Category Archives: Travel

Autumn Colors are About to Pop!

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The fall colors have been popping out across Ohio and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the peak time for the picturesque views is here!

Learn more about how to enjoy the colors across the Buckeye State HERE.

CLICK HERE to see the Litter Media Fall Colors Photo Album from 2019

A look over western Pike County just north of Morgantown, Ohio, October 16, 2020. Photo by Dan Ramey/Litter Media

The Connector is Complete and Open for Business

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The Ohio Department of Transportation recently held a virtual ribbon cutting for the Ohio 207 Connector between US 23 and Ohio 159.

On the video below, representatives and business leaders talk about what the connector means to the economic future for the region and the safety for travelers on Ohio 159 through the area’s first two roundabouts.

Ross County’s Roundabouts Are Progressing

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Last May, Litter Media reported there are nearly 200 roundabouts in the Ohio.

Travelers of Ohio 159 north of Chillicothe have maneuvered through the construction of two of the newest, the connection of the 159/207 and about a quarter mile north at 150 and 180 at Kinnikinnick. Work should be completed by the end of September/early October 2020.

Studies show roundabouts achieve a 44% reduction in all crashes and a 72-87% reduction in fatal injury crashes when converting a two way stop intersection into a roundabout. READ MORE FROM ODOT

Circleville installed a roundabout near the east entrance of high school campus in 2014. Jackson has a roundabout at McCarty Lane and Acy Avenue just west of US 35 and another near Ohio University’s Convocation Center in Athens.

From the Litter Media Cameras: The Roundabouts at the Ohio 207 Connector with Ohio 159 and at the Ohio 159-180 intersection are taking shape. READ MORE HERE: https://bit.ly/3guID6C

Posted by Litter Media on Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Litter Media’s report with ODOT’s Matt McGuire in May 2020.

No Fans For The Memorial; Tournament Makes Announcement Monday

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The Memorial will be played, without spectators. Tournament officials made the announcement Monday morning.

READ THE ANNOUNCEMENT

In the release, “We applaud the leadership, diligence and partnership it took from Jack Nicklaus, Dan Sullivan, the entire Memorial Tournament staff and State, County and City leadership to build a solid plan that would allow for limited fan attendance at next week’s event,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “But given the broader challenges communities are facing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we need to stay focused on the No. 1 priority for our Return to Golf — the health and safety of all involved.  While this was a difficult decision, it was one made collectively, and we are appreciative of the process undertaken to this point that will allow us to welcome on-site fans when the time is right.  In the meantime, we have no doubt that the Memorial Tournament will once again be an incredible championship and deliver the best competitive environment for our players and utmost entertainment to our fans around the world.”

In mid-June, Governor Mike DeWine approved a plan for the tournament to allow 20% capacity for spectators to attend The Memorial being played July 14-19, 2020.

Kings Island Opens Thursday; Debuts New Orion Coaster

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Kings Island is set to thrill visitors following a long wait due to restrictions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The park will open its season Thursday July 2nd.

The newest attraction is Orion, noted as one of seven giga coasters in the world. Thrill seekers experience eight hills on just over a mile-long track at speeds of 91 miles per hour. Oh, did we mention the 300-foot drop from the first hill? READ MORE ABOUT ORION

According to the Kings Island official blog, the park neat Mason, Ohio will limit capacity to only season pass holders for the first visits to the park July 2 through July 11. All other visitors will be permitted July 12. Reservations are only available through the park’s online portal, either via the park website or its mobile app.

Face coverings will be required for all guests and associates as well as answering a health assessment questionnaire and temperature check before entering the park.

Scioto Society’s “Bundle of Twigs” Campaign Continues

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In April, The Scioto Society, producer of Tecumseh!, announced due to the coronavirus pandemic, the cancelling the 2020 production of the popular outdoor drama as well as the spring production of “The Sound of Music”. READ MORE HERE

June 10th, President/CEO Brandon Smith told viewers on the production’s Facebook Page the plan for raising funds to keep the local non-profit operating through a campaign called “Bundle of Twigs”. Using the premise of the Shawnee Chief’s analogy of “a single twig is easily broken, but a bundle of twigs is strong.” Hence the name of the fundraising campaign.

The Bundle of Twigs Campaign is a way for the community served by the outdoor drama and its many other productions, can help keep the story of Tecumseh alive. Smith says The Scioto Society has teamed with the Chillicothe-Ross Community Foundation with the hope of raising $100,000 by Christmas of 2020. Because The Scioto Society is a 501c3 organization, donations are tax deductible.

