The Press Newspaper
Life can be rewarding without a four-year college degree
The average cost for four years at a private college is $105,092; the cost to commute at a four-year public college is $28,080, according to College Board, an association of 5,700 colleges and universities.
The average young adult graduates with $19,000 in student loan debt and thousands in credit card debt, according to a 2008 Press report entitled Young, Educated and Broke. At the current fixed interest rate of 6.8 percent, a borrower would pay about $219 a month for 10 years.
Here’s two horror stories to consider before you, or your child, take the plunge into such debt.
Ryan, 31, a married father of two, owes $70,000 in student loans and collection fees. Because of bad luck, naivety, and a poor credit rating, he has a car payment of $450 a month at 15 percent interest. His creditors garnished his wages before he was laid off in January. Unless Ryan’s situation dramatically improves, he’ll eventually have his Social Security garnished.
Search culminates in burglary arrest
Walbridge police have charged Jacob Hatfield, 15, the subject of an intensive search last week, with burglary, according to Paul Dobson, Wood County Prosecutor.
Three other teens face charges, including criminal trespassing and obstruction, Dobson said.
Walbridge Police Chief Walt Tylicki said Thursday his department was “looking into some leads” but referred questions to the prosecutor’s office.
Hatfield, of Haskins, O. and a student at Otsego High School, had attended a function for youths the evening of Dec. 6 at Main Street Church in Walbridge and was reported missing by his parents, Douglas and Rebecca Hatfield, after they arrived to pick him up.
By the next day volunteers and local police and fire department personnel were assembling at the church to begin a search.
Residents in the Lake School District can certainly recall the Lake school levy
fiasco a few years back.
After several failed attempts to pass a school levy, voters finally approved a 6.75-mill, five-year operating levy in August 2006. The vote was close even while passing, with 1,949 voters supporting the levy and 1,580 voters giving their "no" vote.
The operating levy raises an additional $1.4 million a year for the district, which had gone through a string of levy defeats going back to August 2004.
Dave Shaffer, a 1982 Lake graduate who has been the high school's director of athletics since 1999, watched levy after levy fail. In 2005, the school board cut extracurricular activities that were eventually funded through a private volunteer group, but with limited athletic teams.
"We scaled back in some of our programs," said Shaffer, who was an assistant athletic director at Lake from 1989-99. "We offered fewer junior high teams and we reduced our assistant coaching staffs. We lost approximately 150 kids district-wide who transferred out, which probably equates to a graduating class. That is hard to handle, and it was difficult.
Construction of a 250,000-kilowatt solar panel array at the Pilkington North America site in Northwood is tentatively scheduled to start the second quarter of next year, according to the engineering firm overseeing the project.
A federal grant of $680,782 for the installation of the array was awarded through the state energy component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Kara Allison, Director of Government and Community Relations for Hull & Associates, said the firm is working with Pilkington to structure the project so it can be owned and operated by Hull or one of its affiliates.
Construction of the solar field should be completed by the third quarter of 2010, she said, adding it is intended to supply power to Pilkington’s research and development facility.
Budget cuts have taken the bite out of Barney, Northwood’s crime-fighting
Like most communities across the country, the city is struggling with a deep recession that has not yet lost its grip. The city cut costs to balance its budget, including two full-time officers, and Barney, a six-and-a-half-year-old shepherd that was purchased with a homeland security grant six years ago.
“Due to budgetary cutbacks, we can’t afford him anymore,” said Police Chief Tom Cairl.
The news caught Barney’s handler, Patrolman Fred Genzman, by surprise.
“It was a shock. I can’t complain because people are losing their full-time jobs. But it’s still a shock. He’s got three, maybe four good years left in him,” said Genzman, who’s been on the force for eight years.