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9/11/14 – 5:06 A.M.

We managed to avoid severe weather Wednesday, but we did get plenty of rain. And of course when that happens, all eyes turn to the Blanchard River. Fortunately it looks like there isn’t much to talk about there. The Blanchard in Findlay started rising rapidly just after 7 p.m. Wednesday night; but it appears to have crested well below action stage.

Downstream in Ottawa the river is expected to run high the for the next day, but will stay below action stage there as well.

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9/11/14 – 5:22 A.M.

The completion of a new nursing home in Ottawa could face major delays after a state fire inspector expressed concern about a couple of issues. The Putnam County Sentinel reports Ottawa Fire Chief Dan Rieman (REE-mehn) gave council an update on the situation this week. Rieman says the inspector wants a water line that circles the Meadows of Ottawa-Glandorf dug up. The problem is that it now sits below concrete and blacktop.

The inspector also was unhappy he was unable to do a rough inspection of the sprinkler system before drywall was installed.

The issues seem to stem from how some fire codes are interpreted by the State Fire Marshall’s office. Rieman said the fire suppression systems are like what was installed at the new Ottawa Elementary School. He added his department inspected the nursing home the same as they did the school.

The Meadows of Ottawa-Glandorf is expected to open next month barring a setback. The State Fire Marshall will visit the site tomorrow.

More: Putnam County Sentinel

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09/09/14 8:58 p.m.

At tonight’s appropriations committee meeting, Findlay city council members unanimously recommended that council reject the recent request from other organizations for anymore bed tax money.

The portion of the hotel/motel bed tax the city of Findlay receives has always gone into the city’s general fund, which this year is estimated to be $500,000, with the exception of 15 percent which is allocated for the Arts Partnership.

At the August 19 council meeting the Hancock Historical Museum approached council and asked for a portion of the tax revenue, which according some council members opened a can of worms.

Since the museum’s request, there have been requests or inquiries from many other organizations, such as the Women’s Resource Center, the Children’s Museum, the Salvation Army, YMCA, Chopin Hall and a church.

Councilman Randy Van Dyne said the amount of work needed to create criteria, policies and procedures for the distribution of the money would be extensive.

Audio: <a href=”http://wfin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/zz-van-dyne.mp3″>Randy Van Dyne</a>

Councilmembers suggested a number of other sources, such as the Convention and Visitors Bureau and Community Foundation, that give money to non-profits for programs that bring people to Findlay.

Audio: <a href=”http://wfin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/zz-rasmussen.mp3″>Don Rasmussen</a>

Law director Don Rasmussen was one of many who brought up that while some of the organizations that inquired about the tax revenue distribution are non-profits, not all of them bring visitors to Findlay who utilize the hotels and do not generate bed tax revenue.

Though the committee agreed no other requests should be accepted, they did say they would fulfill their three-year, 15 percent commitment to the Arts Partnership, which is effective until 2017.

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Fire Destroys Union Township Home

09/30/14     1:40 p.m. A house has been destroyed in a fire this morning at 4800 Union Township Road 25, south of Rawson. The fire was first reported around 11:40 a.m. A plume of thick black smoke could be seen miles from the fire. Multiple fire departments, including Rawson, Mount Cory, Union Township, Allen Township, Jenera and Blanchard Township fire departments, responded to the scene. Additional details will be posted as they are made available.

Kids In Crisis: Local Programs Help Families

9/30/14 – 5:30 A.M. Yesterday we outlined how stepped up efforts to help kids in crisis came to be. Today, we’re looking at how local families can get help. Josh Ebling is the CEO of the Family Resource Center of Northwest Ohio and says a big part of the plan is to offer help to families at all hours of the day… Audio: Josh Ebling Ebling also says part of the Strong Families program focuses on not allowing one crisis to snowball into another… Audio: Josh Ebling Ebling says grant money from the state means more counselors can be trained to deal with these situations. As we continue our series tomorrow we’ll look at how the Strong Families plan aims to connect with kids in need of help.

