Dec 31, 2013

CareFlight called to single vehicle crash

NEW MADISON - On Dec. 31, 2013 at approximately 6:07 a.m., Darke County Deputies along with New Madison Fire, Tri-Village Rescue and CareFlight responded to the 4100 block of Hogpath Road on a report of an injury accident.

Preliminary investigation revealed a Silver 2013 Toyota Scion, driven by Samuel Pickett, 23, of Greenville, was traveling west on Hogpath Road and crossed the center line traveling off the left side of the roadway and struck a mailbox before coming to rest in a field. Further investigation revealed the driver most likely suffered from a medical condition for the contributing factor of the crash.

Pickett was airlifted aboard CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital to be treated. This accident remains under investigation by the Darke County Sheriff's Office.

Bradford Library schedules January events

BRADFORD – The Bradford Public Library has scheduled several events for January.

An E-Reader Party is scheduled for Jan. 4, 10:30 a.m. If you already have an e-reader, are receiving one for Christmas or are interested in this new electronic means of reading books, then this workshop is for you. They will assist you with whatever E-Reader you have. This event is also for patrons who have Smart phones. Please bring with you the e-reader and a USB cord. After an initial overview of free E-Books, the group will be divided by what type of device they have. Light refreshments will be served! Bradford Library staff members will be on hand to help you in any way they can.

Computer & Mouse 101- Mrs. Roeth, library director, will be presenting the popular “Computer & Mouse 101” workshop beginning Jan. 14, 6 p.m. This class will be held on three Tuesdays in Jan. 14, 28 and Feb. 4. They will be using the library’s computers for this event or bring your own laptop. BPL has Wi-Fi for your convenience. If you are fairly new to the uses of the computer, how to operate and understand the keyboard or perhaps the “mouse” is giving you fits then this workshop is for you! This class also includes beginning keyboarding and Internet searching “do’s and don’ts! Each session will last approximately one hour and 15 minutes, and you will need to sign-up by Jan. 10 so that appropriate materials can be made for you!
DIGITAL DAY AT BPL!“Digital Day” at Bradford Public Library will again be held all day Jan. 27. Anyone can check out their new laptops, tablets and e-readers for use in the library and they can show you how to operate each of these. There are some games already loaded and if there is an electronic book you would like to read in the relaxation of the library the staff can load that book also. In addition, you might want to check out their new “A to Z Database.” Are you, a friend, or family member looking for a job? Do you want to know more about the community you live in? Would you like to find a lost friend or family member? How about finding a cell phone number for someone who doesn’t have a land-line? BPL has a brand-new database you will love! It will be available at the library and also at your home, when signing in with your library card! It is amazing and will help the area communities know what is available locally, by county, by state, etc. This is only available at Bradford Public Library and Tipp City Libraries as a service for patrons! A special thank you to Covington Eagles Aerie #3998 for their generous donation to assist in purchasing this electronic database for the library!

Bradford Public Library Volunteers Need and Wanted! It is time to make your New Year’s Resolution! Do you love to volunteer? Would you like to make a positive difference in the life of your community? How about sharing some of your gifts and talents with BPL? They will be having a special Training Day for adults with a little time on their hands who want to make a difference in the lives of patrons and staff! This session is for present and future volunteers! They will meet Jan. 16, 4 p.m., in the Community Room – be brave and make a difference! Applications for library volunteers are available at the library.

Bradford Public Library provides information and resources in printed, audio, electronic, and visual formats along with computer access, study room, a history room, community room, and special programs/events to patrons and the public throughout Darke and Miami counties and the Miami Valley region. Library hours are Mondays from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursdays from 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. The Bradford Public Library is located at 138 E. Main Street and staff may be reached at 448-2612 during regular hours.

Ohio Department of Health Warns that Flu Activity in Ohio is Increasing

COLUMBUS – Influenza activity is on the rise in Ohio and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is encouraging Ohioans to get their influenza vaccine.

Although Ohio is currently experiencing minimal influenza-like illness activity compared to what is being seen in other parts of the country, there are signs that activity in the state is increasing. So far this flu season, 338 influenza-associated hospitalizations have been reported to ODH, primarily in northeast Ohio.

“The flu virus will be less likely to spread if more people are vaccinated,” said ODH Director, Dr. Ted Wymyslo. “Immunization has proven to be the safest and most effective way to fight the flu so I encourage all Ohioans to get vaccinated. Moreover, it takes two weeks to build up immunity after receiving the vaccine, which is another reason to get immunized as soon as possible.”

Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Influenza should not be taken lightly. Although most people fully recover from the flu, a small portion of people do experience severe illness (like pneumonia and respiratory failure), and sometimes the flu can be fatal. Anyone who becomes ill with the flu and is pregnant, has an underlying medical condition or experiences a particularly severe form of the illness should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

In Ohio, as in the rest of the country, most of the flu circulating now is H1N1, which disproportionately affects young and middle-aged adults. However, seasonal flu viruses may become more prominent as the season continues. This year’s vaccine contains both H1N1 and seasonal flu strains so those who become immunized will have an increased degree of protection against multiple kinds of flu.

