- Scioto County, Ohio
] , and located to Lucasville in 1908 when three fairs (Mount Joy, Portsmouth, and Lucasville) merged into one.cite news|title=Fair Preview: Scioto County Fair has long history|publisher="Portsmouth Daily Times"|page=12|date=2007-08-05|author=Scioto County Fair Board] The
Roy Rogers' Homecoming Festival is held each June and the county has numerous fireworks demonstrations on the Fourth of July.
Scioto County's economy has come and gone with the success and failures of Portsmouth's economy. Until the 1970s,
heavy industrysuch as steel mills and shoe factories drove the county's economy. Since the closure of these factories, Scioto County has suffered a loss of jobs and revenue. Today, the service industrysuch as the Southern Ohio Medical Center is the largest employer in the county. Scioto County is also home to the newest state university in Ohio, Shawnee State University. Shawnee State enrolls between 3,300 and 4,000 students and grants Associate and Baccalaureate degrees. The school also issues a very limited number of Master’s Degrees. Much of the recent economic growth and change is based on service to SOMC and Shawnee State University.
In November of 2002, the Portsmouth
UraniumEnrichment Plant in nearby Piketon, Ohiowas recognized as an ANSNuclear Historic Landmark by the American Nuclear Society. It had served a military function from 1952 until the mid-1960s when the mission changed from enriching uranium for nuclear weaponsto one focused on producing fuel for commercial nuclear power plants. The Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Plant ended enriching operations in 2001 and began to support operational and administrative functions and perform external contract work. All uranium enrichment in the area has been taken over by a sister plant located in Paducah, Kentucky. Uranium enrichment functions had previously been shared by the two plants. USECinterests in the area remain strong with the American Centrifuge Plantunder construction in Piketon. This commercial uranium enrichment facility is expected to employ up to 500 people and reach an initial annual production level of 3.5 million SWU by 2010.
Scioto County has also been the benefactor of [http://www.suncoke.com/newprojects.html Suncoke] (
coke (fuel)production) and Duke Energy( electricity) facilities near Franklin Furnace. [http://www.mitchellace.com/index.html Mitchellace, Inc.] , the largest manufacturer of shoelacesin the world, is also located in the county.
Scioto County is served by two major highways, the north-south
U.S. 23and the east-west U.S. 52. Other routes include SR 73, SR 104, SR 125, SR 139, SR 140, SR 335, SR 348, SR 522, SR 728(Lucasville-Minford Road), andSR 776. State Routes 239, 253, 371, 772, and 852 go through Scioto County
Norfolk Southernoffers a railyard for long distance shipping and is currently reopening the repair shops. Amtrakoffers passenger service to the Portsmouth/Scioto County area under the Cardinal route. The passenger station is located in South Shore, Kentuckyacross the Ohio River.
Scioto County also offers air services with the
Greater Portsmouth Regional Airportlocated in Minford, Ohio, which is approximately 14 miles northeast of Portsmouth on SR 335. The nearest airport with scheduled passenger service is Huntington/Tri-State Airport(HTS) located approximately 60 miles east of Portsmouth on I-64.
Public transportation for Scioto County is offered through [http://www.asctransit.org/ Access Scioto County (ASC)] .
Colleges and universities
Scioto County used to be home to
Ohio University Southern Campus; however, it moved to Lawrence County (Ironton) in the early 1980s. The former Ohio University buildings became home to Shawnee State University, which was founded in 1986 as Ohio's thirteenth and newest institution, after first becoming Shawnee State Community College. Scioto County is also home to the Southeastern Business College.
Scioto County has ten public
school districts, one private schoolsystem, and one charter schoolsystem as well as several Christian schools. These districts include Bloom-Vernon (South Webster), Clay, Green, Minford, New Boston, Northwest, Notre Dame (Catholic), Portsmouth, Sciotoville Community School/East HS (charter), Valley, Washington-Nile (Ports. West), and Wheelersburg. These school systems are noted not only for their educational endeavors but also their athletic and community endeavors.
Ohio High School Athletic Association, Ohio High School Athletic Conferences, Southeastern Ohio Athletic League, and Southern Ohio Conference"
Scioto County is a dividing line of numerous television markets, which includes the Columbus, Cincinnati, and Huntington-Charleston markets. There is one local television station in Portsmouth. It is
WQCW, a CW affiliate. Local radio stations WIOI, WNXT, WPAY, WZZZ, and WHRR-LP serve the radio listeners in the county and surrounding areas.
The county is also served by three
newspapers. The [http://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/ Portsmouth Daily Times] is the county's only daily newspaper. The [http://www.communitycommon.com/ Community Common] is a free bi-weekly newspaper and the [http://www.thesciotovoice.com/ Scioto Voice] is a weekly newspaper, which is mailed to subscribers. The [http://www.shawnee.edu/pub/chrn/ University Chronicle] is the student-led newspaper at Shawnee State University.
