The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Dennis Recker, former administrator of the village of Whitehouse, is the new administrator of Northwood.

Recker will replace current Administrator Pat Bacon, who is retiring at the end of this month.

Northwood City Council unanimously approved Recker, upon Mayor Mark Stoner’s recommendation, at a special council meeting on Oct. 7. Recker will work with Bacon until she leaves office.

Recker told The Press that he applied for the job because the city has many strengths, including its attractive business environment and proximity to mass transportation.

“Northwood is situated in such a way that it has major outstanding features that could lead to further development,” said Recker. “They have it all – a good, strong workforce, excellent transportation – just a very, very fertile area for growth and development as we weather this economic downturn.”

As the administrator of Whitehouse, which has a population of 4,300 compared to Northwood’s 5,500, Recker prepared a downtown revitalization plan that was the basis for a major revitalization grant. The village secured pledges from over 80 percent of business operators and commercial property owners to participate in active improvement projects under the grant program. The village also worked with a local manufacturer and a local property owner to fund an expansion of the village industrial park.

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Tiger Ridge Exotics in Stony Ridge has been open to the public for over 30 years.

Owner Kenny Hetrick only asks for donations to help feed and care for over 30 tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, wolves, and bears.

Due to recently upgraded regulations by the United States Department of Agriculture, which regulates exotic animal farms, Tiger Ridge is in need of 1,700 feet of fencing, fence hardware and attachments, concrete, poles, wood, nails, screws, paint and other materials to comply.

The Press obtained copies of the USDA report, dated September 29. The deadline for Hetrick to upgrade is November 1.

“That’s the almost impossible part. I’ve worked on this daylight to dark since they were here. There’s a lot to do,” Hetrick said.

“They came out here and said my regular fence, which is 10 foot high, has to be 12 feet with a three foot overlap. I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to do that (overlap),” Hetrick continued. “My four-foot perimeter fence, that’s my outside perimeter fence, has to be eight feet. All my poles have to be cemented in, and I need eight foot fence bad and I can’t find any anywhere other than new.”

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By Over the summer, Woodmore High School Spanish teacher Tom Adams went on a one week mission trip to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, with his sister and three other members from her church in Temperance, Michigan.

During the mission trip, Adams stayed with fellow missionary Kathy Kemmer, who has been living in the country for the past six years.

While in Nicaragua, Adams and his team were involved in many projects to help the local impoverished communities which include working at a local orphanage, building furniture for a preschool and helping elementary students make Ojo de Dio or God’s eyes, which is a simple arts and crafts project.

Adams and his team also completed larger projects. For three days, they built one 11 foot by 11 foot house each day using only concrete for the floor, a wooden frame and tin for the roof and siding. Although it may seem like not such a nice home, it was a vast improvement to their previous homes which were made from trash from the city dump.

“There are many beautiful parts to Nicaragua, but there are also parts that are devastatingly poor and need help,” Adams said.

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Alexis Taylor would have turned 17-years-old next February. She was on course to graduate from Woodmore High School four months later, and from there the world was her oyster.

But that all ended on Nov. 10, 2009, when Alexis died unexpectedly. Her mother, Gibsonburg resident Consie Rickard-Taylor, is joining with her family and Woodmore to set up two Alexis Taylor Memorial Scholarships for Woodmore students.

“We are in the baby stages of setting them up,” Rickard-Taylor said. “We have to set up applications, and we haven't filed everything with the school. We want to have two scholarships with the school. They are both going to be Alexis Taylor Memorial Scholarships. We're trying to encompass everything Alexis was into.”

Rickard-Taylor, who also has a son, Ian, 12, said many people saw Alexis as her mother's twin.

“A lot of people said she was my clone,” Rickard-Taylor said. “She was about 5-foot-6, medium build, strong legs, brown eyes and brown hair. She was an honor student. She was an athlete. She was also into photography, arts, and ceramics. She loved to read and she loved soccer. She played ever since the first grade.”

Rickard-Taylor said one Alexis Taylor Memorial Scholarship will go to a Woodmore student based on grade-point average and financial need.

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A Lucas County Court of Common Pleas jury recently found several Oregon City officials retaliated against a female police sergeant for her testimony in a previous sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by a female police officer against the city.

The jury awarded Oregon Police Sgt. Kelly Thibert $25,000 in damages.

In addition, the city paid Thibert $85,000 in legal fees.

Thibert’s lawsuit, filed in 2008, accused the Oregon police department, ex-Mayor Marge Brown, and Police Chief Richard Stager of alleged sex discrimination and retaliation after she testified on behalf of former Oregon police officer Candace Elliott, who had filed a lawsuit against the city for sexual discrimination in 2004.

While the jury agreed that Thibert was retaliated against, it did not find Brown and Stager's conduct can be considered sexual discrimination.

Thibert, who has been an Oregon police officer since March, 1993, had alleged that Stager and Brown “acted with reckless disregard” for her rights. “These actions were motivated by Sgt. Thibert’s sex, her participation in prior proceedings concerning allegations of discrimination, and her good-faith reports of discriminatory conduct,” stated the lawsuit.

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