While pandemic H1N1 flu has an unusually strong impact on teenagers and young adults, those at highest risk for complications from seasonal flu – including children 6 months and younger, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions and the elderly – should also remember the importance of protecting themselves. Healthcare workers and caretakers of young children and the elderly are also encouraged to get vaccinated.

While vaccine provides the greatest protection against the flu, other effective measures include: washing hands frequently, or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer; covering coughs and sneezes with tissues, or coughing or sneezing into elbows; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; and staying home when sick and until fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication.

Flu vaccine is available at most healthcare providers’ offices, local health departments and retail pharmacy chains. For more information on influenza, including where to find vaccine, visit the “Flu Season in Ohio” feature at .


GREENVILLE - Fort GreeneVille Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution donated mittens and gloves to the FISH mitten tree at the Brethrens Home. Pictured are members Taylor Nehring, Shirley Hughes, Brenda Arnett, Susie Brewer, Mary Jane Dietrich, and Helen Wright. Not pictured: Regent Chris Nehring

Dec 30, 2013

MVCTC prepares students for dental careers

Amber Seibert        Cara Mikesell 

CLAYTON – Dental Assistant senior students from Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC) took the Ohio Certification for Dental Assistants Examination in Oct. 10 and 11 students passed all three sections and are now Ohio Certified Dental Assistants. Students are able to attempt the test if they are in the second year of a training program and their instructor is a certified dental assistant. The test includes three sections. The sections are clinical, written (500 questions), and Radiology. If all three sections of the test are passed, certification is gained. If a section is not passed, only that portion of the test must be re-taken. The test is only offered two times a year, in October and May.

The other 9 MVCTC students earning the certification were:

Danielle Bowling (Miamisburg), Jenna Duff (Milton Union), Kelsey Ehlers (Wayne) , Kourtney Engle (Tri-County North), Maggie Huff (Valley View), Hannah Loughman (Tri-County North), Nicole Robbins (Wayne), Kennedy Tarrance (Vandalia Butler), Emily Wallace (Wayne).

Five other students only missed passing one section by a few points and will retake that portion during the first weekend of May.

Cheryl Johnson, MVCTC Dental Assistant instructor shared, “We are very proud and happy with the success of the students as they attempted an advanced test, and did so well. Gaining this credential will help them prove their competency, gain their radiography license, and fulfill a prerequisite that is required of the EFDA (advanced dental assisting) program at higher education institutions.”

A student in the MVCTC Dental Assistant Program will learn highly skilled training such as Anatomy &Physiology, laboratory skills, radiology, and office technology for an in demand career field. This program allows students to earn college credit and the potential to receive a Tech Prep scholarship to Sinclair Community College worth thousands of dollars.

For more information about MVCTC, please visit


ANSONIA - McDonald's recently announced two Ansonia Elementary staff members as winners of their MAC grants. Amanda Fischer, the school nurse, is using her grant to purchase the program "My Plate" which teaches the kids about healthy food choices and better nutrition. The Dayton Opera will be coming to Ansonia Elementary in the spring and present the play "Syd, the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing" thanks to the grant that Leslie Rhoades, the music teacher, submitted.


GREENVILLE - Eric Livingston, Randolph County Airport Manager, presents Shelly King, PAWS President, with a check for $980, proceeds from the flights portion of the First Annual Lights & Flights event held at the airport Dec. 15. PAWS would like to sincerely thank Eric & the Randolph County Airport Board of Aviation Commission for hosting the event, the awesome pilots, everyone who came & took a plane ride, purchased food, drinks &/or raffle tickets. Our total profit from this first-time fundraiser was an amazing $1708! Congrats to our Friday night 50-50 raffle winner, Kathy Bond, & to our Sunday night 50-50 raffle winner, Jake Davis! Thanks also to all of our wonderful Pals who donated food, drinks & supplies & to everyone who helped at the event.

Dec 29, 2013

Addiction tough to treat; focus on prevention

GREENVILLE – “There’s this young lady… ‘I know it,’ she says… ‘I know I’m going to die but I have to have this drug’.” Darke County Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker tried to explain the depth, and nastiness, of the drug problem Darke County – along with the rest of the country – faces.

Whittaker said the coroner spends a lot of taxpayer money – the Sheriff’s Department spends a lot of taxpayer money – dealing with this problem. They investigate drug overdoses; they spend time and money stopping traffic…

“We can’t just not do it,” Whittaker told about 25 members and guests at the Darke County Republican Mens Club Dec. 21. “It’s our legal obligation. So what do we do? Throw them in jail?”

