Mike Boehmer

November 23, 2020

Long-serving Commissioner Humphrey bids farewell on Dec. 31

BATAVIA, OH — Ed Humphrey carries a lot of gratitude and satisfaction into his retirement after 31 years as an elected official. Humphrey, 76, serves his last day as a Clermont County commissioner on Dec. 31. He decided not to run for a fourth term to devote more time to family and address health concerns.

“I’ve had my ups and downs in life — and I’m very blessed to be here,” he said. “I love what I do as a commissioner. I would run again, but I want to stay married. I’ve been married 53 years and I want that to continue.”

He beams a smile of appreciation for his marriage, family — and recuperation from two bouts with cancer, a serious traffic accident and a snow skiing mishap.

Ed and Janice Humphrey raised three children: Doug, Gail and Scott. He fondly recalls coaching his daughter’s soccer team and serving as an assistant coach for his son’s soccer team and coaching his knothole baseball squad. He also refereed youth soccer games.

He also worked as a market researcher (retiring from Proctor & Gamble in 1994, after 28 years) and devoted time to EMT and fire department work.

If that wasn’t enough, he was in the ski patrol at Perfect North for 30 years, advancing to crew chief. He taught courses, held local to national level positions, and went on enjoyable ski trips to Colorado and Utah.

Humphrey joined the volunteer fire department a year after marriage, eventually taking and passing classes to become an EMT and paramedic. He also advanced to fire chief, and worked evenings and weekends as a firefighter and EMT while continuing his job at P&G. He also served as an EMT and firefighting instructor at  Great Oaks.

“I have had a busy life,” he said. “Not of lot of TV time in those early days.”

He proudly recalls the governor asking him to serve as one of two county representatives on a statewide task force that is developing an emergency services internet protocol, a network for 911 calls. The protocol will allow for backups if a 911 center goes out and connects wireless devices.

Humphrey has taken a number of classes offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to learn more about management of emergency scenes.

His interest in 911 and the Emergency Management Agency carries on to this day. He represented the Board of County Commissioners on the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

Humphrey began his career as an elected official as a Miami Township trustee in 1990.

“Ed and I served together as Miami Township Trustees for 11 years,” said Jean Schmidt, who went on to serve at the state and federal levels. “It was an honor and a privilege to serve with Ed.  His love for our community made Miami Township a great place to live work and raise a family. As county commissioner, Ed extended this dedication to our community to the entire county. We have been blessed by his wisdom, knowledge, experience and patient understanding for 30 years.  He may be leaving this office but he will never stop finding ways to keep our county a great place. His heart will always be here.”

He was appointed to Board of County Commissioners in 2008 and took elective office a year later.

Commissioner David Painter said: “I will forever be grateful to Ed and Janice for the support they gave me as I stepped into my role as a Commissioner in 2017. Ed’s wisdom serving as President of the Board, President of OKI, President of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, OVRDC Member and countless other boards was a benefit to all of the citizens here in our county. His 31 years of experience in local governments made his advice sound and proven. Although Ed always wore a business suit to work, underneath and closest to his heart was the Clermont County flag. Clermont County is a better place today because of Ed.”

“I would like to thank Commissioner Humphrey for his many years of devoted service to the county and our community,” County Commissioner Claire Corcoran said. “I admire him for the countless hours he put in working to make Clermont County a better place.”

At the township level, Humphrey enjoyed overseeing direct services such as fire, zoning and roads. The county commissioner role gave him the satisfaction of helping guide a wide variety of programs, ranging from job and family services, to water and sewer, to 911 dispatch.

“I’m lucky enough to be past president of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and OKI Regional Council of Governments,” he said.

Putting his passion for transportation into action, he worked his way up the ranks to president of the eight-county OKI regional council of governments.

Humphrey has overcome many health challenges. He underwent “barbaric” surgery, compared to today’s robotics, to remove prostate cancer. He broke seven vertebrae and four ribs in a skiing accident at Perfect North Slopes, and healed without surgery while sleeping on a recliner for weeks. (“That still hurts at times,” he said.)

A major trial came after a low red blood count led to an endoscopy, which showed an ulcer in his stomach. That led to a biopsy and scans showing cancer in his stomach, lower intestine, liver, neck and hip bones — Stage 4 Diffused Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Untreated, he would have died within six months; treated, 50/50 chance of living five years. Seven years have elapsed.

He received six cycles of chemo at the Blood Cancer Unit at Jewish Hospital – one week of continuous chemo, two weeks out, one week in, two weeks out… Despite aggressive treatment, he continued to serve as county commissioner.

The Board of County Commissioners even held a session in a rehab center so he could participate. Staff wheeled him to a table where he joined commissioners Bob Proud and David Uible.

