Review Category : Local News

I-75 Crash Injures Findlay Man

11/19/15 – 5:19 A.M.

A Findlay man was injured in a crash on I-75 early Wednesday morning. The State Highway Patrol reports the collision happened in the northbound lanes of the interstate near County Road 99 around 12:30 a.m.

22-year-old Dakota Conkle was driving in the right lane when he fell asleep. His car hit a guardrail and then a semi in the left lane. Conkle was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of a possible concussion. He was also cited for a marked lanes violation and a seatbelt violation.

The truck driver was not hurt.

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Boy Injured In Findlay Crash

11/19/15 – 5:10 A.M.

A two-car crash injured a Findlay boy Wednesday afternoon. The Findlay Police Department says the collision took place at the intersection of North Blanchard Street and East Foulke Avenue around 3:45 p.m.

A car driven by 25-year-old Kyle Niermann of Findlay was stopped on Foulke, but then pulled into the path of a car driven by 27-year-old Amber Breyman of Findlay. Breyman’s passenger, 8-year-old Masen Breyman, was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital as a precaution.

Niermann was cited for causing the crash.

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UF Police Chief Search Continues

11/19/15 – 5:03 A.M.

The University of Findlay’s search for a police chief is winding down. The Courier reports the school has narrowed the list to two candidates for the new position. UF officials will pick between Alexander Bebris, the chief of police and fire for Oakwood, in Montgomery County, and Brian Hurd, assistant director of the police department at John Carroll University.

The school plans to have the chief in place by the start of the spring semester in January. The new police department could start running at the start of the next school year in August.

The University is also working to finish cooperative agreements with the Findlay Police Department and Hancock County Sheriff’s Office. Those could be in place in the next couple of weeks.

MORE: The Courier

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Deadline To Run In 2016 Primary Races Coming Soon

11/19/15 – 4:52 A.M.

If you’re thinking about running for office in 2016, the filing deadline is approaching. The Courier reports potential candidates have until 4 p.m. on December 16 to get their paperwork in. The earlier than normal deadline happens every four years, when Ohio moves its primary election to March because of the presidential race. The 2016 primary will be held on March 15.

Most Hancock County offices are up for election in 2016, including two county commissioner seats. The 2016 election season will also see races for U.S. House seats, State House seats, and one of Ohio’s Senate seats.

MORE: The Courier

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Addiction In Hancock County: One Pharmacist’s Journey To Recovery

11/18/2015 – 10:46 pm

This is part of a fourteen-week series highlighting many aspects of drug use, enforcement of drug laws and treatment that community members and authorities in Hancock County face.

When it comes to opiate addiction, people who work in pharmacies are highly susceptible to addiction. Statistically, one and six pharmacists have struggled with opiate addiction of some form or another. In the final chemical dependency seminar at the University of Findlay, people heard the personal story of one such individual who struggled for years with opiate addiction.

Chris Hart came from a good home. He was an average student, had good grades and went to college to become a pharmacist. Hart didn’t party in high school, but he did for one year in college. After that year, he transferred to ONU where they enrolled in the pharmacy program. Hart says that he had a desire to be liked, but after graduating and working in a pharmacy for several years, Hart found it difficult to be liked in this line of work. He mentioned that telling people about issues with their medications and having to reject people for medications took its toll. After one particularly hard day, and given his ease of access to medications, Hart took some Percocet. He felt better and soon began taking more and more drugs to maintain that feeling of euphoria.

“And one day, through a slip I found this whole new world of drugs that made me so happy. So I lived and breathed for them” said Hart.

But eventually Hart’s addiction was discovered. He lost his license and was sent into treatment. The treatment programs had their effect and after several years Hart was able to get his license back and be a practicing pharmacist again. At first he would be monitored and drug tested, but over time as he proved himself, he was no longer required to be tested or attend meetings. Hart relapsed in his addiction.

“I quit going to meetings. I didn’t have the safety net of drug screens anymore. I didn’t call my sponsor. I heard the things they told me, in AA and the old timers that it’s worse the second time, but when you don’t treat your disease then the drugs can start talking to you again.” said Hart.

Hart acknowledged that everyone has stresses, and everyone has issues in their everyday lives that can make them turn to opiates to get by.

“But the difference is, not everybody has those little magic bottles sitting right there at arms length that take it all away. That’s what makes us so susceptible. The minute that a pharmacist walks into a pharmacy, they are at a 30% greater risk of becoming chemically dependent.”

