A last look back locally at ‘21: October to December


Final quarter a banner one, especially for CM

Sabina native Mike Carey was elected to U.S. Congress.

Sabina native Mike Carey was elected to U.S. Congress.


A new home-written, homeproduced and home-performed event hit a home run over the weekend as “Home for the Holidays” made its debut at the Murphy Theatre.


WC’s Simon Heys, a WHS grad, ran his way to All-American cross country honors.


Wilmington’s Lilly Middleton advanced to the state golf tournament.


HomeTown HoliDazzle including the illuminated parade lit up downtown Wilmington.


A first-ever event was deemed a great success at the first-ever Talking Tombstones fundraiser at Sugar Grove Cemetery, held by the Clinton County History Center on a beautiful late October day.


The new Wilmington College gateway takes another step nearer to completion as workers with One Stop Sign in Goshen mount the lettering and the college seal Tuesday afternoon at the gateway at College Street where East Main Street and Fife Avenue meet. The Latin phrase on the seal translates to “Not by a leap but by many steps.”


Many volunteers — from Clinton County high school students to CMH and Boyd Cancer Center staff and more — team up at Brake for Breakfast early on a Thursday morning.


Clinton-Massie’s Kody Zantene shows the state championship trophy to the Falcons’ faithful following Massie’s 29-28 win over Youngstown Ursuline in the Div. IV state football championship game in Canton.


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

OCTOBER

COVID trends

After reported new cases of COVID-19 in Clinton County spiked in August and September with numbers not seen since last winter, new cases are trending back down the last few weeks — especially in the past week.

The State of Ohio also reports that, since the pandemic began, Clinton County has had a total of 5,584 cases with 222 hospitalizations and 87 deaths. Ohio has reported a cumulative total of 1,439,490 cases of COVID-19, with 74,283 hospitalizations (including 9,588 ICU admissions) and 22,490 deaths statewide.

About 53 percent of COVID victims are women and 46 percent men (with gender not reported in less than 1 percent of cases). The median age is 39, the state reports, with an age range of under age 1 to 111.

Gateway’s up

WILMINGTON — Workers tidy up the landscaping as work continues on the new gateway at Wilmington College. The gateway features seven brick pillars connected by wrought iron fencing — four on the Main Street side and three on the Fife Avenue section of it.

Lilly excels

CINCINNATI — A knee-knocking par-saving putt on No. 11 helped propel Wilmington’s Lilly Middleton to the OHSAA girls state golf tournament. Middleton shot a 74 and was the low individual during play Tuesday in the Division I Southwest District tournament.

Burns’ heights

MASON — Claire Burns’ illustrious tennis career at Wilmington High School ended at the Division I Southwest District tennis tournament Thursday afternoon at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Burns has 110 wins for her career, most in WHS and Clinton County tennis history.

Solar power

WILMINGTON — At a formal hearing before the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB), public comments were split for and against a proposed utility scale solar project in Clinton County, which would be the first of its size here.

After speakers were asked to swear or affirm the truth of what they were about to say, they presented their testimony at the 3-hour-and-16 minute local public hearing held in Expo Hall on the Clinton County Fairgrounds.

11th in state

COLUMBUS — With a second day 3-over par round, Wilmington’s Lilly Middleton finished 11th in the OHSAA Division I Girls Golf Championship tournament. Playing the Gray Course at Ohio State University, Middleton finished with a 36-hole total of 148. Middleton birdied the 12th hole in both rounds.

She is the first Wilmington High School golfer to play in the girls state tournament since Gabby Wedding in 2000.

— — —

NOVEMBER

Found guilty

WILMINGTON — A local man who was at the Jan. 6 Capitol rampage has pleaded guilty to a federal charge. On Friday, Justin Stoll, 41 of Wilmington, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio to “transmission in interstate commerce of a threat to injure” to an individual who believed he should be prosecuted for his role in the Capitol riot in Washington, D.C.

Tax rejected

Wilmington City Schools district voters rejected a renewal of an existing 1 percent income tax, with rounded results showing 52.4 percent opposed to 47.7 percent in favor.

But across Clinton County, voters supported three proposed tax increases on Tuesday’s ballots, while also continuing to back current tax issues by renewing them.

Carey winner

COLUMBUS — Sabina native and Republican Mike Carey bested a two-term state lawmaker to win an open U.S. House seat in south-central Ohio Tuesday.

Carey, 50, defeated Democratic state Rep. Allison Russo, a public health policy consultant, in the 15th Congressional District, after the most competitive race there in years. Because the seat is vacant, Carey will take office immediately.

Shooter guilty

WILMINGTON — A man accused of shooting a state wildlife agent has been found guilty of all charges.

