About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

2/12/16 – 12:11 A.M.
Update – 5:06 P.M.

The gloves have officially come off in the Hancock County Commissioners race. In his closing statements during Wednesday night’s candidate forum, challenger John Harrington accused incumbent Brian Robertson of using false premises in listing a woman by the name of Felicia Biggs as a 51 percent owner of Manufacturing Business Development Solutions. Harrington asked if it was a ruse to gain contracts and tax breaks.

AUDIO: Harrington audio from Wednesday forum

Since then the candidates have taken their case to social media. Robertson responded in an email to supporters; calling the accusations “falsehoods and political posturing.” He then questioned Harrington’s record as a Realtor. According to the email, Harrington lists himself as a realtor although his name was not listed on a roster of licensed Realtors in Hancock County.

Robertson also questioned Harrington’s commitment to those he represents on Findlay City Council, after Harrington called a recent committee meeting a “waste of time.”

The Robertson campaign reached out to WFIN Friday afternoon and provided details about Felicia Biggs.  A statement from the campaign said, “I indicated to (Courier reporter) Denise Grant that she (Biggs) was a former partner.  The email goes on to say that Harrington posted another post on his Facebook page that confirms Robertson’s business has not moved out of Findlay.

The website for MBDS lists locations in Findlay and Upper Sandusky.

Robertson’s campaign promised to respond further later today.

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2/12/16 – 5:25 A.M.

The investigation continues into a high-speed chase and shootout in Hardin County from last weekend. WKTN radio reports Ohio BCI&I is working to figure out if the suspect, Stephen Davis, was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police or if he shot himself. The radio station has requested dash cam video of the incident, but that was denied since it remains an open investigation.

Stephen Davis was found dead in his car after he crashed following a high-speed chase that started in Kenton February 6. Police officers were called that afternoon to investigate a domestic violence call. Officer Skyler Newfer was wounded by Davis during the chase. Newfer is now recovering at home.

MORE: WKTN

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2/12/16 – 5:14 A.M.

If you look up the Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative on Google, you might notice a fairly glaring error. The search giant lists the business as “permanently closed.” The Sentinel-Tribune reports company officials have tried to contact Google to fix the issue, but so far haven’t had any luck.

On Tuesday the cooperative posted a message on their own website that read, “We are open! Google has reported our business in error as permanently closed.”

The closed notice apparently depends on what browser you are using. Safari lists the business as open, but it is listed as closed on Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.

MORE: Sentinel-Tribune

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2/12/16 – 5:07 A.M.

Thursday would have been former Congressman Michael Oxley’s 72nd birthday. The House of Representatives honored Oxley on the floor of the House yesterday. Speakers including Steve Chabot, Bob Latta, Jim Jordan, and Pat Tiberi among others paid tribute to Oxley with what are called “special order speeches.”

The speeches are usually given following the completion of legislative business for the day.

Oxley passed away on January 1 of this year.

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2/12/16 – 5:00 A.M.

A Fostoria Police officer has been placed on leave, but the reason for the discipline remains unclear. The Review-Times reports Sgt. William Campbell is on paid leave. The newspaper reports a woman filed for a domestic violence protection order against Campbell in Perrysburg on January 28. Police Chief Keith Loreno would not say if that was the reason Campbell was put on paid leave.

It’s the third time this year a Fostoria Police officer has been put on leave. Officers Justin Kiser and Cory Brian were arrested this year in separate alleged OVI incidents.

MORE: Review-Times

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2/12/16 – 4:46 A.M.

A Columbus Grove home was severely damaged by an early morning fire. The Columbus Grove Police Department reports firefighters from two departments were called 311 North High Street just after 12:10 a.m. Police officers were first on the scene, and the owner of the home was already outside of the house when they got there.

No one was injured. The fire damaged around 70 percent of the home. While the fire doesn’t appear suspicious, the Ohio Fire Marshall’s Office has been called in to investigate.

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2/11/2016 – 5:23 pm

The Findlay City Planning Commission is on board with a proposal to build a new Student Life Center and Business College at the University of Findlay. The Courier reports that the proposed building for the 300 block of College Street was approved by the commission on Thursday.

Plans call for a 75,000 square foot structure to be built between College and Davis streets which will house student life facilities such as a food court, student services, a post office, book store and executive dining. The second floor will be utilized by the College of Business.

An official announcement on the project has not yet been scheduled.

More: The Courier

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2/11/2016 – 3:30 pm

Real Estate Taxes for the first half of 2015 are due on Friday. Hancock County Treasurer Steve Welton says that payments can be made on the due date itself at the Hancock Treasurers office from 8:30am till 4:30pm on Friday. Those paying by check can also drop off at a drop box inside the courthouse entrance.

Any tax payments mailed much be postmarked on Friday to be accepted without penalty, and state law says that the taxpayer is responsible for any taxes due and failure to receive a tax bill does not avoid penalty and interest charges.

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2/11/2016 – 3:21 pm

Hancock County will begin the process of adding security features to the Hancock County Court buildings. The County Commissioners approved a resolution to conduct a study of the issue on Thursday. Earlier this week, the courts presented a plan to contract with The National Center for State Courts to review the courts in Hancock County and determine ways to modify the existing buildings and combine efforts to improve security. Commissioner Phil Riegle said that the study was a first step in that process.

Audio: Phil Riegle

The study would look at the existing structure and usage of the Hancock County Courthouse and the Hancock County Justice Center. Proposed plans could include connecting both buildings to allow for one secure entrance, helping to better regulate security. Riegle said that the county is also in talks with the City of Findlay on the proposal to see if the Municipal Court could be included in the study as well.

Audio: Phil Reigle

The current study is projected to cost over $22,000 and Riegle said that that cost could rise if the city came on board due to increasing the scope of the study. Any proposed plans would also affect ongoing plans on the development of Dorney Plaza and Riegle said that in the future, the commissioners will meet with all the partners to finalize a proposal on any project.

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2/11/2016 – 2:11 pm

The Hancock County Convention & Visitors Bureau had a successful year in 2015. Director Alissa Preston says that the bureau is always working with all organizations in the county on ways to effectively plan and promote their events each year.

Audio: Alissa Preston

The Bureau presented a review of their work over the last year to the Hancock County Commissioners on Thursday. In particular, they recapped the work they did in helping to promote over 68 events throughout the county. Commissioner Phil Riegle praised their work, particularly in their outreach to the rural villages and communities throughout Hancock County.

Audio: Phil Riegle

In 2016, the bureau plans to devote resources to helping organizations in the county effectively plan and promote their meetings and events. For more information regarding their work, you can visit the bureau online at VisitFindlay.com.

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