2015: A Year in Review, Part Two


By Martin Graham - [email protected]



The Record-Herald finished the summary of 2015 with a look through the major news items between July and December, including fair coverage and fatal accidents. The Washington Marching Band was one of a few high school bands around the nation selected to participate in the 2015 Independence Day Parade in Washington D.C. A few students took part in a setting of a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Solider while in D.C.


The Record-Herald began to dive into 2015 with part one of this review and remembered some major news items. This is part two of two and will cover July through December.

JULY

For July 1, the first paper of the month was a story about Sherri Sattler joining the sales and marketing team in Davidson, N.C. as director of advertising sales with Civitas Media. Sattler has served as the advertising director of the Washington C.H. Record-Herald/Shopper’s Guide for the past nine years and was named general manager this year. She has 27 years of experience in advertising sales and management in the Washington C.H. and London markets. “I want to thank the community for all of their support throughout the years,” said Sattler. “I’m going to miss the Fayette County community, but will still be working in an advisory capacity with local papers in Fayette and surrounding counties. I’m very excited about this new career adventure.”

For July 2, 11 individuals were arrested on drug-related indictments as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. #23 Major Crimes Task Force. According to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth, detectives and task force agents began serving the indictments in the late afternoon hours and continued through the weekend in an attempt to locate all of the individuals indicted by a Fayette County grand jury. Ten individuals were subsequently taken to the Fayette County Jail and held in lieu of bond.

On July 6, a Dayton man was sentenced to a total prison sentence of one year and nine months after pleading guilty in two drug cases in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas. Joshua R. Johnson, 25, of Dayton, was indicted in June on one count of trafficking in heroin, a felony of the fourth degree, and one count of possession of heroin, a felony of the fifth degree. Johnson had an earlier indictment in September 2014 charging him with one count of possession of heroin, a felony of the fourth degree.

The week of July 10, a 38-year-old man from near Mansfield was indicted by a Fayette County grand jury for the alleged rape and sexual battery of a 15-year-old girl. Joshua S. Stanley was arraigned in Fayette County Common Pleas Court on three counts of first-degree felony rape, three counts of third-degree felony sexual battery, and two fourth-degree felony counts of gross sexual imposition.

On July 5, a Washington C.H. man was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to gross sexual imposition. Kevin Byrd, 48, of 812 Delaware St., was indicted in May for one count of GSI, a felony of the third degree. The indictment states that between the dates of Nov. 24, 2008 and Nov. 23, 2009, Byrd had sexual contact with a minor less than 13-years-of-age.

Ending on July 11, a series of success stories were written about individuals who utilized employment programs at Fayette Progressive Industries. The stories highlighted interesting aspects of the programs that were involved and told several stories of disabled residents who obtained employment and were seeing great progress towards independence.

On July 12, a Washington C.H. resident was charged with impersonating a peace officer after he allegedly claimed to a group of people that he was a sheriff’s deputy and was carrying a pistol. At around 10 p.m., Washington C.H. Police Department officers were dispatched to the area of Main Street and Circle Avenue in reference to a person claiming to have a gun on his person. Adam J. Dennis, 25, of 424 S. Main St., was identified as the suspect and located on his front porch, according to reports.

On July 14, the Washington Court House City School Board met in a special session to accept the resignation of three teachers and the principal of Washington Senior High, as well as to accept the employment of three new teachers. As of Tuesday morning at 7:33 a.m., the Washington C.H. City School District will officially say goodbye to Washington Senior High Principal Casey Wood on Aug. 1, and Washington Middle School teacher Matthew Bushey, Belle Aire Intermediate teacher Jill Fischer, and Washington High School teacher Bethany Futrell on Aug. 2. “Teachers and principals come and go,” Wood said. “This opportunity came along and it just made sense.”“We appreciate all of Mr. Wood’s enthusiasm and passion to serve our district,” board president Jennifer Lynch said. “We wish him well in his new position.”

