< 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 22, 2009

<Well Drilled on Village Property

During the second week of January, Beck Energy began drilling a gas well on the Village of Woodsfield’s property next to Oaklawn Cemetery. Monroe Drilling, a local drilling company, was contracted to do the drilling. Shown at the well site are Becky Sims, a Beck Energy representative, and Jeff Woodell, Woodsfield Village Administrator.

Photo by Martha Ackerman

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
        Woodsfield Fire Department, the Street Department building and the Oaklawn Cemetery office, as well as the Village of Woodsfield, will all benefit from a new gas well drilled on village property, adjacent to the cemetery.
        According to Village Adminis-trator Jeff Woodell, the well has been considered for a number of years. Becky Sims, a Beck Energy representative, came to council with a proposal almost three years ago.
        “After careful consideration and a lot of negotiations with the village council, the cemetery board and Beck Energy, it was decided to proceed with the acceptance of proposals,” said Woodell.
        Beck Energy’s proposal was accepted and in the second week of January work began on the well.
        The site for the well was not made hastily, noted Woodell. It was placed near a tree line as to be as inconspicuous as possible. The area was also chosen because there were no plans to use this area for future gravesites. As it happened, when the well was being drilled, a spring was located which would have eliminated the area as potential gravesites if it had been considered.
        According to Sims, the road cut into the site will be graded and seeded when the drilling is completed. Plans are being made to plant white pines in front of the well to blend in with the natural setting. Beck Energy will contribute to the cost of the plantings.
        At approximately 12:30 a.m. Jan. 14, the total depth of 2,675 was reached.
        “If this well is as good as the ones in the surrounding area,” said Woodell, “the village will realize approximately $20,000 in its coffers from the savings in gas bills, reduced gas rates and royalties.”
        Woodell estimated that the village will save $4,000-$4,500 a year with the free gas. After the allotted free gas limit is attained, the village can still obtain gas at well head price which will save even more. This is in addition to the estimated $9,000-$10,000 in royalty revenue which is anticipated.
        Monroe Drilling, a locally-owned drilling company, was contracted to do the drilling. All the materials used in the drilling process that could be purchased in Monroe County were purchased here. All the workforce for Beck Energy and Monroe Drilling is local. So, not only does the village benefit from the drilling of the gas well, the local labor force and businesses also benefit.
        Monroe County leads the state in drilling permits issued. According to Sims, in the approximately three years she has worked with Beck Energy, she has been in on drilling 92 local wells.
        Transporting the gas for sale has been a big problem for Monroe County’s oil and gas industry. Lines have been inadequate to handle the amount of gas being attained from the new and existing wells. That problem is being remedied by Dominion ... and that can be a future article.

<Miss Ohio 2008 Honored at CNB

        Karissa Martin, Miss Ohio 2008, was honored by Citizens National Bank Jan. 13. She will be competing in the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas on Jan. 24. Ashton Austin, third grade student at St. Sylvester Central School, received an autographed picture of Miss Ohio. Shown in the background is Lacee Dornon, third grade teacher at St. Sylvester’s.                              



        Local resident Casey Bott is shown as he works on the amazing ice sculpture of a girl bedecked in a long gown and reaching for the crown. The sculpture was done during a “Good Luck” send off for Miss Ohio 2008 Karissa Martin, who will represent Ohio in the Miss America Pageant to be held Jan. 24 in Las Vegas. The pageant will be televised on TLC at 8 p.m.





Karissa Martin, Miss Ohio 2008, was honored at a “Good Luck” send off, hosted by Citizens National Bank Jan. 13. Karissa will be representing Ohio in the Miss America Pageant Jan. 24. She is shown with the beautiful ice sculpture carved by local resident Casey Bott.
Photos by Martha Ackerman

