< 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.



January 15, 2009

<Kyle Cox Advances to State Level in Voice of Democracy

        Kyle Cox, center, displays the plaque he earned for placing first in the Voice of Democracy District competition. He has advanced to State level where he will compete with 12 high school students. At left is Harry English, Chaplain, Post 5108; at right is Department of Ohio Commander Richard Uzl, Jr.                      

 Photo Submitted

        Beallsville resident Kyle Cox was recently honored at a banquet in Marietta for placing first in this district for a speech he wrote for the Voice of Democracy scholarship program sponsored by the VFW.
        Kyle entered his speech originally to VFW Post 5303 in Woodsfield where he placed first, won $300 and a certificate. His speech then went to district competition where he also placed first. This earned him $500 and a beautiful plaque. Since Kyle placed first in district competition, he advances to the State level. Here the final 12 high school students for the State of Ohio will be honored at an all expense paid weekend in Independence, where they, along with their parents, will stay at the Doubletree Hotel and be treated to a special banquet in their honor along with other planned activities.
        At this banquet to be held on Jan. 24, the students will find out where their speeches placed on the State level. Sixth through twelfth places will win $1,500 each. Fifth place will win $2,000, 4th, $3,000, third $4,000, 2nd, $5,000 and first will take the top prize of $7,000. The winner at the State level will then advance to Nationals and be treated to an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., where the top prize is $30,000.
        Kyle is a sophomore in high school and is home schooled, something his family has done for 15 years. He is the son of Jeff and Laurie Cox of Beallsville. His father pastors the East Sunsbury Baptist Church.


<EMS Coordinator Resigns; JFS Transfers Vehicle to Sheriff

        Two new Monroe County Commissioners began learning the ropes during the Jan. 6 board meeting. The board’s reorganization meeting is held the second meeting of January. From left are Commissioners Carl Davis, Tim Price and John Pyles.

Photo by Arlean Selvy

by Arlean Selvy
        The resignation of the EMS Coordinator was accepted last week by Monroe County Commissioners, who also accepted a vehicle for the Sheriff’s Office.
        A letter of resignation as EMS coordinator was read from Carl D. Merckle.   According to the letter, Merckle’s resignation is effective Jan. 9. He listed an increase in travel and workload at his full-time job with the Department of Transportation. He thanked commissioners for the opportunity to serve as EMS coordinator over the past year. The resignation was accepted with thanks to Merckle for his service.
        Jeanette Harter, director, Monroe County Job and Family Services, told officials she has two cars which have been utilized for JFS travel. “I would like to be able to try to help the sheriff’s office out as well,” said Harter. “We are willing to absorb having to travel with our own vehicles or using one of the two [fleet vehicles].” Harter said she would like to replace the two cars but is financially unable to do that at this time. She said that over the next few months if she is able to purchase another vehicle, she will give the second JFS car to the sheriff’s office. One of the cars is registered at about 58,400 miles and the other at 51,800 miles.
        Harter indicated that the two vehicles are not fuel efficient and, therefore, the cost to reimburse an employee for using his/her own car is about the same as the cost of fuel for the fleet vehicles.
        Sheriff Chuck Black, who sat in on a portion of the meeting with Harter, said there are times when JFS employees are called out and the sheriff is called at the same time. He said he has no problem if a children’s services employee comes to the sheriff’s office and shares a ride to the residence. “We’re going there anyway,” said Black.
        “I appreciate you being able to do that – and helping the sheriff’s office out,” Pyles told Harter.
        “In return, we appreciate his [sheriff’s] effort in helping us, and being able to transport us on some of our calls,” said Harter. She noted there are times when they need somebody to go along on the calls.
        Commissioners voted 3-0 to accept the vehicle.
        In other matters, Harter talked to officials concerning the JFS policy manual. She encouraged commissioners to make their county policy manual a priority. She said if the JFS manual is silent on a particular subject, the department would fall back on the county policy. She reported on changes she wants to make in the JFS handbook. Most of the items are for cost-cutting measures. Addressed also will be personal use of computers, cell phones and the new IRS regulations which require day trip reimbursements be added to employee W2 forms at the end of the year. According to Harter, overnight trips will be legally reimbursed.
        Harter said she will have a draft of the JFS policy handbook in a week or two for review by the board of commissioners.
        Former commissioner Francis ‘Sonny’ Block approached the board about the RUOK (Are You Okay?) program.
        The RUOK telephone system is set up to assist senior citizens, the handicapped, and those living alone who may need help. The system automatically dials the individual each day at a pre-determined time. The system will automatically call three times and if there is no answer by the third attempt, the sheriff’s office is alerted that there may be a problem at that address. Sheriff’s personnel would then call a designated person concerning the unanswered call, or, a deputy would be dispatched to the residence.
        Block told officials that AT&T was expected to install the line the following day (Wednesday Jan. 7) at no charge to the county. However, he noted there will be a monthly line charge of approximately $30. According to Block, the Senior Citizens and the Ruritan Club have agreed to pick up the first year’s line fee. In addition, he said Buckeye Hills is taking care of the cost of all equipment and training.
        On a motion by Pyles, the board will establish a separate fund through which the RUOK program monies will be channeled.
        “For the seniors in the county, I sure appreciate your dedication to that,” said Commissioner John Pyles.
        “This gives peace of mind to the family, also,” added Block.

