ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley Volleyball teams honor young cancer patient MHS honors veterans during pregame Kirker Covered Bridge gets a ‘Brown Goose’ facelift Adams County Heritage Days are Sept. 30-Oct. 1 Lady Devils prevail 1-0 over Peebles on Kickin’ Cancer Night Senior Profile: Patrick Baldwin Michael W Milby James R Grooms Sr. Fall Festival crowns Little Miss and Mister UPDATE: Pike County multiple murder Investigation; redacted autopsy reports released West Union Elementary names August Students of the Month SHAC streak continues for North Adams volleyball West Union volleyball picks up a pair of W’s Animal Shelter booth sees record crowds at Old Timer’s Day Festival Dragons top Manchester in Defender Bowl battle, 28-22 Senior Profile: Kendall Gallowitz Lady Dragons grab early lead in SHAC Tourney, final round is coming Friday Another Old Timer’s Days in the books and successful Run Gio Foundation to hold Oct. 1 benefit in Adams County Betty L Kelley Tom Cross, ACTVB Director, to receive ODNR Cardinal Award Seaman Fall Festival begins Wednesday, runs through Saturday Dragons still lead after two rounds of SHAC Golf, McCarty tops individual leader board Lady Dragons get SHAC win, downing Fayetteville 3-1 Overcoming obstacles, Pennywitt etches his name in MHS record books Dragons take first day lead in SHAC Golf Tourney New drug treatment offers more hope for recovering addicts Ronnie G Nace Lucille Wright Lois M Bixler Time to change those soccer rules Senior Profile: Hannah Grimes ‘Cruising up and down the main drag all night long’ Community effort erects town clock S Bridge to be replaced on Graces Run Road Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Lady Dragons break ACCC course record Dragons roll in county gridiron battle Down to last play, Hounds fall in heartbreaker I never won, but those lawn games were special times Donnie Austin Shari R Hiltibran Bentonville hosts 40th Annual Harvest Festival West Union soccer teams sweep Williamsburg, St. Patrick “Rockin” the mats again Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Sylvester Mefford Local teens selected to State 4-H Teen Leadership Council Connect with Serpent Mound over Old Timer’s Days Guthrie to speak about pests and diseases in beekeeping Old Timers Days Festival Cornhole Tournament is this week Defender Bowl coming Thursday Bentonville Harvest Festival holds Toddler Pageants 40th Anniversary Bentonville Harvest Festival hosts Baby Show 9/11 Reminds Us That We Are All Americans Lady Dragons are 2016 County Cup winners Bob Birchfield Senior Profile: Ryan Henderson Dragons take JV golf match Another rough night for Greyhounds, Notre Dame rolls to big win Remembering 9/11-15 years later Hughes honored at GABP Concussions and Youth Sports Roberta Newman to retire after more than 46 years at First State Bank Reaching out to the Baton Rouge flood victims Bentonville Harvest Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary Fire it up! Annual Jr. Fair BBQ cooks up another savory fare Lady Indians take down Whiteoak in four sets Senior Profile: Zack Best Greyhounds produce three winners at the 2016 Dragon Run Lady Hounds win in five sets at West Union Teresa Houdeshell Rosa Grooms Roy C Shiveley Mathew R Potts Staggs and Louiso to visit nation’s capital MLSD board members disagree on the merits of drug-testing students Law enforcement will target impaired drivers Labor Day weekend Figgins goal gives Devils a 1-0 win over West Union Lady Devils soccer rolls past West Union 9-1 Senior Profile: Madison Jenkins Boys golf season in full swing in county Winchester Homecoming Festival beats the heat and the storm I learned a lot from Rusty Verona McRoberts Lester Boldman Elsworth Cook Jr Harold L Applegate Governor Kasich honors Defender’s 150th anniversary ACRMC offers Language Interpretation Greyhounds stumble in opener, Green rushing attack leads to big win Notre Dame drops North Adams in straight sets SENIOR PROFILE: Gavin Baldwin Lady Dragons win Friday match at ACCC Juanita Lee Annual Junior Fair Beef BBQ is Thursday night Earl Jackson It was really worth the wait Barnes retires from Water District Board of Trustees

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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2016 People's Defender