Review Category : Local News

Seneca County Officials Want Update On Justice Center Costs

10/26/16 – 7:25 A.M.

Officials in Seneca County are working to keep the cost of the new joint justice center down. The Review-Times reports an update on expenses could come as early as tomorrow. The commissioners are waiting on information from the construction manager. A report from Gilbane Inc was due last Tuesday.

During a meeting earlier this month, construction officials told members of the Leadership Core Team the total cost could be around $15.4 million if they include certain upgrades. That’s $1 million more than the project estimate. To keep expenses in line with original estimates, the upgrades might not make the cut.

MORE: Review-Times

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Absentee Ballots Grow In Popularity

10/26/16 – 5:31 A.M.

Absentee ballots are an increasingly popular way to vote. Numbers from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office show voters asked for more than 1.4 million ballots for the November general election. Around 27 percent of those who asked for the absentee ballots have returned them.

Local voters have been casting absentee ballots at a higher rate than the state average. In Hancock County the Secretary of State’s office mailed 7,100 ballots. 53 percent of those who asked for them have already returned them.

The Secretary of State’s office mailed 3,600 ballots to Putnam County voters, with around 47 percent mailed back already.

You can see a complete breakdown of the numbers in today’s Courier.

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Putnam County Man Facing Murder Charge In Death Of Son Back In Court

10/26/16 – 5:18 A.M.

A man who admitted he murdered his son in Putnam County earlier this year was back in court Tuesday. The Lima News reports Travis Soto appeared during a pretrial hearing in Ottawa. Soto already served time in prison for a child endangerment conviction in the 2006 death of Julio Baldazo. However, he went to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office in July and told deputies he murdered the boy.

Soto’s attorney Joseph Benavidez said his client had recently found religion and the incident was weighing on him. He added, “He made a confession. He expected to be released and to go to work.” Benavidez is arguing new charges of aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault and kidnapping amount to double jeopardy.

Assistant prosecutor Todd Schroeder argued Soto knew what he was getting into. He said during Soto’s interview at the sheriff’s office in July, Soto said he thought he would go back to prison.

Judge Randal Basinger said he won’t rule until its determined if Soto is competent to stand trial.

MORE: Lima News

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Parents Warned Against Hosting Drinking Parties For Teens

10/26/16 – 4:57 A.M.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is using Red Ribbon Week as a reminder to parents not to host parties for teenagers with alcohol or other drugs. Red Ribbon Week started Monday and is a nationwide effort to educate kids about drugs and alcohol. As a part of that, the sheriff’s office is taking part in the “Parents Who Host Lose The Most” campaign.

A release from the sheriff’s office says that teenage drinking tends to increase during celebratory times like holidays, including Halloween. The release goes on to say that it isn’t safe or healthy for teenagers to drink alcohol and adults who allow it can face charges.

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Stretch Of Three-Lane I-75 Opens In Wood County

10/26/16 – 4:23 A.M.

Construction headaches are over on a six-mile stretch of I-75 in Wood County. Ohio Department of Transportation officials say I-75 southbound opened to three lanes of traffic overnight between Portage and Oil Center roads. It’s the latest phase of the now two-year-old widening project between Perrysburg and Findlay to be completed.

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Findlay Man Pleads Guilty To Gross Sexual Imposition Charges

10/25/16 – 3:05 P.M.

A Findlay man pleaded guilty this morning at the to inappropriately touching a woman last year. The Courier reports that 46-year-old Gerald Middlebrooks pleaded guilty to two counts of gross sexual imposition. Middlebrooks could face up to 36 months in prison for both counts. The prosecution will recommend a recognizance bond if he remains law abiding and drug-free. Judge Joseph Niemeyer will sentence him on December 15th.

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Army Veteran And Findlay Citizen Receives Service Dog Through K9s For Warriors Program

10/25/16 – 1:20 P.M.

A US Army Captain and citizen of Findlay received a service dog after completing the K9’s for Warriors Program. Louis Belluomini said his dog Star has been very helpful.

Star Helps

Belluomini said that Star wakes him from nightmares and warns him when people are coming near when he isn’t aware. The program the matched the two through Belluomini’s personality, lifestyle, and needs.

Matched With Star

Belluomini said that the program can really change the lives of veteran’s when they return home. He added that these dogs can even save the lives of veteran’s facing a difficult path.

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Commissioners Will Clarify Resolution Regarding Stantec Contract

10/25/15 – 11:22 A.M.

The Hancock County Commissioners will clarify a resolution that authorizes payment for flood mitigation efforts. Commissioner Brian Robertson says resolution 494-16 appropriates $20,000 to get the ball rolling with the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District. He said the issue is that it doesn’t mention how much the overall contract is for…

Audio: Brian Robertson

The commissioners agreed to amend the resolution so that it also includes the scope of the entire contract with Stantec.

Robertson says that future resolutions that pay a part of the contract will state they are part of the deal with Stantec Consulting.

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Hardin County Gets Grant For Underage Drinking And Drug Abuse Prevention Effort

10/25/16 – 7:29 A.M.

Hardin County is getting money from the state to try and prevent underage drinking and prescription drug abuse. The Lima News reports the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services gave $80,000 to nine Ohio counties to support the initiative.

The Partnership for Violence Free Families will administer the grant in Hardin County. The agency will spend the money on evidence-based programs to reduce underage drinking and prescription drug abuse.

MORE: Lima News

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