A Mentor man accepted plea deal in exchange for a lesser sentence in a sexual misconduct case. Blair Brede, 43, originally was indicted on one count each of rape and attempted rape in Lake County Common Pleas Court, but on Monday (March 27), he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge
Arguing that his nearly 10 year sentence was contrary to law still didn’t get a Mentor-on-the-Lake sexual predator the appeal he wanted. Daniel Taeusch, 44, who was sentenced in March 2016 to 9 ½ years in prison after pleading guilty to committing sex acts against four underage girls, says his alcholism warrants a lesser sentence. The 11th District Court of Appeals, however, ruled this week that Taeusch failed to give sufficient weight to support a less severe penalty, and his sentence would remain in place.
LENOX TOWNSHIP – A fatal car fire in the parking lot of the Lenox Community Center has been ruled a suicide. The vehicle already was engulfed in flames when Jefferson fire crews arrived and extinguished the blaze Sunday night. An elderly township man, who is believed to have doused the vehicle in gasoline and ignited it, died inside. After speaking with the man’s family, the county coroner’s office determined the victim took his own life. The matter remains under investigation.
SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP – Traffic was blocked for about an hour in the area of West 19th St., after a fire broke out at an abandoned home Monday afternoon. Because there was so much smoke when crews from four area fire departments arrived, firefighters had to enter the home from a second floor window to contain the blaze at 2725 West 19th St., according to reports. No one was hurt, officials said, but the unoccupied home was seriously damaged in the fire.
The Cleveland Indians are shoring up their squad for the 2017 campaign by announcing that Jose Ramirez officially signed his five-year contract with the Tribe on Tuesday, and one of the first things he did before the ink was dry was send a message to Cleveland fans via Twitter, saying: [quote] “I want to thank the Cleveland Indians for believing in me since I was 17 years old…I’m very grateful for the opportunities given to me by the front office, Manager Terry “Tito” Francona, the owners and the fans…This deal was a no-brainer to me. Cleveland is my home and I’m happy to be here.” [end quote]
Ramirez was signed as a non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic just two months after turning 17. He played 48 games in the Arizona Rookie League in 2011, had a stop with the Lake County Captains in 2012, hitting .354 in 67 games, and jumped to the major leagues, playing 15 games with the Indians in 2013, 68 games in 2014, and 97 in 2015. He had career highs with the Indians last season, hitting .312, with 84 runs, 11 homers and 76 RBI. The Indians now have 20 players under contract through at least 2018.
The Cleveland Browns have re-signed Parma Heights’ Own Jamie Meder, the team announced on Tuesday. Meder is the local defensive Lineman who has grown to become a celebrity in Northeast Ohio after being nicknamed the “Pierogi Prince of Parma” by 10-year Pro Bowl tackle Joe Thomas in December.
Most notably, Meder was instrumental in helping the Browns break a brutal 2016 losing streak when the 6-foot-3, 308 pounder blocked a field-goal attempt by the Chargers to help preserve a 20-17 victory on Christmas Eve. The Browns lost in Pittsburgh eight days later and finished 1-15. Meder was an exclusive rights free agent. He played in all 16 games last season with 15 starts, made 48 tackles and had one sack.
A Mentor-on-the-Lake molester does not deserve a lesser sentence, according to the 11th District Court of Appeals ruling this week.
44-year-old Daniel Taeusch was sentenced in March 2016 to 9 ½ years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual battery and three counts of gross sexual imposition. He admitted to committing sex acts against four girls, but appealed for leniency because of his alcoholism and mental health issues. He also argued that Lake County Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci’s maximum sentence was contrary to law. None of the victims were strangers to Taeusch and all were under the age of 16.
Appellate Judge Cynthia Westcott Rice wrote in her 3-0 opinion that even if it was a contributing factor, his voluntary intoxication does not ameliorate his actions, especially in light of the fact that he did not seek treatment for his alcohol abuse. Taeusch had been dishonorably discharged from the military in the 1990s for a similar sex offense involving a minor.
The Ashtabula County YMCA will host a lifeguard refresher course and a lifeguard certification course in May.
The American Red Cross Lifeguard Refresher Course will be held at the Y from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at 263 Prospect St. on May 13. Students must have a current Red Cross lifeguard certification to take the class.
Upon completion of the course, students will renew their Red Cross certification in CPR/AED, First Aid, and Lifeguarding. The certification is valid for two years. Registration is due May 11. It’s $65 for Ashtabula YMCA members and $90 for program participants.
Jefferson Area High School students were named the Champions at the first JA Titan Business Challenge competition on March 23. Junior Achievement of Ashtabula County and The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake hosted the competition. Second- and third-place prizes both went to teams from Pymatuning Valley High School. Prizes were scholarships of $500 for each student on the first place team, $250 for second place, and $100 for third place.
GENEVA – The Geneva Area City School District is getting proactive to combat drug abuse. The school district is considering a random drug testing policy next school year, in hopes of discouraging students from using drugs. The policy would apply to student athletes, and those who participate in extracurricular activities. Students who drive to school may also be subject to drug testing if the policy is approved. A final decision has not been made by the board, but members say they will further discuss the possibility of random drug testing at their next meeting.
CONNEAUT – Conneaut’s Business Expo 2017 is expanding. The annual showcase will be moving to the New Leaf Event Center on Gateway Ave., after many years at the Conneaut Human Resources Center, which Conneaut Area Chamber of Commerce organizers say the event has outgrown. The Expo will be April 25. The public may attend between 3-6 p.m. Registration is underway for vendors.