After three hours of deliberation Wednesday night, a jury found Brian Liming, 44, of Jamestown, guilty on charges of assault (felony 4), tampering with evidence (felony 3), hunting without a deer permit and hunting without a license in the December 2020 shooting of Kevin Behr, an officer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources-Wildlife Division. (In December, Liming was sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison. )

Hall-of-Famers

WILMINGTON — The Wilmington Hall of Fame Committee has selected three new inductees to the Wilmington High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Quinten Rollins, Donna Seeger and Monica Howard will be inducted on Feb. 5, 2022 prior to the varsity boys basketball game with Dayton Stebbins.

CM survives

SHARONVILLE — McNicholas went for the win rather than the tie and overtime and Clinton-Massie was up to the challenge. The Falcons held on to defeat the Rockets 28-27 Friday night in the Region 16 championship game at Princeton.

HoliDazzling

WILMINGTON — A huge crowd came out on a beautiful late afternoon/early evening in Wilmington as HomeTown HoliDazzle returned Saturday, presented by Main Street Wilmington.

Heys shines

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Simon Heys became the first Wilmington College cross country runner to earn All-America honors as the sophomore placed fifth Saturday at the NCAA Division III Men’s Cross Country Championship at Tom Sawyer State Park.

— — —

DECEMBER

Falcons fly

CANTON, Ohio — With a huge mountain to climb, these 2021 Clinton-Massie Falcons couldn’t be kept down.

The team fought back and wore down the competition, as well as a 21-point deficit, to score a touchdown and a daring two-point conversion Friday in the final minute for a 29-28 win — and the 2021 Ohio Division IV Championship at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. “One of the greatest comeback victories I’ve ever been part of,” Massie head coach Dan McSurley said.

The Falcons trailed 28-7 in the third quarter but scored 22 unanswered points to win it.

Taking stage

WILMINGTON — The Murphy Theatre’s new resident theatre group, Murphy Stage Company, announces auditions for their April production of Neil Simon’s comic fable, “FOOLS”, directed by Steve Burnette. For more info visit themurphytheatre.org.

Sabina native Mike Carey was elected to U.S. Congress.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_carey_c.jpgSabina native Mike Carey was elected to U.S. Congress.

A new home-written, homeproduced and home-performed event hit a home run over the weekend as “Home for the Holidays” made its debut at the Murphy Theatre.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_DSC_0080-1.jpgA new home-written, homeproduced and home-performed event hit a home run over the weekend as “Home for the Holidays” made its debut at the Murphy Theatre.

WC’s Simon Heys, a WHS grad, ran his way to All-American cross country honors.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_CC_simonshouldersPR.jpgWC’s Simon Heys, a WHS grad, ran his way to All-American cross country honors.

Wilmington’s Lilly Middleton advanced to the state golf tournament.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_LILLYDay2.jpgWilmington’s Lilly Middleton advanced to the state golf tournament.

HomeTown HoliDazzle including the illuminated parade lit up downtown Wilmington.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_DSC_0866.jpgHomeTown HoliDazzle including the illuminated parade lit up downtown Wilmington.

A first-ever event was deemed a great success at the first-ever Talking Tombstones fundraiser at Sugar Grove Cemetery, held by the Clinton County History Center on a beautiful late October day.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_DSC_0171.jpgA first-ever event was deemed a great success at the first-ever Talking Tombstones fundraiser at Sugar Grove Cemetery, held by the Clinton County History Center on a beautiful late October day.

The new Wilmington College gateway takes another step nearer to completion as workers with One Stop Sign in Goshen mount the lettering and the college seal Tuesday afternoon at the gateway at College Street where East Main Street and Fife Avenue meet. The Latin phrase on the seal translates to “Not by a leap but by many steps.”
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_DSC_0241.jpgThe new Wilmington College gateway takes another step nearer to completion as workers with One Stop Sign in Goshen mount the lettering and the college seal Tuesday afternoon at the gateway at College Street where East Main Street and Fife Avenue meet. The Latin phrase on the seal translates to “Not by a leap but by many steps.”

Many volunteers — from Clinton County high school students to CMH and Boyd Cancer Center staff and more — team up at Brake for Breakfast early on a Thursday morning.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_DSC_0184.jpgMany volunteers — from Clinton County high school students to CMH and Boyd Cancer Center staff and more — team up at Brake for Breakfast early on a Thursday morning.

Clinton-Massie’s Kody Zantene shows the state championship trophy to the Falcons’ faithful following Massie’s 29-28 win over Youngstown Ursuline in the Div. IV state football championship game in Canton.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/12/web1_FB_KodyTrophy1203me-2.jpgClinton-Massie’s Kody Zantene shows the state championship trophy to the Falcons’ faithful following Massie’s 29-28 win over Youngstown Ursuline in the Div. IV state football championship game in Canton.
Final quarter a banner one, especially for CM