The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

The Fair Housing Center deals with issues regarding race, disability, religion, color and sex for those seeking a place to live. It also helps people who are struggling to make their mortgage payments and are in danger of foreclosure on their houses.

“We are a HUD approved housing counseling agency under the Ohio Housing Financing Agency,” said Lisa Lawson-LaPointe, of the Fair Housing Center. “Basically, what it comes down to is that we never charge anyone for foreclosure prevention counseling. No one should ever pay for that. A new federal law just passed that took effect partly in December and partly in January. We’re not allowed to charge upfront fees. People were paying those ridiculous fees when they could be putting that toward their mortgage and getting caught up. So now that’s not allowed, for the most part. But we never charge.”

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The Oregon City Schools and Northwood Local Schools districts are planning cuts in spending as a result of Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget next year.
 
There is a 1.5-percent increase in state foundation funds to schools in Kasich’s $55.5 billion biennial budget, but funding to K-12 will be cut by 15 percent as a result of a loss in federal stimulus money and an accelerated phase-out of a tax on tangible personal property. Oregon would see an 11-percent reduction in funding, while Northwood’s funding would drop by 14-percent

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Get ready for another possible round of cuts at Genoa schools.

The western Ottawa County school system is facing thousands of dollars of revenue loss in the next year that’ll pack a powerful punch.

“Busing for the high school. Increasing pay-to-play. It’s all back on the block for review,” said Superintendent Dennis Mock.

Layoffs are also a possibility; as is a levy request.

“This is not a good time for educational funding. You go to what would be considered minimum requirements,” the superintendent added.

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Environmental-friendly heating and lighting systems are key components of the soon-to-be completed Genoa Elementary School.

“We are very proud of what we are doing here,” said Superintendent Dennis Mock of the use of green technologies.

Buehrer Group, an architecture/engineering company from Maumee, designed the inclusion of the geothermal heating/cooling system, solar panels, and day lighting systems into the building that’ll soon be the new home for students in grades kindergarten to fifth. Brunner and Allen Central schools – the two aging buildings now housing the system’s 622 elementary students – will be closed at the end of the school year.

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The Oregon City Schools District has cut costs in the last few years as a result of the retire/rehire program of teachers and administrators.

The program allows retiring personnel to collect their pensions and be rehired at a reduced salary to their former positions.

“We’ve done it for a number of teachers, and some of our counselors,” said Eric Heintschel, school board president. “The teachers retire, and they do get their full retirement benefits, and we do rehire them back into the district, but because they get their full retirement, we can hire them back at a significantly reduced salary than what we were paying them the year before. So the benefit of the school district is that we get experienced staff who knows the district at a significantly reduced salary from the year before when they were still in the teaching ranks. It is a benefit to them because they get their retirement, the amount that is determined how many years they had teaching, and they get their regular salary. But it does help the district.”

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Trick or Treat

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