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2012 WHAT MADE THE NEWS?

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From ice storms to deadly tornadoes, 2012 was an eventful one in Grant County. Many news stories graced the front page of the Grant County News that will have a lasting effect on the community. This is a sample of the stories from the year.

 

January

• Four accidents leave 75 vehicles damaged on Interstate 75 after snow and ice fell on Grant County.

• Three fires in less than a month leaves two families homeless and a summer home in ruins. A two-story log home just off Day Road, a two-story home in Mason and a home on Napolean-Zion Station Road were destroyed in the unrelated blazes.

• The Fox television series “The Real Winning Edge” highlights Felicity Spicer’s fight against thyroid cancer.

• Seven Food Lion stores in Kentucky, including one in Dry Ridge, closes its doors.

• The Grant County High School Career and Technology Center makes plans to offer community classes in the new facility.

• Rodger Bingham, affectionately known as “Kentucky Joe” on the reality show “Survivor,” is fired from his public relations job with the state by new Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer.

• Christopher Dennis Jr., of Corinth pleads guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the 2010 shooting death of Ruben Eppele in Owen County.
• In the annual Coaches vs. Cancer battle, WHS and GCHS fans together raised more than $4,100 in the fight against cancer.

February
• A clerk at Subway in Dry Ridge chases down and tackles a suspect who took money from the store’s register.
• Grant County News staff win nine Kentucky Press Association awards at annual competition.
• Dry Ridge Fire Department recognizes local agencies, including St. Elizabeth-Grant County, Williamstown Fire Department and Kentucky State Police dispatchers, for their help during a 78-vehicle pileup on Interstate-75.
• Police nab two suspects, Chris Wilson of Crittenden and Christopher Manning of Dry Ridge, in connection with a home invasion at Hy-Ridge Mobile Home Park in Dry Ridge.
• The Grant County Fire Chiefs’ Association proposes a new emergency services taxing district to the Grant County Fiscal Court to help with funding for fire departments and ambulance services.
• Lamar and Eileen Fowler of Grant County sue the Grant County Wellness Center and its owner after they were allegedly fired for expressing concerns about how the pain clinic operated.
• Long-time State Rep. Royce Adams, D-Dry Ridge, announces he will pull out of his re-election bid and retire at the end of the year, citing health issues.
• Jason Stephens, a part-time deputy jailer at the Grant County Detention Center, is indicted on charges of bribery of a public servant and official misconduct.
Two inmates, Joshua Sexton and Jason Angel, also were indicted for bribery of a public servant and being persistent felony offenders.
• A fire destroys a mobile home on Taylor Lane in Dry Ridge.
• Ark Encounter LLC closes on final piece of property for upcoming tourist project. With funding efforts impacted by sluggish economy, project will be built in phases.
• A Cynthiana fire claims the lives of Rachel and Jacquline Chesnut, daughters of GCMS teacher Shelly Chesnut.
• Williamstown City Council votes 3-2 to not to approve a text amendment that would allow the development of a truck stop in a highway development commercial zone.

March
• The Kentucky Supreme Court grants a new trial for Brandon Barnhill of Crittenden in the 2009 death of his girlfriend’s 13-month-old daughter.
• Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, “disappointed” after expanded gaming bill he co-sponsors with Gov. Steve Beshear is defeated 21-16 in the Senate.
• Gov. Steve Beshear appoints Jim Hendy to the Dry Ridge City Council to fill the unexpired term of Jamie Webster, who resigned in Oct. 2011.
• Four men arrested in connection with three separate incidents of copper and metal thefts in Grant County.
• A F3 tornado slams into Crittenden with 123 mile-per-hour winds damaging many homes, especially those in the Harvesters Subdivision. Tornadoes, which also struck other parts of Northern Kentucky and the state hard, also left several dead.
• The Mason Post Office closes its doors, ending Jewel Bruce’s 43-year career as postmaster.
• Grant County declared a disaster area after tornado as federal aid becomes available to victims. Criitenden Baptist becomes relief center.
• Break-in occurs at Marathon Station in Williamstown, incident may be related to break-ins at Peg’s Pit Stop in Corinth and the Jonesville Country Store.

