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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Publisher: Chris Dixon

Advertising: Mary Perkins, Emily Brubaker, Vickie Comer, Cindy Drum, Lynne R. Geary, Karen Kapelka, Michelle Steinmetz and Kathy S. Sussang Circulation: Rick Smith, Ben Bishop, P.J. Young and J.R. Vanover Production Manager/Commercial Printing: Jay Sigler

Creative Services: Jessica A. Everhart, Fay Corfman and Connie Traxler

Editorial: Robert T. Weaver, MJ McVay, Dennis Hoerig, Nick Dutro, Zach Baker, Pat Gaietto, Jill Gosche, Logan Burd, Lila Conley, Brittany Cook, Bonnie Daniel, Deb Fowler, Beverly A. Gabel, Tommy Hall, Vicki Johnson, John Kauffman, Greg Kinn Jr., MaryAnn Kromer, Aaron Korte, Katie Lang, Clint Lease, Nikki Luman, Pat Magers, Tony Maluso, John P. Montgomery, Erika PlattHandru, Al Stephenson, Bonnie Tiell, Jane Tomaszewski, Nicole Walby and Steve Williams

Mailroom: Mari L. Risner, Jennifer Shade, Rachael Allen, Mary L. Borer, Doris Bour, T.J. Cameron, Becky Croom, Cody Garcia, Cathy Hedrick, Ruth Johnson, Barry Mills, Jesse Murr, Alicia Prenzlin, Nathan Risner, Reggie Smith, Peggy Thallman, Margaret Wheeler and Eugene Zender

Office: Mary M. Huss, Alicia Bryant, Mary J. Martin and Susan Wolfe

Pressroom: Daniel J. Rinaman, Tony Martinez, Kyle Biller and Jacob Panuto

Trucking: David D. Myers, David Sigler and Stephen P. Wolfe

“Our Town” is a special edition published annually by The Advertiser-Tribune. Receive subscription, editorial or advertising information at (419) 448-3200 or P.O. Box 778, Tiffin, OH 44883. Additional copies of “Our Town — Round and round” are available from The Advertiser-Tribune and will be mailed anywhere in the United States for $3.50.

Round & round From the editor Welcome to the 2014 edition of Our Town! The theme for this year’s magazine grew out of a newsroom staff discussion in late winter. After tossing about several ideas for potential topics, we opted to develop a list of stories around a central motif, one that opened up a world of possibilities. All the subjects of the 19 articles that eventually made the cut involve, in one way or another, objects that are circular, spherical, oval, ovoid or spheroid. In a word, round. Choosing that motif opened up a wide range of possibilities. The stories on the subsequent pages

About the cover


resulted from suggesting objects that fit the geometric pattern. Life buoys, coins, barrels, wheels, fire rings, coffee cup stains, baseballs, basketballs, eggs, tires, tree rings, nuts and more provided starting points for the features on the following pages — including the Ferris wheel on the cover (more on that below). As the issue began to take shape, it became apparent the words and pictures tended to come around to the same thing: stories about the people who live and work in our town, and the things they do. It’s our hope you keep this edition around and enjoy its contents. — Rob Weaver Advertiser-Tribune photographer Pat Gaietto took the cover photo at the 172nd Seneca County Fair in Tiffin in July. The image was created using time-lapse photography and the exposure was four seconds long, catching all of the beauty of the Ferris wheel at night.


Gaming fun

Our Town

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Coffee and crafts

Level Up in Tiffin and Bellevue keeps the gaming community stocked up.

Bailiwicks is the site of many artistic events for the community.



Riding high

Healing circle

The company that provides rides for the Seneca County Fair is family-run.


Things are looking up

Many residents donʼt know thereʼs an antique telescope in Seneca County.

A veterinarian is part of healing nights at her Sycamore clinic.

The heart of the field

Attention is focused on the pitcher in baseball.

Heidelbergʼs Beeghly Library offers students an airy space for study and resources.

Who’s nuts

A Buckeyes fan turns his love for Ohio State sports into a career.


Long shot

A young player dreams of making it big — and business couldnʼt be better.


Aging trees

Roy Zinn offers perspective on some of the countyʼs old trees.


City and county crews are busy repaving and repairing roads.


Literature in the round


Road renewal


Farm fresh


A gift of chicks turns into a side business on one farm.


Friendship circle


Evenings at Camp Glen focus on the fire.


The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Gun safety

Round & round

Locked 始n Loaded offers guns enthusiasts concealed carry classes.

Even fund transfers of just a few dollars go through the process.


New life



An interest in coins sometimes begins with an inherited collection.

Life buoy

Small change


Licensed haulers of tires for recycling are busy these days.




Classes at Tiffin Community YMCA teach water safety.

Rings often hold special significance to the wearer.





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Discs and decks 4

Our Town

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Video game store features skateboards, old and new games


BY NICK DUTRO Sunday Editor

s a seventhgrader, Tom Hayes knew he wanted to grow up to own a business, he just didn’t think he had an idea worthy of that goal. Today, Hayes owns a company that probably would appeal to that seventh-grader. Level Up is the name of two video game stores — the original located in Bellevue, 121 E. Main St., and a second location, which recently moved to a former bike shop in Tiffin, 118 S. Washington St. This summer, Hayes celebrated eight years at his Bellevue location and in November will celebrate five years operating in Tiffin. Hayes said he was a “huge gamer” as a kid, but it was a hobby that was not necessarily supported by his parents — at least financially. “My parents never bought me (many games),” he said. “I re-

member them buying me a single game, and it was, it was a game I’ve not seen since then. This wasn’t an officially published game, that I know of. It was the, (you find it at the) Christian bookstore kind of game.” Hayes likened the game to the infamous unlicensed religious title “Bible Adventures” but said it was enjoyable despite its subject matter. Aside from the religious games, the purchase of video games was up to him. “I could write as many games as I wanted on my Christmas list, and I wasn’t getting them,” Hayes said. “It would be ‘something more practical,’ according to my parents.” But that didn’t stop him from seeking out video games when he had the chance. He recalls playing Super Mario Bros. 3 on Nintendo with his friend Johnny, playing Donkey Kong on the Commodore 64 at school and playing Sim City at the library. In time, he bought himself an Atari 2600 and a Nintendo Entertainment


The walls of Tiffin’s Level Up are covered with hundreds of video game titles from systems old and new. The Tiffin store also features previously owned DVDs and CDs.

System at garage sales and later made his first new system purchase with a Sega Genesis when it dropped below $100. He also got a book that explained computer coding and used that to build some simple games in BASIC code. “Half the stuff I’d type in and it wouldn’t do anything, but I did learn a lot. ... Some of the games did work, none of them were spectacular, but that did get me more in the mindset of computers and coding. That has probably affected my thought process ever since then; I do think about things in a different way. ... I want to know why things work.”

Tiffin’s Level Up also features skateboard decks, wheels and hardware at almost wholesale prices.

Picking a favorite game is not easy for Hayes. “I could name a

dozen, and leave out a hundred,” he said. The task is not so difficult for Tiffin store

manager Jesse Weber, who said his favorite game is Super Mario Brothers 3, followed

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

by the Legend of Zelda games, StarFox 64 and he has an affinity for the arcade cabinet classic Donkey Kong. “As soon as I was old enough to hold a controller, I started playing,” Weber said. He was a regular customer when Hayes opened up shop in Bellevue. A native, he said he was at the store almost every day before he was hired seven years ago. After managing the Bellevue location for several years, Weber transferred to Tiffin in July 2013 to help make the relocation painfree. “In actual store area, we’ve probably doubled the space of our old spot, definitely less storage in the back, but that was kind

Round & round


of the problem — we wanted more room to show what was for sale,” he said.


While there is plenty of fun to be had, it’s not all games for Hayes. Having the opportunity to be in business for himself, Hayes was able to showcase another of his passions — skateboarding. “There is another thing my parents never bought me,” he joked, saying he has been skateboarding about 18 years. Early into Level Up’s first few years, Bellevue’s skateboarding shop moved to Sandusky and closed shortly thereafter. Seeing an opportunity, Hayes added skate-

board decks and later wheels and hardware to his stock. “The very nature of skateboarding is not

only beating yourself up, but beating your board up,” he said. And because skateboarding is only part of

his business, Hayes is able to carry high-quality products at almost wholesale prices. “I can definitely see

Level Up owner Tom Hayes holds a skateboard at the Bellevue store.

the struggles of somebody trying to run just a skateshop. ... It’s definitely not the most popular thing in most

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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Our Town


This panoramic photo shows a portion of Level Up’s new location at 118 S. Washington St., Tiffin.

of your cities,” Hayes said. “I do like being able to offer good deals, and I like to order as many Americanmade products as possible.”

Disc dealer

Level Up deals primarily in discs — CDs, DVDS or Blu-rays — though video games are the main draw. The store mostly caters to console gamers, people who prefer to play their video games on a home video game system. Hayes said most people in this category seem to prefer playing physical games. “A lot of your PC (gamers) don’t mind buying their game online. Often they find the best deals, They’re able to download it the minute it comes out when stores aren’t open, some of the advantages there. I think most places that sell games, they do sell many more console games as opposed to physical PC copies. I think a lot of the PC guys, maybe they don’t mind as much, but with your console guys, they seem to like the actual, physical disc.” Hayes said XBox 360 is the store’s top performer, but he believes people will be drawn in by the newest console generation, and predicts PlayStation 4 — which was released in November — will lead the market share in about a year after the cost of the system drops and more games arrive for it and the competition, Xbox One and

WiiU, which released in 2013 and 2012, respectively.

Old school

That’s not to say some people don’t prefer the feel of a video game cartridge, which the store offers for many once-popular systems. “With every new console generation that comes out, you obviously get people who jump on board with that and want to get rid of everything old to get the next new thing, but it’s kind of funny — and you notice it a lot with this generation — I’ve seen a lot of people jump on board and then a couple months later they will come back for the old stuff. ... It’s pretty cool that that old stuff still gets so much recognition,” Weber said. Hayes agreed with Weber, saying he’s seen demand in the past year for older games, especially role-playing games for Nintendo and Super Nintendo, with some titles doubling in price, with many reaching $100. “I’m a little shocked. I wouldn’t have expected them to go up so much,” Hayes said. “I don’t know if it’s an age thing, that a lot of the guys that grew up playing these games are now in their 20s, they got a good job, they got some spending income, and they’re looking to buy these items again. ... It seems like that could spike

I do like being able to offer good deals, and I like to order as many American-made products as possible. Tom Hayes, Level Up owner a demand.” Whatever the cause, Hayes said he’s fortunate to have some of those nostalgic classics in stock. Today, the store and other projects do not leave Hayes much opportunity to play video games or skateboard. He also has become interested in Tang Soo Do, a Korean martial art.


“My first customer, who is still a good friend, got me down there (to the studio in Bellevue). From there, I went through the ranks and started teaching,” he said. Hayes said he enjoys the competitive nature of the sport, and the experience has helped him gain leadership skills, as he does not have formal training in business and management. He has used his relationship with the studio to benefit his business in other ways. Recently, it was the site for a video game tournament featuring the release of Mario Kart 8. He had a similar event in partnership with Line Drive Sports Cards in Tiffin. “I’m looking for stuff that is more fun and less

competitive,” he said, although with video games, there always is a competitive aspect under the surface. Having the events is one of the ways Hayes has tried to make community activism a tenet of his business, by lending a hand to another store or a charitable organization. “If it’s your community, don’t you want to be part of it, don’t you want to see good things?” he asked. In 2011 and 2012, Hayes donated a week’s worth of profits to local food banks. In the first year, he raised $3,500, and the business was able to donate about $5,000 the second year. He also has partnered with local libraries during their summer reading programs. In the past, Level Up has provided gift cards used in raffles at the library. This summer, Hayes offered coupons to youths who completed the program at Tiffin-Seneca Public Library, Bellevue Library or Clyde Public Library, and then an increased amount to readers who submitted a book report or short story. “I may take a loss on

(the giveaway), but usually when you give, you get something in return,” Hayes said. “He likes to do all kinds of stuff and help out everybody as best he can,” Weber said. “I think it’s cool (to give back to the community). That’s more important to me than to make a lot of money. We make enough that we’ve been around for eight years. I think that shows a lot of people would rather shop here because they know that by shopping here, it’s supporting things like that.”

Getting started

Hayes said his career selling video games was fate, with a bit of luck. After being fired from a job at a restaurant in Sandusky, he was passing through the mall and saw a sign for Electronics Boutique, with open interviews planned. Not familiar with the business, Hayes said he assumed it was an electronics gadget retailer. Soon, he discovered the company’s focus was on video games “Had I not been fired, I would not have been looking for a job. I would not have been walking through the mall with my girlfriend. ... It was just meant to be,” Hayes said. He was at Electronics Boutique long enough to see the company change its name to EB Games and later get bought out by

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

competitor GameStop. “I remember in seventh grade I wanted to own my own business, and I thought I’d have to invent a new product to do that, because anything that was a successful business, somebody had already had it established and that would be hard to compete with, at least that’s what I had in my mind,” he said. “It wasn’t until after I had worked at EB about six years that I saw a lot of changes within the company that I didn’t like. They were slowly working toward a more corporate attitude ... their concern, from, ‘Let’s make sure our customers were happy’ was shifting toward, ‘This is our policy, this is how we make money, and our focus is on making money.’”


To appeal to its market, Level Up focuses on selection, good deals and customer service. “When they can get a decent value for what they trade in, and when they can find good products at a good price, when there is a good selection to choose from, and when their questions are being answered — preferably without the attitude that is often accompanied with some of these big stores — it does provide an experience you often don’t get anywhere else,” Hayes said. That attention to customers carries over to his relationship with employees, Weber said, and is a reason he has enjoyed being with the company for so long. “He’s a great boss, a great leader. He’s

7 very hands-on. ... He thinks differently than most,” he said. At the age of 24, having left EB, Hayes saw the building he wanted in Bellevue was for sale. With a loan secured and cosigned by his parents, Hayes took enough games from his collection to fill two shelves and opened his store May 27, 2006. Eight years later, the Bellevue store is going strong, as is the Tiffin operation, which opened Nov. 6, 2009, on Market Street. Hayes is glad he’s had the opportunity — and found success — in that time. “I’m glad to provide what we do for customers,” he said. “Hearing the customer reviews is amazing. Knowing how many customers are glad that Tiffin has a game store that they enjoy, is a very good thing.”

Level Up still occupies the storefront in Bellevue that Tom Hayes opened May 27, 2006. Like the Tiffin location, the store features old and new video games, systems, DVDs, CDs and skateboards.

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Our Town


The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Spin me right round ‘You do get a thrill from it’



Online Editor

eeping rides in motion — up, down and around — is a family affair for McGinnis Amusements. Owner Nick Blois, who is involved with McGinnis Amusements with his wife, son and daughter, is the third generation of his family to operate the business. Blois’ grandfather, Lewis McGinnis, who lived in Cleveland, started the business after World War II.

