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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 $2 ($2.50 if the issue is over 3 months old) with date of paper requested, your name and address to P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793 and we will send you a paper.

April 21, 2011

An Open House is set for April 28, 4 to 6 p.m., to showcase the businesses and organizations housed in the old Monroe Bank Building, located adjacent to the Monroe County Courthouse.  Shown, from left, are: Alana Hendershot, Mechelle VanDyne and Lisa Matz of Medi Home Health and Hospice; Nikki Baker, Heritage Financial and Investment Services; Tammy Jones, Monroe Soil and Water; Sylvia Bowen, Tri-County Help Center; and Ruth Workman, Monroe County Chamber and CIC. Also featured will be American Legion Post 87.        
Photo by Martha Ackerman

Open House Set for April 28

By Martha Ackerman

Hosted by the Monroe Coun-ty Chamber of Commerce, an open house is being planned for those businesses and agencies housed in the old Monroe Bank Building, located adjacent to the Monroe County Court-house. Members of the businesses and organizations will be on hand April 28, from 4 to 6 p.m. to acquaint visitors with their respective offices.

Opening their doors to the public will be American Legion Post 87, Heritage Financial and Investment Services, Monroe County Chamber of Com-merce, Monroe County Com-munity Improvement Corpora-tion, Medi Home Health and Hospice, Monroe Soil and Water Conservation and Tri County Help Center. Refresh-ments will be served in the Octagon Room at the top of the building. If you’ve never been in this room, the view is wonderful.

Financial Advisor Nikki Baker, CFP®, ChFC, owner of Heritage Financial and Investment Services, LLC, will be celebrating the grand opening of her new office on the third floor, Suite 22 , of the historic building. Baker will be offering information on how to plan for retirement and investments for those already retired, investment opportunities for CD buyers and also strategies for maximizing and understanding Social Security benefits. She will also have information for those interested in opening 529 College Savings Accounts and much more. Securities are offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC.

The Monroe County Cham-ber of Commerce is a countywide organization to help area businesses. “We provide information by phone, in person, e-mail or on the website,” said Ruth Workman, Chamber secretary. “We provide maps, relocation information, phone books, brochures on area businesses and events, a website with calendar information and information on our Chamber members. We have a bi-monthly newsletter showcasing new and existing businesses as well as area events. The Chamber holds ribbon cuttings to welcome new businesses, hosts Business After Hours and open houses. Our office is located on the first floor of the Monroe Bank Building with the entrance on the alley between the bank and the courthouse.”

The Monroe County Community Improvement Corporation processes Revolving Loan and Micro Loan funds for the county. These funds are provided by the State of Ohio Department of Development. Loans are available for new and existing businesses in Monroe County. The CIC supports county businesses and helps refer callers to pertinent phone numbers and locations. The office is located within the Chamber office on the first floor of the Monroe Bank Building.

Medi Home Health and Hospice has a skilled professional staff trained to provide comprehensive care to address patient specific needs in the comfort of their own homes. The team includes skilled nursing, enterstomal/ wound care, diabetic information, physical therapy, speech  language pathology, diet information, medical social worker and home health aides. Medi Hospice provides a specialized program of care for patients and their families who are facing life-limiting illnesses.

Monroe Soil and Water Conservation District was formed in 1943 as a result of the Dust Bowl. For the past 68 years, the district has served the conservation needs of Monroe County landowners. The district is governed by five volunteer board members serving staggered three-year terms. Currently there are two employees who work in the areas of forestry, wildlife, technical assistance and education. In 2008, the Monroe SWCD moved to the former Monroe Bank Building. “Our office is located on the third floor and we are eager to continue to working with landowners in the county,” said Tammy Jones, program manager.

Sylvia Bowen will be on hand at Tri-County Help Center. The Help Center provides professional counseling along with crisis intervention, shelter, sexual assault programs, advocacy, community education and much more to residents of Monroe, Belmont and Harrison counties, regardless of income.

Members of American Legion Post 87 will also be available to provide visitors with information.

This open house is a great chance for visitors to learn more about the various businesses and organizations housed in the former Monroe Bank Building, an historic landmark. The Monroe County Bank was organized in 1872 and operated under that name for two years. Then, according to Stanley and Theresa Maienknecht’s Monroe County, Ohio: A History, Samuel L. Mooney (1830-1916) reorganized, renamed it the Monroe Bank and became its first president.

Gary Rubel is the present owner and has been refurbishing the building. 

