About the author  ⁄ Doug Jenkins

4/6/16 – 7:22 A.M.

North Baltimore has been awarded a grant to build a new sidewalk near the school. The Courier reports ODOT awarded North Baltimore a grant for more than $307,000 for the Safe Routes to School program. As a result, sidewalks will be installed along the north side of Maple Street from Rhoades Avenue to Rudolph Road. Street crossings, signs and markings also will be upgraded.

Work won’t begin until July of 2018.

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4/6/16 – 7:17 A.M.

A program aimed at restoring dilapidated homes in Fostoria has been renewed. The Courier reports city council approved a resolution Tuesday that allows the mayor to enter an agreement with Seneca County and the city of Tiffin for the 2016 Community Housing Impact and Preservation program. The initiative could bring Fostoria up to $350,000.

The goal of the program is to allow low and moderate-income families to make key repairs to their homes. Work can include electrical or plumbing upgrades; roof work, and siding repairs among other items.

MORE: The Courier

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4/6/16 – 6:46 A.M.

A car was destroyed by a fire in Liberty Township Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters were called to Silverwood Drive to extinguish the blaze. The flames from the car also did some exterior damage to homes at 8421 and 8427 Silverwood Drive.

No other details were immediately available.

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4/6/16 – 6:41 A.M.

Kalida officials are talking about road improvements in the village. The Putnam County Sentinel reports a recent council meeting saw plenty of discussion about reconstructing both Walnut and 5th streets. Before moving forward with any plans, council members are seeking opinions about installing curbing along Walnut Street. No date has been set for a public meeting just yet.

Kalida council members also talked about the intersection of U.S. 224 and Road N. There is concern that the intersection should be more perpendicular. An engineering firm will make recommendations on how to improve the area for drivers.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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4/6/16 – 5:22 A.M.

A Findlay man arrested during a drug raid last week was indicted on several charges Tuesday. The Courier reports 46-year-old Darius Godley faces counts of trafficking in heroin, possession of cocaine, trafficking in cocaine, and possession of heroin among others. Godley was taken into custody following a raid at 219 Midland Avenue on March 29.

Authorities say “controlled buys” were made from Godley before last week’s search.

Officers allegedly found cocaine, heroin, oxycodone pills, marijuana, a large sum of cash, and firearms in the home.

MORE: The Courier

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4/6/16 – 5:02 A.M.

It looks like there will be some changes to a plan for bike lanes on North Cory Street in Findlay. The current plans call for North Cory being changed to a northbound one-way road, with northbound and southbound bike lanes. However it looks like council is now leaning toward keeping the current traffic pattern and adding a shared bike and car lane in each direction. The first reading of the new plan was heard Tuesday night.

Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer says the only difference between shared lanes and a typical road is the bicycle markings on the street. He believes the street would still be safe for people on bikes since there will be increased awareness about the shared lanes.

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4/6/16 – 4:50 A.M.

Former Hancock County Commissioner David Oman urged the current commissioners to drop the diversion channel plan during a Tuesday meeting. The Courier reports Oman told the commissioners they had been brainwashed by city officials. Oman said city leaders were “trying to make fools of us” and were “only interested in themselves.”

The topic of lawsuits also came up. Oman said he usually opposes lawsuits, but added, “We’d sue at the drop of a hat now on anything pertaining to this.” Oman owns property near the proposed diversion channel.

Oman served as a Hancock County Commissioner from 1975 to 1991.

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4/5/2016 – 10:45 pm

Protecting the integrity of Ohio elections remains a top priority of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Stopping in Findlay Tuesday afternoon, Husted said that up to date voter rolls help to reduce Election Day confusion, reduce the need for Provisional Ballots and the chances for fraud, however issues can still happen. One issue is protecting domestic violence victims and victims of human trafficking from harm by not providing certain kinds of information in public records. Husted said his office is working to protect these individuals.

Audio: Jon Husted

Husted mentioned that the plan would be comprehensive to prevent fraud but would still be designed to protect personal information from voter rolls. Looking at the current election, Husted said that the mood of the country serves as an educational tool to clarify how the parties actually nominate their candidates for President of the United States.

Audio: Jon Husted

Husted said that it is the same for the Democratic party in that party rules, rather than voters themselves can determine who will be the Presidential nominee.

Audio: Jon Husted

Looking at the Republican field as it stands, Husted supports Governor Kasich, but he noted that the Republican party this year has been met with candidates who have been divisive rather than uniting the party, and given growing interests, that may be the case in future elections, but Husted said that he looks for a candidate that has long term goals rather than short term.

Audio: Jon Husted

On his own future prospects, such as a run for Ohio Governor, Husted was mute. However, he said that regardless of the future his office has made significant strides to cut its budget and reduce the costs of Ohio elections as well as modernize. He noted that today 90% of Ohio’s voter records have complete information, up from 20% in 2011 and more than 340,000 Ohio voters have utilized an online system to change and update their addresses, taking the burden off local election boards.

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4/5/2016 – 9:42 pm

Findlay will soon be able to compete for funding to be used to provide housing service to low and moderate income residents. The Findlay City Council passed an ordinance to partner with Hancock County to apply for Community Housing Improvement Program grants or CHIP grants which would help the county address housing needs.

According to a letter from Hancock Regional Planning Commission Director Matt Cordonnier, the CHIP funds can be used to help rehab properties, provide rental assistance, emergency home repair, down payment assistance and help in Habitat for Humanity building. Prior CHIP funding has proven successful. In 2014, the county received a $400,000 CHIP grant.

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4/5/2016 – 9:33pm

The Findlay City Council heard the first reading on an ordinance which would grant Hancock-Wood Electric the right to operate in their own service territory within the city limits. The question on the franchise agreement came forward long after Findlay had annexed a portion of Hancock-Wood territory into the city limits, creating a conflict with AEP service territory agreements.

The city moved the legislation to a second reading at their next meeting later this month. The council also moved to hold a meeting of the whole to hear from AEP representatives as well as discuss the matter further. The dispute between both utilities will be sent to the Ohio Public Utilities Commission for a future ruling.

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