The little guy

“They started with pony rides, actually,” Blois said. Blois said the company purchased a mechanical ride and then added more rides. “My grandmother kept the business running (after my grandfather died). She remarried, then kept the business running,” he said. Blois said his mother also was involved in the business, which resulted in him getting involved. He started with the company around age 13 and later received a bachelor’s degree in political science from John Carroll University. Blois’ grandmother died in 1981, and he took over around 2002. He and his mother ran it, and she died in 2003. He said she was not involved in it for the The Ferris wheel is set up at Seneca County Fair last month.


The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

last few years of her life due to health reasons. “I was an only child,” he said.

Carnival lifestyle

Blois said he always has been around the carnival business. “It’s not like a 9-5 thing,” he said. The company provides its services May through October, and employees work on the equipment in the off-season. “Our philosophy has always been to provide a high level of service to both the committees we work with and their guests,” the company’s website states. “We strive to provide high quality entertainment at a good value to the public. Our success is validated by the number of organizations who have been using us to serve their events for more than 20

Round & round




Blois said he enjoys the opportunity to move around and the excitement as his company is providing a fun service that children and families can enjoy. It is hard work but has its rewards, he said. Blois said his family lives in Strongsville and works in northern Ohio. He estimated the company provides rides for 18 fairs and festivals throughout the season. “(It’s) pretty much every week all summer long,” he said. The employees stay in recreational vehicles and go from one event to the next. Blois said his wife goes home throughout the week, but he and his son pretty much stay on location. “You have to put in such long hours. … There’s

Riders take a spin on a ride at the Seneca County Fair last month.

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The Ferris wheel and carousel never lose popularity, the owner of McGinnis Amusements says.

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

always something to do,” he said. Blois said most weeks have weekend events, and most of the time, the rides don’t have to open until Thursday or Friday. “We have time to set up,” he said.

Rides for the fair

McGinnis Amusements has provided rides at the Seneca County Fair for several years. Blois said the crew brings 15 rides, the company’s entire fleet, to the fair. The fleet includes a merry-goround, Ferris wheel and bumper cars. Blois said there is a good mix of kid and Nick Blois, adult rides. He said he owner, thinks the bumper car McGinnis Amusements ride is a crowd favorite, and the slide also is popular. Blois said his grandmother bought the carousel new from Allan Herschel Co. of Tonawanda, New York. “I found the invoice. … I think she paid $19,000 for this brand new,” he said. The carousel has the capacity to hold three rows of horses, but his grandmother only bought two rows of horses due to finances. Blois said he thinks the carousel was one of the best investments. That ride and the Ferris wheel never lose popularity, he said. He said he thinks the carousel is popular because riders are going around and up and down and are sitting on a horse. A lot of couples ride the Ferris wheel, he said. “You do get a thrill from it,” he said. Most members of the crew that runs rides are employed by the company, but Blois said it hires some local residents. He said it is simple to set up the rides when the crew has three days. The crew can set up all of the company’s rides in one day. “It’s a hard day. … One day is work,” he said.

You have to put in such long hours. … There’s always something to do.”


Telescope takes deep look into past


Our Town

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014


Staff Writer

ost people are aware of the zodiac signs and their connection to the cycle of constellations that circle across the sky over the course of a year. The winter stars may be more familiar, because people are more likely to see them in the extended hours of darkness during that season. At the same time, many Seneca County residents are unaware of the existence of the historic McMillin telescope or Ballreich Observatory that houses it, on CR 33 north of Tiffin. Two online sources (www.observatoriesof and explain how Tiffin came to be the site for the telescope built in 1895 that began its life on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus.

A commission

Emerson McMillin, a successful businessman and Ohio native, donated funds to OSU to construct an observatory and to purchase the 12.5-inch refracting telescope. Built by John A. Brashear of Pittsburgh, the instrument was the largest in Ohio. It was used for research and instruction at the university, but McMillin also specified it must be available for public use. The Emerson McMillin Observatory opened in 1896 and had public viewings twice a month until 1962. McMillin Hall was shuttered in 1968. By then, the university had moved its astronomy department to the physics building. The telescope’s weight and size made it too difficult to relocate. Besides, the university had acquired smaller, more powerful telescopes for students and faculty. McMillin Hall fell into serious disrepair and the OSU board of trustees determined it must be demolished.

A request

In 1975, Charles Clark and other members of the Fostoria Astronomical Society requested to take ownership of the telescope and bring it to Fostoria. The plan was for Kaubisch Memorial Public Library and the astronomical society to incorporate the McMillin instrument into the library’s public education program. Because PHOTOS BY MARYANN KROMER the proposal seemed appropriate for the Thomas Fretz Sr. works the cables that move the telescope at the Ballreich Observatory on CR 33. An electric terms of McMillin’s gift to the university, OSU donated the telescope to the library. The motor rotates the instrument, but a person must use steps to tilt it to the correct angle for viewing.

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

move also would make it accessible to students from Heidelberg College, Findlay College and Bowling Green State University. In July 1976, four members of the Fostoria Astronomical Society began the process of removing the telescope from McMillin Observatory and transporting it to Fostoria. A large crane was brought to the campus to lift the telescope out of the building and onto a vehicle. It was taken to the Union Carbide plant in Fostoria, where Clark was an engineer. Seven months was needed to clean and restore the telescope to working order. At the Fostoria Home Show of 1977, about 800 people viewed the planet Saturn through the McMillin telescope, but it still needed a secure, permanent home. For nine years, it remained in stor-

Round & round


age at Union Carbide. Clark contacted Doyle Ballreich about transferring ownership of the telescope to Heidelberg College.

A new home

Ballreich was able to acquire land from the Tiffin Rangers to build an observatory and move the telescope to Camp Hertzer. It was to be operated by Heidelberg staff and the Fostoria Astronomical Society. Records show the McMillin telescope was installed in Tiffin in 1984. Eventually, members of the Sandusky Valley Amateur Astronomy Club took responsibility for the observatory. The club hosted “star parties” and public viewings for school classes and other groups; however, in recent years, the observatory only has been open Thomas Fretz Sr. removes a protective cover from the McMillin telescope. Stains on the floor came from a rain leak. Eric Daugherty (left) and Neil Stewart look on. a few times.

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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Astronomy club members share knowledge with others



Staff Writer

andusky Valley Amateur Astronomers Club was formed in 1983, the year before Ballreich Observatory opened on CR 33, north of Tiffin. Although membership has dwindled, the club still has informal meetings at 7 p.m. the fourth Monday of the month (except December) at Tiffin-Seneca Public Library. “We get together, meet and talk, basically. Then if it’s a nice night, we get our telescopes out, set them up and look through other people’s scopes,” said Thomas Fretz Sr., a longtime member of SVAAC. “Once a month, over at Wolf Creek Park in Fremont, we have a public viewing. People can bring their scopes out and we can help them with that.” The club ( hosts an annual White Star Party. That event is set for 6 p.m. Friday until noon Aug. 24 at White Star Park near Gibsonburg. The star party takes place in the barn area with acres of open fields and some of the darkest skies in northwest Ohio. Many telescopes are to be set up for viewing. Admission is free.

Changing times

Fretz said he has owned many telescopes, starting


Camp Hertzer caretaker Larry Shrode (from left) meets with Thomas Fretz Sr. at Ballreich Observatory while Eric Daugherty and Neil Stewart wait by the door. Fretz, Daugherty and Stewart are longtime members of the Sandusky County Amateur Astronomers Club.

when he was “a kid.” When he could afford a good-quality instrument, his interest grew. Then, in the 1960s, astronomers could view spacecraft moving across the sky. “It fascinated everybody, to go out and see a satellite go over,” Fretz said. When he learned about the McMillin telescope being installed in Tiffin, he joined SVAAC. The group was formed out of the Fostoria Astronomical Society and additional members from Fostoria, Fremont, Tiffin, Findlay, Old Fort, Bellevue, Fort Seneca and Port Clinton. In recent years, the observatory has been open only a few times. Fretz said it is easier for members to set up compact, modern equipment closer to home than it is to drive to the observatory and operate the large, cumbersome telescope. He said he can do more with his 10inch telescope measuring 5 feet in length. In its day, the McMillin was one of the best in Ohio, but its current value is more historic than practical. Fretz said it has been well-main-

tained and housed, and he believes it should be preserved as long as possible. The dome at Ballreich Observatory moves independently from the telescope. Fretz is not sure what kind of drive the telescope had originally, but an electric motor now rotates it to the desired position. A person must use cables to adjust the angle of the instrument. “It’s an antique, really, but it still works,” he said. Planning public viewing dates at Ballreich can be difficult. Although clear winter nights are ideal, many people do not want to be out in the cold. Fretz said low temperatures are ideal for the vintage telescope. “You can’t have heat because heat generates air movements that would really mess up the view,” Fretz said. “If there is any heat, you’re supposed to open up the observatory and let the heat go out for at least an hour before viewing. That’s another reason it’s so much simpler to put our telescopes out in the yard.”

Getting started

Anyone interested in star gazing can get started with simple equipment, such as binoculars that magnify 50 times or more. Fretz said many websites and books are available to help people know what to look for during a given month. One of his favorite books is “Stars” by H.A. Rey, author of the “Curious George” series. The basic astronomy book has simple language and drawings. Tiffin author Daniel Pope also has written a guide called “Your Handle on the Night Sky.” SVAAC member Neil Stewart said July is a good time to view asteroids and Heres, a minor planet near Arcturus. In August, the Perseid meteor shower is the main attraction, but Stewart said the summer darkness is not deep enough until around 11 p.m. He likes to look into the depths of the Milky Way. “The hub has all kinds of things to look at — globular clusters, nebula. It’s really a gold mine for somebody that wants to get started in

astronomy,” Stewart said. “When you’re looking into p the heart of the Milky Way, n even with binoculars, you can’t believe all the stars you’re going to see.” “That’s what we recommend for somebody getting t into it,” Fretz said. “The first thing they should buy is a w pair of binoculars. Just lay Y out in a lounge chair in your t yard and watch the stars. You’ll see all kinds of neat stuff. If anything moves, you’ve got an asteroid, n probably.” SVAAC member Eric Daugherty said he watched n an electrical storm south of n Tiffin. “There wasn’t a cloud in the sky but I could watch the t lightning about 50 miles away,” he said. “It was like the end of the world watching it down there. ... It was a heck of a show. “Sometimes you see stuff n you don’t expect, like the northern lights, or a really bright meteor or other astronomical phenomena.” One year, during a star party at the observatory, the group got a good look at the Aurora Borealis, also known as the northern lights. The sky must be clear, and there must be a lot of solar activity to make them visible this far south. Stewart said fishermen who are out at night often come back with stories about the heavenly bodies they have seen. “Any night, if you stay out long enough, you’re likely to see a meteor streak across the sky,” Stewart said. Viewing is better in areas away from city light, but modern telescopes can compensate for that. Fretz has constructed an inexpensive viewing booth at his home by stretching black plastic around a frame of PVC pipes. Stewart has traveled to Texas, Arizona and the Florida Keys to

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

attend star parties with people from Canada and other northern regions to see constellations such as Jewel Box and Southern Cross. “In Florida, you can see a lot more things in the sky than you can up here because you’re looking at stuff we can’t see in the north. You’re looking at the southern galaxies. ... You can see the constellations just rising out of the water,” Stewart said. For beginners, travel is not needed to look at the stars. Stewart said the Astronomical League (www. puts out a newsletter and provides classes and dozens of observing programs for astronomers at various skill levels. Stewart said a person can go out with binoculars and describe what he or she sees to an observing coordinator. The viewer can receive a certificate for

Round & round

correctly identifying objects in the sky.

Moving objects

Not every bright object is a star. Stewart said it may be a planet that rises and falls, as the moon does. The heavens also are filled with objects that appear as a dim blur with the naked eye. “Messier” is a term for a group of objects such as this that resemble comets but actually are nebulae, star clusters, galaxies and other kinds of formations, according to The term comes from Charles Messier, a French astronomer who searched the skies for comets in the 1700s. He made a catalog of other objects he discovered. Subsequent astronomers added their own discoveries to the list. When a new object is spotted, it is tagged with an “M” to signify it is

part of the messier. A telescope can give the viewer a better look at these objects. “A lot of things will not knock your eyes out, but you’ll see something really old,” Daugherty said. “Just to see something 50 million light years away is impressive.” Fretz said heavenly formations have official and unofficial names, such as “dumbbell” (M27), “The Swan” and “coathanger.” Ancient astronomers observed the star patterns that appeared each month of the year and created stories to explain them. Stewart said the boundaries of the 88 constellations were determined in the 1930s. Many Native American cultures include tales to explain celestial formations. Most people can locate the star cluster called the Big Dipper, but they may not know its other name,

15 Ursa Major, which means “big bear.” Daugherty said M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, is the closest galaxy to our solar system. It can be seen with binoculars and even with the naked eye. “If you go out in the country on a dark night, if you know where to look, you’ll see a little fuzz in the sky and that’s M31,” he said. “With binoculars, it’s spectacular. It fills up the entire field (of the eyepiece).”


Fretz said club members can help a novice select a telescope. The better-quality ones are computerized with motors that follow objects in the sky. The viewer can punch in the coordinates for a given star formation and the scope aligns itself with that point. Around Christmas, department stores often carry telescopes. Stewart

said these usually are affordable but of poor quality. “There are good telescopes out there and there are cheap telescopes out there, but there are no good, cheap telescopes out there,” he added. Fretz has been using his telescope to photograph. He gets coordinates from online star charts or from magazines and then finds them. A recent project was locating a ring galaxy not listed in his telescope’s database. He takes a series of one-minute exposures and “stacks” them for a composite with more detail. “Even with computerized telescopes, you still have to know the sky,” Fretz said. “There’s just so much out there people don’t realize until they start looking through a telescope,” Fretz said. “You can spend a lifetime just looking at the moon.”

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He’s nuts about Buckeyes Our Town




The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sports Writer

ne of the things that separates college football from other sports is the 100,000 fans who cram into a stadium on any given Saturday to create an atmosphere that’s unrivaled in the sporting landscape. Passionate fans, often decorated in clothes and accessories supporting their favorite team, have nearly become as big a part of the game as shoulder pads or touchdowns. But, before heading to the stadium, fans need to stock up on items that show where their allegiances lie. If you’re an Ohio State fan in Seneca County, Mathew Molyet has got you covered. Molyet runs Who’s Nuts, located at US 224 and SR 18. For more than a decade, he’s provided authentic Ohio State merchandise to die-hard Buckeye fans. “This fall will be our 14th year selling Ohio State items,” Molyet said. “We started off making necklaces, bracelets, key chains. We go out and pick up most of the buckeyes. At the moment we actually buy buckeyes, buy them by 5-gallon buckets. “We also sell quite a few T-shirts, flags, banners, stickers, decals, a lot of variety.” Molyet hand-assembles most of his signature items and makes sure he’s putting out a quality product. “We take a lot of pride with what we make,” he said. “I’m sitting here mak-


A customer looks over some of the items for sale at Who’s Nuts, at US 224 and SR 18. While the vast majority of products are related to Ohio State University, other teams and cornhole merchandise also are available.

ing necklaces right now. Got an order for 600 necklaces and 100 bracelets. “It takes a lot of time to, obviously, drill them all. We definitely have our own secret remedy on how to preserve them. And then after, you drill them, wash them, clean them up. We use, definitely, the best materials. The 600 necklaces will include 24,000 beads and 4,200 buckeyes, Molyet said.

