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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.

 

 

April 9, 2009
<
~ 2009 Know Show a Success ~













Children had the opportunity to have their pictures taken with the Easter Bunny at the Know Show, which was held at the Black Walnut Center Saturday and Sunday. Kerri L. Farmer of K. Lynn Studio Gallery Images Photography had her camera ready as the little ones hopped on the Easter Bunny’s lap. K Lynn Studio was just one of 72 businesses and organizations that participated in the Know Show.       Over 2,500 people attended this year’s event and hundreds of door prizes were given away. Winners will be listed in the April 16 Beacon.                M. Ackerman Photo 

 

<Miss Ohio Sign Dedication

 

 

 

 

 Citizens National Bank of Woodsfield hosted a sign dedication Saturday. One of four signs designating Woodsfield as the “Home of Miss Ohio 2008 Karissa Martin”         was unveiled. Shown, from left, are: Ron and Sheila Martin, Karissa’s parents; Karissa Martin, Miss Ohio 2008; Becky and Carey Bott, representing Citizens National Bank; and Jeff Woodell, Woodsfield Village Administrator, who unveiled the sign.                              Photo by Martha Ackerman


by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
        “Karissa, in my opinion, what you have accomplished is the single greatest achievement in Woodsfield history – Miss Ohio,” said Woodsfield Administrator Jeff Woodell. “We’re the seventh largest state in the U.S. and have 11 million people. For a girl from Woodsfield to represent Ohio in the Miss America contest is amazing!”
        The occasion was the  dedication of four signs recognizing Woodsfield as “Home of Miss Ohio 2008 Karissa Martin.” The event, hosted by Citizens National Bank, was held April 4 at the Brown Community Center. Carey Bott, CEO, Citizens National Bank, and his wife Becky introduced Karissa.
        A junior at West Liberty State College, Karissa is pursuing an interdisciplinary degree in music and theater communications. At West Liberty, Karissa is an Elbin Scholar, honors student, treasurer of Nu Theta Chapter of Chi Omega, and was recently accepted into the Alpha Chi National College Honor Scholarship Society.
        “Karissa’s platform is Skin Cancer Prevention for a Second Generation. It is not just a platform, it is a mission. At age 14, Karissa discovered abnormal skin cells resulting from sunburn. Her efforts are focused on providing education targeting the youth ... Her goal is to bring about a greater understanding of the dangers of skin cancer and methods of preventing this deadly form of cancer,” said Becky Bott.
        “We were proud, eager and delighted to help sponsor these signs,” said Karen Binford, president of the Woodsfield Kiwanis Club. “Karissa cut her teeth performing in Kiwanis Talent Shows, participating for 11 years and won every year. It has been a delight for Kiwanis to watch her grow up. You hold a special place in our hearts.”
        The signs, designed and constructed by Andrew Ring, were purchased by the generosity of Woodsfield Kiwanis, the employees of Citizens Nation-al Bank, Paul Conner in memory of the late Barbara Conner, William E. Moore, Carl and Lynn Rousenberg, Carey and Becky Bott. The signs will be installed by Village of Woodsfield employees.
        Those attending the event were treated to a performance by Miss Ohio. Karissa lent her beautiful voice to a selection of pieces from Broadway shows including Cats, My Fair Lady and Flower Drum Song. “She’s a Butterfly” was dedicated to Aiden Russell, who is a former Monroe County Relay For Life mascot.
        After the performance, Carey Bott remarked, “I have attended a lot of concerts and paid a lot to see them and I tell you I got a deal today!”

<~ School Levy Committee Accepts Donation ~
        Richele Brown, treasurer for “The time is NOW!” committee, accepts a check in the amount of $1,000 from OAPSE members Liz Gramlich, OAPSE/AFFCME State PEOPLE Committee and Jason Clutter, president, OAPSE LU41. The committee is holding meetings weekly at schools throughout the county. A meeting is set for Hannibal Elementary at 6 p.m. April 9; at Woodsfield Elementary, 6 p.m. on April 13 and at Powhatan Elementary, 6 p.m. on April 14.  

