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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

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Hidden in Plain Sight drug awareness presentations set

MOUNT VERNON - The Knox Substance Abuse Action Team (KSAAT) continues to offer Hidden in Plain Sight presentations during March and April. Hidden in Plain Sight is an interactive and informative presentation for adults designed to build their awareness on items they may find in an adolescent’s room, book-bag, closet or car that indicate risky behaviors including drug and alcohol abuse. The presentation features a staged bedroom with 150 items that are hidden in plain sight. Attendees at earlier presentations have indicated an increased awareness in their understanding of items associated with alcohol and other drug use. 

Hidden in Plain Sight presentations are free and there is no –pre-registration. The presentations are for adults only. Upcoming presentations include:

- Tue., Mar. 14, 6:30 p.m., St. Vincent de Paul School, 206 E Chestnut St., Mount Vernon

- Wed., Mar. 29, 10 a.m., The Village Network, 17606 Coshocton Ave., Mount Vernon

- Wed., Mar. 29, 5 p.m., The Village Network, 17606 Coshocton Ave., Mount Vernon

- Thur., April 20, 6:30 p.m., Homer Public Library, 385 South St., Homer

All presentations are open to the public. If you are interested in hosting a Hidden In Plain Sight presentation for your organization or have questions, contact Ashley Didinger at the Knox County Health Department: 740-392-2200 ext. 2271 or [email protected]

MVNU students honored with NRB media production awards

MOUNT VERNON - Four Mount Vernon Nazarene University students were recently honored by the intercollegiate branch of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) for placing in the organization’s 2017 student production contests. The awards were handed out Feb. 28, 2017, at the NRB’s annual convention in Orlando, Fla.

Aubrey Bailey, a senior journalism and media production major from Wooster received three awards in the production contest. She placed first in the Audio Imaging/Branding category for her WNZR 30th-anniversary piece called “He Is My Strong Tower,” and second in the Audio PSA/Commercial category for her piece on WNZR’s “Take Dad to Dinner” Father’s Day promotion. Bailey also received the 2017 Audio Award of Excellence for receiving the highest overall score from the judges on the “Strong Tower” production.

Emily Porter, a senior journalism and media production major from Ashland, Ky., received two awards. She placed third in the Audio PSA/Commercial category for her 30-second piece promoting online broadcasts of MVNU Chapel services. She also teamed with fellow senior Jenna Potts for second place in the Video Multi-camera Production category for their work on MVNU volleyball broadcasts. Potts is a double major in journalism and media production and public relations from Springfield, Ohio.

Jessica Wells, senior journalism and media production major from Columbus, finished third in the Video Multi-camera Production category for her work on MVNU men’s basketball broadcasts.

This is the eleventh consecutive year that MVNU students have placed in the top three nationally in either audio or video. Upperclassmen students taking media production courses at MVNU this fall submitted projects following the NRB guidelines, and the top projects were then evaluated and entered into the contest.

While at the convention, Bailey and Eddie Dilts, sophomore journalism and media production major from Gahanna, competed in the 24-hour digital audio challenge against six other teams across the country. All teams had 24 hours to produce a 2-3 minute audio drama production.

Six other MVNU students also attended the conference. Faculty attending included Joe Rinehart, assistant professor of communication and Director of Broadcasting, who serves on the iNRB standing committee, and Marcy Rinehart, WNZR Station Manager and adjunct professor.

NRB17 MVNU Group

MVNU’s group after the student awards at NRB 2017 in Orlando, Fla. – front row, left to right: Marcy Rinehart, Rachel Rinehart, Lilly Buckley, Abby Fairless and Aubrey Bailey; back row, left to right: Jenna Potts, Eddie Dilts, Josh Pope, Joe Rinehart, Kelsey Bryte and Dan Monnin (photo credit: NRB)

“NRB is a rewarding experience for both students and faculty,” said Joe Rinehart. “It is the largest gathering of faith-based media producers in the world, so it gives our students valuable networking and learning opportunities. In addition, the work they do is judged by communication professionals across the country. Faculty members advise the student challenge teams and all of us attend sessions and workshops that provide both professional and spiritual development.”

The intercollegiate branch of NRB is committed to promoting excellence and integrity, and providing a forum for student and faculty members to network and share ideas and goals. For more information on the National Religious Broadcasters, go to www.nrb.org.

MVHS In the Know teams win Mansfield tournament

MANSFIELD - The Mount Vernon High School Varsity and JV In the Know teams were victorious at Friday's Mid-Ohio tournament at the Mansfield ESC. Coach Rob Fetters said both teams went undefeated, winnning 6 matches each.

Varsity: Greg Gillen, Joseph Higginbotham, Nicole Steady, Alula Hunsen.

JV: Jacob Lebold, Mary Harris, Luke Trese, Malcolm MacDonell, Hanna Hyde, Kyle Boucher

Wheeler sentenced to 5 years behind bars for burglaries

MOUNT VERNON - A Mount Vernon woman was sentenced to five years in prison Friday by Knox County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Wetzel for several burglaries. Nicole Wheeler, 28, stole from four different residences in the city last year. She was convicted of three burglary counts, four counts of theft, one count of receiving stolen property and one count of forgery.

One victim said Wheeler stole her sense of security and took sentimental items, including jewelry from her mother and grandmother.

Stepping Up Initiative can help mentally ill with substance use issues stay out of jail

By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON — Representatives from law enforcement, the judicial system and mental health advocates gathered Friday to hear retired Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton discuss ways to help mentally ill individuals who keep revolving through correctional facilities.

The Stepping Up Initiative is designed to help those with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders safely stay out of jail and on a path to recovery. Nationally, estimates are that 2 million people with serious mental illnesses are admitted to jails; in Ohio, as many as 30 percent or more of those in jail have mental illnesses. Locally, Knox County Sheriff David Shaffer said last fall that he estimates the number to be 70 percent, if not higher.

Juvenile/Probate Judge Jennifer Springer is coordinating Knox County's participation in the program. “This is a very important initiative, near and dear to our hearts,” she said. “We are here for our youth and the community, and not only the youth but the families.”

Much of the time was devoted to participants introducing themselves and giving a brief overview of their jobs and the services they offer. As individuals mentioned various topics, Stratton handed out booklets and newsletters, offered suggestions and provided other resources to help them fulfill their mission.

The goal of the introductions was to familiarize everyone with the range of services offered. Stratton said that she was impressed with the amount of inter-agency collaboration already taking place in Knox County. Brittany Whitney, assistant law director for the city of Mount Vernon, said the meeting opened her eyes to the many resources available in the community that she did not know were available.

Stratton said that at the state level, the Stepping Up Steering Committee is working in several areas:
Trying to get a budget that will help with medications
Working on getting 12 triage centers that will place individuals where they can get help and treatment rather than letting them languish in jail
Trying to get a budget for managed care in the prison system

Stratton said that she first saw mental illness when she became a common pleas judge. Prior to joining the bench, she practiced as a civil lawyer and did not have much experience with criminal law. She said she understood, however, that some of the people she saw in her courtroom did not belong there. She began to promote crisis intervention training, mental health courts and other ways to help those with mental illness. That work eventually led to her involvement in the Stepping Up Initiative.


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