By the boards

When he’s not making

necklaces, bracelets or key chains, Molyet likely can be found in a shed at the front of his store taking care of another segment of the business. For those who like to partake in tailgating festivities before heading into the stadium to watch the game, Molyet produces custom-made cornhole boards. “Take a lot of pride with making our cornhole boards as well,” he said. “I used to make them all here at the store, now I just

paint them. My cousin Jay Gamertsfelder makes them now; he does a great job. One of the things that sets us apart from other people’s boards basically is, we put the drink holders on them with a 2x6 (board). It’s actually four extra holes you have to drill out, sand around. “Boards take, for me to paint, anywhere from eight hours to 15 for a set, depending on the styles. Once again, we only use the best materials. All the corners, edges and holes

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round

17 are routered.” It’s not just Ohio State boards Molyet can make. Who’s Nuts features boards for the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, local colleges and yes, even Michigan. “We’ve done Alabama boards, John Deere, Air Force boards,” he said. “For NASCAR, Earnhardt Sr., Earnhardt Jr. Pretty much any team that anyone pretty much wants, I’ll do.” Molyet said the quality and variety of boards set his product apart from competitors. “Ohio State has the best damn band in the land, so we got the best damn boards and bags in the land,” he said. Make no mistake, producing the merchandise is a lot of hard work, but it’s a labor of love for Molyet, who was born a Buckeye, literally. He was born at Riverside Methodist Hospital near the Ohio State campus. His family soon relocated to Seneca County. Molyet is an Old Fort High School graduate and a 2000 graduate of Heidelberg University.

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Mathew Molyet assembles necklaces made of buckeyes and beads, the item that gave his store its start.


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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Buckeye necklaces handstrung by Mathew Molyet and sunglasses in matching shades of scarlet and gray await Who’s Nuts customers.

It’s a fun store. I call it ‘The Shoebox’ for a reason. It’s not the biggest store, but it’s packed. Every day, I’m always fighting for just a little bit of new space, and organizing, trying to keep it up.” Mathew Molyet, owner

Despite the craftsmanship Molyet puts into his products, the idea for the business started more from his love for Ohio State and for family than from an artistic background. “I started the business with my cousin,” Molyet said. “Long story short, he was in an automobile accident. I went to a game and bought a couple necklaces. Paid $5 each for them and basically they weren’t that great of necklaces. And I thought, ‘Well I can do three times better on my first try.’ “And we did. I went to the first game, took 100 necklaces and sold out in 45 minutes. “He asked me how it went

and I said, ‘Not too well.’ And he’s like, ‘Well how’s that?’ I said, ‘We didn’t even have a full hour’s worth of sales.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, you got busted?’ I’m like, ‘No, we sold out.’ “He thought I was nuts for the idea. And I said, ‘Who’s nuts?’ and the name just kind of stuck. So that’s how that kind of came about, and for the last 14 years we’ve moved forward. We added Tshirts down the line and continue to find new vendors and new product.” Who’s Nuts offers a selection of T-shirts, including a 2014 schedule shirt, and the “Big Nut” shirt where a portion of the proceeds go to the Big Nut Scholarship Fund.


But, there is more to Who’s Nuts than just Ohio State merchandise. Molyet labels the store’s split as “85 percent Ohio State and 15 percent everything else.” That everything else includes Browns, Indians and Steeler merchandise among others. He said he is planning to bring in a good deal of Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James merchandise. “It’s a fun store,” Molyet said. “I call it ‘The Shoebox’ for a reason. It’s not the biggest store, but it’s packed. Every day, I’m always fighting for just a little bit of new space, and organizing, trying to keep it up.”

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round


The store has a website and Molyet is ready to ship to Buckeye fans all over the country. But the heart of the business remains the little shop tucked next to Rock Run Bulk Foods, across from Walmart. Despite carrying quite a bit of merchandise, Molyet said he’s not looking to move to a bigger shop. “It’s a great location here,” Molyet said. “The Vogels next door treat me extremely well. They have a great business over there. “I am 100 percent content with the shoebox. I really don’t want to expand. Bigger’s not always better. I just try to make it better here every day.”

He thought I was nuts for the idea. And I said, ‘Who’s nuts?’ and the name just kind of stuck.” Mathew Molyet, Who’s Nuts

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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Teen contraption morphs into tool used by NBA



Sports Writer

PPER SANDUSKY — When John Joseph was in eighth grade, he had a dream not much different than many boys his age: to be a professional athlete. He wanted to play in the NBA. In a roundabout way, he’s reached the goal. Joseph is the inventor of Shoot-A-Way and The Gun, devices used by basketball teams worldwide to improve players’ shooting percentages. And like something out of the movie “Hoosiers,” the story starts in a small town, defies the odds and continues to champion the cause of making better basketball players.

Humble beginnings

When Joseph was in eighth grade, he attended a basketball camp at Ashland College, where he watched a video from Duke University in which they used a net system to return the ball and improve a shooter’s shooting percentage by 10 percent. The 14-year-old headed home determined to build a version of PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN JOSEPH his own. On his grandmother’s This behemoth was John Joseph’s original Shoot-A-Way, which he designed in a Seneca County farmhouse when he was 14. Seneca County farm, Joseph Forty years later, Joseph’s company has basketball shooting systems the world over. used scaffolding, hog fence and a

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

wooden track to construct a contraption that sat under the hoop and returned the ball to the shooter down a channel of pipes. Joseph said he got a lot chuckles from the people who saw it when he took it to his home in Oak Harbor. “I put it in the driveway and people would about get in a wreck. They’d be driving around (and see this),” Joseph said. “It was kind of an uppity-up housing development and here was this piece of junk painted orange. People would do a double-take. I’m sure Mom and Dad didn’t like it.” But it was hard denying its effectiveness. Joseph was a star high school athlete, including in basketball. Fast forward a few

Round & round


years and Joseph is finishing college at Ohio State University. It’s 1981. “I called my old coach and asked him if he remembered the old thing I had in the driveway there in Oak Harbor. ‘What if it could fit in a closet if I could figure out a way to make it fold up?’ He told me that would be a great idea,” Joseph said. “I knew it was going to work.” So he figured out how to make it collapsible and was ready to take his product to market. The 21-year-old loaded it into a handmade trailer attached to his Camaro. He took it to Ohio State men’s basketball coach Eldon Miller. “I took it there three PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN JOSEPH times and got stood up John Joseph welds a Shoot-A-Way in his basement in the early 1980s. Not wanting to go into debt three times,” Joseph while pursuing his dream, Joseph did much of the work himself after he finished his full-time sales job. said. “One time (Miller)


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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

told me to just get out of there. I stuck my hand out and said, ‘Congratulations coach. You’re the first person to tell me no, and in three years, when these are sold all over the country, you remember you were the first person to tell me no.’” In fairness to Miller, he wasn’t alone. “Bobby Knight physically threw me out,” Joseph said. “I went to the Ohio High School Sports Association events and people would laugh. Now I’m a sponsor for the OHSAA.” It was the nets that extend above the hoop that people struggled with most because no one had seen it before. But the higher nets force a shooter to add arc to his or her shot. More arc leads to better shooting percentage. “The nets being high was actually a mistake (at first),” Joseph admitted. “But I drove over to Indiana to a shooting coach and he said, ‘That’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.’ It forces a player to shoot with arc.” In the midst of this, Joseph is newly married to Kris, his wife of now 34 years, and has a newborn daughter, Jenny. Kris remembers vividly the early beginnings. “He thought if he’d make one and sold it, he could make two and so on. Then he wouldn’t have to go into debt,” Kris said. “We were very poor right out of college.” Joseph knew this stood to be an immense success if he could get just one nibble. “I told Kris, ‘If we can sell one, we can sell a thousand,’” Joseph said. “I knew. I just had to find one coach.” In the meantime, he was at a crossroads. The Shoot-A-Way hadn’t made a sale and he had a budding family to support. “What did I want to do with my life? I thought I was just going to be rich and it was just going to go,” Joseph said. “Then I found out we’re having a second baby (Sarah) and I didn’t have a job. I hadn’t sold anything.” So he used his ag mechanics and ag education. He took a job in Pennsylvania with White Farm Equipment, selling into farm dealerships, in the state and moved his family there. Meanwhile, a Shoot-A-Way sat in his garage. He took one to a local coach at Butler High School and asked him to use it. His name was Terry Thompson. When Joseph came back to retrieve it, he was met with resistance. “He said ‘John, you’re not taking this,’” Joseph said. “So then he wants one of his own.”

The business begins

With that, Shoot-A-Way was officially in business. His first manufacturing facility? His basement. “I had to unplug my dryer in the old basement and plug in a welder. I would weld all


John Joseph stands in his facility that manufactures The Gun, the modified offspring of his Shoot-A-Way basketball system. The 55-year-old has had to expand his current facility eight times.

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

night and put a fan in the window to blow the fumes out,” Joseph said. “It would take 40 hours of welding.” His big break was right around the corner when he attended a basketball camp in Pennsylvania. “I was demonstrating it and I had a guy put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘I want two of those things,’” Joseph said. His name? John Miller. He wanted them for his two boys, Sean Miller and Archie Miller. Yes, those Millers. They now coach at University of Arizona and University of Dayton, respectively. “(John Miller) said, ‘Tell you what. Send one out to my cousin. He’s an unpaid assistant out there at Kansas,’” Joseph said. “So I wrap one up in a refrigerator box, haphazardly with no directions.” A few days later he got a message from the University of Kansas. “I thought, ‘Crap.’ He was going to say, ‘Get that piece of junk out of here,’ which is what everybody was saying,” Joseph said. “He said, ‘This is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.’ I want to order two more.” The assistant: John Calipari. “He had no money. Nothing. But the way John is, is this: ‘This is what I want you to do for me. This is what I’ll do for you.’” Joseph said. “So he did a video for me, which I still threaten


I stuck my hand out and said, ‘Congratulations coach. You’re the first person to tell me no, and in three years, when these are sold all over the country, you remember you were the first person to tell me no.’” John Joseph, creator of Shoot-A-Way to show, because of those tighty little shorts. In the video are all these now (Division I) coaches. They were at Five Star Camp in Pennsylvania and shot this video of how they use it.” After he got his first sale in 1984, he sold 22 more that year. He sold another 26 the following year. Then things began to morph. He sold 70 in 1986. Meanwhile, Joseph continued to work full time and relocated to Upper Sandusky because he wanted to be close to the family farm in Seneca County and his parents in Bucyrus, and he was traveling around Ohio for his job. But sales continued to grow for Shoot-A-Way. He bought his current building in Upper Sandusky and hired one guy to build the unit, paying him on a per-piece basis. Joseph came in in the evenings and put the finishing touches on them. He began to sell enough to run one tiny ad in a national

magazine. One of the calls he received as a result of ad was from Lee Reimer, a high school coach in Purcell, Oklahoma, who purchased the first ShootA-Way in Oklahoma and subsequently became a salesman for the state for Shoot-AWay, a practice Joseph used frequently as the business grew. “I just started networking with all these coaches,” Joseph said. “They were the elite. They didn’t care what people thought. They knew this thing would work.” It was those coaches who became regional salesmen for him. In 1987, he sold 122 and cracked 200 the next year (208), another crossroads for Joseph.

A shooting thing and a prayer

At Joseph’s core is his Christian faith. Throughout the growth of his early business, he relied on God to guide his decisions. He didn’t want

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to go into debt after investing in making his first Shoot-A-Way. Above all, he wanted to glorify God through his business. So in 1988, the Josephs prayerfully considered what to do next. “So here I am. I have four daughters now. I’m working on the farm, with the full-time job (and the Shoot-A-Way business). I’m praying, ‘Lord, should I quit my job?’ I’m thinking if I quit my job, I can really go at this,” Joseph said. “Now it doesn’t seem like a big deal. But back then, it was like, ‘Do you quit your job and your security and jump into this full time?’” So he left his full-time job and focused on Shoot-A-Way. “I made that jump and everybody thought I was insane,” Joseph said. He speaks in numbers and believes that’s how God speaks to him as well as far as affirmation of him doing the right things. In 1989, he was affirmed that he had done the right thing. “Every year at the end of the year, on New Year’s Eve, I would add up the sales and I know it sounds weird, but God speaks to me in numbers in a lot of ways,” Joseph said. “So I add up on New Year’s Eve (1989) the total sales and I just broke down crying because what are the odds that I’d double my sales to the number? Our God is so awesome, that it went to the exact number. What it meant to me was everything was going to be OK.” The sales went from that 416 in 1989 to 520 in 1990 and continued to grow. As business grew, so did the building and the employee headcount. Since he bought the building, he has added on eight times and now his building is capped on space. In 1999, another of Joseph’s ideas came to fruition with The Gun. Consider it the offspring of the Shoot-A-Way. It was the same premise with the high nets and the funnel system immediately below the hoop. But instead of rolling down a track back to the shooter, he developed a machine that would fire the ball back to the shooter wherever he wanted it on

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014


Players practice using the original Shoot-A-Way system, which returns the ball to the shooter, allowing less time between shots and more efficient practices. Each of the 68 teams in this year’s men’s NCAA championship bracket uses the system.

the floor. A delay in the ball return could be set up so the shooter could move to different spots on the floor and it could be programmed to make sure the ball would be there. The first one he developed he took to former Tiffin University head coach Keith Dambrot, who was then coach at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, to try. “He told me, ‘I have a hell of an eighth-grader you have to see.’ It was LeBron,” Joseph said. “I sent a few out to see what people thought and it went like crazy.”

Notoriety and the business today

The Gun has become a much greater success than Shoot-A-Way ever was. The business sold 500 the first year, despite the kinks that still needed to be worked out. He still has the parts taped to his wall that he’s had to repair over the years. He’d mail out the replacement parts, a T-shirt and $20 for the trouble.

But it continued to mushroom from there. He has delivered them to players’ homes: Michael Jordan, John Stockton and James, to name a few. One coach, John Welch, now an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets, has one in his living room. The family members built a closet into their garage and roll The Gun out, place it below the basketball hoop in their vaulted-ceiling living room and shoot around the furniture. Of the more than 800 high schools in the state, more than 1,400 have The Gun, including Columbian, Hopewell-Loudon, Mohawk, Seneca East, Old Fort, Fostoria, St. Wendelin, New Riegel, Upper Sandusky and Buckeye Central. Old Fort coach Eric Hoover speaks to its potential, using it as a child and as a coach. “It made it a lot easier to get a lot of practice. It contributed a lot to the enjoyment I got out of the game and the success I had as well,” Hoover said. “We have two Guns

and soon to have three. Bettsville had one, too. We’ll have four at our disposal. We get more shooting repetitions in practice. We get better use out of time than people who don’t have them. We use them all the time. We use them three times or more a week. We use them as much as we can and take as many shots as possible. It makes it more game-like than drills. The kids enjoy it and it’s a more efficient way to practice.” This year, all 68 teams in the NCAA men’s tournament used The Gun. Littered along Joseph’s office walls are letters and pictures of success stories from players who credit the device with making them the player they are today. Joseph said those are the gratifying moments. The machine has been pictured in publications around world and been seen on ESPN. Last year, the company had its best year to date, selling more than 1,600 Guns.

