By Rory Ryan
The Highland County Press

Highland County Commissioners Shane Wilkin, Tom Horst and Jeff Duncan continued a years-long tradition and proclaimed the week of Oct. 23-31 as Red Ribbon Week in Highland County during their Wednesday, Oct. 7 board meeting.

Accepting the proclamation were: Joe Adray of FRS Counseling, Alison Bach-Oliver of Bright Local Schools, Meghan Griffith, of Lynchburg-Clay and Greenfield Exempted Village Schools, Kevy Jones of Fairfield Local Schools, Melinda Sheets of Paint Valley ADAMH (Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services), Hannah Allard of FRS and April Michael of Hillsboro City Schools.

Congress established Red Ribbon Week in 1988. Red Ribbon Week raises awareness of drug use and the problems related to drugs, and encourages parents, educators, business owners and other community organizations to promote drug-free lifestyles. Red Ribbon Week encourages the entire community to adopt healthy, drug-free lifestyles.

The National Family Partnership organized the first nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign.

According to Adray, he has been working with Red Ribbon Week events in conjunction with local schools and other organizations for the past 15 years.

“It’s a reminder to students not to use drugs or alcohol,” Adray said. “Red Ribbon Week is a community-wide approach against substance abuse and use.”

The Paint Valley ADAMH Board sponsors an annual essay contest for students in grades 5-12, with $100 as first-place awards in each school district and with a $500 scholarship for the countywide winner.

For more about the Red Ribbon Week campaign, go to http://redribbon.org.

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JFS will need 
general fund money

• Commission President Shane Wilkin also informed the board of a recent Columbus meeting with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

“(Highland County JFS Director) Debbie Robbins and some of her staff and I met in Columbus related to the kids in (Children Services’) care,” Wilkin said.

“The unfortunate part is that we do appear to be tapping into all of our (available) funding streams. They gave us a few ideas, but we can still count on putting some general fund money into JFS before the end of the year – and starting soon.”

Wilkin said after a “high of 175 children in care,” the county now has approximately 140 children in care.

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County accepting letters
for Board of DD vacancy

• Highland County Board of DD member Matthew French has announced his resignation and the county commissioners are asking anyone interested in the board vacancy to contact their office via personal letter or email.

“It’s a commissioner-appointed position,” Wilkin said. “Our preference would be to have a parent or guardian representative on the board for this position.”

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Annexation meeting

• On Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m., the city of Hillsboro will hold an annexation hearing at the Hillsboro Municipal Courtroom at the Justice Center on unincorporated properties. The meeting is open to the public.

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Land Bank update

• As previously reported by The Highland County Press, commissioners are considering a county “land bank.”

According to Wilkin, former Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis of Western Land Conservancy has agreed to participate in a public forum to discuss the implementation of a local land bank.

For more information, go to http://www.wrlandconservancy.org/who-we-are/our-staff/jim-rokakis/