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Whitehall honors hometown hero & Super Bowl champ
There was roar of excited chatter entering the March 4 meeting of Whitehall City Council. But when Mayor John Wolfe presented a proclamation to local Super Bowl hero Dominek Hixon, the crowd listened intently.
Messenger photo by Dianne Garrett
Whitehall Mayor John Wolfe presents Dominek Hixon, a member of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and a Whitehall Yearling High School graduate, with a proclamation at the March 4 city council meeting, declaring "Dominek Hixon Day." Wolfe recalled sitting in freezing temperatures watching Hixon play at the high school, and expressed how proud he is of the young man he has become.
Hixon is a 2002 Whitehall Yearling High School graduate, but is better know these days as Super Bowl champions New York Giants' No. 87.
Wolfe declared it "Dominek Hixon Day."
The mayor recalled sitting in the cold and rain many times to watch as the young man played for his high school, referring to him as "a fine young man."
He was not the only one offering praises, however. Former WYHS coach Kip Kane said that it was a blessing to work with Dominek.
"He was a leader in the classroom and on the field. He brings blessings with him where ever he goes. I knew then that he'd do great in whatever he did in life. I'm proud of him," offered Kane.
Current head football coach Greg Lahr was not at Whitehall Yearling when Hixon attended, but shared that he continues to give back to his school and community.
Last year he started a football camp, and the coach said he did a great job with the kids.
"He spoke to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and whenever he is in town, he comes over and lifts weights with the team. He is great role model," Lahr said.
City Attorney Mike Shannon noted that he appreciates that Hixon always mentions Whitehall to news media, showing he is proud of where he came from.
His mom, Birgit, said that when they moved to the area, they asked people where there was a good school, and were directed by several to Whitehall. They moved to the community 11 years ago when he was in middle school.
"Dominek is a great kid, and never gave us any trouble. He deserves everything he has coming to him right now," said his proud mom.
State Representative Larry Flowers was also in the audience, and admitted to asking for Dominek's autograph. He said that he had never met a professional football player before, let alone a Super Bowl winner.
Flowers noted that his great-uncle, Lester Flowers, was a Whitehall councilman many years ago.
When Hixon finally had a chance to speak, he said that the community support and proclamation means so much to him, calling the entire experience a blessing.
In other business, Auditor Kim Maggard announced that her office will be open extra hours on two Saturdays, April 5 and 12 from 8 a.m. until noon so people can file their city income taxes. There will be staff members on hand to assist, and to even fill out the forms for them, if needed. All they have to do is remember to bring all necessary paperwork to file.
In the city's continued efforts to clean up properties, council adopted an ordinance that will impose higher costs for the city to mow or perform any maintenance work.
Upon performing the labor, the service director will report to council the cost of investigation, handling of weeds, sanitation, emergency repair and demolition complaints and cost of service and notification.
The total cost shall be the actual cost incurred for the work performed (per incident) plus an additional cost of either $200 or 20 percent of the actual cost incurred for the work performed rounded up to the next whole dollar, whichever is greater.
Last year council decided that the city is no longer going to be considered a mowing service for residents, and that occupants will be responsible for their property maintenance or pay up. Council also approved assessing property taxes on over 60 addresses with multiple violations that date back as far as last July.
An ordinance was also adopted to stiffen penalties for anyone throwing trash from a vehicle. Whoever violates the law will now be guilty of a third-degree misdemeanor.
Council adopted a resolution authorizing the mayor to apply for and accept a 2008 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is a reimbursable grant and requires a minimum 25% match that will be paid with funds from the Engineer Expense Account. It is designed for risk identification, planning, communication, response coordination and modeling activities for disaster mitigation. The city will partner with FEMA, Ohio EMA and Franklin County EMA to develop a pre-disaster mitigation plan for Whitehall's issues with flooding.
An appropriation was also made to the police department account in the amount of $558 for a grant received from Wal-Mart, which was awarded specifically to aid the Field Training Officer Program.
The next council meeting will be March 11 at 7 p.m.
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