Monday, September 17th, 2007

University relatively 'fortunate'
In the final days before students arrive for fall classes, colleges always face a frenzy of last-minute preparations. Dealing with fire and flooding at the same time isn't normally part of that routine.
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ODOT workers fill in for Guard
Consider the Ohio Department of Transportation as the calvary.
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Back In Business
The following Findlay area businesses, closed by the recent flooding, have announced their reopening:
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Seven Fostorias dot map of United States
FOSTORIA, USA — If you want to see everything Fostoria, keep a list of rest stops handy.
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Woman injured in two-car crash Sunday night
A woman was hospitalized after a two-vehicle crash on Howard Street near Broad Avenue Sunday evening.
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Public Record
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Local News

University relatively 'fortunate'


staff writer

In the final days before students arrive for fall classes, colleges always face a frenzy of last-minute preparations. Dealing with fire and flooding at the same time isn't normally part of that routine.

But that's what the University of Findlay faced when the waters began to rise in town on Aug. 21 — the same day of the annual President's Breakfast to rally staff, and a mere two days before the first new students began moving into residence halls.

It wasn't the main campus facilities that were in jeopardy, however — it was the myriad houses and apartment complexes that UF owns around the perimeter of the campus that were threatened by the floodwaters. Many got wet, and one residence even caught fire for what investigators believe was a non-flood cause.

According to Marty Terry, vice president of business affairs for UF, 41 university-owned houses around the campus, which not only house students, but offices for staff as well, "received varying degrees of damage — some very, very minimal and probably 24" that were more affected.

Twelve of the latter were student housing units. For the hardest hit, "we had outside sources come in and do some cleaning and sanitary work," Terry said.

Flood damage was mainly in basements, although 19 UF-owned apartments near DeHaven Field saw water creep up front steps, and two had it enter front doors.

As the floodwater receded, UF maintenance workers hurried to replace items like hot water heaters, clean duct work, and get air circulating through crawl spaces before students began arriving that weekend, Terry said.

"Our people did a great job" with their extra cleanup and repair duties, he said.

A flurry of calls from students and staff, wondering whether they'd have places to work and live once school began the following week, were fielded as Findlay's flooding hit national and international news, but reassurances were made.

"We were really very blessed ... compared to what the rest of the city went through," Terry noted.

Many university workers had their own flood damage to contend with at home, and co-workers quickly set up a fund to help them out, he said.

As workers started to get a handle on flood cleanup efforts, apartment 17 at 330 Defiance Ave. caught fire. Five of the six students who had planned to live there had moved in, but were not home at the time due to competing in a cross country meet; all of their belongings there were destroyed.

The blaze caused an estimated $100,000 in damage.

Local and state fire inspectors have not determined the exact cause of the fire, "although they feel it had to do with a malfunctioning microwave," Terry said.

The six students were sent to a local hotel until they could find alternative off-campus housing. The two apartments on either side of the burned apartment (part of a five-unit building) sustained smoke damage, but not enough to displace those students, who were back in those the following day.

The school began renovating the burned apartment on Sept. 10, and that work is expected to be completed in four to five weeks.

"It's been a bit hectic around here," Terry concluded — an understatement considering the school had "some 1,400 students checking into housing" this school year.

"But we were pretty fortunate compared to a lot of people."

Contact staff writer Joy Brown at:

(419) 427-8496

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ODOT workers fill in for Guard



Consider the Ohio Department of Transportation as the calvary.

That's because they responded to Findlay leaders' request for help to clean up after last month's flood, instead of the National Guard, Hancock County Emergency Management Agency Director Garry Valentine said.

It's all the same to Mayor Tony Iriti, though.

"ODOT filled the gap," Iriti said. "I guess it's no harm, no foul ... We got all the debris picked up."

Iriti originally submitted a request through Valentine's office for National Guardsmen to help clean up debris and to protect against looting in neighborhoods hit by floodwaters.

Iriti later rescinded that request when Findlay Police Chief Bill Spraw assured him the police department could handle security needs in town.

However, Iriti then submitted a second request through Valentine's office for "available state personnel" for the cleanup effort.

