DOWN: Saturday’s front page story about the two recent gas leaks in Findlay are a reminder just how dangerous it can be whenever construction involves digging. Either the Oct. 24 incident on East Melrose Avenue or the one four days later in the 700 block of Blanchard Street could have resulted in injuries or loss of life. Fortunately, the leaks were repaired by the gas company without an explosion occurring, but forced evacuations and caused city streets to be barricaded for several hours both days. According to the story, the locations of the two gas lines in question were marked incorrectly — or not at all. Gas leaks do occasionally happen. One is bad enough. Two in one week is disconcerting. We’re glad Columbia Gas of Ohio is investigating both incidents. Disclosing exactly what happened and how such leaks can be averted in the future will go a long way to ease public concern as winter approaches. Meanwhile, it’s a good time to review the Ohio law that requires a property owner or contractor who is planning to dig to first contact OHIO 8-1-1 and ask that utility lines be marked. OHIO 8-1-1 can be contacted by calling 8-1-1, or by calling 1-800-362-2764. Requests for assistance can also be made online at

UP: Findlay’s annual leaf pickup effort isn’t what it once was — and that’s OK. Those big, noisy, dirty, leaf-eating vacuums that used to go street-to-street picking up leaves were inefficient and costly to maintain. Most residential property owners have moved on from those days by either mulching more or hiring lawn care businesses to do the raking and removal. Some take their leaves to the city’s green waste site, located at 330 N. Cory St., themselves. Others do their own yard work, bag the leaves and set them on the curb, for city pickup. This year, crews will be collecting leaves that have been placed in biodegradable paper bags placed by the curb between Nov. 18 and Dec. 6. Plastic bags and loose leaves will not be picked up.