Editor’s Note: This is the final of a 4-part series looking back at just a few of the top local stories from 2019 as they appeared in the pages of the News Journal.
Five for three seats
Five candidates running for three Wilmington City Council At-Large seats in the Nov. 5 election were profiled — Michael Allbright, Nick Eveland, Bill Liermann, Kelsey Swindler and Tyler Williams.
A 3-mill, 30-year tax levy has the aim to create, maintain and improve parks and wellness projects around Clinton County, including a new 50,000 square-foot recreation and wellness facility. If approved, the levy will generate just short of $3 million per year, according to the Clinton County Auditor’s Office.
Levy supporters describe it as an investment in the community and in residents’ health and well-being. Supporters also say the very purpose of the levy is to increase access for all Clinton Countians to participate in parks and rec activities.
Brian Mudd passes
WILMINGTON — The Clinton-Massie community and many others are mourning the passing of teacher and coach Brian Mudd, who died Wednesday evening at the age of 48.
Mudd had learned in January 2018 he had a large mass on his brain.
After brain surgery came radiation, chemo, the discovery of a second tumor, and speeches he gave to thousands of students in the region as he made it a point to keep influencing others, especially those with struggles of their own. To that end, he also wrote an 84-page book “When Your Goliath Stands Up” containing short, topical pieces. Thousands of copies reportedly had been sold.
A few weeks later, Clinton-Massie would name its basketball court in his honor.
Woods to state
COLUMBUS — As the final threesome of the day teed off at the OHSAA’s 12th annual Girls Division II Golf State Tournament Friday afternoon, the starter at the No. 1 tee said, “Good luck, girls.”
Then he stopped and had to be reminded only two of the three had hit their drives. He forgot Gabby Woods.
She won’t be forgotten again. The Clinton-Massie senior matched the 18-hole Division I and II state records with a 67 Friday on the Gray Course at Ohio State University and had the lead after 18 holes.
She ended tied for fourth in the state.
Cooper Snyder passes
WILMINGTON — A former state lawmaker and current Wilmington resident is being mourned across Ohio.
H. Cooper Snyder, former longtime state senator from the 14th District — a resident of Ohio Living Cape May as well as a former longtime resident of Blanchester as well as Hillsboro — died Monday, Oct. 14.
Saying ‘no’ to medians
WILMINGTON — The proposed cement medians get a “no” vote from concerned business owners. While many of the owners of Rombach Avenue businesses voiced their support about aspects of the 2020 project at Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting, there was one thing they all spoke out against — the center cement medians.
Brian Smith of Smith-Feike-Minton Inc. on Rombach Avenue thanked council for allowing them to speak and express their concerns with the Rombach Avenue project. Smith reiterated a previously made criticism, in that there were only 12 non-intersection accidents out of the accidents reported in a recent study, so the center medians that would prevent left turns would be pointless.
“We’re living in a world in dealing with customers who are concerned with convenience,” said Smith.
Cravens named chief
WILMINGTON — Wilmington Police Sgt. Ron Cravens has been appointed by Mayor John Stanforth to become the city’s new chief of police, the mayor announced.
“Sergeant Cravens has performed in an exemplary manner his entire career, but particularly when I asked him this January to fill the chief’s job duties in the interim,” said Stanforth. “Throughout his career he has assembled the experience, training and education, and knowledge of the agency, the community, and our inter-agency partners to lead the department into the future. His promotion to chief is the result of years of discipline, hard work, and integrity.”
Rec levy soundly defeated
Voters soundly rejected a levy to fund a countywide joint recreation district, with its stated aim of creating and improving parks and wellness projects around Clinton County, including a new recreation and wellness facility.
The vote was 6,404 against (74.1 percent) and 2,237 in favor (25.9 percent).
Candidates earn wins
Kelsey Swindler, Nick Eveland and Bill Liermann won election to the three Wilmington City Council At-Large seats in unofficial results from Tuesday’s election, defeating Michael Allbright and Tyler Williams.
