About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

5/26/16 – 6:46 A.M.

Two people were injured in a two-car crash in eastern Hancock County Wednesday afternoon. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports 57-year-old Eric Basinger of Findlay failed to yield for a car driven by 41-year-old Thomas Neville of Forest at the intersection of Hancock County Roads 7 and 330 around 5:30 p.m.

Neville was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo by medical helicopter. Basinger was treated at the scene of the crash.

The accident remained under investigation Wednesday.

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5/26/16 – 6:38 A.M.

Fostoria has been placed under a fiscal emergency by the state. The Review-Times reports Mayor Eric Keckler made the announcement Wednesday. The move comes as the city tries to deal with a projected $800,000 deficit.

Fostoria officials will now have 120 days to put together a plan to reduce the city’s deficit. An oversight committee will be put together to help get through the process. Fostoria Auditor Steve Garner will be required to send the state a budget report each month.

A special meeting of city council is tentatively set for June 1 at 6 p.m. to talk more about the issue.

The State Auditor’s Office was called in to examine the situation in March when a budget shortfall began to grow.

MORE: Review-Times

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5/26/16 – 5:23 A.M.

A community development group in McComb is closer to putting together a mission statement. The Courier reports the McComb Region Heart and Soul group has read through 4,000 comments from residents to get to this point. Project coordinator Joe Wasson recently told village council, “this is a real milestone.”

Wasson says comments on still being accepted.

The mission statement is expected to address items like economic development, public safety, and promoting the “close-knit” lifestyle of living in a small community.

MORE: The Courier

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5/26/16 – 5:15 A.M.

We should know later today if Putnam County will appeal a major court ruling. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the county commissioners will meet at 1:30 p.m. today. At the meeting, a measure not to appeal a judge’s ruling that orders the county to pay more than $600,000 in attorney fees will appear on the agenda.

The attorney fees stem from the legal battle over widening Road 5. The county was found to be in violation of open record laws in the case.

The commissioners held an executive session to discuss the matter Tuesday. Following that meeting, Commissioner Travis Jerwers said, “I don’t feel secure in an appeals case because there are no certainties.” However Commissioner Vince Schroeder said he thought the judgment was unjust.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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5/26/16 – 5:04 A.M.

Liberty-Benton Middle School has been honored for the success of its students.  The school was one of 165 in the state to receive the “Momentum Award” from the State Board of Education.  The award recognizes schools for, “exceeding expectations in student growth for the year.”

The school was the only one in Hancock County to get the honor.

Schools that got straight A’s on the value-added measure on the state report card were eligible for the honor.  This is the first year the state presented the “Momentum Award.”

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5/26/16 – 4:58 A.M.

Putnam County authorities are continuing to search for an escaped jail inmate. More details on how 22-year-old Breonna Jean Stephens escaped are coming out now. The Putnam County Sentinel reports Stephens threw her mother’s phone out of a moving car while on the way back to jail from a funeral. When Jena Stephens stopped to get the phone, Breonna got out of the car and ran away.

Jean Stephens tells the newspaper Breonna has a two-year history of drug abuse. She adds that while she doesn’t to see her daughter in prison, she wants her to “live to face that possibility.”

Stephens is described as 5’2″ and weighing around 124 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. Stephens has a peace sign tattoo on her left ear, a flower tattoo on her left foot and script writing on her right wrist. She also has burn scarring on her chest, neck, and on the right side of her face.

Anyone with information on where Stephens might be is asked to the call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at (419) 523-3208.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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5/26/16 – 4:46 A.M.

Another modular classroom will be added at the Liberty-Benton Elementary school before the start of the next school year. The Courier reports the school board recently approved spending nearly $197,000 on the project. Superintendent Jim Knable says the extra space will give the school room for an expansion of fifth grade if needed.

The elementary/middle school already has four modular classrooms in place. Knable says the latest construction effort will “balance our numbers all the way across.”

MORE: The Courier

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5/25/2016 – 10:47 am

Now that summer is almost here, and with kids being out and about more often than before, the HATS Transportation Service in Findlay and Hancock County is there to serve them. Laurie Collins with HATS says the service allows children over the age of nine to ride the service without being accompanied by a parent or a guardian.

Audio: Laurie Collins

This policy is always in place for HATS Transportation but Collins says that it is particularly helpful in the summer months for kids to get around the community for activities. Cost and the scheduling of the rides is the same for the kids as it is for the rest of the year.

Audio: Laurie Collins

Collins says that the program is generally helpful to parents who work and have trouble getting their kids to summer activities and events. This is a service offered year round through the HATS Transportation Service.

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5/25/16 – 10:38 A.M.

Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik is echoing the sentiments of the Hancock County Commissioners; federal funding is not likely for a Blanchard River flood mitigation project. The Mayor talked to city council members Wednesday about a recent meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers…

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

Both Mihalik and Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer say it was worth trying to get federal funding for the project, but the federal cost-benefit ratio makes that a long-shot at this point. They added the Corps study has been worthwhile in that it has laid the groundwork for a local flood mitigation plan…

Audio: Paul Schmelzer

Schmelzer adds the Blanchard River project would be up against billion-dollar projects elsewhere in the nation. With that in mind, he says it’s time to look at the local benefits and options.

Mihalik and Schmelzer say a regional economic impact study could be conducted as part of the local engineering plan for a diversion channel….

Audio: Paul Schmelzer

Both Schmelzer and Mayor Lydia Mihalik say they believe the local study will show a diversion channel would benefit the region as a whole.

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5/25/16 – 7:12 A.M.

The suspect in the death of a former West Virginia coal mining executive was arrested in Allen County Tuesday. Officials say Anthony Arriaga was found in Delphos. Investigators believe Arriaga killed Bennet Hatfield in a West Virginia cemetery this week.

Hatfield was in charge of the company that owned the Sago Mine when a dozen people were killed in a 2006 accident.

A second person is also in custody in the case.

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