About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

12/23/15 – 4:55 A.M.

A proposed change for Findlay City Council could make meetings a little shorter in the future. The Courier reports an ad-hoc committee of council talked about only reading the subject lines of letters to council instead of reading the entire letter. The communications are referred to a committee for review. The letters would still be publicly available on the city’s website.

Councilmen Grant Russel and Ron Monday made the proposal Tuesday.

Another proposal would change the council appropriations committee. Instead of having six members it would be reduced to five. Ron Monday said that would give other council members more of a say on city spending, since six members is already a majority of council.

Both proposals have to be approved by full council.

MORE: The Courier

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12/22/15 – 10:43 A.M.

It will soon be easier for Hancock County employees who have flex spending as part of their health insurance plan to use the benefit. The county commissioners approved the use of debit cards with the accounts during their Tuesday meeting.

The county had held off on using the debit cards in the past because there was a fee associated with their use. The flex spending account provider has now waived the fees.

The debit card also comes with a mobile app that gives the balance of the account.

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12/22/15 – 6:51 A.M.

20 people are facing drug charges in Henry County following a six-month undercover operation. On Monday, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office announced dozens of drug-related indictments were handed up by the grand jury. The charges include trafficking heroin, trafficking hydrocodone, and trafficking cocaine among several others.

List of indctments:

• Mark T. Lafferty II, 34, rural Liberty Center, two counts of trafficking in heroin, and two counts of permitting drug abuse, all fifth-degree felonies.
• Julius Fonseca Jr., 50, Napoleon, trafficking in heroin, fifth-degree felony; two counts of trafficking in heroin, fourth-degree felonies.
• Tony Fonseca, 49, Napoleon, trafficking in hydrocodone, third-degree felony
• Brant D. Ward, 24, Napoleon, four counts of trafficking in heroin, fifth-degree felonies.
• Raul H. Salinis Jr., 27, Defiance, trafficking in cocaine, possession of cocaine, both fourth-degree felonies.
• Joshua S. Hall, 26, Napoleon, trafficking in marijuana, fourth-degree felony; corrupting a juvenile with drugs, third-degree felony.
• Melissa L. Buchholz, 29, Ohio Department of Corrections, possession of heroin, fifth-degree felony.
• Krista A. Gore-Dishop, 29, Ohio Department of Corrections, trafficking in hydromorphone, trafficking in oxycodone, fourth-degree felonies.
• Nathanial R. Poole, 32, Napoleon, possession of heroin, possession of hydrocodone, fifth-degree felonies.
• Nicole Lyn Poole, 29, Napoleon, possession of heroin, fifth-degree felony.
• Joshua A. Armstrong, 31, Florida, Ohio, possession of fentanyl, fifth-degree felony.
• Joanne Detillion, 42, Deshler, trafficking in heroin, fourth-degree felony.
• Derrick L. Rodriguez, 50, Deshler, two counts trafficking in cocaine, fifth-degree felonies.
• Morgan E. Lamming, 25, Napoleon, permitting drug abuse, fifth-degree felony; endangering children, first-degree misdemeanor.
• Jamie D. Taylor, 33, Napoleon, trafficking in heroin, fourth-degree felony; endangering children, first-degree misdemeanor.
• Tony J. Grant, 20, rural Napoleon, possession of heroin, possession of fentanyl, fifth-degree felonies.
• Mark Allen McMahon Jr., 21, Napoleon, possession of cocaine, fifth-degree felony.
• John W. Zimmerman, 52, Holgate, cultivation of marijuana, fifth-degree felony.
• Brent A. Connolly, 26, Napoleon, possession of cocaine, possession of fentanyl, possession of heroin, fifth-degree felonies.
• Taylor L. McMahon, 24, Napoleon, possession of cocaine, possession of fentanyl, possession of heroin, fifth-degree felonies.

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12/22/15 – 6:43 A.M.

