July 25, 2014

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Payne fire dept. shows solidarity at council meeting PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014 9:53 AM

By JOE SHOUSE • Progress Staff Writer

PAYNE – In a show of solidarity, the Payne Fire Department came in force at the Monday night Payne Village Council meeting. After reading in the Progress last month how fellow firefighter Mike James approached the council with concerns about the leadership of the fire department and the trustworthiness of its members, it was apparent the other members had different ideas.

 
With more megafarms comes more issues, concerns PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, July 14, 2014 7:45 PM

By JAROD ROSEBROCK • Progress Correspondent

PAULDING – An organization formed for Paulding County residents concerned about large livestock farms, what they call “megafarms” or “factory farms”, held their fourth meeting to discuss the issue on Tuesday, July 8.

With about 50 from Paulding County in attendance, the group discussed the problems associated with megafarms and possible remedies to the situation. There were also a number of representatives from certain megafarms in attendance at the meeting to defend procedures used by these farm businesses in their operations.

The Citizens Concerned for Quality Health, Water and Air in Paulding County have three main issues, which are as follows:

“1. We have a right to enjoy our home and property. 2. We care about quality health, air and water. 3. We want legislation, regulations and local control that protect us and our rights.”

Paulding County resident Pat Paulus, former professor of biology at Texas Christian University, led the meeting, and let attendees know that she didn’t know the significance of the issue until one of the megafarms came near her house. After that, she started researching the problems and found that they involve issues such as, declining property values, health concerns, air quality and water quality.

“If we sit on our hands and don’t do anything, we’re going to have more manure and soon it is going to be on your road,” Paulus warned those at the meeting.

Terry Wehrkamp of Cooper Farms was at the meeting as a representative of megafarms. He commented that, while he couldn’t speak for all megafarms, Cooper Farms works very hard to be a part of the community around it and does all it can to make sure the farms are as little of a problem for those living in the area as possible.

Of the issues concerning the group, the most important was declining property values caused from being located near the megafarms. These declining property values are due to a number of issues, including poor odor and air quality, the excess amount of manure generated and used, problems involved with water quality because of manure generated and water needed to feed the livestock, and the lack of local control over the location and operations of the megafarms.

The biggest of these concerns was the large amount of manure generated and used by the megafarms and the problems that brought on the properties in the area. One of these problems is the smell generated by the mega farms.

Meeting attendees who also attended township meetings regarding the mega farms reported that they were told that the smell would last about six months. Now, in some cases two or more years later, they say that smell still exists and makes spending time outside no longer enjoyable.

Whether that means sitting out looking at the stars, having cook outs or celebrating holidays such as Independence Day, they can no longer enjoy life outdoors at home with the smell of the mega farms permeating their property. Paulus mentioned that she often checks the wind direction to find out if the smell will be heading toward her home.

Paulus commented that manure in itself isn’t a problem if there isn’t too much of it and it is well managed. This statement reinforced a sentiment throughout the meeting that there are megafarms that fulfill the regulations set forth and megafarms that do not.

Some of the issues discussed that involve mega farms not following requirements include farms spreading manure when rain is expected, with the rain causing the manure to run off into the ditches. Other violations include manure being sprayed off the fields, getting manure on the roads and other not-field areas.

Overall, the manure issue was a major one among those at the meeting. Denny Sanderson commented that no one wants Paulding County to become the manure capital of northwest Ohio, saying that this will deter potential businesses and residents from locating in the county.

Paulus added that those opposed to megafarms are concerned because no one knows the amount of manure the environment can handle, and unless limits are set up, there won’t be away to find out that number until it is too late.

In addition to the manure concern, those at the meeting also discussed the worry of the effect of the megafarms on the water in the area. One such issue that was discussed was the issue of water quality. The group was concerned about the quality of the water in the reservoirs, streams and ditches in the area of the megafarms.

Sanderson asked about the possibility of doing testing on the megafarm properties. Paulus responded that individuals were not allowed to do testing on farm property because of trespassing laws, but could do testing in ditches and streams not on the property. Sanderson went on to say that there should be a requirement in place in which the farms are forced to do their own water testing.

