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


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



April 16, 2009
Woodsfield VFD Accepts Bid For New $278,000 Fire Truck
by Arlean Selvy
        A new fire truck was the hot topic reported at the April 7 meeting of Woodsfield Village Council, followed closely by a request to set up a phone bank at the municipal building.
        Fire Chief Mike Young told council that the department had accepted the lowest bid of $278,372 through the state from All American Fire Equipment for the purchase of a new truck. He said the department has a down payment of  $65,000. The remainder will be paid with levy monies. The department will receive a $6,000 discount because the chassis will be paid off before the truck is built on it.
        In an unrelated matter, four firefighters will attend continuing education classes through the Ohio Oil and Gas Department. The course is $700 per firefighter with the state paying $650 per firefighter and the VFD paying $50 per firefighter.
        Concerning the phone number used to call the fire department, 472-1616, it was noted that residents of Center Township and Woodsfield should dial 9.1.1. The  472 number will be disconnected effective April 17.
        Greg Ogden of The Time is NOW Committee asked and was granted the use of council chambers to set up a phone  bank. The bank will consist of four laptop computers with phone lines. Ogden said the room will be used two or three times a week to contact voters with information about the levy. He noted people are getting misinformation which they hope to clear up and answer any other questions.
        The phone bank is expected to be used primarily between 5 and 9 p.m.   
        The phone bank is sponsored by the AFL-CIO.
        In his report, Village Administrator Jeff Woodell reported the Appalachian Regional Commission is allowing the village to move forward to obtain a $330,000 to $350,00 loan from OWDA. Of that amount $250,000 will be repaid as soon as the village receives the $250,000 grant from ARC. The money will allow work to start on the water line from Rubel Lake to the village.
        Council authorized a cooperative agreement for construction of the Rubel’s Lake water line extension project between the village and the Ohio Water Development Authority. It was passed on an emergency basis.
        Woodell noted a fence at Oaklawn is leaning and should be fixed before it tears off the top row of block wall. He noted also that one gate is falling off. On a motion by Councilman Vernon Henthorn, Woodell was authorized to obtain bids for repairs.
        Another item concerning the cemetery involved a mower. Henthorn moved to purchase a 25 horse power mower with a 51-inch deck at state pricing, $7,760. The village will keep its old mower as a backup.
        Woodell reported on a law to place a bubble drain in swimming pools. The price tag ranges from $4,000 to $5,200. He was able to obtain one for $450.
        Councilman Bill Moore told council member he had attended the Miss Ohio Karissa Martin Sign Dedication held April 4. He complimented the village and village administrator for the cooperation given to Citizens National Bank, which sponsored the event. He noted “An outstanding performance by Miss Ohio.”


<Labor Agreement Signed for Proposed School Project

        The Switzerland of Ohio School Board recently signed a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with two building trades organizations. Accord-ing to Larry Elliott, school district superintendent, the agreement says the school board will use local, union craftsmen in the construction of new schools proposed in the May 5 school bond issue.
        In return, the two building trades organizations, Parkers-burg-Marietta Building Con-struction Trades Council and the Upper Ohio Valley Build-ing and Construction Trades Council, consent to finish the proposed project on time and on budget without any work stoppages.
        “We are pleased to have a PLA because we know the importance of having well-trained craftsmen working on our schools’ building projects,” said Elliott. “It is our belief that investing in quality craftsmen will give our students the best schools that we are able to provide.”
        Similar school projects with a PLA agreement have been successful, such as in Marshall County, W.Va., resulting in a multi-million dollar project being completed at budget and ahead of schedule.
        Bill Hutchinson, business manager for the Parkersburg-Marietta Building Construct-ion Trades Council, supports the PLA agreement.
        “We look forward to having our craftsmen build these schools for the 21st century,” said Hutchinson.
        Leaders with the Upper Ohio Valley Building and Construction Trades Council  echo Hutchinson’s sentiments.
        “Our membership is ready to go to work and build the buildings that will help give our students the best place to learn and grow,” said Tom Gray, president for the Upper Ohio Valley Building and Construction Trades Council.
        The Switzerland of Ohio Schools is currently the largest public school district in the state of Ohio. It is composed of 546 square miles in Monroe, Belmont and Noble counties.
        The bond issue will be used to build and replace Bealls-ville K-12, Woodsfield Ele-mentary, Skyvue Elementary, Monroe Central High School, Powhatan Elementary, combine and replace Sardis and Hannibal Elementary schools, and renovate River High School.
        The district will have a total building project costing more than $88 million.
        The Ohio School Facilities Commission will pay 63 percent of the total project cost, with the remaining 37 percent being covered with the passage of the proposed  May 5 bond issue.


