News Briefs Week of 8/24/20

Staff writer

“Drive Sober”
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is urging motorists to drive sober.
During the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which runs Aug. 19-Sept. 7, troopers will focus enforcement efforts on removing impaired drivers from Ohio’s roadways.
Motorists can do their part in keeping the roadways safe by following all traffic laws, never driving impaired and always designating a sober driver, the Patrol said.
In 2019, there were 13,047 OVI-related crashes, which resulted in 597 deaths and 8,178 injuries.
“Impaired driving is a serious matter that puts innocent people in danger, and all too frequently results in tragic consequences,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “It is vitally important that you plan ahead and have a safe and sober means of transportation.”
Of those OVI-related crashes, 53 percent of at-fault drivers were between 21 and 39 years old. Seventy-one percent were male. In 2019, troopers arrested 22,520 drivers for OVI.
“Our focus is removing impaired drivers from our roadways and educating motorists of the dangers it presents,” said Col. Richard S. Fambro, Patrol superintendent. “We take impaired driving seriously and remain dedicated to promoting safety on Ohio’s roadways.”
Motorists are encouraged to dial #677 to report impaired drivers and drug activity to the Patrol.

Letter urges USPS
to protect right to vote
U.S. Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH5) sent a letter to Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy requesting the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) implement procedures, in coordination with the State of Ohio, to ensure the timely and accurate delivery of election-related materials prior to the November elections.
The letter was signed by U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH,) Ohio Congressmen Steve Chabot (R-OH1), Brad R. Wenstrup (R-OH2), Bill Johnson (R-OH6), Bob Gibbs (R-OH7), Mike Turner (R-OH10), Troy Balderson (R-OH12), Steve Stivers (R-OH15), and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH16).
“Over the past decade, the USPS has implemented plans to consolidate their operations across the state, which has resulted in the closure of several mail processing plants,” they wrote in the letter. “The consequences of these efforts vary from district to district. For example, in Northwest Ohio, a new system was arranged where mail would be sent to the Michigan Metroplex for processing and sorting before heading to its destination. Unfortunately, this process has created delays and added time to the delivery of each mail piece. In addition to delivery delays, there was an increase in complaints from constituents about lost or discarded mail, including absentee balloting materials.
“With the continued uncertainty created by the COVID-19 health crisis and the ongoing national discussions about the performance of the USPS, we urge you to work with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to implement procedures to protect Ohioans’ constitutional right to vote,” they continued. “These procedures should include:
• Nightly all-clear inspections of mail facilities to ensure all election-related materials are sent out;
• More processing carried out within Ohio at local post offices or Ohio-based mail processing facilities;
• Local USPS representatives building relationships with county boards of elections and establishing intakes/drop offs for election-related materials. These suggestions are based on the procedures that were implemented before the Ohio Primary Elections that were held this past spring.”
Since 2011, Latta has held calls with the Postmaster General, brought in USPS officials for meetings, and visited mail processing centers in Ohio and Michigan.
In October 2016, Latta was made aware of significant delays in the delivery of absentee ballots before the 2016 general election. Over the following weeks and months, he sought answers as to why hundreds of ballots were delayed, and in some instances, lost all together. The problems were traced back to the USPS Michigan Metroplex Facility in Pontiac, Michigan.
In April 2017, following up on these inquiries, Latta traveled to the Michigan Metroplex Facility to inspect their operations and receive a briefing. At the time, USPS officials made assurances that the facility’s performance would be improved and new absentee ballot procedures would be implemented.
Despite these assurances, mail issues persisted in Northwest Ohio, Latta said, leading him to pen a letter to the Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the United States Postal Service in June 2020 to request a formal inquiry into the possibility of transferring the mail processing responsibilities for Northwest Ohio from the USPS Michigan Metroplex Facility to either the Cleveland Mail Processing Plant or the Columbus Mail Processing Plant. He received a response to that letter stating no formal inquiry into the possibility of transferring the mail processing responsibilities from Pontiac to either Cleveland or Columbus would be made.
At the beginning of August, Latta sent residents of Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District an online survey asking his constituents to share if they experience delays or challenges receiving their mail. In response, 3,015 constituents marked they have experienced such hardships, which represents 85.9% of all people who responded to the survey.

