(Columbus)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced that the Ohio Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives is partnering with Operation Warm and other community organizations to distribute brand-new shoes and coats to underserved children living in Ohio.
Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine has worked with Operation Warm to distribute coats in the past. She appreciates their continued efforts that help countless children across the state.
“Working together, this wonderful partnership helps Ohioans take care of Ohioans in their communities,” said Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine. “It’s great to see that not only do these new shoes and coats keep children warm, but also they can deliver self-confidence and a smile!”
In 2020, Operation Warm and OFBCI provided 7,158 coats and 5,004 pairs of shoes to children through 66 organizations located in 38 different counties located throughout Ohio.
“We are excited to once again partner with the Governor’s Office for this program! Thanks to our combined efforts, we have been able to provide brand new coats and shoes to more than 50,000 children around the state,” Executive Director of Operation Warm, Grace Sica said.
Operation Warm is a national nonprofit that provides warmth, confidence, and hope through basic need programs that connect underserved children to community resources they need to thrive. Over the last 22 years, Operation Warm and our partners have used brand-new coats and shoes as a bridge for families needing to access everything from flu shots to new books.
(Columbus) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, AAA, the Ohio Turnpike, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and The Risk Institute are recognizing Move-Over Day, Saturday, Oct. 16, by reminding Ohio drivers to move over and slow down for any vehicle with flashing lights parked on the roadside.
This effort is part of a larger multi-agency campaign that includes social media messaging every Monday with the hashtags #MoveOverMonday and #MoveOverOhio.
Crash Data: According to a new crash analysis from ODOT, 546 crashes have occurred so far in 2021 when drivers failed to move over or slow down for a stationary vehicle with flashing lights. This has caused 21 deaths and 59 serious injuries. Between 2015 and 2020 a total of 5,561 move over-related crashes occurred in Ohio.
“It’s alarming to see the rise of crashes happening throughout our state,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “It’s critically important that all drivers remember to avoid distractions, pay attention, and stay focused on the road.”
The death of a AAA tow provider, Glenn Ewing, 32, highlights how dangerous it is for individuals who work regularly along the shoulders of Ohio’s roads. Ewing was killed while placing a disabled vehicle on the back of a flatbed near Cincinnati on July 4, 2021.
“The men and women who work on our roads have a simple request for drivers: ‘Help us get home safe at the end of the day.’ Moving over and slowing down allows them to do that,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.
Lack of Understanding Among Drivers: A survey conducted by The Ohio State University found gaps in Ohioans’ knowledge of the state’s Move Over law, especially when it comes to construction crews and tow trucks.
“Survey data shows that many Ohioans still don’t move over for tow truck operators, construction vehicles or disabled vehicles,” said Executive Director Ferzan M. Ahmed, P.E., Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission. “Since 2015, two tow truck operators have been killed on the Ohio Turnpike. Their families will have to bear the loss of their loved ones for the rest of their lives. People have the responsibility to obey the law in order to keep all roadside workers and motorists safe from injury and death.”
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have a Move Over law to protect individuals on the roadside. Ohio’s law requires all drivers to move over and slow down for any vehicle parked on the side of the road with flashing lights, no matter the color of the lights or the number of lanes.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of drivers are unaware of their state’s Move Over law.
In addition, 42% of drivers who do not comply with Move Over laws at all times said they thought their behavior was somewhat or not dangerous at all to roadside emergency workers.
“The recent AAA Foundation data demonstrates that drivers may not realize how risky it is for those working or stranded along highways and roads close to moving traffic,” said Kimberly Schwind with the Ohio Conference of AAA Clubs.
Enforcement and Education are Key: Those who do not comply with Ohio’s Move Over Law are subject to charges and fines. The law is strictly enforced. In fact, in 2020, the Ohio State Highway Patrol issued 7,829 citations for those failing to move over or slow down. So far this year, there have been 3,576 citations issued.
“Moving over or slowing down for stationary vehicles with flashing lights isn’t just the law; it’s the right thing to do,” said Colonel Richard S. Fambro of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “By motorists making this a standard practice, we can make Ohio safer for everyone working along our roadways.”
Law enforcement is not immune to the consequences of not moving over. On Sept. 4, 2021 a vehicle struck Sergeant Fernando Chavez’ Ohio State Highway Patrol car while he was completing a traffic stop on the shoulder of U.S. Route 24 in Defiance County. Sergeant Chavez sustained non-life-threatening injuries, but the passenger in the vehicle that struck him died, and the driver sustained life-threatening injuries.
“The Risk Institute stands with other organizations in support of efforts in Ohio and nationally to raise awareness to Move Over Laws and creating a one lane buffer for all emergency response and service vehicles stopped on our highways,” said Phil Renaud, executive director of The Risk Institute. “Please protect our Public Safety and Emergency Response workers.”
