Category Archives: State News

Ohio State Fair To Focus On Agricultural & Education Competitions

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

Today, the Ohio Expositions Commission announced that the 2021 Ohio State Fair will not be open to the public, and will instead focus on agricultural and educational competitions for exhibitors, their families, and guests.

When discussing plans for the 2021 Ohio State Fair, members of the Commission expressed concern for public health, as well as the financial impact of hosting a fair that would adhere to current safety protocols and the lasting impacts of the long-term viability of the Ohio State Fair.

“Although vaccination rates are improving significantly each day, Ohio continues to fight the battle against COVID-19. Where we are today in this battle makes it challenging to plan a large-scale entertainment event, not knowing where we will be, or what Ohio will look like, in late July,” explained General Manager Virgil Strickler. “In addition, the important safety protocols that have been put in place to protect Ohioans, like indoor seating capacities, may lead to attendance that is considerably lower than previous years. The financial ramifications of hosting a typical Ohio State Fair with the same overhead costs, but far less revenue, could be devastating to our organization. In a typical year, the Ohio State Fair’s budget is designed to break even, with a nominal profit, if any. Hosting a full fair this year would likely lead to significant financial loss.”

Many of the typical things associated with the Ohio State Fair – rides, concerts, entertainers, live music, food vendors, and shopping – are expected to return in 2022. The 2021 Ohio State Fair will be limited to exhibitors and family members for youth and senior livestock competitions, along with educational project judging for non-livestock competitions, such as 4-H.

“I wish we had a crystal ball, but we don’t,” Strickler continued. “As such, the safest decision is to greatly limit the traditional aspects of the Ohio State Fair, sticking to our roots in agriculture. While this is a difficult decision, we feel it is the best path to protect the long-term viability of the Ohio State Fair, as well as the safety of those involved by limiting the scope significantly.”

Detailed plans for the livestock and educational competitions are forthcoming. At this time, staff anticipates that the livestock shows will begin on July 19 and will conclude on August 8. The deadline for exhibitors to enter livestock competitions will be June 20, 2021. The 2022 Ohio State Fair is slated for July 27 – August 7.

Chillicothe COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Clinic Among 11 To Open Week Of March 29th

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

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted Thursday, March 25th provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

REGIONAL MASS VACCINATION SITES

Next week, Ohio will open 11 stationary mass vaccination sites and four mobile clinics that will travel throughout specific regions of the state. The stationary mass vaccination sites will be held at:

  • The Knights of Columbus, Lima, Ohio
  • The Lucas County Rec Center, Maumee, Ohio
  • Dayton-Montgomery County Convention Center, Dayton, Ohio
  • The Celeste Center, Columbus, Ohio
  • The Summit County Fairgrounds, Akron, Ohio
  • The site of the former Dillard’s at Southern Park Mall, Youngstown, Ohio
  • The Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • The Wilmington Airpark, Wilmington, Ohio
  • Adena Medical Education Center, Chillicothe, Ohio
  • Wayne Street Medical Campus, Marietta, Ohio
  • Colony Square Mall, Zanesville, Ohio

Additionally, an Ohio Northern University mobile clinic will start next week and travel between Wyandot, Marion, Union, Logan, Crawford and Hardin counties.

The Ohio University Mobile Clinic will travel between Lawrence, Meigs, Vinton, Washington, Morgan and Perry counties. 

(Southeast Ohio Mobile Clinic Schedule)

Additional details about the stationary and mobile clinics will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Appointments can be scheduled by visiting gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. or by calling 1-833-427-5634 (1-833-4-ASK-ODH). Appointments will be available for Ohioans ages 16 years and older. 

VACCINE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM

The Ohio Department of Aging has created the Vaccine Maintenance Program to ensure new residents and employees, and established residents and employees who previously decided not to receive a vaccine, can still choose to receive one. 

“We are eager to partner with facilities across the state to ensure our long-term care residents and their caregivers are protected from COVID-19,” said Governor DeWine.  

