NB Library: Come in and VOTE for Fav. $nowperson

This$ contest is a fundraiser for Community Christma$ Light$….VOTE Often….

The North Baltimore Public Library is sponsoring a Snow Person decorating contest for the North Baltimore community.  Twenty snowman blanks were cut out and painted white and given to businesses, organizations, and members of the community to decorate as creatively as they could. They were asked to bring their snow people back to be displayed on the front lawn of the library. The display is quite a sight as all of the snow people are so different and very creatively crafted.

Now that they are on display, the community is asked to come into the library to vote for their favorite snow person. Each snowman has a jar with a picture so that the community can vote for more than one if they choose. To vote, a monetary donation is added to the jar. Voting will take place through February 5 with the snow person collecting the most donations being the winner. All the money raised will be donated to the Chamber of Commerce Christmas Lights fund. It is the hope that we will “Shine Bright in 2021”. New Christmas decorations will cost between $10-15,000. This may be a small project but we hope to help raise some funds toward the project.

Everyone is urged to come to the North Baltimore Public Library and look over the snow people display. Then come into the library and vote generously for their favorite snow person.

Winter Curb Appeal Checklist

Install a bird feeder. A blue jay or cardinal makes a striking image against a winter scene….

Creating curb appeal is important in real estate and can increase the value of a home by as much as 17 percent. But it can be challenging to achieve great curb appeal in the cold weather months.

Here is a checklist from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of power equipment, small engines and battery power, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf cars, and the managing partner of GIE+EXPO. This list can help sellers create a good first impression, even when the temperatures drop.

Creating Curb Appeal in the Winter Months:


•    FOCUS ON SAFETY
Make sure buyers can safely get into your home by keeping the walkways, stairs and driveway clear of snow, ice and wet, slippery leaves. Your snow thrower can clear away snow.

•    SHOWCASE WINTER PLANTS
Utilize evergreen and cold weather plants like holly, pansies and witch hazel in patio pots and flower beds to add life to the landscape. A live wintergreen wreath is also a nice touch.

•    GIVE THE LAWN SOME LOVE
Keep leaves and debris cleared off the lawn. A carpet of dormant grass gives a better impression than dead leaves and twigs. It also hints of what is to come in the spring!

•    CLEAN GUTTERS
Clean gutters and downspouts signal to potential buyers that your home is well-maintained.

    UTILIZE OUTDOOR LIGHTING
Showcase your home on short, grey days with strategically placed outdoor lighting to light up the driveway, pathways and front porch.

•    PRUNE SHRUBS & TREES
Don’t wait until an ice or snowstorm hits to tend to the trees in your yard. Prune your plants, trees and shrubs now for a tidy look that will also keep branches from snapping off due to snow and ice. Your pole pruner or chainsaw can help remove any damaged limbs.

•    ORGANIZE THE GARAGE
Store your outdoor power equipment neatly in the garage, declutter the space and give it a good clean. A tidy garage looks bigger and more inviting.

•    ADD BIRDFEEDERS
Create a natural, serene scene (and support pollinators at the same time) by installing a bird feeder or bird garden. A blue jay or cardinal makes a striking image against a winter scene.

ODOT: Winter operations stats

 Up slightly over last year……

 
Snow Plow

BOWLING GREEN (Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2021) – Winter operations stats for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in northwest Ohio indicate we’ve experienced a more active winter this year over last — at least to this point.

Below are the current figures for the 16-county region in northwest Ohio regarding materials used and equipment miles driven during snow and ice control operations within ODOT District 1 and 2 (Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Wyandot, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Williams and Wood counties).

The stats represent all of this winter season through Jan. 13, 2021:

Northwest overall update Jan.132021

Northwest comparison Jan132021
Snowflake 

Did you ever wonder how the salt we use to treat icy roads in winter gets from the truck to the pavement? Learn here how a salt spinner works from Josh Augsburger, highway technician in Wood County.


OHGO Logo

Know Before You Go!

For more detailed traffic information, and to get personalized traffic alerts for your commute, download the OHGO app or visit OHGO.com.


 

Polar vortex could be on the way

Or not…..

COLUMBUS, Ohio—If you were thinking this winter has been fairly mild so far, it has been, but gear up. 

Frigid temperatures could be gripping Ohio, the Midwest, and the Northeast around the last week of January. 

Credit: Getty Images

 

The polar vortex, a wide area of swirling cold air near the North Pole, has weakened and split in two, which happens from time to time when air in the stratosphere above it warms. With the split, forecasts indicate one of the portions of the vortex may drift south toward Canada and the northern United States. 

