Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

New dredge dedicated, alum application starts

By Nancy Allen

Senator Keith Faber, R-Celina, speaks during a ceremony Monday dedicating Grand. . .

GRAND LAKE - Amidst sunshine, the sparkling waters of Grand Lake and a slew of politicians and state officials, the lake's new $668,000 dredge was dedicated Monday.
Lake Restoration Commission Manager Milt Miller called the scarlet and grey behemoth the "prettiest 57 tons" on the lake and said it is one more step toward restoring the lake.
Toxic blue-green algae blooms fed mostly by runoff of phosphorous have resulted in water advisories, diminished lake visitation and millions in lost tourism dollars the last three summers.
Dredging removes phosphorous-laden sediment from the lake's bottom, making less of the nutrient available for the algae. The state also performs dredging to improve watercraft navigability.
State Sen. Keith Faber, R-Celina, who leveraged the capital funds to buy the dredge named Brutus, called the purchase evidence of Gov. John Kasich's commitment to helping the lake.
Faber said acquiring the dredge was a team effort and makes the lake "open for business."
"I hope it's out there running by the end of the week because there's a lot out there to dredge," he said. "We look forward to allocating more resources to the lake."
Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer, a Fort Recovery native, said Brutus is an important tool to help the lake.
"Add to that the alum, the rough fish removal and the wonderful job our agriculture community is doing, and I think we can turn this lake around," Zehringer said.
Zehringer also lauded Grand Lake St. Marys State Park Manager Brian Miller and the local state park dredge team. Last year, the team removed a record 272,000 cubic yards of sediment from the lake. This year's goal is 275,000 cubic yards.
The state on Monday began treating the entire 13,500-acre lake with aluminum sulfate in an effort to deactivate phosphorous, the algae's main food source. Most of the phosphorous that runs off into the lake comes from farmland, the largest land use in the 58,000-acre watershed.
The Local Lake Restoration Commission has said its goal is to have an advisory free lake this year.
David Daniels, the newly appointed director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, said the state wants a great watershed and tourism industry. He called the lake a "great economic base" in the area.
Additional online story on this date
ST. MARYS - Pitcher Lexi Roop struggled to get loosened up prior to St. Marys' softball matchup against Fort Recovery at K.C. Geiger Park on Monday.
Roop overcame her pregame struggles and went on to pitch a complete-game gem in the Roughriders' 6-1 victory over the Indians. [More]
Subscriber and paid stories on this date
COLDWATER - Youths younger than 16 could be prevented from working on a farm if proposed changes to federal agriculture labor laws are approved.
Hundreds of children gather about 2,500 eggs at courthouse
The temperature was a bit nippy on Saturday morning, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the nearly 400 youths who hunted 2,500 eggs in record time during the second annual Easter egg hunt on the Mercer County Courthouse lawn.
ST. MARYS - Ohio is standing on the cusp of an energy revolution, state Sen. Keith Faber, R-Celina, said.
Addressing about 200 Midwest Electric cus
MENDON - A restaurant in Mendon was ordered closed Friday due to cockroaches and plumbing problems.
Pirates Cove, 115 N. Main St., shut its doors f
Fort Recovery
FORT RECOVERY - A few bricks on the village's reconstructed brick street downtown are loose and damaged, Fort Recovery Mayor Roger Broerman told council members Monday night.
ST. HENRY -Kyle Berry's two-out single in the top of the eighth scored Derek Waterman as Celina made it four in a row over Mercer County opponents with a 4-3 win over St. Henry in extra innings at the Wally Post Athletic Complex. The Bulldogs go to 5-1 with the win as the Redskins go to 2-4.
Monday's Area Roundup
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
Adam Niemeyer held Wapakoneta hitless through five innings as Minster handed the Redskins their first loss of the spring in a 4-1 win in a Auglaize County matchup at Hanover Street Park.