Kathleen Williams

March 22, 2019

Animal Shelter to close for renovations March 31-April 5

BATAVIA, Ohio (March 22, 2019) – The Clermont County Animal Shelter will be closed to the public from March 31 through April 5 to install new flooring.

The shelter, which is managed by Clermont Animal CARE Humane Society, will reopen to the public on Saturday, April 6. Saturday hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The shelter is located at 4025 Filager Road, Batavia.

####

March 15, 2019

OMJ/Clermont to host seminar on employee engagement

BATAVIA, Ohio (March 15, 2019) — OhioMeansJobs/Clermont County is hosting a free business seminar, “Happy Employees. Happy Business. Why Does Employee Engagement Matter?” from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 23, at the Clermont Chamber of Commerce, 4355 Ferguson Drive, Suite #150, Cincinnati, OH 45245.

Three million Americans quit their jobs every month. Turnover of a single employee can hurt overall performance. Employee turnover costs U.S. companies approximately $160 billion per year, according to experts.

Learn how the performance outcomes of employee engagement can be measured using simple and affordable methods for improved engagement in your organization. And then network with other HR staff and business owners.

Presenter Jackie Messersmith has more than 20 years of experience as the founder/president of Workflow Dynamics. She is the co-founder and president of Talent Management. Messersmith’s work has been featured in books and articles.

For more information or to register for this free event, call OhioMeansJobs/Clermont County at 513.943.3737 or email sherri.bowling@jfs.ohio.gov.

Posted in: OMJ
March 6, 2019

Plant native! You’ll find plenty of options at annual plant sale

OWENSVILLE, Ohio – Planting native is the best way to sustain pollinators, says Susie Steffensen of the Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District. A variety of native plants that will thrive in this climate are available at the SWCD’s annual plant sale. Details and pictures can be found at store.clermontswcd.org.

“Beneficial insect and pollinator populations are in serious decline due to agriculture and land development,” Steffensen said. “Monocultures (plantings of the same species on large areas) do not provide the food that insects need.”

Monocultures include lawns, land dominated by bush honeysuckle, and crop fields.

Insects evolved along with their native plants and in most cases cannot feed on non-native plantings. Bee and butterfly populations are in trouble due to pesticides, monocultures, and the destruction of weeds and wild flowers, such as milkweed — the only food and habitat the Monarch butterfly larva need to survive, Steffensen said. “The pesticides used by most lawn care companies and those sold in stores kill all insects, not just the ones that cause lawn damage,” she said.

Herbicides eliminate weeds, which are crucial food sources for native insects. “We are encouraging land owners to plant beneficial flowers, bushes and trees to help stabilize and increase these populations,”  Steffensen said. “Life isn’t perfect and aren’t a few weeds in your grass worth the tradeoff for a healthier environment? Dandelions? These are the first food in the spring for insects!”

Another plus? Once established, native plants require little or no maintenance while non-native plants may require extra watering, fertilizing, staking, and may be more susceptible to insect and disease damage.

Clermont SWCD’s annual plant sale supplies native plants that are best suited for local growing conditions and provide crucial habitat and food for pollinators and wildlife. Trees such as red oaks, white flowering dogwoods, and redbuds, and shrubs including buttonbush, spicebush, and black chokeberry are among the plants for sale.

“We sell small, bare root seedlings; for best livability, we suggest you plant the seedlings in pots and give them extra care for the first year or two,” Steffensen said.

Prepaid orders can be placed at the store website online: store.clermontswcd.org. Online orders can be taken through April 24. Buyers can pick up their plants April 26-27 at the SWCD offices on the Clermont County Fairgrounds.

If you would like to be added to the Conservation Plant Sale email list, please call 513-732-7075 X 102, or email ssteffensen@clermontcountyohio.gov.

#########

About the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District:

Established in 1943, the district works with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and farmers to control erosion, promote water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat on agricultural working lands. The district provides technical assistance, grants and cost share funding, educational programming and other resources to urban, rural and suburban landowners to help them address a diverse range of local conservation issues. For more information, visit www.clermontswcd.org or call 513.732.7075.

Posted in: SWCD
March 1, 2019

Rapid SOS allows dispatchers to pinpoint 911 calls

BATAVIA, Ohio – Clermont County’s 911 system now includes a feature called Rapid SOS, allowing 911 calls that are made with a cell phone to be accurately pinpointed by using the GPS on the caller’s phone.

Motorola Solution’s CallWorks system was installed at the 911 dispatch center in mid-January, said Dominick Daulton, Program Administrator for the Department of Public Safety Services, which includes the dispatch center.

