The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

September 15, 2007

What you need to know about your home state

A Robert Lebzelter column

You’re sitting at the dinner table.

Your significant other says, “So, what interesting thing did you learn today?”

You struggle for something to say. “Uh, how about those Browns?” is all you can manage.

Dinner ends in silence.

It doesn’t have to happen that way. Just read this column and learn many facts about our dear state of Ohio. Then you can say, “I learned this interesting fact about Ohio pornography today...”

I could say I spent endless hours researching interesting facts, just to entertain you, the reader.

And that’s just what I did. Well, either that or I flipped through “Bathroom Book of Ohio Trivia, Weird, Wacky and Wild” by Alicia Adams and Lisa Wojna.

A little disclaimer. I didn’t read it in the bathroom. My employers prefer that I sit in the newsroom with the masses. Plus, nobody would install cable in the men’s room so I could network my computer. I didn’t try the ladies’ room.

Anyway, did you know no Republican has ever become president without Ohio and the state has chosen the losing candidate only twice in history?

The book is short on trivia about Ashtabula County, I must warn you.

The book tells us, “Ohio’s largest county is Ashtabula County. With 16 covered bridges and 15 wineries, the county calls itself the ‘covered bridge and winery capital of Ohio.’”

We also learn, “Lake County was named for the fact it borders the southeastern corner of Lake Erie. Covering an area of only 232 square miles, it is the state’s smallest county.”

Under a section called “Climate,” the book states, “On Friday, July 28, 2006, after six days of heavy rain throughout Lake County, then Governor Bob Taft declared a state of emergency. During a 12-hour period on July 22 alone, more than 9 inches of rain fell, flooding nearby Ashtabula County and soaking Geauga and Lake Counties. In the end, most of the damage — 113 buildings destroyed, more than 300 additional buildings damaged to a less degree — occurred in Lake County.”

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