April 21, 2014

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Should the county emergency management agency office duties be a separate office?
One-vehicle crash claims Cecil man
Sunday, December 29, 2013 2:39 PM

DEFIANCE – The Defiance Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol is investigating a one-vehicle fatal crash that occurred Friday evening on the Defiance-Paulding County Line Road.

Ohio Attorney General's LINK program helps solve mystery of remains found in 1996
Thursday, December 26, 2013 12:13 PM

YOUNGSTOWN – Ohio Attorney General DeWine announced Thursday that remains found in Mahoning County nearly 17 years ago have been identified through DNA technology.

The remains, discovered in December 1996, were identified this month as 35-year-old Jacqueline Rowe of Youngstown. She disappeared from the city earlier that year. Her cause of death was ruled undetermined.

The identification was made through a free service offered by the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) for police, coroners, and families of missing individuals. The LINK Program (Linking Individuals Not Known) was established through the Attorney General's Office in 1999 to match DNA taken from family members of missing individuals to unidentified remains.

"The things that can be done with DNA technology today are absolutely amazing, and we urge those with a missing loved one to consider submitting a DNA sample," said Attorney General DeWine. "There are hundreds of people missing in this state who, sadly, may have been killed and never identified, and this process could help provide some answers."

Samples of DNA submitted by family members for the LINK Program are compared only to DNA samples of unidentified remains submitted through similar programs nationwide.

So far, family members of 128 missing people in Ohio have submitted their DNA, and law enforcement and coroners have submitted the DNA of 33 unidentified individuals who were found deceased.

The identification of Rowe's body marks the 23rd identification made through the LINK program since its inception. Officials with the Mahoning County Coroner's Office submitted DNA from Rowe's then-unidentified body in 2006. In August, Rowe's daughter, who was 18 when her mother disappeared, met with Youngstown Police to submit her DNA. Following DNA analysis, the match was made on December 5th.

Two other identifications made through the LINK Program in 2013 include:

Sharon Kedzierski: Kedzierski's unidentified remains were located in April 1992 in Mahoning County. Her DNA was submitted to LINK by the Mahoning County Coroner's Office, and a match was made in January after family members in the state of Oregon submitted their DNA through a similar program. Kedzierski had gone missing in 1989 from Miami Lakes, Florida.

Diann Lynn Tatum: Tatum's unidentified remains were located in St. Clair, Michigan, in 1994. She had gone missing from Jeffersonville, Ohio, in 1988. Family members submitted their DNA to LINK in 2005, and a match was made in March when Michigan authorities submitted DNA from her remains to the system.

For more information on the LINK Program, residents and law enforcement can contact BCI at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446).

A full list of unidentified remains cases and missing persons cases submitted to BCI can be found on the Ohio Attorney General's website.

Tips for online shopping
Monday, December 23, 2013 4:40 PM

DEFIANCE – With the holidays quickly approaching, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and First Federal Bank offer consumers the following tips to consider if they are planning to make any of their holiday purchases online.

“Even though the holiday season can be quite busy, it’s never too busy to ensure that your personal information is safe when shopping online,” said Bill Loving, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Pendleton Community Bank, Franklin, W.Va.

The total financial loss attributed to identity theft in 2013 is estimated to be $21 billion, according to http://www.statisticbrain.com/identity-theft-fraud-statistics.

Consumers need to be on high alert this holiday season, and any time they choose to make purchases online, to avoid falling victim to identity theft and to protect their sensitive financial information.

With that in mind, ICBA and First Federal Bank offer the following tips:

• Make sure your computer and browser are secure. Set your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software to automatically update and scan your computer.

• Don’t create passwords that include easily accessible personal information, such as mother’s maiden name or date of birth. Instead, use something unique that only you know.

• Don’t give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you know whom you’re dealing with and preferably only if you’ve initiated the contact.

• Never give out Social Security or driver’s license numbers. If you must share personal information, confirm that you are dealing with a legitimate organization.

