Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Mules in the Hunt

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Bedford High School wrestling captains, from left, James Fisher, Tony Alexander and Alex Pavlika are aiming for the Mules' 11th title as they get ready to take on Romeo in the quarterfinals of the Michigan "team states" dual-meet tournament.

Webkinz Mania

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Webkinz toys are on display in Yankee Doodle Flag Co. in Sylvania Township. Each of the stuffed animals comes with a code that, when entered into the Webkinz Web site, allows the toy’s owner to play with an online version of the pet, and to participate in games and other activities.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Tori Hug, 10, of Sylvania, puts a grey cat Webkinz back into the bin at Yankee Doodle Flags Co. in Sylvania Township on Friday afternoon. Despite stocking 500 new Webkinz per week, store owner Fred Bretzloff continues to sell out of the toys that connect kids to a virtual world.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Funeral of Detective Keith Dressel

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THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Bedford High School assistant principal Rhonda Gant stands with school secretary Teresa Fox and part-time secretary Misty Sobecki as they watch the funeral procession of slain Toledo Police Officer Keith Dressel on Jackman Road in Temperance, Mich., on Monday afternoon. Both Fox and Sobecki are cousins of Detective Dressel who was killed early Wednesday morning by a 15-year old attempting to escape from the undercover officer. He is the first Toledo Police Officer to die in the line of duty since 1971.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Law enforcement officials from around the Midwest joined mourners of Detective Keith Dressel to form a 5-mile long funeral procession from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church to St. Anthony’s Cemetery in Temperance, Mich.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Bedford High School students Nicole Dusseau, Chrissy Boraggina, Margeaux Leighton and Alex Folk represented the student body as they stood on Jackman Road to watch the funeral procession for Detective Keith Dressel.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

If At First You Don't Succeed...

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Libbey's Brad Burton is stripped from behind by St. Francis' Steven Vaculik in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys' 67-59 victory on Tuesday night

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Libbey's Brad Burton slams home two of his nine points en route to the Cowboys' 67-59 win over St. Francis on Tuesday night to advance to the City League Finals.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Fun with Glass

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Bridget Beck of Dayton enjoys herself while she puts the finishing touches on a glass vessel with a frog on top during a workshop at the Toledo Museum of Art's Glass Pavilion conducted by instructor Tink Martin. Ms. Beck traveled here with six friends from as far away as Cincinnati to participate in yesterday's workshop. She explained that the class and the resources that can be found in Toledo are unique within the state of Ohio.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


View the Audio Slideshow Thrills, Chills & Spills

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Sara Carnicom, of Maumee High School's junior broomball squad The Icing, battles for the ball with a Pink Penguin from Southview High School in a scrimmage. The Greater Toledo Broomball League has two conferences of 16 teams, a two-month long season and a postseason.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Pink Penguins Kenzi Lukas and Shelby Powell, faces shown, join brooms before taking on the Pirates, the varsity squad from their school, during intermission at a Toledo Storm home game.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Experience triumphed over youth as the Pirates, Southview High School's varsity broomball squad, defeated the Pink Penguins 1-0 in an exhibition game during an intermission of a Toledo Storm game.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Ann-Marie Borell, left, congratulates Chelsea Kopfman on her goal, the Pirates' first of the 2007 season, against the Start Ice Breakers.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Southview assistant coach Jessica Hancock, left, a Bowling Green student, shares a laugh with the Penguins, from left, Chelsea Kopfman, Ann-Marie Borell, Megan Smith, Divya Bekal and Kelsey Young at Taco Bell after their first game.

Wrestling Sectionals

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Waite's Vinny Lopez maintains control as he brings down Sandusky's Nick Webb during Lopez's 7-2 victory in the 135-pound final at the Division 1 sectional at Clay High School on Saturday.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Whitmer's Todd Bowman has to be restrained by referee Jeff Crosby after losing 1-0 to Waite's Scott Fuller in the 119-pound final at the Division I sectional at Clay High School on Saturday. Bowman was upset that Fuller taunted him after winning.

