About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

7/22/16 – 5:24 A.M.

A water service offered by the village of Leipsic is doubling in price to try and limit it to residents and local farmers. The Putnam County Sentinel reports Leipsic has a tap to fill water trucks. What makes it unique is that it is run on a self-serve basis, and payment is made on the honor system. The cost was only 50 cents per 100 gallons.

Village council members said people from well outside the area were taking advantage of the service. While there was talk of ending self-serve access to the water tap, council decided to double the rate to $1.00 per 100 gallons of water.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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7/22/16 – 5:08 A.M.

A trial date has been set for an Arlington teenager facing multiple sexual assault charges. The Courier reports 19-year-old Kyle McDowell is scheduled to go on trial November 14. McDowell has pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape and one count of kidnapping.

Prosecutors say the incidents in question happened in October of 2014. McDowell allegedly used force or the threat of force to have sexual contact with a teenage girl. The case was initially heard in the Hancock County Juvenile Court but was bound over to the Hancock County grand jury in March.

County Prosecutor Mark Attorney says Eric Michener of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office will handle the case due to a conflict of interest in the prosecutor’s office.

MORE: The Courier

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7/22/16 – 5:00 A.M.

The widening of I-75 through Findlay will start a year early. ODOT says construction will begin next spring, instead of the spring of 2018 as originally planned. The three-year project will make I-75 three lanes from just south of the Harrison Street bridge to the County Road 99 interchange.

Kirk Slusher is the deputy director of ODOT District 1. He says other projects in the state have experienced developmental delays, which bumped up the Hancock County project. Slusher said, “We kept a focus on preparing the plans for the Hancock Interstate 75 project so it would be ready in case funding became available earlier than scheduled.”

The widening project also includes redesigning the I-75 interchange with State Route 15 and U.S. 68, replacing the Harrison Street overpass, and building noise walls along the interstate.

The widening project currently taking place on Findlay’s north side to Perrysburg is scheduled to end in the fall of 2017.

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7/21/16 – 8:18 A.M.

A Bluffton man has been sentenced for stealing nearly $200,000 from his former employer. The Courier reports 55-year-old Kurt Emans will enter a diversion program and pay $150,000 in restitution to Patriot Concrete. Emans was working as an accountant at the business when the thefts took place.

The Lima News reports that if Emans successfully completes the program, a conviction will not be entered into the court record.

MORE: The Courier

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7/21/16 – 8:10 A.M.

A Fostoria man was injured Wednesday when a truck collided with his motorcycle. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office says the crash happened just after 5 p.m. 31-year-old Craig Babb was riding on U.S. 224 when he slowed to turn onto Hancock County Road 23. He was hit from behind by a pickup truck driven by 28-year-old Michael Broadwater of Risingsun.

Babb was treated for injuries at the scene of the crash. Broadwater was cited for failure to maintain an assured clear distance.

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7/21/16 – 7:41 A.M.

Two vehicles were involved in a crash south of Findlay this morning. The incident happened on U.S. 68, just south of the State Route 15 overpass. A Jeep could be seen on its roof in the intersection, and a car was in a nearby ditch. So far there’s no word on any injuries or on what caused the crash.

Hancock County Sheriff’s deputies were able to maintain traffic through the area. The intersection reopened a little before 7:30 a.m.

We’ll have more details on the crash as they become available.

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7/21/16 – 5:24 A.M.

Fostoria’s Fire Chief is stepping down. The Review-Times reports Ken Chapman announced his resignation Wednesday night. Chapman is leaving to become the fire chief of the Highland Township Fire Department in Michigan, which is where he is from. His resignation will be effective July 29.

Chapman was sworn in as chief in October of 2014.

Captain Scott Basinger will take over as the interim fire chief while the search begins for a new, full-time replacement.

MORE: Review-Times

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7/21/16 – 5:14 A.M.

A Putnam County businesses was relatively unaffected by a fire last weekend. The Courier reports operations are continuing at Suter’s Produce near Pandora after an equipment shed was destroyed. Owner Jerry Suter tells the newspaper that equipment critical to keeping the business going was outside the building at the time. Suter says delivery to local produce stands continues without issue.

The fire at 12200 Pandora Road was reported around 9:40 p.m. Saturday. Suter says two women saw the flames and called 911. Investigators a hot lawn mower may have been parked too close to a straw bale.

MORE: The Courier

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7/21/16 – 5:00 A.M.

Pandora wants more time to reduce phosphorus levels in its wastewater. The Putnam County Sentinel reports council recently approved a plan that they believe will help reduce the levels naturally. Council will spend $1,200 to allow businessman Dick Wahl to test the village’s lagoon system. Wahl’s plan calls for using “bioaugmentation,” which speeds up the rate that contaminants degrade. He expects to see results in four months.

Council members have concerns about a plan from the Poggemeyer Design Group that was put together with input from the EPA. The biggest sticking point is price, being that it would cost more than $500,000. Aside from the price, other had concerns about maintaining the 11 aerators the plan calls for.

The village will send a letter to the EPA asking for the consideration of other proposals before a final decision is met.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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7/20/16 – 8:42 A.M.

Hancock County veterans and their families can catch some free entertainment next month. A post on the Hancock County Veterans Service Office Facebook page says free tickets to a Toledo Mudhens game are available. The corporate affairs group at Marathon Petroleum raised money to buy 40 tickets to a game on August 28.

The tickets are available on a first come-first serve basis. For more information call (419)424-7036.

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