Review Category : Uncategorized

Kilroy Was Here

10/14/14 – 10:54 A.M.

If you drive by electronic billboards in Findlay, you may have noticed an ad with a caricature and the caption, “Kilroy was here.” Some light on what that means was shed at today’s Hancock County Commissioners meeting. Bob Driftmyer is a past commander of Amvets Post 21 says it’s a nod to World War II vets…

Audio: Bob Driftmyer

Driftmyer says it can also teach younger generations more about World War II. He says “Kilroy” graffiti was a viral sensation before there was such a thing…

Audio: Bob Driftmyer

Driftmyer says the caricature served as a morale booster for troops. That’s why you’re seeing it pop up in Findlay recently. The iconic image is being used to salute WWII veterans in the lead up to Veterans Day next month.

The Courier will have an article featuring WWII veterans talking about their favorite Kilroy memories later in October.

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UF Receives Grant to Recruit Math and Science Teachers

10/01/14     6:54 a.m.

The University of Findlay has received a grant worth more than $1 million dollars to groom math and science teachers who work schools that serve many low-income students. The grant is from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. More than 142 colleges applied for this grant and only 45 schools were chosen to receive the funding.

The program is aimed to get 24 undergraduate juniors majoring in biology or math to pursue a teaching degree and eight science or math professionals to join a teaching career. The Undergraduates will receive more than $37,000 and the professionals will receive $14,000 in scholarship money from the grant. While being in the program the students will have to be committed to the program for at least two years.

The students will be paired with teachers in Hancock County and Lima to teach grades seven through 12 in high-needs schools.

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Carey Receives $1.5 mil Grant to Upgrade the City’s Electrical System

09/24/14     3:38 p.m.

The Village of Carey has received a $1.5 million grant to support local manufacturing. The United States’ Economic Development Administration announced the grant today, saying the investment will create 50 jobs and generate $18 million in private investment.

To benefit local manufacturers, the money will be put toward upgrading the city’s electrical system, which is currently at capacity. The current power substations were originally intended for residential use and have been unable to provide reliable power for Carey’s factories.

Increasing the capacity will ensure reliable power as well as allow for future industrial expansion.

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Hancock County Schools Do Well On State Report Card

9/18/14 – 5:13 A.M.

Ohio has released its latest round of school report cards, and many Hancock County schools saw improvement.

The Findlay City School District got an “A” grade for performance indicators. The district also got an “A” for working with students in the lowest 20 percent and an “A” for students with disabilities. Findlay got a “C” grade for gifted students. All of the marks are above last year’s grades.

The only other district to get an “A” on performance indicators in Hancock County was Van Buren. Arcadia, Arlington, Liberty-Benton, McComb, and Vanlue all scored “B” grades. Corey Rawson received a “C.”

Schools are graded in nine performance areas. They won’t get overall grades until 2016. We have a link to the full report cards on our website.

MORE: Ohio School Report Cards

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Montre Robinson Murder Trial Wraps Up With Closing Arguments

10/22/14     1:31 p.m. The trial of Findlay murder suspect Montre Robinson wrapped up today with closing arguments. The Courier’s Ryan Dunn was in court this morning where he says the prosecution reminded the jury of the happenings on the night of Joe Gutierrez’ murder. Audio: Ryan Dunn Dunn said the defense also reiterated their case. Audio: Ryan Dunn The jury is now deliberating the case. A verdict is expected tomorrow.

Former Findlay IHOP Owner Sentenced for Fraud

10/22/14     12:20 p.m. The former owner of the Findlay IHOP restaurant was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday. According to the Toledo Blade, 57-year-old Tarek Elkafrawi owned seven IHOP restaurants in northwest Ohio and Indiana. A fire at the Findlay restaurant in 2008 closed the business for about a year. The restaurant remains closed and is for sale. Elkafrawi pleaded guilty to 53 counts in relation to a series of criminal schemes between 2003 and 2012 intended to defraud the government, the restaurant’s corporation, Farmers Insurance company, and his employees of millions of dollars. He admitted to hiring more than 200 undocumented workers. He provided some employees multiple identities to receive extra hours without overtime pay, so they could make Medicaid and other public assistance claims. Elkafrawi was ordered to pay $1.36 million to the insurance company for fraudulent insurance claim payments, as well $5,042 to the Findlay Fire Department for the fire. He was also required a forfeiture of property, including proceeds from the sale of…

Salvation Army Holiday Assistance Applications Begin Next Week

10/22/14     11:27 a.m. Next week the Salvation Army of Hancock County will begin taking applications for its Holiday Assistance Program. The program is aimed at helping families who will need financial help buying presents this season. Applications will be accepted Oct. 27 through 31 and Nov. 3 through 6 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., as well as later times by appointment. Those seeking assistance are asked to bring an ID, social security cards, proof of birth for all those living in the home, proof of income, expenses and Hancock County residency. For more information, contact Major Andy Carter or Major Marty Smith at 419-422-8238.

