About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

8/6/14 – 6:45 A.M.

North Baltimore’s emergency responders were praised at last night’s village council meeting for their response to the recent fire at HPJ Industries. Council members saluted firefighters, EMS workers and police. Councilman Bill Cameron said, “It truly was amazing how coordinated the effort was.”

The Courier reports Fire Chief Ted Francisco said he’ll apply for state grants to improve radios so they can better communicate with other departments.

MORE: The Courier

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8/6/14 – 5:27 A.M.

Putnam County leaders talked more about the Road I-9 bridge Tuesday. The bridge is often blamed for acting like a dam when the Blanchard River is running high, causing more flooding in Ottawa. But Putnam County Engineer Terrance Recker tells the Courier there’s a lot to consider when it comes to changing the bridge.

Recker says the bridge is currently designed to stay dry during a 100-year flood. He added proposed changes to the bridge would mean it would be covered by water during a two-year flood event. County Commissioner Vince Schroeder says 1,400 cars a day use the bridge, and that it’s important for ambulances heading north out of Glandorf.

Recker suggests building another bridge around 700 feet north of the current I-9 bridge. He believes it could be built so that it wouldn’t create backwater, and would be able to stay open when the river is running high.

MORE: The Courier

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8/6/14 – 5:15 A.M.

Ottawa officials say they’re on board with future flood-control measures for the village. Mayor Dean Meyer spoke to the Courier the day after a source told the newspaper Putnam County officials might pull out of the flood study. Meyer said Ottawa officials have asked the Putnam County Commissioners to support the Army Corps of Engineers plan. However, he said that if the commissioners didn’t, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker.

Meyer added he didn’t know how the commissioners could pull out of something they haven’t been a part of. So far Putnam County hasn’t paid any money for the flood studies. Ottawa officials say they’ll use state money to help pay for flood control projects in the village.

MORE: The Courier

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8/6/14 – 5:02 A.M.

The trial date for one of the suspects in a fatal Fostoria house fire has been set. The Review-Times reports Timothy Hall will go in front of a jury on October 27 in the Seneca County Common Pleas Court. Hall was indicted in June for his alleged role in a fire that killed two people and injured one other.

Investigators say Hall got rid of the strike cap from a railroad flare that was used to start a fire at 614 South Poplar Street on May 26. He’s charged with tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice. Shey Weiker is accused of throwing the flare into the house. Charles Schaeffer is said to have shown her how to use the flare. Weiker faces murder charges, while Schaeffer is charged with being complicit in the crimes.

The fire killed 48-year-old Daniel Marker Jr. and 44-year-old Tara Lynn Vance. 49-year-old Dana Weatherall was injured in the blaze.

MORE: Review-Times

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8/6/14 – 4:51 A.M.

The city of Findlay could buy a new aerial truck for the fire department. At last night’s city council meeting Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer said that the five-year capital plan calls for spending $700,000 to replace the current ladder and pumper truck. No decision was made last night. The topic will be brought up at the next Appropriations Committee meeting.

In other fire department matters, Schmelzer said that the Gilbane Building Company has offered to pay two-thirds of the costs to upgrade the department’s crane rescue equipment. The amount totals $15,000. Gilbane has been coordinating with the Findlay Fire Department on training exercises. Most of the work has taken place on the Marathon Petroleum construction site.

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8/5/14 – 10:47 A.M.

Mt. Blanchard is getting a state grant to help make improvements to infrastructure in the village. Aleta Foust is with the Hancock Regional Planning Commission. She told the county commissioners today the $300,000 neighborhood revitalization grant will help pay for $420,000 worth of improvements…

Audio: Aleta Foust

Foust says this is the first neighborhood revitalization grant to come to Hancock County. She added only a few were given across the state…

Audio: Aleta Foust

It will probably be February of next year before the work begins.

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8/5/14 – 10:33 A.M.

A hit-skip crash is under investigation in Findlay today. The Findlay Police Department reports the incident happened just after 6 a.m. on West Main Cross Street.

23-year-old Lindsey Casey was driving east when she was hit by another vehicle that merged into her lane. The other car did not stop, and entered I-75 southbound. Casey was not injured.

No description of the second car was available.

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8/5/14 – 5:06 A.M.
Update – 8:58 A.M.

Congressman Bob Latta has invited a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to tour the flood zone of the Blanchard River. The invitation was extended to Buffalo District Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Karl Jansen Monday. The two are expected to examine areas along the river in Findlay and Ottawa Wednesday afternoon.

A release from Latta’s office says the tour will, “build upon previous efforts to ensure continued progress on the Blanchard River Flood Risk Management Project.” Latta says he hopes the tour will help Jansen see how important the completion of the project first hand.

The public is invited.  If you want to be part of the Findlay portion of the tour, you need to meet in room 318 of the Findlay Municipal Building by 2:45 p.m.  The Ottawa portion of the tour will start at 5 p.m. at the I-9 bridge.

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8/5/14 – 7:10 A.M.

The Hancock County Engineer’s Office will close the bridge on Osborn Avenue in Findlay today. A release from the department says the closure will allow equipment to be placed on the bridge to collect soil borings in the Blanchard River.

The bridge will be closed at 9 a.m. It’s expected to reopen by 5 p.m., weather permitting.

There will not be detours posted for the closure. Drivers are advised to find other routes around the area.

View Osborn Ave. Bridge Closed in a larger map

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8/5/14 – 6:52 A.M.

A Fostoria man was arrested Monday after he tried to steal his own truck. The Fostoria Police Department reports 45-year-old Richard Kelley was taken into custody around 6 p.m. last night. He allegedly tried to take his truck from a North Countyline Street towing service.

Earlier in the day Kelley was arrested for OVI. As a result his truck was towed away. Kelley allegedly took the truck back before it could be impounded. Officers spotted it outside a South Main Street bar Monday evening.

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