Extra law enforcement over Labor Day weekend

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office will have extra patrols throughout the Labor Day holiday weekend. Overtime shifts will be scheduled in an attempt to promote safety among drivers, as well as to draw awareness to the other traffic on the roadways.
The Deputies will enforce all traffic laws, with emphasis on OVI enforcement.  The overtime is part of the National Alcohol Mobilization grant received by the Sheriff’s Office from the Governor’s Highway Safety Office.


IJC Mission: Help restore Lake Erie's health

On Monday, Aug. 27, in the Sutton Center, Port Clinton, the International Joint Commission (IJC) hosted a public meeting, providing information about its Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority and hearing from the public about concerns regarding nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms.

The IJC was created in1909 by the Boundary Waters Treaty for the purpose of helping Canada and the U.S. protect their shared waters. It is an independent body of experts working to develop consensus findings and recommendations for their governments. All IJC members are committed to serving without bias. The IJC has direct authority to regulate water flow in the Great Lakes, and serves in an advisory capacity on water quality. Since 2002 it has been a strong advocate for action to prevent Asian carp form entering the Great Lakes.

The meeting was attended by concerned citizens from around Ottawa county and by researchers and environmentalists from across Ohio, Michigan and Ontario. The Port Clinton meeting was one of eight being held across the region. David Dempsey, Policy Advisor to the IJC, gave a brief presentation and led a pro-active discussion about our lake and its watershed and the challenges ahead.


Drumming at Otterbein North Shore


Otterbein North Shore, in keeping with its mission of embracing a whole-person wellness philosophy, has added a new dimension to the community – drum circles.  Recently three employees became certified HealthRHYTHMS facilitators, trained in recreational Empowerment Drumming, an evidence-based therapeutic approach to wellness based upon an emerging discipline called Rhythmacology.


At Otterbein North Shore the drum empowerment sessions elicited immediate interest and enjoyment from the residents. Participants smiled throughout the session and wanted to know “when can we do this again?”  Drumming is now offered monthly, with full participation. Resident Janet Clark commented, “When we’re drumming there’s a smile on everyone’s face!”  Joe Williams, who plays the banjo, said he comes because he enjoys music and the association with other people.


OCJFS hours change


Effective September 1, 2012, the hours of operation for the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services (OCJFS) will be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Job Store will remain open until 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.

The OCJFS is responsible for determining eligibility for a variety of public assistance programs, establishing and enforcing child support orders, workforce development services, and investigating reports of abuse or neglect of children or individuals over 60 years of age. 

In addition to visiting the office, there are a variety of ways to contact the agency or apply for services.  Online applications and reporting for public assistance benefits are available at  Application for Child Support Enforcement activities, as well as case information for child support, is available at After-hours concerns about child welfare or elder abuse or neglect can be directed to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office at 419- 734-4404, or in emergencies by dialing 911.

For more information, please contact the Ottawa County Department of Job and Family Services at 419-898-3688 or 1-800-665-1677.



New editor named at The Beacon


John Schaffner, Publisher of The Beacon, is pleased to announce the appointment of Donna Lueke as Editor of the publication based in east Ottawa County. She replaces Angie Adair Zam, who recently took another position which will allow her to work from home to be with her young child.

“Donna has a love of the written word and has been active in a number of local organizations for several years, which should be a plus for her,” stated Schaffner. “At the top of her resume she wrote … ‘whatever the job, wherever I am, whenever I can, I love to write’.”


United Way partners with NBOH


Since 1993, over $65,890.00 has been donated to United Way in Ottawa County by the National Bank of Ohio. NBOH has also had diaper and food drives, and time has been volunteered by NBOH employees.


United Way has partnered with the National Bank of Ohio in an effort to ignite a social movement, encouraging residents to give, advocate and volunteer to improve the conditions in Ottawa County.


United Way’s mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities, to advance the common good. United Way 211 connected 1,262 Ottawa County residents to community resources in 2011.


Magruder health screening


Magruder Hospital will offer its monthly Cholesterol (Total/LDL/HDL/Triglycerides), Blood Pressure and Glucose Screening for $16 on the second Thursday of every month starting at 1 p.m.  The next screening will be Sept. 13 and appointments can be made by calling 419-734-3131 ext. 3420.

For more information on events and screenings, go to Magruder’s website at





Lotus lessons

Lotus lessons

An American water lotus in full bloom in East Harbor on Sunday is a reminder that, though the days are shorter and school is starting, summer is in full bloom here on the north coast.



Perch, Peach, Pierogi and Polka Labor Day weekend

The eighth annual Perch, Peach, Pierogi and Polka Festival will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 109 E. Perry Street, downtown Port Clinton, on Labor Day Weekend. This year the festival will begin on Friday, Aug. 31, at 5 p.m. The fun, food and fantastic polka music will continue Friday evening until 11 p.m. and from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept. 2.


