The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Oregon students whose parents are employed in the Oregon City Schools District, but who live outside the city, will no longer be allowed to participate in the city recreation program after July 31.

The city agreed to enforce the policy late last year, but the recreation advisory board heard complaints about it at a meeting two weeks ago, Mayor Mike Seferian said at a committee of the whole meeting last week.

The recreation advisory board, he added, is not the appropriate body to be reviewing the policy.

“I’m not sure that’s an appropriate agenda for them. This is a policy decision that we currently use. I strongly back the decision that we had come to late last year,” said Seferian. “I believe it would take a legislative act for me to want to change and allow participation from others into the program. Being that it would take a legislative act, I wouldn’t think the recreation board is the proper body to make the decision. There’s a lot of political ramifications in changing the policy. When I suggested to the individual who contacted me about wanting his kids to continue to participate in the program, I said `No.’ “He said, `Does it end right here?’ I said `’No one is that powerful to make a decision and just puts an end to something.’”

For years Ohio law stipulated that vehicle registrations expire on the owners’ birthday.

The stickers on a license plate, however, only indicate the month the plates are to be renewed and some motorists have considered the month as if it is a grace period even if their registrations were actually expired.

That ended last year, when, as part of the state’s transportation budget bill, the legislature approved a $20 penalty fee for the late renewal of drivers’ licenses and license plates.

In October, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles began collecting the fee from every vehicle owner who renewed plates and licenses more than a week after the birthday deadline.

Citing figures from the BMV, State Representative Randy Gardner says more than 320,000 Ohioans have been hit by the fine since it went into effect.

Last week he signed on as a co-sponsor of a bill that would repeal the fine.

“Many people view this penalty as excessive and not the appropriate way for government to raise revenue,” he said. “This penalty should have never been passed in the first place. Just because it’s the law today doesn’t mean we shouldn’t end it. That’s what our bill will do.”

Oregon City Council last week approved a $25,528,234 budget for capital improvements this year.

Among the improvements is the $3 million Otter Creek Road project, a three mile stretch that will get repaved.

Paul Roman, acting administrator and public service director, said at a council meeting on Jan. 25 that costs of the project came in under estimate.

“We received bids last Wednesday, and that came in close to $400,000 less than what we had estimated, so we did reduce the budget by $400,000 for that particular project,” said Roman.

“Our hope is to bring legislation for the first committee of the whole in February,” Roman said of the project. “It’s likely work would not begin until April. We’re hoping Otter Creek will be constructed in one construction season, start sometime in April, and end sometime in November.”

The road will be repaved from Corduroy Road to Wynn Road.

“Even Bayshore will be repaved with asphalt. It’s a big project,” said Roman.

Barney, Northwood’s crime-fighting police dog who was cut from the city’s

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budget last month, will be back on patrol, thanks to the generosity of businesses and anonymous benefactors who donated $7,500 to the city to keep the K-9 on the force.

Barney, whose last day was Dec. 21 due to budgetary cutbacks, is a six-and-a-half-year-old shepherd that was purchased with a homeland security grant six years ago. He accompanies his handler, Patrolman Fred Genzman, everywhere.

Northwood Police Chief Tom Cairl told The Press last week that two individuals who wished to remain anonymous donated $6,000 so that the city could keep Barney after they read an article in The Press last month about his early retirement due to the recession.

“They saw the article in The Press, and it sparked some interest in them to see what they could do for our K-9 program,” said Cairl. “We took that information to the Safety Committee, and they said, `Fine, as long as we use donations.’”

One of the individuals donated $5,000 towards Barney’s expenses, while the other donated $1,000, said Cairl.

Businesses were also generous, he added.

Don Christie and his wife, Michelle, knew something wasn't right with their

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                 Don Christie and his wife, Michelle, 
                 Olivia, 8, Ryan, 10, and Michaela, 6

youngest daughter, Michaela.

On March 20 last year, the Christie family drove to Columbus to watch two of their nieces, Courtney and Ashley Christie, play in the Division II state basketball semifinals for Kettering Alter High School at Value City Arena.

"Michaela was running a high fever on and off and had a lot of pain in her bones," says Don, an assistant principal at Oak Harbor Middle School. "She had been sick on and off. We're driving down there and every time we'd drive over a bump, like railroad tracks or something, she would start screaming. We got to Columbus and we had to carry her from the parking lot to the arena."

One day before, a family doctor had told Don and Michelle that Michaela simply had a viral infection and to just let it run its course.

"My wife said, 'This is not a virus...I want a blood test,' " Don recalls.

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