740-472-0734 < 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.
Feb. 12, 2009
Meeting for School Levy Held at Beallsville
“The most important day is not election day - it’s the day after when we
say, ‘We passed the levy, how will we spend the money’ or ‘the levy failed,
what do we do now?’” said Mike Shoemaker, director, Ohio School Facilities
Commission. He assured attendees that new buildings will be second to none.
“You have a sweetheart deal in front of you,” he said, “Sixty-seven percent
paid.” He noted that, “Some say there might be a better deal down the road.
There won’t be. Prices go up every year.”
Above, Shoemaker describes something
he’d like to see happen. “I’d like to have a t-shirt burning,” he said,
raising his hands as if stretching forth a t-shirt. “The t-shirt would
be one of those that say, ‘my school has wheels’.”
Speaking to about 120 adults, plus several students, with regard to a
proposed school bond levy were, seated: Rita Walters, Powhatan teacher and
member of the Switzerland of Ohio Education Association; Attorney Jason Yoss,
levy committee member and Liz Gramlich, Ohio Association of Public School
Employees. Standing from left are, Dave Caldwell, Beallsville High School
teacher and coach; Jay Circosta, Monroe Central High School counselor and
coach; Mike Shoemaker, director, Ohio School Facilities Commission;
Mike Flannery, River High School teacher and coach; Larry Elliott,
superintendent, Switzerland of Ohio School District and Ryan Caldwell,
principal, Beallsville High School. State Rep. Jennifer Garrison, who
pushed for legislation in order for the district to pay a reduced portion
construction cost, was lead speaker and unable to stay for the remainder of
the meeting due to a commitment in Columbus. The meeting was held Feb. 9
beginning at 11 a.m. at Beallsville High School. The school district is
asking voters to approve an 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.
Photos by Arlean Selvy
by Arlean Selvy
If a picture is worth a thousand
words, then a compelling eight-minute video shown at Beallsville Monday
morning was an encyclopedia of information. The presentation pointed out
dismal details of the desperate condition of our schools here in the
Switzerland of Ohio school district.
We were shown furnace rooms right out
of a horror movie, pipes exposed in ceiling and wall areas due to missing
ceiling tiles and holes, cracked structures and structures with
missing bricks, floors that look like patchwork quilts of many colors. We
were even shown restrooms that we‘d never allow our children to use if they
were anywhere else.
The video also gave us a glimpse of
schools in our surrounding area: spacious rooms, colorful decor, large,
brightly lighted hallways, beautiful kitchen facilities. One felt as if a
load had been lifted and it was time to take a deep breath and relax.
We cannot, however, relax. Not until
the students of the Switzerland of Ohio become the recipients of such
“Why not now?” is the question posed
by the video.
“This is a tremendous opportunity,”
said Rep. Jenni-fer Garrison, who worked tirelessly for years to have
legislation passed in order to bring our share of the cost from 55 percent
to 37 percent. Referring to schools in our surrounding area, she said,
“We want that for the students of the Switzerland of Ohio.” She reminded
attendees the offer by the state is good only for a short period of time.
“It’s a great deal for you ...” she said, noting the state response has been
incredible over the past two years.
“You’ve heard that a picture is worth
a thousand words, and that cannot be more true,” said Jason Yoss, a member
of the committee working to educate and inform the community about what’s at
stake and why the levy is so important. “The issue is bigger than
Woods-field, bigger than Beallsville, bigger than the riverfront,“ said Yoss.
“The community needs to be the entire school district.”
The school district encompasses 536
square miles and has a three-county footprint. The buses travel 4,000 miles
Yoss told attendees to think about
the benefits, aside from having new schools, the construction would
generate 1,032 jobs and 344 related community jobs. “You can’t overlook
these benefits,” he added.
“It’s a real stimulus package for
Monroe County,” said Jason’s father, attorney Dick Yoss.
Rita Walters, an educator at Powhatan
Elementary, noted that her children have grown, graduated and left the area
... and still she awaits new schools. “We want the very best for our
children,” she said. “Yet time and again levies have been defeated ... and
parents go out and buy new video games and toys that will soon be thrown
away. Don’t our children deserve new schools?” she asked. “Aren’t they worth
it?” she continued. “Well, I see them every day - believe me, they are worth
it.” Walters concluded with a plea, “This is our last best opportunity - a
golden opportunity to build schools that we can drive by or go in to and say
proudly, ‘I did this’.”
Liz Gramlich, who has been the
secretary at BHS for 23 years, is an OAPSE member and sits on state
committees, said she has seen new schools. However, in Beallsville, she
said, when you turn on the heat in the fall, you can actually see the
dust balls blowing out. “There are health concerns,” she said, noting 25
students in the school have asthma inhalers. In addition to the dust in the
air, she noted mold. She wants to see improved health for students as well
as a sense of pride. “Vote yes for the health of it,” said Gramlich.
“It’s exciting to get $87 million,”
said Dave Caldwell, BHS educator and coach. “I can’t see why we can’t pass
8.19 mills to put up six new schools and one renovated in our district.”
