< P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793  <


Below are links to portions of this week's news articles. For the full story, pick up a  paper at your local newsstand or send $1 with your name/address to P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793.



Oct. 8, 2008 Edition

<Herman Zerger Casts First Ballot

Local resident Herman Zerger was first to cast his vote at 9 a.m. Sept. 30 at the Monroe County Board of Elections office when Ohio’s new Early Voting law went into effect. The board of elections office is located at the Black Walnut Center, off Moore Ridge Road, north of Woodsfield.                           Photo by Martha Ackerman

        Taking advantage of Ohio’s Early Voting law, local resident Herman Zerger was first to cast his vote at 9 a.m. Sept. 30 when the law went into effect.
        A World War II veteran and former prisoner of war, Zerger first voted in 1944 at age 18. He was positioned in a foxhole in France when a runner crawled on his stomach in the dark to deliver the ballot. “When it was light, I voted for the Roosevelt/Truman ticket,” said Zerger.
        According to Monroe County Board of Elections director Betty Rousenberg and deputy director Tracy Curtis, approximately 30 people voted in the first two days.
        Monroe County has set a record with 1,700 - 2,000 absentee ballot requests. Rousenberg and Curtis are working non-stop to fulfill the requests.
        According to Rousenberg, Ohio law required the board to send out notices of election to all registered voters. The local board opted, as a bonus to voters, the request for an absentee ballot. Seventeen Ohio counties participated in this option.
        The Monroe County Board of Elections office is located at the Black Walnut Center, off Moore Ridge Road, north of Woodsfield. It is open Monday thru Friday, 9 a.m. to to 4:30 p.m. Registered voters are welcome to walk in and vote during those hours.

<Candidates and Issues Facing Monroe County Voters Nov. 4

        With elections fast approaching, it’s time to make up our minds about where we’ll place our marks on the Nov. 4 ballot.
        Although only two faces appear over and over again in newspapers and on television screens, voters are given a choice of eight presidential candidates.
        The official ballot lists the following candidates:
        Constitution Party: president,  Chuck Baldwin, vice-president, Darrell L. Castle.
        Libertarian Party of Ohio:  for president Bob Barr, vice-president, Wayne Allen Root.
        For president, Richard Duncan, vice-president Ricky Johnson.
        Republican Party: president John McCain, vic-president, Sarah Palin.
        Green Party of the United States: for president Cynthia McKinney, vice-president,  Rosa A. Clemente.
        Socialist Party USA: for president Brian Moore, vice-president, Stewart Alexander.
        Ralph Nader for president with Matt Gonzalez as vice-president.
        Democratic Party, Barack Obama, president, Joe Biden, vice-president.
        For Attorney General, three candidates, Richard Cordray (D) Mike Crites (R) and Robert M. Owens.
        Representative to Congress,  6th  District: Dennis Spisak, (Green Party of Ohio), Richard Stobbs (R), Charlie Wilson (D).
        State Senator, 20th District, Timothy Kettler (Green Party of Ohio) Rick C. Shriver (D), Jimmy Stewart (R).
        State Representative: 93rd District, Jennifer Garrison (D), Wayne A. Smith (R).
        County Commissioner, full term beginning Jan. 2, Paul D. Ferguson (R), Tim R. Price (D).
        County Commissioner: full term beginning Jan. 3, Carl M. Davis.
        Prosecuting Attorney, Lynn Kent Riethmiller (D).
        Clerk of Court of Common Pleas, Beth Ann Rose (D).
        Sheriff: Chuck Black (D).
        County Recorder: Martha Louise Reid (D).
        County Treasurer: Judy A. Gramlich (D).
        County Engineer: Lonnie E. Tustin (D).
        County Coroner: Ronnie H. Williamson.
        Official nonpartisan ballot:
        Member, State Board of Education, 9th District, Michael L. Collins, Larry A. Good, William E. Moore.
        Justice of the Supreme Court for full term commencing Jan. 1: Maureen O’Connor and Joseph D. Russo.
        Justice of the Supreme Court comencing Jan. 2: Peter M. Sikora, Evelyn L. Stratton.
        Judge of the Court of Appeals,  7th District, full term commencing Feb. 9: Cheryl L. Waite.
        Judge of the Court of Appeals, 7th District, full term commencing Feb. 10: Joseph J. Vukovich.
        Judge for the Court of Com-mon Pleas, Probate and Juvenile Division: Walter Starr.
        Proposed tax levies in Monroe:
        In Adams Township, an additional tax in Adams Township for the purpose of road maintenance and repairs at a rate not exceeding 3 mills for each one dollar of evaluation.
        Renewal levy for Switzerland of Ohio Local School District for the  purpose of providing funds for improvements and equipment at a rate not exceeding 2.5 mills for each $100 of valuation.
        MRDD Renewal levy for the benefit of Monroe County for the purpose of Community Men-tal Retardation and Develop-mental Disability programs and services at a rate not exceeding 1 mill for each one dollar of valuation.
        State Issue 1: proposed constitutional amendment to provide for earlier filing deadlines for statewide ballot issues.
        Issue 2, proposed constitutional amendment to authorize the state to issue bonds to continue the Clean Ohio Program for environmental revitalization and conservation.
        Issue 3: amendment to amend the constitution to protect private property rights in ground water, lakes and other water courses.
        Referendum: Referendum on legislation making changes to check cashing lending, sometimes known as “payday lending,” fees, interest rates and practices.
        Issue 6: Proposed constitutional amendment for a casino near Wilmington in Southwest Ohio and distribute to all Ohio counties a tax on the casino. 


