Decrease In Traffic Fatalities Over Memorial Day Weekend

(From The Ohio State Highway Patrol)

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reporting 14 crashes resulting in 17 deaths on Ohio’s roadways during the 2024 Memorial Day weekend, according to provisional statistics.

This is a decrease from last year, when 26 individuals were killed. The four-day reporting period began Friday, May 24 and ran through Monday, May 27.

During the reporting period, state troopers made 19,104 traffic enforcement contacts, including 361 impaired driving arrests, 61 drug arrests, 2,662 safety belt citations and 1,090 distracted driving citations. In addition, the Patrol made 9,779 non-enforcement contacts including 1,950 motorist assists.

Motorists are reminded that roadway safety is a shared responsibility and are encouraged to call #677 to report drug activity and dangerous or impaired driving.

For a statewide breakdown of enforcement and crashes during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, please click here.

 

Habitat For Humanity To Dedicate New Homes In Findlay

(From Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County)

Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County will officially finish construction of its 58th home during a Home Dedication ceremony open to the public on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at 4:30 p.m.

It will officially finish construction of its 59th home during a Home Dedication ceremony open to the public on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at 4:30 p.m.

The ceremony on June 4 will be held at the build site, located at 1408 Logan Ave, Findlay, Ohio. The program for the dedication will include a blessing, words from the new homeowner Talisha Balicki as well as comments from Wendy McCormick, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County and Kelly Croy, Habitat’s Board President.

Talisha Balicki and her two daughters will reside in Home #58 on Logan Avenue. Talisha is a single mother currently working as a state tested nurses aid at the Heritage. She began her journey with Habitat in 2021, frustrated with not having a stable place to raise her daughters.

“Home means roots being put down. A place to build memories, a place to gather no matter what age,” said Balicki. “Somewhere you’re comfortable and accepted and can always be yourself. Home is a place where my kids can always come to.”

The ceremony on June 18 will be held at the build site, located at 201 Durrell Street, Findlay, Ohio. The program for the dedication will include a blessing, words from the new homeowners Troy and Morgan representing the Daughenbaugh-Gossman family as well as comments from Wendy McCormick, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County and Kelly Croy, Habitat’s Board President.

Troy, Morgan and their two daughters will reside in Home #59 on Durrell Street. Troy currently works at ValFilm and Morgan became a substitute teacher once both of their daughters were old enough to attend school. Although they both hold steady jobs, and work together to support their family, they were still unable to afford a home on their own.

They began their journey with Habitat in 2021, admitting financial stability has always been a challenge. Their decision to partner with Habitat, and the Financial Opportunity Center, has led them to a brighter future where they have paid off extensive credit card debt, and were selected as a partner family.

These are the first homes to be built by Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County in 2024. Both homes were built in just 10 weeks by nearly 600 volunteers representing many corporate build teams and organizations that enable their employees and team members to take part.

Both homes are Signature Homes, which are financed by the donors who bought a “piece of the house” during Habitat’s 2023 Signature Fundraiser. The presenting sponsor was Marathon Petroleum Corporation. Dream Builder Sponsors were Tim & Paula Aydt, Jon & PJ Burkin, Gary & Jane Heminger, Dave & Melissa Heppner, Rick & Tracy Hessling, Lynn McCord, Rodney & Barbra Nichols, Ohio Logistics, Brian & Stephanie Partee, Garry & Kathy Peiffer, Premier Bank, Scott & Laura Rhodes, State Farm – Dan Maciejewski, and Don & Carrie Templin. Many thanks to all the corporations and organizations that provided build teams for the home.

Through donations of money and materials and volunteer labor, Habitat is able to build a Habitat Home and sell it at an affordable price. The Balicki and Daughenbaugh-Gossman families qualified as a low-income family unable to qualify for a conventional loan who were willing to partner with Habitat and complete at least 400 sweat equity hours.

Habitat for Humanity is accepting applications from families now for new homes. To apply for a home or a home repair, visit habitatfindlay.org or call 419-429-1400.

