About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

10/25/16 – 5:30 A.M.

Our look at the Putnam County Sheriff’s contest continues today. Dennis Cupp is Leipsic’s police chief and has worked in law enforcement for nearly 40 years. Cupp says opioid addiction is the biggest issue in the county, and adds he is leading an education effort on the issue…

Audio: Dennis Cupp

Cupp says he would also like to see the D.A.R.E. program brought back in the county.

Cupp says he believes there can be a better relationship between the sheriff’s office and other law enforcement agencies in the county…

Audio: Dennis Cupp

Cupp adds he believes a mentorship role between deputies and officers in smaller communities can be beneficial.

You can listen to the full interview on our website.

Full Interview:

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10/25/16 – 5:18 A.M.

The Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Service center saw a 26 percent increase in people helped in 2015. The Courier reports the agency recapped the previous year during its annual meeting Monday. Executive Director Ashley Ritz says the center helped more and 10,400 people last year.

Ritz says the crisis hotline took 485 calls in 2015. It also housed 80 people at the emergency shelter and supported 1,320 people through court accompaniment and medical advocacy. More than 5,700 children received education about domestic violence prevention through the agency.

Ritz says Open Arms has 10 full-time employees, eight part-time employees, and several volunteers. The center is open 24 hours a day.

MORE: The Courier

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10/25/16 – 5:03 A.M.

Hancock County Commissioner Phil Riegle is now the county’s prosecutor. The Hancock County Republican Central Committee appointed Riegle to the role Monday. The position came open when Governor John Kasich appointed former prosecutor Mark Miller as a Findlay Municipal Court judge. Riegle will finish Miller’s term, which expires in January.

Riegle filed as a write-in candidate for prosecutor over the summer. He is running unopposed in the race.

The GOP Central Committee now has to appoint a replacement for Riegle as county commissioner. Committee Chairman Jim Baker tells the Courier a seven-person committee will evaluate applicants. The committee will rank the applicants, and the Central Committee will pick a new commissioner to finish Riegle’s term at a November 28 meeting.

MORE: The Courier

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10/24/16 – 12:55 P.M.

Donald Trump Jr. campaigned in Findlay for his father Monday. Speaking in front of the Republican Party headquarters, Trump said there’s a groundswell of support for his father that doesn’t show up in polling…

Audio: Donald Trump Jr.

Trump Jr. told the audience people are sick of politicians on both sides of the aisle not keeping their promises when they get to Washington. He added that was a big part of the appeal of his father’s campaign…

Audio: Donald Trump Jr.

Part of Trump’s message was encouraging supporters to take advantage of early voting. He said those on hand should also talk to their friends and family and make sure they get to the polls as well.

Facebook Live Video From Event:


(Forward to 12:25 mark for campaign video.)

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10/24/16 – 6:54 A.M.

Local gas prices are down to start the last full week of October. OhioGasPrices.com reports the average price in Findlay is $2.04 for a gallon of regular today. That’s a 10 cent drop over the last seven days. By comparison, local prices are around 10 cents cheaper than they were a year ago.

In Ottawa, drivers are paying $1.99 per gallon.

The statewide average is $2.03 for a gallon of regular, down 12 cents over the last week.

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10/24/16 – 5:30 A.M.

You’ll see road crews in a few different parts of Hancock County this week. ODOT reports crews will occasionally reduce State Route 12 between Findlay and Fostoria to one lane to install pavement reflectors. In the meantime eastbound State Route 12 in Findlay remains closed during daytime hours from Tiffin Avenue to Bright Road. A storm sewer line installation project continues in that area.

Crews will reduce U.S. 224 between State Route 235 and the Putnam County line to one lane this week. Pavement repair is taking place in that area.

On Thursday ODOT will close the I-75 southbound exit ramp at State Route 103 in Bluffton for pavement repair.

I-75 remains reduced to one lane in both directions between State Route 235 and the Hancock County Road 60 overpass for a resurfacing project.

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10/24/16 – 5:30 A.M.

Our look at candidates in contested races continues today with the Putnam County Sheriff’s contest. Brian Siefker has been an employee with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office for more than 20 years. He says opioid addiction is the biggest issue in the county, and the sheriff’s office should lead an education initiative about the problem…

Audio: Brian Siefker

Siefker adds there should be zero tolerance for people who sell opioids in the county.

Siefker says he believes he can foster a good relationship between the community and the sheriff’s office…

Audio: Brian Siefker

Siefker adds he believes his years of work in the sheriff’s office have helped him build good relationships with other law enforcement agencies in the county.

Tomorrow we will continue our look at the Sheriff’s race with a feature Dennis Cupp.

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10/24/16 – 5:20 A.M.

Donald Trump Jr. will campaign for his father in Findlay today. He’s expected to be at the Findlay Republican Party Headquarters between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Cheryl Blakely is the chairwoman of the Trump campaign in Hancock County and says Trump Jr. will talk about early voting.

The Republican Party headquarters in Findlay is at 113 West Crawford Street.

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10/24/16 – 5:14 A.M.

Hancock County residents have a new way to get connected to United Way supported services. The agency announced today that there is now a “live chat” option on their website. To use the new feature you can go to LiveUnitedHancockCounty.org/211 and click on “live chat.”

The program is an extension of the 2-1-1 service available in the community. The 2-1-1 help center provides information on veteran’s services, health care, health insurance, prescription help, and more.

If you have an agency in Hancock County that would like to collaborate with 2-1-1 services, you can send an email to 211updates@unitedwaycleveland.org

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10/24/16 – 5:04 A.M.

Some Putnam County residents can’t call 911 from a landline this morning. In a Facebook post, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said residents with a Pandora, Columbus Grove, and Leipsic phone exchange are in the outage area. The post says these are the known affected areas, but the issue could expand further than that.

If you need to call 911 from these areas you’ll need to use a cell phone.

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