‘Swim Lesson’ on Thursday


Staff and Wire Reports



Zoombezi Bay Promotes Water Safety Through Participation in ‘World’s Largest Swimming Lesson’

June 19, 2018

Powell, OH – Zoombezi Bay is joining forces with the world’s top water safety and training organizations to serve as a host site for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson from 10-10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 21.

Zoombezi Bay will be one of an estimated 600 locations in more than 20 countries that will simultaneously offer a basic, 30-minute swimming instruction to children ages 2 through 12 years old at 10 a.m. The attendance at Zoombezi Bay will be combined with all other participating aquatic facilities in an attempt to collectively break the Guinness World Record.

“At Zoombezi Bay, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to participate as one of the host sites for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson,” said Logan Harris, Zoombezi Bay Aquatics Manager. “This event is such an important preventative effort and is just one small step that we can take to help raise awareness and educate the public about this very real issue of drowning in our communities. Whether you’re going on vacation to the beach or visiting your local pool this summer, having skills and confidence in the water is key to ensuring one’s safety.”

These efforts tackle what the World Health Organization (WHO) lists as a leading cause of death and a “highly preventable public health challenge.” The WHO encourages a variety of interventions to prevent drowning, including teaching school-age children basic swimming skills. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of unintended, injury-related death for U.S. children ages 1-4 and is the second leading cause for children under 14.

Since the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson’s inception nine years ago, more than 236,000 children and adults have participated in the program, according to the organization’s website. This will be the sixth year that Zoombezi Bay has participated in the challenge, helping the organization break the world record every year. Zoombezi Bay’s swimming lesson numbers will count toward World Largest Swimming Lesson’s goal of reaching one billion people with the message “swimming lessons save lives” by 2019.

To encourage participation, Zoombezi Bay is offering participants a discounted entry of $10, which includes access to the entire water park following the lesson as well as Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. (Regular admission prices apply to those accompanying the swimmers; children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a guardian.) The lesson is free for season pass holders.

Registration begins at the Zoombezi Bay Season Pass entrance at 9:30 a.m.; pre-registration is encouraged but not required. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Calendar Page on Zoombezi Bay’s website. Additional safety tips can also be found on Zoombezi Bay’s Safety in the Water page.

About Zoombezi Bay

Zoombezi Bay is a 22.7-acre water park that features 19 state-of-the-art water attractions, including the aquatic adventure area, Otter Banks; themed water slide, SoundSurfer; the multi-level play structure, Baboon Lagoon; a wave pool; an action river; a lazy river; a kiddie play pool and more. Admission to Zoombezi Bay includes the Columbus Zoo, and proceeds from the water park support the Zoo’s operation and mission. Please visit www.zoombezibay.com for more information.

Ex-firefighter convicted of stealing union funds sentenced

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The former treasurer of an Ohio firefighters union who was convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in union funds has been sentenced to two years in prison.

A judge in Akron on Monday also ordered 41-year-old Joseph Ruhlin to pay $385,000 in restitution to Akron Fire Fighters Local 330.

Investigators say Ruhlin stole the money from 2011 to 2017. He pleaded guilty in January to charges of theft in office and tampering with records.

Ruhlin was arrested in March 2017 in North Carolina after fleeing the Akron area when charges were filed.

Authorities say he spent the money on items including a down payment on an in-ground pool and tickets to sporting events.

Ruhlin had no comment at his sentencing. A message was left for his attorney Tuesday.

City of Lancaster joins the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

(Columbus, OH – June 19, 2018) The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has approved the City of Lancaster (Fairfield County) as a new member. MORPC is a voluntary association of more than 60 local governments in Central Ohio serving the region through planning, direct service, public policy information and innovative programming and intergovernmental coordinating services in the areas of transportation, land use, energy conservation, the environment and housing.

“We are pleased to welcome the City of Lancaster as an important part of the growing Central Ohio metropolitan area,” said MORPC Executive Director William Murdock. “Cities and our regional agencies are vital partners for MORPC and are critical to our work on regional issues and services.”

Lancaster will join MORPC as a full member with three representatives from the city to serve as voting members at MORPC board meetings.

“The City of Lancaster is excited to be part of MORPC and have access to the resources provided by membership,” states Lancaster Mayor David Scheffler. “We look forward to joining the community of 63 cities, towns and counties working to move Central Ohio forward to an ever more prosperous future.”

The MORPC board meets 10 times each year to discuss important regional issues, guide the direction of MORPC’s work, network with local leaders to discuss common problems, create solutions to shared regional challenges and provide input on funding decisions. Additional benefits of serving on MORPC’s board include grants and funding opportunities, educational forums, training and seminars, technical assistance and data, and policy development.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) is a voluntary association of local governments and regional organizations that envisions and embraces innovative directions in economic prosperity, energy, the environment, housing, land use, and transportation. Our transformative programming, services and innovative public policy are designed to promote and support the vitality and growth in the region. For more information, please visit www.morpc.org.

Firefighters suspended for making porn at firehouse

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Two firefighters in Ohio have been suspended for allegedly making pornographic videos at a firehouse.

Akron officials say Arthur Dean and Deann Eller were both placed on administrative leave on Monday while the city launched an investigation into the matter.

Fire Chief Clarence Tucker says someone told a firefighter last week about the acts possibly being performed on city property. The firefighter reported it to his supervisor, who then told the chief.

Tucker and Mayor Dan Horrigan said in a joint statement that Dean and Eller did not work at the same fire station, but were known to be in a long-term relationship.

Officials have not identified the firehouse where the videos took place.

A spokesman for the local firefighters’ union says Eller and Dean have no comment.

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Staff and Wire Reports