About the author  ⁄ Alex Parker

iStock/Thinkstock(SONOMA, Calif.) — Kevin Harvick cruised to an 8.036-second victory at Sonoma on Sunday for his win of the season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Harvick won under caution following a late Kasey Kahne crash near the finish line with just enough fuel.

Martin Truex Jr. led the race for 25 laps, Harvik for 24. But Truex’s No. 78 Toyota lost a cylinder late in the race, dropping Truex to 37th place and allowing Kyle Larson to take the season points lead with a 26th place finish.

Clint Bowyer finished second. Brad Keselowki finished third, with Denny Hamlin in fourth and Kyle Busch in fifth.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is in Datyona next Sunday for the Coke Zero 400.

Here are the standings after Sunday’s race:

1) Kyle Larson — 659 points
2) Martin Truex Jr. — 646
3) Kevin Harvick — 548
4) Kyle Busch — 542
5) Brad Keselowski — 519
6) Chase Elliott — 509
7) Jimmie Johnson — 483
8) Jamie McMurray — 477
9) Denny Hamlin — 476
10) Joey Logano — 434

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Detroit 7, San Diego 5

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Minnesota 4, Cleveland 0
Baltimore 8, Tampa Bay 5
L.A. Angels 4, Boston 2
Texas 7, N.Y. Yankees 6
Oakland 5, Chicago White Sox 3
Toronto 8, Kansas City 2
Houston 8, Seattle 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Miami 4, Chicago Cubs 2
Cincinnati 6, Washington 2
Milwaukee 7, Atlanta 0
N.Y. Mets 8, San Francisco 2
L.A. Dodgers 12, Colorado 6
Arizona 2, Philadelphia 1, 11 Innings
St. Louis 8, Pittsburgh 4

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Senate Republican leaders unveiled what they called a “discussion draft” of their long-awaited health care bill, a part of the party’s ongoing efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Five Republican senators have already come out in opposition to the Senate bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, jeopardizing its passage.

Critics on both sides of the aisle said the bill, which was drafted behind closed doors by a small group of Senate leaders and committee staffers, has been shrouded in secrecy.

Trump told reporters Thursday that there will be “a little negotiation, but it’s going to be very good.”

Republicans ‘not ready’ to support the bill

GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky released a joint statement saying, “Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor.”

They added, “There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.”

In a separate statement, Paul said he’ll oppose the bill “in its current form, but I remain open to negotiations.”

“The current bill does not repeal Obamacare. It does not keep our promises to the American people,” he said.

On Friday, Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., joined the group, saying at a press conference that “this bill is not the answer, it’s simply not the answer.”

“In this form, I will not support it,” said Heller.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told reporters Thursday she has “not yet had the opportunity to read the text of the bill, and the details really matter.”

“I see some positive features of this bill that are improvements over the House, and I see some negative features based on my first analysis,” she said. “I don’t like the provision that eliminates federal funding for Planned Parenthood. It makes no sense to single out Planned Parenthood from all the Medicaid providers. There’s already a ban against using federal funds for abortions, so there’s absolutely no need for that.”

A vote from Collins, who has been willing to break from her party, would be key to ensuring the bill’s passage.

Senate Republicans can afford to lose only two of their members to pass the bill, assuming Democrats remain united in their opposition.

Republicans acknowledge tough road ahead for bill

As members left a meeting about the bill, many said they were encouraged by their first impressions of the text but were hesitant to say if it would clear the 50 vote threshold for passage.

“There’s a lot to digest. It’s very complicated,” Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said as he left the gathering.

Some Republicans said they liked how the Senate bill calculates the value of tax credits to help individuals pay for insurance.

While the House bill linked the tax credits to age only, the Senate bill considers age, income and geographical area.

“A person making about $12,000 a year will have more access and a lower cost of health insurance. And that’s a really good thing,” said Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

But Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., a member of Senate leadership, acknowledged that the draft would not pass in its current form.

“Right now the challenge is, how do we get to 50?” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that he wants to get a vote before the July 4 legislative recess.

Democrats and ACA supporters unhappy

The bill’s release was met with significant opposition from Democrats and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act.

Under current law, all insurance plans have to include, at a minimum, specified essential health benefits, including ambulance service, hospitalization, maternity care and prescription drug coverage. Under the Senate bill, states would be allowed to apply for waivers from those regulations and essentially scrap them to write their own rules.

