Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Two Men Charged in I-90 Shooting That Injured Four-Year-Old Boy This Week: UPDATE

Posted By on Wed, Aug 9, 2017 at 12:35 PM

West 28th and Division, near the Shoreway on-ramp, where the shooter encountered the victim. - GOOGLE MAPS
  • West 28th and Division, near the Shoreway on-ramp, where the shooter encountered the victim.
Leon Edwards and John Smith have been charged with attempted murder following the early Monday morning shooting of a 4-year-old boy. (See our original story below.) They have not yet been arrested.

Spurred by an apparent bout of road rage, the two suspects allegedly chased down a woman as she drove onto the Shoreway. They shot at the car on the East 55th Street exit ramp, critically wounding the 4-year-old.

The boy remains at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

Original story: Aug. 7

A 4-year-old boy is in critical condition after being shot in the head last night near Dead Man's Curve in what is thought to be a road-rage incident.

Cleveland police report that the 4-year-old was conscious and breathing when he was taken to University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital for emergency surgery Monday morning.

The shooting occurred amid an escalating road-rage incident that began near West 28th Street and Division Avenue, according to police. The mother of the 4-year-old said she honked her horn to pass a vehicle that was blocking the road there. The vehicle, a white four-door Pontiac with tinted windows, then reportedly followed her onto the Shoreway before one of the occupants opened fire.

Two African-American males were said to be inside the vehicle. Police are searching for the Pontiac.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Indie Comedy 'Lost & Found in Cleveland' to Begin Filming Locally Before Year’s End

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 6:51 PM

Actors Keith Gerchak and Marisa Guterman, both of whom live in Los Angeles, met a few years ago at an audition.

In the course of getting coffee after their audition, they came up with the concept for Lost & Found in Cleveland, a movie about five different people who try to have some items appraised at an antiques show.

They plan to shoot the movie here before the year’s end.

Continue reading »

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Shocking Takeaways from Frank Jackson's $150,000 Haul at Gates Mills Fat Cat Fundraiser

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 2:45 PM

Protesters taped fake money to their clothes; Frank's Fat Cat Festival Protest (6/28/17) - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Protesters taped fake money to their clothes; Frank's Fat Cat Festival Protest (6/28/17)
Of the 145 individuals and PACs that combined to give Mayor Frank Jackson $148,017 at a controversial June fundraiser in Gates Mills, only one listed a Cleveland home address.

According to Frank Jackson's most recent semiannual campaign finance report, one which illustrated the vast disparity between Jackson's fundraising and the rest of the Cleveland mayoral candidates', the majority of Jackson's contributors who attended the "Fat Cat" fundraiser worked in the fields of finance, law and real estate in downtown Cleveland. Many of them identified their workplace addresses, not their homes.

But over the nine pages on which the fundraiser's contributions were tabulated, only two Cleveland home addresses appeared. One, on Edgewater Drive, is the listed office address of a specialty auto appraiser. This may also be his home. The other, on Grayton Road on Cleveland's west side, does appear to be a residential address.

(Note: Some of the employees who listed office addresses may live in Cleveland, but that's not reflected in the report.)

(Note 8/8: As a commenter mentioned below, Fred Geis lives in a condo in downtown Cleveland.)

Forgetting the bad PR, the event was an enormous financial success. It raised, in a single evening, nearly three times more than any one of Jackson's challengers has raised in all of 2017.

Six individuals gave Jackson the maximum $5,000 allowable contribution that night: developer Fred Geis, listing his office's Streetsboro headquarters; James Johnson, from Nashville, Tenn.; developer Scott Marous, listing his office's Willoughby headquarters; Randall Myerhoff, CEO of the accounting firm Cohen & Company, listing his office's downtown Cleveland headquarters; Frank Sinito, the Millennia Cos. CEO, who now owns Key Tower, listing his Valley View offices; and Jerry Sue Thornton, former Tri-C President, listing her Moreland Hills home.

Twenty-three individual contributors from Myerhoff's team at Cohen & Company gave to Jackson at the June 28 event, for a grand total of $25,000 from the company.

