BOWL FOR KIDS' SAKE MARCH 3RD AND 4TH - January 19, 2017
    Mark you calendars! Bowl For Kids' Sake 2017 is scheduled for March 3 & 4, 2017, at Bel-Mar Lanes in Sidney & Treaty Lanes in Greenville. This year's Theme is Hawaiian to help celebrate the festive theme come dressed in your Hawaiian attire. Bowl for Kids' Sake serves as the largest fundraiser for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County. Bowl for Kids' Sake is open to the public, with $40 admission or $25 for those under the age of 18, this includes T-shirt, snacks, and one hour of bowling. For registration forms and more information please visit www.bigbrobigsis-shelbydarke.org. You can also register by calling (937) 492-7611 or (937) 547-9622. All individuals and businesses from the surrounding areas are invited to participate. You can choose to form a team with friends, family, and/or co-workers and raise money, or bowl individually. High school students are also encouraged to participate and are eligible to bowl for just $25. Lanes are available Friday, March 3rd from 5-6:00pm & Saturday, March 4th from 1-2:00pm at Bel-Mar Lanes in Sidney & Treaty Lanes in Greenville. You get to choose what one-hour block of bowling works the best for you. Sponsor opportunities are available for the 2017 Bowl for Kids' Sake event as well.

2017 FUNDING APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE FROM UNITED WAY - January 19, 2017
    The Darke County United Way would like to announce that applications for 2017 funding are currently available. There are two types of funding applications, Partner Program and the Community Fund. Applicants for both funds are reviewed by the local, volunteer Board of Directors and a team of community volunteers through a process meeting professional standards for nonprofit management practices, financial management, and service provision. To apply your organization must be a 501c3 health and human service non-profit in establishment for at least one year serving Darke County. The Partner Program Grant is for agencies requesting $5,000 or more from the Darke County United Way. Partner Program Grants are reserved for agencies working in the areas of health, education, and income stability. The Community Fund Grant is for agencies requesting $5,000 or less from the Darke County United Way. Community Fund Grants are open to any 501c3 agency serving Darke County. Priority will be given to agencies working in the health and human service field. Applications are available by contacting the Darke County United Way Office at 207 E. Fourth Street in Greenville, or call 937-547-1272.

DEER NUMBERS UP AFTER MUZZLELOADER SEASON - January 19, 2017
    Hunters checked 15,843 white-tailed deer during Ohio's muzzleloader season, Jan. 7-10, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). During last year's muzzleloader season, 12,503 white-tailed deer were checked. Hunters still have opportunities to pursue deer this winter, as archery season remains open through Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio's deer populations. The goal of Ohio's Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists. Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more. Find more information about deer hunting in the Ohio 2016-2017 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.gov. An updated deer harvest report is posted online each Wednesday at WildOhio.gov/DeerHarvest.

DRUG BUSTS IN MERCER COUNTY - January 18, 2017
    Mercer County Sheriff, Jeff Grey reports that the HIT Team (Heroin Interdiction Team, which is comprised of deputies / officers of the Mercer County Sheriff's Office, Celina Police Department and the Coldwater Police Department), made several arrest on January 13th, 2017 5:09 PM during a traffic stop on Us Rte. 127 at Green Road. Members of the HIT team were out in force on Friday, when they spotted a person known to them, who had an active warrant. The HIT Team called for marked patrol cars to make a traffic stop on the suspect's vehicle.
    
    Members arrested the driver for the outstanding warrant, he was found to be is possession of 2 syringes and a "rock" of Meth. Mercer County Deputy Kevin Wynk and his K-9, Franko did a "walk around" on the car and the dog alerted to the presence of drugs. HIT Team members removed the two other passengers from the car and the front seat passenger was found to be in possession of 3 syringes and a "rock" of Meth. The back seat passenger was arrested at the scene for obstructing and a female deputy was called to the scene for a pat down, nothing was located at that time. Later when all three were transported to the Mercer County Adult Detention Facility, the female was found to be in possession of a syringe, 3 empty capsules and 53 full capsules of heroin. The female had the items inside her vaginal cavity.
    
    Arrested were the driver of the car 30 year old Kyle D Blake of 820 Hemlock Street Celina, Ohio. Blake was arrested on the outstanding warrant from the Celina Police Department for Failure to Pay on the original charge of Disorderly Conduct. Blake was also charged with two counts of Possession of Drug Abuse Instruments. The front seat passenger, 36 year old William Allan Lange of 537 Touvelle Street Lot 68A Celina, Ohio was arrested for three counts of Possession of Drug Abuse Instruments. The back seat passenger, 30 year old Samantha Ann Harris of 537 Touvelle Street Lot 68A Celina, Ohio was arrested for Obstructing Official Business and Possession of Drug Abuse Instruments.
    
    The Drug Abuse Instruments are a Misdemeanor of the Second Degree. The Obstructing Official Business is Misdemeanor of the Second Degree as well.
    
    Bond was set by Celina Municipal Court Judge James Scheer at 100,000.00 each, subject to ten percent.
    
    This case has been sent to the Mercer County Prosecutor (Matt Fox) for his office to review for additional drug charges.

POTHOLES FIXED BY ODOT - January 18, 2017
    A mild winter could mean more potholes popping up this season. The increase in rain, snow, ice and moisture this season is leading to an increase in potholes forming around the area. ODOT took advantage of the warm weather Tuesday to patch potholes that have popped up this year. With public safety as the most important reason why they want to fill the holes as soon as they pop up, their crews will be out and about this week. ODOT said drivers should never veer out of their lanes to avoid a pothole. They said the best approach to driving over potholes is to slow down.

