About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

9/9/14 – 5:00 A.M.

Leaders at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are close to reviewing a plan to mitigate Blanchard River flooding. The Courier reports a “tentatively-selected plan” will put forward soon. Lt. Col. Karl Jansen is the commander of the Buffalo District and spoke with the newspaper. Jansen says, “the significance of this milestone is that all of the work that has been conducted in the past has resulted in a basic plan that will offer flood-risk reduction, where the benefits are greater than the costs of the project.”

Jansen says there are three main components to the plan. First, it includes a diversion channel that takes water from Eagle Creek and moves it to the Blanchard River downstream of Findlay. Second, there would be a levee running south from the reservoirs to State Route 15, preventing water from jumping the banks of the Blanchard and running to Lye Creek. The plan also calls for buying out property-owners in high risk flood areas.

There was no mention of a water retention area near Camp Berry on Hancock County Road 40.

If Corps leadership approves the plan, it will be presented to the public, state agencies, and independent agencies for further review.

MORE: The Courier

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9/8/14 – 10:57 A.M.

Here’s what’s making news around the state today:

Cedar Point’s 16-year run as the world’s best amusement park is over. The Sandusky theme park was dethroned this past weekend in “Amusement Today’s” annual Golden Ticket Awards, finishing second to a park in Germany. The magazine’s readers didn’t forget about Cedar Point, naming Millennium Force the world’s best steel roller coaster.

Another celebrity is adding on to a reward to find the teenagers involved in the repulsive Ice Bucket Challenge prank in Bay Village. Former TV talk show co-host and actress Jenny McCarthy announced on Twitter that she’s matching the ten-thousand-dollar reward posted by Clevelander Drew Carey. The video released last week of a special-needs Bay High School student having a bucket of urine and feces dumped on him has spurred national outrage.

Community colleges in Ohio are facing a new state funding formula. New rules that took effect last week will tie funding for two-year public colleges to graduation rates and course completion instead of an enrollment-based formula. The two-year schools will be under the same rules as Ohio’s four-year universities, which include tuition freezes and aid for low-income and minority students.

The search resumes today for a man who drowned in Lake Erie while trying to rescue his son and another boy. Officials say the 12 and 13-year-olds were near Luna Pier Sunday afternoon when they were swept out into the lake by a current. Juan Layva swam out to them, went under the water and never resurfaced. The boys were rescued by the LaSalle Fire Department.

Seven Collinwood High School athletes will be disciplined this week for their roles in an ugly brawl during a football game. Cleveland schools officials say one student will be punished by the Ohio High School Athletic Association and the others will be disciplined by the school. The fight during last week’s Collinwood-Garfield Heights football game led to several arrests and a forfeit loss for both teams.

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9/8/14 – 5:31 A.M.

Gas prices are down across the state as we start another work week. Ohiogasprices.com reports the statewide average for a gallon of regular was around $3.42 a gallon, down from $3.50 on Labor Day. Prices are still three cents higher above what we were paying a month ago.

In Findlay the average price was around $3.48 a gallon early this morning. Drivers in Ottawa reported prices around $3.45.

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9/8/14 – 5:25 A.M.

Authorities in Tiffin believe a fire in city’s Walmart was suspicious in nature. Firefighters were called to the store on State Route 18 early Friday morning. The flames were limited to one rack of items in the sporting goods department, but there was smoke and water damage to the rest of the store.

The incident closed the Walmart location into Saturday.

View Walmart Fire in a larger map

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9/8/14 – 5:19 A.M.

The final fair of the year in our area kicks off tomorrow. The Wyandot County Fair runs Tuesday through Sunday in Upper Sandusky. Daily admission is $6. Senior citizens will get in for half price on Thursday.

The fair kicks off with the king and queen pageant at 5:30 p.m., followed by a parade in the grandstands. Other attractions include a rodeo, demolition derby, and of course a calf scramble.

MORE: Complete Schedule

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9/8/14 – 5:11 A.M.

The Ohio Secretary of State’s office is holding open office hours around our region over the next few weeks. Representatives will be on hand to make voter registration forms available and to distribute election information. Office hours will be held in Hancock County tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library.

Office hours will be held in Seneca County on September 16 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Tiffin Public Library.

Wyandot County — Sept. 19, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Upper Sandusky Community Library
Hardin County — Sept. 22, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m at Mary Lou Johnson Hardin County District Library, Kenton
Allen County — Sept. 24, noon to 2 p.m. at Lima Public Library
Wood County — Sept. 29, noon to 2 p.m. at Way Public Library, Perrysburg.

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9/8/14 – 5:04 A.M.

The United Way of Putnam County kicks off its fundraising campaign this week. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the organization will hold an “Appetizer Extravaganza” and the 1st Annual Putnam County Wing Championship Thursday. The event will be held at the Schroeder Center for the Arts on West Main Street.

Following the wing competition, campaign chair Mike Schumaker will announce the 2014 campaign goal.

Tickets for the event are $10 each and are available by calling (419)523-4505.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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9/8/14 – 4:54 A.M.

Adults with developmental disabilities in Hancock County will be able to stay in their residential program thanks to a new nonprofit corporation. The Courier reports the Hancock County Board of Developmental Disabilities founded the nonprofit. The move was made to avoid pressure from the federal government to move residents of publicly-held facilities into homes that are integrated in the community.

Connie Ament is the director of the Blanchard Valley Center and says they’re in no hurry to uproot their residents. As many as 32 adults at a time can live on the BVC campus, and some have lived there for many years. Residents have 24 hour supervision and on call-nursing.

Former BVC residential director Tammy Bonifas will run the new nonprofit. She says the move will help make any transitions easier for residents and their families.

The county board of developmental disabilities invested $1 million to set up the nonprofit agency.

MORE: The Courier

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9/5/14 – 10:39 A.M.

The United Way of Hancock County raised more than $3 million last year during the fundraising season. Today the organization kicked off its 2014 fundraiser with a lofty goal…

Audio: Mike Needler Jr.

Mike Needler Jr. is the campaign chair for the event this year. He says fundraising from Pacesetter Agencies is helping the campaign get off to a good start…

Audio: Mike Needler Jr.

Still, Needler says there’s a lot of heavy lifting to be done. Campaign contribution forms will be distributed at area employers over the next few weeks.

Money raised by the United Way is distributed to local charities through a grant process.

Photo Gallery:

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9/5/14 – 6:50 A.M.

Wood County officials are working to reduce the amount taxpayers have to contribute to a levy. The Sentinel-Tribune reports the Wood County Commissioners and the Job and Family Services Agency are working together on the issue.

They’ve asked the county’s budget commission reduce the amount collected by the Adult and Protective Services levy by 50 percent next year.

If approved, it would save taxpayers around $1.8 million.

MORE: Sentinel-Tribune

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