Featured News

We've put together a list of resources for businesses including useful information, relief assistance and more.

Resources for Businesses and Employers


coronavirus.ohio.gov


Take our business impact survey here: https://forms.gle/1cvuFfDrCKBazRp66


Additional Resources

Resources for Businesses / Employers from Kenton-Hardin Health Department

  • CDC has developed “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” which is available on CDC’s website. 

CLICK HERE to learn more.

  • This guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
  • CDC also offers "Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations" for non-healthcare facilities with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.

CLICK HERE to learn more.

  • ODH offers a COVID-19 fact sheet for businesses/employers that contains helpful information, including a "checklist" of steps that businesses/employers which remain open under the Stay at Home Order can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. 

CLICK HERE to learn more.


Governor Requests PPE Donation & Manufacture

https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/media/news-and-media/personal-protective-equipment-needed-new-covid19-data-dashboard-unveiled


One-Time Liquor Buyback

The Ohio Department of Commerce will immediately begin offering a one-time liquor buyback option to support bars and restaurants. This will especially aid those establishments that have stocked up on high-proof liquor ahead of the St. Patrick's Day holiday for which they now have no use, due to their closure to in-house patrons.

Bars and restaurants wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should return their unopened, high-proof liquor products (obtained within the past 30 days) to the agency where they purchased the product. This opportunity is also extended to those with temporary (F2) permits for events scheduled between March 12 and April 6, 2020. If a business has questions about this program, they should reach out directly to the Liquor Enterprise Service Center (LESC) at 1(877)812-0013 or by emailing OhioLiquorInfo@Com.Ohio.gov.


Small Business Administration 

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at: SBA.gov/Disaster.

The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. 


Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security

  • (CARES) Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been signed into law.  This Act provides additional assistance for small business owners, including the opportunity to receive up to a $10,000 Advance (which does not have to be repaid) on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for emergency capital.  The Small Business Administration (SBA) is updating its system to implement this provision so small businesses can request an EIDL advance when they apply for the loan.

 

CLICK HERE to download the Small Business Guide to the Cares Act.


U.S. Chamber Resources:

Visit this page for Guidance for Businesses and Employers


Ohio Department of Job and Family Services


Ohio Chamber of Commerce

Visit this page for up to date resources: ohiochamber.com/coronavirus-business-resources that: 

  • lists all current executive orders from Governor DeWine and his administration currently affecting businesses; 
  • any actionable programs or resources businesses can utilize immediately; 
  • any legislation pending or passed at the federal or state level that affects businesses or provides additional resources to help offset the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority - Economic Resources including loans and bonds.


Child Care Provided for Health Care Workers

Emergency Child Care

Hardin County YMCA

918 West Franklin Street, Kenton

Enrollment opens Thursday, March 26th 2020

This will stay open until pandemic restrictions are lifted.

 

Operating Hours

Monday - Friday from 6AM-6PM

For children ages 4 to 12 years old

Cost is $35 per day or $150 per week

Financial Assistance may be available to those who qualify.

 

Registration is a first come first serve basis, children must be pre-registered before attending the program. 

 

For registration and more information: email Kaylee at KAYLEEKING.HCYMCA.GMAIL.COM

 

 


NOW HIRING! GRAPHIC PACKAGING, KROGER, WALMART

 

Hardin County employers are providing essential resources to their customers and they need help keeping up with demand at this critical time.


Graphic Packaging

 

Seeking Forklift Drivers & Machine Operators
Graphic Packaging International in Kenton has immediate direct hire opportunities for forklift drivers and machine operators. Forklift drivers start at $15.65/hr with pay increases every 3 mths to top pay of $18.00/hr.  Operators start at $18.00/hr with pay increases every 3 mths to $19.75/hr.  (Previous experience is required.)

On top of great pay, all new hires receive paid vacation time and paid holidays upon hire!        

To learn more and apply online visit www.graphicpkg.com or give us a call at 419-673-0711 x1637.

GPI is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer of Minorites, Women, Veterans, Disabled


Kroger

Kroger is looking for employees in e-commerce, retail clerk and pharmacy technician.

Apply here: kroger.com


Walmart

Walmart has openings in various positions. 

Apply here: walmart.com


OhioMeansJobs

Check out OhioMeansJobs for all the opportunities in Hardin County.

Apply here: ohiomeansjobs.com

 

 

 

 


Shepherd Herbs opens new location.

Times photo/Dan Robinson

Shepherd Herbs opened its new location and announced new services during an open house last weekend. Owners (from left) Alicia Cook, Sandra Shepherd and Kellie Lautenschlager offer the public a large variety of health supplements including sea salts, apple cider vinegar, organic teas, Sesel products and Essential Oils. The center also offers foot detox services, Zyto health screenings, compass readings and iridology screenings. Shepherd Herbs is located at 12730 CR 75 and is open Tuesday – Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. More information is available by calling 419-674-4470.


