About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

7/26/16 – 11:40 A.M.

ODOT has advanced its schedule for widening I-75 through Findlay by one year, and it appears the agency still has plans to marry the construction to a diversion channel project for Eagle Creek. The agency has offered up to $2 million toward part of the project…

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

$1 million in funding hinges on the construction contracts for the potential bridges being bid and contracted by June 30 of 2018. More funding would come if the bid for the I-75 widening project comes in under budget. ODOT has pledged to contribute its savings up to $1 million toward bridge construction in Hancock County.

Mihalik adds getting fill material from the channel project is important for ODOT…

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

In a letter to the city, ODOT District 1 Deputy Director Kirk Slusher tells Mihalik the agency will “consider methods to entice the contractor on our project to utilize excavated material from your project.”

The diversion channel project is currently being analyzed by Stantec Consulting.

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7/27/16 – 5:30 A.M.

A Wood County woman will be on stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia tonight. The Sentinel-Tribune reports Sharon Belkofer will introduce the video that will be the lead-in for President Barack Obama’s speech.

Belkofer is expected to speak between 9 and 9:30 p.m.

Belkofer’s son was killed in 2010 while serving in the military. Lt. Col. Thomas Belkofer was taking part in an Army convoy when it came under attack as part of an Operation Enduring Freedom mission.

MORE: Sentinel-Tribune

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7/27/16 – 5:23 A.M.

A vacant seat on the North Baltimore school board has been filled. The Courier reports Jeremy Sharninghouse has been appointed to take the seat left open by Russell Bretz. Sharninghouse was one of three people who showed interest in the open position. Randy Boyer and Levi Newcomer were also interviewed by the board.

Jaiyme Bushey has been sworn in as the board’s new vice president. Bretz had held the position but stepped down last month because he is moving to Columbus.

MORE: The Courier

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7/27/16 – 5:16 A.M.

A $14,000 donation will benefit three initiatives in the Carey school district. The Courier reports $10,000 will be spent for a new piano and $2,000 will go toward the Distributive Education Club of America/Carey Marketing. The final $2,000 will go to the FFA chapter.

The money comes from the Mary Martha Class donor-advised fund.

MORE: The Courier

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7/27/16 – 5:07 A.M.

An intersection on the University of Findlay campus will be closed the next couple of days. The city engineering department says waterline installation will take place at the intersection of Davis Street and Morey Avenue today and tomorrow. The closure will run from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.

You’re asked to avoid the area if possible.

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7/27/16 – 5:01 A.M.

A Putnam County man who was convicted of child endangerment in 2006 has now admitted to law enforcement he murdered the child. The Putnam County Sentinel reports Travis Soto made his confession at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Monday. The details of the confession are part of ongoing investigation, but Prosecutor Gary Lammers says that Soto’s comments indicated he acted willingly in the death of his son, 2-year-old Julio Soto-Baldoza.

Soto pleaded guilty to a child endangerment in 2006. He was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter after running the child over with an ATV and failing to get medical help.

Right now it’s unclear what, if any, charges Soto might face. Lammers tells the newspaper investigators are following up on Soto’s claim. They are looking to see if the evidence matches new statements.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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7/26/16 – 1:23 A.M.

Whether or not a diversion channel gets built in Hancock County, local property owners are likely to hear from people interested in buying their land. Commissioner Mark Gazarek says that’s because ODOT is going to need fill material to widen I-75 in Findlay. He says the material will likely have to come from a local source…

AUDIO: Mark Gazarek

Gazarek and Commissioner Phil Riegle spoke to Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik and Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer about forming a small group to talk to property owners about the process of buying land. Gazarek added it was important to keep the agricultural community in the loop.

The conversation was held following an update on ODOT’s proposal to fund up to $2 million in bridge construction over a potential diversion channel.


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7/26/16 – 12:36 P.M.

The unemployment rate is Hancock County has seen a slight increase. The June 2016 Civilian Labor Force Estimates from the Department of Jobs and Family Services shows that there was a .5% increase in unemployment from May to June. That means unemployment is at 3.9% in Hancock County.

Putnam County also saw a .5% increase and is now at 3.8% of the population unemployed.

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7/26/16 – 10:52 A.M.

There is a new scam in Ohio according to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. It says that another agency in Ohio reported someone calling from the Police and Sheriff Funds asking for donations. The call was made to the sheriff of that county. The caller said the money being raised is for families of law enforcement who have been killed in the line of duty. When asked how officers could apply the line was disconnected

The Sheriff’s office urges you to to do your research. Do not use websites or phone numbers provided by the caller. If you’re asked to give an answer right away or if the deal seems too good to be true just hang up.

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7/26/16 – 5:25 A.M.

A workplace dispute led to shots being fired at a Fostoria business over the past weekend. The Review-Times reports police officers were called to Pallet Logistics at 1320 North Main Street around 11:50 a.m. Saturday. 26-year-old Kayree Jeffery of Fremont allegedly got into an argument about money with another person at the business. He then fired a handgun and drove away. No one was hurt.

Jeffery was arrested in Fremont. He’s charged with felonious assault and discharge of a firearm. He’s expected to be arraigned today.

MORE: Review-Times

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