ODOT responded with about 60 people and 60 pieces of equipment.

"We cannot dictate to the state who they send us," Valentine said. "We cannot say we want the National Guard for this reason or we want ODOT for this reason."

As it turned out, it made sense to send ODOT crews rather than the National Guard for cleanup duty, Valentine said.

"ODOT is more used to handling this type of situation," Valentine said.

Contact staff writer John Graber at:

(419) 427-8417

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Back In Business

The following Findlay area businesses, closed by the recent flooding, have announced their reopening:

CIH Salons, at a new location: 1720 N. Ridge Road in the Oasis building.

Edward Jones investments, 237 S. Main St.

Inside Innovations, 329 S. Main St.

Rocking U Restaurant, 318 W. Main Cross St.

Sorella Bridal Studio, 415 S. Main St.

Sun Catchers Tanning, 610 S. Blanchard St.

Reopenings that were announced recently include:

Angel Hands Massage Therapy, 110 S. Main St.

The Architect, at a new location — 1665 Tiffin Ave.

Bistro on Main, 407 S. Main St.

Car Craft Collision, 225 E. Front St.

Christian Book & Gift Store, 438 Tiffin Ave.

Cramer Signs, 231 E. Front St.

Creative Hair Designs, temporarily located at 1645 Tiffin Ave.

Dietsch Brothers, 1217 Tiffin Ave.

Downtown Antiques & Lighting, 231 S. Main St.

Fields Service, 337 E. Main Cross St.

Findlay Massotherapy Clinic, 404 E. Lincoln St.

Findlay Moose Family Center 698, 1028 W. Main Cross St.

Fuzzy Burnstein's, 222 S. Main St.

Gaslight Gifts, 408 S. Main St.

Gearsource Music, 227 N. Main St.

H&M Motor Sales, 430 E. Main Cross St.

Heuerman U Haul Truck Rental, 120 N. Main St.

J&S Archery, 1031 S. Blanchard St.

Jack's Heating A/C Plumbing, 207 N. Main St.

Jess Service Center, 1016 Tiffin Ave.

Kagy Insurance Services, temporarily located at 111 E. Crawford St.

Karl Kuhlman Body & Radiator Repair, 136 N. Main St.

LaRiche Chevrolet-Cadillac, 215 E. Main Cross St.

Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken (fully reopened), 427 Tiffin Ave.

National Memorial Stone, 1121 W. Main Cross St.

Niswander Jewelers, 331 S. Main St.

O.J. Parts, 1815 Blanchard Ave.

Papillon Boutique, 1016 Tiffin Ave.

Phillips Garage, 120 Durrell St.

Property Analysts, 507 S. Main St.

Sign of the Bell, 214 W. Front St.

Steven Powell Co., LPA, 108 E. Main Cross St.

Trautman Interiors, 506 S. Main St.

The Courier is asking businesses that have reopened after the flood to please e-mail the Courier's business reporter, Lou Wilin, at; or e-mail; or drop off a note for Wilin at the Courier's newsroom. Tell us the name of your business, and your address. A complete list of reopenings is available at the Back In Business link on The Courier's Web site at

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Seven Fostorias dot map of United States


Staff Writer

FOSTORIA, USA — If you want to see everything Fostoria, keep a list of rest stops handy.

There are seven municipalities named Fostoria in the United States, and to see them all, it would take 65 hours of non-stop driving to cover the nearly 3,950-mile round trip.

The complete tour of Fostoria would require visits to Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Alabama and Pennsylvania before returning to Train City USA, back here in Ohio.

Of the seven, Ohio's Fostoria, which has a population of about 14,000 residents, is by far the biggest. Fostoria, Iowa, is apparently the largest of the other six with only a few hundred residents.

While the Fostoria communities have some similarities in how they were founded, none apparently are named for the same Charles Foster as Fostoria, Ohio.

Fostoria, Mich.

A three-hour drive north and slightly east into the "thumb" area of Michigan, just off M-24 and M-90 in Tuscola County, a green and white road sign leads you into the town on Fostoria Road.

There Librarian Cathy Valentine, a 23-year employee, opens the Watertown Township Library each weekday. Located on Foster Street, the library shares the building with township officials and the local fire department.

