Category Archives: Government

Chillicothe Planning Commission To Conduct In-Person/Outdoor Meeting

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The Planning Commission of the City of Chillicothe will hold a regularly scheduled meeting in April that will be in-person and outdoors.

The Wednesday, April 14th session will be at 3:30pm at the Lion’s Shelter in Yoctangee Park. This meeting is open to the public and you may attend and be heard if you are interested and so desire either in person, or by agent and/or attorney.

Most all of the City of Chillicothe’s various governmental meetings have been done virtually since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With improving weather conditions and dropping COVID-19 numbers in Ohio, the Planning Commission has decided to conduct this outdoors in-person public meeting. While the notice of the meeting did not state it, it is assumed that current Ohio public social distancing guidelines will be in place for those attending the April 14th meeting.

Here is the agenda for the meeting:

·    Approval of November 2020 meeting minutes; and

·    Application submitted by Goodwill, 2.65 acre plot (south side of the 300 block of East 5th Bridge Street, Rezoning from R3 to GI  

·    Application submitted by AT&T, 1115 East Main Street, Conditional Use; and

·    Application submitted by Doersam Real Estate Company, 199 West Main Street, Conditional Use; and

·    Application submitted by Ernest and Sharon Bramell (Hardman Surveying), 146 East 7th Street, Lot Splits 

Ohio Extending Income Tax Filing Deadline

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(COLUMBUS) – The State of Ohio has extended their income tax deadline filings to May 17, 2021- following the federal government’s lead. 

The announcement came Wednesday morning from Ohio Tax Commissioner Jeff McClain, stating Ohio will extend the tax deadline from April 15th to May 17th, to match what the IRS had already announced for federal returns. The state will waive penalties on late payments during the extension.

Ohio is expected to make other changes to fall in line with federal reforms, like waiving taxes on unemployment payments up to $10,200, but that will require approval from the legislature. 

However, first-quarter estimated income tax payments for the tax year 2021 must still be completed by April 15th.

The City of Chillicothe has already extended the deadline for filing city income tax forms to May 17th.

New Fayette County Jail Construction Nears Completion

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Fayette County is on the verge of opening a new jail and sheriff administrative offices as the finishing touches are being put on a new $24 million construction project on Robinson Road on the outskirts of Washington Court House. 


Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth said; “I always contend we have had a secure building, but there are issues we cannot address in an 1884 building.” Over the years, the current jail had failed dozens of state standards and was in danger of being shut down by the state. That is among the reasons Sheriff Stanforth is happy to see the new building almost ready to open for inmates.


“By the square footage that’s dictated by the State of Ohio, we can only have 24 in the (current) jail. Our population is typically 50. We’ve had as many as 93 in that facility and we’re talking about packed. They (inmates) take turns sleeping, (but) we’ve tried to stay away from that.”

“In the new facility, we are going to have 120 beds. We are hoping with the help of the courts, that will not be maxed out.”


Sheriff Stanforth was scheduled to lead a tour of the new facility for the judges of Fayette County Wednesday, immediately after Litter Media’s cameras were allowed into the new site for a tour led by Sheriff Stanforth.


The voters of Fayette County got the ball rolling on the project when they approved one of the first dual ballot issues for a new law complex. Stanforth says voters approved jail construction and its operation- all with one levy. 


The county was also able to get a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan for $20 million, with Fayette County putting in another $2 million to $3 million from their general fund for a project that will max-out at approximately $24 million. 

Stanforth says the levy was designed to pay back the loan over 40 years. But, the Fayette County Commissioners recently renegotiated the federal loan, which will save on the interest percentage of the loan and shave off approximately 10 years on the payback of that loan. 


The sheriff says he’s hopeful the commissioners will be able to negotiate further with the USDA, which could lead to even more savings for Fayette County in the payback of the loan. 

On the lifespan of the new corrections center, Stanforth says there is really no way to be able to gauge that. “No one will ever guarantee the life of a building over 25 to 30 years- that’s industry standard for any building. The current building (jail) has outlived its life-cycle by about 100 years. This building, we hope, will last longer than 30 years.” 


Changes in philosophical methods for corrections could also have a bearing on the future lifespan of the new jail, according to Sheriff Stanforth. 

