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Regional News

Bluffton U Hosting Jazz & Gospel Concert

Bluffton University’s Gospel Choir and Jazz Ensemble concert has been set for 6 p.m. Saturday, April 7, in Yoder Recital Hall.


The performance is free and open to the public; a free-will offering will be taken during intermission for music scholarships.


Under the direction of Dr. Crystal Sellers-Battle, the Gospel Choir’s program will remember the life of composer Edwin Hawkins, who passed away in January, by singing his most famous song “Oh Happy Day.” A rhythm section led by Wesley Sellers of Columbus will accompany the group.


The Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Andrew Liebermann, will play tunes by Charles Mingus, Oliver Nelson and Duke Ellington.



ODNR Hosting Fishing Instructor Course

A Passport certification course is being offered April 5 at the ODNR Division of Wildlife District Two Office in Findlay.


Passport to Fishing is a one-day instructor training program that qualifies individuals to become ODNR Division of Wildlife certified fishing instructors, similar to a hunter education instructor.


This workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 952 Lima Ave., Findlay 45840.


Participants are encouraged to bring a packed lunch and dress for the weather. It is free of charge, but pre registration is required by April 4, as space is limited. Interested individuals can register by calling Andrea Altman at 419-429-8321.


Participants will be required to complete a background check.



Marijuana Grow Operations Dismantled in 3 Counties


Marijuana grow operations in three counties were dismantled following a drug investigation that started back in January.


According to a release, from the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office, the investigation was initiated by the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office and the Major Crimes Unit. It expanded into Marion and Crawford counties when investigators found that multiple marijuana cultivation buildings were being utilized for the illegal production and sale of marijuana.


As a result of search warrants being served at residents in the three counties, numerous marijuana plants, cocaine, cash and a gun have been confiscated and the grow operations have been disassembled.


37 year old William S. Rimmer, of Upper Sandusky has been arrested and is facing felony charges. Charges are pending on other individuals that were involved in the grow operations.



Stolen Vehicle Recovered in Union County


Union County Sheriff's deputies recovered a stolen vehicle on Thursday.


According to the report from the Union County Sheriff's Office, a deputy on patrol discovered a 1988 pickup truck parked on White Stone Road near State Route 347.


After further investigation, it was determined the vehicle had been stolen from the City of Columbus.


The truck was impounded.



Rhodes State Holding Early Scheduling Orientation


Rhodes State College will kick off Summer and Fall semester registration with Early Scheduling Orientation beginning Wednesday, April 4th.


Sessions will be held Wednesday, April 4th and Thursday, April 5th at 5:30 p.m. each evening in the Keese Hall Multipurpose Center.


New students will learn more about their programs of interest, meet faculty and staff, and register for classes.


Scholarships totaling $10,000 will be awarded during the 2 evenings. Students who attend either session will be entered into a drawing for five $1,000 scholarships that will be awarded each night.  



Woman Arrested Following Stabbing Death of Lima Man


A Lima man died Wednesday from stab wounds.


According to a release from the Lima Police Department, officers were dispatched to 605 Fairview where they found 65 year old Eddie McClellan, who had been stabbed multiple times, including once in the chest.


McClellan was transported to Lima Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His body was taken to the Lucas County Coroner's Office for an autopsy.


The suspect has been identified as 39-year-old Marchion Williams. She was found by officers at a residence at approximately 5:45 Wednesday morning. She was taken into custody for suspicion of murder.


If anyone has any information about the stabbing incident, they are being asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 419-229-STOP.



Death of Wyandot County Woman Under Investigation


The death of a Wyandot County woman is being investigated.


According to the report from the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office, deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of Seventh Street in Sycamore on a report of a deceased person.


The body of a 41 year old woman was found in the house. Her husband reported the incident.


The investigation was turned over to the Major Crimes Unit.



Two Arrested Following Marion County Drug Investigation


An investigation that was launched this past weekend in Marion led to the arrest of two major drug dealers.


According to a release from the MARMET Drug Task Force, Shiloh Jackson was arrested at a residence in Marion, while Sylvester Jones was able to elude officers following a high speed pursuit through the streets on the west side of Marion and eventually onto State Route 309 towards Big Island. He was arrested the next day in Columbus and is awaiting extradition back to Marion.


Both men are facing charges of trafficking in drugs.


The Drug Task Force was assisted in the investigation by the Marion Police Department, Marion County Sheriff's Office and the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.



Accident Claims Life of Wauseon Man


A 23 year old Wauseon man died following a crash Wednesday morning.


WPKO reported that the crash occurred on US 68 north of Urbana in Champaign County when a vehicle driven by Jacob Hite struck the rear of car being operated by 46 year old Stephanie Castle, who was slowing to make a left turn onto State Route 296.


Hite exited his vehicle to check on Castle, and as he was returning, he was struck by a northbound vehicle being operated by 47 year old Jason Lewis, of West Liberty.


Hite was pronounced dead at the scene.


The crash remains under investigation.



One Injured in Two Vehicle Crash


One person was injured in a crash that occurred Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of County HIghways 58 and 119 in Wyandot County.


According to the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office report, 18 year old Madison Vince, of Upper Sandusky, drove from 58 onto 119, and her car was struck by a southbound vehicle being operated by 72 year old Ivon Brugler, of Morral, Ohio.


Heavy damage occurred to both vehicles, and Brugler was transported to Wyandot Memorial Hospital.


Vince was cited for failure to yield.



Indian Lake Student Facing Aggravated Menacing Charge


A student at Indian High School is facing charges following a threat at the school this week.


WPKO Radio reported that Washington Township Police arrested 18 year Jordan Barhorst, of rural Waynesfield, after he allegedly took a photo of two female students that he didn't know, drew a circle around them, and described them as school shooters. He then posted the photo on social media.


Barhorst was taken into custody on a charge of aggravated menacing and disorderly conduct. He was transported to the Logan County Jail.



Apollo Hires New Superintendent


The Apollo Career Center in Lima as a new leader.


WLIO reported that Keith Horner will take over as superintendent. He is expected to be formally hired at the March 26th board meeting.


