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

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.

Feb. 4, 2010

County Road 14 in the Sycamore Valley area has become the road of choice used by many logging company truck drivers. Heavily loaded semis like this one on CR14 are turning once solid roadways into mud pits.                Photo by Missy Alleman

 Bridge on County Road 16 
‘A Precarious Situation’ 

by Taylor Abbott
Staff Writer

Sycamore Valley area residents are raising concerns about the stability of a bridge on County Road 16. 

Don Hercher and his wife Judy reside near the bridge. Both say they have watched numerous loaded logging trucks cross the small bridge. Don believes the county needs to take a second look at the bridge’s weight limit. A sign near the bridge asks drivers to reduce their loads by half. He says the trucks are still crossing it full.

Judy worries what might happen if the bridge fails while  vehicles are crossing it. Don believes it will eventually do just that. Judy called the bridge’s weakening state “a precarious situation.”

Upon inspection of the bridge, the paved surface shows noticeable cracks and depressions. At least one of these cracks run the width of the bridge. Further inspection beneath the bridge shows a much more dangerous picture.

Built in 1968, the bridge spans a small creek about 20 feet wide. Large steel beams supporting the bridge are showing noticeable signs of deterioration. Rust and crumbling steel near the center of the bridge worry Don. 

The 42-year-old bridge appears to be buckling under the weight of the logging trucks, noted the Herchers. The steel has become so brittle that Don was able to pick large pieces of it away with his fingers. Smaller pieces of steel that have fallen off as vehicles crossed the bridge, litter the ground.

Hercher has asked the county repeatedly to do something about the issue of logging trucks crossing the bridge. He noted that the trucks are not only crossing the bridge but are heavily damaging the roads in the Sycamore Valley area. He added further that he feels a culvert near his home will not last much longer if the trucks continue crossing it. 

County officials have asked the logging company to reduce their loads. Lonnie Tustin, county engineer, estimates the road repairs will cost nearly $25,000. He reported that the logging company will be held responsible for half the bill. Commissioners requested that the trucks not run until 9 a.m. The delay will give bus drivers ample time to complete their routes without fear of meeting a truck.

Hercher hopes that this matter will be resolved quickly. He noted he will continue monitoring the trucks when they pass his house and cross the bridge. He says that it is not a matter of “if” the bridge fails, it is “when.” Hercher added that he hopes he is wrong and that it never happens. 

Sycamore Valley road damage was addressed at the Jan. 19 meeting of the Monroe County Commissioners.

Concerned citizens angered by logging trucks in the Sycamore Valley area sought answers from county officials during their Jan. 19 meeting.

County commissioners John Pyles, Tim Price, and Carl Davis were in the Sycamore Valley area along with Sheriff Chuck Black Jan. 19. Residents living along County Road 14 said they are fed up with overweight logging trucks damaging their roads. 

Don and Judy Hercher were present at the intersection of CR 14 and 16 to speak with

officials. Both voiced concerns about the condition of the road and the residents who travel it. Also among their concerns is the bridge on CR16 which has been used frequently by the logging trucks.

Residents said that on Jan. 18  Read more in the Feb. 4 Beacon, more photos also


Around the Burnside   

We don’t know where we are or where we are going until we understand where we’ve been. In this world of give and take, not enough people are willing to give what it takes. One thing about writing Around the Burnside early is I forget when another one is due.

I don’t write things down except doctor appointments and my memory seems to last only long enough for me to forget. So I’m not sure if I’m up-to-date or not. Oh well. I’ve been thinking about something for a long time now so maybe it’s time to get it off my chest. My Pappy once said, “You’re wasting your time beating a dead horse.” I feel like maybe I keep beating a dead horse by harping about what appears to be the death of our FFA Chapter and, who knows, maybe the Agriculture Education in our county. If it happens, maybe no one cares or is willing to do anything about it. I can’t help it; I joined the FFA and vocational agriculture when I was a sophomore in high school. OK, I will admit I joined because of friends. They had a good softball team and needed a catcher. We didn’t have a baseball team back then. I guess I filled the bill, never dreaming I would be a part of and closely associated with FFA for the most part of the next 50 years or more. As I look back I’m not sure I would change anything.

