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< P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793  <
monroecountybeacon@sbcglobal.net

 

Below are links to portions of this week's news articles. For the full story, pick up a  paper at your local newsstand or send $1 with your name/address to P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793.

 

 

Dec. 3, 2008

<Selected for National Campaign

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
        Three-year-old Karley Williams has been selected as the poster child for Make-A-Wish of America’s 2008 fundraising program. She is the daughter of Jimmy and Becky Williams of Woodsfield.
        The national direct mail appeal features Karley’s photo as she stands on the porch of her full-sized playhouse which was provided by Make-A-Wish. “Make-A-Wish of America estimates that 169,500 Americans will see Karley’s photo. The mailings went out on Dec. 1.
        The mailer asks for donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation ... “For children facing life-threatening medical conditions, every minute of their lives is especially precious. I hope you will send a special year-end donation today.”
        Karley Sue was born Oct.29, 2005 with Carnitine Palmitoyl Transferase Deficiency Type II (CPTD Type II), one of 32 genetic disorders. The disorder was diagnosed because, according to Jimmy, a few years earlier, the state of Ohio expanded the newborn screening program to include these genetic disorders.
        There are three types of CPT2: prenatal, neonatal and late onset. The neonatal type, which Karley has, is the baby killer and is nicknamed the lethal CPTs. No baby in the medical world has ever lived past five months with this disorder–until Karley Sue.
        Karley has been fighting this disorder since birth. She has spent over a year of her life in Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital. Under the care of Dr. Jerry Vockley, M.D., PhD. and Dr. Steven Webber, M.D., C.O.C., Karley has broken many records in her short life. She has set the way for treatment of this disorder. Karley is the first person with this disorder to have a heart transplant, and she is doing great, according to her parents.
        According to Jimmy Williams, KDKA in Pittsburgh has scheduled a CBS documentary which focuses on children who have survived against all odds. Karley will be one of those featured in this film.
        Two authors are collaborating on a book which features 15 children who have survived life-threatening illnesses. Karley is one of the five they have chosen. The proceeds from this book, according to Jimmy, will go to Children’s Hospital.
        Karley enjoys trips to McDonald’s and is looking forward to Santa’s arrival.   

 


<Woodsfield’s Christmas Festival - Dec. 6

Woodsfield’s Christmas Festival Committee has been busy with the new addition to the Christmas Festival, the Festival of Lights in the City Park. Annette Mobley, right, shown with committee members Norm and Ruth Workman, donated 17 Christmas figures that were handmade by her late husband, Woodrow. With this donation and others given to the village by Longaberger, the park will be glowing with lights this season.                                                                              Photo by Martha Ackerman

  “The Flight into Egypt” is one of 17 handmade Christmas figures made by the late Woodrow Mobley and donated to the Woodsfield Christmas Festival by his wife Annette. This photo was taken several years ago at the Mobley home on SR78.