“It doesn’t take too much imagination to look at the technology in the last 20, even 10 years and the same thing will happen to this facility. Technology will move on, our corrections standards based on community standards will migrate and change as well over the next 20 years so they may have less people incarcerated.” 


Stanforth continued; “The mood may change and we may want more people incarcerated. And this design is fixed so that another generation could come in and build a replicate building right beside it, using the same blueprints that could house over 200 inmates. And still use the same common utility hallway we showed you earlier that would have the same laundry, kitchen and loading area that would be used for both facilities- if that would ever come about it”.


Inmates could be moved to the new Fayette County Jail within the next month, once all security checks have been completed.

The view of the cell blocks from the Central Command Center of the new Fayette County Jail. Dan Ramey/Litter Media
The current Fayette County Jail on West Market Street in Washington CH was built in 1884. Dan Ramey/Litter Media

City Of Chillicothe To Hold Annual Water Rate Review Committee Meeting

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The Annual Water Rate Review Committee will meet on Wednesday, March 17th.

The session will be held at 1pm in the Water Treatment Plant Meeting Room located at 501 Back Road in Chillicothe.

Anyone with questions about the meeting should call the mayor’s office at (740) 774-1185 or emailing kathy.flechtner@chillicotheoh.gov

Don’t Forget To Set Clocks Forward This Weekend

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Before heading to bed Saturday night (March 13th), don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour, as Daylight Savings Time goes into effect at 2am Sunday, March 14th.


This will remain in effect until November 7th of 2021, when clocks will need to “fall back” by one hour in a return to Daylight Standard Time.


The Uniform Time Act of 1966 standardized time zones and daylight savings practices around the nation, but allowed states to pass laws that would exempt them from the time changes. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation sites “energy savings and reduced traffic crashes with the additional hour of evening sunlight”, claiming it “allows more individuals time to commute from school or work, complete errands, before sunset.” 


Arizona and Hawaii are currently the only two states that do not observe Daylight Savings Time, and there has been some talk in Congress to change federal law to keep the time standard on Daylight Savings Time- as the new Standard Time.

34 states have expressed interest in this change, but they need the approval of Congress before this would be allowed, although they do have permission not to participate in the Daylight Savings Time. The states are permitted to remain on Standard Time year around, if their state legislatures approve that.

ODOT Seeks Public Input On State Bike & Pedestrian Draft Plan

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ODOT is presenting Walk.Bike.Ohio, Ohio’s first statewide plan for active modes of transportation. The themes, strategies and action steps contained in Walk.Bike.Ohio will address the plan’s goals of safety, equity, network connectivity, network utilization, preservation and quality of life.

Many of Ohio’s residents depend on walking or bicycling to remain mobile and connected; and so many also are choosing and prioritizing healthy, sustainable lifestyles.

ODOT is inviting your feedback on this draft plan. Feedback and comments are essential to ensure Walk.Bike.Ohio outlines the key steps ODOT and its partners should take to improve the safety and comfort of pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the state.

The City of Chillicothe and other Ohio communities are expressing an interest in getting more walking and biking paths available for use for students and staff to walk or ride to school as well as others riding to their work places.

After reviewing the draft, ODOT asks that you share your feedback by taking a brief survey at: PublicInput.com/Walk.Bike.Ohio by Friday, February 26.

Former Fairfield County Child Protection Official Appointed To State Post

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(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced key staff changes within his administration.

Governor DeWine named LeeAnne Cornyn his Director of Cabinet Affairs. Kristi Burre will serve in Cornyn’s previous capacity as the Director of the Governor’s Children’s Initiative.

“Moments after being sworn in as governor, I signed an executive order to prioritize success and opportunities for all of Ohio’s children,” said Governor DeWine. “I know Director Burre will continue a strong and unparalleled advocacy for addressing problems that affect children the most, including economic disadvantage, the educational gap, foster care, and physical and mental health. I’m grateful for the dedicated leadership of Director Cornyn leadership over the past two years. As the Director of Cabinet Affairs, she will take on an even greater role in my administration, as a liaison between myself and my executive cabinet.”

Ryan Burgess, Governor DeWine’s previous Director of Cabinet Affairs, has begun a new position as the CEO of Goodwill Columbus.