Well, maybe a thing or two. It has been a pleasure and opportunity to work with some of the top young people in our county and state. It couldn’t be more enjoyable, most of the time. When Swiss Hills opened, Beallsville’s and Skyvue’s Vo Ag programs went half time and when, as I understand, a freshman required class was scheduled the same time as agriculture they both died. Swiss Hills program started with several seniors and very little facilities. We had no 220 electric service in the shop and very little equipment. I don’t even recall having a welder. With help and work the facility was improved. Gary Cook started teaching the juniors the second year and with more improvements things started to take off. Over the next few years the chapter teams started hanging banners won in state contests on the classroom wall. District trophies and plaques started showing up on shelves and cases. As time went on, all four walls of the classroom were filled with banners won at state contests. Not only several trophies won in national contests joined the state trophies. The Swiss Hills Chapter had become one of the top chapters in the district and state.

Now it appears to be nothing. You might say I’m bragging; however, you can’t help being proud of what they accomplished. It’s not so much what Gary and I contributed but more what our young people accomplished when given the opportunity. Another big factor was the parents’ and related businesses’ help and support. I just hope our FFA chapter and agriculture education is not a dead horse but maybe just a little under the weather. I know it’s been over for a month or more but I enjoyed it. Yes, Ohio State won the Rose Bowl; however, I enjoy the parade as much as the game. I remember watching it and asking, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could watch it in color?” I watched the parade on the RFD channel. I tuned in an hour before the start of the parade to watch the story of building the FFA float that was to be in the parade for the first time. It was really interesting, even near by chapters made the trip to help build the float. Even the children and grandchildren who had been members of the FFA sent their mother to allow her work on the float. They also sponsored all the state presidents to help and march in the parade. Each of them during the program introduced themselves with their chapter names and state. Yes, there were a number of young ladies serving as president of their state FFA. They marched in front of the float yelling RFD-FFA. It did this old heart good to watch these outstanding young men and women. I’ll bet you didn’t know that 11 of the 15 largest cities in the US have FFA chapters? I would also like to add, although late, a welcome to Martha, our new General Manager. I just hope she doesn’t fire me. Remember:

Old age is always 10 years older than you are. Don’t forget church Sunday.

Our Readers Write



School bus safety is becoming a concern here in the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District. Local bus drivers have reported a number of incidents where motorists do not stop for the red flashing lights and the stop sign arm; therefore, putting school children who are boarding the bus at risk.

Students shown, from left, are: Summer Mahoney, Kylie Milhoan and Jeremy Milhoan. Bus driver is Amy Brown.          Photo by Martha Ackerman 

School Bus Safety a Concern

by Martha Ackerman
General Manager/Editor

According to Marc Ring, Director of the Support Services for the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District (SOLSD), school bus safety is becoming an increasing concern. 

Student injuries and fatalities occur as a result of motorists who attempt to pass a stopped school bus with flashing red warning lights while students load or unload. Ohio Revised Code 4511.75 requires motorists to stop for a school bus anytime it has stopped for students to load or unload. Motorists may not resume motion until the school bus driver turns off the lights, releases the stop sign arm and resumes travel.

“Ensuring the safety of student as they enter and exit the bus is crucial,” said Ring. “We train our bus drivers to be cautious, but we need help from motorists to make sure they watch for the stop arm and flashing red lights as this is an indication the bus has stopped to load or unload children.”

On Jan. 21, a high school student in Northwest Ohio was struck and killed by a passing motorists as she crossed the street to board her school bus. The bus was stopped, red lights flashing and the stop sign deployed.

“No issue is so urgent that motorists cannot wait for a school bus,” continued Ring.

According to Amy Brown, a SOLSD bus driver, a highway patrolman told bus drivers to get the license plate numbers of the vehicles which disobey these vital school bus laws, and turn them in. It is the only citation that can be given without a state trooper being present, they were told.

Brown noted that bus drivers traveling on Route 7 have more incidents of motorists failing to stop for the flashing lights and the stop sign arm.

“It’s hard to get the license plate numbers,” said Brown, noting the vehicles are traveling faster and the driver is getting the students on and off the bus.

“Despite the flashing red lights in the school zone, we have cars passing the school when students are loading and unloading. They just drive on through. We even have a policeman standing there sometimes and they still disobey the flashing lights,” said Woodsfield Elementary Principal Cassie Anderson.

The safety of students is vital. Remember! It is against the law to pass a school bus when the red lights are flashing and the stop arm is out!