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round

“I thought the well would run dry a long time ago. There’s only so many schools,” Joseph said. “My goal when I started was to sell to 10 percent of the schools in the country. I thought that’d be enough. There’s 20,000 high schools in the country. … I have numbered each Gun and have books on where each one went. We’re approaching 18,000 of those Guns.” Every team in the NBA has one, and the Spurs, the reigning NBA champs, ordered their eighth and ninth Guns after winning the title this year. They have the most Guns of any team in the league. On the website, one can find workout videos for the Gun from college coaches around the country. Joseph has posters in his office of Calipari, Tom Izzo, Thad Matta and Pat Summit, to name a few, with their Guns.

manager, starting in 1999. “It’s a great place to work and John is a good guy to work for,” Slavey said. “John’s given me a lot of opportunities that I might not have gotten anywhere else and he’s really helped me out.” National sales rep Shane Adams, a former Upper Sandusky boys basketball coach, moved his family from Colorado, where he was serving as a rep for the state, because he believed in Joseph’s vision and values. “We prayed about it, and it was funny the way God worked in it. We were talking about moving 1,500 miles away from our family,” Adams said. “So I said, ‘God, we’ll put our house up on the market and if it sells in the next week, we’ll make that decision.’ It sold that day within six hours before we even got the sign up. They paid full price and

I told Kris, ‘If we can sell one, we can sell a thousand.’ I knew. I just had to find one coach.”

Shoot-A-Way inventor John Joseph

Building a product that makes impact

There’s a lot of employee loyalty at Shoot-A-Way. People started working there and never looked back. Eric Langston, a laborer, has been with the company nearly two decades. “I like the people I work with,” Langston said. Doug Slavey is the plant

25 didn’t want anything changed. “It was kind of one of those moments, where you say, ‘I guess it’s time to go.’ We moved 28 days later. “To work for such a loyal, Christian man who treats people the way they’re supposed to (is great),” Adams said. “Because to me, it’s about putting this Gun into kids’ lives to make their dreams come true. “But at the same time, it’s what’s behind that. It’s the relationships that are built and John is such a giving strong Christian man. His morals and what you work for is everything. I wouldn’t have moved 1,500 miles for somebody that wasn’t like that. That’s the most gratifying thing. ... It’s not just about The Gun. It’s much bigger than that. I think God has blessed that, to be honest with you, be-

cause we go up in sales every year.” The company has far exceeded the expectation of Kris Joseph. “I never would have imagined it, at all. Even when he was still working as a sales person, his goal was to sell so many and we’d be financially independent,” Kris said. “No, I never, ever would have imagined this. Even now, it’s hard to imagine how much it’s grown. It takes hard work and I’m so proud of him. I love it.” John Joseph said there is only one to credit for the success. “My biggest passion is trying to do God’s will,” Joseph said. “That’s my goal. My goal is not to make money. This whole thing is God’s business and the challenge is to listen to him in what to do with the blessings he’s given me.”

Roll on: 26



Road repair projects in city, county to benefit drivers, help long-term outlook Our Town

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Staff Writer

iffin and Seneca County residents are all too familiar with orange barrels and road closures forcing changes to daily commutes. As frustrating as road construction can be, city and county officials are making sure streets are paved through additional spending. Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said that during his first year in office, the city spent $200,000 on street paving. Last year, it spent about $300,000, and this year, it’s spending $500,000. Montz said between 2008 and 2011, $766,000 was spent, while from 2012 to 2014, about $1.32 million is to be spent. In addition to those projects, Montz said streets involved in the sewer separation project also are being repaved. “If you include those (streets) ... we’re spending $1.2 million (this year),” he said. Montz said in the past, the street paving budget had been cut due to the economy and state cuts. “It’s just great to see every year we’re increasing it, and it’s a long game of catchup,” he said. “We’re getting there. That’s why we’re spending so much money.”

M&B Asphalt Co. Inc. paves part of South Monroe Street as part of the city’s repaving program.

Montz hopes to maintain that level of work in the future. He said he would like to see the city spend at least $500,000 on paving again next year. “If we continue to stay up in income tax returns, I would not be opposed to increasing it further,” he said. “I’m very committed right now — bar anything unforeseen — to

at minimum, spend a half a million dollars next year like we are this year again on street paving.” To complete the existing list of streets needing paved, Montz said it would take about $500,000 a year for three years. If funding had stayed at about $200,000, he said it would take nearly a decade to complete

Deciding need

Because Tiffin City Council decided in April to shift money allocated for a street sweeper to paving, more streets could be added to the list of those being paved. City Engineer Mario Livojevic’s estimate allowed for 14 streets, five alternate projects and the first phase of

the Miami Street project with Tiffin University to be completed with this year’s funds. Because a more efficient way of rating streets was instituted, Montz said the city is one of the first in the area to bid out the work. The rating system makes it easier to compile the list of


streets needing paved. “It makes it very easy for us to decide what streets to pave and not show favoritism towards anyone,” he said. He also said paving couldn’t begin until the asphalt factories were open in late April or early May. Combined with the quick

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

turn-around deciding which streets to pave, Tiffin is first on the list for the work. “Tiffin is the first city that (companies) have seen bids out for,” Montz said. “For anyone who thinks that we waited, we’re ... the first city doing city paving around the area right now.” He said this is the earliest he has seen paving begin since he has been involved in city government.


For residents, the paving projects have a lasting benefit. “Spending a huge amount on street paving means we’re getting caught up, so it’s less wear and tear on vehicles,” he said. “In the future, it means the streets we’re paving now should last seven to 10 years.” He said the rebuilding of

high-traffic streets such as Market and Perry streets for the sewer work should last even longer. By digging the base out and replacing it, along with adding curbs, streets will last longer, Montz said. “The longer we can make these streets last, the less often we’ll have to come back and pave and fill potholes,” he said. Another street that is to benefit from a full rebuild is Miami Street. Montz said the heavily used truck route is rippling near Wall Street because the base is not strong enough. If the street were only patched, it would need to be paved again in a few years. Building a better base and new curbs would allow for better wear, Montz said. The city is to partner with Tiffin University on the street rebuild and streetscape project. The city

Round & round is to complete the street rebuild and the university is to pay for decorative streetscape work, such as trees, landscaping, sidewalks and street lamps. The three-phase, $1.1 million project will run from the section of Miami Street completed in 2009 to Heminger Center, Montz said. “By doing the project together, it will allow a little bit of money to be saved,” he said. While the city is not paying any more than it normally would, the partnership eliminates the possibility of one entity negatively affecting the other’s completed work. “It’s going to, in the long run, save the city far more money,” he said.

In the county

In addition to the city’s road work, County Engineer


27 Mark Zimmerman said work has begun on rehabilitating miles of county roadway. The engineer’s office is responsible for nearly 400 miles of roadway and about 400 bridges in the county. Zimmerman said three crews handle the work, including two road crews and a bridge crew. Although six to 10 bridges are replaced a year, Zimmerman said every bridge in the county is inspected every year. Due to Ohio law, any project over $100,000 must be contracted out, so Zimmerman said the county handles bridges 40 feet and under. Bridges over 40 feet end up costing more than $100,000, he said. “If we can extend the life of the bridge by 20 or 30 years by investing $20,000 in it, we’ll do that as opposed to knowing that if we

don’t do it, the next five to 10 years we’re going to be investing $100,000 in it,” he said. The office also takes care of culvert replacements in the county, including minor road paving and patching. Any bridge span less than 10 feet in length is considered a culvert, Zimmerman said. Much of the road repair needed in the county is due to heavy truck traffic, whether it be agricultural or to local factories, Zimmerman said.

Repair methods

Although he said chip sealing is not the most popular of treatment styles, it is effective and if problems are not fixed, the county could be affected by the problems created by last winter for the next decade. With almost $1 million

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28 put into the chip seal project, about 80 miles of roadway are to be repaired. Zimmerman said about 10 miles of roadway are to be repaved with the hot mix, which requires liquid asphalt to be spread and compacted onto the road. Chip seal is thinner and sprayed onto the road surface, then small chips of asphalt and stone is placed on top and compacted down. The difference is the cost per mile — 10 miles of hot mix totals about $800,000. “There’s a disparity. For a million dollars, you can do 8 or 9 miles of road, or you can do 80 miles of chip seal,” he said. More paving projects are planned for this year than normal. “A typical year, we would do between 8 and 15 miles of road with chip seal and a little more paving. We actually invested in renting a second crack sealer at the beginning of this year because of how detrimental the winter was,” Zimmerman said. “It caused a great deal of damage to our highway system and we’re fixing it all this year.” He said the main focus of the engineer’s department was making the public safe on county roads. “Everything we do … is based upon improving public safety,” he said. Zimmerman said credit for the success goes to employees of the engineer’s office and the county highway department. He also said residents will see the immediate benefits on miles of county roads. In every mile of roadway to be worked on, county employees are replacing or repairing culverts and working with farmers on ditches to make sure water stays off roads. Residents also can expect fewer potholes and cracks and lower long-term mainte-

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Erie Blacktop Inc. completes work in the parking lot of the County Services Building at the end of June.

nance costs for the county. Zimmerman said although it could take awhile, many residents are going to be surprised to see what roads are to be paved.

New Riegel roads

The engineer’s office also had a hand in getting additional funds for paving in New Riegel. Although the city and villages are not under county jurisdiction, the county does what it can to help when issues arise, Zimmerman said. New Riegel is to receive Issue One Public Works grant funding to pave SR 587 and CR 591. With the help of Zimmerman, Seneca County Commissioner Jeff Wag-

ner and Montz, who sat on the local steering board for the funding, New Riegel received the grant to repave its main streets, which have not seen any work in about a decade. “We generally get about $1.5 million from the Ohio Public Works Issue 1 program in Seneca County,” Zimmerman said. “That money goes for street repaving, sewer systems, village culverts. We try to help spread that money out the best that we can.” He thanked voters for renewing the statewide levy in May.

Other projects

Within the city, several county paving projects were

underway this summer. Paving was completed on the County Services Building parking lot and the commissioners office parking lot. An underground tank was discovered in the commissioners office lot during the project. The tank was drained, but work had to be halted for environmental testing. Seneca County Commissioner Fred Zoeller said it had been at least 15 years since either lot had been paved and the work was necessary for maintenance. Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Holly Stacy said the projects were paid for with Ottawa, sandusky Seneca Solid Waste District Discretionary

Funds. The funds are provided to the county to purchase materials and services with a minimum recycled content of 25 percent. Wagner said the county is working to bring all county lots up to minimum standards. Commissioners hope in the future to approve work on the Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services and the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office. “We realized after the (debate over the Seneca County) Courthouse, the importance of maintaining county facilities,” Zoeller said. “We’ve kept a keen eye on that responsibility.”

Our Town


The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Room for the community Kymberlee Wood helps a participant during her pottery painting event at Bailiwicks Coffee Co.


Bailiwicks Coffee Co. shares its space with artists, others



Staff Writer

ailiwicks Coffee Co. has found a way to pay it forward. Over the past three years, Bailiwicks has become not only a place for community events, but also has given back to the community in a

variety of ways. Jess Williams, Bailiwicks Coffee Co. owner and managing partner, said the business hosts two pottery nights a month, usually on a Thursday and Friday, providing space for participants to enjoy the art. “The original idea was to do a family night and a more serious night,” Williams said. “There’s nothing around here that does that.”

The pottery night started when Williams’ friend, Kymberlee Wood, moved back to the area from Alaska. She wanted to show her work, but the project grew and she began teaching classes, Williams said. Wood has been hosting the pottery events since the fall at Bailiwicks. She said she has had a good turnout, including children. Wood said she explains the best

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

practices in painting pottery, then fires the pieces in her home studio. After moving back to the area, Wood said she got in touch with Williams, a former classmate, and learned about the coffee shop. Williams gave Wood the opportunity to host monthly events at Bailiwicks. Wood said people have reacted well to the event and she has enjoyed having them at Bailiwicks. “When you walk in the door, I knew the atmosphere was something I wanted to be a part of,” Wood said. As the artistic atmosphere grows, Williams said more events could follow. “She’s talked about now, with the pottery going so well, we can do an actual canvas night,” Williams said. “That way, you can be your own artist. It’s a way to make it a more fun atmosphere instead of just having photos up.” Bailiwicks displays photographs, paintings and watercolors of local artists. Williams said she hopes to have a rotating gallery in

Round & round

When you walk in the door, I knew the atmosphere was something I wanted to be a part of.”

Bar Association around the time of the Cronise sisters dedication in October to have a display about their successes in the county and the state. The business also has sponsored car shows. Bailiwicks also supports several bakers who bring in goods every day. “It kind of gives us a fresh variety and keeps everything local,” Williams said.

the future. “I think that’s kind of the fun of it,” she said. “I like to be able to help other people with their visions as well.” Williams said a book club meets at Bailiwicks and is to start monthly meetings again in the fall. She said she hopes it expands to a kids’ book club as well. Williams said she was approached by the Seneca County

wanted to provide to the community when she opened the business in 2011 with her brother. “It’s kind of fun. ... You kind of know the groups that are coming in,” she said. “I would like to be able to open us to support and work with them the best we can, to anyone who needs a location.” Williams also has supported events such as the Tiffin Music and Art Festival. Bailiwicks also has Tiffin Uni-

Kymberlee Wood, Community-minded Providing a space for events and speaking about Bailiwicks displays is something Williams

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31 versity and Heidelberg University days, where customers can show their school pride to receive 10 percent off their purchase. Williams also has worked with both schools’ music departments and hosted open mic nights for Tiffin University students who took music composition classes and presented original compositions at the coffee shop. “That went over very well. We opened it the community,” she said. “We’re always looking for different things we can do, especially with the universities. I do my best to do what I can to support them.” By offering the community space to meet and grow, Williams said her vision of providing for a well-rounded community is coming true. “That was always the intention, that it would be a community space,” she said. “We’re Bailiwicks Coffee Co., but we’re continually involved in what Tiffin wants and what Tiffin needs.”

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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014



Staff Writer

nce a month, healers gather at Sycamore Animal Hospital not to heal their four-legged friends, but to heal one another and offer energy healing for those seeking it. Veterinarian Sandra Snell, who runs the animal hospital and is a Reiki master and shaman practitioner, said she began offering energy healing nights five or six years ago after she was told by “Spirit” to host a night in which healers could work on each other to help better work on others.


“People get together and raise the vibration,” she said. “We have laughter, we have food and we create a healing environment which is only limited to the imagination.” The healing nights are offered every third Wednesday of the month. During the evening, a variety of energy healing methods are used, and many times, healers surround one another to practice the methods. One such practice, Reiki, a Japanese healing method, usually involves the hands of several of those attending. The laying of the hands offers a healing touch and raises one’s negative energy to positive energy, Snell said.

Healing circle


A circle of women surround Gemma Marschke (on table) as Reiki master Sandra Snell (far right) leads a Reiki therapy session during an energy healing night at Snell’s veterinary clinic.

