August 22, 2014

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Local Columnists

Winter at the middle of the earth
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:57 AM

By Kylee Baumle

As I write this, I’m in Ecuador, with my mother, visiting Karina, the exchange student we had in 1993-94. Some of you might remember her and what a delight she was to our family. She’s all grown up now, married, and expecting her first baby.

We’re here in this stunningly beautiful country for two weeks and so far we’ve gone bird watching in the cloud forest, looked into a volcanic crater, stood on the equator, and visited a flower farm, just to name a few things. And not to rub it in as we read about the crazy cold weather in Ohio, but the climate here is pretty close to ideal.

This is my third trip to Ecuador, having gone in 1994 and then again in 2003, when Karina was married. Each time has brought new adventures, though the purpose of each visit was to spend time with her, as she is a much loved member of our extended family.

The Prize Winners of Van Wert County
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:57 AM


By Nancy Whitaker

With all the nasty weather we have been having lately, it seems as if the stores are packed with shoppers buying bread, milk, toilet paper and whatever else they may see.

Last Saturday, we went shopping in a department store and of course the parking lot was full of cars and the aisles were full of people.

All of a sudden an announcement came over the store speaker which stated, “In two minutes we are going to give away some prizes. Come over to the flashing red light and get a nice gift. Hurry, hurry, hurry!”

Groundhog: a perfect name for them
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:54 AM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist Paulding SWCD

Groundhogs, also known as wood chucks, usually are viewed as a nuisance animal for homeowners and farmers. The major problems that they cause are the large holes they dig and the damage that occurs from this animal. Their holes can be 8-12 inches in size. This animal creates two, sometimes three holes, with a large tunnel system that runs from one hole to another. They usually will have a large mound of dirt in front of the hole called a porch. Groundhogs use this to stand high to get a good view of their surroundings before making their move to venture around.

Baby, it's cold outside
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:27 AM

Baby, it’s cold outside

By Bill Sherry

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a song with words and music by Frank Loesser and although it is popular during the Christmas season, it is a romantic winter song. According to Wikipedia, Loesser wrote the duet in 1944. He premiered the song with his wife, Lynn Garland, at their Navarro Hotel housewarming party toward the end of the evening, signifying to guests that it was nearly time to end the party and go home.

Yes, you are right it is cold outside, and undoubtedly for me, I find great comfort being safe and warm, sitting next to the fireplace, reading a good seed catalog and dreaming of spring between short naps. But, did you not know? Have you not heard? It’s winter and baby its cold outside! Maybe, we should take some time, settle into the long nights with loved ones and a cup of hot cocoa or some warm apple cider.

Bow Wow!
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:25 AM


By Nancy Whitaker

Most of the dogs we have owned have been smaller breeds, live inside and I guess I could honestly say, “Our dogs have been and are spoiled.” The latest addition to our family is a Shih-Tzu named Baylee.

Baylee, at age 8, has always been a pretty good little dog. He loves his toys, especially those that squeak, his warm furry bed and laying in my recliner whenever he can.

He is basically “daddy’s dog” and goes outside with him to take out trash and do outside chores. Baylee has his own little personality and even though he can bark ferociously at a cat in the yard, he is scared of any loud noise such as thunder.

Grasslands get squeezed
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:21 AM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist Paulding SWCD

1.6 million acres, that is about the area of the state of Delaware. That’s how much land was removed this year from the federal CRP (Conservation Reserve Program). This program pays farmers to keep land covered with native grasses or even trees. Most of that land now will produce crops like corn or wheat. It’s a sign of the shifting economic tides that are transforming America’s farming landscape.

Time to start on this summer's garden!
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:18 AM


By Kylee Baumle

It’s hard to believe that it’s time once again to start thinking about sowing seeds for new plants for this year’s garden. Not those that you might start inside; it’s way too early for that. But what’s this, you say? Surely I don’t mean planting seeds outside, do I?

Indeed I do. I’ve talked about this before and if you took my advice then and tried it, then you know I’m not crazy. It’s called wintersowing and it couldn't be easier. There are a number of annuals, perennials, and even shrubs that can be successfully started outdoors in January and February right here in Northwest Ohio.

First, decide what you want to plant. For a comprehensive list of all the seeds that do well with wintersowing, visit the website: A good rule of thumb is that anything that is known to self-seed, or need scarification or stratification to germinate will work.

