The Medina County Gazette http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com The Medina County Gazette is a community newspaper serving Medina County, Ohio, since 1832. Sun, 14 Feb 2016 00:37:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Supreme Court Justice Scalia dead at 79; filling vacancy poses challenge in election year http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/supreme-court-justice-scalia-dead-at-79-filling-vacancy-poses-challenge-in-election-year/ http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/supreme-court-justice-scalia-dead-at-79-filling-vacancy-poses-challenge-in-election-year/#respond Sun, 14 Feb 2016 00:37:23 +0000 http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/?p=287764 WASHINGTON — Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died, leaving the high court without its conservative majority and setting up an ideological confrontation over his successor in the maelstrom of a presidential election year. Scalia was 79. The U.S. Marshals Service in Washington confirmed Scalia’s death at Read More...

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WASHINGTON — Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died, leaving the high court without its conservative majority and setting up an ideological confrontation over his successor in the maelstrom of a presidential election year. Scalia was 79.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks to Presbyterian Christian High School students in Hattiesburg, Miss. on April 7, 2004. AP FILE

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks to Presbyterian Christian High School students in Hattiesburg, Miss. on April 7, 2004. AP FILE

The U.S. Marshals Service in Washington confirmed Scalia’s death at a private residence in the Big Bend area of West Texas. Spokeswoman Donna Sellers said Scalia had gone to his room the previous evening and was found dead Saturday morning after he did not appear for breakfast.

Scalia was part of a 5-4 conservative majority — with one of the five, Anthony Kennedy, sometimes voting with liberals on the court. Scalia’s death leaves President Barack Obama weighing when to nominate a successor, a decision that immediately sparked a political struggle drawing in Congress and the presidential candidates.

The immediate impact of his death for the current term means that the justices will now be divided 4-4 in many of those cases. If there is a tie vote, then the lower court opinion remains in place. Cases where the current court was expected to split 5-4 include disputes over abortion, affirmative action and immigration policy.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, said the nomination should fall to the next president.

Democrats were outraged at that idea, with Sen. Harry Reid, the chamber’s top Democrat, saying it would be “unprecedented in recent history” for the court to have a vacancy for a year.

Leaders in both parties were likely to use the high court vacancy to implore voters to nominate candidates with the best chance of winning in the November general election.

Scalia used his keen intellect and missionary zeal in an unyielding attempt to move the court farther to the right after his 1986 selection by President Ronald Reagan. He also advocated tirelessly in favor of originalism, the method of constitutional interpretation that looks to the meaning of words and concepts as they were understood by the Founding Fathers.

Scalia’s impact on the court was muted by his seeming disregard for moderating his views to help build consensus, although he was held in deep affection by his ideological opposites Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. Scalia and Ginsburg shared a love of opera. He persuaded Kagan to join him on hunting trips.

His 2008 opinion for the court in favor of gun rights drew heavily on the history of the Second Amendment and was his crowning moment on the bench.

He could be a strong supporter of privacy in cases involving police searches and defendants’ rights. Indeed, Scalia often said he should be the “poster child” for the criminal defense bar.

But he also voted consistently to let states outlaw abortions, to allow a closer relationship between government and religion, to permit executions and to limit lawsuits.

He was in the court’s majority in the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision, which effectively decided the presidential election for Republican George W. Bush. “Get over it,” Scalia would famously say at speaking engagements in the ensuing years whenever the topic arose.

Bush later named one of Scalia’s sons, Eugene, to an administration job, but the Senate refused to confirm him. Eugene Scalia served as the Labor Department solicitor temporarily in a recess appointment.

A smoker of cigarettes and pipes, Scalia enjoyed baseball, poker, hunting and the piano. He was an enthusiastic singer at court Christmas parties and other musical gatherings, and once appeared on stage with Ginsburg as a Washington Opera extra.

Ginsburg once said that Scalia was “an absolutely charming man, and he can make even the most sober judge laugh.” She said that she urged her friend to tone down his dissenting opinions “because he’ll be more effective if he is not so polemical. I’m not always successful.”

He could be unsparing even with his allies. In 2007, Scalia sided with Chief Justice John Roberts in a decision that gave corporations and labor unions wide latitude to air political ads close to elections. Yet Scalia was upset that the new chief justice’s opinion did not explicitly overturn an earlier decision. “This faux judicial restraint is judicial obfuscation,” Scalia said.

