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Clark County elevates Perry Beller case to endangered missing child alert



Tom Stafford

Tom Stafford has worked at the News-Sun and lived in Springfield for 30 years, covering most of the newsroom beats. For 28 years he has written a weekly feature column and for about 15 years has explored the area's history in a weekly feature called Looking Back. A graduate of Wittenberg University, his personal interests include playing music, in-line skating on area bike trails and reading.

Latest from Tom Stafford

Stafford: Distractions can turn thoughts in new directions
 I sat at one of my usual column-writing spots, feeling a little weary. Make that weary and distracted. It was a mood I was treating in the usual fashion, with warm caffeine, when a bearded man sat down at the nearby piano and started playing. RELATED: Stafford: Appreciating the beauty that life has to offer I expected further distraction...

Posted: 5 days ago

I sat at one of my usual column-writing spots, feeling a little weary. Make that weary and distracted. It was a mood I was treating in the usual fashion, with warm caffeine, when a bearded man sat down at the nearby piano and started playing. RELATED: Stafford: Appreciating the beauty that life has to offer I expected further distraction...
Springfield astronomer shares secrets of the stars
 He is tall, friendly and ever-helpful. That may be why I think of Dan Fleisch as the person who is to my understanding of the universe what the Man in the Yellow Hat is to Curious George’s understanding of life. RELATED: Professor learns by making podcasts When I ask him a question, he considers my monkey curiosity and level of understanding...

Posted: 11 days ago

He is tall, friendly and ever-helpful. That may be why I think of Dan Fleisch as the person who is to my understanding of the universe what the Man in the Yellow Hat is to Curious George’s understanding of life. RELATED: Professor learns by making podcasts When I ask him a question, he considers my monkey curiosity and level of understanding...
Stafford: Appreciating the beauty that life has to offer
 Finnegan, the latest addition to the Stafford gene pool, took his time in making the transition through fussy-tired into sleep. One reason is that he’s in his first month of life. Another is that during four years since his brother’s arrival, grandpa has grown a little rusty on his infant skills. I tend to rush the transfer from...

Posted: 19 days ago

Finnegan, the latest addition to the Stafford gene pool, took his time in making the transition through fussy-tired into sleep. One reason is that he’s in his first month of life. Another is that during four years since his brother’s arrival, grandpa has grown a little rusty on his infant skills. I tend to rush the transfer from...
Stafford: Springfield school named for Civil War general
 This Memorial Day, Clark Countians may need to be reminded that Gen. J. Warren Keifer’s last name rhymes with Michelle Pfeiffer’s last name and isn’t pronounced like Kiefer Sutherland’s first. It also would bear mention that the man for whom Springfield’s public alternative high school is named commanded a brigade...

Posted: 24 days ago

This Memorial Day, Clark Countians may need to be reminded that Gen. J. Warren Keifer’s last name rhymes with Michelle Pfeiffer’s last name and isn’t pronounced like Kiefer Sutherland’s first. It also would bear mention that the man for whom Springfield’s public alternative high school is named commanded a brigade...
Springfield native distinguished himself in Civil War battles
 By the evening of May 5, 1864, in the Union field hospital on the Orange Turnpike in Orange County, Va., amputated arms and legs were stacked like “piles of stove wood, the blood only excepted,” according to an observer quoted in historian Gordon C. Rhea’s book on the third and fourth days of the Battle of the Wilderness...

Posted: 25 days ago

By the evening of May 5, 1864, in the Union field hospital on the Orange Turnpike in Orange County, Va., amputated arms and legs were stacked like “piles of stove wood, the blood only excepted,” according to an observer quoted in historian Gordon C. Rhea’s book on the third and fourth days of the Battle of the Wilderness...
Stafford: Finding the right book can offer clarity, fresh air
 At first, nobody wanted to be a number – a known quantity, a kind of widget interchangeable with every other widget-human on the planet. Next came the fear of being a statistic, which brought with it the shadow of the grim reaper. If being a number meant being depersonalized, being a statistic meant being dead – and not gratefully...

12:00 AM Saturday, May. 20, 2017

At first, nobody wanted to be a number – a known quantity, a kind of widget interchangeable with every other widget-human on the planet. Next came the fear of being a statistic, which brought with it the shadow of the grim reaper. If being a number meant being depersonalized, being a statistic meant being dead – and not gratefully...
An elder raptor’s lament: Even change has changed
 If you had stopped into the mall hobby shop where I worked in 1970, bought something for, say, $2.37, and given me a $20 bill, you’d have heard me say something like this: Two-thirty-seven plus three is 2.40, a dime makes fifty, seventy five, three dollars, and two is five and five is 10 and 10 is 20. Thanks and have a nice day. During...

12:00 AM Saturday, May. 13, 2017

If you had stopped into the mall hobby shop where I worked in 1970, bought something for, say, $2.37, and given me a $20 bill, you’d have heard me say something like this: Two-thirty-seven plus three is 2.40, a dime makes fifty, seventy five, three dollars, and two is five and five is 10 and 10 is 20. Thanks and have a nice day. During...
South grad reflects on 30 years with highway patrol

2:00 PM Saturday, May. 06, 2017

In 1986, when the then Tammy Getz took her entrance exam for the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s dispatcher cadet program, her late stepfather, Danny Campbell, drove her to the patrol academy because “I was terrified to drive to Columbus,” she said. On Tuesday, the now 48-year-old Tammy Getz-Wright will retire from the patrol...
Stafford: Learn about cancer while applauding survivors
 OK, class, I know it’s late in the school year, but Mr. Stafford needs you to settle down and take your seats. We’re starting today with a little quiz. Save your groans. The torture won’t last long this time. Just three questions, true or false, easy-peasy. But there’s a catch, a reason you might want to put down your...

2:00 PM Saturday, Apr. 29, 2017

OK, class, I know it’s late in the school year, but Mr. Stafford needs you to settle down and take your seats. We’re starting today with a little quiz. Save your groans. The torture won’t last long this time. Just three questions, true or false, easy-peasy. But there’s a catch, a reason you might want to put down your...
Stafford: Imperfect traffic leads to pefect day debate
 I used to think of a perfect day as a day on which nothing goes wrong. That began to change for me not long ago in one of the region’s most imperfect of places: Southbound I-75 just north of the exit at Edwin C. Moses Drive. As anyone who travels Ohio 4 to I-75 and heads south during rush hour knows, somewhere north of the exit, traffic...

2:00 PM Saturday, Apr. 22, 2017

I used to think of a perfect day as a day on which nothing goes wrong. That began to change for me not long ago in one of the region’s most imperfect of places: Southbound I-75 just north of the exit at Edwin C. Moses Drive. As anyone who travels Ohio 4 to I-75 and heads south during rush hour knows, somewhere north of the exit, traffic...
Stafford: Recalling a father’s kindness, steadying influence
 If he had lived another week, my father would have turned 89. I’m glad he didn’t. I could hear the evidence of his suffering in my mother and brother’s voices when I talked with them on the phone during his last week. Then, when I visited the funeral home and told my brother I was relieved to have seen Dad’s body because...

4:00 PM Saturday, Apr. 15, 2017

If he had lived another week, my father would have turned 89. I’m glad he didn’t. I could hear the evidence of his suffering in my mother and brother’s voices when I talked with them on the phone during his last week. Then, when I visited the funeral home and told my brother I was relieved to have seen Dad’s body because...