HARRISON COUNTY – Monday afternoon, a police chase that began in Robinson Township, Pa., ended at the corner of U.S. 22 and Upper Clearfork Road where a Silver, two-door vehicle apparently collided with another vehicle then came to rest on the side of the road. The driver got out and ran up the embankment and climbed a tree. Officers were able to talk him down where he and a female passenger were taken into custody.
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CADIZ – The Cadiz Volunteer Fire Department has their yearly fish fry going on now, which began on March 3rd and will run until April 14. The fish fry is run from 11 a.m. till 7 p.m. every Friday until the 14th of April, which is held at the Cadiz firehouse on 160 North Main Street.
Menu and prices are as follows: Fish dinner, $825; shrimp dinner, $625; combo, $8.25; fish sandwich, $4.75; piece of fish is $2.25; 21 piece shrimp, $4.25; Tower 59, $5.75; fish and fries, $5.75; cole slaw, fries, pop and water are $1.00 each.
The menu also lists a notation that states, deliveries are available of “reasonable distance.” All fire departments within Harrison County are volunteer and rely on fundraisers such as this to help keep things going. For any questions, call 942-3602.
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CADIZ – He’s 14 years old, he sits in a courtroom and is listening to a judge sentence him to a possible seven years of incarceration, or until he is 21 before he ever sees freedom again. Why? All because he wrote on a wall that said in so many words: “There is a bomb.” The charge is Inducing Panic but it comes with an attached felony of the second degree for a bomb threat made last month. That is serious as these threats have mounted to six in the past four years with three coming in just the last month.
The boy, whose name is withheld here is not yet a freshman in high school but he is looking at as little as six months to possibly seven years if he doesn’t do what is necessary while confined to Oakview Juvenile Residential Center, which is a part of the juvenile prison system.
Words on a bathroom wall, though, may seem like an insignificant act to a bunch of high school kids but it is not. And it’s certainly not to law enforcement who are then dispersed to the streets to direct traffic as students are re-directed to a safe zone. A bomb squad must be called in and the entire school must be searched after completely being emptied.
Judge, Matthew Puskarich also handed down nine months probation ordered to pay $363 restitution for the extra squad to be called, as well as undergoing counseling. Puskarich stated that typically, six months to one year is what is served, which he said was the norm.
Puskarich added that his claim was that he was bullied and “just wanted to go home” but he and others felt that there was a little more to the story than that. He feels the Oakview facility is the best for the individual, as he will continue to receive his education and not be held back. This was the alternative to a possible sentence for real prison because of the F-2 rating of the crime.
“He would have been eaten alive,” Puskarich said regarding the prison stay he could have rendered. Most of the perpetrators have received similar sentences, as did the juvenile who made the threat at the Belmont Harrison Career Center two years ago.
“It disrupts education, law enforcement, it must be taken seriously,” Puskarich said.
Puskarich said it is not an impulsive act but more than likely a “cry for help.”
“I don’t think the kids realize that,” referring to the complete disruption of school and law enforcement work. “I don’t think they realize there are serious consequences to this.”
He stated that the one making the threat is going to receive the “retribution they’ve earned” because it is affecting kids of all ages who have to go through the process of being evacuated. He said the younger ones still in elementary school do not understand what is going on.
Dr. Steve Albrecht (PHR, CPP, BCC) former San Diego Police Officer with significant experience in issues of security and a wide range of behavioral sciences, heads a consulting firm on human resource issues. Albrecht’s view differs from Puskarich’s cry for help angle and feels many threats are based on the attention aspect of making the threat.
“I think there’s a sense for some kids that they just like to watch the process unfold, they like to see the chaos you know, which is evacuation and the police response and the fire department and a lot of standing around and then the sheriff’s bringing dogs…” Albrecht explained. “…And I’m not sure where that comes from whether it’s self esteem or…problems at home but there’s something about that disruptive nature that they enjoy doing.” He touched on the angle of self-esteem driving many of these threats and how some relish in ruining others peace.
“…There’s a power thing there, which is ‘however little power I have in my own life I have a lot of power when I do things like this,’” Albrecht explained. He feels that aside from the bullying excuse the main reason for the threat is to “disrupt the business.” He also feels that adolescents are very sensitive to social media and committing these acts will get them attention in that manner as well.
