About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

11/21/14 – 4:45 A.M.

The Wood County Jail is getting a much-needed expansion. Yesterday, county commissioners approved a nearly three-million-dollar project to turn a vacant building attached to the jail into additional space for inmates. Sixty beds will be added to the direct supervision part of the jail. A renovation of the minimum housing unit will add 15 beds there.

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11/20/14 – 10:46 A.M.

It appears a downtown Findlay building once set to be demolished is closer to being brought back to life. The Hancock County Commissioners did not exercise their first right of refusal on the sale of property at 322 South Main Street today…

Audio: Mark Gazarek

Hancock County Commissioner Mark Gazarek says the commissioners made a similar move last year when the property next to Coffee Amici was sold.

So far there’s no word on what is going in at what was referred to as the Rooney, Clinger, and Murray building.

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11/20/14 – 7:37 A.M.

North Baltimore emergency medical services are improving. That was the message at the village’s council meeting this week. The Sentinel-Tribune reports council member Janet Goldner said EMS response time has been reduced to five minutes and 41 seconds. In the past response times were reported in the 13 minute range.

North Baltimore has added part-time paid employees to the fire department to help bolster the volunteers there.

Goldner also reported EMS billing collections have increased. In 2012 the village only collected around $40,000 from what they billed. That number was up to more than $70,000 last year. This year collections are projected to hit $85,000.

MORE: Sentinel Tribune

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11/20/14 – 7:23 A.M.

It looks like insurance increases for Carey village employees won’t be as painful as first thought. Earlier this month village council was informed employees could be looking at 30 percent increases in health insurance premiums. However, that number now looks more like 14 percent.

An alternative plan sets the single coverage deductible at $1,300 and family coverage at $2,600. Both include a co-pay. The single coverage plan is an increase of $50, while the family plan is up $100.

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11/20/14 – 6:40 A.M.

The Arcadia school board moved to install new windows in the school building during their Wednesday meeting. The Courier reports the board is seeking bids on the project. Bids will be opened on December 9 in the school treasurer’s office. The estimated cost of the project is $455,000.

The work should be completed by next August.

MORE: The Courier

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11/20/14 – 5:31 A.M.

An update on farm runoff was given during a meeting in Hancock County Wednesday. The Courier reports the Ohio Farm Bureau gave a presentation about new state regulations during a Blanchard River Watershed Partnership meeting. Senior director of policy development Larry Antosch told those on hand that farmers can do what they need to grow their crops and protect the environment. Antosch said those ideas aren’t in opposite directions.

Ohio now requires farmers to be certified to apply fertilizer on their fields. The law was passed this year and was cosponsored by State Senator Cliff Hite of Findlay. The Ohio Farm Bureau wants all of its members to be certified to apply fertilizer to their fields by April 22. By April of 2016, the goal is that all members have nutrient management plans in place.

Runoff from fields was given national attention after a toxic algae bloom cutoff Toledo’s water supply over the summer. Many blamed chemicals sprayed on crops for allowing the growth of algae. Farmers countered there were plenty of other sources of pollution in the water.

MORE: The Courier

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11/20/14 – 5:16 A.M.

Findlay wasn’t the only Blanchard River community to get new information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the Corps also met with Putnam County residents. A November 12 meeting detailed the results of a steady state model of mitigation in the Lower Blanchard part of the watershed.

Ottawa Assistant Municipal Director Jason Phillips tells the newspaper the models show that in the worst case scenario, the proposed mitigation efforts near Ottawa would lower flooding by six inches. The model includes lowering the approach of the I-9 bridge and a diversion channel. Phillips says any data they see beyond this will show an even greater reduction in flooding.

A solid state model takes into account what happens if the entire Blanchard River watershed gets an equal amount of rainfall. The model indicates a four to six inch reduction in flooding during a 100-year flood event.

The results of the study will now be taken to the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District for further consideration.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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111/20/14 – 4:54 A.M.

A Findlay-based grocery store chain made a big move Wednesday. Fresh Encounter is buying the Chief Super Market chain of groceries. The Defiance-based company owns 11 stores in northwest and west central Ohio, including the Lima area. A release from Fresh Encounter says the Chief stores will continue to operate under their current brand. No sale price was disclosed.

The buyout of Chief means Fresh Encounter will now run 36 stores in Ohio and Indiana, and will employ around 2,200 people.

It doesn’t look like any stores will be closed. Fresh Encounter CEO Mike Needer Jr. says, “this is one of those rare instances when we can consolidate resources without sacrificing any retail operations.” Even though Chief Stores operate in the same region as Fresh Encounter, there is no overlap in retail locations.

Fresh Encounter brand stores include Great Scot, Community Markets, and Sack n’ Save.

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11/19/14 – 9:58 A.M.

A teenager suffered burns in a Bluffton house fire Tuesday. The Bluffton Police Department reports firefighters were called to the 100 block of West Riley Street around 8:15 p.m. Four people were at home at the time. 19-year-old Gage Waxler was asleep in the bedroom where the flames started. He alerted everyone else in the house about the fire and tried to extinguish it before being overcome by the heat and smoke.

Waxler suffered burns to his lower extremities, neck and chest. He was taken to a Lima hospital before being flown to the Ohio State Medical Center in Columbus for treatment of severe burns.

An investigation revealed the fire was accidental, and is being blamed on burning a candle too close to flammable materials.

The Allen County Red Cross is assisting the family.

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11/19/14 – 5:04 A.M.

Fostoria water and sewer customers will see some changes in their bills starting in 2015. The Courier reports city council approved measures to make adjustments to the sewer rates for the next two years. Starting January 1 there will be a fixed cost added to every water bill. The new rates will also include a system fee, a distribution fee, and a unit cost.

Fostoria officials say the new rate structure will help them meet operational and maintenance costs for running the water and sewer system. The extra revenue will be used to fund projects mandated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

MORE: The Courier

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