• If you receive an email asking for personal information, do not hit the reply button or click on any link in the email. Instead, go directly to the sender’s site by typing in its website address.

• Look for secure sites with an “s” in the URL (https://) and a closed-padlock icon on the Web page when making purchases. These websites are secure.

• Always double-check the URL to be sure you are shopping with the company you intended to shop with. A simple typo can help identity thieves.

“The most important thing is our customers’ safety and financial security,” Jim Williams, Western Market Area president, First Federal Bank. “If any customer has questions about the security of their financial information, our team at First Federal Bank is more than happy to answer any problems or concerns you might have. We want information about you and your family to be safe and protected at all times.”

Interview: Getting to know ... Santa Claus
Monday, December 23, 2013 4:28 PM
During a recent newspaper interview, Santa Claus reviewed a list of "naughty" and "nice" children in Paulding County.

Whether you know him by one of these names or simply by Santa Claus, he is a man known the world over....

From DHI Staff Reports

Sinterklaas (Netherlands)

Pere Noel (Canada)

Weihnachtsmann (Germany)

Senis Saltis (Lithuania)

Pai Natal (Portugal)

Saint Nicholas

Father Christmas (Great Britain)

Kris Kringle

Whether you know him by one of these names or simply by Santa Claus, he is a man known the world over. He is an impressive presence in person – well over 6 feet tall with enough girth to make the overstuffed chair he is sitting in creak and groan every time he shifts his weight. His flowing white hair is a little reminiscent of Albert Einstein’s, sticking up here and there with the need of a little combing around the edges but his thick beard is neatly trimmed and laying flat across his chest. There appears to be some cookie crumbs stuck in the bristly white mass, however.

He is not wearing his normal uniform – “The Suit,” as he refers to it – but instead is wearing a long-sleeved, red flannel shirt with a pair of black ski pants and suspenders. There are no boots either. Just a thick pair of woolen socks covered by a pair of bunny slippers with the ears drooping over the sides. He laughs when they are commented on and says they were a gift from some of the elves a few years ago.

His laugh also places him apart from everyone else. It booms out, rattling windows and catching a listener on its waves, threatening to carry them along. It is infectious and makes this reporter smile.

Claus took the time recently to sit down for an interview at an undisclosed location.

Paulding Progress: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today, Mr. Claus. I know this must be an extremely busy time of the year for you.

Santa Claus: Please, call me Santa. And it’s not a problem to talk with you. Jessica – Mrs. Claus – signed me up for a Pilates class to try to relieve my stress during this time of year but I would rather talk with you.

PP: Speaking of being busy, I am sure that one of the questions you get asked the most is about how you do what you do – delivering toys all around the world in one night. Just how do you do it?

SC: Oh, there’s no way I could still deliver all the toys without the TCM.

PP: The TCM?

SC: Time Continuum Modulator. It all has to do with quantum physics. Einstein started the process but Werner Heisenberg and his Uncertainty Principle really made it all come together. Let me tell you, they got everything they asked for on their lists for a few years! (He laughs.) I don’t want to get too technical but it has to do with the flow of time and its relationship to gravity as well as the placement of atoms. That’s really all I am able to say contractually. The placement of a distribution warehouse system around the world has helped a lot, too. Lots of re-supplying stops on Christmas Eve.

PP: Even so, it must feel like you have to be a lot of places at once. Even before Christmas Eve.

SC: Yes. I should also give a big thanks to all my helpers who dress up like me and go around to the malls and stores this time of year. I still make as many personal appearances as possible, though, whenever I can get out of the workshop. The children should remember that they will never know if it is me or one of the helpers when they see a Santa.

(Santa reaches into the drawer of the table beside him and pulls out a plate of cookies, offering one to this reporter. They smell heavenly but I refuse. He grabs one, however, and takes big bite.)

“Are you eating another cookie?” says a sweet voice from the other room. “I’ll need to let out your pants again this year if you don’t stop.”

