Review Category : Local News

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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Renovations Continue At Ottawa’s Memorial Park

5/26/16 – 7:40 A.M.

Renovations are continuing at the baseball diamond at Memorial Park in Ottawa. The Putnam County Sentinel reports phase one has been completed in time for the 50th anniversary of the facility. The work saw a new scoreboard built in right field. The scoreboard has a place for sponsors to place advertisements. That’s expected to help raise money for phase two of the project; the installation of new lights.

The derecho in June of 2012 blew the lights out of alignment. When crews tried to fix them, they found the poles for the lights were rotted.

Donations for the new lights are being accepted. The village of Ottawa has also committed $11,000 per year for 10 years to help out.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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Complaint About Alleged Election Law Violations In Seneca County Returned

5/26/16 – 7:30 A.M.

Allegations of election law violations in Seneca County were addressed Wednesday. The Review-Times reports the Ohio Elections Commission returned a complaint filed by Commissioner Holly Stacy. The commission said it could not address mailings by a political action committee that opposed Stacy in the March primary election. However if Stacy wants to drop that part of the complaint, she can refile with the commission.

Stacy claims that the Citizens for Seneca County PAC coordinated with her opponent, Rich Focht, during the primary race. That could be a violation of election law. Other parts of the complaint included alleged campaign finance and finance reporting violations.

At the same time, the Seneca County Board of Elections has voted to ask the Ohio Elections Commission to investigate the issue.

MORE: Review-Times

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Kids Offered Pills On Fostoria School Playground

5/26/16 – 7:17 A.M.

Students at Fostoria Intermediate Elementary School were apparently offered pills while on the playground Wednesday. A letter sent home to parents says a group of kids were approached by another student and asked if they wanted to buy any pills. Principal Tera Matz says the pill bottles the student had were empty.

Matz said, “We are very proud of our students who made the right decision by immediately notifying an adult.” She added that the incident was being seriously investigated.

Matz told parents the incident was a good opportunity for parents to talk to their kids about not accepting unknown medications from people.

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Two Car Crash Sends Local Man To Toledo-Area Hospital

5/26/16 – 6:46 A.M.

Two people were injured in a two-car crash in eastern Hancock County Wednesday afternoon. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports 57-year-old Eric Basinger of Findlay failed to yield for a car driven by 41-year-old Thomas Neville of Forest at the intersection of Hancock County Roads 7 and 330 around 5:30 p.m.

Neville was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo by medical helicopter. Basinger was treated at the scene of the crash.

The accident remained under investigation Wednesday.

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