The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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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The Black Swamp Bird Observatory considers its banding program a “feather in its cap.”

The program, led by research director Mark Shieldcastle, has banded more than 500,000 birds over two decades. The BSBO banding station is the largest in the country, according to Kim Kaufman, executive director of the BSBO.

“We band more birds than any other station in the country on a regular basis,” Kaufman said. “That's a feather in our cap, but what it really represents is how important that (Magee) marsh is to migratory birds.”

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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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A resolution authorizing a $500,000 loan from Genoa Bank for additional costs incurred during the construction of a new township administration building has been approved by the Lake Township trustees.

Under the agreement, the 15-year loan will have a 4 percent interest rate but the township will have the option of refinancing at seven years.

There is also a $500 fee to cover costs for processing the loan.

The trustees said the loan is needed to pay for upgrades to the building not covered by insurance.

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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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