< 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 29, 2009

<One Chance Opportunity
One-Time State Support for Building Levy in SOLSD

        A district-wide meeting will be held at 11 a.m. on Feb 9 at Beallsville High School. Jennifer Garrison, state representative and majority floor leader of the 93rd District, and Michael Shoemaker, executive director of Ohio School Facilities Commission, will explain the opportunity for building new schools in the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District at a reduced cost to area residents.
        Supt. Larry Elliott and area educators and coaches, Rita Walters, Jay Circosta, Mike Flannery and Dave Caldwell, will explain their views on the state of district’s schools.
        The local share of building new schools has been reduced from 55 percent to 37 percent. The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OFSC) will pay 63 percent of the total project cost. The reduction is due to legislation backed by Rep. Garrison. In order to benefit from this opportunity, voters will have just one chance to take advantage of the reduction. The OSFC has only obligated monies until June 2009, thus creating a one-time window of opportunity.
        All buildings, with the exception of Swiss Hills Career Center, have a condition rating from the school facilities commission suggesting replacement. New and renovated buildings will provide for improved instructional spaces for students. New facilities will also be built using “green building” requirements, thereby reducing operating costs.
        Increased property values will be a result of the new infrastructure of quality schools in many of the communities. These communities will positively be impacted through job creation that comes with construction of new buildings, as well as related services.
        Switzerland of Ohio voters will be asked to go to the polls May 5 and approve an 8.19 mills levy. The levy includes 7.69 mills for the bond issue and a 1/2 mill tax levy for maintenance, which totals 8.19 mills.
        This amounts to $00.819 for each $100 of assessed tax valuation. Assessed tax value is calculated as 35 percent of a home’s tax valuation. This levy will be used to build/replace Beallsville Elementary and Beallsville High School, Woodsfield Elementary, Skyvue Elementary, Powhatan Elementary, Monroe Central High, combine and replace Sardis and Hannibal Elementary schools and renovate River High.
        The total return for the district will be a building project costing more than $86 million. However, with this one-time opportunity, the district will pay less than half the estimated cost.

<ARC Approves $250,000 for MCCC Assisted Living Units

by Arlean Selvy
        Word was received recently from the Appalachian Regional Commission that a $250,000 grant has been approved for Monroe County Care Center.
        The grant will be used to construct the addition of an 18 unit assisted living facility. The facility will be attached to the U-shaped care center, forming a square and centered with an outdoor garden/ recreation area.
        Bob Reed and Ron White of SHARE, the firm which manages the care center, announced the good news to county commissioners at this week’s board meeting. Reed talked to officials about selecting an architect and  bond underwriter. He said they hope to be ready to start work in mid-autumn.
        On a motion by board president John Pyles, commissioners will advertise for an architect.
        Sheriff Chuck Black submitted a union negotiated contract for signatures. Commissioner Tim Price moved to accept the agreement, which is effective Feb. 1 through Jan. 31, 2012.
        The contract calls for a clothing increase from $500 to $600 per year and a two percent wage increase. The question of wages will reopen in January 2010.
        Jeanette Harter, director, Jobs and Family Services, spoke to commissioners about the Secret Santa project sponsored by JFS. She said they served 404 children and 193 families. They had 31 sponsors who purchased for 182 children. JFS purchased for 222 children.
        At Harter’s request, officials adopted a resolution which will allow limited usage of a credit card at JFS. Harter explained there is now a credit card policy and only two staff members will have access to the card, which is needed due to the WIA program recently undertaken by JFS.
        She requested and was granted an executive session for the purpose of personnel with regard to compensation. No action was taken following the 25 minute session.
        Mike Knuchel, Woodsfield,  approached commissioners with regard to what he called a matter of ethics and integrity at Monroe County Jobs and Family Services.
        Knuchel noted the matter was being brought to their attention on the advice of the Ohio Dept. of Jobs and Family Services program integrity division, two attorneys and a judge.
        He said he submitted a child support modification review in November 2007. He was told by Bill Frank, Monroe County JFS child support enforcement agency, that a review would be held on Jan. 11, 2008; however, it did not take place. He said it was 12 months before he received a letter saying the review was completed and child support would be lowered. Knuchel’s former wife, Jeanette Harter, was JFS assistant director at the time.
        Modification was to go into effect Feb. 1, 2008.
        According to Frank, in a letter to Knuchel and Harter, “Because of the unique situation presented by this case, I volunteered to carry this case in a special confidential caseload and perform the administrative modification review myself.” Frank, also the attorney for JFS, explained it was the first review he had conducted and he wanted to “analyze the information thoroughly...” Frank wrote that because of these factors and other challenges presented by transitions in the CSEA over 18 months, the recommendation was later than normal. Frank, in the letter, then offered to personally reimburse the difference between the order in effect before the proposed modification and the recommended order.
        “I refused his offer and told him my overpayment should be reimbursed by Mrs. Harter,” said Knuchel in a written statement.
        “Although a noble gesture by Mr. Frank to want to personally reimburse me..., the responsibility lies with Mrs. Harter who, as an administrator, should have put a stop to this immediately. I feel that the series of events that have occurred are completely unethical ...” said Knuchel.
        Both Frank and Harter were in attendance to voice their views. Frank said he felt the time elapsed was his fault, as he had taken the case on, and he felt it was unfair to Knuchel as he should have the use of his money. He said he also felt it unfair to Mrs. Harter and the children.
        Harter apologized to commissioners that the matter had been brought to the board at a public meeting.
        According to Frank, the case has been transferred to Belmont County Court. He said the ultimate outcome of the case has not been decided. He has given a recommendation.

