GO FIGURE —
It’s all in the numbers this week. The Dow reaches a record, 14,286, and keeps growing; 5 to 7 inches of snow falls on the Lima region; and 71-year-old Martha Stewart shows up in court wering a mini-skirt, saying she was upset because her $300 million brand at Macy’s wasn’t performing up to her expectations.
Here are a few other numbers that stand out:
… The Lima News Annual Payroll Study reported five city employees making over $100,000 this year. Comparing that to what they were paid five years ago, their salaries have grown from $11,000 to $16,000. The five men and their salaries for 2012 and 2007: Mayor David Berger ($116,856 from $100,741); Law Director Tony Geiger ($114,850 from $98,299); Public Works Director Howard Elstro ($101,700 from $88,661); Finance/Purchasing Director Steve Cleaves ($101,644 from $88,623) and Battalion Chief Greg Kirkendall ($102,189 from $91,051).
… State-mandated salaries for judges saw just a $3,300 increase in five years, going from $118,050 to $121,350.
… Defense cutbacks have been taking their toll in Lima. The employment figure at the Joint Manufacturing Center is currently listed at 500. Five years ago it was at 1,000 and climbing.
… Basketball fans from Bettsville had to be snickering when Carey received a taste of its own medicine against Lima Central Catholic in the District Tournament. Carey, which humiliated Bettsville during the regular season, 98-9, fell behind LCC 59-19 after three quarters. LCC played all subs in the fourth quarter in winning, 66-33.
… The Toyota Motor Corp. will pay $1.7 million to Ohio as part of the 29-state settlement over allegations the Japanese-based car company concealed safety issues related to unintended acceleration problems.
… The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation increased its stake in Procter & Gamble by 1,200 percent during the fourth quarter of 2012, now owning 1.5 million shares of stock.
… There are 289 days until Christmas, but whose counting.
ROSES AND THORNS: A busy week in the rose garden:
Rose: To Brayden Thomas, a 13-year-old athlete from Bath with spina bifida. He plays center for the Turnstone Flyers, a Fort Wayne-based wheelchair basketball team that is ranked fourth in the nation among 16 teams.
Rose: To Lima Fire Prevention Officer Chris Jackson. He told a class of 3- and 4-year-olds, who were excited to meet a firefighter, that, “We put out fires and we go on emergencies and guess what else we do …We read books. We like to read.”
Rose: Putnam County commissioners rolled back the county’s income tax to 6.75 from 7 percent, just as they promised to do when the economy got better.
Rose: To this year’s Jefferson Award winners for community service: Bruce “Shorty” McCullough of Spencerville and David Adams, Marjorie Bryan, Terrance Grant, Terry Handshoe, Paul Kreher, Norene Parish and James Snider, all of Lima.
Thorn: There will be no father of the year awards for Philip Smeal, 22, of Ada, but he could get one for stupidity. Smeal left an 8-month-old baby home alone so he could go to a bar. He told Ada police he downed 10 beers and five shots of alcohol that evening. What a guy!
Thorn: Richard D. Ketcham, 53, of Lima was found guilty of workers’ compensation fraud after it was learned he made $26,716 running a photo studio while collecting disability benefits.
Thorn: Six of the seven new homes built at Whittier Place in Lima remain empty. The housing development was hatched in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A typical government project that never considered if people could afford the $60,000 homes or wanted to buy in that area.
PARTING SHOT: The shortest distance between two puns is a straight line.