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Elyria Chronicle Telegram Newspaper Archives Mar 28 2015, Page 1

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Elyria Chronicle Telegram (Newspaper) - March 28, 2015, Elyria, Ohio Cyan A1 Magenta A1 Yellow A1 Black A1 Cyan A1 Magenta A1 Yellow A1 Black A1 EAGLES FLY ACCENT, D1 Troop nears special badge ELITE EIGHT SPORTS, C1 Top NCAA contenders set High of 29. Low of 15. Forecast on A6 PARTLY SUNNY W W W . C H R O N I C L E T . C O M ADVICE ............ D2 BUSINESS ........ A4 CLASSIFIEDS .... F5 COMICS ........ F2- 3 MOVIES................ D2 OBITUARIES........ B2 OPINION ...... D4- 5 YOURTOWN........ B3 INDEX SATURDAY, March 28, 2015 75 ¢ 7 DAYS AWEEK HOME DELIVERY Brad Dicken The Chronicle- Telegram ELYRIA — A lawyer for Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge has accused the Ohio Attorney General’s office of prosecutorial misconduct for allegedly withholding documents he contends bolsters the judge’s defense against public corruption charges. Attorney Michael Stepanik wrote in court documents filed Friday that although prosecutors have accused Burge of improperly having an interest in Whiteacre North between February 2011 and June 7, 2011, that wasn’t the case. He also asked Visiting Judge Dale Crawford to throw out the charges against Burge. Burge and his business partners, Michael Tully and Susan Burge, who is the judge’s wife, sold the company to lawyer Shimane Smith and his wife in 2007 when Burge took the bench. The deal fell apart in early 2011 and prosecutors have long argued that the company reverted to Burge and his partners. They maintain that the judge had an interest in the company, which owned 600 Broadway in Lorain where several lawyers who appeared before Burge had offices, until Burge transferred his stake in Whiteacre to his wife on June 7, 2011, for $ 1. Stepanik wrote that bank records turned over by Assistant Ohio Attorney General Matt Donahue this week show that the Smiths continued to run the company long after that. “ Shimane and Azuree Smith, remained in the premises, collecting rent, writing checks from Whiteacre’s account and operating the partnership, as owners, until December 2011, six months after defendant assigned all of his interests in the sales agreement to his wife, Susan,” Stepanik wrote. Based on that, Stepanik wrote, Burge never had an interest in the company or an improper business relationship with any of the attorneys renting space at the office Lawyer: AG withheld evidence Burge’s attorney claims proof suppressed by state official Burge See EVIDENCE, A2 Lisa Roberson The Chronicle- Telegram Firelands Schools’ loss is Springfield Schools’ gain. Firelands Superintendent Bob Hill was named Thursday as the new superintendent of the district located near Dayton. He has signed a four- year contract with a base salary of $ 152,500. Hill will replace Springfield’s current superintendent, who is set to retire. In his new role, Hill will oversee a district with a $ 125 million budget, 950 employees and more than 7,800 students. Hill Middle Avenue goes dark Firelands Schools’ head leaving Lisa Roberson The Chronicle- Telegram GRAFTON — Midview Schools will keep Scott Goggin on as superintendent for another five years. The Midview school board unanimously voted to approve a new five- year contract for Goggin, effective Aug. 1, 2016, to July 31, 2021, during a meeting Thursday. Goggin has been at Midview OKs new contract for Goggin KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE The streetlights on Middle Avenue, shown Friday night, are powerless. Lisa Roberson The Chronicle- Telegram The residents on the south side of Elyria are literally in the dark as a result of the Middle Avenue reconstruction project. The first phase of the project is starting up and, as a result, the street lights are going out. In their place, the city is putting up six portable light trailers to illuminate the area. “ It’s not going to be anywhere close to what the regular street lights will be, but it will Lights out during street improvement MORE INFO Residents who have questions or concerns about the Middle Avenue Corridor project can call the Engineer’s Office at ( 440) 326- 1444. Brad Dicken The Chronicle- Telegram LORAIN — Lorain Democrats urged voters to examine the criminal record of City Councilman Dennis Flores, D- 2nd Ward, but they didn’t do the same for the other people running for Council, many of whom have had their own runins with the law. Seven other Democrats running for office in the May primary also have criminal pasts, according to The Chronicle- Te l e g ra m’ s review of dockets in Avon Lake, Elyria, Lorain, Oberlin and Vermilion municipal courts and the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. Many more of the candidates had minor traffic violations. In a news release Thursday, Lorain City Democratic Party Chairman Paul Adams wrote that the party was recommending all of the candidates running in his party’s primary except for Flores, who has previous convictions for solicitation, carrying a concealed weapon and drunken driving. “ Just as the records of exemplary community leaders in the party speak for themselves, Dennis Flores’s public criminal record speaks for itself,” Adams wrote. The recommendations came after reviews by a Vetting Committee that met with candidates in 2013 and earlier this year. Despite the criminal pasts of the more than one- third of the 21 Democratic candidates running in Council races this year, See LIGHTS, A2 Goggin Ridgeville school project dodges construction setback Flores not only one with record LORAIN CITY COUNCIL Steve Fogarty The Chronicle- Telegram NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Another week and the $ 58.1 million middle school projected to open in two years would have had its inaugural construction season jeopardized by a possible bat habitat. Thanks to an 11th- hour approval of a needed state EPA permit, an Elyria contracting crew was able to remove a little more than six acres of trees in two days this week to comply with state requirements governing potential bat habitats. “ We had a week to get all those trees down or else we wouldn’t have been able to touch them, and that would have imperiled our whole construction season,” William Greene, assistant superintendent of business services, said Friday. “ Now it looks like we’ll be moving dirt in mid- June, and that’s fantastic.” One pile of live and dead trees near Bainbridge Road and an even bigger pile behind the high school are evidence of the manic pace of work by a seven- man crew from Kelly Brothers Construction in Elyria. Last autumn, ThenDesign Architects, the Willoughby company designing the $ 58.1 million school for grades three to eight, hired a firmto study the site of the new school to identify any wetlands and whether any portions of the 96- acre location was home to any endangered species of animals, particularly the Indiana bat, which like most bats, like making their homes in dead trees. Despite the fact no evidence of bats or their habitats was found, state regulations protecting endangered bats restrict the removal of dead trees to the months of October through March. Plans called for work to remove trees to begin last fall, but delays in obtaining the See SETBACK, A2 Flores See RECORD, A2 See CONTRACT, A2 See LEAVING, A2 AREA SUPERINTENDENTS

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