Gov. Activates Ohio National Guard To Assist Hospitals With COVID Short Staffing

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(Columbus)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has mobilized 1,050 members of the Ohio National Guard to help relieve the hospital staffing strain caused by the rising number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is causing. Of the total mobilized guard members, approximately 150 are highly-trained medical professionals and will deploy to help meet critical needs at hospitals and testing locations.  The remaining 900 guard members will help with patient transport, housekeeping, and food services. Guard members will be brought on duty beginning on Monday.

STAFFING AGREEMENT
The Ohio Department of Health is working with an Ohio health care staffing company to help meet hospital staffing needs. This agreement will allow for Ohio hospitals to bring in qualified nurses and other providers from out-of-state to fill needed positions to help ease some of the current added pressure on hospitals and staff.

HOSPITALIZATION DATA
More than 4,700 people are currently hospitalized in Ohio fighting COVID-19, that equates to one in every 5 hospital patients. This is the highest number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 this year, and the number of hospitalized patients is rapidly approaching an all-time high.

Due to the increase in COVID-19 hospital admisions many hospitals have been forced to postpone elective surgeries, transfer patients to other hospitals, impose visitation standards, and/or implement what they call “crisis standards of care,” in which they have no choice but to take extraordinary steps to care for patients in ways that aren’t typical, such as providing intensive care in emergency rooms or in post-surgical units.

In Northern Ohio (Ohio Hospital Zone 1) most hospitals have suspended elective surgeries. In Central and Southeast Ohio (Ohio Hospital Zone 2), the same thing is beginning to happen. In Southeast Ohio, (Ohio Hospital Zone 3), hospital leaders are preparing to take similar action.

Applications Being Accepted For Choose Chillicothe Steering Committee

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(Chillicothe) – The City of Chillicothe is seeking passionate people interested in designing the future of this community. The City is in the initial stages of developing a Comprehensive Plan – the master document that outlines a community’s vision of its future, including serving as a framework for defining the location, character, and extent of proposed public and private development and land use.

City Council will review and approve the final document. One of the first and most crucial steps in this process will be selecting a dedicated committee of diverse representatives of the community to serve on the Choose Chillicothe Steering Committee.

Applications will be accepted until January 9th through an open application process at https://forms.office.com/r/b7x4yyjr4P

“The members of the Choose Chillicothe committee will be valuable ambassadors from the community during this process,” said Asti Powell, Development Director. “They will help inform the plan’s substance, guide the process of soliciting input from the broader community, and act as spokespersons for the planning effort at public events.”

Powell said participation in Choose Chillicothe will not be a minor commitment, as the committee will meet approximately 6 times during the planning process. But the resulting comprehensive plan will one of the most important documents the City uses in determining how the City grows and redevelops during the coming decades. This committee will begin meeting in January and, over a period of roughly 12 months, will work closely with the City’s planning staff, planning consultant, and other community members to bring insight and perspective to the visioning process.

“The goal is to establish a diverse and impassioned group that represents as many interests and geographic areas of Chillicothe as possible,” Powell said. “We want to include people of all ages and backgrounds. The more perspectives we can bring to the table, the better this process will be and the more inclusive the final product will be in reflecting our community’s shared vision for the future.”

Chillicothe has not had a new comprehensive plan in nearly 75 years. Chillicothe has seen significant change in that time, it is more important than ever to develop a new plan which reflects the modern realities of the city. Finding a core group of residents to guide the process of envisioning Chillicothe’s future is the first important step. “We want to hear the voices of residents who have a passion for this community,” Powell said. “We’re going to be making plans for growth and development, transportation, parks and recreation, housing, neighborhoods, economic development, and other components of our community that will be key to our future.”

If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact Asti Powell at (740) 773-1569, or send email to asti.powell@chillicotheoh.gov.

Watson Signs To Ohio Bobcats Football Squad

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Unioto senior Joseph Watson has signed to become an Ohio University Bobcats football player.

(Unioto Lineman Joseph Watson)

Watson was offered a “Preferred Walk On”, which is a guaranteed roster spot at Ohio University.  

The PWO requires a commitment to attend Ohio University, which Joseph made to OU last week.

Many times a “preferred walk on player” eventually leads to scholarship status, depending on their playing time with the squad.

(Joseph Watson- OU Football)

Southern State Community College Sells Fayette Campus

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(Washington CH) — The Fayette County Campus of Southern State Community College is being sold to Kettering Health for $2 million. The branch campus is located on Highland Avenue in Washington Court House, with the main campus located in Hillsboro.

SSCC Board of Trustees approved the sale at a special meeting Tuesday. Kettering Health plans to use the building as a health facility after completing renovations.

In a press release, Southern State President Kevin Boys said enrollment at their branch campuses has declined since the pandemic.

“Among conversations with potential partners, this buyer expressed an interest in purchasing the facility so that substantial renovation could take place to meet its needs. The buyer and the college are leaving the door open for future shared use of the facility and class offerings at the site,” said Boys. “The campus will remain open for spring semester 2022.”

SSCC sold their North Campus in Wilmington to the Clinton County Board of Commissioners earlier this year. It will be used as office space.

Students from Fayette County are still taking classes online through the Hillsboro Campus.

SSCC board chairman Brian Prickett added, “Higher education has been changing and the need for brick and mortar is simply not as important as it once was. This sale will further enable the College to concentrate our technical programs at our central location in Hillsboro and further grow our online presence for students throughout our region.”