Was that a bed bug on my couch? This app has the answer
By JOHN SEEWER
Sunday, December 30
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Just the thought of a bed bug infestation is enough to make you start scratching and tossing out furniture.
A new app created by a researcher at Ohio State University has the answers and information on what to do next.
The app funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set up as one-stop information source for everything bed bugs. There are guides for identifying and getting rid of them along with tips for travelers.
Susan Jones, an entomologist at Ohio State, said the app was needed because there’s a lot of misinformation out there about the critters.
“If you don’t know anything about an organism, then you are sort of at the mercy of that creature,” said Jones, who has been studying bed bugs for about 10 years.
The app works on Android and iOS devices and can be found by searching “bed bug field guide.”
Bed bugs can cause instant panic, but few people really know how to spot them or what to do, she said.
There are right ways and wrong ways to get rid of them, she said, noting that most store-bought chemicals advertised as ways to eradicate bed bugs don’t work. It’s a job that should be handled by professionals, Jones said.
Too often, people who can’t afford to pay someone, try to do it themselves, she said.
A year ago, a woman accidentally started a fire while trying to kill bed bugs with rubbing alcohol at a multi-family home in Cincinnati that left people homeless.
That’s just one — extreme — example of what can go wrong.
Michael Potter, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky, said bed bugs have been making a major resurgence and that while most people think of them when traveling, they are most often found in houses and apartments.
The cost of eliminating bed bugs, Jones said, is a reason they continue to be a problem. They can reproduce quickly, can hide from floor to ceiling, and they’re nocturnal, she said.
“You don’t know where they’re hiding,” Jones said.
Associated Press writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus contributed to this report.
Women known as ‘the church ladies’ bring comfort inside jail
By J SWYGART
The Lima News
LIMA, Ohio (AP) — They’re known around the Allen County jail simply as “The Church Ladies.” Like clockwork, they arrive each Thursday morning and go through doors most women hope to never enter.
They go through metal detectors and up the elevator, into a small, non-descript room containing little more than a table and a dozen or so chairs.
A short time later, another group of women is escorted into the room. They’re all wearing the same black and gray-striped, county-issue jail uniforms. They’re doing time behind bars, but for a brief moment — for an hour or more on Thursday mornings — these women do their best set their real life problems aside.
The Church Ladies are here, and it’s time to laugh, cry and rejoice.
The Church Ladies are Barbara Ward, Jean Foy and Marie Keys. They’ve been ministering to women in jail in Allen County for a long, long time. All told, the three women have more than 90 years of jailhouse ministry under their collective belts.
Representing no individual church or denomination, they comprise the New Beginnings Ministry.
Ward, 73, the unofficial leader of the group, said she has been “doing this for more than 40 years, starting at the ‘old’ county jail,” where she would go every Tuesday night to offer hope and encouragement to female inmates.
Foy, 71, is in her 22nd year of ministering to prisoners, while Keys, 80, laughed and said, “I’ve been doing this longer than Jean.”
On a recent Thursday morning, a dozen inmates entered the makeshift chapel at the jail. Their attendance was voluntary, and most (admittedly not all) seemed genuinely excited to be there.
On their way into the meeting room, several of the inmates stopped to hug the older women who were there to minister to them. Smiles were prevalent all around.
One inmate was serving a 120-day jail sentence for a drunk driving offense. She described the chapel session as the highlight of her week.
As the inmates took their seats around a U-shaped table, Keys announced the morning would start with a prayer, followed by a song. When some of the inmates joked about their inability to carry a tune, Keys replied, “The Bible doesn’t say we have to make it sound good; it just says, ‘Praise the Lord.’”
The women laughed, and then, standing with their hands joined, began to pray.
Then it was time to sing. And by the second verse of “This is the Day the Lord Has Made,” the women were clapping and sporting huge smiles as they belted out “We are going to rejoice in the Lord.”
Several of the women were crying, but their tears on this morning were far removed from the sorrows that led them to the dreary penal institution in the first place. Instead, the tears stemmed from a feeling of love and joy that was impossible to ignore in the small, stark room.
Bible study is an informal part of the weekly sessions, with the inmates often taking the lead. One young woman read a verse from the book of Psalms she found particularly heart-warming. Another read from the book of Philippians.
Between readings, Keys encouraged the women to become affiliated with a church — any church — upon their release from jail.
Information from: The Lima News, http://www.limanews.com
Therapy pony in training brings out smiles around Ohio town
By SAMANTHA ICKES
The Massillon Independent
Saturday, December 29
NAVARRE, Ohio (AP) — When Frankie hopped out of the back of his owner’s vehicle, Capt. Chad Shetler of the Navarre Police Department thought, at first, he was a St. Bernard.
