The Press Newspaper
A pledge by the state for a financial assistance package of up to $7.3 million will help Lake school officials proceed with the design of a new high school building and to recover some of the costs incurred while preparing a temporary replacement for the district’s tornado-damaged school, Jim Witt, superintendent, said.
But the Lake administration and school board remain in negotiations with the district’s insurance carrier over how much of the former high school building can be renovated.
School officials, Witt said, are of the opinion the entire building needs to be razed and replaced while the insurance company contends some classrooms and office space are salvageable pending further testing.
Witt, State Representative Randy Gardner, and State Senator Mark Wagoner hosted a press conference Wednesday at the Middle School – one day before the district’s new school year began – to announce the aid from the state, which includes $4.8 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission and up to $2.5 million through the Ohio Department of Education.
The OSFC funds will enable the board and administration to “get heavily into the design phase” of a new building, Witt said, adding Lake officials remain dedicated to having a new/renovated high school building open for the 2012-13 school year.
Over the past week and a half, there have been more than a dozen vandalism and theft reports filed by Allen Township residents. The offenses range from vandals using pipes to dent cars, tossing patio furniture and other items into pools and ponds as well as spray painting houses and wiping human feces across the front door of a home.
“We have a lot of kids out in that area at night – up there walking around,” said Bratton, who lives in nearby Genoa. “It’s starting to escalate for some reason.”
Deputies aren’t single-minded though. They are open to a myriad of possibilities.
“About a year ago, there were reports of kids saying there was some gang activity moving in out there. You just never know,” Bratton added.
The road patrol deputies are on high alert as is the sheriff. He collected the names of victims and spent Wednesday going door-to-door to talk to people.
One Honeysuckle Lane resident hadn’t been victimized. However, he was concerned about finding a couple of sets of footprints on the dew-covered lawn that led to the back of house, the sheriff said. “If these kids are moving behind the houses we are going to have to change the way we patrol.”
A state law goes into effect next month that regulates food and beverages in schools includes a provision for body mass index (BMI) and weight screening for students in four grade levels. BMI is a measure of body fat based on a person’s height and weight.
But the law allows districts to seek a waiver from implementing screening programs and some school officials say they plan to do just that.
It comes down to how to best utilize time and financial resources for school administrators.
“If we were to do our own BMI testing we would need to contract with a service provider to come out and do the assessments. Therefore, this is yet another unfunded mandate. The time required for reporting of this information and getting the results out to parents would require more time for our already overworked office staff. Obesity is a national health care crisis, and correcting the problem should be within the public health realm and not public schools,” Eastwood superintendent Brent Welker said in his weekly newsletter.
Northwood superintendent Greg Clark said he’ll be recommending the board of education not implement a testing program.
Columbia Gas of Ohio encourages its customers to protect themselves from individuals impersonating company employees or contractors.
In the wake of a customer on Elm Street, Toledo recently paying $200 to an individual posing as a Columbia Gas employee, a second such scam has been reported. This time a Columbia Gas customer on Starr Avenue in Oregon reportedly paid $242 to an individual posing as a Columbia Gas representative.
To avoid becoming a victim, Columbia offers these suggestions:
• All Columbia employees and contractors carry identification cards bearing their name, photo and identification number and will be happy to show them.
• Columbia Gas collectors do not take cash or check payments at the door. Payments can only be made over the phone or at an approved payment center. Columbia Gas does not work collections on the weekends.
• Do not allow entry into your home to people who claim to offer a Columbia refund. Columbia employees never deliver cash refunds or “rebates” to customers homes. All account transactions are handled through the mail or at a Columbia Gas customer office.
Residents who are not sure about an employee’s identification, or to verify work to be done in or around one’s home, call Columbia’s emergency response telephone number at 800-344-4077. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If a person claiming to be a Columbia employee does not have proper identification, call the police and then call Columbia at 800-344-4077. Be prepared to give a detailed description of the individual and their vehicle.
VP route puzzling, chief says
After the vice president’s stop at the Toledo Jeep Wrangler assembly plant, his motorcade took him to a fundraising event for Gov. Ted Strickland’s re-election campaign at the Belmont Country Club in Perrysburg.
Lake Township Police Chief said he and other Wood County officers, including Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, who were providing security for the vice president, agreed the preferred route they suggested for the motorcade was I-280 to State Route 795 to Perrysburg.
Instead the motorcade took I-280 to the Ohio Turnpike to I-75, then to Buck and Bates roads before eventually getting on Route 795 into Perrysburg.
“It was as if they didn’t want to drive by what’s left of Lake High School on State Route 795,” the chief said, alluding to the school damaged by a June 5 tornado, which also destroyed the Lake Township administration building. “They were within a stone’s throw of the damaged high school. It was a slap in the face of the residents of Lake Township. I’m glad he was here for the Jeep recognition but they were so close it would have been nice they could have taken five minutes to talk with school officials.”
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