About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

5/4/15 – 4:47 A.M.

A Findlay man was injured in a dirt bike crash Sunday. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports the accident happened in a field near Allen Township roads 99 and 230 around 7:40 p.m. last night.

30-year-old Dennis Craft Jr. was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

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5/1/15 – 5:30 A.M.

You’ll see a renewal levy for the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library when you cast your ballot in Hancock County County next week. A half-mill, five-year levy helps pay for the day-to-day operations of the facility. While the money raised from the levy pays for operations, failure to renew it would hurt programming…

Audio: Jeff Winkle

Library Director Jeff Winkle says about 82 percent of the funding the library gets goes to salary and benefits as well as the materials the library loans out.

Winkle says while other libraries are starting to ask for continuing levies, he doesn’t mind going to the ballot every five years…

Audio: Jeff Winkle

The levy costs the owner of a $100,000 home around $18 per year.


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4/30/15 – 11:05 A.M.

Communication in a crisis situation is critical for emergency responders. And for area volunteer fire departments it’s also expensive. Hancock County Commissioner Phil Riegle says the county pays more than $22,000 a year in MARCS radios fees for the departments…

Audio: Phil Riegle

Riegle added that if grant money isn’t available, the county will continue to foot the bill…

Audio: Phil Riegle

Riegle says in 2008 the county got a grant to replace outdated radio equipment for the volunteer departments. MARCS fees from the state haven’t been lowered since then.

Four of the 11 volunteer fire departments received state grants for communication equipment this year. Riegle says there is a chance more grant money could be made available this summer.

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4/30/15 – 5:36 A.M.

A Fostoria woman was injured in a two-car crash Wednesday. The State Highway Patrol reports the crash happened at the intersection of Hancock County Roads 212 and 236 just before 3 p.m. in the afternoon.

56-year-old Christina Gonzalez was driving on Road 212 when she ran a stop sign and was hit by a car driven by 53-year-old Darrell Wolfe of Bloomdale. Gonzalez was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Wolfe said he would get treatment on his own.

Gonzalez was cited for failure to yield at a stop sign.

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4/30/15 – 5:30 A.M.

Voters across Hancock County will see a renewal levy for the Blanchard Valley Center on the ballot when they go to the polls next week. BVC Director Connie Ament says the 1.9 mill operating levy helps provide a variety of services…

Audio: Connie Ament

The services include early childcare, where Ament says they’ve seen great success…

Audio: Connie Ament

Ament says the levy accounts for around 23 percent of the BVC’s funding. She adds without the money they’d have to make some tough choices when it comes to the programs they offer.

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4/30/15 – 5:29 A.M.

Ottawa administrators have concerns about who will run the village’s wastewater treatment plant in the future. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the issue was discussed during this week’s council meeting. Wastewater Director Doug Schroeder told council there aren’t enough licensed operators coming into the field to replace people who are retiring.

Schroeder told council, “the EPA only cares that you have certified operators. They don’t care that you can’t get them.”

Assistant Municipal Director Jason Phillips told council a Class 3 certification is needed to run the Ottawa facility. Schroeder says it takes six years for a wastewater employee to get that certification.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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4/30/15 – 5:17 A.M.

A diesel spill was reported at a rest stop south of Findlay Thursday. Hancock County Emergency Management Director Lee Swisher says the incident happened around 4 p.m. in the afternoon at the southbound rest area.

The fuel tank of a semi was punctured on the interstate and the driver pulled into the rest stop. Swisher says there were roughly 80 gallons of diesel in the tank at the time. More than 20 gallons spilled into a storm sewer.

The Ohio EPA was called in to help clean up the spill.

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4/30/15 – 5:07 A.M.

Some downtown Findlay business owners are concerned about fewer parking spaces on Sandusky Street. The Courier reports many parking spots on the south side of the street have been done away with during the construction of the Marathon Petroleum parking garage. There’s no guarantee they’ll come back after construction is over as traffic patterns could change.

Renz Salanga is the owner of Stix and the co-owner of Trans Am Meatballs. Salanga told the newspaper there are seven restaurants on the 100 block and only 13 parking spaces right now.

Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer said that during peak Marathon travel times some of the former parking spots need to be eliminated to allow for safe driving. Schmelzer added that with the Marathon garage open, many public spots downtown have opened up.

The city will study traffic on East Sandusky to determine how what to do about parking in the 100 block.

MORE: The Courier

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VIDEO: USW Members Protest Outside Marathon Petroleum

4/29/15 – 11:35 A.M.

Members of the United Steelworkers protested in front of Marathon Petroleum’s headquarters in downtown Findlay today. The rally took place ahead of the company’s shareholder meeting.

David McCall is a District 1 director for the USW. He says Marathon is insisting on rolling back safety precautions at the Galveston Bay, Texas refinery…

Audio: David McCall

Marathon has since bought the facility.

McCall outlined some of the union demands…

Audio: David McCall

McCall said it doesn’t make sense that Marathon hasn’t settled in Galveston Bay. He added all but three refineries across the nation that went on strike earlier this year have agreed to a national settlement on the safety issue.

A statement from Marathon says, “The primary area of disagreement between the union and the industry is not related to safety, it is the union’s requirement that a settlement include a commitment to replace contract workers at their represented refineries with (union) members.”

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4/29/15 – 5:30 A.M.

An official with a bank in Bluffton will meet with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown in Washington D.C. today. Eric Faulkner is the executive vice president of Citizens Bank of Bluffton. He’ll be among 17 people to meet with the Senator. Brown says the group will be talking about the importance of community banks in the state.

Brown says he would like to see “targeted regulatory relief” for the smallest banks in the nation. He adds regulations on community banks can be rolled back in a way that doesn’t undermine safety, soundness, and consumer protections.

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