News Briefs Week of 12/21/2020

Staff Writer

Wreath ceremony
The Ottawa County Wreaths across America committee will be leading the residents of Port Clinton and Erie Township in honoring the veterans buried in cemeteries in these communities on Saturday, Dec. 19.
It is the goal of the five-member committee to honor all veterans in the county each year by placing a wreath on their grave. To donate funds for the effort, contact Sara Toris, committee chairperson at 419-898-2089.

Christmas Eve worship
Elliston Zion United Methodist Church will host a “Christmas Eve Under the Stars” Worship and Communion Service Thursday, Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. in the church parking lot. Guests are welcome to join near the canopy or remain in their vehicles.
Song sheets will be provided to join in singing favorite carols. Holy Communion will be served in a socially distanced fashion. Guests are asked to wear masks. All are welcome
Elliston Zion is located at 18045 W. William St., off Elliston Trowbridge Road. between SR 579 and SR 163.
For more information, call the church office at 419-862-3166.

Grant deadline
United Way of Greater Toledo (UWGT), serving Lucas, Ottawa and Wood counties, will close community grant applications Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 for Lucas County applicants and on Thursday, Jan. 31 for Ottawa and Wood county applicants.
This is the first time in six years that community grant applications have been re-opened, as UWGT seeks to provide funding to local programs working in the areas of education, financial stability, health and housing.
Visit to start a community grant application.

Sex trafficking
bill amended

State Senator Teresa Fedor,D-Toledo, last week lauded the Ohio Senate’s unanimous passage of House Bill 431, which was amended to include her legislation to protect trafficked minors.
“This legislation finally removes the arbitrary, two-tiered system of treating 16- and 17-year-olds differently than other children who are survivors of human trafficking,” Fedor said. “This gap in our protections has left thousands of children in Ohio vulnerable and forced our justice system to treat them as criminals, instead of the victims they are.”
The Protect Trafficked Minors Act, which Senator Fedor originally sponsored as Senate Bill 13, modifies an Ohio law that currently requires prosecutors to demonstrate proof that force, fraud or coercion was used during the trafficking of a 16- or 17-year-old in order for them to qualify for the Safe Harbor protections granted to other minors.
The gap has led to traffickers targeting 16- and 17-year-olds because of a reduced chance that
they will face legal consequences, Sen. Fedor said.
The Protect Trafficked Minors Act passed the Ohio House 83-3 in December 2018, but ran out of time to get through the Senate before the end of the 132nd General Assembly. It was identified as a priority bill at the beginning of the 133rd General Assembly, passing out of the Senate with unanimous support in July 2019.
“This is a historical moment in the fight to end human trafficking in Ohio,” Fedor continued, “It has taken 15 years for me to pass this legislation, and over those years our laws have failed many children. Today, we paved the way to freedom for so many. Finally, all Ohio children can be rescued, not arrested, from the horrors of human trafficking.”
HB 431 now goes to back to the House, where it will be voted on for concurrence.

Deputy’s patrol
vehicle stolen
A pursuit of a stolen vehicle Dec. 12 resulted in an Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office patrol car and two other vehicles being damaged in separate accidents.
Deputies were pursuing a vehicle later determined to be stolen around 4 p.m. when it crashed near Elliston-Trowbridge Road.
A deputy attempted to assist a passenger in the stolen vehicle who appeared to be injured. The driver then gained entry to the patrol car and fled the scene.
The patrol car was later involved in a crash along Nissen Road where a passerby noticed the patrol car and stopped to offer assistance. The suspect then stole the passerby’s vehicle.
That vehicle was later recovered and had been damaged as well.
The driver of the stolen vehicles hasn’t been located and the investigation is ongoing, according to the sheriff’s office.


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