740-472-0734 < P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield,
OH 43793 <
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Woodsfield, OH 43793.
January 1, 2009
to the Crown
to the Crown,” a Miss America reality show, will be televised Jan. 2, 9, 15
and 23 on TLC. The Jan. 2 show will begin at 10 p.m.
Woodsfield’s own Karissa Martin, Miss
Ohio 2008, is one of the “stars” of this production. Karissa will be
competing in the 2009 Miss America contest which will be held Jan. 24 in Las
Vegas, Nevada. The contest will be televised at 8 p.m. on TLC.
Monroe Produces Results
Residents volunteer time & talents to move County forward
Scott, workforce and economic developer, center, who facilitates the many
facets of his Team Monroe is shown with Team Monroe members. Front, from
left, are Dennis Ward, trustee; Joel Davis, vice-president; Dan Greenlee,
trustee and Dr. Hugh Hyers, chairman of Team Monroe’s incubator committee.
In back are Kiven Smithberger, president, Scott, and Joe Urbanek, treasurer.
Nikki Baker, not pictured, is secretary. Photo by Arlean
by Gwynn Clifford
for Team Monroe
Nearly a hundred Monroe County
residents have attended meetings and served on the Business, Incubator,
Education, Infrastructure, Marketing, Tourism and Transportation
subcommittees of Team Monroe throughout 2008.
The concept to involve residents from
across the county was the brainchild of Economic and Workforce Developer Tom
Scott and former director of Job and Family Services Debbie Haney. The group
has become diverse and representative of all four corners of Monroe County
and the villages and ridges in between.
“Team Monroe is alive and well,” said
Team Monroe president Kiven Smithberger, at the December meeting. “We will
continue the good work and rely on good people to give their time and
talents to move the county forward.”
In 2008 the group has made great
strides in getting organized, hosting awareness meetings and moving the
critical work of six subcommittees forward through hard work,
dedication, tenacity and partnerships.
“Every Monroe County resident is
eligible to be a member of Team Monroe,” said Scott. “There are no
membership fees - we simply ask that you provide your input, your concerns
and/or your time in identifying and addressing the challenges that are
facing Monroe County.”
Team Monroe meets the fourth Monday
of each month at 6 p.m. with locations varying across the county. The
following subcommittee overviews represent a sampling of the great work that
has been accomplished throughout 2008.
Business incubation is a business
support process that accelerates the successful development of start-up and
small companies by providing entrepreneurs with a variety of resources and
services. The Team Monroe committee opened the first location focusing on a
commercial kitchen-style incubator. They continue to determine usage,
equipment, contract and staffing needs as well as investigate the addition
of another facility. Team Monroe’s first business incubator officially
opened Aug. 28 located in the former Midway school near Antioch.
“The goal is to stimulate business in
the county,” said Hugh Hyre, chairman of Team Monroe’s incubator committee.
“We’re starting with a kitchen because that’s what we all know.” Hyre made
note that if it’s possible and worthwhile to citizens, with regard to time
and travel, they’d like to open another kitchen incubator in another
There are state requirements for the
site, and rules and regulations to be followed by those who use the
incubator facility. To date, a bakery license has been obtained as well as a
preliminary canning license for items such as jams, jellies and sauces and
for packing dried goods. A certified kitchen manager is required for canning
and Connie Morris recently underwent four days of intensive training to earn
certification. The application fee to use the kitchen is $20. The fee to use
the kitchen without using public utilities is $6 per hour. Those using the
stove and other equipment will pay $8 per hour.
The Education Team developed the
vision of The Monroe County Regional Higher Education: to provide the
opportunity for secondary education to all regional residents. Through
partnerships with a variety of educational institutions, Team Monroe will
will provide academic and technical higher education coursework, career
counseling services and community programming.
