Paints Season Pushed Back To July 1st, 2020

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Prospect League announced Wednesday a change in the 2020 schedule resulting in Opening Day moving from May 28 to July 1. 

“The Paints are cautiously optimistic but very hopeful that we will play a revised Prospect League schedule at VA Memorial Stadium this summer,” said Paints managing partner Bryan Wickline. “As a league, we targeted July 1 as Opening Day for the 2020 Season. With teams in five states and varied restrictions and extended stay-at-home orders, we look forward to the day we hear, “Play Ball!”  

The Paints will be taking extra precautions to keep fans, players and staff safe.

“We will certainly abide by our local, state, federal government and health organizations guidelines once we are permitted to host games,” Wickline added. “We will open VA Memorial Stadium as long as the safety and health of our fans, players, staff and umpires is met by the group-gathering guidelines and mandates.” 

Wickline continued, “As a country, this has been a challenge like no other! We look forward to the day when Paints games and VA Memorial stadium can be an outlet to safely gather and celebrate, entertain and cheer – for each other and for America’s favorite pastime – like never before.”

“Numerous American Legion and travel baseball organizations plan to host their games and tournaments this summer at VA Memorial Stadium as soon as they are permitted given Ohio’s gradual reopening. We will host these events as we are able to follow the recommended guidelines when they are played,” said Wickline.

The Paints downtown Gift Shop and Administrative office will reopen to regular business hours beginning Monday, May 18. 

PPE to Ohio, Graduations & Masks Take Center Stage

The much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) is on the way according to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

During his daily news conference Wednesday, DeWine said the state has shipped 4.1 million pieces of PPE throughout the Buckeye State.

Local Emergency Management Agencies have the task of distributing the product, which reportedly includes 500,000 N95 masks.

The Governor also announced $16 million in grant funding has been made available to local authorities for use by law enforcement, courts and probation offices in the fight against coronavirus for the purpose of purchasing cleaning supplies, covering overtime hours and medical needs for inmates.

DeWine also addressed graduation ceremonies and celebrations. He’s asked the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health to work together to advise the state’s 612 school districts with planning their commencement ceremonies. Districts are urged to work with their local health departments to gain approval of their plans for graduations. 


DeWine then segued into graduation parties saying it’s a “time to graduate, NOT the time to have a graduation party.” While sympathizing with those associated with the Class of 2020, he then directed parents to for guidance for such celebrations. “Our guidelines are no more than 10 people.”  

Face covering were very much a topic of conversation following the Governor’s recommendation regarding masks last Monday. Many were confused after face coverings were first mandated for all employees and customers inside of businesses.

After backing down on the mandate Tuesday, more clarification was addressed by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted Wednesday. “For Ohioans, when you are a customer in an Ohio business, you should wear a face covering.” Said Husted. “But you are not required to wear a face covering.” Husted explained the idea was not to protect the wearers, but to protect the public from an asymptomatic wearer labeling it as a courtesy to one another.

Husted did outline there are a few exceptions for which the requirement is waived, such as:

  1. Workers prohibited by law or regulation from wearing a facial covering on the job
  2. Wearing a face covering is against documented industry best practices
  3. When it’s not advisable for health purposes
  4. When a face covering is in violation of a company’s safety policies
  5. When an employee is sitting alone in an enclosed work space
  6. When it’s not practical, i.e. in conditions of extreme heat 

Should a business or employee believe they qualify for an exception, they have to be ready to provide written justification upon request.

As of 2pmET Wednesday, statewide total cases number 17,303 with 3,421 hospitalizations and 937 total deaths.

Cases by county in the Scioto Valley Region: Fairfield, 129; Fayette, 15; Highland, 11; Hocking, 16; Jackson, 4; Pickaway, 1,722; Pike, 3; Ross, 37; Scioto, 8 and Vinton, 5.

Local Prisons:

  1. CCI: 5 inmates in isolation, 4 testing positive
  2. RCI: None affected
  3. PCI: 93 staff testing positive, 1 death, 28 recovered, 1,477 inmates testing positive, 19 confirmed deaths, 1 pending results and 67 recovered.


OHSAA State X-Country Meet Moves to Fortress Obetz

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association cross country state championships are moving to Fortress Obetz, a 50-acre multi-purpose sports complex with a 6,500-seat grandstand located in Obetz on the southeast side of Columbus, OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass announced Wednesday. 

Fortress Obetz opened in 2017 on the former site of the Columbus Motor Speedway. The racing that will now take place there in early November represents one of the largest high school cross country events in the country, with more than 11,000 fans.

Of significance, much of the course will be visible from the 6,500-seat grandstands, which will lead to a greater experience for fans and participants. 

“We can’t wait for our student-athletes and Ohio’s entire cross country community to experience the state championships at Fortress Obetz,” said Snodgrass. “This facility is so impressive, from the course layout for the competitors to being more spectator friendly for the fans and we are thrilled to sign a five-year agreement. We would like to thank National Trail Raceway for hosting the state championships for the last nine years and doing an outstanding job as our host.”

Fortress Obetz was built to host sporting events, concerts, festivals and more. It was the home of the Ohio Machine professional lacrosse team from 2017-19. The facility has five video boards, concessions, restrooms and a huge parking lot.

“The Village of Obetz is extremely proud and excited to partner with the OHSAA,” said Steve Adams, National Director of Athletic Operations and Facilities Promotion. “We feel our Memorial Park and the Fortress is perfectly suited for the OHSAA Cross Country State Tournament. We have created a safe and challenging course for the runners and kept the spectator experience in mind as well.”

The grandstand includes 1,100 flip-down seats, 2,000 bench-back seats and 3,400 bleacher seats.

Scioto Downs, located just south of Columbus, hosted the OHSAA cross country state championships from 1985 through 2010 before the facility added a casino. National Trail Raceway in Hebron, 20 miles east of Columbus, hosted the state championships from 2011 through 2019.

Special Report: Getting Ohio Back to Work

As the Governor rolled out his plan to reopen Ohio Monday, the state’s health departments began rolling into education mode for the communities they serve.

Litter Media visited with Ross County Health District Administrator Ben Avery and Communications Director Kelly Dennis to learn how the new guidelines will be applied for Chillicothe-area businesses.

The main concern with getting back to work is knowing the coronavirus is still active and the potential for a spike in those contracting it.

Another concern is for the businesses closed during Ohio’s Stay-At-Home Order who may not be prepared to adjust to the new guidelines (see images below).