<English Elected to Serve as Woodsfield Council President

        A council president pro-tem was elected and committees named at the Jan. 5 meeting of Woodsfield Village Council, which also adopted an ordinance to comply with the state constitutional minimum wage law. Council also heard a report concerning Fire Engine 42.
        According to Village Solicitor Bill Frank, the ordinance increases minimum wage employees to $7.30 per hour and allows for proportionate increases for other employees.           
         A second ordinance, passed on an emergency basis, revised the compensation for village clerk to $25,000 per year.
        Dale English was elected to serve as council president.
        Council approved the temporary appropriations ordinance on an emergency basis. Temporary appropriations total $1,533,151.75.
        Fire Chief Mike Young reported the pump on Engine 42 must be totally rebuilt. He noted that once the pump is rebuilt, the truck will be like new and the department plans to refurbish it in a few years. The company rebuilding the pump will come to the station annually to inspect the fire vehicles. According to Mayor Bill Bolon, the truck will be considered this “will reflect well for insurance purposes.”
        Village Administrator Jeff Woodell commended members of the water and sewer crews and TV cable superintendent for going out during the holidays to make repairs. With regard to the cable, Supt. Sam McPeek received a call about 8:30 p.m. Christmas Eve from a woman who reported a trampoline was blown across her lawn and knocked her cable out. Woodell said McPeek went over first thing Christmas morning and repaired the line. There were two major water breaks over Christmas. The first was on Christmas Eve at 1 a.m. and repaired by 6 a.m. The second was at 1 a.m. Christmas day with work completed at 1 p.m. “My hat’s off to the water and sewer department crew,” said Woodell. “It was pretty nasty weather and they were out both holidays.”             Additionally, the power plant was called Dec. 28 to a pole which had caught fire on Sycamore Street. Woodell said a porcelain switch had cracked causing an arc. The switch was changed. Workers were on the job from
 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.
        Additionally, Woodell reported a double parking meter has been placed in front of KFC and another across from Citizens National Bank.
        Mayor Bill Bolon named the following committees’ members, with the first named being chairman.
        Street: Dale English, Vernon Henthorn, Paul Byers; Finance: Henthorn, Byers, English; Safety: Henthorn, Carol Hehr, English; Building: Pauline Delbrugge, Hehr, Byers; Fire Dept. Committee: Delbrugge, English, Henthorn;  Park: Hehr, English, Moore; Fire Dept. Dependency Board: Byers, English, Moore; Cemetery Committee: Byers, Delbrugge, Moore; Ordinance Committee: Hehr, Delbrugge, Byers; Parking, Bill Moore, Hehr, Delbrugge; ADA: Moore, Delbrugge; Policy and Procedure: Hehr, village administrator Woodell, Police Chief Chuck Hamilton and the superintendents; Records Commission: Mayor Bill Bolon, Delbrugge and Henthorn; Uniforms: Delbrugge, Woodell, Hamilton; Board of Review: English, Delbrugge and Moore; Water advisory committee: Mayor Bolon, Henthorn, English and Terry Comstock, water and sewer superintendent.
        Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Mondays of each month.


