Travel news: When is the best day to fill up?

Staff Reports

Keep Ohio Beautiful Celebrated Great

Ohio Planting Day at Mohican State Park

Park benefits with 110 trees planted in honor of Arbor Day

LOUDONVILLE, OH – Keep Ohio Beautiful hosted its annual Great Ohio Planting Day on Saturday, April 29, at the Class A campground of Mohican State Park in Loudonville.

Keep Ohio Beautiful, Columbia Gas of Ohio, The Davey Tree Expert Company, Mohican Lodge and Conference Center, Mohican Trails Club and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) worked together along with 46 volunteers to beautify and enhance the Class A campground at Mohican State Park, which was recently ravaged by the emerald ash borer by planting 110 new trees in honor of Arbor Day.

Funding and in-kind support for the project was awarded to Keep Ohio Beautiful through Columbia Gas of Ohio’s Columbia Cares Community Engagement Program, The Davey Tree Expert Company, Mohican Trails Club and ODNR. Each year, Keep Ohio Beautiful celebrates Great Ohio Planting Day, a hands-on educational program, which demonstrates how to properly prepare a planting site, plant and care for a tree.

“ODNR is grateful to Keep Ohio Beautiful, Columbia Gas of Ohio and The Davey Tree Expert Company for the generous donation of 110 trees and the time they invested in planting them as we commemorate Arbor Day in Ohio at a park which greatly benefits from these resources,” said Mike Bailey, chief of the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft.

“At Columbia Gas, we are proud to work with the communities we serve to improve the local quality of life,” said Bill Loomer, communications/community relations manager for Columbia Gas. “Buying and planting trees for Mohican State Park will improve the experience for park visitors as well as provide shade for many years to come.”

Keep Ohio Beautiful, along with partners listed above, collaborated with The Davey Tree Expert Company to host the event.

“Davey is pleased to be involved in such a worthwhile event. This partnership results in trees being planted at the Class A campground of the Mohican State Park,” said Karen Wise, Keep Ohio Beautiful board president and Davey division manager. “A planting of this size will make a tangible difference to the park campground to replace ash trees that were damaged by the emerald ash borer and had to be removed.”

Columbia Gas of Ohio, headquartered in Columbus, is one of the seven energy-distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI). Serving approximately 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers, Columbia Gas of Ohio is the largest natural gas utility in the state. For more information, visit

Keep Ohio Beautiful, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, believes that everyone deserves to live in an environment that is healthy, safe, clean and beautiful. As a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Keep Ohio Beautiful serves as Ohio’s umbrella organization for more than 32 local affiliate organizations in numerous Ohio communities. By providing a strong support system and the sharing of best practices, Keep Ohio Beautiful enables volunteers in communities throughout Ohio to improve waste handling practices, litter prevention, recycling, beautification and community greening efforts. For more information, visit

The Davey Tree Expert Company’s more than 8,600 employees provide tree care, grounds maintenance and environmental consulting services for the residential, utility, commercial and government markets throughout the U.S. and Canada. Davey has provided “Proven Solutions for a Growing World since 1880 and has been employee-owned for 38 years.” For more information, visit

Mohican Lodge and Conference Center is operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts Inc. The five Ohio State Park Lodges and Conference Centers operated by Xanterra are located close to major Ohio cities and surrounding states, making it easy for families to gather from a variety of locations. All five lodges are open-year round and feature wide-ranging seasonal activities. Xanterra also operates the marina and facilities at Geneva Marina State Park in Geneva-on-the-Lake in northeastern Ohio. For information about Ohio State Park Lodges visit

The Mohican Trails Club was organized for the purpose of providing volunteer hiking trail maintenance, trail restoration and trail improvements within Mohican State Park and Mohican Memorial Forest. For more information, visit

ODNR ensures a wise balance between the use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

When is the best day to fill my tank?

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear from motorists is “when is the best day to fill my tank?” Today, a new GasBuddy analysis answers that question: Monday!

In addition, attached is an info graphic highlighting the analysis, providing motorists insight into when the best day is to both fill up and top off for optimal savings.

