UP: Ohio’s voting window for the May 6 primary is now open. Per a directive from Secretary of State Jon Husted, all boards of election will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. weekdays through May 2 to allow walk-in voting. Special hours are also scheduled at boards from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 3. Absentee ballots can be requested up to May 3, but must be postmarked no later than May 5 and received by May 7 to be counted. Absentee ballots are available at boards of election, at MyOhioVote.com, and at many public libraries. Of course, voters can also cast a ballot from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. May 6. One final reminder: Monday is the last day to register to vote in the primary.
UP: We applaud the Findlay Health Department for pushing to amend city laws to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public places. While the jury is still out on e-cigarettes, it’s better to err on the side of caution and good health until more is known. It took decades before studies determined that tobacco products raise the risk of cancer. Hopefully, it won’t take that long to learn what harmful effects, if any, can result from e-cigarettes. State lawmakers recently made it illegal for teens to buy, use or possess e-cigarettes. Findlay City Council should take the next step and regulate where adults can use them.
UP: It makes sense that Findlay firefighters would have access to the best available training on emergency response at petroleum storage and pipeline facilities, considering there are pipelines running through our backyards. But such training wouldn’t have been possible without an offer from MPLX LP, Marathon Petroleum’s pipeline subsidiary, to pay for three firefighters to attend weeklong training in Beaumont, Texas, next month. While we hope an emergency never occurs here, if it does, that training could pay off for Marathon and the community as well.
DOWN: In the scheme of scams, the severity of the crimes two Elmwood High School students are accused of are relatively minor. But the harm they did appears to be great. The teens are being prosecuted on theft charges for soliciting donations for nonexistent cancer patients in Hancock and Wood counties. Police say the students visited homes asking for donations for a cancer-stricken student or teacher from their district, even though there was no such person. It’s not yet clear how many people were victimized, nor how much the crime will hamper legitimate fundraising efforts by Elmwood and other schools.
UP: Relief could be on the way for recent college graduates, who, on average, are leaving school with about $30,000 in student loan debt. That figure is second only to mortgage debt and exceeds credit card and auto loan debt. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has introduced a bill that would allow students with private loans to refinance to more affordable options. The bill wouldn’t cost taxpayers a dime. Brown also backs a bill that would require private student-loan lenders to make contracts easier to understand to prevent borrowers from ending up with unexpected and overwhelming debt. That, too, could provide needed help.
UP: Findlay and Hancock County officials are being proactive by planning for an event everyone prays will never happen here: a school shooting. First-responders have been meeting since December to develop a response plan and hope to complete a “field operating guide” that will be accessible to police, fire and EMS via electronic devices. The guide is designed to allow for a unified response to a shooting. The cost of the guides is expected to run $12,500. That bill should be divided equally between the city and county if other funding sources can’t be found.