About the author  ⁄ Genna Freed

10/30/14     4:37 p.m.

Part of Bluffton Precast Concrete Company is a total loss after it caught on fire Wednesday afternoon.

The Bluffton Fire Department was dispatched at 3:20 p.m. and had the fire under control by 6 p.m. according to Bluffton Fire Chief Jon Kinn.

Kinn said the southern part of Bluffton Precast Concrete’s main building was a total loss and the northern part of the building had smoke and heat damage.

There were no injuries. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and Kinn said there is “nothing suspicious” about the fire.

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10/30/14     3:18 p.m.

Findlay Police are investigating a report of bus stop stranger danger that happened this morning. A 10-year-old girl told Findlay City School staff a male chased her near her bus stop in the 200 block of Monroe Ave. around 8 a.m. this morning.

Police say the girl saw the male looking at her and he began running toward her. The girl hid behind a parked car in the area until he was gone. When she arrived at school she told staff, who then reported the incident to police.

The suspect is described as a white male in his early 20s with a medium build, shorter than 5 ft. 9 in. He had a shaved head and was wearing a black jacket with a black hood. Anyone with information should call Findlay Police at 419-424-7150.

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10/30/14     3:02 p.m.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is asking Liberty Township residents to keep an eye out after a string of burglaries over the last week.

Since Oct. 22, the Sheriff’s Office has received eight complaints of breaking and entering burglaries in mostly residential areas. The crimes are being committed during the overnight hours. Anyone with information regarding these crimes is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at 419-425-8477.

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10/30/14     12:58 p.m.

Most people tend to shy away from jumping into the Christmas season right after Halloween, but for the Red Cross there isn’t much of a choice. Todd James is the executive director of the Red Cross in Hancock County and says if we want troops overseas to have gifts for Christmas we need to get started now.

Audio: Todd James

The Red Cross will once again be preparing Holiday Care Packages for Heroes filled with supplies the troops have asked for like sunscreen, shampoo, fly swatters, jerky and DVDs.

Audio: Todd James

James said the packages will be distributed to service members in Kuwait and Djibouti. Volunteers will be handing out lists and collecting donations at the Walmart on Trenton Ave. this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The deadline for donations in Nov. 14.

More information: Holiday Care Packages for Heroes

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10/30/14     10:15 a.m.

A Findlay man has been sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for killing Joe Gutierrez III.

21-year-old Ralph Harris III admitted to shooting Gutierrez multiple times Nov. 8 at the intersection of East Foulke and Crystal Avenues in Findlay. Courier reporter Ryan Dunn was in court this morning.

Audio: Ryan Dunn

Harris is facing 15 years to life for the murder charge, three for a gun specification and two years for various drug charges. His co-defendant Montre Robinson, who was also found guilty of murder for his role in driving the getaway vehicle, will be sentenced in December.

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10/29/14     5:15 p.m.

James WoodwardIn 2000, James Woodward was cutting inmates hair in the Hancock County Justice Center. Woodward expanded his services to include motivational programs and weekly bible studies. For his stewardship, Woodward was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Leadership Award at Wednesday’s Distinguished Law Enforcement Achievement Awards.

Woodward’s service as administrative chaplain is just one of his many hats. He’s also been a barber for more than 40 years and was also credited with returning the Flag City U.S.A title to Findlay in the 1970s. Woodward created the adopt-a-flag program and collected money for flags for downtown Findlay.

Despite his many awards, Woodward says the letters he frequently receives from inmates thanking him for believing in them are just as important to him.

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10/29/14     2:45 p.m.

The parade of campaigns through Findlay continued today when Governor John Kasich and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor stopped by the Republican Headquarters in Findlay. Kasich said things are going well for his campaign.

Audio: John Kasich

According to Kasich, republicans should be “uniters not dividers” so that those in office can focus on the issues, noting his campaign has not used any negative advertisements. He said he plans to continue that mindset through the next four years and used his time in Congress as an example.

Audio: John Kasich

Kasich said he thinks what’s happening in Ohio right now is unique. He said as long things keep moving in the right direction and the legislature continues to work together, it will lift the state.

Click on each image to see a larger version.

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10/29/14     2:40 p.m.

The Village of Mount Blanchard has lifted its boil water advisory. The advisory was put in place last week after a water main leak. Village administrator Ron Polen says the village received water test results today and were given the all clear.

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10/29/14     11:20 a.m.

Authorities are seeking information after a recent theft from Tony’s Restaurant.

The restaurant at 10280 U.S. 224 in Findlay was forcibly entered around 2:30 a.m. Friday.

Information that leads to an arrest or indictment is eligible for up to a $1,000 reward. Anonymous calls may be made to Crime Stoppers at 419-425-8477.

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