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Funds to Aid Florence's Acquisition of New Police Dog

The City of Florence received its check for $14,300 to pay for a new police dog.

The Matt Haverkamp Foundation announced the award in March.

Nancy Haverkamp, mother of the Golf Manor, Ohio police officer who died in a 2005 car crash and for whom the foundation is named, presented the check to Florence. Matt Haverkamp was a K9 handler and his namesake foundation provides funds to police departments across the country to acquire police dogs.

Florence Police Officer Dustin Zink will travel to Pennsylvania to be matched with his new dog, which will be the department's third.

Chief Tom Grau said the dog will be trained in apprehension and drug work, and will be assigned to second shift.

Also at this week's city council meeting, two firefighters were honored with for strong work.

The American Heart Association thanked firefighters Colin Myatt and Jimmy Rose for getting a stroke patient to St. Elizabeth Healthcare in forty-three minutes. The AHA recommends that stroke patients be at a hospital within an hour of suffering the symptoms.

State Senator John Schickel (R-Union) presented plaques to members of the Collett family, which operated Collet's Carryout Superette in Florence since 1960. Three members of the family have died recently. 

"The Collett family loved Florence, and Florence loved the Colletts," Schickel said.

Ryle student Alexander Reynolds was honored for placing first place as a Congressional Champion in the Wyatt Debate League. Reynolds is very interested in government, and he works at the Florence Government Center a few hours every week. He thanked his mom for always being there for him, as well as his dad.

Yealey Elementary School who are part of the Lighthouse Student Group told council about their recent project to gather comments from the student body.

The students raised $100 to install comment boxes near the cafeteria and library, and now collect the comments.

In council business, the city initiated foreclosure proceedings on 410 Kentaboo Avenue after the owner, who has been unreachable by code enforcement, racked up more than $28,000 in fines.

City attorney Hugh Skees recommended that a civil suit be filed against the owner to recoup the fines and unpaid costs. Council agreed and voted in favor of the suit.

Public Services Director Eric Hall announced that the work has started on the jug handle that the state is constructing at the corner of Weaver Road and US 42.   

The construction teams are attempting to work during non-peak hours, and have put down temporary striping to show people where to go. The jug handle will prevent all left hand turns onto Weaver and Hopeful Church roads. Mayor Whalen said that she thinks Florence is a guinea pig for this project, and if it works, they will do more across the state.

The city will hold a drug take-back day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the government center and Kroger on Mall Road.

The Great American Cleanup will be Saturday, too, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Volunteers will be given gloves, bags, and tee shirts, and door prizes will be given for bonus pieces of trash along the roadway. After the cleanup, there will be a grill-out.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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