740-472-0734
< 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.

 

 

December 13, 2007 Edition

The lobby at Westwood Landing, the county's assisted
living facility, boasts a beautiful Chirstmas tree
decorated by Westfall's Florist, Woodsfield. Note the
fireplace decorations match the tree.
Photo by Arlean Selvy

< ECHO: "Santa's Secret" Helpers

Members of the Elderly Citizens Helping Others,
better known as the ECHO group at Westwood Landing,
presented $300 in cash to the JFS Secret Santa project
on Dec. 3. Presenting the cash to Laura Cline, far
right, Job and Family Services, was Vi Miller, member
of the ECHO group. Attending the presentation were,
front, from left: Doris Keylor, Jean Cline, Vi Miller
and Laura Cline; back, Walter Brown, Norma Brown,
Barbara Jeffers, John Galavich and William Jeffers.
Photo by Arlean Selvy

Westwood Landing's ECHO group is busy throughout the
year with projects to raise funds - it not only adds
enjoyment to their days but sunshine to the lives of
others. The eight-member group, on Dec. 3, presented
$300 to the Secret Santa project sponsored by Monroe
County Job and Family Services.
"The many residents who belong, and have belonged,
to ECHO have engaged in several charitable endeavors
over the past few years,"said  Tammy Marcum, activities director, Westwood
Landing.
Donations, in addition to Secret Santa, have
gone to Relay For Life, Warm the Children, blankets
and cages for the county dog pound, and a canned food
drive was held for the MANNA food pantry.
Funds are raised by selling hand-crafted items such
as specialty note cards, walker bags, birdhouses,
gardening accessories, dolls, pillows, hot pads and
other items. They are currently in their second
printing of the cookbook. Many of the items are on
display in the lobby of Westwood Landing, an assisted
living facility.
A surprise auction was held Nov. 29 with most of the
money raised going to the Secret Santa project. The
�secret� in secret auction, according to Marcum, meant
that nobody knew what they were bidding on. Bidders
included residents and their family and friends. Jack
Pfalzgraf was auctioneer.
The Festival of Trees is another of the activities
sponsored by Westwood Landing and the ECHO group.
Westwood is celebrating its Festival of Trees this
holiday season with Christmas trees and decorations by
Westfall�s Florist and Woodsfield True Value.
Westfall�s Florist decorated the front lobby, while
True Value provided two trees for the front entrance.
�The Christmas festivities will be made brighter this
year by the wonderful donation of trees and
decorations by Westfall�s and True Value,� said Laura
Taliaferro, sales manager at Westwood. �We truly
appreciate their efforts to brighten the holidays for
our residents.�
Vi Miller, resident and member of ECHO, said, �The
community of Westwood Landing appreciates the
beautiful Christmas trees and decorations so much.�




< Delegation Wants Action Taken To Tag Cats Running at Large

A delegation of residents attended the Dec. 3 meeting
of Woodsfield Village Council to express concern for
cats and to voice a complaint about individuals who,
allegedly, are capturing the felines for a coyote
trapper who uses them for coyote bait.
Rosalee Swallow, a resident of Sycamore Street and
owner of four cats, claimed two individuals trapped
her cats and gave them to the trapper. She claimed the
coyote trapper admitted to her that her animals are
dead.
Swallow told council her pets were spayed and
neutered and easily identified as hers. She said the
men who trapped the cats knew who they belonged to.
She asked council to consider action to mandate that
cats have tags. She noted that she and others are
interested in establishing a shelter for cats and be
able to euthanize when necessary.
Julie Casto reinforced Swallows proposal to take
action with a regard to cats. "There has to be some
change," she said.
Councilwoman Carol Hehr said the village needs to
know the cost of shelter for the felines. Council took
not action.
In another matter, Hehr reported that Fire Chief Mike
Young did not purchase the fire truck proposed to
council as it was not in satisfactory condition. He
will continue looking for another truck.
Three ordinances were passed on their first readings.
The ordinances deal with: regulating compensatory time
for hourly village employees; establishing a period of
probation; and regulating outdoor furnaces. The
ordinances were passed 5-1 on a motion by Vernon
Henthorn, council president pro tem. Voting no was
Hehr, who questioned the ordinance establishing a
probationary period.
Mayor Bill Bolon introduced the new Village
Administrator, Jeff Woodell, who will regularly attend
council session. Woodell thanked council for the
opportunity to work for the village.
"I look forward to working with you," he said.

