The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Low gas prices and mild weather are credited for the record traffic volume last year on the Ohio Turnpike.

According to the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission, more vehicles traveled on the Turnpike in 2015 than any other year in its 60-year history. The total of 53.4 million vehicles in 2015 eclipses the previous record total from 2006, which was 51.8 million.

In 2015, the Turnpike also recorded the second most number of vehicle miles traveled in its history with more than 3 billion vehicle miles traveled. This was 39 million fewer miles traveled than in 2006. Vehicle miles traveled in both of those years topped 3 billion miles, which has only happened twice in 60 years.

Northwood City Council recently passed an ordinance that approved the job description for a municipal code enforcement officer.

The part-time position calls for a 20 hour work week, according to Administrator Bob Anderson.

He said the job is expected to help improve economic development prospects in the city.

“We’ve been emphasizing economic development lately. I think a lot of them see the connection between keeping things looking good and economic development,” he said.

Kimberly Vaculik, the city’s planning, zoning and economic development coordinator, is currently enforcing the code, though her responsibilities have increased.

Former Northwood Mayor Mark Stoner, who led the city for 16 years before deciding not to run for re-election last November, bid an emotional goodbye to council at his last meeting last month.

“I want to thank everyone who supported us throughout the years – the staff, department heads, city engineer, city attorney, city council, friends and family,” said Stoner.

On council for nearly seven years before he became mayor, Stoner noted how much the city has grown since then.

“If you went south of Wales, and west of Tracy, there was nothing there but a few houses,” Stoner recalled. “Go look at it now, and see all the businesses that are there and what we accomplished.”

The Oregon City Schools District, fresh from the successful passage of an operating levy two months ago, is seeing more light at the end of the tunnel.

Treasurer Jane Fruth said at a recent school board meeting that Oregon, for the first time in several years, saw an uptick in property valuations last year.

The information was included in Lucas County’s Triennial Update, which examines sales trends in neighborhoods and adjusts property values based upon such trends. The county auditor is required by state law to conduct the update of property valuations every three years, which for Lucas County was in 2015.

For Keith Walker, owner of Walker Funeral Homes, the increase in both heroin and opioid related deaths has not been a boon to his business. In fact, it has sickened him.

“We have had 22 overdose related deaths here in the last 12 months and I am tired of seeing it,” Walker said. “I have had friends, friends' children, a nephew of a friend of mine, and young people who were all lost way too soon. Something has to be done to help stop this epidemic.”

Walker said he has seen an uptick in the number of heroin and opioid related deaths in the last three years. Prior to that, he maybe saw three such deaths a year.

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