740-472-0734 < P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield,
OH 43793 <
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Woodsfield, OH 43793.
Dec. 25, 2008
<The Spirit of Christmas is Alive and
Well in Monroe County
WES Junior High Students Make Christmas a Little Brighter ~
Elementary Junior High students are making Christmas a little brighter for
needy children of Monroe County. Janet Schuerman asked her students to each
bring in one item for gift boxes. The teacher estimated that there would be
120 items. When they began wrapping the packages, there were 653 items,
which included toys, books, hygiene products, clothing and school supplies!
The boxes, labeled with the child’s age, were given to Monroe County Job and
Family Services Secret Santa program. Shown with their gaily wrapped
packages, from left, are, front: Valarie Rife, Morgan Thompson, Hunter
Thomas; center: Alyssa Brown, Lacey Plotner, Josie Mahoney, Renea Briggs,
Cheyenne Nelson, Sasha Alleman, Brittany Piatt, Justin Casto, Johnny Hupp;
back: Emily Williamson, Adam Archer, Austin Straw, Cordell Gauding, Tyler
Kinney, Mike Jones and Taylor McGarry.
Photos by Martha Ackerman
Pamida Donates to SOMA ~
Jon Price, manager of the Pamida
store in Woodsfield, presented Rev. Frank Lehosky, president of the
Switzerland of Ohio Ministerial Association, with a check for $750. The
money will be used for the Manna program, sponsored by SOMA. According to
Lehosky, the Manna program is helping six to eight new families each week.
Most of the food is purchased through the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. The food bank
is closed the first Wednesday of each month when the food is delivered, but
is open succeeding Wednesdays. Woodsfield Riesbeck’s Food Market also
provides a large amount of food to the program. The Manna food bank is
located at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Woodsfield, where
Rev. Lehosky is the pastor. According to Rev. Lehosky, the food bank will be
closed on Christmas Eve, but will be open on New Year’s Eve.
Festival Committee Donates to Needy Children ~
Needy children of Monroe County will
find a little more under their tree this year thanks to the generosity of
county organizations and schools.
Members of the Woodsfield Festival Committee raised $557 through a Deck the
Halls contest and silent auction held during the festival. The check
presentation was held recently. Shown, from left, are: festival committee
member Sally Seidler, Monroe County Job and Family Services’ Secret Santa
coordinators Laura Cline and Karen Potts, committee members Ruth Workman and
American Legion Donates to Warm the Children ~
Warm the Children, a program which
provides new, warm clothing to the needy children of the Switzerland of Ohio
Local School District, is serving over 500 children. According to
coordinator Pandora Neuhart, volunteer shoppers have already shopped for
over 350 children. “There is still a need for donations,” she said. Ed
Frank, shown, right, vice commander of the Woodsfield American Legion Post
87, presented a check for $200 to Neuhart for the Warm the Children program,
which is sponsored by the Monroe County Beacon and Woodsfield Kiwanis.
Terminated: Officials Affirm no Wrongdoing
Deb Haney Submits Open Letter to Monroe County Commissioners
by Arlean Selvy
Deborah Haney, who served as director
of Monroe County Job and Family Services for nearly two years, met with
Monroe County Commissioners last week to inform them she would not sign the
Separation Agreement and General Release handed to her on Nov. 25. In
addition, she asked officials to publicly affirm that she has done nothing
In light of the abruptness and
finality of actions taken by commissioners, Haney said she found that “...
many people have wondered what happened and you assured me there was
nothing that I’d done wrong; it’s just that we had a different vision for
the agency,” she said. “I understand that even privately you have made
comments that ‘Debbie didn’t do anything illegal or immoral. Now I’m asking
you to publicly affirm that so that I can move forward with my employment
...” she added.
