Schott story reaction


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We knew Sunday's feature about Larry Schott, headlined "Sports, faith help MC man in battle with ALS," would be one of those stories.

The reaction has proven that to be true.

Rarely does a story combine so many elements. It was sad, but inspiring; heartbreaking, yet funny. It involved science, sports and faith, and it caused everyone who read it to no doubt contemplate the same fate for themselves or their loved ones.

And, as an especially odd twist, it was accompanied by a sidebar written by the subject himself, Larry Schott, who offered an analysis of the 2013 Phillies that would rival that of any high-paid professional.

Schott, a former football player and weight-lifting competitor, learned he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, around the time of his 38th birthday in 2005. A steady decline in health since then has confined Larry to a bed, but his mind remains sharp, and his sense of humor and appreciation for life well intact.

We're hearing from many readers who expect those involved with the Phillies to somehow recognize Schott's inspiring story. We'll keep everyone posted.

In the meantime, if you didn't get a chance to read the story, you can find it at newsitem.com, or stop by for a copy of the Aug. 4 edition.

Taser tryout

Perhaps the most talked-about photo of the week was the one on Wednesday's front page from the Mount Carmel-Mount Carmel Township National Night Out celebration, shot by staff photographer/writer Larry Deklinski.

No doubt some readers at first thought they were seeing a criminal capture in progress by the grimace on Joshua Jaworski's face and the fact that a police officer was holding on to each of his arms. The smiles on the faces of Mount Carmel Police Chief Todd Owens and Mount Carmel Township Patrolman Kelly Campbell said otherwise. This was merely a demonstration in which Jaworski volunteered to be stunned with a Taser.

It was a unique means of informing the public about police work and the use of non-lethal tactics to capture criminals.

The reaction of the audience was priceless, too, A number of people visible in the background were gasping, their hands to their mouths in awe of the "shock" to the willing subject.

In our daily online poll Thursday, we asked readers if they'd volunteer to be Tased. Seems Jaworski is in the minority, as just 11 said yes while 77 said no. Six said they'd have to think about it, which probably means no, too.

(Andy Heintzelman, editor of The News-Item, writes "The Week In News" for each Saturday edition.)

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