Local and National News Briefs

Staff and Wire Reports

Heartland Bank’s G. Scott McComb to Speak April 12 at Ohio Wesleyan


DELAWARE, Ohio – G. Scott McComb, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Gahanna, Ohio-based Heartland Bank, will discuss “Morality in Business” when he presents Ohio Wesleyan University’s 2018 Heisler Business Ethics Lecture.

McComb will speak at 7:30 p.m. April 12 in Benes Room B of OWU’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

McComb joined Heartland in 1999, and launched its first internet bank. Today, Heartland has more than $683 million in assets and 12 branches in the metropolitan Columbus area.

Before joining the banking industry, McComb was an entrepreneur, launching several successful businesses.

As a 20-year-old college student, McComb started a security system and installation company. Following that, he started a locksmith service, and a construction, inspection, and cleaning business. In 1998, McComb sold his security system entity to, and became vice president of, Vector Security, then the 11th-largest security system provider in the United States.

He joined Heartland Bank in 1999 as director of internet banking. Next, he became part of the senior management team, serving all aspects of the bank as senior vice president in charge of customer relationship management. He was promoted to executive vice president/chief operating office in 2004 and president in 2008.

Ohio Wesleyan’s annual Heisler Business Ethics Lecture is funded by the Heisler Family Endowment for the Study of Ethics, which honors university graduates James Heisler, Class of 1938; Robert Heisler, Class of 1942; and Bruce Heisler, Class of 1949. The lecture is sponsored by the university’s Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship, which helps students to integrate business theory and practice, and provides lectures and other resources to benefit students, faculty, and the local community. The mission of The Woltemade Center is to enhance academic programming and provide real-world opportunities to create future business and world leaders. Learn more at www.owu.edu/woltemade.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

Youth Essay Contest Winners to be Recognized During Ceremony at Ohio State Fair

COLUMBUS, Ohio (April 2, 2018)— The Tractor Supply Company Mobile Fair Tour is looking for Ohio 4-H and FFA youth who showcase what it means to be a great neighbor.

Originating last year, the “Great Neighbor” Essay Contest is an experiential component of the retailer’s Mobile Fair Tour—a 24-stop journey across the United States that will begin its route June 1 in Kentucky and conclude Nov. 10 in Nevada.

Beginning Tuesday, March 27, 4-H and FFA members living near the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio, can enter the contest by submitting an essay in response to the following: Choose one memorable 4-H or FFA experience and explain how that experience has influenced your development as a great neighbor in your community.

Tractor Supply will select five local winners to receive a commemorative plaque and Tractor Supply gift pack during a recognition ceremony at the Ohio State Fair on Saturday, July 28.

The “Great Neighbor” Essay Contest closes Sunday, April 29 at 5 p.m. CDT. To enter, eligible 4-H and FFA members should visit TractorSupply.com/FairTour to submit an essay, review contest rules and regulations, and view a list of fair stops.

“Whether it’s caring for animals, growing vegetables or volunteering, fairs play an important role in providing developmental opportunities for Ohio 4-H and FFA youth,” said Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply Company. “The ‘Great Neighbor’ Essay Contest is an excellent platform for these youth to share their leadership experiences, and it allows Tractor Supply to provide some well-deserved recognition for the work they do year-round to make their communities better places.”

Last year, Tractor Supply recognized more than 90 4-H and FFA youth for their community contributions at 19 fair stops across the country. In addition to honoring contest winners, the Mobile Fair Tour features free, family-friendly activities and prizes to enhance the fair experience.

About Tractor Supply Company

Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO) is in its 80th year of operation and, since being founded in 1938, has grown to become the largest rural lifestyle retail store chain in the United States. With 28,000 team members, 1,700 stores in 49 states and an e-commerce website, Tractor Supply is passionate about serving its unique niche, as a one-stop shop for recreational farmers, ranchers and all those who enjoy living the rural lifestyle. Tractor Supply offers an extensive mix of products necessary to care for home, land, pets and animals with a focus on product localization, exclusive brands and legendary customer service that addresses the needs of the Out Here lifestyle. The Company leverages its physical store assets with digital capabilities to offer customers the convenience of purchasing products they need anytime, anywhere and any way they choose at the everyday prices they deserve. At March 31, 2018, the Company operated 1,700 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states and an e-commerce website at www.tractorsupply.com.

