About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

8/18/14 – 4:58 A.M.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has finally released budget numbers for the ongoing Blanchard River Flood Study. Figures released to the Courier show $5.9 million has been spent on the project so far. 64 percent of that has been for labor done by the Army Corps.

The next highest expense has been for contract labor. That line item amounts to $2.1 million. Most of the contract labor has been done by the URS Corporation, a Cleveland engineering firm. They’ve been overseeing the environmental review.

When the flood study is finished, it’s expected to cost $9 million. Hancock County and the Army Corps have been splitting the cost.

MORE: The Courier

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8/15/14 – 12:05 P.M.

Findlay is getting the funding it needs from the state to move forward with improvements to the downtown area. Mayor Lydia Mihalik says ODOT has granted the city $2.4 million dollars for its Transportation Alternative Plan, or TAP.

Mihalik says the grant means the city is only on the hook for anything done outside the scope of the current proposal…

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

She adds that around $40,000 of capital improvement fund money was used to get the ball rolling on the project.

Mihalik says now that the basics of the safety improvement plan are covered, residents will be asked about what else they would like to see included in the project…

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

Mihalik adds there could also be an opportunity for beautification efforts.

The next step in the plan will be to hire a consultant to help with design work.

The improvement plan includes curb bump-outs to slow down traffic at intersections and make for a shorter distance to cross Main Street. There will also be mid-block crosswalks and pedestrian islands. Entry medians will be built at the north and south ends of downtown to slow cars down and let drivers know about increased pedestrian traffic.

Construction is expected to begin in 2017.

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8/15/14 – 9:33 A.M.

Cooper Tire & Rubber is providing more details about the future of its joint venture with the Chengshan Group in China. Earlier this week the Findlay-based company announced an extension on an agreement between the two companies. The extension allows an independent firm to find the fair market valuation of the Cooper Chengshan Tire Company. Today, Cooper announced the deadline for the evaluation is August 24.

Once the value is established, Chengshan will have 45 days to decide it wants to buy Cooper’s 65 percent stake in the company, or to sell its 35-percent to Cooper. If neither side agrees to buy out the other, the joint venture will continue under its current structure.

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8/15/14 – 9:06 A.M.

A tow truck driver was grazed by a car this morning while he was inspecting his tractor-trailer. The Hancock County Sheriff’s office reports the incident happened around 6:30 a.m. at the intersection of County Road 140 and Portage Township Road 114.

A semi got stuck as it tried to make a turn at the intersection. A tow truck driven by 35-year-old Dale Sortor of Findlay moved the tractor-trailer from the intersection and parked it along the side of Road 140. As Sortor was collecting information, he was hit in the back by the side mirror on a car driven by 46-year-old Shelly Bennett of West Leipsic.

Sortor was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of injuries. The crash remains under investigation.


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8/15/14 – 5:29 A.M.

A murder is under investigation in a small Allen County town. The Lima News reports 43-year-old Patrick Collar was arrested yesterday after he called the Delphos Police Department and admitted he killed his wife.

Collar allegedly told the police he shot his wife earlier in the day in a cornfield. He then led investigators to the body of 42-year-old Gerri Collar.

No other details were available.

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8/15/14 – 5:24 A.M.

A Kenton teenager will spend more than a decade in prison after pleading guilty in a sex crimes case. KentonToday.com reports 18-year-old Devin Chamberlin was sentenced to 161 months behind bars Wednesday.

Chamberlin was charged with attempted rape, unlawful sexual contact with a minor, and three counts of gross sexual imposition.

MORE: Kenton Today

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8/15/14 – 5:17 A.M.

Three Findlay residents were involved in a two-car crash east of Findlay Thursday afternoon. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports the collision happened around 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of State Route 568 and County Road 236 in Marion Township.

56-year-old Cathy Stephens was driving east on Route 568 when she slowed down to turn onto Road 236. As she did, she was hit from behind by a car driven by 31-year-old Tiffany Woodward. Stephens was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital along with her passenger, 27-year-old Cole Stephens.

The accident remains under investigation.


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8/15/14 – 5:08 A.M.

We’ll know more about improvements to downtown Findlay today. The Ohio Department of Transportation is expected to announce details about a state grant that will focus on Main Street and part of Cory Street. A press conference will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Municipal Building.

Right now the city’s plans call for building curb “bump-outs” at intersections along Main Street. Those would make the distance pedestrians have to walk to cross Main Street shorter. The plan also includes relocating trees, installing medians on parts of Main Street, and adding three mid-block crosswalks.

A bike path on Cory Street from West Main Cross to the University of Findlay could also be installed.

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8/15/14 – 4:59 A.M.

The Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office is appealing a judges ruling about evidence in a drug case. The Courier reports the 3rd District Court of Appeals will decide if a state patrol officer could indeed smell marijuana in a car on November 18 of last year. Sgts. Michael Walter and Kurt Beidelschies said they smelled marijuana soon after approaching Trenton Shuttlesworth’s car window last fall. A search of the car led to the discovery of more than 1,000 painkillers.

Hancock County Common Pleas Court Judge Reginald Routson tossed out the pills from the evidence in June. Routson said he didn’t think Beidelschies could smell marijuana six seconds after meeting Shuttlesworth. He added the trooper should have gotten a warrant.

MORE: The Courier

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