Category Archives: WFIN Top Story

Blanchard River Expected To Enter Flood Stage Today

4/26/19 – 5:06 A.M.

Overnight downpours mean we can expect flooding in the area today. You’ll notice standing water near several area roads this morning. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and the Findlay Police Department say you’ll see high water signs on low-lying roads. They remind you to never try and cross a road with water running across it.

As for area waterways, the Eagle Creek is already in minor flood stage but appears close to cresting at a little more than 9.5 feet. At that level Eagle Creek starts to cover parts of Fremont and Graceland avenues in Findlay.

The National Weather Service is calling for the Blanchard River to reach moderate flood stage in Findlay. The Blanchard should enter flood stage by mid-morning. They expect the river to crest at 12.3 feet around 8 p.m. At that level, you’ll see water across several low-lying roads along the river. That includes Blanchard Street between Sandusky and Main Cross.

Downstream in Ottawa the Blanchard is expected to enter minor flood stage Saturday morning. The National Weather Service is calling for it to crest at 24.6 feet early Sunday morning.

Search Underway For Man Indicted In Baby’s Death

4/24/19 – 4:57 A.M.

The Hancock County grand jury has indicted a man on a murder charge for the death of a 17-month baby in Findlay last year. 30-year-old Jonathan Suber also faces a count of endangering children. Authorities say Suber has a Fostoria address, but they don’t believe he is still in the area. The Findlay Police Department is asking anyone with information about where Suber is to come forward.

Hancock County Prosecutor Phil Riegle says the baby died from “abusive head trauma.” Suber was dating the child’s mother but was not the father of the baby. Riegle says the woman was at work when the incident happened on June 19th of last year. The baby died at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus on July 4th.

MORE: Details on the incident that led to this week’s indictment.

Sunday Motorcycle Crash Kills Arlington Woman

4/22/19 – 5:05 A.M.

A Sunday night collision between a motorcycle and a car killed an Arlington woman. The State Highway Patrol says the crash happened at the intersection of I-75 and State Route 103 in Bluffton around 8:20 p.m.

53-year-old Larry Lee of Arlington was riding his motorcycle east on Route 103 when a car driven by 42-year-old Matthew Pfenninger of Cincinnati tried to cross into the intersection from the southbound exit ramp. The crash killed Lee’s passenger, 50-year-old Anne Lee. A medical helicopter took Larry Lee to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. Pfenninger wasn’t hurt.

The crash remains under investigation.

Crash Location:

Findlay Mayoral Candidates Discuss Several Topics During Mayoral Address

04/18/19 – 9 P.M.

The Republican candidates for Findlay’s Mayor seat met for a public forum Thursday. One of the topics discussed was police and fire personnel. Current Councilwoman Holly Frische said that she would like to increase the number of police and fire employees.

Christina Muryn is filling the remainder of former mayor Lydia Mihalik’s term. She said that she is comfortable with the amount of police and fire in the city.

Current County Commissioner Brian Robertson agreed with Muryn saying that the decision on if more police and fire personnel are needed, they’ll let the administration know.

Another topic was the amount of time that should be dedicated to serving as mayor. Robertson said that being a public servant is about sacrifice.

Christina Muryn is filling the remainder of former mayor Lydia Mihalik’s term. She said that she has the ability to give the position the attention it needs.

Current Councilwoman Holly Frische said that she is already in a position to serve full-time.

Other topics included travel and networking, transparency, and delayed tax payments. You can watch the full forum below.

Forum video starts at 11:08.

Findlay Police Investigating Reported Stabbing

4/16/19 – 9:14 A.M.

Findlay police are investigating a Monday night stabbing. Lt. Ryan Doe says officers responded to Blanchard Valley Hospital for the report of a stabbing victim around 7:20 p.m. Monday.

The victim told investigators the assault took place at 417 Allen Avenue. He told officers at least two men took part in the attack and one of them stabbed him.

Police have identified one of the suspects and are working to find him. Authorities have not publicly identified the suspects.

