Review Category : Local News

Drug Court Graduate Works To Pay It Forward

5/25/16 – 5:00 A.M.

A graduate of the Hancock County Drug Court is working to pay it forward. The Courier reports that while 25-year-old Devin Davis has completed the recovery program, he still showed up at Tuesday’s session to support others who are taking part. Davis tells the newspaper, “I’m just taking care of myself and trying to take care of others too.”

Davis entered the program in March of 2015 when he was facing a trafficking heroin charge. At the time, he told Judge Reginald Routson that he had been sober for months and wanted to be on the right path. He’s now been sober since July of 2014.

Davis says he appreciates what the program has done for him. He added, “if I wasn’t given all the support, I would probably be in jail or dead right now.”

There were 32 people taking part in the drug court as of last week.

MORE: The Courier

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Putnam County Teen Honored For Treatment Of Flag

5/25/16 – 4:24 A.M.

A Putnam County teenager is getting national recognition for following his instincts. WTOL-TV reports Cole Dotson of Continental was passing a school this past weekend when he noticed the American flag had fallen to the ground. Using his knowledge from Boy Scouts, Dotson picked up the flag and held on to it until someone from the school could hoist it up again. U.S. Flag etiquette rules say the flag should never be allowed to touch the ground.

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Owens Community College Enrollment Declining

5/25/16 – 4:22 A.M.

Fewer people will be attending Owens Community College this fall. The school says enrollment is expected to drop by as much as eleven-percent next year, continuing an ongoing downward trend. Enrollment declines have, in part, forced the college to cut programs and staff this year to shore up the bottom line. Despite the bad news, Owens officials say more of their students are staying in school to finish their degrees.

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Findlay Man Charged With Aggravated Murder

5/24/2016 – 5:48 pm

A Hancock County grand jury has indicted a Findlay man for the murder. The Courier reports that 34-year-old Joel Drain of Findlay was charged Tuesday with aggravated murder, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and retaliation in relation to the death of 56-year-old Randy Grose.

Grose was found dead in his residence at 1824 Sherry Street at 2:35 am on May 14th. Grose lived alone at the residence but the victim and Drain were reported to be long-time acquaintances. Retaliation charges stem from this incident because Grose was reportedly a witness with information regarding Drain’s prior felony case involving felonious assault on April 8, officials said. On that date, Joel Drain allegedly used a knife to stab his father, according to the indictment.

On May 14, Drain allegedly fled from Grose’s home in the victim’s car. Drain eventually turned himself into the Sidney Police Department, who notified Findlay police to check on Grose’s welfare.

Findlay Police found Grose dead inside the residence.

More: The Courier

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Whirlpool To Build Wind Turbines At Plants In Ottawa And Marion

5/24/2016 – 4:24 pm

Whirlpool Corp. announced it will build a wind turbine in Ottawa and three turbines in Marion. The Courier reports that the $13.5 million investment will help power its plants in the two communities. The Ottawa turbine will offset the plant’s energy consumption by 34 percent when it’s finished in later this year. The Marion turbines will offset that factories electrical consumption by 19 percent when completed in early 2017.

All the turbines will be built and financed by One Energy, of Findlay which built and currently operates the turbines at the Whirlpool plant in Findlay. That operation has been active since January.

More: The Courier

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Four Options Suggested For Court Security Upgrades

5/24/16 – 2:33 P.M.

Four options have been proposed to upgrade security at the courts on Dorney Plaza in Findlay.

Of the four plans recommended by the National Center for State Courts, “Option 1” would create one secure entrance for all three buildings. It would then have corridors connecting the security entrance to the courts. The second plan would be nearly the same as the first, but would also feature a graded pedestrian path to get over or under the corridors. Another plan would connect the municipal building and juvenile/probate court. It would also create a new security entrance for the county court. The fourth plan would see a screening location built for the juvenile probate court, with the county court and the municipal building getting upgrades to security at their respective entrances.

As far as cost goes, depending on the options selected the project could anywhere between $683,000 and $2.9 million. The report from the National Center for State Courts notes that the options that don’t connect all three buildings are not as cost-effective in the long-run as having one security entrance.

All the plans also feature secure parking lots.

Officials from the city, county, and courts met today to discuss the next step in the security upgrade process. The group decided that committees representing the Findlay Municipal Building, Hancock County Courthouse, and the Juvenile/Probate court will all review the proposals. They’ll then come back to the larger group to express any concerns about the plans they might have.

