About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

5/24/16 – 5:29 A.M.

One of the suspects in a string of Wood County arsons is getting a new lawyer. The Review-Times reports 19-year-old Santana Diliberto of Port Clinton appeared in court Monday to withdraw Christopher Marcinko as his attorney. Bowling Green attorney Steven Spitler will now take over as the defense lawyer for Diliberto.

Last month saw Diliberto plead not guilty to charges of aggravated arson, arson, breaking and entering, and possessing criminal tools.

Diliberto is accused of setting four fires in Wood County between March 22 and March 27. Nicholas Hackworth, Todd Bollett and Bret Phillabaum are also charged in the case, along with five juveniles.

MORE: Review-Times

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5/24/16 – 5:20 A.M.

Columbus Grove will not be adding girls soccer as a high school sport. The Putnam County Sentinel reports a motion was made by the school board to add the sport starting next fall, but there was no second. 12 residents came to the board meeting to support the measure, with four speaking in favor of it.

Paul Shank told the board 57 high school girls were surveyed on the subject. The survey showed 23 of the girls surveyed play a fall sport while 27 do not. Those not playing a sport were interested in playing soccer.

Crystal Dunlap also supported adding soccer. She told board members the program wouldn’t have taken away from the marching band, as soccer players could take part in both.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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5/24/16 – 5:08 A.M.
Update – 5:55 A.M.

A two-car crash near Van Buren injured two teenagers Monday afternoon. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports 18-year-old Jacob Badertscher was driving east on Allen Township Road 108 around 1:10 p.m. when he was hit by a car driven by 58-year-old Pamela Nelson. Nelson was trying to turn left from Allen Township Road 230 onto Road 108.

Badertscher and a 17-year-old passenger were taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of their injuries. The juvenile passenger was not publicly identified.

No citations were listed on the accident report.

(Previous version of story incorrectly listed the crash as being near McComb)

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5/24/16 – 5:01 A.M.

The Northwestern Water and Sewer District is getting familiar with McComb’s treatment facilities. The Courier reports the district, which recently took control of plant operations in McComb, is taking on plenty of tasks. Tom Statler is an engineer in the district and says one big item on the agenda is to deal with findings from the EPA. The agency filed a report that found eight violations and 27 recommendations for the sewage treatment plant.

Statler says the EPA, “came down a little harder than necessary” on McComb. The district is studying the report and will file a reply.

Other tasks being taken on by the district include mapping out water and sewer facilities, applying for grants, preparing to take over the customer billing process, updating meter-reading technology, and reviewing fire hydrants.

McComb’s village council recently voted to have the Northwestern Water and Sewer District to oversee water and sewer operations.

MORE: The Courier

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5/23/16 – 7:36 A.M.

School is about to be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean learning has to stop. The Findlay-Hancock County Public Library will be kicking off its SummerREAD program next week.

This year features a sports theme, called “On your mark, get set, read.”

A kickoff event features a juggler and magician at the library starting at 6:30 p.m. on June 1.

The reading program runs through July 30.

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5/23/16 – 7:26 A.M.

A Findlay woman was injured in a one-car crash in the city Saturday morning. The Findlay Police Department reports 80-year-old Lorease Wolf was driving west in an alley off of the 500 block of McMannes Avenue around 7:30 a.m. when she hit a utility pole.

Wolf told officers she was reaching for something when she hit the pole. She was treated at the scene of the crash. Wolf was also cited for operating without reasonable control.

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5/23/16 – 7:18 A.M.

Two juveniles were injured in a one-car crash over the weekend. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports two people were taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital following a crash just before 3 p.m. Saturday on Marion Township Road 234 near Township Road 207.

The car was headed north on Road 234 when the driver went off the road and overturned in a field.

The crash remains under investigation.

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5/23/16 – 6:54 A.M.

Gas prices are higher in the area, but they are below the state average. OhioGasPrices.com reports the average price in Findlay is $2.34 for a gallon of regular today. That’s a 13 cent increase from last Monday. However the local average is below the state average, which sits at $2.37 a gallon.

While gas prices are on the rise heading toward Memorial Day weekend, they are well below last year’s prices. Last year at this time we were paying around $2.63 a gallon locally.

Drivers in Ottawa are also paying $2.34 for a gallon of regular today. That’s up 10 cents over the last seven days.

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5/23/16 – 6:42 A.M.

The Hancock County Commissioners and Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik met with officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week. The Courier reports the group learned more about where the Corps is in its study of flood mitigation efforts for the Blanchard River. Commissioner Phil Riegle says the Corps is still trying to get permission to use new computer modeling that would change the project’s cost/benefit ratio. That could take up to a month to happen.

The current federal plan doesn’t fit the cost/benefit ratio for the Corps to move forward with the project. However if the new computer modeling is approved for the project, that could change the ratio.

The Corps also informed the commissioners that Hancock County still owes around $160,000 for work on the study. Finishing the study will cost the federal government and the county government another $100,000. The final chief’s report could be ready by next summer.

The county commissioners are considering stepping away from the Corps plan and going with a local option. Potential engineers for that plan are currently being interviewed. The local plan would mean no funding from the federal government.

MORE: The Courier

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5/23/16 – 5:30 A.M.

Elected officials in Pandora won’t be getting a pay raise, at least not yet. The Putnam County Sentinel reports a measure passed last December that approved the raises was pulled back last month. At issue was the timing of the ordinance. The Ohio Auditor’s Office told Pandora Fiscal Officer Kim Reese that the pay raise measure needed to be passed before anyone who could benefit from it filed their petitions to run for office.

Pandora council had voted to increase council members’ annual salaries by $300 to $2,100. The mayor’s salary was set to be increased to $1,000 per month, as opposed to $4,000 per year.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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