~ New Clock Installed in Sardis ~

The Sardis Community Improvement Organization (SCIO) has purchased a clock for the town. Shown installing the clock on the corner of Mound and Muskingum Streets are Rodney Rufener and Ty Ash.  See The Beacon for the rest of the story ... 



Marie Perkins, 91
, Beallsville, went to be with our Lord Jan. 26, 2010. She was born June 27, 1918, in Belmont, a daughter of the late Walter and Violet Gregg  McFarland. She was a member of the Beallsville First Christian Church, and a lifelong devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She retired from the
Switzerland of Ohio Local School District. Surviving are four daughters, Wanda (Stanley) Jarrett of Beallsville, Jean (Lewis) Wharton of Urbana, Vera (Don) White of Bethesda, Wilda Perkins of Beallsville; a son, Lowell (Lisa) Perkins of St. Clairsville; 11 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews and one very special granddaughter, Karly Showalter. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, James C. Perkins; two sisters, Helen Jarrett, Audrey Sellers; and two brothers, Lowell and Wayne McFarland. Friends were received Jan. 28 at Kelly-Kemp Braido Funeral Home, Bethesda, where services were held Jan. 29, with Wayne Clark officiating. Burial was at Holly Memorial Gardens, Colerain. Memorial contributions may be made to the Beallsville First Christian Church, Box C, Beallsville, OH 43716, or the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District (New Beallsville School Cafeteria Fund), 304 Mill St., Woodsfield, OH 43793.

Bill Phillips, 61, Beallsville, died Jan. 28, 2010 in Barnesville Health Care Center. He was born Oct. 18, 1948 in Beallsville, a son of Irene Barricklow Phillips of Beallsville, and the late Homer Phillips. He was an employee of Ohio Valley Coal #6 Mine near Beallsville; a U.S. Army veteran, a member of Sunsbury Lodge 362 F & AM and Scottish Rite, Valley of Cambridge; and a member of American Legion Post #768

Surviving, in addition to his mother, are his wife of 41 years, Judy Schaffer Phillips; a daughter, Kim (Jamie) Ali of Cranberry Twp., Pa.; three grandchildren, Emily, Connor and Owen Ali; a brother, Mick (Phyllis) Phillips of Flushing; three sisters, Sue (Jack) Brown of Jerusalem, Marcy Pandy of Beallsville, Brenda Craig of Armstrongs Mills; and his mother-in-law, Eva Schaffer of Barnesville. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by an infant son and his father-in-law, Paul Schaffer. Friends were received Jan. 30 at Harper Funeral Home, Beallsville, where funeral services were held Jan. 31, with Wayne Clark officiating. Burial followed in Beallsville Cemetery.

Military honors were presented to the family and Masonic services were conducted at the funeral home on Jan. 30. Memorial contributions may be made to the Beallsville EMS, P.O. Box 154, Beallsville, OH 43716 or the Beallsville VFD, P.O. Box 68, Beallsville, OH 43716. Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net.

Helen Selmon, 95, New Matamoras, went to be with the Lord Jan. 27, 2010 at Selby Hospital, Marietta. She was born in Sept. 27,

1914 in Washington County, a daughter of the late George and Grace Lovett Barker. She resided in the Monroe County Care Center since October 2009.

Surviving are three daughters, Grace King of Graysville, Ruby (Duane) Ring of Graysville, Wilma Selmon (and companion Bob Fitzsimons) of East Liverpool; two sons, George (Judy) Selmon of Chester, W.Va., Walter Selmon of East Liverpool; a daughter-in-law, Sherry Selmon of New Matamoras; a sister, Jessie Tidd of Marietta; 13 grandchildren, Pam (Roy) Childress, Richard (Lisa) Earley, Greg (Brenda) Earley, Brenda (Gregory) Motich, Debra (Jerry) Weddle, Vicki (John) Guenther, Randall (Jackie) Ring, Bobbi Sayre, Lisa Vance, Karen Darby, Denise Johnson, Christine (Bill) Hughes, Jimmy Earley; 29 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Jess V. Selmon, Nov. 1968; a son, Robert Selmon, Nov. 2009, a sister, Ruth Steele and two granddaughters. Friends were received Jan. 30 at Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield, where funeral services were held Jan. 31, with Roger Rush officiating. Burial was in New Matamoras Cemetery. Online condolences may be expressed at www.bauerturner.com