Quick-witted and loquacious, Scalia was among the most persistent, frequent and quotable interrogators of the lawyers who appeared before the court.

During Scalia’s first argument session as a court member, Justice Lewis F. Powell leaned over and asked a colleague, “Do you think he knows that the rest of us are here?”

Scalia’s writing seemed irrepressible and entertaining much of the time. But it also could be confrontational. It was a mocking Scalia who in 1993 criticized a decades-old test used by the court to decide whether laws or government policies violated the constitutionally required separation of church and state.

“Like some ghoul in a late-night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad, after being repeatedly killed and buried, (the test) stalks our … jurisprudence once again, frightening the little children and school attorneys,” he wrote.

Scalia showed a deep commitment to originalism, which he later began calling textualism. Judges had a duty to give the same meaning to the Constitution and laws as they had when they were written. Otherwise, he said disparagingly, judges could decide that “the Constitution means exactly what I think it ought to mean.”

A challenge to a Washington, D.C., gun ban gave Scalia the opportunity to display his devotion to textualism. In a 5-4 decision that split the court’s conservatives and liberals, Scalia wrote that an examination of English and colonial history made it exceedingly clear that the Second Amendment protected Americans’ right to have guns, at the very least in their homes and for self-defense. The dissenters, also claiming fidelity to history, said the amendment was meant to ensure that states could raise militias to confront a too-powerful federal government if necessary.

But Scalia rejected that view. “Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct,” Scalia wrote.

His dissents in cases involving gay rights could be as biting as they were prescient. “By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition,” Scalia wrote in dissent in 2013 when the court struck down part of a federal anti-gay marriage law. Six months later, a federal judge in Utah cited Scalia’s dissent in his opinion striking down that state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Scalia was passionate about the death penalty. He wrote for the court when in 1989 it allowed states to use capital punishment for killers who were 16 or 17 when they committed their crimes. He was on the losing side in 2005 when the court changed course and declared it unconstitutional for states to execute killers that young.

“The Court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our Nation’s moral standards — and in the course of discharging that awesome responsibility purports to take guidance from the views of foreign courts and legislatures,” Scalia wrote in a scathing dissent.

In 2002, he dissented from the court’s decision to outlaw executing the mentally retarded. That same year, Scalia surprised some people with a public declaration of independence from his Roman Catholic church on the death penalty. He said judges who follow the philosophy that capital punishment is morally wrong should resign.

Scalia also supported free speech rights, but complained too. “I do not like scruffy people who burn the American flag,” he said in 2002, but “regrettably, the First Amendment gives them the right to do that.”

A longtime law professor before becoming a judge, Scalia frequently spoke at law schools and to other groups. Later in his tenure, he also spoke at length in on-the-record interviews, often to promote a book.

He betrayed no uncertainty about some of the most contentious legal issues of the day. The framers of the Constitution didn’t think capital punishment was unconstitutional and neither did he.

“The death penalty? Give me a break. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state,” Scalia said during a talk that preceded a book signing at the American Enterprise Institute in 2012.

The only child of an Italian immigrant father who was a professor of Romance languages and a mother who taught elementary school, Scalia graduated first in his class at Georgetown University and won high honors at the Harvard University Law School.

He worked at a large Cleveland law firm for six years before joining the faculty of the University of Virginia’s law school. He left that job to work in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

From 1977 to 1982, Scalia taught law at the University of Chicago.

He then was appointed by Reagan to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Scalia and his wife, Maureen, had nine children.


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Supreme Court Justice Scalia dead at 79; filling vacancy poses challenge in election year http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/supreme-court-justice-scalia-dead-at-79-filling-vacancy-poses-challenge-in-election-year/ http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/supreme-court-justice-scalia-dead-at-79-filling-vacancy-poses-challenge-in-election-year/#respond Sun, 14 Feb 2016 00:37:23 +0000 http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/?p=287764 WASHINGTON — Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died, leaving the high court without its conservative majority and setting up an ideological confrontation over his successor in the maelstrom of a presidential election year. Scalia was 79. The U.S. Marshals Service in Washington confirmed Scalia’s death at Read More...

The post Supreme Court Justice Scalia dead at 79; filling vacancy poses challenge in election year appeared first on Chronicle-Telegram.


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Content copyright The Chronicle-Telegram.
Your #1 source for Lorain County News.

