Last updated: August 25. 2013 7:59AM - 293 Views

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HARROD — Chris Blanchard, of Harrod, received his rank of Eagle Scout on Feb. 12. He is the son of Rick and Becky Blanchard.

Blanchard has been a member of St. Rose Catholic Church Boy Scout Troop 49 since 2006. In that time he has held numerous ranks and responsibilities. Some of these have been librarian, quartermaster, senior patrol leader and O/A representative. He earned 27 merit badges as he advanced through the ranks.

For his Eagle Scout project, Blanchard undertook the refurbishing of a large outdoor deck used by the Northwest Ohio Literacy Council at their facility on West Spring Street, in Lima. The project consisted of Blanchard inspecting the work site, planning with the Literacy Council director what needed to be done, acquiring funds and materials needed to complete the project from local businesses and organizing time and workers to complete the three-day work schedule.

His skills carry over to his schoolwork as well, as Blanchard is on the honor roll at Allen East and Apollo. He is a member of the Mustang Marching Brass, and has volunteered with the Northwest Ohio Food Bank, the American Cancer Society and at his church.

Blanchard is the third son of Rick and Becky Blanchard to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, following his brother Adam in 1999 and his brother Alex in 2004.

Lima homeowner finalist in home contest

LIMA — Philip Atkins, of Lima, has been selected as a finalist in the DaVinci Roofscapes “Shake it Up” Exterior Color Contest.

This is an online contest with the winner chosen by the public. The contest runs from through May 26 and anyone can vote. Visit the DaVinci Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/10LLET8 to select one of the five finalists in the contest. The winner will be announced June 3 and will receive a $5,000 cash prize to help add color to the exterior of his or her home.

“I need a roof, so I have looked at a lot of different roofing places,” Atkins said. “The ad for this contest popped up on my Facebook page. You had to write an essay and send in a picture of your house, and tell them how you would use their product."

“The name of the product was Aberdeen, so I envisioned Scotland or an English cottage,” Atkins said.

He titled his essay, “The Little Aberdeen Cottage that Could.”

There were more than 170 contest entries in this national contest, and the judges chose just five finalists.

“I think I am in second place now. It would be such a blessing if people would vote for this,” Atkins said.

“My ultimate dream in life is to win one of those Lima Pride Awards,” he added.

Versailles High School wins Wright State University competition

CELINA — Wright State University-Lake Campus mechanical engineering program works with local high schools in the region to promote STEM-related (science, technology, engineering and math) activities to young students.

On May 2, Marjorie Hess, Lake Campus mathematics lecturer, and Dennis Hance, Lake Campus engineering lecturer, sponsored a trebuchet competition hosted by Coldwater High School. A trebuchet is a type of catapult that works by using the energy of a raised counterweight to throw a projectile. It was popular in the Middle Ages. Participating high schools included Celina, Coldwater, Fort Recovery and Versailles.

Each school’s team had to build a trebuchet, using plans provided by Lake Campus. The students were required to design their trebuchet to meet competition rules and parameters. The students launched squash balls from their trebuchet and attempted to shoot the ball into the other team’s targets. The contest was double elimination, which allowed each team to compete in at least two 20-minute matches.

Versailles High School took first place in this competition.

Schools interested in competing next year should contact Vicki Shelby at Wright State University at Victoria.Shelby@wright.edu.

Lima resident publishes first book

LIMA — Mark McNamara, of Lima, has published his first novel, “An Empty Land of Plenty.” The book is available at Amazon.com for $10.99. An e-book version is also available for $2.99.

The stay-at-home father said the idea for the book had been percolating in his mind for several years, and he just decided to sit down at the keyboard.

“I don’t think creative writing is the easiest thing to do,” McNamara said.

The book took him almost 18 months to finish. It is 370 pages in length and the genre is a mix of Sci-Fi and adventure.

“An Empty Land of Plenty,” is set in post-apocalyptic America. A lethal virus rained down from the sky, and proved to be deadly to the population. A young, nerdy high school senior survived the prionic flu, and he sees the newly depopulated Earth as a fresh start. A girl whom he secretly loved has also survived, and he sets out to find her.

“I tried to throw something in there for everyone,” McNamara said. “I think teens and young adults, hopefully, will find it interesting."

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