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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

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Letter to the KP Editor: Backpack ban at MVHS

Dear KP Editor,

This school year brought changes both in policy and attitude to MVHS. Several of these changes have no benefit and are detrimental to students. Specifically, the recent ban on backpacks should be reconsidered.

With 1,000 students, MVHS is too large for effective implementation of this ban. It is unreasonable to expect students to get from class, locker, and to another class in four minutes. It leaves no time for restroom breaks and penalizes students that are held after class by a teacher. Insufficient time is especially applicable to seniors, whose lockers are on the opposite side of the school from the majority of classrooms and the cafeteria. Students also are more likely to forget materials or bring the wrong materials to class.

The ban doesn’t change the presence of drugs or weapons in schools. Drugs and weapons could still be kept in lockers, not eliminating the threat of their use. The middle school, which is more compact than the high school, has a ban on backpacks, but still faces issues with drugs and weapons brought into the school. Safer alternatives, such as transparent baskets, which are unable to hide weapons or drugs, were also banned. This additional ban shows a lack of logic as well as a lack of respect between the administration and students. This is the logic used for a misbehaving 3-year-old, not for high school students.

The ban presents dangers for students, rather than securing safety. "Carrying large or bulky objects may increase the probability of falling [and] may also make it more difficult for a falling person to grab a...handrail.” I have witnessed students drop materials as well as fall up and down the stairs. Stairway falls are extremely dangerous since they are known to result in “major injury such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and hip fracture.” For young to middle-aged adults, stairway falls are the cause of TBIs 27% of the time.

I chose to stay at MVHS throughout my high school career to take courses in the AP curriculum. This year’s changes regarding backpacks, among other changes, have contributed to an environment that is less supportive, positive, and collaborative than in previous years. I now regret that I did not take classes at OSU Newark or MVNU. The frustration in the high school outweighs the inconvenience of taking classes elsewhere, away from the network of friends and the familiarity of MVHS.

Cohen, Joseph, Cindy A. LaRue, and H.
Harvey Cohen. "Stairway Falls: An ergonomics analysis of 80 cases." National Safety Council. January 2009. Accessed September 13, 2017.

"A review of stairway falls and stair negotiation: Lessons learned and future needs to reduce injury." Gait & Posture. June 24, 2016. Accessed September 15, 2017.

Aidan Clarkson, Mount Vernon


Memorial Toy Ride to honor Officer Thomas Cottrell will benefit Salvation Army Christmas efforts

By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor

MOUNT VERNON - Plans are coming togther for the 2nd annual Memorial Toy Ride to honor Officer Thomas Cottrell who was killed in the line of duty in January of 2016. The motorcycle ride will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2017 and begin at Mid-Ohio Suzuki-Honda-Yamaha-Kawasaki on Harcourt Road. The riders will leave Mid-Ohio and ride to Wilson Cemetery in Newark where a recognition cermony will be held for Officer Cottrell. From there the route will proceed to the Danville Police station and end at The Station Break, 160 Howard Street. Participants are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy or $20 per bike.  All donations benefit the Salvation Army of Mount Vernon.

The event is supported by the Knox County FOP Lodge 147. Lodge president Sgt. Wayne Noggle of the Knox County Sheriff's Office said, "Tom [Cottrell] was big into helping kids. Tom really was involved in a lot of baseball, softball...kid activitites."

Noggle told KnoxPages.com that the FOP wants to make sure kids in Knox County don't go without things at Christmas that they need or want. "If we put a smile on one kid's face, this whole ride [will be] worth it," said Noggle.

Once the ride gets to the Station Break around 1-1:30 p.m. riders and anyone who didn't ride but would like to donate either the $20 fee or a new, unwrapped toy can enjoy food donated by local businesses, raffles, a 50-50 drawing, door prizes, a live auction and bluegrass music from Bailey & White. A commercial Dolmar chain saw and a portable generator are among the featured items.

Kevin Mishey, Salvation Army Advisory board member says the goal this year is $15,000. The money raised will help some 800 children and 200 families in the Mount Vernon/Knox County area receive toys and a Christmas dinner food basket.

Lt. Christine Baker of the Salvation Army says 100% of the donations to the Toy Ride will stay in Knox County. She said, "The Salvation Army works hard every year to service those in need who otherwise would go without a Christmas. We're very thankful for this ride and the sponsorships and the help that comes in ..this is the army behind the [Salvation] Army, people that give and volunteer and help us."  

Donations are being accepted for sponsorship of the event.  Checks can be made payable to Knox County FOP Lodge 147, reference 2017 Toy Ride. Mail to Knox County FOP, P. O. Box 327 Mount Vernon, OH 43050. Local businesses supporting the event include: Chipotle, Coca-Cola, Smithhisler Meats, Wendy's, Tim Horton's, WQIO radio. 

Event T-shirts will be sold at the ride. T-shirt proceeds will go the FOP's Shop with a Cop event done in to help local children shop for Christmas presents for themselves and their families.


Knox County Infirmary Ohio Historical Marker Dedication ceremony set for Thursday

BANGS - The Knox County Infirmary went by various names throughout history, including the Knox County Poorhouse, Poor Farm, Poor Asylum, and County Home. But through all of the name changes, its function remained the same for over a century: to serve as a place of refuge for the less fortunate citizens of Knox County.

Local historian Aubrey E. Brown will be on hand for the dedication of an Ohio Historical Marker commemorating the legacy of the Knox County Infirmary on Thursday, September 21 at 6:00 p.m. Guest speakers include Aubrey E. Brown, Janet Wacker, Becki Trivison of the Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society), and Lisa Lloyd of the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County. The ceremony will conclude with the unveiling of Knox County’s newest Ohio Historical Marker.

The marker is located at the corner of Johnstown Road and Possum Street in Bangs, 6 miles south of Mount Vernon off SR-3/US-62. Use 7530 Johnstown Road, Mount Vernon for GPS directions. Handicap parking will be available in the Chapel Hill Golf Course lot next to the driving range. Other parking will be available at the Church at Chapel Hill. Please bring a chair, as seating is limited.

The Ohio Historical Marker program is administered through the Local History Office, a division of the Ohio History Connection. Special thanks to the Church at Chapel Hill for allowing the historical marker to be placed on their property, as well as to Jeff Hartman and Nate Chevalier of Kokosing Construction Company, Inc. for installing the marker.

Siemens employees wrap up Summer of Giving

MOUNT VERNON - Breakfast cereal was one focus of a charitable project by Siemens employees this summer. The Siemens' Summer of Giving also included a donation of 179 loaded school backpacks for The Salvation Army. The employees also collected 1,832 cereal boxes that were donated to Interchurch Social Services.

 Siemens cereal drive

Siemens employees decided to salute OSU as they donated over 1,000 boxes of cereal to Interchurch Social Services.Left to right Maureen Richert, Michele Coscia, Tina Hall and Dorothy Howard - photo courtesy Michele Coscia 

East Gambier Street paving project slows traffic

MOUNT VERNON - Motorists travelling in and out of downtown on East Gambier Street had to deal with slow downs and side street closures due to East Gambier Street paving Friday morning. Work is scheduled from Mulberry Street east to the Center Run Bridge.  If the work isn't completed today, it will continue over the weekend.

Gambier St paving Sep 15 17

East Gambier Street paving underway Friday morning - KP Photo

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