The Daily Press Wapakoneta Daily News | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-12-20T13:08:03-05:00 on the mend2014-12-20T09:39:18-05:002014-12-19T22:57:05-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">Leo Blevins is one tough kid.</span></p><p class="p3"> More than two months after he was struck by a vehicle on the side of county Road 25A near his home in Cridersville, Leo is back at home and doing better than anyone expected. </p><p class="p3"> “I’m doing pretty good,” Leo said Thursday. “My right hand is a lot better but it’s not like it was, and my leg kinda hurts every once in awhile, but other than that I’m good.”</p><p class="p3"> His current condition is a far cry from where he was just one month ago. For the first six weeks  he was in the hospital, Leo could not talk. It took him three-and-a-half weeks just to be able to breathe without relying on a machine. </p><p class="p3"> In fact, until doctors could get Leo to breathe on his own, they weren’t even sure he’d survive. He laid in the ICU at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus for weeks, with no one — doctors, nurses, his parents — knowing if he would make it out alive. </p><p class="p3"> “The day we knew we were leaving the ICU was the day we knew he was going to live,” said Leo’s mother, Tiffanie Chappell, adding that three-and-a-half weeks is a long time for a parent to wait before they know the fate of their child. </p><p class="p3"> Now, Leo is not only talking, he can walk on his own with the help of a walker. He is also starting to get his memory back, and is constantly rehabilitating his body so that it may one day get to where it was before the accident. With the proper amount of time and rehabilitation, Leo will make a full recovery.</p><p class="p3"> “There is no permanent damage,” Chappell said. “As of right now, everything looks like it’s going to be back exactly how it was.”</p><p class="p3"> In the immediate aftermath of the accident that left Leo clinging to life, doctors, and even Leo’s stepfather, Keith Chappell, weren’t sure if he would survive. Even after it was determined he would live, doctors predicted it would take six months or more to get to this point in his recovery.</p><p class="p3"> Leo proved them all wrong.</p><p class="p3"> “They told us it would take six months to a year to get to where he is right now physically and mentally,” Chappell said. “He’s just amazing.”</p><p class="p3"> Chappell said Leo will not suffer from any permanent disabilities, although it will still take up to two years for his mind to heal completely. </p><p class="p3"> “The biggest issue is problem solving and memory right now,” he said. “The memory takes up to two years to heal, so with two years of healing they expect mentally for him to get back very close to where he was.”</p><p class="p3"> A large part of improving his mind is being back at school.</p><p class="p3"> His first day back was Dec. 16, and although it was only a half day, Tiffanie Chappell said she thought it was important for Leo to get a couple days of school in before it closes for winter break. He also went a half day on Dec. 17 and a full day Dec. 19.</p><p class="p3"> “The school wanted him to wait until January because of his memory — he didn’t even remember the high school building at all or any of eighth grade — but I wanted him to get back to reorient himself,” she said. “That way, in January, he can go back full force with his studies.”</p><p class="p3"> So what was Leo’s first day back at school like?</p><p class="p3"> There was no shortage of hugs, that’s for sure.</p><p class="p3"> “On the first day I got seven hugs from one girl, then 14 hugs the day after that…,” Leo said.</p><p class="p3"> “Not that you’re counting,” Keith Chappell said, as they both shared a laugh.</p><p class="p3"> Chappell said the district has been “amazing” in accommodating Leo in his first few days back at school. She said the support from students and teachers has also been humbling. </p><p class="p3"> Shortly after learning of Leo’s condition, several of his classmates took to social media, using the hashtags #prayforleo and #believeinblevins to show their support.</p><p class="p3"> Some students took their support even further, creating T-shirts to sell as a fundraiser for Leo and his family. The shirts were distributed by Auglaize Embroidery and were sold throughout the community. It is unknown at this time how much money was raised.</p><p class="p3"> This is just one of many examples that show the generosity Leo and his family received after the accident.</p><p class="p3"> “Everyone has been amazing, from people we know to people we don’t know,” Tiffanie Chappell said. “I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.”</p><p class="p3"> Chappell said two women she worked with even decorated her home with Christmas decor, bought the family presents and started fundraisers to help raise money for medical bills. </p><p class="p3"> Family, friends, the Village of Cridersville, community members, local businesses and the school district are all on the list of people they’d like to thank. </p><p class="p3"> “I firmly believe that without all the support and all the prayers we would not be where we are,” Chappell said. “We have a lot or praying and paying it forward to do.”