-Brian Albrecht, who could paint a vivid scene like no other, and who chronicled the stories of World War II veterans with honor and passion. He memorialized the stories of the heroes among us before it was too late.The Guild also noted in its statement that the few remaining black women on staff were laid off. "Our staff is now 81% white, in a city that is 47% black. It is unacceptable," the statement read.
-Mark Dawidziak, the paper’s television critic, whose way with words conveyed the power of television to entertain, educate and bring us together. For more than two decades, he recognized this as the pre-eminent art form of our time, informing readers of important shows and technological trends.
-Marvin Fong, a sharp sports photographer who also was known for getting “the shot,” including Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora being led away in handcuffs and John Demjanjuk removed by ICE agents.
-Jordyn Grzelewski, recently named one of the state’s best business writers by the Associated Press Media Editors, who wrote the obituary for her former paper, The Youngstown Vindicator, and uncovered issues of housing inequality in Cleveland.
-Lynn Ischay, who became lifelong friends with many of the people she photographed. She chronicled the journeys of the Distinguished Gentlemen of the Spoken Word, the group of young poets who traveled from their St. Clair/Hough neighborhood to perform in Paris and Lyon; and the Lost Boys, South Sudanese refugees as they relocated to Cleveland.
-Zachary Lewis, who deftly covered the Cleveland Orchestra as well as other local cultural institutions, and also wrote a regular column on fitness. His departure leaves the paper with no critic to cover the greatest orchestra in the country.
-Michael McIntyre, who started tossing newspapers from the back of a truck with his dad, a Plain Dealer circulation man, as a kid and later became one of the most respected journalists in town, penning powerful feature stories that often brought our community together.
-Teresa Dixon Murray who has given solid, and sometimes chiding, financial advice to Greater Clevelanders in her Money Matters column. She was a watchdog for readers, helping them in real, tangible ways, including getting to the bottom of a surge in Verizon data usage that affected thousands of customers.
-OIivera Perkins, a national award-winning business reporter, who covered labor and employment. In 2010, she chronicled the effort Hugo Boss employees mounted to save their plant. Last year, her Pathways to Prosperity series with Patick O’Donnell highlighted potential solutions for connecting education to job prosperity.
-Grant Segall, a long-time feature and news writer, who, over his 30-plus year career, has written about a variety of topics, including transportation and the park system, and chronicled the lives of interesting Northeast Ohioans in his weekly My Cleveland column, which profiled a variety of real Clevelanders among us, not just those with “important” titles.
-Andrea Simakis, who covered theater, used her metro column to hold power to account and her narratives to change hearts and minds. Her prose moved people to write an Ohio governor, earning a man an early release from prison, and prompted a local college to offer a scholarship in honor of forgotten women murdered by a serial killer. "Case Closed," her final project for the paper, told the story of Sandi Fedor, a grandmother who had to track down her own rapist. It has been nominated for a Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Violence and Trauma.
-Branson Wright, an award-winning sports reporter and videographer who has always been able to get interviews with stars others could not, from LeBron James to Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. He was a triple threat, covering all major sports teams in Cleveland.
-Chuck Yarborough, the paper’s popular music critic, whose concert reviews and deep knowledge of the music world’s ins and outs entertained and educated readers for years. The list of celebrities he was able to get to talk include Ringo Starr, Geddy Lee, Merle Haggard, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson and Mick Jagger. Yarborough was also the city's most in-depth reporter of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. For 12 years, he was the editor of the Friday magazine and worked as the sports copy desk chief. He traveled to Iraq to report on the war for a six-week series that informed readers on the life and travails of U.S. troops in combat.
-Brie Zeltner, a nationally respected public health expert, whose deep and nuanced reporting and compassionate coverage of child poverty, infant mortality and lead poisoning spurred action in our community.
We also lost editors and designers who worked largely behind the scenes to make our work better, including Melodie Smith, a calm and compassionate editor who made every story better — and who was an insightful movie critic when she had the time — and Joel Downey, who was a jack of all trades, juggling complicated graphics and sophisticated design work.
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