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
        Citizens National Bank hosted a “Good Luck” send off Jan. 13 for Karissa Martin, Miss Ohio 2008. Karissa will be competing in the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Jan. 24.
        For many years, the talented Miss Ohio competed and won first-place awards with her singing in the annual Kiwanis Talent Shows. She will display her beautiful voice in the Miss America competition.
        Many local residents and school children had the opportunity to meet Karissa and receive a personalized, autographed picture of Miss Ohio. On hand with cookies and punch were Becky Bott, representing Citizens National Bank, and Karissa’s mother Sheila Martin and sister Jennifer Potts.
        Local resident Casey Bott created a beautiful ice sculpture to honor the event. A girl bedecked in a long gown, reaching for a crown, was sculpted into the block of ice, which was displayed in the bank’s parking lot.
        Perry Baranich of WBNV 93.5 provided music for the occasion.
        “Carey and Becky Bott of Citizens National Bank have gone over and above what we ever expected,” said Sheila Martin. “We have been so impressed and we appreciate the support Karissa has received from Woodsfield and Monroe County residents.”
        “Karissa (Miss Ohio 2008) deserves as much recognition as is possible,” said Carey Bott, President and CEO of Citizens National Bank. “She is a very beautiful young woman who also possesses inward beauty. Add the aforementioned to her immense talent and you have a combination second to non. I’m sure she will represent the State of Ohio, Monroe County and Woodsfield with her best possible performance.”
        Good Luck, Karissa!!

<District Moves Forward to Place Levy for New Schools on Ballot

        Although it is uncertain exactly what millage the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District will seek on the May ballot, it is certain that voters will be asked to pass a levy for new schools.
        School board members, at their Jan. 15 meeting, adopted two resolutions for the bond issue, one for 7.34 mills and the other for 7.69  mills. According to Janet Hissrich, district treasurer, both resolutions had to be adopted because bond counsel is awaiting an answer from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) as to the amount of local funds they will permit the district to raise.
        “If we need to buy land, there’s no money in the master plan and we have to raise it,” said Hissrich.
        Hissrich said that due to time restrictions both resolutions had to be adopted. One resolution is for the minimum amount and the other would cover local expenses. She said that when information is received from the ODE, the district can file the appropriate resolution with the Board of Elections.
        The 7.34 mill levy amounts to .74 cents for each $100 of valuation; the 7.69 mills amounts to .77 for each $100 of valuation.
        The levy, in either case, would mature in 28 years.
        The levy includes an additional half-mill tax in compliance with the Ohio Classroom Facilities Assistance Program. The  half-mill tax would come off after 23 years.
        According to the resolution, the county auditor has certified the  total  tax valuation of the school district as $286,617,470.
        Voters will confirm, or deny, the construction of new schools on the May 5 ballot. If passed by voters, the tax would begin in 2009 and be due in calendar year 2010.
        In other matters, Larry Elliott, district superintendent, reported the gymnasium section of the Woodsfield High School building was expected to be open to activities on Jan. 17. He said the school may have to be closed a day or so in the future for additional work. He noted scaffolding may be erected in the gym in order to do repairs around the windows.
        “After talking with Dana Indermuhle, I feel we’ve turned the corner on safety issues and we’ll be able to get the building up and going,” said Elliott. Indermuhle is a project consultant with Swiss Valley Associates, Sardis.
        Elliott reported that more custodial help will have to be hired for the building and officials will work on assignment of space.
        In other business, Elliott reported enrollment is down by 34 students.
        On a motion by Ron Winkler, Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) dues for 2009 were approved in the amount of $6,247.
        OSBA Legal Assistant consultant service was approved for 2009 in the amount of $250.
         Permission was given for the Talented and Gifted class to attend an overnight field trip to the Ohio Legislative Summit competition on April 16-18 at Salt Fork Lodge in Cambridge.
        The Summit is a simulation of the Ohio House of Representatives, and is a competition for sixth through eighth grade students. It exposes students to the inner workings of the legislative system.
        This year, six freshmen will return to be the elected officers of the Summit. They will be running the counsel sessions and general assembly sessions.

