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Feb. 25, 2010


Monroe County Commissioners passed a resolution in emergency session Feb. 17 proclaiming a state of emergency in Monroe County. Phil Keevert, left, interim Emergency Management Agency director, brought preliminary estimates totaling $450,000 to Commissioners Carl Davis, Tim Price and John Pyles.       Photo by Martha Ackerman  

State of Emergency Proclaimed 

by Martha Ackerman
General Manager/Editor

Monroe County Commissioners, John Pyles, Carl Davis and Tim Price, met in an emergency session Feb. 17 to pass a resolution proclaiming Monroe County in a state of emergency due to the heavy snowfalls that have blanketed the county since Feb. 5.

As the county's snowfall now exceeds 31 inches, the county has been at a level 2 road snow emergency seven out of 14 days. Schools have been closed six out of the eight days. 

Phil Keevert, interim director of the Monroe County Emergency Management Agency, brought to the board preliminary estimates totaling $450,000. The estimates included the county engineer's office, several townships and villages. All estimates were not in at the time.

"The biggest issue is the blowing and drifting," said Keevert. "There are only a few townships that have full time employees. Most of the trustees have full time jobs  and, he added that they are trying to keep the roads passable." He also said that a lot of the work being done is volunteer.

Pyles noted that several counties bordering Monroe have also declared a state of emergency. 

Keevert will submit the declaration to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and the Governor Strickland will receive a copy. With contiguous counties declaring a state of emergency, it is hoped state help would be forthcoming. 

Fear of flooding is a concern. "One of the biggest things we are looking at right now," said Keevert, "is the melt rate of the packed snow; not so much of what is here, but what is north of us."


Suicide Coalition Formed: Monroe Ranked Highest in Ohio's Suicide Rate

by Taylor Abbott
Staff Writer

Monroe County has been given an unwanted distinction by the state of Ohio. With a suicide rate hovering slightly above 30 percent, officials in the county say something must be done to lower this. 

On Feb. 18, county officials, residents and family members, who have lost loved ones to suicide, met to form Monroe County's first suicide prevention coalition.

Cheryl Holton, Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation program administrator, spoke to those present about the organization and how Monroe can benefit from such a program.

Before Holton began, Pandora Neuhart, county auditor, thanked everyone for attending and said, "Too many wonderful residents of this county have been lost to suicide. I lost two friends last year to it. I do not want to see this happen again. With all of us here today, we can make this program work."

Holton, a native of Monroe County, said that the county's economic situation has impacted many individuals in our area. The rate of suicide in Monroe County is particularly high due to our small population and lack of resources to aid people. 

Ohio's suicide prevention plan centers on three main aspects: Awareness, Intervention, and Methodology. Holton said that  public awareness needs to be increased.
Read More in the Feb. 25 Monroe County Beacon

Around the Burnside    

Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyhow.

A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

What does the word responsible mean to you? If what I read in the paper is true, many have forgotten what it means.

I think just about everyone knows their driver’s and car licenses are to be renewed on your birthday, car license every year. Driver’s licenses are probably easier to forget as they are good longer.

As I understand things you can renew both a month before they expire. This gives you a full month to remember to renew.

I guess quite a few were renewing the licenses late so the wise men passed a law or regulation it would cost an extra $20 if you were over seven days late.

This act set off a boat load of excuses and complaints that would put a school boy’s excuse for not having his homework to shame. It’s amazing how many different excuses (reasons) for missing a deadline there are.

The point I’m trying to make is not forgetting to renew but making an excuse. It’s easy to forget, I know. I think I’ve forgotten my driver’s license a couple of time, once a day or so before I would have needed to take a driver’s test. Just last year I drove around maybe a month or more on an old sticker. I don’t know when I would have thought of it until Phil called my attention to it. Who knows how long I would have driven around with old plates.

Anyone can forget. My question is, Whose fault is it if you forget? You forgot and no one forced or caused you to forget. Even if you tell someone not to let you forget, that is a weak excuse.

So if you forget and it’s an extra $20, pay it and do what I did this year. I pasted my 2010 sticker on my license plate nearly a month before my birthday. I could get 13 months out of it if I wanted.

I think too many of us make excuses for something when we are at fault. Even Toyota.

The thing that makes you wonder is, I heard the wise thinkers in Columbus were thinking of some way to make it easier or even do away with it. Are voters doing most of the complaining? I think the biggest excuse was “I didn’t know about it. Now you do.

Have you talked to anyone lately and the subject of snow hasn’t come up? Here I sit looking at 12 inches plus on our picnic table. I hope it doesn’t break down.

As a kid I remember we would make ice cream from good white snow. Tasted mighty good. We steered clear of snow that had a yellow tint. I even remembered when I was nine years old the temperature dropped to minus 24.