The list of facilities includes nursing homes and assisted living facilities who have not indicated their willingness to participate in the Vaccine Maintenance Program or how they would make vaccinations available to their residents and staff.  

BMV WEBSITE REDESIGN

Lt. Governor Husted and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) today announced the launch of a vastly improved, more user-friendly BMV website. The redesign allows Ohio customers to have a faster, easier and more streamlined experience when they are using this resource.  

“We’ve already heard from many Ohioans who have found the newly redesigned site to be cleaner, more efficient and much easier to use,” said Lt. Governor Husted, who also serves as Director of InnovateOhio. “The teams at InnovateOhio and the BMV built this site with the customer in mind so that when someone visits BMV.Ohio.Gov, they can quickly find what they’re looking for, get their question answered, and go on with their day.”

The newly redesigned website features a number of enhanced tools including a simplified authentication process for logging in, a dynamic search function to help customers explore by keyword, and a new “My BMV” profile allowing the user to see the status of their driver’s license, organ donation options, driving record, and more, all on one page as compared to the more than ten pages it was previously. Additionally, Ohioans will have an easier time utilizing the site on their mobile device.

TEAM OHIO RECOGNITION

Lt. Governor Husted also announced that this week, Government Technology Magazine named its annual Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers. This program annually recognizes the work of innovators around the country to improve state and local government through technology.  

Along with 21 individuals, the magazine recognized four teams. Among those teams was “Team Ohio,” including Lt. Governor Husted and Ervan Rodgers, the State Chief Information Officer and Assistant Director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services.

The magazine focused on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with Ohio’s ongoing focus on making use of technology assets to improve the well-being of Ohioans and their health, property, security, livelihood, and prosperity.

OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows declining rates of COVID-19 exposure and spread in ten counties. 

Dropping from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2: Brown, Columbiana, Coshocton, Fulton, Lawrence, and Logan. 

Dropping from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1: Holmes and Van Wert. 

JOB AND FAMILY SERVICES UPDATE

Governor DeWine today announced a new agreement between the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and Google to conduct data analytics on all outstanding claims. Google will review claims for markers and patterns of fraud. This will allow the department to prioritize and quickly process legitimate, outstanding claims. 

Additionally, Governor DeWine announced that David DeVillers, former United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, will join the Public-Private Partnership Team (P3) as the law enforcement subject matter expert.  He will serve as a liaison between the department and local, state and federal law enforcement. 

CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION

In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio’s central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov

More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Ohio Primary Election Voter Registration Deadline Approaches

Presented By Atomic Speedway

Ohioans needing to register to vote for the May 4th Primary, have a deadline fast approaching.

The deadline is April 5th for anyone that has never voted, had a name change or change of address.

If you are already registered to vote but have moved within Ohio and/or changed your name, you must update your voter registration by submitting a new voter registration form.

Ohio’s voter registration form also serves as a change of address and change of name form. It can be submitted through the mail or in person. For change of address purposes only, all Ohio voters also have the option of using the Secretary of State’s Online Change of Address System at www.VoteOhio.gov. Here, you can also check your voter registration and find other important voting information.

If your change of name and/or address form is completed properly, the board of elections will update your registration and send you a notice reflecting your new name and/or address. If your form is incomplete, the board will send you a notice of the information necessary to update your registration. If your valid change of name and/or address form is received or postmarked by the voter registration deadline, then you will be eligible to vote a regular (rather than a provisional) ballot at that election.

You may also update your registration during the 28 days immediately before, or on the day of, an election, but this may require you to vote a provisional ballot. For more information about provisional ballots, click here.

If you are already registered to vote but have changed your name after the voter registration deadline, you may appear at your polling location on Election Day, provide proof of legal name change, complete SOS-prescribed form 10-L and cast a regular ballot.

You must register or update your voter registration no later than 30 days prior to an election.

Upcoming voter registration deadlines:

  • April 5, 2021 for the May 4, 2021 Primary and Special Election
  • July 5, 2021 for the August 3, 2021 Special Election
  • October 4, 2021 for the November 2, 2021 General Election

If you register or update your information after the deadline, the change will apply for the next election.

