‘Peaceful riot’: Cleveland celebrates Cavs knocking off Warriors in Game 7

Lights glow over the Nike advertisement, featuring LeBron James on the Landmark Office Towers building in Cleveland after the Cavs defeated the Warriors 93-89 in Game 7.     (Photos by Cameron Hart)

It took a king to stop the 52-year drought of an NBA championship in Cleveland.

As King James and his band of subjects fought to keep their slight lead in the fourth quarter of Game 7 in Warrior territory on June 19, millions of Cleveland fans filled the downtown streets, hoping, no….praying, the Cavs would prevent defending champions Golden State from repeating their 2015 ass kicking.

It was too good of a story not to go, for sure. So, win or lose, Toledo Blade photo intern Cameron Hart and two fellow Blade interns decided to drive to Cleveland and document the experience, watching the entire game on a television outside of the House of Blues, on Fourth Street.

“As soon as the Cavs won, it just went crazy,” Hart recalled. “There were so many people: people on top of cars, on top of firetrucks. Everyone was high-fiving each other.

“It was a constant state of pure joy. Everyone was so happy. I’ve never been in situation where everyone was getting along. They were there for one reason, one purpose. It was a very positive environment. A peaceful riot.”

Cameron Hart

Hart, A Penn State photojournalism major, shot the ecstatic crowd with his Nikon 7000. He said he didn’t want to chance taking his Toledo Blade gear, Canon Mark IVs. Fortunately, he and his camera made it back to Toledo safely around 1:30 a.m.

Visuals and Voices of Toledo is aware that Cleveland is not in northwest Ohio, but this special occasion calls for a breakage of the ‘only in northwest Ohio’ coverage rule.

Cleveland rocks, and King James rules!

Cavaliers fans raise their arms in celebration outside the House of Blues restaurant in Cleveland during the fourth quarter as the Cleveland Cavaliers took the lead.
A man dressed as Jesus holds a sign on West Prospect Avenue.
Cavaliers fans celebrate their first NBA Championship win on 4th Street. Cleveland’s long nightmare of athletic futility is officially over after the cities 52-year win drought.

Street photog Connor Martin: Giving voices to the homeless

Connor Martin Portrait
Connor Martin (Photo by Tom Souzer)

The following podcast is a one-on-one interview with Toledo resident and street photographer Connor Martin, a St. John’s graduate and current University of Toledo student.

To hear his story, listen to the podcast. He talks about his camera equipment, how he approaches his subjects, which are currently homeless men and women in big cities, and the ethics of it all.

Here’s the link if the podcast doesn’t show up on your browser (mainly Safari): Connor Martin podcast

To view his images, scroll down, and then go to Connor’s website.

Lucky Dollar
A heroin addict and homeless man shows off his tattoos while hanging out outside of the Lucky Dollar in downtown Toledo. 2015
Mr. D
Mr. D was on his way back from the Toledo Library to spend the night with his wife on the street. Both are homeless, and forced to find shelter wherever they can. They are from Lima, Ohio, but have no money or transportation to get back to their hometown. 2015
Tommy has a dry sense of humor, is an avid storyteller, and lives somewhere around Uptown Toledo. He can be seen walking, walking, walking.
Blurred Woman
Anonymous. She can always be seen near Cherry St. Mission.
Magenta Van
An old, beat-up van pans through Uptown Toledo. Cars, as much as people, shed light on the current conditions of any area.
Nick's Barber Shop
Nick’s on Madison Ave. A facade shot of current plethora of abandoned small shops in downtown Toledo.
Pattern and repetition: Discarded cigarette butts in a gritty back-alley dumpster in downtown Toledo.

Happy Father’s Day media dads!

Photographers usually take photos of other families. But on this special day, they turned the camera on themselves!

Here a few media dads with their own families!

WTVG 13 abc photographer Todd Gaertner with his dad, and his new-born Emmy!
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Bowling Green Sentinel -Tribune chief photographer JD Pooley with his three kids.
WTVG 13 abc photographer Chris Henderson with his daughter, Mallorie.
Toledo Blade photographer Andy Morrison and his wife and three kids.
Toledo Blade photographer Jeremy Wadsworth and his son Emerson.
WNWO NBC24 photographer Andy Balas, center, with his son, Noah, and dad.

#WeAreOrlando: Solidarity Vigil

Promise House executive director  Lilian Ann Briggs

Essay and photos by Andy Balas

The human spirit is unshakeable. We may waver, we may falter, but in the end we stand united.

Five hundred people from all walks of life – young and old, gay and straight – gathered at the steps of One Government Center in Toledo to show their support, love and compassion for 49 souls who were gunned down in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12.

The message was to show that Love Trumps Hate. And no, these supporters may not have met the victims personally, but they all have one thing in common. . . they are human, with feelings and emotions.

Whether they are a part of the LGBT community or not, they showed their love by speaking out, letting their voices be heard. Showing equality. Toledo is hurt by the events that took place in Orlando, but the citizens stand regardless. Together. United. Bonded by love and understanding. Reaching for a common goal.

Stop the violence. Stop the hate. Break down the borders of racial, religious and sexual inequality, and walk tall as brothers and sister hand in hand.

Love is love.

(Andy Balas works at WNWO NBC24 as a photojournalist, but his real passion is taking still photos of people and places. Contact Andy Balas at Facebook.com/vintagecameralens / vintagecameralens@yahoo.com

Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, center, gives a hug during the downtown Toledo vigil.



The Government Center.
From second left: Lexi Hayman-Staples, Lilian Ann Briggs and Nick Komives in solidarity.

“We are SCARED because we live in a country where hate and intolerance are still fostered.
We HURT because our families are worried -or even worse, they aren’t.
We are HEARTBROKEN for the loss of our brothers, sisters, and siblings and all who loved them.
We are STRONG because we grew up on a hate that we hoped this generation would never see.
We will DANCE because we can’t live in fear.
We are PROUD and that should not bother anyone… but it does.
We will keep FIGHTING because we have to. 

Thank you to those who have made a point to stand together in solidarity and reached out to their friends or loved ones. I’m lucky enough to live in a beautiful city that is filled with many loving and supportive people.” – Lexi Hayman-Staples

(Photo by Boyd Hambleton)

Hello, Toledo!


This is a brand new space for storytellers who want to help document people, places and things of the Glass City, which boasts a population of under 300,000. But Toledo is not defined by its borders, so we also welcome content – both beautiful and … not so much – from throughout Northwest Ohio.

Visuals & Voices of Toledo was founded and curated by Lori King, with Katie Rausch, because we want to create a space for human interest stories that otherwise would remain untold, and offer local storytellers a space for publication. This website gives a voice for community storytelling, whether it be photography, videography or podcasts.

We also invite you to follow our Instagram account. We encourage you to shoot and hashtag  #visualsandvoicestoledo. The only two requirements are that the images are taken in Northwest Ohio, and not over-filtered or manipulated.

Because we are new (so new we haven’t officially launched the website yet), please be patient as we work out our submissions policy and ethics code. They are a work in progress.

Thank you, and we hope you follow and contribute.

The City of Toledo and the Maumee River (Photo by Lori King)