<Union, MCCC Reach Agreement, Okay Given for Room Rate Hike

        County commissioners on Jan. 13 put their stamp of approval on a tentative agreement between Monroe County Care Center and the AFSCME Local 3401. They also approved an increase in room rates at the care center, as proposed by SHARE, the Columbus firm which manages the facility.
        Room rates will be increased by $6 per day for current residents and $9 per day for 2009 admissions.
        The increase will bring self-pay room rates to $127 per day for current residents and $130 per day for new residents. According to discussion, the rates are all inclusive. There are no additional charges for items such as shampoo
        According to Bob Reed, of SHARE, even after the increase room rates will be less than the cost to operate the facility. “We need to begin narrowing the difference between our room rates and the cost of service for future admissions,” said Reed.
        In another matter, Reed reported that a full grant application requesting $250,000 was submitted to Appalachian Regional Commission on Dec. 5. He said the project along with other ARC proposals are being reviewed in Columbus and will then be forwarded to Washington D.C. for final approval. “That should occur within the next four to six weeks,” he said. He indicated he should know by the third week in February if Monroe County Care Center will be funded for a 15-bed assisted living unit. The units will be covered by Medicaid funding.
        If the proposed project is approved by ARC the facility should create nine to 12 additional jobs at the facility.
        Attending the meeting in addition to Reed were Ron White of SHARE, and Kelley Hill, administrator at MCCC.
        Officials were in executive session with Mike Seyer, Clemons and Nelson Associates, from 10:35 to 10:48 a.m. to discuss the union contract at Monroe County Care Center.
        Concerning the new contract for union workers, Seyer said representatives met about four times and used an arbitrator at least once. The tentative agreement was reached Dec. 29.
        The contract, which calls for two .40 per hour wage increases, is effective Nov.1 through Oct. 31. The first wage hike is effective retroactive to Nov. 1, 2008 and the second becomes effective Nov. 1, 2009. There is a $300 lump sum payment within 30 days of the execution of the agreement for full-time employees. Part-time employees’ payment is prorated based on hours worked.
        Kathy Gagin, field representative from Congressman Charlie Wilson’s office, talked to commissioners about prioritizing a list of projects. “There’s money coming from somewhere and no one knows where that money’s going to hit,” said Gagin. “So everybody’s trying to be prepared in order to get money for their area.”
        She said there is “stimulus” money which could be shared with counties having a “shovel ready” project on board.                        According to Gagin, a “shovel ready” project is one for which all engineering has been completed and is as close to being ready to begin actual work as possible. Infrastructure and economic development projects were mentioned for possible stimulus funding.
        Commissioner John Pyles told her about a sewage project for Ohio and Lee townships on the riverfront. He said the engineering has been done and he feels this to be a top priority.
        Raymond Bauer, director of the CHIP program, reported on the Ohio Neighborhood Stabili-zation program. Concerning eligibility for funding, Bauer said each county must decide whether to participate. Jefferson County has been designated the “lead county” in Region 19. As the lead county, they are responsible for the paperwork.
        Commissioners agreed to participate in the program and a notification of participation letter will be sent to Jefferson County. The Neighborhood Stabilization program looks at neighborhoods with foreclosures and abandoned properties.
        Bauer will attend a training session concerning the program.
        Officials entered into executive session with Jeanette Harter, director, JFS, to discuss personnel with regard to disciplinary action. That meeting lasted from 2:40 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. No action was  taken.

<Neuhart, BTC Board Member

Pandora Neuhart

        Monroe County Auditor Pandora Neuhart is the newest member of Belmont Technical College’s Board of Trustees.
        “I feel honored and privileged to have been appointed to the Board of Trustees of Belmont Technical College,” said Neu-hart. “I graduated from Belmont Technical College in 1973, received an excellent education that prepared me for the challenges in the workforce. Educa-tion is the life blood of America, and it is our responsibility to see that every person has the education they desire. Belmont Technical College has grown to become a vital, thriving and evolving education center in Ohio to meet the growing needs of college students today.”
        Neuhart graduated from BTC with an associate degree in accounting and data processing. While attending college, she was also employed at Riesbeck’s Food Markets, Inc., where she rose through the ranks from cashier to store director responsible for the store’s operation.
        She has completed a number of management and supervisory development courses, and lists among her skills researching, planning and facilitating orientation and training sessions including those for pre-employment and new employees; counseling department managers and employees on issues related to work performance; developing comprehensive supervisory selection, assessment and evaluation procedures.
        Neuhart is active throughout her community, having been a church elder and Sunday school teacher at the Woodsfield Presbyterian Church; past treasurer of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce; race director for ‘Charlie’s Run,’ the Children’s Hospital 24-Hour Run; past president and current treasurer of the Woodsfield Kiwanis Club; Warm the Children program coordinator; and a member of the VFW Auxiliary, Farm Bureau, Monroe County Clerks and Trustees Association, and the County Auditor’s Association of Ohio.

