The Blade

I-75 closed this weekend for bridge demolition; traffic detoured through ramps

NEWPORT, Mich. — Demolition of a bridge over I-75 north of Monroe this weekend has reduced freeway traffic to a single lane with a detour through interchange ramps. The Michigan Department of Transportation said demolition of the Nadeau Road bridge, in Frenchtown Township just north of the I-275 junction, could last until 6 a.m. Monday. Major traffic delays are possible, and motorists should consider using I-275 and U.S. 24 as an alternative route. Nadeau is closed until mid-November for the bridge replacement.
Picture for I-75 closed this weekend for bridge demolition; traffic detoured through ramps

City contractor to redo two Schneider circles after design change

City officials’ second thoughts about the design of controversial mini-circles at three Schneider Road intersections are going to cost the Toledo Department of Transportation $16,000. The two concrete islands that have already been poured will be taken out and replaced with circles that are slightly smaller and whose outer rings will be flush with adjoining pavement, Douglas Stephens, director of the Toledo Department of Transportation, said Friday. The three circles are intended to curb speeding on Schneider, which has long attracted certain drivers as an cut-through street to avoid traffic lights on parallel Glendale Avenue or Heatherdowns Boulevard. But after Geddis Paving, which has a $291,909.45 contract to rebuild the three intersections along with other pavement work in the area, built the circles at Royal Haven Road and Brierheath Avenue, city officials discussed them with at least one neighborhood driver who said he would have trouble towing a trailer along the street without hitting concrete lips at the circles’ edges.
Picture for City contractor to redo two Schneider circles after design change

Decorative arch to be installed over Broadway

Broadway will be briefly closed Monday near I-75 while a decorative arch celebrating Toledo’s Old South End neighborhood is test-fit into its supports, the Toledo Department of Transportation announced. The supports for the arch between I-75 and Jervis Street were erected Friday. The arched gateway will be formally installed and dedicated during a ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, but the test will be done Monday in case any adjustments are needed before the ceremony, said Chris Amato, president of the Historic South Initiative. Lanes will be closed in the area starting at 9 a.m. Monday and the street will be shut down entirely for about 20 minutes sometime between 1 and 3 p.m., the city said.

Man accused of golf club beating death takes plea deal

An East Toledo man accused of beating his neighbor to death with a golf club pleaded guilty to murder Friday and was immediately given a life sentence by a Lucas County Common Pleas Judge. Keith Thompson, 47, originally entered an insanity plea in connection with the death of David Fishbein, 47, who died in a Columbus hospital two weeks after the Nov. 22 assault in a street near both men’s homes. One person witnessed the attack, court records showed. Thompson had been indicted on two alternative counts of murder and one of felonious assault. Judge Stacy Cook sentenced him to life in prison with parole eligibility after 15 years after he accepted a plea agreement under which the other counts were dropped and the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to abstain from objecting to his potential parole.

Man found guilty of summer 2021 downtown killing, self-defense claim shattered

A Lucas County jury needed only a few hours of deliberation Friday to convict a Toledo man of murder and other charges stemming from a shooting last summer in downtown Toledo. Feymon Walker, 25, was found guilty after a three-day trial of murder and felonious assault, both with gun specifications, in the death of Stormy Clere, 28, who was shot just after midnight July 18, 2021 in a parking lot in the 600 block of Monroe Street. The jury also convicted Walker of tampering with evidence. Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Eric Allen Marks is scheduled to sentence Walker on Aug. 29 at 1 p.m. Prosecutors said during the trial that Mr. Clere was highly intoxicated and started two separate fights with Walker after seeing his fiancée speaking to Walker. After the first fistfight was broken up by witnesses, Walker started to walk away, but Mr. Clere started it up again.

Top attraction at Jeep Fest kickoff party is a Monroe dealership's off-road course

MONROE — It's safe to say not many Jeeps will get stuck cruising the streets of Toledo for Jeep Fest this weekend. But one did at the kickoff party on Friday at Monroe Superstore, which has long featured an 18-obstacle course adjacent to the dealership. Chad Reigle, a salesman at the dealer, happened to be driving right behind the aforementioned high-centered Gladiator and sprang into action. He pulled out his heavy-duty tow rope, gave a few tugs with his 2014 Wrangler, and freed the vehicle from its perch. A small cheer went up from the rest of the party's attendees, which tallied around 300 Jeeps and more than 1,000 people throughout the afternoon. 

All 5 major championship winners commit to Dana Open

The field for the Dana Open presented by Marathon received a major boost Friday with the commitment of all five current major championship winners. U.S. Women’s Open champion Minjee Lee, Evian Championship winner Brooke Henderson, Chevron Championship winner Jennifer Kupcho, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship winner In Gee Chun, and Women’s British Open champion Ashleigh Buhai will take part in the LPGA’s Dana Open, slated for Aug. 31-Sept. 4 at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania. “The field for this year’s tournament is fantastic,” tournament director Judd Silverman said. Also committed to the Dana Open is defending champion Nasa Hataoka, as well as Lexi Thompson, Danielle Kang, Lydia Ko, Stacy Lewis, and Leona Maguire.

