About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

10/2/14 – 4:48 A.M.

A Marion man was convicted yesterday of raping a preschool-age girl in Hancock County. The Courier reports it took a jury two hours to come to a verdict in the case of 49-year-old John Saltz. He could face life in prison when he is sentenced on November 12.

A DNA sample linked Saltz to the girl, and the victim’s grandmother was allowed to testify on her behalf. Saltz’s lawyer argued that amounted to hearsay. However, Judge Reginald Routson said exceptions are allowed in sexual assault cases involving children.

MORE: The Courier

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10/2/14 – 4:22 A.M.

Columbia Gas customers are being warned of a telephone scam. The utility says someone claiming to be from Columbia Gas is calling customers to threaten them with a shutoff if they don’t pay an overdue bill. Customers are told to pay up with a prepaid debit card, something the gas company says they’ll never do.

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10/2/14 – 4:19 A.M.

A squirrel is being blamed for a power outage in Hancock and Wood counties that left more than one-thousand people in the dark yesterday. American Electric Power says a squirrel leaped from one transformer to another, creating an arc that destroyed a switch meant to ensure the two devices weren’t connected.

The outage kept McComb and the surrounding region for several hours Wednesday.

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10/1/14 – 5:30 A.M.

This week we’ve been telling you about programs available to kids in crisis situations in our area.

Today we look at the challenges of getting kids who need help into programs that can benefit them. Josh Ebling of the Family Resource Center says that’s one of the biggest challenges…

Audio: Josh Ebling

Ebling also says a big hurdle is making sure families in highly volatile situations trust the programs that are in place…

Audio: Josh Ebling

One common misconception is that state programs will be quick to pull a child out of a home. Ebling added that they’re spreading word about the new programs to their clients, to fight that type of thinking.

Tomorrow we’ll look at crisis intervention programs have already been used in Findlay.

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9/30/14 – 5:30 A.M.

Yesterday we outlined how stepped up efforts to help kids in crisis came to be. Today, we’re looking at how local families can get help.

Josh Ebling is the CEO of the Family Resource Center of Northwest Ohio and says a big part of the plan is to offer help to families at all hours of the day…

Audio: Josh Ebling

Ebling also says part of the Strong Families program focuses on not allowing one crisis to snowball into another…

Audio: Josh Ebling

Ebling says grant money from the state means more counselors can be trained to deal with these situations.

As we continue our series tomorrow we’ll look at how the Strong Families plan aims to connect with kids in need of help.

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9/30/14 – 5:13 A.M.

A Seneca County crash injured five people Monday night. The State Highway Patrol reports the accident happened at the intersection of U.S. 224 and U.S. 23 around 7 p.m.

44-year-old Adhah Aljohani was driving a Dodge Durango west on Route 224 when he ran a red light and hit a semi driven by 51-year-old Ryan Phillips of Wharton. The collision caused the Durango to damage a junction box that controlled the stop light. The semi slammed into a sign for a fuel center.

Aljohani and one passenger were taken to ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital. Three other passengers were taken by medical helicopter to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. The patrol says all the injuries were non-life-threatening.

The crash remains under investigation.

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9/30/14 – 5:04 A.M.

The State Highway Patrol has released the details of a drug bust on I-75 that was made last week. The patrol says two people were arrested last Wednesday after nearly $4,000 worth of prescription medication was found in their car.

A 2012 Hyundai Accent was pulled over for speeding around 11:40 p.m. on September 23. A consent search of the car led to the discovery of 59 Oxycodone pills, 47 Alprazolam pills and 142 morphine sulfate pills.

21-year-old Devontae Russell of Roseville, Michigan; and 19-year-old Lida Rutherford of Knoxville, Tennessee are both facing charges.

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9/30/14 – 4:55 A.M.

A man a Fostoria murder victim once called her friend admitted his role in her death during a Monday court hearing. The Courier reports Tyson Ogg pleaded guilty to charges of complicity to aggravated burglary, complicity to aggravated robbery, and complicity to murder. He could get a sentence of 18 years to life in prison.

Ogg served as the getaway driver the night 20-year-old Janelle Mauricio was shot and killed in her East Culbertson Street home in late May. On Monday, Mauricio’s parents told the media that their daughter had been friends with Ogg for years before the shooting. Mauricio and Caleb Barto, who was also attacked during the incident, had even let Ogg live with them at one point.

Another suspect in the case, Dallas Salaz, has also pleaded guilty. He and Ogg will be sentenced after court proceedings for Garrett Brown are completed. Brown is accused of shooting Mauricio.

MORE: The Courier

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9/29/14 – 6:55 A.M.

A one car crash injured one person on I-75 in Wood County over the weekend. The State Patrol reports the crash happened just after 6 p.m. Friday near State Route 18.

61-year-old Karen Snyder of Bowling Green was driving south when she lost control and hit a concrete median barrier and a guardrail. Snyder had to be extricated from the vehicle with the jaws of life. She was taken to Wood County Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Snyder was also cited for failure to control.

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Children acting out violently seems like a daily occurrence with school shootings and other incidents. Director of Ohio’s Department of Developmental Disabilities John Martin said the increase in those events inspired Ohio to make a change.

AUDIO: John Martin

The DODD partnered with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to give the “Strong Families, Safe Communities” grant to several groups of counties to work with families who have children in crisis situations. Martin said these can be aggressive children, children who have suicidal tendencies or other challenging behaviors. The goal is to assist the families and the kids in any way possible to avoid any harm.

Martin said on top of assisting the families, the grant is also educational for the state. Grantees will report back to the DODD to let them know what in their plans worked and what didn’t. Martin said with that local level information, the state can learn how to respond to these situations.

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