Horner has served in the Wapakoneta City Schools for over a decade.



Rhodes State College Hosting Med Prep Day


Rhodes State College will host their annual Med Prep Day tomorrow morning beginning at 9:15 in the Keese Hall Multipurpose Center.


Area High School students interested in healthcare careers will be able to learn more about programs available in the Division of Health Sciences.


Sessions will be offered in Emergency Medical Services, Human Patient Simulator, Exercise Science, and more.



Carey Woman Receives Threats from Phony IRS Agent


A resident from Carey reported receiving threatening phone calls from someone claiming to be from the IRS.


According to the report from the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office, the woman said the caller told her she owed over $8000 and demanded payment, stating that if she doesn't pay, she would be arrested.


When the man called back, the woman informed him she had contacted police to get them involved. At that point, the man told her if she didn't pay, he was going to show up at her house and kill her along with the cops.


The woman was advised to block the calls, and she stated she is not going to take any more calls from numbers she didn't know.


She was told to contact law enforcement if she has any more problems.



Traffic on 33 Slowed by Car Fire


Traffic on Route 33 in Union County was slowed by a car fire Tuesday.


WPKO Radio in Bellefontaine reported that 26 year old Alicia Armentrout, of Lima, was driving east on 33 near the Marysville Auto Plant, when her vehicle caught on fire.


A nearby trooper from the Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol alerted Armentrout her car was on fire, and it eventually became fully engulfed.


The fire started in  the engine compartment, and the car was destroyed. There were no injuries.


33 eastbound in that area was closed for over 90 minutes.



Bluffton University President-Elect to be Introduced


Dr. Jane Wood, president-elect of Bluffton University, will speak to students, faculty, staff and community members during a public introduction at 4 p.m. on Monday, March 19 in Yoder Recital Hall.


The event will include a welcome from Kent Yoder, chair of the Bluffton University Board of Trustees, and comments from Cheryl Hacker, vice chair of the Board of Trustees and chair of the presidential search committee.


A reception in the lobby of Yoder will follow the formal comments.


Dr. Wood was named president-elect in February. Starting on July 1, 2018, she will serve as the tenth president of Bluffton in its 119-year history.



FPD to Target Impaired St. Patrick's Day Drivers


St. Patrick's Day is one of the deadliest holidays due to the number  of drunk drivers on the road.


This year, the Findlay Police Department will be increasing patrol efforts to detect and apprehend intoxicated drivers. According to the department's Facebook page, officers will be focusing their efforts on liquor violations in the downtown area.


People are being reminded about the slogan, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," and they are being asked to do their part this St. Patrick's Day and have a reliable designated driver to get you home safely.



UF Hosting Browns Edge Spring Breakout Program


The University of Findlay will host a Browns Edge Spring Breakout, which will feature Cleveland Browns executives addressing topics such as wellness in the workplace and data analytics.


The event will be held Wednesday, March 28 from 12:30 to 3:45 p.m. in Ritz Auditorium. Current and prospective UF students are invited.


Made possible through UF’s exclusive partnership with the Browns organization, the summit will illustrate that there is much more to the NFL than just players and games.


For more information and to register, visit the Browns Edge Program's webpage.



Arrest Made in Marion Murder Case


An arrest has been made in a murder case in Marion.


According to a release from the Marion Police Department, 35 year old Mitchell Rankin was arrested over the weekend and transported to the Multi-County Correctional Facility.


He is facing charges in connection to the death of 50 year old Catherine Cochran, whose body was found back on Friday in a home shared by Rankin at 643 Universal Avenue.


This case is still actively being investigated and the Marion Police Department encourages anyone with information in the case to please contact detectives at 740-387-2525.



Marion County Sheriff Keeps Flags at Half Staff


The Marion County Sheriff has joined with Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart in keeping flags at half staff in awareness of law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty.


Sheriff Tim Bailey made the announcement on the sheriff's office Facebook page.


The flags were lowered to show respect for the two fallen Westerville Police Officers, but will remain lowered, at least at the sheriff's offices in Marion and Hardin Counties, until the country can go a full 30 days without an officer being killed at the hands of another.


20 officers have been murdered around the country so far this year. The last was on March 6 when a police officer in Missouri was killed.


The 30 days started March 7.



Highway Right of Way Encroachments Occurring Frequently

LIMA, Ohio (Monday, March 5, 2018) - Putting up a mailbox, installing a driveway or cleaning out a ditch are all normal activities property owners routinely undertake. But if done improperly and without the permission of the Ohio Department of Transportation, serious legal ramifications could result.
“We are urging property owners to contact us before they do any type of work along a state highway. It’s much better to work with us ahead of a project rather than create a problem that requires reversal,” said Kirk Slusher, Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 deputy director.
The following are the most common kinds of activities that can sometimes conflict with state requirements. Please contact your local ODOT District 1 garage at the numbers provided regarding any work within highway right of way. District 1 includes the counties of Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot.
.Driveways – A permit must be obtained from ODOT prior to a driveway being installed along a state highway. Proper spacing from existing driveways and intersections, width requirements and the size of drainage pipe needed beneath the drive must be determined prior to installation. Contact your local ODOT garage for guidance and to initiate the permit process.
.Mailboxes – Mailboxes can be a roadside hazard if guidelines for mailbox placement and type are not adhered to. Visit the United States Postal Service for guidance at: https://www.usps.com/manage/mailboxes.htm.
.Ditch cleaning – Before performing any work in or along a ditch, check with the local ODOT garage to ensure the waterway is not located within highway right of way. Strict environmental regulations must be followed when working within a state-controlled waterway. A permit is required prior to this type of work taking place.
.Snow removal – Snow removed from a private driveway and placed onto a highway is in violation of Ohio Revised Code. Placing anything on the highway could be dangerous to motorists in that they may hit these obstructions and lose control of their vehicle. The offense is considered a first degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
.Farming – Property owners should know where highway right of way begins in relation to a farm field. It’s easy to unknowingly creep over the line when working fields, which can lead to maintenance issues for highway personnel. Consult the local ODOT garage to establish boundaries.
.Drainage – ODOT personnel can provide guidance on the proper placement and size of pipe along farm fields, along lawns and under driveways. A permit is required before this type of work can take place.
.Signage – It is illegal to place anything within highway right of way without permission of ODOT. Signs placed within highway right of way that obstruct the view of motorists will be removed. As a general rule, anything placed behind utility poles is outside of highway right of way; however, permission from private property owners should be received prior to placing any sign. 
“We are a resource for property owners at any time. If work is being performed along a state highway or there’s any question as to what is permissible, contact ODOT before to be sure the project is not in violation of state requirements,” said Slusher.
For information regarding permits contact Duane Hackworth, ODOT District 1, at 419-999-6843; duane.hackworth@dot.ohio.gov.
Or visit the District 1 permits website at: http://www.dot.state.oh.us/districts/D01/PlanningPrograms/permits/Pages/default.aspx


