Monthly Archives: December 2021

WFIN’s Images Of 2021

Here are some of the many pictures, in no particular order, taken by WFIN News while covering stories in 2021. Have a Happy New Year!

June 19 – K9 Charlie with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office (above) gets some love from the kids at Camp 911 in Findlay after a police dog demonstration. Get more by clicking here. 

May 29 – Two brand new Findlay High School grads do a chest bump on the field at Donnell Stadium at the conclusion of the commencement ceremony for the Class of 2021 on Saturday morning. Congratulations to all the graduates! Get more here. 


Feb. 11 – A couple of buddies take a walk down a snowy sidewalk in Findlay.


June 1 – WWII Veteran Kyle Adams at the Memorial Day Service at Findlay’s Maple Grove Cemetery on Monday. The 101-year-old served in the Navy in WWII. Thank you for your service sir!


May 12 – There was a marriage proposal after the University of Findlay Arch Ceremony last weekend as Christian Sauer popped the question to Brooklyn Iiames and she said yes! Congrats to the newly engaged couple!


Nov. 8 – Hancock County Veteran Roger Neff, who was recently inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, being recognized at the service at the Hancock County War Memorial after the Findlay Veterans Day Parade on Sunday. Get more here. 


Feb. 12 – A gaggle of geese makes themselves at home on Lake Cascades behind the WFIN Studios on a cold Friday afternoon.

Feb. 27 – We spotted this squirrel enjoying a quick bite in a Findlay neighborhood on Saturday afternoon.

March 10 – That was a pretty impressive sky in Findlay at around sunset Wednesday. This was the view from outside the WFIN Studios at Lake Cascades.


April 2 – A motorcycle heads over the covered bridge over the Blanchard River at Riverbend Recreation Area just outside Findlay.

April 16 – A look at a big American Flag in Glandorf getting straightened by the wind.

April 16 – Putnam County schoolkids point to where a life-flight helicopter was landing during a presentation during Farm Safety Days in Ottawa. Get more here. 

April 22nd – The view from South Main Street as a plane comes in for a landing at the Findlay Airport on Thursday afternoon.

April 29 – Saw this fella looking for a meal in Findlay’s Eagle Creek on a soggy Thursday afternoon.


May 7 – A look at one of the dozens of additional Hometown Hero banners that went up in Findlay earlier this week to honor local members of the military. Get more here. 


May 14 – This guy showed up in style to the Hancock Hotel for the Van Buren High School prom last weekend.


May 16 – Some folks getting their picture taken with one of the two Hueys that were taking people on rides at the Armed Forces Day Celebration at the Hancock County Fairgrounds over the weekend.


July 5 – Some patriotic youngsters enjoying Findlay’s 4th of July Parade on Sunday.


July 13 – A youngster is excited as another youngster and a Findlay police officer round third and head for home during a kickball game between camp kids and police & fire earlier in the week.


August 4 – A Findlay police officer and youngster make a good team in the ring toss game during Flag City Night Out.


Sep. 6 – People wait for their turn to climb up into “Yankee Lady” during the B-17’s visit to Findlay Airport over the weekend. You can see inside the Flying Fortress by clicking here. 

Sep. 11- A pic we took of an American Flag being displayed from a Findlay Fire Department ladder truck for vehicles to drive under during the 9/11 parade and memorial ceremony last Saturday on the 20th anniversary of the attacks.


Sep. 24 – Homecoming King Gus Cleary and Queen Liz Laird wave to people from the back seat of a sweet ride during the Findlay High School Homecoming Parade on Friday.

Oct. 1 – Louise gets some love during the Humane Society and SPCA of Hancock County’s Wags and Walks event the other day at Findlay’s Riverside Park.

Oct. 12 – That was an interesting cloud formation stretching across the sky in Findlay on Tuesday afternoon, seen here from the I-75/Trenton Avenue area at around 5:15.


Oct. 31 – A Findlay police officer hands out candy to youngsters trick-or-treating along South Main Street on Saturday.

Oct. 31 – Why did the chicken cross the road? To get some Halloween candy of course. Seen during Findlay’s trick-or-treat on Saturday.



Nov. 9 – During the Veterans Day Parade on Sunday, we took this pic of one of the Hometown Hero Banners that line Main Street in Findlay.


Nov. 12 – A student at Chamberlin Hill Elementary salutes as Veterans slowly drive by during the ‘Salute to Veterans’ drive through parade on Veterans Day.


Nov. 25 – Some workers put the star in place atop the Findlay Christmas Tree. The star was made by local students, and you can get more on that by clicking here. 


Nov. 29 – A look at the Findlay Christmas Tree as some big flakes of wet snow were swirling in the air.

Dec. 13 – This little one doesn’t look too sure about this jolly guy with the beard and red suit at the University of Findlay’s Letters To Santa Drive-Thru event on Sunday. Hundreds of youngsters handed Santa their letters and got to chat with him for a minute during the event. Get more here. 


