< 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
Kick-Off 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 schools.
        “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 a day.
        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.”

<County Officials Borrow $30,000

by Holly Gallaher
Staff Writer
        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. 

 <Eagle spotted in Monroe County

Photo by Marlene Moose

<Appointments 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


< Obituaries

        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 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 at www.wattersfuneralhome.com.

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<Around the Burnside

    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 man.
        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 psychologist.
        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 goes.”
        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 check.
        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 crowded.
        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.