Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Storm topples trees, damages barns in Auglaize County

By Shelley Grieshop
NEW BREMEN - A wind-tossed camper, damaged barns and felled trees dotted the landscape in Auglaize County on Tuesday afternoon after a storm barreled through the area.
"We had a debris pattern and it looks like we had straight-line winds," Auglaize County Emergency Management Agency Director Troy Anderson told the newspaper this morning. "Unless I get some better photos to show something else, I think it probably was straight-line winds."
No weather-related injuries were reported in the Grand Lake area.
The storm appeared to pick up steam after leaving Mercer County and entering Auglaize County about 4:45 p.m., he said. Several power lines and poles came down, and trees and branches were scattered around, Anderson said.
A 25-foot-long camper parked at 05061 Lock Two Road, New Bremen, was "picked up and thrown about 75 feet," he said. It landed on the ground as a mangled pile of debris, he added.
Sustaining the most damage to a single property was a farm owned by Lee Katterheinrich at 06099 Southland Road near New Knoxville, he noted. High winds "took down a pole barn" and a large portion of the roof on a barn built in the 1800s, he said.
"There was a debris field there just shy of a mile long from the northeast to New Knoxville," Anderson said.
Powerful wind gusts over 50 mph also ripped a 60-foot-by-90-foot section of roof from the American Legion building in New Knoxville.
By the time the storm moved through the Moulton area it no longer packed high winds, Anderson said.
Mike Robbins, EMA director of Mercer County, said shingles were ripped from several rooftops and a few electric wires were down but the damage was sporadic. He recorded wind gusts up to 30 mph and estimates they may have reached 45 mph or higher to the north and east of Celina.
"The damage was not really widespread. There were pockets," Robbins said.
He warned the same weather scenario could occur later today with the threat of scattered thunderstorms.
  "It's been a slow year. This is only our second (thunderstorm) watch this year," he said.
Additional online story on this date
In 1983, Staci (Finke) Jones broke the New Bremen High School 400-meter dash record by finishing in 59.7 seconds at the regional meet.
Twenty-four years later, her then-sophomore daughter Taylor broke that record with a mark of 59.56 at the Midwest Athletic Conference meet. [More]
Subscriber and paid stories on this date
Area women complete Great Wall Marathon
Moments of self-doubt, injuries and mental hurdles didn't stop Toni Agler and Maria Slife from running one of the toughest 26.2-mile treks in the world: the Great Wall Marathon.
NEW BREMEN - Village council members at Tuesday's meeting chose H.A. Dorsten Inc. of Minster to construct the Komminsk Legacy Park project.
Project architect John Freytag of Freytag & Associates of Sidney recommended Dorsten's bid as the lowest and best of the four submitted.
ST. MARYS - City council members at Tuesday's meeting took their first step toward increasing monthly service charges for electric customers.
Council heard first reading of an ordinance raising the monthly service charge from the current $3.25 to $10 by the end of 2016.
For the first time since December, Mercer County alone holds the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 2.9 percent in April, according to data released today by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
ST. HENRY - Village administrator Ron Gelhaus reminded residents not to dump grass clippings in the streets.
"We will not pick up grass clippings," Gelhaus said at Tuesday night's village council meeting.
COLDWATER - Coldwater Exempted Village Schools board members Tuesday night chose a new supervisor of student services and hired three teachers for the 2015-16 year.
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CELINA - Wright State University-Lake Campus officials are seeking candidates for the Master of Business Administration program.
The cohort-style program begins in January with a tentative application deadline of Sept. 1.
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The high school track season begins its two biggest weeks of the season this afternoon with regional track competition.
All three divisions are rep