About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

6/25/15 – 5:28 A.M.

A couple of area pools are set to reopen after then were closed due to recent flooding. The Mount Blanchard pool will reopen today at 1 p.m. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the Columbus Grove pool is expected to reopen by this weekend. Neither facility suffered any structural damage. The pumps at the Columbus Grove pool required some repair work.

Read More →

6/25/15 – 5:22 A.M.

The strike at Marathon Petroleum’s Galveston Bay refinery in Texas will come to an end soon. Reuters reports local United Steel Workers officials say union members approved a new contract Tuesday. The strike will come to an end July 6, ending the five-month labor issue.

Marathon had been keeping the refinery running with temporary replacement workers. USW 13-1 Vice President Larry Burchfield told the news agency the contract narrowly passed. Two previous offer from Marathon had been rejected.

MORE: Reuters

Read More →

6/25/15 – 5:14 A.M.

Several people could have had access to incoming Fire Chief Josh Eberle’s disciplinary files. The files were anonymously sent to the Courier and indicated Eberle served a 40-day suspension in 2007 following a drunken incident in Columbus. Charges from that incident were later dropped.

However, the disciplinary note was removed from Eberle’s personnel file after five years. That’s part of an agreement in the contract between the firefighter’s union and the city. Union president Matt Cooper tells the newspaper eight union officers would have had access to the safe where records are kept at Fire Station 1. Cooper added he didn’t think the leak came from the union, but they have launched an internal investigation.

The records could also have come from the city’s “red file.” That’s where disciplinary records are put after they are removed from a personnel file. Documents in the “red file” can’t be considered when someone applies for a promotion. Law Director Don Rasmussen says he’s not sure why the “red file” exists. The practice has been in place for years.

MORE: The Courier

Read More →

6/25/15 – 4:54 A.M.

A new report is shedding some light on the impact of opioid addiction in our area. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s office released county-by-county overdose figures for every Ohio County Wednesday. The numbers show that between 2008 and 2013, 229 people in the region died from unintentional drug overdoses.

In Hancock County, there were 38 deaths in that time frame. In Putnam County the number was 8. Allen County saw the highest number of overdose deaths in the six-year period, with 57 people losing their lives. You can see the county-by-county breakdown on our website.

Brown is currently co-sponsoring legislation to strengthen opiod prescription guidelines in the Veterans Affairs health system.

Allen County, 57.
Hancock County, 38.
Hardin County, 32.
Henry County, 4.
Putnam County, 8.
Seneca County, 29.
Wood County, 53.
Wyandot County, 8.

Read More →

6/25/15 – 4:39 A.M.

A Lima man is in custody after he called in a phony bomb threat and hostage situation at Kalida Manufacturing. The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office reports 23-year-old Thomas Hollingsworth called 911 just before 7 a.m. Wednesday and also claimed to be a “terrorist” before hanging up. Hollingsworth is charged with making terrorist threats.

Deputies and plant supervisors searched the factory for anything suspicious and found a padlocked lunch cooler. The Lima bomb squad investigated but found no explosives inside.

Investigators were given a list of possible suspects from factory supervisors. That led to the arrest of Hollingsworth. Authorities say that Hollingsworth also called 911 Tuesday morning with a false injury report at KMI.

Read More →

6/24/15 – 9:27 A.M.

A longtime Marathon Petroleum executive and Findlay resident recently passed away. 81-year-old Riad Yammine died Monday evening. His obituary appears in Wednesday’s edition of the Courier.

Yammine served as the President and CEO of Marathon Pipe Line Company, and was also a member of the Marathon Petroleum board. He also served on charitable boards in the community.

Visitation will be held at Coldren-Crates Funeral Home from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday. A funeral is set for Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at First Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Read More →

6/24/15 – 6:51 A.M.

North Baltimore students will have plenty of new technology in the classroom when the new school year starts. The Courier reports the school board voted to buy laptops for students in grades four through six during their Tuesday meeting. The 240 computers will cost a little more than $81,000.

The extra laptops mean that older computers will be moved into a computer lab so that more students in lower grades can use them.

Permanent improvement tax revenue will be used to buy the computers.

MORE: The Courier

Read More →

6/24/15 – 6:42 A.M.

Seneca County voters will see a replacement levy for the county health district when they head to the polls this fall. The Courier reports the county commissioners have approved a resolution that will put the matter on the ballot.

A replacement levy means that property owners would still be taxed at the same rate, but at current property values.

The 0.3 mill levy was last passed in 2011 and brings in around $317,000 a year for the health district. If the replacement levy is approved the levy will generate more than $363,000 a year.

MORE: The Courier

Read More →

6/24/15 – 5:32 A.M.

The Putnam County Fair hits the midway point today. Wednesday is Community Day on the grounds. That means you can bring a carload of people and get into the fair for $20 after 5 p.m.

Some of today’s highlighted events include projects on parade in the junior fair building at 5 p.m. and a dance spectacular in the entertainment tent at 6 p.m.

Harness racing takes place in the grandstand again this evening.

Read More →

6/24/15 – 5:25 A.M.

A two-car crash injured an Arlington teenager Tuesday night. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports the collision happened at the intersection of County Road 9 and Van Buren Township Road 32 just before 9:30 p.m.

18-year-old Hunter Bernhardt was driving west on Road 32 when he ran a stop sign and hit a pickup truck driven by 35-year-old Frank Hardy of Findlay. Bernhardt was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Hardy and his passenger were not hurt.

Bernhardt was cited for failure to yield the right of way.

Read More →