The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

A person driving west on Monroe Street passes a “gateway” at the intersection of Monroe Street and Alexis Road announcing his entrance into Sylvania. Other communities do the same thing.

During her campaign for a city council seat, Sandy Bihn said she would seek a similar gateway for Oregon, as well as seek ways to enhance the business district.

Now that she has been elected and returned to council, Bihn has organized an open committee to discuss themes and grants for these projects.

“We’re starting with the idea of how to improve the appearance and the feel of people traveling down Route 2. One of the first places that we looked at was I-280 and the southbound ramp, and we’re looking at now at the possibility of having some type of what they call a gateway as you get off the ramp. There is a grant that is available to put in some landscaping and stone. We obviously have to work with the city to make sure that it is all done right,” Bihn said.

Attending committee meetings are local business owners, including Alan Miller, Dennis Pavley, and Karen Magnone, sales manager for Comfort Inns. Bihn also has seen representatives from Dunn Chevy-Old, the Eagle’s Nest restaurant, and other local businesses.

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It's called a Farmall H., and instead of plowing fields, the 4,000-pound behemoth that was built during the Harry Truman presidency is now being used as a teaching device for Future Farmers of America students at Woodmore High School.

Adam Downs, who teaches Agricultural Education at Woodmore, bought the 62-year-old tractor from his grandfather, Raymond Downs, so that his students could tear it down and restore it to its original glory.

"Basically, it was used for everything from plowing, planting, bailing hay," said Downs, who has taught at Woodmore for nine years. "My grandpa had it for quite a while and I bought it from him. It's worth maybe a couple thousand completely restored. But to restore it right, it would probably cost you more to restore it than it's actually worth."

Woodmore's Agricultural Education - or Ag Ed - program is a satellite program of the Penta County Career Center. Downs said he teaches about 70 students a day in the program, which features two Ag science classes, two Ag business classes, a horticulture class, a food and meat science class and an Ag machines class, which is restoring the tractor.

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A Genoa police officer suspended for arranging restitution in a stolen bicycle case involving a mentally-challenged resident should be lauded not punished, his lawyer said Monday.

“He should be commended for what he did – not chastised. He was helping that girl that lost the use of this bicycle,” attorney Tom Tomczak said regarding his client, Police Sgt. Todd Mocniak.

The sergeant served a three-day suspension without pay following a Feb. 23 hearing with Genoa Mayor Mark Williams in connection with the fall 2009 theft investigation. He was scheduled to return to work Wednesday.

Williams, who also serves as the village’s safety director, determined Mocniak had violated a police manual policy regarding “abuse of position.”

“We basically do our best to ensure all employees adhere to the policy of the department. The appropriate steps were taken and we hope it never happens again,” Genoa Police Chief Randy Hill said last week after the decision.

Tomczak, however, described the hearing as unfair from the outset.

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Northwood City Council has given a first reading to renew its contract with Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc, that would continue its automated photo speed and photo red light enforcement program.

The city had been negotiating with Redflex Safety Solutions, of Arizona, for the past year to renew its contract to continue operating its stationary speed and red light photo enforcement cameras that have been installed at the intersections of Lemoyne and Woodville roads and Oregon and Wales roads, which have a high incidence of speeding, since 2005. The cameras target motorists who speed and run red lights, then Redflex issues citations.

Northwood discontinued Redflex’s speed van, a mobile vehicle that issued citations to motorists for speeding, late last year.

Negotiations had broken down last year because Redflex wanted to charge more for the cameras once the van was discontinued.

The revenue funds public safety improvements in the city, including a continuous right turn on Wales Road and flashing lights at Lark school. Also, funding was used to bring back a laid off police officer last year.

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Northwood Mayor Mark Stoner is considering another round of city layoffs due to further decreases in income tax revenues this year.

“I have proposed cutting five full-time jobs, and one person would go from full-time to part-time,” Stoner told The Press last Wednesday.

The layoffs would include two full-time police officers, tax clerk, court clerk, and cleaning lady. “And the city clerk would go from full-time to part-time,” he said.

Administrator Pat Bacon has already informed the employees of the proposed layoffs, said Stoner.

“We just don’t have the money to continue paying them,” said Stoner.

“I’ve done everything I could to not affect the residents with these cuts,” he added

City council learned at a meeting on Feb. 25 that income tax revenues dropped 16 percent in January and February of this year, compared to the same period last year.

“If the city continues to lose revenue at that rate, we could see a loss of $700,000 in revenue by the end of this year,” said Stoner. “That’s big.”

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