Review Category : Local News

Ammonia Spill Closes Wood County Highway

10/17/14 – 5:21 A.M.

A highway remains closed in Wood County today following an ammonia spill. The State Highway Patrol reports the crash happened Thursday around 8:20 a.m. at the intersection of State Route 281 and Huffman Road near Portage.

A semi carrying ammonia was driving east on Route 281 when a pickup truck driven by 41-year-old Scott Reiman of Bowling Green ran a stop sign and caused the collision. The semi rolled over, spilling ammonia onto the road and into three ditches.

Route 281 could be closed until the weekend as the cleanup continues.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, 23-year-old Joshua Whitaker of Fowler, Indiana, was taken to the University of Toledo Medical Center. He was last listed in critical, but stable condition. Reiman was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

 

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Mugshots Back On Hancock County Jail Website

10/19/14 – 5:14 A.M.

Hancock County jail inmate information and mugshots are back on the web. The information was taken down late last month because of changes to public record laws. The new rules don’t allow information about criminals convicted in juvenile court proceedings to be posted online.

In September, the jail was housing inmates who fit that description. As a result, the mugshots were taken offline.

Sheriff Michael Heldman says they may have to take the pictures down from time-to-time until the software company finds a way to process information that is in compliance with the law.

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Former Ottawa Councilman Sentenced For Fatal Crash

10/17/14 – 5:06 A.M.

The former Ottawa councilman who caused a fatal crash earlier this year was sentenced Thursday. The Courier reports Alan Ducey was given two 180-day suspended jail sentences. He also had his license suspended for a year and was fined $1,000.

Judge Chad Niese said Ducey was not on his phone and was not intoxicated when the crash happened. Ducey spoke in court, saying “I cannot hope to ask for your forgiveness and I do not deserve it, either” to the victim’s families.

85-year-old Joan Beam and her daughter, 62-year-old Christine Hayden, were killed in the crash.

MORE: The Courier

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More Testimony Given In Findlay Murder Trial

10/17/14 – 4:56 A.M.

Testimony continued in the Montre Robinson murder trial Thursday in Findlay. The Courier reports Angela Gutierrez testified for about the night her husband was killed for two hours. Gutierrez said Joe Gutierrez may have gotten into a fight on the night of November 7 when he tried to get money or drugs.

According to testimony, Joe Gutierrez was celebrating his cousin’s birthday. He left a party around 11 p.m. On cross-examination Angela Gutierrez admitted her husband had said he was going to get more drugs “any way he could.”

That may have included a fight with Ralph Harris III. Robinson allegedly saw the fight and encouraged Harris to get revenge. Harris has admitted to shooting and killing Joe Gutierrez at the intersection of East Foulke and Crystal avenues.

The trial will continue today.

MORE: The Courier

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Election Preview: Gregg Norris Running For Ohio House

10/17/14 – 4:26 A.M.

Election previews continue today with a Libertarian candidate hoping to secure a seat in Ohio’s House.

Gregg Norris says he’s just your Average Joe with a wife and kids, two dogs and chickens in his backyard. But Norris has gained a little notoriety since announcing his candidacy for Ohio state representative. Norris said what separates him from his opponent incumbent Robert Sprague is his belief in small government.

Audio: Gregg Norris

Norris said he believes all the other issues in the state, such as overspending and high tax burdens, are tied to a government that’s too big…

Audio: Gregg Norris

Norris said every time the government creates a new agency, regulation or something of the sort, there has to be someone in place to police or manage it. According to Norris, this extension of government is costing money, hence the overspending and tax burdens.

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Phosphorus Reduction Should Be State-Wide Goal to Reduce Algal Blooms, Not Just Agricultural

10/16/14     10:01 p.m.

Since Toledo’s water crisis, much of the blame has been placed on farmers for using too much fertilizer in their fields causing higher amounts of phosphorus runoff going into the lake.