April
• Williamstown Independent Schools receives full accreditation by AdvancEd.
• The City of Williamstown holds a community meeting to discuss a proposed master plan to shape the city’s development, including a revitalized downtown, beautification and tourism development.
• Fire damages home of Laura Webster of Corinth.
• The Grant County Chamber of Commerce announces their annual award winners, including Rick Skinner (Grant Countian of the Year,) Charlie Conley (Volunteer of the Year,) Sally Skinner (Excellence in Education,) Donnie Sechrest (Excellence in Business) and Jamie Baker-Nantz (Community Service.)

May
• Walter Hyden of Williamstown dies after his pickup truck wrecks in Cordova Road.
• Alexandra Young and Jacob Ewing, both Grant County High School students, compete in national speech, dram competition in California.
• James Simons of Corinth, along with two Owen County men, are arrested in connection with the death of a Frankfort man found along Interstate-64 in Franklin County.
• The Grant County Fiscal Court approves a $25 fire dues to be added to the tax bills of county residents outside of Dry Ridge and Williamstown. Residents can opt-out of the dues and receive a refund after they have paid their tax bill.
• The City of Williamstown celebrates the Kentucky Derby with the annual Derby Day festivities.
• Stretch of U.S. 25- Dry Ridge Bypass named for SFC James Bishop, a fallen soldier from Williamstown who died in 2006 while serving in Iraq.
• Sherman Elementary guidance counselor Krista Stanley named Kentucky Counselor of the Year.
• The City of Williamstown moves forward on construction of a new $16.6 million water plant.
• A Grant County Little League field house/concession stand at the Bobby Gibson Memorial Filed at Grant County Park in Crittenden is destroyed in a suspected arson.
• Grant County and Williamstown High School students celebrate with graduation ceremonies.
• A fire destroys Allen Country Store in Corinth.
• A small group of KKK members gather “peacefully” near McDonald’s in Crittenden.
• Primary election winners include Bill Adkins and Thomas Massie for U.S. representative, Wanda Crupper Hammons and Brian Linder for state representative and Damon Thayer for state senator.
• Grant County honors veterans with a Memorial Day ceremony at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Williamstown.

June
• The Grant County Fiscal County passes a $10.4 million budget for 2012-13, down from $11 million the previous year.
• The City of Dry Ridge passes budget as concerns grow of reserves funds evaporating.
• The Grant County School Board adopts a policy to make all campuses and property tobacco-free.
• The 2012 Grant County Relay for Life event at Grant County Park in Crittenden raises more than $73,000 in the battle against cancer.
• Crittenden-Mt. Zion Elementary Chess Club competes in national tournament in Nashville.
• Williamstown High School named the 18th best high school in the state by U.S. News.
• Grant County Detention Center Chief Deputy Dennis Bailey is placed on administrative leave after an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct. Bailey was later cleared of the allegations, but fired by Jailer Terry Peeples.
• Sarah Schoenman, 30, of Williamstown dies in an automobile accident in Walton.
• A proposed aquatic center project between the City of Williamstown and Williamstown Schools is put on hold after city passes budget with “just the bare necessities.”

July
• Chelsea Renee Wright Volker, 18, of Dry Ridge dies in a single vehicle crash on U.S. 25 in Williamstown.
• An undercover sting nets five drug arrest at Dana Corporation in Dry Ridge.
• The City of Crittenden passes its annual budget without cuts, leaving $2.12 million in reserve funds.
• Annual Grant County Fair opens week of events, gate prices increases to $10.
• Leonel Lopez-Limon, an undocumented alien living in Dry Ridge, was indicted for illegally entering the U.S. for a second time.
• Construction continues on a $3.8 million major realignment and widening of Barnes Road in Williamstown.
• The City of Corinth passes annual budget of $63,500.
• A state audit finds accounting records for the canteen fund at the Grant County Detention Center were “not accurate and complete.” Jailer Terry Peeples vows changes as canteen closes.
• John Little of Dry Ridge dies in Gallatin County when the ambulance he was being transported in was hit head on by a SUV.

August
• Kentucky State Police arrest 17 on drugs charges.
• Karri Edmondson named 2012 Miss Grant County while Morgan McClue chosen as Miss Grant County Fair.
• Williamstown Lake hosts second annual Paddle Williamstown event.
• Grant County, Williamstown students return to class for 2012-13 school year.
• Williamstown resident Judy Wiggington helps organize first U.S. 25 yard sale.
• Volunteers gather across Grant County to participate in Impact Kentucky, an event to help tornado victims.
• Karen Glore resigns from the Dry Ridge City Council.
• Grant County High School improves while Williamstown High School ranks high in ACT results.
• Joyce Doyle leaves post as Grant County 4-H agent to take same position in Carroll County.