</p><p class="p3"> Even complete strangers have shown their support for Leo and his family.</p><p class="p3"> “We went to Walmart this past Sunday and people we didn’t even know were coming up to us and asking how Leo is doing,” she said. </p><p class="p3"> While many people have shown kindness and financial support for the family in the months since the accident, there are two people in particular who may have helped save Leo’s life.</p><p class="p3"> Leo’s friends, Gage and Devon, were walking with him when he was struck. They immediately ran to the nearest house and had the owners call 911. They then sprinted to Leo’s house to inform his parents what had happened.</p><p class="p3"> “If they hadn’t reacted the way they did, Leo wouldn’t have made it,” Keith Chappell said. “They are the absolute first-responders.”</p><p class="p3"> As for the driver of the vehicle that struck Leo, the Chappells said they have never spoken to the individual. They said he did turn around and come back to the scene of the accident, but when he tried to say something to the Chappells at the scene, he was told to get away. </p><p class="p3"> It is unknown whether he will face legal repercussions for his role in the accident. </p><p class="p3"> “All we know is there was no alcohol involved,” Keith Chappell said. </p><p class="p3"> The Chappells said they hold no resentment toward the driver, and that they rarely even think about him.</p><p class="p3"> “I don’t have room for resentment,” Tiffanie Chappell said. “I don’t want to put those negative thoughts in my head. I’m just ecstatic to have Leo.” </p><p class="p3"> Now that Leo and his family are back home, Chappell said she is finally able to take a breath and reflect for the first time since the accident.</p><p class="p3"> “Until we actually came home there really wasn’t much time to let it all sink in,” she said. “Now I’m just overjoyed at his progress and just to have him here. I’m overwhelmed at the reception from everybody, and I’m also exhausted. We’re tired, but I’m just glad we can actually take a minute to breathe.”</p><p class="p3"> As a sense of normalcy begins to return at the Chappell household, Leo is focusing on his rehabilitation more than ever. </p><p class="p3"> Doctors have set weekly goals for Leo to accomplish and, as you might expect by now, he is constantly exceeding them.</p><p class="p3"> “The doctors wanted me to start walking four laps, and my mom wanted me to walk six laps, so I decided to walk eight,” Leo said. </p><p class="p3"> One of his weekly goals was to walk up and down the 14 steps that lead to his bedroom by this past Friday. </p><p class="p3"> Leo completed that goal on Monday.</p><p class="p3"> “He’s gone above and beyond every goal they set for him,” Chappell said. </p><p class="p3"> His next goal is to start walking without the use of a cane or walker. He hopes to meet this goal by Christmas, or at least by the time he goes back to school in January.</p><p class="p3"> Regardless if he meets this goal, Leo is leaps and bounds above where anyone thought he would be at this point in his recovery.</p><p class="p3"> “From the way my mom described it, I can tell I’m a lot better off than I’m supposed to be right now,” he said. “It’s great.”</p>Wapakoneta, OHJOHN BUSHBlevins on the mendWapakoneta Daily won’t be held down2014-12-20T13:08:03-05:002014-12-19T22:55:16-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span style="line-height: 1.25em; font-size: 12px;">She’s down in the post, under the basket. One dribble, holds the ball and shoots, but misses her shot. She fights for the rebound, that small, 5-foot-2 frame against that mammoth 6-footer, but while she’s at it, scrapping and fighting for that loose ball, she throws in an elbow for good measure. Right into the gut of that overbearing center.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Offensive rebound, dribble, shoot, score. Live to fight another day.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">This is the life of 15-year-old Ali Wayman, the girl who lives with lupus, but gives that deadly cancer a jab in the gut every once in a while. Just to buy enough time to live, make a difference and enjoy life. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">But for her, it’s more than just hanging on by a thread. The freshman from Wapakoneta High School wants people to know what lupus is and wants to make a difference while she still can." </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“I wanted to create an awareness about lupus right after I was diagnosed and knew what lupus was all about,” she said. “I wanted to do something to get the word out about this cancer."</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus — a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Ali was first diagnosed when she was six years old. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“She had a rash on her face and arms, and that day the dermatologist said ‘your daughter has lupus,’” said Ali’s mom, Cheryl.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Ali had a biopsy done and the doctors did a number of additional tests on her, the end result, she was indeed diagnosed with lupus within a 48-hour period.