April 2021

Car crash

Costly diversions

More and more people get behind the wheels of cars these days with a phone or a sandwich in hand — or in any number of other attention-hogging situations — and give less and less of their concentration to driving safely.

From mere property damage to ruining — or ending — lives, some of those costs are easier to figure out than others. According to a survey of electric cooperatives in Ohio, for example, it costs $2,576, on average, to replace a pole that has been damaged in a car crash. Generally, that’s paid by the driver’s insurance, but not always. There are other costs, too. 

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Cleveland for kids

Cleveland’s wide variety of kid-friendly attractions, plus its affordability and easy access, equals an outstanding package of experiences for all ages. 

A Christmas Story House and Museum

Stroke the leg lamp like Ralphie did or crawl under the kitchen sink like Randy — or mimic any number of scenes from the iconic movie at the house where it was made. “There’s even Lifebuoy soap in the bathroom,” says owner Brian Jones.

Lineworker

Lines of appreciation

April 12 is Lineworker Appreciation Day, when we take time to honor the bravery and dedication of the people who do the dangerous work of keeping our lights on every day.

It’s easy to take the luxury and convenience of electricity for granted. It’s invisible and so reliably available that we seldom give it a second thought. Even after the devastation of those southern Ohio ice storms, we took comfort in knowing that once our workers got the lines restored, those lights would go right back on, thanks to a reliable source of electricity.

Ohio accent map

Say what?

Do you say “crick” or “creek”? “Mom” or “mahm”? How about “wash” or “warsh”? Your answers can pinpoint which part of the state you’re from.

“Individual cities and areas develop their own ways of speaking,” Campbell-Kibler says. “Some small changes start locally and then spread, but other changes begin in, say, Toledo and do not happen anywhere else.”

Let’s take a closer look at how Ohioans speak. 

Ohio’s Midland accent

Read this sentence out loud: It will be a merry day when Mary agrees to marry John.

Fullenkamp family

In the blink of a fly

It was a sunny, clear-blue-sky day on June 16, 2018. It also was a day that would forever change the lives of Leah Fullenkamp and her family. 

While he was driving his tractor on the roadway, a distracted driver — shopping on her phone and, based on crash reconstruction analysis, distracted for a full 16 seconds — plowed into the tractor and took John’s life. 

From that moment, everything changed. John’s death left Leah to raise their children, ranging in age from 8 months old to 9 years, by herself. “I lost my husband, my partner, and the father of my children,” Leah says. “Life got hard — really hard — and it happened instantly.”

Guy Denny with pigeon

Life with pigeons

Most men, believing ourselves invincible at one time or another in our lives, can think back to boyhood and remember doing at least one thing so incredibly dangerous that we were lucky to survive. Consolidated Cooperative member Guy Denny is no exception.

After dark one night, he and a young buddy climbed out on the massive, metal I-beams that support the bridge. There, beneath the bridge, with cars whizzing past just a few feet overheard, his buddy shined a flashlight beam into the eyes of the mesmerized pigeons while Denny grabbed them one by one and shoved the birds into a burlap bag. The boys’ poke was nearly full when Denny reached for one last bird — a beautiful, nearly pure-white pigeon — and promptly lost his footing on the bridge.

Renee Powell

Setting her own course

Work hard. Be twice as good. Don’t let anyone else define you. Find your way around obstacles.”

The life lessons that Bill Powell instilled in his daughter, Renee Powell, were sharpened with his boots on the ground … and his golf shoes on the course. 

Tenacity to get the job done

Working nights as a security guard, Bill would return home at dawn and get to work. Using hand tools and pulling a mower with an old Army Jeep, he transformed a former dairy farm near Canton into a nine-hole public course that he opened to all. It later expanded to 18 holes. Named a National Historic Site by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Clearview is still the only golf course in the country designed, built, owned, and operated by an African American.

Roadside crew with danger sign

Danger zones

The constant presence of road crews, traffic cones, and orange barrels on Ohio highways, byways, and township roads is a way of life for Ohio drivers.

In the wee morning hours of Aug. 28, 2019, a line crew from Lancaster-based South Central Power Company was called to address a power hazard along State Route 73 near Hillsboro. An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper guarded the zone while the crew established a new traffic path for drivers, setting cones and putting caution lights in place. As the linemen were about to begin work, the trooper confirmed that the work site met construction zone safety standards and headed out.

Box turtle

Life in the slow lane

Looking like a miniature army helmet with legs, box turtles are unique in that they are the most terrestrial of Ohio’s nearly one dozen turtle species.

Alan Walter of Carrollton has extensively studied the box turtles living on his property in eastern Ohio. Walter owns a 150-acre tree farm in Harrison County that he manages for timber and wildlife, so he has spent countless hours in the woods over the past 30 years.