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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

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Health Dept. offers child immunization clinics

MOUNT VERNON - While local students are out of school for summer vacation, the Knox County Health Department is gearing up for next school year with a series of clinics offering immunizations required for school. The first of three clinics offering immunizations required for kindergarten is Tuesday (6/20) from 3-6 p.m. at the health department, 11660 Upper Gilchrist Rd. This is a walk-in clinic, appointments are not necessary. The clinic will offer all of the shots required by Ohio law to attend kindergarten in the fall. Parents are reminded to bring their child’s immunization record and insurance card. Most insurance and Medicaid are accepted for payment. Other clinics offering shots for kindergarten are scheduled for July 18, from 3-6 p.m.; and Aug 5, from 9 a.m. to noon. All clinics will be held at the health department and are on a walk-in basis. In addition to the kindergarten clinics, the health department will conduct two clinics offering the meningitis shot for students entering the 7th and 12th grade in the fall. The meningitis shot is required by Ohio law for all 7th and 12th grade students. The meningitis clinics are scheduled for Aug. 1 from 3-6 p.m. and Aug. 5 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. In addition to the meningitis vaccine, other shots will be available including Tdap and HPV (Gardasil). All clinics are on a walk-in basis and will be held at the health department. Most insurances and Medicaid will be accepted for payment. For more information, call 740-399-8008.

Municipal Court Probation Dept. receives grant renewal

MOUNT VERNON - The Mount Vernon Municipal Court Probation Department was notified last week by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections that the $196,000 Probation Improvement and Incentive Grant received in 2015, will be renewed for another 18 months beginning in fiscal year 2018. The grant renewal was based on the Probation Department achieving an 89% compliance rate in four performance areas during the previous grant period. The Probation Department will receive an additional $17,000 incentive fund to further improve community supervision and rehabilitative services in Knox County.

Chief Adult Probation Officer Dave Priest reports the department achieved 100% compliance in three out of four performance areas during the grant period. 100% of the 685 offenders assigned to a term of supervision received an assessment using the Ohio Risk Assessment Scores. 238 offenders participated in a substance abuse monitoring system exceeding the goal of having 215 offenders participate. And the total number of probation violations was reduced by ten percent using internal sanctions instead of jail time such as electronic alcohol monitoring, GPS monitoring, automated drug testing and in-house cognitive behavioral programs.

The fourth performance goal was to have 80% of defendants participating in drug and alcohol services discharged successfully from treatment. The Probation Department set the goal knowing it was 20% higher than the national average for successful discharge from treatment. The Department still achieved an impressive 69% success rate.

The grant funding was used to support a variety of community based services through partnerships with local treatment providers. The Freedom Center received $50,000 to provide substance abuse services for inmates in the Knox County Jail. Ohio Alcohol Monitoring Services received $25,000 for long term alcohol monitoring of offenders. The Probation Department used $7,500 to implement electronic substance abuse monitoring and pay for additional drug screen costs. The grant paid for an anger management program called “Hands Down” through Central Ohio Assessment for offenders convicted of violent offenses. $5,000.00 provided additional supervision services for offenders.

The remaining funds paid for probation officer training and equipment and hiring a full time probation officer for the MERIT Drug Court program who also carries a full probation caseload. The grant renewal will allow these community partnerships and services to continue.

The Probation Department plans to use a portion of the $17,000 incentive fund to acquire a new drug testing lab. The drug testing lab will allow the Probation Department to produce in-house, lab quality drug testing results which are required for offender supervision, accountability, and future rehabilitative services. Other Knox County probation departments and agencies will be invited to use the drug testing lab and share associated costs.


Knox County Jail inmate found unresponsive in dorm area

MOUNT VERNON - On Saturday, June 3, at approximately 1:42 pm officers were alerted that a Knox County Jail inmate was down in one of the dorm areas. The inmate was unresponsive to officers and CPR was initiated.

Sheriff David Shaffer issued a statement saying the inmate was transported to Knox Community Hospital by the Mount Vernon Fire Department. At approximately 2:32 pm Warren Taylor was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

The Knox County Coroner’s Office is assisting in the investigation and an autopsy will be performed.

The case remains under investigation. As of yet, no cause of death has been released.

Letter to the KP Editor - The Truth about Children who are sexually assaulted

Letter to the KP Editor:

Two weeks ago, the jury in John Snyder's second trial was unable to reach a verdict on the charges that he raped and committed sexual battery against his daughter. This was the identical outcome to Snyder’s first trial. It also marks the second time in a year that a Knox County jury failed to convict a man of sexually assaulting a young female family member; the other was Curt Swartz, who was found not guilty of raping his niece, last June. In both cases, the victims and their testimony were attacked on the theory that 'kids make up things' (or lie) and that their accounts were not sufficiently consistent or specific. While it is certainly true that credibility is an issue to be examined in every trial, these two theories are based upon misunderstandings and misperceptions.