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Within a year of the diagnoses, she had developed Raynaud’s disease, which causes some areas of the body, primarily the fingers and toes, to feel numb and cold in response to cold temperatures or stress and limits blood circulation to affected areas. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">It was so bad that she would have to be wrapped up in blankets when she would come out of a hot shower to a room temperature bathroom, or from the inside of a school to just walking out in cold weather. The change in temperature would be too much for her body to take. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">In some cases, Ali could not breathe because blood flow to her heart would slow down or stop altogether. Chemotherapy helped iron out the aliment until something else comes up.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">She has also had lupus migraines and every day headaches, lung fibroses and recently, Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder in which the glands that produce tears and saliva is destroyed. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">She had a doctor tell her that her family should not plan past three years.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“I could not believe what I heard,” Cheryl said. “We ended up firing that doctor.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">The firing of that doctor ended up being justified seeing how Ali is seen sitting comfortably on the couch with her mom looking at the glow of their beautiful Christmas tree. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“People don’t always get it,” Cheryl said. “You might go out with your family after a chemo treatment, puking your guts and after a few days, you’re looking good. People think, ‘oh you look good’ and you’re thinking, ‘I just want to cut my throat, I feel so terrible,’ people don’t get it.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Ali has a Youtube video titled, “Lupus Awareness.” The video shows a then nine-year-old Ali dancing to the song “Healer” by Kari Jobe. The video is to help raise awareness. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“She won “Little Miss Ohio” with that dance with her platform being hurting, hope and happiness,” Cheryl said. “Her idea was, ‘I’ll make this video and people will know about this autoimmune disease and that there is not much cure for it.’”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Ali has never been in remission, but she continues to do what she loves doing, dancing. Ali dances some 15 hours at the Dance Centré on a weekly basis. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“I know how sick she is, but there are so many times when she doesn’t look sick,” Cheryl said. “But she still dances and she has a few fans too. My son, Drew, he is her biggest fan. When she won ‘Little Miss Ohio,’ Drew had the loudest standing ovation.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“He has never missed a dance competition,” Cheryl said. “They fight like cats and dogs, don’t get me wrong, but I mean, he wrote papers for college and he wrote that his sister is his most important person in his life.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Aside form her brother, Ali has had extensive support from friends, family and the community in her fight with lupus. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“You just take one day at a time and you pray that it’s going to be a good day and that God is going to take care of her,” said Cheryl. “But the reality is, someday, it won’t be that way. I do believe that God does have a plan for her though and that plan is maybe someday she will get her wish and make a difference toward lupus.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">When Ali was first diagnosed, she made a small book describing how she felt sick, went to the doctor and was diagnosed. However, her love for dancing has inspired her to not only fight for her and others with lupus, but also share her story with others in hopes of making a difference. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Aside from her book, which will be copied and sold, with proceeds going to various organizations, Ali will also serve as the spokesperson next year for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s website. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“A lot of people do not know about lupus so that’s why we want to get it out there,” she said. “And then the more we get it out there, it will open people’s eyes.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Every three months, Ali goes to Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati for various treatments. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">But the mission remains, just take it day-by-day. There is no timetable of how long she will live, so doctors tell her to keep fighting every day. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“For her to look as good as she is now, and still be able to do what she can do, this is a gleam of hope for children,” Cheryl said. “When you’re a kid and you hear that kind of news about your life, that’s scary. But she is nine years behind that day now.