United Way Of Ross County Set To Conclude Annual Campaign

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Ross County, Ohio— On Monday, April 12, from 6 pm – 9 pm, the United Way of Ross County will host a Facebook Live Event to wind down its annual giving campaign.  This year’s campaign, United We All Win, launched in September 2020, with a Telethon, and Silent Auction, hosted at Chillicothe’s historic Majestic Theatre.  The goal of the campaign is to raise $625,000 to support Ross County nonprofits and individuals in our community most in need. 

On April 12, join our President and CEO, Rick Smith, and Campaign Chair, Lori Graves, as they revisit some of the campaign’s highlights, discuss the United Way’s work, and tell you about several fantastic vacation packages and auction items that you can win, just in time for summer vacation!  The items can be viewed starting this weekend on our website WWW.unitedwayross.org.  Vacation packages available for bidding include trips to Cabo San Lucus, Tuscany Villa, Caribbean, Kentucky Bourbon Experience, Napa Valley, Las Vegas, Colorado, Paris, Maui, and More!  While you can view the packages and items now, the auction does not open until April 12.  It will remain open for bidding until midnight, April 22.

If that were not enough, also starting on April 12, you can purchase a Golden Ticket for 20 dollars!  Only 500 tickets will be sold, so your chances to win are great! The winner will have a choice of 4 great all-inclusive trips:  Costa Rica, Gaylord Golf Package, Kentucky Bourbon Excursion, or Tuscany Wine Tour, or you can opt to travel anywhere in the United States!

Tickets can be purchased at the United Way of Ross County, 69 East Water Street, Chillicothe, Ohio, or a United Way Staff Member or a United Way of Ross County Board Member.  The Winner of the Golden Ticket and the Silent Auction will be announced on April 24, during our Pancake Breakfast.   You do not have to be present to win.  The Pancake Breakfast will be held in the parking lot of the United Way of Ross County from 9 am – Noon.   Coordinated by EPIC, Chillicothe’s Young Professional Group, everyone is invited.  Pancake costs $5 per plate or $7 for all you can eat. 

12th Annual Grrreat Yard Sale

Presented By Atomic Speedway

Photo Courtesy of Pike Pet Pals

Pike County’s Dog Pound will be the beneficiary of the 12th Annual Grrrreat Yard Sale planned for Saturday, April 10th.

The yard sale runs from 8am-noon at the Pike County Fairgrounds and is sponsored by Pike Pet Pals, Inc.

There will be a giant yard sale, bake sale, Pike County Dog Tag Sale, Chinese Auction and 50/50 Raffle.

Pickaway County Health Department Seeks Accreditation

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The Pickaway County Public Health Department is currently in the process of becoming an accredited health department.

The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the continuous quality improvement of Tribal, state, local, and territorial public health departments.

PHAB is working to promote and protect the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of all public health departments in the United States through national public health department accreditation. PHAB’s vision is a high-performing governmental public health system that will make the United States a healthier nation.

What does the accreditation process look like?

The accreditation process is a very thorough review of a health department’s processes and documentation. It includes 7 major steps. For information on these steps, CLICK HERE:

Please click here to view the Pickaway County Community Health Assessment

PCPH is seeking community feedback on the Health Assessment in the document above. If you are interested in providing feedback, please take this survey, CLICK HERE:

For more information, contact Maurisa DeLuca at (740) 477-9667

Zane Trace FFA Awarded Among State Top 10

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

The Zane Trace FFA Chapter was recently given a Gold Rating and named one of the top 10 chapters in the state of Ohio through the National Chapter Award Program. The National Chapter Award program recognizes FFA members and their chapters for the activities they plan. and conduct throughout the year.

Chapters submit an application outlining fifteen different activities they conduct that emphasize the areas of growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture.

The senior members of the chapter worked throughout the months of February and March to complete the application, which included detailed descriptions of activities such as the elementary Maple syrup lessons, the Sausage Breakfast, ZT courtyard construction, canning for a cause project, RCHS dog adoption day, Pioneer Pantry and more.