Kids do make up and lie about things, but sexual assault - particularly by a family member or friend of the family - is not one of them. When kids do not tell the truth, it is usually to get themselves or someone they care about out of trouble. A child who claims that their father or uncle sexually assaulted them does the exact opposite; they know that their story may very well get someone they or their family love into trouble (very grave trouble, as is made clear to them throughout the process). Research has consistently shown that false allegations of sexual abuse by children are extremely rare. In fact, children tend to minimize and deny abuse rather than exaggerate or over-report such incidents. This makes sense when we think about who has an interest in telling the truth and who in lying. The child victim puts themselves at considerable risk as a result of recounting what was done to them. Even without criminal charges, the victim may be rejected by their family, or the family may be torn apart and the victim may see themselves as responsible. The victim may be "punished" by being placed in foster care. If the case goes to court, the victim has to describe the intimate details of the abuse to strangers, with the abuser merely feet away. In contrast, what the perpetrator stands to lose depends upon the victim's story being believed. At all costs, the incentive for the perpetrator is that the victim be discredited and disbelieved.

Dr. Rebecca Campbell's video presentation, The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault (https://www.nij.gov/multimedia/presenter/presenter-campbell/Pages/welcome.aspx), explains how the trauma of sexual assault interferes with a victim's ability to accurately recall the events because their memories are impaired. As Campbell explains, “We have a societal expectation that that [ ] the victim of a major crime . . . ought to remember with perfect clarity exactly what happened . . . It is not an expectation that has any scientific merit.” Kids who make allegations of sexual assault immediately enter an adult world that is foreign to them. They have to grapple with ideas they don’t entirely understand. In order to tell their stories, they have to learn a new language and put complex experiences into unfamiliar words. A less-than-clear accounting should not be an unexpected result. Going a step further, children who have suffered multiple abusive episodes can present conflicting information, sometimes interweaving and overlapping information from years of abuse. This is because the more often that a child has been abused, the more emotionally damaged they are. To ask these children to give clear, specific and consistent accounts is neither realistic nor fair.

Thinking that because children make up and lie about things that they will do the same regarding claims of sexual assault, and feeling that children should be able to tell the facts in a clear and consistent manner, are commonly held but mistaken beliefs regarding child sexual abuse. However, unless and until we reject these misconceptions, justice will not be done for the victims or for our community. If you would like more information about how you can help ensure an accurate narrative for child sexual abuse claims in Knox County, please contact New Directions. Together, we can make a difference in our community.

Matt Hellman
Executive Director, New Directions

New Directions is the rape crisis center of Knox County. For all victims of sexual violence, New Directions offers free and confidential services including a 24-hour crisis hotline, hospital accompaniment, individual advocacy and group support. New Directions' phone number is 740-397-HELP. Information is available at newdirectionsshelter.org and on Facebook at New Directions Shelter of Knox County Ohio.


Letters to the Editor may be sent to [email protected]

Local People: Monique Milligan named First Knox Employee of the Year


MOUNT VERNON, Ohio – Monique Milligan was named employee of the year at the First Knox National Bank and Farmers and Savings Bank’s thirty-eighth annual employee recognition dinner on Thursday, May 11, 2017.

“Monique is very deserving of this honor. In addition to successfully performing her role as branch manager of our Blackjack Road Office, Monique has been a huge asset on a number of projects in the past year,” said Vickie A. Sant, president of First-Knox National Bank. “Her consistency as a resource to our associates, knowledge in a variety of areas, and dedication to First-Knox is extremely appreciated. I’m thrilled to see that her peers have recognized her accomplishments."

First Knox employeee 2017

The evening featured a “Las Vegas Casino” theme, complete with a photo booth, high rollers and door prizes. Nearly 170 associates attended the event. Awards were presented by First-Knox president, Vickie A. Sant, and Farmers and Savings president, Brian R. Hinkle. In the center is employee of the year, Monique Milligan. Submitted photo

Associates were nominated and selected by their peers, recognized in a number of individual and
group categories. Winners were as follows:
Most Valuable Players – Heather Hankins, First-Knox; Sharon Edgell, Farmers Main Office; William Clawson, Farmers Ashland Office; Peggy Perkins, First-Knox.
Leadership Excellence – Rebekah Jenkins, First-Knox, Coshocton Avenue Office; Wendi Fowler, First-Knox, trust and investments; Cindy Hogle, First-Knox, cash management operations.
Spirit Awards – Erin Frankford, Farmers, consumer loan operations; Matia Mathews, FirstKnox, Freedom Years.
Rookie of the Year – Taylor Lavan, First-Knox, Coshocton Avenue Office; Laura Spreng, Farmers, consumer loan operations.
Patty S. Durbin Lifetime Achievement – Phyllis Colopy, First-Knox, Danville Office.
Teller Awards – Mistie Osborne, First-Knox, Centerburg; Jessica Wolfe, First-Knox, Blackjack
Road Office; Michelle Colopy, First-Knox, Danville Office; Yvonne Miller, First-Knox, Bellville Office.
Teamwork Award – Main Office, First-Knox; Customer Contact Center, First-Knox.
Deposit Growth – Fredericktown Office and Bellville Office
Loan Excellence – Danville Office
Alternative Investments – Mount Gilead Office
Branch Balancing Award – Blackjack Road Office



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