For LIVE fuel price averages, visit

About GasBuddy

GasBuddy is the technology company changing the way more than 60 million consumers find, purchase, and save money on gasoline. Founded in 2000, the original GasBuddy website was a pioneer in crowd-sourced information, leveraging technology, big data, and a passionate community that now connects more than 60 million users with real-time, accurate fuel pricing information as well as reliable reviews of gas station amenities and services. The app and website have the most accurate and real-time fuel prices at over 140,000 unique stations in the United States, Canada, and Australia and is the most comprehensive money-saving companion while on the road. GasBuddy is available on all mobile platforms. For more information, visit

Foodie Travelers Embrace the Culinary Travel Trend

22 million Americans will take a culinary vacation this year

COLUMBUS (April 26, 2017) – Food and dining are becoming a more central part of many travelers’ vacation experiences. An estimated 22 million Americans expect to take a culinary-focused vacation in the next year, according to a recent AAA travel survey.

“There’s no better way to learn about a destination and immerse yourself in the local culture than by experiencing its unique food and dining customs,” said Bryan Shilling, AAA managing director of Travel Products and Services.

Survey Findings:

· Seventy-five percent of Americans feel that food and dining are an important part of their travel experiences,

· Four in five Americans (80 percent) have engaged in unique activities, such as touring wineries and distilleries, eating with local families and engaging in hands-on experiences, such as cooking classes led by local chefs while traveling.

· The younger generation is particularly interested in culinary travel, with 88 percent of Millennials having participated in food-related travel experiences, outpacing members of Generation X and Baby Boomers.

Culinary travel is also growing in popularity. Forty-three percent of AAA travel agents report a recent increase in the number of AAA members planning culinary-focused vacations, with most planning “foodie” trips to Italy, France and Spain.

Ironically, travel agents also say one of the top mistakes travelers make when preparing for an international trip is not planning their meals and activities in advance.

“Travelers spent an average of $63 per person, per day, on food and dining purchases during their last vacation,” said Shilling. “Meals can quickly become a significant portion of a family’s vacation budget. That’s why planning ahead is key to enjoying a memorable culinary vacation.”

Diamond Ratings:

Looking for AAA Diamond Rated restaurants can help guide travelers in their culinary quest. All Diamond Rated restaurants must meet and uphold rigorous minimum standards and pass an anonymous inspection to be approved by AAA.

Ratings from One to Five Diamonds describe the complexity of the restaurant’s service, décor and food. The Diamond Ratings help diners find restaurants that offer the kind of experience they prefer, whether they want affordable family-friendly establishments or luxurious menu offerings with first-class service. For more information, visit


AAA’s reports presents the findings of a telephone survey (landline and cell phone) consisting of 1,013 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted March 9-12, 2017. This study has an average statistical error of ±3.8 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults. Additionally, AAA travel executives responded to an online survey conducted Feb. 10-24, 2017. Each travel executive was asked to respond on behalf of all travel agents at their club, and responses were weighted by the number of full-time travel agents at that club. The club travel executive survey represents the input of 2,110 AAA travel agents.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 57 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited online at

Pushing the Surface Contemporary Quilt Exhibit

The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum’s new special exhibit, Pushing the Surface, will be on display May 6 through June 18, 2017. The exhibition features 26 contemporary art quilts created by artists from seven states and one international country, Israel. The artists were asked to display two art quilts—an early piece along with a new one. The pleasure in a retrospective exhibit of this sort is seeing how the artist and the art form itself has altered or perhaps matured over the years.

For those unfamiliar with the art quilt genre, these works value creativity and experimental techniques rather than the classic form and hand-stitched meticulousness of a traditional quilt. Although most of the works share the basic structural characteristics of a quilt—joining at least two layers of fiber with stitching, they break from tradition in their design methods. Surfaces may be pieced and patched as one finds in a traditional quilt, but they may also be painted, dyed, laser printed, appliquéd or fused. The techniques are as varied as the subject matter, which is as varied as the effects. In the end the artists create a truly new statement that speaks to mind and spirit like all great art is meant to do.

