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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 2, 2009
First CDBG Public Hearing Held

        This year’s Community Development Grant hearing was conducted during the March 23 meeting of Monroe County Commissioners, who also met with Kiven Smithberger of Team Monroe.
         About 15 individuals representing interested entities were in attendance to pick up informational packets and listen to explanations by Mary Jo Westfall, OSU Extension, grant administrator.
        According to Westfall, she will know sometime in April the amount of funding to be made available by the state to Monroe County. “I’m guessing about $73,000,” she said.
        Starting this year, at least two estimates are required with applications.
        Applications must be returned to county commissioners by Friday, April 24 at 4:30 p.m.
        The second public hearing will be held April 27 and the third on May 4 in the office of county commissioners.
        For further information, contact Westfall at her office, located on the first floor of the courthouse, Room 17, or call the office at 740-472-0810. E-mail: westfall.23@osu.edu
        In other business, School District Supt. Larry Elliott along with George Richardson, administrative assistant, Janet Hissrich, district treasurer and Tina Hogue, cafeteria director, attended the meeting to ask commissioners to support the 8.19 mill levy on May 5. The levy includes 7.69 mills for the bond issue to build new schools and a one-half mill tax levy for maintenance, which totals 8.19 mills.
        Elliott commented that 60 percent of the parents in Monroe County are not registered to vote.
        No action was taken following an executive session called to discuss acquisition of property.
        Rick Schuerman, director, Monroe County Emergency Management Agency, and Phil Keevert, EMA assistant, discussed the agency’s budget. Schuerman reported the state has given permission for him to add overrun monies back into his general fund. The total is $12, 995.16.
        The amount will help EMA in that commissioners had to cut Schuerman’s budget by $10,000.
        In another matter, discussion was held concerning the probability of relocating the EMA office from the old county home building to the house formerly used by at Monroe County Airport managers. It is currently empty.
        Kiven Smithberger, president of the Team Monroe organization and Tom Scott, Team Monroe Community Developer, approached officials with regard to reimbursement for promotional t-shirts and a rent payment at Midway Community Center. The center is home to the county’s only business incubator, established through the efforts of Team Monroe. Scott said the incubator is struggling and is not bringing in enough money to pay its $250 monthly rent.
        With regard to t-shirts, Smithberger said that although the shirts are paid for, if commissioners reimburse Team Monroe, they will be able to use their money toward other projects.
        Smithberger indicated he understands if officials prefer not to reimburse; and Scott noted Team Monroe is planning a fundraiser for April.
        Later in the meeting, as commissioners made their decision, Commissioner Carl Davis said that “in light of the county’s budget” he was not in favor of reimbursing for the t-shirts.
        It was agreed unanimously not to reimburse.
        Although no comments were made concerning the question of rent for Incubator space at Midway, it appeared officials are not in favor of paying it.
        Officials, on a motion by Commissioner John Pyles, agreed to lease property near the soccer field to Beck Energy for placement of a gas well. The agreement is contingent on the approval of the Ohio Economic Development Agency.

<Williams Sentenced to 10 Months

Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Rose places handcuffs on True Williams following his March 24 sentencing.  Williams pled guilty to theft from the Monroe County War Memorial Fund.

        “You have betrayed the trust of many people ...” said Common Pleas Court Judge Julie Selmon after sentencing David True Williams to 10 months in prison. He had been charged with one count of theft. The offense was related to a public office position to public trust.
        Williams, 46, 51715 SR800, Jerusalem, entered a plea of guilty Jan. 5 on a Bill of Information served by the Woodsfield Police Dept.
        He was sentenced March 24 to 10 months in prison on the fifth degree felony charge. Williams was also ordered to pay restitution of $4,646.87 to the Monroe County War Memorial Fund with payments to begin within 90 days of release, at a minimum of $100 a month.
        Following sentencing, Judge Selmon told Williams, “I recommend you pay more than $100 a month so it will be repaid in less than four years.”
        According to court documents, Williams wrote checks from the War Memorial Fund’s account over a period of time from November 2007 to September 2008. He used all but $50 from the account.
        The Judge told Williams she fully expected him to cooperate with the War Memorial Committee in order to “get all the pieces together.”
        It was noted during the hearing that the sentence would not have been the same had the offense not been committed while Williams was in a position of public trust.
        In her comments, Judge Selmon told Williams, “The fact you claim to have been vulnerable is not really acceptable.”                                     Williams had previously told officials that he was vulnerable following the death of his wife, Carolyn.
        A victim impact statement was read by Toni Elliott of the Woodsfield VFW Auxiliary,which started the project under the supervision Mrs. Williams.
        Through Mrs. Williams’ efforts the War Memorial committee was formed and property at the county courthouse was transformed into a memorial site for Veterans. As a result of the project, plaques honoring veterans were also placed inside the courthouse.
        Elliott, in her statement, said, “David  True Williams, you have betrayed a public trust. You have dishonored every Veteran ... you are a selfish, self-serving person.
        “You think your life style is more important than those of us that wish to honor the brave men and women that have served and continue to serve our country. You have asked elderly ladies in the community to pray for you. I think you need to ask forgiveness from the rest of us. Your hope is God will forgive you. I know I am not willing to do so.”
        The Court told Williams that under certain circumstances the sentence imposed by the Court may be appealed.

