September Is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
A Guest Column by State Senator Dave Burke
September 18, 2014
 
 

In addition to serving as a Senator in the Ohio General Assembly, I have owned and operated a pharmacy in my hometown of Marysville, Ohio since 1997. As health care providers, one of the most important roles of pharmacists is to promote health and prevent disease within the community. With this in mind, I want to let you know that September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Late last year I sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 10, which called on Congress to seek the withdrawal of the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation against prostate-specific antigen-based screening for prostate cancer for men in all age groups. 

Simply put, the USPSTF recommendation against screening puts men in harm’s way. Fortunately, my legislative colleagues agreed with me. Both the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives unanimously adopted SCR 10.  

But my work on this issue isn’t done; a resolution alone won’t save lives. Allow me share a few facts about prostate cancer with you to illustrate the importance of screenings and early detection:

  • Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in men in the United States, with one in six American men being diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. It is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men in the United States.
  • Just last year, the American Cancer Society estimated that more than 240,000 men in the United States would be diagnosed with prostate cancer and nearly 30,000 men would die from the disease. In Ohio alone, there are approximately 7,961 newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer and 1,232 deaths from the disease on an annual basis.
  • Those who are most at risk are the underinsured; those who live in areas where health care is not readily available; those who have a family history of prostate cancer; and African-American men, who have a higher incidence of and higher mortality rate from prostate cancer than Caucasian men. 

By the time a man experiences symptoms of prostate cancer, the disease is generally too advanced to cure. So what can you do to make to take charge of your prostate health? First, start the discussion with your doctor sooner than later. While you may not need a screening today, a doctor is in the best position to talk about the benefits and risks of testing.  For information on low cost and free prostate cancer detection events visit www.prostateconditions.org or www.zerocancer.org.

Remember, understanding prostate health today could help save your life or the life of someone you love tomorrow.

 
 
  
 
September Is Campus Fire Safety Awareness Month
A Guest Column by State Senator Bill Beagle
September 16, 2014
 
 

September marks the beginning of a new school year, the start of football season and cooler weather, but more importantly, it’s Campus Fire Safety Month.  Last month I introduced Senate Bill 359 which addresses the very real need for improved fire safety measures in off-campus and rental homes.

Nearly two years ago on January 1, 2013, two families in our community endured a horrific tragedy.  Ellen Garner, graduate of Tippecanoe High School, and Chad Kohls, graduate of Centerville High School, were trapped in a third story attic bedroom when a fire started on the second floor of a University of Cincinnati off-campus house.  The only safe exit from the room was an internal staircase, which quickly became engulfed in smoke.  The 36-foot jump from the third story window that was blocked by an A/C unit onto the cement pavement was not a viable escape route.  Ellen and Chad were trapped and decided to try to escape through the smoke-filled stairwell.  Ellen and Chad passed out from smoke inhalation before the fire department could rescue them, and tragically, the two later passed away at a nearby hospital.

After subsequent conversations about fire safety with fire prevention experts, rental property owners, and parents, like Ellen's and Chad's, I discovered that according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, egress and escape problems account for one-third of fire fatalities.  The need for legislation to protect our students and others who rent homes with a third-floor bedroom is all too apparent. 

As a solution to this problem, Senate Bill 359 requires a separate means of egress for all dwelling areas above the second story of a residential rental property, like the one that Ellen and Chad were trapped inside.  An egress ladder, a one-time $250 cost, is an inexpensive safety measure that could save lives in the event of a fire. 

It is my hope that Senate Bill 359 will honor Ellen and Chad and work to encourage greater fire safety awareness that could save lives.  One basic fire safety tip is to always have two ways out.  When a fire breaks out, you have moments to make a decision on how you will escape.  Every second matters and ensuring you have an escape plan is critical. I encourage you to make that plan now. Once you have a plan, practice your home fire drill with your family or roommates at least twice a year.

More tips on fire safety and information on Senate Bill 359 are available at: www.ohiosenate.gov/Assets/Media/FireSafetyFactsandTips.pdf. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions about Senat Bill 359 or other issues that are important to you. I can be reached at (614) 466-4247 or Beagle@OhioSenate.gov.

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

State Senator Keith Faber (R-Celina) will hold open office hours at several locations throughout the district on Thursday, September 4 and Friday, September 5, 2014. Senator Faber represents the 12th Ohio Senate District which encompasses all of Allen, Champaign, Mercer and Shelby counties as well as portions of Auglaize, Darke and Logan counties. He currently serves as President of the Senate.
 
