This is Part 3 of the News Journal’s 4-part annual Year in Review of selected local stories and photos.
Show must go on
WILMINGTON — “An American tradition that’s continued for 244 years won’t be dampened by the pandemic — at least locally — as the City of Wilmington’s annual Independence Day fireworks show will blast off at 10 p.m. July 4.
“A few moves were made to continue the fireworks locally, including a different staging area — the Clinton County Fairgrounds — as the Clinton County Agricultural Society and President Scot Gerber worked with the city and Mayor John Stanforth’s office to get it done.”
First local COVID-19 death
”The Clinton County Health District announced Friday morning, July 10 the first death of a Clinton County resident who tested positive for COVID-19. This patient was a male in his 80s with underlying health conditions.”
Second death reported
“A second coronavirus-related fatality has been reported in Clinton County — a woman in her 30s with underlying health conditions, the Clinton County Health District announced July 15.
Hybrid schedule for schools
WILMINGTON — “Wilmington City Schools will operate under a hybrid schedule through at least Labor Day. With the hybrid schedule, students will attend school physically two days per week and learn remotely at home the other three days.
“The Wilmington school board met Thursday and approved a ‘Reset and Restart School Plan’ for the approaching academic year. Students will be required to wear face coverings while riding a school bus, and face masks will be highly recommended for students elsewhere when six feet of social distancing is not practical.”
2 more deaths reported
“Local officials confirmed Tuesday evening, July 21, that Clinton County has had two more coronavirus-related fatalities — a total of four fatalities reported in the last 11 days.
“Officials said the two most recent deaths were of a man in his 70s and of a man in his 80s, each with underlying health conditions.”
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WILMINGTON — “An SUV crashed into the entrance of the CVS store downtown and minutes later that was followed by the driver leading a police foot chase up North Walnut Street just after 4 p.m. Wednesday. Four people, including the driver, were taken to Clinton Memorial Hospital with reported injuries.
“The most seriously injured was a female who was struck by the vehicle inside the foyer, said Wilmington Police Sgt. Ron Fithen at the scene. She had suffered a ‘pretty visible serious injury’, he said. Two small children also are reported injured, one of whom had a visible laceration, the sergeant said. Two other individuals also received injuries. The SUV driver was eventually indicted on charges.
WILMINGTON — “Homelessness is on the minds of local residents as well as officials. At Thursday’s Wilmington Council Meeting, Councilmember Nick Eveland discussed issues that were brought up at a City Services Committee meeting on July 30. Eveland, the committee’s chair, told council they took away four issues: Homelessness, vagrancy, a rise in drug abuse, and mental illness.
“’I have learned more about homelessness in the last few months than I ever thought I would,’ said Mayor John Stanforth, who had spoken to many homeless people. ‘We’re not the only community suffering through this. And when I say suffer through this, I’m talking about the homeless people. Those are the ones who are suffering.’”
The College turns 150
WILMINGTON — “It was exactly 150 years ago today, on Aug. 11, 1870, when a group of local Quakers purchased an unfinished building and plot of land on the eastern edge of town that would become Wilmington College.”
School board member dies
“Local farmer and longtime Wilmington City Schools Board of Education member Stephen ‘Steve’ Murphy died unexpectedly on Friday while vacationing in Tennessee. Murphy, 68, who presently was serving as the board president, had been a school board member since 2002. He was an owner-operator of Murphy Farms, a 3,500-acre grain and livestock farm.”
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Murphy to go dark
WILMINGTON — “There will be no performances at the Murphy Theatre for the rest of 2020. The theatre’s executive leadership and board of directors regretfully announced the cancellation of all remaining performances through Dec. 31, including: the Murphy Theatre’s Veterans Tribute, Dancing with the Stars, the Annual Christmas Show, FireFall, Mike Albert and the Big E Band, The Drowsy Lads, Rockstar, and the annual Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
2nd death in 2 days
“The death of a second Clinton Countian with COVID-19 within two days — the fourth in eight days — has been reported. The victim is a man in his 60s with no known underlying health conditions, according to the Clinton County Health District (CCHD) Thursday.
“A total of 13 local deaths have now been reported, although officials think that number will be reclassified to 12 as, for the second time, it’s expected the state will re-classify a victim as being a full-time resident of another county.”
Prosecutor Moyer dies
WILMINGTON — “Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney Richard ‘Rick’ W. Moyer passed away over the weekend at the age of 70.
“Local attorney and former Clinton County Prosecutor William ‘Bill’ Peelle worked with Moyer in the prosecutor’s office. ‘Rick was a brilliant and compassionate prosecutor. He respected all the dedicated law enforcement officers who serve our community every day’,” Peelle said. Andrew McCoy was later named prosecutor.
Offenses on the offensive
ADAMS TWP. — “The Clinton-Massie Falcons won a football shootout, 86-54 as the Massie ground game won out over the Western Brown air attack in a wild SBAAC American Division battle Friday at Kibler Stadium.
The 86 points is a school record for a single game.
Butler Veterans Hall of Famer
“Paul G. Butler is the voice and the fountain pen for Clinton County veterans organizations and related projects, and this Friday he will be inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame for his exceptional postmilitary advocacy and volunteerism for the veteran community.
“Inductees into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame served their country honorably and continue to serve their communities, state and nation after discharge through volunteerism, advocacy, professional distinction, public service and philanthropy.”
Attendance at fair up
WILMINGTON — “Due to COVID-19, Clinton County had one of the few full fairs this summer in Ohio, and attendance was better than last year even with the virus concerns. Clinton County Agricultural Society President Scot Gerber met with county commissioners Monday, and also spoke with the News Journal afterward.
“Overall, attendance for the week was probably in the range of 23,000 to 25,000, he told commissioners, with more than 16,000 paid gate admissions.
FFA comes to CMHS
ADAMS TWP. — “The story of Future Farmers of America (FFA) now has its newest local chapter — at Clinton-Massie High School. Allie Steiner, the school’s agriculture teacher, will serve as FFA advisor.”