Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission Seeks Public Feedback for Ross Thoroughfare Update

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Chillicothe, Ohio (Friday, October 30, 2020) – The Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC) is working with Carpenter Marty Transportation on completing an update to the Ross County Thoroughfare Plan. 

This update will enable Ross County and the OVRDC to better plan for, manage, and prioritize infrastructure improvement projects in the future. In an effort to acquire as much data as possible, we are looking for public input on current roadway, development, and traffic information directly from those who travel in the County on a daily basis.  We encourage all frequent travelers of Ross County to complete the questionnaire by 11/29/2020.  Directions for completing the questionnaire are provided in the document. 

Take the Survey or email Melanie Straka with Carpenter Marty Transporation to request a copy of the questionnaire. Completed questionnaires can be returned via email or mailed to the address below:

Attn: Melanie Straka

Carpenter Marty Transporation

6612 Singletree Drive

Columbus, OH 43229

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COVID-19 Update: Record-Breaking Cases, COVID Defense Teams

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(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that Ohio has now hit a record number of cases reported in a single 24-hour period. Between yesterday and today, health officials have reported a total of 3,590 new positive coronavirus cases in Ohio which is more than 700 cases more than the previous high number of cases reported last Saturday. A total of 194 new hospitalizations were also reported in the past 24 hours, the third-highest number of hospitalizations reported in a single day so far. 

“The virus is raging throughout the state, and there is no place to hide,” said Governor DeWine. “We must face this virus head-on with the tools that we know can beat this virus back: masks, social distancing, washing hands frequently, and good ventilation when inside.”


New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that 43 counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread (Red Level 3), up from 38 counties last week. This represents the highest number of Red Level 3 counties since the launch of the advisory system in July. As of today, 78 percent of Ohioans are living in a Red Level 3 county. Less than 1 percent of Ohioans live in a Yellow Level 1 county.

“Despite the grim data that we see today, I am confident that we can slow down this invader,” said Governor DeWine. “The decisions Ohioans make each day will determine the outcome of this battle. We must mask more, keep distance more, and simply be more careful. We can control our destiny.”

Updated Advisory Mask

Although Clark, Cuyahoga, and Hamilton counties are no longer listed on Ohio’s watch list, there are still serious concerns about spread of the coronavirus in these counties. 

“Our alert system is designed to flag indicators that are getting worse, and what we are seeing is that these three counties have plateaued at high levels,” said Governor DeWine.

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio’s 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website.


Governor DeWine today called on community leaders in each county to immediately form a local COVID Defense Team consisting of county commissioners, mayors, local hospital leaders, health commissioners, business leaders, religious leaders, and other local leaders. 

Each COVID Defense Team will be responsible for assessing COVID-19 spread in their communities, taking inventory of the assets in the community, and focusing on what steps are necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus among their citizens. 


Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has partnered with Governor DeWine’s Children’s Initiative to provide financial support to  families who may need supplemental assistance outside of what is provided by their child’s Individualized Education Programs (IEP).

Learning Aid Ohio was created to connect tutors, aides, or in-home providers who can offer distance learning support for students with disabilities on IEPs. The primary goal of Learning Aid Ohio is to provide opportunities for meaningful educational experiences for students on IEPs learning full-time on a digital platform. 

Applications can be submitted at www.LearningOhio.com.


There are 208,937 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,275 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 18,800 people have been hospitalized, including 3,816 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Highland County Health Dept. Offers COVID-19 Pop-up Testing Friday

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Hillsboro, Ohio – Highland County Health Department, in partnership with the Ohio National Guard, Highland County Emergency Management, Highland Health Providers and Paint Creek Fire will host a free pop-up COVID-19 community testing event this Friday, October 30th, at the Highland County Fair Grounds, 604 John Street, Hillsboro from 10 AM to 2 PM. The entrance to be used will be the gate on Fairgrounds Road, Fairgrounds Road may be accessed from Pea Ridge Road, Moore Road or John Street. All who participate must wear a face mask and the Highland County EMA will provide masks for those who do not have one. No doctor order is needed for this free testing and children 2 and older can be tested.

Test results for this event are expected in approximately 48-72 hours. This test may NOT be appropriate for individuals needing fast, return-to-work results. This testing opportunity, while open to everyone, is primarily intended for those who are sick or showing symptoms of COVID- 19 or needing tested for in hospital procedures, but no one will be turned away. If you are showing significant COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your primary care physician to see if this testing opportunity is best for you or if other avenues should be pursued.

