Last updated: August 24. 2013 8:17PM - 291 Views

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A few Monday morning conversation starters as you head off to work or the coffee shop, courtesy of The Lima News newswire services:

•Hasbro is holding a Facebook contest to eliminate one of the eight Monopoly player tokens, replacing it with a new one. My vote: Get rid of the Scottie dog or the thimble, but make sure the boot says.

The other tokens which may never get a chance to pass “Go” again are the battleship, race car, iron, wheelbarrow and top hat.

Possible replacements are a guitar, diamond ring, cat and toy robot.

After the votes are totaled in February, Hasbro will discontinue the current version of the game and replace it with a version that includes the new token. Of course, it also plans a special edition of the game with all of the old and new tokens in a gold-colored box.

Politically speaking: The overall favorable rating of Congress is 9 percent, according to Public Policy Polling. That means Congress is less popular than root canals, NFL replacement referees, head lice, colonoscopies, traffic jams, Donald Trump and France.

The good news is people would still rather hang out with Congress rather than get beat up by playground bullies, suffer from gonorrhea, live in North Korea, run around with John Edwards or live under communism.

The study desk: Studies have shown that charitable giving by conservatives is about 30 percent higher than that of liberals — in large part because conservatives are more likely to be churchgoers.

Need a ticket: Where there’s eBay, there still a chance. Tickets for President Barack Obama’s swearing-in are being peddled on eBay and Craigslist for up to $2,000 apiece.

Cost of war: According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, since 9/11, more than 5,300 have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly 36,000 have been wounded — many with debilitating injuries that have changed their lives forever.

Fire away I: A gun in the home is 11 times more likely to be used in a completed or attempted suicide, seven times more likely to be used in a criminal assault or homicide and four times more likely to be involved in an unintentional shooting death or injury than to be used in a self-defense shooting. That’s according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Fire away II: By the year 2015 more people will die from guns than automobile accidents, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Based on the 10-year average trend, shooting deaths in 2015 will probably rise to almost 33,000, and those related to autos will decline to about 32,000.

Closer to home: Allen County experienced more murders (eight) than traffic fatalities (seven) during 2012.

ROSES AND THORNS: A few this week.

Rose: To Elissa McCracken, of Ohio Northern University, who represented Ohio on Saturday in the Miss America competition. McCracken is a senior pharmacy major from Waynesburg, Pa.

Rose: To Jeff Sprague, who was named new president of the Allen Economic Development Group. He replaces Marcel Wagner, who is retiring after holding the post since its creation in 1994.

Rose: To Lima Mayor David Berger, who plans to run for a seventh term, saying the job still invigorates him. Already, he’s the longest serving mayor,

Rose: To Sam Bassitt. He’s not retired even a month as an Allen County commissioner and already has accepted an appointment onto the Rhodes State board.

Rose: Quick action by the Riley Township volunteer firefighters in Putnam County kept the historic Bridenbaugh one-room schoolhouse near Pandora from burning down. The schoolhouse is nearly 124 years old.

Thorn: Three years ago Lima Fire Department Investigator Toby Jenkins said “there was nothing unusual” about a fire where two people died on South Pine Street and “no evidence to suggest anything suspicious.” On Thursday, Lima Police Department officials said they have evidence it was set to cover up a homicide.

Thorn: Matthew Spradlin, a youth soccer coach in Shawnee, faces theft charges for pocketing $225 of a $250 check intended for payment of soccer officials.

PARTING SHOT: Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

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