About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

10/9/14 – 5:14 A.M.

The Liberty-Benton School District is holding its ground over the firing of a former teacher. The Courier reports lawyers for the district appealed a Hancock County judge’s ruling in the case this week. Earlier this year a ruling in Hancock County said that Mark Badertscher should be reinstated by the district, but the case has now been taken to the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Lima.

The school’s attorneys argued that Badertscher showed a long history of negligence during his 21 years of teaching. The list of infractions included a May 2012 incident where a student lost consciousness for about 10 seconds after another student put him in a chokehold. It happened when Badertscher left his classroom during an exam.

Judge Reginald Routson ruled this year that the way the school board wrote their documents made it seem like there were only 10 incidents to support dismissal. The school board has argued they should be able to set their own standards for what is a fireable offense.

MORE: The Courier

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10/9/14 – 4:59 A.M.

A deal made between Ohio and Marathon Petroleum last year has caught the attention of the Ohio Ethics Commission. The Associated Press Reports the commission found there was a potential for conflict of interest for two directors of the JobsOhio job creation board.

Marathon was given tax incentives to expand in Findlay. The company’s CEO, Gary Heminger, and a board member, Steven Davis, are both on the JobsOhio board. Governor John Kasich says both Davis and Heminger did not take part in the decision-making process for the deal.

The annual ethics review of JobsOhio saw four directors and 24 employees get warning letters.

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The future of Cooper Tire & Rubber’s joint venture in China became a little more clear today. Cooper has announced that the Chengshan Group intends to buyout Cooper’s 65 percent ownership in a joint venture to two companies have. Company officials say the notice is under review.

Cooper CEO Roy Armes says the notice is the first of several steps before a transaction takes place. In a release, Armes says, “Cooper is committed to meeting the needs of our customers and continuing to grow in China.” He adds that if the sale goes through, Chengshan would still be required to make Cooper branded tires through mid-2018.

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10/8/14 – 7:14 A.M.

Traffic is returning to normal on I-75 north of Findlay following a backup over the last hour. Newstippers reported a crash had slowed things down, but the State Highway Patrol says no accidents were reported. A dispatcher says the delay may have been construction related.

Traffic maps show traffic is running at a normal pace from Van Buren to North Baltimore, where a slowdown was reported just before 7 a.m.

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10/8/14 – 5:11 A.M.

A suspicious death is under investigation in Fostoria. Police Chief Keith Loreno says officers were called to an East Fremont Street apartment Tuesday night. Multiple people called the police just before 8 p.m.

The man’s identity has not been released yet. The cause of death has not been released either. The incident remains under investigation.

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10/8/14 – 5:04 A.M.

Seven Hancock County villages are competing for grant money. The Courier reports a total of 25 leaders from Arcadia, Arlington, Jenera, McComb, Mount Blanchard, Rawson and Vanlue attended a meeting on the subject Tuesday. One of the villages will win a two-year grant worth more than $136,000. The grant will be coordinated through the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation.

The “Community Heart and Soul” grant can be used to pay for community events and someone to coordinate the events. Residents in the town that wins must volunteer 1,500 hours as an in-kind match.

Yesterday’s meeting served as a pre-proposal meeting. It gave village leaders more information on how to apply for the grant.

MORE: The Courier

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10/8/14 – 4:51 A.M.

Fostoria has a new fire chief. The Courier reports Kenneth Chapman will serve as the 10th chief in the city’s history. City Council approved the hire of Chapman during their Tuesday meeting. He’ll replace Keith Loreno, who became Fostoria’s police chief in May.

Before applying for the Fostoria job, Chapman served as a fire captain and company officer in Wayne, Michigan. He spent most of his career serving in various roles for the Wayne Fire Department.

MORE: The Courier

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10/7/14 – 12:41 A.M.

The cost of cleaning out the Blanchard River will run Hancock County a little more than $288,000. The county commissioners agreed to pay a $9 maintenance fee for each of the 32,065 parcels that would have been assessed for the clean-up effort. The bill will be paid from the county’s flood control fund.

The clean-up effort was approved last October. Crews from Tawa Tree Service have been clearing the river of debris since last winter.

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10/7/14 – 12:14 P.M.

Hancock County has named it’s next director for the Department of Job and Family Services. Diana Hoover was given a three-year contract worth $66,000 a year today. She’ll replace Sheldon Bycynski, who is retiring at the end of the month.

Hoover has worked as the assistant director of the agency since last October. Before that, she served as the department’s administrator of children protective services.

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10/7/14 – 12:06 P.M.

The Hancock County Commissioners continue to crunch numbers for the 2015 budget. Today, anticipated revenues were reviewed with County Auditor Charity Rauschenberg. Commissioner Phil Rielge says they do expect some increases, but not across the board…

Audio: Phil Riegle

With that in mind, Riegle says they’ll budget conservatively. Projected revenue for 2015 is $19.8 million, which doesn’t include the carry-over balance from this year.

That balance was a bit of a sticking point, as Rauschenberg pressed the commissioners to set that figure at $2.5 million. Commissioner Phil Riegle was concerned about hitting that number…

Audio: Phil Riegle

The county is anticipating higher real estate and sales tax collections in 2015.

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