April 24, 2014

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Persian Gulf Era veterans approaching Dec. 31 deadline for Ohio Veterans Bonus
Latest
Friday, December 20, 2013 3:36 PM

COLUMBUS – Many Ohioans are looking ahead this month to Christmas, but veterans of the Armed Forces who served during the time of the Persian Gulf War have a very important deadline falling just after the holiday – applications for the Ohio Veterans Bonus for Persian Gulf era veterans must be submitted no later than December 31, 2013.

Veterans eligible to receive the Persian Gulf War portion of the Ohio Veterans Bonus can have served anywhere in the world for at least 90 days active duty, not for training, between August 2, 1990 and March 3, 1991. The amount of the bonus is higher for service in the Persian Gulf theater. Eligible veterans must have been a resident of Ohio when they entered the military, and must be a resident at the time they apply.

The Ohio Veterans Bonus was overwhelmingly approved by Ohio voters in November 2009 as a thank you to those Ohioans who served in the military during the time of the Persian Gulf War, as well as during the time of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Bonus continues past December 31 for veterans of the Iraq War, who have until December 31, 2014 to apply. It also continues for veterans of the Afghanistan War and all veterans who served after October 7, 2001. No deadline has been announced for these veterans.

The Ohio Veterans Bonus is open to veterans who served anywhere in the world during the Persian Gulf War era as well as the eras of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The amount of the Bonus is higher for service in the war zones. The Bonus is also open to the next of kin of those who were killed in action or died of disease as a result of in-theater service. The Ohio Veterans Bonus is not subject to federal or state taxes, and can be used for any purpose.

Ohio voters approved the Ohio Veterans Bonus by an overwhelming margin in November 2009, to be awarded to veterans of the Armed Forces and military service members who served during the periods of the Persian Gulf War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The specific criteria and deadlines for all eras of service are below:

Military service of more than 90 days active duty, not for training, anywhere in the world during the following periods:

August 2, 1990 through March 3, 1991 – Persian Gulf; deadline to apply is December 31, 2013

October 7, 2001 through a date to be determined by the President – Afghanistan

March 19, 2003 through December 31, 2011 – Iraq; deadline to apply is December 31, 2014

Eligible veterans and military service members must have been Ohio residents at the time of their entry into the military, and must be Ohio residents at the time they apply.

The bonus pays $100 a month to veterans who served in the Persian Gulf theater, or in the countries of Afghanistan or Iraq, up to a maximum of $1,000. For veterans who served elsewhere, the payment is $50 a month up to a $500 maximum. Veterans medically discharged due to injuries sustained in combat can receive $1,000, plus up to $500 for months of service elsewhere. Family members of those killed in action or who died from disease as a result of their in-theater service can receive a bonus of $5,000 plus whatever the service member was eligible for, up to a total of $6,500.

To date, almost $60 million has been paid to nearly 72,000 veterans and family members.

For more information or to apply:

Call toll-free to 1-877-OHIO VET (1-877-644-6838) option 2

Visit www.veteransbonus.ohio.gov

Visit any county veteran service office (see www.ohiovet.gov for an interactive map of the county offices). These offices can also provide information about all federal and state veterans’ benefits, and assist veterans in the application process.

The department also provides information about the Bonus through its social media and at veterans’ events, and has advertised the program in print and broadcast media, as well as in veterans’ publications and a mailing to veterans whose service likely occurred during the Persian Gulf era.

 
Antwerp School Board hears reports
Latest
Friday, December 20, 2013 3:27 PM

By JOE SHOUSE • Progress Correspondent

ANTWERP – The Antwerp Local School board met Dec. 19 for their final meeting of 2013. The board passed several consent items, heard the results of the third grade state reading test, and recognized two board members leaving office.

 
Antwerp Chamber lighting contest winners
Latest
Friday, December 20, 2013 11:26 AM

ANTWERP – The Antwerp Chamber of Commerce would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s Christmas Village of Lights holiday decorating contest. A big thank-you goes out to the people who accepted the difficult challenge of judging all of the beautiful houses that made Antwerp sparkle this year.

The chamber would also like to encourage everyone to take a ride around and seek out the season’s beauty and admire the hard work that so many people in the community have put into decorating this year.

The $50 winners are as follows:

Religious theme: No Entries submitted this year

Anything Goes: (Judges chose top two since above category was not entered) Rene and Heather Dzib, 2840 Road 190; and Nick and Susan Bonifas, 7165 Road 180.

Martha Stewart Would Be Proud: Rollie and Ruth Clem, 309 N. Main St.

Kid Choice Award of a $25 River Street Market gift card to the goes to Rene and Heather Dzib.

The Antwerp Chamber of Commerce wishes all a happy and healthy holiday season!

 
Several ordinances close out 2013 in Antwerp
Latest
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:56 PM

By JOE SHOUSE • Progress Correspondent

ANTWERP – In their final meeting for 2013, the Village of Antwerp passed several ordinances and recognized one of its members who concluded eight years serving the council and the community.

 
Several recognized at WT meeting
Latest
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:55 PM

HAVILAND – The Wayne Trace Local School District met in regular session on Monday Dec. 9.

At the meeting, the new district treasurer, Gary Ginter, was introduced.

 
Burkley: 'Ohio Religious Freedom Restoration Act'
Latest
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:52 PM

Guest Column • State Rep. Tony Burkley (R-Payne)

As Americans, some of our most basic, yet most sacred, freedoms are outlined in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Our country was based on the fundamental rights to speak, assemble and worship, and we need to remain diligent on preserving those liberties. That is why I was happy to sign on as a cosponsor to a bill that helps to protect against laws that substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion.

The “Ohio Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” (RFRA) which was recently introduced by members from both parties and is outlined in House Bill 376, strongly resembles a law signed at the federal level in 1993 by President Clinton. The law required courts to use what is called “strict scrutiny” in religious freedom cases, which requires the government to justify any burdens that are imposed on religious exercise. When those burdens are in fact justified, then the court must take the least restrictive route possible when imposing the law.

Basically, the Ohio version takes what previously only applied to federal statutes and applies it to state laws. A 1997 Supreme Court case ruled that Congress could not mandate how state laws should be interpreted, which kept more power with the individual states. However, the court ruling encouraged states to implement their own RFRA laws.

If passed, Ohio would join 18 other states that have already approved the measure.

The diversity of views and opinions – whether they be political, personal, religious or otherwise – is what makes this country so special and is a fact that all Americans should celebrate. I was proud to join several other cosponsors because I think this act puts in place important protections for religious expression.

Rep. Burkley may be reached by calling 614-644-5091, e-mailing Rep82@ohiohouse.gov or writing to State Representative Tony Burkley, 77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

 
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