On March 19, 2014, Fred Phelps, founder of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church, passed away at the age of 84. Though his death was not unexpected, due to his advanced age and declining health, it still sparked a tremendous response from the American public and media. Unlike deaths of other widely-recognized public figures, Phelps' death was not met with tears or candlelight vigils of remembrance. Many Americans instead expressed feelings that ranged from indifference to delight. Unfortunately, expressions of celebratory emotions in response to Fred Phelps' death are the very best tribute that could be paid to a man who dedicated much of his life to advocating hatred and making active efforts to disturb the peaceful remembrance of deceased American citizens, particularly military servicemen, by staging loud protests at funerals nationwide. Furthermore, not only does applauding the death of Fred Phelps essentially honor his memory and legacy of hatred and disruption, it does nothing to combat hateful actions of the Westboro Baptist Church, or other groups with similar messages, or to help protect and preserve the rights of those citizens the WBC aims to harm and oppress.
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David Zamora, just 43, died Saturday of crush injuries at a drilling site in Belmont County, Ohio. The Big Foot Pad off Ohio 149 was the location of the incident . The Sheriff indicated this was the first such death in the county, but loss of life at drilling sites has become common regionally, with a Greene County man losing his life in an explosion earlier this year, and multiple explosions and deaths occurring in West Virginia.
A few months back, my husband and I purchased a white leather sofa set that was absolutely gorgeous and placed it in our formal living room. After a mere three weeks of admiring these pieces, I noticed red ink smiley faces eloquently drawn on different spots of the larger sofa. As you can imagine, my face must have been as red as the ink! I immediately went to the source - my 4 year old, Shauney . She looked downward as she explained she found the red pen and just couldn't help but make these beautiful smiles on the blank slate she had before her and simply couldn't resist. Thankfully, the ink came out, and now you can hear my 4 year old recite the happenings of that day. "When I have a pen in my hand, I must think - what am I going to do, and use only paper for ink pens, just put it down." Over and over she will repeat this as she tells the story of that Saturday morning.
With the azaleas in bloom and green jackets on full display, The Masters Golf Tournament gets underway this week in Augusta, Georgia. While most of the traditions of the golf tournament billed as "A Tradition Unlike Any Other" will be gracing our television sets, there will be one notable absence this year --- Tiger Woods. For the first time since he was in high school some twenty years ago, Woods will not be teeing it up at golf's grandest stage. Instead, he will be at home recovering from back surgery, the latest in a string of setbacks that have occurred since Tiger last won a major tournament in 2008.
Wheeling - The Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals has upheld a $10 Million verdict awarded in January 2012 that was awarded to two families as a result of Personal Service Insurance Company's wrongful denial of insurance coverage benefits stemming from an April 2003 crash that claimed the life of one man and seriously injured two others. The court upheld the jury's verdict that PSIC's denial of coverage and refusal to provide an attorney to Donald and Kathy Cox was done in bad faith and awarded $8 million in compensatory damages and that PSIC, a Pennsylvania Corporation, consciously disregarded the rights of the Coxes and awarded punitive damages of $2 million.
There has been a massive gas explosion in Marshall County, West Virginia.
It has happened to me again! I missed the red hot episode of Criminal Minds that has caused a Social Media frenzy. My Facebook newsfeed was inundated with statuses setting forth opinions on Wednesday night's episode of Criminal Minds that was supposedly set in Wheeling, WV. Several friends who had obviously not watched the episode, but had only heard about it, commented on how awesome it was that little Wheeling, WV was on this hit CBS show and how amazing it was that the Wheeling Police Department was mentioned. Other friends, who stuck out the duration of the grueling episode, were irritated and embarrassed by the inaccurate depiction of our city. So... again, I had to watch it. I logged on to CBS.com and watched the episode several hours after it aired to see what all this Facebook fuss was about.
It's been a long, cold, hard winter. Sub-zero temperatures for weeks at a time have kept just about everyone I know (including me and my pups) indoors and anti-social. While Mother Nature has given us a couple glimpses of the spring weather we are usually enjoying in earnest by this time of year, Old Man Winter has been reluctant to release his grasp on the Valley. As the calendar turns to April, it appears that Spring is finally arriving and outdoor activities will be increasing exponentially. Spring brings out the best in both people and animals. It's a time of awakening and activity. It's a time to shake off the winter blues and get out and move! I knew Spring was finally arriving even though there was still snow in the forecast last week when I saw the change in Cassie, my thirteen and a half year old pup. She was helping me take out the trash one evening when she starting running laps around my house going between the back and front yards and playing hide and seek with me. There was a spring in her step that I hadn't seen since the weather had turned cold last fall. She wanted to play and sniff and simply enjoy being outdoors.
Something happened, not too long ago, that made me appreciate what my husband, Eddie, does for a living. At roughly 2:30 a.m. Eddie and I awoke to the ringing of his cell phone. He picked it up and I could hear a deep voiced man tell him that he needed to head down to the office right away. Without hesitation, he jumped out of bed. In the dark I heard the snaps, zips and clicks as he hurriedly dressed. He walked over to my side of the bed and kissed me on the check and told me he loves me, then he was gone. I knew nothing more. I laid awake with my mind racing until the alarm went off. Then, I got up and got ready for work. I had heard nothing from him yet. I woke the kiddos up and got them ready for school. Still nothing. It had been 4 hours. It was not until I am almost at work when the phone rang and I heard his voice on the other end.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman is expected to make a full recovery after recently being hit in the face by a batted ball in a preseason game against Kansas City in Surprise, Arizona. Reports indicate the line drive that hit Chapman was clocked at 99 mph. He underwent surgery to repair a broken bone above his right eye where a metal plate was inserted. Chapman should be back in action in about six weeks and is very lucky that his injuries weren't worse. This incident, coupled with the start of the 2014 season, turned my thoughts to safety in the game of baseball. I'm certainly no expert when it comes to athletics as I was raised in a home where motorsports got top billing. On the field, though, baseball is probably my sport from the standpoint of understanding the rules relatively well. However, I don't need to be an expert about America's favorite pastime to wonder if additional safety precautions for the players are necessary, the pitcher in particular. Is it time to consider protective headgear? After all, the batter is wearing a helmet. Why not take the same precaution for the guy on the mound? He, too, has baseballs coming at him at a high rate of speed. And think about the advancements in the game. The equipment is better when compared to many years ago and the players are bigger, stronger and faster hence the balls are hit with much more force. If you've seen the video of Chapman being struck, it's evident it happened so quickly that he did not have time to protect himself