The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

The Lake Local School District is in talks with Owens Community College to use a building on campus to house Lake High School students come fall.

According to Jeff Carpenter, treasurer, the district’s goal is to keep all of the 550 high school students together.

“Right now, Jim Witt (superintendent), is in discussions with Owens,” Carpenter said. “They do have a building with enough space to serve our students. That is the most likely candidate for where our high school will be come fall.”

Carpenter stressed that although plans are not finalized, the district and the Board of Education are working to keep high school life as normal as possible.

“This is an extremely fluid situation with things happening fast,” Carpenter said. “It is very much a priority to keep the high school kids together. The board and the district is committed to doing whatever it takes to keep them together. There will be no parceling them out to other schools.”

“Our intention is to keep all of the students together and get through the best we can,” Carpenter added.

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Just hours after a devastating tornado had ripped through a large section of Main

tw-redcross
Red Cross workers were out hours after the storm
offering beverages and snacks to tornado victims
along Main Street in Millbury. (Press photo by Tammy
Walro)

Street in Millbury, disaster relief efforts were already in full swing.

“Do you want an orange? Some water?” one of two women wearing American Red Cross vests asked residents whose homes sustained moderate damage. Her colleague was pulling a wagon with a cooler bearing fruits and bottled water as they walked along the 2800 block of Main.

The relief workers passed by a law enforcement checkpoint as they made their way north from homes moderately damaged by the EF4 (Enhanced Fujita) scale tornado – the second highest classification with winds between 166 and 200 mph – into the section of Main Street where homes were severely damaged or wiped away completely.

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It took them two days longer than anticipated, but the Lake H.S. seniors can call themselves graduates after Tuesday’s ceremony at Owens C.C.

Just over 2,300 people filled the Student Health and Activities Center to watch 104 students hear their names called.

Among those graduates was Katelyn Kranz, the class valedictorian, who lost her father, Ted, in last weekend’s storm. Kranz did not speak during the ceremony, but she did receive the two loudest standing ovations of the night the two times her name was called.

Kranz finished with a 4.518 GPA and has accepted almost $40,000 in scholarship money. She was offered over $340,000 in scholarship money from various organizations and universities, and the graduating seniors were offered over $3 million in scholarships.

A lingering rumor that next year’s students will be spread around to various schools was squashed by Lake Superintendent Jim Witt.

“We don’t know how, we don’t know where, and we don’t know the particulars yet, but I stand here in front of you giving you my word and the word of the Board of Education that Lake High School will be together somewhere come August.”

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Bailey Bowman was traveling with boyfriend Gerald Lathrop along State Route 795 heading towards his parents’ home on the evening of June 5.

The two 20-year-old Walbridge residents had spent the day at the Old West End Festival.

Before reaching the home on Luckey Road, a Category EF4 tornado swept up both Bowman and Lathrop, however, Bowman did not survive.

“Bailey and I were coming home from dinner and we were trying to get to my parent’s house for shelter because we heard that there were bad storms, so we left early,” Lathrop said. “We got to-go boxes and we were going to come back here and eat and be with my family and we didn’t make it.

“We ran into a tornado and tried to get to the (Lake Township police) department. I never saw what happened to her. I ended up getting thrown against the building and the only thing that saved my life was two boulders — one on my right and one on my left that held the building up and kept it from falling on me. The whole building collapsed and I’ve never experienced anything like that,” Lathrop continued.

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Genoa Village Council voted unanimously Monday to hire a new solicitor.

Northwood attorney Brian Ballenger was given a two-year contract at $130 an hour, with hours determined on an as-needed basis, said fiscal officer Charles Brinkman.

Ballenger, who has been an attorney for 25 years, operates a private practice and does work currently with the Village of Walbridge and City of Northwood.

He replaces Cindy Smith who resigned in March after more than two decades of service with the Genoa administration.

Council put him to work immediately, asking him to review several pending ordinances as well as  the hiring procedure of a part-time clerk.

The clerk issue surfaced earlier this year when councilman Eric Hise questioned the legality of the hiring which had not been approved by council.

The Ottawa County sheriff and prosecutor both reviewed the possible misuse of funds complaint.  They had been consulted because the village did not have a solicitor on the payroll.

Neither believed a crime had been committed regarding the hiring, officials said.

Ebola outbreak

Are you worried about the possible Ebola outbreak in the United States?
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