<“I Thought It Was a Bad Dream

Gregg Alls resides temporarily at Woodsfield Nursing and Rehab Center recuperating after a four-wheeler accident Dec. 29. He broke his own rule about the four-wheeler and ended up with 14 broken ribs, a broken leg, a broken shoulder blade and right collar bone and badly bruised lungs.  Shown with the Hoyer lift are Woodsfield Nursing and Rehab STNAs Linda Mallett and Jan Kress, Gregg and his wife Patty.

Photo by Martha Ackerman

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
        “Before I opened my eyes, I thought it was a bad dream,” said Gregg Alls of Graysville. “Then I opened my eyes and there I was.”
        Gregg Alls lay in a field on the cold, damp ground Dec. 29 for almost three hours.  He was on his four-wheeler going to fix a broken fence on the family farm. He doesn’t remember how it happened, but one minute he was fine and the next he was ‘busted’ and the 700 pound 600 Polaris was sitting in front of a tree.
        And busted he was - 14 broken ribs, broken left shoulder blade and right collar bone,  a broken leg and bruised lungs. “After yelling for a while, I had the bright idea to crawl up the hill, but I heard bones crunching,” said Gregg.       

There were rules about using the four-wheelers on the farm - never ride alone and always tell someone where you are going.
        “I didn’t tell anyone where I was going,” said the patient at Woodsfield Nursing and Rehab Center. “I preach the rule and I broke it.”
        Gregg and his wife Patty make their home on a 124 acre farm. Gregg is an owner/operator of a semi tractor. He was laid off from Slay Transportation at the time of the accident. The couple is raising three of their grandsons, Nick, Isaiah and Shawn, and a handicapped daughter, Becky.
        Isaiah and Shawn had been helping repair the fence earlier. They, along with Patty, thought Gregg was working in the garage. “He is always working on something on the farm,” said Patty.
        Nick wasn’t at home at the time. Isaiah and Shawn had friends Cole Howell and Jason Blackstone over for the day.
        Isaiah missed his grandfather and began looking for him. He found him lying on the ground, cold, shivering and obviously in unbearable pain. Bethel E-Squad was called, the boys gathered blankets to wrap Gregg, who was shaking from cold and shock. Patty and Isaiah lay down on each side of Gregg to share their body heat.
        “The boys didn’t lose their heads,” said their grandmother. She credits their Boy Scout training for their quick thinking.              Learning someone was hurt on the Alls’ farm, Angel and D.J. Howell, EMTs and parents of Cole, arrived on the scene before the squad. “They started assessing his injuries right away,” said Patty. “The right leg was definitely broken and he was complaining with pain in his back and hip.
        “It looked like everyone in Graysville was there to help,” said Patty.
        “It was heroic how they carried him out,” said Patty. “Gregg was over a hill at just about the steepest place on the farm.
        “It took eight guys on the basket held by a rope, four more were pulling the rope to get to the pasture,” said Patty.  “There was enough help that they could switch places a couple of times.”
        All the extra help is credited to  Dale Williams, who put out the call out for as many as possible to come and help. “He knew our land and how many it would take to get him out,” said Patty.
        Bethel E-Squad transported Gregg to Marietta. He was then life-flighted to Grant Medical Center in Columbus. The next day he had surgery on his leg. He was on a ventilator three days. His right lung had collapsed; a chest tube was in for eight days.   “The first few days, there was nothing but pure blood coming out the tube,” said Patty, who continues to look worried and fatigued. Gregg was in ICU for five days, then a step down unit and one-and-a-half days on the regular floor before he was transported to Woodsfield Nurs-ing and Rehabilitation Center.
        Gregg is still having some difficulty breathing at times, which Patty attributes to the bruised and collapsed lungs.
        Gregg stood for the first time on Jan. 16, eighteen days after the accident. There was trouble getting his blood pressure under control when he was in an upright position.
        Nurses use a Hoyer lift to move Gregg from his bed to a chair. He is in rehab, is anxious to go home and back to his job to make some money. Ironically, on Jan. 12, Gregg was called back to his job at Slay Transportation!
        Is he getting back on the four-wheeler? His first instinct was to sell them all, noted Patty. “But it wasn’t the bike’s fault,” said Gregg. “I’m just going to be a lot more careful. With my bad knees, I need it to get around the farm.”
        It’s going to be a little while  but with Gregg’s determination and family responsibilities, he will recuperate.
        “We are grateful for all the help that day,” said Patty.
        Gregg would enjoy cards from family and friends. His address is Gregg Alls, c/o Woodsfield Nursing and Rehab Center, Room 134, 37930 Airport Rd, Woodsfield, OH 43793.