<Fire Brigade Completes Training        

Two teams from the American Energy Corporation’s Century Mine fire brigade recently completed advanced training in mine fire emergency response.
        The intensive training, which included live-fire exercises, is only considered suitable for fire brigades that already have substantial expertise and skill.
Century Mine Fire Brigade Teams Complete Advanced Training in Mine Fire Emergency      

Century Mine fire brigade members Mike Compher, John Frye, Don Little, Mike Newsom, Mike Planey, Rick Wilson and Bill Cutlip participated in the rigorous two-day training at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, W. Va., March 5 and 6. Fire brigade members Tim Mann, Brandon Muncy, Cameron Nichols, Jim Sebroski, Mark Shaffer, Larry Tingler and Rick Turner completed the same training March 19 and 20.
        Mine fire brigades are all volunteer, specially trained teams of miners who function as first responders onsite in the event of a mine fire, a rare occurrence but one of the most dangerous hazards at a mine. Murray Energy Corporation, parent company of the Beallsville-based American Energy Corporation, has fire brigades at all of its mines.
        “We take the safety of our miners very seriously and our fire brigades are a vital part of our safety systems,” said Rob Murray, vice-president of business development and external affairs at Murray Energy Corporation. “We believe our fire brigades are among the best anywhere and we are very proud of the Century Mine fire brigade and their ability to excel at this level.”

<Airport Authority to Land Early Answer for EMA

        Following discussion at the April 6 meeting of Monroe County Commissioners, Gary Cook, president of the airport board, said an answer regarding the proposed move of the Emergency Management Agency to an empty house at the airport would be forthcoming soon after the board meets. He indicated a special meeting may be held.
        Rick Schuerman, EMA coordinator, said he wants to make the house livable before he moves anything. “I’d like to clean it, paint it, do whatever is necessary for our operation and, in turn, renovate the exterior as time warrants, later in the summer,” he said. “I think it’s a win - win situation,” said Schuerman. “There’s a sense of security, there’s someone on the property, plus we'd be renovating the property which would enhance its value.”
        Cook appeared receptive to the idea and no objections were heard from the two other airport board members attending, Charlie Brooks and Raymond Petty. Also at the meeting were Phil Keevert, EMA, and Wayne Forshey, airport support.


<Ring to Serve as Interim Director of Support Services

        Monroe County Public Transit has been awarded  three chunks of money through Ohio’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
        According to Governor Ted Strickland, the transportation projects were selected to receive funding from Ohio’s 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.      
        STIP will fund three ADA accessible full-size Public Transit vans, $126,000; one light Public Transit vehicle, $60,000; and Public Transit maintenance at $13,000.
        The Village of Powhatan Point will receive $122,000 to replace a traffic signal at the intersection of SR-7 and SR-148.
        In Guernsey County, STIP will provide $1,604,000 for resurfacing a portion of I-77.
        The City of Marietta will receive $1,200,000 to resurface 7.6 miles on 54 streets. In Washington County, $85,662 in STIP  funding will be used for the SR-9 Washington Forest Highway project.         

< Mystery Customer, Mystery Money

        It’s a scam!
        If you are one of those who reads only the first paragraph or two of an article ... please don’t stop here.
        Letters accompanied with a cashier’s check have been mailed to a number of area residents. “Kris” received a check in the amount of $4,984 and was given a list of places where the money is supposed to be spent and the amount of the purchase.
        For instance, she is told to spend $50 at Wal-Mart, $40 at Target or Gap and $1,671 at Travelex Worldwide Services plus $50 for service rate, $2,873 at Moneygram International and $50 for Moneygram service charge.
        “Kris” is told that all she has to do is  “... pose as a potential customer and evaluate the effectiveness; efficiency and customer service of the particular establishment ...”
        Sound  good?
        Consumer Service Opinion, Inc., the business in question, even sent her a “Customer Service Evaluation Tool” - a form on which she would evaluate her sales person from poor to above average or excellent.
        The form is stamped with 11 logos including JCPenney, MoneyGram, Wal-Mart, GAP Payless, Best Buy, Old Navy, Travelex, FedEx Target and Burger King.
        According to information on the Snopes website, this is one of many scams used to dupe unsuspecting individuals.
        So, if you’ve received a cashier’s check and an opportunity to go “shopping and have fun!!!” the best thing to do is rip it up and feel good that you were not one of the multitudes who are scammed.
        The wise old saying is true, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