Alliance announces Annual Award Winners

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer
ADA — The Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance selected Sue Bailey as its 2019 Citizen of the Year at a banquet Thursday night at McIntosh Center on the campus of Ohio Northern University.
“This year’s recipient, Susan Bailey, can be found in the community answering to many titles,” said Roger Crowe in his introduction.
A pharmacist at the OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital in Kenton, Bailey and her husband, Matt, are also co-owners of Skinny’s Tavern, also in Kenton.
But, continued Crowe, Bailey is also known for her devotion to activities in the community.
Bailey has dedicated many hours at the YMCA, where she has organized a cupcake war fundraiser, assisted with the father-daughter dance and established a summer swim team.
“She is passionate in supporting the Kenton Historical Courthouse District, where she helps organize volunteers to water the downtown flowers each spring and summer,” noted . “She also is instrumental in the annual Mistletoe Ball that raises funds for Hardin Memorial Hospital and takes on the responsibility of decorating the hospital during the holiday season. Those are just a few of the things that contribute to Sue receiving the Citizen of the Year Award.”
“I am humbled and honored to be in this company,” she said of the previous Citizen of the Year winners. “I am lucky my parents believed in volunteering in the community and instilled in me how to give back.”
Wilson Football Factory was named the Alliance’s Business of the Year winner.
For 65 years, said Rodney Hensel, the company has made Ada and Hardin County its home. It produces 700,000 footballs each year with a handmade process that relies on “a talented work force of men and women.”
The company has provided footballs for major NFL events for several years.
“Every point scored by in the NFL has been with a Wilson football, creating the longest official game ball relationship in American sports history,” said Hensel. “Wilson Football Factory’s continued investment in Hardin County’s workforce has given them the ability to provide superior products and this in turn has created the type of legacy that lives on for generations and we are grateful.”
“I love working in Ada,” said Wilson Manager Andy Wentling as he accepted the award. “This is a great honor and a great company.”
The Outstanding Small Business of 2019 is Golden Graphics of Kenton.
Established in 1983 with a $500 cash advance on a Mastercard, owners Tim and Robin Carrig have grown their business to seven employees at two locations, performing an average of 150 jobs per day. Their work is shipped to customers as far away as Wyoming and the employee list includes Honda of America and the Ohio State University.
Golden Graphics’ “true skill is solving each of their customers issues and giving them the best service using state-of-the-art equipment,” said Chad Spencer.
“The staff at Golden Graphics have served on various committees and boards throughout the years,” said Spencer. “They give back where they can and feel strongly about supporting their local organizations.”
Standing with Tim Carrig in accepting the award were many of Golden Graphics’ employees.
“They are more like family than employees,” said Carrig. The group represented a combined 180 years of employment at the business. “We have watched each other’s children grow up and now graduate.”
He thanked his staff and the Golden Graphics customers for their support.
This year’s Community Service Award was presented to ONU HealthWise Health Clinic of Ada.
Established ten years ago, the clinic was established when ONU saw a need to provide “interdisciplinary, quality medical care to all residents of Hardin County,” noted Stephanie Temple.
In 2015, HealthWise was established to address the rural community suffering from “poverty and lack of access to care.” A grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration paid for a 38-foot bus which was developed into a mobile medical center at no charge to the community. HealthWise has established partnerships with health providers throughout the area.
“The concept of offering a mobile clinic serves a dual purpose,” said Temple, “benefiting patients with exceptional care and providing students with an experiential learning opportunity they could not have gained in a classroom setting.”
“Hardin County is our classroom and the community is our professors,” said Dr. Michael Rush. “We are so grateful to be a part of this community and we are looking forward to many, many partnerships ahead.”
Julie Crowe was named the 2019 Women LEAD Professional Excellence Award winner at Thursday’s banquet.
A founding member of both the Society Singers and the Hardin County Players, Crowe has “given many years of dedication volunteering and enhancing the non-profits in her community through finding opportunities for funding and grants,” said Jen McMurray.
She is supportive of Heartbeat of Hardin County and the GEM program, continued McMurray.
Crowe retired after 26 years of service at the Hardin County YMCA. She is also a long-term member of the Kenton Elks Lodge, where she has served in various offices including Exalted Ruler and officer of the year.
When she was growing up, Crowe told the guests, she had dreams of becoming famous, but she later realized “Kenton and Hardin County was where I was destined to be.”
She decided to “bloom” in her own community and get involved with what was happening here.
“I am not special,” said Crowe. “There are hundreds of people in Hardin County who see the need to bloom where they are planted and the need to work where they see a need.”
Shannon Barnes is known in the community “for her ability to manage multiple roles with grace and excellence,” said Brian Sprang in his introduction of the Young Professional Leadership Award winner for 2019.
Barnes has specialized in human resource management and finance at Robinson Fin Machines for 22 years and is also the general manager of Hometown Media and radio station WKTN.
“I am humbled to receive this award,” said Barnes. “I have been blessed with the best mentors, great co-workers, lots of good friends and the support of my family.”
The 2019 Ambassador of the Year is Kolt Buchenroth of Kenton.
“Kolt Buchenroth is perhaps the youngest recipient of the Hardin County Ambassador Award,” noted Julie Jordan. “Kolt is known throughout the community for his dedication to helping whenever he is needed with kindness and excellence.”
But the Ohio State University student is recognized for his work behind the scenes to “provide solutions for critical tasks for the Alliance.”
“He is quick to deliver and modest in accepting praise,” said Jordan.
“My great-grandmother used to say ‘You can’t say thank-you too many times,’” Buchenroth told the guests.
He followed that advice by thanking his parents and the staff at the Alliance, but gave special praise to Matt Jennings and Jon Cross for their guidance.
The Emerging Business of the Year honors went to Ada’s Crimson Lane Venue. This was the first year for the award.
Owners Mike and Jodi Willeke offer a business which has become one of the area’s “most sought after wedding venues,” said Tim Striker.
Established in early 2019, Crimson Lane has 85 weddings slated at this point through 2021, said Striker.
“This is a family owned and operated business that was built on 130 acres of farmland and woods along with a nine-acre lake,” continued Striker.
“We are thankful for the support of the community,” said Jodi Willeke.
Harco Industries was recognized as the Non-Profit of the Year for 2019.
“Harco Industries is a county staple that has provided resources to special needs individuals and their families for years,” said Derek Snider. “Harco Industries is also the parent organization of KudoStudio, which provides an artistic outlet to individuals with disabilities.”
“This is the greatest job I have ever had in my life,” said Manager David Schaub, a former teacher. “It is a privilege to work with people with disabilities. Harco is the happiest place you could ever be.”


