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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

from Children Services

The month of April is dedicated to recognizing and preventing child abuse and neglect. In Franklin County, about 30,000 children are served by Franklin County Children Services (FCCS) each year. These children are seen for a variety of maltreatment problems including physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect. Click here to learn more about the prevalence of child abuse and its prevention.

Common Pleas Courthouse Recognized in American Institute of Architects Publication

from Commissioners

The Franklin County Common Pleas Courthouse, constructed by Commissioners and opened in 2011, has been selected for inclusion in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Justice Facilities Review 2013. The Justice Facilities Review is published annually by the AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice advisory group to provide a meaningful tool to public entities from the around the country that are researching, planning and designing justice facilities of their own.

from Commissioners

The Franklin County Commissioners were awarded the ESGR Pro Patria Award. The ESGR (Employer Support of Guard and Reserve) is a Defense Department office with committees in each state that works to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service Members and their civilian employers. The Pro Patria Award is awarded annually to an employer that has demonstrated the greatest level of support to Guard and Reserve employees through leadership and practices, including adopting personnel policies that make it easy for employees to serve, and is the highest that a state ESGR may bestow.

from Board of Elections

The Franklin County Board of Elections needs poll workers for the May 6 primary election. Ohio law requires that Democrats and Republicans have equal representation at each voting location.

Registered Democrats are needed for positions in Dublin, Hilliard and Upper Arlington. Openings are available for members of both parties at polls in New Albany, Westerville and Worthington. It is not necessary for you to live in those areas to serve. Positions are open to anyone registered to vote in Franklin County.

Poll workers are paid $133.72 or more depending on their duties. They are required to take a two to four hour training course, have reliable transportation to the polls and work all of Election Day starting 5:30 a.m. to approximately 8:00 p.m.

Anyone interested may apply online at http://vote.franklincountyohio.gov/me/ or by calling the board of elections at (614) 525-5393.

from Franklin County Public Health

Franklin County Public Health and the Columbus Academy of Veterinary Medicine are holding a low-cost rabies immunization clinic on Friday, April 25, 2014 for dogs and cats. The clinic will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Capital Area Humane Society, 3015 Scioto Darby Executive Court, Hilliard 43026.

The cost is $5.00 per pet, cash only and no appointment is necessary. All dogs and cats must be on a leash or in an animal carrier.

Visit the Franklin County Public Health website for more information.

from Commissioners

The Commissioners are again partnering with Goodwill Columbus and our Columbus Clippers to help keep e-Waste out of the landfill by collecting used electronics on Saturday, April 26th from 9 a.m. - Noon at Huntington Park.

Accepted items include: computers, monitors, cell phones, electronics and small household appliances.

from Board of Elections

Absentee voting for the May 6 primary election begins Tuesday, April 1 with the start of in-person early voting and voting by mail.

All Franklin County ballots will list candidates for federal, state and local offices, a statewide issue for capital improvements and a countywide levy for the Columbus Zoo. Local ballots will show levies for Canal Winchester and Groveport Madison Schools. Some townships will vote on spending for safety forces, plans for energy purchasing and the creation of joint economic development zones. Liquor options will appear on some ballots in Bexley, Columbus, Grandview and Westerville.

Voters can find the sample ballot for their precinct on our Web site when they enter their name, address and birth year under the My Registration link.

Voters must request an absentee ballot to receive one in this election

In-person voting in Franklin County will be held at the board of elections, located at 280 East Broad Street, at the following times:

  • Weekdays, April 1 through Friday, May 2 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except for Monday, April 7, the deadline for register for the primary, when in-person voting will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 3 from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

Voters have until May 3 to request a ballot by mail. Applications also are available on the Web, at public libraries or by calling the board of elections at (614) 525-3100.

Absentee ballots returned in-person must be received at the board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Voters may not return them to their regular Election Day polling location. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by May 5 and arrive at the board of elections no later than May 16 to count in this election.

from Metro Parks

Visit the Metro Parks website to see details of Summer Nature Camps for preschoolers through grade 9. Registration is now open.

from Children Services

Franklin County Children Services has just released the agency's annual report to the community. Click on the link below to review the report.

from Commissioners

The Columbus Clippers have joined MiLB Inside the Park, the new mobile app for everything Clippers! If you have the old Clippers app, it will no longer be in use. Please download MiLB Inside the Park on the App Store or Google Play. Features include:

  • Ticket Purchase
  • Schedule Calendar
  • Promotional Calendar
  • Gameday Pitch-By-Pitch
  • Social Media: Twitter and Facebook
  • Videos
  • Up-To-Date News on the Clippers
  • Huntington Park Information

Visit the Clippers website for more information.

