< 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.



December 27, 2007 Edition

< Santa in His Splendor

Standing on the porch of Dennis and Sue Dierkes, this
Victorian Santa has attracted a lot of attention over
the years. Shown with Santa are two of the Dierkes�
grandchildren, Laikyn Craycraft, left, holding Black
Jack, and Mckinzey Dierkes, holding Coi.
Photo by Martha Ackerman

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
Enjoying each holiday, Woodsfield resident Sue
Dierkes decorates the front porch of her circa 1900
home. She decorates for five different seasons, but
the one that attracts the most attention is Christmas
which features the Victorian Santa, purchased at Sears
about eight years ago.
When decorating the whole house for Christmas got to
be too much for Sue and her husband, Dennis, she
decided to focus on the front porch. �It worked, Santa
did his job,� said Sue, noting that people ask each
year when Santa is going to appear.
�People bring their children, cars stop by to see the
Christmas display and some even stop and take pictures
of him, sometimes with their children."
"I am very appreciative when people tell me they
enjoy what I do," said the homeowner. "It is a
wonderful feeling knowing that I've made a mark on so
many people."
Sue and Dennis have raised four children in their
home on South Sycamore Street where they have lived
for 41 years. The couple has seven grandchildren,
Jammie Sue Ball, Laikyn Cray-craft, Derek-London
Dierkes, Mckinzey Dierkes, Kara Dierkes, Grayce
Dierkes and Colt Dierkes. Coi, which they acquired
from rescue, and Black Jack, or BJ as he is better
known, who they recently adopted, complete their

< Kaiser Joins Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Kaiser and his handler, Deputy Joe Kress, has joined
the Monroe County Sheriff�s Office. The
three-and-a-half year old German shepherd was
purchased from Belmont County where he was involved in
numerous drug arrests. The K-9 Unit will be funded by
donations. Photo by Martha Ackerman

In the continued efforts to increase public safety
services, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office has
re-established a K-9 Unit to serve in the county.
Kaiser, a three-and-a-half year old German shepherd
was purchased from Belmont County with funds from the
Law Enforcement Trust Fund which is comprised
primarily of monies generated by previous drug
seizures, forfeitures and donations.
With Kaiser comes his handler Joe Kress, who brings
eight years of law enforcement experience with him to
Monroe County. He has worked in Belmont County as a
corrections officer, school resource officer and road
patrol deputy.
At the age of 20 months, Kaiser was certified through
the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy. He is
certified in the areas of narcotics, tracking,
apprehension, article, area and building search,
obedience and social exposure.
Kress and Kaiser have been instrumental in numerous
drug arrests involving marijuana, cocaine, various
prescription narcotics and other controlled
"The K-9 Unit will now be available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week and is capable of tracking missing
persons, apprehending criminals and detecting
narcotics, which ultimately impacts the safety of the
people who live, work and operate businesses in Monroe
County," said Sheriff Tim Price.
Recently, Monroe County Deputies requested Kaiser's
assistance on a traffic stop. Upon his arrival, Kaiser
"alerted" on the passenger front door and subsequently
27 bags of marijuana were located under the passenger
seat, along with several grams of cocaine and a set of
More recently, Woodsfield Police Department requested
the aid of Kaiser when a shop-lifting incident at
Dollar General turned into a drug bust.
According to Kress, he will be canvassing the county
soliciting donations for the K-9 Unit, which is a
self-sustaining unit of the sheriff's office.
Contributions, which are much appreciated, noted
Price, can be sent directly to the Monroe County
Sheriff's Office, Attention K-9 Unit, P.O. Box 595,
Woodsfield, OH 43793.
When not performing law enforcement duties, Kaiser is
available to perform demonstrations at schools and
other public places.