<County Adopts Permanent General Fund Appropriations
        Permanent General Fund appropriations were approved this week by Monroe County Commissioners, who also passed a proclamation naming April as Child Abuse Prevention month.
        Officials approved the general fund budget in the amount of $4,024,432.16.
        All other county budgets were approved in January in the amount of $16,800,650.37.
        At the request of Jeanette Harter, director, Monroe County Job and Family Services, officials signed a proclamation naming April Child Abuse Prevention month.
        Harter reported the state is giving JFS a one time allocation of $2,500 to be used in appreciation of foster families. She said a pizza party will be held April 13 at noon for the families and a gift card will be given to the foster parents in appreciation of the care they give to children.
        Dave Haught, architect for the county court project (moving Monroe County Court from the second to the first floor of the courthouse) went over the progress and a number of work changes. Con-cerning progress, the former offices of Soil and Water Conservation have been gutted and new construction has started. With regard to cost, it should remain about the same.
        Dave Kuhn, EMS coordinator, and Terri Knowlton, EMS clerk, discussed the purchase of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) through grant funding. Kuhn said he has obtained a quote totaling $14,950 for ten  of the life saving devices. Three would be placed in the courthouse, two in sheriff cruisers, and one each in the sheriff’s office,  village patrol car, Woodsfield fire station and a Woodsfield fire truck.
        “I’d like to see the AEDs in cruisers and police cars as they are normally the first responders,” said Kuhn.
        On a motion by John Pyles,  board president, the EMS will apply for ten AEDs.
        In another matter Kuhn and Knowlton reported on payment for EMS services rendered. Kuhn noted a bill in the amount of $758 of which only $127 was paid. He said the Medicare will not pay more than $127.
        According to a chart submitted by Kuhn, the total 2008 loss to the county for runs for which patients did not make payment is $13,755.
        Leases for properties mitigated by FEMA were signed. The properties were purchased by FEMA and turned over to the county with stipulations that if they are sold or used for construction or habitation, the county is obligated to repay the cost. Commissioners signed leases with Mark Ady,  Roger and Myrna Starr and Judy Springer, for lots in Cameron, and with Gary and Wanda Gilmore for property in Sardis.

<22nd Annual Chamber Dinner Entertaining and Informational

Monroe County Chamber of Commerce held its annual dinner March 26 with recently elected president Melissa Perkins-Smithberger, center, presiding over the program. Keynote speaker was Tim Ault, left, a graduate of River High School.  Guests speaking at the event were, from left, Ault,  Dale  Fallat, chairman, Ohio Chamber of Commerce; Carey Bott, president, Citizens National Bank and Tom Scott, Team Monroe Community Developer.

