Review Category : Local News

Hancock County Agrees to Three-Year Contract for Corrections Officers

09/16/14  3:50 p.m.

After months of negotiations, Hancock County and the union representing corrections officers have come to a new contract agreement. The three-year contract gives the officers pay raises, but also increases their insurance premiums.

The contract expired March 7, 2014 and officers have been working without a contract since then. The union and administrators then began negotiating wages and benefits.

Lt. Ryan Kidwell, jail administrator said officers with more than one year of service will receive a five percent pay raise this year, from $18.05 to $19.65 an hour. That rate will increase another 1.25 percent in the second year of the new contracts to $19.90 and in the third year to $20.15.

Starting pay for new officers will stay the same, beginning at $17.87 for the first two years. In the third year of the contract, a new officer and an officer with 120 days of experience will all receive a 1.25 percent raise. Starting pay will also increase in the third year to $18.09 an hour. An officer with 120 days of experience will receive $18.28 an hour

The downside of the contract for the officers is the three percent increase in health insurance premiums. The union will now start paying up to 20 percent of the premiums.

Hancock Count Commissioners ok’d the new contract today. Kidwell said the agreement works for everyone and the general feeling is positive.

Adminstrators and the union are still negotiating a contract for road deputies.

Read More →

No Activity During Pretrial Hearing For Former Riverdale Teacher

9/16/14 – 11:04 A.M.

A scheduled pretrial hearing for the former Riverdale teacher charged with child endangerment yielded no courtroom action today. Barb Williams met privately with her lawyers. The Courier’s Ryan Dunn reports around 20 people were on hand to support Williams.

The former kindergarten teacher was seen on a school security video pushing a 6-year-old student in May. Williams resigned from her position following the incident.

Her trial is set to begin Dec. 15.

Read More →

Hancock County Given Auditor Of State Award (Again)

9/16/14 – 10:55 A.M.

The Hancock County Auditor’s Office is getting high praise again. For the fourth year in a row the department has been given the Auditor of State Award with distinction…

Audio: Charity Rauschenberg

Auditor Charity Rauschenberg says it’s an impressive feat. Rauschenberg says that’s because it accounts not just for the handling of local tax dollars, but also the extra regulations that come with handling grant money…

Audio: Charity Rauschenberg

State Auditor Dave Yost presented the award to the county on Monday.

Read More →

Fostoria Schools Showing Improvement

9/16/14 – 5:21 A.M.

The Fostoria School District appears to be moving in the right direction. The Courier reports the school board was given an overview of the district’s report card during a Monday meeting. Superintendent Andrew Sprang says the school system earned a C on its Performance Index Score, up from an F last year. The district also moved from an F to a C for its graduation rate. That number is up to 86.1 percent, four points higher than the state average.

Sprang says the Intermediate Elementary School earned A’s in overall math and reading, and gifted students value added progress.

The district still received an F for meeting six of 24 performance indicators. Sprang says there’s obviously room to improve, but pieces of the report card are moving in the right direction.

MORE: The Courier

Read More →

Fiery Crash Destroys Injures Five In Dunkirk

9/16/14 – 5:03 A.M.

A fiery crash closed U.S. 68 in Hardin County for around three hours Monday. The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office reports the accident happened just before 3:30 p.m. at the Marathon gas station on the corner of U.S. 68 and State Route 81.

Preliminary details in the crash show that three cars were involved. The blaze left the convenience store intact, but completely destroyed the gas pumps. Five people were injured. Two of them were taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findlay for treatment. The other three people were treated and released at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Kenton.

No other details were available.

View Fiery Crash Injures Five In Dunkirk in a larger map

Read More →

Flood Insurance Probation Threat No Longer An Issue In Findlay

9/16/14 – 4:50 A.M.

Findlay is no longer under any risk of being put on probation by the National Flood Insurance Program. The Courier reports city officials have cleared up more than 100 issues raised by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A letter from FEMA sent to the city in April warned that probation was possible if certain documents weren’t updated.

Probation would have meant an extra $50 charge to each flood insurance premium in the city. Service-Safety Manager Paul Schmelzer says the warning letter from FEMA was protocol. He added that the agency never intended to give the impression that probation was imminent for Findlay.

MORE: The Courier

Read More →

Red Cross Offering Local Coffee House Programs for Emergency Planning

09/15/14  4:30 p.m.

When it comes to a disaster or emergency situation, executive director of the Hancock County Red Cross Todd James says it’s all about being as prepared as possible.

Audio: Todd James

James said to be prepared there are three steps: have an emergency kit, have an emergency plan and stay informed. To help area residents, the Red Cross has planned three coffee house meet-ups.

The programs will feature an hour-long presentation as well as the supplies needed to create kits and plans.

Sept. 23 @ 5 p.m. Becca House Coffee in Upper Sandusky (128 S Sandusky Ave.)
Sept. 24 @ 6 p.m. Coffee Amici in Findlay (328 S Maint St.)
Sept. 26 @ 5 p.m. Bailiwicks Coffee Company in Tiffin (62 S Washington St.)

Read More →

Weiker Sentenced to Life in Prison for Role in May Fire that Killed Two

09/15/14   3:00 p.m.

Shey Weiker has been sentenced to life in prison for her role in a Poplar Street fire that killed two people on Memorial Day.

31-year-old Weiker appeared for the plea hearing Monday morning in Seneca County Common Pleas Court. Her jury trial had been set to begin in October. She was found guilty on all four counts she was facing: aggravated arson; aggravated murder; murder; and attempted murder.

She is eligible for parole after serving 25 years of her sentence.

Weiker and 44-year-old Charles Schaeffer, along with 20-year-old Timothy Hall were indicted on charges stemming from the Memorial Day blaze that took the lives of Daniel Marker Jr. and Tara Lynn Vance and injured Dana Weatherall.

Weiker and Schaeffer each entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, but both were found competent to stand trial.

Schaeffer and Hall’s trials are both scheduled to begin Oct. 27.

Read More →

Findlay Association for University Women Kicking Off Membership Drive

09/15/14   2:55 p.m.

The American Association for University Women strives to enhance opportunities for women through higher education. The Findlay branch of the AAUW is seeking more members to help achieve that goal.

Audio: Gillian Holzhauser-Graber

Gillian Holzhauser-Graber (Gray-ber), president of the Findlay AAUW branch, said the goal for the branch is to increase its 30 members to 50.

For women, issues like college education, gender pay gaps and more are defining issues. The AAUW is an organization created to be an advocate for women across the country.

Audio: Gillian Holzhauser-Graber

Holzhauser-Graber said AAUW helps women through scholarship, continuing education and any other educational opportunities.

The association will kick-off its membership drive tonight at 7 p.m. in the Malcolm Dining Room at the University of Findlay. Membership is open to both women and men, who hold a degree above high school level as well as university students.

Read More →