“Debbie, I think that’s why we
offered that agreement to you …” said Commissioner Bill Thompson. Noting her
years of service with the departments of Job and Family Services, Thompson
went on to say they were not accusing her of anything illegal or immoral. “I
don’t think any of us here are trying to drag you through the mud …”
Haney explained that on two occasions
at a family gathering, family members said co-workers had asked them what
she had done - had she done something illegal. “Because of that I wanted to
hear a public explanation that that’s not what happened. I can understand
‘we had a different vision’ but I don’t want to leave here, leave
Monroe County with my integrity left behind – I won’t have that,” said
“And I understand that completely …”
said Commission President John Pyles.
With regard to Haney’s decision not
to sign the separation agreement, she said her attorney told her it would
not be in her best interest. She indicated her attorney suggested perhaps
negotiation for of an additional four weeks of pay and health benefits so
that she could continue her search for employment.
Following the approximate hour and a
half meeting, which included two executive sessions, officials voted
to withdraw the administrative leave, which was part of the separation
agreement Haney had been asked to sign.
On the heels of that action, a motion
to terminate Haney from her position was passed. Both motions were made by
Pyles and approved by Commissioners Thompson and Sonny ‘Francis’ Block.
Commissioners held a short executive
session prior to the meeting with Haney. That session was to contact their
attorney regarding Haney’s request for an open meeting as opposed to being
behind closed doors. “I have nothing to hide,” Haney told them.
In the second secret session, called
at 1:50 p.m. for disciplinary action, Haney and her daughter, Amanda Haney-Cech
remained in the meeting until 2:20 p.m. at which time they were excused.
Regular session resumed again at 2:43 p.m.
Haney submitted an open letter to
commissioners listing many improvements at Monroe County JFS since her
employment. In the three page letter she also comments on the Nov. 25
meeting, in which she was asked for her irrevocable resignation, and speaks
briefly to her staff.
The open letter to Pyles, Block and
“On Jan. 5, 2007 in a completely
unexpected meeting, a frantic Sonny Block came to my place of
employment and spoke with my employer about the possibility of my assisting
Monroe County Job and Family Services until a permanent replacement could be
hired for the vacancy of the director's position. An agreement was
quickly made to ‘loan’ me to Monroe County, which found me working every
other day in the two neighboring counties (while on vacation time from my
The agency I entered at that
point in time was filled with turmoil, strife, and, due to the loss of
several senior staff members to early retirement or resignation, a strong
need for guidance and direction. Community members had publicly and
frequently commented on their concerns with the agency's actions or lack of
actions. Funding for Economic Development was a major topic of concern at
every turn. The agency’s image had suffered greatly through a period of
about three or four years. Yet, armed with this knowledge and in spite of
queries about my own sanity, I applied for and accepted the position
as Director of Monroe County Department of Job and Family Services,
beginning full-time on March 5, 2007.
Why? With all the problems facing
this agency, and throughout the county, why would I choose to take on this
challenging job? Many of you know my rock-solid answer to that question - it
was a Plan that was not within my control. I had 25+ years of experience and
knowledge in the Job and Family Services field, and I know that those years
could be beneficial in building Monroe County’s Department. I had years of
reading and digesting the Ohio Revised Code, of analyzing budgets, and,
through years of networking, I had a pocket full of phone numbers for a
myriad of experts on any subject I would encounter. I needed to come home to
Over the next 20 months, many new
initiatives were undertaken, many community meetings were held, many new
staff members were hired, many new partnerships were formed, and progress
was made in all areas of the agency. I ask that the community take the
opportunity to view
http://jfs.ohio.gov/county/cntypro/pdf07/Monroe.pdf in order to truly
see and understand the positive outcomes in all areas of this multiple
In the Child Support arena, you will
find that current child support collections for the period of FFY’07
increased from that of FFY’06 (from 76.1% to 77.6%). Remarkable, this was
accomplished during a period of time when brand new staff were learning and
administering their duties. In the Public Assistance division, there are
comparisons of CY’06 to CY’07 in the Food Stamp and Ohio Works First (OWF -
cash assistance) caseload activities. What is not captured on this website
is the fact that the State measures how well the staff performs their jobs
in food stamp eligibility , by randomly selecting and reviewing cases.