Five Injured In Seneca County Crash

9/30/14 – 5:13 A.M. A Seneca County crash injured five people Monday night. The State Highway Patrol reports the accident happened at the intersection of U.S. 224 and U.S. 23 around 7 p.m. 44-year-old Adhah Aljohani was driving a Dodge Durango west on Route 224 when he ran a red light and hit a semi driven by 51-year-old Ryan Phillips of Wharton. The collision caused the Durango to damage a junction box that controlled the stop light. The semi slammed into a sign for a fuel center. Aljohani and one passenger were taken to ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital. Three other passengers were taken by medical helicopter to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. The patrol says all the injuries were non-life-threatening. The crash remains under investigation.

Two Arrested Following I-75 Drug Bust In Findlay

9/30/14 – 5:04 A.M. The State Highway Patrol has released the details of a drug bust on I-75 that was made last week. The patrol says two people were arrested last Wednesday after nearly $4,000 worth of prescription medication was found in their car. A 2012 Hyundai Accent was pulled over for speeding around 11:40 p.m. on September 23. A consent search of the car led to the discovery of 59 Oxycodone pills, 47 Alprazolam pills and 142 morphine sulfate pills. 21-year-old Devontae Russell of Roseville, Michigan; and 19-year-old Lida Rutherford of Knoxville, Tennessee are both facing charges.

“Friend” Of Fostoria Murder Victim Pleads Guilty To His Role In Her Death

9/30/14 – 4:55 A.M. A man a Fostoria murder victim once called her friend admitted his role in her death during a Monday court hearing. The Courier reports Tyson Ogg pleaded guilty to charges of complicity to aggravated burglary, complicity to aggravated robbery, and complicity to murder. He could get a sentence of 18 years to life in prison. Ogg served as the getaway driver the night 20-year-old Janelle Mauricio was shot and killed in her East Culbertson Street home in late May. On Monday, Mauricio’s parents told the media that their daughter had been friends with Ogg for years before the shooting. Mauricio and Caleb Barto, who was also attacked during the incident, had even let Ogg live with them at one point. Another suspect in the case, Dallas Salaz, has also pleaded guilty. He and Ogg will be sentenced after court proceedings for Garrett Brown are completed. Brown is accused of shooting Mauricio. MORE: The Courier

Hancock County Active Inmates Website Temporarily Deactivated

09/29/14     3:45 p.m. For the time being the active inmate page on the Hancock County Sheriff’s website is unavailable. But the change is only temporary. As of Sept. 19 a new rule says those convicted of a crime as a juvenile or are being placed under arrest on a juvenile charge may only have certain information released to the public no matter their age. This created a problem for Hancock County, which recently received three inmates in that category. Audio: Ryan Kidwell Lt. Ryan Kidwell said the active inmates page on the sheriff’s website does not allow taking those three people out of the roster, so in order to comply with the new regulations the website had to be taken down. Kidwell said the software company is working on a fix, but until then information on inmates is available on the Auto Information System by calling 419-424-7202.

Ohio’s Progress in Fight Against Domestic Violence a Benchmark for Louisiana

09/29/14     3:00 p.m. For 13 years Beth Meeks worked as the executive director of Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services in Findlay. More recently, Meeks has been the executive director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Audio: Beth Meeks Meeks told Rotarians at this afternoon’s meeting the domestic violence homicide rate in Louisiana is three times higher than the national average. In Ohio, Meeks said things are more uniform and consequences are consistent and swift, which deters from domestic violence. Modernizing the process is the goal, according to Meeks, and she said creating a new system, like Ohio’s, and keeping it in place for a few years will hopefully significantly reduce the homicide rate. Audio: Beth Meeks Meeks said Ohio is in a better position than Louisiana as far as combatting domestic violence for a number of reasons. First being the quick consequences, but Louisiana is also behind in implementing laws from the Violence Against Women Act. For Ohioans, Meeks said this is a lesson in what…

Mount Blanchard Under Boil Advisory Until Further Notice

09/29/14     2:30 p.m. The village of Mount Blanchard is under a boil advisory until further notice. Mayor Bret Miller said the water system was depressurized for fire hydrant replacement. For more information residents can call the mayor at 419-408-7178.