< Dream of a Facility is Realized
Broken Timber Outdoor Education Center

Mike Willis stands inside the entrance of the Broken Timber Outdoor Education Center, located on the AGI property, formerly Conalco. Through the generosity of the AGI president, there is no cost for the facility. Willis and his instructors are all volunteers.                               Photos by Martha Ackerman

The fly tying room contains all types of materials to make lures. Here Mike Willis, founder and executive director of the Broken Timber Outdoor Education Center, demonstrates fly tying. He will be at the Black Walnut Festival to provide instruction and information. The festival is set for Oct. 11 and 12 at the Monroe County Fairgrounds.

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
        “Keep your dreams alive. Understand that to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”
        This is a motto which has driven Mike Willis to believe in the establishment of the Broken Timber Outdoor Education Center.
        Last year, Willis brought his love of outdoors and fishing to children, ages 12 to 17, when he organized the Broken Timber Junior Fishermen program. With the help of volunteer instructors, he hosted field trips to local ponds for riverfront schools and St. Sylvester School students. Students learned about different types of fishing, fly tying, bait, identification of aquatic life and the rules. Each child tried his or her hand at fishing and before leaving received has very own rod and reel, provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
        According to Willis, in less than a month, he gave out over 500 rods and reels!
        Willis hopes to have each child  in the fourth grade of each school participate in a fishing field trip.
        The first program was organized from his home near Hannibal. Envisioning a permanent facility geared to outdoor education, which would enhance the youth program, Willis began looking around. The first selection created a lot of unsurmountable problems. Noticing the vacant buildings at the AGI (formerly Conalco) facility, Willis approached David Linick, vice-president of AGI. Linick took the idea to the president of the company, which is home-based in New York. He thought it was “a good fit” for the community.
        Three months ago, Broken Timber Outdoor Education Center was a reality. It is operating under the umbrella of the Ohio Riverfront Development Committee, of which Willis is a member. The group hopes to develop the Appalachian culture in this area to promote tourism.               There is plenty of room in the new facility to accommodate and expand the program – and at no cost to the organization. AGI is providing the building and the utilities!
        Willis has organized the program with  a board of directors so the center is eligible for various grants. The current board of directors includes executive director Willis, Bill Thompson, Todd Fry and Mark Landefeld.
        Willis has enlisted the help of dedicated instructors, ages 21 to 72, who include his son, Cory, an eight-time All American at WVU, who will help with shooting instruction; Toby Willis, Keith Jones, Jim McGuire, Robbie Sellers, Doug Duvall, Eric Ritchie, Roy Thomas, Jerry West, Len Truchan, Chris Ault, Jim Luikart and Bill Thomas. Chairman for hunting and trapping is Mark Romick.
        “This is an open door to knowledge,” said Willis, who is looking for people who have knowledge to share.
        He is talking with ODNR instructors to have them come to the facility to train the instructors.  Currently, they have to travel to Columbus for the classes.
        Looking toward the future, Willis is currently looking for grants to develop wetlands and local creek areas. He would like to raise money for canoes to take people to watch and enjoy the habitat.
        ODNR’s  4,200 acre Powhatan Point Wildlife Area, located near the education center, has a pond which Willis would like to utilize.
        Membership is available for a small fee, which allows access to all the facility has to offer including a loaner program. All kinds of fishing equipment is available to members to use. Willis hopes to fill the stock room with all types of hunting and fishing equipment for the loaner program.
        The Sarah Jacobs Memorial Library, located in the center, has dozens of books, videos and information available on all types of outdoor fishing and hunting. There is a large screen TV to play the videos.
        The library is dedicated to the late Sarah Jacobs because she had tried to help Willis establish something like the center. Jacobs’ sister and brother-in-law gave a monetary donation to help establish the library.
        Down the hall, decorated with wildlife posters, there is a room with a bait station which holds minnows. Willis is looking for a refrigerator to store other bait.
        The lab, which has an overhead ventilation system, is just right to melt lead to make sinkers and jig heads. Safety equipment includes goggles, protective sleeves and gloves. “Safety is always first,” said Willis. There is a polisher to smooth the lead and paint available to paint the sinkers and jig heads.
        A number of seminars are in the planning stages. Willis is waiting for confirmation from a pro staff member of the Tru-Tungsten company to finalize a date for a river fishing seminar. A spring turkey seminar is being planned with Peck Martin of McMechan, who makes turkey calls.
        A sanctioned turkey calling contest is in the planning stages, along with deer hunting and trapping seminars.
        Willis would like someone to step forward to organize a Women in the Outdoors program. There is room in the facility to house this program.
        A member of Team Monroe, Willis works as a watch commander at the Northern Correc-tional Facility He also teaches various classes at the correctional facility.
        Willis’ goal is to get children involved. “They will always be able to enjoy the outdoors,” he said. “We want to promote good ethics and sportsmanship.”
        Due to time restraints, Broken Timber Outdoor Education Center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 to 9 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. Willis hopes to get more seniors involved so hours can be expanded.
        For more information on the center, look for their booth at the Black Walnut Festival, set for Oct. 11 and 12 at the Monroe County Fairgrounds or call Willis at 740-483-1693 or 740-213-7000. Volunteers and donations are always welcome.
        Watch for an article on the center in an upcoming issue of Ohio Valley Outdoor magazine.

