The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Like a lot of 12-year-olds are these days, Brandon Rodriguez is looking to raise

some cash.

However, Brandon doesn’t want the money to buy video games, a trip to the movies or some iTunes. Instead, the Oregon youth is planning a car wash fund-raiser to benefit the animals at the Toledo Area Humane Society.

Brandon, with the help of several friends and classmates, will be washing cars for donations Aug. 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ralphie’s on Navarre Avenue in Oregon.

“I like animals, and it bothers me to hear that they could be harmed or not taken care of,” Brandon said. “The Humane Society does very good things for animals and they need all the help they can get so I thought I should be one of those to help them.

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Oregon City Council on Monday will vote on whether to amend part of a separation agreement the city made with former Police Chief Tom Gulch that prevents him from speaking about whether he investigated a woman’s complaints in 2002 against Officer Jeff Brown, Mayor Marge Brown’s son.

Nichole Rhoades alleged in 2002 that she had sex several times with Brown while he was on duty.

The Oregon Police Department this year looked into the allegations, as well as complaints made by other women, during an internal affairs investigation of Brown that found him guilty of repeatedly using the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) to gain information about an ex-girlfriend, Tanya Hernandez, over a two-year period.

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An agreement reached last week by the Oregon City School District and teachers’ union will save the district about $375,000 and allow it to restore seven teaching positions that had been recently cut as part of an extensive austerity measure.

The Oregon City Federation of Teachers agreed to an increase in members’ contribution to their medical insurance plan. The increase goes into effect Aug. 1.

The school board last month had approved cutting seven teachers as the district prepares to go to the polls Aug. 4 and decide a 5.95-mill emergency operating levy.

Superintendent Michael Zalar said he was pleased the union agreed to voluntarily restructure its medical benefit plan.

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Some members of Oregon City Council were surprised to learn that a separation agreement the city made with former Police Chief Tom Gulch in 2007 included a clause that prohibits him from publicly saying or doing anything that will portray the city administration in a negative light.

Those who were on council at the time remember approving the agreement, but say the administration withheld the clause from their review.

“When we voted on Gulch’s package to go, I do not remember that being in the paperwork that we looked over,” said Councilman Bill Myers, adding that he will vote on Monday to lift the restriction on Gulch so he can talk about whether he conducted an investigation in 2002 of a woman’s complaints about Officer Jeff Brown, Mayor Marge Brown’s son.

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Like most young boys his age, A.J. LaCourse had his vices.

"He liked baseball and football," said A.J's father, Alan LaCourse. "He liked baseball cards and video games, and he loved to play golf. We have three acres in our back yard and I had some clubs cut down, and he and his older sister Ashlea would always play golf."

A.J. never had the chance to become the next Tiger Woods. He died of a brain aneurism on May 7, 2003. He was 12 years old.

"He died on my wife, Kathleen, and I's anniversary, but we kept him alive one more day," Alan LaCourse said. "They wanted to run another test on him, but he was brain dead. We didn't hesitate...We donated four of his organs."

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Poll module

Christmas spending

Are spending more, less or the same amount this year for Christmas?
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