Ohio Restaurant Association Issues Grim Report

A new report from the Ohio Restaurant Association shows 54-percent of restaurants in the state fear they will have to close in the next 12 months.

The group polled a number of businesses and says this is an increase of 23-percent from the week before.

President and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association John Barker says this puts 310,000 employees at risk.

Many business owners say the reduced capacity and curfew limitations are leading to low sales numbers and they won’t be able to sustain their restaurants if that doesn’t change.

Barker is calling for additional government support to help stabilize the industry in Ohio and nationwide.

He points out, however, that some industry sectors, like pizza, are experiencing better sales.


Hancock County Reaches 400 COVID Cases

Hancock County has reached 400 total cases of the coronavirus.

In the latest data from Hancock Public Health released on Wednesday, the county was at 400 total cases, which is an increase of 19 from Monday.

Active cases stood at 80 on Wednesday, an increase of five from Monday.

36 people have been hospitalized from the virus in Hancock County since the beginning of the pandemic and three residents have died.

Hancock County is still at level 2, or orange, on the state’s COVID-19 alert map.


Ohio Secretary Of State Addresses Masks At The Polls

With the November election less than three months away, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose held a news conference to dispel some of the false information concerning the November ballot.

First, he said Ohio will hold the election on November 3rd regardless of the pandemic.

That date cannot be moved.

He said Ohio’s election machines are known across the country as the safest, and despite what President Trump has said regarding fears about mail-in voting, he says those concerns don’t exist here.

LaRose is advising people who plan on voting absentee to not procrastinate.

When it comes to mask-wearing, LaRose said poll workers won’t be acting as the mask police.

“But walking into a polling place without wearing a mask is rude, it’s bad manners. You shouldn’t be doing it. But if you choose to we will let you cast your ballot,” LaRose said.





FCS Planning To Begin School Year In Hybrid Model

The way Findlay City Schools begins the 2020-21 school year will be dependent upon the county’s status on the state’s COVID-19 alert level map.

As of Wednesday, Hancock County was at level 2, or the orange level, on the color-coded map.

Findlay City Schools says if the county stays at orange, the district will begin the school year on Tuesday, September 8th in a hybrid model with students placed in two groups.

One group will attend school on Monday and Tuesday while the other group will attend on Thursday and Friday.

Wednesday will be a remote day and schools will be closed to students.

Masks will be required for students in K-12.

Additionally, the district’s Trojan Academy is available for parents who prefer an online, remote option for their kids.

Enrollment in the Trojan Academy is open through August 16th.

If the Hancock County alert level is bumped down to level one, or yellow, the district will return to a traditional model with a five-day schedule and normal school hours.

Masks would be required for students in K-12.

With the pandemic being a fluid situation, Findlay City Schools says it will continue to be in close contact with health officials and keep everyone informed of any changes.

You can watch the latest Trojan Talk about the district’s reopening plans below.


BVHS Auxiliary Awards Scholarships To Area Students

The Blanchard Valley Health System Auxiliary has awarded ten $1,000 scholarships to students in the Hancock County area who are interested in pursuing a health-related career.

The 2020 Hospital Auxiliary scholarship winners include: Claire Eiden (Ottawa Glandorf High School), pursuing a degree at the University of Toledo, Abigail Hatch (Liberty Benton High School), pursuing a degree at the University of Findlay, Lilly Hodson (Findlay High School), pursuing a degree at The Ohio State University, Allison Kennard (Findlay High School), pursuing a degree at The Ohio State University, Chloe Kin (Liberty Benton High School), pursuing a degree at The Ohio State University, Abagayle Omlor (Findlay High School), pursuing a degree at Case Western Reserve, Madison Parker (Van Buren High School), pursuing a degree at The Ohio State University, Addison Schafer (Columbus Gove High School), pursuing a degree at Cedarville University, Justen Stoner (Arcadia High School), pursuing a degree at The Ohio State University, and Ava Welch (Findlay High School), pursuing a degree at Xavier University.

BVHS says monies for the scholarship fund come from the annual membership dues of members of the Auxiliary. The number of scholarships awarded annually depends on the amount contributed by Auxiliary members.

