Homestead Tax changes
The Wood County Auditor urges residents who are currently eligible to receive the Homestead Exemption real estate tax reduction, and have not yet applied, to do so immediately.
The state’s budget bill for 2014 will require that any future applicants have annual income of less than $30,500 per year. Anyone who is currently 65, will turn 65 in 2013, or is permanently disabled has until June 2, 2014 to apply for the Homestead Exemption with no income requirement.
Anyone who fails to do so by that date or turns 65 after Dec. 31, 2013 will be subject to the new rules. In order to qualify for the Homestead Exemption for the 2013 tax year the applicants must be 65 years of age on or before Dec. 31, 2013 or permanently disabled as of Jan. 1, 2013.
Applicants must also own and occupy their home as their principal place of residence as of Jan. 1, 2013. A person has only one principal place of residence, therefore, the law allows for only one exemption per owner.
Residents currently receiving the Homestead Exemption will not be affected by the new rules. They will continue to receive the savings as they have in the past and need not reapply. The program exempts the first $25,000 of market value from taxation, yielding an expected savings of $300-$400 per year.
Community Thanksgiving Dinner
A free Thanksgiving Dinner will be available for Ottawa and Sandusky County residents and other members of the community on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28 in the cafeteria at Woodmore High School, 633 Fremont St., Elmore.
The dinner will be served between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The menu will include turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, dinner roll, homemade pumpkin pie and desserts, and a beverage.
This is the fourth year for the Free Thanksgiving Dinner, which is sponsored by local churches, businesses and community organizations, with the support of volunteers who help make it a success. Last year, more than 300 people attended. This year, organizers are expecting about 400 people.
Those who are able to are encouraged to bring donations of canned goods to support local food pantries, and unwrapped toys to give to Toys For Tots.
For volunteer information, contact Robin Hindall at
Tuesday, Dec. 3 will be observed as “Giving Tuesday” in Ottawa County.
Giving Tuesday, which follows the widely recognized Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events, is a global day dedicated to encouraging people to give their time, resources, talents and social media voice to a philanthropy that is about social purpose and collaboration for a better world.
Brenda Provenzale, of US Bank, and Melinda Stacy, of First National Bank, who are United Way volunteers in Ottawa County, invite local businesses to participate.
Each business may select a dollar amount for a single product or service or a percent of sales to donate. Each business will be promoted by United Way in local and social media. Participating businesses are asked to get creative and help promote Giving Tuesday.
For more information, contact Lisa Dubbert at United Way in Ottawa County at 419-734-6645 or
Thanksgiving Tipsy Tow
In an effort to help members and non-members celebrate safely this Thanksgiving holiday, AAA Northwest Ohio will offer a Tipsy Tow service from Wednesday Nov. 27 through Thursday, Nov. 28.
While AAA encourages partygoers to designate a driver if they plan to consume alcohol this holiday, the Tipsy Tow service is available to assist those who find themselves in an impaired situation and need to get them and their vehicles home safely.
To take advantage of Tipsy Tow, drivers should call 1-800-AAA-HELP (1-800-222-4357), state that they need a “Tipsy Tow and provide their name, home address, phone number and vehicle location.
Tipsy Tow provides a one-way ride for the driver and his or vehicle at no cost for up to 10 miles. Services will not be provided to motorists requesting a tow to another drinking establishment or to a destination other than their home. A tow to a hotel may be allowed if the motorist is, or plans to become, a guest.
Other services that will not be provided as part of the Tipsy Tow program include requests for a vehicle start, flat tire change, gas delivery and/or taxi service. These services will be provided to members, separate from the Tipsy Tow program.
