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< P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793  <
monroecountybeacon@sbcglobal.net

 

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.

 

 

Nov. 22, 2007 Edition

< "Now what do we do?"
(At left): Attempt after attempt was made by driver Jared
Phillips to back onto North Street to get to State
Route 800, at times narrowly missing a utility pole.
The 100 foot tractor trailer was routed through
Woodsfield by the Ohio permit department. Its final
destination was Lugoff, S.C. With the help of Highway
Patrolman Roger Clark and excellent driving skills,
Phillips finally succeeded in his endeavor.

Below: This 100 foot, 14 foot, 6 inch
high tractor trailer carrying a huge propane tank was
routed from the former Ormet rolling mill on SR7, to
SR78, through Woodsfield to SR800, to I-70 to I-77 on
its way to Lugoff, S.C.! Driver Jared Phillips is
shown with his side-kicks, Jasmine and Pepper (the
puppies in the truck window) as he sits in the Eagles
parking lot determining how to get out of Woodsfield!
The route was determined by the state permit
department. Photos by Martha Ackerman

 

 

 

 

 

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer

Traffic was at a stand-still in Woodsfield Nov. 14
when a tractor trailer carrying a huge propane tank
from Ormet's former rolling mill passed through the
village. Jared Phillips of Westerville was the driver,
with John Slader of Ripley, W. Va., and Claude Watters
of Huntington, W. Va. leading and following the
wide-load trailer.
The 100-foot tractor and trailer halted traffic at
the square as Phillips maneuvered the vehicle to miss
a fire hydrant and the center island.
The next obstacle was the turn at McDonald's onto
SR800 which became an almost impossible task. But,
with persistence, the help of Highway Patrolman Roger
Clark, and excellent driving skills, Phillips backed
the rig from the Eagles parking lot, over the Rite
Aide curb and through the grass into that parking lot,
then turning onto State Route 800.
Sounds easy, doesn't it? Not so. It was attempt after
futile attempt, a break to let the air build back up,
and frustration building until the task was finally
completed.
This process was like threading a small needle with a
piece of chunky yarn. The driver tried repeatedly to
avoid damaging the grass and obstacles, but the only
alternative reached was through the Rite Aide parking
lot.
Why would a 100 foot, 14 ft. 6 inch high load come
through the center of Woodsfield to get to Interstate
77 to its final destination in Lugoff, South Carolina?
Or even attempt the feat? Ask the permit department in
Columbus.
According to Clark, when the permit for an oversized
load is issued, the state permit department routes the
vehicle. The route prescribed by the state employee
was: from the former rolling mill on SR7, to SR78,
through Woodsfield to SR800, to Interstate 70 to
Interstate 77!! Clark noted that the driver cannot
deviate from the route issued.
According to Watters, Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania
are the worst states when it comes to routing
oversized loads.

<School Funding Petition Circulated

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
An initiative petition for equity and adequacy in
school funding is being circulated in the state of
Ohio, according to Bill Phillis, former state
superinten-dent of schools. Phillis was in Woodsfield
recently to speak to a group about the proposed
amendment to the state constitution.
According to Phillis, the amendment would fix what's
wrong with the system and reduce the reliance on
property tax and connect funding levels with needs.
In February, 2006, educational organizations,
statewide, came together and asked, "what can we do."
This initiative petition to amend the constitution was
the result of that question. According to Phillis,
the Coalition of School Groups is circulating the
petition to take the problem of school funding to the
people.
Approximately 403,000 valid signatures are needed
across the state to put the amendment on the November
ballot. Forty-four counties in the state must submit
signatures of at least five percent of their voting
population. Monroe County's minimum is approximately
400 signatures.
Former State Board of Education member and local
resident, William E. Moore, is circulating the
petition locally. "We'd like to get a lot more than
the 400 signatures," said Moore. "By putting this
amendment on the state-wide ballot, the debate on
school funding shifts from policy makers to the
public."
In 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that school
funding in Ohio is unconstitutional. According to
Phillis, the court decision said the state puts too
much emphasis on property taxes and the formula has
nothing to do with the cost to provide a quality
education to all the children in Ohio.
The larger property-based districts have local money
to support the schools and quality education. The
smaller districts, like the Switzerland of Ohio School
District, which has a lower property tax base, are not
properly funded to provide adequate and equitable
schools and education. A prime example of this is
Mon-roe Central High School, which is portable
buildings.
"It's a politically-contrived formula," said Phillis.
"The new governor (Ted Strickland) wants to fix this,
but the legislature majority remains the same.
If enough signatures are garnered and the amendment
passes in the November, 2008 election, some immediate
changes will be seen," noted Phillis.
The amendment also provides added tax relief for
individuals who are permanently disabled and senior
citizens, 65 years and over. For school purposes, the
first $40,000 property valuation, beyond the homestead
reduction, is not taxed under the amendment, said
Phillis.
The initiative petition provides for an allotted
amount of money set aside in a School Trust Fund. It
proposes the funds come from proceeds of state
lotteries and proceeds of one or more other state
taxes, along with local revenue contributions. The
deposits would be distributed as provided by law.
The amendment also safeguards post-high school public
education programs.
For more information on this initiative for equity
and adequacy in education in Ohio, go to
www.rightforohio.org.

