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


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Dec. 17, 2008

<Festival Deemed Great Success

The annual Christmas tree lighting was held in Woodsfield Dec. 6 during the Woodsfield Christmas Festival celebration. Pulling the switch to bring the tree to life was former Woodsfield mayor Bill Ricer. He is shown in the inset with family members, from left: granddaughter Richele Ricer, sons Dave and Gary and wife Dorothy. Photo by Martha Ackerman




Marietta Health Care Physician’s float won “Best Float.” This year’s theme, “Christmas, Past, Present and Future,” worked well with characters from “A Christmas Carol” with Ebeneezer Scrooge (Dr. Jay Seidler), Marley’s ghost (Tom Coss), Tiny Tim (Hunter Bailey) and the Ghosts of Past (Andrea Coss), Present (Linsey Lafferre) Future (Marsha Grimm) riding on their float.

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
        This year’s Christmas Festival has grown thanks to a dedicated committee. The Woodsfield Christmas Festival Committee did a great job organizing all the Dec. 6 festivities. Despite the snow and slick roads, the show went on and everyone enjoyed the breakfast and pictures with Santa, the carriage rides, the elves distributing candy canes, the delicious popcorn made by Farm Bureau members, barrel train rides, pampering sessions, the parade and the wonderful concert which concluded the day’s activities.
        One of the new additions this year was a live Nativity by members of the Woodsfield Baptist Church and the wonderful light display in the city park. It took committee members, along with Woodsfield Municipal Power employees, hours and hours to put up all the Christmas figures made by the late Woodrow Mobley and donated by his wife Annette. More decorations were added to the Mobley figures to create a “festival of lights.”
        Organizers hope that residents can enjoy the display as Christmas nears. One drawback has been the theft of lights from the displays that so many people have worked on to create something nice for the community. If anyone sees any destruction or theft, please call the sheriff’s office at 472-1612.
        “It was a beautiful, snowy day and we hope everyone enjoyed the activities,” said Ruth Workman, a member of the festival committee. “Our sincere thanks to the Beacon for all their help and support in getting festival information out with all the wonderful pictures and articles. The Beacon also donated $800 to the festival committee to help with expenses. We hope to spread this money out over the next few years.
        “So many people helped and supported the festival,” continued Workman. “It really shows how the community can come together.”
        The Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club and Monroe County Help Me Grow was a big success with over 200 children putting in requests to Santa. Helping with the event were Kiwanians, employees of Help Me Grow and members of the Monroe Central Key Club and, of course, Santa.
        The Happy Heart Singers sang in the courthouse amid the vendors. “Their Christmas music put people in the Christmas spirit,” said Workman.
        Debbie Bowen’s Christmas family that vigilantly stand in front of the courthouse, rain, snow or shine, have been greatly admired and appreciated.
        Sawblossom Stables of Lewisville provided the carriage rides and Farmers Feed and Deli was the site for face painting and Jeb Joos’ Barrel train rides. Owners Ed and Dee Beard also had samples of their Amish cheeses and meats. Pat’s Gift Shoppe and Cafe hosted Santa and his elves giving children an opportunity to visit Santa, get a gift and a picture.
        Businesses and vendors were set up in the courthouse providing a large variety of gift choices and baked goods. Some of the vendors had drawings with the winners being:  Margie Yoss’ German Christmas Stars winner, Patty Turner; Wave Loom Jewelry, Susan Lehosky; Cuddly Critters & Crafts, Michelle Wilson; Mary Kay, Pat Lewis; Pampered Chef, Pollie Evans; Carley Care, Pat Hodges; Doggie Day Care, Lois Kinney; Straight Fork Farms Alpacas, Aaron Stevens; Gold Canyon Candles, JoAnn Schwall; Never Enough Thyme, Sue Ullom; Longaberger Baskets, Trenda Kinney; Home Place Candles, Wilda Schneider; Becky Highman’s Healthy Wonders, Jay Robbins; Tupperware, Missy Morris; Chocolate Sweets & More, Becky Williams; and A Touch of Country, Michelle Johnson.
        Despite the weather, the parade went on with several very nice floats. Beautifully dressed in winter white was Karissa Martin, Miss Ohio 2008, who was this year’s grand marshal. Announcing the parade was Bill Frank, who did a wonderful job, as usual.
        Marietta Health Care Physician’s float won “Best Float.” They used this year’s theme, “Christmas, Past, Present and Future,” very well with characters Ebeneezer Scrooge, Marley’s ghost, Tiny Tim and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future riding on their float. The award was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Woodsfield. Other eyecatching floats were Citizens National Bank, Happy Days and A.K. Apparel.
        Following the parade, Dorothy Ricer read her original poem (found in this week’s Beacon). Her husband, former mayor Bill Ricer, threw the switch that lighted the courthouse lawn Christmas tree.
        The Woodsfield Methodist Church was the site of a wonderful Christmas concert. Those attending were treated to holiday music by the Miss Ohio 2008 Karissa Martin and the  Monroe Singers.
        The Ohio Valley Community Credit Union won the window decorating contest, with the award sponsored by Woodsfield Mayor Bill Bolon. “We appreciate all the businesses that participated in lighting their store fronts and making our community look so beautiful,” said Workman.
        Donating items for the Deck the Halls contest were Sally Seidler of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Margie Yoss, Ruth Workman, Debbie Bowen of Bowen Construction, AK Apparel, Angela LaFollette, Traditions, Westfall’s, Just Chiropractic, Susan Jones, Virgil, Lee and Zack Hamilton, Bernie Miller, Becky Highman of Healthy Wonders, Kiwanis Club of Woodsfield, Carol Schumacher, Pat’s Gift Shoppe & Cafe, HerSpace.Gym, Carol Austin and Farmer’s Feed and Deli. Contest winners were Carol Schumacher for her wreath and Pat’s Gift Shoppe & Cafe for the table decoration. According to Workman, $557 was raised for the needy families of Monroe County.
        Plans are already underway to make the 2009 festival even bigger and better.

