Category Archives: WFIN Top Story

Final Reading Of Parking Lot Sale On Council Agenda Tonight

6/4/19 – 5:08 A.M.

We’ll know more about the future of the site of the former Argyle building tonight. Findlay City Council will hold a final reading on a proposal to sell a city-owned parking lot to the Blanchard Valley Port Authority. If approved, the measure would help clear the way for a new six-story retail and residential development across from Marathon Petroleum.

Council met in a closed executive session Monday night to discuss the issue. They did not make any decisions when they came out of executive session. Developer Tim Youngpeter has offered $150,000 for the parking lot. The Hancock County Commissioners say they offered $230,000 for the same parking lot in 2013.

If council approves the sale, Youngpeter’s company would have until the end of next May to complete pre-closing obligations. That includes a survey, environmental inspections, and getting information about whether the property is in a “special flood hazard area” determined by FEMA.

Council meets at 7 p.m. tonight.

MORE: Back story behind the potential development.

Early Morning Crash Closes I-75 Southbound Near Van Buren

6/3/19 – 5:02 A.M.
UPDATE – 9:50 A.M.

Cleanup continues following a morning crash on I-75. One lane of I-75 southbound in the northern part of Hancock County remains closed at the moment. The State Highway Patrol says the closure is in place near the State Route 613 interchange. The entrance ramp from Route 613 to southbound I-75 is also closed. A semi went off the road in that area early today. Crews had to remove the truck from a high water area and are now cleaning up debris.
 
So far no other details are available about the crash.

Crash Location:

Blanchard River Begins To Recede After Weekend Downpours

6/3/19 – 5:14 A.M.

The Blanchard River is receding in Findlay after three inches of weekend rain caused flash flooding and river flooding. The National Weather Service says the Blanchard crested in the major flood stage at just over 14 feet around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. They expect it to drop out of flood stage by late this morning.

In the meantime, the river continues to rise in Ottawa. The latest forecast calls for the Blanchard to crest in minor flood stage at 23.6 feet around 8 p.m. tonight. However, the river appears to be rising slower than expected at this time.

The high water closed several area roads Sunday. ODOT reports that State Routes 37 and 568 remain closed in spots east of Findlay this morning.

Area fire departments had to rescue at least four people from three cars that drove into high water areas over the weekend.

Several Roads Closed Due To High Water

There are several road closures due to high water. The Ohio Department of Transportation reported the following closures:

  • Ohio 568 from Hancock County 236 to Hancock County 237
  • Ohio 235 from Ohio 12 to U.S. 224
  • Ohio 37 from Hancock County 180 to Ohio 15

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports these closures:

  • Hancock County 7 between Biglick Township 255 and Marion Township 248
  • Hancock County 7 between Marion Township 248 and Ohio 568
  • Hancock County 216 between Hancock County 23 and Washington Township 260
  • Hancock County 180 between Marion Township 201 and Ohio 568

The City of Findlay has closed the following roads:

  • Amelia Avenue at Fifth Street
  • Brookside Drive at Stall Drive
  • Hunters Creek Drive at Windermere Drive
  • Windermere Drive at Terra Oaks Drive
  • Misty Oaks Drive at Country Creek Drive
  • East Main Cross Street from Blanchard Avenue to Osborn Avenue
  • Eastview Drive and Westview Drive north of Sixth Street
  • Central Avenue at Clinton Court
  • Carnahan Avenue at Clinton Court
  • Hemphill Boulevard at Osborn Avenue
  • South Blanchard Street at East Main Cross Street
  • South Blanchard Street at East Main Cross Street to East Sandusky Street
  • Fishlock Avenue at Kennsington Drive
  • Fishlock Avenue near the bridge
  • South Blanchard Street at Sixth Street
  • Bliss Avenue between Tappan Street and Lima Avenue
  • River Road at Broad Avenue
  • River Street at Western Avenue
  • Liberty Street at Apple Alley
  • Hurd Avenue at Findlay Street
  • Howard Street at Broad Avenue
  • East Main Cross Street at South Blanchard Street
  • North Blanchard Street at Clinton Court
  • Sixth Street and Blanchard Avenue at Williams Street
  • East Main Cross Street at Bright Road to Marcelle Avenue
  • East Street from East Main Cross Street to Front Street

More Than Three Pounds Of Pot Found In Findlay Man’s Car

5/31/19 – 9:55 A.M.

