The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

New rules for the Ohio House of Representatives, written for the most part by Randy Gardner (R- Bowling Green), were approved by the House Tuesday.

Republicans gained control of the House – and the chance to set the body’s rules for the session that recently started -  in the November election. Rep. Gardner said the rules will “promote a more open and fair legislative process.”

He points to what he sees as three significant changes:
•The number of full standing committees is reduced from 27 to 17. Rep. Gardner and House Speaker William Batchelder (R- Medina) say fewer committees foster a “greater focus” on issues and will save taxpayers about $250,000 over the next two years.

• A two-day waiting and reading period has bee re-established for any final votes on bills containing appropriations. The rule requires two days following a conference committee vote before the House may consider the budget.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has found a third site in Toledo where someone illegally dumped asbestos.

On December 14, the OEPA announced it was seeking information to help nab those responsible for dumping 60 bags of regulated asbestos waste in two Toledo neighborhoods. Thirty-seven bags were dumped at a vacant house in LaGrange Street in North Toledo, and 23 bags were left in an alley near a garage on St. Louis Street in East Toledo. Combined, there was approximately 100 cubic feet of asbestos.

Last week, Dina Pierce, northwest district media coordinator for the Ohio EPA, said a third site was recently discovered on Champlain Street in Toledo.

Northwood’s Economic Development Committee is looking into making an outparcel off Curtis Road more attractive for future economic development.

“It’s been there a long time,” said Councilman Dave Gallaher, chairman of the committee. He brought up the matter at a council meeting on Jan. 4.

“It’s a nice location. You have to ask why it isn’t being developed, in spite of the economy. Is there something we can do to help that process along?” said Gallaher after the meeting.

The parcel is between Appleby’s Restaurant and I-280 on Curtis Road.

The Oregon City School District’s decision to close Wynn Elementary School next year, and eliminate busing for high school students is firm, according to Superintendent Mike Zalar.

“The decision has been made,” said Zalar. “We’re trying to get information out to parents regarding what the changes are going to mean for the next semester. We’re trying to have the minimal impact on teaching and learning in the classroom. There’s no direct impact on the classroom with the elimination of busing for high school students and closing an elementary building.”

Some parents have raised concerns about the cuts since Nov. 29, when the board eliminated seven teaching positions, announced the closure of Wynn, which has an enrollment of 287 students, and eliminated busing for high school students to cut $2.8 million from the budget.

An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for later this month to consider testimony in a case centering on rates for FirstEnergy’s all-electric customers.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio said it set the hearing for Jan. 27 in Columbus to allow parties more time to prepare testimony.

After holding six public meetings to accept comment on all-electric rates, including one in October in Maumee, the PUCO is entering the final phase of a process that will decide the fate of a discount for those consumers. Currently, the discount is scheduled to remain in effect through May 31 of this year.

FirstEnergy implemented discounted rates in the 1970s for consumers in all-electric homes.

In 2006, the PUCO approved an agreement between the company and cities of Akron, Toledo, and Cleveland to establish electric generation rates through 2008 to shield consumers from potential “rate shock.” The so-called rate certainty plan was considered necessary because a competitive market in electricity generation hadn’t developed after the state adopted a format for de-regulating the industry.


Based on the current refugee vetting process, should the U.S. suspend the program allowing Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the country?
1697033511 [{"id":"82","title":"Yes","votes":"3","pct":75,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"83","title":"No","votes":"1","pct":25,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"84","title":"Not sure; need more information.","votes":"0","pct":0,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/35-refugees No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...