SC: Yes, dear. I was just offering some to our guest. (He sticks the half-eaten cookie underneath his beard and gives me a wink.)

PP: Speaking of the workshop, is that where the elves are?

SC: Yes. They are in there most of the day this time of year. I try to make sure they get out and relax – catch a movie, that sort of thing – just to get their mind off their work. But they just love making toys so much it is hard to make them stop. I suppose we are all that way, though. We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t love it and the children.

PP: And I am sure there are new problems every year. Things that pop up out of the blue?

SC: Oh, yes. One year a scientific study team was up here at the North P... I mean the Northern Command Base and we had to cut short our take off and landing practice with the reindeer. Ever since the first two Sputniks were launched by the Russians in 1957, I have had more and more debris to dodge up there in space. And even your NORAD captures me every year on radar and reports my position. You would think those analysts would learn to stop when all they get every year in their stocking is coal. (Laugh)

PP: Not everybody celebrates Christmas in the same way in every country. How do you keep all the customs straight?

SC: Sure, everyone is a little different. In the United States the children hang up stockings but in Germany and Belgium they put carrots or sugar cubes in boots by the door for the reindeer and I leave them candy or gifts. Actually, in the Netherlands, Belgium and a few other countries, I traditionally visit on Dec. 5 or 6. The chimney thing has changed a lot, too.

PP: The chimney thing? Are you talking about going into houses by using the chimney?

SC: Yes, I can’t do it that way as much anymore. So many people build their houses now without a working fireplace. So I use a window or a back door – that’s why I don’t worry as much about this. (He shakes his belly with both hands and laughs.) I don’t have to be quite so light on my feet if I’m not up on icy rooftops.

PP: I see you have been rubbing your hand a lot since we sat down. Did you have an accident in the shop?

SC: Oh, no. Don’t get the Worker’s Comp people in here after me. (Another laugh) No, I always have hand cramps by this time of year after answering the letters from the children. Email has been a blessing in the last few years, however. I get their lists quicker and I am able to answer back right away, too. It has really streamlined the process. I am a little worried about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, though. I’m giving Bill Gates coal every year until he figures out a good speech recognition program for Windows.

PP: So the lists are still what you are working from?

SC: Yes and no. We convert the lists now to electronic documents and I download them all to my PDA. I installed the extra memory pack. (He reaches into his pocket and pulls it out.) See, with this I can just type in a name and it automatically pulls up the list. It is constantly updated with a “Naughty” or “Nice” designation by WiFi. Much more effective than the long rolls of paper. Have you ever tried to find a name on a roll of paper at 15,000 feet over Nova Scotia? It’s not any fun, let me tell you. See here, if I type in your name... (He frowns.) It says here that you complained recently in a column about a Pong Game I brought you back in 1975....

PP: Well, I want to thank you for sitting down with me today, Santa. It has been a real pleasure. Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of the Progress?

SC: Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


Wind farm tax revenue to nearly double
Monday, December 23, 2013 4:21 PM

By DENISE GEBERS • Progress Staff Writer

PAULDING – New figures have been released for distribution of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) from the two wind farms in the county. Together, their payments will total nearly $1.3 million.

$1.57 million grant: ‘It’s time to celebrate!’
Monday, December 23, 2013 4:16 PM

By JOE SHOUSE • Progress Correspondent

PAULDING – A time to celebrate was in order after the collaborative efforts of Paulding Exempted Schools, including the partnership of Wayne Trace, Lincolnview and Crestview, came to fruition.

Recently, PEVS superintendent William Hanak received word from the Ohio Department of Education they would be recipients’ of  the Straight A grant in the amount of $1.57 million.

The celebration of sorts took place at Paulding High School last Tuesday when area school officials representing PEVS, Wayne Trace, Crestview and Lincolnview, along with other dignitaries in the audience, heard from Dr. Richard Ross, Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Ohio.