Family Of Jack Hanna Reveals His Diagnoses Of Alzheimer’s

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

A Letter from the Hanna Family

Today, we reach out to share some personal Hanna Family news. Doctors have diagnosed our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer’s disease.  His condition has progressed much faster in the last few months than any of us could have anticipated. Sadly, Dad is no longer able to participate in public life as he used to, where people all over the world watched, learned and laughed alongside him.   

A passion for wildlife conservation and education has been at the core of who our dad is and everything he has accomplished with the help of so many. He has spent his life connecting people and wildlife because he has always believed that having people see and experience animals is key to engaging them in more impactful conservation efforts. He’s always said, “You have to touch the heart to teach the mind.” Even though Dad is no longer able to travel and work in the same way, we know that his infectious enthusiasm has touched many hearts and will continue to be his legacy.    

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has been a major part of our lives since we moved to Central Ohio as young girls in 1978. From day one, Dad advocated for improved wildlife habitats and focused on connecting the community with animals. After he left his active management role as Executive Director in 1992, he continued to be a spokesperson for the zoo until his retirement last year. 

Dad engaged with millions of households through his media appearances and weekly television programs – including Animal Adventures, Into the Wild and Wild Countdown. This allowed him to bring an unparalleled level of awareness to the importance of global conservation given the unrelenting pressures on the natural environment. To say that we are abundantly proud to be his daughters is an understatement. 

Dad loves the Columbus Zoo and The Wilds and has great appreciation for the hundreds of employees and volunteers, who work extremely hard each day to care for the animals and ensure an incredible experience for the families who visit. We share his dedication to the Central Ohio community and will continue to support the Columbus Zoo and conservation efforts around the world.  

Our mom – Suzi – has been by his side for 53 years in every corner of the world. She continues to be his rock (and ours, too).  We have great respect and admiration for Mom as we move through not only this difficult time with Dad, but also Julie’s continued life-long challenges from her childhood leukemia, as she is currently recovering from major surgery.  

While Dad’s health has deteriorated quickly, we can assure you that his great sense of humor continues to shine through. And yes – he still wears his khakis at home. 

To keep everyone safe in light of COVID-19 restrictions, we are asking for privacy, which is ironic given Dad’s love of interacting with people. We are grateful that the many hearts he’s touched over the years are with him during this journey, which gives us strength.  

Thank you, and we appreciate your understanding –
Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie Hanna

2021 Festival of the Bells Cancelled

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

While many of Ohio’s fairs and festivals are planning to reopen in 2021, The Festival of the Bells in Hillsboro will not be held.

The Festival of the Bells Committee, the City of Hillsboro, and the Highland County Health Department made that announcement in a social media post.

The committee stated- “Currently, it is too difficult to provide a safe event for our community, guests, artists and vendors. The potential for a large crowd in a confined area is a health concern. The decision was made with heavy hearts but with the best intentions in mind for all involved. Efforts will focus on a strong comeback for the 2022 Festival of the Bells.”

Governor Mike DeWine has already given the go-ahead for fairs and festivals to be held in 2021, with the stipulation that health guidelines be observed during their events, if they are still needed at that point.

Central Ohio ODOT Construction To Include Fayette & Pickaway County

Presented By Atomic Speedway

(COLUMBUS) – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is officially kicking off the 2021 construction season throughout the state, with more than 145 projects worth $540 million planned in the Central Ohio area this year. This includes 44 pavement improvement projects, 18 bridge projects, and 13 safety upgrades.

Safety remains a top priority in this year’s construction program and despite a 15.5 percent drop in traffic volumes last year, the increased revenue package passed in 2018 has allowed ODOT to continue funding its safety program at a pre-pandemic level and keep important maintenance projects on schedule.

“Thanks to the foresight of Gov. DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly and internal operational savings identified by our workforce, we have been able to weather this global pandemic. Without those extra funds, we would be nearly a billion dollars in the red,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “While other states have been delaying or cancelling projects, Ohio continues moving forward.”

This year Central Ohio will continue to see major progress at the Interstate 70/71 split in downtown Columbus, with the new ramp from Fulton St. to I-70 east scheduled to open this summer. Also in Franklin County, work on the South Side Mega Fix will wrap up in June, and I-71 widening work is underway south of State Route 665 to the Pickaway County Line.

East of Columbus, drivers can expect impacts on U.S. Route 40 in Licking County and another year of work to replace the State Route 661 bridge just south of Granville. A multi-year mega reconstruction project on I-70 through Zanesville is also slated to begin this summer.

An increase in orange barrels comes with an urgent plea for drivers to ditch the distractions and follow Ohio’s Move Over law to keep roadside workers safe. Despite fewer vehicles on the road last year, work zone crashes remained high.

“The men and women working to improve our roadways put their lives in your hands every day,” said Marchbanks. “Drivers should always pay attention behind the wheel, but work zones require extra attention and workers’ lives depend on it.”

Last year, ODOT crews were struck 125 times while on the job. So far this year, ODOT crews have already been hit 52 times. Ohio’s Move Over law requires drivers to move over a lane for any roadside vehicle with flashing lights. If they cannot move over, they must slow down.

Other area projects include:

(Fayette County)

PID 110073 I-71 RESURFACING Resurface I-71 from SR 41 in Fayette County to Yankeetown-Chenoweth Rd. in Madison County. Resurface bridges on County Roads 8, 9, 25, and 26. Estimated Begin: April 2021 Estimated End: October 2021 Project Cost: $7 million Traffic Impacts: Temporary lane and ramp closures 

PID 98139 SR 41 CULVERT REPLACEMENTS Replace culverts on SR 41 near Concord Rd. and Klondike Rd. Estimated Begin: June 2021 Estimated End: December 2022 Project Cost: $946,000 Traffic Impacts: 30-day closure with detour for each culvert

(Pickaway County)

PID 106267 CITY OF CIRCLEVILLE RESURFACING Resurface SR 56, SR 188, and U.S. 22 within the city of Circleville corporation limits. Estimated Begin: April 2021 Estimated End: September 2021 Project Cost: $900,000 Traffic Impacts: Daily lane closures, no closures during Circleville Pumpkin Show or Pickaway County Fair 

DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD:

ODOT District 5 Construction Guide
Projects in Licking, Fairfield, Knox, Coshocton, Muskingum, Perry, and Guernsey

ODOT District 6 Construction Guide
Projects in Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union

Lancaster Festival Makes Return in 2021

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

After a year off due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Lancaster Festival is returning for the summer of 2021.

The 2021 Lancaster Festival will be held July 23rd-31st, with adjustments being made to accommodate COVID-19 safety protocols and processes. The Festival dates will be shortened to nine days and will include the Festival’s signature events held at the Wendel Concert Stage in the outdoor amphitheater at Ohio University Lancaster and a series of live events downtown.

SEE THE LANCASTER FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENT HERE

The Lancaster Festival Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Gary Sheldon will return, although it will be smaller to accommodate safety guidelines.

The Lancaster Festival will be bringing the entire 2021 festival outdoors, with signature acts like former Eagles Band member- Don Felder and The Band Perry, appearing at the Wendel Concert Stage on the Ohio University Lancaster Campus.

The concert lineup includes: The Band Perry July 24th, Jazz Night July 26th, Orchestra Soloists Spotlight July 27, Kelly Vaughn and the Remnants among the July 28th performers, and the Grand Finale with Don Felder on July 31st.

Art Walk will be on July 23rd.

Tickets go on sale May 3rd. For more information on the 2021 Lancaster Festival, follow our link to their website. CLICK HERE:

Pinwheels Placed To Represent Dark Story Of Child Abuse In The Area

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

The observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month is underway, and those passing by the head of Chillicothe’s Yoctangee Park are able to see the symbol of that abuse in our region.

Pinwheels totaling 2,096 were placed this week, representing the number of child abuse reports that came in for our nine county region for the year 2020.

Of those cases reported, more than 500 proved to be actual child abuse, according to Julie Violette, the new Executive Director of the Child Protection Center, which is based in Chillicothe.

Violette says- “The most important thing is to get the word out there about all the resources that are available to go ahead and help stop child abuse, help end the cycle. The end of any cycle begins with prevention. If we just tell one friend or one neighbor about resources for the help that is out there, we can help to be the change we are all looking to be.” 

Other ways the community can get involved in the fight against child abuse is through fundraising efforts to assist the Child Protection Center.

Your donation goes directly to the education to prevent children from being abused with our Body Safety class and Stewards program, medical costs associated with examining each child, counseling to help the children and their families and to help create a safe, child-friendly environment.

Their next fundraiser is the Dr. David Ater Memorial Golf Outing, which will be held August 21st. The 4-person-scramble will be held at Jaycees Golf Course with 8am registration and a 9am shotgun start. Early registration is encouraged.

U.S. D.O.E. Extends Contract With Fluor-BWXT

Presented By Atomic Speedway

(Portsmouth) — The Fluor Corporation has announced a contract extension with the U.S. Department of Energy for its current decontamination and decommissioning work at the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (GDP) in Piketon.

According to a press release, the reimbursable contract is executed by Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth LLC, a Fluor-led partnership, together with BWX Technologies, Inc., and Jacobs.

The extension includes an additional 12 months with two additional 6-month options and is valued at up to $690 million including options.

The scope of the project includes the continued deactivation, demolition and disposal of selected site facilities, process equipment, related process buildings, and other ancillary facilities as well as continuing environmental remediation, uranium stewardship and community outreach programs.

“In partnership with the DOE, the Fluor team has done a tremendous job at delivering on the important decontamination and decommissioning work that is well under way at Portsmouth,” said Tom D’Agostino, president of Fluor’s Mission Solutions business. “We have been working at Portsmouth for 10 years and this extension provides a continuity of service crucial for the site and the DOE as the project moves into the next phase of demolition and waste placement. We look forward to maintaining our momentum and working collaboratively with the DOE and the community.”

The DOE Portsmouth site is a 3,700-acre federal reservation located in southern Ohio. It was built in the early 1950s by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission as part of the nation’s nuclear weapons complex producing enriched uranium from 1954 until 2001.