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Eschen thanks council for 'kind words' about her

Cary Ashby • Updated Jun 7, 2017 at 7:23 PM

Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan was thankful for mostly good weather at the revamped Strawberry Festival.

“I think it would be considered a success this year. I want to publicly thank the Norwalk Jaycees for their hard work,” the mayor also told city council Tuesday.

During safety-service director Dan Wendt’s report to council, he said the Norwalk Police Department issued eight citations for driving under the influence during a two-week period around Memorial Day.

Also, Officer Chris Hipp retired last week after 21 years with the agency.

“The city wishes him luck. … We will miss him,” Wendt said.

Finance director Diane Eschen told council members she appreciated their “kind words” in the recent Reflector story about her upcoming retirement. She will retire Aug. 31 after serving Norwalk for nearly 45 years.

“It was very kind of you. … It was very nice,” Eschen said.

She joked about the text she received from Councilman Chris Castle, who had told the Reflector that “Diane has served this city longer than I’ve been alive,” which prompted a round of laughter.

Also Tuesday, Heather Horowitz, director of Norwalk Economic Development Corp., shared her annual report with council. She shared several workshops and initiatives that have or will be implemented.

The NEDC board started 2016 with a strategic retreat — the first of its kind since 2013. Horowitz said board members came up with what NEDC needs to be: A resource connector (”where people can go for help”), workforce conduit (listening to the needs of businesses), business advocate, regional partner and industry supporter.

In 2016, a NEDC survey revealed that 40 percent of the polled businesses made major investments and 72 percent indicated having an increase in sales.

Finally, Matt Raymond, director of the Huron County Veterans Service Office, asked for support and participation in two upcoming events, The Wall That Heals and the related motorcycle memorial escort. The Wall That Heals is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington and will come to Bellevue on June 21.

“The wall represents 58,318 soldiers killed while serving in Vietnam,” Raymond told council. “The wall is carried on a semi.”

The motorcycle escort starts with the staging and lineup between 7 and 8:10 a.m. June 21 at Fox Cycle Works LLC, 1011 Fremont Ave., Sandusky. Kickstands go up at 9. The escort, which will go through Norwalk and Monroeville, is expected to arrive at Central Park on North Street in Bellevue about 10:30.

Raymond said he would like to set a record by having more than 500 riders.

For information about The Wall That Heals (in Bellevue from June 22 through 25), the memorial escort or if you can share information about identifying veterans, call the Huron County Veterans Service Office at 419-668-4150.

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