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ODNR announces capital improvement projects at Hocking Hills State Park

October 22, 2014

LOGAN -- Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer today announced several capital improvement projects at Hocking Hills State Park.

“Hocking Hills continues to receive international acclaim and is certainly one of Ohio’s greatest natural treasures,” said Zehringer. “These improvements allow us to enhance the experience of our guests as we showcase this beautiful park and introduce more visitors to the great things Ohio has to offer.”

Upcoming improvements at Hocking Hills State Park will include:

  • Completely renovating all 40 of the state park’s cabins
  • Replacing the dining lodge roof
  • Doing exterior renovations to the dining lodge
  • Renovating the outdoor pool at the dining lodge
  • Adding more full service hookup campsites
  • Installing new playground equipment in the campground area
  • Upgrading the restroom at the welcome center at Old Man’s Cave
  • Making improvements to the restroom at Ash Cave
  • Increasing trail signage throughout the park, including safety signage and confidence markers
  • Installing brand new interpretive signage for the first time at an Ohio State Park
  • Larger campsites at the horse camp

The Ohio State Parks capital improvement projects, and others like them around the state, are made possible through the support of Governor John Kasich, Senate President Keith Faber and the Ohio General Assembly. Ohio State Parks received an unprecedented $88.5 million for capital improvements to strengthen the infrastructure and modernize facilities in the most recent capital budget.

To assist in identifying key projects, ODNR launched a website to allow people to submit their ideas for improvements within the Ohio State Parks system. By visiting, people can fill out a survey to suggest improvements at their favorite state park. To date, the department has received more than 6,100 completed surveys. Ohioans are encouraged to continue to fill out these surveys and share their feedback as they visit Ohio’s 74 state parks this fall.

Ohio is proud to be one of only seven states in the nation where admission to state parks is free.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

Ladies Auxiliary to hold baked steak, chicken noodle dinner

October 22, 2014

The Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 5299 will be holding a baked steak and chicken noodle dinner on October 24 at the VFW post located at 401 Veterans Memorial Drive in McArthur.

The dinner will be held from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Cost of the steak dinner is $8 and the noodle dinner will be $7. Drink and dessert will be included.


C.A.R.E. to hold big barn sale and food drive

October 22, 2014

C.A.R.E. Outreach will be holding a big barn sale and food drive at 395 East High Street in McArthur on October 25 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The organization has donated clothing, toys, housewares, hardware and other items they are offering to swap in exchange for donated food items.

The organization’s clients are in greatest need of peanut butter, dry beans and canned meats (tuna, salmon, chicken or beef stew).  For each of these items donated, two free items from the barn sale will be awarded.  Donations of boxed rice or pasta and canned fruits or vegetables will return one free item from the barn sale per item donated.

Those donating have been asked to only donate food items that are at minimum three months from expiration date. Expired food items will not be accepted.

All barn sale items are also available for cash purchase as well.

McArthur BPW to host Meet the Candidates night

October 19, 2014

The McArthur Business and Professional Women will be hosting a Meet the Candidates night on Monday, October 20 at the Vinton County Community Building, beginning at 7 p.m.

Candidates for Vinton County Commissioner and Auditor will participate.  Other state and district candidates may be available to speak with.

Refreshments will be provided.

Highway Patrol looks to educate, raise awareness during Teen Driver Safety Week

October 18, 2014

COLUMBUS – Teen drivers are involved in a disproportionate amount of traffic crashes, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol is committed to using education, awareness and traffic enforcement to deter dangerous behavior on Ohio roadways. For that reason, the Patrol and the Ohio Department of Public Safety are partnering with the Ohio Department of Insurance to support Teen Driver Safety Week from Oct.19-25.

From 2011-2013, teen drivers were at fault in 99,132 traffic crashes. This resulted in 43,785 injuries and 288 deaths on Ohio’s roadways, representing 9 percent of all fatal crashes during the same time period. Speed is a related factor in more than half of crashes caused by teen drivers, and more than a quarter of at-fault teen drivers were impaired by alcohol or drugs.

“Through our education, enforcement and awareness efforts, we are committed to keeping our young drivers safe,” said John Born, Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety.  “However, we need everyone across Ohio to take action in their communities as we cannot do it alone.”

While educating and raising the awareness of our teen drivers is extremely important, the Patrol also aims to change driver behavior through traffic enforcement. From 2011-2013, 62 percent of the citations issued to teen drivers were for speed-related violations and 17 percent were for failure to wear a safety belt.

“Promoting responsibility, awareness and safety are incredibly important for our youngest drivers,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. “By gaining awareness of the dangers new drivers face, teen drivers and their parents can help end these preventable losses.”

Teen drivers are encouraged to plan ahead when in order to eliminate rushing from one location to another. They are also reminded that safety belts save lives, and they should encourage everyone in their vehicle to buckle-up, every time.

For a statistical map regarding teen drivers and a county-by-county breakdown of where Patrol citations have been issued, please visit

ODNR offers resources for fall, halloween season

October 17, 2014

COLUMBUS, OH - This weekend many places around the state will provide fall color seekers the ideal opportunity to enjoy the brilliance of near peak and peak conditions, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“For many families, fall color road trips are only part of what makes this time of the year so special,” said ODNR Fall Color Forester Casey Burdick. “The autumn experience is also enjoyable because of traditional activities, such as hayrides, carving pumpkins, Halloweeen costume contests and much more.”

