The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

State Senator Edna Brown (D – Toledo) offered sponsor testimony last week before the State and Local Government Committee on a bill crafted to protect home owners from having liens placed on their property to cover delinquent water bills from previous owners.

With a few exceptions, current state law allows water suppliers to place liens on property for overdue bills, regardless of how delinquent and whether there is a change in ownership.

Brown’s bill gives a property buyer or seller the option of requesting to pay a final water bill at the time of sale. If no water charges are reported at the time, a water authority can’t place a lien on the home for bills due prior to the sale.

A property buyer in Lucas County was faced with just such a situation, Brown said.

“This issue came to my attention when a homeowner in my district had their property taxes diverted to pay a 20-year-old delinquent water bill from a previous owner,” she said.

The delinquent bill hadn’t been properly filed with the county auditor’s office and didn’t appear on a title search when the home was purchased – something her bill attempts to correct by requiring delinquencies to be promptly certified with the auditor’s office.

Lake Erie and the Tiffin River are among the Ohio waterways to show signs of improvement in the 2015 sport fish consumption advisory compiled by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency took more than 500 tissue samples from fish in 16 lakes and 19 streams two years ago for the new advisory.

While a state-wide advisory of one fish meal per week remains in place due to mercury levels, there have been other signs of lower contaminant levels in some parts of the state.

In all waters of Lake Erie, rock bass can be consumed once per week. Prior to the downgrade, the advisory recommended limiting consumption to one meal per month due to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Northern pike taken from the Tiffin River can also be eaten more often, but due to mercury levels, pike longer than 25 inches should not be consumed more than one time per month. The limitation had applied to all sizes. Pike under 25 inches revert to the statewide advisory of no more than weekly meal.

“Guys and Dolls” may be a lively musical, but when it’s presented this week at Woodmore Elementary School it will be somewhat of a solemn occasion for students, staffers and community members involved in the production.

When the curtain falls it will be for the last time at the school which has been vacated and will face demolition. The stage has been used for high school productions even after a high school building was constructed – without a stage – in the Village of Elmore.

For the director, Marcia Busdeker, this production will be especially poignant. As a Woodmore student in the 1970s, her first role on the stage came when she played a maid in “The Matchmaker.”

“I had six lines and I was the only sophomore in the entire show,” she recalled last week. “Everyone else in the cast was a junior or senior. So this is very nostalgic for me. I’ll be very sad when it gets demolished.”

Oregon School Superintendent Dr. Lonny Rivera has accepted the position of Associate Superintendent with the Ohio Department of Education.

He will begin his duties April 27.

The announcement was made Tuesday in Columbus.

“I have seen the challenges faced by Oregon schools and other districts like ours,” Dr. Rivera said in a prepared statement. “This new position will allow me to work on behalf of Oregon and other communities like ours which are facing difficult times in areas ranging from funding to unfunded mandated educational requirements. While I am physically leaving Oregon, I will continue to work on behalf of the community in Columbus. I will always be an Eagle.”

The Oregon school board plans to ask voters in the fall to pass a 3.95-mill levy to fund school operations. The levy is less than the 5.9 mill levies that voters have previously defeated, most recently in the General Election last November.

“We are in need of a levy,” Superintendent Dr. Lonny Rivera said at a recent school board meeting. “This district, over eight years ago, started with a 5.9 trajectory – it failed. A few years later, another 5.9 attempt – it failed. And then, just this past November, a 5.9 – and it failed.” He noted that the vote counts in the previous elections were not even close.

“The failures were not close. They were very large,” he said. “Truth be told, and I want this to be very clear, we need a 5.9 levy. But our community seems to be telling us that a 5.9 is not happening.”

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