These weakened polar vortex conditions often drop temperatures well below normal (think single digits and sub-zero) and may lead to more snow, said Aaron Wilson, climate specialist with The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“We’re watching this evolve,” Wilson said. “It’s eye-catching from a meteorologist’s standpoint. It can obviously cause some storms and lead to very cold conditions.” 

And it’s possible snow could come with those cold temperatures if the conditions are right, he said. 

That’s because this winter’s weather is also being influenced by La Niña, meaning the temperature of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central and South America is colder than average. Those conditions can influence weather around the world. 

For Ohio, a La Niña year typically means a wetter and warmer-than-average winter and spring. 

Whether that additional precipitation will mean more snow or more rain, is uncertain, Wilson said. 

“We’ve experienced La Niña years where we got a lot of snow and some in which we didn’t.” 

But the trend has been for a bit more snowfall than average during La Niña conditions. 

“We’re not talking about a lot more snow—more like 1 to 3 inches above average for the season,” he said. 

Central Ohio typically gets 25–30 inches of snow, on average, a year, with southern Ohio getting less and northern Ohio much more, with about 60–70 inches of snow near Lake Erie.  

The typically coldest seven-day period of winter in Ohio has yet to come: Jan. 18–25.

5 reasons it’s still important to get your flu shot

Flu shots help reduce serious respiratory illness…..

(BPT) – As our country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of the pandemic will become more complicated by increasing cases of the flu, making more people ill and putting further strain on the U.S. health care system.

Pediatric epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist Dr. Emily Godbout from Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU offers five crucial reasons everyone should get a flu shot this year.

1. Flu shots help reduce serious respiratory illness

While some people who get vaccinated may still contract influenza, the flu shot typically prevents about 70 of 100 people who receive it from developing a moderate to severe flu infection. So even though the vaccine might not completely prevent the flu, it can help keep you from getting sick enough that you have to go to the hospital.

“Reducing the overall burden of respiratory illnesses is really important to help protect vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease,” said Godbout, “And it also helps lessen the resulting burden on our health care system, which is crucial throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Godbout said that while practices people follow to help guard against COVID-19, such as handwashing, social distancing and wearing masks, will probably help decrease the spread of influenza, the flu shot is still the single most effective way to reduce the spread of the flu.

2. Flu shots are safe

“The flu shot is very safe and effective at helping prevent severe disease and hospitalization,” Godbout said. “I know people might have reservations about coming into the doctor’s office, but I can assure everyone that our providers are really vigilant about taking appropriate precautions to make sure everyone is safe.”

The doctor also pointed out that patients will not contract influenza from the vaccine. “The virus is inactivated,” she said, “so it can’t actually cause the flu infection after you get the shot.”

Flu shots are recommended for anyone six months old and older.

3. Flu shots are updated every year

“The U.S. flu vaccine is reviewed every single year and updated to match circulating flu viruses,” said Godbout. “The flu vaccine can typically protect against three or four different viruses. Since the virus changes from year to year, immunization or natural infection from the previous year is not protective.”

She also said that our antibody response — what helps us fight the virus — can decrease over time, so a yearly dose will help boost the antibody response before the start of the influenza season.

4. Influenza and COVID-19 share some overlapping symptoms

It’s important to know that some symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza are similar. If you have symptoms you are concerned about, it’s best to call your health care provider right away. You may need to be tested for both the flu and COVID-19 to be certain what is causing you to be sick, so your doctor can recommend the best course of treatment.

While having the flu shot doesn’t mean you can’t get the flu, as discussed above, a vaccination will at least lessen the severity of your symptoms — giving you and your loved ones peace of mind.

Reducing the spread of flu cases overall, by getting vaccinated, will help cut down on the number of seriously ill patients that clinics and hospitals need to diagnose and treat, which will help everyone get through the winter season more easily.

5. A flu shot protects you throughout the season

Now is a good time to get vaccinated. It takes a couple of weeks for antibodies to develop in your body, but the vaccination will continue to protect you throughout the worst months of the flu season.

Godbout said, “We will continue to offer the flu shot throughout the fall and winter.”

For the latest on flu and COVID-19, visit vcuhealth.org.

Snow and Ice Tips to Protect Our Yards This Winter

Remember to get outside, even when it’s chilly. It’s good for our mental and physical well-being

Alexandria, Va. – With the pandemic keeping people sheltering at home, more people are extending their outdoor time in the winter by adding fire pits, outdoor heaters and other features. Even in the wintertime, it’s important to take care of your yard. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, an international trade association representing power equipment, small engine, portable generator, utility vehicle, golf car and personal transport vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, offers tips to keep your yard in top shape for winter use.

