The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Last Friday afternoon the yellow school buses rolled to a stop in front of the Lake school complex to drop off studentspic-LakePep2 for the pep rally that was held on the school’s new football field.

Normally the students would have just exited from their classrooms and walked to the stadium. The fact that there was a gaping hole in what was once a continuous building that connected the elementary, middle and high schools was a stark reminder of the devastation that the June 5 tornado wreaked on the school and the normal everyday lives of the Lake students.

The pep rally was held to allow the student to be in the stadium for the first time since it was destroyed. In place of the natural grass was a new synthetic turf field sporting the school colors and monogram.

According to Lee Herman, principal of the middle and high schools, the original field was riddled with debris from the destroyed school buildings. Glass and metal shards, nails, screws and all sorts of other scrap materials were embedded so deeply into the soil – up to six inches down -- that it was virtually impossible to remove it all in order to provide a safe playing surface.

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Former Oregon Fire Chief Gene R. Groll, who worked in the Oregon Volunteer Fire Department for nearly 40 years,pic-GeneGroll is being remembered as a family man who loved being a firefighter.

“Family always came first for my dad,” said Jeff Groll, one of Gene’s five children. “He loved to be a firefighter. Growing up, we always did firefighting things together. If there was a fire department function or a parade, we would always be a part of it.”

Groll, 86, died Wednesday, Sept. 8, after a long illness.

Jeff said his father was the consummate professional, “a firefighter’s firefighter,” who enjoyed helping train the rank and file.

“He was a very good teacher, very patient. He was a very kind person. It was always easy for him to work with people,” said Jeff.

His dad considered the fire department as his extended family, added Jeff.

“It wasn’t just a job. The people he worked with were also family. He thought that people who worked together, and enjoyed themselves together after work, were most effective. If you could play together after work, it was easy to work together.”

Oregon Fire Chief Ed Ellis called Gene “a good guy.”

“He was a very fair and equitable leader. He treated the part-time firefighters like people rather than his subordinates,” said Ellis. “He was easy to talk to and have a discussion with. He was just an all-around, really nice guy.”

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Can a small high school, located in an equally small town actually win a national contest for $500,000? You betcha!

In what could only be described as a meteoric rise to the top, Lake High School went from 21st place to first during the final hours of the Kohl’s Cares Contest.

Once the final validations are in, Lake will be the recipient of the much-needed donation which will help with the school‘s rebuilding efforts. Announced in August, Kohl’s, in celebration of Kohl's Cares® 10th anniversary, is donating $500,000 to 20 schools, for a total of $10 million.

Kohl's Cares® is the company’s philanthropic program that supports children’s health and education.

Votes for schools from across the country were garnered through the company’s Facebook page. Each person was given 20 votes to cast for schools he or she supports. Each person was allowed to cast up to five votes per school. The contest, which brought in 10 million votes, ended at 11:59 p.m. (CDT) Friday, Sept. 3.

According to Elizabeth Urbanowski, a Lake graduate, entering her school into the contest was the easy part. Fighting to get the word out about Lake and its needs turned out to be a 12-hour-a-day job.

From her El Paso, Tex., home, Urbanowski set out on a media and public relations blitz using YouTube as well as various social networking sites.

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Swift and plentiful – that’s how emergency managers describe the outpouring of support for victims after the EF4 tornado ripped through the area June 5.
 
Hours after the storm, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army stepped in to offer immediate help in the form of food, water, clothing and shelter. The United Way of Greater Toledo helped organize and dispatch close to 4,000 volunteers in Wood and Ottawa counties. ISOH/IMPACT, a community based non-profit charitable organization called for “bucket brigades” to collect cleaning and emergency supplies that victims would need. Churches, community groups, businesses and individuals also stepped in to do what they could.
 
Northwest Ohioans opened not only their hearts but their wallets too, donating at least $626,000 to major organizations like the Red Cross, the United Way and ISOH/IMPACT, as well as to numerous fundraisers organized throughout the region.
 
Three months later, as fundraisers are still being held and donations continue to trickle in, aid is being distributed to help victims return to their new “normal.”

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 The Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services will start two programs this month to help eligible families with clothing and commuting costs.

The school clothing program is for Ottawa County students enrolled in grades K-12, in a public or private school.  A $200 gift card for each qualifying student will be given to purchase outerwear, underwear, shoes, or apparel suitable for classroom wear, and/or approved school uniforms.  Gift cards will be available from Walmart, Macy’s, Elder Beerman, Sears, and J.C. Penney, on a first-come first-serve basis.  Applications will be sent home with students in cooperation with all the schools within the county. 

Also in September, a Fuel for Work program is available to eligible adults working outside of the home.  A $200 gift card to either Speedway or Marathon will be issued to eligible adult household members that work a minimum of 30 hours per week, outside of the home.  Cards are to be used for fuel or automotive needs only. 

Applications for either program are available at the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services, in Oak Harbor, and the Sutton Center in Port Clinton.

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 CommonPeople1

Giving money to people along road

Do you feel compelled to give money to people holding signs along the road asking for money?
1268645874 [{"id":"10","title":"No, I'm not sure they're legitimate.","votes":"4","pct":66.67,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"11","title":"No, I'm afraid they will use it for drugs.","votes":"1","pct":16.67,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"12","title":"Yes, I feel good about helping someone down on their luck.","votes":"1","pct":16.67,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]},{"id":"13","title":"Yes, we could all end up like that.","votes":"0","pct":0,"type":"x","order":"4","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /communitypolls/vote/1-root.html?Itemid=101&id=5 No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...