About the author  ⁄ Genna Freed

03/05/15     9:30 p.m.

Business is booming in Findlay and Hancock County and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Director of Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development Tony Iriti spoke at an economic outlook meeting tonight. In the last year, Iriti said there have been 1,617 jobs created, more than $267 million invested in the county and 1,500 more Hancock County residents employed.

He said with all the leads economic development office has, the new Tall Timbers West Industrial Park may be full soon.

Audio: Tony Iriti

Iriti said hopefully within the next six months one of two of those leads will pan out. Adding the success of the new industrial park to the likes of the Marathon Petroleum, Nissan Brake, Cooper Tire and Rowmark expansions and the future is bright for Findlay and Hancock County.

Along those same lines, now we are in need of people to fill all the new jobs being created locally. Iriti said there are a few things they’re working on now in regard to early workforce development.

Audio: Tony Iriti

Iriti said they are working closely with the school systems in the county to ensure students know those options are available to them.

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03/05/15     2:45 p.m.

What was intended to be a sentencing for a Rawson man charged with four counts of rape ended up being just another hearing.

56-year-old Gary Martin pleaded guilty to raping an 11-year-old girl multiple times in 2013 and was going to be sentenced today. But Tuesday his attorney withdrew the guilty plea.

Audio: Allison Reamer

Courier reporter Allison Reamer was in court this morning. She said Martin is scheduled to be in court April 9 following another psychiatric evaluation.

Martin has had two prior evaluations after entering a not guilty by reason of insanity plea last year. After both of those evaluations, he was found competent to stand trial. Reamer said depending on the outcome of this evaluation, the court appearance on the 9th could be another hearing or a sentencing.

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03/05/15     1:58 p.m.

City Mission Executive Direcot Phil Arnold accepts the donation check from farmer Matt Wittenmyer and Monsanto representative Jay Brooks

City Mission Executive Director Phil Arnold (left) accepts the donation check from farmer Matt Wittenmyer (middle) and Monsanto representative Jay Brooks (right)

A local farmer is doing his part to help Findlay’s City Mission with a fundraising campaign.

Hancock County farmer Matt Wittenmyer partnered with the America’s Farmers Grow Communities foundation to donate $2,500 to the “Eyes to See, Hearts to Give” capital campaign. The goal is to raise $2.5 million to expand the City Mission.

City Mission Executive Director Phil Arnold said they are at a little over $1.8 million for the fundraiser. He said there have been demand increases for food and shelter and they have been at or new capacity for most of the last three years.

Wittenmyer said he chose the City Mission because they take those in need and motivate them to do better. He said he admires their values and all the work they do.

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03/05/15     1:08 p.m.

A deal was officially reached between Hancock County and the City of Findlay on Monday to form a joint health department. County Commissioner Phil Riegle said this is the result of years of work hammering out the details that stopped the merger from happening before.

Audio: Phil Riegle

Riegle said part of the reason it took so long to get to this point is because he and members of the County’s District Advisory Council and the City had to deal with those past sticking points, such as finances, board appointments and more.

The joint health district will officially go into effect Jan. 1, 2016.

Audio: Phil Riegle

Riegle said now that the board has been appointed, they can begin to work on the logistics of the new department, like the location as well as appointing a commissioner.

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03/14/15     4:00 p.m.

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has awarded safety grants to a few area companies. In total more than $1.5 million in grants was distributed to 54 companies in January. The safety grants require a match from the company.

  • Legacy Farmers Cooperative in Findlay received more than $24,000 for 15 tarp conversion kits.
  • B-K Tool & Design Manufacturing in Kalida received the maximum amount possible of $40,000 to purchase a scissor lift and electric boom lift to reduce risk of falls from heights.The kits will improve the manual tarping process and reduce risk of injury.
  • BKP Ambulance District in Kenton received just under $38,000 for three chest compression units and a powered cot.
  • Ballreich Brother Inc. in Tiffin got a little more than $23,000 to a sanitizing system and gas booster heater to improve the sacking machine and dishwashing process.
  • The Wood County Commissioners Office received $29,000 for three tray delivery carts for food service at Wood Haven Health Care to reduce risk of employees injuries from carrying heavy loads.
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03/04/15     12:50 p.m.

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. To honor that, Blanchard Valley Center Superintendent Connie Ament gave an update on BVC. She said they are now serving more than 500 individuals and growing steadily.

Audio: Connie Ament

Additionally the adult work program through Blanchard Valley Industries has more than 100 employees working in the community successfully.

Audio: Connie Ament

For Developmental Disabilities Month, the BVC is opening its doors to tours and groups interested in the facility. For more information visit blanchardvalley.org.

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03/04/15     11:35 a.m.

With the topic of addiction being at the forefront of many conversations in Findlay lately, a documentary series on addiction is available to watch online.

Hancock County ADAMHS Executive Director Precia Stuby said the goal of the series is education.

Audio: Precia Stuby

The series was produced by WBGU in Bowling Green. The local ADAMHS also contributed to the series.

Watch the video here

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03/03/15     11:23 p.m.

The City of Findlay has chosen a company to help flush out the details of its downtown traffic and parking plan. DLZ Consultants was hired for $340,000 to design the scope of the project. Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer said part of the reason DLZ Consultants was chosen is because they worked with Marathon Petroleum on their expansion.

Audio: Paul Schmelzer

Schmelzer said they felt DLZ was consistent with the city’s Transportation Alternative Plan.

Audio: Paul Schmelzer

Schmelzer said DLZ’s work for Marathon gave them prior knowledge of the area and of the downtown Transportation Alternative Plan.

Money for DLZ’s fee will come from a donation from Marathon Petroleum designated for the downtown project.

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03/03/15     10:00 p.m.

The Findlay City School District will have to find a new location for its bus garage. At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, council members voted 7 to 3 to deny the request to rezone the property at the corner of Broad and Bigelow Avenues from residential to industrial.

Councilman Randy Van Dyne said there are concerns with traffic, fumes, noise and more. He said there is no way for the school system to overcome the concerns to the satisfaction of the neighbors.

In the contract, Superintendent Ed Kurt said the school district stated that the $160,000 purchase could be voided if there were any issues with the property itself or the zoning. The current bus garage is located on Blanchard Ave. and is being relocated because it is in the flood plain.

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