On Dec. 3, 2015, he was involved in a serious traffic accident while traveling to a meeting concerning a proposed bypass. A truck coming the other direction dumped construction debris on his car, resulting in a broken neck, hip, and shoulder. Loveland-Symmes and Miami Township emergency teams responded. Air Care flew him to UC Medical Center, where he was in intensive care for several weeks.

“I’ve seen photos,” he said. “I don’t remember from that day until six weeks after it happened. That’s probably a good thing.”

As the fourth-generation Miamiville resident winds down his long career in public services, he continues to express wholehearted gratitude. He has overcome serious health challenges while continuing to serve the community.

“Here I am, standing up, able to walk,” he said, with a big smile. “I’ve been so blessed.”

November 20, 2020

COVID-19 Defense Team to address increase in cases

BATAVIA, OH — Clermont County has expanded a group in place since March to build its COVID-19 Defense Team. Gov. Mike DeWine recently called for counties to form defense teams to address the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases.

Representatives from the library, faith-based partners, social services agencies, the private sector and local government have been recruited to extend the COVID-19 Multi-Agency Coordination Group. This group, coordinated by Clermont County Emergency Management Agency, has been meeting regularly via Zoom since the pandemic first hit. It includes representatives from Public Health, hospitals, county government, law enforcement and fire departments

David Painter, president of the Board of County Commissioners, said the Defense Team brings together partners from all facets of our community to assess the local situation and focus on actionable items to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

“The best solutions do not always come from a top-down approach,” Painter said. “We can learn from each other’s successes.”

The team is still recruiting additional private sector partners and local officials. Its distribution list reaches 131 individuals.

 

November 19, 2020

Help for families struggling with limited resources due to isolation, quarantine for COVID-19

BATAVIA, OH — With the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases throughout Clermont County, residents and businesses face significant challenges. This is especially true for individuals who become ill with the virus and their families or close contacts who are asked to stay home for 14 days to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

These individuals (and their families) may face lost paychecks, lack of access to groceries and other household necessities, and economic uncertainty.

The County Emergency Management Agency in conjunction with Clermont County Public Health, local social service agencies, faith-based partners and non-profit organizations work to ensure a safety net for residents.

Local social service agencies have modified their operations to accommodate the needs of their existing client base as well as expanded their services to new clients. During the next few weeks, we will highlight the great work to provide expanded services to Clermont County residents.

This week, we highlight the efforts of the Clermont County Emergency Management Agency and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

As Public Health officials continue to strive to control the spread of the disease, they encounter individuals and families with limited resources that prevent them from staying home during their isolation or quarantine period.  With the growing demands on Public Health, the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) has stepped in to assist.

In the past month, EMA has seen an increase in the number of individuals and families that need groceries, baby supplies and household items.

The United Way of Greater Cincinnati, in conjunction with local food pantries, provides weekly food deliveries to EMA — and then EMA staff deliver the food to the doorstep of those in isolation or quarantine.

In the past two weeks, EMA and United Way have provided food to 14 families.

“Sadly, this may only be the tip of the iceberg of individuals and families that could use assistance,” said Pam Haverkos, director of the Clermont County Emergency Management Agency.

2020 has been a challenging year and it continues to throw all of us curveballs. It is important that we all take steps to be prepared for the possibility we will be impacted by Covid-19. Take a few simple steps now to be prepared:

  • Identify local grocery retailers and restaurants that have online ordering and delivery to your home.
  • Identify friends, family members, or neighbors that can pick up and deliver groceries to your doorstep.
  • Work toward a 14-day stockpile of essential food and household items. Pick up additional essential items every time you go to the store.
  • Identify local food pantries near you. Here’s a handy list: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18ZxbUu7wzdu9cOx4iTMYZFISeDr2KZ0FDOmOufLJj0Q/edit#
  • Purchase a thermometer and over-the-counter pain relief medications.
  • Talk to your pharmacy about alternate pick-up options..

Remember, while we may be socially distant, we are all in this together. If you or a loved one is in need of additional support or resources, please contact the Clermont County Emergency Management Agency at 513.732.7661 or e-mail clermontema@clermontcountyohio.gov.

November 19, 2020

2020: A year in review

No doubt, 2020 will go down as one of the most memorable in our lifetimes: A global pandemic. A contentious national election. A major employer coming to Clermont County. And more! As the New Year approaches, we take a look at the challenges and opportunities of 2020.

January

New Sheriff’s Office Safety and Training Facility
Local officials broke ground on an $852,000, 4,585-square-foot Clermont County Sheriff’s Office Safety and Training Facility in Batavia. The building houses open and private offices, single-user restrooms, a kitchen, a training room, an exercise room and mechanical spaces.

