About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

8/31/2015   5:30pm

Even though Hancock County and Northwest Ohio have seen significant crop setbacks this year due to weather, the rest of the country is projected to see record yields. Hancock Extension Agriculture Educator Ed Lentz says records are predicted across the corn belt.

Audio: Ed Lentz

Lentz says high crop yields are predicted in Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Michigan and Wisconsin which will help bring about record corn yields nationwide.

Soybean yields are predicted to be lower than they were last year in Hancock County, but Lentz says that in spite of the weather in northwest Ohio this year, yields may still be record setting.

Audio: Ed Lentz

Lentz says that record crop production in other states for corn, soybeans and wheat predict a record yield for crops however Hancock County has not seen significant production this year due to less than stellar weather conditions.

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8/31/2015    5:30pm

The Hancock County United Way is getting ready to kick off its 2015 fundraising campaign. CEO John Urbanski says that the United Way raised the fundraising bar last year and their goal is to do even better this year.

Audio: John Urbanski

The United Way of Hancock County is partnered with several organizations and awards grants each year to a wide variety of local charities and organizations.

Audio: John Urbanski

The 2015 campaign will kick off on Thursday, September 10th with a Sock-Hop at Alexandria’s. The event is slated to begin at 5pm. For more information, contact the United Way at 419-423-1430.


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8/31/2015    4:15pm

Saturday’s mobile home fire at Nye’s Trailer Park in Fostoria has officially been ruled an arson, officials announced this afternoon. Fostoria Police Chief Keith Loreno says that the investigation has determined the fire to be incendiary and anyone with information about the blaze is encouraged to come forward.

Audio: Chief Kevin Loreno

Authorities are looking for any information on the fire, and a reward is being offered for information about who may have set the fire.

Audio: Chief Kevin Loreno

Anyone with information is urged to call either Fostoria Police Department at 419-435-8573 or the Ohio State Fire Marshal at 800-589-2728.

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8/31/2015  1:30pm

This fall, voters will get the chance to decide as to whether marijuana will be legal to sell and use in the state of Ohio by voting on State Issue 3. Reaction has been strong on either side of the debate. Local authorities have also weighed in on some potential ramifications should the ballot measure be approved by Ohio voters.

State Representative Robert Sprague says that the organization working to pass the measure, ResponsibleOhio, represents a small group of wealthy investors which, if the ballot measure would pass, would effectively create an oligopoly market for the marijuana as the measure would only allow certain facilities to grow and process marijuana legally.

“They get the exclusive rights to sell marijuana in the State of Ohio which they estimate to be a billion dollar market. So they are going to make a ton of money off of this scheme.” said Sprague

To that end, Sprague said that the Ohio Assembly drafted another ballot measure, State Issue 2 which if also passed would prohibit the creation of monopolistic commercial practices through ballot measures in the State of Ohio. Sprague said that the measure was drafted in direct response to Responsible Ohio and the State Issue 3 measure, but would also prohibit other commercial enterprises from using money and influence to control their markets through ballot measures

“Any large company to have the exclusive right to sell a product in the State of Ohio? They’d love to be able to do that so the bottom line is we’ve got to put a stop to this.” said Sprague

Sprague also noted that State Issue 2 would apply to businesses moving forward and not be retroactively applied to businesses currently in operation in Ohio.

One of the arguments put forth in favor of the legalization of marijuana has been that resources in law enforcement would be freed up to pursue major drug offenses. Hancock County Prosecutor Mark Miller says though that wouldn’t be the case. Citing the recent legalization in Colorado, Miller notes that law enforcement saw major increases in marijuana-related offenses after the measure was passed.

“For the first six months of 2014 they saw a 77% increase in their DUI offenses where marijuana was involved. 42% of those were just marijuana DUI offenses. So I think we’ll see an increase in that.” said Miller.

Hancock County Sheriff Mike Heldman also noted a potential consequence of the measure would affect drug screens for job applicants. Noting that some employers already have a difficult time finding qualified applicants, that law could adversely impact people who apply for certain kinds of jobs.