<~ River High’s 2008 Mr. River ~
        Voted Mr. River 2008 Oct. 3 was Travis Riesbeck, son of Joannie and Jim Wells of Sardis and Greg Riesbeck. He is shown with his mother and sister Lexy Wells, freshman homecoming attendant.

~ Miss River 2008 ~
        Crowned Miss River 2008 during homecoming festivities Oct. 3 was Alisha Loy, daughter of Steve and Carla Loy of Sardis. She is shown with her parents.              Photos by Martha Ackerman

< Obituaries

Joe Cleveland, 46, Lewisville, died Oct. 3, 2008, at his home. He was born Oct. 17, 1961 in Beaumont, Texas, a son of the late O.B. and Lola E. Hines Cleveland.        Online condolences may be expressed at www.bauerturner.com

        Saloma A. Byler, 78, 51121 SR 379, Summerfield, died Oct. 7, 2008, at her home. She was born at Atlantic, Pa., on Nov. 20, 1929, a daughter of the late Andy G. and Anna Mary Byler. She was a homemaker.

        Lucille A. Reed, 83, Beallsville, died Oct. 5, 2008, in Emerald Pointe Nursing and Rehab, Barnesville. She was born Feb. 17, 1925, near Beallsville, a daughter of the late Wilbert and Edna Kirkbride Kanzigg.
        Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.harperfh.net.

        Cory Scott Johnson, 26, Middlebourne, W.Va., died Sept. 26, 2008. He was born Dec. 9, 1981 in Ravenna, a son of Nina Johnson Boggs and step-dad, Vernin Boggs.  Online condolences to myersfuneralhomewv.com

<Our Readers Write:

Dear Editor,
        I’m writing this letter to respond to a letter I read in the Sept. 25 issue of the Beacon. The writer has some amazing facts about America, and its history. They just don’t happen to be the facts.
        The writer states, quote, “If people really cared about this country, they would rather die than to let the enemy know they opposed the war.”
        Well, when a President takes this country into a war of choice based on lies, a war costing this country 10 billion dollars a month, not to mention the 4160 men and women who won’t be coming home, then it’s time for people to object, not go behind closed doors and die.
        I found your description of democracy very interesting. Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people. You say, quote “Democracy is the politically correct term for mob rule, where any charismatic person can convince a majority of the people to do anything.” Are you kidding me?
        Democracy, and the establishment thereof, happens to be one of the reasons given by this President to send our troops to war in Iraq. That was affer the weapons of mass destruction didn’t pan out.
        I will agree with you on one point. A charismatic person can convince a majority of the people to do anything. So far, I’ve seen a charismatic person, who happens to be the President, convince the people to go to war with a country that didn’t attack us, give no bid contracts to Halliburton, say he was going to do something about abortion, and did nothing, approve torture, and lead this country to the brink of financial collapse.
        You like to use Rush Limbaugh’s terms to describe the Democratic party. Your racist views go hand in hand with Rush’s.
        You state that for a Christian or a black person to be a Democrat is like a Jew being a Nazi. I can hear that everyday on Rush’s show.
        The truth is, my friend, there are Christians, black people and yes Democrats, fighting and dying in our wars right now, to give you the freedom to write your garbage.
        I noticed you stated the media in the sixties being run by unions. What country did  you grow up in? Republicans weren’t put out of the media at all. I remember Nixon, and Watergate, and four dead students, shot on the campus of Kent State.
        You, sir, are saying that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is a Nazi. I hope you also know that more than 50 percent of the American people disagree with you. When  you don’t have ideas all you can do is sling mud.
James Hill

