SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN BREAK-INS AND FIRES - July 28, 2014
    Last week, we reported on multiple vehicle break ins and fires. Two suspects have been named and charges will be filed regarding the recent vehicle fires and thefts from vehicles which occurred last Tuesday: Joshua C. Willis, 18 years of age, from Greenville, Ohio and Lowell "Bill" Bowers, 34, also from Greenville. Charges include multiple arson, thefts, and felony theft and will be filed at the Darke County Prosecutor's Office this week. The investigation continues, anyone with information is asked to contact the Greenville Police Department at 937-548-4150 (option 2), or the Darke County Crime Stoppers tipline at 937 547-1661. All callers may remain anonymous.

SPECIAL HONOREE DURING FAIR HARNESS RACINGS - July 28, 2014
    The Darke County Agricultural Society has announced they will be honoring Darke County native Chelsey Keiser, as they race the all-female driver's race closing night in her honor. Chelsey is a 2010 Versailles graduate and daughter of Mike and Debbie Keiser of North Star, Ohio. Chelsey is a jockey, currently hanging her tack at Suffolk Downs in Boston where she is in the top ten in Jockey Standings. Chelsey will be on hand for the winners circle presentation and she is no stranger to the winners circle. In 2014 thus far her mounts have taken her there 36 times with earning in excess $700,000. In 2013, her first year, she found pay dirt 64 times. Her earnings in 2013 were over 1.4 million. Her biggest win to date was on Tooth N Claw in the Maryland Million Starter Handicap. The Snack Shop in New Madison will sponsor a giveaway to the first 500 fans who purchase a racing program an autographed win photo of Chelsey. Closing night will also feature a Gene Riegle Memorial Open Pace commemorative mug to the first 1,000 fans who purchase a race program. The giveaway begins at 6 pm in the grandstand. For more details visit www.generieglememorial.com.

BUY/BUST IN DARKE COUNTY YIELDS 2 ARRESTS - July 17, 2014
    On July 16, 2014, Michelle Middaugh (46) of Union City, Ohio and James Spencer (37) of Union City, Indiana were taken into custody without incident following a buy/bust operation conducted by the Darke County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit, along with Darke County Deputies and Union City (Ohio) Police, in the 100 Block of E. Spearmint Street in Union City, Ohio. Both Middaugh and Spencer were transported to the Darke County Jail, where they await formal charges of Trafficking in Drugs and Possession of Drugs. Citizens with drug information, or information on any criminal conduct for that matter, are asked to contact the Darke County Sheriff's Office at 937-548-2020. Tips can also be left with Darke County Crime Stoppers by visiting their website at www.darkecountycrimestoppers.com or by calling 937-547-1661. Information can be given anonymously.

NEWEST DARKE COUNTY MOST WANTED - July 16, 2014
    Two new faces were placed on the Darke County Crime Stoppers most wanted page on Tuesday. Kaishan Hudson and Denzel Massey have been added to the list at DarkeCountyCrimeStoppers.com. Massey is a 20 year old, Black Male with black hair and brown eyes wanted for having weapons while under disability. His last known address was 423 Markwith Avenue in Greenville and 636 Martin Street in Greenville. Hudson is a 21 year old, Black Male standing at 6'5", weighing 190 pounds, with Black Hair, Brown Eyes and a tattoo on his chest. Hudson is wanted on 2 counts of Trafficking in Heroin, his last address was 5620 N. Main Street in Dayton and 120 East Cross Street in Palestine, Ohio. If you have any information on the whereabouts of either of these men you can submit at a tip at 937-547-1661 or by visiting DarkeCountyCrimeStoppers.com. There is a reward for their capture.

2014 GREAT DARKE COUNTY FAIR COURT - July 16, 2014
    Congratulations to Thomas Shaw and Jenna Cline for being selected as the 2014 Darke Co. Jr. Fair King and Queen. First runners-up are Andrew Wright and Morgan McKinney, Second runners-up are Brad Slyder and Courtney Rose, Third runners-up are Lane Manning and MacKenzie Dirmeyer.

ARSON REWARD - July 14, 2014
    Darke County Crime Stoppers has announced that the State Fire Marshal's Office has issued a Blue Ribbon Arson Reward of up to $5,000 to help solve an investigation of a stolen vehicle that was abandoned and set ablaze last December. The Darke County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of the torched sedan in the evening hours of Dec. 8, 2013. It was discovered the red 2012 Toyota Camry was reported stolen early that day out of the City of Greenville. An investigation revealed the fire was intentionally set. The red sedan also had a black stripe down the hood of the vehicle. If you have any information about this crime you are urged to contact the Darke County Sheriff's Office at 937-548-2020 or the State Fire Marshal's Office at 800-589-2728.

