About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

6/23/15 – 5:26 A.M.
Update – 7:21 A.M.

A standoff in Tiffin has come to an end after several hours.  The Advertiser-Tribune reports police officers responded to an intoxicated man with a gun threatening to kill himself late Monday night at the Highland Trailer Park.  The man was identified as 48-year-old Miles Wharton.  He apparently got into an argument with his wife about finances and fired a gun into the floor of their home after she left and returned.

The newspaper reports Wharton’s wife and daughter were able to get out of the home safely.  Wharton handed over his gun to officers when they negotiated with him face-to-face.  He was taken into custody without further incident.

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6/23/15 – 5:18 A.M.

Work continues toward forming a joint fire district for Pleasant and Portage Townships and McComb. The Courier reports the McComb Village Council learned a name had been selected during their Monday meeting. The group will be known as the Northwest Hancock Joint Fire District when it begins operations.

The village and townships are preparing ordinances to make the formation of the fire district official. One of the goals of the combined fire department will be to spread out the cost of equipment between three tax bases.

MORE: The Courier

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6/23/15 – 5:11 A.M.

Day two of the Putnam County Fair is all about children. Today is kid’s day, with all children 16 and under admitted for free until 4 p.m. There is also a kiddie tractor pull, bicycle giveaway, and the Little Mister & Miss Putnam County Fair event on the schedule for the day.

Tonight in the grandstand there will be harness racing.

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6/23/15 – 5:03 A.M.

Alleged comments made to an employee of Fifth Third Bank by Findlay Auditor Jim Staschiak have led to an investigation by the State Auditor’s office. The Courier reports Staschiak called Fifth Third vice president of government and nonprofit banking David Koenig on February 12 to complain a bank employee was circulating candidacy petitions for Anne Spence. Spence ran against Staschiak in the primary. The city has an account worth $22 million at the bank.

Koenig said Staschiak told him his staff felt the bank wasn’t happy with his performance since an employee was supporting another campaign. The bank’s call record also says Staschiak told Koenig other banks had contacted the auditor to hold meetings, and that Staschiak believed “they smelled an opportunity out of this.”

Bank management contacted Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik and Law Director Don Rasmussen about the incident. Mihalik forwarded the complaint to State Auditor Dave Yost’s office for further review.

Mihalik told the Courier, “I’ll allow the process to play out and will cooperate in any way that I can for the good of the public.” A representative of Staschiak’s office said the auditor is out of the office for the next few weeks. He did not return calls for comment. Rasmussen said, “It may not be illegal, but he was trying to use his influence to get someone who was helping Anne Spence, off her campaign. It doesn’t pass the smell test.”

MORE: The Courier

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6/22/15 – 11:03 A.M.

Today’s hot weather could mean load control measures for Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative customers. High temperatures are expected to increase peak demand for electricity. The utility says alerts will be sent out if load controls are needed.

Updates will also be posted on the Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative Facebook and Twitter pages.

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6/22/15 – 10:52 A.M.

Two Bucyrus men were killed when their kayak overturned in the Sandusky River in Upper Sandusky Sunday. The Upper Sandusky Police Department reports a water rescue team was called to an area near the dam around 7:15 p.m.

45-year-old Billy Zornes and 46-year-old Lewis Zornes were both removed from the river.

The Ohio Division of Watercraft is investigating the incident.

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6/22/15 – 10:32 A.M.

The number of homes sold in our area last month was down compared to last year. But the average sale price for homes that are sold continues to increase. That’s according to numbers released by the Heartland Board of Realtors, which tracks sales in Hancock and Wyandot Counties.

108 homes were sold in May of 2015 compared to 136 in 2014. However, the average sale price was a little more than $134,000. That’s a 5 percent increase from a year ago.

For the entire year it continues to be a seller’s market. There’s been a 12 percent increase in the number of homes sold through May. The average sale price for the year stands at a little more than $131,000. That’s a more than 10 percent increase from 2014.

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The first full day of summer is bringing a pretty good chance of severe weather with it. Stormtrack Meteorologist Kimberly Newman says they’re tracking very strong storms to our west right now…

Audio: Kimberly Newman

Newman says that’s actually a good thing for us, because we can learn what to expect with the storm front.

As for timing, Newman says the first line of storms is expected to hit during the evening commute.

Audio: Kimberly Newman

But that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods in our area…

Audio: Kimberly Newman

Newman says the second round of strong storms is expected to move through the area early Tuesday morning.

Listen to our full interview here:

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6/22/15 – 5:26 A.M.

Gas prices are down as we enter a new work week. Ohiogasprices.com reports the average price in Findlay is $2.64 today, down seven cents from last Monday. In Ottawa, prices have dropped 20 cents over the last seven days. Ottawa drivers are paying $2.64 a gallon today as well.

The local prices are following the state trend. The average price for a gallon of regular in Ohio is $2.72 today. That’s down 10 cents from last Monday.

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6/22/15 – 5:18 A.M.

A wave of teacher retirements is continuing across the state, but it should level out soon. That’s according to Findlay High School assistant superintendent Craig Kupferberg. He tells the Courier changes to pension programs have led to an unusually high number of retirements over the past couple of years.

Previously, retirement benefits were based on the average of a teacher’s three highest paying years. The benefits will now be based on the five highest years, which can lower the average.

Numbers reported by the State Teachers Retirement System show more than 7,600 teachers retired in fiscal years 2012 and 2013. For fiscal 2014 more and 5,800 teachers retired.

MORE: The Courier

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