The Press Newspaper
Genoa officers claim hostile work environment
The Ottawa County sheriff is recommending Genoa village officials hire a special investigator immediately to look into allegations of a hostile work environment leveled by three village police officers against Chief Randy Hill.
The officers – Sgt. Todd Mocniak, Kevin Miller, and Mike Woods - recently gave several pages of written complaints and issues regarding Chief Hill to councilman Eric Hise.
The councilman then asked Sheriff Robert Bratton for his opinion on the seriousness of the complaints, Bratton said.
“They need a special investigator to review all their issues to be fair,” Bratton said after turning over his response to Hise on March 3. “They need to act immediately. We don’t know what the chief’s response will be to this.”
Chief Hill said he hasn’t seen the documents and declined to comment.
Sheriff Bratton emphasized he is not stating a hostile environment exists in the village department. However, once “these words are used,” action needs to be taken quickly, the sheriff said.
“There needs to be an investigation immediately conducted to find out the validity and if there is or is not this type of situation,” Bratton wrote in his response.
A hearing to decide if the Ottawa County Humane Society unlawfully seized dehydrated and malnourished horses from a Carroll Township farm is scheduled for March 18 in Ottawa County Municipal Court.
Robin Vess, who has pled not guilty to charges of animal cruelty, filed a motion to suppress with the court, claiming the Humane Society entered the property without a search warrant and violated her Fourth Amendment rights as well as the Ohio Constitution.
“…The humane society…entered onto the property of the defendant, into a closed barn which is attached to the residence, without a warrant, and unlawfully seized approximately 40 horses,” the motion states. “Since the plaintiff entered without a warrant, the seizure of evidence was unlawful and cannot be used against the defendant. As such, the law requires suppression of all such evidence.”
Vess is represented by Toledo attorney Mark Davis. To support Vess’s contention, the motion cites federal as well as state cases.
“The Ohio Supreme Court has been particularly protective of a homeowner’s right to be free from unlawful seizure,” the motion says.
A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that children ages 8-18 spend 53 hours a week using entertainment media, or about 7½ hours per day. The same study found that only 30 percent of students have time limits for television, computer, or video games.
Acronyms and abbreviations have become their language, and while many parents have caught onto the technology and language, others have not. Many of these school-aged children have no idea what kind of trouble they can get into.
This school year, speakers from Oregon City Schools, the Oregon police department, and the Lucas County prosecutor’s office gave a presentation to Clay High School in which students were broken up into groups to discuss sexting, social networking, and the threat of sexual predators on the internet. Two other presentations last spring and fall were to students at Eisenhower Middle School.
“When I talked to the kids I asked how many have cell phones and I thought I was going to get laughed at,” Oregon Schools technology director Nathan Quigg said. “Ninety-eight percent of them raised their hands and when I asked who doesn’t have them, a handful said they don’t.”
The Metroparks is required to keep track of migratory birds and water fowl at
John Jaeger, retired director for natural resources at the Metroparks of the Toledo Area, walks through a three-hour bird survey every 10 days. Jaeger is contracted to perform the survey for the Columbus-based Ohio Wetlands Foundation.
Pearson North has 10 different bird stations, and Jaeger spends 10 minutes at each station. After 29 days touring the park, he said he’s seen "some amazing birds that have stopped off here since the opening."
He found the 300-acre Pearson expansion promises opportunities for nature watching, including the appearance of a wide variety of birds more typical of Lake Erie marshes.
For example, the field naturalist told members of The Friends of Pearson Park during February’s monthly meeting at Macomber Lodge that “the springtime woodland will offer important foraging areas for neo-tropical migrating birds such as warblers and thrushes.”
He heard a whip-poor-will one evening walking around the park — a sound not heard in Northwest Ohio today like it was decades ago. Another day, he picked up a pie-billed greed.
Seventy-four percent of 12-18 year olds have a profile on a social networking site, a Kaiser Family Foundation study concluded.
“Parents that think their kids don’t might be surprised that their kids do,” Oregon Schools information technology director Nathan Quigg said. “Most kids have switched over to Facebook because once Grandma and Ma got on MySpace, it was no longer hip. I’m sure once there is something new, they’ll switch again.”
Facebook has a rule that a child must be 13-years-old to have an account, but that is not always the case.
“Who checks? My 6-year-old can come along and say she’s 65,” Fassett Middle School information technology instructor Amy Sweet said. “But if you want to see more — see what people really have you must have your own settings. I strongly recommend if your child has a Facebook account, you must get the password.”
Sweet noted that social networking pages can be great for communication, when used in the right way.
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