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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio


Child rescued from car in Coshocton Avenue parking lot

From staff reports

MOUNT VERNON - Police and EMS were called to a report of a child left unattended inside a vehicle at a Coshocton Avenue parking lot Thursday afternoon. On the scene, a police officer told KnoxPages.com the child was removed from the vehicle and transported to Knox Community Hospital. An adult was also transported to KCH. No word yet on what relationship, if any, the adult has to the child.

MVPD is expected to release more information about the incident in the near future.

Marshalls incident 08172017

The scene Thursday afternoon when MVPD and EMS crews were dispatched to a report of a child left in a car - KP Photo


Riverbank erosion protection sought for Howard water well field

By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — When Jeff Pickrell, water/wastewater superintendent, met with the county commissioners on Tuesday, his top priority was to choose a method to stabilize the riverbank along a section of the Kokosing River. The urgency is because of a Friday deadline to apply for grant money through the Ohio Public Works Commission.

The area that needs stabilization is near the Howard well field. Through the years, erosion has changed the course of the river so that it now is within 50 feet of Well No. 5 and 150 feet of Well No. 3. The goal of the stabilization project is to stop further erosion into the well field.

Pickrell presented three options and their costs to the commissioners:

*Riprap (broken stone or concrete) $380,000
*Gabion baskets (wire mesh baskets filled with rock) $470,000
*“Fabric” (plants and revegetation) $550,000-$570,000

Pickrell said that the baskets are more aesthetic, but “our ultimate goal is to keep the soil from further eroding away.” He recommended the riprap because it gives the “best bang for customer bucks.”

Pickrell is applying for a Natural Resources Assistance Grant through OPWC. The grant has a 25 percent match which will come from county funds or a Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District grant Pickrell will apply for in December. “If we could get a Muskingum Watershed grant we could have no out-of-pocket expenses,” he told the commissioners. “Worst case scenario we'll pay 25 percent, which I can cover [through my budget.]”

Pickrell said the natural resources grant is a competitive grant; he anticipates knowing in the next six to eight weeks whether the county received the grant.

Pickrell also updated the commissioners on the status of Well No. 1, which has never worked since its drilling. He was not sure of the exact time, but thought it was in the 1980s. He said he will move forward with having a company clean the well and conduct a pump test at a cost of around $13,700.

“They feel confident they can get it back to functioning,” said Pickrell. “If it's adequate [flow], then we have another asset. If it's not, we'll plug it and remove a liability.”

Riverbank encroachment0001

This photo shows how close the Koskosing River has come to the county's well field near Howard. In 1950, the river was nearly 300 feet from Well No. 5 and nearly 400 feet from Well No. 3. Now the river is just over 50 feet from Well No. 5 and 150 feet from Well No. 3.
Photo courtesy of the Knox County Commissioners

Ohio man charged in Virginia car attack

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The Associated Press reports an Ohio man accused of plowing his car into counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia is set to make his first court appearance.

Col. Martin Kumer, superintendent at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, says 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. has a bond hearing Monday morning.

Fields lives in Maumee, Ohio. He is charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he drove into the crowd, fatally injuring one woman and hurting 19 others.

Fields has been in custody since Saturday. Jail officials told The Associated Press they don't know if he's obtained an attorney.

A high school teacher said Fields was fascinated with Nazism, idolized Adolf Hitler and had been singled out by school officials in the 9th grade for his "deeply held, radical" convictions on race.

Around Ohio: Facebook announces plans to build data center in New Albany

NEW ALBANY - Facebook has chosen to build a new data center in the New Albany International Business Park. The company plans to invest $750 million to construct a 970,000-square-foot facility powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The project, the company’s tenth data center, will be situated on a 345-acre site located on the east side of Beech Road south of the State Route 161 interchange. It is slated to begin delivering services in 2019.

“We're thrilled to have found a home in Ohio and to embark on this exciting partnership,” said Erin Egan, Facebook’s VP of US Public Policy. “Everything here has been as advertised — from a committed set of community partners and strong pool of talent to the opportunity to power our facility with 100 percent renewable energy. The Buckeye State is a great place to do business.”

A 2017 U.S. Chamber of Commerce data center study estimates that construction of a data center of this magnitude will employ up to 1,688 local workers, provide up to $77.7 million in wages for those workers and produce $243.5 million in output along the local economy’s supply chain during construction. The same study estimates an annual injection of $32.5 million into the economy once construction is completed. After completion, Facebook expects to employ approximately 100 workers at its New Albany data center.

The close coordination between JobsOhio and local, regional and state agencies was a consideration in Facebook’s decision. “I am pleased that Facebook has selected Ohio for its newest data center and grateful to our JobsOhio economic development team and their partners for helping to make this happen,” said Governor John R. Kasich. “This is a $750 million investment in technologies and jobs of the future that will further diversify our state’s economy, and, with other leading-edge innovators locating here, help put Ohio front and center in the Knowledge Belt of the 21st century.” JobsOhio President and Chief Investment Officer John Minor added, “Along with New Albany and Columbus 2020, we welcome Facebook to Ohio. The attraction of Facebook brings another high-performing technology company to this state and strengthens the IT sector, talent and innovation in Ohio.”

