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

 

 

Dec. 10, 2008

<Senator Brown Meets with Monroe Community Leaders

        Senator Sherrod Brown, second from left, listens as Tom Scott, workforce/economic developer, shares information about economic development. Nineteen community leaders met with Brown last week to discuss the latest economic development efforts and how the federal government can assist with local growth, including the ability to access affordable healthcare. From left are Herman Zerger, chairman of the Democratic committee; Sen. Brown; John Baker, Baker and Sons Equipment, Lewisville; Karen Binford, pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ, Lewisville; and Woodsfield Mayor Bill Bolon. Shown  in the background listening to discussion is Dean Gramlich, president, Monroe County CIC.



        U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown joined Monroe County community leaders Dec. 5 for a roundtable discussion on economic development, infrastructure, district school issues and many other county concerns.
        “The needs of Ohio middle class families must be heard in Washington,” said Brown. “This roundtable discussion is a way that we can work together to set new policies in Washington that reflect the values of families in Monroe County.”
        Brown is working to ensure access to affordable health care for all Ohioans. He focused on that subject, gathering input from Susan Nesbitt, health commissioner; Linda Masters, administrator, county health department; Michelle Hollins, GMN Tri-County CAC and Anita Lestini, co-owner, Bellwood Drugs. “We don’t have a level playing field,“ said Lestini. “People go without medicine so they can buy food.”
        Nesbitt said dental health is a major issue. She also explained the health department operates on limited funding.
        Don Pollock, farmer and businessman, expressed concerns about longwall mining and its effect on farmland.
        Prior to Brown’s departure, Tom Scott presented him with a gift package which included items exclusively produced in Monroe County. Brown, in acknowledging the gift, said it was the first time he received a specialized gift such as this.
        Attending the meeting were Ruth Workman, CIC and chamber of commerce; Jeff Woodell, Woodsfield Village Administra-tor; Dennis Ward, farmer/businessman; Tom Scott, economic developer; Helen Ring, Supt., MRDD; Sheriff Tim Price; Supt. Floyd Longwell, municipal power; Christine Hoff, business owner; Police Chief Chuck Hamilton; John Baker, business owner; Susan Bondy, teacher; Mayor Bill Bolon; Pastor Karen Binford; Pollock; Nesbitt; Masters; Lestini and Hollins, representing Senior Services.



Tom Scott, workforce/economic developer, left, talks with U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown about matters concerning economic development and the need for better schools. “There is no money here to do the things we want done,” he said. From left are Scott, Dennis Ward, farmer and businessman; Jeff Woodell, Woodsfield Village Administrator and Ruth Workman, representing Monroe County Chamber of Commerce. Ward, who raises Saler beef cattle, voiced concern about the county’s infrastructure and acreage targeted for longwall operations. He noted Murray Energy has applied for permits to longwall 3,500 to 4,500 acres. Woodell shared information about the village’s wastewater system and recent grant funding made available to help meet EPA regulations. He indicated findings and orders handed down to the village have caused the village to move forward at a faster pace. The findings and orders have also helped in getting grant money. Woodell expounded on issues concerning the condition of district schools. “People don’t want to raise their children here because of the schools,” he said.                          

Photo by Arlean Selvy


        Senator Sherrod Brown held a roundtable discussion Dec. 5 with a group of 19 business leaders in Monroe County.  Sharing their concerns with the senator were, from left, John Baker, Baker and Sons Equipment, Lewisville; Pastor Karen Binford, Trinity United Church of Christ and president of the Woodsfield Kiwanis Club, Lewisville; Bill Bolon, Woodsfield Mayor and business owner; Susan Bondy, teacher; Chuck Hamilton, Woodsfield Police Chief; Christine Hoff, owner of Traditions Restaurant; Michelle Hollins, GMN Tri-County CAC, representing Monroe County Senior Services; Anita Lestini, business co-owner, Bellwood Drugs; Floyd Longwell, Supt. Woodsfield Municipal Power; Linda Masters, health department administrator; Susan Nesbitt, health commissioner; Don Pollock,Poplar Ridge Farm and former conservation agent; Sheriff Tim Price; Helen K. Ring, Supt., MRDD; Tom Scott, workforce and economic developer; Dennis Ward, Ward Brothers Farm; Jeff Woodell,
 Woodsfield Village Administrator; Ruth Workman, president, Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, and Herman Zerger, Veteran and longest serving Democratic County Chair in the state.                                  Photo by Arlean Selvy

Don Pollock, who operates the 200 acre Poplar Ridge Farm, displays a map showing the greatest agricultural area in Monroe County. “My concern is longwall mining going under 6,000 to 7,000 acres and that farmland being destroyed,” he said. Poplar Ridge specializes in strawberries and seedless grapes. It is one of only 10 seedless grape farms in Ohio. Pollock also stressed the need for better roadways.  At left is Susan Nesbitt, Monroe County Health Commissioner.

