REPORTERS' NOTEBOOK: Crazy hats and a Canadian canoe

Skip Wilde wears many hats. He's a Norwalk city councilman, owner of the Norwalk Domino's Pizza and father of two dau
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Skip Wilde wears many hats.

He's a Norwalk city councilman, owner of the Norwalk Domino's Pizza and father of two daughters.

But those are just his responsibilities. The hats he actually puts on his head are a lot more thrilling.

If it's silly headwear, Wilde has probably worn it.

Over the year's he's worn clown hats, jester hats, hot-dog-shaped hats and pizza hats.

This isn't some unique fancy of his. He does it for charity.

"I get three or four each year for the (high school) reversal raffle (fundraiser) and (United Fund) Tool Time ... and I sell them out" to raise money for these good causes, Wilde said.

For the last four years, he's ordered at least three dozen hats for the high school reverse raffle. Throughout the course of the raffle, every hat adorns his head. They are all, in the end, given away.

"They were fighting over the pimp hat," he said.

Hats off to Wilde for making goofy headwear hip.

-- Cory Frolik

Anyone seen Pelee's canoe?

The folks on Pelee Island are trying to be patient. But they'd like somebody from Sandusky to explain what happened to the island's missing canoe.

A brief article on the wall of the Pelee Island Heritage Center, the Canadian island's chief museum, tells the sad tale. Reprinting information from a 1930 newspaper article, it explains that a Native American dugout canoe, 50 feet long, was found in 1926 at Fish Point on Pelee Island. The canoe was photographed and then sent to Sandusky, Ohio, the article says, adding, "No record of the subsequent location exists."

Museum curator Ron Tiessen, a local farmer, has tried to trace the canoe in recent years but says the trail appears to be cold.

"I probably contacted a half-dozen people," he said.

Tiessen still hopes someone will step forward and explain where the canoe went.

-- Tom Jackson

It's true -- raccoon turns out lights in Bellevue

Early Tuesday morning the southern half of Bellevue lost power, leaving more than 2,200 customers left in the dark. Bellevue firefighters were busy after carbon monoxide detectors began going off about 3:16 a.m. Firefighters were not positive what caused the outage, but said they heard a rumor it was a raccoon chewing on some wires.

"I think it was electrocuted," said one firefighter.

Ohio Edison area manager Gary Mortus confirmed that information.

"It actually got into the substation and then made contact with our live voltage and that caused a fuse to blow," he said. "I'm sure it didn't survive."

Power was restored at 4:28 a.m., a little more than an hour after the raccoon had its last meal.

-- Holly Abrams

Where's your flair?

The film "Office Space" gave flair a bad name.

But the bartenders at Kahunaville are restoring integrity to the word.

Colin Griffiths, an import from Southport, England, has mastered flair bartending, a type of showmanship that is exhibited while making alcoholic drinks. In a dizzying display of control and manipulation, Griffiths holds a metal tumbler in one hand, while with the other, he flips and spins a bottle while mixing a cocktail. The effect is astonishing.

Think of the studied execution of the Blue Man Group, minus the shocking blue skin.

And he virtually never spills a drop.

Griffiths, and the others behind the bar at the Kalahari Resort hot spot, put on a small performance whenever any drink is ordered. But the big show comes late in the night when they have a bartender showdown and launch into a practiced routine.

The audience always responds with loud and immediate applause.

Visit Kahunaville for the specialty drinks. But stay to see the few who are rescuing flair from the sarcastic clutches of Mike Judge.

-- Cory Frolik

Lengthy shelf life

During an Ottawa County Commissioners meeting Thursday, Commissioner Steve Arndt was snacking on a treat.

"It was the last one in the vending machine," he said.

Commissioner Jim Sass smoothed over any concerns he might have had on the product's condition.

"They have a shelf life of 8-10 years, so it should be good," said Sass, joking.

Arndt said he was hungry and just kept on eating.

-- Jacob Lammers