Blogs > Northern Ohio Local Politics

Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Where the Lake County state Reps., recorder races were won

How Lake County is represented in the Ohio General Assembly in Columbus will have a slightly different look next year.

Filling the seat for Ohio House of Representatives District 60 will be John Rogers, a Mentor-on-the-Lake Democrat, newly elected Nov. 6 when he defeated Painesville Councilwoman Lori DiNallo, a Republican.

Communities in the district are Kirtland, Kirtland Hills, Mentor Wards 1-3, North Perry Village, Perry Village, Waite Hill, Willoughby Hills, the townships of Concord, Leroy, Madison, Perry and parts of Painesville Township.

According to final unofficial results (used for all information in this column, as provisional votes will be added next week), Rogers won 25,964 to 21,141 or 55.12 percent to 44.88 percent.

Rogers won each precinct in Eastlake, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Willowick, Fairport Harbor, Grand River, and Lakeline. He also prevailed in Painesville, winning nine of 10 precincts, seven of nine precincts in Wickliffe and nine of 15 precincts in Willoughby.

Meanwhile, DiNallo won each precinct in Timberlake and the two Painesville Township precincts that are part of the district. She also won six of nine precincts in Mentor.

Overall, Rogers won 67 precincts and DiNallo won 16.

State Rep. Ron Young, R-Leroy Township, will remain in the Ohio House, where he’ll represent the new 61st District. He defeated Painesville Township Democrat Susan McGuinness. Young won 31,491 to 26,420, or 54.38 percent to 45.62 percent.

Communities in the district are Eastlake, Fairport Harbor, Grand River, Lakeline, Mentor Ward 4, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Painesville, parts of Painesville Township, Timberlake, Wickliffe, Willoughby and Willowick.
Young, who won his second consecutive term, won each precinct in Kirtland, Kirtland Hills, Leroy Township, North Perry Village, Perry Village, Perry Township and Waite Hill.

He also was the victor in seven of 10 precincts in Painesville Township, 16 of 25 precincts in Mentor, four of seven precincts in Willoughby Hills and 13 of 14 precincts in Concord Township.

McGuinness won six of 10 precincts in Madison Township. Both candidates won one of two precincts in Madison Village and tied with 433 votes each in Willoughby Hills Precinct CC. Overall, Young won 59 precincts and McGuinness won 22 precincts, plus the one tied precinct.

In the race for Lake County recorder, Concord Township Democrat Ann Radcliffe defeated appointed Recorder Jason Wuliger, a Kirtland Republican.

Radcliffe won 52,502 to 47,353, or 52.58 percent to 47.42 percent.

She also won each precinct in Eastlake, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Painesville, Willowick, Fairport Harbor, Lakeline, Madison Village and Timberlake. Radcliffe was the victor in 18 of 34 precincts in Mentor, eight of nine precincts in Wickliffe, 12 of 15 precincts in Willoughby, eight of 10 precincts in Madison Township, eight of 11 precincts in Painesville Township.

Wuliger won each precinct in Kirtland, Concord Township, Kirtland Hills, North Perry Village, Perry Village and Waite Hill. He also won four of seven precincts in Willoughby Hills.

Both candidates won two of four precincts in Perry Township, one of two precincts in Leroy Township, and tied with 296 votes each in Mentor Precinct 4H.

Overall, Radcliffe won 103 precincts and Wuliger won 53 precincts.

Lake County’s new state senator

Some Lake County residents may not realize that starting in January there will be a second state senator representing the county in Columbus.

State Sen. Nina Turner, D-Cleveland, represents Ohio’s 25th Senate District that will be comprised of Ohio House Districts 8, 12 and 60. Her term expires at the end of 2014, so she was not on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Turner attracted some national attention this past week with her criticism of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, accusing him of enacting policies of voter suppression and hinting she might run for the office in 2014, and with what she views as a war by Republicans on women’s reproductive rights, specifically citing a state bill that would ban abortions after doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat.

Prior to reapportionment, all of Lake County was all within Ohio Senate District 18, which is represented by state Sen. John Eklund, R-Munson Township, who retained his seat Nov. 6 after defeating Democrat Jim Mueller.

Now the Ohio 18th Senate district will consist of House Districts 61, 75, 76, which is half of Lake County, two-thirds of Geauga County and all of Portage County. It no longer includes any of Cuyahoga County.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

State Sen. Nina Turner considering run for Ohio Secretary of State in 2014?

Might state Sen. Nina Turner run for Ohio Secretary of State in 2014?

Turner, D-Cleveland, represents Ohio’s 25th Senate District that in January will be comprised of Ohio House Districts 8, 12 and 60 after reapportionment takes effect. Her term expires at the end of 2014.

