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Local Law Enforcement Conduct Blitz

The Hancock County METRICH Task Force, Findlay Police Department, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and U.S Customs and Border Protection took part in a blitz that went after drug trafficking in the area on Wednesday. 

 

According to Detective Sgt. Brian Dill, there were 59 traffic stops in total. While the blitz resulted in 15 citations, three felony arrests, three misdemeanor arrests, two arrest warrants and five vehicle searches. Local law enforcement also seized 10 pounds of marijuana, one gram of fentanyl, and $100,000. 

 

The blitz is a planned event involving several multi-agencies for the area that is planned around the state. 

BVHS Enhances HeartCare Center

Blanchard Valley Health System has announced that they will add to the Jane & Gary Heminger HeartCare Center. By expanding the building it will allow cardiology programs and services to continue at BVHS while expanding on cardio-oncology, cardiac electrophysiology, cardiac imaging, vascular care, diagnosis, and intervention of cardiac disease. 

 

Old Fort Teacher Finalist for Ag Educator of the Year

Julie Stawowy received recognition as a finalist for the 2023-24 Ag Educator of the Year through the Golden Owl Award. The award recognizes the best agricultural teachers throughout Ohio and other states. 

 

Stawowy was given a plaque to commemorate, being a finalist, while the Old Fort FFA Chapter will receive $1,500 to support agriculture education. The winner will be announced in May during the 96th Ohio FFA Convention, where she might earn an additional $5,000 for the agriculture program. 

 

The Golden Owl Award accumulated over 450 nominations between September to December 2023, ranging from local students, teachers, parents and members of the community. 

No Takers for Demo Funds

Hancock County has received a state grant from the Ohio Department of Development worth $500,000 to be used to demolish commercial and residential buildings. As of mid-February, only three applications have been sent in to use the grant money. 

 

Commercial and residential businesses that do not contain environmentally hazardous substances or conditions within Hancock County are eligible for the demolition funds. Barns or other agricultural buildings are not eligible unless they are attached to a residential structure to be taken down. The grant money is expected to cover the expenses for demolishing and restoring the site after the demolition process. 

 

The deadline for applications is 4 p.m. Friday. Application packets are available for pick-up at 318 Dorney Plaza, Room 304, Findlay, or for online access at www.hancockrpc.org. 

Hancock County Health Commissioner Resigns

Karim Baroudi, Hancock County Health Commissioner, is resigning and will take effect March 29. Baroudi, who took the position back in 2016, will move on to a new position as the health commissioner at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department in April. Hancock Public Health says Lindsay Summit, assistant health commissioner, will serve as the interim commissioner until the board of health finds a replacement.

Update to Fatal Accident on US 23

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has released new information regarding the unknown vehicle that fled the scene after it resulted in the death of 25-year-old Brady D. Neifer, of Archbold on US 23 near TR 65 Monday morning.

 

According to the OSHP-Bucyrus Post, troopers believe that the vehicle causing the accident was a semi tractor trailer, dump truck, or another type of heavy commercial vehicle. Authorities say that the unknown vehicle possibly sustained damages to its rear, trailer, or Interstate Commerce Commission bumper. The vehicle may have departed the scene traveling northbound on US 23.

 

If you have information about the unknown vehicle, driver’s identity, or any other information. Please contact the Bucyrus Post at 419-562-8040.

New Riegel Receives Multiple Grants

During the New Riegel Local Board of Education meeting on February 12. Superintendent David Rombach announced that the school received the Ohio Attorney General's grant for $2,500 and the linking technology grant for $15,000. In addition, the school is using a $65,000 grant from the state to gain a new school bus. 

 

Findlay to use Settlement Money to Combat Opioid Addiction

The city of Findlay will use settlement money from the OneOhio lawsuit against the opioid pharmaceutical industry to create initiatives to combat addiction in the future. 

 

OneOhio is a non-profit created by the state to distribute $1.8 billion in settlement funds over 18 years to fight opioid addiction. The state then sections off into regions, with Hancock County being part of region 17 along with Crawford, Hardin, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood, and Wyandot counties. So far, the estimated amount that Findlay will receive is $230,000, and they have already received $55,099. 

 

That money can create programs that address prevention, treatment, long-term recovery, criminal justice, and public awareness to promote the overall health and well-being of Ohians. Mayor Christina Muryn said that for right now, the Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services are asking her to save the money. 

 

Muryn says that by building up the funds will help create programs that best serves the community. 

