April 24, 2014

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Former Junction St. Mary’s Church to get new owners
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:02 PM

Stained glass windows removed, placed in storage

By NANCY WHITAKER • Progress Staff Writer

JUNCTION – Recently the Diocese of Toledo was notified that the former Junction St. Mary Church will be sold by the current owners, the Junction Community Center Inc.

Mini Relay back on at PEVS
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 2:55 PM

By JOE SHOUSE • Progress Correspondent

PAULDING - Following discussions that included two meetings between school officials and Relay For Life personnel, it appears an agreement has been reached to allow the annual Mini Relay to continue at Paulding High School.

Earlier this year, the decision was made by superintendent Bill Hanak and his administration to discontinue the Mini Relay under its existing format.

“Basically both sides had to compromise a little. We developed a new set of guidelines and we now have a joint plan that will allow us to move forward,” said Hanak.

The Progress attempted to contact several Relay For Life leaders for comment, but did not receive any responses by press time.

Hanak, along with other school officials, had several concerns about the Mini Relay. One concern was the number of hours the event involved of school instruction time. Another concern was the possibility of other groups or organizations wanting the same advantage when it came to fundraising within the school.

“Right now we have a plan in place for the Mini Relay. We will re-evaluate it each year, but right now we are excited about the opportunity to have the Relay. In the end, the kids win and that’s what we feel is most important,” said Hanak.

The Mini Relay is scheduled to take place during the afternoon on the second to last day of school.

Over the past three years, PEVS students and staff have raised more than $57,000 to fight cancer.

When Relay For Life members had received word that a Mini Relay would not be held under the previous setup, the school administration asked them to submit proposals that would help address and answer how they could better meet the school’s concerns.

At January’s school board meeting, several people supporting the Mini Relay were in attendance and the proposals were submitted at that time.

According to Hanak, the Relay For Life proposals did not satisfy the administration and the Mini Relay was at that point canceled.

“We are moving forward. In fact, other community groups have said they would like to help with the Relay. This will be a good thing because it will relieve our staff,” said Hanak.

“In the end, this was a good, positive thing that was done within the rules. Karen Saxton from Relay For Life, was wonderful to work with and I believe both sides feel good about the outcome,” concluded Hanak.


The Blue Creek Comets of 1954 - Part 3
Monday, February 17, 2014 2:36 PM
As a young and energetic coach, Ned Jay led the Comets to several successful seasons.

Meet the Blue Creek Comets and their coach


Special to the Progress

Part 3 of 7

Dennis Doster’s mother was unaware her son played high school basketball, until his junior year, it was told in 2012. His dad was a fireman on a Nickel Plate locomotive, always on trips (he always took the family car to work). Dennis’ mom had all the duties at home and no auto to drive. She didn’t need any other issues.

What Dennis needed was a buddy to get him to the games and practices. His buddy turned out to be cousin Otis. Otis was convincing to his mother; she liked Otis. “If Otis Pease hadn’t driven me around I’d never have played basketball for the Blue Creek Comets of 1954,” Dennis said.

His mom may never have known except for the Paulding Progress newspaper. Dennis was a star basketball player for four years. This stardom brought news clippings. It took four years, but Dennis’ dad and mother did see a game at Hoaglin Jackson in 1955. Their only game – Dennis’ team won.

Not only did Dennis’ mother Gladys raise a very personable sports star, but her pretty daughter, Margaret, was a BC Comets cheerleader and a Paulding County beauty contestant in 1953. Many mothers in high school America would envy Gladys' results. She was Otis’s Aunt Gladys, and must have been quite a woman.


In 1951, the Latty Lions won their first Paulding County basketball championship. They repeated in 1952. However, in 1953 the “Lions” moved to Haviland to join the “Wildcats.” Together, the schools became the “Blue Creek Comets.”

Officially, Latty High and Haviland High schools (four miles apart) shared Haviland’s school building late in 1952 and became Blue Creek High School in future years. The number of boys in Blue Creek High was 27.

The Comets of 1953 were a good basketball team, they were league champions at 14-6. This was coach Rex Scarbrough’s final year as a basketball coach. He won more Paulding County tournaments than any other coach; a total of nine since 1926.

The Grover Hill Hornets won the tourney championship in Paulding County in 1953. That was the end of the Don Elston era, as an all-star player, with Jim Ladd, “Hook” McClure and Bob Sanderson, coach - all were memorable names in Paulding County sports.

As for the 1953 Comets, they had six varsity lettermen returning comprised mainly of the young Lions from Latty except for one Wildcat.


Late in 1953, a young teacher barely out of college and teaching science and math classes was appointed coach of the 1954 Blue Creek Comets. Something promising, when assisting Coach Scarbrough, he did take the Comets’ young reserve team to a winning 14-4 season in 1953 – his first effort at coaching. But that was it, no more coaching background.

