Review Category : Top Stories

Area Counties Share Grant To Help Kids In Crisis

9/4/14 – 11:15 A.M.

Six counties in our area will share a grant aimed at helping children in crisis situations. Hancock, Putnam, and Allen Counties are part of the group that will use the $1.4 million dollars.

John Martin is the director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and spoke at today’s press conference. Martin says the money will help area agencies ease situations before they spiral out of control…

Audio: John Martin

Josh Ebling is the CEO of the Family Resource Center of Northwest Ohio. He says sometimes problems stem from a child experiencing mental health issues for the first time…

Audio: Josh Ebling

Ebling says the grant money will help provide after hours services for kids in those situations.

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Cooper Tire Issues Recall

9/2/14 – 11:23 A.M.

Cooper Tire & Rubber is recalling nearly 1,500 tires. Modern Tire Dealer reports certain Wild Country Radial XTX Sport tires, size 265/65R18 are affected by the recall notice. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the tires could experience cracking and broken ply cords in the lower sidewall on the intended outboard side above the rim.

The tires were made between June 1 and June 28 of this year.

Cooper Tire is notifying owners about the problem. Dealers will inspect the tires and replace them if needed. Owners can also contact customer service at (800)854-6288. The number for the recall is 159.

MORE: Modern Tire Dealer

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Fair Gallery: Junior Fair Participants Hard At Work

8/27/14 – 12:20 P.M.

To the naked eye, mornings at the Hancock County Fair can seem pretty slow. Rides aren’t running, games are closed, and the food vendors are just prepping for the day.

However, Junior Fair participants know that’s not the real story. Area kids are getting up early…

Audio: Junior Fair members talk about what time they get started…

…and taking care of their animals…

Audio: Junior Fair members talk about the work they do…

Junior Fair events run through out the day. Many of the county schools are off for the week so that their students can participate in the fair events.

Gallery:

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UPDATE: University Of Findlay Students Robbed At Gunpoint Early This Morning

8/25/15 – 8:46 A.M.
UPDATE – 10:22 A.M.

The University of Findlay is reminding students to be cautious after two students were robbed at gunpoint early this morning…

Audio: David Emsweller

UF Vice President of Student Affairs Dave Emsweller says students have been referred to safety guidlines on the school’s website in the wake of the incident.

He adds the school is taking this very seriously…

Audio: David Emsweller

The Findlay Police Department says the robbery happened in the 300 block of Howard Street around 12:30 a.m.

Two people were walking in the area when they were approached by a man who pulled a gun on them. The suspect took the victims’ cell phones and ran away.

The man is described as black, about 5’6″ to 5’8″ inches tall, and around 160 to 170 pounds. He had a muscular build and was wearing black clothing and a black ski mask.

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call the police at (419)424-7163.


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Findlay Business Damaged By Fire Monday Morning

8/25/14 – 8:34 A.M.
UPDATE: 10:57 A.M.

IMAG0452

A Findlay business was destroyed by a fire this morning. Firefighters were called to Sinks Flower Shop and Greenhouse in the 400 block of 2nd Street. No one was injured but the owners say the building say it was completely destroyed.

The business is owned and operated by Chuck and Paula Clapper. Paula tells the Courier the fire looked suspicious, but didn’t go into further detail. Fire Chief Tom Lonyo says an investigation is underway. Firefighters are expected to contend with hot spots at the location the rest of the day.

A plaque near the front door says the business was established in 1926.

The Clappers also own Alpine Florist at 2700 North Main Street. All orders from Sinks will be transferred to Alpine.


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Maumee Watershed Conservancy District Asked To Take Over Blanchard Projects In Ottawa

8/21/14 – 4:55 A.M.

Ottawa Village Council has asked for the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District to take over a proposed flood reduction project. The Putnam County Sentinel reports the Blanchard River Flood Mitigation Coalition has also asked the Maumee group to take the reigns.

Now both groups wait as Maumee District members decide if they want to take over leadership of the Lower Blanchard project. The plan calls for altering a the Road I-9 Bridge and a diversion channel for the river. If approved, an engineering firm could be selected to do the work.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project manager Mike Pniewski tells the newspaper the conservancy district can consider more cost benefits compared to what the Corps can do. That includes items like reductions in property value, the cost to safety services, and the expense of road closures.

Ottawa Assistant Municipal Director Jason Phillips says if the Maumee Conservancy decides to take on the plan, work on the I-9 bridge could start next year.