Dr. Amy Klinger, associate professor of educational administration at Ashland University where she also heads the Educator’s School Safety Network, a non-profit organization that works nation wide using training, research and consulting regarding school safety, feels these threats are bred from various reasons.
Klinger agrees that individuals “within the organization” are committing the vast majority of school threats but outsiders can also be involved. She further stated that Ohio is now the number one state for bomb threats
“So, it’s not a simple matter that a hundred percent of them are just kids being dumb in a school,” Klinger said, “that’s certainly a percentage of them but we have to acknowledge that there are outside forces doing these things.”
Klinger said society needs to guard itself from the simplistic approach that these threats are always a dud committed by high school kids looking for attention.
“It is part of a larger plan for violence,” Klinger said where the bomb threat is just a part of a plan for more violence. “But you also do have those kids that are just impulsive, it is a bit of attention seeking…a prank sort of thing but that excuse to me is becoming less and less of a valid reason why those things happen because any idiot by this time should realize that…there is a consequence to doing these kind of things.”
On the other hand, Klinger felt a society that is struggling with a lack of responsibility for one’s actions is also a cause where a student just doesn’t care about his/her actions and refuses to own up to the action. She said in some instances schools have even failed to “enact” consequences as well.
Klinger mimicked Albrecht’s thoughts concerning social media where things could “spiral out of control” when someone writes something and someone else then picks up on it where the threat, real or perceived “takes on a life of its own.”
Klinger also touched on an interesting aspect of school evacuations and feels the way an evacuation is conducted might actually set in motion the next future threat.
Klinger is critical of schools for what she believes are under trained, or not trained at all, administrators in school threats and how to properly address a threat or administrate an evacuation if needed.
“The way you respond to a bomb threat predicts whether you’re going to have more,” Klinger stated referring to some evacuations where students are laughing and teachers and others are chatting or possibly chaos surrounding the event could add to an atmosphere that speaks of little consequence based on her research.
She said even treating each threat the same could add more in the future because the evacuation shouldn’t be “fun.” Klinger said minimizing the chaos and police lights and a sunny atmosphere goes a long way to cutting down on threats.
“You look at some of the schools that have really cut their bomb threats down it’s because it is not pleasant,” she said concerning evacuations. “I’m not saying they’re awful and mean to the kids but it’s not a pleasant party atmosphere. It’s serious…we’re going to make up the time we lost, we’re going to do stuff while we’re sitting here…you look at the videos and it looks like they’re having a party…that’s going to encourage more bomb threats because that was much more interesting than my third period calculus class.”
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By JD LONG
CADIZ – Wednesday afternoon the Cadiz County Club was the scene for a first time viewing of the new school via a Power Point presentation of an artists digital rendering of what the school’s approximate final look will be.
MarkWest was the sponsor for the event and Vice President and Architect, Todd Thackery (SHP), with many of the community’s dignitaries on hand led the impressive presentation laying out the entire look of the school from inside and out. Thackery explained that currently survey work was being done to the site areas to see which trees would be removed. He said that that work would be done “before the end of March.” He added that the actual site work would begin after the area is cleared.
Thackery began with the main entrance stating that the building would consist of 216,000 square feet involving pre-school through the 12th grade. The inside is designed for much light to shine through with spacious corridors leading to classrooms, lockers in the hallway with seating areas for learning.
Instead of a traditional library Thackery it as “distributed in this” with books obviously being dispersed to each classroom and “extended learning areas” of the school. But mostly the iPads and Chromebooks issued to the students will also be used to download scores of e-books described as a new generation of learning.
The new building is spacious and comfort with specific areas that was displayed to have different sized hand railings for different sized students along corridors. A beautiful courtyard was also designed for students along with two brand new gymnasiums with the main one having bleachers along at least one end line.
He described one area as an “extended learning area” for independent, group and other flexible types of work including independent work. Also included in the design is an elevator for the handicapped. More rooms Thackery had to offer were for tutoring or one on one learning or a “variety of activities based on what they need.”
