Ken Leimberger Cathye J Bunthoff Lending a holiday helping hand G’Town Christmas Parade enjoyed by spectators Mt. Orab Auto Mall collects over 1,100 canned goods for local families “Celebration of Lights” held at fairgrounds Thirteen indicted by grand jury Lady Warriors hit the hardwood with high expectations Warriors reload after graduating four starters Six seniors hit the hardwood for Rockets Lady Rockets packed with size, talent Lady G-Men to rely heavily on young talent G-Men seek improvement after last year’s three-win season Skilled crew on the return for the Blue Jays Broncos begin quest for SBAAC American Div. crown Lady Broncos working hard toward SBAAC American Div. title after finishing as league runner-up last season Experienced crew of Lady Jays return to the hardwood Stephen C Foster Mary J Fitzgerald Tyler Hesler Herbert Polley Robert Layton Donald H Layton James T Smith Thomas M Calvert Thomas J Wolfer Cropper coaches way to 500th career victory Ohio’s Deer-Gun Season opens with more than 18,000 deer harvested Lady Broncos face talented Wilmington squad in season opener at Western Brown SHAC teams hit the hardwood for annual Boys Basketball Preview Western’s Leto and Jones excel in sophomore season of XC Lady Rockets open season with victory over Hillsboro Gary P Garrison Rev Larry T Allen Georgetown, Eastern MS honored by state Woodruff updates Chamber of Commerce Operation Christmas Child reaching out overseas G’town Christmas Parade Dec. 3 Ronald E Blessing Sharlee R West June A Goecke Rockets earn OVAL honors Ogden Court dedication set for Dec. 10 Jays host Broncos for OHSAA Foundation Game Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season SHAC holds Girls Basketball Preview Foreclosure filed on former Meadowwood Care Facility Ten indicted by Brown County Grand Jury Nature Works Grant funds for new Senior Playground Shop with a Cop looking for donations and support BC Beekeepers Association busy rescuing honey bees Hilda F Steele Ronald L Palmer Bruce E Phillips Elizabeth J Ellison Daniel L Turner Cook inducted into OIAAA Hall of Fame Eastern honors Coach Kiser G-Men, Devils battle it out in OHSAA Foundation Game Jester is OVAL Football Player of the Year Ipad program a success in Georgetown schools Powih sentenced to six years on rape charges Air Evac team to get new headquarters building in Georgetown Four sentenced in Brown County Common Pleas Court Homer C Eldridge Dennis D Johnson SBAAC First Team soccer all-stars take home awards Ohio’s Deer-gun hunting season quickly approaching League champ Lady Broncos recognized at fall sports banquet SBAAC awards First Team football all-stars, league champion teams Irene D Thurman County GOP sweeps at ballot box Landfill project to provide electricity Three indicted by County Grand Jury BREAKING ELECTION NEWS Wanda L Nixon Ella A Moon David Rogers Joanna W Carter Ann L Yeary Tony Gacek Rigdon finishes 3rd in Pickerington Div. III Regional Meet, advances to OHSAA XC State Tournament Week 10 football roundup Linkous named SBAAC American Division Soccer Player of the Year SHAC awards boys golf all-stars, winning teams Donald L Bauer Andrew W Brown Early voting still going strong at Election Board Tree ordinance brings more questions at G’Town Council Steele named new mayor in R’ville ABCAP’s Reproductive Center receives $2,000 from Jaymie Jamison Foundation Robert E Bailey Myrtle L Stiltner Etta M Mays Kathleen A Holden Eastern XC teams head to Regional Meet A season to remember Lady Warriors finish runner-up in SHAC Div. I Lady Broncos finish season 10-8-1
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Honoring a local hero

RIPLEY — If not for the heroic actions of Ripley Police Department Corporal Joel Barnett, Cheyenne Kirk may not have been in attendance at Ripley’s Village Council meeting on October 27.

