THIS AND THAT –
One of the best high school basketball stories of the year came to a close Friday night when Lima Senior played its final home basketball game of the 2012-13 season. Joan Hageman, of Lima, reminded us about it with the following e-mail:
“Last October, The Lima News printed an article about the death of John Wilt, a devoted fan of the Lima Locos and Lima Senior sports. I knew him from the Senior High basketball games. He had the same seat for home games for many years and greeted everyone with a big smile and warm “Hi.” This year, his seat was deliberately not sold and at every game it’s occupied by a basketball inscribed “Special Spartan John Wilt.” I think that is such a neat thing for the school to do and I hope you do too.”
The credit for the school’s tribute goes to Jim Offenbaker, who will be retiring as the school’s athletic director at year’s end.
“Some people you never forget. John and Nancy Wilt were two of those people,” Offenbaker said. John, 61, had Down syndrome and loved Spartan basketball, as did his 94-year-old mother. John died at 12:02 a.m. on Oct. 6, his mother passed away the following day.
“She received word she had cancer a week earlier, and when I heard that John died, I just knew her time would be soon,” Offenbaker said. “Their love for the game and the school was so special. It only seemed fitting to honor them in such a way.”
Safety belt crack down … The numbers are now in, and 210 people had the honor of paying $96 each after being cited for seat belt violations during a four-day safety blitz by the Ohio Highway Patrol earlier this month. Of that, only $30 is for the fine, the other $66 paid goes toward court costs, according to Sgt. Matt Schmenk of the Lima post.
Seven patrolman took part in the blitz, which ran from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.Three worked the west side of the county, two were on the east side and two were roving.
They pulled over 396 cars and issued 317 tickets, of which 210 were for speeding. They also handed out 169 warnings.
Allen County was targeted after newly released figures showed only 75 percent of its residents buckling up compared to 85 percent statewide.
Back in Daytona … The University of Northwestern Ohio continues to build its presence in NASCAR, once again being a major player at the Daytona 500 this year.
The Lima educational institute will be sponsoring the inaugural “UNOH Battle at the Beach.” The two nights of short-track racing on Feb. 18 and 19 kicks off the Speed Week festivities before the Daytona 500.
“We’ve been looking for another unique way to show the opportunities our students have within the motorsports industry. This event allows the drivers and the University of Northwestern Ohio Motorsports teams to work together at Daytona International Speedway. It’s unbelievable,” said UNOH President. Dr. Jeffrey A. Jarvis.
UNOH will be fielding four cars in the event.
Quotations of the week … Some advice you should never forget, and some comments are worth cherishing:
• “If you open your eyes, open your ears and shut your mouth, you can learn a lot.” – John Heaphy, recalling the guidance he received during the early days of working in the restaurant business.
• “I feel like I’m dreaming.” — Hanna Brecht, a kindergarten student at St. Charles School, while having her photograph taken with Miss Ohio, Melissa McCracken, of Ohio Northern University.
• “Use some common sense. You have time to get your head right.” — Judge David Cheney, as he order Robert Leatherman, 27, of Findlay, to pay $3,696 in restitution for the damages he caused after shooting off a fire extinguisher inside Regal cinema in Lima.
ROSES AND THORNS: A dumb crook and an unlucky man stumble into the garden.
Rose: To Bath Fire Chief Joseph Kitchen, who was named Citizen of the Year by Apollo Career Center.
Rose: To Matt Moore, of Lima. He built a snow sculpture in his front yard to bring attention to the lengthy legal process of obtaining visitation rights.
Rose: Elida’s Quentin Poling was the only area player receiving a Division I college football scholarship. The 6-1, 212-pound linebacker will be attending Ohio University.
Thorn: Douglas Wolaver, 40, of Sidney, may want to take up a new profession, given his latest stint as a burglar. Wolaver accidentally bumped his cellphone last week while breaking into a house, sending a call to 911. He hid in a closet when emergency crews arrived, but was found when his phone started beeping because of its low batteries.
Thorn: Bad luck had a way of finding Dennis E. Dick, 60, of Kenton. During last Tuesday’s fog, he was driving on Acadia Road when he swerved to miss a vehicle, only to crash into another car. As he got out to inspect damages, another car came along and hit him, sending him to St. Rita’s Medical Center.
PARTING SHOT: “The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” — Dorothy Nevill
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News.