<Secret Santa Program Gets Big Boost

The Secret Santa program at Monroe County Job and Family Services received a big boost from The Eastern Star Chapter 268, Woodsfield Order. Members presented a check for $1,300, which are the proceeds from a sub sandwich fundraiser. Shown, from left, are: Eastern Star member Jeff Gallaher, Secret Santa coordinator Laura Cline, Eastern Star Worthy Matron Tyra Edgel , Eastern Star Worthy Patron David Edgel and Secret Santa coordinator Karen Potts.                      Photo by Martha Ackerman


by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
        Each year employees of Monroe County Job and Family Services try to make Christmas a little happier for needy children.         The program received extra help this year from Eastern Star Chapter 268, Woodsfield Order. The chapter has been donating to the program for three years, but this year members decided to have a special fundraiser earmarked for the Secret Santa program. With a sub sandwich lunch, Eastern Star members raised $1,300 which they presented to Job and Family Services to be used to buy gifts for the needy children of Monroe County. Last year the organization donated $1,100.
        Laura Cline and Karen Potts coordinate the Secret Santa program. This year there are 397 children from 192 families who will benefit from the Secret Santa.
        The program is supported by donations from churches, organizations and schools. Secret Santa envelopes give the age and sizes of the child, along with special gift ideas. Members of the churches and organizations select an envelope and buy for that child/children. Gifts are then collected at the local Job and Family Services office and parents are asked to pick them up before Christmas.
        According to Cline, this year Monroe Central and Swiss Hills Key Club members are participating in the program.
        Cash donations are always welcome. When names have no sponsors, Cline and Potts go shopping and that’s when the cash donations really come in very handy.

        Miss Ohio 2008 Karissa Martin served as Grand Marshal of the Woodsfield Christmas Festival Parade held Dec. 6 despite the cold temperatures and snowy roads. Riding in the Sawblossom Stables carriage with Karissa were Chloe and Kynlie Cline. Karissa will be participating in the Miss America contest set for Jan. 24. The show will be televised on TLC.                      Photo by Martha Ackerman

<Miss America Events To Be Televised

        Karissa Martin, Miss Ohio 2008, was the Grand Marshal of the Woodsfield Christmas Festival Parade held Dec. 6. Karissa, dressed in winter white, rode in the beautiful white carriage belonging to Sawblossom Stables of Lewisville. Carriage rides were available during the festival.
        Karissa will be competing in the Miss America contest which will be held Jan. 24 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
        “Countdown to the Crown,” a Miss America reality show, will be televised Jan. 2, 9, 16 and 23 on TLC.
        A Miss Ohio Send-Off, hosted by the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program and the Miss Clayland Scholarship Program, will be held Jan. 4, 2 to 4 p.m., at the Tuscarawas County Center for the Arts, 461 Robinson Drive SE, New Philadelphia, OH. There is a small cost for the event, which will feature a dessert buffet. For reservations contact Kay Hall, 29 Almahurst Dr., Chillicothe, OH 45601, 740-775-2825, Khall1@horizonview.net by Dec. 27.
        Karissa will be previewing her Miss America wardrobe and talent. There will also be entertainment by several Miss Ohio contestants.
        The Miss America Scholar-ship Program is the largest provider of young women’s scholarships worldwide. Young women, ages 17-24, are eligible to compete in a private panel interview, talent, evening wear, swimsuit and onstage question. The program also promotes community service by requiring each young woman to represent a platform issue that enables her to reach out to the community.
        Karissa’s platform is “Skin Cancer Awareness for a Second Generation.” She has been very active in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life in Monroe County.
        Karissa is the daughter of Ron and Sheila Martin of Woodsfield.