Photo by Arlean Selvy

by Arlean Selvy
        Monroe County Chamber of Commerce hosted its 22nd Annual Chamber of Commerce Membership Dinner with a flurry of information and entertainment.
        Keynote speaker Tim Ault of Amherst, Ohio, is a 1983 graduate of River High School. He earned his associate degree in business from Ohio Valley University in Parkersburg and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from OSU. He is currently employed with Symrise, Inc. as director of product supply seasonings and flavor division.
        “It was great coming back into the county this afternoon,” said Ault. “I always get such a great feeling when I come back home. Someday it would be nice for me to be able to bring my family back here so they also can enjoy the area and the times that I enjoyed when I grew up here.”
        Ault spoke on trust, a concept he said, that is very near and dear to his heart. He noted three kinds of trust: situational, a spur of the moment trust when a decision whether or not to trust must be made immediately; genetic, an inherited or family generated trust; and relationship, a trust that is developed over time.
        Ault delivered his message in a lighthearted manner. His audience was kept laughing. They began to trust what he said prior to his presentation; he didn’t have a serious bone in his body.
        Speaking also were Tom Scott, Carey Bott and Dale Fallat.
        Fallat, chairman of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, shared several facts about Ohio. About himself he said, “The only thing you should know is that I begged for an invitation to come to this dinner. He said he’d visited 87 of the 88 counties and wanted to visit Monroe before his term is up. He said he’d seen a lot of Ohio’s 26 million acres, but he hadn’t seen Monroe - and that was his goal.
        The Ohio Chamber of Commerce is 116 years old.
        Scott, Team Monroe Com-munity Economic Developer, told about the concept of Team Monroe and commented that a trip to Columbus has generated favor for some of the projects currently on Team Mon-roe’s plate. He reminded attendees about a two-year plan previously approved by commissioners and CIC. The plan spells out some projects that are currently in the works. “We think, in all sincerity that they’ll bear fruit in 2009, 2010,” Scott said.
        “Our efforts right now are to try to elevate Monroe County so that we’re up on a level playing field with the other 87 counties in Ohio, our friends in West Virginia and our friends in Pennsylvania,”he said. “I hope you share with me the optimism that this economy will turn around. And when it turns around we want to have infrastructure in place so that we can start bringing in some jobs and commerce and more retail to Monroe County.”
        Bott, president of Citizens National Bank, talked to the group about the proposed school bond levy.  He noted he was talking not as a bank president but as a concerned citizen.
        With regard to the levy, Bott said he doesn’t believe there is a choice. “It’s time for action!” he said. “The county is hurting and our students are hurting. It’s one thing for the county to hurt; it’s another for the students to hurt.” he added.
        Bott noted the schools have tried a one school concept, a two school concept - and they didn’t work.  “So we’re trying a concept  that will help every community in the county, every student in the county,” he said. “It’s not fair for our students to be confronted with the issues they’re confronted with in these schools.”
        Bott mentioned the video produced by Beallsville students and shown at a levy kick-off meeting. He called what he saw on the video, deplorable. “When I first saw that, I thought those pictures were taken somewhere in Bulgaria or Rumania, some third world country, said  Bott. “Our schools are in horrible shape, even the newest ones.”
        Bott noted that if you bring an entity into the county, the first thing they’re going to ask is what kind of schools we have. “They’re not going to ask ‘what kind of teachers do you have?’” he said.
        He encouraged chamber members and guests to attend the meetings scheduled for every school in the county. “Get your questions together; there are answers to every question,” he said. “If you go to the meetings, you will get facts, not opinions,” he said. “You will be dealing with people who know, such as the project manager. He works for the state and is responsible for every dollar spent and will have to answer if they aren’t spent properly.”

<~ Commissioners Adopt Resolution for Senior Center Week ~

        In honor of Ohio Senior Center Week, Monroe County Commissioners signed a proclamation March 23 recognizing March 29 -April 4 as Ohio Senior Center Week. Seated are, from left, County Commissioners Carl Davis, Tim Price and John Pyles. Standing are Gary Ricer, executive director, GMN Tri-County CAC, administrators of Monroe County Senior Center, and Michelle Hollins center director. Senior centers have formed the foundation of the state’s aging network since the network was created. This year the Ohio Association of  Senior Centers celebrates its 50th year of service to the state’s more that 450 full -and part-time senior centers.

< Obituaries

        Jean Delores Rogalski Bennett, 84, Beallsville, went home with her Saviour early in the morning of March 21, 2009. She was surrounded by her family whom she deeply cherished. She was born July 8, 1924 in Baltimore, Md., and lived there until moving to Beallsville in 1957. Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net

        Sally Sue Witten, 84, Lakeside, died Feb. 3, 2009 at Magruder Hospital, Port Clinton. She was born Aug. 11, 1924 in Bellaire.   Online condolences may be expressed at www.neideckerleveckcrosser.com

        Eunice Gallagher, 84, Jerusalem, died March 27, 2009 in Ohio Valley Medical Center, Wheeling. She was born April 5, 1924, in Malaga, a daughter of the late Charlie and Mary Buckio Hunkler.    Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net

        Andrew Ray Haslam, 18, Porters Falls, W.Va., died March 23, 2009. He was born May 26, 1990 in New Martinsville.