Ohio House District 60 will consist of Eastlake, Fairport Harbor, Grand River, Lakeline, Mentor Ward 4, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Painesville, parts of Painesville Township, Timberlake, Wickliffe, Willoughby and Willowick in Lake County.

Ohio House Districts 8 and 12 consist of other communities such as Euclid, Richmond Heights and other eastern Cuyahoga County communities.

Turner was asked in a video interview with Marc Kovac, statehouse bureau chief for Dix News and The Youngstown Vindicator, if she might run for Ohio Secretary of State in 2014.

“I’m considering all of my options, including that one,” Turner said.

She was then asked why she might consider that race when she still has eligibility to run again for Ohio Senate. Turner didn't shy away from criticizing current Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.

“I could run again for the Senate, but you know given what Ohioans had to face in this last presidential election, given that SOS now stands under Husted’s leadership (for) Secretary of Suppression,” Turner said.

“It is very important that the citizens of the state of Ohio have someone that understands that voting should not be partisan, that everybody in this state should have the right and access to vote and certainly our current secretary of state doesn't understand that."

In the video, Turner declined to comment on the likelihood that she will be a candidate for Ohio Secretary of State.

“We’ll see. I have to get through this session, we’ll see,” she said.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Video: The Amazing Morphing Campaign Money Map

The video below — "The Amazing Morphing Campaign Money Map," produced by NPR — is the best explainer I've seen for why we Ohioans were bombarded with political ads in the last several months.

Should that make us feel more important? Or maybe just more used.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Where the Lake County commissioners races were won

The three-member Lake County Board of Commissioners will definitely have a western Lake County feel next year.

It also will be an all-Democrat commission, as Robert E. Aufuldish of Wickliffe was re-elected Tuesday and Willowick Council President Judy Moran was elected to her first term.

They join Willowick Democrat Daniel P. Troy, who remains on the board until his term expires at the end of 2014.

According to final unofficial results (used for all information in this column), Aufuldish won by a margin of 54,787 to 49,081.

He won each precinct in Eastlake, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Painesville, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willowick, Fairport Harbor, Grand River, Lakeline, and Timberlake.

Aufuldish also prevailed in Madison Township, winning seven of 10 precincts and six of 11 in Painesville Township,

His opponent, Republican John R. Hamercheck, a Madison Village councilman, won each precinct in Kirtland, Kirtland Hills, Leroy Township, his hometown Madison Village, North Perry Village, Perry Village, Perry Township and Waite Hill.

Hamercheck also won 13 of 14 precincts in Concord Township and four of seven precincts in Willoughby Hills.

The two candidates split the city of Mentor, as each won 17 precincts.

Overall, Aufuldish won 99 precincts, while Hamercheck won 58 precincts.

Moran won by a margin of 53,713 to 50,897, defeating Willoughby Hills Councilman David M. Fiebig.
Moran won each precinct in Eastlake, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Painesville, Wickliffe, Willowick, Fairport Harbor, Grand River and Timberlake.

She also was victorious in Willoughby by winning 10 of 15 precincts, six of 10 precincts in Madison Township and six of 11 precincts in Painesville Township.

Fiebig won each precinct in Kirtland, Concord Township, Kirtland Hills, Leroy Township, North Perry Village, Perry Village, Perry Township and Waite Hill.

He also took 19 of 34 precincts in Mentor and five of seven precincts in his hometown Willoughby Hills.
Overall, Moran won 89 precincts, and Fiebig won 67 precincts. They tied in Mentor Precinct 2C, as each received 421 votes.

For both commissioners races combined, there were 208,478 total votes for the two races and of that figure 108,500 were for Democrats with 99,978 for Republicans.

That contrasts to the top of each party’s ticket in Lake County, where Republican Mitt Romney beat President Barack Obama by a margin of 57,150 to 55,219 giving Romney the edge by 1,931 votes.

Also in Lake County, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, beat Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican, by a margin of 52,896 to 51,335 to win the county’s overall vote by 1,561 votes.

In a future column, I’ll take a look at how the Ohio House of Representatives races in Lake County shaped out and possibly others that have generated interest.

Prediction recap

In last Sunday’s column I made predictions for 18 races that appeared in the print edition. I also posted those plus 10 additional picks on the News-Herald’s political blog.

Out of 28 races, I got 24 correct — missing on one countywide result in Lake and Geauga counties, one multi-county race and one statewide race.

In print, 16 of were 18 correct, missing on the races for Lake County recorder and Geauga County commissioner for the unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2014.

