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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.

February 24, 2011

~ Catholic Schools Week ~

During Catholic Schools Week, students at St. Sylvester Central School participated in many activities. The fifth and sixth grade students decided they would have a bake sale with the proceeds going to the Humane Society of Monroe County. Accepting the check for the humane society is volunteer Kay Brooks. Shown presenting the check are members of the fifth and sixth grade.  Photos by Martha Ackerman

~ Fields of Ice Along Sunfish Creek ~

This photo was taken from State Route 78, east of Woodsfield, along Sunfish Creek. Beacon reader Bill Wilson called to say he thought readers from other areas of the country would be interested in seeing a picture of the ice fields. This picture was taken Friday after a lot of the ice had melted during previous days of 60+ temperatures. The fields all along the creek have huge ice blocks, which could be heard breaking apart as the sun’s rays penetrated the masses. Wilson shared that when he was stationed in Germany, another serviceman from Texas was so excited to see snow for the first time that he did somersaults. Thanks for the call, Bill.      Photo by Martha Ackerman


Around the Burnside      

The reason a dog has so many friends is, it wags its tail instead of its tongue.

Forgiveness, like dimming your headlights, happens some when you take the initiative.

I failed to mention something last week when I was writing about new cars. Somewhere there is hanging on it a nice price tag. That’s why I wasn’t driving.

I guess if we believe what we read we will be having electric cars running around everywhere. Folks will be buzzing around everywhere.

I did read somewhere someone is trying to pass a law to require an electric car to make noise. They thought those of us who are hard of hearing might get hit with one because we couldn’t hear it coming.

It’s nice to have a few warm days we’ve had as I write. Up in the sixties today. I can take a few more. However, as you are reading this we could have a nice layer of snow.

Things are looking up, however. The last couple of days in my travels I have seen a couple of skunks that didn’t make it across the road. They tell me that when  skunks come out of their winter headquarters and start looking around, warmer weather is on the way. I can only guess what they are looking for but I’m certain they won’t find it on the road or a busy highway.

I was working a word puzzle the other day and came across some things that remind me of when I was growing up as a kid. One was “Tiddly Winks”. What would a kid today think if you mentioned tiddly winks.?Remember take one tiddly and try to snap another into a cup? I never played tiddly winks much as I thought it was a sissy game because girls like to play with them. I did get them out when no one was around or looking and would tiddle away.

A hoop was another one mentioned. You were in the tall clover if you could find a suitable hoop and could roll it around with a stick with a little something nailed to the end. You could roll it around just about everywhere you went.

We were also known to roll an old tire around. Don’t ask me why, but it seemed like fun. We also thought about getting inside of a tire and rolling it down a hill. This never came about as no one was stupid enough to crawl inside of an old tire.

Jacks was another game that took skill. You remember; you dropped the jacks and bounce a ball, pick up one jack until all picked up, two the next time and so on until you picked up all the jacks at one time. I was never very good at this game either. I had a niece who was an expert at playing jacks. I never played when she visited grandma. She carried her jacks around with her.

Pick up Sticks was another thing we played. You dropped a handful of different colored sticks, each color worth so many points, you would take turns picking up a stick without moving another stick. Highest score was the winner. I was never very good at this either.

We also had some other board games we played at times but I kind of forget what they were. I didn’t mention checkers. I’m not sure I ever remember winning a game of checkers even give away. I hated the game.

Most of the above games were played when we were not chasing Indians or cattle rustlers on our stick horse, working on the farm, doing chores and all that other good stuff.

My favorite game was Crokinol. Our school janitor, that’s what they were called back then, had a Crokinol board. It also had a checker board on the other side but we never played checkers. In case you don’t know, a Crokinol board is like a target with a hole in the center with a lot of little pegs surrounding it. The idea was to snap with your finger a wooden ring into the hole plus trying to knock your opponents’ ring off the board. We had a lot of red hot games some early evenings.