Another area of concern involving water was the use of water in large amounts. The group discussed the effect of large use of water involved in feeding and cleaning the livestock on the area aquifer, which is the underground water supply that provides the water for the area. The group was concerned the large use of water would cause a water shortage in the long term.

Even with all of the concerns, most people at the meeting agreed that there are good and bad megafarm operations, with one of the good ones being Cooper Farms. However, the sentiment still existed that Cooper Farms’ megafarms were causing property values to decline.

Wehrkamp offered an invitation to anyone with concerns to stop by a Cooper Farms facility to take a tour and see how it is operated. He commented that Cooper Farms operates with the community in mind, and if they didn’t have their farms in Paulding County, another facility would move in, and that mega farm might not have the same outlook as Cooper Farms.

Paulding County resident Lou Levy disagreed with Wehrkamp’s assessment of the situation.

“You talk about the devil you know being better than the devil you don’t,” but you are both still devils if you are putting your farm next to my property,” he said.

Levy went on to say that home owners have the right to enjoy their properties, but they can’t because of the farms. He also mentioned that they can’t move either because no one wants to buy a house located next to a megafarm.

Paulus echoed Levy’s thoughts, saying that the farms and the property owners aren’t all in this together because while the property owners are seeing the property values decline, the mega farms are seeing profits.

Wehrkamp reiterated that Cooper Farms wants to educate residents about these farms and how they operate. He was asked to confirm or deny a rumor that a lot of people at the meeting had heard saying that Cooper Farms is planning to bring 17-20 new farms to Paulding County. Wehrkamp confirmed that it was true.

Paulus commented that hearing those numbers is what worries the group. She commented that the property owners are having to deal with the smell, having their aquifer used up, having roads damaged by large trucks, and the company is getting the profits. She called the situation “not very neighborly.”

Wehrkamp responded that all farming requires fertilizer because farmers don’t want to use the land and not re-fertilize it, adding that manure is economical and completely safe if done properly.

As the meeting began to wind down, Paulus discussed some remedies or ways to combat some of the concerns expressed at the meeting. Some of these ideas included writing letters to the editor of area newspapers and starting a petition to limit the megafarms.

She also told attendees to keep an eye out for violations such as spreading manure on frozen ground, spreading manure in a solid stream rather than using a sprayer, getting manure on non-field areas when spraying and driving semis that are over the weight limit for the roads they are on.

Paulus encouraged everyone to take pictures of these violations and fill out written incident reports of the situation.

She also asked everyone to pick a topic that was discussed at the meeting and research it to learn more about it and report back to the group. Some of those topics include wells and aquifers, permit requirements, manure management practices, environmental factors, and right to farm vs. home-rule information.

Closing the meeting, Paulus commended everyone in attendance on both sides of the arguments on their abilities to discuss the issue while being respectful. She hopes the group continues to meet and doesn’t let this issue die. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 5 at the Nature Center in Paulding.

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Crash on 613 injures 3 PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, July 14, 2014 5:48 PM

OAKWOOD – Three people were injured in a two-vehicle crash Sunday evening, July 13 on Ohio 613 between Oakwood and Melrose.

According to troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Van Wert Post, the incident occurred at 7:20 p.m.

A 1996 Ford Mustang, driven by Christina R. Kroeckel, 34, of Paulding, was traveling eastbound on Ohio 613. A 2006 Ford Fusion, driven by Kebecca J. Thomas, 47, of Oakwood, was traveling westbound. The Mustang went off the right side of the roadway, overcorrected, came back onto the roadway, and crossed the center line into the path of the Fusion.

Thomas was extracted from her vehicle by mechanical means. She was taken by Samaritan to Parkview Regional Hospital in Fort Wayne.

Kroeckel was taken by Oakwood EMS to Paulding County Hospital and then on to Parkview Regional Hospital.

