About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

1/15/15 – 11:21 A.M.

The Hancock County Commissioners have signed off on a waterline project for the new county engineering garage. A contract for a little more than $73,500 with Helms & Sons Excavating was approved today. When completed, the waterline loop will provide better water pressure at the new garage.

The contract is a collaboration between the county and the city of Findlay. Hancock County will pay $30,000, while the city has agreed to pay anything above that amount up to $60,000.

The bid from Helms & Sons was roughly $13,000 less than the next closest bidder.

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1/15/15 – 11:11 A.M.

The money coming into Hancock County from casino revenue continues to trend downward. County Commissioner Phil Riegle talked about the issue today. He says the first quarter payment for 2015 was below last year…

Audio: Phil Riegle

Riegle adds the commissioners have always kept their estimates for casino revenues low.

The commissioners have never banked on casino revenue as a big part of the budget…

Audio: Phil Riegle

Riegle says they’ll monitor the numbers and adjust accordingly, but lower casino revenues shouldn’t hurt the county budget too much.

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1/15/15 – 7:43 A.M.

A Henry County man was killed when his pickup truck was hit by two trains Wednesday afternoon. The Henry County Sheriff’s Office reports the crash happened in Holgate on North Keyser Street just after 2:30 p.m.

63-year-old James Junge attempted to drive around the crossing gates. His truck was hit by an eastbound CSX train, and then pushed into the path of a westbound train.

Junge was pronounced dead at the scene.

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1/15/15 – 7:21 A.M.

A dairy farm in Putnam County wants to expand its operation by more than 400 cows. The Lima News reports the Wezbra Dairy in Continental has petitioned the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The farm had been approved for a similar expansion in 2004, but never completed the project. The agreement has since expired.

If the ODA approves the plans, the capacity of the facility would be 1,540 dairy cows.

Putnam County residents can submit comments or request a public meeting on the issue. Those must be submitted to the Division of Livestock Environmental Permitting office in Reynoldsburg by February 13.

MORE: Lima News

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1/15/15 – 6:48 A.M.

A two-car crash injured a Findlay woman Wednesday afternoon. The Findlay Police Department reports the accident happened at the intersection of Brookside Drive and 6th Street around 3:50 p.m.

63-year-old Susan Martaus was trying to turn left onto 6th Street when she pulled in front of an SUV. Martaus was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of her injuries. She was also cited for failure to yield from a stop sign.

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1/15/15 – 6:43 A.M.

A grant will improve a boat ramp on a Fostoria reservoir. The Review-Times reports the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation will get more than $118,000 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The cash will be used to make upgrades at Lake Lamberjack.

Plans call for a ramp that is 20 feet wide and 75 feet long. A new boarding dock and parking lot will also be built as part of the project.

MORE: Review-Times

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1/15/15 – 5:31 A.M.

Marathon Pipe Line LLC will expand a crude oil pipeline system. The company, which is a subsidiary of MPLX LP, reports it has the support to upgrade a line that runs from Lima to Patoka, Illinois.

Pamella Beall is the president of MPLX and says the project will allow the company to provide enhanced access to the growing crude supply available in Patoka. The expansion will grow the system capacity by an additional 18,000 barrels per day of light crude.

The work should be completed by late 2016.

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1/15/15 – 5:25 A.M.

Putnam County farmers are getting their property tax bills, and they don’t like what they see. The Putnam County Sentinel reports many farmers have raised concerns that their tax rates have doubled or tripled this year.

Putnam County Auditor Robert Benroth says the increase is due to updated Current Agricultural Use Values, or CAUV. Under CAUV, farm land is taxed on its agricultural use rather than its Fair Market-Recent Sales Value.

The county’s last appraisal was in 2011. The update is now reflected on the triennial update for property tax values for 2014.

Benroth adds that the Ohio Tax Commissioner determines the value of the assessments. That means there is no control at the local level.

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1/15/15 – 5:13 A.M.

Residents in the Arcadia school district will be asked to renew a levy this spring. The Courier reports the school board agreed to place the 3-mill levy on the ballot during their Wednesday meeting. The levy generates around $305,000 a year for the district. Voters in the district first approved the measure in 1988.

MORE: The Courier

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1/15/15 – 5:06 A.M.

An Ottawa home was destroyed by a Wednesday morning fire. The Lima News reports the blaze broke out around 8:15 a.m. at 717 East Third Street. One person was asleep in the house at the time, but was able to escape safely.

The two-story home housed three apartments. All three apartments were affected by the flames and smoke, but only one person was in the structure.

An electrical problem is suspected to be the cause of the fire. The home was a total loss.

MORE: Lima News

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