September 1, 2014

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Local Columnists

Farmers beware of Palmer amaranth
Wednesday, November 06, 2013 1:40 PM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist

Paulding SWCD

A fast growing super weed that has destroyed soybean and cotton fields in southern states is popping up in Ohio alarming researchers and agriculture groups who fear its spread. It’s called “Palmer amaranth” and commonly used herbicides have no effect on this weed.

Infestations in Scioto County last year and in Fayette County this year have researchers in Indiana and Tennessee concerned as well as the Ohio Soybean Council. More than 3,000 soybean farmers and agriculture firms have been sent letters and DVDs to warn them of this invasive weed. It is very impossible to estimate the effect it could have on Ohio agriculture. OSU Extension Agent Mark Loux is asking farmers to send samples of suspect weeds to his office.

The literal world of a child
Wednesday, November 06, 2013 1:35 PM

By Jim Langham

When I was a child, my parents were close friends with several families. About once a month, they would all gather at one of the homes for a Sunday afternoon meal and time of games and fellowship following church.

Since there were several boys about the same age out of that mix, it would be fairly accurate to assume that the fellows would sometimes get into a little mischief, not exactly like Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, but not exactly unlike him either.

I can remember one Sunday afternoon that we all arrived at the same time. While the parents were finishing lunch, several of the boys began playing, “knockout flies.” One of the guys, Brice, was often one of the first to get into trouble, whether he was actually misbehaving or not.

Well Seasoned
Wednesday, November 06, 2013 1:34 PM


By Nancy Whitaker

As the seasons pass, I see beauty and joy in all of them. Each season brings something to admire and look forward to. There is the heat of the summer, the glorious colors of fall, new fallen snow in winter and a rebirth of life in spring.

One of my favorite times of year is fall. It is now in full swing with color adorning the leaves on the trees, farmers in the fields harvesting crops and orange pumpkins on the vines. Red juicy apples are in the markets along with apple cider and sweet cinnamon sticks.

The other night we were on our way home and it was dark. However, we could see farmers in the field with their tractor lights on, busily gathering in their harvest. Just seeing those farmers in the fields late at night, made me feel blessed, secure and happy to know that these efforts of the farmers help feed America.

Plant guarantees & how they work
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:09 AM

By Kylee Baumle

Back in the spring, when you were shopping at the garden center, you might have noticed some new additions to the menu and purchased some of them. There are always new introductions, those plants that are new hybrids and always a few that are new to each particular garden center. This year was notable, in that some of the new plants were those that are rated as hardy to Zone 6, a response to the new USDA Zone Map.

I’ve said it before, that the new map places us in Zone 6, where previously we had been in Zone 5. I’ll say this again too, I’m not buying it. I’ve always been a gardener who has pushed the zone limits (like many of you) and I’ve tried growing Zone 6 plants before. It’s only one zone off, so there’s a chance, right?

Are we there yet?
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:08 AM


Are we there yet?

By Bill Sherry

First of all, the phrase “Are we there yet” was not one I remember using as a child because we rarely went anywhere that was not within walking distance. I am serious. I can only remember going to Defiance and Fort Wayne one time as a boy growing up. We made a few trips each year to Van Wert, Paulding, Oakwood and Grover Hill, but most of our trips when the whole family loaded up in the car to go somewhere were short.

In fact I often threatened to walk or ride my bike rather than get in the back seat with my three little sisters, but it was important to my parents that we arrive as a big happy family. Although I never remember saying “Are we there yet,” I do remember three little sisters who almost said it in unison, sometimes more than once.

'Thers's a Kind of Hush'
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:07 AM



By Nancy Whitaker

We are surrounded by sounds in our daily life. We listen daily to clocks ticking, horns blaring, coffee machines buzzing, alarm clocks ringing, tires squealing, dogs barking, flies buzzing, sirens screaming and babies crying, just to name a few.

Now, there are some sounds that are down right irritating and then there are other sounds which are soothing, relaxing and comforting.

Some people say they can’t stand the sound of fingernails screeching over a blackboard. Some ladies (and men) find their spouse’s snoring unbearable to listen to.

Safety risks on roads
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 9:06 AM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist

Paulding SWCD

Many farmers are behind schedule and they travel from field to field at all hours of the day to catch up and hopefully finish by Thanksgiving. So, motorists constantly see flashing lights and dust covered machinery in front of them or in passing and in going around a combine or tractor. When you are too close to a big piece of machinery it is awfully hard for the driver of the machinery to see you behind him, so give him some space.

Midwest’s crops could be key to world survival
Thursday, October 24, 2013 3:46 PM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist, Paulding SWCD

As I thumbed through articles, clips and random notes, thinking of something to write about, I stumbled onto this article that I felt that was interest to the general public. Here it goes:

“Why is the U.S. State Department concerned with the way Midwesterners farm their land? Answer, agriculture intersects with domestic and foreign trade policies, global food security and climate change in major ways. In addition, today’s farmers will soon face the challenges of creating a sustainable agriculture system as the world population grows from seven billion to nine billion in the next 40 years.

Celebrating the role of newspapers in protecting free speech
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 5:17 PM

Celebrating the role of newspapers in protecting free speech

Free Speech Week Oct. 21-17


Guest Column By Caroline Little, president and CEO, National Newspaper Association of America

Where would we be as a nation without the freedom of speech?

After all, according to the annual State of the First Amendment survey, it is by far America’s favorite freedom and our most important right. In that survey, 47 percent voted for free speech, compared to 10 percent for the next closest right, freedom of religion. It is only appropriate that we dedicate a week to celebrating free speech.

Plants do the strangest things - Part II
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 2:15 PM

By Kylee Baumle

When I last left you, we were amazed at the powers of the tomato to call in reinforcements to deal with those tomato worms and the beans were feeding the soil. But just wait, there’s more. More fascinating stuff going on right under your nose.

Speaking of noses, several years ago I was away on a trip when I got a phone call from my husband. He told me there was a strange smell in our utility room that he just couldn’t put his finger on. We have inside cats, so that’s where he initially placed the blame, but he couldn’t find any kitty-related evidence.

He, then, came to the conclusion that there must be a dead mouse or other little animal inside one of the walls or between the floors and he was going to take apart the suspended ceiling in the basement room below it to investigate.