The rose garden was a popular place during 2013.
On any given Monday, you could find people whose deeds would warm your heart, or whose silliness would leave you scratching your head.
With that in mind, we give you the annual Top 10 list for 2013: The “Best of Roses, the Worst of Thorns.”
BEST OF ROSES
• No. 10 — Jamie Sizemore, of Lima, and friends had a plan to surprise a needy family during Christmas with a large envelope full of gift cards. Their intention was to place the gift in front of the family’s apartment door, knock and run away. It worked, but not without some pain: Sizemore said, “I take off running … round the corner on the stairway and crack my knee right into the banister on the middle landing. … This is when I heard the door open and I just stood there biting my tongue and then a few seconds later, I hear a female scream, “Oh my God!” and start crying.
• No. 9 — Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, is one of Major League Baseball’s iconic stadiums, thus a lot of effort went into setting up a public competition to design the commemorative logo marking the 100-year anniversary of the ball park in 2014. The winner came from our backyard: Brandon Ort, of New Breman.
• No. 8 — The Rev. Barry Stechschulte, of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in St.Marys, is a fair man. During a recent trip to Italy, he was told that one person in his group of 22 would be allowed to meet with Pope Francis. Thus, the Catholic priest selected Kent Miller, a lifelong Lutheran.
• No. 7 — Jane and Roy Painter know about the power of the pen. The couple celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary Oct. 26. They met as pen pals in the fall of 1967 when Roy was serving as a Marine in Da Nang during the Vietnam War. When his tour of duty ended, he looked up Jane. Three days later they were engaged.
• No. 6 — In making a case for a railroad overpass or underpass near Lima Memorial Health System, Lima Public Works Director Howard Elstro got the attention of Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray when he showed Wray a Lima News photograph of President Barack Obama’s motorcade being stopped by a train.
• No. 5 — While running his garbage collection route this summer, John Griffith, of Griffith Trash Pickup Services, found a man’s money clip, credit cards, gift cards and hundreds of dollars scattered at the intersection of Fetter and Reservoir roads. Griffith tracked the owner down and returned the loot. The owner of the lost merchandise gave Griffith $100 for being so honest. Griffith then gave the money to the two employees who rode with him.
• No. 4 — Derek Dunlap won a new Dodge Dart when he sunk a hole-in-one during the Joint Township District Memorial Hospital Foundation’s 21st annual golf classic. The ace came on No. 11 at Arrowhead Golf Club in Minster on Sept. 13.
• No. 3 —A basketball was placed on the reserved seat of John Wilt during all games played at Lima Senior High School in the 2012-13 season. Wilt was a “super fan” of the Spartans and died at the beginning of the season.
• No. 2 — Logan Schnipke, 11, of Ottawa, earned the nickname “Tarzan” when he waded into Lake Erie and caught a 48.5-inch, 24-pound muskellunge with his bare hands.
• No. 1 — Lima Police officer Eric Mericle was on patrol July 8 when a woman ran up to his car asking him to help a baby who was not breathing. Mericle called for an ambulance and ran to the porch. He then administered CPR to the limp body of 1-year-old Crew Gillette, saving the child’s life.
WORST OF THORNS
• No. 10 — Maybe he didn’t like the way the refs were calling the game. We don’t know. But Matthew Spradlin, a youth soccer coach in Shawnee, faced theft charges for pocketing $225 of a $250 check intended for payment of soccer officials.
• No. 9 — Smoking marijuana is the reason 75 percent of people cannot pass a drug screen required by companies in Allen County.
• No. 8 — Just 11 years after a new high school was built for Upper Scioto Valley, the building has cracks in the walls, is in need of electrical repairs, and also could use a new roof.
• No. 7 — Honesty has its place, if you want to believe John Marten, of Wapakoneta. He admitted in court to breaking out windows at the town’s Democratic headquarters. Then, months later, tried to change his guilty plea after learning it may affect his status as a U.S. Marine.
• No. 6 — To Josh Buckland, of Ottawa. He and fellow teenager, Tristan Parker, were driving around when Buckland showed Parker his new Glock handgun and accidentally shot Parker in the leg.
• No. 5 — To the animals that roam our streets: In May, an employee of McDonald’s on Cable Road called police after he saw a coyote roaming the parking lot at the old Wal-Mart complex. When police arrived the animal began to charge officers. It was shot and killed. In April, Dominique Badea, 30, had to jump in the Ottawa River to escape two pit bull dogs that attacked him as he walked on the River Walk near downtown.
• No. 4 — To the things people leave behind: An unknown deputy from the Allen County Sheriff’s Office lost his stun gun in March, only to have it found by a middle school pupil. In April, a live hand grenade was found in the bushes of a home in the 400 block of Court Street in Wapakoneta. Finders keepers, thankfully not.
• No. 3 — Douglas Wjolaver, 40, of Sidney, is a sure bet to make the Dumb Crook Hall of Fame after he accidentally bumped his cellphone and called 911 while breaking into a home in February. When emergency crews arrived, Wjolaver hid in a closet, only to be found when his phone started beeping because of a low battery.
• No. 2 — A shotgun, a sheriff’s deputy’s badge and a bullet-proof vest were stolen from the unlocked car of a Mercer County sheriff detective.
No. 1 — No one will accuse Philip Smeal, 22, of Ada, of being “parent of the year” material. He left an 8-month-old baby home alone in March so he could go to a bar, where he drank 10 beers and had five shots of alcohol.