< ~ Haunted House Proceeds Go To Warm the Children ~

St. Sylvester Central Catholic School student council
sponsored a haunted house at the school Halloween
party with the proceeds earmarked for the Warm the
Children program. Coordinator Pandora Neuhart accepted
a check for $200 from council members. From left are:
student council advisor Robyn Guiler, council members,
Derek Stephens, Hannah Jones, Anne LaFollette,
Neuhart, Michelle Dick, Chandler Kuhn and Tanner
Burkhart. Warm the Children is a program, sponsored by
the Monroe County Beacon and Woodsfield Kiwanis, which
provides new, warm winter clothing to needy children
in the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District.
Photo by Martha Ackerman

<CCAO Representatives Offer Updates to County Commissioners

Representatives from the County Commissioners
Association of Ohio spent over two hours with Monroe
County Commissioners last week. They updated officials
on legislation such as Local Government Funds, a
recent bill concerning unfunded mandates, and public
records. The representatives also answered questions
posed by commissioners Francis "Sonny" Block, John
Pyles and Bill Thompson. From left are CCAO
representatives Larry Long, Tom Strup and Josh
Hahn. Photo by Arlean Selvy

 

 

 

 

 

by Arlean Selvy
Publisher

A contract with GMN for a youth activities program
was approved Nov. 13 by Monroe County commissioners,
who also heard updates from representatives of the
County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO).
On the recommendation of Deb Haney, director, Jobs
and Family Services, the sole bid to administer a
youth activities program was accepted. The bid was
submitted by GMN Tri-County CAC.
According to the contract, GMN will provide a Youth
Activities - Learning is for Everyone (L.I.F.E.)
program.
The contract is effective from Nov. 12 through June
30, 2008.
The total contract amount "cannot exceed $80,000
unless otherwise limited or expanded by amendment."
The program requires GMN to coordinate activities for
Monroe County youth, specifically freshmen through
senior year students.
Ten elements are required to be made available to
youth: Tutoring, Alternative secondary school
services, Summer employment opportunities, Paid and
unpaid work experience, Occupational skills training,
Leadership development opportunities, Providing
support services, Adult mentoring, Follow-up services,
Comprehensive guidance and counseling.
Representatives of the CCAO paid a routine visit to
county commissioners to offer updates and answer
questions.
Among topics about which they shared information were
Local Government Funds,E-911 and unfunded mandates.
According to Larry Long, there was a danger LGF
funding would be lost. However, he said funding is
secure through 2008. He explained funds will be
distributed with a base amount and of then per capita.
He said this manner of distribution should benefit
rural counties.
Long said the useful life of E-911 equipment is about
five years. He explained a number of counties are
holding back on Wireless-911 because of its
sustainability. According to Long, the 32-cents per
month fee on cell phones ends at the end 2008. Asked
by Commissioner Francis "Sonny" Block if something
could be done to extend the cell-phone fee, Long said
a major initiative of CCAO is to keep the fee in
place. He said it needs to be continued on a permanent
basis.
In another update, Long mentioned a need to increase
title fees to help cover expenses in the clerk of
courts office.
Among other issues discussed were health insurance; a
natural gas program which could save counties money; a
purchasing program, farm agriculture and preservation;
public records and electric deregulation.
Josh Hahn answered questions concerning the Ohio
Sunshine Law Act.
Finally commissioners were asked about primary
concerns. Commissioner John Pyles talked about prime
property located on the riverfront with access to a
main road, river and railroad. "We need an economic
developer in here to help," he said. He suggested an
industrial park could be constructed or two major
businesses brought to the riverfront area.
The rail, he noted is owned by Ormet and needs
restored.
According to Commissioner Bill Thompson, the two
tracts land are currently leased by private
corporations. The leases aren't up until 2012.
Thompson said the county must start now to bring
business to those particular areas. Noting
transportation, he said by river, "is by far the
cheapest" way to transport.
Pyles said another problem is the expense incurred
for indigent defense, which includes legal counsel for
individuals alleging they have no money to pay
attorney fees.
Block commented on the school funding formula and
economic development.
In other matters, a proposed county auction was
discussed. Commission Clerk Allyson Cox explained
costs and responsibilities of the commissioners if
they decide to go ahead with an auction. Only a few
articles are owned by the county. Other items in the
auction would be from various governmental agencies.
She said it would be best to have a professional
auctioneer conduct the auction. Another option would
be to advertise for sealed bids, which would be less
expensive and less work intense.
No firm decision was made but it appeared officials
will advertise for bids rather than have an auction.
Officials entered into an executive session with Dean
Gramlich, president CIC and Betty Schindler, CIC
secretary, to discuss confidential matters. On a
motion by Commissioner Bill Thompson, the CIC will
foreclose on a loan.