                                                                        Photo by Arlean Selvy

<First Year a Successful One


        Jeff Woodell gives an overview of his first year as Woodsfield Village Administrator. He is shown with Mayor Bill Bolon and Village Council President Vernon Henthorn.  Photo by M. Ackerman

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
        Jeff Woodell began his second year as Woodsfield Village Administrator on Dec. 3. According to Mayor Bill Bolon, it has been a successful year for the village.
        “I have always loved politics and wanted to make a difference in Woodsfield and Monroe County because I was born and raised here and truly love this town,” said Woodell. “When the opportunity to become Woodsfield’s first village administrator presented itself, I jumped at the chance. The position created a unique opportunity because there had never been an administrator before so there was nothing to go by, no one to compare your performance to or call on for advice.
        “I have started many organizations and businesses from scratch so I had an idea what it would demand to make this position a success. I took over as village administrator on Dec. 3, 2007.”
        Woodell began familiarizing himself with the departments and personnel. He spent time with council members and the mayor of 18 years. “After private conversation with each elected official, I felt I had a direction in which to proceed,” said the village administrator. “Everyone wanted to see strong leadership and accountability for the way the village operated from starting work on time to how the public is treated. Fixing our water woes, cable problems, getting employees trained, getting the walking trail done, downtown revitalization and getting things done that have been put off for years were just a few of the suggestions from village leaders. Three of my top mandates were to go forward with the purchase of Rubel Lake which had been stalled in bureaucracy, get the cable problem fixed and attain financing to fix our water problems.
        “One thing I conveyed to the employees was that they are to treat the public with the utmost respect and be as considerate with people as you would want people to be with you. My belief is that the residents of the Village of Woodsfield are our customers, they pay the bills, our salaries and, in a sense, they’re the boss.”
        The first thing Woodell did was to find out how to save the village money, from eliminating phone lines not needed to hauling away scrap metal that was rusting away.   “I was able to uncover things that we were being billed for that we no longer used, taxes were being paid that we were not obligated to pay. This by no means is a bad reflection on anybody currently in office because many of these things were done by previous officials. By having the old form of government, the part-time elected officials and the constant new faces holding office, it was virtually impossible to spend the needed hours to stay on top of these things. With this full-time position, I feel an obligation to stay in touch with all aspects of running the village and putting in the hours to do so.”
        The sale of Rubel Lake closed with a two percent financing rate through OWDA. “This investment by the village is the first step in solving an age-old problem for our water system, a low supply of water. Since 1952, the EPA has mandated that water systems have a 270-day supply of water; we have had a 134-day supply. The addition of Rubel Lake now gives us a 498-day supply of raw water,” said Woodell.
        In February, the administrator convinced a Suddenlink representative to meet with him, the mayor and three council members. A comment was made that if the village was not happy with Suddenlink, why didn’t they just buy it? That comment and tireless negotiations led to the purchase of the cable system.
        In March the EPA summoned the administrator to Columbus to answer questions and offer solutions to some of the ongoing problems. “I was able to convince the EPA that I would make every effort to get one grant a year and within three to four years have all of their concerns rectified.”
        April and May were filled with trips to Marietta and Columbus fighting for an OPW grant for sludge removal at the water treatment plant. In late May, the village was awarded the grant.
        In June the administrator began talking to business owners about downtown revitalization.
        In July, the village received the official paperwork for the OPW grant and loan. There was a $334,140 in grant monies and $222,760 in a no-interest loan.
        In July the village became the official owners of the cable system. Also during these summer months, the sidewalk revitalization began with the Monroe County Beacon being the first business to install the new sidewalk. Village employees laid conduit under Main Street for the decorative lighting before the new paving of Main Street was done by the state.
        In September the first decorative lights were installed and the Ohio Department of Development awarded the village a grant of $448,900 for the raw water line extension from Rubel Lake.
        In October the village received word that it would be receiving an ARC grant of $250,000 for the water line project.
        “In October, we were able to complete the first phase of the long-awaited walking trail and I can say that I had only a minor part in it,” said Woodell. “Councilwoman Carol Hehr carried the ball from start to finish on that one and she is to be commended on getting it done.”
        In November the District 18 Executive Committee selected the village to be one of the projects funded for OPWC grants and loan. The village will receive $400,000 in grants and a zero percent loan of $156,000 for the carbon filtration project. “The addition of carbon filters to our water plant, along with the sludge removal process, will make our water supply one of the finest in the state,” said Woodell. “These additions should solve any issues that we have with trihalomethanes from high levels of chlorine due to high levels of organics in our water,” said the administrator.
        “This office has been successful in obtaining the four grants, two executed, two committed, in the amount of $1,433,040 and zero percent loans totaling $378,760. These total monies of over 1.8 million dollars will greatly enhance the quality of and availability of drinking water for the customers of Woodsfield Water. The completion date for all of these projects should be the fall of 2009 if not sooner.