A memorandum of understanding MOU was
established between Monroe County commissioners and Belmont Technical
College. Presented to commissioners June 24, the MOU spells out what is
expected of the county and what BTC will do as a key partner coordinating
regional higher education providers. BTC convened a community task force to
move forward a higher education plan for Monroe County hosting the
first of several planned meetings with community leaders to solicit input.
In addition, a grant for $5,000 was
written and received from The Laura Jane Musser Fund to support the
development of the Monroe County Regional Higher Education. Moving forward
the education team will work to initiate a P-16 council (from pre-school
through college) partnering education, workforce and economic development
systems working to provide Monroe County’s students with the tools they need
to compete in today’s ever-changing and increasingly technical marketplace.
P-16 is a shared education reform effort designed to create a seamless
education and workforce system and produce the talent base needed for the
21st century economy. Monroe’s team will partner with a successful P-16
Council in the Akron area to learn about their best practices.
The Infrastructure Team has worked to
review the county’s public works resources such as water, sewer, broadband,
township resources, etc. to determine its strengths and weaknesses and
opportunities for improvement. The team has worked to gather key maps,
resources and will complete a needs assessment.
The Marketing Team developed a plan
approved by the commissioners and Community Improvement Corporation board
that includes a variety of key objectives including enhancing the
internet-based marketing on key websites, developing new marketing brochures
and establishing a contract with local realtors to market the Monroe County
Commerce Park and Black Walnut Center.
In April, the marketing sub-committee
played a valuable part in persuading the CIC board to approve a plan with
local realtors to market. While efforts to finalize the real estate contract
with county commissioners have been ongoing, the team hopes to have this
goal accomplished with commissioners’ support in January.
In addition, the marketing group has
secured the opportunity to work with Ohio University’s Dr. Catherine N.
Axinn, Professor of Marketing and International Business and the Marketing
Department, Director of Educational Operations for the Ralph and Luci Schey
Sales Centre and her senior students who will adopt the following Team
Monroe projects for winter quarter marketing work: Monroe County Economic
Development; the Black Walnut Center and Monroe County Commerce Park; the
Monroe County Business Incubator and Monroe County Tourism. Each group will
receive business marketing plans - the value of such a project in the
commercial sector is estimated to be more than $50,000 provided through Team
Monroe to the county at no cost. An Ohio University senior graphic design
student will also coordinate new brochures for economic development and the
Monroe County business incubator.
The Tourism Team reviewed immediate
needs for resources and updates with the Ohio Department of Travel and
Tourism. Team Monroe partnered with the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce
for staffing resources to make routine annual updates to the state’s tourism
database and provide literature to the Ohio Department of Transportation’s
Travel Information Centers on behalf of the county. They are also
represented at the Monroe Washington Covered Bridge Scenic Byway Work Group.
In the near future, the team will deliver the first of 12 Monroe County
placemats to regional restaurants to promote Monroe. The placemats feature
parks, restaurants, artisans, historical markers, family resources and the
quilt barns. Another project underway is the design of Monroe County
t-shirts that will be for sale to benefit Team Monroe’s efforts. Sample
shirts will be on display at businesses across the county and pre-sale
orders will be received.
“Monroe County has talent and
ambition,” said Aaron Miller, owner of E’Delweiss (Beef) Farm near
Beallsville and chairman of the tourism subcommittee. “I’ve seen enthusiasm
in Team Monroe. You have the ability to do something ... Just get up and get
The Transportation Team has reviewed
findings from the ODOT study of SR78/37 and its impacts to Monroe County.
They are developing plans and pursuing funding options to extend SR800 to
the Monroe County Commerce Park and have met with the ODOT District 11
Director. This team has also coordinated discussions with the Ohio Rail
Commission, ODOT, Norfolk/Southern Rail and Ormet regarding rail lines along
the Ohio River to support Artco Steel and its potential future expansion or
facility leasing. In addition, they have been coordinating the Monroe County
Airport Authority regarding future progress at the airport.
