CELINA — Two more pieces of the puzzle to solve water-quality issues at Grand Lake St. Marys were fit into place on Monday. State and local officials heralded the arrival of a new 57-ton dredger at the east side of the lake. Minutes later they headed to the west bank where efforts were already under way for a full-lake application of alum.The dredger, nicknamed Brutus, was unveiled at the east bank boat launch. Its mission will be to remove tons of silt from the lake's floor. The dredging effect will be two-fold: It will reduce the threat of a potentially toxic blue-green algae bloom and make it easier for boaters to navigate the lake and channels.“The scientists have told us our silt bed is loaded and saturated with phosphorus. Even if we shut off the watershed tomorrow we need to get the silt out of this lake bed,” said Milt Miller, manager of the Grand Lake St. Marys Restoration Commission. “This is just one more positive step as we restore this wonderful asset we call Grand Lake St. Marys.”Miller said the new dredger replaces a model from the 1960s, which when it broke down needed custom-manufactured replacement parts, cutting back on available dredging times. Last year, more than 270,000 cubic yards of silt were removed from the lake — a number officials are optimistic will greatly increase with the new equipment.“This is a very efficient dredge. It's fuel efficient plus it works faster, it pumps further so there are many things this dredge can do,” said Jim Zehringer, director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. “It just has a lot of good advantages to it. Plus, it'll keep the channels free, this is a very shallow lake, so some of these channels are very shallow so folks hit the muck with their props. This is a good addition, along with the alum treatment.”HAB Aquatic Solutions, a Lincoln-Neb.-based company, began the latest treatment of alum on Monday as well. Last year's effort at the lake, also completed by HAB, was the world's largest alum project.“This year will be the new largest alum project ever completed in the world because we're slightly larger this year,” said John Holz, water quality specialist with HAB Aquatic Solutions. “To give you some perspective, we'll be calling for over 650 tanker trucks of product in a 30- to 45-day period. That's more chemical than the city of Chicago buys for their water treatment plant in a year. This is a big project.”
Tara Cutlip, 21 and pregnant with her second child, was shot and killed Saturday in her Bahama Drive home. Loved ones gather in front of Tara's home to remember her and speak out against domestic violence.