Review Category : Local News

Monday Interview: Changes May Be Coming to VA Pension Program

03/23/15     5:30 a.m.

Some proposed Veterans Affairs changes may be affecting how wartime veterans or widows apply for pension, which is based on income and assets. Hancock County Veterans Service Office Executive Director Nichole Coleman said the change would implement a look-back period for assets transfers.

Audio: Nichole Coleman

Currently, it is lawful to transfer those assets to meet the qualifications to receive the assistance. The changes would make it illegal and create penalties for doing so. Coleman said that in Hancock County there are not many asset transfers for eligibility. She said this benefit was designed to ensure aging veterans are widows would be able to provide for their care, not to leave a large inheritance.

Audio: Nichole Coleman

Coleman said the amount of assets allowed by the VA is around $80,000, which she said is reasonable to be able to provide good quality of care in addition to the pension program. She said they would typically receive between $1,000 and $1,700 per month. Coleman suggests when you are near $85,000 to call the Hancock County Veterans Services Office to start the pension application process at 419-424-7036.

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Local Boy Scout Helping Military Monuments Find New Homes

3/23/15 – 5:20 A.M.

An area Boy Scout is working to make sure local families can claim monuments to family members who served in the military. The Courier reports 16-year-old Robert Montgomery II of Deshler is helping families find crosses that once honored Hancock County’s war dead.

The crosses were removed from the Maple Grove Cemetery when a new memorial was installed in 2001. 120 of the crosses still sit in the county home on Road 140. Montgomery, along with other scouts and members of Veterans Services, organized the crosses last year. Families are urged to claim the crosses by calling (419)424-7036.

A list of crosses that are in storage is on our website.

MORE: The Courier

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State Auditor’s Office Points Out Areas To Improve For Van Buren School District

3/23/15 – 5:05 A.M.

A recent letter from the state auditor’s office points out areas where the Van Buren School District could better manage its finances. The Courier reports stays at a “trendy fashion-forward loft-style hotel” for four board members cost the district an average of $319 per person per night. Auditor Dave Yost called the expenses “excessive.”

The items listed in the letter didn’t rise to the level of a citation. That means the district isn’t required to follow the recommendations. Superintendent Tim Myers tells the newspaper the district will use the letter to establish better practices.

Myers said the reason the board members stayed at the hotel for the conference is because it was one of the few with vacancy near a conference at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

MORE: The Courier

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University of Findlay Names Debra Parker Dean of College of Pharmacy

03/20/15     11:41 a.m.

The Univesity of Findlay has selected a new dean for the College of Pharmacy following a nationwide search.

UF announced this morning that Debra Parker has been named dean. She has been serving as interim dean since July of 2014. Prior to being interim dean, Parker served as an associate professor of pharmacy practice at UF since 2006 and as chair of the Pharmacy Practice Department since 2009. In addition to her role at UF, Parker has maintained a clinical practice with St. Rita’s Health Management Group in Lima since 2012.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to have accepted the role of dean of The University of Findlay College of Pharmacy,” said Parker. “Findlay’s College of Pharmacy has a strong team, fantastic students and a bright future. I am honored to be able to be a part of it.”

Picture provided by the University of Findlay.

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Former Union Bank of Columbus Grove Vice President Indicted

03/20/15     7:45 a.m.

A Kalida man is facing up to 60 years in prison and a $3 million fine for making false financial statements.

The Lima News reports 53-year-old Barry Von Der Embse of Kalida was indicted on three counts of making false financial statements. He is charged with three counts of making false statements to the Union Bank Company of Columbus Grove while employed as vice president and commercial loan officer.

Von Der Embse is accused of failing to reveal his ownership of 85-acres of farmland in Shelby County, including $422,000 of cattle, a $12,600 farm loan and a $344,000 line of credit.

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Hancock County Children’s Protective Services Accused of Wrongdoing

03/20/15     4:35 a.m.

The Hancock County Commissioners heard from a Findlay woman accusing the county’s Children’s Protective Services of wrongdoing.

Teresa Smith alleged that in 2012 she made repeated attempts to have the agency investigate abuse of her child, but instead she was investigated and had the child removed. She also said the caseworker began dating her child’s father and within 90 days had rewritten the case plan to give custody to the father, whom the child had not known.

Smith told the commissioners that what happened was “wrong, unethical and immoral.” She said she hopes that by bringing the incident to their attention, the commissioners can incite change within the agency.

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Elmwood School Board Considering Therapy Dog Application

03/20/15     4:30 a.m.

The Elmwood School District is considering adding a new staff member, but not the kind you might think.

The Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune says OT instructor Angela Brockbrader asked the school board to consider applying for a therapy dog at their Monday meeting. The dog would be her responsibility from vet visits to insurance as well as the $50 application fee.

Other districts in the area with therapy dogs include Lakota, Tiffin, Springfield and Anthony Wayne.

Brockbrader said the dog would not only help OT students learn but could be used for student stress relief throughout the school. It can be up to three years after applying for a district to get approval. The district will decide on the issue at an April or May meeting.

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Wood County Commissioners to Oppose Potential Pipeline Projects

03/20/15     4:25 a.m.

The Wood County Commissioners say they will object to all pipeline projects until they get clear answers on the benefits.

The Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune says the commissioners will oppose the Nexus and Rover pipeline projects because of the negative impact it can have on property owners and farmers. The three commissioners made the announcement at their State of the County Address Thursday morning, saying the plans for the projects “appear to be drawn randomly with little regard” for any effects it may have.

The commissioners suggested running both pipelines through a designated area in the county, which would include right-of-way areas near highways to minimize impacts on private property.

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Fire at Findlay Factory Cascade Kenhar causes $250,000 of Damage

03/20/15     4:23 a.m.

A fire at a Findlay factory on Thursday caused a quarter of a million dollars of damage.

The blaze was reported at 1:30 in the morning in a paint booth at Cascade Kenhar in Tall Timbers Industrial Park, which makes forks for lift trucks. Firefighters had the flames under control by 1:45.

According to Battalion Chief Richard Clark there were no injuries reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Hancock County Sheriff Adding two K9 Units

03/19/15     3:55 p.m.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is adding two K9 units to its fleet.

At a Tuesday meeting, the County Commissioners approved about $79,200 for two 2016 Ford Explorer Police Interceptors equipped with emergency and K9 equipment.

The two new SUVs will replace two of the office’s older vehicles. The Sheriff’s Office last purchased four 2014 Chevrolet Caprices at the end of 2014 to replace older cruisers for just under $120,000.

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