HOUSE BILL 527 DETAILS - December 4, 2020
    State Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) provided sponsor testimony on House Bill 527, known as the Save Women's Sports Act. The bill requires schools, state institutions of higher education, and private colleges to designate separate, single-sex sports teams. Under the bill, male and female sports teams would be designated on the biological sex of an individual, meaning that biological males cannot play on female teams. The bill also includes a number of provisions that provide protections for students, schools and colleges, as well as a dispute resolution process. H.B. 527 awaits additional hearings in the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee.

    On Thursday afternoon, Brandon Bowman, 25, of Wingate, N.C., faced two charges of unlawful restraint, and a single charge of reckless operation following an incident in Piqua that remains under investigation. The incident began with multiple calls to Miami County 911 began at 12:50 p.m. when a caller reported that he remained inside the back of a commercial box truck as the driver fled from the scene of a disturbance. Troopers from the Piqua post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol had stopped the box truck for having an unsecured load. Bowman, the driver of the box truck, apparently stopped at Wrecker's Towing Service on North County Road 25-A in order to secure the load of bolts, before continuing. Police reports state that there was a disturbance due to alleged racial slurs while three Wrecker's employees were in the back of the truck and attempting to secure the load. Bowman then got into his truck and left the business. One of the employees managed to get out of the truck, but two were unable to get out. The employee who got out of the box truck then gave chase in a pickup truck. Between the Wrecker's lot and Brel Aire Bowling Lanes, the pickup and the box truck made contact twice, the second contact disabling the pickup truck. The driver of the now-disabled pickup truck then flagged down a passing vehicle. He and the driver then resumed the chase of the box truck, which turned north on Piqua-Lockington Road and continued into Shelby County. The box truck was stopped by deputies from the Shelby County Sheriff's Office on Fair Road, south of Sidney. There were no injuries, according to reports. Bowman was charged, but not incarcerated as the charges against him are all misdemeanors. The investigation is ongoing.

    The Darke County Agricultural Society met on Wednesday, for their last regularly scheduled meeting in 2020. It was the 2nd straight meeting not open to the public, but instead offered on Zoom. The Board listened to a presentation from former Board Member, Dick Delk, who was there on behalf of the Darke County Harness Horseman. Delk was looking for guidance for the Horse Program for 2021. The board voted to keep the Parshall Futurity, which has been part of the Great Darke County Fair since 1952. They also voted for 3 days of racing on Friday, Saturday and Thursday of the Fair. The Board also has plans to keep Dick Delk and Tim Harless as the organizers for Harness Racing Program. The Ag Society approved the rates at the fair for 2021 that were presented by the rates committee. The Board did vote separate on a voting ticket increase. For 2021, non voting membership tickets will remain $20.00. If you want a voting ticket, it's an additional $5.00. Tickets are available for stocking stuffers at Finally, the Board named Laura Ahrens, as Office Manager, following at 30 minute executive session. The next Fair Board meeting will be Wednesday, January 6th, at 7:30 on the Fairgrounds.

    Darke County Parks kick off the holiday season with their annual Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland event on December 4th, 5th and 6th. This event is a favorite of the staff and public alike, and is a wonderfully peaceful start to the holiday season. While we can't all gather in celebration the way we had hoped, Darke County Parks is excited to offer a brand-new take on this classic event! This year, the Winter Wonderland will be a Covid-safe auto tour at Shawnee Prairie Preserve. While we will miss the luminary walk through the woods, this will be a wonderful alternative for 2020. Instead of only three hours on one evening, this year's event will be offered Friday (12/4) through Sunday (12/6) from 6p-9p each night. You choose when to visit! Each night, staff will be passing out a take-home craft kit to the first 65 children. Wave to Santa and the elves as you drive by the Log House and Blacksmith shop. Don’t forget your letter to Santa, there will be a drive by mailbox! As part of the annual luminary event, Darke County Parks are taking entries for the snowman decorating contest. The contest itself will take place virtually on Facebook and Instagram. Followers will vote for their favorite snowman by 'liking' their favorite snowman! For more information about this FREE event visit or call 937-548-0165.

