Gambier is Talking About...
Fire. A building in downtown Mount Vernon—once home to a Kresge store, a Ben Franklin hardware store, Focus Studio, and most recently a fitness facility—was destroyed by fire in a blaze that roared for hours. Located on the corner of South Main and West Gambier streets, the building was deemed a total loss, according to the Mount Vernon News. The cause of the fire is undetermined.
Failed Levies. Four area schools—East Knox, Mount Vernon, North Fork, and Northridge—had levies on the November ballot. Voters in Knox and Licking counties rejected them all. Many members of Kenyon's faculty and staff have children in the local school districts.
A Tortoise Tale. A pet South American red-footed tortoise wandered away from dance professor Balinda Craig-Quijada's Gambier home. Wimpy, the errant tortoise, is more than twenty years old. He was found by well-intentioned neighbors and put in the Kokosing River, an alarming development given that the tropical creature can't swim and isn't native to Ohio. Craig-Quijada, who keeps several tortoises she acquired during her childhood in Venezuela, posted "lost tortoise" signs and rallied the community. The tortoise was found by a father-and-son fishing duo several days later. Craig-Quijada surmises the tortoise was easy to spot because it had become lodged on its back near the river bank.
Accessibility. Ransom and Stephens halls, housing the offices of admissions and financial aid, are now fully accessible, thanks to an elevator installed in the south wing.
A Defeated Politician. Incumbent Democrat Zack Space '83 was defeated in the race for U.S. Representative for Ohio's 18th Congressional District.
Lock down. Kenyon imposed a campus-wide safety lock down on November 11, when it surfaced that a man responsible for the disappearance of two women and two children in nearby Apple Valley might be on campus. A vehicle linked to the missing persons was discovered parked at the Brown Family Environmental Center.
The story made national headlines and, sadly, did not end well. The bodies of Tina Herrmann; her 11-year-old son, Kody Maynard; and family friend Stephanie Sprang were found in a hollow beech tree at the Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area north of Fredericktown. Thirteen-year-old Sarah Maynard survived. She was found tied in the murder suspect's basement.
Reports confirm that the suspect, Matthew J. Hoffman, was on Kenyon's campus the night of the lock down.
Trees. Several trees in the Gambier business district have died, including three along Middle Path.