About the author  ⁄ Genna Freed

10/24/14     3:52 p.m.

Two of the three inmates who escaped from a Lima prison will not be charged with escape. The Lima News reports Chardon High School shooter T.J. Lane and fellow inmate Lindsey Bruce will not be charged. Lane and Bruce along with fellow inmate Clifford Opperud used a ladder to escape from Oakwood Prison in Lima on Sept. 11 but were all captured within hours.

Prosecutor Juergen Waldick said additional years cannot be added to Lane’s triple life sentence. Waldick added it would be a waste of taxpayer money to charge Lane, as well as a security risk to transport him for court hearings. Waldick said he spoke with the families of Lane’s victims and they agreed with his decision.

Opperud will be charged with escape and faces an additional 8 years on top of his 12-year sentence for robbery.

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10/24/14     11:43 a.m.

play defense

A new campaign to raise money for breast cancer awareness is as easy as taking a selfie.

Imaging Consultants of Findlay Radiology is donating $1 for every selfie posted to their Facebook page, with the person in the picture wearing their “Play Defense” breast cancer button.

All donations will be split between Susan G. Komen and Cancer Patient Services. “Play Defense” buttons are available at Coffee Amici in downtown Findlay.

The “Play Defense” campaign encourages women and men to be proactive about their health by getting annual mammograms, doing self-checks and seeing a doctor if there are any changes or concerns.

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10/24/14     11:25 a.m.

Special Kids Therapy will once again be offering Halloween Trunk-or-Treat for the special needs community. SKT will be partnering with University of Findlay occupational therapy students to host the event in the Blanchard Valley Center parking lot Monday Oct. 27 from 4 to 7 p.m.

The goal of the events is to provide a safe and fun environment for special needs children and their families to go trick-or-treating.

UF’s OT students are also planning games, pumpkin decorating and other Halloween activities.

SKT invites any interested community agencies to decorate a car and hand out candy on Monday. In case of rain, all activities will be moved into BVC’s gym. For more information, call 419-422-5607.

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10/23/14     9:10 p.m.

Marjorie and Mildred McGranahan were two unmarried sisters from McComb and graduates of what was then Findlay College. Now deceased, their legacies will live on in the form of a healthy scholarship endowment fund for future University of Findlay students.

Audio: Rose Miller

Rose Miller’s mother-in-law was a first cousin of the McGranahans. She and her husband were farmers and were close with Millie. She said anything having to do with science, agriculture and education was important to both Marj and Millie.
The McGranahans managed the 500-acre family farm on their own well into their 90s. With their farm earnings, they began giving small donations to UF and formed the McGranahan-Shafer-Van Dorn scholarship endowment fund, which grew to $1.27 million.
Earlier this month, UF received its final gift from the sisters, $1.56 million from their estates, which will be added to the established fund.
Katherine Fell, president of UF, said its impossible to imagine how many lives these sisters will touch with their endowment.

Millie died April 4, 2010 at 92-year-old. At age 99, Marjorie died on Oct. 6, 2013.

Click on each image to see a larger version.
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10/23/14     11:09 a.m.

If there are restaurants in downtown Findlay you’ve been wanting to try, the seventh annual World of Downtown Restaurants tour is being held Nov. 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. The self-guided tour takes you to 17 downtown restaurants where you can sample food.

Audio: Tamera Rooney

Tamera Rooney, communications director for United Way, said this year’s event is limited to 300 passport holders. Those passports are available for purchase at Buggy Whip Bakery, Coffee Amici or the United Way for $20.

Participating restaurants: West End Tavern, Adrianna’s Riverfront Cafe, Rossilli’s, Tavern at the Inn, Greek Garden, Alexandria’s, Buggy Whip Bakery, Bistro on Main, Waldo Pepper’s, Trans Am Meatballs & Subs, We Serve. Coffee, Baker’s Cafe, Main Street Deli, Wine Merchant, Bread Kneads Downtown, Logan’s Irish Pub and Coffee Amici.

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10/22/14     1:31 p.m.