    Greenville City Council met on Tuesday, for their regularly scheduled meeting on the City of Greenville Youtube Stream. There were 3 council members present at the City Building and 3 other members of council joining over the phone. Mayor Steve Willman and City Auditor Roxanne Willman, joined the meeting via Zoom from their home, while being quarantined. Safety Service Director, Ryan Delk, thanked all city employees, who have stepped up during a trying time, the city building has been hit with a tremendous amount of COVID-19 cases. He also informed the public that the tax office will be moving to the council chambers, while ceiling work and carpet is done at their spot in the City Building. The tax office will be back in their normal location on December 15. There was just 1 resolution on the agenda and council approved to authorize the bids for necessary improvements for UV improvements and Screen Replacement improvements. President of Council John Burkett, in closing pleaded to the public to take COVID-19 seriously and to protect yourself and family. The next City Council meeting will be Tuesday, December 15, at 7:30 on the City of Greenville YouTube Stream.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farmers and ranchers to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) by Dec. 11, 2020. This program provides direct relief to producers facing market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Producers have several options for applying for the CFAP 2 program by the Dec. 11 deadline. Producers can find eligible commodities, payment rates, calculations and options to apply on Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office. The call center can also provide service to non-English speaking customers. Customers will select 1 for English and 2 to speak with a Spanish speaking employee. For other languages, customers select 1 and indicate their language to the call center staff. Additionally, offers a number of resources for producers interested in applying for CFAP 2.

    December 1, marks the anniversary of Fish Choice Pantry. It was 53 years ago today, that the organization got its start in Darke County. For well over 50 years, The Mitten Tree has been a December staple and returns this year. The Mitten Tree will collect donations of winter gloves, mittens, and hats that will be given to children enrolled in Darke County Head Start programs and their families from now until Monday, Dec. 14. Mitten Trees can be found at Montage Café in Greenville, Brethren's Retirement Community, Greenville Public Library, and at Fourman's Variety Store in Arcanum. For more information or to help Fish Choice Pantry visit

    The Darke County Commissioners met on Monday, for their regularly scheduled meeting, joining them was Susan Laux, who was there to discuss the Economic Development Loan Program. A Public Hearing was held for the program that involves a loan request from OD Leasing Enterprises, LLC., and JAFE Decorating. JAFE will be expanding again and from Monday's Public Hearing, it was learned that JAFE plans to spend around $750,000 for the purchase of new equipment for a factory line expansion. This expansion is set to create approximately 20 new jobs, with 14 of those positions intended for low-to-moderate income persons. Private equity and financing from JAFE will pay for $190,000 of the additions, while the Darke County Revolving Loan Fund will cover $210,000, and the Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) Economic Development Loan will cover $360,000. In total, the loan to OD Leasing Enterprises, LLC. will be $350,000, to be paid over a seven-year period with an interest rate of 1.5 percent. The loan is intended to be submitted by the end of the year. This will be the 4th time that the county has worked with JAFE on the loan program. Commissioner Mike Stegall, said JAFE has never been late on a payment when looking at the past. The next Commissioners meeting will be Wednesday, at 1:30 in Downtown Greenville.

    A Dunkirk man accused of fatally shooting a woman he shared a home with has received a May trial date. Cory Michael Jones, 44, is charged with murder in the Aug. 22 slaying of Shanna Jones. Her body was found outside their home in the 10400 block of West Jay County Road 400-S. Cory Jones was arrested three days after the homicide in Martinsburg, West Virginia, about 90 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. In Indiana, a murder conviction carries a maximum 65-year prison term. Jay Circuit Court Judge Brian Hutchison recently set the Dunkirk man's trial for May 10. Court documents filed by the Jay County Prosecutor indicate Jones went to his parent's home on the night of Aug. 22 and claimed he had shot Shanna Jones, accidentally, after she pulled a gun on him.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke Counties recently received a grant from the CenterPoint Energy Foundation to address the mentoring needs of youth through their after-school Big Buddies program. This grant will enable Big Brothers Big Sisters to continue offering the much-needed Big Buddies mentoring program to children facing adversity in our community. Big Buddies is a nine-month commitment where high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors volunteer two times per month to mentor elementary students. During these meetings, high school students, under the supervision of Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, work with one or two children on different educational and recreational activities. For the 2020-2021 school year, the agency is utilizing SEL Social Emotional Learning curriculum. For more information regarding services provided, volunteer openings, or sponsorship opportunities, please call 937-492-7611, 937-547-9622, or visit for more information.

    While this Thanksgiving may look different, the Ohio State Highway Patrol expects many motorists to travel on Ohio's roadways for the upcoming holiday. Before motorists hit the road, troopers want to make sure they are taking the proper safety measures by driving sober and wearing their safety belts. Troopers will be highly visible and cracking down on impaired driving and those failing to wear a safety belt from Wednesday, November 25 at midnight through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 29. Many Thanksgiving celebrations involve alcohol, which increases the possibility of impaired driving. During last year's Thanksgiving reporting period, November 27 through December 1, there were 15 fatal crashes in which 18 people were killed. Of those 18 killed, eight were not wearing available safety belts and seven of the crashes involved alcohol and/or drugs. The Patrol also made 391 arrests for impaired driving. Motorists are encouraged to call #677 to report impaired drivers, drug activity or stranded motorists.