Members of Team Monroe have met with
the following local, regional, state and federal partners over the past
year: U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson, staff
from U.S. Senator George Voinovich’s office, Federal Appalachian Regional
Commis-sion, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department
of Agriculture Forest Service, Ohio Congress-woman Jennifer Garrison and
Ohio Senator Joy Padgett and Senator-elect Jimmy Stewart, Ohio Department of
Transpor-tation, Ohio Rail Commission, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio
River Development Committee, Ohio River Trails, Ohio Farm Bureau, Governor’s
Office of Appalachia, Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development
District, the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance (EODA), Connect Ohio, Ohio
Department of Travel and Tourism, Wayne National Forest, Monroe Soil and
Water Conservation District, The Ohio State University Extension - Monroe
County, Ohio University Voinovich
School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Monroe/Washington Covered Bridge
Scenic Byway Work Group, the Monroe County Airport Authority, Monroe County
Fair Board, Monroe County Park Board and the Switzerland of Ohio Local
From an administrative perspective,
Team Monroe elected officers including: president, Kiven Smithberger,
Woodsfield; vice-president, Joel Davis, Sardis; secretary, Nikki Baker,
Lewisville; treasurer, Joe Urbanek, Beallsville. Team Monroe trustees
include Dennis Ward, Dave Pyles, Aaron Miller and Dan Greenlee. The team is
awaiting approval from the IRS of 501(c)(3) status. The application was
necessary in applying for potential grant monies for any of the
subcommittees. Volunteers attended a grant writing workshop hosted by the
Farm Bureau. The teams also have a variety of pending grant applications.
Team Monroe was an active participant with displays at the 2008 Monroe
County Fair and Black Walnut Festival.
Subcommittee meeting details are
available at www.monroecountyohio.com. The Jan. 26 Team Monroe meeting will
be at 6 p.m. in Sardis at the Dally Library Annex (the former union hall).
For more details, contact Smithberger at 740-472-7325 or Tom Scott at
& Foreclosure Help Now Available in Monroe County
Southeastern Ohio Legal Services providing the $5,000 match Monroe County
was able to secure a Positive Balance person who will help residents
with personal financial and foreclosure problems. Shown, from left, are
Monroe County Auditor Pandora Neuhart, CHIP coordinator Raymond Bauer and
Dennis Harrington of SOLS, all members of the Monroe County Personal Finance
and Education Task Force; SOLS attorney Leslie Vincent and Positive Balance
advisor Susan Davis.
Photo by M. Ackerman
by Martha Ackerman
Through matching funds provided by
the Southeastern Ohio Legal Services, Monroe County now has its own
Americorps Positive Balance advisor in Susan Davis. She is available to help
residents with personal finance and foreclosure prevention issues.
The mission of the Positive Balance
program is to expand opportunities for people living in Ohio by promoting
decisions and behavior that will improve their personal financial
conditions. Through collaboration, Positive Balance seeks to increase
financial awareness and reduce financial pressures for individuals.
In light of the numerous foreclosures
which had plummeted the housing market, the formation of a county task
forces was requested by Ohio State Treasurer Richard Cordray.
The local task force is made up of county officials, resource persons and
local business men and women. Dennis Harrington, of SOLS, is a member of the
Monroe County Personal Finance and Education Task Force and secured the
$5,000 which was used for the match needed to have an Americorps person
Davis provides face-to-face contact
to residents seeking guidance in financial matters and foreclosure issues.
All information is kept confidential.
“Susan is available to help residents
who are behind on their bills deal with their problems. Pride is a big issue
and confidentiality is very important,” said Harrington.
Davis is trained to steer residents
in the right direction and help them make the contacts which could provide
help with their financial problems.
Davis can be contacted at the CIC
office, Black Walnut Parkway, Woodsfield, or by calling 740-472-2546.
Southeastern Ohio Legal Services
provides free non-criminal legal advice to local residents who are within
the 125 percent poverty guidelines or 250 percent in foreclosure matters.
