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Ohio gov. activates National Guard ahead of potential riots

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine activated 580 National Guard members Tuesday in preparation for what the FBI identified as massive armed protests planned in Columbus and every state capital in the country leading up to Inauguration Day.

“People have the right to protest. They do not have the right to be destructive,” DeWine said during a briefing Tuesday. “They do not have the right to hurt other people.”

“We all saw what happened at the U.S. Capitol. And we know we are very concerned,” he added.

The Republican governor authorized National Guard members from Jan. 14 to Jan. 21 to conduct training and be prepared in case called upon to police the armed riots authorities say are planned at the U.S. Capitol and the Ohio Statehouse.

DeWine is falling in line with several other governors and state law enforcement groups who received a warning from the FBI on Monday to prepare for potentially dangerous riots at capitols in all 50 states. The warnings came after a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, forcing lawmakers to take cover and resulting in the death of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.

Police in Ohio’s capital city are also working with other law enforcement agencies in the area to coordinate a response to whatever planned or unplanned protests arise, Sgt. James Fuqua, a spokesperson for the Columbus Division of Police, told The Associated Press.

He said a “red line” situation has been declared, which freezes time off for all officers without pre-planned vacations. Fuqua declined to discuss specifics of what is expected or how law enforcement will be deployed.

“We are aware of several planned protests that we take very seriously and continue to plan for, so that we’ll literally be prepared for anything that comes our way,” he said.

Columbus police, along with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, which has been policing the Statehouse since the racial justice protests that took place over the summer, say they are aware of the types of protesters as they “have been active all summer here, so it should be no surprise that they’re going to show up again for this.”

DeWine said he will adjust the number of Guardsmen activated and deploy them to specific areas in Ohio depending on the requests from city mayors and the intelligence the state receives.

“We know there are people in this country who want to do more than demonstrate and more than exercise their First Amendment rights,” DeWine said. “The more information we are seeing as to who some of these people were and how well prepared they were, it’s something every American should be concerned with.”

Montpelier councilman, Army veteran Motter discusses patriotism

In light of the events of Jan. 6, when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Building, Montpelier Village Councilman Kevin Motter decided to speak up about who is a “patriot.”

Motter, who is commander of the American Legion Post 107 and a U.S. Army veteran, made his comments during a meeting of the Montpelier Village Council, which was held on Zoom Monday evening.

“The term ‘patriot’ is thrown around quite a bit by radio talk show hosts to self-proclaimed groups who believe they are on the side of freedom,” Motter said. “I know many who I would consider patriots, who may not be who you would think I would say is a patriot.”

One isn’t a patriot just because they wrap themselves in a flag and, no, serving in the armed forces isn’t a prerequisite, nor is attending Sunday church services.

A patriot does, however, honor the sacrifices of those who did serve in the military and respects the teachings of the church, he said.

“(He) attempts to pass on to his children the basic principles of common decency and kindness to his fellow man while respecting the faith of others,” Motter continued. “A patriot performs the civic duties of voting and, when called upon, jury duty. A patriot goes to work to support his family, pays his debts and, if he has a few cents left over after taxes, donates to charity.”

A patriot knows no one political party has all the answers and will civilly discuss the issues at hand and work toward the betterment of a community.

A patriot stands for the national anthem, and removes his hat, Motter said.

“A patriot is self-thinking, not swayed by any one person or source of information but relies upon multiple sources and the counsel of those he trusts before coming to a conclusion,” he said. “That’s just a few things I consider traits of a true patriot. I’m proud of all the members of this council, because I consider every one of you a true patriot.”

Mayor Steve Yagelski told Motter his comments were “well put.”

“We’ve got a lot on our plates as residents and citizens of the United States, we just have to trust God that we go down the righteous path and continue putting one positive foot in front of the other,” he added.

Bryan ice rink is weather dependent

Toledo’s historic Ottawa Park Ice Rink opens on Friday but whether or not Bryan’s MacDonald-Ruff Ice Arena opens this year is entirely dependent on the weather.

“With temperatures in the 40s and upper 30s it’s really hard for us to make ice,” Bryan Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Bruce Wheeler said in a phone interview with The Bryan Times Tuesday afternoon.

“As of right now, we’re waiting on the weather to cooperate,” he said. “We need temperatures in the teens to freeze; We’ve found that works best. Unfortunately, mother nature hasn’t cooperated with us.”

It looks like the weather will not be cooperating any time soon, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Chris Roller.

“There’s a small chance, Friday night and into next week it could possibly approach 20 degrees but at this point nothing really drops below that,” he said.

Temperatures could get down into the teens if the sky clears over the weekend, but there is little chance of that happening.

“We’re looking at clouds and light snow all weekend,” he said.

“The other issue is residence time,” Roller said. “Temps probably aren’t going to drop down into that range long enough to make ice any time soon.”

Bryanite survives two near misses during pursuit

Authorities said one man from Bryan is lucky to be alive after a traffic accident Monday afternoon in Fulton County involving two stolen hot rods pursued by police.

