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Friday, May 6, 2016

Lightning ignites interest

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Greencastle resident Russ Evans still remembers the time he tried to resuscitate a man who had been hit by lightning.

Two others were electrocuted with him, but the man who Evans was trying to help "didn't have a chance" and he died.

An average of 66 people are killed in the United States each year by lightning, according to statistics from the National Weather Service -- slightly higher than the average of those killed by tornadoes.

Evans wondered this week if the whole accident could have been avoided by a little device known simply as a lightning detector.

There are a number of similar handheld devices on the market today, retailing from around $80 to more than $200. They are about the size of a pager or TV remote control and are battery operated.

Most of the devices utilize a system of red and green lights that warn the user about approaching lightning. The device issues a warning for lightning that occurs as close as a mile away to as far as 40 miles away.

The manufacturer suggests the devices are good for fishermen, golfers, farmers, bicyclers and other outdoor activities.

Members of the Putnam County Tourism Board thought the devices were a good idea Tuesday night when they voted to purchase a bunch of them for Putnam County.

Evans is a member of the tourism board and suggested it during Tuesday night's meeting.

Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Karla Lawless said she supports buying the devices for all the sports facilities in the county, including those at Big Walnut Sports Park, Bainbridge and Cloverdale, because the bureau promotes sports activities in its mission.

Board member Dick Wells added that he sees the devices as a way for the tourism bureau to give back to the community.

Board members voted unanimously to buy as many detectors as possible for $1,000.

Evans said he can purchase two devices for around $100.

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