About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

3/23/15 – 5:05 A.M.

A recent letter from the state auditor’s office points out areas where the Van Buren School District could better manage its finances. The Courier reports stays at a “trendy fashion-forward loft-style hotel” for four board members cost the district an average of $319 per person per night. Auditor Dave Yost called the expenses “excessive.”

The items listed in the letter didn’t rise to the level of a citation. That means the district isn’t required to follow the recommendations. Superintendent Tim Myers tells the newspaper the district will use the letter to establish better practices.

Myers said the reason the board members stayed at the hotel for the conference is because it was one of the few with vacancy near a conference at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

MORE: The Courier

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3/19/15 – 5:28 A.M.

A Kenton school was vandalized this week. Kentontoday.com reports five windows and a security light were broken at the Northwood School building Monday afternoon. Several rocks were found inside a classroom where the windows were broken.

The incident remains under investigation.

MORE: KentonToday

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3/19/15 – 5:22 A.M.

No charges will be filed in a crash that killed an Ada woman last November. The Lima News reports the chief prosecutor at the Lima Municipal Court says roads were slick on the morning of November 17, and 30-year-old James Britt was driving 10 mph below the speed limit at the time of the crash. Britt did not have drugs or alcohol in his system.

The crash on State Route 81 in Allen County took the life of 56-year-old Carla Dysert.

Dysert’s son Zac is a quarterback on the practice squad of the Denver Broncos.

MORE: Lima News

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3/19/15 – 5:06 A.M.

For the second time in the last year, a Fostoria home was the subject of a drug raid. The Review-Times reports authorities executed a search warrant at 300 East Tiffin Street Wednesday morning. The search turned up suspected crack cocaine, suspected heroin, cash, criminal tools and evidence of drug trafficking.

30-year-old Dina Williams and 33-year-old Anthony Williams are facing a variety of charges including trafficking cocaine and possession of heroin. The charges are pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Fostoria Police Chief Keith Loreno says the same residents were in the home the last time officers raided the house. Children were present at the time.

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3/19/15 – 4:52 A.M.

Plans are moving forward for flood mitigation in Ottawa. The Putnam County Sentinel reports members of the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District met recently to discuss the latest developments. Organizers say a preliminary set of plans have been created for the reconstruction of the Road I-9 bridge. Preliminary plans for a diversion channel are also being worked on.

Engineer Greg Bockrath told the group he has looked into a flood warning system for Road I-9. A fully automated system could include flashing lights and a crossing arm to block traffic when the road is flooded. Bockrath said it can also be scaled back so that it can be manually operated.

Not everyone is on board with rebuilding the I-9 bridge. The Sentinel also reports the Ottawa Township Trustees debated the project during a special meeting. Steve and Jim Leopold say they want to see more information about how changing the bridge approach would affect flooding in the township. Don Croy is in favor of moving forward with the plans.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel (Meeting Notes)
MORE: Putnam County Sentinel (Ottawa TWP Trustees)

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3/18/15 – 5:33 A.M.

A pit bull was shot in a Lima home during the course of a “no-knock” drug raid. The Lima News reports Allen County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed the dog as they were executing the search warrant. The dog’s owner and resident of the home says officers demanded the dog be caged. Susan Smith tells the newspaper a deputy then kicked the cage, releasing the dog and leading to the shooting.

Smith told the newspaper, “All they got was a pound of weed.”

James Everett is a chief deputy with the sheriff’s office. He says the raid is still pending investigation. Everett added no complaint has been filed, and that incident like this are rare.

MORE: Lima News

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3/18/15 – 5:18 A.M.

North Baltimore village council updated some rules regarding brush pickup during their Tuesday meeting. Brush up to six inches in diameter will be picked up if it’s placed curbside on a pickup day. Village crews will not remove lawn waste or brush with thorns.

The revised policy asks residents to let the village know if they have a large brush pile that needs removed. Piles that need more than an hour to be removed will only partially be removed so that crews can get to other houses.

Brush pickup days this spring will be held the weeks of April 6 to 17, and May 4 to 8. After that, pickups will be held June 1, July 6, August 3, September 7, October 5 and November 2.

MORE: The Courier

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3/18/15 – 5:10 A.M.

Fostoria’s budget for the 2015 fiscal year has been approved. The Courier reports city council approved a budget of a little more than $6 million during their Tuesday meeting. The final budget ended up being around $135,000 less than what City Auditor Steve Garner had estimated it would need to be.

Garner says the budget will be tight, but believes the city will end up in the black at the end of the year. The city was able to carve out some savings thanks to a full year of funding from a grant that pays for emergency responders.

The budget will have to be certified through the county by March 31.

MORE: The Courier

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3/18/15 – 5:02 A.M.

Hancock County has hired a new deputy engineer. Current Lawrence County Engineer Doug Cade is leaving his position to take the job. He’ll be paid $80,000 per year and is expected to start work this summer.

Once Cade gets trained, project manager Steve Wilson is expected to retire from that role. Wilson, a former Hancock County Engineer, still works as a part-time engineer for the city of Findlay.

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