Editor’s Notebook

Chris Pugh
Group Editor’s Notebook

Bellville will hold its second First Thursday of the season this week.

Downtown businesses will stay open until 7 p.m.

In addition, a free concert featuring The Jimmy Warner Band will be held at 7 p.m. at the village bandstand.

Attendees are asked to bring chairs or a blanket.

If there is rain, the concert will be held in the Old Fire Station, 115 Main St., Bellville.

RICHLAND FIREWORKS – Area displays this year include Charles Mill Lake Park, 1277 State Route 430, Mansfield at dusk on July 4 and behind Ontario Middle School, 467 Shelby-Ontario Road, Ontario, at 10:05 p.m. July 4.

SOBER DRIVING URGED FOR JULY 4 – The Richland County Safe Communities Coalition is urging residents to plan ahead and designate a sober driver ahead of parties.

“The Fourth of July festivities can be so much fun,” Reed Richmond, Health Educator at Richland Public Health and a Safe Communities spokesperson said. “People make plans for the partying, but too many drivers don’t plan ahead to get home safely.”

He added that it is illegal to drive in Ohio with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

In all 50 States and the District of Columbia, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

“We’ve seen that too many drivers around Richland County think that it’s OK to drive ‘buzzed,’” Richmond said. The truth is you don’t have to be ‘completely wasted’ to get arrested for drunk driving. Remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”

Richmond offers the following tips for a safe July 4:

* Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.

* Before drinking, designate a sober driver.

* If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.

* If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement. Calls are routed to dispatch.

* If you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

Richmond added that people hosting a July4 party where alcohol is being served should:

* Take the keys of guests who are drinking alcoholic beverage.

* Make sure everyone leaving the party has a designated drive.

* Make arrangements for guests to sleep at your location if unable to drive

More information on avoiding impaired driving can be found at www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.