About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

6/6/16 – 5:04 A.M.

On May 13, President Barack Obama released an order that children who identify as transgender can use the bathroom of the gender they identify with at school. So far, area schools haven’t reported any problems with the directive. The Courier reports Liberty-Benton, McComb, Van Buren and Vanlue haven’t had any students identify as transgender. Findlay High School has had one student identify with another gender.

FHS Principal Craig Kupferberg tells the newspaper, “We just worked things out with the student to make the student comfortable.” The student uses a private bathroom while at school.

Other schools haven’t had to make arrangements since they don’t have any students identifying as transgender. L-B Superintendent Jim Kanable says, “Our number one goal will always be to protect all students no matter what.” He did add that he felt the issue was another example of the federal government taking away local control from school districts.

Superintendents at McComb, Van Buren, and Vanlue don’t have policies in place at the moment. All say they would come up with policies that are in the best interests of their students should they have a student identify as transgender.

MORE: The Courier

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6/3/16 – 7:46 A.M.

A Bluffton man was injured in an ATV crash earlier this week. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports Dennis Boyd was riding the vehicle near Orange Township Road 51 around 10:30 p.m. Monday night when he hit a tree stump in a ditch.

Boyd was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of his injuries. He was also cited for not having the required registration for an ATV.

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6/3/16 – 7:35 A.M.

The accused shooter on the UCLA campus has a connection to Findlay. Media partner WTOL-11 reports Mainak Sarkar is a former employee of Eudurica LLC, a Findlay-based software company. An employee of the company who did not wish to be identified confirmed that Sarkar had worked there at one time.

Sarkar is accused of shooting a UCLA professor and then turning the gun on himself. Investigators say they think Sarkar thought the professor gave another student a program designed by Sarkar.

MORE: WTOL-11

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6/3/16 – 5:25 A.M.

An OVI checkpoint will be held in Allen County tonight. The State Highway Patrol reports it will take place on State Route 81 near North Dixie Highway just outside of Lima. Officers from the State Patrol and Allen County Sheriff’s Office will be working at the location from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

The checkpoint is being held in connection with increased patrols in the area to combat drunk driving.

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6/3/16 – 5:18 A.M.

The Fostoria Rail Preservation Society is bringing another piece of railroad history back to the city. The Review-Times reports the organization recently bought a metal caboose to put on display at the Iron Triangle Visiting Center and Viewing Area.

Ellen Gatrell is with the organization and says the caboose was built in 1965 by the International Car Company of Kenton for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. It has bunks, closets, a bathroom, and other amenities for the time. It even is coming with its original floor and colors.

The caboose currently is in Alvada. A donated section of track has to be laid down before the rail car can go on display. Arrangements to move it to Fostoria also have to be made.

MORE: Review-Times

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6/3/16 – 5:06 A.M.

Some area firefighters have already had a busy day. Fire departments from Delaware Township and Arlington were called to a structure fire south of Mount Blanchard around 3:20 a.m. The blaze was reported at 15656 Delaware Township Road 149 near the Blanchard River.

No other details were immediately available.

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6/3/16 – 5:00 A.M.

Several people have been asking questions about bonds following the last two murders in Findlay. The Courier reports in both instances the defendants were out of jail on bond or a medical furlough in other cases. Both of Hancock County’s Common Pleas Court judges tell the newspaper unless it is a capital case, everyone has a right to bond.

Judge Joseph Niemeyer says, “Everybody’s entitled to a reasonable bail.” Judge Reginald Routson adds, “There’s a presumption of innocence. That is the basis of our constitutional system.” Both say a variety of factors are considered when setting the bail amount for a suspect. They can include the severity of the crime, prior criminal records, and employment among others.

28-year-old Brent Houdeshell is accused of killing 2-year-old Breydon Ferrell on March 31. Houdeshell was serving a one-year sentence for an OVI conviction but was released for a medical furlough. He was supposed to see a doctor on May 4 and have surgery on May 27. If he had the procedure done while in custody, the county would have had to pay for it.

34-year-old Joel Drain is accused of killing 56-year-old Randy Grose last month. Drain was out of jail on bond in a case that accuses him of stabbing his father in the neck. Bail in the stabbing case was $45,000. That’s double the scheduled amount for a second-degree felony. His bond was posted on May 2 by Allstate Bail Bonds.

MORE: The Courier

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6/2/16 – 5:14 A.M.

The state is not taking over financial operations in Fostoria. That was the message from a representative of State Auditor Dave Yost’s office Wednesday night. The Courier reports Belinda Miller updated Fostoria city council members on what a “fiscal emergency” designation means. Speaking at a special council meeting, Miller said, “The state has no desire to come in and take over. It is still your responsibility to take corrective action for the city.”

Fostoria has to put together a seven-member oversight committee over the next 30 days. The group will include the mayor, a council member, a member of the state budget and management office, a representative of the state treasurer’s office, and three community members. The community members will be picked by Governor John Kasich.

Once the committee is in place, they’ll have 120 days to put together a recovery plan. It has to be updated annually and also include a five-year forecast. The plan would have to be approved by city council.

If no plan is approved, the committee will take a more powerful role in the process. That could mean reducing appropriations to 85 percent of the previous year’s budget.

Fostoria was given a “Fiscal Emergency” designation in part because the budget is expected to be $800,000 in the red at the end of the year.

MORE: The Courier

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6/2/16 – 4:58 A.M.

Some Pandora residents have concerns about bees in the village. Namely, the bees being kept in a residential neighborhood. The Putnam County Sentinel reports village council heard about the issue at their last meeting. Resident John Dailey told council members his neighbor, Bryan Weber, had bee hives on his property. Dailey said the hives are located in a high traffic area of town, near the Welty Street Apartments. He added he was concerned about people who are allergic to bees who have to walk by the hives.

Right now there’s not much the village can do. There is no ordinance on the books to address the issue. Council member said they would research how other towns regulate where bee hives can be kept. If a new ordinance is approved, Weber would not be “grandfathered in.”

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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