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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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The Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association recently honored Bill Wilkins, Oregon fire chief, with its Distinguished Service Award

Chief Wilkins joins an elite roster of chiefs so honored since 1978. He was recognized for his work as a Regional Director for the association and especially as Chairman of the Line of Duty Death Response Committee. This committee takes action whenever an Ohio firefighter dies while performing his or her work. Chief Wilkins and his committee have established regional teams who stand ready to respond immediately to any location in Ohio.

Under his guidance, the Ohio program has grown to become a model for the nation.  In 2005, an article in the “On Scene”, a publication of the Great Lakes Division of the International Assn. of Fire Chiefs, noted, “..Death in the fire service involves more than bagpipes and purple-black bunting.”

For Chief Wilkins, the choice to lead the program was personal.  In 2000, he lost a fellow firefighter in the line of duty.  Having been through the experience he knows, “When you’re dealing with a loss of personnel, a lot has to take place. But, emotions come into play. You’ve lost a member of your department.”   His team is only as involved as the commanding officer of the affected department wishes.  Chief Wilkins says, “We’re not there to take over. If you need us, we’ll fill in wherever we can.”

Chief Wilkins entered the fire service as a full-time firefighter for the City of Tiffin in 1978. In 2006 he was hired as Assistant Fire Chief for the city of Oregon and promoted in 2007 to Chief. He is also a Fire Instructor at Penta County JVS, Vanguard-Sentinel JVS, and Four County JVS.

Oregon Mayor Marge Brown commented, “The City of Oregon is very fortunate to have a chief of his caliber and we continue to benefit from his leadership and progressive ideas.  His contributions at home have improved what was already one of the best fire departments in the state, and have better prepared us to meet new service challenges in the future.”


Gold stars
The Eastern Community YMCA recently earned the Step Up To Quality Two Star designation from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Step up to Quality recognizes early care and education programs that exceed quality benchmarks over and above Ohio's licensing standards.

Step Up To Quality is a voluntary rating system for early care and education programs. Participating programs can earn a one, two or three-star rating by meeting an extensive list of quality benchmarks. Experts say these benchmarks improve the growth and development potential of children. The rating system also gives parents a useful tool for selecting quality early childhood programs.  

“Birth to five is the most critical time in early childhood development. We are proud to provide the developmental support that prepares children enrolled in our program for school,” said Tracy Adams, Eastern Community YMCA Family Program Director. 


New service
In honor of its 75th anniversary, The National Bank of Oak Harbor is now offering on-line bill payment services free to customers with a direct deposit account.


Golf
The Oregon/Northwood Rotary Club seeks sponsors and teams for its annual golf invitational Friday, September 4 at Eagles Landing. The event raises funds for service projects. Some of these have been Breakfast with Santa at Clay High School, the Challenger Learning Center, dictionaries for third graders and Ohio Reads tutors.

Go to www.clubrunner.ca/oregon-northwood


Gold stars
Three local Avon representatives have been awarded trips to Paradise Island to be honored at The President’s Recognition Program Celebration. They are Laurie Buhrow, Graytown; Susan Patton, Northwood and Lillian Meadows, Walbridge.


Just the fax: Fax items before Wednesday to The Workplace at 419-836-1319, e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send to The Press, Box 169, Millbury, OH 43447.


suburban

Press wins first place in Ohio for investigative story

 Press news staff Kelly J. Kaczala, news editor, J. Patrick Eaken, sports editor, and freelance reporter Melissa Burden won first place in the non-daily investigative category of the Press Club of Cleveland’s Ohio Excellence in Journalism awards at a banquet in June.
 The winning entry, “Wollenbecker mum on time sheet `error’ at Sunoco,” investigated an Oregon paramedic, Don Wollenbecker, Jr., who left a second job at Sunoco Refinery on Dec. 26, 2007, three hours before he had signed out so he could start his shift at the Oregon Fire Department.
 The article also questioned Wollenbecker’s use of a city owned vehicle to go to Sunoco Refinery, a private sector job that was unrelated to his employment at the Oregon Fire Department.
 Wollenbecker was supposed to work 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 26. But, The Press learned that Sunoco officials noticed him missing from his job at 2:37 p.m., though a timesheet obtained by The Press showed he had signed out at 5:30 p.m. Wollenbecker had left Sunoco to start his shift as training officer in Oregon from 2:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
 A spokesman for Sunoco said in the article that Wollenbecker had made an “error” on his timesheet and it had been corrected.
 Mayor Marge Brown, Administrator Ken Filipiak, and Fire Chief Bill Wilkins insisted in the article that the incident was a personnel matter with Sunoco and had nothing to do with the city.
 Filipiak was not concerned that Wollenbecker used a city owned vehicle to go to a second job because, he said in the article, that Wollenbecker is on call 24-7 for the fire department.
 The Press Club of Cleveland said this about winning entry:
 “Here’s a story that hits the bulls eye. For all the furious attempts of officials to downplay this story, they can’t avoid the one central fact that this story nailed a public official who tried to get paid for moonlighting at the same time he was on the public dime. The tenacity of the reporters in refusing to overlook this basic falsehood is the strength of this story. Great work.”