Closing the Skyway

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG In sub-freezing temperatures late Friday night, construction crews completed the final 'closure pour' of the main decking of the I-280 Veterans' Glass City Skyway bridge. Although concrete work is far from done for the cable-stay bridge that will span the Maumee River, the task that took place at 10:30 p.m. was a milestone.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Workers closed the last major gap in the superstructure. The $220 million span is expected to open in June. This month marks the second anniversary of the deaths of four ironworkers on the bridge. The last of 3,008 precast concrete deck segments was installed in December.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Woodward v. Whitmer

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THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Woodward's Shannon Grice saves an errant pass while jumping over Whitmer's Kevin Koger during the Polar Bears' 79-58 victory on Friday night at Whitmer.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Woodward coach Corey Tucker gives the Polar Bears a pre-game pep talk before their game against Whitmer on Friday night.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I'll Have a Slider and a Side of Your Love

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Rich Curry puckers up for his girlfriend, Laura Brown, as the West Toledo couple enjoy a special Valentine's Day meal at the White Castle near downtown Toledo. 'It's very special to us,' Ms. Brown said, adding: 'I think this might become a tradition.'

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG An array of fries, sliders, and diet Coke is complemented by candlelight and flowers. This year was the second year in which White Castle has offered the Valentine's Day special complete with table service and a doggie bag of candy.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

By Air, Land and Sea

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Jonathan Amos dunks home two of his four points in Toledo's 68-56 win over Eastern Michigan at a nearly empty Savagae Hall on Tuesday night.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Olivia DeClark, 13, of Toledo, keeps her eyes shut as she sleds at Brookford Park on Tuesday afternoon in Toledo during a blustery blizzard that brought more than a foot of snow to the region.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG This Mimic octopus is the newest resident at the Toledo Zoo. Typically found in the tropical Pacific Ocean in muddy bottoms, the octopus was first described in 1998 and can change colors according to its surroundings.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

City League Wrestling

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG St. John's Marcus Espinoza, left, was pinned by Todd Bowman of Whitmer at 3:42 of their 119-pound match for the Toledo City League championship on Saturday night at Rogers High School.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Todd Bowman reacts to his win on Saturday night, one of four individual champions for Whitmer as they overcame St. Francis de Sales 192.5 to 188 for the crown.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Elmwood v. Eastwood

Friday Night Basketball Slideshow

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Elmwood Royals Brooke Morgart, Emily Reynolds and Chelsie Barnhisel scrum for the ball with Eastwood's Megan McCracken during the second quarter of Eastwood's 65-54 win on Friday night in Pemberville.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Three-year old Katie Sims, daughter of Eastwood teacher Stephanie Sims, returns her ball to the rack after halftime of the Eagles game against Elmwood.

Matthew Drake

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Lisa Schuster jokes with her son, former Army Specialist Matthew Drake, in their home in Sylvania on Friday afternoon. Mr. Drake was driving a three-ton military vehicle in Qaim, Iraq, on Oct. 15, 2004, when a suicide bomber slammed into it, killing two of his military colleagues. Mr. Drake will speak at a healing service tomorrow where he will discuss his faith in God, whom he credits with helping him recover.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Matthew Drake has a photo showing him visiting President Bush in the Oval Office in October of this past year. At left is a framed letter from Mr. Bush thanking him for his dedicated service.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Just Passing Through

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG A flock of Sandhill cranes fly over Country Road 2 outside of Swanton on Wednesday afternoon. Roughly a half dozen pairs of the endangered species nest in Ohio, but many make their way through the state's western counties on the flight to their winter range in the Southwest.

Look What Mom Found

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Audrey Leininger, 3, looks a little shocked as her mom Jennifer Leininger pulls a lollipop from her hair as she waits for raffle results at the Monte/Carnival at the Delta Pantherettes Bingo Hall on Saturday.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Toledo Ice Yacht Club

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Despite temperatures in the single digits, the Toledo Ice Yacht Club were out in force on Maumee Bay on Sunday afternoon. Club member Ryan Lashaway adjusts the sail on his Detroit News ice yacht as he heads out for a run.

Yours truly after my maiden voyage on an ice yacht.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

St. Francis v Central Catholic

Friday Night Basketball Slideshow

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Irish forward Sam Bastian is carried off the court by Central Catholic fans after their 58-57 overtime win over City rivals St. Francis.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG Sydney Long, Paola Pawlicki, and Liz Casper of the Central Catholic cheerleading squad lead off the second quarter of Friday night's game with a leap.

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG St. Francis' Nick Meinert spots up for the game-tying three point shot to send Friday night's match-up against City rivals Central Catholic into overtime.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bulldog Brawler

THE BLADE/ERIC SUMBERG The Rossford Bulldog's Jeremy Espinoza is 22-0 wrestling at 135 and 130 pounds this year. The senior is looking to become the first four-time Northern Lakes League champion from Rossford.