About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

7/28/14 – 5:20 A.M.

Someone tried to rob an employee of a Findlay restaurant late Saturday night, but ran away when the victim recognized him. The Findlay Police Department says the incident happened around 11:15 p.m. Saturday in the Findlay Village Mall parking lot.

An employee of Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse was locking up when he was approached by a young man wearing a black bandana over his face. The suspect punched the employee and demanded money. The victim ran toward a lighted area, where the suspect caught up with him. The victim told the suspect he knew who he was, and the suspect took off running west toward Plaza Street.

No money was taken. The employee suffered minor injuries but did not need medical attention. The case remains under investigation.

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7/28/14 – 4:56 A.M.

Two fires in Ottawa late last week are being called suspicious. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office reports firefighters were called to 315 North Perry Street and 529 West Third Street within a two-hour time span Friday morning. Both homes are in the flood zone and were set to be demolished by the village. Neither of the homes had working utilities.

The state fire marshal’s office is aiding the investigation. Multiple fire departments from the county were called in to help fight the flames.

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7/28/14 – 4:50 A.M.

Construction will officially begin on the new Marathon Center for the Performing Arts this week. A public groundbreaking ceremony will take place tomorrow at 11 a.m. The center is expected to open at the former Central Middle School site in the fall of 2015.

The arts center will cost around $10 million to build. Marathon Petroleum made a large donation to get the project up and running. The amount of the donation hasn’t been specified.

The old auditorium will be renovated to seat 1,000 people. The new part of the center will house classrooms, areas for performers to rehearse, an art gallery and a black box theater.

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7/28/14 – 4:37 A.M.

One of the victims of a small plane crash that happened near Van Buren has been identified. Ralf Bronnenmeier, the CEO of Grob Systems in Bluffton, was piloting the plane. The second victim has not been publicly identified.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office says the crash happened around 1:10 a.m. on Hancock County Road 18, between Cass Township Road 215 and Hancock County Road 216. The plane was flying from Holland, Michigan to Bluffton. The investigation closed Hancock County Road 18 until around 9 p.m. last night.

Bronnenmeier had been the CEO of Grob Systems since 2003.

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7/22/14 – 12:28 A.M.

Residents in the Forest Lake subdivision of Findlay hope that a solution to their flooding issues are coming soon. Three people who live along a retention pond in that area spoke to the Hancock County Commissioners about the issue again today.

Kerry Trombli says he knows work is being done, but time is critical…

Audio: Kerry Trombli

County Engineer Chris Long says he’s confident an additional 12-inch drainage pipe next to the pond will help solve the problem.

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7/22/14 – 12:19 P.M.

What looks to be the final change order for the new Hancock County engineering garage has been submitted to the county commissioners. If approved, what was submitted as a little more than a $2.6 million project will finish up at a little more than $2.8 million.

Commissioner Brian Roberston says that’s pretty good all things considered…

Audio: Brian Robertson

The latest change includes more than $45,000 to install a natural gas pump.

Robertson says they had to have a special pump installed…

Audio: Brian Robertson

The gas pump will help the generator for the facility fire in case of a power outage.

Today’s change order was for $75,740. The total for all change orders to the project was a little more than $128,000.

The final change order was tabled by the commissioners today for review.

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7/22/14 – 11:38 A.M.

A stretch of road in Marion Township just outside of Findlay could have a slower speed limit in the future. The Marion Township Trustees have asked the Hancock County Commissioners to look into lowering Township Rad 212 to 45 mph between County Road 236 and State Route 12. The Cass Township Trustees are also asking for the reduction, as part of the road sits on the border between the two townships.

Before the limit can be reduced, the county has to do some work. A traffic count and speed study would have to be done to see if lowering the speed limit is necessary.

Township Road 212 is already 45 mph between State Route 12 and U.S. 224.

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7/22/14 – 9:03 A.M.

After months of steady decline, the unemployment rate went up in June for Hancock and the surrounding counties. New numbers released by the Department of Job and Family Service show the jobless rate at 4.5 percent in Hancock County. That’s up from 4 percent in May, but is still 3 percent lower than it was last June.

Putnam and Wyandot Counties were both still under 5 percent unemployment. Putnam County’s unemployment rate was 4.4 while Wyandot was at 4.7.

The rest of the region shaped up like this: Seneca County at 5.3, Wood County checked in at 5.4, both Henry and Allen Counties were at 5.6, and Hardin County is at 5.9 percent unemployment.

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7/22/14 – 7:21 A.M.

Arlington voters will be asked to approve two levies for fire protection this fall. The Courier reports village council voted to place the measures on the ballot during their Monday meeting.

A 2.5-mill, 5-year renewal levy would raise $51,000 a year for operating expenses. A separate 1-mill levy will also be included on the ballot. It would raise $20,000 a year to pay for equipment.

MORE: The Courier

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7/22/14 – 5:11 A.M.
Update – 6:38 A.M.

Alcohol is suspected as a factor in an early morning crash near Van Buren that injured two people today. The single-car accident happened around 1:15 a.m. on State Route 613, east of Hancock County Road 140.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports 38-year-old Lucina Brose of Fostoria was driving west on Route 613 when she drove off the north side of the road, hitting two trees and a mailbox before coming to rest near a house.

Brose was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Her passenger, 4-year-old Josiah Brose, was taken by medical helicopter to Mercy St. Vincent’s Hospital in Toledo. There was no word on their conditions.

The crash remains under investigation.

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