The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

VP route puzzling, chief says
The recent visit of Vice President Joe Biden to Toledo last week has left one local law enforcement official puzzled.

After the vice president’s stop at the Toledo Jeep Wrangler assembly plant, his motorcade took him to a fundraising event for Gov. Ted Strickland’s re-election campaign at the Belmont Country Club in Perrysburg.

Lake Township Police Chief said he and other Wood County officers, including Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, who were providing security for the vice president, agreed the preferred route they suggested for the motorcade was I-280 to State Route 795 to Perrysburg.

Instead the motorcade took I-280 to the Ohio Turnpike to I-75, then to Buck and Bates roads before eventually getting on Route 795 into Perrysburg.

“It was as if they didn’t want to drive by what’s left of Lake High School on State Route 795,” the chief said, alluding to the school damaged by a June 5 tornado, which also destroyed the Lake Township administration building. “They were within a stone’s throw of the damaged high school. It was a slap in the face of the residents of Lake Township. I’m glad he was here for the Jeep recognition but they were so close it would have been nice they could have taken five minutes to talk with school officials.”

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The villages of Genoa and Elmore will help pay for the closing of a coal-fired power plant in southern Ohio but it should not affect their daily electric rates, village officials said.

The two municipalities must pay a share of the closing costs ($55,000 for Genoa over three years and $49,500 for Elmore) for the Richard H. Gorsuch Generating Station in Marietta because of their affiliation with American Municipal Power Inc. Both of the western Ottawa County villages have received their electricity from AMP-Ohio for years.

However, in recent months, AMP-Ohio has been in discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Ohio EPA over repeated plant violations in conjunction with the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review. The problems date back to 1981.

The entities recently agreed to a Dec. 31, 2012 closing date. But operations will cease at the plant by Dec. 15, 2010. The plan is to operate all four boilers during summer peak season and then reduce to two boilers by mid-December, according to an AMP-Ohio press release.

“Harry Truman was President when this plant first began generating electricity,” AMP President/CEO Marc Gerken said in the release. “AMP acquired partial ownership in 1988, and since that time the plant has been a reliable source of power for our participating members. We are very appreciative of the Gorsuch staff and the dedication they have shown through the years. Unfortunately, the current situation makes retiring the plant the only reasonable business decision, and the decision that makes the most sense for our participants.”

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Rossford Police and Fire will hold a Bike Run Aug. 29, with proceeds going to purchase memorial trees for the victims of the June 6 tornado.

Check-in will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Buffalo Wild Wings in Perrysburg. Bikes will depart promptly at noon and will finish up at the “Calm After the Storm” disaster relief event to Lake Township Police and Fire Associations being held from 3 to 8 p.m. at Local 245 & IBEW Local 8, 705 Lime City Rd., Rossford. “Calm After the Storm” will include live music, food and beverages and more. The requested donation is $5 for admission. One hundred percent of the proceeds will support the Lake Township Police and Fire Associations. For more information or to participate, call officer Jodi Johnson at 419-250-9197.

The cost for the Bike Run is $20 per rider and $15 per passenger, which includes a chicken dinner at the end of the ride. Refreshments will be provided before the run. T-shirts will be available for purchase.

Proceeds will be used to purchase seven mature trees to be planted at Friendship Park in Lake Township. Trees will be marked with plaques bearing the names of those who lost their lives in the tornado.

For more information, contact Matt Giles Jr. at 419-467-7560 or Dave Giamo at 419-262-1790.

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Lately I’ve been reminded of an old campfire skit. The leader is speaking calmly to the gathered campers when someone races in with arms flailing, shouting: “Help! Help! It’s all around me!” The host reacts with genuine concern: “What’s all around you?!” The intruder smiles, shrugs and replies nonchalantly: “The air.”

Goofy, I know, but I’ve recently been experiencing that same feeling. Not about the air, but about chemical substances – 80,000 potentially toxic synthetic substances in current use in the U.S, of which only 200 or so have been safety tested by our government.

Under current law, chemical products are judged “innocent until proven guilty,” rather than asking industry to research a substance’s safety before companies put the stuff into the environment. It’s just that sort of thinking that got us in trouble with DDT, dioxin, and PCBs – once “beneficial” chemicals now deemed deadly, and banned.

A slew of new safety studies, two new congressional bills, and numerous product recalls (including 28 million boxes of Kellogg cereal this summer) have amped up debate over the potential toxicity of chemical compounds that are, literally, all around us: in our food, water and air, and scariest of all, in our bodies and the bodies of our children.

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Henry Bergman Co. of Genoa was the winning bidder for the Pearson North Trail. Bergman was the lowest of the six bids received. Work will begin immediately (scheduled to start tomorrow) and be concluded by November 5.

The trail will be a 1.7 mile loop along Wynn Road and Seaman Road, looping around the Johlin Cabin historical area. There will be six “rest stops” with benches and picnic tables and an elevated trail overlook.

The total project cost is $228,000. A grant from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund will pay for $205,000 of the total and Metroparks will pay for the remainder out of our permanent improvements budget.

Competitive bids were received August 13 for the Pearson Metropark Multi-purpose trail construction.

The scope of work for the project includes earthwork, construction of stone paths and rest areas, wooden deck overlook and trail boardwalk, benches, tables, fine-grading, landscaping, and seeding.

Six contractors submitted bids with Henry W Bergman, Inc., being the apparent lowest and best bid, Metroparks officials said. After signing the contract, the work will begin on August 26 and be completed by November 5.

The work is being paid for from capital improvement funds. An ODNR Clean Ohio Trails Grant will reimburse up to $205,497 of engineering and construction costs and Metroparks is required to provide a 25 percent match. Total project costs are estimated at $251,582.18 which includes bidding/advertising costs of $2,135, engineering costs of $21,400, the contract amount $198,301.90 and a 15 percent contingency fee amounting to $29,745.28.

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