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Redskin athletes compete at Power Lifting Meet

Redskin athletes who attended the South Central Power Lifting Meet: Row 1, left to right: Jesse Escobedo, Jake Depner, Cole Araguz, Alec Ochs, Emerson Lowe; Row 2: Keegan Lowe, Collin Salyers, Aiden Rospert, Jack Warner, Trenton Williams

On Saturday, Feb. 22, ten Port Clinton High School student athletes participated in the 12th Annual South Central Power Lifting Meet at South Central High School in Greenwich. Each lifter got three attempts in the Squat, Bench Press and Dead Lift to record a maximum lift. The best lift in each of the three lifts were combined and the athletes were placed based on this total.

Coach Phil Fought stated, “These meets are a chance for our athletes to show their gains made from the winter workouts. It also gives them a chance to compete with other athletes around Ohio in their weight class.”

At the meet Port Clinton had some outstanding performances including: Jake Depner, first in 125 lb. weight class; Cole Araguz, second in 155 lb. weight class; Alec Ochs, first in 155 lb. weight class; Emerson Lowe, first in 175 lb. weight class; Keegan Lowe, first in 210 lb. weight class.  

Keegan Lowe broke the Dead Lift record in the 210 lb. weight class with a pull of 550 lbs. Emerson Lowe broke the Dead Lift record in the 175 lb. weight class with a pull of 505 lbs. Emerson also broke the Squat record in the 175 lb. weight class with a squat of 450 lbs. Emerson Lowe was awarded the Best Lifter in the middle weight four classes with the highest weight total to body weight ratio.

The athletes who attended the meet wereJesse Escobedo, Jake Depner, Cole Araguz, Alec Ochs, Emerson Lowe, Keegan Lowe, Collin Salyers, Aiden Rospert, Jack Warner and Trenton Williams.

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ICS second graders ready to “spring” ahead

It’s been a very long winter and the second graders at Immaculate Conception School were more than ready to “spring” forward last weekend in hopes that the weather changes with the clocks. The students in Mrs. Boyd’s classroom have been perfecting their time telling skills in preparation. They moved individual clocks to depict the times requested by their teacher.

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Over 65,000 more Ohio jobs added than first reported

Ohio added 65,000-plus more jobs to its work force since 2011 than initially reported, according to updated employment statistics released Friday by state and federal officials.

The total includes 51,000 jobs in 2013, 75,800 in 2012 and 81,800 in 2011, up from earlier projections of 25,600 in 2013, 40,300 in 2012 and 77,600 in 2011, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The new numbers are the result of an annual revision that takes place each February, with tax filings and other information taken into account to create a more accurate picture of actual work force trends over the past five years.

Bruce Madson, assistant director for employment services at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, compared the process to pre-election polling and post-election results -- the former generally offers a close estimation, but the latter better reflects reality.

Madson said the updated statistics show Ohio has experienced steady job creation over the past three years than earlier results indicated.

"What we're seeing is a consistent increase in employment that is fairly consistent through 2011, 2012 and 2013," he said. "It's been a steady, slow increase in jobs throughout the entire process without any real variations."

ODJFS Spokesman Ben Johnson added, "We saw the largest job growth in 2011, slightly smaller in 2012 and slightly smaller in 2013."

The updated statistics were released Friday, along with unemployment claims for January. For the month, the state rate was 6.9 percent, down from 7.1 percent in December and 7.3 percent in January 2013.

The national unemployment rate for January was 6.6 percent, down from 6.7 percent in December and 7.9 percent a year earlier.

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OhioMeansJobs closed March 11

On Tuesday, March 11, the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services, and OhioMeansJobs Ottawa County (formerly The Job Store), will be closed to the public for staff training.  

Individuals wishing to report child or elder abuse may contact the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office at (419)734-4404.  A drop box by the main entrance of the Job and Family Services building is available for clients who wish to turn in documentation.

The office will reopen to the public on Wednesday, March 12, at 8 a.m.

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B-C-S Board welcomes Science Olympiad students

Oak Harbor High School Science Olympiad Advisor Mrs. Lauretta Swint along with Science Olympiad students Nathan Purk, Nikki Weis, and David Birchall.

To open their Feb. 25 meeting, the B-C-S Board of Education welcomed Oak Harbor High School Science Olympiad students Nathan Purk, Nikki Weis, David Birchall, along with their advisor, Mrs. Lauretta Swint. The students explained that the projects that they prepare for Science Olympiad competitions help to sharpen their skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) areas. The students provided details on the trials and challenges of competing against students from across the region. These challenges include the logistics of moving projects into competition areas because of the precise construction and engineering that the projects require. The students went on to explain the fun and learning that are part of many hours that they put in working on their projects, and praised the dedicated efforts of their advisor, Mrs. Swint. They also highlighted the accomplishments of Science Olympiad students over the past five years, and expressed the personal satisfaction they gain from being part of the group.

The Board then approved the Treasurer’s report, which showed that the district revenues continue coming in above budget, while expenses continue to come in below budget.

In personnel matters, the Board accepted the resignation for retirement purposes of several employees, including Michele Boussalia, teacher at Oak Harbor High School, and Lynn Brownell and Joy Ceraldi, teachers at R.C. Waters Elementary School. The Board also approved the retirement and re-employment (for a period of two years) of Charles Morse, teacher at Oak Harbor Middle School. The re-employment of teachers under the provisions of emeritus employment (otherwise known as retire-rehire) saves the school district approximately $25,000 per year in salary and benefits. The Board also authorized the employment of Keith Kirby and John Pratt as technology assistants for the district, approved supplemental contracts for employees directing the spring musical for Oak Harbor High School, approved Rick LaFountain as a volunteer boys’ tennis coach, and approved the employment of Tracie Branum as the middle school track coach. 

In other business, the Board gratefully accepted a $200 donation from Jason and Brooke Sandwisch to benefit the new press box project at the Oak Harbor High School Softball Field. The Board also accepted the donation of $300 from Karen Stein of BP. BP allows employees to choose an organization to receive a donation through the BP Fabric of America Fund, and Ms. Stein elected to make her donation to benefit the softball program.

In discussion items, the Board discussed a possible partnership with the Commodore Perry Credit Union that would result in growing leadership and team-building skills for students, as well as increasing financial literacy. The Board also discussed partnering with other school districts and businesses from across Ottawa County to help ensure that students are aware of the high-quality employment opportunities, from the service industry to manufacturing and the skilled trades, that are available in Ottawa County. Superintendent Guy Parmigian indicated that B-C-S School District wants to be part of the solution in developing a quality workforce pipeline for the employers of Ottawa County.

The next regular B-C-S Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 18, at 6 p.m. at the Board of Education Office. This is a change from the normal meeting time of the fourth Tuesday of each month.

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Bataan Intermediate students earn Reading Olympic medals

Bataan Memorial Intermediate students in Mrs. Karen Roberts classroom completed in the Reading Olympics. Medalists included, left to right: Anthony Aukerman, Ethan Luma, Kennedy Adkins, Zach Adkins, Ashton Fisher, Sydney Moore and Tegan Allison. Not pictured is Camden Riggs.

In keeping with the theme of the Winter Olympics, students in Mrs. Karen Roberts’ Grade four classroom at Bataam Memorial Intermediate School in Port Clinton just completed the Reading Olympics. Students followed the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and took part in a reading challenge. Choosing from a list of books or selecting their own book in their reading level, students earned medals based on the number of pages they read. Gold medalists read over 1,000 pages in 17 days; Silver Medalists, 750 pages; and Bronze medalists, 500 pages in 17 days.  

Mrs. Roberts presented students completing the reading challenge with medals. Gold Medalists were Sydney Moore and Tegan Allison. Silver Medalists were Ashton Fisher and Camden Riggs. Bronze Medalists were Anthony Aukerman, Zach Adkins, Ethan Luma and Kennedy Adkins.

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AG Breakfast to be held March 21

To celebrate agriculture and honor local producers, local Ag Agencies and sponsors are celebrating National Agriculture Week by hosting an Agriculture Community Breakfast.  The 2014 Breakfast will be held on Friday, March 21, at 8 a.m. at St John Lutheran Church in Oak Harbor. The cost for the all-you-can-eat scrambled egg, pancake and ham breakfast is $5. The event is not just for the agricultural community, but is open to all individuals and businesses that eat meat, fruit, vegetables and bread, items grown by farmers. 

