News Briefs Week of 3/22/2021

Staff Writer

Community update
Black Swamp Conservancy is inviting the public to attend a virtual community update highlighting the Conservancy’s most recent work. The program will take place on Wednesday, March 24 from 6-7 p.m. via Zoom.
Director Rob Krain and Conservation Manager Melanie Coulter will share details about acquisitions and restoration projects. They will also offer a preview of the work the Conservancy has in store for 2021.
The event is free and open to the public. Register online at for the Zoom link.
Call 419-833-1025 for more information.

Vaccine scheduling
Sandusky County Public Health began using the new, State of Ohio-provided vaccine Management System (VMS) on March 12.
The benefits of the new scheduling system include no pre-registration required and self-scheduling of appointments on a first-come, first-served basis for those who are eligible for the vaccine based on phases. If appointments are currently full, the individual will need to check back often. Cancellations will open time slots and new clinic days and times will be added weekly.
Due to the change in scheduling systems, Sandusky County Public Health is no longer collaborating with Bellevue Hospital, ProMedica Memorial or Community Health Services to schedule vaccine appointments. Each vaccine provider will have its own scheduling system.
To schedule a vaccine appointment at Sandusky County Public Health or other vaccine providers, including retail pharmacies, visit

Shop Hop
& Bunny Visit
Downtown Fremont, Inc. will be hosting the KF Construction & Excavating Shop Hop and Easter Bunny Visit on Saturday, April 3 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Featured downtown Fremont businesses will have Shop Hop Participant signs on their doors, inviting kids to stop in to get a treat and encourage shoppers to come in for spring savings.
The Easter Bunny will be at the Bunny House during event hours for socially distanced pictures with kids.
For more information about the Shop Hop and Easter Bunny Visit and other upcoming events, call 419-332-8696, visit or follow Downtown Fremont, Inc. on social media.

Auditions set
The Toledo Rep is holding auditions for its upcoming production of “SHOUT! The Mod Musical.” Auditions will be held Sunday, March 21 from 5-8 p.m. and Monday, March 22 from 7-9 p.m.
The cast includes five female performers. Auditions will be held in person at the Toledo Rep, 16 10th St. Those auditioning should conduct wellness checks at home prior to coming to the theater. All performers will be required to wear a mask during auditions.
Performances will be staged May 27-29 and June 3-5 at 8 p.m. and May 30 and June 6 at 2:30 p.m., outdoors at the Ottawa Park Amphitheater.
For more info, including character descriptions and a show summary, or to sign up for an audition, visit

Judicial vacancy
There will be a judicial vacancy as of April 1 in the Lucas County Common Pleas Court, Juvenile Division.
Interested candidates may contact Louise Jackson at or 419-247-1774 for an interview with the Lucas County Republican Party Judicial Screening Committee. A prospective candidate must be a resident of Lucas County, have engaged in the practice of law for at least six years in Ohio, and be under the age of 70.

Prescribed fire season
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) has announced the beginning of spring prescribed fire season.
During spring prescribed fire season, which typically runs between now and May 15, smoke may be visible above refuge properties throughout Ottawa and Lucas counties.
Prescribed burning is conducted on the refuge to improve wildlife habitat and reduce the accumulation of fuels that lead to uncontrolled wildfires. Ottawa NWR has historically treated between 100 and 800 acres annually with prescribed fire. A prescribed fire during this time period is especially productive for habitat management and brush control.
Refuge staff have informed local officials of planned management actions. Prescribed fire will only be conducted when conditions allow for safe implementation.
Call 419-898-0014, ext. 17 for more details.

Skilled trade expo
Owens Community College will host an Advanced Manufacturing and Skilled Trades Expo Day Friday, March 26 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Dana Center on the Toledo-area campus, 30335 Oregon Rd., Perrysburg. Appointments are required.
The event will offer participants the opportunity to explore the programs housed in the new Dana Center, including applied engineering, CAD, electrical, HVAC, machining, mechanical/pneumatics, robotics/PLC, welding and tool and die.
Participants will receive a personal tour guide, assistance filling out an application and Owens swag.
To schedule an appointment or for additional information, visit