Sycamore veterinarian hosts gathering of healers

“We do put people on the table for Reiki,” she said. “It’s super, super high energy. We go in there and raise the vibration and raise love and life.” “Healing is done with love and light,” she added.

Clearing the way

Snell said she became a Reiki master after receiving attunements that helped clear out negative energy attachments, or things Snell says “get in the way.” “Attunement is a short ceremony that opens up energetic pathways in your body that creates you to be an instrument. It’s like a

radio antenna,” she said. After the attunement, any gifts that one has will increase dramatically, Snell said.

Animals first

She said her healing gifts are part of a holistic and spiritual approach she first offered on animals and expanded to humans. A Reiki room was added to her practice to offer the service to people, and that room is used frequently during energy healing nights. Snell said anywhere from three to 35 show up to energy healing nights, and she often is the leader of

the evening. Snell said energy healing nights, which begin at 6:30 p.m., are a way to offer her gifts to others. “This is where I’m supposed to be,” she said. “This is my way to pay ahead.”

Tools of the trade

Snell said other healing methods implemented on healing energy nights include the use of DoTERRA Essential Oils, which are 50 to 70 times more pure than herbs and heal a variety of ailments. A lot of users rely on the oils for pain management, although they are strong enough to

kill viruses. Snell, a distributor of DoTERRA Essential Oils, said she has experienced and witnessed the oils work. “They vibrate, they have energy, they work,” she said. “They can be applied topically or you can spray them in air,” she said. “They can kill bacteria and viruses and there’s nothing medically out there to kill viruses.” Snell, who is trained in many shaman techniques, said those techniques are another source of healing. Shaman techniques Snell practices include soul retrieval, clearing spaces and

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round


performing blessings. During energy healing nights, there is no limit to what type of healing methods are used, Snell said. Some attendees even receive readings or messages from loved ones, she said. “A lot (of healers) are gifted in readings,” she said. “Anything can happen at healing night,” Snell said. “It’s whoever shows up and what they need.”


Gemma Marschke, who offers yoga classes at Sycamore Animal Hospital every first Wednesday of the month, also attends energy healing nights. She said she has been attending for about three and a half years. “It’s just nice coming together,” Marschke said. “It’s a gathering of people who are already in touch with their healing energies as well as people who are curious or would like to learn or observe.” “It’s a really nice way to get together and create a sense of community and

Sandra Snell performs Reiki on Gemma Marschke during an energy healing night at Sycamore Animal Hospital.

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36 camaraderie,” she said. Marschke said many first-timers attend healing nights because they are needing or looking for something. They come back because they love the experience they had. “People that come here experience Reiki, they experience aromatherapy and they may experience the Native American shamanistic side of things. It’s a beautiful collection of strong healing energy and many people start to see that in themselves while they’re here,” said Marschke, who is in the process of opening a yoga studio in Tiffin called Gem Yoga. “A lot of it is making people become more in touch with their bodies and take control of their health,” she said. “The more control you have, the more in tune you are and the less you need synthetic drugs.” Peggy Kirchner, a licensed massage therapist, also is a regular at energy healing nights. She said healers are not doctors and don’t prescribe medication, but healing methods are tailored to the individual. “It helps people heal both physically and spiritually, whatever they need,” she said. Kirchner said other healing techniques or services offered during energy healing nights include aroma touch techniques and compass bio-energy scans. “There’s a lot of healing that happens,” said Maha Najd, a healer who attends energy healing nights. “I’ve seen some amazing stuff. It’s life-changing.” Najd operates Oasis Healing Arts in Huron and said her niche is helping people who are stuck emotionally. She also offers classes about essential oils,

Sandra Snell, a veterinarian, Reiki master and shaman practitioner, poses in her Reiki room at Sycamore Animal Hospital. Snell is holding a medicine wheel inscribed on a buffalo skin. The clinic, located at 1277 SH 67, focuses on providing holistic healing for pets and people.

she said. Najd, who described herself as more of a yin healer, said she’s been attending energy healing nights since they started. She said Snell is a gifted healer and is especially talented in tapping into spiritual and emotional blocks. “Sandy’s a very wonderful healer and a very talented teacher,” Najd said.

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

On the diamond

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014


Many circles in geometry of baseball



Sports Editor

n baseball, there’s a circle that doubles as a spotlight. It’s the sport’s prime real estate, the place where most of the attention is focused throughout a game. It’s the pitcher’s mound. To Dustin Ritchie, the baseball coach for Calvert High School and the manager for the Independent Baseball League’s Tiffin Saints, it’s something else.

A lonely number

Ritchie pitched for Columbian High School. “It can be the loneliest place in the world,” he said. “All eyes are on you; everyone’s waiting on you to start the game or continue it.” And those moments are ones of relative peace. Imagine standing there after allowing a game-winning home run. “The ball is in your hand,” Ritchie said. “Literally.” Matt Palm is familiar with the mound, first as a catcher when he played college ball at Wooster and later as Heidelberg’s baseball coach. “The most important part of baseball happens on the mound,” he said. “If you don’t have a guy on the mound who will give you a chance, you won’t win.” Of course, it is more than that. The mound is where many discussions and decisions take place. A manager takes a pitcher out, he goes to the mound. A manager wants to calm down his pitcher and do a double switch? He goes to the mound. Of his meetings with pitchers on the mound, Palm — who stepped down as Heidelberg’s coach after this past season — said, “They’re extremely important, especially if the other team has the momentum.”

Waiting in the wings

There’s another pair of prominent circles within a baseball field: the

on-deck circle for each team. The batter on deck often is swinging the bat. But is that all he or she is doing? “I think when you step into ondeck, there’s different things you can do,” Palm said. “First, paying attention to the game, situations, and how you’re going to respond to those situations.” In a 2007 OAC Tournament game between Otterbein and Heidelberg, an Otterbein hitter said he watched a pitcher warm up when he was on deck, and noticed he wasn’t throwing his breaking ball for strikes. By the time the Otterbein batter got to the plate, he had decided to ignore the pitcher’s breaking balls and sit on the fastball. The result? A crucial base hit that propelled the Cardinals to a win. “When you step into the on-deck circle, that’s when you need to lock it in,” Palm said. You also need to be ready. Foul balls and thrown bats can be issues, but there’s something else. If there’s a runner on, the on-deck batter quickly can become a director of traffic. When a ball is put into play, an on-deck batter is expected to go to the plate and tell a runner whether to slide. “Guiding them,” Ritchie said. “That also comes into play.” But if that’s what the role is, why do hitters even bother swinging the bat on deck? “I think you’re staying loose,” Palm said. “There may be something mechanically you’re working on ... get focused in. Once you step in the box, if you’re thinking about mechanics, you’ll be in for a rough at-bat.” Of course, the on-deck circle usually is close to the stands, allowing spectators to let the person occupying it know what they think of him or her. “Absolutely,” Ritchie said. “Especially if you’re one of the top stars, you always have that target on your back.”

Our Town


The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

References in the round

The circular design of Beeghly Library on the campus of Heidelberg University allows for easier redesign of the library stacks.


Heidelberg’s Beeghly Library inviting in design, personnel, resources BY NICOLE WALBY

Staff Writer

A 40,000-square-foot, three-story building built in 1967 has been known to be a land marker, with a round white dome easily spotted by pilots. Heidelberg University’s Beeghly Library was built when the college outgrew its former home in Pfleiderer Hall.

“The building gives an interesting look from the more traditional-looking buildings,” Library Director Nainsi Houston said. “It offers more light and is unique-looking. There are not many round buildings out there.” “The architectural design was of the time and the stone work that was used was to tie in to the rest of the buildings on campus,” Houston said.

The library celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017, she said. Renovations have been finished recently, including repairs to the roof, windows and dome, which is 37 feet in diameter and about 15 feet high. Houston also said the library has new carpeting and paint, and some of the original furniture has been refurbished. Previous Director Nancy Rubenstein worked at

Beeghly for 42 years, coming to Heidelberg right after graduate school in 1971. Rubenstein, who retired in June 2013, said her decision to come to work at Beeghly was impacted by the building.

Welcoming design

“The building was just a few years old when I started,” Rubenstein said. “The design of the building

was very bright and welcoming.” She said that brightness, along with the people and the small college campus, made Heidelberg and Beeghly Library attractive to her. “I had another job offer. The library was more traditional and was at a larger college,” she said. “The physical being of the building was the biggest impact for me. It was open

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round


Beeghly by the numbers

Statistics from Beeghly Libraryʼs website as of July 2011, the most recent statistics available.

• 432,509 total print and nonprint volumes • 119,517 books • 8,556 audio-visual materials • 8,440 Besse Collection of published correspondence • 162,336 government documents • 310 print journal subscriptions • Access to 49.5 million books and media through OhioLINK • Access to 68,000 e-books • Access to 140 online research databases • Access to millions of electronic journal articles from 17,000 electronic journal titles in the Electronic Journal Center collection and through database subscriptions.

The interior of Heidelberg University’s Beeghly Library has an airy feel.


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40 and friendly. I was drawn to the whole circle concept.” Rubenstein said the building’s openness created flexibility, an asset when changes were needed.

Lasting memories

Rubenstein fondly recalls regular breaks with professors from several departments at either 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. in room 209, a staff lounge. The breaks included informal discussions about varied topics. “This was a neat way to have the campus come together,” she said. “Overall, the library was an enjoyable environment to work in.”

Community service

Like most libraries, Beeghly offers services to students and the community. Students have access to collections through Opal and OhioLINK, services that share resources between academic libraries. Nine people on staff are available to answer questions related to research. Houston said the library has 12 rooms used for group study and is equipped with widescreen televisions and PowerPoint equipment so students can watch films for class or practice presentations. “The library even has an institutional resource center where students can create dye-cut posters and (use) lamination equipment,” Houston said. “It is a great opportunity for students to have access to these services without leaving campus.”

Special collections

The library also has special collections available, including the Besse Collection of Published Correspondence, Edwards Black Heritage Collection, Heidelberg Collection, Kechele Collection, playbills, Pohlable Collection, a rare book collection and Scott Collection, as well as access to government documents. The government document collection is a Federal Depository program that originated in the 1800s. The collection consists of

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Everyone jokes that it looks like a spaceship on the outside. ... At Beeghly, it’s more of an adventure or labyrinth, and I think it makes it more interesting for students.” Brandi Aldrich, assistant, institutional resource center

copies of the House and Senate journals. Examples of documents received by the library include agricultural statistics, an astronomical almanac, the federal budget, census data, Commerce Business Daily, Congressional Record, Federal Register, National Trade Data Bank, projections of education statistics and Internal Revenue Service publications. Visitors have access to about 400,000 articles, including full-text traditional journals, electronic journals, traditional books, ebooks and 140 databases, Houston said. Brandi Aldrich, who is to graduate from Heidelberg next year with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and English writing, has worked as an assistant in the institutional resource center. “Not a lot of students know that the IRC even exists,” Aldrich said. “(Students) think it is just another random room in the library, which — just to point out — there are no random rooms in the library. Each serves a purpose. It is exciting to see people’s reactions when they learn of them.” Aldrich said the IRC also loans out cameras, laptops and projectors to be used at the library by students and campus organizations.


Above, students and faculty transfer books from the former library in Pfleiderer Hall to the newly constructed Beeghly Library in 1967. The dome creates a geographic pattern inside the library.


The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

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Aldrich said the library’s design drew her to the building. “Everyone jokes that it looks like a spaceship on the outside,” she said. “I think it is fun to just roam in the circular shelves because it is an easier access than just one long hallway filled with shelves that seem to swallow you.” “At Beeghly, it’s more of an adventure or labyrinth, and I think it makes it more interesting for students,” she said. Laura Heiser, who is on track to graduate next year with a bachelor’s degree in music history, has worked at Beeghly for three years. “I love the big open space in the middle,” said Heiser, who is from Oberlin. “It is less stuffy than traditional libraries.” She said she likes Beeghly because it is more open and has a better flow. She plans to get a master’s degree in library information science and have a career in a library. Heiser said she has fond memories of working and studying with friends at the library. “When a friend or I would have late shifts, one of us would stay so the other wouldn’t have to be alone late at night,” Heiser said. “(The library) is a real nice place to be.”

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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Tree rings reveal age, environmental variation



Staff Writer

he rings inside big tree trunks tell the story of their age, and dendrochronology helps complete the circle of history some large local trees have silently observed. Dendrochronology is the dating and study of annual rings in trees, according to the Wooster Tree Ring Lab, part of the College of Wooster Department of Geology. Local historian Roy Zinn said several large local trees have been cored to discover their ages by counting the rings in their trunks. Each ring represents a year of growth. Zinn said he contacted the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry to learn the process. Using a high-quality cutter 8 inches long, a thin sample is taken from the tree trunk. “It’s about 3/64ths in diameter,” he said. The sample taken is carefully measured, and the circumference of the tree is measured. Then, the radius is calculated. By counting the number of rings in the core sample, the number of rings in the rest of the trunk can be estimated and the age of the tree discovered. “It’s a couple of feet into the middle of those trees,”

Zinn said. “But a small diameter core is taken because it won’t damage the tree.” The forester Zinn talked with said the accuracy was within 20 years. “During its lifetime, a tree may have had environmental variations,” he said. For example, when it was a sapling, it might have competed with nearby trees for moisture and light.

Tree tales

“We bored a white oak on Mohawk Golf Course and we aged it to the year 1820,” Zinn said. When that tree was a sapling, the area where it stands was part of Van Meter Reservation, a Mohawk Indian reservation that was established in 1817 by the Treaty of the Maumee Rapids. A few old trees are found at Seneca County Park District’s Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve. A white oak on the east side of the 37-acre lake was dated to 1799, which means John Adams was president of the United States when it was a sapling, and Ohio was not yet a state. The tree started growing at the edge of a large cranberry marsh. Garlo preserve also is home to a large red oak park personnel called the “hugging tree” before one of the “hugging” limbs was knocked down during a storm. The red oak was dated to 1784, which means the

tree began to grow when the nation was eight years old. “We had no constitution yet,” Zinn said. “Col. Crawford had been burned at the stake just two years prior to that.” Another white oak at Garlo preserve was dated to 1734. “George Washington would have been 2 years old then,” Zinn said. “As far as we know, no Englishman had set foot in Ohio then. Not even the Wyandot were yet living here. “They hunted in Ohio, but when that was a seedling, there were no tribes living here permanently.” Another county park, Steyer Nature Preserve, is home to a white oak dated to 1743, although Zinn said it apparently died last winter. “Wyandots lived here then,” he said. “English traders had built a block house at Lower Sandusky (Fremont) at that time, which was the first time the English were in this area.”


And a burr oak along the river at Steyer preserve is the oldest of them all, dated 1724. “The area was a hunting ground for the Iriquois tribes then,” he said. That’s one of the objectives dendrochronologists strive for — using tree rings to answer As far as we know, no questions about the Englishman had set foot in Ohio natural world and then. Not even the Wyandot the place of humans were yet living here.” in its Roy Zinn, of events in 1734, functioning – acestimated year a tree in cording the lab Garlo preserve began growing website. Zinn uses one of the objectives to give proper historical context. Other objectives are to gain a better understanding of current environmental processes and conditions and to improve understanding of possible future environmental issues.

