Mount Vernon City Council’s approval for the development of Liberty Crossing on Newark Road. Mayor Starr shares his excitement for what this means for the future growth of Mount Vernon.
Updates on construction and street work projects
Important steps to take when reporting potholes throughout the city – report a pothole by calling the MV Street Department, (740) 393-9501
Efforts to ask the state to restore the Local Government Fund, and the City’s plans if those funds are granted back to the city
Investigation Update on the recent vandalism at Mound View Cemetery and the inclusive playground at Memorial Park
Update on the Mount Vernon Police Department,which includes some officers receiving national recognition
Important warning for residents involving a letter in the mail about an energy aggregation project
Exciting news for Hiawatha Water Park as the summer approaches
Goals for the month of April
Mayor Matt Starr gives us ways to be in prayer for him and his team as April approaches
Residents can stay connected to the City of Mount Vernon on their brand-new YouTube page, The City of Mount Vernon. Public city meetings will be will be livestreamed and archived on this page. Citizens can still check the City’s website and Facebook.
This week’s Meet the Staff Monday on WNZR features junior, Morgan Mills.
Morgan is from Granville. Her major is Communication and Media (Digital Media).
Morgan shares what brought her to MVNU and how she found her way to WNZR.
She shares some favorites including her favorite memory about WNZR’s annual Christmas Party! Morgan loves music from Cain, crab Rangoon and fried rice, and the new movie Jesus Revolution. We also learn that Morgan’s favorite bible story is the Tower of Babel.
You can also learn more about Morgan with WNZR’s Rapid Fire.
You can hear Morgan on WNZR on Mondays and Thursdays from 2pm – 3pm.
The MVNU Women’s Auxiliary Spring Conference is back! Pam Tebow will be the guest speaker. WNZR’s Marcy Rinehart and Catherine Haws had the chance to talk with Pam about her family, ministry, and her role as an author and speaker.
Pam talks about how God opened doors to share her story of choosing life for her famous son, Tim. She also talks about her latest book, Hope for Women’s Heart, and the special message she has to share with women.
WNZR’s Marcy Rinehart talked with Brittany Coon, Public Outreach Coordinator with Knox County Developmental Disabilities. Click HERE to hear the entire conversation.
March is Developmental Disabilities Month. Brittany shared some facts and history about this special month. She also shared about the special events happening with Knox County Developmental Disabilities this month.
They have a fun partnership event with Knox County Special Olympics and a local Cub Scout troop on March 23rd! They are going to work together to put on a basketball skills competition in Bladensburg!
Every year, Knox County DD hosts a coloring and essay contest for all the children in public schools across Knox County. This year they had 1,132 participants from 111 different classrooms, representing 12 different elementary schools in Knox County. The winners will be announced soon and will be on display around the county at the following locations:
MVNU Education Department
Park National Bank- Fredericktown Branch
Park National Bank- Centerburg Branch
Park National Bank- Danville
Killbuck Savings Bank- Danville
Knox Board of DD
Brittany also shared details about the Developmental Disabilities Month Luncheon that happened on Wednesday, 3/8.
A children’s book called “We Move Together” by Kelly Fritsch, and Anne McGuire was introduced, and 15 copies were put up for bid in a live auction. It is a bold and colorful exploration of all the ways that people navigate through the spaces around them and a celebration of the relationships we build along the way.
They introduced a Coffee Cart that is just starting out here in Knox County. It will be run by people with disabilities so they can learn job skills to hopefully help them get a job in the community one day.
A few essay submissions from the coloring and essay contest were shared.
They had a Panel of different community members tell us about how they are working to make Knox County as inclusive as they can.
Chief Scott Mast and Brad Porter from the Fredericktown Community Fire District
Noelle Jordan from the Brown Family Environmental Center
Bill Hanna, the Vice President of Ver-Mac
Jocelyn Gilardi, a local advocate that works with the Mayor of Mount Vernon on the strategic planning steering committee
Individual Spotlight Award – This Award recognizes a person with a developmental disability who has overcome adversity to achieve or go beyond their goal. This year they are excited to give out two Individual Spotlight Awards.