Stop trimming your lawn once it freezes. Trim your grass to the height recommended for your lawn variety before it freezes. Cutting your grass too short can leave it dry and exposes it to the elements, not to mention insects and disease.

Add a thin layer of mulch to your lawn before it’s too cold. A thin layer of mulch can protect your grass roots from snow and frost. It can even prevent deeper layers of soil from freezing, making it easier for your lawn to bounce back in the spring. 

Check your trees for dead or damaged limbs. Removing dead or damaged limbs before inclement weather arrives, is one way to protect your shrubs and yard from damage (not to mention people and pets!).Snow and ice can weigh heavily on dead branches and make them snap and fall. Remove any dead branches carefully with clippers, a chainsaw or pole pruner, following safety precautions. Consult an arborist for problematic trees. 

Mark pathways to clear and beds to avoid. Mark the areas that you will need to clear of snow and ice, as well as areas you want to avoid, like flower beds. Stakes or sticks can help. When it’s time to run your snow thrower, you won’t accidentally cut a path through the lawn and can stick to your walkways. Always follow manufacturer’s safety procedures and never put your hand inside the snow thrower. Always use a clean out tool or stick to clear a clog. Be sure that children and pets are safely inside and not near outdoor power equipment while it’s being operated.

Keep new (and old) plantings well-hydrated. Many people have added trees and shrubs to their yards during the pandemic, and caring for them in the winter is still important. Plants and trees that are well-hydrated are more likely to survive a hard freeze so water well before the cold snap sticks. Newly planted trees can only survive about two weeks in the winter without water, so be sure to water any new trees you’ve added to your landscape if they aren’t getting water naturally from rain or snow. If your outside hose is already shut off for the winter, then use a bucket and add 5 gallons to the area around the tree. 

Continue watering plants and trees even after the leaves drop. Older plants and trees should enter winter well-hydrated, so continue watering even after the leaves have dropped. Even in the wintertime, hardy evergreen plants continue to lose moisture through their needles and if it’s a dry winter they need supplemental water too. 

Don’t shake heavy snow and ice off branches. It may be tempting for children (or adults) to wiggle those branches and watch the snow come off, but snow or ice can damage a branch. Shaking them can cause the branches to snap. It’s better to wait until the snow melts to assess the damage. 

Remove damaged branches as soon as the weather allows you to do it safely. If snow or ice have snapped a limb, look at the cut and assess the damage. Try to get a clean cut on an already broken branch or limb, as this will make it more difficult for insects or disease to enter the stressed area on your tree or shrub. Follow all manufacturer’s safety precautions if using a chainsaw or pole pruner.

Be careful about salt. Salt can melt snow and ice, but it can also damage plants and trees by drawing water away from their roots. Keep salt applications away from your trees and shrubs. Salt should also be cleaned off pet paws following a romp outside in the snow.

Remember to get outside, even when it’s chilly. It’s good for our mental and physical well-being to spend time in our family yards and breathe in the fresh air – and it also helps us connect to each other and with nature.

5 Tips for Winter Travelers

(Family Features) Because of the pandemic, fewer Americans are taking to the skies, but a significant number likely plan to hit the roads to visit friends and family during the winter months.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Whether a few towns over or a couple states away, many drivers will travel interstates, which are major logistics corridors often dominated by commercial trucks.

According to the United States Census Bureau, there are approximately 3.5 million people working as truck drivers in the U.S. From keeping grocery store shelves stocked to delivering those next-day packages, professional truck drivers impact lives with the freight they move and serve an important role in keeping the economy running.

Professional truck drivers are also experts when it comes to planning travel. From mapping out a route to maintaining their vehicles and even practicing a healthy diet, many truck drivers are road trip experts.

Caron Comas is a professional truck driver for Variant, a subsidiary of U.S. Xpress, one of the nation’s largest trucking companies. Highly trained, she’s driven trucks for 17 years and her expert insight can aid the average automobile driver planning to hit the roads this winter.

“It’s important that the average driver give trucks plenty of space on the road,” Comas said. “People can forget we’re generally handling 75 feet of tractor and trailer, which can weigh 80,000 pounds. We can’t stop on a dime like automobiles, so increase distance when merging in front of trucks and avoid slamming on your brakes.”

