The year that was: Looking back locally at 2021


Local stories January-March

News Journal



Many area residents including first responders celebrated the life of ODNR officer Jason Lagore.

Many area residents including first responders celebrated the life of ODNR officer Jason Lagore.


Clinton County natives Dan and Marjorie Foland, who were married in 1951, both passed away due to COVID-19 complications on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 within hours of each other.


Clinton County natives Dan and Marjorie Foland, who were married in 1951, both passed away due to COVID-19 complications on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 within hours of each other.


The first baby born at CMH in 2021 will learn quite a story about events leading up to his birth.


Blanchester’s Brayden Sipple presents the game ball to his mother after he became the county’s all-time leading scorer.


Part 1 of 4: These are some selected top local stories as reported by the News Journal from January to March, 2021:

JANUARY

Birthday, boy!

CMH rang in 2021 with the year’s first bundle of joy. Weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces and measuring 19.75 inches, Liam was born to Jaqueline and Donald on Sunday, Jan. 3 at 2:57 p.m.

Donald recently discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps and he and Jaqueline were traveling from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to their new home in Illinois when Jaqueline’s water broke on I-71.

After some Googling, they ended up finding CMH, the closest hospital on their road trip home.

Lynch retires

Blanchester Local Schools Superintendent Dean D. Lynch is retiring from public education effective “end of my contractual duties, July 31, 2021.”

The Blanchester graduate served his alma mater for 17 of his 33-year career as a teacher, coach and administrator.

Benz at 120

A Mercedes-Benz sedan reported stolen from Dayton reached speeds of 120 mph, and 70 mph on Rombach Avenue, finally coming to a stop in Wilmington late Wednesday afternoon in the 700 block of South South Street near Midway and Randolph streets. The driver, age 22 of Dayton, faces multiple charges, and four teenage passengers are in custody.

At least two people in the car, after the car was stopped, fled on foot down Midway before being apprehended. Officers continued to process the scene, including the Mercedes-Benz. A WPD cruiser and several other vehicles were struck, but no injuries were reported. The driver faces multiple charges; the juveniles were in custody awaiting their parents.

‘Be a hero’

It’s time to “Step up and be a vaccine hero” for your family, friends, yourself — “and all of Clinton County.” Those were the words of Dr. Brian Santin at Thursday’s countywide virtual press conference about the roll-out of local COVID-19 vaccinations in Clinton County.

Folands pass

Dan Boyland Foland, 90, and his wife Marjorie (Haidet) Foland, 90, both passed away due to COVID-19 complications on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 within hours of each other at their home at Ohio Living Quaker Heights Care Community in Waynesville.

Dan and Marjorie were married on Feb. 2, 1951 at the First Baptist Church in Wilmington, where they were members.

Rioter charged

A Wilmington man has been charged federally with making interstate threats and threatening a witness. The crimes arise from the man’s alleged communications online related to his participation in the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Justin Stoll, 40, was arrested Friday morning by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and appeared in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, at which time his case was unsealed.

Sipple’s super

Another record-breaking performance from Blanchester senior Brayden Sipple helped the Wildcats defeat Felicity 101-80 Tuesday night at BHS.

Sipple broke his own school record for most points in a game with 49. His previous record was 47 against Williamsburg on Dec. 6, 2019.

First doses

About 20 Clinton County residents 80 and older were at the Clinton County Health Department on South Nelson Avenue in Wilmington Thursday as part of the 9 a.m. group to receive a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. More groups of the same size and age range were scheduled to arrive at the health department at separate times throughout the day.

— — —

FEBRUARY

Sipple-like

A late-season ankle injury and a global pandemic could only delay the inevitable so long. Saturday was finally the day for Brayden Sipple. Playing his father’s alma mater, Williamsburg, in front of family and friends and what community members were allowed into Williamsburg High School, Sipple etched his name in Clinton County basketball history in the most Sipple-like way possible.

The Blanchester senior made two free throws with 4:39 left in the third quarter Saturday afternoon which first tied, and then surpassed Jarron Cumberland’s Clinton County record 2,408 career points.

The game was paused so BHS athletic director Brad Ballinger could present Sipple with a plaque commemorating the milestone. He took the plaque to his dad, Rob, while his mom, Jennifer, got the game ball.