        “Jeff has done an extremely good job transitioning the village from a board of public affairs form of government to a village administrator,” said Bolon. “Very few people could have transitioned us as well as Jeff has. In his first year, he has accomplished a lot within our utility departments – securing grants, overseeing departments. The village has compacted five years of work into one under his supervision.
        “I commend him, the superintendents and employees of all the departments within the village,” continued the mayor. “They have all pulled together to help us do these things. If we weren’t all pulling in the same direction, we wouldn’t get anything done.
        “Under Jeff’s leadership, the water plant has secured a grant and funding for the line and Rubel’s lake. He also secured a loan and grant to comply with EPA mandated backwash at the treatment plant. Another sizeable grant and loan was secured for carbon filtration to remedy the trihalomethanes problem.”
        The mayor also noted that Woodell was instrumental in separating the storm water from the sewer drains.
        According to Bolon, Woodell also oversaw the utilities to KFC/Taco Bell.
        “We want our doors open to help anyone establish business here and to keep the businesses we have,” said the Woodsfield mayor, noting the sidewalk project. The village has been tearing out sidewalks for business owners who want to replace the deteriorating ones. “This helps keep the costs down for business owners,” said Bolon.
        “Without Jeff sitting here, Woodsfield Municipal Cable would not  be a reality. We are now able to service people better; we have a hometown voice when people have problems. We’ve added channels and selections. If Suddenlink was here, we wouldn’t have them. In the future, its only going to be a plus.”
        “All round we’ve done a better job with Jeff in the first year,” said the mayor.
        “The mayor and council have been 100 percent supportive of this position,” said Woodell. “They’ve backed me in every initiative I wanted to install to make changes.”
        Members of Woodsfield Village Council had comments on the administrative position:
        “Jeff has done an excellent job as village administrator,” said Vernon Henthorn, Woodsfield Village Council President. “We’ve had quite a bit of improvements in town and hopefully, we’ll have more.”
        “In my first term in 1993-97 we considered the option of an administrator,” said Bill Moore, but there was a lack of support. I feel it is a very valuable position and an important one in service to the community.”
        “It’s the best thing the village has ever done,” said Pauline Delbrugge. “We should have done it years ago. Jeff’s done a marvelous job. He’s done so much in such a short time.”
        “It was the best thing that has ever happened when we hired Jeff as village administrator,” said Paul Byers. “It seems like everything has gone so much better and smoothly. I’m real satisfied. Jeff is very knowledgeable.”
        “I don’t know how we’ve run this village without him,” said Carol Hehr. “The money he’s brought into the village has more than paid for his salary. I can’t praise him enough. He gives 110 percent in everything he does.”
        “Jeff really has done a good job,” said Dale English. “He has brought a lot of money in from grants. Things that have needed to be straightened out are now straightened out. He works well with people. I think he is a good man for the job. He knows how to deal with people and get things done. He’s been a big asset to the village. Any big decisions that have to be made he always brings to council and the mayor. The other things he takes care of. Everything seems to be working. He worked hard to get the cable and it’s been a big plus for us. There’s been lots of positive feedback. He’s brought in grants for sludge removal and by the time we’re done, we’re going to have a top of the line sewer department. He’s a good guy to work with. He tells you where he stands. Any time there’s a problem, day or night, he’s out there helping and makes sure things are done and done right. Overall he’s done a great job.”
        “It is really hard to believe that a year has gone by; it has been a whirlwind year, exciting and very challenging to say the least,” said Woodell. “I’ll admit there have been times I wondered what I had gotten myself into. The village administrator position in Woodsfield is very unique and unlike any other in the state of Ohio in the amount of responsibility and oversight of the office. An example is Roger Deal, Barnesville’s village administrator. He is in charge of water, sewer, utility office, streets, parks, cemetery and all of the extras. Woodell’s responsibilities include water, sewer, street, light, cable, parks, cemetery, utility office, village maintenance and anything else that comes across his desk. Woods-field is only one of 83 municipalities that operates an electric department (distribution) and one of only 14 who have generation capabilities throughout the state. Woodsfield is only one of three (the other two are cities)
 municipalities in the state that operates its own cable company.
        “There have been plenty of challenges and major decisions this past year,” said the administrator. “There has been more than one instance where people were three-to-four months delinquent on their utility bills and refused to pay because they said they had a medical condition requiring them to have an electrical device. Some of these bills were in the thousands. So I made the decision to purchase a few limited meters. This meter only allows enough electricity to run the medical device. If you choose to run the TV, it kicks the breaker and power is cut off. It may sound like a cruel thing to do, but we are still allowing them to have electric for medical reasons but not to live the life of luxury at the expense of the other bill-paying residents.
        “I think the results of this office speak for themselves. My office has saved the village $357,293 this first year through various cost-savings measures. The four grants and zero percent loans to upgrade our water system and the purchase of the cable system to better serve the residents of the village are huge steps in the right direction.”

