April 25, 2014

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EMA going to local areas with severe weather concerns
Latest
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 7:04 PM

By JIM LANGHAM • Progress Feature Writer

PAULDING – Paulding County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) will be visiting various communities in the county to answer questions about spring severe weather, provide instructional material and advise community residents about radio and cell phone information about weather warnings.

“We’re going to come out to communities on Saturdays and answer severe weather questions,” said EMA director Randy Shaffer. “We’re going to tell people where they can get information about severe weather.”

They also will be assisting people with programming NOAA weather radios. “We have a lot of people who say, ‘The kids got me a weather radio and we don’t know how to operate it,’” said Shaffer.

The schedule of appearances include:

April 12 – Riverside Market in Antwerp

April 19 – Super Value in Payne

April 26 – Chief Supermarket in Paulding

May 3 – Rhees’ Market in Oakwood.

“We will answer questions about severe weather and take suggestions as to how we can better serve the community,” said Shaffer.

In addition, on April 16, there will be a countywide tornado drill at 1 p.m.

“I highly suggest that people take time to review their own severe weather plans with their families and coworkers and make sure that they have their disaster kits ready,” said Shaffer. “They need to know where they are going to go in case of severe weather.”

Shaffer said that those having cell phones are likely programmed to receive Nixle alerting service.

“We use it; the sheriff’s department uses it, it allows us to send out a message that the public needs to know,” Shaffer said. “It doesn’t cost users; it doesn’t cost people that receive messages anything unless the phone company changes service. There’s no junk advertising; it goes by the ZIP code. In addition to weather, users can also be alerted to road closing, accidents and other emergencies.”

Go to www.nixle.com to register your device(s). Or, simply text the word YES to 888777 and respond to the reply message asking for your ZIP code.

Shaffer said that more than 1,100 users in Paulding County are signed up to use it through texting and 350 recipients use emails.

 
Public Health Week April 7-11
Latest
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 6:53 PM

 

County residents come in contact with the public health system on a daily basis. As this system evolves, public health professionals will help guide people and the communities through these changes. National Public Health Week 2014 breaks down these changes into daily sub-themes to make the transition easy to understand and navigate.

Day 1

Be healthy from the start. From maternal health and school nutrition to emergency preparedness, public health starts at home. Let us show you around.

Day 2

Don’t panic. Disaster preparedness starts with communitywide commitment and action. We’re here to help you weather the unexpected.

Day 3

Get out ahead. Prevention is now a nationwide priority. Let us show you where you fit in.

Day 4

Eat well. The system that keeps our nation’s food safe and healthy is complex. We can guide you through the choices.

Day 5

Be the healthiest nation in one generation. Best practices for community health come from around the globe. We have a world of public health to show you.

For more information, contact the Paulding County Health Department at 419-399-3921, visit the webpage at www.pauldingcountyhealth.com or like them on Facebook.

 

 
Commissioners require EMA director to finish reports
Latest
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 2:17 PM

By JIM LANGHAM • Progress Feature Writer

PAULDING – In their weekly meeting with Paulding County EMA director Randy Shaffer, county commissioners put the squeeze on the director regarding turning in reports necessary to satisfy paperwork requirements for a grant that expires in June.

In last week’s meeting (March 31), Shaffer had assured the commissioners that he had sent in reports for the last quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of this year.

However, on Monday, the commissioners asked Shaffer once again as to whether the last quarter of 2013 had been sent in.

“Last Monday, I questioned you as to whether or not that stuff had been sent in and you said it had been sent in,” said Commissioner Tony Zartman.

“I thought it had,” said Shaffer.

Shaffer said that straightening out the matter will be this week’s project.

Zartman instructed Shaffer that he has a reprimand in writing concerning the matter, but if Shaffer could clear things up by next week, he would tear up the reprimand.

Commissioners also questioned Shaffer as to whether or not he needed copies of vouchers to send in. Shaffer responded that he needs copies of warrants (checks). Commissioner Roy Klopfenstein said he would speak with the auditor’s office to see if there is any way to simplify the process.

The commissioners and Shaffer spent a considerable amount of time discussing the possibility of an upgraded EMS vehicle. Shaffer said that there is a very disturbing noise associated with the current vehicle, a 2000 model with 202,000 miles on it.

Zartman referred to an EMPG grant that would cover 50 percent of the cost of an upgraded vehicle.

“I think we should look at lightly used vehicles,” said Zartman.

Shaffer referred to Statewide Ford in Van Wert which he said had supplied vehicles for other EMA agencies and commissioners agreed to inquire about the matter.

In the March 31 meeting, Shaffer had requested the assistance of part-time clerical help to assist with paperwork and reports. At that time, Klopfenstein said that it had been considered, and he instructed Shaffer to make a list of major duties that could be completed by a clerical assistant.

When Klopfenstein asked Shaffer for his list response this week, the EMA director replied, “The biggest thing is reimbursement grants. Secondly, we need someone to keep our list of resources updated. Twenty-five percent of businesses that we list as resources are probably out of business now. We need to call the businesses we have in there to see if they are correct.”

“I’m sure that the skill of the clerk would depend on how fast that could get done,” responded Klopfenstein.

In the March 31 meeting, a disagreement had occurred between Shaffer and the commissioners concerning the replacement of the county radio station because of its ineffectiveness to give total service to law enforcement on a countywide basis.

Shaffer’s biggest concern was that of the cost of monthly user fee for the use of a MARCS system of radios if the commissioners decided to purchase it.

In meetings on March 24 and March 31, the commissioners had confronted Shaffer, asking if he had initiated a a phone call to Lima Radio Service suggesting they interfere in an attempt by the commissioners to apply for a different frequency for county usage.