For residents 60 and over there are no financial guidelines.
SOLS Staff Attorney Leslie Vincent is
available at the Woodsfield Methodist Church from 2 to 4 p.m. the second and
fourth Tuesdays of each month. It is advised to call 1-800-837-2630 in
Retires; New Director Named
Park Board of Monroe County introduced its new director recently. Mark
Gallagher of Woodsfield will assume the director’s position upon the
retirement of Jim Heimann, who has held the position for 13 years. Shown,
from left are board members Irma Highman and Richard Wilson, Heimann,
Gallagher and board member Mike Lloyd.
Photo by Martha Ackerman
The Park Board of Monroe County has announced its selection of Mark
Gallagher of Plainview Road, Woodsfield, as its new park director. Jim
Heimann, who has held the position for the past 13 years, has retired.
The board anticipates that Gallagher
will bring creative thinking and a fresh outlook to the county’s park
Regarding the future direction of the
park district, Gallagher noted, “In accordance with the park board’s
multi-use philosophy, I would like to continue with ongoing projects such as
the potential development of oil and gas leases on certain remote park
property and I would also like to follow up on our state forester’s forest
management plan for Clarington Park. In the upcoming years, I would like to
continue with the nature walk program and possibly modify it to include
specially designed areas for the visually impaired and other handicapped
citizens. We have an excellent park district, one which I would like to see
utilized to its maximum potential. Regarding our future programs, I would
like to see cross country hiking, exercise trails, fishing contests,
treasure hunts, photography/art contests and more school programs.
“I’d also like to involve the park
district with our local Boy and Girl Scout organizations.
“It will be a privilege to serve the
residents of Monroe County,” concluded Gallagher.
“It has been a challenging and
pleasure-filled career,” said Heimann. “In all honesty, I have most enjoyed
the portion of this job that allowed me to work with the county’s youth.
I’ve always found it interesting to encounter curious minds, regardless of
the age group, when conducting nature walks. However, I have especially
enjoyed events like the SWCD’s fifth grade Field Day because that age group
is especially attentive and wide-eyed about nature’s revelations.
“Having been schooled at Hocking
Technical College, my keenest interest has always been communicating the
solace and endless discoveries that reside in our great outdoors. I have
always been fascinated by prehistoric Ohioans, and I have rarely conducted a
nature walk without conveying their ability to prosper in an unforgiving
natural setting - something that has become lost to most modern-day
FLOYD R. FLEEMAN
Floyd Robert “Bob” Fleeman, 85, of
Dalzell Rd., Whipple, died Dec. 24, 2008, Harmar Place. He was born June 29,
1923, in Washington County at home on Fleeman Run Road, the son of the late
Henry and Lydia Snyder Fleeman. Online condolences may be shared at
LOIS IRENE BERGER
Louis Irene Berger, 74, of Schupbach
Addition, Hannibal, died Dec. 26, 2008 at New Martinsville Health Care
Center. She was born Feb. 14, 1934, in Sycamore Valley, the daughter of the
late Forrest and Mary Burkhart Martin. Sympathy expressions at
Carrie Rutledge, 89, Ontario, Calif., died Dec. 19, 2008. She was born Nov.
18, 1919, in Monroe County.
WILMA MAE LUDOLPH
Wilma Mae Ludolph, 81, Woodsfield
Nursing and Rehabil-itation Center, formerly of Sardis, died Dec. 25, 2008
at Barnesville Hospital. She was born April 13, 1927 in Hannibal, a daughter
of the late Erman and Georgianna Baker Henthorn. She was a homemaker and a
member of the Gravel Hill Baptist Church, Fly.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com
A recent letter suggested people on
the riverfront have to travel to do their banking, so they probably
conveniently pass libraries at Powhatan, New Matamoras and New Martinsville
on their way.
Actually, Clarington and Hannibal
each have the Ohio Valley Credit Union and Sardis has the Citizens National
Bank. That’s possible because those institutions have branches.
