Written by Saul Bauer, Director of the Logan County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Twenty-five years ago our nation committed itself to eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities. Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the signing into law the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA has done much to improve the quality of life for millions of people with disabilities by expanding participation in community life, improving infrastructure, and reducing communication barriers. The law’s protections have and will continue to shape and improve the lives of disabled Americans.
This celebratory time offers an opportunity to reflect on the ADA’s history and its future potential. The ADA changed the way society views people with disabilities. We think about how a person can be accepted and integrated into our community rather than ways to accentuate their differences.
The concept of home and community based living would not be making progress without the ADA. The Americans with Disability Act propelled the widespread availability of home and community-based services from a lofty goal, accessible only to those who could afford it, to an expectation. Most people strongly prefer to receive care and services in their homes and communities, as opposed to institutional settings. The ADA gives that preference the legal legs it needs to advance policy and become a reality.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Written by Beth A. Christian, Bellefontaine
As the recently retired tax administrator of the city of Bellefontaine, but most importantly as a citizen of the city of Bellefontaine, I am writing this letter in opposition of the city administration’s efforts to have the city income taxes collected by an outside source.
There are two agencies that they are looking into, including Regional Income Tax Agency and Central Collection Agency. While both of these agencies are collecting income taxes for multiple cities in Ohio, I do not feel that this is the best route for our city to be taking. In my opinion, losing control of the city’s tax collection would not be beneficial financially and good customer service for the citizens of Bellefontaine would be jeopardized.
In a recent article in the Bellefontaine Examiner, Service Safety Director Jim Holycross stated that the city would be paying approximately two percent to three percent of their gross income tax collections to an outside source for the service. The total receipts for 2014 were roughly $5.9 million, so even at a conservative 2.5 percent, there would be close to $150,000 flowing out of our local economy into someone else’s. The total budget for 2015 for the tax department minus the refund appropriations is $150,283 so it would be about the same, except that it is staying local. Even if an outside source is collecting the taxes, Mr. Holycross did state that there would be someone locally to assist taxpayers with any questions so that position would have to be budgeted for also in addition to what is paid to the agency.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 July 2015
Written by Robin Barton, Hilliard
Bellefontaine is my hometown. For months now I have heard many stories about how the heroin epidemic is affecting this community. I have prayed about what I can do to help in cleaning this up. A couple days ago, my husband told me there was an article in the June 22 issue of Sports Illustrated I might want to read. A special report: “Smack epidemic: How painkillers are turning young athletes into heroin addicts.” I read it and realized one way I can help is to share this article.
Stories of young athletes who, due to sports injuries, were prescribed painkillers, became addicted to them and then the prescription ran out. The addiction, however, was in full force. So they resorted to the streets or “pill parties” looking for that high their body ached for. In doing so they discovered heroin was much cheaper and afforded them the same high. Several of the young people written about overdosed and died. Sadly, the article states, that families said they received no warning from physicians about the addictive powers of painkillers.
Please read this informative article especially if you are parent of a young person. Read it, then have them read it, then talk about it.
Last Updated on Friday, 03 July 2015
Written by Angie Haver, Bellefontaine High School guidance counselor
$1.75 million saved by BHS students thanks to dual enrollment program
What started on paper as a Seniors-to-Sophomores grant initiative in 2007 has actually enabled many Bellefontaine High School students to achieve that status. Through the district’s Dual Enrollment Program, students can transition directly from the ranking of high school senior to college sophomore. Better yet, all this can be achieved without leaving the halls of BHS. In other words, students are able to walk across the graduation platform with a high school diploma in one hand and a college transcript in the other. This equates to saving lots of time and money — two valuable commodities.
Bellefontaine High School continues to be a state leader in the early college credit initiative. Students jumpstart their college careers by choosing from a menu of college class options. These challenging college level classes are taught at BHS with a specially trained BHS instructor. Better yet, the students earn college credit at a fraction of the cost. Over the eight years the program has been in existence, Bellefontaine has partnered with multiple universities including University of Findlay, Urbana University, Clark State Community College, and Wright State University.
