Grandview Heights: 5 top stories of 2020

Alan Froman
ThisWeek group

It seemed negative news was never-ending in 2020, from a worldwide pandemic and a contentious presidential election to mass protests across the country and struggling businesses.

Grandview Heights residents led a number of initiatives as ways to create positivity in their community.  

A recap of some of those efforts is included among a selection of five significant stories published in the ThisWeek Tri-Village News this year.

5 Top Stories of 2020

NEW YEAR, NEW LEADERSHIP: Greta Kearns took office Jan. 1 as Grandview's new mayor after being elected to replace Ray DeGraw, who retired after serving 16 years as mayor. 

The retirement of other city officials led to a new leadership team for the city.

Kearns named finance director Bob Dvoraczky as the city's chief of staff/director of operations and Aubrey Hale as strategy and engagement officer. 

City Council confirmed Kearns' appointments of Ryan Starns as the city's new police chief in March and Greg Eisenacher as fire chief in May.

GROUNDBREAKING FOR A BUILDING: A bit of rain and wind didn't postpone Grandview Heights Schools' groundbreaking ceremony for its facilities project. Participants still were able to shovel the ceremonial dirt during the event, which was moved indoors to the Grandview Heights High School gymnasium.

The work on the first phase of the project began Jan. 27. The first phase includes construction of a new intermediate/middle school in an area between the current Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School and high school buildings.

ACTION ON RACIAL JUSTICE: Grandview Heights City Council on Aug. 3 unanimously approved a resolution declaring racism a public health issue.

The resolution declares the designation for 2021 in Grandview and directs the city to plan a series of educational events about racial injustice and its impact on the history of Ohio and the Grandview community.

A task force was formed to plan a Year of Racial Justice Learning in 2021.

UNITY IN OUR GRANDVIEW COMMUNITY: The Ohlingers and Nelsons, two families who live next door to each other on Glenn Avenue, started a grassroots initiative in August they call "Unity in Our Grandview Community."

Each month, the families choose a central Ohio organization and, through social media, ask community members to donate items to support the beneficiary.

"We feel that there's more that unites us than divides us, especially in Grandview," Stephanie Nelson said.

SPECIAL WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Following the adage that the pen is mightier than the sword, more than 20 Grandview Heights High School students and staff participated Sept. 2 in an anti-racism letter-writing project in the school's media center.

Participants in the project wrote an email or a handwritten note to send to local or national officials to express their thoughts about the issue of racism and events like the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis or the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

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