Of the PACs who contributed at the fundraiser, the Greater Cleveland Partnership was the most generous, giving $5,000. (The next day, however, Jackson received the maximum $7,500 contribution from three local construction unions and from two PACs from the Affiliated Construction Trades (ACT) of Ohio.) PACs representing KeyCorp, Huntington and PNC also gave at the Gates Mills event.

The most original individual contribution came from communications consultant Robert Falls. He gave $2017.00, presumably to mark the year.

Five attorneys from the law firm Roetzel & Andress contributed to Jackson on June 28 as well. That included Akron-based attorney Stephen Funk, who is representing Cleveland's law director Barbara Langhenry in the city's Q Deal suit. According to Cleveland's department of public records, Roetzel & Andress attorneys have represented the City or its employees "in a number of cases unrelated to the litigation involving the referendum petition."

But in June and July, Funk and two associates billed the city $15,952 for work preparing materials related to the Q Deal suit.

The five Roetzel attorneys, including Funk and the firm's chairman Robert Blackham, each gave $1,000 to Jackson's campaign at the Gates Mills fundraiser.

Activist Greg Coleridge, who has fought to limit the power of money in politics, told Scene last week that he was nervous about Jackson's powerful connections.

"Those with the power to deliver goodies to corporations and wealthy individual campaign investors and those with the ability to access mega dollars from the same crowd always benefit from high political contribution limits," he said. "...This almost always comes at the expense of the vast majority of citizens whose lack of political contributions means a lack of political access and voice."

The signs that protesters carried outside the Gates Mills fundraiser articulated much the same message.

"I don't mind you being rich," read one. "I mind you buying our government!"

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Nike Drops 20 New LeBron Soldier XI Colorways, Fresh AZG Retros Coming Soon

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 1:44 PM


Kyrie still wants out of Cleveland and the Browns just named a dude who was supposed to be released or traded as the starting quarterback for the first preseason game. But fear not Cleveland, we still have that LeBron James guy. And Nike is releasing LeBron's sneakers in droves, just in time to buy those fresh back-to-school kicks.

The Soldier XI are LeBron's high-top sneakers — he always releases a high-top soldier, mid and a low version of a shoe at the same time — and the Soldiers first drop before the playoffs each season. The Soldier XI hasn't been as popular as the Soldier X, which had an enormous rise in sales as LeBron primarily wore that sneaker during his 2016 Championship run.

The 20-plus colorways that are now being released come mostly in solid colors, with a synthetic mesh upper. The upper of the sneaker comes usually above a white midsole, but that changes on some of the colorways. While this is a significant drop, it's just the first part of the release, and you can expect a significant amount of even more colorways soon. The sneakers can be found at Nike retailers like Eastbay and Finish Line.

In other LeBron sneaker news: Nike is releasing the second retro LeBron sneaker. This past January, Nike released a LeBron retro for the first time by putting out the Air Zoom Generation (AZG), LeBron's first signature sneaker,
 from all the way back in 2003. The AZG came in the popular white and red colorway, but this time, the shoe will be released in a currently unseen black colorway. Expect that to drop in October.

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Ohio Attorney General Seeks More Money for Drug Testing Lab in Cuyahoga County

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 12:37 PM

You don't have to look far in Ohio to find a need for more public funding in the fight against the opiate addiction crisis. "Resources," money, treatment beds: All are lacking to some degree or another as the overdose death toll rises in our state.

In Cuyahoga County, law enforcement and medical professionals are bracing for even more deaths than last year's record 666 fatal overdoses. With that as a new baseline, the state attorney general's office is hoping to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars into its Bureau of Criminal Investigations lab in Cuyahoga County for more drug testing capabilities.

In 2010, the BCI completed 13,879 drug tests across the state. This year, the number is expected to be more than 27,000.

The BCI is responsible for testing heroin seized by police departments and sheriff's offices; the lab in Cuyahoga County primarily processes third-party requests from those agencies. And as the public health crisis worsens, the BCI's workload looks more like a complicated petri dish of chemical analogs — an array of drugs often cut with the powerful painkiller fentanyl.