<Francis L. ‘Tink’ Sulsberger Former Monroe County Sheriff F.L. ‘Tink’ Sulsberger: 1921 - 2008

        Francis L. ‘Tinker’ Sulsberger, who for decades was an iconic symbol of law enforcement in Monroe County, died Dec. 2 in the Woodsfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He was 87.
        Sulsberger was first elected sheriff in 1948 at the age of 27. Believed to be the youngest sheriff in the nation, he soon became known as the “kid sheriff.”
        He led Monroe County law enforcement for 40 years and earned the respect of law enforcement officials throughout Ohio and beyond. At his retirement in 1993, he was the dean of Ohio sheriffs. The sheriff who came closest to that record at that time had served for seven terms or 28 years.
        Sulsberger’s youth when elected and his long tenure aren’t the only things notable during his service. He had an enviable record in solving murders and bank robberies.
        In addition, he introduced the idea of stickers identifying the vehicle owner’s home county in 1980, and it was signed into law by the governor two years later. He favored the stickers as an aid to law enforcement, particularly in rural counties.
        Except for portions of two terms, he served as sheriff from his election in the late 1940s until his “second” retirement. He completed terms begun by Homer Antill and Robert Wilson.
        Sulsberger retired at the end of 1984. He came out of retirement in 1987 when Wilson resigned to accept other employment.
        In spite of confrontations with murderers and other criminals, he only carried a gun a couple of times while on duty. He once said, “I think at times if I had a gun, I probably would have shot somebody. I can talk my way out of it. You can do it if you make up your mind.”
        Among his honors was his selection by the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association as the “Outstanding Sheriff of the Year” in Ohio. That was the year that Sulsberger, during a 24-hour period, arrested three persons wanted for murder, two for killing the Adams County sheriff and the other for a murder in Monroe County.
        In 1989, he and Tim Price, who currently serves as sheriff but was chief deputy at the time, arrested two people in connection with a marijuana haul considered by state officials to be the largest in Ohio that year.
        Eight plots of marijuana, estimated at more than a million dollars, were located through the use of a National Guard helicopter, whose use was requested by Sulsberger. The marijuana operation also included buildings  used to cultivate and dry the plants.
        The sheriff commented at the time (1989) about the number of cases dealing with domestic violence and drugs. He said, “You hardly ever heard of marijuana when I first came into office.”
        He did, however, investigate one of Ohio’s first marijuana cases, and that resulted in “full bushels of mail -- all bad.”
        National attention was given the case, and Sulsberger received late night telephone calls in addition to critical mail, because “that poor little child” was taken from his parents. The parents, according to Sulsberger, had been selling marijuana to high school students, and they later were divorced after short prison terms.
        Even so, the sheriff commended  the youth of Monroe County. “We have a good bunch of kids in the county ...,” he said.
        A two-way radio system was installed in the sheriff’s office in 1954. Sulsberger himself put up the antenna because everyone else was reportedly afraid to climb to the top of the courthouse dome. The antenna can be seen in the photo at right.
        Sulsberger wasn’t the first member of his family to serve as Monroe County sheriff. His grandfather, Louis, a Civil War veteran, served two terms and an uncle served as sheriff in the 1930s. One of his four children, Margie Ann Hannahs, is currently employed as a deputy in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
        A graduate of Woodsfield High School, Sulsberger was a member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ of Woodsfield and an Army veteran of WWII.
        Sulsberger leaves his wife, Rosalie of Woodsfield, two daughters, Susan and her husband Mike Murray of Grove City, Margie Hannahs of Barnesville and two sons, Tom and wife Jane Sulsberger of Cambridge and Dick and his wife Karen Sulsberger of Woodsfield.
        Memorial contributions may be made to  the Tink and Rosie Sulsberger Law Enforcement Scholarship Fund, c/o WesBanco Bank, 101 N. Sycamore St., Woodsfield, OH 43793.


