ODNR campgrounds are closed

In response to the developing public health situation, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has closed campgrounds, cabins, golf courses, restrooms, shower houses, playgrounds, and state park marinas at all ODNR properties. Public outdoor spaces at Ohio state parks, wildlife areas, forests and nature preserves remain open, including trails, dog parks and non-marina docks, but visitors should use common sense and follow guidelines such as washing hands, maintaining social distancing, avoiding public drinking fountains and bring a suitable trash bag (leave no trash, take everything out to protect park workers). The Division of Wildlife also announced the closure of the boardwalk and parking lot at Magee Marsh wildlife area near Toledo. Closures are expected to be temporary until COVID-19 guidelines change or are lifted. For state park lodge or lodge cabin customers who wish to modify or cancel current reservations, visit www.greatohiolodges.com or call 877-496-9224. The lodge and cabin operator, U.S. Hotels, is offering refunds for reservations made prior to closure.

Home scouting program formed

The Buckeye Council, Boy Scouts of America has launched a brand new program called HomeScouting to encourage kids and their families to continue their scouting adventure during this time. The immediate impact has been over 2,500 participants from 45 states signing up. The six-week program will be rolled out each week with focuses on advancement like at home den adventures and merit badges, service through sending thank you cards to healthcare workers and first responders, and camping in the backyard. Additional activities include learning about online safety, helping a parent fix a project around the house, hiking in a local park or neighborhood, and more. After completing the six-week program, boys, girls, and parents can earn a “Spring Breakout Award” patch. For more information and to sign up for the program, go to www.buckeyecouncil.org/HomeScouting Families not currently enrolled in a traditional Scouting program are also welcome to participate in the HomeScouting program. The Buckeye Council annually serves over 8000 youth from Stark, Columbiana, Carroll, Tuscarawas, Wayne, Holmes, Richland, Ashland, Morrow, Crawford, Marion and Wyandot Counties. The Buckeye Council offers character development and leadership programs for boys and girls in kindergarten through age 20.

Southern adjusts meal schedule

Southern Local has altered its meal distribution schedule to meet Gov. DeWine’s latest lockdown issuance. Five breakfasts and five lunches will now be provided at 10:45 a.m. each Monday at the sites to cover the entire week to limit contact. The 10 locations are the Summitville Post Office, Bethesda Presbyterian Church, JT Pitstop along State Route 518, Lincoln and Church streets in Salineville, the Salineville Methodist Church at Water and Main streets, the Salineville Church of Christ at Lincoln and Washington streets, Brick Hill at McGaffic Alley and East Main Street, Mudtown on McGavern Road and West Main Street, Valley Drive, Cameron Road drop-off site, Russell Heights at 10th Street Extension and Franklin Avenue, and 18th Street Heights at West and Alden streets. “We’re going to be dropping off meals at the spots and we’ll deliver to a number of families who can’t get to those locations,” said Superintendent Tom Cunningham. “We’re going to make sure nobody goes hungry.” For more information, call (330) 679-2343 or visit www.southern.k12.oh.us or the Southern Local School District Indians Facebook page.

Branch offers Facebook Live event

West Branch invites the community to view a Facebook Live event at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 31. An update on the planning for the 2020 – 2021 school year will be given. Community members can tune into the live stream by visiting the official West Branch Local School at www.facebook.com/WBLSD/. Superintendent Timothy Saxton said, “This Facebook live event allows us to continue the process of consolidation for the coming school year and hare information to our school community through an online format that conforms to the Governor’s current stay at home order.” Community members and parents are encouraged to use the survey form at www.surveymonkey.com/r/G8ZSW3V to post questions prior to the event. Saxton and members of the board will answer community questions during the live stream.

Columbia Gas reacts to outbreak

Columbia Gas of Ohio has instituted its pandemic response plan, which involves short and long-term planning to address the coronavirus outbreak. Work in the community and in company call centers continues uninterrupted, and Columbia is fully staffed with contingency plans in place to continue working 24/7 to provide energy to our customers. In addition, we’ve taken a series of proactive and preventive steps to safeguard Columbia Gas employees, including temperature checks for employees who must report to work, restricting all non-essential business travel, implementing telework for all employees with the ability to work from home, minimizing in-person meetings by using technology, and stepping up cleaning and disinfection of work areas. Increased social distancing measures and steps to minimize close in-person interactions are also central to plans to ensure the workforce remains safe and healthy. In some cases, certain types of work have been temporarily suspended. Columbia also has voluntarily suspended disconnects for customers unable to pay their Columbia Gas bills. This suspension applies to both residential and commercial customers and will remain in effect until further notice. In addition, the company is offering its most flexible payment plans to customers experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19.

Hancock courthouse is closed

Hancock County commissioners have ordered that the courthouse be closed to the public. There will be limited staff available in each office to answer questions from the public via phone or email. A drop box will be provided in the lobby where information can be left for the various offices. Additional information will be available at www.hancockcountywv.org as it becomes available.