Instant reporting with The Vindy


« Your Newspaper

by Todd Franko (Contact)   | 340 entries

I keep all your e-mail addresses.

If you e-mail me, you're stored in a file I use whenever The Vindy’s looking for help — like today.

(OK, I don’t save your address if you were really cranky and e-mailed me with contempt and nastiness. I leave you off until I sense you’re OK with me invading your e-mail. It’s proper netiquette.)

So today, I e-mailed the 150-plus people on my list to find out how the drive to work went this morning.

It’s fun when such an exchange occurs because we get interesting insight — and we get it quickly.

For instance, this morning as I was finishing up that e-mail request for weather stories, I got a phone call, and I explained to the person what I was just about to send out, and I said that I will get responses before our phone call was over.

“Send .....”

Within seconds came an email from Mark Zuppo — the voice of Girard football. His one-hour ride to Cleveland today was just 30 minutes short of becoming three hours — and he was still in his car. He emailed me from the interstate.

Too cool.
By the time the brief phone call was over, two more people had emailed.

More than 50 of you who replied made for interesting reads. They are repeated below in case you missed it under our “NewsWatch” feature on

And please, when you get such e-mails from me in the future, take a few minutes to contribute to your stories being told by us. They make for great reading.

We asked Vindy readers and staffers to describe the morning's ride to work given the wintry challenges.

Here’s that they told us:

Victor Considine, Austintown
Crazy, as the side streets appeared to be safer than Route 11. In fact, I noticed many folks passing at high rates of speed for the conditions, and of course, we passed them again as they sat in a ditch !!

George Farris, Farris Marketing
I drove to work in snow today.

I was in my Saturn sleigh.

I turned left, but it went right.

Now the body shop I will pay.

Leo Daprile, Canfield
At 8 this morning, 224 near Canfield was sloppy but moving along pretty well.

Victor Wan-Tatah, YSU professor
My ride to work today was frightful and tricky. I wondered if I would make it to school in time. I was literally very impressed to see the majority of students in my morning class.

Michelle Rockwood, Beatitude House
I screamed out loud as my windshield was covered in sludge, spit up by the car next to me.

Madonna Pinkard, WFMJ
I traveled from Cortland to downtown Youngstown via Route 11 at 7 a.m. I drove 35 mph, and made it here by 7:45 a.m. The roads were absolutely fine until I got onto MLK Boulevard/Route 422 Youngstown - a sheet of ice!

Linda Hartzell, Vindy staffer
I drove in from Cornersburg at about 9:15 a.m. this morning and the roads were piling up quickly with the snow that has replaced the half inch of ice I scraped off -- on top of the 3 inches of snow on my car before I could leave home. Cleaning took 25 minutes and driving took 30, so 3 times the length of my usual trip to work.

Kathy Miller, Boardman Township trustee
I am just a couple of minutes to the Boardman Township Government Center from my home. At 7:45 am, I did not have any problems with the roads. But walking from the parking lot into the building, the 1-2” of water was unexpected.

Katie Seminara, Vindy staffer
I drove in from Edinburg, Pa. at about 9:30 this morning and I faced the triple effect.

I grabbed my umbrella because it was raining when I left my house. By the time I crossed the Ohio line on Route 224, it had turned to fluffy snowflakes. And for the final leg of my journey I drove through hail ... no pun intended.

During my 40-minute ride I encountered slower paced traffic and roads filled with brownish-yellow muck. Though the roads were covered in the crunchy, slushy mess, I didn't see any accidents.

Just another day in beautiful Eastern Ohio and Western Pa. -- where the weather keeps you alert, slightly frustrated and wishing we were all teachers.

Robert McFerren, Vindy staffer
I drove in from Goshen Twp. about 9 a.m., and encountered freezing rain and snow. While the roads had been plowed, the slush was refreezing on the roadways, causing some tense driving conditions. In my 25 miles, I saw only one car that had spun out on Rt. 11 northbound near Canfield. Most drivers were driving as expected for the conditions — nice and slow.

Pat Berarducci, Boardman Township Chief of Police
My drive to work today was slow and cautious. I found the roads snow and ice covered, but no accidents were observed. If temperatures drop this evening, ice will be a concern. Leave 15 minutes early for your destination and arrive safe.

