UP: Something good could rise in the space left by the Seneca County Courthouse in downtown Tiffin. Plans for a combined court building to house Seneca County Common Pleas Court and the Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court are moving forward after a feasibility study was presented this week. The building would cost about $8.5 million, but nearly $850,000 would be saved because the two courts would share certain spaces. While the plans still have to be presented to Tiffin City Council and the Seneca County commissioners, we like the idea that the city and county are working together to save money and make the courts a convenient “one-stop shop” for the public.
UP: Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, doesn’t believe bacterial meningitis gets the attention it deserves, even though more than 4,000 cases are reported and 500 deaths occur nationally each year. But awareness should increase in Ohio now that Hite is sponsoring Senate Bill 275, which is being called “Tess’ Law” after Hite’s niece, Tess Whitson, who died from the disease in 1999. The bill would make March 9 an education and awareness day for bacterial meningitis and encourage vaccinations to help prevent it. The Senate has already unanimously approved the bill. There’s no reason to believe House members won’t do the same.
UP: Ex-cons aren’t going back to prison as often in Ohio, which is good news for everyone, including taxpayers. Statistics released this week by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction show the recidivism rate at 27.1 percent, an all-time low. The previous low was 28.7 percent. The national recidivism rates ranges from 40 to 44 percent. State prisons chief Gary Mohr credits re-entry programs in prisons that prepare offenders about to be released to adjust to the outside world, and connecting offenders and families, with reducing recidivism. Prison education programs may also be helping keep offenders on the right path.
UP: After a one-week delay due to the weather, the U.S. 224 bridge at Interstate 75 project is underway. For this weekend, that means there will be no crossing over I-75, and no entering or exiting I-75 at the Exit 159 interchange until 6 a.m. Monday. Businesses on both sides of the interstate will remain open as usual, you’ll just need to use an alternate route to get to them. Inconvenient? Perhaps. But the new bridge will have six lanes, with left-turn lanes in each direction, and a sidewalk, when it is finished this fall.
UP: Findlay City Council is doing the right thing by not rushing the proposed “riparian corridor” for Lye Creek. If approved, the legislation, which was given the first of three readings this week, would allow the city to accept a grant for a project designed to improve the quality of water along a portion of the creek. While we’re surprised by the amount of public opposition to the proposal, the council works better when matters of public concern get full consideration, and three readings.