About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

11/17/14 – 5:22 A.M.

The Columbus Grove village council has filled a vacant seat. The Putnam County Sentinel reports Brian Schroeder will fill the unexpired term of Gary Zeisloft. Zeisloft resigned his position in late September. Schroeder and three others had expressed interest in the council seat.

Mayor Ken Wright said the village couldn’t have gone wrong with the choices they were presented. He encouraged the others to throw their hat in the ring and run for council in 2015.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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11/17/14 – 5:09 A.M.

A Putnam County man was killed in a one-car crash Saturday morning. The State Highway Patrol reports the 30-year-old Abraham Saldana lost his life in an accident on Road Y near Belmore around 5 a.m.

Saldana was driving east when he failed to make a turn in the road. His car went into a cornfield, hit a ditch, and overturned. Saldana was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the car.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.

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It appears two of the children of a man once declared legally dead will not have to pay the Social Security Administration back for benefits they received. The Courier reports the federal agency has backed off their demands for repayment from two of Donald Miller’s children. Miller’s ex-wife is currently trying to get a similar waiver for herself and her oldest daughter.

Miller was declared legally dead in 1994 after he disappeared, before turning up in Ohio again in 2005. Because of the ruling, his wife and children were granted his social security benefits. Robin Miller says the Social Security Administration had asked for a repayment of more than $47,000 – even though the benefits paid out were less than $30,000. The administration has refused to comment on why that is.

MORE: The Courier

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11/17/14 – 4:46 A.M.

A Roman Catholic priest in northwest Ohio is accused of having inappropriate relationships with women. The Diocese of Toledo says Reverend David Reinhart is on administrative leave and cannot exercise public ministry, administer any of the sacraments, wear clerical attire or present himself publicly as a priest. Reinhart was the pastor of St. John the Evangelist parish in Delphos and St. John the Baptist parish in Landeck.

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11/17/14 – 4:43 A.M.

A solar farm continues to provide benefits to the city of Findlay. The Courier reports the solar panels on Broad Avenue have partially powered the city’s Water Pollution Control Center for two years now. The savings have been similar each year. The panels will cut around $55,000 in electric costs this year, down from $58,500 in 2013. Plant superintendent David Beach says it’s been cloudier this year, resulting in the slight drop in savings.

Marathon Petroleum donated the panels to the city. It cost the company more than $4 million to build the 5,900 panel facility. Marathon is using the solar farm to research the potential of using solar panels to cut electricity use at its refineries.

MORE: The Courier

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11/14/14 – 1:12 P.M.

To say the topic of flood mitigation is a contentious one in the agricultural community could be a bit of an understatement. Several area farmers attended today’s meeting about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s tentative flood mitigation plan. Not too many were convinced it was a good idea…

Audio: Steve Oman

Former Hancock County Commissioner Steve Oman has been a vocal critic of flood mitigation for the Blanchard River. Oman said he doesn’t think the ag community can be convinced there is a plan that can work if it involves taking away farm land.

Gary Wilson is the president of the Hancock County Farm Bureau and says the current plan is a bitter pill to swallow…

Audio: Gary Wilson

Wilson said he is in favor of a dialogue with the Army Corps. He added that recent meetings with Corps members have been helpful in getting some questions answered.

Several area farmers spoke their mind about plans for a diversion channel and levee in Findlay, and the comments were not positive…

Audio: Steve Oman

Oman and others on hand said they had no faith in the government to come up with a solution and be upfront with the public about it.

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11/14/14 – 1:06 P.M.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took questions and comments about the tentative flood control plan in Findlay today. As the audience learned, the tentative plan is somewhat of a rough draft of the mitigation efforts that could be implemented…

Audio: Karl Jansen

Lt. Col. Karl Jansen says the detailed report will be made public in early 2015. Jansen adds once that’s done, the very important public comment period will begin.

The cost of Blanchard River Flood mitigation won’t be cheap. Jansen said the current estimate to build a diversion channel and levee is around $87 million. However, we’re a long way from the final numbers…

Audio: Karl Jansen

Jansen says we’ll have a better idea of the cost if Congress approves an appropriation for the plan.

Of course, there were several questions and comments about the plan. One big question people asked was how a levee and diversion channel will actually change how the Blanchard handles heavy rain.

Jansen says that’s an answer the Corps has to get better at explaining…

Audio: Karl Jansen

Corps representatives said currently when it rains a lot, it’s like pouring a big bucket of water down a drain. The flood mitigation measures would make it like pouring several cups of water down the same drain. The breaking up of the initial surge would allow water to move downstream before the next surge comes through.

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11/14/14 – 7:38 A.M.

There will be no strike at a Fostoria employer. The Review-Times reports The United Auto Workers Local 533 and Autolite have agreed to a tentative agreement. Details on the contract have not been released as union members will still have to vote on it.

80 UAW members were preparing to hit the picket line today. UAW 533 President Skip Angles told the newspaper the union was operating under its second extension with the company after the most recent labor contract expired Oct. 31.

MORE: Review Times

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11/14/14 – 7:15 A.M.

A new medical facility opened in Putnam County Thursday. The Putnam County Sentinel reports St. Rita’s Medical Center opened a doctor’s office in Columbus Grove. St. Rita’s Professional Services President Dr. Herbert Schumm told the newspaper they felt there was a void of medical coverage in Columbus Grove and wanted to do something about it.

The office will be staffed 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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11/14/14 – 6:58 A.M.

There were several people on hand for last night’s Van Buren school board meeting, but only a few talked about another failed building levy. The Courier reports the general consensus of those who did speak was that the district needs more community input before going back to voters.

Some community members expressed concern about the length of the 30-year bond. Others said it wasn’t made clear how much repairs to the existing buildings would cost. School officials say fixing all the buildings on the school campus would be around $20 million. Repairs to the 1918 portion of the building will be around $5 million.

Superintendent Tim Myers also talked about the levy. Myers said they have to figure out exactly what the community members want.

MORE: The Courier

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