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2013 WHAT MADE THE NEWS?

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From ice storms to deadly tornadoes, 2013 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

• Ernest William Singleton, former owner of Grant County Wellness Center, a Dry Ridge pain clinic, is indicted in federal court with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and conspiracy to launder funds.
• Former Grant County magistrate Brian Linder, R-Dry Ridge, is sworn in as the state representative for the 61st District House of Representatives. Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, is also sworn in for another term and is named Senate Majority Floor Leader.
• Flu bug hits Grant County as more than triple the numbers of cases hit the Northern Kentucky area than in 2012. The flu season ended with the highest-ever number of flu cases.
• Police arrest Leslie D. Collins of Crittenden after he allegedly attempts to rob Total Care Pharmacy in Crittenden.
• The Grant County-Williamstown Coaches Vs. Cancer basketball games raise $2,652 for the Grant County Relay For Life. Williamstown Superintendent Sally Skinner creamed Grant County Superintendent Ron Livingood with a purple pie to close the event.
• A Grant County Sheriff’s vehicle receives damage after Deputy Mike Wright uses the cruiser’s bumper to stop a fleeing suspect.
• Police arrest a Corinth couple, Justin Marshall and Rachel Collins, on charges related to possession of drugs and manufacturing drugs after finding the suspects inside a home with methamphetamine and heroin and ingredients to make meth.
• Workers begin cutting down trees and clearing land in the area where the Ark Encounter is set to be built in Williamstown.
 

FEBRUARY

• Grant County Sheriff Chuck Dills says he will not enforce any mandates, regulations or rules restricting firearms that he feels violates a citizen’s constitutional and Second Amendment rights.
• Williamstown Police investigate counterfeit $10 and $20 bills that surface at convenience stores and gas stations.
• Police charge two Dry Ridge men, James Cook and James Fretto, on drug charges. Cook, who was charged with manufacturing meth, was babysitting a 9-year-old child when police discovered an active meth lab in the home.
• Williamstown resident Rick Willoby, a lieutenant with the Lexington Police Department, provides security during President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
• Earl Hampton, minister of the Vineyard of Grant County, begins 200-mile walk from Prestonburg to Frankfort culminating with I Love Mountains Day to raise awareness for the destruction caused by mountaintop removal for mining coal.
• Gov. Steve Beshear appoints Wanda Crupper Hammons to fill the vacant magisterial seat on the Grant County Fiscal Court left after Brian Linder was elected state representative. Hammons lost to Linder in the state representative race.
• National College in Florence honors fallen soldier Daniel Wallace, a 2001 Grant County High School graduate, with a framed memorial for their former student.
• Police arrest a Grant County couple, Debbie and Donald McDaniel, who were on the Kentucky State Police’s Most Wanted. Donald McDaniel is charged with six counts of sexual abuse and three counts of criminal abuse. Debbie McDaniel faces three counts of criminal abuse.
• Dry Ridge resident Joel Griffith serves on a 17-member Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review panel created by Gov. Steve Beshear.
• Grant County Sheriff’s deputy uses taser to subdue a Crittenden man after he pours gasoline on himself and threatens to light himself on fire.
 

MARCH

• Grant County residents remember 2012 tornado as one-year anniversary hits.
• The Grant County Board of Adjustments denies a conditional use permit allowing a property on Dry Ridge-Mt. Zion Road to be used as a venue for weddings and other functions in an agricultural zone.
• Police arrest Grant County residents Kari Ellis and Jarrod Michael on charges of trafficking in a controlled substance and being a persistent felony offender as part of a drug round-up in Pendleton County.
• Blaze guts a Dry Ridge home on Greenville Road as fire fighters from five departments battled high winds.
• Former Dry Ridge resident Kyle Vallandingham dies after being struck by a train about a mile south of Crittenden.
• Parole board orders Keith Bramblett, who was jailed for admitting to the murder of Lawanda Sue Raines in 1989 and hiding her body near the Grant/Owen County line, to remain in prison. He will not be eligible for parole until March 2023.
• Fires destroy several homes in Crittenden on Lebanon Road, Oakwood Drive and Gouge Drive.
• Chess clubs at Crittenden-Mt. Zion and Dry Ridge elementary schools and Grant County Middle School prepare for national tournament.