< Obituaries

        Wyatt Allan Bloom, 9, Woodsfield, died Dec. 13, 2008.
        Calling hours were held Tuesday and 9 a.m. until time of service at 1 p.m. Dec. 17 at Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield.
        Online condolences may be made to www.bauerturner.com.

<Our Readers Write:

Dear Editor,
        Reading the recent report about Debra Haney’s termination as Job and Family Services director by the Monroe County commissioners in the Beacon two weeks ago dredged up feelings of deja vu. I remember very well the morning of July 16, 2007 entering that executive session only to be told that my employment was terminated.
        Like Mrs. Haney, I was given no warning, never had a performance evaluation or a disciplinary action from the commissioners. No one had ever found it necessary to have a work improvement plan conversation with me either.
        Like Mrs. Haney, I also was told that I didn’t have the same vision for the county as the commissioners had. I happen to know what my vision was, although I was never asked by the commissioners. Maybe I should tell them now what my vision for this county is. My vision was for a better trained workforce, more opportunities for new business in the  county, business expansion, better paying jobs for the residents, less unemployment and hope that higher education could be within the county. My question is what exactly is the commissioners’ vision for this county if mine is so different?
        I have known Mrs. Haney for a number of years and in my opinion she was a very qualified, knowledgeable and capable employee and I am sorry this had to happen to her. I personally am sick of the brainless decisions made by our so-called “leaders” and what some people are willing to allow them to get away with. Many county employees are too intimidated to say anything for they may be next on the chopping block. Everyone needs to be held responsible for their actions, why not them? How do these kinds of decisions benefit our county?
        Like it or not, leaders are supposed to be role models, but our “leaders” seem to have a knack of exemplifying what not to do.
        Keep in mind what kinds of decisions have been made and just who they benefit. Voice your opinions or your outrage with these decisions. We need to make our commissioners more accountable for their actions.
Janet Henthorn
Former WIA Director for
Monroe County

Dear Editor
        I would like to take a moment of my time to address the  complainers in the community concerning the Christmas Festival. We put in a lot of hours starting in August to make sure we could put on the best Festival and to try to make it better than last year. We use our own money without reimbursement or complaint because we love our town. Lately all we have gotten is grief and complaints. I want to know where the real community and Christmas spirit are?
        The whole idea of the Woodsfield Christmas Festival is to bring business to town and to pull the community together. What is your reason for participating? Is it for self gain or is it to help the community?
        For the ones upset because we forgot to mention your name in a ‘thank you’ for participating in the festival, we apologize sincerely. We did not forget you on purpose.
        Speaking to the ones who say they did not know about the festival, we have done tons of advertising and I am not sure how else to educate on the matter. We have ads in the paper, we have placemats in the restaurants, flyers went home with all the children in the schools and we have signs on the four corners of the square. I’m not sure what else we could do. Again, we apologize.
        Now to address the ones who are completely upset because they have not won a plaque for the window decoration or for having a float in the parade. To me this is unbelievable! Again, what is your reason for participating? Everyone puts in time and money to decorate their floats or windows. There are a lot of businesses in this town and I’m sure your time will come around.
        For the few people who have thanked us, we say ‘thank you’ to you! We do this to bring joy, happiness, togetherness and business to our community because we love our town! If you choose not to participate next year, the choice is yours. We want the ones who want to bring the community together. I was mesmerized by this town when I moved here. Everyone seemed to take such pride in their town. I believed this town had a lot to offer and that is the exact reason I wanted to start a festival. Every year, Ruth and I sit back to reflect and are amazed at the response of the togetherness of our community.
        We look forward to next year.
Sally Seidler
Ruth Workman
Woodsfield Festival Committee

Dear Editor,
        I was very disheartened to learn that the Monroe County Library Board denied branch status to the Dally Memorial Library. As a teacher at River High School, I find Dally an invaluable resource. Throughout the year, my class, along with other teachers’ classes, will use Dally to work on various research projects. We have access to on-line sources through educational services but the library is crucial since it provides books. We are lucky in Ohio that anyone with a state library system card has access to over a million books from all over the state. No matter the topic, a student can locate information. These projects we assign allow us to offer in-depth research activities that better prepare our students for college. As a former library assistant at a college, I know from experience how important that is for their success.
        Our students not only borrow books through Dally but also use its computer lab because it offers high-speed Internet that has not been made available to all areas of Monroe County. I know sometimes students get off the school bus in Sardis so they can do research after school until their parents pick them up.
        I would only hope that the library board would reconsider their decision. By voting against helping fund the Dally Memorial Library, the MC library board has actually voted against education.
Leah Husley