In July, Kimberly Lyons-Penwell, a media sales consultant with Civitas Media since January 2012, was named the general manager of the Washington C.H. Record-Herald. The announcement was made this week by Nick Monico, regional director, Ohio, for Civitas Media, the newspaper’s parent company. Penwell has several years’ prior experience in sales, marketing and management. She is active with local community organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, Health Fair Committee, and the United Way.

The 136th Fayette County Fair was held with no poultry due to an announcement from the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). The Ohio Department of Agriculture placed a statewide ban on all live bird exhibitions in the state in 2015 in an effort to remain free of the deadly avian flu. The Fayette County Fair Queen was announced at the opening ceremony on July 19 and Abbie Noble was named Queen.

In only his second year of showing hogs, Grayson Keller, 13, won the grand champion trophy at the Fayette County Junior Fair Market Hog Show. Grayson, a member of the 4-H Fun Bunch club, still seemed stunned immediately after the market hog show when asked for his reaction. He said he was excited and that his hard work paid off. He is the son of Lisa and Ben R. Keller.

Hayden Walters had a big day at the Fayette County Junior Fair Goat Show. During the dairy meat goat competition, Hayden won the grand champion trophy for his goat, with Thomas Bondurant taking the reserve champion dairy meat goat. Hayden has been showing goats for five years and was a member of the 4-H Fun Bunch.

After the showmanship classes were held, Sydney Miller’s cow was named the Grand Champion Beef Feeder. “It is a really good feeling to have been selected for the grand champion of beef feeders because this is my last year in 4-H,” Miller, the 2015 Beef Queen said. “To all of the younger 4-Hers, remember to enjoy every minute of your time at the fair, because it goes by really fast. Before you know it, it will be all over.”

Quinton Waits’ steer was named the Grand Champion Beef Steer. “It feels real good to see how far he has made it, from a calf to the steer he is now,” Waits said. “It was a really good day and we had plenty of time to get him ready and up here. Everybody has done great and now I am excited, but also sad, for the sale on Friday because I am going to be losing my favorite cow. To the younger 4-Hers, never give up, and try, try, and try again. Even if you think it is too hard, don’t worry about it, just keep doing it.”

Kasi Payton won the Grand Champion Market Lamb trophy at the Fayette County Junior Fair Sheep Show. Payton, a member of the Blue Ribbon Champs 4-H Club, said this was her first year showing lambs. “I’m just really happy. It’s been a really fun and exciting day,” she said.

Ginna Climer took Supreme Champion with her Brown Swiss Dairy Cow at the Fayette County Junior Fair Dairy Show. Climer, also the 2015 Fayette County Small Animal Queen, was a member of the NH-4H Club and has been showing for eight years. “I just want to thank all my family and friends, and all the royalty for being here today,” Climer said after winning Supreme Champion. “I’d like to thank our judge for coming out and judging our show and giving her opinion on everyone. I’m really looking forward to seeing how both of my cows progress and seeing how we do in the state fair and the nationals this year.”

In July, Sarah Nichols was named the new director at the Carnegie Public Library after Poppy Girton passed away over the summer. The Record-Herald wrote a feature on Girton and her impact to the staff at the Carnegie Public Library. “We have to remember what is important and stay true to our mission to provide free access to information and books. We also need to be a place that inspires a love of reading and stirs curiosity,” Nichols said.

On July 31, a man riding a bicycle was hit by a train at around 11:30 a.m. on the Pearl Street railroad in Washington C.H., according to authorities. The man, identified as Ronald C. Leisure, 52, of 508 Western Ave., suffered visible injuries and was flown by medical helicopter to a Columbus-area hospital for treatment.