New Albany landed its largest data center to date while competing with cities across the country. The center itself will be one of the most advanced, energy-efficient data centers in the world, featuring Facebook’s latest Open Compute Project hardware designs. It will be cooled using outdoor air and direct evaporative cooling systems resulting in world-class levels of energy and water efficiency.

Facebook was also attracted to the New Albany International Business Park’s robust high-speed fiber optic network, triple feed electric capabilities and its technology- and shovel-ready sites, notes New Albany Mayor Sloan Spalding. “Our commitment to public-private partnerships and collaboration has enabled us to streamline the planning process and accommodate businesses’ need for speed to compete in the global market,” says Spalding. “That success enables us to provide a high level of service and amenities for residents and generates substantial revenue for our schools.”

“New Albany city leaders continue to show great foresight by investing in public infrastructure and technology that enable the community to attract mission critical facilities like Facebook,” said William Ebbing, president of New Albany Company. “We are very proud of the collaboration between city leaders, the State of Ohio, JobsOhio, Columbus 2020 and New Albany Company that not only helped us attract a high profile company like Facebook but also has made the New Albany International Business Park an economic engine for Ohio, growing to more than 15,000 jobs.”

With the addition of this project, the New Albany International Business Park will exceed 11 million square feet of total development. The park’s Information and Technology Cluster, which includes Aetna, Nationwide Insurance, Discover Financial Solutions and TJX Technology Center along with Facebook, now accounts for $2 billion in private investment.

Local "Drive Sober" campaign kicks off

By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — Saturday at the Dan Emmett Festival, local law enforcement officers kicked off a countywide effort to educate residents about the dangers of impaired driving. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign runs from Aug. 16 through Sept. 4.

“During this time, we encourage the public to call us with what you see,” said Sgt. Travis Tharpe of the Mount Vernon Police Department. “You are our eyes and ears.

“We are definitely seeing a trend change with respect to impaired driving,” he continued. “It's not just alcohol, and officers are being trained how to recognize other types of impairment when operating motor vehicles in the state of Ohio.”

Drive Sober officers 2017


Local law enforcement officers kicked off the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign on Saturday at the Dan Emmett Festival. Pictured are, from left, Sgt. Travis Tharpe, Mount Vernon Police Department; Lt. Gurjit Grewal, Ohio State Highway Patrol; Capt. Jay Sheffer, Knox County Sheriff's Office; Patrolman Matt White, Fredericktown Police Department; and Lt. Mark Perkins, Danville Police Department, with his K-9 partner, Rezza. KP Photo by Cheryl Splain


“Last year, over 420 people in Ohio were killed because someone chose to get behind the wheel impaired,” said Lt. Gurjit Grewal of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “As part of the patrol's ongoing effort to contribute to a safer Ohio, troopers have continued an increased focus on impaired driving in 2017. But we can't fight this battle on our own; we need your commitment to plan ahead to designate a sober driver or call for a ride. If you drink, don't drive.”

In 2016, OSHP troopers made 25,219 OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs) arrests statewide. Troopers have averaged well over 24,000 citations each of the last five years.

There were 14,420 OVI-related crashes in Ohio in 2016 that killed 423 and injured 8,785. Those crashes accounted for 37 percent of fatal crashes in Ohio. Speed was a contributing factor in 59 percent of the crashes.

“We have a lot more people who are driving impaired because they are using drugs or other substances,” said Grewal.

All OSHP troopers undergo training in detecting substance abuse, but the patrol also has drug recognition experts who receive additional training. “The DREs are able to do a lot more things and use their skills to support us,” said Grewal.

“Some of the trends we've been seeing throughout Knox County with our office is a lot more impaired drivers as far as not only alcohol but with drugs,” said Capt. Jay Sheffer of the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

Sheffer said KCSO deputies are getting about three traffic stops a week where drugs are in the vehicles with impairment. “The big thing is, we're going to step up our enforcement,” he said. “You're going to see a lot more cruisers out there making traffic stops and trying to get this epidemic under control.”

Patrolman Matt White of the Fredericktown Police Department said that his department is seeing the same trends as the county and state agencies regarding impaired driving with alcohol and illegal drugs. “Our department as a whole is increasing our education to combat that,” he said.

White said his department is also seeing an increase in impaired driving with alcohol due to a couple of bars now operating in Fredericktown. “Recently we went from being a dry town to selling alcohol, so that has added to some of the statistics,” he said.

“I'm going to piggy-back on what everybody has already talked about,” said Lt. Mark Perkins of the Danville Police Department, who was at the kickoff with his 3-year-old K-9 partner, Rezza. “The epidemic with the drugs only continues the problem of impaired driving. Impaired driving doesn't just mean alcohol. This is the beginning of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, so we'd like to encourage everyone to drive sober. If you're going to drink, don't drive.”

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is sponsored by the Knox Safe Communities Coalition of Knox County.

Drive sobert k9 Perkins


Festival-goers get the chance to meet Rezza, a 3-year-old Dutch Shepherd-Doberman mix, and Lt. Mark Perkins of the Danville Police Department during Saturday's kickoff of the countywide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. The campaign is sponsored by the Knox Safe Communities Coalition of Knox County. KP photo by Cheryl Splain


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