November 24, 2014

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Off the beat: Sept. 29

Boy seeks restitution from reporter for broken skateboard

An Elyria resident called The Chronicle-Telegram for help in identifying the News Channel 5 reporter who accidentally broke her grandson’s skateboard during a three-hour standoff last week.

Liz Garcia said the reporter jumped on the skateboard when he attempted to ride it, but ended up cracking the board in half instead.

The reporter apologized to her grandson, Garcia said, took down his information and offered to reimburse him for it, but as of a week later, he had not called back.

“I was on the Internet looking for pictures of him,” she said. “My grandson really liked that skateboard.”

— Stephen Szucs

Amherst teen enters bubble battle

Chew, stretch, blow.

Chew, stretch, blow.

Pop.

That’s the best way to describe 16-year-old Alexandria DiLuciano’s unique ability. The Amherst Steele High School junior is a bubble gum blowing expert who will join a field of 53 other chewers in the Bubblicious Ultimate Bubble Blowing League contest held this weekend in New York City. It is a fun competition to see which kids can blow the biggest bubbles with just one piece of Bubblicious bubble gum.

DiLuciano said there is no real secret to bubble blowing.

She started doing it years ago as a child and has since learned how to show off by blowing  sticky spheres several inches in diameter. The largest has been one that is bigger DiLuciano’s head.

Hopefully, it will be just the right size to garner DiLuciano the top slot and a $500 cash prize. But if it doesn’t, DiLuciano said the event has something much better to offer: the chance to meet Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James, who is a spokesman for the contest.

LISA ROBERSON/CHRONICLE
Alexandria DiLuciano

Hands down, DiLuciano said, meeting James will be better than any cash prize she can receive. She is a huge fan. She went to three regular-season games and five post-season games last season and has James memorabilia throughout her house. Her favorite flavor of gum is LeBron’s Lightning Lemonade.

“He’s just amazing,” she said. “I’ve been a fan of his since he came to the Cavs. There’s no other way to describe him. It’s just the fact that he’s so young and so good.”

DiLuciano doesn’t know what she will say to James when she gets a chance to meet him. She has already been told that an autograph will likely be out of the question. And she anticipates having just a few precious seconds to make an impression.

“Hopefully, I’ll just play it cool and not sound too stupid,” she said.

— Lisa Roberson