About the author  ⁄ Gus Sierra

12/13/13 1:30 p.m.
Blanchard Valley Center has received the state’s highest accreditation. The Courier reports BVC has received the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities five-year accreditation. Superintendent Connie Ament informed the Hancock county Commissioners of the news as she asked for permission to seek renewal of a 2.5-mill levy in May. Ament said news of the center’s success is spreading with enrollment increasing 20 percent over the past five years.

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12/13/13 1:20 p.m.
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a letter asking for donations claiming to be associated with area law enforcement agencies. The letter asks for donations to Cops For Kids For Christmas and they claim to be with the Putnam Peace Officers. The Putnam County Sheriff said they are not associated with their office or any other law enforcement agency in the county. You are asked to beware of these letters. If you receive one you are asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 419-523-3208.

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12/13/13 12:10 p.m.
Findlay’s City Mission continues its work on providing temporary shelter for the homeless and providing food for those in need. Executive Director Phil Arnold spoke with us about the work of City Mission on WFIN@Ten this morning..

Audio:  Phil Arnold

Arnold explained that City Mission gives out food boxes twice a week all year long to those in need with virtually no questions asked. The only requirements are that you call in ahead of time to reserve a box and provide proof of residence. City Mission’s multimillion dollar capital campaign recently received a boost..

Audio:  Phil Arnold

The Affordable Housing Program grant, totaling $550,000, was made available through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati and is not federal money, but rather from the bank’s net earnings. City Mission hopes to break ground for a new expansion of their facility this spring.

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12/12/13 2:25 p.m.
Fourth period estimate payments for Findlay and Arlington calendar-year businesses will be due Monday. Business entities must make 2013 estimate payments if the annual tax liability is expected to be $100 or more, to avoid an annual interest charge of 18 percent. Findlay and Arlington payments can be placed in the drop box located near the entrance to the Municipal Building’s West Crawford Street parking lot. For any questions or help you may call the Findlay Tax Department at 419-424-7133.

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12/12/13 11:55 a.m.
It’s going to cost more to take waste to the Hancock County Landfill starting in 2014. The Hancock County Commissioners heard from Sanitation Engineer, Steve Wilson, who outlined the reasons at the first of three public hearings on the issue, today..

Audio:  Steve Wilson

The first phase of the expansion is set to take place in 2016 which is estimated to cost around $2.5 million. Another $2.5 million will be needed for the second phase of the expansion project which is scheduled for 2021. The Ohio EPA is in the process of trying to combine solid waste management districts from around the state and promote recycling to reduce the amount of waste taken to landfills but Wilson said the fee increases have little if any to do with that issue..

Audio:  Steve Wilson

Tipping fees are scheduled to increase $2 per ton beginning on January 1, 2014. The increase is expected to cash flow all landfill expenditures well into the next decade with no additional borrowing needed.

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12/12/13 10:10 a.m.
Owens Community College will hold fall commencement this Friday. Six Hundred thirty-seven candidates, including 139 from the Findlay-area campus, will receive their degrees during Owens 33rd annual fall commencement on Friday, December 13. The commencement will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Health and Activities Center on the college’s Toledo-area campus. Mr. Joseph Napoli of the Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye will serve as the keynote speaker.

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12/11/13 2:40 p.m.
Fostoria Police and Fire were called to the scene of an explosion on the north end of town. A transformer apparently blew up and caught fire shortly before noon today according to Fostoria Fire Chief Keith Loreno. The transformer was located within a substation in the 1500 block of North Main Street. AEP crews cut power to the damaged transformer so firefighters could extinguish the blaze. There were no injuries however several area locations reported power outages including Riley Elementary School. Power was restored as of 1 p.m.

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12/11/13 11:55 a.m.
A Fostoria and Delphos man will serve on the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s board of trustees. Paul Harrison of Fostoria has been elected to his third term and will represent the interests of Farm Bureau members from Hancock, Hardin, Seneca and Wyandot Counties. Michael Poling of Delphos will represent Farm Bureau members in Allen, Paulding, Putnam and Van Wert Counties. Harrison is a retired farmer who now assists his tenant during peak season on land he owns. Poling and his wife Bernie farms along with his father Larry and also has a cow and calf operation. Both men are longtime members of the Farm Bureau.

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12/11/13 10:55 a.m.
Congress has approved funding to keep the Lima Tank Plant in operation for at least another year. The Lima News reports members of congress have inserted funding for the Abrams tank program into the fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. President Obama’s 2014 plans included no funding for Abrams tanks built solely at Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima. U.S. Representative Mike Turner, who chairs the Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land, said not funding the program would have jeopardized its future and hundreds of jobs at JSMC.

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12/11/13 10:15 a.m.
The man accused of a double murder at the Carey Conservation and Sportsman’s Association back on November 1 will plead not guilty by reason of insanity. The Daily Chief Union reports 65 year-old Richard Clark Jr. of Tiffin filed a motion for leave to enter a not guilty plea by reason of insanity back on December 2. Wyandot County Common Pleas Court Judge Kathleen Aubry accepted the plea and ordered Clark to be evaluated at the Forensic Diagnostic Center in Mansfield on December 19. Clark remains jailed on a $2 million cash bond.

Clark is accused of murdering Roger Fredritz of rural Carey and Cynthia Hawkinberry of rural Tiffin. He’s also charged with kidnapping Hawkinberry and felonious assault for hitting a bystander with a ricochet bullet.

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