Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Women return to county jail as funds start to run low Georgetown Council takes action on vacant structures Veterans honored in Mt. Orab John McGee Timmy Burson Patricia A London Mary J Hall Kenneth R Behymer Western Brown’s Joe Sams commits to Marietta College WBHS to hold girls youth basketball camp Huseman signs with UC Clermont Day to continue baseball career on collegiate level at UC Clermont Western’s Pack signs with NKU WBHS to host youth boys basketball camp Eastern’s Rigdon, Hopkins are STATE BOUND James Ratliff Robert P Lesko Armstrong sentenced to twenty years on child porn possession charges Russellville hires new Village Clerk Russellville Council approves purchase of two ambulances

Governor’s office visits area

Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia Director Jason Wilson, center, stands in front of the Gaslight Theater during his tour of Brown County with, from left, Brian Elliott, president of the Brown County Chamber of Commerce, Dannielle Williams, office manager at the chamber, John Hemmings, executive director of the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission and Jessica Purdon, economic development specialist of the OVRDC.

Jason Wilson, director of the Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia, tours the Gaslight Theater during his visit to Georgetown.

Brown County was paid a visit on July 9 and 10 by Jason Wilson, director of the Ohio Governor’s Office of Appalachia.

Wilson toured Georgetown, Ripley and Mt. Orab in his trip to the region, which also included stopping by historical sites and visiting former and potential future project sites for economic development programs, which his office helps fund through grants.

It was Wilson’s first visit to Brown County since he was appointed as the director by Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich in November 2011. The GOA covers 32 Ohio counties from as far west as Clermont County to as far northeast as Ashtabula County.

“We’re spending two days visiting the communities (in Brown County) to see what assets are out there that we’ve invested in in the past and how they’re being used, and also look at opportunities for the future as to what we can invest in,” Wilson said. “It helps me get my hands on what’s happening in these counties, Brown and Clermont.”

On Thursday, July 9, Wilson toured the U.S. Grant boyhood home and schoolhouse in Georgetown before swinging over to the Gaslight Theater, where he met Brian Elliott and Dannielle Williams, the Brown County Chamber of Commerce president and office manager, respectively.

Wilson said that while sewer, water, road and bridge projects may be more noticeable and necessary, a project restoring or building a theater for a community has more intangible benefits.

“When you talk about a theater and how does that affect our community, whether it’s arts and recreation or visitors, (the question for us is) what brings people to the area? How can we work to build capacity?

“The overall goal for the state is how do we improve the lives of Appalachian Ohioans, and we do that through these strategic investments,” Wilson said.

Wilson was joined on his tour of Brown County by Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission Executive Director John Hemmings and OVRDC Economic Development Specialist Jessica Purdon.

The OVRDC is one of four agencies that works with the GOA to distribute grant funding to municipalities, businesses or counties for projects. The OVRDC works with Adams, Brown, Clermont, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton counties.

“Ohio is the only state of the 13 national Appalachian states that has state funding,” Wilson said. “We have about $3.5 million in state funding and then we put about $3.5 million in federal funding, knock on wood, we’ve been able to have stable funding which allows us with confidence to go out and look at projects and opportunities, and how to invest in our Appalachian region.”

Wilson said he’d like to hear feedback from the local communities and counties about what projects they’re pursuing and then working from there to see how the GOA and other agencies can facilitate those projects, as opposed to Wilson’s office requiring the projects to have to meet certain specific guidelines that could scupper some small-town opportunities.

“What I like to think is that I don’t come down here to tell people what to do. What I do is I come down and visit and ask people, ‘What are their priorities?’, or ‘What is most important to the people of Brown County’,” Wilson said.

The process to receive funding in Brown County is as follows: An organization or municipality will submit a project to the OVRDC caucus. The caucus will then discuss the project and eventually rate the their top three selections.

Then, the OVRDC will take those top three and take them to Columbus, where they’ll meet with the GOA staff, and then they’ll all discuss the best way to fund the projects and how much funding to provide.

“We’ll be having that priority meeting to say to John (Hemmings) and his team, ‘What is the highest priority in your region, and how can we fund that properly?’,” Wilson said.

“A government shouldn’t tell people what they need to do. What they need to do is be responsive to what the community wants to do,” Wilson said. “Our challenge is to make sure that we’re using that money wisely and making the best impact that we can.”

Following Wilson’s stop in Georgetown, he toured Ripley and visited the John Rankin home, before visiting Mt. Orab on Friday, July 10.

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