THIS AND THAT –
Leave it to teenagers and their cell phones.
They can be standing across the room from each other, and rather than walk 15 feet to talk, they’ll send a text message.
Uh, wait. Did I say teenagers?
I meant to say U.S. Congressmen. They’re slaves to their cell phones, so much so that U.S. Rep. Bob Latta told us he thinks it is one of the reasons there is such polarization among Democrats and Republicans.
“We don’t talk anymore,” Latta explained. “We’re too busy staring at our hands,” he added while pretending to hold a cell phone in his hand. He wonders what would happen if Congressmen were ordered to leave their phones in a basket before meeting.
“Maybe we’d actually talk with each other, get to know each other. Then, who knows what would happen.”
Latta made the observation during a visit to The Lima News on Tuesday.
The system worked … For a few moments, retired Allen County Judge Richard Warren said he wasn’t sure what to think. He was in a hallway after finishing his daily workout at the local YMCA when he was approached by a man he didn’t recognize.
“He asked if I was Judge Warren, and when I replied yes, he told me that I sentenced him to prison,” Warren noted. As the judge’s mind began to race, the man told Warren “being sent to prison was the best thing that happened to me. I’ve turned my life around. I’m now married and have children.”
Warren shared the story during a presentation before the Lima Rotary Club, where he recounted many of the famous cases he’s presided over. At one point, he noted some of the people guilty of crimes simply made mistakes in their life. As for the rest, he said, “There are people who are criminals and others who are just plain stupid.”
Smart move … Josh Mandel could have gone into a deep funk in the weeks following his narrow November loss to incumbent U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. Instead, he sought advice from fellow Republicans George Voinovich and Mike DeWine. Both Voinovich and DeWine bounced back from stinging defeats during their political careers and their words of encouragement appear to have re-energized the 35-year-old Mandel. There’s no doubt here that you’ll see a more polished Mandel running for higher office in the next five to 10 years.
By George, thank you … It seems like there’s been more drunks the past two years driving the wrong way on the interstates. The latest incident, fortunately, ended without anyone getting hurt thanks to a 17-year veteran of the Ohio Department of Transportation.
ODOT Highway Technician George Seambos was on snow and ice patrols at 2:30 a.m. Jan. 26 when he noticed the headlights of a wrong-way driver coming right at him. At the time there was moderate traffic on U.S. 23 in Sylvania near the Michigan border.
George quickly put on his flashers to warn oncoming traffic, then maneuvered his snow plow truck in a way that caused the suspected drunk driver to turn around. Seambos immediately called 911 and followed the vehicle until police were on the scene. The driver was later charged with OVI.
ROSES AND THORNS: A few this week.
Rose: Students from middle to high school in Crestview spent the lunch period last week walking laps to raise money for the family of Sandra Dealey, who was killed in a January car accident. Sandra and her husband, Mark, have six children ranging from kindergarten to college-age.
Rose: There’s something about golf and running the Allen Lima Leadership group. Micki Vollmer worked with the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour in Toledo prior to starting the ALL program here 18 years ago. She’s retiring, with Matt Otto taking over. The 1990 Shawnee graduate is formerly the manager of Hawthorne Hills Golf Club in Lima.
Rose: To Mike Fell, who is returning to Lima to coach the Spartans football team. Fell is one of the most successful coaches in the area, taking Ada to the state playoffs seven years in a row. He will be taking over a program that has won just 20 games in the last 12 years. Fell is a 1979 graduate of Lima Senior.
Rose: The best Scrabble player in the region will be crowned Feb. 9 when the Northwest Ohio Literacy Council holds its eighth-annual tournament. Call 419-223-0252 for more information.
Rose: To Ruth Reddersen, of Lima. Her idea was featured Sunday in the nationally syndicated comic “Pluggers.”
Thorn; Upper Scioto Valley’s high school was built just 11 years ago, but already needs a new roof and has cracks in walls as well as electrical problems.
Thorn: Ohio gasoline prices averaged $3.38 a gallon at the beginning of last week, which was seven cents higher than the national average.
PARTING SHOT: “When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.” — courtesy of co-worker Mary Evans.