    After a tenure as OSU Darke County Extension Educator on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Sam Custer is leaving his post to focus full-time on his position in Columbus as the Interim Assistant Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources for all OSU extension branches in Ohio. The change will be enacted over the next six weeks. Custer has long been a major force in the Darke County agriculture industry. With Custer leaving, OSU's extension branch in Darke County is searching for a qualified candidate to fill Custer's former role as Educator on Agriculture and Natural Resources. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply at and to share the job posting with folks they think are qualified.

    The Darke County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the appointment of Peggy Emerson as its new President. Emerson was previously the Paulding Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. While there, she helped to found Community Revitalizing Paulding (CoRP), advocated for renewable energy and agriculture, organized shop local campaigns, nurtured local entrepreneurial networking groups, developed many community-enrichment programs such as concert and artist series, and worked to grow the membership and community involvement of the Chamber. Prior to moving to Paulding, she worked at Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and the Allen Soil and Water Conservation District. She has most recently been employed as the Administrator for the Greenville Church of the Brethren. Emerson's husband Roger is the Pastor of the Ansonia United Methodist Church. Emerson succeeds Sharon Deschambeau, who has served as Chamber President since 2007. Deschambeau is retiring at the end of November.

    On Sunday, at approximately 3:11 am Darke County Deputies along with Gettysburg Fire and Gettysburg Rescue were dispatched to the 6100 Block of Arcanum Bears Mill Road in reference to an accident with injuries. Preliminary investigation revealed a black 2007 Chevy truck driven by Jeremy D. Parrish (31) was traveling southbound on Arcanum Bears Mill Road. Mr. Parrish traveled off the right side of the roadway, overcorrected causing the vehicle to travel off the left side of the roadway striking a tree. Parrish succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Darke County Sheriff's Office Accident Reconstruction Team and the Darke County Coroners Office Investigator were also called to the scene for further investigation. This Accident remains under investigation by the Darke County Sheriff's Office.

    Motorcycle Ohio, within the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles, is pleased to announce funding assistance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations, such as career centers and institutions of higher learning, that are interested in offering certified motorcycle rider training. Motorcycle Ohio establishes motorcycle safety and education programs to provide affordable motorcycle rider training courses in order to reduce fatalities and injuries on Ohio's roadways through rider education, public information campaigns, and licensing improvement. Applicants must meet specific parameters and other necessary requirements to be eligible for an award. For more information, visit The deadline for applications is December 31, 2020.

DEER SEASON - November 20, 2020
    Youth hunters younger than 18 years old have their own weekend to hunt Ohio's favorite big-game animal on Nov. 21 to 22. All hunters have the chance to hunt the traditional gun season from Monday, Nov. 30 to Sunday, Dec. 6, and again during the bonus weekend on Dec. 19 to 20. The Buckeye State's deer-gun hunting seasons have spanned generations of Ohioans and are a time many friends and families gather to celebrate the moment. In 2019, Ohio hunters harvested 63,567 deer during the week-long deer-gun season, as well as an additional 13,703 deer during the two-day bonus weekend. Young hunters harvested 6,249 deer during the two-day youth weekend. Check the 2020-2021 Ohio Hunting Regulations handbook for county-specific bag limits, updates on permits, hunting on public lands, and precautions to take if you hunt out of state. Youth hunters are required to be accompanied by a nonhunting adult. Legal hunting equipment for all deer-gun seasons includes specific shotguns, muzzleloaders, handguns, straight-walled cartridge rifles, and archery equipment. Youth weekend: Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22. This weekend is open to hunters with a youth hunting license and deer permit. More information is available at

    Thursday morning, at approximately 7:40 am, troopers with the Indiana State Police Pendleton Post along with deputies with the Randolph County Sheriff's Office responded to a two vehicle personal injury crash involving a school bus on U.S. 36 at County Road 100 East near Lynn, Indiana. The preliminary investigation indicated that a 2015 Thomas School Bus, owned by the Randolph Southern School Corporation, being driven by Joni M. Landers, age 58, of Lynn, was traveling southbound approaching U.S. 36 on County Road 100 East. A 2009 Chevrolet Impala, being driven by Heather R. O'Dell, age 41, of Modoc, was traveling eastbound on U.S. 36. After stopping at U.S. 36, Landers bus attempted to cross the highway when she pulled out in front of O'Dell's approaching vehicle. O'Dell was unable to stop and struck the right side of the bus in the area of the front staircase door. After the collision, the bus was able to clear the intersection and stopped on C.R. 100 East south of U.S. 36. O'Dell's vehicle came to a rest in the eastbound lane. The Randolph Southern School Corporation bus had 10 students onboard at the time of the crash. O'Dell was transported to Reid Hospital in Richmond for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Landers was not injured in the crash, and neither were any of the 10 students onboard. The parents/guardians of the affected students were notified of the situation by the school corporation. The investigation is ongoing.

