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”!
March 2024 – With the dramatic growth in the Port Clinton-Catawba-Marblehead-Oak Harbor area, The Beacon has grown to 6 sections, proving the value of their 2014 PIND (Print Is Not Dead) campaign. Yes, people still get their news on the internet, but nothing beats holding that newspaper in your two hands! From his winter home in the Bahamas, Publisher John Schaffner is heard to say “I told you so!”
April 2024 – Lake Erie’s Algae Control Campaign is now being duplicated in the rest of the Great Lakes as well as other inland lakes across the world. The western basin of Lake Erie is once again the #1 Walleye Fishery in the U.S. ODNR sets the Walleye Limit to 12 per day per fisherman and the perch limit to 60.
May 2024 – Schaffner Publications announces a major improvement in the delivery of their newspapers. Circulation Manager Sage Dinse begins the use of helicopter drones to deliver the newspaper throughout Ottawa County. Speaking of aircraft, the restored Ford Tri-Motor begins passenger service to the islands. Liberty Air Museum also launches PT Boat ferry service to all of the Lake Erie Islands, as well as Cedar Point and Leamington, Ontario.
June 2024 – The Walleye Festival, now being held at East Harbor State Park, grows to over 500,000 visitors. Ottawa County Commissioners Mac Gilliland, Joe Miller and Michelle Ish officially cut the ribbon for the 2024 Walleye Festival. The Geico Gecko and Flo from Progressive are Grand Marshals for the parade. Port Clinton native and Harvard Professor Emeritus, publishes a new book titled “Rising American Dreams” based on the amazing comeback of the City of Port Clinton from the economic abyss. Mayor Fall credits much of the revitalization to the development of Waterworks Park and the new Victory Hotel.
July 2024 – Christmas at the Bay draws over 800,000 revelers to Put-in-Bay. Mayor Eric Booker is all smiles as he watches the hordes of visitors getting off the Jet Express, the SS Julene Market and SS William Market, the new Ford Tri-Motor and the “Thomcat” PT boat. His joy is short-lived however as the island springs a leak near Joe’s Bar.
August 2024 – The 2024 Inter-Lake Yachting Association’s annual Regatta at Put-in-Bay is a record-breaker! Over 350 sailing vessels from all over Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair arrive for the big party. Thomas McRitchie sails his 20 year old 40 footer, JEB to first overall. 78 players show up for football practice as the Port Clinton Lakers (formerly the Redskins, but they adopted the name Lakers when Danbury and Port Clinton Schools consolidated in 2018) get ready for the 2024 season under veteran head coach Beau Carman.
September 2024 – The 2023 Tall Ships Festival celebrates its 11th anniversary, as over 300,000 visitors flock to the Port Clinton waterfront for tours. Lake Erie Shores and Islands Director Laura Schlachter says that she knew it all the time that this event would be wonderful. Among the Tall Ships participating is the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) who sailed in from Boston Harbor.
October 2024 – The Cleveland Indians win the 2024 World Series behind the incredible pitching of veteran Danny Salazar. Third Baseman Lonnie Chisenhall goes 10 for 21 with three homers and 15 RBIs in the series win over the LA Dodgers. Oak Harbor is designated as a City/Municipality by the State of Ohio and files suit to become the County Seat of Ottawa County.
November 2024 – Jeb Bush is elected President of the United States, succeeding Hillary Clinton. Chris Redfern is re-elected to the House of Representatives, Randy Gardner is elected Governor of Ohio, and Carl Koebel isn’t elected to anything! Ohio State trounces Michigan again for the fifteenth straight season. Once again, Ottawa County Common Pleas Court Judge Fritz Hany loses the bet and is forced to play the Buckeye Battle Cry to a packed house in his courtroom with the assistance of Mike Libben, OSU Band Director Jon Waters along with PCHS Band Director, Rod Miller.
December 2024 – Beau Carman leads the Port Clinton Lakers to their first State Championship in football. First Energy announces that thanks to the resurgence in nuclear energy power plants, the Davis-Besse site will be home to 3 new reactors which will add 1,200 jobs. Finally, if you believe any of this stuff, I have a bridge to sell you in Alaska! Happy New Year! –Swami