(UPDATE) Driver Seriously Injured in Marion County Crash


A serious crash Sunday night is being investigated by the Marion Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

According to a release, the crash occurred on US 23 when a passenger van, being operated by 27 year old Dan J. Lydick Jr., of Sterling Heights, Ohio,  struck the rear of a minivan being driven by 54 year old Becky L. Porter, of Shelby, Ohio.
Lydick suffered life threatening injuries and was transported to OSU Medical Center in Columbus by MedFlight helicopter.
Porter and 13 other occupants in the passenger van were all transported to Marion General Hospital.
The Marion Highway Patrol Post is currently wanting to speak to any passers-by who may have witnessed this crash. Call: (740) 383-2181 to provide information.
This crash is currently under investigation.



Findlay Firefighters Battle a Blaze in the City


A fire was reported this morning in the City of Findlay.


According to a release from the Findlay Police Department, the fire occurred in the 300 block of East Sandusky Avenue.


Findlay firefighters were dispatched to the scene around 6 this morning.


The police department is assisting at the scene.


East Sandusky Avenue, between South Blanchard and East Streets were closed in the area while the fire was being extinguished.



Indoor Marijuana Grow Operation Busted in Marysville


Detectives from the Multi-Agency Drug Enforcement Task Force, deputies with the Union County Sheriff’s Office and Marysville Police Department Special Response Teams served a search warrant at a residence in 10000 block of Industrial Parkway, Marysville back on Friday.


According to a release, investigators located an indoor marijuana grow operation. Criminal charges for Illegal Manufacturing of Drugs/Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana, Trafficking in Drugs and possession of Drugs are pending against a 34-year-old male residing at the residence.  


Once laboratory results are received the case will be presented to a Union County Grand Jury.  



Data Breach Reported at Multiple Applebee's Restaurants


RMH Franchise Holdings recently learned about a data breach incident affecting certain payment cards used at RHM owned Applebee's restaurants.


Guests should pay attention to their accounts if they used payment cards at Applebee's in Findlay, Marysville, Marion, and 2 locations in Lima, as well as locations around Ohio, between December 6, 2017 to January 2, 2018.


According to a release from the company, after discovering the incident on February 13, 2018, RMH promptly took steps to ensure that it had been contained.


In addition to engaging third-party cyber security experts to assist with the investigation, RMH also notified law enforcement about the incident and will continue to cooperate in their investigation.


Moving forward, RMH is continuing to closely monitor its systems and review its security measures to help prevent something like this from happening again.


The company announced that the incident has been contained and guests may use their cards with confidence at the RMH Applebee’s locations that were affected by this incident.



Michigan Man Facing Drug Charge Following Traffic Stop


A Detroit, Michigan man was arrested on a drug charge following a traffic stop in Wyandot County on Thursday.


According to the report from the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office, a car was stopped on US 23 for a speeding violation.


The deputy smelled a strong odor of marijuana which led to a search of the vehicle.


A black bag containing numerous syringes, a glass pipe and a plastic bag with what appeared to be crystal methamphetamine, was found in the vehicle.


The driver, identified as Tyrone L. Jackson Jr., allegedly admitted the bag was his and said he had a crystal meth problem.


Jackson was arrested and transported to the Wyandot County Jail and is awaiting an initial appearance in Upper Sandusky Municipal Court.


During the booking process, it was discovered that Jackson had a warrant for his arrest out of Michigan for a parole violation.



Wyandot County Sheriff Releases February Activity Report


The Wyandot County Sheriff's Office released its activity report for the month of February.

The office took 163 complaints. 10 felony, 24 misdemeanor and 102 traffic arrests were made.

There were no fatal crashes during the month. A total of 5 people were injured in three crashes during the month.

There were 19 new concealed carry permits issued, 28 were renewed and none were revoked.


Two Neighborhood Meetings in Lima


Two neighborhood meetings are scheduled in Lima.

The first is the Northside Neighborhood Association meeting starting at 7pm on Monday March 19 at St. Mark's United Methodist Church. The other is the Central Lima Neighborhood Association, which will meet at 6:30pm on Wednesday March 21 at Heritage Elementary School.

The meetings are a way for Lima citizens to get to know their neighbors and voice concerns about problems in the neighborhood.


Man Arrested Following Task Force Investigation


A Columbus man was arrested following a traffic stop in Logan County this week.


WPKO in Bellefontaine reported that the Logan County Joint Drug Task Force stopped a car on U.S. 38 in West Liberty, and the driver, identified as 41 year old Kandale Harrison, was taken into custody on charges of possession of cocaine, having weapons under disability and receiving stolen property.


Harrison had been under investigation Task Force for trafficking in cocaine.



Two Arrested Following Auglaize County Traffic Stop


Two people were arrested following a recent traffic stop in Auglaize County.


According to a release from the Auglaize County Sheriff's Office, a traffic violation led deputies to stop the car and during a subsequent search, suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were found and confiscated.


Two people, 35 year old Cory D. Gross and 23 year old Alyssa R. Ridder, were both arrested on charges of possession of drugs.


Additional charges are possible as the incident remains under investigation.



Police Chief Addresses Indian Lake Students


Indian Lake High School students heard from the Washington Township Police Chief about verbal and social media threats that are aimed at schools.


The Bellefontaine Examiner reported that Chief Rick Core addressed the students in the wake of the school shooting in Florida in February.