Fostoria Cheer Squad Finishes Second at National Competition

The Fostoria High School competition cheer squad finished second among 18 other teams in the small varsity, traditional division of the two-day competition at the America’s Cheerleading Cup Championship in Orlando, FL. 

 

First year cheer coach Melissa Mason could take her squad to the championships by changing the group’s competition schedule beyond attending the area events and county fairs. They also raised over $10,000 for their entry fee, airfare and housing for the four-day trip. 

 

While not competing, the team enjoyed time at Universal Studios and Epcot. 

Hancock County 911 System back Online

In a press release by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, the 911 operating systems for the sheriff’s office and Findlay Police Department are working properly as of Tuesday.

 

The system has been tested with no issues in the last two days, but the sheriff’s office is asking the public that if callers are still dealing with technical issues, they need to call their office at 419-422-2424 or the Findlay Police Department at 419-424-7150.

 

Earlier this month, the police department and sheriff’s office reported connectivity issues with their 911 operating systems.The sheriff’s office filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. 

 

 

Fostoria Accepting Open Enrollment Applications

Fostoria City Schools will be accepting applications for out-of-district students wishing to attend during the 2024-25 school season. Students wishing to attend must submit their applications between March 1 and April 30. If applicants submit their applications before March 1, they will not be accepted. All requests will be acted on May 15. 

 

The open-enrollment program runs in line with other Ohio districts. Under adopted guidelines, any student in Ohio can apply for an inter-district transfer to Fostoria. Applications are available at any district building or at fostoriaschools.org. 

 

Reach out to the Fostoria district's administration office at 419-436-4100 if you have questions about open-enrollment.

Rumpke Bids on Litter Landing

On Thursday, Rumpke Waste & Recycling made a bid on Litter Landing to outsource the recycling businesses operations. The Hancock County Commissioners and county prosecutor’s office will review Rumpke’s offer, and will then recommend it to the Hancock County Solid Waste Management District Policy Board. If they agree to outsource the county’s recycling program, then the commissioners would implement the change. 

 

Rumpke is offering to pick up recyclables from the 16 collection stations around the county for $35.36 per trip. The estimate suggests that Rumpke would make 85 trips in a week, resulting in a yearly total owed of $156,291. The Hancock County Landfill tier fee fund, who funds Litter Landing, would pay those fees. 

 

Commissioner Timothy Bechtol says that the number of litter collection stations could increase to 21 to 25, so people can find stations closer to their home. Litter Landing could remain as the main collection station for people to drop off their recyclables.

 

County officials are considering building a new recycling center along the west side of County Road 140. 

 

Renovations for Tiffin YMCA Pool

Today, the Bucyrus-Tiffin YMCA announced renovations will begin on the pool starting March 1. The pool, which was built back in 1974, has finally reached the end of its life and requires expensive renovations to keep it operating.

 

Updates to the pool will be expanding it to six lanes that offer a starting depth of seven-and-a-half feet and a shallow turn-end depth of four feet. The second smaller pool will undergo lengthening to meet competition specification, along with the addition of an ADA-compliant access ramp. Adding new pumps, filtration, and sanitization stations will decrease the chlorine in the water, making it easier on the skin and swimsuits, while increasing the system's energy efficiency. These changes will help meet the needs of community and YMCA Members. 

 

Renovations will take six months and open back up to the public on September 1. 

Vigilante Group Investigated by Deputies

The Hardin County Sherriff’s Office is investigating a vigilante group, Dads Against Predators, when one of their members posted a video to social media confronting a man at an Arlington park.

 

Captain Mark Price from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, who is helping with the investigation, said that his office was notified by the public about the video, but never received a notification from the vigilante group. According to the video, a teacher from the Hardin Northern Local School District was allegedly meeting an underaged person at the park, with intentions of sexual misconduct.

 

Both the Hardin Northern and Hancock County Sheriff’s Offices disapprove of vigilante type actions by private citizens. Emily Roy, the Hardin County Commissioners Communications Coordinator, said that two men from Ohio created vigilante group in 2020 to catch predators in the act.

 

They are currently not helping with the investigation, but Price said that if they did, there could be legal issues. Price’s reasoning is that the they entice the person being videoed, which could be admissible in court. 

 

 

The investigation is currently ongoing, while the local school district has provided no update. 

Fostoria Cheerleading Heads South for National Competition

The Fostoria High School cheerleading squad left for Universal Orlando Resort in Florida Thursday to compete in the America’s Cheerleading Cup Championship.

 

The team will compete in the small varsity and traditional division with a group of eight members. On Saturday, the event will feature two performances and the squads with the highest scores will advance to the championship round on Sunday. 