< Obituaries

        Clyde O. Smittle, 70, 34485 SR 800, Sardis, died Jan. 14, 2009 at his home. He was born Feb. 20, 1938, near Fly, a son of the late Clarence and Marie Brown Smittle. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com.

        Eldon Christy, 72, 34072 Hartshorn Ridge Rd., Graysville, died Jan. 16, 2009, at Wetzel County Hospital, New Martins-ville. He was born Nov. 5, 1936, near Graysville, a son of the late Clarence and Edna Smith Christy. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com

Floyd F. Taylor, 88, 49044 Sunfish Creek Rd., Clarington, died Jan. 14, 2009 at Monroe County Care Center, Woodsfield. He was born Jan. 24, 1920 in Moss Run, a son of the late Thurman and Edna May Kidd Taylor.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com.

        Gladys O. Trembly, 87, Sycamore St., Hannibal, died Jan. 14, 2009 at Wetzel County Hospital, New Martinsville. She was born Aug. 13, 1921 in Belmont County, a daughter of the late William and Louise McElroy Oneacre.
Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com.

<Our Readers Write:

Dear Editor,
        As a patron of Dally Library, I am disappointed that its request for branch status has been contorted into The Bookmobile vs Dally or Sardis vs Monroe County.
        Yes, we treasure Dally for our increased access to library services. I’m thrilled that my three year-old nephew can proudly check out books after story hour. I am touched by the sight of bicycles leaning against the flagpole, high school students huddling over research, and adults braving rainy days to bring in stacks of books.
        We appreciate these opportunities because we value literacy. Period. To suggest we advocate an either/or situation – either Dally or the bookmobile – is hurtful. We have dear family and friends throughout Monroe County, and I have never heard any Dally patron wish to siphon services from our relatives, friends and their neighbors. Any other perception is an unfortunate misinterpretation.
        Dally simply asked for support for a fresh approach to literacy outreach in this county. I have pleasant memories of the bookmobile from childhood in the 60’s but certainly don’t oppose additional possible advances. A vision for the future might include other inventive ways to reach more residents with Ohio library system services.
        With all respect to those who use the term “outlying areas,” that sounds as though we are remote locations. Probably there are many in Ohio who consider all of Monroe County as remote, and some in the nation even see Ohio as “off the beaten path.” Yet Ohio and Monroe certainly deserve equal opportunities with other states and counties.  Perhaps it’s time we focus on each community in Monroe as equal member in a partnership. Whether water, cable, Internet, sewage, job development, or library services – let’s be creative to find new ways to make lives richer in every square mile of this county.
Shelley Hulsey