Festival of Lights in the Park

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
        With the addition of the Festival of Lights in the City Park, this year’s Woodsfield Christmas Festival, set for Dec. 6, will be bigger and better than ever before.
        With the help of Jay, Sally and Jim Seidler, Norm and Ruth Workman, Melissa Smithberger and Mary Holter, the park has been transformed into a mini Oglebay, with the 17 Christmas figures donated by Annette Mobley. The figures were handmade by her late husband Woodrow. Many who travel SR78 will remember the beautiful display at the Mobley home.
        In addition to the Mobley display, a 15 foot tree donated to the village by Longaberger will add to the light display. There are also two candelabras, candy canes, suckers, a Joy sign donated by Sally Seidler of Mary Kay Cosmetics and a Christmas greetings sign made by Woodsfield Municipal Light Plant employees, who have helped with the display.
        The City Park made an ideal location. Sightseers can drive by Creamery Street, turn onto Roy Street and back around by the school office to experience the complete display.
        The Woodsfield Garden Club has decorated the courthouse.                The Christmas Festival activities begin at 8 a.m. at the Brown Community Center with a free Breakfast With Santa, sponsored by the Woodsfield Kiwanis Club and the Monroe County Health Department’s Help Me Grow.
        Independent business vendors will display their wares in the courthouse from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be lots of gifts available for sale.
        Local stores will have specials and refreshments. There will be a Santa’s Workshop at the First Baptist Church on Paul Street from 10 a.m. til noon and pictures with Santa at Pat’s Gift Shoppe and Cafe from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
        Deck the Halls, Walls and Tables Silent Auction will be held at the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce office from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A live Nativity will be in front of the Monroe Theatre from noon to 6 p.m.
        Also on the schedule are barrel train rides and face painting at Farmer’s Feed and Deli; carriage rides by Sawblossom Stables of Lewisville sponsored by Woodsfield Kiwanis with boarding in front of Peters Law Offices and HerSpace.Gym will offer free holiday pampering session at 12:30, 1 and 1:30 p.m. There will be entertainment by the Happy Heart Singers, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and a live radio broadcast from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will also be music by the Monroe Central Band and Christmas caroling.
        The Woodsfield Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m. with line up at 5 p.m. Bill Frank will MC the parade. Grand Marshal for the parade is Karissa Martin, Miss Ohio 2008 (seen at left). Following the parade is the tree lighting ceremony in front of the courthouse.
        A Christmas Concert at the United Methodist Church with the Monroe Singers and the Woodsfield Elementary Fourth Grade Choir, directed by Paula Frank, will round out the festivities with the Festival of Lights at the City Park from 5 to 10 p.m. concluding this year’s celebration of the season.


       

 

<JFS Director Placed on Leave

by Arlean Selvy
Publisher
        The director of Job and Family Services was placed on administrative leave and an interim replacement was named during the Nov. 25 meeting of Monroe County commissioners.
        The action was taken following an executive session called at 11:10 a.m. by board president John Pyles with regard to disciplinary action. Attending that meeting was Debbie Haney and Commissioners Bill Thompson, Francis ‘Sonny’ Block and Pyles. The session ended at 12:11 p.m. at which time Pyles moved to extend the offer of a separation agreement to Haney and place her on administrative leave with full pay and full benefits until Jan. 1. The motion carried on a 3-0 vote.
        Since the session extended beyond the twelve-o’clock hour, the media had left the courthouse to attend the noon Kiwanis meeting. Upon return to the afternoon session, the media was neither informed that a session had been held with Haney nor that action to place her on administrative leave had been taken. That particular information was shared with the Beacon the following morning by Pyles.
        On a tape recording, the official record of the meeting, Haney can be heard sobbing as Pyles moved to approve the separation agreement prepared by Isaac, Brant, Ledman and Teetor. The vote was unanimous.
        In a conversation with Haney, she told the Beacon she did not sign the separation agreement.
        The prepared “Separation Agreement and General Re-lease” calls for Haney’s irrevocable resignation and would have her promising not to file suit against commissioners. It reads in part: “This agreement also includes a release by Haney of any claims she might have or claim for breach of contract, wrongful discharge from employment, promissory estoppel (promises on which she relied) emotional distress or other personal injury, harassment, retaliation, negligent hiring or negligent retention of other employees, other negligence, defamation (libel and slander), whistleblower protection, invasion of privacy, violation of public policy, unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation and any other claim under any theory of law which Haney may have against the Commissioners or any of the other released parties.”
        Following the vote approving the motion by Pyles to “extend the offer of separation agreement” to Haney and place her on administrative leave, Commis-sioner Block said, “It’s not easy for any of us sitting here to make this decision and I personally want to thank you for coming in and helping us and working with us to make things run as smooth as possible in Monroe County.”
        Pyles than indicated it was nothing personal. He said, “Nothing of this - the outcome of this reflects anything personal. At the time Debbie Haney came in we was in a - it was a tough time with personnel out there (Dept. of Job and Family Services) and I thank you for the services you have done.”
        Asked if anyone at JFS was aware of what was happening, Pyles said “I think Jeanette [Harter] and Michelle [Speel-man].”
        Haney indicated she wanted to talk to her staff to let them know what had transpired, “but I don’t know if you want that,” she said.
        “Not at this time,” answered Pyles.
        In the conversation via phone with Haney, she said there had been no reprimand and no evaluation prior to the action. “I was in shock,” she said.
        At 3:51 p.m. officials entered into executive session with Jeanette Harter and Michelle Speelman regarding disciplinary action. At the conclusion of that meeting, Harter was named acting interim director of JFS. The motion was made by Thompson, the vote was unanimous.
        Prior to the action taken by commissioners, Haney reported the success of the drivers license suspension program implemented earlier this year to collect child support arrearage. She said the second batch of letters, totaling 45, had been mailed. She reported four license suspensions were made. “The number is low because many chose to come in and make payment or set  up payroll withholding,” she said.
        With regard to 11 suspensions, a total of $2,359.30 was collected in order to stop the suspensions. Eight withholdings have been started and eight letters came back as undeliverable. She noted three cases are still being researched.
        About two months ago, Haney started an account so that money can be collected at the front desk. Since Aug. 29, a total of $4,322.23 has been collected in back child support. Some of these were arrears only, she said. “So, they’re done - cases closed - and I think that’s reason for celebration,” said Haney. She said JFS will continue to work with the license suspension program to  collect back child support.
        Five executive sessions were held. The first was a 20-minute session requested by Pyles for personnel with regard to disciplinary action. No action was taken on the matter.
        The second session was called at the request of Deb Haney, as director of Job and Family Services, with regard to disciplinary action and hiring. Following the session the resignation of Dottie Paxton was accepted, effective Dec. 15 and Kyle Jones, Barnesville, was hired as a Social Worker II effective Dec. 14.
        A third session, as reported above, was called by Pyles regarding disciplinary action. This session was called immediately upon action taken in the second session and included Haney.
        A fourth session was held at the request of Ronda Piatt, dog warden, for the purpose of personnel with regard to disciplinary action. No action taken.
        The fifth session was with Harter and Speelman, at which time Harter was made interim JFS director.
        Luci Pierce, membership coordinator for Air Evac Life-team,  Wheeling, was authorized to talk with various county departments about memberships in the Air Evac medical program. 