 

Head cheer coach, Melissa Mason, said that her team was ready for this competition by cheering all football and basketball games, and attending various competitions where they placed in the top three in over 10 competitions. 

 

Fostoria High School Cheerleading Squad Members:

Abygail Bisson

Myasia Cannon

Evelyn Guernsey

Trinity Jackson

DrewAnn Miller

Lydia Morse

Isabelle Rood

Kendall Sprow

TSEOC Helps Local Businesses Continue their Legacy

The Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurial Opportunity Clearinghouse are accepting new listings by business owner’s looking to retire, so they can continue their life’s work once they are done. Three businesses have already sold that spurred investments in two development projects. 

 

This idea first came to light in 2021, where the TSEOC would allow business owners to advertise their business being sold either publicly or anonymously with no charge. The goal is to keep that business, so that it stays in Seneca County and remains open. Clearinghouse also helps businesses with ideas they want to bring to market by soliciting investments in the community. 

 

TSEOC encourages individuals to contact Adam Gillmor, Partnership Development Manager, for any business ideas by emailing him at gillmor@tiffinseneca.org. 

911 System Dealing with Technical Difficulties

Hancock County’s 911 system is still experiencing technical difficulties that started on Tuesday. The telephone company is actively working on the issue and will notify the public when the system is back to normal.

 

The Hancock County’s Sherriff’s Office released a statement Wednesday, stating that cell phone calls to 911 were getting through, but if someone called on a landline or VOIP, they would go through intermittently. Individuals using a landline or VOIP and can’t reach 911 should call the Hancock County Sherrif’s Office at 419-422-2424 or the Findlay Police Department at 419-424-7150.

 

The sheriff’s office filed a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission.

Seneca County Prepares for 200th Birthday

Seneca County will celebrate their 200th birthday starting April 1 at the Seneca County Museum. The event will begin at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. covering the county’s history, a presentation of the U.S flag, singing of the National Anthem and proclamations from elected officials across Ohio. 

 

In addition, the Bicentennial Committee and Destination Seneca County are working together to add several events throughout the year for Seneca County residents. This will include the second annual Be a Tourist in Your Own Town, Tiffin Seneca-Heritage Festival, the naming of an honorary canine commissioner, a beard contest, and Secrets of Seneca County Historical Driving Tour.

 

To check out when these events take place head to www.destinationsenecacounty.org/seneca-county-bicentennial.

 

Findlay's Downtown District Petitions for Renewal

The Downtown Findlay Improvements District is petitioning for a fiver year renewal. District attorney Phil Rooney sent a letter to the Findlay City Council on January 10 asking the council to review the plans for the next five years and its budget. Ohio requires the improvement district to ask for help from the city council as part of the petition renewal. 

 

The goal of the special improvement district is to help downtown Findlay with safety, cleanliness, and vitality. Tax assessments from district members are used to help fund the improvements. Under Ohio Law, property owners in a  “special improvement district” can tax themselves to pay for projects and services.

 

In an agreement in 2023, Findlay agreed with the district to maintain downtown florals, Christmas lights and music, along with weeding, maintenance, beautification and snow removal along Main Street and in the downtown district. 

 

The budget will be about $60,000 per year, with $40,000 a year going towards the downtown area. While, spending $16,000 on initiatives to keep the downtown vital.

 

 

UF Brings in Guess Speaker to Talk about the 2024 Solar Eclipse

The University of Findlay is welcoming guest speaker David Hurd, professor of geosciences and planetarium director at Pennsylvania Western University, to talk about the upcoming Eclipse. The event will take plus February 8, at 7 p.m. in Martin Lecture Hall in the Brewer/Frost Building. 

 

Hurd will talk about the history of solar eclipses and go into further detail about the upcoming eclipse April 8. His background in science ranges from being recognized by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, an affiliation with NASA, and has published nearly a dozen books. 

 

This event is part of the College of Sciences Faculty Chair Theme, which is “Solar Eclipse 2024”. The program is to educate members regarding solar eclipses. Steven Wild is the current College of Science faculty chair. 

 

The university will also be a sight for the upcoming solar eclipse. For more information head to www.findlay.edu.

BVHS Acquires Lake Cascades Primary Care

The Blanchard Valley Health System has announced that they are gaining Family Medical Associates of Findlay and renaming them Lake Cascades Primary Care. The practice will now be a part of Blanchard Valley Valley Medical Practices. BVHS is looking forward to having this new acquisition to help expand healthcare to Findlay residents, and be a part of an integrated healthcare network that runs throughout Northwest Ohio. 