 

Bluffton Hospital Associates Supply Meals for Kids At Camp

(From Blanchard Valley Health System)

Blanchard Valley Health System (BVHS) is pleased to support Bluffton youth with a partnership in which Bluffton Hospital dietary associates make and donate meals to children at the Bluffton Family YMCA Summer Day Camp three days each week.

“This provides phenomenal relief for families,” said Amy Byers, YMCA director. “We love that it levels the playing field. Some of our children are attending camp on scholarships, but they all receive these lunches, regardless of need. Nobody is singled out that way.”

She added that it also saves the parents time.

“It relieves burdens on families in all kinds of ways,” she said.

The 12-week day camp runs from early June through August, with an average of 35 children, ages 5-12, attending each week. Campers spend most of the day outside. Most campers are children who live in Bluffton, but some come from surrounding areas.

Each week has a theme, such as Pokemon Week, Construction Week, and Mad Science Week.

Bluffton Hospital associates have been preparing meals for children at the camp for four years.

Byers said the previous YMCA director reached out to the hospital after frequently seeing children bring lunches that weren’t substantial or filling. Some forgot to bring lunch at all.

The Bluffton Hospital dietary associates normally prepare meals for patients and their families, as well as associates at the hospital and the occasional community member.

“We’re a small kitchen with a very big heart,” said Lead Dietary Associate Eva Fensler, who oversees the program. “When the YMCA asked if we could do this, we said yes without hesitation. Kids need to be able to have a good, well-balanced meal.”

Fensler said they are mindful that children need healthy food. This includes milk or “real juice” rather than sugar-sweetened drinks, protein such as a ham and cheese sandwich, and healthy snacks like carrots or celery sticks. They avoid peanut butter in case a child has allergies, but can accommodate children with special needs, such as those who are lactose-intolerant. Children do get treats like baked chips, a fruit snack, or a cookie.

Some children, like children everywhere, are still eager to trade one lunch item for another.

“The adults at the camp witness a lot of ‘negotiations’ among the kids,” Byers said.

Many of the associates in the dietary department at Bluffton Hospital are from Bluffton.

“We are strongly committed to contributing to this community,” Fensler said. “And it feels good, in the summer, to be able to help give children something to do and a safe place to go. We’re excited to be a part of it. Every year, rather than it feeling like a chore on the to-do list, our attitude is, ‘Oh, we get to do this again?’”

The children, too, are excited about it.

“Every year the children send us homemade ‘thank you’ cards,” Fensler said. “It’s just the cutest thing.”

“We are very grateful for these lunches,” Byers said. “The kids love them, and it makes their parents’ lives so much easier.”

 

Work On New Findlay Interchange To Begin Soon

The Ohio Department of Transportation is letting people know that work on the new Interstate 75/County Road 99 interchange on the north end of Findlay will begin soon.

The project is reconstructing the interchange with a Diverging Diamond design and upgrading the County Road 99 corridor between Technology Drive and North Main Street.

ODOT says traffic impacts will begin on Monday, June 3rd.

On June 3rd, the I-75 southbound entrance ramp will close for approximately three days.

The suggested detour is I-75 north to North Baltimore to get on I-75 south.

Also on June 3rd, on I-75 the left lane in both directions will close for bridge pier construction.

On Monday, June 10th, ODOT says Main Street at County Road 99, the north leg of the intersection, will close for approximately five days.

ODOT construction engineer Dan Niese says they chose a diverging diamond interchange because they move traffic so well.    

 

 

ODOT says a diverging diamond (DDI) shifts the eastbound and westbound traffic to the other side of the bridge at signalized crossovers which eliminates left turns across traffic and the left-turn traffic signal phase.

The benefit is that all traffic can enter the interstate in a free-flow movement to the ramps. (see video below)

The new interchange is expected to be finished in July of 2026.

Get more details on the project website by clicking here.

 

 

‘Deadliest Days Of Summer’ On Ohio Roadways

(ONN) – The timeframe from Memorial Day to Labor Day is what the Ohio State Highway Patrol refers to as the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer as the number of deadly crashes goes way up.

Lt. Ray Santiago says their goal is to make sure everyone gets to where they’re going safely.

