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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Update: The Wife of a North Ridgeville Police Chief is a Repeat Shoplifter

Posted By on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Marie Schrader from AMCs Breaking Bad
  • Marie Schrader from AMC's Breaking Bad

Update: The wife of North Ridgeville Police Chief Mike Freeman has been sentenced for her repeat shoplifting offense that occurred earlier this year.

Elaine Freeman was given a $250 fine, plus a 10 day jail sentence, which she begins serving today.

Once released, Freeman will be on house arrest for 30 days.

Good thing there's nothing quite like being home for the holidays.


Originally published 9/17/2013: We may just have a real life Marie Schrader on our hands here folks.

The wife of North Ridgeville Police Chief Mike Freeman has been arrested on a shoplifting charge- again.

Area police told Fox 8 News that this time 42-year-old Elaine Freeman was arrested at Kohl's at around 11:30 a.m. yesterday after attempting to leave with unpaid merchandise.

As you may recall, the very same Ms. Freeman was also arrested last November for trying to swipe beauty products from a Target in Avon.

In both instances, she was accompanied by her young son (now 3 years of age).

For her previous offense, she was sentenced to a 30 day suspended jail sentence and had to pay a $250 fine. She was also required to complete an economic crime program and attend counseling.

Courts said they'd keep an eye on her for the next two years- yet for some reason Ms. Freeman thought she'd have another go.

No word on what her projected sentence will be this time around.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

UPDATE: Grafton Mayor Megan Flanigan Arrested for Drunken Driving, Blames Failed Sobriety Test on a Sprained Ankle

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 8:27 AM

  • Photo Courtesy of WKYC

A new twist has been added to Grafton Mayor Megan Flanigan's OVI arrest from September.

The Lorain County Sherriff's Department said they found and identified a pill in her possession that's used to treat heroin overdoses.

Flanigan, who's probs been kickin' it with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, now has a drug possession charge tacked on to her OVI.

She's already pled not guilty to drunken driving, and will make a court appearance next week. -AM


Megan Flanigan, the mayor of Grafton Village, was arrested early Saturday morning under the suspicion of OVI.

While Flanigan is hardly the first politician to have an alcohol-related run-in with the law, her absurd behavior denotes her a special place in the category.

Here's how the incident went down:

At about 3 a.m., a Grafton police officer found a stray license plate registered to Flanigan near a damaged fire hydrant on Fox Run Drive- note this is Flanigan's own neighborhood (!).

After initially fleeing the scene of the accident, Flanigan decided to be a responsible citizen and returned in her clearly damaged white SUV.

Police noticed that she smelled strongly of alcohol, and after allegedly denying that she'd been slinging back brewskies all night, she went on to promptly fail multiple field sobriety tests.

She then apparently blamed her impaired balance on- wait for it- a sprained ankle.

Flanigan was taken to the Lorain County Jail for a breathalyzer test, the results of which have not been released. The Elyria Municipal Court will be handling the Mayor’s case, which includes citations for OVI, reasonable control, and failure to stop after an accident.

While this may have been Flanigan’s most exiting run in with the law, it certainly wasn't her first. The Mayor seems to have trouble controlling her vehicle even when sober, considering she has racked up previous violations including a 2003 speeding conviction, a failure to yield in 2006, and a failure to control in 2008.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

John Donald Cody, the Fraudster Who Raked in $100 Million for a Fake Navy Veterans Charity, Has Been Found Guilty

Posted By on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 9:10 AM

A Cleveland jury found John Donald Cody, aka Bobby Thompson, guilty of stealing millions of dollars from donors to his fake national charity, the U.S. Navy Veterans Association.

After a six week trial, which covered the testimony of 42 prosecution witnesses, Cody was convicted yesterday on 23 charges including theft, money laundering, tampering with records, and identity fraud.

He faces between 10 and 70 years in prison, and will be sentenced on Dec. 16.



(Original post published 9/30/2013 at 9:27 a.m.) A former fugitive is heading to trial today in Cleveland for allegedly masterminding a $100 million, multi-state fraud under the guise of helping U.S. Navy veterans.