Wisconsin man found not guilty by reason of insanity in Ohio Turnpike stabbings

FREMONT — A Wisconsin man who stabbed two strangers, one fatally, at an Ohio Turnpike service plaza last fall has been institutionalized after being found not guilty by reason of insanity in Sandusky County Common Pleas Court. Thomas Conner, 51, of Beloit, Wis., allegedly attacked patrons at random at the Erie Islands Service Plaza on the toll road’s westbound side on the evening of Oct. 19. David Diederich, 66, of LaPorte, Ind. was killed in the attacks and Alan Austin, 53, of Delavan, Wis. was hospitalized. A county sheriff’s deputy then shot Mr. Conner twice after the knife-wielding man charged him. Mr. Conner was briefly hospitalized afterward, and was indicted 10 days later for aggravated murder, murder, attempted murder, and two counts of felonious assault, all with repeat violent offender specifications, but Judge John Ickes found him not guilty by reason of insanity for all five counts on June 15. Mr. Conner was committed Monday to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for treatment “at a hospital or facility as deemed clinically appropriate.” His case is set for a review hearing after six months.

Man charged with murder for death of infant

A South Toledo man accused of beating his infant child to death early this month has been indicted for murder and other charges. Ahmad Williams, 22, was arrested Aug. 2 and initially charged with felonious assault and endangering children in connection with injuries suffered by Messiah Williams, 10 months, who was unconscious and not breathing when police responded the previous afternoon to a safety check at an apartment in the unit block of Buckingham Terrace. Firefighters and emergency medical personnel were already attending to the infant, who was then taken to Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center, where the boy later died. The initial child-endangering charge was later stepped up from third-degree to second-degree and the unspecified murder charge was added.

Wood County investigating E. coli outbreak; 16 sickened so far

BOWLING GREEN — Health officials are tracing an E. coli outbreak that so far is known to have infected 16 Wood County residents, including six who have been hospitalized. Ben Robison, the county health commissioner, said Friday it is too early to know if the cases are related, but test samples have been sent to the Ohio Department of Health laboratory to determine if the infections are from a common strain of the bacteria or from different strains. But the number of infections is likely to climb, Mr. Robison said, and county officials believe there likely are cases they haven’t heard about yet. He asked anyone who “lives, works, or eats” in Wood County and has experienced E.coli symptoms recently to fill out a “comprehensive” online questionnaire. E. coli infections are typically food-borne, but infection can also be transmitted by ingesting the bacteria in other ways, such as by touching an infected surface and then placing one’s fingers in one’s mouth. Bacteria then make their way through the digestive tract and lodge in the intestines, Mr. Robison said.

FBI seized 'top secret' documents from Trump home

WASHINGTON — The FBI recovered several documents that were labeled as “top secret” from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, according to multiple reports Friday, as a federal judge was weighing whether to unseal the warrant that authorized the unprecedented search this week. A property receipt obtained by the news outlets shows FBI agents took 11 sets of classified records from the estate during a search on Monday. The property receipt is a document prepared by federal agents to specify what was taken during a search. The seized records include some that were marked as classified and top secret, according to the reports. The court records did not provide specific details about the documents or what information they might contain. In a statement Friday, Trump claimed that the documents seized by agents at his Florida club were “all declassified,” and argued that he would have turned over the documents to the Justice Department if asked.

La Mafia in talks to return after abrupt end to Cántame music festival

Days after a headliner band’s performance at the Cántame Latin music festival was cut short, festival organizers have said they are working with the band, La Mafia, to return for another performance in Toledo. Ernesto Pedroza, founder and CEO of PromoShare, the Chicago-based promotional company that organized Cántame, said this week that PromoShare is working with La Mafia, the Lucas County Agricultural Society, security, and other vendors to arrange the follow-up performance.  Details are not yet final.  Cántame brought local and national acts to the Lucas County Fairgrounds between Aug. 5-7. “If you look at Friday, Saturday, and Sunday up until the last 20 minutes, it was amazing,” Pedroza said. “Saturday, we had an amazing crowd. The energy there was unbelievable.”  In those last 20 minutes on Sunday, however, La Mafia’s headlining performance was stopped abruptly. Attendees weren’t immediately clear what had happened or why.

