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740-472-0734 P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793   monroecountybeacon@sbcglobal.net

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April 8, 2010

Graduation Dates Set

Due to the number of days missed because of weather conditions graduation dates for the schools of the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District have been adjusted by the board of education to the following: Beallsville High, Sunday, June 6, 2 p.m.; Monroe Central, Saturday, June 5, 7 p.m.; River High School, Saturday, June 5, 7 p.m.; Swiss Hills Career Center Certificate Ceremony, Thursday, June 3, 7 p.m. 

All eighth grade graduations will be held on Tuesday, June 8: Beallsville, 6 p.m.; Hannibal, 6 p.m.; Powhatan, 6:30 p.m.; Sardis, 7:30 p.m.; Skyvue, 6 p.m.; Woodsfield, 8 p.m.


Our Readers Write

Dear Editor,

My name is Ruby Eikleberry and I was involved in an automobile accident at the intersection of Sycamore St. and Court St. on March 2, 2010. 

I was the blue car traveling north on Sycamore St. towards the sheriff’s office. I had the green light and it was verified by an unknown witness to the police. The officer was busy directing traffic and the witness left before the officer could get his statement. 

The other insurance company is denying liability coverage because they can’t interview the witness. I am asking that this person or any other witness to the accident contact the Woodsfield Police at 740-472-5771. 

I know a lot of people do not want to get involved in being a witness to an accident, but many innocent people are denied coverage because of conflicting statements of drivers when there are no witnesses. Please call as soon as possible.

Ruby Eikleberry



Dear Editor,

This is in response to comments made by Kathy Singleton in her letter to the editor dated April 1, 2010.

I think if someone feels strongly enough to write a letter to the editor they should get their facts straight.

The correct amount for the current delinquency will be available after the settlement.

As for the procedure for delinquent taxes, following the second half settlement the auditor must advertise any taxes that are a year or year and a half delinquent.

If not paid after advertising the first year, they are certified the second year to the prosecuting attorney by the auditor. Same delinquencies are not advertised again as prohibited by the Ohio Revised Code.

Kathy needs to get her facts straight, accusing me of no accountability in the foreclosure of delinquent taxes. As county treasurer it is not my responsibility to pursue the collection of delinquent taxes. We can only assist the taxpayer by having them enter a contract to stop foreclosure of their property by giving them a set schedule with affordable monthly amount to pay up the delinquent tax. We send out delinquent notices to give them a chance to pay before being advertised.

The prosecuting attorney is not only my attorney but is attorney for all the county. He has a lot on his plate and I am no way saying he should have time for these foreclosures. Mr. Riethmiller has had foreclosure sales in the past. Previous prosecutors have never aggressively sought the collection of the delinquent taxes. A number of counties hire a private attorney to do their collection of delinquent taxes as their budget and financial picture enable them to do this.

Dretac money is used for purposes dealing with delinquent taxes.

Raises!! What’s that? My employees did not receive a raise in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010. The last raise they received was in 2004. They have seen many employees in other departments get raises each of those years. Not only did my employees not get raises but had to take an eight hour a week cut in wages for two months last year. I could say a lot more about this.

Please call me if you have any questions. My phone number is 740-472-1521, or feel free to stop in my office, I will be glad to talk with you.

Judy Gramlich, 

Monroe County Treasurer


Dear Editor,

I have recently become aware of certain defamatory remarks and rumors being made about me insinuating my alleged involvement in certain illegal activities. Although I believe such stupidity hardly justifies any type of response, I feel compelled to protect my name. It was an absurd lie created by a coward, but apparently got eagerly spread by a few without checking for one key factor..the Truth!


Webster defines “Slander” as: “A false and malicious statement injurious to another’s reputation.”

I’m not sure why an individual would completely fabricate a lie then place into motion only to inflict hurt and damage. However, I am willing to pay to try and find out. I’m offering a reward for information leading to the prosecution of the individual responsible for defamation of character and slander. I am prepared to fully defend my reputation against such attacks with legal action.

I invite anyone with specific information about the person(s) spreading slander about me to contact me.

Gary Ricer




What's on the Ballot May 4? 

Ohio's primary election will be held May 4 with absentee balloting ongoing at the Monroe County Board of Elections office, located at the Black Walnut Center, off Moore Ridge Road, Woodsfield. The office is open  9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Vying for the gubernatorial seat are Democratic incumbent Governor Ted Strickland with Yvette McGee Brown running for Lieutenant Governor. Republicans challenging the seats are John Kasich for Governor and Mary Taylor for Lieutenant Governor. In opposition for the Attorney General seat are Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine. 