<County Commissioners, Council Endorse District School Project

        Monroe County Commissioners as well as Woodsfield Village Council have endorsed the school bond levy proposed on the May 5 ballot.
        Action was taken at the April 6 meeting of county commissioners to endorse the issue. Jason Yoss, member of The time is NOW committee, at the request of commissioners, answered a number of questions.
        “It’s a turning point for Monroe County to flourish ...” noted John Pyles, board president as he made the motion to endorse the bond issue.
        “We’re going to be able to get [schools built] cheaper than at any other time,” said Commissioner Carl Davis.
        According to Yoss, the project will create about 1,000 construction jobs in the area, and of those 1,000 at least half will be local union members. He noted, too, that they expect another 500 or so spin-off jobs in the local economy. “It’s like our own private stimulus plan,” said Yoss.
        “We have an opportunity to invest in the future of Monroe County and the kids,” said Commissioner Tim Price. “I’m for it 100 percent.”
        In addition to county commissioners, the Village of Woodsfield adopted a resolution at its April 7 meeting to endorse the 8.19 mill bond levy for new and renovated schools. The motion was made by Councilwoman Carol Hehr. The vote was unanimous.

<Commissioners Open Bids for Emergency 911 Equipment

        Bids were opened for E-911 equipment during the April 13 meeting of Monroe County Commissioners, who also approved a recommendation by the county engineer and authorized the dog warden to inspect a mobile unit for office use by dog pound employees.
        Matt Brake, 911 project coordinator, Swiss Valley Associates, Sardis, opened seven bids for 911 equipment and location-based response system (LBRS). Bids were received from Digital Data Technology Inc. of Columbus, which bid $145,000 for LBRS; Cisco Public Safety, Newport Ritchey, Florida bid $4,000 on ALI Fax; Swiss Valley Associates of Sardis bid $34,000 for addressing, which will be done if funds are available; WTH Technology Corp., Indianapolis, Indiana, $15,050 for mapping and $157,850 for LBRS; Staley Communica-tions, Wheeling, $233,524 for three areas: backup 911, mapping and ALI fax. They also bid on radios for the sheriff’s office, $59,094.83 and the EMA office, $21,915.56. P.C. Tek, Woodsfield, bid $5,170 for networking; Plant CML, Tenecula, California, bid $40,490 for reverse 911.
        Brake will review the bids and bring recommendations to commissioners.
        Lonnie Tustin, county engineer, opened the sole bid for liquid asphalt for dust control. The bid was then awarded to Asphalt Materials of Marietta. According to Tustin, materials have increased about 40 cents per gallon over last year’s cost.
        Ronda Piatt, dog warden, was authorized to inspect a 12x60 mobile unit located in St. Clairsville and place a bid on the seller’s web site.
        Dave Kuhn, EMS coordinator, told officials the EMS contract expired April 11. On a motion by Commissioner Carl Davis, the contract was extended to June 11, 2009. The vote was 2-0. Commissioner John Pyles was unable to attend the meeting.

<County Officials Approached About Airport, Bed Tax and CPC

by Arlean Selvy
        Information concerning airport grants and a proposal to re-create a County Planning Commission and to impose a bed tax were brought to the April 6 meeting of Monroe County Commissioners.

