About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

1/13/16 – 5:26 A.M.

A Findlay man suffered minor injuries when his pickup truck hit a utility pole on North Blanchard Street Tuesday afternoon. The Findlay Police Department reports the crash happened in the 600 block of North Blanchard Street around 2 p.m.

27-year-old Joshua Groves was driving south around a curve in the road and over railroad tracks when he lost control. The pickup spun and the driver’s side door hit the pole.

Groves was cited for failure to maintain control.

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1/13/16 – 5:17 A.M.

A two-car crash injured two people west of Findlay Tuesday afternoon. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports the crash happened around 3:20 p.m. on Hancock County Road 140 near the Glenmar Parkway intersection.

26-year-old Justin Girdler of Findlay was driving his SUV north when he hit the back of a minivan driven by Charles Brown of Perryville. Brown had slowed down for traffic in the area. Both he and a passenger in Girdler’s vehicle were taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of their injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.

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1/13/16 – 5:09 A.M.

The Fostoria Great Scot grocery store will close by the end of this month. The Courier reports slumping profits at the store on Plaza Drive led to the decision to shut the location down. The move comes less than a month after the pharmacy in the store sold its prescription drug records to Rite Aid and closed.

Fresh Encounter is the parent company of Great Scot. Marketing Director Annette Hoeffel said, “The decision was not made easily and it is definitely not a reflection of the efforts of all of our associates and the people who worked behind the scenes.” The store had 39 employees. Some might be able to take open jobs at other Great Scot stores in the area.

January 29 is set for the last day for the store. It could close before then if all the inventory is sold.

MORE: The Courier

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1/13/16 – 5:00 A.M.

Another step toward completing a paved walking trail in Findlay was taken Monday. The Courier reports the Hancock Park District commissioners approved a resolution to apply for a grant during their monthly meeting. If the grant is approved, it would help pay for the completion of a trail near the Blanchard River.

The current paved path begins at the Eastpoint boat launch near East Main Cross Street and runs behind an office complex. If the grant is approved, the paved path would extend to near the Hancock Park District office. The project is estimated to cost $225,000. The grant would pay for between 75 to 80 percent of the total.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has a February 1 deadline for the grant applications.

MORE: The Courier

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1/13/16 – 4:24 A.M.

Lima police have a new mugshot of a fugitive who wanted his old jail photo replaced. Detectives say Donald “Chip” Pugh was arrested yesterday in Florida, less than a week after he sent police a selfie he wanted used in place of his, quote, “terrible” mugshot. Pugh was wanted in Lima for failing to appear in court and for questioning in other cases.

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1/13/16 – 4:22 A.M.

A Michigan trucker is recovering from minor injuries suffered in a crash with a train Wood County. State troopers say Robert Brown was eastbound on U.S. Route Six near Bradner yesterday when his tractor-trailer hit a northbound CSX train. The railroad crossing gates were down and lights were flashing when the crash happened.

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1/12/2016 – 7:24 pm

The City of Findlay is planning to spend the same on road resurfacing this year that it did in 2015. Plans call for around $1.25 million dollars to be spent on road resurfacing. Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer said that the city will resurface between 15 to 20 roads this year depending on need.

The city is looking to upgrade the intersections of Blanchard and Sixth streets, Blanchard and Sandusky streets and the West Sandusky Street and Western Avenue crossing near the Courier. One idea for the intersections is to utilize roundabouts for the intersections of Blanchard and Sixth and West Sandusky and Western Avenue, but Schmelzer indicated that would be unlikely due to costs for property acquisition to complete the project.

One of the major projects that the city is undertaking this year will be to tie into and to help fund a fiber-optic data network in partnership with Findlay Schools. Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer said that the network would bring about savings to the city’s service and data fees.

Audio: Paul Schmelzer

Schmelzer said that the estimated return on that project would take around five to six years.

In line with other capital improvement projects, the City of Findlay is continuing to work on improvements to The Cube, and the surrounding sports facilities. Plans call for an expansion of the ice and floor space in the facility itself and the construction of handicapped-accessible restrooms for the ball fields, to be built in line with plans for the Miracle Field. Schmelzer said that around $225,000 was appropriated for the project.

Audio: Paul Schmelzer

Plans for the Miracle Field are on target to begin construction this spring and to have the facility open in early August.

When it comes to the overall capital plans, the City of Findlay says that it has prioritized funding for improving utilities, parks, road structure, and other capital improvements which helps in regards to economic development. With a $3.6 million carryover in the capital improvement fund from 2015, and ongoing projects slated for this year, Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer says that Findlay is, financially in a position to entice companies looking to locate in Northwest Ohio.

Audio: Paul Schmelzer

Findlay’s 2016 Capital Improvement plans call for continued work on main street revitalization, utility and road structure for the industrial parks and work on building the retail market in the community.

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1/12/2016 – 5:01 pm

Columbia Gas customers in Ohio will be paying less for service on average in January. The company announced that customers are projected to pay around $27.87 less or 22 percent less for the month. The average bill for a household buying natural gas from Columbia is projected to be $98.73 in January, down from $126.60 last year.

The rate decrease will not apply however to those who buy their natural gas on fixed-rate plans from suppliers like Direct Energy, IGS, and Integrys Energy Services. Those with a variable rate plan from an alternative supplier may however, see a rate decrease.

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1/12/2016 – 4:42 pm

A Findlay woman was taken to the hospital after a two-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon near the Findlay Airport. Findlay Police report that 69-year-old Pamela Shull was transported to Blanchard Valley Hospital as a precaution. Shortly after 2pm Shull was driving southbound on OH 15 and was exiting onto Lima Avenue when her vehicle struck the side of a semi driven by 63-year-old Juan Escalante of Deshler, which was at the entrance ramp.

The on-ramp from eastbound Lima Avenue to southbound OH 15/US68 was blocked for a couple of hours. Shull was cited for operating without reasonable control.

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