About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

Video: University Of Findlay Honors New U.S. Citizens

4/6/2016 – 2:51 pm

Patriotism was in the air as the University of Findlay welcomed and honored 16 new United States citizens during a naturalization ceremony this week. The individuals came from across the world, from countries such as China, Argentina, Austrailia, Syria, Mexico, India and many others. The ceremony was conducted by US District Court Judge Jack Zouhary, and he himself said that coming from a family of immigrants, it’s always an honor to welcome new citizens to the United States.

Audio: Judge Jack Zouhary

The process to become a US Citizen can take some time, and several of the new citizens said they were happy and excited to finally be citizens of the United States.

Audio: New Citizens

The University of Findlay has been welcoming new citizens to the US for the past eight years. Video from the ceremony at the University of Findlay can be found above.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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