Two Lima Schools Evacuated Following Bomb Threat

10/22/14 – 8:43 A.M. Two Lima school have been evacuated due to a bomb threat this morning. A tweet from the Lima Police Department says both Lima Senior High School and South Middle School are closed. Media partner WTOL-11 reports the threat was received a little before 8 a.m. Police in Lima say not to bring your kids to the two schools. Officers are conducting sweeps at both locations.  

Three Hancock County Teachers Honored

10/22/14 – 5:26 A.M. Three area teachers were honored for their hard work yesterday. Leah Brant, a sixth-grade science and English/language arts teacher at Donnell Middle School; Robynn Drerup, a kindergarten teacher at Jefferson Primary School; and Heather Murray, a Spanish teacher for Liberty-Benton, were all given Golden Apple Awards. Award winners are given a $2,500 cash prize. Semifinalists received a $250 prize. Nominees must be full-time teachers who work in Hancock County. The Findlay Rotary Club holds the annual event at the Winebrenner Theological Seminary.

Findlay Murder Suspect Takes Witness Stand

10/22/14 – 4:59 A.M. A Findlay man accused of murder testified in his own defense Tuesday. The Courier reports Montre Robinson served as his only defense witness during yesterday’s proceedings. He faces a murder charge in the death of Joe Gutierrez last November. Investigators say Robinson was driving the car Gutierrez was shot from. Robinson testified he witnessed an attack on Ralph Harris III at the Glenwood Village Apartments on Sterling Drive a little before midnight on November 7. He added that he didn’t get a good look at the attacker, and that Harris said the man was Hispanic. Robinson said they went to go pick up his cousin from work early on November 8. As they did, Harris was confident he saw his attacker in another car. He told Robinson to follow him. When Gutierrez got out of his car, Harris shot him. Robinson said he didn’t know Harris had a gun. He also testified he was afraid of Harris following that, so he went along with the getaway…

Hancock County Auditor Clarifies CAUV Confusion

10/21/14 – 1:43 P.M. The Hancock County Auditor is trying to clear up some confusion among farmers in Hancock County. Charity Rauschenberg says while several area counties are having their CAUV’s reassessed this year, Hancock County is not… Audio: Charity Rauschenberg CAUV stands for Current Agriculture Use Values. Those rates have been increasing across the state. 41 of Ohio’s counties are being reassessed this year. Hancock County won’t be reassessed until 2016.

Hancock County Commissioner Issue Bonds For Development

10/21/14 – 1:33 A.M. The Hancock County Commissioners cleared the way to finance some big projects in 2015 today… Audio: Brian Robertson The industrial park Commissioner Brian Robertson was referring to is where the McClane development is going in on Industrial Drive. More than $2.5 million in bonds will fund the development projects. The money will mostly go towards ditch and river maintenance, as well as paying for infrastructure on Distribution Drive. Hancock County Commissioner Brian Robertson says that doesn’t mean taxpayers are ultimately on the hook for the debt though. Assessments will pay for the work on the waterways, and a TIF will pay for the Distribution Drive work… Audio: Brian Robertson The bonds will also fund some of the construction costs of the new Hancock County Engineer’s Garage.

More Details Released On Bluffton Bank Robbery

10/21/14 – 1:09 A.M. More details have been released on a Bluffton bank robbery and police chase from this morning. The Bluffton Police Department reports that just before 9 a.m., a man later identified as 43-year-old Brian Matheny of East Jordan, Michigan, held up the Chase Bank on Main Street. Matheny allegedly threatened an explosion if his demands weren’t met. A teller complied, and Matheny fled the scene. His white SUV was located in the northbound lanes of I-75 a short time later. Matheny attempted to run from police, but eventually turned off the interstate on State Route 12 in Findlay. That’s where he exited his SUV, and set himself on fire. State troopers quickly extinguished the flames, which only caused superficial injuries to Matheny. He was treated at Blanchard Valley Hospital and then taken to the Allen County Sheriff’s Office. Gallery:

Home Sales Down In Hancock County

10/21/14 – 12:20 P.M. Home sales in Hancock County remain down for the year. The Ohio Association of Realtors released numbers through three-quarters of 2014 today, and the number of homes sold is down 9.1 percent. Across the state, home sales are down 3.5 percent compared to 2013 numbers. There is good news if you’re trying to sell your home. The average sale price in Hancock County is up 4.5 percent compared to 2013. The average price is a little more than $127,000 through nine months of the year.

Unemployment Falls For Area Counties

10/21/14 – 12:07 P.M. Two area counties now have unemployment rates below 4 percent. September numbers from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show Hancock County’s jobless rate has fallen to 3.8 percent, while Putnam County’s rate is down to 3.9 All counties in the region saw unemployment at or below 5 percent last month. Wyandot County’s jobless rate was at 4.4 percent, Henry County checked in at 4.4, and Wood, Wyandot, and Seneca Counties were all at 4.6 percent. Allen County had the highest unemployment rate at 5 percent last month.

