About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

12/28/15 – 4:56 A.M.

Eagle Creek was briefly in flood stage Sunday night. The National Weather Service reports the waterway rose above 9 feet around 10 p.m. Sunday, which is where flood stage begins. The water crested at just under 9.2 feet around 1 a.m. and was back below flood stage by around 2:30 a.m. Water levels in Eagle Creek are expected to rapidly drop the rest of today.

As for the Blanchard River in Findlay, it’s running in action stage, but is leveling off much faster than projected. It is not expected to reach flood stage.

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12/24/2015 – 8:36 am

Bowling Green State University, in partnership with Owens Community College, has been awarded a grant which will enable over 80 high school teachers to work towards their master’s degrees and become credentialed to teach College Credit Plus courses at their high schools. College Credit Plus is offered through the state and gives high school students the chance to earn college credits for free.

The grant, $800,000 from the Ohio Department of Education and $200,000 from BGSU will allow high school teachers to increase their expertise in fields such as biology or Spanish and will be open to teachers from school districts throughout north central and northwest Ohio.

More: Bowling Green State University

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12/24/2015 – 5:15 am

The Red Cross in Hancock County has had a successful 2015. Executive Director Todd James says that the organizations has met all their objectives for the year, from helping families recover from disasters and home fires, to helping citizens with crisis issues, and the popular blood drives. James says that the blood drives have went on to help hundreds of people and the Red Cross has been able to keep up with the growing demand.

Audio: Todd James

One blood donation can save up to three lives, which is why it’s important to donate. James says that demand is always increasing so they will continue with the drives in 2016.

Also in 2016, the Red Cross will launch a campaign to address safety in the home and what to do in the event of a fire in the home. James says that through the Home Fire Campaign, the Red Cross hopes to reduce the number of home fires and home fire fatalities by 20% by 2019.

Audio: Todd James

The Red Cross is going to be going door to door to distribute smoke alarms and help people install and keep working batteries in their alarms to help reduce the number of fatalities from home fires. Project SAFE, which was a successful smoke alarm distribution program in Hancock County schools will continue in 2016 as well.

The Red Cross will continue to provide life-saving training and seminars for their volunteers so they can help respond to disaster situations. James says that the organization relies on its volunteer staff to be up to date with life-saving training in order for them to respond to disaster situations.

Audio: Todd James

If you would like more information or would like to donation to the local American Red Cross you can do so online at Red Cross.org.

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12/24/2015 – 4:48 am

Residents in this area are encouraged to be on the lookout of a special wildlife treat when out and about on country roads. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife says that there are a number of bald eagles nesting in the area. According to the Review-Times, six nests are in Seneca County, four in Wood County and two in Hancock County. There are around 144 active nests throughout the state.

Ohio’s bald eagle population has grown over the years from just four nests 27 years ago to as many as 150 of them in 2006.

More: The Review-Times

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12/23/2015 – 5:02 pm

A long time Findlay business is likely closing for the last time. The Courier reports Jim Niemeyer, co-owner of the Dairy Queen Brazier on Lima Avenue said that he is in negotiations with Campbell Oil to open at Dairy Queen franchise at BellStores fuel station/store on W. Main Cross in 2016. BellStores is a subsidiary of Campbell Oil Co, and the store is currently under construction.

Niemeyer and his wife Connie took over the franchise on Lima Avenue in 1979. Prior to that, they operated the site as a soft-serve ice cream outlet before getting the Dairy Queen franchise.

More: The Courier

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12/23/2015 – 3:23 pm

Residents in Putnam County will be able to track Santa Claus on Christmas Eve with help from the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Mike Chandler says that the office will track Santa as he moves his way through the county from 9:00 pm through 11:00 pm on Christmas Eve. Tracking will be suspended if crews are dispatched to emergency calls.

If you don’t have access to a scanner but would like to hear the reports, you can download the app “Scanner Radio” on your smartphone and select Putnam County Ohio to hear the reports.

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12/23/2015 – 1:25 pm

The University of Findlay announced that it will ban the device known as “Hoverboards” from all campus buildings and residences. The device was on track to be one of the most popular devices on the market this Christmas, but the potential for the devices to ignite on fire has caused many safety and security issues. Matt Bruskotter, the Assistant Dean of Safety and Security at UF said that many colleges around the area are enacting similar bans on the Hoverboards.

Audio: Matt Bruskotter

The hoverboards don’t really hover above the ground, but rather move in direction to how a person leans on them. They are powered by a lithinum ion battery. Consumer safety experts and the federal government has been conducting tests but have not been able to determine the exact cause of the fires. As a result, they have banned the hoverboards from all commercial flights until further notice and from government buildings.

Bruskotter says that if an individual is found to have a hoverboard on campus, they will be asked to remove it from the campus premises.

Audio: Matt Bruskotter

Bruskotter also mentioned that if any non-student visitor is on campus with the device, they will also be asked to remove the device from campus or they themselves will be removed from the campus.

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12/23/15 – 5:23 A.M.

The 2016 budget was approved by the Seneca County Commissioners Tuesday. The Review-Times reports the general fund budget is $16 million, which is roughly a $200,000 increase from 2015. Increased sales tax revenue allowed the commissioners to raise the budget for next year.

Most departments received what they asked for. The lone exception was the county board of elections. The board asked for $365,000; but only got $350,000. Commissioner Mike Kerschner asked about funds set aside for the board last year but not spent. The money was in the salary line.

The commissioners said election board members hadn’t discussed the issue with them. They added they hoped there would be a meeting in 2016 to talk about the Board of Elections’ financial situation and office needs.

MORE: Review-Times

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12/23/15 – 5:11 A.M.

Steps are being taken to renew a part of Putnam County’s sales tax. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the county commissioners voted 2-1 to start the process of renewing a quarter percent of the county’s seven percent sales tax. That means public meetings will be held on March 21 at 7 p.m. and March 22 at 11 a.m. in the assembly room of the county courthouse.

Commissioners John Love and Vincent Schroeder voted in favor of moving forward. They said the revenue provided by the quarter percent sales tax is needed for county operations. Commissioner Travis Jerwers said he believed a lower sales tax would lead to more sales in the county.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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12/23/15 – 5:03 A.M.

The effort to reduce the number of buildings in flood-prone areas continued in Hancock County Tuesday. The county commissioners voted to buy two properties. State grant money allowed the county to buy property at 107 North Main Street in Findlay for $63,000 plus $2,000 for closing costs. The former Star Pawn location at 205 North Main Street was bought at a sheriff’s sale this month for $36,000.

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