“We’re having trouble now finding people that are qualified employees. Other places, if they legalize, if we start taking urine samples for employment how are they going to pass these tests?” said Heldman.

Still, an argument put forth in favor of legalization points to potential tax revenues generated for the State of Ohio should the measure pass. However, Representative Sprague notes that the wording of the measure would absolve the companies that benefit from passage of significant tax burden.

“It’s a 15% tax. The people that drafted this amendment completely absolved themselves of any taxes from the distributions from their companies” said Sprague.

And Sprague notes that even if the people would wish to change the law after passage, they would be prohibited from doing so as the measure is a constitutional amendment.

“Since it’s written in the Ohio Constitution, the General Assembly or the people of the State of Ohio through their elected representatives cannot change that tax structure.” said Sprague.

Ohio voters will decide on both State Issue 2 and State Issue 3 on the ballot on November 3rd.

Click here for more information on State Issue 2.

Click here for more information on State Issue 3.

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8/31/2015   12:23pm

The Denver Broncos on Monday waived nine players, including third-year quarterback Zac Dysert. The Courier reports Dysert, an Ada High School grad and former Miami University star, spent 2013 on the Broncos active roster but never took snap for Denver as the third-string quarterback behind starter Peyton Manning and backup Brock Osweiler. He spent all of last season on the team’s practice squad.

Dysert saw limited action in the preseason for Broncos. He was 2 of 5 passing for 14 yards in Denver’s first exhibition game of the season. He did not see action in the team’s last two preseason contests.

More: The Courier

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8/31/15 – 6:52 A.M.

The Allen County Fair was packed to the gills Saturday night. The Lima News reports the fair set an attendance record for a concert at the fairgrounds. 11,500 people were on hand for the Lady Antebellum and Sam Hunt show. Last year 10,000 showed up for a Toby Keith concert.

So many people bought tickets for the show that they had to park at the nearby OSU Lima campus and take a shuttle to the show.

MORE: Lima News

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8/31/15 – 6:44 A.M.

The Hancock County Fair kicks off later this week. It won’t cost you any more to get in the gates this year. A season ticket is still $21, and admits one adult plus any children 15-years-old and younger. “School tickets” are available for $12, and admit those 17-years-old and younger throughout the fair.

Daily admission is $7.

The fair opens Wednesday with discounted prices for veterans and senior citizens. They’ll be able to get in for $2. Active duty military members get in free all week with identification.

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8/31/15 – 5:33 A.M.

After a problem at a mid-western refinery caused a spike in gas prices earlier this month, prices have dropped to their lowest levels since mid-March. Ohio gas prices.com reports Findlay drivers are paying around $2.14 a gallon today. That’s a 29 cent drop since last Monday and a 73 cent decline over two weeks.

Ottawa drivers report prices are at $2.19 a gallon this morning.

Around Ohio, the average price is $2.35 a gallon. That down 30 cents since last Monday.

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8/31/15 – 5:26 A.M.

A one-car crash killed a Deshler man over the weekend. The State Highway Patrol reports the incident happened late Saturday afternoon in Williams County.

The crash took the life of 35-year-old Richard Eagleson III, who was a passenger in the car. 32-year-old Amy Bibler of Findlay was driving west on U.S. 6 around 5:40 p.m. when she drove off the north side of the road, went airborne, and overturned in a creek.

Both Eagleson and Bibler were taken to Toledo Hospital by medical helicopter. Bibler was last listed in critical condition.

The crash remains under investigation.

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8/31/15 – 5:14 A.M.

A Fostoria mobile home was destroyed by a weekend fire, and several others were damaged. The Fostoria Fire Department reports firefighters were called to Lot 55 in Nye’s trailer Park at 1521 North Countyline Street around 1 p.m. Saturday.

Investigators believe the fire was set on purpose. The trailer that was destroyed was vacant. One of the nearby trailers suffered moderate damage, displacing two residents. Three other homes suffered minor damage and those residents were able to return.

There were no injuries reported. The fire remains under investigation.

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