Review Category : Local News

Findlay Sees Benefits From Broad Avenue Solar Farm

11/17/14 – 4:43 A.M.

A solar farm continues to provide benefits to the city of Findlay. The Courier reports the solar panels on Broad Avenue have partially powered the city’s Water Pollution Control Center for two years now. The savings have been similar each year. The panels will cut around $55,000 in electric costs this year, down from $58,500 in 2013. Plant superintendent David Beach says it’s been cloudier this year, resulting in the slight drop in savings.

Marathon Petroleum donated the panels to the city. It cost the company more than $4 million to build the 5,900 panel facility. Marathon is using the solar farm to research the potential of using solar panels to cut electricity use at its refineries.

MORE: The Courier

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Gallery: Details of Possible Flood Mitigation Plans

11/14/14     1:58 p.m.

The Army Corps of Engineers presented their tentative plan for flood mitigation today. While some area residents were skeptical, the Corps insisted that discussion was key and plans are still changing.

Click on each image to see a larger version.

All images provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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Roberston Says the Time to Take Action on Flood Mitigation is Now

11/14/14     1:22 p.m.

Emotions ran high during this morning’s press conference with the Army Corps of Engineers. Having released their tentative flood mitigation plan, the Corps fielded questions and concerns from the public about this plan, but for county commissioner Brian Robertson the important thing was there was two-way dialogue.

Audio: Brian Robertson

Robertson said we need to build off the momentum and plans and get something done, unlike the generation from 1962 who faced with the same problem did not act on the Army Corps plans.

Audio: Brian Robertson

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Ag Community Skeptical Of Flood Mitigation Efforts

11/14/14 – 1:12 P.M.

To say the topic of flood mitigation is a contentious one in the agricultural community could be a bit of an understatement. Several area farmers attended today’s meeting about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s tentative flood mitigation plan. Not too many were convinced it was a good idea…

Audio: Steve Oman

Former Hancock County Commissioner Steve Oman has been a vocal critic of flood mitigation for the Blanchard River. Oman said he doesn’t think the ag community can be convinced there is a plan that can work if it involves taking away farm land.

Gary Wilson is the president of the Hancock County Farm Bureau and says the current plan is a bitter pill to swallow…

Audio: Gary Wilson

Wilson said he is in favor of a dialogue with the Army Corps. He added that recent meetings with Corps members have been helpful in getting some questions answered.

Several area farmers spoke their mind about plans for a diversion channel and levee in Findlay, and the comments were not positive…

Audio: Steve Oman

Oman and others on hand said they had no faith in the government to come up with a solution and be upfront with the public about it.

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Army Corps Discusses Tentative Flood Plans In Findlay

11/14/14 – 1:06 P.M.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took questions and comments about the tentative flood control plan in Findlay today. As the audience learned, the tentative plan is somewhat of a rough draft of the mitigation efforts that could be implemented…

Audio: Karl Jansen

Lt. Col. Karl Jansen says the detailed report will be made public in early 2015. Jansen adds once that’s done, the very important public comment period will begin.

The cost of Blanchard River Flood mitigation won’t be cheap. Jansen said the current estimate to build a diversion channel and levee is around $87 million. However, we’re a long way from the final numbers…

Audio: Karl Jansen

Jansen says we’ll have a better idea of the cost if Congress approves an appropriation for the plan.

Of course, there were several questions and comments about the plan. One big question people asked was how a levee and diversion channel will actually change how the Blanchard handles heavy rain.

Jansen says that’s an answer the Corps has to get better at explaining…

Audio: Karl Jansen

Corps representatives said currently when it rains a lot, it’s like pouring a big bucket of water down a drain. The flood mitigation measures would make it like pouring several cups of water down the same drain. The breaking up of the initial surge would allow water to move downstream before the next surge comes through.

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Mayor Says It’s Time to Trust Experts With Regard to Flood Mitigation

11/14/14     12:38 p.m.

For Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik, the Army Corps of Engineers press conference on the tentative flood mitigation plan was a productive discussion with residents. She said it’s nice to finally be at the point of discussion, but it’s still going to take more time.

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

Mihalik said at this point, residents have to trust the experts and let the process run its course.

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

The key to this project’s success in the mayor’s eyes is discussion. She said residents asking questions and officials listening and having answering ready will help keep things on the right track.

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Corps Colonel Says Communication and Transparency Key to Progress

11/14/14     12:33 p.m.

This morning’s press conference on the tentative flood mitigation plan shed some light on a number of things not only for residents, but for those presenting the information as well.

Audio: Karl Jansen

Lt. Col. Karl Jansen of the Army Corps of Engineers said the meeting gave him ideas of what to work on for the future.

Audio: Karl Jansen

In the spring of 2015, the Army Corp will release a detailed version of the flood mitigation plan. Jansen said this plan will be released to the public and can be used as a reference for future discussion.

Following the release, Jansen and other members of the Corps will return to Findlay to hold more public discussion and question and answer sessions.

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Strike Avoided At Fostoria Employer

11/14/14 – 7:38 A.M.

There will be no strike at a Fostoria employer. The Review-Times reports The United Auto Workers Local 533 and Autolite have agreed to a tentative agreement. Details on the contract have not been released as union members will still have to vote on it.

80 UAW members were preparing to hit the picket line today. UAW 533 President Skip Angles told the newspaper the union was operating under its second extension with the company after the most recent labor contract expired Oct. 31.

MORE: Review Times

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New Doctors Office Opens In Columbus Grove

11/14/14 – 7:15 A.M.

A new medical facility opened in Putnam County Thursday. The Putnam County Sentinel reports St. Rita’s Medical Center opened a doctor’s office in Columbus Grove. St. Rita’s Professional Services President Dr. Herbert Schumm told the newspaper they felt there was a void of medical coverage in Columbus Grove and wanted to do something about it.

The office will be staffed 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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Van Buren Levy Defeat Discussed

11/14/14 – 6:58 A.M.

There were several people on hand for last night’s Van Buren school board meeting, but only a few talked about another failed building levy. The Courier reports the general consensus of those who did speak was that the district needs more community input before going back to voters.

Some community members expressed concern about the length of the 30-year bond. Others said it wasn’t made clear how much repairs to the existing buildings would cost. School officials say fixing all the buildings on the school campus would be around $20 million. Repairs to the 1918 portion of the building will be around $5 million.

Superintendent Tim Myers also talked about the levy. Myers said they have to figure out exactly what the community members want.

MORE: The Courier

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