Jury Selection Begins for Trial of John Saltz Accused of Raping a Child

09/29/14     11:14 a.m. Trial preparations began this morning with jury selection in Hancock County Common Pleas Court for the case of John Saltz. The 49-year-old Marion man faces a first-degree felony of rape involving a child in Findlay in 2011. The trial is expected to finish within four days.

One Injured In Weekend Crash On I-75

9/29/14 – 6:55 A.M. A one car crash injured one person on I-75 in Wood County over the weekend. The State Patrol reports the crash happened just after 6 p.m. Friday near State Route 18. 61-year-old Karen Snyder of Bowling Green was driving south when she lost control and hit a concrete median barrier and a guardrail. Snyder had to be extricated from the vehicle with the jaws of life. She was taken to Wood County Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Snyder was also cited for failure to control.

Kids In Crisis: Identifying The Problem

Children acting out violently seems like a daily occurrence with school shootings and other incidents. Director of Ohio’s Department of Developmental Disabilities John Martin said the increase in those events inspired Ohio to make a change. AUDIO: John Martin The DODD partnered with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to give the “Strong Families, Safe Communities” grant to several groups of counties to work with families who have children in crisis situations. Martin said these can be aggressive children, children who have suicidal tendencies or other challenging behaviors. The goal is to assist the families and the kids in any way possible to avoid any harm. Martin said on top of assisting the families, the grant is also educational for the state. Grantees will report back to the DODD to let them know what in their plans worked and what didn’t. Martin said with that local level information, the state can learn how to respond to these situations.

Gas Prices Up To Start The Week

9/29/14 – 5:25 A.M. We’re paying more to fill up the gas tank as we start another work week. Ohiogasprices.com reports the average price for a gallon of regular around the state is $3.28 this morning. That’s up 10 cents from last Monday, but down from higher prices in the middle of last week. A month ago we were paying $3.35 a gallon. In Findlay, the average price was $3.28 this morning. In Ottawa, it was about a penny higher per gallon.

BGSU Investigating On Campus Robbery

9/29/14 – 5:15 A.M. Bowling Green State University students are being warned about a violent robbery on campus. The Sentinel-Tribune reports two men were attacked by a group of several men early Sunday morning in the 800 block of East Wooster Street. The suspects took an iPhone 6 from one of the victims. The group took off running when a police car approached the area. The victims were taken to the hospital where they were treated and released. A little while after the incident, a police officer saw a man in the area who also ran away as he was approached. The man was described as either a white man with a dark complexion or a black man with light skin. He had a three-quarter sleeve tattoo on his right arm. MORE: Sentinel-Tribune  

Fostoria Man Sentenced For False Claims Against Police

9/29/14 – 5:08 A.M. A Fostoria man was sentenced last week for making false allegations about a police officer. The Review-Times reports Stephen Klotz was given 30 days in jail, but 27 of those days were suspended. Klotz pleaded guilty during a hearing just before his trial was set to begin last Thursday. Klotz was charged in May after he claimed police officer Brett Bethel stole marijuana from him during an arrest. MORE: Review-Times

Eight Hurt In Two-Car Crash East Of Findlay

9/29/14 – 4:56 A.M. Eight people suffered minor injuries in a two-car crash in Hancock County Sunday night. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports the crash happened just before 6 p.m. at the intersection of State Route 12 and County Road 236 in Marion Township. According to the Sheriff’s Office, 31-year-old Miranda Bailey of Findlay was driving south on Road 236 when she failed to stop for a stop light and hit a minivan driven by 65-year-old Frederick Wehring of Fremont. Both drivers and their passengers were treated at the scene of the crash. Bailey was cited for disobeying a traffic control device.  

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iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) — U.S.-backed Kurdish forces have recaptured parts of the Mosul Dam from Islamist extremists, Kurdish and Iraqi military officials said Monday, in a battle for what is effectively a potential weapon of mass destruction in Iraq.

Gen. Karim Fatah, commander of a Kurdish peshmerga battalion near the dam, told ABC News Kurdish forces have taken control of both ends of the dam, but fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) still control some positions near the western end of the structure. The Iraqi Ministry of Defense issued a statement saying large parts of the dam had been retaken.

The Kurdish offensive has been aided by U.S. and Iraqi airstrikes on ISIS targets, including 15 U.S. strikes Monday, according to the U.S. military.