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Farm fresh eggs are richer, with darker yolks, than store-bought eggs.


The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014


Gift of chicks shapes family’s daily routine


Staff Writer

very morning, Peyton and Grace Anderson begin their day be filling pails with eggs laid by more than 140 chickens on their grandparents’ farm.

Some of the eggs are big and some are small; some are brown and some are even blue. Sunce Raye Anderson, the pair’s grandmother, began raising chickens two years ago, and what started out as a dozen chicks quickly grew into a large brood of chickens.

Just a gift

“My son brought home about 12 or 13 chickens for an Easter present. I started raising them and every time I’d go to Rural King or TSC, the grandkids would say, ‘Oh that’s a cute one’ and I bought more and more,” she said. The chickens began lay-

ing eggs about a year later, and before Anderson knew it, people were asking her for eggs. “I couldn’t keep up with the demand, so I went and started ordering chickens,” she said. As demand grew, the brood grew, and more chicks joined Anderson’s farm on East TR 138 out-

side Green Springs. “Before I knew it, people were asking for 20 dozen eggs at a time,” she said.

Sizes and colors

Anderson said eggs laid by the younger chickens are small and, as the chickens grow, the egg size increases. “When they get real

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round


Chickens are really sensitive, and they don’t like it when you fluff them up.” mature, they’re really big,” she said. “We’ve got some older chickens that lay jumbo eggs.” Anderson sells blue eggs laid by an Ameraucana chicken the family calls Cookie. She said blue eggs are believed to be higher in calcium and brown eggs, which are laid by brown-colored chickens, have richer yolks. The family also

Grace Anderson, 7

sells white eggs, Anderson said. “They all taste the same to us,” said Anderson’s daughter, Nicole. She said that while eggs from her mother’s farm taste similar to one another, she believes there is a difference between farm fresh eggs and eggs bought at a store. “The farm fresh eggs Grace Anderson (left) and Peyton Anderson lead chickens around a penned-in area on their grandparare richer,” she said. ents’ farm.

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Above, Grace Anderson collects eggs from a nest on her grandparents’ farm outside Green Springs recently. At right, Peyton Anderson holds a chicken. His family calls him the chicken whisperer because he is able to pick up any chicken.

Our Town

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

“The yolks are much darker than your store-bought ones.” Anderson attributes the richness of the eggs to the fact that her 141 chickens range freely and eat mostly organic food. “They’re free range, they eat bugs and grass and there’s no chemicals,” she said. “Knowing that they’re good and healthy and when you come here and you go out and see that they’re not in a factory and they do see daylight,” Anderson said. “They get out and meander around the yard and they’re very friendly.”

Fun Freda

One chicken ranges farther than the others, Anderson said, and the family calls that chicken Freda. Freda often will peck at the family’s door, and after she’s let in, she likes to munch on bread given to her by Peyton, Grace and their little sister Charlize. “Bread is a chicken’s favorite thing besides worms,” Anderson said. Freda also joins the kids in other activities, she said. “The grandkids even give her rides in four-wheelers,” she said. “I take care of Frieda,” Peyton added. “I take her for a ride in my race car.” Peyton said he has three other white chickens he calls his own. He said although Grace enjoys eating eggs that they collect, he isn’t a fan. “Especially Grace,

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round


she has to have a little egg a day,” Anderson said.

Children’s chores

A typical day for the Anderson family includes collecting eggs soon after waking, around noon and again at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. “When they first wake up, they say, ‘Mom, it’s time to go to the chickens for eggs,’” Nicole said. “The kids have buckets and are always ready to gather eggs,” Anderson said. “The chickens lay all day long. The kids enjoy it; that’s their chore.” Anderson said she and her husband enjoy having the chickens on their farm. They are retired and work all day at tending the chickens. In a typical day, about 70 eggs have been collected by 7 p.m., and the family then waters and feeds the chickens. “We feed them scratch grain and layer crumbles,” Grace said. Grace said one thing she doesn’t do when she tends to the

Five-year-old Peyton Anderson tends to some chickens in a hen house.

chicks is fluff them. “Chickens are really sensitive, and they don’t like it when you fluff them

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Camp Fire: A circle of friendship Our Town


The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

cational in 1975. To mark its 100th anniversary in 2010, participants nationwide simultaneously lit campfires, according to the Camp Fire website.


Staff Writer

What would singing songs, telling stories and roasting marshmallows be without a campfire? It probably would be cold, dark and not very welcoming. Campfires have been around from the time of cavemen and they are a weekly tradition for campers and counselors at Camp Glen. Camp Glen is part of the Camp Fire program. Interim Camp Glen Director Valli Ridenour said a campfire usually is built nightly for people at camp. “Being around the campfire is a good time to reflect and unpack from the day,” Ridenour said. “Campers express their likes and dislikes and what they learned throughout their activities. It can be casual and fun, but also serious.” Ridenour said campers are taught how to build a campfire while learning to care for the community and their world and to practice the ecological adage to leave no trace behind. “Campers learn how to cook on fires, utilize them as a heat source and as a resource for survival,” she said. Ridenour said time around the campfire is filled with song, fun and friendship. She said campers are A campfire at Camp Glen glows in the night. taught how to build a fire use kindling to light bigger “They are also taught how by first building an “edible logs. to extinguish a fire or to fire,” using potato chips, “It is important to spend bank a fire for a longer stay pretzel sticks and marshtime out in nature,” Rideat the site.” mallows. nour said. “Kids today have Ridenour said when “The children are also taught which type of fire to building a real fire, they use sports and other indoor events; they forget the egg cartons, lint or wax to build, whether log cabin or world around them.” start it. They also learn to teepee style,” she said.



Camp Fire cultivates community building, supports academic readiness and embraces diversity. It was started in 1910 by Luther Gulick and his wife Charlotte. Initially, it was for girls, but became coedu-

Ridenour said she has been a part of Camp Fire for quite a while. “I first began as a 4-H member,” she said. “The one thing that comes back to me is the songs. I remember singing the same songs that the children sing now. Things like that stick with them. It is a good place to be. I have learned a lot over the years and have met a lot of great friends.” Ridenour also mentioned stories told around the campfire, including stories about the Camp Glen mascot Tajar, a character in a book by Jane Shaw Ward. Tajar is part tiger, part jaguar and part badger, Ridenour said. He is a mischievous creature who loves to dance in the moonlight and walk on ceilings, leaving footprints. “Tajar talks to the children through letters they leave in a tree,” Ridenour said. “The children get return letters from him, but they are written backwards.” One person who enjoys the tales of Tajar is Chris Perry, who has been a counselor at Camp Glen for three years. He first decided to come to Camp Glen after he graduated high school. “I wanted to do something in the direction of education and I thought summer camp would be an easy way to explore those options and I ended up loving it,” Perry said.

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round


Community time

“Campfires give us, as counselors, the opportunity to get to know more about the kids,” Perry said. “It is a chance for us to relax because throughout the day we are always moving.” According to the Camp Fire website, “Young people want to shape the world. Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are. In Camp Fire, it begins now. Light the fire within.” Ridenour said Camp Fire utilizes the “spark” methodology. “Sparks” is a book by Peter Benson who discusses the 40 developmental assets in youth. “Sparks” focuses on what kids need to be successful and how to make them happen, Ridenour said. “We work with the kids to motivate them and deci-

Counselors light the fire to begin the ceremony July 24.

pher what changes need to happen so they reach their full potential,” she said. With the methodology, Ridenour said they try to tell children it is OK to switch gears and change their

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Specialist Kelda Heitkamp said she has appreciated how much the staff at Camp Glen have been hands-on with the other members and youth for the three years she has been at Camp Glen and

involved in Camp Fire. Over the years Heitkamp said she has enjoyed singing the traditional campfire song “Linger.” “It is the song we sing every year to close the camp,” Heitkamp said. “It is a song with a slower melody that means we all want to linger just a little longer and not leave. In the song we don’t mean goodbye; we mean just goodnight. It is a tender moment for everyone.” What Heitkamp enjoys most after a campfire is waking up to the smell of smoke in her hair the next morning. “It is a moment of reflection,” Heitkamp said. “It is a way to take back a piece of the fire with you.”

For more information about Camp Fire programs and Camp Glen, visit


Our Town

Kent Nord, an instructor for Locked ’n Loaded, practices shooting at a target.

On target

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Firm goes beyond basics of gun handling



Staff Writer


tudents in Locked ’n Loaded’s concealed carry classes may begin target shooting at a round target, but by the end of the class, students are able to eliminate a “bad guy.” Kent Nord, who with Paul Wise runs Locked ’n Loaded, said unlike some concealed carry classes, Locked ’n Loaded classes teach students more than laws regarding concealed carry licenses and how to shoot a 9-inch circular target. The classes also teach students how to carry a loaded firearm and be prepared to use it. “When I went to become an (National Rifle Association)certified instructor, I was amazed at the different way the instructor taught me than the instructor in my concealed carry license class. The concealed class taught me nothing about being prepared to carry a loaded firearm on my hip for personal protection,” Nord said. From learning how to present a gun from a holster, purse or a center console of a vehicle, to shooting techniques that include the point-and-shoot technique, Locked ’n Loaded

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

students learn it all. Nord said his 12-hour course also covers basic curriculum of gun safety, concealed carry laws, how a gun and ammunition function and how to target shoot. Nord, an attorney, said he began offering concealed carry classes in 2010 to assist clients who found themselves on the wrong side of the law regarding firearm possession. Nord had obtained a concealed carry license several years prior for self-protection. “I wanted to be an instructor and share with people my experience of being prepared rather than going through just the NRA basic pistol class,” he said.

Readiness training Preparedness is a key

Round & round


element in Locked ’n Loaded’s curriculum and the concept of carrying a firearm is presented to students as equivalent to having a fire extinguisher, Nord said. “You don’t have fire every day, but you have it in case you need it,” he said. Preparedness also is stressed in the form of being aware of one’s surroundings and dry-practicing regularly with an unloaded firearm. “Paul and I practice with unloaded firearms almost every other day,” Nord said. “People are amazed at that when we tell them.” Nord said by practicing in front of a mirror with an unloaded firearm, skills can be maintained and expensive ammuniPHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY ERIKA PLATT-HANDRU tion can be saved. Locked ’n Loaded, which was started in 2010, offers concealed carry classes. “Statistics are just

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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Paul Wise (left) and Kent Nord stand in front of targets at Tiffin Police Department’s firing range. The pair offer concealed carry classes through Locked ’n Loaded.

amazing at how you are at the range if you dry practice,” Nord said. Along with preparedness, safety also is stressed. “Throughout the day, everyone hears safety, prepare and practice,” Nord said.

NRA basics

He said the NRA teaches three safe gun handling rules, and those are emphasized throughout the day at a concealed carry class. “Always keep your finger off of the trigger until you’re ready to shoot, always keep a gun unloaded until you’re ready to use it and always keep a gun in a safe direction,” Nord said. “If you implement those three rules, no one can be accidentally shot.”

We tell class members all the time that we hope you never have to present a firearm and hope to God you never have to pull the trigger.” Kent Nord, who teaches a concealed carry class In fact, for someone to be accidentally shot, a person would have to violate all three rules, Nord said.

The class

A typical Locked ’n Loaded concealed carry class includes 12 to 20 students, he said. About 40 percent are women, 10 percent never have fired a handgun and 50 percent have limited experience in shooting, Nord said. “We sort of prefer that,” he said. “We enjoy teaching people who are new to

shooting simply because we don’t have to unteach habits.” At the range, students transition from a 9-inch circular target for qualification to an 8 1/2-inch by 11-inch sheet of paper that represents the thoracic cavity. Students also shoot at full-body targets and work on self-defense shooting and other shooting techniques. One of those techniques is called point and shoot, Nord said. Using that technique, a shooter shoots

from the chest by looking at the target and not through the gun’s sight. “You’re eliminating the threat,” Nord said. “You’re shooting as many times as it takes to eliminate the threat.” The shooting portion of the class takes place at the Tiffin Police Department’s firing range and classroom instruction is given in the department’s community room, Nord said.

Outside speakers He said during the

classroom portion of the course, Seneca County Sheriff Bill Eckelberry often comes in to speak and answer questions from students. Tiffin Police Chief Fred Stevens also visits classes. “The class really likes to hear from law enforcement,” Nord said. “We’re fortunate in Seneca County that our sheriff and chief of police really respect the Second Amendment and citizens’ rights to defend themselves.” “I’m definitely in favor of citizens protecting themselves in any way that’s legal,” Stevens said. He said in the 22 years he’s been at the Tiffin Police Department, there have been only a couple of incidents involving firearms being improperly handled by the public. “We don’t get the viola-

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round

Kent Nord practices target shooting at the range at the Tiffin Police Department.

tions and the improper handling,” Stevens said. In the county, problems with concealed carry licenses also are few. “We have between 1,800 to 2,000 (concealed carry license holders) in the county,” Eckelberry said. “Less than 1 percent of the ones is-

sued have been suspended.” Suspensions are issued because of a protection order or a crime of violence, Eckelberry said, and the license stays in the suspended status until a case is finalized. Eckelberry said a concealed carry license is a good idea

for county residents who want to protect themselves.

Wait time

“Kent has invited me down to his class to talk to the group and I tell them we can’t be everywhere,” Eckelberry said of his deputies. “Minutes can seem like hours when you’re waiting

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for help to arrive.” “People have to understand, if you live out in the country, those deputies can need 10, 15, 20 minutes to be able to respond to a residence, not because they’re slow or don’t want to but because only two deputies are on and they could be on another call across the


county,” Nord said. He said some of his students, either after they received a concealed carry license or prior to earning it, have had to defend themselves with firearms without having to shoot. “We tell class members all the time that we hope you never have to present

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Out of circulation: Three of Bill Hoffert’s ancient coins.



Staff Writer

n talking about circles and circulation, coins are a good fit. Although a few coins are not round, all are designed to be circulated and used multiple times. Because they are small, durable and attractive, coins also are considered collectible for their artistic and historical value. One such coin is the recently issued commemorative U.S. dollar coin honoring President Warren G. Harding. The Fahey Bank in Harding’s hometown of Marion sold out its stock of the coins earlier this year. The coin was featured in the May/June issue of “Echoes,” published by Ohio Historical Connection. Three more presidential dollar coins coming out this year are to honor Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Courthouse collection

When the 1884 Seneca County Courthouse was demolished, artifacts from the cornerstone were re-

covered and placed on exhibit in the Seneca County Museum. They included U.S. coins from the 1800s. Museum Director Tonia Hoffert and her husband Bill retrieved the box’s contents, which were wrapped in lead foil. “We found a paper that said what all was supposed to be in there,” Bill Hoffert said. “Believe it or not, every piece, every coin, we found in the rubble. We had to dig it up, but we found every piece.” The 12 coins were an 1853 gold dollar, an 1884 one-cent, 1877 dime, 1884 $1 piece, 1861 half-dollar, five-cent pieces from 1883 and 1882, 1877 quarter, 1865 three-cent piece, 1856 half-dime, 1854 twocent piece and a 1784 Spanish quarter-dollar, presented by Saylor Dewey of Clyde. “You know there’s not many gold coins because the government demanded they be turned back in,” Bill Hoffert said. “Not many of them survived. Theoretically, the ones that are around are basically illegal. People were supposed to turn them in, but they didn’t.” Even now, people are cashing in

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Coin collections, interests often come from family

historic silver coins because the silver is worth more than the face value of the coins. And sometimes, people who find a family collection might not realize its historical value and spend the coins. This returns the coins to circulation for collectors to pick up.



