The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Behind his stately desk on the Ottawa County Courthouse third floor, Common Pleas Court Judge Bruce Winters reflects on his first six-year term.

“I’m finally in a position to make a change. There are no guarantees,” Winters said. “We’ve worked hard to make changes to get us to this point.”

Those adjustments include lowering the annual budget to $945,000 for the court and probation department, picking up grants to underwrite costs for new programs and intensifying oversight of drug testing and treatment connected to the hundreds filtering through the court system.

Winters didn’t enter into criminal justice on a whim. His direction has been firmly centered on advancement in the field since high school. He’s spent the last 18 years following a trail from probation officer, prosecutor and magistrate leading up to this point.

Overall, “I have 35 years in the system. I could retire and return to private practice. I could make more money. It just seems like I’m here to make a difference,” the judge assessed.

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The Lake Township trustees Tuesday reluctantly accepted the resignation of Sgt. Jim Goodenough who is retiring from the police department.

Goodenough has been with the department for 27 years and states in a letter to the trustees he’ll be retiring at the end of November.

“I can not think of a better place I would like to work,” his letter, which was read by Melanie Bowen, who chairs the board of trustees, says.

Police chief Mark Hummer said he and Goodenough both started at the police training academy in 1983.

“He’s a natural leader,” the chief said. “He’s great with the public and great with the guys.”

Richard Welling, a trustee, said the sergeant was “the face of the Lake Township Police Department for a considerable time” and is a “very professional, outstanding officer and community advocate.”

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Harold K. Douthit, a ‘Renaissance man’

Harold Kenneth Douthit Jr., 87, of Sandusky, who died Oct. 21 from complications of long-term diabetes, was a newspaper and magazine publisher, computer-programming innovator, art and book collector, world traveler and a boxer.

A student of history and creativity, Douthit knew all about Leon Battista Alberti, the 15th-century Italian artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher and cryptographer who developed the ideal of the “Renaissance man,” submitting that “a man can do all things if he will.”

Douthit didn’t speak of himself in such fashion. According to a 1979 feature story documenting his Northern Ohio publishing successes, Douthit “has a local press run of 122,000 weekly papers and yet he’s truly incognito when it comes to fame.”

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When incumbent District 46 State Legislator Michael Sheehy got his chance to speak to the Oregon-Northwood Rotary Club Wednesday, he spoke mostly about invasive algae issues in Lake Erie.

Sheehy, a Democrat, has a completely different approach to the algae issue than his Republican challenger, 34-year-old Andrew Blazsik.

Sheehy is for stricter regulation, noting with a fact sheet he presented to the Rotary that 11 million people derive their drinking water from Lake Erie. In 2011, invasive blue-green algae covered 1,900 square miles of the lake and the “dead zone,” where they is not enough oxygen for fish to survive, in the middle basin of Lake Erie increased to 1,544 square miles.

Sheehy’s fact sheet further stipulates that 9,576,624 animals in the Maumee watershed produce over 12 billion pounds of manure per annum with no sewage disposal plant required. Also, 422 million pounds of fertilizer are put into the Maumee watershed per annum. He adds that the Maumee River is the largest river flowing into the Great Lakes. Sheehy says his facts are from symposiums he has attended.

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The Eastwood school board has decided to proceed with a plan to finance a new elementary school building without additional tax revenues.

The board Wednesday agreed to issue bonds in December, hoping to benefit from a recent decline in interest rates, and complete the issuance by early January, Brent Welker, district superintendent, said.

He said the district could then complete an agreement with the Ohio School Facilities Commission, which is providing about $7 million for the project.

“In the coming weeks, we also anticipate the assignment of a project manager to the Eastwood project,” Welker says in an email message to district residents. “Once we have a project manager, we will be moving forward with the selection of an architect and construction manager.”

In addition to the OSFC funding, the board is proposing to finance construction costs with $12.5 million in local revenues.

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Trick or Treat

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