Published: Friday, 24 March 2017 01:02
By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor
MOUNT VERNON - Law enforcement efforts to crack down on the sale of illegal drugs in the community have resulted in awards for outstanding service at the MVPD.
Public service, integrity, loyallty and dedication. Those are the qualities of the 2016 MVPD Officer of the year, Ptl. Jessica Butler.
Chief Roger Monroe says Officer Butler had to change positions this year and take over a new role of drug interdiction. Monroe said, "Since she's been in this position, [she's] been killing it. I can't even tell you the amount of arrests [that] are being made, the contacts, and the production she has had since [she] has been in this position."
Officer Butler has worked in the department 14 years.
MVPD 2016 Officer of the Year Ptl.Jessica Butler is congratulated by Chief Roger Monroe Thursday afternoon - KP Photo by Marty Trese
The Bartlett Award is named for the late Thomas Bartlett, MVPD's Chief from 1983-2006. The award is presented for outstanding performance in the line of duty. Chief Monroe says the award is given to the officer who also went above and beyond for the year. "In this case, we had a joint operation with BCI, MVPD and KCSO in working an ongoing drug investigation on a business that we have been trying to get into for over two years," said Monroe. MVPD had taken complaints about the business for five years.
Monroe continued "We had come to a standstill, we didn't have the manpower, so we reached out to BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigation). They took the lead on the investigation. During that investigation several MVPD officers assisted helping with surveillance, evidence collection, search warrants, and tagging evidence."
Drugs, money, and guns were seized from that operation. It's been estimated that business did about a half million dollars of drug trade a year. The business has been shut down Chief Monroe couldn't give more information about the business or the particiulars of the case because it is still in litigation.
Monroe says he couldn't decide on one person to give the award to saying based on "Their outstanding efforts and their long hours and extra time, the whole division deserves the award." The detectives are Sgt. Beth Marti, Cpl. James DeChant, and Det. Timothy Arnold.
L to R: MVPD Detectives Sgt. Beth Marti, Cpl James DeChant, and Timothy Arnold - KP Photo by Marty Trese
Detective Sgt. Marti said, "Any award in this field is amazing. We hear a lot of negativity. Any time we're recognized for working hard it's really, really awesome."
Detectives DeChant and Arnold said receiving the Bartlett award is a great honor.
Chief Monroe said "These guys did an outstanding job this year and the awards are well deserved."
Published: Tuesday, 07 March 2017 17:55
COLUMBUS – Auditor of State Dave Yost Tuesday released the East Knox Local School District (Knox County) from fiscal emergency, a status it held for more than two years.
The district spent a combined four and a half years shifting between fiscal caution, watch and emergency because of deficit fund balances and a failure to adopt and submit an acceptable financial recovery plan.
“Today, the district and its community can breathe a sigh of fiscal relief,” Auditor Yost said. “The decisions were not easy, but they were vital to the financial upswing the district is now experiencing.”
The district, which enrolls roughly 1,230 students, erased a projected $3.3 million deficit, in part, by reducing staff by 27 employees for approximately $1.5 million in annual savings. Also, the district is saving $144,000 each year from the closure of Bladensburg Elementary School, in addition to $19,000 by charging lunchroom utility costs to the food service fund instead of the general fund.
During the current fiscal year, the district will begin realizing added revenue from a 10-year, $1.2 million annual emergency levy passed on Nov. 8, 2016. The district also implemented a “pay to participate” fee for athletics, increasing revenue in the general fund by $50,000 each year. The fee will be phased out in fiscal year 2018.
Additionally, the district had to satisfy the following requirements to be terminated from fiscal emergency:
Effectively implement a financial accounting and reporting system in accordance with Section 118.10(A) of the Ohio Revised Code; Correct or eliminate all fiscal emergency conditions and prevent new ones from occurring;
Meet the objectives of the financial plan; and Prepare a five-year forecast in accordance with standards issued by the Auditor of State; the opinion expressed by the Auditor’s office is “nonadverse.”
The Ohio Department of Education placed the district in fiscal caution on Sept. 4, 2012 due to deficit fund balances. Auditor Yost declared the district in fiscal watch on Sept. 30, 2014 before elevating its status to fiscal emergency on Feb. 5, 2015 after it failed to adopt and submit an acceptable financial recovery plan.