About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

11/28/16 – 5:13 A.M.

We should know who will fill an empty Hancock County Commissioner’s seat by the end of the day. The Hancock County Republican Central Committee is holding a meeting tonight to interview the candidates. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in Findlay City Council chambers. The seat opened when former Commissioner Phil Riegle accepted an appointment to be the county prosecutor.

Since Riegle is a Republican, the GOP gets to pick the replacement for his term. Local GOP chair Jim Baker tells the Courier he hasn’t told committee members who the candidates are. He added, “we’re trying to be fair with the candidates and the committee.”

Each candidate has three minutes to make a presentation to the committee. They’ll answer questions from committee members after that. The candidate with the majority of the votes from the committee wins the nomination.

MORE: The Courier

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11/28/16 – 4:55 A.M.

Findlay Police are looking for two men who broke into the Habitat for Humanity ReStore Sunday evening. Lt. Robert Ring says an employee called officers to the store at 2040 Tiffin Avenue just after 7 p.m. The employee was checking on the business and found the men had broken into the store. There was a scuffle between the suspects and the employee, who suffered minor injuries but refused treatment. The men ran away without taking anything from the store.

The suspects were both white men in dark clothing. They were wearing blue jeans, and one of the men was wearing a blue sweatshirt. Officers checked the area but could not find anyone matching that description.

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11/28/16 – 4:17 A.M.

Funeral arrangements are pending for the Wood County sheriff’s deputy who died in an accidental shooting. The sheriff’s office says an investigation is underway into Al Adams’ death this past weekend, but all signs indicate no foul play. Adams was off duty when he shot himself at his home on State Route 65 in Grand Rapids.

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Things are getting back to normal following a crash on I-75 northbound that backed up traffic in Findlay following a crash near the U.S 68 split. Local Waze users said the backup started just south of the State Route 12 interchange and stretched past the Lima Avenue overpass. U.S. 68 was also backed up as a result of the crash.  It appears traffic is thinning out now.

We’ll have more details on the crash as they become available.

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11/23/16 – 11:27 A.M.

Local law enforcement officials are stepping up efforts to reduce fatal crashes in the area, but they say they need your help. Lt. Matt Crow is with the State Highway Patrol and says distracted driving continues to be a big issue…

Audio: Matt Crow

Crow says law enforcement is seeing an increase in people driving off the road and rear-ending people. He adds those types of crashes are usually caused by a distraction.

With the holidays approaching, local law enforcement agencies are working together to try and keep people safe on area roadways…

Audio: Matt Crow

Lt. Matt Crow is with the State Highway Patrol and says officers are also looking for impaired and distracted drivers.

There have been 15 fatal crashes on roads in Hancock County this year. That’s compared to 10 last year and eight in 2014.

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11/23/16 – 5:46 A.M.

If you think your vote doesn’t matter, a political race in Hardin County might change your mind. WKTN Radio reports Roger Crowe defeated Robert Carder by two votes in a county commissioners contest. The Hardin County Board of Elections met Monday to count 215 provisional votes and 35 absentee ballots.

The newly announced two vote margin triggers an automatic recount.

MORE: WKTN Radio

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11/23/16 – 5:32 A.M.

A Tuesday morning fire severely damaged an Upper Sandusky home. The Upper Sandusky Fire Department reports firefighters saw flames coming from a garage at 410 West Spring Street as they arrived around 9:45 a.m. One person was home and was able to escape safely.

The fire department says an electrical issue likely sparked the blaze.

Upper Sandusky EMS took one firefighter to Wyandot Memorial Hospital for treatment of health issues.

The American Red Cross is assisting the family who lived in the home.

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11/23/16 – 5:23 A.M.

A two-car crash south of Findlay injured a Rossford woman late Tuesday afternoon. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports the collision happened near the intersection of U.S. 68 and Eagle Township Road 168 around 5:45 p.m. Investigators say 43-year-old Malia Homer was driving on U.S. 68 when she hit the back of an SUV driven by 33-year-old Shelby Bower of Findlay. Bower had stopped for traffic.

Hanco Ambulance took Homer to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Deputies cited her for an assured clear distance violation.

Bower was not injured.

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11/23/16 – 5:12 A.M.

Unemployment rates remain low in the area. Numbers released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show Hancock County’s jobless rate dropped to 3.4 percent in October. That’s down slightly from 3.6 percent in September.

Only Putnam County has a lower rate locally. The unemployment rate in Putnam County stands at 3.3 percent, down from 3.5 in September.

Rates for other counties: (September numbers in parenthesis.)

Allen, 4.7 percent (5 percent); Hardin, 4.7 (5); Henry, 4 (4.4); Putnam, 3.3 (3.5); Seneca, 4.3 (4.6); Wood, 4 (4.3); and Wyandot, 3.4 (3.6).

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11/23/16 – 5:03 A.M.

Several Hancock County residents are facing drug charges. The Courier reports the grand jury handed up a secret indictment against 24-year-old Kirbi Clark of Findlay on charges of aggravated trafficking in drugs and trafficking in heroin. Investigators say Clark sold fentanyl within 100 feet of a juvenile last month.

The grand jury also handed up an indictment against 53-year-old Andrea Shellenbarger on two charges of permitting drug abuse. Investigators say Shellenbarger heroin out of her car in August and September in Findlay.

You can see the full list of indictments in today’s edition of the Courier.

MORE: The Courier

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