Review Category : Local News

Unemployment Up Across The Region For January

3/8/16 – 10:36 A.M.

Unemployment was up all across the region in January. While rates jumped in the first month of the year, according to figures from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, unemployment is still lower in every county in the region than it was in January of 2015. Unemployment typically jumps in January with the end of seasonal employment.

In Hancock County the jobless rate was up to 4.4 percent from 3.6 percent in December. While only 200 people left the labor force, 500 less people were employed in January. That led to 300 more people looking for work during the first month of the year.

Three other local counties were below 5 percent unemployment in January; Wyandot (4.5), Putnam (4.9), and Wood (4.9). Elsewhere in the area, Hardin County saw 5.2 percent joblessness, Allen was at 5.5, Seneca County saw 6.1 percent unemployment, and Henry County was at 7.2 percent.

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Smoke Detector Initiative Set To Take Place In Bluffton

3/8/16 – 7:32 A.M.

A joint effort from the Bluffton Fire Department, the Red Cross, and Bluffton University will help residents in the village prepare for fires in their homes. The Courier reports teams of three will go door-to-door on March 26 and offer free home assessments. Fire Chief Joe Kinn says the groups will check to see if a smoke detector has been installed properly in the house. They’ll also check the batteries.

Kinn said if a home does not have a smoke detector, a new one will be installed at no cost to the homeowner.

The group hopes to visit between 100 to 200 homes.

MORE: The Courier

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Counterfeit Money Used In Forest

3/8/16 – 7:23 A.M.

Area businesses are urged to be on the lookout after counterfeit money was used at a business in Forest. WKTN radio says the village police department recently received a report from a local business about the issue. Cashiers are advised to look for security measures on bills, and to use a counterfeit detection pen if possible.


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Fire Destroys Putnam County Garage

3/8/16 – 6:58 A.M.

A Putnam County garage was destroyed by a fire Monday morning. The Putnam County Sentinel reports firefighters from three departments were called to 23742 Road M near Ottoville late in the morning. The building and its contents were a complete loss. A nearby home and a second outbuilding were not damaged though.

So far there’s no word on what sparked the blaze.

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Five Indicted For Thefts Committed Across Five Counties Last Year

3/8/16 – 5:24 A.M.

Five people from the area have been indicted in Wood County for their alleged roles in a multi-county crime spree. The Sentinel-Tribune reports the group stole things like catalytic converters, wheel rims, car batteries and radiators from properties in Hacock, Seneca, Wood, Ottawa, and Lucas Counties. The crimes took place between June 9 and October 31 of last year.

The group is also accused of stealing trailers and ATVs, and selling stolen items.

33-year-old Andrew Peace of Findlay, 32-year-old Amanda Fritz-Oldaker of Fostoria, 24-year-old Kaylea Walter of Bradner, 37-year-old John Fritz of Tiffin, and 24-year-old Steven Flickinger of Toledo all face on charge of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

MORE: Sentinel-Tribune

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Arlington Discontinues Spring Trash Day

3/8/16 – 5:15 A.M.

A spring-trash pick up in Arlington is being put on the shelf, at least for now. The Courier reports the village will do away with its annual junk collection day. In previous years Arlington residents could set unwanted things at the curbside to be picked up. Council members cited the expense and left-over mess as the reason for discontinuing the service.

Council had spent around $10,000 a year on the pick-up according to councilman Thad Dempster.

Dempster says the service could potentially be brought back if there is an “overwhelming” response from the community.

MORE: The Courier

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Campaign Spending Reports For Recorder Candidates Released

3/8/16 – 5:08 A.M.

Campaign spending reports show while both Hancock County recorder candidates raised roughly the same amount of money during the last reporting period, Tracey Coldren has outspent Heather Pendleton. The Courier reports the Coldren campaign reports around $3,300 in spending, while the Pendleton campaign reports $237 in spending for the same time period.

Coldren’s campaign has collected a little more than $1,500 plus her own contribution of $1,300. The campaign carried forward $651 from the last reporting period, leaving a balance of $100. The campaign also has an outstanding loan total of $4,300.

Pendleton’s campaign reports $1,195 in donations plus a balance carried forward of $2,010. That leaves her campaign with a nearly $3,000 balance. The campaign has also received $544 worth of in-kind donations. The campaign has $1,500 in outstanding loans.

MORE: The Courier

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Area School Districts Fight For More Local Control

3/8/16 – 4:55 A.M.

Four area school districts have joined a group that’s trying to take back local control of education. The Courier reports Cory-Rawson, Liberty-Benton, McComb, and Riverdale are among 37 school districts in the Northwest/West Central Ohio Public School Advocacy Network. LB Superintendent Jim Knable tells the newspaper the districts want to regain control of curriculum, testing, and how money is spent.

Knable says right now they want to find out if they are on the same page with area residents. A survey has been put together, you can take it by clicking here.

Knable says one of the primary goals of the group is to reduce unfunded mandates from the state. He says there have been about 100 unfunded mandates over the past five years alone.

MORE: The Courier

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Cicada’s Expected To Return In Eastern Ohio This Summer.

3/7/2016 – 6:48 pm

When the weather is warm and all you want to do is head outside, you’re met with an overwhelming noise. Chances are it’s that time of the decade where cicadas are making their return. Cicada’s are large insects that are sometimes called locusts, however, they are not really locusts. They are the best known and longest lived species of insect in North America, according to Ohio State University.

Cicada’s live mostly underground but emerge once every 13 to 17 years. This year, eastern Ohio is expected to see a large contingent of cicada’s emerging from the ground. Northwest and Central Ohio is expected to see a major cicada population emerge in 2021. They also molt, or shed their skin leaving the shredded skins behind on plants and trees.

Cicada’s can damage young plants that are beginning to grow, and this can be a major issue in tree nurseries. When a major emergence is expected, it’s recommended that new orchard plantings are postponed until the following spring, and home gardeners are encouraged to delay planting until late summer or even fall after the cicada’s have died. It is not recommended to control cicada’s using chemicals.

For more information on Cicada’s and the upcoming emergence this spring, visit the Ohio State University research on cicada’s.

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Mt. Blanchard Teen Pleas No Contest To Abduction Charge

3/7/2016 – 3:19 pm

A Mount Blanchard teen has pled no contest to abduction stemming from and incident at a Riverdale High School football game this past August. The Courier reports 19 year old Brandon M. Bowman pleaded no contest to an amended charge of abduction. Through plea negotiations a felonious assault charge against him was dismissed upon his agreement to testify against his co-defendant.

In October, he and co-defendant, 19 year old Luke Bowman also of Mount Blanchard were each charged with kidnapping and felonious assault after they reportedly caused harm to a 17 year old Wharton boy. The indictments state that the pair restrained the victim which created risk of serious physical harm and they did not release the victim unharmed in a safe place. The victim had a broken orbital bone and damage to eye muscles.

Brandon Bowman could face up to 36 months in prison.

More: The Courier

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