Thomas’ passenger, Courtney J. Thomas, 15, of Oakwood, was taken to Defiance Regional Hospital by Oakwood EMS.

Both vehicles were heavily damaged. The Mustang came to rest in the center of the roadway and the Fusion came to rest in the ditch on the north side of Ohio 613.

Both lanes of 613 were shut down for two hours.

Troopers were assisted on scene by the Oakwood Fire Department and EMS, Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, Samaritan, R&O Towing, and Gideon’s Wrecker Service.

The crash remains under investigation. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.

Seatbelts were in use by the occupants of the Fusion at the time of the crash. A seatbelt was not in use by the driver of the Mustang at the time of the crash. Seatbelt use may have reduced injuries.

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OSU Extension to host Precision Ag Day PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, July 14, 2014 2:36 PM

WAUSEON – The OSU Extension Office in Fulton County will be holding its 3rd Annual Northwest Ohio Precision Agriculture Technology Day on Tuesday, Aug. 5 from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in Wauseon. This year the event will focus on combines, precision harvest technology, grain handling and data collection.

Archbold Equipment Case IH, John Deere Kenn-Feld Group, and Ohio Ag Equipment with Lexion and Gleaner combines are headline sponsors for this event and will have their newest combines on hand for farmers and Certified Crop Consultants (CCA) to view.

The event will start with registration and sponsor exhibits at 8 a.m. in the Junior Fair Building. In the morning, participants will hear from Extension and ag industry professionals who will be discussing agronomics, technology, safety and data collection.

The first session will feature Dr. John Fulton, OSUE’s new machine and precision systems specialist, to discuss using data telematics to make informed agronomic decisions. Fulton County Sheriff Roy Miller will give comments on harvest safety and Dr. Scott Shearer, chair of the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, will discuss all the latest technology used to harvest data while harvesting grain.

The morning will conclude with a discussion of imagery data collected with drones followed by a drone demonstration. Ohio Ag Net’s Dale Minyo will be present to kick off their western Ohio crop tour.

Perhaps the most valuable part of the day will be the clinic demonstrations after lunch. Case IH, Gleaner, John Deere and Lexion representatives will all instruct farmers and CCAs on how to adjust their machine and calibrate harvest technology prior to this fall’s harvest. Producers will have a chance to interact and dialogue with manufacturers and their corresponding technology representatives.

Additional sponsors of the event include Buckeye Application, Channel Seed, Conservation Action Project, Consolidated Grain and Barge, Custom Agri Systems, DuPont Pioneer/Encirca, First Federal Bank of the Midwest, Green Field AG LLC, Precision Ag Services Inc. and Williamson Insurance Agency.

The event is free and open to the public but RSVPs are needed to get an accurate lunch count. Please contact the OSU Extension Office at 419-337-9210 or herring.72@osu.edu with name and email to get registered by Aug. 2.

For a complete agenda and list of sponsors, see www.fulton.osu.edu.

The Fulton County Fairgrounds are located at 8591 State Route 108, Wauseon.

The NW Ohio Precision Agriculture Day is one of many statewide agriculture industry events through the OSUE Ag Managers Team (ohioagmanager.com) and OSUE Ag Crops Team (agcrops.osu.edu) this summer. For a complete list of statewide events see www.agcrops.osu.edu/calendar website.

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Schools announce free & reduced meal guidelines PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, July 14, 2014 1:24 PM

 

PUBLIC RELEASE

 

Paulding Exempted Village, Antwerp Local and Wayne Trace Local Schools have announced their 2014-2015 program year policy for free and reduced meals for students unable to pay the full price of meals or milk served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast, After School Care Snack or Special Milk Program. Each school office and the central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

 

The Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines will be used for determining eligibility. Children from families whose annual income is at or below the Federal Guidelines are eligible for free and reduced price meals or free milk if the school participates in the Special Milk Program.

