UP: The Hancock County Fair has completed another successful run with more than 116,000 attending the six-day event. That’s up from the 110,000 in 2013 and the 87,000 in 2012, when soggy conditions kept people away. The weather always plays a role in fair attendance, and, fortunately, last week was near-perfect. It was wind, not rain, which forced the only cancellation, a motorcross exhibition on Saturday. Miss the fair this year? Not to worry. The corn dogs, harness racing and the demolition derby will all be back before you know it.
UP: Findlay’s “first family” has grown with Friday’s birth of Dalaney Jo Ann, the daughter of Mayor Lydia Mihalik and husband Drew. The 7-pound, 6-ounce, 20-inch Dalaney and mother are reportedly doing well. Congratulations!
DOWN: It’s still summer, but the Farmers’ Almanac suggests we should start bracing for another frigid, snowy winter. The almanac, which went on sale last week, is forecasting colder-than-normal and wetter-than-usual weather for three-fourths of the country east of the Rocky Mountains. Of course, that includes northwestern Ohio. That’s not particularly uplifting news considering last winter’s polar votex and heavy snowfall is still a not-so-distant memory. The almanac, which uses a secret formula for its long-range forecast, got it right last year. Let’s just hope they got it wrong this time around.
UP: Hancock County has had a long relationship with the Ohio State University Extension, which turned 100 this year. Hundreds, if not thousands, of area residents have learned a thing or two about agriculture, 4H and family and consumer sciences through the extension service, which was created by the Smith-Lever Act in 1914. In 1921, the county got its first “agent,” and today educators still lead programs and classes on everything from pest control to preserving food. To recognize OSU Extension’s anniversary, an open house was held at the county fair last week. In such a strong agricultural area, we have to believe the Extension office will remain as important in the future as it is today.
DOWN: Revenue for Ohio’s four casinos is still falling well below the promises made in 2009 and isn’t surprising, considering all the gambling options that exist in the state and surrounding states. In the fiscal year ending June 30, gross revenue from all casinos was about $825 million, short of the $1 billion annual figure casino supporters had used to convince voters to approve the casinos in Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. The casinos have only been operating now for about two years, but they have paid $518.6 million in tax revenue to the state, cities, counties and schools. Still, that’s short of the $651 million promised in the first year alone. Those who share in the winnings should not count on the casino proceeds, especially with seven racinos to be operating in the state by the end of the month.