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2013 In Review PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nancy Bowman   
Friday, 03 January 2014 16:14

Tippecanoe High School graduate Ellen Garner lost the battle for her life Jan. 14. She was injured in a New Year’s Day fire near the University of Cincinnati campus, where she was studying fashion design.

Ron Thuma was recognized by the Tippecanoe Masonic Lodge 174 with the lodge Community Builders award at a public service luncheon Jan. 11.
Judge William E. Kessler, known to many as Judge Bill, died Jan. 30 at age 83. A graduate of Tippecanoe High School, Judge Kessler served as Tipp City prosecutor before later becoming a Municipal Court judge for Miami County.

Threats found at both Tippecanoe High School and Tipp City Middle School led to heightened security and a community meeting during which district residents packed the L.T. Ball Cafeteria to hear what was being done to protect students. A series of threats were found in restrooms and a study hall table over one week.

Two students, a 14 year old middle school boy and a 15 year old high school student were charged with inducing panic, disorderly conduct and inducing panic in two of the written threats found during the previous week at the high school and middle school.

Lowell Hampton, former police officer and creator of the Tipp City Emergency Services, died Feb. 25 at age 79. Mr. Hampton started Emergency Services at the request of City Council and served as its chief from 1974 to 1990, when he retired.

The city welcomed its new 100-foot ladder truck with a ceremony at the West    Main Street fire and EMS station. Mayor Dee Gillis christened the truck. The $947,975 truck replaced one that served the community 37 years and cost $151,900 at the time of its purchase.

A downtown streetscape pre-project meeting March 14 drew a big crowd as merchants, downtown residents and city leaders met with contractors before the kick off of the more than $3 million underground utilities replacement and streetscape project. The project led to the closing of Main Street downtown for several months.

Kathy Taylor of Tipp Monroe Community Services said residents would be seeing more of the organization and its supporters as it hit the pavement raising money for itself. New ways of raising money for the nonprofit became necessary following a number of funding cutbacks and a decline in property values that cut into the amount of income generated by the Community Services tax levy.

The Tipp City schools again hired Charlie Burgbacher as high school varsity football couch. Burgbacher retired from teaching at the end of the school year.

The city council agreed to the purchase of property at 301 N. Sixth St. The property will be used for a new home for the electric utility center. The city paid $600,000 for the site. Work on the center is expected to get under way in 2014.

Tipp City said goodbye to long-time Police Chief Tom Davidson, who lost his battle with cancer April 23. He was 64. Davidson served as chief for 22 years after coming to Tipp City from Bowling Green.

The Tippecanoe Education Endowment named Diane Bee teacher of the year. Bee is the district’s English as a Second Language teacher.

Charges against a second juvenile accused of making a threat at a Tipp City school in February were dismissed by Miami County Juvenile Court Judge W. McGregor Dixon Jr. Dixon said evidence did not support charges against the 16 year old. Only two students were charged in the threats received at the middle and high schools. Each student was charged with making one threat. Charges against both were dismissed.

The long-awaited Veterans Memorial statue was dedicated May 26 before a large crowd at Veterans Memorial Park. The bronze solider sculpture was designed and made specifically for the park by Timothy Schmatz of Ontario, Canada.

City Council agreed to waive monthly rent payments by Tipp Monroe Community Services for use of the Old Municipal Building downtown. TMCS asked the city to drop $10,000 in annual rent payments because of the organization’s tight finances.

Local funeral director Jim Bayliff was recognized at the annual Ohio Funeral Directors Association Convention in Columbus for 50 years in the funeral service. Bayliff is owner of Frings & Bayliff Funeral Home.

City resident Steve Huffman filed paperwork calling for an initiative petition that would require any city council member wanting city health insurance to pay 100 percent of the cost.

Tipp City schools’ officials reviewed possible steps to enhance security including adding another police officer in schools.

Steve Verhoff, a Tippecanoe High School science teacher, was selected as the high school’s new assistant principal.

Tipp City Council ended years of debate and failed proposals for change in voting to increase council pay while ending the controversial insurance benefit. Council first voted 5-2 to increase pay from $1,000 to $5,000 a year, effective Jan. 1, 2016. Katelyn Berbach and Joe Gibson voted against the pay increase. Bryan Budding, Mike McDermott, President John Kessler, Mayor Dee Gillis and Pat Hale voted in favor.

