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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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 A bill designed to alert police officers of motorists with communication problems may be passed by the state legislature this year, Representative Theresa Gavarone, R – Bowling Green, informed the Lake Township trustees Tuesday.
 Rep. Gavarone said H.B. 115 passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 96-0 and has been referred to the Senate Government and Oversight and Reform Committee.
 She gave sponsor testimony to the senate committee in June.


 Gavarone credited Jenny Hughes, a Walbridge resident and parent of a son who is autistic but “high functioning”, with informing her about what she called the No Labels Initiative.

 The bill establishes a voluntary database of motorists with communication disabilities to be utilized by law enforcement officers through the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS). Before approaching a vehicle, an officer may run its registration and will be notified if a driver or passengers have registered as having a communication disability.


 Hughes said she met with Mark Hummer, Lake Township police chief, to discuss the idea and he agreed there was a need to inform officers about motorists with disabilities. He, in turn, floated the idea to the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.
 With the information kept private, rather than having a visible marker on a license plate or driver’s license, there is no stigma of being labeled as a person with a disability, Gavarone said, and because inclusion in the database is voluntary, medical privacy regulations aren’t violated. Someone can enroll by submitting a verification form and certification by a physician.
 “There is a lot of positive support” in the legislature, she said.

Land purchase
 In other business, the trustees approved a resolution to purchase 6.7 acres at the corner of Lemoyne and Walbridge roads for $45,000.
 The trustees plan to use the parcel to expand the township cemetery, which sits next to the property.
 “We bought it for the future of our residents and non-residents,” Ken Gilsdorf, a trustee, said, adding the trustees consider it a good price.
 The additional acreage will add about 10 to 15 years worth of space to the cemetery, the trustees estimate
 Ron Hanley, township sexton, said a new columbarium is expected to be in place at the cemetery by mid-September.
 The trustees met in executive session Tuesday to discuss cemetery personnel issues but took no action.
 The trustees also approved a resolution to split the cost for a new emergency weather siren with the Village of Walbridge.
 The village and township will each pay $11,177. The siren will be located at Loop Park in the village and replace a siren on Main Street in the village.
 The township also currently has a siren along E. Broadway and another at the fire station on Ayers Road near Millbury.
 Village and township officials have said the siren being replaced may be more than 60 years old.

 

 

 
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