Russ Kent: Weather, football and the future

It’s Jan. 4, 2017. I’m not certain what this means, but on Jan. 2, at 5 p.m., I took my dog Beatrix outside for a few minutes. I was wearing shorts, a t-shirt .. and no shoes. I guess that’s not too unusual, I had a similar experience Nov. 26.

Global warming? A really big ridge in the jet stream? A very, very warm front? El Nino, El Capitan, Del Taco? Whatever, I’m enjoying the heck out of this Indian Summer. Or is this Indian Fall, or perhaps Indian Winter?

Still, I am expecting the crash in our unseasonable weather. The long-range forecast — for the next two weeks anyway — shows seasonable, if not a little warmer than usual. My fear is February, or March, or April are going to be make-up months for Mother Nature.

Two weeks ago, it was so icy in my neighborhood I had to put my truck in four-wheel drive to make it up the alley into my driveway. Icy is perhaps an understatement. I came home one day and my neighbor’s car was in the alley. It was obvious ice was an issue, as it was a little crooked. Anyway, that day, she had parked it in her driveway, turned it off, went into her home, and when she came out a few minutes later, her car was gone. It had slid on the ice, down her driveway, and halfway down our shared alley. Fortunately, it hit nothing and there was no damage.

So Mother Nature … make up your mind.

But that’s one of the things I like about living in Ohio, and being called an Ohioan.

Still, the older I get, the more I feel the need to be called a Floridian, or a South Carolinian, or an Hawaiian. The call of that ocean and all that sand gets louder and louder weekly.

Football follies

The football season is over in Ohio. And I’m OK with that. The Browns stunk. In fact, they were beyond smelly. On the positive side, it would be nearly impossible to be this bad next year.

So we Browns fans have that going for us next year.

On the other hand, Ohio State lost Dec. 31. and lost in a really bad way. But at least it was still in 2016, so the new year can start afresh, and I’m certain Urban Meyer and Co., are already at work. Overall, Ohio State over-achieved in 2016. Yes, the Fiesta Bowl was a disaster. In fact, it was the worst display of Ohio State football since, well, since almost every John Cooper vs. Michigan game. But, while disappointed in the outcome of the game, this team fared much, much better than anyone expected. I also noticed, as a frequent user of social media, the anger and rudeness, and ruthlessness of “OSU fans” who often make fools of themselves on Facebook, Twitter, etc. That was disappointing. But, that’s social media. You take the good with the idiotic.

And speaking of football, the biggest news yet is that yes, I won my Fantasy Football league championship game on Sunday. I’m still awaiting the congratulatory messages and cash payoffs. But I’m sure they’re in the mail.

Looking ahead to 2017

Galion had a pretty spectacular 2016. Well at least, the second half was outstanding. New restaurants, new businesses, business expansions, improvements at our schools and and parks and more improvements announced for the future.

I love the direction this community is headed.

I admit, while I have lived in Galion much of my life, I’ve worked at another newspaper and have had family in other parts of Ohio for much of the last 20 years. So, although I’ve lived here, I’m still renewing acquaintances with my hometown.

It’s great to see what is going on.

We have an active group of Galion people who work their tails off to make this a better place to live. They’re trying new things, they’ve brought old festivals back, they’re making current festivals better and they’re spreading a feeling of goodwill in this community that I find very appealing, and very easy to spot.

There us always going to be a segment of our society — and our community — that has no other goal in life but to find the negative in every positive activity. But those negative comments are being outshouted and challenged by the positive folks in the community.

I find that extremely refreshing.

No community is perfect. Even the expert whiner among us can find fault in Disney World, “The Happiest Place on Earth,” if we look hard enough.

But there is a lot more positive going on in this community that negative.

Kudos to all of you who make those positives happen.

On a personal note

I became the editor of this newspaper about six months ago. For those of you who don’t know, I worked for the Galion Inquirer some 20 years ago. When I left, I was the editor, and the paper had just been sold by the Koehl family to Hirt Media. It has since had several owners and has moved twice, from North Market Street, to Portland Way North, to our current site downtown, on Harding Way East.

There are still some changes and improvements I’m trying to make here. And although we’re not perfect yet — and we will never be perfect — I hope those changes are apparent.

There remain too many typos and errors. We’re working to correct those. But sometimes we miss.

Twenty years ago, when I first left the Inquirer, we had about 20 full-time employees. Now there are seven of us working out of the Galion office. I am editor of three papers, our managing editor runs all three papers, we have two full-time ad reps for all three papers. There are two people working in the Bellville office and three in Mount Gilead.

By the way, I am looking for a person to cover sports for the Clear Fork school district. It’s a part-time job. Camera skills will be helpful. But I’m looking for someone who can write two or three stories a week over there.

If you are interested, or no someone who might be interested, email me at [email protected]

Anyway, the one thing I’ve tried to change about this paper is to accentuate the positive things going on in this community. I think we’ve done that. There are still some negatives, and those are impossible to ignore. I’ve had conversations with readers who think there is too much news about drug use, and drug overdoses, and drug sales. I agree, but only in the sense that there is too much of that going on. Drug abuse is a sad back story in this community, and has been for several hears. Galion has escaped some of the heroin ODs that have been reported in neighboring communities, but mostly because we’ve been lucky.

I hope we remain lucky. But the drug addiction and drug use in this community will remain something I report on. Because it’s important, and it is affecting more families than you know.

Columnist no longer writing for us

We lost a regular guest columnist this week. Johni Hipple, who has been writing a column since before I started working here, decided to give up her column to concentrate on other matters. I appreciate everything she did for us. It’s been a pleasure reading her submissions.

Thank you Johni. I wish you well!

We encourage and will print guest columns and letters to the editor. It is something that was a big part of the newspaper when I was here 20 years ago. We won’t print everything sent to us, as we still maintain editorial control of our content, but if you have something to say, email it to me at [email protected]

Back to the future

Anyway, I sat down to write a short column during the Penn State game Monday night, knowing I had some space to fill for Wednesday’s print edition.

I have a hard time, sometimes, keeping my columns short.

Anyway, in closing. If you read the Galion Inquirer print edition, or visit our website,, or even peruse our Facebook page often … thank you. If you don’t, please give us a try. If you have friends and family who live in the area and aren’t regular readers, please mention us to them.

Plus if you have comments, or ideas for news stories or suggestions, send me an email to me at [email protected]

Thanks. And I hope you have a fantastic 2017.

Russ Kent

Inquirer Editor


Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email comments or story ideas to [email protected]