The Press Newspaper
In the 1960s, if you were a “motor head,” the place to be was Metcalf Field, says 63-year-old retired Lake Township business owner Mike Evanoff.
From the late 1950s to late ‘60s, sanctioned drag races took place at Metcalf, drawings dozens of racers. Featured at Metcalf, today renamed Toledo Executive Airport, were hot rods, muscle cars, roadsters, and stock cars.
Even during racing, the airport took priority. Evanoff recalls clearing of a runway as racing took a temporary halt while a plane approached to land. Once the plane was safely grounded, racing resumed.
In the late 1950s, Metcalf’s drag strip was named “Vettesville.” Later, it became the Greater Toledo Dragway with offices at 513 Main Street in East Toledo.
A newsletter, the G.T. Exhaust Pipe, was published for each event. Here is a briefing from the October 21, 1966 issue about racers who experienced engine trouble on a cold day —
“All things were just fine until the breakdowns came. First, Grimes lost to head gaskets and gave the crankshaft a free shower. Then the ‘Wild Thing’ lost its clutch as Jerry was just feeling out the eight in a row and how they go. Then Wagner’s big 427 Porky Pine lost its quills in the gear box and for the final ‘miss-hap’ of the day Roger Miller Ford began to sweat about the cylinders, sooo to make a long story short ‘NUTS,’”
Northwood sought reassurances from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) that the Wales Road grade separation project will not be delayed beyond 2012 due to plans by the BP refinery to build an electric substation at the site.
In April, ODOT said that construction of the project would be delayed for one year so that the BP can build an electric substation that would replace overhead wires near the site.
FirstEnergy has major power lines at Wales Road that feed electricity to the BP refinery. To relocate the lines would require a shutdown of the plant that would cost ODOT $1.5 million. Instead, BP has a shutdown scheduled for major retooling next year and plans to build a separate substation so it can have an independent feed that will get them off the FirstEnergy line going down Wales Road.
The $14 million project was going to be bid in December, with construction slated next year. The city will now have to wait until 2012.
Administrator Pat Bacon told city council at a meeting May 27 that two local businessmen had discussed their frustration about the delay with State Rep. Randy Gardner at a breakfast meeting at the end of May. They suggested that ODOT do the project in two phases, with the first phase ending at the electric lines. The project would then be completed the following year.
The Press Newspaper’s photographer, Ken Grosjean, has won first place in the photography category of the Press Club of Cleveland’s Ohio Excellence in Journalism awards for 2010.
Grosjean won for his photo of a student at Waite High School who was reacting to TV coverage of Barack Obama being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States as part of the school’s World Studies class.
The award will be presented at a ceremony on June 18.
The economic impact of passenger rail service in Ohio will be the focus of the spring meeting of the Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association June 11 at the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg.
Issues such as where the major train stations will be when passenger rail increases in Ohio and what increased rail traffic will mean for development around the depots will be addressed at the meeting, organizers said.
The meeting will start at 11:30 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 1:15 p.m.
Scheduled speakers are Mandy Kisling Bishop, co-deputy director of the Ohio Department of Transportation; Shane Imwalle, of Woolpert, a design and engineering firm, and James Richardson, III, of Forrest City Commercial Group.
The Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments works with the Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association, Ohio Rail Development Commission, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, All Aboard Ohio, and Southeast Michigan Council of Governments for more passenger rail service for the region.
TMACOG’s passenger rail committee has a goal of compiling a list by October of recommended projects and initiatives for inclusion in the council’s 2011 update of its long-range transportation plan.
Northwood City Council on May 27 gave a first reading to proposed ordinances that would increase the income tax rate and establish a trash fee. The measures have two more readings before there is a final vote by council.
Council is giving three readings to give the public time to offer input on the ordinances.
The proposed .25 percent hike in the city income tax would increase the tax rate from 1.5 percent to 1 ¾ percent. It would provide funds for capital improvements, capital reinvestment and operating expenses of the city within the general fund. The increase would bring in $500,000 annually.
If a majority of council approves the tax increase, the measure would go on the ballot, where voters would have the final say.
The $10 per month trash fee would start July 1 and bring in $220,000 annually.
The city currently pays for garbage pickup as part of its contract with Waste Management of Ohio, which owns the Evergreen Recycling and Disposal facility, a solid waste landfill located at Wales Road and East Broadway. Northwood receives 22 cents per ton tipping fee, and 23.75 cents per ton host fee from Evergreen, which automatically deducts a monthly charge for unlimited garbage pickup for residents.