OCCA defends title at CANWO Spelling Bee

Ottawa County Christian Academy’s elementary students won five of six individual awards as well as the overall school championship trophy at the 2014 Christian Academies of Northwest Ohio (CANWO) Spelling Bee and Speech Competition held at Temple Christian Academy last Friday.

The competition is for elementary students in kindergarten through the sixth grade. A total of 67 students from OCCA, Temple Christian Academy (Fremont) and Harvest Temple Christian Academy (Clyde) competed in the event. 

The spelling and speech competitions were broken into the following divisions: K-1, 2nd & 3rd, and 4th-6th. Among the winners for OCCA were: Austin Marzke (Genoa), K-1 Spelling Champion; Jaxan Bickelhaupt (Fremont), K-1 Spelling Runner-up and K-1 Speech Champion; Kellen Bickelhaupt (Oak Harbor), 2nd-3rd Spelling Champion; Ryan Kozak (Genoa), 4th-6th Spelling Runner-up; Carmen Bickelhaupt (Oak Harbor), 2nd-3rd Speech Champion; and Breanna Slessman (Oak Harbor), 4th-6th Speech Champion. Darren Conklin of TCA was the 4th-6th Spelling Bee Champion.

Students also were awarded ribbons for their speech performances. A three-judge panel issued blue ribbons to those scoring 30-27 points (30 being the highest), red ribbons for 26-24 scores and green ribbons for 23-20 scores. All scores below 20 received yellow participation ribbons. OCCA’s blue ribbon performances included: Xoie Bickelhaupt (Fremont), Kendyle Baer (Curtice), Aiden Slessman (Oak Harbor), Luke Hawkins (Oak Harbor), Breanna Slessman, and Carmen Bickelhaupt.

The overall school championship trophy was determined by the following scoring procedure: schools received five points for every champion represented, one point for every blue ribbon received and one point for each spelling runner up. The total score was then divided by the number of students competing from that school. OCCA won the trophy for the second consecutive year, garnering 33 points and a final score of 1.74.

OCCA is a private, non-chartered religious school located between S.R. 163 and S.R. 105 just past the Oak Harbor High School at 325 S. Toussaint-Portage Rd.


Oak Harbor girls win Patrick Henry Invite

Behind four first-place finishes from each of its relay teams, the Oak Harbor Rockets girls track and field team won the Patrick Henry Invitational on Saturday in Hamler.

Oak Harbor won the nine-team event with 153 points, well ahead of Elmwood, who finished with 95. Woodmore was third (79), followed by Patrick Henry (60) and Leipsic (54).

The 4 x 100, 4 x 200, 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 relay teams came away victorious, and Allie Jett and Trinity Gephart won their individual events, too, the 200-meter dash and the 3200, respectively.

Gephart won the 3200 in 12 minutes, 36.76 seconds, and finished second in the 1600, losing out on first place by 0.06 seconds. Jett won the 200 in 27.79.

Second-place finishers included Athena Eli in the 400 (1:03.28), Makayla Wagner in the 800 (2:39.42), Alexa Weis in the 100 hurdles (17.91) and the 300 hurdles (53.90), Allie Bloomer in the high jump (4 feet, 8 inches) and Lexie Kadlubowski in the pole vault (8-00.00). Paige Velliquette was third in the 100 (14.13), Brenna Franck was third in the 800 (2:48.33) and Rebekah Rayburn was third in the long jump (14-05.00).

Team Standings—1. Oak Harbor 153; 2. Elmwood 95; 3. Woodmore 79; 4. Patrick Henry 60; 5. Leipsic 54; 6. Swanton 31; 7. Arcadia 23; 8. North Central 19; 9. Montpelier.

Top Rocket Finishers 

First—Trinity Gephart (3200); Allie Jett (200); 4 x 100 ; 4 x 200 Relay; 4 x 400; 4 x 800

Second—Trinity Gephart (1600); Athena Eli (400); Makayla Wagner (800); Alexa Weis (100 H); (300 H); Allie Blommer (high jump); Lexie Kadlubowski (pole vault);

Third—Paige Velliquette (100); Brenna Franck (800); Rebekah Rayburn (long jump).


Oak Harbor boys win Patrick Henry Invite

It was another successful weekend for the Oak Harbor boys track team, which won the nine-team meet at the Patrick Henry Invitational, finishing with 146, well ahead of Woodmore, which was second with 90.

Patrick Henry finished third with 84 points, followed by Elmwood (68) and Swanton (46).

Tyler Sievert led the way, finishing first in two events, the 800 (2:05.29) and the 1600 (4:54.98). Austin Apple won the pole vault with a leap of 13 feet, 3 inches.

And all four Rocket relay teams (4 x 100, 4 x 200, 4 x 400, 4 x 800) were victorious.

Oak Harbor also had five second-place finishers, including Cole Weirich (100), Isaiah Jefferson (200), Konnor Fletcher (3200), Thomas Looper (110 H) and Kyle Rutledge (pole vault).

Team Standings—1. Oak Harbor 146; 2. Woodmore 90; 3. Patrick Henry 84; 4. Elmwood 68; 5. Swanton 46; 6. Leipsic 43; 7. Montpelier 24; 8. Arcadia 20; 9. North Central 6.

