Pamela M Hampton Former county sheriff celebrates 80th birthday Missing Adams County man is found Lady Hounds fall to Whiteoak in slugfest Calvert’s walk-off gives Hounds 9-8 win over Whiteoak Charles A Benjamin Give My Regards to Broadway Joyce Berry Joe L Easter William E Foster Margaret Belcher John M Cheatham Ronnie Simpson Under new management county hospital is thriving against all odds Historic fairground gazebo demolished One year later, still no arrests in Rhoden family murders There will be trouble in River City! Monna L Fitzgerald Jesse Carrington Janice M Sowards Rhoden family members make plea for tips in Pike Co murders of loved ones Quilting – the art that’s no longer just for Grandma Young is Adams County recipient of Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award Wenstrup recognized as Community Health Advocate Ready, set, go! 25th annual Egg Hunt draws hundreds Applicants needed for Adams County Fair Queen Humane Society encourages responsible animal ownership ACCS holds annual Science Fair Peebles Elementary names March Students of the Month Pierce fires perfect game as Peebles blanks West Union Hunters preparing for 2017 Wild Turkey Season Lady Hounds fall 12-3 at Lynchburg Dragons lose early lead, drop SHAC match up with Fayetteville, 13-6 Senior Profile: Isaiah Anderson Devils roll to big SHAC win at Ripley Despite soggy night, WUHS hosts annual Invitational Meet Celebrities for a night George F Carr Jr Teresa S Hoskins Mary B McClure Richard B Collins Randall D Fetters Former Manchester officer indicted on five counts WUHS student wins state Beta Club Secretary’s seat OVCTC students part of state competition S.R. 73 closed for culvert replacement Peebles Lions Club holds first Easter Egg Hunt Weyrich graduates with honors from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics North Adams Elementary releases Honor Roll for Third grading Period Scholarships available from Jefferson Alumni Olympic athlete speaks at April 6 SAAM event Venture Hawks end their basketball season with a victory at WUHS Devils baseball sweeps doubleheader from Northwest Greyhounds gain SHAC split, split twinbill with East England signs with Rio Grande golf Pierce fans 16, Lady Indians blank Eastern Brown 4-0 Maybe somebody on the river does have a plan Senior Profile: Ryan Dryden Enjoying the view Still a time for celebration Carl R Brown Lena R Staggs Adams County Crews Schedule Culvert Replacement Projects Merlan Shoemaker Dwayne E Thompson Help is on the line! West Union Elementary honors February Students of the Month WUHS hosts 2017 All-County Arts and Music Festival Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak Access Grand Opening set for April 20 Kasich cracks down on opiate-based prescriptions West Union High School students have successful trip to State Beta Convention North Adams Beta Club excels at State Convention ACRMC hosts annual Health Fair Robert H Bushman Senior Profile: Skylar Newman Nine-run inning leads Lady Hounds to run rule win over West Union WUHS foursome breaks school record First county baseball battle goes to the Greyhounds On the road, Lady Indians pick up two more SHAC victories Senior Profile: Christa Williams One more ‘shining moment’ for SHAC seniors at C103 All-Star Game Esie M Chandler Phyllis Adkins Former Manchester police deputy faces Grand Jury Indictments Cornell tosses no-hitter, Fenton goes deep, Dragons open season with 11-0 SHAC win over Whiteoak New Verizon store opening in West Union Stephen R Palmer Dual culvert replacements for SR 73 Deana P Grooms Tim Phipps Marcella Walker Alvin R Mitchum Senior Profile: Chase Darnell SHAC hoopsters shine at District 14 All-Star Game Greyhounds run rule St. Pat, 15-0 Indians drop SHAC opener West Union hosts early JH Track Meet North Adams student wins state Beta Club President’s seat Anna B Copas Charles A Nelson

Olympic athlete speaks at April 6 SAAM event

At last week’s SAAM event, from left, Brown County Victim Advocate Jessica Roush, Olympian Margaret Hoelzer, and Adams County Victim Advocate Kim Newman.