Comas suggests following these tips on the road and before you travel:

  • Don’t follow trucks too closely. If you can’t see a tractor trailer’s mirrors, the driver can’t see you.
  • Schedule vehicle maintenance before your trip. Have your oil changed and ask the experts to check your tire pressure and other important fluids to help assure you’re driving safely and efficiently.
  • Carefully plan your route. If driving through big cities, consider fluctuations in rush hour traffic. For more remote locations where there may not be regular food or gas, plan for when you’ll need to stop along the route.
  • Stay hydrated and nourished. Before setting out, eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of water. For the drive, pack healthy, non-perishable snacks like granola, fruit or nuts along with bottled water. For longer trips with kids, consider a small cooler for sandwiches, string cheese or yogurt.
  • Be overly prepared. Keep a few blankets, a flashlight, a first-aid kit and an extra pair of shoes in your car. If you experience car trouble, make sure you can stay warm until help arrives.

Keep in mind the global pandemic. Check each state’s quarantine requirements that you’ll be traveling to or through, wear a mask when in public and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines when traveling.

For more travel tips, visit usxpress.com/news.

SOURCE:
U.S. Xpress

How To Avoid Common Winter Health Problems

Winter can wreak havoc on the body. Here are tips on how to avoid common winter health problems and discover a few specific concerns….

As the winter season officially begins, many people are eager for the first snowfall and, of course, for the holidays. However, this time of year also comes with its own set of hazards to be on the lookout for—mainly those having to do with your health. If you want to better protect yourself as the temperatures drop, learn what the risks are and how to avoid these common winter health problems.

Illness

Whether it’s the cold or the flu, the likelihood of getting sick greatly increases with the arrival of colder temperatures. For this reason, it’s crucial that you wash your hands regularly, get enough sleep, and take immune boosters when necessary. All these things will work together to keep your immune system strong and make it more efficient at fighting off infections.

Asthma Attacks

Cold-weather asthma is also a possibility for people who already have sensitive respiratory systems. The dry winter air can irritate the esophagus and trigger inflammation that makes it more difficult to breathe. To avoid this common winter health problem, it’s recommended that you limit the time you spend outdoors and refrain from strenuous activities while exposed to cold outside air. If you suffer from frequent asthma attacks, you should also keep your prescribed medication nearby at all times.

Dry Skin
Make sure you pay attention to your skin during the winter season. As we mentioned, the outdoor air becomes significantly drier as the temperatures drop. Therefore, in addition to drying out your throat, the air can also sap the moisture out of your exposed skin. In severe cases, your skin can become so dry that it flakes and becomes painful to the touch. For this reason, it’s vital that you keep your skin healthy and hydrated.


Seasonal Depression

As excited as we always are when winter first starts, there always comes a point later in the season when we begin to feel isolated from the outside world. This leads to lethargy and an overall decrease in happiness as the frigid months seem to drag on—also known as seasonal affective disorder or seasonal depression. Remember to look out for your mental health this season and to find time to do things you enjoy. This will make the days go by more quickly and put you in a better frame of mind.

OHSAA Confirms Parents Can Attend Athletic Contests

Schools will determine the process for how parents will attend athletic contests, such as how many are permitted and where they will be placed to watch the contest.

OHSAA Confirms Parents Can Attend Athletic Contests

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine asks that no other fans be permitted to attend games through December 31

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Following Governor Mike DeWine’s remarks during his news conference on Tuesday (Nov. 24), the OHSAA, in conjunction with the Governor’s Office, recommends that schools restrict attendance to only the parents of the participants, or eliminate all spectators, for their winter sports competitions through December 31, 2020, due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

“We want to follow this recommendation so that our kids can continue to compete,” said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute. “We believe it is crucial that parents be permitted to attend the contests of their children, but large crowds at our indoor athletic contests are not a good idea at this time. We all need to work together to give our kids and schools the best chance at having a full winter season.”

Schools will determine the process for how parents will attend athletic contests, such as how many are permitted and where they will be placed to watch the contest.

Regarding media coverage, the OHSAA asks schools to still permit media coverage of their contests, but the number of media attending should be restricted to those who regularly cover the teams involved. Schools are encouraged to provide live video streaming of their athletic contests for those who cannot attend.

The OHSAA provided the following recommendations for member schools:

  • For those schools that decide to admit parents, list the names of the parents on a roster sheet that is located at your ticket window/admission table. This will help clarify who should/should not be admitted and will hopefully eliminate non-parents from attending.
  • Limit media to those who normally cover your school and consider utilizing a streaming service in order for fans to view your contest(s).
  • There is no prohibition on cheerleaders and pep bands, but schools should make their own decisions on these students’ participation and should strongly consider not sending cheerleaders to away contests.

As administrators were notified last week, the OHSAA winter sports seasons are moving forward as planned. That decision was made after the Executive Director’s Office had discussions with the Governor’s Office, the OHSAA Board of Directors and numerous administrators combined with the results of the membership survey in which 56 percent of the 1,464 respondents recommended that the OHSAA begin all winter sports contests as they are currently planned and scheduled.

