April 24, 2015

Elyria
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Police seek two in Salem Avenue burglary

ELYRIA – Police are searching for two suspects who attempted to burglarize a home on Salem Avenue this afternoon. Elyria Police Capt. Chris Costantino said the two men, who burglarized a house in the 800 block of Salem Avenue, tried to make off with a large gun safe. A neighbor noticed the men’s activity and Read More…

Petitions challenging Sheffield rezoning are submitted

Sheffield rezoning

SHEFFIELD — Citizens have moved forward with efforts to put a rezoning issue before voters in November. Village Council approved the rezoning of 60 acres along Abbe Road near Interstate 90 for a potential assisted-living center and condominium complex in March. It was changed from industrial to residential and multi-family in January. Mike Gorka, who Read More…

Burge convicted on six counts (VIDEO)

Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge prepares to give his closing statement to the jury during his trial Wednesday at the Lorain County Justice Center in Elyria. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Common Pleas Judge James Burge was convicted Wednesday on counts of falsification and tampering with records, charges that will draw to a close his tumultuous eight-year tenure on the bench and 40 years as an attorney. The five-man, seven-woman jury took less than two hours to find him guilty of the three felonies Read More…

Burge trial: Proceedings shift on judge’s testimony (VIDEO)

Judge James Burge and his attorney Michael Stepanik listen as they are admonished by visiting Judge Dale Crawford for their communications while Burge was on the stand Tuesday. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge entered the fourth day of his corruption trial on a high — half of the 12 initial charges against him were dismissed, and the state’s case against him appeared to be faltering. Then he stepped to the witness stand to testify on his own behalf. During Read More…

Four charges dropped against Burge

Judge James Burge hands documents to Special Prosecuting Attorney Matt Donahue during his trial at Lorain County Justice Center in Elyria on April 6. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — Visiting Judge Dale Crawford dismissed the remaining four counts of soliciting improper compensation and having an unlawful interest in a public contract that had been filed against Common Pleas Court Judge James Burge, saying the state didn’t prove the judge had committed the crimes. Prior to trial, Crawford had dismissed two other counts, Read More…

Prosecution rests; Burge to present defense this afternoon

ELYRIA – The state rested its case against Judge James Burge on Monday morning after calling final witness Thomas Brokamp. Part of the state’s case against Burge hinges on whether or not he committed a criminal act by omitting certain information on financial disclosure forms, specifically the fact that he failed to list Lorain National Read More…

Survivors haunted by 1965 Pittsfield tornado

This aerial photo of state routes 58 and 303 that shows the destruction caused by the tornado that struck Pittsfield Center on April 11, 1965, was featured on the front page of The Chronicle-Telegram the day after the twister struck. The tornado, part of the 1965 Palm Sunday outbreak, killed 19 people in Lorain County and injured 141.

Palm Sunday of 1965 was a night of death, darkness and destruction in which the lives of people that survived a devastating tornado were forever changed. Even now, 50 years later, some say they still experience anxiety and fear when a storm starts to brew, while others simply cannot talk about what is marked in Read More…

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Judge questions county prosecutor as corruption trial continues

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ELYRIA — State prosecutors are looking to paint Lorain County Common Pleas Court Judge James Burge as a white-collar criminal while the judge is trying to convince jurors that he’s being railroaded by a local prosecutor who despises him. The second day of Burge’s trial Friday featured prosecution calling witnesses including tenants of 600 Broadway Read More…

VIDEO: Burge defends self as trial opens

Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge shows the jury evidence Thursday regarding his alleged connections to Whiteacre North Ltd. in the courtroom of Visiting Judge Dale Crawford in the Lorain County Justice Center in Elyria. KRISTEN BAUER/CHRONICLE

Common Pleas Court Judge James Burge, a defense attorney before being elected to the bench, returned to that role Thursday to defend himself against charges that could end his long legal career. Burge, representing himself with the aid of attorney Michael Stepanik, told a five-man, seven-woman jury that he was innocent of the accusations filed Read More…

State alleges Burge defense trying to taint jury pool

ELYRIA — The state is calling a lawyer’s recent request for the dismissal of charges against Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge a transparent attempt to taint the jury pool. Attorney Michael Stepanik called for the dismissal in documents filed Friday in which he accused the Ohio Attorney General’s office of prosecutorial misconduct for Read More…