<Ohio EPPICard Introduced for Recipients of Cash Assistance

        A new way to disperse cash assistance was explained at the Jan. 20 meeting to Monroe County commissioners, who also heard a report from Rick Schuerman, EMA coordinator.
        Bill Long, workforce supervisor and Jeanette Harter, JFS director, talked to officials about the new EPPICard.
        What is the Ohio EPPICard - Debit MasterCard?
  It’s a Debit MasterCard card designed to allow access to cash benefits in a secure, convenient manner - it is not a credit card.
        Individuals who receive Ohio Works First (OWF) cash assistance, an OWF work allowance, disability financial assistance, and/or refugee cash assistance, may now have those benefits deposited to their Ohio EPPICard.
        Long explained the new EPPI-Card system to officials.
        The card is loaded once a  month and is similar to, but does not take the place of, food stamps. EPPICards are mailed by the state, and cannot be overdrawn.
        According to Long, the card can be used wherever the Debit MasterCard can be used.
        Officials adopted a resolution to comply with Ohio law for usage of the EPPICard.                       Long explained there are no fees charged when individuals make purchases at stores; request cash back during purchases; make cash withdrawals at a bank which accepts MasterCard; make up to 10 customer service calls a month; and request up to four card replacements per year.
        Fees are charged when individuals withdraw cash from an ATM; request a balance from an ATM; or perform any international transactions.
        Beginning Feb. 1, eligible persons may choose to enroll for the Ohio EPPICard when they apply, reapply, or by request of Job and Family Services. It takes seven to 10 days for initial and replacement cards to be delivered.
        Beginning Aug. 1, checks will be phased out. Recipients will be required to choose either direct deposit or the Ohio EPPICard to receive cash  benefits.
        For questions about the Ohio EPPICard, call 1-866-320-8822, 24 hours a day, or visit www. eppicard.com and select Ohio.
        In another JFS matter, Harter reported on progress with the JFS policy manual
        She has taken steps in several areas to reduce spending and noted she is getting rid of the wellness program.  
        Harter noted also that a new FMLA policy will be implemened. Concerning computer use, she said she has requested a sample policy from another county.
        A short discussion was held concerning the CPOE report and compliance issues.
        Harter requested and was granted an executive session to discuss two separate matters, one being disciplinary action. The meeting was held from 1:55 to 3:30 p.m. Tom Scott, workforce and economic developer, was called into the session for a short while at 2:45 p.m.
        Rick Schuerman, director, emergency management agency, and Phil Keevert, secretary, introduced themselves to the new commissioners and Schuerman reported on activities of the agency.
        Schuerman said the EMA will do a full-scale mock disaster event in May.
        He noted also that a commissioner is needed to sit on the Local Emergency Planning Committee.
        Commissioner Carl Davis expressed interest and was appointed to the LEPC.
        Asked how they would like to be notified in case of an emergency, Commissioner John Pyles suggested the agency call him and that he will then contact commissioners Price and Davis.
        Pandora Neuhart, county auditor, approached officials about the McDonald - Freeburg contract. The company handles the software for the auditor’s office, treasurer’s office, and the dog warden. She noted the contract is due at $2,900 per month plus $90 per hour for additional services. The rate did not increase. Neuhart noted they have never paid more than  the contract rate.
        The contract renewal was approved on a motion by Davis.
        Neuhart suggested doing a five year forecast. She submitted the revenues, expenses, balances etc. which are current. She said a forecast would give officials an idea as to where the county is going. “I’d like to see us do the forecast again,” said Neuhart.

