The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

A member of the Woodmore school board has asked the Ottawa County prosecutor’s office to review district financial statements for improprieties.

Joe Liszak, appointed to the board’s finance committee three months ago, confirmed he met Tuesday afternoon with Mark Mulligan, county prosecutor.

The committee met Tuesday morning at the board office in Elmore. Liszak said he made his decision to seek an external review after hearing a report that morning by Jaime Pearson, district treasurer.

“We found out during the meeting there has been tampering with the numbers. I was told by the treasurer there have been some ‘plugged numbers’ put in to the financial statements and she had to restate six months of cash reconciliations the correct way because none of them had balanced,” Liszak said.

“Basically what the bank accounts said are not being what’s reported on our statements,” Liszak said.

The board met in executive session April 16 and is scheduled to hold a regular meeting on Tuesday.

The Ohio auditor’s office has also been notified.

Pearson, who was hired by the board in October, had previously uncovered an overstatement in the district’s five-year forecast of projected revenues from taxes on tangible personal property. The tax has been phased out by the state but the district’s forecast didn’t reflect that.

Workers have begun preparing a 107-year-old East Toledo landmark, the former Second Baptist Church at Main and Greenwood, for demolition last week.

“It’s a shame. It’s another east side landmark that is disappearing,” said east side historian Larry Michaels, a Lutheran pastor and author who wrote about the church in his books East Side Story and Treasures of East Toledo.

“It is one of the oldest churches. It basically started in the 1860s over on Fassett Street,” Michaels said. “Then it was over on Fourth Street where that row house is by Franklin School and then they moved over to Main Street in 1907 and they’ve been there ever since. Then, in the 1990s, the Salvation Army bought it and they were using it.”

Jodi Gross, One Voice for East Toledo leader, and District 3 councilman Mike Craig wondered that with all the blighted properties in the community, why is this architecturally-aesthetic building being torn down?

“It’s sad, because it seemed that building was in pretty good structure,” Gross said. “We have other properties in East Toledo with structural issues that should definitely be torn down, so I’m not sure what is behind it. When you went by that building, it appeared from the outside that it was structurally sound.”

The State Employment Relations Board has certified the results of elections by employees of Lake Township to unionize.

The board certified the results during its April 16 meeting, allowing the employees to be represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 245.

Elections were held from Feb. 24 to March 9.

Nine employees, including laborers, a secretary, parks director, cemetery sexton and assistant sexton voted for representation by the union, according to SERB. There were no votes against representation and none of the ballots were voided or challenged.

Thirty members of the township fire department also voted for the union while four voted against.

There were no voided ballots and two ballots were challenged.

Full-time and part-time firefighters and emergency medical technicians, including captains, lieutenants and battalion chiefs will be covered by the union. The fire chief and deputy fire chief will not.

The police chief/administrator and officer manager of the police department will not be included in a collective bargaining unit as well as the zoning inspector, a payroll/accounting clerk and seasonal employees.

Fifty-four-year-old lifelong East Toledo resident Jerry Klug remembers his parents taking him to Pearson Metropark as a child.

What his parents may have not realized is they started a lifelong passion. An adult Detroit Tigers baseball fan could probably relate it to the first time his father took him to Tiger Stadium.

What does Klug do at Pearson? He counts birds, among other things.

“I’ve been into this stuff ever since I was a little kid and I’ve been coming out here keeping track of what I’ve seen,” Klug said. “My parents took me out here in the early 60s, but by the mid-60s or so I started to become aware enough to keep track of what I was seeing, but I have just had a lifelong interest in this stuff. I also got into nature because I worked on my great aunt’s p-fowl farm (poultry farm) for years when I was a kid.”

Klug is a charter member of Friends of Pearson, which was founded in 1990, and has been a Toledo Area Metroparks volunteer 28 years.

“He is a remarkable volunteer with an uncanny ability to recall birds and even the dates that he documented them,” said Metroparks public relations director Scott Carpenter.

At least once every two weeks Klug is at Pearson counting bird species. His research was included in a presentation by retired Metroparks naturalist Karen Mitchell at Pearson’s Macomber Lodge during the Friends of Pearson-hosted March Sunday Series.

KIERRA LOST

race relations improved

Has President Obama, America's first African American president, improved race relations since he has been in office?
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