Previously, 911 calls from cell phone users were triangulated using the nearest cell phone towers, Daulton said. “Now, using the GPS on the caller’s phone, the location of the caller can be pinpointed, and first responders can get to the scene more quickly,” he said.

Rapid SOS requires IOS 12 for iPhones and Version 4.0 and up for Android phones. Customers should call their cell phone provider to check that their phone is compatible with Rapid SOS.

CallWorks also has a new map feature that allows dispatchers to see where calls are coming in from. If a cluster of calls is coming in from the location of an accident, which dispatch already knows about, and a new call comes in from the other side of the county, the dispatcher can answer the new call. Previously, dispatch operators could only answer calls in the order they came in.

The cost of the system is $875,000, and will be paid for over 10 years.

Clermont County’s dispatch system answers 911 calls from throughout the county, with the exception of Union Township, Amelia, the City of Milford and the City of Loveland.

########

February 27, 2019

SWCD offers free annual pond clinic April 9

BATAVIA, Ohio (Feb. 26, 2019) — Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will offer a free pond clinic to pond owners and managers at 5:30 p.m. on April 9 at the Cincinnati Nature Center-Rowe Woods at 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford.

This year the pond clinic will include additional speakers, a new breakout session format, and a pond walk from 4-5 p.m. before the event, weather permitting.

Eugene Braig, program director of Ohio State University Extension Aquatic Ecosystems Program, will deliver the opening presentation “The Aging Process: Keeping Ponds Healthy for the Long Run.” Breakout sessions will include Ponds 101 with Jake Hahn of the SWCD; fish stocking with Jones Fish Hatchery; pond weed control also with Jones Fish Hatchery, and the benefits of riparian buffers for wildlife attraction and pond protection with Olivia Espinoza of the Nature Center.

“Our event is one of the largest in the area and we want to continue to grow this program to best inform our pond managers,” Hahn said. More than 5,000 ponds are in Clermont County, and being used for different purposes. “We hope our event can be a place for pond owners to interact with other owners in the area to solve management problems with the guidance of our expert speakers,” Hahn said.

“Through this clinic, citizens will learn how recreational and storm water ponds can be maintained, and the steps to planning their own new ponds,” he said. “Since ponds are not a common natural landscape feature in our area, they need additional maintenance and care to function properly and meet the landowners’ expectations.”  Clermont SWCD’s goal is to help construct and maintain a safe, functional, and attractive pond. Clermont County Farm Bureau is sponsoring the event.

There is no cost, but registration is required to gain free admission to the Cincinnati Nature Center. To register or for more information, go to www.clermontswcd.org or contact Clermont SWCD at 513.732.7075. ####

Posted in: SWCD
February 26, 2019

Meet Hannah Lubbers, new director of OEQ, Solid Waste District

BATAVIA, Ohio (Feb. 26, 2019) – Hannah Lubbers, the new director of the Clermont County Office of Environmental Quality (OEQ) and the Adams-Clermont Solid Waste District, came by her love of the outdoors naturally.

Growing up in the City of Hamilton, she and her family enjoyed hiking and canoeing, at Hueston Woods and the Whitewater River in Indiana.

Lubbers was hired by Paul Braasch, the recently retired director of both offices, almost 11 years ago, as a program manager for the OEQ. She had just completed her Masters in biology at the University of Cincinnati. Her undergrad degree at UC was in environmental studies.

“I started as a chemistry major in college,” she said. “I took a class in environmental policy and I got interested in environmental studies – where policy and science intersect.”

That was perfect for her new job, where she specialized in understanding the watershed of the East Fork of the Little Miami River, and studying best management practices (BMPs) that would help farmers to decrease nutrient runoff.

The Office of Environmental Quality is one of the members of the East Fork Watershed Cooperative, an organization comprised of federal, state and county stakeholders that has conducted extensive research on the watershed to improve water quality.

When she began her work, Lubbers said, “We were more focused on wastewater effluent in streams. But local water quality data showed that runoff from agriculture also significantly impacted water quality.”

Partners in the East Fork Watershed Cooperative, including the USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Clermont County Soil & Water Conservation District, have been crucial to enlisting county farmers to use methods, such as planting cover crops and installing biological treatment systems, that lessen nutrient runoff.

And the unique nature of the cooperative has allowed it to pull in state and federal funding, Lubbers said. More than $3 million in grants to Clermont and Brown counties is funding cover crops and other BMPs, enough for 12,000 acres. In 2018, the NRCS allocated an additional $600,000 to the area to fund various agriculture projects, all in the service of improving the quality of water in the watershed.

Lubbers wears another hat as director of the Adams-Clermont Solid Waste District. “My primary goal is to ensure the sustainability of recycling,” she said. In 2018, the Solid Waste District helped Batavia, Ohio and Williamsburg townships secure curbside recycling via waste franchising to over 8,000 households.