< Obituaries

WESLEY C. McDOUGAL
        Wesley C. McDougal, 97, Woodsfield, formerly of Fish Pot Rd., Clarington, died April 1, 2009, at Monroe County Health Care Center, Woods-field. He was born Dec. 8, 1911 in Clarington, the son of the late John K. and Rebecca J. Haslam McDougal.     Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com

FREEDA LUCAS
        Freeda Lucas, 95, Barnes-ville Health Care Center, formerly of Beallsville, died april 4, 2009, at the Center. She was born Oct. 14, 1913 in Illinois, a daughter of the late Ray and Elizabeth Shriver Moore.
        Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net
ROBERT “BOB” WAIN
Robert “Bob” Wain, 88, Woodsfield Nursing and Rehab Center, formerly of Beallsville, died April 5, 2009, at the Center. He was born April 14, 1920 in East Liverpool, a son of the late Percy and Bessie Mellott Wain.
Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net
EULA KATHRYN STRAUB
Eula Kathryn Straub, 83, went to be with the Lord April 2, 2009, at Doylestown Health Care Center, following a short illness. She was born May 2, 1925, a daughter of George and Clara Kernen.

<Our Readers Write:

Dear Editor,
        I have been reading local articles about the impending school bond issue, which I understand is to be on your ballot in May. Over the past few years, I’ve watched squabbling over the location of new schools and issues that appear to have little to do with quality education and have seen several improvement initiatives rejected.
        I graduated from WHS in 1961, at that time we were in the top percentage of the state for quality education and had labs, libraries, on-site sports, music capability and a safe, well-maintained school. Around the county, other schools had similar resources, but this is no longer the case. I don’t understand the territorial squabbling that’s been occurring among what appears to be three distinct areas, i.e., Beallsville, River and Woodsfield. The day of small rural schools has passed, and a quality education in a new or renovated school should be the paramount consideration of all voters.
        One thing that brought the aluminum plants in the 1950s into the county was a good school system. If there are not good schools in Monroe County, there will never be any chance of attracting new industry and new growth. This ballot issue appears to meet the concerns of everyone and with passage there will be modern and well-equipped schools for the young people and a safe and secure learning environment.
        I will be moving back to Woodsfield later this year and can do this because I am retired so I will be helping to pay for this improvement. The reduction of the district’s share from 52 percent to 37 percent is a remarkable opportunity for the county. Yes, it will slightly increase taxes, but look at the investment in young people and what this could mean for the future of the entire county. The local children and grandchildren of family and friends deserve a good education, and the dedicated teachers deserve a modern, state-of-the-art facility so I would hope county residents will support the new schools and the bond issue needed to obtain them.
        Long time county friends have said to me, “It would be nice if my children could find a good job locally. They would like to return after college and raise their families here, but they cannot because of the sagging local economy and lack of jobs.” It would be great to see a resurgence of local business. I know some of you remember when the county was a thriving place to live and work, and I think it could happen again. Vote yes for this school improvement issue and enhance opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders.
John D. Ogden
Alexandria, Va