Painter elected president
Commissioner David Painter was elected president, and Commissioner Ed Humphrey, vice president, of the Clermont County Board of Commissioners for 2020 at the annual Reorganization Meeting. Commissioner Claire Corcoran was named to serve as a member.

Overdose deaths again decline
Deaths due to unintentional drug overdoses declined for the third-straight year in Clermont County, according to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). In 2018, 80 deaths of Clermont County residents were caused by accidental drug overdoses. This compared to 105 in 2017, 96 in 2016, 91 in 2015, and 78 in 2014 – the largest decrease (24 percent) since Clermont County began to see the effects of increased opioid use in the late 2000s.

February

County upgrades strengthen election security
The Clermont County Board of Elections completed security upgrades required by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. On June 11, 2019, LaRose issued Directive 2019-08, a comprehensive, multi-faceted security strategy for local boards that provides the redundancy required of a strong election system infrastructure. Counties had until Jan. 31 to complete the secretary’s requirements. The effort has made Ohio the national leader in election security. The directive included a checklist of 34 separate requirements that must be met in order to be considered compliant. The specifics of the checklist essentially serve as Ohio’s detailed defense plan against adversaries who seek to disrupt our elections.

March

New assistant director joins team
Greg Bickford, former Administrator of Sycamore Township in Hamilton County, joined Clermont County as Assistant County Administrator. He brought more than 20 years of experience with Sycamore Township, including six as Administrator. Clermont County has benefitted from his extensive background in economic development and public administration.

Pandemic prompts State of Emergency
The Board of Commissioners declared a State of Emergency in Clermont County in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Extraordinary times require extraordinary action,” said David Painter, president of the Board of County Commissioners. Commissioners Ed Humphrey and Claire Corcoran concurred. The emergency declaration, along with a previous resolution delegating disaster functions in event of an absence of a quorum of the Board, spelled out succession of leadership and the authority of the County Administrator in an emergency.

April

Innovation helps county endure shortages
Faced with shortages of hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial disinfectant wipes and sprays, Clermont County went ahead and made its own products. Director of Facilities Management Wade Grabowski and Chris Turner, facilities coordinator, tapped local sources for ingredients, looked up mixtures on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, and conferred with a chemist at Clermont County Water Resources.

May

Many improvements to sewer and water
The Clermont County Water Resources Department’s 5-year capital improvement plan (2020-2024) called for many improvements to water mains, water tanks and sewers. Lyle Bloom, the department’s director, explained the plan to the Board of County Commissioners.  The plan identified 58 water works capital improvements valued at $35.4 million, including 25 water main replacement projects ($22.5 million), elevated water tank inspection, rehab and painting projects ($3.1 million), water treatment plant and well field improvement projects ($3.4 million), new infrastructure/expansion projects ($6.2 million) and petition/assessment projects ($167,000).

June

Family Recovery Court helps family
Robert Schubert and wife Christina Northern – the parents of six children, ages 15 to 20 months – had lived in a van in back of a Clermont County sandwich shop for 18 months when they came to Family Recovery Court. He signed up for the rigorous year-long program on Aug. 21, 2018, and she joined about a month later. Addiction to methamphetamine knocked them down to the point that their children were placed in foster care on Oct. 17, 2017. Thanks to the structure and support of Family Recovery Court (a part of Clermont County Juvenile Court), they regained custody of their children on Sept. 27, 2019. Robert has been sober since Aug. 15, 2018, and Christina, June 17, 2018. On June 11, the six children joined their parents at a virtual/in-person graduation ceremony at the court. Judge James A. Shriver praised the family, wearing masks due to COVID-19. Family members and case workers watched online via Zoom.

Pandemic affects county budget
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were estimated to reduce Clermont County general fund revenues from $64.1 million in 2019 to $58.4 million in 2020, said Mary Rains, director of the Clermont County Office of Management and Budget. Rains gave an overview on June 17 during a public hearing on the proposed annual tax budget for 2021. Fortunately, the county had kept a strong fund balance and reserves due to its responsible management of the budget.

July

County improves emergency communication
The Board of County Commissioners approved a License Agreement with the Great Oaks Career Campus Board that allowed Clermont County to build a 450-foot radio tower for the public safety radio system. Commissioners allocated $782,000 to construct the tower, part of a system that provides coverage for police, firefighters, emergency medical services, buses, engineers and the like. There is no cost to lease the land. “This will allow us to continue communications without any dead zones,” said John Kiskaden, Director of the Clermont County Department of Public Safety Services. “This tower is critical to the communications infrastructure. If we would have to move it, we would have a chain reaction of coverage issues, costing the county additional money to regain the existing coverage.”