The first winner is Diane Adkins. She is a kind, warm and funny person who works hard. She has been working at McDonald’s for 22 years in the dish area where she washes and puts away all kitchenware that comes her way. She takes her work very seriously and enjoys laughing and joking with her co-workers.
Our Second Individual Spotlight Award winner is Brad Porter. He is known to be a great ambassador, a kind soul, and a bright spot in everyone’s day. He has worked at Pioneer Food Services at MVNU since September 2009 dutifully washing dishes, cleaning the cafeteria, and bringing a bit of joy to everyone he meets. He loves to be around town in the village of Fredericktown, talking to anyone who will enjoy his company. He loves going to the Homestead Restaurant and during his many visits there, he struck up a great relationship with Chief Scott Mast of the Fredericktown Community Fire District. During one of their meals together, Mast thought that he would love for Brad to be a part of the Fire Family, so he arranged for Brad to become an Honorary Firefighter for the village. Since swearing in, Brad has participated in meetings, training, helped wash the trucks and has been a community ambassador for the firehouse.
Community Partner Winner – This Award recognizes an individual, family member, staff person, volunteer or organization that has worked diligently to create partnerships and alliances within Knox County. This organization helps with creating an inclusive culture and environment for everyone to live, work and grow.
The Community Partner Award for 2023 goes to HopeNow Furniture Bank of Knox County. They have supported many individuals we support in being able to furnish their homes. They have prioritized people supported by us, so they have the needed items in a timely manner. The volunteers are compassionate, they take time to walk people through their warehouse and allow them the opportunity to choose their own items. Knox County is fortunate to have HopeNow Furniture Bank as a wonderful resource in our community.
Employer of the Year – This Award recognizes a community employer who employs people with a developmental disability. This employer always goes above and beyond the expectation to help the employee not only be successful in the workplace but thrive.
Licking/Knox Goodwill Industries is open, inclusive, and creative. They have been a very supportive employer of people with disabilities. The management team has gone through some changes but has never failed to provide exceptional support for all the people they employ. They cultivate an environment of learning and growth, open communication, safety, security, and they embody their mission of employing and supporting people with disabilities. They have nurtured individuals through job changes and process improvements while inspiring them to work together to achieve both individual and team-focused goals.
Dedication Award – This Award recognizes a person, direct care staff, or group of people who are extraordinary in giving their time to help others who have a developmental disability. They are selfless leaders and are always working towards promoting independence and making positive changes. The recipients of this award will showcase a passion for making advances in individual’s lives. This year they have two winners for this category.
The first winner is Cherish Bell. She has been a staple at New Hope Industries for 16 years. She has been a direct support professional, habilitation specialist, and is now the HPC Coordinator. She and her staff worked tirelessly during COVID to ensure everyone’s needs were met. She is a good leader and advocate for her staff and continues to serve as a good resource for all New Hope Industries employees. She attends meetings for individuals, sits on the MVDC Citizens Advisory Council and NHI’s Safety Council. Cherish Bell is always willing to lend a hand to others even when her plate is full, and she does this without any hesitation. Congratulations Cherish Bell!
The Second Dedication Award winner is Tassi Rine from A Step-Up Caregiver Homes. She sits on the Knox County Task Force for Older Adults and assists with the Farmers Markets. She includes the people she supports in ensuring the tokens are sanitized, bagged, labeled and are ready to be handed out at the next farmer’s market. These markets help over 70 older adults in Knox County have access to healthy foods. In addition to helping the Farmer’s Market thrive, she also is an asset to ensuring the Farm is a successful day program for adults with disabilities. She is an amazing advocate for those she supports and gives them great, real-life advice on how to handle things. Tassi spends a lot of time behind the scenes to ensure the people she supports are successful, that the greenhouse is well taken care of and the animals at the farm are healthy. Tassi Rine with A Step-Up Caregiver Homes is our second Dedication Award winner.
Local Hero Award – The Local Hero Award recognizes someone from the community whose basic nature is to give without expecting anything in return. This person is a visionary; they promote healthy ideas, offer support and guidance to create improvements in the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
The Local Hero Award Winner for 2023 is the Fredericktown Community Fire District Station 410. They have helped Brad Porter, an adult in our program fulfil his dream of becoming a firefighter. This past summer they held a special swearing-in ceremony for him to be sworn in as an honorary firefighter. He has his own uniform, locker, has participated in all the training sessions and parties and has become an integral part of their programming. The Fredericktown Community Fire District Station 410 is doing wonderful things for the village of Fredericktown and Brad Porter. Congratulations to the Fredericktown Community Fire District Station 410.