One good thing about a big storm or snow on the way. It seems as though just about everyone goes to the store to stock up. I swear I think Esther and I could hold out until after spring sets in. One thing enjoyable about going to the store at this time you get to see and talk to a lot of people you haven’t seen for a good while. I did hear things were going to warm up in March.

I guess I’m to the point that the snow doesn’t really bother me anymore.

First of all, we were fortunate to have electricity all of the time. I do not mind sitting in my easy chair and watching TV. I gives me a chance to watch a number of old TV programs I had forgotten. Only two must do trips in February and two doctor appointments in March and an excellent afternoon with a couple of our great-grandkids. One has developed into quite a story teller. So tell me what have I got to complain about? Plus the fact I’ve had my share of snow experience. Even all our bills are paid for the month with a tink left over and I can’t get out to spend it. What more could I want?

Remember when you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

Head to church Sunday; beat the snow storm that's on the way.


Our Readers Write

Dear Editor,

Just a note to tell you how much I enjoy reading the Beacon weekly. I know you will do a good job in your new role. I enjoyed your first column and always enjoy those of Verylnn, Denny and Mary Valentine

Never having lived in Woodsfield I only know most of those mentioned in the Beacon from reading about them. I grew up in New Matamoras but have lived in the Pittsburgh area since 1961.

I do, however, have some distant ties. My great-great-grandfather, James Cunningham (1797-1860) was an early settler in your area and is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery. He was a saddler and had a store on Main Street where a hardware store now stands. In doing my “family tree I have found Woodsfield played an important role in my early ancestors.

Please pass on our best wishes to Arlean in her retirement. She did an excellent job for many years. Thanks for a “good read each week. 

Best wishes in the future to you and your staff.

Jack Cunningham



Honored at the 11th annual Joined Hearts in Giving, hosted by Ohio First Lady Frances Strickland and the Ohio Department of Aging were local couple Aaron and Charlene Miller of Beallsville. The Millers, center, are shown with Barbara E. Riley, left; and Ohio's First Lady Frances Strickland.                                          Photo Submitted

Millers Honored at Valentine's Day Observance in Columbus

First Lady Frances Strickland and the Ohio Department of Aging honored 22 couples for their dedication to marriage and volunteerism at the 11th annual Joined Hearts in Giving celebration held Feb. 12 in observance of Valentine's Day. The event was held in Columbus.

Aaron and Charlene Miller of Beallsville were one of those couples. 

The Millers have been married 52 years and are long-time volunteers with Zion United Methodist Church. Aaron has served on the board of trustees and been an office holder for more than 15 years. Charlene has held the position of treasurer/secretary and was a charter member of the church, having served over 40 years.

The couple serve together in the American Blonde d'Aquitaine Cattle Association, where Aaron has been on the board of directors for 15 years and was recently elected vice-president. They recently hosted the association's annual fall meeting at their farm in Monroe County.

For two years Aaron and Charlene have been involved with Team Monroe, a local development partnership of Monroe County residents. Aaron is a charter member of the board of trustees and serves as the chair of the tourism committee, helping to start an Ohio River Museum

Charlene also serves on the tourism and river museum committees, as well as the Monroe County Business Incubator Committee. Aaron is currently vice-president of the Monroe County Farm Bureau. For 22 years Charlene has been a member of the Woodsfield Garden Club and has served as treasurer/secretary.

"Friday was a very special day for us," said Charlene. The reception at the Governor's Mansion hosted by First Lady Frances Strickland and Barbara Riley, Director of Ohio Department of Aging, was warm and personal. We were honored to be one of the 22 couples receiving recognition.

"There were many opportunities to speak with the media, the First Lady and the Director of Aging. Those of us who spoke about our volunteerism and long married life received a special gift from the First Lady.

"We emphasized promotion of our county through Team Monroe and especially tourism. We were permitted to ask two guests and we chose our two 19-year-old grandkids Heather Miller and Ozzie Thomas. They also had opportunities to talk with the First Lady.

"Heather is a student at The Ohio State University majoring in design and was asked for some decorating suggestions by the First Lady! Ozzie told her of his dreams of becoming a musician."

Joined Hearts in Giving honors Ohioans at least 60 years old who have been married 40 years or longer and who share a commitment to volunteerism.

"Ohio is a better place because of the efforts of these great people," said the First Lady. "Through the hours they volunteer and the hard work, they embody all that makes this state exceptional."

"The devotion of these couples is truly heart-warming," said Riley. "Their commitment to each other and their passion to help others is a model we can all take to heart."