Another interesting thing while playing Crokinol was a pet squirrel. Yes, a pet squirrel running around in his house. He lived alone.

Once the squirrel decided he wanted to see the world and took off for the woods. He came back sometime later, but was different. He was changed. I don’t know what you call a squirrel but in cattle you call it a steer. Later the squirrel left again never to return. Who knows what happened to it?

Don’t fly into a rage unless you are prepared for a rough landing.

Church doors are still wide open.




District Spelling Bee Winner Announced

District Spelling Bee winner Amanda Bennett, center, is shown with George Wells, district talented and gifted coordinator, left, and Dee Vargo, who assisted Wells as the spelling bee coach. Amanda was presented with plaques during the Feb. 17 meeting of the Switzerland of Ohio Local School Board meeting.       
Photo Submitted

Megan Dick, left, and Mikayla Sanger were recognized at the Feb. 17 by the Switzerland of Ohio Local School Board for being winners in the Patriot’s Pen contest, sponsored by the  local VFW auxiliary. Mikayla placed first; Megan, an auxiliary winner.

SOLSD Technology Coordinator Tess Hill was recognized at the Feb. 17 board meeting. She responsible for the district receiving a $483,329 DLT Grant.




SOLSD board member Janet Schwall presented Stephanie Rouse with a plaque at the Feb. 17 board meeting. Rouse was recognized for her hard work in becoming a Certified EMIS Professional.
Photos by Martha Ackerman

School Board Recognizes Achievements and Hard Work

Several guests were recognized, reports were given on Monroe Central’s activities, the new schools projects update and the new technology in the schools at the Feb. 17 meeting of the Switzerland of Ohio Local School Board. 

Monroe Central Principal Jerry Calder introduced senior Lakyn Zwick, daughter of Steve and Gail Zwick and PVC Scholar Athlete, as the Monroe Central board member. She told those present about the ongoing activities and special events at Monroe Central. Board president Scott Dierkes presented Lakyn with a plaque recognizing her as a student board member.

George Wells, talented and gifted program coordinator, introduced Amanda Bennett as the district spelling bee champion. She is one of nine students to go on to the regional spelling bee. Board member Teresa Gallagher presented Amanda with a plaque in recognition of her accomplishment.

Superintendent Larry Elliott introduced first place Patriot’s Pen winner Mikayla Sanger and auxiliary winner Megan Dick. Megan presented the board with American flags for the new schools. She conducted a fundraiser and earned the flags. Both young ladies were presented with plaques.

Woodsfield Elementary Prin-cipal Clint Abbott said when he began at Woodsfield Eleme-ntary he had challenged the seventh and eighth graders to be leaders of the school. He said these two young ladies really stepped forward as leaders.

Stephanie Rouse, a Certified EMIS Professional, was recognized for her work in being certified and going “above and beyond” in the EMIS program. Board member Janet Schwall presented Rouse with a plaque and thanked her for her hard work.

Tess Hill, district technical coordinator, was recognized for her technical support she gives the schools. Hill wrote a grant recently that brought $483,329 to the district for distance learning. The USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant provides access to education, training and health care resources in rural Ohio. George Richardson, administrative assistant, noted this is a renewable grant and as the district received the first one, it has a better chance of the grant to be renewed. 

The interactive white board, worth about $3,000, now in the board room was won by Hill at a Technology OSBA Conference Images can be projected on the board and  a stylis pen can be used as a mouse. It’s also a dry erase marker board. “This is the type of intractive equipment we will have in the new schools,” said Hill. Due to a major antivirus upgrade, she has been working on the district’s 1700 computers. Hill reported that she attended an E-Tech Ohio Conference. “It was beneficial for me because I came back with phone call saying I had won a $700 switch. We’re getting all kinds of new things and I’m so excited,” said Hill. She also told the board she had installed a piece of software when she first came to the district. This software enables her to work on the machines from her desk so she is not wasting time and mileage.

