Jim Krumel: Lake owner, lifeguard save the day for kids | #specialneeds | #kids | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

Beth Spradlin said it was no big deal.

“Really … not a biggie,” she laughed.

Her mother, Nedra Miller, however believes differently. And there is a group of special needs children out there who would side with mom.

All those kids wanted to do last week was to escape one of the stickiest, hottest days of summer and go to a pool.

One problem, though.

No lifeguard.

“When Beth found out that the Robin Rogers Day Camp for Special Needs Children could not use its swimming pool this year because it couldn’t find a lifeguard, she volunteered one Tuesday from Lake Cody,” Miller said.

The lifeguard was actually Spradlin’s son, Reece, who noted “the kids were so happy to be able to swim.”

A national shortage of lifeguards has left pools across the U.S. scrambling to find workers, according to B.J. Fisher, the director of health and safety for the American Lifeguard Association. The staffing shortage ranges anywhere from 40% to 50% of needed lifeguards, he told the Associated Press.

Some pool operators have raised wages to find help. For instance, state parks in Massachusetts have increased wages to $20 an hour from $17. Lifeguards who stay an entire summer can earn bonuses as high as $500, according to the AP story.

Spradlin has dodged the shortage at Lake Cody.

“I’ve been lucky. I’ve heard there is a shortage at some places around here. I have quite a few young kids, and I always encourage them to get their certification,” said Spradlin, who retired after 30 years as a school nurse at Elida and Hardin Northern and currently teaches part-time at Rhodes State.

She and her husband Tim Spradlin, along with their three children, Bryan, Megan, and Reece, currently own and operate the family campground. It has been in their family since 1963.

Beth believes pool operators today need to help each other get through the shortage.

“If you have enough help, and somebody needs a little more help, if you can afford it, you should be able to share a little bit,” Spradlin said. “It was important for those kids at Robin Rogers to get a chance to swim. I’m glad we could help.”

ROSES AND THORNS: The rose garden welcomes two women who were born when Warren Harding was president and Babe Ruth was belting home runs.

Rose: Maxine McMichael, of Spencerville, will be 100 years old on July 20. However, she is just a youngster to Barbara Shapter, of Bluffton. Shapter turned 100 on June 26.

Rose: To Speaker of the Ohio House Bob Cupp, and Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman. Those who have worked with them in the past knew that if anyone could engineer a new school funding formula for Ohio — and a solid two-year budget — it would be the two Lima lawmakers. A symbolic moment came when they signed the bill together in Lima.

Rose: To Dave Belton, who could be called Mr. Shawnee Township. He graduated from Shawnee High School in 1970 and joined its fire department, serving as its chief nearly 30 years. He’ll have a dozen years in as a township trustee when he retires at the end of his current term.

Rose: To Josh Hollar, who won his second Lima city golf championship on Sunday.

Rose: To Emily Byers, who just finished the second grade at Bluffton Elementary School. She finished third out of more than 6,000 entrants in the Imagine Engineering Coloring Contest put on by the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers. She drew and colored a sketch of an engineer reviewing her roller-coaster design plan during a site visit.

Rose: Several couples from the Lima area are celebrating more than 60 years of marriage:

• Earline and John Williams, of Delphos, will be married 68 years on July 11.

• Barbara and William Kroeger, of Delphos, celebrated their 60th anniversary on July 4.

• Karen and Alan Joseph, of Lafayette, celebrated their 60th on June 11.

• Judy and Larry Coppess, of Minster, were married 60 years on June 25.

Thorn: Opponents of Lima mayoral candidate Elizabeth Hardesty struck out a second time in trying to remove her name from the ballot, this time losing in a courtroom.

Thorn: Summer barbecues mean some folks will end up setting their homes on fire by placing a grill too close to the house. “We do respond to those types of fires every year, probably more than people think,” Bath Township Fire Chief Joe Kitchen noted during a talk on summertime safety.

Thorn: To Joseph C. Skiba, 38, of Lima. Putnam County sheriff deputies found him standing along a country road somewhat bewildered. He explained to deputies that he drove his car into the Ottawa River but wasn’t sure exactly where. Sure enough, deputies located the vehicle in the middle of the river. They suspect his driving skills were impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Thorn: Senior citizens at Indian Lake Villa in Russells Point were without air-conditioning when the hot and humid temperatures rolled into the region at the end of June. Managers of the facility said 32 new units were supposed to arrive from Texas, which was being baked by temperatures pushing 100 degrees. The Villa lost its air-conditioning during a March storm.

Thorn: A three-horse accident during the harness races at the Putnam County fair resulted in the hospitalization of one of the drivers.

PARTING SHOT: The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.

Reece and Beth Spradlin of Lake Cody recently helped bring a lifeguard to the Robin Rogers Day Camp for Special Needs Children.

Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.

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