2015: The year in review


Year of growth, tragedy, excitement

Staff report



Romauldo Cordoba Jr. was found guilty of fatally shooting Joshua McJilton in a Wauseon parking lot in April.

Romauldo Cordoba Jr. was found guilty of fatally shooting Joshua McJilton in a Wauseon parking lot in April.


Wauseon High School winners at the state speech and debate competition were, from left, Brenden Kost, state champion, International Extemporaneous Speaking; Brooke Hardy, quarterfinalist, Expository Speaking; and Clarissa Johnson and Breanna Demaline, sixth place, Duo Interpretation. Not pictured: Cole Stiriz, semifinalist, Dramatic Interpretation.


File photos

By turns, 2015 was a year of growth, loss, excitement, and tragedy for Fulton County. Here is a look at some of the highs and lows:

January

The Aetna Grange in Winameg announced it would close its doors after 142 years. It was the last to survive of more than half a dozen granges that once populated the county.

Canadian-based Nature Fresh Farms announced construction of a 175-acre greenhouse complex on property just off State Route 109. It promised to bring 300 jobs to county residents over the course of the seven-year building plan. The property was later annexed by the Village of Delta.

Wauseon City Council continued to debate changes to the city’s dog ordinance demanded by advocates of pitbull-type breeds.

The Shopko Hometown store in Archbold announced it was closing its doors after only two years. The closing put 18 employees out of work.

February

Stewart Aviation Services announced it would close shop as the fixed-base operator at the Fulton County Airport by mid-year. Owner Jerry Stewart said he was leaving due to misjudgment of his requirements. Naves Aviation took over in July.

The NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline held an open house at Swanton High School that failed to impress some area residents strongly opposed to the proposed project.

What Wauseon City Council member Martin Estrada called an inadvertent violation of the city charter – his failure to be a registered voter at the time of his appointment – threatened his position.

Former Archbold Elevator owner William Fricke was granted an early prison release after being imprisoned in 2013 for bilking customers out of over $3.1 million.

Archbold resident Con Wyse was shot in the foot following a disagreement with Vincent Rabe, who was arrested and charged with felonious assault.

March

Kim Cupp was named Fulton County Health Commissioner following the retirement of David Oricko.

Pike-Delta-York Local Schools Superintendent Jay LeFevre announced his retirement after serving 36 years as an educator.

For the first time in its 21-year history, the Wauseon High School Speech and Debate Team was awarded gold in a state competition.

Companies behind the Rover Pipeline announced intentions to install a 17-mile section through Chesterfield, Franklin, German and Dover townships in Fulton County.

April

Joshua McJilton, a former Wauseon resident returning to the city, was gunned down in a municipal parking lot. Romauldo Cordoba Jr. of Archbold was named as the suspect after police reviewed a security tape that caught the shooting. McJilton died shortly afterward at Fulton County Health Center, and Cordoba fled the city.

The Coalition to Reroute NEXUS (CORN) vowed to continue waging war against the proposed pipeline, saying, “We are not going to stop.”

Plans for a new State Route 66 remained in a preliminary study phase, with the proposed project moving more slowly than anticipated.

Nature Fresh Farms held a groundbreaking ceremony for its greenhouse complex, with company president Peter Quiring, Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, and numerous local and state dignitaries in attendance.

Two Archbold High School students were charged with felonies involving a case of sexting the previous October.

Ted Haselman was named the new superintendent of the Pike-Delta-York school district.

May

Representatives of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held an open forum at Swanton High School to gather the opinions of area residents about the proposed NEXUS natural gas pipeline. They were met with mostly staunch opposition.

It was determined that voters would decide in November whether an unincorporated section of Swancreek Township would be zoned.

Romauldo Cordoba Jr., the suspect in the fatal shooting of Joshua McJilton in Wauseon, was arrested in a casino parking lot in Eagle Pass, Texas, just short of the Mexican border, by the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force.

June

The Ohio Department of Agriculture shut down poultry shows across the state to help prevent a deadly avian flu virus from affecting the state. That eliminated bird exhibitions at the upcoming Fulton County Fair.

Ohio District 2 Senator Randy Gardner announced that more than $4.5 million would be divided between Fulton County’s seven school districts.

Swanton resident Brittany Gibbons released her book,”Fat Girl Walking,” which made the New York Times best-selling list.

July

Wauseon was named sixth among Ohio’s 25 best cities by Niche, an organization that ranks cities.

Lyons resident Ricky Lamb Jr. claimed innocence after a Fulton County grand jury slapped him with a seven-count indictment that included charges of arson and insurance fraud in connection with a January fire that destroyed a house he was renting. He would later enter a not guilty plea.