<Around the Burnside

             One thing we have left in America is the right to choose.
        As I see it, voters in the Switzerland of Ohio School District have perhaps the most important vote coming up in May. It is probably the most important vote ever for the future development of our school system, the future of our youth and the entire Monroe County.
        If you haven’t guessed what I’m talking about, it is the master plan for improving our school facilities within our school district. Included are six new buildings and renovating one building.
        Yes, I know it will cost money. The state has offered to pay 63 percent of the cost if the district will provide 37 percent. If you are like me, when they start talking in millions it is out of my territory. On the other hand, when I took my tax statement and figured what it will cost me, it’s a different story and not as bad as it sounds.
        You know from my past writing how I plan to vote. I’m not going to try to tell you how to vote. It’s your choice. What I am asking you to do is learn all you can about the Master Plan and the need for the improved facilities and vote. It is important you vote.
        I would suggest you get your information “straight from the horse’s mouth.” I have read some mis-information already, don’t be led astray.
        The central office has a list that answers 26 questions regarding the Bond Issue. I’m sure you could get a copy for the asking and there is also a “The time is Now” folder available at several businesses. They both tell the true story.
        I know it’s difficult for many voters to visit our schools to see the need for improved facilities in our district. Last evening I watched a DVD, I understand made by students in Beallsville, showing why the need for new facilities. At the end of the DVD iarea few scenes from nearby districts that have new facilities. Doesn’t make you very proud of our facilities. I think every voter should see it. The most important thing is  you learn the straight facts and vote the way you decide.
        Through the many years of writing “Around the Burnside” I tend to write what I think, not expecting everyone to agree, as it should be. Many of you have mentioned to me how you enjoy reading about some of the things that happened and how we lived in the “good ole days.” I don’t know about you, but as good as it was I wouldn't want to go back and live like that.
        I was fortunate I attended a two-room school, which meant four grades in each room. This meant twice the class time than a one-room school. We had books, yellow tablets and penny pencils. Later on we got to use a pen. This was it. A long cloak room down on side of the room, no running water, outside restrooms, a coal fired stove. Who would want to go back? On the other hand, considering what was needed we received a decent education.
        It doesn’t seem possible, but this fall it will be 40 years since our family moved to Monroe County. We’ve had two sons, a daughter, two grandsons, and two granddaughters who graduated from Switzerland of Ohio Schools. Presently we have two great-granddaughters attending grade school and a great-grandson, Cooper, who will need to wait a couple or three years to start school. It’s easy to understand why I am interested in the schools. I almost forgot; we have a step-great-granddaughter attending our school.
        I started teaching Vo Ag at Skyvue. My income the first year, according to my income tax return, was $10,909.02 which included 60 days extended service to work with students during the summer. I will say my time teaching at Skyvue was one of the most enjoyable times I’ve taught.
        Over the years the facilities in the district are about the same as they were 40 years ago. OK, we closed several of the smaller schools. I remember several folks really stomping because they were losing “their” school. What happened? Look around.
        Folks in the communities took over the buildings and now have a community center available for use. Actually all are in better shape than when classes was held in them.
        During the middle ’70s the voters approved the building of Swiss Hills Vocational School. This was a big improvement to our school district. Many students were able to learn a trade and many attended further training. Many would not have accomplished what they have without our own vocational school. Probably the reason we built our own was the cost of having students travel to vocational schools in another county. You will remember, the state said you must provide vocational education for your students.
        Later, Woodsfield and Skyvue were combined. A bit of remodeling at Swiss Hills and the construction of temporary buildings, later called trailers, next to Swiss Hills and called Monroe Central. I kind of wondered when they were being constructed why would they need to put 12 inch blocks under a temporary building.
        That’s about it, a temporary building here and there. Our facilities are such, that in the opinion of many, is the poorest in the state. Vinton County once had this distinction but they built a new school.
        To me the whole thing boils down to this:
        A number of meetings were held to determine needs and plans. All were invited to express any thoughts they might have. From these meetings a Master Plan was developed. Our State Representa-tive, Jennifer Garrison, was able to get legislation passed to reduce our share from 52 percent to 37 percent. This is a one time thing. The plan seems to include about everything each area wanted.
        In my opinion, agree or not, it boils down to one thing, what do we want for the future of our youth in the county? I know what I would like for our great-grandkids.
        Study the plan and vote.
        Remember: Giving your best today is a good recipe for a much finer world tomorrow.