<Around the Burnside

A poor person’s farm may produce much food, but injustice sweeps it all away.
        If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don’t love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them.
        Seems as old man winter has a way of sticking his nose in whenever he wants. Plan an excellent start of the Christmas season and here he comes.
        After the Happy Hearts sang at one o’clock, Esther and I decided it was time to head for Lewisville. We walked very carefully to our car. We then moved toward home very slowly.
        To give you an idea of how slick the road had become, as we were creeping down the hill toward Riesbeck’s we met a complete line of cars coming up the hill.
        About half way down we spotted a redbone hound. I called it that because it was fair size, red, and a hound. It decided to cross the road. As it was crossing, it’s feet slipped at least three times. Now that’s really slick when a hound dog has trouble crossing the road.
        When we got out of town it wasn’t too bad as the cars had not packed down the snow as it did in town. We made it home OK and to be truthful, I didn’t go out of the house until Monday as church was called off on Sunday. Wasn’t bad then.
        Now we’ve been having a spell of rain, rain turning to sleet, snow and then more rain. Do you realize how lucky we were to have rain? How deep would the snow have been if the rain had been snow? I’m guessing it would have been over the knees of a six foot Indian. We’ve been lucky so far and still have over two months to go. I hate winter.
        As we move toward the end of the year I sometimes have questions. Ever since the presidential election process started, we’ve been hearing how bad a shape our country is in. From all the news we are getting this is true. This affects everyone and many of the little things.
        Is it just me or the brand we purchase? Our toilet paper rolls are not as wide as they once were. The holder in our bathroom was one you could slip the roll in place very easily. Now we have trouble keeping it in the holder. In addition, it seems somewhat thinner. I told them at camp you could read through the T paper they furnished. Oh yes, we do not use the kind the bears use.
        We didn’t have that trouble when the old Sears and Roebuck; was in our little building out back. I wonder what happened to Roebuck, you never hear of him any more. We also had Montgomery Ward and others to keep us supplied. This worked well until they got to using so many slick pages in their catalogs. I don’t think even a bear could use the slick pages.
        I have another question. This is one for a state patrolman. If he saw a sheriff’s, I’ll call it a SUV, that appeared not to be heading toward an emergency, pass an automobile in a 35 mile an hour zone with a double yellow line, would he stop it and give the driver a ticket? Interesting question. On the other hand, what would the sheriff’s car do if the shoe was on the other foot?
        I said earlier I hated winter. I really don’t have too many reasons to hate winter. We have a nice warm house and very little reason to be out and running around all winter. Nothing is so pressing we just can’t stay inside or put it off till later.
        Many years ago I had reasons to hate winter and didn’t. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. I could make any number of reasons for hating winter.
        For example, getting up in the morning, feeding and milking, cleaning the barn, taking care of the mules, chickens, cats and the other things to be done, and taking out the ashes all before getting ready for school with the hope you could make it to school before you needed to stop in the super four holer.
        Then after school it was somewhat the same thing over again except you had to fill all the coal buckets in order to have ashes to carry out the next morning.
        Cows need water and there were times when it was necessary to carry water, bucketful at a time, to relieve their thirst. Even with all this I cannot remember ever having a two-hour delay until I started teaching. Late maybe, no delay.
        Basketball season is on us now. This is one thing I enjoy about winter. Then again I do not attend as many games as I once did. Sometimes three a week.
        Even with all the chores and work required during the winter I played basketball. The reason was all the basketball team had phys ed the fourth period and we practiced the fourth period plus into the noon hour, stopping in time to gulp down our lunch. We had no cafeteria in high school. We didn’t win many basketball games but we had fun. Our school was very saving. After the season was over and we held the class tournament the baskets were removed from the backboards. OK, I also played softball on the FFA team, the only sports we had except one track meet on the fairground in the spring. We had time to be kids.
        Christmas is just around the corner. don’t forget church.
        Bible readings: (Mon.) Isaiah 46:8-13; From Psalm (Tues.) 24; (Wed.) 113; (Thurs.) 148; (Fri.) Romans 16:25-27; (Sat.) Luke 2:1-7; (Sun.) Luke 2:8-20.