An informal appreciation get-together for former Emergency Management Agency Director Rick Schuerman was held Feb. 17 at the Woodsfield Emergency Squad facility. Shown awarding a plaque of appreciation to Schuerman is Rick Shipp, president of both the Monroe County Emergency Squad Association and the Monroe County Fire Association.    Photo by M. Ackerman 

Schuerman Recognized for Service 

by Martha Ackerman
General Manager/Editor

Despite the weather, members of Monroe County emergency medical and fire associations attended an informal get-together to recognize former Monroe County Emergency Management Agency's director Rick Schuerman.

Rick Shipp, president of both the Monroe County Emergency Squad Association and the Fire Association, presented a plaque to Schuerman in recognition of his 14 years of service to the associations. Schuerman was recently hired as Woodsfield Village Administrator.

"We wanted Rick to know that we appreciate all his efforts over the years,"said Shipp. "He has helped with our communications, hazmat training, anything we have needed, Rick has been there in any weather condition. His resources are fantastic."

"It's all about you guys; the people in the field who are out there when the bell goes off," said Schuerman.

"I'm extremely humbled. Walking away from the EMA job has been difficult. You are the county's first line of defense for this county. That's made my job successful. I really truly appreciate this. I'm right across town. I didn't leave. I will always be here involved in public safety. Everyone has my cell phone number. Iwill continue to work with Phil (Keevert, interim EMA director)."

"Hats off to everyone here who has worked so hard."

Attending the event were representatives from the six emergency squads- Antioch, Beallsville, Bethel-Graysville, Clarington, Sardis and Woodsfield; and the eight fire departments: Antioch, Beallsville, Bethel Township, Clarington, Graysville, Lewisville, Sardis and Woodsfield; Carl Davis, who represented the Monroe County Commissioners; and representatives from the Woodsfield Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.


Ralph E. Yoss, 75, Port Clinton, died Feb. 14, 2010 at Magruder Hospital, Port Clinton. He was born June 5, 1934 in Woodsfield, the son of the late Charles and Lucille Haren Yoss.

He graduated from Woodsfield High School, attended Ohio Wesleyan, and then graduated from The Ohio State University, was Director of Ottawa County Job and Family Services since 2001, also a minister at Gypsum Community Church in Gypsum. He was a member of the Tuesday morning men's prayer breakfast group who met at Trinity Methodist Church every week. He was a spiritually strong and optimistic person who always tried to think positive and overcome the difficulties in life. He enjoyed helping people and lived life to the fullest. He was an avid Ohio State Buckeyes fan, but most importantly, he loved his family.

Surviving are his wife, Elena, whom he married April 14, 2007; three daughters, Jane (Ray) Hobson of Jeromesville, Kate (Brad) Long of Ashland, Julia Yoss at home; a son, Charles (Ann) Yoss of Dayton; five grandchildren, Jon and Ben Hobson, Jenni Long and Elizabeth and Juliana Yoss; and a sister, Susie Baker.

Friends were received Feb. 20 at Gypsum Community Church until time of services, with Rev. Greg Dziak officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Gypsum Community Church or in care of the family.

Crosser Funeral Home, Port Clinton was in charge of arrangements.

Velma E. Kinney, 82, 40145 SR 26, Woodsfield, died Feb. 17, 2010 in Barnesville Hospital. She was born Feb. 19, 1927 near Graysville, a daughter of the late James Ernest and Fannie Brotton Heddleson.

She was a homemaker and a member of the Graysville Church of Christ and enjoyed reading cook books and traveling.

Surviving are three sons, Brent Kinney of Townville, S.C., John Kinney of Columbus, Jay Kinney of Woodsfield; a sister, Eileen (Gene) Ring of Athens; a brother, Milford (Angie) Heddleson of State College, Pa.; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Harold B. Kinney, Jr. on March 29, 2009; three infant children, Keith David Kinney, Sharon Eileen Kinney, Bruce Harold Kinney; two sisters, Fanchion and Violet; and a brother, Clifford Heddleson.

Friends were received Feb. 19 at Watters Funeral Home, Woodsfield, where funeral services were held Feb. 20, with Jeremy Kinney officiating. Burial followed in Pleasant Ridge Cemetery near Graysville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Graysville Church of Christ, c/o Jeremy Kinney, 43045 Plainview Rd., Woodsfield, OH 43793.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com

Priscilla J. "Pia"
Dillon Lumbatis, 67, Canal Fulton died Feb. 18, 2010.

She was an avid bowler and enjoyed sewing and quilting.

Surviving are a son, Samuel (Selina) Dillon of Va.; three daughters, Donna (William) Cunningham of Canal Fulton, Cynthia (Daniel) McKenzie of N.C., Tana Jarc of Massillon; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; numerous brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Clarence "Toad" Dillon and David L. Lumbatis.