AUGUST

In August, two Washington C.H. residents were indicted by a Fayette County grand jury on multiple drug charges following the discovery of a methamphetamine lab on May 5. Both Bradley K. Cox, 35, and Sonya R. Cox, 34, of 721-B E. Temple St. in Washington C.H., are charged with illegal manufacturing of drugs, a second-degree felony; aggravated trafficking of drugs, a second-degree felony; aggravated possession of drugs, a second-degree felony; illegal assembly/possession of chemicals for manufacturing of drugs, a third-degree felony; permitting drug abuse, a fifth-degree felony; possession of drug abuse instruments, a second-degree misdemeanor; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

On Aug. 7, police arrested two Washington C.H. residents following a report of several gunshots fired into a Linden Avenue home while two adults and one 8-year-old child were inside. A woman, who lives at 894 Linden Ave., called 911 at 1:36 a.m. and told the dispatcher that after the shooting she observed a white vehicle speed away heading toward Aspen Drive. Antonio Lamar Burrell, 38, was charged with three counts of attempted aggravated murder, first-degree felonies; discharging a weapon into a home, a second-degree felony; having a weapon under disability, a third-degree felony; and a probation violation. Misty M. Carver, 31, was arraigned on three counts of complicity to attempted murder, first-degree felonies; complicity to shooting into an occupied structure, a second-degree felony; and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.

In August, the community said goodbye to Gordon E. Davis, a remarkable individual who exemplified kindness and service to others throughout his life. Davis, who served for 20 years on the Washington C.H. City Council and as a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service for 37 years, passed away on Aug. 6 at the age of 88 following a short illness. He was the third son of Glen E., Sr. and Veral (Yahn) Davis, and was born Sept. 23, 1926 in Fayette County.

On Aug. 18, a Washington C.H. man was charged with illegal manufacturing of methamphetamines within the vicinity of children early Tuesday after police searched his home. Mark Anthony Howard, 48, was charged with the first-degree felony and was being held in the Fayette County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

In August, a 24-year-old woman was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 2-year-old son, LeRoy J. Toppins, who went missing from his Staunton-Sugar Grove Road home the evening of April 3 and was found dead a day later in a nearby pond. Anna E. Karber was indicted by a Fayette County grand jury on a third-degree felony involuntary manslaughter charge and first-degree misdemeanor endangering children. “We presented the evidence to the grand jury and this is what they returned,” said Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade. “With this still pending, I don’t want to make any other comment than that at this time.”

In August, a former Record-Herald publisher and past resident of Washington C.H. died last weekend at the age of 77. Edward P. Hourigan was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and grew up in the Glen Summit section of Mountain Top. He was the son of the late John A. and Katharine (Sue) Mulcahy Hourigan. A member of the 1955 class at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pa., Hourigan also attended Lafayette College. Hourigan went on to enter the United States Air Force where he served four years, completed his degree and graduated from the Mitchel College of Long Island University in New York.

On Aug. 30, a home on Jasper Coil Road, just off of U. S. Route 22 in Fayette County, was destroyed after it caught fire. At approximately 12 a.m., reports of a house fire at 56 Jasper Coil Road prompted the response of three fire departments, Sabina Fire Department, Washington Fire Department and Concord-Greene Volunteer Fire Department. The fire raged through the morning as crews worked to extinguish it. No one was reportedly inside the home at the time of the fire. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office was also on the scene.

Also on Aug. 30, authorities were investigating the cause of the fire that destroyed Faith Church, located at the intersection of Robinson and Old Chillicothe roads in Washington Court House. At around 9:30 p.m., firefighters from the Washington C.H. Fire Department responded to the church, 1011 Old Chillicothe Road, which was fully involved at the time. It took a little over an hour for them to get the blaze under control. No one was inside the church at the time of the fire and no one was reported injured, according to authorities.

SEPTEMBER

In September, a Dayton man was sentenced to approximately six years and two months in prison after being found guilty at a jury trial of breaking and entering, theft, and safe cracking. Harlan L. Stevens, 33, of Dayton, was sentenced to one year on count one, breaking and entering, a felony of the fifth degree, and 18 months on count three, safe cracking, a felony of the fourth degree. Fayette County Common Pleas Court Judge Steven Beathard merged count two – theft – a felony of the fifth degree, with count one after finding that the counts were “allied offenses of similar import.” Because Stevens was on post-release control for an offense in Montgomery County, his local sentence was enhanced by the remainder of his post-release control time. Therefore, an additional three years and eight months were added to the local sentence.