~ Bullock Oriole Visits Southeastern Ohio ~

Approximately 100 people have flocked to the Marty and Bob Hines residence, off SR800 south of Woodsfield, to see this bird, which is making a rare appearance in Ohio. It’s usual habitat is west of the Mississippi. More in next week’s Beacon.  

Around the Burnside    

You will have more things to count if you don’t stop to count them.

If you don’t like the way life looks, change the way you look at life.

Happy day! The sun is shining bright, the grass is growing and I plan to mow our lawn if I can’t think of something to change my mind. I do have to wait until it dries.

I guess maybe it’s because I taught school and have an interest in what’s going on, I like to read the board news that includes concerns folks have regarding our district building program for the new schools. You hear things and sometimes wonder is it true or maybe how can that be true?

You know it would be interesting after all the schools are completed and the students are attending the new facilities for a time to dig out and read some of the board news as the building program was being done. I would guess our district will be the envy of a number of districts across the state.

The basketball season is over for another year except the pros. I’m not into the pro basketball games. In fact, I would as soon watch grass grow as watch a pro basketball game. This brings up a problem. I really spent a lot of my time this year in my easy chair watching college basketball games. I didn’t miss any NCIS programs however. My problem now is what programs do we watch now that the season is over? I do get a bit tired of watching NCIS reruns. Big Ten has a good many college sports telecast but they do not carry enough OSU games.

This reminds me. I turned to an Ohio State baseball game the other week and Derek Hannahs, Mitch’s son, was playing second base. This should perk up some interest. There is also a young man from Fort Frye playing shortstop.

I got to see a smartboard for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Scared me for a second or two. A great big white thing hanging on the wall where a blackboard normally is placed. It had a bunch of knobs and things along the bottom edge and a big old thing out from the wall above it. I think maybe to project information on the smartboard. Quite a rig.

I know the smartboard or white board is one of the technology outfits that gives the teacher a chance to do a better job. I’m sure it probably  lives up to all expectations.

I know I’m old fashioned and maybe set in my ways, but I sure am glad I didn’t have one of those hanging on my classroom wall when I was teaching although it may have improved my teaching. I doubt if I would have been able to operate the thing. What I taught I was able to scribble on the blackboard. It’s tough to teach an old dog new tricks.

As a passing thought, I think maybe if there was a smartboard, like we had in our classroom at Fairview, hanging beside the smartboard today it might increase its value even if many students would ask “What’s that?”

Well, that’s done! The first mowing of the lawn. It wasn’t without some problems to get underway. I guess maybe it was because I was such a wise guy about mowing lawns.

First off our mower wouldn’t start. I would have thought after the orange tune-up I would not have any problems. Wrong! I pulled our car up near the mower; after a few words of encouragement it started after charging the battery a while. I remembered I needed to be perched on the seat to get it started. What I forgot was I needed to be on the seat to keep it running. A safety feature.

I started the mower and climbed off and the mower stopped running. A safety feature. I did this about three times and a few more words of encouragement and it dawned on me what was happening. So I hung up the jumper cable, backed the car out of the way, started the mower, backed out of our little building and was off to mowing grass.

Everything was going fine until I tried to back up. When I tried the engine started to quit. I wondered why because I had backed out of our building by pressing on the bottom of the gas feed or whatever it is that makes it go. After trying to back up a few times I did remember I needed to push a red button that flashes to allow me to back u p while the blades are operating. Another safety feature. I pushed the button, no problem I was off to mowing grass.

Now, I have a good friend that could take care of the safety features in about 10 minutes or less. I don’t think I’ll bother him now that I finally remembered all of this. Happy mowing.

People with horse sense know when to say nay.

There’s still room in church on Easter Sunday.

Our Readers Write

Dear Editor,

Five million Ohioans agree: organ donation saves lives. Donate Life Month is a perfect time to announce that there are now more than five million registered organ and tissue donors in the Ohio Donor Registry! This achievement makes it clear that Ohioans understand the need for donors and are starting to take action.

I would like to thank each and every licensed driver or state I.D. holder who has registered as a donor! Your pledge to give life after death provides hope to the 110,000 Americans - including 3,300 Ohioans - waiting on a life-saving organ transplant.

For those who have not signed up yet, we hope you will join our movement to give the “Gift of Life”. By joining the Ohio Donor Registry, you have the potential to save eight lives through organ donation and enhance up to 50 lives through tissue donation. Donation will not affect funeral plans, there is no cost to donate and your medical care will never be compromised because of your status as a donor.

Your action can help us prevent 18 men, women and children from dying every day when an organ transplant doesn’t come in time. One Ohioan dies every other day while waiting.

