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Toledo mayor pulls plug on Marines’ training

GRAND RAPIDS, Feb. 9, 2008 (AP): The mayor of Toledo, Ohio, pulled the plug on a plan by Marine reservists to hold an urban warfare training session in downtown Toledo.

Mayor Carty S. Finkbeiner told about 200 Marines based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to go home Friday.

A spokesman for the mayor told The Grand Rapids Press that Toledo residents were frightened by past training.

Major Dan Whisnant says members of the Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines were extremely disappointed by the mayor’s decision. The training was planned for Friday and Saturday at an abandoned 10-story office structure.

The Marines last trained in Toledo in February 2006, prior to an Iraq deployment that year.

In response, Lucas County and the Convention and Visitors Board offered a Valentine to the 200 members of Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines an opportunity to enjoy Toledo again – this time on the dime of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

At a news conference on Feb. 11, Lucas County Commissioners and CVB leadership provided a “Do Toledo” card to every member of the Company for a free weekend trip, including free admission to The Toledo Zoo and free lodging and dining at any local business that partners with the Bureau.


“Lucas County is a welcoming place that values our armed services and our veterans,” said Commissioner Pete Gerken.  “We want these Marines to come back and see the best of Toledo. It’s critical that we show that our community values their service.”

Demonstrations against Finkbeiner’s dictate were held on Monday, Feb. 11, in front of One Government Center in downtown Toledo.





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