Read More...
]]>
WASHINGTON — Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died, leaving the high court without its conservative majority and setting up an ideological confrontation over his successor in the maelstrom of a presidential election year. Scalia was 79.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks to Presbyterian Christian High School students in Hattiesburg, Miss. on April 7, 2004. AP FILE

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks to Presbyterian Christian High School students in Hattiesburg, Miss. on April 7, 2004. AP FILE

The U.S. Marshals Service in Washington confirmed Scalia’s death at a private residence in the Big Bend area of West Texas. Spokeswoman Donna Sellers said Scalia had gone to his room the previous evening and was found dead Saturday morning after he did not appear for breakfast.

Scalia was part of a 5-4 conservative majority — with one of the five, Anthony Kennedy, sometimes voting with liberals on the court. Scalia’s death leaves President Barack Obama weighing when to nominate a successor, a decision that immediately sparked a political struggle drawing in Congress and the presidential candidates.

The immediate impact of his death for the current term means that the justices will now be divided 4-4 in many of those cases. If there is a tie vote, then the lower court opinion remains in place. Cases where the current court was expected to split 5-4 include disputes over abortion, affirmative action and immigration policy.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, said the nomination should fall to the next president.

Democrats were outraged at that idea, with Sen. Harry Reid, the chamber’s top Democrat, saying it would be “unprecedented in recent history” for the court to have a vacancy for a year.

Leaders in both parties were likely to use the high court vacancy to implore voters to nominate candidates with the best chance of winning in the November general election.

Scalia used his keen intellect and missionary zeal in an unyielding attempt to move the court farther to the right after his 1986 selection by President Ronald Reagan. He also advocated tirelessly in favor of originalism, the method of constitutional interpretation that looks to the meaning of words and concepts as they were understood by the Founding Fathers.

Scalia’s impact on the court was muted by his seeming disregard for moderating his views to help build consensus, although he was held in deep affection by his ideological opposites Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. Scalia and Ginsburg shared a love of opera. He persuaded Kagan to join him on hunting trips.

His 2008 opinion for the court in favor of gun rights drew heavily on the history of the Second Amendment and was his crowning moment on the bench.

He could be a strong supporter of privacy in cases involving police searches and defendants’ rights. Indeed, Scalia often said he should be the “poster child” for the criminal defense bar.

But he also voted consistently to let states outlaw abortions, to allow a closer relationship between government and religion, to permit executions and to limit lawsuits.

He was in the court’s majority in the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision, which effectively decided the presidential election for Republican George W. Bush. “Get over it,” Scalia would famously say at speaking engagements in the ensuing years whenever the topic arose.

Bush later named one of Scalia’s sons, Eugene, to an administration job, but the Senate refused to confirm him. Eugene Scalia served as the Labor Department solicitor temporarily in a recess appointment.

A smoker of cigarettes and pipes, Scalia enjoyed baseball, poker, hunting and the piano. He was an enthusiastic singer at court Christmas parties and other musical gatherings, and once appeared on stage with Ginsburg as a Washington Opera extra.

Ginsburg once said that Scalia was “an absolutely charming man, and he can make even the most sober judge laugh.” She said that she urged her friend to tone down his dissenting opinions “because he’ll be more effective if he is not so polemical. I’m not always successful.”

He could be unsparing even with his allies. In 2007, Scalia sided with Chief Justice John Roberts in a decision that gave corporations and labor unions wide latitude to air political ads close to elections. Yet Scalia was upset that the new chief justice’s opinion did not explicitly overturn an earlier decision. “This faux judicial restraint is judicial obfuscation,” Scalia said.

Quick-witted and loquacious, Scalia was among the most persistent, frequent and quotable interrogators of the lawyers who appeared before the court.

During Scalia’s first argument session as a court member, Justice Lewis F. Powell leaned over and asked a colleague, “Do you think he knows that the rest of us are here?”

Scalia’s writing seemed irrepressible and entertaining much of the time. But it also could be confrontational. It was a mocking Scalia who in 1993 criticized a decades-old test used by the court to decide whether laws or government policies violated the constitutionally required separation of church and state.

“Like some ghoul in a late-night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad, after being repeatedly killed and buried, (the test) stalks our … jurisprudence once again, frightening the little children and school attorneys,” he wrote.

Scalia showed a deep commitment to originalism, which he later began calling textualism. Judges had a duty to give the same meaning to the Constitution and laws as they had when they were written. Otherwise, he said disparagingly, judges could decide that “the Constitution means exactly what I think it ought to mean.”

