PNS Daily Newscast - February 28 2020 

Coronavirus updates from coast to coast; and safety-net programs face deep cuts by Trump administration.

2020Talks - February 28, 2020 

Tomorrow are the South Carolina primaries, and former VP Joe Biden leads in the poll, followed by winner of the first three contests, Sen. Bernie Sanders and businessman Tom Steyer. Some Republican South Carolinians may vote for Sanders because they want closed primaries.

Scorching Summer: Community Action Steps up to Keep Ohioans Cool

image of hazy sun
image of hazy sun
July 10, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio is getting a break from the recent heat wave, but scorching temperatures are likely to return. Community Action Agencies are stepping up to the plate to help the growing number of residents who need help staying cool and safe.

Kerrie Shaw, community services coordinator at Hocking, Athens, Perry Community Action, says that, thanks to the HEAP Summer Crisis Program, they've already distributed more than 600 air-conditioning units to residents.

"Summer is going to be, and is currently, really hot. So if you need assistance and you think that you might qualify, please make a phone call and come in to see us, because chances are we can help you in one way or another."

Community Action Commission of Fayette County has also been distributing air conditioners, as well as fans. HEAP coordinator Donna Upthegrove says they've been going out into the community to make sure anyone who is eligible and needs cooling assistance gets it.

"We are available, that is why we are going out in the field. And we will be open in the evenings for the working people and on Saturday. We are making sure that we don't miss anyone."

The HEAP Summer Crisis Program offers up to $250 for the purchase of an air conditioner or fan, or to help pay an electric bill. Households must meet income requirements and have a member over 60 or with a qualifying medical condition. Households facing a disconnect notice may also be eligible. The program runs through August.

Some agencies were able to help residents who lost their electricity because of the recent hot weather and storms. Northwestern Ohio Community Action Commission used emergency funds to provide gas vouchers to help residents run generators as well as vouchers for hotels for those with critical medical needs. Its director of community services, Angie Franklin, says the residents were extremely grateful.

"A lot of the people that we've helped aren't people who have typically been aware of or have been able to utilize the services, so a lot of people are very surprised and very thankful that the assistance was available."

Other agencies are also providing food replacement for those who went without power for multiple days. Anyone looking for help can go online to to find a local community action agency.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH