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Cuyahoga County to Consider Plastic Bag Ban

Cuyahoga County to Consider Plastic Bag Ban

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Would you support a ban on plastic bags in Cuyahoga County? Legislators are considering a ban on disposable plastic bags and non-recyclable paper bags by all retail businesses in the county.

The ban would stop stores from offering plastic bags to customers. The proposed ban includes supermarkets, department stores, restaurants, and convenience stores. Likewise, it would only allow retailers to use reusable or paper bags.

Even though the ban is a step in the right direction, some have expressed concern that paper bags also create environmental problems. However, legislators say that stores should only use paper bags to transition towards reusable ones. Ultimately, the goal is for all stores to be plastic and paper bag free.

Moreover, if passed, the proposed ban would subject first-time violators to a written warning. Subsequent violations would carry fines up to $500 dollars. Residents and consumer affairs employees are expected to report complaints.

The ban is set to go into effect on October 1st. This would allow retailers to use their current supply of plastic bags. Additionally, this would allow for community leaders to educate residents on the need for the law.

Finally, most should agree that this legislation is very necessary. Plastic breaks down in the ocean and kills sea-life. On land, plastic bags clog sewers and landfills. Most alarming of all is the fact that only 10 percent of plastic on earth is recycled. People should do anything they can to help curb this environmental damage. In Cuyahoga alone, residents use 319 million plastic bags a year. That’s 5.5 million pounds of plastic that pollutes Lake Erie each year.

So, do you believe that citizens should take action against pollution by supporting Cuyahoga’s ban on plastic bags?  Please let us know more about your feelings in the comments.

Cleveland Woman Kidnapped from Gas Station

Cleveland Woman Kidnapped from Gas Station

CLEVELAND, OHIO – A 27-year-old man informed police that his girlfriend, 24 years old, was kidnapped from a gas station Sunday morning on the city’s West Side.

According to a post on the Cleveland Police First District Facebook page, Christine McKeever was last spotted at the Speedy Gas Station at West 136th Street and Lorain Avenue at about 1:30 a.m. The station is located in the city’s Jefferson neighborhood.

The boyfriend indicated that while they live in the Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood, Christine was on the West Side for a visit with her children. Apparently, she then called her boyfriend upset that she’d gotten the visitation dates confused and wasn’t allowed to see her children.

Police then say the man reportedly drove to the West Side and picked up McKeever. From there, the couple visited Bar CLE on Lorain Avenue. Here the boyfriend says they played pool and enjoyed a couple of drinks.

Visit to Gas Station

Afterwards the couple was outside the bar, discussing an argument, when, according to the boyfriend, McKeever walked to the nearby gas station. He says he was sitting in the driver’s seat when he noticed McKeever in his rearview chatting with somebody in a car at the station.

The post on the Cleveland First District Facebook page, then says the girlfriend waved her arms above her head and looked in the boyfriend’s direction. After that, the boyfriend says a man got out of the car and threw the woman into the backseat. Then they sped away.

The report also says the boyfriend chased after the car only to lose it before getting close. He claims not to have seen its make or model. The boyfriend headed home hoping to find her at home, though she wasn’t.

Finally, the Facebook post indicates that when calls are made to McKeever’s phone it goes right to voicemail. The boyfriend has no idea where she could be.

Cleveland police are currently investigating the mysterious disappearance. Anyone with information should call First District detectives at 216-623-5118 or 216-623-2508.

This is Why Ohio Truckers Support Gas Tax…

This is Why Ohio Truckers Support Gas Tax…

Lately, many individuals have been criticizing Governor DeWine for implementing a higher gas tax. But, why aren’t truckers? In fact, the Ohio Trucking Association approves of the gas tax and even supported the governor before he implemented it.

