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Don L. Hanni Jr.'s home remedy

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published May 26, 2008

Atty. Don L. Hanni Jr., the hard-living criminal defense lawyer and former Mahoning County Democratic Party chairman, has been sidelined because of stroke. Several weeks ago, he was taken to the Cleveland Clinic after being felled in his home — he began feeling ill in church (no editorial comments, please!). After treatment at the clinic, he returned to the Valley and received physical therapy at Hillside Rehabilitation.

He seemed to be doing well — his telephone calls had the Hanni edge to them — until a couple of weeks ago. He was taken back to the clinic, and family members were bracing themsevles for the worse.

He returned from the clinic to St. Elizabeth Heath Center, where his weak heart and high blood pressure led to rumors of his impending death. Indeed, there was chatter in Youngstown City Hall that he had died late last week.

But, reports of Hanni's death were greatly exaggerated.

Indeed, he seemed to have made a remarkable comeback Friday — thanks to bourbon and beer.

Hanni asked his son, Mark, to find out from the doctor if he could have a beer. The doctor gave his permission, and true to form, the former party chairman not only drank beer, but also had some bourbon.

The result: His blood pressure, which was troublingly low, started to rise to normal.

An old friend who visited him at the hospital remarked that he looked and sounded like the Hanni of old.

It seems that his body, which has been fueled by booze for so long, was just going through a withdrawal. 


1lorypatrick(2 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

That's our Don! (and if beer and bourban accomplished this, weeellll, just think what a bottle of his favorite homemade red wine will do????!!!!). WE LOVE YOU, DON!

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2WilliamP(69 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Personal attacks on a dying man. Very classy, Bertram. Very classy.

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3Jon(27 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Bertram, I never thought you could embarass yourself any more by taking low blows than you have in the past but even you have out-done yourself. What a unclassy article - did you really need to take a personal attack on a dying man? Your a embarrasment to the Vindicator. I have been with the family through these hard times and your 'facts' in the article are wrong - personal attacks on a dying man and writing an article with incorrect information, GREAT JOB ONCE AGAIN BERTRAM.

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4WilliamP(69 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

As a Valley native, I'm embarrassed by Bertram's most recent blurb. When will The Vindicator stand up and take action? How much longer will management stand idly by while he continues to spew hate and vitriol into the community from one of the Valley's few public sounding boards? The Vindicator owes more to the community it serves.

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5Peanuthead(31 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

You are a worthless hack of a writer.
all the best in your next career,


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6Jon(27 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

I agree with Peanuthead. Bertram, you are an embarrasment to the the Valley and the Vindicator.

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7vince(1 comment)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Bertram, I agree with Jon. I can't believe that you would go so low as to poke fun at a dying man. Mr. Hanni is a very well liked and respected man in the Mahoning Valley and has most certainly done more for the Valley than you may know about. Attacking a man who is on his last leg is below the belt. Maybe your just upset because all you are is a measley writer for a measly newspaper.

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8nick(1 comment)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

I agree with the rest of the comments on the page, this newspaper is a joke if it allows no talent writers to put biased garbage up on the website and paper. It just goes to show you the type of people the Vindicator supports. You guys better hurry up and start cutting our AP articles to print in your garbage newspaper for tomorrow. Nice shots at a dying man - loser.

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9central(1 comment)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Dear Mr. de Souza,
I am writing you to let you know firsthand as Mr. Hanni granddaughter what a very sad and emotional time it is for me and the rest of my family.Mr.de Souza I want to remind you, that you to at one point will be in a similar situation. I can only hope when your time comes that you will be treated in the same manner as to which you have treated my grandfather in his time of need. Mr. de Souza you are a disgusting little man who has been raping this community with your horrifying journalism.

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10lorypatrick(2 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

I am so sorry that this article (and the emotions it's aroused) have gone from bad to worse! I consider myself a true friend of Don Hanni's and my heart does go out to family and friends who are struggling with this turn of events -- from the stroke in October to now, this has been a tough time. And yet let's do what Don would've done (and did do for many, many years these articles were written about him), he'd shake his head and laugh. Those who know Don know he is a self made man, a street fighter who knew his best punch was "preparation", he continued to practice that punch throughout his entire career. And he continues to be a fighter. So I, for one, am going to use this space and time to let everyone know that Don Hanni is still fighting the fight! Is he dying? Hell, we're all dying! None of us know what tomorrow may bring. So for tonight, I'd like you'all to know that Don was in good spirits. He shared stories and laughed with me; he was his usual outspoken, opinionated, lovable self. He wants to go home and sit in his favorite chair, although he said we could all come over and have a pajama party. Of course he'd keep us entertained with his infamous stories! How could you not be entertained? So I will not dwell on anything negative; I am thinking posiive. And I am thinking of the special times we all have shared! Please, do the same! And please do plan to come to the pajama party. We'll make popcorn and tell scary stories and play pin the tail on de Souza!

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11sick_boy_1227(7 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

I can't believe what I just read. You must have no respect whatsoever for ailing people, and what reason do you have for such condescending rubbish? What has inspired such ignorance towards Don anyways? I hope you realized how many people you just pissed off with your meaningless drivel. You're the lowest of them all

I say we petition to get this jerk off the Vindicator staff before he embarrasses himself any further.

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12Jon(27 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Your right Lory - I'm in on pin the tail on de Souza!

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13Justafriend(1 comment)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Well I cant believe someone could stoop so low. The Hanni's are good people. I have known them for about 4 years now and they have showed me nothing but repect and kindness. Some people are not fortunate enough to have someone care for them, like de souza. Maybe some day he will find some one to care for him. Good luck with that! My prayers go out to the whole Hanni family. Especially Mark and his Children.
I wish all the best for Grandpa and hope that he makes a full recovery. Love you all. K.P

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14RoadWarrior(2 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

I thought it was pretty funny, myself.

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15Jon(27 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

Just to make this clear to all readers - BERTRAM WROTE THE ABOVE ARTICLE WITH INCORRECT INFORMATION. I was there for the situation he is referring to and it DID NOT happen the way he is documenting. Whether you think the column was in bad taste and Bertram is a classless hack of a writer or not, HIS FACTS ARE WRONG.

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16crissylea(3 comments)posted 6 years, 11 months ago

I just returned from vacation and read this article. Another Youngstown embarassment! De Souza should be ashamed and the Vindicator should be too for publishing such trash. I think Bertram is jealous of the Hanni men and the clout and respect they've garnered from the people of Y-town. A hack indeed.

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17OhioNewshound(2 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

Know what the real shame is? That Youngstown is, to this day, the laughingstock of Northeast Ohio. I'd chalk that up to the years of political cronyism, kickbacks, mafia-sponsored violence and now gangs and drugs that have turned a blue-collar industrial city into a punchline. Your indignation is aimed in the wrong place, Y-town. How many former city and county officials lived like kings on dirty money, and are now in prison because of it? The old saying goes that evil triumphs when good men do nothing. And for many years, it's clear there wasn't one good man, much less good men, in your town.

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18natemiller(2 comments)posted 6 years, 9 months ago


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