Stabbing Location:

ODOT Says Speeding Remains A Major Issue In I-75 Construction Zone

4/12/19 – 3:00 P.M.

Highway construction season is here, and ODOT is reminding you to take it easy in the work area. Rhonda Pees says that’s especially important in the I-75 construction zone in Findlay. However, data gathered by the State Highway Patrol shows most drivers aren’t taking the work zone speeds seriously…

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Pees says it’s important to pay attention to the variable speed limit signs on the interstate…

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Pees says if the beacons are on and the speed limit is 55, then workers are behind a barrier. If the beacons are off there are no workers in the construction area and the speed limit is 60 miles-per-hour.

ODOT held a press conference in Findlay Friday to highlight the importance of looking out for construction workers along the highway. This is National Work Zone Awareness Week.

Acradia Man Sentenced For 2018 Police Chases

4/11/19 – 5:11 A.M.

A man who led law enforcement on two police chases last summer is going to prison. Judge Johnathan Starn sentenced 28-year-old Jesse Sleasman to four years and nine months in prison during a Wednesday hearing.

Sleasman stole a pickup truck from the Circle K store on East Sandusky Street on July 17 of last year. He hit two police cars and eventually got away when he ran into a cornfield. Early the next day he stole a car from a home in Big Lick Township. He once again got away from officers after running into a cornfield in northern Hancock County. They eventually caught up to him on Cass Township Road 215.

Starn also sentenced Sleasman on several other charges, including trafficking a fentanyl-related compound.

MORE: Full list of charges Sleasman faced.

Suspect In Arlington Hatchet Attack Arraigned

4/10/19 – 5:06 A.M.

The man who allegedly is responsible for a hatchet attack in Arlington last week is now officially facing charges. The Hancock County grand jury has indicted 37-year-old Brandon Pinks on charges of attempted murder, possessing criminal tools, tampering with evidence, and grand theft of a motor vehicle. Prosecutor Phil Riegle says there “absolutely be more charges” filed in the coming weeks.

Investigators say Pinks was dating Breanna Lemos. They believe the two got into an argument. Pinks also allegedly attacked Lemos’ daughter Arianna Teague. All three of them lived in a home at 219 West Main Cross Street in Arlington.

Pinks allegedly took Lemos’ car after the attack and drove to Hardin County. He remains in jail on a $250,000 bond.

MORE: Details on Pinks’ past criminal history

Hancock County Needs More Foster Families

4/9/19 – 10:03 A.M.

There are currently more than 90 children in Hancock County in custody of the Department of Job and Family Services. JFS Director Randy Galbraith says that’s putting a big strain on his office, and on the number of available foster families in the area…

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The Department of Job and Family Services honored area foster families during their “Everyday Heroes” event at St. Andrews in Findlay Tuesday morning.

Galbraith says that looked into more than 1,500 reports of abuse and neglect last year. That resulted in the JFS opening more than 400 cases last year.

Galbraith says they can always use more foster families and volunteers. For more information, you can go to HancockJFS.org.

Hancock County To Contract With Adviser To Look At Debt Management Options

4/4/19 – 11:32 A.M.

Hancock County is bringing in an adviser to help explore options for debt management. The commissioners voted 2-1 Thursday to contract with a municipal adviser. Auditor Charity Rauschenberg explained why she requested the adviser…

Commissioner Mark Gazarek voted against the measure. He said the county needs to stop financing so much and focus on paying cash for projects…

Commissioner Brian Robertson voted in favor, saying that it makes sense to bring in outside guidance on the issue. Commissioner Tim Bechtol also voted in favor.

The county will pay the adviser a percentage of any debt they decide to take out to pay for the jail expansion and the construction of a new juvenile and probate court building. They would use money from a quarter percent sales tax to pay back the debt.

Gazarek says they have three years before they’re ready to build, so they should save the money and pay cash when it’s time for construction.

Rauschenberg says the move gives them an expert on finance and debt limitations. She adds that Hancock County is unique in that the auditor’s office handles debt issues rather than the commissioners themselves. She says less than five of Ohio’s counties handle their debt management that way.