Most of the artists have shown in previous Pushing the Surface exhibits over the past 20 years. Each has a distinctive style and the cultivation of their artistry over the years has produced even more intriguing expressions. Ohio artists include Clare Murray Adams, John Lefelhocz, Carolyn Mann Brinkhaven and Susan Shie. All have shown in national or regional exhibits and have their quilts featured in books, periodicals and traveling exhibitions. The exhibit is truly a dance of color, beauty, ingenuity and story.

This is the tenth year Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum has presented this biennial exhibit sponsored by the Mary Taylor Family. The Ohio Arts Council also helped fund this event with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. In addition to this special exhibit, the museum’s permanent collections are displayed in three galleries: Historic Ohio, American Indian and Asian. A WWI display can also be viewed in a fifth gallery.

The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Summer hours are extended to daily from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is located at 300 N. Whitewoman Street, in Historic Roscoe Village, Coshocton, Ohio. A restored canal-era town sited along the former Ohio & Erie Canal, Roscoe Village offers many attractions. Costumed interpreters lead tours through the restored buildings, and numerous shops are situated within the Village.

For more information, contact JHM at 740-622-8710 / email: or visit our website


CUMBERLAND, Ohio ­– Head to The Wilds and experience an adventure unlike any other! The Wilds opens at 10 a.m. on April 29 with an array of activities perfect for the spring and summer seasons. First-time guests as well as familiar visitors will enjoy all that The Wilds has to offer.

A safari park and conservation center, The Wilds combines cutting-edge conservation science and education programs with hands-on experiences. Established in 1984, The Wilds resides on nearly 10,000 acres of reclaimed surface mining land.

Home to more than 30 rare and endangered species from around the globe, The Wilds offers wide, open pastures for these species to roam and even coexist. In 2016, The Wilds welcomed 50 newborns, including a greater one-horned rhino, cheetahs, and African painted dogs. These offspring are as exciting for conservationists as they are adorable for all animal lovers.

Visitors can choose to ride in a pick-up truck to feed giraffes or meet a rhino on a Wildside Tour or feel the breeze on an Open-Air Safari Tour while snapping breathtaking photos.

Guests can also opt to soar over the animal pastures on a Zipline Safari Tour, enjoy a relaxing Fishing Safari on one of nearly 100 lakes at The Wilds, or saddle up on a Horseback Safari through the quiet prairies.

From June until September, The Wilds also offers a wide array of tours to enjoy at sunset:

The Sunset Safari Tour is a special tour with a picturesque sunset views. The tour includes a buffet dinner and an Open-Air Safari tour for viewing the animals when they are most active, at feeding time.

For those looking to get closer to the action, the Sunset Wildside Tour is a great option. This awe-inspiring tour takes guests off the beaten path and out into the pastures and also includes a buffet dinner.

The Sunset Horseback Safari is a perfect way to unwind at the end of the day while enjoying the outdoors from a unique vantage point. Sunset Horseback Safaris begin with a buffet dinner followed by approximately two hours of riding.

Guests seeking adventure at new heights should check out the Sunset Zipline Safari Tour. Go ziplining at sunset and take in the amazing panoramic views of The Wilds while zipping above and through the animal pastures.

Being a member of The Wilds has its perks. Membership includes free Open-Air Safari tours for one year, discounts on premium safari experiences, free parking, member benefits for Nomad Ridge and the Lodge, a subscription to The Wilds’ member magazine, discounts at The Wilds’ Gift Market and Overlook Café and free or discounted admission to more than 120 zoos and aquariums.

For those who want to make it a wild weekend can stay at Nomad Ridge. This adults-only getaway includes a private yurt overlooking the animal pastures. For larger groups, the Lodge is the perfect home away from home, as guests will stay in a private luxury cabin tucked away next to one of The Wilds most scenic lakes.

The Wilds is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from May through September and weekends only in October. Pricing varies depending on the tour. For more information about The Wilds or to schedule a tour, please visit

The Wilds, one of the largest conservation centers in North America, is home to rare and endangered animals from around the world along with hundreds of indigenous species. The mission of the Wilds, a nonprofit organization, is to advance conservation through science, education and personal experience. For more information, visit

AAA Urges Motorists & Bicyclists to Share the Road

Ohio’s new 3-foot passing law helps protect bicyclists

COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 1, 2017) – May is National Bike Month, and a time when warmer weather draws bicyclists of all ages to area roads and bike paths. AAA urges motorists and bicycles to be aware of Ohio’s new 3-foot passing law, and offers tips to share the road safely.

