Home Special Sections The Press 40th Anniversary Fraud, pet series, sibling rivalry gain national attention
Fraud, pet series, sibling rivalry gain national attention

Reflecting on the anniversary of The Press, it would be easy to get caught up in numbers: stories written, meetings of school boards and local governments covered, changes in circulation figures, pages laid out for publication – the list could go on and on.

But it’s worth noting some stories originated here locally before they gained national and even international attention.

In December 2004, Martin Frankel sat in a New Haven, Connecticut courtroom and was sentenced to prison for looting about $200 million from insurance companies he owned.

The subject of an international manhunt, he had been arrested in a p


On Sept. 9, 2011, a photo by Press photographer Ken Grosjean appeared
in The New York Times, along with a story titled, "From a Gaffe Comes
Some Good."  The photo featured Ohio State University President Gordon
Gee with Sister Cecilia Sartorius at Little Sisters of the Poor in Oregon.
Gee visited the Sacred Heart Home to make amends for the comment,
"We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor," intended to criticize Boise
State and Texas Christian University.

osh hotel in Hamburg. Germany, where he reportedly had a stash of millions of dollars worth of diamonds and cash as well as fake passports before being extradited to the U.S.

Intriguing tales of sado-masochistic sex and the suicide of a young woman had swirled around his Greenwich, Connecticut mansion.

Yet Frankel’s downfall, it could be argued, began here in Lake Township.

In September 1991, The Press published the story of a Lemoyne Road man who had filed a lawsuit with a Sylvania resident against Frankel, claiming he had bilked them out of a combined total of $370,000.

The two also filed a complaint against Frankel with the National Association of Securities Dealers, alleging fraud.

Frankel was managing a local branch of a Chicago-based brokerage at the time.

The lawsuit alleged Frankel convinced the two to invest in the “Frankel Fund, an entity described to them as the equivalent of a mutual fund” but Frankel used the money for personal business and living expenses.

The Securities and Exchange Commission in 1991 also had an interest in Frankel, naming him and a business partner in a complaint that alleged they engaged in a “fraudulent scheme” in which they raised more than $1 million from investors in at least three states.

In the 1990s he began acquiring insurance companies and then started draining their assets.

Thirteen years later Frankel would be sitting in the Connecticut courthouse.

Pets as family
In 2005, News Editor Kelly Kaczala’s dog Mattie died at a veterinary hospital under questionable circumstances. Kaczala decided to do research after she learned that drugs that may have contributed to her dog’s death were administered without Kaczala’s consent. Her research culminated in a three part series, “Pets as Family,” that looked at various medical and legal issues facing pet owners. The stories included “Pet owners want informed consent on drug risks,” which noted that some states require veterinarians to give informed consent about drugs and their risks to pet owners, while others, such as Ohio, do not. The story noted that the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) had conducted a two-year review of consumer messages to its adverse drug hotline and that a majority of calls had been made – not by veterinarians, as expected, but by the public. Consumers, in fact, were becoming more involved in their pet’s medical care, and increasingly concerned about risks posed by animal drugs.

Other articles in the series included “Do you know about the drugs your pet will get?,” which quoted national experts on the dangers of veterinarians administering drugs off-label (in ways unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration), “NSAIDs: Pain killers can be dangerous, too,” which highlighted how Rimadyl and other common painkillers have caused serious adverse reactions, including hemorrhaging and death, in some animals, and how the CVM had been urging veterinarians to distribute Client Information Sheets (CIS) to pet owners that describe the risks of NSAIDs. CIS are similar to package inserts pharmacies include when filing prescriptions for humans that include drug risks.

The series included the phone numbers of pharmaceutical companies, the CVM, and other groups and organizations for pet owners who want to file reports about adverse drug reactions in their pets. Another article, “Pets get no help from the Better Business Bureau,” revealed the questionable practice of the BBB to allow veterinarians to be members of the BBB, but not allow pet owners to file complaints against veterinarians, giving the false perception that veterinarians in the BBB have only positive ratings. The series also noted how the law in most states considered pets “personal property,” and that pet owners have little legal remedy in the wrongful death of a pet. Another story noted there were studies that showed our pets may be over-vaccinated and there was growing support for newer vaccination guidelines that reduce the need for some vaccinations.

The “Pets as Family” series won local, state and national awards, and drew attention to readers throughout the country and the world, according to e-mails The Press received. The series was so successful, that The Press later condensed the three part series into one publication to distribute at pet fairs, pet stores, and to anyone who requested a copy. 

Brother vs. brother
At first glance, it seemed like a misprint.

The names of James F. Krumnow and Lowell C. Krumnow were on the same ballot in the November 2011 election for the mayor’s office in the Village of Elmore.

Under the headline, “Brother vs. brother” The Press ran a story Oct. 17 about a candidate forum that night in the village and featured the contest between Lowell, the long-time incumbent mayor, and James, his older brother who was mid-way through a term on village council, and decided to challenge Lowell for the mayor’s seat.

In the days leading up to the election, the rivalry was covered by websites, newspapers, and television stations.

“It was phenomenal,” said Rick Claar, a member of village council. “I read websites around the world that covered it. Elmore got a lot of publicity.

A film student at the University of Notre Dame contacted The Press by email, asking for contact information on the Krumnows. He said was interested in doing a documentary about the election as part of his thesis. 

Teen pregnancies
A series on Teen Pregnancies, which helped St. Charles and The East Toledo Family Center decide to start the teen pregnancy program at the center. The Press was the first to report East Toledo had highest teen pregnancy rate in the state.



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