August

Grants assist small businesses
Thanks to Clermont County’s Small Business Relief Program, $1 million in Coronavirus Relief Act (CARES Act) grants were made available to struggling businesses. “We hope these funds will help small businesses during these extremely challenging times,” said David Painter, president of the Board of County Commissioners. “Small businesses are vital to our economy, providing much-needed services and employment to many.”

September

New economic development director
Michael McNamara sees a bright future for Clermont County as he surveys the economic development landscape. McNamara joined the county as Director of Community and Economic Development. He had served as Butler County’s Development Administrator for five years.

October

Nestlé Purina to build $500-million plant
Clermont County celebrated one of the biggest economic development wins in county history – a victory in terms of good jobs, tax revenues for schools and services, and an environment where secondary industry will thrive. Nestlé Purina Pet Care Company purchased the remaining 193 acres at South Afton Industrial Park in Williamsburg Township for $6.9 million. This will bring 300 quality jobs. Nestlé Purina will invest more than $500 million in capital improvements at the industrial park site as construction crews and vendors move in to build its new manufacturing plant. Nestlé Purina’s investment will result in monetary gains to the Village of Williamsburg and Williamsburg Township in income tax revenue. Williamsburg Schools will also benefit from negotiated payments in lieu of taxes over the proceeding decades. Likewise the sale of property at South Afton recouped the taxpayers’ investment for infrastructure. The impact of those working at the plant will result in millions of dollars being infused into our county each year.

November

Election draws many voters
Thousands of citizens took advantage of early voting at Board of Elections offices in Batavia, with lines stretching along the block for days leading up to the Nov. 4 election. In addition to the presidential election, voters approved levies for services for abused and neglected children, senior citizens and those with mental health and addiction problems.

CARES Act funds help many
Clermont County allocated nearly $10 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. Another nearly $10 million in CARES Act funding had been allocated for local municipalities and townships. Funds went to Clermont County Public Health, Clermont County Park District, public and private schools, Clermont County Community Services, Clermont Senior Services and YWCA of Greater Cincinnati. Funds also were allocated for the $1-million Small Business Relief Program.

Major improvements to SR 32
Travel from Eastgate to Batavia without a traffic signal is a big step closer to reality thanks to a recent award from the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI). At their October board meeting, OKI approved a $5.4 million grant to the Clermont County Transportation Improvement District (CCTID), which will fund a significant component of the construction work planned for SR 32 between Eastgate and Batavia.

December

November 18, 2020

Long-time Child Support leader to retire

BATAVIA, OH — Brenda Gilreath, long-time leader of Clermont County Child Support, was honored at today’s Board of County Commissioners meeting. Gilreath will retire at the end of the year after 35 years with the county.
“She is a tremendous person and a tremendous leader,” said Timothy Dick, director of Clermont County Department of Job and Family Services. “She will certainly be missed, but her retirement is well deserved.”
Commissioners thanked Gilreath for her service. They presented her with a certificate of recognition.
“This was a hard decision for me, my employment here in Clermont County has been a big part of my life for a very long time,” said Gilreath, speaking via Zoom.
Remarks by Brenda Gilreath:
This was a hard decision for me, my employment here in Clermont County has been a big part of my life for a very long time. I would like to thank this board, and all the previous boards going back for the last 34 years for the support you have shown to me and to the child support program.
I’d also like to thank them for the employment opportunity that I have so much enjoyed. Throughout my career, I’ve worked closely with other counties, our state office and the Child Support Directors Association. Over a period of 8 years, I served on the Child Support Directors Association Executive Board as Cincinnati District Present, VP and Treasurer. I spent a lot of time in Columbus. I also served as chair of the Legislative Committee and Conference Committee where I led the implementation of 15 statewide conferences including the first-ever Partners Conference. I chaired the conference which brought together Ohio Family Support Association and Ohio Child Support Directors Association which merged the two associations into one.
During my travels on business for Clermont County, when someone would ask me what county I was with, I always was very proud to say Clermont County, I live here, I work here, and I raised my children here. Throughout my career, I’ve been very passionate about the child support program because of the services that we provide to children and families. I will retire leaving the program with an outstanding performance record.
We have held the best overall performance in the large caseload division probably longer than any other county. Every year for we are recognized, just recently we were recognized for Best Performance in Paternity Establishment and Best Performance for Disbursements vs. full-time equivalents both in the large caseload division. After the pandemic hit in March, we moved our genetic testing dockets for paternity establishment out into the parking lot and created a drive-thru experience. – kind of proud of receiving that recognition during the pandemic.
We were the first child support program to electronically file with the Courts here in Ohio, we were like one of the first to do that nationally. We created electronic workflow technology that was common being our program and Judicial, also a first here in Ohio. That project was funded with grant money that came our way because the benefits of the project had the ability to improve performance for many of the counties in our state. We piloted Ohio eQuick Pay and created new programs like the Criminal Non-Support Diversion Program, the Career Opportunities Program, Waiver and Compromise and Beech Acres Parenting Center Access and Visitation.
I’d like to thank the staff that works in the child support program, the many who have already retired, and all of our local partners who provide services on our behalf – I’m very proud of what we all have accomplished together and feel very blessed for such a long career working in a wonderful program.
I started off on my career journey with Clermont County some 35 years ago as a young extremely motivated and passionate public servant. I wanted to make a difference. 35 years later, I leave feeling as if I did just that.
Thanks everyone, stay safe and God bless!
November 18, 2020

