The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Oregon officials praised officers from their police division for catching and arresting an alleged kidnapper following a high speed car chase last weekend that started at a gas station in Port Clinton.

It was the second car chase in which Oregon officers have been involved in the last month.

“They both ended well,” said City Administrator Mike Beazley.

Last Sunday, Oregon police joined in the pursuit of a 24-year-old man from Rochester, New York, after he allegedly kidnapped a woman who had earlier agreed to give him a ride outside a carryout in Port Clinton.

“At some point, he decided that he wanted her to drive him somewhere else,” said Oregon Police Chief Mike Navarre. “She was able to get on the phone and call 911. During the telephone conversation, he could be overheard telling her to `keep driving, or I’m going to kill you.’”

Sheriff’s deputies from Ottawa County were unsuccessful in their attempts to stop the vehicle, said Navarre.

Oregon is planning to upgrade and improve security access at the municipal complex, water treatment and wastewater treatment plants and the city’s three fire stations.

City council on Monday will consider approving a contract with Asset Protection Corporation, Toledo, for $60,430 to provide labor, material and equipment for the improvements.

The security systems “have reached the point where they have no more shelf life left,” said City Administrator Mike Beazley at a committee of the whole meeting on Monday. Materials and components are no longer available to maintain or upgrade the current system

The new system would replace the present, more costly “dual card” system, said Beazley.

The city in 2003 installed a keyless entry system to improve access control and enhance security at the buildings that was in addition to an existing card entry sytem for the police and court facilities. For several years, the city maintained the dual card security system - one for the police and court, and a separate system for the administration entrances and other city facilities.

The 11 animals removed from Tiger Ridge Exotics are among 70 classified as “dangerous wild animals” that have taken residence at the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s 20,000 square foot facility in Reynoldsburg since March 2013.

There have been 44 alligators, eight bears, six tigers, three restricted snakes, two cougars, and a dwarf crocodile, timber wolf, serval, bobcat, lion, leopard, and liger who have taken residence since the facility opened. The facility cost just shy of $3 million and construction was completed in about three months, says ODA Communications Director Erica M. Hawkins.

Hawkins says the state has never euthanized an animal cared for at its facility and all animals have been permanently relocated or are weathering out the winter until they can be relocated in the spring. Eventually, they are placed in accredited sanctuaries in six states — California, Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Georgia. Hawkins says the shortest stay for an animal is overnight with the longest stay 66 days.

Employing a search and seizure warrant, ODA officials removed six tigers, a lion, black leopard, liger, bobcat and and Kodiak bear from Tiger Ridge on a cold Wednesday afternoon in late January.

Tiger Ridge sees up to 100 volunteers on daily basis

Tiger Ridge Exotics spokesperson Andrew Zapata says up to 100 volunteers have been arriving daily to help out owner Kenny Hetrick with upgrades and repairs to meet new guidelines set by the state of Ohio.

“The volunteers have been amazing,” Zapata said. “It slowed down this week because this weather has been really brutal, but we only really need a couple more good days to get this completely finished.

“The thing that has really kept them going is the amazing outpouring of support from this community. It’s been awesome.”

However, last Thursday and Friday, the animal farm set empty — not only of animals, but of volunteers.

The animals have been gone for nearly a month now. The Ohio Department of Agriculture had removed them from Tiger Ridge after it 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.

A high school principal from Portage County has been selected to succeed outgoing Genoa Schools Superintendent Dennis Mock.

The Genoa Board of Education voted Tuesday to approve a three-year contract for Michael Ferguson, principal currently at Rootstown High School in Northeast Ohio, according to Mock. Portage County’s population is about 191,000, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

He will be paid $94,000 annually and his contract begins Aug. 1 but his first official day will be Aug. 3.

Beginning June 30, Ferguson will spend time with Mock learning the job. Until his contract kicks in, he will be reimbursed on a per diem basis.

Ferguson was one of 12 applicants for the job, according to Doug Crooks, superintendent for the North Point Educational Service Center, the organization that conducted the search.

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