A challenge to a Washington, D.C., gun ban gave Scalia the opportunity to display his devotion to textualism. In a 5-4 decision that split the court’s conservatives and liberals, Scalia wrote that an examination of English and colonial history made it exceedingly clear that the Second Amendment protected Americans’ right to have guns, at the very least in their homes and for self-defense. The dissenters, also claiming fidelity to history, said the amendment was meant to ensure that states could raise militias to confront a too-powerful federal government if necessary.

But Scalia rejected that view. “Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct,” Scalia wrote.

His dissents in cases involving gay rights could be as biting as they were prescient. “By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition,” Scalia wrote in dissent in 2013 when the court struck down part of a federal anti-gay marriage law. Six months later, a federal judge in Utah cited Scalia’s dissent in his opinion striking down that state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Scalia was passionate about the death penalty. He wrote for the court when in 1989 it allowed states to use capital punishment for killers who were 16 or 17 when they committed their crimes. He was on the losing side in 2005 when the court changed course and declared it unconstitutional for states to execute killers that young.

“The Court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our Nation’s moral standards — and in the course of discharging that awesome responsibility purports to take guidance from the views of foreign courts and legislatures,” Scalia wrote in a scathing dissent.

In 2002, he dissented from the court’s decision to outlaw executing the mentally retarded. That same year, Scalia surprised some people with a public declaration of independence from his Roman Catholic church on the death penalty. He said judges who follow the philosophy that capital punishment is morally wrong should resign.

Scalia also supported free speech rights, but complained too. “I do not like scruffy people who burn the American flag,” he said in 2002, but “regrettably, the First Amendment gives them the right to do that.”

A longtime law professor before becoming a judge, Scalia frequently spoke at law schools and to other groups. Later in his tenure, he also spoke at length in on-the-record interviews, often to promote a book.

He betrayed no uncertainty about some of the most contentious legal issues of the day. The framers of the Constitution didn’t think capital punishment was unconstitutional and neither did he.

“The death penalty? Give me a break. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state,” Scalia said during a talk that preceded a book signing at the American Enterprise Institute in 2012.

The only child of an Italian immigrant father who was a professor of Romance languages and a mother who taught elementary school, Scalia graduated first in his class at Georgetown University and won high honors at the Harvard University Law School.

He worked at a large Cleveland law firm for six years before joining the faculty of the University of Virginia’s law school. He left that job to work in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

From 1977 to 1982, Scalia taught law at the University of Chicago.

He then was appointed by Reagan to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Scalia and his wife, Maureen, had nine children.


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Alfred Edward Cales http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/alfred-edward-cales/ http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/alfred-edward-cales/#respond Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:33:37 +0000 http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/?p=284258 Read More...
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Cales_AlfredAlfred Edward Cales, 75, of Carriere, Mississippi, former resident of Medina, passed away Tuesday, February 9, 2016. She was born June 25, 1940. He was the son of the late Allen Preston and Effie Lillian Richmond Cales.
He was a receiving clerk for Ford Motor Company and attended Medina Assembly of God.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Alton Cales and wife, Wilda, David Cales and wife, Felicia and Arley Cales; sisters, Elinor Cales, Mary Wickline and husband, Gene, Sadie Williams and husband, Virgil, Jan Cooper and husband, Jack.
Left to cherish his memory is his devoted wife of over 43 loving years, Betty Louise Mann Cales; son, Robert Preston Cales and wife, Angela; daughter, Angela Marie Cales; grandchildren, Dalton James Cales, Kevin Michael Cales and Rhianna Katherine Cales; brothers, Roger Cales, Jerry Cales and wife, Drema; sister, Genetta Humphries and husband Roy and numerous, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Funeral Services will be held Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 1:30 P.M., at Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors. Burial will follow in the Elgood Cemetery. Friends may call Saturday, February 13, 2016 from 6 until 9 P.M., at the funeral parlors.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Christian Life Assembly of God, 1015 Hwy 43S, Picayune, MS or call 601-798-2766.
Arrangements are by the Ronald Meadows Funeral Parlors of Hinton.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.ronaldmeadowsfp.com


