Ross SWCD To Celebrate 75th Anniversary

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(Chillicothe) – The Ross Soil and Water Conservation District will celebrate its 75th anniversary at the district annual meeting and banquet on August 18th at the Ross County Fairgrounds. The Annual Meeting Banquet will be held inside the Ross County Fairgrounds Multipurpose Building with doors open at 6pm and dinner served at 6:30pm.

This 75-year milestone is shared by nearly 300,000 farmers nationwide. Over a million farm producers are over age 65, and in the last 40 years, the average age of a farm’s principal operator has risen from 50 to 59. With these kinds of demographics revealing an aging farm population, the district will present an informative program about farm transition planning. Attorney Ryan Conklin, president of the Wright and Moore Law Firm, works with farmers and farm families to hand down their farm to the next generation, keep the farm in the family and pass on a viable farming operation.

Antique tractors and a history of the district’s 75 years of soil and water conservation will be on display at the Ross County Fairgrounds Multipurpose Building. Supervisors will also present the district’s annual report to residents, introduce new supervisors running for 2023, and present the district cooperator of the year award to recognize farmers who practice conservation to prevent soil erosion and protect water quality.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and a dinner buffet will be served by Sunroom Catering at 6:30 p.m. on August 18th at the Ross County Fairgrounds Multipurpose Building at 344 Fairgrounds Road in Chillicothe, Ohio. Tickets are $12 per person. Residents can make reservations at 740-772-4110, extension 116 or email the district office at or visit The RSVP deadline is August 11th.

Ryan Conklin, the speaker for the evening was raised on a family dairy farm himself and has unique experience with the law to assist clients with a variety of issues related to agritourism, wind and solar leases, farmland transactions, dispute resolution, and farm transition planning. The Ohio State grad joined the Wright & Moore law firm in August 2015 and became the president of the firm in January 2022.

With its history dating back to the dust bowl era of the 1930’s, and organized in 1947, the conservation district was formed to encourage and implement practices to prevent soil erosion, protect water quality, and encourage the stewardship of natural resources. The district receives most of its funding from the Ross County Commissioners, additional funds from the State of Ohio and is governed by a volunteer Board of Supervisors.

Ross SWCD provides free technical assistance to landowners implementing conservation practices through the farm bill or for the CAUV tax program. The district provides county services related to geographic information systems, residential neighborhood drainage and runoff, wildlife habitat, and a broad range of conservation initiatives. Residents can find more information about Ross Soil and Water online at the district website or call the district office at 740-772-4110, extension 116.

New Educational Tool to Prevent Distracted Driving by Teens

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(Columbus)— The Ohio Traffic Safety Office (OTSO) has released a new educational video for use by parents, teachers, and driver education instructors to help them explain the dangers of distracted driving to teens.

The light-hearted video is targeted toward youthful drivers and features a pair of young hosts answering the distracted driving questions that instructors get the most.

“This new educational video uses a light touch to engage young drivers on this incredibly serious topic,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “By using young drivers to deliver this message, we hope the important safety lessons stay with Ohio’s teenagers every time they get behind the wheel.”

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According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there have been more than 69,000 distracted driving crashes in Ohio since 2017, including 2,060 fatal and serious injury crashes. In 40 percent of these incidents, drivers were between the ages of 15-24. 

“Reducing crashes on Ohio roadways is one of our top priorities,” said OTSO Director Felice Moretti. “With more distractions now than ever before, it’s important to teach our young drivers that the road demands your attention when you’re behind the wheel. This video demonstrates that point in a creative and engaging way.”

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Ohio traffic laws include several penalties for driving distracted:

  • In Ohio, distracted driving is considered a primary offense for drivers under 18, which means that teens can be pulled over if a law enforcement officer sees them using their mobile device in any way.
  • Drivers who are cited for distracted driving face a fine of $150, and teen drivers face an additional 60-day license suspension.
  • An additional $100 fine can be levied for distracted driving if it occurs during the course of committing a moving violation. The additional fine can be waived if the offender attends a distracted driving education course.

The new distracted driving video will officially be unveiled tomorrow at the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s booth at the Ohio State Fair. You can also watch the video on the Ohio Department of Safety’s YouTube page.

The new video is another step in Governor DeWine’s comprehensive plan to improve the safety of Ohio’s roads.  In 2019, he directed the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to put focus on improving the 150 most dangerous intersections in the state. To help address unintentional motor vehicle crashes, which are one of the leading causes of death for teenagers and young adults in Ohio, Governor DeWine also launched the “Ready, Test, Drive!”virtual driver assessment program to more accurately assess new drivers’ road readiness and help identify skills needing improvement. In 2020, Governor DeWine formed the Ohio Traffic Safety Council to coordinate and monitor all statewide safety initiatives; launched a new work zone traffic enforcement plan in coordination with ODOT and the Ohio State Highway Patrol; and awarded grants to juvenile courts to help them give young drivers more access to advanced driver training.

Free Budget Workshop To Be Offered

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(Waverly) – The Free Tax Preparation and Financial Literacy Program of the Workforce & Business Development Program at the Community Action Committee of Pike County is offering a “Where Does My Money Go?” Budgeting Workshop on the evening of Thursday, August 25th from 5pm to 7pm at the Market Street Location at 941 Market Street in Piketon. 

Community Action Committee of Pike County

This workshop is being offered at no cost. The workshop is designed to show you how to create a spending plan, how to track what you are spending, how to get out of debt, as well as goals and tips on how to grow your savings.

Registration is required for this workshop. 

For more information and to register for the workshop, contact Kate at 740-289-2371 or via email at   Seating is limited. 

Don’t Participate in Secondary Liquor Sales

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(Columbus) — The Ohio Division of Liquor Control and the Ohio Investigative Unit strongly reminds Ohio consumers to not sell or buy liquor on the secondary market. 

Secondary liquor sales often occur on the internet including on social media websites such as Facebook and other sites such as Craigslist. Typically, sellers will purchase bottles of liquor and turn around to resell them. 

Secondary sales cases can result in fines and/or jail time. In 2021, OIU received 34 referrals resulting in 32 warnings and two arrests compared with 50 referrals, zero arrests, and 47 warnings in 2020, and 24 referrals, 11 arrests, and four warnings in 2019. More than 70 percent of cases were referred to OIU’s Cincinnati district.  

“The controls in place are there to ensure the contents inside the liquor bottles are safe,” said OIU Commander Erik Lockhart. “When alcohol is purchased from authorized sources, buyers can ensure the contents inside are genuine and safe.”

In Ohio, consumers may only purchase spirituous liquor from authorized sources such as an OHLQ location, which are private businesses that sell the product on behalf of the state of Ohio, or permitted retail establishments, such as bars and restaurants.

“We appreciate the efforts OIU takes to keep the market fair and consumers safe,” Division Superintendent Jim Canepa said. “Ohio consumers who purchase their liquor the right way support small businesses that sell these products legally and avoid buying counterfeit or tampered with products.” 

OIU and the Division will continue to investigate secondary market liquor sales. If you know of anyone selling alcohol illegally, contact your local OIU District Office.