DCCA PRESENTS LAURA INGALLS WILDER - January 18, 2017
    Darke County Center for the Arts Family Theatre Series will present Laura Ingalls Wilder on Sunday, January 29 at 2 p.m. at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall in Greenville. One of the most beloved of ArtsPower National Touring Theatre's productions, the show chronicles the exciting adventures of the Ingalls family as they travel across the prairie. As those who are familiar with the books chronicling her life already know, Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family faced many challenges as they traveled across this nation's unsettled frontier of the late 1800's and labored to establish their home. Tickets for Laura Ingalls Wilder are $5, and can be reserved by contacting DCCA at 937-547-0908 or dcca@centerforarts.net or purchased on-line at www.centerforarts.net. Tickets are also available at the Greenville Public Library and Readmore's Hallmark in Greenville, as well as at Worch Memorial Public Library in Versailles.

TROY MAN SHOT - January 17, 2017
    A Troy, man was shot on Monday and Police are trying to determine what happened. Officers and medics were dispatched to an apartment building in the 1300 block of Imperial Court, just after 9 p.m. on a report of a male who was shot. Officers arrived to find the victim, in an upstairs apartment, suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg. Troy Fire Department sent an engine and Elizabeth Township responded with a mutual aide medic. The victim, whose injuries are reportedly non-life-threatening, was transported to the hospital for treatment. The shooter, who may have been known to the victim, has not yet been apprehended. The wounded man was taken to Upper Valley Medical Center.

FLYIN' TO THE HOOP WRAPS UP 15TH YEAR - January 17, 2017
    The 15th annual Flyin' to the Hoop basketball invitational wrapped up on Monday and once again proved to be another success. 37 teams playing in 20 games over 3 days each and every Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. For the 15th year in a row, thousands came out to watch the #2 ranked showcase event highlighting the best and the brightest high school players in the country. This year the games featured 2 girls' basketball teams for the first time and gave away a $1,000 scholarship to one lucky player. The annual event brings in roughly $2 million to the area each year as 20,000 people flock to Trent Arena to enjoy the games.

AGRIPOWER TAKING APPLICATIONS - January 17, 2017
    The leadership and advocacy development program AgriPOWER is now accepting applications for participation. The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation's AgriPOWER Class IX will include 20 individuals who are committed to improving their understanding of important issues and are willing to develop skills to become effective advocates for the farm and food community. Applications are due April 17, 2017. The AgriPOWER program consists of seven multi-day institute sessions across 17 days between July 2017 and March 2018. Two sessions will be held out of state including one in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the program, see specific session dates, read about past participants' experiences and complete an application, visit OFBF.org/agripower. Ohio Farm Bureau is the state's largest and most inclusive farm and food organization. One of its highest priorities is to help develop exceptional community leaders.

ST. 571 EAST CLOSES TODAY - January 16, 2017
    The Darke County Engineer and Darke County Sheriff are issuing a public notice on the impending closure of State Route 571 east of Greenville, Ohio. This closure will impact travel on the east side of Greenville which is an area with many manufacturing and industrial businesses. On Monday, January 16, State Route 571 will be closed to thru traffic between Jaysville-St. Johns Road and USR 36. This closure will last 60 days, or more, for the construction of a new bridge over Bridge Creek. During this closure, all trucks will be prohibited from traveling East on SR 571 from USR 36, except those trucks making deliveries or pickups to businesses accessed from SR 571, West of Jaysville-St. Johns. Westbound trucks on SR 571 coming to Greenville shall use Landsdowne Avenue and Jaysville-St. Johns Road, South of Landsdowne. Trucks other than those making deliveries or pickups shall not travel Jaysville-St. Johns North of Landsdowne. All trucks are specifically prohibited from using Jaysville-St. Johns between SR 571 and USR 36. Signs will be placed to guide trucks and prohibit them from certain routes. These routes will be strictly enforced by the Darke County Sheriff's Office and drivers disobeying the routes will receive citations. The official detour for the project is via SR 721, SR 49 and USR 127/36. Please note that immediately following this project another bridge project will occur on SR 571 between Hartzell Road and Culbertson Road that will keep this route closed possibly into June 2017. Motorists are asked to plan their routes accordingly especially if you live and work in the area of the project.

VETERAN'S ID CARDS AVAILABLE TUESDAY - January 16, 2017
    Starting Tuesday, Jan. 17, military veterans living in Darke County will be able to obtain special identification cards issued by the Darke County Veterans Service Office. The cards will be issued at no cost to honorably discharged veterans living in the county. The primary purpose of the card is to aid businesses in identifying those who qualify for military discounts. The cards, similar in appearance to a driver's license, will feature the veteran’s photo, branch of service and date of discharge and more. To get a card, a veteran living in the county must first go to the Darke County Recorder's Office to have their discharge paperwork recorded there. The veteran then will need to schedule an appointment with the Darke County Veterans Service Office to come in and have their card made. The card expires 10 years from its issue date, and then a new one will be issued. A veteran can also be issued a new card in the event his or her ID is lost or stolen. The card, however, cannot be used for official government purposes, such as obtaining services from the Veterans Administration. To schedule an appointment or for further information, call the Darke County Veterans Service Office at 937-548-5305. The Darke County Veterans Service Office is located at 611 Wagner Avenue in Greenville.

DARKE COUNTY RECEIVES 10 AWARDS IN OHIO MAGAZINE - January 13, 2017
    This month, the Best of Ohio results were revealed from Ohio Magazine. Darke County came away with 10 Best Of's. The Great Darke County Fair, earned the award in the Best County Fair category. The Gathering at Garst grabbed the top spot with Best Summer Festival. Bear's Mill, earned the award for Best Historical Site. Garst Museum, won for Best History Museum. Greenville's downtown was called Ohio's Best Main Street Shopping. The Winery at Versailles earned the top award for Best Winery Tasting Room. The Merchant House earned the award for Best Casual Dining. Michael Anthony's at the Inn in Versailles was recognized as the best for Fine Dining. Arcanum's The Old Arcana was honored for its breakfast and the Best Breakfast Spot. The Coffee Pot in Greenville was awarded for Best Coffee Shop/Roaster. Darke County did Well.

