All posts by Mike Smith

Vinton Furnace State Forest Honored By ODNR

Presented By Atomic Speedway

(Columbus) – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry has celebrated Vinton Furnace State Forest, one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the United States and home to more than 50 years of ongoing forest research. The outdoor event highlighted the State of Ohio’s ownership of Vinton Furnace State Forest and celebrated the ongoing research taking place at the forest.
 
“Important research related to oak ecosystems has been ongoing in the forest at Vinton Furnace for decades,” said Dan Balser, Chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “By protecting this land for the last 10 years, we are helping ensure that oak trees are part of Ohio’s future forests, as well as safeguarding this biologically diverse ecosystem.”
 
The 12,089-acre Vinton Furnace State Forest is located 75 miles southeast of Columbus, near McArthur, Ohio. The forest is home to bobcats, timber rattlesnakes, cerulean warblers, and several rare plant species.
 
The site is also home to research dedicated to restoring oak trees to Ohio’s forests. Oak forests are home to some of Ohio’s most important wildlife species and are a valuable part of the state’s multi-billion-dollar wood industry.
 
Since 1952, land at the Vinton Furnace has been dedicated towards forest use and sustainability research – an agreement formalized between previous owner Mead Corporation and the USDA Forest Service in 1965. The USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station currently employs foresters at Vinton Furnace State Forest to implement, maintain, and collect data from research sites and provide overall care and maintenance of the site. Vinton Furnace State Forest is managed to protect ongoing and new research efforts, provide public access, promote native wildlife, and provide sustained timber production essential for the economy of southeastern Ohio.
 
The State of Ohio obtained private and federal funding assistance to purchase the Vinton Furnace Forest. American Electric Power, The Nature Conservancy, USDA Forest Service, and The Conservation Fund assisted in the purchase, which was finalized in 2010. These lands are being conserved, in part, by funding and technical assistance made available as mitigation for impacts caused by the construction and maintenance of the Rockies Express Pipeline, LLC in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Ohio Code Scholar Program receives $30,000 from the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(Nelsonville) – The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund has awarded $30,000 to a pilot program that will provide computer programming and coding skills to students.

By providing this training, the Ohio Code Scholar Program aims to prepare Appalachian Ohio middle and high school students for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers. Funding from the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) will support curriculum and program-related training materials.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to help our youth access coding and STEM careers,” said Cara Dingus Brook, FAO President and CEO. “We’re able to provide this grant thanks to the generosity of many donors to the Foundation’s I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund. It’s a true community effort.”

Education is a focus area for FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund, making up one of five Pillars of Prosperity essential to the quality of life in Appalachia Ohio. The other Pillars are Arts & Culture, Community & Economic Development, Environmental Stewardship, and Health & Human Services.

The coalition designing the Ohio Code Scholar Program consists of local high schools, career technical schools, local Education Service Centers, business leaders, and state officials. Southern State Community College (SSCC) in Highland County is providing support and acting as the fiscal agent.

In describing the need for the program, Dr. Shane Shope, program coordinator working with SSCC, wrote, “Ohio needs more resources to prepare college and career-ready high school graduates in the STEM area. It is estimated that more than 1.3 million jobs will be in the computer and math-related fields by 2022.”

Shope cited the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, noting there are multiple STEM jobs with good to excellent outlooks through 2029, but those positions will require coding skills. “Ohio could be in a position to become a national leader in how to impart programming and coding skills to middle and high school students,” he noted, adding that the pilot program will prepare Appalachian Ohio students for college and career demands.

State Rep. Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro), who supported funding for the program in the state budget, said the program is starting small so as to capitalize on the success of different districts, career-tech centers, and post-secondary school opportunities students currently have in grades seven through 10. Wilkin believes the program will serve as a template for success in other Appalachian communities as well.

Power Siting Board Accepting Public Comments On High Voltage Transmission Planning

Presented By Classic Brands

(Columbus) – The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) has issued a draft report for public comment analyzing high-voltage electric transmission line planning. Written comments and reply comments are due October 8, 2021 and October 15, 2021, respectively. The OPSB will hold a public meeting to solicit additional comments on October 21, 2021 in Columbus.

The draft report examines the cost effectiveness of electric transmission planning in Ohio, the scope of the OPSB’s jurisdiction, and processes used to site electric transmission lines in Ohio. Ohio law requires the OPSB to publish a final report by December 1, 2021

full copy of the draft report is available online in OPSB case number 21-0796-EL-UNC.

Interested persons may file comments online regarding the draft report. Written comments may also be sent via US mail addressed to Ohio Power Siting Board, 180 E. Broad Street, Hearing Room 11-B, Columbus Ohio 43215. Comments should reference case number 21-0796-EL-UNC.

