The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

A man sentenced to 11 years in prison for possession of cocaine will be re-sentenced following a decision by the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court ruling.

Rafael Gonzales, 56, had appealed his sentence from the Wood County Court of Common Pleas, arguing the court erred in how it presented evidence during the trial.

“Because the state failed to introduce evidence as to the purity or weight of the cocaine in this case, we find that appellant’s penalty enhancement under Revised Code must be reversed and vacated,” the appeals court ruled.

Gonzales had been found guilty in 2013 after being indicted for purchasing two kilograms of cocaine from an undercover officer. The purchase took place in July 2012 at a Super 8 Motel along I-280.

The charge against him included a major drug offender specification because the amount exceeded 100 grams.

The cocaine was seized by officers and tested by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which confirmed the drug actually was cocaine. The BCI analyst, however, wasn’t available to testify at the trial and the test results were not admitted in the case. Consequently, prosecutors relied on the testimony of officers and an informant who arranged the sale.

The City of Oregon was all over national news because of the Ohio State Buckeyes’ 42-20 national championship victory over the Oregon Ducks.

Now, Mayor Mike Seferian says the publicity is turning into an economic development and promotion tool.

The momentum started when Oregon natives and Whitmer teachers Matt Squibb and Mark Rabbitt began an online petition to have the city’s name changed for the day of the national championship game. The petition went viral, garnering 2,000 signatures within three days, so Seferian felt compelled to take action.

Not wanting to be identified with the University of Oregon football team, the city of Oregon changed its name by proclamation to “Oregon, Ohio Buckeyes on the Bay, City of Duck Hunters” for one day, Monday, January 12 — when the Buckeyes and Ducks played for an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision championship.

Everyone from The Sporting News to ESPN Magazine and ESPN cable got on the media bandwagon.

Northwood Mayor Mark Stoner said the city still faces challenges following the 2007 recession that saw significant budget cuts. But the city, he said, is “slowly improving” economically.

“As with the past few years, the message for 2015 is one of continuing challenges tempered by optimism,” said Stoner in his state of the city address.

“We will continue to adhere to a prudent spending plan as we move through a slowly improving but still uncertain economic time in our city. While the challenges of economic downturn still linger and the hoped for recovery has not fully materialized, there are signs of improvement and we are extremely hopeful about the future,” he said.

He noted that the city started off this year with a positive general fund carryover.

“We have approved a balanced 2015 budget totaling $4,632,255 and we project our 2015 general fund revenue to total $4,636,380,” he said.

Income taxes were up 5.7 percent from 2013. Total General Fund expenditures increased by $192,932 or 4.7 percent from 2013.

In its second class, Eastwood’s Eagle Way Hall of Fame will induct seven new members, including teacher Adolph Madaras; administrator Richard Lowrie; librarian Jane Kohlenberg; coach Jerry Sigler; Ron Dunmyer for athletics and coaching and Vietnam veterans killed in action Leroy Minnix and Kenneth Krukemyer.

The inductees will be honored during a dinner banquet at the Pemberville Post 183 American Legion Hall at 6 p.m. on Feb. 28. Tickets are $25 each and are available at Eastwood High School, Pemberville Library, and from any hall of fame officer. Information is available at eastwoodlocalschools.org/alumni.

Adolph Louis “Duff” Madaras was born in Raab, Hungary, July 8, 1911 and raised in Pemberville. His family immigrated through Ellis Island and was quarantined for six weeks due to an outbreak of rheumatic fever. He spoke only Hungarian until attending school. He graduated from Pemberville High in 1929, where he played basketball and track.

At Bowling Green State University, he earned three letters in football (1937-38-39), basketball (1938-39-40) and track (1938-39-40). He was inducted as a member of the BGSU Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 1995.

Driving by Tiger Ridge Exotics animal shelter in Stony Ridge, one notices that owner Kenny Hetrick and volunteers are working around the clock to upgrade and repair the facility that once housed exotic animals.

Two weeks ago, the Ohio Department of Agriculture officials removed six tigers, a lion, black leopard, liger, bobcat and Kody, the Kodiak bear, that Hetrick’s family said was in hibernation when the ODA officials arrived.

The ODA had denied Hetrick’s application to operate an exotic animal rescue facility, saying the application was submitted 298 days late and that a visit by inspectors found “your facility illustrated that you have failed to comply with caging requirements needed for public safety and care standards intended to protect the animals” under the Ohio Revised Code.

Most of the animals were aging, including a tiger and black panther that were 14 and 16-years-old. A wolf hybrid was allowed to remain on the property because that species is not applicable to state law.

The animals are at a newly-built multi-million dollar holding facility in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, where ODA Communications Director Erica M. Hawkins told The Press they are doing well.

race relations improved

Has President Obama, America's first African American president, improved race relations since he has been in office?
1737203839 [{"id":"64","title":"It's improved.","votes":"8","pct":20.51,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"65","title":"It's worse.","votes":"28","pct":71.79,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"66","title":"Stayed the same.","votes":"3","pct":7.69,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/28-race-relations-improved No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...