A new WSOS program will assist income-eligible Sandusky County residents who need transportation to and from work, a work-related activity or school between the hours of 7 p.m. and 5 a.m.
To be eligible for free transportation through the WSOS TRIPS program, a person must have an income of no more than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. A single person is eligible if he or she earns no more than $16,215 per year. A person from a family of four can access the free transportation if he/she has income no more than $33,025 annually. Proof of income is required.
Residents who do not meet income guidelines may use TRIPS transportation during night hours at a cost of $1 per trip for those living within Fremont City limits; $2 for those in Sandusky and Ballville townships; and $3 for other areas of the county.
Call 419-332-8091 for information on this free transportation.
Jack Smith, one of two candidates in the May Republican Primary for the 9th Congressional District seat, will be the speaker at the Ottawa County Fourth Thursday Republican Lunch Bunch, March 25 at the Port Clinton Elks, 231 Buckeye Boulevard.
Smith, who grew up on the East Side of Toledo, served in the Marine Corps. He retired as the chief of the Toledo Police Department after 33 years in law enforcement.
The community is invited to the buffet luncheon, which will begin at noon. No reservations are required.
Ottawa County Christian Academy is currently accepting applications for new students for the 2010-2011 academic school year. The school has openings in kindergarten through grade six.
OCCA, a ministry of Grace Baptist Church in Oak Harbor, opened in 2004. The school is a member of the American Association of Christian Schools (AACS) as well as the Buckeye Association of Christian Schools (BCSA). It is recognized by the Ohio Department of Education as a “section 08” institution, meaning it follows all state guidelines for attendance and academics set forth by the Minimum Standards of the ODE.
“We hope to build up our elementary department this coming year,” said school founder Pastor Richard Bickelhaupt. “We are confident that we have the best environment and staff for educating children in that age group. We can offer what many parents seek in a small classroom setting.”
Those interested should call the school office at 419-898-3888 and request an application packet. For questions, please call the school office or Grace Baptist Church at 419-898-4002.
OCCA is located between SR 163 and SR 105, just past Oak Harbor High School at 325 S. Toussaint-Portage Rd.
The Wood County District Public Library held a ribbon-cutting for its new bookmobile March 17 at 9:15 a.m. in the library’s parking lot.
The dedication completes a planning process that began during the building renovation project of 2002-2003. In May 2008 former Children’s Librarian Kathy East wrote a grant (awarded through the State Library of Ohio) to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) – a measure that moved plans closer to realization. The grant money, which could only be used for the purchase of a bookmobile, was supplemented by private funds raised by the WCDPL Foundation board. The library took possession of the new bookmobile on March 5.
The one-of-a-kind bookmobile was custom-built for WCDPL. It is powered by compressed natural gas (or CNG), a low-cost fuel alternative that is cleaner burning than gasoline or diesel. A special bank of batteries provides the electrical power needed at stops, eliminating the need for an auxiliary battery. A full air suspension system enables the bookmobile to “kneel” several inches, making it more accessible for patrons.
All American Specialty Vehicles of Elkhart, Ind. outfitted the vehicle’s custom features. Gearhart Plumbing of Bowling Green installed the CNG Fuelmaker and equipment to make it possible to fuel the vehicle on-site. Ergonomic book carts were purchased from Biofit, of Bowling Green.
The library contracted for the new bookmobile with Transportation Equipment Sales Corporation (TESCO) of Toledo, which coordinated the project and created the graphics.
Ribbon-cutting ceremonies are planned at three of the bookmobile’s most popular stops: March 24 at 4 p.m. in Eastpointe on the Mall (Northwood); March 29 at 4 p.m. in Bradner; and March 30 at noon at Owen-Illinois, Levis Commons.
WCDPL began offering bookmobile service to Wood County in 1951. Since then the library has owned three other vehicles dedicated to this service. The current bookmobile, purchased in 1986, has logged over 160,000 miles in the 24 years it has been on the road.
For more information, call WCDPL at 419-352-5104.
Family Fair set
A Family Fair will be held March 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Woodland Mall, 1234 N. Main St., Bowling Green.
The fair will offer a variety of activities, including crafts, face painting and a dance performance. Children and their parents can also visit informational booths sponsored by organizations that serve families.
Free developmental screenings of children up to 3 years old will be offered by the Wood County Health Department’s Help Me Grow program and the Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Bowling Green State University Social Work program students will help children make crafts, and the Wood County Humane Society will host an Adopt-a-Thon, featuring pets that need homes, and for a relaxing break, Allies in Mental Health will provide free massages throughout the event.
For more information about the Family Fair, call JoAnne Carson, Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center, at 419-352-7027.
Female motorcyclists have been the fastest growing demographic in the motorcycle industry since 1990, when women represented just three percent of riders. Today, women represent 23 percent of all motorcyclists. Motorcycle Industry Council statistic, and in efforts to encourage this growing trend of women hitting the open road, Toledo Harley-Davidson, 7960 West Central Ave., Toledo, will hold a Garage Party March 26.
These Garage Parties are a few of many across the country that will help celebrate the first-ever National Garage Party Month.