On Sept. 9, a large amount of heroin was reportedly found and five people were arrested during a traffic stop on York Road in Perry Township. According to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth, deputy Caleb Conn and K-9 “Ben” were on patrol at 7:26 p.m. when a traffic stop was made on a 2002 Honda Accord for an equipment violation. The driver of the vehicle, identified as Dylan Campbell, 21, of Greenfield, was allegedly found to be driving the vehicle with a suspended driver’s license.

On Sept. 14, Anna E. Karber, 24, of Fayette County, pleaded not guilty in Fayette County Court of Common Pleas to involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 2-year-old son, LeRoy J. Toppins.

On Sept. 15, a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 35 East near the Home Depot claimed the life of a 24-year-old South Carolina man. At approximately 10:48 a.m., a 2005 GMC C4500 utility truck, driven by James R. Hollis, 55, of North Augusta, SC, was heading eastbound on U.S. 35 when it was struck from behind by an eastbound 1987 Freightliner semi tractor-trailer, driven by Robert W. Dinser, 38, of Wheelersburg. Following the crash, the GMC truck went off the right side of the roadway into the ditch and embankment area, where the vehicle overturned and caught fire, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth.

On Sept. 17, a 38-year-old man was found not guilty of rape by a jury of his peers in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas. Joshua S. Stanley, from near Mansfield, was released after a two-day trial when the jury found him not guilty on all counts. Stanley, a truck driver, was indicted on three counts of first-degree felony rape, three counts of third-degree felony sexual battery, and two counts of fourth-degree sexual imposition against a 15-year-old girl.

In September, a 34-year-old Washington C.H. man was charged with the rape of an 8-year-old girl. Jeffrey P. Keller, of 127 N. Oakland Ave., was being held in the Fayette County Jail on a $50,000 bond on the first-degree felony rape charge. He was arraigned in Washington Municipal Court.

On Sept. 23, a Washington C.H. man was sentenced to four years in prison for pandering child pornography. Clarence A. Walters, 26, pleaded guilty on Sept. 14 in Fayette County Common Pleas Court to one count of pandering obscenity involving a minor, a felony of the second degree, and one count of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, a felony of the fifth degree. The Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed five other counts in the indictment as part of the plea agreement.

On Sept. 24, a 68-year-old Washington C.H. man was killed in a two-vehicle crash early on U.S. 62 Southwest in the Village of Staunton near the Worthington Road intersection. At approximately 7:26 a.m., a 2004 Peterbuilt semi-tractor trailer driven by Eric D. Maher, 33, of Morehead, Ky., was heading northeast on U.S. 62 when he lost control on a right curve while entering the Village of Staunton, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. Maher’s vehicle overturned into the path of a southbound 1998 Jeep Cherokee, driven by Dale E. Patton, of Washington C.H.

On Sept. 26, a 19-year-old was killed in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. 62 Northeast and Cook-Yankeetown Road in Madison Township. At approximately 11:21 p.m., a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Timothy M. Rhodes II of Mount Sterling, was heading west on Cook-Yankeetown Road and failed to stop for the posted stop sign at the intersection of U.S. 62 Northeast, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. The Malibu went into the path of a 2009 Dodge Ram, driven by Dennis J. Anschutz, 64, of Washington C.H., heading north on U.S. 62.

On Sept. 28, a 34-year-old Washington C.H. man accused of raping a girl less than 10-years-old was indicted on four counts of first-degree felony rape and two counts of third-degree felony gross sexual imposition. Jeffrey P. Keller, of 127 N. Oakland Ave., pleaded “not guilty” to all charges during his arraignment in Fayette County Common Pleas Court.

OCTOBER

In October, the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce recognized Junk & Junk Attorneys, located at 213 N. Main St. in Washington C.H., on their 100th anniversary. According to third generation attorney, William T. Junk, the Junk law office in Washington C.H. began in 1915 when Troy T. Junk formed a partnership with John Logan. Logan had practiced in Washington C.H. since 1881 with Marshall J. Williams, who was elected to the Circuit Court in 1884 and then elected to the Supreme Court of Ohio in 1886, where he served as Chief Justice until his death in 1902.

