Review Category : Local News

Findlay Students Collecting Water For Flint Michigan

2/3/2016 – 10:50 am

Students at Findlay City Schools are asking the public to help their efforts to provide Flint Michigan with clean water. The students of the Findlay High school student council and Jacobs Primary will be holding a water drive this Saturday at Jacobs Primary. Teacher Tony Nugeness said that the effort was driven by the members of the student council.

Audio: Tony Nugeness

The students are asking the public to drop off cases of water at Jacobs Primary this Saturday.

Audio: Tony Nugeness

Water will only be accepted in cases or in gallon containers due to regulations. Several local businesses have also contributed to the drive and will help to transport the water to Flint with the student council. The drive will be held from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm at Jacobs Primary.

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North Baltimore Sewage Plant Has Unused Capacity

2/3/16 – 6:47 A.M.

The North Baltimore sewage treatment plant has unused capacity, and village officials are looking to see how they might use that to their advantage. The Courier reports council members were given some options to consider during their Tuesday meeting. John Rauch of the Rural Community Assistance Program says the village could accept sewage from other towns. The extra capacity could also be used to attract businesses to the area.

Rauch said more sewage customers could potentially “lighten the load” of existing customers.

The reason the plant has unused capacity is because of a sewer separation project. Before the storm water and sewer lines were split, the sewage plant had a daily flow of 828,000 gallons. After the lines were separated, that number dropped to 383,000 gallons of flow per day.

MORE: The Courier

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More Roadwork Set For I-75 Near Beaverdam Today

2/3/16 – 5:25 A.M.

You might experience delays on I-75 if you’re headed south again today. ODOT says the southbound lanes of the interstate will be restricted to one lane just south of Beaverdam for road work. Crews will be grounding pavement to give the highway extra traction

Restrictions will be in place from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

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Several Car Break-Ins Reported In Bluffton

2/3/16 – 5:20 A.M.

Bluffton residents are being warned about a series of car break-ins. The Bluffton Police Department reports several vehicles were either entered or damaged Monday night. Most of the incidents happened on the west side of town.

Anyone with information about the crimes is urged to call the police department at (419)358-2961.

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Fostoria Council Questions Budget Numbers

2/3/16 – 5:14 A.M.

Fostoria city council members had plenty of questions about the city’s budget during a Tuesday night meeting. The Courier reports City Auditor Steve Garner presented his 2015 financial report during the meeting. It showed a negative balance of more than $389,000 in the general fund.

Councilman Brian Shaver said he felt misled by previous statements from Garner. Shaver said, “We’re getting a budget tonight that’s showing we’re that far in the red and I just feel a little bit duped because we had a chance to rectify that problem without causing major changes to the city’s infrastructure.” He was referring to a cancelled plan to end a 1 percent tax credit for people who live in the city and work elsewhere.

Public backlash led to council rejecting the plan. Shaver said council only voted against it because Garner said the budget would be in better shape this year. Garner said there were increased overtime costs for the city because of some injuries. He added he mentioned that issue to council and former Service-Safety Director Allyson Murray in July.

Garner also said he never told council that Fostoria would be out of the red by the end of 2015.

MORE: The Courier

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One Person Injured In Crash On I-75 Late Tuesday Night

2/3/16 – 4:57 A.M.

One person was injured in a crash that closed the southbound lanes of the interstate late Tuesday night. The State Highway Patrol reports 52-year-old Mary Boes of Findlay was driving south on the interstate when she lost control on wet pavement and hit a median wall near County Road 99 around 11:45 p.m. Boes’ car then hit a guardrail and came back onto the interstate, where it was hit by two commercial trucks.

Boes was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The truck drivers were not hurt.

The crash closed the southbound lanes of I-75 for around two hours. Traffic was rerouted up the County Road 99 exit ramp, and then back onto the interstate from the entrance ramp on the other side.

Boes was cited for failure to maintain reasonable control.

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Bond Set At $2 Million For Fostoria Shooting Suspect

2/2/2016 – 11:30 pm

The Toledo man charged with the weekend shooting of a mother and daughter at Nye’s Trailer Park in Fostoria is being held on a $2 million bond. The Courier reports that 34-year-old Terrence R. Williamson of Toledo has been charged with two counts of attempted murder in the Saturday afternoon shooting of 36-year-old Lashelle Norman and her daughter, 17-year-old Alexia Johnson.

Williamson appeared in court for his arraignment Tuesday via video. A judge set his bond at $1 million on each count.

