The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Terry Breymaier, president of Friends of Pearson Park, refers to the Metropark’s

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Tree-crew contractors planted 100,000 trees, shrubs, and bushes
at Pearson North. (Press file photo by Ken Grosjean)

300-acre north expansion as “one of the biggest conversation pieces in Oregon.”

Pearson North is in the process of being restored to its natural state as a swamp woods and open wetland by the Columbus-based Ohio Wetlands Foundation.

Pearson North, acquired in 2001, is beginning to show positive signs of becoming a wetland capable of attracting natural habitat, says OWF President Vincent E. Messerley.

Messerley said the oasis of trees, water and meadow provided by the area will be a natural stopover for birds, and meadows with wildflowers will provide important nectaring sources for butterflies and insects.

“We thought it had the highest chance of being a good wetland project to restore the Old Black Swamp and we settled on that,” Messerley said.

Since then, 100,000 trees, shrubs, and bushes have been planted in Pearson North.

“The ratio we used was 600 individual tree seedlings per acre and 100 shrubs per acre,” Messerley said. “We tried very hard to use native seed material from this area, or from Michigan or Indiana, and stay within this climate as much as possible.”

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Oregon Police Officer Jeff Brown, who was suspended last year following an internal affairs investigation involving several women, was put on paid administrative leave late last month.

Mayor Mike Seferian said police are looking at whether Brown, the son of former Mayor Marge Brown, violated department rules, but would not disclose details because the matter is under investigation.

“Pending the outcome of the investigation, we just put him on administrative leave,” said Seferian.

Brown could not be reached for comment.

Police Chief Rick Stager would not comment for The Press.

It is the latest police department investigation of Brown.

He received disciplinary action last year as the result of an investigation that stretched back seven years. He was suspended for 20 days for his repeated and illegal use of the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS) to gain information about an ex-girlfriend over a two year period.

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Dave Zenk, superintendent in charge of maintenance for the Metroparks of the Toledo Area's operations division, says Oregon’s Pearson Park is in for a $498,396 capital improvement renovation slated to begin in 2010.

The projects will affect the original Pearson and the new 300-acre Pearson North expansion. Six more contracts will be bid over the next six years totaling another $100,000, Zenk said.

A one and three-quarter mile hiking and biking trail will be constructed in Pearson North that will travel alongside the 3,000 foot long Heckman Creek. The trail is designed to be positioned on the outside looking in towards the park, and is expected to be completed this year.

The trail is being funded by a $270,000 Clean Ohio Grant through the state’s Department of Natural Resources, with about $68,000 in funds being matched by the Metroparks. Zenk said bids coming in for the trail’s construction are one-third less than the original estimates.

Zenk added the Metroparks has just finished a two-year physical assessment study of its capital assets in the original parts of Pearson.

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Owens Community College has named Diana H. Talmage and H. Richard Rowe to

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Diana H. Talmage
pic-richrowe
H. Richard Rowe

serve as the chair and vice chair for the college’s board of trustees.

Talmage and Rowe were elected to their positions by their fellow colleagues during the recent Owens Board of Trustees meeting and will serve one-year terms.

Rowe, an Eastwood High School graduate, serves as a financial advisor and a general partner with Edward Jones Investments in Findlay. He attended Bowling Green State University and holds a Series 7 securities license as well as a life and health insurance license.

The Findlay resident was initially appointed to the college’s board in March 2004. Rowe’s professional and community involvement includes the Kiwanis Club of Findlay and the United Way of Hancock County and he once served as a city councilman for 10 years in Findlay. In addition, Rowe serves as chair of the board’s finance committee.

Rowe says he first got involved with Owens through community involvement with the Findlay campus, including his service with civic organizations. When he came onto the Owens board, he had been on city council for six years, and says he takes his service to the college seriously.

“Well, I think it’s important for people to go on to further their education to get a decent job. It’s not new. It’s been going on for several years,” Rowe said.

“A lot of my involvement, especially with a lot of the businesses in the Findlay and Hancock County area, is I’m kind of in tune as to what skill sets businesses are looking for in people and I’m more of a liaison. I have to balance the interest of the taxpayers, the community, the employees of the school, and the businesses as to what they are looking for to help them grow their businesses and develop jobs.

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Oregon Fire Chief Bill Wilkins, who announced last November that he would retire this June, left his post last Friday.

Mayor Mike Seferian said at a council meeting last week that Wilkins submitted a memo that read: “I submit a memo dated Nov. 1, 2009, of my intent to retire on June 25, 2010. This letter serves as my notice that I will be retiring under the police and fire pension system as fire chief for the City of Oregon effective Feb. 12…”

Wilkins left early to take a job with the state fire marshal’s office, Seferian said after the meeting.

City council unanimously concurred with the mayor’s acceptance of Wilkins’ retirement.

“I think Wilkins has served the city in a very distinguished manner, with a high degree of professionalism and integrity,” said Councilman Mike Sheehy. “Whatever he does, in his future career as a firefighter, I wish him the very best.”

Council President Clint Wasserman agreed.

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