In October, a Washington C.H. man was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to trafficking methamphetamine. Bradley K. Cox, 35, of 721 Temple St., was indicted on July 10 on one count of illegal manufacture of drugs, a felony of the second degree; one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs, a felony of the second degree; one count of aggravated possession of drugs, a felony of the second degree; one count of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for manufacture of drugs, a felony of the third degree; one count of permitting drug abuse, a felony of the fifth degree; one count of possessing drug abuse instruments, a misdemeanor of the second degree; and one count of illegal possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

On Oct. 13, a 28-year-old Washington C.H. man was killed in a two-vehicle accident morning involving a semi-truck on U.S. Route 62 North near the intersection of West Road in northeast Fayette County. At approximately 8:25 a.m., a 2013 Dodge Dart, driven by Travis A. Putney, was heading southbound on U.S. 62 Northeast and went left of center into the path of a northbound 2015 Freightliner semi-tractor trailer, driven by Andy Then, 33, of Reading, Penn.

On Oct. 17, the Fayette County Memorial Hospital’s Women’s Wellness Center hosted an open house to celebrate the official opening of the new center. The celebration began with the Miami Trace FFA “Paint the Town Pink” walk. The walk was held to remember the ones in the community who lost their fight with cancer, to honor those who are currently battling it, and to be thankful for all the survivors. Those who participated started at Medical Arts Building 2 of FCMH and walked to Kroger.

In October, the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce paid a visit to the office of Dr. Warren Craig, DDS, to recognize him for celebrating 50 years in business. Craig is a 1956 graduate of Washington Court House High School who then went on to study dentistry at Ohio State University. Following graduation from college in 1963, Craig spent some time in the U.S. Army as a dentist at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C.

On Oct. 27, a Washington C.H. man pleaded guilty in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas to possession of heroin and was sentenced to a mandatory sentence of six years in prison. Francisco Perdomo, 35, was indicted on July 25 on one count of trafficking heroin, a felony of the first degree; one count of possession of heroin, a felony of the second degree; one count of possession of criminal tools, a felony of the fifth degree; and one count of illegal possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. The Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed counts one, three, and four as part of a plea agreement.

On Oct. 31, two East Clinton High School students were killed in a one-vehicle accident on U.S. Route 62 Southwest, just north of the Fayette/Highland County line. At around 9:30 p.m., a 1998 Oldsmobile Aurora was heading south on U.S. 62 when the driver, 17-year-old Anderson G. Vannieuwenhze, of Leesburg, lost control going around a left curve, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. The vehicle went off the right side of the roadway and struck a ditch and utility pole before coming to rest in a field.

NOVEMBER

On Nov. 3, two new faces and one incumbent were victorious at the general election race for Washington C.H. City Council, according to unofficial results from the Fayette County Board of Elections. Jim Chrisman, five-term incumbent, will be returning to the city council with 21.36 percent of the vote (1,461) for a sixth term. Trent Dye, with 23.14 percent of the vote (1,583 votes), received the most votes in the city council race. Kendra Redd-Hernandez, who received 20.16 percent (1,379 votes), will also be joining the council in January.

Also on Nov. 3, the Village of Jeffersonville voted in a new mayor, according to unofficial results from the Fayette County Board of Elections. According to the results, 199 voters cast a ballot to decide on their next mayor. With 150 votes, or 75.38 percent, Bob Kinzer was elected to lead Jeffersonville.

On Nov. 4, “Just say ‘Johnny’ and everyone knows who you are talking about,”….read one of the many nominations for Johnny Peters, who was announced as the grand marshal for the 2015 Washington C.H. Christmas Parade, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 29 at 3 p.m. The Fayette County Chamber of Commerce coordinates the parade. Chamber president Whitney Gentry said, “I don’t know that any one person has ever received so many nominations before. There is a groundswell of support for Johnny Peters and we are honored to have him as our grand marshal.”

In November, during a time of exciting transition and unification at Miami Trace, the school district has also initiated a re-branding of its image.“With the addition of a new high school in the near future and a completely centralized campus, as ambassadors of the district, we felt it is important that we communicate effectively and promote our district in a clear, consistent and professional manner,” said Miami Trace Superintendent David Lewis. “Naturally, one-on-one interaction with students, families, community members and colleagues will always be the most effective and important means of building relationships. However, our visual identity or brand also conveys a very important message.”