Even the Ohio Department of Motor
Vehicles has an online “branch,” so people can renew license plates without
making a trip to a central office. Branches in business and government are a
sign of putting the customers first. They are signs of progress.
The same is true about libraries.
A previous letter to the editor said
there was no support outside of Sardis for the Dally Library. My children
use the Dally Library quite often. My son attends Hannibal Elementary and
his school raises money to purchase books for Dally. I also know the
volunteers and patrons come from several riverfront communities.
For some children the Dally Library
is the only one they are able to attend. The children of Sardis Elementary
have the opportunity to walk to the library. If not for this opportunity,
some would never step foot in a library. In these economic times both
parents work which doesn’t allow extra time or any time to drive to a
Students at River High School use
Dally, too. Some even ride the bus to Sardis after school to utilize the
It is upsetting that people in my
community are told that we are not welcome to Monroe County library services
and should go to another state or county. At New Martinsville Library, I
have to pay an annual fee for a library card. They do not have an
interlibrary loan system like Dally’s and the Ohio library system.
Dally is very convenient for many who
bank at the Citizens National Bank (Branch of Woodsfield). The library is
located behind the bank making it easy for picking up and dropping off
books. It is so nice to be able to use the interlibrary loan system.
The Citizens National Bank is a
branch of Woodsfield. The Ohio Valley Community Credit Union offers
Woodsfield a branch of that service. What if the credit union would have
said Woodsfield citizens need to use only the Hannibal office or drive just
a short distance to Clarington to use that one? Branches offer services the
citizens of its community and county need to make it a better, more
convenient place for all. Branches are good things, especially the extended
Driving in Monroe and
Being a transplant to Monroe County
for the past 31 years, I have noticed that there is a certain portion of the
population that really don’t know how to drive safely or properly. When I
lived in Spain and a friend who had borrowed my car was struck by a Spaniard
passing a line of traffic stopped behind him while turning left, our abogado
(lawyer) insisted upon the importance of him having been on the line while
turning left. Otherwise, we would have lost the case.
It seems that a lot of “Country”
drivers drive as if they were turning an oxcart. They pull right to turn
left and go left to turn right. This activity will eventually get you killed
in a traffic situation.
Another bad habit that they exhibit
is to drive through every pothole on our gravel roads, rather than trying to
miss them. This activity has multiple repercussions.
First, the splashing makes the
pothole larger and larger and hitting the pothole can damage your car. Then
there are those who don’t seem to be able to anticipate what happens when
you accelerate or decelerate on a hill on a gravel road. It creates
washboard roads and the harder you accelerate, the worse they get.
You need to anticipate stopping while
going down a hill or you will create washboards. Pickup trucks and vans are
the biggest offenders.
And then there is that constant habit
of creating railroad tracks on our gravel roads. In most cases there is room
for two cars, meaning that you should try to drive to the right and not
follow the tracks left by all the other inexperienced drivers. Doing so will
keep the road uniform and not create paths for water accumulation and, by
consequence, potholes. Dodging potholes will eventually squeeze them back in
and eliminate them, but it only takes one splash to ruin all your efforts.
And finally, can’t you keep your
trash in your car until you get home? Especially glass bottles. Last year as
I pulled onto County 12 with my tractor, I heard this hiss hiss sound as I
drove home. There, stuck in my tire was a piece of broken beer bottle that
someone had pitched into the grass. I believe the fine for littering is
$500. I am requesting a litter sign be posted on Rock Camp Road.
you don’t have a sense of humor, you probably don’t have any sense at all.
A good time to keep your mouth shut
is when you are in deep water.
Well, what do you know? Eight
reindeer and Santa with a Ho-Ho-Ho. Did you hear them or maybe see them? I
thought the other night he landed at our house. On closer inspection, the
next day I found out it was only the wind which was strong enough to blow
over our barbeque grill on our deck.