    The Darke County Agricultural Society met on Wednesday, for a special meeting. It was their 1st meeting of the year held on zoom. The Board met on the Fairgrounds, while the public was allowed to listen from home. Similar to their 1st meeting in November, the board spent the majority of time in executive session. Two weeks ago, the AG Society spent close to 90 minutes behind closed doors discussing the Fair Managers Contract only to open the doors and request a special meeting for November 18. On Wednesday, the board went back into executive session to discuss personnel and the fair concert contract. Shutting down the zoom call at 7:26 P.M. The board opened the meeting back up to the public at 9:36. The AG Society renewed the contract of multiple maintenance workers, the caretaker and extended the contract of Fair Manager, Brian Rismiller. The board tabled a contract for their December meeting when discussing office work. A motion was passed to allow the Concert Committee to have a budget of $125,000 with Variety Attractions for the entertainment at the 2021 Fair. A motion was then made to reinstate Beth Martin as Junior Fair Coordinator. It was back in September, that Martin was denied the position with a 5-5 Vote. A couple months later and 3 new members on the board, Martin was reinstated with a 6-4 Vote. President Doug Martin, told the board that he would step down from his position as President if the Board felt uncomfortable with reinstating his wife as Junior Fair Coordinator. It was learned Wednesday that Junior Fair Money was used to make a purchase for the Bake-A-Rama that was not approved by the Ag Society. The meeting adjourned quickly and with a lot of confusion. Multiple people in the comments section were asking questions about what took place. Following the meeting, Fair Manager, Brian Rismiller, did confirm that Doug Martin was still President of the Darke County Agricultural Society. The Fair Boards next meeting, will be Wednesday, December 2, at 7:30.

    The Ohio High School Athletic Association reaffirmed its plans Wednesday to move ahead with winter sports as scheduled, notifying athletic directors across the state while providing results of a recent survey. The girls basketball season will begin Friday November 20, boys basketball can begin Wednesday, Nov. 25 and all winter sports remain on with their original intended start dates despite significantly rising coronavirus cases and a condensed fall season in anticipation of it. Based on the results, 1,464 administrators in the state responded to the survey. Those included superintendents, principals and athletic administrators. 56% said begin all winter sports as planned. 11% voted to suspend all winter sports and begin once conditions change and 33% voted to suspend all winter sports and begin in January. WTGR's coverage of High School Basketball begins on Friday night.

    Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in the region, Reid Health has reinstated a no-visitor policy at its main hospital campus in Richmond and in physician offices. The policy goes into effect Thursday at 7 a.m. and was designed to reduce traffic to and from the hospital campus to reduce risk of COVID-19 spread. The policy has some exceptions, including end of life, the hospital's Family Birthing Center, juveniles seeking care in the hospital's emergency department, and outpatient surgery. Outside of the listed exceptions, visitations will be limited to virtual platforms.

    The Light Foundation is excited about the 1st ever Winter Wonderland at Chenoweth Trails. The event will feature an outdoor walk through holiday lights and Christmas Tree Display. In a partnership with Lowes, the trees will be decorated by local companies, schools and organizations. For a donation, guests can enjoy roasting marshmallows, hotdogs and drinking hot cocoa. The fundraiser will also allow kids an opportunity to take a picture with Santa. The event is scheduled for Friday, December 18th, Saturday, December 19th, from 6 to 10 PM and Sunday, December 20th, from 6 to 9. Chenoweth Trails is located at 440 Greenville, Nashville, Road. For more information call 937-316-6352 or e-mail

    The Darke County Commissioners met on Monday, for their regularly scheduled meeting and following regular business the Commissioners welcomed Apex Clean Energy from Charlottesville, Virginia, to discuss a potential project in Darke County. Representatives from Apex presented the Commissioners with a map of a potential Solar Project in Greenville Township, Neave Township and Van Buren Township. Over the weekend, Apex Clean Energy met with Greenville Township. The potential project would be completed in 2024, but Apex Clean Energy first has to determine if the Community wants the project and if land owners would participate. Representatives from Apex Clean Energy talked for close to an hour, answering questions from the Commissioners, Darke County Engineer, Jim Surber and Economic Development Director, Mike Bowers. The potential solar project could produce over $1.1 Million to Darke County annually. The next Commissioners meeting will be Wednesday, at 1:30 in Downtown Greenville.