It’s official, Carey will use an outside agency to handle tax collections in the future. The Courier reports village council approved a contract with Central Collection Agency of Cleveland during their Monday meeting. The three-year contract will cost around $41,000 annually.

The agency will start handling collections in the middle of 2016. Carey residents will be able to file their village income taxes online as a result.

Village council members said they liked the cost savings aspect of the plan. Currently they pay more than $101,000 for two employees in the utility billing office and income tax department. Tax administrator Chris Rader is retiring, clearing the way for the change.

Councilman Armand Getz voted against the plan. He said it eliminated a good-paying job in the village.

MORE: The Courier

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12/22/15 – 5:23 A.M.

Carey’s acting police chief will be sworn in as the full-time chief on January 1. Richard Kessler has been serving as the head of the police department since this past spring. He took over while Chief Dan Walter was recovering from surgery. However, Walter is now set to retire this week.

Kessler has 25 years of law enforcement experience and has worked in Carey since 2013. He was also busy during his term as acting chief. Over the last few months Kessler has initiated a K-9 program with donated money, upgraded firearms, and transitioned the department to a new crime reporting system.

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12/22/15 – 5:14 A.M.

A weekend robbery attempt may be connected to others in and around Fostoria. The Fostoria Police Department reports a masked man tried to rob the Butt Hutt Cigarette Outlet on North Countyline Street Saturday night. The man walked into the business, showed a knife, and quickly left. He did not take any money and no one was hurt during the incident.

The suspect is described as a white man, roughly 5’7″ tall and weighing between 160 and 170 pounds. He was wearing a mask and blue jeans. The description is similar to the suspect in five other incidents over the last few months.

Police Chief Keith Loreno is reminding business owners to secure any doors not used by customers.

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12/22/15 – 5:05 A.M.

Columbus Grove students were treated to an emotional reunion last week. The Putnam County Sentinel reports seventh grader Gunner King was eating his lunch last Friday when his older brother Race, who is on leave from the military, showed up to surprise Gunner.

Race has been in the Army for six months now and is stationed at Fort Sills in Oklahoma. Race told the newspaper that he’s very close to Gunner, and that it will be good to see him during his 17-day break.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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12/22/15 – 4:54 A.M.

The Liberty-Benton school district will be looking for a new superintendent, but board members will have plenty of time to make a decision. The Courier reports Superintendent Jim Knable told the school board he would retire in mid-2017 at the end of his contract. He has been in the position since 2009.

Knable told board members he wanted to give them plenty of time to search for a replacement. He added, “I wanted to make sure our board had time to indulge themselves in a proper search. I don’t think this is something that should be hurried through or rushed.”

Board president Scott Rhodes said he believed the search for a new superintendent would start in the next few months.

MORE: The Courier

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12/21/15 – 5:31 A.M.

We’re heading toward Christmas with lower gas prices. There’s a wide range of prices in Findlay right now, anywhere from $1.76 to $1.93 a gallon. Anyway you slice it, prices are down from the $1.96 we were paying a week ago. Last year, as we were heading toward Christmas, we were paying around $2.17 a gallon according to Ohio gas prices.com.

The average price in Ottawa is $1.79 a gallon today, down from $1.94 last Monday.

The statewide average is $1.80, down 11 cents from last week.

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12/21/15 – 5:23 A.M.

A Fostoria man has rejected a plea deal for a charge stemming from a fatal 2014 arson. The Review-Times reports 46-year-old Charles Schaeffer’s conviction on a count of complicity to aggravated murder was overturned by the 3rd District Court of Appeals earlier this year. Two other convictions were upheld.

The decision means Schaeffer will be tried on the charge again in March of 2016. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, he’ll still be serving a 15 years to life prison sentence.

Schaeffer was accused of showing Shey Weiker how to use a railroad flare that was used to start a Memorial Day fire in Fostoria in 2014. The blaze took the life of Daniel Marker Jr. and Tara Vance. A third person was badly injured in the fire.

MORE: Review-Times

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