Kristi Burre, Director of the Governor’s Children’s Initiative

Having worked as a caseworker, supervisor, administrator, trainer and director, Burre has over 20 years of experience in the child protection field at the county and state level. For the last two years, Burre headed the Office of Children Services Transformation, a foster care reform initiative launched by Governor DeWine through another executive order he signed after being sworn in. Before that, she served as the Deputy Director of Protective Services at Fairfield County Job & Family Services.

Additionally, Burre has been a trainer for the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program and the Safe & Together Institute. She has held leadership positions for many state and local organizations committed to better protecting children, including the Fairfield County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board, the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund and the Ohio START Leadership Committee. Burre holds a Bachelor of Arts from Capital University and Master of Arts from Ohio University.

LeeAnne Cornyn, Director of Cabinet Affairs

Cornyn has spent nearly seven years serving Governor Mike DeWine, including in his role as Ohio’s Attorney General. She began her state service as an Assistant Attorney General in 2014, and in 2015, she was named Director of Children’s Initiatives in the Attorney General’s office. Cornyn was among Governor-elect Mike DeWine’s first cabinet appointments, being named as the Director of the Governor’s Children’s Initiative in 2018. In this role, Cornyn focused on coordinating efforts between agencies to improve outcomes in maternal and child health, early childhood education, and foster care.

Cornyn holds a Bachelor of Arts from Miami University and a Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She is a former Teach for America corps member, having taught 8th grade science in Los Angeles.

More information on the Governor’s Children’s Initiative is available at www.childrensinitiatives.ohio.gov.

Columbus Innovation District Aims To Create 20,000 Central Ohio Jobs

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(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted were joined by JobsOhio, The Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Franklin County, the City of Columbus, and state legislators to unveil the Columbus Innovation District. The Columbus Innovation District will bring together globally recognized education and healthcare research institutions to bolster the creation of in-demand jobs and fuel $3 billion in economic impact for Columbus and Ohio over the next 10 years.

The Columbus Innovation District will be a hub for innovation and growth in Ohio, expanding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational opportunities, positioning Ohio to compete nationally for growing tech and healthcare employers.

“The Columbus Innovation District will be the third anchor in our strategy to build on Ohio’s growing dominance as a world leader in medical research and healthcare talent,” said Governor DeWine. “These districts will attract researchers, who can create, develop, and share their ideas with the world from Ohio.”  

The Columbus Innovation District aims to generate 20,000 new jobs in central Ohio over the next 10 years, involving an estimated 10,000 direct STEM jobs in the technology and healthcare industries, as well as 10,000 indirect jobs in the community at large.

“With this announcement, Columbus becomes the third regional innovation district we’ve launched in Ohio in the last year, advancing world-class research, supporting intellectual property commercialization and new business startups while developing the STEM and computer science talent needed for healthcare and businesses to thrive,” Lt. Governor Husted said. “The people of Ohio will ultimately benefit from the fact that OSU and Nationwide Children’s, in collaboration with JobsOhio, share the common mission of advancing innovation, investment and economic prosperity in Ohio – now and for the future.”

JobsOhio, Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s will invest $1.1 billion in the Columbus Innovation District, including the development of an Interdisciplinary Research Facility, an Energy Advancement and Innovative Center, an Outpatient Cancer Facility, and the region’s first proton therapy facility to treat cancer patients already underway at Ohio State’s West Campus. 

“The Columbus Innovation District brings together leading area institutions that will have worldwide impact on the future growth and advancements in healthcare and education,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “JobsOhio and our partners see incredible opportunity for the Columbus district, together with the others across Ohio, to advance innovation, ultimately creating a global hub for fresh, creative and transformative ideas.”

JobsOhio, the state’s private nonprofit economic development corporation, is committing up to $100 million for the Columbus Innovation District, with Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s Hospital serving as the anchors to drive STEM talent production, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and life science research, as well as business development in job creation largely focused on technology and life sciences in the healthcare industry.

“This strategic partnership with JobsOhio will create new opportunities for our faculty, staff and student researchers and entrepreneurs, further positioning central Ohio as a leader to develop the exciting potential at the interfaces of biomedical and computer science and engineering research, ” said The Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson. “In addition, we will work with JobsOhio to grow the STEM talent pool, and educate a new generation of students who will continue to thrive in our growing economy.”

