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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

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Knox County Health Dept. to seek federal grant for health center

By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com reporter


MOUNT VERNON — Greater accessibility to health care is on the horizon if the Knox County Health Department receives the designation of a federally qualified health center.

“A federally qualified health center is a center that serves anybody in the community, and it has to provide physical health care, behavioral health care, dental health care and social service resources,” Health Commissioner Julie Miller told city council members on Monday. “We fully expect to be awarded the federal monies.”

The grant application is due July 15. A center board has been meeting since December to start the process. Miller said that becoming a federally qualified health center brings a number of benefits:


  • Jobs for Mount Vernon and Knox County
  • A grant income, guaranteed for life, of $650,000 for operations
  • Enhanced reimbursement from Medicaid
  • Waiver of liability for health care providers
  • Forgiveness of student loans if the health care provider practices in the center for two to four years
  • Service for everyone regardless of inability to pay
  • Fills a gap in health care for Knox, Coshocton, Holmes and Guernsey counties
  • “So there are a lot of benefits outside of my passion that everybody in this community has access to good health care,” she said. “It’s not that we don’t have it, we just don’t have everybody receiving access to it.”

Miller will be chief executive officer of the center; her goal is to hire a chief operating officer so that she can concentrate on her health commissioner duties.

Miller also told council that on May 21 the KCHD will “push the button” for national accreditation. There are 11 accredited departments in Ohio. “We hope to be in probably the next 10,” she said, adding that the department expects to submit about 700 documents in addition to undergoing a site visit.

  • Other highlights from Miller’s report include:
  • A reduction in animal bites in the city between 2014 and 2015, although Miller said there are too many unvaccinated animals in the county
  • Financial stability
  • A reduction in immunizations in 2015 compared to 2014 because there was no measles outbreak
  • An increase in nuisance investigations
  • A new dentist has been hired for the dental clinic; the department is recruiting another dentist.
  • Home health is doing well but it is difficult to get reimbursement.
  • Drug Take-Back Day is April 30.

Miller gave a few tips on how to prevent the Zika virus: Wear long sleeves and long pants when outside, use insect repellant with DEET and avoid having standing water in birdbaths, tires and gutters.


Dogs rescued from burning barn in Howard


By Marty Trese, KnoxPages.com Editor


HOWARD – Sunday night, the Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District was dispatched to the area of Schenck Creek Road and Coshocton Road which was called in by a passer by at 10:04 pm and arrived two minutes later to find a well involved barn fire at the Lawson residence on Schenck Creek Road.

The first engine pulled lines to extinguish fire while also attempting rescue of three dogs from an attached kennel to the burning structure.

The fire was contained to the structure with an estimated loss of $25,000, along with melted siding on an adjacent structure.

Mutual aid from College Township Fire Department with an engine and tanker, Bladensburg with an engine and Mount Vernon Fire Department with a medic.

EKCJFD Chief Larry Stimpert says the fire started in the southeast corner of the structure where there was possibly an operating heat lamp.

Crews were on the scene until 2:11 am this morning.

An online account has been established to raise funds for the Lawson family who lost mowers, tractors, and weight equipment. Additionally, the dogs who were rescued need veterinarian treatment.

Around Ohio: Eight dead in Pike County killings

PIKETON - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader confirm that eight individuals are dead in what appears to be execution-style killings.

All of the victims are believed to be members of the same family, and they were found in three Union Hill Road homes in Pike County. Late Friday, a fourth crime scene was determined.

Early indications are that the victims were shot in the head, execution style.

No arrests have been made. Law Enforcement officials are requesting that anyone with information regarding the eight individuals found deceased in Pike County today to call 1-855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446) or the Pike County Sheriff's Office at 740-947-2111.

Video of today's media briefing on Periscope can be found here.

MVNU, City of Mount Vernon partner to restructure tennis courts at Memorial Park

MOUNT VERNON — This May, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, in conjunction with the City of Mount Vernon, will work to resurface and restripe the tennis courts at Memorial Park in Mount Vernon. The public tennis courts will be closed for approximately three weeks for the work, which will also include the construction of youth tennis courts and work to strengthen and stabilize the fencing.

“The City of Mount Vernon has experienced a major increase in the number of young people participating in our summer tennis program.  The addition of youth tennis courts to the six existing adult courts will create training and playing opportunities that we’ve never had previously available.  Also, we appreciate the leadership for this project provided by Mount Vernon Nazarene University in coordination with their construction of a campus tennis complex,” said Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis.

These additions will provide the youth of Knox County the ability to enjoy a maintained space that is specifically designed with them in mind, within the proximity of the existing tennis courts and Memorial Park.

“From the beginning of this project, the University approached these efforts as a community project, and not just a new sports venue for the campus.  They have shown the same care and dedication to the Memorial Park initiative as they have to their own tennis center,” said Steve Tier, President, Kokosing Valley Community Tennis Association and Tennis Director for Mount Vernon City’s Recreation Board.

“My involvement has been motivated by the desire to provide facilities and opportunities that make tennis more accessible and attractive to youth players so that, eventually, the quality and appeal of the Mount Vernon High School tennis programs would be elevated. I am thankful that the University embraced this goal by offering their eight court complex as the new home for Yellow Jacket tennis starting this coming fall. This project would not have been possible without the University’s efforts,” he added.

With funds from the “Seek to Serve” campaign, MVNU plans to begin work on the addition of new tennis courts across the street from the main Martinsburg Road campus later this year.

For more information on the “Seek to Serve” campaign, visit mvnu.edu/iwill.

Pre-diabetes 101 offered by KCH


MOUNT VERNON - Has your doctor told you that you are pre-diabetic or borderline diabetic? Maybe you have known that your blood sugar runs a little high, but you’ve never been quite sure what to do about it. This educational event is just for you.

Pre-Diabetes 101 is offered, free of charge, on Tuesday, May 10, from 5:30 pm -6:30 pm in the Third Floor Meeting Room at Knox Community Hospital.

Learn more about how to manage your blood sugars and how to prevent your “pre-diabetes” from becoming a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. A light meal will be provided, and seats are limited. Call 740-393-9970 by April 26 to reserve your seat.

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