I incorrectly picked Jason Wuliger to defeat Ann Radcliffe in the recorder’s race, and Jim Dvorak to beat Mary Samide in the commissioner race. Radcliffe and Samide were victorious.

For the additional 10 picks published online, I missed when I picked Mary Jane Trapp to defeat Colleen O’Toole for 11th District Court of Appeals, and I picked Yvette McGee Brown to beat Sharon L. Kennedy for Ohio Supreme Court for the unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2014. O’Toole and Kennedy were victorious.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Romney, Obama lose in the two Lake County communities where they visited during campaign season

After reading through the final unofficial elections results by precinct in Lake County, it was interesting to see how Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama did in the two communities where they appeared to campaign.

Basically, in each community where they appeared for a campaign rally they lost.

Romney visited Lake Erie College in Painesville on Sept. 14 and Obama visited Mentor High School on Nov. 3.

Despite Romney’s appearance in the city, Painesville residents tended to vote for Obama giving him 3,976 votes to 2,114 for Romney. That means Obama won the city by 1,862 votes.

To compare, despite Obama’s appearance just three days before the election, Mentor voters sided more with Romney giving him 13,583 votes to 11,266 for Obama. That gave Romney a 2,317 victory in Mentor.

Overall in Lake County, Romney had 57,150 votes or 49.91 percent to 55,219 votes or 48.22 percent for Obama.

That translates to Romney carrying Lake County by a 1,931 votes, but it wasn't enough for him to win Ohio.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

What will really matter most come Wednesday

Come Wednesday we’ll either have kept the current president or else we will have chosen a new one.

It’s really that simple.

And the only ones who’ll have the right to feel a funk will be Mr. Obama and his family or else Mr. Romney and his family.

The rest of us – or about one-half the electorate, anyway – can express disappointment but it ought not to grow beyond that altitude. And that feeling ought to live for only a moment, too.

What we will know is that in Cleveland the sun will rise at 7:06 a.m. and set at 5:14 P.M.

Beyond that, what is genuinely important rests elsewhere.

Come Wednesday an elated young couple somewhere will hear the blessed news that within several months they will become first-time parents. Maybe even after they’ve been told that for some biological reason they’d never be able to conceive or sire a child.

That’s what happened with my wife, Bev, and me. And to our friends, Tommy and Esther as well.

Then again, come Wednesday, a man or a woman will meet with his or her physician and be given the mind- and soul-numbing news that the cancer is terminal; inoperable or untreatable.

He – or she – will walk out the doctor’s office, sit in a car, and let it sink in that this Christmas will be his or her last.

Just like the happy couple, this person has earned the right to possess and express the sort of emotion that even Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney are not entitled to own.

As for the rest of us, Wednesday will come like any other ordinary day.

I will take some time shortly before rising and listen for Bev to hum a refrain from a hymn she has committed to memory.

Then I will roll out of bed, shave and try to put on my clothes, bushwhacked by my two Labrador retrievers, Berry and Millie. They will worm their way onto my lap, slowing the dressing process.

I will stroke their soft, coal-black coats and then send them on their way.
After dressing I will sit in my recliner, prepared (more or less) to do my devotions.

By then Bev will have finished getting ready for her own job as the Mentor School’s receptionist.

She’ll plant a kiss, maybe only to the top of my nearly bald head, and recite – as she always does – “have a wonderful day,” knowing that perhaps the day’s newsroom pace will almost certainly exclude anything wonderful.

A couple of hours later I’ll repeat my own ritual in kind. I will call her at the Mentor School’s board office and offer in as best-as-I-can imitation of a stressed-out teenager “Is there school today?” to which Bev will respond: “Yes, and you better hurry or you’ll be late.”

Of course the exchange is lame and we each know the others lines by heart. 

It matters not, certainly not in the grand scheme of our 40-plus years together.

As for Election Day, I will have gone through a CAT Scan and an X-ray or two before conferring with my urologist.

We’ll look at the data, studying to see if the 70 or so radioactive titanium pellets are doing their job properly in killing off the two cancerous tumors that were found back in May and residing in my prostate.

I’ll think on these things come Wednesday morning when the news shows and the political pundits are all in overdrive, engrossed with what they 
consider of earth-shattering significance.

Tell that to the happy couple. Tell that to the cancer patient just given his or her death notice.

Tell me come Wednesday, too.

Better yet, ask my five grandchildren on Wednesday if the selection of the president is more important than hamming it up in front of the computer camera as we Skype our “hellos,” electronically bridging in a nanosecond the 250-mile gap between us.

My best guess is that Grace, Hope, Nehemiah, Elijah, and Humility will have a much different take. And it won’t include the name of either Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney.

