Bundle up, ice fishing season may be here

Well it was inevitable…last week’s 60-degree temperatures were just not going to stick around. It is January along the shores of Lake Erie. Actually, there are some significant silver linings to these cold temperatures. First, the lake is freezing over and frozen water (ice) doesn’t evaporate. One of the primary causes of lower lake levels that cropped up late last summer was the evaporation factor from the mild winter of 2012. The other positive factor is that the extended cold weather just might freeze Lake Erie enough to allow for some ice fishing.

I traveled to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania last weekend for board meetings for the Mid-Atlantic Community Papers Association. Mary Alice and I drove there Thursday evening and got to spend some time in nearby Hershey, where they have street lights in the shape of Hershey Kisses. There is a little restaurant there called the Hershey Pantry that is extremely popular. We got there just before 10 a.m. on Friday morning for breakfast and had a 25 minute wait to get a table. Mary Alice ordered pancakes and got three of them that were a quarter inch thick and at least 6 inches in diameter. Naturally, I ate too much.

Our Find Wylie winner for this week is Linda Vargo. She was one of 21 entries who figured out that we forgot to hide Wylie in last week’s Beacon! Actually, it’s should be 22, because I ran into the magnificent “G-Raz”, Gary Rasmussen, who was the first to inform me that Wylie wasn’t there. It happens sometimes, so Linda wins our weekly $20 gift card from Friendship Food Stores. We’ll be hiding Wylie again this week. If you find him, drop off an entry form at our office in the Beacon Place Business Center or click on the Find Wylie Icon at our website,

The organizers and fundraisers of the Port Clinton 4th of July Fireworks is holding a big Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament this Sunday, Jan. 27, starting at 1 p.m. at the Elks Lodge on Buckeye Blvd. There is a $50 buy-in. Pre-registration is recommended by calling Debbie Hymore Tester at 419-341-0378. The doors will open at noon and the table draw will be at 12:45 p.m. The event is open to everyone 21 years of age or older. Same day registration is available for any remaining seats.

We lost another wonderful community member this week with the death of Francis “Frankie” Kovalik of Sand Road. He was a most loyal member of the Port Clinton Knights of Columbus and will have an honor guard at calling hours tonight (Thursday) at Neidecker LeVeck Crosser Funeral Home and for his Funeral Mass on Friday at Immaculate Conception Church.

The local Port Clinton PORTS group is the organization working with the Perry Group for the Tall Ships Festival next Labor Day Weekend for the Bi-Centennial of the Battle of Lake Erie. They are working directly with Craig Samborski, the event organizer for The Perry Group. They had a large display at last weekend’s Cleveland Boat Show and got a lot of interest. The local PORTS group has generated nearly $30,000 in donations and pledges and is on track to host two and perhaps three of the ships on the Portage River waterfront. Suddenly Port Clinton has become “Ground Zero” for the mainland’s welcoming of the Tall Ships who will participate in the reenactment of the Battle of Lake Erie on Labor Day. There is more spectacular news on this front coming out of Put-in-Bay, but it isn’t signed, sealed and delivered yet, so you will just have to wait.

The Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Dinner on Friday, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m. at the Community Markets VFW Memorial Hall on West Main Street. The evening will kick off with social hour followed by a hot buffet dinner, a short business meeting to elect the 2013 board members, and by the entertainment which will be video horse races. There will also be a Chinese Auction and door prizes. Tickets are $12 each and may be purchased by calling the chamber office at 419-898-0479.

Congratulations to Adrienne M. Hines, a friend and a Port Clinton area attorney who was recently appointed to serve a two-year term on the Ohio Democratic Party Executive Committee. The appointment was made on the recommendation of Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern and was unanimously supported at the Dec. 15 Executive Committee Meeting in Columbus.

One of my history teachers during my days at Port Clinton High School is under the weather these days and would love to hear from former students wishing her well. Avila Carter Lepera can be reached at 755 Ohltown Rd., Room 15B, Youngstown, OH 44515.

The Port Clinton Kiwanis Club is hosting a big Pancake Dinner for Devin, the local Middle School student who has been battling brain cancer. It will be held at the Port Clinton High School Cafeteria from 5-7 on Friday, Feb. 1, prior to the PC boys basketball game with Perkins.

Mark down Saturday, Feb. 2, on your calendar for a brand new event to help raise money for the Humane Society of Ottawa County. It’s “Mardi Paws 2013” from 7-11 p.m. at the Catawba Community Hall. There will be live entertainment, a cash bar, pizza and munchies along with a reverse raffle, silent auction, door prizes and a whole lot more. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at Bassett’s Market, The Beacon, Minuteman Press and Mary’s Blossom Shoppe in downtown Port Clinton.

Heartbeat of Ottawa County will be holding an International Food Festival at the Immaculate Conception Church School Gym on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 6-8 p.m. The event is a benefit dinner for Heartbeat.

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