Review Category : Local News

City Council Approves Payment To Retired Fire Chief

2/16/2016 – 9:53 pm

The Findlay City Council heard a third reading on an ordinance which paid out severance to former Findlay Fire Chief Tom Lonyo. The severance payment has been a point of contention in the City of Findlay for some time. The payment was originally approved in 2015, however, it was reported that Lonyo wished the payment to be delayed until 2016, so a new ordinance was needed.

The payment was for half of what Lonyo felt he was owed, which according to Councilwoman Holly Frische was $65,000. She said that the payment for half of the funds was negotiated by the council.

Audio: Holly Frische

Councilman Ron Monday said that he was the one who went to Lonyo on behalf of the council to talk about the payout, which he denied was a negotiation.

Audio: Ron Monday

Monday said that City Auditor Jim Staschiak sent a request to the State Auditors Office asking if by making the payment, the state auditors would hold the city liable. Given that the city had an opinion from the city law director which stated that the payment was legal, state auditors would not question it.

The language in the ordinance contained emergency language which required a two-thirds vote to go into effect right away. Some of the new members of the council, including Jeff Wobser, abstained from voting as they were not on council when the original discussions were held.

Audio: Jeff Wobser

When the vote was called, six council members voted for the ordinance, two voted against it, and two abstained from voting. Law Director Don Rasmussen said that means that the ordinance passed as the majority voted for it, however, it will not go into effect for 30 days according to the law.

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Hancock United Way Offers Free Tax Help

2/16/2016 – 2:42 pm

If you want free help with filing your taxes this year, the United Way of Hancock County will help. They offer free services to people who need help filing their taxes. Bev Phillips from the United Way says that last year they helped to file around 2337 tax returns.

Audio: Bev Phillips

Phillips says that the United Way is working to help people that qualify for the earned income tax credit, but their services are also available to all people who meet certain criteria.

Audio: Bev Phillips

The volunteers are qualified to file 1040 returns and certain types of other tax forms. If you’d like to know more or if you have any questions about the free service, you can visit the United Way online.

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Carey Woman Injured In Roll Over Crash

2/16/2016 – 2:11 pm

A Carey woman was injured in a one-vehicle rollover crash on County Road 18 in Cass Township this morning. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reported that 48-year-old Tracy Brooks, who was a passenger, was transported for possible injuries.

Shortly before 8am a car driven by 39-year-old Carlos Perez of Carey was northbound on CR 18 when he lost control on ice. Perez overcorrected and the car went into the ditch, rolled and landed upright. Both were wearing seatbelts and Perez was cited for driving under suspension and failure to control. Brooks was cited for permitting an unlicensed driver to drive her vehicle.

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Blanchard River Watershed Partnership Looks To Lock Down Future Funding

2/16/16 – 11:40 A.M.

The Blanchard River Watershed Partnership is hoping to secure local funding so they can lock down federal grant money in the future. BRWP Director Phil Martin has asked the Hancock County Commissioners to commit $5,000 a year for the next four years…

Audio: Phil Martin

Martin told the commissioners the matching funds aren’t required, but helpful in getting the grant money. He’ll also be asking Findlay for a $5,000 yearly commitment.

Ottawa, Putnam County, and Bluffton are each being asked for $1,000 annually. The BRWP is seeking $40,000 a year in federal grant money to support the director’s position.

Martin says the funding could get the BRWP closer to a regional resource center becoming a reality…

Audio: Phil Martin

The commissioners, while supportive, did have concerns about committing funding beyond the end of 2018. A half-percent sales tax is set to expire at the end that year. Commissioner Riegle said that if the sales tax isn’t extended it would limit discretionary spending in the future.

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Compromise Reached On Shannon Cemetery Plan

2/16/16 – 5:23 A.M.

It looks like a compromise on the future of the Shannon Cemetery in Bluffton has been reached. The Courier reports the Shannon Cemetery Commission made a proposal Monday that is supported by the Friends of Shannon Cemetery group. The group had strongly opposed earlier plans to turn the area into a memorial park.

