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Drug Town Hall series continues Thursday evening at Twin Oak school

 

MOUNT VERNON - Three more town hall meetings are planned in the City of Mount Vernon's series, Drugs and our Community, Awareness and prevention collaboaration series. 

Local leaders in partnership with our local law enforcement, members of the judicial system, and area recovery programs are providing an opportunity for the citizens of Mount Vernon and the Knox County area to obtain a first-hand perspective into the drug epidemic and crime trends associated with our community.

The series began Tuesday and promotes an open dialog with our local leaders, first responders, and Court and recovery personnel to bridge a solution to this vast drug related epidemic.

This four part Town Hall series is free and open to the public. All sessions are offered at the Twin Oak Elementary School located at 8888 Martinsburg Road, enter at Lower Level Commons Area (northeast side of the building). For further inquiries about the Town Hall series, please contact the following offices:

Mayor Richard K. Mavis at (740) 393-9517 or [email protected]
David Priest, Chief Probation Officer for Mount Vernon Municipal Court at (740) 393-9555 or [email protected].

Topics/dates for the remaining sessions: 

 

Thursday, May 11, 2017 – Crime Prevention, Crime Trends (fraud, scams, theft), Neighborhood Watch Programs, Community Safety. 

Law enforcement will discuss current crime trends and neighborhood watch programs and other opportunities that promote community safety.

 

*Bike Patrol, Law Enforcement Equipment and Vehicle Displays 

*Lt. Kyle Johnson of the Fredericktown Police Department (National Night Out)

*Patrolman Flynn Fredericktown Police Department

*Sheriff David Shaffer, Knox County Sheriff’s Office

*Chief Roger Monroe and Captain Scott McKnight, Mount Vernon Police Department

*Laura Webster, Operations Director - 911 Dispatch

*Q & A

 

Thursday, May 18, 2017 – The Court Perspective and Judicial Process. Through a panel discussion hear a local judicial perspective as it relates to crime, punishment, and addiction recovery.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 – Community Recovery and Addiction Resources. Learn about recovery services and resources currently available to citizens of Knox County

 

Drug Town Hall series kicks off with overview of local drug culture

By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor 

MOUNT VERNON - More than 100 people were on hand for the first of four town hall meetings on the local drug epidemic Tuesday evening at Twin Oak Elementary School. Mayor Dick Mavis hosted the event.

Drug awareness and the local drug culture were discussed by Detective Lt. Craig Feeney of the Knox County Sheriff's Office and Detective Corporal J. T. DeChant of the MVPD. It was stressed that the drug problem is not a law enforcement problem, but a community problem.

The drugs that are most prevalent in Knox County today are marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine.

*The marijuana is much more potent than it was back in the 1970's. Det. Feeney said the marijuana of today has 95% THC.

*Meth is one of the most widely used in our community right now. Users cook the chemicals to make it and images shown illustrated how flammable the process can be.

*Heroin is cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription pain killers.  It's common knowledge just how addictive heroin can be.  If an addict tries to "dry out" (get off it) they can become very ill and that's one reason why stopping the use of heroin is so difficult. 

Overdoses have happened in our community. Numbers of OD cases were not released at the Town Hall event. But Det. Feeney said recent overdoses have involved heroin with fetanyl and carfentanil, which can be lethal in very small doses.

Lt. Feeney said, "The community has to get involved in the effort [to stop drug epidemic]."  Law enforcement's goal is to go up the food chain and stop the major dealers. Residents can help by being vigilant and reporting suspicious activity. 

Feeney edited with BMP

KCSO Detective Lt. Craig Feeney at the first drug town hall Tuesday evening at Twin Oak elementary school - KP Photo

To report suspicious activity there are two numbers set up to take messages.  The KCSO tip line is 740-399-3959. The MVPD tip line is 740-393-9500.  Callers can remain anonymous. 

During the Q and A session, a resident asked about stopping suspected drug dealers who cruise through town on bicycles with no license and no light.  City code was cited that says bicycles must have lights from sunset to sunrise and a license.  

Another resident asked about the use of K-9s or police dogs to fight the drug problem.  Currently, MVPD does not have its own K-9 unit and often relies on Danville PD, which has three K-9s. An effort is underway by a local non-profit organization, to raise $18,000 to fund a K-9 unit for the MVPD. Donations can be made through the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County or the Arms of an Angel Foundation.

Three more town hall meetings are planned:

Thursday, May 11, 2017 – Crime Prevention, Crime Trends (fraud, scams, theft), Neighborhood Watch Programs, Community Safety.

Thursday, May 18, 2017 – The Court Perspective and Judicial Process. Through a panel discussion hear a local judicial perspective as it relates to crime, punishment, and addiction recovery.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 – Community Recovery and Addiction Resources. Learn about recovery services and resources currently available to citizens of Knox County

 To view a video of the first Town Hall meeting click here.

 

 

Pedestrian struck in MV shopping plaza parking lot

By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor

MOUNT VERNON - MVPD was dispatched to the Mount Vernon shopping plaza parking lot near the Dollar General store at 7:16 Monday evening on a report of a pedestrian struck. Officers were joined on the scene by emergency medical staff who transported a person to KCH. Troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol were also on scene taking measurements. The area was blocked off by yellow crime tape for more than two hours.

MVPD Sgt. Burns told KnoxPages.com that they will have more information about the incident Tuesday morning.

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Scene where a pedestrian was struck Monday evening in the Mount Vernon Shopping Plaza parking lot - KP Photo by Marty Trese

 

Mock Crash brings awareness of distracted driving to students

By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor

FREDERICKTOWN - A mock crash's aftermath was staged at Fredericktown High School Tuesday afternnoon. FPD Patrolman Ronny Flynn organized the event over several months saying the event was put on during prom week to focus on distracted driving. The event was designed to make young drivers aware of what could happen when they are not focused on driving, while they are drivng.

The "crash" involved three vehicles. Two "students" were killed as well as two "teachers." Firefighters, EMS, two medical helicopters, the county coroner and funeral home personnel were among those participating in the effort to drive the safety message home to the students.

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Crews work to remove victims during a mock crash staged at Fredericktown HS Tuesday afternoon - KP Photo by Marty Trese

Trooper Jeremy Ranalli of the Mount Gilead Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol was the announcer for the event. He said, "We want you to be aware that this is what can happen. There is no text message that is more important than keeping your eyes on the road"

 Mock Crash victim to hearse

 

FHS Superintendent Matt Chrispin told the students, "Nothing is more sobering in May in school than to deal with a student's death."

FHS freshman student Cierra Nuttall, 15, said, "[The event] was very emotional. I'm not driving yet but when I do I'm going to pay attention." 

 

 

MVHS tennis champion Ben Camara named OCC player of the year

LEXINGTON - MVHS 1st singles tennis player Ben Camara Saturday won the Ohio Cardinal Conference 1st singles players' tournament and named OCC Player of the Year. Camara is a junior exchange student from France who has been playing tennis since he was 6 years old.

Ben Camara 1st PlaceOCC player of the year

Ben Camara - photo courtesy Coach Jeff Jarosz

 

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