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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

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Fire forces Pleasant Street family out of home

MOUNT VERNON - MVFD responded to a residential structure fire in the 400 block of E. Pleasant St at 8:30 p.m Saturday. Mutual aid was received from College Twp Fire Department. Chief Chad Christopher says there were no civilian or firefighter injuries.

The Red Cross was called in to assist with shelter.

Fire Prevention Officer Terry Davis is investigating the cause and origin of the fire.



Community fund drive proceeds donated to MVPD for K-9 unit

By Dylan McCament, KnoxPages.com Reporter

MOUNT VERNON - A police dog should be on patrol in the city in the not-so-distant future, thanks in large part to a successful community fundraising drive.

A small crowd gathered at City Hall on Friday when city officials were presented with a check for $18,000 that will help establish a canine unit for the Mount Vernon Police Department.

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis praised local resident Dave Culbertson for spearheading the campaign that raised the $18,000 through his local "Arms of an Angel K-9 Fund Drive."

"With the drug epidemic as heavy as it is in our community and throughout the state and nation, drug dogs have proven to be great assets to police departments," Mavis said.

He said, in the past, the city has lacked the funding needed to create a canine unit, but added that the $18,000 will serve as a "beginning point" for the purchase of the police dog as well as related training and equipment costs.

"Because of his attitude towards this epidemic, Dave Culbertson and his organization moved forward," Mavis said "And in doing so, I think, surprised us all."

Culbertson said he is very proud of the community for their donations, adding that 60 percent of the donations came from the community itself in relatively small amounts such as $5, $10, and $20. He said the drive has actually raised about $21,500 and the fundraising for an additional canine unit will continue.

"We all know why we're here," Culbertson said. "I don't know anyone out there who doesn't know someone - either a direct family member or someone else close to you - who hasn't been affected by the drug and opiate crisis, especially in the last few years."

He said he and his wife met with city officials last December after learning that the Mount Vernon Police Chief Roger Monroe had spoken publicly about their need for a canine unit. Culbertson said they settled on a figure of $18,000, which would be needed to purchase the dog, to retrofit a vehicle for the canine unit and other start up costs.

"It would have been easy to go to one or two community leaders and say we need $18,000," he said. "But we didn't want to do it that way. We wanted it to be our town, our dog."

Culbertson said they used social media to get to help solicit donations; a bake sale was held; an auction was held. He thanked business owners that allowed small donation jars to be set up in their stores.

Chief Monroe told members of the crowd that the canine unit will employ a "dual purpose dog that helps with drug patrol and indentification as well as help with protection of officers."

He said that there was a recent drug-related stand off in the city in which a canine unit would have been very helpful. Monroe said the Danville Police Department's canine unit helped the MVPD handle the incident and has helped in the past.

"Having those resources, in our own city, obviously for response time, would definitely help us. In addition to helping with the drug epidemic, it will also help with the protection of our officers and dangerous situations that we are now facing because of the opiate problem."

Monroe added that he would like to add two more police dogs to the force before his time as chief is over.

Culbertson said the canine unit should be ready to go by December. He said fundraising efforts for additional canine units for both the MVPD and for the Knox County Sheriff's Office will intensify in the near future.

MVPD Dog check presentation

Left to right: City Auditor Terry Scott, MVPD Chief Roger Monroe, Mayor Richard Mavis, Dave Culbertson, MVPD Sgt. Troy Glazier at Friday's check presentation for a MVPD K-9 unit. KnoxPages.com photo by Dylan McCament


Knox County Grand Jury indictments

MOUNT VERNON - The Knox County Grand Jury met this week and the following indictments were issued:

Kurt Stump - Gross Sexual Imposition, Felony 4th Degree

John Lowe - Breaking & Entering, Felony 5th Degree; Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Felony 4th Degree

Justin Avery - Aggravated Possession of Drugs, Felony 5th degree

Timothy B. Carper - Aggravated Possession of Drugs, Felony 5th degree

Vaughn Stoutenburgh, Jr. - Aggravated Possession of Drugs, Felony 5th degree and Operating a vehicle under the influence, Misdemeanor 1st degree

Kiknei Rush - Aggravated Possession of Drugs, Felony 5th Degree; Possessing Drug Abuse instruments, Misdemeanor 2nd degree; Possession of Marijuana, Minor Misdemeanor

Kenneth Shira II - Driving while Intoxicated, Felony 4th degree; Driving under suspension, Misdemeanor 1st degree

John E. Palmer, III - Aggravated Possession of Drugs, Felony 5th degree; Illegal use or posession of drug paraphernalia, Felony 4th degree

Steven Garrad - Aggravated Possession of Drugs, Felony 5th degree, Receiving Stolen Property, Felony 5th degree


Dean Barnett, Jr. - Aggravated Possession of Drugs, Felony 5th Degree

Ruth Ann VanNostrand - Forgery, Felony 4th Degree; Dereliction of Duty, Misdemeanor 2nd degree

Zachary Morris - Trespass in a Habitation when a person is present, Felony 4th degree

Christopher Thomas - Trespass in a Habitation when a person is present, Felony 4th Degree



Ohioans urged to practice good hygiene at fairs this summer


COLUMBUS - Ohio’s fair season is underway across the state and leaders at the Ohio Departments of Agriculture (ODA) and Health (ODH) are reminding Ohioans to practice good hygiene when visiting livestock exhibits this summer.

The 2017 Knox County Fair is scheduled for July 22-29.

“Ohio’s fairs are great places to enjoy some summer fun, but visitors should remember some illnesses can be directly transmitted between animals and humans,” said ODH Director Lance Himes. “Simple steps like good hand-washing can help stop the spread of any illness and make sure your fair visit is a safe one.”

Visitors should always wash their hands with soap and water before and after petting or touching any animal. Never eat, drink or put anything in your mouth in animal areas. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to leave strollers outside the animal exhibits and carry small children. Older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune systems should consider avoiding animal areas.

“Fairs are the highlight of the summer in many communities for many families across Ohio and we want to ensure they stay that way,” said ODA Director David T. Daniels. “Maintaining healthy people and animals is our top priority, and we encourage all fair guests to follow posted signs and make smart decisions when visiting the fair.

ODA is actively working with fair boards to increase access to hand sanitizers and hand-washing stations. Frequent hand-washing can lower your risk of getting sick from influenza, salmonella, e. Coli and other illnesses. In addition, ODA has provided information and encouraged fair organizers to post reminders about good hygiene in animal areas to help protect the health of fairgoers. Ohio’s fair veterinarians are trained and encouraged to closely monitor fair livestock and poultry for clinical signs of illness.

Exhibitors who believe their animal may be sick should immediately contact their barn manager and fair veterinarian. Fair guests who experience illness should contact a medical professional, and their local health district.


Knox County awarded food and shelter funds, applications being accepted

MOUNT VERNON – Knox County has been awarded $7863 in Phase 34 Federal funds to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.

The selection was made by a national board chaired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.  The board consists of representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, The Salvation Army and United Way Worldwide.  The local board was charged to distribute federally appropriated funds from Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

A local board will determine how the funds awarded to Knox County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies.  The local board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds available under this phase of the program. The local EFSB board is scheduled to meet on August 9, 2017.

Under the terms of the grant from the national board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private voluntary non-profits or units of government, 2) be eligible to receive Federal funds, 3) have an accounting system, 4) practice nondiscrimination, 5) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 6) if they are a private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary board.  Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for funds must contact the Board of Knox County Commissioners, 117 E. High St., Suite 161, Mount Vernon, OH 43050 for an application.  The deadline for applications to be received is August 4, 2017.

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