Highland County Health employees or their designated representatives will call ALL participants with their test results as soon as they are received. This will include negative results as well.

Individuals should bring their State I.D./Driver’s License. Appointments are not required and there is no pre-registration. Registration will take place day of the event as you arrive at the fairgrounds.

If there are additional questions, you may contact the Highland County Health Department by phone at 937-393-1941 or via our Facebook page. Please watch our Facebook page for important updates pertaining to this FREE testing event.

“By joining with the Ohio National Guard and other local partners, we can provide tests to any Ohioan who wants one. With a better understanding of COVID-19 through increased testing, we’ll be able to prevent it’s spread.” — Governor DeWine

Governor DeWine Requests BWC Send $5 Billion Dividend to Ohio Employers

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(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted today to request the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) send up to $5 billion in dividends to Ohio employers to ease the continued financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘This pandemic is unprecedented, and continues to financially impact Ohio employers and businesses,” said Governor DeWine. “Issuing these dividends is important. This is about keeping businesses open and people employed.”

If approved by BWC’s Board of Directors, it would bring the total dividend dollars for employers this year to nearly $8 billion. 

“As Ohio businesses confront the economic challenges of a COVID world, this kind of financial relief can be the difference between closing and staying open,” Lt. Governor Husted said. “We don’t want Ohio businesses and the jobs they create to be a casualty of the pandemic.”

The $5 billion dividend would be BWC’s third dividend of more than $1 billion this year, and the largest one-time dividend ever issued by the BWC. BWC distributed $1.54 billion in April and $1.34 billion in October. At $5 billion, this dividend is approximately four times the total premiums BWC collected from its employer members in policy year 2019.

“We’ve never issued three dividends in the same year, let alone any for this much, but unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “Even so, the State Insurance Fund is well positioned to cover our injured workers for years to come.”

Despite the pandemic, BWC remains in a strong fiscal position from healthy investment returns on employer premiums, a declining number of claims each year, and prudent fiscal management. 

Private and public employers in Franklin County would receive approximately $559 million, followed by Cuyahoga County at $528 million. The employer in line for the single largest dividend check in the state is the city of Columbus at nearly $64 million.

BWC’s Board of Directors is tentatively scheduled to vote on the request during a special meeting on Monday, November 2, 2020.  Please check bwc.ohio.gov to confirm Board details.

Funded by employer premiums, BWC provides workers’ compensation insurance to approximately 245,000 private employers, and 4,000 public employers, such as cities, counties, and schools.

Ohio COVID-19 Update: Updated County Risk Levels, Election Update

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(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Governor DeWine today announced that 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties are now considered high incidence counties as defined by the federal government. This means that the county has seen more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the last two weeks.

all 88
High incidence counties are highlighted blue. The six remaining counties include Ashtabula, Belmont, Harrison, Hocking, Huron and Meigs.

Governor DeWine also announced that number of patients treated in Intensive Care Units at hospitals throughout the state are at the highest rate since the beginning of the crisis. He said that based on the indicators we have not yet reached the peak of our hospitalizations, and the ICU utilization has doubled since the beginning of October. Governor DeWine explained that most of Ohio’s cases are a result of community spread.

“As the virus spreads in the community from gatherings where people aren’t wearing masks or social distancing, it directly impacts our ability to keep our schools open, to protect our vulnerable elderly in nursing homes, and to keep our hospitals from being over-run and exceeding capacity,” said Governor DeWine. 


Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans of the fundamental ways to stop the spread of the virus.

  • Wear a mask when you are out in public, when you go to a store, and when you are with friends.
  • Keep your distance.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Keep your building well-ventilated. 

He also asked Ohio businesses to allow employees to work from home, when possible; to remind employees of the ways they can stop the spread of the virus; and require customers to wear masks.

Governor DeWine also called on community leaders to inventory where they are in the battle against COVID-19. He asked them to work together to assess where they are, what they need to do, and set goals in their fight against the virus. The Governor and Lt. Governor will begin calls with the community leaders to develop strategies forward, starting with the three counties on the watch list.