Going above and beyond in fight against opioid epidemic

During 2020 Appreciation Week in Clermont County, the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board (CCMHRB) together with the Clermont Opiate Task Force (OTF) would like to acknowledge the first responders in our county that have gone above and beyond in the fight against the opioid epidemic in our County.  Without your partnership, Clermont County could not have seen the 43% decrease in opioid related unintentional overdoses in the past several years.  THANK YOU!

  • Clermont County Sheriff’s Office for their partnership in providing outreach to those surviving an overdose through the Quick Response Team (QRT); placement of a permanent drug drop off box in their office and participating in yearly DEA Drug Take Back Days; being the first law enforcement agency to carry Naloxone in Clermont County; and providing dedicated staff to Co-chair the OTF-Cpt. Jeff Sellars.   Sheriff Leahy was selected as the recipient of the CARES state award in 2019 for his outstanding leadership in addressing the opioid epidemic.
  • Pierce Township Police Department, and specifically Chief Jeff Bachman, for his time and dedication to assisting the Quick Response Team (QRT) with outreach in his jurisdiction; providing his officers with access to Naloxone; having a permanent drug drop box in their office and participating in yearly DEA Drug Take Back Days; and his willingness to pilot programming to assist those residents struggling with behavioral health needs.
  • The Milford/Miami Township Addiction Response Team for providing dedicated staff in both the police and EMS departments in both jurisdictions to assist with providing outreach to residents of either jurisdiction who have survived an overdose.
  • Union Township Fire/EMS, and Chief Stan Deimling, for his willingness to partner to development unique ideas to address opioid overdoses; for the continued support of the Quick Response Team (QRT) in Union Township and for assistance with targeted Naloxone outreach efforts.
  • Chief Brad Moore, Felicity/Franklin Fire/MS for his tireless advocacy to provide support, hope, and treatment to Felicity residents.

Additionally, the work and support of the following partners has had an impact on the success of the OTF, we want to THANK YOU :

  • Clermont County Board of Commissioners for continuing to participate in the work of the OTF; collaborating to assure County residents are connected to needed treatment; and supporting the mission of the CCMHRB and the OTF.
  • Clermont County Public Health Department for joining forces with the CCMHRB to support the OTF; providing dedicated staff to address opioid misuse prevention-Tyra Scherer; providing guidance to the OTF; assisting with education/awareness campaigns; and providing community partners with resources such as Naloxone.
  • The volunteer Chairs of the OTF: OTF Co-Chair Jeff Sellars for his time and passion related to decreasing the overdose rate in Clermont County; Mary Wolff for her assistance with opioid related prevention; Angie Livesey for chairing the Adverse Childhood Experiences OTF subcommittee; and  Dr Steven Feagins for chairing the OTF treatment subcommittee.
  • Clermont County Public Information Office for partnering with the OTF to educate the community on the dangers of opioid misuse, and treatment options.
November 9, 2020

County allocates CARES Act funds to entities affected by pandemic

BATAVIA, OH (Nov. 9, 2020) — Clermont County continues to allocate nearly $10 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding. Another nearly $10 million in CARES Act funding has been allocated for local municipalities and townships.

The Board of County Commissioners on Nov. 4 approved memorandums of understanding and agreements with a number of entities for use of CARES Act funding.

