Record Travel Predicted On Ohio Roads For July 4th Weekend

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(COLUMBUS) – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Ohio State Highway Patrol and AAA are reminding drivers to be alert and patient if traveling over the Independence Day weekend.

AAA expects overall Independence Day weekend (July 1-5) travel volumes to nearly recover to pre-pandemic levels, and auto travel to surpass the records set in 2019. Of the more than two million Ohioans that plan to travel this Independence Day, 95% of them will drive to their destinations. INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, predicts the heaviest congestion during the late afternoon on Thursday, Friday and Monday. With so many people on the roads, AAA expects to rescue more than 460,000 Americans with roadside assistance during the five day holiday travel period. AAA reminds motorists to make sure their vehicle is road-trip-ready and remember to pack an emergency roadside kit.

ODOT is working on more than 1,000 construction projects across the state this year. Efforts have been made to reduce the size of work zones as much as possible to accommodate the increased holiday traffic. However, it isn’t possible to remove all the orange barrels. ODOT is reminding holiday travelers this year that work zones require extra attention from drivers and work zone speed limits are reduced for the safety of both workers and motorists. Drivers need to slow down and pay attention to navigate through the work area for their own safety, the safety of any workers who might be on the job, and the safety of other drivers.

As part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Operation CARE enforcement campaigns, the Patrol’s primary focus will be removing impaired drivers from the roadways and ensuring all drivers are buckled up. Last year in Ohio, 24 fatal crashes killed 25 people during the July Fourth holiday weekend. Of those fatalities, 18 involved impaired driving and ten were not wearing an available safety belt. During the holiday weekend, troopers will be highly visible and urging motorists to drive carefully and follow all traffic laws.

Lake Hope To Host July 4th Bird Education Events

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

Lake Hope State Park In Vinton County, will. be hosting a couple of July 4th events concerning birds.

Red, White, and Bluebirds will be held 9am-10am at the Nature Center. Discover what kinds of birds live around Lake Hope and where they prefer to build their nests. Then help the naturalist check for cavity nesters around the Nature Center.

That will be followed by Hungry Hummingbirds at Lake Hope, between 1pm-3pm. Watch as their naturalist will hand feed Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds.

Archery, 10 am. Meet at the Archery Range to learn the art of the bow. 
Kayak Excursion, 1 pm. Meet at the Marina to learn kayaking basics and then take a guided trip on Acton Lake.  Space is limited.  Sign up begins at the Marina at 10am on Sunday. 

Lake Hope State Park is located at 27331 State Route 278, near McArthur.

Life In Big Darby Creek

Presented By Rathkamp Financial

A guided educational water exploration for all ages will be held on Pickaway County’s only National and State Scenic River, Big Darby Creek.

The event is being conducted by the Pickaway County Park District at 10am, July 3rd.

(Photo: Big & Little Darby courtesy of

Bring boots and clothes that can get a little wet so that you can get a hands on look of what makes this creek so special. A few hip and chest waders will be provided.

The program will be cancelled in the case of inclement weather. All current social distancing requirements will be followed. Please bring a mask.

An adult must accompany all children under 12. Participants should meet at Scioto-Darby Road Access at the intersection of Scioto-Darby Road and Big Darby Creek.

For more information, visit their website at

Division Of Forestry Grants Come To Area Fire Departments

Presented By Classic Brands

(COLUMBUS) – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry has passed along some grants to assist some area fire departments and the communities.

Through the Community Wildfire Risk Reduction (CWRR) Grant program, the Division of Forestry recently approved grant funding for 37 projects totaling $75,718 for fire departments in eastern and southern Ohio.
CWRR Grant projects are focused on supporting hazard mitigation, emergency preparedness, public education, and firefighter training for Ohio fire departments. Items that fire departments will procure through these grants include computers, tablets, GPS units, outdoor signs, training room equipment, and other technology that support emergency preparedness. The Ohio Division of Forestry is a proud partner of Ohio’s fire departments and supports their mission to build safer communities and better prepared first responders.
Some of the grants include:

  • Nelsonville (Hocking County) received $2,531 for a laptop, camera, and LED sign
  • Zaleski (Vinton County) received $2,166 to purchase a sign board and a four-gas detector
  • Lancaster (Fairfield County) received $2,141 to purchase a laptop and accessories
  • New Marshfield (Athens County) received $1,262 to purchase tablets and a laptop
  • Franklin Township (Ross County) received $1,892 to purchase computer and tablets
  • Madison Jefferson Joint Fire District (Jackson County) received $3,000 to purchase LED sign board
  • Huntington Township (Ross County) received $664 to purchase tablet and projector
  • Piketon Seal Township (Pike County) received $1,400 to purchase training supplies
  • Glenford (Perry County) received $2,773 to purchase training room items and drone
  • Johnstown (Licking County) received $2,997 to purchase tablets

    A full list of recipients and projects can be found here.

    Many fire departments in Ohio have very tight budgets and the majority of their limited resources must be focused on absolute essentials and keeping emergency services up and running. ODNR Forestry’s CWRR grant program allows for cost share to help make important ancillary programs like community outreach, risk reduction, and safety campaigns possible. 

    CWRR grant funding is provided to ODNR Forestry from the U.S. Forest Service.