Looking back, and ahead: Highlights of September-December 2017


Highlights of September-December 2017

By Tom Barr - tbarr@wnewsj.com



Veterans and area residents and volunteers participated in many activities prior to Saturday night’s Joe Diffie concert as part of the Operation Cherrybend and Flight Deck Veterans Group annual week of events.

Veterans and area residents and volunteers participated in many activities prior to Saturday night’s Joe Diffie concert as part of the Operation Cherrybend and Flight Deck Veterans Group annual week of events.


Clinton-Massie fans were proud of their Falcons despite a 50-36 loss to Steubenville in the OHSAA Division IV state championship game in Canton.


Students from all four area high schools participated in the annual Brake for Breakfast.


Wilmington native and Writer/Producer/Director Artie Knapp, left, and former world heavyweight boxing champ and actor James “Buster” Douglas behind the scenes of Knapp’s film “From Gettysburg to Baghdad” which debuted at the Murphy Theatre.


Kids of all ages were part of the annual Corn Festival parade through Wilmington.


Several new and returning Wilmington officeholders celebrated their victories in the November election that night at the General Denver. From left are: 2nd Ward Councilmember-elect Michael Allbright; At-Large Councilmember-elect Tyler Williams; incumbent At-Large Councilmember Kelsey Swindler; President of Council-elect Mark McKay; incumbent 4th Ward Councilmember Matt Purkey; and School Board Member-elect Kevin Snarr.


The newest You-Turn Recovery Docket graduates at a ceremony in November were, from left, Jacob Odom, Tosha Salisbury, Jeremy Wallace, Stephanie Spencer, Maurice “Todd” Estep, Racheal Roberts and Christopher Stanfield.


Skaters celebrated the opening of the new skatepark in Wilmington. Skateboarders test out the bowls at the new skate park at David Williams Park after the recent official grand opening and ribbon-cutting. The venue is located between the splash pad and youth soccer fields near the parking lot on Fife Avenue in Wilmington. This park is designed for beginner and intermediate skaters; the older skate park (near Kroger and the tennis courts) is designed for intermediate and advanced skaters.


The Clinton-Massie football team advanced all the way to the Ohio Division IV championship game, where they fell to Steubenville.


This is part 3 of a 3-part series looking back at front-page stories from the News Journal.

These stories were gleaned from Page 1 during the last four months of 2017:

SEPTEMBER

City clean-up

Work continued to clean up properties in the City of Wilmington. During his report, Mayor John Stanforth said 90 violations had been issued to property owners, with 40 having since been repaired by the owners. The remaining 50 were being looked at by the city’s Code Enforcement Official Mark Wiswell, and the city planned to figure out what the costs would be. According to Stanforth, the city would then go and repair the properties and the costs would be put on the tax duplicates to get money refunded.

No way to one-way

The streets were a major discussion point during the Blanchester Village Council meeting. When discussing old business, the council failed to have a second reading of an ordinance that would make Cherry Street into a one-way road.

Dog-gone nice

A ribbon-cutting was held at the Roberts Centre to announce a re-branded and refreshed Royal Canin Ring and Eukanuba Field. The updated facilities were anticipated to attract more dog and cat shows and competitions to the venue at Interstate 71 and U.S. 68.

GOP leader passes

Joyce K. “Kay” Bolton, 73, of Wilmington, the president of the Wilmington Republican Women’s Club, died after a two-vehicle accident in Greene County. Her vehicle collided with a Honda Civic whose driver failed to yield from a stop sign, according to the Xenia Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Dancing for $$$

Playing to a packed crowd on a Saturday night, the CMH Regional Health System presented “Murphy Theatre’s Dancing with the Stars” which raised more than $58,000 for the theatre’s upcoming restoration of the interior lobby. The money raised was the largest sum in the four-year history of the fund-raising event for the historic Murphy Theatre. Kelsey Swindler, dancing to Saturday Night Fever’s “You Should Be Dancing” with partner Cole Haugh, won the overall Trophy of Champions receiving more than $11,000 in votes in the form of monetary donations throughout her campaign. CMH Regional Health System, where Swindler is employed, matched her funds up to $5,000. Swindler also was awarded the Audience Favorite trophy for receiving the loudest audience response based on decibel meter readings. The Judges’ Choice Award went to Bekah Muchmore, who received four perfect “10s” from the four judges for her performance with Haugh dancing to the theme from “Ghostbusters.”