During the current performance year, Monroe County had thus far only one
case reviewed with an error, leaving them well below the recommended
threshold set by the State. And, in review of the number of OWF (cash)
cases, CY06 reveals an average of 68 adults receiving cash assistance each
month, CY’07 averaged 46 adults monthly,
and as of November, 2008, there were only 12 adults in receipt of OWF cash,
who were identified as able-bodied, and their cash was time-limited. Those
reductions can be attributed to some getting employment, some getting
approved for disability benefits through Social Security, some relocating,
and some withdrawing from the cash assistance. Again, these results were
achieved by staff members who were learning how to do things in a different,
effective, manner. Finally, in the Public Assistance group, Child Care is
also an activity. This involves certification of child care facilities, as
well as authorization for families to receive subsidized child care. While
the number of children in care was reduced, what is not reflected is the
fact that each child care facility was inspected by the department during
the last year. Any safety issues were addressed and corrected, or, in a few
cases, the licenses were revoked. The pages on the website that identify
the activities of the Public Children’s Service Agency (Social Services)
portion of MCDJFS, indicate that in calendar year ’06 there were 104 reports
and investigations of alleged child abuse and neglect. the following year
CY’07), this had increased to 120 reports and investigations. Additionally,
that same department is responsible for investigating reports of possible
abuse or neglect of Monroe County’s aged population through Adult Protective
Services. In CY’06 there were no reported investigations, while in CY’07,
there were 11 such claims investigated. As with all the other departments,
The Social Services division had faced staffing challenges, with the most
senior caseworker just celebrating her second anniversary with the agency.
The newest portion of the agency, One-Stop and Workforce Investment Agency
services, also has statistical information of the website, but from a time
prior to its being placed with MCDJFS. Those numbers
should be available in the future for review. What won’t show on any
statistical report, however, is the collaboration that has been created with
several employers in the county, specifically in the area of hiring
assistance. Everything from creating and placing ads in the newspapers for
openings, to accepting, screening, and forwarding applications is done on
behalf of the employer. Employee services are also provided in researching
job opportunities and training needs. Again, in review of the website, there
is statistical information showing the gain in Monroe County’s labor force
from 5100 to 5600 from CY’06 to CYC’07. At the same time, the unemployment
rate fell from 11.3 % to 8.2%. As of October 2008, Monroe County ranked 11th
in Ohio in the unemployment rate. While this is understandably due, in part,
to the resumption of Ormet’s work activities, the work being done by MCDJFS
cannot be overlooked as vital to getting and keeping Monroe
County’s citizens employed.
Last, and certainly not least, on
page three of nine of the website report, there is a clear indication of the
many changes that have been made in the utilization of the TANF funding.
During CY’07, there was nearly a $95,000 decrease in funding spent from
CY’06 (in part, due to reductions in funding). Even with the decreased
total, funding for ‘Training, Employment and Career Advancement’ increased
from $39,752 to $85,741: for ‘Child Welfare and Family Support’ there was an
increase from $0 to $12,587: ‘Youth Education and Support’ was increased
from $76,707 to $115,641. These categories represent opportunities made
available such as: Youth Employment Program, Learning is For Everyone (LIFE)
Program, gas cards for employed food stamp customers, wage subsidies,
employment needs, summer reading program; summer youth program; summer
career camp; build-your-own-computer lab and their new initiatives. Notably,
the decrease in ‘Community and
Economic Development’ expenditures from $226,747 to $34,832 allowed those
dollars to be shared throughout other programs. This was possible due to the
decision to add those duties to the MCDJFS staff Workforce / Economic
Developer, rather than contracting annually for those services.