Wayne Forshey, airport support network advocate for the Airport Owners and Pilots Association, supplied officials with a guide to airport compliance. He said the information outlines 36 grant assurances to which the county agrees  when it accepts grant money. The information also speaks to leasing property and accommodations for aeronautical enterprises that want to come onto the airport and do business. He also provided a guide to hangar development.
        Asked by Commissioner Carl Davis about compliance of the airport and if Forshey felt commissioners are where they ought to be, Forshey noted a business in the county has been trying to negotiate since June of last year to rent the maintenance hangar. He said if commissioners would talk to FAA officials they would know that if the county has an aeronautical enterprise, they need to be accommodated first since the money was awarded for aeronautics.
        The business Forshey was referring to is his own, Always Flying Aircraft Restoration.
        “At this point we’re still trying to negotiate with the airport authority to see what they’re willing to do,” said Forshey. He noted he has offered to guarantee rent for a number of years. “Not to mention another successful business in town paying taxes and possibly employing more people in the future.”
        Team Monroe Community Developer Tom Scott approached officials on behalf of Team Monroe to ask that they “initiate procedures that will serve to enhance the fiscal conditions of the county ...” and contribute to the creation and achievement of county projects.
        “Specifically, we are here to urge you to implement a county bed tax and recreation of a county planning commission,” said Scott.
        Commissioner John Pyles indicated the planning commission hasn’t met for two years. According to Scott, Team Monroe would look to the commission as augmenting their efforts. He noted more input and ideas cannot be detrimental. He noted also that it would be good for the planning commission to review the two-year vision plan which he submitted recently.  
        Scott noted that a bed tax would not be a tax on county residents. He suggested the board check with their peers in other counties to see what it has done to enhance their counties.
        Commissioners took no action.
        No action was taken with regard to an executive session requested by Sheriff Chuck Black. The session was called at 4:10 p.m. to discuss personnel with regard to hiring.The meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.
        On a motion by Commissioner Carl Davis, April was proclaimed Fair Housing month in Monroe County.

<Recovery Funds at Work for Emergency Food and Shelter

        Ohio will receive $4,297,456 in American Recovery funds for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program provided through a FEMA grant. Of that, Ohio’s Sixth Congressional District will receive $308,019.
        According to the U.S. De-partment of Homeland Security, these funds can be used for a broad range of services, including mass shelter, mass feeding, food distribution through food pantries and food banks, one-month assistance with rent, mortgage and utility payments to prevent evictions, and transition assistance from shelters to stable living conditions. The program’s objectives are to allocate funds to the neediest areas; to ensure fast response; to foster public/private sector partnerships; to ensure local decision-making; and to maintain minimal but accountable reporting. “With families out of work, putting food on the table is tough,” said Congressman Charlie Wilson. “Food pantries and food banks are all seeing an increase in demand and this Recovery money will help meet a lot of need in our community.”
        The sixth district is made up of 12 counties. Monroe County will receive $5,410.
        The remaining 11 counties will receive the following portions of the Recovery Funds:
        Athens, $21,119; Belmont, $22,349; Columbiana County, $43,562; Gallia, $10,028; Jefferson, $25,758; Lawrence, $17,700; Mahoning, $96,838; Meigs, $9,997; Noble, $5,525; Scioto, $29,625; Washington, $20,108.
        The program is governed by a national board composed of representatives of the American  Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, United Jewish Communities, National Coun-cil of the Churches of Christ in the USA, Salvation Army and Untied Way of America. The Board is chaired by a representative of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  