Signing up is easy. You can register at your local BMV, go online to www.lifelineofohio.org. or call 800-525-5667 to register through a paper form.

Be a part of the movement to save lives in Ohio! Register today as an organ and tissue donor.

Kent Holloway, CEO

Lifeline of Ohio, Columbus


Dear Editor,

This letter to the editor is in response to the letter in last week’s Beacon regarding the Know Show Easter Egg Hunt.

When I started the Easter Egg Hunt three years ago we purchased 500 eggs and put candy and prize slips in the eggs and let the kids hunt for them. When the prize slips were turned in some children got two prizes and some got 20 prizes, which seemed unfair; some kids are older or faster and can collect more eggs, also some parents cheated and gave their children blank pieces of paper to turn in for prizes, so we ran out of our counted prizes. In discussing this at our board meeting we decided we needed to be more fair and give all the children equal prizes, so it was suggested to follow the way one of the local churches does their Easter Egg Hunt and have the children turn in their eggs and give them bags of goodies that had equal prizes. Also we would save money by not having to purchase 500 eggs each year. We do have to take time to bag up 250 bags to make sure we have one for each child.

We do this Easter Egg Hunt as a community function and really try to make it as fair as possible but evidently not everyone agrees. We spend hard earned money from both the Chamber and Kiwanis Club in putting this event on each year. Now what do we do? Stop the Easter Egg Hunt altogether and then no one gets anything, when all we are trying to do is make it fun for the kids. Sometimes you wonder if it is even worth it to continue community events; we get criticized because we don’t use judges for the Christmas Window Decorating contest and let the community vote but then get criticized because we do use judges for the Christmas Festival Parade. As one Chamber board member stated “No good deed goes unpunished.”

The Monroe Chamber



~ Cameron Street Floods During April 16 Downpour ~

The steady downpour April 16 brought high water and flooding to Monroe County. This picture shows the water covering parts of Main Street, Cameron. While this photo was being taken, County employees were contemplating the best way to get equipment through to a repair a slip on CR5, Atkinson Run. According to Bruce Jones, county superintendent, equipment was taken through the water and the mudslide cleaned from CR5. He also said the county lost half the road on a portion of CR15, Witten Creek Road. Piling will be installed to correct the damage. Ackerman Photo

The Beacon Tours Ormet

by Martha Ackerman
Part 2 of a Series

“The reason this plant is here and is competitive is the electricity rates,” said Griffin. “Power costs have driven some smelters out of business.” Ormet gets its power from AEP. “We have a 10 year contract that provides us with a competitive rate over the term of the contract.” That power contract went into effect in 2010. “Ormet uses the equivalent of the city of Pittsburgh 24/7. We’re largest electrical load that AEP has in its entire company through all the states..”

Electricity and manpower are essential in making aluminum. The current labor contract was extended a year and half ago and expires on May 31. Does Griffin think new contract is in sight? “We work together,” said Griffin. “I’m very confident both sides will listen to each other and we will reach a good resolution that is good for everybody. I’m confident. 

“There have been people that have come to me and said that they have worked at Ormet for 25 years and did not want to come to work but they like it now. I’ve had a lot of people say that. It’s so simple,” said Griffin. “Treat people fairly and honestly and they respond. I don’t know why people didn’t get it in the past; it’s so simple, but people didn’t get it. Now instead of the effort going into disagreeing  it’s going into making this place a viable business. The results show it; the efficiency is the highest since 1958. We have the lowest power consumption in the history of the plant. It all means a lower cost of operating that helps us survive.”

Results have been extremely positive for the plant. Every year new records for efficiency standards are broken. “We’re probably one of the most efficient plants in the U.S. We have 1958 technology and doing better than just about any plant in the U.S. on a consistent basis. It hasn’t been investment in new equipment; it’s been 100 percent of people working together and doing a good job. That’s been the key. It’s the working relationship with the Steelworkers. We work through the problems. It’s not a perfect world but people understand when a change has to be made. We had to shut down a couple potlines in 2009 because of external circumstances, but everybody understood.” Changes were made in June 2007 with three new officers in the company: Mike Tanchuk, CEO and president; James Riley, CFO and Griffin as the vice-president of operations. Other than two other people, the plant manager and controller, everyone is essentially the same, noted Griffin. No new executive personnel have been brought in. Openness and talking about things brought about changes. “We’ve got to get 95 percent of the people who want to be here. We tell them the changes we have to make and this is the reason why. Everybody understands the business case now. Before it was don’t ask questions, just do it; now there is lots of explaining done and people understand. That wasn’t done in the past.

