Ohio Introduces Tech to Connect Foster Children with Forever Families

Presented by Rathkamp Financial

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Matt Damschroder today announced that Ohio is the first state to implement two technology tools from Connect Our Kids. The tools will help children services professionals connect Ohio’s 3,100 foster youth with their forever family. They were joined by partners from InnovateOhio, Kinnect, the Dave Thomas Foundation, and Ohio CASA.

The Family Connections tool is a genogram or a digital diagram that illustrates an individual’s family members. Professionals can use the desktop or mobile app versions to build family trees, find family contact information and engage family and supporters of children in foster care. The People Search tool uses public information from over 300 sources and covers over 3 billion people to exponentially expand the pool of potential kinship caregivers, far beyond just those in current contact with the child’s parents.

“Using this technology is data sharing at its best to help find forever homes for kids in foster care. It’s going to save children’s services professionals time and resources,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “Gone are the days of them having to map out family trees and contact information on their own. This technology does it for them, and then makes it widely available to other professionals.”

“The Ohio Department of Job and Family Service facilitates many programs to help children find their forever home,” said Director Damschroder. “From our ‘30 Days to Family’ program, which focuses on placement of kids soon after they enter the foster system, to our Wendy’s Wonderful Kids partnership, which helps older youth in the system, technology can help us be more successful in almost every way.”

Children services transformation has been a top priority for the DeWine-Husted administration; innovative programs and technology such as Connect Our Kids, 30 Days to Family, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, and Ohio CASA are playing a significant role in reforming the foster care system and bettering the lives of Ohio’s most vulnerable children.

About the Partners:

30 Days to Family, a program brought to Ohio by then-Attorney General Mike DeWine and administered through Kinnect, collaborates with children’s services caseworkers to identify a vast array of connections for children and families involved with children services. As a result of investments in the administration’s state operating budgets, over the last four years, the program has grown to over cover 27 counties and helped 1,700 children in Ohio’s children services system.

Ohio CASA helps Ohio children emerge from the trauma of abuse and neglect to an environment where they can thrive. They recruit, screen and train volunteers from local communities to help juvenile courts keep children safe and determine the child’s best interest. As a result of investments in the administration’s state operating budgets, Ohio CASA has gone from serving 36 counties to 57 counties and is looking to expand to 62 counties.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, a program through the Dave Thomas Foundation, hires recruiters that are dedicated to finding permanent families for children in foster care who are most often overlooked. Recruiters use an evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model to find the right family for every child. As a result of investments in the administration’s state operating budgets, since 2004, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids has matched more than 2,000 Ohio children with families and helped more than 1,300 Ohio children find forever homes.

Majestic Readies for 2021 Rock For Tots

Presented by Atomic Speedway

The annual auction/concert Rock For Tots is Friday December 3rd at The Majestic Theater.

Like many other things in 2020, the event was forced to switch gears due to the pandemic and was a virtual showing last December. This Friday, however, guests will be permitted inside again.

Organizer Paul Pollard says the wearing of masks will be encouraged, especially for those unvaccinated attendees.

Despite the pandemic, last year’s show still managed to raise $33,500, a little more than half what Rock For Tots has been accumulating in recent years.

Performers this Friday include 2021 American Idol finalist Philip Murphy, The Wegians, Good N Stout, Ben True and the Basement Collective and 7 Mile Bluegrass.

Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. Doors open at 6pm. Purchase online: www.majesticchillicothe.net or at Ross-Chillicothe Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Rock For Tots organizer Paul Pollard visits with Litter Media’s Dan Ramey to talk about the 2021 show this Friday at The Majestic Theater. Click on the photo to watch the interview.

NFL Helmet UseD By QB Greg Cook Stolen

Presented by Classic Brands

“This is a valuable piece of Ross County Chillicothe sports history” Bruce Caplinger wrote in a posting on Facebook Monday evening.

Caplinger, a local sports memorabilia collector, has thousands of items in his collection much of which is connected to athletes who’ve gone on to college or to play professionally.

The missing item is a helmet used by Greg Cook, a Chillicothe alumnus and charter member of the CHS Athletic Hall of Fame. Cook was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1969 out of the University of Cincinnati and was named the American Football League’s Rookie of the Year. Cook died in 2012.

Caplinger says the helmet was stolen from his car while at work Monday along with various other items valued between $3,000 to $5,000. But the key item is the helmet.

“This helmet I searched for my whole adult life for something of Cook” Caplinger told Litter Media via text. “A needle in a haystack one of a kind (item).”

Caplinger says he’s reported the missing items to the Chillicothe Police Department and pawn shops nationwide will be alerted.

Sports memorabilia collector Bruce Caplinger’s facebook post pleading for the return of Greg Cook’s helmet.

Search Underway for New Superintendent of Amanda-Clearcreek Local Schools

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

Amanda-Clearcreek Local Schools has begun a search to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Superintendent J.B. Dick.

District Treasurer, Lana Fairchild tells Litter Media the school board is beginning its search process “by conducting stakeholder meetings to determine the needs of the district from multiple perspectives.”

An open forum to seek input from the community on the characteristics, skills and experience the district and school board should consider in evaluating candidates will be held December 6th at 6:00pm in Room 1100 of Amanda-Clearcreek High School.

The first round of candidate interviews are expected to begin in late January with a potential hiring date of February 9th, 2022.

Heather Tarlton – CRCF November Ross County Outstanding Educator

Presented by Classic Brands

Heather Tarlton is recognized by the Chillicothe-Ross Community Foundation as Ross County Outstanding Educator of the Month for November. 

During her fourteen years of service to the Chillicothe City Schools, first as a third-grade classroom teacher and now as a STEM facilitator, Tarlton has been at the heart of a commitment to provide students with an exciting, meaningful and empowering STEM learning experience. She also serves as head coach of the CHS Girls Cross Country Program.