Harrison Hills Superintendent, Dana Snider raved about the design as well as many others in attendance who were very impressed by what they saw.
Opening the event was a short briefing on the academic prowess of the Harrison
Hills City School District’s plans with Assistant Superintendent, Duran Morgan doing the honors by first introducing the Harrison Hills Board where all were in attendance.
The theme for the presentation was “Connecting Curriculum With Our Business Community.” Duran spoke of technical devices being 1:1 ratio to each student and a Fine Arts curriculum to expand to include “Elementary School Art” and music education for example.
Other items highlighted for the junior high level was Elective Science Education, Robotics, Engineering and STEM curriculum. Morgan also said they were “actively looking for partners” in order to get students in grades 11 and 12 involved in the workforce.
Also of note were college credit offerings “through success in Advanced Placement Courses and College Credit Plus.” Along with lunch and the presentations was a sheet of paper provided for anyone to write in their own suggestions for the school curriculum, as Morgan offered to the audience.
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By JD LONG
CADIZ – Ronald Maxwell, the 71 year old from Cadiz pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts, the bigger one was Gross Sexual Imposition, a felony of the third degree. Represented by Public Defender, C. Adrian Pincola, Maxwell had to be read the circumstances of his plea agreement twice because of his diminished hearing but finally satisfied Judge, T. Shawn Hervey that he knew what he was agreeing while waiving his right to a trial.
Back in early November Maxwell was arrested for fondling a three-old boy while on Community Based Control (CBC) sanctions. Those sanctions were the result of a convicted aggravated assault charge also back in 2016. Hervey sentenced Maxwell to four years in prison and 11 months for the CBC violations, which were to run concurrently.
Bruzzese explained to the court that the victim’s family, though informed that a plea was likely on this day chose not to be present or prepare a Victim’s Impact Statement. Bruzzese then proceeded to address the court with the state’s recommended sentence, which was four years.
“We feel and I think the court would agree that four years for this type of crime is a fair sentence given what the state of Ohio and the legislature gives us to work with,” Bruzzese explained. “I certainly would like to see people that assault kids in this manner go to prison for much longer but under the circumstances, is what the law is providing us to work with here today…”
The maximum sentence Maxwell was facing was five years but Hervey stated that because of the maximum he had a right to appeal and Hervey stated he did not want to give him that chance. He was also given five years of supervised probation upon his release.
When Hervey reached the section dealing with the crime being “more serious” when comparing it to other “similar crimes by similar offenders” he stated his reasons as such: The age of the victim, the psychological harm the offense could bring on the victim, his relationship or familiarity with the victim, which led to the crime and it being of “a sexual nature.” He stated that also according to a section in the Ohio Revised Code that nothing shows that the offense was les serious in comparison.
Hervey, noting his “moderate” risk for recidivism based on evaluation stated that his only showing for less risk was that Maxwell has led a “law abiding” life with mostly “alcohol related traffic offenses.”
Hervey then sentenced Maxwell to four years at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) then laid into him before sending him out the door.
“Mr. Maxwell, I can’t think of anything worse to do than harm a three-year old child,” he began, “that child is defenseless, that child is innocent and what you did to that child could lead to problems with that child for the rest of his life.” He continued by berating Maxwell for taking advantage of knowing the victim and gaining his trust.
“As the prosecutor stated if we could give you a greater sentence that’s exactly what we would do.” Hervey said. “…I’m not going to give you anything to appeal,” Hervey said in regards to a five-year sentence and a chance for appeal because of it being the maximum.
Hervey also informed Maxwell that his offense was classified as Tier 2 and would require him to register with his local sheriff’s department every 180 days as a sex offender for 25 years. He also waived his right to a hearing challenging the fact that he is prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare facility as well as the reporting to a sheriff.
Maxwell also escaped the possibility of a life sentence only because of the gender of the child. Bruzzese later explained that if the victim had been female and it would have been penetration as opposed to fondling or “sexual contact,” he could have received a sentence much worse than the four years. He added that the concurrent sentences were the result of Maxwell’s two cases being related as his CBC was motioned to be revoked because of the sex crime.
Maxwell chose not to make a statement other than to say, “no, I can’t think of anything, I can’t think of anything at the present time.”
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