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Virginia N. Ricketts http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/virginia-n-ricketts/ http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/virginia-n-ricketts/#respond Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:33:24 +0000 http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/?p=284252 Read More...
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Ricketts_VirginiaVirginia N. Ricketts (nee Michaels), 92, of Seville, passed away Thursday, February 11, 2016 at Sanctuary Health Network of Medina. Virginia was born August 31, 1923 in Cleveland to Harry and Nettie (Kucera) Michaels.
She married Floyd E. Ricketts on July 3, 1939 in Covington, Kentucky and together celebrated 56 years of marriage, until his passing in 1995. They resided in Seville or around the surrounding area except for a few years at Sun-N-Fun Campgrounds in Sarasota, Florida. Virginia loved the warm weather and could always be found in her flowerbeds.
Virginia will be deeply missed by her children, Peggy (Donald) Boyes of Seville, Judy Foster of Seville and Barbara Varisco of Westfield Center; grandchildren, Teri (Frank) Wodzisz, Tami Lupe, Tim (Vanessa) Foster, Bryon (Kim) Foster, Thomas Foster, Denise Varisco, Marty Varisco and Michelle Varisco; 15 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren.
Virginia was preceded in death by her husband, Floyd and her three brothers, Bill, Dick and Jimmy.
Private services will be at Roberts Funeral Home-Sherwood Chapel, Wooster. Burial will be at Sherwood Memorial Gardens.
Online tributes may be made at www.RobertsFuneralHome.com
Memorial contributions may be made to Crossroads Hospice, 3743 Boettler Oaks Dr., Green, OH 44685.


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James E. McCollom III http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/james-e-mccollom-iii/ http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/james-e-mccollom-iii/#respond Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:33:23 +0000 http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/?p=284263 Read More...
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AA - don't move -OBIT FLAGJames E. McCollom III, 69, passed away Tuesday, February 9, 2016.
He was the beloved husband of Janet (nee Ursick) of 46 years; loving father of Melissa Cegelski (Jim) and Maureen Gaeta (Michael); brother of Susan McCollom; dear grandfather of Madeline and Morgan Gaeta; brother-in-law, uncle and friend to many.
He was a U.S. Army Vietnam War Veteran. Jamie spent countless hours playing golf, enjoying the beach, the ball field, the volleyball court and loving his canine companion Bluto.
Interment will be at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery at a later date. All services are private.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105.
www.clevelandcremation.com


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Jane H. Siburt http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/jane-h-siburt/ http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/jane-h-siburt/#respond Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:33:17 +0000 http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/?p=284261 ]]> Jane H. Siburt, 79, of Valley City, passed away Friday, February 12, 2016.
Arrangements will be announced Bauer Funeral Home, Valley City.


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Patricia G. Hoge http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/patricia-g-hoge/ http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/patricia-g-hoge/#respond Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:33:08 +0000 http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/?p=284255 Read More...
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Hoge_PatriciaPatricia G. Hoge, 88, of Burbank, passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at the Bradford House at Brethren Care Village in Ashland.
Pat was born January 4, 1928 in Lodi to the late Otho P. and Nana (Switzer) Smith and was a 1946 graduate of Akron Central High School. She later graduated from Akron University and had taught English at Cloverleaf Junior High School for 28 years.
In 1949 she married Donald M. Hoge who preceded her in death on June 4, 2015 and Pat was always at Don’s side which she always enjoyed. Pat was a member of Order of Eastern Star #137 in Lodi, the Lodi American Legion Auxiliary, was a member of the Red Hat Society and the Trinity United Methodist Church in Burbank. She was an avid card play having played bridge in Lodi and euchre and is remembered as a wonderful cook.
Surviving are her children, Becky (Robert) McMillin of Greenwich, Randall (Vicky) Hoge of Burbank and Hendley (Dawn) Hoge of Mercer, Pennsylvania; 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband and sisters, Irene Jackson and Jean Lawton.
Service will be Monday, February 15, 2016 at 3 P.M. at Murray Funeral Home in Creston where friends will be received from 2 P.M. until time of service. Burial will be in Burbank Cemetery.
Tributes may be shared at www.Murray-Funeral-Home.com Memorials may be made to Hospice of North Central Ohio, 1050 Dauch Dr., Ashland, OH 44805.


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Ice Festival begins burning http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/ice-festival-begins-burning/ http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/ice-festival-begins-burning/#respond Sat, 13 Feb 2016 06:38:30 +0000 http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/?p=284303 Read More...
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Bob Finnan and Lawrence Pantages
The Gazette

It was the ultimate contrast — fire and ice. In the end, the bonfire went out and the ice melted, despite the single-digit temperatures. The first night of the 22nd Medina Ice Festival was a success, even though the weather was better suited for polar bears.

