About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

8/13/15 – 5:21 A.M.

The Putnam County Board of Elections budget came under fire from the county commissioners this week. The Putnam County Sentinel reports a $5,000 difference between what the commissioners budgeted and what was submitted by the BOE was a sticking point. The increase was due in large part to an increase in staff wages that were not allocated during the current budget.

The Board of Elections approved a bump in staff wages late last year. The biggest increase was for clerk Mary Sybert, who went from $12.10 an hour to $15.45. BOE member Tom Jerwers told the commissioners, “When you talk real dollars, we were just bringing a dedicated employee up to a livable wage.”

Commissioner Vincent Schroeder said the commissioners hands were tied. Putnam County laws prevent the commissioners from placing extra money in salary line items.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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8/13/15 – 5:06 A.M.

A Rawson man accused of leading Findlay police officers on a high-speed chase was indicted by the Hancock County grand jury Wednesday. The Courier reports 20-year-old Casey Fowler has been charged with failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer.  That’s a third-degree felony.

Fowler allegedly fled from a police stop August 7, leading an officer on a high-speed chase west on Howard Street. The chase was short-lived, as Fowler crashed as he tried to turn onto U.S. 224.

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8/13/15 – 5:00 A.M.

A district manager for Circle K has been indicted on a charge that accuses of her stealing money from the company. The Courier reports 50-year-old Conna Rexroad of Dunkirk faces one felony count of theft. Investigators accuse Rexroad of taking around $250,000 from the company between January of 2011 and February of this year.

Rexroad was the district manager for Circle K in Allen and Hancock Counties. The alleged stolen money was deposited in Hancock County, resulting in charges being filed here.

MORE: The Courier

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8/13/15 – 4:51 A.M.

A Findlay employee has been suspended from his job following a traffic accident west of Findlay last Friday. The Courier reports 30-year-old Justin Weddington was driving with a suspended license when he was involved in a two-car crash on State Route 12 near the Liberty-Benton elementary school. His license had been suspended following a DUI conviction in June.

Three people including Weddington were injured last week when he went left of center and hit a car driven by 49-year-old Lisa Brown.

Weddington has been the city’s director of computer services for around two years. He’s been placed on paid leave. Mayor Lydia Mihalik says if charges are filed, Weddington could be put on unpaid leave.

MORE: The Courier

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8/12/2015      8:45pm

A Toledo K-9 was shot and killed by a suspect who fled police into a vacant house in Toledo Wednesday evening. The Toledo Blade reports that police chased what they believe was a stolen car which stopped outside a house. Police, including the K-9 followed and the driver of the car shot the dog. A human officer returned fire, hitting the suspect before leaving the house.

One person was taken into custody. Neighbors described the home as being vacant for years. Police have removed the body of the dog from the house and did not release the names of the deceased K-9 or its partner. Authorities also would not name the suspects in the case.

More: The Toledo Blade

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8/12/2015  8:05pm
Update – 8/14/15 11:01 A.M. – A previous version of the story read “an assessor for the commission said that it wasn’t usual for no one to speak during the hearing,” when what he said was that it was “not unusual.” The sentence has been corrected.

No one from the public showed up to speak at a re-accreditation hearing for the Findlay Police Department Wednesday night. The hearing was held by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. The hearing was held by assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. which reviews a police department procedures and operations. The goal of COLEA is to improve the delivery of public safety services.

The Findlay Police Department was originally accredited by CALEA back in 2012. Captain Paul Verrecchia, an assessor for the commission said that it wasn’t unusual for no one to speak during the hearing.

Paul Verecchia: Paul Verrecchia

Once the assessors have completed their review of the department they will report back to the full commission, who then determines reaccreditation. Accreditation remains valid for three years, during which the police department is required to submit annual reports of compliance.

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8/12/2015   5:35pm

Soybeans are a major crop in Hancock County and given the unusual weather this growing season, are highly susceptible to disease. Hancock Agriculture Extension Educator Ed Lentz says that there are three major types of soybean diseases that farmers need to be on the lookout for in this area.

Ed Lentz: Ed Lentz


Lentz says that farmers need to remember to review their seed disease packages prior to planting. Doing so will help avoid many of the issues.

Ed Lentz: Ed Lentz

According to Lentz a review of the disease package prior to the planting season and following a plan based on that package may save area farmers around $30 to $50 an acre depending on other conditions throughout the year and when encountering disease issues, Lentz reminds farmers to note where the disease appeared in the fields and to check the disease package on seed purchased prior to the beginning of the growing season.

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8/12/2015  5:30PM

School begins for students in the Findlay City School District next Monday, August 17th. While school start times will remain the same for the majority of the district, start times for elementary students will be changed this year. Ed Kurt, Findlay Schools Superintendent said that a change was made following several issues in getting students to the right buildings on time.

Audio: Ed Kurt

Additionally performance testing and the stress to prepare students for the testing has been a major issue for several years. However Kurt says that the state has reduced the number of student assessment tests. Starting this year, students will be assessed in one test at the end of the school year.

Audio: Ed Kurt

Kurt says that third-grade students will still be required to take two rounds of reading tests during the year. Parents are encouraged to review the start times for each building on the Findlay schools website at www.findlaycityschools.org.

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8/12/2015   4:30PM

Ohio is headed for a historic vote on the question of legalizing and commercializing marijuana. The Toledo Blade reported this afternoon that Secretary of State Jon Husted certified a proposed constitutional amendment for the Nov. 3 ballot, finding that the group ResponsibleOhio succeeded in patching a roughly 30,000-signature deficit previously identified in its petitions.

The ballot issue will ask voters to legalize the use of pot for recreational and medical purposes and build a new merchandising structure around the newly legal business that would be regulated and taxed. The proposed amendment also would write the specific parcel numbers of 10 growing facilities, to be operated by those financing the ballot campaign, into the state constitution. One of those would be on a North Toledo farm.

The plan would also set up a system for testing the quality, safety, and potency of the marijuana. One of those testing centers would be in Wood County.


The Toledo Blade

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8/12/15 – 10:33 A.M.

Efforts to keep runoff out of the Blanchard River got a funding boost recently. The Great Lakes Commission awarded the Blanchard River Watershed Partnership nearly $30,000 to be used in the Middle Riley Creek Watershed.

The money will be used to help promote the planting of cover crops and for the use of conservation tillage along Riley Creek. A release from the BRWP says “each practice will involve a three-year contract with cost share for the farmers.” If you’re interested in taking part you should call (419)422-6487.

The goal of the program is to reduce phosphorus runoff into area waterways. Phosphorus has been blamed for causing a buildup of toxic algae in Lake Erie.

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