WEEKEND WEATHER COULD BE ICY - January 13, 2017
    Forecasts are predicting a variety of weather conditions across Indiana and Ohio through this weekend, including the possibility of freezing rain and ice. Ice accumulation could be as much as a tenth of an inch in some areas, creating hazardous driving conditions. A few degrees can mean the difference between rain or snow, so freezing rain and ice can be difficult for forecasters to pinpoint far in advance. The Indiana Department of Transportation will continue monitoring multiple weather forecasts and readying yellow salt trucks to treat interstates, U.S. highways and state routes. The state of Indiana and National Weather Service provide drivers with a number of tools to make safe, informed travel decisions. Check daily, hourly and graphical weather forecasts by zooming in and clicking on destinations at digital.Weather.gov. Before deciding to drive, check road and traffic conditions at Indot.CarsProgram.org, 800-261-ROAD (7623) or by turning on the traffic feature on a mobile mapping app. Freezing rain and ice are the most dangerous of all winter road conditions because it affects all vehicle sizes and types, including those with four-wheel drive and INDOT's own salt trucks. In these types of conditions, motorists are strongly encouraged to stay off the roads to allow access for salt trucks and emergency vehicles.

CHACON RECEIVES 5 YEARS IN PRISON - January 13, 2017
    In October of 2016, we reported on 29-year-old illegal immigrant Hermelando Chacon. Arrested following an investigation by the Greenville Police Department that he raped a female victim under the age of 13. On Thursday he appeared in Darke County Common Pleas Court. Chacon entered a guilty plea to a sole count of Rape, a felony of the first degree. As part of a plea agreement with the state, Assistant Prosecutor Deborah Quigley dismissed several other felony sex-related charges that appeared on the indictment. Sentencing followed with Chacon having to spend the next five years in prison. The 29 year old faces deportation following his time behind bars.

BIG LOTS BUILDING TO CHANGE TO OFFICES - January 12, 2017
    The Darke County Commissioners met on Wednesday, for their regularly scheduled meeting and with regret the Commissioner's accepted a letter of resignation from Patty Harter. Business Administrator, John Cook, presented the letter that indicates Harter will be leaving the county at the end of March. For the past 12 years, Harter has served the county as assistant clerk/secretary. In other business, the Commissioners approved a proposal for office renovations at the Wagner Avenue complex where Big Lots was located. In the future that site will be home to the Darke County Auditor, Recorder, Treasurer and Engineer. Those offices will be moving from the Courthouse, but time will tell. The Commissioners said they hope to make the change as soon as possible, but one of the renovations call for the replacement of sewer lines. The next Darke County Commissioners meeting will be Wednesday, January 18th at 1:30 in Downtown Greenville.

FREE TAX CLINICS - January 12, 2017
    Fish Choice Pantry in Greenville, is partnering with the Ohio Benefit Bank, and they're pleased to announce a series of free tax clinics. The clinics will be held on Saturdays with appointments from 9AM until 2:30PM at Fish Choice Pantry located at 400 Markwith Ave, Greenville. Clients will be served by appointment only. Call 937-547-9730 to schedule an appointment. Households choosing the filing status of married filing jointly are eligible if their annual income is $95,000 or less. All other filing status includes an annual income of $65,000 or less. No taxes for farm or rental income can be completed. Fish Choice Pantry is a local food pantry serving Darke County residents for nearly 50 years. If you are interested in serving in the food pantry or becoming a tax counselor please contact 937-548-2000.

PREBLE COUNTY TEEN MISSING - January 12, 2017
    A Preble County Teen was reported as a Missing/Runaway Juvenile on Wednesday. Jami Hounsell ran away from her home in Eaton, on January 8th. Jami is 16 years old, 5'7" tall, 140 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes. Jami has a tattoo of an outline of a heart on her left upper arm that says "lil sister." Jami also goes by the name of /"Alex./" Jami left in a 2000 Chrysler Town & Country minivan with Ohio license plate GOY6855. The minvan has stickers placed in the rear window; pictures included on facebook.com under Eaton Police Division. Jami is possibly with Dalton Knisley who is also pictured online. If you know of Jami's whereabouts, or have any information pertaining this case, please contact the Eaton Police Division immediately. You can also send in information anonymously. All information will be promptly investigated.
    
    Eaton Police Division: 937-456-5531
    
    EPD Anonymous Tip Line: 1-888-456-2980

TUESDAY HIGH WINDS CAUSES OUTAGES AND DAMAGE - January 11, 2017
    At one time on Tuesday night, there was 1,720 outages throughout the region because of high winds. According to Dayton Power & Light, the report included an estimated 1,430 outages in Miami County, 851 in Preble, 198 in Montgomery, 143 in Darke. A sheriff's dispatcher confirmed reports of trees down and other damage. East of Arcanum, in the 2600 block of U.S. 127, there is a report of a barn that was "tipping over." In Greenville, a large oak tree fell in the yard of a home on Hilltop Drive at East Main Street, just missing a house. The good news, there were no reports of any injuries from the wind or wind damage.

FATAL ACCIDENT INVOLVES LEWISBURG MAN - January 11, 2017
    One person is dead after a crash on I-70 West near Clayton. It happened just before 5 p.m. after a car traveled off the side of the highway, striking a trailer. The victim, a Preble County man, Richard Schlenk Sr., 77, from Lewisburg. There was no one else in the vehicle with him. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday. Schlenk suffered a medical condition that led to the fatal crash off I-70 in Clayton. The victim was headed west on I-70, veered off the interstate and crossed the entrance ramp from state Route 49 (Salem Avenue) to 70 West. The car continued through a fence in the area of Clinton Street and ended up smashed against a structure. The car was a Buick sedan.