This commitment is expected to generate another $2 billion in private development necessary to build real estate and create a vibrant, amenity-rich community to house the expected 10,000 direct jobs spurred by the initiative.

“Nationwide Children’s Hospital has been proud to count The Ohio State University, Gov. DeWine, and Lt. Governor Husted among our strongest partners as we have increasingly become a center of discovery and translation of new therapies for children around the world,” said Tim Robinson, CEO of Nationwide Children’s. “The Columbus Innovation District, made possible by JobsOhio, allows us all to deepen our partnership, create more opportunities for the people of central Ohio, and have an even greater impact on children’s health.”   

Today’s announcement included local support, as well as from city and county officials. 

“This Columbus Innovation District represents an investment in our region, our residents, and their future,” said Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce.  “The impact locally in the form of jobs and investment will be great, but this is also a partnership that has the potential to make a difference around the globe.  The impact from a project like this will be greater than the sum of its parts, and I’m really excited to see it going forward here in Franklin County.”

“The Columbus Innovation District will help attract the best and brightest minds to central Ohio, and allow Columbus to retain the talent that will follow this historic public-private investment in STEM,” said City of Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther.  “The District will create the environment for collaboration and the discovery and application of new technologies to solve some of our greatest challenges. This is a once in a generation opportunity that will produce thousands of new graduates, thousands more jobs and spur billions in private investment. It is an integral part of the Columbus growth strategy, and will help the city to align jobs, housing and infrastructure along the northwest corridor, propelling our city into the future.” 

This announcement follows the kickoff of both the Cleveland Innovation District, which launched in January with the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, MetroHealth Medical Center, and University Hospital as partners, and the Cincinnati Innovation District™ unveiled in March 2020, with the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as anchors.

Small Business Relief Grant Could Help Low Income Ohioans

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Ohioans can receive assistance with rent, mortgage, or utilities from the state of Ohio, through their local Community Action Agency (CAA). Check if you are eligible and apply at your local CAA.

When applying for assistance, you should be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Names of all household members
  • Date(s) of birth
  • Social Security Number(s), if applicable
  • Current or previous address
  • Copies of Social Security cards, or verification for each household member, if applicable
  • Proof of income for all household members 18 years or older
  • Any supporting documentation to demonstrate need
  • Proof of hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Any federal unemployment stipend is excluded from determining a household’s benefit.

To receive Rental Assistance, you will also need to provide:

  • Total amount due, including fees
  • If moving to a new location, justification for the move (i.e. currently homeless, living with another family and not sufficient space etc.)
  • Landlord contact information and lease/rental agreement

To receive Mortgage Assistance, you will also need to provide:

  • Notice of late mortgage payment (including taxes and insurance)

To receive Utility Assistance, you will also need to provide:

  • Copy of utility bill

Ohio’s Community Action Agencies work with the Ohio Development Services Agency to provide assistance to Ohioans in need. To apply for mortgage, rent, and/or utility bill assistance including gas, electric, bulk fuel, water/sewer and trash, contact the Community Action Agency that serves your county.

To find your local Community Action Agency, click here 

If you have additional questions, send a message at EnergyHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov or call 800-282-0880.

Former Ohio Treasurer Seeks U.S. Ohio Senate Seat

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Former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel says he will run for U.S. Senator from Ohio, seeking to fill a vacancy being left by incumbent Rob Portman’s decision not to seek re-election in 2022.

Mandel is joining a field of candidates that is growing almost weekly.

The 43-year-old Marine Corp veteran is likely to see competition in the Republican Primary, as Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken recently resigned her post to reportedly explore a possible run for the nomination.

Thus far on the other side of the isle, Democrat U.S. House Representative Tim Ryan is reportedly interested in seeking his party nomination, with some talk of former Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton also considering a run. Other Ohio Democrats are considering a possible run as well, although no specific names have surfaced.

Mandel served as Ohio Treasurer between 2011-19. Prior to that, he was a former city councilman and a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. Mandel lost a U.S. Senate bid to Democrat Sherrod Brown in 2012, then dropped out of the 2018 U.S. Senate race against Brown citing family health reasons.