Wilmington honors new police chief; names IGS Energy new provider


By John Hamilton - [email protected]



Kelly Fithen pins her husband Ron’s newest badge after he was sworn in as Wilmington’s new police chief.

Kelly Fithen pins her husband Ron’s newest badge after he was sworn in as Wilmington’s new police chief.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Matthew Patrick, left, is sworn in by Mayor John Stanforth as Wilmington’s newest police officer.


John Hamilton | News Journal

Ron Fithen, left, shakes hands with Mayor John Stanforth and gets a round of applause, including from Councilmember Matt Purkey, as he’s sworn in as chief of the Wilmington Police Department.


John Hamilton | News Journal

WILMINGTON — The city has found a new natural gas provider.

At Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting, members approved a resolution naming Interstate Gas Supply, Inc. (IGS Energy) as the city’s new provider. This comes after the previous provider — Volunteer Energy Services, Inc. — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March.

The two-year contract will begin in October, with mailers being sent in August notifying local residents.

City Administrator Greg Muenchen told council it’s been difficult to find a provider and he is aware that locals are anxious.

“Winter is coming and they’re going to want a secure fixed rate for that period of time,” said Muenchen. “I don’t want to lock us in because we’re locking us in for a series of months … and I don’t want to lock us in on a high rate. So, we’ve been trying to find a price that’s reasonable.”

Art Deininger of Buckeye Energy Brokers, Inc., with whom the city consulted, told council that IGS is willing to do a two-year offer starting as a variable rate with an option to fix the rate.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never seen that option,” said Deininger. “This is the hybrid that’s giving us the best of both worlds. We don’t have to take the fixed option, it’s just offered to us. It’s very unique.”

While this offer is there for the city, Deininger told the News Journal that no official rate has been determined.

“We’re relying on the market,” he said. “Whenever we see a pullback, we’ll try to execute it with that.”

They hope to have a rate by the time the August letter is mailed. He also added the first billing will be sent out in November.

Fithen sworn in as WPD chief

• Ron Fithen was sworn in as the new Chief of Police Thursday evening.

Fithen has been with the Wilmington Police Department since April 1992. He became a sergeant in June 2000.

He has served in multiple roles, including as its first K-9 officer, special response team commander, and a crisis and hostage negotiator.

Matthew Patrick was also sworn in Thursday as the newest Wilmington police officer.

• The city accepted a $500 donation from Joseph Hardin. The donation was made “in support of the city’s continued efforts to clean-up and revitalize neighborhoods through its Code Enforcement Department.”

Kelly Fithen pins her husband Ron’s newest badge after he was sworn in as Wilmington’s new police chief.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/07/web1_DSC_0959.jpgKelly Fithen pins her husband Ron’s newest badge after he was sworn in as Wilmington’s new police chief. John Hamilton | News Journal

Matthew Patrick, left, is sworn in by Mayor John Stanforth as Wilmington’s newest police officer.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/07/web1_DSC_0932.jpgMatthew Patrick, left, is sworn in by Mayor John Stanforth as Wilmington’s newest police officer. John Hamilton | News Journal

Ron Fithen, left, shakes hands with Mayor John Stanforth and gets a round of applause, including from Councilmember Matt Purkey, as he’s sworn in as chief of the Wilmington Police Department.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/07/web1_DSC_0949.jpgRon Fithen, left, shakes hands with Mayor John Stanforth and gets a round of applause, including from Councilmember Matt Purkey, as he’s sworn in as chief of the Wilmington Police Department. John Hamilton | News Journal

By John Hamilton

[email protected]

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574