REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: Photographer, reporter not batty about the belfry

SANDUSKY REGISTER A story about area church bells took me and Register photographer
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY REGISTER

A story about area church bells took me and Register photographer Abigail Bobrow to the very top of the St. Mary's Church steeple.

After winding our way up the rickety, steep-enough-to-make-your-stomach-turn stairs with the help of parish music director Tim Claubaugh, we had the best view in town.

Of all the churches in town, St.Mary's has the most bells. Three of them sit at the top of the steeple.

"Now some churches may have more bats in their belfry," Claubaugh said.

Lucky for us, we didn't run into any bats, just lots and lots of stairs and two dead birds.

-- Jennifer Grathwol

Local St. Nick

Kimberly and Michael Schaffer, of Sandusky, got an unexpected holiday surprise while shopping at Walmart last weekend.

After ringing up their items at the check out, a stranger swiped his credit card and paid for their groceries, which totaled about $120. The man told the Schaffers he had a good year and walked away.

"You could tell that he was warm inside. He did it out of his heart," Kimberly said. "Then he walked away with his hands in his pockets."

She said the help couldn't have come at a better time -- the couple has a baby and the holidays tend to be expensive.

"My husband is really a penny pincher anyway and he about passed out," Kimberly said. "I wanted to hug him, but I didn't want to make a scene."

She added that she is pretty sure the man did the same thing for other people that day.

-- Laura Collins

If you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try, try again

Think it's tough when an English teacher makes your child rewrite a theme?

Erie County officials went through eight drafts of a proposed Tax Increment Financing agreement for the Maui Sands waterpark before finally getting a document they could take to the Erie County commissioners, Assistant Prosecutor Gary Lickfelt said.

The developer kept bringing up different concerns, and getting the legal descriptions right proved to be tricky, said Alex MacNicol, director of the Erie Regional Planning Commission.

Those eight drafts aren't a record. Lickfelt said an agreement to provide a water line and water tower for White's Landing took 13 drafts. The agreement involved Erie County, Sandusky and Northern Ohio Rural Water, and plenty of changes were needed to make all three parties happy, he said.

-- Tom Jackson

Sandusky Santa goes missing in action

Christmas is a time when every kid in town wants to tell Santa how good they've been. That testimony is usually followed quickly by a list of gifts they've been wanting all year.

Most times, Santa is there to listen and give a smile and cheery "Ho, ho, ho."

According to some parents and grandparents who were trying to cheer up some very disappointed kids, Sandusky's downtown Santa was no where to be found during the posted visiting hours last weekend.

At least two families contacted the Register to share stories of kids whose Christmas had a few too many tears this year because of a certain missing Santa.

-- Jennifer Grathwol