April 24, 2014

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Cold, wind a challenge at house fire near Arthur
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 9:53 AM


By NANCY WHITAKER • Progress Staff Writer

ARTHUR – On Monday, a fire completely destroyed a home located at 14175 Road 209, south of Arthur in Paulding County.

According to Assistant Fire Chief Andrew Gribble, Auglaize Fire Department received the call at 8:59 a.m. Jan. 27.

The fire, which started on the west side of the home in the garage, burned intensely and was fanned by the gusty winds from the west. The fire spread through the two-story home, which was a total loss.

The occupants of the home lost all of their belongings, but managed to escape along with their pets without major injury. A female reportedly was transported to the hospital with smoke inhalation.

Gribble said that with the extreme cold temperatures, the help of various fire departments and tankers was needed. When tanker trucks had to be refilled from a nearby pond, Gribble said the ice had to be broken to get to the water.

Firemen were on scene until approximately 4 p.m. and were recalled at 5 p.m. when the fire apparently rekindled.

Assisting the Auglaize Fire Department at the scene were fire departments from Oakwood, Cecil, Paulding, Ayersville and Continental.

The American Red Cross of Paulding County assisted two adults following the fire. The Red Cross provided the couple assistance for food and clothing. Morning Star Convenience Store of Melrose and Rhees’ Market of Oakwood donated sandwiches, snacks, and beverages to the Red Cross to serve to the emergency personnel fighting the fire.

The Red Cross will be available in the coming days and weeks to provide additional recovery assistance to the couple as needed.


Level 2 snow emergency
Saturday, January 25, 2014 7:57 AM



As of 9:30 a.m. Monday, the Level 3 weather emergency for Paulding County has been lifted to a Level 2 road advisory. This doesn't mean all the roads in the county are clear. However, the various work crews have made significant progress and most roads have at least one lane of travel available. Some of the township roads may still be drifted shut as the wind continues to blow.

At this time, blowing snow and drifting remains a concern. Please use caution and common sense in deciding whether travel is really necessary. If you must travel, allow sufficient time and use caution in your winter driving habits. Reduce your speed when driving and allow more time for stopping.


Two vacant Paulding Council seats filled
Friday, January 24, 2014 5:48 PM


By BILL SHERRY • Progress Correspondent

PAULDING – Paulding Village Council met Tuesday, Jan. 21, with four council members present.

In the general election, no one ran for the seats of Councilmen Mike Trausch and Randy Daeger, whose terms expired Dec. 31. Therefore, the seats were filled by council.

UPDATED: School bus, car collide; one minor injury reported
Friday, January 24, 2014 11:26 AM
Denise Gebers/Paulding County Progress

LATTY – The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Van Wert Post is investigating an injury crash involving a Wayne Trace Elementary school bus that occurred at 9:40 a.m. Friday, Jan. 24 on US 127, north of County Road 60 in Latty Township, Paulding County.

A 2002 Saturn, driven by Jacob Dingus, age 17, of Paulding was southbound on US 127. A 2004 Bluebird School Bus, driven by Vicky Etzler, age 45, of Payne was northbound coming from Wayne Trace High School on US 127.

Troopers said Dingus was distracted in the vehicle and drifted left of center. Etzler took evasive action and drove off the right side of the roadway in an attempt to avoid the Saturn. Dingus struck the school bus in the left side. The school bus became disabled across both lanes of US 127 and Dingus continued off the left side of the roadway coming to rest in a plowed field.

The Saturn sustained severe disabling damage and the school bus sustained moderate damage to the left side.

Dingus was subsequently transported to Van Wert County Hospital by Scott EMS squad and was treated and released. Side impact and front airbags were deployed in his vehicle during the crash.

Etzler and two students on the school bus were treated at the scene by volunteer squad personnel.

The use of seat belts along with the air bag deployment lessened the injuries sustained in this crash. The crash is still under investigation and additional information will be made available at a later date.

US 127 was temporarily closed during the investigation and scene clean up. The Ohio State Highway Patrol was assisted on scene by the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, Scott Fire Department and EMS, Gideon’s Towing and Recovery, and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Tank demolition started
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 2:22 PM

The last part of Paulding Village’s new water plant project started Tuesday morning, Jan. 21. Peterson Construction began the demolition of the 1964 one-half-million gallon finished water clear well storage tank, located next to the reservoir.

The original hope was to refurbish this tank. It turned out that there was too much age-related damage to the tank and it had to be replaced.

The replacement will match the new quarter-million-gallon tank that was just recently constructed as part of the new plant project. Construction of the newest tank is to be completed by July this year.

Staff Photo/Paulding County Progress

Burkley: Looking forward to a productive 2014 session
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 1:55 PM

By Rep. Tony Burkley

Last year featured many important policy issues in the state legislature, most notably the passage of the state’s two-year budget. As I enter my second year serving the people of Defiance, Paulding and Van Wert counties, as well as part of Auglaize County, I would like to inform my constituents of some of what they can expect to see in 2014.

One of the issues that we are currently looking at, addresses financing for infrastructure projects like roads, bridges and water storage facilities. Once the terms of the legislation is agreed to and passed by the legislature, the final say will be given to voters on the upcoming May ballot, where they will have an up or down vote on whether to approve funding the projects.

Another important subject includes a potential reduction or revenue neutral adjustment to the current severance tax, which is a tax on drilling for oil and natural gas. A bill brought before the House (HB 375) would assess a low, competitive severance tax that would fund the oil and gas regulatory program in the state, plug idle and orphaned wells and reduce personal income taxes for Ohioans.

Additionally, the issue of prescription drug abuse has become a serious problem throughout the state. Fortunately, as more people become aware of the problem, more ideas are being brought to the table to hopefully help reverse its effects and scope. The House study committees that were held last summer have resulted in a lot of great collaboration, and I look forward to continue working with this topic in the months ahead.

Finally, Governor Kasich will once again be introducing what is called the “mid-biennial review,” which gives legislators an opportunity to take another look at the budget bill that was passed last year and see where improvements can be made. To my knowledge, Governor Kasich came up with this idea during the last two-year cycle. While I was not a member of the General Assembly at that time, I support the concept and think it is a great way to find places where we can perhaps save taxpayer dollars.

This is obviously just a small sample of what might be ahead for legislators in Columbus. As always, I value your input on any or all of these matters, and I will do my best to keep you informed on the issues that are most important to Northwest Ohio.

Rep. Burkley may be reached by calling (614) 644-5091, e-mailing Rep82@ohiohouse.gov or writing to State Representative Tony Burkley, 77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.