September
• Two Dry Ridge men were charged with robbery while a third suspect from Richmond was killed after an alleged break-in of a Verona man’s home.
• Members of the Kentucky National Guard Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 138th Artillery, including several from Grant County, were deployed to Africa to provide security to a U.S. naval base.
• Jailer Terry Peeples is sued for sexual harassment and a hostile work environment by former female employee Lee Ballard of Dry Ridge.
• Carisa Hughett fills seat of Karen Glore on Dry Ridge City Council after her resignation.
• Greg Crockett assumes the role of captain at Kentucky State Police Post 6 in Dry Ridge.
• The City of Williamstown celebrates Marigold Day with festival, pageants and parade.
• Deputy Jailer William McCarthy files a lawsuit against Jailer Terry Peeples claiming he was retaliated against after bringing allegations of corruption and wrongdoing at the jail to Peeples.
• Margaret Webster of Dry Ridge dies in a single-vehicle accident on Helton Street in Williamstown.
• A Crittenden couple files a lawsuit against a public adjuster alleging fraud and negligent misrepresentation after their home was damaged by the March 2 tornado.

October
• Developers for Love’s Travel Center return to Williamstown City Council to again ask for zone change.
• First-ever Cash Mob organizes in Grant County to help spur local economy.
• Williamstown and Dry Ridge Post Offices will not merge as fate of Jonesville Post Office remains undecided.
• Lamar Fowler to lead Grant County 4-H program after Joyce Doyle leaves for Carroll County.
• Jim Mackey builds Titanic-sized hayride for a haunted attraction at Creepy Ridge in quest to break Guinness Book of World Records.
• Clarence Fagan II of Dry Ridge lands in jail after making a prank 911 call.
• Suspected arson destroys historic Dry Ridge Consolidated Colored School at Grant County Park in Crittenden.
• State representative candidates Wanda Crupper Hammons and Brian Linder square off over NRA endorsements at the Meet the Candidates forum sponsored by the Grant County News and Grant County Chamber of Commerce.
• Williamstown City Council votes in favor of presenting a text amendment to the Grant County Planning Commission to allow a truck stop in a highway commercial zone after Mayor Rick Skinner break a 3-3 tie vote.
• Habitat for Humanity kicks off construction project to build Dry Ridge family a home after March tornado.

November
• Police nab a Bourbon County man after an alleged carjacking and armed robbery on Barnes Road in Williamstown.
• Craig Ruber, 40, of Dry Ridge, dies in a tractor accident on a farm he owned in Pendleton County.
• The Grant County High School Band wins runner-up honors at the state championship while WHS Band of Spirit finishes fourth.
• Two additional lawsuits filed against Jailer Terry Peeples by former employees, including former Chief Deputy Dennis Bailey.
• Winners in the 2012 general election include Thomas Massie (U.S. representative,) Damon Thayer (state senator,) Brian Linder (state representative,) Tina Beach Melton (county clerk,) Deborah Rogers (Grant County Board of Education,) Brian Barkley, Clara Mulberry Brown, Donna Duley, Martha Hicks, Larry Griffin and James Purcell (Crittenden City Council,) Scott Bates, Sara Cummins, Kenny Edmondson, Jim Hendy, Carisa Hughett and Fred Money (Dry Ridge City Council) and Kim Crupper, Eddie Gabbert, Troy Gutman, Jacqalynn Riley, Liz Wagoner and Charles Ed Wilson (Williamstown City Council.)
• New scores from the Unbridled Learning accountability model reveal mixed results as local school prepare to address weaknesses.
• Veterans honored for their service at local schools and at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Williamstown.
• Corinth City Commission approves sale of city building to the Corinth Water District.
• Trish Moneyhon named new postmaster for Dry Ridge.
• The Grant County Fiscal Court hears pros and cons of a proposed emergency services taxing district during a public forum.

December
• The City of Williamstown celebrates Christmas with annual Santa’s Wonderland events.
• The Grant County Fiscal Court votes 3-1 against a proposed emergency services taxing district.
• A Union man dies after being hit by a vehicle while walking along Ky. 36.
• Popular Grant County High School teacher Tom Pitts dies following a stroke.