COLUMBUS, Ohio – New plant life blossoms each spring and paints Ohio’s stunning landscapes with lively shades of green. This flush of renewal is perfectly timed to mark the state’s second Native Plant Month beginning April 1.
“Using native trees, shrubs, and flowers in our landscaping provides an unbeatable aesthetic and connects us with the natural world on a deeper level,” said Jeff Johnson, Chief of the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. “From birds and butterflies to beetles and bees, native plants create a healthier and more biodiverse ecosystem that is often missing in urban areas.”
First celebrated last year, Ohio was one of the first states in the nation to dedicate an entire month to the celebration of native plants. This month, ODNR will highlight the importance and diversity of native plants on the agency’s website and social media channels. Watch for native wildflower features every day and special posts for Arbor Day and Earth Day.
Pink lady’s slipper Yellow trout lily
ODNR is also sharing the Spring Wildflower Bloom Report every Friday into mid-May. These weekly reports contain the most up-to-date information about what’s in bloom and where Ohioans can find different species throughout the state. Ohioans can document and share their own finds and post to social media using the hashtag #OhioWildflowers. ODNR’s brand new checklist to Ohio’s spring wildflowers is also available for use.
(COLUMBUS)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 74, Ohio’s Fiscal Year 2022-2023 transportation budget, into law.
“This budget ensures that we can continue to maintain and invest in Ohio’s roadways,” said Governor DeWine. “Ohio’s transportation system continues to be a critical part of our economy, moving materials and people safely across our state. This budget advances our commitment to invest in state and locally-maintained roadways.”
House Bill 74, sponsored by Representative Scott Oelslager, was approved with bipartisan support in both the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate, investing $8.3 billion over the biennial.
The biennial budget includes:
$318 million for highway safety projects.
$2.6 billion for other state-maintained roadway improvements.
$2.4 billion for local roadway improvements.
$74 million in public transit.
$116 million for the Public Works Commission, including $14 million for emergency road-slip repair.
$8 million for electric vehicle charging station grants through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Additionally, the biennial budget includes various provisions to enhance and expand services offered by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, requires the completion of classroom or online instruction for driver’s training before beginning behind-the-wheel instruction, repurposes closed weigh stations, and creates a school zone around a preschool.
Governor DeWine also signed the following bills into law Wednesday.
Senate Bill 18, sponsored by Senators Kristina Roegner and Tim Schaffer, incorporates federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) changes into Ohio’s tax code, amends Section 36 of House Bill 481 of the 133rd General Assembly to modify the law governing taxation, and declares an emergency.
House Bill 128, sponsored by Representatives Jim Hoops and Dick Stein, repeals nuclear provisions of House Bill 6 of the 133rd General Assembly and makes changes to electric utility service law.
Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Senators Kristina Roegner and Bill Blessing III, enters Ohio into the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact. The compact will make it easier for Ohio’s physical therapists to practice in other compact states, and non-Ohio physical therapists to practice here.
Senate Bill 7, sponsored by Kristina Roegner, enters Ohio into the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact. The compact is not yet active, but nine other potential member states have pending legislation to join.
(BOSTON, MA) — Shawnee State head coach Delano Thomas is the recipient of the 2021 Don Meyer award.
Thomas led Shawnee State to the program’s first-ever NAIA title, defeating Lewis & Clark in the championship. The Bears finished the season with 27 straight wins and overall record of 31-2.
“What a job turned in by Delano Thomas,” said Joe Dwyer President of CollegeInsider.com. “He returned to the place where he played and has taken the program to new heights. Coach Thomas is a rising star in the profession.”
Having developed Shawnee State into a top-flight contender in less than four full seasons, DeLano Thomas took home Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year honors behind an incredible turnaround that has seen Shawnee State go 44-13 over its last 57 games.
The Don Meyer Award, which is presented annually to the top NAIA basketball coach, is named in honor of the one of the sport’s winningest coaches.
In 38 seasons at Hamline, Lipscomb and Northern State, he compiled an astounding 923-324 record. He led Lipscomb to the NAIA national championship in 1986 and coached the two highest-scoring players in the history of college basketball, John Pierce and Philip Hutcheson. Also, his 1989-90 team at Lipscomb won a record 41 games and was the highest scoring team in college history. In 2010, he received the John Bunn Award at the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Meyer retired from coaching in February 2010. Coach Meyer lost his long battle with cancer on May 18, 2014, at the age of 69.
Ohio Congressman Brad Wenstrup visited the Ross County Health District COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at the Ohio University Chillicothe Shoemaker Center on Tuesday..
The 2nd district congressman, who is also a U.S. Army Reserve officer and Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, thanked nurses and members of the Ross County Health District who are working the clinics.
