Each week the Times-News editorial page features this Hits and Misses column. It is a look at the positive and negative news or events over the past week. Readers are invited to send their suggestions.

• A HIT for our friend and colleague Steve Bittner, who has retired after 40 years as a photographer for the Times-News. (See: “Steve Bittner ends ... ,” Aug. 6 Times-News, Page 1A.) He was great to work with and a true professional who deserved the many awards he has won. He has helped us keep our focus over the years, and we shutter to think of what we will do without him. (Sorry, but photography lens itself to all sorts of terrible puns.)

• A HIT for the youngsters who are painting “fun, fishy” murals around the John R. Shelton swimming pool in Keyser, West Virginia. They are being helped by Highland Art Unlimited, Energy Express and Art House Tuesdays. (See: “Kids painting murals ... ,” Aug. 6 Times-News, Page 1A.)

• A HIT for four new inductees in the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems Region I Emergency Medical Services Hall of Fame: James Dawson, George’s Creek Ambulance Service; Allen Ruby, Flintstone Volunteer Fire Company; Dr. Richard Perry, Garrett County jurisdictional medical director; and Ralph Lichty, Southern Garrett County Rescue Squad. Region I covers Allegany and Garrett counties.

• A HIT for the Allegany High School class of 1949, which had its 70th anniversary reunion with 12 classmates and eight guests attending. 

• OUR BOOK RETURN OF THE WEEK involves the van that was stolen from the Maryland Book Bank in Baltimore during July, leaving the center unable to deliver free books to children. It has been returned, but in terrible shape, having been covered in gold spray paint and graffiti, with copies of Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork pasted to its sides and “van go” written on the hood. One window was shattered, and the keys weren’t returned. Repairs could cost thousands of dollars.

• OUR BIG BANG THEORY OF THE WEEK goes to the Florida woman, who said lightning destroyed her septic tank and caused the only toilet in her house to explode. She said it was the loudest sound she ever heard and smelled smoke. A plumber said lightning must have ignited methane gas that was built up in the pipes. Experts say you should stay out of the bathtub or shower during a lightning storm, but it’s probably safe to sit on a toilet. This would be an exception. It’s too bad TV’s “Mythbusters” aren’t still around to put this one to the test. 

• OUR NEAR-DOLT OF THE WEEK is the California man who accidentally put a box containing $23,000 into a recycling bin. He realized his mistake and called the recycling plant, where it already had arrived. Workers were alerted to look for it and someone who gets OUR SAVE OF THE WEEK found it. All but $320 was recovered.

• OUR DOLT OF THE WEEK is the Florida man who drove his golf cart to a liquor store and blocked the entrance while reportedly demanding to speak to a manager. When sheriff’s deputies confronted him, he drove through the entrance of a nearby Walmart, hitting several customers while others jumped out of his way. He was arrested after crashing into a cash register.

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