(Columbus) – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Geological Survey is inviting Ohioans to celebrate Earth Science Week with a series of activities and webinars. The annual celebration will be held Oct. 10–Oct. 16.
“Earth Science Week is the perfect opportunity for people to discover the earth sciences and learn how they can do their part to protect our planet,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “This year, we hope to help people learn to understand, conserve, and protect Earth’s most valuable resource, water.”
The theme for Earth Science Week 2021 is, “Water Today and for the Future” highlighting the many ways natural resources impact humans and the ways human activities impact these materials.
“Water is one of our most precious natural resources and crucial to daily living,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Through public improvement efforts such as the H2Ohio program and educational campaigns like Earth Science Week, we continue to tackle the challenges of water management and to educate Ohioans about protecting and conserving this vital resource.”
This year’s lessons and activities are designed to engage young people and others in exploring the importance of natural resources in their lives. Participants will be encouraged to build an understanding of water’s role in timely topics, including energy, the environment, natural hazards, technology, industry, agriculture, recreation, and the economy.
ODNR geologists will offer a combination of in-person and virtual events throughout the week. This year’s Ohio events include:
Sunday, Oct. 10, 1 p.m., Geology Hike at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, Clifton
Also, available to Ohio teachers and educators are a limited number of Earth Science Week teacher toolkits. The toolkits include experiment instructions, calendar, posters, activity sheets and more materials for teachers to use in the classroom. Toolkits are free (plus $5 shipping) for any Ohio teacher, including home-school teachers, while supplies last. Teacher toolkits, maps, and other publications can be ordered by contacting the Geologic Records Center at (614) 265-6576 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Columbus)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted have announced the approval of assistance for 12 projects set to create 2,426 new jobs and retain 3,252 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought to the board by JobsOhio and its regional partners. Collectively, the projects are expected to result in more than $108 million in new payroll and spur more than $162 million in investments across Ohio.
Two of these projects will be in southern Ohio:
R.K. Administrative Services (Rural King Supply), Seal Township (Pike Co.), expects to create 200 full-time positions, generating $7.7 million in new annual payroll and retaining $21.7 million in existing payroll as a result of the company’s new project in Seal Township. Rural King Supply provides a mixed retail product line of livestock feed, farm equipment, agricultural parts, lawn mowers, workwear, fashion clothing, housewares, and toys. The TCA approved a 1.278 percent, seven-year Job Creation Tax Credit for this project.
Engineered Profiles LLC, Hamilton Township (Lawrence Co.), expects to create 55 full-time positions, generating $2.3 million in new annual payroll as a result of the company’s new project in Hamilton Township. Engineered Profiles manufactures extruded plastics products for building supplies, transportation, medical devices, and other industries. The TCA approved a 1.131 percent, six-year Job Creation Tax Credit for this project.
(Columbus)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Thursday provided an update on the increased impact that COVID-19 hospitalizations are having on our hospitals and a new vaccine incentive effort to help keep our children in school, in-person, five days a week.
LETTER FROM OHIO HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION
“I received a letter from the Ohio Hospital Association outlining the dire conditions facing our hospitals who are on the front lines of treating patients with COVID. While they are doing everything they can to help these patients, they are facing a severe nursing and staffing shortage,” said Governor DeWine. “What they wrote is consistent with what we’ve been hearing from front-line health care workers.”
The letter reported that increasing cases are putting a strain on hospital resources. The data shows:
In mid-July, Ohio hospitals were treating 200 COVID-19 patients, today that number is 3,702. That’s a 16-fold increase in two months.
In mid-July, one out of 100 patients in the hospital were being treated for COVID. Today the ratio is one out of six. Today, 40% of patients on ventilators are being treated for COVID.
In rural Southeast Ohio half of hospitalized patients are being treated for COVID-19 and two-thirds of the patients in the intensive care unit are being treated for COVID.
The letter described a situation where strained resources impact the ability to care for all patients. Some Ohio hospitals are diverting patients away from emergency departments, cancelling certain procedures, experiencing long wait times in emergency departments, and shutting down certain units to redeploy staff to critical cases.
OHIO VAX-2-SCHOOLGovernor DeWine emphasized that keeping kids in school, in-person, five days a week, remains a priority. We know that the best way to do that is to get students vaccinated. In addition to protecting kids from the severe effects of the virus, students who are vaccinated, do not have to quarantine if exposed, which means they won’t miss out on school.To encourage eligible kids to get vaccinated, Governor DeWine announced the Ohio Vax-2-School program, which will be open to Ohioans aged 12 to 25 years old, and will be similar to the scholarship portion of the successful Vax-a-Million program. Prizes will include 50 scholarships worth $10,000 each and five $100,000 scholarships to an Ohio college or university for career or technical education. Prizes will be announced Monday through Friday beginning the week of October 11th. More details will be announced, including how to register, in the coming days.
