The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Budget cuts have taken the bite out of Barney, Northwood’s crime-fighting

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police dog.

Like most communities across the country, the city is struggling with a deep recession that has not yet lost its grip. The city cut costs to balance its budget, including two full-time officers, and Barney, a six-and-a-half-year-old shepherd that was purchased with a homeland security grant six years ago.

“Due to budgetary cutbacks, we can’t afford him anymore,” said Police Chief Tom Cairl.

The news caught Barney’s handler, Patrolman Fred Genzman, by surprise.

“It was a shock. I can’t complain because people are losing their full-time jobs. But it’s still a shock. He’s got three, maybe four good years left in him,” said Genzman, who’s been on the force for eight years.

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Oregon City Council voted 6-0 with one abstention for Clint Wasserman to be council president during a reorganization meeting held before a committee of the whole meeting on Dec. 7.

Councilman Jerry Peach abstained from voting.

Councilman Terry Reeves nominated Wasserman, who was re-elected to a second term on Nov. 3. He was the top vote getter last month as well as in the Nov. 6 election of 2007.

Wasserman, a Democrat, replaces Councilman Mike Sheehy as president. Sheehy, who was re-elected Nov. 3, had been president of council for the last several years.

“First thing first, I want to thank Councilman Sheehy for mentoring me over the last couple of years, and his leadership as council president. It really taught me a lot taking me under your wing in my first term,” said Wasserman, 27, an attorney who lives at 1442 S. Coy Road.

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A $14 million project to build two railroad overpasses on Wales Road moved closer is moving forward after years in limbo.

The project, which calls for two railroad overpasses that would effectively eliminate three at-grade crossings on Drouillard and Wales roads, was originally part of a $200 million, 10-year program former governor Bob Taft started in 2000 to fund railroad overpasses.

Survey, road profile, drainage and environmental studies had been completed.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has been purchasing rights-of-way along Wales and Drouillard roads, according to Northwood Administrator Pat Bacon.

“ODOT has purchased property from the city and properties down Wales and Drouillard roads,” said Bacon.

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A start-up firm has received sufficient funding to begin production early next year of solar power inverters at a Moline-Martin Road building in Lake Township.
 
Norman Rapino, President and Chief Operating Officer of Nextronex Energy Systems, said the company has begun operations at the facility and already has plans for installing three inverters at the Ohio Air National Guard Base at Toledo Express Airport.
 
He projects the company could employ 15-20 workers by the end of 2010.
 
The company secured funding through the Rocket Ventures fund of the Regional Growth Partnership and University of Toledo Innovative Enterprise as well as local investors.

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Armed with a grant from the Ottawa County Community Foundation, Jennifer Fording, is preparing to take the Harris-Elmore Public Library’s historical materials on the road for viewing by the public.
 
The library is using the grant to help pay for a laptop computer and projector that will enable Fording, the local history librarian, to display digitized archival records on location for interested organizations.
 
 The Harris-Elmore library is one of 12 public libraries in Northwest Ohio participating in a regional document digitization project under the auspices of the Ohio Historical Society.
 
Georgiana Huizenga, director of the Harris-Elmore library, said the goal of the project is to make an array of important but often deteriorating local history records available to a wider audience, including researchers throughout the U.S. and world, through the historical society’s Ohio Memory Project.
 

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