MORE: Putnam County Sentinel

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Fire Reported At Farm Near Jenera This Morning

8/20/14 – 4:38 A.M.

Several Hancock County fire departments were called to what was described as a straw or hay fire early this morning. The blaze was reported at the Boehm Dairy Farm at 7326 Township Road 25 around 2:30 a.m. The farm is located north of Jenera between Township Road 60 and State Route 698.

Fire departments from Jenera, Rawson, Mount Cory, and Arlington were all called to the scene.

No other details were available.


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Unemployment Up For Most Area Counties In July

8/19/14 – 9:00 A.M.

Unemployment is on the rise in the region. Numbers released today by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show only two counties in our area are still below 5 percent joblessness. Hancock County’s unemployment rate now stands at 4.8 percent, up from 4.5 percent in June. Wyandot County now has the lowest unemployment rate in the region, at 4.7 percent. That’s no different than what the rate was in June.

While jobless rates were up for most of the state, Henry County was down. Unemployment was 5.3 percent in July, compared to 5.6 percent in June.

Elsewhere in the region, Putnam County was at 5 percent, Henry checked in at 5.3, Seneca and Wood Counties were at 5.6 percent in July, Hardin clocked in at 6, and Allen County’s unemployment rate was 6.1 percent.

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Battle Rages for Mosul Dam, Fate Uncertain for Millions Downstream

iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) — U.S.-backed Kurdish forces have recaptured parts of the Mosul Dam from Islamist extremists, Kurdish and Iraqi military officials said Monday, in a battle for what is effectively a potential weapon of mass destruction in Iraq.

Gen. Karim Fatah, commander of a Kurdish peshmerga battalion near the dam, told ABC News Kurdish forces have taken control of both ends of the dam, but fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) still control some positions near the western end of the structure. The Iraqi Ministry of Defense issued a statement saying large parts of the dam had been retaken.

The Kurdish offensive has been aided by U.S. and Iraqi airstrikes on ISIS targets, including 15 U.S. strikes Monday, according to the U.S. military.

ISIS managed to take control of the dam last week, an eventuality about which a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department had previously said the U.S. government was “extremely concerned.”

On Sunday, President Obama sent a letter to Congress notifying lawmakers that he had authorized airstrikes against ISIS targets at the dam “in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”

“The failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, endanger U.S. personnel and facilities, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace,” the letter said.

The stark language actually may have downplayed the danger posed by the dam, according to prior U.S. estimates of the damage that could be caused should the dam be breached — or even if it is simply left alone to degrade on its own without the constant repair work that has been critical to keeping the dam right side up for the past 30 years.

The Mosul Dam was built in the mid-1980s on what reports indicate was a terrible spot to build a sprawling dam.

“Mosul Dam, the largest dam in Iraq, was constructed on a foundation of soluble soils that are continuously dissolving, resulting in the formation of cavities and voids underground that place the dam at risk for failure,” said an urgent letter sent from David Petraeus, then commanding general of the U.S. Army, and Ryan Crocker, then U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2007.

The dam requires “extraordinary engineering measures” — namely constant grouting operations — to fill in the holes and “maintain the structural integrity and operating capability of the dam,” according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) report from the same year.

For 30 years –- and through several periods of violent conflict — the Iraqi government has managed to keep the dam upright by continuously pumping in literally tons of grout like an industrial version of the little Dutch boy, as a geotechnical expert who worked on the dam put it.

But the U.S. says any failure of the dam could be “catastrophic.”

“[T]he most severe impact of a dam failure would be [for] the City of Mosul, located 50 kilometers [31 miles] downstream of the dam,” Petraeus’ and Crocker’s 2007 letter said. “Assuming a worse [sic] case scenario, an instantaneous failure of Mosul Dam filled to its maximum operating level could result in a flood wave over 20 meters [65 feet] deep at the city of Mosul, which would result in a significant loss of life and property.”

Mosul is estimated to be home to more than 1.5 million people. Flood waters, albeit at a lower level, could reach all the way to Baghdad, more than 200 miles further down the Tigris.

A 2011 report written by an USACE official and published in Water Power magazine estimated failure “could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths.”

Recently, a U.S. official confirmed that the dire 2007 estimate still stands. After Mosul, flood waters would travel for eight to 10 days before reaching Baghdad, where the U.S. Embassy there could see one to four meters of water, the official said.

