Canal Winchester: 5 top stories from 2020

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek
5 Top Stories of 2020

While 2020 will be remembered for the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the summer’s civil unrest and a polarizing November election, Canal Winchester and Groveport had their memorable moments, too. Here’s a brief recap of five significant stories published in the ThisWeek Canal Winchester Times during the past 12 months. 

Charlotte’s web of controversy – Courtney Elliott said her 30-pound Juliana pig, Charlotte, provided the therapy and emotional support she needed to battle depression. 

But neighbors complained about Charlotte’s “destructive” behavior, with one describing how the pig “rooted” under a chain-linked fence and onto her property. 

The city told Elliott that Charlotte must go because swine generally are prohibited in the city and permitted to be kept only on property zoned "exceptional use" for agricultural farm animals. 

Elliott appealed, but it didn’t matter. She and her husband sold their Sarwil Drive South residence in July. 

The last we knew, Charlotte was living comfortably on a 13-acre farm. 

More:Decision expected July 6 on Canal Winchester emotional-support pig

Milliken makes his mark – Councilman Chuck Milliken’s successful 2019 election campaign became an issue for a divided Canal Winchester City Council. 

In May, the postal carrier rejected calls for his resignation. 

First, his support of council President Mike Walker was questioned because Walker is his landlord. Milliken has said he felt comfortable voting for Walker after receiving guidance from the Ohio Ethics Commission. 

Second, federal investigators found that Milliken violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from participating in certain political activities. However, they found “no evidence” Milliken’s actions were “willful.” 

More:More: Chuck Milliken refuses to resign

Build it … and they will come – As Groveport Mayor Lance Westcamp said, “Groveport can sit around and wait for development or we can take the bull by the horns and get it done ourselves.” 

So, the city did just that and moved ahead with a $6 million redevelopment plan to construct two buildings in the Main Street corridor downtown, an area where residents have wanted to see new restaurants or retail. 

In September, city assistant manager and development director Jeff Green said Groveport was in discussions with three restaurants as possible tenants. 

More:Groveport unveils plans for Main Street buildings

Longtime friends build success – The 21,000 square-foot mixed-use building on West Waterloo Street in Canal Winchester features first-floor space for restaurants or retail stores and 14 one- and two-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors. 

Bob Wood II and his longtime friend, Todd Weiser, grew up in homes across the street from one another and have deep roots in the community. 

Their development is seen as another element in Canal Winchester's thriving Old Town district. 

More:Longtime friends bring new retail space to Old Town Canal Winchester

Pomp and (unusual) circumstance – Graduation ceremonies are incredibly important. Even more so if you’re the first person in your family to graduate from high school. 

This was the case for Haylie Pierce, a member of the CWHS class of 2020. She and many of her classmates had a lot to say – spanning a range of emotions – about the virtual graduation ceremonies school districts opting for due to COVID-19.

More:Canal Winchester graduates appreciate virtual ceremony

Related story:Groveport Madison opts for online ceremony