< Obituaries

        Mark Raymond Darnold, 56, Union St., Hannibal, died Jan. 6, 2009, in Wheeling Hospital Medical Park. He was born July 28, 1952 in Morgantown, a son of the late Earl R. and Claire Middleton Darnold.
        Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com.

        Irene Highman, 83, Woods-field Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, formerly of Graysville, died Jan. 10. 2009, at the center. She was born April 22, 1925 in Graysville, a daughter of the late John and Olive Anderson Allen.   Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com

Eugene S. Wells, 93, Barnes-ville, formerly of Jerusalem, died Jan. 7, 2009, at his home. He was born Dec. 13, 1915 in Noble County, a son of the late James and Josephine Finley Wells.

        Elva ‘Jo’ Dietrich, 91, formerly of Orchard Lake, Michigan, died Jan. 1, 2009, at Woodland Terrace in Bridgeman. She was born Aug. 2, 1917 in Wheeling, a daughter of the late Carl and Ada Walters Dotta.
        Condolences may be  expressed at www.starks-mechinger.com.

<Our Readers Write:

Dear Editor,
        As a patron of the Monroe County Library, I support their efforts to provide resources to local communities and beyond, and greatly appreciate their willingness to do so in a professional and welcoming manner. I am in favor of educating our citizens and making resources to all who seek them available, and I feel that our library strives to do so every day. I am not, however, in favor of childish bickering and baseless allegations. We are living in serious times and are currently faced with serious problems. With so many people facing such hardships, I believe the citizens of our county need return to reality and put aside their idealistic dreams of a perfect world where all is right and everyone gets what they want.
        If I am not mistaken, the Monroe County Library Board voted down a motion to take Dally Memorial Library on as a branch at the November meeting. The motion was defeated by a 4 to 3 vote. In my opinion, the issue had been resolved. But, as usual, I was wrong and have continued to hear gripes and groans about this issue ever since.
        At the December meeting of the Monroe County Library Board, which I attended in support of the Monroe County Library, a webcast was shown regarding the current and future financial situation of the State of Ohio and its libraries. The Ohio Library Council’s Director of Government and Legal Services stated that a seven percent decrease in revenue for every library in the State of Ohio is to be expected for 2009. Now, let’s put this into terms that we all can understand. A decrease in revenue means there is going to be less money to go around. Less money means less spending. Even I understand that. I have no money myself right now. I am a poor, post-college graduate living on a very small income. I have recently seen a huge decrease in my personal revenue; therefore I am spending less. I know, my decrease in revenue is not the same as the library’s decrease in revenue, but the principle is the same; less coming in means less going out, Economics
 101. I definitely did not need to earn a college degree to understand that concept.
        In the January 1 edition of the Monroe County Beacon there were two letters regarding the current library situation. A comparison  was made between the Ohio Valley Community Credit Union and The Citizens National Bank and their branches to the current library situation. I do agree that branches better serve the public and allow both private and public institutions to better serve their patrons, customers, clients, etc. But, comparing banks and libraries is like comparing apples and oranges. Although they both serve the public, they in no way do so in the same manner. I could be wrong, it happens quite often, but I would think that a financial institution’s budget, such as The Citizens National Bank is determined internally and is not affected by the state’s budget, as are the budgets of public libraries. Also, the services provided by those branches do not take away funding and resources from the main office. I can cash a check (however small it
 might be) at the Woodsfield branch of the Ohio Valley Community Credit Union, but I can do so knowing that I have in no way put the future of the main office in Hannibal or its services in jeopardy.
