News Briefs Week of 12/28/2020

Staff writer

planning grant awarded
Lucas Metropolitan Housing (LMH) has been awarded a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The grant, in the amount of $450,000, will be used to support the development of a comprehensive neighborhood transformational plan to revitalize the McClinton Nunn Public Housing Development in the Junction neighborhood. “This grant will revitalize public housing in the Toledo community, increase health and employment opportunities for families and ultimately strengthen neighborhoods through economic development,” said HUD Midwest Regional Administrator Joseph P. Galvan.
Lead partners in applying for this grant included LMH, the City of Toledo, Junction Coalition and the Lucas County Board of Commissioners, along with a host of supporting players.
“The city is excited to be a co-recipient of the HUD Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grant,” said Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz. “This grant aligns with my administration’s priority to revitalize our neighborhoods, especially our most vulnerable communities that deserve equitable access to opportunities and amenities that exist in any stable neighborhood. It is perfect timing for the Junction community because we will be able to leverage planned public and private investments to support future funding opportunities.”
“At LMH, we are committed to leveraging every avenue possible to address housing insecurity and homelessness in our community. This grant provides a catalyst for positive change in one of our larger housing developments that is home to families and seniors,” said Joaquin Cintron Vega, LMH President and Chief Executive Officer. “We make it our mission that everyone is Lucas County has a place to call home.”
The HUD Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) is a highly competitive grant program that catalyzes a comprehensive, resident-led neighborhood revitalization effort. Key to that revitalization is the redevelopment of a public housing complex into a modern, desirable, and inclusive community of choice. The Choice Neighborhoods Planning grant will ignite a two-year planning process that incorporates neighborhood goals and public housing redevelopment plans for the McClinton Nunn public housing complex.
Choice Neighborhoods planning grants are the first step in the pursuit of Choice Neighborhoods implementation grants of $30-35 million, which are used to carry out the bold plans imagined throughout the planning grant process.
With this award, the City of Toledo and Lucas County join a select group of cities nationwide, including Cincinnati and Akron in Ohio.
The McClinton Nunn public housing complex contains 151 apartment homes for families and senior citizens. Built in 1961, it is situated within the Junction Neighborhood.
LMH selected this neighborhood and development through a deliberate process of assessment, which considered neighborhood conditions, public housing capital needs, market conditions, the richness of neighborhood assets and the strength of resident leadership.
In addition, its central location within the City of Toledo is in close in proximity to the downtown area as well as numerous other downtown neighborhoods, like Uptown, the Middlegrounds and the Warehouse District. It is often considered the heart of Toledo’s African American community.
Junction Coalition serves as the key planning partner, ensuring resident voice remains at the forefront of the planning process. LMH residents will also play a critical role in the planning process to ensure redevelopment plans meet and exceed resident needs.
The process will build upon the Junction Neighborhood Master Plan and leverage the nearby LMH Collingwood Green redevelopment effort.

County planning
for vaccinations
The Wood County Health Department has plans for distributing a first shipment of 600 Moderna COVID-19 vaccines that was expected to arrive last week.
The vaccines will be distributed to people who wish to receive them locally in line with Ohio’s Phase 1A plan for offering the first vaccines to health care workers, emergency medical responders and people who are at the greatest risk for severe illness. Vaccine recipients will include health care workers, EMS personnel and people with developmental disabilities who live in group settings.
The two vaccines that have been approved and recommended to prevent COVID-19 require two injections, with several weeks between them, before they begin to offer the best protection. The vaccines Wood County expects to receive this week will be the first dose for those in the identified groups. A second dose will be delivered and administered in the future.
Wood County expects to continue receiving regular vaccine shipments but doesn’t yet know how long it will take to provide vaccines to those who want to receive them as part of Phase 1A.
As the county receives additional vaccine doses, a multi-sector coalition will allocate them in the best ways to efficiently vaccinate the community. This process will continue to involve working with first responders and representatives of health-care organizations and long-term care facilities.
If you are part of Phase 1A, one person from your organization should complete an online form ( that will gather initial information. Availability of vaccines will depend on future shipments from the state.
Information about vaccines can be found from Wood County Health Department (, the Ohio Department of Health ( and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