The jail holds – can squeeze – up to 40 inmates. After that it becomes a safety issue; the overflow is sent to Mercer County or other jails. “Drugs are what’s filling our jails up.”

“Deputies stopped a driver. Heroin use,” Whittaker said. “Almost hit several cars head on before we stopped him. There were kids in the back seat of the car.”

These are low level felonies. Traffic stops. Driving under the influence. Drug abuse instruments. They don’t get sent to prison.

He noted people have to understand it’s difficult to treat. The brain gets re-wired. It becomes a physical thing. If an addict doesn’t get heroin he gets sick. It’s like saying to a normal person…

“Sir, I need you to stop breathing for me for about 15 minutes. That’s why it’s so difficult.”

From 1996 to 2003 there was an average of two to three deaths a year from accidental overdoses. In 2004 they started climbing. In 2005 there were 10 deaths. There were nine in 2012. As of Dec. 18 there were six in 2013.

Initially the cause of death was due to prescription overdoses. Several years ago they began to evolve into heroin. Cheap heroin has flooded the market. The problem takes a toll beyond the cost of fighting and treating drug abuse.

“There are jobs available in Darke County,” Whittaker said. “Employers can’t fill them. They can’t pass the drug test.”

In response to a question, Whittaker said most abusers are local and about half of the dealers are local abusers. They can’t get a job so they deal.

Whittaker said they’ve had round table discussions; and they believe available drug services are insufficient. Local facilities such as Darke County Recovery and Mental Health do their job but there is no inpatient facility. It takes a minimum of 28 days, usually over 30 to dry someone out at a cost of a hundred of dollars a day. MonDay is a jail program that has inpatient services. When it is used it’s usually an alternative to jail or prison.

“What about the people who don’t qualify?”

Another question asked if the focus should be on those already addicted or on those coming up. Whittaker allowed the supply won’t go away as long as there are people willing to buy…

“We’re after the fact,” he said. “We put two dealers away; there are already two or three taking his place.” Something the sheriff has wanted to do is put officers back in the schools for education. “We know what’s going on; we can talk about it. It also has the side benefit of providing security for the building.”

Whittaker acknowledged at one time the department had three officers assigned to the D.A.R.E. program but due to budget cuts, it went away.

He noted this is a community problem and the best way to handle it is with local law enforcement.

“Put Greenville police in the city schools. Put Darke County Sheriff’s deputies in the other schools. Our problems here are not the same as those in Montgomery County. We know our own people.”

‘Local ownership’ making the trail a reality

GETTYSBURG – “Local communities take ownership of the trail” was the recurring theme from Roger Van Frank, director of the Darke County Park District.

The ‘trail’ is the bike path currently running from Bradford, through Gettysburg to Arcanum-Bears Mill Road. The goal is to have it going from Bradford on the east to Union City on the west.

“Local ownership,” Van Frank repeated. “We receive grant money from the Clean Ohio Trail Fund that requires a local match. That match can come from cash, personnel and labor.”

The county parks director noted while there were hundreds of monetary contributors of $5, $10, $50 or more, Second National, Greenville National and Greenville Federal Banks have contributed in excess of $20,000 over the last four years. The partnership with Darke County Engineer Jim Surber and his employees has been a major factor in the ongoing success of the project.

Van Frank noted the support of ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) Director Jim Zehringer when he was State Representative.

“I approached Jim first and showed him the ‘grand scheme’ of the project,” he said. “He was all for it. And so were Tom Roberts, Keith Faber (State Senators) and Jim Buchy (State Representative). More recently Buchy, Rep. Richard Adams and Sen. Bill Beagle have also been supportive. The townships and communities have been supportive. Grants are continually researched and written through the Phoenix Committee of the Friends of Darke County Parks.

“There are many individuals who have made this path a contribution priority but don’t want to be recognized. And we’ve had hundreds of volunteers work on the initial ‘scrubbing’ of the trail… literally thousands of hours of volunteer work.”

He added the village of Gettysburg donated a section of land from the old Petersime Incubators building for a parking lot for people using the trail. The Ohio Department of Transportation; especially the local ODOT have been “great” as well…

“Local communities are taking ownership.”

The path so far goes from Bradford through Gettysburg, crosses U.S. Rt. 36 over the Mill Bridge, then to Hahn Road to Spidel Road, then to Arcanum Bears Mill Road.

“The total marked trail to date is 8.2 miles,” he said.

Phase 3 was approved in October. Contracts will be in hand by the end of January for $255,000. This phase will go from Arcanum Bears Mill Road to the entrance of Greenville Industrial Park.

The next phase will take the trail across county parks and city property to Ohio Street. The District recently got an easement from the Darke County Commissioners and has put a request into the city for a bike lane through the Industrial Park. Van Frank thought it would probably be on the City Council agenda the first of the year. The District and the City will be co-authoring this grant with Surber and the City’s Planning and Zoning engineer Chad Henry providing the ‘in kind’ efforts.