Governor DeWine also made a public plea, after hearing from school districts across the state about the shortage of bus drivers. He asked any Ohioan with a CDL license that also has a bus driver certification, who are not employed, to contact their local school district, to help drive school busses, temporarily.
He also spoke with Attorney General Dave Yost who agreed that, moving forward, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation would prioritize recquired background checks for school bus drivers, educators, nurses, and other health care professionals.
(Columbus)— On National Small Business Day, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine spoke to members of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Ohio Wednesday celebrating the accomplishments of Ohio’s small businesses and reminding business owners of the many programs and initiatives offered by the state to support them.
“Ohio’s economy is tied to the success of our small businesses, so it’s in our best interests to go forward together. What is good for Ohio’s 982,000 small businesses is good for Ohio,” said Governor DeWine.
Ohio’s most recent operating budget includes $2 billion in business and personal income tax cuts and supports Governor DeWine’s Investing in Ohio’s Future Initiative to help small businesses and accelerate economic growth. The operating budget doubled the amount of grant funding available to help small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic to $310 million. Funding is still available from the following four grant programs:
Food and Beverage Establishment Grant: This program provides grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other food and beverage businesses.
Entertainment Venue Grant: This program provides grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to theaters, music venues, spectator sports venues, museums, and other entertainment venues.
Lodging Grant: This program provides grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast operations.
New Small Business Grant: This program provides grants of $10,000 to small businesses that were established between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020.
To help ensure all communities can be part of Ohio’s economic recovery and expansion, the budget also invests $250 million to develop and expand broadband throughout Ohio. The Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program application is open, and the grants will be provided to internet service providers for the construction of broadband projects that improve high-speed internet access in unserved and underserved areas of Ohio.
To further support Ohio’s small businesses, which account for 99.6% of the businesses in the state and employ 2.2 million people, the Ohio Department of Development and TourismOhio this week launched its new Made in Ohio website, which features nearly 800 companies that sell Ohio-made apparel, snack foods, coffee, décor, furniture, and more.
The listings and include businesses that make or manufacture products in the state of Ohio and have a storefront and/or website where their products are sold. Listings link directly to the company website so customers can purchase the products directly from the company. For more information on how to have a company listed on the site, visit Ohio.org/MadeinOhio.
The Ohio Department of Development also offers services to support small businesses and entrepreneurs including:
The Ohio Export Assistance Network assists small businesses into international markets. During the pandemic, Ohio moved from the ninth-largest exporting state to the seventh-largest exporting state.
Ohio Minority Business Assistance Centersprovide one-on-one advising at no cost to minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses. It also offers financial assistance.
By instituting spending freezes and budget cuts during the pandemic, the DeWine administration eliminated $776 million in state spending to balance the budget, putting Ohio in a strong position as we work to emerge from the pandemic. Although Ohio, like many other states, depleted its unemployment compensation fund and needed a $1.5 billion loan from the federal government to pay claims during the pandemic, Ohio strategically repaid the $1.5 billion loan to prevent businesses from incurring large increases in federal unemployment taxes. Without this added tax burden, Ohio business owners can spend those dollars on more critical priorities such as investing in their workforce.
“Workforce development is, without question, the key to our long-term economic expansion,” said Governor DeWine. “We are focused on creating the most skilled workforce in the Midwest, fit to meet the demands of the 21st-century economy.”
A goal of the DeWine Administration is to champion career, technical, and vocational education training to help tens of thousands more Ohioans a year prepare for quality, higher-paying jobs without creating college debt.
Investments to achieve this goal include:
TechCred, a program that gives employees the ability to earn industry-recognized, technology-focused credentials to prepare them to work in high-tech jobs.
The Industry Sector Partnership grant program, which supports collaborations among businesses, education and training providers, and other community leaders who are invested in improving their region’s workforce.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine along with two area state legislators met with Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth Wednesday.
State Representative Mark Johnson and State Senator Bob Peterson were also in attendance at the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office to discuss various matters involving law enforcement. Stanforth is also the President of the National Sheriff’s Association.
State Representative Johnson stated on his Facebook post- “Today I was honored to join up with Vernon Stanforth, the Fayette County Sheriff, who is also the President of the National Sheriff’s Association; Governor Mike DeWine and State Senator Bob Peterson to discuss the recently passed additional law enforcement funding initiatives in the state budget. We had a long discussion of many ways we can further assist every Ohio law enforcement agency. Sheriff Stanforth has a wealth of knowledge and offered up many ideas for us to follow up on.”