APRIL

• Secret shopper scam bilks $10,000 from Dry Ridge woman.
• The City of Dry Ridge changes utility bill due dated to 15th of the month instead of the last business day of the month.
• Funding cuts from the federal government sequester force Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission’s Grant County Neighborhood Center to close on Fridays.
• Williamstown Independent Board Education renews Superintendent Sally Skinner’s contract for four years.
• Kim Nagle and her family dedicate new home built by Habitat for Humanity after her previous Dry Ridge residence was destroyed by the March 2012 tornado.
• Grant County Middle School student Bree Holt dies after fighting cancerous tumor.

MAY

• Grant County Chamber of Commerce announces annual awards, including Grant Countian of the Year, Darrell Link, Volunteer of the Year, Diana Morgan, Educator of the Year, Donna Jones, Excellence in Business, Justin Baker and Community Service Award, Bank of Kentucky.
• U.S. News ranks Williamstown High School as the 11th best high school in Kentucky.
• Grant County Career and Technical Center at Grant County High School wins PEAK (Public Education Achieves in Kentucky) award from the Kentucky School Boards Association.
• Williamstown High School begins search for new principal after Dave Johnstone announces his retirement at the end of the school year.
• The Northern Kentucky Health Department is one of only 11 to receive recognition as a high-performing health department from the Public Health Accreditation Board.
• Grant County recognizes National Day of Prayer
• City of Williamstown hosts annual Derby Day Fest.
• Preschool partnership between Grant County and Williamstown Independent school districts comes to an end after 24 years.
• Mason-Corinth Elementary Principal Lisa Hollandsworth resigns her position and becomes teacher at Sherman Elementary.
• Lindsay Duke, an American history teacher at Grant County High School, honored as an Outstanding Civic Education Leader in Kentucky by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
• Jack Masters of Dry Ridge dies when his vehicle was struck by a SUV on Crittenden-Mt. Zion Road.
• Seniors at Grant County and Williamstown high schools graduate.


JUNE

• Grant County High School graduate Michaela Briede is murdered in an apparent home invasion at her Ft. Mitchell apartment. No arrests have been made.
• Guidance counselor Brandy Feagan chosen as next principal at Williamstown High School.
• Thirty-six teams raise more than $80,000 for cancer research at annual Relay For Life at Grant County Park.
• Williamstown Independent Schools and Sherman Elementary honored for energy saving practices with an Energy Star by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence.
• Brandon Barnhill of Crittenden pleads guilty to manslaughter in the death of his girlfriend’s 13-month-old daughter. Barnhill initially was found guilty of wanton murder in 2010 and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years. However, the Kentucky Supreme Court granted a new trial.
• Michael Ramey of Williamstown dies after a dislodged wheel from another vehicle hit the hood and windshield of his vehicle while driving on I-75 in Boone County.
• A grand jury indicts former Grant County Detention Center deputy jailer Sherenee Slone and inmate Eric Wayne Hamilton on charges of third-degree sodomy.
• Police arrest former jail deputy James Stephens for allegedly stealing guns owned by two jail employees.
• Dry Ridge business Java Jo’z closes it doors after six and a half years.

JULY

• Standoff in Williamstown ends when man shoots himself inside his home.
• Fires dues generate more than $180,000 during its first year after being passed by Grant County Fiscal Court.
• Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall arrives in Williamstown for six-day visit.
• Dry Ridge City Council votes down a .5-percent payroll tax increase after protests by local businesses.
• Williamstown High School social studies teacher Paradise Forbes is one of 21 educators chosen as part of Hope Street Group’s inaugural cohort of Kentucky Teacher Fellows.
• Leeanne Adkins chosen as new principal at Mason-Corinth Elementary
• Police arrest a Corinth mother and daughter, Melissa Courtney and Katelyn Courtney, for allegedly breaking into the Corinth Post Office and taking mail and packages.
• Grant County Sheriff Deputy Andy Reeves, who was off duty at the time, nabs Erin Arrington after she allegedly snatches a purse at the Dry Ridge Wal-Mart.
• Annual Grant County Fair opens at the Northern Kentucky Fairgrounds in Williamstown.

