The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Oregon’s new senior center on Navarre Avenue is expected to open next month, according to city officials.

“They are working to upgrade the building right now,” Mayor Mike Seferian said last week. “When it’s done, it’s going to look neat.”

The city last year bought a 13,500-square-foot building at 4350 Navarre Avenue for a centrally located senior center. A small section of the building is being leased by an insurance company. Although the building is in good shape, some upgrades were needed, including improvements to the kitchen so that meals can be served to seniors.

“There’s a kitchen there, but it’s more like an office staff break-room,” explained City Administrator Mike Beazley. “We’re going to be upgrading that a little bit so we can meet some of the food service needs of the senior center. The work in the kitchen is going to be completed after we’re opened. We don’t want to delay the opening.”

Upgrades to the facility that will be completed this month include changes to comply with the fire code, new flooring to meet the needs of a senior center rather than an office facility, and the movement of some non-load bearing walls to bring more natural light into the rooms. “They had more individual small offices than what they needed in that corridor,” said Beazley.

“Those are the things being worked on now, with an expectation that they can get this done in March. The group can get prepared to move when the weather is nicer in April,” said Beazley.

The Robotics Club at Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School competed in the regional meet in Fargo, ND, the weekend of Dec. 6. The team’s robot finished 27 overall in the competition that included teams from various parts of the United States.

The team qualified by finishing second in the BEST (Boosting, Science, Engineering, and Technology) competition at Bowling Green State University on Saturday, Nov. 8. The group competed against 12 other high school teams throughout the region.

“This was a great accomplishment for our students,” said Eric Sieja, a science teacher at Stritch who was the team’s advisor. “There were a lot of obstacles for them to overcome and they were able to do so in a short amount of time and under the stress of a lot of pressure.”

To qualify, students had to design a robot that could pick up and move parts, as well as help build a windmill. In addition to designing and building a working robot that completes these specific tasks, students were also tasked with creating a marketing plan and presentation for their work. They also were required to fully document all their activities and ideas related to the robot.

At the competition in Fargo, students were given the same tasks, but faced much tougher competition and teams that have been competing for much longer than two years.

Chris Babcock used to keep up with daily events by reading newspapers.

Now, the 41-year-old former U.S. Marine has adapted his routine. When he’s not commuting between a job in Maumee and his home in Oak Harbor and two other jobs, he finds information via his cell phone and the Internet.

Babcock is among a growing segment of residents feeling disconnected from the leadership of the Village of Oak Harbor.

And, he, like others, believes the village needs to remedy the situation by finding new and productive ways to communicate with the community.

Babcock ‘s wife, Carrie, joined him at Monday night’s regular council meeting to complain about the new garbage pickup contract that resulted in higher rates and decreased services; elimination of the income tax credit and village leaders’ lacking effort to keep residents informed about changes impacting their daily lives.

She was also among residents who said they were unaware the village is in a desperate financial situation.

Put-in-Bay’s police chief has been placed on paid administrative leave days after the Ohio Attorney General’s Office filed four charges against him, including one for threatening one of his officers with a gun.

The most serious charges claim Chief Robert “Ric” Lampela, 53, put a gun to the head of one of his officers in 2012 and covered up reports of an alleged sexual assault of a police cadet in 2003. He faces a single charge of aggravated menacing, one count of dereliction of duty and two counts of falsification. The charges are misdemeanors, punishable by up to six months in jail and $1,000 fines.

Lampela is expected to appear March 25 in Ottawa County Municipal Court.

The state attorney’s office filed the charges Friday. On Monday, Put-in-Bay Mayor Margaret Scarpelli issued a notification that Lampela had been placed on paid administrative leave indefinitely.

Put-in-Bay Village Council will meet Monday and the police department will be discussed. But who is running the island police department presently is unclear.

“I have no idea who is in charge,” said Councilman Jeff Koehler, who was not on the island when the news broke. “The two officers there are relatively new and they’re not in a position to be chief.”

The Lake Township trustees Tuesday signed a contract for dispatching service with the Wood County Sheriff’s Department but not before seeking assurances from Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn the transition to having his department handle calls wouldn’t be marred by delays in requests for fire and emergency medical service.

The township and Village of Walbridge have separate police departments but are both covered by the township’s EMS and fire department.

Village officials opted to end a dispatching agreement with the township in favor of a contract with the sheriff’s department that will go into effect later this month. The township’s agreement with the county won’t go into effect until June 9.

The trustees expressed concerns about fire and EMS calls – especially those emanating from land line phones – which the sheriff will have to transfer back to the township department.

Trustee Melanie Bowen noted that “seconds count” in the event of medical emergencies such as heart attacks.

Emergency calls from cell phones already are automatically routed to the county’s dispatching office and Sheriff Wasylyshyn said about 55 percent of all calls are from cell phones – a trend that continues to increase.

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