< ~ Lindy's Lovely Ladies Donate to SOMA ~
Lindy's Lovely Ladies, a local Red Hat group,
presented a check to Pastor Frank Lehosky, president
of the Switzerland of Ohio Ministerial Association.
The money will go to purchase food for the local Manna
food program. Shown, from left, are Vice-Queen Pat
Gray, food bank director Delbert LeMasters, Rev.
Lehosky and presenting the check, Queen Linda Brown.
Not pictured are Red Hat members Earlene Owens and
Susan Pollock.
Photo by Martha Ackerman

<Barbie Items Bring Cheer to Needy Children

Merry Vargo makes Christmas a little cheerier for
little girls. For the past two years at Christmas
time, she presents the refurbished Barbie dolls and
accessories to the local Job and Family Services
office for distribution to needy children. Shown,
from left, are: Merry Vargo with Monroe County Job and
Family Services employees, Laura Cline, Karen Potts
and Mary Wilhelm. Photo by Ed Vargo

It all started about two years ago when local
resident Merry Vargo was shopping at a thrift store.
She spotted a couple of pathetic looking Barbie dolls
and decided to purchase them, not knowing what she was
going to do with them.
While attending a party at a friend's house, Merry
met one of the guests who was a social worker. The
woman told her of the need for Christmas gifts for
less fortunate children. That's when the idea hit her
- the Barbie dolls.
From that time on, Merry shopped with a passion for
dolls and their accessories. She brought them home and
refurbished them with new hair styles and clothes.
Some of the accessories were purchased, others were
made. As the dolls were finished, they were wrapped in
plastic, along with their accessories.
For Christmas, 2006, Merry donated 63 restored dolls,
a Barbie boat, train, house and two cars. This year,
she created themes to go along with many of the dolls.
She made a display for the doll, complete with extra
outfits and accessories. Some included original
stories describing the lives of the dolls as
princesses, families or movie stars
This year's donation included 52 restored dolls, two
beautifully restored Barbie Dream Houses, a Barbie
train, plane and car. All of these gifts were
distributed through Monroe County Job and Family

<Our Readers Write

Dear Editor,
On behalf of the student body of Beallsville High
School, we, the student council would like to express
our appreciation to the Switzerland of Ohio Board of
Education for the money given to us to help with
renovation projects. Our school is something we have
always been proud of because of the accomplishments
that have been achieved, but the appearance of the
building left much to be desired. Now, thanks to
painting and landscaping the building outside looks
very welcoming. Inside we have a new tile floor,
brighter lights, newly painted hallways and lockers
and a glistening gym floor.
In addition, we would like to express our
appreciation to the local businesses, community
members, and alumni who have donated mums, pumpkins,
gourds, tulip bulbs, and money to enhance our
landscaping. Also, recently, we appreciate the many
donors for their decorations, we have garlands,
wreaths, trees, and an awesome snowman to use to
welcome in the Christmas Season. We�ve had fun with
these projects, and lot of our students have been
involved. We asked some of our classmates what they�ve
learned from the experience. Here are a few of the
1. Plants and shrubs need a lot of water to reach
their roots.
2. If you don�t drain a hose correctly you end up
with a big mess on the floor.
3. Roses have to be trimmed if you want nice ones
next year.
4. For spring flowers you�ve got to think ahead.
Tulip bulbs need planted in the fall and they have to
go a certain direction. Who knew?
5. It�s more fun to put pumpkins out than to haul
them to the dumpster.
6. To find out why a string of lights doesn�t work
can take a lifetime.
7. Duct tape doesn�t hold everything in place.
8. The wind can blow something over that you thought
was well staked.
9. Pay attention to the weather and try to decorate
outside when it�s warm.
10. There are never enough extension cords.
Again, we truly appreciate the community members who
have worked with us and shared their expertise and
time, and those who have made monetary donations to
help make our building better. Please stop by and see
our improvements.
Beallsville High School
Student Council

< Obituaries (read the full obituary in the paper) 

Edwin R. Obertubbesing, 62, 41617 SR 800, Woodsfield,
died Dec. 16, 2007, at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital,
Pittsburgh, Pa. He was born Aug. 1, 1945 at Rockaway,
N.Y., a son of the late Howard and Kathryn Ferger
Obertubbesing. Online condolences may be expressed at

< Emma J. Yommer, 71, of Woodsfield Nursing and
Reha-bilitation Center, Woodsfield, formerly of
Lewisville, died Dec. 17, 2007, at the center. She was
born March 20, 1936, at Harold, Ky., a daughter of the
late Oley and Jetty L. Kidd Damron. Online
condolences may be expressed at