“I want to make sure that all county residents maintain access to recycling,” she said. Currently, residents of Union Township, the largest township in Clermont County, have limited curbside recycling opportunities. There are also no drop-off sites in Union Township; several drop-off sites throughout the county have been closed because of illegal dumping.

“One of our goals is to make sure that recycling is available at apartment complexes,” Lubber said. Once more townships adopt curbside recycling, and more apartments have recycling bins, there won’t be as great a need for the drop-off sites, she said.

Lubbers, who lives in Clermont County, loves its natural beauty. She loves and appreciates the rural nature of much of the county. And she wants to make sure that is preserved while the county continues to grow in jobs and population.

Litter – which mars so many of the roadways in the county — is one thing that gets to her.  In 2018, an astounding 88 tons of litter was removed from rivers and streams in the county, much of it during the annual Spring Litter Clean-Up.

“There’s that phrase, ‘Think globally, act locally,’” Lubbers says “NOT littering, and picking up litter when you see it, is one way of acting locally. It doesn’t have to be your garbage – pick it up!”

#######

 

February 19, 2019

Meet new director of Ohio Department of Agriculture April 8

Dorothy Pelanda

BATAVIA, Ohio (Feb. 19, 2019) — Dorothy Pelanda, the new director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), is hosting a series of informal meet-and-greet events across Ohio. The meetings will present the opportunity for Director Pelanda to introduce herself, share information regarding her background, and listen to thoughts and ideas from members of Ohio’s food and agriculture industry.

Pelanda, who lives on the same family farm in Marysville that she grew up on, served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 2011 until her appointment as ODA director.

The events will be hosted in conjunction with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The events are open to the public and members of the media are welcome to attend.  Pelanda’s meet-and-greet for Brown, Clermont, Adams and Highland counties will be held on Monday, April 8, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Brown County Fairgrounds, 325 W. State Street, Georgetown OH 45121.

For information, call the ODA Office of Communications at 614.752.9817, or the Brown County Soil and Water Conservation District at 937.378.4424.

 

Posted in: SWCD
February 6, 2019

Update on services for detective, route, where to watch, how to donate

Detective Bill Brewer

Detective Bill Brewer, 42, a Clermont County deputy sheriff, lost his life in the line of duty on Feb. 2.

Here is the latest information we have:

Services: Family and friends are invited to a public visitation from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at Mount Carmel Christian Church, 4110 Bach Buxton Road, Batavia, OH 45103, under the direction of E.C. Nurre Funeral Home in Amelia.  Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the church. Interment will follow at Pierce Township Cemetery.

E.C. Nurre Funeral Home link 

Visitation parking: Primary parking will be available at West Clermont High School 4-8 p.m. Thursday. Parking WILL NOT be available at West Clermont Middle School because of parent/teacher conferences.

Overflow parking is available at Pierce Point Cinema 10 (1255 Ohio Pike). Clermont Transportation Connection will run shuttles between the theater parking lot and the church, starting at 4 p.m.

Where to view funeral: Crossroads East Side, next to Jungle Jim’s, is opening its auditorium Friday so that the public can view Detective Brewer’s services. The church will open its doors at 9 a.m. Friday, with screening expected to start at 11 a.m.

The auditorium and performing arts center at West Clermont High School and Middle School have been reserved for law enforcement officers and first responders. The public SHOULD NOT go there.

From home or office: WKRC Local 12, WLWT Channel 5, WXIX Fox 19, and  WCPO Channel 9 will provide live broadcast coverage and streaming coverage of the funeral service. The Cincinnati Enquirer will provide live streaming coverage.

Clermont Public Library: All 10 library branches will live stream the funeral service beginning at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8. The public is welcome.

Processional route:

Leaving from the church
Left onto Bach-Buxton
Left onto Clough
Left onto Main Street in Batavia
Merge onto West 32
Merge onto South I-275
Exit onto Beechmont Avenue (SR 125)
Right onto Merwin Ten Mile
Right onto Locust Corner Road
Enter into cemetery where transfer from the hearse to the horse-drawn caisson will take place; caisson will proceed to the grave.

Note: The American Legion is asking people to line the processional route with American flags.

Where to donate: The Bill Brewer Memorial Fund, to help Detective Brewer’s family, has been set up at Park National Bank. Individuals may drop off donations at any Park National branch or can mail a check to Bill Brewer Memorial Fund, Park National Bank, 1187 Ohio Pike, Amelia OH 45102.

Many county offices will be closed Friday. Read more here.