  • Clermont County Public Health: $542,000 primarily for expenses related to preparing for vaccinations and reimbursement of personnel;
  • Clermont County Park District: $75,000 for equipment, materials and supplies used to mitigate or respond to the pandemic;
  • Public and private schools: not to exceed $1 million for equipment, materials, supplies and other items used to mitigate or respond to the pandemic;
  • Clermont County Community Services: not to exceed $60,000 for costs of business interruption and required closures due to the pandemic;
  • Clermont Senior Services: not to exceed $45,000 for equipment, materials, supplies and/or other items used to mitigate or respond to the pandemic;
  • YWCA of Greater Cincinnati: not to exceed $110,000 for costs of business interruption and additional costs caused by required closures arising from the pandemic, while serving Clermont County clients;

Funds already had been allocated for other uses, such as $1 million for a small business relief program. The county is continuing to identify pandemic-related expenses and work with social service agencies who may have costs tied to COVID-19 that would be covered by the CARES Act.

The county has until Nov. 20 to encumber expenses and the end of the year to spend these funds.

October 26, 2020

Nestlé Purina PetCare plans to build new factory in Clermont County

➡️ Please see today’s exciting news from Nestlé Purina PetCare, below.

➡️ Hear from local leaders in this brief video

Nestlé Purina PetCare Plans to Build New Factory in Ohio to Meet Growing Pet Food Demand 

Planned $550 million investment to support long-term growth for trusted pet care brands, create jobs 

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 26, 2020 – Today, Nestlé Purina PetCare announced a $550 million investment to build a new factory in Williamsburg Township, Ohio, to meet increasing demand for its high-quality, nutritious pet foods.

The Williamsburg Township location will join Purina’s network of 21 existing manufacturing locations across the United States and be the company’s first new factory built from the ground up since 1975.  This expansion is part of a broader growth plan for Purina and marks the second new factory Purina has announced in 2020 after the company revealed plans in late September to convert a former brewery into a new pet food factory in Eden, North Carolina.

“Purina is excited to be building two new factories in the U.S. over the next few years. This growth is a testament to strong consumer demand for our high-quality nutrition that helps pets live longer, healthier lives,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, President, Purina. “Our new Ohio factory will build on our more than 90-year history of making science-based dog and cat foods that pet owners trust. We are grateful for the partnership at the state and local levels, and we’re excited to call Clermont County home and support this great community for a long time.”

“Close collaboration between JobsOhio, its local partners and the Development Services Agency were essential to attracting Purina’s newest facility and 300 jobs to Ohio,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “Talented workers in Clermont County will manufacture Purina’s most recognizable brands from the plant, which will play a critical role in Purina’s global growth strategy.”

Preliminary plans call for Purina to invest $550 million to build its new factory in southwest Ohio and produce leading dry dog and cat food brands, including Purina Pro Plan, Purina ONE and Dog Chow. The 1.2 million-square-foot facility will sit in Williamsburg Township’s South Afton Industrial Park. Purina plans to employ more than 300 people at its new factory location by 2024. Many of these jobs will include professional staff, production operators, technical staff and engineers. Construction will begin this fall, and the factory is expected to be operational in 2023.

“Clermont County is an excellent location for Purina’s newest factory thanks to the region’s distribution opportunities, a workforce with great potential and strong community values,” said Nolan Terry, Vice President, Manufacturing, Purina. “We have a unique opportunity to bring all of our best technical and innovative manufacturing thinking under one roof as we construct this facility from the ground up.”

The facility’s design will be inspired by innovative Nestlé facilities around the globe and will be built to Purina’s world-class quality and food safety standards. The facility will be Purina’s most technologically advanced pet food factory, utilizing robotics and innovative digital tools and featuring a training center to promote learning and development.

While investing in its operations, Purina is committed to making pet care products in an environmentally responsible manner. Purina’s new operations will be designed with sustainability at the forefront, including a commitment to send zero waste for disposal, and production processes designed to recover and reuse heat and water. Purina also is striving to make the facility 100 percent powered by renewable electricity in the shortest practical timeframe, while supporting the company’s ambition for zero environmental impact in company operations by 2030.

Purina received proposals from state and local agencies, including Williamsburg Schools, Williamsburg Township and the Port Authority, with support from Clermont County Commissioners.  This support provides the opportunity for Purina to expand its pet food operations while retaining and attracting top talent over the long term. The Ohio Development Services Agency approved a Job Creation Tax Credit to support the project.

“With today’s announcement, Nestlé Purina Petcare is an incredibly welcome addition to the Cincinnati region’s food manufacturing ecosystem, where we boast some of the other biggest brands in the country,” said Kimm Lauterbach, REDI Cincinnati president and CEO. “More than 300 food and flavoring companies do business in the Cincinnati region, and Nestlé Purina Petcare is the most recent company to recognize its perfect fit for the company’s $550 million investment at the South Afton Industrial Park, a JobsOhio SiteOhio Authenticated site. I’m grateful for the work of our partners at JobsOhio, the Ohio Development Services Agency, Clermont County, Williamsburg Township, and Duke Energy that has supported this project and we look forward to watching Nestlé Purina Petcare grow and succeed in the Cincinnati region.”

