News Briefs Week of 4/13/20

Staff writer

Downtown Fremont
Inc. receives grant
Rural LISC Creative Placemaking Initiative will bring funding to Downtown Fremont Inc. to help assist the Great Eastern Theatre-Paramount Cinema and boost the Downtown Revitalization Historic District.
The grant focuses on cultivating creative small business development and supporting local artists. The $10,212 in funding will be used for the renovation of the theatre’s marquee sign ($8,000) and benches and artist stipends ($2,212).
Three artistic benches will be designed by local businesses that specialize in metal design. Once completed, the benches will be painted by commissioned local artists and/or students from Bishop Hoffman Catholic Schools and Fremont Ross High School art clubs to convey a visual message of what the downtown is and has to offer.
The partnership among Great Eastern Theatre-Paramount Cinema, Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP) and Downtown Fremont Inc. is an example of three different organizations working together for the betterment of the community, according to Susan Frye, Administrative & Marketing Coordinator, Downtown Fremont Inc.
“GLCAP was an important partner for writing the grant, with Great Eastern Theatre-Paramount Cinema having the willingness to support the revitalization of our downtown,” she said.

COVID-19 supplies
needed in Lucas Co.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lucas County Emergency Management has secured a warehouse to collect, organize, and distribute essential supplies for the community.
The resources collected will be distributed to front line organizations, including first responders, including medical, fire, and police, and nonprofits, such as homeless shelters. All resources collected will stay in Lucas County and support operations in our community.
Supplies needed include:
Hard goods: bleach, temporal thermometers, hand sanitizer, spray bottles, paper towels, cleaning towels, toilet paper, cleaning wipes, deodorant soap, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, hygiene wipes, baby diapers and incontinence supplies.
PPE: N95 masks, gloves, gowns, surgical masks, face shields, goggles, PPE kits, disposable scrubs and traction socks.
Arrangements for donations can be made by emailing Volunteers are also needed.
Cash donations may be made to the Rapid Response Fund through the Greater Toledo Community Foundation online at

Funds for health centers
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur announced $3,539,665 in federal funding for community health centers across Northern Ohio as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed last month by Congress.
The legislation included approximately $200 billion for hospitals, health systems, and health research and expanded funding for the personal protective equipment desperately needed by health care workers, including ventilators, N95 masks, gowns, gloves, and more. The funding is being administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Grant recipients locally include Neighborhood Health Association of Toledo, Inc., which will receive a total of $727,910.
In Sanduskey, the Family Health Services of Erie County will receive $590,780; and the Erie County Community Health Center will receive $603,560.
“Our community health centers and the health professionals who keep them running are our most precious assets in the fight against COVID-19,” said Kaptur. “It is absolutely critical that they receive the necessary resources to get the equipment and support they need. Each day, frontline health workers put their own health and safety on the line to save others in their community – for this, we will be eternally grateful. They are heroes on the ramparts of this fight, and it is our duty to support them. I’m glad to see this funding getting dispersed without delay and I will work tirelessly to ensure our community health centers and health workers continue to receive the support they deserve.”

OregonFest postponed
The OregonFest Committee has postponed “OregonFest 2020 – Past, Present, Future,” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The committee is working on making plans to have an OregonFest in late summer or early fall so long as the health of the community has stabilized by then. All OregonFest related events that were scheduled for the third weekend of May have been canceled, including the business fair, parade, and plant exchange.

Tax deadline extended
The City of Oregon is extending the April 15 tax-filing deadline to July 15, giving people more time to prepare and pay their taxes due to COVID-19.

Late payment charges suspended
Columbia Gas of Ohio will continue suspending late payment charges until June 1. Additionally, Columbia Gas has voluntarily suspended shutoffs for nonpayment and is offering flexible payment plans to customers who indicate either an impact or hardship as a result of COVID-19.
Columbia offers a variety of options to help customers manage their billing and payment including:
• Flexible payment plans – Plans that spread the balance due across multiple months
• Suspended late payment charges until June 1, 2020. Columbia Gas will continue to assess the need to extend this deadline
• Budget Plan billing - A program that allows customers to pay about the same amount each month, and calculate that amount based on usage, weather and projected costs
Customers are urged to reach out to Columbia Gas at the first sign they may have trouble paying their bill, so the company can work with them.
Customers may qualify for assistance for a number of services. The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act has allocated additional funding to programs like the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Community Services Block Grant to help support income qualified customers.
These programs can help individuals and families cover costs related to energy bills, employment, education, transportation, food, housing and more. Customers with questions can call 1-800-344-4077.

Wear cloth masks
Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, last weekend urged Ohioans to begin wearing cloth masks while in public, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC recommended that citizens wear face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
"In many cultures around the world, wearing a mask is just part of the culture - it is a socially accepted act of kindness," said Governor DeWine. "Wearing a mask should not scare people. It is a good thing. It is a considerate thing. It is a courageous thing."
Wearing a mask will not prevent someone from contracting COVID-19, but it can help prevent them from spreading it to others -- especially if they have it, but are not yet showing symptoms.
Wearing a cloth mask in public is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended. Cloth masks are not a substitute for social distancing, but rather, it is a complement to social distancing.
Guidance on how to make a homemade mask can be found on
Medical supply masks, such as N95 respirators, must be reserved for healthcare workers, first responders, and those who are known to be sick. Anyone with personal protective equipment who would like to donate to frontline workers can visit


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