<Slay Transportation Lays Off 15

        Results of the country’s economic condition have hit the Ohio Valley and the impact hit hard at Slay Transportation Co., Inc.
        The company has laid off 22 workers over the past month.
        Fifteen drivers were placed on lay-off status on Nov. 21. Additionally the company had to let five drivers and two tank washers go about a month ago.
        Tank washers are workers who clean the inside of the chemical truck tanks.
        Locally the Sardis based trucking terminal hauls liquid chemicals out of the Bayer and PPG plants in New Martinsville. The chemicals are used in the production of cars, foam for seats, coating for plastics, etc.
        “It’s the economic condition that everybody’s facing,” said Chad Blake, terminal manager. “We try to operate efficiently,” he added, “but a lot depends on car manufacturers.”
        Slay Transportation currently employs 74 workers. At its peak, they employed over 100.                  “We’ve been downsizing for about a year,” said Blake, noting business has been falling off. Although the chemicals they haul are also used for such items as mattresses, he said the biggest impact has been due to car manufacturing.

< Obituaries

DELILAH M. YOUNG
        Delilah M. Young, 90, Canton, died Nov. 23, 2008. She was born Nov. 11, 1918 in Lewisville, a daughter of the late John and Mary Lumbatis.
Online Guestbook at www.reedfuneralhome.com

NORMA JEAN FISHER
        Norma Jean Fisher, 68, Clarington, died Nov. 30, 2008, at Wheeling Hospital. She was born March 3, 1940 near Barnesville, a daughter of the late Alvie and Lillian Powell Lucas. She was a homemaker.   Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com

GLADYS A. DECKER
Gladys A. Decker, 79, 47020 Robin Rd., Woodsfield, formerly of Beallsville, died Nov. 30, 2008, at Barnesville Hospital. She was born June 26, 1929 at Bellaire, a daughter of the late Harry and Edna Pugh Hudson. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfunralhome.com