“There have been dramatic changes over the past three years,” continued Griffin. “Safety is very important. We’ve dramatically reduced the number of serious injuries. We have a great safety committee in place consisting of a joint committee of management and union that functions very well. They solve problems. People didn’t do that in the past. The safety committee does audits, talks to people, finds the problems and solves them and then fixes them. Safety is a big concern. The committee started with a documented list of thousands of issues. That list is now small and we get 95 percent of them completed. If something is unsafe and it gets fixed, it gives union safety reps  credibility.”

Read more on Beacon’s Ormet tour in upcoming editions.

There has been some profit sharing in the plant as the company does well, there is a profit sharing program that has had payouts in the past. According to Griffin, everybody has the potential to earn above the base wages as the plant does well. “In my mind money is not a huge motivator,” he said. “It’s short term; if someone hates their job, it’s not going to matter what you pay them.”

In 2010 Ormet utilized $48.8 million to fund pension and VEBA (Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Association) liabilities.

“Electricity is such a key thing for us and is a primary reason why are we are here and operating competitively. There is nothing we can do to make our aluminum better than that made in other countries.” Ormet competes pound-for-pound in the world commodity market. The plants that stay in business are those that can produce aluminum economically to compete in the world market, noted Griffin. Companies survive that can produce and sell aluminum at a profit.

“Our power contract with AEP helped us survive through difficult times and we scaled right back up to full capacity,” noted Griffin. “We tend to sell our metal for forward prices.” Ormet metal is sold to metal companies and commodities traders. “We deal in a world market. Little Hannibal has to deal with commodities in the world market. We do a lot of business in China. We buy a lot of raw materials in China, which is just becoming an importer of aluminum because the increased cost of electricity in that country.

In a typical day, Ormet uses three million pounds of alumina, the white powdery raw material substance used to make aluminum, and 800,000 pounds of carbon block from China. From that Ormet produces 1.6 million pounds of molten aluminum per day. The only product Ormet produces is 1500 pound sows, which are shipped by truck and barge. All metal is remelted by other manufacturers to make the aluminum products. Ormet makes no finished products in Hannibal.

Only about .4 percent of total production is lost to scrap. It is recycled and processed. Previously Ormet used to have more scrap, around 400,000 pounds of scrap a day which was lost value. Now Ormet’s scrap ranges from six-10,000 pounds a day versus the 400,000 pounds previously when there was a big hit in loss of value. “It all has to do the people in the plant. It was no new investment in equipment, just people figuring out new and better ways to do the job. This plant used to keep an entire other business running in scrap but now it is minimal.

“We are now $19 million a year favorable on the cost side because what people have done here. The plant is running that more efficiently,” said Griffin. It hasn’t come from a reduction in labor. It’s been in getting efficient and has come from being smart how we use our labor, along with electricity contract.

Griffin has 28 years experience in the aluminum industry. He started in an aluminum smelter just out of college. He worked his way up through different jobs and has done most of the jobs. He knows the industry from the ground up.  He believes he is on job number 29 in his career, some in the same plant with promotions. “It’s all been fun,” he said.

During an extensive tour of Ormet, we visited the rectifier facility that changes AC into DC to power the pots. “It’s the heart and the brain of the facility,” said Griffin, who introduced Rodney Brown, Jack Crihfield, Tim Buegel and Kerry LeMasters. “These guys do an incredible job with equipment that is over 50 years old,” said the vice-president.

A huge dry scrubber system, monitored in a control room 24/7, keeps the plant 50 percent below minimum environmental standards. Our current permit limit is 2.7 and we are running at 1.4, noted Griffin. Bruce Blackstone of Lewisville was in the control room as we toured the plant. He was training Aaron Harmon of New Matamoras. 

In prior years in addition to the metal sows, billets were made and sold. According to Griffin, that portion of the plant was deemed not profitable and shut down. Employees were moved to other positions within the plant. 

Griffin explained that the metal in the yard is all sold through locked in contracts “We’re not gambling with the market,” he added.

Ormet has survived the bad times and the present administrators are looking forward to a productive future at the Hannibal facility. It is a credit to Ormet’s administration and its employees that in a time in this country when unemployment rates are at their highest and the country’s outlook is not really that favorable, there are over 1,000 men and women going to work at good paying jobs in Monroe County, Ohio.


Mike Griffin, vice-president of operations at Ormet’s Hannibal facility, shows the pot control panel. The panel  controls the pot voltage and raw material feed to maximize production efficiency.

Photo by Martha Ackerman





■  4-21 Classifieds



Dorothy O. Bolon, 93, passed away April 11, 2011 at Mt. Carmel East Hospital. She was born at Cranes Nest, Woodsfield, a daughter of the late Fred and Ella Holtsclaw.