Tractor Supply Company also owns and operates Petsense, a small-box pet specialty supply retailer focused on meeting the needs of pet owners, primarily in small and mid-size communities, and offering a variety of pet products and services. At December 30, 2017, the Company operated 168 Petsense stores in 26 states. For more information on Petsense, visit www.petsense.com.

About National FFA Organization

The National FFA Foundation builds partnerships with industry, education, government, other foundations and individuals to secure financial resources that recognize FFA member achievements, develop student leaders and support the future of agricultural education. Governed by a 19-member board of trustees composed of educators, business leaders, individual donors and FFA Alumni, the foundation is a separately registered nonprofit organization. About 82 percent of every dollar received by the foundation supports FFA members and agricultural education opportunities. For more, visit FFA.org/Give.

About 4‑H

4‑H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career tomorrow. 4‑H programs empower nearly six million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4‑H is the youth development program of our nation’s Cooperative Extension System and USDA, and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3000 local Extension offices. Globally, 4‑H collaborates with independent programs to empower one million youth in 50 countries. The research-backed 4‑H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. Learn more about 4‑H at www.4-H.org, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/4-H and on Twitter at Twitter.com/4H.

PUCO reminds Ohioans to call 8-1-1 before you dig

COLUMBUS, OHIO (April 4, 2018) – April is National Safe Digging Month and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) reminds Ohioans of the importance of digging in a safe, responsible way by calling 8-1-1 before you dig.

The Ohio Utilities Protection Service (www.oups.org) is the communication link between individuals planning to dig and utility companies. The Ohio Oil and Gas Producers Underground Protection Service (www.ogpups.org) coordinates with oil and gas production facilities to have underground lines marked. Ohio law requires that anyone planning a digging project call at least 48 hours and up to 10 days (not including weekends or legal holidays) before digging.

By simply calling 8-1-1, you will make your job easier by avoiding potential utility outages, repair costs and serious or even fatal injuries. A national public opinion survey of homeowners conducted in February by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them, and their communities, also revealed that 47 percent of homeowners who plan to dig this year have no experience with the 811 call before you dig process. The most popular planned projects cited among surveyed homeowners include:

Planting a tree or shrub (63 percent)

Building a fence (35 percent)

Building a patio or deck (28 percent)

Installing a mailbox (16 percent)

When calling before you dig, tell the operator what type of work you will be doing and your affected local utilities companies will be notified about your intent to dig. In a few days, they will send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground lines, pipes and cables, so you will know what is below and can dig safely.

Commercial excavators, utility operators, designers and developers are subject to fines and/or other penalties if underground protection laws are not followed.

To learn more, visit the Ohio Utilities Protection Service’s website at www.oups.org, the Ohio Oil and Gas Producers Underground Protection Service’s website at www.ogpups.org, or call 8-1-1 or (800) 362-2764.

PUCO Chairman Haque statement on FES bankruptcy

COLUMBUS, OHIO (April 1, 2018) – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Chairman Asim Z. Haque offered the following regarding FirstEnergy Solutions, Inc. filing for bankruptcy.

“The decision by First Energy Solutions, Inc. (FES) to reorganize in bankruptcy has been widely expected by the energy industry and Wall Street. FES is licensed by the PUCO to sell electricity to residential and industrial customers in Ohio. The commission is charged with ensuring reliable power delivery and we will continue to do so for all Ohioans. There is no reason for customers of FES – or anyone else in Ohio – to be concerned about whether or not they will have electricity. They will.”

Under Ohio law, the PUCO does not regulate power plants, including FES’s power plants, but it does regulate power lines. The PUCO believes that the financial health of our power line companies, the distribution utilities, is important to ensure continued grid reliability and modernization. To that end, in 2016, it agreed to allow FES’s parent company, FirstEnergy Corp. to charge its customers an additional $540 million over three years. This additional fee, known as a Distribution Modernization Rider, has the option of being extended for two years.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is the sole agency charged with regulating public utility service. The role of the PUCO is to assure all residential, business and industrial consumers have access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. Consumers with utility-related questions or concerns can call the PUCO Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826) and speak with a representative.

