National Weather Service Issues Ice Alert

Ice Alert

Marine Weather Statement
National Weather Service Cleveland OH
839 PM EST Sat Feb 20 2021

A Marine Weather Statement has been issued for the following areas:
Maumee Bay to Ripley, New York.

Dangerous ice conditions are possible along the Lake Erie shore through Monday. A large area of ice formed along the Lake Erie shore from Maumee Bay and the Islands east to Ripley, New York over the last few weeks. Large openings in the ice in the middle of the lake developed during the day Saturday increasing the potential for ice floes to break off from the southern shore of the lake and around the islands.

Winds are expected to increase from the southeast during the day Sunday and then increase even further from the southwest on Monday.  This increase in wind will progressively increase the risk for the ice to break off from shore. It is advised to stay off the ice.  Anyone on the ice when the ice floes break off will become stranded.

2020 Lake Erie Bass Islands Avian Research Report

Lake Erie Islands ConservancyWe are so excited to share with you our 2020 Lake Erie Bass Islands Avian Research Report from Tom Bartlett. It includes the last years bird banding data as well as a compilation of the now 18 years of bird banding on the Bass Islands. This work has been so important in documenting bird migration on the islands and assisting us with receiving grants to protect migratory habitat!

A good winter read on these cold days coming up while we are waiting for ice!

2020 Bass Islands Report Birding_02042021

Lisa Brohl, Chair, Lake Erie Islands Conservancy

School News Reveals Active Student Body

School News – by Steve Poe, Superintendent/Principal

Our National Honor Society members introduced two new projects this year!  First, they collected handmade cards from our elementary and high school students for the “Holiday Cards for Our Military Challenge.”  These cards were sent to our military warriors abroad to boost their spirits during the holiday season.  Additionally, our NHS members focused on boosting morale in the high school.  They have been posting weekly inspirational messages throughout the school and have created a monthly newsletter called the ‘Monthly Motivator.’ This newsletter highlights student involvement and achievement.  Great job, NHS!

The annual Science Fair will look a little different this year because judging will take place virtually.  This is an exciting opportunity to have additional science experts from the mainland (who normally wouldn’t be able to get to the island) judge the projects.  As always, the judges will provide helpful feedback on student projects, but will not necessarily select who moves on to the district level.  This year, any student who completes a project and wishes to move on to the district Science Fair is able to do so without having to be scored at the local level.  This opens up the opportunity for more students to participate in the District 2 Science Fair that will take place virtually this spring.

The Panther Basketball team has been playing against two foes this year: the competition and the coronavirus.  Our schedule seems to change daily, but one thing that has not changed has been the hard work and dedication of our student-athletes.

Seniors Nora Ladd, Lucille Schneider, Elena Schroeder, and Talii Steidl have been determined to finish their panther careers on top!  Our junior high team ended a three-year losing streak with a big win over Fairport Harbor.  Additions to the schedule have been made and there are eight games scheduled for late January into mid-February. Please check the school website for games and visit for live broadcasts of the games. Go Panthers and get your growl on!!!

The Put-in-Bay Panthers All-Star Basketball team (grades 3 to 6) started off the season in a “Zoom practice” with a coach from the Cleveland Cavaliers!  He provided live instruction on everything from ball-handling drills to proper shooting form.  We would like thank the Cleveland Cavaliers for offering this opportunity for our kids!   Coach Danes and the All-Stars played a championship game on January 27.

The Student Council sponsored Spirit Week the last week of January.  Each day was given a theme, and students were asked to dress accordingly.  We had a lot of creative thinkers!

Grade cards were sent home on January 29.  Parents who wish to discuss their child’s academic performance are advised to call the school.   We will make arrangements to schedule a parent/teacher conference.

On January 29, we also celebrated the end of the semester with a fun competition called “The Battle of the Brains.”   Students and teachers were randomly assigned to teams to answer trivia questions.  Correct answers earned points for their teams and the winning teams won some neat prizes.

As the winter season progresses, we are hoping “Mother Nature” cooperates so we can open the ice rink.  When it is open, we ask that a parent accompany students in grades pre-kindergarten thru grade six.  Masks are required of all participants inside the playground area.  Stay safe and have fun!

