About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

4/25/14 – 9:42 A.M.

Law enforcement officials are asking you to get rid of unused prescription drugs this weekend. The annual “Drug Take-Back Day” will take place tomorrow at police stations across the region. In Findlay you can drop off unused medication from 9 a.m. until noon at the Findlay Municipal Building parking lot.

Around the region take back initiatives are also taking place at the sheriff’s offices in Putnam, Seneca, and Henry Counties.

The event is part of a nationwide campaign to preventprescription drug abuse. Health officials say young people are likely to misuse and abuse drugs in their parents’ medicine cabinets.

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4/25/14 – 7:13 A.M.

The man who set fire to the Findlay IHOP location in 2008 will spend 41 months in prison. The Blade reports Jose Leon-Gonzalez pleaded guilty to arson in U.S. District Court in Toledo this week. He’ll also have to pay almost $1.4 million in restitution, along with his co-defendant in the case.

Federal prosecutors say Leon-Gonzalez was told by the restaurant’s owner, Tarek Elkafrawi, to start the blaze. The fire allowed Elkafrawi to file a fraudulent insurance claim.

Elkafrawi and 17 others were indicted in 2012 on dozens of federal charges. They included money laundering, identity theft and alien harboring. The Findlay IHOP location has been closed ever since.

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4/25/14 – 5:24 A.M.

A jury has found a former employee at an Ottawa propane business guilty of theft. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the verdict in Christine Wilson’s case came down on the third day of the trial. Prosecutors had accused Wilson of stealing more than $100,000 from Cherry’s Propane over a four year period.

Assistant Putnam County Prosecutor Todd Schroeder said Wilson would pocket cash payments and then remove records of the sale to cover her tracks. She was also convicted on a count of tampering with records.

Sentencing will happen in four to six weeks. Wilson has served time in a federal prison for committing a similar crime when she worked at a McComb bank in 2000.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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4/235/14 – 5:11 A.M.

County Commissioner Phil Riegle has raised more money and outspent his opponent in his campaign for reelection. The Courier reports The Riegle campaign raised $8,629 during the last reporting period. So far the campaign has spent $3,486 and has a balance of $5,202.

Challenger Steve Oman raised $7,639 and spent $1,858. His committee reported a balance of $5,780.

Campaigns spending or receiving $1,000 or more have to file reports with the Hancock County Board of Elections.

MORE: The Courier

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4/25/14 – 4:56 A.M.

A small child found wandering in the street in Findlay has been returned to the mother. The Findlay Police Department reports a neighbor found the child in the 1300 block of Fox Street around 4 p.m. Thursday. Officers went to the area and talked to residents to see if anyone knew who the child belonged to, but no one did.

At that point officers brought the child back to the police station. Other officers continued to canvass the neighborhood. The child was also entered into police databases.

Around two hours later the mother of the child called the police to report her child was missing. Officers told her she needed to come to the station. After her identity was verified the child was given back to her.

The police have referred the case to the Findlay law director’s office and Children Protective Services.

View Child Found Wandering Streets in a larger map

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4/24/14 – 10:50 A.M.

A Lima woman accused of a variety of sex crimes has been found competent to stand trial. WLIO-TV reports that ruling was made in the case of 42-year-old Tina Hill this week. Hill faces two counts of rape and complicity to rape. She also faces 40 counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material, and 11 counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor. She has pleaded not guilty.

Because of how serious the alleged crimes are, an independent competency evaluation has been ordered.


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4/24/14 – 10:39 A.M.

Findlay community members will take a stand against domestic violence this weekend. The annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event is set for this Saturday at Riverside Park, and will see men walking around in high heels for a good cause…

Audio: Ashley Ritz

Ashley Ritz of the Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center talked about the event on WFIN this week. She says the event helps spread awareness of the issue and lets people know it is a problem in Hancock County.

Audio: Ashley Ritz

The money raised by the event helps fund the organizations general operations.

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4/24/14 – 7:36 A.M.

Area store owners need to be on the look out for a scam involving customers using business phones. The scam works like this; first a customer will ask to use your phone. When they do, they’ll forward calls to a cell phone number. The person will then try and write a check to a check cashing business and have you cash it. When you call to verify, you’ll talk to someone on the cell phone who will tell you to go ahead and cash the bogus check.

A local barber shop told the Findlay-Hancock County Chamber of Commerce about the incident. The chamber then posted about it on their Facebook page.

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4/24/13 – 6:34 A.M.

A one-car crash killed a Van Buren man early this morning. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office says 22-year-old Justin Potteiger lost his life in in a crash on Allen Township Road 232 north of State Route 613. The accident happened around 12:30 a.m.

Potteiger lost control of his Dodge Journey as he crossed the intersection. His car hit a ditch and then a tree. Potteiger was not wearing a seatbelt.

The crash remains under investigation.

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