U.S. Attorney Greg White took a break from banging on corrupt Democrats last week to acknowledge that his office is investigating a well-heeled, well-connected Republican.
FBI agents raided the Maumee home of Tom Noe, a rare-coin dealer who raised more than $100,000 for the Bush election campaign. Authorities are looking into whether Noe broke election law by funneling campaign contributions through friends so he could buy better friends in higher places.
Noe, whose expertise with Buffalo nickels apparently qualified him to be chairman of the Turnpike Commission and a member of the Ohio Board of Regents, is one of the largest sugar daddies in state Republican circles. Aside from appointments to prestigious boards, his well-appointed checkbook also seems to have helped him land $50 million in rare-coin investments from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, for which Noe collected $1 million in fees (First Punch, April 13, 2005). That arrangement has drawn scrutiny from the Ohio inspector general.
In response to the latest round of scandal, Governor Bob Taft defended the investments against criticism from Republican comic-book enthusiasts, who believe that he should be pouring money into the more stable market of mint-condition copies of Fantastic Four #1.
Four Kegs in Oh-hi-o
This week marks the 35th anniversary of the Kent State shootings. But it's also the 4th anniversary of the University Townhomes riots.
During finals weekend in 2001, thousands of people poured into the small apartment complex off Summit Road. They drank a lot of beer. They had a lot of sex. They lit couches on fire and blew up a car. A good time was had by all.
Then Kent police broke up the party with some rubber bullets and pepper spray, arresting over 70 people. High-placed sources reveal that this wasn't nearly as much fun. When the sun came up Sunday morning, the parking lot resembled the set of Mad Max.
Each year since then, students have tried to bring the May Day party back, only to be thwarted by the cunning minds of law enforcement. Police have blocked off streets, refusing to let non-residents get to the townhomes. But students are still giving it the old college try. This year, several keggers are in the works.
So Punch called Wilbur Realty, which manages the complex, to find out where the party's at. A secretary warned us that there would be no on-site parking this year and that police were ready.
Hence, we recommend parking at the Kent Church of the Nazarene. From there, you can easily cut through the back property to the apartments. But be a conscientious guest: Make sure to bring your own liquor and flammable couch.
This has been a public service announcement from First Punch -- "Caring Way More About Our Community Than Them TV Guys for at Least a Couple of Years Now."
Hogging for science
Jeannine Gailey has made a decent career for herself out of "hogging" -- the art of men picking up overweight women for sport and pleasure.
Two years ago, Gailey's boyfriend brought home an issue of Scene that exposed the primitive mating habits of the lesser gender ("Big Game Hunters," October 1, 2003). Gailey, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Akron, was fascinated. "I was really interested in how the guys in the article referred to these women as nonhuman," says Gailey. "They were talking about something almost on the line of rape."
Gailey and her colleague, Ariane Prohaska, decided to launch their own investigation. Their subsequent article, "Knocking Off a Fat Girl," will appear this fall in the scholarly journal Deviant Behavior. "Here we were, thinking it was a subculture thing, and it's a thing that most men know about," Gailey says. "To them it's not taboo; it's common practice."
One guy Gailey interviewed weighed in at over 300 pounds. Still, he claimed he wouldn't seriously date a big girl because his friends would make fun of him. "It happens a lot among guys in the military or in fraternities," she says. "One fraternity at Akron U. even hands out a trophy at the end of the year to the brother who has slept with the biggest girl."
Gailey, who's now earned her Ph.D., was recently hired to teach at Texas Christian University. Her main area of study: hogging. "When I was being interviewed, I started talking about hogging, and they were really fascinated."
Meanwhile, "Big Game Hunters," by Sarah Fenske, is also included in the newly released Scoot Over Skinny: The Nonfiction Fat Anthology, from Harvest Books.
(Punch apologizes for this shameless plug, but we're hoping our shilling will generate free beers and swag.)
Blogs -- which used to be called "diaries," until they went online and needed a more sophisticated name, like blogs -- have become the rage among computer geeks, political freaks, and legions of others with way too much time on their hands. Interns in D.C. spill dirt on late-night trysts with politicians. Anonymous L.A. celebrities gossip about co-stars. New York socialites dish on the club scene.
So Punch checked in on the latest juicy news from the Northeast Ohio blogosphere. What we found will shock you!
Emily, from snazzykat.com, offered a saucy piece about a visit with her doctor. Apparently, she's had problems with sneezing.
Craig, over at filteringcraig.com, admitted to a plan to scam his co-workers out of lottery-pool winnings if they ever hit the jackpot. "This is why the lottery is fun," he wrote.
No, Craig, this is why you're a bastard.
Shannon, from soupfork.com, lamented about a friend who sent her father to buy Good Charlotte tickets, only to discover he accidentally picked up Green Day tickets instead.
This just in: Green Day is so two months ago.
Mike's site, veganmenu.blogspot.com, offered a penetrating look at his daily intake of sprouts and beans, which The New York Times praised "as a searing account of vegetable consumption."
But the most scintillating news came from Adam at organicmechanic.org. "Well, I've finished putting together my Tremont-specific weblog," he wrote. "I was going to wait till May to tell everyone, but . . . I thought I might as well get it over with."
Holy Johnny Mango's!
Stay tuned for next week, when Punch uncovers more tawdry fun in our three-part series: "Intercepted E-Mails of the Bay Village Planning Commission."