Option 1*:

*Not to Scale

“Option 1” would create a security entrance between the county courthouse and the juvenile/probate building. A 4,600 square foot corridor would then connect the buildings. The drawback is that it would prevent people from walking through Dorney Plaza. Instead, pedestrians would have to go to Main Street to walk north or south through the area. “Option 1” would cost between $1.8 and $2.4 million to build.

Option 2*:

*Not to Scale

“Option 2” would be nearly identical to “Option 1” but would include a graded pedestrian bridge over or under the corridor connecting the buildings. It would cost between $2.1 million and $2.9 million.

Option 3:

*Not to Scale

“Option 3” leaves Dorney Plaza open to pedestrians. It would connect the municipal building and the juvenile/probate court. A new security entrance would also be build for the county courthouse. This proposal is estimated to cost between $922,500 and $1.2 million.

Option 4:

*Not to Scale

“Option 4” doesn’t connect any of the buildings, instead upgrading security at the entrance to all three courts. Its projected costs would be between $683,000 and $915,000.

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Findlay Mayor To Brief Council On Army Corps Meeting

5/24/2016 – 2:00 pm

Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik will be meeting with the members of the Findlay City Council to provide them with an update on the meeting she attended last week with the US Army Corps of Engineers.

That meeting will be held Wednesday morning at 8:30am in the third-floor conference room at the Findlay Municipal Building.

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Ag Talk: High Soybean Prices May Determine Spring Planting

5/24/2016 – 12:52 pm

Given the predictions for the weather this spring, crop prices in the United States were thought to be on a low end by this time. However, there has been some serious fluctuating in the crop prices over the last few weeks. Ed Lentz from the Hancock Extension Office says that two reports, recently issued have had a significant impact on the changing crop prices. The first report was from South America.

Audio: Ed Lentz

Lentz also pointed to the ever changing China markets as another cause to the rapidly changing crop markets in the United States.

Audio: Ed Lentz

Lentz said that on the domestic front analysts are predicting a large soybean crush on the markets again this year, much like last year, as well as increased demand from livestock producers and ethanol companies. All factors which also contribute to the fluctuating crop prices. Given that many farmers out west have already planted corn for the year, Lentz predicts Ohio farmers, delayed due to weather, may be pushing soybeans this year less than corn due to the continued high market prices.

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Group Aims To Help Those Rescued From Human Trafficking In Recovery

5/24/2016 – 12:14 pm

Combating Human Trafficking involves more than just simply arresting those involved in the crime. It also includes providing treatment and recovery services to those involved, the vast majority of which are young girls. Jeff Wilbarger started the Daughter Project in Perrysburg which opened the first recovery home for young women rescued from human trafficking operations in the State of Ohio.

Audio: Jeff Wilbarger

Wilbarger says that human trafficking has become the most profitable enterprise for organized crime, just behind drugs. In the last year, human trafficking, prostitution, and pornography accounted for over $30 billion for crime syndicates. He also says what types of girls the traffickers are generally looking for.

Audio: Jeff Wilbarger

Wilbarger says that the average age of the girls targeted for human trafficking is 13. And generally, they will get hooked on drugs and then be coerced into working in strip clubs or other places to earn money to feed their drug addictions.

So, if people want to learn more about human trafficking and want to get involved in the efforts to combat it, Wilbarger says that this Saturday there will be a four-hour session in Toledo on the different aspects of trafficking and ways to get involved.

Audio: Jeff Wilbarger

The training will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2016 – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Emmanuel Christian High School in Toledo. You can register online now at The Daughter Project.org.

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Federal Funding For Mitigation Isn’t Likely, Commissioners Say Project Still Benefits The Area

5/25/16 – 11:12 A.M.

The Hancock County Commissioners talked more about their recent meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday. The consensus the commissioners came to is that even if the Corps uses a different computer model to determine a cost/benefit ratio, the project isn’t likely to qualify for federal funding…

Audio: Steve Wilson

Project manager Steve Wilson says the federal ratio only considers a narrow scope.

Commissioner Mark Gazarek says while the project likely won’t fit a federal cost/benefit ratio, it would still have local benefits…

Audio: Mark Gazarek

Gazarek adds the federal cost/benefit ratio only considers national economic impacts, not local or regional.

While the Corps has estimated the diversion channel plan would cost $80 million, Commissioner Brian Robertson says the Ottawa mitigation plan has come in well under initial Corps estimates…

Audio: Brian Robertson

The lowering of Road I9 is finished for the most part. Final plans for a diversion channel in Ottawa are due soon.

The commissioners also disagree with any notion they owe the Corps $160,000 for work done on the mitigation study…

Audio: Phil Riegle

The commissioners have talked to engineering firms about handling the project locally. They are now reviewing the applicants.

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