About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

5/24/2016 – 12:52 pm

Given the predictions for the weather this spring, crop prices in the United States were thought to be on a low end by this time. However, there has been some serious fluctuating in the crop prices over the last few weeks. Ed Lentz from the Hancock Extension Office says that two reports, recently issued have had a significant impact on the changing crop prices. The first report was from South America.

Audio: Ed Lentz

Lentz also pointed to the ever changing China markets as another cause to the rapidly changing crop markets in the United States.

Audio: Ed Lentz

Lentz said that on the domestic front analysts are predicting a large soybean crush on the markets again this year, much like last year, as well as increased demand from livestock producers and ethanol companies. All factors which also contribute to the fluctuating crop prices. Given that many farmers out west have already planted corn for the year, Lentz predicts Ohio farmers, delayed due to weather, may be pushing soybeans this year less than corn due to the continued high market prices.

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5/24/2016 – 12:14 pm

Combating Human Trafficking involves more than just simply arresting those involved in the crime. It also includes providing treatment and recovery services to those involved, the vast majority of which are young girls. Jeff Wilbarger started the Daughter Project in Perrysburg which opened the first recovery home for young women rescued from human trafficking operations in the State of Ohio.

Audio: Jeff Wilbarger

Wilbarger says that human trafficking has become the most profitable enterprise for organized crime, just behind drugs. In the last year, human trafficking, prostitution, and pornography accounted for over $30 billion for crime syndicates. He also says what types of girls the traffickers are generally looking for.

Audio: Jeff Wilbarger

Wilbarger says that the average age of the girls targeted for human trafficking is 13. And generally, they will get hooked on drugs and then be coerced into working in strip clubs or other places to earn money to feed their drug addictions.

So, if people want to learn more about human trafficking and want to get involved in the efforts to combat it, Wilbarger says that this Saturday there will be a four-hour session in Toledo on the different aspects of trafficking and ways to get involved.

Audio: Jeff Wilbarger

The training will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2016 – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Emmanuel Christian High School in Toledo. You can register online now at The Daughter Project.org.

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5/25/16 – 11:12 A.M.

The Hancock County Commissioners talked more about their recent meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday. The consensus the commissioners came to is that even if the Corps uses a different computer model to determine a cost/benefit ratio, the project isn’t likely to qualify for federal funding…

Audio: Steve Wilson

Project manager Steve Wilson says the federal ratio only considers a narrow scope.

Commissioner Mark Gazarek says while the project likely won’t fit a federal cost/benefit ratio, it would still have local benefits…

Audio: Mark Gazarek

Gazarek adds the federal cost/benefit ratio only considers national economic impacts, not local or regional.

While the Corps has estimated the diversion channel plan would cost $80 million, Commissioner Brian Robertson says the Ottawa mitigation plan has come in well under initial Corps estimates…

Audio: Brian Robertson

The lowering of Road I9 is finished for the most part. Final plans for a diversion channel in Ottawa are due soon.

The commissioners also disagree with any notion they owe the Corps $160,000 for work done on the mitigation study…

Audio: Phil Riegle

The commissioners have talked to engineering firms about handling the project locally. They are now reviewing the applicants.

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5/24/2016 – 10:42 am

Hancock County continues to see low unemployment numbers in the latest listing from the Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services. According to the latest numbers, Hancock County has an unemployment rate at 3.4 percent.

Other counties in the area also continue to see low numbers. Allen County has 4.4 percent, Putnam at 3.5 percent, Henry County is at 5.8 percent, Hardin County is at 4.3 percent, Seneca at 4.7 percent, Wood County is at 3.8 percent and Wyandot is at 3.5 percent.

Statewide, the highest numbers fell in Monroe County in southeast Ohio at 12.3 percent, and Mercer County saw the lowest rate at 3.0 percent.

More: Ohio Labor Market Information

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5/24/2016 – 10: 19 am

The University of Findlay has named William Spraw as its first Police Chief. The University announced Tuesday that Spraw will be in command of the University’s hybrid police/security department. Spraw worked in the Findlay Police Department for 29 years and served as the Findlay Police Chief from 2005-2009.

This summer, the Office of Security will begin transitioning to the University of Findlay Police and Security Department, with some security personnel becoming campus police officers in time for the start of the fall semester. Over the next several months, the department will change to include between 18 and 20 officers and security personnel.

Spraw will begin serving June 1 as UF’s chief of police and director of security.

More: UF Newsroom

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5/24/16 – 5:29 A.M.

One of the suspects in a string of Wood County arsons is getting a new lawyer. The Review-Times reports 19-year-old Santana Diliberto of Port Clinton appeared in court Monday to withdraw Christopher Marcinko as his attorney. Bowling Green attorney Steven Spitler will now take over as the defense lawyer for Diliberto.

Last month saw Diliberto plead not guilty to charges of aggravated arson, arson, breaking and entering, and possessing criminal tools.

Diliberto is accused of setting four fires in Wood County between March 22 and March 27. Nicholas Hackworth, Todd Bollett and Bret Phillabaum are also charged in the case, along with five juveniles.

MORE: Review-Times

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5/24/16 – 5:20 A.M.

Columbus Grove will not be adding girls soccer as a high school sport. The Putnam County Sentinel reports a motion was made by the school board to add the sport starting next fall, but there was no second. 12 residents came to the board meeting to support the measure, with four speaking in favor of it.

Paul Shank told the board 57 high school girls were surveyed on the subject. The survey showed 23 of the girls surveyed play a fall sport while 27 do not. Those not playing a sport were interested in playing soccer.

Crystal Dunlap also supported adding soccer. She told board members the program wouldn’t have taken away from the marching band, as soccer players could take part in both.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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5/24/16 – 5:08 A.M.
Update – 5:55 A.M.

A two-car crash near Van Buren injured two teenagers Monday afternoon. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports 18-year-old Jacob Badertscher was driving east on Allen Township Road 108 around 1:10 p.m. when he was hit by a car driven by 58-year-old Pamela Nelson. Nelson was trying to turn left from Allen Township Road 230 onto Road 108.

Badertscher and a 17-year-old passenger were taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of their injuries. The juvenile passenger was not publicly identified.

No citations were listed on the accident report.

(Previous version of story incorrectly listed the crash as being near McComb)

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5/24/16 – 5:01 A.M.

The Northwestern Water and Sewer District is getting familiar with McComb’s treatment facilities. The Courier reports the district, which recently took control of plant operations in McComb, is taking on plenty of tasks. Tom Statler is an engineer in the district and says one big item on the agenda is to deal with findings from the EPA. The agency filed a report that found eight violations and 27 recommendations for the sewage treatment plant.

Statler says the EPA, “came down a little harder than necessary” on McComb. The district is studying the report and will file a reply.

Other tasks being taken on by the district include mapping out water and sewer facilities, applying for grants, preparing to take over the customer billing process, updating meter-reading technology, and reviewing fire hydrants.

McComb’s village council recently voted to have the Northwestern Water and Sewer District to oversee water and sewer operations.

MORE: The Courier

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5/23/16 – 7:36 A.M.

School is about to be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean learning has to stop. The Findlay-Hancock County Public Library will be kicking off its SummerREAD program next week.

This year features a sports theme, called “On your mark, get set, read.”

A kickoff event features a juggler and magician at the library starting at 6:30 p.m. on June 1.

The reading program runs through July 30.

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