The trial of Findlay murder suspect Montre Robinson wrapped up today with closing arguments. The Courier’s Ryan Dunn was in court this morning where he says the prosecution reminded the jury of the happenings on the night of Joe Gutierrez’ murder.

Audio: Ryan Dunn

Dunn said the defense also reiterated their case.

Audio: Ryan Dunn

The jury is now deliberating the case. A verdict is expected tomorrow.

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10/22/14     12:20 p.m.

The former owner of the Findlay IHOP restaurant was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday.

According to the Toledo Blade, 57-year-old Tarek Elkafrawi owned seven IHOP restaurants in northwest Ohio and Indiana. A fire at the Findlay restaurant in 2008 closed the business for about a year. The restaurant remains closed and is for sale.

Elkafrawi pleaded guilty to 53 counts in relation to a series of criminal schemes between 2003 and 2012 intended to defraud the government, the restaurant’s corporation, Farmers Insurance company, and his employees of millions of dollars.

He admitted to hiring more than 200 undocumented workers. He provided some employees multiple identities to receive extra hours without overtime pay, so they could make Medicaid and other public assistance claims.

Elkafrawi was ordered to pay $1.36 million to the insurance company for fraudulent insurance claim payments, as well $5,042 to the Findlay Fire Department for the fire. He was also required a forfeiture of property, including proceeds from the sale of the seven restaurants, cash, and vehicles.

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10/22/14     11:27 a.m.

Next week the Salvation Army of Hancock County will begin taking applications for its Holiday Assistance Program. The program is aimed at helping families who will need financial help buying presents this season.

Applications will be accepted Oct. 27 through 31 and Nov. 3 through 6 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., as well as later times by appointment. Those seeking assistance are asked to bring an ID, social security cards, proof of birth for all those living in the home, proof of income, expenses and Hancock County residency.

For more information, contact Major Andy Carter or Major Marty Smith at 419-422-8238.

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10/16/14     10:01 p.m.

Since Toledo’s water crisis, much of the blame has been placed on farmers for using too much fertilizer in their fields causing higher amounts of phosphorus runoff going into the lake.

Dr. Jeffrey Reutter has been working at Ohio State’s Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island in Lake Erie since 1971. He said though the agricultural runoff is the biggest source for phosphorous, it’s not solely the agricultural community’s responsibility. Reutter said water treatment plants and homeowners are just as responsible.
Reutter likened what is happening with the lake now to what happened in the 70s, when water treatment plants were not as efficient. He said the conclusion then was reducing phosphorus and updating 20 treatment plants.
The goal that’s been set for now it to reduce the phosphorus load by 40 percent for everyone, not just farmers. This time it’s more difficult because instead of just updating 20 treatment plants there are 14,000 farms that need to address the issue.

Reutter said there are a number of ways to reduce the water you use, such as using lowflow toilets and showerheads. Looking at cleaning products and fertilizers to be sure they’re low phosphorus will be beneficial as well.
For farms, Reutter suggested getting the fertilizer into the ground as far as possible as opposed to just spreading it on the surface in order to decrease chances of rain washing it away, as well as not putting fertilizer on frozen or snow-covered fields for the same reason. He also said farmers should treat fertilizer and manure the same way. Reutter said algae will bloom with phosphorus assistance no matter what for the phosphorus is in, fertilizer, manure or otherwise.
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10/16/14     5:33 p.m.

In 1999, Rachel Scott wrote, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.” Scott was the first person killed just days later in the Columbine High School shooting, but her many journals and life inspired Rachel’s Challenge, a program that encourages students and educators to create a positive school environment where students can learn and feel safe.

Audio: Brenda Frankart

Liberty-Benton High School principal Brenda Frankart said the challenge is a way to rejuvenate the idea of positivity and kindness into schools.

Audio: Brenda Frankart

Scott was inspired by Anne Frank and kept journals filled with positive notes, detailing the way she lived a life of kindness. Scott’s legacy lives on through the program, which Liberty-Benton students learned about on Tuesday.

Frankart said the program At LB will be student-led, and the student S.T.R.I.D.E.S. (Students Taking Roles in Developing Educational Success) are currently brainstorming projects they can work on to help implement the idea.

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