“At a local level, we’re getting it done and should all be pleased with the results we’re seeing in the number of people coming out to get the vaccine and volunteers helping their community with it,” Wenstrup said. “We adapt and overcome, and it’s been great to see so many people in our district step up and get this done. I think it’s good for every American to get vaccinated if they can, if they’re medically able, it’ll benefit the whole country and community as far as our health.”
“As I’ve visited vaccine clinics, what I’ve noticed is that every location has its own unique quality that fits its community,” Wenstrup added. “I’ve visited clinics like this located in partnering facilities, to vaccine clinics in fairgrounds, each of them representing their community in its own way.”
Approximately 6,000 people have been vaccinated at the Shoemaker Center site since February 1st. Ross County has administered 19,182 total vaccines as of March 29th, which is 25% of the county receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. Of those vaccines, 11,377 have been completed with both doses administered.
Ross County Health District officials have told Litter Media that most individuals at the Ou-Chillicothe clinic site are getting in and out with their shot within 20 minutes, including the 15-minute observation period after the shot.
The Shoemaker Center has served as a vaccine site since the beginning of February.
In early April, FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. The policy was finalized today, and FEMA is now moving rapidly to implement this funeral assistance program nationwide.
To be eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance, the policy states:
The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19.
If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant. FEMA will also consider documentation from other individuals not listed as the applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual.
An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.
The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application.
Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.
In the coming weeks, a dedicated 800 number will be established to help individuals who apply. In the meantime, potential applicants are encouraged to start gathering the following documentation:
An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the U. S. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19 like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.
Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred.
Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. Funeral assistance may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial government programs or agencies, or other sources.
More information regarding this assistance can be found at COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov Contact Us
The Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence is letting the community know they are still active in helping victims of domestic abuse.
David Burchett, Executive Director of the Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence joined us on the Litter Media Spotlight to talk about the revitalization of the Coalition as they work with victims in Ross County.
Burchett came on-board with the Coalition on February 15th after serving as a substance abuse addiction therapist at the Chillicothe Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
He said he felt the services offered with the Coalition needed more attention. “I want to reiterate to the community that they (services) are still here and we are providing quality services. I am trying to broaden those services and offer some more to the community. We still have our shelter, we still have our 24/7 hotline so if anyone in the community is struggling or suffering, they can always reach out.”
The Coalition also offers case management services and will be offering counseling services soon.
Burchett says they want to become a “one stop shop” for those needing these services, where they can get as much help as possible. “We have clothing, food, shelter- all these kinds of services.”
He says there are a myriad of ways that people in need of help can get in contact with the Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, whether from their home, through law enforcement or through the courts. Burchett pointed out that victims of domestic violence must “not allow” the perpetrator of their abuse to convince them (the victim) that there is “no way out.”
Burchett says their staff is adept at assisting, not only with the victims physical needs, but also their emotional needs that come with being a victim of abuse.
“Our sole purpose is to welcome these survivors of domestic violence into a caring scenario, whether that is in our office or shelter, to empower them and help them regain the life that they want.”
As expected, Burchett echoed the information heard nationwide that cases of violence in the home have gone up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Burchett encourages volunteers from the community to join them in doing what they can to help these victims, whether through monetary donations or through food and clothing assistance to the Coalition.
For more information about the Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, call (740) 775-5396 or email David@rccoalition.org. Their office is located at 63 West Second Street in Chillicothe.
The Ross County United Way Campaign for 2020-2021 is shortly coming to an end and they are $66,000 away from meeting their annual goal. In April they are going to have a series of events that they hope will help their efforts to reach the annual goal of $625,000.
The first event is Saturday, April 3rd, and all you have to do is eat at Panda Express on Bridge Street, between the hours of 10:30am-9:30pm.
You can order online or go in person and 50% of the proceeds will go to the Ross County United Way, but you must mention or bring the flyer with you.
United Way of Ross County says more events are coming as well.
Celebrate National Volunteer Month by giving about an hour of your time donating blood. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, from accident victims to children battling cancer to mothers giving birth. Healthy volunteer donors are the key to helping save lives. Medical conditions and emergencies don’t stop for a pandemic. You can help by encouraging others to sign up to donate blood with the Red Cross.
Below are the promos being offered in April…
Youth (Ages 16-24) $10 E-Gift Card (April 1-30) You’re essential! It’s in you to make a difference. Youth donors ages 16-24: get a $10 e-gift card for a place you like to eat or shop when you come to give blood Apr 1-30. We appreciate all that you do to help save lives.
Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma April 1-30, 2021, will receive automatic entry for a chance to win one of five $1,000 e-gift cards to a merchant of their choice. Terms and conditions apply.