Remember, autumn fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Ohio State Parks offer a number of Halloween campouts, haunted trails and other great Halloween activities that allow families to create lasting memories. A complete list of these ghostly good times can be found on the fall color website.

In recognition of Earth Science Week, don’t forget this is a great time of year to see fall colors up close while fossil hunting. Once covered by a vast ocean with Caribbean-like weather, Ohio became a breeding ground for thousands of fossils that can be found today. For more information on the best places to look for fossils in Ohio this fall, go to

People interested in discovering where the most captivating leaves will be throughout the fall color season should check out, ODNR’s premier guide to Ohio’s fall color season. This website includes:

  • Weekly color updates and information to help plan a fall color adventure.
  • Weekly videos from Burdick highlighting color hot spots around the state.
  • Links for fall activities and overnight accommodations at Ohio State Parks.

Looking for some great fall getaway ideas? TourismOhio has numerous itinerary ideas and a list of attractions at under Autumn Adventures.

ODNR and TourismOhio encourage people to take fall color photos and upload them to social media using the hashtag, #ohiofall14. Follow @ohiodnr, @OhioStateParks and @DiscoverOhio on Twitter and Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio State Parks and Discover Ohio on Facebook to see more fall color photos.

New this year, ODNR is offering a Best of Ohio Fall 14 Photo Contest on Ohio State Parks’ Instagram (@OHstateparks). Post your photos to Instagram using the hashtag #ohiofall14 and automatically be entered into the contest. Prizes include a four-person tent from REI, a Hocking Hills Canopy Tours Zip Line Adventure and overnight stays at many of our state park lodges.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

McArthur library to join interlibrary loan program MORE

October 17, 2014
On November 1, the Herbert Wescoat Memorial Library (HWML) will be joining MORE (Moving Ohio’s Resources Everywhere) offered through the State Library of Ohio, an interlibrary loan (ILL) program giving access to a collection of millions of materials used by nearly 100 public and school libraries in Ohio.
In addition to materials currently offered through the Ohio Valley Library Consortium (OVLC), HWML will soon be able to borrow materials for patrons in Vinton County and the surrounding area that are not currently available to them. As part of statewide resource sharing, HWML will also be able to share its collection with libraries across the state.
If anyone has a request for an item the library may not have, they can call (740) 596-5691 and ask for ILL Coordinator Joy Ferguson. She or another staff member will assist with the request.

Highway Patrol to increase presence during National School Bus Safety Week

October 17, 2014

COLUMBUS – The Ohio State Highway Patrol will be participating in National School Bus Safety week, which runs October 20 through October 24. This year’s theme, “At My Stop, You Stop” reminds us that the most dangerous part of the school bus ride for children is when they get on and off the bus.

Throughout the week, troopers across the state of Ohio will be highly visible, enforcing the law in and around school zones and following school buses on their daily routes. In addition, troopers may be found riding on school buses looking for motorists passing the stopped school bus and other crash-causing violations.

“Although drivers of all vehicles are required to stop for a school bus when it is loading or unloading passengers, children should not rely on them to do so,” said Colonel Paul A. Pride, Patrol superintendent. “Children exiting the bus should always stop and look both ways before crossing the street and remain alert to any sudden traffic changes.”

Motorists approaching a stopped school bus from either direction should remember they are required to stop a least 10 feet back from buses displaying red flashing lights and an extended stop arm. From 2011 through 2013, 4,055 motorists were cited for failing to stop for a school bus when it was loading or unloading children.

For a complete statistical breakdown of school bus inspections, crashes and passing stopped school bus violations, click here.

Youth fly free at airport Young Eagles Leaf Peep event

October 11, 2014

Sunday, October 19 will be a busy day at the Vinton County Airport as youngsters, from age 17 down, can get one airplane ride free as part of the airport’s Young Eagles program. Also that day, older visitors can take airplane rides over the airport’s area to see the colors of the changing leaves below in an event known as the Leaf Peep. These rides can be purchased for $30 per seat.

Rides will begin at about noon and there will be food available in the airport’s shelter house. The event will run until about 4 p.m. or until all those wanting rides have received one.

This is the last scheduled event at the Vinton County Airport this year and the Vinton County Pilots and Boosters Association thanks all those who have helped support the airport this season. All proceeds from events are used to operate and maintain the airport for use by pilots and members of the general public.

The Vinton County Airport is located about six miles north of McArthur just off St. Rt. 93 on Airport Road. Follow the signs.
For more information, contact Booster President Nick Rupert at 740-357-0268 or Secretary Steve Keller at 740-418-2612.

Auditor announces release of online property records

October 11, 2014
Vinton County Auditor Cindy Owings Waugh has announced that Vinton County Property Records will be available online January 2015. Surveys and maps will shortly follow.”Since taking office in 2003 I had several obstacles to overcome to get to the technical level we are today.” Owings Waugh said.

 “In the past 12 years we have updated our operating system from a DOS (disk operating system) to a Windows based system and updated our software, the next step was to integrate a Geographic Information System, by creating digital parcel layer. Last but not least, find a hosting site and create a website that will allow us to go online so that  taxpayer will have the ability to look online for their property information.” stated Owings Waugh.”
I have been able to do the improvements through partnerships with The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Vinton County Engineer – Ron Sharrett and the Athens County Auditor Jill Thompson” Owings Waugh said.