Looking back at 2018: Summer sizzled in Clinton County


Murphy rocked 100th

News Journal



A big crowd braved the scorching heat on July 4th for the annual Red White and Blanchester Blue fest.

A big crowd braved the scorching heat on July 4th for the annual Red White and Blanchester Blue fest.


News Journal file photos

Decorative bunting hangs from the Murphy Theatre marquee which bears a message about a week-long series of events to celebrate 100 years as a downtown venue.


News Journal file photos

Wilmington Parks & Rec Director Jermaine Isaac, right, and and Fundraising Chair Kristi Fickert at the old castle playground at the David Williams Memorial Park, which is slated to be replaced.


News Journal file photos

Firehouse was among the bands rocking the Wilmington audience at the Murphy.


News Journal file photos

Jeep drivers from near and far gave their vehicles a new coat of mud as they tried out the Jeep Jam’s obstacle course at the Clinton County Fairgrounds on a Saturday evening. The night ended with Southern sounds of Moccasin Creek followed by Molly Hatchet.


News Journal file photos

Alia Hester, right, smiled for the camera while her kitchen colleague Caidance Latham stayed on task during the Cloverbud Cooking Challenge during the Clinton County Fair.


News Journal file photos

Huge day for fair (July 12)

WILMINGTON — Attendance on Saturday at the Clinton County Fair may have set a record, according to the president of the Clinton County Agricultural Society.

There were about 3,200 tickets sold, said Fairboard President Scot Gerber. When you add 4-H youth and 4-H advisors who are not charged admission, plus those people who buy season passes, Gerber thinks there may have been a little more than 4,000 attendees total on the fairgrounds Saturday.

The gate numbers Saturday in part can be attributed to it being the first day of the 2018 county fair, to the beautiful and moderate weather, and to the popular Demolition Derby grandstand attraction, he said.

Murphy Theatre turns 100 (July 19)

WILMINGTON — It’ll be a once-in-a-century celebration July 20-28 as the Murphy Theatre celebrates its 100th birthday with a week-long party.

The events begin Friday, July 20 with a special Third Friday Party at the Mural presented by Main Street Wilmington 5:30 to 10 p.m. downtown.

The opening concert for the theatre’s centennial celebration is by one of the region’s most popular groups — and Clinton County’s own — Over the Rhine featuring renowned musicians Linford Detwiler and Karin Berquist.

Murphy Theatre is also stepping up its children’s shows. There are four children’s shows anticipated for the upcoming 2018-19 season: Reindeer Games, a magic workshop and performance, Rumpelstiltskin, and Mutts Gone Nuts.

Theatre staff also are planning to bring the Shakespeare company in Cincinnati to perform on stage to correspond with what local high schools are teaching so that youth can see and experience Shakespeare as opposed to simply reading his

works.

“So we’re trying several new things,” said Alden. Similarly, there also is an attempt to schedule a few concerts that college youth may be interested in.

Eyes on the castle (July 25)

WILMINGTON — Wilmington’s next generation will have an updated playground built by the community, for the community. Parks & Recreation Director Jermaine Isaac and Fundraising Director Kristi Fickert are looking to get as many citizens as possible involved with the revitalization of the new castle playground.

“We’re laying out our plans for fundraising right now and we’re ready to launch kind of our first big fundraiser for the project,” said Isaac.

The project has already received $250,000 of the $500,000 needed from the state.

Isaac told the News Journal they’re hoping to raise the remaining amount from local businesses and groups, while also looking at local and nationwide grant funds, and grassroots fundraisers.

“A lot of the grassroots fundraisers are going to be about helping keep the buzz in the community, as well as keeping the kids engaged who were involved helping out with the design of the playground,” he said.

Opioids lead to levy (July 26)

WILMINGTON — County commissioners voted Wednesday to place a 1.1-mills additional Children Services levy on the ballot to generate funds to protect a greater number of children in foster care due to the opioid crisis.

The commissioners’ decision came after they received the findings of an outside consultant’s operational and fiscal review of the Child Protection Unit of Clinton County Job and Family Services (JFS).

The assessment was conducted “to ensure everything is being done that can be done, before asking Clinton County voters to consider an additional Children Services levy,” stated a commissioners’ press release issued in June.

The eight-page report concludes that without additional funds, Children Services will run out of its cash reserves within the first three months of 2019.

The report found that a rise in Children Services costs since 2014 is related to the number of children in care increasing over the same period.

“An ongoing revenue source will be needed for the next several years before there is a possible stabilization or reduction in the court-ordered protective supervision opioid/drug cases coming into the system,” said the report.

Murphy Rocks Block (July 31)

WILMINGTON — The Murphy Theatre rocked into its second century Saturday night with the Rock the Block theatre fundraiser presented by the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“It was a great night all-around,” said Clinton County CVB Executive Director Susan Valentine-Scott. “The acts were great with really high energy.”

“And, most importantly, we raised a lot of money for the Murphy.”

The event featured Firehouse, Jack Russell’s Great White, the AC/DC tribute band Dirty Deeds, Ozzy Osbourne tribute act Ultimate Ozzy, and Push: A Dio Tribute, plus emcee Goat from “Full Throttle Saloon.“

She said that there were no reported security incidents related to the show.

