About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

8/18/14 – 5:15 A.M.

A fire just outside of Findlay injured a father and daughter over the weekend. Liberty Township Fire Chief Gene Stump says firefighters were called to an apartment building at 2800 South Main Street around 7:15 p.m. Saturday. David Castret and his 18-month-old daughter were taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital, where they were treated and released.

The fire started in the kitchen and was contained to one apartment. There was smoke damage to other parts of the building. No damage estimate was available.

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8/18/14 – 5:08 A.M.

The former Putnam County jail is set to be torn down. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the county commissioners plan to use Community Development Block Grant money to demolish the 116-year-old building. The commissioners say the building has fallen into disrepair.

The facility stands at the corner of Hickory and East Third Street in Ottawa. It stopped being a jail in 2001 when the new sheriff’s office was built. The building is currently used to house Putnam County’s IT office and for some storage.

County Commissioner John Love tells the newspaper the records will be moved to the Putnam Acres site once their new building is complete.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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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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