The township has a population of about 2,230, but the town's population is less than 200.

The community is surrounded by farmland. Most local residents have to travel a half hour or more to work.

It used to be a lot busier, according to retired postmaster Dick Haver, 87, who has lived in the community since 1929.

"We use to have three grocery stores, two hardware stores, and the Huckleberry Railroad would arrive once weekly from Flint," Haver said while sitting in the library.

Like its Ohio counterpart, the community relied on the railroad to thrive.

It was the nearby Flint River and the railroad which brought Thomas Foster from New York state in the 1860s to settle in the tree-covered area.

The Foster Camp was established, on now-vacant land across from the township building, for lumbering operations. Multiple buildings were used to handle the timber trade, sending the logs down the Flint River.

He also farmed more than 300 acres in the area.

But the train tracks were removed decades ago, the lumbering business vanished and now the seven-block community has mostly nicely-kept residences.

There are two churches, an International Organization of Odd Fellows (IOOF) building, a convenience store (where videos can be rented and an automated teller machine is available), a bar, a community park (which includes a skateboard park), a post office and a small machine shop.

There used to be a bank branch and a grain elevator, too. But since the grain elevator closed, local farmers have to travel 10 miles to Millington, Valentine said. A bank branch closed, too.

"We really miss the bank," she added.

The Michigan community holds an annual celebration, Fostoria Days, scheduled for July 13-15 this year.

Youngsters attend the Mayville Schools, about 10 miles north of Fostoria.

Haver is a 1938 graduate of Fostoria High School, a two-story red brick structure next to the community park.

The last graduating class was 1943, he said, when the building was turned into an elementary school until the 1950s.

A nicely kept playground is located adjacent to the structure now, but the facility has been converted to an apartment complex.

After his visit, Haver was on his way home to mow his lawn.

Asked why he's remained in the community despite being retired for 27 years, Haver had a quick response.

"It's my home."

Glancing around the Fostoria, Mich., area, it may appear you're still in Ohio. Fremont, Clyde, Sandusky, Akron and Dayton are names listed on a detailed Michigan map.

Fostoria, Iowa

You hop back in the car and head southwest to Iowa, arriving nearly 13 hours later.

Located in northwest Iowa, Fostoria is just south of the Minnesota state line in a tourist recreational area of state preserves and lakes.

The City of Arnolds Park, which includes a large amusement park, is located nearby, too.

While the flat land and heavy reliance on grain farming would make northwest Ohio residents feel right at home, the tourism, camping and recreation available in Iowa are a boon for the community of 230.

Located between Milford (population 2,500) and Spencer (population 13,000), the town was split down the middle years ago, with youngsters on one side of the main street attending Milford schools and on the other side Spencer school districts, said Joe Simington, who grew up on a farm just outside of town, but open enrollment options have now mingled the two sides.

In Fostoria, there are several construction-related businesses, a grain elevator, a bank, a post office, a church, a fire department and an emergency medical service.

But, Simington, an employee at Farmers Savings Bank, and Kate Stouffer, a 25-year resident of the area who serves as village clerk, are two local residents and ambassadors to the area.

Simington visited Ohio's Fostoria several years ago, after two radio personalties traveled to the Iowa community.

He said he was impressed with the Fostoria Historical Museum.

Stouffer said the community has grown in recent years, with the population increasing from under 200 individuals to its current figure.

New homes are being built in the municipality, she added.

Again, the railroad played a part in the development of the town.

The community was founded in 1912 by the Foster Brothers (first names unknown) after the town of Hays Siding was moved several miles north to take advantage of existing railroad tracks.

While the railroad tracks have long since been removed, Simington said the effort to promote the area's recreational activities continues.

There are activities throughout the summer including sports tournaments, bicycle tours and entertainment.

The area also boasts the University of Okoboji, a mythical school with no campus, begun by brothers Herman and Emil Richter, Milford clothing store owners, in the 1970s to promote the area.

A charitable foundation to benefit local causes was established with proceeds from the sale of jackets, T-shirts, shorts and other items with the fictional university's logo.

The effort is similar to the Ohio community's efforts to promote its glass and railroad history.