< Obituaries

JAY R. SCHENERLEIN
        Jay Russell Schenerlein, 69, Malaga, died Dec. 3, 2008 at his home. He was born May 26, 1939 in Wheeling, a son of the late Russell and Marie Graeb Schenerlein.        Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net.

FRANCIS L. ‘TINKER’ SULSBERGER, JR.
        Francis L. “Tinker” Sulsber-ger, Jr., 87, Woodsfield, died peacefully while surrounded by family and friends on Dec. 2, 2008, at Woodsfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He was born Jan. 14, 1921 in Woodsfield, the son of the late Francis and Ethel Riemen-schneider Sulsberger. Condolences can be expressed at www.bauerturner.com

EDITH E. GEITGEY
        Edith E. Norris Geitgey, 87, of N. Canton, died Nov. 28, 2008, at the Mercy Medical Center, Canton. She was born Aug. 29, 1921 in Monroe County, a daughter of the late Lewis E. Norris and Lulu B. Griffith Norris.

LEA HARKINS
        Lea Harkins, 83, Dangel Lane, Sardis, died Dec. 8, 2008, at Wetzel County Hospital, New Martinsville. She was born Oct. 28, 1925 in Junction City, the daughter of the late Fredrick and Myrtle Murdock Spangler.
Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com

<Our Readers Write:

Dear Editor,
        I am moved to write this as I am saddened and burdened by the letters often submitted to your column. Clearly, the only answer to the age-old strife, bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, judgment, and resentment saturating this county is the love of Jesus Christ.
        It’s obvious that the enemy has a spirit of oppression that has taken up residence in Monroe County. It is evident in our inability to move forward with peace and freedom and victory in our school construction, businesses, economics, personal health issues, and community unity.
        This spirit has kept us in bondage for years and will only be conquered through love, giving, forgiving, acceptance, tolerance, prayer and fasting, and faith in a miracle-working God: basic principles woven throughout the Bible from cover to cover.
        This holiday season, let us all take a personal spiritual inventory and truly seek God’s forgiveness and His wisdom in every area of our lives. In dealing with people and often difficult, frustrating, seemingly hopeless situations, it’s important to remember that we cannot change people. The most effective, life-giving, life-changing prayer is, “Lord, change me.” I am trusting and believing God for a powerful, healing work of deliverance in every family and institution in Monroe County. I pray that we will be humble and committed to cooperating with the Holy Spirit in this work. Let’s allow Christ to do a work in each of us, so that we will truly be the beacons of Light that he has called us to be.
Sincerely,
Kristine Thompson
Sardis

