News briefs 11/02/20

Press Staff Writer

Lake Police offer holiday package delivery help
        Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer has announced his department will offer, for the third year in a row, a holiday package delivery project, which would enable township residents to request packages be delivered to the police department for pick up later.
        “In the past, we’ve had some reports of packages being taken from in front of residences, which can happen anytime, but is more prevalent during the holiday season,” Chief Hummer said. “Many people are away from home during the daytime, when packages are usually delivered, and these packages can be prime targets for thieves.”  While some people may have the option to have packages shipped to their workplace, or to ask a neighbor to get packages and secure them until the recipient gets home, those measures may not be available to everyone.
        “If someone works in a factory, that business may not be open to having employees’ packages delivered there. Additionally, some people may not know their neighbors well enough to be comfortable asking them to retrieve packages,” Chief Hummer said.
        The project, which will run through Tuesday, Dec. 22, will require residents to notify the police department in advance of package acceptance. Packages will need to be delivered to the police department during normal business hours and participants will need to pick up packages prior to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and show proper identification. Package weight limit for the project is 25 pounds.
        “We want everyone to have a happy holiday season, and we are trying to do our part to avoid any disappointments,” the chief noted.
        For more info, or to sign up for the project, township residents are asked to call 419-481-6354.
Annual Veterans Appreciation event
        Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast & Resource Fair held at The University of Toledo will see a format change this year.
        This year, a drive-thru Veterans Day Appreciation Event will be held Nov. 11 from 8:30-11 a.m. in Parking Lot 4 of Savage Arena on the UT main campus. Access to the parking lot is available from the Douglas Road entrance.  Previously, this event was held in the UT Savage Arena and included a free breakfast, resource fair, historical military display, guest speaker and entertainment by local schools. With the onset of the pandemic, in the spring, the planning committee began taking steps to find a safe, meaningful way to honor local veterans and active military members on Veterans Day.
        “Veterans Day is all about honoring our local heroes. The planning committee has been steadfast in their commitment to go forward with an event to acknowledge the sacrifices made by these individuals in a creative and safe environment,” said Peggy Holewinski, of the American Red Cross. “We adapted the event to follow CDC guidelines limiting in-person interactions, utilizing facial coverings, and employing social distancing. We believe it will be a risk-free way to thank the veterans and active military members in the region for their service.”
        During this drive-thru event, participants will receive a cinch sack and challenge coin along with a voucher for a free breakfast sandwich, beverage, and a side from Tim Hortons (available at participating Tim Hortons only) – a virtual “Breakfast-In-A-Bag.” The sack will also contain information from military-focused community organizations.
        Cinch sacks will be limited to the first 500 participants, on a “first come, first served” basis. The drive-thru route will be marked with signs and flags by UT Presidential Ambassadors.
        This marks the 16th consecutive year for the collaborative event, sponsored by the American Red Cross, UT and the Lucas County Veterans Service Commission. In the words of Lee Armstrong, Executive Director of the Lucas County Veterans Service Commission, “Freedom is not free, it requires service and sacrifice. Veterans Day is about celebrating those brave men and women who answered that call.”
Jefferson Center encampment response
        Due to COVID-19 and area closures, the Jefferson Center property in Toledo has seen an increase in encampment activity in recent months, causing concerns for the health and safety of those congregating there.
        The Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board, in coordination with area social service partners and the property owner, Toledo Public Schools, has developed and initiated a response plan to assist in supporting the individuals residing on site. This plan includes intensive street outreach, supply distribution, and case management and referral coordination in an effort to help the individuals transition off of the property and into safe and stable housing.
        TPS has offered its support in executing this response, alongside the Toledo Police Department, the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, ProMedica, local advocates and other social services agencies. The organizations involved are using HUD-advised best practices for engagement with encampment settings, as well as CDC guidance on COVID response within encampments. All efforts are being made to work together to resolve this situation in a safe and compassionate manner.
        For more information, contact the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board at 419-244-9440.
Honorary plate
        State Rep. Michael Sheehy (D- Oregon) recently announced that Senate Bill 163, legislation creating the Fallen Timbers Battlefield license plate, was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine.
        “The governor’s signature of this bill creates a new avenue for Ohioans to support the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission and the great work they do to protect this historic site,” said Rep. Sheehy. “The Battle of Fallen Timbers is a seminal event in both Ohio and American history, and contributions made toward this organization will preserve the memory of this battle, and the lessons it has taught us for generations to come.”
        Sheehy and Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) first introduced this bill to the House as HB 616. This provision was later included in SB 163 as an omnibus amendment with several other license plate creation proposals.


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