staff writer
Just like last year, Columbus Grove figures to be the heavy favorite to defend its boys and girls titles at Friday’s Putnam County League track and field championships.
Just like last year, though, there’s a live underdog looking to steal the Bulldogs’ thunder in the girls portion of the meet.
Grove senior Julia Wynn knows not to take anything for granted. Pandora-Gilboa, just as Fort Jennings did last year, comes into the meet looking strong.
“When we go to the PCL and the (Northwest Conference) meets every year, our approach is to look at every event and try to place as high as we can,” she said. “Everybody has to work their hardest. We focus on one meet at a time.”
The meet begins with the field events at 4:15 p.m. The 3,200-meter relay finals are at 5:30, followed by sprint preliminaries at 6. Running event finals begin at 7.
The feature race looks to be the girls 300-meter low hurdles. Continental’s Paige Ordway, a state medalist in the event last year, returns to defend her championship against Columbus Grove’s Sydney McCluer, who medaled in the 100 intermediates last June in Columbus, and Ottoville’s Taylor Mangas, who smoked McCluer by more than a second in the event earlier this spring at the Columbus Grove Invitational.
The trio has the top three times in The Courier track and field honor roll this spring; Mangas enters at 46.80, McCluer at 48.19 and Ordway at 48.40.
Pandora-Gilboa, meanwhile, brings in a nice mix. The Rockets’ Breana Hovest is the defending champ in the 1,600 and 3,200 and will be a top contender in the 800. Mackenzie Swary will battle Grove’s legion of throwers, and the Rockets have a solid sprinting corps as well.
Wynn said she and all the area’s athletes are looking to sharpen their performances as the meat of the season begins.
“Both Sydney and I, we’ve been comparing our times from last year because we were both feeling that we’re not where we want to be right now,” she said. “But, when we look back to last year we’re both right where we should be.
“It’s not bad, when we look back to last year and what we accomplished in the end.”
Other athletes looking to defend their titles from last season include McCluer in the 100 hurdles, Ordway in the long jump, Leipsic’s Holly Averesch in the shot put and Grove’s Megan Verhoff in the discus.
On the boys side, Leipsic’s Jordan Chamberlin is back to defend his titles in the 100 and 200, and the Vikings’ Oscar Lopez-Gonzalez won the 800 last year. Grove’s Colton Grothaus won the 1,600 last year.
Radick, 419-427-8405,
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In a battle of write-in candidates, Bill Reineke Jr. won the Republican nomination Tuesday to represent the 88th District in the Ohio House.
The district includes Sandusky County and most of Seneca County.
Reineke will face Democrat William Young, of Green Springs, in November.
Propelled by a strong Seneca County voter turnout, Reineke, a Tiffin car dealer, garnered 49 percent of the vote in the three-way contest of write-in candidates. Reineke received 2,247 votes to 1,657 votes for Rhonda Damschroder of Fremont, and 717 votes for Richard Geyer of Fremont, the elections boards in Sandusky and Seneca counties reported Wednesday.
Reineke drew 71 percent of the vote in his home county, Seneca. Seneca County also had a bigger voter turnout, with 2,450 votes cast in the race.
In Sandusky County, 2,171 Republicans voted in the race, and Rhonda Damschroder got 57 percent of them.
Reineke’s victory ended state Rep. Rex Damschroder’s effort to win re-election to the House seat.
Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, had intended to be on the primary ballot but bungled his candidacy petitions and then withdrew his candidacy before being disqualified.
His wife, Rhonda, then ran as a write-in candidate but had no plans to serve in the House. If she had won, she planned to quit the race so Sandusky and Seneca County Republican leaders could replace her on the fall ballot with her husband.

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BLUFFTON — Athletes and teams from six counties will converge on Bluffton University Saturday for the Ohio Special Olympics Area 3 track and field championships.
Special Olympians from Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Hardin, Putnam and Van Wert counties will compete for a chance to compete in next month’s Ohio Special Olympics games in Columbus.
The day will start with the opening ceremonies at 9 .m. with the field events kicking off the meet at 9:30 a.m.
Admission to the event is free.

