News Briefs Week of 6/29/20

Staff writer

Road closure for
library project
The block of High Street between Croghan and Garrison streets will be closed for more archaeological surveys as the Birchard Public Library prepares to add a western wing to the main library building in Fremont.
At a June 4 meeting, Fremont City Council approved vacating the block of High Street as well as an undeveloped alley that runs east and west through the library property. The northern block of High Street will be permanently closed as a through street when the library building project commences.
Because the library project will be partially funded by a grant and a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, archaeological surveys must be conducted to assure that the addition will not have any adverse effect on the historic Fort Stephenson property or any historic properties surrounding the library.
A Phase 1 survey, conducted in January, included ground penetrating radar (GPR) as well as hand-digging at several spots. The additional surveys will examine four anomaly areas detected by GPR in the first survey, and will also include digging several trenches across the north end of High Street to determine if there is any trace left of the western wall of Fort Stephenson.
Closure of the block of High Street is expected to begin on July 6. Entry to the library will be available from Garrison Street.

grants awarded
The Wood County Health Department and the Toledo Area Sanitary District are among 45 entities that will share $795,070 in grant funding from Ohio EPA for mosquito control activities, including more than $139,000 to remove scrap tires, which can become breeding grounds for mosquito larvae. The funding will help mitigate the spread of mosquito-borne viruses such as Zika, West Nile and La Cross Encephalitis.
“Ohio EPA is pleased to continue offering funding for mosquito control measures that will help local health districts reduce the risks of mosquito-borne viruses in their communities, including cleaning up scrap tires that can become mosquito breeding grounds,” Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson said.
Grant recipients and the amounts of each grant are listed at
Mosquito control grants specifically target:
• mosquito surveillance;
• larval control;
• adult mosquito control, such as spraying where mosquito presence poses a risk to public health;
• community outreach;
• breeding source reduction, including trash or tire removal.
Grants are being issued in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Health’s larger effort to mitigate the potential for an outbreak of mosquito-borne viruses. Over the last four years, Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of Health have awarded $5.1 million to local health departments and communities for mosquito control programs.

Pop-up COVID
testing June 30
Wood County Community Health Center and the Ohio National Guard are partnering to provide COVID-19 testing Tuesday, June 30 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at a pop-up clinic in the health department parking lot, located at 1840 E. Gypsy Lane Rd., Bowling Green.
Those seeking tests will remain in their cars. Tests are self-administered and are designed to detect active COVID-19 infection. These are not antibody tests.
Testing will be available for people of all ages, including those without symptoms. No physician order is required and there is no out-of-pocket cost. Test results will be available in three to five days. 3-5 days.
Call the health center at 419-354-9049 Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. or Friday from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. to pre-register and schedule an appointment.
“The COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force has worked with local partners to create pop-up testing sites in communities where access to testing may be limited,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said. “By joining with the Ohio National Guard and other local partners, we can provide tests to any Ohioan who wants one. With a better understanding of COVID-19 through increased testing, we’ll be better able to prevent its spread.”

Grants awarded
The Ottawa County Community Foundation has awarded more than $40,000 to 26 local non-profit organizations through its 2020 community grants.
This year, in lieu of a Grant Awards Breakfast, which was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions, organizations receiving grant awards were notified by mail.
Among projects and programs that received grant funds for 2020-2021 were:
• Bistro 163 – Identify and serve more food insecure people.
• Boy Scouts/Harris-Elmore Library – Landscaping for Harris-Elmore Library Eagle Scout project.
• Cultivate the Clover of Ottawa Co. 4-H – Camp counselor training program for teens.
• Engaging Opportunities Foundation Electrical – Upgrades to Christy's Corner Café in Elmore.
• Habitat for Humanity of Ottawa County – Safety equipment to protect employees and volunteers.
• Jacob's Joy – Retreat for women who have experienced pregnancy loss.
• Joyful Connections – Laptops/Chromebooks for staff to aid in safety and security.
• Light House Sober Living – Sober activities to promote healthy living.
• Magruder Hospital Foundation – Celebrate Community - a wellness event.
• Musical Arts Series – Concerts for residents of six senior residential facilities.
• Oak Harbor Log Cabin Association – Log Cabin Summer Concerts in Oak Harbor.
• Oak House – Fishing trip for Oak House members.
• Ottawa County Juvenile Court – After-school activities program for 10-17-year-old youths.
• Ottawa County Museum – Expand capacity/improve security public-use computers.
• Ottawa County Sheriff's Office –Law Enforcement Awareness Program (LEAP).
• Ottawa County Task Force on Aging – Senior Resource Guide 2020-2021.
• Pathway Inclusion Center – Outdoor playground.
• Riverview Industries – Revitalize building for community friendly environment.
• St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry –Gift certificates for dairy products.
• United Way of Ottawa County – Back-to-school backpacks for children.
Funding for these grants is made possible from earnings from several unrestricted community funds and a donor-advised fund held by the Ottawa County Community Foundation. Several local donations were also received in support of the community grant program.
The Foundation annually supports a variety of charitable programs and projects designed to address current and emerging needs of local residents in the fields of education, social services, physical and mental health, safe and positive living environment, natural resources and the arts.

