Editor’s note: Following is a month-by-month look back at the top local news stories from 2022 as reported by The Times-Gazette. We wish our readers a happy New Year.
5 – A large brick building in downtown New Vienna at 132 W. Main St. “partially collapsed.” John Johnson, the Clinton-Highland Joint Fire District chief, reported to the AIM Media Midwest network that a call was received around 6:30 a.m. after workers in the 100 block of West Main Street, which held Engine House Pizza and Stephanie’s Restaurant, heard falling bricks and evacuated.
12 – Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley announced that he would not seek re-election after finishing his term in March of 2023 at a meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners. Fawley, the county auditor for 31 years, said that he wanted to report his retirement early so people could run for the position.
19 – The Highland County Board of Commissioners announced the declaration of a 30-day state of emergency due to COVID-19. Jeff Duncan, board president, said the state of emergency gave the county some priority in case funds becoming available to help or if a need arose for additional COVID-19 supplies.
26 – Innergex Renewable Energy announced at a meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners that it planned to reduce the Palomino Solar Project by about 200 acres. Bill Behling, Innergex director of development, also said 600 acres of the northern area were removed and 400 acres were added to the southern area of the project.
31 – The city of Hillsboro celebrated the Cincinnati Bengals’ win 27-24 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game by unofficially changing the name of the city on a digital sign in front of the Colony Park to Hillsburrow, if reference to calm and cool Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. A message saying “Who Dey!!!” was also shown on the next page of the sign.
2 – The Fairfield High School Lady Lions basketball squad reached the No. 12 spot in the latest Associated Press poll for Ohio Division III with a 16-2 record. The ranking was a drop from the prior two rankings after being the 10th-ranked team in the poll. The team still had two remaining games in its regular season against North Adams and Peebles.
8 – Hillsboro resident Billy McClain found an “uncommon” resident on top of the building next to the police station in Hillsboro’s downtown area — a peregrine falcon. Kathy Garza-Behr, a wildlife communications specialist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Ohio Division of Wildlife, said she’d never heard of one living in Hillsboro.
14 – Highland County saw a big drop in its COVID-19 case count from 32 new cases per day, about 74 cases per 100,000 in population, to 17 new COVID-19 cases per day, which was about 39 cases per 100,000 in population, according to The New York Times COVID Tracker. The county’s case rate was also ranked ninth among the state’s 88 counties, according to the Ohio Department of Health Coronavirus Dashboard.
16 – Dave Daniels, a member of the Highland County Board of Commissioners, said at the board’s weekly meeting that there were 24 to 26 projects discussed for the first part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, which totaled a little over $4 million. He said some of those projects included some infrastructure needs like broadband expansion that some of the underserved parts of the county and private companies inquired about.
25 – Elana Unger, the first McClain High School para swimmer, made it to the Ohio High School Athletic Association state championships that were scheduled for Feb. 26, in Canton. Unger said that she planned to compete in the 100-meter backstroke and the 50-meter freestyle event.
3 – The Greenfield Historical Society announced that it planned to rearrange the contents of the glass cases in the McClain High School library. The cases contain items that once belonged to Edward Lee and Lulu McClain, items produced by Edward Lee McClain, former music director Barney Beaver’s conductor uniform, and some original photographs, class rings and other miscellaneous items.
4 – The Hillsboro Future Farmers of America held its 25th Annual FFA Alumni Auction at the Highland County Fairgrounds. The year’s version of the event had 76 consignors, 561 items sold and 426 buyers, with the proceeds from the auction going to scholarships to Hillsboro FFA members should they graduate from high school and pursue further education.
10 – Gas prices skyrocketed because of the continued Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the national average going up by 45 cents compared to the week prior and $1.30 from a year ago, to $4.05. The American Automobile Association said that the national average was the highest the country had seen since 2008.
23 – Tara Campbell, deputy director at the Highland County Community Action Organization (HCCAO), said that recycling options were being looked into at Mowrystown, at the weekly Wednesday meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners. Campbell said some of those options included getting a dump trailer and that she also reached out to Adams-Brown Recycling about possibly getting a dumpster in the village, but was told they were short on drivers.
25 – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the appointment of William C. Randolph as the new judge for the Hillsboro Municipal Court. Randolph was appointed to take the open vacancy of Judge David McKenna, who retired on Oct. 31, 2022, with his term expiring at the end of 2023. Should he want to remain in the position, Randolph will need to run for re-election in 2023 for the full term.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.