Police: Escaped Ohio Inmate’s Body Found In Ohio River

Police in Henderson, Kentucky on Sunday said that escaped Lima prison inmate Bradley Gillespie’s body was found in the Ohio River near his last known whereabouts.

“Today, I believe we have closure to our five-day manhunt,” said police chief Sean McKinney.

The chief said a boater called in around 1:30 Sunday afternoon saying he believed he saw a body in the river.

The body was recovered from the river and police said their preliminary investigation indicates that the body is that of Gillespie.

The chief said the body had a level of decomposition consistent with being in the water for four to five days. An autopsy will be performed.

Authorities said Gillespie and inmate James Lee escaped from the Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima on May 22nd.

On May 24th, police in Henderson, Kentucky were chasing a stolen car with Lee and Gillespie inside.

The car crashed and Lee was taken into custody and Gillespie fled on foot and a manhunt ensued.

Jail records show that Gillespie was in for double-murder and Lee for burglary.


BVHS Streamlining Registration/Scheduling Process

(From Blanchard Valley Health System)

Blanchard Valley Health System will implement a “Patient Access Uplift” project in early June to make its registration and scheduling process more efficient.

The project will significantly update software across the health system to eliminate redundancies and streamline the process for patients and associates.

The change should cause very few disruptions for patients, but short delays in registering for appointments may be possible during the transition. Patient care will not be affected at all.

The upgraded system will go live at 6 a.m. on Monday, June 5. Patients registering for appointments late at night on Sunday, June 4 or very early in the morning before the new system launches may encounter delays as they register for or schedule an appointment. The MyHealth patient portal should not be impacted by the update.

Patients registering for appointments in the weeks following the transition may wish to allow more time to answer questions about demographic and insurance information, which will be added to existing information already in place. However, once that information is entered, all of BVHS – including Blanchard Valley Hospital and physician offices under the management of Blanchard Valley Medical Practices – will be on the same platform. This means patients will not need to be asked the same questions at multiple places, and that information is current.

“Eliminating these redundancies will improve the patient experience from the moment they walk through the door until they receive a billing statement following their visit,” said Abbe St. Clair, director of patient access.

“Taking even greater care to ensure insurance information is up to date streamlines the process for everyone involved. Behind the scenes, our associates have been working to determine how to improve this experience for patients, and then to implement it. After June 5, the new system will make the registration process go even more smoothly.”

The uplift is occurring as part of an ongoing BVHS commitment to remain current with the latest technology, including not just medical equipment but computer software.


Community Foundation Awards More Than 915K In Grants

The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation Board of Trustees approved more than $915,000 in grants at their May board meeting.

“These grants represent the investment of generous local philanthropists in the community,” said Brian Treece, President & CEO of the Foundation.

“We’re proud to partner with these donors to award these grants and improve the quality of life for all in Hancock County.”

Among the grants awarded, The Children’s Museum of Findlay was awarded $10,500 for a free play day as part of the Community Foundation’s Fun for All series of community events.

The Marathon Center for the Performing Arts received $12,000 for a free performance of PuppyPals for residents in August.

And Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services was awarded a $25,000 matching grant for a mobile unit for rural services.

See the full list of grants awarded by clicking here.


FHCPL Kicking Off SummerREAD Program

(From the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library)

Readers of all ages are encouraged to keep reading during the summer months and celebrate friendship and kindness as The Findlay-Hancock County Public Library presents “SummerREAD-All Together Now,” their summer reading program.

Activities include crafts, art projects, games and puzzles, science and engineering experiments, and of course, reading. Partners for exciting, new programs include The Marathon Center for the Performing Arts, the Lima Symphony Orchestra, Hancock Park District, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, and more.

SummerREAD registration is open to all ages, infant through adult. The library is providing a free gift book to all early literacy, children’s and teen registrants.

This summer, the library is again using an online platform, READsquared, for participants to keep track of their reading progress. Registration for “All Together Now” begins on May 28 at findlaylibrary.readsquared.com, and all programs are free of charge.

Participants can earn great prizes by logging reading, writing a review, or completing fun activities. There will be weekly drawings for great prizes. If you prefer not to track your reading online, there will be paper forms available at the library to log reading progress.