< Official Enters Not Guilty Plea

A not guilty plea was entered Dec. 5 in Monroe County
Court on behalf of Monroe County Commissioner Francis
"Sonny" Block, Woodsfield, who was cited for operating
a vehicle under the influence and leaving the scene of
an accident.
Entering the plea for Block was his attorney, Jack
Blakeslee. A pre-trial is scheduled in Jan. 9. A that
time, according to a spokesperson in County Court, a
meeting will be held between Thomas Hampton, assistant
prosecutor, and Attorney Blakeslee to decide the next
step.
Block was cited following a Nov. 21 one-vehicle
accident which happened at 12:24 a.m. He was cited by
Deputy Rick Shipp.
Block was driving his pick-up truck on CR2 when it
went off the right side of the road, struck a mailbox
and continued on, striking a water meter an an
electric pole, which was snapped at the base.
Block continued through a field and turned onto
SR145.
In the citation, Block's blood alcohol content is
listed as .110.


Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen essay winners
were honored Dec. 10 at a dinner held at the
Woodsfield VFW Post 5303. Shown, from left, front,
are: Betty Weber, VFW Post 5303 Auxiliary President;
Jacob Ring, Patriot�s Pen winner; Amanda McConnell,
Voice of Democracy, second place; Kyle Cox, VOD third
place; back: Alonzo Wilson, Post 5303 Commander; and
Marty Eckelberry, District 5 Commander. Absent, Latara
Arnold, 1st place VOD. More next week.
Photo by Martha Ackerman


< 9-1-1 Back-up, Computers and Health Insurance on Agenda

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
During a regular session of the Monroe County
Commissioners Dec. 6, commissioners addressed back-up
for E-911, disposing of computers from the Department
of Job and Family Services, and met with
representatives of Schwinderman Agency.
Matt Brake, Swiss Valley Associates, met with
commissioners along with Belmont County
representatives to discuss 9-1-1 dispatching.
Attend-ing from Belmont County were Robin Marshall,
9-1-1 coordinator and Cliff Sliger, former 9-1-1
coordinator. Also attending were Rick Schuerman and
Philip Keevert of the Monroe County EMA office and
Maria Jones, of the Sheriff�s Office.
Main discussion focused on back-up dispatching for
9-1-1. According to a letter submitted to
commissioners by Brake, he noted Belmont County is
being asked to be the back-up Public Safety Answering
Point to Monroe County�s E-911 system.
Possible scenarios discussed included what to do when
all four 9-1-1 phone trunk lines into the Monroe
County dispatch are busy. Also a list of items was
discussed including how will Belmont County 9-1-1
dispatchers communicate with Monroe County
dispatchers.
After lengthy discussion, Belmont County
representatives said they did not have a problem with
being the back-up for Monroe County. Staley
Com-munications handles both systems which would be a
plus to the arrangement.
Schuerman noted that his office is trying to prepare
to be back-up for a back-up. He noted there are seven
different communication sites in Monroe County,
installed since 1998. Asked if there were dead spots,
Schuer-man said yes, but repeaters are in place to
help with those situations.
Mark and Larry Schwinder-man of Schwinderman Agency
of Marietta met with the board to discuss health
coverage for county employees. �We�d like to work with
you as a consultant,� said Larry Schwinderman.
�Looking at cost, we think it�s a good investment.�
Commissioners signed a resolution for Debbie Haney,
director of Monroe County Job and Family Services, to
dispose of 50 computers which have been wiped clean of
information. In the resolution, Haney recommended the
computers be donated to Monroe County Dog Pound, the
Dally Library, the Fair Board, the Senior Center,
Public Defender�s office, and MCDJFS contracted
daycare providers.
Haney also asked the board to approve a contract for
snow removal. The lowest bid of $45 per removal came
from Andy Copley of Woodsfield Green-house.
Two executive sessions were held, one with Ernie
Ferguson and David Kuhn , and the second with Haney to
discuss personnel in regard to hiring an economic
developer. No action was taken in either.



< Obituaries (read the full obituary in the paper) 

<
Phyllis Jewel Sowle, 86, died Dec. 1, 2007, in
Savannah, Mo. She was born May 21, 1921 in Cameron,
Ohio, a daughter of the late Glenn and Irene Jones.

<
Richard C. "Dick" Tisher, 91, long time Worland, Wy.,
resident died Nov. 29, 2007, at Worland Healthcare and
Rehabilitation Center. He was born Sept. 11, 1916 in
Hannibal, a son of the late Richard Clinton and Clara
Maude (Alexander) Tisher.

