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Published: Monday, 5/5/2014

Five Things You Might Have Missed: 5-05

Top articles from this weekend's editions of The Blade

BLADE STAFF
Teacher Tracey Johnson helps eighth-grader Demarko Craig prepare for an upcoming test at Chase STEM Academy. The school expelled Demarko last year for discipline problems. This year is different. Teacher Tracey Johnson helps eighth-grader Demarko Craig prepare for an upcoming test at Chase STEM Academy. The school expelled Demarko last year for discipline problems. This year is different.
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1. TPS implements preventive approach to student discipline

Chase STEM Academy gave up on Demarko Craig once.

He was suspended repeatedly last year. Acting out, being disruptive, not following directions. Demarko doesn’t deny that he was a class clown. He’d act out to get a rise out of students and staff in class. With just a few days left in the school year, administrators had enough.

Demarko, an eighth-grader at North Toledo’s Chase, regrets how he acted. But he also regrets that he never had anyone to talk to about why he acted out. If he got in trouble, he said, they simply sent him home. No discussion.

This year is different. Demarko hasn’t been kicked out of school. There’s discussion, instead. A new principal, Jack Hunter, didn’t just treat him differently. He thought of him differently. Mr. Hunter never even looked at Demarko’s file. Everyone got a clean slate.

Toledo Public Schools has made a concerted effort in recent years to overhaul its discipline program, reducing the number of students suspended and expelled. In many ways, it’s worked: Total suspensions and expulsions in the first semester this year were about half what they were in the 2009-2010 school year.

The district is implementing the Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports program, which is meant to improve school environments, reinforce positive behavior, and teach appropriate action to students through a preventative approach to discipline, rather than a reactionary one. READ MORE

 

2. 2014 Ohio and Michigan Primary Election Guide

The race to fill the South Toledo district council seat vacated by D. Michael Collins after his victory over Mayor Mike Bell has centered around the need to redevelop the Southwyck area, promote small businesses, improve road conditions, and help maintain neighborhoods.

Incumbent Matt Cherry, a Democrat and business agent for Sheet Metal Workers Local 33 — who was appointed to the seat by council when Mayor Collins took office — is attempting to retain the post in Tuesday’s special election against challengers Democrat Bob Vasquez, a member of the Toledo Board of Education since 2008; Republican Joe Celusta, and political independent Marcia Helman, a South Toledo business owner.  READ MORE

 

Riley, left, a 13 week, female, Aussie Husky, runs through a tube while playing with a non-related, male, one-year-old Pomchi named Coco, right, in the dog park next to the Wood County Dog Shelter. Riley, left, a 13 week, female, Aussie Husky, runs through a tube while playing with a non-related, male, one-year-old Pomchi named Coco, right, in the dog park next to the Wood County Dog Shelter.
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3. Progress lags for advocates of off-leash play area for dogs

With the record-breaking harsh winter finally gone, Toledoans are flocking to area parks to walk, run, bike, and just be outside in the long-awaited spring sunshine.

Perhaps even more eager are the four-legged companions they bring with them. Dogs of all sizes and colors leap out of cars and hurry to the trails with their tails wagging excitedly. Aside from their gleeful attitudes, the canines have one thing in common — leashes.

“You see a lot of dogs everywhere, but there’s nowhere to just let them run and play together,” said city resident and dog owner Mindy Gray. She was walking her 8-month-old boxer Cooper on April 21 in Wildwood Preserve Metropark, a favorite place for many to walk their pets because of the park’s extensive trails.

Despite more than 55,000 dogs being licensed in Lucas County so far in 2014, a years-long effort to get an off-leash dog park in Toledo’s park system has had limited success. In December, Toledo Unleashed, a local nonprofit group dedicated to the cause since 2009, signed a five-year lease with the city for 4.29 acres at Woodsdale Park off the Anthony Wayne Trail. The property is the site of the former South Toledo YMCA. READ MORE

 

Ohio Stadium will have $13.7 million in renovations done over the summer. The upgrades include adding 2,600 seats to the south end zone, new permanent lights, and a new turf field. Ohio Stadium will have $13.7 million in renovations done over the summer. The upgrades include adding 2,600 seats to the south end zone, new permanent lights, and a new turf field.
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4. Ohio State's Horseshoe to get minor face-lift

As Ohio Stadium nears its 100th birthday, what would be the dream money-is-no-object gift for the aging landmark?

A third deck? A retractable roof? Enclosing the south end?

No, no, and heck no.

"We don’t have anything huge [planned]," Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said. "It’s such a beautiful, historic structure, and we have to be very careful with what we do."

Ohio State decided another touch up wouldn’t hurt, though.

With spring practice over, the Ohio State football team’s 93-year-old stadium and its practice facility is set to become a construction zone.

Ohio Stadium next season will feature $13.7 million worth of upgrades, including an additional 2,600 new seats in the south end zone, four banks of permanent lights, and a new turf field. The school also recently announced a nearly $4 million renovation to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, headlined by a redesigned 10,000 square-foot locker room replete with a water wall intended to dazzle recruits.

The increased seating will allow for crowds of more than 108,000 at the Horseshoe. READ MORE

 

Jasmine James, left, and Jonathan Smith, right, work on solar panels at Xunlight Corp. Jasmine James, left, and Jonathan Smith, right, work on solar panels at Xunlight Corp.
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5. Solar panel maker Xunlight facing lawsuit

A Toledo solar-panel manufacturer has been sued by one of its investors, claiming that the company’s founder defrauded investors for his own benefit.

The lawsuit deals with Xunlight, the flexible solar-panel manufacturer, and several related companies. The fight is primarily between Xunming Deng, the company’s founder and former chief executive officer, and Bo Lee, a Colorado-based investor in a related company and the man in charge of developing Chinese investors for Xunlight. But the deal in dispute could have consequences for the University of Toledo, as UT-affiliated entities had invested in the company.

The lawsuit, filed last month in U.S. District Court, claims Mr. Deng defrauded investors when he negotiated a financial restructuring and sale of some assets to his own benefit and to the detriment of one of the companies.

Mr. Deng claims the deals were approved by the companies’ board of directors and investors, and that Mr. Lee is a disgruntled investor who would have let Xunlight go bankrupt. “All his allegations are false,” Mr. Deng said. READ MORE

 

OUR TOWNS

A swimming race has been proposed for the lake at Olander Park. A swimming race has been proposed for the lake at Olander Park.
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Open swim race proposed for Olander Park

thletes may have another marathon event to add to their list of yearly races, as Olander Park Commissioners consider hosting an open water swim at Lake Olander in 2015.

Park commissioners are considering a proposal for a 5K run and one-mile open water swim race. The proposed event, named Lucky Ducky, would benefit Nature’s Nursery Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation Education in Whitehouse.

Melissa Shaner of Happy Hours Event Management of Toledo proposed the event at the last Olander commissioners' meeting.

“It would be run similar to the Sylvania Triathlon,” she said.

Park officials are expected to make a decision within a month. READ MORE



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