About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

4/6/2016 – 11:06 am

Area farmers who are opposed to a diversion channel plan have been making that case since it was announced last week that Findlay and Hancock County would move forward with a plan to tie the construction of a Blanchard River diversion channel to a project with ODOT to widen and update I-75 through Findlay. Gary Wilson with the Hancock County Farm Bureau said that many farmers have been opposed to the plan from the very beginning.

Audio: Gary Wilson

Wilson noted that crews will need to consider more than just the farmland, citing several roads, I-75, dozens of old oil wells and bedrock which will all be impacted by the diversion channel plans. Area farmers and the Farm Bureau have said that cleaning the brush and properly maintaining the river would do more to help control flooding though the Army Corps of Engineers has said that doing this would have a small impact. Wilson said though that the Corps was guessing.

Audio: Gary Wilson

When it comes to just cleaning the river, the Environmental Protection Agency would have issues with some of the ideas proposed but Wilson argued that the EPA would have issues with the diversion channel plan as well.

Audio: Gary Wilson

Yesterday, the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District voted to work with Hancock County on a diversion channel plan, and Wilson said that farmers will continue to oppose that plan but he believed that both sides can come to a middle ground that everyone can agree upon.

Read More →

4/6/16 – 5:13 A.M.
Update – 9:50 A.M.

Tax day is rapidly approaching, and that means you need to be on the lookout for tax scams. The Findlay Police Department reports there has been an increase in that type of activity in the area lately.

The messages left by the scammers vary, but many sound like this:

AUDIO: Audio from IRS scam call

The robocalls appear to give a legitimate phone number to call back, but authorities caution the numbers can be spoofed by scammers.

The real IRS will not call you to demand payment or ask for credit card information. Actual IRS communication is done through the mail.

Read More →

4/6/16 – 7:22 A.M.

North Baltimore has been awarded a grant to build a new sidewalk near the school. The Courier reports ODOT awarded North Baltimore a grant for more than $307,000 for the Safe Routes to School program. As a result, sidewalks will be installed along the north side of Maple Street from Rhoades Avenue to Rudolph Road. Street crossings, signs and markings also will be upgraded.

Work won’t begin until July of 2018.

Read More →

4/6/16 – 7:17 A.M.

A program aimed at restoring dilapidated homes in Fostoria has been renewed. The Courier reports city council approved a resolution Tuesday that allows the mayor to enter an agreement with Seneca County and the city of Tiffin for the 2016 Community Housing Impact and Preservation program. The initiative could bring Fostoria up to $350,000.

The goal of the program is to allow low and moderate-income families to make key repairs to their homes. Work can include electrical or plumbing upgrades; roof work, and siding repairs among other items.

MORE: The Courier

Read More →

4/6/16 – 6:46 A.M.

A car was destroyed by a fire in Liberty Township Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters were called to Silverwood Drive to extinguish the blaze. The flames from the car also did some exterior damage to homes at 8421 and 8427 Silverwood Drive.

No other details were immediately available.

Read More →

4/6/16 – 6:41 A.M.

Kalida officials are talking about road improvements in the village. The Putnam County Sentinel reports a recent council meeting saw plenty of discussion about reconstructing both Walnut and 5th streets. Before moving forward with any plans, council members are seeking opinions about installing curbing along Walnut Street. No date has been set for a public meeting just yet.

Kalida council members also talked about the intersection of U.S. 224 and Road N. There is concern that the intersection should be more perpendicular. An engineering firm will make recommendations on how to improve the area for drivers.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

Read More →

4/6/16 – 5:22 A.M.

A Findlay man arrested during a drug raid last week was indicted on several charges Tuesday. The Courier reports 46-year-old Darius Godley faces counts of trafficking in heroin, possession of cocaine, trafficking in cocaine, and possession of heroin among others. Godley was taken into custody following a raid at 219 Midland Avenue on March 29.

Authorities say “controlled buys” were made from Godley before last week’s search.

Officers allegedly found cocaine, heroin, oxycodone pills, marijuana, a large sum of cash, and firearms in the home.

MORE: The Courier

Read More →

4/6/16 – 5:02 A.M.

It looks like there will be some changes to a plan for bike lanes on North Cory Street in Findlay. The current plans call for North Cory being changed to a northbound one-way road, with northbound and southbound bike lanes. However it looks like council is now leaning toward keeping the current traffic pattern and adding a shared bike and car lane in each direction. The first reading of the new plan was heard Tuesday night.

Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer says the only difference between shared lanes and a typical road is the bicycle markings on the street. He believes the street would still be safe for people on bikes since there will be increased awareness about the shared lanes.

Read More →

4/6/16 – 4:50 A.M.

Former Hancock County Commissioner David Oman urged the current commissioners to drop the diversion channel plan during a Tuesday meeting. The Courier reports Oman told the commissioners they had been brainwashed by city officials. Oman said city leaders were “trying to make fools of us” and were “only interested in themselves.”

The topic of lawsuits also came up. Oman said he usually opposes lawsuits, but added, “We’d sue at the drop of a hat now on anything pertaining to this.” Oman owns property near the proposed diversion channel.

Oman served as a Hancock County Commissioner from 1975 to 1991.

Read More →

4/5/2016 – 10:45 pm

Protecting the integrity of Ohio elections remains a top priority of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Stopping in Findlay Tuesday afternoon, Husted said that up to date voter rolls help to reduce Election Day confusion, reduce the need for Provisional Ballots and the chances for fraud, however issues can still happen. One issue is protecting domestic violence victims and victims of human trafficking from harm by not providing certain kinds of information in public records. Husted said his office is working to protect these individuals.

Audio: Jon Husted

Husted mentioned that the plan would be comprehensive to prevent fraud but would still be designed to protect personal information from voter rolls. Looking at the current election, Husted said that the mood of the country serves as an educational tool to clarify how the parties actually nominate their candidates for President of the United States.

Audio: Jon Husted

Husted said that it is the same for the Democratic party in that party rules, rather than voters themselves can determine who will be the Presidential nominee.

Audio: Jon Husted

Looking at the Republican field as it stands, Husted supports Governor Kasich, but he noted that the Republican party this year has been met with candidates who have been divisive rather than uniting the party, and given growing interests, that may be the case in future elections, but Husted said that he looks for a candidate that has long term goals rather than short term.

Audio: Jon Husted

On his own future prospects, such as a run for Ohio Governor, Husted was mute. However, he said that regardless of the future his office has made significant strides to cut its budget and reduce the costs of Ohio elections as well as modernize. He noted that today 90% of Ohio’s voter records have complete information, up from 20% in 2011 and more than 340,000 Ohio voters have utilized an online system to change and update their addresses, taking the burden off local election boards.

Read More →