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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

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Gunderson exhibit "Water Works" exhibit coming to Schnormeier Gallery

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — Barry Gunderson’s “Water Works” art exhibit will be on display at Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Schnormeier Gallery May 3 through June 23, 2017. A reception for the show will be held on Friday, May 5, from 6-9 p.m.

In this exhibition, artist Barry Gunderson imagines key moments of his life in relation to specific bodies of water, and the metaphors that arise from each. Walking along bridges reveal topographic patterns, colors and texture of the Mississippi River that are constant features in his work and become the source material for a series entitled “Currents.” In later sculptures he reflects upon hours spent in fishing boats on Minnesota lakes conversing with family and quietly awaiting the excitement of a catch. The narrative of water as a source of life and reflection upon life is fluid in each series.

Gunderson waterworks

One of Barry Gunderson's "Water Works" sculptures - photo submitted 

Gunderson is a Professor of Art, Sculpture at Kenyon College, and is widely exhibited in Ohio and throughout the United States. Schnormeier Gallery is excited to present Gunderson’s work and celebrate his ongoing contributions to the field of visual art.
This exhibit and reception are open to the public. The show will be on display at Schnormeier Gallery weekdays from noon to 4:30 p.m.

For more information on this exhibit and others coming to Buchwald Center visit mvnu.edu/art-design.

Kenyon music ensembles present year-end concerts

GAMBIER — The sounds of Hector Berlioz, Johannes Brahms, Duke Ellington and more will fill the air as the Kenyon Department of Music closes the academic year with a month full of concerts.

The Kenyon College Symphonic Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Professor of Music Dane Heuchemer, will perform its spring concert Sunday, April 9, at 3 p.m. in Rosse Hall, 105 College Drive. The 50-person band will perform works by several composers. Brass musicians will open the concert with Giovanni Gabrieli’s late Renaissance “Sonata pian’e forté.” The full band will perform “The March to the Scaffold” from Hector Berlioz’s 1830 masterpiece “Symphonie Fantastique,” and Eric Whitacre’s colorful “Ghost Train Triptych.”

Student assistant conductor Katherine Connolly, a senior from Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania, will lead the band through John Barnes Chance’s “Incantation and Dance.” The concert also will feature George Gershwin’s beloved “Rhapsody in Blue,” featuring pianist Pei-Sin Shen, an Ohio State University doctoral candidate.

The Kenyon Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Professor of Music Ted Buehrer, performs its spring concert Sunday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in Rosse Hall. The 17-piece big band will play a number of songs in Latin grooves including Antonio Carlos Jobim’s bossa nova “Wave,” Laura Andrea Leguía’s Afro-Peruvian landó “Junio y Garua,” and a samba arrangement of the jazz standard “Invitation.” Other selections by Duke Ellington, Lee Morgan, Bob Mintzer and Charles Mingus round out the concert.

On Sunday, April 30, at 8 p.m. in Rosse Hall, the 110-voice Kenyon Community Choir will join the Knox County Symphony for a presentation of two masterworks: “Nänie” by Johannes Brahms, and “Requiem in D Minor” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, featuring student soloists. The concert will be directed by Professor of Music Benjamin Locke, who conducts the symphony.

Additional concerts this spring include performances by flute, gamelan, harp, and percussion ensembles as well as a presentation by an opera and music theater workshop. The full schedule:

April 9: Kenyon College Symphonic Wind Ensemble concert at 3 p.m., Rosse Hall
April 9: Kenyon Jazz Ensemble concert at 7 p.m., Rosse Hall
April 14: Opera and Music Theater Workshop presents “A Magical Evening” at 8 p.m., Brandi Recital Hall in Storer Hall
April 15: Flute Choir spring concert at 3 p.m., Brandi Recital Hall in Storer Hall
April 30: Kenyon Community Choir and the Knox County Symphony joint concert, 8 p.m. in Rosse Hall
May 2: Gamelan Ensemble spring concert at 7 p.m., Brandi Recital Hall in Storer Hall
May 3: Percussion Ensemble spring concert at 8 p.m., Rosse Hall
May 6: Angela Waite student recital at 7 p.m., Brandi Recital Hall in Storer Hall
May 7: Harp Ensemble spring concert at 3 p.m., Brandi Recital Hall in Storer Hall
The Community Choir and Knox County Symphony joint concert costs $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and is free for students. All other concerts are free. For more information, call the Department of Music at 740-427-5197.

County unemployment falls in February

By Dylan McCament, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON - The unemployment rate in Knox County is dropping after a slight increase in January, according to a recent report from Ohio Department of Job & Family Services.

It has been dropping steadily for nearly a decade.

The county's unemployment rate for February was 5.0 percent, compared to 5.8 percent in January and 5.2 percent in February 2016. The state estimates the county's labor force to be 31,400, with 1,600 unemployed in February.

Matthew Kurtz, director of the Knox County Department of Job & Family Services said the county's unemployment rate is coming down from a spike in January and February.

Feb 201y Unemployment rates

"We are still at that four percent to five percent average that we've seen in the past few years," he said.

In 2016, the average unemployment rate in Knox County was 4.5 percent, according to the ODJFS labor market statistics. In 2015, the rate was 4.6 percent.

Asked about the local labor market, Kurtz added that the industrial sector in Knox County is still fairly strong and the industrial employers, like every employer, are constantly looking for employees. He said that he believes that Knox County's largest employment sector is still agricultural.

"That continues to be quite stable thanks to continued demand for corn and soybeans, two of the largest crops in the county."