“Heather is a model for fearless teaching. She is never afraid to step outside of the traditional approaches to teaching and learning,” the administration said about her. Tarlton’s passion and hard work have reached students throughout the district and educators across the country. She has helped to redefine the concept of “classroom” to include all of the amazing places and spaces that make up Chillicothe. 

“Through the generosity of the Foundation’s donors, The Ross County Outstanding Educator of the Month Award provides a grant to one of Ross County’s school districts for classroom supplies and/or continuing education,” Scott Graham, the Foundation’s Executive Director, said. 

Graham and Foundation Board President, Neil Coleman, presented the award to Tarlton along with Chillicothe City Schools Superintendent Debbie Swinehart.

Pictured left to right: Heather Tarlton, CCSD Superintendent Debbie Swinehart, CRCF Board President Neil Coleman and CRCF Executive Director Scott Graham. Submitted photo

“The Most Reluctant Convert” Coming to OCU

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

C.S. Lewis is brought to life on stage by award winning actor Max McLean in “The Most Reluctant Convert”, coming to Ohio Christian University January 15, 2022.

Lewis became one of the most influential writers on the 20th century following years of atheism.

In the stage presentation, an elder Lewis talks of the experience of his conversion, engaging the audience in the great debate between Christianity and disbelief.

The one day performance is scheduled for two shows, 1:00pm and 6:00pm at OCU’s Ministry & Performing Arts Center at 1476 Lancaster Pike in Circleville.


Piketon Wins Pancake Battle in Waverly

Presented by Rathkamp Financial

Sunday’s pancake challenge at the Waverly McDonald’s went to the Piketon. The Redstreaks offensive linemen devoured 70 pancakes to Waverly’s 60 during a 30 minute period.

According to Waverly City Schools’ Facebook post Sunday, Piketon was represented by Hunter McComas, Gabe Lamerson, Dawson Montgomery, Alex Jenkins and Tre Jenkins. The Tigers participants were Brock Adams, Jace Gecowets, Nate Welsh, Logan Long, and Jake Schrader.

Piketon takes home $1,000 for their football program and Waverly grabbed a $300 consolation prize.

Waverly McDonald’s manager Damon Campbell, who officiated the contest, dreamed up the idea a few weeks ago READ MORE HERE.

Photos courtesy Waverly City Schools via Facebook

OHSAA Football State Championships Set For This Week in Canton

Presented by Atomic Speedway

The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Football State Championship games were announced Sunday.

All games will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, beginning Thursday night. Listed below are the games as scheduled, including their Associated Press state ranking.

 Division II State Championship – Thursday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m.
Cincinnati Winton Woods (12-3) vs. No. 8 Akron Archbishop Hoban (11-3)
Division IV State Championship – Friday, Dec. 3, 10:30 a.m.
No. 4 Clarksville Clinton-Massie (13-1) vs. Youngstown Ursuline (11-3)
Division III State Championship – Friday, Dec. 3, 3 p.m.
No. 2 Hamilton Badin (14-0) vs. No. 1 Chardon (15-0)
Division I State Championship – Friday, Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m.
No. 5 Springfield (13-1) vs. No. 3 Lakewood St. Edward (13-1)
Division VII State Championship – Saturday, Dec. 4, 10:30 a.m.
No. 3 Newark Catholic (14-1) vs. No. 1 Maria Stein Marion Local (15-0)
Division VI State Championship – Saturday, Dec. 4, 3 p.m.
No. 6 Coldwater (13-2) vs. No. 8 Carey (14-1)
Division V State Championship – Saturday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.
No. 8 Versailles (14-1) vs. No. 1 Kirtland (14-0)


Piketon/Waverly Pancake Battle Sunday morning

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

As the post season came to a close for the Piketon and Waverly High School Football teams, there’s one final competition… a battle to devour pancakes at the Waverly McDonald’s Restaurant on US 23 South.

Damon Campbell’s recent post reminding followers of the competition Sunday morning at McDonald’s of Waverly

Manager Damon Campbell extended the invitation to the teams promising a cash prize to the two for their respective programs. Members of the offensive lines for the Redtreaks and Tigers will square off to see who can eat the most McDonald’s pancakes in 30 minutes.

Campbell’s original post on Facebook had a top prize of $250 for the winning team’s football program. The challenge began to snowball as more businesses chipped in to help raise the stakes. The kitty increased to $1,000 for the winner and the loser takes home $300.

The battle begins at 11am Sunday at the Waverly McDonald’s.

Ross County Historical Society Hosts Christmas Open House December 11th

Presented by Classic Brands

The Christmas Tree on display in December 2018 at the Ross County Heritage Center, Chillicothe, Ohio. Dan Ramey/Litter Media

The Ross County Historical Society’s annual Christmas Open House returns December 11th from 1:00pm-4:00pm inside the Ross County Heritage Center, 45 West Fifth Street in Chillicothe.

Features will include a beautiful, one-of-a-kind Christmas tree decorated with hundreds of hand-cut paper ornaments by local artist Bonnie Grove; a charming Victorian Christmas parlor with late 19th & early 20th century holiday decorations and toys; and other exhibits including “Toys from the Attic,” and “Chillicothe’s Model Railroad.”  New this year will be a special exhibit on Ross County Samplers & Needlework from the historical society’s textile collections.

Admission to the Christmas Open House is free.

The RCHS will also welcome young visitors aged 6 through 12 for their Holiday Children’s Program this Saturday December 4th from 9:30am-12:30pm. Junior Members receive free admission for the event and non-member admission is $10.00. Early registration is required by Thursday December 2nd by calling 740-772-1936.