Monthly News & Updates:
June 2018
ARC Federal Co-Chair Visits Ohio

The recently appointed Federal Co-Chair for the Appalachian Regional Commission, Tim Thomas, was in Ohio for his inaugural visit in May. He was a keynote speaker at the State of the Region Conference in Athens. This year's theme was "Changing the Narrative - Using Rural Wealth Creation to Transform the Region."

"If Appalachia was a stock, I'd be buying," said Thomas at the State of the Region. He shared the hope rising in the region. He also shared concerns regarding the opioid epidemic and the region's great need for partnerships in finding real solutions.

Thomas also spent time in the region visiting with community leaders and seeing first-hand how ARC investments are making a difference. Meigs County projects such as the Holzer Emergency Center and EMS building with MedFlight were featured as well as the $2.1 million Athens roundabout and commercial access road. Providing commercial access to the city via US 33 & 50, the area also offers safety to cyclists and pedestrians via shared use paths and sidewalks.
The Holzer ER project includes grants from the federal ARC of $250,000 and from the Ohio Governor's Office of Appalachia for $250,000. The medical campus access road project included $500,000 in federal access funding. 
In addition, The Governor's Office of Appalachia awarded Meigs County a grant of $250,000 for construction of the EMS/Med Flight services facility. The facility is owned by the Meigs County Commission and provides 7,000 sq. feet of space for the 24-hour on-call operation.
Last year Meigs County had 4,780 EMS runs and 90 Med Flight Flights from Jan. 2017-present. There are 40 Meigs EMS Employees and four Meigs County Med Flight Base employees.

Federal Co-Chair for the Appalachian Regional Commission, Tim Thomas with Buckeye Hills Executive Director Misty Casto.
The Athens roundabout and commercial access road, also known as 1804 Way, a tribute to the founding year of the project's largest contributor, Ohio University. The project received $500,000 in access road funding through ARC.  
At center, Meigs County EMS Director Robbie Jacks shares details and outcomes of the Meigs County medical campus and its positive impact to the community.

From left: Guy Land, ARC's Chief of Staff and Tim Thomas
with Meigs County Economic Development Director Perry Varnadoe at the Holzer Emergency Center.

Marietta Makerspace Hosts Ribbon Cutting

Buckeye Hills was awarded $1.2 million by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to support start-up of the three Appalachian Ohio Innovation Gateway locations. The project ties together the efforts of three Appalachian communities, magnifying the impact of their work in addressing common challenges.

The Innovation Gateway Network will consist of three multi-use facilities, one each in Somerset, Nelsonville and Marietta, Ohio. Each facility will host an innovative program of learning, makerspace activities and development of entrepreneurs.
The first operating location is the Marietta Makerspace, located at the Epicenter of Building Bridges to Careers, includes a variety of woodworking power tools, 3D printers and instructional space for community use.

The Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a ribbon cutting for the Marietta Makerspace. Attending were community partners and guests. Following the open house, John Martincic founder and president of Forest Scientific Corp., was the featured speaker.

Guests were invited to "make" their own Epicenter Makerspace engraved desk set on the wood router and laser engraving machines. Shown above is Makerspace Coordinator Jenny Bruce presenting the final project to Kevin Smart, representative from U.S. Congressman Johnson (6th District).
A variety of anchor regional partners are supporting the Appalachian Ohio Innovation Gatway Network's success including Building Bridges to Careers in Marietta, Hocking College in Nelsonville and the Village of Somerset in Perry County. The project is also a partner with The Ohio University LIGHTS program that is leveraging innovation gateways and hubs toward sustainability in a much broader portion of the Appalachian region.
Details about the Epicenter's offerings are available at the website,  

Athens Hosts Bike to Work Day Event

Buckeye Hills visited the Athens celebration of National Bike to Work Day on May 18. Hosted by The Athens City-County Health Department, Ohio University, Athens Public Transit and Athens Bicycle Club, the event encouraged Athens residents to commute to work on a bicycle. 

Available to participants were "pop-up pit stops" around the city featuring refreshments and opportunities to win prizes.

"This was a terrific event," said Buckeye Hills Transportation Planning Coordinator Karen Pawloski. "There was great participation and it was good education including how to use public transit to also ride your bike to work." Shown below is Athens City Councilman Pete Kotses taking part in the event.

