About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

11/18/15 – 4:49 A.M.

A proposed change to the Findlay tax code that would have required 16 and 17-year-olds to file tax returns, even if they didn’t have taxable income, has been scrapped. Mayor Lydia Mihalik wrote a letter to city council asking the ordinance be amended. The changes mean only 16 and 17-year-olds who earn income have to file a return. 18-year-olds will still have to file a return regardless of income.

Mihalik said the change was made to, “clear up any misconception from members of the public or public officials.”

Tax administrator Andrew Thomas had lobbied for the change. He said his office has to track down around 600 people a year to see if they’ve earned a taxable income. The change may have reduced that. Auditor Jim Staschiak disagreed, saying the rules would have “unnecessarily burden a child.”

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11/17/2015 – 10:10 pm

Concerned residents from West Hobart Avenue in Findlay presented a letter to the Findlay City Council Tuesday night. The concern they had was that West Hobart is a heavily traveled street for people going from Western Avenue to South Main Street. The letter states that the street is in need of curbing, changes to the storm drainage system, and widened to allow more room for drivers to get around parked cars.

The council accepted and filed the letter. Councilman John Harrington asked if the request would be referred to a council committee. Mayor Lydia Mihalik said that instead the request would be reviewed by Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer to be incorporated into the 2016 capital improvements plan.

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11/17/2015 – 6:30 pm

Area farmers will have an opportunity to attend certification classes if they wish to use pesticides. Hancock County Extension Educator Ed Lentz says that a session will be held on November 24th at the VFW Hall in Ottawa and will be open to all area farmers who need to be certified.

Audio: Ed Lentz

The program itself will be from 6pm-9pm. Lentz says that the state has required all pesticide applicators to be recertified in light of the phosphorus issues in Lake Erie. Lentz says that farms in the Lake Erie watershed may be contributing to the issue, and the classes will give people a better idea as to what to be looking for.

Audio: Ed Lentz

For more information on the training classes, you need to contact the Hancock County OSU Extension Office at 419-422-3851.

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11/17/2015 – 5:19 pm

The Main Street Bridge in Findlay may soon be renamed. The Courier reports State Sen. Cliff Hite announced the passage of legislation, SB 179, to rename the bridge as the Lt. Col. Ralph D. Cole Memorial Bridge.

Cole was born in Vanlue in 1873 and served in the Ohio House from Hancock County from 1900 to 1904. Later he served as a US Congressman from the 8th Congressional District from 1905 to 1911. The bill will now be sent to the Ohio House of Representatives for consideration.

More: The Courier

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11/17/2015 – 5:09 pm

The 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard will be conducting nighttime training flights now through Friday, weather permitting. The Courier reports that residents throughout northwest Ohio may see or hear the F-16 fighter jets taking off and landing until 9:00 pm this week.

Training flights usually take place during the daylight hours, however, F-16 pilots and maintenance personnel are required to conduct night operations as well.

More: The Courier

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11/17/2015 – 3:23 pm

A missing Hancock County man has been found. According to a release Findlay police put out a endangered missing adult alert for 29-year-old Nathan Bash earlier today. Bash was described as having a mental disorder that required medication. Bash was located just before 2:00 pm Tuesday afternoon and safely returned to his residence.

The Findlay Police Department thanks the public for their help.

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11/17/2015 – 12:08 pm

For financial reasons, many schools across Ohio have instituted a pay-to-play policy when it comes to extracurricular activities. The theory is that these fees will help offset the cost of offering the activity to students. However, many times these fees can also create a financial hardship for families of students who want to participate, and some students may not participate in activities and sports because they cannot afford to do so. Ohio Senator Cliff Hite is addressing these concerns and possible solutions in a series of informational hearings across the state. Hite says that pay-for-play fees can at times reach as high as $1000.00 per student, which will prevent some students from participating in activities and sports.

Audio: Senator Cliff Hite

Extracurricular activities can be anything in the school, from sports, to clubs, organizations and any activity that is outside the scope of the classroom but also school related. Hite, himself a former teacher and coach, says that many students perform better in the class if they’re involved in activities outside of the class.

Audio: Senator Cliff Hite

Hite has been holding public hearings across the state and he says that by and large most people are ok with the idea of eliminating pay-to-play policies, but the issue then becomes, what comes next?

Audio: Senator Cliff Hite

Many schools are caught between a rock and a hard place because, as Hite said, they’ve seen significant drops in student participation when pay-to-play is school policy, but can’t afford to offer activities unless they are offered as pay-to-play.

Audio: Senator Cliff Hite

So, what is the solution? Well, there isn’t a clear one yet, and Hite says that any compromise will require both sides to give a bit, but the state senate is holding the public meetings to see what ideas can be garnered from the public.

Audio: Senator Cliff Hite

If you have an idea or concern that you would like to send to Senator Hite, you can contact his office at 614-466-8150 or email at Hite@OhioSenate.gov.

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1/17/15 – 6:39 A.M.

A crash in the southbound lanes of I-75 is causing a major backup near Bowling Green this morning. An incident near mile marker 181 has the right lane closed. Traffic is backed up to just south of Dunbridge. You’re advised to avoid that area if you can for the time being.

So far there are no details available on the crash.

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11/17/15 – 5:20 A.M.

A sonar survey of Bluffton’s Shannon Cemetery will be done soon. The Courier reports village council passed a resolution to have a Toledo Company scan the cemetery before moving forward with a plan to build a memorial there. The survey will be paid for with $650 worth of donated money.

Councilman Roger Warren was the only member of council to vote against the resolution. He said the sonar scan was a waste of money and that the village should move forward with the memorial project.

The issue has been the topic of controversy. A community group has argued the cemetery should be returned to its original state.

MORE: The Courier

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11/17/15 – 5:11 A.M.

The issue of a Carey employee’s pay was settled during a Monday night village council meeting. The Courier reports an ordinance to pay Executive Secretary Dixie Risser $16.51 an hour was passed. The ordinance specifies Risser will not have to pay back between $250-$300 she was overpaid when her pay rate was initially set at $16.77 an hour. The amount was 26 cents more than the top pay for the position’s pay range.

Councilman Mike Blair voted against the measure, saying Risser’s pay should have been left alone. Mayor Steve Smalley says a new pay range will be set at a later date.

MORE: The Courier

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