About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

1/2/15 – 6:54 A.M.

An Ottoville village council member has stepped down. The Lima News reports Anthony Langhals resigned Wednesday. His term wasn’t set to expire until the end of this year.

Langhals was behind recent motions to build new sidewalks in the Western Putnam County village. The issue has been contentious, with many residents against the proposal. It would require property owners pay 70 percent of the cost of the installation.

Langhals told the newspaper the sidewalk issue wasn’t his reason for stepping down though. He cited personal reasons for his departure.

MORE: Lima News

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1/2/15 – 6:45 A.M.

Seneca County homeowners are being warned about a scam making its way around the community. The Review-Times reports this particular scam is targeting people who have just bought a house. Seneca County Recorder Mike Dell tells the newspaper someone is contacting new homeowners and telling them something is wrong with their deed. They then offer to get you a copy of a new one for around $100.

You can actually get a copy of your deed for less than $1 in the recorder’s office. Dell says the scammers are watching real estate transfers in the newspaper to find potential victims.

MORE: Review-Times

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1/2/15 – 5:25 A.M.

If you’re a Columbia Natural Gas customer, you’ll like this news – gas bills are expected to be lower this month. The company says bills are projected to be $9.60 less on average. That’s a decrease of about seven percent.

The rate decrease will not apply to those who are on fixed rate plans with the company.

Warmer December temperatures and record natural gas production are driving prices down. Columbia says the average household bill was a little more than $136 last January.

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1/2/15 – 5:14 A.M.

The number of traffic deaths in Findlay and Hancock County went the wrong way in 2014. The Courier reports nine traffic related deaths were reported last year. That’s up from six in 2013. Failure to control was cited as the cause of the crash in five of the accidents. Three of the accidents involved alcohol.

State Highway Patrol Sgt. Chris Kinn tells the newspaper distracted driving remains a big concern as well.

MORE: The Courier

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1/2/15 – 5:00 A.M.

Firefighters from several departments battled a barn fire Thursday night. Crews were called to the 13000 block of Hancock County Road 24 around 6:45 p.m. The barn was reportedly engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

The Arlington, Delaware Township, Vanlue, and Liberty Township Fire Departments were all involved in fighting the flames.

No other details were available.

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1/2/15 – 4:51 A.M.

Findlay police officers were involved in a brief high-speed chase Thursday morning. The incident started around 8:15 a.m., when officers got a call from employees at the Speedway gas station on South Main Street. They told dispatchers a man was trying to drive through the doors of the store.

The man drove east at a high rate of speed but lost control of his car and nearly hit a business just east of Sherry Street. The chase lasted only a minute. 20-year-old John Stallard II of Marion was arrested for drunken driving following the chase.

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12/31/14 – 5:30 A.M.

There were plenty of high-profile news stories in 2014, but only one that every single person you know talked about at some point. The unrelenting, brutal winter is our story of the year in Hancock County.

Findlay’s Water Pollution Control Center recorded more than 38 inches of snowfall from January through April. That’s more than three times the snow we saw in 2013.

On top of the snow, there was the bitter cold. Wind chills stayed below zero for long stretches of the first quarter of the year. For people heating their homes with propane, things got dicey at times…

Audio: Bob Latta

The propane shortages led Congressman Bob Latta to sponsor legislation that would make it easier to get the heating fuel to where it is needed during harsh winters.

The seemingly constant snowfall wasn’t cheap either. The harsh weather cost Findlay more than $130,000 for extra utility costs, vehicle repairs, and overtime.

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12/31/14 – 4:37 A.M.

A snow fence is being installed along one of the most dangerous sections of I-75.  The Ohio Department of Transportation says the permanent fence will stretch 32-miles from I-275 in Perrysburg to State Route 582 in Wood County.  It’s meant to act as a shield from the westerly winds and break up snow that blows across the exposed farm fields.

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