For more information on voter registration, here is a link to the Ohio Secretary of State Question/Answer page. CLICK HERE:

Ohio Extending Income Tax Filing Deadline

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

(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.

ODOT Sending Funds To Help Transport People To COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(COLUMBUS )– As COVID-19 vaccination efforts ramp up across Ohio, the Ohio Department of Transportation is providing extra funding to help local transit agencies and health departments to ensure all eligible Ohioans can get to vaccination sites.


“We want to make sure all Ohioans who want the vaccine have equal ability to get the vaccine,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “Equity includes having access to transportation services.”

The Rides for Community Immunity program will provide $7 million distributed across all 88 counties to help get Ohio’s most vulnerable populations transportation to vaccine locations. For the 70 counties that have public transit programs, ODOT will be awarding the funds directly to public transit agencies. In the 18 counties that do not have transit service the funding will be given to the county health department and can used for purchased transportation services.

“Transportation should not be a hurdle to any eligible Ohioan who wants to be vaccinated. We’re doing everything we can to make sure that access is available to all Ohioans, not just those with a vehicle or that live near a vaccination site,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

All public transit recipients will work with their local county health department and local EMA to identify the best way to use these funds. Local officials could leverage existing investments, such as offering vouchers for transit passes, or use these funds in conjunction with other transportation resources to help cover any additional cost that may be associated with keeping our communities healthy.

“Governor DeWine’s decision to provide additional funding targeted to support transportation to vaccination sites will help public transit agencies address the challenges of identifying and reaching those communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” said Claudia Amrhein, General Manager/CEO of Portage Area RTA and President of the Ohio Public Transportation Association. “As public transit providers continue serving our communities through this pandemic, we are well positioned to coordinate with public health departments and county EMAs to facilitate access to vaccination sites.”

Funding will be distributed based on the most recent U.S. Census data and will not require any type of local match. Ohioans who have transportation needs are encouraged to reach out to either their local public transit agency or health department for details specific to their area.

Area communities included on the list to receive the transit funding are: Chillicothe, Circleville, Hillsboro, Washington CH, Piketon, Jackson County, Hocking County, Lancaster, Portsmouth and Vinton County.

Financial Literacy Grant Program Open For Applications

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

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — The Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Financial Institutions is now accepting applications for the Fiscal Year 2022 Financial Literacy Grant. 

This year, grants totaling $75,000 will be awarded to organizations dedicated to providing virtual programs that will equip children and young adults with the knowledge and skills needed to make responsible financial decisions.

 “Commerce is truly committed to supporting financial literacy for children and young adults in Ohio,” said Division of Financial Institutions Superintendent Kevin Allard. “Now more than ever, it is important we provide the knowledge needed to be financially successful, as well as prepare adolescents for the uncertainty of the future. We also recognize the need to present this education virtually and want to encourage this type of learning.” 

Using creative and innovative strategies, these programs will ensure students are engaged in the pursuit of becoming college and career ready – leading to productive and promising futures. 

The Financial Literacy Education Fund is financed through a quarterly transfer of five percent of all charges, penalties, and forfeitures levied by the Division of Financial Institutions’ Consumer Finance section. Grant awards are given annually at the discretion of the director of Commerce.

Grant applications for the next funding cycle are due by the close of business on April 30. Applications can be emailed to Webdfi-oca@com.ohio.gov.

Questions can be directed to Viktoria Jurkovic, Division of Financial Institutions Office of Consumer Affairs manager, at 614-507-1507 or Viktoria.Jurkovic@com.state.oh.us

The grant criteria, applications and instructions can be found here

State Of Ohio Promoting “Top Jobs List” To Get People Into The Workforce

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

Lt. Governor Jon Husted is using his position in the DeWine Administration to leverage more attention on job careers in Ohio that could help put more people back into the workforce.

The state is extending its focus to prioritize both the economy and the health and well-being of Ohioans through Ohio’s Top Jobs List. Ohio’s Top Jobs List includes both In-Demand Jobs and Critical Jobs.

