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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

Local Government

City of Mount Vernon releases list of projects to be dropped in 2017

MOUNT VERNON - The city of Mount Vernon has released a list of projects to be delayed or dropped due to financial concerns in 2017.

City Projects to be Delayed or Dropped

  • N. Sandusky St., Belmont and Tilden Avenue Improvement Project
    (Design delay)
  • City Clean-Up Weeks and First Saturdays.
  • Bike Sidewalk between the end of the trail at the storage building to South Main Street.
  • Three (3) vacancies in water-wastewater and one (1) vacancy in Street Department will remain unfilled.
  • The employment of three (3) firefighter/paramedics will be delayed.
  • The hiring freeze for fulltime personnel will be continued.
  • The Elmwood Fire Station will be closed. Timing for closure will be at the discretion of the Fire Chief. A cost assessment of repairs and upgrades needed at the station will be completed.
  • Blackberry Alley delayed.
  • Front steps of City Hall.
  • Repair or replacement of two million gallon water storage tank on New Gambier Road.
  • In addition to the above, the city has already cut approximately $1.6 million out of the budget during the budgeting process.

Below is a list of City Projects that will be funded for 2017

*City Street Paving
*Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge (Design & Engineering)
*Parrott Street – South Main Street (Intersection Design)
*Coshocton Avenue/Verndale/Kroger intersection
 (Design & Construction)
*Pleasant Street Water and Brick Street Project
(Construction – Mulberry to Gay)
*Pleasant Street Water (Center Run to Coshocton)
*Bike Trail Under Pass (Design)
*Chestnut – N. Main Street Intersection Improvement
 (Design & Construction)
*Downtown Traffic Study
*State Route 586 and State Route 229 (Mulberry to Center Run)
*City Share 20% + Cross walks and ramps 100%
*West High Street – Sandusky Street Intersection Improvement
*Ariel-Foundation Park Safety Fence

Ohio Secretary of State says 126 illegal votes cast in Buckeye state

COLUMBUS– Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced that his office has identified an additional 385 non-citizens registered to vote in Ohio, 82 of whom have been identified as having voted in at least one election. This brings the total number of non-citizens on Ohio’s voter rolls Secretary Husted has been able to identify using available resources to 821, with 126 of those individuals having actually cast ballots.

Secretary Husted is the first of the Ohio’s chief elections officials to initiate a review of Ohio’s Statewide Registered Voter Database (SWRVD) to identify non-citizens on the voter rolls. This is the third review Secretary Husted’s administration has conducted.

“In light of the national discussion about illegal voting it is important to inform our discussions with facts. The fact is voter fraud happens, it is rare and when it happens, we hold people accountable,” Secretary Husted said.

As Secretary Husted has done following similar reviews of the SWRVD in 2013 and 2015, those 82 non-citizens that are registered to vote and have cast ballots will be immediately referred to state and federal law enforcement officials for further investigation and possible prosecution.

In Knox County one non citizen was registered to vote but there were no ballots caSt locally by a non-citizen.

The 303 registered voters identified as non-citizens who have not cast a ballot will be sent letters both informing them that non-citizens are not eligible to vote and requesting that they cancel their registration. A follow-up letter will be sent to any individuals that still remain on the rolls after 30 days. Any non-citizens identified that remain on the rolls after being contacted twice will then be referred to state and federal law enforcement officials.

The Secretary of State’s office has been able to identify these non-citizens on the rolls using information provided by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) as applicants are required to provide documentation of their legal presence with their application for a state identification or drivers’ license. The non-citizens were identified by the Secretary of State’s Office using a double confirmation process, which requires a registered voter to have provided documentation to the BMV themselves indicating that they are a non-U.S. Citizen two times before being flagged.

While the process Secretary Husted has implemented using information provided by the BMV has been helpful in working to maintain and protect Ohio’s voter rolls, there are likely additional non-citizens in the SWRVD given the lack of access to more real-time data maintained by the federal government. In February and July of 2015, Secretary wrote then-President Barack Obama requesting that the states be given real-time access to accurate, searchable, electronic databases of non-citizens who have valid Social Security numbers so that they may distinguish between citizens and lawfully-present non-citizens. That same year, Secretary Husted also testified before a congressional committee about how this type of data can be used by the states to properly maintain their respective voter rolls. In the coming weeks, Secretary Husted plans to renew his call for access to this information.

“I have a responsibility to preserve the integrity of Ohio’s elections system,” Secretary Husted said. “When you consider that in Ohio we have had 112 elections decided by one vote or tied in the last three years, every case of illegal voting must be taken seriously and elections officials must have every resource available to them to respond accordingly.”