</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“Children we have met are looking at the here and now reality where we as parents see toward the future. She hopes to be the person who can help those children overcome their fears of ‘will I ever leave the hospital again, will my friends still be there if I do get to come home?’”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Ali wants to raise money with help from Children’s Hospital, the Lupus Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network, who has helped her raise awareness through the Miss America Pageants. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“People think it’s just a beauty pageant, but it is so much more than that,” Cheryl said. “They are giving her a place to come in and truly be special, so that somebody will look at her and listen to what she has to say.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">Her family will do a raffle contest in the beginning of the year, host a golf outing and raise money by selling her books. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">The money will go toward Cincinnati Children Hospital’s Lupus Research and Children Miracle Network. </span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">“I always look at the positive side,” Ali said. “I always put away my troubles that I have with lupus and just think of all the good things that are coming for me with all my friends and those who support me. I just try not to think about having lupus.”</span></p><p class="p3"> <span class="s1">And occasionally, when she needs to, she’ll throw that elbow in there in order to fight another day.</span></p>Wapakoneta, OHJAKE DOWLINGTeen won’t be held downWapakoneta Daily enters plea deal2014-12-20T09:39:21-05:002014-12-19T22:49:13-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">After initially pleading innocent to 15 charges, including eight illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance counts, a Wapakoneta man has entered a plea negotiation Friday in front of Common Pleas Court Judge Frederick Pepple.</span></p><p class="p3"> Bernard Carver, 65, currently being held at the Auglaize County Jail, attended a change of plea hearing with his attorney Gerald Siesel by his side. Siesel and Auglaize County Prosecuting Attorney Benjamin Elder hashed out a deal dropping charges seven through 15 of the indictment, which included two of the aforementioned nudity-oriented material or performance charges and seven charges of voyeurism. </p><p class="p3"> Counts one through four are felonies of the third-degree, with a maximum jail sentence of 36 months for each count and a $10,000 fine. Counts five and six are felonies of the fifth degree with each count punishable by up to a year in prison with a maximum fine of $2,500. With all counts together, the state is asking the court that Carver serve consecutive sentences, meaning he will serve 14 years in prison.</p><p class="p3"> “Basically, counts one, two, three and four can be up to 12 years in prison and as much as a $40,000 fine,” Pepple said. “With the additions of counts five and six, the fine will be a total of $45,000.”</p><p class="p3"> There will also be a mandatory five-year post-control sentence if Carver were to serve his 14-year sentence and will have to register for 25 years as a tier II sex offender.</p><p class="p3"> The hearing for his sentencing has yet to be announced. </p><p class="p3"> Carver was arrested on the early morning of Sept. 29. A camera was hidden in the bathroom facing the shower as Carver filmed his step-daughter and her four children, all ranging from the ages of three to five. Police were dispatched when a family member discovered the camera and saw a tape inside. Once she viewed it and saw the explicit material, she confronted Carver, who admitted to placing the camera in the bathroom.  </p><p class="p3"> The family, who was not present, has no objections to the negotiated resolution.</p>Wapakoneta, OHJAKE DOWLINGCarver enters plea dealWapakoneta Daily drives intersection changes2014-12-19T12:29:52-05:002014-12-19T12:29:52-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <span class="s1">Wednesday night’s accident involving two vehicles in the intersection of Stinebaugh Drive and Lincoln Avenue, has forced Wapakoneta Safety and Service Director Bill Rains to consider making changes at the intersection in order to make it safer for drivers. </span></p><p class="p1"> <span class="s1">“I don’t know what the accident numbers are, but I am sure they are higher than a typical four-way intersection,” he said. “But I did talk to the police chief and he has offered something that we might be able to do. The electric superintendent is coming back here so I think we are going to try to change the timing on the lights.</span></p><p class="p1"> <span class="s1">The intersection is complicated. Six different ways come together, with several traffic lights struggling to keep drivers organized, becoming one of the busiest intersections in town the last few years. </span></p><p class="p1"> <span class="s1">The intersection is De</span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">fiance Street coming from the south, Cole Drive from the east, Hamilton Road from the west, and about 10 to 20 yards ahead are three more ways with two streets separated like a “V” shape. Those are state Route 501, or Lincoln Avenue, as it veers off to the northeast and Defiance Street tilts northwest, also known as state Route 198. In addition, another street meeting state Route 501 is Stinebaugh Drive, which creeps in from the east of state Route 501, and has its own separate traffic light.