David Kierzek Theresa C Davis Edward F Storer Ralph Rader DP&L to stick with planned closings Preventing tax season identity theft 4-H awards 11 local scholarships Peebles Elementary holds Spirit Week Humane Society to hold Radio Auction Local business partners find historical treasure in old bank building DP&L employees meet with union leadership GE-Peebles Test Operation joins the campaign about Distracted Driving North Adams Elementary recognizes February Students of the Month Senior Profile: Sydney Michael Stars will shine for the 34th annual C-103 All-Star Game NAHS Track/XC host Shamrock Shuffle 5K Associated Press names All-Southeast District Teams Senior Profile: Hannah Howard Nice to finally be a small part of March Madness The tractor has always been special Jimmy Nelson Kathryn Boldman James E Downs Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards

Some days turn out to be far from normal

By Mark Carpenter – People’s Defender

Most of the time reporting on news and sports in our rural area is a rewarding and gratifying experience. Sometimes it’s not. Last Friday was one of those “nots”. A day that began as normal for most people certainly didn’t stay that way for very long as the horrific news from near the Pike County-Adams County line began to trickle in. Eight members of the same family, killed in cold blood, murdered execution style. It quickly became obvious to many of us that our Friday was going to be far from anything considered normal.

We’ve had our share of tragic news to report and I think back to last December when the county tragically lost two teenagers far too soon or the tragic flooding deaths in Ripley last summer. But no recent event, with its horrible nature and unanswered questions, put a grip of fear on the area like what happened in the early hours of Friday morning. The reports were like nothing we had ever heard, once the accurate news finally began to be released.

It certainly was a challenge all day for the media gathered at Union Hill Road, a lot of waiting, wondering, and guessing. As it is in the news media, there’s always that race to be the”first” to break a story, a race which in this case began the day with reports that turned out to be inaccurate. That means very little, though, as no matter what the news reports, the true facts were that the surviving members of a family were left to deal with an unimaginable tragedy and many first responders who arrived on the crime scene were left with memories they will have a difficult time erasing.

Even if you did not personally know the Rhoden family, you cannot help but be affected by the events of last Friday. You cannot help but think of the long road of healing that the family faces, or of the three young children who were spared and their uncertain future. You cannot help but wonder why and like the rest of us, search your mind for any kind of explanation.

What you can be assured of is that as small communities always do, Piketon will pull together and provide the necessary strength for all to begin to cope. All of our thoughts and prayers will be with the family and the entire community.

On the back of the bulletin at the Ripley Church of Christ on Sunday morning appeared a poem titled “We”ll Get Through This” by Joanna Fuchs. It seemed appropriate after the events of last Friday.

“Lord, our troubles are so great, we don’t know what to do,

The price for our iniquity is finally coming due.

The world is crumbling all about, no safe place can be found,

Right is wrong, wrong is right, the change is quite profound.

Lord, we need your guiding light to lead us out of here,

We’ll focus on your Word and prayer to take away our fear.

Temptations of this dying world we’ll rule out and let go,

Give our burdens all to you, shed all our worldly woe.

That’s how we’ll get through this Lord, fixed on heaven above,

Assured of your protection, help, and everlasting love.”

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