Monday, June 27, 2016
Family deals with the stress and emotions of a child with bipolar disorder.
Kami Meyer, 8, withdraws and loses interest in her surroundings after breakfast at the family’s home in Eighty Four.
Kami, counts on her fingers while using math flash cards with a family friend at her home.
Kami , plays cards with her brother, Brennan, as her mother, Kris, and sister, Ashlyn, watch.
It must be in my nature to be adventurous, since I have searched for new and exciting endeavors as far back as I can remember. When I was 6 years old, my father took me, my siblings and several neighborhood friends fossil-hunting.
We climbed up a hill behind my grandmother’s house and navigated through a deeply wooded area until we reached a clearing, where we came upon another large hill covered with rocks.
We all feverishly collected handfuls of rocks in a variety of shapes and sizes that carried the imprints of leaves and ferns. I felt as if I had discovered some long-lost secret of nature, which I would be able to display and talk about at my next first-grade show-and-tell.
Recently, I visited Venice Beach in Florida, known as the “shark-tooth capital of the world.” To illustrate how serious the residents are about the moniker, the town celebrates a shark-tooth festival in early April every year. Fossil collectors from throughout the southeastern United States converge on the South Florida beach to sell and display their wares.
Venice is composed of four beaches: Venice Municipal Beach, South Broward Beach, Caspersen Beach and Nokomis Beach. The entire area has an abundant amount of fossilized shark teeth, resulting from the state once being completely under water.
When the water receded, the prehistoric sharks died, their bodies decomposed and their teeth fossilized. Over time, storms, currents and waves pushed the fossils into shallow water, where beachcombers came upon them.
During my visit in May, I enjoyed a typical Florida morning at Caspersen Beach, where the sea and sky blended together to form a bright canvas on the horizon. Pelicans glided overhead in search of food, while visitors and locals sat under colorful umbrellas in colors resembling French Impressionist Henri Matisse’s still-life paintings.
All of this set the stage for amateur paleontologists, myself included, to stroll the shoreline hoping to discover a fossil that would be the envy of the many who came before us. Many venture into the water with what is known as a “Florida snow shovel.” The shovel has a basket on the end that is used to scoop through sand and shells to more easily find shark teeth. This was my preference, although others used buckets to scoop sand, which was then transferred into a primitive screened wooden frame. The truly adventurous souls used a snorkel or scuba dived for their treasures. If you’re lucky enough to find a tooth, it can be one of three colors: black, brown or gray.
After I found several teeth, I strolled the beach again, taking in the scenic surroundings, when suddenly I heard a young child’s voice.
The youngster, 2-year-old Nathan Bratton, was excited, telling his grandfather, Dave Bemiss of Michigan, “Pap-pap, I got one.” Bemiss praised his grandson, saying “good job.” Finding fossils has become a passion for Bemiss, and he said he is happy he can share it with his grandson.
Who would have imagined that what nature produced millions of years ago would be something that would be used to form a bond between two very different generations?
As the day ended with another breathtaking sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, tourists and beach lovers made their way back to their cars, hotels and beach houses. Many carried in pails or in their pockets treasures that will undoubtedly last a lifetime. It isn’t necessarily the shark teeth themselves that will be passed on, but the stories of how and where they were found on that special day, when the sun seemed brighter than ever and the shark teeth surfaced once again.
Monday, June 13, 2016
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Linda Torso of Ohio, dog Ziva, flies through the air as she competes in the DockDogs Show at the Noble J. Dick Aquatorium in Monongahela. DockDogs is an organization for competitive dog jumping. Photo/Illustration
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Friday, May 6, 2016
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Friday, April 29, 2016
Friday, April 22, 2016
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Conrad Rossetti of Eighty Four casting a line in Meadow Run stream during a fly fishing class with Venture Outdoors at Ohiopyle.