Brittany also shared the main goals for 2023 for her team at Knox County Developmental Disabilities:
They are working on putting together an online education series for families that focuses on topics like school, employment, transitioning to adulthood – that kind of thing
They are working on learning about different opportunities for youth leadership to establish realistic avenues for youth with disabilities to fully participate in those options
They would like to create more sensory inclusive opportunities right here in Knox County like at the movies, SPI Spot, the YMCA, and maybe even at our local festivals
They are developing a local Ohio SIBS to increase support offered to siblings of children with disabilities.
They are working with MVNU to develop some programming for those with disabilities to participate academically and socially in a college experience.
There is a 2023 Plan that you can access at their website www.knoxdd.com
The office is open Monday through Friday 8:00am – 4:00pm. You can reach them at 740-397-4656 Their website is www.knoxdd.com
WNZR was honored to chat with several cast members about their experience in this fantastic show. The actors talked about their characters and how they prepared to play these roles. They talked about the amazing process of costumes and makeup and the transformation that happens with each of their characters. They also shared their favorite songs and memories.
“Oh, the thinks you can think” when Dr. Seuss’ best-loved characters collide and cavort in an unforgettable musical caper! Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat and all of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters spring to life onstage in Seussical JR., a fantastical musical extravaganza.
Transporting audiences from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus, the Cat in the Hat narrates the story of Horton the Elephant, who discovers a speck of dust containing tiny people called the Whos. Horton must protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, and he must also guard an abandoned egg that’s been left in his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant!
New Directions of Knox County hosted their second annual EmpowHER event on March 3rd to honor Knox County’s finest women. We spoke to Lori Jones-Perkins, Executive Director of New Directions about the importance of this event and get an update on the New Directions organization. Lori’s goal for this event is to have women GROW! G = Gentle, being gentle on yourself R = Roots, appreciate where you come from O = Open, be open to change W = Whole-hearted and wholehearted living
She also shared some exciting transition news for New Directions. They are moving! Click HERE to hear from Lori.
We also talked to the winners recognized at the EmpowHER event.
Click HERE to hear from each winner! We are honored to share their accomplishments with you!
Laney Wenger is a senior at Fredericktown High School. She is the winner of a Girl Power Scholarship of $2,500! She submitted an essay based on the quote – “Women like you pave the way for women like me and for that I am grateful.” She wrote about her connection to dancing and how she is working at instilling the passion for dance in younger girls.
Gwyneth Sands is a senior at Centerburg High School but attends the Knox County Career Center. She is the winner of a Girl Power Scholarship of $2,500! She submitted an essay that shared the story of the struggles she had in her childhood. She is studying early childhood education with a passion to show love to the next generation. She got involved with ROX – Ruling Our Experiences. The ROX program is supported by Women United and allows local girls to learn confidence and healthy relationship skills with the support of ROX trained facilitators.
Allic Ashcraft is a senior at Mount Vernon High School. She is the winner of a $500 scholarship. She had to write an essay based on a quote. She shared her personal experiences, how they connected to that quote and how the quote affected them. Allic shared that this process was really great self-reflection. The other two winners of a $500 scholarship are Sophie Snively and Chloe George.
Lisa Wilson was the winner of the 2023 Vision Builder Award. She was nominated by her sister, Lori Houck. Lisa shares how she felt when she received this award. Lori shares why she nominated her and what she wants the world to know about Lisa. Vision shapes our future. The recipient of the Vision Builder Award is a woman with less than 10 years of experience in her field who has wasted no time making an impact and breaking down barriers. She emphasizes building honest relationships, values input, has the mindset of a leader, and leads by example with an immense amount of courage. She has valued what she’s learned from her mentors and wants to pay it forward as a mentor to others. She is changing the landscape in which women serve.
