The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Newly-elected members of the Woodmore school board plan to focus on the district’s financial condition and improving communications between the board and residents.

Sam Preston, Cara Brown, and Sean Rizor were elected to the board in competitive races while incumbent Corinna Bench was the only candidate for a seat to complete the unexpired term of Grant Cummings, who resigned in the spring.

Brown, who was the top vote-getter, and Rizor, credited their extensive use of Facebook for helping them win seats

Brown started her Facebook page, Woodmore Speak Up Speak Out, in September of 2014.

“It was huge,” Brown said Thursday. “The idea of a having a social media page was to give information to the public. I have over 476 followers now. The public wanted the information and there was no other simple way at that time to do that. People were able to go on at their leisure and read what was going on in the district and listen to (recorded) board meetings. I think my Facebook page showed the public how far and how hard I was willing to work for them. You’re able to put yourself out there and say here are my ideas and this is what I’m willing to do for you.”

Contract bidding will be held in the winter or early spring for cleaning up Toussaint Creek in Ottawa, Sandusky and Wood counties.

Mike Libben, program administrator of the Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District, said the project will include removing log jams and leaning trees from a 34-mile stretch of the creek between Sugar Ridge Road near the City of Bowling Green and Benton-Carroll-Salem Road, west of the Village of Oak Harbor.

He estimated the total cost will be about $900,000, which will be paid primarily through assessments of affected property owners. The watershed for the creek covers more than 47,000 acres. Almost 5,000 parcels and 3,233 owners are covered by the project.

SWCD staffs from the three counties walked the stretch of the creek during the winter and identified more than 200 log jams and about 6,000 dead trees.

Oregon council in the next couple of weeks may be considering legislation for the purchase of property for possible industrial development.

“The Oregon Economic Development Foundation is looking for some opportunities to acquire some land to help possibly spur industrial development in Oregon,” City Administrator Mike Beazley said at an October 26 council meeting. “We might be looking to partner with that in some way. We are excited about those possibilities.”

The city and the foundation are routinely in conversations with developers and realtors about possible projects, Beazley explained after the meeting.

“Most of those projects never materialize,” he said, “and you continue to work on them.”

A special audit of financial records of the Woodmore School District has begun, Jamie Pearson, district treasurer, told residents attending an Oct. 25 forum.

She described the audit as a “limited-scope examination of financial records and other information designed to investigate allegations of fraud, theft or misappropriation of funds. I felt I had an obligation to report some of these discrepancies at the auditor of state’s conference and that’s where this all started.”

The audit could cover more than one fiscal year, she said.

By implementing more internal controls, Pearson said the administration has made progress in addressing problems with balancing bank reconciliation statements, correcting payroll errors and similar issues.

Dream Again Ohio will soon be opening two subsidized residences to house foster children who have aged at 18 out of the system in former parsonages in the villages of Woodville (Solomon Lutheran) and Elmore (Bethel United Brethren).

There is no set move-in date but the house in Woodville has been recently renovated and has held an open house for the community.

The Elmore residence will house boys and the Woodville residence will house girls, with one site manager for both locations.

The goal of Dream Again Ohio, says founder Evan Matheney, is to end homelessness among former foster youth and to help them develop vital life skills needed to succeed outside of the foster system.

A non-profit organization, Dream Again Ohio was founded by Matheney in October 2014.

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