Toledo Free Press: Is your student drinking? Probably, according to local teens who knew Brian Hoeflinger

Tyler Grandsko, a recent graduate of Toledo Christian Schools, knows what high school kids do on weekends.Toledo_Free_Press_logo

“They are drinking a lot,” said the blunt 18-year-old.

It isn’t hard to get alcohol.

“It’s all about connections,” he said. “It always leads up to people they know. If someone has a big party, there is always that one person there who has an older brother. You can get it anywhere.”

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Toledo Free Press: D. Michael Collins holds the ‘F— You Card’ (for now)

After a particularly grueling afternoon of cleaning horse stables, young Mick Collins was greeted by his father, Michael. The older man, an Irish immigrant who braved the Atlantic Ocean to bring his family to America, praised the boy’s work and handed him a pop. Father and son sat down, the elder Irishman nursing a beer. Following a brief silence, the man turned to his son and offered him some blunt advice.

Collins

Collins

“Life is like a card game,” Michael told his son. “And you have one consistent card to play your whole life — the F— You Card. Your successes in life are defined by when you don’t play that card.”

Fifty years later, Toledo City Councilman and mayoral candidate D. Michael Collins laughed after telling the story.

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Reality TV star supervises casting for ‘MasterChef’ auditions in Columbus

Erika Landin found reality TV success through appearances on “Big Brother.” She has parlayed that into a career as a casting producer for the genre’s biggest hits: “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” “The Bachelor,” “MasterChef” and several others.

Landin

Landin

Landin will cast kitchen hopefuls for the FOX cooking competition show “MasterChef” at an open casting call from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 19 in Columbus. The call will take place at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, 350 N. High St.

In its fifth season, the show, hosted by chefs Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich, conducts a nationwide search for the best home cooks in America.

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Nirvana, KISS, Peter Gabriel among Rock Hall nominees

“Here we are now, entertain us” is the unofficial theme of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s latest batch of nominees for potential induction next spring.

Nirvana

Nirvana

The biggest name on the list is first-time nominee Nirvana, which is an odds-on first-ballot choice. While there are some purists who will complain about the “Nevermind” group’s small sample size — only three studio albums before band visionary Kurt Cobain killed himself in 1994 — it’s a myopic opinion considering the Seattle group’s grunge influence can still be heard today.

Other first-time nominees include Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, The Replacements, Linda Ronstadt, YES, Link Wray and The Zombies. While none are surprises, it appears as though last year’s induction of Canadian power trio Rush has opened the prog-rock gates a bit with Yes finally making the nominee list.

Among the aforementioned acts, one group that stands out as a head-scratcher is The Zombies. Yes, the “She’s Not There” and “Time of the Season” British Invasion group enjoyed success in the mid’60s, but does it truly belong in the revered hall located on the Lake Erie shore?

There seems to be a tendency for the baby boomer powers that be to pick inconsequential groups from its era over bands – KISS comes to mind – that clearly had influence and lasting success in later generations.

An analogy for Gen Xers would be if Collective Soul ever gets in the Rock Hall. Sure, “Shine” was a decent hit but does the band deserve such recognition?

Speaking of KISS, the face-painted group is back on the ballot along with returning nominees LL Cool J, N.W.A., Cat Stevens, Deep Purple, The Meters, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Chic.

Considering the hip-hop centric focus of recent Rock Hall ballots, including the induction of Run-D.M.C., The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy of late, don’t be surprised if LL Cool J is on a short list with N.W.A to follow.

Whichever bands end up becoming the Rock Hall Class of 2014, locally all eyes are on the 2015 induction ceremony, which 18 months from now returns to Cleveland. As for new bands eligible next year, that list includes Alice In Chains, The Black Crowes, Ice Cube, Kid Rock and The Smashing Pumpkins.

TFP Star: Whitney Avalon making a name on TV, Web

Whitney Avalon is thoughtful and philosophical on the subject of her profession and lifelong obsession — performing.

Avalon

Avalon

.“Though of course civilization needs innovators of all stripes — healers, scientists, builders, and so many other fields are vital — storytellers hold a significant place in society,” Avalon said in an interview with Toledo Free Press Star. “I live for the opportunity to mirror the world back at its inhabitants as truthfully as possible and to help them notice, just for an instant, ways to improve or evolve. Or just make them laugh. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do!”

Viewers have gotten to know Avalon more during the past few years. For all the memorable guest shots she’s had on a slew of popular shows, however, the Los Angeles-based actress has found her greatest public recognition from an unexpected source: A cereal commercial.

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