The honor of receiving a Gold Rating is reserved for the top 10% of all chapters in Ohio.

Zane Trace has earned a Gold Rating every year since 2015. In addition to this recognition the chapter was selected to compete for the top chapter in the state in the area of Strengthening Agriculture thanks to the Sausage Breakfast and Maple syrup production programs offered to members.

Seniors Briana Fetters and Taylor Brown presented the chapter’s plan, implementation and impact for these activities to a panel of judges via zoom meeting on Thursday, April 1st . The chapter will learn the results of the selection committee during the Ohio FFA Convention on Friday, April 30th .

The Zane Trace FFA would like to thank the entire Zane Trace community for their support of. the program throughout the years. Receiving a Gold Rating would not be possible without strong backing from supporters of our chapter. The Zane Trace FFA is a satellite of Pickaway Ross CTC.

Photo Courtesy of Zane Trace FFA

(Picture: Senior Zane Trace FFA members Briana Fetters and Taylor Brown present their chapter’s program of activities to judges as part of their interview for the top chapter in Strengthening Agriculture competition in the National Chapter Award contest.)

Zane Trace FFA Senior Selected to Perform During Upcoming Ohio FFA Convention Laine Abbott has always loved to play his guitar. Last year he started bringing his instrument to school to play for friends as they enjoyed lunch in the Ag classroom at Zane Trace. Some of them suggested that Laine should submit an audition video for the 2020 Ohio FFA Convention.

They thought he might just have a chance to be selected as one of the talent acts to take the stage during the annual gathering of over 7,000 FFA members at the Ohio Expo Center. Unfortunately, like many other events in the spring of 2020, the Ohio FFA Convention was cancelled and along with it Laine’s opportunity to audition.

Fast forward to February 2021, when Laine learns that the Ohio FFA will be including a limited number of talent acts, four total, for their upcoming hybrid State Convention. Laine quietly prepared his audition video hoping for a second opportunity to showcase his gifts. Dozens members from around the state submitted videos and only four would be chosen. Would Laine be among them?

The answer came in the form of a text message from his FFA advisor showing that not only had he been selected as one of the four talent acts for the Convention, but that he was slated to perform during the final session, when the largest audience would be tuning in. “I was at work when I got the text and I was so excited I actually jumped when I read it” said Abbott. “I’m really honored to have this opportunity.”

Anyone interested in watching Laine perform during the 1:00 pm Convention session on Friday, April 30th can tune in live on ohioffa.org and on Ohio FFA’s social media outlets under the username @ohioffa.

Photo Courtesy of Zane Trace FFA

(Picture: Senior Laine Abbott of the Zane Trace FFA was recently selected to perform during the upcoming Ohio FFA Virtual State Convention.)

Food Insecurity Fundraiser

Presented By Atomic Speedway

The Pickaway County Community Foundation is conducting a Food Insecurity Fundraiser for Pickaway County, now through April 30th.

In 2020, the Foundation started the Food Insecurities Fund to support many local food needs throughout Pickaway County during the pandemic.

PCCF will be raising funds for the Food Insecurity Fund. to continue the Pork/Beef Project which provided close to 10,000 pounds of protein into the county food pantries last year along with continued food needs throughout Pickaway County.

Family Of Jack Hanna Reveals His Diagnoses Of Alzheimer’s

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A Letter from the Hanna Family

Today, we reach out to share some personal Hanna Family news. Doctors have diagnosed our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer’s disease.  His condition has progressed much faster in the last few months than any of us could have anticipated. Sadly, Dad is no longer able to participate in public life as he used to, where people all over the world watched, learned and laughed alongside him.   

A passion for wildlife conservation and education has been at the core of who our dad is and everything he has accomplished with the help of so many. He has spent his life connecting people and wildlife because he has always believed that having people see and experience animals is key to engaging them in more impactful conservation efforts. He’s always said, “You have to touch the heart to teach the mind.” Even though Dad is no longer able to travel and work in the same way, we know that his infectious enthusiasm has touched many hearts and will continue to be his legacy.    