As the fluffy, brown-and-white creature trotted closer to him, he realized Frankie is a miniature horse.
Cheyenne Link lives in Sugar Creek Township, just outside of Navarre, southwest of Canton. She purchased Frankie on Dec. 1 with plans of training him to be a therapy pony. For that to happen, the first steps are to teach him to follow commands and to socialize him with other people.
After a successful visit at a Tractor Supply Co. store, Link thought she would drop by the police station to say hello.
“I kind of laughed when she came in,” Shetler said. “This is the first that a pony has been in the police department.”
Growing up on a farm instilled a love for animals in Link. Many of her neighbors owned horses, and she developed a love for horses before she could walk, she said.
Now 20, Link took riding lessons for four years and got her first horse, a thoroughbred mare, after graduating from Navarre Fairless High School in 2017. Six months ago, Link looked into getting a miniature horse.
That became reality when Laura Massie, of Tranquility Acres in Wooster, learned late one evening that Link was looking for a mini. After messaging Link the details over social media, the two met, and Frankie soon was off to his new home.
Massie doesn’t typically get on Facebook at night, but when she saw Link’s call-out, she decided to send her photos of the 5-month-old pony. Massie, who had been looking to sell the horse, called it “a God thing” that they were brought together.
She initially tried to sell the horse through an auctioneer, but that fell through. After speaking with Link, she knew Frankie would have a good home.
“It was kind of a gut feeling,” Massie said. “I’ve been in the horse business most of my life, and I always tell people to ‘go with your gut.’ I just have a good feeling about it.”
When Link first took Frankie to the Tractor Supply Co. store, she loved seeing the smiles on the faces of children and adults alike. She was surprised at how quickly Frankie adapted to his surroundings.
Part of being a therapy animal requires the animal not to be frightened easily. Frankie didn’t hesitate at the sliding-glass doors and didn’t flinch when small children ran up to pet him.
“He fits the bill for everything I was looking for,” Link said. “He’s making it super easy to train him. His personality matches everything I could ask for.”
Frankie has a calm disposition, which has made it easy for Link to bond with him. When it’s time to go for a ride, Frankie hops into the back of a green Honda CR-V — with a little assistance because of his short legs. When it’s time to visit someone, he hops down and follows alongside Link.
“He’s a very fast learner,” Link said. “Usually one time showing it to him, and he’s got it.”
Long-term goals for Frankie include training him to go into nursing homes and children’s hospitals. While there’s no stipulations on taking him into a nursing home, Frankie will need similar training to that of a service dog to enter a children’s hospital.
Frankie will need to learn to sit on command and follow any orders Link might give him. Because he’s still young, Link said, she is working with basic training, such as following her.
Link has been working with another horse owner who has trained therapy horses. Properly training a horse can take as long as three years. Link, however, is excited for the journey and the memories to be made along the way.
“It’s so much fun,” she said. “I enjoy it. He brings smiles to people’s faces. That’s what I want to do with my animals, and something I’m very excited to do with him.”
Information from: The Independent, http://www.indeonline.com
Ohio bill would set 18 as minimum age to marry in most cases
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The minimum age to marry in Ohio would be 18 with few exceptions if Republican Gov. John Kasich signs a bill sent to him this week by lawmakers with bipartisan support.
The current minimum is 18 for males but 16 for females if their parents allow it. The Dayton Daily News has reported judges also approved exceptions for marriages involving dozens of younger, pregnant teens between 2000 and 2015.
The new legislation still would let 17-year-olds wed someone up to four years older if a juvenile court approves and they wait two weeks. It also requires documentation of age from anyone seeking a marriage license.
Advocate Jeanne Smoot of the nonprofit Tahirih Justice Center tells the newspaper the bill is a “major step” to guard against abuse and exploitation.
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com
Ohio minimum wage set to rise by 25 cents an hour in 2019
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s hourly minimum wage is about to rise again, with the rate going up by 25 cents an hour Tuesday from $8.30 to $8.55.
Workers who receive tips will get a wage increase from $4.15 an hour to $4.30.
Ohio voters approved the annual adjustments in a 2006 constitutional amendment.
Policy Matters Ohio, a liberal think tank based in Cleveland, calculates that the new minimum wage will be worth about 72 percent of what the federal minimum wage was worth in 1968. In today’s dollars, the 1968 wage would be worth $11.83.
Ohio is one of 18 states adjusting wages in 2019. The federal wage rate of $7.25 an hour will remain in effect next year.