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University of Findlay junior pitcher Alex Williams was tabbed first-team all-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference as the conference released its all-league baseball selections Wednesday.
Williams set a new single-season school record by making 21 appearances out of the pen for the Oilers during the 2014 campaign. He finished the year with a 4-3 record, making three saves. Williams also sported a 1.70 earned run average in 472/3 innings of work.
In addition, seniors Reid Rothenbuhler and Derek Draper were tabbed honorable mention all-conference.
Rothenbuhler, a third baseman from Elmwood, hit .289 on the season with 11 doubles, two home runs and 27 runs batted in.
Draper, a Riverdale grad who pitched and played first base for the Oilers, hit .294 with six doubles and 15 runs batted in. He also started eight games on the mound and finished with 31 strikeouts in 35 innings of work.

Heptathletes at Hillsdale
HILLSDALE, Mich. — The University of Findlay’s Pam Showman and Lydia Guagenti competed in the heptathlon for the Oilers on the first day of the Hillsdale Classic on Wednesday.
Both athletes are seeking to qualify for the NCAA Division II championships in the event.
Showman finished first in the 100-meter hurdles (14.44), shot put (35-2) and the 200-meter dash (25.89). She was also second in the high jump (5-5) portion of the event.
Guagenti, a Bluffton graduate, took first in the high jump (5-71/4) and was third in the 200-meter dash (27.17). She placed fourth in the 100-meter hurdles (16.01) and shot put (31-33/4).
The heptathlon event will conclude tomorrow.

Hunt 17th at regional
EUREKA, Mo. — University of Findlay golfer Marcus Hunt wrapped up his career by tying for 17th place at the NCAA Division II Midwest/Central Region Tournament at the Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, Mo.
Hunt fired a 4-over par score of 76 on the third and final day of competition to end the tournament with a 54-hole score of 224 strokes.