On Friday, February 5 our elementary students will celebrate the “100th Day of School” with fun activities involving the number 100.

Winter Break is scheduled for February 19 thru February 28.  Students return to school on Monday, March 1.

Weather Service Posts Advisory for Significant Snow

ATV during snow-gale of 19 January 2020

Weather advisory promises a Put-in-Bay weekend winter wonderland!

National Weather Service Cleveland OH
1104 AM EST Sat Jan 30 2021



* WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 7
inches. Localized greater amounts possible.

* WHERE…Portions of north central and northwest Ohio.

* WHEN…From 10 PM this evening to 7 PM EST Sunday.

* IMPACTS…Travel could be very difficult.

Retiring Police Chief Riddle Leaves Legacy of Bass Islands Service

Paul Steven Riddle’s service to the Bass Islands is captured by life coach Jill Korstrom’s definition of legacy:  “Legacy is when you are genuinely grounded in offering yourself and making a meaningful, lasting and energizing contribution to humanity by serving a cause greater than your own.”   Mr. Riddle devoted forty years to the  Ohio Department of Natural Resources, rising to the rank of State Park Manager;  and he served  the Put-in-Bay Police Department as Patrolman (1975), Lieutenant (1982) and Chief (2015-2020).

Born in Asheville, North Carolina, on 10 March 1954, Mr. Riddle’s parents and five siblings moved from Michigan to Middle Bass Island when he was three years old.    He attended a one-room school until entering high school at Put-in-Bay.  In a January 2021 interview, Mr. Riddle describes his adolescence this way:

“Growing up on the Island of Middle Bass was the vessel that shaped my life; it has carried me to where I am at this time. Living at Middle Bass was like living in the country.  It is where I learned that you help everyone no matter what.  My life was shaped the most by my Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Schneider.  She introduced God into my life and that was a wonderful thing to me.”  It should be noted the Mrs. Schneider referenced is Sonny Schneider and Mary Anne McCann’s mother.

Chief Riddle worked for Fox Construction as an equipment operator after high school and then became a full-time ODNR State Fish Hatchery Aid while working as a part time patrolman for the PiB Police Department.  In 1978 he was promoted to Fishery Supervisor, then to Fish Hatchery Superintendent in 1980.  These years included significant training in computer technology,  hatchery management, firearms training, Ohio Peace Officer Training, and criminal justice–followed in the nineties and 2000’s by extensive courses in law enforcement, ethics, hazardous materials, case law, and crisis management.  In all of these commendable efforts Chief Riddle earned high praise and commendations.

Governor Voinovich (L), presents State Employee of Month Award

In 1980 the Put-in-Bay Police Department recognized him for Meritorious Service after he contributed over 300 hours of unpaid service to the community.  In March 1987 he was promoted to ODNR Park Ranger Manager, Division of Parks.  In this capacity Mr. Riddle wrote management plans for five parks, including separate shoreline management plans,  responsibility for income and budgets, and day-to-day operations.  ODNR awarded him “Employee of the Month” in 1991, stating “Riddle has exhibited a dedication to his managerial responsibilities far above what is considered his expected job duties.”  January 1992 he was acknowledged by Ohio House District #70 representative Fred H. Deering, Speaker Vern Riffe, and Governor George V. Voinovich  in this way:  “You are held in high regard by those with whom you have worked for the enthusiasm and dedication which you have displayed in all your endeavors, and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you have set an example in your work that is worthy of emulation by all.”

Lifesaving Award recipients Dale Danheiser (C-L) and Steve Riddle (C-R)

In 2006 Mr. Riddle was honored with the Lifesaving Recognition Award by the Ohio Division of Parks and Recreation “for your quick response and rescue of two children and three adults on 28 May 2005.”

Mr. Riddle’s personal life, as is the case for many, included challenges in marriage.  Of his divorce he said, “Going through divorce was not easy, but God was with me.  I kept in mind what was good for my children.  That meant never disrespecting their mother and making things work.”  He added, “Meeting my new wife Karen was one of the best moments.  Karen and her family were solid, by which I mean they believed in God and were good, plain and simple people who put on no show of trying to act like someone they were not.”

