About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

7/7/15 – 4:51 A.M.

Local officials are putting together a plan to fight an effort to legalize marijuana in Ohio. The Courier reports members of the Opiate Task Force, the Community Partnership, and the ADAMHS board met Monday to talk about the issue. If the legalization issue appears on the ballot it could allow for more than 1,100 recreational dispensaries in the state. For comparison, there are only 203 Starbucks locations in Ohio.

Zach Thomas is the wellness and education director for ADAMHS. He tells the newspaper if the pot amendment is approved by voters, Ohio would become the first state to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use at the same time. Hancock County Prosecutor Mark Miller adds he has concerns about complications at drug free workplaces, higher crime rates, and more traffic accidents.

Thomas says the ballot initiative as it is worded could lead to a pot monopoly. The constitutional amendment allows for only 10 grow sites in the state. The Ohio legislature is working to put a measure on the ballot that would ask voters to allow a monopoly on marijuana grow sites or not. If it passes it would trump the initiative being pushed by ResponsibleOhio.

MORE: The Courier

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Eberle Sworn In As Findlay Fire Chief

7/6/15 – 11:16 A.M.

Findlay’s new fire chief officially took the reigns of the department today. Mayor Lydia Mihalik swore in Josh Eberle into the post during a morning ceremony. Eberle said he was excited to take over, but you shouldn’t expect to see much of a difference right now…

Audio: Josh Eberle

Eberle said he’s spent the last couple of weeks talking to a lot of people in the department…

Audio: Josh Eberle

Eberle added he was ready to get into his new day-to-day routine.

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7/6/15 – 5:32 A.M.

The Findlay Shade Tree Commission is changing the way one of its programs works. A release from the city says the Adopt-A-Tree program is being transitioned into the new NeighborWoods initiative. The NeighborWoods program allows neighbors to band together to plant more trees with financial support from the Community Foundation.

The Adopt-A-Tree program had seen participation drop over recent years.

NeighborWoods started in 2013 in the Mound Park neighborhood. Last year it focused on the Sherman Park neighborhood and this year planting will take place in the South Main Street Neighborhood Association area.

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7/6/15 – 5:18 A.M.

A Fostoria man suffered severe injuries in a holiday weekend motorcycle crash. The State Highway Patrol reports the accident happened around 4:30 p.m. Friday on U.S. 23 near West Township Road 33.

47-year-old Richard Vance II was riding his motorcycle north on U.S. 23 when a southbound car driven by 17-year-old Isabel Pichardo went left of center and hit the motorcycle head-on. Vance was taken by medical helicopter to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. Pichardo suffered non-incapacitating injuries and was taken to ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital for treatment.

The incident remains under investigation. No charges have been filed.

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7/6/15 – 5:08 A.M.

One person was injured in a weekend crash south of Dunkirk. The State Highway Patrol reports the accident happened just after 1 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of U.S. 68 and State Route 701.

49-year-old Dawn Evans of Harrod was driving north when she slowed to turn left onto Route 701. 33-year-old Jacob Cordonnier had stopped behind Evans while she waited to turn. A third car driven by 66-year-old Richard Hyde of Columbus hit Cordonnier’s car, causing a chain-reaction accident.

Hyde was taken to Hardin Memorial Hospital in Kenton for treatment of his injuries. No one else was hurt.

Hyde was cited for failure to maintain an assured clear distance and for not wearing a seatbelt.

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7/6/15 – 4:59 A.M.

Gas prices are down following the Independence Day holiday weekend. Ohiogasprices.com reports the average price for a gallon of regular in Findlay is $2.61. That’s a 12 cent drop since last Monday.

Ottawa drivers report an average price of $2.65 a gallon, down nine cents over the last seven days.

Around the state the average price is $2.70 a gallon. That’s a 10 cent decrease over the past week.

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7/6/15 – 4:51 A.M.

The Putnam County YMCA more than met its fundraising goal for the 2015 Legacy Campaign. The Lima News reports the campaign brought in $1.9 million, nearly double the $1 million goal. Putnam YMCA executive director Lori Fetherolf told the newspaper the money will be used to pay down debt.

Fetherolf credited former State Representative Lynn Wachtmann for his efforts in securing a big grant to help the fundraising campaign. State Senator Cliff Hite and Governor John Kasich were also given credit for their support.

MORE: Lima News

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7/2/15 – 5:21 A.M.

Nearly 3,100 Hancock County residents signed a petition to make marijuana use legal in Ohio. The ResponsibleOhio organization submitted more than 690,000 signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office Tuesday. If the issue makes it to the ballot and is approved by Ohio voters, it would legalize marijuana for medical use and personal use by adults 21 years old and older.

ResponsibleOhio claims that by 2020 legalized pot would generate $554 million in revenue for the state. It projects Hancock County and its municipal governments would see a total of $3 million a year.

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7/2/15 – 5:11 A.M.

Weekend rain washed out the final day of the Putnam County Fair, cancelling some entertainment events. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the fair board isn’t giving up on hosting the events though. A “mini-fair” might be held in September.

Fair Secretary Peg Kruse said the demolition derby and a Nashville Crush concert had to be postponed because of safety precautions. The entertainment tent was soaked, putting extra strain on the poles supporting it. The demolition derby pit was essentially a lake Saturday.

Kruse says the fair board will talk about holding a September event at their next meeting.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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7/2/15 – 5:04 A.M.

A proposal to add extra requirements on where addiction recovery homes can be located in Ohio was vetoed Tuesday. Governor John Kasich used a line-item veto to do away with the proposal from State Representative Robert Sprague. If approved, the measure would have required a “resolution of support” from county commissioners before recovery housing could be bought.

Kasich said the rule could have violated fair housing laws and led to illegal discrimination. Sprague tells the Courier, “I guess the governor and I disagree on fair housing.” He added he wanted to ensure accountability and transparency in how tax dollars were being spent. Sprague will not continue to pursue the proposal.

MORE: The Courier

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