Fostoria, Kan.

From Iowa, its about 6 hours and 40 minutes to northeastern Kansas where another Fostoria, like its Iowa counterpart, is nestled in a recreation area.

Two fishing lakes, a state preserve, and a large reservoir are located near the village, which is located northeast of Manhattan.

A spokesperson in the Pottawatomie County economic development office didn't have any specific information on the founding of Fostoria, or the community's namesake.

She said it was an unincorporated portion of the county.

Fostoria, Texas

Leaving Kansas and driving southeast, it's about 11 hours to reach southeast Texas. But once you get there, all that's left is a ghost town.

Like its Michigan namesake, the once bustling town of Fostoria, Texas, owes its name to the lumber industry.

And like its Ohio counterpart, the railroads played an important part in the town's history.

It was originally Clinesburg, Texas. But the Foster Lumber Co. of Kansas City, Mo., purchased the local sawmill in 1901 and renamed the town Fostoria in 1903, according to the Handbook of Texas Online.

The town's population peaked at about 1,500 people in 1925, and by 1941 the company was producing 20 million board feet of pine lumber, becoming one of the largest manufacturers of Southern pine boards in the U.S.

But when that operation was closed in 1957, the population declined to about 500 and the business district was abandoned.

All that's left now is a plaque on Texas Highway 105 directing traffic to the former community. A few overgrown building foundations and a cemetery are all that remain.

Fostoria, Ala.

The drive from Texas to Alabama its about 9 hours of driving (about 600 miles) to another small Fostoria. Located in Lowndes County, southwest of Montgomery.

The hamlet is the birthplace of Frank "Honeyboy" Patt, a blues vocalist and guitarist born in Fostoria in September 1928.

Fostoria, Pa.

Traveling from Alabama to Pennsylvania will take about 15 hours to cover the 950 miles to the seventh Fostoria.

It's located just northeast of Altoona, off U.S. 220, in western Pennsylvania.

The Blair County location was apparently founded in the 1850s.

Fostoria, Ohio

It's about 5 hours driving time from Fostoria, Pa. to cover the 300 miles needed to get you back to Fostoria in the Buckeye State.

The Ohio city was founded in 1854 and named for Charles Foster, a politician and local businessman.

The city has long been recognized for its glass production from the late 1800s and early 1900s which is still collectable today.

Also, the railroads, with between 150-200 trains traveling through the city daily and drawing visitors from throughout the U.S. and foreign countries.

Both events are celebrated with an annual Glass & Heritage Festival in July and a Fostoria Rail Festival in September.

Contact Staff Writer Jim Maurer at:

(419) 427-8420

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Woman injured in two-car crash Sunday night

A woman was hospitalized after a two-vehicle crash on Howard Street near Broad Avenue Sunday evening.

Michael Burtch, 23, of Findlay, was traveling northbound on Broad Avenue around 6 p.m. when he failed to yield to oncoming traffic as he turned left onto Howard Street, pulling in front of Phyllis Oakman, 42, of Findlay.

Oakman had been traveling southbound on Howard Street, and her Pontiac G6 crashed into the back of Burtch's Honda Accord.

Oakman was transported by Hanco EMS to Blanchard Valley Hospital, where she was being treated for injuries in the emergency room, a hospital official reported Sunday night.

Burtch was cited for failure to yield at a left turn.

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Public Record


The following incidents were reported to the Findlay Police Department and the Hancock County Sheriff's Office:

Police Department

A manager at Blockbuster Video, 2435 S. Main St., reported on Friday that areas of the shopping center complex had been spraypainted.

A Chateau Circle man reported on Friday that someone had made an unauthorized online transaction on his bank account, withdrawing $199.99.

A fence was damaged at 416 First St. on Friday.

A male was given a trespass warning on Friday at Wal-Mart, 2500 Tiffin Ave., after placing an incorrect price tag on an item and yelling at employees when they would not sell him the item at the lower price.

A Brenda Court woman and her son were given trespass warnings after the boy reportedly took a bicycle without permission from the woman's neighbor. At the mother's request, officers also issued a trespass warning to the neighbor who owned the bicycle.