DARKE COUNTY ENDOWMENT FOR ARTS AWARDS FUNDS - July 9, 2014
    Darke County Endowment for the Arts recently awarded funds providing assistance to four local applicants seeking financial help for projects advancing the arts in the community. Those receiving funds are Friends of Bear's Mill, Greenville Municipal Concert Band, Fall In October Art Studio, and Greenville City School's Muse Machine. DCEA is a non-profit organization that receives and manages charitable gifts which are invested to produce income to benefit the arts in Darke County. In addition to annually granting monies to deserving local artists and organizations, the Endowment holds funds dedicated to the preservation of historic Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall as a community arts center as well as a fund underwriting the mission of Darke County Center for the Arts.

FAIRBOARD HEARS FROM JR. FAIR PRESIDENT - July 3, 2014
    It was a long night for the Darke County Agricultural Society as they held their regularly scheduled meeting. The start of the meeting included Junior Fair Board President, Thomas Shaw voicing his concerns for more communication with the construction of the new beef and dairy barn and Junior Fair, FFA and 4H. Shaw asked for the Society to consider the thoughts of the youth when moving forward on the project. The board thanked Shaw for his thought and concerns and agreed that communication had to be better. The Junior Fair Pageant for the 2014 Great Darke County Fair will be Tuesday, July 15th at Memorial Hall in Greenville at 7:00 PM with 19 Ladies competing for Queen and 5 Boys competing for King. The next meeting will be held on the Fairgrounds on Wednesday, July 16th at 7:30.

INDIANA GOVERNOR WANTS HEATH CARE EXPANDED - July 2, 2014
    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Tuesday asked that the federal government expand health care coverage for Indiana's low income residents using a state-run alternative to traditional Medicaid. Pence's proposal, dubbed the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, would still rely on billions in federal aid to cover residents earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, like states that approved the Medicaid expansion included in the federal health care overhaul. But Pence and his supporters contend it supports personal responsibility in a way Medicaid doesn't because it would rely on health savings accounts and patient input. The plan expands on the state's existing Healthy Indiana Plan, which has been covering about 35,000 to 45,000 low income residents for the past six years.

OHIO TEACHER EVALUATIONS - July 2, 2014
    State Representative Jim Buchy sent out a press release on Tuesday pertaining to changes to the teacher evaluation system. Effective with the 2014-15 school year districts may choose an alternative teacher evaluation framework. The new options were amended into House Bill 362 as the bill worked it's way through the legislature. Next school year, each district can decide to continue to use the existing framework which weights teacher performance and student progress at 50 percent each or use the alternative framework which weights teacher performance and student progress at 42.5 percent each, with the additional 15 percent drawn from options such as student surveys, peer review, student portfolios, or other items approved by the Ohio Department of Education. The state rep says giving administrators flexibility will help focus their limited time and resources where it is most needed. Evaluations will be targeted where they can bring the most improvement and better serve the school district as a whole.

MARLING BAND SHELL TO OPEN SUNDAY JULY 6 - June 30, 2014
    The opening concert for the Greenville Municipal Concert Band will be held July 6 at the Marling Band Shell located in the Greenville City Park. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The early start time for the concert is designed to give everyone time to make the fireworks show later that evening. Their Independence Day Celebration will include many patriotic songs and marches designed to pay tribute to our great country and the men and women who gave so much to protect it and secure our freedoms. The evening will feature the vocal talents of Bill McIntosh. Make plans now for the Stars and Stripes Patriotic concert in the park. The dates for the remaining performances for this summer of the Greenville Municipal Concert Band and Jazz Band are: July 13, 20, Aug. 3, 10 and 31; Concert Band July 27 and Aug. 24; Jazz Band Except for July 6, all concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m.

COMMON CORE IN OHIO - June 26, 2014
    Earlier this week, State Representative Jim Buchy sent out a press release pertaining to Common Core. In House Bill 487, which the Governor signed recently, there will be four standards review committees with experts, parents and teachers that will advise the Ohio Department of Education on Ohio's Academic Content Standards. The committees provide a platform to educate the leaders that are not yet aware of the threat of common core. In addition to other advancements in protecting Ohio's children from the Common Core, the bill also requires each Ohio school to establish a parental review committee or other method of input. This will give parents a say in the curriculum at the school and give them the assurance that local curriculum matches the values of the community. While the amendments in HB 487 provide a temporary stop gap to the unintended consequences Buchy is working with other legislators to advance the passage of House Bill 237 which would repeal the Common Core in its entirety.