<
William Stanley Colvin, 76, Woodsfield, died Dec. 8,
2007, at Marietta Memorial Hospital. He was born April
8, 1931 in Antioch, a son of Norma Hill Colvin of
Woodsfield and the late William Jr. Colvin

<
Zola May Covert Silvernail, 76, New Philadelphia,
formerly of Monroe County, died Dec. 3, 2007, at
Dover. She was born June 14, 1931, in Harrisburg, Pa.,
a daughter of the late Thomas W. Haynes and Eddra E.
Howell Haynes.

<
Frederick E. "Fred" Kocher, Sr., 90 of East Captina
Highway, Steinersville, Powhatan Point, peacefully
went home to be with his Heavenly Father on Dec. 5,
2007. He was born April 26, 1917, in Powhatan Point, a
son of the late Crawford and Anna Crooks Kocher.

<
L. Eugene "Gene" Schaub, 85, 230 Oaklawn Ave.,
Woodsfield, died Dec. 11, 2007, at Monroe County Care
Center, Woodsfield. Arrangements are incomplete
at Watters Funeral Home, Woodsfield.

<
Opal "Tag" Graham, 85, Chester, W.Va., formerly of
Elizabeth, died Nov. 28, 2007, at Acuity Specialty
Hospital in Steubenville. She was born in Wood County,
W.Va., a daughter of the late Roscoe and Goldie Creel
Smith.

<
Nora B. Ritchie, 66, Sardis, died Dec. 3, 2007, at
her home. She was born Dec. 22, 1940, in Monroe
County, a daughter of the late Clarence Fluharty and
Hazel Rogers Fluharty.

<Our Readers Write...

Dear Editor,
This is a perfect time of year to pay a visit or send
a card to friends and loved ones who are no longer
able to be out enjoying this beautiful season.
You are sure to be rewarded with a warm smile and an
uplifted heart.
Dixie Dietrich Fuchs
Clarington

Dear Editor,
Perfect gifts don't come with a bow, but they share a
common thread. December is the time of year when we
find joy in the hustle, bustle and traditions of the
holidays. We anxiously anticipate the days we have set
aside, simple to pause and gather with family and
friends at the table and hearth, to celebrate and
refocus. However, if you're like me, while you look
forward to these moments of pause, you may find
yourself with no time to spare, frequently rushing to
identify perfect gifts for those who mean the most.
This holiday season, before heading out to shop, I
decided to take pause "early" and simply consider the
gifts I have appreciated most. Soon, I realized none
of these gifts were embellished with bows, but they
did share a common thread - they provided me access to
new opportunities. These gifts of experience fueled my
imagination, taught responsibility, encouraged me to
believe I could contribute and caused me to hold high
expectations for the future. In essence, the best
gifts taught and prepared me to give.
If you allow yourself the luxury of such a pause this
holiday season, you may well discover some of your
best gifts came in the package of "access to
opportunity" and enabled you to better contribute to
others. These gifts may have been encouragement from a
teacher, influence from a parent who valued your
success, doors opened by scholarships or risk ventured
on you in the form of a job opportunity.
One of the most remarkable gifts I received came just
this year, when I was blessed with the opportunity to
serve as president and CEO of the Foundation for
Appalachian Ohio. FAO is a regional foundation for the
29 counties of Appalachian Ohio that exists to "Foster
Access to Opportunity." Through the Foundation's I'm a
Child of Appalachia® program, students and communities
are encouraged to expect success in educational
achievement, and donors join together to mix, match
and leverage financial investments and scholarships
necessary to enable educational opportunities.
When you consider those who have given you the "best
gifts opportunity and preparation to give to others"
 you may discover the perfect present is to honor
them by giving. One way to accomplish this is to
contribute, in their name, to the Foundation's I'm a
Child of Appalachia Network (ICAN!), a group of
individuals who strive "through investments of time,
talent and treasure" to give the gift of increased
access to opportunity throughout Appalachian Ohio. To
learn more about how those special to you can be
honored by the "gift of opportunity," simply call the
Foundation for Appalachian Ohio at 740-753-1111 or
visit us online at www.appalachianohio.org.

Cara Dingus Brook
President and CEO Foundation of Appalachian Ohio

Dear Editor,
One Taxpayer's Opinion:
What are we to think of educators that would accept a
job of teaching our school age children the things
needed to gain the knowledge they need to succeed in
this world, and then says they will not give it their
utmost effort unless they get a pay raise.
Yet, they stay at a job of teaching our children,
putting out with something less than their best
effort?
So, if that be the case, are we, the taxpayers, to
spend additional monies unto the like, as they go
along teaching something less than their education
would allow them?
Yes! I am for hiring the best teachers available, but
no money in the world should buy less than their best
effort.
It goes to character.
Our children deserve, and demand the best education
available.
With all due respect deserved by the previous writer,
Beth Seneff of Barnesville, only a union would protect
the "less than best effort" by their members.
Only a bad administration would give in to these
demands.
Think about it.
Hilbert Ault
Woodsfield

