In a news release Friday, the Majestic Theater Board of Directors announced it continues to monitor conditions and await protocols to be presented for reopening theaters. The Directors are proactively working to create a reopening plan that will include procedures recommended from the State and local Health District to ensure safety precautions are in place for patrons and volunteers.
Due to the pandemic, the Majestic Theatre has had to postpone the majority of its spring and summer programming until the fall and winter. Tickets have automatically been transferred to the rescheduled date for shows. There are no additional steps that ticket holders must complete to transfer tickets. Additionally, during this time, there will not be any tours of the theater until after the theater is allowed to reopen and implement its safety measures.
The Board of Directors appreciates the patience and understanding from patrons during this time. Soon the intermission will end and entertainment will take to the historic stage again, marking a new chapter in the history of the Majestic Theatre.
The Paul Francis Quartet concert was one of the March shows, rescheduled for June, but it has been pushed back to November 14, 2020. The next performance scheduled is September 5, 2020 with the Motown Sounds of TOUCH, followed by the Neil Diamond tribute, The Diamond Project and the Beatles, McCartney & Wings Tribute on October 2nd.
It’s a series of tough phone calls to make… notifying an expanded roster of 30 players, host families, support staff and sponsors. A product of the state the coronavirus pandemic has created.
In a news release Friday morning, the Prospect League announced the heartbreaking determination to cancel the 2020 season. The decision was based on the varying COVID-19 pandemic guidelines for safety, protection and limits on public gatherings and travel across the five states that are home to Prospect League teams.
The cancellation did not come without tireless effort to try to find a way to play. “We sure did our due diligence,” Chillicothe Paints Managing Partner Bryan Wickline said. “We’ve spent weeks and weeks of exploring options and gathering other teams’ information on their local and state guidelines. There were so many factors out of our control as far as other teams in the league were concerned.”
“The whole situation is just sad,” Wickline added. “There are still so many unknowns as it relates to the slow opening of the other states in our league. We had two teams lose the ability to play in their facilities a week or so ago. It came to a point where we were just running out of time and still had a lot of unanswered questions.”
In addition to Ohio’s reopening guidelines, the Paints and the Prospect League are also at the mercy of four other states’ guidelines (West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri), which all currently differ from one another. “It comes down to the Paints have to have teams to play,” said Wickline. “We have two teams in Ohio in the Prospect League (out of 12). Ohio has been one of the quickest states to open up, especially for baseball and softball games. And, for that, we’re very thankful.”
Although the Paints won’t be playing baseball for the first time since their first season in 1993, the organization will be hosting baseball and softball games and other events throughout the summer and fall. In fact, the Paints and VA Memorial Stadium will be hosting high school and youth travel baseball teams beginning June 2. American Legion teams and softball games will also be played, with some extra safety measures. Anyone attending these events at VA Memorial Stadium must adhere to new rules and regulations based on local, state and federal guidelines, which be found on the Paints’ website, chillicothepaints.com, and on signs at the stadium entrance.
“Let’s just say there will be plenty of masks and hand sanitizer to go around,” Wickline explained. “We will follow the mandates and guidelines given to us for the facility to open safely. If you feel sick or if you’re uncomfortable being outside in an open setting around others, we kindly ask that you stay home.”
Masks will be required for everyone if the six-foot social distancing guideline cannot be maintained. “It’s a VA Hospital grounds mandate,” Wickline said. “However, the stadium can hold over 3,000 people, so keeping your distance from others should not be an issue, as these types of events typically draw less than 100 fans.”
The Chillicothe Paints do plan to defend their Prospect League championship and continue their tradition of providing affordable family entertainment to the area next summer. “It’s important to put the Paints in a position to return for the 2021 season,” Wickline added. “That’s our main focus now.”
We would like to thank our loyal fans, sponsors, booster club and host families for their continued support and look forward to playing again in 2021. “That’s the best we can hope for right now,” Wickline added.
Fair Board Members and exhibitors alike have been waiting for word from the Statehouse on county fairs. Thursday afternoon, Governor Mike DeWine delivered the message.
There will be a lot of heavy lifting to get it done, and while it will be far different than what fairgoers are used to, the “go ahead” was music to the ears for organizers.
Christy Pence is Secretary of the Pickaway County Fair Board. Their fair is scheduled just three weeks away, June 20th-27th. Pence says the news conference by the Governor was encouraging and relative to what they’d expected based on the information from the Ohio Fair Manager’s Association task force recommendations that were proposed to the Governor’s office early last week.
