10/30/14 4:37 p.m. Part of Bluffton Precast Concrete Company is a total loss after it caught on fire Wednesday afternoon. The Bluffton Fire Department was dispatched at 3:20 p.m. and had the fire under control by 6 p.m. according to Bluffton Fire Chief Jon Kinn. Kinn said the southern part of Bluffton Precast Concrete’s main building was a total loss and the northern part of the building had smoke and heat damage. There were no injuries. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and Kinn said there is “nothing suspicious” about the fire.
10/30/14 3:18 p.m. Findlay Police are investigating a report of bus stop stranger danger that happened this morning. A 10-year-old girl told Findlay City School staff a male chased her near her bus stop in the 200 block of Monroe Ave. around 8 a.m. this morning. Police say the girl saw the male looking at her and he began running toward her. The girl hid behind a parked car in the area until he was gone. When she arrived at school she told staff, who then reported the incident to police. The suspect is described as a white male in his early 20s with a medium build, shorter than 5 ft. 9 in. He had a shaved head and was wearing a black jacket with a black hood. Anyone with information should call Findlay Police at 419-424-7150.
10/30/14 3:02 p.m. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is asking Liberty Township residents to keep an eye out after a string of burglaries over the last week. Since Oct. 22, the Sheriff’s Office has received eight complaints of breaking and entering burglaries in mostly residential areas. The crimes are being committed during the overnight hours. Anyone with information regarding these crimes is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at 419-425-8477.
10/30/14 – 12:09 P.M. Bluffton business leaders want residents from Hancock and Allen Counties to get a better look at what the village has to offer. Fred Steiner is the director of the Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and says Bluffton is on a bit of an island being on the county line, and in the middle of Findlay and Lima… Audio: Fred Steiner In order to take advantage of the dual county status, the chamber has invited the commissioners from both counties to an upcoming meeting… Audio: Fred Steiner The hope is the commissioners will get more familiar with the business climate in Bluffton.
10/30/14 – 11:33 A.M. While the new Hancock County Engineering garage is open, it’s not fully operational yet. County Commissioner Brian Robertson says Columbia Gas continues to delay the installation of a gas meter, which is causing mounting problems… Audio: Brian Robertson Robertson adds he’s been trying to nail down a date, but hasn’t had any luck… Audio: Brian Robertson Robertson says initially the meter was supposed to ship early this month. Now it looks like it will be early November before it can be installed at the earliest. Until the meter is installed, the garage is operating without a generator, and without heat.
10/30/14 10:15 a.m. A Findlay man has been sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for killing Joe Gutierrez III. 21-year-old Ralph Harris III admitted to shooting Gutierrez multiple times Nov. 8 at the intersection of East Foulke and Crystal Avenues in Findlay. Courier reporter Ryan Dunn was in court this morning. Audio: Ryan Dunn Harris is facing 15 years to life for the murder charge, three for a gun specification and two years for various drug charges. His co-defendant Montre Robinson, who was also found guilty of murder for his role in driving the getaway vehicle, will be sentenced in December.
10/30/14 – 7:33 A.M. Findlay-based Marathon Petroleum Company’s earnings in the third quarter of 2014 dwarfed last years numbers. Figures released by the company this morning show the company earned $672 million between July and September. During the same time period in 2013, Marathon earned $168 million. Today’s quarterly report also shed some light on the future of the company. A statement from CEO Gary Heminger said Marathon plans to accelerate the growth of MPLX LP. Heminger added, “We believe MPLX’s long-term growth profile represents substantial value to MPC shareholders through our general partner interest, the incentive distribution rights and the potential for meaningful proceeds from asset sales to MPLX.” Another Marathon Subsidiary, Speedway, showed record earnings. The convenience store chain earned $119 million during the quarter, up from $102 million in 2013. The increase was credited to higher margins on light product and merchandise. Speedway also closed its buyout of Hess retail stores on September 30. MORE: Marathon Investor Site
10/30/14 – 6:44 A.M. A two-car crash injured one person in downtown Findlay Wednesday afternoon. The Findlay Police Department reports the accident happened just after 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of West Main Cross and South Cory streets. 20-year-old Robyn Thomas of Sidney was driving west on West Main Cross when she ran a red light and hit a car driven by 73-year-old Gary Staats of Findlay. A passenger in Thomas’ car was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Thomas was cited for disobeying a traffic control device.
