News Briefs Week of 3/15/2021

Staff Writer

Sandusky County
Bicentennial (+1) Bash
Celebrate Sandusky County’s bicentennial with an event featuring guest speakers, lunch and a tour of the bicentennial traveling museum on Thursday, April 1, at the Sandusky County Courthouse, 100 N. Park Ave., Fremont.
On April 1, Sandusky County turns 201. Due to COVID-19, the bicentennial celebration slated for last April 1 was postponed until this year. The Sandusky County Bicentennial Committee is planning this and other events throughout the year to celebrate the county’s bicentennial-plus-1 year.
The Bicentennial Bash will start at noon. All are invited, and admission is free. The celebration will feature guest speakers state Sen. Bill Reineke and state Rep. Gary Click, as well as a color guard and the singing of the national anthem. Lunch will be available for purchase from Jimmy G’s barbecue food truck.
The bicentennial traveling museum will also be on site and open for visitors throughout the event. A limited number of people will be allowed in the museum at one time in order to allow for physical distancing.
Attendees must wear face coverings and are asked to physically distance from other attendees.
For information on this event and others planned throughout the year, visit Like the bicentennial on Facebook at @SanduskyCounty2020 for updates.

Legislation would
expand teacher
tax deduction
Last week, state senators Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) introduced a bill to expand the teacher tax deduction for supplies passed in the 133rd General Assembly from $250 to $1,000.
“Two-hundred fifty dollars is simply not enough for our teachers to purchase personal protection equipment and additional school supplies for this extremely difficult school year,” Fedor said. “Teachers have long been forced to use their own money to purchase school supplies because of insufficient funding. This is especially true now that they’ve had to find new ways to teach online and make sure their classrooms have enough supplies so students don’t have to share and risk additional spread of COVID-19.”
Senate Bill 120 would serve as an addition to the federal Educator Expense Deduction, which allows eligible single educators to deduct up to $250 and eligible couples to deduct up to $500 when filing jointly. This deduction will help offset the personal cost to educators, demonstrate support for the crucial role they have played throughout this pandemic and allow them to continue taking precautions to protect themselves and their students.
“Especially during these unprecedented times, it is crucial that we help ease the financial burden teachers undertake to supply their students with the tools to learn effectively and safely,” said Manning. “By simply increasing this important tax deduction, we already have in place, we will benefit both our students and teachers.”
S.B. 120 is also similar to S. B. 26 passed during the 133rd General Assembly, which limited qualified expenses to purchases of items like books, supplies, computer equipment and for participation in professional development courses.

Latta honored
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) has presented the National Health Leadership Award to Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH5).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our essential workers in ways that were not previously imaginable. I am proud of the work accomplished to improve access to health care for all Americans, especially those in rural and underserved areas. This couldn’t have been done without our health care providers, including Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). It is an honor to be recognized by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists with the National Health Leadership Award.”
The National Health Leadership Award recognizes an individual on the federal government level who supports the vital role that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) have in providing access to cost-effective quality anesthesia services. To be eligible for the award, a nominee must serve as a federal legislator, federal legislative staff, or federal regulatory agency staff. The awardee must show significant support for the profession of nurse anesthesia, and they must be an outstanding contributor to the formation of the national health policy.

Prescribed fire
season starting at
wildlife refuge
The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge has announced it’s entering the spring prescribed fire season, which typically runs between now and May 15.
Smoke may be visible above refuge properties throughout Ottawa and Lucas counties. Prescribed burning on the refuge is conducted to improve wildlife habitat and reduce the accumulation of fuels that lead to uncontrolled wildfires.
The Ottawa NWR has historically treated between 100 and 800 acres annually with prescribed fire for habitat management and brush control.
Refuge staff members have informed local officials of the planned actions and the fires will only be conducted when conditions allow for safe implementation.
Questions about the fire season may be directed to Refuge Manager Jason Lewis or Private Lands Biologist Jeff Finn.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats.

Park district to
hold grant for

The Wood County Park District commissioners agreed Tuesday to hold a grant for the Village of Pemberville but not to allow the village to use the funds for repairs to the municipal pool.
Neil Munger, director of the park district, said the village had initially applied for a $6,000 grant to construct pickleball courts that required a $3,000 match from the village.
But village officials informed the district they have discovered the municipal pool will require repairs to open this season and the funds earmarked for the grant match are being diverted to the pool.
A review committee of the district recommended holding the grant if the village is able to later find matching funds but a village request to use the grant for the pool was rejected.
“They said it was hard for us to judge the merit of this in comparison to other grants that weren’t awarded. They said they will leave the grant in place and if the village finds later this year they can afford the match it’s still there for them but they can’t change it to a different award,” Munger said. “It’s understandable. Their pool and a lot of others were closed last year so this year there will probably be a few more repair bills than they had planned on.”
In other business, Munger updated the commissioners on park improvements, showing them photos of various projects.
“For the first time in the last year we actually had all five of our board members in attendance in person,” he said.


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