According to the Top Jobs In Ohio website article, “Ohio’s Top Jobs List is a customizable, online tool to help guide Ohioans on career pathways that meet their individual needs and goals and allow them to take advantage of employment opportunities available in our state.”

The Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation in partnership with the InnovateOhio Platform’s Data Analytics team created a new, user-friendly dashboard that allows Ohioans to view and sort in-demand jobs by customizing to their region and/or industry.

These easy to use reports allow job seekers, educators, businesses, and community leaders to make more informed decisions to solidify their short-and long-term success.

Defining and Identifying Ohio’s in-demand jobs serves as a strong foundation for transforming Ohio’s workforce development system. By understanding Ohio businesses’ most urgent needs, we can address workforce gaps by:

  • Aligning Ohio’s education and training programs with the needs of business;
  • Guiding job seekers and students to careers that are likely to result in a job and provide a family sustaining wage; and
  • Creating industry-led collaboration with local and state workforce partners to identify the gaps in the system and work together to address any shortfalls.

In-demand jobs strengthen Ohio’s current and future strategic economic advantage and empower people with 21st century skills. These jobs have a sustainable wage and a promising future based on the projected number of openings and growth. The following criteria was used to define an “in-demand job” in Ohio:

  • 80% of state median wage, $14.10 per hour, or more;
  • Annual growth in the number of jobs higher than the statewide average of 36; or
  • Annual job openings greater than 584.

In addition to these state labor statistics and projections, electronic job posting trend data and business responses to Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs Survey are components in defining in-demand jobs.

Critical jobs ensure that our state’s workforce supports the health and well-being of Ohioans, their families, and our communities. Governor DeWine made developing the workforce in critical job areas, such as early childhood education, mental/behavioral health, and recovery, a priority because of their impact on the lives of Ohioans at every stage of life.

Critical Jobs are identified through the help of experts and stakeholders in eight career clusters aligning with the administration’s goals. The eight priority career clusters include:

  • Children and Community Health
  • Early Childhood Education
  • First Responders
  • Lead Abatement
  • Mental and Behavioral Health
  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Wellness Research and Technology

For more information from the State Of Ohio on the Top Jobs List, go to their website link provided below.

CLICK HERE:

Ohio To Lower Vaccine Recipient Age To 50+

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc

The age of those eligible Ohioans to receive a COVID-19 vaccination will be lowered to age 50+ starting Thursday, March 11th. That was the word that came from Governor Mike DeWine during a Monday press update, calling it “Phase 2B”.

A new “1D” vaccination classification will include people with Type-2 diabetes and those suffering with end-stage renal disease.

DeWine says one of the reasons for lowering the age just one week after it was lowered to 60+ was because the Ohio Department of Health was being told that many clinics were having left-over vaccines even with the recent age and physical condition addition.

The governor also announced that the Ohio Department of Health is scheduling vaccine appointments through their scheduling tool through the website www.gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov, which is scheduled to be active as of Monday, March 8th.

“We are requiring providers to either schedule vaccines using this system or another electronic scheduling system that interfaces with this portal. We believe this will streamline the scheduling process, reduce data lags, and provide real-time information on vaccination progress.”

DeWine added “We also will be using this central scheduling tool for appointments for the mass vaccination clinics we announced (last) Friday, where we are anticipating up to 6,000 vaccinations being given a day.”

March 9th marks the 1-year anniversary of Ohio’s first COVID-19 death. As a result, Governor Mike DeWine has ordered all Ohio flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of those who have lost their lives during the pandemic.

State House Rep. Brian Stewart Big Part Of Bill Attempting To Connect Broadband To Rural Ohio

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Former Pickaway County Commissioner Brian Stewart has jumped right into work as the new Ohio House 78th District Representative, co-sponsoring legislation known as House Bill 2 that includes helping tech companies development broadband service in Southeast Ohio.


The plan puts $210 million of state funds into the effort to get broadband into underserved areas. Stewart says this is for homes, not big companies.