John Donald Cody, 67, who goes by the name "Bobby Thompson," has been charged with defrauding hundreds of people who thought they were donating to a reputable Tampa, FL based charity, the United States Navy Veterans Association, reports The Atlantic Wire.

Investigations into the charity by the St. Petersburg Times in 2010 revealed that Cody's philanthropic organization was nothing more than a big fat lie.

Generous donors who spanned 41 states, were actually just lining Cody's pockets who- get this- is a Harvard trained lawyer and former military intelligence officer. Two million dollars was defrauded from Ohio residents alone.

In addition to plumping his own wallet, Cody also showered GOP politicians with his ill-gotten gains, including the likes of former President George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani.

He was finally arrested in 2012.

Cody's defense team sought to force testimony by recipients to show that his political donations were legal, but a judge denounced that move last week.

Cody's attorney said any fraud involved solicitors, not his client.

However, the donations are at least somewhat relevant because Cody used photos of himself posing next to GOP big shots to solicit money for his fake charity.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Matthew Cordle, YouTube Confessor, Gets 6.5 Years in Prison for Killing a Man

Posted By on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Update III:

In a YouTube video that went positively viral, Matthew Cordle, 22, said he was prepared to accept a hefty sentence after he killed a man during a drunken driving accident over the summer.

Looks like Cordle will be doing just that.

Today, Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge David Fais sentenced Cordle to six and a half years in prison for aggravated vehicular homicide.

Prosecutor Ron O’Brien argued that Cordle deserved the maximum sentence of eight years, in part, because Cordle omitted saying the two little words "I'm sorry," in his video confession.

Cordle’s lawyers however, countered that he actually deserved less time, since Cordle had already expressed deep remorse for his actions and for taking the life of 61-year-old Vincent Canzani.

Fais said that over the holiday season, he would like to use Cordle's offense as a message to the public-

“What I would like to see is a billboard that says, ‘I’m Matthew Cordle. I pleaded guilty to OVI ... I killed a man. Don’t drink and drive,’ the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Toward the end of the hearing, Cordle issued this statement:

“There is no fair sentence when it comes to losing a life,” he said. “It should have been me that night ... instead of an innocent man.” (A.M.)


Update II: It probably seemed obvious, but the case of the guy publicly admitting to murder-by-drunk-driving is moving ahead at a clunky pace.

As the Dispatch reports, the assumed plan was that Matthew Cordle would plead guilty before Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Julie Lynch. That notion, of course, is derived from his YouTube video. Here's how that went:

...his attorneys had said yesterday that he would plead not guilty before Lynch, so the case could be randomly assigned to a trial judge before whom he would quickly plead guilty.

Cordle’s failure to enter a plea “calls into question the validity of being so forthcoming in his YouTube video” about his intent to plead guilty, the judge said after the brief hearing.

He'll be arraigned today, and attorneys hope to have him released from jail on bond.


Update I: Matthew Cordle, the Columbus man who recently produced a powerful online video in which he confesses to killing a man during a drunken driving accident over the summer, has been indicted on a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide.

Cordle is expected to surrender and be booked at the Franklin County Jail this afternoon, authorities told The Columbus Dispatch. A charge of this sort can carry up to eight and a half years in prison.

Following the crash, Cordle’s blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.19 percent, more than twice the 0.08 legal level for motorists.

Cordle also was indicted on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Since the video was posted on Tuesday, it has recorded over 1.2 million views.

You can watch the YouTube clip below.



Matthew Cordle, 22, posted this confession video at, admitting that he killed Vincent Canzani, 62, in a drunk driving crash earlier this summer.

It's an intense monologue, the kinda thing that almost never surfaces in the wake of a tragedy like Canzani's death. The pivotal moment in the video, when the dramatic music drops out, comes when Cordle pleads with his audience: “I beg you, and I say the word beg specifically, I’m begging you, please don’t drink and drive. Don’t make the same excuses that I did. Don’t say it's only a few miles or you’ve only had a few beers."

Cordle has not yet been charged. “When I get charged, I will plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I’ve done to Vincent and his family,” he says.