Dear Editor
        I am writing this letter concerning the article published Nov. 20 about the cost to taxpayers for emergency medical service in Monroe County and the statements made by Commis-sioner Bill Thompson.
        These statements are misleading and incorrect.
        As of Nov. 28 2008 at 9:30 am the county's EMS levy has only paid $103,184.11 to the county EMS service.
        The other statement made - about  Noble County only paying $159,000 to a company to provide Emergency Medical Service to Noble County is not actually true either. Noble County commissioners pay United Ambu-lance for their service, which includes TWO ambulances, one full time crew and a call-in crew which is based in  Caldwell and covers most of the county. What was not included in his statement is that they also have contracts or agreements with neighboring EMS services and give the county fire departments money to provide first responder services.
        So I would say that the pay is closer to $200,000 a year and that United Ambulance also bills the patient for services provided. United Ambulance service fees are comparable to that of Monroe County EMS. The only difference is that when United Ambu-lance patients pay their bill, the ambulance service collects all the money. When Monroe County EMS patients pay their bills, part of that goes to the county to help with operating costs.
         So, if Monroe County EMS is going to be compared to Noble County let's tell the whole story. Noble County has one EMS station and two ambulances for $159,000 a year. Monroe County has six stations, ten ambulances and around 70 members. So does that mean that we should be getting paid $954,000 a year?
        If Thompson wants to bid the EMS service out to have the same service Noble County has, what five of the six stations is he willing to close and which one of the taxpayers is he willing to tell: “Sorry we cannot transport your loved one because our ambulance is already out,” or when we have another tragic school bus accident which two of the five kids will get treated and which three will not?
        We can only hope the commissioners who are about to take office will be more supportive of EMS services than current commissioners. We can also hope the new commissioners will be willing to tell the whole story concerning the situation.
                 Deputy. Rick Shipp
EMS & VFD member
Woodsfield

Dear Editor,
        On Sunday morning, Nov. 2, as the pastor began the morning service with prayer he expressed thankfulness that we lived in a country where we were free to worship our God. As he prayed I could not help but think, will the people throw this right away Tuesday in the election? It was only a few days until it was public knowledge that they had. Hundreds of years of blood, sweat and tears thrown away by an ungrateful people.
        It didn’t just happen Tuesday though. It has been in the process for many years. Most has been done by the appointment of perverted judges. Democrats appoint judges that do their dirty work even after they are out of office. They have controlled what we see on TV, in the movies, in the printed page and what is taught in our schools.
        The worst thing a person can do to a child today is put him in the intellectual cesspool of liberal propaganda erroneously referred to as public education. It teaches bad math, bad science, bad history and bad ethics. It has filled our country with people that not only can’t do anything but can’t be trained to do anything.
        The economic recession should not be a surprise to anyone. For years it has been obviously inevitable because there isn’t enough intellect left in this country to run it. The auto industry was no surprise because I was aware that all our large corporations are victims of ignorance and arrogance from our schools. Workers don’t know how to work and the only things management know how to do is to scam employees and investors and steal through absurd salaries and perks. The banks were somewhat of a surprise because I didn’t know until informed by bankers that Carter and Clinton had put in place banking regulation designed to crash the banking system.
        We now have a president that has by his own hand proclaimed that he will stand with the enemy with which we are at war. He has made it very clear that he hates whites, he hates Christians and he hates America. That puts me on his bad side to start with. Plus we now have a congress that hates America also.
        Compare two education systems: That of our enemy which has been teaching that our new president is their messiah and will take over our country from the inside and/or college and university students that elected him.
        The real revelation for me has been to realize who it is that will be like the Germans that reported the Jews and those that helped them. These people will report anyone that tries to hold out and not turn in all their guns. Then as the Democrats get more and more of what they want they will report those that try to shield their children from the propaganda in the schools, then where the churches meet, people that have Christian literature in their homes, those that resist homosexual activities, those that resist the killing of unwanted children and the longer it goes the worse it will get.
        There are democrats that will say they wouldn’t do such things but two years ago they would have said they wouldn't vote for someone that proclaimed he would stand with our enemy. They are the miners that voted for him after he said he would do all he could to shut down the coal fields. These people will do whatever they are told to do when the time comes.
Scott E. Fisher
Lower Salem
Dear Editor,
        A new book, “Our Good Name,” by J. Phillip London has been placed in the Monroe County Library.
        “Our Good Name” is the story of how CACI International Inc. led by CEO J. Phillip “Jack” London and the CACI team fought to get the truth told and do the right thing…the account of one company’s success in overcoming media-driven false allegations, resulting in misplaced public anger and criticism…while loyally serving the nation in time of war.
        All royalties donated to disabled veterans charities.
        Long-time leader, chairman, president, and CEO, Dr. J. Phillip London, in this book, presents the truth. “Truth will set you free.”
        London is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Academy. He holds a master’s degree in operations research from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a doctorate in business administration from The George Washington University. He retired as a U.S. Naval Captain after serving 12 years as a U.S. naval officer and aviator and another 12 years with the reserves. London has received numerous industry awards, and is active in community affairs.
        Jack’s wife, Dr. Jennifer E. Burkhart London, a licensed Ph.D, in psychology with broad experience in business development with some of the largest certified public accounting and professional consulting firms in the country, became business advisor for the book “Our Good Name.”
        Bertha Burkhart, Monroe County Rd. 100, is mother of Dr. Jennifer London.
        Don’t miss reading “Our Good Name.”
Bertha Burkhart
Woodsfield