Governor DeWine was joined by Secretary of State Frank LaRose today for an update on the election on November 2, 2020. Secretary LaRose outlined the precautions that the Board of Election offices are taking to keep Ohioans safe while voting. Secretary LaRose also reminded Ohioans that they can cast their vote early in person, by mail or on election day.

Additional information about the election, such as hours of polling locations, can be found at VoteOhio.gov


There are 202,740 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,239 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 18,433 people have been hospitalized, including 3,771 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

OHSAA Announces Updates On State Tournaments

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association has finalized details for several upcoming state tournaments, including cross country, volleyball and soccer. In addition, updates are included for football regional final and state semifinal sites, along with divisional breakdowns for the 2021 softball and baseball seasons.


In partnership with the Columbus Crew SC, the OHSAA girls and boys soccer state championship games will once again be hosted at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus. The girls finals will be Friday, November 13, followed by the boys finals on Saturday, November 14. The OHSAA applauds the Crew SC for working with the OHSAA to make it possible for the finals to remain at MAPFRE Stadium, where they have been since 1999.

“We would like to thank the Crew SC for being such a great partner during these uncertain times,” said Kathleen Coughlin, OHSAA Director of Sport Management and soccer administrator. “Due to the attendance restrictions this year, we didn’t know if it would be possible to have our finals in such an outstanding venue, but the Crew SC made it happen and we couldn’t be happier to once again crown our soccer state champions at MAPFRE Stadium.” 

The stadium will be cleared and cleaned after each game. Statewide soccer tournament brackets and more information are posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/Sports-Tournaments/Soccer/Soccer-2020/2020-OHSAA-Soccer-State-Tournament-Coverage


The upcoming volleyball state tournament will take a hiatus from the Nutter Center at Wright State University and be hosted by Vandalia Butler High School. In addition, the event will move to a Friday-Saturday-Sunday format (November 13-15). School will not be in session at Butler High School that Friday.

“We are very thankful that Butler High School stepped forward to host our volleyball state tournament,” said Emily Gates, OHSAA Director of Sport Management and the volleyball administrator. “We look forward to our return to Wright State University in the future, but with the small number of fans who can attend this year, we needed to find a smaller venue that was still an exceptional site. We found that at Butler High School and are very excited to work together on this great state tournament.” 

The facility will be cleared and cleaned after each match, so the state tournament schedule will be adjusted to the following:

   Friday, November 13: Division II semifinals at 10 AM and 1 PM; Division I semifinals at 4 PM and 7 PM

   Saturday, November 14: Division IV semifinals at 10 AM and 1 PM; Division III semifinals at 4 PM and 7 PM

   Sunday, November 15: Division II final at 9 AM; Division I final at 12:30 PM; Division IV final at 4 PM; Division III final at 7:30 PM

Statewide volleyball tournament brackets and more information are posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/Sports-Tournaments/Volleyball/2020-Volleyball/2020-OHSAA-Volleyball-State-Tournament-Coverage


The OHSAA will now conduct all regional and state cross country races on Saturdays (Oct. 31 and Nov. 7, respectively). The schedule for the regional and state tournaments is as follows: 

   Division III Boys: 9 AM

   Division III Girls: 10 AM

   Division II Boys: Noon

   Division II Girls: 1 PM

   Division I Boys: 3 PM

   Division I Girls: 4 PM

Regional and state tournament information is posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/Sports-Tournaments/Cross-Country/Cross-Country-2020/2020-Cross-Country-Tournament-Coverage


On October 22, the OHSAA informed schools that the better-seeded team would determine the site for the regional finals, which can be at the better-seeded team’s home stadium or another site of their choosing. The Division I regional finals are this Friday, Oct. 30, while the regional finals for Divisions II through VII are November 6-7.

Later this week, the OHSAA will announce how the regions will be paired for the Division I state semifinal games. Next week, the OHSAA will announce how the regions will be paired for the state semifinals in Divisions II through VII. The OHSAA will select neutral sites for the state semifinal games and the state championship games. Sites will be announced as soon as possible. Of note, many traditional host sites are not available to serve as neutral sites due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


The divisional breakdowns for the 2021 softball and baseball seasons have been posted at OHSAA.org. Of note, competitive balance data was not used for the breakdowns due to the cancellation of the 2020 season. 