LAWRENCE PANTAGES / GAZETTE Jeff Meyers of Elegant Ice Creations works Friday afternoon getting a “Fire and Ice” display ready for the opening ceremonies of the 22nd Medina Ice Festival. Meyers, of Brunswick, said he has been a carver for 14 years.

Hundreds were on hand Friday night at Public Square for the creation of the Fire & Ice Tower. It consisted of 16 blocks of ice, each weighing 300 pounds, said Jeff Meyers of Elegant Ice Creations.

The Brunswick resident worked on the tower earlier in the day. All he had to do was add the wooden pallets and to light the fire.

There were many oohs and aahs in the crowd when it was finally lit around 7 p.m.

The display was sponsored by Excalibur Auto Body of Medina.

Meyers has worked for Elegant Ice Creations, one of the event’s major sponsors, for 14 years.

Of the 80 pre-carved sculptures placed around the Square, he said, “I had a hand in most of them.”

Elegant Ice Creations of Broadview Heights carves sculptures for weddings, corporate events and parties. Meyers also does live demonstrations.

Individual carvers will take over 1 to 4 p.m. today. Team carving will be the order of the day Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

The event is free and there is no charge for parking around the Square.


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Lawyer: NEXUS can’t be stopped; landowners should take best deal possible http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/284297/ http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/284297/#comments Sat, 13 Feb 2016 06:28:49 +0000 http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/?p=284297 Read More...
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Elizabeth Dobbins and Lawrence Pantages
The Gazette

Lawyers from a Columbus-based firm told Medina County landowners Friday night that the NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline is going to be a reality and it will affect nearly 200 properties.

LAWRENCE PANTAGES / GAZETTE Ten people came to the Medina Community Recreation Center on Friday night to hear a presentation on landowner rights and eminent domain from Michael Braunstein, a Columbus lawyer who said his firm Goldman & Braunstein has expertise in pipeline compensation cases.

LAWRENCE PANTAGES / GAZETTE
Ten people came to the Medina Community Recreation Center on Friday night to hear a presentation on landowner rights and eminent domain from Michael Braunstein, a Columbus lawyer who said his firm Goldman & Braunstein has expertise in pipeline compensation cases.

Goldman & Braunstein representatives came to the Medina Community Recreation Center to explain landowner rights in compensation and easement negotiations.

In an hourlong meeting, Michael Braunstein said challenges on the legal issue of eminent domain jurisdiction or a reroute of the proposed line will not succeed.

“I don’t think it’s possible to stop it or change the route,” Braunstein said.

NEXUS has submitted plans seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and has said it hopes to gain approval to begin construction in 2017.

Braunstein said landowners should proceed knowing they face decisions in three areas:

  • Financial compensation from the pipeline;
  • A contract governing how the line will be built on their land, and
  • Follow-up action as land is “restored” after the construction.

There were 10 people at the center for the meeting and almost all raised their hands when Braunstein asked if they owned land.

“You’ve done nothing wrong,” he told the group. “You have the misfortune to be in the way of a company that’s going to make a lot of money.”

The Columbus firm’s stance on the pipeline represents a different approach from strategies advocated by Medina County citizens and groups opposed to the pipeline, said Coalition to Reroute NEXUS leader Paul Gierosky in an interview with The Gazette.

“They’re not interested in trying to stop the pipeline,” Gierosky said, referring to the Columbus firm.

Braunstein said he specializes in eminent domain cases and estimated in 40 years of practice, he has worked on 400 involving pipelines. He said he only takes cases for landowners and has never represented a pipeline company.

He said his firm came to Medina because “the NEXUS pipeline is more adversarial” than other construction projects he has seen.

The proposed route for the $2 billion project is an origin in the southeastern part of the state, moving to the northwest corner and then to a hub in Canada.

Braunstein said he understands why there has been controversy in Medina County. Since the pipeline was proposed, citizens groups have been formed — either in opposition to the project overall or objecting to the route.

“The route is terrible. It is so close to people’s homes,” Braunstein said.

He told the attendees that his fee is 25 percent of whatever he can negotiate above what compensation has been offered. For example, if a landowner was offered $1 and Braunstein increases the final offer to $2, his fee is 25 cents.

“Welcomed or not, NEXUS is coming,” a press release from the law firm said.

Braunstein’s associate Clinton Stahler brought a large cardboard box into the meeting and showed landowners maps of the affected property areas.