    Late Friday, Lawrence Hill, 58, from Greenville, was arrested in connection to a possible homicide investigation. Booked into the Darke County Jail early Saturday morning at 1:07 a.m. on an initial charge of murder following his arrest at a home located in the 600 block of Treaty Way in Greenville. Among the evidence was a vehicle towed from the garage. Deputies and detectives from the Sheriff's Office and personnel from the Darke County Coroner's Office were collecting evidence in relation to the possible homicide investigation at a residence located at the 2100 block of State Route 502 West outside of Greenville. We're still trying to learn more information pertaining to the arrest. That investigation continues.

    Wayne Healthcare released a statement on Thursday, pertaining to COVID-19. They want the community to remain vigilant in the fight to slow the spread of COVID-19. During these unprecedented times, maintaining the capacity to treat patients is their top priority. That means ensuring that they have the necessary staffing, personal protective equipment (PPE) and life-saving critical care equipment, as well as the safest and cleanest facilities possible. Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases are increasing across the state, and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is warning that while hospitals are functioning now, if cases continue to rise, hospitals and healthcare workers could be overwhelmed in "just a few short weeks." Wayne Healthcare is asking for your help and urging every individual and business to do their part in slowing the community spread of the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to control the spread of the virus is to avoid exposure to the virus. Wear a mask around others. If you're in a business, in a meeting, or public gathering, for your safety and the safety of others, wear a mask. Social distance. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from others. Wash your hands often. Using soap and water is best, but if you can't wash your hands, use hand sanitizer. Stay home if you don't feel well. Limit your groups to less than 10 people. In Ohio, public gatherings must be limited to 10 people or less. Try to remember to follow this guidance during the upcoming holidays too, when large gatherings of family and friends are typical. Get your flu shot. Getting a flu shot now may help you maintain your overall health during flu season.

    Opening night of the 15th Annual "A Community Christmas" is Friday, November 27. Everyone is welcome to follow the Fire & Police escort of Santa & Mrs. Claus to Harter Park at 5:30. The line-up begins at the Deerfield Rd & E. Elm St. intersection, in the former Sutton's Grocery parking lot & arrives at the Gift Shop at 6, at which time the spectacular light display debuts, kicking off the 2020 season. The drive-thru light display, throughout Harter Park's 60+ acres, will be open Thursday-Sunday thru December 6, & nightly from December 10 thru New Year's Eve. Hours are 6-9, Sunday-Thursday & 6-10, Friday & Saturday. Vehicles may enter from either drive off of Jackson Pike, on the east end of the park only. There is no admission fee; however donations are accepted at the exit gate. Donations benefit local groups who volunteer to welcome visitors & also to make it possible to continue the light display in the future. For more information about "A Community Christmas," search "A Community Christmas" on or call 765-964-6302.

    This year in Bradford, the Light Up the Park event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 7:00 p.m. Gather in Iddings Park for carols and stories before the main event, the lighting of Iddings Park. Kids, be sure to stop by the Letters to Santa station to get your requests in and enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies provided by the Bradford Public Library. Participants are asked to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing as we gather together. Please dress for the weather. Parking is available in the library parking lot at 138 East Main Street and at the Depot at 203 East Main Street. This year's event will be held completely outside. In case of inclement weather, the lights will still be turned on, but most activities will not take place. Please watch the Bradford Public Library Facebook page and website for updates on the status of the evening's festivities.

CBC LOOKING FOR CCP DONORS - November 11, 2020
    Hospital use of COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (CCP) for the treatment of crucially ill coronavirus patients is at a new high and Community Blood Center is in urgent need of COVID-19 survivors to donate. Potential CCP donors can learn more and register to donate at or call (937) 461-3220. Usage reached an all-time last week. CBC shipped 239 units to area hospitals for the highest number of CCP transfusions since CBC launched Ohio's first CCP collection program in early April. CBC remains in critical need of CCP units in all blood types. The antibody-rich plasma from people who have recovered from the coronavirus is vital for the treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients. CBC is now testing all blood donors for COVID-19 antibodies with the hope this will help identify more people eligible to donate convalescent plasma. CBC is also seeking sponsors for CCP blood drives, particularly in areas that experienced outbreaks of COVID-19 and have access to qualified CCP donors. Go to to find out more about CCP donations and to register to donate, or call (937) 461-3220.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has mailed ballots for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country. To be counted, ballots must be returned to the local FSA county office or postmarked by December 7. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office, and at least one seat is up for election each year. Newly elected committee members will take office January 1, 2021. County committee members help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, and emergency programs and eligibility. Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operation(s) but may not have applied or received FSA program benefits. Also, producers who supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, but are not of legal voting age, may be eligible to vote. Producers can find out if their local administrative area is up for election and if they are eligible to vote by contacting their local FSA county office. Eligible voters who did not receive a ballot in the mail can request one from their local FSA county office. Visit for more information.