The Blanchard Valley Health System Auxiliary in 2019 celebrated 70 years of volunteering and has more than 400 volunteers.

Click here to learn more about scholarships offered through Blanchard Valley Health System.


Officials See Project As A “Gateway To The Community”

Findlay and Hancock County officials are excited about what the proposed improvements to the Interstate 75-County Road 99 interchange could mean for the future of the northwest side of Findlay.

“We really view this as a gateway to the community,” said Tim Mayle, director of Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development.



As part of the proposed project, a pedestrian bridge would be built across Interstate 75, from north of Hillcrest Golf Course across to Miracle Park and The Cube.

Mayle says the redone interchange and the pedestrian bridge would really help bring together the recreation opportunities at The Cube, the planned multi-family and mixed-use development by Blanchard Valley Health System in the area and the industrial corridor.

And he says the new interchange and pedestrian bridge would not only make the area safer but also put Findlay and Hancock County on the map as a growing community.

The Ohio Department of Transportation says increased traffic and congestion are resulting in travel delays and above-average crash rates in the area, and if left unaddressed, will only get worse as growth continues.

ODOT is holding an online meeting about the project on Thursday.

The cost of the project would be between $18 and $22 million dollars.

Officials are seeking federal grant money for the project.

Mayle will be on with WFIN’s Chris Oaks on Wednesday morning to discuss the proposed project.

Below is the plan that local officials would like to see, a divergent diamond interchange with a pedestrian bridge to the south.


3 Injured In Crash Outside Arcadia

Three people were injured in a two-vehicle crash a little west of Arcadia.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office says the crash happened at 12:54 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of County Road 216 and Township Road 243 in Cass Township.

The sheriff’s office says Kevin Bibbs Jr., 28, of Fostoria, was northbound on Township Road 243 when he failed to stop at a stop sign and his car was hit by a truck that was westbound on County Road 216.

Both vehicles came to rest on the northwest corner of the intersection with Bibbs’ car pinned against a utility pole.

Bibbs and a passenger, Chloe Decker, 24, of Findlay, were extricated by Washington Township firefighters using the jaws of life and were lifeflighted to St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.

The driver of the truck, Christopher Knisely, 65, of Fostoria, was taken by ambulance to Fostoria Hospital.

The sheriff’s office says the crash remains under investigation.


Big Ten Postpones Fall Sports Season

The Big Ten has announced that the fall sports season is being postponed due to ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its statement, the conference said the decision was based on the medical advice and counsel of the Big Ten task force for emerging infectious diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine committee.

The affected sports include football, cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball.

The conference said it will continue to evaluate a number of options regarding fall sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring.

“As a former collegiate athlete whose career in sports was cut short by circumstances beyond my control, I deeply feel the pain, frustration and disappointment that all our players, coaches and staff – and all Buckeye fans – are feeling today,” said Ohio State President-elect Kristina M. Johnson.

“I will continue to work closely with Athletics Director Gene Smith, Coach Ryan Day and all coaches and other leaders, to return our student-athletes to competition as soon as possible, while staying safe and healthy.”

“We are focused on supporting our student-athletes in every way, ensuring their scholarships are still in place, and looking out for their health and safety and the health and safety of all our students as they continue to pursue their studies in these challenging times,” Johnson added.

The decision to postpone fall sports comes less than a week after the Big Ten announced a restructured 2020 football schedule that would extend from as early as Sept. 3 through Nov. 21.

(picture below courtesy of Columbus Wired)

FPD’s Mathias Promoted To Captain

The Findlay Police Department has promoted James Mathias to the position of Captain.

Captain Mathias was sworn in by Mayor Christina Muryn outside the Findlay Municipal Building on Monday.

Mathias has been with the Findlay Police Department since 1995.

He is assigned to the Patrol Division, which oversees the day-to-day patrol operations of the department.

Mathias was the department’s Officer of the Year in 1996 and was honored with the John Edward Seman Award for Employee Excellence from the City of Findlay in 2014.

Mathias is a graduate of New Riegel High School and of Terra State Community College. He has an associate degree in law enforcement.

Mathias and wife, Tina, have two sons, Cory and Logan.