July 28, 2014

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Local Columnists

The Flusher
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 10:00 AM


By Nancy Whitaker

Have you ever heard the old saying, “You never miss the water till the well runs dry?”

Well, if you experienced frozen pipes this cold winter, perhaps some of the things we all take for granted didn’t work when the pipes were froze. Those frozen pipes led to no drinking water, a good hot shower and the loss of the use of a wonderful piece of equipment.

The piece of equipment is something we all use every day and is a very necessary part of our existence. What is it?

After all those games, who has the ‘best of ...’
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 9:22 AM

In My Opinion


With the high school basketball season coming to a close and after watching nearly 80 games since November, I thought I would share my “best of” categories. Since this is an opinion article I feel I can share my opinion about what I have experienced after sitting in area gymnasiums on some very cold wintry nights while at the same time wondering if the roads will be clear for the drive home.

Well, here we go. Now, keep in mind, these may not be important to you but they are important to me; after all, I sat on some hard bleachers to watch these young athletes give their best – win or lose.

Best popcorn: That’s a tough one.

I give Hicksville the nod on the best, but Tinora had both regular and caramel and it was a nice change.

Best overall concessions: Parkway had pretzels and that’s a plus. Another note about concessions. Those chicken sandwiches that most schools offer are really good, especially when they cost $2 and not $3.

Best gym: I give the nod to Parkway. Very spacious. As for Parkway, I give them the top vote for the best press box. The school officials were friendly, accommodating, and the press box was right on top of the play.

Gym with the best lighting: Hicksville – bright and cheery.

Best band: No contest, the Antwerp band was the best. Only problem is they were absent on occasion. The Fairview band I give second place. They were loud but just didn’t play much.

Best cheer block: Fairview. While attending the Fairview vs. Antwerp girls’ game, they were loud and on their feet the entire game.

Best warm ups: Delphos Jefferson. Being from Indiana and appreciating the candy stripe warm up pants the Hoosiers wear, I could not help but get a little nostalgic when I saw the Wildcats in their candy stripes.

Best game ending shot: A no brainer. My first choice was going to be the Sam Williamson game ender against Edgerton in the Route 49 Classic, but then the Antwerp sophomore topped that effort with a buzzer beater against Woodlan.

Best mascot: After watching all those games, I don’t think I saw a school mascot. I guess I am showing my age.

Best canned music: I admit, I am showing my age on this one – most of it I didn’t like.

These are just some of my observations. It was another great season covering Paulding County basketball – especially the Antwerp Archers. The coaches were always available to answer my questions after a tough loss or a last-second win. The fans who I had the privilege to get to know a little better were a nice perk and those who I sat with on a regular basis made me feel like I was part of their small town and not an outsider.

Next year, there will be buzzer beaters and missed shots, wins and loses, joy in victory, sadness in defeat, but when it is all said and done, the most important part of the season will be – who had the best popcorn.

Joe Shouse is a correspondent for the Paulding County Progress.

The opinions stated are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.

Winter of 2014 and 1982 seem like weather twins
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 8:38 AM

By Jim Langham

Never have I felt older than I do at times this winter, especially when young people ask me about the much-heralded winter of 1982.

It was 1982 that set all of the benchmarks that weathermen are comparing to this snowy winter. This winter has already captured one record away from that snowy winter 32 years ago. In January of 1982, Fort Wayne Airport recorded 29.5 inches of snow. This past January dropped 31 inches of snow on the area.

The big record, the snowiest winter on record, has many weathermen and local individuals who follow such trivia excited at this point. That record, too, was set in 1982 with 61.1 inches. Currently, the weather service has recorded 59.9 inches, leaving 1.3 inches in order to become the snowiest winter ever.

Why do some trees still have leaves?
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 8:37 AM

By Kylee Baumle

One of the things that people comment on when they visit us is our very large, very old oak trees and how beautiful and majestic they are. We have three of them in our yard and one of the neighbor’s is close enough that it looks like it could be ours and we benefit from the shade of all of them in summer.

They really are beautiful and their age is estimated to be over 200 years. One is a burr oak, one is a swamp white oak and I don’t recall at the moment what we decided the other one was.

These are common trees to the Great Black Swamp and their age makes it certain that they were here before early settlers began clearing the area for habitation and farming.

Winterkill: Are your fish alive?
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 8:35 AM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist Paulding SWCD

Winterkill in ponds occur as a result of a massive decline in oxygen during a long period of ice cover. But as long as the pond is open or partially open, oxygen levels remain high, according to William E. Lynch Jr. Extension Associate Aquatic Ecosystem Management Ohio State University.

This is because diffusion of oxygen from the air and wind agitation add more oxygen to the water than what is used for animal metabolism and plant disposition. This is even true for those very sheltered ponds that receive very little exposure to the wind.

Lightning in February means...
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 8:34 AM


By Nancy Whitaker

Winter 2014 has been like no other. It has blessed us with an array of severe weather, warnings, cancellations, school closures, road closures, emergency levels, and this was just in January and February.

The Farmers Almanac, North America’s oldest continuously published periodical, forecast called for, “below-normal temperatures and above-normal snowfall during most of the winter across much of the United States.”

“This winter is shaping up to be a rough one,” said Janice Stillman, editor of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. “Sweaters and snow shovels should be unpacked early and kept close by throughout the season.” How right they were.

On your mark, get set....
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9:16 AM

By Kylee Baumle

As we’ve done battle with record cold and snowfall this winter, it can seem like there’s no end in sight to it. But even while Mother Nature is asserting herself in this season, she is ramping up for the next.

Under all that white stuff, bulbs are doing what bulbs do at this time of year and even if we still have snow on the ground at the end of the month, experience has taught me that we’ll more than likely see crocus blooms by the time March makes its entrance.

Truth be told, if I could dig down through the massive drifts in our backyard right now, I would probably find the snowdrops poking their noses out of the ground. Two years ago, the double ones were in full bloom on Feb. 20.

How endangered species have fared
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9:15 AM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist Paulding SWCD

Growing up as a child, I remember reading or hearing on the news about eagles, owls and grizzly bears becoming extinct. Now, as a child, I thought that extinct meant these creatures smelled. Well, the word does sound like stink.

But, within the past few days, House leaders in D.C. say it’s time to take these species off the endangered list. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars trying to save more than 1,500 animal and plant species listed as endangered or threatened.

Now the talk is of an overhaul to the 1973 Endangered Species Act, giving states more authority over imperiled species and limiting litigation from wildlife advocates.

What snow, did I miss something?
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9:14 AM

What snow, did I miss something?

By Bill Sherry

In my opinion we are not ready to say that yet because we have a lot of snow to melt and it will take a lot of warm, sunny days to thaw those huge piles. A friend of mine told me that he was so, so tired of all the slippery roads, snow piled so high that is hard to see around or over it and then there is the miserable cold. When will it all be over, he whined, I’m ready for springtime weather. My reply is that we all are getting our seasonal internal clock reset and are about ready for the next season to get started.

Snowy days, frosty nights
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9:14 AM


By Nancy Whitaker

I always thought I loved winter, snow, cold, ice and blizzards. I think it feels so good to curl up in the warm house when it snows. I put my fuzzy fleece pants on, drink hot tea, make soup and stare at the snowflakes as they drift down in front of the windows. However, the older I get, the less inviting any cold or snow becomes.

Of course, kids think a snow day is the best thing about a snow storm. They get to sleep in, spend the day inside watching TV or playing video games and basking in the warm cozy house.

But as the snow keeps coming down day after day, as it has this year, our snowmen begins to look droopy, everyone gets sick of being cold and suddenly the once warm, inviting house seems extremely small.