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Big hearts better than big cities

Many people talk about the desire to live in a big city. While we may sight some advantages like shopping, restaurants and a variety of entertainment possibilities that are readily located in big cities, I wonder, is bigger really better?

Our local schools have classes that graduate 40 to 140 students and while I graduated from a bigger class size of 440 plus, my wife, whom I met while in the military, came from a very big city, Boston, and there are indeed many fascinating things located there.

We married and settled in rural West Liberty 35 plus years ago.

Still that question: Is bigger always better? I believe, merits a closer look. What do you gain and what is the potential cost of moving to a small community? Is bigger better?

Maybe not.

In small communities when someone sneezes, someone hears and someone always cares.

My brother, Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and you do wonder about treatments and hospitals and other concerns for the family.

And so, one evening I received a call from Victor Klingelhofer, a small businessman that owns Vic’s Country Cookin’, asking me if I knew a Randy McGill, to which I answered, yes, he is my little brother. Victor would go on to say, “I heard he is having it tough.” I responded, ‘yes, he has cancer and is in a fight.’ Victor had already talked to Curt Roach, who owns C&R Pharmacy and they had worked together to help others before.

Victor said we would like to do something to help out the family. They had already started to formulate a plan.

So two small business owners, one from West Liberty and one from DeGraff, wanted to help, they cared and they put that caring into action. They made calls, placed ads, spread the word, enlisted help and set a date.

And so from little villages they came and from places further out they journeyed. More people than we could have imagined. They stood in line at Vic’s wagon and Curt served by refilling the cooler for drinks. All sorts of people pitched in to help, people stood in a line that did not slow down for four hours. People stood and stood and stood and some brought their loved one in wheelchairs. They encouraged us just by showing up, and my parents, both in their 80s, were emotionally moved and amazed that in a little town so many showed they cared.

The fire department donated space, equipment and labor. People moved tables, some Lions Club members served, some sold cookies and all shared. Curt carried supplies and Victor and his family cooked and people ate and smiled and laughed and loved.

It was big! So yes, bigger is better, and in small towns where hearts are so very big, at least so it seems to the McGill Family, it is better.

Thank you to all the churches that prayed and continue to pray and a big thanks to all for whatever came from your hearts.

The whole McGill Family of West Liberty.

Matt. 25:36

Michael McGill

West Liberty

Last Updated on Monday, 07 July 2014

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Mary Rutan Hospital is asset to community

I recently had a 10-day stay at Mary Rutan Hospital. I was sent to the emergency room from Maple Leaf Family Medicine. Upon arrival I was greeted professionally and urgently which set the tone for the remainder of my day.

I was treated with sincere care from everyone I came in contact with; from the nurses, doctors and all of the support staff. I would like to thank the entire staff and remind our community what a great asset we have here in Logan County.

Jim Bouldin, CEO

Hilliker YMCA

Last Updated on Monday, 07 July 2014

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Meals on Wheels drivers play valuable role

To the voters of Logan County and interested individuals, sometimes we are given a chance to make things right and this is a time. Transportation and Meals on Wheels are two programs that we need to keep, as we get older and have to depend on others. These were programs that not only helped seniors to appointments but also gave a hot meal a day. The smiles and caring by all Meals on Wheels drivers plus that of transportation drivers. As drivers you got to know the seniors and relate to their habits. It was a way of checking on seniors and if something was wrong we, as drivers, could report it. This let seniors be more independent.

Here we are, Meals on Wheels drivers without jobs and we are seniors ourselves trying to make ends meet. If you were asked to give suggestions you were only criticized. Were we treated equal? The answer is no. You’re not allowed to speak to the other drivers, you have to obey, but enough is enough. If transportation cannot have Meals on Wheels in their building, then there should be something that can be done. Just do not sweep us under the rug and not be responsible.

Donald Ennis

Russells Point

Jane Adams McKee

Bellefontaine

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 May 2014

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Dementia patients can avoid unnecessary suffering at end of life

One day in April 2004 my husband of 45 years, L. Howard Moss, III, laid down for a nap, woke up, did not know who I was, and never knew again.

This was our abrupt entrance into the world of dementia. Not Alzheimer’s, with its slow development; dementia of a different cause, but the eventual progression was the same. The neurologists could advise us only that he would never regain what was lost.

I became a caregiver in an instant and threw myself into providing him all the warmth and safety and bits of happiness I could, and at first, he could manage simple self-care tasks.

However, my highly educated scientist husband not only did not know his wife and family — this condition is called “Capgras syndrome” — but he had also lost what are called “higher functions.” In other words, he was unable to understand even simple things, such as how to make a telephone call or turn on a radio.

Even in his illness, he put forth the “mask of sanity” we humans use to face others; he was docile and cooperative, but I slowly came to realize how he suffered, not knowing and unable to learn who the people around him were and their intentions toward him.