Dec. 13th – A youngster pleads her case with Santa that she was good all year long, during the Letters to Santa Drive-Thru a few weeks ago at the University of Findlay.

Dec. 20 – A Findlay police officer takes a girl Christmas shopping during Cops and Kids Go Shopping last weekend. Local police officers brightened the holidays for 150 kids by taking them Christmas shopping. Get more here. 

Dec. 24 – Some folks walk down a sidewalk along South Main Street in Findlay on Christmas Eve as homeowners lined the sidewalks with luminaries as is tradition.


Cloth Masks No Longer Allowed At BVHS Facilities

Blanchard Valley Health System has made the decision to prohibit cloth masks in all of its facilities and locations.

BVHS says it now requires patients and visitors to wear a surgical mask or an N-95 mask, which will be provided upon entry.

“Mitigation strategies for COVID-19 include face coverings and N-95 and surgical masks are the most effective. When outside of BVHS, we encourage our community to also wear masks whenever appropriate. In these situations, cloth masks are better than no face covering,” explained Dr. Renee Smith, chief medical officer at BVHS.

“With the patient population in our facilities, we require the most effective measures. Therefore, cloth masks are prohibited.”

For more information about COVID-19 recommendations and up to date guidelines click here.

BVHS says appointments for COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots can be made by calling Hancock Public Health at 419-424-7441.



OSHP Warns Against Driving Impaired Over New Year’s Holiday

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding people who plan on celebrating the New Year’s holiday to designate a sober driver.

The Highway Patrol’s zero-tolerance policy over the holiday is part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign.

The Highway Patrol says it made 309 arrests for OVI during the 2020-2021 New Year’s reporting period.

During last year’s New Year’s reporting period, there were 14 fatal crashes that killed 14 people.

Of those, alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in 10 fatal crashes, while speed played a role in three of the crashes.

Of the seven fatalities in which seat belts were available, five were unbelted.

There were six pedestrians and one ATV/UTV driver killed during the holiday period.

“Tragically, last year’s New Year’s holiday was the deadliest in nine years,” said Colonel Richard S. Fambro, Patrol superintendent.

“Safety is a shared responsibility and we need your commitment to help make our roads safe.”

The Highway Patrol reminds drivers to plan ahead and designate a sober driver or make other arrangements.




Library Giving Out A Lot Of COVID Test Kits

UPDATE- The library was out of the kits as of Monday morning and said it is unsure when it will get its next shipment.


The Findlay-Hancock County Public Library has been giving out a lot of free at-home COVID testing kits lately.

The library temporarily ran out of the kits but on Thursday posted on their Facebook page that their supply of kits had been replenished.

Joel Mantey, adult services manager for the library, recommends that people call ahead to make sure they have kits available, and if you’re symptomatic, request curbside service and they’ll bring them out to you.



To request a kit, stop by the reference desk or ask for one through the curbside service by calling 419-422-1712.

The library started making the at-home testing kits available to the public in early March.

The library says the Ohio Department of Health has been good with restocking them with kits on the occasions when they’ve run out.


Hit-Skip Crash In Findlay Sends Pedestrian To Hospital

The Findlay Police Department is looking for the vehicle and driver involved in a hit-skip crash that sent a pedestrian to the hospital.

The crash happened at around 7:15 Wednesday night at Broad Avenue and West Melrose Avenue.

Police say Cheryle Rocha, 56, was attempting to walk eastbound across Broad Avenue at Melrose Avenue when she was struck by a vehicle that was southbound on Broad Avenue.

Cheryle was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital with injuries that are believed to be serious, but not life-threatening.

Police say Cheryle nor others in the vicinity at the time were able to provide a description of the vehicle.

Anyone who might have information on the suspect vehicle is urged to call the Findlay Police Department at 419-424-7150.


Winter Bird Watching In Hancock County

Wildlife officials in Ohio are reminding people that the spring and summer are not the only times of the year to go bird watching.

While some species move south for the winter, many resident birds like northern cardinals, screech-owls, woodpeckers, and hawks stay.

And the Ohio Department of Wildlife says that snow buntings, pine siskins, northern shrikes, and dark-eyed juncos all make their way from Canada to visit.

Other visitors include sandhill cranes, tundra swans, snowy and short-eared owls.

Tim Kleman is a program specialist with the Hancock Park District.



As Tim mentioned in the audio above, one of the best places to get started bird watching is in your own backyard.

And he says there are plenty of bird watching opportunities at their parks.

“Personally I like to go out to Riverbend and Oakwoods and Litzenberg to go looking for birds.”

He said the reservoir is also a good area to watch birds.

Kleman said as you’re out bird watching there is a chance you’ll see a bald eagle or two, as northwest Ohio has the highest population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states.

He says there are about 13 bald eagle nests in the Findlay area.

Get more bird watching ideas and events by checking out the Hancock Park District’s website here or the Ohio Division of Wildlife here.


Governor Says Schools Should Require Masks As State Breaks COVID Records

Governor DeWine in a COVID-19 update on Wednesday said that there are more COVID patients in Ohio hospitals now than at any other time during the pandemic.

