About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

2/4/15 – 5:08 A.M.

Fostoria officials addressed issues with snow removal following this past weekend’s snow storm. The Courier reports Mayor Eric Keckler spoke at Tuesday’s city council meeting, and said the removal plan didn’t work as well as planned.

The city is trying to save expensive road salt, and as a result only pretreated intersections. When the heavy snow came and the temperatures dropped, the snow froze to roads in the city that weren’t pretreated. That made it very difficult to get snow off the roads. Crews were able salt the roads again once temperatures started rising Tuesday.

Keckler said the city will better monitor for future storms to try and avoid similar problems in the future.

MORE: The Courier

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2/4/15 – 4:53 A.M.

Final preparations are underway for the Hancock County Common Pleas Court’s new drug court. The Courier reports the court will begin operating in less than two weeks. Tuesday saw attorneys, law enforcement officers and medical officials meet with Director of Court Services Kimberly Switzer. The group talked about the challenges they’ll face to make the court work.

Switzer told the group the new court will require a, “shift in mindset for the judges, probation, the prosecutor, and some attorneys.” She added that each case will be considered on an individual basis and that sentences and treatments can’t be “one size fits all.”

The Hancock County drug court will offer treatment options to low-level drug offenders. Participants will appear in front of a judge on a regular basis and will have to follow strict regulations.

MORE: The Courier

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2/4/15 – 4:26 A.M.

Nearly one-dozen animals taken from Tiger Ridge Exotics will remain in the custody of the state for now. Yesterday, a Wood County judge stayed all proceedings while the case makes its way through the appeals court. A total of eleven animals were seized last Wednesday by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and taken to Reynoldsburg, but were later ordered to be returned. The state says they were being kept in inhumane conditions.

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2/3/15 – 1:51 A.M.

The Hancock County Jail is getting a new piece of security equipment. The county commissioners approved buying a full body scanner to install at the facility. Commissioner Phil Riegle says there are a variety of uses for the scanner. The new equipment will allow jail employees to process inmates quicker as they come back from work release, programs or court hearings.

Jail Administrator Lt. Ryan Kidwell said the jail offers programs for inmates in an attempt to help them become a more productive citizen upon release. However, some inmates chose not to attend programs because of the strip search process involved.

Audio: Ryan Kidwell

The ADAMHS Board is also in favor of the scanner. The organization holds meetings for inmates on the first floor of the sheriff’s office, but getting inmates to attend can require a strip search. The hope is that a less invasive screening will lead to more inmates taking classes.

The scanner will cost $21,000. Commissioner Brian Robertson says the county is getting the machine through federal surplus. The Rapiscan Secure 1000SP Security Scanner cost 10 times that amount when bought new. The body scanners had been used in airports, but it was determined they revealed a little too much.

Every time inmates leave the jail and the protection of the staff they are scanned. Some of those instances include going to programs, attending court or doctor’s appointments.

Kidwell said the new scanner will hopefully be less traumatic and encourage more involvement in programs. The new search process will also be quicker, with one officer of same sex monitoring the scanner as inmates walk through fully clothed. Kidwell said this will be less invasive and still keep the facility safe and secure.

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2/3/15 – 5:25 A.M.

A little more clarity has been given on regulations regarding sidewalks in Carey. The Courier reports village Law Director Bob Maison reported to council on the issue during Monday’s meeting. Maison said several areas of the town are exempt from sidewalk installation. That’s because subdivision regulations govern sidewalk placement. As a result Snyder Park and other areas are exempt.

Maison also said that installation of sidewalks in those areas would need a consensus vote of residents.

The subject has been talked about recently as the village looks for ways to install sidewalks near the new school building.

MORE: The Courier

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2/3/15 – 5:11 A.M.

Four Putnam County parishes have a new official. The Putnam County Sentinel reports that Reverend Rick Friebel has been installed as a new vicar. Friebel will assist the priests at the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ottawa; Saint Michael’s Catholic Church in Kalida; Saint John’s Catholic Church in Continental; and Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Glandorf.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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2/3/15 – 5:04 A.M.

Arlington residents could form a group to negotiate for lower electric rates. The Courier reports voters in the village will be asked to install an electricity aggregation program on the May ballot. The program would only apply to American Electric Power customers in Arlington.

Those not wanting to take part could “opt out” at no cost.

MORE: The Courier

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2/3/15 – 4:37 A.M.

A Lima-area family is staying in Columbus until they or police find some sign of a transgender teenager. Fifteen-year-old Ashley Lane was last seen this past weekend at a dance party as part of Ohayocon at the Columbus Convention Center. Her family is concerned about her safety after she left all her belongings at their hotel room and fear she may have been taken from the area.

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2/2/15 – 7:39 A.M.

Gas prices are up as we start a new work week. Ohiogasprices.com reports the statewide average for a gallon of regular is $2.03. A week ago the state average was $1.88. Prices jumped early last week, and started decreasing again over the weekend.

Locally, Findlay prices are around $2.08 a gallon. That’s up from a $1.91 a gallon last Monday, but down from last Tuesday’s $2.15 a gallon.

Ottawa drivers are paying $2.05 a gallon.

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2/2/15 – 5:31 A.M.
Update – 6:45 A.M.
Update – 12:13 P.M.
Update – 1:16 P.M.

While the snow storm didn’t drop as much snow as we initially anticipated it still made a mess on area roads. Seneca and Henry Counties are all under Level 2 Road Alerts. That means roadways are hazardous. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. Hancock, Wood and Putnam Counties have downgraded to Level 1 Road Alerts.

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