COMMISSIONERS SEND LETTER TO KITCHENAID - July 7, 2020
    The Darke County Commissioners met on Monday, for their regularly scheduled meeting and filed a letter for journal information to the Whirlpool Corporation. Last week, the company announced the closing of the KitchenAid Experience in downtown Greenville. The Commissioners were approached by the CIC and the Visitors Bureau to write a letter encouraging the company to reconsider closing their store front on Broadway. In the statement, the Commissioners state, "Darke County is the proud home for your KitchenAid production plant. We appreciate and love that you call our county home. We have been fortunate to also have the KitchanAid Experience located in our downtown district of Greenville that attracts and draws many visitors from around the country to our county. the KitchenAid store is a key store and draws throughout the year for tourism as well, when families come to Eldora to watch dirt track racing or to one of the many community events held in our country each year. We ask that you reconsider the closing of your store front or consider a discussion to what can be done so your presence is still here in our county." The next Commissioners meeting will be Wednesday, at 1:30 in Downtown Greenville. In other business, This Saturday, July 11, Commissioner Mike Stegall will have his "Coffee with the Commissioner" at A&B Coffee located at the corner of 4th and Broadway in Greenville. The Commissioner will be at A&B from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. to hear questions and concerns of the Darke County citizens. Stop at the A&B Coffee company, pick up a cup of coffee, and come over and chat with the Commissioner.

JULY 4TH NUMBERS FROM OHIO STATE HIGHWAY PATROL - July 7, 2020
    The Ohio State Highway Patrol is reporting 22 people lost their lives in 21 traffic crashes during the July Fourth reporting period, which began Thursday, July 2 and ended Sunday, July 5. Impairment was determined to be a factor in at least five of those crashes. Troopers made 425 arrests for impaired driving and 280 for drug-related charges. The Patrol responded to 631 crashes and made more than 22,494 traffic contacts in total, which included providing assistance to more than 2,900 motorists. During last year's Fourth of July reporting period from July 3 to July 7, there were a total of 16 fatal crashes that killed 17 people. Motorists are encouraged to call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.

MANCHESTER URGES PASSAGE OF FOSTER CARE LEGISLATION - July 2, 2020
    State Representative Susan Manchester today is renewing calls for passage of foster care reform legislation following reports kids were living in a foster care agency office due to lack of available foster parents to care for them. An investigation by Cleveland’s WEWS-TV found that children were living in Cuyahoga County’s Department of Children and Family Services office as a “last resort.” A 17-year-old had been living there for more than a month awaiting placement with a foster caregiver. Other teens also temporarily lived in the agency headquarters, according to the report. “This was a heartbreaking story,” said Manchester (R-Waynesfield), who is a lead sponsor of legislation to improve foster care in Ohio. “This just underscores the need for reforms in Ohio so we have more foster caregivers. Every child deserves a stable, caring home. Let’s make sure this never happens again.” At any given time in Ohio, there are more than 15,000 boys and girls in foster care here in Ohio, a figure that has grown by 25 percent in recent years, driven by the addiction crisis. In 2018, a total of 26,737 were in foster care at one point or another. Last year’s state budget increased state support for local agencies who are working to help children. But more needs to be done, Manchester said. Manchester is the joint sponsor of House Bill 8, bipartisan legislation to reform foster care training so potential foster parents can be trained, licensed and approved more efficiently and effectively. The goal is, she said, is to increase the number of foster caregivers. “There are boys and girls all across Ohio who need our help and our support,” Manchester said. In the past decade, there has been a 5 percent increase in foster care nationwide, and an upwards of 40 percent of teenagers in foster care are in a group home setting. H.B. 8 will help recruit foster parents and in turn, help prevent children ending up in a group home setting. The Ohio House unanimously approved the measure on June 6, 2019. It is pending in the Ohio Senate. Manchester said she is optimistic the legislation will be passed and signed into law this year.

DARKE COUNTY MAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER - June 30, 2020
    Back in April, Teresa Bowman, age 60, was pronounced dead at her home by EMS on Disher Road in Darke County. A forensic examination of Teresa Bowman revealed her death was the result of strangulation. After several weeks of investigation by Darke County Sheriff’s Detectives and the return of lab results, the case was presented to the Darke County Prosecutors Office. The Darke County Prosecuting Attorney, Kelly Ormsby III, presented the case to the grand jury last week. On Friday, Darke County Deputies arrested Richard Bowman, age 58, of Mississinawa Township, after a warrant on indictment was issued by the Darke County Grand Jury for charges of aggravated murder. The indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the Darke County Sheriff’s Office and the Darke County Coroner’s Office. Richard Bowman was the husband of Teresa Bowman.