Why would truckers support such a tax that affects the costs of their businesses? Because the gas tax increase goes to a good cause that will eventually help truckers. Before DeWine came into office, Ohio’s infrastructure funding was dangerously low. The Governor took on the challenge of mending the infrastructure crisis. He created a committee to deal with this infrastructure. Then, the committee came up with the gas tax.

The Ohio Trucking Association, one of the first to support the increased fuel tax, supported the committee. This association represents over 1,000 companies in the trucking and logistics industry. As a result of their support, the increased gas tax was the preferred solution. Interestingly, this method is the most efficient, it is constitutionally required to go to roads and bridges, and it’s paid by those in the trucking industry. Also, the tax is based on where they use the fuel not where it’s purchased. This fee is a user-based fee.

Essentially, the trucking industry needs high-quality roads and bridges to operate effectively. If truckers are operating and transporting at full capacity, Ohio’s overall economy will improve. Raising the gas tax as an alternative to charging taxpayers directly for infrastructure is an effective solution. It is the best way to improve state and local roadways.

So, what do you think? Do you agree with the trucking association and think that increasing the fuel tax is a good idea?

Child Starts Fire in Cleveland Home!

Child Starts Fire in Cleveland Home!

CLEVELAND, OH – A dangerous fire tore through a Cleveland home this morning, in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood. And, fire investigators believe that a child was the cause of the Cleveland fire. A child was playing with a lighter, which ignited a fire and caused the house to go up in flames.

The fire started around 9:30 in the morning, when four people were in the home. According to the fire investigators, this occurred on Hood Avenue near Broadview Road. The home was a duplex with a bottom and upper unit. Luckily, a man escaped from the upper unit, and a family consisting of a woman, her fiancé, and her four-year-old son escaped from the bottom unit. Fire investigators believe that the four-year-old boy playing with a lighter started the accidental fire.

Neighbors of the family hurried to the scene when they saw flames from their residence. However, the residents inside escaped only moments later. Emergency medical personnel evaluated those who were in the building. It is unclear if anyone suffered any major injuries.

Unfortunately, the home endured a lot of damage due to the fire. As a result, emergency crews called the American Red Cross to the scene. They are going to provide assistance to the residents of the home.

Residents are encouraged to remember fire safety tips, especially when it comes to children. In fact, the Ohio government provides helpful information regarding children and fire safety, as well as life-saving tips. Luckily, everyone escaped from the burning home after this accidental fire. It is important to prevent similar situations from happening to other families.

Why Have February Car Sales Hit a Cold Front

Why Have February Car Sales Hit a Cold Front

It’s been an unusually brutal winter and forecasters debate whether this explains the few percentage point drop in February auto sales. Some experts point to the size of tax returns. Others blame longer lasting variables, specifically increasing sticker prices and ballooning interesting rates. So what’s the right answer?

No doubt all of these factors played a role in the drop of February car sales, but there’s no clear consensus on the main culprit.

Edmunds and TrueCar Inc. agree on a U.S. auto sales prediction of 1.3 million, which is 2-plus percentage points down from the same month in 2018. Overall, forecasters anticipate a slight decline in car sales in 2019.

Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds’ manager of industry analysis, stressed “the growing costs of new purchases” for a more a basic slowing in retail demand, as opposed to short-term or one-time factors. This assessment is based on Edmunds’ recent February outlook. In turn, this prognosis is based on online shopping behavior from earlier in the month.

Acevedo offers failed Presidents Day promotions as proof of this data. None of these promotions produced a noticeable surge in February sales vs sales from the rest of the month. This fact is very telling. Also, the data suggests sales weren’t boosted by delayed sales from the month of January.

A group of forecasters speculated that the extended government shutdown in January, coupled with another bout of treacherous winter weather, had led buyers to merely postpone their car purchases.

For February 2019, Edmunds anticipates U.S. car sales of 1,271,009 new cars and trucks, which is a dip of 2.2% from February 2018. Meanwhile, TrueCar Inc. says it’s counting on February sales of 1,268,141 units, a 2.6% downgrade.