 

All staff that are currently working at that facility will remain the same, and should not disrupt any services to patients. Lake Cascades Primary Care will still provide preventative care, wellness visits, health screenings, vaccinations, guidance with medication adherence, and chronic disease management. 

 

Lake Cascades Primary is at 1721 Medical Boulevard, Suite C, in Findlay, and is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment call 419-423-7663.

 

 

 

 

Findlay Resident Appointed to Second Term on State Council

Gov. Mike DeWine has appointed Findlay resident, Molly Dible, to a second two-year term to the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. Dible is currently the vice chair of the DD Council and will remain on the council through 2026. She will also be serving her second term with Hancock County resident Matthew LaFontaine. 

 

Since 2012, Dibble has been involved in multiple Blanchard Valley-sponsored advocacy groups. She has been the secretary for the Aktion Club of Hancock County, a member of the Speaks Out advocacy group, a trainer for Project Steps Toward Independence and Responsibility, was the secretary of the Northwest Region of the Ohio Self Determination Association and an advocate for We Thrive Together.

 

Dibble serves as a member of the Community Living Committee, Outreach Committee, Leadership Committee, Bylaws and Policies Committee, and Children and Health Committee. These committees all fall under DD Council umbrella. 

 

The DD Council comprises 30-members that are appointed by the governor. Council members are people with either developmental disabilities, parents and guardians of people with disabilities, representatives from concerned state agencies, nonprofit organizations and local agencies providing services to people with disabilities.

 

Columbia Gas of Ohio Plans Several Projects for Findlay

In Findlay, Columbia Gas of Ohio is planning to replace three gas lines in 2025 and 2026. According to Megan Huyor, a public affairs specialist for Columbia Gas of Ohio, the gas lines being replaced are on Lincoln Street, Defiance Avenue, and Bolton Street in 2025, and on Prospect Avenue in 2026. 

 

The company will replace aged cast iron, wrought iron, unprotected coated steel, bare steel distribution pipe, and hazardous customer service lines. They will be adding in modern piping to reduce the chances of leakages, lower the cost of maintenance, and reduce the need to dig up streets, sidewalks, and lawns. 

 

Columbia Gas is asking the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to approve the reimbursement of $28.7 million in expenses. If approved, the Infrastructure Replacement Program Rider will raise the gas bill for customers by $1.38 each month. Hunyor says that larger consumers and commercial customers will not see a fixed dollar increase on their statement, but a small increase in their surcharge. 

 

The application for the reimbursement will be sent to the PUCO in February. 

Fostoria High School Revives Athletic Hall of Fame

The last time Fostoria High School had inducted someone into their Athletic Hall of Fame was 10 years ago. On February 10, Fostoria High School will finally change this by inducting Frank Ferguson into their Athletic Hall of Fame.

 

Ferguson was a track standout and coach for Fostoria who helped win a district championship in 1990. He set the school record in the 880-yard dash his senior year with a time of 1:55.9 in the state track and field championships. 

 

Between Fostoria's junior varsity and varsity boys’ basketball game at 7 p.m., there will be a short ceremony to recognize Ferguson's induction. The school will hold a banquet before both games. 

 

In preparation for Ferguson’s induction. The school will add a 65-inch touch screen display that will be outside the gymnasium. The new addition allows visitors to search for information on past inductees. This will be up and running before February 10. 

 

Fostoria Athletic Director, Thom Loomis, says the plan is to designate a weekend in the fall to introduce new inductees during home football games, and then induct them in during a Saturday evening banquet. 


 

 

 

 

Investigation into Cross House Fire Closes

The Ohio Marshal’s Office reported on Wednesday that the August 5 fire, at 16511 Maureen Dr. in Kenton, that destroyed state Rep Jon Cross’s home and two vehicles is being closed without a determined cause.

 

Since the house fire, Cross has moved to Findlay purchasing a Pheasant Run home for $792,533, according to the Hancock County auditor’s office. 

 

Cross and his wife are seeking $25,000 to cover their litigation costs, filing a countersuit, and are asking for a jury trial. The couple believes that the insurance company breached their contract by partially approving their claim for the losses in the fire.

 

In December, The Toledo U.S. District received a request from Cross's insurance company to dismiss the countersuit that seeks to recover costs for defending against the counterclaim and awarding no recovery expenses to the couple. 

 

Liberty Mutual denies most of the claims made in the countersuit and denies any failure to handle the claim fairly. They acknowledge the couple’s demand for attorney fees is permissible by law. 

 

As of right now, there has been no motion to dismiss the counterclaim. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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