LIMA — Area residents were in top form the weekend of April 14 and 15 as they participated in the Tough Mudder event held in Amherst.Two groups from our region, firefighters from Lima and Shawnee Township along with members of Lima's Anytime Fitness Gym, participated in this obstacle course that Tough Mudder has billed as, “The Premier Obstacle Course Series in the World.”According to the website, Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10- to 12-mile obstacle courses designed by British special forces to test strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie. More importantly, Tough Mudder has raised more than $2 million for the Wounded Warrior Project. Part of the $125 entry fee per person is donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.Members of Anytime Fitness, Chad Endsley, Lyle Endsley, Sara Luchini, Nate Patrick, Josh Ambrister, Tonya Timmons, Rod Lawson, Branden Lawson, Steve Miehls and Deven Whitaker found themselves closer at the finish of the course.“We all finished it and got closer as a group,” said Chad Endsley, manager of Anytime Fitness. “It was a fun experience. It is a lot different than a half-marathon. You are running through crazy obstacles on the way through the 12-mile course. You have to be a little crazy to do it.”Some of the obstacles found along the way included an ice bath, a 25-foot jump into a quarry, monkey bars over water, electrical shock wires, 6-foot high mud hills and big walls that participants needed to climb over.According to Todd Gardner, from Shawnee Township Fire Department, it took the group to get you to finish it.“No way you would complete it on your own. It's a team-building experience. It is a good time,” Gardner said. “We stayed together as a team to help each other out.”Members from Shawnee Township Fire Department who participated included Gardner, Ryan Schott, Matt Reaman and Mike Hasentaub. Lima firefighters included Matt Parker, Rich Deubler, Andrew Groman, Chris Lauck, Rick Robinson, Kevin Clark, Chris Bassett and Brian Stewart.“For most of us, it was just a way of staying in shape. With our profession, we need to stay in shape,” Lima Firefighter Matt Parker said.The Lima firefighters stepped up their usual workout routine and added more running to their workout.“It was a great accomplishment,” Parker said about finishing the course.According to Tonya Timmons, part of the Anytime Fitness group, members stepped up their training in the gym as well. “We watched the video on the Tough Mudder website, but we all just stepped up our training,” Timmons said.Endsley plans on participating in another Tough Mudder event in October, as is Parker.Gardner said, “It was a heck of an experience. I may do another one, but it will be in a warmer climate.”The Tough Mudder events are held across the United States as well as internationally. “I probably will do another one, but it won't be for a while,” Gardner said.“It was exhausting but thrilling,” Timmons said.Celina senior could win carCELINA — The Celina Police Department's Wear Your Seatbelt ... Win a Car program is in its sixth year. Kerns Auto Group has supplied a vehicle that will be given away to a graduating Celina High School pupil.The Celina Police Department began this program to promote the Ohio Traffic Safety Office's, “What's Holding You Back” summer safety belt campaign. The 2004, two-door, orange Chevrolet Cavalier is the sixth vehicle donated by Kerns Auto Group since 2006.A group of pupils who meet the graduation criteria are chosen during a qualification drawing. On the last day of school, in conjunction with the Celina Police Department's Ultimate After-School Party, those pupils will each draw a key and attempt to start the Chevrolet Cavalier. The pupil who draws the correct key will win the car.To qualify a pupil must be a graduating senior, not have any criminal violations or operator license suspensions, or any citations that carry six points. He or she must be free of any violations of Ohio's safety belt laws.The Chevy Cavalier is on display in front of Celina Senior High School.Columbus Grove pupil brings true beauty to high schoolCOLUMBUS GROVE — Elizabeth Parlette is just a junior in high school at Columbus Grove High School, but her compassion for human emotions reaches a level well beyond her years. She is the daughter of Shawn and Chris Parlette, of Columbus Grove.Parlette initially approached her guidance counselor, Tanya Best, about what she and her friends were going through. The self-doubt, bullying and suicidal thoughts of some worried Parlette.“Elizabeth wanted a way of making a bad situation turn around,” Best said.Parlette researched ideas on the Internet, and Project True caught her eye. The Project is to help prevent suicide and to promote inner beauty and self-worth. The “True” in Project True stands for Together, Resisting, Unnecessary, Endings.With the sponsorship of the Leo Club, Project True Beauty Day was held at Columbus Grove High School for seventh-graders through adults. This consisted of a makeover day to boost self-esteem in people by doing their hair, makeup and nails and even providing massages. “The thing that counts is what is on the inside,” Best said. “By doing hair and makeup and nails, the outer looks are changed, but what is most important is the inside.”When entering the home economics room at Columbus Grove High School, participants were asked to write their doubts or worries on a slip of paper and put them in a fishbowl. Upon leaving the room, after the makeover, the participant was to take an inspirational quotation from a fishbowl so that participants left with a good feeling from their experience.
Tara Cutlip, 21 and pregnant with her second child, was shot and killed Saturday in her Bahama Drive home. Loved ones gather in front of Tara's home to remember her and speak out against domestic violence.