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Reporter's Notebook: She likes turtles

Sandusky Register Staff • Aug 16, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Ginger Cullen's clan of turtles will never become ninjas, though a couple of them could be mistaken for racers.

On warm, sunny days, Cullen can routinely be spotted walking with her two Russian tortoises, Nikolai and Sasha, down the sidewalk on Avondale Street.

"It's the best from of exercise for them," Cullen said. "They enjoy the fresh air, the sunshine. They're just like us. They don't like to be cooped up."

And the terrapins take joy in the trek as well.

The tortoises walk alongside Cullen, hugging the sides of her white-tennis shoes which are easily identifiable to the reptiles as they follow.

Cullen trained them so well, they don't need leashes.

But her other turtles -- seven box turtles, a painted turtle and a red-eared slider -- don't go for outdoor strolls. Instead, they walk freely around her home or swim in the bathtub.

Essentially they're her friends who don't give the 1966 Sandusky High School graduate any problems. Her oldest reptilian roommate, Dixie, has been in her care since 1977.

"She doesn't look any different than the day I got her," Cullen said.

There's no doubt Cullen loves being around turtles. She said they're sweet, affectionate animals anyone can appreciate.

"If I'm having a stressful day, I just sit down and chill with the turtles," she said. "It's very relaxing."

A story about Cullen and her turtles appeared in the Dec. 12, 1979, Register.

-- Andy Ouriel

New Cedar Point ride a 'Stratosoar'?

Cedar Point officials have offered only a few teasing comments about the park's new amusement ride for 2011, beyond saying it will appeal to hardcore thrill-seekers.

The folks at Pointbuzz.com, a website that follows Cedar Point, have spotted a Cedar Fair trademark application filed in Washington, D.C.

The amusement park chain is seeking to trademark the term "Stratosoar."

The application gives little indication on how the term will be used, and the attorney who filed the patent didn't respond to an e-mail inquiry, instead referring inquiries to Cedar Fair.

"Anytime we come up with a name that would be a good name for a ride, we register it for a trademark," said Cedar Fair's director of investor relations, Stacy Frole.

Jeff Putz, the webmaster for Pointbuzz.com, said there's really no way to tell if the trademark is for a ride at Cedar Point or another Cedar Fair park, though speculation centers on the park here in Sandusky.

The current speculation: The new ride will be a "flat ride," which Putz said is a term for any ride that isn't a roller coaster.

An announcement about the new ride is expected later this month.

Meanwhile, Cedar Point's fans on Facebook have been posting suggestions on possibilities for the new ride.

One fan, Sean Foley, played off recent news reports about a JetBlue flight attendant who quit his job and left in a fury.

"It's gonna be an airplane simulator ride where you get to yell at the ride attendant, and then slide down an inflatable sliding board!" Foley suggested.

-- Tom Jackson

Unclaimed property list to run Tuesday

If you're not interested in free money, skip to the next item.

The Ohio Department of Commerce bought an ad to appear in Tuesday's Sandusky Register, which will list the names of people who may be entitled to unclaimed funds. The ad is aimed at people whose last known address was in Erie County.

"Unclaimed funds" are money people are entitled to, but they've apparently forgotten about them.

Some examples: checking and savings accounts you accidentally left behind; deposits for rent or utilities you forgot to collect; uncashed checks; forgotten stock certificates; and so on.

It can amount to a fair sum of money.

During the last fiscal year, Ohio paid out 45,407 claims worth a collective $59.9 million, or an average claim of $1,310. The ad appearing in the Register on Tuesday lists 1,018 unclaimed fund accounts worth a total of $481,046.

"Extra money can always come in handy," said Kimberly Zurz, director of the Ohio Department of Commerce. "I encourage Erie County residents to check if you, your family or your friends have unclaimed funds waiting to be claimed."

-- Tom Jackson

Recycled House

Beer bottles, coke cans and cardboard cutouts supported the greenest house in all of Erie County.

The Erie County Solid Waste District hosted an open house at last week's county fair, educating thousands of fairgoers on the capabilities of recycled materials.

"This is a good idea for future housing ideas," said Mitch Cramer of Castalia.

Unfortunately for Lisa Beursken, project coordinator and director at the waste district, the house will be torn apart. On the bright side, all materials from the 16-by-20-foot home will be recycled.

Another house might be built, Beursken said.

But if the district does create a new recycled residence, it'll be mobile so it can travel throughout the county. Beursken plans on making it an annual event to show exactly how great recycling is.

"I'm sure we'll do something crazy and people will follow me," Beursken said.

-- Andy Ouriel

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