News Briefs Week Of 1/17/2022

News Briefs

Fedor condemns use
of outside contractors
State Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), a member of the Ohio Unemployment Compensation Modernization and Improvement Council, said she was “shocked” by a report that the state Department of Job and Family Services agreed to pay more than $200 million to Deloitte Consulting to respond to the surge of unemployment claims resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report revealed that the state paid rates of up to $59 per hour to employ more than 1,600 call center agents.
“I was shocked to find out how much the state is paying Deloitte,” Fedor said. “This is not responsible spending, when this company has caused so many of the issues I hear about every day from my constituents. These good-paying jobs should be going to Ohioans, and Ohio companies should be prioritized for these contracts.
“I was also disheartened to learn that Deloitte keeps a portion of the hourly pay from the people doing the job,” she said. “Our state must stop rewarding corporations that do not deliver for Ohio families.”
Fedor, who is running for Ohio lieutenant governor with Democratic gubernatorial governor and Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley in the 2022 primary election, said that despite what incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWine is trying to portray, “our unemployment system is still a mess – just talk to all those Ohioans who are still waiting for their unemployment benefits to pay out.”

State Farm expands
Neighborhood Assist
State Farm is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022 by expanding the State Farm Neighborhood Assist program. This year, the program will award $25,000 grants to 100 nonprofit organizations to help fund neighborhood improvement projects.
That’s an increase of 60 grants over previous years. In addition, the program is doubling the number of submissions that will be accepted to 4,000.
“State Farm Neighborhood Assist truly embodies the spirit of what our company has been about for 100 years – being a good neighbor,” said Rasheed Merritt, State Farm assistant vice president. “We are excited about expanding the program in 2022 to help even more neighborhoods.”
The program submission phase will begin Wednesday, Feb. 16 and end when 4,000 submissions are reached. Individuals can submit a cause at starting at 1 p.m. Feb. 16. Information and a submission guide are available on the website.
The State Farm Review Committee will then narrow the field to the top 200 finalists using a scoring rubric.
Ultimately, voters will decide which community improvement projects will win. The public will have a chance to vote for their favorite causes from the list of finalists 10 times a day from April 27-May 6 online at
The 100 causes that receive the most votes will each win a $25,000 grant. Winners will be announced Tuesday, June 7.
Last year, 125,000 people cast more than 3 million votes in support of their favorite causes, selecting winners from small towns and big cities.
Since the program began, more than 380 causes have received a total of $10 million to enact change in their communities.

Port tonnage set
a record in ‘21
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority realized a 22-percent increase in tonnage through the Port of Toledo in 2021, when compared to 2020. A total of 11,428,753 short tons traveled through the port last year – the highest tonnage the seaport has seen since 2011. A short ton is a mass measurement unit equal to 2,000 pounds.
The port also set a record for the most aluminum handled in a season totaling nearly 276,000 short tons. Additionally, iron ore tonnage at the port was the highest reported since 1979. The increase in iron ore is mainly attributed to the commencement in operations of the new Cleveland-Cliffs Toledo Direct Reduction Plant at Ironville Terminal.
The Port Authority continues to make investments at the port by improving infrastructure and facilities at its General Cargo Dock, managed by Midwest Terminals of Toledo, increasing the port’s handling and storage capabilities.
In 2021, the Port Authority purchased a Liebherr 550 Mobile Harbor Crane with $5.5 million in state funds awarded through the Ohio Maritime Assistance Grant Program. The new crane complements the port’s two existing harbor cranes, which were acquired in 2010. The Liebherr 550 has increased efficiency at the port and further modernizes its handling capabilities with its capacity to facilitate heavy lifts, as well as handle bulk, project cargo, scrap, and containers. The crane has a maximum capacity of 154 tons per swing and a lift height maximum of 148 feet.

This year, the Port Authority is moving forward with reconstructing and upgrading the dockwall at the General Cargo Dock, which is funded through a combination of state and federal grant funds totaling $24 million. The Port Authority will also invest $3.5 million in state funding to purchase a new bulk material conveyor system at the General Cargo Dock.

Agencies closing lobby
Wood County Job and Family Services and Wood County Child Support Enforcement Agency will be temporarily closing their lobby from Jan. 13-21 during the COVID resurgence.
Job and Family Services staff will still be processing cases and information. During the temporary closure of the lobby, anyone can opt to do one of the following:
-Leave documents or applications in the drop box located at the front of the building.
-Fax documents or applications to 419 353-6091
-Submit documents or applications via email to:
-Create an online account at BENEFITS.OHIO.GOV to submit applications, report changes and obtain information regarding your public assistance benefits, including child care.
-Call the call center at 1-844-640-6446 to report changes, complete interviews and ask basic questions regarding your SNAP, TANF or Medicaid benefits.
-Call the office at 419-352-7566 for help with nursing home or waiver assistance.
-To make a child abuse report, call the hotline at 419 354-9669.
For employment or resume assistance visit for resources.
Persons with unemployment questions or needing to apply should visit, which has the application and a live chat feature to help you through the process.
Assistance with rent, utilities, car repair or food referrals? Call 419 352-7566 ext. 8492.
Child Support Enforcement Agency staff will still be processing cases and information. During the temporary closure any person who still needs to submit documents or make a payment, can opt to:
-Leave documents for applications and payments in the CSEA drop box located at the front of the building.
-Fax documents and applications 419-354-9371.
-Submit documents or applications via e-mail to:
-Create an online account at so that you can submit applications, report changes, and obtain information regarding your child support case.
For questions regarding a case, call the office to speak with a case manager at 419 354-9270.

Blood shortage
The State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services and the American Red Cross are raising awareness about a severe blood shortage.
“The current blood shortage has been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, decreased blood donations, and an increased usage of blood and blood products to treat an increasing number of trauma cases,” said Division of EMS Director Rob Wagoner.
Blood and platelet donations are needed to help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments, and donors of all blood types – especially type O − are asked to make an appointment now to give in the weeks ahead. To make an appointment to donate blood visit or call 1-800 REDCROSS.

Alzheimer webinar
The Alzheimer's Association Northwest Ohio Chapter will offer a live webinar this month on effective strategies for communicating with someone living with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
The free, virtual live webinar, “Effective Communication Strategies,” will be offered Jan. 24. To register, call the Alzheimer's Association 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 and provide an email
address. Instructions for joining the webinar will be emailed after registration.

Elections office
closed Jan. 17
The Ottawa County Board of Elections office will be closed Jan. 17 to observe Martin Lutheran King day. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will resume on Jan. 18


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