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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

Local Government

Author Roman to speak about book "Ohio State Football: The Forgotten Dawn"

MOUNT VERNON - "THE Ohio State University.” That’s how Buckeyes who make it to the NFL introduce themselves on nationally broadcast football games.

Author Robert J. Roman will present "Ohio State Football: The Forgotten Dawn" on Wednesday, October 11, 6:30 p.m. at the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, 201 N. Mulberry.

Roman draws on extensive archival research to tell the untold story of the early days of football at Ohio's flagship public university.

The game was different. Fields were rarely level and often rocky. Eleven men played both sides of the ball, quarterbacks were often the smallest men on the team, and coaches were not allowed to communicate with the players during a game. The travel was different. The faculty of rival Ohio Wesleyan forbid their team from traveling to Columbus, where the vulgar, “godless” public university students might corrupt their young men. After Ohio State's first game outside the state—a victory in Kentucky—the team had to run for its life, chased by an angry mob of stone-throwing locals.

But the students were the same. Eager to establish their school as the equal of older, wealthier, and more strictly religious colleges, Ohio State students saw intercollegiate athletics as their path to respectability.

“Do you not believe that our athletic clubs have generally represented the University with great credit to themselves and the University?,” asked a student in the campus paper. “Do you not believe they have spread abroad our good name and won friends for us all through the State? I tell you, in this day athletics are becoming just as much a part of a great University as Greek or mathematics.”

"Ohio State Football: The Forgotten Dawn" will not only fascinate readers interested in the school’s sports history, but also those interested in the early history of athletics at American public universities. Familiar debates over the construction of facilities, hiring of coaches, academic eligibility, and the authority of the faculty and the administration are all part of the story here. But above all, college football fans will see themselves, with pride, in this history of one of the sport’s most famed programs.

The free multimedia program is open to the public of all ages and will include forty rare photos from the Ohio State archives. Refreshments will be served. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and autograph at the program.

Roman was born in Connecticut and raised in Ohio. He attended the Ohio State University where he double-majored in psychology and American history/American studies. There he saw tens of thousands of students, who otherwise seemed to agree on almost nothing, be of one mind about their football team. He holds a master’s degree in psychology from New York University and currently lives in New York City.

For more information, call the main library at 740-392-2665 (BOOK), Linette Porter-Metler, PLMVKC Community Relations, 740-501-0080, visit www.knox.net or email [email protected]

Knox County Landmarks Foundation to reveal 2017 Endangered Landmarks list


MOUNT VERNON - The Knox County Landmarks Foundation is hosting a public meeting to report on its activities in the community, to recognize local individuals’ contributions and to reveal its 2017 Endangered Landmarks list. The meeting will be held on October 26th at 6:30pm at the Memorial Building.

The public is invited to hear the Foundation’s “2017 Endangered Landmarks List." The purpose of this list is to reveal the county’s most endangered sites. As an advocacy group the Knox County Landmarks Foundation believes these local landmarks are worth preserving. “Given what has been lost recently, we are very concerned about the buildings on the endangered list. We hope the community will join us helping to protect all of Knox County’s history,” Foundation President Jeff Gottke said.

Additionally, An update will be given on the Foundation’s yearly activities including the latest mural, eastside home improvement grant program, and November church tour. Awards will be presented to local individuals and businesses for their efforts in historic preservation. Several local businesses will also be recognized as “Landmark Businesses." Lastly, the public is invited to hear the Foundation’s upcoming activities and to give their input on future projects. Refreshments will be provided.

The Landmarks Foundation, is a non-profit organization, is dedicated to the preservation, protection and promotion of Knox County’s historic treasurers. It is open to all community members who are interested in devoting their time and talents to preserving Knox County’s history. For more information about KCLF or its projects contact [email protected]


Teen Advisory Council accepts donation from Knox DD

MOUNT VERNON - In partnership with many local organizations, Knox DD hosted its annual 5K/1-mile walk/run on Saturday, August 12th. Every year, Knox County Board of DD selects a local organization to receive proceeds from the event. 

The Teen Advisory Council (TAC), Knox County's youth-led prevention group, was honored to be selected as the beneficiary this year. A check presentation was held as Knox DD donated $5,090 to the council earlier this week. TAC has involvement from four of the six high schools in Knox County with the primary goal to prevent teen dating violence and substance use/abuse.