His message stands in stark contrast to Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed, who's garnered three DUI convictions. He was sentenced today to 10 days in jail, all of which follow his own "not guilty" plea.

  • Cordle

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Monday, September 30, 2013

How to Make the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich, According to Melt Bar and Grilled

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Ah, the grilled cheese sandwich.

It's been a staple of the U.S. diet for decades, and is usually one of the first dishes most American children learn to make.

With only three main ingredients (bread, cheese, shortening), it's also one of the most simple and delicious culinary fares our blessed country has to offer.

We recently caught up with Matt Fish, the head chef of Cleveland's own Melt Bar and Grilled, to learn the secrets of making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. 

We can promise you this: We'll never make our grilled cheese the same way again.

Step 1: Choose Your Bread and Your Butter 

The bread is where any good grilled cheese begins. Matt Fish recommends using a homemade artisan loaf, that's a mix between French and Italian to get the perfect combination of crunchy exterior and velvety interior. Cut your bread into one inch slices, and smear a thin layer of vegan margarine (or regular butter) on both sides, from edge to edge.

Step 2: Brown Your Bread, Low and Slow 

Place the buttered bread onto a low-to-medium heated surface- a commercial flat top grill works just as well as your at-home fry pan. Fish says it's important to brown the bread low and slow, so the outside becomes a crunchy, golden brown, while the inside starts to cook again, releasing a nutty flavor. This is the point where most people commit their first grilled cheese sandwich making error, Fish says. If you initially put the bread on too hot a surface, it'll burn and you'll have to start over. Remember, low and slow does the trick.

Step 3: Watch the Butter

As you're browning the bread, pay attention to the color and consistency of your shortening. When you notice it's yellow and melty-looking, the bread is finished on one side. If the butter is still white, leave it be for another minute or so.

Step 4: Flip the Bread

That's right, Fish browns his bread on both sides before putting on the cheese. Betcha didn't think of doing that. 

Fish says a double-sided toasting makes the bread more stable for the cheese and other toppings. This is a major game changer here.

Step 5: Remove from Heat

Once the bread is golden brown on both sides, remove it from the heat, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Like so:

Step 6: Cheese It

This is the step you've been waiting for (we know). 

Using your cheese of choice (Fish uses American), place two one-ounce slices on each piece of bread. 

Should you decide to include other toppings (i.e. bacon, tomatoes, really whatever you want) this is when you'd load 'em up.

Continue reading »

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Investigation Under Way For Men Posing as Cleveland Police in Kidnapping

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Fifth District detectives are currently searching for two men suspected of kidnapping a woman early this morning.

Near East 123rd Street and Chesterfield Avenue, a woman was driving when she noticed a Lincoln Continental flashing its lights at her. Thinking she was being pulled over by police, she stopped her car and met the man at her window. He then ordered her out and handcuffed her before tossing her in the backseat of her own car and driving off. A second man had also entered the car with them.

They drove around for a while and let the woman out at East 109th Street. The two men took her car and cell phone.

Per 19 Action News:

The victim's vehicle is a 2006 Cadillac DTS Ohio plate FRL4681, light blue in color. The suspect's vehicle is an older model Lincoln Continental four door, light beige/two toned in color.

The first suspect is described as a man in his late 40s, 5'9" - 6' with a stocky build and short hair and a mustache. This man was wearing a long sleeved white thermal shirt, a white t-shirt with blue print, blue work pants and black shoes. The second suspect is described as being 6'3 and very skinny. He was wearing a hooded zip up jacket with beige and brown stripes, mask covering part of his face.

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Scene Podcast: The Fiction Issue

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 12:40 PM


This week, host Craig Lyndall talks with Sam Allard and Michael J. Geither, head of the MFA program at CSU, about Scene's inaugural Fiction Issue, which debuts with unpublished work from some of Northeast Ohio's literary luminaries, including Dan Chaon, Alissa Nutting, Thrity Umrigar and others.

Do browse around and take in the fresh fiction from established authors and younger up-and-coming writers and listen to the pod below.

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