10/23/14 11:09 a.m. If there are restaurants in downtown Findlay you’ve been wanting to try, the seventh annual World of Downtown Restaurants tour is being held Nov. 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. The self-guided tour takes you to 17 downtown restaurants where you can sample food. Audio: Tamera Rooney Tamera Rooney, communications director for United Way, said this year’s event is limited to 300 passport holders. Those passports are available for purchase at Buggy Whip Bakery, Coffee Amici or the United Way for $20. Participating restaurants: West End Tavern, Adrianna’s Riverfront Cafe, Rossilli’s, Tavern at the Inn, Greek Garden, Alexandria’s, Buggy Whip Bakery, Bistro on Main, Waldo Pepper’s, Trans Am Meatballs & Subs, We Serve. Coffee, Baker’s Cafe, Main Street Deli, Wine Merchant, Bread Kneads Downtown, Logan’s Irish Pub and Coffee Amici.
10/23/14 – 10:42 A.M. The Hancock County Commissioners bought more property for flood mitigation purposes today. The county will use money from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to buy property at 800 Wedgewood Drive in Findlay. The house was appraised at $135,000. The county has been buying and demolishing flood-prone homes since 2007. The practice reduces damage from future flooding.
10/23/14 – 5:22 A.M. A Findlay High School graduate is working to help prevent the spread of Ebola in Africa. Nathan Thomas’ non-profit organization, All We Are, is trying to send 50,000 pairs of medical examination gloves to West Africa. The group estimates it will take $9,000 to buy the gloves and send them overseas. The All We Are website says the reason Ebola continues to spread is because healthcare workers don’t have the proper protective gear. You can get more information about the campaign at allweare.org.
10/23/14 – 5:07 A.M. No news is good news for the six Putnam County residents who are being monitored for symptoms of Ebola. The Putnam County Health Department reports that so far no one in the group who visited the same Akron bridal shop as Amber Vinson is showing symptoms of the deadly disease. Vinson is a nurse who traveled from Texas to northeast Ohio. She was recently diagnosed with Ebola. The health department will continue to check the temperatures of the Putnam County residents twice a day until November 1.
10/23/14 – 4:59 A.M. The Michigan man accused of robbing a Bluffton bank and then setting himself on fire in Findlay appeared in court Wednesday. The Lima News reports 43-year-old Brian Matheny has been charged with aggravated robbery. His bail was set at $750,000 during the hearing. An investigator said that Matheny had a Molotov cocktail with him when he demanded money from a teller at the Chase Bank on Main Street in Bluffton Tuesday morning. Matheny apparently used the incendiary device to light himself on fire. He suffered burns to his lower extremities as a result. MORE: Lima News
10/23/14 – 4:50 A.M. A Findlay man who was in prison for killing his wife apparently committed suicide this week. The Courier reports 29-year-old Evan Donoho was found dead in the Mansfield Correctional Institution Tuesday afternoon. The details surrounding his death are under investigation. Donoho killed with wife with a hammer on September 26 of 2011. He told investigators a man named “Samuel” had broken into his home and told Donoho he either had to kill his wife or her two children or all three would die. Both the prosecution and defense said the intruder was imaginary. Donoho was serving a 29-years to life prison sentence. MORE: The Courier
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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: