Fulton Street Ramp Opens In Columbus

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(COLUMBUS) — Governor Mike DeWine announced the opening of the new Fulton Street ramp to I-70 eastbound during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday in Columbus. The new ramp was constructed as part of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Downtown Ramp Up project, an ongoing project to reconstruct Interstates 70/71 in downtown Columbus and alleviate the biggest safety and congestion problems along the corridor. 

“This major construction milestone couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Governor DeWine. “With so many Ohioans returning to their offices each day, efficiency and access are both more important than ever. The increase in Ohio’s motor fuel user fee allowed us to complete this ramp and keep moving forward on many improvements downtown.” 

The opening of the new ramp comes two years after Governor DeWine kicked off the $82 million phase of construction and less than two years after the ramp from Third St. to I-70 eastbound closed in November of 2019. 

“For many years, a lot of what drivers were seeing was closures. Lanes were closing, ramps were closing, and they had to take detours to get around,” said ODOT District 6 Deputy Director Lori Niese-Duguid. “This ramp opening shows those commuters what their return on investment truly is. Now, they’ll start to see more openings, easier access to the interstate, fewer detours – all in the name of safety and efficiency.”

When finished, the construction project will eliminate over 90% of lane changes on I-70/71. It will result in new urban avenues with complete streets, enhanced freeway crossings with bicyclist accommodations, and the removal of unsafe ramps. It will also reconnect neighborhoods by replacing bridges with wider, pedestrian-friendly structures with parking and landscape design. 

“We can’t change the past, but we can certainly reshape the future,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “These seemingly small steps are actually big strides toward reconnecting neighborhoods with downtown Columbus.”

The current phases of construction through downtown Columbus are expected to continue through 2026. 

Highway “Incident” Snarls Traffic In Pike County

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Pike 32 104 Signal Down

Following an incident late Monday evening, the signals at the intersection of S.R. 104 and S.R. 32 are currently down (Tuesday).

Traffic on S.R. 32 is being maintained, but S.R. 104 remains closed in both directions on either side of S.R. 32, with no access to or from S.R. 104.

Pike County ODOT crews are continuing work to clear the intersection of debris.

Plans for a short-term traffic pattern change at the intersection are currently being developed until the signals can be repaired. More information about this short-term pattern change will be forthcoming as plans are finalized.

ODOT District 9 will continue to communicate changes to the situation regularly to keep the public apprised of new developments.

Tyson Foods Recalls Ready-To-Eat Chicken Products Due to Possible Listeria Contamination

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(WASHINGTON) – The amount of chicken products being recalled by Tyson Foods Inc. is now at approximately 8.9 million pounds of ready-to-eat chicken products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

The release is being updated to alert consumers that the recalled ready to eat products were used in additional products produced by other establishments and retailers. Some products bear a different establishment number on the label due to further processing and some products may have been served from the deli counter in retail stores. Labels for the products made with the recalled chicken are available here. We encourage consumers to check the FSIS website frequently while we continue to update the press release and/or the labels if we become aware of additional products that used the recalled chicken. 

Details of this recall were updated to reflect additional date codes and an increase in product poundage from approximately 8,492,832 pounds to approximately 8,955,296 pounds.  The recalled product names and product codes remain the same. While the product was distributed to schools, it resulted from a commercial sale and was not part of food provided by the USDA for the National School Lunch Program.

The frozen, fully cooked chicken products were produced between December 26, 2020 and April 13, 2021. The products that are subject to recall are listed here. View the labels here.       

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. P-7089” on the product bag or inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped nationwide to retailers and institutions, including hospitals, nursing facilities, restaurants, schools and Department of Defense locations.                             

On June 9, 2021, FSIS was notified of two persons ill with listeriosis. Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state public health partners, FSIS determined there is evidence linking the Listeria monocytogenes illnesses to precooked chicken produced at Tyson Foods Inc. The epidemiologic investigation identified three listeriosis illnesses, including one death, between April 6, 2021 and June 5, 2021. During routine sample collection, FSIS collected two precooked chicken samples from two establishments that are closely related genetically to Listeria monocytogenes from ill people. One of the samples was collected at Tyson Foods Inc. FSIS is continuing to work with federal and state public health partners to determine if there are additional illnesses linked to these products.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

Consumers with food safety questions can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Consumers can also browse food safety messages at Ask USDA or send a question via email to MPHotline@usda.gov.

Ross Commissioners Receive Update On Scenic River Designation

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Photo Courtesy of the Ohio Wild & Scenic Rivers Program

The Ross County Commissioners have received updates from officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on a proposal to designate Paint Creek and its tributaries as a scenic river.

The designation emphasizes the creek running up to Paint Creek Dam, along with the 30+ mile long North Fork Creek. A recent addition would include Rocky Fork along with Rattlesnake Fork and Paint Creek to the Fayette County line.

Officials said they want to address concerns some creekside property owners have, including the designation to make sure it doesn’t infringe upon their property rights. They claim it restricts government actions within the one thousand foot corridor on the streams, such as bridge and road work.

Another concern from landowners has been that ODNR can not directly control the drinking, litter and bad behavior from increased boat traffic.

Roarke For more information or to address concerns about the designation, contact Aaron Roarke at (614) 230-8534 or email to aaron.roarke@dnr.ohio.gov.

Ross County “Stuff The Bus” Scheduled For August 7th

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United Way of Ross County will be conduct their annual “Stuff The Bus” outside of Chillicothe Walmart, Saturday August 7th between 10am-2pm.

They will be collecting school supplies in partnership with Project School Tools, Salvation Army, EPIC, Ross County Community Action, Alvis House and many other organizations working together to ensure the students of Ross County have the supplies needed.

For a complete list of needed supplies, see the poster below: 

Pickaway Commissioners OK Funds To Purchase Body Cameras For Sheriff

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Pickaway County Sheriff Matthew O. Hafey has taken to Facebook to announce that his office will soon be utilizing body cameras.  

Hafey says this has been one of his “missions” since taking office in January.  

“We are very thankful to our Pickaway County Commissioners for passing the resolution to purchase these necessary tools for our Deputies at their most recent meeting. These tools will not only aid in the investigation of crimes, but to show transparency of our Office to the public.  We are fortunate to have this equipment to help bring the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office into the 21st century of law enforcement.”  

Sheriff Hafey says it will take approximately 4-6 weeks for the cameras to arrive and be deployed to the field.  The Deputies will also go through training on how to properly and fully utilize the camera systems.  

In addition to the body cameras, the Deputies will also be issued new Tasers to replace their current aging equipment.  This equipment is unique in that they work together so that the cameras will automatically activate once a Taser is turned on, thus reducing the chance of a use of force incident not being recorded.  

“The current Tasers, of which some are still viable, will be re-purposed in our Jail so that the Corrections Officers will have another tool in which to ensure safety and security in the facility”, according to Sheriff Hafey.