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Holabird Advocate

Providing all the news we see fit to print since 2002!

Monday, February 03, 2003
VOL. II Issue 2B
It's more or less official now. The seven members of Space Shuttle Columbia's crew are dead. Much speculation has been indulged in since the mishap occured Saturday morning. We may never know the exact cause.
Columbia was built at a cost of $14 billion. It was actually the second shuttle built, the first being the Enterprise. It was, However the first space shuttle to actually leave the confines of Earth and return safely. It was also the first shuttle sent into space after the ill fated Challenger disaster. a lot of folks are saying that America should scrap it's space exploration plans. We at the Holabird Advocate disagree. What would have happened if we had that attitude when Apollo I exploded and burned on the launchpad on January 27, 1967. No trip to the moon, no space shuttle, more importantly no scientific or medical breakthroughs. We've only just begun. We'll have other shuttle launches someday. Right now we have to make sure this won't happen again next time.
For the first time since joining the multi-state Powerball lotto game, South Dakota has a winning ticket. The ticket was one of two that was drawn for the $101 million jackpot Saturday night. Sharing the jackpot with another winner from Indiana is a group of 34 employees at a Watertown rubber manufaturing plant. They are looking at a $500,000+ windfall.
Sunday may have been Ground Hog Day, but it's a cinch the ground hogs in Holabird didn't venture outside freezing rain gave way to a total of 6 inches of snow. Those who did venture outside did more than likely not see a shadow.
By Joe Milicia of the Associated Press
Amish resident Merlin Keim is well aware his horse's studded shoes are gouging paved roads. Keim, 53, and other Amish residents in northeast Ohio think it's only fair they chip in to fix roads torn up by their horse-drawn carriages.
Since buggy owners are not required to buy licenses — which automatically defers $20 for road maintenance — Amish residents think they should be allowed to donate their fair share.
I think it's better left up to the individual," Keim said.
But Ohio law prevents local governments from accepting donations.
"In Ohio, county governments and township governments can't do anything unless the state law specifically tells them to," said Republican state Sen. Ron Amstutz, who is preparing legislation to allow the contributions. "If somebody writes them a check, they probably can't do anything with it."
The idea for the bill came from the Amish, Amstutz said.
"I was contacted by several elders in the Amish community to discuss this issue, and essentially they asked for help in finding a way to collect and pay for road maintenance," he said.
"In 22 years, that's the first time I can remember being called into a meeting when somebody was volunteering to pay."
He said his proposed legislation "is sort of a compromise" to mandatory buggy licensing.
Many Amish communities in the Midwest have objected to getting licenses because they do not want to display the metal tags — or simply do not want to register with the government. The road repair issue is unique in Amish communities.
Those shoes erode the road surface. "It's like putting chains on your car. If you run that over the road a lot of times, you start doing serious damage," Amstutz said.
Illinois passed legislation last year allowing townships to charge a fee for repairing roads damaged by horse-drawn carriages. Townships can charge up to $50 a year for each horse and buggy.
The damage can add up. For example, Wayne County, a northeast Ohio county with a large Amish population, spends $30,000 to $50,000 of its annual $6 million budget to repair the roads, said county engineer Roger Terrill. He said a lot of the road damage is cause by Amish buggies.
Amstutz said the Amish communities in Holmes, Wayne, Geauga and Ashtabula counties have offered to donate repair money through collections at their churches.
Holmes County is a rural area about 65 miles south of Cleveland and has what's believed to be the world's largest Amish population. The Amish do not believe in modern conveniences such as electricity and automobiles.
Amstutz, chairman of the powerful Way & Means and Economic Development Committee in the Senate, plans a meeting Monday to discuss possible legislation.

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