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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio


Vietnam Veteran Ron Hull honored by Mount Vernon School board with diploma

MOUNT VERNON - The Mount Vernon City School Board of Education board honored Vietnam veteran Ron Hull at Monday's meeting. Hull attended MVHS up until his senior year in 1961 when he entered the military to serve his country in Vietnam. Superintendent Bill Seder presented Hull with a MVHS diploma. 

It was all captured on video and can be seen below:

Maplewood condo expansion plans raise concerns

By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — More development may be coming to the corner of Gambier Road (Ohio 229) and Eastern Star Road.

Frank Rosato, vice president of the Newark-based Southgate Corp., told the city's Municipal Planning Commission that plans to proceed with Phase 2 of Maplewood Condominiums have been “dusted off and reviewed” to see if it is still a viable project. Phase 1, from the property's center line eastward, was completed in 2006.

“We stepped away from the project primarily due to economic problems,” he said, citing a downturn in residential sales and lender reluctance due to the recession. “Mentally we are still committed to doing this, but we are still working on numbers to see if it makes sense.”

The expansion, which will be governed by its own homeowners association, includes 19 buildings, which Rosato said follows the blueprints submitted in 2006. One building was eliminated in favor of adding a second retention pond. The buildings will look similar to the existing condominiums but not identical and will not have basements. “The intent is to blend in,” said Rosato, adding that similar features will include a stone facade and the same front doors.

Rosato said construction might be on a 2018 timeline. Southgate representatives have not yet met with current condominium owners because so much is in the preliminary stage. He said he wanted to get the storm water and civil engineering part started while working on pricing.

“I'm not sure what I would tell them,” he said. “We are still gathering numbers. Realtors feel strongly what the pricing needs to be. We've not yet met with people because the initial pricing came in higher than the numbers we had. I think we were a little optimistic in cost.”

Commission member Jeff Ulery questioned why the plan does not align its entrance road with the Ohio Eastern Star Home road. Rosato said that the OESH road might have to be realigned to the north if a connector road goes in north of the condominium complex.

Bill Hogg, president of the Maplewood Condominium Association, said that the number of people attending the meeting “is an indication we have concerns.” “We kind of wondered why it got this far without us being told anything,” he said.

After meeting on Wednesday, the association board had two concerns:
*Retention pond. Several years ago, the retention pond in Phase 1 overflowed. Hogg said the concern is where the water will go if that happens again.“The new one should be picking up storm water from the site. Storm water can't leave the site any faster post-construction than pre-construction,” said Rosato.
*Road alignment: The condominium owners prefer that the entrance to Phase 2 homes does not align with the OESH entrance. “That's going to be a real traffic headache,” said Hogg.

City Engineer Brian Ball questioned who will maintain the roads, adding that is an issue that will definitely need to be addressed between the two homeowner associations.


MVPD new K-9 officer introduced at Town Hall meeting

By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor

MOUNT VERNON - MVPD's new K-9 officer and handler were introduced together at Thursday night's 5th Town Hall meeting to discuss the local drug epidemic. The dog will assist law enforcement in the fight against drugs. Thursday night's focus was on the financial toll the epidemic is having on the community. 

The new K-9's name is Laya and her handler is Officer Sarah Wheeler. The department acquired Laya thanks to donations from the public through the Arms of an Angel Foundation. Officer Wheeler said Laya is a two and half year old Belgian Malinois.  The name "Malinois" is derived from Malines, the French name for the breed's city of origin. Laya is from France and her commands are in French.

Laya's duties will include apprehension of articles and evidence and sniffing out narcotics - cocaine, crack, meth, heroin and marijuana. The dog was trained at Storm Dog in Delaware, Ohio, the same facility where Danville's police dogs have been trained. Right now Officer Wheeler is completing six weeks of handler training.


 MVPD K9 dog and officer

MVPD K-9 Officer Sarah Wheeler and Laya at Thursday's town hall at MVHS - KP Photo by Marty Trese

Following an introduction by Mayor Richard Mavis, the office that organized the series of town halls, presentations were made by MVFD, Fredericktown EMS, MVPD, KCSO, Judges, Probation officers, Knox Community Hospital, Children's Services, and The Freedom Center.

While many dollar figures and statistics were presented last night a few stood out. These days the county jail is at or near its capacity of 100 inmates. The number of EMS runs to administer Naloxone, a narcotic protagonist, have nearly doubled since 2015. Thanks to community notifications drug reports to MVPD have doubled in 2017.Collaboration is the key to the community successfully addressing the drug problem.

MVFD Chief Chad Christopher says 65 or 2% of their call volume is opioid related. In 2015 and 2016 that percentage was 1.6%. The MVFD response a overdose call takes an average of one hour per incident. Lt. Trevor Williams of MVFD says the department dispensed 86 doses of Naloxone in 2015, 83 in 2016, and so far in 2017, 152 at $50 per dose.

Fredericktown EMS coordinator Rick Lanuzza said not every overdose call requires naloxone. But multiple doses of naloxone are needed due to the strength of some of the opioates.

MVPD Captain Scott McKnight presented information on behalf of Chief Roger Monroe. That information will be posted in part two of this story.



Commissioners revise amount of sales tax increase

By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — On Thursday, the county commissioners accomplished what they originally set out to do regarding raising the county's sales tax, but it has not been a smooth path to the final result.

