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Monday, August 12, 2019

Both Maria's Sunflower Field of Hope Locations Set to Bloom Early Next Month

Posted By on Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 11:30 AM

  • Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Update: Both Maria's Field of Hope locations are scheduled for bloom the first week of September, the Prayers from Maria Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation recently announced.

That means that Notheast Ohioans can take photos with happy, yellow sunflowers in Avon and Sandusky in just a few weeks.
The non-profit foundation had originally hoped that that Sandusky flower patch would be ready for August, but they still aren't quite ready for their close-up yet. This is the final year the sunflowers are set to bloom in Avon.

(Original Story 5/31/2019): A brand new sunflower field is popping up in Northeast Ohio, the Prayers from Maria Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation recently announced.

For years, the patch of happy, yellow flowers, known as Maria's Field of Hope, has blown away visitors and Instagramers alike with its sheer beauty on Chester Road in Avon. Now, the Prayers from Maria Foundation is starting a second location right next door to Cedar Point's Express Hotel (1201 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky).

Started to honor the lives and struggles of kids diagnosed with cancer, more than 160,000 sunflower seeds will be planted at the new 8-acre field and should be in full bloom by August.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the fresh locale is set for Wednesday, June 5. Meanwhile, the field in Avon is still going strong, with flowers in full bloom by September.

The charity is named in honor of Maria McNamara, an Ohio 7-year-old who passed away in 2007 from a glioma (brain tumor). The foundation raises funds for research and treatment of that type of cancer.

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Aut-O-Rama Drive-In's Retro Tuesdays are Back This Summer

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2019 at 3:31 PM

  • Aut-O-Rama Drive-In Twitter
A trip to the Aut-O-Rama Twin Drive-In Theatre offers the wonderful experience of spending a summer evening outdoors while also staying inside for a movie.

Starting next month, you can kick back in your car with double features of the retro or current kind, old-school snacks from the concession stand and even an upcoming event that includes the family dog.

That's right, while the drive-in continues on with its normal new-release programming, its Retro Tuesdays event kicks off next week. Here's a sweet list of all the films hitting the big screen:

June 4: Twister and American Graffiti
June 11: Clerks and Office Space
June 18: Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Breakfast Club
June 25: Uncle Buck and Planes, Trains & Automobiles
July 9: Men at Work and Back to School
July 16: The Princess Bride and Airplane!
July 23: Christmas Vacation and Die Hard
July 30: Big and Trading Places
August 6: The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day
August 13: Superman (1978), Superman II and Superman III

For those planning on hitting the drive-in this weekend, you can catch movies such as Aladdin (2019), Dumbo (2019), Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Pokemon Detective Pikachu.

Then on June 15, the Aut-O-Rama is going to the dogs. F
or $5 per pooch, your pet can enjoy a night out at the movies by your side. This money goes to Multiple Breed Rescue, a non-profit foster care network for rescue dogs. Humans, however, must still pay normal ticket fees to enter.

The Aut-O-Rama is located at 33395 Lorain Road in North Ridgeville, and is open April through September. Ticket prices and show schedules can be found on the Aut-O-Rama website.

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Cuyahoga County Healthcare Centers Offering 15,000 Free Test Strips to Detect Deadly Fentanyl Combinations

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2019 at 3:27 PM

  • Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Following an uptick in fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Cuyahoga County — including eight deaths over Memorial Day Weekend — public health officials are advising individuals affected to pick up free fentanyl test strips.

The 15,000 free test strips can detect when the deadly drug is laced with substances such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Because they are being offered at healthcare centers, street drug users will not have to worry about law enforcement getting in the way of testing the drugs, Cuyahoga County spokeswoman Eliza Wing told

Overdoses in Northeast Ohio have been particularly grueling in recent weeks, with at least 18 overdoses occurring since May 20, prompting Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson to issue two public health alerts this week encouraging users to get help.

“I’m deeply concerned about the number of overdose fatalities we’ve seen within the past week. Additionally, we are seeing a high percentage of African American victims — 50 percent,” Gilson said in a press release. “While we are still gathering information, early indications are that many of the fatalities are a result of fentanyl/crack cocaine. We are coordinating efforts with other major metropolitan areas within Ohio to see if they are experiencing the same.”

Fentanyl test strips are available at Circle Health Services (12201 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106) and Care Alliance Clinic (2916 Central Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115).

Anyone struggling with opioid addiction should contact Project DAWN for information at 216-778-5677. Free Naloxone kits (a drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose) are available for individuals at risk of opioid overdose.
In addition, a crisis hotline offered by the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County can is available at 216-623-6888. 