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has been a major part of our lives since we moved to Central Ohio as young girls in 1978. From day one, Dad advocated for improved wildlife habitats and focused on connecting the community with animals. After he left his active management role as Executive Director in 1992, he continued to be a spokesperson for the zoo until his retirement last year. 

Dad engaged with millions of households through his media appearances and weekly television programs – including Animal Adventures, Into the Wild and Wild Countdown. This allowed him to bring an unparalleled level of awareness to the importance of global conservation given the unrelenting pressures on the natural environment. To say that we are abundantly proud to be his daughters is an understatement. 

Dad loves the Columbus Zoo and The Wilds and has great appreciation for the hundreds of employees and volunteers, who work extremely hard each day to care for the animals and ensure an incredible experience for the families who visit. We share his dedication to the Central Ohio community and will continue to support the Columbus Zoo and conservation efforts around the world.  

Our mom – Suzi – has been by his side for 53 years in every corner of the world. She continues to be his rock (and ours, too).  We have great respect and admiration for Mom as we move through not only this difficult time with Dad, but also Julie’s continued life-long challenges from her childhood leukemia, as she is currently recovering from major surgery.  

While Dad’s health has deteriorated quickly, we can assure you that his great sense of humor continues to shine through. And yes – he still wears his khakis at home. 

To keep everyone safe in light of COVID-19 restrictions, we are asking for privacy, which is ironic given Dad’s love of interacting with people. We are grateful that the many hearts he’s touched over the years are with him during this journey, which gives us strength.  

Thank you, and we appreciate your understanding –
Kathaleen, Suzanne and Julie Hanna

2021 Festival of the Bells Cancelled

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While many of Ohio’s fairs and festivals are planning to reopen in 2021, The Festival of the Bells in Hillsboro will not be held.

The Festival of the Bells Committee, the City of Hillsboro, and the Highland County Health Department made that announcement in a social media post.

The committee stated- “Currently, it is too difficult to provide a safe event for our community, guests, artists and vendors. The potential for a large crowd in a confined area is a health concern. The decision was made with heavy hearts but with the best intentions in mind for all involved. Efforts will focus on a strong comeback for the 2022 Festival of the Bells.”

Governor Mike DeWine has already given the go-ahead for fairs and festivals to be held in 2021, with the stipulation that health guidelines be observed during their events, if they are still needed at that point.

Central Ohio ODOT Construction To Include Fayette & Pickaway County

Presented By Atomic Speedway

(COLUMBUS) – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is officially kicking off the 2021 construction season throughout the state, with more than 145 projects worth $540 million planned in the Central Ohio area this year. This includes 44 pavement improvement projects, 18 bridge projects, and 13 safety upgrades.

Safety remains a top priority in this year’s construction program and despite a 15.5 percent drop in traffic volumes last year, the increased revenue package passed in 2018 has allowed ODOT to continue funding its safety program at a pre-pandemic level and keep important maintenance projects on schedule.

“Thanks to the foresight of Gov. DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly and internal operational savings identified by our workforce, we have been able to weather this global pandemic. Without those extra funds, we would be nearly a billion dollars in the red,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “While other states have been delaying or cancelling projects, Ohio continues moving forward.”

This year Central Ohio will continue to see major progress at the Interstate 70/71 split in downtown Columbus, with the new ramp from Fulton St. to I-70 east scheduled to open this summer. Also in Franklin County, work on the South Side Mega Fix will wrap up in June, and I-71 widening work is underway south of State Route 665 to the Pickaway County Line.

East of Columbus, drivers can expect impacts on U.S. Route 40 in Licking County and another year of work to replace the State Route 661 bridge just south of Granville. A multi-year mega reconstruction project on I-70 through Zanesville is also slated to begin this summer.

An increase in orange barrels comes with an urgent plea for drivers to ditch the distractions and follow Ohio’s Move Over law to keep roadside workers safe. Despite fewer vehicles on the road last year, work zone crashes remained high.

“The men and women working to improve our roadways put their lives in your hands every day,” said Marchbanks. “Drivers should always pay attention behind the wheel, but work zones require extra attention and workers’ lives depend on it.”