“I look forward to visiting with the residents of my district on issues important to them," said Faber.  "Office hours are always a great way for me and my staff to hear directly about things happening in the district as well as an opportunity for us to update folks on what we are doing for them here at the Statehouse.” 
 
No appointment is necessary. Either Senator Faber or a member of his staff will be present. Open office hours will be held:

 

Thursday, September 4
9-11:00 AM
Champaign County
Champaign County Library 
1060 Scioto Street
Urbana, OH 43078


12-2:00 PM
Logan County
Knowlton Library 
220 N. Main Street
Bellefontaine, OH 43311


3-5:00 PM
Allen County
Lima Public Library 
650 W. Market Street
Lima, OH 45801


Friday, September 5
9-11:00 AM
Darke County
Greenville Public Library 
520 Sycamore Street
Greenville, OH 45331


12-2:00 PM
Shelby County
Amos Memorial Public Library 
230 E. North Street
Sidney, OH 45365


3-5:00 PM
Auglaize/Mercer Counties
St. Marys Public Library 
140 S. Chestnut Street
St. Marys, OH 45885

 
 
  
 
Senate President Seeks Applicants For New Academic Content Standards Review Committees
Educators, content experts and parents sought for appointments
August 20, 2014
 
 
COLUMBUS - 
Ohio Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) today invited letters of interest from members of the public wishing to serve on one of the four new Academic Content Standards Review Committees created in H.B. 487, which Governor Kasich signed into law on June 16, 2014. 
 
The four committees, made up of various educational professionals and parents of K-12 students, are charged with reviewing the state’s K-12 academic standards to ensure the standards are clear, concise and appropriate for each grade level, as well as promote high student achievement.  Each committee will also review the standards’ corresponding assessments to ensure it meets the standards.
 
H.B. 487 created one committee each for English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.  The Senate President, the Speaker of the House and the Governor are charged with making various appointments to the four committees.  The Senate President is specifically responsible for appointing the following members:
  • One content expert in English language arts;
  • One parent or guardian for the English language arts committee;
  • One content expert in mathematics;
  • One educator, currently teaching in a classroom, for the mathematics committee;
  • One content expert in science;
  • One parent or guardian for the science committee;
  • One content expert in social studies, and;
  • One educator, currently teaching in a classroom, for the social studies committee.
“These review panels were created to ensure that Ohio’s academic expectations will successfully prepare our K-12 students for their next level of education, whether that be college, technical and career training, or military service,” Faber said. “I am hopeful that those who serve on the panels will approach evaluating our state’s standards and assessments with a fresh, open perspective and that these efforts will help better inform parents, educators and the general public about what students are expected to know as they progress through our schools.”
 
Content experts must be residents of Ohio, as well as primarily conduct research, provide instruction, currently work in, or possess an advanced degree in the respective subject area.  These appointments are not compensated, but appointees will be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses related to serving as a member. More information on the specifics of each committee as specified by H.B. 487 can be found atwww.legislature.state.oh.us.
 
Interested applicants should send a letter of interest along with a resume (or curriculum vitae) and references by September 19, 2014 via email to Faber@OhioSenate.gov with the subject line: Special Appointments, or mail to: President Keith Faber, Ohio Statehouse, Attn: Special Appointments Office, 1 Capitol Square, 2nd Floor, Columbus, OH 43215. 
 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

Senators Bob Peterson and Joe Uecker joined Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor for the opening of the Port of South Point in South Point, Ohio. The opening of the port in Southern Ohio could bring as many as 1200 direct and indirect jobs to the region within the next three to five years.

 
 
  
Statehouse - 

Merle Kearns was an extraordinary public servant committed not only to the people she represented in the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House of Representatives, but also to those individuals who are often the most vulnerable in our society – the elderly, young children and people living with mental illness.  Her thoughtful leadership, tenacity and passion to do what is right serve as an excellent example for us all.  She was a friend to all she served, and she will be greatly missed by her Senate family.

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

Ohio Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) and Senator Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) were keynote speakers Wednesday at a special event in Pittsburgh to show support for the region’s coal industry.
 
The Rally to Support American Energy was organized in response to new regulations proposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would significantly impact the coal industry. EPA officials are meeting in Pittsburgh this week to collect public comment on the proposed regulations.
 
“The Obama administration has declared a war on coal, and we’re not going to let their radical agenda destroy our economy,” said Senator Faber. “The coal industry provides efficient and affordable energy to millions of Americans and provides good jobs for thousands of Ohioans, Pennsylvanians, and West Virginians.”
 