<     2009 Know Show Winners
        Businesses and their door prize winners at the 2009 Know Show were: AYE Photography - Jeannie Hughes, Karen Huffman, Amy Figel, L. Kenney; Bayer Heritage Fed-eral Credit Union - Norma J. Antill; Belmont Dodge - Mary Ann Ollom, Karen Huffman, D. Paxton, Elmer Azar, Bob Nichols, Vera Ullman, Theresa Piatt, Melinda Lyden; C&A Creations - Jenn Randall; D&L Sales - Dean Briggs; Dennis Miller Garage Doors - Bernar-do Male, Mary Stephen, Irene Hutchinson, Rebecca Milosa-vljevic, Patricia Bobkovich, Don Ferguson, Ruth Cox, Bertha Hossman, Susan English, Pat Gibson, Marvin Perkins; German Farmers - Judy Pittman, Jennifer Landefeld, Thelma Zwick, Jane Robbins, Zella Butler; Mary Kay Cosmetics - Patty Kirkbride; Modern Hardware - Dave Paulus, Jacqui Gillman; Monroe Country Chamber 50/50 Drawing - Martha Ackerman; Chamber County Store - Betty Kinney, Tammy Gordon, Tara Brookover, Bertha Saho, Susan Paulus, Belva Blackstone, Barb Coe, June Robbin, Ashlyn Grose,
 Charlotte Cline, Marshal Paulus, Tyler Alleman, Carey Bott, Jim McGuire, Doris Miller; MCPT - Patti Mellott; Monroe County Republican Party - Margaret Daugherty; Monroe Tire - Floyd Denbow, Eloise Lemmon, Norene Ewers, Susan English, Jerrod LeMasters, Gary Lake; New Vision Video - Katrina Paulus; OVCCU - Britney Gallagher, Gary Jones, Barb Coe; OSU Extension - Bernard Saunders, Gary Jones; Pamida - Margaret Daugherty, Judy Biedenbach.                 Monroe County Farm Bur-eau - Betty Kinney, Bernardo Male, Loretta Clymer, Denise Dalrymple, Kathy Miller, Roger Claus, Jean Reed, Belva Blackstone, Lisa Workman, Dan Stoffel, Tami Nichols, Ruthann Ridgeway, Martha Steven, Alice Perkins, Sam and Dorothy Templeton, Bob Nichols, Laura Cline.
        Monroe County Beacon - Amy Carpenter, Lisa Workman.
        Gift certificates ($25) from Monroe County Chamber of Commerce - Martha Stephen, Janice Alleman, Susie Emery, Paul Eddy, Doris Knowlton, Dale Blackstone, Mindy Smith, Barb Gatten, Jean Kaplan, Kylie Knowlton, Mindy Gallagher, Mary Eddy.
        Pampered Chef - Bill Snod-grass, Bev Dick, Sandy Fontana, Jenny Abbott, Cindy Coss, Jerry Smith, Susan Paulus, Steve King, Tara Brookover, Kerri Stollar, Wilma Burkhart.
        Positive Balance - Brian Lyden, Tyler Zimmer, Ruby Heft, Christian Crawford, Caryma Gallagher, Sydney Pasztor, Molly Nelson.
        Rada Cutlery - Denise Dal-rymple.
        Randall L. Gallagher Mem-orials - Mary Graham, Christy Hendershot; Relay For Life - Rich Dick, Fay Riggenbach, Bonnie Peffer, Robert Kindelberger, Krista Starr, Bernard Sanders, Barbara Coe, June Rollins, Georgia Rohal, Dean Briggs, Jane Robbins, Geneva Hendershot, Darlene Lucas, Vonnie Hranko, Nada Keylor, Mary Lou Schilling, Corrine Billman, P. Dick, Dennis Miller, Dave Robbins, Debbie Koehler, Margaret Daugherty, Rhea Hupp, Barbara Ann Gatten, Trisha Piatt, Krystal Brown; Riesbeck’s - Melinda Henthorn, Marjorie Josefczyk, Mandy Abregg, Laura Brock.
        Shadow Lake - Phyllis Claus, Eleanor Williamson; Summit Acres - Gary Dunfee.
        Swiss Hills Arts & Crafts - Angie Hupp.
        Team Monroe - Glenda Thomas, Amy Carpenter, Mark Tonkery, Thelma Yingling, Alexis Thomas, N.J. Antill, Elmer Azar, Judy Biedenbach, Margaret Daugherty.
        The Career Center - Bernardo Male, Tammy Jones.
        Thompson Video Produc-tions - Lisa Martin.
        TLC Complete Home Care - Lisa Workman.
                                Tupperware - Belva Black-stone, Nancy Tonkery.
        United Country Realty Done Right - Cindy Graham, Dan Stoffel.
        Way Rad Candies - Kayley Dimmerling.
        Weight Watchers - Debbie Eby, Janet Stoffel; Westwood Landing - Ken Alleman.                    Wetzel County Hospital - Millie Mozena, Tara Brookover.
        Woodsfield Savings Bank - Bertha Hossman, Rylee Steed; Zurvita - Ryan Cline.