Summer crop yields were expected to be below-average after heavy rains damaged corn and soybeans.

The NEXUS Gas Transmission sued for surveying rights on the properties of opposing county residents. The company later won the lawsuit.

Nature Fresh Farms requested, and later received, annexation of its greenhouse complex off State Route 109 to the Village of Delta.

August

Three Fulton County residents filed an objection with the Board of Elections over a petition from NEXUS pipeline opponents requesting change to a charter county government. The petition was later denied due to a language technicality.

Blake Young was selected as the new principal of Wauseon Primary School, replacing Troy Armstrong.

Swanton Administrator Jon Gochenour resigned for a similar position in Waterville.

York Township trustees claimed they were left out of negotiations involving Nature Fresh Farms. They said they were deliberately excluded from proceedings.

September

Archbold Police Chief Joe Wyse suffered a debilitating stroke. Thom Ross was named interim police chief.

Traffic barricades erected in Delta to study the feasibility of downtown improvements riled residents and business owners.

Fulton County government and law enforcement representatives decried the proposed legalization of marijuana in Ohio, saying it would only exacerbate current drug issues.

Jason Longbrake was appointed principal at Swanton High School.

Johnson’s Trucking LLC relocated to Fulton County from Monclova, Ohio, with a promise to hire up to 20 people.

The Fulton County Fair announced attendance of 285,794, the third-highest figure on record.

Haven Heights subdivision residents in Wauseon cried foul over local developer Tim Dennis’ request for a zoning change on abutting property so he could build rental properties. The request was later rejected by Wauseon City Council.

October

Fulton County faced the possible loss of its 55 inmate beds at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio when the City of Toledo announced it hadn’t budgeted its nearly $1.4 million fourth-quarter payment to the regional jail, which in effect would close it down. The city finally came through with the money.

York Township and the Village of Delta squabbled over the village’s offer to compensate the township for Nature Fresh Farms tax revenue. Township trustees argued they wanted more money than was being offered.

The Wauseon Exchange Club disbanded after 24 years due to waning interest.

The owners of the former Ohio Scrap Corporation outside of Delta filed a civil lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service over a raid the agency conducted in 2012, claiming the IRS misappropriated nearly $1.9 million of the company’s money.

November

Romauldo Cordoba Jr. was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and domestic violence following a trial for the April shooting of Joshua McJilton.

A man found dead in Montpelier of a gunshot wound was identified as Jonathan Hofner, a 2005 Wauseon High School graduate. Bradley Gilbert of Montpelier was charged with murder.

The Fulton County Health Center announced plans for a 69,000 square-foot attachment to be used as medical offices.

Haas Door owner Ed Nofziger was named 2015 Citizen of the Year by the Wauseon Chamber of Commerce.

The Ohio Department of Transportation and Fulton County broke ground across from the Fulton County Fairgrounds for a joint complex to house a garage and offices.

December

NEXUS Gas Transmission applied for its pipeline project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Nature Fresh Farms began production of tomatoes in Delta in its first fully-completed 15-acre greenhouse.

Northwest State Community College in Archbold sparred with the Education Association over a staff union contract.

Swancreek Township residents filed a civil lawsuit against the township’s Water District over a proposed water expansion project.

A county EMS contract between the county commissioners and the fire districts was approved.

Fulton County was named second in the nation in annual per capita eBay sales.

Romauldo Cordoba Jr. was found guilty of fatally shooting Joshua McJilton in a Wauseon parking lot in April.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2015/12/web1_cordoba.jpgRomauldo Cordoba Jr. was found guilty of fatally shooting Joshua McJilton in a Wauseon parking lot in April.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2015/12/web1_nature-fresh-greenhouse1.jpgFile photos

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2015/12/web1_RGB_groundbreaking.jpgFile photos

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2015/12/web1_FakeNexus.jpgFile photos

Wauseon High School winners at the state speech and debate competition were, from left, Brenden Kost, state champion, International Extemporaneous Speaking; Brooke Hardy, quarterfinalist, Expository Speaking; and Clarissa Johnson and Breanna Demaline, sixth place, Duo Interpretation. Not pictured: Cole Stiriz, semifinalist, Dramatic Interpretation.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2015/12/web1_speech-team.jpgWauseon High School winners at the state speech and debate competition were, from left, Brenden Kost, state champion, International Extemporaneous Speaking; Brooke Hardy, quarterfinalist, Expository Speaking; and Clarissa Johnson and Breanna Demaline, sixth place, Duo Interpretation. Not pictured: Cole Stiriz, semifinalist, Dramatic Interpretation. File photos
Year of growth, tragedy, excitement

Staff report