Yes, of course, I reposted my share of pro-Romney Facebook chants and dug sarcastic claws into those who championed Mr. Obama.

Truth be told, they were supplied only half in seriousness. Probably less; again, if truth be told.

So to my liberal friends whom I did my best to skewer – David and Steve, Laura and Donna, Mary Jo and even my own flesh-and-blood nephew, Michael -  sorry if you took me so seriously.

But I rather enjoyed playing the part of prankster Puck, who, in Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” said; “Lord, what fools these mortals be.” (If you want to be specific as to chapter and verse, Puck’s words are found in Act 3, scene 2.)

No, give me the opportunity to lie in bed and watch my wife sleep the sleep of a newborn, the chance to chat with my grandchildren, have one of my oh-so-many physicians generate a medical thumbs-up, or be greeted with a “good job” electronic message from a boss.

For that matter, a Wednesday sky of honking Canada geese, a woodlot ground blind from which I can observe a rut-crazed buck, or to hear the notes of a boss hen wild turkey giving the pre-sunrise instructions to her troupe would be fine, too.

Fact is, when it comes right down to it who wins on Tuesday doesn’t even make the list as to what is truly important come Wednesday.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Some Nov. 6 election predictions

The presidential election Tuesday is just a couple days away and there are many races for voters to decide.

With that said, several races in Lake and Geauga counties and Ohio were tough for me to predict winners and I could be wrong on quite a few, but here are some of them (not meant to imply endorsement).
President (Ohio winner)
Candidates: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney
Comment/Prediction: Obama. Very close and Romney could win; we might not know the winner Tuesday.
U.S. Senate
Candidates: Sherrod Brown, Josh Mandel
Prediction/Comment: Brown. Ohio’s nastiest race; Mandel could win if Romney carries Ohio.
14th Congressional District
Candidates: Dale Virgil Blanchard, David Joyce, David Macko, Elaine Mastromatteo
Prediction/Comment: Joyce. Elected experience, large campaign warchest and Steve LaTourette’s blessing; Blanchard got little party support.
Ohio House District 60
Candidates: Lori DiNallo, John Rogers
Prediction/Comment: Rogers. Toss-up. Democratic district helps Rogers only able to campaign two months.
Ohio House District 61
Candidates: Susan McGuinness, Ron Young
Prediction/Comment: Young. Incumbent should hold serve.
Ohio House District 76
Candidates: Matt Lynch, Tom Warren
Prediction/Comment: Lynch wins the Republican-leaning district.
Ohio House District 99
Candidates: Casey Kozlowski, John Patterson
Prediction/Comment: Patterson. Close, despite adding parts of Geauga, district still leans Democratic.
Ohio Senate District 18
Candidates: John Eklund, Jim Mueller
Prediction/Comment: Eklund. Lots of help from Republican Senate campaign, but Mueller could make it close.
Ohio Senate District 32
Candidates: Capri S. Cafaro, Nancy McArthur
Prediction/Comment: Cafaro. Incumbent has spent much more money in Democratic leaning district.
Lake County commissioner Jan. 2 term
Candidates: David M. Fiebig, Judy Moran
Prediction/Comment: Moran. Toss-up, Moran has edge with previous countywide run and higher name ID.
Lake County commissioner Jan. 3 term
Candidates: Robert E. Aufuldish, John R. Hamercheck
Prediction/Comment: Aufuldish. Close, but if he wins the Madison area, he’s re-elected.
Lake County clerk of courts
Candidates: Maureen G. Kelly, Emily Teresczuk
Prediction/Comment: Kelly. Incumbent should win fairly comfortably.
Lake County prosecutor
Candidates: Werner Barthol, Charles E. Coulson
Prediction/Comment: Coulson. Longtime prosecutor wins.
Lake County recorder
Candidates: Ann Radcliffe, Jason Wuliger
Prediction/Comment: Wuliger. He got an appointed head-start on the job and has spent a lot of money to keep it.
Lake County treasurer
Candidates: Lorraine M. Fende, Bob Patterson
Prediction/Comment: Fende. High name ID and the long-time office holder should win.
Geauga County commissioner Jan. 2 term
Candidates: Tracy Jemison, Fred Welty
Prediction/Comment: Jemison. It will be difficult to knock out the incumbent.
Geauga County commissioner Jan. 3 term
Candidates: Christopher John Lacny, Ralph Spidalieri
Prediction/Comment: Spidalieri. After winning a contested GOP primary, he’s the favorite.
Geauga County commissioner unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2014
Candidates: Jim Dvorak, Mary Samide
Prediction/Comment: Dvorak. This would mean Democrats get a seat at the commissioners’ table.