TOUR DE DONUT CANCELED - June 30, 2020
    Another big event was canceled Friday as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic restrictions. The 2020 Tour de Donut and related Donut Jam events have been canceled for due to the coronavirus. The Tour de Donut was originally scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 29, and Donut Jam was to take place on Friday, Aug. 28 and Saturday, Aug. 29. The cancellation of the events is due to the restrictions the state of Ohio has placed on large mass gatherings and the uncertainty of when these restrictions will be lifted. Last year, the Tour de Donut brought close to 3,000 riders into the community. Any registrations purchased for 2020 will be honored at the 2021 event, which has been scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 28 for the Tour de Donut and Friday and Saturday, Aug. 27-28 for the Donut Jam. For additional information, visit thetourdedonut.com.

TORNADO CONFIRMED NEAR COVINGTON - June 26, 2020
    The National Weather Service in Wilmington has confirmed an EF0 tornado touched down near Covington on June 9. The tornado is estimated to have started at 8:32 p.m. and ended at 8:33 p.m. The maximum wind speed of the tornado is estimated at 70 mph with a maximum path width of 75 yards and path length of 0.5 miles. There were no injuries as a result of the tornado, according to the National Weather Service. The brief tornado touchdown confirmation is based on recent reports of tree damage along West Sugar Grove Road near the Stillwater River, in addition to radar data from the Wilmington Doppler Weather Radar, according to the NWS. Based on pictures of the tree damage, this brief tornado is rated as EF0, which is a weak tornado with winds of 65-85 mph. The National Weather Service said they worked with support from the Miami County Emergency Management Agency and public reports to decide these findings.

TRASH BASH DATES SET - June 25, 2020
    On Wednesday, the Darke County Commissioners met for their regularly scheduled meeting and joining Mike Stegall and Matt Aultman was Krista Fourman from Darke County Solid Waste. Fourman announced that trash bash would return to the county for September 2020. The 12th annual Darke County "Trash Bash" Community Clean-up Day will take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 12 & 13th. If you signed-up in the spring before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, they are still counting on you to participate. If you can NOT participate during these dates, please let Solid Waste know so they can assign roadways to other groups. If you want to participate but are not already signed-up, contact the district at 937-547-0827. The collection is set to begin at 8:00 a.m. The district is looking for numerous groups of 4-6 to clean up a 2-mile stretch, picking-up bags of trash and recyclables. Clean-up groups can be started with friends from school, work, church, and volunteer organizations or clubs and there's no age limit for volunteers. Sign-up forms can also be found on the district's website: www.Co.Darke.oh.us/solidwaste. New participants must have their forms turned in by July 30th. Each group will be given black bags for trash and clear bags for recyclables. For separating the recyclables from the trash, each group will be awarded $75.00.

KITCHENAID EXPERIENCE TO CLOSE - June 25, 2020
    Main Street Greenville announced they would be losing their neighbor Downtown next to the Welcome Center as the KitchenAid Experience will permanently close late July 2020. In a statement posted online, KitchenAid is proud of the two decades that the retail store has been on Broadway Street in Greenville, embraced by the community, consumers, travelers, and chefs from across the country. Greenville remains the home of the iconic KitchenAid stand mixer and other products that are assembled in America. Operations at the KitchenAid manufacturing plant and distribution center will continue as normal.

BREW YOUR OWN BEER FOR POULTRY DAYS CONTEST - June 24, 2020
    Start your brewing! If you're a garage brewer or weekend hops warrior, now is your opportunity to enter your favorite beverage in the area's BJCP homebrew competition. Then Midwestern Ohio Brewing Society (MOBS) in collaboration with sponsorship from Endless Pint Brewery and Poultry Days will host its second Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) sanctioned homebrew competition on Sunday, August 16th in Versailles, Ohio. The "Poultry and Pints" competition is limited to 30 entries with each person limited to two entries, each in a separate subcategory. The deadline to register is August 5, 2020 and all entries must be received by end of day August 9th. The registration fee is $10 per entry and delivery instructions are provided at registration. In addition to awards, the Best of Show will have the opportunity to brew their recipe at Endless Pint Brewing in Versailles, Ohio. For questions about the competition go to "Poultry and Pints" on versaillespoultrydays.com. The 69th annual Poultry Days Festival will be held August 14-16th.

