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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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ODOT reminds motorists don't “Crowd the Plow”

With the latest forecasts predicting a wintery mix across much of the state this weekend, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is reminding motorists “Don’t Crowd The Plow.”

So far this winter, there were 13 crashes involving ODOT snow plows including one earlier this week in Washington County. In that crash, a tractor trailer rear-ended an ODOT snow plow on Interstate 77. Neither driver was seriously injured.

Statistics show that most crashes are preventable and are caused by drivers simply going too fast for the conditions or not paying attention.

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Santa Comes Early to Cedar Point

Santa Hustle Half Marathon & 5k Returns to Sandusky its second year

Thousands of Santas will be running through the streets of Sandusky for the Second Annual Santa Hustle Half Marathon & 5k on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 9 a.m. Runners will be starting and finishing at Castaway Bay Resort and Waterpark.

Upon registration, all participants receive a free Santa hat, beard and t-shirt. The race will also feature outrageous holiday decorations including a 50 foot Santa Claus, Rudolph, snowman, festive music and cookie and candy stations along the course. The Santa Hustle Cedar Point Half Marathon & 5k benefits locally known Teen Leadership Corps and is also partnering with Heartbeat in Sandusky. Teen Leadership Corps strives for every community to receive the benefits from high school community service programs. The Santa Hustle Race Series also benefits nationally known Toys for Tots and encourages runners to bring a new, unwrapped toy that will be distributed to needy children in the local community.

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Project Lifesaver

Amber with Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick.

Project Lifesaver is an active response to the problem of locating people who may not be able to find their way home before they become victims.  A lost person with dementia or a developmental disability is unaware of his or her situation; they do not call out for help and do not respond to people calling out to them.  Almost 50% of the missing and wandering will perish if they are not located within 24 hours.  

With a Project Lifesaver transmitter, the average rescue time is less than 30 minutes.  The signal can be tracked over several miles on the ground by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office or from the air by Life Flight helicopters.

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Thank you from Arc of Ottawa County

Jasmine Karshuk takes a practice swing at the Oak Harbor Golf Club

The Arc of Ottawa County ran a very successful summer camp again this year thanks to many wonderful people and organizations.  The Arc is a nationally recognized organization that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.  The Arc of Ottawa County operates a summer day camp for youth with disabilities. Twelve area youth participated in a variety of camp experiences this year.  

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