Ohio Supreme Court Jan. 1 term
Candidates: Robert W. Price, Terrence O’Donnell
Prediction/Comment: O’Donnell. I'll pick the incumbent here.
Ohio Supreme Court Jan. 2 term
Candidates: William M. O’Neill, Robert R. Cupp
Prediction/Comment: O’Neill. Does his issue about judges and money resonate with voters?
Ohio Supreme Court unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2014
Candidates: Yvette McGee Brown, Sharon L. Kennedy
Prediction/Comment: Brown. Appointed justice keeps seat on the bench.
11th District Court of Appeals Feb. 9 term
Candidates: Mary Jane Trapp, Colleen M. O’Toole
Prediction/Comment: Trapp. Trapp prevails in this rematch.
Geauga Common Pleas Court judge
Candidates: Forrest Burt, Scott Matasar
Prediction/Comment: Burt. Matasar campaigned hard, but I think Burt wins.
Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court
Candidates: Tim Grendell, Timothy Snyder
Prediction/Comment: Grendell. It’s really hard to pick against him in any race.
Geauga County coroner
Candidates: Robert S. Coleman Jr,, Robert A. Evans
Prediction/Comment: Coleman. Might be close as Evans is a name people might remember.
Geauga County clerk of courts
Candidates: Bonnie Cavanaugh, Denise Kaminski
Prediction/Comment: Kaminski. Incumbent should prevail.
Geauga County recorder
Candidates: Sharon Gingerich, JoAnne Ryan
Prediction/Comment: Gingerich. Republican should win.
Geauga County prosecutor
Candidates: Jeffrey J. Fanger, James Flaiz
Prediction/Comment: Flaiz. I'll pick the Republican here too and he's Geauga Bar Association president.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Obama, Romney campaigns conduct get-out-the-vote drives

With President Barack Obama set to speak Saturday morning at Mentor High School, campaign officials urged voters to cast their ballots early.

Robert Schiebli, vice-chairman of the Lake County Democratic Party, spoke during a press conference Friday afternoon at the Obama campaign’s Mentor field office.

He urged people not to forget their right to vote and to support the president.

“We’re fighting to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known — the promise that hard work will pay off, responsibility will be rewarded, and that everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share and plays by the same rules,” Schiebli said.

Obama’s appearance comes just three days before the election as both Republican candidate Mitt Romney and Obama know how important Ohio is to each’s chance for victory.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner, R-Ohio, will begin a statewide get-out-the-vote bus tour on Saturday in support of Romney, Josh Mandel and Ohio Republicans running for Congress.

Boehner will appear at Lake County Republican Party headquarters in Painesville for an event that begins at 6 p.m.

At each stop, Boehner will thank volunteers, tout local candidates, and draw a clear contrast between Romney’s plan to create jobs.

State Rep. Ron Young, R-Leroy Township, will also give a speech at the Boehner event in Painesville and he plans to discuss the relationship between the Declaration of Independence and this year’s elections.

In-person absentee voting is set to conclude Monday as voters may go to their respective county elections boards from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Obama's Mentor field office works to distribute tickets for Saturday rally

Curiosity is what brought Becky Moorman to a get tickets Thursday at President Barack Obama’s campaign field office in Mentor.

Moorman, a Mentor-on-the-Lake resident, considers herself an independent voter, so she stood in line to get a chance to see Obama for herself Saturday morning during a rally at Mentor High School.

She believes Ohio will be a key for the presidential election.

“I think it means Ohio is a weighing factor,” Moorman said.

For much of the day, lines extended out the door of the Obama campaign’s Mentor field office, 7537 Mentor Ave.

Deb Druhot of Willoughby is a volunteer with the campaign at the Mentor facility.

Druhot and other campaign volunteers are excited to have the president speak in Lake County.

“It means a lot,” she said. “There have been a lot of people in Lake County working really hard on this, we’re pretty pumped.”

Doors for the event open at 9 a.m. Saturday and a ticket is required. Tickets were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at this location and were to be distributed until they run out.

Another message volunteers continue to work on is to encourage as many people as possible to vote through Tuesday, Druhot said.

Willoughby resident Jamie Barnes said this will be her first chance to see the president in person.

“I have missed every other opportunity to see President Obama and I would like to participate in this,” Barnes said. “It’s very close to voting and he knows if he doesn’t get the state he doesn’t have much of a chance.”

Other field offices that were distributing tickets are located at 35560 Vine St. in Eastlake; 216 E. Main St. in Painesville; 5192 Chillicothe Road in South Russell; and 2205 Lake Ave. in Ashtabula.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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