The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

The State Fire Marshal has ruled a fire at the Stony Ridge Inn, Latcha Road, was caused by arson and is asking for more information about the blaze from the public.

Investigators were able to rule out all accidental causes for the fire, which was reported about 5:47 a.m. on Feb. 17, and found significant evidence the fire was intentionally set.  The fire marshal’s office said “specific information” about the fire was also gathered during interviews over the two days following the fire.

Now, investigators are asking for other witnesses to come forward and a Blue Ribbon Arson Award notice has been posted at the property. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the identification of those responsible.

No one was seriously injured in the fire, which caused heavy damage to the restaurant and bar of the inn. The nearby hotel wasn’t affected.

“Working together, investigators from all of the involved agencies have been able to put together a clear picture of what occurred Wednesday morning at the Stony Ridge Inn,” said Tim Spradlin, Chief of the State Fire Marshal’s Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau. “We believe, though, someone still has more information about the case and we hope they will come forward.”

With less revenue flowing into city coffers, Northwood is considering deeper budget cuts or the possibility of an increase in the income tax.
 
Mayor Mark Stoner said last week that there was nearly a 5 percent reduction in revenue in January compared to last January.
 
“The income tax collections were $184,097, a decrease of $8,934, or 4.6 percent from the same period of 2009,” Stoner told council at a Feb. 11 meeting.
 
Stoner said he would be regularly providing council with financial updates from Finance Director Toby Schroyer at each council meeting.

Woodmore school officials are banking on a spring levy to wipe away the winter blues.
 
The Woodmore Board of Education Tuesday agreed to put a 2.99-mill emergency levy before voters May 4, schools treasurer Kevin Slates said.
 
The emergency levy would cover the cost of utilities, salaries, benefits and other expenses.
 
The decision was hard for school officials but necessary, they say.
 
The district, which spans portions of Ottawa and Sandusky counties, would receive about $450,000 annually over the next five years, beginning in January 2011 if voters approve the levy.

Two injury accidents occurred last Tuesday within a 20 minute period and just a

half mile from each other on I-75.

The Northwood Police and Fire departments responded to the first accident, an injury crash involving seven vehicles at northbound I-75 between Wales Road and Miami Street at 2:12 p.m.

A silver Kia traveling north on the inside lane lost control when its tires got caught up in the snow that was along the center median wall, according to police.

The Kia, driven by 19-year-old Keith Logue, spun out and was facing south in the northbound lane, which caused a chain reaction leading four more northbound vehicles to crash. An additional vehicle lost control but did not sustain any damage. Another vehicle involved was not identified because it fled the scene, said police.

For some insight into how the area’s housing market is faring Jeff Carpenter need look no further than the local property tax receipts for the Lake Local School District.

It’s not a pretty picture: In fiscal year 2008, which began July 1, 2007, the district received about $6.2 million – roughly $685,000 more than the year before. But by fiscal year 2009 a drop in local tax revenue had begun and by the end of the year the district received only $6.04 million.

In the first half of fiscal year 2010, the district is $16,372 below where it was in 2009 in local revenues.

“The county auditor is telling us that property tax delinquencies among homeowners are three times higher than normal,” Carpenter, the school district’s treasurer, said last week. “It’s been showing up in our revenues and I’m sure other districts are seeing the same thing.”

The district’s earnings on invested funds have also been dwindling.

In 2008, Lake’s investments earned $229,493 when interest rates were in the range of 5 to 5.5 percent. In 2009, the district earned $123,833 as rates slid to between 2 and 3 percent. In the first half of 2010, Carpenter is projecting the district will earn less than $9,000 on investments receiving on average less than .02 percent.

Super Bowl penalties

Do you think the penalties levied against the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots for "DeflateGate" are fair?
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