Dear Editor,
        After reading Karen Romick’s letter to the editor, I want to write a reply. I attended the November meeting of the Monroe County District Library, and I feel that she was misinformed about the events of the meeting.
        I do understand her concern about the Dally Memorial Library. It would be nice if each of our communities could have a branch library. In these tough economics times, it is just not feasible.
        During the course of the meeting, there was discussion about adopting the Dally Memorial Library as a branch. After weighing all the options, the board chair asked for a motion and then a vote. To the dismay of the Sardis board members, it was declined.
        The Fiscal Officer, Susan Smith, did give a financial report. Included in this report she did state that the Monroe County District Library (MCDL) had to make a two percent cut in 2008. Revenue for the MCDL is received from a state fund called the Library Government Fund through the county auditor’s office. All Ohio public libraries receive 2.2 percent of the state general tax revenue. That money is distributed to each of the 251 public libraries in the state. No money from Monroe County’s General Fund budget goes to the library. We do not have any library levy in the county that could generate money for the library. Also in her report, she stated that in 2009 another cut of 3-4 percent minimum overall will likely be realized. This week, she has learned that the cuts will probably be closer to 6-8 percent for next year. Our library operates in the black, primarily because the board carefully monitors all spending.
        The MCDL will receive $560,000 from Local Government Funding this year, not the $640,000 as stated in Romick’s letter. The $640,000 was the amount appropriated for expenditures for 2008. There must be a carry-over especially this year to cover the lost revenues.
        I am wondering, should services be hindered at MCDL in order for them to operate a branch?
        The bonus mentioned in Karen Romick’s letter is not a true bonus. It is in fact a one time pay raise which when divided for the year would equal to about $10 a week before taxes. It is wonderful that the board is still trying to take care of the employees even under difficult circumstances. Even if the board voted not to give this raise it would not be enough money to operate a branch.
        The current MCDL building was open in 1985. I remember when the library was one small room in the courthouse. We now have this very nice facility which offers many services to all of Monroe County that were not available before. It would be a shame to sacrifice these services. If there is a way to have a branch library without cutting services at the MCDL that would be nice. Even better would be a branch in several of our small communities.
        One board member from Sardis, I believe it was Mr. Rufener, brought up the property across the street belonging to the library. This property was purchased in 1999 and currently has a storage building and gazebo on it. Rufener suggested the possibility of selling this property as he feels it is not used by the community. Kathy South, the library director, stated that this is used by the community quite frequently. I had a phone conversation with Kathy and she explained to me that the property was bought because the library has nowhere to go if at some point there would be any necessary expansion. Rufener indicated that if that property could be sold, the money could be used for something else. If the community of Sardis desires this library maybe they could sell something to help fund it.
        Another board member from Sardis, Mr. Ellis, asked to have the statistics on the bookmobile to review. He suggested that it may not be used enough to warrant keeping it in operation. He questioned if the cost could be broken down by communities and possibly using Sardis’ share for the branch library or even possibly cutting this service altogether. Many areas of this county rely on this service, even our public schools.
        Ellis’ wife is the current director of the Dally Library. Could this possibly be clouding his judgment? I personally feel that this is a conflict of interest. Should he sit on a board that is going to decide the direction of this library while his wife is employed there? As of the November meeting, there are now three members of the board from Sardis while other areas of the county are not represented at all.
        A citizen did present information about the accessibility of the Sardis community to other libraries. He did not suggest that these people go to West Virginia. He simply offered it as one alternative. He also stated that there are libraries in both New Matamoras and Powhatan Point. Just a short drive in either direction.
        It is closer for the citizens of Sardis to access any of these possibilities than it is for many of the citizens of this county to access a library. If a branch library were to be offered, shouldn’t it be to those who have the least accessibility?
        Many items were covered at this meeting. One item was the need for a piece of equipment for the genealogy room. One member of the board stated that this should not be the responsibility of the library as these materials don’t belong to the library. This  member also felt that the material shouldn’t even be housed in the library. There was a suggestion that Genealogy and Historical Societies share equally in the cost of the equipment. A good idea, but how would they fund their shares? Maybe a bake sale suggested one member from Sardis. This would take a lot of cookies.
        These meetings are very informative. All library activities are presented to the board and don’t proceed without board approval. For anyone who is interested in the operation of the Monroe County District Library, I would suggest attending the monthly board meetings. The board is interested in giving patrons of the library the best service possible.
Sincerely, Susan Jones
Beallsville
       

