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Published: Sunday, 5/14/2006

Warts and all, Lucas County has much to be proud of

Nine bite-size Lemmon Drops to nibble on before your Mother's Day travels:

  • Living in Lucas County can be pretty disheartening at times.

    This month, for example, we've read troubling stories about Bob McCloskey, Tom Noe, and Ray Kest. The brazenness of these three political sausage-makers rivals anything seen on a national level.

    And it's not just politics.

    In the murder trial of the Rev. Gerald Robinson, we heard testimony about missing police files from the original investigation in 1980. Connect the dots and it would be hard not to conclude that there was a coverup to protect the Catholic Church.

    But it was while watching that same trial on Court TV that I discovered wait, rediscovered why I'm proud to call Lucas County home.

    A new generation of law-enforcement officials brought Sister Margaret Ann Pahl's killer to justice. From the relaunching of the investigation and the diligent work of the cold-case detectives through the closing arguments, I was thoroughly impressed with their professionalism.

    There are countless examples of our justice system having failed (the Rodney King verdict first comes to mind), but it was nearly flawless in the case of the State of Ohio vs. Gerald Robinson.

    It took a new generation to get the job done.

  • Of the dozens of closing arguments I've seen on TV through the years, few have been more convincing than the one Wednesday by Lucas County Assistant Prosecutor Dean Mandros.

  • After reading that Rossford is still in the running for a new Bass Pro Shops store and East Toledo isn't being considered, I almost expected Tim Gladieux to announce that he would begin construction of a downtown Bass Pro Shops store within 90 days.

    (Didn't get that one? From a Feb. 28, 1999, article: "One day after Rossford announced plans for a $48 million hockey arena, the owner of the Toledo Sports Arena said he plans to begin construction of a downtown hockey arena within 90 days.")

  • And to think, we're still waiting for that new downtown arena.

  • The competition between the inaugural Ribs on the River (Aug. 4-6 in Toledo) and the Northwest Ohio Rib-Off (Aug. 10-13 in Maumee) is going to be fun to watch, especially since Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is part of the mix.

    Now that the Rib-Off which is moving to the Lucas County Rec Center after 22 years in downtown Toledo has signed musical acts Jo Dee Messina and Grand Funk Railroad, how will Ribs on the River respond?

    Your turn, Mr. Finkbeiner.

  • Southwyck Shopping Center's planned transformation into The Village at Southwyck has loyal reader Doris scratching her head: "Someone new in town won't know if it's a shopping mall or an assisted-living complex."

  • With Southwyck and Westgate Village about to undergo extreme makeovers, and The Shops at Fallen Timbers slowly taking shape, it appears the gorilla that is Westfield Franklin Park may be shedding a few of its 800 pounds.

  • Given that the Preakness is in six days, the gallows humor in a recent e-mail from loyal reader Denny may get another go-round: "Combining the Father Robinson trial with human superstition, I wonder how many Toledo-area gamblers bet on 'Sinister Minister' in the Kentucky Derby."

  • A question that will be asked locally for years to come: Where were you when the verdict in the Father Robinson trial was announced?



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