The chief said all threats are taken seriously, adding that they don't have the luxury of thinking they are just a sick joke.


He said if students hear of a threat, their first course of action to be to report it to a parent, school administrator and/or to law enforcement.


Chief Core said statistics show that in 88 percent of all violent school attacks, at least three other students were aware it was going to happen.



Incredible Kid Day Scheduled at U of F


The University of Findlay again will be participating in Camp Fire’s Absolutely Incredible Kid Day on Wednesday, March 14.


Tables will be set up from 11am to 3pm in the Alumni Memorial Union’s Fireside Lounge.


The public is welcome to join students, faculty and staff in writing letters of encouragement and inspiration to children.


The University of Findlay has been hosting Absolutely Incredible Kid Day letter-writing sessions for more than 15 years.


For more information, call 419-434-4606.



Marion Man Killed in Crash This Past Sunday Morning


A Marion man was killed in a two vehicle crash that occurred  this past Sunday morning.


According to a release from the Marion Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, 73 year old Edwin A. Keirns was driving east on State Route 309 when his car struck a vehicle being driven by 45 year old Tara M. Baker, of Upper Sandusky, who drove from a stop sign on Marion Williamsport Road.


Kierns died at the scene. A passenger in his car, Susan Kierns, and Baker were both transported to Marion General Hospital with serious injuries.


The crash remains under investigation.



Suspect Arrested Following Stabbing in Findlay


A woman was arrested following a weekend stabbing in Findlay.


According to the media release from the Findlay Police Department, officers were dispatched to 448 Center Street to investigate a report that a man had been stabbed.


The victim, identified as 30 year old Mario Altman, was found conscious and alert and was transported to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment.


23 year old Jasmine Kirkland was located a short distance from the scene and was taken to the hospital for treatment of stress related issues.


She was then arrested on a charge of felonious assault and taken to the Hancock County Jail.



Theft From Vehicle Reported in Wyandot County


A theft from a vehicle was reported to the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office on Monday.


According to the report, a man from Sycamore told deputies someone entered his unlocked vehicle and removed his wallet and other items.


The victim said before he could cancel a credit card, it had already been used six times and only one of the purchases was declined.


The incident is under investigation.



BPD Holds Youth Academy Class


The Bellefontaine Police Department kicked off its 5th Youth Academy Class this past weekend.


High School juniors and seniors signed up and spent one, full day of learning more about policing.


20 of them arrived at 7:30 Saturday morning and finished their day by 5:30.


They received an overview of the police department, toured the facility, learned about the history of policing, K9 presentation, investigations/crime scene presentation, 911 dispatching, and more.


With nearly 50 attendees, this year's academy class was separated into two separate classes. The next class will meet this Saturday March 10.



Marion Campus Hosting Job Fair


The annual Marion Campus Job & Internship Fair is set for this Thursday.


The event runs from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the Alber Student Center on the OSU Marion campus. Check-in and set-up begins at 9:30 a.m.


This well-attended event is open to Marion Campus students, graduates, and members of the public.


The annual event is sponsored by Marion Technical College, The Ohio State University at Marion and OhioMeansJobs - Marion County.



Speaker Scheduled at Bluffton University


Bluffton University alumnus Aaron Williams, founder of Unbound Holdings and CEO of EkoMovers, will present the Forum, “The True Price of Entrepreneurship," at 11 a.m. on March 20 in Yoder Recital Hall.


The Cincinnati business owner, real estate investor and Bluffton alumnus will discuss the many ways business ownership impacts communities and the world by creating jobs and opportunities.


Williams, a native of Lima, Ohio, studied business administration at Bluffton.



Roll-Over Weekend Crash Reported in Wyandot County


A McCutchenville teenager escaped injury in a one vehicle crash over the weekend in Wyandot County.


According to the report from the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office, 17 year old Grace Morehart lost control of her car while driving east on County Highway 2.


The vehicle ended up off the left side of the road where it overturned.


Morehart was cited for failure to control.



High Speed Chase Results in Drug Bust


A drug bust and high speed chase occured on 1-75 in Findlay on Friday.


According to WFIN, a Toyota Corolla was driving on I-75 when the driver merged into a Semi and hit a median barrier. The State Patrol reported that the crash occurred near the County Road 99 overpass around 5:45 pm. The two victims of the accident, Sharonda Green, and Quentin Randolph, were taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital for treatment.


While the two were in the hospital, law enforcement officials were able to find narcotics within the wrecked vehicle. Green was then transported back to the scene of the incident by sister, Shamauria Harris. Officers then proceeded to attempt to interview Green and Harris on the narcotics found within the wrecked vehicle. Green and Harris fled from police down I-75, leading officers on a chase for 30 miles. The speeding vehicle hit stop sticks which stopped her vehicle.


Green and Harris are both facing multiple charges.



Indian Lake Boat Show Runs Through Sunday March 4


The big 3 day Indian Lake Boat Show runs today through Sunday.


It is the annual spring event for the entire Indian Lake area.


Boaters, campers, visitors, tourists, and residents look forward to this annual event which marks the beginning of spring activities in the area.


The 2018 Indian Lake Boat show will feature excellent deals, good food, and meetings with old and new friends. Annually boaters come to the Indian Lake Boat show and enjoy the fun and excitement of seeing the new and used boats on display.


Snacks and prizes are available throughout the weekend and the boating fans love seeing the many new boats available from boat dealers at Indian Lake.


Boaters will be able to explore the best brands in the industry at each of the area's marine dealerships: Indian Lake Marine, Bud's Marine and Spend-A-Day Marina.


The hours are from 10am until 8pm today and Saturday and 10am until 5pm on Sunday.



Group Seeks to Have Mural on Findlay Municipal Building Removed


A Wisconsin group is seeking to have a mural that features a bible verse on the Findlay Municipal Building removed.


WFIN Radio reported that Freedom From Religion sent a letter to the city asking that the mural be removed stating that it goes against the First Amendment.


Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik appeared on the Fox and Friends television show to say that the mural is staying put until the city is legally directed to remove it.



