Each year, The Herald takes a look back at the stories and photos of the year. Here is the third of four 2012 wrap-ups.
Despite high temperatures and a third of Delphos still being without power due to the large storm in June, Fourth of July festivities were a success. Several events were canceled, including pedal boat races due to a large tree taking up residence in the Miami-Erie Canal after the storm. The Kiwanis were thankful for community support. “All in all, I would say the Fourth of July went even better than expected with what everyone was facing and the heat,” Kiwanis member Jamey Wisher said.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources drained the canal to complete three projects, including the repair of the canal wall at Lock 23. While the draining of the canal was necessary, it resulted in the death of hundreds of fish. Wildlife officers were in town to count the fish and record the species.
A week after the worst summer storm the region had ever seen, local residents began returning to daily habits. Safety Service Director Greg Berquist announced that while there were still some isolated power outages, most of the community had been restored. Berquist reported that the community spent approximately $20,000 per day on diesel fuel and other resources to operate generators, a necessary measure to prevent raw sewage from spewing into homes connected to the system.
The Allis-Chalmers Tractor Ride Caravan came through town around noon, making its way down Lincoln Highway, turning onto State Street and then taking Third Street to the canal parking lot. The caravan started in Grand Rapids, Mich., and went on to finish up in Plain City. Delphos residents Fred Calvelage and Dick Heitz were among the riders.
Twelve people were killed and at least 50 injured at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” when a gunman in a gas mask entered, hurled a gas canister and began shooting. At that point in time, the shooting was one of the deadliest in recent U.S. history.
Ottoville prepared to say goodbye to its only grocery, The Village Market, which had been a part of the community since it was founded as a general store in the 1880s by J.J. Miller. The market had been in the Miller family for over a 100 years, all the way to brothers Jay and Mike Miller, who made the decision to close after being hit hard by the economy and the major power outage in June. “We’d been thinking about closing but we made the decision after the storm,” Jay Miller said. “Our family has been backing us with all of this and after the storm, they said ‘there’s the answer’.”
The Delphos Optimist Club awarded Jamey Wisher, Delphos Fire Association President and 10-year veteran of the Delphos Fire Department, with it second Firefighter of the Year award. Captains Lee Ulm and Dennis Hageman, who have both given exemplary years of service, were given honorable mention.
The seventh annual Marbletown Festival kicked off with John Diltz being sworn in as Mayor of Marbletown. Diltz defeated Paula Rodriguez for the title. Eight-year-old Anna Spring, daughter of Dennis and Melody Spring, was crowned the fourth “Little Miss Marbletown” and Isabela Basinger, 3, daughter of Jessica Basinger, was named “Mini Miss Marbletown.”
Fort Jennings held a Bicentennial Celebration, marking 200 years since the village played its part in the War of 1812. The celebration lasted until Sunday, Aug. 19. Highlight events included an 1812 Camp and re-enactment, lawn-mower races and Huey 369 Honor Flight.
Neil Armstrong, Wapakoneta native and the first man to walk on the moon, died at the age of 82 from what his family said were complications from a heart bypass earlier this year. He was “a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job,” his family wrote in a statement.
Supper’s On Us celebrated the start of its fifth year of providing free meals for those in need in the community. Supper’s On Us is part of Community Unity, a group that helps to provide food and school supplies for local families. Members of different groups and churches in the community take turns playing host and serving the meals, which are held on Thursdays at Trinity United Methodist.
Jefferson senior Whitney Hohlbein was chosen from among 16 candidates to be the 2012 Canal Days Queen and to reign over the Canal Days festivities. She is the daughter of Darrin and Tracy Hohlbein. “This is a great experience and a great way to earn a scholarship,” Hohlbein said. “I hope to compete in more pageants.”
More than 500 people packed the entertainment tent in downtown Delphos for the sixth annual “Toast to the City” to kick off the 55th Canal Days. The theme for the toast was “Little Town, Big Country,” which lent to cowboy hats and boots galore.
The Rev. Albert H. Ottenweller, a former auxiliary bishop for the Toledo Catholic Diocese and retired Steubenville bishop who was well known for his ministry among migrant workers, died in the Ursuline Center, Toledo, where he had lived since December of 2010. He was 96 years old.
Vice-presidential hopeful Paul Ryan spoke at the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center in Lima to an audience of nearly 2,000. The Lima visit was the first stop on a bus tour of Ohio. Ryan used President Barack Obama’s plan of deep military cuts and proposal to shut down the Joint Systems Management Center, an Allen County employer of 800 and the only tank plant in the country, to get the crowd’s attention.
The First Assembly of God Church of Delphos celebrated its 80th anniversary. The church began in 1932 with a small group led by Mrs. Tillie Hershey, who met for prayer services in their homes. Eventually, Rev. C.L. Gruver assumed pastorship and the church raised money to buy a building at 808 Metbliss. In March of 1987, ground broke for a new worship facility at the same location, where it stands today.