The State Highway Patrol arrested a Findlay man following a traffic stop on I-75 in Wood County last week. A release from the patrol says troopers pulled over 25-year-old Brandon Harris for a headlight violation around 12:15 a.m. on May 21st.

The trooper says he smelled raw marijuana in the car while talking to the people inside. Further investigation led to the discovery of more than three pounds of marijuana.

Harris faces charges of possession and trafficking marijuana.

Farmers Face Tough Decisions As Soggy Spring Continues

5/30/19 – 10:07 A.M.

The soggy spring has been a nightmare for area farmers. OSU extension educator Ed Lentz says farmers looking to plant corn have some tough decisions to make because of an approaching insurance deadline…

Audio:

Lentz says if a farmer opts to take the insurance claim, they can’t plant corn this season. In that case, they might switch their fields to beans, but if too many people do that, it will drive the price of beans down even further.

Lentz says we faced a similar situation nearly a decade ago…

Audio:

Lentz cautions that they caught many breaks during the back part of the growing season that year. It rained at ideal times and the first fall frost came 30 days later than normal.

Findlay Businessman Sentenced In Burglary And Assault Case

5/24/19 – 5:00 A.M.

The co-owner of a Findlay business is going to prison for four years. Judge Johnathan Starn sentenced 39-year-old Michael Lewis on a count of aggravated burglary and merged assault and abduction charges Thursday. Lewis pleaded guilty to the charges back in February in exchange for the dismissal of a rape charge.

Lewis is the co-owner of Partitions Plus. The victim in the case said Lewis forced his hands over her nose and mouth, and placed pillows over her face to suffocate her. She said he also strangled her.

The victim also said she didn’t feel like Lewis was taking responsibility for what he did. Judge Starn seemed to agree, saying there were big differences between the official version of the crime and what Lewis had admitted to.

MORE: Statements made during Thursday’s sentence hearing.

Shooting Reported On Edith Avenue Tuesday Night

5/22/19 – 9:48 A.M.

A Findlay man is in custody and a Cygnet man is in the hospital following a Tuesday night shooting in Findlay. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reports the incident happened at 700 Edith Street just after 8 p.m.

Investigators say 42-year-old Antonio Cortez of Cygnet got into a fight with 49-year-old Sean Egler in the Edith Street home. During the altercation, Egler allegedly pulled a handgun and shot Cortez once.

A medical helicopter took Cortez from Blanchard Valley Hospital to Toledo Hospital. He is in serious but stable condition. Egler is facing a felonious assault charge.

Shooting Location:

Unemployment Rates Fall Below 3 Percent For Area Counties

5/21/19 – 10:30 A.M.

Unemployment rates are continuing downward trends in our area. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reports unemployment dropped to just 2.4 percent in Hancock County in April. That’s down from 3 percent in March and down from 3.1 percent last April.

The lowest unemployment rate in the region belongs to Wyandot County at 2.2 percent. That’s down from 3 percent in March. Putnam County is also below 3 percent unemployment at 2.5 percent.

Every other county in our region checked in with a jobless rate below 4 percent for April.

Findlay Man Sentenced For Death Of Three-Month-Old Son

5/21/19 – 4:59 A.M.

A Findlay man will spend two years in prison for the suffocation death of his son. 27-year-old Jack Killion learned his sentence Monday after pleading guilty to a charge of reckless homicide on April 9th. 3-month old Surreno Killion died on March 1st of 2018. The coroner’s report said the death was accidental, a result of “co-sleeping with an adult.”

County Prosecutor Phil Riegle pushed for the maximum sentence of three years in prison because Killion had drugs in his system at the time. He tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana.

Riegle said the amount of meth in Killion’s system was very small. Riegle argued that coming off a meth high combined with marijuana would make Killion too tired to realize he was smothering his child.

MORE: Judge Jonathan Starn’s comments during sentencing.