On Nov. 8, a 22-year-old Washington C.H. man was charged with the rape and sexual battery of a 13-year-old girl. Michael Toney, of 704 S. Main St., was accused of raping the girl at his home, according to the Washington C.H. Police Department. After the incident was reported to police by the victim’s mother, Toney allegedly admitted to the sex crimes during an interview with officers.

In November, city Manager Joe Denen, on behalf of the City of Washington C.H., honored the efforts of the Railroad Preservation Society of Fayette County (RPSFC) in restoring caboose-1939 at Eyman Park. On June 6 in 2010, Paul Febo was approached by Washington City Councilman Steve Jennings, who informed him that the city planned to scrap the railroad display at Eyman Park. The city council felt that the display had become “unsightly” due to a lack of upkeep. In the following days, a meeting was arranged with council and Denen about the problem.

On Nov. 11, the Washington C.H. Police Department was investigating an armed robbery that allegedly occurred at the Flagway gas station on Dayton Avenue. At 7:08 p.m., an unknown white male reportedly walked into the Flagway gas station, 635 Dayton Ave., and brandished a folding knife in front of a female employee, who was behind the cash register. At the time, the offender and the employee were the only individuals inside the store, according to WPD Lt. Jon Long.

In November, a 55-year-old Fayette County man was sent to prison to begin serving a three-year term after he pleaded guilty to the sexual battery of a 17-year-old boy. Donald W. Hubbell was originally indicted by a grand jury on charges of rape, sexual battery and gross sexual imposition for the July 2 incident that occurred at Hubbell’s residence. The rape and GSI charges were dismissed by the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office when Hubbell agreed to plead guilty to the third-degree felony sexual battery charge.

On Nov. 18, police investigated a suspected arson that occurred at a Sycamore Street home in Washington C.H. At approximately 3:50 a.m., a Washington C.H. Police Department officer was dispatched to the area of Sycamore Street near Second and Third streets on the report of a fire. The officer found that the rear of the home at 720 Sycamore St. was scorched and a small fire near the foundation of the residence was active, according to reports. Damage was done to the rear deck of the home, authorities said.

On Nov. 19, a Washington C.H. man who raped a girl under 10-years-old was sentenced to prison for a total of 20 years to life. In Fayette County Common Pleas Court, Jeffrey P. Keller, 34, of 127 N. Oakland Ave., pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree felony rape after reaching an agreement with the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office. On the first count of rape, which specified that Keller raped a child under 10, he received 15 years to life in prison, and for the second count of rape, Judge Steven Beathard added five years to the sentence.

On Nov. 22, a house was destroyed after it caught fire shortly before 8 a.m., according to the Washington C.H. Fire Department. The WFD responded to a tone from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office reporting a structure fire on Oakland Avenue at 7:48 a.m. According to reports from the WFD, the house located at 120 Oakland Ave., occupied by Travis Tranner and his family, was found with heavy black and white smoke coming from the front of the structure. It was also observed to be showing flames at the rear of the structure.

On Nov. 23, the Washington City School Board of Education accepted the resignation of head football coach Corey Dye. Dye had been the head coach of the Washington Blue Lions for the past seven seasons.

On Thanksgiving, the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Bloomingburg Fire Department were investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a vacant house on Prairie Road. At approximately 4:36 p.m., the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a house on fire. When firefighters from the Bloomingburg Fire Department arrived at the scene, the two-story house was engulfed in flames.

On Nov. 28, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office was investigating a robbery at the Flagway 1 (Cruz-Thru) station, located at 1537 State Route 41 Northwest. At around 5:34 p.m., the Flagway clerk reported to deputies that she heard a noise outside the drive-thru window and upon checking, saw a man dressed in black clothing crawl into the drive-thru window, according to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. The man, whose face was covered, allegedly pointed an unknown object in the direction of the clerk and demanded the cash register.

