9-inch helicopter retrieved from Ohio courthouse statue
A dustup over a wayward remote-control helicopter that became lodged in a statue atop a north-central Ohio courthouse came to an anticlimactic ending Saturday.
After a week of back-and-forth about who was responsible for retrieving the device, how it could be done and how much it would cost, it took nothing more than a man hanging out of a window with a long pole to fetch the 2-pound, 9-inch device, which is equipped with a camera and cost $1,500.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the device was recovered Saturday, a week after it flew into the Lady Justice statue on top of the courthouse, coming to rest on the hilt of her sword more than 100 feet off the ground.
It was unclear what condition the helicopter was in and whether it was returned to Terry Cline, the video producer who owns the device and is responsible for the mishap.
Earlier this week, Cline told the Marion Star that he was using the helicopter to shoot an unsolicited promotional video for the city when it was caught by an unexpected breeze.
Since then, Cline had been trying to figure out how to get the helicopter back, asking the county, the sheriff’s department and firefighters for help. All to no avail.
County commissioners said they certainly weren’t going to risk having someone lowered from a real helicopter to retrieve it, and the courthouse roof was too unstable for anyone to walk on it. It would have to stay where it was, they said.
Cline even resorted to asking Sheriff Tim Bailey, a licensed pilot, if he would retrieve the helicopter and use the situation as a training exercise.
“Look,” the sheriff told The Columbus Dispatch. “Let’s put this in perspective. He ran a helicopter into county property. It’s no different than if someone hit the courthouse with their car. We took a report. We’re done.”
Small Wash. school closes because of nice weather
In a sun-deprived part of Washington state, the promise of nice spring weather prompted a small private school to give students a day off to enjoy the sunshine.
Friday was a “sun day” of sorts for the 205 students at Bellingham Christian School, a small, private, nondenominational Christian school in Bellingham, Wash., about 90 miles north of Seattle.
“SCHOOL CANCELLED DUE TO GREAT WEATHER! WAHOOO!” the school’s website announced Thursday night. “Yeah! It’s a Sun Day today and everyone gets the day off from school.”
Principal Bob Sampson said he wanted to give students some time to re-energize and enjoy the weather, adding that he wanted to re-create the excitement snow days get among the kids. He began teasing the possibility of giving the day off earlier in the week.
“In a world that’s got a lot hard things going, it’s fun to create a moment of joy,” Sampson said.
The forecast for Western Washington called for a weekend of sunshine, with highs hitting the low 80s in some parts of the region today.
The sun day also was made possible because there weren’t any days off because of snow this school year.
“Kids just love the anticipation of sitting around to see if school is canceled when it snows,” he said. “You know, we haven’t had any snow days, so I thought, ‘How fun would it be to create that anticipation for kids when it’s nice out?’”
Sampson surveyed parents to make sure the day off wouldn’t cause any hardships and floated the idea with the school board before canceling school, he said. The 22 staff members also got the day off, he added.
Sampson and another staff member were at the school bright and early, though, to welcome any students who didn’t get the notice.
The principal asked students to take pictures of what they do on their sunny day off. He plans to show the pictures at an assembly Monday.
It’s not the first time the school has given students the day off because of sunshine. The last time was two years ago.