Commissioners can raise the sales tax under two sections of the Ohio Revised Code; Knox County has .25 percent available under each section. The commissioners planned to combine the .25 percent available under each section and raise the tax by .50 (½) percent.

However, Brad Cole of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio inaccurately told the commissioners they could only raise it by .40 percent because new state laws require counties to increase the tax in increments of one-tenth rather than one-quarter percent.

“That put us in a bind because we were not going to be able to access the .05 percent on each side,” said County Prosecutor Chip McConville.

Cole told the commissioners, as well as McConville, that the new laws took effect Sept. 29. When McConville reviewed the draft resolutions and researched the new laws using the legislature's LexisNexis system, he, too, found an effective date of Sept. 29.

The commissioners therefore passed resolutions last week raising the sales tax by .40 percent.

In a letter dated Oct. 12, Cole told the commissioners he was in error and that the new laws do not take effect Sept. 29. A temporary law, which was not cross-referenced in the Lexis system, states the one-tenth increment requirement does not take effect until July 1, 2018.

That means the commissioners can, in fact, raise the sales tax by .50 percent.

“The resolutions that we passed increasing it by tenths are not allowable until July 2018, so we have to go back and reset the clock to existing statutes,” said McConville.

The commissioners rescinded the resolutions authorizing the .40 percent increased and passed new resolutions authorizing the .50 percent increase.

“So, we've done what we intended to do,” said Commissioner Teresa Bemiller. “Our intention from the start was to increase each of these [taxes] by one-half percent.”

“It will be giving us what we originally thought we would receive,” said Commissioner Thom Collier. “That puts us at capacity of our sales tax ability.”

The .50 percent increase will generate between $2 million and $2.5 million annually.

“The most interesting thing I've learned through all of this is that people thought the county gets all of the 6.75 percent sales tax,” said Commissioner Roger Reed. “No, we only get 1.4 percent; the rest goes to the state. And of that [1.4 percent], 1 percent goes to 911.”

The commissioners will notify the state tax commissioner on Oct. 25 of their intent to raise the sales tax. The tax will become effective Jan. 1, 2018. The county will start to receive money in March, but the commissioners previously said that they won't see an impact until December 2018.


Sentences handed down in Municipal Court Oct. 10, 11

MOUNT VERNON - Sentences handed down in Mount Vernon Municipal Court this week:

Thomas C. Kemmer, 44 of Fredericktown, pled guilty to Driving under FRA Suspension. The Court sentenced him to 1 day in jail and a fine of $250 plus court costs.

Joshua A. Stotts, 35 of Roseville, pled guilty to Driving under Suspension and was sentenced to 2 days in jail and to pay a $150 fine.

Assistant Director of Law Brittany Whitney represented the State of Ohio and the City of Mount Vernon in these cases.

Judge John Thatcher found thirteen guilty after hearings held at the Mount Vernon Municipal Court on October 10, 2017.

Shawna M. Posey, 30 of Mount Vernon, was found guilty of Possession of Marihuana Drug Paraphernalia. The Court sentenced her to pay a fine in the amount of $150.

Daniel C. Dilger, 29 of Mount Vernon, was found guilty of Disorderly Conduct and sentenced to pay a fine in the amount of $150.

William T. Dilger, 33 of Mount Vernon, was found guilty of Disorderly Conduct and sentenced to pay a fine in the amount of $150.

Raymond V. Beaver, 25 of Mount Vernon, was found guilty of Possession of Drug Abuse Instruments. The Court sentenced the defendant to complete a drug and alcohol assessment within 60 days, complete a 2-year probation term, attend 1 NA meeting per week, enroll in random drug testing program, and to pay a $50 fine.

Steven C. Rainer II, 31 of Brinkhaven, was found guilty of Driving under Suspension. He was sentenced to pay a fine of $200.

Jennifer Blankenship, 39 of Mount Vernon, was found guilty of Operating a Vehicle with Expired Plates and Wrongful Entrustment. The Court sentenced her to pay a fine of $35 for the expired plates charge and $150 for the wrongful entrustment charge.

Charles A. Beeman, 35 of Mount Vernon, pled guilty to a charge of Driving under FRA Suspension and was sentenced to pay a $150 fine.

Bridget M. McElroy, 35 of Mount Vernon, was found guilty of Use of Unauthorized Plates. The Court sentenced the defendant to pay a $100 fine.

Jamie Harris, 28 of Mount Vernon, was found guilty of driving without an operator’s license. The Court sentenced the defendant to pay a fine of $200.

Kevin R. Fawcett, Jr., 40 of Mount Vernon was found guilty of Driving under Suspension/Failure to Reinstate. He was sentenced to pay a total of $215 for these charges.

Michelle L. Kline, 39 of Loudonville, pled guilty to Selling Alcohol to an Underage person. She was sentenced to pay a fine of $500.

John A. Bailey, 45 of Mount Vernon, pled guilty to the original charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia/ Marihuana. The Court sentenced the defendant to pay a fine in the amount of $150.

Jacob D. Donalon, 26 of Mount Vernon, pled guilty to charges of Theft by Deception and Driving under FRA Suspension. On the theft charge, the Court sentenced the defendant to 50 days in jail and ordered him to pay restitution. A $200 fine was imposed on the Driving Under FRA Suspension charge.

Assistant Director of Law Brittany Whitney represented the State of Ohio and the City of Mount Vernon in these cases.

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