What do you guys think? Is Mother Nature at fault here? Or is it a combination of factors?



Cleveland Officer Charged with 11 Counts of Solicitation and Prostitution!

Cleveland Officer Charged with 11 Counts of Solicitation and Prostitution!

CLEVELAND, OH – Monday morning, February 4, 2019, a Cleveland Police Officer was charged for solicitation of a prostitute 11 times. Sadly, the court charged the officer with 11 counts of prostitution.

The officer, Sgt. Michael Rybarczyk is 58 years old. Not only is this man an officer, but he is also a veteran. Cleveland Municipal Court issued a summons to Rybarczyk on first-degree misdemeanor charges. Unfortunately, the court did not announce a date for the trial.

The court’s charges lie anywhere between probation and six months in jail. The court charges a $250 fine that could easily increase to $1,000 by the judge.

Sergeant Michael Rybarczyk is a 29-year veteran officer. He is the supervisor of the First District. As of Friday, February 1, 2019, during the Internal Affairs investigation, the court put Rybarczyk on restricted duty.
Rybarczyk is on restricted duty until the case is over.

The sergeant has no former citations. Rybarczyk’s only offense in the past two years were warnings. These warnings were for failure to notify supervisors that he was the sergeant in monitorization of car chases.

Interestingly, in 2012 Rybarczyk received the Distinguished Service Medal. He recieved this award when he arrested two men who fired gunshots at Cleveland Security Guards.

Sadly, they have not released details of the crime yet. Cleveland Division of Police Internal Affairs Unit is handling the case.

Trucks and SUVs at the Top of Sales in Ohio

Trucks and SUVs at the Top of Sales in Ohio

Bigger vehicles are better vehicles… or at least that might be the motto for automobile buyers in Northern Ohio. The auto sales of SUVs and trucks are at the top of the sales for automobiles, according to the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association. The president, Lou Vitantonio, stated: “Sales of SUVs and trucks continue to carry the sales load. This is the result of current consumer preference and low operating cost, including fuel pricing.”

auto sales

Basically, gas prices have lowered, and fuel efficiency is getting better with new cars. As a result, customers are favoring the bigger vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks. This is true for many companies, including Classic Chevrolet in Mentor.

Apparently, the biggest seller last year was the Chevy Equinox. The General Manager, Mark Carroll, talked about the increased sales. He stated: “With a redesign and Chevy incentives, people left the small sedans and went up to the SUVs and the Equinox, in particular.” Sales went up at both the national and local levels.

In fact, Vitantonio stated that auto sales have been up in general for the last few years. He said that its “been on an upswing since 2010.” While it may begin to drop soon, as the market tends to do, the gas prices may keep the business going strong.

Looking for a new vehicle in 2019?

For prospective buyers for this year, he makes a few suggestions. He stated: “Identify what your needs are for a new vehicle, set a budget and decide on whether you want to buy or lease. Research the current offering of vehicles that are available.”

He also talked about the increase in technology, which may impact decision making with buying new vehicles. He said: “There are a number of new technologies that you may or may not want in your new vehicle as well.”

For now, it is clear that the larger vehicles are still popular in Ohio… but will that change in 2019? What kind of car are you driving this year?

Homicides in 2018 One Fewer Than in 2017

Homicides in 2018 One Fewer Than in 2017

CLEVELAND, OH — Just before the clock struck midnight to close out 2018, Cleveland reached its 129th homicide. Three people were killed 15 minutes before the end of the year outside a New Year’s Eve party at an Air BnB. The total of 129 killings is one fewer than the total in 2017.

The Cuyohoga County Medical Examiner and Cleveland police shared the grim total. To compare, there were 130 homicides in 2017 and 135 in 2016. The city has exceeded 100 homicides for the last seven years. This is the first time this has occurred since a 42-year stretch ended in 1996. The death toll at that time was high due to the war on drugs.

