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Port Clinton Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Port Clinton present annual awards

Thursday evening at the Catawba Island Club the Port Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Port Clinton held their annual dinner and awards ceremony. In a full evening for Port Clinton business leaders, Linda Aigler, chairwoman of the Chamber Board, Laura Schlachter, president of the Port Clinton Chamber, and Missy Walker, President of Main Street, conducted business meetings and elections and presented awards.


Lori Opfer, Carrie McGlothlin

The Lighthouse Award winner is Edgewood Manor nursing home. Edgewood also this year received the prestigious Torch Award from the Better Business Bureau, has an award-winning team of nurses and has a complete rehabilitation team.


Dave McDougall, Vince Leone, Ernie Hopkins

The Beautification Award winner is Veteran’s Park. In the last two years an Eternal Flame and star were added to the park, along with a brass statue, archway and landscaping, all of which have enhanced the hallowed ground that honors our veterans.


Judi Halstead

The 2012 Chamber Bright Star Award winner is Judi Halstead. Halstead has been a devoted Chamber Member, is an integral part of other community and chamber events and emceed the Walleye Festival Grande Parade.


Kevin Lowe and Bill VanDerGiessen

The Outstanding New Business of the Year Award winner is 1812 Food and Spirits and Rosie’s Bar and Grill. Bill Van DerGiessen and Kevin Lowe have restored the Island House to its former glory, providing a vibrant anchor for downtown. 


Dana Bacak-Lynd, Steve Cooper

The Business of the Year Award winner is the Civilian Marksmanship Program. The CMP offers Open Public Shooting every Tuesday and Thursday evening, operates a store at Camp Perry and partners with the Ohio Army National Guard and NRA to conduct the National Matches. 


Larry Hartlaub

Main Street Volunteer of the Year Award winner is Larry Hartlaub. Hartlaub has been Chair of the Economic Restructuring committee for Main Street Port Clinton since 2010, is a vital part of the Walleye Festival and in December was appointed Ottawa County Auditor.


Becky Clemons

Main Street Business of the Year is Bait House River Bar. A former actual bait house, since its founding in 2011 the river-front bar has become popular for entertainment and as a gathering place for locals and visitors all through the summer months.

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PC lighthouse group outlines plans

Some 50 people showed up Wednesday evening to hear the latest news about the progress being made to update the Port Clinton Lighthouse. The group, formed in 2010, is looking to find a permanent home for the community icon.

“We believe it is a treasure worth preserving,” said spokesman Rich Norgard. “It is representative of the city’s maritime history.” Norgard also noted that there are many groups of people who seek out lighthouses, pointing out the huge crowds that come to view the Marblehead Lighthouse every year. “It is not a panacea for Port Clinton, but it can very well be an important cog in the wheel to assist with the city’s revitalization efforts.”

The key element for the group that has been working to refurbish the old lighthouse is the future location. The current owner of the lighthouse, Darrell Brand of Brand’s Marina, has made it clear that he would like for it to be placed on the waterfront in what is now Waterworks Park. The group has drawn a line creating a corridor along the northeast corner of the property, citing several lakeshore locations that could hold the old lighthouse.

“We will need the passage of two ordinances by City Council,” stated Norgard. “First we will need an agreement between Darrel Brand and the City to transfer ownership of the structure, followed by an ordinance authorizing the Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy to renovate and maintain the lighthouse.”

Another committee member, Dr. John Smothers, talked about the work the group has done since its inception three years ago. “The enthusiasm of the committee has been amazing and the Brand family has been very cooperative with our efforts.” He also noted that had the lighthouse not been built originally with a copper roof, it probably would have been destroyed long ago. He estimated the cost of renovation at between $20,000 and $30,000. Much of the materials and labor have been donated to date.

Another legacy individual, Ed Jeremy, grandson of David Jeremy, who owned what is now the east side of Brand’s Marina, talked about when the Lighthouse came down from the end of the pier. “It was in 1950 or 1951,” stated the younger Jeremy, who is now 62 years old. “They were told at that time that the structure could never be used again as a working lighthouse by the Corps of Engineers.”

So work continues on the structure, and discussions also continue between the Conservancy and the City of Port Clinton. Since the proposal from Medina developer Mike Rose is on the table for Waterworks Park, the hope is that the renovated lighthouse might become a part of that development, should it move forward. 

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