The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Joe Helle achieved his goal.

1116Helle
Joe Helle

After working to visit every house in the Village of Oak Harbor, Helle’s dedication paid off as he was elected mayor earlier this month

“It was overwhelming to say the least. The state pushed back the release of results to after 9 p.m., which made the waiting even worse,” he said. “My wife, Andrea, and I stayed up until after 10 to see the results come over the screen, and I remember thanking her for all of her support through all of this.

“It means absolutely everything to me (to be elected mayor). Knowing that the residents of Oak Harbor have placed their confidence in me for the next four years is very humbling and I can't wait to get to work for them. They deserve it.”

The Ottawa County commissioners will meet next week to hold departmental budget hearings for 2016.

The commissioners have scheduled special sessions Nov. 16-23 at 8 a.m. to discuss department requests.

In the county’s 2014 annual report, the commissioners stated the county was able to maintain existing services and a balanced financial position because elected officials and employees focused on containing costs.

A permanent increase of 0.25 percent in the sales tax that went into effect in July 2013 generated $1.6 million in 2014.

The general fund ended 2014 with revenues exceeding expenses by $976,631. Without the sales tax the fund would have had a deficit of $633,623.

When he assumes the mayor’s post in the Village of Clay Center in January, Mark Franks plans to implement some changes in the village administration.

One of his goals for 2016 is to reorganize the police department, Franks said.

Before that, however, there are seats to fill on village council as no one filed to run in the election for either of two open seats.

“In a small town like this, we only have about 250 residents, it’s hard to get people involved in local government,” said Franks, who served a term on village council before running unopposed for the mayor’s office. “We’ve had a hard time filling our zoning commission also. We’re supposed to have five seated members. We only have three.”

Lizzie Smith, a senior at Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School, knows what it is like to see a loved one suffer through cancer treatment. Her mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when Lizzie was just 12 years old.

She also knows how lonely one can feel as they go through the treatment process. That’s why she decided to step-up and help others who were going through the same painful process.

On Sept. 12, Smith held a day-long Cancer Patient Retreat. Throughout the day, patients were able to make blankets, go on a nature walk, or participate in a number of other activities. There were also speakers who came in and talked to families, including a nutritionist and yoga instructor.

November 10th is a date that still haunts the hearts of many people in this region, for this was the day in 1975 that nature reminded us that she is not to be taken lightly. Capable of sudden and capricious power she can render helpless even the largest egos and machines of men. Forty years ago on that day, such was the case when the gales of November swallowed the Toledo-based freighter, the Edmund Fitzgerald in the stormy and violent waters of Lake Superior.

The ensuing tale of this big ship's tragedy has survived long after the storm of that night, spawning songs, poems, stories and multiple theories as to her demise and how she came to rest at the bottom of the biggest Great Lake. The enduring tale of the 729 foot long “Fitz” in many ways would become the Titanic of the Great Lakes in lore and legend.

Her story will not be forgotten anytime soon.

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