Cleaning off the desk before the new year.
Item 1: U.S. Rep. Bob Latta is hoping to bring a Christmas present to Northwest Ohio.
He’s pushing for better mail service.
If things work out like he hopes, he’ll be able to deliver his gift sometime next year. He would have loved to have made it happen this year, but he’s dealing with the United States Postal Service, after all, which has seldom been accused of moving quickly.
Last week he asked the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to investigate the matter.
“I want to ensure that USPS is being proactive in addressing mail delivery issues brought forward by members of Congress,” Latta said.
The congressman sees the problem being that our mail gets processed at the Michigan Metroplex facility in Pontiac, Michigan. Latta wants a permanent transfer of processing duties to an Ohio facility, either in Columbus or Cleveland.
“The local postal carriers and the people who work to deliver the mail do a great job, but unfortunately, for years, the United States Postal Service Michigan Metroplex Facility has failed to reliably deliver mail, including bills and absentee ballots,” Latta said.
To back up his claim, Latta sent residents of Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District an online survey in August asking his constituents if they’ve experienced delays or challenges receiving their mail. The district includes Putnam, Van Wert, Hancock and Hardin counties. The response to the survey was excellent. He heard back from 3,015 constituents, with 86 percent of them saying they had received poor service.
Things stepped up later that month. However, since mid-November, delays and delivery hardships returned.
“I have tried to bring these concerns to the attention of USPS officials, including in Michigan, Northern Ohio and Washington, D.C., with the hope that they could be addressed and remedied. Unfortunately, the responses I have received over the years have been mixed at best,” Latta said.
Item 2: U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan plans to challenge Joe Biden’s election when the House of Representatives meets Jan. 6. He says it is a matter of “letting the process play out.” It takes just one House member and one senator to challenge the certification of the Electoral College. Jordan plans to be that House member when the joint session of Congress takes place.
“Frankly, a debate on the House floor would be good; that’d be healthy,” Jordan told Newsmax TV. “This would be a chance for the country to see the real debate.”
It is still a “wait and see” if a senator will stand with Jordan on contesting the electors.
Item 3: The plugs been pulled on Lima’s big day at the Statehouse as the swearing-in ceremonies are being downsized for Matt Huffman as President of the Ohio Senate and Bob Cupp as Speaker of the House. Blame it on COVID-19. It’s a shame because this is the first time Allen County — maybe any county — has been the home of both the Senate president and House speaker.
Item 4: A half dozen stories to watch at the beginning of the year:
• Who all will step forward to run for mayor of Lima?
• What will be the future of Macy’s and the Lima Mall? A year ago January it closed dozens of stores with talk of more to follow.
• Will we see more schools opt to take their classes online?
• Will Gov. Mike DeWine take a position on the school funding debate?
• Does anyone have a plan to curb Lima’s growing problem with juvenile violence?
• Will Shawnee Township residents be able to convince a solar farm to locate elsewhere?
ROSES AND THORNS: A special request lands in the rose garden.
Rose: To Rebecca Parsell, of Kenton, who will be celebrating a birthday — her age not disclosed — on Christmas Eve. One of her friends called to tell us about this inspirational woman. Seventeen years ago her car slid on some ice and into the path of a train. She suffered brain damage and had a slight stroke as a result. Her will to live has remained strong, and she now can walk up to 200 feet a day.
Rose: To Lima Police Department Sgt. Nick Hart. After responding to a shoplifting complaint, he found the woman had no police record and was attempting to take food, gloves and a few toys for her family. She only had a low-paying job and her husband was disabled. She was polite and remorseful when questioned. Knowing a police record would only make her situation worse, Sgt. Hart paid her $258 bill and the store didn’t file charges.
Rose: To Zachary Green, a 2012 Elida High School graduate. He’s on the verge of becoming a wrestler for World Wrestling Entertainment. “It’s extra special because it (pro wrestling) is something my father and I used to watch back in the day all the time,” he said of his dad, the Rev. Robert Green, who died in 2009 at the age of 57.
Rose: Elisha Jones, a 2015 Columbus Grove High School Graduate and the 2016 OSU-Lima homecoming king, was named valedictorian of his 2020 graduating class at Life University in Marietta, Georgia. Elisha addressed his peers and their families at a graduation ceremony on Friday. He received his Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, earning a 3.97 GPA.
Rose: To Brenda Thompson, of Bath Township. Her beautiful nativity scene at 1368 Fetter Road has been a joy for neighbors and passersby.
PARTING SHOT: Have a Merry Christmas.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.