ANNIE OAKLEY FESTIVAL CANCELLED - June 19, 2020
    The Annie Oakley Festival Committee has voted to cancel this year’s Annie Oakley Days Festival, originally scheduled for July 24 to 26, 2020. After receiving our guidelines from the Darke County Health Department, and in discussion with committee members, they felt it was best to cancel this year’s event out of concerns for the health, safety and wellbeing of the community. There will not be a shooting competition or a parade. The Annie Oakley Days Festival will return July 23 to 25, 2021.

GATHERING AT GARST CANCELLED - June 18, 2020
    Garst Museum and the Gathering at Garst Committee has decided, after much deliberation, to cancel the Gathering at Garst for 2020. The event planners foresee that it would be impossible to enforce social distancing among the crowd, and people will most likely choose not to wear masks in the heat during the last weekend in July. Safety for the visitors, exhibitors, vendors, and workers is the primary concern during the Covid-19 pandemic. The 10-year anniversary of the Gathering at Garst will be celebrated next year. Everyone can anticipate amazing artists and crafters, inviting garden exhibits, nostalgic antiques, once-a-year favorite foods, and talented entertainers in the year 2021. Across the street, the living history encampment will have reenactors in period costume and the thundering boom of the cannons. This year all will be quiet on the museum grounds, but in 2021 on July 24–25, the crowds will be returning and the cannons will be firing again. In the meantime, explore the many interesting exhibits and artifacts inside the museum, which has re-opened to the public.

REMAINS FOUND IN MERCER COUNTY IN 2016 IDENTIFIED - June 17, 2020
    Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey gave an update on the murder investigation that was discovered in January 2016. We reported on Skeletal remains were located on January 3, 2016 on US 127 near Coldwater Creek by someone walking their dog. The victim Ryan R. Zimmerman, age 22, from Corbin, KY, matched an area that ISO Forensics suggested that he could be from. Ryan moved to Columbus, OH in August 2015, to meet some friends he had met on the Internet. Evidence showed the victim was dismembered and a complete skeleton was not recovered. A full DNA profile was extracted by the University of North Texas at the request of the Sheriff's Office. The DNA information was loaded into CODIS (FBI's Combined DNA Index System) and into NAMUS (National Missing and Unidentified Person System). In May 2017 the Sheriff's Office requested ISO Forensics to pull oxygen isotopes from the remains to predict areas of the United States that the victim could be from. Detectives continued to work the case, following up on any found skeletal remains from throughout the country and maintained contact with Ohio BCI analysts. In January 2020, an analyst at Ohio BCI became intrigued about a missing person case from Columbus, OH. The person had went missing in the time frame suspected in the Mercer County case. Columbus Police Department then reached out to the parents of the missing person to request their DNA. After receiving their DNA, Ohio BCI Labs were able to make a positive match.The Mercer County Sheriff's Office is looking for anyone who may have seen Ryan in Mercer County or Columbus, OH. If anyone has any information or remembers seeing Ryan, please contact the Mercer County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau at 419.586.1450 or by calling the tip line at 567.890.TIPS (8477).

COUNTY REAL ESTATE TAXES DEADLINE EXTENDED - June 16, 2020
    The Darke County Commissioners met on Monday, for their regularly scheduled meeting. All 3 Commissioners voted to extend the date for collection of county real estate taxes to July 24, 2020. In March, the commissioners extended the time of payment to July 10th. This was followed by an amended date, voted on June 3, to extend the collection date to June 17. The extension had nothing to do with Covid-19, the contractor which is responsible for printing and mailing the tax bills for the County Treasurer has experienced difficulty in printing the bills. The next Commissioners meeting will be Wednesday, at 1:30 in Downtown Greenville.

CAMP ENCOURAGE WILL BE VIRTUAL - June 11, 2020
    State of the Heart Care is preparing for its 20th annual grief camp, Camp Encourage, this summer. In the best interest and safety for their families, volunteers, and staff involved with camp, they are hosting Camp Encourage virtually this year! Camp Encourage at Home will be July 10-12 and camp staff are hard at work preparing activities for the campers, ensuring they still have a special camp experience even if it may be a little different this year. Camp Encourage accepts children ages 6-15 who have experienced the death of a loved one, no matter their affiliation with our hospice care. For more information, please visit our website at stateoftheheartcare.org/camp-encourage or contact our Camp Director, Ashlee Slavin at aslavin@stateoftheheartcare.org.

