Senators Vow To Kill AIR Commission Effort To Close Chillicothe & Other V.A. Medical Centers

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(Washington DC) – An announcement Monday by a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators states they will block the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission recommendations, claiming the process is “flawed.”

This move would prevent the closure of the Chillicothe Veterans Affairs Medical Center, along with other V.A. sites recommended for closure across the nation.

Senator Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat and chairman of the veterans committee, said the slow pace of the work thus far coupled with the controversial recommendations put out by VA leaders earlier this year have made the process unworkable.

A joint statement was issued from the group of senators- “As senators, we share a commitment to expanding and strengthening modern VA infrastructure in a way that upholds our obligations to America’s veterans. We believe the recommendations put forth to the AIR Commission are not reflective of that goal, and would put veterans in both rural and urban areas at a disadvantage,” the group said in a statement.

“That is why we are announcing that this process does not have our support and will not move forward. The commission is not necessary for our continued push to invest in VA health infrastructure.”

The group includes Senators. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.; Mike Rounds, R-S.D.; and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. Those four last month introduced legislation to completely eliminate the commission, saying the recommendations offered by VA leaders were too flawed to try and salvage.

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia also spelled doom for the AIR Commission. “We have democrats and republicans rising up and saying ‘it’s over.’ We’re not going to confirm anybody (for the AIR Commission) and we’re going to kill it.”

In addition to those senators, seven more senators also signed on to the new pledge to block the commission: Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; John Thune, R-S.D.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Patty Murray, D-Wash.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M.

35 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in 21 different states would be closed or completely reconstructed under the nearly $2 trillion infrastructure overhaul. Fourteen new major VA hospitals would be built along with 140 multi-specialty community-based outpatient clinics.

The plan in total would add 80 new medical buildings to the department’s existing inventory of more than 1,200 across the country. Officials from rural areas said the recommendations cut off services for too many veterans not living close to major U.S. cities. Staff in hospitals in New York and Ohio scheduled for eventual closure held rallies to protest the decisions.

Major U.S. Rt. 50 Project Begins July 11

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(Hillsboro) – Work is set to begin on a resurfacing project on U.S. Route 50 between the city of Hillsboro and Carper Lane, starting July 11th. 

Work will occur weekdays from 7am-5pm between the Hillsboro corporation limit and Haggerty Road. Traffic will be maintained in one lane using flaggers, as needed, during work hours. This work will include milling and replacement of the existing pavement.

More extensive work will take place between Haggerty Road and Carper Lane. Crews will be rebuilding the roadway from the dirt up. For the first phase of construction, this will require a full closure of the westbound lane of U.S. 50. During the closure, westbound traffic will be detoured via S.R. 753, S.R. 506, and S.R. 124. Eastbound traffic and access to driveways will be maintained during this phase.

The $4.3 million project was awarded to the Shelly Company and is expected to be completed Fall 2022.

Library Sponsors Free Day at Chillicothe Municipal Pool

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The Chillicothe-Ross County Public Library will host a free Pool Day on Friday, July 1st. Families are invited to the Donald M. Smith Memorial Swimming Pool in Yoctangee Park, between noon-7pm.

There will be break time activities for the kids until 4pm, including a few fun giveaways.

For more information, contact the Chillicothe-Ross County Public Library or the Chillicothe Municipal Pool.

June 29th Think Big, Chillicothe Community Conversation Postponed

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(Chillicothe) – The City of Chillicothe will continue community conversations this week. The public is invited to share big ideas on improving Chillicothe around education, economic development, housing, parks & public spaces, city infrastructure & services, and health. Join the conversation with Mayor Feeney and City Administration Tuesday, June 28th at the Scioto Township Hall, 164 S. Watt Street. The meeting will run 5:30pm–7:30pm.

The June 29th event at the City Armory has been postponed due to elevator mechanical issues. Updates on a reschedule date will be posted to the City’s website and social media.

Following the sessions, the top ideas will be shared on a new online engagement page for further community input. Questions or comments may be directed to Asti Powell, Director of Planning & Development at (740) 773-8981 or via email at