Here it is, the last few hours of
2008. What a year. Doesn’t sound too good heading into 2009. The news media
does not seem to let us know any of the good things that have happened. Last
week’s Beacon’s front page had a number of good things that have been going
on in Monroe County.
When I looked at the picture of the
junior high students, who brought in items for gift boxes to be given to the
Secret Santa program, I could not help but think. If these students can
cooperate and bring in over five times the number of items expected, why
can’t the adults in the county cooperate for the total county in addition to
their own areas? Maybe the schools could do something together and call it
the Switzerland of Ohio Schools. Might be a start; remember the county band?
Dec. 31, time to party. I remember
seeing a picture of an old man with a scythe over his shoulder and a baby
wearing a sash with the new year printed on it.
If you plan to party, please do not
party in such a way that your head will be hurting the next day and
wondering what happened. Remember: There are worse things than getting a
call for a wrong number at 4 a.m. It could be a right number.
Our plans for celebrating New Year’s
Eve will be the same as the last several years. Sitting in the easy chair,
watching and listening to big time singers sing songs that I cannot
understand, waiting for the big ball to drop. I normally have to wake up you
know who so she can share in the excitement. That’s about it except I might
crack a can of Mountain Dew, if I can get Esther to get it for me.
One of the nicest gifts I got this
year was getting to hold and rock our little great-grandson to sleep.
Nothing better than a rocking chair and a child to rock. If there is, I
don’t know what it would be.
Needless to say, Dad did not like
that “store” bought butter. One morning Mom filled the churn and sent me to
the basement to churn. Dad wanted me to do something and found I was turning
the churn and didn’t bother me.
Well, come dinner time, Dad said,
“Now that is what I call real butter.” The butter was still in the churn as
Mom had not had time to work up the butter and it was still in the churn
down in the basement.
It happened to me. You will remember
I wrote how much I enjoyed getting a jar of blackberry jam and how good it
was. The other day after the jar was three fourths empty I read the label
more closely. I couldn’t believe it; there it was in big black letters
“Black Raspberry Jam.” I could not believe it. I had made it taste like
blackberries. Don’t get me wrong I do like raspberries and really the taste
did change a bit after I read the label. I plan to purchase a jar of
blackberry jam, with seeds, when I go to the store the next time.
I guess when you get to the end of
the year you look back and also look forward. There’s nothing you can do or
change as you look back; however, you can do something by looking forward.
As I see it there is much to look
forward to in our county during the coming year and maybe future years. Our
school system is perhaps one of the biggest things facing us during the
coming year. The plan appears to include what all the areas of the county
want and it looks as though it is our last chance. Our kids’ future
education depends on it. We’ll see what happens.
As I look back this year a couple of
things were special. First was the birth of our fifth great-grandchild and
being honored as a retired Sunday School teacher. Almost too much for doing
something you enjoy.
Then I think how fortunate we are
compared to what some folks are going through at the present time. Then I
can remember when we bought only one Christmas present and for a good many
years we waited until the day before Christmas to buy gifts to take
advantage of any mark downs. By doing this we sometimes almost got caught
still wrapping presents since our kids, like most, have a natural early
wake-up call on Christmas morn.
To all of my faithful readers - I
wish you a Happy New Year and the best for 2009. I don’t expect you to agree
with everything I write and I do appreciate your comments from time to time.
One final note for this year. In
spite of some of the things we complain about and perhaps some of the
problems of Monroe County, we have enjoyed living in Monroe County the last
nearly 40 years. See you next year.
No matter the storm, when you are
with God, there is always a rainbow waiting.
Going to church would be a good habit
to start in 2009.
Bible readings: From Psalms (Mon.)
15; (Tues.) 27:1-6; (Wed.) 23; (Thurs.) 34:4-14; (Fri.) 25:12-21; (Sat.)
33:8-18; (Sun.) Exodus 1:8-21.