She was a longtime member of Christ United Methodist Church and the Mary-Martha Circle; member OSU Mothers’ Club; member of Epworth Park Cottage Owners Association in Bethesda for over 60 years.

Surviving are children, Betty (Ralph) Taylor, John (Stacey) Bolon, Judith (George) Leshy, Nancy Curtner; grandchildren, Mike, Tina (Michael), Jeanetta (Bob) Julie (Bill), Jennifer (Eric), Melinda (Brian), Mat-thew (Mary Ann), Cole, Zane; 17 great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Lewis D. Bolon.

Funeral service was held April 14 at Christ United Methodist Church, Columbus, with Rev. Glenn Schwerdtfeger and Rev. Angie Sherer officiating. Burial was in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Columbus.

Memorial contributions may be made to Mt. Carmel Hospice or Christ United Methodist Church, 1480 Zettler Rd., Columbus

Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Columbus.


Norma Hill Colvin, 96, Antioch, died April 17, 2011. Calling hours are 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. April 21; service April 22, at 1 p.m. at Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield. www.bauerturner.com 

Henry Taylor Winland, 87, 40470 Sandbar Rd., Lewisville (Sycamore Valley community) died April 12, 2011 at the V.A. Medical Center in Huntington, W.Va. He was born Sept. 22, 1923 at Zanesville, a son of the late Hiram H. and Lillian Hamler Winland.

He was a retired dairy farmer, a U.S. Army veteran of WWII and a faithful member of the Hines Chapel Church of Christ near Sycamore Valley. He was also a member of the National Farmers Association; the National Rifleman’s Association; a former director of the Black Walnut Festival; and a member of the Old Iron Power Club.

He enjoyed woodworking and built the world’s largest lathe-turned rolling pin which is in the Guinness Book of World Records. He also enjoyed spending time with his family, telling stories, hunting and flying ultra-light airplanes.

Surviving are his wife of 65 years, Mary R. Gosling Winland, whom he married on March 24, 1946; four sons, Wayne Winland, Donald Winland, Tom (Peg) Winland,  Jeff (Donna) Winland, all of Sycamore Valley; 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two daughters-in-law, Karen Winland and Debbie Winland.

Friends were received April 15 at Watters Funeral Home, Woodsfield, where funeral services were held April 16, with Vernon Crum officiating. Burial followed in Hines Chapel Cemetery near Sycamore Valley, with full military graveside services. 

John W. Lumbatis, 68, Lewisville, formerly of Howard, passed away April 12, 2011 at Ohio Valley Medical Center, Wheeling, W.Va., surrounded by his family, after a short battle with lung cancer. He was born Oct. 16, 1942 in Bath, a son of Alice McGarry Lumbatis of Howard, and the late Willard Earl Lumbatis.

He was a retired mechanic for the Knox County Highway Department and was a U.S. Air Force veteran. He was an employee of the Monroe County Beacon, worked as a driver for the Monroe County Care Center and was an oilfield worker.

Surviving, in addition to his mother, are his wife, Carol Garinger Lumbatis of Lewisville, whom he married in 1962; children, Richard (Deb) Lumbatis of Nellie, Douglas (Marie) Lumbatis of Howard, Mark (Victoria) Lumbatis of Utica, Melanie (Danny) Bass of Dayton, Texas; a brother, Edward (Sue) Lumbatis of Wisconsin; 18 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Friends were received April 14 at Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield, where services were held April 15, with Gene Lilly officiating. Burial was in Friendship Cemetery, Lewisville.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Disabled American Veterans, Attn.: Gift Processing, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.

Condolences may be expressed at www.bauerturner.com

Irma L. Lucas, 60, Woodsfield, died April 12, 2011 at Bellaire Hospital. She was born May 26, 1950 in East Liverpool, a daughter of the late Everett and Esther Alford.

Surviving are her husband of 29 years, Charles T. Lucas of Woodsfield; three children, Jeff Hutchison of Woodsfield, Trisha Necessary of Powhatan Point, Terri Cecil of Lewisville; eight grandchildren, Jodi, Mia, Jeffery, Duane, Charlie, Mariah, Caleb, Garren; several sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews.

Memorial services were held April 14, 2011 at Lewisville Community Center for family and friends.

Arrangements by Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield. Burial at the convenience of the family.

Condolences may be expressed at:www.bauerturner.com

Carl Book, 90, Beallsville, died April 17, 2011. Harper Funeral Home, Beallsville.