Archive for June, 2008
ED NOTE: From time to time Paula will be writing about our “front line” of Lorain- Lorain’s Safety Forces – The Lorain Police Dept and Lorain Fire Dept. We are starting this week with the Lorain Police Dept.
Word of Praise to Lorain’s Police Department for the work done at this weekend’s International Festival. I was impressed with their presence the two times I was there. I noticed when I returned Sunday afternoon that there was an officer at the admission table and a sign was up that individuals under the age of 18 must be escorted by an Adult. I wondered why the change and then found out they made three arrests:
1 for Obstructing Official Business
2 for assault and a purse theft Sunday.
They also “Removed” young adults and juveniles before issues could escalate. We aren’t the only community facing concerns with the increase in crime. I had read Cleveland had 400 officers (local and Highway Patrol) helping them with sweeps during one weekend.
I’d heard that things were pretty busy Saturday night/Sunday morning for LPD.
I have been very excited about the news of Grants that have been given to the Department.
“The Lorain Police Department is being awarded $500,000 in federal money to pay for equipment such as cameras in cruisers.
Police Chief Cel Rivera said the department applied for the grant. The funds, which are coming from the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill for 2009, will be used to purchase new weapons, holsters and cruiser cameras.
”With the city’s financial situation, we can’t get the tools we need to do our jobs,” Rivera said, adding the department has obtained more than $1 million in grants this year. ”We’ve been pretty successful with grants.”
Please note the date is 2009.
Another instrument in the battle is the use of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) that have just been acquired. Community Resource Officer (CRO) Les Palmer has been trained and will be training other officers. The ATVs and their equipment were paid for with police levy money. At a recent Council Meeting the “activity” in the woods near Ridgewood Cemetery was discussed and to address the problem the new ATVs would certainly help.
Last year I was privileged to experience a Drive Along with (CRO) Palmer. It was an eye opener. The lack of respect and disregard by the youth of Lorain was appalling. Example: Driving through one neighborhood an 8-10 year old male with friends yells at us, “Mr. PoPo get the F*** out of my neighborhood”. Young ladies walking a baby in the street were politely asked to move to the sidewalk, but gave the officer a look that would kill, while mumbling under their breath. So if that’s the way the Youth of Lorain treats our Safety Officers, where would that attitude possibly begin?
I am truly sad today, I have just read of the passing of Darlene Brown. photo Morning Journal
Darlene Brown’s life story ends at age 73
By The Morning Journal Staff
When I first came to Lorain I was introduced to Darlene by Lou Keppler and Jean Schaeffer and through the years Darlene was so helpful in publicizing the stories of the neighborhood.
Darlene took front and center stage at the the Black River Bicentennial last August.
She was very proud of the fact that her great uncle Milton Poet a runaway slave was an integral part of the success of the settlement that was Lorain
Then this week a conversation with Darlene Brown (longtime columnist for the Morning Journal) came the fascinating story of her Great Uncle – Milton C. Poet who died February 9th, 1918: Lorain Times Herald (front page)
Milton Carey Poet, 76 one of Lorain’s oldest and mostly wide known colored residents died at 3 am. today following an illness of two weeks.He had lived in Lorain for 50 years.
Born a slave at Richmond VA. on August 15, 1842, he fled north at the opening of the Civil War, and as a boy of 19 attached himself as an orderly to Major Boyington, Port Huron Michigan, widely known in Lorain, and served through the entire four years of the war.
At the close of the war he went to Detroit and four years later came to Lorain. At that time Lorain was but a country village without railroads and with a stage coach operating between here and Elyria. Later he cleared the land for the B&O round house and assisted in laying out many of the city’s present streets. For eight years he held the city contract for garbage collection.
He was the owner of four dwelling houses on 7th Street and six acres of land in Black River Township. He is survived by his wife, Celia Poet, two daughters, Ida Phenix, Scranton PA, Lillian Bond Cleveland and two sons, Joseph, Flint, Mich. and Charles, Lorain, eleven grandchildren and one great grandchild also survive. Funeral arrangements will be held at the residence 324, Seventh Street. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. at the Parkside Chapel, Rev Smith of the Second Baptist Church in charge, Burial in Elmwood Cemetery.
Note: Mr. Poet also owned the farmland upon which stands now the “old” Lorain High School until 1870 when a site at 602 Washington Avenue was purchased for $2000 and a four-room, two-story brick building was completed by Contractor Stanley Griffin at a cost of $15,000. This structure was part of what was known, until 1995, as Lorain High School …The History of Lorain High School
Darlene was a gentle and loving soul and we have lost so much in her passing.
I am sure when the people woke up on June 28, 1924, they had plans for a typical summer day in June- shopping, swimming at Lakeview Park or Glen’s Beach, picnics and family gatherings, organ and choir rehearsals at church for Sunday services, going downtown to the theater to watch a Saturday afternoon show.
Unlike today,they had no weather channel to click on or TV or radio to check the day’s forcast. They just knew it was a perfect, warm summer day just right for summertime activities. Little did these people know what nature had in store for them and their beautiful city.
The sunny day turned to on and off rains for a few hours that fateful day until the skies began to darken to an ominous color and the rains became intense. Many hurried home or sought shelter. Some inside the theaters were oblivious to what was about to happen. Then it came-the horrendous “monster” blew in at 5:14-the monster known as the !924 Lorain Tornado.
As written in the Official Souvenir and Memorial Book,1924:
“In those merciless five minutes the work of a half hundred years was torn to earth; seventy human lives were snuffed out; and twelve hundred persons were injured, some of them nver to recover.”
The people who witnessed the storm, endured the living conditions afterwards , and spent countless hours repairing and rebuilding the city of Lorain were most likely those of the nationalities that are recognized and celebrated this weekend at the International Festival.
There is a Historical Marker across the street near the entrance to the festival site. It is the Historic Marker for the Lorain Tornado. So perhaps today people going to the festival might want to stop and take a look at the Marker and take a moment to remember those who helped to rebuild their lives and this city after that horrendous Saturday in 1924.
The buildings on Broadway and many of the churches that we see everyday were either altered or rebuilt after the tornado- there is one building on Broadway the has “Tornado” on the front facade. There are many online websites to learn more about the tornado by searching “1924 Tornado” and Historic Marker for Lorain Tornado” and there is information at the Moore House at 5th and Reid and at the Lorain Public Library. A video was produced a few years ago about the tornado also.