As 2019 comes to a close, the Record-Herald is reviewing the year’s biggest news and sports stories.
Starting off the year, a Columbus man accused of almost striking a deputy with a stolen “Meals on Wheels” van while leading deputies on a high-speed chase was indicted on two felony counts. Franklin D. Scales III, 41, was arraigned in Fayette County Common Pleas Court in January on charges of failure to comply with the order or signal of police, a third-degree felony, and receiving stolen property, a felony of the fourth degree. On the failure to comply count, the grand jury also specified that the “operation of the motor vehicle created a substantial risk of serious physical harm to persons or property.”
A 40-year-old woman was indicted by a Fayette County grand jury in January for the assault of a Washington C.H. Police Department officer. Amber D. Tigue, of 2001 Heritage Drive, Apt. 2, was arraigned in Fayette County Common Pleas Court on a fourth-degree felony count of assault. The indictment states that Tigue “did knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to Ptl. Alex George.”
A small fire on the roof of the Burger King in Washington C.H. closed the restaurant and a portion of Columbus Avenue for a short time in early January. The Washington Fire Department responded to Burger King, 1666 Columbus Ave., and found smoke coming from a rooftop vent. Firefighters made contact with Burger King employees and learned that the fire was in the hood system that covered the char-broiler, according to reports.
A Washington C.H. man was indicted by a Fayette County grand jury on four criminal charges after allegedly assaulting a police officer and endangering a 6-month-old child. Brock N. Vernon, 28, of 1224 S. Hinde St., Apt. B, was facing a fourth-degree felony assault charge, a fourth-degree felony disrupting public service charge, a first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence charge, and a first-degree misdemeanor endangering children charge.
Finally in January, a Chillicothe man was in police custody for allegedly stealing an SUV from a pregnant woman, and later throwing a 68-year-old man to the ground in the Washington C.H. Frisch’s parking lot while in the process of stealing his car. Shaun A. Honesty, 37, was arrested by Washington C.H. Police Department officers and was being held in the Fayette County Jail on charges of first-degree felony aggravated robbery, fourth-degree felony receiving stolen property, and fifth-degree felony attempted robbery. According to The Scioto Post, a pregnant woman was waiting on the porch of her Chillicothe home while her car warmed up when a man jumped into the car and drove off in it.
In February, a Washington C.H. man with an active bench warrant for his arrest was taken into custody by police and was allegedly found with a large amount of methamphetamine. Kevin W. Perry, 46, of 818 N. North St., is being held in the Fayette County Jail on felony counts of trafficking in drugs, possession of methamphetamine, trafficking in or illegal use of food stamp card, and misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
Following complaints of suspects attempting to use counterfeit bills at two local businesses, police arrested two Columbus men who were allegedly in possession of the bills. The Washington Police Department received reports of men attempting to use a counterfeit $100 bill at Walgreens, 1295 Columbus Ave., and around the same time, the same type of offense at CVS Pharmacy, 1795 Columbus Ave.
A 19-year-old local man was indicted by a Fayette County grand jury following an alleged hit-and-run accident that killed a Washington C.H. man. Elijah A. Stanforth was arraigned in February in Fayette County Common Pleas Court on a third-degree felony charge of failure to stop after an accident, and a first-degree misdemeanor count of vehicular homicide.
A 27-year-old man is facing felony charges after allegedly robbing United Dairy Farmers (UDF) and leading authorities on a high-speed pursuit. James C. Turner was being held in the Fayette County Jail on charges of first-degree felony robbery, third-degree felony fleeing and eluding, first-degree misdemeanor theft, second-degree misdemeanor possession of drug abuse instruments, second-degree misdemeanor obstructing official business, and resisting arrest.
Anthony B. Adkins was found guilty of 15 cocaine-related felony charges in February following a two-day trial in Fayette County Common Pleas Court. The charges were seven counts of trafficking in cocaine, seven counts of possession of cocaine, and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Three of these counts are felonies of the first degree, which carry a mandatory prison sentence.
Miami Trace High School ended an era in February when school and students started the final portion of their move to the new building just a couple hundred yards away from the old. “We are excited, very excited and anxious to get over here and get started,” Miami Trace High School Principal Rob Enochs said. “We brought all the students over here this afternoon with the intent to run through a simulated bell schedule. The students have all been here before on a tour and received an orientation.” The simulated bell schedule gave the students a chance to see the patterns of their classrooms, use their lockers and experience all of the changes coming with the new building. Enochs said the idea was that when they walk into the new building on Feb. 20, they are as prepared as they can be. Enochs even said the school had a neat evacuation drill and gathered all of the students for a drone photo in front of the old high school.
A Columbus woman was killed in a single-vehicle traffic crash in March in the 12000 block of US 62 NE in Madison Township. Just before 11 p.m., a 2008 Nissan Altima, driven by Shyla R. Nichols, 39, was heading southbound on U.S. 62 when it went across the center-line into the northbound lane of travel, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. The vehicle continued off the left side of the roadway and into the ditch before striking a mailbox and crashing into a tree.
In March, the day his trial was scheduled to begin, a 58-year-old Jeffersonville man accused of sexually abusing a child had his case dismissed. in 2018, Jeffery A. Taylor was indicted by a Fayette County grand jury on three counts of rape, three counts of sexual battery, and five counts of gross sexual imposition. It was specified in each count that the alleged female victim was under the age of 13. All charges were dismissed without prejudice based upon the request of the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office. “As we prepared for the trial, we met with the victim several times to discuss the case,” Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade said on Friday. “These discussions led us to believe that we no longer had a reasonable likelihood of conviction at trial.”
In the case of a neglected Great Dane in March, a 28-year-old Bloomingburg woman was sentenced to jail time and was ordered to not own any animals for five years. Brittany R. Scott pleaded guilty to a charge of prohibitions concerning companion animals at a pre-trial hearing in Washington C.H. Municipal Court. In addition to her not being able to own an animal for five years, Scott was fined $750 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. According to the Fayette Regional Humane Society (FRHS), $600 of that fine and the 90-day jail sentence was suspended, provided that Scott doesn’t have any similar offenses for five years.
The City of Washington Court House recognized the American Legion Post 25 in March for its 100 years of service to veterans. In a proclamation signed by City Manager Joe Denen, the city outlined a brief history of the post, including the naming of the post after Paul H. Hughey. With the March celebration, the city felt it was the right time to commemorate the post’s history of and efforts toward helping veterans.
Also in March the Miami Trace Local Schools Board of Education approved a recommendation from superintendent David Lewis that allowed the district to move forward on a summer 2019 stadium project. According to the meeting agenda, Lewis recommended the approval of a professional services contract proposal with SHP Leading Design — a firm that has designed a majority of the Miami Trace Local Schools campus — for a stadium project to be completed over the summer.
This is the first part in a series of four, covering January through March, that reflects on top stories from 2019 that ran in the Record-Herald. Stay with the Record-Herald for more in the Tuesday, Dec. 31 edition of the paper.