Silver medalist spotlights sexual assault awareness – 

Story and photos by Patricia Beech – 

Olympic athlete Margaret Hoelzer has a simple message for victims of sexual assault – “you are not alone”.
“I was abused as a child,” she says matter-of-factly. “But I’m a survivor, and you can learn how to be a survivor too.”
It is a deeply personal message for Hoelzer – an American swimmer, silver medalist, bronze medalist, and former world-record holder who competed in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games.
She shared her story at the 4th Annual “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” (SAAM) event held Thursday, April 6 at the North Adams Elementary School in Seaman.
“After the 2008 Olympics I wanted to go public with my story, and I wanted to use being an athlete as a platform,” she says. “At the time I had a sports agent and he set me up with a reporter from the Associated Press and I did an interview. I honestly thought that was going to be it, but people began reaching out to me asking if I’d come speak at their events.”
Hoelzer has since become a public speaker on child abuse issues and she serves as the national spokesperson for the National Children’s Advocacy Center. She has also received the “Voice of Courage” award from the Darkness to Light child advocacy services.
For more than eight years she has traveled across America working with victim advocates to raise awareness about sexual assault.
“This isn’t a field people go into because it’s a happy, fuzzy subject,” she says. “There are amazing people who work in this field and want to give back to their communities – it sounds cheesy, but they make the world a better place.”
The annual SAAM event is sponsored by the Adams and Brown County Prosecutor offices, the Adams Crime Victim Assistance Program, and victim advocates Kim Newman and Jessica Roush. Their purpose – to raise awareness about sexual assault.

A silent auction was part of the activities at the April 6 SAAM event held at the North Adams Elementary School

“We do this so people know there’s hope in healing,” Newman says. “We get a lot more calls after events like this from people reaching out, and we’ve got disclosures many times at this event because people feel safe here, they know they’ll be believed, and there’s hope so they reach out and disclose what happened to them.”
Adams County Prosecutor, David Kelley agrees: “The SAAM event offers a refuge for victims of sexual assault by giving them a safe place where they know others understand their experience,” says Kelley. “There are people here who believe them, who care, and are here to share.”
Kelley further emphasizes the importance of sexual assault awareness in preventing a crime he says “does not always leave a visible mark.”
“People are more aware now, but when I was growing up in the 60’s you didn’t talk about it, there was no help, no victim advocates, and people’s unwillingness to believe the victim meant perpetrators were allowed to escape unpunished for decades,” he said. “In today’s society people want CSI, they want DNA evidence, but if someone touches you inappropriately, the mark they leave is almost always invisible.”
While education and awareness have made significant strides in changing people’s attitudes about sexual assault, they have also more importantly impacted how sexual assault cases are handled in our courts.
“We start by believing,” Kelley says without hesitation. “We don’t challenge the victim, we take them as they are, and we investigate the case – thoroughly. Sexual assault is a crime of power over someone else, so I try to empower victims to set the pace, and when they’re ready to be in a confrontational courtroom setting, we will bring charges. It’s a victim oriented, a victim-driven process.”
Several other community organizations and agencies also participated in the SAAM event including: FRS Counseling, Stewards of Children, the Mayerson Center from Childrens Hospital, the Adams County Regional Medical Center, ABCAP, Shawnee Mental Health, and Women Helping Women.
“We invite several different organizations so people will know what resources are available to victims,” Roush says. “It allows us to reach more people in the area.”
The event also featured Zumba and Yoga class, a silent auction with more than 40 items donated by individuals and businesses, and a raffle which offered a wide variety of gift cards and admission tickets for the Newport Aquarium, the Freedom Center, Coney Island, and a Cincinnati Reds game.
This year, the SAAM campaign motto is “Engaging New Voices”, and the focus is on involving coaches, faith leaders, parents, and bystanders in preventing sexual assault. While many people know about sexual assault and believe it is a problem, they don’t know how they can help.
Victim advocates work tirelessly to fill that gap by providing access to information that educates and helps prevent sexual assault – now and in the future.
“Every generation learns anew, and every generation builds on the one that comes before,” says Kelley. “The work we do now forms the foundation for what our children will do as adults to prevent sexual abuse in the years to come.”

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