Memorial service was held Feb. 23 in the Mausoleum Chapel at Rose Hill Memorial Gardens, 3655 Wales Ave., NW, Massillon.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Cooper Cancer Center, c/o Summa Foundation, 525 E. Market St., Akron, OH 44304.

Arrangements by Swigart-Easterling Funeral Home, Canal Fulton.

Maxine F. Vasil, 88, Beallsville, formerly of Kent, died Feb. 15, 2010 at Monroe County Care Center, Woodsfield. She was born May 13, 1921 in Ravenna, a daughter of the late Peter and Flossie Fink Persing. 

She was a veteran of the Army during WWII. She worked at Twin Star Lanes for many years in Kent. She was well known for her bowling accomplishments and for teaching bowling to others.

Surviving are a son, James M. (Linda Knippenberg) Vasil of Gainesville, Fla.; a daughter, Sylvia Bowen of Beallsville; two grandchildren, Joey Bowen of Frisco, Texas, Wendi Pinkerton of Woodsfield; and four great-grandchildren, Mandi Rosen of Florida, Corey Truax of California, Kristopher Pinkerton of Woodsfield and Cameron Bowen of Woodsfield.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, James M. Vasil; son-in-law, David J. Bowen; two sisters, Vida Butcher, Mereta Butcher; and two brothers, Rexford and Gifford Persing.

Friends were received Feb. 21 at Bissler & Sons Funeral Home, Kent, where funeral services were held Feb. 22, with Rev. James Jones officiating. Entombment will be in Grandview Memorial Park in Ravenna.

Arrangements by Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.bauerturner.com

Maxine Rinard, 85, Canton, died Feb. 18, 2010 at the Laurie Ann Nursing Home, Newton Falls. She was born April 25, 1924 in Monroe County, a daughter of the late Clarence and Hattie Craig Crawford.

Surviving are a daughter-in-law, Carolyn Rinard of Newton Falls; two sisters, Shirley Ludwig of Woodsfield, Bonnie Blakeway of Canton; a brother, Lester Crawford of Woodsfield; two granddaughters, Tina (Doug) Witherow, Dena (Tony) Marafiote; four great-granddaughters, Alysia and Alexis Witherow, Elizabeth and Alaina Woofler; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, William Denver Rinard, Oct. 2005; a son, Gary Denver Rinard; a brother, Larry Crawford; and a sister, Bernace McGarry.

Friends were received Feb. 20 until time of funeral service at Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield, with Rev. David Hull-Frye officiating. Burial was in Oaklawn Cemetery, Woodsfield.

Condolences may be expressed at 

Susie Jane Whitlock, 80, Woodsfield, died Feb. 1, 2010. She was born Oct. 25, 1929 in Kanawha County, W.Va., a daughter of the late Buddy Mullins and Samantha Jones Mullins.

Surviving are a daughter, Karen (Michael) Murdock of Clarington; a son, David Whitlock and Kathy Gentry of Vandalia; two sisters, Beatrice Hall of Lizemore, W.Va., Thelma Drake of Falling Rock, W.Va.; and three grandchildren, Amanda S. Hamrick, Walter B. Whitlock and Stephanie M. Murdock.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Samuel P. Mullins; and three sisters, Hattie Townsend, Edith Midkiff and Juanita Davis.

Memorial services will be held at the Buddy Mullins Cemetery, Falling Rock, W.Va., at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements by Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.bauerturner.com

Floyd Leroy Cline, 89, Sardis, died Feb. 19, 2010 at Woodsfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He was born Nov. 10, 1920 in Monroe County, a son of the late Gayle and Daisy Pearl Payne Cline.

He was a member of the Locust Grove Methodist Church, a veteran of WWII. He was a carpenter by trade and a farmer all of his life. He retired from Landmark in 1985 after 22 years of service. He also worked for Perry Township Trustees for several years.

Surviving are his wife of 63 years, Zelda Harding Cline of Sardis; a son, Roger Cline of Sardis; a brother, Gayle Cline, Jr., of Malvern; also his adopted family: two sons, Mark (Barb) Williams of Woods-field, Randy (Emma) Williams of Graysville; five grandchildren, Melissa (Dale) Williams Gardner, Kevin Williams, Jonathan (MJ) Williams, Travis (Kate) Williams, Jacob Williams; two great-grandchildren, Owen Dale Williams, Wesley Howard Williams; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Francis and Wilbur Cline.

Friends were received Feb. 21 at Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield, where funeral services were held Feb. 22, with Tim Fleeman officiating. Burial was in Antioch Cemetery.

Condolences may be expressed at www.bauerturner.com