Dear Editor,
        A thank you to the young lady and the two men that stopped to help the motorcycle on Sept. 19, at SR 26 and SR 800.
        I sincerely appreciate what  you did to help me. I made it home non-stop with a busted radiator and a shorted electrical system. I had a severely twisted ankle and leg. No broken bones.
        Once again, thank you.
Tom Barnett

<Around the Burnside

           Some who are poor pretend to be rich; others who are rich pretend to be poor.
        Pride leads to arguments; those who take advice are wise.
        Too good to pass up. Seventy years ago in the Journal or Noble County Leader the following was reported. “Among the bills which came up for an OK by the city dads was one for one dollar. The reason - burying a dead cat. The amount allowed was only fifty cents, as the council was fearful the kids might take a day off from school and round up all the stray cats for interment purpose.”
        In Fairview they only paid us 25 cents for burying a cat killed on the road. We kept our eye on the road for a dead cat, as we didn’t want to miss out because it didn’t happen too often. We had a number of cats around our barn. I would squirt milk to them while milking the cows. I never gave it a thought they might be worth a quarter.
        Same paper: “Petitions favoring the allowing of motion pictures in Cambridge on Sunday, bearing the signatures of 794 registered voters of the city, have been filed with the county board of elections and the issues will be voted on at the  general election, Nov. 8.”
        Also: Noble county had 119 teachers for 2504 students, 37 teachers for the high school and 75 for the elementary students, plus nine music teachers. Wonder how this compares to the requirements for today.?Using these figures two teachers are not accounted for. Perhaps they are administrators? Times really change don’t they. I only had two different teachers all eight grades.
        Now that I have the old news out of the way, last week I mentioned a letter I received from a reader with some concerns. I thought I might share.
        “What do you think of having our proms (Woodsfield and Beallsville) in St. Clairsville or Wheeling at locations that sell/serve alcohol? We go to the bother of having our students sign Prom Promise (not to drink) and then have their proms where the temptation is all around them.”
        I hadn’t given this much thought as I really haven’t given the proms much thought since leaving Skyvue.
        I have wondered why proms have been moved from some of the high schools. I understand River is the only one that holds its prom at the school.
        Skyvue held their proms at the school and I would say decorating and getting ready for the prom was half the fun.
        As I recall they covered the windows in the gym doors to keep others from seeing how they were decorating. I think I attended the proms held at Skyvue and the students all seemed to enjoy them.
        I will be the first to admit I know very little about present day proms. Who is in charge, who decides where it is held and the other many details required to have a successful prom. I expect the amount of work required has a lot to do with plans. However, as the reader suggests, “You and I know that even if the advisors don’t want to hold the prom at the high school, there are nice places to rent and good caterers right here in good ole Monroe County.”
        This letter did remind me of a prom experience I had many years ago. When I taught at Old Washington, in addition to being the advisors of the FFA which we don’t seem to have in our school system, I was the junior class advisor. This was before teachers were paid for extra duties.
        Prom time, being the lazy person I am, the students did all of the planning and working out the details. About all I did was give them the opportunity to plan and do the actual work. The students did an excellent job planning. Time to do the decorating.
        Then a funny thing happened. While the decorating was in progress a few parents stopped by the gym. I think maybe three.
        Right away they started to try to change some of the things the students had planned. This really upset a number of the students. You couldn’t blame them, after all the planning they had done.
        I finally told the parents the students had planned all the details and were doing the work. I was around only to help out where needed. I said, “If you want to take over go to it, I’m going home.” I only lived a stone’s throw from the school, so I went. It wasn’t long a student came to the door and asked me to come back. I did, and the parents did chip in and helped the students do as they had planned. As I recall, we had a successful prom.
        As I said earlier, to be truthful I’ve paid very little attention to the high school proms except maybe the cost of it for a one night event, but I’m not involved in the proms. However, there seems to be, according to the letter, some concern among parents. Asked near the end of the letter I received, “So what has changed? We have so much pride in our schools that we won’t give them up to consolidate, but yet they aren’t good enough for a prom?”
        I did have a good time this past weekend at the Soakum Festival and Homecoming game. I’ll hit them next week.
        We each have a choice: to approach life as a creator or a critic, a lover or a hater, a giver or a taker.
        Why not choose to attend church Sunday?
        Bible readings: All from Acts (Mon.) 4:1-12; (Tues.) 4:13-33; (Wed.) 4:23-31; (Thurs.) 5:1-11; (Fri.) 5:27-39; (Sat.) 8:1-8; (Sun.) 6.