About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

2/4/15 – 4:26 A.M.

Nearly one-dozen animals taken from Tiger Ridge Exotics will remain in the custody of the state for now. Yesterday, a Wood County judge stayed all proceedings while the case makes its way through the appeals court. A total of eleven animals were seized last Wednesday by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and taken to Reynoldsburg, but were later ordered to be returned. The state says they were being kept in inhumane conditions.

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2/3/15 – 1:51 A.M.

The Hancock County Jail is getting a new piece of security equipment. The county commissioners approved buying a full body scanner to install at the facility. Commissioner Phil Riegle says there are a variety of uses for the scanner. The new equipment will allow jail employees to process inmates quicker as they come back from work release, programs or court hearings.

Jail Administrator Lt. Ryan Kidwell said the jail offers programs for inmates in an attempt to help them become a more productive citizen upon release. However, some inmates chose not to attend programs because of the strip search process involved.

Audio: Ryan Kidwell

The ADAMHS Board is also in favor of the scanner. The organization holds meetings for inmates on the first floor of the sheriff’s office, but getting inmates to attend can require a strip search. The hope is that a less invasive screening will lead to more inmates taking classes.

The scanner will cost $21,000. Commissioner Brian Robertson says the county is getting the machine through federal surplus. The Rapiscan Secure 1000SP Security Scanner cost 10 times that amount when bought new. The body scanners had been used in airports, but it was determined they revealed a little too much.

Every time inmates leave the jail and the protection of the staff they are scanned. Some of those instances include going to programs, attending court or doctor’s appointments.

Kidwell said the new scanner will hopefully be less traumatic and encourage more involvement in programs. The new search process will also be quicker, with one officer of same sex monitoring the scanner as inmates walk through fully clothed. Kidwell said this will be less invasive and still keep the facility safe and secure.

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2/3/15 – 5:25 A.M.

A little more clarity has been given on regulations regarding sidewalks in Carey. The Courier reports village Law Director Bob Maison reported to council on the issue during Monday’s meeting. Maison said several areas of the town are exempt from sidewalk installation. That’s because subdivision regulations govern sidewalk placement. As a result Snyder Park and other areas are exempt.

Maison also said that installation of sidewalks in those areas would need a consensus vote of residents.

The subject has been talked about recently as the village looks for ways to install sidewalks near the new school building.

MORE: The Courier

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2/3/15 – 5:11 A.M.

Four Putnam County parishes have a new official. The Putnam County Sentinel reports that Reverend Rick Friebel has been installed as a new vicar. Friebel will assist the priests at the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ottawa; Saint Michael’s Catholic Church in Kalida; Saint John’s Catholic Church in Continental; and Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Glandorf.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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2/3/15 – 5:04 A.M.

Arlington residents could form a group to negotiate for lower electric rates. The Courier reports voters in the village will be asked to install an electricity aggregation program on the May ballot. The program would only apply to American Electric Power customers in Arlington.

Those not wanting to take part could “opt out” at no cost.

MORE: The Courier

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2/3/15 – 4:37 A.M.

A Lima-area family is staying in Columbus until they or police find some sign of a transgender teenager. Fifteen-year-old Ashley Lane was last seen this past weekend at a dance party as part of Ohayocon at the Columbus Convention Center. Her family is concerned about her safety after she left all her belongings at their hotel room and fear she may have been taken from the area.

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2/2/15 – 7:39 A.M.

Gas prices are up as we start a new work week. Ohiogasprices.com reports the statewide average for a gallon of regular is $2.03. A week ago the state average was $1.88. Prices jumped early last week, and started decreasing again over the weekend.

Locally, Findlay prices are around $2.08 a gallon. That’s up from a $1.91 a gallon last Monday, but down from last Tuesday’s $2.15 a gallon.

Ottawa drivers are paying $2.05 a gallon.

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2/2/15 – 5:31 A.M.
Update – 6:45 A.M.
Update – 12:13 P.M.
Update – 1:16 P.M.

While the snow storm didn’t drop as much snow as we initially anticipated it still made a mess on area roads. Seneca and Henry Counties are all under Level 2 Road Alerts. That means roadways are hazardous. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. Hancock, Wood and Putnam Counties have downgraded to Level 1 Road Alerts.

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2/2/15 – 5:21 A.M.

Three Putnam County residents were indicted on drug charges last week. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office reports indictments were handed up as the result of a lengthy investigation into drug sales in the area.

32-year-old Robert Howard of Ottawa faces three counts of trafficking in marijuana, one count of trafficking in a drug, and permitting drug abuse with a vehicle. 28-year-old Roberto Barraza of Leipsic is facing counts of trafficking in marijuana and trafficking in prescription pills. 37-year-old Jeremy Okuley of Continental is accused of selling cocaine.

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