Shaffer said that he had verbalized a difference in opinion, discouraging the changing of options. But he emphasized that he did not suggest that a phone call be made to the FCC to interfere with anything.

Commissioner Fred Pieper stated that he believed that the commissioners should not doubt Shaffer’s word concerning the matter.

 

 
United Way achieves campaign goal
Latest
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 1:39 PM
PolyOne employees Michelle Gawronski, Chelsea Smith and Sue Thompson receive recognition from United Way executive director Sonya Herber (right) for the company’s 73 percent participation (highest in the county) in the 2013 United Way campaign. Jim Langham/Paulding County Progress

 

By JIM LANGHAM • Progress Feature Writer

PAULDING – Sonya Herber, executive director of the Paulding County United Way, announced at Saturday’s donor recognition program that the local agency has topped its goal of $60,000 for the 2013 Campaign.

 

“We officially reached the goal on March 10,” said Herber. “We surpassed it by around $2,000. We met our goal much earlier this year than we did last year. This says a lot about our community donor giving.

 

“Individual donors also achieved their goals,” continued Herber. “They will be recognized in the paper for achievement. We couldn’t have made it without their donations. ”

Herber credited the successful campaign to United Way officials’ effectiveness in educating donor-based businesses and citizens about the campaign.

Once again, one of the leading business success campaigns was PolyOne, with a 73 percent commitment from employee involvement. But it wasn’t only the local campaign that was successful, the corporate office of PolyOne announced that the company nationwide had contributed $1 million towards the cause of United Way.

Local PolyOne United Way chairman Sue Thompson said that employees utilized such competitive fund-raisers as hat wars, badges, and food pantry campaigns to help support the local United Way cause. In addition, over $2,000 in cash was raised to purchase food for pantries in Paulding and Melrose.

“We are very proud of our concern for our small town people,” commented PolyOne employee Chelsea Smith. “We care about the safety and well-being of our fellow employees.”

“I am very proud; it gives us a sense of pride. Our little group would do anything for anybody,” commented Michelle Gawronski, also an employee. “I’m surprised at what corporate did.”

Herber said that enthusiasm for the 2014 Campaign is extremely high. She noted that she was happy to recruit Tony and Kay Langham to lead this year’s campaign.

“They have such success in fundraising,” said Herber. “Their names are very recognizable. That will be a real plus for us.”

This year’s award winners include:

Bronze – Wayne Trace High School, Paulding High School National Honor Society, Paulding County Hospital, Antwerp Exchange Bank, LaFarge North America

Silver – Paulding Eagles, Paulding County Carnegie Library, Herbert E. Orr

Diamond – Paulding Putnam Electric Co-Op

Tocqueville – PolyOne.

“The United Way of Paulding County’s mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of the community,” said Herber. “We could not meet the needs of our residents without your support. Thank you for making an impact in people’s lives.”

 

 
Learning Is an Art at Oakwood
Latest
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 12:57 PM
Sixth grader Allyssa Switzer is poised and ready to end the evening with a flute solo. Photo by Bill Sherry/Paulding County Progress

OAKWOOD – The halls and classrooms of Oakwood Elementary School were filled with project work and art for their spring open house on Thursday evening, April 3, titled “Learning Is an Art.”

The evening featured musical performances, dances, educational games and project displays. About 300-500 people attended the annual event.

Below, fifth grader Kaitlyn Shaffer explains her poster about the branches of our government. Photo by Bill Sherry/Paulding County Progress

 
Burkley: Ohio House considering state budget review
Latest
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 12:50 PM

By State Rep. Tony Burkley

Over the past couple of weeks, Governor John Kasich’s Mid-Biennial Review (MBR) has been under consideration in the Ohio House. The MBR is a proposal the governor puts out the year following passage of the state’s operating budget, which is passed and signed every two years. Basically, it gives legislators an opportunity to look at the most recent budget and assess what areas could be improved.

This year’s MBR totaled upwards of 1,600 pages, so to ensure that every part of the bill received the attention and scrutiny it deserves, the House decided to split it up into 14 different bills and send them to 11 different committees. A couple bills were delegated to committees that I serve on, and that impact our region of the state.

First, having recently been appointed to the House Education Committee, I was eager to work on part of the MBR that addressed K-12 learning, House Bill 487. Probably the most important education proposal was an effort to reduce the number of dropouts in Ohio’s public schools. Last year, 24,000 failed to complete high school, a staggering number that obviously has serious negative consequences when it comes to finding a job and pursuing a career.

The bill aims to help schools identify youth who are “at-risk” for not graduating, and then to initiate communication between parents, teachers and students to see what avenues could be taken to help prevent the student from dropping out. When testifying in committee, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dick Ross said, “A majority of dropouts’ parents were not aware of their child’s struggles in attendance and grades or that they were about to leave school.”

House Bill 487 passed out of committee and will be headed to the House floor for a vote.

Another item of great interest and concern to the people of northwest Ohio is agriculture, as well as the health of Grand Lake St. Marys. House Bill 490, which addresses topics related to agriculture and natural resources, also includes several items related to oil and gas regulation, as well as improving the state’s water quality.

Through this legislation, it is our goal to take a common sense approach to water quality. Currently under House Bill 490, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources would continue to administer the existing manure handling, storage and application requirements within the Grand Lake St. Marys watershed for as long as it is still designated a watershed in distress, as well as other non-manure oversights.

House Bill 490 is expected to receive several hearings before being voted on in the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee.

Rep. Burkley may be reached by calling 614-644-5091, e-mailing Rep82@ohiohouse.gov or writing to State Representative Tony Burkley, 77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

 
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