 

Application forms are being distributed to all homes in a letter to parents or guardians. To apply for free and reduced-price benefits, households should fill out the application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office in each school. A complete application is required. Households which currently receive Special Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits (SNAP, formally known as food stamps) or Ohio Works First (OWF) funds for a child must provide the child’s name, the SNAP or OWF case number and signature of an adult household member on the application. Households which do not receive SNAP or OWF funds must provide the names of all household members, the last four digits of the Social Security Number of the adult signing the application or state “none” if the adult does not have a Social Security Number, the amount and source of income received by each household member, (state the monthly income) and the signature of an adult household member. If any of this information is missing, the school cannot process the application.

 

FREE HEALTH CARE: Families with children eligible for school meals may be eligible for FREE health care coverage through Medicaid and/or Ohio’s Healthy Start & Healthy Families programs. These programs include coverage for doctor visits, immunizations, physicals, prescriptions, dental, vision, mental health, substance abuse and more. Please call 1-800-324-8680 for more information or to request an application. Information can also be found on the web at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ohp/consumers/familychild.stm. Anyone who has an Ohio Medicaid card is already receiving these services.

 

The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program official. To discourage the possibility of misrepresentation, the application forms contain a statement above the space for signature certifying that all information furnished is true and correct. Applications are being made in connection with the receipt of federal funds. Schools or other officials may check the information on the application at any time during the school year. Deliberate misrepresentation of information may subject the applicant to prosecution under applicable state and federal laws.

 

Households will be notified of the approval or denial of benefits.

 

Foster children are categorically eligible for free meal benefits regardless of the household’s income. If a family has foster children living with them and wishes to apply for such meals or milk for them, contact the school for more information.

Under the provision of the policy, the building principal will review applications and determine eligibility. If a parent or guardian disagrees with the decision on the application or the result of verification, the decision may be discussed with the determining official on an informal basis. If a formal appeal is desired, the household has the right to a fair hearing. A fair hearing can be requested either orally or in writing from:

 

Paulding: William Hanak, Superintendent             Wayne Trace: Steve Arnold, Superintendent

405 N. Water St, Paulding, OH 45879 4915 US 127, Haviland, OH 45851

Paulding Phone: 419-399-4656 Phone: 419-399-4113

Oakwood Phone to Paulding: 419-594-3309

 

Antwerp: Patricia Ross, Superintendent

303 S Harmonn Rd, Antwerp, OH 45813

Phone: 419-258-5421

 

The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.

 

Households may apply for benefits any time during the school year. If a household is not currently eligible and if the household size increases or income decreases because of unemployment or other reasons, the family should contact the school to file a new application. Such changes may make the children of the family eligible for free or reduced-price benefits if the family income falls at or below the levels shown above.

 

The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department.  (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

 

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the HYPERLINK "http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf" \o "Opens in new window." \t "_blank" USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at HYPERLINK "http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html" \o "Opens in new window." \t "_blank" www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at HYPERLINK "mailto:program.intake@usda.gov" program.intake@usda.gov.

 

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

 

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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JPHS to hold chicken BBQ, tractor show PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, July 14, 2014 10:28 AM

 

PAULDING – The John Paulding Historical Society will be hosting its annual Chicken BBQ by Port-A-Pit and Antique Tractor show on Saturday, Aug. 2. Serving and/or pickup will begin at 4 p.m. and continue to 7 p.m.

Pre-sale tickets are available at the museum on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or from any director. Or, call Angie Pollock at 419-393-2876 or Patti Boundy at 419-399-4120 to purchase tickets.

Tickets are $7.50 for a half chicken dinner and $4 for a quarter chicken dinner. Sides include baked beans, applesauce, and choice of cole slaw or fresh vegetables.

The Flat Rock Gas & Steam Association and the Black Swamp Tractor Club will be displaying some of their antique tractors during this event. Anyone interested in showing an antique tractor is invited to call Dave Stouffer at 419-670-3869 or Randy Goyings at 419-399-2889.

For those who a little earlier, the Van Wert Tractor Club will be displaying their tractors at the museum from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

The museum is located across from the fairgrounds in Paulding. Please help support the John Paulding Historical Society in its mission of preserving the past for the future.

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