About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

8/4/16 – 7:22 A.M.

Even though net sales were down for Cooper Tire & Rubber in the second quarter of 2016 compared to last year, the company posted an $11 million increase in net income. Second quarter results for the Findlay-based tire maker were released today. The numbers show net sales were $740 million for April, May, and June. That’s down $12 million from the same period in 2015.

At the same time, operating profit increased by 10.5 percent, from $99 million last year to $110 million this year. That accounts for 14.8 percent of net sales, which the company says is a record for the second quarter.

The release from Cooper says the increase in operating profit was partially due to better raw material costs. Higher unit volume and lower expenses in other areas also helped increase profit for the quarter.

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8/4/16 – 5:12 A.M.

Pay raises have been approved for teachers in the Liberty-Benton school district. The Courier reports the school board approved a new three year contract with the teacher’s union during their Wednesday meeting. The new deal includes a base pay raise of around 1.35 percent in the first two years, followed by a 1.65 percent raise in the third year.

The new contract also gives opportunities for more raises based on performance. Step increases based on years of service have been eliminated. As part of the deal, entry level pay will increase by nearly $1,000 to around $33,800 by 2018.

MORE: The Courier

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8/4/16 – 5:02 A.M.

Hancock County will get nearly $5,000 from the state to train poll workers for the November election. The Courier reports that in a change of pace, the money for training is coming up front. Hancock County Board of Elections Director Jody O’Brien says typically the state has reimbursed the county for training costs.

On Wednesday Secretary of State Jon Husted announced $760,000 from the state’s general fund will be used to offset the costs of getting poll workers ready for the election. Hancock and the surrounding counties will see a total of a little more than $31,000 of that money.

O’Brien says Hancock County will train 300 workers before November.

MORE: The Courier

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8/4/16 – 4:50 A.M.

One man was hospitalized following an assault in Findlay Wednesday night. The Findlay Police Department reports officers were called to the 200 block of Taylor Street around 10:20 p.m. A man was reportedly hit with blunt objects and was left bleeding in the area.

Police say the victim was conscious and alert when they arrived. He was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Witnesses and the victim said between two and four men were involved in the attack. The case remains under investigation.

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8/3/16 – 5:23 A.M.

A two-car crash on I-75 injured two people Monday. The State Highway Patrol reports the crash happened in the southbound lanes near State Route 613 around 9:35 a.m. Investigators say Gregory Cudgel of Roseville Michigan was following too close to another car when he rear-ended it.

Cudgel and a passenger, 28-year-old of Christopher Hair of Toledo, were taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of their injuries. The driver of the other car was not hurt.

The crash remains under investigation.

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8/3/16 – 5:16 A.M.

A state grant will help pay for infrastructure upgrades in North Baltimore. The Courier reports the Ohio Public Works Commission has awarded the village more than $289,000. The money will be used for the replacement of a waterline on Main Street between the railroad tracks and Broadway.

The project will be bid soon, and work could be finished by November.

North Baltimore’s downtown improvement plan includes upgrading waterlines, curb work, and street reconstruction.

MORE: The Courier

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8/3/16 – 5:09 A.M.

The man who allegedly has admitted to killing his son 10 years ago appeared in Putnam County Municipal Court Tuesday. The Courier reports a preliminary hearing was held for 30-year-old Travis Soto. The case was bound over to the Putnam County Common Pleas Court and bond was continued at $500,000. The grand jury could review the case as soon as next week.

On July 25, Soto reportedly went to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and admitted to murdering 2-year-old Julio Baldoza.

Soto was sentenced to five years in prison in 2006 for a child endangerment conviction. At the time Soto said he was riding an ATV at his Continental home and hit the boy when he came around a corner. He did not get medical attention for the child.

MORE: The Courier

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8/3/16 – 5:00 A.M.

The question of whether Findlay should help pay for a workforce development coordinator for the area was brought up at Tuesday’s Findlay City Council meeting. The Courier reports Councilwoman Holly Frische said the agreement to pay $30,000 to the position was never fully agreed to by council members. She added that the money could be better spent on other city services.

Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer talked about the issue after the meeting. He said council seemed to be willing to help pay for the position when the subject was first brought up. He added an ordinance asking for $30,000 will likely appear on the next council agenda. It will then be referred to the Appropriations Committee for further discussion.

Mayor Lydia Mihalik said having a workforce development coordinator will help Findlay stay competitive in attracting potential employers. The coordinator role is part of a larger joint effort between many local agencies to provide qualified workers to area businesses.

MORE: The Courier

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08/02/16 – 9:37 P.M.

Andrew Yates of the Townhomes of Liberty Ridge is seeking to defer payment of the impact and capacity fee for his next building phase. At the city council meeting Tuesday night, Service-Safety Director, Paul Schmelzer said it needs to be brought before the Water and Sewer Committee.

Audio: Schmelzer

Schmelzer said that Yates has already run the sewer line to the location of the next buildings. This avoids tearing up the road later but leaves the section connected to nothing.

According to Schmelzer, the fee is costly for Yates’ next phase.

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