10/30/14 – 5:33 A.M. There may be a connection between a series of robberies in Bowling Green and Perrysburg. Investigators say there are a lot of similarities. Police are calling the thefts crimes of opportunity. They say the thieves are gaining access to the homes through open garage doors and unlocked front doors.
10/30/14 – 5:32 A.M. A Findlay police officer who was involved in a crash two weeks ago has not returned to duty. Lt. Robert Ring says Ryan Parsons will not be reinstated until he completes additional testing and a doctor clears him to return. Parsons said he blacked out while driving his cruiser in the 300 block of East Main Cross Street on October 14. His car went off the road and hit a power pole. Parsons was treated for minor injuries.
10/30/14 – 5:25 A.M. A Toledo woman will spend three years in prison for attacking a Findlay Village Mall employee. The Courier reports 19-year-old Asia Burwell pleaded guilty to a robbery charge. She sprayed an employee at the Buckle clothing store with pepper spray on May 24 as the man tried to stop her from shoplifting. Judge Reginald Routson cited multiple pending theft cases against Burwell as a reason for the prison sentence. He added he would consider early release for good behavior since the robbery was Burwell’s first felony. MORE: The Courier
10/30/14 – 5:16 A.M. Putnam County’s largest employer is expanding. The Putnam County Sentinel reports that KMI Manufacturing in Kalida is adding new equipment that will see the company add more than 60 jobs in the future. The expansion will also see some heavy-duty equipment shipped to the village. KMI Associate Vice President Brian Niese says three “superloads” are bringing the larger machine components in. Trailers that are more than 200 feet long will bring in shipments from Dayton and the Port of Baltimore Maryland. KMI manufactures parts for the auto industry. MORE: Putnam County Sentinel
10/30/14 – 5:06 A.M. A Fostoria man was found guilty yesterday for his role in an arson fire that killed two people. The Review-Times reports a jury of six men and six women deliberated for nearly 8 hours before delivering guilty verdicts on four charges. Schaeffer was charged with being complicit in the Memorial Day fire set by Shey Weiker. Weiker set the blaze at 614 S. Poplar Street to get revenge against Daniel Marker Jr., who she accused of committing a sex crime against her son. Schaeffer told Weiker how to use the flare that was used to start the fire. The flames killed Marker and Tara Lynn Vance. 49-year-old Dana Weatherall was injured escaping the house. Schaeffer will be sentenced today. He could spend the rest of his life in prison. MORE: Review Times
10/30/14 – 4:48 A.M. A Putnam County business was damaged by a fire last night. Firefighters were called to Heaven Sent Kennels and Dog Grooming a little before midnight. The business is located at 4662 Road J-3, northwest of Gilboa. No one was injured fighting the flames. So far there’s no damage estimate. Three fire departments were on the scene until around 1:30 a.m.
10/29/14 5:15 p.m. In 2000, James Woodward was cutting inmates hair in the Hancock County Justice Center. Woodward expanded his services to include motivational programs and weekly bible studies. For his stewardship, Woodward was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Leadership Award at Wednesday’s Distinguished Law Enforcement Achievement Awards. Woodward’s service as administrative chaplain is just one of his many hats. He’s also been a barber for more than 40 years and was also credited with returning the Flag City U.S.A title to Findlay in the 1970s. Woodward created the adopt-a-flag program and collected money for flags for downtown Findlay. Despite his many awards, Woodward says the letters he frequently receives from inmates thanking him for believing in them are just as important to him.