Free tax clinics
Residents who earned less than $60,000 in 2012 can file their income taxes at no charge at the Wood County offices of WSOS Community Action Commission. The service is provided through the Ohio Benefit Bank, operated by WSOS.
Tax clinics will be held at the WSOS Jordan Family Development Center, 812 N. College Ave., Bowling Green, by appointment only between Feb. 5 and April 1. Hours are Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Trained counselors will help residents with federal and state tax returns and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit forms. The service also provides e-filing capability for refunds in as few as seven days.
Applicants will need to have with them at the time of filing a government-issued identification; Social Security number(s) for all members of the household whether or not they had income; W-2 forms; 1099 or 1098 forms and all other information regarding other income such as alimony or child support etc.; all deduction and credit information; any estate, retirement or tuition revenues or expenses and 2011’s (last year’s) income tax return.
Also, in case there are refunds, bank routing and account numbers will be needed at the time of filing. All information is confidential and will not be shared with any other group.
To schedule an appointment for assistance, call 1-800-775-9767 or 419-334-8911.
Super Bowl safety
The U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with the National Football League and TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management), are joining forces with Lucas County local highway safety and law enforcement officials to spread a safety message to the public for Super Bowl Sunday – Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.
“Before choosing to drink, choose a sober designated driver. Driving or walking with alcohol or drugs in one’s system is an invitation to tragedy,” said Gwen Neundorfer, coordinator of the Lucas County Traffic Safety Program. In Lucas County, 155 people have died in impaired driving crashes in the past nine years, and 43 percent of all fatal crashes involved an impaired driver.
“Drunk driving is always preventable, and driving drunk could result in seriously injuring or killing yourself or someone else. Motorists can expect the law enforcement agencies of the Lucas County OVI Task Force to have a visible presence and to stop anyone who makes the dangerous decision to drink and drive,” said Det. Mark Woodruff of the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office and coordinator of the OVI Task Force.
Those attending a Super Bowl party or watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant are encouraged to:
• Designate a sober driver before the party begins.
• Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Eat plenty of food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
• If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home. Call a cab, friend, or family member to come get you.
• Never let friends drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.
• Always buckle up. It’s still your best defense against other drunk drivers.
If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party:
• Make sure all your guests designate their sober drivers in advance or help arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers.
• Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
• Just like they do at stadiums, stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game. The fourth quarter is perfect for serving coffee and dessert.
• Keep phone numbers of local cab companies on hand and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving drunk.
• Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash. Likewise, parents or other adults who provide alcohol to, or host a party where alcohol is available to those under age 21 could face jail time.
Dog tag deadline
Lucas County Dog Warden Julie Lyle reminds dog owners that the deadline to purchase 2013 dog tags is Jan. 31. Dog tags are required by law for all dogs over 3 months of age. Licensing serves to protect dogs and will identify the owner so that the dog can be returned home if lost.
Dog tags for 2013 can be purchased until Jan. 31 at the Auditor’s Office, Lucas County Dog Warden, or area agents.
Purchasing a dog tag entitles dog owners to be entered to win prizes from local businesses in the “Lucas County Loves Dogs” contest. Four winners will be chosen.
To promote responsible pet care and ownership throughout Lucas County, dog owners can nominate their dog for the 2013 “#1 Dog Contest” by submitting an essay on “Why I Love my Lucas County Dog.”
The winning dog will receive a complimentary tag with the number-one designation his or her picture on all 2014 dog tag renewal forms. A complete list of contest rules can be found on the auditor’s web page, www.co.lucas.oh.us/auditor.
With the recent dusting of snow in the area, snowmobilers took to the great outdoors and in some cases cut through farm fields and private property.
Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer said his office has been receiving complaints from property owners about the wayward snowmobilers.
“They’re not allowed to be on the fields or other private property unless they have specific permission from the landowner,” he said, adding violators will be charged with criminal trespassing.
The chief has decided to have patrol officers cite violators rather than issuing warnings, the chief said, adding criminal trespassing is a fourth degree misdemeanor but for violations involving snowmobiles or all-terrain vehicles the fines are doubled.
“The winter wheat has been planted and the fields need that covering of snow,” he said. “Properly registered snowmobiles are allowed on public right-of-way in the township but not on private property without the permission of the owner.”
Zoo welcomes twin cubs
The Toledo Zoo recently announced the birth of twin polar bear cubs. The cubs were born Nov. 21 to 13-year-old Crystal, who is caring for the cubs off-exhibit, where the zoo’s animal care staff is monitoring their progress through a monitor in the den.
“This is the fourth litter of polar bears the zoo has had since 2006,” said Dr. Randi Meyerson, curator of mammals. “I credit our success to high-quality animal care, the staff’s relationship with the animals, the bears’ good temperaments and an outstanding facility. When the Arctic Encounter opened in 2000, it was a state-of-the-art facility, and it still is.”