“Governments don’t create jobs, businesses do,” said David Painter, President of Clermont County Board of Commissioners. “Commissioners invested in South Afton Industrial Park to provide the infrastructure and space where private business could create jobs for our residents. Now, Nestlé Purina will invest over $550 million in capital improvements at South Afton. Williamsburg Township and Williamsburg Village will benefit from income tax revenue. Williamsburg local school district will receive negotiated payments in lieu of taxes for coming decades. Clermont County will recoup its initial investment in South Afton. This is a win for Clermont County government, the Williamsburg area, Nestlé Purina and the residents of Clermont County.”

Overall, Nestlé employs 3,300 people across the state of Ohio, with operations in Solon, Marysville, Cleveland, Brecksville and Zanesville, spanning Nestlé USA, Nestlé Professional, Nestlé Foodservice and Nestlé Purina operations.

To view and apply for positions at Purina’s newest factory, please visit purinajobs.com/WilliamsburgTownship. To receive alerts and updates on new available positions, visit purinajobs.com/OH.

The new factory announcement in Ohio is another step in Purina’s continued growth that began last year in Hartwell, Georgia – the company’s first new factory to open in 20 years – and continued last month with the announcement of plans to establish Purina’s first manufacturing operation in North Carolina.

Located along the Virginia border, the new factory in Eden, North Carolina will revitalize a former brewery and transform it into an innovative, technically advanced pet food manufacturing facility scheduled to begin operations in 2022. Preliminary plans call for Purina to invest $450 million to renovate the existing structure in Rockingham County and produce leading dry dog and cat food brands, including Purina Pro Plan, Purina ONE and Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets. Purina plans to employ more than 300 people at the new 1.3 million square foot factory location by 2024.

The company has also committed to capital investments this year in Clinton, Iowa, and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where additional investments of more than $30 million are creating another 150 jobs. In the last five years, Purina has invested $1.5 billion in its U.S. operations.

Key Facts for Nestlé Purina:

Total investment in this facility: an estimated $550 million

Total investment across the U.S. in the last five years: $1.5 billion

Total square footage of Williamsburg Township facility: 1.2 million

Expected number of employees: 300 by 2024

About Nestlé Purina PetCare 

Nestlé Purina PetCare creates richer lives for pets and the people who love them. Founded in 1894, Purina has helped dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by offering scientifically based nutritional innovations. Purina manufactures some of the world’s most trusted and popular pet care products, including Purina ONE, Pro Plan, Fancy Feast and Tidy Cats. Our more than 8,000 U.S. associates take pride in our trusted pet food, treat and litter brands that feed 49 million dogs and 66 million cats every year. More than 500 Purina scientists, veterinarians, and pet care experts ensure our commitment to unsurpassed quality and nutrition.

Purina promotes responsible pet care through our scientific research, our products and our support for pet-related organizations. Over the past five years, Purina has contributed more than $150 million towards organizations that bring, and keep, people and pets together, as well as those that help our communities and environment thrive.

Purina is part of Nestlé, a global leader in Nutrition, Health and Wellness. For more information, visit purina.com or subscribe here to get the latest Purina news.

About REDI Cincinnati

The Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Cincinnati is the first point-of-contact for companies locating or growing in the 16-county region at the heart of southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeast Indiana. REDI Cincinnati is supported by top business leaders and community partners and staffed by a team of economic development experts who are uniting the Cincinnati region to compete globally.

The future is bright, and we’re building it, right now. Join us at REDICincinnati.com.

Media Contacts: 
Purina: Tiffany Gildehaus, tiffany.gildehaus@purina.nestle.com
REDI Cincinnati: Jacob Hesseling, jhesseling@redicincinnati.com

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October 23, 2020

COVID-19 rates are increasing – how big is your bubble?

Submitted by Clermont County Public Health

Clermont County, along with the rest of Ohio, has seen a significant increase in the number of new cases of COVID-19 over the last few weeks. Although the county remains in the “orange” under the public health advisory system as of Oct. 22, it is now classified as a high incidence county. A high incidence county is defined by the Ohio Department of Health as a county that has had more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents within the past two weeks.

For comparison, on Oct. 1, Clermont County had a rate of 62 new cases per 100,000 people. As of Oct. 22, the rate was 182 new cases per 100,000.

In addition to an increase in cases, we are also seeing a large increase in the number of close contacts for each confirmed case – or infected person. That means people are getting together with more people than they were in the spring or early summer, when the virus was spreading at a slower rate. We are also seeing fewer people wearing masks.