Ron Oda of McMurry holds a Brook Trout that he caugh fly fishing in Meadow Run stream at Ohiopyle
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Ireland, though small geographically, has produced many notable and influential people who have shared their talents and achievements with the world. Writers Samuel Beckett, James Joyce and, more recently, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt, have left us with words and images that continue to affect us all. International peace negotiator Mary Montague and musician and humanitarian Bono, of U2 fame, show Ireland’s diversity, as do boxing champions Barry McGuigan and Wayne McCullough.
As impressive as the list might be, the most important people to me are my ancestors, the Quigleys and Maxwells, who were among the 250,000 who immigrated to America to escape devastating poverty brought on by the potato famine that affected Ireland from 1845 to 1852. My grandfather, John S. Quigley, was very proud of his Irish heritage. I will never forget hearing him sing old Irish folk songs while on our walks to the post office. He taught me to keep my eyes on the ground as not to miss the chance to find a four-leaf clover. He shared stories with my brother, sister and I about the sacrifices his parents had made to give the family a better life. I will always cherish those memories and the lessons learned, especially as we gathered around the dinner table to share a pot of Irish stew.
In life, we all face difficult challenges. I was recovering from a major health crisis when one of my dearest friends suggested that I needed to celebrate my turn around by taking a trip. When asked where I would like to go, I answered without hesitation: Ireland.
It wasn’t long before we set out on an 11-day adventure covering 13 cities and 1100 miles in the hope of connecting with my family home land.
In Ireland and Great Britain, vehicles drive on the opposite side of the road than in the U.S and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. I certainly had a time adjusting to that as I sat on the passenger side trying to slow the car by pushing my foot on the floorboard as we rolled along twisted, windy side roads at what seemed like breakneck speed. However, from what I remember, the view was spectacular. I was able to catch my breath when we abruptly stopped to allow a herd of sheep to cross the road.
Although I have long been a vegetarian, I was knocked off my game with the food, especially a breakfast of homemade bread, eggs, mushrooms, beans, fried potatoes, tomatoes and ham. It was so good, I found myself getting up early just to sit at our bed and breakfast table each morning.
Through it all, I found myself falling in love with the beauty of Ireland’s natural landscape: the small and beautiful cottages, the rolling green countryside and the fresh, clean air. However, what I will always remember most are the friendly and beautiful people who make up this amazing Emerald Isle called Ireland.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Monday, April 4, 2016
Friday, March 18, 2016
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Shelby McAllister of Washington, gets out of the limo during Night To Shine, a prom for special needs kids 16 and older. It's sponsred by the Tim Tebow Foundation at The Bible Chapel in McMurray.
Paul and Jessica make their way down the red carpet during Night To Shine, during the a prom at The Bible Chapel in McMurray.
Monday, February 15, 2016
Washington County Department of Parks & Recreation held an introduction to snowshoeing event at Mingo Creek County Park. Daniel Royall, right,recreation program coordinator, led the class on a modern hike.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Monday, December 21, 2015
Friday, December 4, 2015
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Scott Stegman of Greensboro participates in the 3rd annual Washington County Gay Straight Alliance candlelight walk through downtown Washington to recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance. This event helps to bring awareness in our community and honors the memory of transgender people who have died due to violence, hate, and discrimination.
Monday, November 9, 2015
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
International Peace Negotiator Mary Montague at Washington & Jefferson College. Montague, an experienced mediator who hails from Northern Ireland, has spent many years promoting peace in communities both at home and abroad.
Peacemaker: 'Rehumanizing' Key to resolution
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015
Justin Buckels credits his early love of lower-body lifting for putting him in competitive shape to potentially break a state record in dead lifting.Buckels turns to weight training to overcome heroin.
Addict addicted to dead lift | Observer-Reporter
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
A recovering heroin addict shares her story of rehabilitation after a $200-a-day drug habit took its toll. Her story is the first in our "Under the Label" series, which will focus on the human side of social issues in the area. Heroin addict: 'It brought me to my knees' | Observer-Reporter