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UP: Hats off to Findlay 6th Ward Councilman Andy Douglas for convincing other council members that separating large expenditures, such as a $140,000 sewer cleaning appropriation, from ordinances containing multiple smaller spending matters is a good idea. While state and federal lawmakers regularly use amendments and add-ons to move business along, we shouldn’t expect the practice on the local level. Substantial expenditures deserve public notice and should always stand alone, as Douglas correctly pointed out.

UP: North Baltimore officials had good reason to praise the teamwork of firefighters, emergency service workers and police who responded to a July pallet-yard fire at HPJ Industries in the village. Multiple agencies helped extinguish the blaze, which reduced the large pallet yard to ash. The fire could have easily gotten out of hand and propane tanks on the property could have ignited. It’s their job, of course, but first responders deserve recognition when things go smoothly like they did that night.

UP: It’s hard to beat the freshness and quality of Ohio produce this time of year. Locally-grown sweet corn, tomatoes and soon, cantaloupe, can compete with those grown anywhere in the world. It’s easy to understand why farmers markets, where such products and others are available, have grown in popularity across the state. Ohio now ranks fourth in the number of farmers markets with 311, behind only California (764), New York (638), and Michigan (339). The number has increased by 76 percent across the country from 4,685 in 2008 to 8,286 this year. We encourage people to support farm markets, including those in Findlay, Fostoria, and Bluffton, by visiting them this summer. You’ll be glad you did.

UP: There may not be enough thank yous to go around to all the individuals, agencies and companies who offered assistance to the Toledo area during last weekend’s water crisis. The fact that the emergency affected about 400,000 people required Lucas County authorities to accept help from whoever and wherever they could get it. As a result, it was nearly impossible to keep track of who provided what or when. But thousands did rise to the occasion, including many from this area, either by donating water or other necessary products, or by lending a hand in distribution lines. Many of the donations may go unrecognized. But in a time of such great need, many stepped up. Thank you to those who did. You know who you are.

UP: Court and law enforcement officials are slowly reducing the list of people waiting to serve terms in the Hancock County jail. Recently, a woman, who had been turned away 16 times since January 2013 because there was no jail bed available, was able to serve her sentence after a Findlay Municipal Court judge ordered the jail to either admit her or transfer her to another jail. A similar order has been issued for another woman who has tried to get into jail 18 times. The jail-crowding problem hasn’t been eliminated, but the recent actions show it’s being addressed.

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