Thursday Night
53°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
20%
Friday
75°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
35%
Friday Night
60°
Chance Thunderstorms
54%
Saturday
79°
Mostly Cloudy
14%
Saturday Night
63°
Chance Thunderstorms
41%
Sunday
79°
Chance Thunderstorms
39%
Sunday Night
58°
Chance Rain Showers
29%
Memorial Day
73°
Chance Rain Showers
35%
Monday Night
56°
Chance Rain Showers
33%
Tuesday
70°
Chance Rain Showers
35%
Tuesday Night
53°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
17%
3 Day
Extended
Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Students place straw to destroy toxic algae

By Nancy Allen

Wright State University graduate students Anthony DiMuccio, Nathan Dronen and Br. . .

GRAND LAKE - Seven graduate students from Wright State University assembled 100 barley straw bundles and placed them in channels at Behm's Landing during the weekend.
As the straw rots, it will release enzymes that kill toxic blue-green algae. The method already has been proven in the channel.
Pieces of straw flew through the air Saturday, getting stuck on students' hair and clothing as they stuffed the straw into mesh bundles.
"It's for a class called Project Controls and Evaluation Techniques being taught at the main campus," said class leader Alan Grimm, whose family owns a real estate business and Behm's restaurant at the landing.
  Four years ago the Lake Improvement Association (LIA) found success in putting barley straw in channels to lessen algae blooms. LIA member Jeff Vossler, who has a home at Behm's Landing, has continued the project but found it to be very labor intensive.
Grimm thought it would make a good class assignment and made the necessary arrangements.
"Barley straw is used in ponds a lot as a natural algaecide," Vossler said.
Aeration systems, also installed by the landing residents, have increased the effectiveness of the barley straw, Vossler said. The extra oxygen speeds up the decomposition process.
  Originally from California, Grimm moved to live with his stepfather, the late Bob Grimm, and his mother, Chris Grimm, in 2008. He enrolled at the Lake Campus while helping to take care of his ailing stepfather.
Grimm witnessed the toxic algae blooms on the lake the past two summers and the economic hardship it caused the tourism industry. He hopes the project helps his family's businesses, along with improving the lake for others.
  "It will be great to have a lake that doesn't have a green and blue beer head on it," he said, referring to last summer's freakish new algae. "You could see it break up when it hit the line of barley straw and aerators."
  Grimm noted the very development from which his family has made a living has caused some of the problems. Homes and businesses have replaced areas that once had wetlands, grass and trees, which lessen runoff of nutrients that feed the algae.
Studies show most of the phosphorous runoff that enters the lake comes from farmland, the largest land use in the watershed. As a result of last summer's toxic algae blooms that sickened humans and animals, new manure laws were imposed on the roughly 300 livestock farmers in the watershed. The rules are meant to lessen phosphorous runoff.
  "The problem is not just the farmers, it's the development," Grimm said. "If we can replace the wetlands and plants that development took and manage the waste from farms, we'll have a cleaner lake."
Additional online story on this date
Coldwater High School star and Ohio State football standout Ross Homan was drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 National Football League Draft on Saturday afternoon by the Minnesota Vikings with the 200th overall pick. [More]
Subscriber only stories on this date
Volunteers clear lake debris
St. Marys celebrates 25-year friendship with Japan
Illegal alien admits to causing traffic death
Officers arrest 16 on drug charges
Author speaks at museum's opening
BOE prepares for next step if income tax levy fails
Voting locations
No local teams won, but individuals shined
New Bremen sweeps two vs. St. Henry
Westfall makes a move low for win