When he was caught the second time, Hart found that he would be arrested and incarcerated for stealing drugs. He drove out of his town, and away from his family and friends and attempted suicide at a hotel. He was found, and he was taken to the emergency room where his life was saved. He ended up losing his license permanently and was incarcerated for sixty days in jail. After completing a second treatment program and not knowing what to do, Hart reached out to colleagues at ONU and started a chemical dependency elective at the College of pharmacy to tell his story and teach pharmacy students about how easy it is for them to become dependent on opiates.

“And I realized quickly that students wanted this information. This is an elective, they don’t have to take this, but they want to know about it. Not about me, but they want to know about the experience, so as long as there’s a need I’ll try to keep doing it.” said Hart.

From Ohio Northern, Hart began to get calls from colleges across northwest Ohio, including the University of Findlay. Today he lectures at five colleges on chemical dependency and addiction and will soon be adding more. Hart says that addiction is a disease which can be inflicted upon anyone.

“I’m an ordinary guy. I’m nobody special. I’m just an ordinary guy who became addicted. It can happen to anybody. I didn’t drink or do drugs in high school or college. I was a late bloomer. I’m just a nice guy who this happened to. So it can happen to anybody.” said Hart.

Hart will use visuals to aid in his presentation, and he appeared in his jumpsuit and handcuffs from jail to help show how opiate addiction can take over a person over the course of time and where you can end up.

This was the last public seminar in the series. The seminars were sponsored by The University of Findlay College of Pharmacy, Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services, Hancock County Community Partnership and the Hancock County Opiate Task Force.

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Findlay Man Injured In Two Vehicle Crash Involving Motorcycle

11/18/2015 – 5:02 pm

A Findlay man was injured in a two-vehicle injury crash in Liberty Township Wednesday. According to information from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, around 12:40 pm Wednesday 53-year-old Christi Frankart of Leipsic was traveling southbound on St Rt. 186 approached the intersection at US 224. After stopping, Frankart pulled out from the intersection and was hit by a motorcycle driven by 39-year-old Michael Miller of Findlay.

Miller was transported to Blanchard Valley Hospital for possible injuries and Frankart was cited for failure to yield the right of way from a posted stop sign.

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Findlay Police Warn Of IRS Phone Scam

11/18/2015 – 4:48 pm

Findlay police are warning of an Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Treasury phone scam. Police report that multiple city residents have received a phone call from someone claiming to be a U.S. Treasury agent. The scammer then attempts to get the potential victim to send in payment for a debt that that citizen owes to the government. The caller threatens that noncompliance will result in arrest and trial.

Those receiving this call are advised to hang up the phone and to not give any information. The U.S. Treasury or IRS will not contact a person by phone or email. The IRS will generally contact people by mail regarding unpaid taxes, and the IRS will not ask for payment using a prepaid debit card or wire transfer, police said. The IRS also will not ask for a credit card number over the phone.

The following suggestions were also made:

  • If you owe federal taxes or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
  • If you do not owe taxes, fill out the “IRS Impersonation scam” form on the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s website, or call 800-366-4484.
  • You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.
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Services Made Available In Wake Of ONU Student Suicide

11/18/2015 – 4:34 pm

A student at Ohio Northern University in Ada was found dead this morning. Indications are that the student committed suicide in one of the campus dorms. Ohio Northern University President Daniel A. DiBiasio issued a statement this morning indicating that support services from both counseling services and religious life were made available to all University students today in the McIntosh Center.

University Chaplin David McDonald also organized a prayer service for all students as well as community members Wednesday afternoon.

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State Legislature May Change Farmland Value Calculations

11/18/2015 – 4:03 pm

The State Senate is working to change and update the way that agricultural property values are calculated to reduce the financial burden on landowners using the land for conservation purposes. According to a release from State Senator Cliff Hite, a proposal will modify the Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) formula which determines the value of land for tax purposes.

CAUV is a property tax relief program for agriculture land in Ohio. It allows farmland to be taxed according to its agriculture use rather than at full market value. The proposed changes would mean land set aside for soil preservation, water quality protection, and other environmental management efforts would no longer be valued as though it were producing crops.

Both the House and the Senate have introduced bills on the subject and both chambers will refer the proposals to committees for further review.

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State Patrol Reminds Drivers That Safety Belts Save Lives

11/18/2015 – 2:24 pm

During the holiday season with more motorists being on the roadways, drivers and passengers need to remember to buckle up. Lt. Matt Crow from the Findlay Post of the Ohio State Patrol says that the Thanksgiving holiday in particular sees the greatest amount of holiday drivers.

Audio: Lt. Matt Crow

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that around 361 lives were saved in Ohio in 2013 as a result of drivers using seat belts. And Lt. Crow says that buckling up isn’t just a safety measure, but it is state law.

Audio: Lt. Matt Crow

Troopers wrote over 121,000 citations last year for failure to wear a safety belt. When out on the roadways this holiday season, remember to buckle up.

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