The Flood Warning continues for the following rivers
St. Marys River at Rockford The Flood Warning continues for The St. Marys River at Rockford * until Monday morning. * At 11 AM the stage was 13.2 feet.
WESTERN LOGAN...AUGLAIZE AND WESTERN HARDIN COUNTIES UNTIL 415 PM EDT... At 334 PM EDT, radar indicated showers along a line extending from Wapakoneta to Russia, moving northeast at 45 mph. HAZARDS INCLUDE... Winds to 50 mph...
The National Weather Service in Wilmington has extended the * Flood Warning for
Auglaize County in west central Ohio... * Until 1245 PM EDT Monday. * At 1219 PM EDT, local law enforcement reported that several roads remain closed due to high water.
Today 75° Today 75° chance 55° 55° Tomorrow 61° Tomorrow 61° 44° 44°
Friday, April 9th, 2010

Area farmer praised by governor under fire

By Nancy Allen
FORT RECOVERY - A Darke County hog and fish farmer recently showcased during a March 19 visit by Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has a history of pollution and manure management issues, the most recent of which occurred just eight days before the governor's visit.
Don Brewer, whose farm is located on New Weston-Fort Loramie Road near Fort Recovery, received a letter this week from the chief of Ohio's Division of Soil and Water Resources telling him to correct his pollution problems or face the consequences.
Infractions listed in the chief's order include the March 11 incident when an Ohio Department of Agriculture inspector found a combination of fish water and manure from the farm entering the Wabash River. The letter also includes past incidents, which are: March 1, 1999, when manure from the farm entered the Wabash River; March 16, 2001, when a large amount of manure was found ponded on the outside of a waste storage pond on the property; and July 20, 2009, when a large amount of hog manure and wastewater used to raise tilapia fish entered the Wabash River.
Deadlines given to Brewer by the Darke County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to address the issues were all missed, the chief's letter notes. Brewer was asked to complete a manure management plan, do soil tests to determine his farmland's suitability for manure application, meet with Darke County SWCD officials and schedule a site visit.
Brewer reportedly told an SWCD official who came to the farm to investigate the March 16, 2001, incident that he was going to stop raising hogs. Two more pollution incidents involving hog manure from the farm occurred after that, the letter states.
If Brewer doesn't make the changes, the state may seek a court order compelling him to do so; order him to become a state-permitted facility, thus requiring stricter regulations and annual inspections; and/or seek criminal penalties, the chief's letter continues.
John Kaiser, district administrator of the Darke County SWCD, said his office has been trying to work with Brewer. Kaiser said cases are only referred to the chief when local efforts produce no changes.
"If somebody gets a chief's order, they're obviously not complying with the local SWCD's recommendations," Kaiser said. "We've had situations in the past with chiefs' orders, but most complaints are solved and stopped from reoccurring by the SWCD working with the individual."
The reoccurring issue at Brewer's farm is that the storage facility for hog manure and fish wastewater gets full and is pumped onto the ground at the farm, Kaiser said. The manure and fish water then flows north to a neighboring farm, percolates through the soil and into a tile that empties into the Wabash River.
Brewer this morning called the situation "unfortunate" and said he is working to fix the pollution problem.
"I'm working to resolve the issue with some people to make sure it doesn't happen again," he said.
The governor was not aware of the findings against Brewer prior to his visit, but has subsequently become aware of the situation, said Amanda Wurst, Strickland's press secretary.
"The governor expects all of Ohio's farmers to follow the law, because nothing is more important than the safety of our food supply, land and water," Wurst said.
Additional online stories on this date
CELINA - Celina City Schools needs to work on how the public would be notified of an emergency situation at the school, officials learned at a recent mock disaster exercise sponsored by the Mercer County Emergency Management Agency (EMA). [More]
COLDWATER - The weather may have been a little chilly, but the pitching was warmed up and ready to go at Veterans Field in Coldwater on Thursday.
Cavalier ace Keith Wenning and New Knoxville starter Jake Lawler put on a show in the opening Midwest Athletic Conference game of the season. [More]
Subscriber only stories on this date
Tenant eyeing land for business
Sheriff to get GPS units, computer software
Business people told to be ambassadors
Celina alleys to be resurfaced or closed
Rough year, staff may not see pay raise
Hellebores are early bloomers
Kahlig concludes great career as best player in Grand Lake area
New Bremen baseball made nice run in 2005
Balanced offensive attack propels Bulldogs
Mixed lineup no problem for Celina