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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

Local Government

Davis promoted at First-Knox

MOUNT VERNON – First-Knox National Bank promoted one associate at the August board meeting. Jessica Davis was promoted to administrative officer, mortgage lending.

“Jessica has been with First-Knox over 15 years,” stated Vickie A. Sant, president of First-Knox National Bank. “She has held a number of roles that have honed her customer service and lending skills. She is an excellent lender and resource for our customers and associates.”

Jessica is a native of Virginia where she graduated high school. She has completed numerous banking classes and is a 2013 graduate of the Knox County Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Knox program. She joined First-Knox in 2001 and has held positions as a teller, customer service representative, and assistant branch manager before transferring to mortgage lending in 2015.

Davis resides in Mount Vernon with her husband, Angelo Huerte, and sons, Sebastian and Finn.

Commissioners meet with Trump administration officials in DC

By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County commissioners said their meetings on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., with officials from the Trump Administration were worthwhile and productive. Topics discussed include nuclear, waterways, infrastructure and agriculture.

Commissioners Teresa Bemiller, Thom Collier and Roger Reed, along with about 80 other Ohio commissioners, met with representatives from 21 federal agencies, including Vice President Mike Pence and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue; Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump; Ohio native Omarosa Manigault, Trump's communications liaison; and representatives from the Department of Transportation and Trump's Chief of Staff Office.

“A lot of it was about their planning and proposed budgeting,” said Collier. “We were able to talk to them about how it affects local questions. We asked questions; I don't think we were disappointed with their answers.”

“The big thing that impressed me was they genuinely acted like they wanted to hear what we had to say,” said Reed. “They said you can contact us directly.”

“I think they are trying to tell us that if you have issues, you can come directly to us. Everyone made that clear to us,” said Bemiller.

“They weren't surprised by anything we brought up,” said Collier. “Kellyanne talked a lot about the opiate epidemic in Ohio.”

“They had a good grasp of the number of kids taken in by Job & Family Services, and the need for foster families,” Bemiller added.

“I think when you talk about the budget and funding for those types of things, Kellyanne will have a lot of input. I think the President is pretty close to what she thinks and does,” said Reed. “She definitely has his ear, so I think she's probably going to have some input on this particular issue.”

“They understand the counties have a lot of infrastructure. They may direct money to the state, but they know we are the ones who do roads and bridges,” said Bemiller.

Collier said that a lot of the issues discussed, such as algae bloom and coal, do not affect Knox County but do affect other Ohio counties. He said the officials are aware of the time and red tape involved with government bureaucracy, and they are trying to streamline regulations and procedures.

“They really drove that point home, that you will only deal with one department,” said Reed. “One person will basically shepherd you through.”

“I think the No. 1 message that came through is there's been a lot more accomplished in this administration that we don't hear about,” said Bemiller. “And they made it clear in was non-partisan; they are open to Democrats and Republicans.”

Meetings ran from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a break for lunch. “They didn't hurry us,” said Bemiller. Reed agreed, saying it was “worthwhile just getting the contact information and knowing who you are talking to one the other end.”

A tour of the East Wing preceded the nearly seven hours of meetings, which were held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Ohio is the fourth state the Trump Administration has invited to the White House for talks, joining Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan. The goal of the talks is to open a direct line of communication between local and federal agencies.

Commissioners in DCOfficials from President Trump's administration held a series of meetings on Tuesday with county commissioners from throughout Ohio. Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue were among those who talked with the commissioners. Photo courtesy of Thom Collier


Training event offered for business owners and HR managers on employee retention

MOUNT VERNON - Turnover is a common dilemma for many local businesses.  Knox County Workforce Development (WorkDev) is sponsoring a 4 hour training event for business owners and Human Resources Managers presenting solutions for employee retention. 

The training will feature expert consultant Andrea Applegate who will present cost effective strategies that companies can implement to reduce turnover.  Applegate addresses multiple areas of improvement and describes how businesses can customize options to fit their industry and business needs.  In addition WorkDev will be reviewing Human Resources concepts including compensation strategies, how to calculate turnover costs, how to analyze the data provided in a wage survey. 

The 2016 Knox County Wage Survey will be distributed and major industry trends will be discussed.   

There is a cost for the four hours of professional training. For more information and to register call 740-393-2933.

For more details on WorkDev visit www.knoxworkforce.com.  WorkDev is an alliance of professionals from the Chamber of Commerce, Area Development Foundation, COTC, Knox Technical Center, Job and Family Services, Developmental Disabilities, Mount Vernon Nazarene University and area businesses.  


Local residents donate to Harvey relief

MOUNT VERNON - Nate Thomas of Fredericktown used to live in Houston. As news of the devastation brought by Hurricane Harvey continues to reveal the magnitude of the flooding wrought by the storm Nate decided he needed to do something.  On Wednesday he put out a call for donations of non-perishable items that would go directly to those in need in the Houston area. KnoxPages.com and others put out the call on social media and donations were made in the parking lot of the Mount Vernon Shopping Plaza Wednesday afternoon and evening.

With help from two churches, Storyside Church in Bellville and Lifepoint Church of the Nazarene in Dublin, the donated items will be delivered to those in need in Houston. 

On his Facebook page, Nate wrote, "We were able to fill up a truck bed and the back of a Ford Escape with supplies to send to Houston .. all supplies and money dropped off went straight to Storyside Church, which will go to Lifepoint Church of the Nazarene who will take it to Houston. Thank you Mount Vernon and Knox County!"

Nate truck

Donations for Hurricane Harvey flooding victims collected by Nate Thomas in Mount Vernon Wednesday - Facebook

Donations can also be made through several relief organizations including the American Red Cross at redcross.org.



Committee forms to support city's request for 1/2 percent tax increase


By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — Gordon Yance, former president of First-Knox National Bank, will serve as the treasurer of Citizens for Mount Vernon, a ballot issue committee supporting the city's request for a ½ percent income tax increase.

Yance was a member of the City Finance Group, a group that met for a year to analyze the city's current finances and future projections. As a result of his work with the finance group, Yance said, “I became firmly convinced of the wisdom of placing the ½ percent income tax increase on the ballot.

Yance Gordy

Gordy Yance - file photo

“This is a nonpartisan issue from our perspective,” he continued. “It is solely for the future of Mount Vernon.”

The proposed tax increase will be targeted toward police and fire services. Yance said the current ½ percent income tax, which residents voted in 34 years ago, now only pays about half of the police and fire departments' needs. The additional ½ percent is “in the best interest of the citizens of Mount Vernon,” he said, adding that he and his wife Fran have made a commitment to financially support the ballot initiative.

Those wishing to support Citizens for Mount Vernon can mail contributions to P.O. Box 545, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.


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