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Published: Thursday, 9/29/2011

Around Town: Day Trippin' for Democracy

BY BARBARA HENDEL
BLADE STAFF WRITER
From left, Dave Murray, Shaun Hegarty, Karen Fraker, Tom Troy, Kevin Beining, and Tedra White on the bus ride home from Day Trippin' to the Statehouse and Judical Center Sept. 21, 2011 From left, Dave Murray, Shaun Hegarty, Karen Fraker, Tom Troy, Kevin Beining, and Tedra White on the bus ride home from Day Trippin' to the Statehouse and Judical Center Sept. 21, 2011
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The Press Club of Toledo's Day Trippin' to the Statehouse and Judicial Center Sept. 21 was a fun and informative day. Everyone boarded the bus bright and early and enjoyed a continental breakfast with plenty of coffee. Some folks thought they were going to sleep or read on the way, but soon realized that this was a chatty group.

Participants included me, event chairman, and co-chairmen Tedra White of ProMedica and Shaun Hegarty of FOX Toledo, Blade Managing Editor Dave Murray and reporter Tom Troy, Kevin Beining of WTVG-TV, Channel 13, Christy Penka and Scott Recker of the City Paper, Christine Seneck, creator of The Girl in the Glass City blog, Suzanne Carroll, of The Jazz Brunch, Clyde Scoles, Susan Gibney, and Rhonda Sewell of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Karen Fraker of Fifth Third Bank with her husband, Carlton, and Jean Drees, Harbor Behavorial Healthcare.

Laneta Goings of Apex Micrographics, Inc., joined us in Columbus.

The Judicial Center was the first stop with the Supreme Court in session. One of the cases proved to be pretty spicy, and something to look up in court documents later. Justice Judith Lanzinger of Toledo graciously took time to chat with us afterward.

The Statehouse cafe was the spot for lunch with Sens. Edna Brown and Mark Wagoner and Reps. Michael Ashford,Matt Szollosi, and Randy Gardner.

Attorney General Mike DeWine gave us a tour of his office located across the street from the Statehouse. What an impressive office with a gorgeous view of Columbus, and so much history. Amanda Patton, his assistant, was a Press Club of Toledo scholarship recipient during school.

Senators Edna Brown and Mark Wagoner with representative Michael Ashford.           Senators Edna Brown and Mark Wagoner with representative Michael Ashford.
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Back in the Statehouse, we were introduced during the Senate session, which was a tad late because of the caucus beforehand. The meeting proved to be lively since the hot topic was redistricting Ohio congressional districts. The room itself was beautiful, but any media taking pictures had to face the audience, so they would not take pictures of the backs of senators heads.

Gov. John Kasich was away at a conference, but we were still privy to the governor's historic office. Brad Reynolds, director of constituent affairs, gave us a tour, and oh, if the walls could talk.

Gregg Dodd, deputy director, communications, marketing, and events, gave a tour of the Statehouse's beautiful Rotunda Press Room where Blade Columbus Bureau Chief Jim Provance filled us in on everything.

After a stop in the gift shop, we headed to G&R Tavern in Waldo for its famous fried bologna sandwiches. Then it was back on the bus for beer and wine and more snacks with plenty of gabbing as we headed back to T-town.

The day certainly made us feel a part of democracy in action.



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