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Two inmates escape from Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution

Warning from the Allen County Sherrif's Office:

2 inmates have escaped from Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio. Information is limited at the moment. Please be aware and use caution. If you see either inmate please DO NOT APPROACH. Immediately call 911.

James Lee – 47 years old. Male, brown hair, blue eyes, 300 pounds

Bradley Gillespie – 50 years old, male, bald, blue eyes, 200 pounds

The Sheriff's Office will update with more information as it is available.


Rape charges filed in Hancock County against Bluffton man

A Hancock County grand jury has charged a Bluffton man with raping a teenager in June of 2022.

Dillon E. Amos of 4150 Ohio 103, Bluffton, has been charged with rape, a first-degree felony, and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony, according to information from the Hancock County court of Common Pleas.

The charges were filed on May 16, 2023.


Officer Dominic Francis Memorial Highway dedicated in Bluftton

Photographs by Jamie Nygaard

By Paula Scott

The community that has grieved and honored fallen police officer Dominic Francis since his loss in the line of duty on March 31, 2022, is now celebrating him with a first official memorial on Interstate I-75.

On Friday, April 28, ceremonies to commemorate the Officer Dominic Francis Memorial Highway--a portion of I-75 in Allen and Hancock counties--were held at Bluffton Town Hall. Signs will be located at mile marker 139 Northbound and 143 Southbound.


Bluffton Lions gift new bicycle for female police officers

On the morning of April 26, the Bluffton Lions Club presented the Bluffton Police Department with its first women’s police patrol bike. The presentation was made with Lions and police department representatives at Bike Crazy LLC, 127 N. Main.

Police Chief Ryan Burkholder notes that “The history of the Bluffton Police Department patrol bikes goes back to the late mid 1990s, which consisted of three men’s bikes. Over the years, the needs of the department have changed with three full-time female police officers and no bikes to fit them properly.

“Corporal Eric Rayle, Stephanie Larcom and I had a discussion when Cpl. Rayle returned back from a Police Bike Instructor course early in Spring of 2022 about moving forward with the appropriate bike for our female officers. Stephanie Larcom suggested a partnership with the Lions Club and was willing to present the idea to the Lions Club at a meeting for us. Corporal Rayle, who is a bicycle enthusiast, spent many hours researching different brands and models which would benefit our female officers. Corporal Eric Rayle found several bikes and then went to our wonderful local business, Bike Crazy, and worked with Raymond and Liz Harner on purchasing the bike through them. At the last Lions Club meeting it was approved and the Lions Club graciously covered the cost of the bike for the department. 



6th Annual Safe Surrender Day

The Findlay Municipal Court will once again be conducting its 6th Annual Safe Surrender Day on April 27, 2023 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. in conjunction with Second Chance Month.

April is Second Chance Month, which aims to inform and highlight the many opportunities for state and local governments and community-based service providers to build meaningful second chances for our community members.


March 2023 EMS report

Volunteer crews on the Bluffton EMS had 85 calls for service in March 2023, according to chief Jan Basinger. A year to date total for calls is 202.

The breakdown of medical calls, hospital transfers, motor vehicle accidents, fire alarms and medical mutual aid is below.