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On a Saturday in August, police sent a confidential informant to a run-down, two-story, black-and-white home in Toledo’s central city.
The informant walked up the few steps to a narrow wooden porch to the front door, where a young man sold the informant crack cocaine.
The next night, dozens of young people filled the front rooms of the home, sat on folding chairs, or stood along the half-white, half-black walls and listened to a 56-year-old man who billed himself as their father figure.
That man says he would save them, keep the streets from swallowing them, keep them out of gangs and away from drugs. He would put a little money in their pockets if they’d show up to the weekly Boss Angels Inc. meetings and just behave.
The Rev. Charles “Slim” Lake is that man.
That’s who he says he is. That’s who he believes he is.
On that Sunday, he probably had no idea that only days later police would search the home and he’d be escorted in handcuffs from his home at 1038 Hamilton St. — the headquarters for his nonprofit program for at-risk youth — accused of drug activity. READ MORE
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When Mary Gambill walks into a job interview, she does so confidently.
But the Pemberville woman wonders what the person on the other side of the table sees. Do they note her experience, or do they focus on her years?
“I think that sometimes when they’re looking at me, they’re looking at my age and thinking to themselves ‘How long will she be here? Is she going to retire? Is she going to die?’ ”
Mrs. Gambill has no intention of retiring — or dying, for that matter — any time soon. But at 65, she suspects her age scares off employers.
“I’m not feeble, I don’t have gray hair. But they look at me like I can’t handle the job,” she said.
Mrs. Gambill’s frustrations are hardly unique. More than 1.5 million Americans over the age of 45 have been out of work for more than six months. Many of them believe one of the primary reasons they remain locked out of a job is their age. READ MORE
Even though the Great Recession technically ended in 2009, poverty continues to plague Toledo and in many ways may be getting worse.
Agencies that help Toledoans in poverty such as the Toledo Seagate Food Bank of Northwest Ohio are continually strained by the yearly increase of people seeking help.
Deb Vas, who runs the food bank, said the number of people in need jumps each year — albeit not as much as it did in the years immediately following the national economic nosedive.
“They are saying the economy is changing and that there are more jobs, but we are still looking at new people who need help,” Ms. Vas said. “People who are falling off unemployment, or their hours are reduced ... moms are calling for food for their children.”
Toledo leaders are re-examining the city’s poverty problem during the next “Changing Minds and Changing Lives: Combating Racism” speaker series sponsored by the Toledo Community Coalition and The Blade.
Ruby Payne, co-author of Bridges Out of Poverty, who travels the country speaking about poverty, will be the keynote speaker for the next installment of the series at 7 p.m. Thursday at Central Catholic High School’s Sullivan Center. READ MORE
A resurfacing project restricting the Ohio Turnpike to one lane each way just west of Toledo starting Monday is part of $110 million the toll road will spend on major maintenance and improvement projects this year.
The turnpike plans to repave 12.2 miles from Milepost 55.5, between the Reynolds Road (U.S. 20) and Airport Highway (State Rt. 2) interchanges, and Milepost 43.3 near Delta, Ohio. The turnpike has two lanes each way in that zone, and during construction two-way traffic will be set up on one side while the other side is repaved.
That work will be done in two separate sections, one from now until late May or early June, the other starting after Labor Day. Because of the project’s tight schedule, lane closings may remain in place during the Easter weekend. Similar closings in the past have led to huge traffic backups. READ MORE
Next Tuesday, Toledo-area Kroger customers will see lower prices on thousands of items the supermarket chain sells.
But as a consequence of the price reductions, the retailer said it will end its practice of doubling coupon values effective May 1.
The Kroger Co.’s Columbus division, which includes the Toledo area, on Friday said it is cutting prices on 2,000 of the most commonly purchased items in its stores.
The changes apply to all 123 stores in the Columbus division, which covers most of northern Ohio and includes 17 Toledo-area Krogers plus the recently renovated store in Lambertville. READ MORE