Hill is also working with the architects planning the technology that will be going into the new schools.  She is in process of getting bids for the switches and may be getting 80-90 percent reimbursement from E-Rate.  

The architect told the board he has worked with 38 other schools and commended Hill on her knowledge. He said Tess has the district’s best interest in mind and she knows where value can be added.

In the public participation portion of the meeting, Ron Talbot asked why the project has 11 estimators for each school. “If you have 11 estimators, surely you can be on budget, don’t you think?” he asked. Project Manager John Jefferis explained that each estimator estimates different items. One estimator doesn’t estimate the entire job. Each person estimates site work, duct work, electrical, mechanical, technology, etc. “It doesn’t mean they do everybody’s job and overlap each other … we have a team,” said Jefferis.

“At the end of the day, why are we over budget. That’s what I want to know,” said Talbot. 

“Don’t start pointing fingers,” said Jefferis. “When we estimate we estimate based on  the drawings we have in front of us.” 

He asked again why are we over budget. Dierkes explain-ed that it depends on the market value. “We have to find out when the bids come in.”

Talbot pointed out office equipment at $25,000 … Why do you send printing out to someone else to print. 

“I think these are plan documents and there are professional companies that do that. Our regular office is not equipped to do it,” said Janet Hissrich, district treasurer.

“You’re looking at very detailed information,” said Jefferis. “We get a set fee for doing this job ... You break it down by labor, etc. ... Budget of $25,000; the balance is $15,000 ... That doesn’t mean we’re going to spend every penny. It’s a budget.”

Ron Sebring questioned the project manager and architects about contingencies. “Am I right that all schools went over the budget? He was told that the contingencies are built into the budgets. “I’ve been to all the meetings,” said Sebring. The question was asked if this is going to be enough money ... The way I’m looking at it, they all went way over.”

“Each building has presented a different set of challenges,” said Jefferis ... We get bids back and they are way over budget. We bid again and get bids we can work with.” Jefferis explained there is five percent included in the budget for contingencies.

Talbot questioned why the district is paying $300,000 to put in turning lanes. He pointed out there was a lot more traffic when the plants and mines were at full capacity and there were no accidents at River’s entrance.

“It’s a requirement by the department of transportion,” said the architect. “It’s not something we dreamed up.” 

District of support services Marc Ring reported that Beallsville Elementary gym is  close to completion and concrete has been poured on the second floor. 

March 28 is the targeted start date for the geothermal wells at Monroe Central. “This week crews have been digging and pouring footers. They’re moving right along. You can’t see it from the road, but things are happening,” said Ring.

It was reported that the Powhatan project is within budget, is on track and moving into the construction document phase. 

The architect said Skyvue has some more hills to get over noting there is not enough water available for the sprinkling system. He said the district is working on a potential agreement with Monroe Water.

A resolution was approved to move ahead on a revised building plan for the Hannibal/Sardis and River High School project. The facility will be a K-12 complex. 

Administrative Assistant George Richardson reported the district is working with Tiffin University in regard to post secondary education. This would give the students an option to take post secondary classes during study hall or at home. He said students would not have to leave their home schools with this option.

According to Richardson, Dr. Christan and Dr. McDonald have offered the school nurses help with vision testing.

The board will meet March 3 at the district office.


■  2-24 Classifieds


Zelda F. Ruckman, 76, Monroe County Care Center, Woodsfield, died Feb. 16, 2011 at the center. She was born Jan. 27, 1935 at Cameron, a daughter of the late George and May Moore Vaness.

She was a homemaker and a member of the Cameron Church of Christ.