 

 

“Everyone always says ‘troopers are chasing numbers’. You’re absolutely right, and that number is zero. If we can get through a day without any traffic fatalities that’s a good day.”

The Highway Patrol says Ohio saw more than 67,000 crashes during the Deadliest Days of Summer timeframe in 2023 in which nearly 400 people were killed.

The Highway Patrol is reminding everyone to drive sober, put down their phones, and pay attention in work zones.

 

Participants Graduate From Tiffin Police Citizen Academy

(From the Tiffin Police Department)

Another successful year has come to an end for the Tiffin Police Citizen Academy.

This past Sunday marked the culmination of the interactive 10-week course, as the graduates gathered for a final time to celebrate their accomplishments.

This gathering was not just a moment of celebration but also a testament to the dedication and commitment shown by the participants throughout the course.

We are confident that you have all gained a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of law enforcement in general and the operations of the Tiffin Police Department in particular.

We extend our gratitude to each and every participant for their enthusiasm and engagement.

Your willingness to learn and your active participation have been crucial to the success of this program.

This milestone event could not have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of Sgt. Jared Watson, who has once again orchestrated a superb community outreach initiative.

His dedication to fostering strong community relations through education and interaction is truly commendable.

This year is especially significant as it marks the graduation of the 10th class of the Tiffin Police Citizen Academy.

Reaching this milestone reflects the sustained interest and support from the community, as well as the ongoing commitment of the Tiffin Police Department to enhance community-police relations.

Here’s to many more years of learning, growing, and strengthening our community together. Congrats!

Chief Pauly

 

Group Holding Town Hall On Allen Township Zoning

The group Allen Township Neighbors is inviting people to attend a town hall on Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m. at Van Buren Presbyterian Church at 207 West Market Street.

At the meeting, the group says it will be discussing why it is important that it zone Allen Township and how as a community it can better control stable growth between commercial and residential/agricultural.

“The residents of Hancock County, particularly those in unzoned townships, need to be aware and informed of the current situation Allen Township is facing.”

The group says Allen Township is fighting to remain intact, despite multiple annexations and proposed large-scale industrial changes. 

“If the residents of Allen Township want their neighborhood to be around for the next generation, considering zoning is necessary,” the group said.

The town hall meeting will be held at the Van Buren Presbyterian Church at 207 West Market Street in Van Buren on Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m.

 

Findlay Honors Its Fallen Members Of The Armed Forces

Findlay’s Memorial Day Parade was held on Monday.

People lined both sides of West Main Cross Street as the parade made its way from downtown to Maple Grove Cemetery.

At the cemetery, a service was held at the War Memorial.

“We hold their names in high esteem as ones who were willing to trade their lives for others, so today we honor the fallen.”

You can see video of the service below.

 

Bomb Squad Contacted After Grenade Found In Residence

The Findlay Police Department says a bomb squad was contacted after someone reported finding a grenade in the home of a late relative.

On Monday afternoon police were dispatched to 2772 Kellybrooke Court for a found grenade that may have been stored by a late relative, and located inside the garage.

The item appeared to be a WW2-style hand grenade.

The Lima Bomb Squad was contacted and responded to the scene.

The bomb squad was able to carefully collect the grenade and transport it off-site for a safe detonation/disposal.

 

Findlay Police Investigating Fatal Shooting

The Findlay Police Department is investigating a shooting that left an 18-year-old dead.

The police department said it received a call at 6:40 p.m. on Sunday that a male had been shot in an alley off of the 100 block of Howard Street.

Officers arrived and located a male in the alley with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the chest.

Officers began rendering aid and performing CPR.

The male was transported to Blanchard Valley Hospital by Hanco EMS where he succumbed to the gunshot wound.

The deceased individual was identified as 18-year-old J’vion Zimmerman of Port Clinton.

Police say a person of interest in the shooting has been identified and is being sought for questioning.

The person of interest is a juvenile and police aren’t releasing their name at this time. 

An investigation is underway but no arrests had been made as of 3 a.m. Monday.

Updates will be provided as the investigation progresses, police said.