Review Category : Local News

Local Unemployment Rate Drops In February

3/28/17 – 11:23 A.M.

Hancock County has the third lowest unemployment rate in Ohio. New numbers from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Service show Hancock County stands at 4.1 percent unemployment. That’s down from 4.4 percent in January.

Putnam, Wood, and Wyandot counties are all below 5 percent joblessness.

Unemployment dropped in February for every area county except for one. Unemployment went from 7.2 percent in January to 7.3 percent in February in Henry County.

All area counties except Putnam have higher unemployment compared to February of 2016.

Unemployment Numbers By County:
Allen: 5.8% (Feb 17) 6.0% (Jan 17) 5.2% (Feb 16)
Hancock: 4.1% (Feb 17) 4.4% (Jan 17) 3.9% (Feb 16)
Hardin: 5.7% (Feb 17) 6.1% (Jan 17) 4.9% (Feb 16)
Henry: 7.3% (Feb 17) 7.2% (Jan 17) 6.7% (Feb 16)
Putnam: 4.4% (Feb 17) 4.8%(Jan 17) 4.4% (Feb 16)
Seneca: 5.7% (Feb 17) 6.1% (Jan 17) 5.5% (Feb 16)
Wood: 4.8% (Feb 17) 5.0% (Jan 17) 4.4% (Feb 16)
Wyandot: 4.7% (Feb 17) 4.9% (Jan 17) 4.0% (Feb 16)

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Missing Findlay Girl Found Safe In Arizona

3/28/17 – 11:01 A.M.

Authorities in Flagstaff Arizona have safely recovered a missing 3-year-old from Findlay. Police Lt. Robert Ring says Mila Ochoa was with her parents, 24-year-old Cheyenne Harris and 39-year-old Rudy Ochoa. Children’s services took Mila into protective custody and will return her to Ohio at a later date. Ring says he expects Harris and Ochoa to return to Ohio as well. He doesn’t expect prosecutors to file charges in the case.

Mila had been missing since March 13. Ring says Harris and Ochoa left Findlay with their daughter before officials could serve a custody order for the girl.

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Arts Center Can Use Part Of County Parking Lots For Events

3/28/17 – 10:41 A.M.

The Marathon Center for the Performing Arts can now use parts of two Hancock County-owned parking lots for overflow parking. The county commissioners voted in favor of an agreement during their Tuesday meeting. The deal allows the center to use parts of a lot on the southwest corner of South Cory and West Main Cross streets. It also allows for extra parking in part of a lot on the northwest corner of South Cory and West Front streets.

The deal says the lots are available to the MCPA two hours before and after a performance. However, parking for events at the center can’t start until after 5 p.m. on weekdays. County employees use the lots during the day.

The Marathon Center for the Performing Arts must include the parking areas under its liability policy. It also must maintain the lots after using them.

*Agreement allows for parking in parts of highlighted lots.

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McComb Looks To Regulate Door-To-Door Sales

3/28/17 – 5:29 A.M.

McComb officials are looking at restricting door-to-door sales. The Courier reports council discussed the matter Monday night. Village Administrator Kevin Siferd says residents have complained about several sales people blanketing the village in recent weeks.

Council sent the issue to the General Government Committee for further consideration.

McComb’s council talked about regulating door-to-door sales in 2011. Nothing ever came of the discussion though.

MORE: The Courier

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Hancock County Fire Departments Share Grant For Communication Equipment

3/28/17 – 5:20 A.M.

Several Hancock County fire departments are splitting a grant for communication equipment. The state fire marshal’s office presented checks to the departments Monday afternoon. The departments are using the money to pay for equipment that lets them communicate with emergency agencies all across Ohio.

Jenera got more than $36,000 while Liberty and Blanchard Townships received more than $20,000. Allen Township Arlington, Washington Township, and Vanlue all received between $2,000 and $10,000.

A complete breakdown of the amount each department got is on our website.

Amount By Department:

Jenera, $36,594
Liberty Township, $22,030
Blanchard Township, $20,070
Allen Township, $9,746
Arlington, $6,184
Washington Township, $4,560
Vanlue, $2,880

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Alan Hackenberg Nominated To Fill Municipal Court Judge Opening

3/28/17 – 5:10 A.M.

Only one person applied to fill an open municipal court judge spot in Findlay. The Courier reports the Hancock County Republican Party nominated Alan Hackenberg to fill the position during a Monday meeting. Hackenberg is Findlay’s assistant law director. He’s served in that role since 1994. He is also a partner in a private law firm and McComb’s village solicitor.

The spot opened up when Governor John Kasich appointed Judge Jonathan Starn to an open judge’s position in the Hancock County Common Pleas Court. Starn is a Republican so the local GOP gets to nominate a replacement for the rest of his term.

Kasich has to approve the nomination. GOP Chairman Jim Baker says he’s not sure when that process will happen.

MORE: The Courier

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Text Messages Play Key Role In Hancock County Overdose Death Trial

3/28/17 – 5:00 A.M.

The trial of a Findlay man charged in an overdose death could hinge on text messages. The Courier reports Nathan Brown’s lawyer filed a motion Monday asking Judge Reginald Routson to exclude a log of text messages between his client and Jarrod Barger. Merle Dech questioned the authenticity of the log during Monday’s proceedings. Routson will consider the motion before the trial resumes today.

Authorities charged Brown with involuntary manslaughter and corrupting another with drugs following Barger’s 2016 death. Prosecutors say Barger texted Brown several times the day he died, asking Brown to deliver heroin to his home. Assistant Prosecutor Steve Powell said the heroin Barger took contained fentanyl, a powerful painkiller.

The prosecution also called Barger’s mother and sister to the stand Monday. They both testified about Jarrod Barger’s struggles with addiction.

The trial continues today.

MORE: The Courier

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Hancock County Residents Talk About Opioid Issues In The Community

03/27/17 – 9:11 P.M.

The ADAMHS Board and the Opiate Task Force held a town hall meeting to get community input. ADAMHS Board chair John Kissh says that one of the things mentioned was that they need to get the word out.

John Kissh

Kissh said that another major point of discussion was building a detox center.

John Kissh

Kissh added that the board and the opiate task force are looking into the possibility of getting a detox center.

John Kissh

The town hall meeting filled the Great Room at the First Presbyterian Church in Findlay. All the ideas brought to the ADAMHS Board and the task force will be put up for consideration and reviewed.

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Ohio Means Jobs Wants To Help Get People Hired By Removing Barriers

03/27/17 – 5:12 P.M.

Ohio Means Jobs Hancock County is holding a job fair Friday to help connect employers with employees. Ohio Means Jobs’ Jill Stonebraker said that it is a good place to see what is available.

Jill Stonebraker

The job fair will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Owens Community College’s Wellness Center.


Jill Stonebraker

She added that they also have a clothing bank that they can use to get you clothes for an interview. Their goal is to remove barriers to help people find jobs.

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Putnam County Putting Reflective Strips On Some Traffic Signs

03/27/17 – 4:21 P.M.
The Putnam County Engineer Highway Department will use a grant to install reflective strips to traffic signs. The Putnam County Engineer’s Office reports that they received a $4,000 Highway Safety Improvement Program grant. The money will help with a $5,000 project to install almost 700 extra reflective strips.
Eleven Townships and eight Villages are taking part in the effort as well. They will add over 800 new strips, giving the county over 1,500 reflective strips to improve traffic safety.
The Engineer’s Office said that they will hopefully continue adding more strips throughout the county in future years.
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