   2021 Softball: https://www.ohsaa.org/Sports-Tournaments/Softball/Softball-2021

   2021 Baseball: https://www.ohsaa.org/Sports-Tournaments/Baseball/Baseball-2021

RCHD Guidance for a Safe Beggar’s Night

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With Trick-or-Treat events happening this week, the Ross County Health District has provided guidelines for making it a safe experience during the pandemic.

Most Beggar’s Night activities will be taking place Thursday from 6:30pm-7:30pm in Ross County. The RCHD notes aligning the event at the same time in each community will reduce the commingling of communities, which could potentially cause an increase of COVID-19 cases. In addition, the RCHD recommends:

  • Participants stay in small family groups (no more than 10 people)
  • Children be accompanied by an adult
  • All participants wear a face covering (or mask for those dressing up) in accordance with the current face covering order (NOTE: Face covering should never be placed on children younger than 2 or anyone who cannot easily remove them)
  • All candy be handed out by an adult (do not grab candy directly from bowl), preferably while remaining outside
  • Carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy

In addition, RCHD asks that Ross Countians:

  • Stay home if they feel sick
  • Do not pass out candy if you feel sick
  • Wash hands (or sanitize) often
  • Observe social distancing and do not gather with other family groups
  • Be respectful of homes/families who choose not to participate
  • Not congregate in groups larger than 10 people
  • Wipe off candy wrappers with sanitizing wipes when you arrive home. (NOTE: Never wipe unpackaged food with wipes)

For more details or questions regarding a safe Beggar’s Night, contact the RCHD at 740-779-9667.

Partnership Assists in Free Access to COVID-19 Testing

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CHILLICOTHE, OH (Oct. 26, 2020) – Adena Health System, the Ross County Commissioners, the City of Chillicothe, Ross County Health District and Chillicothe City School District have joined forces to assist qualified Ross County residents in gaining free access to COVID-19 testing. Qualifications for this testing include: the person must be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or if asymptomatic, must have been in contact with a person identified as carrying the Novel Coronavirus.

The Ross County Commissioners have allocated Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to cover the cost of testing for any qualified resident of Ross County who needs a test. Adena Health System will execute the testing program through its multiple COVID-19 testing facilities, after the person contacts the Adena COVID-19 Hotline at 740-542-SAFE (7233).

“Ross County was fortunate to be awarded funds from the CARES Act,” said Commissioner Steve Neal. “The costs associated with COVID-19 testing is forcing some families to make a decision to forgo or delay testing when experiencing symptoms of the virus. This collaboration with Adena, the City of Chillicothe, and the Ross County Health District gives us an opportunity to provide testing for qualified Ross County residents at no cost to them, and saving lives.”

If a resident of Ross County – or any county in the south central and southern Ohio region – believes they have symptoms of Coronavirus; or if they are not showing symptoms but have been in contact with someone confirmed to have the virus, they should call the Adena COVID-19 Hotline before seeking care. Once callers access the COVID-19 Hotline, a screener will conduct a brief interview to determine if testing is needed. An appointment will then be set up for the caller at one of Adena’s Urgent Care testing facilities throughout the region.

Patients with COVID-19 symptoms will:

·        Be scheduled for a required exam at the testing location; and

·        Testing will be administered and sent to Adena’s lab for processing.

Patients not showing symptoms but who have been in contact with a COVID-positive person will:

·        Be scheduled for a curbside nasal swab at their nearest testing facility;

·        The patient will NOT exit their vehicle; and

·        Receive a COVID PCR Test with results provided in two to five days, depending on statewide testing volume.

Because of the virus’ high risk to others, COVID-19 testing is NOT a walk-in service at Adena Urgent Care locations or physician offices. For anyone in need of a test, the first act is to CALL Adena’s COVID-19 Hotline at 542-SAFE to begin the process of setting up an appointment.

Expanding community-wide testing also includes the addition of in-school testing for any Chillicothe City Schools student. This in-school testing is being provided with CARES Act funding that has been awarded to the City of Chillicothe.

“Any Chillicothe City Schools student with COVID-19 symptoms, or who has been identified by the Ross County Health District as being in contact with a COVID-19 positive person can be tested at school, and at no cost to their family,” said Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney. “By having in-school access to testing, school personnel can quickly identify and separate students who may be carrying the virus or exposed to it faster and more effectively.”