</span></p><p class="p1"> <span class="s1">Got all that?</span></p><p class="p1"> <span class="s1">“This is the first time someone has brought an incident like this to me,” Rains said. “And we try to react as fast as we can. But I think we have found something that will help.”</span></p><p class="p1"> <span class="s1">Rains doesn’t know if he has the ability to change the timing of the lights or if the trafficking engineer has to come to the city. If the city can do it itself, Rains believes he and city workers can get the lights changed as early as today. </span></p><p class="p1"> <span class="s1">“We do have the authority, even on our state routes, to do some things,” he said. “And certainly in the name of safety, we’ll look at that.”</span></p><p class="p1"> <span class="s1">Changing the timing of the traffic lights may just be enough to avoid another accident such as Wednesday night’s.</span></p><p class="p1"> <span class="s1">A two-vehicle crash that occurred on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Stinebaugh Drive left both vehicles with disabling damage, but both drivers were unharmed. Neither were cited.</span></p><p class="p1"> <span class="s1">According to the Wapakoneta Police Department, when contacted by the Wapakoneta Daily News, one driver cleared the pathway on a yellow light heading toward Lincoln Avenue, but the driver also had a green light on Stinebaugh. In essence, two cars were moving at the same time in the intersection. </span></p><p class="p1"> <span class="s1">Therefore, the timing of the lights apparently is not allowing all parties of the intersection to properly clear the area before a light from another street would turn green, opening the door for several cars moving in different directions of the intersection.</span></p><p class="p1"> <i style="font-family: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: 1.25em;">For a complete story, see the Friday, Dec. 19, edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.</i></p>Wapakoneta, OHJAKE DOWLINGCrash drives intersection changesWapakoneta Daily pupils help El Salvadorans go to school2014-12-19T12:24:26-05:002014-12-19T12:24:26-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News The ability to gain a free education is something many students in the U.S. take for granted, but in the country of El Salvador, public school is often a recruitment tool for local gangs and private school is expensive.</p><p class="p1"> That’s why Maggie Herbst, a Title I reading teacher at Wapakoneta Elementary School, decided to create a fundraiser that allowed students to bring in coins that will be sent to El Salvador to help students pay for a private school education.</p><p class="p1"> “The country of El Salvador is very violent and to go to a public school means you’re going to end up in a gang,” Herbst said. “The public schools are run by gangs and the government can’t control it, so the only opportunity for kids to go to school and have a really nice future is to go to a private school.”</p><p class="p1"> Herbst explained that going to a private school means they have to pay for tuition, uniforms, school supplies and other materials, which most families cannot afford to do. </p><p class="p1"> The fundraiser took place during the school’s Right to Read week, which ran from Dec. 8-12.</p><p class="p1"> Each morning, students could bring in whatever coins they had to Herbst’s room. </p><p class="p1"> At the end of the week, Herbst said they raised $135.71, which was taken to the bank and converted into a check that will be sent directly to a specific private school in El Salvador. </p><p class="p1"> Although there was no real incentive for the children to bring in coins, Herbst said holding an assembly to show students what it is like to be a child in El Salvador was enough for the students to want to help.</p><p class="p1"> <i>For a complete story, see the Friday, Dec. 19, edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.</i></p>Wapakoneta, OHJOHN BUSHWES pupils help El Salvadorans go to schoolWapakoneta Daily do more than light the way2014-12-19T12:17:56-05:002014-12-19T12:17:19-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News In the past, lanterns have lit up streets and guided those who traveled by night. These days, however, they are becoming more of a want than a need.</p><p class="p1"> “In the last couple years, it seems they have really taken off as a home interior decorator item,” said Mick Haehn, owner of Haehn Florist & Greenhouses.</p><p class="p1"> Haehn’s shop, located at 410 Hamilton Road, has a variety of lanterns for sale. They range from large to small, indoor to outdoor and metal to wood. There are also several colors and motifs to choose from, such as a verdigris, which is “an outdoor mossy look,” he said.