Lauren Siegel

Multimedia Video Journalist

Bio

Hello! I'm Lauren Siegel, a resident of Fort Loramie, Ohio and a December 2019 graduate of Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication.

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The Allen County Museum and Historical Society wants to invite the public to view a new display that honors one of their already existing exhibits. On this day ten years ago, the Roll of Valor exhibit was unveiled at the Allen County Museum. On Friday, it was rededicated to all that have received Medals of Honor in our country, especially the two from Lima. William E. Metzger Jr. and Leonard F. Mason both lost their lives fighting in World War II and received their medals posthumously. April 16th was declared "Mason-Metzger Roll of Valor Day" by Mayor David Berger in his proclamation. While this dedication is meant to remind the public of the decade old exhibit, there are a few new pieces added to commemorate it.

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ArtSpace/Lima has not slowed down its outreach in the community through their to-go art bag drive throughs. The organization will have another art kit available this weekend for free pick-up. This month's theme is all about watercolors. It will contain a brush, a set of paints, salt for experimenting, and professional watercolor papers. Artists are encouraged to enjoy the spring weather outside while creating their work. It may then even be displayed for the community to see.

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The postponed date to file income taxes for the year 2020 is May 17th, 2021. The extra month is in response to the pandemic and should allow taxpayers time to gather necessary documents from last year. The owner of Liberty Tax Service in Lima, Veronica Dortch, says everyone should have received all they need to file their taxes by now, and to not wait too long to get it done.

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The Area Agency on Aging is working to do its part in fighting against drug and substance misuse in Ohio. Over 22,000 kits to use for safe drug disposal have been distributed to senior centers and aging councils around the state. 1,000 of them were allocated to Lima's Area Agency on Aging 3 seven county region. They include Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Hardin, Mercer, Putnam, and Van Wert Counties. The drug disposal kits will guide users on how to get rid of unused or outdated medicines, especially opioids. The bags can hold pills, liquids, and patches, and are simple to use. These free kits are hoped to prevent the misuse of prescription drugs.

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As for statewide numbers, there are 2,164 new cases today. 181 people were hospitalized and 31 patients were placed in the ICU. The Ohio Department of Health says 989,861 people are presumed recovered from the Coronavirus. As for cases per 100,000 residents over a two week period, it has risen to 200 this week. Governor Mike DeWine says the state will lift all health orders if that number falls to 50 over a two week period.

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Scammers are reportedly calling and claiming they are with the PASSPORT program, which is a part of Medicaid. They are said to ask for banking information over the phone. The Area Agency on Aging 3 in Lima says this is a red flag, because representatives from their organization won't call to ask for bank information.

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Multiple health organizations in the Findlay area have teamed up to provide accessible HIV testing to the public. Equitas Health out of Lima has partnered with the Findlay Family Resource Center, and LGBTQ+ Spectrum of Findlay to offer these testing sites. Walk-up appointments are free and confidential. Equitas recently acquired a mobile outreach vehicle that will soon travel around the state for these pop-up clinics. Troy Miller, the Northwest Prevention Program Manager at Equitas Health, says HIV testing isn't widely available in Hancock County, so they wanted to help.

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The University of Findlay had their third student vaccination clinic on Monday. 1,200 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were delivered to the college to be given out over four sessions. Students studying health professions, including nursing and pharmacy, have helped administer the shots. All UF students should have received an email to sign up, making the process as easy as possible.

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Putnam County returned to a Red Level 3 on the Ohio COVID health advisory system on Thursday, joining Hancock and Hardin Counties. In our area, Putnam County has one of the higher percentages of their population vaccinated. Which leaves the question, why are case numbers going up? The Putnam County Health Commissioner, Kim Rieman, says this could be due to COVID fatigue in the community. Many are wearing masks less and gathering more. Rieman also says the virus variant making rounds in the state could be a factor in the increasing cases as well.

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It's been just over 100 years since women earned the right to vote in America, and the Auglaize County Historical Society is commemorating it. The Riverside Art Center in Wapakoneta is the next site of a traveling history exhibit curated by the organization Ohio History Connection. It is titled "Ohio Women Vote: 100 Years of Change", and it showcases the efforts made by Ohio women over decades to earn the right to vote. Although the 100-year anniversary was technically in 2020, the pandemic postponed the event. However, the Administrator of the Auglaize County Historical Society, Rachel Barber, says it's not too late to celebrate.

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