February 6, 2019

Commissioner Painter honors the life of Detective Brewer

Feb. 6, 2019

Commissioner David Painter, President of the Board of County Commissioners, opened today’s session with these remarks about Detective Bill Brewer, who was killed in the line of duty Feb. 2:

On Saturday February 2nd, Deputy Nick DeRose and Deputy William Brewer responded along with Clermont County Special Response Team to a call for help from a 23 year old man. The two deputies sustained gunshot wounds as a result of their commitment to serve and protect the citizens of Clermont County. Lt. DeRose was later treated and released from the hospital, returning to work later that Sunday. Lt. DeRose was shot twice, once in the lower leg and another that struck his utility belt and protective vest preventing a life-threatening injury. He is a true testament to the resolve of the department. Detective William Brewer sustained life ending injuries as a result of his commitment to serve. I pray that Lt. DeRose has a speedy recovery.

Today, the Board of Clermont County Commissioners honor and mourn the loss of Detective William Brewer of the Clermont County Sheriff’s office. On behalf of the Board we extend our deepest condolences to Bill’s family and thank them for sharing him with us.

Bill and Nick spent over 20 years protecting and helping the citizens of Clermont County. On that Saturday, Bill along with his partner Lt. Nick DeRose, answered a call for help whereby Bill and Nick sustained gunshot injuries. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for his friend. Bill and Nick’s selfless courage goes well beyond God’s word in that they both were willing to lay down their lives for a man they did not know. Bill gave his life that evening in an effort to help. William Brewer was that kind of guy.

Bill was a son, a brother, a husband, a dad, and a beloved family member. He leaves behind his loving wife Jamie, his beloved son Braxton, his brother Michael, his parents Bill and Angie, his in-laws, his nieces, his nephews, his Clermont County Deputy family and all the citizens of Clermont County that he took an oath to protect.

There are a few professions whereby a man is required to commit his life to the protection of others. Bill was a Clermont County Deputy. Once a Deputy, always a Deputy. To the 200,000 residents of Clermont County, Bill will always be our Deputy.

To Bill’s wife and son, there are no words that I can speak to answer the question why such a tragedy as this is allowed to happen. For God’s plan is so vast that even if he were to show it to us, we wouldn’t understand it. Rest assured that there are two people that now understand his plan and one of them is Bill. May God comfort you in your time of loss. Our prayers are with you.

 

 

February 6, 2019

Clermont County courts, other offices to close Friday for detective’s services

Detective Bill Brewer

BATAVIA, Ohio (Feb. 6, 2019) – All Clermont County courts and many county offices will be closed Friday, Feb. 8, to allow employees to attend, view or participate in services for Sheriff’s Detective Bill Brewer, who lost his life in the line of duty on Feb. 2.

CLOSED

Sheriff’s Office: Administrative offices close at noon Thursday and all day Friday.

Common Pleas Court: Closes at 2 p.m. Thursday and all day Friday. This also includes Probation, Law Library, and Court Services.

Juvenile Court/Probate Court: Closes at 2 p.m. Thursday and all day Friday.

Prosecutor’s Office: Closes at 2 p.m. Thursday and all day Friday.

Domestic Relations Court: Closes at 2 p.m. Thursday and all day Friday. All hearings will be scheduled to the next available time.

Board of County Commissioners’ office, and departments including Water Resources Administration Building, Building Inspection, Permit Central, Job & Family Services, OhioMeansJobs/Clermont County, and Department of Community & Economic Development: Closed Friday.

Municipal Court: Closed Friday. Those who have an arraignment scheduled for Friday will be sent a new court date. They can also check the Clermontclerk.org website for updated information.

Common Pleas Clerk’s Office, Domestic Relations Clerk and all auto title offices: Closed Friday.

Public Defender’s Office: Closed Friday.

Auditor’s Office: Closed Friday.

Recorder’s Office: Closed Friday.

Engineer’s Office: Closed Friday.

Public Health: Closed Friday.

Coroner’s Office: Closed Friday; on call at 513.543.0129.

OPEN

Some county offices will be open, including the Treasurer’s Office, which is accepting payments for first-half property taxes, which are due Feb. 13. The Municipal Clerk of Court Office will be open Friday. The Board of Elections office will be open Friday.

Bus service in Clermont County, including Dial-A-Ride, will operate normally.

The county website, www.clermontcountyohio.gov, has separate pages for each county office, including how to contact them. Check there if you have questions on whether an office is open or closed.

Services for Detective Brewer are as follows:

Family and friends are invited to a public visitation from 4-8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7, at Mount Carmel Christian Church, 4110 Bach Buxton Rd, Batavia, OH 45103, under the direction of E.C. Nurre Funeral Home in Amelia. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the church. Interment will follow at Pierce Township Cemetery.