As the bill was being unveiled, a large demonstration formed outside McConnell’s office, with people in wheelchairs staging a die-in and protesters chanting that no changes be made to Medicaid. Demonstrators were physically removed by Capitol Police officers.

Congressional Democrats were also forceful in their condemnation.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed the Senate bill as “every bit as bad” as the American Health Care Act passed in the House.

“The president said the Senate bill needed heart. The way this bill cuts health care is heartless,” Schumer said Thursday. “The president said the house bill was mean. The Senate bill may be meaner.”

He continued, “The Senate Republican health care bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, only this wolf has even sharper teeth than the House bill.”

During her weekly press conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said it’s important to stop the legislation, which she called “a tax bill disguised as a health care bill.”

Top medical organizations call on the Senate to reject the bill

So far, the Senate health care bill has not gotten any backing from top health or medical organizations. The American Public Health Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology released statements urging the Senate to reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act and expressed concerns over the closed-door negotiation process.

“The Senate proposal represents a significant move in the wrong direction, resulting in fewer people having access to insurance, fewer patient protections and less coverage for essential behavioral health care,” American Psychiatric Association’s CEO and medical director, Saul Levin, said in a statement.

The American Public Health Association attacked the bill’s closed-door shaping as “legislative malpractice.”

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology said, “Despite numerous efforts to collaborate and provide input throughout this process, women’s health expertise was rejected. It is reckless for legislation that will have such an immense impact on Americans’ lives and the economy to proceed without opportunity for public hearings or any external commentary.”

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Allison Shelley/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., is out of the intensive care unit, a source familiar with his recovery said, nine days after the House majority whip and three others were shot at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.

Scalise has not been released from the MedStar Washington Hospital Center and is still listed in “fair condition.”

Hospital officials said earlier this week that “Scalise continues to make good progress” and “is beginning an extended period of healing and rehabilitation.”

Dr. Jack Sava, the director of trauma at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center, said last week that Scalise had “sustained a single rifle wound that entered in the area of the left hip. It traveled directly across toward the other hip in what we call a trans pelvic gunshot wound. The round fragmented and did substantial damage to bones, internal organs and blood vessels.

“I understand he was awake on scene but by the time he was transported by helicopter to the MedStar trauma center, he was in shock,” Sava said. “When he arrived, he was in critical condition with an imminent risk of death.” His condition later improved.

The alleged shooter, identified by police as James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, was killed in a shootout with police after shooting Scalise, a Capitol Police officer and two others at a practice for the annual charity congressional baseball game. Hodgkinson’s wife emotionally told reporters, “I can’t believe he did this,” saying there were no signs.

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Xinhua/Lu Rui via Getty Images(CINCINNATI) — Otto Warmbier, an American college student who died just days after North Korea released him from prison while he was in a coma, will be laid to rest in his hometown of Cincinnati on Thursday.

The funeral service will begin at 9 a.m. ET at Wyoming High School in Wyoming, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, where Warmbier was the salutatorian of his 2013 graduating class. The service will be open to the public but closed to the press, according to a press release from the funeral home.

Warmbier will be buried at the Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum in Cincinnati following the service.

The 22-year-old University of Virginia student was detained by North Korea for nearly 17 months before he was medically evacuated and flown to Cincinnati on June 13. He was then rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. North Korea claimed that Warmbier slipped into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill shortly after his sentencing.

He was arrested in January 2016 at the airport in Pyongyang for allegedly trying to steal a propaganda poster while he was visiting North Korea on a sightseeing tour organized by a Chinese-based company. After a one-hour trial in March 2016, he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

At a news conference on June 15 his father, Fred Warmbier, revealed that President Trump called him a day earlier to ask about his son and the rest of his family. Warmbier said Trump, who was “very candid” during the telephone call, told him Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other U.S. officials worked hard to negotiate his son’s release.

Fred Warmbier told reporters at a news conference that the North Korean regime deemed his son a “war criminal” and “brutalized and terrorized” him during his detainment.

At that news conference, doctors from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said Otto Warmbier suffered from injuries related to cardiopulmonary arrest and was in a state of unresponsive wakefulness. They said that scans showed extensive loss of tissue in all regions of his brain and that they found no evidence of botulism.

“This pattern of brain injury is usually seen as result of cardiopulmonary arrest, where blood supply to the brain is inadequate for a period of time, resulting in the death of brain tissue,” Dr. Daniel Kanter told reporters at the news conference.