</p><p class="p1"> “We’ve got some unusual shaped ones too,” Haehn said, <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">pointing out a pyramid shaped lantern. </span></p><p class="p1"> Housed within the opaque glass walls of the lantern are lights, which give it a “star burst effect,” when lit, he said.</p><p class="p1"> “There’s some lanterns with no glass at all, where you can decorate inside and let it spill out and put whatever you want in it,” Haehn said.</p><p class="p1"> The lanterns range anywhere from $20 to $150.</p><p class="p1"> The store also sells electric candles to put inside the lanterns, most of which have four or eight hour timers. Some of the electric candles even look like they have a burning wick.</p><p class="p1"> Decorative lanterns came onto the scene about five years ago, and the store has been selling them for about three or four years. Haehn said they sell well. </p><p class="p1"> “We have a lot of customers looking for the decorative ones, so that’s why we try to find the unusual ones,” he said. “You can find a lot of just the straight steel ones — flat steel and a little bit of glass — about anywhere, but we’re trying to find something that’s a little more unusual that we can market as a home decorator piece.”</p>Wapakoneta, OHCASSAUNDRA SMITHLanterns do more than light the wayWapakoneta Daily School names top speller2014-12-18T12:19:40-05:002014-12-18T12:19:40-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News  </p><div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">How good are your spelling skills? </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Probably not as good as seventh-grader Rhiannon Phillips of Wapakoneta Middle School. In fact, her spelling skills are so good, she is competing against other students outside of Wapakoneta at the district level after winning the WMS Spelling Bee Wednesday against 26 other students. </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">“I was excited that I won, but I am also nervous for the district competition,” Phillips said. “But I’m going to study for that and see what words are going to be hard for me.” </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Phillips will now compete in Lima for the district spelling bee and if she advances from there, she will compete at the state level and possibly at the national level as well. </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">“We have, as a district his- torically, had spellers that have gone to way, deep into the competition,” said WMS Principal Wes Newland.“We have some good spellers out there.” </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Nevertheless, Philips did not just win any spelling bee competition at her school, she is competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Headquartered in Cincinnati, the competition coordinates the national finals, produces word lists and study materials, works with local spelling bee sponsors and enrolls schools on a year-round basis. </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">The champion of each local spelling bee school’s program </span></span><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">qualifies for participation in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. The ultimate award for winning the </span><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em; color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">competition is a spelling bee sponsorship. </span></p> <p> <span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22); font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">During the fall and winter, schools will conduct spelling bee pro- grams at the classroom, grade, and/or school level and then will send their spelling champions to the next level of competition, such as the district level and then eventually the state level.</span></p> <p style="font-style: normal; font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> <span style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12px; color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">According to the national Spelling Bee website, students prepare for local spelling bees us- ing a variety of materials provided by Scripps and Merriam-Webster. The program is open to stu- dents who have neither turned 16 years of age, nor passed beyond the eighth grade, and who attend schools that officially en- rolled with the program for the current academic year, such as Wapakoneta Middle School.</span></span></span></p> <p style="font-style: normal; font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> <span style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12px; color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">The Scripps National Spelling Bee is televised on ESPN.