We end the year with an old tradition, a top 10 list of “2020’s best of roses, worst of thorns”:
BEST OF ROSES
10. Stefanie Holtz, the owner of Lucky Steer in Wapakoneta. She gained national recognition in March for her Facebook offer of free meals, or 40% discounts, to truck drivers on Interstate 75 who have been moving goods during the pandemic. Some Auglaize County residents who heard what she was doing donated meals of their own.
9. Next year’s leaders of the Ohio House and Senate will both be from Allen County, the first time that has happened. Bob Cupp was named Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, and Matt Huffman will be Senate president.
8. Lima’s Allen and Carol Schmidthorst donated $15 million to Bowling Green State University.
7. Captain Barbossa, the winner of the $559,000 Little Brown Jug harness race, was born and raised at Dr. David Steiner’s stock farm off Bellefontaine and Greeley Chapel roads in Lima.
6. At age 78, Jack Bevilockway of Lima hadn’t donated blood for several years. But hearing that the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a shortage of donors, he dialed the Red Cross (1-800-435-7669) to find out when and where he could donate.
5. To Joshua Raines and his son, Mason, of Wapakoneta. Sometimes you have to do things others may think are crazy. They shared a father-and-son moment by waiting in line for 36 hours to buy the new Playstation video game console on Black Friday.
4. A stranger saw the concern on the faces of Jason and Jeanne Wehri, of Ottoville, as they sat in a waiting room at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center with their newborn daughter, Josilyn. He told the young couple to remain positive and gave them a $50 bill to start a bank account for their child.
3. Connie Dodge told the story of a wallet being found inside a tackle box along Agerter Road near Bresler Reservoir. It contained $3,700. A good Samaritan found the wallet and tackle box and got it back to the owner, who just returned to the area from New Mexico, Dodge said.
2. After responding to a shoplifting complaint, Lima Police Department Sgt. Nick Hart found the woman had no police record and was attempting to take food, gloves and a few toys for her family. She only had a low-paying job, and her husband was disabled. She was polite and remorseful when questioned. Knowing a police record would only make her situation worse, Sgt. Hart paid her $258 bill and the store didn’t file charges.
1. In January, Platoon Chief Jared Jenkins of the Bath Township Fire Department rescued a boy who was stranded on ice in the middle of a pond. Wearing a cold water rescue suit and tethered to the shore, Jenkins made his way out about 50 yards to reach the youth. Jenkins then had to convince the scared boy to allow him to assist the boy off the ice and back to shore.
WORST OF THORNS
10. Hello, will you move it? That’s what the driver of a truck pulling into Ottawa Feed and Grain had to be thinking as part of the trailer was left sitting on a railroad track as the man waited for another truck to move. Sure enough a train came, and his trailer, as they say, was history.
9. Ignoring Ohio’s stay at home order in April, Raymond Keeton, 20, of Lima was robbed at gunpoint of his cell phone, which he had hoped to sell to the thief.
8. An elderly woman called The Lima News in March wondering what time “the truck” would be in her neighborhood “spraying for the virus.” When she was told there was no such thing, she said she was glad she didn’t sign up.
7. The theft of several motor vehicles took place around Lima in early July, including one in which the thief was confronted by the homeowner, only to see the thief threaten to bash the homeowner’s head with a baseball bat.
6. The two elevators at the Allen County Jail are in such bad shape that someone was stuck in one of them for 35 minutes.
5. In January, friction in the Van Wert County treasurer’s office saw treasurer Nathan Vandenbroek and auditor Philip Baxter not speaking with each other, taxes not being collected, and overdue bills not being paid. Vandenbroek ended up resigning, and Baxter faced charges for breaking into the office.
4. Following a session in the state Legislature in which an idea by state Rep. Jon Cross of Kenton was questioned by a much older lawmaker, Cross sent a text that said he was “6-foot-4, 290 pounds and won’t be pushed around.”
3. Michael Schleeter, the former police chief of Fort Jennings, surrendered his police officer training certificate as part of a plea agreement that will see him enter a diversion program in lieu of a conviction on a charge of counterfeiting.
2. Veterinarians told an assistant prosecutor that Cassandra Smith, 54, of Spencerville, likely had not fed a dog for three months prior to its death.
1. A bizarre incident saw Allen County Sheriff Matt Treglia get hit by a bullet from someone bringing in the new year with celebratory gunfire. The bullet fell from the sky just five minutes into 2020. It hit a Lima Police Department vehicle then ricocheted through an open window of the sheriff’s cruiser. It whizzed just inches past the face of Maj. Todd Mohler, who was sitting with Treglia in the vehicle, and struck the sheriff in his bullet-proof vest.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.