OCTOBER

CMH milestone

CMH launched 24/7 interventional cardiac care with its first patient receiving an interventional stent on Sept. 28. While CMH has long been this region’s anchor for emergency and specialty care, patients with chest pain and other heart-related symptoms were often transferred to facilities in Cincinnati or Dayton for life-saving treatment. With the implementation of CMH’s 24/7 interventional program, emergent, life-saving stents can be placed here.

Educator passes

Virgene Peterson first entered a classroom nearly a century ago. And in the next 70-plus years after graduating high school, she kept attending school as educator and friend of generations of local students. She died at the age of 93.

Nine for three

Nine candidates were set to run for three available seats on the Blanchester Local Schools Board of Education in the Nov. 7 election.

Stellar career

Bud Lewis’ stepped down after a 43-year coaching career with 500-plus soccer victories at Wilmington College.

Honoring U.S. Marine

Special activities were held at a Friday night football game in honor of 2015 WHS grad Mark Elliott O’Neal Huff, 21, of Sabina, who died when he was struck by a car while trying to cross State Route 78 in Oceanside, California. He was stationed in California as a Motor Transport Operator with the U.S. Marine Corps. Huff was well-known to the Clinton County community while at WHS, including as an athlete where he excelled on the wrestling, track and football teams as well as other extracurriculars.

Trunk or treat

A tremendous crowd of costumed kids and their families braved the cold Saturday night and came to Wilmington’s Trunk or Treat at J.W. Denver Williams Jr. Park. Businesses and organizations handed out thousands of treats during the event organized by Wilmington Parks & Recreation, Main Street Wilmington and many others.

NOVEMBER

Growing site

Clinton County got a big step closer to being the home of one of Ohio’s first medicinal marijuana growers when the state announced it had chosen its first 11 growers for its medical marijuana program, but it could be months before they can start their first crop. The smaller (Level II) growers announced by the Department of Commerce would cultivate up to 3,000 square feet.

Issues defeated

Tax issues proposed by Clinton-Massie Local Schools and the Village of Blanchester both lost by wide margins. Voters in the Clinton-Massie school district soundly defeated a proposed 5.8-mills property tax levy, 2,079 votes against and 1,207 votes for. The proposed Blanchester income tax was turned down, 541 votes against and 297 votes in favor.

Seven take big step

Seven individuals were recognized for making a “You-Turn” in their lives at a drug court graduation ceremony — Maurice “Todd” Estep, Jacob “Jake” Odom, Racheal Roberts, Tosha Salisbury, Stephanie Spencer, Christopher Stanfield and Jeremy Wallace. The Clinton County YouTurn Recovery Docket provides defendants an opportunity to address their substance dependency issues with support from the judge, probation officers, substance abuse counselors and other members of a treatment team. The ceremony was held in the sanctuary of the Wilmington Church of Christ, with an audience estimated at 200.

Fraud alleged

Police charged a woman with going to residents’ doors fraudulently claiming she was collecting money for the local Ho-Ho Shop. Jessi L. Fannin, 36, of Wilmington but with no specific address, faced one count of theft by deception, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Blan eyes facility

“Children need a place to go.” That’s what Joyce Kelly, one of the board members of the Blanchester Pool and Recreation Center project, told Clinton County Commissioners Wednesday. Pool project board members — Committee Chair Erin Whitaker, Chair-Elect Jim West, Treasurer Doug Naylor, and board members Darrell Kingsland and Joyce Keller — discussed the proposed center, what it would hopefully become, and the next steps. The project began in 2015 with Whitaker kicking it off in an effort to save and to re-open the former Blanchester Swim Club.

DECEMBER

No large grow

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program announced the names of 12 companies/sites that had been chosen for provisional grow-site licenses based on a scoring system. CannAscend Ohio’s proposed Level I (up to 25,000 square feet) facility would have built on land owned by the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) of Wilmington.

Big impact

The presence of a small college has a great impact on Wilmington and Clinton County’s economy to the tune of $46.5 million. A study conducted by the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center found Wilmington College to be a major economic driver when considering its hand in 745 jobs in the county, as well as the institution’s operations, student spending and capital expenditures. The research, which focused on the 2015-16 academic year, indicates a $46.5 million impact in the county largely through direct expenditures and the purchases of its employees and students.

Shifting WCS?

Given the potential benefits, Wilmington City Schools educators and others were exploring whether it’s doable to create Grade Level Centers in the three elementary buildings. Currently, the Denver Place, East End and Holmes Elementary Schools have student bodies determined by geographic areas in the school district, and the children at those elementary buildings currently range in grades from kindergarten through fifth grade. A Grade Level Center, on the other hand, will house within a particular building students who are grouped together by grade level and not by geography.