“We have the opportunity to give our
kids the best,” said RHS Coach Mike Flannery. “Who gets to go first you ask?
“Who cares - so what?” He encouraged voters to encourage others to vote for
a better environment for our kids.
MCHS Coach Jay Circosta said he
believes in TEAM - Together Everybody Achieves More. “We have the
opportunity to show our youth we care.”
Officials Borrow $30,000
by Holly Gallaher
At a continued meeting held Feb. 4 by
Monroe County Commissioners, members unanimously passed a motion to acquire
a $30,000 loan from Citizens National Bank, Woodsfield. The money is needed
to “help with the cash flow problem,” said Commission President John Pyles.
Citizens National Bank representative
Lance LaFollette told the board the renewable loan would hold a 4 percent
interest rate and would be due July 31, 2009. If the amount due is not
available by the set end date, the county will be responsible for paying the
remaining interest and the date for payment will be extended to Dec. 31.
Also at the Feb. 4 meeting, Jennifer
George and Jeffrey Stankunas, attorneys representing the Columbus law firm
of Isaac, Brant, Ledman and Teeter, and Jeanette Harter, director, Monroe
County Department of Job and Family Services, were present. The board
immediately adjourned into executive session to discuss ‘contract issues’.
No action was taken concerning this session.
After the executive session came to a
close, Harter addressed commissioners requesting approval of a revised
em-ployee manual for JFS.
According to Harter there has been an
“abuse of sick leave.” She proposed to the commission that the 12 weeks of
paid sick leave and the 12 weeks of unpaid leave that is given to eligible
employees by the Family Medical Leave Act should run concurrently. “I want
it concurrent,” said Harter.
Commissioner Carl Davis questioned
the proposed policy changes and asked if there would be any ‘emergency
situations’ taken into consideration for employees if the policy changes
were to be enacted.
Harter explained that the director of
the agency would be given the discretion to, on a case-by- case basis, grant
additional unpaid leave up to six months. Harter made it clear that she
cannot afford employees to be gone for any lengthy amount of time,
especially in the Children’s Services Unit.
After much discussion, there was no
resolution to the matter. On the advice of Stankunas, it is to be further
considered and voted on at a later time.
The board once again adjourned into
executive session to discuss ‘pending litigation and personnel’. No action
was taken regarding these matters following the session.
spotted in Monroe County
by Marlene Moose
to Airport Authority
County commissioners at their Feb. 9
meeting made two appointments to the airport authority. Appointed were
Charles Henry, a new face on the board, and Donald Pollock, a familiar face
to the position.
Henry, of CR834 near Sum-merfield,
has an extensive background in aviation. He operates Cambridge Flight
Academy, a flight school and aircraft rental facility located at Cambridge
Municipal Airport. Offered at the academy is complete flight instruction for
the private pilot license. He also organizes trips to various locations
within an hour or two flight from Cambridge. In addition, he operates
an aircraft maintenance facility called Henry Aviation. A resident of Monroe
County, Henry said he is interested in the viability of the county airport.
He worked 25 years in the US Air Force with most of his time in aircraft
maintenance. The vote for Henry was unanimous.
Pollock spent 15 years as a member of
the board, 10 years as president. During that time the airport received over
a million dollars worth of grants for improvements from the FAA and the Ohio
Division of Aviation, as well as other sources. He has a lifelong interest
in general and commercial aviation and its development. Pollock has been a
member of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Asso. over 50 years. He remains an
active member of the Ohio Aviation Associa-tion an organization which works
closely with FAA and ODOT’s Ohio Division of Aviation. The vote for Pollock
was 2-1 with Pyles voting no.
River High School’s Class AA Cheerleading Champions ~
Claiming its first ever Class AA OVAC Cheerleading Championship at the 18th
annual OVAC cheerleading competition was the River High School Pilots.
Kneeling from left are Morgan Meyer, Chacity Craig, Chelsea Lowe, Landyn
Lucas, Kelsey Krempasky, Stephanie Brown and Kelsey McGuire. Standing are
Coach Angi McDonald, Renae Riley, Rachel Stewart, Felicia McCullough, Kristy
Smith, Brittany Curtis and Kylie Brown. McDonald, River’s first-year coach,
credited her seniors for providing leadership during the transition. “When I
came in as coach I was not sure what we had,” she said. “I have to give
credit to these six fantastic seniors, that I am going to miss next year,
for all their help this season.”
Senior squad member Landyn Lucas said
the squad had made winning the AA crown their goal. “After finishing second
last year, we knew we could get first and it happened,” said Lucas. “We were
excited to have a new coach and new uniforms. We looked good today, worked
hard, went out and own the title.”
The competition was held Feb. 7 at
the WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.
