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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio


Neighbor hears explosion before fire damages Apple Valley home

UPDATE - There are reports from that the fire reignited early Friday morning leveling the home. 

HOWARD - A home on Lakeview Heights sustained heavy damage Thursday morning.  Firefighters from the Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District and from Danville were on scene in the 11 a.m. hour. A neighbor told KnoxPages.com that the couple who lives there and their dog escaped the flames unharmed.  She says she heard an explosion and then the entire garage was on fire.

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Firefighters assess the damage after the fire on Lakeview Heights in Apple Valley this morning - KP Photo by Marty Trese

A section of Lakeview Heights was closed to traffic while fire crews were on the scene.  KP will pass along more information as it becomes available


Kaine at Kenyon: "Time for a woman president"

By Dylan McCament, KnoxPages.com Reporter

GAMBIER - Tim Kaine encouraged early voting and made his case for Hillary Clinton at a speech at Kenyon College on Thursday.
He spoke at the Kenyon Athletic Center to a lively crowd of several hundred people, largely composed of Kenyon students. Early in his speech, he spoke about the importance of U.S. voters electing the first woman president, adding that, historically, the country has a relatively poor record of voting women to federal office.

"When Hillary asked if I would be her running mate, one of the things that really excited me was the notion that I would be able to play this supporting role in what we hope would be a history-making election," Kaine said. "What a cool moment. You guys are lucky."
Kaine encouraged members of the audience to vote early. Student volunteers handed out information about early voting at the event.
He said that Ohio is a "check-mate" state: "If we win Ohio, we win this."

Kaine praised Clinton, stating he he can vouch that she has the "stamina, judgement, preparation and temperament to be a great president."
He said Clinton will fight for equal pay for women and for LGBT rights.

Kaine also spoke about Clinton's plan to make college more afforable and to help reduce the student loan debt problem in the nation, which would include forgiving some student loan debt or helping with more afforable refinancing options. He also spoke about the need to combat climate change as well as Clinton's commitment to LGBT rights.

Kaine at KAC


Democratic VP Candidate Tim Kaine speaks to a crowd of mostly college students at the Kenyon Athletic Center Thursday - KP Photo by Dylan McCament

"We are not just a party who just walks on by," Kaine said. "We are a party of people who rolls up their sleaves and gets to work."
He said that, despite the widespread inequalities of the era, the Founders were smart enough to make equality the "North Star," that gradually led to changes in the law that led to greater and greater equality.

Much of speech was spent criticising Donald Trump, who he said cannot really look at a woman and see an equal. He said Trump's insult-driven campaign has targeted everyone from Mexicans to Muslims to women.

"He has insulted every group," Kaine said. "If he has such a low opinion of us, he should not be running."

He attacked Trump's statement that the election is rigged and that he may not accept the Nov. 8 results.

"Trump said he will keep us all in suspense," Kaine said. "This is a country we're trying to run, not a reality T.V. show."
He said Trump's attacks on the U.S. election process itself are an insult to democracy, adding that that Ohio Governor John Kasich has called allegations that the election in Ohio is rigged a "big fat lie."

The vice presidential nominee also took a shot at Trump University, which he said was designed to cheat people out of money.

Towards the end of the speech, Kaine said that, despite early predictions of a Clinton victory, nothing can be taken for granted.
"The polls are looking good," he said. "But it could get a lot closer. Surprises happen."

Kaine also encouraged voters to get out of vote for other democratic candidates such as Ted Strickland who is running for Senate. He added that it would be much better for Clinton to have a Congress she can work with instead of one that is going to fight against her every single day.

Rumpke to close Columbus Road recycling center

By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — Residents who utilize the recycling center on Columbus Road will soon have to find another way to dispose of their recyclables. Amanda Pratt, director of corporate communications for Rumpke Waste & Recycling, told KnoxPages.com that the company will close the facility in December.

Pratt cited efficiency, safety, customer service, use of innovative technology, the marketplace and services currently offered as issues the company takes into consideration when operating a recycling facility, but she declined to be more specific regarding the Columbus Road facility. Rumpke took ownership of the facility May 11, 2011.



Rumpke on Columbus Road

Residents will soon have to find an alternative to this Rumpke recycling drop off center on Columbus Road - KnoxPages.com photo by Marty Trese

“Something we do regularly is review each of our operations to ensure everything we are doing is efficient and that we provide timely, reliable and safe services for more people,” she said. “To do that, we have to make sure certain efficiencies are in place and that all of our operations not only make environmental sense but also have a positive economic impact. We also have to make sure we are providing easy, accessible recycling. When we reviewed this particular operation, it really became clear that adjustments were necessary.

“Of course recycling makes environmental sense, but we also have to take into consideration costs associated with operating a facility. It has to make economic sense as well,” said Pratt. “We just have to take a hard look at all of the various factors that contribute to the success of a particular operation and determine how can we still meet the customers' demands and also meet the demands of the business and the community.”

Rumpke will still provide curbside recycling and trash service in Mount Vernon.