12-year-old with local ties sets new record in 340-mile canoe race




While many were glued to their television sets watching the Olympics the past two weeks, friends and relatives of 12-year old Lauren Redfern were closely watching their computer screens and Facebook pages as she made a little history of her own.  She’s not competing in London, but she did become the youngest competitor to participate and complete the Missouri American River MR340, a 340-mile endurance canoe and kayak race across the state of Missouri from the first stroke in Kansas City to the last gasp in St. Charles.


Lauren, a soon-to-be seventh grader at Holy Childhood School in Mascoutah, Illinois, is the daughter of former Port Clinton and Marblehead residents Jonathan and Edie (Gaydosh) Redfern. The family relocated to Mascoutah, which is about 30 minutes from St. Louis, 3 years ago when Jonathan, a senior master sergeant in the Air Force, was transferred to Scott Air Force Base.


At 12-years old, Lauren set the record as the youngest paddler ever to compete and finish the MR340 race, the longest non-stop canoe race in the world.  She and her father, a 1988 graduate of Port Clinton High School, and family friend and teammate, Kaitlin Jiral, 21, of San Marcos, Texas spent a rigorous 54 hours and 27 minutes paddling day and night down the Missouri River.


During the event, teams had mandatory checkpoints with race officials that also offered a rest stop where support teams could provide food and medical supplies.  At the start of the race July 30, there were

340 teams, but by Aug. 3, only 230 finished, giving the Redfern team third place in their division and an 18th overall finish.


Jonathan is an experienced paddler who has competed in adventure races and canoe/kayak racing all over the world.  His interest in paddling began nearly 20 years ago when he was stationed at Howard Air Force Base in Panama, where he and Edie, raced in Cayucos [hollowed out trees built by local Indians indigenous to Central America] from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal.  His most recent endeavor was the Texas Water Safari (the world's toughest canoe race), where he and his teammate finished in the top 20.  Jonathan is also a veteran of the MR340 having paddled twice previously with top 5 finishes both times.  In 2010, after some persuasion, he joined a team that now holds the Guinness World Record for the longest journey by a dragon boat.  Lauren has spent her entire life cheering on her dad; it was only natural that she would become interested in competing as well.  Because of Jonathan’s extensive paddling skill and knowledge, Lauren was allowed to get an age-waiver to participate in this year’s race.


Lauren began training in earnest for the MR340 about a month ago.  “My dad and I did some short trips to the Kaskaskia River so that I could learn how to paddle correctly and steer the boat,” said Lauren.  “He also made me learn how to do a wet entry just in case we flipped.  We drove to St. Louis and did a long paddle so I could get used to the river and could learn how hard it would be to sit in the boat for long periods of time.  My dad is huge on safety and drilled me on boating safety rules, what-if scenarios and marine and river terminology.”  In addition, her dad had her read extensively about food, nutrition, and the importance of electrolytes.  To prepare, she also stopped drinking sugar and caffeine.


Those safety lessons came in handy in the early hours of the morning on night two, when they found a female solo paddler in distress.  The paddler had become separated from her boat and was calling for help.

Team Redfern was successful in rescuing her and her boat and they were able to contact the race safety officials and provide exact coordinates to aid the paddler who did eventually finish the race.


“My motivation for participating in this race was knowing that if I finished I would be the youngest paddler to ever do the race and paddle the entire 340 miles,” said Lauren, that and a promise of an ice cold McDonald’s Coke at the finish line kept me going.”


Lauren said the hardest part of the race was staying in the boat when you really wanted to get out and of course trying to stay awake.


“It’s very easy to get angry at your teammates when you are tired, hungry, wet and cold,” she said. “It was also a little strange to be so tired that your eyes start to play tricks on you.  I kept seeing large crowds of people and a bear on the sand bars.”


Endurance, competitiveness and patience were other key skills the team said they used to complete the race.


Lauren’s mom, Edie, a 1989 graduate of Danbury High School, said that, “even though Lauren is very adventurous, she did have one small fear--Asian Carp.  She’s had previous experience with them jumping into her kayak and actually bruising her ribs before she could get it back out of the boat.”


During this trip at night while the team was skirting one of the shallow dikes, three carp jumped into their boat, but no one was hurt.


“It was scary and the biggest fish I have ever seen,” said Lauren. “It was dark, we were stuck on a log and the fish weighed at least 20 pounds.  I’ve been hit by an Asian carp before so I was even more scared that I would get hurt.  The fish was so big my dad (Jonathan) had to grab it by its tail with both hands and throw it out of the boat.  Two more jumped in before we were able to get out of the wing dike. Kaitlin and I were screaming the entire time and our fellow paddlers teased us about it for miles down the river.”


“Anyone who knows Jonathan, Lauren and Kaitlin knows they are very competitive, however our goal for both girls was for this race to be a positive experience so that they would want to race again,” said Edie.

“So many times we see young athletes in paddling sports compete in one race, never to compete again,” said Jonathan.  “We hoped that both of them would enjoy the experience so much that they would get ‘hooked’!

 I think we were successful.”  Who knows maybe in a few years there will be a female tandem of Redfern and Jiral!



Subscribe to this RSS feed