This is part 2 of a 3-part series looking back at front-page stories from the News Journal. Part 3 will appear in the Tuesday, Jan. 2 News Journal.
Voters approved both of the proposed tax renewals for local school districts in the primary election.
The renewal of the Wilmington City Schools’ 1-percent, five-year income tax passed 1,432 to 590 (71 percent for and 29 percent against). The renewal of the Blanchester Local Schools (BLS)
Wilmington police and the Warren County Drug Task Force reported they disrupted a multi-county drug ring, seizing bags and containers of crystal methamphetamine with a street value of $40,000, several thousand dollars in cash and two handguns. One handgun was confirmed to have been stolen from Clermont County, police said.
At 11:16 a.m. on a Wednesday Wilmington officers were dispatched to the Hampton Inn in Wilmington for a reported domestic situation. Police said the initial call reported sounds of a male screaming at a female and a physical altercation occurring, according to WPD Chief Detective Josh Riley.
Director steps down
Clinton County’s economic and business development director resigned effective May 5. Bret Dixon had been in that post for almost six years. Dixon’s letter of resignation was dated Friday, May 5 with the effective start of the resignation stated as the end of the business day May 5. This was two days after two of the three Clinton County commissioners formally gave Dixon a memo regarding future performance expectations and guidelines.
BHS principal resigns
The Blanchester school board voted 4-1 at its regular meeting to accept a separation agreement and accompanying resignation of Rick Hosler as Blanchester High School principal. The board also approved his immediate re-employment as a certified employee, in which he would work in another capacity.
Many students, teachers and parents who attended the meeting said they upset with the board’s decision. Superintendent Dean Lynch had told the News Journal that on May 5 he met with Hosler, and Lynch shared “my intent on bringing a non-renewal of his contract before the school board on the 15th.”
Hosler was put on paid administrative leave in November 2015 and returned to work at the school in January 2016. The next month, Hosler issued a rebuttal to a letter of reprimand, denying incidents of unprofessional conduct from the 2013-2014 school year as well as an incident in November 2015.
Radio pioneer passes
Lee Hendee, who brought radio back to Clinton County with the founding of nonprofit WALH 106.7 LPFM on Main Street in Wilmington, died at age 66. He had recently had back surgery and had returned to The Christ Hospital, where he died while undergoing a heart procedure, according to his friend Dennis Mattingly.
From city officials to local business owners, local residents remembered the impact of Hendee. “He never gave up,” said Danny Mongold. “Through a lot of hard work, many phone calls, long days and long hours, Lee did it! He’ll be greatly missed in our community.” Wilmington City Council member Jonathan McKay described Hendee as “a friend and a wonderful community member. He cared deeply about Wilmington and Clinton County and always wanted the latest news and what was going on.”
Equine barn built
Utilizing Capital Budget funds from the State of Ohio, a new 40 x 300 foot horse barn was under construction on the Clinton County Fairgrounds. The facility was completed for the summer’s Clinton County Fair in July.
NV man arrested
Two bomb threats against Washington Court House City Schools this year were allegedly made by a 46-year-old New Vienna man in an effort to close the high school so he could spend time with a 17-year-old male student, police alleged.
Brian D. Tedrick was arrested in New Vienna Wednesday morning by the U.S. Marshals Service at the request of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. A Fayette County grand jury had indicted Tedrick on more than 40 felony counts. Police had investigated calls threatening to “blow up the school” made the mornings of Jan. 13 and April 20.
After consultation with the Ohio EPA, city officials started using the Burtonville reservoirs as Wilmington’s drinking water source, the City of Wilmington announced. A harmful algal bloom producing the toxin microcystin was occurring in Caesar Creek Lake, the city’s main water source. The algal bloom was the first recorded at Caesar Creek Lake, according to a press release from the city.
Wilmington’s water treatment plant was effectively removing the toxin. In an abundance of caution, city officials began using water stored in the Burtonville reservoirs – the city’s backup source, according to Wilmington Director of Public Service Brian Shidaker
Isaac to lead
Jermaine Isaac was named the City of Wilmington’s new Superintendent of Parks and Recreation. “I look forward to the transition period and am confident that the park board chose the best candidate,” said parks superintendent Lori Williams, who would retire from the post in July. “Jermaine will continue to serve the community with extraordinary results.”
Blan eyes levy
A levy was mulled for a future ballot for Blanchester. But to get there they would need voters’ approval. During a specially scheduled meeting, Blanchester Village Council discussed the possibility of an earnings tax levy.
