Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of a 6-part series looking back at snippets from just a few of the top local stories from 2018 as they appeared in the pages of the News Journal.
County must step up (March 1)
WILMINGTON — The judge who presides over the local drug court asked county commissioners Wednesday to consider playing a part in a more comprehensive approach to the opioid affliction here.
Their involvement could involve a commissioner serving on a coalition, as well as the county coffers being one of the financial sources to pay for a more encompassing strategy, said Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck.
Rudduck encouraged commissioners to begin discussing how to leverage county funds, in particular the money derived from the sale of the hospital. Other funding sources, he suggested, are HealthFirst of Clinton County, and the federal fundsto become available under the CARA 2 Act of 2018.
OWCC honors 4 seniors (March 2)
The Outstanding Women of Clinton County committee annually awards four scholarships — one each to a senior at Wilmington, Blanchester, East Clinton and Clinton-Massie high schools.
This year’s scholarship winners honored at the Saturday, March 3 event at the Roberts Centre along with the class of seven 2018 OWCC inductees are:
• Shelby Williams, East Clinton
• Kelsey Carter, Clinton-Massie
• Audrey Heitzman, Blanchester
• Heather Fryman, Wilmington
‘Canes’ Allen, Barton to state (March 6/8)
When Wilmington’s Isaac Allen made the first of two consecutive trips to Columbus to be an alternate for the OHSAA state wrestling tournament, his teammate Conner Barton wasn’t even wrestling yet.
Two years later, both will represent the Hurricane at the state wrestling meet.
Barton and Allen secured their spots with semifinal wins Saturday at the Division II district meet at Wilmington High School.
For East Clinton’s Wyatt Riddle, he returns with a new school but a familiar mission. After a dominating run through the district last week, his goal is to finish one spot higher on the podium than his runner-up finish a year ago.
Blanchester’s Clayton Schirmer had a difficult path to district runner-up last weekend in Troy. He earned his first trip to Columbus and hopes to make the most of the trip with a finish on the podium.
Biz shut down by state
WILMINGTON — A Wilmington optometrist’s office has again been shut down by the state for failing to pay sales taxes, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation.
Optimum Eyecare on Rombach Avenue was shut down, or “posted”, by the Ohio Department of Taxation last Friday, according to ODT Communications Manager Gary Gudmundson.
9 indicted in sting (March 15)
BLANCHESTER — An ongoing narcotics investigation targeting suspects selling illegal drugs in Blanchester has resulted in indictments against nine people, Police Chief Scott Reinbolt announced Wednesday.
Beginning in January 2017 and ending in autumn 2017, the Blanchester Police Department conducted the investigation — dubbed “Operation Changing Seasons” — which involved numerous undercover buys of methamphetamine, Reinbolt said.
“The majority of the drugs were purchased on the street in downtown Blanchester,” he added.
The drugs purchased were sent to the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory for analysis.
Cemetery needs TLC (March 16)
BLANCHESTER — Residents want to see the local cemetery in better condition.
Issues at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery include tire tracks and mounds of dirt around tombstones in addition to downed tree limbs.
After several social media posts were made about these conditions, followed by TV coverage, local residents are stepping up to help. Kenneth Green, who volunteers at the cemetery, believes a lot of the issues are due to weather conditions. He recently put a post on the Facebook group Blanchester Area Volunteer Group asking for volunteers.
Kids, dogs living in filth (April 3)
BLANCHESTER — Five people faced possible charges after police say 11 people — including five children — and 20 dogs were living in filth and neglect in a Blanchester home.
On Friday, March 30, two Blanchester police officers went to the residence to investigate the dog bite.
“Inside the residence they found 20 dogs, none of whom appeared to be receiving adequate care,” Chief Scott Reinbolt stated in a press release. “Several were emaciated. The inside of the house was rank with dog feces and urine.”
State’s speaker resigns (April 10)
COLUMBUS — Speaker of the Ohio House Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) has resigned effective May 1 amid talk of an FBI investigation into his activities
He will also resign effective May 1 as representative of Ohio’s 91st District.
He released the following statement Tuesday evening: “As I have said previously, I am aware of a federal inquiry being conducted regarding things I may have been involved in. First and foremost, I believe that all of my actions as Speaker have been both ethical and lawful. However, I understand that the nature of this inquiry has the potential to be very demanding and intensive, and could take months or even years to resolve. …”
Ellis, Wilkin at forum (April 18)
It was standing room only at Southern State Community College’s North Campus in Wilmington Tuesday evening as more than 150 people heard from Beth Ellis of Clinton County and Shane Wilkin of Highland County at a candidate forum sponsored by The Times-Gazette and Wilmington News Journal.
The candidates, vying for the GOP nod to represent Ohio’s 91st District, answered questions ranging from workforce development to medical marijuana, and sparred over the issues of financial support and political endorsement.
‘Marking 17 brave souls’ (April 24)
WILMINGTON — “It was very moving. I don’t know what else to say.”
Those were the words of James Ashley Hopkins, who helped unveil the Ohio Histori- cal Marker at Saturday’s dedication and commemoration of the 1964 military air disaster held at J.W. Denver Williams Jr. Memorial Park.
Hopkins’ grandfather, Air Force pilot Maj. James A. Hopkins’ was one of the 17 servicemen killed when two C-119
“Flying Boxcars” collided in mid-air about five miles north- east of the Clinton County Air Force Base on April 18, 1964.
Major Hopkins’ grandson revealed the marker along with Kay Fisher of the Clinton County Historical Society.
WC mourns loss (April 25)
As word spread through campus this weekend, members of the Wilmington College community were saddened to learn that one of its students, Lauryn A. Griewahn, passed away Sunday following an extended illness.
Griewahn, a freshman from Adrian, Mich., majoring in exercise science, had been attending classes as recently as late
March when complications from her bout with Lupus, a disease that affects the immune system, resulted in her health taking a turn for the worse.
She was a member of the Fightin’ Quakers volleyball team.