Buckeye Hills Hosts Access Ohio 2045 Sessions
Access Ohio is the state's long-range transportation plan. It will guide Ohio's transportation policies and investment strategies for the next 20 years by looking at where we could be in 2045. The world keeps changing and Ohio wants to prepare for these changes while making wise investment decisions.

On May 10, Buckeye Hills Regional Council hosted sessions for public officials and for the public at the Buckeye Hills Conference Center. Work groups discussed plan areas including technology, the economy, Ohio as a unique transportation center and more.  
Buckeye Hills Regional Council serves as a Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) with ODOT. This was a unique opportunity to host the ODOT planning process in a more rural, southeast Ohio setting.
Reminder: Infrastructure Survey Open

As we announced on April 6 at our Semi-annual meeting, Buckeye Hills is now conducting a regional infrastructure needs survey. Click here to complete the brief survey. The survey will remain open until June 30.  
The survey is in anticipation of potential legislation regarding President Trump's infrastructure outline. Buckeye Hills is seeking information on specific projects that may be candidates for potential programming. This effort is focused on gathering information to build a regional case for investment; completing the form does not constitute an application for funding.
Types of activity being collected in the survey include: surface transportation (road, bridge, etc.); rail/cargo; ports and waterways; drinking water; storm water; transit; redevelopment (brownfield); public safety; recreation; arts/culture; airports; rail-passenger; flood control; wastewater; energy; broadband; public housing; education and health care.
The FY2018 Omnibus budget includes $21.2 billion in overall infrastructure funding. We will also continue to monitor any future legislation that may make additional infrastructure funding available.
For further information or questions about this effort, please contact Development Director Bret Allphin at
Morgan Office on Aging Joins $ponsor a $enior Effort

The Morgan County Office on Aging recently joined in the $ponsor a $enior effort with a donation of $1,800 to help sponsor 36 seniors on the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program waiting list in Morgan County. Shown above is the Morgan County Director Linda Sheets (left) with Buckeye Hills Aging Director Jennifer Westfall.

"We realize that this is a great need in our county for our seniors," said Linda Sheets.

While the Seniors Farmers' Market Nutrition Program is funded by USDA and the Ohio Department of Aging, their funding is limited . Many income-eligible seniors are placed on waiting lists.  Program coupons may be exchanged for eligible foods from authorized farmers. Only fresh, locally grown fruits, herbs, vegetables and honey are eligible to be purchased with the coupons.

$50 will sponsor one of the 200+ seniors in Southeast Ohio on the current waiting list for Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program coupons. If you'd like to help, visit to learn more or to sponsor seniors for the 2018 season!
June 15 is Elder Abuse Awareness Day 
Wear Purple
Seated from left: Athens Mayor Steve Patterson; Athens Co. Commissioner Lenny Eliason; Buckeye Hills President Ron Moore, Morgan Co.; Monroe Co. Commissioner Carl Davis; John Curtis, Private Sector, Monroe Co.; Standing Misty Casto, Buckeye Hills Executive Director and Jenn Westfall, Buckeye Hills Aging & Disability Division Director.
Members of the Buckeye Hills Regional Council Executive Committee and staff encourage awareness of elder abuse with a proclamation.

Check out the Proclamation!

This June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day! We encourage all residents to wear purple and learn more. We recognize older adults and the people who serve them as vital partners in our communities.  
Visit theWorld Health Organization for more details on this global issue.

