Top 10 stories of 2016

Member Barbara Smith works to maintain the Lucasville Garden Club plot.

Left to right: Christy Collins, and Tanika Lewis. Both women are a members of United Steel Workers Union #2116, and helped to form a local, ‘Women of Steel’ organization.

Throughout 2016 the readership of the Community Common has grown to approximately 71,000 each week. Throughout the year, the Community Common strives to provide readers with news and information about all facets of the community. Here are our Top 10 stories of 2016. We look forward to serving you in 2017. Please note: These stories are ranked from most recent to earlier in the year, not in order of importance. If your favorite story did not make it on the list, tell us about it. Please email to weigh in.

10. Lions Club helps children — Published Dec. 25 written by Frank Lewis

Members of the Portsmouth Lions Club gather toys, toiletry and other essential items for local law enforcement and fire departments to distribute to families in the event of an accident, fire or other disaster. Members of law and fire agencies joined forces to fill the bags. According to law enforcement, sometimes children do not understand the circumstances and may need to be removed from the situation and may not have time to gather their things. These bags help officers and firefighters quickly and effectively resolve problems. Anyone interested in joining the Lions Club can talk with a Lions Club member or contact Lou Teufel at 740-259-5205.

9. Ohio Proud launches website — Published Dec. 18 written by Frank Lewis

Although it’s hard to avoid big-box stores, sometimes a person may be looking for a unique one-of-a-kind item that can only be found through local merchants. Portsmouth thrives on small business and now there is a resource that brings that type of information to your fingertips, Through Ohio Proud, you can search for items specific to your area based on your zip code. With more than 500 Ohio Proud partners, consumers can better find small businesses that carry what they want.

8. USW #2116 begins local, ‘Women of Steel’ — Published Dec. 18 written by Portia Williams

For women in the union, things aren’t always easy. Thus, the ‘Women of Steel’ (WOS) of the local United Steel Workers (USW) Union #2116 of Suncoke Company in Haverhill was born. Together, these women work to help the community and and encourage women in the Union to be active. WOS of USW #2116 is an extension of the national USW WOS Union. For more information regarding WOS, visit:

7. ‘Socks 4 Troops and Vets’ campaign in progress — Published Nov. 27 written by Portia Williams

Yet another example of the Portsmouth community coming together to assist those in need. Shoe Sensation in New Boston worked through November and December to collect socks for active duty troops and veterans. At the end of the campaign, the socks were taken to the local veterans office for further distribution.

6. Organ Donor — Published Sept. 18 written by Ciara Conley

Through this story, myths and common misconceptions are tackled regarding organ donation. Over the past few years, the number of Scioto County organ donors has fallen below the state average. Only 40.9 percent of Scioto County citizens are registered as organ donors, falling 21 percent under the state average of 61.9 percent. Becoming an organ donor is quick and simple. Ohioans can declare their wish to become a donor by registering online in the Ohio Donor Registry through You can also renew with your license.

5. Education Abroad, Shawnee sees increase in exchange students — Published Sept. 4 written by Ciara Conley

Portsmouth is becoming increasingly diverse, one place this shows in the campus of Shawnee State University. This fall, the campus saw over 80 international students. Coming from place like: Germany, England, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Nigeria, Cameroon, Pakistan, Tunisia, Syria, Venezuela, Colombia, Japan, Korea, and Egypt, these students find themselves attracted to the small campus and quality education provided by Shawnee.

4. Garden Club ‘digs’ service — Published May 29 written by Ciara Conley

When driving through Lucasville in the summer, you may notice plots of flowers on both the north and south ends of town. If it weren’t for the Lucasville Garden Club, sights like this wouldn’t exist. The club was founded in 1940 with the mission to create ‘A more beautiful Lucasville,’ a motto the club keeps to this day. The organization encourages the value of preserving our natural resources for the betterment of our community, our world and ourselves, the therapeutic properties of interacting with nature, the beauty of flowers, gardens and people and strives to recognize creative endeavors. For more information on the Lucasville Garden Club, you can contact any member, or check out their Facebook page by searching “Lucasville Garden Club.”

3. Data points to economic growth — Published Mar. 13 written by Wayne Allen

The year 2016 has brought a number of changes to the area, one of which, is economic growth. A variety of new businesses opened this year. In its 2015 Annual Report Southern Ohio Port Authority, stated there were 27 jobs created and 256 jobs retained. There was $10.7 million dollars in new investment along with a monthly average of 13.75 active business development projects. The organization will be releasing the 2016 in weeks to come.

2. Local economy shows growth — Published Jan. 24 written by Wayne Allen

Scioto County’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth Rate increased by 2.2 percent, its growth rate recovery was 0.5 percent and a job growth rate was 0.9 percent. There were a number of local businesses that announced expansion projects in 2015, which also helps the local GDP. Pike County saw a 0.3 percent GDP growth, a 1.3 percent growth rate and a 1.3 percent job growth rate. Ross County saw a 1.7 GDP growth rate and a 1.1 percent job growth rate and is classified as “GDP recovered” from the prior recession. Adams. Jackson and Lawrence Counties saw a decline in GDP growth rates. Jackson County saw a 1.1 percent job growth rate and Adams saw a 1.3 percent job growth rate.

1. Project DAWN continues to save lives — Published Jan. 17 written by Wayne Allen

Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided with Naloxone) is credited with saving 68 lives in 2015. Project DAWN originated in the Portsmouth City Health Department in 2013, when Scioto County was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health to be Ohio’s first Community-Based Naloxone Overdose Reversal Project. Since that time, Project DAWN has been expanded throughout Ohio and area first responders are getting trained to carry and administer the drug. The clinic located inside the Portsmouth City Health Department (605 Washington Street, Portsmouth) holds a group class every week to train those interested in learning how to administer the drug. To registered for the class call 740-353-8863.

For all these stories and more, please visit