Photo Courtesy of The Times Leader
RONALD E. LITMAN
Ronald E. Litman, 90, Canton, died
Feb. 5, 2009, in Aultman Hospital. He was born Sept. 16, 1918 in Hannibal, a
son of the late Thomas Allen and Ethel E. Webber Litman. Condolences or fond
memories may be shared at: www.sandersfuneralhomes.com
DORIS J. MEHLER
Doris Jean Riggenbach Mehler, 53,
39054 SR 800, Woodsfield, died Feb. 6, 2009 at Mt. Carmel West Hospital,
Columbus. She was born Aug. 28, 1955 near Sardis, a daughter of Ann Ritchie
Riggenbach of Sardis, and the late Homer W. Riggenbach. Condolences or fond
memories may be shared at: www.sandersfuneralhomes.com
Raydon “Ted” Knuchel, 93, Woodsfield
Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, formerly of Beallsville, died Feb. 4,
2009 at the center. He was born May 12, 1915 near Beallsville, son of the
late Fred and Lucy Brown Knuchel. Online
condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net.
Geraldine Obertubbesing, 55, 41617 SR
800, Woodsfield, died Feb. 9, 2009 at her home. She was born May 25, 1953 in
Elyria, a daughter of the late Wayne and Opal Irene Sparks Messer.
Online condolences may be expressed
A truthful witness does not lie; a false
witness breathes lies.
A mocker seeks wisdom and never finds
it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding.
The sun is out bright; the snow is
also falling. Who could ask for anything more? Maybe a walk to the barn to
wheel out the chewed up hay and dairy feed. Carry the cows some water to
drink, milk, remove and carry out ashes, dig out a couple or three buckets
of coal from under the snow, get ready for school and catch the bus. Snow or
no snow. At least there was an inside bathroom when you got to high school.
Grade school offered no incentive to hold it. They say zero is on its way.
Nothing like zero when you have no heat in your bedroom.
Heard a story the other day from a
fellow who said he walked to school barefooted in the snow and would get a
cow up to get his feet warm. I don’t doubt this story but it seems as we get
older the farther we had to walk to school when we were kids.
I do know a friend of mine who took
off his shoes about when the last snow melted and would step in a fresh cow
pile to warm his feet. Makes you shudder to think of how we were abused back
then. Didn’t hurt us a bit.
Another yesterday and today. The
following happens: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his dad
gives him a whipping with his belt.
1958: Billy is more careful the next
time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful business
2008; Billy’s dad is arrested for
child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state
psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she remembers being abused
herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy’s mom has an affair with the
Well, the Super Bowl is over and the
Steeler fans can settle down until next year. Maybe our local TV stations
can hit something else except Steelers. I guess Steeler gear and stuff is
selling like hotcakes. I did break down and purchased a half dozen of the
Steeler Paczkis at nearly a buck each. Kind of gooey but good.
On the other hand, Cardinal fans know
how we Ohio State buckeye fans felt after the Texas game. A good fight
except for coming up short two minutes. The game was kinda exciting but I
was a bit disappointed with the commercials. I don’t think they were worth
three million for 30 seconds. I did enjoy the Budweiser horse coming from
the woods carrying a large branch to show the dog he could to it too. I like
the horse commercials but not enough to buy what they are advertising. Oh
yes, 3D stinks without glasses.
Where does your money go? Our high
school supt., we called Ted, told us many times his dad would give him a
quarter to go to the county fair and tell him to bring him some change. We
did have a little more. For several years I got to stay over a week at the
fairgrounds. Our 4-H club had to arrive early to get “our” spot in the barn.
Know what? There were no showers on
the fairground. It wasn’t all that bad. We had phys ed every day and back
then you were required to take a shower after class. Actually this was why I
quit the wash tub during the school year. We had to attend school a couple
of days before the fair started.
Back in the good ole days it was
mostly cash, I think, and even sometimes when our old hens provided us with
more than enough eggs we would take a few dozen to Bond’s store in exchange
for some groceries. I guess that’s why they called them grocery stores.
Today they are supermarkets.
Today everything is electronic and
you need not handle any money at all. I, or we, have operated by check for
the most part. I guess I thought if I operated with cash only the money
disappeared sooner. As our old supt. said, “You break a nickel and it soon
I don’t understand how this
electronic money exchange works. It seems as though it works without sending
money but it changes figures. We’ve been having our retirement sent to the
bank the first working day of the month and never see a check from STRS.
Sure is easy as long as it works and doesn’t get overheated from sending out
checks to all the retired teachers. Well, most of those who still want a
Now, many stores and companies use
electronics to cash their checks. Here again money but no money. I guess you
can’t blame them for wanting their money right away but it does play
heck with accidentally putting the right check in the wrong envelope to get
a tink more time before your check shows up at your bank. It does make it a
bit tougher to figure out each month if the bank figures agree with yours. I
don’t know how some of the card users manage this. This doesn’t figure in
stuff purchased and paid for on line. Too many cards and too much figuring
for me. It works so why worry?
The world, in its concern with left
and right, seems to have forgotten that there is an above and below.
Church Sunday? Why not? It isn’t
Bible readings: From Revelation
(Mon.) 4:1-6a; (Tues.) 4:6b-11; From Genesis (Wed.) 12:1-5; (Thurs) 26:1-5;
From Judges (Fri.) 6:11-23; (Sat.) 6:36-40; (Sun.) Isaiah 6:1-18.