Cruisin’ with the Buckeyes for cancer

This column might be a bit short this week, since I was able to score passage for Mary Alice and I aboard the Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Ship last week for the Buckeyes Cruise for Cancer, hosted by OSU football coach Urban Meyer and his wife Shelly. This was the seventh annual cruise that started with Chris Spielman and his wife Stephanie, who died from breast cancer several years ago. We met a lot of very neat people, including Iris Keels, the mother of Paul Keels, the voice of the Buckeyes, who worked many years at Xavier University. It turns out that we knew a lot of the same people from back when I went to school there in the late 1960s. Then it turns out her son started his broadcast career the same place I did, at WVXU FM. One of the highlights, as indicated by the photo, was when Dr. David George and his wife Pat met Eddie George, the Heisman Trophy winner. We kidded David all week about getting together with his “Cousin Eddie”. The alumni band played every day, the alumni cheerleaders led the crowd in cheers every day, and Urban and Shelly Meyer and their family members talked about the loss of Urban’s mother, who also died from cancer. Meyer became very emotional discussing that topic. The cruise raised close to a half million dollars for cancer research. There were quite a few Ottawa Countians on the trip, including County Commissioner Jim Sass and his wife Mollie. 

Our “Find Wylie” winner this week is Nathan Holman of Port Clinton, who was one of 167 people who found our friendly fish in the ad for Mutach’s Market on page 6A in last week’s Beacon. Nathan wins our weekly $20 gift card from Friendship Food Stores. We’ll be hiding Wylie again this week, so if you find him, drop off an entry form at our office in the Beacon Place Business Center or click on the Find Wylie Icon at our website, 


First Coffee with the Editor held

Our first Coffee with the Editor session at Common Grounds was kind of sparsely attended. We did have a nice conversation with Catawba Island resident Bill O’Donnell, a semi-retired insurance executive, who was given a history lesson on the trials and tribulations of Port Clinton and Waterworks Park. We also had drop-bys from Drew and B.J. Surovjak and their daughter Kami as well as Chris Galvin from United Way. Don’t forget, every Wednesday at Common Grounds at 9 a.m. They are offering their gourmet coffee for just 99-cents with one refill. 

My son Mark, who works here as a graphic designer, celebrated his 31st birthday on Monday. He was actually born 3 days before we published our first Beacon. It was called the Port Clinton Beacon back then. Volume 1–Number 1 was published and distributed on February 20, 1983, 31 years ago today. Doesn’t time go by in a blink? So many memories, so many friends. We took Mark and his fiancée Dionne out for dinner at Ciao Bella on Sunday evening and bumped into Phil and Gretchen Treuhaft while we were there. Gretchen is now living in Albany, New York. It was a great meal.


Tired of winter?

Tired of winter by now? Me too. I got a great email last week from an old friend, Randy Carson. Yes…THAT Randy Carson, former News and Sports Director at WRWR back in the late 1970s. He actually does read The Beacon online and wanted to share his amazing experience while working at WRWR during the blizzard of ’78. 

“It changed from rain to a blizzard in a matter of moments,” Randy told me. “All I remember is being stranded at the Radio Station for a few days with Tim (Adkins) and Bill (Beinke) using the airtime to pass along messages to people in between playing summertime music, napping under the desk when the power went out…being fed and cared for by neighbors of the radio station…ahhh…good times.” 

Randy is now working in Tampa, Florida for a Research Company.

As expected, our first Coffee with the Editor session at Common Grounds was snowed out last Wednesday. So, we will try it again this week. The plan is that every Wednesday at 9 a.m. we hope you will join Beacon Editor Jasmine Cupp and me for this casual gathering to discuss new story ideas, photo opportunities and community happenings. Common Grounds is offering small coffees (with one refill) for 99 cents. 


Jobs just posted

We are off to a great start for our new focus on jobs. We have nearly a half-page of “Jobs Just Posted” on page 2A this week. As I have said for many years, many of the economic ills of our area, and our country for that matter, can be cured by matching up people with jobs. Our sales staff of Vicki Theobald, Bill Derivan and Connie Roberts did a great job of kicking things off this week with this new feature. As of our last audit, even with the weather here being so lousy, The Beacon reaches 19,565 readers in Ottawa County, many of whom are in need of good paying jobs. 

Another new feature we are launching, although as I write this on Tuesday, there are expectations of another heavy-duty snowstorm looming for Wednesday, is our new “Coffee with the Editor” at Common Grounds in the Sutton Center on Port Clinton’s far east side. Every Wednesday at 9 a.m. we hope you will join Beacon Editor Jasmine Cupp and me for this casual gathering to discuss new story ideas, photo opportunities and community happenings. Common Grounds is offering small coffees (with one refill) for 99-cents. Our first session will be this Wednesday, Feb. 5. See you there, weather permitting.


Entity Primer

Bob has a sole proprietorship, John has an LLC. A group of business men have a general partnership and the Jones family has a limited partnership. What are all of these entities? Following are brief basic definitions that can be helpful in deciding what entity to create as part of your business plan. 

SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP. This is a business owned by an individual and created without formal filing requirements. 

REGULAR C CORPORATION. This is created by filing articles of Incorporation with the State of Ohio. Ownership is evidenced by stock certificates. Fifty-one percent ownership controls the decisions of the corporation. 

S CORPORATION. This is a federal tax election that allows the income to pass through to the shareholders each year and avoid double taxation.


Weekly Coffee with the Editor at Common Grounds

My wife Mary Alice’s brother Dick Kollmann lives in Hudson. We visit there quite often, especially during the holidays. He always saves me a copy of the Hudson Hub, a community weekly newspaper similar to The Beacon. Dick showed me a promotion they do, and suggested perhaps we try the same thing. They have a weekly “Coffee with the Editor” session at a local coffee shop. So The Beacon is teaming up with Common Grounds in the Sutton Center to start a community discussion group at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays. We would like to hear story ideas, photo suggestions, or anything related to the content of The Beacon or Common Grounds is offering small coffees (with one refill) for 99 cents. Our first session will be this Wednesday, Feb. 5. See you there.

I was reminded this morning by “Blizzard Bill” Spencer on 13ABC that Tuesday’s low temperature tied a record of 10 below that was set in 1977. We are getting all kinds of stories coming in from the 35th Anniversary of the Blizzard of ’78. I recall that the winter of 1977 was extremely cold as well. This weather is certainly great for the ice fishermen.


Welcome back, Mr. Migala!

I have said it many times…Ottawa County’s biggest need is JOBS! We need JOBS! I have spoken to the folks at the Job Store at the Resource Center many times. There are many cases locally where good local jobs are available, but businesses have trouble finding folks with the proper skills. There are also many cases where the skills may be there, but no jobs. We at the Beacon want to bridge the gap between good jobs and good people. Therefore, starting in February, we intend to begin posting Help Wanted ads on Page 2A, right up front, taking them out of the classifieds. Our Vicki Theobald will be in charge of businesses who want to place bold and visible help wanted ads in an effort to connect our 20,000 readers with good jobs in the area. 

My favorite sports photographer, Bill Migala, came down with some health problems at Christmas time and has been out of action for a few weeks. Well, he’s back, and did he take some nice action shots of the Port Clinton-Oak Harbor boys’ game last Friday and the PC-Sandusky St. Mary’s girls’ game last Saturday. The photos we don’t print (and they are numerous) we always put online at 


See you at the boat show!

The biggest event in Ottawa County isn’t even in Ottawa County! It is in Cleveland. The Annual 5-day Mid American Boat Show opens this Thursday afternoon at the I-X Center near Hopkins Airport in Cleveland and runs through next Monday, Jan. 20 (Martin Luther King Day). Since eastern Ottawa County is a major hub for recreational boating in Ohio, this event is extremely important for the local economy. When boat dealers have a good week at the boat show, it trickles down to just about every economic segment in Ottawa County, same for manufacturing. So, those who are attending the Cleveland Boat Show, we wish you luck. 

We were all reminded last week, thanks to the arrival of the polar vortex, that it was 36 years ago next week that many of us survived the infamous Blizzard of ‘78. We would like to run a story on YOUR remembrances of those 3 or 4 days in late January of 1978. Just send them in and we will try to include them with our story later this month. Send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Congratulations and best wishes to Andy and Melissa (Twarek) Schlotterer who were married by my old friend Fr. Dan Ring at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Marblehead last Saturday. Andy has become one of the leading Young Lions of Ottawa County as the owner of Bayside Comfort. We wish them all the happiness we can muster.


Send us your Polar Vortex photos

I certainly hope you all enjoyed the Polar Vortex! We were forced to close our office on both Monday and Tuesday of this week, which is the reason you may be getting your Beacon a little later than normal. Believe it or not, the weather forecast for the weekend is for above normal temperatures…and maybe some rain! Like we have all said from time to time…if you don’t like the weather around here, just wait a minute and it will change. We would like to have a little contest…please send us your Polar Vortex photos. Send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We will create a gallery of photos online and publish the best of the best in next week’s Beacon.

President and CEO of Magruder Hospital, Todd Almendinger, will give a report on the “State of the Hospital” on Monday, Jan. 20 at 12 noon in the Conference Center. If you want lunch, the price will be $6. They are requesting RSVP by Friday, Jan. 17 by calling the hospital at 419-732-4061. Magruder Hospital, as you all know, is a major staple for our community. It is important for all of us that they continue to service the health needs of Ottawa County.


The Great Swami predicts the future

Ok, it is New Years, so it is time once again for The Great Swami (otherwise known as your slightly cynical Beacon Newspaper Publisher) to predict what Ottawa County will look like in the year 2024. Just having a little fun…

January 2024 – Port Clinton Mayor Bert Fall successfully serves as Master of Ceremonies at the 2024 Walleye Drop that now surpasses the size and scope of the ball drop in New York’s Times Square. The new Victory Hotel and Water Park serves as the venue for the event in the old Waterworks Park. The hotel now has 300 rooms and is full most of the year.

February 2024 – FED EX-CANADA announces that they will be using the Port Clinton International Airport as a major hub for international shipments between the U.S. and Canada. The expansion will bring Ottawa County 1,300 new jobs! Ageless quarterback Braxton Miller leads the Cleveland Browns to their fifth straight Super Bowl win over the Detroit Lions. Coach Josh McDaniel calls it a “win for the ages”!

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