Columbia Gas Starts Mainline Improvement

Presented By Atomic Speedway

(Chillicothe)- Work to make improvements to underground gas lines is underway in Chillicothe.

Engineer, David Fishel has announced that Columbia Gas started a project this week to make improvements to their gas mainline along High Street in Chillicothe.

Project limits are between the intersection of Mill Street to the south and the intersection of Orange Street to the north, and along Caroline Drive as well.

The work is anticipated to finish in June with intermittent lane closures during the daytime hours. Work will begin at 7:30am and finish at approximately 3:30pm, Monday through Friday. Weekend work will be performed only when necessary.

Questions can be addressed by calling the Engineering Department, 740-773-8981.

ODNR Proposes Major Reduction Wild Turkey Hunting Season

Presented By Classic Brands

(Columbus) – Biologists with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife recommended a major reduction to the 2022 fall wild turkey hunting season during the Ohio Wildlife Council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 12. Under the proposal received Wednesday, Ohio’s fall wild turkey season would begin on Saturday, Oct. 15 and conclude on Sunday, Nov. 13, a reduction of three weeks when compared to the 2021 fall season.

The fall turkey hunting proposal was part of a larger package of season dates that were presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council, and includes small game, waterfowl, and furbearers.

Wild turkey populations have declined throughout Ohio following several years of below average reproductive success. The proposed reduction in the fall hunting season length goes along with a reduced limit for the spring season. Ohio hunters harvested 695 wild turkeys during the 2021 fall season that was open in 70 of 88 counties. The average harvest during the three previous years (2018 to 2020) was 1,079 birds.

Further hunting season proposals 
Additional 2022-23 hunting seasons dates that were proposed Wednesday include small game, furbearers, and waterfowl. Proposals include the traditional start dates of squirrel and mourning dove on Thursday, Sept. 1, furbearer hunting and trapping on Thursday, Nov. 10, and rabbit and pheasant on Friday, Nov. 4.

Waterfowl hunting dates in the Lake Erie marsh zone were proposed to begin on Saturday, Oct. 15. The north zone and south zone waterfowl openers were proposed for Saturday, Oct. 22.

White-tailed deer hunting seasons will be presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

Ohio Wildlife Council
The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all Ohio Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. Council meetings are held virtually and open to the public. Individuals interested in providing comments are asked to call 614-265-6304 at least two days prior to the meeting to register. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.

A statewide hearing on all proposed rules will be held on Thursday, March 24, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.

OHSAA Adds Boys Volleyball & Girls Wrestling As Emerging Sports

Presented By Chillicothe VAMC

OHSAA submission/Photo credit David Jablonski, Dayton Daily News

(Columbus) The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors voted unanimously to add boys volleyball and girls wrestling as emerging sports, starting with the 2022-23 school year.

In a related note, OHSAA removed girls and boys lacrosse from the emerging sports category and into the list of OHSAA recognized sports, and also committed to discuss partnering with a group to provide a tournament in Esports (gaming).

The Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association has been conducting a girls wrestling tournament since 2020, and the Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association has been conducting its tournament since 1988. 

“The OHSAA has been talking with the boys volleyball and girls wrestling leaders for several years and we are now in the position to bring these two sports into the OHSAA,” said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute. “This move will help those sports continue to grow and allow those student-athletes to compete for an OHSAA state championship. It gives more kids opportunities and that is the mission of the OHSAA.” 

As emerging sports, girls wrestling and boys volleyball will be administered like the OHSAA’s current 26 recognized sports, but will have additional requirements according to OHSAA General Sports Regulation 16 that could lead to full sanctioning in the future.

“We will look to keep a very similar format for the girls wrestling and boys volleyball tournaments as what the coaches associations have been doing,” Ute said. “The girls wrestling state tournament is held in mid-February and the boys volleyball state tournament is held in the spring. We have not yet developed tournament regulations, but we’ll start working on that so that those two sports hit the ground running next fall for the start of the 2022-23 school year.” 

The OHSAA added lacrosse in 2016 and the sport has continued to grow and now moves out of the emerging sports category, effective immediately.

With the addition of girls wrestling and boys volleyball, the number of OHSAA sports grows to 28, with 14 for girls and 14 for boys.