Athens County Project Lifesaver Program Completes Successful Rescue
Sunday, April 29th was a warm, sunny spring day in Athens County, Ohio. Marshall Ruth, a 77-year-old male with dementia, decided to take a walk in the rural area near his home. When his family noticed he had wandered off and could not locate him, they contacted the Athens County Sheriff's Office.
Thankfully, Marshall is enrolled in the Buckeye Hills Regional Council's Athens County Project Lifesaver Program. The Athens Sheriff's Office is a partner in the program. Deputy D. J. McCollister and Lt. Jason Kline drove out to the man's home. As they were nearing Marshall's house, they picked up a signal from a transmitter that Marshall was wearing that indicated he was near their location.  
Despite the fact that Marshall was concealed from view by heavy vegetation, made no noise and was unable to move, the officers were able to hone in on his signal and find him. He was then examined by the Emergency Medical Service personnel who determined that he had suffered only a few scratches on his head. Marshall had apparently wandered from the road and fallen down a 20-foot hill.
Project Lifesaver is a search and rescue program. It utilizes radio technology to locate individuals who are cognitively impaired and have wandered from their caregivers. If a person wanders and cannot be located, caregivers call 911.  The caregiver informs the Sheriff's office that their loved one is enrolled in the program. Project Lifesaver-trained deputies begin the search by tuning a receiver to a specific frequency of a radio transmitter worn by the missing individual on his/her ankle or wrist.
"Had it not been for the Project Lifesaver Program equipment, we would not have found Marshall," said Lt. Jason Kline from the Athens Sheriff's Office.  Kline said he wasn't yelling or saying anything, he was just looking around. "Deputy McCollister and several others could not see Marshall over the hill when they drove by," added Kline. Using the equipment, Lt. Kline and Deputy McCollister were able to find Marshall in just over an hour.  "The equipment worked flawlessly and led us right to him. We were able to save this man's life," Lt. Kline stated.

Learn More About Medicare
"Extra Help"!

For eligible seniors, the Medicare Savings program can assist with Medicare premiums and prescriptions costs. Call today to see if you are eligible for coverage that can help eliminate the "doughnut hole."

Call 1-800-331-2644 today!   
Upcoming Community Classes:

Falls Prevention Education Coach Training
June 12 from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Buckeye Hills Regional Council - 1400 Pike St. Marietta

If you have:
- Experience with and interest in working with older adults
- Knowledge about the special needs of older adults
- Good communication and interpersonal skills
- Experience with group process and facilitation
- Comfort with teaching, leading group discussion and role play
You are an excellent candidate for training!

For more information or to register contact Amy Nahley at 740-374-2782 x 3305 or or Barb Felton at 740-374-1799 or
There is no cost for this training. A light dinner will be provided for participants.

Upon completing their training, Leader Trainees must agree to schedule and implement two Matter of Balance workshop series within the first 12 months.
This training is made possible by a partnership between the Washington County Health Department, the Memorial Health System and Buckeye Hills Regional Council.   Download a flyer  
Save the Dates!   

June 15    

June 15 is Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Wear Purple! 
June 22  Please note date change for Buckeye Hills Executive Committee Meeting (from June 1) 
July 10 

Save the date ~ July 10 for the Ohio Association of Regional Councils' 2018 Candidates Forum
More details and registration links coming soon!
August 15-17 
2018 Ohio Conference on Freight Registration is now open!

Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Cincinnati, OH
The Ohio Conference on Freight is the Midwest's leading freight conference, convening over 300 professionals from across North America to share their expertise in the areas of supply chain/logistics, smart transportation technology and federal and state policies supporting freight-related transportation and economic development.
Oct. 5 
Semi-Annual Buckeye Hills Regional Council General Policy Council Meeting & 50th Anniversary Celebration 
Join the $50 for 50 Partnership Program

The Partnership Program is an opportunity for you to become a part of the Buckeye Hills Regional Council's 50th Anniversary Celebration.  Send in $50 in recognition of your support and partnership during our 50 years of service to the 8-county region.
Send your $50 for 50 Investment to: 1400 Pike St. Marietta, OH  45750
You'll be listed on the special 50th Anniversary Celebration Signage.
Partners as of April 30, 2018:   
Thanks to Our 2018 $50 for 50 Partners!
  • Eastern Ohio Development Alliance 
  • Joe & Sally Matthews
  • Meigs County CIC
  • Morgan County CIC
  • Ohio Rural Water Association
  • Boyer & Judy Simcox
  • Roger & Wanda Stivison
Buckeye Hills Regional Council
 740-374-9436 or 740-373-6400 | 1400 Pike St. - Marietta, OH  45750

Misty Casto - Executive Director
Rick Hindman - Asst. Executive Director
Bret Allphin - Development Director
Jennifer Westfall - Aging & Disability Program Director

Buckeye Hills Regional Council is organized as a voluntary organization of local government political subdivisions to foster cooperative efforts in regional planning, and implementing of regional plans and programs.
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