Truck Driver Seriously Injured in Crash


A Marysville truck driver was injured in a crash Thursday morning.


WPKO Radio in Bellefontaine reported that 42 year old Joseph Evans failed to stop for stop sign after he exited the westbound lane of Route 33 onto State Route 347.


The semi hit a sign and went across 347 where it struck the embankment.


Evans was transported to Memorial Hospital in Marysville for treatment of serious injuries.


So far no charges have been filed as the crash remains under investigation.



UF Designated Tree Campus USA

For the second consecutive year, the University of Findlay has received the designation of Tree Campus USA from the Arbor Day Foundation.
The University’s initial designation was precipitated by a robust urban forest management program overseen by Ben Dolan, Ph.D., associate professor of biology. UF has continued its stewardship by planting eight trees last spring, and replaces ash trees as they die. Additionally, treatments will continue on four ash trees, which will concurrently serve educational purposes.
“Our biggest success was the addition of 80 new trees for landscaping around the new Center for Student Life and College of Business,” said Dolan. “Money for the trees primarily came from donations through a fundraising effort by University Advancement. Stratton Greenhouses selected trees that diversified species in our urban forest, which helps reduce the impact of species-specific diseases and pests,” he said.
A total of 92 trees were planted on campus in 2017, which was likely an unprecedented number for UF. Dolan said about four trees are planted during any given year. Along with those mentioned above, the plantings included an Arbor Day tree planted during a spring ceremony, a cherry tree donated by Friends of Findlay, and a memorial tree in the sensory garden.
Also last year, the UF Campus Tree Advisory Board hosted a service learning project in October in which Wilderness Club students helped remove excess mulch from trees on the front lawn.
“Mulch needs to be removed on an annual basis, before fresh mulch is applied,” said Dolan. “This was our effort to help the grounds crew get it done more quickly. We called the event Mulch Rehab. It also serves as an opportunity for students to learn about tree biology and the danger of burying tree stems.
The University will again be hosting an Arbor Day event this spring; details are still being finalized.


Driver Cited for FTC Following Wyandot County Crash


A Sycamore man escaped injury in a crash that occurred Wednesday afternoon.


According to the report from the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office, 44 year old Jeffery R. Bland lost control of his car after swerving to avoid an animal while driving south on State Highway 231.


The vehicle went off the road and struck a telephone junction box and a utility pole resulting in heavy damage.


Bland was cited for failure to control.



Five Arrested in Union County on Outstanding Warrants


Several people throughout Union County were taken into custody on outstanding warrants Wednesday.


According to the daily media release from the Union County Sheriff's Office, five people were arrested during the day.


Most were transported to the Tri-County Regional Jail. Others were released after posting bail.


One man was released to a deputy from Logan County where the warrant was from.



Motivational Speaker Addresses Bellefontaine Students


The Bellefontaine Middle School played host to a motivational speaker this week.


According to the Bellefontaine Police Department Facebook page, Roy Hall, a former wide receiver for an Ohio State Buckeye National Championship team, shared with the students the importance of staying on track and completing tasks while going the extra mile to help someone.


The one time wideout with the Indianapolis Colts, also gave tips on how to survive difficult times and how to avoid pitfalls of social media.



Hurricane Maria Survivor Scheduled to Speak at U of F


University of Findlay graduate Jorge Figueroa, who was living in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria struck, will share the personal hardships he and others faced as they weathered the storm and its aftermath.


His hopes for revitalizing the island, and his ideas for how all Americans can best prepare for storms of a similar magnitude will also be discussed.


His presentation will be held on Thursday, March 22 from 7:30-9 p.m. in Winebrenner Theological Seminary, Room 254.


The event will be free and open to the public.



New Service-Safety Director Named in Bellefontaine


The City of Bellefontaine will have a new service-safety director.


WPKO Radio reported that 49 year old David Henry has accepted the position, which was announced by Mayor Ben Stahler at a council meeting Tuesday evening.


Henry, who has served as Bellefontaine Council President, will replace retiring service-safety director Jim Holycross, who has served in that position for 36 years.



Lima Man Sentenced in Sex Trafficking Case


The ringleader of a sex trafficking ring as well as the other six participants were eventually brought to justice and sentenced to lengthy federal prison terms following a joint law enforcement effort conducted by the FBI-led Toledo Child Exploitation Task Force.


According to an FBI release, the case started in December 2015, when the Lima Ohio Police Department began investigating allegations of human trafficking and forced prostitution involving a juvenile victim.


Lima resident Lorenzo Young was the leader of the group and was assisted, in varying degrees, by his longtime friend Aundre Davis.


Young, who was convicted at a trial held in December of 2017, was recently sentenced to life in prison. Davis was convicted in May of last year and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.


Five other individuals pleaded guilty and were sentenced during 2017.



One Lane of I75 Through Findlay to Close


A bridge demolition project in Findlay will close one lane of Interstate 75.


According to a release from the Ohio Department of Transportation, the southbound lane of 75 will be reduced to one lane from County Road 99 to State Route 12 tonight and Thursday.


The lane restriction will begin at approximately 9 p.m. each night and conclude at approximately 7 a.m. the following day.


All Findlay exits will remain open during this time.



Multiple Drug Charges Filed Against Lancaster Man


A Lancaster man was arrested on multiple drug charges following a traffic stop on US Route 33 near Russells Point earlier this week.


WPKO Radio in Bellefontaine reported that Washington Township Police conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle being driven by 26 year old Curtis Coleman Jr.


A search was conducted after officers detected an odor of marijuana.


Three loaded handguns, cash, methamphetamine and other items were confiscated.


Coleman has been charged with trafficking in drugs, having weapons under disability, driving without a license, fictitious plates, and driving under suspension.



Ben Logan Assistant Treasurer Resigns


The assistant treasurer for Benjamin Logan School resigned over allegations of mishandling money.


The Bellefontaine Examiner reported that Cameron Saylor turned in the resignation and it was accepted by the School Board at this week's meeting.


The 28 year old Saylor is accused of multiple issues, including negligence in paying employee insurance.


A report was filed with the Logan County Sheriff's Office, but no charges have been filed.