For Auditor of State: Democrat David Pepper and Republicans Seth A. Morgan and David A. Yost. For Secretary of State: Democrat Maryellen O'Shaughnessy and Republicans Jon Husted and Sandra O'Brien. For Treasurer of State: Democrat Kevin L. Boyce and Republican Josh Mandel. For United States Senator: Democrats Jennifer Brunner and Lee Fisher; Republican Rob Portman; 

For Representative to Congress (6th District): Democrats Jim Renner and Charlie Wilson; Republicans Donald Allen, Bill Johnson and Richard D. Stobbs;

For Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, full term commencing 1/1/11: Democrat Eric Brown; Republican Maureen O'Connor. For Justice of the Supreme Court, full term commencing 1/1/11: Democrat Mary Jane Trapp and Republican Judith Ann Lanzinger. For Justice of the Supreme Court, full term commencing 1/2/11: Republican Paul E. Pfeifer with no Democratic opposition. For Judge of Court of Appeals (7th District), full term commencing 2/9/11: Democrat Gene Donofrio with no Republican opposition. For Member of State Central Committee, Man (20th District): Democrats Darrell Lear, William E. Moore and Anthony Vernell; Republicans Pete Couladis, Patrick Hennessey and Bruce E. Kelbaugh. For Member of State Central Committee, Woman (20th District): Democrats Susan Mitchell, Jacqueline J. Rothschuh and Judy Wray; Republicans Marilyn K. Ashcraft and Rebecca J. Khune. For State Representative (93rd District): Democrats Frank D. Fleischer and Linda Secrest; Republican: Andy Thompson. For the Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, full term commencing 1/1/11: no declaration of candidacy filed for either party.

For County Commissioner, full term commencing 1/1/11 : Democrat incumbent John V. Pyles; Republican James R. Williams. For Monroe County Auditor: Democrat incumbent Pandora J. Neuhart; no Republican opposition. For County Coroner, unexpired term ending 1/7/2013: No declaration from either party.

Two state issues are on the ballot. Issue 1: Proposed constitutional amendment to extend the Ohio Third Frontier Program by authorizing the issuance of additional general obligation bonds to promote economic growth. Issue 2: Proposed constitutional amendment to change the location of the Columbus casino facility authorized by previous statewide vote. Both issues will be found in their entirety as an insert for three weeks in the Monroe County Beacon beginning in the April 15 issue. 


Hands have been busy as the Monroe County Community Garden project continues with 20 raised beds being readied for planting. Shown at the site where the garden plots will be are, from left, are: Barb Carslund, co-chair of the community garden project; Marjorie Mann, of Rolling Hills Ruritan Club; Joyce Wiggins, Monroe County Historical Society; Sue Moose and Kassie Anderson, WES Garden Club advisors and John Lusk of the Farm Bureau. In the background are Mark Gallagher and Steve Riley of the Monroe County Park District.          
Photo by Martha Ackerman

Community Garden Underway

by Martha Ackerman
General Manager/Editor

Have you always wanted to have a garden, but didn't have the space or the right soil mix to be successful? Have you ever wanted to grow your own fresh vegetables? Has plowing up a plot kept you from having a garden?

These are a few questions asked by organizers of Monroe County Community Garden, which is located behind the Parry Museum, Eastern Avenue, Woodsfield.  There are 20 4x12’ raised beds available. Woodsfield Elementary School's Garden Club, with advisors Sue Moose and Kassie Anderson, will be planting and caring for two of the plots.

It was an idea that took root months ago when Nan McBurney spoke at a Woodsfield Garden Club meeting, noted co-chair Sarah Kraft. Also co-chairing the project is Barb Carslund, with McBurney as treasurer.

According to Kraft, Monroe County's community garden is patterned after St. Clairsville's  40-plot garden. It's a city project there with St. Clairsville providing the funds to Master Gardeners, who oversee the community garden project.

The wood for the raised beds was delivered to Swiss Hills March 31. Students in the Construction Trades I class with their instructor Bob Dougherty are building the beds which will be laid out in the near future.

Packets containing applications, liability release forms, garden rules and information regarding the date, time and place for the first meeting can be picked up 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Monroe County OSU Extension Office, located in the courthouse. There is a small fee associated with reserving the raised beds.

The project is proceeding, in part, through a $250 donation by the Farm Bureau and a $500 donation from Safe Auto and $250 from Rolling Hills Ruritan. Mark Gallagher and Steve Riley of the Monroe County Park District put in the water hydrant, which will be used to water the beds. Green Valley Co-op donated the hydrant and the weed killer.

If you're interested in getting your hands a little dirty, feeling the satisfaction and delight one feels as each seed pops through the ground or those vegetable plants set buds, stop in at the extension office and pick up a packet. Remember there are a limited number of raised beds available.

