Reporter's Notebook: Passing the (right kind of) torch

SANDUSKY REGISTER Sandusky Register chief photographer
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Sandusky Register chief photographer Jason Werling had a welding lesson while spending a week covering the construction of the new Strobel Field scoreboard and the dismantling of the old scoreboards. When he asked what was being used to cut through the old scoreboard, he thought he heard "a settling torch."

Lesson learned: no matter what you think you hear, get a spelling. Repeating "A settling torch?" back to a welder still sounds like "A settling torch." Werling has had several comments about the mistake and some people did get a chuckle out of it. But for those out there competing in next year's spelling bee, it is an A-C-E-T-Y-L-E-N-E torch.

It just wasn't his game

A Sandusky man was watching the Cleveland-Pittsburgh game at the Brass Pelican Sunday afternoon didn't seem too interested in the game. Browns or Steelers? he was asked. His reply:

"I love the Yankees."

-- Laura Collins

Accidental Erie County lifer

Erie County's longtime county administrator, Michael Bixler, never meant to hang around so long.

During last week's regular meeting of the Erie County Commissioners, the commissioners' main lawyer, Assistant Prosecutor Gary Lickfelt, noted that Thursday was the 30th anniversary of when Bixler began working for the county.

Bixler, 53, began work Sept. 6, 1977, as a county accountant. The Perkins High grad by then was a 23-year-old graduate of Malone College, where a knee injury had ended his pro baseball dreams. He became county administrator Jan. 1, 1987.

But when Bixler is asked if he planned to stay with Erie County for decades, he answers, "No. Absolutely not!"

When he took his first job in Erie County, he was offered $10,500 a year. He accepted $10,750 and planned to move soon to a better-paying job.

"Every time I got ready to move, things would improve here," he said.

Bixler now gets about $90,000 a year as the county's top administrator.

-- Tom Jackson

Shakes -- and stirred

Margaretta Township Fiscal Officer Mary Ann Lindsley got a pleasant surprise during Thursday night's township meeting.

In honor of her anniversary, her husband interrupted the meeting to bring milkshakes for Lindsley and all the trustees.

-- Laura Collins

Is it hot in here? Or is it just me?

As finishing touches were being made last week on a new receptionist office on the second floor of Erie County Common Pleas Court, Judge Roger Binette and a court reporter were admiring the work.

I walked past during my daily court rounds and stopped to talk to them. As we discussed the completion of the project, Binette joked about getting rid of a handful of chairs and benches in the hallway as well. I asked why, and he said that if the attorneys had to stand in the hallway they would move faster when they show up for hearings.

Binette also joked that in the summer he turns off the air conditioning in the jury room -- to "get them moving to make a decision faster."

-- Holly Abrams

Greenhouse math

The facts of a story are always a journalist's first priority.

The Sandusky City Greenhouse has been undergoing renovations, including the replacement of all of the glass panels with high-efficiency acrylic panels. One of my final questions for Parks Department Foreman Tom Speir about the renovations was just how many panels there were on the greenhouse.

After looking at the building for a minute, we decided we needed to count them.

So we did - all 3000 of them.

Luckily, Speir was a better mathematician than I am.

-- Jennifer Grathwol