The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Measuring the body fat of students appears to be falling flat with some school administrators.

A state law goes into effect this month that regulates food and beverages in schools includes a provision for body mass index (BMI) and weight screening for students in four grade levels. BMI is a measure of body fat based on a person’s height and weight.

But the law allows districts to seek a waiver from implementing screening programs and some school officials say they plan to do just that. 

It comes down to how to best utilize time and financial resources for school administrators.

“If we were to do our own BMI testing we would need to contract with a service provider to come out and do the assessments. Therefore, this is yet another unfunded mandate. The time required for reporting of this information and getting the results out to parents would require more time for our already overworked office staff. Obesity is a national health care crisis, and correcting the problem should be within the public health realm and not public schools,” Eastwood superintendent Brent Welker said in his weekly newsletter.

Northwood superintendent Greg Clark said he’ll be recommending the board of education not implement a testing program.

“We’ll be asking for a waiver,” he said. “We have less to spend and can better spend our money on different things.”

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Construction of a 1.5-million-gallon water storage tank along East Broadway in the City of Northwood is complete.

Jerry Greiner, executive director of the Northwestern Water and Sewer District, said the project, which began in the spring, was completed last week.

The tank, called a clearwell, will provide back-up storage capacity for the district’s water system and is required by a provision in the district’s contract with the City of Toledo, which sells water to the district.

The East Broadway booster station will be linked to water lines servicing an industrial-zoned area bordered by U.S. 20, State Route 420, and Pemberville Road in Troy Township where the district is installing water and sewer lines and other infrastructure being partially funded through the state’s Jobs Ready Site program.

Greiner said the project will cost about $7.2 million, including $2.4 million coming from the Ohio Department of Development, which administers the Job Ready Site program.

Dominion East Gas Company, which owns much of the property in the JRS area, is providing about $2.35 million and the district is providing that amount through a revenue bond.

A 500,000-gallon water tower along State Route 582 was completed in June as part of the project.

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The retirement of a key member of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office administrative team puts Sheriff Bob Bratton in a bit of a bind.

Steve Levorchick, captain of operations, handed in his badge Aug. 31 after nearly a quarter of a century of service.

“Steve’s going to be looking at security jobs or something like that,” Bratton said of his after- retirement plans. “He’s going to do fine. He’s just 48 years old and with his experience, he’ll be able to do almost anything.”

Levorchick, who has been on vacation several weeks prior to retirement, could not be reached for comment.

He began his career in with the department in 1987 as a member of the road patrol. He was promoted to supervisor/sergeant of shift and then later to the criminal investigation/detective division. During that time, he also assisted the administrative staff and had served as commander of the Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team.

In February 2005, he was promoted to captain of operations.

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Woodville Village Administrator Bob Rickard will be retiring Sept. 30 after working for the village for 35 years.

When he started, Rickard worked in the wastewater department and earned his Class I Wastewater and Water operators’ licenses. Nine years later, in 1984, when Ted Bowen retired from the Village Works Administrator position, Rickard was hired as his replacement and worked under that title until early 2009.

Village council made the change to a village administrator position – a post he was then appointed to.

During his tenure, Rickard oversaw or had a part in many projects, including the widening of State Route 20 to four lanes, improvements to downtown parking, the building of the new water treatment plant and the demolition of the old one, sewer treatment plant and lift station expansion, waterline loops and extensions, Flag Park flagpoles and pond, various Ohio Department of Transportation projects, a new utilities building, new substation and distribution circuits, downtown revitalization project, improvements to the town hall and police department building, and the building of a new water line from the municipal wells to the treatment plant.

He saw the construction of two new subdivisions and a McDonalds restaurant on State Route 20.

Asked what he would have liked to see done before retiring, he replied “Well field expansion project and electric distribution line upgrade.”

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We have all seen the misshaped, strange looking trees that have been trimmed because they intrude power lines.

Because they remind Toledo Area Metroparks land management supervisor Tim Gallaher of similar-shaped sculptured Japanese trees, he nicknames those mutilated trees by the roadside “Bonsai” trees.

The only problem is, after they are cut by the utility companies, the Metroparks have to deal with what is left. Gallaher says most die because they have been severely stressed by the trimming, and now they have to be replaced around the perimeter of the park.

“It would make a lot more sense to remove them,” Gallaher said. “An option would be to plant some tree, like a dogwood, that would only grow so high that could create that buffer then we wouldn’t have that cyclical trimming.”

As a result, much of Pearson’s perimeter is being cleared, as are certain areas inside the park where dead ash trees, killed by the emerald ash borer beetle, have been removed. There is also evidence of damage by other invasive species.

“It’s not just the perimeter, but from the interior of the park in that direction, and then we’ll have a much more in depth plan for re-vegetating it from the trail system to the lake,” Gallaher said. “It’s two-fold. This park is very stressed around the perimeter. You know, we want to get natives back in there and/or, if we don’t use natives local to this area, we want to create some sort of buffer system between the trails and the road just for the park experience.”

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