        Ray E. Truex, 87, Ronce-verte, W.Va., formerly of Monroe County, died March 24, 2009 in Greenbrier Valley Medical Center, Ronceverte. He was born Jan. 17, 1922 near Beallsville, a son of the late John and Celestie Pittman Truex.    Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net

        Charles L. “Les” Brown, 67, Summit Acres Nursing Home, Caldwell, formerly of Summerfield, died March 28, 2009 at Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center, Cambridge. He was born Oct. 6, 1941 in Woodsfield, a son of the late Charles H. and Ethel Dunn Brown.       Online condolences may be expressed at:

        Delphene Williams Reef, 94, Dorothy Love Retirement Community, Sidney, Ohio, died Feb. 27, 2009 in the skilled nursing area at Dorothy Love. She was born Dec. 22, 1914 in Round Bottom, Monroe County, the youngest child of George and Nina Ischy Williams. Online condolences can be expressed at:

        Harold B. Kinney, Jr., 81, 40145 SR 26, Woodsfield, died March 29, 2009 at the Ohio Valley Medical Center, Wheeling. He was born Nov. 30, 1927 near Graysville, a son of the late Harold B. Kinney, Sr. and Viola McElfresh Kinney. Online condolences may be expressed at:
        Joseph Rose, 57, Loudonville, died March 24, 2009 in Loudonville. He was born June 3, 1951 in Freeburn, Ky., and son of the late Joe and Sylvia Rose.
Mary G. Sulsberger Swonger, 92, Bethany Nursing Home, Canton, formerly of Woodsfield, died March 26, 2009 at the nursing home. She was born Aug. 17, 1916, in Woodsfield, a daughter of the late Fred O. and Veronica H. Wiegle Sulsberger.

<Our Readers Write:

Dear Editor,
        This May, residents of Monroe County will have the opportunity to cast their votes for lifelong learning - the type that starts as early as preschool. The local school district will ask voters to consider a bond levy for new and renovated facilities.
        The Lifelong Learners have worked diligently over the past two years to establish groups and opportunities through the Monroe County District Library for lifelong learning. Programs to encourage reading, to feature local authors and storytellers and to promote the services of Ohio’s libraries have all been part of the group’s work.
        The members of the Monroe County Lifelong Learners encourage residents to learn more about the bond levy and the current state and future needs of our schools. Just as the library strives to meet the informational, cultural, educational, and recreational needs of the county, so do our schools.
        Voters, be informed and vote on May 5.
Monroe County Lifelong Learners,

a volunteer group Under the Umbrella of Monroe Arts Council

Dear Editor,
        Rumors of the death of Monroe Post 87 of the American Legion have been greatly exaggerated.
        Granted, the post has been in decline for the past several years as the active members aged and some passed on. Then the sale of their building and its demolition to make room for the new restaurant appeared to seal the fate of Post 87.
        But as part of the deal for the building, a five year lease was negotiated for new quarters for Post 87 on the third floor of the Monroe Bank Building. Meetings are being held there at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.
        We have a core group of members who are trying to revive the post to make it a fully functioning post again but we need help from current inactive members and new, younger members to make this happen.
        A fully functioning post can accomplish many things for both the community and its members.
        We plan to have a booth at the Know Show on April 4 and 5 where more information will be available.
Ed Frank, Lewisville
Vice-Commander Post 87

Dear Editor,
        My name is Beth Ogden Ayers. I graduated from Woodsfield High School in 1977. That was 32 years ago. The high school was getting old then. Now with the years gone by it is in desperate need of repairs, to the point that the students have to be taught in trailers.
        I have since moved to the East Guernsey School District. We were also faced with having to build a new school. We had schools located all over the place. We had them in Londonderry, Antrim, Quaker City and Old Washington.
        If you had children in more than one school it could take over an hour to pick them up going from place to place. We were afraid of passing a levy to build the school. We went through the “all they will do is use it for sports,” No they cannot do that; that is all separate. Also we went through “let the state take over”. You really do not want the state to have control of your schools and making all the decisions. Also this is not money that will give anyone a raise; it is strictly to build or refurbish different locations.
        We went many years as you people have been turning down the levy. Our fears were the same as yours. What will happen to our property taxes, what will our elderly do with being on a fixed income? The levy finally did pass here, and to everyone’s surprise the taxes did not increase near what they thought they would. Had we known all this before it could have been passed sooner. In the 32 years I have lived here, and with the different levies that have passed my taxes have still stayed reasonable as  yours will.
        We at Buckeye Trail are proud to have other schools visit our campus. Can you say the same? Are you proud to have other schools come and visit your trailers? This is 2009. You need to advance, not go backwards. Think of your children and grandchildren; think of their future. It really does lie in your hands at this point.
Proud Parent and Grandparent
From Buckeye Trail Schools
Beth Ogden Ayers (1977)