KnoxDD KSAAT check 1

Left to right, Steve Oster, Knox DD; Kristin Miller, Knox DD; Ashley Phillips, KSAAT; Lori Jones, New Directions - photo submitted




Commissioners vote to raise county sales tax in 2018

By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — The county commissioners voted on Thursday to raise the county sales tax, but conflicting state laws leave Knox County in a bind.

The commissioners originally planned to impose the tax this month. When the Ohio House overrode Gov. John Kasich's veto of a provision to replace money counties lost when the federal government eliminated a sales tax on Medicaid managed care organizations, they decided to postpone the increase and see whether the Ohio Senate upheld the House veto.

“We were waiting to see what the Senate would do,” said Commissioner Teresa Bemiller. “Obviously, what's happened is they are going with the governor's proposal, so we are faced with losing that sales tax.”

The MCO sales tax brought about $500,000 into the county coffers annually. Knox County will receive a one-time allocation of $472,000 to help offset the loss: $121,000 in November and $351,000 in January or February 2018.

Since the Senate took no action, the commissioners said they felt they couldn't wait any longer to enact the sales tax. However, they discovered that they cannot raise the tax ½ percent as they intended.

Commissioners can raise the sales tax under two sections of the Ohio Revised Code; Knox County has .25 percent available under each section. Previously, taxes could be increased in increments of .25; the commissioners planned to combine the .25 percent available under each section and raise the tax by .50 (½) percent.

A new law that became effective last week changed that scenario. Now, taxes can only be raised in increments of .10. That means the commissioners can only raise the sales tax by .40, .20 from each ORC section. The remaining .05 under each section is unavailable to the commissioners and will sit there until the law is changed.

“State Rep. Rick Carfagna is aware and is working to get the law corrected, but even if it gets corrected, it won't be in time for us,” said Commissioner Thom Collier.

The .40 percent increase will generate around $2.5 million annually.

“That's a loss of $300,000 to $500,000 every year that we will not benefit from based on the original figures,” said Collier.

In a bizarre twist, the state can also still penalize Knox County because it is not taxing to capacity, even though state law prohibits the commissioners from imposing the full amount.

Adding to the financial crunch is the news that Knox County Job & Family Services, despite the children's services levy, will face a shortfall of $500,000 to $700,000 each of the next two years. Director Matthew Kurtz attributes the shortfall to the increase in children being cared for by children's services; the number has tripled over the last few years.

“The general fund has not been contributing to the children's services fund, but this [increase] is something we are aware of; it's happening in other counties, too,” said Bemiller. “That just outlines how much more we are having to put into the judicial side to take care of the opiod crisis. I think we are all alarmed with what we heard from children's services.”

“We weren't aware of this [shortfall] when we held our hearings,” said Collier. “Now it's a little more bleak than it was before.”

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the county sales tax will be 7.15 percent. Of that, 5.75 percent goes to the state; of the county's 1.4 percent, 1 percent goes to 911 and .40 percent goes to the general fund. Bemiller said the county will start receiving money in March, but it the county won't feel the full impact until the end of 2018.

“Capital expenditures will be a high priority to make sure we can fund those,” she said. “We won't be floating in money by any means. The state made themselves whole on the Medicaid losses. Once again, we have to fend for ourselves. We are getting a clear message they do not want to revenue share with us.”

“I do not feel this administration realizes we are an arm of the state,” said Commissioner Roger Reed.

“None of us are thrilled with this [tax increase], but there's no other option. And it's worse to find out the changes in the law make it even worse,” said Collier. “We waited, hoping the Senate would follow the House's lead to get us closer to being made whole, but they never did.”


Jail population nears 100 inmates

MOUNT VERNON — Sheriff David Shaffer says the inmate population at the Knox County Jail continues to stay consistent at 90 plus, with the current count at 95.

Shaffer told County Commissioners Thom Collier and Teresa Bemiller that 17 inmates are female and 78 are male; two are from Lawrence County, and one is a federal prisoner.

Of the 95, 51 are unsentenced felons and 13 unsentenced misdemeanor offenders; 21 are serving time for misdemeanors. Shaffer said that the Mount Vernon Municipal Court is trying to work out other arrangements for misdemeanor offenders, such as daily monitoring and drug testing, rather than sentencing them to a jail term.

Shaffer also told the commissioners that his office has reached the amount budgeted for the equipment and vehicle line accounts. He noted that the Ford SUVs have a better tire and brake life compared to the Impalas.

Shaffer said he will have a better handle on wages in the next few weeks as officers cash out their comp time. Overtime has been an issue, partly due to staffing and partly due to recent incidents the office has handled.

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