The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

A strong U.S. dollar compared to its Canadian counterpart and relatively fast completions of title transfers have led to an upswing in business at the vehicle division of the Lucas County Clerk of Courts.

Title work has climbed significantly in the first four months of the year and most of it is attributable to used car brokers and dealers, armed with U.S. dollars, trekking to Canada to purchase vehicles that are, in effect, on sale because of the difference in the currencies’ valuations, says Bernie Quilter, clerk of courts.

Sales of used cars at dealers so far this year resulted in 2,938 title transfers in January; 3,491 in February; 4,773 in March and 3,980 in April – totaling 15,182. In the first four months of 2014, there were 14,472, a difference of 710 transfers.

The difference is even greater in used cars sold between individuals and brokers selling at auction – a category the title office labels as “casual.” Through April of this year, there have been such 23,991 transfers: 3,796 in January; 4,709 in February; 7,174 in March and 8,312 in April.

Oregon received a $20,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant from the Ohio EPA to enhance UT’s constructed wetlands at Maumee Bay State Park and the Wolf Creek Corridor Restoration and Sedimentation Pond Project that are expected to improve water quality in the Western Basin of Lake Erie.

UT constructed both projects using GLRI funding.

“UT’s project is just about complete,” said Oregon Public Service Director Paul Roman. “But most of their wetland plantings were placed in the Maumee Bay State Park area. Up to this point, we’re only planning to have just upland grasses in the sedimentation pond area, which is just upstream of our water treatment plant off Berger Ditch off Curtice Road. We were made aware of additional funding being available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for Lucas County. We applied to see if we could get the money, and we did.”

The city’s Wolf Creek Floodplain Enhancement Project seeks to build on UT’s projects in the Wolf Creek watershed and provide improved water quality to the Western Basin of Lake Erie.

Oregon plans to plant about 4,000 wetland plantings of plugs and shrubs within the sedimentation pond area along Wolf Creek, said Roman. It is expected to help reduce the phosphorous that discharges into the Western Basin of Lake Erie.

One million bird watchers can’t be wrong.

One of the greatest places on earth to bird are the shores of Lake Erie during spring migration, says Kirsten Sweet, senior editor of Birds & Blooms — America’s No. 1 bird and garden magazine with one million subscriptions globally.

Wednesday, Sweet rode with staff members from the magazine’s offices in Milwaukee to Maumee Bay State Park, headquarters for the annual Biggest Week in American Birding Festival currently under way. The fest brings about 75,000 visitors from around the world for a once-a-year opportunity to spot migratory bird species as they stop off at the shores of Lake Erie before heading further northward.

The festival, hosted by the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, began May 8 and runs to May 17. The festival includes birding workshops for novices and experts, tours of the Lake Erie shoreline parks and islands, a bird tattoo contest, concerts and entertainment, evening events at Maumee Bay State Park and more.

Three Oregon and two Ottawa County businesses took home honors at the 22nd Annual Prism Award ceremony at Maumee Bay State Park Thursday night, hosted by the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Oregon winners were the Lucas County Clerk of Courts-Oregon Title Office for General Excellence, Sun Federal Credit Union for the Silver Award and EnPuzzlement as Non-Profit of the Year.

From Ottawa County, Varga Custom Concrete is the Small Business of the Year and Elite Team Supply the Newcomer of the Year.

Long time community volunteer Lisa Pavley was named Person of the Year and Clay High School student Will Nagy is Young Person of the Year.

EnPuzzlement is a non-profit organization that connects donations from corporate America with small community organizations that do not have the ability to receive them. Roy Badenhop is the distribution manager for the warehouse, which is located in Millbury. The nomination came from John Eisenhart, an active community member representing the board of directors of the Eastern YMCA.

Six years after purchasing the former Ohio Highway Patrol post on Lemoyne Road and converting it into an emergency operations center, the Lake Township trustees are weighing the future of the building now that dispatching services for the township will soon be handled by the Wood County Sheriff’s Department.

The sheriff’s department contract with the township for emergency dispatching service will go into effect June 3, Mark Hummer, township police chief, said.

The trustees Tuesday discussed whether or not the building and property should be sold and decided to not take immediate action.

Chief Hummer told the trustees the building could be mothballed for little cost other than heating and lighting but the 140-foot radio tower would likely need to be painted in the next year or two at a projected cost of $1,500-$2,000.

Some of the dispatching equipment is being moved to the township’s administration building on Cummings Road as a back-up to the police department’s radio system, he said.

The township purchased the post building and grounds in 2009 for $40,000 from the Ohio Department of Public Safety after the Highway Patrol opened a new Wood County post in 2007 near Bowling Green. Some residents questioned the need to buy property already funded by tax revenues but the purchase proved to be prescient in 2010 when a tornado ripped through the township and demolished the Cummings Road building. Dispatching operations had already been moved from there to the Lemoyne Road facility and, after the storm, the police department operated from Lemoyne Road until a new administration building was constructed.

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