More information about the October 21 in-person public meeting is available on the OPSB website.

Piketon Capitalizes On Paint Valley Miscues In Battle For SVC Grid-Iron Lead

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

Levi Gullion rushed for six touchdowns and passed for another. Click the photo to watch the Litter Media Game of the Week Post Game Show.

The Piketon Redstreaks dominated most of the ballgame in their battle for sole possession of the SVC Football lead, beating Paint Valley 43-20.

The (3-0/6-0) Redstreaks built a 24-0 halftime lead, thanks to critical Bearcat turnovers, Levi Gullion’s unstoppable offensive performance, and Piketon’s solid defensive effort.

Gullion ran for six touchdowns in the game, taking advantage of gaping holes the Redstreaks offensive line opened up for him all game long. Gullion also threw for a TD. He was named the McDonald’s Player of the Game.

Paint Valley committed 6 turnovers in the game.

Litter Media/Mike Smith

Piketon drove deep into Paint Valley territory twice in the first quarter, stalling on one drive and fumbling on another possession. After a scoreless first quarter, it didn’t take long for Piketon’s offense to get untracked in the second quarter.

After long pass from Levi Gullion to John Burton inside the PV 10, Gullion scored on an 8 yard run to get Piketon on the scoreboard. The two point try failed, leaving Piketon with a 6-0 lead at 10:06 left in the first half.

Kydan Potts got an interception to set up the Redstreaks next score, which saw Gullion run 37 yards on the next play for the touchdown. The two point conversion try failed and Piketon held a 12-0 lead with 9:35 left first half.

Piketon upped the score to 18-0 when the Redstreaks’ John Burton knocked the ball out of Beau Blankenship’s hands as he was going for a possible score at the three yard line. The Streaks then marched 97 yards and capped the drive off with a Levi Gullion 6 yard scoring run at 1:42 left in the first half. The PAT try for two failed.

The Redstreaks would tack on one more score before the first half ended. Gullion connected with John Burton to the 6 yard line, followed by a Levi Gullion scoring on a QB keeper at :22 left in half. The PAT run by Gullion fails leaving Piketon with a 24-0 lead over Paint Valley at halftime.

Paint Valley had the ball first in the third quarter, but Piketon’s Levi Stanley picked off Cavan Cooper, which later led to Gullion firing a TD bomb of over 60 yards to John Burton at 8:39 in the third quarter. The PAT kick was good, giving Piketon a 31-0 lead.

Paint Valley got their first score of the game with a 32 yard TD run by Cavan Cooper. The PAT for two was good on a Cooper run, cutting Piketon’s lead to 31-8 at 2:46 in third quarter.

Cavan Cooper cuts the deficit to 31-14, running 19 yards for a TD at 11:52 left in the fourth quarter. The PAT run was called back for holding. Then PV’s second try on the PAT was stopped short on pass play.

Less than 10 second later, Piketon’s Levi Gullion ran 51 yards for a TD at 11:42 remaining in the game. The PAT 2 point try fails as Piketon extends their lead to 37-14 over PV.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Bearcats fumble and Piketon recovers.

Levi Gullion then ran 30 yards for his 6th TD of the game. Piketon 43-14 over Paint Valley with 10:11 remaining in the game.

Paint Valley gets their final tally of the game, driving 74 yards for a score. QB Cavan Cooper connects with Cordell Grubb for a 26 yard TD pass. The PAT 2 point try fails. Piketon led 43-20 with 6:04 left in game which ended the scoring for the game.

The Piketon Redstreaks take over sole possession of the SVC lead, improving to (3-0/6-0). Bearcats slip to (2-1/3-3).

Piketon is looking for a Homecoming opponent for next week, since their SVC game with Southeastern is cancelled due to the Panthers team being in quarantine. Paint Valley hosts Huntington.

In other area games:

Zane Trace 49, Westfall 12 … Unioto 28, Adena 18 … Miami Trace 35, Chillicothe 28 OT … Jackson 42, Hillsboro 0 … Washington CH 27, McClain 21 … Amanda 49, Circleville 13 … Teays Valley 33, Hamilton Township 0 … Fairfield Union 35, Logan Elm 14 …Bloom Carroll 45, Liberty Union 3 … Waverly 47, Portsmouth West 28 … Northwest 26, Portsmouth Notre Dame 20 … Lucasville Valley 31, Oak Hill 6 … Wheelersburg 24, Minford 20 … Sciotoville 30, Eastern Pike 6 … Vinton County 46, Alexander 0 … Nelsonville York 13, Meigs 6 … Wellston 46, River Valley 6 … Portsmouth 42, Coal Grove 20 …

Adena Health Offers Drive-Thru COVID Tests

Presented By Rathkamp Financial

(Chillicothe) – Adena Health System will be offering a drive-thru option for people seeking to be tested for COVID-19 starting Monday, September 27.