Will Schwartz joins Ohio School Boards Association as lobbyist

COLUMBUS — The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) recently named Will Schwartz as its new lobbyist. Schwartz has spent the last eight years at the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, most recently as a research associate.

As a member of the OSBA legislative team, Schwartz’s duties include lobbying the Ohio General Assembly on behalf of Ohio public education, tracking legislation and testifying before legislative committees. He also monitors Ohio Department of Education activities and works with the OSBA Legislative Platform Committee and Delegate Assembly. In addition, he presents professional development sessions and writes for OSBA publications.

At the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, he was the principal drafter on several key education-related bills. He also staffed several legislative committees, including the House Education and Career Readiness Committee, as well as full sessions of the House and Senate.

Schwartz is a graduate of Forest Hills Local Schools in Hamilton County and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University. He and his wife, Allie, live in Columbus.

In its 63rd year, the Ohio School Boards Association leads the way to educational excellence by serving Ohio’s public school board members and the diverse districts they represent through superior service, unwavering advocacy and creative solutions.

More than 500 law enforcement agencies implementing standards to improve community-police relations

COLUMBUS – More than 500 agencies – employing 82 percent of Ohio’s law enforcement officers – are in the process of implementing Ohio’s first-ever statewide standards on use of force, including deadly force, and hiring and recruitment according to a report issued today by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS).

“This report demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of law enforcement agencies are committed to implementing the standards,” said Karhlton Moore, OCJS Executive Director. “The Collaborative process is working for agencies and as a result, our communities are better served.”

Additionally, 82 percent of Ohio’s population, including all 88 Ohio counties, is served by an agency engaged in the certification process.

The standards were developed by a diverse group of Ohioans from law enforcement and community leaders as part of Ohio Governor John R. Kasich’s efforts to improve community and police relations. The Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board is co-chaired by John Born, Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and former state Senator Nina Turner. The Ohio Collaborative is charged with creating statewide standards for law enforcement agencies. The state partnered with the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police to help certify Ohio’s law enforcement agencies.

To view the 2018 Law Enforcement Certification Public Report, which also lists agencies not participating in the certificating process, please visit: http://www.ocjs.ohio.gov/ohiocollaborative/

“the fight to eradicate sex trafficking across the country and around the world”

Washington, D.C. — Attorneys General Pam Bondi of Florida and Sean Reyes of Utah, among many other state attorneys general, have been a constant voice for the women and children who have fallen victim to human trafficking. This week, these state attorneys general moved a step closer to being able to bring traffickers to justice.

The U.S. Congress passed legislation that will allow state attorneys general to do their job, to go after websites who knowingly facilitate human trafficking. Websites like backpage.com, can be held liable and justice can be served.

From Capitol Soup in Florida:

Attorney General Pam Bondi and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, both leaders in the fight against human trafficking, today issued the following joint statement commending the U.S. Senate passage of H.R. 1865:

“Today, we applaud the U.S. Senate for making the right decision and overwhelmingly passing H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, in a 97 to 2 vote. This legislation will significantly support all state attorneys general and state prosecutors in their effort to hold online sites accountable for supporting the sale of sex trafficking victims.

“We thank President Trump and his Administration for working closely and proactively with Members of Congress, including our dedicated Florida and Utah federal delegations, industry experts and human trafficking survivors in the fight to eradicate sex trafficking across the country and around the world.”

About RAGA: The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the Office of State Attorney General.


Local lawmaker to “March for Our Lives” in Columbus

COLUMBUS— As students and young people across the nation come together to speak out for safer, commonsense gun law reforms, lawmakers at the Ohio Statehouse like David Leland (D-Columbus) are applauding their activism and supporting their efforts.

Leland will join students, parents and concerned citizens in downtown Columbus to “March for Our Lives” from the West Bank Park to the Ohio Statehouse.