Denzil D. “Ham” Hamilton, 78, died Jan. 22, 2010 at St. Joseph’s Care Center,
Louisville, after a hard fought battle with Alzheimers. He was born May 18, 1931, in Woodsfield, a son of John and Hazel Hamilton. He was a dedicated Christian and had attended First Christian Church until his illness prevented it. He was a Prince among men and was loved by all who knew him. He was a devoted loving husband, father, grandfather and brother. He retired from SKF Tyson Bearing in Massillon after 28 years of service. He later worked for Colonial and The Pines Nursing Centers in Canton. Surviving are his wife of 13 years, Linda; two sons, Bradley (Jill) Hamilton, David (Cheryl) Horner; a daughter, Stacy (Tim) King, five grandchildren, Brennan Hamilton, Kyler, McKala and Kaleigh King, and Kyle Homer; three brothers, Don Hamilton of Canton, Herb (Dorothy) Hamilton of Navarre, Paul (Dorothy) Hamilton of Massillon; sister, Florence Swallie of Woodsfield, sister-in-law, Barbara Chine of Orrville; brother-in-law, Larry (Kathy) Polen of Phoenix, Ariz.; a special nephew, Mark Hamilton who he loved dearly and was very close to; many more nieces and nephews who also were loved; his best friend, Mike Nair and son Shawn, who were always there for him; and Donnie Wagner, who also helped; and he leaves behind his cherished Chihuahuas, Maggie and Killer. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary; twin brother, Denver; brother, Jack Hamilton; and sister, Edith Hogue. In accordance with Denzil’s wishes there was no calling hours or service.

Louise Marty, 84, Long Ridge Rd., Clarington, died Jan. 25, 2010 at her home. She was born Dec. 30, 1925 in Clarington, a daughter of the late John Wesley and Alma Moser Marty. She was a retired custodian at Hannibal Elementary School, a member of Zion Grange #2242, and a member of Zion United Church of Christ in
Sardis. Surviving are a sister, Doris (Harold) Byers of Wadsworth, and 12 loving nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Walter and Harry “Bud” Marty; two sisters, Mildred Gordon, Wilma Marty; and a niece, Sara Jacobs. Friends were received Jan. 30 at Grisell Funeral Home, Clarington, with Rev. Glen Shedlock officiating. Burial in Mount Vernon Cemetery, Clarington. Memorial contributions may be made to Zion United Church of Christ, 50445 SR 536, Sardis, OH 43946. Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com.

Fritzie Lyn Schuler Alloway, 52, Wheeling, formerly of Sardis, died Jan. 30, 2010 at her home. She was born March 7, 1957 in Wheeling, a daughter of Jackie Spears Schuler of Beallsville and the late Fritz Schuler. Surviving, in addition to her mother, are her husband, Chris Alloway; a daughter, Jessica (Quinn) Fallon of Columbus; a brother, Tom (Dana) Schuler of Woodsfield; a sister, Robin (Mark) Stephen of Beallsville; a nephew, Todd Schuler; and a niece, Stephanie Cunningham. In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by a brother, Terry F. Schuler. Friends were received Feb. 1 until time of service at Harper Funeral Home, Beallsville. Private inurnment will be held at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net.

Deborah Sue “Susie” Carr Witt, 36, Woodsfield, formerly of Elkins, W.Va., died Jan. 22, 2010 at
Wheeling Hospital, W.Va. She was born Oct. 22, 1973, the daughter of Janet Westfall Carr and the late Dale H. Carr. She was a graduate of Elkins High School in 1992; was a loving mother; enjoyed doing crafts and reading. She was a Lutheran by faith and continues to live on when she chose the gift of life as an organ donor. Surviving, in addition to her mother, are two sons, Cody Lee Witt and Caleb Dillon Carr, fiance Chris Ewers of Woodsfied; former husband, Timothy Witt of Powhatan Point; three step-sisters, Kerri Wegman, Kristen Hedrick, Kelli Bender; step-mother, Deborah “Susie” Carr Houser, all of Elkins; maternal grandmother, Helen Westfall of Clarksburg and many longtime friends. In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by paternal grandparents, Pete and Macey Carr. In honor of request her remains were cremated. A memorial service will be held Feb. 6, at 1 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church, Woodsfield. Donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association in memory of Susie Witt.

Arrangements by Altmeyer Funeral Home, Wheeling.