WUES students perform as part of Honor Choir Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak access completed Hall of Fame Christmas in Portsmouth Thyme to trim the Christmas Tree Junior High Lady Hounds get season-opening sweep Lady Devils roll past Paint Valley in season opener Senior Profile: Jessica Johnson Michael E Roberts Sr Evelyn L Jones Thomas M Calvert Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES Second half spells doom as Greyhounds fall to Hillcrest 42-12 in finale Senior Profile: Sarah McFarland WU’s Horton will continue golf career at SSU Lady Devils’ season ends in heartbreak with 3-2 loss in District championship battle Christine R. Ritchey Operation Christmas Child begins Nov. 14 Mental Health levy on tomorrow’s ballot Wanda L. Nixon David Rogers Robert “Bobby” Leonard Keneth Waters
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Keller’s Night in Peebles

A standing-room-only crowd of basketball fans raised an astounding $37,000 during the “Black Out Cancer” benefit held for Keller Beech Wilson during the North Adams/Peebles game on Friday, Jan. 29. Keller is the three-year-old son of Jennifer Beech and Kyle Wilson, of Peebles.

“We are absolutely amazed by everyone’s generosity,” said event organizer, Mandy Knechtly. Knechtly, along with Carisa Kremin and Misty Arey, all of Peebles, organized the fund raiser after Keller was diagnosed with a rare form of A.L.L. Leukemia in early January.

The evening’s fund raising events included: a silent auction of donated items, the live auction of two basketballs signed by Keller and the members of both basketball teams and cheerleading squads, the selling of Black “Keller Strong” t-shirts, the selling of Southern Ohio Beard Society T-shirts and a 50/50 Split the Pot Raffle.

The highlight of the evening, a live skyping event with Keller and his parents, brought the crowd to their feet as the family’s image was projected in real time onto the wall of the gymnasium.

“It was an extraordinary night,” said Kremin, “We owe special thanks to Mr. Vogler and Scout Kremin for successfully bringing off the Skyping event, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.”

A “Be The Match” Bone Marrow Donor Drive was held throughout the evening. Seventy-nine people registered. “We had a wonderful night at the BE THE MATCH table,” said Beth Seaman, of Peebles, “Dannie Moore, representative from BE THE MATCH, said the night was a huge success. She said the average drive turns out around 25 donors, and we more than tripled that. And I’m still collecting swab kits. People of all ages came to visit us on Friday. We had people that were too young ask about registering to donate. We encouraged them to register with BE THE MATCH when they turn 18. Only those between 18-44 can register at donor drives, but anyone between the ages of 18-60 can request to have a kit sent to them through the mail by visiting the link http://join.bethematch.org/save2match16. Please keep in mind that anyone between the ages 45-60 will be assessed a $100 fee to register. It’s truly amazing the selfless act of so many.”

The evening was a demonstration of community cooperation at it’s best.

“Two communities came together to show what living in Adams County is all about,” posted Amy Huffman Swango on the PHS Boosters Facebook page. “Not Red or Green, but a sea of black raised over $12,000 for our little hero, Keller.”

Timothy Morrison of Seaman, also posted on the NA Boosters FaceBook page. “What an awesome turnout tonight at Peebles HS. I am proud of both our schools and our teams. What a great night to come out to help support Keller and his family. The money that was raised to help was great. Tonight was a win for Keller and the ball signed by both teams and cheerleaders was awesome. I am proud of our communities and our county. It was great night to help a great cause.”

The live auction, conducted by auctioneer Dean Brown raised $5,200. The autographed NA basketball was purchased by Deirdre Hutchinson Mills and the staff at NA Elementary School for $1,207. The winning bid for the autographed Peebles basketball went to the following businesses for $2,000: Ty Pell Surveying, Dean Brown-Auctioneer, McFarland Blacktop Sealing, Swango Logging, Lloyd Excavating, Roy Willman, Carla Wesley – Meigs Twp Fiscal Officer, Dr. David and Jodi Parrett, Peebles Youth Basketball, OK Auto Parts, County Line Carry Out, and Moose and Brenda Brown.

The afghan embroidered with “Keller Strong” was purchased by Jeanmarie Decker, Alton Swayne, and the Athletic Boosters for $2,000. The First State Bank kicked off the Split the Pot drawing with a $100 donation. The drawing, which raised $2,000, was won by Shawn R Hudge,l who donated the winnings back to the Keller.

The Silent Auction raised $3,900. “We are so grateful to everyone who donated items for the silent auction,” said organizer Misty Arey, “The people who placed bids were incredibly generous, we all feel so blessed to be able to do this for Keller and his family.”

The Southern Ohio Beard Society raised $1,100, and the Athletic Boosters concessions another $1,000. All of the “Keller Strong” T-shirts sold out in the first ten minutes. The remaining funds were individual donations of money presented to the Keller Strong benefit throughout the evening.

“There are things more important than basketball and you saw that tonight,” said Peebles boys varsity coach Josh Arey. “We appreciated both crowds tonight and it was a wonderful atmosphere.”

Donations and ideas for fundraisers are still coming in.

Emily Young posted the following on her Facebook page: Coin Wars! Calling all COINS!!!! Okay friends, West Union Elementary School is collecting Coins for Keller. Keller Beech Wilson is the 3- year old son of our fourth grade teacher Jennifer Beech. Each homeroom’s collections will be weighed daily, with the winning classroom earning a pizza party. My third graders are very competitive, so I’m asking all my friends to clean out their couches, empty the bottom of their purses, clean out the cup holders in your car, and donate! We have until Feb. 12 to collect all your spare change. PS— If our school raises $2000 we have a promise that a certain principal will shave his head.

To donate to the Keller Strong fund, or to purchase “Keller Strong” T-shirts, contact Carisa Kremin at 937-779-7648, Misty Arey at 937-798-1733, or Mandy Knechtly at 937-470-3986.

Keller and his parents were able to join the fun at Friday night’s game and benefit via Skyping.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_Keller1.jpgKeller and his parents were able to join the fun at Friday night’s game and benefit via Skyping. Mark Carpenter | People’s Defender

The North Adams and Peebles cheerleading squads together led the crowd in a spirited “Keller Strong” cheer.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_Keller2.jpgThe North Adams and Peebles cheerleading squads together led the crowd in a spirited “Keller Strong” cheer. Mark Carpenter | People’s Defender

These young students from North Adams Elementary made a number of signs showing their support for the evening’s cause.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_Keller3.jpgThese young students from North Adams Elementary made a number of signs showing their support for the evening’s cause. Mark Carpenter | People’s Defender
Community benefit raises $37,000

By Patricia Beech

pbeech@civitasmedia.com

Reach Patricia Beech at 937-544-2391 or at pbeech@civitasmedia.com

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2016 People's Defender