“These extreme regulations are being mandated without any legislative authorization. If these regulations were the right thing to do, Congress would act and pass a bill. But they know what we already know – these regulations will kill jobs, destroy our economy and jeopardize our nation’s security. Our number one priority in Ohio continues to be a focus on jobs, opportunity and the economy, which is why I’m here today.”
 
Senator Balderson added, “Affordable and reliable electric power is central to the nation’s economy and to the well-being of the entire population. Today at the coal rally, constituents and legislators from three states joined together to rally for an industry that has been fundamental to the economy, specifically in the Appalachian region. I was happy to take part in defending those citizens who do not have the luxury of being able to pay exorbitant utility rates for higher priced energy sources.”
 
Thousands of people attended the rally, which was held at the Highmark Stadium in downtown Pittsburgh. Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor joined Senators Faber and Balderson at the event, along with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
 
The State of Ohio is taking a measured approach to energy policy. Recently, the General Assembly passed legislation placing a two-year freeze on energy efficiency mandates. This freeze will allow the legislature to conduct a thorough review to determine the best policy to provide affordable and reliable energy for Ohioans while encouraging job growth and economic development in our state.

 
 
  
Members of the joint agriculture committee listen as testimony is given.
STATEHOUSE - 

Officials from the Ohio Senate joined officials from the Ohio House of Representatives today to host a joint agriculture committee meeting at the Ohio State Fair. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) was joined by Senators Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville), Bob Peterson (R-Sabina), Frank LaRose (R-Copley), and Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville).
 
“Events like this are a great opportunity for the people of Ohio to experience how their state government functions,” said Hite, “and the Ohio State Fair is the perfect place to showcase our commitment to the state’s number one industry. I am very glad for this opportunity to hear directly from so many of Ohio’s agricultural leaders.”
 
The meeting featured expert testimony by many, including the General Manager of the Ohio State Fair, Virgil Strickler, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dave Daniels, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Jim Zehringer, President Jack Fisher of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and Dr. Bruce McPheron, Dean of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. 
 
The committee also heard from Ohio State Fair Junior Fair Board members, Future Farmers of America (FFA) students and others. The testimony given related to the importance of agriculture in Ohio and efforts that have been taken to ensure its continued prosperity.

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

Senate President Keith Faber (R–Celina) announced a grant program through the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to aid local fire departments with the costs associated with connecting to the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS).
 
MARCS is dedicated to providing Ohio’s first responders and public safety providers with state-of-the-art wireless digital communications, and to promote interoperability, in order to save lives and maximize effectiveness in both normal operation and emergency situations. Local law enforcement and emergency response agencies pay subscription fees to access and fund the system.
 
“I knew from discussions I’ve had with our local first responders that the user fees for the MARCS program are sometimes cost-prohibitive for some smaller emergency response organizations,” said President Faber. “The last thing we want standing in the way of public safety is money, so through the budget, we’ve created a grant program to help our locals get access to this life-saving system.”
 
House Bill 483 provides an additional $3 million to the MARCS program to provide grant dollars to purchase equipment and waive user fees for smaller fire departments. The bill also requires the program to develop a plan for the General Assembly by January 2015 that would allow for user fees to be phased out in the future.
 
House Bill 483 was passed by the Senate on June 4th and signed by the Governor on June 16th. The appropriation became immediately effective.

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

State Senator Frank LaRose (R–Copley) met with the Chairman, Commissioners, and several other members of the Legislative Service Commission from Lagos, Nigeria on Monday. These individuals visited Ohio through the sponsorship of the Columbus International Program.

 
 
  
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September Is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

 

In addition to serving as a Senator in the Ohio General Assembly, I have owned and operated a pharmacy in my hometown of Marysville, Ohio since 1997. As health care providers, one of the most important roles of pharmacists is to promote health and prevent disease within the community. With this in mind, I want to let you know that September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.



 
 

September Is Campus Fire Safety Awareness Month

 

September marks the beginning of a new school year, the start of football season and cooler weather, but more importantly, it’s Campus Fire Safety Month.  Last month I introduced Senate Bill 359 which addresses the very real need for improved fire safety measures in off-campus and rental homes.



 
 

Faber To Hold District Office Hours, September 2014

 
STATEHOUSE - 

State Senator Keith Faber will hold open office hours at several locations throughout the district on Thursday, September 4 and Friday, September 5, 2014. Senator Faber represents the 12th Ohio Senate District which encompasses all of Allen, Champaign, Mercer and Shelby counties as well as portions of Auglaize, Darke and Logan counties. He currently serves as President of the Senate.