More: The Courier

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Findlay Man Charged With Robbery

2/2/2016 – 11:22 pm

A Findlay man was charged with robbery following an incident at a city residence Tuesday morning. 18-year-old Austin Frey of Findlay was arrested on a charge of robbery and is currently in jail. Police report that a resident on Larkins Street reported a man wearing a black ski mask over his face and holding a handgun entered the home shortly before noon and demanded money and drugs. The resident complied and the suspect left on foot.

The suspect was identified as Frey and was located later with some evidence and placed under arrest. No one was injured and no shots were fired. The Findlay K-9 officer assisted in the investigation.

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Findlay Council Schedules Future Meeting To Discuss Legislation

2/2/2016 – 10:00 pm

The Findlay City Council moved to have three major issues discussed at a future committee of the whole meeting later this month. At their regular meeting Tuesday night, the council scheduled the future meeting later this month.

The first major item was in regards to a request from Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative to revisit their existing franchise agreement with the City of Findlay. Hancock-Wood CEO George Walton spoke to the council Tuesday about a concern their cooperative has with actions by Ohio Power to encroach in their service territory within the city limits. In rural areas, utilities are prohibited from encroaching upon competing services but cities are allowed to contract their own franchise agreements with utilities. Walton said that while Hancock-Wood does not cover much territory in the city limits they do have some and have made several million dollars worth of utility investment within the city limits.

Audio: George Walton

The section of the city limits in question is near Rowmark and Walton said that if Ohio Power were allowed to continue operating in the area, it could disrupt or prohibit service to existing Hancock-Wood customers in the area. In any case, it creates a logistics issue when servicing transmission lines. Walton said he wanted to present Hancock-Woods position to the council at a committee of the whole meeting for a more through discussion.

The second item is in regards to city plans to work with Findlay City Schools to construct a fiber line for data service to city departments. The council reviewed an ordinance to authorize contracting for several constructions projects in the city limits. Among those were appropriated funds to begin working on the fiber line with the school. Councilwoman Holly Frische questioned if the city had a firm estimate on that project. Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer said they did not as the project was being driven by the school system. Schmelzer said that the funds were for seed money to get the project moving. Councilman Grant Russel said that the requested funds came to around $20,000. The council had also requested Schmelzer to provide an estimate if the city were to move forward with their own project, independent of the school system.

Audio: Paul Schmelzer

Frische moved to amend the motion to remove the funds for the fiber project until more information could be gathered from the school. The council agreed and adopted the ordinance with the fiber funds removed. The council requested that representatives from the school and fiber utility address the committee of the whole.

The third item was in regards to a proposed ordinance to prohibit the city administration from granting raises to city employees that exceed eight percent without council approval. Councilman Tom Klein questioned the logic of the ordinance given that the council sets the pay range for each city position. Given that, the administration could then set the pay for each employee and administrator within the range council approved. Councilwoman Holly Frische said that, in her opinion, the range was more of a guideline, and Councilman Tim Watson, who sponsored the ordinance said that it was in response to previous questions granting pay raises. He noted that authorization would serve as another check on the city administration.

Audio: Tim Watson

Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer said that if passed, effectively the city council would become a body that would be required to approve all pay raises for any employee in excess of eight percent after they have already appropriated budget dollars to do so.

Audio: Paul Schmelzer

Councilman Grant Russel questioned if that would mean that all promotions and pay raises would then be required to be passed by the city council. He said that the legislation says that any pay raise that exceeds an eight percent raise would require authorization from council, and if a person were promoted from employee to supervisor, and they were moved to a new pay range, that could exceed a bump greater than eight percent in pay.

Audio: Grant Russel

Schmelzer said he didn’t believe the legislation allowed for that but noted that the legislation was ambiguous in that regard. Given the questions on the ordinance, the topic was also moved to the committee of the whole meeting for further discussion.

While members of the council wished to discuss all three items at the committee of the whole meeting, Schmelzer noted that scheduling representatives from Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, Findlay City Schools, and the fiber contractors could be a logistical problem, given how there are no time limits on committee hearings. The council moved to tentatively schedule the committee of the while meeting to be on Wednesday, February 17th at 4:00 pm, saying that date could be revised as needed.


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Hancock Sheriff Warns Of Phone Scam

2/2/2016 – 6:17 pm

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office has warned the public of a scam in the community. Area residents have contacted the office reporting they received calls from a Deputy Charles Ready and Supervisor Fran Johnson telling residents they have an arrest warrant issued for them and are attempting to get payment from residents over the phone and without appearing in court.

Neither Ready or Johnson are employees of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and it is not the practice of the Sheriff’s Office to call residents on the phone in an attempt to collect fines or bonds. If you receive a call, DO NOT give out any personal or financial information to them, and contact the Hancock Sheriff’s Office at 419-422-2424 to file a report.

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