Sarah Palin is drawing a lot of national and international attention at Whitehouse.
The 16- acre maze was carved on Sep. 23 at The Butterfly House in Whitehouse.
“Our original intent was to get local publicity and not to make a political statement,” Duke Wheeler, owner of The Whitehouse Christmas Tree Farm and The Corn Maze said. “But it has turned greater than we have ever dreamed of.”
Wheeler said the maze made national news in including “Saturday Night Live,” The New York Times and CNN.
“It’s been all over the world,” Wheeler said.
He said he had a visitor from France who had heard about the maze. Wheeler said it was also mentioned in a newspaper from Bahrain.
He said local republicans are excited about the maze.
“The Sarah Palin design … is fantastic, it looks wonderful, she looks beautiful, there’s not a problem at all with it,” Matt Rubin, a sophomore at UT and president of UT College Republicans said. The group is organizing a trip to the maze.
“[The visitors] are excited about the maze, although we haven’t seen a lot of increased activities,” Wheeler said. “But a lot of people who have come have had a good time.”
Republicans and democrats have been enjoying the Palin corn maze, which Wheeler said cost $2,000.
“People who have visited and enjoyed the corn maze liked the idea of the Sarah Palin, whether they’re democratic or republicans,” he said. “They liked the attention that the maze brought to Northwest Ohio.
Wheeler said none of the parties contacted The Corn Maze, but they heard rumors Sarah Palin is going to visit today or tomorrow.
The Web site www.whitehousecornmaze.com received 20,000 visitors Sept. 26, Wheeler said. They also just started selling Sarah Palin corn maze souvenir T-shirts for $15.
Wheeler said credit regarding the national and international coverage should be given to local media.
“What we have is just a corn maze that they [local media] covered for us. The credit goes to local news,” he said.
The corn maze season begins in October, Wheeler said.
“This will be a busy weekend,” he said.
Archive for September, 2008
Sarah Palin is drawing a lot of national and international attention at Whitehouse.
The owner of an Indiana casino near the Ohio border is joining the fight against a ballot issue that would ask voters to allow a $600 million casino resort in southwest Ohio.
If the issue makes the Nov. 4 ballot, voters would decide whether to amend the Ohio Constitution to allow a casino resort off Interstate 71 near Wilmington, about halfway between Cincinnati and Columbus.
Backers of the project claim it would create at least 5,000 jobs and produce income for each of Ohio’s 88 counties.
But Penn National Gaming Inc., based in Wyomissing, Pa., argues the deal would create a monopoly by authorizing only one casino statewide. It wants access to Ohio through gaming at its Raceway Park in Toledo. The Pennsylvania-based company owns Argosy Casino in Lawrenceburg, Ind., near Cincinnati
The organization promoting the casino development, MyOhioNow.com, is urging Ohio voters not to be fooled by a TV and radio campaign that started Tuesday night in the state’s big cities.
But Penn National is concerned about losing business, said Rick A. Lertzman, MyOhioNow.com co-founder. Lertzman said he expects that an Ohio casino would take between 40 percent and 50 percent of the $480 million in annual revenues generated by gamblers going to Argosy.
Penn National’s Argosy is the largest of three casinos in southeast Indiana that draw heavily from the Cincinnati area and northern Kentucky. Other companies operate the two smaller casinos, Belterra and Grand Victoria.
Penn National is the nation’s third-largest gambling company with revenue in excess of $2 billion a year. It is funding a group called No On 6 — if the casino proposal makes the ballot it would be listed as Issue 6.
A conservative public-policy group, Ohio Roundtable, is also opposing the casino development in Ohio.
Ohio voters have a history of strongly rejecting casino proposals.
Bob Tenenbaum, a spokesman for No On 6, said the group won’t oppose gambling generally but rather has concerns about the current proposed ballot measure. Tenenbaum said ballot language could allow the casino to escape its promised 30 percent tax obligation if it is considered an American Indian casino.
MyOhioNow.com partner Brad Pressman said the involvement of a rival gambling interest changes “the entire way the campaign is going to proceed,” although he and Lertzman said they can’t afford to spend more than the $14 million they had budgeted for the campaign.
Meanwhile, petitions needed to put the issue on the ballot are drawing questions. At least seven people who submitted petitions in northeast Ohio’s Lake County acknowledged they signed as circulators but did not witness any of the signatures on the documents, said County Board of Elections Director Jan Clair. The circulators also signed blank petitions that were later sent around the state, Clair said.
Lucas County Commissioners voted 2-0 on Sept. 29 to fill two Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Board vacancies with John Szuch, Chairman of Fifth Third Bank of Northwest Ohio, and Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, President of the University of Toledo. Pete Gerken and Tina Skeldon Wozniak also voted to re-appointment A. Bailey Stanbery, of Stanbery Homes, to another term on the Board.
Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop, who did not attend the meeting in observance of Rosh Hashanah, previously endorsed Szuch and Jacobs.
The two commissioners also passed a resolution Sept. 29 endorsing the upcoming Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority renewal levy.
“In these tough economic times, we need more jobs and we need them right now. I’m proud of our cooperative efforts with the Port Authority and encourage all citizens to support this worthwhile investment,” Wozniak said.