It should be noted, that none of the cases where a non-citizen is shown to have cast a ballot occurred in jurisdictions where an election was decided by one vote or tied.

Careins fined, sentenced in Municipal Court

MOUNT VERNON – Municipal Court Judge John Thatcher heard the case of Joshua J. Careins, 35 of Mount Vernon on Tuesday.

Careins changed his pleas and the Court found him guilty of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or a drug of abuse, refusing to take a chemical test, and persisting in disorderly conduct. The Court sentenced Careins to pay a fine of $500 plus court costs, serve 180 days in jail with 174 days suspended, placed him on two years of community control, ordered him to complete a drug and alcohol assessment within 60 days, complete a driver intervention program, wear a SCRAM alcohol monitoring device for six months, attend the Mount Vernon Municipal Court Hands Down Program, and imposed a one-year license suspension

Three found guilty in Municipal Court Feb. 22

MOUNT VERNON - Judge John Thatcher found three people guilty after trials to the Court and one other hearing held in the Mount Vernon Municipal Court on February 22, 2017.

Jasmine S. Cosner, 25 of Mount Vernon, was found guilty of petty theft after a trial to the Court. Kroger Loss Prevention Associate Jeffrey Shanyfelt and Patrolman JasonPayne of the Mount Vernon Police Department testified for the prosecution. The Court sentenced Cosner to pay a fine of $200 plus court costs, serve 180 days in jail with 179 days suspended, was placed on two years of probation, and attend and complete a social responsibility class.

Michael D. Hawkins, 22 of Danville, was found guilty of speeding, 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, after a trial to the Court. After hearing testimony from Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Daniel Trautman, Jr., the Court sentenced Hawkins to pay a fine of $35 plus court costs.

Curtis L. Kidd, 37 of Utica, changed his plea and the Court found him guilty of driving under an administrative license suspension. The Court sentenced Kidd to pay a fine of $250 plus court costs and to serve five days in jail.

Scanner to address contraband issues at county jail

By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — The county is moving forward with the purchase of a body scanner for the Knox County Sheriff's Office. The County Commissioners Thom Collier and Teresa Bemiller signed the agreement on Thursday.

Nuctech makes the scanner, which has a price tag of $49,999 and a 90-day trial period. “We have had ongoing jail contraband issues,” said Sheriff Dave Shaffer. “We don't see any other alternative.”

“The liability if someone gets something into the jail and has an overdose is far more than the cost of the machine,” said Collier. “We want people to know that it's going to be there.”

Shaffer anticipates an installation date toward the end of March. The commissioners and the KCSO will each pay 40 percent of the cost; the prosecutor's office will pay the remaining 10 percent.

The jail population as of Feb. 16 is 77; 14 are female and four are federal inmates. Shaffer said he expects training for the new central control program to begin in mid March with installation the first part of June. He also said that he has met with Public Defender John Pyle. Pyle wants to increase the time spent at the jail meeting the inmates so that the legal process can get started quicker.

The commissisoners' morning agenda included meetings with Matthew Kurtz, director of Knox County Job & Family Services, and John Carhart, Knox County dog warden.

Kurtz said he is keeping an eye on developments regarding the Affordable Health Care Act because it affects funding, budgets and eligibility requirements. “There's a lot of flurry but not much happening,” he said.

Regarding the state budget, Kurtz said, “We are happy we didn't get hit too hard with the governor's budget. The big push we need help with is children's services." He said that other funding streams are steady.

KCJ&FS will soon roll out its campaign to recruit new foster parents. “We fill up quickly the 10 homes we have currently,” and we have to place [children in a home] at a higher cost or send them out of county.”

Regarding the recruitment goal, Kurtz said, "I don't think we could have an upper number, but we're hoping to get at least a dozen.” This is the first time in several years the department has campaigned for more foster parents.

"I think it's good timing to let folks know what's going on as much as possible," he said, adding that economics, opioids and meth “are dynamics we are seeing play out. Kurtz said the cash assistance program continues to have low enrollment; the food assistance program remains steady.

Carhart reported that the Knox County Animal Shelter took in 47dogs in January; 32 dogs left the shelter. The average length of stay was 36 days. There are two dogs designated as dangerous. Jason Booth, county administrator, will meet with Carhart soon to discuss the status of the shelter's vehicles an eye toward planning a time frame for replacing the vehicles. Two are 10 years old with 140,000 miles on them and need frequent repairs.

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