About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

3/29/16 – 5:17 A.M.

A business operating in Bluffton uses apprenticeships to make sure it isn’t affected by a manufacturing worker shortage. Grob Systems will hire 30 apprentices this year. Darrin Lanasky is the manager of mechanical assembly at the plant, and says more than 30 percent of the company’s worldwide workforce is made up of graduated apprentices. Over the last two decades more than 255 students have completed the program in Ohio.

Students earn $10 per hour in the first year of the apprenticeship, $11 per hour in the second year, and $14 per hour in the third year. They work in various parts of the plant to see which areas suit them best. After getting an associates degree, graduate apprentices can earn a base wage of $17.30 an hour with a bonus for good grades.

Lanasky spoke at the Findlay Rotary Club meeting Monday.

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3/29/16 – 4:57 A.M.

McComb will begin talks to join the Northwestern Water and Sewer District soon. The Courier reports increased maintenance costs and regulations for the McComb water treatment facilities are spurring the move. The formal application to apply will likely come in April.

Councilwoman Carol Cary said that water rates are going to increase no matter if the village joins the district or not.

Critics have asked council members why it took so long to address treatment plant issues. Councilman Dennis Turner said EPA regulations have, “gotten a lot stiffer on us.”

Mayor Chuck Latta told village council the district still has to vote to take on McComb as a member.

MORE: The Courier

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3/28/16 – 5:24 A.M.

Local gas prices are coming down a little from last week. OhioGasPrices.com reports Findlay drivers are paying around $1.89 a gallon today. That’s down seven cents from last Monday and 10 cents from last week’s high of a $1.99 a gallon.

Prices are also a $1.89 a gallon in Ottawa today. That’s down five cents from last Monday.

The statewide average is $1.92 a gallon, which is actually up a penny from a week ago.

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3/28/16 – 5:17 A.M.

Aspiring business owners can get some help launching their idea in Tiffin. The Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group is going to give one business free rent for a year, along with some other services. The office space will be in the Laird Arcade at the corner of East Market and South Washington streets.

Besides the free rent, the winner will get two business organization sessions with professional organizer Reannon Hayes; six sessions from KKR Consult; and help with getting an intern.

Anyone interested in applying should call (419)618-9515. Applications are due by June 1.

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3/28/16 – 5:07 A.M.

Sunday night’s storms brought high winds and some lightning to the area, but didn’t do too much damage outside of some downed tree limbs and upended lawn furniture. However the storm did knock out power to a few hundred in Wyandot County. AEP reports nearly 400 customers are still without power this morning.

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3/28/16 – 5:00 A.M.

A Mount Blanchard woman has been charged with selling drugs near a school. A recently unsealed secret indictment shows that 34-year-old Shannon Long faces three counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs. Long is accused of selling less than the bulk amount of morphine within 1,000 feet of Glenwood Middle School on March 11 of last year. She’s also accused of selling less than the bulk amounts of amphetamine and hydrocodone near the same school on April 6 of 2015.

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3/28/16 – 4:53 A.M.

Several volunteers helped get the Sycamore Springs Golf Course back in working order after a localized storm knocked down roughly 40 trees last week. The Courier reports around 20 people spent their Saturday helping remove the debris from the course at 11492 Township Road 25 near Arlington. The course was able to reopen Sunday.

We saw plenty of rain last Thursday, but a small cell damaged Sycamore Springs and a neighboring property.

Industrial cranes had to be brought in to remove the downed trees. General manager Joe Mayberry told the newspaper some of the trees that were lost were more than 100 feet tall.

MORE: The Courier

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3/28/16 – 4:23 A.M.

Investigations will begin today into suspicious fires in Wood County. Risingsun firefighters say four fires have destroyed barns and houses in the village over the past week, including two within an hour yesterday morning. No injuries were reported in any of the fires, but the structures were destroyed. The state fire marshal’s office will arrive on the scene of the fires today to help search for the cause

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3/28/2016 – 4:00 am

Several years ago, it seemed as though there were hundreds of wind energy companies looking to set up operations in Northwest Ohio. Today most of these companies have moved on. What happened? Rebekah Hedahl from One Energy, a wind developer in Findlay says that provisions in Ohio laws, specifically House Bill 483, passed in 2014 which changed setback requirements for wind turbines made it impossible for companies to look at Ohio as a viable market for wind energy.

Audio: Rebekah Hedahl

House Bill 483 was a budget bill that contained provisions for tax cuts and social program spending. However, Cincinnati Republican State Senator Bill Seitz supported the setback amendments attached to the bill citing turbine noise, light flicker and snow and ice being thrown from the blades. Seitz claimed that the bill would still be friendly to future development of wind farms in Ohio. Two years later, Hedahl says the result speaks for itself.

Audio: Rebekah Hedahl

The setback provisions called for a turbine to be placed on property at 1125 feet from the tip of a turbine’s blades to the nearest property line. In practice, that would place setbacks at 1300 from each turbine’s base. Hedahl said that would make building projects, like the 152 wind turbine farm near Van Wert impossible today.

Audio: Rebekah Hedahl

One Energy in Findlay has placed wind turbines north of Findlay to provide power to both Whirpool and Ball Corp at a fixed rate. Hedahl said this could be done because their project was under five megawatts.

Audio: Rebekah Hedahl

Hedahl says that One Energy plans to make a go in Findlay, by developing a campus to further study wind energy and fund research and development projects associated with wind generating power systems. To hear the complete interview with Hedahl, visit our Soundcloud page below.

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3/25/2016 – 11:40 am

Four people were injured when a vehicle crashed into a home on State Route 67 west of Harpster in Wyandot County Thursday. The Courier reports that the driver, identified as 80-year-old Leah Bulger of Tiffin was transported to the Wyandot Memorial Hospital for non-incapacitating injuries. Three passengers, 53-year-old Thomas Bulger, 8-year-old Dalton Rohrbach, and 10-year-old Wyatt Hannum were injured and transported to the hospital as well.

Bulger was heading northbound on 67 shortly after 7:30pm when she ran off the right side of the road, overcorrected and went off the left side of the road, striking two parked vehicles and struck the southeast corner of a home. The occupants, identified as William and Ruth Ann Miller were home but escaped without injury. There was heavy damage to the home and all vehicles and Leah Bulger was cited for failure to maintain control.

More: The Courier

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