Whitehall: 5 top stories from 2020

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group
5 Top Stories of 2020

The world changed in 2020, with the COVID-19 coronavirus, civil unrest in major U.S. cities and a polarized political climate as just a few examples.

Whitehall had its share of changes, too. Here’s a brief recap of five significant stories published in the ThisWeek Whitehall News during the past 12 months.

Broad Street beautified – In September, Whitehall leaders welcomed the Old Bag of Nails Pub and the first tenants at Norton Crossing, a $55 million mixed-use development on the south side of East Broad Street and west of South Hamilton Road.

Additional office and retail spaces will open in 2021.

Norton Crossing is built on the site of the former Commons at Royal Landing, a 42-building, 270-unit apartment complex the city purchased in 2016 for $5 million.

The Eisenhower-era apartment complex had been the subject of multiple property-code violations and generated its share of calls for police service, according to city officials.

Related story:Norton Crossing’s final phase to rise in 2021

Whitehall-Yearling welcomed Warfield – Bill Warfield was named Whitehall-Yearling High School’s principal in April, resolving the unexpected departure of Paul Smathers at the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year.

Crystal Johnson had served as interim principal until Warfield, the supervisor of curriculum and instruction for Olentangy Schools, was hired to take over Aug. 1.

Related story:Bill Warfield hired April 9 as Whitehall-Yearling High School principal

Parking prohibitions passed – After proposing an all-out ban early in the year on parking vehicles and campers on unimproved surfaces – namely backyards – Whitehall City Council reached a compromise to allow one vehicle to be parked.

City officials proposed the policy to address the problem of multiple vehicles kept at some residences, but opponents said the move penalized responsible residents instead of focusing on the few causing the problem.

Related story:Whitehall leaders reach ‘compromise’ on backyard parking

Breaking bread for birds outlawed – Whitehall leaders put the kibosh on feeding waterfowl, including ducks, geese and swans, in the city.

A few residents cried foul online about the emergency legislation approved Sept. 1, but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources lauded the city for the new regulation, particularly concerning the Canada goose.

Violation of the new city code could result in a fourth-degree misdemeanor charge punishable by a maximum fine of $250 and 30 days in jail.

Related story:For the birds? Whitehall might prohibit feeding of waterfowl

Related story:Whitehall quacks down on folks who feed fowl

Plane-inspired memorial landed in park – Two retirees from North American Aviation – the forerunner of Rockwell International – collaborated to celebrate Whitehall’s ties to aviation, particularly the military aircraft the plants produced right here in central Ohio.

A memorial bench at Whitehall Community Park, which once was a private recreational area for the thousands of plant employees, was added in 2020.

Images of the planes – including the T-28 Trojan and the F-100 Super Sabre – have been etched into the marble bench.

Related story:Memorial bench in Whitehall Community Park depicts aircraft-manufacturing history

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo