About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

11/20/14 – 5:31 A.M.

An update on farm runoff was given during a meeting in Hancock County Wednesday. The Courier reports the Ohio Farm Bureau gave a presentation about new state regulations during a Blanchard River Watershed Partnership meeting. Senior director of policy development Larry Antosch told those on hand that farmers can do what they need to grow their crops and protect the environment. Antosch said those ideas aren’t in opposite directions.

Ohio now requires farmers to be certified to apply fertilizer on their fields. The law was passed this year and was cosponsored by State Senator Cliff Hite of Findlay. The Ohio Farm Bureau wants all of its members to be certified to apply fertilizer to their fields by April 22. By April of 2016, the goal is that all members have nutrient management plans in place.

Runoff from fields was given national attention after a toxic algae bloom cutoff Toledo’s water supply over the summer. Many blamed chemicals sprayed on crops for allowing the growth of algae. Farmers countered there were plenty of other sources of pollution in the water.

MORE: The Courier

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11/20/14 – 5:16 A.M.

Findlay wasn’t the only Blanchard River community to get new information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the Corps also met with Putnam County residents. A November 12 meeting detailed the results of a steady state model of mitigation in the Lower Blanchard part of the watershed.

Ottawa Assistant Municipal Director Jason Phillips tells the newspaper the models show that in the worst case scenario, the proposed mitigation efforts near Ottawa would lower flooding by six inches. The model includes lowering the approach of the I-9 bridge and a diversion channel. Phillips says any data they see beyond this will show an even greater reduction in flooding.

A solid state model takes into account what happens if the entire Blanchard River watershed gets an equal amount of rainfall. The model indicates a four to six inch reduction in flooding during a 100-year flood event.

The results of the study will now be taken to the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District for further consideration.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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111/20/14 – 4:54 A.M.

A Findlay-based grocery store chain made a big move Wednesday. Fresh Encounter is buying the Chief Super Market chain of groceries. The Defiance-based company owns 11 stores in northwest and west central Ohio, including the Lima area. A release from Fresh Encounter says the Chief stores will continue to operate under their current brand. No sale price was disclosed.

The buyout of Chief means Fresh Encounter will now run 36 stores in Ohio and Indiana, and will employ around 2,200 people.

It doesn’t look like any stores will be closed. Fresh Encounter CEO Mike Needer Jr. says, “this is one of those rare instances when we can consolidate resources without sacrificing any retail operations.” Even though Chief Stores operate in the same region as Fresh Encounter, there is no overlap in retail locations.

Fresh Encounter brand stores include Great Scot, Community Markets, and Sack n’ Save.

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11/19/14 – 9:58 A.M.

A teenager suffered burns in a Bluffton house fire Tuesday. The Bluffton Police Department reports firefighters were called to the 100 block of West Riley Street around 8:15 p.m. Four people were at home at the time. 19-year-old Gage Waxler was asleep in the bedroom where the flames started. He alerted everyone else in the house about the fire and tried to extinguish it before being overcome by the heat and smoke.

Waxler suffered burns to his lower extremities, neck and chest. He was taken to a Lima hospital before being flown to the Ohio State Medical Center in Columbus for treatment of severe burns.

An investigation revealed the fire was accidental, and is being blamed on burning a candle too close to flammable materials.

The Allen County Red Cross is assisting the family.

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11/19/14 – 5:04 A.M.

Fostoria water and sewer customers will see some changes in their bills starting in 2015. The Courier reports city council approved measures to make adjustments to the sewer rates for the next two years. Starting January 1 there will be a fixed cost added to every water bill. The new rates will also include a system fee, a distribution fee, and a unit cost.

Fostoria officials say the new rate structure will help them meet operational and maintenance costs for running the water and sewer system. The extra revenue will be used to fund projects mandated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

MORE: The Courier

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11/19/14 – 4:50 A.M.

Fostoria officials are looking at upgrading street signs in the city. The Review-Times reports Councilman Jon Hay has expressed concern about the condition of some signs, especially in high traffic areas. However, the task won’t be easy. Mayor Eric Keckler says the budget for that work is limited as it comes from license fees.

There might be some hope on catching up though. Keckler tells the newspaper he’s begun an inventory of signs that need to be replaced. The city will look for public safety grant money to help pay for replacement costs.

MORE: Review Times

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11/18/14 – 10:49 A.M.

An early blast of winter weather has Hancock County plow crews hard at work. You may have noticed they aren’t using salt on the roads today. County Engineer Chris Long says the temperature has a lot to do with that…

Audio: Chris Long

Long says the wind would simply blow the salt off the road right now. With salt prices at a premium, Long says they don’t want to waste any of their ice fighting resources.

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11/18/19 – 10:39 A.M.

The Marathon Center for the Performing Arts officially has a director. Jim Kreutzberg was named to the role today. Kreutzberg has 40 years of experience in the arts and more than 15 years of experience as the executive director of other regional arts centers. Performing Arts chairman Ed Reading said, “His management experience and passion for the arts make him an excellent fit for this role. All of us on the board are looking forward to his leadership in shaping the future of the Marathon Center.” Kreutzberg most recently served as the executive director at Cache Valley Center for the Arts in Logan, Utah.

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11/18/14 – 10:29 A.M.

A Findlay man accused of killing his young son is asking the body be exhumed for further examination. The Courier’s Ryan Dunn explains…

Audio: Ryan Dunn

Jerrod Hartman is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Wednesday morning. There’s no word on if the request will be ruled on then. Hartman has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the case.

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11/18/14 – 7:33 A.M.

A Wyandot County man was sentenced this month for causing a fatal accident last summer. 30-year-old Wade Gottfried of Nevada was given a 90-day jail sentence, with 80 days suspended. The June 25 crash killed Stephanie Cowgill.

Cowgill was getting items out of the trunk of her car near the U.S. 23/State Route 199 entrance ramp when Gottfried struck her.

Gottfried also had his driver’s license suspended for a year.

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