RED CROSS CELEBRATES 100 YEARS - January 11, 2017
    With World War I raging overseas and events such as the Great Flood of 1913 still fresh in the memories of many in the region, leaders through the Northern Miami Valley set about to find a way to protect the citizens of the area. Their solution: The establishment of American Red Cross chapters throughout the region. In 1917, Red Cross chapters came into existence in Darke, Miami, Shelby, Clark, Champaign and Logan counties, and for the last 100 years the Red Cross has been helping prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of disasters in the area. As we start 2017, the Red Cross is kicking off a yearlong celebration of its 100 years of serving the Northern Miami Valley. For the next 12 months, they will be commemorating the many past and present contributions of the Red Cross and the amazing volunteers that have given so much. Over the last 100 years, almost everyone has been impacted—either directly or indirectly—by the Red Cross. For more information on the Red Cross and Celebrating 100 years, visit RedCross.org/NMVO or listen to WTGR on Friday as the Red Cross will be in the spotlight during Community Ties.

GIVING GALA NOW FEBRUARY 18TH - January 11, 2017
    Main Street Greenville has announced a date change for their Giving Gala. The fundraiser will take place on February 18th at Romer's Catering in Greenville. The event features dinner and dancing. Limited tickets are available purchase tickets at the Welcome Center at 421 S. Broadway. All proceeds benefit Main Street Greenville, a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing downtown Greenville. For more information visit MainStreetGreenville.org.

RANDOLPH COUNTY RESIDENTS BUSTED WITH DRUGS - January 10, 2017
    Five Randolph County residents face felony charges over their alleged roles in a conspiracy to smuggle drugs into the county jail. Matthew A. Culy, 37, of Farmland is accused of obtaining Suboxone strips while away from the jail and delivering them to fellow inmates. Suboxone is a narcotic used to treat pain as well as addiction to narcotic pain relievers. Culy, is charged in Randolph Circuit Court with four counts of conspiracy to commit trafficking with an inmate and two counts of conspiracy to commit dealing in a controlled substance. He is accused of purchasing some of the strips from Maci M. Atkinson, 24, of rural Winchester, and delivering them to inmate James Kyle Shockley. In at least some instances, Culy allegedly left the strips under his meal trays at the jail. They eventually made their way to Shockley, who worked into the jail's kitchen. Atkinson, is charged in Randolph Superior Court with two counts of conspiracy to commit dealing in a controlled substance. Shockley, 30, is charged in Randolph Circuit Court with conspiracy to commit trafficking with an inmate and three counts of conspiracy to commit dealing in a controlled substance. Also facing related charges are inmate Gary D. Thornburg, 42, accused of arranging for a relative to pay $20 to Culy. Thornburg is charged in Circuit Court with conspiracy to commit trafficking with an inmate. Still another inmate, Kyle Scott Hartman, accused of obtaining the strips from both Culy and Shockley.

ARSON SUSPECT SENTENCED - January 10, 2017
    On Monday, Tyelor Jamal Henry-Dever, 21, was sentenced for two felony counts of Aggravated Arson and one felony count of Arson. Sentencing comes after Henry-Denver pleaded guilty to a single count of Arson. Arrested back in July, the Greenville man was picked up after attempting to set fires at two homes at Sherwood Forest Mobile Home Community and also attempting to set fire to a vehicle on Fort Jefferson Avenue. No one was injured as a result of the fires. Henry-Dever was sentenced to 166 days, in jail, with 166 days credited for time served. He has to report, as ordered, to intensive supervision for 60 months. In addition, Henry-Dever will have to meet other requirements, if he fails to comply, a maximum sentence of 14 months will be applied.

NEW BUSINESS LIKELY COMING TO GREENVILLE - January 10, 2017
    On Monday, the Darke County Commissioners met for their regularly scheduled meeting and re-organized for 2017. Commissioners Mike Rhoades stepped into the position of Chairman and will lead the meeting for the new year. Commissioner Mike Stegall will be Vice Chariman and Commissioner Matt Aultman, who's in his first year as a Commissioner will serve as member. Business Administrator, John Cook, was also in attendance on Monday and informed the Commissioners on a Letter of Intent with provisions to Harbor Freight Tools. Cook said that Harbor Freight is interested in a spot on Wagner Avenue in Greenville and they plan on investigating the spot. The Budiness Administrator is hopeful that the County will have lease with the Company in the next few weeks. The location is the old Aaron's Inc next to Goodwill. The next Darke County Commissioners meeting will be Wednesday, at 1:30 in Downtown Greenville.

16 YEAR-OLD KILLED FROM NATIONAL TRAIL - January 9, 2017
    The Preble County Sheriff's Office is investigating a one vehicle fatal crash that occurred on Orphans Road, west of Pence Shewman Road. The crash occurred between 2:00 and 2:30 P.M on Saturday. The preliminary investigation indicates that a 2008 Honda was traveling west on Orphans Road when the driver lost control. The vehicle traveled off the right side of the roadway, striking a tree. The driver and only occupant, Olivia Wallace, age 16 of Eaton, was pronounced dead at the scene. Wallace is a student at National Trail High School and Miami Valley Career Technology Center. North Central EMS, Eldorado and West Manchester Fire Departments and the Preble County Coroner's Office responded to the scene. Wallace was transported to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office where an autopsy will be performed. The crash remains under investigation by the Sheriff's Office.

SWAT TEAM CALLED TO BRADFORD - January 9, 2017
    The Miami County Special Response Team was called out following a domestic dispute and threats of suicide in Bradford on Saturday afternoon. Miami County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to an apartment on South Miami Street in the village around 3:30 pm. when a woman reported that her boyfriend was threatening suicide after an apparent domestic dispute. The woman and a child were able to safely exit the second-floor apartment but believed that they heard a gun shot as they left. The victim, whose name has not been released, was alive when team members found him. The Bradford Rescue Squad, who had been standing by since the event began nearly two hours earlier, went inside and brought the male victim to a waiting medic unit. CareFlight responded to Bradford High School where the victim was transported to Miami Valley Hospital. Deputies had several streets in the village blocked during the situation. The incident remains under investigation.