Families are invited to join in reading together, and to attend programs such as Storytime in the Park, an escape room, Symphony Storytime, Family Book Bingo, and Family Night: Treasure Hunt at the Oakwoods Nature Preserve. Teen activities include Teen Book Bingo, a virtual Zoom program to hear about Aquatic Careers and Animal Conservation with the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, Sand Art & Succulents, and a Teen Game Night.

Adults can enjoy book discussions, cooking programs, crafts, a grant writing program, and many more informative presentations. Please check the library’s website at findlaylibrary.org for more information on programming by clicking on the Calendar tab.

Brittany Lutes, Youth Services Manager at the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library said of the SummerREAD program, “Each year our library staff work hard to plan and organize a fun and engaging lineup of summer programming. This year with our SummerREAD theme of “All Together Now” we are especially proud of the many opportunities to come together as a community and celebrate each other through reading, activities, and programs. We hope everyone else will be as excited as we are!”



Be sure to check the library’s Facebook page for updates, surprises, and entertaining contests all summer.

SummerREAD is generously sponsored by The Friends of the Library.

For more information, call the library at 419-422-1712 or check the website at findlaylibrary.org.


Simon Named New Findlay High School Principal

Findlay City Schools has announced that Meg Simon will be the next Findlay High School head principal, pending Board of Education approval on June 26th.

Simon is currently completing her third year as principal of Glenwood Middle School.

Her twelve years of educational experience include two years as Findlay High School Assistant Principal, where she was named the 2020 Ohio Assistant Principal of the Year for her exceptional work with staff and students.

Simon says she’s eager to begin her work to drive academic excellence, diverse opportunities, and true belonging for all students.



“We are confident that Findlay High School will excel under the dynamic leadership of Mrs. Simon,” commented Katie Abbott, Director of Whole Child & Secondary Instruction.

“Please join Findlay City Schools in welcoming Mrs. Simon to her new position.”

Simon is replacing Ryan Imke who is leaving the district to become the new principal at Tiffin Middle School.


City Of Findlay Strategic Plan Update

The City of Findlay says the most recent draft of the Findlay Forward citywide strategic plan is available for review at FindlayForwardPlan.com.

The Strategic Planning Committee has decided to move forward with the plan’s goals and objectives.

The city says the committee will continue with discussion on the action items for each objective based on community feedback that has been received.

Findlay Forward is a citywide strategic planning process of developing a Council driven community Strategic Plan, using input received from the entire Findlay community.

A Strategic Plan is a long-term framework that outlines a roadmap for the future of the City. The Strategic Plan is a moment for the community to pause, take stock and define, as a community, what Findlay should be in the future of the City and how to get there.

The plan is a guide for the City decision-makers and will include an overarching vision that aligns all aspects of the Findlay community life, and identify goals and specific actions the City, Council, and staff will implement.

For more information, or to submit comment, contact the Strategic Planning Committee at strategic-planning@findlayohio.com.


Highway Patrol Urging Traffic Safety Over Holiday Weekend

(From the Ohio State Highway Patrol)

During the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the Ohio State Highway Patrol will be highly visible on Ohio’s roadways promoting traffic safety.

As motorists travel this weekend, troopers are reminding drivers to utilize their safety belts and to be responsible by designating a sober driver.

The effort begins at midnight on Friday, May 26 and continues through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 29.

Last year in Ohio, 15 fatal crashes killed 18 people during the Memorial Day weekend. Of those fatalities, six crashes and seven fatalities were OVI-related. In the fatalities where a safety belt was available, all were unbelted. Half of the eight motorcyclists who died were not wearing a helmet. Five pedestrians were also killed during the holiday weekend.

Also, during last year’s Memorial Day weekend, the Patrol made 494 impaired driving arrests.

“Too many times our troopers see tragic loss of life on our roadways due to irresponsible decisions,” said Colonel Charles A. Jones. “Before heading out, make a plan, designate a sober driver and buckle up.”

In addition to the Memorial Day reporting period, the Patrol is continuing the 6-State Trooper Project focusing on the use of safety belts. This high-visibility effort includes the Indiana State Police, Kentucky State Police, Michigan State Police, Pennsylvania State Police, West Virginia State Police and the Patrol. The initiative began May 22 and will continue through May 29.

