The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson officially announced the end of the 2015 harmful algal bloom season amid collaborative partners at a media event in front of the Collins Park water treatment plant Tuesday morning.

Much of this resulted from an August 2014 crisis in which nearly 500,000 area residents were told that they could not drink Toledo’s water for an entire weekend, leading to a crisis that drew national media attention. The water was polluted with microcystin, a toxin found in harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

“We must never forget that this was an event that really shook the core of our region. We need to protect life in every way we can. Even though we are at the bottom (of the Maumee River watershed), we are the ones who have to deal with the situation,” said Dr. Thomas Bridgeman, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Toledo,

The mayor stated that $50 million dollars has been spent in 2015 making upgrades and improvements at the Collins Park facility. She stressed that “every single day” during the harmful aglae bloom, even with record-setting algae levels in the lake, Toledo’s water was safe to drink.

Years ago, Oak Harbor Mayor Bill Eberle decided he wanted to fulfill his civic duty by becoming part of his local government.

He was a husband, father, a long-time employee of Toledo Edison and with his church, St. Boniface, as the president of the finance committee. He also served as a district deputy, Grand Knight and financial secretary of the local Knights of Columbus Chapter 1944.

Still, he desired to be more active within the community.

After serving on the planning commission, as a village council member and now after three years as the village’s mayor, Eberle has more than satisfied that desire.

“The reason that I got involved is because my involvement with the community was lacking,” he said. “I’ve been involved with the church, but not civically. I was looking for something along those lines, and that’s where I fell into this.”

Joe Helle is not your average 29-year-old.

An Army veteran, he’s served a tour of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He owns and operates his own business, and he is working to become the next mayor of Oak Harbor.

Incumbent Bill Eberle is up for re-election.

Helle, a 2004 graduate of Oak Harbor High School, talked about his motivation for running.

“I wouldn’t be running for mayor if I didn’t think there was an issue with the current leadership,” he said. “The town lacks leadership. I come from an army background, and I see a town that doesn’t have a leader. I see leaders that show up a couple of times per month for council meetings and call it a day and then we don’t see or hear from them (other than that). We’re a full-time town and we deserve full-time leaders. That doesn’t mean they have to be in the office all they time. But they should be out and about representing us, talking to residents and to business owners, and what their concerns would be.

Increasing costs for maintenance on a garage and equipment as well as fuel, utilities and personnel have swayed the Harris Township trustees to seek additional millage for the Harrington and Union cemeteries.

Voters next week will be asked to renew a 0.7-mill, 5-year levy and an additional 0.6-mill levy for maintaining the cemeteries.

Originally passed in 1995, the renewal issue generates about $28,500 annually.

A change in state law covering a “roll back” in property taxes is one reason for the request for renewing the existing millage and asking for an additional 0.6-mill, according to the trustees.

A public forum to discuss the financial situation of the Woodmore Local School District has scheduled by the board of education for Oct. 25 at 5 p.m.

The forum will be held in the cafetorium of the PreK-8 Building, 800 Main St., Woodville.

The results of an audit of the district’s books by accounting firm, Julian & Grube, are among the items for discussion,

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