Senator Peterson echoed many of the same thoughts about their meeting in his social media- “I always appreciate the opportunity to support law enforcement! We had a great discussion today with Governor Mike DeWine, State Representative Mark Johnson and Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth to announce grant funding that was approved in the state budget for body cameras for law enforcement. I am also so very proud of Vernon as he currently serves a president of the National Sheriff’s Association.”
(COLUMBUS)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced that Bruce T. Vanderhoff, M.D., will become the Director of the Ohio Department of Health and that Stephanie McCloud, who has been serving as Director of the Ohio Department of Health, is returning to lead the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation as Administrator.
“Working together as a team, Stephanie McCloud and Bruce Vanderhoff guided the Ohio Department of Health over the past nine months. I am pleased that Dr. Vanderhoff has agreed to serve as Director of the Ohio Department of Health. His medical and organizational expertise will help the department as we move forward and continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. I would also like to thank Stephanie McCloud for her leadership of the Ohio Department of Health and look forward to her return to lead the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.
The changes are effective on Monday, August 16. Both positions require confirmation by the Ohio Senate.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff gave their first statewide press conference Friday morning since June, on the COVID-19 virus.
“Individual choice is what we are about,” Dewine says, telling Ohioans that he wanted to have the press conference to deliver current information on the spread of delta. “The essential fact is that we have three vaccines that are highly, highly effective”, said DeWine.
“We have two Ohios. We have people who are vaccinated who are very, very safe today. We have people who are not vaccinated who are not safe.”
Much of what was presented were current statistics of how COVID is impacting Ohio, especially with the onset of the new Delta Variant.
Those stats included: The Delta variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Ohio. In May, less than 1% of lab sequenced cases were identified as the Delta variant. The most recent data from July 4th through July 17th, show that 86.4% of lab sequenced cases were the Delta variant.
For those who get infected with the Delta variant, experts say they may have a higher viral load than those who are infected with other strains. It is much more contagious than any version of COVID-19 that we have encountered and remains exceedingly dangerous to those who are not vaccinated.
Of those hospitalized in Ohio with COVID-19 since January, more than 98% were unvaccinated.
Ohio counties with lowest vaccination rates are seeing the largest increases in vaccinations in recent weeks. Holmes County, which was only administering 24 vaccinations a day in early July, was giving 90+ by the end of the month.
Ohio Hospitalization: Vaccinated vs Unvaccinated Total Hospitalizations: 18,662 (since Jan 2021) Hospitalizations among unvaccinated: 18,367 Hospitalizations of fully vaccinated: 295
The latest data shows that 60% of Ohioans 18 and over have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 58% of all eligible Ohioans, those 12 and older, are either fully or partially vaccinated. Demographic breakdowns of these age groups will now be available on the COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
The governor says each county has permission to use COVID funds for incentives, that might encourage more people to get vaccinated. There has been an increase of vaccinations in 85 of Ohio’s 88 counties in July compared to the previous month while last week saw an increase in all 88 counties compared to the first week in July. Ohio’s lowest 22 vaccinated counties saw some of the biggest increase in the number of people vaccinated last week.
“Delta spreads like wildfire and seeks out anyone who is unvaccinated. But there is good news as two things remain very clear: First, the vaccines are the key to containing this fire and ultimately putting it out,” said Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff, M.D. “Secondly, vaccination is without any doubt your best bet, regardless of your age, for avoiding getting really sick with COVID-19 and to avoid lasting complications like Long COVID.”
When asked about whether those who have already received a COVID vaccination, should they get a booster? Dr. Vanderhoff said he doesn’t believe that is necessary at this time, concluding- “Overwhelming evidence at this time shows the current vaccine is enough, unless you are a person that has what is described as a “compromised immune system.”
When asked about whether unvaccinated students should be sent to school without a mask, both DeWine and Vanderhoff said they believe the student should wear a mask if not vaccinated. Although that is not currently a state mandate.
Ohio Senate Bill 22, which is now law, allows lawmakers to rescind health orders like the mask mandate via a “concurrent resolution,” which circumvents the governor. Under prior law, they need a 2/3 majority on a bill to override the governor’s veto.”
Again, no such mandate requiring a mask be worn among the non-vaccinated exists in Ohio.
(COLUMBUS)—In honor of the life and service of Nelsonville Police Officer Scott Dawley, who died Tuesday, Governor DeWine has ordered that the flags of the United States and the State of Ohio be flown at half-staff upon all public buildings and grounds throughout Athens County, as well as at the Ohio Statehouse, Vern Riffe Center, and Rhodes State Office Tower in Columbus.
This order is effective today (8/4/21) and will remain until sunset on the day of his funeral.
All other public buildings and grounds throughout the state may fly the flags of the United States and the State of Ohio at half-staff at their discretion for the same time period.