</span></span></span></p> <p>  </p> <p style="font-style: normal; font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"> <span style="font-size: 12px;"><span style="font-size: 12px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 12px; color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">Phillips studied every day for about a month. The contestants get two lists, and they study those two lists every day. There are 296 words on the lists. She would have a friend study with her one week </span></span></span><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22); font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">and then she studied with two more students on her team another week. </span></p> </div> <div class="column"> <div class="column"> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">She was a runner-up two years ago. </span></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">“I am exceedingly proud,” Newland said. “ We had a long number of participants for our spelling bee but in order to do that, they had their homeroom or language arts classes in which they had competitions there, so I am proud of the number of the kids who took the opportunity. I’m proud of those folks who competed on stage today.” </span></span></span></p> <p> <em><font color="#161616" face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif">For a complete story, see the Thursday, Dec. 18 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News. </font></em></p> </div> </div></div>Wapakoneta, OHJAKE DOWLINGMiddle School names top spellerWapakoneta Daily, students helping veterans2014-12-18T12:08:22-05:002014-12-18T12:08:22-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">A local veterans organization will host its annual Christmas program at the Dayton VA Medical Center this Saturday, Dec. 20. And students at Wapakoneta Middle School will help. </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Freedom’s Colors, which is based in Auglaize County, has been putting on this event for the last 16 years in the nursing home located in the Alzheimer’s ward at the VA. Wapakoneta Middle School has been part of the program for the past 11 years, raising money for the program. </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Ralph Reynolds, chairman of Freedom’s Colors, said it’s especially im- portant they put on this program for veterans suf- fering from Alzheimer’s because they don’t have much contact with the outside world. </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">“These are patients that don’t have a lot of family, and for most of them it’s their final resting stop,” Reynolds said. “It’s a lock down ward so they don’t get out much. The VA has a lot of programs that most everyone in the facility can go to, but Alzheimer’s patients don’t have that.” </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">The program will begin at noon with a Christmas dinner of ham, turkey, <span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22); line-height: 1.25em;">dressing, rolls, pie and more. After dinner, Freedom’s Colors will present each veteran with a gift bag full of clothing.</span></span></span></p> <div class="column"> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">If they have extra funds, Reynolds said they will also buy the veterans a nice dress shirt they can wear on the rare occasions they are able to go out. </span></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">While most of the presents are placed inside a decorated Christmas bag, Reynolds said they always wrap at least one gift for the veterans to open. </span></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">When they have finished opening their presents, a group of singers from Michigan, Dayton and Indiana will sing Christmas carols. </span></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">The program ends with Freedom’s Colors mem- bers playing Bingo with the veterans. </span></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">Reynolds said that, although Freedom’s Colors hosts the event, they are simply “facilitators” who rely on the community for donations. Without the help of generous donors, Reynolds said the program couldn’t exist. </span></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">“We couldn’t do any of this without the support of the community,” he said. “They’re the ones who make it happen, we just facilitate it. They’re making it happen for our veterans who are unable to do much for themselves because they are in the hospital.” </span></span></span></p> <p> <em><font color="#161616" face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif">For a complete story, see the Thursday, Dec. 18 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News. </font></em></p> </div></div>Wapakoneta, OHJOHN BUSHGroups, students helping veteransWapakoneta Daily pay it forward2014-12-20T00:51:38-05:002014-12-18T12:00:34-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News <div class="section"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Seven Wapakoneta High School athletes spent some time reading to second-graders at Wapakoneta Elementary on Wednesday afternoon. </span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:12px;">The books they read were given to the school by a non-profit organization called The 2nd and 7 Foundation. According to its website, the foundation was started in 1999 by three former Ohio State </span></span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">University football players, Luke Fickell, Ryan Miller and Mike Vrabel. The foundation has grown from helping seven second-grade classrooms </span><span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">to thousands of second-graders each year.