<Around the Burnside

        The difference between winter and summer is in the winter the bare limbs are on the trees.
        Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.
        Turn on the TV, radio or read the newspaper and you hear stimulus, billions, trillions and much about pork. It seems our leaders in Washington can stick on a few million called pork. Must be nice for those getting it. What about our state? I think there might be a few things that maybe could be called pork in Columbus. For example, the football Hall of Fame in Canton received one point sixty-five million from the state last year. This to honor football players that receive a good size chunk of that amount for playing one football game. Pork?
        You are getting old it it takes you longer to rest than it does to get tired.
        The other day I was talking with a friend when he said, “All the good old boys that we grew up with are gone.” After throwing this around a bit he said, “You know we are the good old boys now.”
        I said a couple of weeks ago it was rough to think of something to write about every week. So I’m repeating something I wrote back in 1985 to give you an idea of one of the good old boys I grew up with and influenced my life.
        The town, Fairview, barber was George Morgan. I really didn’t know much about him, nonetheless he is one of my unforgettable characters. He had an artificial leg. However, few people knew how he lost his leg. George never told us and I guess out of respect for our elders it never dawned on us to ask. We kids always speculated he lost his leg hopping freight trains.
        The barber shop was a building approximately 15 feet square with a large window in front. There were large mirrors on the walls and the usual barbershop equipment. A radio sat on the top shelf in the back and was tuned in to the Cleveland Indians ballgame. You could tell who was winning. If you could hear the radio the Indians were winning. If silent, they were losing. When they fell behind George would drop everything, stomp to the radio and say, “You no good (choice of words) ball club. I’m never going to listen to you again.” Later he would turn the radio back on to check the score.
        On a stand in the shop was a wash basin and a gallon jug of drinking water. This jug was my first job for money. When the jug was empty or stale George would hire a boy to fill the jug from the town pump. The rate of pay was a nickel. We sure kept a close eye on the jug. When the jug got low we might walk by the shop every 15 minutes or so hoping to get the job of filling the jug. We really got ticked off if some adult, waiting on a haircut, would fill the jug for nothing.
        The heat source for the barbershop was yet another Burnside stove. This burnside had a few loafers as George didn’t want to scare away customers. The stove was another source of income. It ate plenty of coal and produced almost an equal amount of ashes. A nickel for coal in, a nickel for ashes out.
        George cut hair for twenty-five cents per head. Along came WWII and as George put it, “I’m forced to raise my price to 35 cents.” Shaves cost the same.
        I was in the eighth grade before George cut my hair. Dad was my barber and always seemed to move the clippers faster than they cut. Getting a hair cut was not the most pleasant experience. I guess Dad got tired of my complaints and finally gave me a quarter for a hair cut. I really thought I was walking in the tall clover when I started going to the barbershop.
        The barbershop was open all hours of the day and night. As long as someone needed a haircut, George seemed to be in the shop. Saturday afternoon and evening were the busiest. He would be cutting hair at midnight even if he were planning to attend an Indian double header the next day.
        There are a couple more things I remember about George. Most of us used the better sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. During the summertime we gave a yell and waved as we walked by the shop. In the winter time we just waved even if in the middle of a haircut. The only time he didn’t return the greeting was when he was sacked out in the barber chair, when business was slow. Sometimes with a chew of tobacco in his cheek. The wave was exchanged even if the trips were only five minutes apart.
        George also disliked the town gossip. I guess this was the reason we did not know much about his earlier years. One of his favorite statements of fact was, “People in this town will let their own business go to -- just to help someone else out with theirs.”
        George is gone now having passed away many years ago. I’m sure he is in a special spot and remembered by a number of folks whose lives he touched. I hope this will remind you of someone you have known. End of story.
        George was one of the “Good Old Boys” that influenced my life. I could have written many more memories of him. Just about every time I get a haircut I think of George.
        He was one; there were many others even up to the present day that have had an influence on my life. I’ve tried to get this across to many  young folks. You are setting an example for someone.
        Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
        Bible readings: (Mon.) Acts 13:26-22; (Tues.) Ephesians 1:15-23; (Wed.) I Corinthians 15:12-26; (Thurs.) Colossians 2:6-15; (Fri.) Romans 6:3-11; (Sat.) Colossians 3:1-11; (Sun.) Luke 24:1-12.