“Garage Party events have encouraged thousands of women to learn to ride over the past few years,” said Leslie Prevish, Women’s Outreach Manager for Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “The events help educate and build confidence for new female riders, and March kicks off the beginning of riding season, so it’s the perfect time to get women involved.”
Garage Parties, hosted by Harley-Davidson at dealerships since 2005, have been developed specifically for women, creating an intimidation-free zone and an opportunity for female riders in local communities to connect with one another. The events are designed to be both entertaining and educational – covering topics such as a review of the basic motorcycle controls, how to customize a motorcycle’s style and ergonomics, and how to gear up for a ride. During Garage Party events, the attendees are organized into small groups, getting their first taste of the camaraderie that goes along with riding.
For more information about the women’ only Garage Party events, call Sue Lucas at 419-843-7892 or visit www.harley-davidson.com/garageparty.
History Day set
Students grades six through 12 from several Ohio counties, including Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca will participate in District II Ohio History Day competition March 27 at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center.
The competition encourages young people to submit imaginative exhibits, original performances, media documentaries, Web sites and papers related to this year’s theme, “Innovation in History: Impact and Change.”
The public is invited to observe the judging and award ceremony, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Students participate in History Day events at the district, state and national levels. Historians, educators and professionals in related fields evaluate students’ work in each state. Winners from district events will compete against 600 entries in the state event April 24 at Ohio Union on the OSU Campus in Columbus. Fifty will be selected to compete at National History Day, June 13-17 at the University of Maryland.
The Hayes Presidential Center is located at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues, Fremont. Visit www.rbhayes.org or call 800-998-PRS for a complete list of year-round special events.
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 4155 Pickle Rd., Oregon, is offering Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU), a life changing program that discusses how to achieve financial goals by eliminating debt, saving for the future and giving generously, Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. beginning March 21.
Register at daveramsey.com, call the church at 419-691-9407 or visit princeofpeaceoregon.com for more information.
Due to state budget shortfalls, the Wood County District Public Library (Bowling Green, Walbridge and Bookmobile) will be closed for a week in late March and early April.
The Walbridge Branch Library will be closed March 29 through April 3. Regular library hours, which are Monday through Thursday 1 to 7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will resume April 5.
The Bowling Green Library and the Bookmobile will be closed April 5 to 10. Regular hours will resume April 12.
Call the Walbridge Branch Library at 419-666-9900 for more information.
Wagoner to speak
State Sen. Mark Wagoner will be the guest speaker at the Northern Wood County Republican Club (NWCRC) March meeting March 22, at the Holiday Inn Express in Perrysburg.
Doors will open at 7 p.m., with a brief monthly meeting and presentations to follow beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The Northern Wood County Republican Club meets on the fourth Monday of every other month at 7:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express, which is located at 10621 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg. Doors open at 7 p.m., and beverages and snacks are available. Suggested annual contributions are $15/person or $20/family.
Kiwanis egg hunt
The Genoa Area Kiwanis Club will sponsor their Annual Easter Egg Hunt April 3 at 1 p.m. at Genoa Veterans Park. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held at the Genoa Fire Hall.
The Easter Egg Hunt is open to all children living in the Genoa Area School District. Participants will be divided into age groups including ages 1 and 2, ages 3 and 4, age 5 and kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade.
Several Easter baskets will be available to those children finding specially marked eggs. There will also be a Grand Prize Easter Basket Drawing.
The Genoa Area Kiwanis Club welcomes new members to help support community projects. Call Jean Holcombe at 419-855-8381 for details.
Park district awards
The Sandusky County Park District Board of Commissioners has announced $30,000 in awards in the 2010 Local Park Capital Improvement Grant Program.
Ballville Township, $ 2,000 for benches; Bellevue, $6,635 for Peters Park improvement; Fremont, $3,078 for a swing set; Gibsonburg, $3,930 for surfacing; Helena, $8,000 for playground equipment, Sandusky Township, $2,782 for a swing set, and Woodville, $3,575 for surfacing and swing mats.
Requests are submitted annually in October and reviewed by a Grant Panel, which consists of park and recreation professionals from surrounding counties. Recommendations are then made to the Park Board based on criteria such as safety, maintenance history, population served, past performance on grant awards and willingness of project sponsor to share in costs. Payments are awarded this month.
The program is open to any local political subdivision that provides outdoor recreation facilities. For more information, call 1-888-200-5577.
St. Mark Lutheran Church will present Apologetix in concert April 11 at 3:30 p.m. at Fassett Middle School, 3025 Starr Ave., Oregon.
Apologetix presents Biblical parodies of classic and modern hits – a kind of “Weird Al” meets Billy Graham. St. Mark’s own Rew!nd will get the party started.
Tickets are $10 in advance (kids age 5 and younger get in free) and $15 at the door. A group rate of 10 tickets for $80 is available. For tickets or more information, call Cathy Klewer at 419-693-8878.
Proceeds from the concert will benefit Haiti relief and the Rew!nd Equipment Fund.
