About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

2/27/14 – 11:41 P.M.

It looks like some Wood County teenagers have some explaining to do after they were accused of running a scam in Findlay earlier this week. The Sentinel-Tribune reports Elmwood school officials are trying to minimize the damage after a few students in school athletic jackets allegedly went door-to-door in Findlay, asking for donations for a fictitious teacher who had cancer.

Administrators at the school believe two or three students were involved, and the scam may have been going on for a month. Superintendent Tony Borton tells the newspaper that the accused teens are underclassmen. He added that the issue was in the hands of investigators.

MORE: Sentinel-Tribune

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2/27/14 – 5:26 A.M.

A Lima woman is facing more than 50 child sex charges. The Lima News reports 42-year-old Tina Hill could spend the rest of her life in prison after being charged with two counts of rape, complicity to rape, endangering children, tampering with evidence, 11 counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, and 40 counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material or performance.

According to the newspaper if Hill is convicted and given the maximum sentence on each count, her prison stay would be nearly 440 years.

MORE: Lima News

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2/28/14 – 5:17 A.M.

A meeting was held in New Riegel Wednesday to discuss the ever increasing sewer rates in the village. The Courier reports quarterly bills will increase from $205 to $314 per unit next month, a bump of nearly 30%.

The problems with the system are numerous. Nearly 60% of the expenses to pay for the water treatment system were expected to be picked up by Farmland Foods, which was one of the biggest water and sewer customers for the village. However it closed, leaving the village on the hook for the mandated upgrades.

The wastewater is piped to Fostoria for treatment, and officials believe surface water is getting into the pipe. That means a higher bill from Fostoria because of extra water being treated.

Seneca County Commissioner Fred Zoeller said there have been discussions about fitting the pipeline with a fiberglass sleeve to seal any cracks and to decrease the diameter of the pipe. However there are no suggestions on how to pay for that.

MORE: The Courier

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2/27/14 – 5:05 A.M.

The Arcadia school district is the latest in the area to approve the use of “blizzard bags” for students to do at home when school is cancelled. The assignments can be done online in some cases, and allow districts to cancel a maximum of three days without having to make them up.

The school board approved the measure at their Wednesday meeting. They did not assign any of the bags to days already missed, as the Ohio legislature may allow for extra calamity days since this has been a particularly rough winter.

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2/26/14 – 11:05 A.M.
Update – 2/27 – 5:00 A.M.

A barn fire killed livestock in Hancock County Wednesday morning. Delaware Township firefighters were called to 18055 County Road 162, near Mount Blanchard, around 8:30 a.m. The blaze was caused by a heat lamp in the barn left on to keep the sheep inside of it warm. The fire caused around $60,000 in damage.

No one was injured fighting the flames.

View Barn Fire in a larger map

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2/27/14 – 4:56 A.M.

Now that property has been bought for Hancock County’s first residential treatment center the hard work begins. Century Health bought an old cabinet store at 2627 Crystal Avenue in Findlay earlier this month, and officials discussed the scope of the project with the Courier recently.

The $600,000 renovations are being funded with both public and private money. Once the work is complete the building will be able to house 12 people to help them overcome substance abuse. The center will aim to remove people from the lifestyle that led to their addictions. Precia Stuby is the director of the Hancock County ADAHMS Board, and tells the newspaper residents will receive more intensive treatment than outpatient care.

Contributions to the project have come from the Ohio Department of Mental Health, the Hancock County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services board, Marathon Petroleum, Century Health and Huntington Bank among other sources.

MORE: The Courier

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2/26/14 – 11:26 A.M.

Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik gave her state of the city address Monday night. Today she answered questions about the speech while on Good Mornings on WFIN. Mihalik expanded on the need to bolster some safety service programs…

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

Mihalik says simply having more officers on staff may not have deterred some of the high profile crimes we saw in 2013, and that a proactive approach to law enforcement is likely to have an impact.

Mihalik also discussed developments in downtown and the need to make the area more pedestrian friendly…

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

Mihalik adds keeping infrastructure in good working order also goes a long way in driving development and quality of life up in the city.

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2/26/14 – 7:16 A.M.

Another step toward rebuilding an Ada church destroyed by a fire two years ago was taken this week. The Lima News reports the First United Methodist Church of Ada has selected a general contractor for the construction project. Thomas & Marker Construction of Bellefontaine will handle the role. RCM Architects of Findlay was hired last fall to design the new church.

The new facility will be built where the old church stood for 113 years in Ada, at the corner of North Main and Highland Avenue. Construction on the $6 million project is expected to begin in March and could be finished by next February.

MORE: Lima News

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2/26/14 – 6:37 A.M.

Findlay residents are being warned of a scam hitting the area. Investigators say they have gotten reports of a group of people going door-to-door in the city trying to collect donations for a “dying teacher.” The people involved in the scam say they are from Elmwood High School in Wood County.

Authorities say they have checked into the claims and no-such teacher exists.

Police believe there could be multiple victims of the scam. If you believe you’ve been victimized, you’re encouraged to contact local law enforcement.

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2/26/14 – 4:50 A.M.

Hancock County’s plans for dealing with escaped dangerous wild animals has been approved by the county commissioners. The policy gives a chain of command and protocols to be followed if a dangerous animal would get away from their owner. The plan stops short of giving law enforcement officials directives on how to respond. Emergency Management Agency Director Lee Swisher says that’s intentional, as they don’t want to tell owners they will always euthanize animals that get loose, or that they would always try and recaputure them. Any situation that would arise would be planned for according to its own merits.

The state of Ohio required all counties to come up with a plan following a 2011 incident in southern Ohio that saw several wild animals released from their enclosures. Fifty of the animals were killed by law enforcement officials. The law defines what a dangerous animal is, and requires the owners of those types of animals to register them with the state.

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