In a response to Litter Media, Pence said “We are pleased that they are leaving decisions about county fairs to local officials. We are appreciative of the guidance of the Pickaway County Department of Public Health as we have been working with them on enhanced and alternative safety plans for a modified fair based on current restrictions. We are NOT cancelling the 75th Pickaway County Fair, and our Jr. Fair exhibitors can confidently continue working hard on their projects to proudly show their livestock the week of June 20.” Pence added the Senior Fair Board will be thoroughly reviewing and processing the information released Thursday and will vote on a final fair plan at the board’s meeting on Monday, June 8 at 7pm. The meeting will be in Heritage Hall at the Pickaway Agriculture and Event Center.
“While it will most certainly look different than years past we’re excited and looking forward to celebrating our youth and their talents with our community” added Pence.
Katie Feldhues is the 4-H Extension Educator for Ross County. “I think fairboards have an opportunity to rally with community support to pull off a Jr Fair at minimum as long as people are willing to follow necessary health guidelines put in place.” The Ross County Fair is slated for August 8th-15th.
Those guidelines cover a lot of ground (see below).
The Pike County Fair is the last week of July. The Fair’s Mary Conley tells Litter Media “Jr. Fair is on schedule even though Extension staff can have no face to face until July 6. We have tried to stay positive and have been waiting on word form the Governor.”
Conley added they’ve planned to meet with Pike Health Commissioner Matt Brewster to get the ball rolling.
The State has recommended virtual judging in many circumstances and restrictions in and out of the show arenas, including livestock auctions and just how long the animals will be housed on the fairgrounds. All of which will present some challenges for the fairs.
From a session of a work group focused on county fairs, the Governor asked them to “provide a safe outlet for kids to participate in limited livestock shows, showmanship, skillathons, barn or building activities, the auction as well as the non-livestock exhibits.”
Among the guidelines:
Junior Fair Animal Exhibits, limiting livestock exhibitions to 10 exhibitors in the show ring at one time; spectators and others in the exhibition area must follow current orders regarding mass gatherings and social distancing; animals will be permitted to stay on the fairgrounds for no more than 72 hours. The State Is recommending the stay on the fairgrounds for only 48 hours.
Skillathon, a virtual skillathon is strongly recommended
Barns, The number of handlers and pen placement must follow current orders regarding mass gatherings and social distancing; Ensure adequate air flow in all barns and exhibition facilities for the safety and health of the animals.
Auctions, Virtual auctions are recommended by the State. Animals are not to be present in the ring for the auctions; viewing gallery limited to buyers and immediate family unless building capacity allows for more while following social distance guidelines.
Non-Animal Exhibitions,Virtual judging of exhibits is recommended.
Volunteers, Ensure the practicing of social distancing guidelines and the State recommends using the least number of volunteers possible and using those who are not in high risk groups.
Campgrounds, Campgrounds operators and visitors must comply with the standards outlined as applicable in the COVID-19 Responsible RestartOhio plan for Camping and Campgrounds. In addition, no compounding or clustering in groups no the fair campgrounds and for the duration of the fair, local boards of health and fair boards will work together to ensure that all wastewater is properly disposed.
Food Concessions, Must comply with the standards outlined as applicable in the COVID-19 Responsible RestartOhio plan for restaurants and bars as applicable.
Physical Contact, No physical contact between judges, exhibitors, participants, buyers, sellers, i.e. congratulatory handshakes, hugs high fives; Fairgoers must not pet or touch animals.
Ticket Sales, State strongly recommends advanced ticket sales and cashless transactions at entrances, gates and other areas where items and services are purchased.
Building Capacity, Establish a one-way directional flow of traffic through barns, exhibition buildings and other fair facilities. State recommends t follow the guideline of 50% of current permitted capacity with the allowance for proper social distancing between occupants or in compliance with current Executive Orders.
Speaking at his coronavirus news conference Tuesday, Governor Mike DeWine announced a new plan and effort with testing in Ohio’s nursing homes and developmental centers.
The Governor cited the large number of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes and has enlisted the service of the Ohio National Guard to assist in testing the homes statewide. The Congregate Care Unified Response Team will start testing this week in nursing homes.
DeWine said the clinically, medically driven effort will begin with all nursing home staff to be tested first. Resident testing will be based on assessments by the medical teams starting with those who have a COVID history. As to how many of state’s nursing homes can be tested this week is unknown, but it’s expected reports will be given in the days ahead. There are nearly 1,000 nursing homes in Ohio.
The Governor also says the Response Team hopes to have testing completed at all eight of Ohio’s Developmental Centers completed this week.
Statewide as of 2pm ET Tuesday May 26th, Ohio has 33,006 total COVID-19 cases with 5,579 hospitalizations and 2,002 deaths due to the virus.
Following Thursday’s announcement by the Ohio Expositions Commission cancelling the 2020 Ohio State Fair, the Vinton County Agricultural Society voted to cancel the 2020 Vinton County Junior Fair. The release via Facebook states, “Due to the increased cost of operations and new mandates it was not financially feasible to operate the fair.” Addressed to 4-H and FFA members and advisors, the release states a plan is being in put into place to contact buyers to offer participants that complete their market projects (which includes a two minute video of their project) and an to be included in a species specific pool to be divided evenly among project participants.
