About the author  ⁄ Gus Sierra

12/26/13 5:20 a.m.
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office was busy on Christmas Day rescuing people from their vehicles. Two calls came in just over a half an hour of each other, the first of which came just after 6 p.m. An unidentified female was stuck in her vehicle in high water on Road H-13 between Road 14 and 15 near Miller City. Miller City firefighters assisted her and a passenger out of the vehicle without incident. The second call came in around 6:35. 58 year-old Elmer Gilbert of Continental was eastbound on I-23 when he drove around a high-water sign. A passenger was able to get out of the vehicle and safely to land. Gilbert had to be rescued. Alcohol was believed to be a factor. The incident remains under investigation.

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12/26/13 4:50 a.m.
Some Ohio military veterans are running out of time to apply for state-funded bonuses and officials are concerned that many may not make the deadline. Bonuses up to $1,500 are available to Ohio veterans who served in the Gulf War era but the deadline to apply is Tuesday. The bonuses are funded by a $200 million bond issued by Ohio voters in 2009.

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12/26/13 5:05 a.m.
The body of a Tiffin Man was found face down in water from the swollen Sandusky River. The Advertiser Tribune reports 58 year-old Ronald Martin was found by Tiffin Police and Fire who responded to his 19 Marlyn Street home about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. Police indicate the river had swollen into his yard and he was found in front of his home. Lt. Jason Windsor said Martin had medical issues that may have caused him to collapse. He said he believed Martin was by himself and his truck was running.

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12/26/13 4:35 a.m.
Hancock County Sheriff’s deputies have been training on new technology designed to track missing persons. The sheriff’s office recently obtained a transmitter and receiver through a grant from Project Lifesaver according to the Courier. Sheriff Mike Heldman told the newspaper the transmitter can be attached to the wrist or ankle of an autistic or Alzheimer’s patient, enabling deputies to quickly find them in case the patient disappears. Transmitters cost about $300 and can be purchased through the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.

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Hit and Run 12/26/13 4:55 AM grs
Findlay police are looking for a driver who ran from the scene of an injury accident early Christmas morning. The Courier reports 63 year-old Michael McCracken of Ottawa was injured when he was hit from behind on Trenton Ave. near I-75. The driver of the second vehicle did not immediately stop but police found the car abandoned west of the accident scene. The owner of the vehicle is a Findlay man but police do not know if he was driving. The car has been impounded. McCracken was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call Findlay police.

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12/26/13 4:20 a.m.
The American Red Cross will distribute cleanup kits to flood victims in Hancock, Seneca and Wyandot Counties. Kits will be distributed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Red Cross office at 125 Fair St. in Findlay. In Tiffin the kits will be available at the Red Cross office in the Tiffin Mall Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and in Upper Sandusky, cleanup kits will be available Friday from 10 a.m. to 2p.m. at the Red Cross office on the second floor of Liberty Center Church at 102 South Seventh St.

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12/26/13 4:10 a.m.
Public safety officials will begin flood damage assessment in both Hancock and Putnam Counties today. Persons who are re-entering their homes or businesses that flooded are urged to use caution according to the Courier. Damage estimates will begin today by Hancock County Emergency Management Agency Director Lee Swisher and Putnam County EMA director Steve Odenweller.

EMA officials warn residents and business owners to be aware of electrical, gas and water dangers. You are urged to have your electrical system checked before turning service back on. A contractor should inspect, clean and ignite gas appliances and contact the utility company if you smell gas.

Water wells that have been surrounded by floodwater should be tested by the county health department. People who have come in contact with floodwater should also be up to date on their tetanus vaccination.

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12/24/13 5:30 a.m.
Fostoria’s Police Chief has retired after being on medical leave for more than a year. The Review Times reports Police Chief John McGuire signed his retirement form Monday in the mayor’s office. McGuire was hired in 2006 and was placed on medical leave in July of 2012 as the result of injuries sustained while on duty. Disagreements about McGuire’s paid medical leave came up earlier this year but Fostoria Mayor Eric Keckler said that no lawsuit or any other action had been taken.

Fostoria Police Captain Patrick Brooks, with the help of Captain Dan Dell, has been handling the department’s administrative duties. The process of hiring a new chief will begin after the holiday season.

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12/24/13 5 a.m.
The latest round of flooding prompted a visit by U.S. Senator Rob Portman. The Courier reports Portman met with city officials Monday and said exerting political pressure will be the key in convincing the Army Corps of Engineers to fund the remainder of the Blanchard River flood study. He said Findlay-based Marathon Petroleum may be the largest business in Ohio in terms of revenue, which helps make a solid economic argument for flood control.

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12/24/13 5:10 a.m.
Downtown Findlay business suffered damages, lost revenue and costly interruptions but it could have been worse. The Courier reports some businesses within a block of the Blanchard River escaped damage to showrooms and inventory. House of Awards and Shoes owner Cathy Linhart said even near-disasters take a toll. She lost two days of business. Vehicles passing through flood-covered roadways are being blamed for creating a wake and causing water to enter businesses which would otherwise have remained dry.

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