“I am proud of the students and young people who are lifting up their voices, organizing and fighting for a safer, better tomorrow,” said Leland. “Their clarion call to elected officials is informing the national discussion on gun safety and strengthening our rights and our American democracy.”

WHAT: March for Our Lives and rally

WHERE: West Bank Park

303 West Main Street

Columbus, OH 43215

WHEN: Saturday, March 24

New Generac Electric Start pressure washers simplify start-up process

WAUKESHA, Wis. – March 9, 2018 – Starting up any piece of outdoor power equipment can be a pain — especially for those that you don’t use regularly. Sure, it’s not rocket science, but each unit has its own peculiarities. And with a product such as a pressure washer that might sit in storage for a month or more before being called up for duty, should you really have to give a lot of thought about how to get the thing started — or pulling that recoil start until your arm aches?

That’s why Generac made its new 3100 PSI Electric Start pressure washer effortless to start. With a single touch of the start button, homeowners can jump right into tackling those cleaning chores. The powerful Generac OHV engine has an auto choke feature that eliminates the need to adjust chokes and fuel valves. It also includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can provide up to 50 starts.

“The new Electric Start pressure washer models make using a pressure washer that much easier,” said Alex Steffen, product manager, Generac. “Unlike conventional units that require up to five steps just to start the equipment — including having to pull the recoil start — the new one-touch electric start version only needs the press of a single button.”

The new pressure washer models also feature flexible performance settings, like easy to change tips for different cleaning jobs, as well as the Generac PowerDial™ gun, which allows users to adjust the pressure among four tasks with the turn of a dial. By turning the PowerDial to the icon most appropriate to the cleaning job — a car, wood, concrete, or soap — users can easily adjust the unit’s output pressure to best suit the task and avoid damaging the cleaning surface.

Operators can apply cleaning detergents through the pressure washer thanks to its on-board detergent tank. If they plan on using the power washer for a longer time due to large or multiple cleaning projects, the spray gun’s inverted trigger with cushion grip will make the experience a comfortable one. And the vertical axial cam pump with extended pump connections makes setup and storage quick and easy.

“And while the new Generac Electric Start pressure washers are very easy to use, they are also extremely durable,” Steffen said. “They come standard with 10-in. never-flat wheels that make it easy to transport the unit over uneven terrain and a welded steel frame for increased durability. The entire machine can handle a rough ride.”

For many homeowners, pressure washer hoses can be a headache. But the 3100 PSI Electric Start model comes with one that is 25-ft. long and is non-marring and abrasion-resistant. Optionally, the Electric Start unit can be purchased with a 30-ft. Ultra Flex hose, which is particularly flexible and kink-resistant, as well as Generac’s Power Broom and Soap Blaster nozzle.

“We wanted to make sure that homeowners have the right tools to get every job on their to-do list done faster,” Steffen said. “That’s why we are also offering a version of the Electric Start pressure washer with the Power Broom and Soap Blaster to make cleaning even faster and easier.”

The Power Broom’s 12-in. width and high-pressure nozzles blast surfaces — decks, patios, driveways and sidewalks, for example — four times faster than standard nozzles. Meanwhile, the Soap Blaster accessory can spray soap three times farther than a standard nozzle tip to quickly cover large stains.

The Generac 3100 PSI Electric Start pressure washer is engineered and built in the United States. They are currently available through many national home centers and online retailers.

About Generac

Generac Power Systems, Inc. (NYSE: GNRC) is a leading global supplier of backup power and prime power products, systems and engine-powered tools. Back in 1959, our founder was committed to designing, engineering and manufacturing the first affordable backup generator. Fifty-seven years later, the same dedication to innovation, durability and excellence has resulted in the company’s ability to expand its industry-leading product portfolio into homes and small businesses, on job sites, and in industrial and mobile applications across the globe. Generac offers single engine backup and prime power systems up to 2 MW and paralleled solutions up to 100 MW, and uses a variety of fuel sources to support power needs for our customers. We are proud to be named, in back-to-back years, the Frost & Sullivan 2014 and 2015 North American Natural Gas Generator Set Company of the Year. Visit Generac.com for more information.


Staff and Wire Reports