The council then voted unanimously to end council health and dental insurance effective Dec. 31, 2015.

Tipp City resident Don Earnest returned to South Korea for the first time in 60 years to participate in ceremonies commemorating the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended hostilities in the Korean War. The all-expense paid trip was a thank you to veterans from the Korean Presbyterian Church of the USA. Other locals on the trip were Donald Motter of Piqua and Donald Meek of Troy.

The Tipp City Parks Advisory Board agreed to put $7,000 toward equipment for a disc golf course for City Park.

The Tipp City Schools Board of Education said thank you and goodbye to long-time district treasurer Joe Smith. Smith retired July 31 after 25 years with the district.

Sgt. Eric Burris was named Tipp City’s new police chief. Burris was one of four finalists for the job. He joined the department in 1995.

Tipp City’s new city logo started popping up around town. The logo features the city’s name joined by a single mum. The council selected the logo more than three years before during planning for the new 1-million gallon water tower built off Donn Davis Way.

The Tipp City Schools Board of Education started the new school year off with good news for staff by approving a 2.5 percent across the board pay increase. The staff had not received a raise in three of the last four years.

The Tipp City Foundation celebrated its 70th birthday, including the date of its founding in August 1943 when local businessman Ed Timmer made a gift of $1,300. More the $1.7 million in grants to the community have been awarded over the years.

A multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 75 near the southbound entrance ramp from Main Street resulted in a fiery scene that left two dead and backed up traffic for hours. The crash around 9:45 p.m. Aug. 28 caused the deaths of truck drivers from Indiana and Ontario, Canada. Investigating state troopers said one of the truckers was southbound when he failed to slow for construction traffic setting off a chain reaction. One woman received hospital treatment while five others were treated at the scene.

Margo Shininger was crowned 2013 Mum Queen and talent winner.  Others recognized were Jennell Chumney, Lauren Johnson, Haley Sanders and Clara Kleptz.

Tipp City Police Officer Jeff Perilman was awarded a department meritorious service commendation for life saving efforts made at the scene of the Aug. 29 multi-vehicle crash and fire on Interstate 75. Two truck drivers died in the crash and fire.  Perilman was recognized for pulling people through a vehicle window to safety.

Main Street downtown reopened to traffic following completion of the downtown utilities and streetscape project. A Celebrate Streetscape event was held Oct. 26.

The Tipp City Schools continued steps toward a proposed school construction project after meeting with representatives of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. A facilities planning committee has met several years to discuss options for classroom space for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The district could receive 26 percent state funding for a building project, with the balance of the bill the responsibility of local taxpayers who would vote on any funding measure.

Matt Owen was elected to his first term on the Tipp City Council during the November general election. Owen also was the top vote getter. Also elected were incumbents Katelyn Berbach, Joe Gibson and Pat Hale.

Area voters approved all tax levies on the November ballot. They included a tax issue renewal for the Tipp City Public Library, Monroe Township fire levy and the Bethel Township operating levy.

Tipp City Council voted unanimously to end the city leaf collection fee effective July 1, 2014. The 64 cents per month fee was imposed in October 2009 to restore leaf collection after the service was cut as part of budget reductions.

The previously undefeated Tipp City Red Devils football team’s season ended in the Division III regional final with a 25-7 loss to Trotwood. The team compiled a 12-1 record during a highly successful season.

Indian Creek Fabricators was named the Business of the Year at the Tipp City Chamber of Commerce Holiday Gala. The Small Business of the Year was Midwest Memories and owner Terri Bessler. The Young Professional of the Year award went to Diana Featherstone and Tim Evans of Evans Title Agency was named Citizen of the Year.

Two Tipp City men – Aldo Mondragon, 23, and Erik Segura, 21, were charged with conspiracy to possess heroin after being taken into custody as part of a drug investigation in which more than $1 million in illegal drugs were seized. A Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force served warrants as part of the investigation Dec. 11 in Tipp City, New Carlisle and Huber Heights.

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