Volunteers sought
United Way of Greater Toledo seeks committed volunteers to sign-up as “Lunch Hour Heroes” to help distribute meals to children in need at local feeding sites.
Meals are being distributed from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. weekdays throughout the summer.
Volunteers are being asked to sign up for specified days, either on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Individuals, families, service-based social groups, faith-based entities and companies and businesses are welcome. To become a “Lunch Hour Hero,” email Learn more about other volunteer opportunities at

New location
Habitat for Humanity of Wood County has relocated from Trinity United Methodist Church in Bowling Green to 326 Industrial Parkway. The mailing address is P.O. Box 235, Bowling Green, OH 43402.
An open house and ribbon-cutting will be held at a future date. Visit for more details.

Scout food drive
Ottawa County Commissioner Mark Stahl and Sandusky County Commissioner Russ Zimmerman are spearheading an effort to replenish supplies at Ottawa and Sandusky county food pantries, which have been serving the community in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Food drives are being conducted with the assistance of the Eagle Bay District of the Erie Shores Council, Boy Scouts of America, along with local fire and sheriff departments, which will serve as drop-off points.
Grocery items may be dropped off Saturday, June 27 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at several sites in Ottawa County, including the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and at Allen-Clay Joint Fire District, Portage Fire District, Bay Township Fire Department, Danbury Township Fire Department, Erie Township Fire Department, Harris-Elmore Fire Department and Mid County EMS.
In Sandusky County, drop-off sites include the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office, along with fire departments in Fremont, Helena, Lindsey, Sandusky Township and Woodville.
All donations will be taken to local food pantries.

Health commissioner taking post at BGSU

Wood County Health Commissioner Ben Batey has accepted an offer to become the Chief Health Officer of Bowling Green State University.
However, Batey intends to continue working with the Wood County Health Department through a proposed partnership between Bowling Green State University and the health department.
Batey submitted his resignation to the board of health on Wednesday. He will remain in his role as health commissioner until July 24.
The board will conduct a search for a new health commissioner. The position will be posted at
BGSU President Rodney Rogers will be involved in the partnership discussion as the two organizations consider an agreement to advance public health priorities in Wood County and across Northwest Ohio.
The proposed partnership is designed to enhance public health instruction, practice, research and workforce development and to improve public health in Wood County. The two entities will collaborate on mutually agreed upon projects that provide educational opportunities for BGSU students and assistance to health department employees in serving the public health needs of the county.
“It has been an absolute honor to serve as the Wood County Health Commissioner and to work with such a great board of health, staff, and community partners,” Batey said. “We have accomplished many wonderful achievements to benefit health in Wood County over the years. I’m looking forward to continuing to support the Wood County Health Department and improving public health partnerships in my new role at BGSU.”

Demolition OK’d
The Village of Walbridge has approved contracting with Mike’s Hauling and Demolition for $7,500 to tear down an abandoned residence at 115 Perry St.
Mayor Ed Kolanko said the village has been unable to locate a relative of the property owner, who has passed away, and the home has become a nuisance.
The village will likely try to recoup the costs of the demolition through a sheriff’s sale, the mayor said.

Rehirings considered
The Woodmore school board is considering rehiring two employees who are retiring at its July 23 regular monthly meeting.
Michele Albright and Whitney Flick, both teachers, have submitted their resignations for retirement for July 1 and June 1 respectively.
The board is considering reemploying Flick effective Aug. 26 and Albright on Sept. 1.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. in the high school media center, 633 Fremont St., Elmore.

Trail plans proceeding
Construction of a fitness trail at Veterans Park in Oak Harbor is set to begin in the fall, Randy Genzman, village administrator, said last week, adding that the design phase and bidding for contracts are expected to be completed this month.
“The project is intended to go forward at this point,” he said.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has approved a grant to partially fund the project and the Oak Harbor Development Group is raising funds to match the grant up to $48,000.
To date, the development group has received $8,537 from the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Endowment Trust Fund; the U.S. Bank Foundation Community Possible Grant, $1,500 and $2,175 from the Facebook Giving Tuesday program and general donations.
Persons or groups that would like to contribute should contact Mike Shadoan at 419-706-6034.

New health commissioner
The Ottawa County Board of Health has selected a new health commissioner who will replace the current retiring health commissioner, Nancy Osborn effective July 1.
The newly appointed health commissioner is the current Director of Environmental Health/
Deputy Health Commissioner, Jerry Bingham, who has been involved in public health for more than 23 years, including 4 years at the Ottawa County department.
He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1995 and from the University of Toledo/Bowling Green State University with a Masters of Public Health in 2017.
He has received several professional awards including the Northwest Ohio Environmental Health Association Outstanding Sanitarian of the year in 2012 and the Wood County Health Department Achievement Award in 2010. He also served as the President of the Ohio Environmental Health Association (2015) and two terms as Director of the Northwest Ohio Environmental Health Association (2006, 2013).


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association