The tumult of divorce did not hamper Chief Riddle’s outreach.  He was a guest speaker at the Marblehead Peninsula Lions Club; elected to serve twelve years on the Put-in-Bay School Board, during which he received recognition “for outstanding dedication to public education”; and he participated in the governing of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church as Vestry Member for six years.  In a poem written for her father’s  35thbirthday, Suzanne Marie wrote, “You have provided the soil for me to construct the paths of my life.  You have always provided the richest and softest of soils . . . You have made me very confident .  . You have made me strong in my ways . . . there has never been a time when you were not there for me.”  Mr. Riddle supported his son Andrew Clay’s successful effort to become “the island’s first Eagle Scout and perhaps the only Lone Scout in northwest Ohio ever to attain that rank,” according to a Toledo Blade article of 25 April 2004.

A major factor in Mr. Riddle’s personal and professional success is grounded in his faith.  He said, ” God has always been in my life.  Karen, Andrew, Miranda, and I were all baptized by Father Hayes at the same time in the Episcopal Church here on the Island.  The place I visited that impressed me the most was the Vatican.  I still have a cross that was blessed by the Pope hanging next to my bed. You have to respect people’s rights because you have the right as an officer to take them away.  You have to be kind and always do the right thing.”

Photo by W.H. “Chip” Gross, courtesy of Ohio Cooperative Living Magazine

In retirement, Chief Riddle feels blessed to have more time to spend with his family–to be with his grandchildren, to go fishing, to stay active.  He considers writing a book about growing up on the Bass Islands, working in law enforcement, and about local politics.

When asked what matters most to him now, after years of dedicated hours to his professional life, Mr. Riddle replied, “Keeping God foremost in my life will always be first.  I am proud of my children and lucky to be married to Karen.  Being kind to people who visited the Island and taking time for them to make their visit enjoyable was a priority.  I learned that having a title or rank does not give you respect, you have to earn it.  My children and the kind of people they are defines me.  My marriage to Karen is solid–we believe in the same things, we have worked hard to take care of our family, we like being with each other and sharing activities, so I look forward to spending more time with her.”

A life well lived leaves a lasting impression, a true legacy for family, friends, and community to treasure.  Paul Steven Riddle exemplifies good character, personal motivation, perseverance, and professionalism.  Acclamation and honor are yours Chief Riddle, and for all who uphold qualities which generate a meaningful legacy!

Conservancy Seeks AmeriCorps Intern for 2021

The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy, Put-in-Bay Township Park District, and Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center will be sharing an AmeriCorps intern for the 2021 summer to assist with our land preservation and educational programs. We have had great experiences with our interns bringing new ideas and fresh faces to our programs in the summer. We have had wonderful interns starting with Colleen O’Brien in 211 and including Leah Bilski, Carmen Levand, Jackie Taylor, Chloe Nostrant, Jenna Prahst, Samantha Newhouse, Emma Young, and Olive O-Rourke-Scherf. Each brought their special talents and left us with finished projects we now enjoy! The intern goes back with a new appreciation of our island resources.

We are looking for applicants for this AmeriCorps Environmental Steward Intern for the summer of 2021. It is a ten week program working a minimum of 30 hrs per week. Interns are provided a small stipend biweekly and a Segal Educational Award at the completion of the internship-to be used for qualified student loans or tuition. The intern will work on projects like trail maintenance, invasive plant management, grant writing, design of signs and brochures, social media, wildlife and plant surveys, nest box monitoring, etc. for the Conservancy and the Park District depending on the skill set of the intern. For the LEINWC, the intern can assist with tours, Wild Tuesday, Nature Camp, exhibits, community events and outreach. Applicants must be at least 17 years old. Preference is given to university students but a high school education is all that is required to use the education award. It is preferred to have island housing. If interested, contact Lisa Brohl at or 419-366-2087. To take a look at the Environmental Steward program, go to their website at or soon go to  for online applications.Lake Erie Islands Conservancy

We are looking for donations toward this great program. If you are interested in donating, contact Lisa or sending a check to LEIC, P.O. Box 461, Put-in-Bay, Ohio 43456 with AmeriCorps on the memo line. You may also use our PayPal at but designate for the AmeriCorps intern program. If we are unable to get an intern that has island housing already, we would welcome housing for a ten week intern as well.