After a recent session of the Ottawa County Grand Jury, indictments have been returned against the following individuals, according to Prosecuting Attorney Mark Mulligan:
• Five “deadbeat dads” were indicted for failing to pay court-ordered child support for their minor dependents:
- Kurt J. Bodi, 27, whose last known address is Curtice, indicted on four counts of Criminal Nonsupport;
- Blaine Butler, 35, whose last known address is Sandusky, indicted on two counts of Criminal Nonsupport;
- Damion L. Tall, 39, whose last known address is Toledo, indicted on four counts of Criminal Nonsupport;
- Freddie Gordon, Jr., 30, whose last known address is Mansfield, indicted on eight counts of Criminal Nonsupport;
- Blake Henninger, 38, whose last known address is Toledo, indicted on 16 counts of Criminal Nonsupport.
The charges are all felonies of the fifth degree.
• Benjamin R. Scheanwald, 18, of Woodville, was indicted on one count of Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated and Illegal Conveyance of Drugs into a Detention Facility, a misdemeanor of the first degree and felony of the third degree, respectively. According to reports, officers of the Carroll Township Police Department, Scheanwald was arrested for OVI in August and taken to the Ottawa County Detention Facility. During his booking, he was reportedly found in possession of prescription narcotics.
• Keegan J. Camp, 18, of Graytown, has been indicted on one count of Assault of a Peace Officer, a felony of the fourth degree. Camp was a passenger in Scheanwald’s vehicle at the time of his arrest in August, and became combative with officers, biting a deputy sheriff in the arm.
• Edward J. Tristan, 41, of Oak Harbor, was charged with two counts of Gross Sexual Imposition, both felonies of the third degree after he allegedly engaged in sexual contact with a minor on two occasions in 2006.
Warrants have been issued for Bodi, Butler, Tall, Gordon and Henninger. Summonses were issued for all other defendants to make their initial appearance in the Ottawa County Court of Common Pleas on Dec. 5.
Oregon police run Sobriety check point
Three drivers were arrested for Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated after a recent Sobriety Check Point conducted Saturday, Nov. 16 by the Oregon Police Division.
During the detail, 983 vehicles passed through the check point zone and all were checked by officers. Forty were diverted for further inspection. In addition to the OVI arrests, four drivers were cited for either a suspended license or not having a valid license. One driver was cited for a child restraint violation and one driver was issued a summons for outstanding warrants.
The detail was run in conjunction with the Lucas County OVI Taskforce. Participating agencies included Oregon Police, Lucas County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Patrol, Holland Police Division and Sylvania Township Police. The check point was set up by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Input on health plan
Once again the Wood County Health District is conducting a check-up of the plan used by various agencies to set priorities and utilize resources for addressing health issues and the district is asking the public for input.
The district in 2011 established a three-year plan that identified needs and prioritized health issues as well as created strategies for meeting those issues, said Pam Butler, health commissioner. Due to changes in the economy and public health accreditation standards, the district has decided to update its plan and create a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).
Priority areas identified by members of a panel overseeing the plan development include decreasing chronic health issues and risky behaviors affecting adults, youths, and children as well as decreasing mental, emotional and behavioral health issues that affect the three population groups.
For example, to decrease chronic health issues, the county intends to focus on better nutrition, emphasizing exercise and improving access to primary care and preventative health programs.
An obesity task force may be established as well as a “smart snacks” campaign.
To decrease risky behaviors, more focus would be placed on prescription drug abuse and medication collection programs.
The plan would also support school districts implementing the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.
To review the plan and provide comments or suggestions, county residents can visit www.woodcountyhealth.org.
Comments can be emailed to Butler at
or submitted online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/GZQTFKT.
Northwood Police are requesting the public’s help in identifying two individuals who were involved in a theft from the Sears store at 3725 Williston Rd.
According to police, on Nov. 20 at approximately 4 p.m., the suspects arrived in a 1990s Ford F-150 pickup truck and subsequently broke into a locked display case and stole an Xbox 360 video system, an Xbox 360 Kinnect and several video games.
Suspect #1 is described as a male in his mid 20s, with short hair and glasses. The second suspect, also a male, is described as being in his teens, with short hair and also wearing glasses.
Anyone with information as to the identity of the individuals is asked to contact Sgt. Doug Hubaker at 419-691-5053 or the Wood County Crime Stoppers at 419-352-0077.