He said “fair terms” on easements involve drain tiles and ground that needs to settle. “You get words on paper (in a negotiation), but we make them real,” Braunstein said.

As an example, he said topsoil will be affected by the construction. “It gets separated from subsoil. You want to end up with topsoil on top at the end. There is a compaction of soil and it takes a long time to get back to where it was.”

He also discussed the importance of insurance coverage and indemnification for landowners, regarding potential issues involving leaks or explosions.

Another area of concern is land access.

“There are two kinds of access,” Braunstein said. “One is how the company gets what it needs to the location. The other is how you get there.” There may be conditions where a temporary access road is necessary, he added.

He said landowners have the right to get a financial appraisal, but sometimes that amount “has nothing to do with reality.”

Braunstein noted that if landowners can’t agree with NEXUS on a compensation amount, the pipeline company could file a suit.

“The pipeline is willing to start a lawsuit. They think that most lawyers don’t want to litigate. But we are much more aggressive.”

In some situations, Braunstein said, a court trial is appropriate and so he pursues that option.

Gierosky’s group, informally called CORN, supports a reroute of the pipeline that would move the proposed route farther south and out of Medina County.

CORN is seeking to delay the permit and easement process.

“We should negotiate (easements and eminent domain) all the way up to the steps of the courthouse,” Gierosky said.

Kathie Jones is an organizer of the group called Sustainable Medina County, which wants to stop, not just move, the pipeline project.

She told The Gazette said she opposes the recommendation for landowners to sign easements.

“The lawyers are looking for new clients and telling them, incorrectly, that the NEXUS pipeline is inevitable. It’s not,” she said. “We are pursuing several different angles to expose this sheer profit-making scheme, which would damage property owners’ lives.”

Jones said her group is working to stop the pipeline and its next opportunity to make sentiments known and continue the fight will be Tuesday.

The venue will be an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency meeting to be held at 6 p.m. at Cloverleaf Elementary School, 8337 Friendsville Road, at 6 p.m.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Dobbins at (330) 721-4063 or edobbins@medina-gazette.com or managing editor Lawrence Pantages at (330) 721-4065 or lpantages@medina-gazette.com.


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Grand jury indicts Hinckley man in siblings’ killings http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/grand-jury-indicts-hinckley-man-in-siblings-killings/ http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2016/02/13/grand-jury-indicts-hinckley-man-in-siblings-killings/#respond Sat, 13 Feb 2016 06:18:29 +0000 http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/?p=284295 Read More...
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Dean Simms, 42, was indicted Wednesday by the grand jury in Medina Municipal Court in connection with the death of his brother Randy Szychowicz, 45, and sister Cynthia Gesaman, 52.

Simms, of 2629 Babcock Road in Hinckley, charged with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated murder for each victim but can only be convicted on one count for each, County Prosecutor Dean Holman said.

“We do that to make sure the jury has all the choices,” Holman said.

He could be convicted of aggravated murder if the jury decides the crime was premeditated.

Aggravated murder can carry a 20-, 25- or 30-year prison sentence or a life sentence without parole.

In some cases, aggravated murder can also carry an option for the death penalty, but the grand jury’s current indictment does not allow for this option in this case. Holman said the prosecuting office could return to the grand jury to add the death penalty option, depending on the family’s wishes or additional information uncovered by investigations.

The murder charge carries a sentence of 15 years to life with no option for a death penalty.

Each of Simms’ charges has a firearm specification, which carries a three-year sentence.

If convicted, Simms would serve the firearm punishment before the murder or aggravated murder charges. According to the indictment, the firearm specification was added to each charge for the possession or use of a shotgun during the murders.

Simms’ case was transferred from Medina Municipal Court to Medina County Common Pleas Court after the indictment. A date for the next court appearance has not been posted.

Simms called police in the early morning Feb. 5, to report the shooting of his brother and his sister. During the phone call Simms said he “snapped” after a “life long of headache” and used a shotgun to kill two of his siblings, with whom he lived with in a Hinckley Township house.

Police found the bodies of Szychowicz and Gesaman inside the house with gunshot wound to their heads, according to the county coroner’s office. When police arrived at the house, Simms was arrested without resistance, Hinckley Township Police Chief Tim Kalavsky told The Gazette on Monday.

The case is still under investigation by the Hinckley Police Department. A dispatcher said the department is still collecting statements from the officers and sheriff deputies who arrived at the scene last week.


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