DARKE COUNTY – The Early Bird and Bluebag Media thanks its readers for another great year. Once again, our audit shows you continue to read the newspaper each week and are continuing to find www.bluebagmedia.com is your daily source of news from your weekly hometown newspaper. You’ve also made us Darke County’s #1 media site on social media. Through comments our readers have made, page views and shares on our website, and the attention stories have received on social media, we were able to determine the top stories for 2018.
Crime and accidents almost always draw huge readership numbers and 2018 was no different. This year’s top story encompassed both aspects and ended with a fatality. On Feb. 26, 2018, an accident shutdown Ohio Route 49 near Hollansburg-Sampson Road. Jason N. Jones drove left of center and went off the roadway where he hit a culvert. Terra A. Hodge was killed in the crash. On Dec. 19, Jones pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide. Jones tested positive for methamphetamines in his system and was driving without a license. Jones has yet to be sentenced, but faces time in prison and a lifetime license suspension.
Another crime-related story that drew huge readership was the announcement that the Bureau of Criminal Investigation was investigating a Greenville police officer. Charges were not made against the officer.
The Darke County Fair had its share of big stories in 2018. One of the most popular stories was the fire that destroyed the Swine Barn. On Thursday, Oct. 25, fire crews were called to the Darke County Fairgrounds on the report of a fire. Fire crews found the Swine Barn fully engulfed. The building and its contents were a complete loss. The fair board continues to discuss the issue at its monthly meetings to try and figure out how to rebound from the loss.
Another issue from the fair that gained a lot of readership came from the Fine Arts building during the fair. Two pieces of art were disallowed. One showed a female infant in the bathtub. The longtime secretary for the department, Nancy Foureman, submitted her resignation the next month.
The fair board also received a lot of positive attention when they announced they would have a new ride provider at the 2018 fair.
The City of Greenville earned its way into the top stories of 2018 for pressuring Speedway to do something with two vacant buildings and the subsequent demolition of both buildings garnered a lot of attention from readers with most praising the city for strong-arming the company to clean-up their properties.
A final top story from 2018 was the revival of the Hometown Holiday Horse Parade. Thousands of viewers watched the parade live on The Early Bird’s Facebook Page and thousands more watched the parade in downtown Greenville. Unfortunately, the parade had a scary moment when a rider was knocked off her horse. The rider was taken to the hospital, but released that evening with minor injuries.
If you missed these stories, visit bluebagmedia.com and see what you’ve been missing.
PHOTO CAPTION: The fire that ripped through Darke County Fair’s Swine Barn destroying the building and its contents on Oct. 25 was one of the biggest stories from 2018. (Gaylen Blosser photo)