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ICS Fifth Graders explore the history of Johnson’s Island

The fifth graders at Immaculate Conception School are preparing for the opportunity to be archeologists this spring. Mrs. Jane Drusbacky’s class will once again have the experience of participating in the Experiential Learning Program in Historical Archaeology offered by the Center for Historic and Military Archaeology of Heidelberg University. 

As the students prepare to explore and learn about the Johnson’s Island Civil War Military Prison site, Dr. David R. Bush visited their classroom last Wednesday to give the students the insight and background of the field experience scheduled for May 5. Dr. Bush is the site director for the Johnson’s Island Civil War Military Prison and a Professor of Anthropology.

Johnson's Island held more than 10,000 Confederate officers between 1862 and 1865. The students viewed a PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Bush, which included historical pictures and facts about life and conditions at the POW camp. Dr. Bush's excavations there are providing unprecedented information about the activities, health, and living conditions of the prisoners. Dr. Bush both informed and excited the fifth graders of the adventure to come later this spring.

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Receive 10 free shade trees

National Arbor Day is Friday, April 25, this year, and the Arbor Day Foundation is making it easy for anyone to celebrate the annual tree-planting holiday. Join the Foundation in April and receive 10 free shade trees.

By joining the Foundation in April, new members receive the following trees: red oak, sugar maple, weeping willow, bald cypress, thornless honey locust, pin oak, river birch, tulip tree, silver maple and red maple.

The free trees are part of the Foundation’s Trees for America campaign.

“These trees provide shade in the summer and vibrant colors throughout the fall,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Through the simple act of planting trees, one person can make a difference in helping to create a healthier and more beautiful planet for all of us to enjoy.”

The trees will be shipped postpaid with enclosed planting instructions at the right time for planting in April or May. The 6-12 inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge.

To become a member of the Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to Ten Free Shade Trees, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, byApril 30, or visit www.arborday.org/april.

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Safety Council Meeting April 16

The next Ottawa County Safety Council Monthly Meeting will be held Wednesday, April 16, at the Catawba Island Club. This meeting will also serve as Ottawa County Safety Council’s CEO Event and BWC Safety Council Awards Presentation. A special feature will be that Bernadette Delgado, Toledo Service Office Manager, will present the BWC Safety Council Awards to members. Breakfast and networking is 8-8:30 a.m. and the guest speaker and BWC Awards Presentation is 8:30-9:45 a.m.  The speaker, Jennifer Oiler, Comp Management Health Systems Inc.  will discuss “The Aging Workforce.” Make reservations before April 11 with Jessica Kowalski at 419.898.6242.

April is Injury Prevention Month, which makes this the perfect time to do some serious awareness training and show employees exactly how to prevent injuries in the workplace. Employees injured in accidents often pay a heavy price. Injuries can be painful, disabling, and even fatal. There is also the economic cost, which results in workers’ comp claims and lost productivity. Every year employers lose millions of work hours and billions of dollars because of workplace injuries. Anything a company can do to prevent job injuries is time and money well spent.

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Spring Senior Day May 7

On Wednesday, May 7 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Spring Senior Day: Hawaiian Luau is being held at the Camp Perry Clubhouse. Festivities include the Senior Hall of Fame Awards, door prizes, a 50/50 raffle, vendor booths and more. Lunch will be served at 12 p.m.

Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite Hawaiian shirts to the event. The cost to attend is $6. Tickets can be bought at any Ottawa County Senior Center, Magruder Hospital or the Ottawa County Senior Resources Center.

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Win a trip to Washington and help the Terra Choral Society

Terra State Community College in Fremont is sponsoring a raffle for the opportunity to win a free trip to Washington and travel with the Terra Choral Society and Jazz Ambassadors on their tour to participate in the National Memorial Day festivities in May.

The Choral Society sang in the National Memorial Day Choral Festival at the Kennedy Center two years ago, and will be returning to participate again this May. This year, the Jazz Ambassadors will also be traveling with the Choral Society and presenting several concerts in Washington. The chorus and band will also share a public concert.

The winner of the raffle will be able to go backstage to the Kennedy Center, travel and attend concerts with the musicians, and visit the monuments and grounds of our nation’s Capitol. 

In a special fundraiser to help off-set the costs of the trip, the organizers will be selling raffle tickets for $20. Tickets are sale from now until the winner is announced at the college's jazz concert on Thursday, April 10. The winner will then join the musicians as they travel to Washington May 22-26.

