Jacob Lammers is a member of the media these days, but he grew up on the farm.
If you visited the Sandusky Register last week, you might have heard his ear-splitting rendition of "Sooey," the traditional American hog call.
It was Lammers, one of our new young reporters, reluctantly demonstrating his award-winning form to the rest of the newsroom staff.
Lammers outclassed two Register employees and a News-Herald photographer in a media division at Tuesday's Hog Calling Contest at the Ottawa County Fair. (The media contest was created on the spot after no one showed up for the males 11 to 17 portion of the contest.)
Organizers may not have known Lammers comes from a rural Lima family that used to raise hogs.
The other three newspaper people dutifully emitted grunts and oinks, but Lammers smoked the competition (and the eardrums of nearby spectators) with his authentic hog call.
He called the hogs to the newsroom last week after reporters who missed the competition insisted he give a repeat performance.
-- Tom Jackson
Good fences make good neighbors
At this month's board of zoning appeals meeting, a couple disputed the placement of a fence their neighbor wished to construct.
It turned out the fence wasn't the real issue of debate.
The couple was upset because of the smell emanating from their neighbor's yard. Apparently, the neighbor had a large dog that wasn't properly cleaned up after, and the couple had called the police and the health department about the smell of the feces that made outdoor activity in their yard unbearable.
"No matter how high the fence is, it won't solve that problem," one board member said.
-- Jennifer Grathwol
Kaptur in no hurry to see 'Sicko'
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur is a liberal Democrat who has made health care one of her top issues.
But the Toledo lawmaker hasn't rushed out to see "Sicko," the new movie about the American health care system by liberal filmmaker Michael Moore.
Kaptur, who has authored a bill to provide health insurance for all Americans, said she's seen clips from the movie and attended a hearing that featured testimony from some of the people profiled in the film.
But Kaptur says that while she's interested in Moore's topic, she seldom makes time to sit through an entire movie. It's healthier to stay active and work in the garden when she has a little spare time, Kaptur says.
She said she already does plenty of sitting when she attends long Congressional committee meetings.
-- Tom Jackson
Hairspray-inspired hairdos no longer trendy
In preparation for the release of "Hairspray," several Cinemark Movies 10 workers got hairdos inspired by the movie.
The problem -- they got their hair done in the morning but their shifts weren't until later in the day, meaning they had to be seen in public with beehives, bouffants and all.
To help ease the forthcoming embarrassment, Register photographer Abigail Bobrow tried to point out the positives.
"It adds height. At least you can say you're taller," Bobrow said.
Treasurer experiments with face fuzz
Margaretta Schools treasurer Jude Hammond has been trying out a few new looks with his facial hair.
Which look is best?
Is it the clean-shaven Jude we've all come to know and love, or perhaps the rugged, bearded Jude.
At the district's contentious June 20 meeting, Hammond was sporting the classic goatee -- a good look, and the personal favorite of board member Judy Kuns.
On July 18 Hammond converted to the classic broom mustache.
He says he plans to go clean-shaven again in weeks to come.
Clueless about the extension cord
The front desk called to inform me about a man who was waiting for me in the Register's lobby. I walked downstairs confused about who had requested my presence.
Had I scheduled a meeting and then forgotten about it?
A man with an extension cord was standing at the bottom of the stairs. I asked him what he needed.
He plopped the extension cord down on the desk and asked me to read the warning label.
I read it.
Then I looked at him -- still confused.
He was trying to relate the warning on the extension cord to a story that had run in the paper.
A story I didn't write.
I retreated back to the newsroom to inform my editors about the man with the extension cord.
The reporter who had written a story about lead testing went downstairs to meet with the man and straighten the matter out.
-- Janet Nguyen
What's the Inspector doing around here?
It was a quiet day in the newsroom Friday afternoon.
No sirens or signals were coming through on the police scanner, just the occasional dispatcher mixed with static.
At one point, however, a distinct cry of "Go, Go Gadget Arm" was heard clearly over the police scanner -- at least by this reporter.
It was unknown which police station it came from, and was not followed by any other Gadget comments.
Sewer committee minutes saved for future use
If historians in future centuries find themselves eagerly poring over minutes for the Huron Sewer Monitoring Committee, they'll have County Commissioner Tom Ferrell to thank.
At last week's commission meeting, the commissioners' lawyer, Gary Lickfelt, noted that commission meeting minutes are turned into microfilm, saving them as a permanent record.
Lickfelt asked about minutes for committees appointed by the commissioners, such as the Huron Sewer Monitoring Committee, created years ago after a lawsuit pitting the county against Huron County.
Should they be saved?
Given the amount of public money that's involved, preserving the records is a good idea, Ferrell said.
"Some of them, you need that history," Ferrell said. "You're talking about such large dollar amounts."
Lickfelt said that settles the matter -- the minutes will be preserved.
-- Tom Jackson