Bellville area news briefs

Senior nutrition program expands into Richland County

ONTARIO — The Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc. is excited to announce the expansion of the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) into Richland County. This program helps provide low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Participants will receive $50 worth of coupons though the growing season to use at participating farmers’ markets and stands. Applications may be submitted or downloaded online at An individual may also call (567) 247-7101 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM to request an application by mail.

The Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc., located in Ontario, Ohio provides leadership, collaboration, coordination and services to older adults, people with disabilities, their caregivers & resource networks that support individual choice, independence, and dignity.

Richland SWCD plant sale

MANSFIELD — As gardening season gets underway, Richland Soil and Water Conservation District encourages you to go native when planning your garden or landscape. Going native means utilizing native plants because of their many benefits. Native plants are more suited to our climate and soil and typically do better in our gardens than non-native species. They also provide excellent habitats and food for insects, pollinators, and wildlife. Because they have a strong root system, more soil is held in place which slows stormwater runoff and filters pollutants before they enter rivers, lakes, and streams.

Richland SWCD is hosting a Native Plant Sale in conjunction with Natives in Harmony. Plant plugs cost $3 and orders may be placed by calling Natives in Harmony at 419-688-9800 by June 5. A list of offered plants and their descriptions are found in the Native Plant Sale Catalog available on the Richland SWCD website at Plants are subject to availability at the time of order.

The Drive-Up & Pick-Up of orders will be held Wednesday, June 10 from 5-6 p.m. in the back-parking lot of the Richland County Longview Center, 1495 W. Longview Ave., Mansfield. For more information, call 419-747-8685.

Knox Lake Dam construction work starting

KNOX COUNTY – Construction to rehabilitate the Knox Lake dam in Knox County is scheduled to begin this month, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Rehabilitation activities for the 60-year-old dam include stabilization and resurfacing of the spillway, replacing the riprap on the upstream side of the dam, lake drain control structure improvements, and an additional embankment toe drain.

During construction, the pool elevation in Knox Lake is being lowered approximately 6 feet to allow crews to complete the work. Boat ramps will be unusable for trailered watercraft during the low water period. However, access will still be available for small watercraft such as kayaks and canoes at the 476-acre lake.

Shoreline fishing will be available in existing public access areas. The lower pool will be maintained until construction is completed in spring 2021. Dam Road, the road leading to the spillway, will not be accessible to the public during construction.

Visiting hours changing at Richland County jail

MANSFIELD — The Richland County Jail is allowing inmate video visitation from civilians as of Monday. Visitation is by appointment only. Friends and family can start scheduling visits with inmates between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. by calling 419-774-3281. Walk-ins will not be scheduled or permitted to visit.

Only one adult per visit. No splitting the visit with another visitor for the same inmate. Visitors may only schedule one visit up to two weeks in advance. When a visitor arrives for a scheduled visit, they will have their temperature taken and asked the prescreen COVID-19 questions. If the visitor fails the prescreening, the visitor will not be permitted to visit. The visitation area will be sanitized between visits.

The Records Division is now open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.