< Obituaries

        C. Virgil Roth, 88, Doylestown, died April 6, 2009, at his residence. He was born May 26, 1920 in Woodsfield, a son of the late Ettson Guy and Arlie Drum 4256.
        Online tributes may be made at www.robertsfuneralhome.com.
        Shirley E. Delong, 92, 32262 Harper Rdg. Rd., Woodsfield, (Calais Com-munity) died April 7, 2009, at Summit Acres Nursing Home, Caldwell. She was born Dec. 2, 1916 at Calais, a daughter of the late Abel and Emma Dailey Hayes. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com.
        Zachary James Ruble, 19, Maysville, Ky., died April 2, 2009, in Washington County, Utah, near Zion National Park. He was born Oct. 25, 1989 in Paducah, Ky., a son of James and Paula Ruble.    Condolences may be expressed at knoxbrothersfuneralhome.com.
        Janet Gordon, 79, Colum-bus, formerly of Woodsfield, died April 3, 2009. Condolences may be expressed at www.ohiocremation.org.
        Nancy L. Lucas, 57, Woods-field, died April 1, 2009, at her home. She was born Oct. 20, 1951 in Beallsville, a daughter of Marjorie Hutchison Foltz of Beallsville.     Condolences can be expressed at www.bauerturner.com.

<Our Readers Write:

Dear Editor,
        Based upon information/formula given to me by the auditor’s office, the levy would increase my taxes by 29 percent. That is not insignificant.
        I don’t think students should go to a school that is deplorable but neither are they “entitled” to a state of the art school. I think the current school can be rehabilitated for less than $35 million; the courthouse was. The Board could have used the $50,000 it will spend on this election to make repairs.
        At a meeting years ago, I asked why estimates were not sought for repairs. I never got an answer, but I know the answer. The Board does not want decent or “okay” schools. The Board and administration want state of the art schools. It will sit and do nothing while the schools fall apart because it wants new schools.
        Can students do well in “deplorable” schools? Yes, every week the Beacon carries stories about Monroe graduates who have earned awards, scholarships, and other achievements.
        Upon every opportunity the last few years I have asked students how they felt about their schools. The most common answer was “it’s okay.”
        Might the old high school be used again? Well, actually it is, for everything except school. The Board (with changing members over the years) has closed schools, bought trailers, complained about the trailers it bought, watched the buildings deteriorate, neglected repair and upkeep, and called for special elections to try and force the voters to buy their new schools.
        I think necessary repairs could be made to existing schools for a lot less than the 35 million over 28 years that this levy will cost.
        The State is getting billions in federal aid so a better deal is possible. If the voters once again say no means no perhaps the next special levy will finally be for building repair.
David Zehnder

Dear Editor,
        The following is in regards to the proposed school bond issue. It seems some people are failing to grasp the big picture. This is not just about our schools; this is about our communities.
        These schools are cornerstones to each and every community. Without these cornerstones, the community falters.
        Invest a little now, and reap the rewards in the future. To obtain the future jobs we need, and to retain the ones we already have, this is a first step.
        This is also a step in retaining the residents or our communities that choose to go elsewhere due to the condition of our schools.
        This is a monumental crossroads for our area. Either embrace the future and flourish or grasp on to the past and languish.
        This decision rests squarely on all of our shoulders. At least think it over, get the facts, and make an educated vote. As the cornerstone says on old WHS, “The Youth Our Hope”. They knew it then; let’s show we still know it now.
Casey Bott