Women LEAD to offer Generations Coffee Club to connect the generations.

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer
Women LEAD is an organization which brings women together at various ages to support and encourage each other to face life’s challenges.
Many women find themselves alone following the death of a husband, said Women LEAD member Stephanie Temple. Often their families have moved out of the community and the women are faced with loneliness.
“They feel forgotten in a way,” she said. “They are still vibrant, but they have no contact with each other.”
But the organization is hoping to reduce the that solitude with the establishment of the Generations Coffee Club.
Some women have social or church groups or fellow retired workers to bond with, said Temple, but many don’t have that to fall back on. The Coffee Club is designed to bring them together to meet each other, learn about the issues they face as a group, but most importantly to have fun, she said.
“We don’t want this to be a sad experience. We hope they will forge a family with each other,” agreed fellow LEAD member Jesse Purcell.
Starting in March, the group will meet at a rotating list of area businesses. The meetings will begin with coffee and donuts, feature a guest speaker and then break into discussion groups, card games or just time to chat.
“We also want to show the ladies what the community has to offer them,” said Temple.
A specific date and place have yet to be set for the initial meeting. More information will be available in the upcoming weeks at the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, 419-673-4131.
For example, if the meeting is held at a gym, the women could learn yoga or chair exercises.
“Things they could do besides pump iron,” said Temple.
A gathering at the museum would be a good place for a “senior show-and-tell,” she continued, where the members could bring in items they recall using that are not commonly identified today. There could be discussions on home security, baking, credit card scams, beauty suggestions or technology.
One program expected to be offered this summer, Temple said, is to encourage the women to visit the county library and read to young people to help them retain their learning habits once school is out.
“This won’t be based on need,” she said. “It would be open to everyone.”
There are also plans for a senior-senior project in which the senior ladies would pair up with high school senior girls to join forces to solve problems and learn from each other.
There also will be cooking instructions, said Temple.
“Often you hear one of the women say they make something to eat they like, but they don’t want to eat it seven times because they live by themselves,” she said. “We can talk about preparing smaller meals … We hope once we get started, the ladies will come up with ideas of their own that we haven’t even thought of.”
The goal of Women LEAD is to move all women forward, said Purcell. The organization is in its fifth year and recently met to reorganize and re-energize its membership, she said.
“We want to do things which inform us as women and business professionals to lift each other up while helping the community,” she said.
That includes young women who are looking for guidance in planning their future. Purcell said LEAD members are planning to meet with sixth grade girls throughout the end of the school year to influence them and encourage them to continue to strive to meet their goals.
“It is important for girls to learn skills and have faith in themselves,” agreed Temple.
The group is planning its fourth Empowering Conference for March 31 at the Ohio Northern campus. The plan is to expand to a wider number of high school women and offer them programs guidance in leadership skills.
“We want to show women of all ages what is available to them and enrich their lives. That is a benefit to everybody.” said Purcell.


Alliance Announces Annual Award Winners in a night of celebration.