from Emergency Management & Homeland Security

Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security (FCEM&HS) is conducting a needs assessment to support Franklin County's comprehensive mass notification system. Over the next several months, FCEM&HS will be working with Battelle Memorial Institute to collect information from Franklin County residents and decision makers about the best ways to send out alerts in the event of an emergency. Check the FCEM&HS website regularly for more information on the mass notification study.

from Commissioners

The Franklin County Green Corps, now entering its 4th year, is a partnership between the County Commissioners, the Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation (COWIC), and Franklin Park Conservatory. The 34-week program includes in-class instruction as well as practical grounds work experience, field trips, and internships. Students are paid a small hourly wage while taking part. The program is forming classes now to start later this summer, and graduation is timed for when horticulture industry hiring typically begins in the spring. Interested students should contact COWIC at 614-559-5075 or ljackson@cowic.org.

from Children Services

The April issue of the Franklin County Children Services Connects E-Newsletter is available online. Topics in this month's edition include:

  • April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
  • 2014 FCCS Levy to Support Children in Need
  • Survival Tips for Parents of a New Baby

View the newsletter on the Children Services website.

from Board of Elections

More than 117,000 voters - about 15 percent of 798,000 registered - will have new polling places in Franklin County for the May 6 primary election. A total of 79 voting locations are moving to keep polls accessible for voters with disabilities. Voters impacted by these moves will soon receive a post card from the board of elections telling them where to vote on Election Day.

The moves are prompted by recent updates in state and federal law to ensure all voting locations meet current standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Ohio Revised Code. The previous sites complied with earlier accessibility guidelines. Only Election Day voters will be affected. All eligible voters will still have the option of casting absentee ballots in-person at the board of elections or by mail for the primary.

Visit the Board of Elections website to view old and new voting locations. All voting locations for the primary and sample ballots for each precinct are posted on the website as well.

from Engineer

Dean C. Ringle, P.E., P.S., Franklin County Engineer in partnership with Jackson Township and the City of Grove City announces that the western phase of construction on White Road from Hoover Road to McDowell Road is set to begin March 31 and last until the end of October 2014, weather permitting. Improvements will include new pavement, curb, sidewalks and waterline.

The project is broken down into two closure phases totaling 180 days, weather permitting. Traffic will be detoured with local access maintained. The posted detour route for westbound motorists on White Road will follow McDowell Road north to Stringtown Road, west to Hoover Road, south to White Road. Eastbound motorists will follow the same detour in the opposite direction. Motorists should expect increased congestion and delays during construction.

Visit the Engineer's Office website for more information.

from Commissioners

Franklin County provides water and sewer services to about 40,000 residents in unincorporated parts of the county, and offers a discount program for low income customers. The program provides a discount of 20% on water, sewer, or both, and in order to qualify, customers must either already participate in an assistance program such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), or Home Energy Assistance (HEAP), or have income below the federal poverty level.

from Economic Development & Planning

The Community Development Department's new Report to the Community e-newsletter series highlights the activities and outcomes of recent projects, programs, and initiatives undertaken by the department. Affordable housing, demolition of vacant homes, and expenditure of federal stimulus funds in Franklin County are just a few of the topics covered in these reports. Visit the Economic Development & Planning website to read the reports.

from Animal Care & Control

Deputy Wardens visit thousands of school children each year to teach them how to be safe around dogs. Contact the Department of Animal Care & Control at 525-5227 to request a visit to your school.

from Children Services

The Spring 2014 edition of the Franklin County Children Services Accent on Kids publication is available online. Topics in this issue include:

  • 2014 Levy to Support Children & Families
  • Child Abuse Prevention Efforts Bring Awareness
  • Volunteer Program Celebrates 50 Years

View the publication on the Children Services website.

from Metro Parks

Your dog will love you even more when you bring your favorite friend for a walk in the park. There are pet trails in 14 Metro Parks, and dog parks or dog swimming areas in six of them.

from Soil and Water Conservation District

Although it's hard to imagine now, summer will return and with it will come the beautiful monarch butterfly. That is, if the species can survive the loss of habitat that has endangered monarch populations so that "the population wintering in Mexico is down nearly 44% from last year's previous record low. Monarch experts lay much of the blame on the decline of milkweed plants in North America. Adult monarchs lay their eggs on milkweeds, which the caterpillars consume before spinning their cocoons." (http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/01/monarch-numbers-mexico-fall-record-low)

If you would like to add beauty to your yard and help the monarch, Franklin Soil and Water is offering two species of milkweed (Asclepias) in the tree and fish sale. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) has brilliant orange blooms and can grow to two feet. It grows best in dry soils, in full to part sun. Sullivant's milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii) has sweetly scented clusters of rose-pink blooms. Reaching heights of three to five feet, it is a great selection for rain gardens, wetlands, along streams or in wet meadows in full sun or part shade.

More information about the tree and fish sale can be found at http://www.franklinswcd.org/2014/01/2014-fish-tree-sale/.