Ohio Street connects to Alice Bish Park, Greenville Creek Trail. According to Van Frank, the goal will be to work with the city park to complete the trail to Parks District property.

“The balance of the route to Union City is on track,” he added, “but hasn’t happened yet.”

Grants still have to be written and approved. Van Frank noted it takes eight months to write and get an approval on a grant but it takes 8-10 days to construct a mile of trail.

“I can’t stress enough the buy-in from local communities. When they see that in Columbus it adds points to the application. Thank you!”

Darke County Parks Director Roger Van Frank shows off the stretch of the bike path leading east to Bradford from Gettysburg. He said the only way this could have happened is through local ownership of the project.

Pitzer earns Presidential Award

ARCANUM – Elizabeth Pitzer, a math teacher at Arcanum Elementary, has earned the Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science. The announcement was made on Dec. 20 by President Barack Obama. Pitzer joins 101 teachers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Department of Defense Education Activity to earn this honor. Pitzer will travel to Washington, DC in the coming year to receive the award.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. The 2012 awardees named this year teach kindergarten through 6th grade.

Pitzer has taught at Arcanum for 27 years. The fifth grade teacher originally taught general studies, but over the past few years has concentrated on mathematics.

This is not the first time she has been recognized for her role as an educator. In 1997 she was a state honoree for this same award. Nationally, Pitzer earned the Milken Educator Award in 1998, Ashland Oil Teacher Achievement Award and Time Warner Award.

According to Pitzer, the process to be named a Presidential Award winner is long. In addition to a tremendous amount of paperwork, she also had to submit a video of herself teaching. She learned in 2012 she was a state honoree, which meant she would be judged on a national level.

The educator is pleased to earn this honor. “This is an award I had aspired to,” she said. Her dedication to her job is beyond reproach. She admits she is usually the first one at the school and the last one to leave. However, she doesn’t take the credit for being an excellent teacher. “The kids are the awesome ones,” she said. “They make me look good.”

Superintendent John Stephens believes this award was well deserved, "The Arcanum-Butler Local School District is very proud of Elizabeth's accomplishments and excited to see her earn the recognition. She dedicates countless hours to improve her instructional techniques and delivery, ultimately benefiting the students of Butler Middle School."

Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion.

“These teachers are inspiring today’s young students to become the next generation of American scientists, mathematicians, and innovators,” President Obama said. “Through their passion and dedication, and by sharing their excitement about science, technology, engineering, and math, they are helping us build a promising future for all our children.”

Elizabeth Pitzer, teacher from Arcanum, received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. (Photo/Arcanum Schools)

Early Bird presents auction check to SSSF

GREENVILLE – Early Bird Publisher Keith Foutz presented a check from the Joining Together for Darke County Youth fundraiser to Senior Scribes Scholarship Fund President Elaine Bailey Dec. 20.

On hand for the presentation were Bistro Off Broadway owner Ted Abney, local cartoonist Paul Ackley and SSSF board member Bob Robinson. The check was for the proceeds of the Ackley cartoon auctions held at Bistro Off Broadway.

Foutz noted this could not have been done without the support of Abney.

“Ted was great,” he said. “He donated the use of his banquet room, set up the tables for easy display… even provided appetizers for the bidders who walked through the door.

“He’s a true supporter of our community and our kids,” Foutz added.

Foutz also thanked Ackley for giving the fundraiser his talent. “He has many followers in the community and was gracious enough to make his cartoons available to support the Senior Scribes Scholarship program.”

Bailey and Robinson were grateful to have the additional scholarship money available to SSSF applicants.

“We can’t thank Keith, Ted and Paul enough for what they have done to help our program,” Bailey said. “We’ve had many talented young people submit applications for scholarships and have been fortunate so far that we’ve been able to meet their needs.”

Robinson had worked with many of the 2013 scholarship recipients.

“These are great kids, and sharp,” he said. “They have set challenging goals for themselves and I’m thankful to everyone who has played a part in helping us to help them achieve those goals.”

There are still cartoons at the Early Bird if anyone wishes to take a look and make a purchase. It’s an opportunity to make a donation and take home one of your favorite Ackley cartoons.

Early Bird Publisher Keith Foutz (center) presents SSSF President Elaine Bailey a check from the Paul Ackley fundraiser. Also pictured from left: Ted Abney, Paul Ackley and Bob Robinson.

Gracie spreads Christmas cheer at Oakley House

GREENVILLE – Gracie travels five counties spreading cheer to hospice patients and residents of nursing and continuing care homes. She’s two years old and loves to go “bye-bye.”

Gracie is a TDI: Therapy Dog International.

Her most recent visit to Darke County was at the Oakley House in Greenville on Dec. 19. Gracie wandered around the room visiting over 20 residents while her owner, Candy Null, explained Gracie’s training to get the designation of Therapy Dog.