I was able to caregive for four years as his abilities declined, but when I could no longer meet his needs I was forced to place him in a facility which cared only for dementia patients. And for four more years, I observed almost daily what he and the other patients experienced on their descents to eventual death. A psychiatrist rendered his pharmacologic services, attempting to soften the anxieties and confusions and terrors that each faced, some quietly, some hostilely and aggressively. The intentions of the staff were kindly, but everything possible was done to prolong this existence, which I came to think of as “pseudo-life.” And I came to a horrific realization.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014

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Mental health wellness for children and adolescents

ConsolidatedCare logoNew

Despite our best efforts, we cannot prevent adversity and daily stress as they are normal conditions of life; but we can learn to be more resilient by changing how we think about challenges and adversities. Children and teens can develop strengths, acquire skills to cope, recover from hardships, and be prepared for future challenges. Developing resiliency skills can help them to succeed in life.

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) stated in their report Promotion and Prevention In Mental Health, “For children, mental health is not seen as residing solely within the child, but within the web of interactions among the individual child; the family; the school, health, and other child service systems; and the neighborhoods and communities in which the child lives. Protective factors provide “buffers” that diminish the effect of risk factors and help build resilience in children.”

Kenneth Ginsburg, MD, MSEd, FAAP, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), has joined forces with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to author A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Your Child Roots and Wings. Dr. Ginsburg offers 7 core skills to develop resiliency. Examples of these skills are connection, coping, and control.

Connection is developing close ties to family and community to create a solid sense of security that helps lead to strong values and prevents alternative destructive paths to love and attention. You can help your child connect with others by building a sense of physical safety and emotional security within your home. Allow the expression of all emotions, so that kids will feel comfortable reaching out during difficult times and address conflict openly in the family to resolve problems. Create a common area where the family can share time (not necessarily TV time) and foster healthy relationships that will reinforce positive messages.

Last Updated on Friday, 16 May 2014

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The importance of immunization

Hoddinott-Boyd

HODDINOTT

Population immunization for prevention of infectious diseases has prevented more illness and death than any medical advancement ever. Immunization, along with water and food safety, represents one of the greatest public health achievements in mankind’s history.

In order to protect a society from vaccine preventable disease, it is accepted that about 90 percent of the population must have immunity. This is referred to as “herd immunity.”

Today you see the results of inadequate immunization: the yearly whooping cough (pertussis) outbreaks in Logan County and the United States; a Philippines measles (rubeola) epidemic that has spread to Ohio (mostly the Amish community) and threatens Logan County; the Ohio State University, Franklin County, mumps outbreak; and perhaps most tragically, a polio epidemic in several African countries. Polio, a disease we thought we had eradicated.

The pertussis outbreaks are based on an immunization that is only about 70 percent effective to begin with and that loses effectiveness after several years. Nonetheless, except in very young children, whooping cough appears to be much less serious in previously immunized individuals.

With respect to the other infectious diseases mentioned, and also including cervical cancer caused by the HPV virus, politics, wars or misguided belief systems are the cause of the outbreaks and epidemics.

The debate about vaccines offers an example of the adverse effects of ideology on the public’s health. Those who refuse vaccinations, and worse, enlist public and political support on the basis of faulty junk science undermine this greatest of medical achievements and puts everyone at risk. The effect of someone such as Jenny McCarthy is multiplied many times by the power of the Internet to disseminate junk as well as good science.

For your information, the only “scientist” who ever produced a paper supporting the immunization-autism connection admitted to falsifying the data and was tried, convicted and stripped of his license in a British court.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2014

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Ohio Hi-Point Career Center is tops

My son is handicapped. Two years ago he started at Ohio Hi-Point Career Center for his junior and senior years. What a transformation this has been. My son has attended all sorts of vocational virtual learning which has helped to this point.

The staff and teachers showed overwhelming abilities to take my son to the final steps of his adulthood.

The medical nurse is exceptional in the needs of students.

“Nurse Amy” (Amy McCarthy), you can’t imagine how grateful we, as a family, are to have such an exceptional person to aid my son’s diabetes and his growing into a young man. Thank  you nurse Amy.

All the teachers are great at OHPCC but, we as parents want to say, without a doubt, one teacher has gone to the moon and back for my son.

“T.J. Bales,” without a doubt, we feel that you have an exceptional gift. With care and determination my son will not only graduate a senior of high school, more mature and accepted into college in North Carolina, he is more of what we’re expecting.

T.J., tou will always be a big part of my son’s life and ours as proud parents. You never gave up or let him give up. Thank you is not enough, you are in our hearts and memories.

The Downing Family
Bellefontaine

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 May 2014

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Praise for high school musicals and Holland Theatre

It is our hope that many in this community attended the musical productions at the various high schools. All the students, faculty members and volunteers need to be commended for the presentations of Cinderella at Bellefontaine High School, Footloose at Indian Lake High School and Annie Get Your Gun at West Liberty-Salem High School. All were excellent productions.

Last Updated on Friday, 04 April 2014

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