On Nov. 25, 2008, in another
unexpected meeting (i.e. Executive Session with the Board), I was presented
with a document entitled ‘Separation Agreement and General Release’,
prepared by your attorneys, asking for my ‘irrevocable resignation’ as
Director of Monroe County Department of Job and Family Services, effective
Dec. 31, 2008. The document also indicated that I should be placed on paid
Administrative Leave effective immediately, until the Dec. 31, 2008 date.
When I asked for any rationale for this decision, I was given the
explanation that ‘the agency was not going in the direction that we’d like
for it to go’, I had ‘failed to effectively manage the agency’ and that this
was to be considered a ‘separation of services’ and not a ‘termination’. I
was sent back to my office to pack and when I had an inquiry made (by phone)
as to whether or not I could say goodbye to my supervisory staff (at
minimum), I was told that I could
not. With the abruptness and finality of these actions, not only the MCDJFS
staff, but the public in general, (including my family and friends), were
left wondering exactly what happened. While I understand that comments have
been privately made by members of the board that there was no wrongdoing on
my part (either illegal or immoral), I am asking that the Board reaffirm
this publicly to clear any doubt. According to what I was told, we just did
not share the same vision for the agency.
As recommended by the Commissioners,
and identified in the Separation Agreement, I have consulted with counsel
and will not be signing the agreement as it is written. If it is still the
intention of the Board of Commissioners to separate me from service
effective 12/31/08, my journey with MCDJFS will be completed at their
request. Since I did not have a chance to speak with my staff, I’ll take
this opportunity to wish them all ‘Good Luck’ in all their future endeavors
and wish them all success and happiness in their personal and professional
lives. And, as I said to three of my staff members who were with me at the
end of my day on Nov. 25, I only wonder what the next Plan is for me? I’ll
be ready for that next chapter of my journey when it comes!
ELEANOR E. CHRISTMAN
Eleanor E. Christman, 97,
Summerfield, died Dec. 16, 2008, at home. She was born Nov. 6, 1911, at
Calais to Egger and Mary Miller Stephen.
Condolences may be sent to www.campbellplumlymilburnfuneralhome.com.
Elizabeth “Libby” Potts Clipner, 40,
Marietta St., Sardis, died Dec. 15, 2008 at home. She was born March 8, 1968
Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com.
WYATT ALLEN BLOOM
Wyatt Allen Bloom, 9, of
Woodsfield, died Dec. 13, 2008 at Children’s Hospital, Colum-bus. He was
born in Glen Dale, W. Va. Sept. 22, 1999, a son of James and Jennifer Bloom
Condolences may be expressed online
Memorial contributions may be made
to: The Wyatt Bloom Memorial Fund, in care of the Citizens National Bank,
143 S. Main St., Woodsfield, OH 43793.
Eleanor Weber, 81, of Woodsfield died
Dec. 21, 2008. Calling hours are 2-9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23 at Bauer-Turner
Funeral Home, Woodsfield, with service at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 24.
ROBERT L. METZGER
Robert ‘Bob” Louis Metzger, 91,
Cambridge, and former resident of Dublin and Columbus Grove, died Dec. 16,
2008, at Genesis-Good Samaritan Medi-cal Center, Zanesville. He was born
Oct. 18, 1917 in Greenville, a son of the late Charles “Harry” Metzger and
Mary “Mayme” Mulholland Achey Metzger.
Condolences may be sent to
Well, the day of reckoning has come.
The U.A.W. has told everyone to take a hike down the path of destruction.
I, Hilbert Ault, have been sounding
the alarm for many years. Few have been hearing the bells tolling. Our
Democratic officials and our future president has been calling for stronger
unions instead of recognizing the harm that the already out of control
unions have brought about the failure of our economy in the factories and
industries all over America.
Loss of jobs, plant closings,
relocating overseas, and outsourcing is now the order of the day. Yet, the
unions have rejected any sensible solutions that are required to reverse
this trend. While Rome burns, they are dancing and laughing in the streets.
Any sensible person knew that the
status quo could not be maintained in the cost of doing business within this
once great country.
What a stupid bunch of Americans we
have been. “Want” crazy bunch!