GREENVILLE SCHOOL ITEMS TO BE AUCTIONNERED OFF - January 9, 2017
    Midwest Auctioneers and Realty Inc. would like to announce that the first of four school auctions of surplus items and furnishing is now ready for bidding. The live, on site, portion of the auction will take place Sat. Jan 28th beginning at 9AM at the East Intermediate (Elementary) School, 301 E. Fifth St in Greenville. However, bidding has started via internet bidding now and can be accessed at www.midwest-auctioneers.com or www.proxibid.com. Photos, full descriptions of items and cataloged order of sale are also now available on these websites as well. There are over 1000 lots to bid on ranging from a commercial steam boiler to restaurant/kitchen equipment to school and office type furnishing. Open pre auction on site inspection will be Thursday Jan 26th from 5-7PM and the day prior to the auction Friday Jan 27th from 9AM-5PM. Doors will open at 7AM auction day and the entire auction will be conducted inside and all items will be sold to the highest bidder.

FIRE IN NEWPORT - January 6, 2017
    Several fire crews responded to a structure fire in the 3400 block of Elm Street in Newport, Shelby County. There are no reported injuries from the fire, which was dispatched just after 5 p.m. The burning building is next to the Newport tavern. Fire crews from Russia, Versailles, Minster, Houston, Fort Loramie were dispatched and at 6:23 p.m., tankers from New Bremen and Osgood were being called to the scene. Ohio 66 was closed at Ohio 47 because of the fire.

GIRL SCOUT COOKIES ON SALE - January 6, 2017
    Making change, marketing and e-commerce are some of the skills Girl Scouts gain during their annual cookie sale, which begins Saturday. Those experiences have evolved since Girl Scouts began selling cookies 100 years ago. A troop in Okla., baked cookies in 1917 and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project. Girl Scouts tout the development of essential skills to become effective leaders, such as goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Eight flavors are available this year. Six varieties are $4 per package, including Do-si-dos, Samoas, Savannah Smiles, Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Trefoils. The S'mores and Toffee-tastic flavors are $5 per package and are available in limited quantities. Proceeds from the sale help area Girl Scout troops fund activities such as trips, hands-on science and technology activities and community service projects.

ALTMAN ATTENDS 1ST MEETING AS COMMISSIONER - January 5, 2017
    It was a busy Wednesday, for new Darke County Commissioner Matt Aultman. The Darke County Commissioners held their 1st meeting in 2017 and it was business as usual, but a new face was behind the desk as Aultman replaces Diane Delaplane. Commissioner Mike Rhoades and Commissioner Mike Stegall joined Aultman for their regularly scheduled session. Like Commissioner Mike Rhoades, Aultman also comes to the Board of Commissioners after serving time with the Darke County Agricultural Society. On Wednesday night, the Agricultural Society met at the Fairgrounds for their 1st meeting in 2017 and they approved, with regret, the resignation of Aultman due to his recent position as Darke County Commissioner. The next Commissioners meeting will be Monday, January 9th at 1:30 in Downtown Greenville.

FIRST MEETING OF 2017 FOR DARKE COUNTY FAIRBOARD - January 5, 2017
    The Darke County Agricultural Society was missing a member on Wednesday, with Aultman resigning from his position on the board to become Commissioner. Aultman's empty seat was noticed during a motion that featured a contract for Manure Removal. The motion failed because of a 5 to 5 vote. Another motion ended in a close vote of 6 to 4, but it approved a wage increase for an employee. It could be an interesting year for the Fair Board with just 10 members voting. In other business, the board approved the 2016 Ohio Department of Agriculture Annual Report. The Fair Board will head to Columbus as they attend the Ohio Fair Managers Association Convention, which runs from Thursday to Sunday. The next Fair Board meeting will be Wednesday, February 1st at 7:30 on the Fairgrounds.

VERSAILLES MAN DIES IN TRACTOR-TRAILER ACCIDENT - January 5, 2017
    A local truck driver was killed Tuesday night after rear-ending a stopped tractor-trailer on Interstate 16 West in Georgia. Arthur Francis, 64, of Versailles, Ohio, was headed west in the left lane when his 2015 Volvo tractor-trailer slammed into the back of another truck that had stopped in the left lane due to an earlier accident, according to a release from the Bibb County Sheriff's Office. Carlton Kiser, who was driving a 2011 International tractor-trailer, had been side-swiped by a 2012 Acura DMX driven by Ahn Kim Merritt, 73. His emergency flashers were on following the initial accident. Merritt was entering the highway when the two vehicles clipped each other.

COUNCIL TALKS ABOUT ERWIN BROTHERS PROJECT - January 4, 2017
    Greenville City Council met on Tuesday, for their first meeting in 2017. Concerned Citizen, Don Beisner, spoke to council during the public hearing. Beisner, talked about his disappointment he had in the City with their recent dealings with Erwin Brothers LLC. The Greenville man said he drives by their new facility everyday with hopes that it will open. Beisner, used words like embarrassing, ashamed and disappointing to address the issue that has been a hot topic over the past few months. The facility has been complete for several months and Erwin Brothers had plans to open up at the beginning of December, but a month later the company is still in the middle of a misunderstanding with the City and County. A couple members on City Council got defensive in responding to questions and remarks. Council Member, John Hensley, answered a question from Beisner by saying that sidewalks and curbs were not an issue. Hensley continued by stating that the issue was Erwin Brothers not willing to sign a pre-annexation agreement. City Council ended 2016 with questions and concerns over Erwin Brothers and the County's new industrial park. From Tuesday's discussion, 2017 will start with those same questions and concerns. In other business, Council approved 4 ordinances and resolutions.

CITY PARK PROJECT ON PACE FOR THIS SPRING - January 4, 2017
    The Friends of Greenville City Park, were represented on Tuesday night by Jenny Clark, who updated City Council on the non-profit groups first project, which is island restoration. Clark informed council that the group has raised enough money for a project estimated at just over $41,000. The Greenville Park Board has approved the project and Clark wanted to update Council on the happenings. The restoration will begin this spring. In just four months the group has received donations from many citizens from all over. The biggest donation, came from the Coppock Hole Foundation in memory of Fred Coppock. Those interested in donating to The Friends of the Greenville City Parks, a 501 C3 nonprofit organization, can make checks payable to Friends of the Greenville City Parks, P.O. Box 11, Greenville, Ohio 45331. Visit their website for more information, www.FriendsOfTheGreenvilleCityParks.org.

