Despite protestations to the contrary, the murder of 21-year-old Cleveland State student Methal Dayem has been investigated from the start as an "honor killing," the execution of a Muslim woman by her relatives for perceived disgraceful actions. The recent arrests of two of Dayem's cousins dragged the issue into the public spotlight, prompting her parents to grant an interview to Plain Dealer reporter Karin Scholz in which they disavowed "rumors" of a family plot. Police and prosecutors are being extraordinarily tight-lipped about the case, refusing to share even the smallest scraps of information--in part, because the case is still unfolding. "There's going to be more arrests and charges from this," promises one cop.
Hey, kids, let's put on a street fair! But first we have to go to City Hall, where the permit process grows more onerous by the week. The latest victim is the Hessler Street Fair, celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this weekend--assuming city inspectors don't shut it down. Back when Hessler was a few tables of hippie arts and crafts and a couple guys selling beer off their front porch, a $20 block-party permit did the trick. Now the city demands separate permits for every food vendor and lemonade stand, for closing the street, to set up a stage, even to hang a banner. "An emergency ordinance had to be passed by city council for us to hang the banner," says Kate Horner, president of the Hessler Neighborhood Association. "And you have to hire a general contractor to pull the stage permit--that's several hundred dollars." By the time Fair organizers pay all the fees for permits and hand-sanitizing units and health inspectors (to inspect the food booths) and a building inspector (to inspect the stage), the city has skinned them for about $1,000. "They make it really hard for small, grass-roots events to occur," says Horner. Next on the hit list: backyard barbecues.
A good three months before football season, delirious Browns fans are already out of control. Case in point: The Tribe-Orioles game last Wednesday, at which a 300-pound Lorain man careened through the aisles in orange-and-brown regalia, waving a homemade "Browns Town" banner. "Everybody thinks I'm an idiot," boasted "Mad Dog," who appeared to have imbibed in his namesake. But at least he had an excuse for his behavior, unlike the cold-sober baseball fan who bought his orange helmet for $60. Things could turn even uglier in the fall, when Mad Dog reprises his act at Lerner Stadium in slightly different attire. "I'll be in my Bills jersey with a Buffalo banner," he promised. "I'm a huge Bills fan!"
Conspicuous by his absence at Saturday's memorial service for Cleveland Museum of Art Director Robert Bergman was Imperial Mayor Mike White, who lives not far from the museum. Among the 1,700 able to make it: Bishop Anthony Pilla, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Convention & Visitors Bureau President Dave Nolan, and Cleveland Foundation President Steve Minter, reflecting the broad community respect and admiration Bergman garnered. White was out of town on unspecified "family business," according to Press Secretary Nancy Lesic, and sent a representative with a proclamation instead. Respublica longa, vita brevis.
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