Out of the 129 2018 homicides, 114 people (88%) died due to gunfire. This figure is according to police records and the medical examiner.

Five deaths occurred during mass shootings. One mass shooting was outside a bar after a music video shoot. Six were shot in that incident. Another incident happened at a downtown strip club. Eight people were shot. The triple-homicide that occurred on New Year’s Eve is also considered a mass shooting. Two others were shot. However, they survived.

A full list of all of the victims for 2018 can be found here. The list includes 2-year-old Lorenzo Ealom. He was killed after ingesting drugs (cocaine, suboxone, and Benedryl). On the older side of the age range, a burglar beat 94-year-old Eucebia Garcia Gutierrez to death while she slept.

The homicide count may change due to a couple factors. One is that the Cuyohoga County Medical Examiner may rule on several questionable deaths. The number could rise if the medical examiner rules some of those deaths homicides.

Fake News?!

Fake News?!

SAN ANTONIO- TX. The city was recently hit with a shock! Coincidentally, after someone posted a new and quite controversial Holocaust exhibit, people didn’t respond positively. The sign stated two things: MAGA (Make America Great Again) and #FakeNews.

Even Donald Trump, himself, said it was fake news. Many of the community stated that the sign was a denial of the historic genocide.

A groundskeeper originally discovered the sign. The general public’s response has not been a positive one. A lot of people believe that this is a clear sign of prejudice but others refuse to acknowledge that this hatred is still very evident in the world.

Their holocaust museum was all but a shock. The museum director made a public statement. She doesn’t think everyone sees the sign as a clear connection to the modern prejudicial tendencies. The politics of the situation became tattered and broken by standards the declining equal state of our country.

Unfortunately, someone posted the sign reading “Fake News” and MAGA right by the entrance of the exhibit. Although responding puts Donald Trump in a bad light, he still attempted to negate the shocking sign.

After that, police discovered the sign early Tuesday morning the investigation began. Sadly, the chief officer of the investigation doesn’t consider the crime a hate crime, but claims it is only political advocacy.

Donald Trump, by poorly responding, is against these moments of habitual negation, and how does that make you feel? In Some people in the community are outraged, otherwise, it’s just people responding to allegations. So what do you think?

Men Arrested in Connection to 2015 Murder

Men Arrested in Connection to 2015 Murder

CLEVELAND, OH: On Saturday, police issued a warrant for the arrest of three men charged in the fatal shooting of California man, Nicholas Rowe, in November of 2015.

 

The men: Walter Watkins, 22, Nicho Fulton, 26, and David Dillworth, 23 – all from Ohio.

 

The Crime

According to court records, the men allegedly buried Rowe back in 2015. Officials found his body in the back of an abandoned home. three feet underground, beneath twenty pounds of concrete. He suffered several gunshot wounds to his head. Police spotted a handgun in the yard of the home, alerting to suspicious activity. Then, they brought a cadaver dog to the home to help search for the body.

 

Rowe – also known as Joshua Luckey – was 41 years old. He was from Chula Vista, California. Apparently, Rowe frequently flew to Cleveland to conduct drug deals. He was meeting with an associate on his trip that November, and supposedly paid the associate over 8 grand.

 

After a couple of days, Rowe’s friends and family alerted the associate that he was missing. Officials used a GPS tracking device on Rowe’s phone, which led them to his abandoned car. They found broken windows and blood inside the car. When the associate returned to the scene the next day, he called police. An officer noticed a disturbance in the backyard of the home, where they later discovered the body.

 

Arrests

Officials charged a fourth man, Andrew Watkins, age 23, with aggravated murder for the case back in March.  After his arrest, he pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is waiting on a trial date. Now, Fulton is on probation for the illegal possession of a gun in 2017. Dillworth was also sentenced to a probation period back in 2017, for an attempted breaking and entering.

 

However, it is unclear what is in store for these other men allegedly involved as the case unfolds.