The decision for schools to move forward with sports is a local decision. Schools may certainly choose not to participate in a contest or to pause their season(s) for a period and should do what is in their best interest. The OHSAA believes that our member schools provide student-athletes with the safest possible environment to continue participating, and we all recognize the educational, physical and mental health benefits of participation.

Accelerate Your Holiday Gift List with Adventure

Few things beat a warm, durable and fashionably versatile motorcycle jacket……

(Family Features) Nearly everyone on your gift list may need a little revving up this year. Bringing a smile or much-needed dose of adventure is an easy way to leave a lasting impression this holiday season – especially with these gift ideas.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Whether that hard-to-buy-for person on your list is already a rider or it’s on his or her to-do list, Harley-Davidson has something for nearly everyone.

Elevate Work-from-Home Wardrobes
Working from home doesn’t mean you can’t dress for adventure. Hoodies and sweatshirts can keep your loved ones looking cool and comfortable, no matter how long their next video conference call might last. With a variety of color and style options for men and women, you can find the right fit for basically everyone on your list.

Inspire the Next Generation of Riders
The thrill of riding can be felt at any age, especially for kids on your list looking for a new activity. Options like the IRONe12 and IRONe16 electric bikes are tools for learning hand-eye coordination and developing riding skills while having fun. Kids will learn to push, balance and coast in non-powered mode before graduating to the powered mode, where they’ll learn to use the throttle and brake. These bikes can provide a one-of-a-kind learning experience and spark a lifetime love for riding on two wheels.

Connect with the Inner Child
Give the gift of building something unique with a present like the LEGO® Creator Expert Harley-Davidson Fat Boy® Building Sets. This set showcases the beauty of a real-life motorcycle and provides an immersive building experience that can make people of all ages feel like kids again.

Adventure in Style
Few things beat a warm, durable and fashionably versatile motorcycle jacket. Whether your loved one enjoys a more rugged look to pair with outdoor adventures or is a style trend-setter who likes to stand out from the crowd, a leather motorcycle jacket is a must-have for almost any wardrobe.

Give the Gift of Riding
For the person in your life you haven’t seen in a while, reconnect and give the gift of an experience that can be appreciated for years to come with the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy New Rider Course. This course will help you and any thrill-seeker in your life learn to ride with confidence on two wheels after just one weekend.

This holiday season, Harley-Davidson is giving away 500 Riding Academy passes. All you have to do is share your favorite personal Harley-Davidson motorcycle photo on Instagram or Twitter, tag the friend or family member in your life you want to learn to ride with and use #GiftOfRiding and #Giveaway.

Find more holiday gift-giving inspiration at H-D.com/Holiday.

SOURCE:
Harley-Davidson

Tips for Farming Equipment in the Winter

Winter can cause damage to the exterior and interior of farming equipment. Prepare your farming equipment for winter…..

The winter can take a toll on farming equipment if it is not properly stored or cleaned. Corrosion is among one of the main concerns many farms have when it comes to the winter months. Taking the time to prepare your equipment by checking fluids and cleaning the exterior can decrease the likelihood of any damage to farming equipment.

Clean The Equipment

If you are considering tips for farming equipment in the winter, you are probably trying to preserve the quality of your equipment. It is important to clean your farming equipment because, otherwise, the dirt and debris will cause damage. Dirt and debris can be corrosive when mixed with the oil that may be on the equipment. Putting a piece of equipment away clean will ensure that it will not rust or fall victim to corrosion.

Check Fluids on Equipment

Many of the tips for farming equipment in the winter are so important because they help prevent corrosion. Replacing old oil with clean engine oil will reduce engine erosion during the winter months. Another thing to do when the weather starts to get cold is to top off fuel and hydraulic oil tanks. This is important to do because it will reduce the water accumulation that may take place, as well as prevent any possible tank corrosion. After topping off the fluids, it’s smart to add a fuel stabilizer. Lastly, check that the fuel and antifreeze used for that equipment are appropriate for the winter temperatures.

Prep Winter Equipment 

Prepping equipment might mean putting it away and prepping it for spring, or it might mean prepping it for use during the winter months. If you are putting your equipment away for the season, it is important to repair damages now to prevent delays in the spring. Putting equipment away clean will also ensure that the equipment doesn’t rust or deteriorate during the winter. This is also a good time to repaint any worn out surface or replace damaged parts.

If you are planning to utilize farming equipment in the winter months, repairing damages is essential to the functionality of the machines.  Replacing agriculture tires is a smart idea if you are planning to utilize your tractor or any other equipment during the winter. Since you can utilize a tractor as a snowplow, looking into tires that perform well in the snow is something you may want to consider.