The Columbus Dispatch first reported on this story on Friday, noting that the state is seeking additional funds for its Hamilton County lab. In all, Attorney General Mike DeWine wants to lock in $440,000 for both counties' labs (split evenly). Both Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties are seeing astronomical leaps in the sheer quantity and dangerous, hybrid quality of drugs on the street.

"We're seeing a lot more complex mixtures," BCI spokesman Dan Tierney tells Scene. "Instead of just there being heroin or just there being cocaine, we're seeing mixes of drugs: heroin mixed with fentanyl, heroin mixed with other synthetic opioids, cocaine mixed with synthetic opioids. ... It takes longer to test those mixtures."

In 2010, for instance, the BCI recorded 34 tests of fentanyl. In 2016: 2,396.

From 2010 through 2015, to really drive the point home, the BCI recorded zero tests of carfentanil, an elephant sedative that's dangerous enough to cause overdoses via simple skin contact. In 2016: 214.

"Our labs have had to put in precautions to deal with the more dangerous and potent opiates that are coming in for testing," Tierney adds, "which also increases the time is takes to test them."

The attorney general's funding request will land in a Controlling Board hearing on Aug. 21.

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New Ohio Bill Prevents Schools from Suspending or Expelling Truant Students

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 12:03 PM

Thanks to a new House bill, schools in Ohio can no longer suspend or expel students for missing too much school.

"There are many reasons students miss school, but districts often can directly impact their students' attendance," the bill says. "By using data to identify and support students who may need extra support and services, districts can target supports to get students to school every day."

Now, rather than face criminal charges for excessive absences, students will work with teachers, counselors and principals over 60-day periods to raise their attendance rates.

"The team is cross-sector and ideally includes the participation of the student and the parent," the bill says. "This requirement is new and is aimed at breaking down barriers to attendance without filing criminal complaints against the student in juvenile court."

The legislation includes stipulations that will decriminalize "excessive truancy," and remove "chronic truant" from the law. The bill was passed in December 2016, and lists counseling, mediation, parent education and parenting programs (among other methods) as ways of helping students who miss too much school.

“I believe it's asking all educators to view truancy as a barrier as you would for any scholar who struggles to sit still or who struggles to read,” Lorri Hobson, Director of Attendance of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, told News 5 Cleveland.

Bill 410 will be in place this school year across Ohio, and apply to online learning as well.

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Join 'American Ninja Warrior' Watch Party Downtown Cleveland Next Week

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 11:24 AM

  • Emanuel Wallace Photo
There's no need to watch the American Ninja Warrior finals at home next week, when you can do so downtown, surrounded by other fans and a even a couple of Cleveland ninjas.

The Greater Cleveland Film Commission hosts a watch party Monday, Aug. 14, at the Corner Alley Downtown from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. And yes, all of their TVs will broadcast episodes taped in Cleveland back in May.

Twenty percent of food sales during the event will go to the Film Commission, which was instrumental in bringing Ninja Warrior to the city.

"We went to their office last August and introduced Cleveland to them, and they responded very positively — and before we knew it, they decided to film here," Film Commission President and CEO Ivan Schwarz told The Plain Dealer.

The watch party/fundraiser will feature giveaways and raffles on behalf of the Film Commission, and Logan Broadbent and PJ Camargo, local ninjas who appear in the episodes shown at the watch party, will also be present.

"It takes a high level of dedication and commitment to compete on American Ninja Warrior," Broadbent told Scene in May. "You have to work on all of the competencies; they can give you any obstacle and you can’t touch it until you compete. It would be great if we knew what what we were getting ahead of time, but you don't."

No one was more excited than Broadbent when Cleveland welcomed Ninja Warrior in May for filming. The athlete, who also laid out his grueling training schedule for Scene, said, "I live for this city, all my family lives here. It means everything."

If you can't make it to the watch party, you can catch a broadcast of the event on Q104.

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