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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio


KCSO honored by Village of Gambier during 4th of July festivities

By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor

GAMBIER - The Knox County Sheriff's Office was honored as the Gambier Citizen of the Year at Fourth of July festivities. Mayor Kachen Kimmel said the honor is bestowed each year to an individual or group who has been of great service to the village this year. The KCSO has served as the police department of Gambier for 20 years. Beginning on June 11th, the sheriff's office began a missing persons investigation following the disappearance of two Gambier residents. The KCSO alerted residents through KnoxAlerts, the local newspaper and KnoxPages.com about the search and the eventual discovery of the body of one of the two and the arrest of the other for murder. July 4th was declared KCSO day in Gambier.

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Knox County Sheriff David Shaffer thanked the Villlage of Gambier for the KCSO being named Citizen of the Year. Mayor Kachen Kimmell looks on. KnoxPages.com Photo by George Breithaupt

Mayor Kimmel presented a plaque to Sheriff David Shaffer who thanked the mayor and said, "We are honored by this award." Shaffer also recognized Deputy Williams and Deputy Cline who regularly patrol the village.

The village also named Daniel Mark Epstein Gambier's Poet Laureate for 2017. He read a poem to celebrate the heroes Walt Whitman and President Abraham Lincoln. Epstein read, "We have choices to make everyday in the tradition of this great democracy."

Mayor Kimmel gave her Independence Day speech to those assembled adjacent to the railroad car along the Kokosing Gap Trail, the new permanent home of the 4th of July ceremony.  

"At a time when many people are concerned about what is happening to democracy in our country, democracy here in Gambier is vibrant. Citizen participation in municipal decision making has ben strong during my term as mayor and I know it will continue."

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Mayor Kimmel, left, is flanked by veterans from several different military service branches at the village's 4th of July ceremony - KP Photo by Marty Trese

She encouraged residents to run for office, noting there are four council seats open in the village that will be decided this November. She also urged residents to learn the issues, vote, and talk to public officials, such as herself, with concerns.

She recognized those from Gambier who are making their political positions known by writing letters, holding signs on the Public Square in Mount Vernon, and urging others to get involved in democracy.  She closed her remarks by saying,"Democracy is strong. Let's go celebrate. Happy 4th of July."

The annual parade then formed along Meadow Lane from Duff Street to the community center. Shaffer was seated in the lead off car followed by several parade units including kids on bicycles, golf carts, dogs, a tractor, members of Gibbs Watch, and a plethora of College Township fire department vehicles. Following the parade a community picnic was scheduled to be held at the park next to the center.  









Building Resilience to Toxic Stress one topic of Knox Addiction Conference

By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor

GAMBIER - A call to action was issued at Wednesday night's discussion following the viewing of the film, The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope at Kenyon College's Rosse Hall.  The viewing was part of this year's Knox Addiction Conference. The film explains research that shows ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) can impact the physical and mental health of adults. ACEs are caused by toxic stress, trauma, or abuse. Toxic stress is severe, long lasting, unconctrollable and/or frequent. Examples of toxic stress are physical, sexual or mental abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence.

A survey asks several questions to determine one's ACEs score. Yes or No responses are solicited to questions about physical abuse, sexual abuse by a family member, and whether parents divorced by the age of 18. The audience was given the ACEs test and more than 20% scored 4 or higher, indicating the possible development of cancer, mental illness or other health problems.

Janet Chandler, Program Evaluator with Mental Health & Recovery of Licking and Knox Counties, hosted the event.  She said the survey results show that "ACEs are widespread in our own community."

Julie Miller, Knox County Chief Health Strategist and Health Commissioner led a panel discussion following the film. Panelists included Dr. Jeffrey Northrup of Knox Community Hospital; Peg Tazewell, Executive Director of Knox County Head Start; Scott Boone of Knox County Children's Services; Timm Mackley of the Knox County Educational Service Center; and Key Spergel of Mental Health and Recovery of Licking and Knox Counties.

Mackley works with students who are difficult to manage. When he meets with these students he now asks "What is going on with you?" as opposed to "What's the matter with you?" 

Boone says his office has worked what used to be called "dirty house cases." In those cases, his staff would investigate, the house would get cleaned up and six months later that same dirty house case would have to be opened again. While the remedy was well intended, the same pattern emerged. The new approach is to realize that folks are challenged by a variety of things - mental illness, drug dependency, poverty and lack of education. Help has to come with multiple supports. 

Spergel agreed that "life is messy." She said, "You can't avoid the adversities of life. Good mental health is about hope." It's been found that activities such as yoga, running, art, and music can calm the brain of those who have experienced toxic stress. 

As to what the community can do to combat ACEs and toxic stress in our community Dr. Northrup says we can make a difference. He challenged audience members and the communitiy to, "Be a concerned neighbor or friend for a child."

Intervention strategies for teens include having a very strong adult in their lives. Social connectedness through church groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and 4-H groups can be powerful. 

Boone said "The collaborative spirit in Knox County is extraordinary, we're blessed to have that spirit here." 