“From Ironhead Marine to Xunlight and every project in between, the Port Authority has proven to be a vital player for job creation in our region. There is nothing more important to our future than the continued support of these worthwhile efforts,” Gerken said.
HCR ManorCare announced Sept. 29 it will remain in Toledo.
In a statement, the company said, “HCR ManorCare has been proud to call Toledo the home of our corporate headquarters for more than 20 years. Since moving into our current headquarters location on Summit Street 10 years ago, we have more than tripled our employee base in downtown Toledo. This is an increase of about 500 full-time workers, who support our national network of more than 500 facilities and nearly 60,000 employees, and who have helped make an ongoing difference in our community by volunteering their time and talents.“
At a press conference Sept. 29, Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner spoke about the submission of an incentive package to City Council, aimed to keep HCR ManorCare in Toledo.
HCR ManorCare was presented with incentives from the states of Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee to relocate its headquarters, according to a news release.
Toledo City Council is scheduled to vote on an incentive package Oct. 7
Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop said in a news release Sept. 29 he will recommend Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, President of the University of Toledo, John Szuch, Chairman of Fifth Third Bank of Northwestern Ohio, and Ron Rothenbuhler, Executive Director for the Regional Council of Carpenters and Democratic Party Chairman, to fill the county’s open Port Authority positions.
“My three selections for the Port Board represent a diverse group of interests and bring years of educational, business, and labor leadership to the table,” Konop said in the statement. “I am particularly pleased that Dr. Jacobs has agreed to serve on the board, as a stronger partnership between the University and Economic Development will strengthen the region.”
U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), speaking on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Sept. 29, urged congressional negotiators to “go back to the drawing board,” indicating she will oppose the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street banks. According to a news release, she said the measure might actually make the situation worse instead of better.
“Taking a trillion dollars of taxpayer money and buying bushels of unknown and unvalued paper is not smart,” Kaptur said on the House floor on Sunday evening. “It will delay resolution of that housing crisis. In fact, this bill actually asks taxpayers to buy a garbage truckload of worthless paper, everything from subprime auto loans, to foreign bank loans, to hedge fund paper, to credit swaps. Every reckless Wall Street deal thought up these past several years they want to dump on us. We say: No.”
Kaptur said, “We need the right deal, not a fast deal. The White House is counting on fear to propel this Congress into hasty and inappropriate action on a Wall Street bailout that is not in the interest of our Republic. There is a better way. In fact, it is as likely the expenditure of $700 billion will actually stand in the way of the most effective means to remedy the economic challenges facing us.”
Columbia Gas of Ohio said Sept. 29 that a “move triggered by a steep decline in natural gas prices,” will lead the company to reduce the budget payment amount for most residential customers by about $30 per month, or by approximately 22 percent, effective with October bills. For the average residential customer who purchases their gas from Columbia, the monthly budget payment amount will drop from about $133 to about $103, according to a news release. This is the first time Columbia has adjusted budget payment amounts prior to the heating season.
“People are concerned about the unsettled economy and worried about winter heating bills,” said Columbia President Jack Partridge. “Anything we can do right now to provide some relief and stability is absolutely the right thing to do.”
With the reduction, the average residential budget payment amount will be only about a dollar higher than it was last year. A small number of budget payment customers who do not purchase their gas from Columbia may not get a reduction, depending on their contract with their marketer.
Customers will be notified about their budget adjustments through a message on their October bills.
More information about Columbia Gas of Ohio is available at: ColumbiaGasOhio.com.
ProMedica Health System will unveil of the newly completed Hickman Cancer Center at Flower Hospital Sept. 29. The public is welcome to tour the facility form 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 29. According to a news release, this completes a major phase of a $42 million investment in the ProMedica Cancer Institute, most of which is located at Flower Hospital, 5200 Harroun Road. The Hickman Cancer Center at Flower Hospital has a dedicated entrance, individual treatment areas overlooking a healing garden, private patient consultation rooms, a library and resource center, and much more.Construction on the 12,000-square-foot expansion and renovations to the 10,000-square-foot outpatient cancer care facility began in June 2007. For more information, visit www.promedica.org.
The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority announced Sept. 26 that its Board of Directors unanimously approved an amendment to a land lease with Heidtman Steel. The lease allows Industrial Power Systems (IPS) to build on more than 37 acres of property on Front Street. Industrial Power Systems will develop a new fabrication shop that will initially employ 30 workers.
IPS offers general contracting, construction management, pre-construction and design-build services, according to a news release. The land was originally leased to Heidtman Steel in 1987 for a steel mill, which never came to fruition. Most recently, the land was used for to facilitate the construction of the Glass City Veterans’ Skyway.
The Port Authority negotiated a transaction that would amend the Heidtman Steel lease to reduce the premises only to that area on which its office is located (approximately five acres) for an annual rent to the Port Authority of $102,000 per year until 2019. IPS will pay $240,000 annually for the 37.7 acres they will occupy until 2019 when the company has the option to purchase 10 acres of the land for $700,000 or negotiate a new lease. After 2019, the balance of the land reverts to the Port Authority’s control, with the exception of the five acres that houses the Heidtman Steel office. This includes the dock area located adjacent to The Toledo Shipyard and 22 acres of land on the east side of Front Street.
A timetable for construction on the site has not been determined.