Adena’s PACCAR Medical Education Center, located at 446 Hospital Road, Chillicothe, opens next week to best serve patients in need of a COVID-19 test. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“Our Emergency Departments and Urgent Cares continue to see record volumes,” said Adena President and CEO Jeff Graham. “By opening this drive-thru COVID testing site, this will help decrease the influx of those individuals seeking only testing services at those locations and be a more convenient option for them. At the same time, this will decrease wait times for patients with other care needs in our ERs and Urgent Cares and provide much needed relief and support for our providers and caregivers.”

No appointments are needed.

The drive-thru testing site will offer the rapid testing platform as well as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) nasal swab test for asymptomatic patients. Patients will be called with their test results and results will also be available through their Adena online Patient Portal. COVID-19 tests will be billed to a patient’s insurance.

Those coming to the drive-thru site are reminded to please be sure to have a mask or face covering on before pulling up for testing.

Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should first contact Adena’s dedicated Hotline at 740-542-SAFE (7233) prior to visiting any healthcare facility to receive instructions regarding their care.

Circleville Pumpkin Show Is On With Selective Cancellations

Presented By Classic Brands

(Circleville) — The Circleville Pumpkin Show will be held October 20th through 23rd, with a preview on the evening of October 19th, from 5pm-10pm.

While the Show will be held after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic, there are a few events that will not be conducted.

Those include The Big Wheel Race operated by the Circleville Noon Rotary Club along with a similar decision by the Home Arts & Crafts and Flower Show to cancel their event.

All other exhibits will be accepting entries on their individual published schedules as shown in the Rules and Regulations for Pumpkin Show. Exhibitors.

While most of the Pumpkin Show is an outside event, guests should be aware it is up to them to practice social distancing and wear masks if they desire to do so. The inside Pumpkin Show exhibits will encourage masks for visitors who wish to look at the various exhibits.

This year’s Circleville Pumpkin Show will be the 114th event, known as “The Greatest Free Show On Earth.”

Teays Valley Boys Are MSL Golf Champs

Presented By Hometown- Motors, Inc.

Photo from Teays Valley Athletic Department

The Teays Valley Boys golf team followed suit of their female counterparts by also claiming the Mid State League Boys Golf Championship, Thursday.

Bloom Carroll was runner-up, Circleville was third.

(Jack Holcomb of Circleville)

Jack Holcomb of Circleville was Match Medalist and clinched the MSL Player of the Year honor.

Wheelersburg Claims SOC Golf Championship

Presented By Classic Brands

The Wheelersburg Pirates are Golf Champions of the Southern Ohio Conference.

The Pirates wrapped up the title Thursday with a team score of 347. Minford came in second at 373, followed by Waverly 393, Oak Hill 427, Northwest 441, Portsmouth West 490.

The SOC Player of the Year is Oak Hill’s Kameron Maple, who shot a 77. Other All SOC members include:
Owen Mault of Wheelersburg 80
Dillon Osborne of Minford 82
Issac Bockway of Wheelersburg 87
Chris Hamilton of Wheelersburg 88
Ben Nichols of Waverly at 89

Piketon Wins SVC Golf Match #6 To Set Up Season Finale Showdown

Presented By Atomic Speedway

The Piketon Redstreaks fired a 171 Thursday, beating Unioto by three strokes and setting up a season-ending showdown September 30th.

The final 18 holes of SVC Golf to be played on September 30th, will see Unioto with a one point lead on Piketon, with the 18 holes representing Match #7 and #8 at Circleville Country Club.

Team Scores: Piketon 171, Unioto 174, Zane Trace 187, Westfall 189, Adena 202, Paint Valley 204, Huntington 223 and Southeastern didn’t have enough golfers to field a team score.

Top 20 Individual Scorers:
1 Brayden Popp 39
2 Logan Cummins 40
3 Jace Tucker 41
4 Charlie Lewis 42
5 Henry Zitzelberger 42
6 Jon Grondolsky Jr 43
7 Christian Horn 43
8 Owen Armstrong 44
9 Aaron Evans 44
10 Braxton Platt 44
11 Gavin Howard 44
12 Gabe Dettwiller 45
13 Brenton Ewry 45
14 Jacob Hicks 46
15 Jasiah Story 47
16 Keegan Snyder 47
17 Bryson Dudgeon 47
18 Sydney Ater 47
19 Quade Kaltenbach 48
20 Dayland Thomas 48