At 4:50 p.m. Monday, Jason A. Vyers, 41, of Bryan, was driving a 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee west on Fulton County Road D in German Township, one mile east of the Williams County line. As he turned south onto Fulton County Road 24, a black 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack swerved around him and crashed into the ditch, then a green 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat side-swiped his Jeep.

The black Challenger was driven by Thorne D. Carrington, 28, of Richmond Heights, Ohio, and he failed to stop for the stop sign. It traveled southwest through the intersection and struck the ditch, sustaining disabling damage. The green Charger was driven by Deztaney T. Spencer, 21, of Cleveland. She also failed to stop for the stop sign and attempted to go around the Jeep when the vehicles collided.

“It was just barely a glancing blow with minor damage to both,” Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Robert Ashenfelter said. “Thank God! Both of those vehicles are highly souped up, big engines, super fast.” The Challenger had been reported stolen in Strongsville and the Charger had been reported stolen from a dealership in Archbold. Both vehicles were being pursued by law enforcement at the time of the accident (including the OSHP, Archbold police and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office while deputies from Defiance and Henry counties were en route to intercept).

Carrington was transported by Archbold EMS to the Fulton County Health Center in Wauseon with suspected serious injuries. His condition as of Tuesday was not immediately available.

Spencer fled the scene back to Archbold and abandoned the Charger on West Street, two miles north of the Terry Henricks Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership at 1935 S. Defiance St., where police responded to the initial complaint.

“A search was done of the area and with the tips from local citizens, Spencer was located and taken into custody,” Archbold Police Chief Leo Wixom III said in a press release Tuesday afternoon. She was arrested at 6:42 p.m. and charged with felony grand theft of a motor vehicle, failure to comply and misdemeanor reckless operation. She was taken to the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio. Carrington has also been charged with the same offenses.

The accidents remain under investigation with additional charges pending.

Stryker Police Chief Steve Schlosser confirmed at least one of the vehicles passed through Stryker during the pursuit, but at no time was there ever “a man with a gun” in the village or near the school, as had been rumored. “We just assisted Archbold PD,” he said.

Multi-Area Narcotics Task Force Commander Max Nofziger also confirmed that his officers “assisted other agencies” during the pursuit, but declined to comment further.

Spencer has outstanding warrants in Ottawa County from a pursuit on Dec. 12, 2020. It started at 4:42 p.m. on Ohio 2 when a trooper clocked her “high-performance sedan” at 145 mph. She fled west to Ohio 163, where she was clocked at 175 mph before zig-zagging on side roads between the two highways.

That vehicle, also a Dodge, eventually crashed on Ohio 163 and rolled over. As an Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputy rushed in to render aid to an injured passenger, Spencer allegedly rushed out and stole his cruiser.

She drove west for less than a mile until she lost control of the cruiser and crashed a second time. When a passing motorist stopped she reportedly started screaming “He’s hurt!” and when that driver came to help what they thought was an injured officer, Spencer allegedly stole his pickup truck. That vehicle was found in Detroit later that day, also crashed.

Montpelier board approves increased ESC contract

MONTPELIER — The Montpelier Exempted Village Schools Board of Education approved a contract with the Northwest Educational Service Center (ESC) that is around $80,000 higher than expected.

The contract will be for $362,545.39, but Superintendent Jamison Grime said the actual cost fluctuates on a daily basis.

The ESC, he said, takes care of most of the district’s special education needs among other services, such as occupational therapy and preschool students who go to the Independence Education Center.

“It’s a lot of the things that we just couldn’t take up, here,” Grime said.

The reason for the increase is due to student attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grime said, for example, the Independence Education Center charges per child, so how much the school district pays for the service depends on how many students are enrolled.

“With COVID, kids are going to homeschool, they’re going online, they saw a decrease in enrollment,” he added. “It makes the average cost of every kid who goes out there increase.”

This is the cost for fiscal year 2021.

However, Grime said the $362,545.39 is unlikely to be the final cost, as the bill the district receives in January is always an estimate.

“Then mid-year they give us another estimate that’s closer to the actual bill and at the end of the year we’ll settle up,” he said. “This number changes every day because of our enrollment.”

Carla Rice, the district treasurer, said the budgetary estimates she makes are based on the enrollment in February of the previous year.

Overall, it’s around an increase of $80,000 that she “will have to find in the general fund,” to pay.

In other business, the board:

• Approved the girls wrestling team to attend the West Union High School Tournament on Jan. 29-30. Grime said this is the first state tournament with only girl wrestlers.

• Approved membership in the Ohio School Board Association’s Legal Assistance Fund Consultant Service for $250. This will be for one year of membership ending on Dec. 31.

• Entered an executive session to discuss personnel with no action expected.

• Approved annual membership dues of $4,734 and electronic subscription to School Management News for $150 with the OSBA. This membership will end on Dec. 31.

• Heard the county spelling bee will be held at Stryker this year on Jan. 27.