OHSAA submission/Photo credit Paul Vernon, Columbus ThisWeek Community News

Chillicothe High School began its boys volleyball program in 2016. Coach Andrew Vitatoe said it was part of laying the groundwork for the 2017 season. “At that time much of the ground work was being completed by the OHSBVA to become a sanctioned sport, we just got involved at the right time.”

Vitatoe added  things were looking really good for sanctioning just before losing the 2020 season to Covid, but received assurance from the OHSAA programs wouldn’t have to start back at square one.  “The difference between a club sport and a sanctioned sport often makes a difference in the amount of support teams see from their home school.  We fund our own referees, uniforms, transportation in the earlier years, and our coaches are all volunteer.  Chillicothe has really been great about helping us in any way that they can.”

The Cavaliers had 11 players and compiled a 7-11 record their first season.  “We had some players get individual region honors and people started to see that this could really be a great program for Chillicothe” said Vitatoe.  “We hope that this move by the OHSAA leads to more teams in our area.  We have such a great region for girls volleyball, there isn’t any reason that we can’t also have one of the stronger areas in Ohio for Boys Volleyball.” 

The OHSAA has been in conversation with Esports, as it has grown rapidly at both the high school and college level in the last several years. The OHSAA will look to partner with a group that specializes in Esports, similar to how the OHSAA partnered with Varsity Spirit for its sideline cheerleading competition that was held for the first time this past December.

V.A. Adds Benefit Conditions For Veterans Exposed To “Burn Pits”

Presented By Scioto Valley Dumpsters

(Washington DC)- The Department of Veterans Affairs has added 3 presumptive conditions related to particulate matter exposure

The new presumptive conditions are asthma, rhinitis, and sinusitis. To be eligible for benefits, you must have gotten one of these conditions within 10 years of your separation from active service.

This will expand benefits for Veterans who served in:

  • Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria, and Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War, from September 19, 2001, to the present, or
  • The Southwest Asia theater of operations from August 2, 1990, to the present

If you have a pending claim for one or more of these conditions, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll send you a decision notice when we complete our review.

For more information about VA benefits and eligibility, or how to file a claim, Veterans and survivors can visit www.VA.gov or call toll-free at 1-800-827-1000. 

“Airborne hazard” refers to any sort of contaminant or potentially toxic substance that we are exposed to through the air we breathe. While on active duty, military service members may have been exposed to a variety of airborne hazards including:

  • The smoke and fumes from open burn pits
  • Sand, dust, and particulate matter
  • General air pollution common in certain countries
  • Fuel, aircraft exhaust, and other mechanical fumes
  • Smoke from oil well fires
Map of Southwest Asia with countries highlighted in which burn pits were a common practice
Click to expand the map of countries and bodies of water currently included in the VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.

VA understands that many Veterans are especially concerned about exposure to the smoke and fumes generated by open burn pits.

In Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas of the Southwest Asia theater of military operations, open-air combustion of trash and other waste in burn pits was a common practice. The Department of Defense has now closed out most burn pits and is planning to close the remainder. 

Depending on a variety of factors, you may experience health effects related to this exposure. Factors that may indicate you have a greater or lesser risk of short or long-term health effects include:

  • Types of waste burned
  • Proximity, amount of time, and frequency of exposure
  • Wind direction and other weather-related factors
  • Presence of other airborne or environmental hazards in the area

Researchers, including experts at VA, are actively studying airborne hazards like burn pits and other military environmental exposures. Ongoing research will help us better understand potential long-term health effects and provide you with better care and services.

Many health conditions related to these hazards are temporary and should disappear after the exposure ends. Other longer-term health issues may be caused by a combination of hazardous exposures, injuries, or illnesses you may have experienced during your military service including blast or noise injuries.

Health Care and Benefits

Doctor speaking with older man

VA understands that exposure to airborne hazards like burn pits is a serious concern for many Veterans. We strongly encourage all Veterans who are concerned about any kind of hazardous exposure during their military service talk to their health care provider and apply for VA health care.

VA health care is also available for free to combat Veterans for five years after separation to help ensure continuity of care for health issues related to their military service. If you are enrolled in VA care, you can contact your facility’s Environmental Health Coordinator for more information and resources.

Veterans can also file a claim for compensation and benefits. If you participate in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (AHOBPR), you may save and submit a copy of your registry questionnaire to support your claim. Through the claims process, VA evaluates Veterans’ individual exposures, circumstances of service, and needs. 

For more information, CLICK HERE: