Erie County Sheriff Terry Lyons was out of the office last week.
No, he wasn't on sick leave. No, he wasn't on vacation.
He was doing his civil service as a juror for a trial in Erie County Common Pleas Court. Lyons said this was the first time he has ever received a jury summons or been selected as a juror.
"It was a great experience," he said. "I was even more astonished when I got picked to be seated on the jury."
The case was a civil lawsuit involving a car accident. Lyons said his background in law enforcement did help him ask better questions as a juror looking at crash evidence presented by lawyers.
During questioning for jurors Lyons had to ask to be called by his number -- Juror 58 -- rather than sheriff, as an attorney tried to do.
"I really felt the jurors weren't intimidated by me being there," Lyons said, adding that he would encourage others to serve as jurors, too.
What may be more ironic, though, was Lyons' seating in the jury box. He was next to Rose Nath, a former sheriff's deputy. Nath was an assistant to Lyons when he was Erie County jail administrator.
-- Holly Abrams
Read my wife's book, senator says
Before you hit the beach this summer, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown suggests you pack along an interesting book about his Senate campaign.
Brown, D-Ohio, loves to read, so he was ready when asked for a summer reading recommendation for his constituents.
During a telephone conference call with reporters last week, Brown suggested "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini. It's the author's follow-up to "The Kite Runner," Brown noted.
Then Brown remembered another favorite title.
"An even better book is 'And His Lovely Wife' by Connie Schultz," Brown added hastily, as the reporters chuckled.
"And His Lovely Wife: A Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man" chronicles Brown's 2006 Senate campaign.
The senator's recommendation may seem partial -- Schultz is his wife -- but she did win the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, and her book was well received. Before the pair met, he had written her a fan letter about her writing.
-- Tom Jackson
Darden a fan of Quinn
The Rev. Tom Darden is not one to shy away from controversy. He is political chairman of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, a group that strongly supports ex-Sandusky police Chief Kim Nuesse.
Being a big Cleveland Browns fan -- and knowing full well that Darden is the father of an ex-Browns defensive back of the same name -- I asked him his thoughts on the 2008 edition of the Brownies. The question may have caused Darden to unwillingly step into another controversy.
Browns fans love nothing more than a quarterback controversy. Remember the big Tim Couch-Kelly Holcomb debate? Well, here we are just a few weeks after Memorial Day, and Browns fans on sports talk radio shows are already debating whether Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn should start at QB.
Count Darden as a member of the Quinn camp.
"They've got a young man there that, if they allow to be our quarterback, I believe he can help us out," Darden said.
Darden didn't let the fact that Anderson made the Pro Bowl a year ago undermine his support of Quinn.
"I still think Brady Quinn is the man," he said.
Darden, who's been a Browns fan since 1947, isn't sold the Browns can win the AFC's North Division, either, even though many so-called experts are picking them to make the playoffs.
"I wish I could say yes to that, but I'm not going to go that far," Darden said.