The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

A case decided last week by the Ohio Supreme Court included arguments from a court battle in the 1980s between the City of Oregon and the operators of a local landfill.

In the recent case, the City of Munroe Falls found itself in a position similar to Oregon when Oregon officials were trying to enact a city ordinance that assessed a fee on waste disposed at the landfill operated then by Fondessy Enterprises.

Fondessy filed suit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, claiming the ordinance violated state law. The court ruled in favor of Fondessy, as did the Sixth District Court of Appeals. Oregon appealed to the state supreme court and in May 1986 the court ruled in favor of the city.

In Munroe Falls, city officials have been at odds with Beck Energy, which obtained a state permit in 2011 to drill for oil and gas on property whose owner had leased the mineral rights to the company. The permit issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas Resources included several provisions but Munroe Falls filed a lawsuit in Summit County Common Pleas Court to stop the drilling, claiming Beck Energy was violating local zoning laws.

Elmore Mayor Matt Damschroder said several business owners on Rice Street have told him they’ve been negatively impacted by the loss of the Huntington Bank branch in town.

“They tell me, ‘Get us another bank,’” the mayor said. “That’s what I’m hearing from them. Business is falling off. People would come to the dowtown area to do their banking but are no longer doing that. So they’re not stopping at the coffee shop, or the Village Inn, or an antique store. Not having a bank downtown is really hurting us badly. The businesses can’t run across the street and get change or make deposits any more.”

Huntington National Bank closed the branch, located at 365 Rice Street, at the end of last year as part of a consolidation and is listing it for sale with Signature Associates. According to the company’s website, the asking price is $199,000 for the 2,860-square-foot building and .70-acre parcel.

Teresa Gross, a manager of the Pills ‘n’ Packages, 350 Rice St., said the loss of the bank branch has forced the store/pharmacy to change its policy and no longer accept $100 or $50 bills unless it covers the customer’s bill. The store has also adopted a policy of no cash back on checks and debit cards.

Oregon officials praised officers from their police division for catching and arresting an alleged kidnapper following a high speed car chase last weekend that started at a gas station in Port Clinton.

It was the second car chase in which Oregon officers have been involved in the last month.

“They both ended well,” said City Administrator Mike Beazley.

Last Sunday, Oregon police joined in the pursuit of a 24-year-old man from Rochester, New York, after he allegedly kidnapped a woman who had earlier agreed to give him a ride outside a carryout in Port Clinton.

“At some point, he decided that he wanted her to drive him somewhere else,” said Oregon Police Chief Mike Navarre. “She was able to get on the phone and call 911. During the telephone conversation, he could be overheard telling her to `keep driving, or I’m going to kill you.’”

Sheriff’s deputies from Ottawa County were unsuccessful in their attempts to stop the vehicle, said Navarre.

Oregon is planning to upgrade and improve security access at the municipal complex, water treatment and wastewater treatment plants and the city’s three fire stations.

City council on Monday will consider approving a contract with Asset Protection Corporation, Toledo, for $60,430 to provide labor, material and equipment for the improvements.

The security systems “have reached the point where they have no more shelf life left,” said City Administrator Mike Beazley at a committee of the whole meeting on Monday. Materials and components are no longer available to maintain or upgrade the current system

The new system would replace the present, more costly “dual card” system, said Beazley.

The city in 2003 installed a keyless entry system to improve access control and enhance security at the buildings that was in addition to an existing card entry sytem for the police and court facilities. For several years, the city maintained the dual card security system - one for the police and court, and a separate system for the administration entrances and other city facilities.

The 11 animals removed from Tiger Ridge Exotics are among 70 classified as “dangerous wild animals” that have taken residence at the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s 20,000 square foot facility in Reynoldsburg since March 2013.

There have been 44 alligators, eight bears, six tigers, three restricted snakes, two cougars, and a dwarf crocodile, timber wolf, serval, bobcat, lion, leopard, and liger who have taken residence since the facility opened. The facility cost just shy of $3 million and construction was completed in about three months, says ODA Communications Director Erica M. Hawkins.

Hawkins says the state has never euthanized an animal cared for at its facility and all animals have been permanently relocated or are weathering out the winter until they can be relocated in the spring. Eventually, they are placed in accredited sanctuaries in six states — California, Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Georgia. Hawkins says the shortest stay for an animal is overnight with the longest stay 66 days.

Employing a search and seizure warrant, ODA officials removed six tigers, a lion, black leopard, liger, bobcat and and Kodiak bear from Tiger Ridge on a cold Wednesday afternoon in late January.

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