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Help the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign reach their goal

The Salvation Army of Ottawa County has set a goal of $64,000 for this holiday season and with days left in the campaign they need your help reaching their goal. Right now the campaign is a little over halfway to their goal and they are reaching out to ask the public to donate what they can to make the holiday season better for those who need assistance.

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Benton-Carroll-Salem School Honored by State

The staff and students at R.C. Waters Elementary School in Oak Harbor, serving students in grades K—3 in the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District, have earned the award of being named a “High Progress School of Honor” by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).  R.C. Waters Elementary School was the only school in Ottawa County to earn this award!

ODE recognized more than three dozen Ohio schools for improving academic achievement among their students, including many from economically disadvantaged homes.   According to the department, "High Progress Schools of Honor" score in the top 10 percent of schools as ranked by gains in reading and mathematics combined proficiency in all tested grades for the past five years. They also are in the top 10 percent for gains in graduation rate during the past five years. The department also considers Adequate Yearly Progress, Value-Added measures of student growth and Local Report Card ratings when determining award selection.

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Oak Harbor United Methodist Church hosting Blood Drive Dec. 23

The Oak Harbor United Methodist Church located at 360 E. Ottawa St. is holding a Blood Drive on Dec. 23. The Blood Drive is being held from 1-6 p.m. Hot potato soup will be served to all of those who donate. 

To schedule an appointment please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code OAKHARBORUMC.

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American Red Cross recognizes volunteers

Pictured from L-R:  Lynn Majce, 2013-14 Club Red Chair, Connie Starnes and David Amerine

Local volunteers for the American Red Cross of Ottawa County were recognized for outstanding service Wednesday evening at the home of Deena Camerato. Entertainment was provided by pianist Greg Fox. In addition to the annual holiday gathering, the evening featured appreciation and acknowledgment of Red Cross volunteer leaders. 

2013 Volunteers of the Year:

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Service of the longest night

Because the Christian faith offers light and hope in the darkness, Firelands Presbyterian Church is hosting an ecumenical “Service of the Longest Night” on the winter solstice (the longest night of the calendar year), Saturday Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m.  Firelands Pastor Jeanne Gay will be joined by Father John Missler from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and Pastor Janet Reed from the Port Clinton Church of the Nazarene in conducting this service which is open to all in the community who find the holiday season difficult.  

For many people the holiday season is bittersweet.  This time of joy and expectation can often over shadow the pain and hurt that many experience when the world’s merriment puts their grief and sorrow in stark relief.  This worship service holds up those in the community who have lost loved ones, who struggle with serious illness or feel overwhelmed by all the bad news in the world.

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Thank you to my community

For ten years I have made it through because of my community’s low income programs, financial donations, housing programs, energy assistance and food pantries. I am very thankful and so proud of the people in the community who care enough to keep giving. I could have never made it through the years without your generosity.

I may not know each and every one of you, but I see you are out there. It takes a good hearted person like those unnamed whom I have never met to keep the love alive in our community and our world. There are many though that I do know by name and I want to publically thank you for helping my family and me all these years:

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St. Nicholas Visits Immaculate Conception School on Feast Day

Hunter Lenke tries on Saint Nicholas' hat that was left behind

Tis the season of Advent and at Immaculate Conception Catholic School that means a time of waiting and preparing for the big day.  There are trees to decorate, ornaments to make and program songs to practice which can make for very busy days.  The feast day of St. Nicholas on Dec. 6, reminds us of the spirit of giving that makes the season sparkle.   In keeping with tradition, St. Nicholas made a stop at the school on his feast day.  St. Nicholas is known to put treats in the shoes of those that leave them outside their door; and once again, St. Nicholas did not disappoint.  The children found their shoes stuffed with treats and were reminded of the goodness and generosity of the patron Saint of Children.

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The American Red Cross urges residents to take extra precautions with cooking and decorating around the holidays.

“Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, and as people are cooking, entertaining, and stringing lights this holiday season, we’re urging that they take safety measures to ensure that their homes and loved ones are safe from the threat of fire,” said Ottawa County director Beth Leggett.

Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving are the top three days for cooking fires, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Nationally, the Red Cross responds to a disaster on average every eight minutes, and the vast majority of them are home fires.

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Wreaths Across America brings warmth to Catawba Island Cemetery

Senator Randy Gardner, Diane Belden and Father John Missler showing respect along with the color guard and attendees during the Wreaths Across America ceremony.

Even though the temperature was cold, warm hearts gathered in Catawba Island Cemetery to thank veterans and give them a Christmas gift; a beautiful Christmas wreath. Wreaths Across America provides this service for roughly 900 cemeteries around the United States.

Many people gathered for the ceremony despite the weather conditions. The ceremony was opened by Father John Missler of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church giving a blessing and prayer. Next organizers Reggie Langford and Diane Belden said a few words.

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