EDITH E. GEITGEY
        Edith E. Norris Geitgey, 87, Canton, died Nov. 28, 2008, at 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.
Condolences can be expressed at www.bauerturner.com

BRICE E. HANNAHS
        Brice E. Hannahs, 67, 51620 Richard Clark Rd., Summer-field, died Nov. 23, 2008 at Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center, Cambridge. He was born March 19, 1941, near Calais, a son of Grace Morris Hannahs, Quaker City, and the late Samuel Vernon Hannahs.
        Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com

 

<Our Readers Write:

Dear Editor,
        It’’s Christmas time in Monroe County and the county commissioners are observing it in grand style. With the new regulation of Tuesday meetings instead of Monday, the Monroe County Beacon cannot get the important news to its readers in a timely fashion - instead of the week of the happenings; we get it 10 days later. Wonder why our servants do this?
        Well, it could be that at the Tuesday (Nov. 25) meeting Mrs. Debbie Haney came at her appointed time to report on good things happening at the Department of Job and Family Services. There were also personnel matters, but she certainly didn’t expect that in one of the executive sessions she was the personnel matter. And, they didn’t give her a Christmas bonus. Instead she received administrative leave and all her personal office items were immediately removed and put in her car and she was sent home. I wonder if state and federal procedures were followed? She didn’t get to talk with her employees and from the research I have done there seems to be only one excuse.
        For several months now, Mrs. Haney and her employee, Tom Scott, work force and economic developer, have worked diligently with members of the community to build confidence in our future and to set plans in motion to help the infrastructure, education, business incubator, tourism, marketing and transportation of the county. These volunteers, known as Team Monroe, work with passion and intelligence to help make the county better. Everyone knows change doesn’t happen overnight, but Heaven forbid in this county something would happen without politics being involved. Team Monroe is just that: a separate non-profit 501 C(3) organization, not under the political atmosphere of this county, rather a “grassroots” movement moving to build a better future. Yes, some of the major projects will need help from larger state and federal agencies, but these are intelligent people that are allowed to ask for help with or without the help of the county commissioners.
 Could Team Monroe threaten the commissioners? Team Monroe wishes to cooperate with officials but not be dominated by them. We have miles to go, but we are taking it one step at a time. Since there is no longer millions of dollars from TANF tax dollars available, Monroe County must figure out another way to make good things happen here and Team Monroe has found people who care about our future.
        Why would any industry/business come to our county when it is in a constant state of flux? Economic Developers/grant writers come and go, and people “toe the line” so they won’t have the ax fall on them. I have always believed and promoted that people will blossom when they have leaders who encourage them and people who fear will accomplish nothing. I apologize if this letter seems harsh, but the facts are here and personally I am sick of people here being treated like garbage. Since most of the decisions made by the county commissioners are made after hours, instead of at the meetings, we can only hope that the “rumor mill” in Monroe County continues to function, so we become aware of county actions.
        Yes, I will watch my back because of my out spoken opinion, but I will not sit back and agree that this kind of treatment to the people of Monroe County is okay. We must demand better.
Suzanne Pollock
Beallsville 

Dear Editor,
        In response to a recent letter to the editor published in the Nov. 25 edition of the Monroe County Beacon, there are a few facts that need to be presented in defense of the Monroe County Library Board’s decision not to accept Dally Memorial Library as a branch.
        Current Monroe County District Library Board members are Rose Ann Lee, president, a resident of Graysville, Shirley Matz, Woodsfield, Darlene Carpenter, Lewisville and Judy McIntire, Clarington. In May of 2008, Franklin Ellis, husband of Tammy Ellis, director, Dally Library, was appointed by the board of the Monroe County Commissioners; Ellis is a resident of Sardis. Rodney Rufener, also a resident of Sardis, was appointed to the Library Board by the County Commissioners in September of this year. He is the son-in-law of Donna Dally-Day founder of the Dally Library. In October of 2008, Alice Kingry, another Sardis resident was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Library Board. She, however was appointed by Judge Julie Selmon. There currently is no representation for other areas of the county, including Beallsville, on the board. I was a board member until September 2008. I submitted a letter to renew my term and was denied. The commissioners chose to
 appoint Rufener to the vacant position.
        Monroe County Commission-er Bill Thompson is a former board member of the Riverfront Library Association and is a resident of Sardis. Commissioner John Pyles is also a resident of Sardis. At a meeting of the Monroe County Commissioners in Oct. 2007, Commissioner John Pyles stated that if he had the power to remove all current board members and replace them he would do it that day.
        In regards to library revenue; it is received from a state fund known as the Library Government Fund and is administered through the County Auditor’s Office. All Ohio public libraries receive 2.22 percent of the state’s general tax revenue. That revenue is distributed to each of the 251 public libraries in the state. The library does not receive any funding from the Monroe County budget. There is no library levy in Monroe County. This means that no library funds are generated from county funds.
        The Monroe County District Library sustained a two percent cut in 2008; and in 2009 another overall cut of three to four percent will likely become a reality, probably more. The first three months of 2009 will likely see much lower revenues as in the past. The Monroe County District Library will receive $560,000 from local government funding this year, not $640,000. The $640,000 is the amount appropriated for expenditures for 2008, not receipts. There must be some carry-over at the end of the year in order to make up for the lost revenues. The question remains, should the main library in Monroe County have to endure further cuts to operate a branch with a circulation of less in a year than one month at the main library?
        In response to the comment regarding the staff receiving “bonuses”, the staff actually received a one-time pay increase. This is decided upon by the board if there is any excess in the budget due to people vacating their positions or staff going above and beyond their respective duties to help when someone is off for an extended period of time. According to the Director, each full-time employee received $500 before taxes and the part-time employees received $300. The board also tries to consider the cost of living each year when determining employee compensation.
        Regarding other services provided by the Monroe County District Library, the bookmobile is a valuable service that is available to all residents within the county. This service is both provided and funded by the Monroe County District Library. There are patrons who access the Bookmobile because they have no other way to obtain materials. They are unable to drive to the library or do not have someone to bring them. There are a few members of the board who do not feel the Bookmobile is a necessary service because it is too costly a service.
        Riverfront residents are able to obtain library services in a number of ways. New Matamoras Branch Library is approximately 11.07 miles from Sardis, nearly a 13 minute drive. The New Martinsville Library is about six miles from Sardis, which is around a 12 minute drive. The Powhatan Branch Library is approximately 21.37 miles from Sardis, around a 25 minute drive. These distances have been obtained from MapQuest.
        Riverfront residents must travel to other locations to purchase groceries, and in some cases to do their banking. In most instances they would be passing by, or coming very close to one of the locations previously listed. There are residents in the outlying areas of the county that do not have access to library services without traveling great distances without the service of the Bookmobile.
        What was the long term plan for funding of the Dally Memorial Library when it opened? Being that it was not a part of the Monroe County District Library system there should have been some financial planning proposals established during the inception of the library. In a recent letter to the editor submitted by Karen Romick, a Hannibal resident, she stated the Monroe County District Library had used state allocated funds for renovations, to purchase property, and for ‘erecting gazeboes”. The Monroe County Library did use funds for these purposes, perfectly legitimate purposes.
        The renovation of the library was done to benefit all library patrons who choose to utilize the facility and its available services. The property that was purchased, and the gazebo that was erected is used for both public and private events; yet another service provided by the library for the community. The property in question was purchased in 1999, before Dally Memorial Library was in existence.
        Since there has been virtually no support for the Dally Memorial Library to be taken on as a branch of the Monroe County District Library except from those residing in Sardis, it seems that the majority of our county’s library needs are adequately being met.
Sylvia Bowen
Beallsville