More than 1,500 bicycle crashes occurred last year in Ohio, resulting in 18 deaths, according to Ohio Department of Public Safety crash statistics. Most crashes happened during the daylight hours.

New Law Protecting Bicyclists:

In December, Ohio legislators passed HB 154, which mandates motorists maintain at least 3 feet clearance when passing a bicycle traveling along the road in the same direction.

The law took effect on March 21, 2017. Those who fail to comply can be cited with a minor misdemeanor and up to a $150 fine. Ohio was the 29th state to pass a law requiring motorist maintain a specific clearance when passing a bicycle.

Sharing the Road:

In addition to abiding by Ohio’s new 3-foot passing law, AAA offers the following tips to help motorists and cyclists share the road safely:

Remember, in Ohio, bicycles are considered vehicles, and have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, including the right to ride in the lane of traffic.

It is illegal for bicyclists to ride against traffic or on sidewalks.

Never honk your horn at a bicyclist. They may startle and swerve off the road or into traffic.

Bicyclists should be visible and predictable. Wear reflective clothing at night and always ride where drivers can see you. Don’t swerve between parked cars.

Both motorists and cyclists should remain alert and avoid distractions.

Assisting Bicyclists:

AAA works to protect bicyclists year-round through its Bicycle Breakdown Service. This service launched in April 2016, and is automatically included in a AAA Ohio membership.

Members who experience a bicycle breakdown (flat tire, broken chain, etc.) while riding in AAA Ohio Auto Club’s territory can call AAA, make their way to the nearest accessible road and a service truck will transport them and their bicycle where they need to go. For more information, visit

Simple Road Improvements Could Prevent 415,000 Fatalities and Injuries

AAA Urges Trump Administration to focus Infrastructure Package on Deteriorating Roadways

COLUMBUS (May 2, 2017) – Key roadway improvements have the potential to save 63,700 lives and prevent 353,560 injuries over a 20-year period, according to a new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA urges the Trump Administration to make repairing and maintaining America’s roadways a top priority.

While human error causes the majority of vehicle crashes, a vast body of research has demonstrated certain highway infrastructure modifications can decrease the possibility that drivers will make errors and give road users a better chance of surviving a crash.

The Study:

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s Benefits of Highway Infrastructure Investment report helps quantify the life-saving and injury-reducing benefits of investing in highway infrastructure safety measures.

The report recommends six improvements, with a total price tag of $146 billion that can provide nearly 95 percent of the anticipated crash reduction. These include:

1. Convert key intersections into roundabouts (nearly 30 percent)

2. Install roadside barriers and clear roadside objects (nearly 20 percent)

3. Add sidewalks and signalized pedestrian crossing on most roads (nearly 20 percent)

4. Install median barriers on divided highways (14 percent)

5. Install shoulder and center-line rumble strips (nearly 9 percent)

6. Pave and widen shoulders (nearly 3 percent)

“We can save tens of thousands of lives and make our roadways safer by investing in improvements that we already know exist,” said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety executive director. “Now is the time to act by targeting limited resources where they will have the greatest impact.”

Funding for Safety:

Current investments in highway infrastructure improvements in the U.S. are substantially lower than what is necessary to fix the nation’s aging roads and bridges.

All 50 states currently have funds that can be used for safety improvements. AAA recommends that states prioritize funds with the greatest returns for their states’ needs. Ohio has one of the largest highway safety programs in the country and prioritizes improvements to help mitigate crashes and fatalities.

Still, an increased investment is required at all levels of government to prevent an infrastructure crisis.

“Highway infrastructure investments play a prominent role in our national strategy to decrease traffic fatalities and serious injuries,” said AAA president and CEO Marshall L. Doney. “Paired with other transportation improvements and safety programs, these investments will move the U.S. closer to our goal of zero deaths on the roadways.”

About the Study: For the study, potential safety benefits and costs of investments in highway infrastructure improvements were derived by projecting benefits and costs of highway infrastructure improvements estimated in previous studies onto all roads of the same type nationwide.

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit

Staff Reports