The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

About 75 persons involved in agriculture were warned Wednesday to brace themselves for their property tax bills in 2016.

“You’re getting sticker shock today,” Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez, told the growers during a town hall meeting held at the Oregon Municipal Complex to explain changes in the Current Agricultural Use Valuation property tax program. “We don’t want you to get it when you get your January bill.”

In 2015, five counties, including Sandusky County, are going through a sexennial reappraisal and 19, including Lucas and Ottawa counties, are undergoing a triennial update of their property valuations.

Although data used by the Ohio Department of Taxation in the CAUV formula indicate that farmers in the past two years on average have realized lower prices for corn, wheat and soybeans, property taxes for farmland enrolled in CAUV are expected to rise significantly.

St. Kateri Schools has begun clearing trees in the former 15-acre Tschann property with the ultimate goal of constructing athletic fields.

Ryan Hehr, Assistant Vice President of Advancement at St. Kateri, says the Catholic school system shared its master plan with the community and sent a letter to homeowners whose property borders the land.

The master plan includes building a softball diamond, baseball diamond and practice fields, The letter to residents, mailed before work began July 1, also addressed the schools’ plans to survey and landscape the property and clear trees over the summer.

“We are currently evaluating our master plan and our next step is to plant grass when timing and resources allow for it. The goal in cutting down the trees is to be able to maintain the land better in order to be good neighbors,” Hehr wrote in an email to The Press. “The volume of trees made it hard to mow and many of the trees were half dead. We will also keep them informed if anything changes from the original master plan.”

Ohioans spend about 12 percent of their per capita income on energy, and 35 percent of that is spent on gasoline.

According to Dr. Eric Romich, Ohio State University professor and extension field specialist, each of us spends an average of $4,269 each year in energy consumption. Ohio is typically ranked fifth or sixth nationally in energy consumption.

Dr. Romich spoke to journalists at the Sixth Annual Lake Erie Workshop for Science and Outdoor Writers and Reporters, held at Gibraltar Island, home of Ohio State University’s Stone Lab and Ohio Sea Grant.

In turn, the United States uses 18 percent of world energy consumption. The 2011 International Energy Outlook Report estimates world energy consumption will be 770 quadrillion BTU in 2035.

For Jamal Grant, owning a barbershop was not even on his “to do” list in his younger years. After spending his youth in East Toledo getting into trouble, Grant found himself at a crossroads in his life.

“I like to tell my story,” Grant said. “I ended up doing seven years at North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio for drugs. I used that time to turn my life around. I got my barber’s license while I was there and I decided to live the right life.”

That is when fate stepped in and Grant was offered the opportunity of a lifetime.

Ray St. John, who owned the building at 422 East Broadway, was looking for someone to purchase the place and keep it as a barbershop. It was a promise to Omer Holman, the former owner of the barbershop, St. John was determined to keep.

There is no question that at some point every farmer in the history of agriculture has wished for the power to control the rain. And, based on the terrible flooding that occurred around Ohio this summer from record setting rainfall amounts in some areas, there were many people out there hoping for the power to bring out the sun as well.

The wet weather has caused serious problems for agriculture this spring and early summer. Many corn and soybean fields in Ohio went unplanted because they were just too wet. Fields that were planted are suffering from disease problems, drowned out portions of fields and nutrient deficiencies in many areas of the state.

The Ohio wheat crop suffered yield loss and decreased quality for grain and straw due to the incessant rainfall, particularly in northwest Ohio. And many of the poor farmers trying to make hay in between the never-ending rain showers are just about ready to give up. The first cutting for the hay crop that is normally finished in early June has still not been completed in some areas, hurting both hay quantity and quality.

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