The featured speaker will be Bruce McPheron, Vice President of Agricultural Administration and Dean of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Proceeds from the breakfast go back into the agricultural community through various scholarships.  These scholarships will be awarded on the 21 at the breakfast.  For more information about the scholarships, call Kathy Booher at 419-898-3631.  For tickets to the breakfast, contact the Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District at 419-898-1595.

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Brenda Barton earns WSOS’ Spark award

Despite several changes of jobs and job sites within WSOS, Brenda Barton never lost her love for serving preschoolers and their families. She believes in the WSOS mission of helping people help themselves and that core value helped earn her the Spark Award for January.

Barton, an Oak Harbor resident and currently a center specialist at Genoa and Port Clinton centers, was honored for demonstrating leadership, quality and service, three of the five pillars of excellence, to children and families in the Early Childhood Program. According to her nominators, she demonstrated excellence through the quality of work she did and her leadership as she helped prepare the two centers for the accreditation process of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

“This award means a lot to me because I was nominated by the people I work with daily,” Barton said. “I appreciate that they see me as a leader and team member and that they realize that I work hard to help make our centers a great place for our children, families and staff.”

Barton was hired at WSOS in 1980 as a home visitor, a teacher who went to the homes of preschoolers enrolled in the WSOS Early Childhood programs. She would teach the child and instruct the parent on how to teach their child once the home visitor leaves. After ten years in that position, she became a classroom teacher at the newly established Genoa center. Later she was named the site coordinator/teacher. After another re-organization and change of job descriptions, Barton became the site coordinator. Throughout that time she served families at the centers in Port Clinton, Genoa, Elmore and Pemberville.

This award is presented to employees in the WSOS Family Development programs at who demonstrate innovative and caring service to the children and families of the program. The nomination must show how the nominee performs under the five pillars of excellence: leadership, quality, service, finance and innovation.

For residents who believe their families or a family they know could benefit from WSOS services, call WSOS at 800.775.9767 or visit www.wsos.org, or Facebook or Twitter.

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Senator Brown announces grant to help protect Lake Erie from Asian carp

 

This week U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the University of Toledo will receive $500,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to help protect Lake Erie from the threat of invasive species like Asian carp. Specifically, the grant will be used towards developing “next-generation e-DNA sequencing” technology to better help identify the presence of invasive species in the Great Lakes region.  

“This is excellent news for the Great Lakes region and the wellbeing of Ohio’s economy,” Brown said. “We rely on the Great Lakes to create jobs and help raise revenue for our local economies. With Asian carp a serious threat to the health of Lake Erie and its tributaries, this grant is a much needed step towards stopping the spread of invasive species.”

The EPA awarded the grant as a part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), an inter-agency effort to target the most significant problems in the region and jumpstart restoration efforts to protect, maintain, and restore the chemical, biological, and physical integrity of the Great Lakes. According to the State of Ohio, more than $10 billion of the state’s nearly $40 billion tourism industry is derived from counties along the Lake Erie shoreline.

Brown continues to fight the spread of Asian carp in the Great Lakes region. He also continues to fight to ensure the Great Lakes receive the necessary funding to strengthen Ohio’s economy. Last month, Brown helped secure more than $300 million in the bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations bill for the GLRI. Last July Brown and U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) called on the House of Representatives to make immediate changes to a bill that would slash the GLRI budget by nearly 80 percent, from $285 million dollars to just $60 million. Currently, these cuts are still intact as the bill continues to be considered by the House committee. 

Brown is a co-sponsor of the Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act (GLEEPA), bipartisan legislation which is aimed at preserving the Great Lakes and bolstering economic growth throughout the Great Lakes region. In May of 2013, the Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) which included an amendment Brown introduced that would prevent the invasion of Asian carp into the Ohio River. Based on the Strategic Response to Asian Carp Invasion Act, and passed unanimously 95-0, the amendment would enable the federal government to have a more effective partnership with state and local entities that are working to slow the spread of Asian carp.

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