By JIM HOPKINS
The Christmas season of 2011 is a special one for me. I was fortunate to survive my "event" this past summer. To steal a line from the great philosopher, Yogi, I appreciate all those who made this column necessary!
It's been an eventful year in Adams County sports, and there are many who deserve special rewards. That happens under the Daily Democrat Christmas Tree.
Below are a few of the most deserving:
BY BOB SHRALUIA
Mayor John Schultz made his final appointments for 2012 at Decatur City Council's final meeting meeting of 2011, held this week, and rescinded three he had made at the previous meeting.
The only new appointment was the selection of outgoing council member Barb Engle to the city plan commission, replacing Max Anderson. The latter, who just completed his first four-year term, asked not to be renewed due to time constraints, the mayor said.
"Vote for Wren!"
That's the battle cry in a Ohio small community near Decatur as its residents unite to try to win up to $50,000 in a national contest sponsored by Reader's Digest magazine.
The contest, called "We Hear You, America," started last year and provided financial aid and promotional support to 110 towns across the United States.
(The top 10 stories of 2011 have been selected by employees of the Daily Democrat. This is No. 7.)
By J SWYGART
The deaths of a Decatur couple in a fire in their home was voted as the No. 7 news story of 2011.
Claude E. West, 74, and his wife Donna K. West, 71, died in a house fire at 720 Elm Street, Decatur, in the early morning hours of Aug. 11.
Both died of smoke inhalation, according to Assistant Fire Chief Jim Hitchcock.
BERNE — South Adams coach Eric Myers rolled the dice with seven lineup changes as his Starfires faced area wrestling behemoth Bellmont for the first time in 40 years, and the result was six victories and 29 points, but it wasn't enough as the No. 17 Braves scored a 45-29 victory at the Stardome Thursday night.
(Kenadee) “The biggest thing that keeps her apart from the others is that she never says she cannot do something. At practice she is never lying down, back talking me, or refusing to do something that she might not feel to be important.” ~ Coach Tiffany Lee.
(Jenna) “She always tries her best, no matter who we are playing or what the score is.” ~Coach Gary Lepper.
The latest phenomenon sweeping the country has come to Decatur as an anonymous donor presented the Decatur Walmart store with five $100 gift cards Wednesday afternoon.
According to Jessica Phillips, layaway manager at the Decatur Walmart, a man came into the store and said he wished to donate the gift cards to help pay for a child's Christmas. He said the cards could be used to either pay off an existing layaway account or to purchase new toys, as long as the money was spent on children.
A native of Decatur who recently resigned as a patrolman with the Warsaw police force has been charged with one count each of child molesting and child solicitation, allegedly involving a girl under age 14.
Timothy S. Whitright, of rural Warsaw, who grew up here and graduated from Bellmont High School, posted a $10,000 bond to leave the Kosciusko County Jail at Warsaw.
Whitright, who will turn 29 on December 30, has been scheduled for a hearing on January 5 in Kosciusko Superior Court One at Warsaw.
The sudden death of a cornerstone of the wrestling program at Bellmont High School was voted as the No. 9 news story of 2011.
John W. Friedt, 56, of Decatur, died unexpectedly on February 17 at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne.
Friedt worked as a district technician for the Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District for 36 years and was a member of the Decatur Wrestling Club. He coached wrestling at Bellmont High School and Bellmont Middle School for 36 years.
Norman K. Ellenberger, 64, of Berne, died on Thursday in Lutheran Hospital at Fort Wayne.
Funeral arrangements are pending at Yager-Kirchhofer Funeral Home, Berne.