About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

11/13/14 – 5:28 A.M.

The Hancock County Park District has a game plan in place for the future. The Courier reports a 116-page strategic plan was approved by the board yesterday. The plan tracks analysis on park visitors, and prioritizes where the group should focus their efforts. The four focus areas of the plan will be; the Blanchard River Greenway trail, conservation areas, parks and programs. A long-range action plan will be implemented to help improve these aspects.

Some of the favorite activities of park visitors include; walking the trails, picnicking, boating and park district-sponsored programs.

MORE: The Courier

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11/13/14 – 5:17 A.M.

McComb residents will be asked to renew a permanent improvement levy for the school district in the spring. The Courier reports the school board approved putting the issue on the May ballot. The 3.36 mill levy has been passed every five years since 1995. Superintendent Meri Skilliter says the levy raises between $180,000 and $220,000 annually.

The money from the levy would be used to repair the school’s roof, heating systems, and plumbing.

In May, voters renewed a half percent income tax that pays for the school’s operational costs.

MORE: The Courier

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11/13/14 – 5:08 A.M.

Nearly a year ago the village of Cloverdale in Putnam County was hit by an EF2 tornado. The Putnam County Sentinel says the town is continuing the recovery process. An effort to restore St. Barbara’s Catholic Church is underway. The 2013 storm leveled the sanctuary, but ground was recently broken for a new church.

Fundraisers have been held throughout the year to aid in recovery projects. The Putnam County Long Term Recovery Task Force was reactivated after last being used following the 2007 flood. The task force created a recovery fund, which has received more than $88,000 in donations since November 17.

Cloverdale Mayor Judd Spencer says the state has been paying attention to the effort. He has State Auditor Dave Yost review the books on the recovery efforts to make sure there are no issues. Spencer says Yost has been impressed with the village’s financial standing less than a year after the disaster.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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11/13/14 – 4:54 A.M.

Several parks around Hancock County will get upgrades in 2015 thanks to grants from the Hancock Park District. The board approved $96,000 in grants for proposed improvements during their Wednesday meeting. Some of the larger grants included more than $12,000 to repair four baseball and softball fields in Van Buren and more than $14,000 to upgrade two parking lots, a basketball court and a tennis court at Island Park in Mount Blanchard.

The village of Vanlue will get $10,000 to install sound damping material on the walls and ceiling of the community center.

The park district has been giving grants to the cities and villages in Hancock County since 1977.

Complete List:

• Allen Township/Van Buren — Repair four baseball and softball fields “due to wear and tear caused by extra play in 2014,” $12,715.
• Arcadia — Build a roof structure over the patio adjacent to the community building, $9,800.
• Arlington — Install outfield fence to the only remaining field without fencing, and add gates to dugouts for increased safety, $6,700.
• Benton Ridge — Seal/stripe parking lot and walk, $8,000.
• Findlay — Brick and concrete repairs at Allen P. Dudley bandshell in Riverside Park, $9,000.
• Fostoria — Seal asphalt path around reservoirs 2 and 3, $4,250.
• Jenera — Pave parking lot at community building; treat and seal walk at park and community building, $9,500.
• McComb — Install larger concrete culvert at bridge to reduce water backup and park flooding, about $4,184.
• Mount Blanchard — Upgrade two parking lots, basketball court and tennis court at Island Park; remove dead ash trees and stumps, $14,639.
• Mount Cory — Install new interior and exterior lighting at community building, $3,541.
• Rawson — Install chain link backstop at baseball field, about $3,670.
• Vanlue — Install sound-damping material on walls and ceiling in the community building to improve acoustics, $10,000.

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11/12/14 – 5:25 A.M.

A charitable organization in Findlay is hoping you’re in the Christmas spirit already. Hope House is once again looking sponsors to help families in need during the holidays. The organization is asking you to donate gifts to families rebuilding from homelessness or experiencing an unexpected crisis.

Sponsors are provided with a brief family background of the family they’re helping, along with a wish list. The deadline to donate items is December 15. For more information call Sunny Davis at Hope House at (419)427-2848.

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11/12/14 – 5:08 A.M.

A teenager accused of murder in Fostoria wants a new lawyer. Judge Steve Shuff granted 18-year-old Garrett Brown’s request during a hearing Monday. The ruling paves the way for a third court-appointed attorney to represent Brown. His trial is scheduled to start Monday in the Seneca County Common Pleas Court.

Brown is accused of shooting Janelle Mauricio in an East Culbertson Street home on May 21. Two other co-defendants, 19-year-olds Dallas Salaz and Tyson Ogg, have already pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the shooting.

Investigators say the group had broke into the home to steal drugs and money when the shooting happened.

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11/12/14 – 4:53 A.M.

If you get a call from the IRS demanding money, it’s a scam. The Toledo Better Business Bureau says the real IRS only notifies people through the mail that they owe money. Officials say you should not give the caller any personal information and hang up on them.

Residents in Toledo and around northwest Ohio have reported getting phone calls from scammers pretending to be IRS agents over the past couple of weeks.

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11/11/14 – 6:35 A.M.

A falling tree killed a Kenton man over the weekend. The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office reports the incident happened around noon on Sunday near County Road 179.

Jeff Vermillion was hit by a falling tree and taken to the hospital, where he later died. No other details were available.

MORE: Kenton Today

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11/11/14 – 5:28 A.M.

Hancock County Prosecutor Mark Miller was given a state appointment this week. The office of Governor John Kasich announced Miller will serve on the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission. His term will last three years.

Miller was among four people appointed to state boards Monday.

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