Category Archives: Fayette County News

Open House Date Set For Public To See New Fayette County Jail

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You can also watch our Litter Media video tour taken on March 17th.

An open house date has been set for the community to view the inside of the new Fayette County Jail.

Sheriff Vernon Stanforth and the Fayette County Commissioners will host a ribbon cutting at the new Fayette County Sheriff’s Office & Jail on Friday, April 2nd at 11am.

Following the ribbon cutting, an open house of the jail facility will be held from noon until 5pm.

Inmates could be moved to the new complex within a few weeks.

17 Year Periodical Cicada Due To Emerge This Spring

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2021 is the year for the next appearance of the 17 Year Periodical Cicada.

Massive brood emergence, usually in May and early June, is believed to overwhelm predators, typically birds. This ensures that enough survivors will be left behind to reproduce. Male cicadas are capable of making a loud buzzing noise, and they squawk when disturbed. The males often synchronize their buzzing in trees. Within each brood there are four or more species. Each species has a different call. It is believed that such droning and squawking is effective in deterring predators.

Annual cicadas usually emerge from June through August. Their emergence is scattered over this time, and they rarely emerge in noticeable numbers. Annual cicada males also sing to attract females. The cicada killer wasp often captures these insects to provision its nest in the ground.

Periodical Cicada Brood Map (Courtesy of OSU.EDU)

Periodical cicadas damage trees above and below ground. The most obvious damage is that caused by egg-laying in small twigs. This damage causes twigs to split, wither and die, causing a symptom called “flagging.” Flagging is especially serious on young plants (four years or younger) because more of the branches are of the preferred size for oviposition, ¼- to ½-inch in diameter. Some of the more favored trees for oviposition include maple, oak, hickory, beech, ash, dogwood, hawthorn, magnolia, willow, apple, peach, cherry and pear. Flowers, vines and shrubs include Rose of Sharon, rose, raspberry, grape, black-eyed Susan, hollies, spirea, rhododendron, viburnum, junipers and arborvitae. More than 270 species of plants have been noted as hosts for egg-laying periodical cicadas.

For more information on this year’s cicada emergence in the region, go to our link to the Ohio State University College Of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences website. CLICK HERE…

WCH Scarecrow Festival Cancelled For 2021

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While many fairs and festivals are planning for their events to be held in 2021, the Washington Court House Scarecrow Festival is announcing they are cancelling this fall’s event.

The Scarecrow Festival Committee posted the announcement on the City of Washington Court House Economic Development Facebook page.

The 2021 festival was scheduled for September 17th-19th.

This decision in Washington Court House comes despite the recent announcement from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, which stated that fairs and festivals would be permitted to move forward with their 2021 events. DeWine said the events could be held- using whatever health safety precautions would be needed at that point in the pandemic.

WCH Scarecrow Festival Letter

Fayette Humane Society Officer Receives National Award

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Fayette Humane Society Chief Humane Agent, Brad Adams, received the Humane Law Enforcement Award from the Humane Society of the United States and the National Law Enforcement Center on Animal Abuse.

Adams received the award for his leadership in combating illegal animal abuse and is the only member of the law enforcement community in Ohio to receive this award in 2021.

Fayette Humane Society officials stated on their Facebook Page; “We are so proud of Brad and the remarkable strides he has made in combatting animal abuse and neglect in the Fayette County area.”

Pictured: L-R Lee Schrader, Executive Director, Corey Roscoe, Humane Society of the United States Ohio Director, Chief Humane Agent Brad Adams.

(Photo courtesy of Fayette Humane Society)

New Fayette County Jail Construction Nears Completion

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Fayette County is on the verge of opening a new jail and sheriff administrative offices as the finishing touches are being put on a new $24 million construction project on Robinson Road on the outskirts of Washington Court House. 

Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth said; “I always contend we have had a secure building, but there are issues we cannot address in an 1884 building.” Over the years, the current jail had failed dozens of state standards and was in danger of being shut down by the state. That is among the reasons Sheriff Stanforth is happy to see the new building almost ready to open for inmates.

“By the square footage that’s dictated by the State of Ohio, we can only have 24 in the (current) jail. Our population is typically 50. We’ve had as many as 93 in that facility and we’re talking about packed. They (inmates) take turns sleeping, (but) we’ve tried to stay away from that.”

“In the new facility, we are going to have 120 beds. We are hoping with the help of the courts, that will not be maxed out.”

Sheriff Stanforth was scheduled to lead a tour of the new facility for the judges of Fayette County Wednesday, immediately after Litter Media’s cameras were allowed into the new site for a tour led by Sheriff Stanforth.

The voters of Fayette County got the ball rolling on the project when they approved one of the first dual ballot issues for a new law complex. Stanforth says voters approved jail construction and its operation- all with one levy. 

The county was also able to get a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan for $20 million, with Fayette County putting in another $2 million to $3 million from their general fund for a project that will max-out at approximately $24 million. 

Stanforth says the levy was designed to pay back the loan over 40 years. But, the Fayette County Commissioners recently renegotiated the federal loan, which will save on the interest percentage of the loan and shave off approximately 10 years on the payback of that loan. 

The sheriff says he’s hopeful the commissioners will be able to negotiate further with the USDA, which could lead to even more savings for Fayette County in the payback of the loan. 

On the lifespan of the new corrections center, Stanforth says there is really no way to be able to gauge that. “No one will ever guarantee the life of a building over 25 to 30 years- that’s industry standard for any building. The current building (jail) has outlived its life-cycle by about 100 years. This building, we hope, will last longer than 30 years.” 

Changes in philosophical methods for corrections could also have a bearing on the future lifespan of the new jail, according to Sheriff Stanforth. 

“It doesn’t take too much imagination to look at the technology in the last 20, even 10 years and the same thing will happen to this facility. Technology will move on, our corrections standards based on community standards will migrate and change as well over the next 20 years so they may have less people incarcerated.” 

Stanforth continued; “The mood may change and we may want more people incarcerated. And this design is fixed so that another generation could come in and build a replicate building right beside it, using the same blueprints that could house over 200 inmates. And still use the same common utility hallway we showed you earlier that would have the same laundry, kitchen and loading area that would be used for both facilities- if that would ever come about it”.

Inmates could be moved to the new Fayette County Jail within the next month, once all security checks have been completed.

The view of the cell blocks from the Central Command Center of the new Fayette County Jail. Dan Ramey/Litter Media
The current Fayette County Jail on West Market Street in Washington CH was built in 1884. Dan Ramey/Litter Media

Fayette Sheriff Seeks Help Finding Culprits Of Fairground Thefts

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The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office is investigating numerous thefts that occurred recently at the Fayette County Fairgrounds.   ​

In a press release from the sheriff’s office, it states that members of the Fayette County Agricultural Society reported that multiple camping trailers and motor homes that were stored onsite at the Fayette County Fairgrounds were discovered having been entered and several items reported missing.   ​

Sheriff’s detectives are continuing their investigation and following leads as to the disposition of the stolen property.  

The Fayette County Agricultural Society is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the ARREST & CONVICTION of the person or person(s) involved in said crimes.   ​

Anyone with information related to these crimes are encouraged to contact the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at (740) 335-6170 or by visiting the Fayette County Sheriff OH mobile app and clicking on “Submit a Tip”.  

For those submitting a tip, you must identify yourself to be eligible for any reward.