About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

1/5/17 – 7:28 A.M.

Two teenagers involved with a series of fires in the region were recently sentenced in Wood County. The Review-Times reports Judge Robert Pollex sentenced 19-year-old Nicholas Hackworth to four years in prison. Hackworth pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated arson, two counts of breaking and entering, and one count of possessing criminal tools.

19-year-old Santana Diliberto received a three-year community control sentence. She pleaded guilty to breaking and entering and possessing criminal tools charges.

The teens were part of a group that set four fires near Fostoria and Risingsun last March.

MORE: Review-Times

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1/5/17 – 7:17 A.M.

Fostoria’s plan to get out of its fiscal emergency designation hasn’t made the grade yet. The Courier reports the Financial Planning and Supervision Commission unanimously voted against the proposed plan. Mayor Eric Keckler says the hang up is that the plan focuses too much on increased taxes and not enough on cuts in city operations.

The rejected plan called for asking Fostoria residents to pass a 6-mill property tax increase and a quarter-percent income tax hike. Keckler says he wants to see if rolling back a tax credit for people who live in the city but work elsewhere would eliminate the need for one of the tax increases.

The city now has 30 days to come up with a new proposal.

MORE: The Courier

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1/5/17 – 6:46 A.M.

Efforts are underway to replace a retired Hancock County Common Pleas Court judge. County Republican Party Chairman Jim Baker says he expects a decision on Joseph Niemeyer’s replacement by January 23. Since Niemeyer is a Republican, the county GOP gets to make the recommendations for his successor.

Baker says a screening committee is set to meet January 17 to review candidates. Recommendations from that meeting go to the party’s Executive Committee, which then submits them to Governor John Kasich. Ultimately, Kasich decides who will be the county’s next common pleas court judge.

Anyone interested in serving in the position needs to contact Heather Pendleton, the vice chairwoman of the county party.

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1/5/17 – 5:39 A.M.

Putnam County still has money set aside to pay landowners along Road 5 for land seized in an eminent domain case. However, The Putnam County Sentinel says property values have decreased since the county made its original eminent domain offers in 2012. Because of that, the county could in theory offer lower payments for the land. The county might have to reassess the land value since the offers are now almost five years old.

Putnam County Commissioner John Love says even if the land values are down, the county could still offer the same amount. Around $65,000 is still set aside to pay the property owners.

18 landowners along the road rejected the offers. Ottawa attorney Matthew Cunningham represents one of the property owners. He tells the newspaper the issue is more about potential further costs for taxpayers than it is about fair payment. Cunningham says reassessing the value of the seized land could cost taxpayers more money.

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1/5/17 – 5:25 A.M.

Water main repairs on Woodside Drive in Findlay have led to a boil water alert for several homes in the area. The city’s water distribution department says the alert applies to 15 homes in the 900 and 1000 blocks of the road. The addresses include: 937, 940, 1000, 1001, 1010, 1011, 1016, 1017, 1024, 1025, 1032, 1033, 1040, 1041, and 1047 Woodside Drive.

The distribution department says residents in the affected area should boil water for at least one minute before using it to drink or cook with.

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1/5/17 – 5:23 A.M.

New Putnam County Sheriff Brian Siefker is in the clear to appoint Verle Warnimont as his Chief Deputy. That’s according to the Putnam County Sentinel. The newspaper reports Siefker asked the Ohio Ethics Commission for its opinion since Warnimont donated $8,000 to Siefker’s campaign. Warnimont also owns The Lawft, which is a law enforcement apparel business.

The newspaper reports members of the community raised concerns about possible conflicts of interest during the campaign. Siefker tells the newspaper the other supervisors he could have considered for the post were his brother, or they campaigned against him.

The Ethics Commission says there’s no problem with the appointment, “provided that there was no bribery, other offense set forth in the Revised Code, or a purpose to defraud in connection with the campaign contributions.”

Siefker also notified sheriff’s office employees they won’t get reimbursed for any items they buy from The Lawft.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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1/5/17 – 5:02 A.M.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is nearly a quarter of the way done with a fundraising goal. The sheriff’s office says it’s now collected $100,000 to install “the BOOT” in county classrooms. The BOOT can block a door during an active shooter situation or other emergencies. It can withstand 16,000 pounds of pressure.

The cost to install the device in every classroom in the county is $420,000. Sheriff Mike Heldman says he wants to have that done by the end of this school year.

The Sheriff’s Office says Marathon Petroleum donated $50,000 to the project. The rest of the money comes from PTO groups and some small businesses in the community.

You can learn more about the project or donate at CrimePreventionFHC.com.

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01/03/17 – 5:18 P.M.

The United Way Of Hancock County is working on finishing it’s fundraising campaign. CEO John Urbanski says that he is looking forward to their next event.

John Urbanski

The celebrity servers will be at two different locations every day next week except for Friday. To finish the campaign, Urbanski said that they will have a celebration to announce the numbers.

John Urbanski

Urbanski said that they are very close to hitting this year’s goal.

Participating restaurants:

MONDAY:

  • Bourbon Affair
  • West End Tavern

TUESDAY:

  • Nino’s
  • Rosilli’s

WEDNESDAY:

  • Legend’s Steakhouse
  • Logan’s Irish Pub

THURSDAY:

  • Tavern at the Inn
  • The Greek Garden
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01/03/17 – 4:19 P.M.

Marathon Petroleum said it will consider separating Speedway to help boost its stock price. The Courier reports that a special committee of Marathon’s board of directors will review Speedway. CEO Gary Heminger said that this will be done with help from an independent financial adviser. An update on the review should be done by this Summer.

This is part of a concern at Marathon and other refineries that have seen stock prices fall.

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01/03/17 – 3:05 P.M.

The United Way of Hancock County has hired a new assistant resource development director. Judy Pusateri was chosen to fill the position. She served as the development coordinator for Findlay Hope House for the Homeless before taking this new job. She will work with the resource development director on developing financial resource activities. These activities will relate to annual fundraising, planned giving, and sponsorships.

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