Published: Friday, 28 April 2017 18:45
Written by Martha Trese
MOUNT VERNON - A local woman accused of dealing heroin in a house on East Sugar Street earlier this year pleaded guilty and will now spend the next 5 years behind bars. Knox County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Wetzel sentenced Shannon Kitts, 38, to 71 months on Friday.
In January MVPD investigated a a nuisance complaint at 204 East Sugar Street. The complaint alleged that the owner, Phillippe Lesage and two tenants, Kitts and Raymond Leroy Williams had knowledge of or allowed illegal felony drug offenses to occur on the property. Officers executed a search warrant and then arrested Kitts. At that time she was charged with permitting drug abuse. The trafficking charge was filed later.
Shannon Kitts - Knox County Jail photo
The East Sugar Street property had been the focus of many citizen complaints and law enforcement call-outs since August of 2016, according to Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville. According to 911 call records, four drug overdoses were reported at the house since August, with two occurring on January 5, 2017. Law enforcement also had evidence of a series of illegal drug transactions taking place at the property. Wooden boards have now been placed on the windows at that address.
In January McConville said, “This house has become notorious for drug activity in recent months, and the neighbors are concerned about their safety,” McConville said. “This legal action is designed to get the landlord to put a stop to the illegal activity on his property.”
On Friday, Kitts' charge of permitting drug abuse was dismissed. She is still charged with drug possession by Franklin County according to the Knox County jail website.
Lesage is currrently facing an unrelated complicty charge in Mount Vernon Municipal court.
Published: Friday, 28 April 2017 00:15
MOUNT VERNON – Sometimes all it takes is one idea, one spark of inspiration and the vision of someone who cares to bring a community together to help those in need.
In this case, the vision of David Daniels, 18, of Butler, coupled with the generous spirit of Knox County citizens, brought to fruition a service project creating comfort care packs for children in foster care.
The inspiration for this project came to Daniels after watching a YouTube video about a former foster child who described what it was like to be have all of his belongings placed in a trashcan to take with him to his foster home. Many years later, this former foster child became a foster parent and was surprised to see children still carrying their belongings in trash bags. This inspired the man to create comfort cases – backpacks or duffel bags with toothbrushes, shampoo, books, journals, or stuffed animals.
A senior at the Knox County Career Center, Daniels is a member of the National Honor Society at Fredericktown High School. As a member, he is required to organize and oversee a community service project. After seeing the video online, Daniels wondered if there was a need for comfort care packs for youths in Knox County. After reaching out to Kristin Seveigny, Foster/Adopt Coordinator with the Knox County Department of Job & Family Services, Daniels was assured that the agency could benefit from such a project and he set about collecting all he could to assemble the packs.
David Daniels, left, recently collected comfort care items including backpacks filled with blankets, journals and personal care items, for foster children in the care of the Knox County Department of Job & Family Services. Accepting the items on behalf of KCDJFS, is Kristin Seveigny, right, Foster/Adopt Coordinator for the agency. (Photo submitted)
Starting with his home high school, he arranged a contest during the month of March to have items donated by students, faculty and staff. A box was placed in each homeroom, and the homeroom with the most donations received a doughnut party. Next, Daniels contacted Fin, Feather, Fur Outfitters and Kokosing Construction, which generously donated backpacks and other goods toward the cause.
He posted a flier about the comfort cases on Facebook and the community really stepped up to help with donations. One person collected items at her Thirty-One party and another allowed Daniels to set up a table at the Nick Gaumer 5K. That’s not to mention all the donations from friends, family and his 4-H Club – Redbrush.
After March, Daniels figured out what was still needed to complete the comfort cases, and the National Honor Society purchased those things with the money he collected.
In all, Daniels was able to fill over 70 backpacks and 10 diaper bags. Three carloads of items, including the backpacks, pack-n-plays, books, toys and other items were recently delivered to Knox County Children Services.
“David’s ability to transform a post that he saw on social media into a widespread benefit for our foster children is as generous as it is remarkable,” said Scott Boone, Knox County Children Services Administrator. “His efforts afford us the ability to provide our kids with kindhearted gifts and essentials that they can call their own.”
The son of Chris and Laura Daniels, David is active not only in his 4-H Club, for which he is president, he is also Pork Ambassador for Knox County, runs cross country and track at Fredericktown High School, and is a camp counselor. He is planning to attend Ohio University in the fall, studying mechanical engineering.
When asked what he hoped would be the outcome of his project, Daniels simply said, “To help the kids.” And, indeed he will.