        Because of the anticipated decrease in revenue, adding a branch library would definitely take away funding and resources from the main branch, therefore reducing services that are currently available. Bookmobile services that are provided to so many who are unable to drive to the library seem to be on the chopping block, although one more year of funding has been secured.
        The bookmobile makes 26 stops throughout the area, in conjunction with the Caldwell Public Library; including riverfront stops such as Clarington, Duffy, Sardis, Hannibal and Hedgedale; kudos to Ms. Sylvia Bowen for addressing the bookmobile in last week’s edition of the Beacon. Why do we need a spend money on a branch when the bookmobile is making stops in these communities already? How can anyone justify cutting the bookmobile, which services residents in a number of communities throughout the county to pay for a branch library that will only serve a very small area within the county? How about those residents living in the Beallsville area? With no branch located in their town, no bookmobile to service them, and no representation on the library board, I hope those wishing to utilize the library resources all have  vehicles and are able to drive.
        What about the interlibrary loan service that enables patrons to order materials not available within the state library system? Would that service be at risk too? The Monroe County Library pays return postage on materials ordered through the interlibrary loan system. I have in the past personally received textbooks from Louisiana and Maryland, having saved myself hundreds of dollars while attending school, thanks to the interlibrary loan system.
        In another letter published in the January 1 edition of the Beacon, it was stated the Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles has a sort of ‘online branch’ to allow people to renew license plates without making a trip to a central office. If I am not mistaken the Monroe County Library provides a wonderful website (www.monroecounty.lib.oh.us) which allows patrons to order books, renew books, place holds on books, and access a number of other resources as well. You might be thinking ‘it’s great that a patron can order a book online, but they still would have to drive to a central location to pick up their selection’. Eureka! The bookmobile saves the day.
        A patron can order a book online and choose to have the book delivered by the bookmobile at their local stop. Simply by choosing the Caldwell Noble Extension delivery choice, you do not have to drive to the main office. The bookmobile delivers. The website also contains an Ohio Web Library link, which provides access to statewide databases dealing with a number of useful research and information topics. There is a link to local databases such as Heritage Quest, a genealogy site, and an online auto repair reference center and magazines available through EBSCO. The website also contains the Learning Express Library link which provides testing preparation materials for a wide range of educational and vocational exams.
        It seems to me that the Monroe County Library has been displaying signs of progress for quite some time, putting their patrons, all of their patrons no matter where they come from, first. All who seek resources, information, and a friendly atmosphere to improve their quality of life are welcome at the Monroe County Library. It is ludicrous to think that the Monroe County Library staff would make anyone feel unwelcome.
        I urge citizens who have never used the Monroe County Library to start doing so. If you have never used the library how can you really comment on what has been taking place or on how the library is being managed? Go to the library, get a library card, see directly how things are being done. Attend the board meetings to gain firsthand knowledge of what exactly is going on, to see for yourself how your library and its future are being handled. It is your right to get involved, and to be equally represented as members of this community.
        It seems that in our county whenever a decision is made, it is said to be ‘nothing of a personal nature, just business’, no matter what the consequences might be. In the case of the Monroe County Library Board’s decision to not accept Dally Memorial as a branch, I am sure it’s not personal, it’s just business.
        If any of these facts have made you think about the future of your library and its resources, get involved. Attend library board meetings, which take place the second Tuesday of each month at 5:45 p.m. in the meeting room of the Monroe County Library. The meetings are open to the public.
Holly Gallaher

