News Briefs Week of 9/21/20

Staff writer

OHP Distracted
Driving Initiative
The Ohio State Highway Patrol will be launching a distracted driving initiative on Interstate 75 in Wood County.
The focus will be on the section of I-75 between the Greensburg Pike overpass and the Wood and Lucas County line. From 2015 through 2019, OSHP crash data showed this section of I-75 had 2,496 crashes with 536 resulting in injuries and eight resulting in fatalities.
Motorists will see an increased presence of troopers within this area in an effort to reduce crashes.
Last year, 48 people lost their lives and 7,200 were injured in 13,532 crashes as a result of distracted driving. Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field when traveling 55 mph.
“The dangers of distracted driving are apparent to everyone, but motorists still choose to participate in this dangerous behavior,” said Lt. Angel Burgos, Bowling Green Post commander. “The purpose of this initiative is to bring further awareness, enforcement, and education to the problem of distracted driving.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration describes distracted driving as any non-driving activity with the potential to distract a person from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions can be visual, taking eyes off of the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; or cognitive, taking the mind off driving.
Texting while driving is an example that results in all three types of distraction.
The public is encouraged to use #677 to report dangerous or impaired drivers, as well as drug activity. Additional crash information is available from the OSTATS dashboard at

Grant funding to
protect Great Lakes
The Ohio State University will receive $74,600 in funding from the Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program. The funds will be used to incentivize collaborator participation and rent equipment needed to compost solid manure in Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District.
“Communities in Northwest Ohio rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water, jobs, recreation and more,” Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH5) said. “That is why protecting Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes has always been a focus of mine in Congress.
“I am encouraged that The Ohio State University will receive funding that will help farmers in Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District compost and prevent phosphorous runoff,” Latta said. “Reducing phosphorous runoff in the Great Lakes basin will help prevent environmental damage to the Great Lakes so that they can continue to support our economy. The Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program is funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is a bipartisan effort I proudly support.”
“Bringing together national, state, and local partners is key to protecting the Great Lakes and the ecosystems and economies they support,” said Todd Ambs, vice chair of the Great Lakes Commission and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Assistant Deputy Secretary. “The Great Lake Commission is proud to provide these grants to help organizations improve water quality in their communities.”

Tours of historic
courthouse set
The Wood County Bicentennial Committee and the Wood County Commissioners invite the public to explore the historic Wood County Courthouse during guided tours that will take place from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10.
The tours are part of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of Wood County in 2020, and the 125th anniversary of the Wood County Courthouse in 2021.
Tours will take place every 30 minutes, led by former Wood County Auditor Mike Sibbersen and Wood County Common Pleas Judge Matthew Reger, and will explore areas of the courthouse that are not typically open to the public.
Each tour group will be limited to 10 people to allow for social distancing, and everyone must wear a mask while inside the courthouse.
Tours must be reserved ahead of time by emailing Jen Heffernan at or calling Judge Reger’s office at 419-354-9210.

Magee Marsh
road closure
The access road beyond the Sportsman’s Migratory Bird Center at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area will be temporarily closed beginning Monday, Sept. 28, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The road on will be closed through Saturday, Dec. 19 to provide controlled waterfowl and white-tailed deer hunting experiences at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. The closure will cover all areas beyond the Sportsman’s Migratory Bird Center to the beach, including the boardwalk and beach trails.
Exceptions to the closure include weekend dates on Oct. 10-11, Oct. 17-18, Nov. 7-8, Nov. 14-15, Nov. 28–29, Dec. 5–6, and Dec. 12-13. During these dates, the road will open at 3 p.m. on Saturday and remain open until sunset on the following Sunday. The road will also be open from Saturday, Oct. 24 at 3 p.m. until Nov. 1 at sunset. Anglers and wildlife viewers are permitted to access the beach area and wildlife trails during these days.
Visitors are reminded that the Sportsman’s Migratory Bird Center will remain closed through at least Jan. 4, 2021, however the bird center walking trail will be open throughout the fall hunting season.
Magee Marsh Wildlife Area is located at 13229 W. SR 2, Oak Harbor.
For more information about Magee Marsh and other wildlife areas, visit

Bridge work set
Maintenance to the bridge on Toussaint Portage Road over Bayou Creek in Ottawa County will require the full closure of the span between State Rt. 163 and State Rt. 105, the county engineer’s office said.
Bower Court will be accessible from the south only.
Work is scheduled to start Sept. 28 and continue through Oct. 9, depending on the weather.
Updates to closure information will be posted on the county engineer’s website.

Habitat groundbreaking
for Genoa home
A groundbreaking ceremony for a home being built by Habitat for Humanity of Ottawa County is scheduled for Sept. 28 in Genoa.
The groundbreaking will be held at 2 p.m. at 104 Washington St. where a home for Veronica and Jason Mattlin is to be built.
Debi Heiks, executive director of HfH of Ottawa County, said the 1,200-square-foot home will have three bedrooms and 1 ½ baths and include energy efficient utilities and materials.
Construction is scheduled for completion by next spring, she said.
Following HfH policy, the new owners will be required to put in 500 hours of “sweat equity” on the project.
HfH has received grants from U.S. Bank and the Ottawa County Community Foundation and several contractors have donated material and labor to this and other projects, Heiks said.
The Genoa home will be financed with a no-interest loan and is the third project for HfH of Ottawa County this year.
The organization completed a new home in Port Clinton in June and is finishing work on another former Habitat home in the city.
HfH of Ottawa County is located at 161 W. Water St., Suite B, Oak Harbor.
The phone number is 419-734-7074.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association