Tag Archives: Governor Mike DeWine

New Educational Tool to Prevent Distracted Driving by Teens

Article Presented By Chillicothe VAMC

(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.

New Hocking County Judge Appointed

Article Presented By Accurate Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

(Logan)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced the appointment of Jason M. Despetorich to the Hocking County Court of Common Pleas, General and Domestic Relations Division.

Despetorich, of Logan, will assume office on August 1, 2022 and will be taking the seat formerly held by Judge John T. Wallace, who retired. Despetorich must run for election in November 2022 in order to complete the unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2024.

Despetorich has run his private practice, Despetorich Law Offices, LLC, for the last 15 years. In that time, he has devoted his law practice to criminal law and domestic relations. Despetorich has primarily practiced in the courts of Hocking, Fairfield, and Franklin counties. 

Local Law Enforcement Receive Retention Grant Funds

Article Presented By Chillicothe VAMC

(Columbus) – The Chillicothe Police Department will receive a large portion of the $9.9 million that is going to 25 local law enforcement agencies to help them strategically combat violence in their communities.  Chillicothe Police Department will receive $1.6 million and Pike County Sheriff will receive $412,000.

The grants are part of the fourth round of Governor DeWine’s Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program. To date, the Governor has awarded $19.5 million to 69 Ohio law enforcement agencies to aid in their work to hold accountable the small number of criminals responsible for most violent crime in the state. A total of $58 million will be awarded as part of the grant program overall.

“My job as governor is to make sure that tools and resources are available at the local level to help our local law enforcement officers combat the violence they face,” said Governor DeWine. “These grants provide a means for local law enforcement to protect their citizens from violent crime through solid staffing levels and enhanced crime-fighting initiatives.” 

Agencies receiving grants to implement violent crime reduction strategies as part of the fourth round of the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program include: 

Round 4 Map

The following entities will also each receive grants to pay for retention bonuses to help maintain current law enforcement staffing levels, recruit new officers, and continue ongoing public safety services to prevent and investigate violent crime.

  • Arcanum Police Department (Darke County): $20,221.76
  • Beachwood Police Department (Cuyahoga County): $559,073.82
  • Bucyrus Police Department (Crawford County): $445,947.10
  • Chillicothe Police Department (Ross County): $1,602,588.16
  • Erie County Victim Assistance Program: $466,038.11
  • Hocking County Prosecutor’s Office: $414,030.63
  • Jackson Township Police Department (Mahoning County): $35,846.64
  • Kent Police Department (Portage County): $376,771.20
  • Mechanicsburg Police Department (Champaign County): $140,527.12
  • Mentor Police Department (Lake County): $186,000.00
  • Miami Township Police Department (Montgomery County): $303,209.90
  • Morrow County Sheriff’s Office: $587,141.08
  • New Lexington Police Department (Perry County): $76,528.32
  • Niles Police Department (Trumbull County): $262,350.10
  • Oregon Police Division (Lucas County): $442,373.16
  • Pike County Sheriff’s Office: $412,955.99
  • Piqua Police Department (Miami County): $201,502.08
  • Richwood Police Department (Union County): $34,892.00
  • Sandusky Police Department (Erie County): $232,380.00
  • Sidney Police Department (Shelby County): $425,704.31
  • Springfield Township Police Department (Hamilton County): $255,974.87
  • Toronto Police Department (Jefferson County): $48,702.40
  • Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office: $366,799.68

Governor DeWine, in partnership with the Ohio General Assembly, created the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program last year to give local law enforcement additional tools to address violence, including increases in crime associated with law enforcement retirements and resignations. 

The program is funded through both the state operating budget and with American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds that Governor DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly have dedicated to first responders to counter various pressing issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including violent crime. The grants announced today are all funded through ARPA.

Ohio Grants Demolition Funds To Area Communities

Article Presented By Tomlinson Insurance Agency, Inc.

(Columbus)—More than $42.1 million in grant funding has been awarded to help communities in nearly every Ohio county turn blighted properties into new opportunities that attract investment, business, and jobs. 

Eighty-seven counties will receive up to $500,000 in grants as part of the first phase of the Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program, which funds the demolition of dilapidated commercial and residential buildings and the revitalization of surrounding properties.

“There are vacant, decaying buildings all over the state that are nothing but eyesores, and it’s time for these structures to go,” said Governor DeWine. “By investing to tear down these dangerous properties, we’re not only helping to transform the landscape of our communities, but we’re also clearing the way for redevelopment, more jobs, and new opportunities for Ohio residents.” 

In total, approximately $150 million in grants will be awarded for demolition and revitalization projects across the state in coming months.  As part of the program’s initial round of funding, $500,000 was set aside for all of Ohio’s 88 counties through June 30, 2022. The awards announced today represent the total amount requested by each county up to its $500,000 set-aside. The program’s remaining funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to counties that applied for funding in excess of $500,000. 


DETAILS: List of Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Grants (Initial Round)


“These investments lead to revitalization at its finest,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “It takes blighted properties that are a scar on the landscape of a community and turns them into parks, housing or thriving businesses.” 

The Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program was created with the support of the Ohio General Assembly, which funded the program as part of the state biennium budget bill, House Bill 110. The program, which is administered by the Ohio Department of Development, is also part of the DeWine-Husted Administration’s strategic efforts to invest in Ohio’s future.

“With access to this funding communities can start on their projects and begin making room for future growth,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “Clearing blight and dilapidated structures helps pave the way for future economic development.”

The Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program is part of Governor DeWine’s Ohio BUILDS Initiative, which focuses on supporting targeted solutions that impact quality of life, such as water infrastructure improvements, broadband expansion, brownfield redevelopment, the demolition of blighted buildings, and more.

For more information on the new Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program, visit Development.Ohio.Gov/Demolition.