Top Rocket Finishers:

First—Tyler Sievert (800), (1600); Austin Apple (pole vault); 4 x 100--Cole Weirich, Andrew Heberling, Brandon Schimming, Isaiah Jefferson; 4 x 200 relay; 4 x 400-Andy Burnette, Cole Weirich, Andrew Heberling, Tyler Sievert; 4 x 800-Tim Poiry, Konnor Fletcher, Mark Bodi, Tyler Sievert.

Second—Cole Weirich (100); Isaiah Jefferson (200); Konnor Fletcher (3200); Thomas Looper (110 H) and Kyle Rutledge (pole vault).


ICS begins open enrollment for kindergarten

Immaculate Conception School (ICS) in Port Clinton has begun open enrollment for its 2014-2015 kindergarten class. This enrollment period is open to all children who are five years old by Sept. 30, 2014. ICS offers a small class sizes, a faith and value based education, and a staff committed to leaving no child behind. ICS is open to children of all faiths, grades pre-kindergarten through 5. 

Kindergarten Round-up for ICS students will be held on Monday, April 28, 8:45-10:45 a.m. Financial assistance to attend ICS is readily available. For registration and round-up information call 419.734.3315.


Oak Harbor eighth grade team is academic challenge champion

The Oak Harbor Eighth Grade Academic Challenge Team competed in the county Academic Challenge Contest that took place March 19 at Oak Harbor High School. The team competed against teams from Danbury, Port Clinton, and Put-In-Bay and were crowned Champions at the end of the competition. This is third time in the last four years that the group has won the county competition.

The team now is preparing for the Tri-County Contest that will take place May 19 at the BGSU Firelands Campus. Team members are Anna Dedes, Taylor Beard, Tyler Lovett, Chris Kuhn, Ben Swartz, Ross Friar, Aaron Lee and Jack Gleckler. The team is coached by eighth grade staff members Meghan Dougherty and Brad Schlagheck.


Healing the Lake: Bring Back the Blue

The Lake Erie Improvement Association is holding a fundraiser Friday, May 2 from 4-7 p.m. to help heal Lake Erie and bring awareness to its growing health needs. The event, called Healing the Lake: Bring Back the Blue, is hosted by Catawba Island Club and Lake Erie Marine Trade Association in conjunction with the Progressive Catawba Island In-Water Boat show to support the efforts of the Lake Erie Improvement Association. 

Special guests for the evening will include Ohio State Senator Randy Gardner and Ohio State Representative Chris Redfern. There will be grazing food options, beverages, door prizes and music by Colin Dussault’s Blue’s Project.

Healing the Lake: Bring Back the Blue is generously supported by First Federal of Lakewood, Clemons Boats, Happy Days Boating, Marine Max, Pier 53, South Shore Marine, Skipper Bud’s, Riverfront Yacht Sales and Services, Catawba Moorings, and Great Lakes Brewery.

To purchase a ticket for the event or to make a donation to the Lake Erie Improvement Association visit or call the Catawba Island Club at 419-797-4424.

The Lake Erie Improvement Association is a nonpartisan Lake Erie watershed-wide economic sustainability initiative dedicated to healthy waters and fish by promoting cooperation and wise resource management for the benefit of the Lake Erie basin. For more information on the Lake Erie Improvement Association visit


Gardner and Brown announce economic zone forum

Two Northwest Ohio state senators are seeking public input on controversial legislation that would change how local governments create and maintain economic development zones.

Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) and Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) are hosting a public forum Friday, April 25, in the Perrysburg Holiday Inn French Quarter’s Depot Ballroom from 10-11:30 a.m.   Local government officials, economic developers, business and labor organizations and citizens are invited to provide input and suggestions on House Bill 289, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 89 to 8 and is pending in the Senate Finance Committee.

The senators said the purpose of the forum is to provide Northwest Ohioans with an additional accessible way to communicate with them on a major issue.    

“We are looking for as much input as possible on House Bill 289 before this legislation comes to a vote in the Ohio Senate,” Gardner said.  “The legislation has the potential to significantly impact economic development efforts in our region and throughout Ohio.”


Gardner attends PC Board of Education meeting

The Honorable Randy Gardner attended the Port Clinton Board of Education meeting on Monday, April21. He discussed the latest education legislation in Ohio with board members and administrators in attendance. Pictured clockwise from bottom left: Patrick Adkins, Superintendent of Schools, Michele Mueller behind Mr. Adkins, Beth Benko, David Belden, Barb Drusbacky, Paul Shaw, Jeff Dornbusch and Randy Gardner.


Family Fishing Day at East Harbor State Park

Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), East Harbor State Park will be stocked with 500 rainbow trout for Family Fishing Day Saturday, April 26.

Youth accompanied by an adult will be first in line to catch the trout beginning Saturday morning from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.  No fishing will be permitted in the pond between the time the fish are stocked Friday until the fishing event starts at 10 a.m. Saturday. The park will have some fishing equipment available for loan and live bait will be provided during the event.  Park volunteers will be available to assist the kids and parents with fishing.

East Harbor’s pond is located behind Lockwood Shelter parking lot, which is on the first road to the left after entering the park. The event will be held rain or shine.  All Ohio fishing regulations apply. 

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

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