< Obituaries (read the full obituary in the paper) 

<
Terry M. Brown, 34, Bellaire, died Nov. 11, 2007, at
his home. He was born Dec. 27, 1972 in Barnesville, a
son of Larry and Sondra Riley Brown of Jerusalem.
Online condolences may be expressed at
www.harperfh.net
.

< Opal Crooks Goodrich, 67, Newark, formerly of Monroe
County, died Nov. 17, 2007, at the home of her
daughter. She was born March 19, 1940, near
Beallsville, a daughter of the late Samuel and Nettie
Poole Crooks.

<
Garald Weckbacher, 86, SR 537, Rinard Mills, died
Nov. 18, 2007, in Monroe County Care Center.
Arrangements are pending at the Bauer-Turner Funeral
Home, Woodsfield
.

<Around the Burnside

By Denny Easterling

If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your
eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat.
The buyer haggles over the price saying, "It's
worthless," then brags about getting a bargain.
Seems as though the leaves are hanging on to the
trees longer this year. Does this mean we are going to
have really bad weather? I haven't spotted a hornets
nest to learn how deep the snow will be this winter.
If you think a dog can't count, try putting three dog
biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of
them.
I'm not sure if you saw this last Sunday or not but
it's too good not to pass along. With deer season upon
us and a high percentage of deer being harvested with
automobiles each year, makes it a bit unusual or maybe
a warning.
It seems that somewhere in Kentucky they were having
a girls high school cross country race. A 78 pound
young lady in sixth place, I think it was, had just
moved into fifth place when a deer ran out of the
woods and hit her and away it went. She said it all
happened so fast she didn't know what hit her. If this
wasn't enough the young lady's last name was "Buck."
And to think, I never saw a deer in the wild when I
was growing up and was careful when a bull might be in
a field protecting his herd of cattle. Maybe that deer
had a bet on the race and didn't want her to win.
What happened to Thanksgiving? Seems like we jump
from Halloween or before into the Christmas spirit or
at least the TV ads start working on us. I guess with
three shopping channels on our basic TV there's plenty
of opportunity to spend money.
I remember Thanksgiving was hog butchering time. We
had plenty of help at that time. A big mess of liver
and onions was on tap soon after. Was that ever good.
We also had a meal or two of tenderloin and the rest
was ground up into the sausage. I hated to see all
that good eating being ground up into the sausage but
man, did that ever make the sausage taste good. A
quart jar of the stuff didn't look too appetizing but
as with most things, looks don't count for everything.
We always had a rabbit hunting trip scheduled around
Thanksgiving because most of fellows didn't have a
chance to go hunting other wise and it was a good
chance to hear wild stories. I really enjoyed
Thanksgiving time not just for the food, time off from
school although it's tough to beat either.
It's started all ready, the large retailers are
crying the blues over the TV media how people are not
spending money and their sales will be way down this
year. Wal-Mart claims to be marking down and the store
is full of bargains. I feel sorry for them. It's easy
to mark things down when they are over priced.
I'm not sure but I think maybe China has thrown a
little chink in the Christmas rush this year with
their careless making of toys and the like. I seem to
remember a slogan I heard about Rinks a long time ago.
"If it's not made in Japan, you can't find it in
Rinks."
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy
licking your face.
Actually this is what you might call the yucky time
of the year. There's still corn to be husked, you have
to throw hay down to the cows that hasn't been too
long since you pitched it up into the now and soon it
will be a daily job of wheeling you know what out of
the barn every day. You also dread the days you have
to keep the cows in the barn all day because the creek
and spring were frozen. This caused more work watering
and wheeling. Even the regular trip to the super four
holer wasn't the most pleasant. Doing number two in a
chamber pot took a great deal of skill. I finally
worked things out when I reached high school except on
week ends.
As I look back, I realize maybe it wasn't all that
bad. Today some of the things we went through would be
child abuse and maybe make headlines in the paper and
on TV. One example might be getting the board of
education used on the back side when needed. We didn't
need security cameras and security officers to keep us
in lines. Most of the time this little board kept us
in line, hanging by the blackboard or on the teacher's
desk, plus, we would get it again if Mom or Dad found
out about it. They would not run to the teacher with
fire in their eyes, they would say to the teacher,
"Give him another whack if he needs it."
I am thankful I grew up in this type of background. I
think many of us today are not thankful for what we
have and keep wanting more and more. I don't mean
satisfied.
For example, in my opinion, we should not be
satisfied with the present school facilities, on the
other hand we have dedicated teachers who are doing an
outstanding job under what might be called, trying
circumstances. For this we should be thankful.
The average dog is a nicer person than the average
person.
Women and cats do as they please, and men and dogs
should relax and get used to the idea.
Attend church Sunday? Get in practice for Christmas.
Bible verses: From Genesis (Mon.) 45:16-20; (Tues.)
46:1-4; (Wed.) 46:28-34; (Thurs.) 47:7-12; (Fri.)
47:27-331; (Sat.) 48:8-21; (Sun.) Psalm 145:1-13a.