Pioneer Center Receives Ohio Elks Grant

Presented By Classic Brands

(Chillicothe) – The Ohio Elks Association Cerebral Palsy Fund awarded $4,900 to Pioneer School to fund Camp Explore, a two-week summer camp for students with disabilities. They also provided a $400 scholarship for students with Cerebral Palsy to attend Pioneer Pony Camp, a one-week equestrian summer camp, this year being held at the Ross County Fairgrounds.

Photo submitted by Pioneer Center

Members of the Chillicothe Elks Lodge #52 presented the check to Community Inclusion Coordinator Trish Wallace and School Services Coordinator Lacey Derexson.

The Ohio Elks Cerebral Palsy Fund Board was created to maintain, administer, contribute, and donate funds or property to any Ohio Chapter or branch of any nationally recognized or local organization in Ohio which maintains, as a function, the care, treatment, training, and rehabilitation of individuals with Cerebral Palsy.

The Pioneer Center, otherwise known as Ross County Board of DD (RCBDD), exists for the purpose of improving the quality of life for citizens who have a developmental disability. RCBDD is committed to provide quality services that provide individuals and their families with choices that enhance community participation and achieve a life of increasing capabilities.

Highland County Health Assessment Survey Seeks Community Information

Article Presented By Rathkamp Financial

(Hillsboro) – The Highland County Health Department is conducting a community-wide health assessment this summer, and they are asking for community participation in this important effort.  Health Commissioner Jared Warner explains, “Every three years, the health department reaches out directly to our community members and asks some big questions about the health of our Highland County community.  The information that we get in response to this survey helps the health department to develop programs and services that directly address the needs of our community.”

Past survey responses have helped to highlight community concerns about drug abuse, chronic health issues like diabetes and heart disease, increased infant mortality rates, and other important issues that impact community health. 

Several options are available to take the survey, including online and with pen and paper.  Many local businesses and community organizations have also joined this effort to collect information from our community.  According to Hannah Guilkey-Humphrey, Special Projects Coordinator for the Health Department, “Flyers, posters, and paper versions of the survey have been distributed to all of our local communities.  We made a special effort this year to get information out to all of our most rural areas in hopes that we will get a strong response from all parts of Highland County.”

As an incentive to participate in this community survey, several $50 gas cards, a smart watch, a tablet computer, and other prizes will be given out.  To enter the prize drawing, participants must first complete the health assessment survey.

Community Health Assessment survey responses will be collected until Mid-July.  Results for the assessment will be used to develop a Community Health Improvement Plan.  “The Community Health Improvement Plan will help to shape the focus of health services as the Highland County Health Department and our many partner agencies continue to work towards promoting, protecting, and improving community health,” said Warner. 

Adena Health Systems is partnering with Highland County Health Department to conduct this survey.

The survey can be taken at

Friends of Hopewell Culture NHP Present June 24th Program

Presented By Atomic Speedway

Friends of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park presents Dr. Bret Ruby, PHD, RPA/ Archeologist, who will offer guided tours to active archaeological excavations at Hopewell Mound Group on Sulphur Lick Road, Friday, June 24 10am and 2pm.

Tours will begin at the parking lot picnic shelter. The group will then walk ½ mile on a gravel trail to the excavation site, one mile round trip.  Each tour will last approximately 2 hours.  In case of rain, a lecture will be presented at the shelter house. Bring water, bug spray and sun screen.

Registration is limited.  Members will have first opportunity to register, before open to the public.

Private message Terressa Reep or email to register.

Members have first opportunities to register.  Free event but registration required for planning purposes.

Ohio University Duo Members of Team To Locate New Dinosaur In Egypt

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(Athens) – An Egyptian-American team of researchers has announced the discovery of a new kind of large-bodied meat-eating dinosaur, or theropod, from a celebrated fossil site in Egypt’s Sahara Desert. The fossil of a still-unnamed species provides the first known record of the abelisaurid group of theropods from a middle Cretaceous-aged (approximately 98 million years old) rock unit known as the Bahariya Formation, which is exposed in the Bahariya Oasis of the Western Desert of Egypt.

In the early 20th century, this locality famously yielded the original specimens of a host of remarkable dinosaurs—including the colossal sail-backed fish-eater Spinosaurus—which were then destroyed in World War II. Abelisaurid fossils had previously been found in Europe and in many of today’s Southern Hemisphere continents, but never before from the Bahariya Formation. The team describes the Bahariya abelisaurid discovery in a paper published today in Royal Society Open Science.

The study was led by Ohio University graduate student Belal Salem, based on work he initiated while a member of the Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology Center (MUVP) in Mansoura, Egypt. The research team also included Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine professor of biomedical sciences Patrick O’Connor; Matt Lamanna, associate curator of vertebrate paleontology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History; Sanaa El-Sayed, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan and the MUVP’s former vice director; Hesham Sallam, a professor at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and Mansoura University and the founding director of the MUVP; and additional colleagues from Benha University and the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency.

The fossil in question, a well-preserved vertebra from the base of the neck, was recovered by a 2016 MUVP expedition to the Bahariya Oasis. The vertebra belongs to an abelisaurid, a kind of bulldog-faced, small-toothed, tiny-armed theropod that is estimated to have been roughly six meters (20 feet) in body length. Abelisaurids—most notably represented by the horned, demonic-looking Patagonian form Carnotaurus of Jurassic World and Prehistoric Planetfame—were among the most diverse and geographically widespread large predatory dinosaurs in the southern landmasses during the Cretaceous Period, the final time period of the Age of Dinosaurs. Along with Spinosaurus and two other giant theropods (Carcharodontosaurus and Bahariasaurus), the new abelisaurid fossil adds yet another species to the cadre of large predatory dinosaurs that roamed what is now the Egyptian Sahara roughly 98 million years ago.

“During the mid-Cretaceous, the Bahariya Oasis would’ve been one of the most terrifying places on the planet,” says Salem, a new student in the biological sciences graduate program at Ohio University. “How all these huge predators managed to coexist remains a mystery, though it’s probably related to their having eaten different things, their having adapted to hunt different prey.”

The new vertebra holds implications for the biodiversity of Cretaceous dinosaurs in Egypt and the entire northern region of Africa. It is the oldest known fossil of Abelisauridae from northeastern Africa, and shows that, during the mid-Cretaceous, these carnivorous dinosaurs ranged across much of the northern part of the continent, east to west from present day Egypt to Morocco, to as far south as Niger and potentially beyond. Spinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurusare also known from Niger and Morocco, and a close relative of Bahariasaurus has been found in the latter nation as well, suggesting that this fauna of large to gigantic theropods coexisted throughout much of northern Africa at this time.

How can the discovery of a single neck vertebra lead researchers to conclude that the fossil belongs to a member of Abelisauridae, a kind of carnivorous dinosaur that has never been found in the Bahariya Formation before? The answer is remarkably simple: it is virtually identical to the same bone in other, better-known abelisaurids such as Carnotaurus from Argentina and Majungasaurus from Madagascar. As coauthor and Salem’s graduate advisor Patrick O’Connor, who in 2007 published an exhaustive study of the vertebral anatomy of Majungasaurus, explains, “I’ve examined abelisaur skeletons from Patagonia to Madagascar. My first glimpse of this specimen from photos left no doubt about its identity. Abelisaurid neck bones are so distinctive.”