September 1, 2014

Elyria
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Off the Beat, Aug. 18, 2007

Photo-op? No, just bug killers 

When Elyria resident Kathy Dembek scrambled Wednesday to get Elyria officials to respond to her Woodland Avenue neighborhood to help quell a roach infestation, she found herself at wit’s end.

Calls to various city offices were fruitless for nearly an hour, until James Love, a city building inspector, learned about the invasion and was the first to show up to offer help.

SHAWN FOUCHER / CHRONICLE

A cockroach sits on a coffee cup.

Before Love arrived, however, Dembek called an old friend: Elyria resident Tim Quinn, who happens to be running as an independent candidate for Elyria mayor. 

“I couldn’t come because I was a doing a meet-and-greet at Dog ’n Suds,” Quinn said a day after the infestation. “But I know the Dembeks. (Kathy) calls me and says, ‘Mr. Quinn, I have a problem: Roaches by the millions.’

“I thought she was exaggerating,” Quinn said.

While he couldn’t break free from the campaign trail, Quinn’s wife, Bonnie, and their young son, Joe, offered to stop by the Dembek’s neighborhood with a dozens cans of industrial-grade roach spray they’d picked up. They were also wearing their white-and-green “Quinn for Mayor” shirts.

Dembek said she was elated at the quick response from the mayoral candidate and equally impressed that the wife-and-son duo fought right alongside the homeowners — squashing, spraying and destroying the roaches in every manner possible.

Quinn says having his family show up in the campaign shirts wasn’t a campaign ploy — it was just a coincidence.
“They’re good friends,” Quinn said of the Dembeks. “Even Quinn couldn’t plan that one out.”

— Shawn Foucher 

Sleepy sources

Getting information about a possible union strike is hard. It’s even more difficult to get when the union president has been awake for nearly 40 hours straight.

After Don Golden, president of the Steelworkers Local 1104, agreed to a tentative deal with Republic Engineered Products management during negotiations in Pittsburgh, he wanted to do very little talking.

Golden, along with other union representatives from Republic’s five American plants, had been negotiating for weeks and participated in a 36-hour marathon session before coming to terms Thursday afternoon. He chatted briefly afterward — albeit reluctantly.

“I already sent you guys that release,” Golden told a reporter around 6 p.m. Thursday. “All I want to do now is go to bed.”

— Adam Wright

Deed fee a rip-off

County Recorder Judy Nedwick wants you to know you don’t have to pay $59.50 to get a copy of the deed for your property.

Nedwick said she received a few calls from residents on Friday asking about a letter they received from a company called National Deed Service Inc. that offered to get them a certified copy of their deed for only $60.

The letter made it sound like getting the deed is a hassle, but Nedwick said that’s not true.

All a property owner has to do, she said, is stop by her downtown office in the county Administration Building and they’ll make a certified copy for about $3. Property owners also can get a non-certified copy from the county recorder’s Web site.

Anyone with questions can call Nedwick’s office at (440) 329-5148.

— Brad Dicken

Hold up mix-up

Last Saturday’s so-called hostage situation at a Forest Hill Drive home was less about a hostage being held and more of a situation with a drunken man that police wanted to resolve.

Police Lt. Joseph Kucirek said that there was no indication that the ordeal involving 26-year-old Jason P. Pence was a hostage situation because his fiancee was never held at gunpoint. But the combination of a past history of domestic violence, Pence’s intoxicated state when officers arrived, the possibility he had a gun and the fact that neither Pence nor his fiancee were answering their cell phones all worked together to create a tense situation.

The officers on the scene and the Lorain County SWAT team, which subsequently joined the case, had to act on limited information when making decisions about what to do.

But that’s what was going on outside the home.

Inside, police said they later learned Pence arrived home drunk and belligerent. His pregnant fiancee, too tired to deal with the situation, told him to go to bed without knowing that he had had an episode in front of the house with police.

The family went to bed long before the 8:30 a.m. arrest, police said.

“The incident turned out to have a peaceful resolution,” Kucirek said. “The female said she slept through the entire ordeal as well as her 4-year-old son. But we were there in case it didn’t.”

— Lisa Roberson