Wars, a documentary about American covert ops overseas (opening today at the Cedar Lee), would be mind-blowing in IMAX 3D. (Say whaaaa?) That’s not to knock the documentary genre at large; it’s just that subject matter is so central to our assessment of “nonfiction” films that talking about them often feels a lot more like talking about essays or speeches. Which is to say: our enjoyment is dependent on whether or not we liked a documentary’s content in a general way, or found the arguments persuasive. It typically has very little to do with the camerawork or — is it even possible? — the performances.

But Dirty Wars won the cinematography award at Cannes and you can tell why immediately. Every shot is like a Pulitzer-Prize-winning photograph. The majority of the film takes place in the Middle East, and the camera charts the region’s haunting, vivid cartography. It looks, in fact, very much like the scenic shots in a big-budget war movie: time-lapse landscapes, slo-mo dust rising over soccer-playing Bedouin children beneath shadowy mountains in the embers of dawn, etc.

Its look and style aren’t the only elements Dirty Wars borrowed from Hollywood’s mainstream. The film follows journalist Jeremy Scahill — author of Blackwater and reporter for The Nation magazine — as he investigates the cover up of an overnight raid in rural Afghanistan and pieces together a massive network of paramilitary operations, leading frightfully to the realization that drones are targeting U.S. citizens. It’s a cross between Zero Dark Thirty and The Bourne Identity, and is often just as thrilling.

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