<Around the Burnside

By Denny Easterling

Haughty eyes, a proud heart and evil actions are all
Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but
hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
Well, with Christmas over until next year, all the
wrapping paper gathered up and the unwanted or wrong
size presents or unwanted presents returned, what
next? New Years, 2008, and all the things you have to
endure before the elections in November. Yuck.
With the early deadlines for the Beacon I�m trying to
get a few weeks ahead so I can take a break. This
makes it tough to think of subject matter.
Let�s talk about the big snow, not the one in the
50�s, but the one just a couple of weeks ago. For once
the forecasters were correct we did get the snow.
Most of us have various feelings about the first snow
of any large amount, four to five inches. School kids
are happy, no school, however those of you who have to
get out in the stuff causes a different attitude.
Me? No problem. As long as Esther is willing to clear
the deck, get the mail I can pull on my sweats and
even enjoy the snow. I have a doctor�s appointment
today so I�ll have to get out in the stuff. This 4
degree stuff has got to go although our furnace is
working well and the gas company has big smiles on
their faces as the meters spin faster and faster. When
I was a kid it made the coal pile get smaller and the
ash pile get larger and larger.
When I was growing up we were happy to see the snow
not because we would get out of school. I can�t
remember ever getting to miss school because of the
weather. Maybe it was because if we were out of school
we had some extra not so pleasant work to do.
With a snow like this we could make a super size Fox
and Geese track that would last a while. Throw snow
balls, wear the rust off our sled runners, build a
snowman or any other of the fun things you could do in
the snow. We spent time outside.
What if we didn�t have snow? I spent a couple of
winters with out snow and didn�t seem to miss it. What
if you�d never seen snow?
I remember a number of years ago attending a
conference at Valley Forge with a group of high school
students. One of the students was a young man from
California who was blind. I wondered how he might fit
in and get along. Aside from having someone helping
him around from time to time it was difficult to tell
him from the others. He also had a very positive
attitude and joined in. He wore a knit toboggan,
because the weather was cold, and sometimes he would
pull it completely over his eyes and the other
students got a big kick out of this.
The weather during our stay was not the most pleasant
as there were times on the trip over, our bus was in a
line of trucks as far as you could see, moving very
While we were there we had a nice snow fall. A rather
light snow with large soft flakes. This set off our
blind friend. He ran around trying to catch snow
flakes and stuck his tongue out to allow the flakes to
fall on it. I�ll never forget his words, �i can�t wait
to get home and tell my mother I�ve seen snow.� And we
think we have problems.
From the news reports it seems the snow cause a great
number of accidents. Actually the drivers caused the
accidents. I heard a couple of patrolmen, who should
know, say if drivers would slow down and drive
according to the conditions a lot of the accidents
would have never happened.
I cannot understand why we are in such a hurry most
of the time. If I need to be at a certain place I try
to allow plenty of time to get their early. I would
much rather wait than have a rush around. It doesn�t
work all the time but it does some times.
For example today I had a 2 o�clock appointment to go
over all the junk they need to know in order to change
my generator. I arrived around 1:15 and was on my way
to Wal-Mart about 2:30 so my early arrival paid off.
I mentioned Christmas songs a couple of weeks ago and
I forgot one that was kind of popular and you hear is
quite often, �Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer.�
For some reason or another we seem to have been given
or purchased a number plush animals that sing when you
squeeze a paw or something. One of our Reindeer sings
�Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer�. It was fun to
hear it sing so it got to preform quite often. I
noticed our youngest great-granddaughter, at the time,
carrying the reindeer around by it�s ear. Sometime
later I found the reindeer in the waste basket. I
asked her if she threw it in the waste basket. She
told me in no uncertain terms that was a bad song and
that reindeer should not sing it, so she threw it
away. Now would you believe last year we received a
reindeer sitting in a rocking chair that rocks away
while singing �Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer� and
it�s nose lights up while it rocks.
What do you know 2008 is just around the corner.
Seems like 2007 started nearly a year ago. It�s time
to remake those New Years resolutions you made last
year. Maybe even a new one or two.
No sense being pessimistic. It wouldn�t work anyway.
Have a safe and sane Happy New Year.
Bible readings: (Mon.) Isaiah 49:5,6; From Luke
(Tues.) 2:21-24; (Wed.) 2:25-26. (Thurs.) 2:27,28;
(Fri.) 2:29-33; (Sat. 2:34-35; (Sun.) 2:3-38.