The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Lately I’ve been reminded of an old campfire skit. The leader is speaking calmly to the gathered campers when someone races in with arms flailing, shouting: “Help! Help! It’s all around me!” The host reacts with genuine concern: “What’s all around you?!” The intruder smiles, shrugs and replies nonchalantly: “The air.”

Goofy, I know, but I’ve recently been experiencing that same feeling. Not about the air, but about chemical substances – 80,000 potentially toxic synthetic substances in current use in the U.S, of which only 200 or so have been safety tested by our government.

Under current law, chemical products are judged “innocent until proven guilty,” rather than asking industry to research a substance’s safety before companies put the stuff into the environment. It’s just that sort of thinking that got us in trouble with DDT, dioxin, and PCBs – once “beneficial” chemicals now deemed deadly, and banned.

A slew of new safety studies, two new congressional bills, and numerous product recalls (including 28 million boxes of Kellogg cereal this summer) have amped up debate over the potential toxicity of chemical compounds that are, literally, all around us: in our food, water and air, and scariest of all, in our bodies and the bodies of our children.

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Henry Bergman Co. of Genoa was the winning bidder for the Pearson North Trail. Bergman was the lowest of the six bids received. Work will begin immediately (scheduled to start tomorrow) and be concluded by November 5.

The trail will be a 1.7 mile loop along Wynn Road and Seaman Road, looping around the Johlin Cabin historical area. There will be six “rest stops” with benches and picnic tables and an elevated trail overlook.

The total project cost is $228,000. A grant from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund will pay for $205,000 of the total and Metroparks will pay for the remainder out of our permanent improvements budget.

Competitive bids were received August 13 for the Pearson Metropark Multi-purpose trail construction.

The scope of work for the project includes earthwork, construction of stone paths and rest areas, wooden deck overlook and trail boardwalk, benches, tables, fine-grading, landscaping, and seeding.

Six contractors submitted bids with Henry W Bergman, Inc., being the apparent lowest and best bid, Metroparks officials said. After signing the contract, the work will begin on August 26 and be completed by November 5.

The work is being paid for from capital improvement funds. An ODNR Clean Ohio Trails Grant will reimburse up to $205,497 of engineering and construction costs and Metroparks is required to provide a 25 percent match. Total project costs are estimated at $251,582.18 which includes bidding/advertising costs of $2,135, engineering costs of $21,400, the contract amount $198,301.90 and a 15 percent contingency fee amounting to $29,745.28.

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Teenagers possibly experiencing end of summer anxiety might be to blame for a mini-crime spree in Ottawa County’s west end, says Sheriff Bob Bratton.

Over the past week and a half, there have been more than a dozen vandalism and theft reports filed by Allen Township residents. The offenses range from vandals using pipes to dent cars, tossing patio furniture and other items into pools and ponds as well as spray painting houses and wiping human feces across the front door of a home.

“We have a lot of kids out in that area at night – up there walking around,” said Bratton, who lives in nearby Genoa. “It’s starting to escalate for some reason.”

Deputies aren’t single-minded though. They are open to a myriad of possibilities.

“About a year ago, there were reports of kids saying there was some gang activity moving in out there. You just never know,” Bratton added.

The road patrol deputies are on high alert as is the sheriff. He collected the names of victims and spent Wednesday going door-to-door to talk to people.

One Honeysuckle Lane resident hadn’t been victimized. However, he was concerned about finding a couple of sets of footprints on the dew-covered lawn that led to the back of house, the sheriff said. “If these kids are moving behind the houses we are going to have to change the way we patrol.”

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A second forum to acquaint students and parents with the building that will temporarily house Lake High School is scheduled for Aug. 24.

The building, being leased to the Lake district by Owens Community College, will be open at 6:30 p.m. for the public to view. The forum will start at 7 p.m.

Lake staff members refer to the building, located at 2249 Tracy Rd., as “The Hangar.”

“We’re definitely behind the eight ball,” said Jodi Takats, Lake’s curriculum director. “But we’re working as hard as we can to get everything ready. Temporary walls are currently up and just about finished. It seems to be going well.”

The district’s high school building at the corner of Lemoyne Road and State Route 795 was destroyed in a June 5 tornado.

School fees were being collected last week at the Tracy Road building, Takats said, adding it was the first time some students had been in the building while others have been assisting with the preparations.

Lake Superintendent Jim Witt welcomed those attending the first forum held last Tuesday at the middle school media center.

“Our goal is to try to make our students feel comfortable and to relieve anxieties as they relate to changes in our school routine,” he said.

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Financal reporting awarded
Two public entities in Wood County have been recognized for their financial reporting.

The Northwestern Water and Sewer District has received the “Making Your Tax Dollars Count” award for the district’s fiscal year 2009 audit.

The award, presented by the Auditor of State’s office, requires recipients to submit a comprehensive annual financial report that includes no findings or other issues. There must also be no other financial concerns involving the entity.

A Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the Eastwood Local School District by the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada for the district’s annual financial report.

The award was presented to Dave Michel, district treasurer.


Levy meeting
A meeting for residents who want to assist with the levy campaign for the Harris-Elmore Public Library will be Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Genoa Christian Church, 415 Main Street, Genoa.

A 1.1-mill, 5-year operating levy will be on the November ballot.

The Genoa library is a branch of the Harris-Elmore Library.

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