Bright future is now (Aug. 4)

WILMINGTON — Both the local economy — and perhaps your next salad — are looking a little brighter thanks to BrightFarms’ first local harvest.

A special event on Friday at the new Davids Drive facility gave local officials and residents a chance to see how the nationwide greenhouse operates and what they offer for the community and surrounding region.

BrightFarms owns and operates indoor, hydroponic greenhouses that individually produce more than 800,000 pounds of locally grown salad greens and herbs. The teams will be working in a climate-controlled green- house year-round.

The Wilmington greenhouse greens will be available at Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus retailers starting in August.

Each package will highlight that the greens grew in Wilmington.

WC’s big enrollment (Aug. 9)

WILMINGTON — Wilmington College is anticipating what could be its largest enrollment of incoming freshmen from Clinton County ever when the fall semester starts in August.

What promises to be an extraordinarily large group of incoming freshmen at WC includes some four-dozen from the county.

Many of them are taking advantage of attaining a quality, local education with assistance from the college’s unique Clinton County SUCCEEDS program, which features a loan-to-grant award of up to $10,000 for local residents.

WCS’ work in progress (Aug. 18)

WILMINGTON — Arrival and dismissal times at Wilmington City Schools (WCS) were going much smoother by the third day of school Friday, said WCS Business Director Curt Bone.

A new bus transportation model to accommodate a switch to grade-level centers at WCS’ three elementary buildings had worried some people that problems could arise once the school year began for real.

And though the first day in particular involved delays, things got progressively better, Bone said Friday morning after the last bus for drop-off at Holmes Elementary School had come and gone.

The departure of that last bus on Friday took place about 20 minutes sooner than it had on Wednesday, the first day of school.

AZEK looking up (Aug. 22)

WILMINGTON — AZEK Building Products plans to add dozens of new jobs over the next three years at a second facility in Wilmington that the composite decking company recently bought.

AZEK Building Products makes the TimberTech brand of decking, and TimberTech is the brand that will utilize the plastic material produced in this new facility.

The new manufacturing facility, about 100,000 square feet in size, is Building 4 located off Progress Way in the Commerce Park near the Wilmington Air Park.

FBI alleges wrongdoing (Aug. 28)

COLUMBUS (AP) — Federal investigators seized records from former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s office earlier this year as part of a federal criminal investigation into potential bribes and kickbacks surrounding payday lending legislation, according to documents released Monday.

A subpoena and search warrant the House released in response to public records requests provided new details of the FBI probe that led to the Republican rising star’s sudden resignation in April.

Agents seized three boxes of documents, a box of sport coats and a jacket, and a thumb drive in May that investigators believe contain evidence of extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, attempt to commit extortion and bribery, the documents show.

His lawyer, David Axelrod, has said previously that Rosenberger has nothing to hide. Axelrod couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Investigators also sought documentation of Rosenberger’s travels and his communications with payday industry lobbyists Stephen Dimon Jr. and Leslie Gaines, Advance America vice president Carol Stewart and others.

A big crowd braved the scorching heat on July 4th for the annual Red White and Blanchester Blue fest.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/12/web1_DSC_0041.jpgA big crowd braved the scorching heat on July 4th for the annual Red White and Blanchester Blue fest. News Journal file photos

Decorative bunting hangs from the Murphy Theatre marquee which bears a message about a week-long series of events to celebrate 100 years as a downtown venue.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/12/web1_marquee_p.jpgDecorative bunting hangs from the Murphy Theatre marquee which bears a message about a week-long series of events to celebrate 100 years as a downtown venue. News Journal file photos

Wilmington Parks & Rec Director Jermaine Isaac, right, and and Fundraising Chair Kristi Fickert at the old castle playground at the David Williams Memorial Park, which is slated to be replaced.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/12/web1_DSC_0942.jpgWilmington Parks & Rec Director Jermaine Isaac, right, and and Fundraising Chair Kristi Fickert at the old castle playground at the David Williams Memorial Park, which is slated to be replaced. News Journal file photos

Firehouse was among the bands rocking the Wilmington audience at the Murphy.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/12/web1_firehouse.jpegFirehouse was among the bands rocking the Wilmington audience at the Murphy. News Journal file photos

Jeep drivers from near and far gave their vehicles a new coat of mud as they tried out the Jeep Jam’s obstacle course at the Clinton County Fairgrounds on a Saturday evening. The night ended with Southern sounds of Moccasin Creek followed by Molly Hatchet.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/12/web1_DSC_0267.jpgJeep drivers from near and far gave their vehicles a new coat of mud as they tried out the Jeep Jam’s obstacle course at the Clinton County Fairgrounds on a Saturday evening. The night ended with Southern sounds of Moccasin Creek followed by Molly Hatchet. News Journal file photos

Alia Hester, right, smiled for the camera while her kitchen colleague Caidance Latham stayed on task during the Cloverbud Cooking Challenge during the Clinton County Fair.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/12/web1_cloverbuds.jpgAlia Hester, right, smiled for the camera while her kitchen colleague Caidance Latham stayed on task during the Cloverbud Cooking Challenge during the Clinton County Fair. News Journal file photos
Murphy rocked 100th

News Journal