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DOWN: When only 20 percent of registered voters bother to vote, it’s hard to get excited. That was the number in Hancock County where a contested commissioner’s race, a handful of school tax issues, and a renewal levy for Blanchard Valley Center were on the ballot. There was really no good excuse for not casting a ballot. Early voting and absentee ballots had been available for a month to those with Election Day conflicts. The weather was perfect. In baseball, a .200 batting average can send a player back to the minor leagues. While there’s no such demotion for lazy voters, we still say boo to those who didn’t make the effort.

UP: This area has developed strong ties with the Japanese. Much of that bond can be traced to GSW Manufacturing, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Started in Findlay in 1989, GSW, which makes wire harnesses used in the auto industry, was one of the first operations in Tall Timbers Industrial Center and the first Japanese company to land in Findlay. Over the years, our Japanese friends have helped spread the word about northwestern Ohio, leading other Japanese companies to set up shop here. We’re glad they came.

UP: For the patriotic among us, it’s good to mark the 40 years since Findlay received its designation from Congress as Flag City, USA. The city became Flag Capital of the United States on Flag Day, June 14, 1968, by a congressional proclamation made by the late Rep. Jackson E. Betts. It was then declared Flag City, USA on May 7, 1974, by House Joint Resolution 1003, introduced by the late Rep. Tennyson Guyer. Residents can honor the city’s well-known nickname by displaying an American flag, like many locals have been doing for decades.

UP: Sure, the Buckeye State’s legislators may have more important things to do than to pay attention to music. But it’s hard to resist “Hang On Sloopy,” which has been Ohio’s official rock song since 1985. Lawmakers have been requested to make that designation permanent, and House members have done their part by passing the measure. So come on, come on senators, make it unanimous!

UP: Getting unwanted and outdated pills out of medicine cabinets and into the incinerator has been an ongoing project to prevent drug abuse and illegal resale for years. More than 14 tons of unwanted prescriptions were collected statewide recently during a drug take-back event, including 129 pounds in Fostoria and Tiffin. Seven previous nationwide events removed a total of more than 3.4 million pounds of medication from circulation. That’s helping keep dangerous pills from getting into the wrong hands, and mouths.

UP: It was a long time coming, but 25 county employees and the heavy equipment they operate will soon have a new “home,” a garage. The building off Lima Avenue is the first to be constructed specifically for the Hancock County Engineer’s Office. It became necessary after several of the engineer’s buildings were heavily damaged or destroyed in the June 2012 windstorm. In February 2013, the commissioners rejected $3.9 million in bids for a garage and settled for a smaller, 32,800-square-foot version, saving the county about $1.2 million. Both inside and out, it appears the county has made a good investment.

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