ISTEP TESTS TO CHANGE - June 24, 2014
    Major changes in the Indiana education policies will have Indiana students taking new, different standardized tests in each of the next two academic years. The first ISTEP test is being created for use during the upcoming school year. Federal education officials have said that test would have to be given this year in order for the state to maintain its waiver from the No Child Left Behind law. The state will also seek a contractor to design a new test for the 2015-2016 school year, state officials told members of an education roundtable that includes teachers unions and charter school operators Monday.Gov. Mike Pence, speaking at the first of two back-to-back education meetings Monday afternoon, said teachers and parents should understand that the first test is only temporary and will be replaced once work developing the second test is complete.

MEDICAL SCHOLARSHIP AVAILABLE - June 24, 2014
    The Darke County Historical Society is pleased to announce that funds will be available from the Harry G. Thomas Medical Scholarship Program for the 2014-2015 academic year. The H.G. Thomas Medical Scholarship program, administered by the Darke County Historical Society, was established and funded in 1971 by Lowell Thomas and his sister Pherbia Thomas Thornburg, in memory of their father Dr Harry G. Thomas. The program was later supplemented by a bequest from Lowell Thomas's will, with the interest generated by the fund being used to offer scholarships. Eligibility for the Harry G. Thomas Medical Scholarship requires the applicant to be a resident of Darke County and a graduate of a Darke County high school. Applicants must have been accepted into a medical school, complete an application, and furnish transcripts and letters of recommendation. Students may be considered for scholarship awards for up to four years during medical school, but must re-submit a letter of interest each year. The application deadline is September 15th each year. For information concerning the scholarship program or for an application, please contact Dr. Clay Johnson at Garst Museum, 937-548-5250.

THIRD GRADERS DO BETTER ON TESTING - June 18, 2014
    The state of Ohio says nearly nine of 10 third-graders met new reading targets and can move onto the fourth grade after follow-up testing. Students can be held back if they don't meet the literacy goals under the state's new Third Grade Reading Guarantee. The Department of Education said Tuesday more than 110,000 third-graders or 88 percent of the total have earned the necessary score in testing in October or May. The figures are up from the 63 percent who passed in October. Officials say students lacking the standards may have already been re tested by districts or can re-take reading in the summer. Children still lagging this fall could advance to fourth grade midyear once the targets are met.

REWARD OFFERED FOR ARSON FIRES - June 13, 2014
    The Darke County Crime Stoppers are offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 to aid in the arrest of a suspect(s) responsible for a rash of arson fires that have plagued the county over the past week. In addition to the Crime Stoppers reward, the State Fire Marshal's Office has posted a Blue Ribbon Reward of up to $5,000 for a fire that destroyed a vacant home at 2585 Hollansburg-Richmond Road near the Village of Hollansburg and the fires set at the Greenville locations. The Hollansburg blaze occurred in the early morning hours of May 31 and was discovered as firefighters and deputies were on the scene of a truck fire nearby. Just a few days later, the City of Greenville Fire Department responded to a series of fires in and around detached garages in the early morning hours of June 3 that have been ruled arson as well and also issued a Blue Ribbon Reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest, conviction of a suspect(s). If you have any information about any of the fires listed contact Det. Corey Turner at the Darke County Sheriff's Office, 548 2020, Det. Eric Roberts at the Greenville Police Department, 548-4150, or the Darke County Crime Stoppers'private Tipline at 547-1661 or online at darkecountycrimestoppers.com/tips.

CBC BLOOD DRIVE EXTENDED - June 12, 2014
    The Community Blood Center (CBC) is making two exciting changes to its traditional summer blood drive campaign. The campaign has been extended to four months (May 30 through Sept. 30). In addition, eligible donors can now double their chances of winning. Eligible donors will be entered into the drawing a second time when they register for a second donation during the blood drive period. Anyone age 18 and older who registers to donate at any CBC Donor Center or CBC mobile blood drive May 30 through Sept. 30 will be automatically entered in the drawing to win a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze, valued at approximately $19,000. Ten computer-selected finalists will be invited to a special envelope opening announcement event on or about October 23 to discover the Chevy Cruze winner. Each registered, eligible donor receives a maximum of two chances to win. You must be age 18 or older to win. Official rules are available atwww.givingblood.org.

GRAND LAKE ST. MARYS NOT SAFE TO SWIM IN - May 23, 2014
    Signs are going up at every beach at Grand Lake St. Marys to warn visitors that toxic blue-green algae has made the water unsafe for swimming. State officials have been testing sites near beaches there this week after measurements of a liver toxin associated with the algae began to spike last month near where the city of Celina draws water into its treatment plant. By the end of April, readings of microcystin measured higher than 25 parts per billion, more than four times the state's safety threshold of 6 parts per billion. The city of Celina spends about $450,000 a year to control algae at Grand Lake, and the state has spent more than $10 million trying to treat it. Algae grew so thick in Grand Lake in 2010 that the state warned people not to touch the water. Officials say it likely caused seven people to get sick that year.

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