August 20, 2014

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Local Columnists

The truth about those gardening myths
Tuesday, June 03, 2014 10:28 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Gardening hasn’t been left out when it comes to old wives’ tales. While much advice that we get from our parents and grandparents is invaluable and has been passed down with love, it can be disappointing to find out that some of it just isn’t true.

We replaced a tree last week and the main trunk of the new weeping European beech seemed to need some support. It’s a young tree and the trunk is quite flexible. It can be very windy this time of year so we staked it with a bamboo pole to help stabilize it.

Poison ivy: An itchy situation
Tuesday, June 03, 2014 10:27 PM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist Paulding SWCD

I never know who truly reads these articles. Apparently my youngest daughter does. She asked me to write an article on poison ivy. She is the child I nicknamed “bug” and to this day she still carries that same name. She has always been the child who gets sunburn, bites, and even rashes. So, Lauren, this article is for you.

Most people would not know that toxicodendron radicans, is commonly known as poison ivy. This North American plant is well known for its production of urushiol, a clear liquid compound found within the sap of the plant that causes an itching irritation and sometimes painful rash in most people who touch it. The plant is not a true ivy. Poison ivy can be found growing in any of the following forms, as a trailing vine, as a shrub, as a climbing vine that grows on trees or some other support.

Stories behind the walls
Tuesday, June 03, 2014 10:26 PM


By Nancy Whitaker

One thing I notice while traveling or riding in a car are houses. I see old houses, new houses, big houses and little houses. I gaze out the window at brick, stucco and wooden homes. Now being like I am, I always wonder who lives there, are they happy, do they have children, and just what type of stories can the walls in that house tell?

Why immunize?
Tuesday, June 03, 2014 10:26 PM

Why immunize?

By Bill Edwards, BS RS

Paulding County Health Department

Why immunize our children? Sometimes we are confused by the messages in the media. First we are assured that, thanks to vaccines, some diseases are almost gone from the U.S. But we are also warned to immunize our children, ourselves as adults, and the elderly.

Diseases are becoming rare due to vaccinations. It's true, some diseases (like polio and diphtheria) are becoming very rare in the U.S. Of course, they are becoming rare largely because we have been vaccinating against them. But it is still reasonable to ask whether it's really worthwhile to keep vaccinating.

A valuable table in spite of a few scratches
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 9:27 PM

By Jim Langham

These days, our dining room table is mainly used for “desk purposes.” I place my laptop on it to do much of my writing, surrounded with notebooks filled with story ideas and interviews.

Underneath the writing tools are memories of when it was once surrounded by our children, their friends and special family outings.

It was the centerpiece of family visits in our dining room in Michigan, a time when the kids were still home, my parents and Joyce's parents were still alive, and visits meant spending much of the evening visiting around the table following the evening meal.

It was where we colored with the kids, entertained guests, played board games and sat and drank coffee. Three days before my dad passed, he and I sat at that old table, drank coffee all afternoon on a Christmas Day that we didn't realize at the time would be our last one together.

A world without honeybees
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 9:26 PM

By Kylee Baumle

I don’t consider myself an activist, but there are things that I think are important enough in this world to talk about in hopes of raising awareness. The plight of the monarch butterflies is one of them, as you may know, and it excites me when someone tells me they’ve planted milkweed in their garden. (I saw my first monarch of the season on May 17, by the way!)

There’s another problem out there that concerns me and that’s the disappearance of honeybees. This industry has had a presence in our county for decades, and those who work in it can tell you that this is of relevance to everyone, not just those who are keepers of the bees.

We all know that honey bees gather pollen and nectar to feed themselves and the young bees in their colonies. As they’re doing this, they pollinate plants, which is essential for the reproduction and fruiting of many of them.

Mirror mirror on the wall!
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 9:25 PM


By Nancy Whitaker

I am always wondering about something. Sometimes I just like to sit and contemplate things. Today I was thinking about mirrors. I have never met a mirror I didn’t have the urge to look into. They say a person is self conscious and unsure of himself if he constantly looks in a mirror to check his appearance.

I am also wondering who looks in a mirror more..... males or females? I really don’t know if it is unusual or not, but I glance in a mirror each time I pass one. Am I expecting to see something different than the last time I looked? No! I do it out of habit. I wonder if there is anyone in this world who has never looked in a mirror. I read that years ago the Native Americans would look into a river or pond of water to see their reflections, so we do know there has always been a way for us ladies and men to tell what we look like.

Receiving a miracle
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 9:25 PM

Receiving a miracle

By Eileen Kochensparger

Secretary, Bargain Bin of Paulding County Inc.

How many of you have experienced a miracle in your life? We read about miracles all the time in books or hear about them through word of mouth or the news, but have you ever personally experienced a miracle? I am a miracle.

Nine years ago, I was stricken with Streptococcus pneumonia and given only a 24 percent of survival. I was in a coma for six weeks and remember nothing of that time. People who see me yet today call my recovery a miracle. But there are other kinds of miracles and the Bargain Bin of Paulding County has received a miracle.

Early introduction to autism grabbed my heart
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 10:24 AM

By Jim Langahm

I’ve never known a part of my life when autism wasn’t a part of it. Following the death of her husband because of a car accident, my Aunt Eleanor remarried and she and her second husband bore two sons that played major roles in my life.

Her oldest son, Max, was autistic. When his parents needed to go somewhere, they would often bring Max to our home. I was a child at the time and Max a few years older than me. I was quickly impressed by his autistic characteristic of echolalia (usually answered back with the last word or a key word in something you’ve said) and his tendency to rock in a rocking chair, hum cheerfully and play with a string.

A trip back home opened my eyes
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 10:24 AM


A trip back home opened my eyes

By Joe Shouse

Just the other day I went home. The place I was born, reared as a child, graduated from high school – the place I developed memories, good memories. Then I left for college and life took on a series of twists and turns that never allowed me to go back to Rushville, Indiana except for brief visits.

So, going home was an eye opener and not necessarily a good one at the start. My reason for going home was to attend a funeral. I was home for just a few hours but long enough to see how things had changed over the years. Leaving the funeral home in the processional and crawling through town at a slow pace to the cemetery, I had the chance to witness downtown, or at least, what is left of downtown.