The zoo’s cubs have an important future as ambassadors for a species, protected under the Endangered Species Act. “Human activities have a direct effect on polar bears,” Dr. Meyerson said, “and their plight should encourage all of us to decrease our carbon footprint.”
In addition to being the curator of mammals, Dr. Meyerson coordinates the polar bear Species Survival Plan (SSP) established by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Through the cooperative breeding and conservation program, zoos nationwide work together to maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations.
Jeff Sailer, the zoo’s executive director, said, “As the number of polar bears in the wild decreases, it’s more important than ever that cubs in zoo settings serve as ambassadors for their counterparts in the wild. We hope these cubs inspire our visitors to join us in caring for polar bears and their environment.”
Visit toledozoo.org or call 419-385-4040 for more information about the Toledo Zoo.
Naturalist training set
Volunteer Naturalist Training will be held in the Packer-Hammersmith Center at Pearson Metropark, Oregon, Saturday, Feb. 16 from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
Nature interpretation, seasonal plant and animal cycles, and Northwest Ohio natural history will be the focus of the monthly, outdoor field study recommended for Metroparks walk leaders, Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists, and Volunteer Trail Patrol.
The program is free. Reservations are required.
After a recent session, the Ottawa County Grand Jury has issued indictments against the following individuals:
Dereck Veler, of Oregon, David Reynolds, of Toledo, and Jason Ochoa, who is currently being held in the Ottawa County Detention Facility, have all been indicted on two counts of Burglary, felonies of the second and third degree after they allegedly entered a Benton Township residence last month.
Robert J. Garcia, whose last known address is Lacarne, has been charged with one count of Domestic Violence following an incident last November. The charge is a felony of the fourth degree; Garcia has a prior conviction for a Domestic Violence offense.
Ronald Hurst, whose last known address is Toledo, was indicted on one count of Receiving Stolen Property, a felony of the fourth degree, after deputies of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office found him in possession of a stolen vehicle last month.
Benigno Rangel, whose last known address is Port Clinton, was charged with one count of Failure to Appear after he reportedly failed to attend a hearing on another indictment earlier this month.
Summonses have been issued for Veler and Reynolds
Ottawa County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Mulligan noted that an indictment is a formal charge in the Common Pleas Court and does not denote guilt or innocence.
Open auditions will be held for Owens Community College’s student production of “Noises Off” Jan. 28 and 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts Studio Theatre room 111.
Callback auditions will take place on Jan. 30. Each individual is encouraged to prepare a one-minute comedic monologue as part of the audition, or a monologue will be provided. The theatre production dates are April 12 to 14 and 19 to 21.
Written by Michael Frayn, “Noises Off” tells the comedic story of backstage and onstage antics involving a group of theatre performers attempting to present the production “Nothing On.” An unending number theatrical blunders and hysterical personal adventures serve as the focal point to the chaotic production.
Appointments are required. To schedule an audition time, call 1-800-GO-OWENS, ext. 2798.
Live in the House
Illusionist Stephen Knight will lead audiences on a journey of mystery and magic Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Pemberville Opera House.
More than just a performer of tricks, Knight engages his audience by using illusion, comedy, drama, music and special effects to create a unique theatrical experience. Whether he’s “auditioning “an audience member for the role of his new assistant (by sawing her in half) or traveling back in time to perform a disco-style illusion, Wright’s style is dynamic, offbeat and original.
Tickets are $10 for adults. Special pricing is available for kids. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at Beeker’s General Store or Riverbank Antiques in Pemberville, or by calling Carol at 419-287-4848.
For more information, visit www.stephenknightmagic.com or www.pembervilleoperahouse.org.
Breakfast with the Brides
Bridal Fair East 2013 – “Breakfast with the Brides” will be held Sunday, Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sunrise Park & Banquet Center, 1460 Woodville Rd., Millbury.
The show will feature a lineup of wedding professionals, including caterers, DJs, photographers, jewelers, bridal accessories and more.
Attendees can register to win a Grand Prize Gazebo Wedding Package valued at more than $1,200, along with other door prizes.
Admission is $8, which includes breakfast with a made-to-order omelette bar. For more information, call 419-836-8766 or visit www.sunrisecarolyns.com.
Coffee with the Birds
Enjoy “Coffee with the Birds” Feb. 8 from 8 to 9 a.m. at Pearson Metropark’s Window on Wildlife at the Packer-Hammersmith Center from 8 to 9 a.m.
What winged jewels decorate the Window on Wildlife? Attendees can get a sneak peek while enjoying a cup of brew, all while learning about the environmental impact of coffee and wildlife.
Most of the coffee sold in America today is literally killing songbirds and destroying a sustainable method of farming that supports rural communities in Latin America and keeps farm workers and their children away from toxic chemicals.
Metroparks public relations director Scott Carpenter says naturalists will make that connection obvious at the “Coffee With the Birds” session.
For information about Metroparks events and attractions, contact Carpenter