<Around the Burnside

By Denny Easterling

An inheritance obtained early in life is not a
blessing in the end.
The glory of the young is their strength, the gray
hair of experience is the splendor of the old.
I liked a church sign I see quite often. �The wages
of sin is death. Repent before payday.� Something to
think about.
A week or so ago I wrote about my concern for our
only FFA organization and related some of the FFA
history since coming to the county realizing that the
FFA has been active for many more years.
For example, in the 40's Paul Hinderlong received the
American Farmer Degree which is the highest degree in
the national FFA and around the same time four other
members received the State Farmer Degree, which is the
highest degree given in the State FFA. It's easy to
see why the FFA has been so important to high school
Agricultural students over the years.
You may be wondering why I've spent time writing
about the FFA. First of all it's tough to think of
something of interest to everyone every week. Secondly
FFA has been a part of my life for the last
seventy-seven years or so.
I joined FFA when I was a sophomore in high school
for a selfish reason. The FFA had a good softball team
and I wanted to play on the team, plus I had a good
buddy who kept working on me to join during our
freshman year.
My parents were not too happy about my enrolling in
Vocational Agriculture, as it was known at the time,
because all of my older brothers and sisters had gone
on to college and there were three teachers and two
nurses in the family. This fact caused me to take
Latin, which was a lot of fun, because at the time
they had the idea you needed a foreign language to
enroll in college. WWII changed these plans.
I took Dairy Herd Management of our large six head
dairy herd as my project the next three years. I kept
track of production, feed, labor, etc. The best I
could with our not so modern dairy business. I even
got to test each cow�s milk every month except during
the summer.
I remember we took a number of field trips in the
county and had a dairy and general livestock judging
team and traveled to the state judging contest which
was really an experience for a few old country boys,
taking part in a state contest in Columbus on the
campus of Ohio State Univer-sity.
We were able to buy our lunch which was a new
experience for some of us. Little did I know then, or
even dream, that a few years down the road a buddy and
I would be responsible for operating this lunch stand.
As I mentioned WWII resulted in a change of plans as
most of us expected to enter the service after
graduation. It was during the years I was in the
service and learned of the GI Bill I decided I wanted
to be an Agriculture teacher.
Ohio State was the only place that trained Ag
teachers, so I enrolled at O.S.U. I then joined the
Townsend Agriculture Education Society which was
tailored after the FFA organization on the college
level. I think now there may be a college FFA Chapter.
After graduation the rest is history. FFA was and
still is an important part of my life. Even my years
in the Extension Service we worked closely with the
FFA Chapters in the county. I would not change a thing
except maybe do a little better job. Even after
retirement I spent five weeks each summer on the staff
of the Ohio FFA Camp, over 100 sessions. So you can
see what FFA has meant to me. I�m proud to be an
honorary member of two FFA Chapters and an honorary
State Farmer. Any wonder why I have a concern about
our only FFA Chapter?
Well, basketball season is going full steam ahead and
this has been another activity developed since moving
to Monroe County. When you worked at Skyvue,
basketball seemed to go along with the job. I remember
parking cars with FFA members, when the house was full
by the time the reserve teams started to play, video
taping the games and finally keeping the scorebook for
a number of years. I�ve yelled at my share of refs
over the years. I remember yelling at one ref along
with Bob Plaz.
The last couple of years or so I just attend when the
weather co-operates. It�s not doing a very good job of
it, as I write, one to four of the white stuff.
We attended the Monroe Central, Shenandoah game the
other evening. Has the game ever changed. The three
point shot and dunking the ball have helped do it. No
comparison to the old Skyvue type game.
The home team lost both games which is always a
disappointment and maybe worse when it comes down to
the last minute or so. Who do you root for? My son
coaches the reserve team so there is no way you want
the other team to win. The varsity game? I just kind
of sit, book wise, yell at the ref a few times just to
keep in practice and enjoy the game.
I think our Monroe Central teams are doing an
excellent job under some trying circumstances. Where
else do teams have to travel 20 plus miles just to
practice?
Age is a matter of feeling, not of years.
Only a few more shopping days left.
Remember church is held every Sunday.
Bible readings: (Mon.) Malachi 3:1-4; From Luke
(Tues.) 1:57-61; (Wed.) 1:62-66; (Thurs.) 1:67-75;
(Fri.) 1:76-80; (Sat.) 3:7-14; (Sun.) 3:15-20.