A purse left on the bumper of a GMC was stolen from 8164 Newberry Drive on Friday.

A bicycle was reported missing from a South Main Street apartment complex on Friday.

A woman was arrested for trying to steal two bottles of cologne by concealing them in her bra at Meijer, 2200 Tiffin Ave., on Friday. Officers discovered she also had a warrant for her arrest in Tiffin.

A 15-year-old female was cited for underage consumption of alcohol on Saturday at a Crystal Avenue residence after her mother reported the girl was threatening to hurt herself with a knife.

A 15-year-old male was arrested for violating house arrest, after he returned home about an hour after his mother reported him missing from their Clinton Street residence on Saturday.

A driver for Accurate Cab reported that a customer left her cab after a ride to his West Lima Street residence without paying his $9 bill.

Two East Pine Street residents separately reported that they had witnessed an assault on their street on Saturday. Both reported that a man riding a bicycle down the 200 block of East Pine Street was thrown from the bike after he was hit by a passing vehicle, and that the driver then got out of the car and assaulted the man. Police found the bicycle in front of 218 E. Pine St. but did not find the man.

A bicycle was reported stolen from 1702 Sherry St. on Saturday.

A man reported being struck in the head by a male driving a red Chevy Trail Blazer in the parking lot of Murphy Oil, 1181 W. Trenton Ave., on Saturday. The man said the driver jumped out of the car, punched him, then drove away.

A manager at Red Roof Inn, 1951 Broad Ave., reported on Saturday that a customer had damaged several items in the room he had rented, including a table and a fire extinguisher, and left the hotel without checking out. Police contacted the man, who agreed to pay for the damages.

A bicycle was reported stolen from the Fort Findlay playground, 1501 S. Blanchard St., on Saturday.

A woman reported that someone threw an egg at her car while she was driving in the 3200 block of North Main Street on Saturday.

A window on a Ford vehicle was reported damaged on Saturday on East Hobart Avenue.

A female was arrested for domestic violence on Saturday for striking her fiance in the face during an argument, and hitting his friend while he tried to restrain her. Her fiance was arrested for underage consumption after he admitted to officers he had been drinking prior to the dispute.

A bicycle was stolen from 918 Fox St. on Saturday.

A man was arrested outside of Nino's, 331 N. Main St., on Sunday after being escorted out of the bar by a bouncer and then trying to start a fight outside. Police officers who were called to the altercation were nearly struck by a passing motorist, who was then arrested for drunken driving.

A wallet was stolen from 1343 Countryside Drive on Sunday.

A Nissan Sentra was reportedly dented at 709 McManness Ave. on Sunday.

Sheriff's Office

Several gold rings were reported missing from an Alvada residence on Sept. 2.

An Arlington woman reported a check for $225 had been forged with her signature on Sept. 6.

A grill was stolen from 4010 County Road 236 on Sept. 10.

Two toilet paper tubes were set on fire, partially burning a stall door in the bathroom at the Mount Blanchard village pool on Tuesday.

A flat screen television was taken from a Township Road 152 residence on Thursday.

A jar and a mug, both filled with change, were stolen from a Jenera residence on Township Road 60 on Thursday. In an incident that deputies suspect may be related, a coin sorter was reported missing from 8097 Township Road 25 the same day.

Deputies responded to a domestic dispute at a U.S. 224 residence on Sept. 9, where a woman reported her boyfriend, who had a previous warrant for his arrest, had been throwing things at her and then took off. Officers later found the man hiding between mattresses in a warehouse at Bill's Mattress and Furniture, 10283 U.S. 224, and arrested him.

Fire Calls


5:56 p.m., 1203 Crystal Glen Boulevard, EMS call.

9 p.m., 324 W. Lima St., unauthorized burning.

10:02 p.m., 307 Clinton St., EMS call.


11:51 a.m., 615 Washington St., police assist.

8:45 p.m., 1510 Parkside Place, EMS call.


1:16 a.m., 1115 Brenda Court, unauthorized burning.

6:02 a.m., 1200 Commerce Parkway, alarm malfunction.

12:43 p.m., 1410 N. Cory St., unintentional smoke detector activation.

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