ISIS managed to take control of the dam last week, an eventuality about which a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department had previously said the U.S. government was “extremely concerned.”

On Sunday, President Obama sent a letter to Congress notifying lawmakers that he had authorized airstrikes against ISIS targets at the dam “in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”

“The failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, endanger U.S. personnel and facilities, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace,” the letter said.

The stark language actually may have downplayed the danger posed by the dam, according to prior U.S. estimates of the damage that could be caused should the dam be breached — or even if it is simply left alone to degrade on its own without the constant repair work that has been critical to keeping the dam right side up for the past 30 years.

The Mosul Dam was built in the mid-1980s on what reports indicate was a terrible spot to build a sprawling dam.

“Mosul Dam, the largest dam in Iraq, was constructed on a foundation of soluble soils that are continuously dissolving, resulting in the formation of cavities and voids underground that place the dam at risk for failure,” said an urgent letter sent from David Petraeus, then commanding general of the U.S. Army, and Ryan Crocker, then U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2007.

The dam requires “extraordinary engineering measures” — namely constant grouting operations — to fill in the holes and “maintain the structural integrity and operating capability of the dam,” according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) report from the same year.

For 30 years –- and through several periods of violent conflict — the Iraqi government has managed to keep the dam upright by continuously pumping in literally tons of grout like an industrial version of the little Dutch boy, as a geotechnical expert who worked on the dam put it.

But the U.S. says any failure of the dam could be “catastrophic.”

“[T]he most severe impact of a dam failure would be [for] the City of Mosul, located 50 kilometers [31 miles] downstream of the dam,” Petraeus’ and Crocker’s 2007 letter said. “Assuming a worse [sic] case scenario, an instantaneous failure of Mosul Dam filled to its maximum operating level could result in a flood wave over 20 meters [65 feet] deep at the city of Mosul, which would result in a significant loss of life and property.”

Mosul is estimated to be home to more than 1.5 million people. Flood waters, albeit at a lower level, could reach all the way to Baghdad, more than 200 miles further down the Tigris.

A 2011 report written by an USACE official and published in Water Power magazine estimated failure “could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths.”

Recently, a U.S. official confirmed that the dire 2007 estimate still stands. After Mosul, flood waters would travel for eight to 10 days before reaching Baghdad, where the U.S. Embassy there could see one to four meters of water, the official said.

The U.S. State Department said earlier this month that control of the dam was one of ISIS’ goals in Iraq. Late last week, the extremist group got its wish, took control of the dam and immediately inherited the urgent grouting problems.

On Friday, an Iraqi government official said that the lead dam engineer and his team were still on site and operating the dam at ISIS’ behest. Supplies to continue grouting operations were available and the water level was also being kept lower than normal to reduce the risk of a breach, the official said then.

ISIS may not necessarily want the dam to fail, considering the extremist group controls portions of the land that would be flooded. The dam is also a “key source” of power and water for the surrounding area, making it a vital piece of infrastructure either way for whoever is in control, another State Department spokesperson told ABC News last week.

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iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) — U.S.-backed Kurdish forces have recaptured parts of the Mosul Dam from Islamist extremists, Kurdish and Iraqi military officials said Monday, in a battle for what is effectively a potential weapon of mass destruction in Iraq.

Gen. Karim Fatah, commander of a Kurdish peshmerga battalion near the dam, told ABC News Kurdish forces have taken control of both ends of the dam, but fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) still control some positions near the western end of the structure. The Iraqi Ministry of Defense issued a statement saying large parts of the dam had been retaken.

The Kurdish offensive has been aided by U.S. and Iraqi airstrikes on ISIS targets, including 15 U.S. strikes Monday, according to the U.S. military.

ISIS managed to take control of the dam last week, an eventuality about which a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department had previously said the U.S. government was “extremely concerned.”

On Sunday, President Obama sent a letter to Congress notifying lawmakers that he had authorized airstrikes against ISIS targets at the dam “in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”

“The failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, endanger U.S. personnel and facilities, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace,” the letter said.

