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NEWS IN BRIEF 05/10/09

Columbia Gas offers utility assistance

IRONTON — In an effort to assist households hurt by the recession and layoffs, Columbia Gas of Ohio has created a $2.1 million emergency assistance fund -TCO Fuel Fund – to help customers who don’t qualify for traditional energy assistance programs to pay their heating bills.

These new funds are available for utility bill payment assistance to Columbia Gas customers with incomes between 175 percent – 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. For a family of four, the household income could be up to $42,400 per year.

The emergency assistance fund will be administered by the Home Energy Assistance Program [HEAP] of the Ironton – Lawrence County Community Action Organization located at 305 North Fifth Street in Ironton at the intersection of 5th and Lawrence Street. If you think you might be eligible for this assistance, contact the Community Action agency at 740-532-3534 to inquire.

Money from the Columbia Gas Rate Case Fuel Fund is also available through the Home Energy Assistance Program. This fund is for customers with incomes below 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines who have already exhausted all other available funds, such as HEAP assistance.

Columbia Gas will distribute $1.85 million through this fund over the next five winter heating seasons. Customers who would like to apply to this fund should contact the Community Action agency.

High water affects camping at lakes

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — One campground and part of another at Burnsville Lake are closed because of high water.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also delayed opening the East Fork Campground at East Lynn Lake for a week because of high water.

At Burnsville Lake, all of Riffle Run campground is closed. The lower sections of the Bulltown campground are closed. Launch ramps are both campgrounds are closed.

The corps said Friday that Burnsville Lake is 12 feet higher than normal.

East Lynn Lake is 9 feet higher than normal.

Boyd Library friends set to meet May 19

SUMMIT, Ky. — The annual meeting of Boyd County Public Library Friends will be Tuesday, May 19, at the Summit Branch.

The membership meeting starts at 6 p.m., and is preceded by a board of directors meeting at 5 p.m. The Summit Branch is located at 1016 Summit Road, across from Boyd County Middle School.

Anyone interested in joining the BCPL Friends, which supports library programs and services, is welcome to attend the meeting and find out more.

The guest speaker is Pamela Ford, who is retired from the Marshall University Library and is past president of the Cabell County Public Library Friends.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, call Matt Onion, Friends president, at (606) 326-2113.

Bicyclists, motorists urged to share road

COLUMBUS — As bicycle enthusiasts across Ohio prepare for National Bike Week, May 11-15, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is reminding motorists to be “Share the Road” with bike riders.

In 2008, there were 2,031 crashes in Ohio involving motorists and cyclists – 1,332 at intersections, 494 at non-intersections and 186 in driveways. The crashes resulted in 18 fatalities and 1,582 injuries.

Statewide, ODOT has awarded $46.7 million to 90 bicycle and pedestrian projects since 2003. Those projects include the creation of bike paths, bike lanes, along with extending and modernizing bikeways.

This spring, ODOT will invest up to $200,000 in partnership with the city of Columbus on a project that will improve bicycle safety along a heavily traveled, 6.5 mile stretch of High Street from just north of the Ohio State University campus to downtown.

New signs and “Share the Road Arrows,” or “Sharows,” will be painted on the road in areas too narrow for a bike lane. They are intended to keep cyclists away from parked cars while promoting awareness of their right to use the road.

As parts of Bike Week, there are events planned statewide, which promote the health, financial, and environmental benefits of cycling. In Cleveland, several partners are offering bicyclists free breakfast, bike parking and showers for the week in an effort to encourage riding.

Here are some other tips to help bicyclists and motorists “Share the Road.”

Bicyclists ride in the same direction as traffic so stay alert and be aware of cyclists on the side of the road.

Motorists should maintain a three-foot clearance at all times when passing a bicycle.

The rules of the road, especially at traffic signals and intersections, apply to both motorists and cyclists.

Motorists and bicyclists should share the road … equally.

For more information on bicycling in Ohio, visit www.dot.state.oh.us.

OUS offers stained glass course

IRONTON — Classes are “springing” up in the community education department at Ohio University Southern.

Stained Glass Art for Beginners & Beyond

Stained class is a pleasurable art and craft. It is a hobby for many-an art for the few.

In this class, students will learn glass cutting techniques, tool usage, copper foil methods and soldering. One stained glass panel will be finished and framed. Blueprints will be provided the first class meeting. Pre-registration is required so that supplies and materials may be ordered.

Instructor: Christina Faulkner

Dates: Tuesday, May 12-June 16, 2009

Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Location: Ohio University Southern

Sessions: 6

Fee: $75.00

For more information, please contact Janet Long Wagner at 740-533-4544 or via email at wagnerj@ohio.edu