About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

5/31/16 – 5:25 A.M.

Two people were hurt in two-car crash near Van Buren over the holiday weekend. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports 19-year-old Paige Schmelzer was stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of Allen Township Roads 142 and 109 around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. A crash report says that when Schmelzer pulled into the intersection, she hit a car driven by 60-year-old Diane Russell, causing Russell’s car to roll into a ditch.

Both Russell and her passenger, 54-year-old John Russell, were taken to the hospital with non-incapacitating injuries.

Schmelzer was cited for failing to yield the right of way.

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5/31/16 – 5:18 A.M.

It will cost you a little less to fill up the tank as you head back to work today. Local gas prices are down following Memorial Day weekend. OhioGasPrices.com reports the average price in Findlay is $2.40 today. That’s down 16 cents over the last seven days.

Ottawa drivers are paying $2.44 a gallon. That’s a five-cent decline since last Tuesday.

However, the statewide average is up a little bit. Today’s average for a gallon of regular across Ohio is $2.49, up two cents over the last week.

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5/31/16 – 5:04 A.M.

Putnam County firefighters battled a barn fire near Pandora Monday afternoon. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the blaze was reported just after 2 p.m. at 4460 Road O, just north of the village. Four fire departments responded to the call.

The cause of the fire is believed to be from brush that was burning nearby. Embers from that fire were blown into the building. No injuries were reported.

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5/31/16 – 4:56 A.M.

Two truck drivers from Texas avoided injury when their semi overturned near Leipsic Sunday morning. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office reports the crash happened on State Route 65 at Township Road 7D around 7:40 a.m. A release from the department says the truck was going too fast around a curve and tipped over.

The semi was carrying around 65,000 pounds of vegetables.

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5/27/16 – 6:56 A.M.

Seneca County Commissioner Holy Stacy will refile her complaint about the activities of a political action committee with the Ohio Elections Commission. The Review-Times reports the OEC rejected a complaint filed last week because it included an item about alleged false statements made by the Citizens for Seneca County PAC. Representatives for the OEC said the organization doesn’t have the authority to rule on that item.

Stacy says she’ll refile her complaint minus that item. Stacy believes that there was coordination between Citizens for Seneca County and her primary opponent last year, Richard Focht. Financial reports filed by the PAC and Focht are allegedly missing information that show they worked together. If that’s the case, it could be a violation of Ohio election law.

MORE: Review-Times

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5/27/16 – 6:44 A.M.

Congressman Bob Latta will serve on a bipartisan conference committee that will negotiate a final comprehensive energy package. The 5th District Republican was appointed to the committee by House Speaker Paul Ryan. The group will work to include things like electric infrastructure security and promoting energy efficient appliances into the final bill.

Latta said, “I look forward to working with my House and Senate colleagues on comprehensive energy reform. Energy policy in the United States is decades old, and our country needs an energy policy that reflects the abundant energy supply that we are so fortunate to have.”

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5/27/16 – 5:25 A.M.

A grant will help Findlay police officers communicate better in the field. The state is providing $100,000 to the city to buy portable radios. The police department needs the new equipment because the radios they are currently using are no longer made.

The city is working to get more grant money to buy radios for police cruisers.

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5/27/16 – 5:18 A.M.

More than 300 Findlay High School seniors will get their diplomas this weekend. The school says there are 338 people in the class of 2016. The valedictorian is Luke Taylor, and the salutatorian is Allison Kreinbrink.

The commencement ceremony for FHS will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Koehler Center on the University of Findlay campus.

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5/27/16 – 5:11 A.M.

The Putnam County Commissioners will not appeal a judge’s decision against the county. The Putnam County Sentinel reports all three commissioners voted in favor of a resolution that agreed not to challenge a ruling that the county pay more than $611,000 in attorney fees. The fees stemmed from lawsuits regarding the Road 5 widening project. The resolution says that while the commissioners don’t agree with visiting Judge Dale Crawford’s ruling, they recognize appealing it would mean more expenses for the county.

Commissioner John Love said they will meet with elected officials and department heads to decide how the county will pay the bill.

Judge Crawford awarded more than $497,000 to six lawyers who represented landowners in the open records part of the case. More than $113,000 for attorney fees was then awarded to residents of Road 5 for work done on an eminent domain lawsuit against the county.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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5/27/16 – 4:57 A.M.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is expanding its dispatching staff by three. The Courier reports that by the end of the year there will be 10 people on staff in the communications center for the Sheriff’s Office. At the same time, a new supervisor is running the center. Sgt. Mark Price took that role near the beginning of the year.

Sheriff Mike Heldman says the department had planned to hire three new dispatchers, but after two people resigned they needed to hire five. So far four people have hired and officials are in the process of hiring a fifth.

New state standards mean the communications officers have to have extra training. That includes emergency medical dispatcher training. Dispatchers take a 40-hour class to learn how to give pre-arrival care, like CPR and wound care, over the phone.

MORE: The Courier

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