“I got her in a box,” Null said. “When I took her out of it, it was like the Tasmanian Devil. She ran around everywhere. In the beginning all she did was pee and poop.”

Noting Gracie was her best friend, Null said she started training when she was eight weeks old. She got her basic training through the Darke County Dog Club. “There was no training available for the TDI program so I did it myself.”

Gracie had to go to Columbus and pass 13 different tests in order to be certified. Two of the tests involved turning down food and walking over a hot dog.

Null, a Heartland Hospice chaplain, had Gracie do tricks for the residents, played some Christmas songs on her 36-string “Appalachian instrument” and told a story about a town that had chimes that wouldn’t ring.

“Townspeople brought gifts to celebrate the Christ Child,” she said, “but the chimes still wouldn’t ring. Then two small boys arrived… and gave all that they had to the Christ Child.”

And the chimes started ringing.

Earlier Ted Finnarn gave the residents a presentation about handling their estates, and afterward Santa visited the Oakley House to hand out presents to the residents.

Sandy Baker, Oakley House sales manager, said the Santa visit was courtesy of Spirit Ambulance. The Hartzell family – Linda, Larry and Paul – did the honors with presents purchased by the Oakley House staff.

“Each of our staff members adopted a resident,” Baker said.

There was one more Christmas event for residents. The daughter of Dining Services Coordinator Darla Cross, Shalee, lost her home the end of November due to a fire. Everything was gone.

“The staff and residents here,” Baker said, “went together to purchase presents and food for Shalee, her husband and their three children.”

Gracie visits with Oakley House residents while her master, Candy Null, talks about Gracie’s training to become a Therapy Dog. (Bob Robinson photo)

Santa sits with one of the Oakley House residents after handing out gifts to all. (Bob Robinson photo)

Eight students finish first adult welding class at Greenville Tech Center

GREENVILLE – Eight adults working to better their lives and opportunities in the workforce completed the first adult welding class at the Greenville Technical Center. The class was made possible through a collaborative effort between Greenville City Schools, Partnering 4 Progress and local manufacturers.

Career Technical Director David Peltz congratulated the students for being the first graduating class of the new welding program. He said, “I commend you for working through the program. You have some fantastic projects and hopefully you found the class to be very helpful.” Greenville City Schools Superintendent Doug Fries added, “We are happy that you came back to be a part of our school in the evening. It is our pleasure to work with the adults in our community and in our county. We know there is a need for welding out there. I appreciate you guys for taking the initiative to come back to get some further skills. It speaks highly of you.”

Peltz also praised the class instructors, “Cecil (Stewart) and Richard (Haney) did an outstanding job of working with you. I know they really enjoyed getting back in the classroom and working with you guys.” He continued, “I know they are proud of your efforts and what you’ve done.”

According to Haney, the students completed 90 hours in the classroom. One-third of the time was spent in the classroom and the remainder was in the lab. The goal was to prepare the students to pass an entry level welding test, which could open up job opportunities. The class was designed with input from area manufacturers and covered mig, arc and tig welding. Haney noted once the students gained an entry level position they would be able to refine their craft.

To help students find job opportunities, the class was visited by Dynamic Weld, of Osgood. The students will be given a job interview with the company. John Hefner is working with the class to prepare for an interview and to develop a resume.

Peltz was pleased with number of students taking the first class and added there is a possibility the class will be offered again in the spring.

Attending the graduation ceremony of the first adult welding class were (front row) students Manuel Melchor, Corey Kauffman, Candice Bowers, Richard Haney, instructor (back row) Cecil Stewart, instructor, students Lee Burton, Adam Burton, Chris Starns, Isaiah Hudson, Director David Peltz, and Greenville City Council President John Burkett. (Ryan Berry photo)

Dec 28, 2013

Greenville City Fire Issues Press Release on Fairgrounds Fire

GREENVILLE - The Greenville City Fire Department responded to the Darke County Fairgrounds at 7:45 p.m. on December 27, 2013. Upon arrival, crews found the Cow Palace/Beef Barn fully engulfed in flames. The fire spread to the milking parlor and a small office building. No other buildings on the Fairgrounds received any damage.

Three alarms were dispatched to fight the fire. 11 fire companies responded to the scene as-well-as five medical units. In addition to the City of Greenville Fire Department, responding units included Greenville Township Fire, Liberty Township Fire, New Madison Fire, Union City Fire, Arcanum Fire, Union City Rescue, Greenville Township Rescue, and Arcanum Rescue. Units from Ansonia Fire and Versailles Fire were manning the Greenville Fire Station in the event of another fire call within the city.

Firefighters employed defensive firefighting operations due to the extent of the fire and the potential for collapse of the bowstring truss roof structure. The fire companies’ crews were quickly able to get the fire under control and keep it from spreading to other nearby buildings.