Bill Hoffert inherited coins from his two grandfathers and started adding to them with interesting pieces he found at flea markets and on e-bay. His collection is not wellorganized, but he located some samples, including some ancient bronze coins. “These are the real old ones, the Byzantine and Roman coins. ... That’s another type of collection that people do,” Bill said. “Each one of those is hand-done, and not one of them is the same. They’re all forged differently.” His Byzantine coin was made between 400-450 A.D. One Roman coin has an estimated date of 475550 and another is from 600-650. Hoffert said some collectors focus on certain designs, such as Indian

head or wheat pennies, buffalo nickels or Liberty or Mercury dimes. “I like the Columbian half-dollars. ... They were given out in 1892-93 during the Columbian Exposition,” he said. “They’re kind of a hard one to get, but they are neat-looking.”

Civil War

American Civil War Museum of Ohio volunteer Gary Dundore said the museum has a collection of Civil War coins and some store card tokens are on loan. The owner has included enlarged photos of the fronts and backs so patrons can see the detail without handling the coins. The collection includes a tiny “3-cent nickel” whose diameter measures 9/16 of an inch and a “half dime” that is slightly more than 5/8 inch in diameter. Liberty figures appear on quarters, half-dollars and dollars minted during the 1860s, and the nickels feature images of a shield. Dundore said he has some samples of wooden nickels and tokens from Tiffin grocery stores. He said the most valuable metals were used for war purposes, so the tokens were made of bronze, nickel or other

materials. “Some of them are brass. On the back of them, it says what they’re good for, like ‘10 cents’ or for ‘goods,’” he said. The Seneca County Museum also has Confederate money. In the 1860s and 1870s, the government issued “fractional currency,” which were paper versions of coins. Also, local banks were allowed to print their own savings certificates. “These were issued through the banks right here in town,” Bill Hoffert said. “That’s actual currency. A lot of people don’t realize they did that locally.”

From collector to dealer

John Begovatz is a Millbury coin dealer who regularly sets up at the Tiffin Flea Market and at the annual Fostoria Coin Club show. Many people get started in coin collecting by acquiring an existing collection, but Begovatz had another rea-

Round & round

son. “I’ve been disabled for about 15 years,” he said. “I had numerous back surgeries, so I got in a situation where I didn’t want to get a check in the mail. I wanted to still earn my own income. So I got into this on my own over the years and had some pretty good collections.” Begovatz took correspondence courses in coin grading and counterfeit detection to be able to identify real coinage and its true value. He said coins are graded on a numerical scale and fall into categories such as mint, uncirculated, almost uncirculated, extra fine, very fine, fine, very good, good and fair. Mint condition is 60, so 70 is above mint condition. “For a mint-state 65 coin, you’d have to look at it with the naked eye and not be able to see any blemishes whatsoever,” Begovatz explained. Classes about coin grading usually are offered at coin shows. Begovatz said he does

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not teach classes, but he likes to meet the public and answer their questions. He stages a “blue-ribbon coin show” in Toledo the third Sunday of the month, with the next one set for Monday. Seneca County collectors often come to the show, Begovatz added.

Buyer beware

He offered some suggestions for those wanting to get started in numismatism. He said to consider the quality of the coins desired, the age of the coins and the amount of money a person wants to invest. Silver coins should not be stored in leather coin pouches. Begovatz said tannic acid used to process leather causes silver to darken. If that happens, coins should be left as is. Cleaning a coin with steel These and a silver Spanish piece were stored in the wool can turn a $1,000 coin into a $10 coin, Begovatz said. time capsule from the 1884 Seneca County CourtSometimes, “toning” is put on a house. The large dark coin at the bottom is a penny.

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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

core. When the layers do not bind together properly, “lamination errors” result. These coins are very collectible. “Mint marks,” letters imprinted on coins, indicate the mint where they were produced. The first U.S. mint opened in Philadelphia in 1792, followed by mints in Denver, San Francisco and New Orleans, according to The New Orleans mint closed in 1909. The other three continue to operate, along with the newest mint in West Point, New York. Coins also were minted in Dahlonega, Georgia, 1835-1861, when gold was being mined in that area. That mint was closed at the start of the Civil War. Begovatz said hurricanes often affected the minting process in Louisiana, while production in California often was interrupted by earthquakes.

Valuable finds

Charles Mullens (left) of Port Clinton examines a coin before making a purchase from dealer John Begovatz at a Tiffin Flea Market.

coin and heated to make the finish look better, but that also can decrease its value. “The main thing is getting stuff that’s in genuine condition and hasn’t been altered by someone trying to make it look a little nicer, a little brighter,” Begovatz said. “Nowadays, you have to watch because a lot of guys mess with artificial tone stuff. If you see toning that starts in one point and branches out, it’s artificial.”

Differing interests

Some collectors want foreign coins, while others collect coins of one denomination, pieces from a specific period or mint, those with a special design or “error coins,” which are rare

because of a defect in the forging process. Some people like to collect toned coins or gold pieces salvaged from shipwrecks. “The only thing is, with shipwreck stuff, it’s all been cleaned and altered,” Begovatz said. Having owned American coins back to the 1790s, Begovatz said his coins include “everything that was minted at U.S. mints” from the early 1800s to present. He specializes in lowmintage “type coins,” which belong to a series, such as half-dollars featuring the standing Liberty or pennies with the Indian head design. He said American coins only ever been round. “When they made coins back then, they had to be

worth what they said,” Begovatz said. His collection includes half-dimes produced from 1838 to the 1880s. Before that, the half-dime was called a “disme,” for which collectors will pay $5,000 and more. He also has shield nickels from the 1850s to 1860s. They feature an image of a shield with arrows and rays. In 1866, the nickels had only rays. “The 1853 arrows and rays had more silver in them than the 1854s. The content of silver was different because the value of silver changed,” Begovatz said.


A three-cent silver coin

was produced in the early 1850s through 1873. Begovatz said they were smaller than a dime and so thin that few survived to be collected. During the Civil War, a three-cent piece made of nickel and copper also was minted in large enough quantities that collectors can obtain them at a fairly low cost. U.S. dimes, quarters and half dollars from 18731964 were 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper, according to From 1965-69 came the “sandwich coins” with 40 percent silver and an outer layer of copper and nickel. Currently, U.S. coins are a copper-nickel blend on the outside with a solid copper

Begovatz said children often stop to admire his oversized vintage pennies (minted from 1793-1857). The head or bust of Liberty appeared on the head side with different hair styles over the years. The tails side featured various wreaths and a shield. “A penny was like a dollar bill back then,” Begovatz said. In 1859, the penny was reduced to the current size with an Indian head on one side. The Lincoln penny with a wheat wreath on the tail was next in production. Begovatz said the Treasury Department is considering elimination of the penny and the nickel, because it costs more to make them than they are worth. The popularity of plastic and online transactions has made coins less convenient for consumers.

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round

A brief history of coinage

In ancient times, people obtained or made most of their necessities and bartered to obtain the rest. Eventually, they substituted quantities of metals as currency to simplify transactions. It was easier than exchanging animals or bushels of grain. Writings in the Old Testament speak of “shekels of silver.” The Greeks are believed to be the first to mint stamped metal coins, but the Persians and Romans also made them out of gold, bronze and silver. The metals used for coins depended on what was available in a given area.

Early design

Coins from the Civil War period included poses of Liberty and Indian heads.

The earliest coins had a design on one side and the mark of the die on the other. As time went on, coins were imprinted on both sides with images of animals, mythological figures,

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government emblems and symbolic objects. The “head” of a coin typically pictures the bust of a real or symbolic person. Coins are given grooved edges to show their composition and to increase their longevity. Before this process was used, coins quickly became thin and worn. During some time periods, the value of the metals in the coins drops, making them worth less than the metal itself, but governments who issue the coins have laws to designate the value of their currency, regardless of the price of its components. In reverse, the cost of precious metals can rise so that the coins are worth more for their content than for their buying power. But it is a crime to melt down coins, just as it is to make counterfeit coins or paper bills. Coin collectors are called


numismatists. The term comes from a Greek word meaning “law” or “custom.” The three broad categories of coins collected by modern-day numismatists are ancient coins (mostly of Greek or Roman origin), Medieval or hammered coinage (A.D. 476-1453) and modern era coins. Although related to coins, tokens are made of less valuable materials and are not considered legal tender. “For a coin to be a true one, it must be made of valuable metal and close to the value in the market of that metal. Secondly the weight must be of a given standard and purity. Last but not least it must be marked or stamped by the seal of the authority that has guaranteed its content.” ( Other sources:,

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Fostoria club shares numismatic knowledge Our Town



The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014


Staff Writer

OSTORIA — About two dozen men and women gathered at Hope Lutheran Church in Fostoria in June for the monthly meeting of the Fostoria Coin Club. Before the start of business, President Chuck Brandeberry said the club has a roster of 61 members and conducts an annual coin show and sale in the spring. The club ordered copies of the 2015 Red Book, the popular coin collector’s resource, and made them available for members to purchase. Two remaining copies of the 2014 book are to be donated to Kaubisch Memorial Public Library. Scott Hopkins said the prices listed in the annual Red Book may fluctuate because it is published a year in advance. “I inherited some coins from my grandparents, and my mother was very much interested in coins. She also helped get me interested in coming to the club,” Hopkins said. “I have quite a variety, but I guess the ones I’m most interested in are 50-cent pieces. Now I’m starting to get more interested in tokens and medallions and medals. It isn’t really numismatic — exonumia they call that.” During the meeting, Brandeberry reported the club was to receive a 50th anniversary award from the American Numismatists Association. Gary Moran was to accept the award at the ANA Money Show Aug. 8 in Chicago. A member had brought a collection of 1850s California Gold Rush coins salvaged from the 1857 shipwreck of the SS Central America to show club members. The member said he started collecting in 2004. When his dad died, he bought a gold coin to remember that year. The hobby took off from there. With business completed, Bill Sayer conducted a coin auction. Up for bid were wheat pennies with various dates and conditions, buffalo nickels, memorial pennies, American two-cent coins, 110 Canadian coins dating 1920-2004, a complete set of uncirculated state quarters 1999-2008, and coins from Egypt and Costa Rica. The Fostoria Coin Club meets the third Monday of each month at Hope Lutheran, 151 W. Center St., Fostoria. Dues are $5 PHOTOS BY MARYANN KROMER per year. For more information, visit Fostoria Coin Club president Chuck Brandeberry and secretary Phil Warrington wait for members to arrive at the or call (419) June meeting. The coins on the table were brought in for an auction. 435-8949.

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round


I inherited some coins from my grandparents, and my mother was very much interested in coins. She also helped get me interested in coming to the club. I have quite a variety, but I guess the ones I’m most interested in are 50-cent pieces.” Scott Hopkins

A coin club member brought in these gold coins from the shipwreck of the SS Central America.

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Teaching good practices around water Our Town


The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014



Staff Writer

staple in water safety is the lifebuoy, which has many names, including ring buoy, life ring, lifesaver, life doughnut, life preserver and life belt. Pools such as the outdoor and indoor pool at Tiffin Community YMCA are required by Ohio law to have life preservers, Aquatics Director Liz Cantley said. Cantley said ring buoys at the YMCA are Type IV classified by the U.S. Coast Guard as throwable devices. According to the Personal Flotation Device Manufacturers Association website, “Throwable devices include boat cushions, ring buoys, and horseshoe buoys. They are not designed to be worn and must be supplemented by wearable Personal Flotation Devices (PFD).” It also is important that devices such as buoys are available for emergencies and are not used for small children, non-swimmers or unconscious people. Cantley said there are four ring buoys on hooks on the wall around the pool at the YMCA at all times. According to state law, ring buoys are to have a “one-quarter inch diameter line not less than 30 feet or more than 60 feet in length.” “Each buoy has a rope attached that is 50 feet in length with a small float at the end,” Cantley said. She said the plastic float helps if the buoy is thrown too far.


Louise Duscay teaches students to throw a ring buoy during the fourth-grade swim class at Tiffin Community YMCA.

To keep that from happening, the person throwing the buoy stands on the line a few inches away from the float, she said.

Tossing a buoy

Cantley said the buoy should be thrown underhand, slightly behind and to the side of the person in distress. “If you throw the buoy right at them, you have the potential to hit them,” she said. “At the time, the person in the water could be panicking and you want to nudge them with the buoy

so they notice and grab onto it.” After the person is secured on the device, Cantley said to pull them in hand-over-hand.

YMCA’s swim program

These tips and others are taught in YMCA swim lessons, including the fourth-grade swim program. “With small and older children, we want them to know to call out for help and never swim alone.

That is the No. 1 rule,” Cantley said. “I hope that myself as well as my staff can maintain a high-quality swimming program and strive to always be better and find areas of improvement.” The swim program began more than 30 years ago as a section in the physical education class at Lincoln Elementary School. Louise Duscay has been working with the program from the beginning. “The purpose of the program is to teach stu-

dents how to be safe when they are active in and around water,” Duscay said. The program teaches basic swimming and safety skills, such as treading water, survival treading, back and front floating, and boating safety, such as wearing life jackets and how to swim if one falls in the water clothed. Duscay said children also practice throwing assists such as the ring buoy. “In case someone would fall in, we wanted to teach them to throw something

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round

61 that floats,” she said. “The ring buoy is the most efficient.” As a joint venture with the YMCA, the program has continued to grow over the years, Duscay said. “I wish the program continues growing,” Duscay said.

Lifeguard aids

Flotation devices such as the ring buoy are not the only devices helpful to lifeguards. Cantley said her lifeguarding staff typically uses rescue tubes, which are used more to help hold the weight of the lifeguard and victim more easily. “In training, it is important to go out and assist the person in distress, but you as a lifeguard have to still be aware and keep yourself safe,” said Cantley, who has been a lifeguard since she was 17. “I had always loved swimming, even when I was young,” she said. “I had been on the swim team when I was in fifth grade. One year, my coach asked why I wasn’t a lifeguard for her and I had never really thought about it.” Students practice throwing ring buoys for distressed students at the indoor pool at Tiffin Community YMCA during fourth-grade swim classes.


Our Town


The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Louise Duscay explains the parts of a ring buoy and how to use it during Tiffin Community YMCA’s fourth-grade swim class.

Cantley said that when she was a lifeguard, she enjoyed helping people who asked for tips to improve their stroke while swimming. “It was fun for me to be able to help someone in that way,” Cantley said. “Being a lifeguard is a lot of re-

sponsibility, too. It is not necessarily a job for everyone.” Cantley was recently named aquatics director at the YMCA. “I am grateful that I have been given the opportunity to step up to the position of aquatic director,” she said.