FABER SWORN INTO HOUSE - January 4, 2017
    On Tuesday, State Representative Keith Faber (R-Celina) was sworn in as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 132nd General Assembly. He represents the 84th Ohio House District, which encompasses Mercer County, as well as portions of Auglaize, Darke and Shelby counties. Faber completed his duties as Senate President by ceremonially passing on the gavel to the new Senate President, Larry Obhof. Faber said "It has been my pleasure serving the people of Western Ohio, and I look forward to representing those in House District 84. While we have made great progress over the years, there is still work to be done to make Ohio the best place to live, work, and raise a family. I am grateful to my constituents for trusting me with this role." Faber most recently served as the 94th President of the Senate and previously served in the Ohio House of Representatives. He is the principal partner with Faber and Associates in Celina, a law firm emphasizing in civil litigation and mediation. Faber and his wife, Andrea, reside just outside Celina in Mercer County with their two children.

NEW YEAR'S ACCIDENT - January 3, 2017
    On January 1, at 9:58 p.m. Darke County Deputies, along with Laura Fire and Arcanum Rescue were dispatch to the intersection of SR571 and Delisle Fourman Rd. reference a two vehicle injury accident. Mutual aid was requested from Greenville Township Rescue and Union Township Rescue. Preliminary investigation revealed that a 1997 Ford Expedition driven by, Chad Pierce (27) of Arcanum was heading northwest on SR571. Pierce attempted to make a left turn on to Delisle Fourman Rd. when he was struck by a 2005 Toyota Camry driven by, Brandon Ervin (23) of Tipp City, which was heading southeast on SR571. Kelsey Tester (22) of Greenville was a front seat passenger in Ervin's vehicle. Pierce and Ervin were both treated at the scene by members from Arcanum Rescue and Union Township Rescue and were transported to Miami Valley Hospital by CareFlight. Tester was treated by Arcanum Rescue and was transported by ground by Greenville Township Rescue to meet Miami Valley Hospital's MICU, which finished transporting Tester to Miami Valley Hospital. Ervin and Tester had a canine in their vehicle that was also injured from the accident. The Darke County Humane Society responded to the scene to take custody of the canine to transport it for medical care. This accident remains under investigation by the Darke County Sheriff's Office.

SHOOTING IN UNION CITY - January 3, 2017
    In the early morning hours of December 30, the Union City Ohio Police Department & Union City Indiana Police Department were dispatched to 113 S. Wintergreen Street for a female that had been shot. Upon the arrival of officers it was found that a male and a female had been in a dispute and there were multiple shots fired during the altercation. The female was found to have been shot in the buttocks. She was transported to Wayne Hospital and later transferred to Miami Valley Hospital, a level 1 trauma center. The female was treated for non life threatening injuries. The Union City Ohio Police Department with the assistance of the Darke County Sheriff's Office investigated the incident and found that William Stein was the person responsible for shooting the female. Stein was placed under arrest for Felonious Assault. He is currently being held on a $75,000 bond. Investigators from the Union City Ohio Police Department and the Darke County Sheriff's Office spent over 12 hours on scene collecting evidence and processing the crime scene. The incident still remains under investigation.

FUND TO HELP DARKE COUNTY PARKS - January 3, 2017
    Harry Stephens Memorial Fund recently made a grant contribution to Darke County Parks. The funds will go toward building a new raptor, or bird of prey, enclosure known as a mew. A main objective of the new mew is to provide safe, public viewing areas for their owl. The new structure will ensure a safe, restful home for the animals where they are better protected from Ohio's diverse weather and may allow the park to take on new animal ambassadors. Programs involving live animals are always exciting and in high demand, and these smaller species of raptors will allow them to travel to schools with more ease and will also give them the opportunity to teach about more varieties of native raptors. This project will add yet another wonder to explore during a visit to the park. The mew will be a beautiful addition to the Nature Education Center, and it would be impossible to construct without the generous support from the Harry Stephens Memorial Fund.

2 ARRESTED IN RANDOLPH COUNTY AFTER TRAFFIC STOP - December 29, 2016
    Two subjects were located in a suspicious vehicle parked in a field earlier Wednesday morning. Both subjects were jailed and charged with multiple drug and firearms related charges. The male was also charged with domestic battery. At 11:44 am, Indiana Conservation Officer Matthew Garringer believed he was going to be conducting a routine hunting check when he pulled off the road behind a vehicle parked in a field near county roads 1050 South and 1100 West. When he approached the vehicle he identified two subjects inside. ICO Matthew Garringer attempted to communicate with the subjects. Neither were able to formulate coherent answers to his questions or follow simple directions. There was blood on the female and on the inside of the vehicle. She also showed signs of physical abuse. Within minutes, ICO's Jordan Brand and Rick Garringer arrived to assist. The officers ordered the male subject out of the vehicle. After several ignored commands, the officers opened his door and as he attempted to get out, a loaded handgun fell to the ground. The handgun was secured and the male subject was placed in custody. The vehicle was found to contain several drugs including cocaine, marijuana, schedule IV controlled substance, and prescription medication, as well as a sawed-off shotgun, a large quantity of ammunition, and a ballistic vest. Both subjects were checked by EMT's and transported to St. Vincent - Randolph Hospital to get examined before being booked into the Randolph County Jail for numerous felony and misdemeanor charges. Due to the nature of the incident, names are being withheld. All subjects are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

6-YEAR OLD KILLED AFTER TRYING TO CROSS ROAD - December 29, 2016
    Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports that his office investigated an injury accident that turned into a fatality and occurred on St Rte. 219 near Hillside Court in Franklin Township (near Montezuma). The Sheriff's Office received a 911 call at 5:50 PM, December 20th stating that a child had been struck by a car. The investigation revealed that 6 year old Christopher G Frey Jr. of Celina, Ohio; had been to a local store and was walking home with another adult. Frey crossed the road in front of a car and was struck. Frey was transported to Mercer Health in Coldwater, where he was later air lifted to Dayton Children's Hospital. He died from his injuries on Wednesday December 28, 2016 at 12:04 PM. The driver of the car was 46 year old Shane P. LeCompt of Celina, Ohio. LeCompt was not injured and cooperated fully with the investigation.