He said Warmbier was breathing on his own at the time and his vital signs were normal but he could not speak or move voluntarily.

“He shows no signs of understanding language … He has not spoken. He has not engaged in any purposeful movements,” Kanter said. “He has profound weakness of contraction in his arms and legs.”

According to Dr. Jordan Bonomo, Warmbier had “no fractures to the bone and has minor blemishes on his skin. We see no evidence of an acute or healing fracture.”

Warmbier died six days after he was returned home.

“It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died,” his parents wrote in a statement Monday.

“Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible,” they said.

The Warmbiers added that they are “at peace” and “at home.”

The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office in Ohio examined Warmbier’s body after he died and announced that his family declined an autopsy, leaving his cause of death a medical mystery for now.

“The family’s objection to an autopsy was honored and only an external examination was performed,” the coroner’s office said in a statement Tuesday night.

In addition to the external exam, the coroner’s office reviewed his medical records from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and AeroMed Management Group, the air ambulance service that helped evacuate him from Pyongyang, North Korea, where he had been detained. The coroner’s office also had “extensive conversations” with Warmbier’s treating physician at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, according to the statement.

“No conclusions about the cause and manner of Mr. Warmbier’s death have been drawn at this time, as there are additional medical records and imaging to review and people to interview,” the coroner’s office said in its statement. “Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of Mr. Warmbier at this time of their tragic loss.”

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — The New Mexico State Police chief is pleading with author Forrest Fenn to call off a treasure hunt he created that authorities say has resulted in the death of two people.

“I want Mr. Fenn to retrieve the treasure or call off the hunt,” Pete Kassetas, the chief of the New Mexico State Police, told ABC News. “It’s solely based in the interest of public safety.”

Kassetas said he “felt compelled to take a stance” on the treasure hunt after a body was recovered earlier this week in the New Mexico wilderness that police believe is Paris Wallace, a Colorado pastor who went missing after telling family members that he was searching for treasure hidden by Fenn.

Kassetas said they are still awaiting final confirmation from medical investigators that the body is Wallace, but told ABC News, “we’re very sure its him, unfortunately.”

Last year, the Santa Fe Police Department announced they found the remains of Randy Bilyeu, a 54-year-old man who also embarked on a quest to find the chest of gold and gems that Fenn, a Sante Fe author and antiquities dealer, says he hid somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.

Fenn told ABC News in a 2015 interview that the chest contains 265 gold coins — “mostly American eagles and double eagles, hundreds of gold nuggets, some as large as chicken eggs, ancient Chinese carved jade figures, pre-Columbian gold animal artifacts, lots of rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds and other things.”

In Fenn’s self-published 2011 memoir, The Thrill of the Chase, he includes a poem with clues as to where to find the treasure. Part of the poem reads, “Begin it where warm waters halt / and take it in the canyon down / not far, but too far to walk / put in below the home of Brown.”

Kassetas said he has spoken to Fenn on multiple occasions and respects what he is trying to do, but maintains that the two deaths could have been avoided.

“I want people to have fun and I want people to be adventurous, but the reality is … when you have 2 million dollars or so, as its rumored to be, at stake, people make poor decisions,” Kassetas said.

“His ultimate goal is to get people outdoors, I understand that,” he added. “But people, at least two, have died, and that’s difficult for me to fathom and accept as the chief of the state police here in New Mexico.”

Kassetas said he is also concerned about the lives of other police officers and search and rescue crews at risk. He urges those who continue to search for the treasure to educate and equip themselves.

“Mr. Fenn has told me personally that he has not put this treasure anywhere where it will cause harm to anybody,” Kassetas said.

Mitzi Wallace, the wife of Paris Wallace, the Colorado pastor who authorities believe died in pursuit of Fenn’s treasure, said she does not blame the author for her husband’s death, telling ABC News, “it wasn’t his fault.”

Mitzi Wallace said searching for Fenn’s treasure is something she and her husband “did together as a hobby” and it served as “a motivation to get out in nature.”

“Paris knew his Lord, and it was time for him to go home,” Mitzi Wallace added. “Searching for the treasure, and having the time we had together, it was wonderful.”

Mitzi Wallace said she may even still go searching for Fenn’s treasure with her two sons, aged 19 and 21, saying “we may, because we enjoy the outdoors, we enjoy hiking.”

The pastor’s wife added that she is “thankful” to Fenn for “giving us an adventure.”

