An increasing number of citizens are turning to food stamps to help make ends meet and Clermont County, like many communities across the country, is seeing an ever increasing demand for assistance. Since 2001, the number of citizens receiving food stamps has increased 145 percent in Clermont County; in 2007, one out of 10 citizens received food stamps. Typically, a family of four with gross earnings of no more than $2,238 per month is eligible for food stamps.
An Amelia man, James Reno, and his business, ByteHosting Internet Services, LLC, is involved in a massive “scareware” scheme and at the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court has issued a temporary halt to the scheme, which falsely claimed that scans had detected viruses, spyware and illegal pornography on consumers’ computers.
During the Bethel Village Council meeting Monday, Jan. 12, zoning administrator Ron Dunn reported that a total of 34 building permits were issued in 2008, down from 51 permits in 2007. He also shared his plans to network with other villages in the county. With regard to the run-down houses throughout the village he responded that the zoning board is ready to take the next step.
In April 2008 George and Cathy Vandergriff, of Pierce Township, asked for permission to use the meeting room in the Amelia Branch of the Clermont County Public Library for a financial planning seminar. They were initially told that they could use the room. But when they mentioned to the library staff member that they would be quoting passages from the Bible during the seminar, their request was denied because of library policy prohibiting the use of the library for religious purposes.
During the Union Township meeting of Jan. 13, officials heard a report from Chris Smith, chairman of the committee responsible for placing a safety services levy on the ballot. The committee has been trying to get information about the urgency of passing the levy to the public.
According to Amelia Mayor Leroy Ellington, residents who live in the Village of Amelia will see a decrease in their property tax bills effective Jan. 1, 2009. “This decrease in property taxes in the Village of Amelia is due to the fact that council agreed in 2008 to not put a waste levy back on the ballot,” said Ellington. “That decision was based on and driven by outcry from village residents to lower their property taxes.”
The Department of Job and Family Services in Clermont County provides services to those in need throughout the county. Because of the declining economy, the department is having to cut back on some services. The department receives all of its funding through the state and federal government, and according to Tim McCartney, director of DJFS, the local agency’s budget has been cut twice this year.
The single digit temperatures Friday, Jan. 16 didn’t keep the West Clermont school board from breaking ground on two new schools for the district. School children, teachers and administrators, board members and local and state dignitaries braved the cold to show their support for the projects. As the crowd gathered on the snow-covered front lawn of Amelia Elementary School, Gary Brooks, superintendent of West Clermont Schools, promised to keep his comments brief.
The Ohio Supreme Court has issued its decision in the Byrd vs. Knuckles case in a ruling that could impact child support cases statewide. In mid-December, the high court sided with the father, Brian Knuckles, in the case involving parents who requested that Clermont County Juvenile Court allow them to waive $7,420 in child support owed to the mother.
The former post master of Bethel, Jennifer Justice, entered a plea of no contest during a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 13, in Clermont County Common Pleas court in front of Judge William Walker. Justice, of New Richmond, was indicted on Oct. 22, 2008 for allegedly using the identity of someone else to apply for a credit card and obtain magazine subscriptions.