The wooden roof structure of the building was the main source of combustible materials which partially collapsed during the firefighting operations.

One firefighter was evaluated on the scene for a possible medical issue and one firefighter was transported to Wayne Healthcare for evaluation. He was treated and released.

Personnel form the City of Greenville Fire Department, City of Greenville Police Department, and the Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire. No damage estimate is available at this time.

Beef Barns Receive Major Damage in Fire at Darke County Fairgrounds

GREENVILLE - The Greenville City Fire Department responded to the Darke County Fairgrounds at 7:45 p.m. on Dec. 27. Upon arrival, crews found the Cow Palace (aka Beef Barn) engulfed in flames. In addition to the north barn (closest to Martz St.) the fire had spread to the south barn and the barns connector. Greenville Fire Chief Mark Wolf said the milking parlor and an office also received damage.

According to Wolf, crews were quickly able to get the fire under control. He noted there wasn't a lot of burnable material, except the roof structure. The barn's walls are made of concrete and there is a lot of steel holding up the roof. The north barn sustained major damage with a collapsed roof.

Fairboard President Richard Delk and several members of the board were at the scene. In addition to the barns, the board also believes they lost the fair shuttles in the fire. A boat was also being stored in the barn.

Wolf said 11 fire companies were on the scene. In addition to the City of Greenville, units included Greenville Township Fire, Liberty Township Fire, Arcanum, New Madison, Union City, Union City, Greenville Township Rescue and Arcanum Rescue. Units from Ansonia and Versailles were manning the Greenville.

A cause for the fire and amount of damage has not been determined.

Fairboard members watch as the barns burn.


ANSONIA - Ansonia Elementary wanted to give back to the community so they held a "Food For Friends" food drive for two weeks in December. Mrs. Fourman's first grade class (pictured) won first place by collecting the most items and will be treated to an ice cream party. The Ansonia FFA contributed some boxes of fresh fruit and helped deliver 1,196 items to the Ansonia United Methodist Church for their food pantry.


ARCANUM - The Arcanum FCCLA (Family, Career, Community and Leaders of America) Chapter recently went Christmas Caroling at the Brethren’s Home Retirement Community. Students sang to the residents on the 4th floor, passed out treat bags and Christmas cards. Both the students and the residents had a great time. Pictured above are Arcanum FCCLA students left to right. Hayley Roberts, Jared Myers, Elizabeth Riley, Kaylee Myers, Libby Moore, Laura Pankratz, Rebacca Pierson, Janelle Mears, Kellie Ritz and Brianna Ashmore. Mrs. Patty Carroll is their advisor.

FCCLA Chapter holds fundraiser

ARCANUM - The Arcanum FCCLA Chapter recently held a fundraiser called “Cupcakes for a Sweet Cause” during the week of December 2 to December 6. “Cupcakes for a Sweet Cause” is a fundraiser where FCCLA members made cupcakes the night before and then the next day the students could buy the cupcakes and decorate them with icing and candy. The cupcakes cost one for fifty cents and two cupcakes for a dollar, even though the week was cut short due to a cancelation of school for large amounts of snow and ice. The money raised from this fundraiser was used to help families in the Arcanum community have a better Christmas. Some of the Chapter members went shopping and bought presents for other with the money that was raised.

Dec 27, 2013

Greenville Police Beat

Armed robbery, DUI and domestic violence

On Dec. 17 police responded to an armed robbery at Papa Johns restaurant, 1111 E. Main St. The manager of the store advised an unknown male subject entered wearing a black ski mask with a black hockey mask over his face. He also wore a green hoodie, dark jeans and black gloves. The suspect displayed a knife approximately eight inches long and demanded the money in the cash register. The suspect then ran northeast toward East Main. No leads or suspects at this time.


On Dec. 22 police were dispatched to E. Park Drive and Wilson Avenue regarding a vehicle stuck in water that overflowed from two ponds in the area. The area was clearly marked as being closed to vehicular traffic. The road was flooded with approximately two feet of water. Darla Harris was sitting in her vehicle, surrounded by water, and refused to exit her vehicle. The officer waded to the vehicle and noticed Harris had slurred speech, glassy bloodshot eyes and a strong odor of alcohol. Harris was led back to dry land; she said she did not see the signs or the water until too late. She refused to submit to a field sobriety test and was arrested and taken to the police department. Harris also refused to take the breath test and became belligerent. She was cited for driving on a closed road and OVI (Operating a vehicle under the influence), and released to her daughter.


On Dec. 19 police were dispatched to Gray Avenue regarding a physical domestic dispute. The victim advised she and her fiancé, Brad Smith, were engaged in a verbal altercation over an issue regarding Facebook. She accidently brushed shoulders with Smith who then became upset and began pushing her and pulling her hair. He hit her in the face, busting open her lip, and began choking her. She said she began choking him back and doing whatever else was necessary to defend herself. Police observed her lip was swollen and bleeding slightly. There was redness around her neck. Smith told police the victim had started it by pushing him but refused to say what he did to retaliate. He showed no signs of physical injury. He was arrested for domestic violence and transported to the Darke County Jail.