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Local Rockers Tropidelic to Release Their New Album on June 7

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2019 at 2:50 PM

  • Courtesy of Tropidelic
A local act that’s recently evolved into a national act, Tropidelic will release its latest album, Here in the Heights, on Friday, June 7. The group’s last album, 2017’s Heavy is the Head, reached No. 3 on the Billboard Reggae Chart in 2017.

As usual, the Sublime- and 311-inspired group draws from reggae, funk, punk and hip-hop on the disc, which it recorded at RCR Recording Studios in Solon.

“Each of us brings distinctive musical backgrounds and preferences to the table, and I think that really allows us to create something unique and exciting,” says singer-guitarist Matthew Roads in a press release about the album. “After seeing how well received ‘Bad One’ and our other singles we release were, we’re excited for fans, new and old, to give this a listen.”

Here in the Heights also features collaborations with Fishbone’s Angelo Moore, Ballyhoo!’s Howi Spangler, Wookiefoot’s Mark Murphy and Zach Deputy. The album will be available for purchase and streaming at

Coming up, the group will perform at the Funk N Flow fest at Nelson Ledges on July 13, and it hosts its annual Freakstomp Festival on Aug. 9 and 10 in Butler.

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RTA Shuttle Buses to Replace Red Line Rapid from Cudell to Hopkins 'Until Further Notice'

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2019 at 2:22 PM

  • Courtesy: RTA
Just a little PSA here:

RTA has announced that due to "extensive track work" on the Red Line Rapid, shuttle buses will replace rail service between the Cudell station and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport from June 2nd until further notice.

Starting Sunday, the 66R buses will make stops at the Airport, Brookpark, Puritas and West Park stations. (See map above. Note that Triskett, W. 117th and Cudell are now included.) For folks heading to Hopkins, the airport stop is located in the Limo Lot between the main terminal and the Smart Parking Garage.

You should be able to spot the 66R bus stop signs at all of the above locations. They'll be difficult to miss, given the Browns colors.


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Local Rock Act Falling Stars Releases a New Single and Music Video

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2019 at 1:45 PM

  • Courtesy of Falling Stars

The local rock act Falling Stars has just announced that it’ll release a new EP on July 19. In advance of the EP’s release, the group has issued the single “Let It All Go” along with an accompanying music video.

The EP is a “guitar-fueled affair with songs that celebrate defying the odds, running wild and standing strong.”

The band recorded the four songs this past January at Youngstown’s Peppermint Studio with Gary Rhamy on the dials. Singer-songwriter Don Dixon (R.E.M., Smithereens) joined the sessions to produce the acoustic rock track “Black & White.”

The band plays a free show at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Rock Hall.

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The Ohio State University to Create National Campus Sexual Abuse Task Force After Strauss Revelations

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2019 at 12:40 PM

  • Photo courtesy Ohio State University

In the wake of revelations that now-deceased team doctor Richard Strauss sexually abused at least 177 people over the course of almost two decades, the Ohio State University will create a national campus sexual abuse task force.

OSU President Michael Drake announced the launch of the task force May 31 at the university's monthly board of trustees meeting.

The task force will include survivors of sexual abuse and experts on the issue, among others. The group will have access to information gathered in an independent investigation by law firm Perkins Coie to inform efforts to avoid future abuse.

“This issue remains prevalent in our society, and we will use the lessons of the past to play a leadership role in confronting the problem,” Drake said during the board meeting.

Drake earlier this month called the abuse Strauss inflicted on students between 1979 and 1997 a "fundamental failure" of the university and expressed "profound regret and sincere apologies to each person" whom Strauss abused.

The investigation came after a series of lawsuits against OSU alleging the abuse. Some of the plaintiffs in those lawsuits say that more than 20 school officials — from athletic directors to now-U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, at one time an OSU assistant wrestling coach — knew about Strauss' actions. Jordan has denied knowledge of the incidents. Neither he nor the school's wrestling program are mentioned in the report released today, though many passages are redacted.

"The report concludes that university personnel at the time had knowledge of complaints and concerns about Strauss’ conduct as early as 1979 but failed to investigate or act meaningfully," a statement from OSU released May 17 read. "In 1996, Ohio State removed Strauss from his role as a physician in both the Department of Athletics and Student Health Services. His actions were reported to the State Medical Board of Ohio that same year. The report found that the university failed to report Strauss’ conduct to law enforcement. He was allowed to voluntarily retire in 1998 with emeritus status."

The two primary and related lawsuits against the school are headed to mediation under U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett. In the meantime, the U.S. Department of Education's Civil Rights Office is investigating whether OSU looked into allegations against Strauss in a timely manner.

Strauss killed himself in 2005. OSU's board will likely revoke his emeritus status today.

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