His name was Ned Jay. He was a young, bright, futuristic and promising warrior, with no second doubts about anything – including winning.

One of his players commented, “Ned had the fastest eyes and mind I’d ever seen on a basketball floor.” His players improved game after game because of these attributes. If any player threw a bad pass or interception or made a bad judgment, he was on the bench. After a few games into the season, the Comets made no mistakes – mainly out of fear of their new coach.

Ned was also known to have a fiery temper. Not particularly at the boys, but more at improper use of basketball principles. It also included referees principles. Not to mention Ned throwing a skidding chair across the gym in one game. His clipboards took a real beating in many games.

His intent at all times, however, was 100 percent directed to the success of the Blue Creek Comets. That said, “Welcome to the era of Ned Jay’s Comets.”


Ken Zimmerman, number 53, 6’0”. In 1950, Zimmerman didn’t show up for classes at Latty High. Instead he was attending Haviland High (four miles south), leaving the young Lions (not by choice). In desperation, Coach Scarbrough of the Wildcats took a chance and put him into a varsity game as a freshman. He needed a center. Ken Z. amazingly scored 27 points. He started every varsity game thereafter and became one of the highest scoring four-time all-stars in Paulding County.

Dennis Doster, number 35, 5’9”. Started on the Latty Lions first five in his first high school basketball game and scored 15 points. Dennis didn’t have a basketball hoop at home, or a barn, or any place to practice. His only practice place was at school, at recess, noon hour or mornings before class. His practice was limited, “but he could just make baskets.” He was a natural with speed. How dynamic was it to have Doster and Ken Zimmerman; four-year, high-scoring, all-stars starting on the Comets of 1954?

Max Pease, #40, 5’6”. Max was a rough and tough kid (but also friendly and bright, good at math). Every bit of strength he picked up in the War Years, with no dad, he put into a positive life. That included being a Comet on the basketball floor. It showed in his defensive drive, his scrappy dribble and ball handling, his foul shots, long shots and passing. His heart was in the game, his presence demanded winning. To his seven years of expert coaching, add three years of varsity and an all-star trophy for his play on the ’54 Comets.

Gerald Sinn, number 33, 5’9”. Claimed he had taken over 500,000 practice shots during his high school basketball career. So if he was hitting 65 percent of his long shots it probably wasn’t blind luck. He was also one of the leaders of assists, rebounds and interceptions. In the BC yearbook someone said “Gerald never missed a foul shot.” The great part of this is you could say the same thing about the entire Comets first five. All the guards and forwards were sharpshooters and center Ken Zimmerman was the leading scorer in Paulding County in 1954. Dennis Doster was second, only two points behind.

Walter Sinn, number 50, 5’10”. The young Lions got lucky. They inherited a point guard who was ready to play basketball. He came from the Wildcats of Haviland in the move to Blue Creek High. His older brothers, Carl and Ray, were legends on the Wildcats teams of ’48 and ’50. That’s how Walt learned the game, from his brothers on the farm, in the hay mow gym, in the barn - and from Coach Scarbrough.

Walt always had the compliments, “Nice shot, Gerald,” same for the other guys as well. Walt was great at passing off with lots of assists, but by tourney time he was scoring 20 points a game. Something interesting, 60 percent of his points came from hitting foul shots. At season’s end, he was awarded the MVP sportsmanship trophy at the Paulding County Tournament. Also, in his junior year, the Ohio State coaches poll placed him on the third team All-Ohio State, guard, first five.

Harold Sinn, number 44, 5’9”. Twin Gerald had just stolen the ball from an Oakwood guard at the half-line. Harold saw it happen and streaked for the Lions’ basket down the floor (at Oakwood, February, 1952). Gerald sent him a long, hot pass for the lay-up. Harold caught it, stopped, turned and waved Gerald to run down to make the easy two points (reward for interception). Gerald smiled, shook his head and hands - No! So Harold sunk the lay-up.

Oddly enough, those two points made Harold high point man, 18 points for the night. Gerald scored 16 for the game. He could’ve been high man if he’d taken the shot. Sixty years later, Gerald commented, “I think back to what a pleasure it was that I could extend this small honor to my twin. The next year we moved to Blue Creek where the coaches made him the sixth man. It was less playing time and less opportunity to score. But having a sixth man with talent to score 18 points a game was great support for a championship team.”

NOTE: Dennis Doster offered Gerald the same opportunity many times in the ’54 season. It described all these Comets not a selfish bone in their bodies. A great ingredient for a winning team.

Next week: The season – game by game.