2 TO BE HONORED AT HALL OF FAME NIGHT IN ANSONIA - December 29, 2016
    On Friday, February 3, 2017 the Ansonia Athletic Wall of Fame Committee will induct two new members, Alexandria Mayo and her sister Brittany (Mayo) Harrod, both 2009 graduates. Alexandria Mayo earned 11 athletic letters, with Softball for 4 years, Volleyball for 4 years & Basketball 3 years. Also in softball, Alexandria was: 2007 Offensive Player of the Year, 2007 CCC Honorable Mention, 2008 Most Improved and in 2009 she received her 4-year trophy award. Alexandria also earned numerous team awards and was a member of the 2009 softball team that went to State Final Four, losing in the Semi Finals 3-0 to eventual State Champion Strasburg-Franklin. Brittany (Mayo) Harrod earned 9 athletic letters with Softball for 4 years, Volleyball for 4 years and Basketball her senior year.. Also in softball, Brittany was: 2006 CCC Honorable Mention, 2007 Outstanding Pitcher, 2007 CCC First Team and 2008 CCC Honorable Mention. Brittany also earned numerous team awards and was a member of the 2009 softball team that went to State Final Four, losing in the Semi Finals 3-0 to eventual State Champion Strasburg-Franklin. The ceremony will take place between the Junior Varsity and Varsity boy's basketball game against Covington. Wall of Fame applications can be obtained at the Ansonia Local School Office or Athletic Department. Nominees must be a graduate of Ansonia Local Schools, must have graduated not less than 5 years prior to nomination and the nomination form and supporting documentation must be received by March 1 annually.

INFANT FOUND DECEASED IN TRUCK IN MERCER COUNTY - December 28, 2016
    Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports that his office received a 911 call at 5:17 PM on December 27th, 2016 from a residence on Wabash Road in Washington Township. The caller reported that they found an infant child in a car seat, inside a truck; which was running. Deputies of the Mercer County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene, along with members of the Celina Fire Department. Celina Fire pronounced the child deceased on scene. Deputies located an ID found inside the truck, which was that of 22 year old Brian A Hayslip of Springfield, Ohio. Hayslip was found to be entered as a missing person from Clark County, Ohio. The Mercer County Sheriff's Office made contact with the Clark County Sheriff's Office and exchanged information. The Mercer County Sheriff's Office called for the nearest on duty K-9, which was from the Coldwater Police Department. Coldwater K9, Mojo, and his handler, Sgt. Kyle Dues tracked and found a male subject in a short period of time. The male was found in an open field, next to a wooded area. That subject was Brian A Hayslip. Hayslip was taken into custody and transported to the Mercer County Adult Detention Facility and is being held until the prosecutor's offices can determine the appropriate charges to be filed. The infant child has been transported to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office at the request of the Mercer County Coroner, Dr. Timothy Heinrich's. An autopsy is expected to be conducted later today. The Mercer County Sheriff's Office Detectives and Clark County Sheriff's Office Detectives are working the case jointly, at this point. Both the Mercer and Clark County Prosecutors Offices are also working together to determine jurisdiction on this case.

MIAMI COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON AFTER RAPE CHARGES - December 28, 2016
    A man guilty of raping a five-year-old child multiple times was sentenced to serve 20 years to life in prison Tuesday. William Thomas Baker, 44, of Piqua and formerly of Troy, was originally charged with 10 counts of first-degree felony rape in September, but was only sentenced on two counts during his sentencing hearing in Miami County Common Pleas Court. Baker received the maximum sentence for each count, 10 years to life, and was sentenced to serve them consecutively, or one after the other. The court was asked to sentence Baker to the maximum prison term allowed for both counts of first-degree felony rape in his indictment as well as to sentence him to serve each term consecutively for a total of 20 years to life. Baker has a criminal history involving the rape of another child. Baker was previously convicted of rape and gross sexual imposition involving a 10-year-old male victim in May 2002. Those charges were settled with a plea agreement, and he was sentenced to prison, from which he was released in September 2005. Baker was previously classified as a habitual sex offender and will have to register as a Tier III sex offender for the rest of his life upon his release from prison.

2017 DARKE COUNTY FAIR PARADE MARSHAL ANNOUNCED - December 27, 2016
    The Board of Directors for the Darke County Agricultural Society sent out a press release last week, saying they had recently selected retired employee Ken Coates Sr as the 2017 Great Darke County Fair Parade Marshal. Coates retired from Frigidaire after 36 1/2 years. The Ansonia native was hired by the Darke County Agricultural Society in April of 2001 as a mower. After 1 year, Coates was was promoted to Assistant Caretaker and worked under Head Caretaker John Robinson. In 2004, Ken and his wife, moved into the Caretaker home on the fairgrounds. When John Robinson retired, Ken then shared the Head Caretaker responsibilities with George O'Dell until 2008, when he became Head Caretaker. Ken has been a great asset to the Darke County Agricultural Society over the past 15 plus years. Ken was responsible for the setup and tear-down of approximately 300 annual non-fair events as well as the 9-day annual fair that begins the 3rd Friday of each August. Ken will be recognized at the Grand Opening of the 161st Great Darke County Fair that will take place at 8:00am on Friday, August 18, 2017 and also at the annual Parade of Champions event that will take place in front of the Grandstand on Thursday, August 24th.

