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Penance turns into 52-year passion for this Santa Claus
Written by John Szozda   
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 10:52

Tim Stapleton was at that age when a young boy doubts the existence of Santa Claus. So, on that fateful day 62 years ago, at age nine, he snuck out of bed, careful not to awaken his brothers and sisters and crept down the stairs, hoping to catch Santa in the act, or a poser.


What he saw astounded him and what he did kindled the passion he shares every holiday season.

There, before his sleepy eyes, were large boxes, small boxes, tall boxes; all sorts of presents that proved to him Santa was real.

How else could he explain what he saw? The Christmas he knew was a new pair of gloves, a coloring book and crayons, an orange and the big present, a dollar bill from his grandmother. This was a miracle. More boxes than he could count.

Then Tim did something he still regrets today. “Rather than go back upstairs to tell my brothers and sisters Santa Claus came, I opened all the gifts. There were basketballs, footballs, dolls…Hell, I got a licking,” he says, laughing about a selfish indiscretion that is funnier today than it was 62 years ago.

Illumination Station: The Big Adventure
Written by Tammy Walro   
Thursday, 13 August 2009 13:52

How would you feel if every time you made a bad decision, a change in your appearance let everybody know about it?

That’s the case in the “Illumination Station: The Big Adventure,” a new kids’ book by Jennifer Mauter, of Oregon.

Mauter, a proud grandmother and Sunday School teacher at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in East Toledo, came up with the idea for the book as a way to keep her Sunday School students engaged.

“I am the only teacher for all the grade levels – kids ages 5 to 15,” she said. “I prayed about how I could  keep my kids interested.

“I think I’ve been there six or seven years and some of these kids have been with me starting when they were 4,” she said. “Their eyes were glazing over – they’d heard it all before.

Pit bulls first in dog bites; booklet gives advice to sue
Written by John Szozda   
Wednesday, 10 September 2008 09:42

Samantha will likely live with a significant scar on her face. It’ll be there at prom time, at college graduation, at her wedding. It’ll be a constant reminder of the fear she faced when, as a two-year-old, she was attacked by a pit bull as her parents pushed her stroller through their Toledo neighborhood.

Pit bulls in 2007 inflicted more bites requiring medical treatment in Lucas County than any other breed. Of 329 reported bites, pit bulls accounted for 66, according to Tom Skeldon, Lucas County Dog Warden.

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