About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

3/21/14 – 5:16 A.M.

An area just north of Findlay could be developed in the future, but there’s just one problem right now. The site is a brownfield. That could change though, as Hancock County has approved a detailed environmental assessment of the site. The money will come from a $1 million Brownfield Assessment Coalition Grant the county received in 2010.

The area in question is just south of Allen Township Road 100, between the interstate and N. Main Street. The property was once a Marathon bulk petroleum storage center. Researchers will work to find out if there is any contamination in the soil and water at the site. An initial study found former bulk petroleum above-ground storage tanks and 10 oil wells on the site.

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3/21/14 – 4:54 A.M.

More flood-prone homes are set to be torn down in Hancock County. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded the county $1 million for the effort. The money comes from the government’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. It will include more than $115,000 from the state and $155,000 in local funds.

The Hancock County Commissioners will negotiate sale prices. Homeowners in areas that see issues with flooding take part in the program voluntarily. There’s no word yet on what buildings the county will look to tear down.

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3/20/14 – 12:08 P.M.

A rebounding economy helped drive up Hancock County’s “bed tax” collections in the last quarter of 2013. That’s according to Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Rachael Rahrig. She says collections for that time were up almost 11% over 2012 numbers. That’s normally a slow period for hotel stays…

Audio: Rachael Rahrig

Rahrig expects big things in 2014 for tourism. Sports will once again be a big driver for that…

Audio: Rachael Rahrig

Rahrig says a new swim tournament is also scheduled for this summer.

She adds the events not only mean hotel stays, but dollars spent at local gas stations and restaurants.

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3/20/14 – 11:16 A.M.

When it comes to fighting prescription drug abuse, Hancock County is doing a good job. Unfortunately there’s a lot more work to do. That was the message an expert on the topic gave to members of the opiate abuse task force this week. Hancock County Commissioner Phil Riegle was in attendance, and says local collaboration is the key…

Audio: Phil Riegle

Dr. Michael Flaherty is an expert on opiate abuse, and has been working with the local task force on their plans.

Riegle says Dr. Michael Flaherty wants the group to look at ways to keep expanding their efforts…

Audio: Phil Riegle

The local task force board of directors met with Flaherty Wednesday.

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3/20/14 – 8:35 A.M.

Putnam County law enforcement and emergency crews paid tribute to a colleague earlier this week. The Putnam County Sentinel reports funeral services were held Monday for Sue Williams. She was a well-liked dispatch supervisor for the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office for 28 years.

The services included a procession of fire trucks, ambulances, and sheriff’s cruisers. Two ladder trucks from the Ottawa and Perry Fire Departments set up in Columbus Grove as part of the salute.

Williams also served as a paramedic in the county for 33 years. Sheriff Mike Chandler told the newspaper, “Even when I was a deputy, Sue was more than a coworker, she was everybody’s friend.”

Williams was 52-years-old.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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3/20/14 – 7:14 A.M.

The Arcadia school district is set for open enrollment next year. The school board voted to approve the option Wednesday.

Open enrollment allows students to enroll in other schools, but only if the other district agrees to take part.

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3/20/14 – 6:44 A.M.

Carey officials are thinking about installing security cameras on the edges of the town. The Courier reports village council talked about the issue during their meeting earlier this week. Police would place the cameras on State Route 568 to the west and State Route 199 to the east. The north and south cameras would be on U.S. 23.

Councilman Chad Kin suggested the idea following a bank robbery in the village earlier this year. The cameras would feed back to the police station.

Council has not taken any action on the plan.

MORE: The Courier

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3/20/14 – 5:23 A.M.

A two car crash injured two people in Wyandot County Wednesday afternoon. The sheriff’s office reports the crash happened at the intersection of County Roads 91 and 47 around 1 p.m.

55-year-old Cheryl Pfeiffer of Wharton stopped at the intersection, but pulled into the path of a car driven by 63-year-old Mark Reigle of Sycamore. Reigle suffered “incapacitating injuries.” A 3-year-old in his car walked away with minor injuries.

Deputies cited Pfeiffer for failing to yield at an intersection.

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3/20/14 – 5:05 A.M.

Marathon Petroleum officials could delay a project in eastern Ohio. The East Liverpool Review reports the company has concerns about the state raising taxes on oil and gas production.

Columbiana County Port Authority CEO Tracy Drake tells the newspaper Marathon agreed to buy 3.6 acres of land in Wellsville last year. The land is next to a storage tank/transfer station. The company plans to build a truck staging area for handling up to 24,000 barrels of oil and natural gas.

While Marathon is still planning on buying the land, it could hold off on building the new facility. There are concerns that if the taxes increase drillers will leave the area, lowering demand for the truck staging area.

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