UP: School security usually doesn’t get much attention until a tragedy occurs like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. So we’re glad Findlay City Schools is following through with its plan to make all its building entrances more secure. The new schools at Donnell, Glenwood and Millstream were all designed with added security features built in, while the older buildings have been renovated. Jacobs Primary and Washington Preschool will have entrances updated, and Findlay High School will get a new one this summer. All the projects are being funded by the school district’s existing 2.5-mill permanent improvement levy. The updates aren’t cheap. The project at FHS alone will cost $2.5 million. But the investment will prove to be a sound one if it keeps students safe and provides parents peace of mind.
UP: East Sandusky Street is one of the most traveled roads in downtown Findlay, and traffic is only expected to get heavier once Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s construction of a new parking garage at the corner of Sandusky and Beech begins in May. However, a $250,000 state grant awarded this week should eventually provide motorists some relief. The grant will help pay for street improvements, including turn lanes, at Sandusky Street’s intersection with Blanchard and East streets. The turn lanes would be for northbound and southbound traffic at both intersections, and could be done this year. We hope so.
UP: Football season is still months away, but some Fostoria football fans may already be looking forward to fall Friday nights. Hopes have been raised with the announcement that Derek Kidwell will be returning to Fostoria High School to coach the Redmen. Kidwell was Ohio’s “Mr. Football” when Fostoria won a state title in 1991, and has coached at Fremont Ross and Hopewell-Loudon in recent years. Kidwell’s father, Dick, of course, is well known for his successes at Fostoria, where he compiled a 174-50-3 record in 20 seasons, including state championships in 1991 and 1996. Could Fostoria’s football program return to its glory days? It may be premature to say, after 20 consecutive losses, but if anyone can do it, it will be Kidwell.
DOWN: The ruling still faces appeal, but a federal court sent the right message when it ruled a man who made a false distress call that triggered a massive, 21-hour search on Lake Erie must pay $489,000 restitution to the U.S. and Canadian agencies involved. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati found that a lower court properly ordered Danik Kumar of Sandusky to pay all costs associated with the March 2012 search, launched after he reported seeing a fishing boat with four people aboard sending up flares on Lake Erie as he was flying a small plane overhead. A month later, Kumar admitted he originally thought he saw a single flare go up, but never saw a boat. About 70 personnel from the U.S. and the Canadian coast guards used three boats, a helicopter and a small plane before calling off the search. The restitution order says such hoaxes, which put rescuers’ lives at stake, won’t be tolerated.
UP: We were glad to see Fostoria Superintendent Andrew Sprang speak in support of the federal education guidelines known as the Common Core Standards, which have come under attack by some groups. Opponents of the controversial program have criticized the rigor of Common Core curriculum, as well as the level of involvement the federal government has over school districts. But Sprang said the standards, while not perfect and which require more testing than he would like, are a step in the right direction. There will never be consensus on the best way to educate children. But the new guidelines, which have been adopted throughout much of the country, should be given a chance to work, at least until the next education reform comes along.