September 1, 2014

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Open letter to the community of Delphos
Written by Staff Reports   
Saturday, August 02, 2014 8:00 PM | Updated ( Sunday, August 03, 2014 7:23 PM )

Dear Editor,

Summer is a magical time for many of us, especially for students who have a brief respite from the responsibilities of school. Summer is when we are free to enjoy the outdoors, play some ball with our friends or hang out and relax at the pool. We, from Beyond Expectations, would like to thank the many people who help provide these same opportunities for the individuals in our community with physical, mental and medical challenges.

As we watch these events unfold each year and see these kids grow, it becomes evident that our commonality is more important than our differences.

Why gas taxes are a taboo topic
Written by Byron McNutt   
Saturday, August 02, 2014 8:00 PM

In a 2013 report, The American Society of Civil Engineers said more than 30% of America’s major roads are in poor condition and rated one in nine of the nation’s bridges as structurally deficient.

This negligence of maintenance and repair can cause an increase in travel times, damages to vehicles and it can cause accidents that result in injuries and fatalities.

After a harsh winter, it is clear Wisconsin’s state, county and city roads and bridges took a beating. Many people wonder, will it take a major tragedy, like a disastrous bridge collapse to get action from the State Legislature.

Non-partisan polls in Wisconsin show that residents and consumers simply don’t like gas taxes and because of that, Democrats and Republicans don’t want to talk about raising fuel taxes and don’t want to debate it as a campaign issue.

With many state races uncontested, why would candidates want to poke a bee’s nest? With consumers unhappy, legislators won’t deal with infrastructure upkeep issues until they are forced to.

Several articles on the subject have appeared in newspapers and I talked to former state legislator Jim Holperin of Eagle River for his insights and perspective.

Rep. Jim Jordan set to visit Van Wert Co.
Written by Todd Wolfrum   
Saturday, August 02, 2014 8:00 PM

A month ago, Commissioner Lichtensteiger and I were having a conversation about how to breathe new life into the Van Wert County Republican Party. It would seem that in a county leaning nearly 80% to the right, any production under the Republican banner should be generating several times the interest and attendance of those cozy lunches of recent gatherings past.

Some proposed changes we kicked around included more inclusive meeting times and venues. Lunch meetings, for example, have the effect of eliminating most working people. And since most non-union working people tend to be conservative, that’s one big chunk of potential Republicans that can’t assemble.

And if the working middle class could assemble, they might not feel comfortable doing so at a country club – not everyone likes pretensions intermingled with their politics. It would serve Republicans well to divest themselves of that image of the Party of the Wealthy anyway. Personally, I’d rather the Party meet at the Junior Fair Building in the evening.

But first and foremost, we agreed that what the Republican Party here vitally needs is a dynamic speaker or two. On that front, I had one person on my wish list – U.S. Representative Jim Jordan. The Congressman from Urbana represents the neighboring 4th District, which includes Lima.

State legislature addressing opioids and unemployment compensation
Written by Tony Burkley   
Saturday, August 02, 2014 8:00 PM

This summer, bipartisan study committees will be meeting to discuss two large problems our state is facing: opioid addiction and unemployment compensation debt. Hearings on these subjects will be held throughout the state this fall in August and September.

This summer’s committees are named:

- Law Enforcement Perspectives on the Drug Epidemic & Its Impact on Families Study Committee

- Unemployment Compensation Debt & Reducing Burdens on Businesses Study Committee.

Who’s your neighbor?
Written by Nancy Spencer   
Saturday, July 26, 2014 8:00 PM

A knock came at my door Friday morning. How odd, I thought. I wonder who it could be.

It was the neighbor lady asking if our vehicle was wrecked before or if it could have happened in the early hours of the day. She and her husband had heard a loud bang and wondered if it could have been someone hitting Sable. We had parked her in front of the house because my husband sprayed for weeds in both driveways on Thursday.

“No,” I told her. “Sable hasn’t been the same since she hit that herd of deer at Christmastime several years ago.”

We both laughed and took a few minutes to wonder what the noise could have been and then we went about our day.

Come to think of it, she never told me her name and I never asked or gave her mine. Shame on me.

There was a time when I knew everyone in my neighborhood for at least a two-block radius. I knew the parents, the kids and even the family pets.

I spent hours at the Schabbing house across the street, playing kickball, tag, hide ‘n’ seek and of course with dolls. They in turn spent many hours in my toy room. (I was a little younger than my siblings so I got to have my own toy room. Don’t hate, just accept.)

We also spent an inordinate amount of time behind the laundromat playing in the milk crates. I can’t explain the appeal they had now, but we spent hours rearranging them and making “rooms” and hideaways.

If we misbehaved, our parents heard it from the “neighborhood watch.” Now people just call the police so they don’t have deal with the parents. Sometimes that might be wise.

It was not uncommon for people to sit out on their front porch after supper and just visit.

Casseroles were delivered to sick or grieving families. Children were swapped for a special evening out or just to give a harried parent a break.