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BOARDMAN 'Strange Tales' author to sign copies of book



Published: Fri, August 5, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Neil Armstrong's first airplane ride (in Warren) is included in the book.

BOARDMAN -- Veteran journalist Neil Zurcher will be appearing at Barnes & amp; Noble Bookstore; 381 Boardman-Poland Road in Youngstown from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday to autograph copies of his new book, "Strange Tales from Ohio" ($13.95, softcover, 232 pages).

The book features 73 true stories of remarkable people, places and events in Ohio history gathered by Zurcher while researching his "One Tank Trips" segments for Fox 8 TV in Cleveland for the past 25 years. Although these stories didn't fit the format of his television travel segment, Zurcher found them intriguing and compiled them into a book after his retirement from full-time duty on television in 2004.

Stories from "Strange Tales from Ohio" include the world's first recorded automobile collision (in Van Wert County), the raising of a monument to a pig (in Blueball), and the state's last public whipping (in otherwise bucolic Holmes County). Other stories include a city whose Main Street doesn't go anywhere (Alliance), a reputed curse on the city of Lebanon by members of the Shaker religious sect, and the inspiring saga of the Depression-era "Waterloo Wonders" high school basketball team. Tales from the area include the story of the monument celebrating astronaut Neil Armstrong's first airplane ride (in Warren) and a slingshot car found in front of an industrial surplus business (in Youngstown).

Zurcher logged more than a million miles on Ohio's roads while serving as a travel reporter for Cleveland TV, and his career as reporter has lasted more than 50 years. Former Ohio Gov. George Voinovich called him "one of the most respected and knowledgeable travel writers in the state."

Zurcher, of Bay Village, is the author of five books about Ohio. He received the Distinguished Service award from the Society of Professional Journalism and the "Silver Circle" award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He was also inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Press Club of Cleveland Hall of Fame.




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