April Is Ohio Native Plant Month

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – New plant life blossoms each spring and paints Ohio’s stunning landscapes with lively shades of green. This flush of renewal is perfectly timed to mark the state’s second Native Plant Month beginning April 1.
“Using native trees, shrubs, and flowers in our landscaping provides an unbeatable aesthetic and connects us with the natural world on a deeper level,” said Jeff Johnson, Chief of the ODNR Division of Natural Areas and Preserves. “From birds and butterflies to beetles and bees, native plants create a healthier and more biodiverse ecosystem that is often missing in urban areas.”
First celebrated last year, Ohio was one of the first states in the nation to dedicate an entire month to the celebration of native plants. This month, ODNR will highlight the importance and diversity of native plants on the agency’s website and social media channels. Watch for native wildflower features every day and special posts for Arbor Day and Earth Day.

                           Pink lady’s slipper                              Yellow trout lily

ODNR is also sharing the Spring Wildflower Bloom Report every Friday into mid-May. These weekly reports contain the most up-to-date information about what’s in bloom and where Ohioans can find different species throughout the state. Ohioans can document and share their own finds and post to social media using the hashtag #OhioWildflowers. ODNR’s brand new checklist to Ohio’s spring wildflowers is also available for use.
Anyone interested in native plants can follow ODNR’s celebration of Native Plant Month on Facebook (both the ODNR and Division of Natural Areas and Preserves pages), TwitterInstagram, and at ohiodnr.gov.

Governor Signs Ohio Transportation Bill

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

(COLUMBUS)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 74, Ohio’s Fiscal Year 2022-2023 transportation budget, into law.

“This budget ensures that we can continue to maintain and invest in Ohio’s roadways,” said Governor DeWine. “Ohio’s transportation system continues to be a critical part of our economy, moving materials and people safely across our state. This budget advances our commitment to invest in state and locally-maintained roadways.” 

House Bill 74, sponsored by Representative Scott Oelslager, was approved with bipartisan support in both the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate, investing $8.3 billion over the biennial.  

The biennial budget includes:

  • $318 million for highway safety projects.
  • $2.6 billion for other state-maintained roadway improvements.
  • $2.4 billion for local roadway improvements.
  • $74 million in public transit.
  • $116 million for the Public Works Commission, including $14 million for emergency road-slip repair.
  • $8 million for electric vehicle charging station grants through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Additionally, the biennial budget includes various provisions to enhance and expand services offered by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, requires the completion of classroom or online instruction for driver’s training before beginning behind-the-wheel instruction, repurposes closed weigh stations, and creates a school zone around a preschool.

Governor DeWine also signed the following bills into law Wednesday. 

  • Senate Bill 18, sponsored by Senators Kristina Roegner and Tim Schaffer, incorporates federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) changes into Ohio’s tax code, amends Section 36 of House Bill 481 of the 133rd General Assembly to modify the law governing taxation, and declares an emergency.
  • House Bill 128, sponsored by Representatives Jim Hoops and Dick Stein, repeals nuclear provisions of House Bill 6 of the 133rd General Assembly and makes changes to electric utility service law.
  • Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Senators Kristina Roegner and Bill Blessing III, enters Ohio into the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact. The compact will make it easier for Ohio’s physical therapists to practice in other compact states, and non-Ohio physical therapists to practice here.
  • Senate Bill 7, sponsored by Kristina Roegner, enters Ohio into the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact. The compact is not yet active, but nine other potential member states have pending legislation to join. 

Shawnee State’s Delano Thomas Named National Coach Of The Year

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(BOSTON, MA) — Shawnee State head coach Delano Thomas is the recipient of the 2021 Don Meyer award.

Thomas led Shawnee State to the program’s first-ever NAIA title, defeating Lewis & Clark in the championship. The Bears finished the season with 27 straight wins and overall record of 31-2.

“What a job turned in by Delano Thomas,” said Joe Dwyer President of CollegeInsider.com. “He returned to the place where he played and has taken the program to new heights. Coach Thomas is a rising star in the profession.”

Having developed Shawnee State into a top-flight contender in less than four full seasons, DeLano Thomas took home Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year honors behind an incredible turnaround that has seen Shawnee State go 44-13 over its last 57 games.

The Don Meyer Award, which is presented annually to the top NAIA basketball coach, is named in honor of the one of the sport’s winningest coaches.

In 38 seasons at Hamline, Lipscomb and Northern State, he compiled an astounding 923-324 record. He led Lipscomb to the NAIA national championship in 1986 and coached the two highest-scoring players in the history of college basketball, John Pierce and Philip Hutcheson. Also, his 1989-90 team at Lipscomb won a record 41 games and was the highest scoring team in college history. In 2010, he received the John Bunn Award at the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Meyer retired from coaching in February 2010. Coach Meyer lost his long battle with cancer on May 18, 2014, at the age of 69.

Congressman Wenstrup Visits OU-Chillicothe Vaccination Clinic

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U.S Representative Brad Wenstrup confers with Garrett Guillozet, Ross County Health Commissioner at the RCHD Vaccination Clinic in Shoemaker Center at Ohio University Chillicothe. Dan Ramey/Litter Media
Click to hear what Rep. Brad Wenstrup had to say during his visit of the RCHD Vaccination Clinic Tuesday March 30, 2021

Ohio Congressman Brad Wenstrup visited the Ross County Health District COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at the Ohio University Chillicothe Shoemaker Center on Tuesday.. 

The 2nd district congressman, who is also a U.S. Army Reserve officer and Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, thanked nurses and members of the Ross County Health District who are working the clinics. 

“At a local level, we’re getting it done and should all be pleased with the results we’re seeing in the number of people coming out to get the vaccine and volunteers helping their community with it,” Wenstrup said. “We adapt and overcome, and it’s been great to see so many people in our district step up and get this done. I think it’s good for every American to get vaccinated if they can, if they’re medically able, it’ll benefit the whole country and community as far as our health.”

“As I’ve visited vaccine clinics, what I’ve noticed is that every location has its own unique quality that fits its community,” Wenstrup added. “I’ve visited clinics like this located in partnering facilities, to vaccine clinics in fairgrounds, each of them representing their community in its own way.”

Approximately 6,000 people have been vaccinated at the Shoemaker Center site since February 1st. Ross County has administered 19,182 total vaccines as of March 29th, which is 25% of the county receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. Of those vaccines, 11,377 have been completed with both doses administered. 

Ross County Health District officials have told Litter Media that most individuals at the Ou-Chillicothe clinic site are getting in and out with their shot within 20 minutes, including the 15-minute observation period after the shot.

The Shoemaker Center has served as a vaccine site since the beginning of February.

U.S Representative Brad Wenstrup confers with Garrett Guillozet, Ross County Health Commissioner at the RCHD Vaccination Clinic in Shoemaker Center at Ohio University Chillicothe. Dan Ramey/Litter Media