The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Luckies Barn and Grill employee Casey Parker was in the wrong place at the right time — or maybe the right place at the wrong time.

Parker, from North Toledo, and her fiancé, Bill Cousino, were at the “Beach House” — the nickname for the home of Russell and Tammy Beach on Main Street in Millbury when tornados struck June 5. 

“It was interesting, that’s for sure. The house we were at, my fiancé plays softball with them, and fortunately we were there with them. They had the softball team over for a cookout and a party. It was about six people that lost their cars, and the house that we were in was pretty bad. We were very, very lucky, that’s for sure,” Parker said.

“Thank God we were there. Everybody’s houses were gone, you know, and our house was kind of like the safe house because it was still standing. The guys and girls and everybody helped out. In 45 minutes the ambulance and fire department was there they were pulling people out of the rubble. It was definitely scary,” Parker continued. “Everybody knew to go to the Beach House that evening. He had a generator that was running.”

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Oregon City Council on Monday unanimously approved a re-opener agreement with the Oregon Police Patrolmen’s Association and the Police Command Officers/Fraternal Order of Police for a pay raise.

The re-opener is for wages only for July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011.

The ratified contracts were in line with contracts for the fire department and AFSCME, said Mayor Mike Seferian.

Law Director Paul Goldberg said it was unusual to reopen a contract mid-term.

“We generally like to negotiate a three year agreement, have everything – the wages and contract language - covered for three years. We set out last year to negotiate a contract with all five of our bargaining units. We did strike a three year contract and contract language with all the units, but due to the nature of the national and local economy, we just didn’t think it was prudent at that time to strike a deal on wages because it wasn’t clear where we were going. It’s still kind of that way,” said Goldberg. “We thought it was actually in the best interests of the city and the employees to wait and see how things developed. This is what we’ve come up with. Council and the administration have been very conscientious and responsible stewards of the public monies. And that’s why we’re in a position to be able to offer pay raises to our employees. When you see many other communities making cuts, furloughs and layoffs, we’re doing none of the above. So with the police officers and command, they chose to do a one year re-opener.”

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The state has initiated two emergency financing programs for residents whose businesses, farms, and homes were damaged by tornadoes this month in Ottawa, Wood, Lucas, and Fulton counties.

Renew Ohio and Rebuild Ohio will allocate $20 million through the state treasurer’s linked deposit system to assist those in need by providing lower interest rates on loans.

Rebuild Ohio is designed to assist homeowners applying for construction loans to rebuild their homes. Renew Ohio aims to assist small-business owners, farmers, and homeowners not seeking construction loans.

Genoa Banking Co. is participating in both programs. Huntington National Bank, Farmers & Merchants State Bank, and First Federal Bank of the Midwest are participating in Renew Ohio.

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Last Thursday, restaurants throughout the area were alive with entertainment. There was a reason for that.

Countless restaurants donated 15 percent of total sales on June 10 to the communities hit by the tornados on June 5. Others held their own fundraisers.

Some of the local restaurants participating in the June 10 list provided by Millbury resident Ronda Friesel of SSOE Group were Luckies Barn and Grill in Oregon, JoJo’s Pizza in Walbridge, Moodies Coney Island in Northwood, Burnsey’s in Oregon, and Sonic in Oregon. Yeeha’s in Oregon also planned a similar fundraiser on June 17.

Luckies Barn and Grill raised $3,500 of about $22,000 raised by the restaurants on Friesel’s list. Besides the 15 percent donation, owners Geoff and Melissa Kies entertained guests with two magicians, a dunk tank, and the restaurant held raffles.

Singers Chris Shutters, father and son Frankie and Bobbie May, and John Borile all entertained with live patio jams for free. The affair lasted all day and all night, and the owners said they and employees rarely had a chance to stop and rest.

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The Ottawa County commissioners are reminding vendors that the sales and use tax rate will increase to 6.75 percent on July 1.

The current rate is 6.5 percent.

Vendors may apply for reimbursement for the cost of adjusting their cash registers. Application forms are available on the Ohio Department of Taxation website.

The commissioners earlier this year approved the tax increase after the county budget was hit by falling revenues and the prospect of being reimbursed by the state to meet the cost of required programs and services appears to be less likely.

With the increase, the county’s share will be 1.25 percent and the state portion will be 5.5 percent.

Steve Arndt, a commissioner, said the 0.25 percent increase will be in effect for three years and then automatically end.

“State funding for many services has been dropping,” he said when the commissioners voted for the increase. “Unfortunately we are the delivery point for those services and it really puts a bind on us. We’re at the point it’s going to reach core services.”

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