Surviving are six sons, George (Linda) Ruckman of Malaga, Robert Ruckman of Sioux Falls, S.D., Ron Ruckman of Woodsfield, Dale (Sandra) Ruckman of Woodsfield, Ed (Adele) Ruckman of Newport, Russell (Trish) Ruckman of Monroe; a daughter, Dora (Larry) Miller of Troutman, N.C.; three brothers, Ray (Rozella) Vaness, Ralph (Sue) Vaness, both of Rittman, Boyd (Shirley) Vaness of Cameron; four sisters, Martha Holliday of Rittman, Betty Chrosoki of Cresston, Sylvia (Frank) Hoke of Beallsville, Gladys Maury of Cameron; 10 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, George Ruckman; a son, John Ruckman; two brothers, Emerson and Paul Vaness; three sisters, Stella Ady, Maggie Ady and Hazel Martin.

Friends were received Feb. 18 at Watters Funeral Home, Woodsfield, where funeral services were held Feb. 19, with Darrell Veyon officiating. Burial followed in Oaklawn Cemetery, Woodsfield. 

Amanda English, 90, Rinard Mills, died Feb. 18, 2011 at Barnesville Hospital. She was born Aug. 2, 1920 in Rinard Mills, a daughter of the late Clark E. and Minnie Burkhart English.

She was a member of the Pleasant Ridge Church of Christ.

Surviving are a brother, John B. (Dorothy) English of Pewee Valley, Ky.; a sister, Mary Annette (Vernon) Cline of Woodsfield; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by three brothers, Kenneth, Donald, Sidney English; and two sisters, Lois Griffin and Marilyn Elias.

Friends were received Feb. 21 at Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield, where funeral services will be held Feb. 22, with Jeff Rich officiating. Burial was in Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, near Graysville.

Condolences may be expressed at  www.bauerturner.com. 

Harley E. Boughner
Harley E. Boughner, 89, Monroe County Care Center, Woodsfield, formerly of Jerusalem, died Feb. 15, 2011 at the center. He was born April 12, 1921 near Cameron, a son of the late Stephen E. and Mary Jane Vaness Boughner.

He was a retired employee of the former North American Coal #3 Mine near Dillies Bottom. He was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII, serving with the 46th Armored Infantry, 5th Armored Division, which participated in the D Day Invasion on Utah Beach. He received a Purple Heart for wounds received during combat; he was also the recipient of the “Normandy Medal” which was awarded by the Veterans Administration.

Surviving are three daughters, Patricia (Rodney) Ray, Carol Fisher, both of Beallsville, Marcia Shriver of Jerusalem; five grandchildren, Jeffrey Matoszkia, Robert Ray, Jason Shriver, Kara Moats, Lea Fisher; two great-grandchildren, Carah Weber, Harley Moats; three sisters, Delores Dickson of Steinersville, Norma Jenewein of Barnesville and Nora Dietz of McConnelsville; his special friend, Betty Jean Husk.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Morris Boughner; a brother, Harold; and two sisters, Amelia Lindenmeyer and Doris Smith. Friends were received Feb. 19 at Harper Funeral Home, Beallsville, where funeral services were held Feb. 20, with Jeff Rich officiating. Burial followed in Beallsville Cemetery with full military honors by American Legion Post 768.

Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net. 

Carl E. Groves, 92, formerly of Malaga, died Feb. 15, 2011 in Emerald Pointe Health and Rehab Center, Barnesville. He was born June 5, 1918 near Boston, a son of the late Del and Elizabeth Sullivan Groves.

He was a farmer.

Surviving are two sons, Paul (Nancy) Groves of Fishers, Ind., Gary (Donna) Groves of Annandale, Va.; two daughters, Janet (Donald) Crissinger, Mulberry, Fla, Ann (Gary) Bilyeu of Malaga; a sister, Alice Truex of Salem; nine grandchildren, Kevin, Beth, Anne, Tony, Sarah, Elaine, Josh, Bruce, Emily; and three great-grandchildren, Lainey, Dylan and Chloe.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Matthews Groves; a grandson, Donnie; two brothers and two sisters.

Friends were received Feb. 18 at Harper Funeral Home, Beallsville, where funeral service were held Feb. 19, with Rev. Richard Wilson officiating. Burial followed in Somerton Southern Cemetery.

Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net.