He said 5,356 people were hospitalized with COVID on Wednesday and that the state also set a new daily record for new cases at at 20,320.

The governor said he decided to hold an update on Wednesday after talking with hospital leaders in the morning and hearing from them about how many cases they are seeing and how their resources are strained.

“What we are seeing in our hospitals, with hospitals and emergency rooms filling up, is being driven by people in Ohio who are not vaccinated,” the governor said.

DeWine and hospital leaders are calling on schools to require masks when schools return from the holiday break.

“Schools need to require masks. Masks work. They slow the spread. It’s very, very important that schools do that.”

The governor said the mask requirement should last at least as long as this surge lasts that we are currently experiencing.

He’s also asking parents to get their children vaccinated.

Findlay City Schools says masks remain optional at this point and that the school district will continue to work with Hancock Public Health and monitor COVID numbers throughout their schools.

During the new conference, DeWine announced that he’s mobilizing an additional 1,250 Ohio National Guard members to help hospitals with their COVID response

Earlier in December he mobilized 1,050 members of the guard to help relieve the hospital staffing strain caused by the surge in patients.


Dates Announced For Ohio’s 2022 Fair Season

Ohioans can start planning visits to all of their favorite fairs across the state.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture has released the official dates for the 2022 fair season, which includes Ohio’s 94 county and independent fairs and the Ohio State Fair.

The 2022 fair season will begin on June 11th with the Paulding County Fair and the season will wrap up on October 15th with the Fairfield County Fair.

The Hancock County Fair in Findlay as usual will be held Labor Day Weekend, and in 2022 the fair will run from August 31st through September 5th.

The Putnam County Fair is one of the earliest fairs and will run from June 20th through 25th in Ottawa.

For the complete 2022 fair schedule, click here.

In addition to setting fair dates, the Ohio Department of Agriculture is responsible for helping to assure the safety of fair amusement rides, monitoring livestock shows to help assure honest competition and coordinating animal health efforts with local veterinarians.




Ohio Supreme Court Hears Arguments On New Congressional Map

(ONN) – The Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments on whether the state’s new congressional map is unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor Republicans.

Lawyers in two lawsuits brought by national voting rights and democratic groups argued Tuesday that it’s indisputable that the map unduly favors the GOP, whose members controlled the process.

The Republicans’ lawyer said new boundaries give Democrats two districts and make seven more competitive.

Outside groups have found the map likely to deliver 80 percent of seats to Republicans, while estimates put Ohio’s political breakdown at 54 percent Republican to 46 percent Democrat.

Rulings in the case are expected relatively soon because the 2022 election is just around the corner as is the filing deadline for congressional candidates.

The court is also expected to soon issue a ruling on challenges to the state’s new legislative maps that were approved in 2021.


Additional Acres Acquired For Eagle Creek Basin Project

The Maumee Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) has approved the acquisition of an additional 264 acres for the Eagle Creek Floodwater Storage Basin project just south of Findlay.

The new purchase will bring the total number of acres acquired for the basin up to around 700 with about 100 acres still being pursued and negotiations underway with those landowners.

“The Conservancy District action today is another major step in addressing flooding within our community,” said Tim Mayle, Director of Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development and board member of Blanchard River Watershed Solutions.

“I would like to thank the Conservancy District and the Conservancy Court for their support of the project along with our federal, state and local elected officials.”

The MWCD will purchase the properties with funds approved by the Ohio Legislature and signed into law by Governor Kasich and Governor DeWine.

So far the state has approved $30 million for the project, which is estimated to cost around $60 million, and Mayle is confident the project will be fully funded.





The funds were awarded to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and transferred to the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District for the purchase of the Eagle Creek Basin properties.

Mayle says, when the basin is completed, it will provide approximately 18 inches in the reduction of the base flood elevation during a 100 year storm.

He says the Eagle Creek Floodwater Storage Basin is a part of a broad flood mitigation strategy led by the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District.

The District is also overseeing two benching projects in downtown Findlay that will each reduce the 100 year flood plain by approximately 6 inches as well as the replacement of the Norfolk Southern bridge over the Blanchard River in downtown Findlay.

The bridge replacement will eliminate a choke point on the river and reduce flood levels by approximately 6 inches, and the project was awarded a grant from the federal government in excess of $7 million.

Mayle says, in total, the flood mitigation projects will reduce the 100 year flood elevation by approximately three feet.




In addition, the Hancock County Commissioners and City of Findlay continue to work on road improvements that will provide access during a flood event for safety services and residents.

In November, the MLK Parkway overpass reopened after two intersections were elevated so they no longer flood.

Also, repeated flood-prone properties will continue to be purchased and demolished.

In July, the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District Court voted to add the Eagle Creek Floodwater Storage Basin to their official plan.

The Eagle Creek Floodwater Storage Basin will be constructed west of U.S. 68 and just north of Township Road 49.

Officials anticipate the project breaking ground in 2023.