Then our elected officials went about
giving away the store to all these store robbers.
Our elected officials had a job that
they refused to do right. They caved in to the greedy unions, and went to
bed with them in hope of getting elected. It worked!
To the shame of all Americans, we
allowed the scheme to work.
History has returned to haunt us.
Well, over 50 percent of our
population allowed it to happen.
It may not be all lost yet. Congress
could still reverse itself and start doing what is best for our nation.
My prayer is that Obama sees the
writing on the wall, and leads this nation to greatness again.
However, he needs to make a clear cut
break away from the unions and all his past promises of a total socialist
The free market can solve this mess
we find ourselves in. Bad businesses should fail instead of get government
Incentives should be given to good
Let the free market rule the day. Get
government out of the way and let the tough problems be solved by those that
have the experience instead of some Washington bureaucrats and elected
You can not expect the good times to
roll and yet allow the idiots to push the ball along.
In conclusion, those that know me and
are familiar with my thoughts on the evil of union leaders, both in the
private sector, and more pronounced in the public sector.
I have not remained silent on these
Made some enemies in high places,
paid a few prices, yet I remain firm in my love for this country.
It is now up to its citizens to stand
up and decry the union power that is so greedy and corrupt.
Yes, I could be called a union
I serve as a member of Clarington
Village Council and want to offer my compliments to the citizens of
Clarington who decorated for Christmas and the Christmas Light Contest. I
don’t normally drive around town after dark, but last night we drove all
over the village looking at the beautiful lights. I know it took a lot
of hard work and I want to say how much the efforts of each
participant is appreciated. We have some beautiful light displays in our
town and it makes me proud that so many people worked so hard. I want to say
to those whose names were not on the short winner’s list - you were not
losers. Every display was beautiful!
For those people over 10 years ago
who thought that consolidating our schools, need to look at the picture now.
Was it and is it such a great idea? We have wasted money on a school that
was to be closed over 10 years ago and now it’s been completely shut down
and no one is allowed in it. Our kids are suffering. Our high school
students do not have a facility to use for themselves such as basketball,
volleyball, band, and wrestling. Now that we have done this we have caused
other students in other schools to be put out of their own practicing and
events in their own schools. There are kids having to travel to
Graysville/Bethel such as the Skyvue Elementary students, the Woodsfield
Elementary is traveling to Cameron, our high school band practices are at
the Woodsfield Elementary portables, the high school and pee-wee wrestling
teams are practicing at the fairgrounds in the Henry Coulson building. All
of the basketball games, volleyball games, wrestling tournaments are being
held at Skyvue Elementary School forcing our kids at Skyvue Elementary to
have to give up their practices and seasonal events for other students that
do not even go to Skyvue Elementary. There have been times that the buses
and drivers have not been there for our students that the sport is
affiliated with. Our school and the parents have had to step in or the event
If this was and is a great idea, why
does it feel like we as parents, teachers and school board members and our
community could be doing something more to help? Like vote no for fixing
things that really do not need fixing and yes to a school that could benefit
for now and years in the future, or just go back to the way things were
because the way things are now are not benefiting our children.
Tracey R. Lucas
The nicest thing about the future is that it always
Money will buy a fine dog, but only
kindness will make him wag his tail.
To all my loyal readers: Ho-Ho-Ho!
Merry Christmas! It’s that time of year again and I’m sure you remember,
“The Reason for the Season.” I have so many things to be thankful for over
the years. I also try to give you know who the credit for helping me along
over the rough spots. Without Him, who knows what might have happened? A
chance is all God wants.
There are those who are not having a
lot to be merry about this year with the economy in such a downturn these
days. With unemployment running so high, it’s going to be tough.
Who recalls when folks got along
without something if it cost too much? Isn’t this part of the thing that
helped cause our trouble? Remember: Although no one can go back and make a
new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new start.
