About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

9/21/16 – 5:29 A.M.

The Hancock County Republican Party will meet next week to talk about how to fill a couple of vacant elected positions. Chairman Jim Baker tells the Courier that, “logic would dictate” they appoint Commissioner Phil Riegle to be the interim county prosecutor. The position came open when Governor John Kasich appointed current prosecutor Mark Miller to fill the unexpired term of Judge Robert Fry who retired last month. Riegle is running as a write-in candidate for prosecutor and is the only candidate for the office.

That would mean the GOP would have to find a replacement for Riegle as a commissioner. Baker says the party is setting up a screening process for candidates. He added it could take until November for an appointment to be made.

Riegle’s term runs through 2018.

MORE: The Courier

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9/21/16 – 5:12 A.M.

Hancock County officials are reviewing plans to renovate the probate and juvenile court in Findlay. The Courier reports an architect met with the county commissioners and Judge Kristen Johnson to review the plans Tuesday. The proposal includes adding security to the front of the building, and upgrading the second floor.

If approved, the entrance to the court would have a new security area installed. The security checkpoint would replace the interior front doors and an existing open area. Other security improvements would see windows replaced and an alcove enclosed.

The second floor of the court is currently used for storage. The plans call for using the area as office space. The proposal also calls for a conference room, computer lab, waiting area, and bathrooms on the second floor.

The cost estimate won’t be available until the bid documents are finished.

MORE: The Courier

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9/20/16 – 11:36 A.M.

Unemployment rates were down for the most part for the region in August. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reports most counties saw a lower rate. Hancock County remained unchanged at 3.5 percent. That’s slightly higher than it was in August of 2015, when the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent.

Unemployment declined in Allen (4.6 in August vs. 5.3 in July), Henry (4.2 in August vs. 4.5 in July), Hardin (4.9 in August vs. 5.2 in July), Putnam, (3.2 in August vs 3.5 in July), Seneca (4.4 in August vs. 4.7 in July), Wood (4.0 in August vs. 4.1 in July), and Wyandot (3.4 in August vs. 3.7 in July) Counties.

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9/20/16 – 11:24 A.M.

Investigators have finished their investigation into a post on Instagram that landed two Findlay High School students in hot water last week. The Courier reports it’s now up to the Hancock County Prosecutor to decide whether to press charges. The two 14-year-old girls could face disorderly conduct charges for posting a picture that showed them holding plastic guns and a sign that read, “I hate everyone, you hate everyone. Let’s shoot up the school at homecoming.”

Findlay Police Lt. Robert Ring tells the newspaper, “there doesn’t appear to be any legitimate threat or concern to anybody.” He added, “there is no evidence they’ve got any weapons or pose any threat to homecoming.”

School administrators had the girls removed from school on September 13. Findlay’s homecoming football game is September 30, with the dance the following night.

MORE: The Courier

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9/20/16 – 11:10 A.M.

Another effort to honor veterans is taking shape in Hancock County. Commissioner Phil Riegle says many people have shown interest in becoming a “Purple Heart Community.”

Audio: Phil Riegle

Riegle says the county, city of Findlay, and local villages may all apply for the status at the same time.

To become a Purple Heart Community the county would have to do a couple of things…

Audio: Phil Riegle

Riegle says a ceremony honoring Purple Heart recipients would also have to take place. That likely will happen next spring.

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9/20/16 – 5:23 A.M.

You’ll want to watch where you park in Carey from now on. The Courier reports village council approved a parking violation ordinance during their Monday meeting. Carey police officers hadn’t been issuing tickets for the last few years because of a challenge to a state law.

Residents will pay their fines at the police station according to the new ordinances.

The new regulations also set up a parking violations bureau for the village. The bureau will serve as an appeals board and make decisions when someone challenges a ticket.

MORE: The Courier 

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9/20/16 – 5:13 A.M.

The Fostoria Rail Festival is coming up again this weekend. The Review-Times reports the 15th annual event is set for Saturday at the Fostoria Junior/Senior High School. Fostoria Rail Preservation Society Secretary-Treasurer Ellen Gatrell tells the newspaper more than 1,000 people come every year. She says the visitors will come from more than a dozen states.

Gatrell says the rail fest increases foot traffic in the city, which is a potential business opportunity. She adds the Iron Triangle Visitor Center will be open throughout the weekend for visitors, making it more than a one-day destination for train enthusiasts.

The event at the high school runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday.

MORE: Review-Times

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9/20/16 – 5:00 A.M.

Road crews will start repaving two Findlay streets today. The city engineer’s office says you’ll want to avoid Harmon Street between Crystal Avenue and Parkside Place, and Hollybrook Drive from Beecher Street to Edinborough Drive. A release says you can expect delays in these areas for the next two weeks.

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9/20/16 – 4:50 A.M.

For the most part, property values are up in Hancock County. The Hancock County Auditor’s Officer reports the average residential property value was up 8 percent over the latest six-year evaluation. Auditor Charity Rauschenberg says it’s the first countywide increase since the 2007 flood.

Rauschenberg says not all property values have increased. She added that there are some markets in the county where values fell or stayed the same.

Property sales from between January 1 of 2013 and December 31 of last year determined the new values.

We have a link to the latest property values on our website. They can also be viewed at the auditor’s office and at the Findlay-Hancock Public Library tonight and tomorrow night.

MORE: Property Values Viewer

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9/19/16 – 7:43 A.M.

A grant from the FAA will help resurface a runway at the Lima Allen County Airport next year. The Lima News reports the $4.25 million grant the county commissioners accepted the grant late last week. The airport board applied for the funding in the spring. At the time they said the runway needed more than just patch work.

The airport will shut down for around four to six weeks when the work begins in the spring.

MORE: Lima News

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