Dear Editor,
        As the temperatures warm, the fields begin to green and new life springs around us, celebrating National Donate Life Month seems fitting. There are currently 91,000 men, women and children on the waiting list for a life-saving transplant. This year, four times as many people are on the organ transplant waiting list than will be transplanted. On average, 17 Americans die each day due to a lack of available organs. Did you know that one donor can save the lives of seven people and enhance the lives of 50 others?
        Because of God’s grace and a very generous decision from a loving family, who had just lost their 14-year old daughter, I am alive today. Born with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease of the lungs and digestive system that slowly, but surely, does its best to zap every breath you take, I was told that my only hope of survival was to have a double-lung transplant. Six years and eight months ago I was given the gift of life and received new lungs. Since that time, I have lived a life that I never dreamed I would even live to see, let alone live so fully. I have gone from not being able to walk across the room without getting short of breath to being able to complete the Ogden 20K in Wheeling in May of 2007. Daily activities that most people take for granted like taking a shower, climbing stairs and carrying in groceries required so much energy and oxygen that I would become fatigued. I felt like I was failing in every aspect of my life, from being a good
 wife, daughter, and sister to being a good aunt to my nieces and nephews whom I loved dearly and wanted to spend as much time with as possible. Praise God, since transplant, I have a new life. Oxygen tanks and three times a day breathing treatments are a thing of the past. I have energy to complete daily tasks, play, exercise and even run a business. I am thrilled to share my story with others and appreciate every opportunity to encourage others to make the most of the time they have been given through proper nutrition and exercise. Transplants never come without some complications, precautions, and medications, but the life I am enjoying now far outweighs any negative consequences of transplant. I daily praise God for the lungs he is allowing me to use and care for. Having a transplant makes one appreciate the little things in life. We too often forget that good health is one of the greatest blessings of all.
        Being an organ and/or tissue donor is one of the most generous things you can do. All major religious groups support organ and tissue donation as a generous act of charity. People of all ages and medical histories can donate life. I am proof that transplantation works! The good news is that each year more than 27,000 lives are saved through the kindness of organ donors. It is worth noting that in a world where we hear so much negativity and seem to have so many problems, there are still many loving, kind people who are willing to help others. Perhaps if we could all stop counting our troubles for just a moment, we might realize the blessings we have. Receiving new lungs has been a blessing beyond what I ever deserve, but one I cherish with every breath. I hope you will consider saying “yes” to organ and tissue donation. You can register your wishes at the BMV and sign up in the Ohio Donor Registry. Tell your family of your wishes. Wearing or
 displaying a green ribbon signifies support of organ and tissue donation. For more information, contact www.lifeofohio.org or call 1-800-525-5667.
        I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone to the Great Strides for Cystic Fibrosis Walk on Sat., May 16. The walk will begin at 2 p.m. and will be held at Deerassic Park, just outside of Cambridge. Please help us find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. Of every dollar donated, .90 is used to fund the vital programs of the CF Foundation. Recently, the CF Foundation received recognition in Smart Money as the number one health related charity in the country.
        Thank you and God Bless.
Janet Reed
Dear Editor,
        In response to many of the past letters to the editor about Economic Development, Job and Family Services, the County Commissioners and Jeanette Harter:
        Isn’t it sad that the truth is not sought by those who write letters that accuse and attack the things that others do? How many of you have been a Commissioner? How many of you were previously a Director at Job and Family Services? How many even understand County government?
        There are those who have stepped up and taken on great responsibilities for this County but not one of those letters says thanks. Not one of those letters was written after a genuine attempt to seek out the truth. They are merely lame accusations and hurtful remarks. If the letter writers think that these people are doing such a poor job, why don’t they do something positive or step up to the plate? Instead, they hide behind their negativity and ignorance.
