The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

It promises to be the best of times, and the “wurst” of times.

The 45th German-American Festival will be held Aug. 27 to 29 at Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Rd., Oregon, just a half mile east of Coy Road.

The festival was originally organized to promote and enhance German and Swiss cultures and to generate revenue to support the German and Swiss cultural center in Oregon as well as a wide variety of scholarship, athletic and other philanthropic programs in the area. Over the years, it has emerged as the oldest and largest ethnic festival in the Toledo area.

This year, festival organizers are planning for upward from 25,000 paid attendees, who are expected to consume some 660 smoked “Old World”-style frankfurters, 9,500 various bratwurst, 500 bratwurst patties, 5,000 smoked sausages and 500 Käsewurst (new in 2008). They’ll likely accompany them with about 275 gallons of sauerkraut, two tons of handmade German potato salad and 50,000 handmade potato pancakes, and wash it all down with some 650 barrels and cases of domestic and imported beers, 50 cases of German wines, 7,400 bottles of soda pop and 4,000 bottles of water.

Yum! But that’s only part of the festival’s appeal. Other festival highlights include:

• An opening ceremony with parade featuring colorful costumes and pageantry.

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To commemorate 150 years of service to youth and elderly in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, Lutheran Homes Society (LHS) held a weekend of festivities Aug. 5-7.

The observance, which attracted more than 3,000 people, culminated with a Festival Celebration on Saturday.

The anniversary festivities began with the organization’s 150th Annual Meeting of Member Congregations on Aug. 5 at the Stranahan Theater and Great Hall. The event included dinner, special recognitions and remarks by judicatory, government and social ministry representatives, a business meeting and the annual report by LHS President/CEO David Roberts.

A worship service followed, featuring the inaugural presentation of the hymn “Gratitude,” which was commissioned in honor of the 150th Anniversary by the LHS Board of Directors and sung by the Zoar Lutheran Church Choir. The evening concluded with a presentation by Rev. Gerald Labuhn, Executive Director Emeritus and Archivist, who has served the Society in various capacities for more than 50 years.

Weekend festivities also included a celebration on the Society’s Lutheran Home at Toledo campus at the corner of Wheeling and Seaman Streets. A concert on the lawn Friday evening featured The Deutschmeister German Band, The Choraliers and the Commanders of Harmony. A reunion of “orphans” of the former Lutheran Orphans’ Home was held, with some of the former residents leading guided tours of the orphanage building that still stands at 2411 Seaman St.

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In keeping with their motto, “Let’s build something together,” Lowe’s has awarded Lake Local Schools a pair of grants totaling $54,800 to help the district rebuild in the aftermath of the June 6 tornado.

In addition, about 80 volunteers from four local Lowe’s stores are stepping up to lend their time and talents in a variety of projects to get the schools ready for the coming school year.

A $50,000 grant, awarded through the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, will be used to help fund the construction of a multi-purpose room that will be used as a temporary cafeteria for the middle school until the new high school is completed, according to Christie McPherson, Lake Elementary principal.

A $4,800 grant, awarded through the Lowe’s Heroes grant program, will go toward replacing mulch and gravel around the elementary school playground.

“From the very beginning, the folks at Lowe’s reached out to help us,” McPherson said, adding that it was Darcy Mueller, manager of the Rossford Lowe’s who suggested the district may be eligible for grant awards through the home improvement store’s various corporate citizenship programs.

“She’s been so helpful – we have a `let’s try this together” kind of thing,” McPherson said of Mueller. “She has spearheaded the efforts and gets in there in the trenches with the volunteers.”

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Oregon City Council last Monday expressed concerns about the recent announcement by FirstEnergy that its FirstEnergy General Corp. subsidiary plans to cut back operations at the Bay Shore power plant as a result of the slow economy, a lower demand for electricity, and pending federal environmental regulations. 

“We all have mixed feelings about the announcement by FirstEnergy,” said Councilman Mike Sheehy at last Monday’s council meeting. “Clearly, they’re making reduced operations. I’m quite pleased the operation with BP will continue. It’s something we can all be proud of. It’s an operation that serves BP, FirstEnergy, and our community. I hope that continues to be ongoing.”

Years ago, BP upgraded its Toledo refinery and partnered with FirstEnergy in the use of petroleum coke, a waste byproduct from the refining process. A new boiler built by FirstEnergy uses petroleum coke to generate low-cost steam to make electricity at the plant. The process, which saves BP in disposal costs and FirstEnergy in fuel costs, also benefits the environment by reducing carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions.

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Oregon City Council is reviewing a proposed ordinance that would allow the city to manage its right-of-way by permitting reasonable access, conserve capacity and ensure the rights-of-way are protected.

City Law Director Paul Goldberg at a committee of the whole meeting last month said the city has been discussing ways to protect the rights-of-way for a long time.

“We had thought some time ago that it was appropriate, and the state legislature is giving the city the authority to control our own rights-of-ways,” he said. “We started working on this thing a year-and-a-half ago. This is a lengthy ordinance. We did look at it internally three or four times and made a number of changes. We invited all the utility companies that have utilities in our city rights-of-way to several meetings. We got their comments. We didn’t want to make it too onerous on them, so we did make some substantial changes to try and fit in with what they thought was appropriate but still protects the city’s interest.”

Goldberg suggested that the ordinance should be discussed further and that it get three readings.

“The main thing is to ensure our rights-of-way are protected. Anyone who is going to occupy our rights-of-way are going to have to have a permit, and give us all sorts of information,” said Goldberg, adding that Public Service Director Paul Roman needs such information to protect the city’s water and sewer lines in the rights-of-way.

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NFL domestic violence

Will the recent reports of domestic abuse by NFL players affect your viewing of professional football?
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