In 2007, Knox County had a jobless rate of 5.4 percent, according to state labor labor market information. That figure skyrocketed to 9.7 percent in 2009 in the wake of the economic collapse of the previous year. The rate in 2011 the rate had fallen to 8.8 percent; in 2013, the figure was 6.9 percent.

The change in the county's unemployment rate over the last decade reflect a similar pattern exhibited in the unemployment rate at the state and national level. In 2007, according to ODJFS statistics, Ohio's rate was 5.9 percent; the national rate was 4.9 percent. In 2010, the rate jumped to 10.3 percent for Ohio and 9.6 percent for the U.S; since then it has decreased gradually. In 2016, both the state and national unemployment rate was 4.9 percent.

Ohio's unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in February 2017, up from 5.0 percent in January 2017, according to the ODJFS. The rate for February 2016 was 5.0 percent.

The U.S. unemployment rate for February 2017 was 4.7 percent, 0.1 percentage points lower than in January 2017, and 0.2 percentage points lower than in February 2016.

Kenyon revitalization project progressing in Gambier

By Dylan McCament, KnoxPages.com Reporter

GAMBIER - Any village resident can tell you that change is well underway to the downtown, and there are many more changes to come.

Kenyon College kicked off what it is calling a "revitalization" project last summer which so far has included renovating portions of middle path, tearing down the old Gambier Grill restaurant and constructing a new building to house the village's only grocery store.

The Village Market at 112 Gaskin Avenue, which has long served both college students and residents alike, will soon be relocated to a new building at the corner of Brooklyn Street and Chase Avenue, beside the village's post office.

According to Mary Keister, director of news media relations for Kenyon College, the new market will be open in June. She said the design of the new market will allow delivery trucks to use the alley between the building and the gas station and to park parallel to the building on Brooklyn Street so traffic can easily drive around trucks making deliveries.

Keister said the new 9,950 square-foot building, the location of an old bank building once stood, is nearly completed, adding that the upper floor floors of the building will be used for student housing.

After the market moves, renovations to Farr Hall will begin, according to a recent college news release. Farr Hall is the building on Gaskin Avenue near the center of town that currently houses the Kenyon College Bookstore, the Gambier Deli and the Village Market.

This month, Kenyon College will seek approval from the village to allow for renovations to the bookstore which would include adding new windows and additions to the second floor for college office. During these renovations, the bookstore will temporarily move into the northern end of Farr Hall, the current location of the Village Market and Gambier Deli.

The release also explains that when the renovations have been completed, the bookstore will move back to its permanent space and the northern two-thirds of Farr Hall will be demolished. Three new buildings with retail space and student housing on the upper floors will be built on the site.

Around the third week of June, the Gambier Deli will close for a year during the Farr Hall renovations, according to the release, and should re-open in a newly-designed space at an unspecified date in the future.

Another part of the revitalization project is nearing completion. Construction on two new buildings behind Farr Hall is nearing completion, according to Keister, who added that these will house students this coming fall and be the homes of Unity House and the Snowden Multicultural Center.

On a related matter, the college-owned gas station, Campus Auto & Fuel at 101 W. Brooklyn St., behind the new Village Market building, will re-open on April 10 under new management. The gas station was closed in January after the college opted not to renew the lease with the former operator.

MVPD seeks to add K-9 officer with community support

By Dylan McCament, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON - The MVPD chief feels that his department has long needed a police dog and hopes to have one on the street before the end of the year, thanks in large part to local fundraising efforts.

Chief Roger Monroe said a police dog could help the department, not only in drug-related investigations, but also in patrol tactics such as officer protection and the pursuit of suspects.

"The rise in drug use is definitely a driving force but it is not the only force," he said, when asked if the rise of drug use in the community in recent years is a motivation behind efforts to create a canine unit. "The unit will be a a tool for helping in the search and seizure of drugs but it would also help with officer safety and liability. There are numerous reasons why a [police] dog is beneficial."

Monroe estimates the overall start up cost for the canine unit to be around $50,000, which includes not only purchasing the dog but also additional equipment, training an officer in handling the dog and providing housing and care for the dog.

"I think once we have the dog, the year-to-year costs will be minimal," he said.

Lasko 1

KP File photo of Lasko, who was a K-9 officer for Danville PD 

Monroe said there is simply not enough money in the budget to pay for the creation of a canine unit, adding that the department has had to reach out to the public to find other avenues of funding.

The Arms of an Angel Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes drug awareness and community outreach, is spearheading a fundraising campaign called the Police K-9 Funding Project, to help the MVPD purchase a police dog and training. The foundation was created by local residents Dave and Ellen Culbertson in 2009, after the accidental heroin overdose of their son Carl Culbertson. The group's goal is to raise $18,000 by the first of July.

Monroe said that, according to his research, $18,000 would be a sufficient amount to pay for the dog and the training of the officer that will be the dog's handler.

"This is a very in-depth project and we are still in the early planning stages," Monroe said. "It is a long process and has to be done correctly."

Monroe said the MVPD has agreements with neighboring law enforcement
agencies that have canine units such as the Danville Police Department, adding that police dogs have been brought to Mount Vernon for drug interdiction, searches and even for special events for the public. Asked why the MVPD does not have its own canine unit, he said he cannot speak for previous police chiefs but suspects that the reason is a lack of funding.

"I think we should already have a canine unit, because of the issues and dangers we have," Monroe said.

He said other local agencies and companies have reached out to him about helping in efforts to raise money for the canine unit.

"The public has been outstanding in the assistance of this," he said. "There has been overwhelming support. It's been awesome and that does not go unnoticed."

Those who wish to donate to the Arms of an Angel K-9 Funding Project can do so by visiting the website of the Community Foundation of Knox County and Mount Vernon here. Donations are tax deductible.

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