        Jeanette Harter continually gets attacked for having more than one job. Yet, no one acknowledges that she was approached by all of the entities that she works (worked) for because of the good work that she does.
        The Monroe County Airport was facing problems and poor record keeping. She pulled them out of this, leaving the current secretary/treasurer with excellent records. Center Township suffered the loss of a clerk and the resignation of another and she helped them through a time that not too many would have been able to do. When she left the Auditor’s office, she was asked by the Commissioners to continue working with the budgets. She has educated and helped several new and many seasoned Commissioners over the last 14 years, and as of Jan. 1, requested to volunteer her time since the county was facing so many budget problems.
        How many of the letter writers have actually seen the amount of work that Jeanette has done? How many of them would even want to spend the hours that she does? Look around at your friends, family and co-workers. How many of them has an extra job or runs a business besides working a full time job? How many of them have retired  and come back to work, possibly taking that job from a young college graduate? Jeanette is not the only one in this County that holds more than one job and yet she is the only one that gets letters written about it in the paper.
        In reference to the abolishment of the Economic Development position, just what would you have done? Jeanette Harter has an agency to run that is facing many tough times ahead and budgets are being slashed. The Commissioners are only able to contribute a small amount of money to Job and Family Services, yet are completely responsible for bills that keep children in the County safe. Did anyone ask other Job and Family Services in the state if they had an Economic Development position within their agency and if they are paying a salary and fringe benefits?
        Obviously they did not because they would be hard pressed to find even one. If you fell on hard times and needed assistance or had an unfortunate situation arise with your child, would you like to be told that you cannot be served because the agency had to pay an Economic Developer and laid off two others who could have helped you? Probably not.
        Tom Scott has impressed a few of the “friends of Team Monroe”. I for one will be glad when I see more than just meetings and spreading goodwill. Perhaps a few jobs, filling the Black Walnut Center, strengthening the businesses that are located here, grant awards, and improved infrastructure will soon measure Tom Scott’s success instead of putting together committees.
        The citizens of this County are very capable and can do anything with hard work and dedication. We did not need a man that wasn’t from Monroe County to help us see that. If we would put our energies into working together in tough times instead of seeing how quickly we can cut each other down, we can succeed.
        Regardless, if this County wants to employ a Communi-ty/Economic Developer, then everyone needs to take a little stock in it instead of hanging it on one entity.
        There was a comment made about Jeanette not working at Job and Family Services and spending all of her time in executive session with the Commissioners. If you had ever spent any time at all in the Commissioners’ office, matters of personnel are confidential. A job abolishment isn’t exactly something that a professional takes lightly out of respect for the employee. Imagine being one of the two new Commissioners and having to face such a difficult decision so early in your term.
        I wonder what outsiders think when they read our local newspaper? Do you suppose that we look enticing to a business owner who may want to locate here? I think all of us need to ask ourselves that question and remember that when you are pointing the finger at someone, there are four more pointing back at you.
        Some of you know me, and yes I am Jeanette Harter’s mother-in-law. I have had the privilege of getting to know her as a human being, a wife to my son and a mother to her children. How many of you have seen her struggle with family gatherings, sports activities and time that you take for granted, so that she can service this county, calls interrupting dinner or time with friends. She has been accused, verbally assaulted and had her name drug through the dirt, through it all she holds her head high and still does the bet job she can do. Yes, she has held many positions in this county, and yes she does a great job and Monroe County should feel lucky to have her after the way she has been treated. I am very glad she is a part of my community and my family.
Sue Wills