Earlier this week, Fenn issued a statement mourning the death of Paris Wallace, saying the loss “is tragic and it has impacted me in a profound way. My heart and prayers go out to Mrs. Wallace, his friends, and to his congregation. I am so sorry.”

In response to calls for him to put an end to the treasure hunt that has taken a deadly turn, Fenn told ABC News in a statement, “I have given a lot of thought about ending the search, but I am not sure what that would accomplish.”

“An average of 9 people lose their lives each year at the Grand Canyon, but there is no call to close it,” Fenn added. “I have said that my treasure is not hidden in a dangerous place, so why are people searching in dangerous places?”

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02/01/17 – 6:11 P.M.
Update – 2/2/17 – 5:07 A.M.

A crowded field of candidates is running for Findlay City Council seats this spring. The February 1 deadline to submit petitions saw five Republicans and four Democrats file to run for council-at-large seats.

Republican incumbents Grant Russel, Tom Shindledecker, and Jeff Wobser will face challenges from Barrett Brooks Jr. and David Morrow. On the Democratic side; Timothy Davis, Mary Harshfield, Barbara Lockard, and Heidi Mercer are all running. The top three vote-getters in each party move on to the November general election. From there, voters must pick three of the remaining six candidates.

Two people are running for council president. Current 3rd Ward Councilman Ron Monday is running against Thomas Ross for the Republican nomination. Current Council President Jim Slough is running for the 4th Ward seat unopposed. Current 4th Ward Representative Tom Klein decided not to run for reelection.

The only other contested race features Dina Ostrander and Michael Tanner running for the 3rd Ward seat.

The full list of council candidates is on our website.

Council-At-Large

  • Barrett Brooks, Jr. (R)
  • David Morrow (R)
  • Incumbent Grant Russell (R)
  • Incumbent Tom Shindledecker (R)
  • Incumbent Jeff Wobser (R)
  • Timothy Davis (D)
  • Mary Harshfield (D)
  • Barbara Lockard (D)
  • Heidi Mercer (D)

Findlay Council President 

  • Ronald Monday (R)
  • Thomas Ross (R)

Findlay Council First Ward (Uncontested)

  • Holly Frische (R)

Findlay Council Second Ward (Uncontested)

  • Dennis Hellmann (R)

Findlay Council Third Ward

  • Dina Ostrander (R)
  • Michael Tanner (R)

Findlay Council Fourth Ward (Uncontested)

  • James Slough (R)

Findlay Council Fifth Ward (Uncontested)

  • John Harrington (R)

Findlay Council Sixth Ward

  • Jim Niemeyer (R)

Findlay Council Seventh Ward (Uncontested)

  • Timothy Watson (R)

Findlay Municipal Court Judge (Uncontested)

  • Mark Miller (R)

Findlay Treasurer (Uncontested)

  • Susan Jo Hite (R)
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02/01/17 – 6:22 P.M.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is seeking help in identifying a man who robbed a bank last December. A post on the office’s Facebook page says the man robbed the Huntington National Bank in Arlington on Dec. 10. The bank has offered a reward for any information leading to the suspects identification and arrest. We have his picture up on our website. If you have any information you can call the Detective Barry Boutwell at 419-424-7234.

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02/01/17 – 5:17 P.M.

A group of people met outside of Kenton today to protest Marathon’s use of non-union workers to build a pipeline. Laborers’ District Council of Ohio’s Mike Engbert said that people are upset that Marathon did not hire locally.

Mike Engbert

The protest consisted of construction workers with the Laborers’ International Union of North America. LIUNA Business Manager Gary Bretz said that they reached out to to the company.

Gary Bretz

Bretz said that the LIUNA workers had the lowest bid and offered the best work. The group said that the outsourced company undermines 300 local jobs and skilled labor.

Charles Yates from Pipeliners Local 798 said that Marathon could have hired local.

Charles Yates

They say that Marathon has shown great disregard for the workers of Ohio’s local workforce by outsourcing the jobs.

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01/31/17 – 7:40 P.M.
The Lima and Findlay Posts of the Ohio State Highway Patrol are joining forces this weekend. They will be cracking down on impaired driving in Allen County for the Super Bowl Weekend. They will have increased patrols on the highway. This is due to grants awarded through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Lt. David Brown from the Lima Post urges you to choose a driver and insist that everyone wears a seatbelt.
 
The posts encourage the public to take part by calling #677 to report impaired drivers and drug activity.
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