THIS AND THAT –
A freak automobile accident that resulted in the death of man in Van Wert County last week serves as a tragic reminder for the need to watch for deer while driving, especially during this time of year.
Mickey McConahay slowed his vehicle Tuesday morning when he and his passenger, Nathan Crass, saw two deer approaching the road from a field on state Route 118, about 1.5 miles north of Ohio City, the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Although McConahay appeared to react appropriately when seeing the deer, one of the animals still collided with the sport utility vehicle, jumping through its windshield and fatally kicking Crass in the face. McConahay pulled into a nearby driveway with the deer still in the vehicle and called 911 for help, but it was too late to save the life of Crass, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
The chances of seeing deer on or near Ohio roadways increases this time of year as deer become more active and enter the peak of their breeding season.
The two men were on their way to work when the accident happened, which is one of the peak times deer are running. According to the Ohio Division of Wildlife, deer are inclined to be more active during low-light hours, with a majority of deer-vehicle accidents occurring at dusk and dawn when people are commuting to and from work. More than half of the nearly 21,000 deer-vehicle accidents last year in Ohio took place between 5 p.m. and midnight and another 20 percent happen between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m.
There is no way to prevent every deer-vehicle collision, but the state patrol offers the tips:
•If you see a deer, expect more to be nearby. Deer commonly travel in groups, so the probability is high that other deer will be in front of or behind the one you saw.
•Flash your lights or honk your horn to frighten deer away from the side of the road.
•Don’t swerve your vehicle to avoid hitting a deer. If you can’t avoid the accident, then just hit the deer while maintaining control of your vehicle.
•When you encounter deer along the roadside, turn on your emergency lights to let other motorists know about the potential danger.
•Don’t rely on hood-mounted deer whistles and other devices to scare away deer. Wildlife biologists have not found any conclusive evidence that these type of devices work.
ELECTION DAY: Tuesday will be a “pocketbook election,” with many voters facing multiple levy requests. What gets passed and what fails may have little to do with the need for the levies. It simply may be a matter of voters determining what they can afford to pay.
Among the requests we’ll be watching closely:
•The Mental Health and Recovery Service Board is seeking a five-year levy that would allow it to keep and expand services for a growing number of people in need. The agency serves Allen, Auglaize and Hardin counties.
•Perry schools has a chance to get the state to pay for 52 percent of a new school if it passes a levy. A thread of opposition opposing the tax is raising the issue that families of open enrollment students attending Perry do not have to pay the property tax because they don’t live in the district.
•Elida schools is seeking funds to operate its schools without having to make further cuts. It has been eight years since an operating levy has passed in Elida and many cuts have already been made to staffing and services. Only 49 school districts in the state spend less per pupil than Elida.
•Delphos residents will be voting on an income tax increase to make up for shortfalls in its general fund.
CONFUSION: There’s some confusion as to what has and hasn’t been outsourced at The Lima News. The printing operations of the newspaper are still being done in Lima. What has been outsourced is the building and placement of advertisements as well as the newsroom design and headline writing.
ROSES AND THORNS: A few this week.
Rose: To Matt Parker, of the Lima Fire Department, who was named Firefighter of the Year by the Lima Sertoma Club.
Rose: To Bill Timmermeister, of Lima. The owner of Lima Auto Mall received the Senior Lifetime Achievement Award for community service from the Baton Rouge Foundation.
Rose: To retired Lima Police Officer Bob Hammell, who took a 7,000-mile motorcycle trip to California and back. Upon his return he met with students from the Lima South Science Technology Magnet School, who used his trip to expand on geography, science and math skills.
Rose: To the “Trunk or Treat” events held at various churches around the Lima region and by Childers Media Group in downtown Lima. The events drew large crowds as people decorated their cars and met at the designated location to conduct trick-or-treating.
Thorn: To the “Rule of 10,” a process originally approved by Lima City Council to provide the city with more flexibility in hiring. Instead, as Lima Council President John Nixon pointed out, “It’s a running joke in Lima. Apply for a job and you might hear from us in 18 months.”
PARTING SHOT: Dig where the gold is, unless you need the exercise.