Coach Ramseyer

Bill Ramseyer may have been on track to become a Division I college football head coach. A small-town kind of family man, Ramseyer opted for the dimmer lights of Division III football and became a legend on and off the field because of it. Ramseyer, the long- time football coach and father figure to players and students alike at Wilmington College, passed away Thursday afternoon.

“I don’t know what my life would be like if Coach hadn’t recruited me,” said Marque Jones Sr. “Coach and I have always had a great relationship.”

Ramseyer came to Wilmington College in 1972. He was 114-58-4 in 18 seasons at WC and never had a losing record in any single season.

Dunlap chosen

A familiar face with wide- ranging experience in the field of education has been chosen by the Blanchester Local Schools Board of Education to lead the district as its next superintendent.

Randy Dunlap was unanimously approved during Tuesday’s special Blanchester School Board meeting. He is currently the Superintendent of Crestview Local Schools — in Richland County near Ashland in Northeast Ohio — a position he’s held since 2014.

Between 1997 and 2014 Dunlap served the Clinton-Massie district in roles including high school principal, middle school/high school principal, assistant principal and athletic director/assistant principal; and he was a mathematics teacher at Blanchester High School from 1989 to 1998, serving as athletic director in 1996-97.

Officer Lagore

A 16-year-old girl who fell through the ice at Rocky Fork Lake is dead, and an Ohio Department of Natural Resources officer who responded suffered a fatal medical event.

At approximately 10:47 p.m., the divers located a point of interest on their sonar equipment and divers entered the 36-degree water at 10:53 p.m. The girl’s body was removed from the water at 11 p.m.

During the initial phases of this rescue, an officer with Ohio Division of Natural Resources suffered a medical emergency at the scene. It is with heavy hearts that we report that he also was unable to be resuscitated, Paint Creek Joint EMS & Fire reported.

Jason Lagore, was a 15-year veteran of the ODNR, the agency stated. He was based at Caesar Creek Lake State Park in Warren County and resided in Clinton County.

— — —

MARCH

Saying goodbye

Services for Ohio Department of Natural Resources Officer Jason Lagore were held Wednesday morning at Bible Baptist Church prior to a procession to Miami Cemetery in Corwin, Warren County, where he was to be laid to rest with full law enforcement honors.

Flying low

Law enforcement, utility crews and heavy equipment movers were out in force Monday morning as a Boeing 767 fuselage began its 5 mph journey from Wilmington to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for training purposes.

Ball & Sons Movers is hauling the plane on its 3-day trip accompanied by Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers as well as crews in charge of raising and taking down utility lines for the plane to pass under.

Mass vaxx

The Wilmington Air Park will host a mass COVID-19 vaccination site, one of 15 in Ohio announced Friday afternoon by Gov. Mike DeWine.

Few details are known at this point, according to ATSG Marketing Manager Kym Parks.

Many area residents including first responders celebrated the life of ODNR officer Jason Lagore.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_DSC_0034-1.jpgMany area residents including first responders celebrated the life of ODNR officer Jason Lagore.

Clinton County natives Dan and Marjorie Foland, who were married in 1951, both passed away due to COVID-19 complications on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 within hours of each other.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_wedding_day.jpgClinton County natives Dan and Marjorie Foland, who were married in 1951, both passed away due to COVID-19 complications on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 within hours of each other.

Clinton County natives Dan and Marjorie Foland, who were married in 1951, both passed away due to COVID-19 complications on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 within hours of each other.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_recent_pic.jpgClinton County natives Dan and Marjorie Foland, who were married in 1951, both passed away due to COVID-19 complications on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 within hours of each other.

The first baby born at CMH in 2021 will learn quite a story about events leading up to his birth.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_FirstBabyLiam.jpgThe first baby born at CMH in 2021 will learn quite a story about events leading up to his birth.

Blanchester’s Brayden Sipple presents the game ball to his mother after he became the county’s all-time leading scorer.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_BBK_Brayden4Sipple.jpgBlanchester’s Brayden Sipple presents the game ball to his mother after he became the county’s all-time leading scorer.
Local stories January-March

News Journal