The Patrol is also taking part in the Click It or Ticket campaign, which runs May 23 through June 5.

You can help contribute to a safer Ohio by calling #677 to report drug activity and dangerous or impaired driving.


WorkAdvance Manufacturing Training Program

Raise the Bar Hancock County (RTB) is partnering with Owens Community College (OCC), the Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM), and Habitat for Humanity of Findlay/Hancock County’s Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) to launch a short-term training program, WorkAdvance.

WorkAdvance has benefitted job seekers and manufacturers in other Ohio regions. The model relies on local partnerships to conduct grassroots referrals, screen participants for program eligibility, offer a short-term training to equip individuals with job readiness and technical skills necessary for manufacturing roles, and pair program alum with a career coach to reduce barriers to employment.

Hancock County’s WorkAdvance program requires eligible individuals to participate in a two-week training. The training covers job readiness skills; math refreshers; and technical training such as safety, robotics, machining, quality, troubleshooting, and assembly. Participants will interact with OCC and FOC instructors to gain familiarity and comfort with the expectations of local manufacturing workplaces.

At the end of the training, partnering manufacturers will interview participants and potentially offer positions on their teams. For up to 365 days, too, participants will have the support of the FOC’s career coach to address issues with financial stability, housing, transportation, daycare, food security, mental health, or continuing education.

“This funding is allowing our community’s greatest assets to come together and better support our local workforce,” said Raise the Bar Executive Director Tricia Valasek.



“The Financial Opportunity Center added Jen Galbraith as a career coach to focus entirely on this program. She brings a wealth of experience in human resources and vulnerable populations to this project. Pairing Jen with the incredible manufacturing and safety expertise at Owens Community College and the University of Findlay’s All Hazards Training Center, which will be facilitated by the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing, makes our WorkAdvance program prime for our region.”

The initiative is part of The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association’s statewide strategy to build a talent pool of entry- and higher-skilled manufacturing employees. Funding for this effort, up to $950,000 for Hancock County, comes from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Good Jobs Challenge grant program. Raise the Bar expects to train more than 70 new manufacturing employees and upskill an additional 40 current manufacturing employees through the WorkAdvance program.

Statewide, WorkAdvance programs are targeting untapped workforce pools, including the unemployed, underemployed, underrepresented, people of color, women, veterans, and returning citizens. Interested referral organizations and individuals can reach out to jen.galbraith@habitatfindlay.org to learn more.

 Raise the Bar intends to host a Community Connectors event in June 2023 for area referral agencies to tour manufacturing facilities and learn about employment opportunities and expectations.


Findlay Memorial Day Parade

Findlay’s annual Memorial Day Parade is coming up on Monday.

Bill Johns, President of the Hancock County Veterans Council, hopes to see everyone there.



Bill says the Bridge Ceremony on the Main Street Bridge will happen at 9 a.m. as wreaths will be placed in the Blanchard River in memory of the area’s fallen Veterans.

New this year, the Hancock County TAPS program will hold a ceremony at the Hancock County War Memorial after the bridge ceremony.

And then the parade will start at 10 in front of the American Legion on West Front Street.

The parade will make its way to Maple Grove Cemetery where a service will be held at the War Memorial.

Bill says anyone else who wants to participate in the parade is welcome to show up Monday morning and he’ll find a spot for them.

People can also contact Bill at 419-721-7275 with any questions.

Video from last year’s parade and service is below.


Chamberlin Hill Bids 5th Graders Farewell With Clap-Out

Chamberlin Hill Elementary sent its 5th graders out in style with a clap-out.

The 3rd and 4th graders lined the halls and cheered, clapped and high-fived the 5th graders as they walked by.

The 5th graders then proceeded outside to the front of the building where families that lined the sidewalk cheered them on.

Principal Misty Sager says this is a big moment for the students.

“The last day of school is always very emotional, it’s exciting but it’s also very bittersweet. Students have shed some tears as well as parents and even us staff members, I know I’ve shed tears about three times today.”



Most of the 5th graders will be attending Donnell Middle School next school year, while some will be attending Glenwood Middle School.

Other schools in the district did a clap-out for students as well.

See some video of the clap-out below.