About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

3/13/15 – 6:49 A.M.

A two car accident is slowing down traffic on I-75 in North Baltimore. Media partner Toledo News Now report the crash was reported in the southbound lanes this morning around 6 a.m. Traffic maps show slowdowns on both sides of the interstate in that area. We’ll have more details as they become available.

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3/13/15 – 5:28 A.M.

Negotiating a lease for the Hancock County Agricultural Center will be more difficult this year. The Courier reports officials from the Farm Service Agency met with the Hancock County Commissioners Thursday to talk about their concerns. Cheryl Hinton is a real estate specialist with the FSA, and says a change in federal rules slows the process down.

Federal approval is now needed on lease agreements. Hinton says that’s led to a backlog of expired leases for farm agencies. The government is now providing real estate brokers to negotiate new agreements.

The FSA’s current lease in Hancock County expires on July 31. The group currently pays a little more than $140,000 a year for space in the ag center on County Road 140.

MORE: The Courier

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3/13/15 – 5:17 A.M.

Ohio’s new school testing procedures have received a thumbs down from another area school district. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the Ottawa-Glandorf Board of Education passed a resolution stating that future PARCC and AIR testing should be halted until they can be evaluated. The tests are better known as Common Core. Superintendent Don Horstman says they don’t have problems with the standards, just the testing.

The board has raised questions about the loss of local control and the appropriateness of the testing. The district’s three principals also talked about issues with the program. All three said the testing was labor intensive and prone to glitches. The expense of the tests was also mentioned as a concern.

Copies of the resolution have been sent to the state board of education, the governor, and others.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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3/13/15 – 5:00 A.M.

The mother of a Van Buren High School student has accused the district of ignoring sexual assaults endured by her son. The Courier reports the claims were made during Thursday’s school board meeting. The woman read a statement outlining several bullying incidents and told the board they have until April 9 to fix the problem.

The claims made in the statement say administrators including Superintendent Tim Myers have been aware of continuous bullying that led to a sexual assault in August of 2014. Myers said he was aware of the issues and believes he has followed board policy regarding student discipline. He added the school would continue to work with the parent to fix the situation. The Ohio Department of Education will supply a moderator to help come up with a solution.

Among the parent’s other claims were accusations that football coach Kevin Shoup hadn’t dealt with the allegations. The woman said Shoup was “privy to a multitude of sexualized behaviors in the football locker room and turned a blind eye to the inappropriate behavior of his players while refusing to protect my son.”

MORE: The Courier

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3/12/15 – 11:44 A.M.

Several changes are being proposed for Findlay’s zoning code.  The city planning commission heard the suggested changes during a Thursday meeting.  While several topics were addressed, one recent high profile issue was not.  Hancock Regional Planning Commission Director Matt Cordonier says group or transitional homes aren’t covered in the proposed zoning changes. Any discussion about group homes would be done separately.

One possible change would revise how the city’s zoning commission operates.  Two alternate members could be added so that when businesses from outside of the area come to make requests, they don’t have to come back again if the commission doesn’t have enough members for a quorum.  The revision could also cut down on conflicts of interest.

Another proposal would remove a required review by the city’s historic commission if changes were going to be made in a historic district.  The reasoning behind the request is because Findlay doesn’t have an active historic commission.  A placeholder could be left in the code if the city were to reestablish a commission to look at changes in historical areas.

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3/12/15 – 5:29 A.M.

One person was killed in a crash on U.S. 23 in Wood County Wednesday morning. The State Highway Patrol says the crash happened around 9:45 a.m. near Bradner at the intersection with U.S. 6.

23-year-old Jacob Byington of Walbridge was driving north on U.S. 23 when he hit the back of a semi trailer. The semi was stopped at the intersection. The truck driver was not injured.

The crash closed the highway for several hours.

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3/12/15 – 5:21 A.M.

St. Patrick’s Day is next week, but this weekend will likely be when many do their celebrating. With that in mind “Safe Ride Home” will be active for Hancock County residents. Organizers say they’ll be giving people who have had too much to drink a ride home Saturday night. They’ll also be working Tuesday into Wednesday.

If you need a ride home you can call the organization at (419)425-3908. There’s also a smartphone app called “Iridehome” that can connect you to the service.

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3/12/15 – 5:10 A.M.

Medical waste was recently discovered in a recycling container in Ottawa. The Putnam County Sentinel reports workers sorting materials at the recycling center last Thursday ran across the material. County officials found dialysis bags, needles, tubing systems, and lancets among other items. Fluids were also found in the material.

Putnam County administrator Jack Betscher said while no personal information was found in the items, they did find serial numbers. Ottawa police officers are working to track down where the materials may have come from.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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3/12 – 4:59 A.M.

A state audit of the Van Buren school district’s books has found some mistakes. The Courier reports Ohio Auditor David Yost issued findings for recovery against the district treasurer and three board members.

The audit noted Treasurer Cheryl Swisher overpaid herself $2,748 for her 2011-2012 contract. Swisher was not employed by the district for the first pay period of the year, but paid herself for it anyway. The money was paid back to the school’s general fund last November.

The audit also found that in 2012, board members Kenneth Rowles, Edward Van Horn, and Jeff Salisbury were paid for going to 13 meetings. Rowles and Van Horn only attended nine meetings, and Salisbury attended 11 meetings. They have paid the money back to the general fund as well.

The audit examined finances from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013.

MORE: The Courier

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3/12/15 – 4:41 A.M.

Nearly a dozen animals confiscated from Tiger Ridge Exotics will stay in the care of the state at least until August. The Ohio Department of Agriculture took the animals after denying owner Kenny Hetrick’s permit request. A permanent injunction hearing has been scheduled for August 18th. It’ll be decided then if the animals will stay with the state or be returned to Stony Ridge.

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