About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

7/29/16 – 5:31 A.M.

Area businesses are being made aware of a scam making its way through the area. Businesses have been contacted by a Seattle, Washington company asking them to buy a plaque for winning a “Best of Findlay award.” The email is a sales scam and is not related to a recent promotion run by the Findlay Courier.

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7/29/16 – 5:21 A.M.

A Hancock County Common Pleas Court Magistrate is retiring today. The Courier reports Karen Elliot will step down after 15 years of working in the Domestic Relations Division. Elliot tells the newspaper she plans to move to Monroe County on the eastern side of the state, which is closer to Rogers, Ohio. That’s where she is originally from. She says she’ll be dedicating more time to mission and church activities.

Attorney Elizabeth Behrendt is taking Elliott’s place. Behrendt was sworn in on July 6 and will start work on August 1.

MORE: The Courier

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7/29/16 – 5:10 A.M.

A Napoleon man was arraigned on a murder charge in Putnam County this week. The Courier reports 30-year-old Travis Soto is also charged with tampering with evidence in the death of 2-year-old Julio Baldoza in 2006. Bond has been set at $500,000.

On Monday, Soto reportedly went to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and admitted to the crime. He had already pleaded guilty to a charge of child endangerment and spent time in prison for the incident.

Soto was living in Continental in 2006 when he ran over his son with an ATV. At the time he told investigators he was coming around a corner and didn’t see the boy. He didn’t seek medical treatment, and the boy died hours later.

The case remains under investigation.

MORE: The Courier

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7/29/16 – 5:01 A.M.

An effort to show appreciation for local law enforcement officers is underway. The Courier reports the wives of two Hancock County sheriff’s deputies are collecting items for Monday’s nationwide “Back the Blue Day.” Kayla Brooks and Kendra Brunswick tell the newspaper they are looking for things like handwritten “thank you” cards made by children, gift cards, water bottles, and prepackaged snacks. Several businesses have already donated.

The items will be delivered to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office at 1 p.m. Monday. Organizers will also drop off items at the Findlay Police Department across the street. The public is invited to attend when the deliveries are made.

If you’re interested in giving to the effort, items can be dropped off at the sheriff’s office.

MORE: The Courier

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7/28/16 – 7:oo P.M.

A tool that will let you comb through Findlay’s financial records should be online by the middle of August. That’s according to Auditor Jim Staschiak, who previewed the site for city council members Thursday. Staschiak says the transparency tool will give you easy access to the city’s revenues and expenses…

Audio: Jim Staschiak

Staschiak says when people request data from his office, it’s most often for payroll records. The transparency tool allows you to sort through that data with relative ease. Staschiak adds Deputy Auditor Ginger Sampson and the staff in the department spent many hours making sure that personal information wasn’t accidentally posted to the site.

Audio: Jim Staschiak

Staschiak says data from the website can be exported to excel documents. That’s how information will be transferred to the OhioOpenCheckbook.com. Staschiak has been criticized for not making Findlay’s finances available on the site.

State Treasurer Josh Mandel questioned why the city wasn’t on board during a recent visit to Findlay. Staschiak says he always intended to submit the information, but had concerns about city employee private data accidentally leaking through. He says the city’s transparency tool will prevent that because sensitive information has been manually removed.

Staschiak adds that the city website will have more information available compared to OhioOpenCheckbook.com.

Audio: Jim Staschiak

The cost of running the site will be $9,000 per year. Tyler Technologies makes the city’s account software. It says Findlay will be the first city using this version of its software.

The tool will likely be posted on the auditor’s page of the city’s website. Staschiak says there will also be an easy to remember site address once the tool goes live.

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7/28/16 – 4:50 P.M.

The Ohio delegation at the Democratic National Convention continues to hear from several prominent politicians. On Thursday, Senate candidate and former Governor Ted Strickland talked to the group. WTOL 11’s Emilie Voss spoke to Strickland about how important the DNC is to his campaign…

Audio: Emilie Voss

Voss says Strickland plans to spend the months leading up to the election working to make sure Democrats are united and show up to the polls.

Voss also spoke to many Ohio delegates at the DNC Thursday…

Audio: Emilie Voss

Voss says the delegates have also been talking about how important Ohio is and the urgency to make sure people show up at the polls in November.

You can hear more from Emilie Voss from the DNC on WTOL-11 this evening at 5, 6, and 11 pm.

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7/28/16 – 8:33 A.M.

ODOT is looking for public comment on three upcoming projects in Hancock County. The most notable project is the widening of I-75 to three lanes in Findlay. Construction on the project is set to begin next spring. It will also see the reconstruction of the interchange with U.S. 68 and State Route 15.

ODOT also plans bridge maintenance on U.S. 68 and State Route 12 in the county. A cable rail barrier between the four-lane section of U.S. 68 and State Route 15 is also proposed.

If you would like to comment on the proposals, you can contact Nate Tessler in the ODOT District 1 Office. His phone number is (419)999-6886. His email address is Nate.Tessler@dot.state.oh.us.

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7/28/16 – 8:18 A.M.

After only posting $1 million in profit in the first quarter of 2016, Marathon Petroleum rebounded in the second quarter. An earnings statement today shows the company posted $801 million in net income between April and the end of June. That’s down compared to the second quarter of 2015, where Marathon reported $826 million in profit.

Through six months Marathon has posted $802 million in net income, compared to $1.7 billion at the midway point of 2015.

Marathon CEO Gary Heminger said the improvement from the first quarter to the second quarter is partially due to increased demand for gas during the summer driving season. Stronger margins on retail sales and the inclusion of MarkWest in the results also helped bring numbers back up.

Speedway is the company’s retail arm, and it posted a big second quarter. Income from the convenience store chain was $193 million in the second quarter of this year. That’s up from $103 million during the same time last year.

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7/28/16 – 6:51 A.M.

The University of Findlay is bringing a high profile music act to the city this fall.

The school announced Jason Derulo will perform at the Koehler Center on September 8. Tickets go on sale Friday and are $30 for University of Findlay students and $40 for community members. You can get more information at marathoncenterarts.com

Derulo has sold more than 55 million singles worldwide, including 11 top 10 singles.

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7/28/16 – 5:29 A.M.

The death of a Fulton County woman has prompted the push for a violent offender registry system in Ohio. State Senators Cliff Hite of Findlay and Randy Gardner of Bowling Green want to launch a system that would work like the state’s sex offender registry. Hite and Gardner say a violent offender registry would help better inform and warn the public of potential dangers.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has been contacted for more information about creating the program.

The man accused of killing 20-year-old Sierah Joughin had served time in prison following a 1990 abduction conviction.

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