Jon Moffett, Vindy staffer
I drove in from Warren at about 9:30 this morning, and, after using my car as an All-Terrain Vehicle to get out of my driveway and down my street, cruised down Routes 82 and 11 at a cool -- pun intended -- 35 miles per hour. The truck in front of me, which was carrying a load of steel piping, swerved like a demon snake, but managed to stay on the road, which is more than I can say for the four or five other drivers who decided to set up camp on the median.

Barb Shaffer, Vindy staffer
My half-hour drive from New Wilmington took me an hour and five minutes. The plowed roads were the worst. They were a solid sheet of ice. At least those roads that hadn’t been plowed offered something to grab onto for traction.

Sam Villella, Cardinal Mooney High School
Sorry that I cannot help with this project, but one of the perks of working at a school are the snow days. Hope your commute was not too bad.

Mark Zuppo, Girard
"I’m on my way to an appointment in Cleveland. So far it has taken 2.5 hours and I'm not there yet!" (Mark emailed from his phone at 9:30 a.m. while on the road.)

Jeff Hedrich, The Prodigal Media Co.
"Slip-sliding and sloshing north down Glenwood Avenue for a morning meeting at the Salvation Army and then mushing south again on Glenwood toward Western Reserve Road and our offices in Poland. Calling into our office at Prodigal Media and finding that most everyone had made it to work on time, I thought of how fortunate I am to have a great crew of dedicated staffers."

Jim Cossler, Youngstown Business Incubator
"Tried to come in from Aurora at around 5 a.m. and had to turn back. Roads were just impassable. Much more snow up North, with at least 12 inches and still falling in the Aurora, Hudson, Streetsboro area."

Tina Creighton, Humility Mary Health Partners
"No real problems this morning - just took the long way in and took my time. I'm not real sure how the drive home is going to be - that might be a adventure."

Bob Hannon, United Way
My twenty minute commute took me just 10 minutes longer that usual. I was pleasantly surprised that the roads were mostly slush...

Mary Voytilla, Vindy staffer
I drove to downtown from Struthers at about 8:10 a.m. this morning, and managed to go down Walton Hill with no problems. (thanks to the Struthers  Road Crews). That was the good news. There was ice  everywhere  on Poland Avenue.  I did 25 miles per hour or less – and so was everyone else.

Tracy McCarty, Akron Children’s Hospital
I had the option to work from home so my 'commute' was easy - consisted of a 20-foot walk with a cup of coffee and two dogs following me trying to figure out why I was home!

Carol Nesnidol, Vindy reader
Wednesday morning [at] 7a.m., checked for school closings. Good, kids get to stay home, but [I've] got to go to work. 7:45, pull out of the garage. It's raining. My thoughts are, 'Well if it's too bad out I'll just stay home.' It ended up to be mostly wet and slushy. The cars on Route 11 and 680 were going about 45 mph. Decided that it's not that bad out [until] I exit the freeway onto the side roads. All ice and snow covered. I wasn't sure I wanted to pay for parking for an icy lot to walk on. Hardest part was walking into work.

Elise Franco, Vindy staffer
"I drove in from Cortland at about 9:45 a.m., after leaving my house 15 minutes late because my dog decided to dig in the snow right as it was time for me to leave for work. I expected snow covered streets in my neighborhood, and I wasn't disappointed, but as I turned onto Route 11 I saw that I was in for a long ride. I followed a 45 minute parade of cars driving 35 miles per hour down the middle of the highway, all the while cursing the SUVs and pick-up trucks that got their owners to work on time."

John Russo, YSU
"I just finished shaking five spruce trees and tying them to a fence so that the ice and snow would not break them. When will this winter end?"

Bruce Zoldan, president and CEO of B.J. Alan/Phantom Fireworks
|"My ride to work today was wonderful! After seeing several vehicles off the road and many emergency vehicles to the rescue I closed my eyes and saw people cooking out, youngsters playing baseball and long lines at the Phantom Fireworks store! Suddenly my phone rang and it was my wife reminding me to buy salt for the walkway."

Feel free to add your story below!

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.