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Staff Writer
NORTH BALTIMORE — The interim chief of the North Baltimore Emergency Medical Service stepped down from the post this week, as village officials continue to consider revamping the ambulance service.
Eric Larson, hired last month as interim, full-time EMS chief, submitted a letter of resignation that was accepted by North Baltimore Council.
Larson, who has been overseeing the reorganization of the village emergency medical service, is leaving to become a paramedic in Louisiana, according to village officials.
Larson’s contract was set to expire at year’s end.
“It’s disappointing,” Councilwoman Janet Goldner said Wednesday of Larson’s departure. “We were working toward him taking over” the EMS.
Council has offered the job of acting emergency medical service chief to village Fire Chief Ted Francisco until the end of this year.
If Francisco accepts, he would earn a $2,500 stipend this year, according to village officials.
Goldner chairs council’s Public Safety Committee, which has been working to upgrade the emergency medical service and its billing issues.
In recent years, council has had trouble staffing the emergency medical service with enough volunteers, especially during daytime shifts.
Goldner said the village is planning to hire paid emergency medical technicians to work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.
Current volunteers would be asked to work nights and fill other openings.
A salary for the proposed paid EMT positions has not been determined.
According to Goldner, council might also consider hiring a “lead medical person” to direct the emergency medical service. No decision has been reached.
“We’re keeping our options open on how we restructure,” Goldner said.
Also, Village Council is considering seeking a levy in the fall to pay for the full-time emergency medical technicians.
The councilwoman said council is “committed” to improving ambulance coverage for the safety of the community.
Schaadt: 419-427-8414
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Ohio Police Chief David Oliver may not oversee the biggest city, but on Facebook, his department is second only to New York City.
Oliver, police chief in Brimfield, Ohio, is known for his comments and open letters on his department’s Facebook page. The chief has been so successful at attracting followers that his department’s page has the second most “likes” after New York City’s Police Department, he told 30 Flag City Morning Rotary members during a visit to Findlay on Wednesday.
“I’m pretty good at not keeping my mouth shut on there,” Oliver said. “They say if you get 500 likes then you’re doing good.”
Brimfield’s Police Department now has 147,000 followers on Facebook, in a town of about 10,500 located in northeastern Ohio. While Oliver said his intention wasn’t to get as many likes as possible, he said the page has been a great way to inform the public and bridge the gap between police and citizens.
“Residents have a right to know what’s going on,” Oliver said.
Oliver shared some of the stories he’s posted on the department’s Facebook page, including one about a theft where a man tried to steal a 50-inch TV from a Walmart.
Police also filed drug charges against the thief after finding cocaine in his pocket, despite him denying that the pants he was wearing were actually his.
“I asked him, ‘Did you get dressed in the dark this morning?’ and he said, ‘Yes, I did, I didn’t recognize the pants weren’t mine.’”
Oliver has also shared open letters on Facebook to the families affected by the Sandy Hook massacre, and one to Kanye West, criticizing comments he made saying that performing was the same as being a police officer or a soldier. Both posts were liked and shared thousands of times, the first one in a few days and the second one within just a few minutes, Oliver said.
“I probably walked out to ask one of my officers what we were doing for lunch and within seven minutes I had an email from Facebook saying it went viral,” Oliver said about his open “Letter to West.”
Oliver was invited to speak at the Rotary meeting as part of a fundraiser for the Fraternal Order of Police’s Fort Findlay Lodge 20 “Shop with a cop” program, put on every holiday season to provide needy children with gifts.
The fundraiser will net the group around $200 to $300, helping it to buy presents for a few of the 110 kids it plans to help later this year, said David Hill, FOP president.
“Any amount helps,” Hill said. “Our main goal is to just help more and more each year.”
The union has helped nearly 1,000 kids since the program’s inception in 2002, Hill said.
Oliver said he also participates in a similar “shop with a cop” program in the Brimfield area. Oliver and his wife have also started a foundation in his name that helps survivors of sexual assault.
Oliver has also written a book, “No Mopes Allowed,” about being a police chief and an Internet sensation.
Oliver, who jokes about being named “the coolest police chief ever” on websites such as The Huffington Post and TMZ, said he spends about four hours a day monitoring the Facebook page and notifying community members of crimes through it.
“I printed that off and showed it to everyone in the department and said ‘look who you work for.’”
Despite his time spent online, Oliver said he’s still most committed to fulfilling his job of helping people, catching criminals and showing people that police are just like them.
“I will ride this horse as long as I can,” he said. “When I’m driving and I’m in my plain clothes and a cop gets behind me, I get nervous, too. I think, ‘Go follow a real criminal,’ unless I know him. Then I start swerving and messing with him. You have to mess with people sometimes.”
Brimfield Police Department Facebook page:
Filby: 419-427-8422
Send an E-mail to Max Filby
Twitter: @MaxFilby

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MCGUFFEY — Addy Bame pitched a complete-game shutout, struck out 15 Upper Scioto Valley batters and allowed just four hits in Hardin Northern’s 2-0 nonconference softball win on Wednesday.
Bame also doubled and singled at the plate, and Micheala Curtis hit two singles for Hardin Northern (10-5). Lea Rowe had an RBI-single in the first inning.

Hardin Northern 110 000 0 — 2 6 2
Upper Scioto Valley 000 000 0 — 0 4 3
WP — Bame. LP — Hites. top hitters: (HN) Bame 2B, 1B; Curtis 2-1B; Rowe 1B, RBI. (USV) Mullins 2-1B.
records: Hardin Northern 10-5.

RAWSON — Amie Ricksecker smacked two doubles and drove in a run and Taylor Marshall singled, doubled and drove in a run as Cory-Rawson used a four-run first inning to defeat Leipsic 7-3 in a Blanchard Valley Conference softball game on Wednesday.
Mikaela Ricksecker added a triple and two RBIs as well for Cory-Rawson (4-12, 2-6 BVC), which had 11 hits.
Rebecca Snyder singled and drove in a run for Leipsic (4-14, 1-5 BVC).