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer
ADA — The Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance selected Sue Bailey as its 2019 Citizen of the Year at a banquet Thursday night at McIntosh Center on the campus of Ohio Northern University.
“This year’s recipient, Susan Bailey, can be found in the community answering to many titles,” said Roger Crowe in his introduction.
A pharmacist at the OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital in Kenton, Bailey and her husband, Matt, are also co-owners of Skinny’s Tavern, also in Kenton.
But, continued Crowe, Bailey is also known for her devotion to activities in the community.
Bailey has dedicated many hours at the YMCA, where she has organized a cupcake war fundraiser, assisted with the father-daughter dance and established a summer swim team.
“She is passionate in supporting the Kenton Historical Courthouse District, where she helps organize volunteers to water the downtown flowers each spring and summer,” noted . “She also is instrumental in the annual Mistletoe Ball that raises funds for Hardin Memorial Hospital and takes on the responsibility of decorating the hospital during the holiday season. Those are just a few of the things that contribute to Sue receiving the Citizen of the Year Award.”
“I am humbled and honored to be in this company,” she said of the previous Citizen of the Year winners. “I am lucky my parents believed in volunteering in the community and instilled in me how to give back.”
Wilson Football Factory was named the Alliance’s Business of the Year winner.
For 65 years, said Rodney Hensel, the company has made Ada and Hardin County its home. It produces 700,000 footballs each year with a handmade process that relies on “a talented work force of men and women.”
The company has provided footballs for major NFL events for several years.
“Every point scored by in the NFL has been with a Wilson football, creating the longest official game ball relationship in American sports history,” said Hensel. “Wilson Football Factory’s continued investment in Hardin County’s workforce has given them the ability to provide superior products and this in turn has created the type of legacy that lives on for generations and we are grateful.”
“I love working in Ada,” said Wilson Manager Andy Wentling as he accepted the award. “This is a great honor and a great company.”
The Outstanding Small Business of 2019 is Golden Graphics of Kenton.
Established in 1983 with a $500 cash advance on a Mastercard, owners Tim and Robin Carrig have grown their business to seven employees at two locations, performing an average of 150 jobs per day. Their work is shipped to customers as far away as Wyoming and the employee list includes Honda of America and the Ohio State University.
Golden Graphics’ “true skill is solving each of their customers issues and giving them the best service using state-of-the-art equipment,” said Chad Spencer.
“The staff at Golden Graphics have served on various committees and boards throughout the years,” said Spencer. “They give back where they can and feel strongly about supporting their local organizations.”
Standing with Tim Carrig in accepting the award were many of Golden Graphics’ employees.
“They are more like family than employees,” said Carrig. The group represented a combined 180 years of employment at the business. “We have watched each other’s children grow up and now graduate.”
He thanked his staff and the Golden Graphics customers for their support.
This year’s Community Service Award was presented to ONU HealthWise Health Clinic of Ada.
Established ten years ago, the clinic was established when ONU saw a need to provide “interdisciplinary, quality medical care to all residents of Hardin County,” noted Stephanie Temple.
In 2015, HealthWise was established to address the rural community suffering from “poverty and lack of access to care.” A grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration paid for a 38-foot bus which was developed into a mobile medical center at no charge to the community. HealthWise has established partnerships with health providers throughout the area.
“The concept of offering a mobile clinic serves a dual purpose,” said Temple, “benefiting patients with exceptional care and providing students with an experiential learning opportunity they could not have gained in a classroom setting.”
“Hardin County is our classroom and the community is our professors,” said Dr. Michael Rush. “We are so grateful to be a part of this community and we are looking forward to many, many partnerships ahead.”
Julie Crowe was named the 2019 Women LEAD Professional Excellence Award winner at Thursday’s banquet.
A founding member of both the Society Singers and the Hardin County Players, Crowe has “given many years of dedication volunteering and enhancing the non-profits in her community through finding opportunities for funding and grants,” said Jen McMurray.
She is supportive of Heartbeat of Hardin County and the GEM program, continued McMurray.
Crowe retired after 26 years of service at the Hardin County YMCA. She is also a long-term member of the Kenton Elks Lodge, where she has served in various offices including Exalted Ruler and officer of the year.
When she was growing up, Crowe told the guests, she had dreams of becoming famous, but she later realized “Kenton and Hardin County was where I was destined to be.”
She decided to “bloom” in her own community and get involved with what was happening here.
“I am not special,” said Crowe. “There are hundreds of people in Hardin County who see the need to bloom where they are planted and the need to work where they see a need.”
Shannon Barnes is known in the community “for her ability to manage multiple roles with grace and excellence,” said Brian Sprang in his introduction of the Young Professional Leadership Award winner for 2019.
Barnes has specialized in human resource management and finance at Robinson Fin Machines for 22 years and is also the general manager of Hometown Media and radio station WKTN.
“I am humbled to receive this award,” said Barnes. “I have been blessed with the best mentors, great co-workers, lots of good friends and the support of my family.”
The 2019 Ambassador of the Year is Kolt Buchenroth of Kenton.
“Kolt Buchenroth is perhaps the youngest recipient of the Hardin County Ambassador Award,” noted Julie Jordan. “Kolt is known throughout the community for his dedication to helping whenever he is needed with kindness and excellence.”
But the Ohio State University student is recognized for his work behind the scenes to “provide solutions for critical tasks for the Alliance.”
“He is quick to deliver and modest in accepting praise,” said Jordan.
“My great-grandmother used to say ‘You can’t say thank-you too many times,’” Buchenroth told the guests.
He followed that advice by thanking his parents and the staff at the Alliance, but gave special praise to Matt Jennings and Jon Cross for their guidance.
The Emerging Business of the Year honors went to Ada’s Crimson Lane Venue. This was the first year for the award.
Owners Mike and Jodi Willeke offer a business which has become one of the area’s “most sought after wedding venues,” said Tim Striker.
Established in early 2019, Crimson Lane has 85 weddings slated at this point through 2021, said Striker.
“This is a family owned and operated business that was built on 130 acres of farmland and woods along with a nine-acre lake,” continued Striker.
“We are thankful for the support of the community,” said Jodi Willeke.
Harco Industries was recognized as the Non-Profit of the Year for 2019.
“Harco Industries is a county staple that has provided resources to special needs individuals and their families for years,” said Derek Snider. “Harco Industries is also the parent organization of KudoStudio, which provides an artistic outlet to individuals with disabilities.”
“This is the greatest job I have ever had in my life,” said Manager David Schaub, a former teacher. “It is a privilege to work with people with disabilities. Harco is the happiest place you could ever be.”


The Amazing Giants were a popular part of the annual Kenton Lions Club Christmas Parade. The stilted performers greeted the young people along the parade route and then stopped to pose for pictures at the newly-lighted courthouse during Tuesday’s parade.

The Amazing Giants were a popular part of the annual Kenton Lions Club Christmas Parade. The stilted performers greeted the
young people along the parade route and then stopped to pose for pictures at the newly-lighted courthouse during Tuesday’s parade.

Chairman of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance board Brandt Miller (left) introduces Holli Underwood as the organization’s new CEO and Director of Economic Development. Underwood replaces Jon Cross, who is stepping down to devote more time to being a state legislator.

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer

The Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance board announced Friday morning it has named Holli Underwood as its new CEO and Director of Economic Development.

The two positions opened when Jon Cross announced his resignation from them in order to spend more time as a state legislator. Cross will assist Underwood during a transition period.

“This is an exciting time,” Underwood said of her new job.

She said her first job will be to meet with board members and community leaders to develop a better understanding of what their hopes and expectations are from the Alliance.

“I want to uncover what works here and keep things positive in Hardin County so we can look for ways to improve and grow,” Underwood said.

She also plans to begin work on a new five-year strategic plan for the Alliance, she said.

Alliance board president Brandt Miller called Underwood an outstanding individual to step into the CEO and economic development jobs. A life-long resident of the county, Underwood has “expert communication skills and is passionate about Hardin County,” he said.

A graduate of Ridgemont High School and Ohio Northern University, Underwood has spent 13 years as the general manager of Allmax Software and is a partner in Underwood Stock Farms.

Her professional and personal background gives her experience in agriculture, technology, marketing, tourism, sales and leadership, said Miller.

The new Alliance leader is married to Assistant Hardin County Engineer Luke Underwood and they are the parents of two children, Allison and Lane, who are students at Ridgemont High School.

It also was announced Friday that Jacqualine Fitzgerald will continue in her role as community development director and will represent the Alliance on the Kenton Historical Courthouse District as the city continues with its revitalization plans. Jesse Purcell will remain the director of Chamber and Tourism and Chris Barker will continue as the office’s administration assistant.


The Kenton Historical Courthouse District prepares for another year of Window Wonderland and the Lion's Christmas Parade.

A group of volunteers decorated windows of Kenton storefronts Monday in preparation for the annual Window Wonderland displays. The Yuletide scenes will be revealed to
the public during the Kenton Lions Club’s annual Christmas Parade on Nov. 26. Pictured are (from left) Taylor Klinger, Charlotte Hamm, Cindy Martino, Jacqualine Fitzgerald, Judy Cross, Jason Winegardner, Robin Jones and Kenton mayor-elect Lynn Webb.

When the Kenton Lions Club Christmas Parade steps off at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, it promises to be the biggest yet.

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer
When the Kenton Lions Club Christmas Parade steps off at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, it promises to be the biggest yet.
Jacqualine Fitzgerald, Director of Community Development at the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, said more than 3,000 people are expected to make their way to Kenton for the holiday event.
They won’t be disappointed as the number of floats expected will be more than 40 and additional Disney characters and other attractions have been added to the holiday fun, Fitzgerald said.
The Amazing Giants will return to this year’s parade, she continued, and they will be joined by six Disney princesses and nine Disney characters, plus a special holiday train ride which will be available to children after the parade.
Christmas music will be played from speakers throughout the square starting at about 4:30 p.m., Fitzgerald said. The lighting of the display around the courthouse will take place with State Rep. Jon Cross leading the countdown.
Santa will be available after the parade to hear the wish lists of young people.
People from throughout the area have found the Kenton Christmas Parade to be a holiday destination for the entire family, said Fitzgerald.
After enjoying the parade, many take in the 16 Christmas displays in the storefronts around the square, she said, and then stop by one of the Kenton restaurants for dinner before returning home.
“The parade really helps our local businesses,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s a pretty magical night.”


Kenton Parks and Recreation Board member Jesse Purcell reported to the Kenton Rotary Club on the board’s five-year strategic plan prioritizing Pioneer Park as a top priority for revitalization.

Kenton Parks and Recreation Board member Jesse Purcell reported to the Kenton Rotary Club on the board’s five-year strategic plan prioritizing Pioneer Park as a top priority for revitalization.

It was selected because of its strategic location as being a welcoming attraction on Franklin Street. Work has been completed by the Hardin County Young Professionals to improve the visual appearance of the park and donations are being taken to purchase new playground equipment.

Many generous businesses and organizations supported the effort of revitalizing Pioneer Park before Memorial Day including U.S. Bank, Modern Woodman Fraternal Financial, Hardin County Community Foundation, Stillwater Metal, Hardin County Young Professionals, Ken, Deb, Chase, and Courtney Doll, Liberty National Bank, sbhpp, Quest Federal Credit Union, Root Lumber, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, and Nelson Insurance Agency

Purcell said anyone who would like to donate to the purchase of new equipment can send checks to the Hardin County Young Professionals in care of the Pioneer Park Project, 225 S. Detroit Street, Kenton.


John Metcalf, CEO of Mid-Ohio Energy, presents a check for $10,000 to Hardin County Economic Development Director Jacqualine Fitzgerald. The funding is to be used to develop strategic plans for each village in the county and the city of Kenton, said Fitzgerald. OHM Advisors of Columbus is being contracted to conduct the studies which are expected to give each community direction for development, she said. “I am excited to see what comes out of this,” said Metcalf. With them are Hardin County Commissioners (from left) Tim Striker, Randy Rogers and Roger Crowe.

John Metcalf, CEO of Mid-Ohio Energy, presents a check for $10,000 to Hardin County Economic Development Director Jacqualine Fitzgerald.

The funding is to be used to develop strategic plans for each village in the county and the city of Kenton, said Fitzgerald.

OHM Advisors of Columbus is being contracted to conduct the studies which are expected to give each community direction for development, she said.

“I am excited to see what comes out of this,” said Metcalf.

With them are Hardin County Commissioners (from left) Tim Striker, Randy Rogers and Roger Crowe.


Career talk
Times photo/Dan Robinson

Wade Rhoades of Ohio Northern University talks with a group of students during the Student Job and Career Fair at Kenton High School on Tuesday.

There were 29 businesses whose representatives talked to junior and senior students about their futures during the event, which is sponsored by the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance.

Students participating came from Ridgemont, Kenton, Hardin Northern, Riverdale, Ada and Upper Scioto Valley.


