The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

As the waters receded last week, farmers, home and business owners and public officials took time last week to scan the aftermath of severe rainstorms.

It wasn’t a pretty picture.

Mike Libben, program administrator for the Ottawa Soil and Water District, said some corn fields had just gotten dry enough for growers to side-dress their crops (mix fertilizer into the soil along rows of growing plants) when the storm hit on June 27.

“The damage is done I think,” he said. “We were within a few days of some fields being able to be replanted or first time planting. I would imagine doing any planting/replanting is out the door now as it will need a solid week or more to dry up.”

He said he heard reports of rain from 3.5 inches to 6.5 inches in Ottawa County.

Since 1996, Riders Unlimited has offered what is known as therapeutic riding — therapy involving the use of horses — to people with disabilities.

As of this past Friday, they’ve added a new program specifically aimed to assist veterans. The program, called Cavalry Campaigners, kicked off with Cavalry Camp on July 3 at the Riders Unlimited facility, located at 3140 North Behlman Road, Oak Harbor.

“There’s more of a need now for therapeutic riding (for veterans) than ever before,” said Rebekah Recker, Program Director for Riders Unlimited.

“It’s something we’ve been trying to get off the ground for years. We’ve moved locations, now we have our own facility, we have the horses capable of doing this- we feel like we’re ready to offer (this program) to veterans who are interested.”

After an initial bout of disappointment over the Ohio Department of Agriculture decision to cancel live bird exhibitions this year, members of 4-H and Future Farmers of America clubs in Ottawa County are eager to still showcase their projects at the upcoming county fair.

“We have put together a good plan to still provide as much of the experience for those exhibitors as possible,” said Kathy Booher, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development. “We want to emphasize the educational portion of this. We still have activities to assess their knowledge and that will continue.”

The fair is scheduled to run July 20-26.

In its June 2 announcement canceling all live bird exhibitions this year, even the agriculture department called it an “aggressive move.” The ban covers county and independent fairs, the Ohio State Fair and others, including swap meets.

The City of Oregon has been asking people to take precautions, including advising people to be careful when cleaning up floodwaters in their basement and to contact their insurance company for possible coverage.

City Administrator Michael J. Beazley said local officials have reached out to emergency management officials, who have indicated there is not enough structural damage to declare a disaster area, yet. He does recognize that there may be individuals who have no flood insurance and may have to take a financial loss.

“That’s among the challenges for folks, and that’s a function that if you are in a flood plain, you are required to have insurance as determined by the Army Corps,” Beazley said. “You’ve got it and those folks are glad they had it.

In a survey of Clay High School sophomores, over 83 percent of the 276 students indicated they intend on enrolling in a career technical program.

Steve Bialorucki, director of career and technical education at Oregon Schools, says that tells anyone paying attention that education is in a state of change.

Bialorucki says traditional enrollment in what used to be called “vocational education” included programs like machine trades, auto tech and drafting. The image of vocational education was perceived to be unappealing to the majority of students and parents were told that “success” was tied to a college degree – any college degree.

Not anymore. The jobs are going back to the trades — and it’s a different world of trades than it was in the 1980s and 1990s.

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