Prisoners who are being released back to Lucas County from state prisons are getting support that could help them remain law abiding and less likely to commit more crimes.
The Re-entry Coalition of Northwest Ohio (RCNWO) has received a $722,377 grant from the Office of Criminal Justice Services in Columbus. The coalition plans to use the money to help people recently released from prison to successfully transition back into the community.
Lucas County Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime, Inc. (T.A.S.C.) will oversee administration of the grant as the fiscal agent for the RCNWO.
According to David Kontur, RCNWO chairperson, the program aims to reduce recidivism in Lucas County by at least 50 percent in the next five years. “Some of the biggest challenges faced by men and women returning to the community include basic needs, education and employment, housing, legal issues, family issues, health, mental health and substance abuse, child support payments, and faith and spirituality. Under the grant, the Coalition will have resources to bring a variety of community agencies together to meet those needs.” The grant will also allow the RCNWO to plan programs well into the future.
There are currently 51,073 men and women serving time in Ohio prisons. In 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, the state released 28,039 prisoners, including 1,034 offenders released back into Lucas County. According to Scott Sylak, T.A.S.C. executive director, 34 percent of prisoners released back to Lucas County return to prison within three years. “These funds will help create opportunities to reduce that number while improving public safety,” Sylak says.
It costs the State of Ohio $25,243 per year to house an inmate; which translates to $1.28 billion a year statewide. This figure does not include the substantial costs that crimes committed by former inmates impose on victims, law enforcement, and the judiciary.
On a roll
The famous White House Easter egg roll traces its roots to Fremont, Ohio. It was 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, a resident of Fremont, who started the egg roll in 1878. Hayes let it be known that neighborhood children could gather on the White House lawn to play Easter games after Congress banned the youngsters from the grounds of the Capitol.
The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center celebrates Hayes’ role in creation of a White House tradition with its Hayes Easter Egg Roll April 3 from 2 to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the President’s Spiegel Grove estate.
Children ages 3-10 are invited to compete in a variety of egg-rolling contests. Prizes are awarded in four age categories, and every child receives a balloon, a free pass to the Hayes Home or Hayes Museum, and treats. Admission is three hard-boiled colored eggs for use in the egg-rolling contests. In addition, children with an artistic flair can enter the Egg-Decorating Contest by bringing along a fourth, pre-decorated egg. It is recommended that parents have cameras ready for a special appearance by the Easter Bunny.
When the egg contests are finished, children are invited to Story Time in the Hayes Museum. A group of “celebrity” storytellers will read their favorite children’s books to Egg Roll participants.
In the event of inclement weather, egg-rolling events will be canceled. However, other activities will be conducted indoors. This year’s event is made possible thanks to support from Key Bank Trustee for the Nellie F. Bash for Charities.
For more information or a calendar of special events, call 800-998-PRES or visit www.rbhayes.org.
Poll workers needed
The Lucas County Board of Elections is in need of registered voters to serve as poll workers for the May 4 Primary Election. Poll workers must have reliable transportation, and be able to be at the polls by 6 a.m. on Election Day.
Poll workers must complete a three-hour training class, and must be able to meet at the polling location May 3 for approximately one hour.
The pay for poll workers is $120 for judges (plus $15 training). Those applying must have no felony convictions.
Call 419-213-2640 (Democrats) or 419-213-2630 (Republicans) or visit lucascountyvotes.org for more information.
With two weeks to go in the 2008-09 Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (EHEAP) and numbers for March still unavailable, the number of requests for assistance is on course to surpass the 2009 program year.
EHEAP, which is operated by WSOS Community Action Commission Inc., will end March 31. Income-eligible residents who think they need help from the program must have their applications in by the deadline.
The program operates from Nov. 1 to March 31 each year and provides income-eligible residents with one-time assistance to pay their heating bills. In February, $82,424 was disbursed to 342 households in the WSOS four-county service area. Of the 342 households, 45 were in Ottawa County while 92 were Sandusky County households and another 79 were in Seneca County and 126 in Wood County.
A similar program, the Home Energy Assistance program (HEAP), which provides assistance to families not in an emergency situation, also ends March 31. The program is operated directly by the state’s Office of Community Services (OCS) and applicants must submit these applications on their own.
WSOS can provide applications to residents who request them. EHEAP provides up to $600 for propane, and if more is needed, the participant will have to make a co-payment as part of the application process. If a tank is empty, the propane company may charge for a leak test, which will require a co-payment, and that may delay approval of the application.
Other utilities receive up to a maximum of $250, depending on the utility company. Appointments are required for EHEAP applicants. To make an appointment, in Wood County call 419-353-7407; in Ottawa County, call 419-734-2652; in Seneca County – in Tiffin area, call 419-447-0084; or in Sandusky County, call 419-334-5126.
Curriculum Night set
East Broadway Middle School will hold its 2nd Annual Curriculum Night March 25 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The school is located at 1755 East Broadway, Toledo.
The evening will feature Castle Projects; student-led activities and demonstrations; performances by the school band, choir and orchestra; community organization booths; food and refreshments; raffle prizes; and more. The community is invited.