AUGUST

• Developers behind a proposed Bluegrass Pipeline project hold an informational open house in Williamstown to answer questions as several protest pipeline.
• Police arrest James Schmiade of Williamstown after he allegedly fired a weapon while arguing with his daughter.
• Grant County Sheriff Deputy Tony Stigers injures his shoulder and knee after his cruiser was struck by a vehicle during a pursuit.
• Williamstown Band of Spirit director Mike Pickrell leaves program to go to Texas high school. School hires Chris Hedges as replacement.
• Grease fire destroys mobile home in Crittenden.
• Paddlefish to be stocked, harvested for meat, caviar at Lake Williamstown.
• City of Williamstown hosts third annual Paddle Williamstown.
• Students across Grant County return to the classroom for the 2013-14 school year.
• Grant County Detention Center inmate Lonzie Maggard-Owen sues the jail after she alleges she was pepper sprayed while put in a restraint chair during booking.
• WHS matches last year’s ACT score while GCHS dips slightly.
• Alleged puppy mill busted at mobile home residence near Corinth.

SEPTEMBER

• The Grant County Career Advancement Center, including Grant County Adult Education and the Brighton Center-Northern Kentucky One Stop, opens on Taft Highway in Dry Ridge.
• Grant County is unscathed after redistricting battle, keeps Rep. Brian Linder and Sen. Damon Thayer as legislators.
• Police arrest 85-year-old Joan Mead with 11 counts of animal cruelty two weeks after dogs were rescued from deplorable conditions at her Grant County property.
• Kentucky Career Center sponsored Grant County Career Expo.
• Grant County Fiscal Court hold annual Senior Bash at Grant County Park.
• Downtown Williamstown hosts Marigold Day festival.
• Friends of Sherman Tavern receive the Preservation Project Award.
• Grant County Band Director Dave Owens resigns after arrest on sexual abuse charges related to former GCHS student. Owens now faces additional charges in Boone and Kenton counties.
• Dr. Tim Dailey hired as GCHS Band director after Owens’ resignation.
• Champions for a Drug Free Grant County organize town hall meeting focusing on heroin epidemic.
• Grant County Library hosts inaugural health fair.

OCTOBER

• Grant County Board of Education votes to approve a 4-percent tax rate increase.
• Alzheimer’s Association hosts annual walk in Grant County.
• Old barn at Hogan’s Mill to transform into “The Josephina” event venue.
• Explosion rocks Dry Ridge apartment when three men attempt to make “hash oil” in the apartment.
• Friends rally to support Dry Ridge family as Luke Landrum, local pastor’s son, has heart transplant.
• Grant County, Williamstown Independent school districts in no rush to raise the compulsory attendance age after state law passed.
• GCHS, WHS bands earn third place finishes at state competition.
• Williamstown High School senior Skyler Faulkner smiles through Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis, cancer fight.
• GCHS JROTC marches off to national competition.

NOVEMBER

• Gov. Steve Beshear celebrates completion of the Barnes Road widening at ceremony at the Grant County Public Library.
• Crittenden resident Rani Peffer becomes Jeopardy champion.
• Grant County honors veterans during several services.
• Dry Ridge City Council approves a .75 payroll tax increase.
• The Kentucky Recreation and Park Society recognizes several locals, including Grant County Youth Baseball, Grant County Youth Soccer, Tabatha Clemons and Kat Disney.
• CMZ Elementary participate in season-ending Girls on the Run event.
• Williamstown resident Ray Spillman strike by a vehicle and killed while walking on Helton Road.

DECEMBER

• City of Williamstown hosts annual Santa’s Wonderland event.
• Officers play Santa in annual Shop With a Cop program.
• County Christmas Party provides presents for children.
• Williamstown native W. Rodney McMullen named CEO of Kroger.
• The Blue Star Mothers Northern Kentucky Chapter participate in the Wreaths Across America project at the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North in Williamstown.