<Around the Burnside

Laugh every day - it’s like inner jogging.
        As a child of God, prayer is like calling home every day.
        Global Warming? Two days with the thermometer dropping doesn’t seem to be much warming does it? Oh well, spring is only a couple of months away. Plus, someone asked me the other day, “Isn’t this the kind of weather we’re supposed to have during January?” I don’t know if it’s just me, but time seems to go by rather slow this time of year.
        Football is still hanging around until the first of February. I think three games are left as I write and one as you read. I’m really not a Steeler fan. My favorite dropped by the wayside a long time ago. So, I’ve joined the crowd for all you Steeler fans. Go Steelers!
        I guess maybe a lot of you who received a yellow sheet asking for stories have thrown it away by now. Kind of a shame, I guess, because everyone reading this who is 60 or over has any number of stories of memories from the “good old days.” It is too bad they can’t be written down and shared. Most are lost. I don’t take much time to write some of them down.
        I once wrote a couple of fractured fairy tales for a book the Ohio Story Tellers organization was planning to write. I guess maybe my tales were not good enough or enough story tellers did not write one for the book; I never heard any thing from it.
        What’s a fractured fairy tale? A short example might be: “Humpty dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty dumpty had a great fall. Seventeen men ate scrambled eggs.” This is just a short version. With a little thought, a lot of things could be added to make it a long story. It’s fun to have kids add things to the above.
        The latest off the Internet: Quaker Oats for fast pain relief - it’s not for breakfast anymore. Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and one cup of water in a bowl and warm in a microwave for one minute. Cook slightly and apply to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain. Sounds like a mess to me.
        This reminded me. I think I ate a ton of oats growing up. Mom said they would “stick” to your ribs. Maybe that’s why I weigh what I do now. Too many oats stuck to my ribs. One of the problems was eating oats time came along during the time our milk supply was short, so we piled in the sugar. Even today if I ate oats, which I don’t, I would not put milk on them. Even then I would enjoy bacon, eggs and potatoes. Today I settle for a piece of toast, peanut butter and pure OJ. I make my own breakfast.
        Wow! talk about global warming; it is now minus six degrees. I’m certainly glad I don’t have to go to the barn and milk the old cows. The milk would nearly freeze before it hit the bucket. How about an emergency stop or maybe a necessary stop in the little house out  back? This was when the old “chamber”, Mom called it, came in handy even if it was unhandy to use.
        Remember, the trouble with bucket seats is that everyone doesn’t have the same size bucket.
        Why will this be called a “cold snap”? At least one good thing about it is folks for years can talk about how cold it was in January of ’09 just before a new President of the US was sworn in to office. As the man says “You can talk about the weather, but you can’t do any thing about it.”
        I keep telling folks I dislike, even hate, cold weather but really don’t need to. I am very fortunate. We have a warm place to stay, plenty of clothes, food in the cupboard and freezer, a good furnace, which I made the gas company happy by turning it up a degree. I really do not need to go out in the cold because I can call and cancel. So as long as the electric and gas keep coming I have little to complain about. I also know there are many who are not as fortunate as we are. This is the reason I thank the Man upstairs and ask Him to be with those who are less fortunate.
        I watched Bonanza the other day with a story about a rainmaker. His young daughter was ill and try as he might using cannon shots and sky rockets he could not make it rain. It was not until he asked God for help did it rain and his little girl got well. They just don’t make TV programs like they used to. I think this one was made in 1963.
        Do you realize that in almost 40 years we will have thousands of old ladies running around with tattoos and rap music will be the golden oldies?
        You know nowadays you hear and read about organic this and organic that. How much it is good for you and you should eat organic food and be healthy.
        I think they have gone a tink too far with this organic thing. I saw advertised the other day an organic bed. I did not investigate into the details because I was happy with our bed and could care less about an organic bed.
        Then I got to wondering. Was sleeping on a feather tick sleeping in an organic bed? As I recall you could snuggle down in and keep toasty warm when the weather was minus eight degrees. It’s dropped two degrees since I started writing this. Really I don’t ever remember it even being this cold. Brrrrrr. I’m not sure if I can get this to town by noon or not.
        I got to thinking (dangerous). Maybe I grew up eating organic vegetables. We didn’t use commercial fertilizer on the garden as I recall but we did plow under a layer of the stuff we cleaned out after the cows. Isn’t this organic? Even if we got it from a pile we started earlier last fall? We had to take a little care with the stuff we cleaned from under the chicken roost as it was more powerful than what we got from the pile. Then I guess we used some spray to get rid of the bugs so I guess the organic thing went out the window. I do remember the stuff we raised in the garden tasted mighty good all winter and we did not have to go all the way to China to get it.
        I just hope by the time you read this old man winter has loosened his grip on us and you all got through it OK. I must be slow as it is now nine below and I just saw a car going west on SR 78.
        Remember: Always be yourself because the people that matter don’t mind, and the ones who mind, don’t matter.
        Try Church on Sunday. It will warm your heart.
        Bible readings: (Mon.) I Kings 19:15-21; From II Kings (Tues.) 2:9-15; (Wed.) 4:27-37; (Thurs.) 13:14-20; (Fri.) Luke 4:23-30; (Sat.) Matthew 10:40-43; (Sun.) II Kings 4:8-17.