FAIRS TO RECEIVE MONEY FOR HAVING 2020 FAIR - June 11, 2020
    State Rep. Susan Manchester has announced that state leaders have developed a plan that will help Ohio's county fairs open this year and support youngsters involved in 4-H and Future Farmers of America. To allow fairs to operate in a safe manner consistent with good health practices, each fair that conducts a junior fair this year will receive $50,000, under the plan announced Wednesday. Fairs that do not conduct a junior fair this year will receive $15,000 that can be used towards next year's far. "County fairs showcase Ohio's proud agricultural industry and strengthen our sense of community," said Manchester. "I'm pleased to announce they will be able to move forward and that Ohio is providing financial support for these special events." Local fair boards who have already cancelled for 2020 can apply for a new date with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The plan is subject to State Controlling Board approval, which is expected Monday. As part of the announcement, Governor Mike DeWine issued an executive order detailing guidance on how to conduct fairs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

POWER OF THE PAST STILL SCHEDULED - May 20, 2020
    Greenville Farm Power of the Past is still planning to have their show July 9-12, 2020 unless outdoor events are banned by the governor. There are a few changes that need to be noted. For flea markets, the "after May 31 additional charge of $25.00" and "on-site registration charge" of $25.00 has been eliminated. The no refund policy was amended to allow refunds only if the show is cancelled. The Lightweight Pony Pull scheduled for July 11 has been cancelled. The Heavyweight Horse Pull scheduled for July 11 at 6 PM is still scheduled. The Horse and Mule Fun Days are also still on. Greenville Farm Power of the Past was organized to preserve and celebrate the historical and mechanical aspects of earlier farming in which implements/machinery/equipment were propelled or powered by animals, steam, or internal combustion engines. This year will be the 21st time they've held the event. For more details visit GreenvilleFarmPower.org.

POULTRY DAYS LOOKING FOR MISS CHICK CONTESTANTS - May 18, 2020
    Versailles Poultry Days, Inc. is pleased to announce we are now accepting applications for the 2020 Miss Chick Pageant. The contest, sponsored by Versailles Savings & Loan and Versailles Poultry Days, Inc., will take place August 14 and 15, beginning with personal interviews at noon on Friday the 14th and the onstage interview beginning at 2 PM on Saturday the 15th in the old VHS High School Gymnasium located at 459 S. Center Street in Versailles. Poultry Days will be following all local and state guidance as it relates to the health and safety of our guests. The court also participates in philanthropic events that raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Wounded Warrior Project, and/or conducts events like Confident Chicks Night. The chosen Miss Chick will receive flowers, a plaque, crown and $1,000; First Runner-up will receive flowers, a plaque, and $400; and Second Runner-up will receive flowers, a plaque, and $200. Contestants must be females 16 years of age by the day of the contest, and no older than 19 years of age (Limited to graduating high school seniors of the class of 2020.) Contestants must reside in Darke County and contiguous counties (Miami, Mercer, Montgomery, Shelby, Auglaize, Preble, Jay, Randolph and Wayne). For more information on the festival go to www.versaillespoultrydays.com

BULK POULTRY DAYS CHICKEN AVAILABLE - May 15, 2020
    The Versailles Poultry Day's Committee is excited to announce more options for purchasing World-Famous Poultry Days BBQ Chicken to be served the weekend of August 14. NEW for 2020, bulk chicken can be purchased online at versaillespoultrydays.com. Chicken will be sold hot and tasty without sides in coolers of 20 halves for $130. All orders for bulk chicken must be placed by July 27. Coolers of bulk chicken can be purchased online for pick up at the festival. After placing your order online, present your receipt in the Poultry Days walk-thru or drive-thru chicken lines to receive your chicken. Also NEW for 2020 the festival is offering a Business Lunch Special on Friday, August 14. Purchase a minimum of two coolers of chicken and Poultry Days will deliver the chicken. Business Lunch Special chicken will be delivered by noon on August 14 within 25 miles of Versailles. This includes Greenville, Troy, Sidney, Minster, New Bremen, and Piqua. For more information visit VersaillesPoultryDays.com.

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