Carol S Newman John E Short RULH Elementary names ‘Go Green’ Students RE/MAX Local Experts opens in Williamsburg RULH wraps up ‘No Shave November’ fundraiser Eleven indicted by Brown County Grand Jury Donald C Vance John C Morris Rebecca E Simpson Hot start sets pace for Broncos’ 85-40 win over CNE G-Men get off to 1-1 start Lady Rockets start off season with tough string of road games Basketball Special: 2017-18 Katherine J Wolfe Virginia J Germann Rev Commadora Manning Mona K Kirker Ohio Rural Heritage Association donates to Food Pantry RULH FCCLA attends meeting in D.C. RULH MS students try ‘Tabletop Twitter’ Ripley Village Christmas update Bonita Planck Carol J Wagner Christopher O Richey Sr Five new members to enter WBHS Athletic Hall of Fame Blue Jays ready to soar under Woodward Fischer named to OPSWA All-Ohio First Team of football all-stars High school girls’ hoop action kicks off in Brown County Formation of new joint Fire & EMS District discussed RULH students learn about ‘Global Food’ Personal financial management class at RULH High School Dale G Ferriel John E Slack Nicholas A Arthur Bonnie J Roush Charles E Faul Phyllis A Mills Carl L Watson Marc W Bolce Robert R Moore Robert K King June R Williams William T Ishmael Sr Deborah J Napier High school hoop action begins Fayetteville SAY Girls Wing Soccer Team finishes season among state’s Final Four Devils visit Georgetown for OHSAA Foundation Games Grandfather charged in boy’s death ‘Real Money’ at RULH Middle School Ripley High School celebrates Veterans Day Reward increases for information leading to conviction in Stykes’ murder Ripley Village Christmas update Kenneth M McKinley Vilvens signs with Mount St. Joseph SBAAC awards girls tennis all-stars Layman inducted into Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame SBAAC hands out awards to First Team girls’ soccer all-stars John D Marks Aberdeen Police Department receives ‘Shop With a Cop’ donation Benefit to take place Nov. 17 for Grace Copple St. Michael students take part in Community Soup Supper Voters return Worley to the bench Ruby A Ratliff Donna J Moore Stella M Glasscock Ellen L Gelter Alverda T Guillermin Justin N Beach EHS dedicates ‘Kiser Court’ SBAAC awards First Team football all-stars, winning teams Sizer earns SBAAC American Division Volleyball Player of Year honors for 3rd straight year Broncos to host Blue Jays for OHSAA ‘Jimmy Young’ Foundation Game, Nov. 17 Vern W Kidd Jr Brown County Election Results – 2017 Michael D Hines Raymond W Napier Leslie E Boyle Gary L Barber RULH NHS welcomes new inductees K-9 Units and handlers visit RULH High School EMS members honored for service Road work on Ripley streets to begin Russell K Wolfer SHAC recognizes volleyball all-stars SHAC cross country all-stars take home awards Eastern girls finish runner-up in SHAC golf standings Week 10 football roundup Kathleen J Bright Sister Marjean Clement Veterans Service Office Moves RULH MS students hold first Science Club meeting Bald Eagles spotted 2017 Celebration of Lights being planned Carlos L Beck Georgetown XC teams qualify for regional championship meet Warriors advance to Div. II Regional Meet Lady Rockets reach end to successful volleyball season Week nine football roundup Lady Warriors regional bound Amy J Caudill

Honoring a local hero

RIPLEY — If not for the heroic actions of Ripley Police Department Corporal Joel Barnett, Cheyenne Kirk may not have been in attendance at Ripley’s Village Council meeting on October 27.

Kirk, then 16-years old, was caught in the rising waters outside her home as Ripley, Georgetown, and many parts of Brown County felt the devastating effects of flash flooding and torrential downpours on the night of July 18.

According to a report in WCPO-TV, Kirk had left her home to try to swim for help as the overflowing waters from Red Oak Creek started making inroads in her house.

But the flood waters were too strong, and after originally holding onto nearby cars and a fence post, the rushing waters pushed her away. She reportedly grabbed onto the siding of a neighbors home, and stayed their for 45 minutes, holding on for dear life. That’s where Barnett found her.

Barnett and Donald Smith Jr. were the first Ripley police officers to respond to the scene.

“We ran down the street,” Barnett recalled in a phone interview earlier this month. “(Smith) had the radio because I had taken my gun, belt, vest, and boots off so I could swim better. We were getting calls and using our cell phone. We just got word that there was a girl hanging off the side of the house. We made our way to the house and we saw the parents yelling. She was a type-one diabetic and she was in shock. We made our way down the siding and grabbed her and pulled her out.”

Last Tuesday night, with a packed crowd in the audience and Kirk and her parents Tim and Darla in attendance, the village of Ripley honored Barnett and Smith, and allowed Kirk a moment to thank her rescuers.

Ripley Police Chief Harvey Bowman introduced the policemen to the audience. Smithe’s father Donald Smith Sr. was in attendance as Smithe Jr. is currently enrolled in the Ohio State Highway Patrol academy.

As Barnett and Smith Sr. received certificates from Bowman, Kirk came over to Barnett to thank him through tears. As she did, she collapsed into his arms, and the two embraced in an emotional moment for everyone in attendance.

Barnett, Smith, and Kirk were given a standing ovation during their hug and even after.

“The medal of valor is awarded to both these officers for an act which endangers their lives in which they decide to act upon that and save another’s life,” Bowman said at the village council meeting. “Both of them put their lives in danger that night to save her.

“Neither one of the officers bragged about it. Neither one of the officers said they didn’t do more than what they should have done in the line of duty, and that’s more commendable to me as a police officer, that they didn’t go around and brag and want the publicity. They did a heroic act in saving a life, and I know the Kirk family appreciates it.”

Ripley Mayor Tom Leonard then read out a proclamation recognizing the heroism of Barnett and Smith Jr.

“Whereas the village council wants to commend Barnett and Smith for their rapid response and heroism demonstrated on July 18 for the example they set for the citizens of Ripley,” read a part of the proclamation.

Bowman revealed that the ceremony was organized on the recommendation of village council and a request from the Kirk family.

“When you hear this at three o’clock in the morning, you’ve got two officers wading out in chest-deep water, you kind of wonder, ‘Oh my gosh’,” Bowman said. “They just took their lives in their own hands for someone else.”

Barnett received a second accolade following his honor from the village. Leonard presented Barnett with a plaque for being named the Brown County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Barnett was one of five nominees in the county, with all five nominees serving as EMTs and first responders for their departments.

Joel Barnett receives a plaque from Ripley Mayor Tom Leonard for winning Brown County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
http://ripleybee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_JoelBarnettLeonard1-DanielKarell-1.jpgJoel Barnett receives a plaque from Ripley Mayor Tom Leonard for winning Brown County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Ripley Police Department Corporal Joel Barnett receives a hug from Cheyenne Kirk, who Barnett saved from the side of a house during the flash floods in Ripley on July 18. Barnett was honored for saving Kirk’s life at Ripley’s October 27 Village Council Meeting.
http://ripleybee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_BarnettCheyenneKirk1.jpgRipley Police Department Corporal Joel Barnett receives a hug from Cheyenne Kirk, who Barnett saved from the side of a house during the flash floods in Ripley on July 18. Barnett was honored for saving Kirk’s life at Ripley’s October 27 Village Council Meeting.
Village of Ripley and Cheyenne Kirk thank Corporal Joel Barnett for saving her life

By Daniel Karell

dkarell@civitasmedia.com

Reach Daniel Karell at 937-378-6161. Follow him on Twitter @GNDKarell

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