    A fatal crash took place Sunday, in Preble County as WTGR learned of the news Monday. Two people were killed in a single vehicle accident Sunday morning on Pence Shewman Road in Preble County. The driver, Michelle E. Kaufman, 45, of Eaton, drove off the right side of the road in a Hyundai Elantra when she lost control and struck a tree. The second victim was Jerry Reeder, 41, of New Paris was the passenger. Both victims were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash but both were pronounced dead at the scene. The Ohio State Patrol is still investigating the accident.

    The Indiana Department of Transportation is offering civil engineering students scholarships of up to $3,125 per semester, and paid employment during summer breaks and upon graduation. Students must be accepted or enrolled full time in one of Indiana's certified civil engineering schools and apply using the form at Applications for the 2021-2022 school year must be submitted by December 31, 2020. INDOT's scholarship program uses federal funds to offer $3,125 per semester or $2,083 per trimester for up to five years of post-secondary civil engineering education. Scholarship funds can be applied to educational expenses, fees and books. In return, recipients will work for INDOT in full-time, paid positions during their summer breaks and upon graduation. Learn more about the INDOT Engineer Scholarship program the application process at Applications for the 2020-2021 school year must be submitted by Thursday, December 31, 2020.

- November 6, 2020
    The Darke County Parks is excited to announce that they will be going solar! Last year, staff members met with representatives from Electro Green Energy Solutions (GES) , a green energy company located out of Sidney, OH, to talk about the possibility of getting solar power implemented at the Bish Discovery Center. EGES was thrilled to potentially be part of this project and diligently worked with their local electrical partner and Indianapolis based Engineering Firm to develop a cost-effective solution for the Center. The solar panels that will be installed on the roof of the Bish Discovery Center and will offset over 90% of the Centers current annual energy consumption (5.46kW) and because of the partnerships the Bish Discovery Center will have a payback of under 5 yrs.

    The Darke County Agricultural Society met on Wednesday, for their regularly scheduled meeting. It was the last meeting for Fair Board members Dick Delk, Russ Bennet and Ed Erisman. All 3 men were handed a lifetime pass to the fair and thanked for their years of service. Stepping on the Board was Marla Werner, Jason Manning and Matt Sullivan. The first order of business was electing officers. Doug Martin was voted to be the new president of the Agricultural Society, he replaced Jim Zumbrink. Greg Pearson was the only person nominated for Vice President and Tommy Shaw was voted in as the new Treasurer. The board then motioned at 8:50 PM to go into executive session to discuss the contract of Fair Manager Brian Rismiller. The Ag Society would open the doors back up to the youth building at 10:15 only to announce the Fair Board would hold another meeting on Wednesday, November 18, to discuss personnel. That meeting will be held at 7 PM in the Youth Building. In addition to the Fair Manager's contract, the Board also has to decide about the Junior Fair Coordinator Position. One of the few motions made on Wednesday, was to add to the Job Description for Junior Fair Coordinator that all work needs to be done on Company Equipment. Beth Martin was relieved of those duties back in September. On Wednesday, multiple individuals asked that she be re-hired, those same supporters also voiced the same concerns in October. With the new members on the board and new officials in place, expect that decision to be made on Wednesday, November 18.

    Greenville High School will again open its doors to community members seeking a warm, safe place to walk on winter evenings. The public is invited to walk at the high school from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays beginning Monday, Nov. 30, and continuing through March 25, 2021. There will be no walking during Christmas break. Also, if school is closed during a day or there are parent/teacher conferences, then it will be closed to walking that evening. Greenville High School opened its doors to walkers many years ago. The Greenville Board of Education has continued to support this activity in the high school.

ONLINE SCAMS ON THE RISE - November 4, 2020
    Scams related to online purchases, already on the rise in 2019, spiked further following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). A staggering 80.5 percent of consumers reporting online purchase scams in 2020 lost money. That figure has been creeping up from 71.2 percent in 2015, when BBB began collecting data. Online purchase scams ranked among the top three riskiest scams for the last three years, according to the 2019 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report that was published in March 2020. Shortly after the report was released, COVID-19 shut down businesses, forcing people to socially distance and increase their online presence. With the coronavirus pandemic expected to continue for the foreseeable future and more people potentially being targeted by online scams, BBB launched a new study to better understand how online purchase scams happen, who is targeted, the overall impact of them and how BBB can help people avoid losing money while shopping online. For tips on how to avoid online shopping scams, visit