On Dec. 23 police were dispatched to 114 Oxford Dr. regarding the theft of medication from a vehicle. Brandy Ross said someone stole medications out of her unlocked vehicle sometime over the weekend. The car had been rifled through; the middle console, where the medications were, was still open. No suspects.

On Nov. 30 police responded to 107 Hilltop Dr. regarding a house burglary. The resident, Shareece Kenworthy, advised the front door was open when she came home. There was also damage to a bathroom door and a broken exterior window. No one was in the house and no items had been taken. Kenworthy did not wish to file a report, however the owner, Barbara Bricker, asked to file one for insurance purposes. No suspects.

On Dec. 18 Police responded to CVS Pharmacy, 1009 E. Main St., regarding the theft of approximately nine 100 oz. bottles of Tide laundry detergent. They were taken by a white female wearing a black hoodie and jeans, who left without paying for them. A partial license plate number and vehicle description resulted in a tentative identification of the suspect.

On Dec. 17 police were dispatched to 215 Tillman regarding a burglary. The victim, John Taylor, said someone broke into his residence by breaking a basement window and stole $400. Taylor also advised about Nov. 17 two firearms had also been discovered missing from his home. He said he had not contacted police before because he thought nothing could be done. No suspects.

On Dec. 18 police responded to a theft complaint from Frank Hurd, 711 E. Third St. A named suspected had reportedly taken about 80 pounds of pennies worth about $1,200 and wine valued at $100. No contact as yet with the suspect.

On Dec. 17 police responded to 535 Washington Ave. regarding a burglary. James Marlow advised an air compressor has been missing from his garage for approximately three months, as well as other tools. Marlow advised police of a possible known suspect who had been recently arrested. No other suspects.


On Dec. 23 police were dispatched to 311 Hart Ave. regarding a suspected arson fire. A shed and trash bin were fully engulfed with flames. Greenville Fire Department was conducting an arson investigation. One neighbor said he notified the victim, James Gain, and told police a suspicious car had driven by at least three times a few minutes before the fire started. Another neighbor said he saw a suspicious vehicle traveling down Markwith and the alleyway a few minutes before the fire. It was a red two-door coup.


The Greenville Police Beat is prepared from public records available at the Greenville Police Department. Every effort is made to balance the public’s right to know with the rights of the individuals involved. Readers are encouraged to contact Greenville Police if they have information or concerns regarding these or any other incidents they see. The Early Bird notes all suspects are innocent until proven guilty and welcomes comments and concerns regarding this community service.

Wayne Healthcare Challenge Banquet scheduled

GREENVILLE - The First Wayne Healthcare Challenge: The Get Moving Series, presented by Brethren Retirement Community and Family Health, has been a year of successes for all who participated. From small races to large races, from walkers to runners, everyone has a lot to celebrate. Funds were raised for many worthy causes and many people embraced this new race series to move toward a healthier lifestyle. Race after race, new people participated individually or as a team and it is now time to celebrate the success of all.

On Jan. 12 participants of the Wayne Healthcare Challenge series are invited to attend a Season Awards Banquet. The banquet will be held at the Thirsty Turtle, 6545 U.S. Rt. 36 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Light Hors d’oeuvres will be served. This event is free, but seating is limited so RSVP today. Seating will be on a first come, first serve basis and reservations will be accepted until Jan. 5 or until seats are filled. To make reservations simply fill out the online form at

The Wayne Healthcare Challenge committee is planning for the 2014 year of races. There are many exciting things to come in 2014, so if you participated in the series this year, we encourage you to come back again and to invite others to join you on this healthy lifestyle. For more information on the race series, visit

Cancer support group will meet

GREENVILLE - The next meeting of the “Living with Cancer” Support Group will be held on January 9 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. The meeting will take place in the first floor administrative board room at Wayne Health Care. (From the main entrance, turn right and go down the hallway past the lab and turn left at the end of the hall. The board room will be on the left.) The group decided to meet one week later than usual due to New Year’s Day.

January’s meeting will hold an open forum and those planning to attend are being asked to bring one thing to share with the rest of the group. (Either copies for the group, or an idea that you want to share.

Perhaps there is information that will be helpful, talk about a concern to the group, or something that has been experienced and how it was dealt with, etc.)

The local Cancer Association of Darke County sponsors the Living with Cancer group in cooperation with Wayne Hospital. The Support Group is open to anyone with a cancer diagnosis, also family and friends of an individual with cancer are encouraged to attend. Facilitating the support group meeting will be Christine Lynn from the Cancer Association and Jill Brown from Wayne Health Care.

