About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

7/30/15 – 6:42 A.M.

A pair of railroad crossings will be closed near the Whirlpool plant north of Findlay today. The Hancock County Engineer’s office says the crossing on County Road 216 between County Road 220 and Township Road 230, and the crossing on Township Road 215 between Road 220 and Township Road 228 will be closed for repair work until August 12.

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7/30/15 – 5:27 A.M.

Continued road construction in Findlay will result in a pair of lane shifts in the city starting today. The engineering office says Lima Avenue will be shifted to the north between Western Avenue and Lake Cascades Parkway. The traffic pattern change will allow for the repair of a lift station along that stretch of road. At one point crews will have to briefly shut the road down, but there’s no timetable for when that will happen.

Another area to look out for will be the northbound lanes of Main Street between Lincoln and Hardin Streets. Lanes will be shifted in that area starting today. The traffic change is expected to last through August 13.

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7/30/15 – 5:20 A.M.

A trial date has been set for a Findlay man accused of killing a Fostoria couple in a drunk driving accident this spring. 37-year-old Daniel Betts will face a jury on November 9. Betts is facing two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of operating a vehicle while under the influence.

Investigators say Betts was drunk when his pickup truck hit a motorcycle ridden by John and Kimberly Clark on May 14. The crash happened on Cass Township Road 215, east of County Road 236.

Betts has pleaded not guilty and remains free on bond.

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7/30/15 – 5:10 A.M.

With voters having rejected two bids to build a new k-8 building in the Liberty Benton School District, the school board is taking a hard look at what needs to be done to keep the existing building in good working condition. The Courier reports board members talked about recommendations from an architectural firm during a Wednesday meeting. The suggestions include adding eight more modular classrooms. If the board decides in favor of the plan, the rooms will start being put in place as early as December.

The cost of the new classrooms would be more than $794,000 not including plumbing and electrical costs. If approved, they could open for the 2016-2017 school year.

The plan given to the district also calls for the heating system to be replaced, and for the band and choir room to be renovated. Superintendent Jim Kanable recommended doing one major project each summer for the next three years. An electrical audit is expected to begin by the end of this week.

MORE: The Courier

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7/25/15 – 4:59 A.M.

Findlay City Council members heard about the importance of long-term budgeting during their annual mid-year budget review Wednesday. The Courier reports Auditor Jim Staschiak continued to lobby for a three-to-five year operating forecast for the city. Staschiak says having that in place would help with long-term planning, which he added was an “outstanding weakness.”

According to Staschiak, Henrico County, Virginia has put similar long-term planning measures in place. He added they’ve been praised for their budgeting efforts as a result.

Staschiak has been pushing for the longer budget forecast since he came into office. Last year he successfully lobbied the city to put a two-year budget plan in place.

MORE: The Courier

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7/30/15 – 4:47 A.M.

Dozens of people argued against Bowling Green State University taking WBGU-TV off the air during a meeting in Findlay Wednesday night. The Courier reports the controversial subject was a topic of a meeting held on the Owens Community College campus. Of the roughly 70 people in attendance, most lobbied BGSU officials to keep the local PBS station running.

BG students who work at the station said selling the station’s signal to the government to make way for more wireless communication spectrum would be short sighted. Sarah Sanchez said working at the station helped her and others get jobs and internships because of their experience at an operating TV station. Others added that having WBGU gives the college an advantage in attracting students who want to work in television.

The government estimates BGSU could make around $40 million by selling the TV station’s air signal. Officials at the school say no decisions have been made yet. Another public forum will be held at 7 p.m. Monday in Keese Hall at Rhodes State College in Lima.

MORE: The Courier

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7/29/15 – 10:45 A.M.

As construction continues on the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Findlay, the work to build a customer base is underway too. Marketing Director Kathleen Stacey says they are getting ready to accept members…

Audio: Kathleen Stacy

Stacey says Encore members will also receive special offers and discounts. More than 30 people have already approached the performing arts center about Encore Memberships. For more information, you can call (419)423-2787.

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7/29/15 – 10:15 A.M.

The Legacy Farmers and Heritage cooperatives are closer to a merger. The boards of both organizations have voted to move forward with the process. The agreement will be brought to members in August with a vote to follow. At least 60 percent approval will be needed from the members of both cooperatives to seal the deal.

If the agreement passes, the two organizations would begin operating under the Heritage Cooperative banner next March. The corporate offices would be in Logan County, but the Findlay offices used by Legacy would be, “fully utilized.”

Heritage Cooperative has 30 locations in 20 counties, including operations in Hancock, Hardin, and Wyandot Counties.

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7/29/15 – 9:18 A.M.

It’s been dry lately, but unfortunately for the local wheat crop the damage from a wet summer has already been done. Hancock County OSU Extension Educator Ed Lentz says that wet fields meant farmers couldn’t harvest wheat quickly, and that’s a big problem…

Audio: Ed Lentz

Lentz says the extra time in wet fields decreases the value of the crop because farmers start seeing less bushels per acre.

Lentz added that he hopes the rough year for wheat won’t discourage farmers from planting it in the future. He says it’s good for soil health when part of crop rotations.

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