About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

9/19/16 – 7:20 A.M.

A two-car crash injured a Jenera woman Friday night. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office says 24-year-old Clayton Baltzer of Arlington was driving south on County Road 12 around 9:30 p.m. when he failed to yield at the intersection with State Route 103. Baltzer’s pickup truck hit a car driven by 20-year-old Courtney Archer.

Hanco EMS took Archer to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The crash remained under investigation over the weekend.

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9/19/16 – 5:29 A.M.

A two-car crash injured at least three people east of Findlay over the weekend. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports the collision happened near the Spahr Dairy Farm at 9898 Township Road 234 Saturday afternoon. The farm was the last stop on the Hancock County Farm Tour and there was more traffic than normal at the location.

The sheriff’s office says the driver of a Honda Accord lost control on a curve and hit a Honda CRV near Township Road 207. One crash victim was suffering from chest pains while another may have broken an ankle.

No other details were immediately available.

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9/19/16 – 5:21 A.M.

Gas prices are higher than they were a week ago, but they are coming back down from last week’s highest prices. OhioGasPrices.com reports the average price in Findlay is $2.07 a gallon today. That’s up 14 cents from last Monday but down 12 cents from last week’s high of $2.19

Ottawa drivers are paying $2.05 for a gallon of regular today. That’s up six cents from seven days ago.

The statewide average is $2.17 today. That up nine cents from last Monday.

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9/19/16 – 5:12 A.M.

The American Farmer’s Grow Rural Education program recently gave a $25,000 grant for agricultural education to a Putnam County school. The Putnam County Sentinel reports Kalida High School will use the money to build a greenhouse. The grant comes from the American Farmer’s Grow Rural Education program.

Superintendent Karl Lammers tells the newspaper the greenhouse will allow students to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it in the new facility.

Construction on the greenhouse foundation has already started. Lammers adds that students and teachers in the agricultural education programs will start building the rest of the greenhouse in October and November.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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9/19/16 – 5:01 A.M.

ODOT crews will be working on several Hancock County highways this week. State Route 12 will see lane restrictions in Arcadia for the installation of curbs, sidewalks, and handicap ramps. Crews will also reduce Route 12 through Fostoria to one lane in each direction while ODOT performs pavement joint repairs followed by pavement resurfacing.

Route 12 remains closed during business hours from Tiffin Avenue to Bright Road as a storm sewer line installation project continues. That closure is likely to remain in place until early November.

The repaving of I-75 south of Findlay continues this week. Ongoing construction has both sides of traffic restricted to one lane. ODOT crews will close the southbound exit ramp from State Route 235 to I-75 Tuesday for pavement repairs on the ramp.

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9/16/16 -7:51 A.M.

After 15 years, a Lima cold case murder may have a resolution. The Lima News reports 35-year-old David Evans recently walked into the Lima Police Department and confessed to killing 69-year-old Cardell Beachum in 2001. Beachum was locking up his business on July 2 of that year when someone shot him.

It’s the second time this year area authorities have had someone confess to a crime that happened years ago. In July, 30-year-old Travis Soto confessed to Putnam County authorities he had murdered his 2-year-old son in 2006. Soto had served time for child endangerment in that case.

MORE: Lima News

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9/16/16 – 7:30 A.M.

Ongoing upgrades to the Mount Blanchard water treatment plant will see a generator installed at the facility. The Courier reports the Hancock County Commissioners voted in favor of the installation of a gas line to run to the generator during their Thursday meeting. The cost will be around $1,700.

The overall cost of the project is nearly $20,000. The money is coming from Community Development Block Grant funds.

MORE: The Courier

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9/16/16 – 6:51 A.M.

Columbus Grove has bought a vacant church, now village officials have to decide how they’ll use the property. The Putnam County Sentinel reports village council recently voted 4-2 to buy the former Columbus Grove Presbyterian Church for $1. The church also offered an up-to $30,000 donation to the village if council voted to buy the building.

Council members had talked about using the site for a branch of the Putnam County Library. However, the library board voted against that idea. Director Kelly Ward cited safety concerns for handicapped library-goers.

There is still talk of using the former church as an off-site testing location for the Columbus Grove School District.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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9/16/16 – 5:28 A.M.

A shrub that grows in the southwest could replace Asian rubber used in tires in the future. Cooper Tire and Rubber released a statement Thursday that said the company has reached a milestone in efforts to use rubber made from guayule. The company plans to develop a prototype by mid-2017.

Chuck Yurkovich is Cooper Tire’s senior vice president of global research and development. He says, “We have nearly finished our work on developing guayule-based tire components and have tested these tires to assure a full performance evaluation.” He added the results were promising.

Cooper is hoping the guayule plant can help ?offset an anticipated shortage of Asian rubber in the next two or three decades. Before that can happen, researchers will have to learn how to grow a massive crop of the shrub. The Agricultural Research Service and Cornell University are working on improving the genetics of the guayule plant so it will provide the highest possible rubber yield.

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