Pickerington: 5 top stories from 2020
Life has gone on, but nearly every facet of it has shifted in some way because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
While annual Pickerington-sponsored Easter activities, the Picktown Palooza and countless other events were scrapped this year, altered versions of high school graduations, the community July 4 celebration, summer swimming, the Pickerington Lions Club Labor Day Parade and fall scholastic sports were among those that went forward.
Here’s a recap five ThisWeek Pickerington Times-Sun stories that highlighted the year.
Pickerington Jaguars win it all – On Feb. 23, the Pickerington Jaguars Purple Team outpaced the pandemic – Coach Bryon Beresford promised they’d play fast – with a 42-38 victory over Paulding County to win Ohio’s Special Olympics state championship in basketball.
"I'll remember it for a long time – like forever," said 23-year-old Zachary Miller, who hit the team's final shot.
It was the first state championship in the Jaguars’ 20-year program, and neither the community, nor Pickerington visitors are likely to forget soon after Pickerington officials last spring added a sign commemorating the feat at the gateways to the city.
Related story:Special Olympics program teaches more than sports skills
Oh, Christmas tree, please help thee – Inspired by 45-year Pickerington resident Glenda England, a Fairfield Elementary librarian, Mayor Lee Gray ordered the city’s Christmas tree to be installed March 27 near the gazebo at Center and Columbus streets in Olde Pickerington Village.
Gray took the action after England said it might boost the spirits of everyone staying in and fretting at the onset of life amid a pandemic.
"I just thought people need a bright spot. It was just a thought, kind of a tree of hope."
A respite from the heat – Following a roughly two-week postponement due to coronavirus concerns, the Pickerington Community Pool opened June 15.
Deck furniture was removed and attendance was capped, but the pool was open.
Attendees hailed the move as needed recreation and relief, and city officials later said the move was the right call.
Schools bond fails – A 2.9-mill bond issue designed to bring in about $4.4 million annually for the school district to build a new junior high and upgrade existing school building and athletics facilities failed Nov. 3 by a county of15,193 to 13,320 or 53.28 percent to 46.72 percent.
District officials haven’t said if they’ll bring another bond before voters to raise money to address an estimated influx of 1,800 students over the next 10 years.
Happy birthday, Pete! – In a year filled with anxiety, scuttled gatherings and the like, there was no shortage of smiles and salutations as the community celebrated Dorothy “Pete” Peterson’s 95th birthday June 3.
The event saw a gracious Peterson presented with a tiara, cards, flowers and other gifts as a parade of about 50 vehicles passed her Spring Creek condominium.
As family, friends and neighbors marveled at the World War II nurse’s spirit and energy, Peterson quipped that the keys to happiness and health were, “Just having good friends and good family and having been lucky."