Thunderstorms Likely
Chance Thunderstorms
Tomorrow Night
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
Mostly Cloudy
Sunday Night
Partly Cloudy
Partly Sunny
Monday Night
Partly Cloudy
Chance Thunderstorms
Tuesday Night
Chance Thunderstorms
Chance Thunderstorms
Wednesday Night
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
3 Day
Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Local sheriff's office adds new features to website

By Margie Wuebker
The Mercer County Sheriff's Office has upgraded its website,
The revised format was unveiled this week with the work being done in-house by technology coordinator Kory Hoffhines.
The new home page contains a link to NIXLE, which allows residents to sign up for notification of amber alerts, weather alerts and road closures through e-mail or mobile phone. Other new links will take the user to law enforcement or government agencies throughout the county and state.
Visitors to the site can report such things as mailbox vandalism and generate a report for insurance purposes. They also can schedule visits with jail inmates once the corrections staff provides them with a required username and password.
The new website kept valuable tools from the previous version, such as a listing of sex offenders and jail inmates along with their photographs. Visitors may sign up for e-mail or text notifications when a sex offender registers in their neighborhood or an inmate is released.
The tip line remains on the site, allowing people to provide anonymous information such as suspected drug activity or underage drinking.
A recent tip regarding a woman planning to leave the area despite probation guidelines led to her arrest at a bus station in Lima.
"Tips from the public are taken seriously," Sheriff Jeff Grey said. "Callers may not see immediate action such as in the probation case, but that does not mean we overlook anything."
A new feature allows people to communicate directly with administrative personnel, and Grey hopes communication with deputies is added.
The site also includes a preparedness guide for travelers, tips for safely shopping online, drug prevention facts, credit card fraud schemes, identity theft, home invasion/robbery prevention, road rules, a dozen things students can do to stop school violence and teen driving laws.
Specific sections outline the application process for concealed carry permits and for electronic background checks by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification or FBI.
Grey believes the new website will reduce the number of calls coming in to the sheriff's office and Mercer County Central Dispatch.
"We used to pay a vendor $1,500 per year to manage the site, and it frequently took time to make needed changes," he said. "Now everything is under our control and changes can be made as needed."
Additional online stories on this date
A 21-year-old Lewisville man reportedly had cocaine and heroin in his system when he caused an Oct. 3 traffic accident that critically injured a member of the Mercer County Emergency Response Volunteers. [More]
CELINA - A very stingy defense and a well-placed boot by Kelly Heitkamp helped the St. Marys Roughriders advance to Saturday's Division II district final. [More]
Subscriber only stories on this date
Doctor: 'I may have touched her'
Early voting steady in both counties
Celina precincts decreased to eight to meet mandate
Sentencing date set for former baby sitter
St. Marys school officials discuss designs for new tennis courts
First-time author promoting new book
Celina to battle Wapak for district championship
Coldwater wins first but loses next three
Minster, Versailles hoping for upsets
Three-way race for MAC title
Bath missing Smith in matchup against Celina
Grand Lake Football Primer