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The Scoop - Police scanner an adventure

Before you call the newspaper office in protest because we've pulled the widely popular Sunday column written by Lisa Hobbs called "Just A Thought," allow me to explain.

Lisa is taking a brief vacation and is probably jaunting around the country right now without a care in the world. That leaves me to try to fill her shoes this week, a task I'm not confident I can achieve.

I thought about trying to mimic Lisa's playful writing style and talk about my latest adventures in dieting, but that's not really my thing.

Lisa enjoys talking about her confrontations with nature and I can join in that chorus after getting attacked about three weeks ago by a swarm of yellow jackets while mowing my front yard. In what had to be an absolutely comical scene if anyone was watching, I was forced to run over to the garden hose and turn it on myself to get the yellow jackets off. I was stung nine times. Ouch!

Insect attacks aside, I'll pay tribute to Lisa by writing today's column about the police scanner considering the hours we share listening to the device. For those who probably don't know, we have two police scanners here at the Standard. One is in my office while the other sits on Lisa's desk.

People often think police officers and emergency responders call us when there's an accident or an incident around town. While this would be great, and I would absolutely welcome such a development, this doesn't happen. Usually the only way for us to find out what's happening out there is by listening to the scanner. When police respond, we often do to.

The past few days have been absolutely crazy when it comes to scanner traffic. On Saturday morning, officers were asked to patrol an area where a woman was throwing rocks onto the road. In another Saturday morning incident, a neighbor refused to leave another neighbor's yard and tension was escalating.

By my estimation, there is at least one call a day that goes over the scanner pertaining to a dog issue. People may love their dogs, but it's safe to say others don't always share that affection.

One trend that's really emerged in recent months, and I think it's a good one, is motorists are quick to call 911 to report other drivers who are not following the rules of the road. I've don't this once myself for an 18-wheeler that was zipping through traffic like a sports car, far exceeding the speed limit, and clearly endangering other motorists.

Anyone who listens to a police scanner realizes law enforcement officers have their hands full on most days as they respond to incidents all over the county.

If someone notices they're around a motorist who is unable to maintain his or her lane, it's in the best interest of public safety to call 911 and report them. Based on what I hear over the scanner, I'm glad to know more folks are doing this. The life they save could be mine.

Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.