For further information, contact the Cancer Association of Darke County (partnering with United Way) office at 548-9960. The office is located at 1111 Sweitzer St. at the Wayne Cancer Center. Office hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Cancer Association is local and independent and not affiliated with American Cancer Society or other organizations.

Donations are accepted to help Darke County cancer patients, just write the check to Cancer Association of Darke County and mail to: CADC, PO Box 781, Greenville, OH 45331. The organization is always looking for volunteer drivers to drive patients to their treatments. For more information about being a driver, please call the office and leave a message if necessary. Someone will be returning phone calls.

Time is ticking away… Give volunteering a try

DARKE COUNTY - Need a new idea for something to do this year for a New Year’s Resolution? If so, volunteering is a great way to help! The Park District has several volunteer opportunities available for all ages. Opportunities vary from being indoors to exploring the outdoors all while enjoying all the different seasons.

Join on January 18 at 10 a.m. to see what volunteering with the Park District is all about. A few opportunities include helping at the reception desk, maintaining trails, folding Nature Notes, assisting with animal enrichment, adopting a park, assisting with visiting school trips, and more.

The rewarding parts of volunteering are countless; whether it would be meeting a new friend, seeing all the smiling faces when assisting with a program or walk the trails on a regular basis while adopting a park. Even the busiest of schedules will likely allow for an evening or a few hours per month to help the Park District.

For more information about becoming a volunteer with the Park District for your community, please attend the January 18 meeting and RSVP to Laura Schwieterman, Volunteer Coordinator, at 548-0165 or via email by January 10.

Dec 26, 2013

Stand Up 4 Janie Benefit

Janie Blevins
COVINGTON – Factory Street Productions in bringing a Bob and Tom Show favorite, Costaki Economopoulos, “The biggest name in comedy,” for one night only to help raise money for Janie (Gibson) Blevins’ fight against cancer. The Stand Up 4 Janie Benefit will be held Jan. 25, at the Eagles, 715 E. Broadway St., Covington, 7:30 p.m. and doors open at 6:45 p.m. The cost is $20. All proceeds from this event go directly to Janie.

Tickets are available at the venue or call 417-2518. For more information, visit

Landscape and Garden Tip of the Week

GREENVILLE – Brought to you by Flory Landscaping and Lawn Care Inc., Greenville, Your Landscape/Gardening tip of the week:

Salting Your Sidewalk

When that big snow storm comes; you need to be prepared to shovel snow and ice first before putting any salt down. The more snow and ice you remove, the more effective the salt will be. As you are putting salt down, the general rule is use no more than four pounds of salt per 1000 square feet. You also need to watch what the temperature is outside because salt does not work correctly when temperatures fall below 15 degrees. After you have laid your salt, the thin areas should be effective within minutes, but the thicker areas may need a little more time. For the thicker areas, you might want to let it melt for a while then remove them with a shovel. It should be able to remove easier when the salt has been on there for several minutes. Re-apply the salt as needed. With just a little time and salt, you should be able to keep those dangerous sidewalks away.


VERSAILLES – Versailles Health Care Center recently collected non-perishable food items from staff, family and friends. The food items were donated to the Council of Churches in Versailles for community distribution. Versailles Health Care Center would like to thank everyone who contributed to the collection. Shown are Therese Pohlman, Deanna Jones, Annette Kilburn, Julie Davis, Larry Pierron and Jackie McEldowney.

Cardinal Center is heating up in Gettysburg

GETTYSBURG – On Dec. 11, the Village of Gettysburg secured financing to satisfy the remaining obligations of their land-purchase contract with Tom Batelle and to install a new modern heating system in the community wing of the building. The new high efficiency forced air furnaces will replace the inefficient low pressure steam system and will allow for the addition of air conditioning. Installation of the new system is expected to be completed in early January.

In the meantime, the lack of a new system is not preventing use of the center. The Upwards Sports ( program sponsored by Pleasant View Missionary Church has started using the facility for youth basketball. They are practicing every Monday and Thursday through December with games every Saturday starting in January. The program runs until the last week of February. A temporary heater is in place and keeps the building comfortable for the players.

The Friends of the Cardinal Center continues to meet at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month in the center and is off to a flying start. Their initial appeal to Gettysburg alumni has returned over $6,000 in donations. They have received their certificate of non-profit status from the State of Ohio and are now in the process of applying for tax exempt 501c3 status. The group wants to create a list of as many former students as possible and would like to hear from anyone who has ever attended or worked at the Gettysburg School. The friends can be reached by mail at PO Box 305, Gettysburg, OH 45328, Facebook (, or contacting Esther Clark (937-447-8473).

Also, the rental rates for the Cardinal Center have been updated and can be found at

Upwards Sports players honing their skills at the Cardinal Center in preparation for season play.

Dec 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from The Early Bird

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