• To Connie Neininger, who is pursuing her first bachelor’s degree after several decades in banking and nonprofit leadership work. “It sets an example,” she explained. “It’s never too late to learn.” Neininger, who started in November as president of Cass County’s economic development organization, has focused on encouraging area residents to pursue education beyond high school. “If I’m going to tell people you need to go to college,” she said, “I better be willing to do that too.”
• To Peru city officials, who risked snickers and jokes when they hung four artifical crows upside-down at a small city plot that’s been plagued by the real crows for the last two years. Peru Mayor Jim Walker and his administrative assistant ran across the idea while researching ways to keep the birds at bay. “Of all the far-fetched ideas we read about, this one at least seemed to have some credibility,” he said. “We were skeptical about it, but if it didn’t work, it was nothing lost, nothing gained, and $60 would be a cheap fix.” And it seems to have worked. In the 10 days after the fake crows’ installation, a few murders of crows circled hesitantly above the property — and flew away.
• To John Flaig, a 38-year-old computer programmer from Milwaukee, Wis., who ended up just south of Walton when he came to Cass County to retrieve his weather balloon. The cameras attached to the balloon captured breathtaking aerial pictures of communities along U.S. 35 on its way to a crash landing near Lincoln. “It was a pretty great adventure,” he said. “It definitely adds a little excitement to your Sunday morning to chase a weather balloon across the Midwest. Then you have the ultimate payoff — capturing awesome photos from space.”
Thorns & Roses is our staff’s compilation of the best and worst of the week, but if you have your own nominations, feel free to send them along for publication in our Public Forum. Submissions of up to 400 words may be addressed to Pharos-Tribune, 517 E. Broadway, Logansport IN 46947. The fax number is 574-732-5070, and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to include your name, address and daytime telephone number.