Pike State Forest Among Two To Assist Disabled Hunters

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(Columbus) Pike State Forest and Blue Rock State Forest were the settings for two recent special hunts organized for disabled hunters to enjoy the outdoors while hunting for wild turkey. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry hosts these hunts annually in Pike and Muskingum counties.

Caption: Hunters participated in the Wheelin’ Sportsmen and Thunder in the Hills hunts for wild turkey at Blue Rock and Pike state forests respectively.

“Forest management ensures natural tree regeneration and diverse habitat, and wild turkeys are among the many forest wildlife species that have certainly benefited,” said Dan Balser, chief of the Division of Forestry. “We are fortunate to be able to share these hunting opportunities with a great group of hunters and the many partners who make these weekends special for us all.”

The 15th annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen hunt for wild turkey at Blue Rock State Forest was sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Wheelin’ Sportsmen program. The ODNR Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife worked with the Y-Bridge Longbeards and other chapters of the NWTF to coordinate the event with donations and volunteer efforts from many local individuals and businesses. Twenty-three hunters participated, and three turkeys were harvested during the event. More than 50 guides helped with the hunt.

The Thunder in the Hills wild turkey hunt was held for the fifth year at Pike State Forest. Fourteen hunters participated, and two turkeys were harvested during the event. The ODNR Division of Forestry hosted the event with cooperation from the Clinton County Chapter of the NWTF and the ODNR Divisions of Wildlife, and Parks and Watercraft. Approximately 50 organizations assisted with donations and volunteers.

Hunters at both events provided their own shotguns and ammunition, as well as the necessary licenses and permits. Guides were provided for each hunter. The participating hunters were from various parts of Ohio, with several being disabled veterans.

Greenfield Man Joins Ohio “Save By The Belt” Club

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(Chillicothe) – Greenfield resident Zachary G. Harper has joined Ohio’s “Saved by the Belt” Club after his safety belt saved him from sustaining life-threatening injuries. The crash occurred on state Route 138 in Ross County on October 3, 2021.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Sergeant Bobby D. Brown, Chillicothe Assistant Post Commander, presented him with a “Saved by the Belt” certificate signed by Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Thomas J. Stickrath and Colonel Richard S. Fambro, Patrol superintendent.

“Zachary is a living testimony to the effectiveness of safety belts,” Sergeant Brown said. “Everyone needs to buckle up every trip, every time.”

Provisional data from 2021 shows 565 people in Ohio were killed in traffic crashes where a safety belt was available, but not in use. For up-to-date statistics and information on safety belts, log onto the Patrol’s Safety Belt Dashboard at https://www.safetybeltdashboard.ohio.gov/.

The “Saved by the Belt” Club is a joint effort by the Ohio Department of Public Safety and more than 400 Ohio law enforcement agencies. This club is designed to recognize people who have benefited from their decision to wear safety belts.

Zachary also received a “Saved by the Belt” license plate bracket.

McClain Boys/Circleville Girls Win Bob Bergstrom McClain Invitational

Presented By McDonald’s

The McClain Tigers and Circleville Lady Tigers claimed team titles in Greenfield Friday at the Bob Bergstrom Invitational.

McClain scored 171.5 points for the boys championship, narrowly beating Miami Trace who had 169.5 points in the 8 team invite.

Circleville’s Lady Tigers were champs with 154 points and McClain was second with 139 points.

For complete individual and team results, go to our link to Baums Page. CLICK HERE:

Photos by Litter Media’s Ted Tickle

U.S. VA Secretary Tours Chillicothe Medical Center

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Denis McDonough, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, joined U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman Friday to visit the Chillicothe V.A. Medical Center in light of recommendations by the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission to close the century old site.

Litter Media’s Mike Smith asked the Secretary about the “all or nothing” choice the Congress will have when they eventually get the AIR Commission’s final recommendations on all V.A. facilities through the nation. Secretary McDonough explained how that works, while both U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman stated there can be some changes to the recommendations before they reach Congress.

Secretary McDonough says “The statute itself, which was agreed (to) in 2018 and signed by then President Trump, then saw the recommendations published in March (2022), will go to the Commission. The Commission then can ask that they be changed and thus send them back to V.A., or forward them on to the President. At which point- the President will either ask them to be changed, terminate the process, or send them on to the House and Senate. If it goes to the House and Senate, they have only one option. To accept it in total or disapprove it in total. They can’t take out individual pieces of it. The whole process at this time has stopped, because the Commission has not yet been appointed.”

Regardless of the outcome, Secretary McDonough said the Congress is working to approve more pay for V.A. nurses impacting this region, and promised- “What will not happen, is us losing attention on our veterans and insuring we maintain this world class health care.” 

Senator’s Brown and Portman made it very clear that they do not like the recommendations released by the V.A., and want changes to be made to keep the Chillicothe V.A. Medical Center open, yet realizing improvements need to be made to the 100 year old site.

Senator Brown re-addressed that question as to what he and Senator Portman believe should happen with the recommendations to the AIR Commission.

“The data they looked at, because it began in ’18 (2018), most of it was pre-pandemic data. They just don’t have enough information for which they based their report, which they handed to the incoming Secretary, who had very little to do with it. So we want to make sure that he’s equipped, the V.A.’s equipped, and that only the Air Commission has the information about how crucial this is to the community and these veterans.”  

Senator Portman said- “We don’t like the recommendation. Speaking for myself, to set up a new facility outside of this campus makes no sense to me. We have this incredible campus here that dates back to the days of Fort (Camp) Sherman in World War I recruitment and has since provided a century of incredible care here. We think there are some interesting opportunities, and I think the Secretary was very impressed with what he heard today, because there is a growing mental health issue here and maybe some new ways to treat mental health that are more creative, more innovative, some mid-level care longer term residential care, other things this facility could well be equipped for. That’s the discussion that needs to take place in my view. How do we change that recommendation should the process go forward.”

Secretary McDonough did not know at this point, when the AIR Commission members would be selected to consider the nationwide physical structure of the Veterans Affairs System.