Review Category : Local News

FHS Graduation Set For This Weekend

5/27/16 – 5:18 A.M.

More than 300 Findlay High School seniors will get their diplomas this weekend. The school says there are 338 people in the class of 2016. The valedictorian is Luke Taylor, and the salutatorian is Allison Kreinbrink.

The commencement ceremony for FHS will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Koehler Center on the University of Findlay campus.

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Putnam County Commissioners Will Not Appeal Judge’s Ruling

5/27/16 – 5:11 A.M.

The Putnam County Commissioners will not appeal a judge’s decision against the county. The Putnam County Sentinel reports all three commissioners voted in favor of a resolution that agreed not to challenge a ruling that the county pay more than $611,000 in attorney fees. The fees stemmed from lawsuits regarding the Road 5 widening project. The resolution says that while the commissioners don’t agree with visiting Judge Dale Crawford’s ruling, they recognize appealing it would mean more expenses for the county.

Commissioner John Love said they will meet with elected officials and department heads to decide how the county will pay the bill.

Judge Crawford awarded more than $497,000 to six lawyers who represented landowners in the open records part of the case. More than $113,000 for attorney fees was then awarded to residents of Road 5 for work done on an eminent domain lawsuit against the county.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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Hancock County Sheriff’s Office Adding Dispatchers

5/27/16 – 4:57 A.M.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is expanding its dispatching staff by three. The Courier reports that by the end of the year there will be 10 people on staff in the communications center for the Sheriff’s Office. At the same time, a new supervisor is running the center. Sgt. Mark Price took that role near the beginning of the year.

Sheriff Mike Heldman says the department had planned to hire three new dispatchers, but after two people resigned they needed to hire five. So far four people have hired and officials are in the process of hiring a fifth.

New state standards mean the communications officers have to have extra training. That includes emergency medical dispatcher training. Dispatchers take a 40-hour class to learn how to give pre-arrival care, like CPR and wound care, over the phone.

MORE: The Courier

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State Treasurer Calls Out Findlay Auditor For No Progress On Open Checkbook

5/26/2016 – 3:09 pm

While in Findlay Thursday to announce Hancock County and Fostoria have joined the State’s Open Checkbook website, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel commented on the City of Findlay’s absence from the site, as well as City Auditor Jim Staschiak’s issues in getting the city finances posted on the website. Mandel said that he’s not had similar issues with any city government elsewhere in the State of Ohio.

Audio: Josh Mandel

It was mentioned that Mandel’s office has been working with the City of Findlay for the past ten months, taking all phone calls and answering all questions from the City Auditor, as well as accepting invitations to speak before the Findlay City Council but thus far no progress has been made.

Audio: Josh Mandel

Mandel said that while other entities have had some issues in getting their records online, he couldn’t recall another incidence in which the City Administration had publically committed to the Open Checkbook website and the City Auditor, in his words, “blocked it”.

Earlier this spring Auditor Staschiak announced to the Findlay City Council that his office would be working with another software program that is different than the one the state uses, however, it will still provide information to the open checkbook. Staschiak stated that the benefit of this program is that it will provide additional financial information and financial histories not available on the state website.

WFIN reached out to Findlay Auditor Jim Staschiak Thursday afternoon and while he didn’t comment on Mandel’s statements he did state, “I’m happy that the county has taken the efforts to join the state’s website and I’ll be happy when the city can join them on that website later this year”.

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Hancock County And Fostoria Join Ohio Open Checkbook Website

5/26/2016 – 3:03 pm

Caption: State Treasurer Josh Mandel shows how the open checkbook website works. Also pictured are Fostoria Auditor Steve Garner and Hancock County Auditor Charity Rauschenberg

State Treasurer Josh Mandel was in Hancock County Thursday to announce that Hancock County and the City of Fostoria have had their financial records placed on the State’s Open Checkbook website. As part of a broader transparency initiative, Mandel says that the website gives the public another tool to keep local lawmakers accountable.

Audio: Josh Mandel

In showing the website, Mandel demonstrated that state, county, and local government finances could be easily accessible and reviewed by members of the public who have questions about how local funds are being spent as well as just general curiosity.

Hancock County Auditor Charity Rauschenberg said that for her office, the process of transferring the financial data to the state website, as well as updating that data has been quite easy with no issues developing.

Audio: Charity Rauschenberg

Mandel says that the states open checkbook website and service is a free service offered to state and local governments and entities. You can visit the state’s open checkbook website here.

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Suspicious Men Spotted Videotaping Students In Hillcrest

5/26/2016 – 2:52 pm

Three men have been seen videotaping children getting off a Liberty-Benton school bus. The Courier reports the men were spotted Wednesday night in a newer white Dodge minivan with an Illinois license plate of #Z136626. The van was seen in the Hillcrest neighborhood and had three men in their mid-20s inside.

The district notified the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, which is following through on the information, according to Superintendent Jim Kanable. As of this time, it’s not clear if the men are dangerous or not but those with information or who see the van are asked to call the sheriff’s office at 419-424-7097.

More: The Courier

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Community Profile: UF Housekeeper Encourages Students To Excel

5/26/2016 – 12:15 pm

When you’ve been working at a University as long as Larry Lynch has you’ve seen a complete change in campus culture many times over. It’s been said that the lifetime of a typical college is four years. In the past sixteen years, he’s been working at UF, Lynch has seen that culture change itself over at least four times if not more.

“In those days the experiences were different. You’d go into classrooms and learn from the books like that. But today we see much more hands-on learning that gives students an experience. Last year I knew students who were studying small animals, and as Freshmen, they’re out there working with real small animals right out the gate, taking care of them and learning about them.” says Lynch. “A lot of schools don’t give students that experience until they’re Juniors or Seniors. The college wants the students to get out and interact with people and learn things from a hands-on approach”

Lynch works in student housing at UF, and in that role he not only gets to interact with students on an everyday basis, but he also has a chance to work with them in ways that are different than typical student/teacher roles. In working in the dorms, Lynch can help students with their struggles, the pressures of college living and also in encouraging them in their school work as a way to help them through the college experience.

“I may not know their names but I’d be working in the dorms, walking down the hall or pushing a broom and if their doors were open I’d see them working on their computer and say ‘hey, working on homework, a big project?’ and they’d say ‘yeah I’m working on a big paper.’ Lynch says “Well, I’ll try to file that away and if I see them a week later I’ll say ‘Hey, how’s that paper coming along, how’d that final you were working on come out?’ And they’d say ‘Oh yeah, it went great.’ And so on. We are making a difference in our own way.” says Lynch.

Lynch doesn’t consider himself an educator, which many who know him would likely dispute. He holds a BA in Speech & Theater and served as an ordained minister for twenty years before health reasons forced him to step down. After his health was addressed, Lynch chose to stay at UF because he found it more fulfilling to work with the students in ways outside a typical classroom setting, and to provide encouragement and guidance when needed.

“I tell students and parents that I’m not their parent or supervisor in any way. But if they’re having a problem or have a mess in their room, we’re here to help them get an understanding as to how to work and live with other people.” says Lynch

When it comes to success, whether in college or in the work place the key is building relationships and not taking those relationships for granted. Lynch says that over the years he’s been working at UF he’s had the opportunity to see students come in as freshmen, and go through the struggles making the transition to adulthood. The most successful ones were ones that realized that getting involved, and meeting new people were the key to success in life beyond college.

“For a lot of young people, it’s their first time away from home, the first time they’ve lived with someone else and had some space to take care of. And I see the older students develop skills where they begin to plan, take pride and prioritize things. It’s just interesting to see that cycle go through again, and again, and again.” says Lynch.

Lynch doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. The connections that he’s made to students has had an impact on them at a personal level. Recent graduate student Lauren Brassfield says that Lynch was always one of the best people to know because he always would encourage you to be the best version of yourself.

“Larry Lynch is one of the nicest people that I have come to know and love at the University of Findlay. He always has a positive attitude and is focused on the students and their success. He is one of the few staff members at UF that will actually take the time to get to know someone. Be it a student or fac/staff member. The university of Findlay is very lucky to have such an amazing and caring person on their campus!” says Brassfield.

For his part, Lynch may down play his role in student success at UF, but he takes the work he does seriously because he believes that any job worth doing is worth doing at the best of your ability.

“When it comes to the students it’s about the experience. Maybe they didn’t pay much attention to it as a freshman but maybe those things start to catch their attention a few years later. They have the opportunity to mature, to learn things on their own, learn how to budget their time and resources. These are all things that they can take with them to serve them over and over again in life beyond college. It’s an amazing experience.” says Lynch.

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U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers Map Causes Stir At Commissioners Meeting

5/26/16 – 12:01 P.M.

A map from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was a point of contention at Thursday’s Hancock County Commissioners meeting. Eagle Creek diversion channel opponents say the map shows areas southeast of Findlay that could see induced flooding near existing ditches when the channel is full…

Audio: Steve Wilson

Project manager Steve Wilson says that would mean the property owners would have to be compensated, if .

Audio: Steve Wilson

Wilson stressed that the map only shows a preliminary plan and other options for the induced flooding areas could be considered.

Some in attendance at the Thursday meeting suggested the Corps was trying to keep the map from the public. Wilson says it has been publicly available on the Corps’ website since last August.

Copy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Map:

Download (PDF, 1.57MB)

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Assistance Available For Homeowners Making Septic System Repairs

5/26/2016 – 10:56 am

If you need help and assistance in repairing or replacing your home septic treatment system, the Blanchard River Watershed Partnership can help. Working with the Hancock Health Department and county commissioners, funds are available to help low-income residents replace their failing systems. Phil Martin, Blanchard River Watershed Coordinator says this a possible through an Ohio EPA grant.

Audio: Phil Martin

In order to qualify for the funds, Martin says that the applicants must own and live in the home as their primary residence and rental properties are not eligible. Additionally, the applicant must meet to be below the poverty limits for the number of people living in the residence.

Repairs to the septic systems are important, Martin says because you can’t have contaminants leaking into the Blanchard River Watershed.

Audio: Phil Martin

This is an ongoing program. To apply you can call Martin at 419-422-6487 to learn more. Applications will be accepted through September of 2017.

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Fostoria Police Officer Found Guilty On Lesser Charges

5/26/16 – 8:36 A.M.

A Fostoria police officer who was charged with drunk driving in January has been found guilty on a lesser charge. The Review-Times reports Cory Brian was found guilty Wednesday on a count of reckless operation of a motor vehicle. He also was cited for a lane violation.

Brian was sentenced to 30 days in jail, with 23 suspended. He’ll be given credit for the other seven days by completing a driver’s intervention and victim impact program.

The charges stemmed from a January 17 incident in Findlay.

MORE: Review-Times

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