For Wilmington council representative from 2nd Ward, Michael Snarr defeated Loren Stuckert.
For two seats on Blanchester Village Council, Don Gephart and Harry Brumbaugh were elected.
For the Blanchester BPA Board of Trustees, Robert Haines and Dennis Blocker were elected.
John Carman was re-elected Blanchester’s mayor.
Jim Mongold will be the next mayor of Sabina, defeating two other candidates.
A large national chain of pharmacies is upsetting some residents in and around Clinton County — even though that chain has no stores in Clinton County. Walgreens recently purchased West End Pharmacy in Wilmington and Main Street Pharmacy in Blanchester, then closed them. Walgreens also recently purchased several other small pharmacies in Ohio and then shuttered those, including Lukas Pharmacy in nearby Lynchburg.
Historic WC win
WESTERVILLE — Kevin Barrett’s two-point conversion pass to Nikita Wynn Jr. with seconds to play Saturday lifted Wilmington College to a 28-27 win over Otterbein in Ohio Athletic Conference on the OU campus.
The win puts Wilmington’s record at 3-7 on the season and 3-6 in OAC play. Both mark program bests in the last decade.
Clinton-Massie’s Brendan Lamb and Braxton Green were named to the Division IV second team All-Ohio football squad. The Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association tabbed Green and Lamb as two of the five Clinton County football players for All-Ohio honors.
In addition to Lamb and Green, Tate Olberding was named to the third team while Davis Wulf was given honorable mention.
Wilmington High School senior Christopher Custis was named Division III first-team All-Ohio.
Custis, a 6-4, senior, had 43 tackles and 11 sacks for Wilmington this season on the defensive line.
Rory Bell, also a senior at WHS, was given special mention as a punter.
In Division V, Blanchester’s Colt Conover was given honorable mention.
WAHS to close doors
LIBERTY TWP. — The Wilmington Area Humane Society (WAHS) will no longer be taking in pets and housing animals at the shelter beginning in January, according to a letter emailed to volunteers Monday.
WAHS — an all-volunteer non-profit 501(c)3 no-kill animal shelter — just opened its current facility at 5312 N. U.S. 68 in fall 2016, after a donation for its construction from the Roberts Family of R+L Carriers, and fundraising and donations which furnished the building and provided fencing.
Records for Sipple
BLANCHESTER — It only took Blanchester’s Brayden Sipple 19 minutes and 15 seconds into the 2019-2020 boys basketball season to make history.
It likely won’t be the last milestone for the Wildcat junior. Sipple hit two free throws with 4:45 left in the third quarter Wednesday night of an 85-56 rout of Lockland to give him the all-time Blanchester boys basketball career scoring record.
His crossing of the 27-point threshold was the only drama on the night. After scoring 19 before halftime, his passing of first Bob Jacoby, then Todd Lane was inevitable.
Accused robber charged
WILMINGTON — A local man has been arrested and charged with the aggravated robbery that occurred Monday night at Hidden Carryout on West Main Street in which a 63-year-old clerk was struck in the head several times and knocked unconscious, police said.
Police responded to the business around 9 p.m. Monday in reference to a panic alarm as the suspect allegedly entered the business, assaulted the clerk and took an undisclosed amount of money.
Bowling for 300
WILMINGTON — Elijah Martini had been in a slump. As bowlers are wont to do, he changed his bowling ball.
Slump over. In a big way.
Martini ended a three-game skid of sub-200 games with his fourth game of 226 or better Wednesday night.
The capper was a perfect 300 game, posting 12 consecutive strikes at Royal Z Lanes for the first competition 300 in WHS bowling history.
Fathom goes under
WILMINGTON — The City of Wilmington is temporarily postponing the meter change-out program after the city’s water department was notified by
Fathom — the company in charge of the program — stated that they are ceasing business operations nationwide, the city announced.
Administration is working through what its legal rights and guarantees are while reviewing the financial impacts this change creates.