The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

A Willard, O. man is close to becoming the next fiscal officer in the Village of Oak Harbor.

Village council recently gave Mayor Bill Eberle the authority to negotiate a contract with Henry Jarrett, Jr., who currently is employed part-time as the Village of Shiloh’s fiscal clerk. Shiloh is located in Richland County near Mansfield. According to his resume, Jarrett has served as clerk of the town of about 650 people since 2011. Prior to that, he worked in various accounting jobs, including his own agency.

The contract is expected to be up for review when council meets in regular session Nov. 3 at the village hall.

Jarrett is the prime candidate gleaned from a pool of 21 applicants. Council held a special meeting Oct. 14 to conduct interviews with five of those candidates.

Not all of the news about Lake Erie is bad – algal blooms aside.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is reporting survey results from this year show an average walleye hatch and good perch hatch.

The bottom trawl survey of Ohio’s waters of the lake’s western basin indicates this year’s walleye hatch is similar to the average hatches of 2001, 2007 and 2010. The trawls caught about 20 walleye per hectare (about 2.5 acres) this year, compared to the long-term average of 26 walleye per hectare, and the best since 2007.

“Based upon the results from the August trawl survey, it appears that the 2014 hatch was near average and should contribute to the fishery in future years,” the department’s division of wildlife says in a press release.

Results of the yellow perch survey were even brighter.

The Ottawa County commissioners are seeking financial assistance from the State of Ohio for the planned renovation of the county’s highway garage building on State Route 163.

The commissioners Tuesday approved resolutions seeking assistance from the Local Government Innovation Fund administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency.

David Brunkhorst, county engineer, said five applications will be filed – three in December and two in March 2015 – in increments of $500,000.

The fund program, he said, emphasizes cooperation between local governments to streamline services and make operations more efficient.

“We’ve discovered in talking with other county engineers who have taken advantage of it that as we demonstrate cooperative efforts with townships and villages and agencies in our county service area we can apply for loan funding,” Brunkhost said.

Northwood is looking at passing an anti-panhandling law.

People holding up signs by the road asking for money have been a common occurrence in Northwest Ohio since the recession in 2007, though motorists have seen them around since the 1980s. Their recent appearance at traffic lights and intersections with heavy traffic is becoming a nuisance, according to Northwood City Administrator Bob Anderson.

“There’s a whole group of people who are in the area who are soliciting money. It’s getting bad. I don’t like the looks of it,” said Anderson, who believes many are simply scamming the public for a free handout.

“We all want to be charitable. But there’s help for those folks. There’s plenty of help available. They don’t need to be on street corners begging for food and money. They make more money panhandling, I think,” he said.

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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