The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

For more than three decades, Kurt Erichsen, vice president of environmental planning at the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, has been coordinating the efforts of public and private entities in implementing environmental programs.

He shares his thoughts about algal problems in the western basin of Lake Erie.

Q. As someone who’s been involved in environmental matters in Northwest Ohio/S.E. Michigan for 31 years, where do you think we’ve made the most progress in addressing stormwater run-off and related problems?

After four weeks of voting, Magee Marsh has been chosen Best Birdwatching Area in USA Today’s 10Best Readers' Choice Travel Award Contest.

Voters were asked to select their favorite from a long list of birdwatching areas. Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) launched a major social media campaign to remind people to vote every day. “Birders love Magee,” said Kimberly Kaufman, BSBO’s executive director. “We didn’t have to tell them who to vote for, all we had to do was keep reminding them to vote every day.”

Following the defeat of a levy request for additional tax revenues, the Genoa school board will meet Tuesday to discuss the district’s financial situation.

Voters in the Ottawa County school system earlier this month rejected an emergency levy that would have generated an additional $800,000 annually. The unofficial vote tally was 1,351 for, to 1,662 against, according to the county board of elections.

Treasurer Bill Nye said a 5-mill operating levy that was first approved in 1990 expires at the end of next year, making the district’s financial picture a little more complex

“I’m working on four or five scenarios to present to the board,” he said. “We do have an unofficial cost reduction list that we will most likely be talking about. There are a few options we can look at.”

A five-year forecast of the district’s finances projects it will end this fiscal year on June 30, 2015 with a balance of about $1.3 million. Without additional revenues or reductions in expenditures, the balance drops to about $500,000 by June 2016 and it becomes a deficit of slightly more than $500,000 by June 2017.

After shooting of dog, policy changes coming

The shooting of a dog by an on-duty police officer in the Village of Woodville is prompting village leaders to implement several changes in police department policy, Mayor Richard Harman said Tuesday.

Nearly 50 people attended Monday’s meeting of village council to voice concern over the Nov. 3 shooting of a chocolate Labrador that approached officer Steve Gilkerson who was conducting a traffic stop on U.S. 20.

The dog, named Moses, was shot in the leg the morning of Nov. 3 and has undergone extensive surgery. A review of the shooting cleared officer Gilkerson, the department’s K-9 officer, of violating any departmental policy or Ohio law.

About 50 residents crowded into council chambers in the Village of Woodville Monday night, urging council and the administration to take corrective action to prevent another shooting of a dog by a member of the police department.

Tom Bloom told council that several residents asked him to speak on their behalf and said many in the community were frustrated the initial investigation didn’t include interviews of witnesses at the scene.

“How can you submit a report clearing an officer without getting the facts from those who were there?” he asked. “This clearly shows that there was bias in the investigation. Because of this bias the citizens of this community now have lost faith and credibility in the police department.”

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