<Around the Burnside

You might be a redneck if: You’d give your last dollar to a friend.
        We have enjoyed the redneck jokes for years. It’s time to take a reflective look at the core beliefs of a culture that values family, country and God. If I had to stand before a dozen terrorists who threaten my life, I’d choose a half dozen or so rednecks to back me up. Tire irons, squirrel guns and grit…that’s what rednecks are made of. Yep, I guess I’d be a redneck. Ya’ll know who ya are.
        Well, Thanksgiving is over along with black Friday. I never could figure out why they call it black Friday. I guess it’s because this is the day stores start making a profit.
        I wonder. They really go after the shoppers. My son brought us a Marietta Times on Thanksgiving Day and we received our Times Leader that was almost too large to stuff in the box.
        When I got the paper sorted out I ended up with 44 flyers from different stores and places selling something with a special price, which has been discounted by 50 percent and maybe they only have a half dozen for sale.
        Tell me, how can I study 44 special inserts and decide what bargains I want to purchase, and still make it to the store by 3 a.m. to make my purchase? This is why I don’t Christmas shop anymore. We give a little dab of cash and let them do the shopping.
        Then I do remember there was a time when we did a majority of our shopping the day before Christmas because of the so-called bargains that were available.
        One school gave us our December check before Christmas. That sure made January a very, very long month. I sometimes kind of miss Rinks.
        I had another lunch on the world again a few days ago. The fork was from Thailand, spoon from Taiwan and knife from China. Really quite a trip. I didn’t eat supper until late evening.
        I almost forgot; I really received a nice gift on Thanksgiving. My daughter-in-law brought me a jar of blackberry jam, seeds and all. You know who in our house is hooked on grape jelly so I couldn’t remember the last time I had any blackberry jam.
        I spread a roll with butter and jam. After the first bite I decided the jam was mine, everyone else hands off. I’m safe because the other person living in our house does not like the seeds in the jam.
        It also reminded me why I really didn’t mind picking blackberries when I was home, gum boots, chiggers and all. The jam, pie and just plain berries was worth the trip.
        Oh yes, she also brought a blackberry cobbler which I about wiped out by myself. I guess blackberries are one of my favorite fruits. Maybe black raspberries rank up there with the rest but they were not as plentiful as blackberries.
        Speaking of fruit, I had to go to the Shenandoah FFA to put my order in for oranges again this year. I remember the Swiss Hills FFA, when we had one, would have a semi truck back up to the shop to be unloaded, usually over a thousand boxes. I thought once the semi would get stuck when the parking lot was covered with ice. He did much spinning.
        Then there was the time we received a call the fruit would arrive the next day. Guess what? School was called off because of the roads. This didn’t stop the fruit truck. It arrived and no students to help unload the truck. I think three of us unloaded the semi. Isn’t that right, Judy? No one said life was easy.
        Am I mistaken? Isn’t a football team beaten by both River and Monroe Central playing for the W.Va. Championship? How about that?
        Interested in a real meal? Swiss Hills is the place on the 18th. I’m not sure how long this meal has been held. I am sure I’ve never missed out on any of them. I expect for the chocolate lovers they will have the outfit working that reminds you of a chocolate Niagara Falls. If you’re interested in attending, call in your reservation, 740-472-0755 ext. 14. If you attend I’ll bet you will not want much supper.
        I have to be honest; I enjoyed the meal. However, when I was teaching I enjoyed the day after because we had left overs at a cheaper price. Nothing like a good meal. I doubt if they’ll have any blackberry pie.
        If things work out you might be able to pig out the day before on chicken or tacos.
        I’ve been rolling some things in my mind the last few days. Maybe I’ll get it out later on. Something like a question. Is there another county in Ohio like Monroe County?
        Don’t forget to attend church the next few weeks.
        Bible readings: From Genesis (Mon.) 18;1-8; (Tues.) 18:9-14; from Luke (Wed.) 1:5-11; (Thurs.) 1:12-20; (Fri.) 1:21-25; (Sat.) 1:39-45; (Sun.) 1:57-63.