Post Office Vehicle Involved in Union County Crash


The driver of a Post Office vehicle was cited following a crash in Union County earlier this week..


According to the daily media release from the Union County Sheriff's Office, 27 year old Christion W. Brooks was cited for failure to drive in marked lanes after his vehicle struck a car.


The crash occurred in the 15,000 block of State Route 347.


There were no injuries.



Driver Escapes Injury in Roll Over Crash


An Upper Sandusky teenager escaped injury in a roll over crash that occurred Monday morning in Wyandot County.


According to the report from the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office, 16 year old Emma Swihart lost control of her car while driving east on County Highway 330. The vehicle went off the right side of the road where it struck a guardrail and overturned coming to rest on its wheels.


Swihart was cited for failure to control.



Strong Arm Robbery Reported in Bellefontaine


Tim Horton's in Bellefontaine was the target of a strong arm robbery late this past Sunday night.


WPKO Radio reported that a male grabbed around $280 from the cash register and fled the area on foot.


He was wearing a red coat and black pants.


A suspect was named, but so far no charges have been filed.


The incident remains under investigation.



Findlay Police Advise Residents to Lock Vehicles


The Findlay Police Department has seen an increase in theft complaints where items are being stolen from parked vehicles.


According to the department's Facebook page, in most of these cases, the vehicles are left unlocked with items in plain view. Stolen items range from loose change to firearms.


The police department advises residents that after parking your vehicle, take a moment to secure your items before leaving and make sure to lock your doors. This will cut down on the chances of becoming a victim. Rarely are windows broken unless the items are in plain view.


You should also keep an eye out for your neighbors and report suspicious activity when you see it. This could include someone moving car to car and looking in the windows.




Bluffton University Offering Pre-Engineering Major


Bluffton University is now offering a pre-engineering major for students to explore and prepare for an engineering career in a liberal arts environment.


Pre-engineering majors at Bluffton will take a blend of mathematics and physics courses along with some new classes designed specifically for pre-engineering majors.


Requirements of the major also allow students to earn a second major or pursue additional coursework.


More on the story will be posted later this morning under regional news at wktn.com.



Two Vehicles Damaged in Wyandot County Crash


A Michigan driver was cited following a two vehicle crash in Wyandot County Sunday night.


According to the report from the Wyandot County Sheriff's Office, 29 year old Delan Wynn was cited for an assured clear distance ahead violation after his car struck the rear of a vehicle being operated by 48 year old Kelly Dentinger, of Bloomville, Ohio, who had just taken the exit ramp from U.S. 23 and was waiting to turn onto State Route 53.


Moderate damage occurred to the vehicles.


There were no injuries.



LCSO Hosts Awards Banquet


WPKO reports The Logan County Sheriff's Office hosted its inaugural awards banquet Saturday night. 200 employees, elected officials, and community leaders were in attendance as well as


Congressman Jim Jordan as the featured speaker who commended law enforcement for their bravery and commitment.

Jordan said deputies, dispatchers, and support staff are ordinary folks doing extraordinary things.


He praised President Trump for his unwavering support of law enforcement and the military.



Logan County Man Facing Several Drug Charges


WPKO also reports a Logan county man was arrested on multiple felony drug charges following a traffic stop in Santa Fe earlier this week.


The Logan County Joint Drug Task Force arrested Shane Hicks, 30 of Lakeview, at the intersection of State Route 720 and County Road 23 Wednesday night around six o'clock.


The Task Force had been investigating Hicks for trafficking methamphetamine in the Indian Lake area by traveling to Dayton to make the purchase and returning to sell and use the drug.


Hicks was charged with two counts of trafficking in methamphetamine (F4) and single counts of possession of methamphetamine (F5) and tampering with evidence (F3).


Hicks was lodged in the Logan County Jail.



