About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

3/16 /15 – 4:53 A.M.

A Mount Blanchard home was destroyed by a fire Friday afternoon. Vanlue firefighters were called to 19724 State Route 103 Friday afternoon. No one was at home at the time.

Vanlue Fire Chief Bill Drown says an electrical issue may have started the fire. The blaze started in the home’s laundry room. The home was a total loss and was not insured.

The Red Cross provided food, clothing, and comfort kits with personal hygiene items to the family.


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3/13/15 – 9:18 A.M.

A new policy in the Hopewell-Loudon school district was taken to task this week. The Review-Times reports community members packed a board meeting to voice their concerns about new rules about when school events can and can’t take place.

At issue is the so-called “Sunday policy.” The rules state no school activities can take place on Wednesday nights after 6 p.m. and can only take place on Sundays between 1-5 p.m. One speaker noted the board would sometimes be in violation of its own policy, because board meetings are held on Wednesday nights.

MORE: Review-Times

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3/13/15 – 8:54 A.M.

The Hancock County Agriculture Hall of Fame has four new members today. The annual induction ceremony tookplace during the annual “Farmer’s Share” breakfast Thursday. James Demler of Eagle Township and Emil Nagel of Mount Cory were both honored. Posthumous recognition was given to Lynn Cupples and William Johnson.

The award goes to those who have been instrumental to the success of area agriculture. Nominees can be honored for their work as a producer or in other agriculture-related professions.

MORE: The Courier

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3/13/15 – 6:49 A.M.

A two car accident is slowing down traffic on I-75 in North Baltimore. Media partner Toledo News Now report the crash was reported in the southbound lanes this morning around 6 a.m. Traffic maps show slowdowns on both sides of the interstate in that area. We’ll have more details as they become available.

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3/13/15 – 5:28 A.M.

Negotiating a lease for the Hancock County Agricultural Center will be more difficult this year. The Courier reports officials from the Farm Service Agency met with the Hancock County Commissioners Thursday to talk about their concerns. Cheryl Hinton is a real estate specialist with the FSA, and says a change in federal rules slows the process down.

Federal approval is now needed on lease agreements. Hinton says that’s led to a backlog of expired leases for farm agencies. The government is now providing real estate brokers to negotiate new agreements.

The FSA’s current lease in Hancock County expires on July 31. The group currently pays a little more than $140,000 a year for space in the ag center on County Road 140.

MORE: The Courier

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3/13/15 – 5:17 A.M.

Ohio’s new school testing procedures have received a thumbs down from another area school district. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the Ottawa-Glandorf Board of Education passed a resolution stating that future PARCC and AIR testing should be halted until they can be evaluated. The tests are better known as Common Core. Superintendent Don Horstman says they don’t have problems with the standards, just the testing.

The board has raised questions about the loss of local control and the appropriateness of the testing. The district’s three principals also talked about issues with the program. All three said the testing was labor intensive and prone to glitches. The expense of the tests was also mentioned as a concern.

Copies of the resolution have been sent to the state board of education, the governor, and others.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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3/13/15 – 5:00 A.M.

The mother of a Van Buren High School student has accused the district of ignoring sexual assaults endured by her son. The Courier reports the claims were made during Thursday’s school board meeting. The woman read a statement outlining several bullying incidents and told the board they have until April 9 to fix the problem.

The claims made in the statement say administrators including Superintendent Tim Myers have been aware of continuous bullying that led to a sexual assault in August of 2014. Myers said he was aware of the issues and believes he has followed board policy regarding student discipline. He added the school would continue to work with the parent to fix the situation. The Ohio Department of Education will supply a moderator to help come up with a solution.

Among the parent’s other claims were accusations that football coach Kevin Shoup hadn’t dealt with the allegations. The woman said Shoup was “privy to a multitude of sexualized behaviors in the football locker room and turned a blind eye to the inappropriate behavior of his players while refusing to protect my son.”

MORE: The Courier

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3/12/15 – 11:44 A.M.

Several changes are being proposed for Findlay’s zoning code.  The city planning commission heard the suggested changes during a Thursday meeting.  While several topics were addressed, one recent high profile issue was not.  Hancock Regional Planning Commission Director Matt Cordonier says group or transitional homes aren’t covered in the proposed zoning changes. Any discussion about group homes would be done separately.

One possible change would revise how the city’s zoning commission operates.  Two alternate members could be added so that when businesses from outside of the area come to make requests, they don’t have to come back again if the commission doesn’t have enough members for a quorum.  The revision could also cut down on conflicts of interest.

Another proposal would remove a required review by the city’s historic commission if changes were going to be made in a historic district.  The reasoning behind the request is because Findlay doesn’t have an active historic commission.  A placeholder could be left in the code if the city were to reestablish a commission to look at changes in historical areas.

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3/12/15 – 5:29 A.M.

One person was killed in a crash on U.S. 23 in Wood County Wednesday morning. The State Highway Patrol says the crash happened around 9:45 a.m. near Bradner at the intersection with U.S. 6.

23-year-old Jacob Byington of Walbridge was driving north on U.S. 23 when he hit the back of a semi trailer. The semi was stopped at the intersection. The truck driver was not injured.

The crash closed the highway for several hours.

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3/12/15 – 5:21 A.M.

St. Patrick’s Day is next week, but this weekend will likely be when many do their celebrating. With that in mind “Safe Ride Home” will be active for Hancock County residents. Organizers say they’ll be giving people who have had too much to drink a ride home Saturday night. They’ll also be working Tuesday into Wednesday.

If you need a ride home you can call the organization at (419)425-3908. There’s also a smartphone app called “Iridehome” that can connect you to the service.

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