Kids Day @ Hayes
Kids can enjoy a Victorian Tea and craft that celebrate First Lady Lucy Hayes’ birthday at Spiegel Grove, the grounds of the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 11 a.m.-noon, during a Kids Days @ Hayes event.
Participants should meet in the auditorium in the museum/library building to check in before going outside. During the tea, kids and parents can sit outside on their picnic blankets and have refreshments. Families can bring their own blanket, or one will be provided. Social distancing will be required.
Hayes Presidential will serve tea or lemonade paired with lemon and sugar cookies that will be individually prepackaged.
Kids then will play games, such as “I’m a Little Teapot” freeze and “Lookout,” a classic Victorian game. Then they will discuss Lucy Hayes and her love of nature and collect items to make a nature-inspired suncatcher.
The cost is $3 for kids whose parents or grandparents are Hayes Presidential members at the Major level and higher and $5 for non-member kids. There is no cost for parents to bring kids to the event.
Reservations are required and may be made online at The reservation deadline is 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27.
HPLM is located at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues in Fremont. For info, call 419-332-2081, visit or follow HPLM on social media.

Meeting change
The Ottawa County Veterans Service Commission has changed its first regular September meeting date from Sept. 10 to Sept. 14 at 4:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Veterans Memorial Building, located at 8444 W. SR 163, Oak Harbor.
For more details, call 419-898-2089 or visit

Grand opening
Big Lots has announced the grand opening of its newest store in Oregon, on Saturday, Aug. 29.
From Aug. 29 through Sept. 5, customers will receive a coupon for $10 off $40 upon check out to use towards a future Big Lots purchase.
At 23,779 square feet, the new store, located at 3010 Navarre Ave., will be a showcase for the continued roll out of a new store layout and design across all Big Lots stores, both in new builds as well as in redesigns at existing locations.
“We are excited to introduce our new store format to Oregon,” stated Joice Wirkus, senior vice president, marketing at Big Lots. “This redesign brings to life our new brand traits and showcases our assortment of affordable solutions in furniture, seasonal, home, food, and consumables. We carry big brands like Broyhill, Sealy, and Ashley Furniture in addition to household essentials like Charmin, Clorox, Tide, Frito-Lay, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi. We are also very proud to serve alongside the Oregon community and want our customers to know that we are continuing to invest in bringing them the best shopping experience.”

Drug charges filed
Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers have filed felony drug charges against a Michigan man after a traffic stop in Wood County.
Troopers seized 55 grams of heroin and 50 grams of cocaine worth approximately $10,825.
On August 11, at 10:48 a.m., troopers stopped a 2020 Chrysler minivan with California registration for an unsafe lane change violation on Interstate 75. While interacting with the occupant, troopers detected an odor of marijuana. The driver was asked to exit the vehicle and then fled on foot. He was taken into custody a short time later. A probable cause search revealed the contraband.
The driver, Cortez Peterson, 28, Southfield, Mich., was incarcerated in the Wood County Justice Center and charged with possession and trafficking in heroin and cocaine, all first-degree felonies; resisting arrest, a first-degree misdemeanor; and obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor.
If convicted, he could face up to 44 years in prison and up to an $80,000 fine.

Rape arrest
A man has been arrested and charged with one count of rape by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office after authorities were alerted to a possible sex offense at residence on Woodside Drive in Rocky Ridge.
Daniel S. Monhollen, 31, was arrested after sheriff’s deputies received information he allegedly sexually abused a child under 10 years old.
He was arrested without incident after the sheriff’s Special Response Team, following several phone calls, made contact with him.
The investigation is continuing and Monhollen was placed in the Ottawa County Jail.
Carroll Township police assisted in the apprehension.


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