Scioto County had a series of semi-pro football teams in the 1920s and 1930s, the most notable being the
Portsmouth Shoe-Steels, whose roster included player-coach Jim Thorpe. From 1929 to 1933, Portsmouth was home to a professional football team, The Portsmouth Spartans. This team later became the NFLfranchise Detroit Lionsin 1934. The Portsmouth Spartansalso competed in the first professional football night game versus the Green Bay Packersin 1930.cite web|url=http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=933|title="National Football League"|accessdate=2007-05-16|author=Ohio Historical Society] cite web|url=http://www.portsmouthspartans.org|title=Portsmouth Spartans Historical Society|accessdate=2007-05-16|author=Chris Murphy]
On the baseball front, the Portsmouth Explorers were one of the original teams in the
Frontier League, a non-affiliated minor league baseball organization. The Explorers played in the league's first three seasons, from 1993 to 1995. In 1938, Portsmouth was also the home of the Portsmouth Red Birds, a minor league team owned by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Shawnee State University is a member of the
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics(NAIA-Division II). SSU has participated in 24 National Championships in 6 of 11 sponsored sports. The university's women's basketball team has won an NAIA National Title in 1999 and finished in the final four in 1995.cite web|url=http://www.shawnee.edu/off/athl/wbb/quickfacts.html|title=SSU Women's Basketball - Quick Facts|accessdate=2007-08-02|author=SSU Athletic Department] The softball team has had national exposure as well, reaching the "Sweet 16" on several occasions. The team finished 10th in 1992, 8th in 1995, 9th in 1996, and 9th in 2001.cite web|url= http://www.shawnee.edu/off/athl/softball/quickfacts.html|title=SSU Softball - Quick Facts|accessdate=2007-08-02|author=SSU Athletic Department]
Of course, the twelve local high schools, the other educational institutions, the adult leagues, and the development leagues (e.g. AAU and club organizations) generate a great deal of participation as either participants or as followers of sports' teams. The teams have made 55 trips to the
Ohio High School Athletic Associationchampionships, winning 15 state titles. These have included three softball titles by Clay HS (1980, 1981, & 1983); three baseball titles (East HS in 1973, Valley HS in 1975, & Wheelersburg HS in 1996); three football titles (two by Notre Dame HS in 1967 and 1970 and Wheelersburg HS in 1989); and six boys' basketball titles (1931, 1961, 1978, & 1988 by Portsmouth HS and 2006 by South Webster HS). [ Southern Ohio Conference] [Portsmouth High School]
Scioto County is the home of the
Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, which is located in Lucasville. The Southern Ohio Correctional Facility is Ohio's only maximum security prisonand the location of Ohio's death house where death rowinmates are executed.
Notable individuals from Scioto County
Dale Bandy- former Ohio Universitybasketball coach
Al Bridwell(1884-1969) - former Major League Baseballplayer
Kathleen Battle(1948- ) - opera singer
Gene Bennett- baseball scout and executive, Cincinnati Reds
Earl Thomas Conley(1941- ) - country musicsinger and writer
* Martin Dillon (1957-2005) - American
Chuck Ealey(1950- ) - football player
Bill Harsha(1921- ) - American politician
Larry Hisle(1947- ) - former Major League Baseballplayer, currently in Milwaukee Brewersorganization
Rocky Nelson(1924-2006) - former Major League Baseball player
Al Oliver(1946- ) - former Major League Baseball player
Dave Pyles- graduate of Miami Universityand former National Football Leagueplayer with the Oakland Raiderscite web|url=http://www.raiders.com/Common/Article.aspx?id=10578|title=Oakland Raiders: All-Time Roster|author=Oakland Raiders|accessdate=2007-07-27|date]
Branch Rickey(1881-1965) - baseball executive
Vern Riffe, Jr. (1925-1997) - Ohio politician (1959-95), Speaker of the House(1975-94)
Barbara Robinson- American author
Roy Rogers(1911-1998) - famous singer and cowboy movie star
Ted Strickland(1941- ) - Ohio governor(2007- )
Gene Tenace(1946- ) - former Major League Baseball player
Josh Newman(1982- ) - current major league pitcher for the Colorado Rockies
* [http://www.ExploreSciotoCounty.com County information]
* [http://www.sciotocountyohio.com/ Scioto County Government's website]
* [http://www.clay.k12.oh.us/ Clay Local School District]
* [http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/ Ohio Historical Society]
* [http://www.50milesofheroes.com/home.html 50 Miles of Heroes]
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