Financial objectives

Jesse Purcell, a member of the Kenton Parks and Recreation Board, outlines budget requests to help improve the city’s park system and swimming pool.
Times photo/Tim Thomas

Priorities for Kenton’s parks were discussed during a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner hosted by city leaders on Tuesday evening at Mid-Ohio Energy.

Jesse Purcell, a member of the Parks and Recreation Board, saluted all the volunteers, whether they have worked on the parks or in other areas of the city.

“I hope we can continue to count on you as volunteers,” she said.

Purcell said the board has created a five-year strategic plan for the city’s parks, but highlighted three priorities they want to address.

The No. 1 priority, she said, is Pioneer Park, located along East Franklin Street (Ohio 309).

“It’s a great place to start creating the atmosphere we want to share in our community,” Purcell said.

The board wants to remove unsafe playground equipment and broken limbs in the park.

They want to add mulch and flowers, plus maintain the existing historical markers. A goal for 2020 is to add picnic tables and trash cans.

Priority No. 2 is Glendale Park on the city’s west side, what Purcell calls “a forgotten park.”

She said they want to remove the unsafe playground equipment and target teenagers with the addition of a basketball court with hoops and possibly a volleyball court, along with picnic tables.

The municipal swimming pool is the third priority, with refinishing the bathroom floor the top goal.

That project is estimated at $12,000 to $15,000, plus the board wants to replace a lifeguard chair as well.

Those costs are part of a projected $30,000 in funds the board will be seeking from the city.

The rest of the money would be for park maintenance and new equipment.

Purcell said the parks and recreation board has received a $3,000 grant and has requests for another $2,000 in the works.

She said in order to attract new people to the city they need to have something to do. Improving the parks is a first step.

Building community and generating pride in the parks is a goal of the board, she said.

Ideas include creating a community of movement to provide a place in the parks for people to do yoga and Zumba.

Purcell they also have discussed creating themes in parks, possibly using animal figures to increase interest, not just from local residents, but people driving through the community.

While it may take time to make major park improvements, Purcell said, “At least we’d like to see Pioneer Park beautiful for the Memorial Day Parade.”

By TIM THOMAS
Times editor


It has been 55 years since a resident of Hardin County has served in the Ohio General Assembly. Jon Cross will change that on Monday when he takes the oath of office officially to represent the 83rd District in the Ohio House of Representatives at the statehouse in Columbus. But he shared the ...

Cross takes oath of office in front of large crowd of supporters

Posted on January 5, 2019

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Pastor Jerry Cooke (top) delivers the closing prayer Friday during the ceremonial swearing-in of Jon Cross as state representative. The Kenton High School Top Twenty performed for the local event and the Kenton Junior ROTC presented the colors to start the festivities.

Hardin County Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Barrett swears Cross into office as Cross's wife, Christina, holds the Bible. The official swearing in will take place Monday at the statehouse in Columbus.

It has been 55 years since a resident of Hardin County has served in the Ohio General Assembly.

Jon Cross will change that on Monday when he takes the oath of office officially to represent the 83rd District in the Ohio House of Representatives at the statehouse in Columbus. But he shared the experience with his supporters and family Friday afternoon at a ceremonial swearing-in event in the packed first-floor landing of the Hardin County Courthouse.

With the Kenton Top Twenty singing, the Kenton High School Junior ROTC presenting the colors and a large crowd looking on, Hardin County Common Pleas Court Judge Scott Barrett administered the oath of office to Cross as Cross’s wife, Christina, held the Bible.

Barrett said it was an exciting day because a young Hardin County-ite was serving the community at the state level.

The judge assured the successful Republican candidate in the November election that his father, former county commissioner the late Jerry Cross, was “smiling down on this event.”

Jon Cross agreed and said he has been blessed to have parents who taught him the value of a public service.

“My parents taught me the importance of giving back to your community,” said Cross.

He told the crowd he considered it an honor to go to the statehouse to make decisions that will impact future generations, including his two young sons.

He shared that he had attended the orientation at the statehouse for new members and met Jon Cook, a Hardin County native and Hardin Northern graduate. He shared with Cross the fact that his grandfather, John Cook, had been the last person from Hardin County to serve in the statehouse in 1964. Cross said Friday’s ceremony was dedicated to the memory of John Cook.

Cross said he will represent all 120,000 people in the 83rd District and called it Team 83.

“You are all a part of that team,” he said. “Let us renew our spirit to public service.”

Cross said when he visited the statehouse for the first time as a representative-elect, he stood on the floor of the legislature and took in the experience.

“It was an awe-inspiring, humbling experience,” said Cross. “It’s a feeling I hope never goes away.”

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer


 

Sometimes landing a new business requires a lot of work and other times they come to you.

Jon Cross, president and CEO of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, said the latter is the case as of today.

He reported to City Council on Monday night that a man found an available building on U.S. 68 South while searching the Alliance’s website on Friday.

While Cross said he’s not in a position to announce the man’s name or his business plans, he said the man flew to Kenton and surveyed the town on Saturday and Sunday. He visited the Alliance on Monday to wrap up the deal.

Cross said he expects the business to employ 10 people.

There also was discussion of the city needing to do a better job of making water available to businesses on 68 South.

Prosecutor Brad Bailey said he recently learned that Graphic Packaging had to get a huge tank and fill it with water for its own water suppression system.

That’s because the city’s water does not support a high-flow head.

Water Plant Supervisor Dale Albert said the water dead-ends on U.S. 68.

Cross recalled that site consultants who visited the county four years ago said 68 South was “fatally flawed” because of its lack of access to high pressure water.

Chris Richards of Golden Giant said Kenton is in “an excellent spot logistically” for future business growth and he praised the good job being done by Kenton City Schools.