NUMBER OF CONCEALED PERMITS UP IN 2016 - December 27, 2016
    The number of concealed carry permits issued by the state of Ohio this year is on pace to far exceed the number of permits issued in 2015. Records from the Ohio Attorney General's Office shows nearly 94,000 permits were issued through the first nine months of 2016. That's compared with 51,000 for the same period last year and 72,000 for all of 2015. Jim Irvine of the Buckeye Firearms Association tells The Columbus Dispatch that concealed carry has become "mainstream" in Ohio with 574,000 active permits. Irvine says "hard-core shooters" once made up the bulk of Ohioans with concealed carry permits but have become more popular as "soccer moms" and others seek to carry firearms for their safety.

PUBLIC MEETING TO BE HELD IN REGARDS TO US 127 & KRUCKEBERG - December 21, 2016
    The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has commissioned a safety study to identify measures to improve the safety and operation of the intersection of US 127 at Kruckeberg Road. ODOT is hosting an open house public meeting on Tuesday Jan. 24, 6-8 p.m., at St. Clair Memorial Hall, Greenville, to present conceptual alternatives currently under consideration and to seek public input regarding concerns and potential improvements at this intersection. Members of the project team will be available to answer questions and take your comments. At 6 p.m., the project team will provide a brief overview of the alternatives currently under consideration, followed by an opportunity for citizens to make public statements or ask questions. Citizens desiring to make public statements will be asked to limit their statements to less than three minutes. Following the public presentation and forum, citizens will be provided an opportunity to speak one-on-one with members of the project team. They encourage you to attend and discuss the project with them. If you are unable to attend, but would like to provide comments or have questions, contact one of the following individuals - Mary Hoy, Project Manager, (937) 497-6838, mary.hoy@dot.ohio.gov; or Tricia Bishop, Environmental Coordinator, (937) 497-6721, tricia.bishop@dot.ohio.gov.

ROAD HOGS AND MARK'S BIKE DRIVE DONTATE OVER 100 BIKES - December 21, 2016
    The Darke County Road Hogs & Mark's Bike Drive in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Darke County held its annual Toys for Tikes Christmas toy drive with toys and bikes being distributed December 17th at the Darke County Fairgrounds. Fifty-two families with 117 children were provided toys this year, 62 of those children received a new bicycle thanks to Mark's Bike Drive. Mark's Bike Drive also able helped give 72 bicycles to children through Operations Christmas Cheer for a total of 134 bikes. The toys distribution took place at the Darke county fairgrounds who donated the use of the spiritual center to house all the toys and bikes for this event. There were also local individual that generously gave to the cause by dropping off new toys to the Big Brothers Big Sisters office. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke county is now busy gearing up for The Bowl for Kids' Sake fundraiser will be held Friday and Saturday, March 3 & 4, 2017, at Bel-Mar Lanes in Sidney and Treaty Lanes in Greenville. You can find out who you can get involved in this fun fundraiser by logging onto our website at www.bigbrobigsis-shelbydarke.org or by calling 492-7611 or 547-9622.

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATION AT TRI-VILLAGE SCHOOL - December 20, 2016
    On December 15, 2016 the Darke County Sheriff's Office was notified of possible incidents of hazing occurring at Tri-Village High School. Darke County Sheriff's Office detectives responded to the school to investigate the claims. Upon arrival investigators learned that Tri-Village School officials had already started an investigation and disciplinary process based on some of the allegations reported. Tri-Village School officials cooperated in the Sheriff's Office investigation. At this point in the investigation Darke County detectives have interviewed approximately 11 people in the case. Preliminary information supports that misdemeanor hazing incidents have occurred among students on the Tri-Village High School basket ball team. The evidence at this time indicates that school staff responded to the incidents as soon as it was reported to them. There is no evidence or information to substantiate allegations of sexual assault or felony conduct. Darke County Prosecutor R. Kelly Ormsby has been briefed on the evidence in the case to date. He will review the case when the investigative report is completed and discuss the circumstances with any victims and their family before deciding whether charges may be filed.

MIAMI COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO JAIL - December 20, 2016
    A Miami County man convicted of sex offenses and fleeing from police attempting to arrest him was sentenced Monday to 51 months in prison. Brandon Cantrell, 37, whose address was listed as both Tipp City and Piqua, was sentenced in Miami County Common Pleas Court on felony charges of sexual battery, gross sexual imposition and fleeing. He was classified a Tier III sex offender requiring him to register his address with the sheriff's office in the county where he lives every 90 days for the rest of his life following prison release. Cantrell was accused of sex offenses against a minor between October 2015 and February 2016 and fleeing from police attempting to arrest him on warrants Aug. 23. The pursuit began in Tipp City and ended in Vandalia. Judge Jeannine Pratt sentenced Cantrell to concurrent terms of 42 months for sexual battery and 18 months for gross sexual imposition. She then sentenced him to nine months for fleeing and ordered him to serve that sentence consecutive to the 42 months.

LAW TO CHANGE FOR CONCEAL AND CARRY - December 20, 2016
    Monday was a Second Amendment victory for law-abiding gun owners as Governor John Kasich signed into law Senate Bill 199 which will go into effect after 90 days. This important self-defense law is another step forward in protecting the Second Amendment rights of active duty members, employees and law-abiding Ohioans across The Buckeye State. Sponsored by state Senator Joe Uecker, SB 199 will exempt active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces from the concealed carry permit license requirements. The bill will make several important changes in the Concealed Handgun Law regarding a person who is an active duty member of the U.S. armed forces and is carrying a valid military identification card and a certificate issued by the person's applicable service branch indicating that the person has successfully completed small arms qualification (qualifying member of the military). SB 199 will also allow an employee to store a firearm in his or her locked vehicle without fear of employer retribution. The fundamental right to self-defense should not stop simply because employees park their cars in publicly accessible parking lots owned by their employers. This bill will correct that problem by prohibiting employers from establishing, maintaining or enforcing such policies. The amended language from Sub. HB 48, sponsored by state Representative Ron Maag (R-62), will also enhance law-abiding citizens' right to self-defense by expanding the list of places where citizens can legally carry concealed.

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