Around the Burnside  

If you don't have a sense of humor, you probably don't have any sense at all.

Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

Can you believe Americans use enough toilet paper each year to reach to the sun and back? Funny the useless information you can pick up here and there. How many people have asked you how much toilet paper is used in America?

The only thing I worry about is there is a good supply when I go to the men’s room. We never worried when I was a kid how long the Sears & Roebuck would reach, we had a Montgomery Ward in reserve. This worked until they got to putting so many slick pages in their catalogs, even sale catalogs worked.

On the other hand, who would have the time to figure out how much toilet paper we use, or maybe dumb enough to write about it? Then again, I think I saw a blurb on TV if you had a question and wanted an answer you could text a number and get the answer. Only 99 cents, I think. I’m sure glad I didn’t have a cell phone when I was in high school.

Isn’t it kind of strange how things happen or work? For example, when we have a few warm days and it’s the time of year when folks are traveling more, the price of gasoline goes up. On the other hand, when cold weather rolls in the gas that operates your furnace keeping you warm costs more and more, even after your gas company had told you that you could get your gas cheaper if you buy from another gas company. Did someone say between a rock and a hard place?

Well, the high school basketball season is over except maybe an All-Star game or two. Generally speaking the boys tournament this year was one of the better ones. I had hoped to watch the Shadyside team play. Then I wondered. The team that stopped the Shadyside trip to Columbus was clobbered their first game. They were beaten by 37 points which was only a few points less than the widest margin of victory in Class 4.

Before I forget it, you just can’t win. Thursday it was cool and rainy with the wind blowing to make not the most pleasant weather. It had almost stopped by the time the final game was over. On the way back to our motel we ordered a 14 inch pizza and were ready to pig out and watch TV.

I woke up around 5 a.m. and peeked out the window. There it was. Our car was covered with snow. I didn’t say anything and went back to bed. When we got ready and headed for the “Schott” we found the streets slushy and ice in many places. I will say this; soon after we arrived they started spreading salt with a bunch of different spreaders.

By the time normal folks started arriving, the ice was melted on all the walks set around the building. I understand folks around here were not so lucky and didn’t get any snow. Ha.

I enjoy basketball but I also enjoy watching people. Believe me, you can observe all kinds at the state tournament. I saw a couple of boys, I think, dressed in a Spider Man’s outfit from head to toe. That would be a fun outfit to wear while watching the game.

Girls in the cold rainy weather wearing short, shorts and no jackets. I sat in the car with the heater blowing. We had white outs, both sides, green outs, and probably out, outs.

The most unusual thing I observed in one cheering section was Jesus, that’s right, Jesus. Someone, I’m not sure if a boy or girl, had a wig and beard and was wearing a robe. Every once in a while he would spread his arms wide. The rather unusual thing was the cheering section of students chanted, “We got Jesus, We got Jesus,” several times. They only chanted this once so maybe someone stopped them. Jesus, however, kept putting his arms out wide several times.

Now I’m not sure if Jesus helped them or not but they won their first game. He must of traded places with you know who during the second game or they got clobbered about right.

A green out happened the first game on Friday when the Green Wave played the Green Bears, Newark Catholic and Ottawa Hills. The Green Wave rolled over the Green Bears by 12 points.

I learned before the game that some long time friends were really involved with Newark Catholic. Two sons and grandsons on the team. This caused me to want them to win. They were rated number one in the state. After I watched the blow-out game I wondered what would happen in the final game.

Before the championship game I met my friends who were in our area and we had a good visit, only short. As happens Newark Catholic lost by seven, but it was not lack of effort. They played good basketball but lost. I know just how they felt as I went through the same thing a couple of years with the Golden Hawks.

The team played good basketball; however, this was not the only thing that really impressed me. I thought their student cheering section was one of the best, well behaved group and the team did something that made me proud of them.

When the National Anthem was played all of the players and cheerleaders held their hand over their heart. I couldn’t tell for sure but I think the Ottawa team did the same. I only saw three other players do this during the playing of the anthem. Look around and you see some in the crowd with hats on, some talking and laughing and a few old folks with their hand over their heart. A nut with a camera went walking across center court while the kids were paying honor to our country and the anthem being played.

I can’t help it; I think this is one of the problems today. We have little respect for a lot of things. We tend to forget the Armed Forces that are paying with their lives so we can enjoy things such as the boys’ state tournament. I was really proud of these young folks.

No one ever says “It’s only a game” when their team is winning.

Church services are also held after Easter.


