Biggest News Stories of 2023


2023 was a banner year in Logan County and beyond.

Let’s take a look back at some of the biggest news and sports stories of the year.


David Crissman’s road to Bellefontaine Mayor- In May of 2023 David Crissman defeated Ben Stahler as the republican candidate in the May election, 650 votes (53%) to 579 (47%). Crissman would then move on in November to defeat the democrat candidate Timothy Steinhelfer by 2,434 votes (67%) to 1,084 (33%). Crissman was sworn in as Mayor of the City of Bellefontaine on Friday, December 22nd and his first official day of service will be January 1, 2024.

Lutheran Community Services completes new building project On September 22, 2022, a project 10 years in the making broke ground as Lutheran Community Services started construction on their brand new facility located on West Sandusky Avenue in Bellefontaine.  One year later, almost to the day, they moved in! The new building houses both Our Daily Bread and the Lutheran Thrift Store.  Executive Director Kim Collum was on Listen Up! earlier this year, listen in as she talks about the new space:

Dave Chappelle took the stage at the Holland In June Dave Chappelle took the stage in a sold-out show that surprised Logan County. Chappelle walked out to a standing ovation. He drove home from a show in Philadelphia Friday night just for this event. He spoke of living in Yellow Springs and that this was his first trip to Logan County. He joked asking if Bellefontaine had enough fast food places. He was on stage for 20 to 30 minutes giving the audience plenty of laughs before saying good night to another standing ovation. Holland Theatre Executive Director Greg Titus came out to thank the crowd and give an update on the marquee fundraiser. They needed over $400,000 and going into that night they had raised over $200,000. The night’s event raised $35,000 and Titus said they received a special gift courtesy of the Lile family in the name of Levi and Nancy Lile. It was a check for $100,000. The marquee fundraiser is now fully funded and expected to be erected in the fall of 2024.

Indian Lake FFA Teacher, Tanner Schoen Indicted The Logan County Grand Jury indicted Tanner Schoen, Ohio Hi-Point Indian Lake FFA Advisor and Agriculture Instructor, on several charges in early July. Schoen has been charged with 10 counts of Sexual Battery and 1 count of Rape. Dates of the charges range from August 19, 2020, through May 24, 2023. Schoen appeared in front of Magistrate Kathryn E. M. Hanson in a Logan County courtroom Wednesday afternoon and entered a plea of not guilty to all charges. Bond was set at Personal recognizance of accused. Schoen was then ordered to pay a $60 fee within seven days. Schoen is restricted to the State of Ohio and is to not have direct or indirect contact with the victim or their immediate family. One victim is listed in this case. The Logan County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Schoen in mid-June after they were contacted by school officials regarding an inappropriate relationship with a student. Schoen is set to appear in court for a Plea Hearing on January 11, 2024, at 9 AM.

Murder in Urbana Jamie King was in a Champaign County courtroom Monday, April 17th, for his arraignment after being charged with murder over the weekend. The judge nearly doubled his bond setting it at $1,000,000 from the previous $510,000. Urbana Police and fire crews were called to an apartment in the 100 block of South Main Street Saturday nights after King called 911 and reported his girlfriend had been shot several times. He told dispatchers his 25-year-old girlfriend, Kaden Harkins, wasn’t breathing.  He hung up when asked who shot her and he wouldn’t answer any callbacks. When police arrived, they found Harkins dead inside the apartment. A judge on Monday, December 11th sentenced King to 18 years to life in prison for the April murder of an Urbana woman with whom he lived. He shot Kaden Harkins with a handgun 13 times on April 15th in their apartment in the 100 block of South Main Street in Urbana, according to a release from prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to her murder and a firearm specification in November.

Jamie King

Standley retires, Marlow replaces After 28 years with the Bellefontaine Police Department, Chief Brandon Standley retired on April 6th. Standley began his career in 1995 as an officer before he became a detective. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2003. In 2011 he took over as Chief after Brad Kunze stepped down. Standley retired from the Police Department, but not retiring from working. Starting Monday, April 10, he will start a new career as the Township Administrator for Jerome Township in Union County. Jerome Township is a booming area located between Marysville and Dublin. After filling in as interim chief, Chris Marlow was sown in as permanent chief on June 23rd. Chief Marlow had this to say on the day of his swearing-in:

Two Cobble Stone Hotels break ground in Logan County New hotels are coming to Bellefontaine & Indian Lake. Groundbreakings for both spaces took place in early November. After years of anticipation, dirt has begun moving and the four-story, 80-room upscale hotel under the Cobblestone Hotels brand name will begin to take shape. The hotel in Bellefontaine will be located adjacent to the Mary Rutan Health Center with frontage along Route 33 and access via both Main Street and Dowell Avenue. The Indian Lake location is across from Subway in Russells Point.

Lakeview Mayor Retires- After more than 20 years of service Ryan Shoffstall is retiring as mayor of the village of Lakeview.  Shoffstall plans to continue running his business, Shoffstall Funeral Home in Lakeview and spend more time with his family. He will continue to sit on several boards within the county and volunteer where he can. Elaine Fagan Moore will take the helm as mayor on January 1, 2024.