The U.S. State Department said earlier this month that control of the dam was one of ISIS’ goals in Iraq. Late last week, the extremist group got its wish, took control of the dam and immediately inherited the urgent grouting problems.

On Friday, an Iraqi government official said that the lead dam engineer and his team were still on site and operating the dam at ISIS’ behest. Supplies to continue grouting operations were available and the water level was also being kept lower than normal to reduce the risk of a breach, the official said then.

ISIS may not necessarily want the dam to fail, considering the extremist group controls portions of the land that would be flooded. The dam is also a “key source” of power and water for the surrounding area, making it a vital piece of infrastructure either way for whoever is in control, another State Department spokesperson told ABC News last week.

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Battle Rages for Mosul Dam, Fate Uncertain for Millions Downstream

iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) — U.S.-backed Kurdish forces have recaptured parts of the Mosul Dam from Islamist extremists, Kurdish and Iraqi military officials said Monday, in a battle for what is effectively a potential weapon of mass destruction in Iraq.

Gen. Karim Fatah, commander of a Kurdish peshmerga battalion near the dam, told ABC News Kurdish forces have taken control of both ends of the dam, but fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) still control some positions near the western end of the structure. The Iraqi Ministry of Defense issued a statement saying large parts of the dam had been retaken.

The Kurdish offensive has been aided by U.S. and Iraqi airstrikes on ISIS targets, including 15 U.S. strikes Monday, according to the U.S. military.

ISIS managed to take control of the dam last week, an eventuality about which a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department had previously said the U.S. government was “extremely concerned.”

On Sunday, President Obama sent a letter to Congress notifying lawmakers that he had authorized airstrikes against ISIS targets at the dam “in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”

“The failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians, endanger U.S. personnel and facilities, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services to the Iraqi populace,” the letter said.

The stark language actually may have downplayed the danger posed by the dam, according to prior U.S. estimates of the damage that could be caused should the dam be breached — or even if it is simply left alone to degrade on its own without the constant repair work that has been critical to keeping the dam right side up for the past 30 years.

The Mosul Dam was built in the mid-1980s on what reports indicate was a terrible spot to build a sprawling dam.

“Mosul Dam, the largest dam in Iraq, was constructed on a foundation of soluble soils that are continuously dissolving, resulting in the formation of cavities and voids underground that place the dam at risk for failure,” said an urgent letter sent from David Petraeus, then commanding general of the U.S. Army, and Ryan Crocker, then U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2007.

The dam requires “extraordinary engineering measures” — namely constant grouting operations — to fill in the holes and “maintain the structural integrity and operating capability of the dam,” according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) report from the same year.

For 30 years –- and through several periods of violent conflict — the Iraqi government has managed to keep the dam upright by continuously pumping in literally tons of grout like an industrial version of the little Dutch boy, as a geotechnical expert who worked on the dam put it.

But the U.S. says any failure of the dam could be “catastrophic.”

“[T]he most severe impact of a dam failure would be [for] the City of Mosul, located 50 kilometers [31 miles] downstream of the dam,” Petraeus’ and Crocker’s 2007 letter said. “Assuming a worse [sic] case scenario, an instantaneous failure of Mosul Dam filled to its maximum operating level could result in a flood wave over 20 meters [65 feet] deep at the city of Mosul, which would result in a significant loss of life and property.”

Mosul is estimated to be home to more than 1.5 million people. Flood waters, albeit at a lower level, could reach all the way to Baghdad, more than 200 miles further down the Tigris.

A 2011 report written by an USACE official and published in Water Power magazine estimated failure “could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths.”

Recently, a U.S. official confirmed that the dire 2007 estimate still stands. After Mosul, flood waters would travel for eight to 10 days before reaching Baghdad, where the U.S. Embassy there could see one to four meters of water, the official said.

The U.S. State Department said earlier this month that control of the dam was one of ISIS’ goals in Iraq. Late last week, the extremist group got its wish, took control of the dam and immediately inherited the urgent grouting problems.

On Friday, an Iraqi government official said that the lead dam engineer and his team were still on site and operating the dam at ISIS’ behest. Supplies to continue grouting operations were available and the water level was also being kept lower than normal to reduce the risk of a breach, the official said then.

ISIS may not necessarily want the dam to fail, considering the extremist group controls portions of the land that would be flooded. The dam is also a “key source” of power and water for the surrounding area, making it a vital piece of infrastructure either way for whoever is in control, another State Department spokesperson told ABC News last week.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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