Bank Robbery Suspect Lights Himself On Fire In Findlay

10/21/14 – 11:11 A.M. A Bluffton bank robbery suspect was captured in Findlay today after he attempted to light himself on fire. The State Highway Patrol reports a bank in Bluffton was robbed around 9 a.m. The suspect was later spotted in a white SUV driving north on I-75 toward Findlay. The man exited the interstate at State Route 12 in Findlay. When the suspect stepped out of the SUV, he reportedly tried to light himself on fire. State troopers extinguished the flames. The suspect was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment. No other details are available.

Fostoria Police Involved In Monday Chase

Fostoria police officers were led on a chase through the city early Monday morning. The Fostoria Police Department reports the incident started when an officer tried to pull a man over for a moving violation in the 600 block of Spruce Street just before 3 a.m. The suspect took off, driving west on Culbertson, through a parking lot, and crossing North Countyline Street. The driver nearly lost control several times, and finally came to a stop at Nye’s Trailer Park. The suspect then took off on foot and has not been arrested. However, Police Chief Keith Loreno says officers know the identity of the man and have filed a warrant for his arrest.

Election Preview: Robert Sprague

10/21/14 – 5:30 A.M. We continue our preview of the upcoming November election today with a look at another of the candidates running for the 83rd Ohio House district seat. Incumbent Robert Sprague says a lot of work has been done to bring jobs back to this area, but there’s still more work to do.. Audio: Robert Sprague Sprague says the reason the jobs aren’t being filled is because there is a skills gap. He believes the government can help fill that gap by aligning the education system to help train skilled workers that have specialized certifications. Sprague says one thing he wants to continue working on is tackling prescription drug abuse… Audio: Robert Sprague Sprague says he’s also supported measures that end doctor shopping for prescription medications.

Fostoria School Budget Steadily Improving

10/21/14 – 5:26 A.M. The Fostoria school district is looking at a better financial picture. The Review-Times reports Treasurer Norm Elchert talked about finances during Monday’s school board meeting. Elchert says the district should see revenues of more than $633,000 for fiscal year 2015. Revenue should top more than $384,000 for fiscal 2016. Deficit spending has gone down as well. The school spent $2 million more than it brought in for fiscal year 2013. For this fiscal year that’s been cut to a little more than $282,000. Projections for the future show a slight budget surplus for the next fiscal year. MORE: Review-Times

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Hancock County Commissioners Reduce Tap-In Fee For Distribution Drive Homes

8/12/14 – 11:09 A.M.

Some Hancock County residents will pay less to tap into a new sewer line. The Hancock County Commissioners agreed today to charge residences in the Distribution Drive area $1,000 to connect to the new line. Previously the amount was set at $5,500.

Commissioner Phil Riegle explained the change…

Audio: Phil Riegle

A TIF, or Tax Incriment Financing means that the development pays for infrastructure improvements. Reigle says that because the county didn’t have to get a bond to pay for the work, the commissioners felt the break on the connection fee was fair…

Audio: Phil Riegle

The expansion of Distribution Drive was mostly paid for by Tax Increment Finance funds.

Riegle said the break only applied to five properties.

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Water Main Break Closes Olive St. in Findlay

7/29/14  7:42 a.m.

A water main break has closed Olive St. in Findlay in front of Advanced Drainage Systems.

Findlay Water Distribution Center Maintenance Supervisor Jeff Betts said crews have been working on the break since approximately 6 a.m. and are hoping to have it repaired within a few hours.

There is no word yet on what caused the break.

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Hookah Smoking on Rise in Teens, Not Recommended

7/25/14   12:20 p.m.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said the 33 percent decline in teens smoking cigarettes is offset by the 123 percent rise in use of other tobacco products, one of those being hookahs.

Craig Niese, environmental health director for the City of Findlay, said despite not containing nicotine, hookahs are not recommended.

Audio: Craig Niese

Niese said because hookahs are tobacco products they fall under the state-wide indoor smoking ban and are not allowed to be used in public places. The only exception to this is hookah or tobacco stores who can apply for exemption if they sell over a certain percentage of tobacco products.

Niese said there are a few exempt stores in Findlay but whether or not they smoke hookah there is their discretion.


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Charges Against Man Accused Of Attacking Infant Daughter Dismissed

7/15/14 – 6:49 A.M.

A Fostoria man accused of assaulting his infant daughter while she sat in a stroller will not face charges. The Review-Times reports the Seneca County grand jury ruled there wasn’t enough evidence to indict 51-year-old Michael Vain on a charge of child endangerment. Vain was arrested on June 3 after witnesses said they saw him shaking and kicking a stroller while his 3-month-old daughter sat in it.

Vain’s lawyer said they waived a preliminary hearing so they could quickly find out if investigators had enough evidence for an indictment.

MORE: Review-Times

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