But he said, “In economic development, winners are the folks with access to services.”

Also at the meeting, council:

– Had first reading of legislation to vacate an alley that runs in front of Skinny’s Tavern on Steiner Avenue.

– Received a request to vacate an alley near 330 Grove Street. It was referred to the safety committee.

– Learned firefighters are checking and flushing hydrants on the city’s southwest side.

Residents many want to run the water before using it in case there is some rust in it, said Chief Tim Clark.

– Heard Cody Barker from the street department report city workers used the new road patching machine, the Duropatcher, to patch holes on both North and South Wayne Street. They are now moving on to other streets.

By TIM THOMAS
Times editor


 

Wes Goldsmith at the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance
Wes Goldsmith at the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance
Times photo/Ty Thaxton

Wes Goldsmith believes he is doing just what he was created to do: graphic design.

Since 2014, Wes has served part-time at the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance and is currently the graphic designer and social media marketing coordinator.

His first graphic design project after graduating from Ohio Northern University was designing the logo for the Hardin County motto.

When Wes first went to ONU, he started in marketing but eventually moved on, feeling it wasn’t hands-on enough for him and didn’t offer him the creative freedom he desired, “and I guess I’m a creative guy.”

“I pictured myself doing something with my hands, and I feel like I can do that on my computer – I’m using a computer, but I’m also using my mind and I’m creating stuff, which is something I felt like I needed to do,” he said.

“And I wanted to stay close to Hardin County, because this is where my friends, family and church are; this is where I want to be.”

It’s difficult to find a graphic design job in Hardin County, Wes added, “and I was glad that Jon (Cross, HCCBA president and CEO) picked me up here.”

Wes designs and creates many of the graphics for the chamber’s social media and its emails.

He then sends them to Jesse Purcell, director of chamber and tourism, and Jacqualine Fitzgerald, director of community development, then the three will work together, “because they’re the ones who know their event and they know what they want to say.”

“We’re pretty busy doing other stuff, so I don’t have as much time to get on the social media as I’d like to, so everybody kind of does their own social media, but they work with me on it,” Wes said.

“If they need me to make something, I’ll do it.”

Wes loves working and living in Hardin County, he said, and through his work with the HCCBA, he believes he and his c-oworkers are able to help the community.

“I love the people here,” he said.

“I love that we get a chance to help this community get back on its feet. We’re not starting at the top by all means, but I think it’s cool we get an opportunity to help revitalize it. That’s what I love about working here and living here.”

But his job with the HCCBA is not the only place Wes gets to express his creativity through designing.

He and his brother Zac started their own small business a year ago called Log and Jotter (stylized as Log+Jotter), a pocket notebook subscription business.

“We design a different cover every month and we send it out,” Wes said.

“At this point in our business, we print 1,200 books. We started a year ago, and we’re selling to people all over the world.”

Each month’s notebook, Wes added, is only available to those who are subscribed, meaning certain designs can come to be high in demand.

“There’s people scouring the Internet for them – our first one was a plain one and they want to find that plain one,” Wes said.

Whether it’s through creating designs for the HCCBA, designing new notebooks for Log and Jotter or doing freelance design work – he is currently working on the Hardin County Fair logo with Kolt Buchenroth – Wes said he loves the satisfaction of building something on his computer and then printing it off and actually seeing it.

“There’s a satisfaction of working with your hands,” he said.

“I feel like God created everybody to work, and I feel like that’s what I’m doing when I’m doing graphic design – I’m doing what I was created to do.”

Wes attends church at Abundant Life Assembly of God in Kenton where his father James serves as pastor.

There, he sings and plays guitar on Sunday mornings for the congregation. On Sunday nights, he leads worship and sings and plays for the youth group.

On Wednesday nights, Wes can be found at the church with the youth group Royal Rangers, a class for boys from first to eighth grade.

There, he helps teach anything from how to tie knots, how to fish, how to camp, how to start fires and how to hike.

Thursday nights are spent getting together with the guys from church to play a sport, watch a sports game or go out to eat.

Every two years, that same group goes out west to go hiking.

Their first trip was to Deacon Lake in Wyoming. This year’s eight-day camping and hiking trip will be to Glacier National Park in Montana.

Wes added that during the warm months, he helps mow yards three days a week with Paul Miller.

He is also recently married to his wife, Emily.

By TY THAXTON
Times staff writer


Check out these videos from our Student Job fair!

 

 

 

 

 


 

Program unveiled
Jim Wyse (right), of the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, stands with Hardin Memorial Hospital Manager of Business Development Kim Reisinger (left) and Director of Chamber and Tourism Jesse Purcell at a banner announcing the new wellness program, Better You, Better Ohio. It is being offered to workers at small businesses throughout the state by the BWC.
Times photo/Dan Robinson

A new wellness program geared to employees of small businesses was unveiled for Hardin County on Friday morning at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Kenton.

The Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation created Better You, Better Ohio to assist workers throughout the state in dealing with health issues and living healthy.

It goes online on Feb. 1, said BWC Regional Business Development Manager Jim Wyse.

The staff at the state agency decided to use some of the BWC’s surplus funding and establish a program which would provide an incentive for safety and healthy decisions in the workplace, he said.

Studies have shown that people with heart disease are 23 percent more likely to file a BWC claim than those not suffering from the condition, Wyse said.

Workers suffering from depression are 25 percent more likely to submit a claim, while those with diabetes are 17 percent more likely.

Healthy You, Healthy Ohio also would assist with anti-smoking programs for workers, which is a significant concern at the agency, said Wyse.