On to more pleasant things. The
basketball season is rolling along. As normal the weather has stuck its nose
in to cause a bit of trouble. Normally it starts showing up around football
season but this year it held off until late in the season.
It seems as though the Beallsville
and Monroe Central girls teams are taking off where the volleyball season
A reader called and suggested I might
enjoy attending the Beallsville girls game on the 15th. True, but with the
weather and my developing dislike for driving at night, I had to pass. I
don’t make it to nearly as many games nowadays.
I’m sorry I didn’t make it as Alyssa
Headley went over the 1000 point mark in her year on the team and she will
be adding to her total every game. We’re proud of you. A picture in the
paper would be nice.
Those of you who know anything about
basketball, know this is quite an accomplishment. By comparison, I doubt if
our team in high school scored 1000 points all season. I scored eight points
one game and was high point man. OK, we didn’t win many games. If we beat
Madison both games we had a successful season.
The great thing about this is how the
girls game has progressed over the years. Girls didn’t have teams and play
other schools as they do now when I was in high school.
The only time they played basketball
was during gym class. We sometimes would sneak a peak every once in a while.
We thought it was something to watch them wearing their pantaloons or
bloomers, or whatever you call them. Come to think of it, some of the
uniforms worn by boys teams today, if they had a draw string on the leg, you
would have the bloomers again. One team, I won’t mention, looked as though
they had an accident and hadn’t made it in time because of the saggy seat.
Christmas time is a time, among other
things, to enjoy eating. I’m trying to get a good start. Yesterday I ate at
the new KFC that just opened up and today I ate at the Alpine Room in Swiss
Hills. Nothing like getting practiced up. I think maybe I talked Esther into
having baked steak for Christmas instead of ham.
Speaking of ham reminds me. Are there
any wild boars in Monroe County? I’m not sure if there are any now, but I
understand one was harvested during deer season. A right good size one, some
350 pounds I think. I hope none get out on the road as they say a hog is one
of the worst thing to hit with a car. It’s kind of like hitting a log.
One thing I do enjoy eating around
holiday time is what I call vegetable pizza. You know, you get all the raw
vegetables that are said to be good for you, chop them up fine, low fat
cream cheese, Miracle Whip, ranch dressing powder. Mix this together and
spread it over a thin crust. I use crescent rolls in a can, baked flat. Cut
into small pieces and dig in. I never thought I’d be including a recipe in
my writing, so there. Oh, I almost forgot,\; include shredded cheese in and
They had this at the Alpine Room feed
and I stopped at Riesbeck’s on the way home and got what I would need to
make one for Christmas dinner or whenever we eat. It makes good snacks, too.
Sometimes it’s a bit tough to think
of something interesting or even boring to write about. Those of us who have
hearing aids stuck in our ears might understand the following.
A man started thinking his wife was
hard of hearing but didn’t know how to prove it. So he went to his doctor
and asked, ‘How can I tell if my wife is hard of hearing?” The doctor
explained, “When your wife is doing something, get about 50 feet from her
and ask her a question. If she doesn’t answer move closer. If she doesn’t
answer, keep moving closer until she does.”
When the old boy went home, his wife
was preparing supper. He stationed himself in another room approximately 50
feet away. “What are we having for supper?” he asked. No answer. He then
moved approximately 10 feet closer. “What are we having for supper?” he
asked again. No answer. He kept moving 10 feet closer and asking the same
question, “What are we having for supper,” with no response.
Finally he got within five feet of
his wife and asked, “What are we having for supper?” His wife turned to him
and asked, “Why do you keep asking me what we’re having for supper? I’ve
already told you five times we are having chicken, mashed potatoes and green
Remember: When we get tangled up in
our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the
Churches are having special services.
Why not attend one?
Bible readings: (Mon.) Luke
7:24-29; From John (Tues.) 1:6-9; (Wed.) 1:19-28; (Thurs.) 1:29-34; (Fri.)
5:30-35; (Sat.) 3:22-30; (Sun.) Luke 3:7-18.