Governor Mike DeWine has said direction from his office would be forthcoming, but has avoided making an official statement on fairs. Many are hopeful the Governor will address fairs directly before June 1st.
Meanwhile, the Pickaway County Fair is scheduled for June 20-27, 2020 and after the announcement of the cancellation of the State Fair for later this summer, the Senior Fair Board is preparing to make final decisions regarding their fair plans at its June 8th meeting.
Last week, the Pike County Fair announced its Fair Board Directors opted for a virtual spring tag-in in preparation for their 2020 Fair, scheduled for July 31-August 8. The virtual tag-in deadline is June 1st.
Earlier this month, the Ross County Fair Board stated on its Facebook Page “the Fair Board feels that we are still not at a place where we can make a firm decision regarding the fair” scheduled August 8-15.
Jackson County Fair announced last week they would move forward with the Junior Fair, July 16-25 but would be foregoing the midway and grandstand activities or commercial vendors. The statement noted “a more definite decision will be made by the board on or before June 20th as to what the Jr. fair shows will look like.”
The Fayette County Agricultural Society stated on its website May 7th they weren’t certain what their fair will look like. The Fayette County Fair is scheduled for July 20-25. READ THE STATEMENT
After 25 years of service in the Chillicothe Police Department, Chief Keith Washburn retires May 22nd, 2020.
Washburn joined the CPD in May of 1995. He became interim Chief in 2014 and sworn in to the position the following spring.
The Chief sat down with Litter Media (see the interview below) to discuss his time as an officer and to look back at his time in office, from the department drawing national attention investigating Chillicothe’s missing women, drug addiction and to the creation of the K-9 Unit.
In 2018, Washburn earned his law degree and beginning May 26th, he’ll be starting a new position, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Jackson County.
Washburn says he’s witnessed many changes over during his career. “When I first joined in ’95, the drug of choice was crack cocaine. With crack cocaine, you had some higher levels of violent crime, but the key to a road officer that I look at, if I stopped a guy and I’m looking for crack and I missed it, I’m going to get him later. With this heroine and fentanyl, if I stop a guy and I miss that, there’s a good possibility that he could die from the drugs that are in his pocket. That’s one of the big differences.”
Another was in the 90s, there were a lot of bar fights, almost like in the movies, but he said those have fortunately run their course over the years.
He also noted the the criminal justice sentence reform across the United States is still evolving.
“In 1995 for example, a second offense theft was a felony and the person went to prison. Now there’s no second offense theft and the threshold wen from $500 to $1,000 to make it a felony. What we’re not seeing is rehabilitation. It’s more punishment and retribution when it comes to the criminal justice system. If you have a person whose stealing, there’s an underlying reason he’s out there committing that theft crime. If you can fix that problem, then you’re gonna stop a theft. I think that’s where we’re lacking in the criminal justice system is looking at that underlying problem and treating that whether it’s mental health, addiction, whatever that reason is. I think we’re lacking that.”
Washburn said Captain Larry Bamfield will be acting-Chief until a successor is named.
COLUMBUS – The Ohio Expositions Commission announced that it will cancel the 2020 Ohio State Fair, originally scheduled for July 29 – August 9 in Columbus.
Members of the Commission expressed concern for public health, as well as the financial feasibility of hosting a fair that would adhere to social distancing protocols and its impact on the long-term viability of the Ohio State Fair.
“After careful thought and deliberation, we have decided to cancel the Ohio State Fair. Knowing how easily the virus spreads in large groups, we believe it is the safest path forward for the health and safety of all Ohioans.” said Andy Doehrel, chair of the Ohio Expositions Commission. “The financial ramifications of hosting a reduced-capacity Fair would be too great, and we need to protect the Ohio State Fair for future generations.”
“Our first priority is the safety of the hundreds of thousands of people involved in the Ohio State Fair each year. While this is a difficult decision, we feel it is necessary to protect the fairgoers, exhibitors, volunteers, vendors, partners, performers, concessionaires, youth leaders, employees and sponsors,” said Virgil Strickler, general manager of the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair. “I look forward to seeing my fellow Ohioans at the 2021 Ohio State Fair, when it is safer for us to enjoy our favorite traditions together.”
Last year, 934,925 people attended the Ohio State Fair during its 12-day run. These attendees came from each of Ohio’s 88 counties, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Mexico.
The Ohio Expositions Commission is focused on developing a strategy to responsibly reopen its year-round facilities when appropriate, and to welcome guests back for the 2021 Ohio State Fair, scheduled for July 28 through August 8 of next year.