To purchase a raffle ticket, call the Terra State Box Office at 419-559-2379 or visit the Division of Business, Communications and the Arts, located in the Bordner Arts and Health Technologies Center (Building D), Office Suite D201. For more information, call 419-559-2233.

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Ottawa County celebrates Vietnam Veterans Day

Display provided by the Matthews family.

On March 29, 1973, the last round of troops came home from Vietnam. Last March, Governor Kasich declared March 29 Vietnam Veterans’ Day in Ohio. This day is celebrated and recognized in 35 states so far and more are hoped to be added each year. This year, Ottawa County held its first annual Welcome Home Vietnam Era Veteran Celebration which was held at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds.

The event was independently organized by veteran Ernie Hopkins and sponsored by the Ottawa County Veterans Service Office. Hopkins is a Vietnam veteran. He served 15 months in infantry in Charlie Company 5/46 198th Americal Division artillery. Veterans were asked to serve on a committee to help with the event which also was critical in making this event happen.

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Cost of Poverty Experience

Every day people in our community struggle to meet basic needs and achieve financial stability. In order to have a better understanding of the challenges they face, the United Way and the Ottawa County Housing Collaborative is offering a special opportunity.

Cost of Poverty Experience (C.O.P.E.) is a poverty simulation exercise that allows participants to role play through various scenarios based on real life examples. By making choices and encountering barriers, participants gain a greater awareness of the daily realities for many low to moderate income families in our community.

United Way and the Ottawa County Housing Collaborative are hosting the event at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds on April 9 from 1-3 p.m.

The experience was created to inform and enlighten participants’ understanding of poverty with hopes of inspiring them to take action to help those who need it most. Network with donors, volunteers and community leaders and be part of the discussion on how we can become change agents to impact the community.

To RSPV to the event contact Kristen Gerwin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 419-734-6645. For more information on the event or about the United Way, visit unitedwayottawacounty.org.

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First round awards announced for District Grant Program

Twelve organizations received funding to start recycling programs or to buy products made from recycled materials in the first round of competitive funding offered by the Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca Joint Solid Waste Management District.

The grant program’s main priority is to set up recycling programs for educational institutions, governmental entities or non-profit organizations. Any agency applying must have a recycling program in place in order to apply for funds for products made from recycled material. The applicant must match a minimum of 20% of the total project cost, and products must contain at least 25% recycled material.

Entities receiving funding include: Allen Township Trustees, $4,187 to purchase fencing; Ballville Township Trustees, $9,000 for playground surfacing made from recycled rubber; Bellevue Recreation Department, $2,790 to purchase playground surfacing fiber made from recycled material; Camp Fire Buckeye Council, $1,460 to purchase recycled plastic picnic tables and a sign; Fostoria Fire Department, $5,900 for cribbing made from recycled plastic; Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center, $2,961 to expand their recycling service and to purchase a sign; Ottawa County Improvement Corporation, $2,000 to purchase a recycled plastic sign;

Portage Township Trustees, $1,195 to purchase ceiling material made of recycled content for their community room; St. Boniface Catholic School, $3,386 for recycled plastic benches, picnic tables and waste & recycling receptacles; Seneca County Park District, $1,986 for recycled plastic signs; Townsend Township Trustees, $7,319 to purchase fencing; and Woodmore Schools, $900 to expand their recycling service and to purchase plastic bottle receptacles.

Amy Drummer, Assistant Director of the Solid Waste District, administers the grant program and sees the direct benefits to the community.“These grants provide an opportunity for local organizations to create or expand recycling programs,” said Drummer. “The purchase of recycled products provides the public examples of items that are made from the materials they recycle every day.”

The next funding round deadline for the Competitive Funding Program is June 30th, 2014. The grant application is available online; however, grant applicants are required to attend a meeting prior to submitting an application. The purpose of the meeting is to explain what information is needed to properly fill out the grant application form. The next meeting will be held Thursday, May 29, at 10 a.m at the District’s Main office, 1875 E. State Street, Fremont. Registration for the meeting is required. For more information or to register for the meeting, contact Assistant Director, Amy Drummer toll free at 1-888-850-7224 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

To view grant guidelines and application or for recycling information, view the OSS Solid Waste District’s website at www.recycleoss.org. Get connected with the District on Facebook by searching Ottawa Sandusky Seneca Green Recycling Scene and hitting the like button, or on Twitter by searching OSS Solid Waste @Aim2BGreen.

The Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca Joint Solid Waste Management District was formed in March 1989 under HB 592, which required counties to form single or multi-county solid waste districts.  The District has developed a solid waste plan which ensures disposal capacity for the next 15 years. The District also sponsors waste reduction, recycling, and reuse programs designed to increase recycling to meet state waste reduction goals.

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Gardner announces new Healthy Lake Erie Initiative

State Senator Randy Gardner, who represents Ottawa and Erie counties, announced Tuesday, March 18 that a new Healthy Lake Erie Initiative has been included in the state’s new Capital Appropriations Budget introduced Tuesday in the House of Representatives.

The initiative will provide $10 million over the next two years in funding to support efforts to reduce open lake dumping in Lake Erie and to implement other clean lake strategies.  Administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the fund will be used primarily to find alternative uses for dredge materials versus current and prospective practices which may be considered less environmentally friendly.

ODNR Director Jim Zehringer praised the initiative as another in a series of efforts to make progress on cleaning up Lake Erie, particularly the toxic algae problem.

“Protecting Lake Erie remains a top priority for Governor Kasich’s administration,” said Zehringer. “Thanks to the partnership and collaborative efforts of Senate President Keith Faber and Senator Randy Gardner through the Healthy Lake Erie Initiative, we will continue practices to address nutrient issues in the Lake Erie watershed. We recognize more needs to be done and with the help of the governor’s capital bill, we can work toward our shared goal of improving water quality in the western Lake Erie basin.”

Gardner said the new capital funds will build on other efforts to find answers to Lake Erie environmental challenges.

“I am thankful that Senator Faber and Governor Kasich agree that more needs to be done to attack problems affecting Lake Erie,” Gardner said. “The lake is one of Ohio’s great natural assets with tremendous impact on jobs and quality of life.  We have an obligation to continue the fight.”

While Gardner said most of the efforts to date have focused on the western Lake Erie basin, recent controversies in Cuyahoga County regarding dredging disposal issues indicate attention is needed all along Ohio’s northern coast.

Gardner praised the involvement of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, the Charter Boat Association and the Lake Erie Improvement Association, among many organizations, in addition to ODNR and Ohio EPA officials for providing ideas to help mitigate the need for open lake dumping of dredge materials.  

House and Senate committee hearings are expected in the Ohio House and Senate over the next couple of weeks.

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Local talk show explores life and faith

Everything from politics to prayer will be featured at a new weekly experience called Lifetree Café. 

This “conversation café”, located at Trinity United Methodist Church, 135 Adams Street, Port Clinton, is part of a national network of locations that offer participatory events related to life and faith.

The Lifetree Café experience is a scheduled hour of “stories and conversations to feed the soul,” according to local director Pastor Bruce Batchelor-Glader. The hour typically includes a short original film and guided conversation. A local host directs the hour. “It’s sort of like a live, local talk show, with an inspirational twist,” Batchelor-Glader said.

Topics, which change weekly, focus on popular life issues. Topics may include such things as loneliness, immigration, health, angels, guilt, prayer and life after death. The exclusive documentary-style films feature everyday people with unusual stories, as well as nationally known figures.

National Lifetree Café founder Thom Schultz said, “We engage people of all ages in a national conversation through local Lifetree Cafés as well as a robust online presence.” The organization’s website, LifetreeCafe.com, invites visitors to participate online in the same topical conversations that occur each week at the live venues.

“Lifetree serves as a comfortable place to meet other people who are interested in the same issues.” Schultz said, “The atmosphere resembles a warm, neighborhood coffee shop. The experience gives people practical help and insight on life issues, and provides a hopeful spiritual connection.”

Schultz said, “We’ve found that people today want to participate in the conversation. It’s not enough to simply hear someone lecture on an important topic. People want to share their thoughts, ask questions, and tell their own stories. Lifetree offers a safe place and time to do that.”

Lifetree Café is offered at 6 p.m. every Sunday. The café is located on the second floor of Trinity United Methodist Church. Admission to the 60-minute events is free. Snacks and beverages are available.

Questions about Lifetree Cafe may be directed to Bruce Batchelor-Glader at 330-819-3194 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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