About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

8/20/14 – 7:22 A.M.

An Ordinance meant to create and keep jobs by providing tax credits to small and large busniesses was approved by Fostoria City Council Tuesday.

The Courier reports that all types of businesses are eligible. Office, manufacturing, and distribution companies that create at minimum of 10 new jobs in a three year period will be a priority.

Each job will be offering an average wage of at least 150 percent of federal minimum wage.

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8/20/14 – 7:00 A.M.

Investigators don’t believe there was any criminal intent behind a fire at a North Baltimore business last month. The Courier reports the case has been closed as a result.

The blaze at HPJ Industries on West Broadway could be seen for miles on July 17. Investigators believe a marine flare or a Chinese lantern may have sparked the fire. North Baltimore Police Chief Allan Baer said all leads in the fire have been exhausted.

MORE: The Courier

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8/20/14 – 5:30 A.M.

Fostoria might change the way parking tickets are handled. The Review-Times reports city council held the first reading of an ordinance that would make some big changes to current parking regulations.

If the measure is passed, parking tickets could be paid at the Fostoria Police Department. Fines would also be reduced from $50 to $75 down to around $15 for a parking ticket. Violators would have seven days to pay their fine before it increased. After 30 days of nonpayment you would be considered guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

Currently parking tickets have to be paid at the Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court.

Another reading of the ordinance will be held at the next council meeting on September 2.

MORE: Review-Times

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8/20/14 – 5:16 A.M.

A Putnam County school district may begin drug testing its students. The Lima News reports the Columbus Grove Board of Education talked about the issue this week. Kyle Prueter of Great Lakes Biomedical gave a presentation to the board about the benefits of random drug testing.

Superintendent Nick Verhoff tells the newspaper the district began considering drug testing around nine months ago. He said there hasn’t been increased drug use among students, so the testing would be used to keep kids from starting.

The board’s next step will be to decide if they want to move forward with a testing plan. If so, then a drug policy will have to be outlined.

MORE: Lima News

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8/20/14 – 5:07 A.M.

A suspect in a Fostoria arson case has been found competent to stand trial. The Courier reports Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Kelbley ruled that 31-year-old Shey Weiker can stand trial in October. Weiker is accused of throwing a railroad flare into a home in the 600 block of Poplar Street on May 26. The resulting fire killed 48-year-old Daniel Marker Jr. and 44-year-old Tara Lynn Vance.

Weiker faces counts of aggravated murder, aggravated arson, and attempted murder among other charges. Her trial is set for October 14.

Two other people are accused of being involved in starting the fire. 44-year-old Charles Shaeffer allegedly gave Wieker the flare and showed her how to use it. 20-year-old Timothy Hall is accused of disposing of the flare’s strike cap.

MORE: The Courier

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8/20/14 – 4:57 A.M.

A Detroit man was arrested for allegedly transporting a large amount of heroin through Hancock County last Sunday. The State Highway Patrol reports 42-year-old Christopher Triplett was found with two pounds of heroin during a traffic stop on I-75 near U.S. 224. The drugs were worth an estimated $136,000.

Trooper Matthew Geer said he found the heroin underneath the air filter of the rental car. Findlay Post Commander Matthew Crow said the bust was the largest seizure of heroin in Hancock County since 2004.

The Hancock County grand jury indicted Triplett on a heroin possession charge Tuesday.

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8/20/14 – 4:38 A.M.

Several Hancock County fire departments were called to what was described as a straw or hay fire early this morning. The blaze was reported at the Boehm Dairy Farm at 7326 Township Road 25 around 2:30 a.m. The farm is located north of Jenera between Township Road 60 and State Route 698.

Fire departments from Jenera, Rawson, Mount Cory, and Arlington were all called to the scene.

No other details were available.


View Fire Reported At Area Farm in a larger map

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8/19/14 – 11:28 A.M.

Hancock County and the City of Findlay are now on the same page when it comes to paying for people who can’t afford their own legal representation. The city will pay $95,000 to the county to pay for indigent defense services. However because the contract was signed late in the year, it will leave the county on the hook for some cases…

Audio: Cindy Land

Assistant Prosecutor Cindy Land says the cases that won’t be reimbursed are a minimal cost.

Land says it took until August to finalize last years agreement as well. She adds they’re trying to speed the process up…

Audio: Cindy Land

The contract is a $5,000 increase from what the city paid in 2013.

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8/19/14 – 10:55 A.M.

Some area small business owners could benefit from a proposal being examined by the Hancock County Commissioners. Commissioner Phil Riegle has floated the idea of bidding out the maintenance work for county vehicles…

Audio: Phil Riegle

Riegle says several vendors had asked him how they could get in on the county’s maintenance plan.

As it stands now, each county department decides how to best maintain their vehicles…

Audio: Phil Riegle

Legally the work doesn’t have to be bid out because it falls below the minimum threshold for that rule.

No action was taken on the idea today.

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8/19/14 – 9:00 A.M.

Unemployment is on the rise in the region. Numbers released today by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show only two counties in our area are still below 5 percent joblessness. Hancock County’s unemployment rate now stands at 4.8 percent, up from 4.5 percent in June. Wyandot County now has the lowest unemployment rate in the region, at 4.7 percent. That’s no different than what the rate was in June.

While jobless rates were up for most of the state, Henry County was down. Unemployment was 5.3 percent in July, compared to 5.6 percent in June.

Elsewhere in the region, Putnam County was at 5 percent, Henry checked in at 5.3, Seneca and Wood Counties were at 5.6 percent in July, Hardin clocked in at 6, and Allen County’s unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.

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