Dr. Jeffrey Reutter has been working at Ohio State’s Stone Laboratory on Gibraltar Island in Lake Erie since 1971. He said though the agricultural runoff is the biggest source for phosphorous, it’s not solely the agricultural community’s responsibility. Reutter said water treatment plants and homeowners are just as responsible.
Reutter likened what is happening with the lake now to what happened in the 70s, when water treatment plants were not as efficient. He said the conclusion then was reducing phosphorus and updating 20 treatment plants.
The goal that’s been set for now it to reduce the phosphorus load by 40 percent for everyone, not just farmers. This time it’s more difficult because instead of just updating 20 treatment plants there are 14,000 farms that need to address the issue.

Reutter said there are a number of ways to reduce the water you use, such as using lowflow toilets and showerheads. Looking at cleaning products and fertilizers to be sure they’re low phosphorus will be beneficial as well.
For farms, Reutter suggested getting the fertilizer into the ground as far as possible as opposed to just spreading it on the surface in order to decrease chances of rain washing it away, as well as not putting fertilizer on frozen or snow-covered fields for the same reason. He also said farmers should treat fertilizer and manure the same way. Reutter said algae will bloom with phosphorus assistance no matter what for the phosphorus is in, fertilizer, manure or otherwise.
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Liberty-Benton Students Accept Challenge to Create Positive Environment

10/16/14     5:33 p.m.

In 1999, Rachel Scott wrote, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.” Scott was the first person killed just days later in the Columbine High School shooting, but her many journals and life inspired Rachel’s Challenge, a program that encourages students and educators to create a positive school environment where students can learn and feel safe.

Audio: Brenda Frankart

Liberty-Benton High School principal Brenda Frankart said the challenge is a way to rejuvenate the idea of positivity and kindness into schools.

Audio: Brenda Frankart

Scott was inspired by Anne Frank and kept journals filled with positive notes, detailing the way she lived a life of kindness. Scott’s legacy lives on through the program, which Liberty-Benton students learned about on Tuesday.

Frankart said the program At LB will be student-led, and the student S.T.R.I.D.E.S. (Students Taking Roles in Developing Educational Success) are currently brainstorming projects they can work on to help implement the idea.

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McLane Breaks Ground for Grocery Distribution Center in Findlay

10/16/14     2:49 p.m.

McLane Company officially broke ground on its 22nd grocery distribution facility in Findlay today. McLane COO Mike Youngblood said it wasn’t one thing in particular that made Findlay attractive.

Audio: Mike Youngblood

The 337,000 square foot grocery distribution center is also the beginning of an even bigger project with the creation of Tall Timbers West.

Audio: Lydia Mihalik

Mayor Lydia Mihalik said McLane and the new park are great progress for Findlay. McLane will be the first company in the new industrial park across from Lowe’s Distribution Center on County Road 99. The facility is expected to be full function by fall 2016.

Youngblood said he expects the facility to be open and fully functional by fall of 2016. To see a photo gallery of this afternoon’s groundbreaking, visit our website.

Click on each image to see a larger version

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Van Buren School Bus Involved In Minor Accident

10/16/14 – 11:47 A.M.

No injuries were reported following a crash involving a school bus in Hancock County today. The Findlay Police Department says the accident happened on County Road 99 around 9:15 a.m.

The bus was stopped at the intersection with Speedway Drive when it was hit by an SUV driven by 50-year-old Gary Ernest of Portage, Michigan.

There were only two students on board at the time of the crash. Ernest was cited for failure to maintain an assured clear distance ahead.

 

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Bill to Simplify Municipal Tax System Still Awaiting Vote from Ohio Senate

10/16/14     11:43 a.m.

Ohio is the only state in the country that allows cities to decide their own rules, regulations and systems for municipal income taxes. For state treasurer Josh Mandel, that’s a sign something needs to be done.

Audio: Josh Mandel

Earlier this year Ohio’s House of Representatives passed a bill to help simplify the income tax system for municipalities. Since then, the bill has been waiting for a vote from the Senate.

Audio: Josh Mandel

According to Mandel, the current system puts a burden on small businesses, who don’t always have the money to hire accountants and lawyers to oversee all the necessary forms and regulations. Freeing up that money would allow them to hire more employees.

Mandel said this bill would not determine tax rates, just simplify the system. He said he’s cautiously optimistic there will be a vote from the Senate sometime this fall.

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