<Signs to Honor Miss Ohio
Power Generation Saves Village Customers $70,000

by Arlean Selvy
        Representing Woodsfield Kiwanis Club, Carey Bott, president, First National Bank, approached council about the placing of 4x8 signs at four entrances to Woodsfield. The signs will call attention to Woodsfield being the home of 2008 Miss Ohio, Karissa Martin.      He said the signs will have lettering on both sides so that whether entering or exiting the village, motorists have the opportunity to read them.
        “I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Councilwoman Pauline Delbrugge. “I think we should do it. She is deserving and it’s going to be a pretty sign, so why not?”
        As soon as Bott gets a graphic of the sign, he will bring it to council for approval. “If at that time, it’s not what you want, then we’ll work with you to get what you think it ought to be,” said Bott. He noted the signs will be blue and white.
        Mayor Bill Bolon said the village will install the signs, making sure they are in areas that are visible and will not hinder villageworkers later on.
        Jeff Woodell reported on water and power interruptions occurring during late night hours and commended the crews for coming out and doing repairs. He noted Donnie Weber and the street department were out putting salt and cinders on a street that was “solid ice” on both sides of the street for the length of six or seven properties.
        Woodell reported “one leg of the transformer” went out, causing a brown out at the municipal building which resulted in destroying the telephone system.
        Once the power was back up, Woodell said he called Sam Turner, American Telephone Technology. Turner got a part at about midnight and had the phone system repaired between 1 and 2 a.m.
        The cost was $2,077 including $480 in labor. A portion of that cost is covered by insurance, but there is a $500 deductible. In offering a maintenance contract, Turner said he would waive the labor cost.
        The administrator suggested the village sign a contract with Turner at about $70 a month which covers the system 24/7. Woodell said if something like this happens again, all parts are covered by the contract.
        With regard to the village generating its own electricity recently, Woodell said the action saved residents about $70,000 on their electric bills in a 12 month period. “If we had not  been able to generate, we would have been charged $6,000 a  month for the next 12 months because of the peak demand during that time,” said Woodell. He noted it was about 15 below zero at the plant, and workers were on the job because of valves freezing at the power plant.
        According to Woodell, only two bids were received from local contractors for the sludge press facility. “It’s too bad,” he said, “There’s $136,000 going out the door ... I think some were afraid to bid on it.” He indicated the project may be outside their comfort zone.
        The following firms were recommended for sludge press facility project:
        For demolition, excavating and concrete, Larry Lang Excavating, Beverly, $31,500; to supply and erect building, Larry Lang Excavating, $57,022; electrical, Brian’s Refrigeration, Antioch, $26,918; HVAC Bee Electric, New Martinsville, $13,539.57; doors, Dennis Miller Doors, Sardis, $3,630; piping, Brian’s Refrigeration, $3,390; sludge belt press, MSD Environmental, Centerville, $109,500.