Jennifer Grassbaugh was the winner of the 2023 Grit and Grace Award.She was nominated by Rachel Springer. Jennifer shares how she felt when she received this award. Rachel shares why she nominated her and what she wants the world to know about Jennifer. The Grit and Grace Award is given to a single-parent mom who has overcome adversity and demonstrates resilience. She has transformed her life and the lives of her children with dignity and grace. She leads by example. She is a picture of selflessness and courage to all who encounter her.
Tanya Strausbaugh was the winner of the 2023 Heart Award. She was nominated by her sister, Tara Scarazza. Tanya shares how she felt when she received this award. Tara shares why she nominated her and what she wants the world to know about Tanya. The Heart Award is given to a Front-Line worker! This award was born out of COVID19 and the need to acknowledge greater endeavors in support of our humanity with a focus on others over self. This woman has a commitment and passion for service while making an impact and leads with purpose. She has dedicated her life as a successful front-line worker. She has proven her endless dedication to her field.
Kathie Brown was the winner of the 2023 Raising the Bar Award. She was nominated by Elaine Robinson. Kathie shares how she felt when she received this award. Elaine shares why she nominated her and what she wants the world to know about Kathie. The Raising the Bar Award is given to a Woman with 20+ years of experience in their field! The recipient of this award is an extraordinary woman who has manifested a legacy that continues to inspire others. She has dedicated her life to the advancement of those around her and paved the way for the leaders of tomorrow. She is recognized as an ambassador for women through her extraordinary dedication, personal achievements, and service to others through mentorship, philanthropy, and business. This award recognizes a woman who has spent more than 20 years in her field.
Beth Marhefka was the winner of the 2023 EmpowHER Award. She was nominated by Melissa Nowicki and Kathie Brown. Beth shares how she felt when she received this award. Kathie shares why she nominated her and what she wants the world to know about Beth. The EmpowHER Award is given to a Woman of Inspiration! Belief is a powerful engine. This woman believes so strongly in the outcomes she seeks that her beliefs mold her path to get there. The recipient of this award champions for women in her network, workplace, and community. She is a team player and active mentor who paves the road to empowering women in leadership roles. She is a woman of inspiration that is true to herself, and her example is so noteworthy as to inspire others spontaneously. Her passion channels her actions and her voice as she strives to empower the women and girls of Knox County.
On Friday, The United Way of Knox County hosted their Annual Meeting. It was a time of celebration of a successful 2022 Campaign.
WNZR’s Marcy Rinehart spoke with Executive Director, Kelly Brenneman. She shared her thoughts on the 2022 Campaign. The anticipated total for 2022 will be close to $1.1 million dollars! Kelly also talked about her upcoming retirement and shared her heartfelt thanks to the incredibly generous Knox County residents. Click HERE to hear from Kelly.
Marcy also talked with Halle Krajenski, United Way Program Director. The United Way funds support many agencies and organizations in our community. All recipients fall into 3 pillars: Education, Financial Stability and Health. Halle broke down the funds given to each pillar and shared some powerful examples of how United Way dollars are directly impacting families in our community. Click HERE to hear from Halle.
Education: In 2022 United Way invested $136,000 in 7 Education Programs with 6 Partner Agencies
Financial: In 2022 United Way invested $176,300 in 6 Financial Stability Programs with 6 Partner Agencies
Health: In 2022 United Way invested $344,100 in 13 Health Programs
Halle also shared exciting news about Women United. This is an affinity group of the United Way. It is composed of women who are passionate about offering their time, talent, and treasure to improve the loves of others throughout Knox County. Over $120,00 was raised for programs supporting women and children in Knox County was raised at the 2022 Power of the Purse event! Halle shared some exciting news about the Women United Grants including the NEW Champions in the Classroom Grants given out in 2022. You can find out more about Women in United HERE.
Halle also shared an exciting report about another United Way Program – Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. When 2022 wrapped up, Knox County had reached 58% of children receiving FREE books! The program was started by Dolly Parton, to give children reading and literacy skills. Click HERE to find out more and get signed up to receive books.
Halle also shared details about the United Way’s Tax Assistance program and how it helps families. She talks about how the program works and how they’ve saved filers $93,000 in filing fees. Click HERE to find out more about this fantastic program!
To find out more about the United Way of Knox County, to volunteer, to give or to see their 2022 Annual Report – click HERE for a direct link to their website.