Fedor supports bill
State Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) on March 12 commended the introduction of House Bill 200 in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Among other things, the bill will eliminate the A through F grading system, require report cards to include three-year trend data next to each rating and ends the designation of “indicators met” in the performance component. Additionally, the third-grade reading guarantee will be based on the percentage of students promoted who spent all of their years at that district or building.
“When the legislature studied the State Report Card during the last General Assembly, stakeholders overwhelmingly agreed on one thing: the new report card must be systemically different. It must contain transparent, explicable measurements so our educators and community members can connect over meaningful data,” Fedor said. “H.B. 200, sponsored by my friends, representatives Don Jones and Phil Robinson, strives to do exactly that.”
“These are all recommendations I suggested after listening to stakeholders as a member of the Report Card Study Committee,” Fedor said. “I commend Reps. Jones and Robinson for being champions on this, and I urge my colleagues in the House to pass H. B. 200 quickly.”

Railroad safety
bills introduced
State Reps. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) on March 12 renewed the fight to improve rail safety in Ohio by introducing House Bills 194 and 195, legislation requiring freight train operating crews to consist of at least two people and revising other railroad safety measures.
“Having spent more than 40 years working in the railroad industry, I can attest to the importance of requiring two-person crews on all freight train operations,” Sheehy said. “Raising safety standards in our state will help protect our freight operators and keep communities safe.”
The legislation has been introduced in previous General Assemblies, receiving several committee hearings but it has never made it to the Governor’s desk, despite widespread bipartisan support. It was first introduced in the 131st General Assembly after several train accidents involving one person crew, including the Lac-Megantic tragedy – which destroyed a town center and killed 47 people.
The lawmakers say passage of the bill will help cut down on operator fatigue, reduce the likelihood of fatal accidents, and increase safety for rail workers and the general public.
“The safety of locomotive crew members and our communities must be our top priority,” said Lepore-Hagan. “Getting rid of a crew member just to improve a rail company’s bottom line puts all Ohioans at risk. Maintaining two-person crews on all freight trains will cut down on accidents caused by mental fatigue and save lives.”
A recent 9th Circuit ruling in favor of labor unions representing rail workers and personnel, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the International Association of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART), in “TRANSP. DIV. OF INT’L ASS’N-SMART V. FRA,” affirmed the two-person crew safety practice after an order by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) attempted to adopt a nationwide maximum one-person crew rule and preempt any state laws concerning that subject matter.
In its ruling, the 9th circuit found the FRA order to be “arbitrary and capricious” and that the FRA’s basis for the order – that two-member crews were less safe than one-person crews – “did not withstand scrutiny.” Finally, the court found lacking the FRA’s explanation that similar safety objectives could be achieved with fewer personnel, going as far as saying that it was “not clear there is a sound factual basis for the order’s suggestion that two-member crews are less safe than one-person crews,” and that it failed to address multiple safety concerns.
House Bills 194 and 195 have been referred to the House Transportation and Public Safety committee.

Chase ends in crash
in Port Clinton
A Cleveland woman faces felony charges after a high-speed vehicular chase in Ottawa County March 13 that ended in a collision in Port Clinton.
According to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, Jade Leslie Petitto has been charged with failing to comply with the signal of an officer and felonious assault. More charges are pending.
She was driving without a license and a search of her vehicle yielded credit cards belonging to other people and there was an outstanding warrant for her from Cuyahoga County.
A female passenger in her vehicle was injured.
According to the sheriff’s office, Sgt. Brandon Amory attempted to make a traffic stop of a black SUV eastbound on State Rt. 2 near State Rt. 358 for not having a visible license plate.
The SUV accelerated, reaching speeds of 104 miles per hour as it approached State Rt. 53. When it approached the exit, the vehicle travelled across both lanes and went through a stop sign when it attempted to turn southbound on Route 53. It collided with Sgt. Amory’s cruiser and attempted to flee the scene again as Sgt. Amory was backing away.
The SUV then sped north into Port Clinton, going through several red traffic lights and Petitto collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Harrison and 2nd streets, disabling both vehicles.
Petitto was transported to Magruder Hospital with minor injuries.

Pipeline resolution
State senators Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, and Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights, have introduced Senate Resolution 41, urging the Governor of Michigan to keep the Enbridge Line 5 open for business.
Line 5 is an oil pipeline connecting Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. A shutdown could trigger the loss of more than 1,200 refining jobs at PBF Energy Toledo Refining Co., and BP-Husky Toledo Refinery and a $5.4 billion in economic impact.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association