Stewart says “Access to the internet has become the number one issue in southeastern Ohio and basically every underserved area in the state. We already had problems before COVID which has shined a big spotlight on all of these problems. We have gone to remote learning, but kids have to sit outside McDonald’s parking lot to do their homework. We have parents driving around late at night trying to upload school assignments and try to find a WiFi signal. And for those wanting to work from home, you can’t do that if you don’t have the internet.”

Stewart added that some of his constituents have told him they lost their jobs because they were unable to work from home.

Plans by Spectrum to install internet in some areas is separate from what House Bill 2 will do. 


Representative Stewart hopes the state senate will quickly pass the bill and claims Governor DeWine is ready to sign it. If approved, Stewart says funds could start being shipped to areas for internet infrastructure work to begin before the end of the year.

New State Mass Vaccination Clinics To Include Chillicothe

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced that 15 long-term mass vaccination clinics will open throughout Ohio to significantly expand regional access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The state-sponsored mass vaccination clinics will be located in Lima, Maumee, Dayton, Columbus, Akron, Youngstown, Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Marietta, Wilmington, and Zanesville. Four mobile mass vaccination clinics will also make rounds in the areas of northwestern and west-central Ohio (Ada), southeastern Ohio (Athens), north-central Ohio (Mansfield), and east-central Ohio (Steubenville). 

The state-sponsored, regional sites will be offered in addition to the eight-week mass vaccination clinic, which was announced earlier today, to open March 17 at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center.

“Mass vaccination clinics have always been part of our plan, but adequate supply is necessary for larger sites, so it was crucial that we first established local provider sites in all 88 counties to ensure that every citizen in every community has a provider nearby,” said Governor DeWine. “Now that we have more than 1,250 local vaccine providers and a significant increase in vaccine supply expected at the end of March, this is the right time to finalize and prepare to launch these large-scale regional clinics.”

The regional mass vaccination clinics, which will begin opening in the coming weeks as supply becomes available, will operate until they are no longer necessary.

The regional mass vaccination sites will be locally operated with support from the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Emergency Management Agency. Clinics will be equipped to administer between 300 and 3,000 vaccines a day depending on location, supply, and demand. Ohio’s established vaccine providers can also expect to see an increase in their vaccine allotment as supply increases, and vaccine doses may also be allotted to new providers.

A source with knowledge of the state mass clinic plan, says Adena Health System will be shipped approximately 4,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine each week, as they will serve as the site for the Chillicothe state mass vaccination site.

This will in no way alter the mass vaccination clinic already being conducted by the Ross County Health District at Ohio University-Chillicothe’s Shoemaker Center, which will continue receiving approximately 1,000 doses per week.

Any Ohioan who is eligible to receive the vaccine under the Ohio Department of Health’s vaccination plan may be vaccinated at any of Ohio’s mass vaccination clinics. Ohio will also work closely with the clinics to ensure equitable access for high-risk residents and medically underserved communities that could be disproportionately impacted by the virus.

Several appointment-scheduling options will be available, including the use of Ohio’s forthcoming central scheduling system for some sites. The sites are not yet taking reservations, but specific instructions on how to book an appointment will be announced later this month. Dates of operation and hours will vary, but sites will offer both weekday and weekend appointments.

Governor DeWine also announced today that 50,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine will be dedicated to two pop-up mass vaccination sites in Columbus and Cincinnati.  The pop-up clinics will open shortly after the March 17 start date of Cleveland’s mass vaccination site and will offer 12,500 first doses at each location. Those vaccinated during the Columbus and Cincinnati pop-up mass vaccination sites will be guaranteed a second dose. Exact site locations are pending.

The 50,000 vaccine doses for these pop-up mass vaccination clinics were initially required by the federal government to be set aside for use in Ohio’s more than 2,400 long-term care facilities as part of the federal long-term care program. Ohio was one of the first states to begin drawing from the unused long-term care vaccine supply to provide vaccines for the general population. Ohio has already administered nearly 160,000 reallocated doses from the program to the public.

A complete list of the selected regional mass vaccination clinic sites and associated local partners can be found at governor.ohio.gov.