Fatal weekend

A Wilmington College freshman,Shelby LeAnn Fein, 18, died in a single-vehicle accident Friday afternoon, Dec. 15 in Warren County.

On Sunday a traffic crash on Farmers Road claimed the life of a Martinsville man, Shawn M. Adams, 39.

Veterans and area residents and volunteers participated in many activities prior to Saturday night’s Joe Diffie concert as part of the Operation Cherrybend and Flight Deck Veterans Group annual week of events.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_cherrybend-sept-16.jpgVeterans and area residents and volunteers participated in many activities prior to Saturday night’s Joe Diffie concert as part of the Operation Cherrybend and Flight Deck Veterans Group annual week of events.

Clinton-Massie fans were proud of their Falcons despite a 50-36 loss to Steubenville in the OHSAA Division IV state championship game in Canton.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_massie-state-fans-dec-5.jpgClinton-Massie fans were proud of their Falcons despite a 50-36 loss to Steubenville in the OHSAA Division IV state championship game in Canton.

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_trunk-or-treat-oct-31.jpg

Students from all four area high schools participated in the annual Brake for Breakfast.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_brake-oct-11.jpgStudents from all four area high schools participated in the annual Brake for Breakfast.

Wilmington native and Writer/Producer/Director Artie Knapp, left, and former world heavyweight boxing champ and actor James “Buster” Douglas behind the scenes of Knapp’s film “From Gettysburg to Baghdad” which debuted at the Murphy Theatre.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_buster-oct-18.jpgWilmington native and Writer/Producer/Director Artie Knapp, left, and former world heavyweight boxing champ and actor James “Buster” Douglas behind the scenes of Knapp’s film “From Gettysburg to Baghdad” which debuted at the Murphy Theatre.

Kids of all ages were part of the annual Corn Festival parade through Wilmington.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_corn-parade.jpgKids of all ages were part of the annual Corn Festival parade through Wilmington.

Several new and returning Wilmington officeholders celebrated their victories in the November election that night at the General Denver. From left are: 2nd Ward Councilmember-elect Michael Allbright; At-Large Councilmember-elect Tyler Williams; incumbent At-Large Councilmember Kelsey Swindler; President of Council-elect Mark McKay; incumbent 4th Ward Councilmember Matt Purkey; and School Board Member-elect Kevin Snarr.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_election-winners-nov-9.jpgSeveral new and returning Wilmington officeholders celebrated their victories in the November election that night at the General Denver. From left are: 2nd Ward Councilmember-elect Michael Allbright; At-Large Councilmember-elect Tyler Williams; incumbent At-Large Councilmember Kelsey Swindler; President of Council-elect Mark McKay; incumbent 4th Ward Councilmember Matt Purkey; and School Board Member-elect Kevin Snarr.

The newest You-Turn Recovery Docket graduates at a ceremony in November were, from left, Jacob Odom, Tosha Salisbury, Jeremy Wallace, Stephanie Spencer, Maurice “Todd” Estep, Racheal Roberts and Christopher Stanfield.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_you-turn-nov-21.jpgThe newest You-Turn Recovery Docket graduates at a ceremony in November were, from left, Jacob Odom, Tosha Salisbury, Jeremy Wallace, Stephanie Spencer, Maurice “Todd” Estep, Racheal Roberts and Christopher Stanfield.

Skaters celebrated the opening of the new skatepark in Wilmington. Skateboarders test out the bowls at the new skate park at David Williams Park after the recent official grand opening and ribbon-cutting. The venue is located between the splash pad and youth soccer fields near the parking lot on Fife Avenue in Wilmington. This park is designed for beginner and intermediate skaters; the older skate park (near Kroger and the tennis courts) is designed for intermediate and advanced skaters.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_skatepark-nov-1.jpgSkaters celebrated the opening of the new skatepark in Wilmington. Skateboarders test out the bowls at the new skate park at David Williams Park after the recent official grand opening and ribbon-cutting. The venue is located between the splash pad and youth soccer fields near the parking lot on Fife Avenue in Wilmington. This park is designed for beginner and intermediate skaters; the older skate park (near Kroger and the tennis courts) is designed for intermediate and advanced skaters.

The Clinton-Massie football team advanced all the way to the Ohio Division IV championship game, where they fell to Steubenville.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/01/web1_massie-gamer-dec-1.jpgThe Clinton-Massie football team advanced all the way to the Ohio Division IV championship game, where they fell to Steubenville.
Highlights of September-December 2017

By Tom Barr

tbarr@wnewsj.com