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July 29, 2014


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On hailstones, tornadoes, stalled traffic and full bladders

By Mary Pannabecker Steiner
It's one thing to be sitting in your house, listening to hailstones hit the roof. It's quite another thing to be driving in a car when ping-pong sized hailstones begin smacking the car. It's loud. Distracting. Frightening.


Not too long ago - reflections of a member of the BHS class of 1961

Rudi Steiner, Icon columnist-in-residence, provided the following column in anticipation of the Bluffton High School class of 1961 50th reunion in July. It was recently e-mailed to members of the class. Rudi now of Homewood, Illinois, is the brother of Fred Steiner of Bluffton.


Baffle latest attempt to finesse squirrels

By Mary Pannabecker Steiner

My husband is engaged in an all-out battle with the squirrels that want to feast on our bird feeders. This is, of course, a long-standing feud, and one that neither side is willing to give up on.

For more blogs by MPS click here.

Over the years, he's launched several plans, each designed to one-up the furry tailed creatures. A few years ago, for Christmas, I gave him a long-handled hook that - according to the seller - was guaranteed to out-fox the squirrels.


Musing the day away

By Mary Pannabecker Steiner

Random thoughts, my usual fall-back blog topic, seems too, well, random. Musings sound so much more meditative, more thoughtful. Since I've been on a short four-day weekend "vacation", my time to muse meditatively has been productive.

For more blogs by Mary click here.


The curse of the Mother's Day plant

Pot attacked by squirrel

By Mary Pannabecker Steiner

Last Sunday, the rain let up just enough that I decided it was time to do some planting. Despite a hankering for a new high-rise raised bed, I'd decided instead to do mostly container gardening.

Read more of Mary's blogs by clicking here.

Having done this successfully several years ago, and bolstered by an article posted on the Stratton Greenhouses Facebook page, I headed out to the playhouse.


Life lessons learned from Scoutmaster Dan Groman

The Icon intended to write a column about Dan Groman, who is stepping down as the Bluffton Scoutmaster. Today we received this letter from a Scout family. It states much better what we had planned to say.

Our son, Taylor Jay, started in the Scouting World in the 7th grade. We thought, "Great, he will receive a few badges, go to camp and have fun."

Yes, this did happen, but there was so much more. Scoutmaster Dan Groman was no ordinary Scoutmaster; his passion for each and every boy was felt by all and was seen through his actions.


Congratulations Bluffton Police Department

Word is getting out about Bluffton's police department. The word is something that village residents already knew: We have a excellent police force.

An American Red Cross Award now hangs on the wall in the Bluffton Police Department.

Rick Skillier, police chief, informed Bluffton council on Monday that the department was recently recognized by the Allen County Chapter of the American Red Cross.


You want to know about culture shock - let me tell you

Kirstie Runion is completing her semester as an Icon intern. We invited her to offer a comparison between Bluffton and her hometown - suburban Cincinnati. Here are some of her observations:

By Kirstie Runion, Bluffton Icon university Intern


I think the Mets are winning

As I write this column on Thursday evening (8:55 p.m.) the Mets and Rockies are hitting foul balls about a quarter of a mile to my east. I can see the lights of the field and a bit of the scoreboard from where I sit.

No, I'm not in Bluffton or anywhere even close to the 45817 zip code. I'm not watching the TV screen. Thanks to the World Wide Web, the posting of this column is coming from LaGuardia International Airport, NYC.


1861 carries several meanings for Bluffton

Casting a long shadow is this Civil War veteran's gravestone in Bluffton's Maple Grove.


The year 1861 was a significant one for this community for several reasons. First, the unincorporated village of Shannon was renamed Bluffton. The name change was because another Shannon also existed in Ohio and the United States Post Office asked the younger of the two locations with the same name (us) to change it.

This, of course, took place in 1861, 150 years ago, thus we celebrate our sesquicentennial this year.