Leipsic 000 021 0 — 3 5 2
Cory-Rawson 400 120 x — 7 11 3
WP — Roth. LP — Gerten. top hitters: (Leip) Snyder 1B, RBI; Gerten & Escamilla 2B. (C-R) A. Ricksecker 2-2B, RBI; Marshall 2B, 1B, RBI; M. Ricksecker 3B, 2 RBI; Miller 2-1B; Hector 2B, RBI.
records: Leipsic 4-14, 1-5 BVC. Cory-Rawson 4-12, 2-6 BVC.

PANDORA — Ashley Alt singled twice and drove in three runs while Megan Maag and Hunter Hermiller each doubled and drove in two runs to lead Pandora-Gilboa to a 13-3 five-inning win over Vanlue in Blanchard Valley Conference softball action on Wednesday.
Pandora-Gilboa (4-10, 3-6 BVC) scored six runs in both the second and fourth innings.
Grace Wagner hit two singles for Vanlue (5-13, 3-6 BVC), while Haley Bonham and Kate Clymer each singled and had an RBI.

Vanlue 000 03 — 3 7 3
Pandora-Gilboa 061 6x — 13 11 1
WP — M. Maag (4-10). LP — Hausserman. top hitters: (Van) Wagner 2-1B; Bonham & Clymer 1B, RBI. (P-G) Alt 2-1B, 3 RBI; M. Maag & Hermiller 2B, 2 RBI.
records: Vanlue 5-13, 3-6 BVC. Pandora-Gilboa 4-10, 3-6 BVC.

ARLINGTON — Aaliyah Comstock had four singles and two RBIs for Arlington as the Red Devils stopped Kenton 6-2 in a nonconference softball game.
Hannah Johnson added a homer and two singles and Britnee Johnson tripled with two singles and an RBI for the Red Devils (14-4).
Hannah Legge doubled and singled for the Wildcats (4-14).

Kenton 000 101 0 — 2 4 0
Arlington 211 011 x — 6 13 5
WP — B. Johnson (13-4). LP — Boling. top hitters: (Arl) Comstock 4-1B, 2 RBI; B. Johnson 2-1B, 3B, RBI; H. Johnson 2-1B, HR, RBI; M. Johnson 2-1B; Sheldon 1B, RBI. (Ken) Legge 2B, 1B.
records: Arlington 14-4, Kenton 4-14.

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RICHARD CLARK JR., at left, weeps Wednesday during his sentencing in Wyandot County Common Pleas Court. Clark, 65, will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing two people last year at the Carey Conservation Club.  (Photo by Matthias Leguire)

RICHARD CLARK JR., at left, weeps Wednesday during his sentencing in Wyandot County Common Pleas Court. Clark, 65, will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing two people last year at the Carey Conservation Club. (Photo by Matthias Leguire)