Bluffton University Names Dr. Jane Wood as President

BLUFFTON, Ohio – For just the tenth time in its 119-year history, Bluffton University’s Board of Trustees has named a new president, announcing that Dr. Jane Wood has accepted the call to serve as Bluffton’s next president beginning July 1, 2018. 
“Dr. Wood has demonstrated success in achieving enrollment growth at several institutions by leading academic program innovation, strategic planning, alignment and visioning processes that moved those institutions forward, along with proven success in building relationships for public and private partnerships to broaden the school’s reach,” said Kent Yoder, chairperson of the Bluffton University Board of Trustees. “She is a committed Christian with leadership experience at both Catholic and Protestant institutions and has a passion for social justice. We are excited that she was drawn to Bluffton for its mission, history and faith tradition rooted in peace and social justice. The Board is united in agreement that Dr. Jane Wood is the right person for this time in Bluffton’s history.” 
Dr. Wood currently serves as the vice president of academic affairs and dean at Mount Marty College, a Benedictine liberal arts and co-educational institution in Yankton, S.D. Her previous professional positions were at Westminster College, in New Wilmington, Pa.; Park University and University of Missouri, both in Kansas City, Mo.; and at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan. Her experience in higher education includes positions as a tenured faculty member, department chair, academic dean and vice president. Dr. Wood earned her Ph.D. and master’s degree in English literature from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Missouri. 
“This is an exciting time in the life of Bluffton University and it will be an honor to build on the substantial and outstanding programs that are already in place and innovate with the campus community to build new programs that will provide sustainable bridges to the future,” said Wood. “I will lead with an appreciation for Bluffton’s history and its fine reputation as an institution firmly rooted in the ideals of the liberal arts and sciences and framed by the values of the Mennonite/Anabaptist faith. Bluffton’s compelling mission, distinctive history and traditions offer an opportunity to refine and connect a successful past with an exciting future.”
In her previous roles, Dr. Wood worked collaboratively with faculty, staff, students and public and private partners to develop strategic plans that spurred enrollment growth through academic program development including undergraduate, adult studies and graduate-level programs. 
“It is exciting to create, with campus and community collaboration, an innovative and practical strategic vision with academic excellence at its core,” said Wood. “I believe there are significant growth opportunities for right-sized, Christian, liberal arts institutions who work closely with for-profit and non-profit entities to identify the best fit for students for internships, future employment and partnership investments in key identified areas of the university’s academic programs. These initiatives must be balanced with a commitment to a core liberal arts education that equips graduates for success across the full range of professions and for advanced studies in a constantly changing world.”
Dr. Wood also has experience in implementing successful Title IX program improvements, including diversity hiring initiatives, and in fundraising. She has a breadth of experience with different college settings including serving for and interacting with students and faculty at public, private, and Catholic and Presbyterian institutions.
“As a woman who was born and raised in the United Methodist Church (and where my husband and I raised our two daughters), I understand the power of faith as it resonates in individual lives and as it infuses organizations,” said Wood. “Faith is central in my own life and my integrity is guided by my deepening spiritual compass. I am drawn to Bluffton’s Mennonite/Anabaptist faith history for multiple reasons. As a trained mediator, I am committed to Bluffton’s restorative justice principles and understand that Bluffton has always been welcoming to students of all faith backgrounds and is committed to encouraging informed understanding and dialogue, core values that are in great need during this time in our nation and our world. Bluffton’s mission is both special and essential and why I feel called to serve and lead at this time.”
Dr. Wood also noted her enthusiasm for Bluffton’s current $26 million comprehensive fundraising campaign including construction of the Austin E. Knowlton Science Center. To date, Simply Innovate—The Campaign for Bluffton, has surpassed 60 percent of the university’s total campaign goal and more than 80 percent of the funding needed for the science center. In her previous roles, Wood has demonstrated success in developing academic programs related to health care and increasing partnerships that enhance enrollment. 
“I look forward to engaging with energy and enthusiasm the many constituents of Bluffton University to achieve the goals of Simply Innovate—The Campaign for Bluffton,” said Wood. “I applaud all that Dr. Harder has done to position Bluffton for continued success and am excited to carry forward the vision for Bluffton’s emerging excellence in the natural and health science areas. Without doubt, the university’s current goal to open Knowlton Science Center for the 2020/21 academic year is achievable, and I look forward to investing myself fully with staff and volunteers to make this dream a reality for Bluffton students.”
Bluffton’s presidential search process was led by Cheryl Hacker, Bluffton alumna and vice chair of the Board of Trustees. The Search Committee included board members, faculty, staff, a student, a community member, the president of the Bluffton University Alumni Association, a representative from Mennonite Education Agency and alumni representatives from the Ohio Conference and the Central District Conference of Mennonite Church USA. The committee began their work in September and received more than 50 applications for the presidency. 
“We had a fully inclusive process, with the opportunity for faculty, staff and students to meet the final candidates and provide feedback,” said Yoder, board chair. “The Board extends its appreciation to the committee and the campus community for their thoughtful engagement and prayers of support during the presidential search process.”    
Dr. Wood follows Dr. James M. Harder who will retire in June after completing 12 years as president at Bluffton University and more than 30 years working in higher education.


Findlay Nursing Home Given Top Honors

Birchaven Village has been named to the list of Best Nursing Homes 2017-18 by U.S. News & World Report.


This is the third time Birchaven has been named to this prestigious list.


To qualify as a Best Nursing Home, facilities had to earn an average of 4.5 stars or better during 10 months of federal reports ending in August 2017 and had to consistently meet certain performance standards set by U.S. News during the period, such as earning at least four stars in the CMS overall rating for all 10 months.


Birchaven Village is located at 15100 Birchaven Lane in Findlay.



Crime Prevention Program Set in Lima

Training for a crime prevention program in Lima is set to take place this Saturday.


Lima residents who are 18 years or older are being sought to join the Citizen Block Patrol, which involves residents and police working together towards the goal of crime prevention and reduction.


Citizens will be trained to recognize and report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods.


The training will take place from 8 until noon at the Lima-Allen County Neighborhoods in Partnership at 1440 West Spring Street in Lima.



Mid-Ohio Invests in Economic Development

Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative has invested $10,000 in "Marion Can Do" — the local economic development agency serving Marion, Ohio — to support the organization’s marketing and communications efforts.


The investment will help "Marion Can Do" implement strategic communications initiatives designed to elevate the area’s reputation among site selectors, investors, business and community leaders, and other economic development organizations, while promoting the area to companies looking to expand or relocate.


Last year, "Marion Can Do" supported the creation of 400 new jobs and exceeded its goal of $50 million in capital investment by 600 percent.



Tax Season is IRS Scam Season

Tax season means that the "IRS SCAM" could be taking place


The Marysville Division of Police reminds residents that they may receive a call from what appears to be a local or long distance number and the caller will say they are from the IRS and will be issuing an arrest warrant for unpaid tax bills unless you pay them a certain amount of money.


This is a scam. The Internal Revenue Service will not call you demanding payment.


If you receive a call like this, do not provide any information and simply hang up. You should also notify your local law enforcement agency.