In the interview below, Smith visited with Litter Media while breaking the news of the cancellation of what would have been Tecumseh’s 48th season.

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Ross County Fair Stands Firm, A Junior Fair Only This August

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Ross County Fair Board President Bryan Bethel listens to a motion during open discussion at Tuesday’s meeting.

Despite recently relaxed restrictions on county fairs by the State of Ohio, the Ross County Fair will remain a livestock Junior Fair. 

Two weeks ago, the Ross County Fair Board voted to host only a Junior Fair in August. No rides, no grandstand entertainment, etc. That same night, it was determined to give Junior Fair representatives and barn superintendents time to devise a proposal describing to what extent that Fair would be.

Tuesday night, after hearing public commentary for more than an hour, the result remains the same. No Senior Fair.

Nearly 80 people attended the special meeting in the multipurpose building,  half the capacity permitted by the Ross County Health District. 4-H club advisors and other interested parties cited recent success with exhibits at the Pickaway County Agriculture and Events Center in a plea for giving a full Ross County Fair another consideration. 

Fair Board President, Bryan Bethel, while not discouraging to those speaking at the meeting, made it clear the planning is difficult. Bethel invited Pickaway County Fair Board President Von Cremeans to attend and speak at the meeting.

Cremeans told the audience after the State released guidelines for county fairs in late May, his group planned a Junior Fair with a second option should the pandemic showed signs of improvement. When Governor DeWine’s office relaxed restrictions June 9th, they voted to move forward with a full fair.

“Specific things have been addressed” said Cremeans. “If your grandstand holds 6,000, you can only have 2,500.

Cremeans added the Pickaway group will have volunteer civic groups that will help enforce social distancing and other guidelines mandated by the State. “We had a hog show and we had people from all over the state. The only people we had problems with were locals, but we had a meeting with them and after some grumbling they complied.” Cremeans noted the PAEC property is much smaller than the Ross County Fairgrounds by more than 150 acres and 1,300 camp sites which needed to be taken into consideration.

A motion by member Shaun Boggs to revisit the Ross County Fair Board’s previous decision to measure interest in holding a modified Senior Fair which would allow for camping, vendors having the midway and all following the new state guidelines. The motion failed.

4-H Extension Educator Katie Feldhues presented the Board with the requested proposal for hosting a Junior Fair. The presentation came with a caveat thanks to additional changes to the State guidelines released just hours before the meeting. 

In May, the State limited the length of time livestock could be kept at the fair. With such a change, Gary Prater motioned the proposal be modified to permit a Junior Fair Livestock show with camping for livestock exhibitors and essential personnel designated by the Junior Fair Board. The motion passed, which now means the proposal will be modified including when the livestock shows will take place.

That information will be released by the Junior Fair Board over the next few days.

Another change by the state will permit harness racing with spectators. Ross County will only race on Sunday during the Fair.

Masked Ross County Fair Board members Brad Cosenza and Peggy Gray listen during discussion over the Junior Fair proposal.
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Who Was Neil Johnston? Here’s More on the 1950s NBA Star & CHS Alumnus

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More than 70 years after high school, Neil Johnston is back home in Chillicothe. 

Monday evening, the statue memorializing NBA champion and Hall of Fame Inductee Neil Johnston was placed at the north side of the main entrance to Chillicothe High School’s Ellis B. Hatton Memorial Gymnasium.

The wrapped statue of Neil Johnston is hoisted in place on the north side of the main entrance to Chillicothe High School’s Hatton Gym.

Four years ago when approached by local sports memorabilia collector Bruce Caplinger, noted sculptor Brian Hanlon jumped at the chance to create the lasting image of Johnston.

Caplinger remembers the conversation well. 

“He said, Bruce, we’re gonna make this happen… it’s not a matter of is it gonna happen, but when.”

Caplinger began his campaign by presenting the idea of a statue to honor Johnston, a charter member of the CHS Athletic Hall of Fame, to the Board of Education in 2016. The project was expected to cost $50,000, which would be raised by private donations. To assist in lowering the costs, Vince Beverly Concrete donated the foundation on which the sculpture sits. Beverly was a Cavalier Basketball teammate of Caplinger’s. Many others made material and service donations as well.

Bob Sigler and his wife Kathryn watch as the statue of his childhood friend is unwrapped from its crate.

The 11-foot-4-inch tall statue portrays Johnston’s patented hook shot while his crew cut, lanky 6-foot-8-inch frame bursts upward through boards of hardwood from the court.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a planned dedication ceremony was postponed in April. “We’ve had this statue since November of 20th of last year” said Caplinger, who headed up a twenty three member volunteer committee. “We’ve all agreed, let’s set it up, enjoy it and we’ll have a nice celebration later on when we can.”

