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UP: Mild weather provided the perfect opportunity for residents to show their patriotism over the July 4th holiday weekend, and many did. Findlay celebrated with a fireworks show at the Hancock County Fairgrounds on Thursday night, followed by a downtown parade on Friday. Both events were well attended, as were other fireworks shows and Independence Day events throughout the area. Let’s keep the flags waving all summer!

UP: It took awhile, but Findlay and Hancock County officials have worked out a new prisoner housing agreement that updates fees and attempts to eliminate overcrowding at the jail. The city had been paying $55 per day since 1989 to house its prisoners in the county’s jail, but will now pay $84 per day. The new contract also allows for annual fee increases based on the actual cost of housing prisoners each year. The city has also agreed to pay for transporting its prisoners to other jails when the county jail is full. That could help reduce the number of times offenders are turned away, sometimes repeatedly, when they report to the jail to serve a sentence only to learn there is not space available.

UP: Findlay and Hancock County have a long history of strong representation in Columbus and Washington, so it’s fitting that the Hancock Historical Museum has expanded its Congressional Study Room and conference room on the second floor. The area will be known as the Michael G. Oxley Government Center. The center has interactive kiosks with touch-screens and audiovisual displays focusing on responsibilities of citizenship and government. Oxley, a Republican, represented the 4th Congressional District, which included Findlay and Hancock County, from 1981 through 2006, when he retired. In addition to Oxley, the center will also honor five others from Findlay who served as congressmen, including Jackson Betts, Ralph D. Cole Sr., R. Clinton Cole, Tennyson Guyer, and William Mungen. Monday’s center dedication was by invitation only, unfortunately, but the center will be open to anyone who visits the museum.

UP: A recent addition to Ohio’s online database of registered sex offenders is a good one. The registry’s new reverse lookup feature lets people input phone numbers, email addresses or online screen names used for video games or social media to see whether a registered sex offender has contacted them. If the information matches an offender, it does not display the offender’s name, but the searcher will be told to contact their county sheriff’s office or the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation. It would be up to the sheriff to decide how to proceed. Attorney General Mike DeWine said it is not a fool-proof way to see if the person on the other end of a phone number or email is a sex offender, but it should help. It could prove to be a valuable tool.

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