'His first interest is athletes': Lynn Groll and the sudden rise of a Northwest Ohio high school football magazine

At first glance it looks indistinguishable from any other football preview magazine — eye-catchingly colorful, undeniably glossy, and absolutely jam-packed with information. Opening it up, however, reveals a different cast of characters than late summer’s usual Athlon Sports or Phil Steele fare. Instead of the Browns and Lions, readers get Bryan and Leipsic; instead of Ohio State and Michigan, Otsego and Maumee. This is Black Swamp Football, a pet project of Napoleon resident Lynn Groll that has grown into something of a regional phenomenon in its fourth year of existence. Its presence in businesses throughout Northwest Ohio is considerable – 32 locations in 25 area towns, all proudly pinned on Groll’s Twitter account. In addition to the print product and Groll’s 2,700-strong Twitter following, the magazine boasts a website, a podcast, a gamecast, and official merchandise. “My goal would be to have a magazine for the whole state of Ohio at some point,” Groll said. “That’s big, big, big picture. There’s one in Texas, there’s some other states that have something like this, but that would be my big goal.”

Toledo basketball center Edu's comeback shows promise in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — AJ Edu felt great after playing 17 minutes Wednesday night in Toledo’s second of three exhibition games in Puerto Rico. The junior center had four points — two on a rim-rattling dunk — along with 10 rebounds and a blocked shot, looking every bit like the AJ Edu who was named to the MAC All-Freshman team in 2018-19. “I can do all the workouts and all the rehab sessions, but nothing quite emulates being on the court and playing the games,” Edu said. “It’s been super important for me and boosted my confidence a lot.” Thursday morning, he felt just as good, which was probably the most important news UT has received in years related to Edu.

Swimming is free this weekend at Toledo city pools

A former city lifeguard’s $1,000 donation means admission to Toledo’s municipal pools will be free this weekend. The pools will be open from noon until 6 p.m. each day. The city’s benefactor prefers to remain anonymous, said Amy Voigt, a city spokesman. Roosevelt Pool is closed for repairs, but Toledo’s five other pools and the Savage Park Splash Pad will all be open this weekend. Along with free swimming, free prepackaged meals from the Children’s Hunger Alliance will be available to children at the pools.

Defenseman Ryan Lowney returns to Walleye for 2022-23

The Toledo Walleye have re-signed defenseman Ryan Lowney for the 2022-23 season, the team announced Friday. Lowney was a crucial part of Toledo’s successful return to ECHL competition last season after a one-year absence. He racked up six goals and 18 assists in 45 regular-season games, helping the Walleye post a 49-19-2-2 record en route to a Central Division title and Kelly Cup Finals appearance. “Ryan brings a ton of leadership and experience to our team,” Walleye coach Dan Watson said in a news release. “He’s consistently good each game and someone we can always count on. He defends well, can provide offense and has the ability to break pucks out of our zone.” The Redford, Mich., native posted solid numbers despite joining the team midseason after 28 games with the Rødovre Mighty Bulls in Rødovre, Denmark.

Blade staff writer appears on NBC's 'Today'

The Blade's Steve Kornacki appeared on NBC's Today on Friday. Viewers have been seeing double all week, in a running feature that's introduced anchors and others affiliated with the morning show to their “name twins,” or people who share their name. Al Roker, Craig Melvin, and Dylan Dreyer all took turns earlier in the week. On Friday, NBC's Steve Kornacki was up.

2022 NWOAL football team previews: Liberty Center a slim favorite in preseason poll

By the slimmest of margins, Liberty Center is the Northwest Ohio Athletic League football title favorite this season over defending champion Archbold. Both teams received four first-place votes in a preseason poll of league coaches, but the Tigers of sixth-year coach Casey Mohler, who split their two matchups with Archbold last year, edged the Blue Streaks 58-57 in total voting points. Wauseon was third in the poll with 47 points, and Patrick Henry was fourth at 44. Liberty Center was humbled in its Sept. 17 league game at Archbold, falling 41-7. But the Tigers rebounded to take a 38-35 Division VI third-round playoff victory over the Streaks on a last-second field goal from Carly Roth.

Meet the 13 first-year coaches in Toledo-area high school football for 2022

High school football in Ohio is set to kick off on Aug. 18, followed by Michigan on Aug. 25. Here's a glance at the 13 coaches in the Toledo area who are taking over new programs. ■ Mike Blochowski, St. Francis: Blochowski is serving as interim coach after last year’s coach, Bruce Gradkowski, departed to be an offensive coordinator in the new XFL. Blochowski was previously the St. Francis defensive coordinator, and he served as St. Francis’ head coach in 2010 and 2011, going 7-13 overall. ■ Greg Silm, Northview: Silm was a Northview assistant for five years before landing the head coach position in February. Silm is a 2008 graduate of St. John’s and former receiver at Hillsdale College. He began his coaching career right out of college by serving two years as an assistant at Maumee. Silm then moved west and coached three seasons with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Ariz. Before coming to Northview, he was an assistant at Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington, Va.