Vaccines available
The Ottawa County Health Department received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines on Dec. 22, 2020.
The vaccines will be distributed locally, in line with Ohio’s Phase 1A plan, which offers the first vaccines to health care workers, first responders, and people with developmental disabilities living in group settings.
The department has received the Moderna vaccine, which has been approved and recommended to prevent COVID-19.
It requires two injections, with one calendar month between them, before they begin to offer the best protection. The vaccines Ottawa County received will be the first dose for those in the identified critical groups. A second dose will be delivered and administered in the future.
Those who are part of Phase 1A, should have one person from your organization contact the health department at 419-734-6800.
COVID-19 vaccines are not yet available for the general public. As information becomes available about the next phases of vaccine distribution, it will be made public.
Information about vaccines is important and can be found at the Ottawa County Health Department (, the Ohio Department of Health (, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

Groups challenge
license extension
of nuclear plant
Two groups advocating for renewable, non-nuclear energy have formally notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of their petition challenging a license extension the NRC granted the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in northeastern Ohio.
In the petition, six ratepayers and residents who live near the plant criticized NRC data that justified 7.7 additional months of operation to the Perry plant at the end of its 40-year license in 2026.
They claim the agency ignored concerns over the plant’s economic stability. Energy Harbor, the owner of Perry and the Davis-Besse plant near Oak Harbor, was helped financially by a state law passed in 2019. The law, House Bill 6 before passing in the legislature, allows some $1.3 billion to be collected from electric ratepayers across the state until 2027, expressly to keep the plants operating.
HB 6 passed narrowly and became even more controversial in July 2020 when the then Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Larry Householder, and four other operatives were indicted on federal bribery and racketeering charges arising from passage of the bill.
Several proposals related to repeal, replacement or deferral of action on House Bill 6 are under consideration in the legislature.
Five of the six plaintiffs in the NRC complaint are members of Beyond Nuclear and the sixth is president of Citizen Power, Inc. Both groups advocate for an end to nuclear power generation on grounds of safety and cost. Their concerns center on reports compiled by agency staff to justify the license extension, which the plaintiffs claim ignore the economic uncertainties that have plagued Energy Harbor for years that have been compounded by the bailout scandal.
Terry Lodge, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the NRC is ignoring the plant’s financial condition.
“Where’s the sanity clause in this controversy?” he said. “The agency can’t be allowed to feign ignorance and rubber stamp a license extension when the fate of this aging nuke hangs in the balance of the largest bribery and racketeering scandal In Ohio’s history.”

Drug seizure totals announced
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Gov. Mike DeWine and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Vance Callender have announced that the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission seized more than $29 million in illegal drugs this year, resulting in 200 criminal charges and the indictment of 102 people.
“Drug dealers don’t worry about social distancing, and they didn’t take 2020 off,” Yost said. “Expanded funding through RecoveryOhio was integral to our success, and I’m grateful for our partnership with Gov. DeWine and Homeland Security Investigations – the return on funding is evident in these success stories.”
OOCIC’s major drug interdiction task forces, created through partnerships with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state, confiscated the following in 2020: 87 pounds of fentanyl, 168 pounds of methamphetamine,135 pounds of cocaine, 8 pounds of heroin, 3,117 pounds of marijuana, 106 firearms and $6,640,020 in cash
A local task force including the Toledo Police Department, the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office, the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, the Toledo Drug Task Force, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Perrysburg Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Ohio, and the Lucas County and Wood County prosecutor’s offices seized: 23
pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $107,145. Twelve firearms were seized as well as $146,963 in cash and 15 people were indicted.

Trailers stolen
The Wood County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to secure trailers and other similar property and watch for suspicious vehicles and people in the area.
Two 18-foot flat bed trailers were recently reported stolen: one in the area of routes 199 and 105 and the other on Holcomb Road.

Court receives
state certification
Ottawa County Probate and Juvenile Court Judge Kathleen L. Giesler announced that the Juvenile Recovery Court has earned final certification from the Ohio Supreme Court.
The Commission on Specialized Dockets voted in favor of Ottawa County Juvenile Court’s certification for a three-year-term.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor congratulated the Ottawa County Juvenile Court and Judge Giesler for receiving final certification.
“Specialized dockets divert offenders toward criminal justice initiatives that employ tools and tailored services to treat and rehabilitate the offender so they can become productive members of society,” said Chief Justice O’Connor. “Studies have shown this approach works by reducing recidivism while saving tax dollars.”
Specialized dockets are courts that are dedicated to specific types of issues and use a combination of different techniques for holding participants accountable while addressing the underlying causes of behavior. The new standards provide a minimum level of uniform practices for specialized dockets throughout Ohio and allow local courts to innovate and tailor their program to meet the community’s needs and resources.
“We appreciate the opportunity to work closely with Ottawa County families, and are honored to have the ability
to now continue our designation as a specialized docket certified by the Supreme Court of Ohio,” Judge Giesler said.


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