<Around the Burnside
Seat belts are not as confining as a wheelchair.
        How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?
        It sure doesn’t take them long to get the income tax forms to you. I think my U.S. one came on Jan. 3 and Ohio the next day. If we believe what we read and hear, we are in line to get a big tax break down the road.
        Not much to write about as the new year begins. For some it is starting out on the tough side. I’m not too smart, but it seems as though the big boys and states who have caused the problems are yelling the loudest for help. Why didn’t somebody stop us they ask? Dumb?
        Well, after about midnight tonight the college football season will be over with the Championship game. I don’t know why they don’t just have a four team play-off and let it go at that. University presidents are against it and, on the other hand, want to lower the drinking age. Make sense?
        The Buckeyes lost the big one again. They won it all until the last two minutes and the air came out of their sails. Oh well, if they had won the so-called football experts would have to select another team to pick on in  the coming year. I know any number of college teams would trade places with their success.
        A little different slant on things. I came across something the other day that takes a little different slant on things.
        A friend of Herb Grant, who works for the Columbus Dispatch, sent him the following letter:
        “As a veteran I wanted to do something on Tuesday as a sign of respect for those who served our country, so, I went to the Ohio Statehouse in the morning to see the display honoring the Lima Company men killed and say a prayer. As I was viewing one of the full size paintings of three who died when they hit a roadside bomb, I realized a tall man stood next to me observing the same painting. I recognized it was OSU quarterback Terrell Pryor. When I looked around further, I noticed a large contingent of OSU football players were also there. As Jim Tressel came to the center of the rotunda, his men gathered behind him and they all took a knee and said a prayer of their own. They were there about 15 minutes and then they all left together. It dawned on me this was such a classy thing to do by the coach and team, especially considering there was no media there to  cover this. It was not their intention to be rewarded with some kind of publicity. It was
 merely a wonderful, solemn gesture on their part to pay their respects without expectations of being recognized in some way for doing so. We always hear about the negative aspects of a team, but seldom about the good.”
        Now that the new year is upon us, we sometimes look back. I would like for you to take a few minutes and look back with me. I’m going to give you a 25 question test. You may have seen this test before and I do not want you to cheat. You are to answer yes to each question you actually remember, not just ones you have heard about. Here goes:
        Older Than Dirt Quiz.
        (1) Blackjack gum. (2) Wax Coke shaped bottles with colored sugar water. (3) Candy cigarettes. (4) Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles. (5) Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes. (6) Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers (I did this and if the bottles got frozen the stopper and milk came right out the top). (7) Party lines on the telephones. (8) Newsreels before the movie. (9) P.F. Flyers. (10) Butch wax. (11) TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (There were only three channels if you were fortunate). (12) Peashooters. (13) Howdy Doody. (14) Metal ice trays with lever. (18) Mimeo-graph paper. (19) Blue flashbulbs. (20) Packards. (21) Roller skate keys. (22) Cork popguns. (23) Drive-ins. (24) Studebakers (Esther and I owned one) and finally (25) Wash tub wringers.
        Now count up your yes answers. the following results tell your age. 0-5 = you’re still young. 6-10 you are getting older. 11-15 Don’t tell your age. 16-25 you’re older than Dirt!
        I might be older than dirt but those memories are some of the best parts of my life. What was your score?
        I could have made the quiz a bit longer by adding such things as head light dimmer switches on the floor, real ice boxes, pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards, solder irons you heat on a gas burner, using hand signals for cars without turn signals and I know you can add more. We’ll never forget the little building out back when it was about 15 degrees and the wind was blowing.
        Did you have the same experience as this person wrote? I was 13 before I tasted my first pizza, It was called “pizza pie”. When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that too. It’s still the best pizza I ever had.
        Actually our kids Terry and Brian would never eat pizza until they ate some at a neighbor’s house while playing.
        Growing old is inevitable; growing up is optional.
        Church Sunday? Why not?
        Bible readings: (Mon.) Joshua 1:10-18; (Tues.) Hebrews 11:23-31; (Wed.) Joshua 2:8-11; (Thurs.) Joshua 2:25-21; (Fri.) James 2:21-26; (Sat.) Mathew 1:1-6; (Sun.) Joshua 2:1-4, 11-14; 6:22-25.