Monroe County Sheriff’s officer Joe Kress escorts Charlie Leroy Russell from the courthouse after his arraignment March 30. Russell appeared before Judge Jim Peters, who determined there was reasonable cause for Russell to be bound over to the Grand Jury.       Photo by Taylor Abbott  

Alleged Plan Unfolds in Courthouse Testimony

by Taylor Abbott
Staff Writer

Charles Leroy Russell, Wolf Pen Road, went before Judge James Peters in Monroe County Court on Tuesday,  March 30. Details of his alleged plans unfolded during the proceedings.

Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Riethmiller called upon Monroe County Deputy Tracy Truax to testify before the court. In his testimony, Truax said that Russell was in possession of dangerous ordnance. 

“We recovered four different types of chemicals that can be used in the manufacture of explosive devices when mixed,” said Truax.

According to Truax, the chemicals are legal to possess but can be mixed to create an explosive compound. 

Riethmiller asked Truax to specify the types of items recovered from Russell’s property.

“After a search of the home, we found four cast iron hand grenades, 90 blasting caps, milling equipment, drill press, metal lathe, a .22 caliber Ruger handgun and two homemade suppressors with one attached to the weapon. Russell had the machinery in his home to manufacture the suppressors. Metal shavings were found around the machinery,” said Truax. 

Mark Morrison, public defender for Russell, requested the name of the confidential informant. After disclosing the man’s identity, Truax testified that the informant had been facing previous charges of underage consumption and was being cooperative with authorities.

According to Truax, “The informant was at Russell’s home. He said that they had smoked marijuana together and had an interest in knives. It was there Russell told him that he had enough explosives and knowledge to blow up the courthouse. The informant also reported that Russell had been studying the structure of the courthouse.”

“Were any of the chemicals recovered from Mr. Russell’s home mixed together in any way?” asked Morrison.

Truax answered, “There were no chemicals found mixed together. The chemicals were stored in separate containers in Russell’s home. We also recovered two books. One was entitled The Anarchist Cookbook. The other book detailed pyrotechnics.”

In regard to the hand grenades found in the home, Morrison asked if they could be detonated using the blasting caps found.

“We found the grenades to be empty but found them threaded and sealed with a pipe plug. A blasting cap could be used to detonate the device but I am no expert on explosives,” said Truax.

“Who identified these chemicals and explosive devices?” asked Morrison.

Truax responded, “We have an explosives expert that works for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. He was present during the search of the home and identified the chemicals and explosive devices found in the home. He was also able to identify the homemade suppressors found. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with the FBI, assisted the Sheriff’s Office on March 24 after the second search warrant was issued.”

According to Truax, the chemicals found in Russell’s home were taken by AT officials to a remote area along State Route 800 and destroyed.

Judge Peters heard testimony and ruled that there was probable cause. He bound Russell over to the Grand Jury and recessed.  

Russell would not comment when asked if he was planning to bomb the Monroe County Courthouse. 

Prior to Russell’s latest arrest, he pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree felony count of possession of dangerous ordnance in 2003. Records from the Monroe County Clerk of Courts office show that he spent 32 days in jail because of the felony. Following his release, Russell was placed on probation for three years and ordered to undergo an immediate mental evaluation.

Russell currently faces four counts of possession of dangerous ordnance and five counts of illegal manufacture or process of explosives in Monroe County

Russell's bond was set at $300,000 and is currently being held at the Noble County Jail.  


Neil F. Graham, 63, 100 Young St., Woodsfield, died March 30, 2010 at Barnesville Hospital. He was born April 6, 1946 at Barnesville, a son of the late Dorsey and Ella Weckbacher Graham.

He was a construction worker and a member of the Ohio Operating Engineers Local #18, Akron. He was also a former employee of Texas Eastern Berne Station near Lewisville. He was a member of the Woodsfield Christian Church, a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam Era; a member of Stafford Lodge #300, F & A.M. and a member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Cambridge.

Surviving are his wife, Mary Lee Williamson Graham, whom he married Nov. 7, 1981; a sister, Mildred Piatt of Woodsfield; two brothers, Billy (Shirley) Graham of Chardon, Ronnie (Janet) Graham of Graysville; and a brother-in-law, Don Davis of Florida.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Stuart Graham and Harry Graham; and a sister, Betty Davis.

Friends were received April 1 at Watters Funeral Home, Woodsfield, where funeral services were held April 2, with Minister Scott Chambers and Rev. Richard Wilson officiating. Burial followed in Oaklawn Cemetery, Woodsfield.

Masonic services were held April 1 at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Woodsfield Christian Church, P.O. Box 581, Woodsfield, OH or to the Monroe County Library, 96 Home Ave., Woodsfield, OH.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com.