Last year, ODOT crews were struck 125 times while on the job. So far this year, ODOT crews have already been hit 52 times. Ohio’s Move Over law requires drivers to move over a lane for any roadside vehicle with flashing lights. If they cannot move over, they must slow down.

Other area projects include:

(Fayette County)

PID 110073 I-71 RESURFACING Resurface I-71 from SR 41 in Fayette County to Yankeetown-Chenoweth Rd. in Madison County. Resurface bridges on County Roads 8, 9, 25, and 26. Estimated Begin: April 2021 Estimated End: October 2021 Project Cost: $7 million Traffic Impacts: Temporary lane and ramp closures 

PID 98139 SR 41 CULVERT REPLACEMENTS Replace culverts on SR 41 near Concord Rd. and Klondike Rd. Estimated Begin: June 2021 Estimated End: December 2022 Project Cost: $946,000 Traffic Impacts: 30-day closure with detour for each culvert

(Pickaway County)

PID 106267 CITY OF CIRCLEVILLE RESURFACING Resurface SR 56, SR 188, and U.S. 22 within the city of Circleville corporation limits. Estimated Begin: April 2021 Estimated End: September 2021 Project Cost: $900,000 Traffic Impacts: Daily lane closures, no closures during Circleville Pumpkin Show or Pickaway County Fair 

DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD:

ODOT District 5 Construction Guide
Projects in Licking, Fairfield, Knox, Coshocton, Muskingum, Perry, and Guernsey

ODOT District 6 Construction Guide
Projects in Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union

Lancaster Festival Makes Return in 2021

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

After a year off due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Lancaster Festival is returning for the summer of 2021.

The 2021 Lancaster Festival will be held July 23rd-31st, with adjustments being made to accommodate COVID-19 safety protocols and processes. The Festival dates will be shortened to nine days and will include the Festival’s signature events held at the Wendel Concert Stage in the outdoor amphitheater at Ohio University Lancaster and a series of live events downtown.

SEE THE LANCASTER FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENT HERE

The Lancaster Festival Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Gary Sheldon will return, although it will be smaller to accommodate safety guidelines.

The Lancaster Festival will be bringing the entire 2021 festival outdoors, with signature acts like former Eagles Band member- Don Felder and The Band Perry, appearing at the Wendel Concert Stage on the Ohio University Lancaster Campus.

The concert lineup includes: The Band Perry July 24th, Jazz Night July 26th, Orchestra Soloists Spotlight July 27, Kelly Vaughn and the Remnants among the July 28th performers, and the Grand Finale with Don Felder on July 31st.

Art Walk will be on July 23rd.

Tickets go on sale May 3rd. For more information on the 2021 Lancaster Festival, follow our link to their website. CLICK HERE:

Pinwheels Placed To Represent Dark Story Of Child Abuse In The Area

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The observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month is underway, and those passing by the head of Chillicothe’s Yoctangee Park are able to see the symbol of that abuse in our region.

Pinwheels totaling 2,096 were placed this week, representing the number of child abuse reports that came in for our nine county region for the year 2020.

Of those cases reported, more than 500 proved to be actual child abuse, according to Julie Violette, the new Executive Director of the Child Protection Center, which is based in Chillicothe.

Violette says- “The most important thing is to get the word out there about all the resources that are available to go ahead and help stop child abuse, help end the cycle. The end of any cycle begins with prevention. If we just tell one friend or one neighbor about resources for the help that is out there, we can help to be the change we are all looking to be.” 

Other ways the community can get involved in the fight against child abuse is through fundraising efforts to assist the Child Protection Center.

Your donation goes directly to the education to prevent children from being abused with our Body Safety class and Stewards program, medical costs associated with examining each child, counseling to help the children and their families and to help create a safe, child-friendly environment.

Their next fundraiser is the Dr. David Ater Memorial Golf Outing, which will be held August 21st. The 4-person-scramble will be held at Jaycees Golf Course with 8am registration and a 9am shotgun start. Early registration is encouraged.