DECEMBER

On Dec. 2, numerous types of drugs, multiple firearms and a substantial amount of money were recovered, and two individuals were arrested when a search warrant was served at an East Paint Street home in Washington C.H. According to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth, FCSO detectives and members of the U.S. #23 Major Crimes Task Force concluded a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking at 510 E. Paint St. The search warrant was served at approximately 10 a.m.

On Dec. 9, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), along with local law enforcement, served search warrants at the Lucky You locations in Jeffersonville and Wilmington for “suspected illegal casino operations.” The OCCC Division of Enforcement launched an investigation after receiving complaints that Lucky You, an arcade of skill games located in Jeffersonville, paid out cash prizes in violation of Ohio law, according to OCCC officials. A search warrant was also served at the home of the Lucky You owner, Dean Long.

Also on Dec. 9, the Washington C.H. Police were investigating a robbery/burglary that allegedly occurred at a Washington Avenue home. According to the resident of the home, she heard knocking on her back door at approximately 1:20 p.m. As soon as she opened the door, someone allegedly sprayed her in the face with pepper spray.

In December, it was announced Fayette County was one of seven Ohio counties where a recent rash of skimming at gas station pumps and ATM machines has been reported, according to the State Highway Patrol. The Patrol and the Secret Service have been investigating a suspected Cuban crime ring linked to the discovery of credit card skimmers at these gas stations. Skimmers are small devices that can scan and store credit card data from the magnetic stripe.

On Dec. 17, the order from the Ohio Department of Agriculture banning all bird shows in the state was lifted. “We at the Fayette Extension Office are excited that the ban has been lifted,” Nadine Fogt, 4-H Youth Development and Extension Educator, said. “The ban impacted about 100 4-Hers and FFA students. We are encouraging the youth to take more projects for the 2016 Fayette County Fair so that if there is another outbreak in the spring or summer there will be another project for the exhibitors to show during the fair. Hopefully the ban will remain lifted and we will be able to use the new small animal barn in its entirety in 2016.”

On Dec. 21, two distinguished gentlemen said goodbye to the Washington C.H. City Council following many years of city service. Ben Roby, council chairman, and Steve Jennings both served on the city council for 12 years, and were both instrumental in the composition and adoption of the city’s current charter. At the regular council meeting, both men were honored by all in attendance and were presented with plaques for their service and commitment to the City of Washington C.H.

Also on Dec. 21, Washington C.H. City Manager Joe Denen’s contract was renewed for a three-year period by a 5-2 vote at the city council meeting. Denen, who is the longest-tenured city manager in the history of Washington C.H., has been in this position since Oct. 1, 2003. “I do this because of the people I work with here and care about,” said Denen. “For this city and all of the folks in the community that honestly care about this place….that’s why I do this.”

In December, since the passage of a bond issue in May, the Miami Trace Local School District has been working closely with the Ohio Facility Construction Commission (OFCC) to set the final project budget and select an architect for the new high school construction. The 3.9-mill, 37-year bond issue passed at the special election, setting in motion the building design phase for a new high school, which will be located on a nearly 60-acre piece of farmland to the east of the football stadium. The new high school will replace the existing high school that opened in 1962. The community may see “dirt beginning to move in late 2016,” according to district officials, with a goal of opening the facility to students in January 2019. “The goal is to build a facility that is traditional, but also gives us the educational flexibility that we will need into the future,” said Miami Trace Superintendent David Lewis.

The Record-Herald finished the summary of 2015 with a look through the major news items between July and December, including fair coverage and fatal accidents. The Washington Marching Band was one of a few high school bands around the nation selected to participate in the 2015 Independence Day Parade in Washington D.C. A few students took part in a setting of a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Solider while in D.C.
http://recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_BandPhoto3.jpgThe Record-Herald finished the summary of 2015 with a look through the major news items between July and December, including fair coverage and fatal accidents. The Washington Marching Band was one of a few high school bands around the nation selected to participate in the 2015 Independence Day Parade in Washington D.C. A few students took part in a setting of a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Solider while in D.C.

By Martin Graham

[email protected]

Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy

Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy

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