“I grew up taking swim lessons, so providing that same opportunity to the children of Tiffin and surrounding areas is important to me.” Gabrielle Tong and Justin Jarrett are first-year lifeguards. Both are 16 and attend Columbian High

School. Tong said she has been volunteering at the YMCA since she was 12 and becoming a lifeguard always has been an interest of hers. “I want to work to make people safe,” she said. Jarrett’s sister was a lifeguard and said it would be

a good experience for him. Jarrett said he since has saved one individual. “It wasn’t anything real intense, but my heart was beating hard,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was a good experience to have to keep me on my toes.”

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Round & round

Water safety statistics for 2013


Beach attendance: Rescues: Cliff rescues: Boat rescues:

334.3 million 66,447 56 3,076, including 7,553 passengers and vessel value of $566.2 million Boat assists: 4,353, including 10,374 passengers and vessel value of $96.7million Preventive action: 6.7 million Medical aids: 327,289, including 17,148 major medical incidents Drowning deaths: 92 unguarded and 19 guarded Other fatalities: 43 Enforcement actions: 981,500, including 938,676 warnings, 40,838 incidents involving boats or personal water craft, 1,650 citations and 336 arrests Lost and found persons: 10,620 Public safety lectures: 10,175 involving 255,518 students

A student plays the distressed swimmer so that his classmates can practice helping swimmers who are having problems.

Being a lifeguard is a lot of responsibility, too. It is not necessarily a job for everyone.” Liz Cantley, aquatics director at Tiffin Community YMCA

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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fund transfers go through many steps — even little ones




Staff Writer

hen it comes to making sense of the dollars and cents, Seneca County has it covered, even when there are fund transfers of less than $10 coming through the Seneca County commissioners office. What many don’t realize is the process these transfers must go through — and the efficiencies the affected departments gain while going through the process.

A process

Mary Jane Keller, fiscal manager at the Seneca County Auditor’s Office, said the process begins when a department finds a need for additional funds, whether it involves an emergency expense, staff changes or a project is taking longer than anticipated to complete.

The department sends a letter to the commissioners office requesting additional funds in the budget line in question. Keller said the commissioners office may recommend transferring money from another department fund, but if that is not possible, commissioners may agree to additional appropriations. “Many times, in the early parts of

the year, they look for them to adjust within their lines,” Keller said. Commissioners then approve a resolution for a fund transfer or an additional appropriation, she said. If it is a transfer, the resolution is sent to the auditor’s office via email and it is put into the computer system to update records. “At that point, it’s basically touched three departments: the department, the commissioners and then us,” Auditor Julie Adkins said. “We’re the end result.” But some requests must go through the budget commission also.

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

For example, Keller said if a department receives a new grant, the department must go through the budget commission to put it on the department’s certificate, which is the department’s available funds that they are certified to spend. Then the request goes through the process with the auditor’s office and the commissioners office.

Quick steps

The process does not take long, Adkins said. “If they’ve already got funds in place, that could be as easy as having a commissioners meeting,” she said. “Given proper notice to the commissioners, we could have our portion of it done upon commissioner approval in two days, depending on timing.” Once a resolution is approved, the department can place the purchase order, although the auditor’s office must put the order into the system as well, Adkins said.

In the balance

If a transfer or appropriation is less than $10, it typically is for balancing the funds at the end of the year, Keller said. The small transfers often are the result of a department not having enough in their lines to cover payments to Medicare or the Public Employees Retirement System or even cover the cost of overtime. Adkins said it also could be the result of unanticipated costs such as late fees. “In December, the last commissioners meeting is all done to clean up because we cannot have funds in the red,” Keller said. “All ac“Tiffin’s Full Service Real Estate Agency”

counts have to be cleaned.” Although it may take time and money to complete fund transfers, Adkins said departments now are more efficient thanks to software and awareness of the issue. Adkins said departments are good at trying to eliminate additional fund transfers compared to other counties. “We do appreciate the departments,” she said. “Even if it’s a minimum amount, they know to get it corrected before it’s passed that process.” To prevent the need for additional appropriations, Adkins said the auditor’s office provides monthly reports so all departments are aware of where they are within their budgets. The reports are emailed, which eliminates the cost and time of printing and mailing them. Keller said it also allows them to be archived by the departments. The county also implemented a view-only application several years ago that allows departments to see where their funds are year-round.

Changes ahead

Adkins said the county is to switch to a web-based fiscal software application that would allow departments to complete the initial data entry on their requests. “One, it will provide the information for the departments at their fingertips. Two, it will give them knowledge of the process and ownership. And three, it will help to streamline. It’s definitely a savings,” Adkins said. The software also would help with the stake of purchase orders at


the start of each year, Adkins said. Implementing the new application would save time for the auditor’s office. “Where you might lose time one place, you find it gained in another place,” she said. With the number of steps required to transfer funds, the cost of the required process to move money sometimes can be more than the actual transfer, but it is necessary to stay in compliance with the state, Adkins said. As a result of the auditor’s office and the departments’ close eye on their budgets, Adkins said the auditor’s office received the Ohio Auditor of State Award for exemplary reporting in 2013. Although it can sometimes be tedious making sure all the dollars and cents are where they should be, Adkins and Keller are confident in the office’s skills. “It takes everybody to know the process, support the process and do things correctly to be efficient,” Adkins said. “It’s a team effort,” Keller said.

It takes everybody to know the process, support the process and do things correctly to be efficient.” Julie Adkins, Seneca County auditor

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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

Scrap tires find new life after recycling


Scrap tires have been loaded on a truck at the Jerry Kelbley farm. Kelbley is licensed to haul by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.



Staff Writer

hen round tires have outlived their usefulness on a vehicle, they enter a different kind of circle — one of recycling. A local leader in tire recycling said scrap tires are plentiful and the Environ-

mental Protection Agency reports there are many ways to make old tire rubber into new products. Jerry Kelbley, a tire recycler near Tiffin, said he collected 200,000 tires last year. “They come from all over,” he said. “I have people who drop tires here (at his farm) every day.”

Scrap tire collection Because there are pri-

vate recyclers such as Kelbley along with public collections, there are no accurate statistics on the number of scrap tires generated each year in Seneca County. However, statistics from Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca Joint Solid Waste District’s tire collections show Seneca County residents turned in 129 tires, plus nine agricultural tires, in 2013.

In the district’s three counties combined, 1,054 agricultural tires and 4,156 residential tires were collected through OSS, plus 706 from townships, cities and villages. Most of them were from Sandusky County. A scrap tire is defined by Ohio EPA as any unwanted or discarded tire, regardless of size, that has been removed from its original use.

According to a 2007 study, Ohio generates more than 12 million scrap tires each year. If a tire is no longer installed on a vehicle or being carried as the spare, it’s considered a scrap tire and should be handled according EPA rules. Scrap tires can be on or off a rim. The definition of scrap tires does not include those from non-motorized vehicles such as bicycles and


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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

wheelbarrows and does not include non-pneumatic, solid tires, such as fork lift tires. Tires that remain on vehicles are not considered scrap tires until they are removed. Individuals are considered generators of scrap tires and legally may have 100 scrap tires in their possession at one time. A maximum of 10 tires may be transported at one time unless the transporter is licensed with Ohio EPA. That’s probably why they contract with licensed recyclers such as Kelbley.

By the truckload

When they are recycled, these tires might wind up as retreads, highway crash barriers or ground crumb rubber.

“I have people who want a semi to clean up their place of business,” he said. “I give them a semi and they fill it.” At one location recently, he said two or three semis were loaded with tires. “We just cleaned up a place and it was a mess,” he said. “Today it looks good.” Kelbley said he works mainly in northwest Ohio with all types of tires — car, semi, pickup and tractor. He became involved in tire recycling in 1992 when Howard Magers called him wondering where he could take scrap tires. “We did 390 tires that year, and last year we did 200,000,” he said. “That’s how much it’s grown.” Kelbley said the business is profitable. “People pay me to get rid of tires. I pay a tipping fee to get rid of tires. The difference is my profit,” he said. Kelbley said he works with several townships and several counties to recycle tires. “We’re going to do a huge (collection) in September,” he said. “When you get closer to bigger cities, a lot of tires get thrown into wooded areas.” It becomes a public responsibility to clean up those areas. And he said auctioneers and real estate agents must have properties cleaned of hazardous waste, which includes tires, before property can be sold.

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

New life

Kelbley said uses for recycled tires are growing, and he sometimes gets requests for specific types of tires. “I just got a call for tractor tires because of the harder rubber,” he said. “They want to make some kind of product. I don’t know what.” According to information online from several sources, there are a growing number of uses for scrap tire material. Different types of tires contain different types of rubber so car and pickup truck tires are used for some products while tractor tires are made into different things. Although the information is more than 10 years old, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website said 2003 markets for scrap tires were consuming 233 million, or 80.4 per-

Round & round

I have people who want a semi to clean up their place of business. I give them a semi and they fill it.” Jerry Kelbley, who transports scrap tires

cent, of 290 million scrap tires. That compared to 1990 statistics that showed 11 million of 223 million scrap tires were recycled, or 24.5 percent. The top uses for those 233 million tires were: 130 million (44.7 percent) as fuel; 56 million (19.4 percent) in civil engineering projects such as fill material for embankments, walls and bridge abutments, insulation for roads and septic system drain

fields; 18 million (7.8 percent) in ground rubber and recycled products; and 12 million (4.3 percent) into ground rubber and used in rubber-modified asphalt. Another 9 million (3.1 percent) were exported for use in retreads in other countries, 6.5 million (2 percent) were recycled into cut/stamped or punched products and 3 million (1.7 percent) were used in agricultural and miscellaneous uses such as floor mats,

69 belts, gaskets, shoe soles, dock bumpers, seals, muffler hangers, shims and washers, playground surface material, gravel substitute, drainage around building foundations and building foundation insulation. Whole tires may be recycled or reused as highway crash barriers, for boat bumpers at marine docks, erosion control/rainwater runoff barriers, wetlands/marsh establishment, and crash barriers around race tracks. Additional uses for ground “crumb” rubber are being found in synthetic turf fields and playgrounds; molded rubber products, such as carpet underlay, flooring material, dock bumpers, patio decks, railroad crossing blocks, livestock mats, roof walkway pads, rubber tiles and bricks and movable speed

bumps; new tire manufacturing; brake pads and brake shoes; additive to injection molded and extruded plastics; automotive parts; and horse arena flooring. Another 16.5 million scrap tires were retreaded, and 27 million (9.3 percent) were disposed of in landfills or monofills. A monofills is a portion of a landfill designated for a specific item. However, landfilling scrap tires can cause problems due to uneven settlement and tendency to rise to the surface, which can harm landfill covers. Grinding tires can help the problem, and tires often are incorporated into the landfill as daily cover. Report open dumping of scrap tires to Ohio EPA’s toll-free hotline, (877) 3722621.

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The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014

To every ring there is a season

Jeweler offers adornment for them all



Staff Writer

early everyone owns some kind of ring. Children have edible candy rings and plastic ones that glow in the dark. Adults’ rings might be made of precious metal and have a special meaning, or they can be attractive but inexpensive accessories. People like to own rings that represent a certain group, such as a school class, company, occupation or sports team. A birthstone ring indicates a birth month, while other kinds signify an accomplishment or serve as remembrance of a special event or trip. In Tiffin, Jeffrey Jewelry is a popular place to shop for high-quality rings of all kinds. Ty Cooper, general manager, said the opening of school is a busy time at the store because high school students are ordering class rings. “That’s usually their first ring,” Cooper said. The average cost of a class ring at Jeffrey’s is $179. Cooper said class

rings typically hold synthetic gemstones and are made of a stainless alloy called lazon. Students who do not want to invest in a class ring may choose a birthstone or friendship ring instead.


As students become adults, the next ring they acquire often is related to romance. Cooper said couples sometimes buy promise or commitment rings or pre-engagement rings while they are separated for college. For a woman, the engagement ring represents the promise of marriage. The most popular engagement ring is a solitaire diamond. Cooper said 90 percent of diamond sales at the store are round or square-cut diamonds. “We know from studies the round shape gives the best light return,” he said. With their extreme hardness and beauty, diamonds traditionally have been associated with abundance and longevity. They are a favorite stone for engagement rings, wedding bands and anniversary rings. Cooper said synthetic diamonds have become such

A diamond has been added to this man’s wedding band.


good imitations that they fool many jewelers and customers. He and sales associate Ray Wise are graduates of the Gemological Institute of America in Santa Monica, California.


Gemology schools teach jewelers about diamonds and other gems so that they can buy and sell gem stones, especially diamonds. The dealer must be able to distinguish between fake and real gems and understand their cost and value. Cooper said a person may be considered a diamond expert if he or she completes 5,000 or more views of diamonds. “Mostly, it’s looking through a microscope and training your eyes to put a grading on it,” Cooper said. “A cubic zirconium is pretty easy to spot.” The “diamonds” that are not natural are lower in cost and shine beautifully when they are new, but

This set of women’s rings includes a wedding band, engagement ring and anniversary ring.

they do not wear as well as real stones. Over time, they lose their brilliance, Cooper explained. Like an enduring relationship, a real diamond has a long lifespan. Gold is the usual metal chosen for wedding rings. It may be the familiar yellow gold, white or rose gold. Two-tone rings also

are popular. As wives become mothers and complete their families, they may receive a mother’s ring containing the birthstones of their children. Jeffrey Jewelry’s website,, has photos and information about many rings that can be ordered or are in stock.

Wrapping it all up

The Advertiser-Tribune, Tiffin, Ohio Saturday, August 16, 2014


Staff Writer

Historians believe rings originated among the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. The earliest rings probably were made of plant fibers, according to Later, leather, metal and circles of stone were used. Certain minerals came to be associated with power, protection, comfort and healing. People wanted to carry these stones, and setting them in gold, silver or bronze rings to put on the fingers was an easy and decorative way to keep them handy. For example, sapphires were believed to promote the wearer’s chastity, cure eye diseases and serve as an antidote to poisons. Amber and jasper were favorites of the Romans, who had rings that were worn once a year to celebrate their birthdays. The Romans also used signet rings engraved with a personal emblem that could be pressed onto

Round & round

parchment documents or into a wax seal. Rings also have been designed with small containers to hold liquids. A poison ring could defend a person against an enemy or provide a way to take one’s own life in a crisis. Others held tiny vials of perfume to cover unpleasant odors. With the rise of Christianity, believers wore rings containing relics of saints or engraved with saints’ images or scripture passages. explores the origins of betrothal and wedding rings. Initially, the Romans regarded a ring placed on a woman’s finger — with or without her consent — as a claim of ownership. Men did not wear wedding rings until the 1900s. The Egyptians and Romans believed a blood vessel connecting directly to the heart ran through the third finger of the left hand. Although that is now known to be incorrect, the tradition has continued for placement of engagement and wedding rings.



Just for fun

Fostoria artist Lisa Adams makes rings by wrapping and weaving metal wires and accenting them with beads. Her scarf rings employ wire crochet, which is done with a fine crochet hook. She developed them to wear with her own handpainted scarves.


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