Happy Anniversary, Paulding County
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 9:20 AM


Happy anniversary, Paulding County

By Kim Sutton

We all know the word centennial references 100 years. We know the word sesquicentennial is for 150 years. We also have the bicentennial, meaning 200 years. But what’s the word for the 175th anniversary? Are you ready for the answer? Well, according to Wikipedia (on-line encyclopedia) you have several to choose from: Dodransbicentennial; Dodrabicentennial; Dequasbicentennial; Dosquicentennial; Demisemiseptcentennial; Quartoseptcentennial; Terquasquicentennial or Septaquintaquinquecentennial. Take your pick!

2014 marks the 175th anniversary of Paulding County, which is equally as confusing. Some will argue that Paulding County was formed in 1820, which is true. The Indians of northwestern Ohio relinquished their lands to the United States and the Legislature of the State, by an act of Feb. 12, 1820, proceeded to divide the newly acquired territory into counties, of which Paulding County was one. The township lines were established in 1820 by Alexander Holmes, Samuel Holmes and others and in 1821-22 the townships were subdivided into sections by James W. Riley and his assistants.


Although the lines were laid in 1820, because the swamp was so sparsely settled, Paulding County remained under the jurisdiction of Wood County until 1824 and then Williams County until 1839.

In 1839, the first county seat was established in New Rochester. The first court was held in the spring of 1840 in New Rochester with Honorable Emery D. Potter as presiding judge. It was held in a room over General Horatio N. Curtis’ Store, since there was no courthouse. There were no lawyers residing in the county at that time – so Edwin Phelps of Defiance was appointed prosecuting attorney. In those days, lawyers traveled with judges throughout the entire circuit – they traveled on horseback.

So, if we choose to accept the date of organization and establishment of a county seat – then Paulding County is celebrating our 175th anniversary! If you choose to accept the date of 1820, then we are 194 years old and we missed our Demisemiseptcentennial (which is what I’ve chosen to call it)!

Either way, our roots run deep and it’s truly amazing how we have emerged from the Great Black Swamp to the fertile acres of flat farmland made possible only by our ancestors’ hard work and determination. Their struggles and strife to drain this swamp is unimaginable. We are humbled by the thought of what they went through and we should celebrate our 175th or 194th either way!

By the way – three cheers for New Rochester, Crane Township. It served as the first county seat before Charloe built a two-story courthouse and lured it away, and in 1840 was the busiest town in the county. It stood about a mile north of Cecil on present-day Route 424 (old US 24). All that stands today is an abandoned roadside park and a cemetery.

Kim Sutton is president of the John Paulding Historical Society and a guest columnist for the Paulding County Progress.

The opinions stated are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.


What would you do?
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 9:19 AM

What would you do?

By Joe Shouse

There is a television show that is on from time to time called “What Would You Do?” The network star of the show, John Quinones, will introduce a specific scenario that is set up using actors to carry out a controversial situation. For example, it could be two people arguing in public and one is going overboard with the other person. One time, a son was arguing and showing little respect to his own mother. He was rude and it was very embarrassing to her.

The idea is to see how the general public will react and if anyone will get involved and come to the rescue of the one who is being challenged. It’s always interesting to see how people will get involved when it really means something to them. They will take a stand and defend a complete stranger. Other times people will ignore the situation completely and do nothing.

Another snow story? It's not what you think...
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 9:18 AM

By Kylee Baumle

Last week’s big snowstorm caused some major problems for a lot of people and minor ones for just about everyone else, and we’ll remember it for a long, long time, but all I’m going to say about it here is that my garden is grateful that it came just before the temperatures plummeted. If the marginally hardy plants I’ve got stand a chance at all, it will be thanks to all that wonderful snow cover providing insulation.

But I’ll bet you didn’t know that my garden has snow all year round, did you? I wouldn’t exactly call it a snow garden, but unintentionally I managed to plant a fair number of “snow” plants.

The garden year starts while snow – the real stuff – may still be on the ground. Eventually sharing its beautiful, tiny, fragrant, white flowers, Galanthus nivalis begins to emerge in March, just when you think winter will never end and spring has forgotten all about us. The common name for this harbinger of spring? Snowdrops, of course!