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Published: Monday, 8/11/2014 - Updated: 2 months ago

Five Things You Might Have Missed: 8-11

Top articles from this weekend's editions of The Blade

BLADE STAFF
City en­gi­neers main­tain there are no di­rect cause-and-ef­fect link­s be­tween the condition of the Collins Water Treatment Plant in East Toledo and the spike in toxins from al­gae. City en­gi­neers main­tain there are no di­rect cause-and-ef­fect link­s be­tween the condition of the Collins Water Treatment Plant in East Toledo and the spike in toxins from al­gae.
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1. EPA takeover of Toledo water plant was being considered

Less than six months into the job, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Craig Butler grew so weary of Toledo’s mule-like response to long-documented problems at its 73-year-old Collins Park Water Treatment Plant that he entertained the very drastic — and politically explosive — idea of trying to wrest control of it away from the city.

In an interview with The Blade, Mr. Butler said he recognizes Ohio has great respect for home rule and that the state makes every effort to keep local governments in charge of their own infrastructure.

“Us stepping across that boundary and taking control of that facility is something we try hard not to do,” Mr. Butler said. “But it is our obligation to hold their feet to the fire. We obviously have very strong concerns about the operability and the long-term capability of that plant. If we ever thought it would have jeopardized public health, we would have had that conversation.” READ MORE

 

University of Toledo tight end Grant Sherman signs the T-shirt of 8-year-old Leyton Marsh during Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday at the Glass Bowl. University of Toledo tight end Grant Sherman signs the T-shirt of 8-year-old Leyton Marsh during Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday at the Glass Bowl.
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2. Fans get look at 2014 Toledo Rockets

The soft opening went the way the University of Toledo had hoped. Now the Rockets have to get it right for the real thing in three weeks.

The play itself was the college approximation of a NFL preseason game, and coach Matt Campbell said he saw what he wanted out of day six of fall camp, which he said was Toledo’s best. It was done in an atmosphere similar to a game was a point of pride, he said.

UT had a full-pads scrimmage in front of about 200 fans Saturday at the Glass Bowl for Fan Appreciation Day, after which fans lined up for autographs and pictures with the players. READ MORE

 

Garima Dixit, and others perform a classical dance during the 25th Festival of India. Garima Dixit, and others perform a classical dance during the 25th Festival of India.
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3. Festival of India marks 25 years with dance, food, and a ‘wedding’

What is perhaps Toledo’s biggest wedding of the year is scheduled to take place today, but it’s far from a typical ceremony. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the annual Festival of India, the Hindu Temple of Toledo has chosen the theme “My Big Fat Indian Wedding.”

Atul Agnihotri, president of the Hindu Temple of Toledo and the Festival of India, said that crowds at last year’s event reached between 2,000 and 3,000 people. He is expecting the same size crowd this year, if not bigger, and as a result, has moved the festival from the Heritage Hall, where it normally is held, to the Centennial Terrace at 5773 Centennial Rd,, Sylvania.

Agnihotri said that all of Centennial Terrace will be decorated as if for a traditional Indian wedding, with explosions of bright colors all around. He said it will be set up similar to celebrations one is likely to see in a Bollywood film. READ MORE

 

‘‍I certainly will not quit if the levy fails. I am committed to the agency. I am committed to this community and I am committed to the families and children of Lucas County,’‍ says Dean Sparks, executive director of Children Services. ‘‍I certainly will not quit if the levy fails. I am committed to the agency. I am committed to this community and I am committed to the families and children of Lucas County,’‍ says Dean Sparks, executive director of Children Services.
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4.  Double-dipping may be an issue in Children Services levy campaign

When Dean Sparks retired from Lucas County Children Services in March and returned the next day to his job, he took with him a check for $77,026.

That was to cover the unused sick time and vacation he was able to bank during his nearly 17 years as executive director of the agency. He was not alone, a Blade investigation shows.

A number of administrators and workers at Children Services and other county offices have been able to cash in banked time when they leave county service.

Last year, the county paid $1,437,676 to employees for unused sick time and accrued vacation and compensatory time (time off in lieu of overtime pay) upon their departure from county employment.

More than $900,000 of that amount was for unused vacation days that employees had stockpiled over the years.

The payout for Mr. Sparks, 61, comes at a time when he’s asking county voters to approve a tax increase for the agency he leads. READ MORE

 

‘‍We want to get people ready,’ says Todd James, executive director of the American Red Cross of Hancock, Seneca, and Wyandot Counties. ‘‍We want to get people ready,’ says Todd James, executive director of the American Red Cross of Hancock, Seneca, and Wyandot Counties.
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5. Ready for the next crisis? Better get prepped

Not going to water this down.

If you bolted to buy bottled beverages last weekend, your “ready rating” is, let’s say, zero, zip.

If you scratched your head while trying to figure out how to feed your family when restaurants closed, you weren’t prepared.

If you lack skills to survive a zombie apocalypse, you are not prepared.

Preppers — those who are ready for emergencies — could take the recent Lake Erie toxic algae bloom in stride, tapping their stashes of drinking water rather than racing in their jammies to “sorry, sold out” signs at stores when Toledo’s tap water was rendered undrinkable for days.

Lesson learned?

Overall, it’s unlikely. This means the American Red Cross and other agencies will continue to pump out publications, make apps available, conduct training sessions, and try other approaches. READ MORE



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