Ottawa County beach clean-up a success

Thanks to the over 80 volunteers who made the Ottawa County beach clean-up a success. On Saturday, April 19, over 400 pounds of trash was removed along four area beaches. Despite the chilly weather, volunteers were eager to participate in the Earth Day celebration. As part of the Alliance for the Great Lakes’ Adopt-a-Beach™ program, collection information is entered into an online database and used to educate the public and improve beaches throughout the Great Lakes. Thanks to the Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, East Harbor State Park, Catawba Island State Park and Magee Marsh for hosting this year’s Adopt-a-Beach™ clean-ups.

Becky Simpson


Ottawa County appliance and scrap metal collection May 10

On Saturday, May 10, Ottawa County residents can bring their old appliances and scrap metal to the Ottawa County Fairgrounds at W. State Route 163, Oak Harbor, from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. for recycling.

Items accepted include washing machines, dryers, ovens, stoves, hot water heaters, refrigerators, freezers, microwaves, dehumidifiers, furnaces, air conditioners, water fountains, etc. Items made of steel, such as grills and lawn mowers, and propane tanks will also be accepted, as will appliances with CFCs (Freon). Televisions, computers and electronics will not be accepted at this collection. This collection is free to all Ottawa County residents. All of these items will be taken to a scrap metal yard.

For general recycling information, District recycling collections and events, log onto the OSS Solid Waste District's website at, go to their Facebook page or follow on Twitter at OSS Solid Waste @Aim2BGreen. For more information call the District's main office at 419-334-7222 or toll-free at 1-888-850-7224.

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. For more information call the District's main office at 419-334-7222 or toll-free at 1-888-850-7224.


Ottawa County Republican Women Spring Luncheon

On April 24, the Ottawa County Republican Women held their annual Spring Luncheon at Schedel Gardens in Elmore, with over 60 in attendance.

Elected officials, liaisons for Ohio state office holders and local candidates were present, including U.S. Representative Bob Latta, Ohio Senator Randy Gardner, and Ottawa County Commissioner Steve Arndt. Also attending were Lyn Bliss (Ohio Federation of Republican Women President), Steve Kraus (Republican Candidate for the Ohio 89th District) and Roni Reid (Republican candidate for Ottawa County Auditor). Each spoke briefly to the group.

After the buffet lunch, Vivienne Sommerfield provided an interactive educational presentation about The Star Spangled Banner. 2014 is the 200th anniversary of its writing by Francis Scott Key. The guests were free to stroll through beautiful Schedel Gardens where spring had finally "sprung" with over 3000 daffodils in bloom.

For more information on the Ottawa County Republican Women's Club, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Paint with Geoff Mowery May 15

Local artists will have the rare opportunity to paint with and learn from Geoff Mowery, listed in the “500 Best Contemporary Artists in North America”. A graduate of the Choinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, Mowery paintings grace the halls of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art, to name a few. 

An all day plein air class with Mowery, sponsored by the Port Clinton Artists’ Club, will be held at Lakeview Park on Thursday, May 15, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The rain date is Friday, May 16. Mowery paints primarily in egg tempera and oil, but artists are invited to bring whatever medium they prefer. The class is open to the public and is $45. For more information, or to make a reservation, call Kathie Widing at 419-341-0817.


All Sport FUNdamentals Put-in-Bay VFD & Senior Center Races May 17

All are invited to join All Sport FUNdamentals on Saturday, May 17, in the heart of downtown Put-in-Bay, for a family FUN charity race event benefiting the Put-in-Bay Volunteer Fire Department and Senior Center. The morning will consist of a 5k and 10k Race starting at 9:05 a.m. and a 1 mile Family FUN Run starting at 9:35 a.m. There are no age restrictions so everyone is welcome to participate in any event they desire. Strollers are permitted and any riders are free of charge. 

The events will begin near the PIB Chamber of Commerce and will finish at DeRivera Park in historic downtown Put-in-Bay, near Put-in-Bay harbor and Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial. Participants will run the island of South Bass and along shoreline cliffs with views of Rattlesnake, Green, Middle Bass and Gibraltar Island, historic Lonz Winery and Stone Laboratory. 


Otterbein Breakfast of Champions features Lakeside Summer Arts Program

Otterbein North Shore Senior Lifestyle Community will present its May Breakfast of Champions on Wednesday, May 14, at 9 a.m. The event will be held at the North Shore campus at 9400 North Shore Blvd., Lakeside-Marblehead. A complimentary hot breakfast buffet prepared by Executive Chef Ron La Pointe will be served. Following the breakfast MaryAnn Kelmer, Lakeside Chautauqua’s new C. Kirk Rhein Jr. Center for the Living Arts Director, will tell about the arts and crafts classes during Lakeside’s summer season. Kelmer has a passion for the arts and for “up-cycle quilting”. Reservations are required.  Call  Kirsten or Jo Ann at 419-798-8950 to make reservations for for more information.  

