2022 was an eventful year in Adams County as many community events resumed after being canceled or postponed during the pandemic. Local citizens also had to withstand supply chain issues, inflation, and high gas prices. Here are some of the top stories of the year that appeared in our print edition and online at InformerPress.com
From all of us at the Informer, Happy New Year. Let’s make 2023 the best yet!
Broadband Expansion in Adams County
In the first part of the year brought good news to the county as state officials awarded millions of dollars in funding for broadband expansion to Adams County. In the announcement, 33 projects were awarded to fund projects in the county, according to Commissioner Barbara Moore. With simple hardware exchanges at endpoints, the project will be able to offer speeds of 10 gigabits symmetrical.
Adams County Airport receiving upgrades
It was announced that the Adams County Airport is receiving upgrades as part of a grant received by the Board of County Commissioners as part of the US Department of Transportation’s grant package. The funding was announced by the Federal Aviation Administration. According to the federal government, the funds are to be used to help make necessary repairs to airports and their critical infrastructure around the country.
In the grant funding announcement, a total of $1.6 million was awarded to the County Commissioners to remove a taxiway, reconstruct part of an existing taxiway, and reconstruct an existing apron at the Alexander Salamon Airport.
High Court declines to hear Gaffin appeal
In the spring, the Supreme Court of Ohio declined to hear the appeal from an Adams County man who was found guilty on three counts of child rape and felonious assault in June 2016.
Gaffin had argued that the Adams County Common Pleas Court violated his right to due process under the Ohio and United States’ Constitution when it dismissed his post-conviction petition without conducting an evidentiary hearing. Gaffin argued that he produced sufficient credible evidence to demonstrate that he was denied his constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel. According to Gaffin, the information contained in affidavits, when considered with the full record, establish a deficiency in his trial counsel’s performance that led to an unjust result at trial. Gaffin argued his legal representation did not call upon or interview witnesses that with their testimony could have led to a different outcome. The entry signed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio read, “Upon consideration of the jurisdictional memoranda filed in this case, the court declines to accept jurisdiction of the appeal.”
Jones wins primary
Winchester area resident Kelly Jones was victorious in the Republican primary over incumbent Commissioner Ty R. Pell. It was one of the closest primary elections in recent history, with Jones besting Pell by 40 votes, 1,594 to 1,554. Jones will take office next week as County Commissioner next week.
County fair honors Adams County’s 225th
It was a hot July day as the annual Adams County Fair kicked off in West Union. The theme of the fair this year honored the 225th Anniversary of the founding of Adams County. Pictured is the celebratory cake float created by the Adams County Fair Board and ridden on by Commissioners Pell, Ward, and Moore.
Local raid makes international news
The Adams County Sheriff’s Office made international news in August, as it was revealed on social media that the home of rapper and singer Afroman was raided by local authorities.
Afroman gave an interview to TMZ stating the sheriff’s department burst into his home with guns, alleging that authorities took a vape pen and CBD. The rapper posted several videos and pictures of the raid and damage to his home, which included a door being knocked down and deputies searching through his clothing.
The Adams County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to multiple media outlets this week that they had executed a search warrant at the home.
According to public records, no charges have been filed against Foreman.
Adams County Board of DD moves offices
The Adams County Board of Developmental Disabilities cut the ribbon on their new office location in late summer. The move came after the Board had to relocate due to renovations taking place at their previous office location at Adams County JFS. The new location is known as the “Old Jail Building” and is located at 116 W. Mulberry Street, on the Courthouse Square. The building was established in 1895 and stayed in operation until 1975. After it wasn’t used for the Sheriff’s Department, the Health Department, County Engineer, and Tax Map Department were located in the building, calling it home for over 30 years.
According to the agency, immediate plans are underway to open The Precinct Cafe, which will be a community employment opportunity for people with disabilities.
Jr. Fair Beef BBQ serves up record numbers
For the third straight year in a row, the Adams County Jr. Fair Beef BBQ held annually each September broke another record. Late Thursday evening, it was announced that 2,220 meals were served at the annual event.
Over the past several years, the numbers continue to grow, with many attributing the explosive growth to the new drive-thru-only option. The drive-thru option was created in 2020 during the pandemic to avoid the spread of COVID-19. That year, 1,300 meals were served. Last year, in 2021, 1,540 meals were served – and this year 680 more tickets were sold.
Over the years, the Committee has donated over $110,000 to assist the fairgrounds including the new show arena, the rabbit and poultry barn, the Jr. Fair activities building, and much more.
Local environmental advocate passes away
In the fall, Barbara Lund, a local environmental and community advocate passed away. She was 85.
Director of Tourism Tom Cross shared his feelings on social media over the weekend. “She was credited with discovering a rare plant in Shawnee Forest that had not been seen before. Ms. Lund spent a lot of time in Shawnee recording the various plants and wildflowers. Today the world feels a little more empty and the wildlife and wildflowers of Shawnee Forest lost a true friend.”Lund was known for writing Letters to the Editor in many area publications, including the Informer. She successfully advocated for changes at the state level with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and oftentimes, took the state government to task for prescribed burning and other measures. Lund was submitting story ideas and news releases to this publication as late as two weeks before her death.
End of an Era: the stacks fall
It was an emotional day for many throughout Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky in November as the smokestacks at the former JM Stuart Generating Station were demolished. Construction of the J.M. Stuart station began in 1966 and the facility began commercial generation in 1970 and the plant became fully operational after the construction of unit 4 in 1974. Dayton Power and Light officially announced plans to close the facility in March 2017, however, rumors started circulating about the closures just days after the 2016 election. Electricity generation at the facility ceased on May 24, 2018. A year later, the power company sold the site to Kingfisher Development for remediation and redevelopment.