SEE THE JOHNSTON STATUE PHOTO ALBUM ON FACEBOOK

After graduation from Chillicothe High School in 1946, Johnston played baseball and basketball at the Ohio State University for two seasons. He left college to pursue a pro baseball career. 

Baseball didn’t pan out in the minor leagues with Philadelphia Phillies organization, Johnston was given a tryout with the NBA’s Philadelphia Warriors. It’s where he would make his mark.

After signing with the team, Johnston played 8 NBA seasons (1951-59) and won the 1955-56 NBA championship. He led the NBA in scoring three consecutive seasons (averaging 23.1 ppg), led the Warriors in rebounding five straight seasons and was a six-time NBA All-Star. 

In a preview of the 1958 NBA All-Star Game, Sport Illustrated described Johnston’s famous hook shot. “He starts with his back to the basket, goes through a rhythmic series of feints to confound his guard and, just as the hoop comes in view in a corner of one eye, he releases the ball. Rhythm, instinct and flash perception make it a deadly shot for Johnston.” (Photos by Hy Peskin, January 20, 1958 edition of SI)

Johnston battles for a rebound with New York’s Carl Braun. SI photo by Hy Peskin
Johnston’s hook shot in Philadelphia-New York game in 1958. SI photo by Hy Peskin

Just a handful of players have led the NBA in scoring at least three season consecutively: George Mikan, Johnston, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob McAdoo, George Gervin, Michael Jordan (twice) and Kevin Durant… pretty good company for a lanky kid from Ohio’s First Capital.

A knee injury ended his playing career and he was later hired to coach the Warriors, which included the first two seasons of NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain’s career. As head coach, Johnston led Philadelphia to a 95-59 record.

Johnston died of a heart attack in 1978 while playing basketball in Irving, Texas where he was an athletic director of North Lake College.

Johnston was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in May of 1990 and the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, the same season his alma mater, Chillicothe won its only Boys Basketball state championship.

JOHNSTON IN THE PHILADELPHIA HOF 

JOHNSTON IN THE NAISMITH HOF 

JOHNSTON IN THE OHIO BASKETBALL HOF 

ABOUT SCULPTOR BRIAN HANLON

Sports Illustrated from January 1958 with a preview of the NBA All-Star Game. SI photo by Hy Peskin

Visit The Old West, In Southern Ohio

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CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS INSIDE DOGWOOD PASS

You can travel back to the 1870s in the mining settlement of Dogwood Pass, without leaving the Buckeye State.

About seven miles east of Piketon, Mike and Sharlene Montgomery have been entertaining families for nearly a decade.

The attraction started as an Old West Saloon as a “man cave” in 2010. Now, there are 40 buildings on the site… which happens to be the Montgomery’s back yard in Pike County. After putting together a “one-time” show for a fundraiser, it became an every weekend Old West reenactment every weekend in the summer.

They’re open for tours Thursdays and Fridays with performances on Saturdays and Sundays through September. October presents Horror at Dogwood Pass and Christmas at Dogwood Pass begins November 27-December 27 each Wednesday through Sunday. See their complete schedule below.

Dogwood Pass is easy to find, too. From US 23 just south of Piketon, take Ohio 124/32 east, then south on Red Hollow Road to Adams Road. Head west 1 mile.

Attached below is schedule for the 2020 shows.• Day time scheduled events hours : 11am – 4pm • Night time scheduled…

Posted by Dogwood Pass on Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Cedar Point’s Hotels Welcoming Guests To Lake Erie

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Photo courtesy Cedar Point

Cedar Point released information regarding their beach along the Lake Erie coast. While visitors can’t enjoy the theme parks, they’re inviting guests to their Beach and Resort.

“The safety of all guests and associates our number one priority. We are committed to providing families with a safe environment, implementing new health, safety and hygiene protocols that have been informed by company and industry health experts and align with CDC guidelines.” 

With the Sun & Fun Package, guests will enjoy a getaway and exclusive access to the Cedar Point Beach and Resort pools. “Hotel restaurants and themed dinner experiences will be available. Watersports and kayak rentals, pedicab cruises plus games and activities will be offered throughout the day.” 

The package is available from June 12th through June 28th. 

Access to the Cedar Point Beach, Hotel Breakers, Lighthouse Point and all activities is limited to guests who have purchased the Sun & Fun package. Cedar Point and Cedar Point Shores Waterpark may not be open, as opening dates have not been determined.