The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

For many residents, a public forum set for March 6 in Woodville to discuss how serious heroin addiction has become in the area will be a real eye opener.

Police Chief Roy Whitehead and his officers started noticing about three years ago that heroin was entering the local drug scene on the heels of cocaine and prescription pills.

“Marijuana is still around but we are seeing more heroin and pills these days,” he said.

From January 2013 to the end of last year, the department saw heroin or opiate-related arrests climb from zero to 51, with about a quarter of the arrests involving local residents and the rest from outside the village, often Toledo.

Oregon City Council on Monday authorized an agreement with Mercy Health North LLC (MHN) that allows Mercy St. Charles Hospital to hire their own police.

“They approached us approximately a year ago,” said Oregon Police Chief Mike Navarre, “and indicated a desire to establish their own police department for their St. Charles campus.”

According to the Ohio Revised Code, there must be an agreement with the municipality in which a hospital is located before a police department can be established in the hospital, said Navarre.

The agreement is similar to ones signed in Toledo with Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, and in Lima with St. Rita’s Medical Center, said Navarre. “They have had success with the other two hospitals, and they have approached us and indicated their desire to do the same here in the City of Oregon.”

The T Whitehead Recovery Center, formerly the Idle Time Club, is reaching out for support from the community.

According to John Hughes, the center’s director, the building where the facility is located is in need of major work.

“The building we are housed in is in need of some renovations,” said Hughes. “We are also in the process of acquiring other nearby properties for expansion of the center, to include a banquet hall to be rented out for various social gatherings, which will contribute to our vision and its sustainability.”

The Idle Time Club has been a fixture in East Toledo since it was first opened by Tom Whitehead in 1973. Due to mismanagement by a former manager, the Idle Time fell on hard times and lost its non-profit 501(c)(3) status in the process.

After 10 years of paying general fund expenses with a 7.4-mill operating levy, the Village of Woodville is asking voters for an additional 2 mills in the March 15 primary election.

Citing rising costs for fire and police service, street improvements, maintaining the municipal pool, and upkeep for the town hall, local history museum and library, village officials say the additional millage is needed to avoid cuts to the safety/police and street funds.

The village does not have a municipal income tax.

If approved, the additional millage would generate about $70,000 annually for five years starting in 2017. Currently, the 7.4 mills generates about $243,000 annually, said Barb Runion, fiscal officer.

Northwood is reviewing a proposed vacant property ordinance that would establish a program for identifying and registering vacant residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

The proposal would shift the burden of addressing deteriorated vacant buildings from the city to the property owner.

The purpose of the ordinance, according to City Administrator Bob Anderson, is threefold:

•To ensure that owners of vacant properties are known to the city and other interested parties and can be reached if necessary;

•To ensure that owners of vacant properties are aware of the obligations of ownership under relevant codes and regulations;

•To ensure that owners of vacant properties meet minimum standards of maintenance of vacant properties.

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