Approved high school instructors meet the university requirements to qualify as adjunct professors. In turn, they work with the college professor to assure that the curriculum and assessments are aligned with the college equivalent course. “After eight years of dual enrollment at BHS we still take the alignment of classes with the college curriculum very seriously. We want to provide the college credit to our students but more importantly we want to prepare them for what is ahead. The benefit to our students is incredible both in the credits they have when they enroll and also in their success once they are there” says Kristy Mount dual enrollment instructor in Chemistry and Physics.
During the 2014-2015 academic year, BHS offered 19 dual enrollment college courses. Currently 167 students are earning credit for a total of 336 college courses. At an average of four semester hours per course these students collectively accumulated 1,409 credit hours before stepping on a college campus. At an approximate cost of $300 per semester hour, students and parents have saved over $400,000 this year alone. In the eight years the program has been in existence, over 1,400 courses have been completed by students at a monetary value of over $1,750,000!
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 April 2015
Written by GUEST EDITORIAL
National Volunteer Week is an annual celebration established by the Points of Light Foundation in 1974 to recognize and thank America’s volunteers and call public attention to all they do to improve communities nationwide. During National Volunteer Week, the American Cancer Society recognizes and celebrates the efforts of its approximately 2.5 million volunteers nationwide who are making a difference in the fight against cancer.
This year’s celebration will be held April 12-18. Celebrate Service, the theme for National Volunteer Week, captures the meaning of this signature week: honoring the people who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in their communities. Our volunteers are the heart and soul of the American Cancer Society.
In Logan County, volunteers participate in a variety of opportunities such as Look Good Feel Better, Wig Salons, and Relay For Life. Vicki Arnold has been involved with the American Cancer Society as a Look Good Feel Better facilitator since 2006. At the beginning of last year, she became a free wig salon and provides wigs free of charge to women in Logan County. The American Cancer Society wig salon program provides Vicki's wig bank with quality, new, free wigs to cancer patients undergoing treatment who have lost their hair. Look Good Feel Better is a free program designed for women dealing with hair loss and skin changes from chemotherapy and radiation. They learn specific techniques to help make the most of their appearance while undergoing treatment. This program provides women with a makeup package valued at $200. These programs take place at Mary Rutan Hospital Crawfis Oncology Clinic on May 19, July 21, Sept. 15 and Nov. 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. Women can call (800) 227-2345 to register for this program.
Last Updated on Saturday, 18 April 2015
Written by DENNIS HETZEL
In 1963, the Ohio General Assembly fashioned the state’s first open records law. It took a broad approach to defining public records with a strong presumption that almost all records kept by government would be open to citizens.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 March 2015
Written by J.E. Nash Former WL water department employee West Liberty
I am very much opposed to the proposed Ion Exchange Water treatment Facility for the following reasons:
1. The lime-soda system that we are using is still considered the “Best Available Technology” for the softening of water by the EPA.
2. Therefore the use of Ion Exchange is an inferior technology to what is currently being used.
3. The use of Ion Exchange may require a substantial percentage of residents to use bottled water for drinking because of the added sodium content. This includes the residents of Green Hills, a good many of whom are included in that group.
Last Updated on Saturday, 21 February 2015
Written by Barbara Rausch, Huntsville/Indian Lake
These past several years we have all witnessed the rise of acts of evil perpetrated by people against others all over the world and in our country. It seems that we have come to expect “man’s inhumanity to man,” and we say “that’s just the way the world is today. We just have to accept it.”
I would like to enable you to see through a microscope into our “mini-world” here in the Bellefontaine and Indian Lake communities that I frequent. So many people here are living life with their eyes open, looking for the needs of others. I have heard these acts called “random acts of kindness,” but if they are “random” are they accidental and can they become just infrequent acts? I would rather like to think of what I am seeing as “intentional acts of caring.” You cannot only see the act, but sense the heart that has motivated it.
Let me give you some examples from my experiences:
Last Updated on Friday, 13 February 2015