Council member Don Gephart spoke during the meeting about a separate meeting held with a committee featuring citizens and local business owners.
“First thing we did was (ask) why the village was broke. What were some of the causes of this?” said Gephardt.
He said that among the causes is Ohio Gov. John Kasich taking money from municipalities to balance the state budget, which led to the village not having enough money.
Eyeing grow site
There was a second application for a medicinal marijuana growing facility in Wilmington.
The proposal submitted by Ancient Roots LLC, headed by David Haley of Lebanon, Ohio, was for a smaller, Level 2-size operation. Haley was present for a City of Wilmington Planning Commission.
The site he was eyeing was about eight acres off U.S. 68 South within the city limits.
WHS grad dies
A 2017 Wilmington High School and Great Oaks graduate, Morgan Bloom, 17, of Wilmington, died in a single-vehicle accident near New Vienna.
Fair flying start
Attendance at the county fair was above average for the opening weekend, with the Sunday night crowd the biggest in several years, Clinton County Fairboard President Scot Gerber reported to the county commissioners.
Show must go on
Despite some heavy showers and storms, high humidity and confirmation of swine flu at the hog barn, the show mostly went on as scheduled at the 2017 Clinton County Fair.
The hog barn was shut down by state officials around lunchtime on a Thursday. However, the Junior Fair Market Hog Show, one of the biggest of the fair, continued for exhibitors and parents only, according to Clinton County Agricultural Society Board Member Greta Gray.
An Ohio Department of Agriculture veterinarian, Dr. Robert Carey, DVM, said mid-afternoon Thursday there was one confirmed case of swine flu at the hog barn on the fairgrounds. Carey said he planned to do more testing on hogs there Thursday afternoon, and said staff from The Ohio State University were coming down Thursday “to swab a bunch of them.”
The reason the part of the poultry barn where poultry are kept was also roped off Thursday to fair-goers, said Carey, is because officials wanted to exercise caution since the virus can get into poultry, mutate and become a more serious problem.
Eleven people who had known exposure to pigs at the Clinton County Fair tested positive for a flu virus, but none of the cases required hospitalization.
Blan super renewed
Blanchester Local Schools Superintendent Dean Lynch called his contract renewal “bittersweet.” With the school board voting 4-1 Monday evening in favor of the renewal, Lynch would continue as superintendent for the next year as well as from Aug. 1, 2018 to July 31, 2021. This came in spite of objections from local residents at the meeting.
“It’s nice to get my contract renewed, but it was somewhat bittersweet because of the nature of the meeting,” Lynch said.
Several local residents spoke during the meeting, voicing opposition to Lynch having his contract renewed.
WC eyes 2010
Wilmington College announced it was in the final stages of implementing its strategic plan, which is designed to better position itself in the dynamic higher education environment as the institution approaches its 150th anniversary in 2020.
A highlight of the plan, known as “Vision 2020 Sustainability,” features such new academic and co-curricular programs as an occupational therapy major and a master’s degree in athletic training.
These will build upon the recent completion of two major facilities and the success of signature programs in the sciences and sport sciences.
Also, among other intentions, the College will upgrade student housing, expand sports offerings and enhance recreational opportunities for students, while, in addition, streamlining areas of its opera- tional structure to better meet current educational demands.
Wilmington High School’s Mike Marine Center at Alumni Field was getting refurbished just in time for the 2017-18 athletic season. WHS football coach Scott Killen, assistant coach J.D. McIntosh as well as other coaches and players were working on the inside layout. New lockers for the varsity football team were among the improvements being made.
The facility is named for 1984 WHS graduate Mike Marine.
Wilmington Police responded to an alleged overdose at the 200 block of A Street on July 27. According to the report, a 47-year-old male was found on a bed with labored breathing. Four doses of Narcan were used to get a response from him. When asked where the needles were, the victim said he “snorted it.”
At 1:45 a.m. on July 29, police arrived at a residence on North South Street on the report of an overdose. According to the report, a 43-year-old male was found unconscious. Narcan was administered and was later transported to Clinton Memorial Hospital. No contraband was located at the scene.
Drug rates up
Clinton County had an unintentional drug overdose death rate higher than four surrounding counties and less than two surrounding counties in 2011 through 2016, according to a report released by the Ohio Department of Health.
Based on the report — per 100,000 population — Clinton County (which has just over 40,000 residents) had 34.0 per 100,000.
Look, in the sky
Students were let out of class with their protective glasses and people all around Clinton County stepped outside to see the historic total solar eclipse.