<Around the Burnside
Be prepared to spend an hour with anyone who asks, “Got a minute?”
        You have to do your own growing up no matter how tall your grandpa was.
        Wow! Smokers are really taking a hit, fifty bucks plus for a carton of cigarettes. How time changes. I can remember when overseas, paying fifty cents a carton. I’m sure glad I quit smoking nearly 45 years ago. Did hear someone say, “No new taxes”?
        I happened to be looking over some information regarding the bond issue and discovered that if you owned property worth $100,000 the extra cost would be a little over a pack of cigarettes a week.
        In spite of everything I’ve tried, we are bound to have snow near Easter regardless of what time of year it comes around. I remember one year I couldn’t get out of Lewisville to attend Sunrise Service at Skyvue. On the other hand, by church time most of the snow was gone and we were able to attend church. My kind of snow.
        The planning group for the Monroe County Retired Teachers Association met a few days ago to plan their meeting coming up the 28th. They indicated their support of the bond levy.
        I mentioned above how time changes things. For example, I read in the Journal in their 70 years ago news the following: “Caldwell council passes ordinance prohibiting the opening of a pool room on Sunday or to stay open later than 11 p.m. in the evening. The owner who permits a minor under the age of 18 to play is subject to a fine of $40. Council took this action in order to curb petty thefts and the loitering of school children in pool or billiard parlors.” Remind you of the good old days? I remember a pool hall in Barnesville. I always wondered what went on inside.
        Pool halls are not the only thing that has changed. Last week I mentioned attending a two room school house and we worked on “Readin’, ’Ritin’ and ’Rithmetic” plus some other things. That did us well at the time. Remember manual training?
        With the development of technology over the years it is kind of scary to an old man like me. I’ve said many times, “I’m glad I retired before computers moved in.” We didn’t even know what an adding machine was and now kids have cell phones that can do anything except go to the restroom for the owner.
        What I’m trying to say, I guess, the educational needs of students these days cannot be compared to our needs fifty or more years ago. Our facilities met our needs.
        The truth is the facilities in the Switzerland of Ohio School District do not meet the needs of the students in our district.
        To be honest, I haven’t been in many of our schools in the last few years. I didn’t really know how bad some of our facilities had become until I watched the DVD showing many of the problems. Our students need better and they deserve the type of facilities other nearby students enjoy.
        It was kind of interesting at the boys’ state high school basketball tournament this year regarding a final four team. They made quite a thing about one of the teams in the final four not having a gym. Their players needed to travel eight miles to a church gym to practice and 11 miles to a grade school gym for home games. Does Monroe Central High School have a gym? How far is it from Swiss Hills to Skyvue? Bet their roads were better, too.
        I spent 16 enjoyable years as a teacher in the Switzerland of Ohio Schools. Eight at Skyvue and eight at the Vocational School, now known as a Career Center. We had the  tools needed to provide the education the students required, for the most part.
        I’ve been retired for nearly 25 years and educational needs and technology development during this time has really increased many fold. Fifty year old buildings and temporary buildings do not provide the needs.     
        I have a bit of a challenge I’d like to throw out. In last week’s Beacon there were several pages of information regarding the Master Plan for facilities. This included what the new schools and renovation will include, plus a picture of a possible room. If you can, take this with you to a school of your choice and compare. Then honestly answer this question, “I would prefer to attend this school (select your choice) five days a week during the school year.” This is just building preference and does not include the educational equipment and needs the new building will contain.
        As I said last week, find out the correct information regarding the plan and then make up your mind and vote.
        I’m not sure if you have followed the NCAA trip to the final four college basketball teams take every spring. Teams just want to be selected even if thy lose their first game like my team did this year.
        Monday evening, I settled in my easy chair, a Mountain Dew, some popcorn and I was ready. I turned in a bit early because I kind of enjoy the hype from the so-called experts.
        Near tip off time, two of the experts were put on the spot to predict the winner.
        I will say I kind of wanted Michigan State, even if I shiver every time I hear anyone say Michigan, win because three players on the starting five were from Ohio. I really doubted if they had a chance.
        Both experts threw out their reasons and picked Michigan State to win. North Carolina must not have heard them. Now you know the rest of the story.
        Remember: When you are asked for help, an ounce of yes is worth a pound of maybe.
        Bible readings: (Mon.) John 14:8-14; (Tues.) Isaiah 57:14-21; From Psalm (Wed.) 6; (Thurs.) 41; (Fri.) Jeremiah 3:19-23; (Sat.) Psalm 30:1-5; (Sun.) Acts 9:32-43.