Construction, growth and change made headlines in 2017 in Canal Winchester, Groveport and Madison Township.
Year of beer: The DogTap, a 10,000-square-foot restaurant and taproom at BrewDog's U.S. headquarters in Canal Winchester, was barely up and running in February before the company announced plans to remodel to add two new bars so more customers could be accommodated. That was followed in March with the announcement of plans for a $6 million hotel to be called the DogHouse -- of course -- near the brewery. [Related story]
Changing of the guard: Longtime Groveport City Councilman Ed Rarey resigned in March 2017 for health reasons. He will be succeeded by newcomer Marvin A. Stevens, one of four candidates on the Nov. 7 for four seats, along with incumbents Edward G. Dildine, Becky Hutson and Scott Lockett. In Canal Winchester, longtime City Council member Bobbie Mershon lost a re-election bid in a race that had six candidates competing for four seats. Patrick Lynch, Michael Coolman and incumbent Will Bennett won three seats but the race for the fourth seat wasn't officially decided until an automatic recount supported the election-night choice of Jill Amos over Bob Toledo.
School construction: Work is expected to be finished in May on a new Groveport Madison High School that will include three two-story academic wings, a band room, choir room, auditorium, art labs and a media center. In Canal Winchester, the district is preparing to add 42,000 square feet of space to the high school, with new labs, office space and flexible space included in the design.
You can go home again: Especially if you come bearing a really big check. Former Groverport Madison football standout Le'Veon Bell, now playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, gave his alma mater $750,000 over 10 years to pay for the installation of a state of the art turf field and a new scoreboard for what is now known as Le'Veon Bell Field at Cruiser Stadium.
Opioids: Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen announced the formation of a new Overdose Response Team in response to increasing numbers of opioid-related offenses and reported that 75 percent of the theft-related offenses his department investigates are connected with drug habits. Two people found unconscious in a parked car with its engine running in Canal Winchester in August had to be revived with Narcan.