At the clubs
 The Ottawa County Improvement Corporation on August 20 will host its 15th annual Experience Ottawa County. The event is billed as the premier marketing tool and showcases the quality of life available to those who relocate or expand a business in the county, according to a news release.
 Jamie Beier Grant, director, is asking businesses in the county to submit leads of their customers or suppliers who may want to relocate or expand in the county or help sponsor the event. Call 1-866-734-6789 for more information.

“Green policy”
 The Farmers Insurance Group now offers an eco-friendly product for Ohioans wishing to “go green”.
The product, called Eco-Rebuild is a supplement to homeowners’ insurance that provides $25,000 for extra costs incurred to rebuild or replace with “green” materials, according to a company news release.
 The policy will also cover the cost of upgrading damaged property to meet new Energy Star requirements if the home is already an Energy Star Qualified Home. It also pays for recycling debris rather that disposal.
 For more information, contact local agents David Hartley in Oregon or Rick Reichow in Perrysburg.

New service
 In honor of its 75th anniversary, The National Bank of Oak Harbor is now offering on-line bill payment services free to customers with a direct deposit account.

Golf
 The Oregon/Northwood Rotary Club seeks sponsors and teams for its annual golf invitational Friday, September 4 at Eagles Landing. The event raises funds for service projects. Some of these have been Breakfast with Santa at Clay High School, the Challenger Learning Center, dictionaries for third graders and Ohio Reads tutors.
 Go to www.clubrunner.ca/oregon-northwood

Gold stars
 The Eastern Community YMCA recently earned the Step Up To Quality Two Star designation from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Step up to Quality recognizes early care and education programs that exceed quality benchmarks over and above Ohio's licensing standards.
 Step Up To Quality is a voluntary rating system for early care and education programs. Participating programs can earn a one, two or three-star rating by meeting an extensive list of quality benchmarks. Experts say these benchmarks improve the growth and development potential of children. The rating system also gives parents a useful tool for selecting quality early childhood programs.  
 “Birth to five is the most critical time in early childhood development. We are proud to provide the developmental support that prepares children enrolled in our program for school,” said Tracy Adams, Eastern Community YMCA Family Program Director. 
***

 The Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association recently honored Bill Wilkins, Oregon fire chief, with its Distinguished Service Award
  Chief Wilkins joins an elite roster of chiefs so honored since 1978. He was recognized for his work as a Regional Director for the association and especially as Chairman of the Line of Duty Death Response Committee. This committee takes action whenever an Ohio firefighter dies while performing his or her work. Chief Wilkins and his committee have established regional teams who stand ready to respond immediately to any location in Ohio.
 Under his guidance, the Ohio program has grown to become a model for the nation.  In 2005, an article in the “On Scene”, a publication of the Great Lakes Division of the International Assn. of Fire Chiefs, noted, “..Death in the fire service involves more than bagpipes and purple-black bunting.”
 For Chief Wilkins, the choice to lead the program was personal.  In 2000, he lost a fellow firefighter in the line of duty.  Having been through the experience he knows, “When you’re dealing with a loss of personnel, a lot has to take place. But emotions come into play. You’ve lost a member of your department.”   His team is only as involved as the commanding officer of the affected department wishes.  Chief Wilkins says, “We’re not there to take over. If you need us, we’ll fill in wherever we can.”
***

 Three local Avon representatives have been awarded trips to Paradise Island to be honored at The President’s Recognition Program Celebration. They are Laurie Buhrow, Graytown; Susan Patton, Northwood and Lillian Meadows, Walbridge.

 Just the fax: Fax items before Wednesday to The Workplace at 419-836-1319, e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send to The Press, Box 169, Millbury, OH 43447.