About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

2/21/14 – 5:26 A.M.

A bipartisan effort to secure flood mitigation funding continues. Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman along with Congressman Bob Latta wrote a joint letter to the Army Corps of Engineers to support funding the final phase of the current studies. This time around the trio stressed the economic issues caused by repeated flooding from the Blanchard River.

Portman said that northwestern Ohio “won’t be able to reach its full potential as long as the threat of flooding remains.” Brown added that the project would “help spur economic growth and protect the Findlay and Ottawa communities from devastating disasters.”

All three stressed that flooding is not just an issue for Findlay and Ottawa, but economically impacts a large part of Ohio.

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2/21/14 – 5:15 A.M.

A Fostoria police officer who had his service firearm stolen from his car will have to replace the weapon. The Review-Times reports the officer, who has not been identified, had a window in his personal vehicle broken out while in Toledo Wednesday night, leading to his ID, badge, and firearm being taken. The ID and badge were located in a nearby yard, but the weapon has not turned up.

Police Captain Patrick Brooks tells the newspaper that no disciplinary actions are pending at this time.

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2/21/14 – 5:07 A.M.

By now you know this winter’s extreme cold and snow has meant a lot of overtime for Findlay’s plow drivers; but here’s another group of city employees that has also been burning the candle at both ends too. Employees in the Water Distribution Department have been putting in long hours to repair water main breaks and frozen waterlines. Numbers compiled by the Courier show that between December 13 to yesterday there have been 50 main breaks. That’s more than double the amount reported two years ago.

The repair of one 30-foot section took 22 hours in subzero hours to fix.

The number of waterlines that take water from mains to homes and businesses requiring service has gone through the roof. So far this winter the department has dealt with 134 frozen waterlines, compared to eight in 2013.

MORE: The Courier

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2/21/14 – 4:52 A.M.

The heaviest rain showers and thunderstorms went to our south last night, and that could be good news as far as Blanchard River flooding is concerned. The National Weather Service has downgraded their flood forecast for the Blanchard in Findlay. As it stands now, it looks like the river will briefly enter minor flood stage tomorrow morning.

Downstream in Ottawa the NWS is no longer calling for the river to hit flood stage.

A flood warning continues for the Blanchard in Findlay. The river is expected to be running high later today, so you’ll want to be on the look out for water in some of the low lying ares near the Blanchard.

A flood warning is also still in place in Putnam County, but that is for the Auglaize River. It’s expected to hit minor flood stage briefly tomorrow afternoon.

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A Findlay man will spend seven years in prison for attacking two women with a metal baseball bat. 29-year-old Marcuss Martinez was sentenced Wednesday for the May 31 attack. Martinez had pleaded guilty to to two counts of felonious assault.

Martinez has also pleaded guilty to selling less than 5 grams of cocaine on October 29 and November 13, 2012, in Liberty Township; and possessing less than 5 grams of the drug on March 27 in Findlay.

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2/20/14 – 7:17 A.M.

A Putnam County man already facing nearly 50 sex crime charges is now facing additional counts. The Courier reports 53-year-old Gary Badertscher pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 21 additional counts of child pornography. The Putnam County grand jury handed up the indictments last week. He was already charged with compulsion to involuntary servitude, endangering children, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor, and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material.

Bond was continued at $100,000.

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2/20/14 – 5:23 A.M.

One of the suspects in a Findlay murder says he has a place to stay if released on bond. The owner of the house is question says that’s not the case though. Amanda Johnson owns the house on East Foulke Avenue that Ralph Harris has said he would reside at if released from jail. In a letter written to Judge Joseph Niemeyer Johnson says, “Ralph Harris is saying he can be released to that address. I will not let that happen.”

Harris appeared in court earlier this week to request his bond be reduced. He’s one of two people accused of killing Joe Gutierrez III on November 8.

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2/20/14 – 5:15 A.M.

Today’s big warm up and the potential for heavy rain at times means that Blanchard River flooding is likely. The latest projections from the National Weather Service are calling for the Blanchard to crest in the moderate flood stage at 12.1 feet tomorrow night. At that level water impacts many low lying areas near the river, as well as River Street and Apple Alley on the west side of Findlay, Blanchard Street between Sandusky and Main Cross, and several streets south of Clinton Court near Riverside Park. It’s not expected that the river will enter flood stage until tomorrow morning.

Downstream in Ottawa the NWS is only calling the river to briefly breach minor flood stage at 23.1 feet early Sunday morning.

Forecasters stress these are only estimates and in all likelihood will change once the rain starts falling. Flood watches are in effect in the listening area.

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2/19/14 – 11:46 A.M.

Tuesday was a busy day for area Red Cross chapters. Home fires in Hancock and Seneca Counties had the agency providing relief in two locations to several people. Three families who resided at a home on Water Street in Tiffin were displaced by a fire Tuesday night. Six adults and five children were given a place to stay and personal hygiene items following the incident.

An extension cord was blamed for starting the blaze.

In the meantime a Bluffton resident was assisted following a fire in her home on State Route 103. The Red Cross provided the woman with food, clothing, and personal hygiene items.

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2/19/14 – 9:03 A.M.

A state representative from Upper Sandusky now chairs one of the Ohio house’s most powerful committees. The Blade reports Jeff McClain has been named the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The panel works primarily on issues dealing with taxation.

Representative Peter Beck previously chaired the committee, but stepped down after felony corruption charges were filed against him.

MORE: The Blade

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