Additional information regarding Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices is available at or by calling 1-888-513-9131.


May Is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month

May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio, and the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services is spreading the word that “Fraud Costs All of Us.” 

“The programs and services that we offer provide a safety net to those in need. Cases of fraud jeopardize that safety net and tend to skew the public’s perception of the need that truly exists in every community,” says Stephanie Kowal, Director of the county agency.

In 2013, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services disbursed about $3 billion in SNAP food assistance, $300 million in OhioWorks First cash assistance, $600 million in child care subsidies and $1.8 billion in state and federal unemployment compensation. Individuals who mislead caseworkers or lie on an application for benefits are believed to account for a small percentage of the funding disbursed, but the department takes even small fraud cases very seriously. 

“When the agency suspects an individual has received benefits to which they were not entitled, we turn things over to our internal investigator,” explains Kowal. “We receive fraud reports at the agency, and they can be anonymous. We also cross-check information, and look for irregular patterns in cases. When something is suspicious, an investigation is completed and repayment options are given to individuals. In 2013, Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services recovered $56,057 in benefits from individuals who received them in error.”  

Suspected fraud may involve SNAP Food Assistance retailers or recipients, Medicaid providers or recipients, OWF Cash Assistance recipients, Child Care providers or recipients, or Unemployment Compensation recipients. Individuals found to be committing fraud are removed from the program, must repay any improperly obtained benefits, and may face criminal charges and jail time. Residents of Ottawa County may report suspected public assistance fraud, anonymously, by calling the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services at 1-800-665-1677. Reports may also be submitted online at


Mother's Day luncheon and fashion show

A Mother's Day luncheon, fashion show and fundraiser will be held at Catawba Island Club Saturday, May 10. Shopping and cocktails start at 11 a.m. and lunch is served at noon. The fashion show will follow lunch. Fashions are provided by Marcell of Westlake. Proceeds of the event benefit the Ottawa County Republican Party.

Tickets are $40 and seating is limited. Members and non-members are invited. For more information contact Renee Claycomb at 419-960-7371.


Reel Bar, Put-in-Bay’s newest old bar, holds grand opening

Put-in-Bay has seen its share of new businesses over the decades. But, ironically, many have been themed after other destinations such as the Caribbean, the Florida Keys, Maine and even Ireland. This weekend, the popular summer resort island will receive its own tribute when Put-in-Bay’s newest old bar opens its doors as Reel Bar. 

Reel Bar will celebrate their Grand Opening party on Saturday, May 10. Christening the Reel Bar stage will be The Womacks, who will perform at 8:30 p.m. The bar and restaurant, which is located in the historic building formerly known as Tony’s, has been completely remodeled to offer a rustic setting honoring its island roots. As the name suggests, Reel Bar will feature décor focused on fishing, boating and Lake Erie island life. 

Over the off-season, the new owners, Andy Christensen, former General Manager of the Boathouse and Ray Fogg, a popular island entertainer, have had time to prepare the bar for an exciting new direction, yet one that is respectful of the island’s old ways. In a tongue-in-cheek play on their new name, they say it will be a “real new bar in a real old place.” 

When you step into Reel Bar, you will notice the place has been remodeled in a manner which celebrates the treasured old building. Great care has been taken to create a comfortable lived-in feel, utilizing natural materials such as reclaimed barn wood, real stone, recycled antique lighting and lots of cool old décor. Tribute will be paid to the building’s past as Tony’s with old signs, photos, as well as the beautiful original back bar, which has remained. 

Reel Bar’s food and drink selections will focus on freshness, with house made sauces and hand cut fries along with fresh fruit juices in drinks. The menu features huge walleye sandwiches, hormone and anti-biotic free beef hamburgers, walleye nachos, black bean burgers, ceviche, fresh salads, caprese sandwiches, flatbreads and much more. Specialty drinks include something they call Reel Squeezed Drinks, which are cocktails prepared with fresh squeezed grapefruit or oranges. In addition, Reel Bar will feature a number of old-style cocktails such as the Moscow Mule, Classic Daiquiri, Tom Collins and Pimms Cup, to name a few. They also have 16 beers on tap. 

Reel Bar is also taking a slightly different path as it relates to live entertainment, striving to offer diverse choices. The Ray Fogg Show, a music/comedy show which has become a mainstay on the island, will appear most weekends at 7 p.m. Appearing before and after Ray will be a variety of music from Americana to Zydeco. Most of the acts performing at Reel Bar dedicate at least a portion of their show to original music. You can expect to hear Bob Gatewood, Shane Piasecki, Hey Monea, Cats on Holiday, The Womacks and others through the season. The intimacy of the Reel Bar stage will make performers accessible to the audience, creating an entertainment experience so folks can have “a reel good time”.

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