ELECTION DAY RESULTS - November 4, 2020
    Darke County Voters turned out on Tuesday, following a record number of early voters. Voter Turnout in Darke County was 77%. Results for Darke County during Tuesday's election saw voters pass Greenville City Schools Renewal with 56% for the 5.5 Mills Levy. Mississinawa Valley Schools passed their Renewal Levy with 55% of the vote. The Darke County Park District Levy passed with ease as 58% of votes were for the levy. The MVCTC Levy Renewal passed with 60% of the vote for the levy.
    For U.S. Congress, Incumbent Warren Davidson was an easy winner over Democratic candidate Dr. Vanessa Enoch, of West Chester, and Independent candidate Isaac Reed, of Hamilton. State Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, won re-election in his 12th District race against political newcomer and Democrat Ken Poling. Huffman is expected to become president of the senate when it convenes in January. The 12th Senate District includes all of Allen, Champaign, Mercer and Shelby counties and parts of Auglaize, Darke and Logan counties. State Rep. Susan Manchester also won re-election in her race for the 84th District House seat. The Republican from Waynesfield defeated Democratic challenger Joseph Monbeck. The 84th District includes all of Mercer and parts of Auglaize, Darke and Shelby counties. In the 80th District, State Rep. Jena Powell retained her seat, receiving 75 percent, of the votes, to defeat Ted Jones. For more information and results visit

    Throughout the month of November, the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) is conducting an online survey to identify traffic safety concerns and obtain feedback about interactions with the agency. The 2020 Public Survey is anonymous and takes approximately five minutes to complete. The survey is designed to be used as a platform for organizational learning, asking specific questions related to traffic safety issues and previous interactions with OSHP employees. The survey is created in accordance with standards of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). OSHP is committed to providing professional law enforcement services focused on deterring crime and promoting traffic safety to improve the quality of life for the citizens and visitors of Ohio. Please consider taking the survey to help us better serve you. To take the survey please visit:

2 ALARM FIRE IN GREENVILLE - November 2, 2020
    Multiple fire departments responded to a house fire on the 200 block of Anderson Street in Greenville. According to reports, the call for aid came just after 10 p.m. Saturday. Emergency personnel from the Greenville City Fire responded along with Greenville Township Fire and Rescue, officers from the Greenville Police Department, and multiple mutual aid departments from across the county to 228 Anderson Avenue in reference to a fully involved house fire. The fire started in the upstairs bedroom of the structure and with heavy smoke and fire visible as police and fire departments arrived on the scene. Crews were able to knock out the 2 alarm fire, that investigation is being handled by the Greenville Fire Department.

FIERY FATAL CRASH - November 2, 2020
    Three people were killed in a fiery head-on crash Saturday night involving a van and an SUV. The crash was on State Route 49 near state Route 718 in Union Twp., Miami County. All three victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Emergency crews responded to State Route 49 near North Montgomery County Road. According to dispatch, the crash was reported just after 9:30 pm. One vehicle reportedly veered left of center. Dean Davis, 57, of Pitsburg, Ohio, was driving an SUV when it traveled left of center on state Route 49. Luther Ruckel, 75, of Lewis County, Kentucky, was driving the other vehicle in the crash. Ruckel's son, Robby, 49, was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash. There were no survivors in the two-vehicle crash. That investigation continues.

    The Miami County Sheriff's Office will be equipping deputies with body cameras in early 2021. Sheriff Dave Duchak said the department has looked into getting body cameras for several years but the cost was prohibitive with other more pressing needs. However over the last few months conversations ramped up. A portion of the cost of the cameras is being covered thanks to a donation of $25,000 from Thom and Pat Robinson. The county's insurance company will also provide a $300 credit on each of the 65 cameras. That means of the nearly $165,000 cost for the cameras, software, and IT infrastructure $44,500 will be covered by non-tax payer money. Sheriff Duchak said each deputy will be issued his/her own camera. He also said that they're finalizing the body camera policies like when the cameras must be on. The cameras are made by the same company, Watch Guard, that makes the cruiser cameras used in the deputies' cruisers.

    Four people face felony charges after they were arrested at the scene of a break-in northeast of Winchester. Charged in Randolph Circuit Court with burglary and attempted theft are: Shay Allen Edwards, 31, Parker City. Nikki A. Kelsay, 24, Parker City. Brandi Nicole Paris, 30, Portland. Nicholas W. Tressler, 31, Portland. An outbuilding in the 200 block of Owen Street in the town of Saratoga had been the target of recent break-ins, prompting the installation of security cameras. On the evening of Oct. 23, a Randolph County sheriff's deputy received an alert indicating movement had been detected in the building. When the deputy and a Winchester police officer arrived at the scene, Edwards — with a flashlight strapped to the bill of a cap he was wearing — emerged from the building and surrendered, maintaining he had been the only person inside. A few minutes later, Kelsay came out of the building, and maintained she and Edwards had been the only intruders. The Winchester officer then announced he intended to release his police K-9 in the building. That prompted Paris and Tressler to emerge. The burglary charges filed against the four defendants on Wednesday are Level 5 felonies carrying up to six years in prison.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand was in Greenville on Wednesday to commemorate a $23,750 Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grant to the Richmond, Indiana based Harvest Land Cooperative. Also in attendance at the event were Congressman Warren Davidson, USDA Ohio Rural Development Director David L. Hall, and USDA Indiana Rural Development Director Michael R. Dora. The portion of the grant comes courtesy of a $117,000 investment by the Trump administration to improve biofuel sales in Ohio and Indiana. The Greenville funds will be used to offset the cost of replacing two dispensers at the CountryMark cooperative-supported fueling station located at 619 Sater Street. In view of the larger developments within the program, it was reported that ethanol sales are expected to rise by an estimated 238,954 gallons annually in the area. For more information, visit