Without a vaccine, our best chance of slowing the spread of this virus and preventing our hospitals from being overwhelmed is to continue to practice the prevention measures that have been in place.

With the holidays just around the corner, it is important to consider our everyday interactions with other people and how many people are in our social circles, or how many people we interact with.

While your social bubble may consist only of your immediate family members and a few co-workers, you must also consider how big the bubble is of your family members. If each member of your family each has their own bubble outside of your family – school, work, sports teams, friends, etc. the potential risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 also increases.

The more interactions you have with other people, and the longer those interactions are, the higher your potential risk is of getting COVID-19.

As we head into flu season, it is more important than ever to do our best to minimize the spread of this virus. It is imperative that we all take responsibility to do our part to minimize the spread of this virus.

What can you do?

  • Cover your mouth and nose when in public. The more people that wear masks and wear them properly, the better the chances we have of limiting the spread.
  • Avoid crowded places.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Stay home if you have COVID symptoms and follow up with your healthcare provider.
  • Keep your bubble, or social circle small. The fewer people you and your family come in close contact with, the lower your risk of catching and spreading the virus.

For more information on COVID-19 in Clermont County, visit https://ccphohio.org/covid-19/

 

October 22, 2020

Adoption Month feature: Dad adopts two teen boys

BATAVIA, OH (Oct. 22, 2020) — Ryan Patton, 42, of Union Township has always liked working with kids. But he says his step into parenting – adopting two teen-age boys – came as somewhat of a fluke.

Patton has served as a school resource officer for the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office the past 12 years. He has been at Clermont Northeastern School District for two years, after serving Amelia schools for about a decade. Before then, he did road patrol duty for the Sheriff’s Office for eight years. While carrying out their job of protecting buildings and enforcing laws, school resource officers build relationships with students and staff.

Back in September 2016, he knew Brad, who he would eventually adopt, from his work at the school. Brad, then 13, had been missing from school for two months.

Brad’s caseworker at Clermont County Children’s Protective Services called Patton to say that they had found him at juvenile court. Patton jokingly told the caseworker he wished he had his foster parent license so he could take in Brad.

Children’s Protective offered to work out an arrangement where Patton could became a guardian and care for Brad as a kinship care provider.

After a weekend of consideration, Patton agreed to the plan.

“I’m 37 or 38 and taking on a teenager,” Patton said. “I had lived alone, and was a creature of habit. The first day, I almost burned the house down while making hamburgers and fries.”

Nick, 15, joined the household in January 2018. Patton had known him from school, too – from going with probation officers to pick him up for not attending.

“I had just gotten my license for foster parenting and his current placement was not working out,” Patton said. “It’s kind of a funny story because I only had a first name and didn’t know if I wanted to take on a stranger. I asked Brad, who said, ‘yeah, let’s give it a try.’ Then, it turned out I knew I knew him.”

Teens are harder to place, as many people want to foster or adopt younger children. They also had two teenage foster sons live with them for a time.

Patton describes parenting teen boys as a roller coaster ride. Some days, you want to get off the ride, but overall you thoroughly enjoy it.

He said that parenting training offered through Children’s Protective has helped. For one, he’s learned some children are more receptive to more authoritarian parents and accept that “no is no,” while others respond better to an explanation but will at times want to argue and plead their case.

Support and advice from his mom also helps.

“I work with kids all day, but working with kids and raising two kids are two different things,” he said. And teens from the Children’s Protective system bring issues, such as abandonment, which can complicate the process.

“I have nothing but good things to say about Children’s Protective Services,” Patton says. “They’re very personable and professional. They do a great job. If they’re not able to answer a question, they’ll do a phone conference with someone who can help with the issue.”

Brad and Nick have become very close – brothers in every sense of the word.

“We call ourselves a herd,” Patton says.

Brad graduated from West Clermont High School this spring. He also attended Live Oaks Vocational School, studying auto collision repair. He enlisted for four years in the U.S. Army infantry, and shipped out on Sept. 28.

“His graduation was a big thing, considering that he never used to be in school,” Patton said.

Another milestone took place in 2020. In February of this year, Brad wanted to take on the Patton name, so an adoption took place.

Nick, in his sophomore year at Clermont Northeastern, was adopted in August. He just got his temporary driving permit and loves wrestling.

“Again, he was one who never went to school,” Patton said. “We go to school in my house. He understands that.”

And from there, it’s not a fluke: The possibilities are endless.

 

Adoptive parents needed
Boys and girls of varying ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds are waiting to be adopted. Many of children are siblings who deserve to be adopted together. Visit Clermont for Kids
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