Davis Learning Center Being Established at U of F

The University of Findlay and Hancock Historical Museum are collaborating to provide enhanced digital storytelling experiences at the newly named Davis Learning Institute on the museum’s campus.
The effort, which is now in the planning and fundraising stages, will transform the relocated Davis House, built in 1843, into a site for collecting, sharing and archiving community narratives. Organizers intend for the Institute to serve a vital historical preservation purpose and to become a motivator for societal improvement, not only through its storytelling facilitation, but also through its status as an incubator for collective idea generating and impact.
“Very few historic preservation projects look at the social benefits that are possible,” said museum Director Sarah Sisser. “One thing we hope to do is capitalize on a sense of place, which can then support stability and social change.”
The Institute will also provide space for museum programs such as its recently launched Great Decisions discussion group, for after-school workshops that will focus on written and oral communication sharing methods, and for other nonprofits and individuals wishing to host workshops. It will also serve as UF’s off-campus home for its Center for Digital Storytelling and Participatory Media, which is co-directed by Megan Adams, Ph.D., and Harley Ferris, Ph.D. Christine Denecker, Ph.D., is serving as a liaison between the University and museum on the Davis Learning Institute project.
The museum and UF already have a history of storytelling collaboration via the Ohio Farm Stories project that collected digital narratives to help preserve the rich history of the region’s agricultural heritage. The two entities also are working together on the Findlay Floods project, which is gathering flood-related stories.
It is hoped that the Davis Learning Institute will reach beyond historical preservation to effect agency for community improvement. For instance, the region’s heroin epidemic could be spotlighted, Sisser said, which would illustrate the problem’s scope and assist with mitigation ideas.
The Davis Learning Institute will continue to be owned by the museum. The University will contribute technical skills, equipment and staff.
Operational assistance will be provided by established narrative collection groups such as The Story Center, a California-based organization that will advise on the ethical and moral aspects of collecting and sharing; AppalShop based in Whitesburg, Kentucky, which gathers stories from marginalized Appalachian residents; and from Hollow, an ongoing online documentary project that Megan Adams, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication, helped create.
Meanwhile, the project is in need of brick and mortar funds for transforming the historic house into a multiuse facility. The interior of the house was demolished last spring to ready spaces for a commercial kitchen, meeting areas, conference rooms, offices, a recording and editing studio, and archival storage. New plumbing, a heating and cooling system, and electrical system will be installed. The museum hopes to raise $100,000 for these purposes.
“The goal is to have construction finished by September. We are essentially building a house from the ground up,” said Sisser, as well as a project that she said is unprecedented in terms of its cross-organizational collaboration. “With some of this, we’ll be learning as we go.”
Museum representatives are excited about the historic house’s impending transformation, particularly given its reputation as a regional hub for community gathering, impact and hospitality. As one of the oldest farmhouses in Hancock County, the museum considers it a community treasure.
William and Margaret Davis built the home and helped establish Ohio 224 as a connection between Findlay and Tiffin. Margaret Davis was a midwife who delivered more than 100 babies in her home while hosting innumerable weary travelers. The house continues to have deep ties to many local residents such as Madeleine Schneider, Donald Sink, retired Judge Allan Davis, and Ohio Representative Robert Sprague, R-Findlay.


Coffee with a Cop Scheduled in Findlay Saturday


Hancock County law enforcement agencies are hosting a Coffee with a Cop event tomorrow.


Residents are invited to attend for an opportunity to have coffee and conversation with members of the Hancock County Sheriff's Office and Findlay Police Department.


It will be held at Coffee Amici, located at 330 South Main Street in Findlay.



Purse Snatcher Being Sought by Lima Police


The Lima Police Department is asking for assistance in identifying a purse snatching suspect.


The man is described as biracial, 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds.



He has curly hair and a goatee and may go by the name of Trey.


If you have any information, call Patrolman Knippen at the police department in Lima.



One Person Arrested in Findlay Drug Operation


One person was arrested after a search warrant was served at a residence in Findlay this morning.


According to a release, the Hancock County METRICH Drug Task Force, with the assistance of the Findlay Police Department Emergency Response Team, executed the warrant at 2325 East Dundee Drive in Findlay.


A search of the residence yielded methamphetamine, marijuana, cash, drug paraphernalia and items indicative of drug trafficking.


29 year old Corey J. Long, of that address, was arrested and is being held at the Hancock County Justice Center on a charge of possession of methamphetamine. Addition charges are expected at the conclusion of the investigation.



Degraff Crash Injures Woman

A Degraff woman was injured in a roll over crash that occurred in Logan County this past Monday night.


WPKO Radio in Bellefontaine reported  that 30 year old Bethany Alspaugh lost control of her vehicle while driving west on State Route 47 near Logansville. The vehicle went off the right side of the road where it struck the embankment and rolled over in a yard.


Alspaugh was transported to Mary Rutan Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.


She is described as a repeat drunk driver and admitted to consuming a 12 pack of beer prior to Monday night's crash. She was reportedly driving 70 to 80 miles per hour and told deputies she was on her way to pick up her children in Logansville.


Alspaugh was charged with operating a vehicle intoxicated, speeding, failure to control and expired registration.



Hi-Point Business Professionals Headed to State

Eight Ohio Hi-Point Career Center students advanced to the Business Professionals of America state competition after competing at the regional level in January at Apollo Career Center in Lima.


Placing first were: Matthew Smith from Riverdale, in prepared speech,  Madison Aldo, from Bellefontaine, in digital media production, Kiarra Coats, from Benjamin Logan, in individual presentation management, a team from Bellefontaine in team presentation management, Korwin Kurtz, from Upper Scioto Valley, in graphic design and promotion and Max Jenks, from Urbana, in computer modeling.


The Ohio Hi-Point BPA chapter consists of students enrolled in the Multimedia Marketing program.



Ben Logan School Hosting Internet Safety Program


An internet safety program for parents will be presented this Thursday at Benjamin Logan High School.


The event will be run from 7 until 9pm at the school auditorium.


The adults only program is for parents of students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Children will not be allowed in the presentation space.



Wyandot County Sheriff Releases January Activity Report


The Wyandot County Sheriff's Office released the activity report for the month of January.


194 complaints were received and 9 adults were arrested on felony charges.


One person was killed, and 13 people were injured in crashes during the month.


4 new concealed carry permits were issued, 9 were renewed and one was suspended in the month of January.



(UPDATE) Findlay Homicide Early Sunday Morning



A homicide occurred early Sunday morning in Findlay. 
According to a report provided by the Findlay Police Department, around 12:49 a.m. Sunday morning, Findlay Police received a 911 call from a caller in the 1300 block of Fox St. reporting a shooting incident. 
Upon police arrival, a man was found with a suspected gunshot wound inside the residence. The man has been identified as Jeffery L. Gary, age 56, from Findlay. 
Gary was pronounced dead at the scene by Hanco EMS. 
An autopsy revealed that Gary sustained 2 gunshot wounds.
Police report that multiple unknown suspects entered Gary’s residence where they confronted and shot Gary.  The suspects then ran from the residence, south on Fox Street.  No description of the suspects was obtained as they had their faces covered.  The suspects were believed to be male. 
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Findlay Police at 419-424-7150 or the Hancock County Crime Stoppers at 419-425-8477. Tips to Crime Stopper could result in a reward if the information leads to an arrest and prosecution.



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