To be tested at school, a child’s parent or guardian must approve the use of in-school testing. Parents may also request testing for their child if they are symptomatic or if they have been exposed to a person confirmed to have the Novel Coronavirus.

With Chillicothe’s in-school testing program, the Ross County Health District is providing the testing swabs, with samples being collected by the school nurse. Once complete, the swab is taken by courier to Adena’s laboratory for processing and results. Non-symptomatic students will have the COVID PCR Test, which could take several days for processing, depending on statewide volumes. Symptomatic and asymptomatic students will be dismissed from school to quarantine or isolate – if showing symptoms – at home until they receive Health District clearance to return.

“Thanks to Mayor Feeney and the City of Chillicothe for identifying CARES Act funds to launch this needed testing protocol in our city schools,” said Debbie Swinehart, Superintendent, Chillicothe City Schools. “This assistance will enable us to identify and separate infected students, reducing risk to other students, faculty and staff.”

Testing costs for students attending Ross County area schools will be covered by the Ross County Commissioners CARES Act dollars. Testing is not currently being performed within county schools, but parents/guardians with a symptomatic child/children or a non-symptomatic child should begin the testing process for their child/children by first calling Adena’s COVID-19 HOTLINE at 740-542-SAFE and following the steps outlined above.

“The commitment of our community partners in supporting this specific health care need of individuals, families and children comes at a time when we are seeing more cases of the virus in our hometowns and region,” said Adena President and CEO Jeff Graham. “By making sure no family has to decide if or when to come forward for COVID-19 testing is nothing short of a blessing for many people, and the overall safety of our communities and region.”

To meet growing community need, Adena has doubled the number of staff serving patients through its COVID-19 Hotline, cutting down on-hold time. The Health System has also increased staff in its Urgent Care/Testing locations to meet the increasing number of people in need of COVID-19 testing, as well as treating the patients expected as we enter influenza season. Adena has begun similar talks with other communities in its nine-county service region.

Graham assured, “Despite this long span of providing intense care for patients with COVID-19, and the growing volumes of people entering the testing process, Adena’s dedicated caregivers continue to stand ready to navigate the current spike in cases, and to meet the health care needs of people in our communities.”

Barb Jividen Talks About “MOM: In the Dictionary Between Laughter and Noise”

Presented by McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

Barb and Jerry Jividen are finally seeing an 18 year journey come to fruition. Last spring, “MOM” was to be released in time for Mother’s Day.

The pandemic pushed the release date back to November, 2020. If not for the pandemic, the book may never had materialized.

Jividen tells Litter Media she had written the manuscript in 2002 and when publishers were hesitant to give the book a chance, she placed the manuscript in a drawer at their home. While doing a remodeling project during the pandemic, she rediscovered the manuscript and still had the photos planned for the book. With the extra time on their hands, the Jividens brought the book back to life with a new outlook.

The book is available through www.goodreads.com and other online bookstores, as well as Chillicothe’s Wheatberry Books at 9 West Second Street and www.wheatberrybooks.com.

Litter Media Game of the Week: McNicholas at Waverly

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Most of the area teams still alive in OHSAA playoff action will be playing Saturday night, but several will be continuing their regular season action on Friday night. All kick off times are 7pm.

The Litter Media Game of the Week features Waverly hosting McNicholas in the quarterfinals of D IV Region 16. The Tigers enter the game 7-0 after pasting Norwood 62-14 last Saturday. McNicholas was a 27-0 winner over Unioto last weekend, improving the Rockets’ record to 5-2. Watch for score updates from Waverly on the Litter Media Facebook Page Saturday night, Litter Media Extras including a game report, photos over the weekend and a game highlight package next week.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2020 (Regular Season)

   South Point at Huntington

   Lancaster at Teays Valley

   Logan Elm at Amanda-Clearcreek

   Fairfield Union at Utica

   Unioto at Madison Plains

   Clermont Northeastern at Hillsboro

   McClain at East Clinton

   Northwest at Piketon

   Eastern Pike at Zane Trace

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2020 (Playoffs)

D IV Region 15

   Carrollton at Bloom-Carroll

D IV Region 16

   Cincinnati McNicholas at Waverly

D V Region 19

   Bishop Ready at Wheelersburg

D VI Region 23

   Lucasville Valley at Barnesville

D VI Region 24

   Minster at Adena

   Paint Valley at Mechanicsburg