The Press Newspaper
Northwood is looking at passing an anti-panhandling law.
People holding up signs by the road asking for money have been a common occurrence in Northwest Ohio since the recession in 2007, though motorists have seen them around since the 1980s. Their recent appearance at traffic lights and intersections with heavy traffic is becoming a nuisance, according to Northwood City Administrator Bob Anderson.
“There’s a whole group of people who are in the area who are soliciting money. It’s getting bad. I don’t like the looks of it,” said Anderson, who believes many are simply scamming the public for a free handout.
“We all want to be charitable. But there’s help for those folks. There’s plenty of help available. They don’t need to be on street corners begging for food and money. They make more money panhandling, I think,” he said.
Behind his stately desk on the Ottawa County Courthouse third floor, Common Pleas Court Judge Bruce Winters reflects on his first six-year term.
“I’m finally in a position to make a change. There are no guarantees,” Winters said. “We’ve worked hard to make changes to get us to this point.”
Those adjustments include lowering the annual budget to $945,000 for the court and probation department, picking up grants to underwrite costs for new programs and intensifying oversight of drug testing and treatment connected to the hundreds filtering through the court system.
Winters didn’t enter into criminal justice on a whim. His direction has been firmly centered on advancement in the field since high school. He’s spent the last 18 years following a trail from probation officer, prosecutor and magistrate leading up to this point.
Overall, “I have 35 years in the system. I could retire and return to private practice. I could make more money. It just seems like I’m here to make a difference,” the judge assessed.
The Lake Township trustees Tuesday reluctantly accepted the resignation of Sgt. Jim Goodenough who is retiring from the police department.
Goodenough has been with the department for 27 years and states in a letter to the trustees he’ll be retiring at the end of November.
“I can not think of a better place I would like to work,” his letter, which was read by Melanie Bowen, who chairs the board of trustees, says.
Police chief Mark Hummer said he and Goodenough both started at the police training academy in 1983.
“He’s a natural leader,” the chief said. “He’s great with the public and great with the guys.”
Richard Welling, a trustee, said the sergeant was “the face of the Lake Township Police Department for a considerable time” and is a “very professional, outstanding officer and community advocate.”
Harold K. Douthit, a ‘Renaissance man’
A student of history and creativity, Douthit knew all about Leon Battista Alberti, the 15th-century Italian artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher and cryptographer who developed the ideal of the “Renaissance man,” submitting that “a man can do all things if he will.”
Douthit didn’t speak of himself in such fashion. According to a 1979 feature story documenting his Northern Ohio publishing successes, Douthit “has a local press run of 122,000 weekly papers and yet he’s truly incognito when it comes to fame.”
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