The stark language actually may have downplayed the danger posed by the dam, according to prior U.S. estimates of the damage that could be caused should the dam be breached — or even if it is simply left alone to degrade on its own without the constant repair work that has been critical to keeping the dam right side up for the past 30 years.

The Mosul Dam was built in the mid-1980s on what reports indicate was a terrible spot to build a sprawling dam.

“Mosul Dam, the largest dam in Iraq, was constructed on a foundation of soluble soils that are continuously dissolving, resulting in the formation of cavities and voids underground that place the dam at risk for failure,” said an urgent letter sent from David Petraeus, then commanding general of the U.S. Army, and Ryan Crocker, then U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2007.

The dam requires “extraordinary engineering measures” — namely constant grouting operations — to fill in the holes and “maintain the structural integrity and operating capability of the dam,” according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) report from the same year.

For 30 years –- and through several periods of violent conflict — the Iraqi government has managed to keep the dam upright by continuously pumping in literally tons of grout like an industrial version of the little Dutch boy, as a geotechnical expert who worked on the dam put it.

But the U.S. says any failure of the dam could be “catastrophic.”

“[T]he most severe impact of a dam failure would be [for] the City of Mosul, located 50 kilometers [31 miles] downstream of the dam,” Petraeus’ and Crocker’s 2007 letter said. “Assuming a worse [sic] case scenario, an instantaneous failure of Mosul Dam filled to its maximum operating level could result in a flood wave over 20 meters [65 feet] deep at the city of Mosul, which would result in a significant loss of life and property.”

Mosul is estimated to be home to more than 1.5 million people. Flood waters, albeit at a lower level, could reach all the way to Baghdad, more than 200 miles further down the Tigris.

A 2011 report written by an USACE official and published in Water Power magazine estimated failure “could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths.”

Recently, a U.S. official confirmed that the dire 2007 estimate still stands. After Mosul, flood waters would travel for eight to 10 days before reaching Baghdad, where the U.S. Embassy there could see one to four meters of water, the official said.

The U.S. State Department said earlier this month that control of the dam was one of ISIS’ goals in Iraq. Late last week, the extremist group got its wish, took control of the dam and immediately inherited the urgent grouting problems.

On Friday, an Iraqi government official said that the lead dam engineer and his team were still on site and operating the dam at ISIS’ behest. Supplies to continue grouting operations were available and the water level was also being kept lower than normal to reduce the risk of a breach, the official said then.

ISIS may not necessarily want the dam to fail, considering the extremist group controls portions of the land that would be flooded. The dam is also a “key source” of power and water for the surrounding area, making it a vital piece of infrastructure either way for whoever is in control, another State Department spokesperson told ABC News last week.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A drug approved to treat a rare form of leukemia reversed hair loss caused by alopecia, a small study found.

The drug, ruxolitinib, helps reduce inflammation caused by disease. But it also helped three alopecia sufferers regrow full heads of hair within five months, according to the study published Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine.

“We still need to do more testing to establish that ruxolitinib should be used in alopecia,” said study author Dr. Raphael Clynes, director of the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology at Columbia University in New York City. “But this is exciting news for patients and their physicians.”

It’s not yet known if ruxolitinib can restore other types of hair loss.

Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that leads to patchy hair loss. It is not the same as male pattern baldness, which has its roots in genetic and hormonal causes.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The cost of raising a kid is now more than $245,000, a new report out Monday finds.

From the time a child is born until he or she turns 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that little bundle of joy, born in 2013, will cost parents $245,340 to raise. That amounts to roughly $13,600 a year.

The annual government report finds that raising a child in the urban Northeast costs more than the national average — $282,480 — while families in the South and rural regions of the U.S. can expect to pay less — $230,610 and $193,590, respectively.

All these figures will increase with inflation. Compared to the USDA’s “Expenditures on Children and Families” report in 2012, the national average is up 1.8 percent.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Department of Transportation says cars that talk to each other could prevent more than half a million car crashes a year.

It’s called vehicle to vehicle communication technology — or V2V — and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says it could move the focus from helping people survive crashes to helping them avoid crashes altogether.

A new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposes a new rule, issued in 2016, that would require new cars to come equipped with two types of V2V.

The report says those advance warning systems could prevent up to 592,000 crashes and save 1,083 lives every year.

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