© Gerald Sinn 2014

e-mail: jerpro@msn.com


A silver lining to Ohio's cold, snowy winter
Monday, February 17, 2014 8:44 AM

By Mary Kuhlman • Ohio News Connection

COLUMBUS - With snowbanks piled sky high, sub-zero wind chills closing schools, and four of the five Great Lakes now frozen over, it's hard to think of this year's winter as anything but miserable. However, scientists promise there is a silver lining. ?State climatologist Jeff Andreson, associate professor of geography at Michigan State University, said the deep freeze actually is very good news for the Great Lakes.

"Having ice over the cover of the lake inhibits - or prohibits, even - evaporation of free water, so this should help reduce the amount of evaporation, and of course, that would help our lake levels a little bit," Andreson said.

He pointed out that water levels have been below normal in most of the Great Lakes since the late 1990s.

It is possible the deep freeze also will help reduce the population of certain invasive insect species, he noted, such as the emerald ash borer - particularly if they didn't choose the right seasonal accommodations.

"If they had the bad fortune of overwintering on a tree or on bark, or on a location that was exposed and above the snow line, odds are that - well, there are going to be many fewer of them," he said.

As long as the snow melts at a slow rate that the ground is able to absorb, he explained, farmers will be giving thanks, because the water will be much needed later in the growing season, when the demands of plants typically exceed what the state receives in precipitation.

Report: Ohio in top 10 for solar jobs
Sunday, February 16, 2014 8:19 PM

By Mary Kuhlman • Ohio News Connection

COLUMBUS - The sun is shining on Ohio when it comes to jobs in the solar power industry.

According to a new national Solar Jobs Census, more than 3,800 Ohioans were working in the solar sector in 2013, a 31 percent increase from the year before.

Christian Adams, a state associate for Environment Ohio, said the progress is directly related to policies that encourage solar energy development - including Senate Bill 221, which requires utilities to invest in clean energy.

"That's really been a huge boon for the development of renewable energy in Ohio," he said. "Since that law was passed in 2008, we've seen that kind of robust growth, year in and year out. So, it's a continuation of that trend."

Adams said cities can play a huge role in growing the state's solar-energy market. He pointed to Cincinnati, which passed a resolution aiming to install solar on one in five rooftops by 2028 and develop new financing programs for residential rooftop and commercial solar markets.

"Cincinnati's been leading the way across the state for putting installations in its own city buildings," Adams said, "and now, it's really taking that knowledge and helping commercial customers and everyday homeowners invest more in solar energy."

Only a small fraction of energy still comes from the sun, he said, adding that while Ohio has policies that encourage clean-energy growth, even more can be done.

"If you look at states like New Jersey or Massachusetts, these aren't states with a ton more sunshine or rooftops than Ohio has," he said, "yet they're beating us in the national rankings, and that all comes down to the robustness of their policy."

The analysis released by The Solar Foundation found almost 20 percent growth in solar employment nationally since September 2012. That rate is 10 times faster than the overall national employment growth rate of 1.9 percent in the same time period.

The state-by-state analysis is online at thesolarfoundation.org/solarstates.

Sheriff’s office now offering updates through Nixle, Twitter
Friday, February 14, 2014 5:05 PM


PAULDING – On Friday, Sheriff Jason Landers announced the addition of two new means of communication within the sheriff’s office.

“My staff has created accounts with Nixle and Twitter, to go along with the current Facebook account that has been in place for more than a year,” Landers said.

Nixle is a service that is free to public safety agencies, and is utilized to get information out to subscribers instantly. This is the same system that the Paulding County EMA office uses to get information out to the public during weather related events.

“My goal is to utilize these sources of communicating to alleviate literally hundreds of phone calls my emergency dispatchers take during inclement weather,” said Sheriff Landers.

Anyone wishing to sign up to receive future messages from the sheriff’s office should log on to www.nixle.com and follow the “sign up free” link, or simply text your ZIP code to 888777 to only receive SMS messages.

Those who are currently a subscriber of the Paulding EMA do not have to subscribe again.

This system works off of ZIP codes, meaning anyone registered under the 45879 ZIP code will receive any message sent to that ZIP code from either agency.

For anyone wanting to follow the sheriff’s office on Twitter, log into your account and search for @sheriffpaulding. Please don’t confuse the local office with Paulding County, Georgia.

In order to follow Landers’ office on Facebook, log into your account and search for www.facebook.com/PauldingCountySheriffsOffice and click “Like.”

“I believe in order to reach the citizens of this county in a timely fashion, I have to take this office to the next level of communication which is on the Internet and cellular. We have created a very nice website at www.pauldingohsheriff.com and now we will venture further into social media,” Landers said.

“Please bear with me as I decide what is appropriate for this type of communication. I am always open for suggestions as well.”

The sheriff said he does not monitor these sites personally; the dispatch staff oversees this along with their daily obligations. If anyone tries to reach out to the sheriff or his staff via these sites and need something addressed quickly, do not assume they will see a request in a timely manner. Instead, Landers said, use the office number at 419-399-3791 or dial 911 in the event of an emergency.