Kirk, then 16-years old, was caught in the rising waters outside her home as Ripley, Georgetown, and many parts of Brown County felt the devastating effects of flash flooding and torrential downpours on the night of July 18.

According to a report in WCPO-TV, Kirk had left her home to try to swim for help as the overflowing waters from Red Oak Creek started making inroads in her house.

But the flood waters were too strong, and after originally holding onto nearby cars and a fence post, the rushing waters pushed her away. She reportedly grabbed onto the siding of a neighbors home, and stayed their for 45 minutes, holding on for dear life. That’s where Barnett found her.

Barnett and Donald Smithe Jr. were the first Ripley police officers to respond to the scene.

“We ran down the street,” Barnett recalled in a phone interview earlier this month. “(Smith) had the radio because I had taken my gun, belt, vest, and boots off so I could swim better. We were getting calls and using our cell phone. We just got word that there was a girl hanging off the side of the house. We made our way to the house and we saw the parents yelling. She was a type-one diabetic and she was in shock. We made our way down the siding and grabbed her and pulled her out.”

Last Tuesday night, with a packed crowd in the audience and Kirk and her parents Tim and Darla in attendance, the village of Ripley honored Barnett and Smithe, and allowed Kirk a moment to thank her rescuers.

Ripley Police Chief Harvey Bowman introduced the policemen to the audience. Smithe’s father Donald Smithe Sr. was in attendance as Smithe Jr. is currently enrolled in the Ohio State Highway Patrol academy.

As Barnett and Smithe Sr. received certificates from Bowman, Kirk came over to Barnett to thank him through tears. As she did, she collapsed into his arms, and the two embraced in an emotional moment for everyone in attendance.

Barnett, Smith, and Kirk were given a standing ovation during their hug and even after.

“The medal of valor is awarded to both these officers for an act which endangers their lives in which they decide to act upon that and save another’s life,” Bowman said at the village council meeting. “Both of them put their lives in danger that night to save her.

“Neither one of the officers bragged about it. Neither one of the officers said they didn’t do more than what they should have done in the line of duty, and that’s more commendable to me as a police officer, that they didn’t go around and brag and want the publicity. They did a heroic act in saving a life, and I know the Kirk family appreciates it.”

Ripley Mayor Tom Leonard then read out a proclamation recognizing the heroism of Barnett and Smithe Jr.

“Whereas the village council wants to commend Barnett and Smith for their rapid response and heroism demonstrated on July 18 for the example they set for the citizens of Ripley,” read a part of the proclamation.

Bowman revealed that the ceremony was organized on the recommendation of village council and a request from the Kirk family.

“When you hear this at three o’clock in the morning, you’ve got two officers wading out in chest-deep water, you kind of wonder, ‘Oh my gosh’,” Bowman said. “They just took their lives in their own hands for someone else.”

Barnett received a second accolade following his honor from the village. Leonard presented Barnett with a plaque for being named the Brown County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Barnett was one of five nominees in the county, with all five nominees serving as EMTs and first responders for their departments.

Joel Barnett receives a plaque from Ripley Mayor Tom Leonard for winning Brown County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_JoelBarnettLeonard1-DanielKarell-.jpgJoel Barnett receives a plaque from Ripley Mayor Tom Leonard for winning Brown County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Ripley Police Department Corporal Joel Barnett receives a hug from Cheyenne Kirk, who Barnett saved from the side of a house during the flash floods in Ripley on July 18. Barnett was honored for saving Kirk’s life at Ripley’s October 27 Village Council Meeting.
http://newsdemocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_BarnettCheyenneKirk.jpgRipley Police Department Corporal Joel Barnett receives a hug from Cheyenne Kirk, who Barnett saved from the side of a house during the flash floods in Ripley on July 18. Barnett was honored for saving Kirk’s life at Ripley’s October 27 Village Council Meeting.
Village of Ripley and Cheyenne Kirk thank Corporal Joel Barnett for saving her life

By Daniel Karell

dkarell@civitasmedia.com

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell

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