The Resilience Team of the Knox Health Planning Partnership has been formed and meets monthly to address trauma and toxic streess in the community. To learn more contact Chandler by email at [email protected]

Mavis: Fix coming to MV Shopping Plaza entrance

By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor

MOUNT VERNON - The confusion many drivers encounter when entering the Mount Vernon Shopping Plaza across from Vernedale Drive may soon be coming to an end.  Mayor Dick Mavis tells KnoxPages.com that he has spoken with representatives of the plaza, the Kroger gas station, Firestone, and Chipotle about the entrance. Potential customers to those three businsses - as well as the plaza in general - face a free-for-all when trying to navigate the traffic pattern.  Currently, there is no pattern - no signs and no lines to direct traffic through the parking lot.   

Mavis says City Engineer Brian Ball has suggested a pattern or median to improve traffic flow.  There are plans to widen the entrance and to have to two lanes going eastbound and one turn lane into the plaza from Coshocton Ave. 

To hear more of Mavis' comments visit this SoundCloud link for a KP Radio interview. 

MVFD saves 8 people in river rescue


MOUNT VERNON - On Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. the MVFD responded to the area of the West High Street bridge on a call of people stranded in the middle of the river and unable to swim to the shore because of the strong current.

In a news release Chief Chad Christopher said five people were found holding onto wooden debris that was collected around one of the bridge pilings in the river, two were found close to the shore and one was found approximately 100 yards downstream in the middle of the river holding onto a rock. Overall, there were 4 adults and 4 minors involved in the rescue. They stated that they started tubing behind Riverside Park and making it to the West High Street Bridge when they became stuck around the bridge piling.

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The West High Street bridge was closed for an hour Sunday night while eight people were rescued from the river below. - KP Photo 

Everyone was removed from the water safely and evaluated for injuries by the medics on scene. No injuries were reported and no one was transported to KCH.

MVFD responded with a Command vehicle, Medic and an Engine/Rescue. Mutual aid was also received from Fredericktown Fire, Fredericktown EMS and a medic from College Twp.

Traffic was blocked on West High Street for an hour in both directions while crews worked this incident.



Brew pub coming to downtown Mount Vernon

By Dylan McCament, KnoxPages.com Reporter


MOUNT VERNON - A few years ago, a local businessman learned about a new method that makes it possible for a restaurant to have an on-site brewery at a relatively low cost.

Now, he's putting the idea into practice in downtown Mount Vernon.

Stein Brewing Company Restaurant & Taproom will open early November in the Woodward Opera House building, according to founder David Stein of Mount Vernon. According to his research, it will be the first brewery to open in the county in over 140 years and only the second that the city has ever seen.

The multifaceted 4,600 square foot business will include a small brewery, a full-service kitchen and a taproom.

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Stein Brewing Company pub image - courtesy David Stein

"With most brewers, their passion is beer," he said. "The food part is completely ancillary to what they're trying to do. They want to be the next big brewery. My goal is to make awesome beer to complement the food."

Stein said construction on the business is already underway. Stein Brewing Company Restaurant & Taproom will stretch across 105, 107, 109 and 111 South Main Street. The brewery and restaurant will sell wine and beer (including kegs) while the taproom will serve a wider variety of alcoholic beverages. He said the restaurant and taproom each require a separate liquor license, which sets limits on what can be sold, but added that patrons will be able to order the same menu items anywhere in the business.

"I started getting ideas," Stein said. "I got the idea for the brewery. Then I started thinking that I'd like to do the restaurant. Then I started to think of all the food that I like to eat that I can't necessarily get in Mount Vernon. I kind of rolled all these ideas into one. And the idea keeps morphing."

He said he expects to employ anywhere from 40 to 50 people, including a full time chef and general manager. The brewery/restaurant side will accomodate about 95 people, Stein added, and the taproom should allow for about 50 people at once. He plans to serve American Brew Pub fare including smoked burgers and smoked chicken wings and has over 100 different beer recipes to choose from.

"I've had a vision of a tremendously unique style of brewery restaurant for some time," Stein said. "I have worked very hard trying to find a site and the Woodward building presented itself as an ideal spot."

He said he is working with a leading Canadian brewing company, SmartBrew, to set up the brewing equipment. Stein said the method is twofold: the first half of the process is done off-site and includes the preparation of ingredients so they are "pre-ready."

"The brewing is done on-site," he said. "This helps reduce cost and makes it affordable to implement this concept in a small town. I don't have to make it so expensive that I price the own out of a good craft beer experience."

Stein grew up in Columbus but has lived in Mount Vernon for the last eight years. He said has worked in the hospitality industry and focused on selling beverage dispensers to bars, restaurants and other businesses. SBC will be his first restaurant. In January, he sold his company in Plain City, Ohio and made good on a promise to his wife that his next business venture would be closer to home.

"I wanted to do something local. I've really taken a liking to Mount Vernon. I really enjoy the city," Stein said. "I like the rural communities. They support things. If you support them. They'll support you."

He said he hopes that he hopes open similar brew pubs in multiple locations and eventually turn the concept into franchise. Stein said he wants to cater to "underserved" communities with a population of between 40,000 to 60,000, markets that are too small to attract franchises like a Rooster's or an Old Bag of Nails

"I am really testing my concept." he said. "I think Mount Vernon is probably at the low end in terms of the number of people: I can't do something of this magnitude in a city with a population less than what we have in our town. If I can make it successful here, I can make it successful in plenty of other towns across the country."

Stein said he is grateful for the helpful advice he has received from local officials and members of the business community. He added that he looks forward to reaching out to the community and will give customers the option to donate to local organizations by "rounding up" their tips.


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