staff writer
UPPER SANDUSKY — Richard Clark Jr. will serve life in prison for a shooting spree last year that killed two people and terrorized several others inside a Carey clubhouse.
The 65-year-old rural Tiffin man, weeping at times, was sentenced Wednesday in Wyandot County Common Pleas Court for two counts of aggravated murder.
Clark killed former girlfriend Cynthia Hawkinberry and her friend, Roger Fredritz, on Nov. 1.
Prosecutors on Wednesday outlined an 11-minute period, starting with the moment Clark entered the Carey Conservation and Sportsman’s Association clubhouse, and ending with his arrest following the shootings.
Surveillance footage showed Clark briefly speaking with Fredritz, 49, of rural Carey, and Hawkinberry, 49, of rural Tiffin, at about 9:20 p.m. He departed and returned moments later with a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun.
He shot both Fredritz and Hawkinberry multiple times, said William Latham, an investigator for the county prosecutor.
During the gunfire, Hawkinberry attempted to escape, and Clark dragged her back, Latham said. She tried to deflect his firearm as he pointed it toward a crowd of people, Latham said.
After the shootings, Clark called a relative and smoked a cigarette outside before his swift arrest, Latham said.
A twisted affection for Hawkinberry drove Clark’s actions, Prosecutor Jonathan Miller said.
“Your honor, this was not a crime of passion, this was a crime of possession,” Miller told Judge Kathleen Aubry.
Miller said Clark planned the crime and showed no genuine remorse afterward. Clark was found with 16 rounds of unused ammunition, he said.
Family members of Hawkinberry and Fredritz told the judge the two victims were loved, joyful and kind.
Clark repeatedly cried through the hearing and briefly apologized to those in attendance.
One of Clark’s supporters told the judge prior to sentencing that Clark was “over the moon” in love with Hawkinberry.
Clark led a law-abiding life prior to Nov. 1, said defense attorney Robert Grzybowski. Clark cannot explain his actions, but regrets using violence, Grzybowski said.
“He will always be judged by those actions, and he will always be accountable for those actions,” the defense attorney said.
Judge Aubry ordered Clark to serve life in prison for each murder count, without the possibility of parole.
She said Hawkinberry’s relatives had discouraged her relationship with Clark, and Clark had proved them right.
Clark is a “selfish, cowardly” person who executed a woman he claimed to care about, the judge said.
“Had the defendant ever really loved Cynthia, he could not have killed her,” Aubry said.
Dunn: 419-427-8417
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Twitter: @CourierRyan

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TOLEDO — Findlay High School’s softball team scored in every inning but the fifth as the Trojans whipped Toledo Central Catholic in a Three Rivers Athletic Conference game on Wednesday.
Bree Snapp improved her record to 2-0 by pitching the Trojans (6-17 overall, 4-6 TRAC) to victory.
Brooke Brigadoi hammered a double and two singles driving in three runs and Taylor Steinke added a double with two singles and an RBI for Findlay.

Findlay 113 502 — 12 11 2 Toledo Central Catholic 001 010 — 2 7 4
WP — Snapp. LP — L. Best. top hitters: (Fin) Brigadoi 2-1B, 2B, 3 RBI; Steinke 2B, 2-1B, RBI.
records: Findlay 6-17 overall, 4-6 Three Rivers Athletic Conference; Toledo Central Catholic 5-12, 4-7.
Findlay falls to Faunce
TOLEDO — Toledo Central Catholic scored three first-inning runs with just two hits, then rode the strong pitching performance of Tristan Faunce to a 4-2 win over Findlay in a Three Rivers Athletic Conference game at Mercy Field on Wednesday.
Central Catholic had just one RBI single in the first inning. But the Irish benefited from a walk and an errant pickoff throw, and scored two runs on a double steal and a ground out. DeShone Kizer gave TCC (14-6, 7-2 TRAC) an insurance run in the sixth with an inside-the-park home run.
Nolan Rodman singled and later scored on Grant Akins’ ground out in the first inning. Findlay cut the deficit to 3-2 in the second on Michael Roche’s RBI single, but Faunce, a sophomore right-hander, shut the Trojans out the rest of the way.
Connor Curlis gave Findlay an excellent start as well. The junior left-hander allowed just three hits in seven innings, struck out six and walked three.
The loss snapped Findlay’s five-game TRAC winning streak and dropped the Trojans to 11-9 overall, 6-2 in the league.

Findlay 110 000 0 — 2 5 2
Tol. Central Catholic 300 001 x — 4 3 2
WP — Faunce. LP — Curlis. top hitters: (Fin) Roche 1B, RBI. (TCC) Kizer HR, RBI.
records: Findlay 11-9 overall, 6-2 TRAC; Toledo Central Catholic 14-6, 7-2 TRAC.
Tol. Central Catholic 000 003 0 — 3 5 0
Findlay JV 000 100 0 — 1 3 2
WP — Cleghorn. LP — Rinebolt. top hitters: (TCC) Trzeniczny 2-1B; Toland 2-1B, RBI; Thompson 1B, RBI. (Fin) Elchert HR, RBI.
records: Findlay JV 10-10 overall, 2-5 TRAC.

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