Stand-off in Bellefontaine Officers from the Bellefontaine Police Department were dispatched to a home on Gunntown Road on Wednesday, June 14th regarding a domestic situation involving Jeremy Sassen. Officers learned that Sassen had barricaded himself within a room of the residence, was in mental distress, and was likely in possession of several weapons. Officers then deployed the Bellefontaine Special Response Team, the Logan County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State High Way Patrol Special Response Team as well as the Bellefontaine Fire Department. After several hours of attempted crisis negotiations, Special Response Team members deployed CS Gas into the home. Sassen exited the home shortly after the gas deployment, around 9 PM, without incident. After receiving treatment from the Bellefontaine Fire Department Medics, Sasson was arrested and transported to the Logan County Jail. Sasson was charged with Strangulation and Domestic Violence. Crews were on the scene for seven hours.

Calvary begins building a new school- Monday, January 9th, Phase 1 of Calvary Christian’s multi-phase construction project is complete with the opening of their new building. A ribbon cutting was held Monday afternoon to dedicate the new building. On August 5th the school broke ground for the 2nd phase that is hoped to be completed in the summer of 2024.

Mary Rutan opens Goble Center for Women and Children- On January 20th, Mary Rutan Hospital held a ribbon cutting for the new Goble Center for Women and Children. The new 19,000-square-foot facility is located at 118 Dowell Avenue in Bellefontaine. It houses both pediatrics and OBGYN services under one roof. The Center is named in honor of Mandy Goble, former president and CEO of Mary Rutan Health. In August of 2021, Mrs. Goble retired after 32 years of service. During her tenure, Mrs. Goble brought increased healthcare services to our community through expanded and new service lines, building projects, and outreach. Construction of the project started in May of 2022.


St. Clair commits to Ohio State Buckeyes June 21st Bellefontaine junior quarterback Tavien St. Clair committed to play football at Ohio State. St. Clair shared the news with Ryan Day and the rest of the Buckeyes’ staff Tuesday afternoon after a one-day camp at OSU. The story broke after St. Clair told his BHS teammates following a 7-on-7 tournament Wednesday at Ohio State. The record-setting quarterback became Ohio State’s priority after an impressive spring season of camps and showcases. St. Clair reflected on choosing the Buckeyes. “It feels great to commit, especially to Ohio State because it’s what you dream of as a football player growing up in Ohio. “I chose Ohio State because of the tradition and the development at the QB position. It just feels like the right decision, especially being 50 minutes away. “My timeline jumped up early after the great visit last Thursday (June 15th) and the coach’s confidence in me being the best possible future quarterback for Ohio State. It feels right to commit right now because I can help recruit the Class of 2025. “Finally, it’s been fun to get national attention and see so many of the top programs in the country this summer. I enjoyed every minute of it.” He also heavily considered Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, and Michigan. Tavien’s parents are Marcus and Patricia St. Clair.

Tavien St. Clair with OSU coach Ryan Day

Indian Lake falls to Wheelersburg in State Championship-  The Indian Lake Lakers battled undefeated powerhouse Wheelersburg in the DIII Softball State Championship on Saturday, June 3rd,  at Akron’s Firestone Stadium. The Lakers held their own and one bad inning was the difference as they lost 6-0. Wheelersburg’s high-powered offense was held in check for the first two innings.  In the top the Pirates made things happen with a leadoff single.  Then a bunt single put runners at first and second with no one out.  The next batter sacrificed moving the runners in scoring position.  A ground ball to the shortstop scored a run when the throw to the plate was unable to get the runner and it was 1-0.  The big blow came with the next batter crushing a ball deep in the alley in centerfield.  Porscha Davis made a diving attempt, but couldn’t come up with the out.  Two runners came in making it 3-0 with a runner on third.  Wheelersburg would drive her in with a ground ball and take a 4-0 lead. That’s all the Pirates defense needed. Indian Lake was hitting the Wheelersburg pitcher, but their defense was making out after out. The Pirates added some insurance in the top of the seventh as Catie Boggs drove a pitch over the wall in center field for a 2-run homer. Wheelersburg put the Lakers away in the bottom of the seventh to secure back-to-back state titles. Indian Lake could only muster two hits on the day and four total base runners.  No runner made it to second base.  Madison Brentlinger suffered the loss going 7 innings, giving up 7 hits, 6 runs (5 earned), and walked 2. The Lakers end the season 27-4 which is a school record for wins in a season.  They won their first Regional Championship and made their first appearance ever in a championship game in any team sport in school history bringing home a state runner-up trophy.

Pirates bring home first state title The Riverside boys bowling team made school history Saturday, March 4th, in Columbus winning the school’s first state title. The Pirates endured a long day on the bowling lanes to emerge as the Division II state champ knocking off Coldwater in the final game. The day started with 16 teams in the morning with the qualifying round. Each team would bowl three individual games + 3 baker games. The top 8 eight teams with a total combined score after the six games would advance to the finals. The Pirates qualified 7th. The eight qualifying teams were then put into an eight-team single-elimination tournament bracket. The #7 Pirates would open with #2 Liberty Center. The first team to win 3 baker games advances in the tournament. The Pirates came out firing and rolled three straight games over 200 to knock out Liberty Center. Next up was #6 Lutheran West who upset #3 Graham. Riverside dropped the first game but quickly rebounded with three consecutive wins to advance to the final match. Waiting for Riverside in the final was #1 Coldwater. The Pirates took a 1-0 lead smashing the Cavs 213-149 in game 1. Coldwater edged the Pirates in game 2 170-168. Riverside won a crucial game 3 219-214. Riverside then locked up the title dominating Coldwater in game 4 208-161. Riverside team members are Gage Stevenson, Tyler Knight, Andrew Knight, Sam King, and Zander Crouch.


That’s what made headlines in 2023 right here at home in Logan County and beyond.

Thank you for making Peak of Ohio your trusted news source.

Wishing you are prosperous and happy 2024.