REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: A witness to greatness

One of the stops in my journalism career took me to Red Wing, Minn., where I covered sports. Red Wing -- they make the boots there -
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010


One of the stops in my journalism career took me to Red Wing, Minn., where I covered sports. Red Wing -- they make the boots there -- is about 35 minutes south of the Twin Cities.

I remember covering a game between Red Wing and a high school called Holy Angels.

While standing on the sidelines watching the Holy Angels warming up, a receiver ran a route and stopped right in front of me. I was standing about 10 feet behind him on a track that ringed the field. The ball was thrown way over his head, but all I saw was two hands going up as high as I've seen a receiver jump to catch a pass and pull the ball in. I swear if the catch would not have been made, the ball would have hit me between the eyes.

I remember thinking to myself, "Who was that guy who made that catch?"

It turned out to be none other than Larry Fitzgerald Jr., the standout wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, who made what was almost the game-winning play in Sunday's Super Bowl. Even though the Minnesota catch occurred in warm-ups, it was one of the best catches I've ever seen in person.

--Mike Fitzpatrick

Murray household divided on education reform

State Rep. Dennis Murray Jr. sang Gov. Ted Strickland's praises after the governor outlined his education reform plans. But not everyone in Murray's family is sold on the governor's plans.

The new lawmaker got feedback right away after the governor said he wants to tack another 20 days onto the school calendar, lengthening the school year to 200 days.

"My children texted me during the speech to tell me they were opposed to that," Murray said.

Murray, D-Sandusky, noted the proposed change in the school year would likely be phased in over 10 years.

--Tom Jackson

Agency promotes Lake Erie plates to 'green' folks

What's on your car tag?

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission hopes you have a picture of a lighthouse on it.

Last week, Chris Riddle, environmental specialist for the Ohio Lake Erie Commission, spoke at a luncheon for the Firelands Coastal Tributaries Watershed program. Riddle asked how many of several dozen "green" people in the audience had the special Lake Erie plates. Only a couple of people raised their hands.

Riddle explained that people who buy the special Lake Erie tags are putting money in a fund to help preserve the lake. The commission's Web site,, has details on the plate and says the money supports boosting the lake's fish population, cleaning up rivers and harbors, improving public access and other worthy causes.

The special plate shows a lighthouse from Toledo. Plates with the Marblehead Lighthouse are no longer available, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles says.

--Tom Jackson

Snowballing into hot water

A 12-year-old Willard boy was charged last week with felony assault for smacking a bus driver in the face with a snowball.

Many people throw snowballs each year without getting into legal trouble. But not everyone.

Nationwide there are a number of criminal cases involving snowballs -- even though few lead to felony charges.

A man in Idaho was charged last year with felonious assault-battery on a policeman after smacking a cop in the face with a snowball.

A large-scale snowball fight at a college in North Carolina last month got out of hand, causing campus safety forces to use pepper spray on students.

The New York Times reports criminal charges were filed against a New Jersey man in the mid-1990s after he pelted football officials with snowballs at a game.

A Giants fan, the man launched snowballs at managers of the opposing team.

-- Cory Frolik