Part 2 of 4: These are some selected top local stories as reported by the News Journal from April to June, 2021:
WILMINGTON — Preparations are complete and the Wilmington Air Park, Kroger Health staff and volunteers are all set to welcome Ohioans and administer COVID-19 vaccine to thousands of people over the next few weeks.
The large-scale vaccination site at 1199 Airborne Road opens its doors on Thursday, April 1 offering the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine at no cost — by appointment only. Currently, appointments at the site are booked through Saturday of next week with people coming from as far as Columbus, Kym Parks, ATSG Marketing Manager, told the News Journal Wednesday afternoon.
WILMINGTON — Gov. Mike DeWine toured the Ohio Mass Vaccination Site at the Wilmington Air Park and talked with staff, volunteers, and people receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations Saturday morning.
“I felt that this would be a great site because of its location not far from the interstate, close to Dayton, not far from Columbus, close to Cincinnati and everything in-between,” DeWine told local officials and media afterward. “As I walked around it was very interesting — we had people from Wilmington, people from the Cincinnati area, from West Chester, and we had people from Columbus, so this is working out very well.”
Kroger Health administered about 2,500 vaccinations over a three-day period at the site.
WILMINGTON — A three-story apartment building on Prairie Avenue will be demolished, and replaced with six one-story buildings in which most of the residential units will be for seniors.
This Episcopal Retirement Services Affordable Living LLC development, to be named Prairie Gardens, is anticipated to start later this year and has an end-of-2022 time frame to complete construction.
WILMINGTON — Work continues at the under-construction five-story TownePlace Suites by Marriott on Holiday Drive in Wilmington. The hotel will have 94 guest rooms plus an indoor pool, lounge and meeting spaces.
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WILMINGTON — Monte R. Anderson, Ph.D., of Wilmington will be inducted Aug. 6 into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame. Anderson has spent more than 35 years planting seeds, as an educator.
As chair/coordinator for the Agriculture Department at Wilmington College, Anderson is responsible for more than 275 agriculture students. His focused teaching responsibility is in agricultural education, horticulture and agronomy.
WILMINGTON — President Trevor Bates told the Class of 2021 to remember that “all things are possible from this day forward” when Wilmington College held its 145th annual Commencement ceremonies May 8. Yes, that’s ceremonies with an “s” as, for the first time in the institution’s 150-year history, a pandemic forced splitting the year’s culminating event between commencements honoring Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts graduates.
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WILMINGTON — The orange barrels are rolled out, and along, Rombach Avenue, with lane closings set to begin. Rombach Avenue Improvements Project begins at the intersection of Fife Avenue and Rombach Avenue and terminates at the eastern corporation limit at Starbuck Road.
Phase 1 of the project includes water main construction, minor storm sewer repairs, construction of a shareduse path, pavement repair, improvements to the turn radius at Lowe’s Drive, traffic turnaround construction at the intersection of Progress Way, and signal work. Now-hiring signs are in abundance along and near Rombach Avenue in Wilmington — as in much of the nation — as businesses large and small seek to fill open jobs.
Our ag roots
WILMINGTON — The celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Henry Sculpture at Point Park was held Sunday afternoon, June 13.
The public art, designed by local sculptor Isaac Dell, is a tribute to our community’s agricultural roots, as well as honoring the memory of Phoebe and Robert Henry.
The artwork was commissioned by Dorothy and Bruce Henry, who donated it to the City of Wilmington.
WILMINGTON — “The clean up begins!” aptly began Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth’s Facebook post early Monday. “The M&R (Streets) Department is beginning to remove tree and brush debris. Stanforth also pointed out that “City of Wilmington residents may drop off storm debris at no cost to the resident to the Wilmington Landfill.
Thousands of Clinton Countians lost power for at least a few hours Friday night into Saturday, and some remained without power into Sunday and a few even into Monday.
Winds gusted up to 70 miles per hour while well over 3 inches of rain fell during the storms and rain that began Friday night into Saturday morning in Clinton County.
Meteorologist James Gibson of the National Weather Service in Wilmington told the News Journal they recorded up to 3.53 inches of rain with other parts of the county recording around 2.9 inches and 2.66 inches at the Wilmington Air Park.
WILMINGTON — Upgrades are coming to the city’s wastewater treatment facilities. At a special meeting on Tuesday, the Wilmington City Council approved a resolution allowing Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker to select a progressive design-build team to design and construct new wastewater treatment facilities.
Designs for the plant and establishing the criteria for it with an engineer began in February. Public Works Director Rick Schaffer expects construction of the new plant will occur in 2022 and 2023, with the hopes of it being open in January 2024. The plan is to make general updates to the facilities.
WILMINGTON — After pandemic restrictions caused the Murphy Theatre to cancel programs and lay-off staff in March 2020, work continued behind the scenes at the historic theatre to renovate and expand the theater’s concessions area.
Funded by a generous historic preservation grant from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, the construction project began just before a state mandate disallowing large gatherings forced the theatre to cancel live performances indefinitely.
The project was completed March 2021 and the Murphy Board of Trustees named the new concessions area Charlie’s Cast & Crew. “Charlie” is for Charles Murphy, former owner of the Chicago Cubs, who built the Murphy Theatre for his hometown of Wilmington.