About the author  ⁄ Gus Sierra

12/24/13 4:40 a.m.
The flood situation in Ottawa slowly continues to improve. The Blanchard River crested in the village at 28.85 feet Monday morning in the moderate flood stage. The river is currently running at 28.04 feet and is expected to exit flood stage early afternoon on Christmas Day. Ottawa Mayor Dean Meyer issued a plea Monday to drivers who still insist on ignoring road barriers and drive over flooded roads.

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12/24/13 4:25 a.m.
Residents in Findlay are cleaning up after the eleventh highest flood in the city’s history, The Blanchard River crested at 15.37 feet early Monday morning about a foot less than the worst-case scenario unofficial forecast provided to city officials by the National Weather Service. The river is currently running at about 11.74  feet and is still expected to drop out of flood stage this morning.

Even after all the warning about driving in high water firefighters were called to rescue a couple of people from a stranded vehicle near the flood-covered intersection of County Road 236 and State Route 568. Arcadia and Vanlue firefighters also assisted.

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12/19/13 3 p.m.
Findlay Police are investigating a shooting at a residence in the 200 block of Prospect Ave. Reports indicate an unidentified male was injured in the shooting at around 1 a.m. this morning. The victim did not report the incident and was taken by private vehicle to Blanchard Valley Hospital. He was then transferred to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. He is currently under medical care with a non-life threatening injury. The incident remains under investigation.

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12/19/13 2:15 p.m.
The legacy of L. Dale Dorney was discussed on Good Mornings with Chris Oaks and Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation president Kathy Kreuchauf. Findlay’s celebrated philanthropist was not the man many might think he was..

Audio:  Kathy Kreuchauf

If it weren’t for Dorney’s unassuming ways, frugal lifestyle and careful investments, the Community Foundation would not exist today. Early on, Dorney had the vision of what a community foundation actually does today..

Audio:  Kathy Kreuchauf

Dorney’s $2.2 million bequest in 1976 provided the seed money for today’s Community Foundation which formed in 1992. Since 1976 the Dorney Fund has provided more than $10.3 million to support the work of the Community Foundation. A video on L. Dale Dorney’s life is available on the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation website on “community-foundation.com.”

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12/19/13 12:20 p.m.
The first round of grants provided from the consolidation of state-funded agencies for mental health and addiction services was announced today by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services at a kickoff event at the University of Findlay today..

Audio:  Precia Stuby

Precia Stuby, Executive Director of the Hancock County ADAMHS Board, said the additional staff will assist a therapist and case manager at the county jail to help link nonviolent offenders with community-based behavioral health care services. Tracy Plouck, Director of the Ohio MHAS explained how the funding came about..

Audio:  Tracy Plouck

The first round of grants will be invested toward 12 projects serving 24 counties around the state of Ohio in what is being called the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services new Community Innovations initiative.

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12/19/13 10:25 a.m.
The Arlington school board will purchase security cameras to keep students safer. The Courier reports 17 cameras will be purchased for $15,000 with half of the money coming from a remaining contract with Pepsi and the other half coming from a rural schools grant according to the Courier. The cameras will allow administrators to track an intruder and let law enforcement know which part of the building they’re in.

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12/19/13 10:15 p.m.
The Arcadia school board will go to the voters to ask for renewal of an income tax in May. The Courier reports the board to the preliminary step to approve a resolution of necessity to send the tax request to the Ohio State Tax Commissioner for its review. The board will then vote to place the issue on the May ballot early next year. The one percent income tax has been on the books since 2004 and currently generates just over $754,000.

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12/18/13 4 p.m.
A University of Findlay professor was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach in Hanoi Vietnam this spring. Louann Cummings, professor of business at UF will be working in the International School of Management and economics at the National Economics University. According to Cummings, the Fulbright program expects her to be an ambassador for her government and country. The program also requests that Cummings maintain a blog during her tenure in Vietnam and bring back her experiences to share with interested colleagues and stakeholders in the U.S.

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12/18/13 10:30 a.m.
Genetically modified corn has traditionally been developed for food products or livestock but now a brand of GMO corn has been developed specifically for the ethanol industry. OSU Extension Educator Ed Lentz spoke with Vaun Wickerham on AgTalk on WFIN this morning..

Audio:  Ed Lentz

Before the product came on the market, the enzyme was added to the corn to enhance the breakdown of the starch to alcohol. The industrial GMO corn will make the fermentation process more efficient for the ethanol industry..

Audio:  Ed Lentz

Ethanol producers will likely contract with a farmer to produce this type of corn but concerns about cross pollination and grain contamination with other food-grade types of corn remain a concern.

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12/17/13 8:40 p.m.
Fifth District Congressman Bob Latta heard from 125 to 150 Hancock County farmers in what was termed as the first meeting held exclusively for those in the agricultural community to air concerns and ask questions about flood control measures with a public official. The predominant theme throughout the meeting was that not enough is being done to clean the Blanchard River and its tributaries.

Audio:  Matt Hartman

Hancock County farmer Matt Hartman was one of the individuals who spoke at the meeting organized by former Hancock County Commissioner Steve Oman and held at his family farm Tuesday night. Hartman spoke of two problems that could be solved if the EPA would allow the river to be cleaned beyond just removing fallen trees and log jams..

Audio:  Matt Hartman

Representative Latta was challenged by one farmer in the audience to take a stand against the EPA and not support funding for any measure that does not include dredging the river. Latta responded by saying that he is bound by federal regulations and the rule of law but urged those in attendance to make themselves heard by the Corps at every public meeting.

Nearly all who spoke mentioned the fact that the Blanchard is only flowing at about 56 percent capacity and that the flood control measures being proposed by the Corps would not really solve anything and instead induce flooding in places where none exists now and also destroy valuable farm land that would be used instead for flood retention and diversion channels.

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