The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

With a $50,000 health insurance increase looming for 2015, Oak Harbor Village Council agreed it must make a concerted effort to stabilize costs.

The village’s estimated 14 percent increase falls in line with the trend nationwide, according to councilwoman Jackie Macko, who chairs the committee overseeing the village’s medical and health insurance plan that covers 24 employees. She recently met with the Ashley Group to discuss upcoming plan changes and has a meeting Nov. 10 with the local administrator, the Druckenmiller Agency.

“Basically, it’s a $50,000 increase but there is little change to the policy,” Mayor Bill Eberle said.

The hefty rate increase punctuates the need for village council to dig in and really sift through a slate of program options that’ll help offset future costs, Macko insisted.

State and Wood County officials said they’ve been unable to verify recent reports of black bear sightings.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said his department has received two reports – the most recent one last month outside of the Village of Luckey – but it hasn’t been verified by his staff.

“I believe we had two bear reports but neither one has been confirmed by a deputy,” he said Tuesday.

Likewise John Windau, of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources office in Findlay, who said his office has received sighting reports in two local counties.

“We have received reports of black bears this year in Wood and Lucas counties, but none of them were able to be verified,” he said.

The Ottawa County Engineer’s office was able to fill its road salt storage facility to capacity last spring but county officials are uncertain they can purchase more in the immediate future.

David Brunkhorst, county engineer, and Sheriff Stephen Levorchick last week announced the county’s procedures and protocols for the 2014-15 winter season will include having plows available during storm conditions, with primary coverage focusing on 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Weather conditions such as precipitation type and ambient air temperature, both existing and forecasted, will control the timing and amount of salt/stone that will be placed,” the statement says. “Our primary effort for basic snow events will be plowing to keep the roadways open to traffic. It makes no sense to place salt/stone on the pavement if we are experiencing blowing and drifting conditions.”

Brunkhorst described the carry-over supply of salt as the only “sure thing” the county has at the moment.

This past Wednesday, the Welcome Toledo-Lucas Country Initiative held a forum to discuss an ongoing project to make the area more welcoming to immigrants.

Toledo has always been accepting of people of other cultures, so for some, it’s not about starting fresh, but continuing with and improving on what’s already here.

“This is getting our community back to where we started. It’s a new idea that’s an old idea,” said Pete Gerken, Lucas County Commissioner. “We’re great, we’re still great, but I think we can be even better. And what worked before was immigrant ingenuity. Almost everyone came from somewhere, at some point.”

Cindy Geronimo, Vice President of the Lucas County Land Bank, echoed this idea. “We have a long history of welcoming immigrants. We’re already involved in this.”

Mike Novitski has a special place in his heart for dogs.

Bear Photo
Bear, the dog, is missing.

As a Marine in Vietnam in 1966, he and his buddies befriended a mutt from a village that protected their bunkers from the enemy, the Vietcong. The dog, Whiskey, always barked to warn the Marines whenever the enemy was near. The group always felt safe when Whiskey was around.

“He hated the Vietnamese. He would always go from bunker to bunker to check on the Marines to make sure they were alright,” he said.

By the end of 1966, Whiskey was found dead, likely poisoned by the Vietnamese, he said. The Marines had such high regard for the dog, they gave him a military funeral. They buried him in a box in the sands of Chu Lai, Vietnam.

“This was our buddy. As a Marine, we were taught never to leave anyone behind. He was considered one of our own,” said Novitski.

Bill Cosby

In your opinion, do the allegations against Bill Cosby have any credibility?
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