The new plan calls for putting gravestones back at “known” graves. The stones will be restored and cleaned. Stones without a known grave will be placed in a memorial area. The cemetery will also work to become an Ohio Historical Site. Money to for the work will come from donations.

Bluffton Council will vote on a resolution on the matter at their next meeting.

MORE: The Courier

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No State Funding To Fix U.S. 68 In Arlington This Year

2/16/16 – 5:09 A.M.

Arlington won’t be getting state funding to fix U.S. 68 this year. The Courier reports village council members were informed by State Senator Cliff Hite there was no opportunity for state funds in the current budget. Hite’s office suggested the village continue to try and get money from ODOT, and to pursue federal funding.

The village has been trying to get state money to improve U.S. 68, which doubles as Main Street in Arlington. Heavy traffic leads to the frequent need for repairs on the road.

Councilman Brian Essinger said that at the very least the issue now has the attention of state officials. He’ll now send letters to Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman in an effort to find federal money for the repair work.

MORE: The Courier

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Two Car Crash Injures One Monday Afternoon

2/16/16 – 4:55 A.M.

A teenage driver was injured in a two-car crash in Findlay Monday afternoon. The Findlay Police Department says the collision happened around 2:45 p.m. at the intersection of Defiance Avenue and Bolton Street.

38-year-old Greggory Johnson of Findlay tried to turn left onto Defiance from Bolton when he hit a car trying to turn right onto Bolton at the same time. The driver of the second car, who was not publicly identified, was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Johnson was cited for driving left of the center line.

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Millstream Career Center Focuses On Workforce Development

2/15/2016 – 7:30 pm

One of the biggest issues in manufacturing today is finding competent and qualified workers. Millstream Career Center in Findlay is working to address that issue. Chris Renn, Director of Millstream talked to the Findlay School Board Monday about how education in the classroom is helping students gain profitable employment beyond high school.

Audio: Chris Renn

Millstream works to address needs in advanced manufacturing, medical technology, welding and commercial truck driving, and Renn says that the curriculum is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of manufacturing.

Audio: Chris Renn

Findlay School Superintendent Ed Kurt said that the success at Millstream thus far to prepare students for careers beyond high school has helped to also address other needs. He said that the school is exploring options to include adult education classes at Millstream.

Audio: Ed Kurt

Right now the adult education component to the advanced manufacturing and CDL programs are still in the early stages but the school hopes to have programs made available to the public in the near future.

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Two Injured In Crash

2/15/2016 – 4:41 pm

Two Findlay residents were injured in a two-vehicle crash early Monday afternoon. The Findlay Police Department reports that the accident happened at the intersection of Hancock County Road 99 and 220. 40-year-old April Dill and 17-year-old Ashlynn Dill, who were passengers in a car driven by 65-year-old Mary Simons of Findlay, were transported to Blanchard Valley Hospital with minor injuries.

Police report that 30-year-old Lori Niese of Ottawa was westbound on 99 when she traveled past a red light and collided with Simons’ car which was heading northbound on 220. Niese was cited for disobeying a traffic light.

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Hancock County Judges Work To Keep Courts Safe

2/15/2016 – 3:27 pm

Hancock County Probate and Juvenile Court Judge Kristen Johnson gave the Findlay Rotary Club an update on the courts work over the last year. Judge Johnson said that while overall crime rates have gone down, particular types of cases continue to be a concern for the courts.

Audio: Judge Kristen Johnson

Many of the cases that Judge Johnson deals with are tied to the ongoing drug and heroin problems that are affecting Hancock County and Northwest Ohio. Given that, court security is also a major issue, and Judge Johnson says that the county courts are working with the county commissioners to address court security in Hancock County.

Audio: Judge Kristen Johnson

Last week the Hancock County Commissioners approved funding to conduct a study that will explore options to modify the current courtrooms and buildings so that all those visiting the courts are safe.

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