    Since 2007, the Darke County Friends of the Shelter have assembled a 12 month calendar as a fundraiser for their several projects. The monthly pictures are made up of local pets. The 2021 calendar is now available and has photos of all kinds of pets. The calendars make great gifts for Christmas, Birthdays, Anniversaries, etc. and are available at the Shelter, 5066 County Home Rd., Greenville, OH, located just beyond the Sheriff’s Office. You can also grab a calendar from a member of the Darke County Friends of the Animal Shelter. The Calendar is $10. All proceeds help maintain the Scentral Park Dog Park and projects for the Animal Shelter.

    The Miami County Sheriff's Office conducted a Sex Offender Address Verification Sweep on all registered sex offenders in Miami County Tuesday. This is the 8th consecutive year conducting the county-wide verification. The sweep was conducted in collaboration with 27 law enforcement officials, working alongside Sheriff's Office deputies. Those other officials included deputies from the U.S. Marshal's Service, troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, officers from the Adult Parole Authority (APA), along with the Covington, Piqua, Tipp City, and Troy Police Departments as well as assistance from the Miami County Communications Center. At of the beginning of the sweep Tuesday, there were 158 registered offenders in Miami County and all registered addresses were checked with 121 addresses being verified. There were no offenders found to be out of compliance. Should any of the remaining offenders be found to be non-compliant, investigations will be opened and charges will be filed if necessary.

    Monday, we reported on a suspicious death in Piqua, that took place over the weekend. The Piqua Police Department is now calling it a homicide as they continue to investigate. Officers were called to a home in the 500 block of Wood Street at 5:35 p.m. Sunday after family members reportedly discovered Franklin Kesler, 65, deceased. After the initial investigation at the home, detectives applied for, and executed, a search warrant at the crime scene. Detectives canvased the area, searching for information and witnesses, following several leads. Anyone who may have been in the Wood Street area between, 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and may have seen anyone, or anything, suspicious, are asked to call Piqua Police. Detectives are asking that anyone in the area of the 500 block of Wood Street who has security cameras to please contact police in order that they can review the footage. Residents can contact Piqua Police by calling 9-1-1 or at 937-615-TIPS (8411).

    Sunday, at 9:53 a.m. Darke County Sheriff Deputies, New Madison Fire, Tri-Village Rescue, and Med Flight responded to the area of State Route 722 and State Route 726 on a 2 vehicle injury accident. Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2014 Chevy Malibu driven by Linda Smith (74) of West Milton, was eastbound on State Route 722. Smith pulled into the intersection at State Route 726 traveling into the path of a south bound 2012 GMC Acadia driven by Natalie Greene (30) of New Madison. Greene and her passengers, Vincent Springer (31) of New Madison and 2 juvenile's were treated and released at the scene by Tri-Village Rescue. Smith succumbed to her injuries on scene and her passenger, Marie Fine (94) of Laura was transported to Miami Valley Hospital, in Dayton, by Med Flight where she later died from her injuries. The Darke County Sheriff's Office Accident Reconstruction Team and the Darke County Coroner's Office are investigating the fatal crash.

    Also Friday, Darke County deputies took a Versailles man into custody for the suspicion of OVI following a single-vehicle rollover crash. At approximately 10:49 p.m., emergency personnel from Versailles Fire and Rescue responded along with deputies to the 8100 block of State Route 47 on a single-vehicle rollover crash with possible injuries. Preliminary investigation revealed that a 1999 Ford Ranger, driven by Ryan C. Smith, 49, of Versailles, was traveling west on State Route 47 when he traveled off the right side of the road. Smith overcorrected the vehicle, traveling back on to the roadway, across the center line coming to rest only after turning the vehicle onto its side in a ditch. Smith was treated on the scene by Versailles Rescue for what were described as minor injuries prior to refusing any further treatment and transport to a medical facility. Smith was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence and cited for failure to control the motor vehicle.

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