“Rumpke has really established a strong infrastructure for recycling in the state of Ohio, and as Ohio's recycling leader, it's really important to us to make sure residents have access to easy and convenient and affordable recycling options,” said Pratt. “We see that as our responsibility.”

Knox Addiction Conference educates on the hidden side of addiction

By Chase Strawser, KnoxPages.com Reporter 

GAMBIER - The Knox County Addiction Conference finished up Thursday after a two day event at the Kenyon College campus focused on educating the public about addiction and the devastation it can have on individuals, families, and communities. The conference, coordinated by the Knox Substance Abuse Action Team, also aimed to clear up any misconceptions about addiction by showing how everyday people can succumb to substance abuse under volatile circumstances.

Day two of the conference began with powerful testimonies from individuals who's lives were altered by addictive lifestyles. Adam Brenneman spoke to conference members about how he spiraled from alcohol use to drug use despite a level upbringing and productive formative years of good grades and athletics. While in college, initial caution towards addictive substances caved in to frequent use and even dealing illegal substances. While getting sober, Brenneman talked about the importance of focusing on one's self when fighting addiction. He said, "I need to stay sober for myself so I can be there for them [his family]. Recovery from addiction needs to be self-motivated to be effective rather than just a process of giving in to the pressures of others.

Jessi Clinger confided to the conference her addiction to alcohol and battle with an eating disorder. Along with impairing her ability to function in her everyday life, Jessi's addiction also adversely affected those close to her, inhibiting her ability to take care for her son. Jessi commented on how far a person can let addiction deteriorate them before they seek help. In a powerful statement she said, "I had to give up in order to live." Meaning she had to let go of addiction's hold on her as a sign of strength and acceptance rather that weakness. Jessi's has found strength in spirituality while rebuilding her life in the wake of addiction. She said, "Without my faith, I would not be who I am today."

Kristina Foreman gradually fell into an addictive lifestyle despite having drug free examples in her parents. Experimentation with alcohol when she was younger snowballed into heavier substance use with heroin. She commented about the false sense of self-security drug abuse can provide. She said, "What I thought was the solution to the problem became even more of a problem for me." Having completed a nursing degree, but rendered unable to pursue it while controlled by addiction, she went on to complete a Master's in Social Work from The Ohio State University. She counsel's people with drug dependency with The Freedom Center in Knox County, being able to sympathize with patients having been in a similar position.

These testimonies have shown that even people from solid family backgrounds can develop addictive habits. Courtney Decosky also had a supportive family grounding before alcoholism became prevalent in her life. Decosky described herself as being able to maintain a high functioning, busy life while her alcohol consumption compromised her health behind the scenes. Decosky mentioned a warning her mother gave her about her consumption. She said," My mother took me aside and said, 'Courtney, you are playing Russian roulette.'" Her mother, friends at her job, and outpatient treatment in Richmond, Virginia were instrumental in her recovery process. While still living an active life with theatre, music, and her Administrative Assistant to the Office of the President at Kenyon College, she warned that anything can be an addiction, even seemingly harmless things like caffeine and the need to always stay busy.

Of the many important presentations, Kay Spergel's presentation, The Impact of Untreated Depression and Anxiety, pointed out the connection between mental health problems and substance abuse. Many people with undiagnosed mental illnesses resort to self medicating with drugs and resulting in inadvertent dependency. Spergel also discussed how mental illnesses need to be treated with the same importance and immediate care as more obvious physical health problems. Substance abusers would benefit from recommendations to adequate professional sources of healthcare rather than self-medication.

Mark Hurst's presentation, Creating Environments of Resiliency and Hope, showed the correlation between early childhood trauma and risk factors later in life, like substance abuse. Similar to Spergel's presentation, the factors in developing drug dependency may not be immediately obvious and require more extensive evaluation than what can be perceived on the surface.

The many topics of the conference aligned with the purpose of substituting any misinformation and insufficient information on addiction the public may have with enlightening facts.

Patrol locates driver involved in fatal hit-skip crash

KNOX COUNTY – Thanks to an anonymous tip, the Mount Gilead Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol has located a driver involved with a fatal hit-skip on June 2.
The crash occurred at approximately 11:48 p.m. in Knox County at the intersection of Beckley Road and Morris Township. The two vehicles – a pickup truck and a motorcycle – crashed on Upper Fredericktown Road.

The driver, Jamie L. Clawson, 40, of Bellville, Ohio was driving a white 2016 Chevy 2500HD. The anonymous caller identified the vehicle based on damage that was consistent with the crash; it was missing a driver’s side running board that matched a running board left at the crash scene.

The motorcyclist, Jordan M. Pauley, age 20, of Mount Vernon, Ohio was operating a maroon 2005 Harley Davidson Sportster. He succumbed to his injuries at Knox Community Hospital. Next of kin has been notified. Mr. Pauley was not wearing a motorcycle helmet at the time of the crash.
Alcohol or drug usage is unknown at this time.

The crash remains under investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The post was assisted by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and Mount Vernon Fire and EMS.

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