Great American Smokeout is Thursday

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

The 45th Great American Smokeout, promoted by the American Cancer Society for 45 years is Thursday, November 19th.

According to a release by Adena Health System, in both their 2016 and 2019 community health needs assessments conducted by Partners for a Healthier Ross County, smoking was linked to three of the top five leading causes of death in the community, including heart disease, lung cancer and other respiratory issues like COPD.

“Not only is smoking and other tobacco use contributing to early death of Ross County citizens, but it also is occurring at higher rates than in other parts of the state and country,” said Kim Jones of Adena Health System and co-chair of Partners for a Healthier Ross County. The 2019 assessment survey determined that more than 25% of Ross County citizens use tobacco, which is almost 10% higher than the rest of the nation.

These statistics enabled the Ross County Health District to obtain a grant from the Ohio Department of Health in 2018, and coordinate BreatheWell Ross, a sub-committee of Partners for a Healthier Ross County that educates the community on the dangers of smoking and vaping, as well as promotes the options smokers have locally to help them quit.

The VA Medical Center is encouraging veterans to take the first step to stop smoking as well.

In addition to counseling, VA provides other services designed to help Veterans stop smoking, including prescription medications, nicotine-replacement products like gum and patches and resources such as Quit VET and SmokefreeVET.

For more information on smoking and vaping cessation, contact Kim Hardesty at the Ross County Health District, at 740-779-9652 or and for more information about tobacco cessation at the VAMC, contact Dr. Kamara McGill at 740-773-1141, extension 6941, or visit Veterans not enrolled in the VA healthcare system are encouraged to visit to register or call 740-772-7170 with questions.

Chillicothe’s Downtown Holiday Open House – Less Fanfare to Begin Shopping Season

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Chillicothe’s Downtown Holiday Open House is November 20-22, but it will not have the festive kickoff as in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MORE: Watch highlights of the 2018 & 2019 Tree Lighting ceremonies below.

Workers from Bright Solutions at work stringing lights on the City’s Christmas Tree at the south entrance of Chillicothe’s Yoctangee Park.

“We tried to wait as long as we could to try to pull off a tree lighting ceremony” said Mike Throne, President and CEO of the Chillicothe-Ross Chamber of Commerce. “It’s just not wise or in the best interest of public safety to bring a thousand people into downtown in close contact to each other – we can’t guarantee people are wearing masks, we can’t guarantee that people are distancing, so we decided we would scrap the lighting ceremony this year.”

While the usual opening festivities will not be held, the park will be lighted with as in the past. Kids can still see Santa, who’s house has been moved into Yoctangee Park near the Rotary Club Shelter House on Enderlin Circle, however it will be a drive-thru experience each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Ivy’s will also have the carriage rides available, but reservations will be required by calling 740-779-9522. Downtown Merchants will still have their doors open to shoppers and the restaurants will be open each day.

Also returning is skating rink in the Municipal Parking Lot at the corner of South Paint and 4th Streets. Throne says the operating dates will last into mind-January with the potential for extended dates into February.

Shoppers are reminded the statewide Health Order for wearing facial coverings are required in all retail stores.

Watch the interview with Mike Throne by clicking the photo below.

Santa’s House on Enderlin Circle in Yoctangee Park
The skating rink returns to the Municipal Parking Lot at South Paint and 4th Streets and will operate into mid-January with the potential of extended dates into February.