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Wood Lane cuts breaks to make up school days PDF Print E-mail
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD, Sentinel Education Editor   
Friday, 28 February 2014 11:25
Wood Lane School students will have a much shorter summer break as administrators plan on how to make up days lost to bad weather.
To date, students have been out of class 18 days, exceeding all other school districts in Wood County.
The Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities approved action Monday that will shorten spring break as well as add days to the end of the school year.
As no vote has been taken in Columbus on extending calamity days from the five currently allowed, the board has decided to give parents notice now for future make-up days, which are subject to change pending legislative action.
It is now scheduled that students will be in school March 28, which was scheduled as a parent conference day; and April 17 and 21, during spring break.
Additional days will be added to the end of the school year, taking students to June 12 if no changes occur out of Columbus.
Superintendent Melanie Stretchbery also asked the board to add four additional contingency days in case of more bad weather. Those days are June 13-20.
Also at the meeting, the board was updated by Stretchbery on the status of a new member.
Jail expansion to cost $2.5 million PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 28 February 2014 09:27
Playing cards are left behind at the Wood County Jails minium security cell. The Sheriff has plans on removing the wall to make room for more inmates. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Costs to renovate and add space to the Wood County Justice Center could top $2.5 million.
The figure, as well as detailed renovation plans, were discussed at Thursday's meeting of the Wood County Board of Commissioners.
"None of us like to spend money like this, but we don't have a choice," said Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn during the meeting. Representatives of Wachtel & McAnally, a Newark architectural firm, were present to talk about the costs and show preliminary schematics.
The project's $2.531 million cost as presented Thursday would include a 60-bed minimum security addition to the jail in the former work industries building attached to the facility, and the potential of two renovations to some of the existing minimum security space, creating 19- and 18-bed medium security areas. Some of the new space would accommodate a total of 19 beds designated for female inmates, more than quadrupling the current bed spaces. The renovations would also alleviate what the sheriff said were some security issues at the current jail.
The cost additionally includes preparatory measures designed to allow expansion of the work industries building space to accommodate a total of 96 beds in the future. The cost of the upgrade for the additional 36 beds was not yet known.
Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 09:35
Best, 95, not taxed by tax forms PDF Print E-mail
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA, Sentinel Lifestyles Editor   
Friday, 28 February 2014 09:52
Norma Best, 95, helping with taxes. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Over at the Wood County Senior Center they still call her their "Best Norma."
At 95, Norma Best is a whirlwind of energy, known for helping fellow seniors - often decades younger than she - make sense out of a sea of tax-season confusion.
For the past quarter-century, Best has been an AARP volunteer tax preparer for the Wood County Committee on Aging. CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO
Last week she was honored by AARP for her 25 years of service in that capacity and presented with a plaque in recognition of her ongoing efforts to help county seniors, including those with low incomes, get their taxes filed without having to pay someone for the service.
Ever since 1988, when she turned 70 and retired from Bowling Green State University, Best has continued to take an exam and get recertified annually to prepare other people's taxes. But she never does it for money; smiles of gratitude - and the occasional unsought plate of cookies - are sufficient payment.
She began doing tax preparation for the older generation "because my mother was a senior. That's what started me on it."
But, as she told the Sentinel-Tribune in February, 2012, she kept on "because I enjoyed doing it, meeting the people."
The AARP tax assistance project, currently headed by Tom O'Brien, started in an upstairs room at the Wood County Senior Center in Bowling Green and has expanded over the years.
Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 10:22
Drouard tapped to be Rossford fire chief PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT/Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 27 February 2014 16:19
ROSSFORD -  For someone like Assistant Fire Chief Josh Drouard, who visited fire stations with his father every Sunday after church, being a fire chief would seem to be a dream job.
Mayor Neil MacKinnon III announced Thursday that he would ask council to approve Drouard at its next regular session on March 10.
But Drouard's promotion to fire chief comes as the department is under a shadow.
The current chief Jim Verbosky is leaving his post in March after it was revealed that he'd sent a text message of a sexual nature to a female firefighter.
"It's quite awkward, my friend," was how Drouard described the mood in the firehouse.  Verbosky still reports into the office at times.
Drouard feels he has the support of almost all the department's 35 members.
The department is still trying to assess the situation a week after Verbosky's retirement was announced by MacKinnon.
MacKinnon said the retirement was in the works before someone sent a fax to area media outlets exposing the situation and forcing city officials to address the situation publicly.
MacKinnon Thursday also said he would ask council to support promoting Ryan Stautzenbach to assistant chief.
Drouard has been assistant chief, a half-time position, for just over 15 years, since Verbosky was named chief. Drouard has served just over 26 years with the department.
Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 10:04
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