</span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="section"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Its mission is to “pro<span style="line-height: 1.25em;">mote reading by providing free books and positive role models to kids in need, while encouraging </span><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22); line-height: 1.25em;">young athletes of the community to pay it forward.” Each second-grade student receives a book, all of which are written and published by the foundation. On Wednesday, the seven athletes each read to a different second grade class.</span></span></span></p> <div class="column"> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">Ethan Good read a </span><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22); line-height: 1.25em;">book titled “The Hog Mollies and the Zooming, Zackle Zoit,” to Mrs. Diane Sammons’ class of 20 or so students. Before starting, he introduced himself as a basketball and soccer player and asked students if they enjoyed reading, to which several replied ‘yes.’</span></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">Throughout the telling of the story, Good interacted with the students, showing them the pictures on the pages and prompting them to guess what would happen next. </span></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">After reading, he an</span><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22); line-height: 1.25em;">wered questions from the students like, “what grade are you in?” and “what do you like to do for fun?”</span></span></span></p> <div class="column"> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">Other student athletes participating were Keaton Metz, Megan Place, Collin Lenhart and Sam Hinegardner, who read the same book as Good, along with Griffin Parrett, who read a book titled, “The Hog Mollies and the Rocky Relay Race” and Kaitlin Snider, who read “The Hog Mollies and the Camp Carmen Campfire.” </span></span></span></p> <p> <span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:12px;"><span style="color: rgb(22, 22, 22);">This is the second year the 2nd and 7 Foundation has provided all Wapakoneta City School second-graders with free books, Library Media Coordinator Joan Kentner said. Cridersville Elementary students will be read to by high school athletes at a later date. </span></span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div></div>Wapakoneta, OHCASSAUNDRA SMITHAthletes pay it forwardWapakoneta Daily bond changed in rape case2014-12-17T11:32:06-05:002014-12-17T11:31:18-05:00Copyright 2011 Wapakoneta Daily News COLUMBUS — The bond for Charles Wycuff, the man accused of sexually abusing a minor, was modified by a visiting judge from the Ohio Supreme Court Tuesday during a hearing at the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. </p><p class="p1"> Wycuff’s bond, which was originally set at $500,000 by Auglaize County Judge Fred Pepple, was changed to $750,000 with a 10 percent cash provision by Judge Dale Crawford. If Wycuff pays $75,000 in cash or as a surety bond, he will be released from the Franklin County Jail and put under house arrest at his residence in Wapakoneta.</p><p class="p1"> As part of the judge’s ruling, Wycuff is allowed to work from home provided he does not leave the residence for any reason. Wycuff is the owner of C&C Weld Fabrication, a metal fabrication company based in Wapakoneta. </p><p class="p1"> He is also to have no contact with the alleged victim in this case, any potential witnesses, or co-defendant Lori Anderson. </p><p class="p1"> If Wycuff is able to post bond, he is ordered to return home within 90 minutes of his release from jail.</p><p class="p1"> It was noted during the hearing that Wycuff’s home contained “a large group of weapons,” which Wycuff’s lawyer Eric Allen said were removed from the residence by a friend of the defendant. Allen said he and his client would welcome the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office or any other law enforcement agency to search the home to make sure all weapons were removed.</p><p class="p1"> Wycuff is charged with <span style="font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.25em;">31 counts of rape, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, 15 counts of sexual battery and one count of pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor, which are all felonies. The offenses allegedly involved Anderson’s son, who was around 12 years old at the time, and stem from acts committed in 1997, 1998 and 1999. He has pleaded innocent to all charges. </span></p><p class="p1"> Anderson, who has been suspended without pay from her job as a first grade teacher at Cridersville Elementary School, has pleaded innocent to 12 counts of rape, 10 counts of sexual battery and one count each of gross sexual imposition and obstructing justice, which are all felonies. She is also charged with obstructing official business, which is a misdemeanor. Her offenses all stem from June 1999. She has been out on bond since Nov. 10. </p><p class="p1"> <i style="font-family: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: 1.25em;">For a complete story, see the Wednesday, Dec. 17, edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.</i></p>Wapakoneta, OHJOHN BUSHWycuff bond changed in rape caseWapakoneta Daily