The wellness program is geared to small businesses with 50 or fewer employees and is operated through the ActiveHealth company, which has 32 million subscribers nationally.

The company, said Wyse, works only with large businesses with 5,000 workers or more, but the Ohio BWC has worked out an agreement with ActiveHealth.

Ohio workers can join the program at no charge, he continued.

The BWC is targeting jobs in agriculture, automotive repair and service, construction, firefighting, health care, manufacturing, police and safety, public employees, restaurants and food service, transportation and trucking, trash collection, wholesale and retail.

The program is being funded for two years, after which it will be assessed for continuance, Wyse said.

After Feb. 1, when the sign-up information is posted online, workers can register to participate.

The first step is completing a health risk assessment and having a biometrics screening.

The screenings are expected to be made available through ActiveHealth at centralized locations, said Wyse, or can be scheduled at Quest Labs.

Once the registration process is completed, each enrollee will be paid $75, said Wyse.

Should concerns be noted on the screening, the employee can be coached to chance his health habits and after three months if he successfully completes the program will be rewarded with another $50.

Once enrolled, said Wyse, participants will have access to recipes for healthy eating and other suggestions for healthy changes.

Digital coaching can be made available.

The first question on the application will ask the applicant is he is involved in another wellness program.

If the answer is yes, the application process stops, he said.

“We are not trying to steal people from other programs,” said Wyse.

Hardin Memorial Hospital offers a similar program, said HMH Manager of Business Development Kim Reisinger.

“We are really excited about this program,” she said.

“We don’t feel like we are competing. Our common goal is to get employees feeling better.”

Jesse Purcell, Director of Chamber and Tourism at the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, suggested workers could make participation in the program a competition or employers could reward participation with financial incentives.

“This program would benefit them greatly,” she said.

The website for the program is go.activehealth.com/betteryoubetterohio.

People can obtain more information by calling Purcell at the Alliance or Reisinger at the hospital.

By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer


 

The Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance held their Annual Luncheon Thursday.

 

CEO Jon Cross spoke about how the chamber has over 330 members. He also talked about a new plan for a better and more streamlined approach to communications committees and membership by providing a Quarterly Breakfast Meetings.

 

The Hardin County Visitor's Guide Brochure is available at the chamber office and is a great asset to communicate with new businesses, visitors, and community.

 

The chamber is also seeking nominations for the Annual Awards Banquet. Nominations need to be submitted to the chamber by December 31st.

 


Looking like Christmas
Times photo/Dan Robinson

Carrying one of four wooden soldiers through the streets of downtown Kenton are (from left) Dan Evans, Jacqualine Fitzgerald and Frank Dudek as they decorate the square for the holiday season.

A lighted soldier was placed at all four corners of courthouse square as a part of the annual Christmas holiday display.


Wes Goldsmith and Jesse Purcell of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance hold copies of the new visitors guide developed by the Alliance’s tourism division.

New guide
Times photo/Dan Robinson

Wes Goldsmith and Jesse Purcell of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance hold copies of the new visitors guide developed by the Alliance’s tourism division.

The booklets were presented to the public at the Alliance’s booth at the Hardin County Fair on Tuesday and they feature attractions, recreation, antique and hidden gems, places to shop, places to stay and eat and key events throughout the county.

The guides are available at the fair booth or at the Alliance office in Kenton.

 

 


Alliance art showKenton Councilwoman Patti Risner (left) points out one of her favorite entries in the Discover Hardin County Art Show to Tourism Director Jesse Purcell.

Sponsored by the Tourism Division of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, there were 139 locally produced photos on display Wednesday evening at Table One in Kenton.

More than 7,000 people visited the Alliance webpage to view the photographs, said Purcell.

Voted as the top photo was a picture of the Hardin County Fair by Allison Howard. It will appear on the cover of the new Discover Hardin County Visitors Guide.

Times photo/Dan Robinson


Kenton residents are invited to learn about the city’s downtown revitalization plan during an open house Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Veterans Hall in the Hardin County Courthouse.

The program will be led by representatives from OHP, an architectural, engineering and planning firm which has been retained by the city for the downtown project.

Kenton, like many communities across the county, is built upon infrastructure that is nearing the end of its lifecycle. Aging storm, water and sewer lines – some of which are as old as the city itself – are in need of significant repair and replacement, according to a press release from OHP.

The city is in the process of preparing a plan to address needed capital improvements, while making sure it puts the streets and sidewalk back in a way that benefits the community, the release said.

“This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed,” Aaron Domini, principal planner with OHM, told the Times. Some of Kenton’s downtown infrastructure was built before 1900 and some buildings were built on top of it.

He called it “one of the oldest and most challenging infrastructure” the company has dealt with.

Domini said Wednesday night’s meeting will be divided into two parts. The first will be a presentation focused on the educational component of the project.

He said there is a lot to understand about the project, which he will attempt to clear up, as well as outline how it will benefit Kenton.

“First and foremost we are focused on fixing everything from the underground up,” Domini said.

The second half will entail a series of activities designed to get feedback on the downtown, including streetscape design and transportation issues.

He called the Kenton project a “carbon copy” of a downtown improvement project that is just wrapping up in Newark, east of Columbus. Newark has a courthouse on the square, similar to Kenton. Sewer separation was mandated by the Ohio EPA around the Newark square and a block off the square.

The cost of that project will end up at $25 million to $30 million. However, it has resulted in $80 million in private investment into the community, Domini said.

For the Kenton project, he said OHP will be looking to acquire funding from several governmental sources to go along with local funding to finance the project.