UP: In recent years, the Hancock County Veterans Service Office has taken steps to make sure area veterans know what benefits they are entitled to and what they need to do to get them. But the office is taking awareness to another level by holding a veterans resource fair at The Winebrenner Auditorium, 950 N. Main St., Findlay, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. A free breakfast for vets will precede the fair, which will provide information on education, employment and health care benefits. There will also be food, entertainment and games. If you’re a vet, the fair will provide a good opportunity to learn about benefits, and get acquainted or reacquainted with other vets. If you know a veteran, make sure they’re aware of the opportunity Saturday.
UP: Now that summer has arrived and schools are out, budding entrepreneurs will be out to make a little spending money. If past summers are an indicator, that means lemonade stands will be sprouting in some neighborhoods. While moms and dads may be footing the startup costs, running a small business is an especially good way to learn about money and get creative juices flowing. If you see a young business person out trying to make a buck, stop and support the effort. Your donation could help inspire a future CEO.
UP: The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation has been doing so much for this area for so long it’s hard to find something or someone who has hasn’t been touched. It recently reached the $30 million milestone in grants. In 2013, the organization awarded 394 grants for a total of $2.2 million. It also received $3.7 million in gifts in 2013. That means the community will continue to benefit from the charitable acts of many well into the future. “I can’t imagine how different this community would be if the foundation were not here,” Katherine Kreuchauf, foundation president, said. Neither can we.
DOWN: When a business shuts its doors, the economic impact can be felt up and down the street. Such will likely be the case now that the Whistle Stop Inn in North Baltimore has closed. The restaurant, which offered a full menu and employed more than 20 people, drew customers from outside the village. It was a popular meeting point for those traveling between Findlay and Bowling Green and between Toledo and Lima, and surrounding shops benefited from the traffic. One business does not make or break a town, and downtown North Baltimore has been on the upswing since the CSX railyard arrived. Still, we hope the closed sign is a temporary one.
UP: You know summer has arrived when the county fairs begin. One of the first in the state, in Putnam County, is underway and runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Saturday at the fairgrounds at 1490 E. Second St., Ottawa, on the east side of the village. Music, magic, harness racing, wrestling, a truck tug-of-war, daily pig and wiener-dog races, a golf cart pull, a demolition derby, rides, food and games will be featured during the 159th edition of the fair. Other fairs will be held between now and mid-September. Here are the dates: Seneca County, July 20-27; Wood County, July 28-Aug. 4; Henry County, Aug. 8-14; Allen County, Aug. 15-23; Hancock County, Aug. 27-Sept. 1; Hardin County, Sept. 2-7; and Wyandot County, Sept. 9-14.
UP: Lake Erie, Grand Lake St. Marys and Buckeye Lake are still under siege by toxic algae, but could benefit from a federal bill that expands federal help to include freshwater systems. The bill, authored by U.S. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Bill Nelson, D-Florida, would reauthorize one first enacted in 1998 and provide more federal resources to the effort. For over a decade, the program has served as the federal government’s research and response framework for harmful algae blooms, but Portman negotiated a new Great Lakes section for the program that will ensure federal agencies prioritize monitoring and mitigation efforts on freshwater bodies such as Lake Erie. Toxic algae has caused major problems in the three large lakes and other bodies of water in Ohio in recent years and Portman has said the bill is critical for tourism and fishing industries. It is awaiting President Obama’s signature. It should be signed, the sooner the better.