<Around the Burnside

          You might be a redneck if: You know what you believe and you aren’t afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.
        You might be a redneck if: You respect elders and raised your kids to do the same.
        Little bit of winter came calling the last of the week. I like winter. Who am I trying to kid? The best thing about winter is the basketball games because the winter is over about the same time as the season is done.
        I guess this doesn’t always work out because we just missed a big snow storm last year by leaving the girls state tournament early last March. There were mounds of snow left the next week.
        Now some 50 plus years ago, 58 to be exact, we had what you call a real snow. Nearly three feet in some places. (The longer the time the deeper the snow).
        I was home for Thanksgiving in my little ole Studebaker, the one that looked as though it was coming or going, no matter what direction you were traveling. It was parked in the alley behind the barn.
        When I got to our car sometime after the snow stopped, I could see the top half. The rest had snow piled around it. I dug myself in and climbed into the car wondering when I would be able to return home. I was teaching in De Graff, located in Logan County, 150 miles or more from Mom and Dad’s.
        “Well, will it start?” I wondered. Yes, first thing. I allowed the motor to run for a time, turned it off and started shoveling snow again, thinking everything was OK.
        I forgot one important thing. Later when I tried to start my little Study, no soap. No start? I checked under the hood and you guess it; snow had blown under the hood and piled a few inches of snow on top of the motor. My running the motor for a short time melted enough of the snow to add another problem to the snow.
        Finally a fellow who owned a bulldozer and had saved a number of people by pulling them off old Route 40 a day or so earlier,was able to help me. He hooked to my little car and plowed snow and pulled me out.
        We got the car started and it was time to think about going home. The roads were still snow covered and I thought it would be a good idea to use chains, as that little Studebaker would get stuck if you placed a snowball behind the back tires. I thought I would be able to remove them when I got out of the area. No such luck, I had to leave chains on all the way home. We made it OK and as I said last week we missed 15 or more days that year and didn’t have to make them up. Not a bad winter after all, I guess.
        I guess maybe the older you get the less you enjoy winter. I don’t remember disliking winter so much when I was teaching at Skyvue. There were times when it seemed as though the road was snow covered for several weeks at a time.
        I don’t recall missing a lot of snow days. The bus drivers would put chains on the bus and away they would go.
        Hanson Hill was fun. There were times you would wait till the car in front of you made it up the hill so You could have clear sailing to get your speed up in order to make it up the hill. I remember a couple of times I didn’t wait and I had to back up three or four times in order to make it up the hill. Then there was Ed who had a little bug car and he went tooling around every where without any trouble. Like everything else, winter just ain’t the same anymore. When was the last time you saw a group of kids on sleds?
        A friend of mine, when attending OSU, owned a small car. I don’t remember the make but it was really small. He had one problem; when he parked it, sometimes it would come up missing. Once he found it in the girls’ dorm.
        He told a story of going to a basketball game on an icy road and they had slid off the road six times during their trip. We asked what they did. He replied, ‘No problem, we just got out, picked it up and put it back on the road.”
        The girls soon learned to keep their dorm windows closed when there was snow on the ground. Snowball time.
        Deer hunting season is well underway. I just hope it is a safe season so far. There were 30 hunters who were not very lucky as they were in some type of accident, one fatal. This really is not so bad when you think  of all the hunters. Then again, they all could have been prevented with a little care.
        We just finished an excellent Hunter Education Course. We had 38 in the class and only three did not score the required 80 grade on the test. There were 22 who scored 90 or more. Which reminds me, we could use more hunter education instructors in the county. If interested call me or the State Wildlife Division.
        I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and you are not still eating leftovers. By now they are “must goes.” We allowed our dinner to settle by watching one of the funniest DVDs I’ve ever seen (It wasn’t the cable guy either).
        If a fish didn’t open its mouth, it would never be caught.
        Christmas is coming. Don’t forget Church.
        Bible readings: (Mon.) Samuel 2:1-10; From Luke (Tues.) 1:16-33; (Wed.) 1:34-38; (Thurs.) 2:25-35 (Fri.) John 2:1-11; (Sat.) Acts 1:6-14; (Sun.) Luke 1:46-55.