        About television cable, Woodell said channel 18, ABC, used to come out of New York and is now coming from Miami, Florida. He explained the village has a contract with a satellite provider to provide ABC. “The contract doesn’t say it’s going to be ABC New York or ABC Tennessee. For whatever reason,” continued Woodell, “they decided to start broadcasting out of Miami.” He noted he had received a few complaints but there is nothing the village system can do.
        Concerning customer numbers, he said they’d started at 853 customers and now have nearly 990.
        With regard to digital broadcasting, Woodell said the village is ready. They only have to hook up a couple wires when the transition is made.
        Two ordinances were passed and two resolutions adopted.
        The first ordinance is to allow only the village to aggregate demand response of retail customers in accordance with FERC Order 719.
        Woodsfield is the retail electric regulatory authority. Without the legislation, it is possible for a group of people to buy power and use village poles. The ordinance prevents a group from buying up a block of power. “This would be highly detrimental to the village,” said Woodell.
        The ordinance was passed  6-0 on an emergency basis.
        The second ordinance enacts an investment and capitalization policy for the village. The purpose of the document is to identify the policies that will govern the investment activities of the village. The ordinance was passed 6-0 on an emergency basis.
        One of the resolutions adopted is a mutual aid agreement while the other is a routine contract to furnish mandated emergency management through the county Emergency Management Agency.
        The cost to the village for the EMA service is $1,019.40 per year. The rate remains the same as last year.
        Councilman Bill Moore reported there were 1,330 official activities of the police department in 2008 and 40,042 door checks.


< Obituaries


        Ethel M. Piatt, 95, formerly of Graysville, went home to be with the Lord Jan. 24, 2009, at Heartland of Marietta Nursing Home. She was born Nov. 30, 1913 at Graysville, a daughter of the late Aaron and Martha Cline Smith. H 45734.
        Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com.

Clarence Reich, 97, Woods-field, died Jan. 24, 2009, at the Convalariam at Indian Run Care Center, Dublin. He was born July 14, 1911, a son of the late William F. Reich and Lena Siegel Reich of Woodsfield.
Condolences may be ex-pressed at www.bauerturner.com.

        William “Sam” Hawn, 69, Woodsfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, formerly of Lowell, died Jan. 23, 2009 at the center. He was born July 25, 1939 in Bellaire, a son of the late John Hawn and Mayme Hartley Saffell.
        Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net.

        Jack F. Moffitt, 42, Clarington, died Jan. 20, 2009, at Ohio Valley Medical Center, Wheeling. He was born Nov. 20, 1966 in Moundsville, the son of Wilbur and Mae Booth Moffitt of New Martinsville.
Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com.

        Ellen Margaret Gilmore, 89, Long Ridge Rd., Clarington, died Jan. 22, 2009 at her home. She was born March 21, 1919 in Clarington, the daughter of the late Charles and Ella Rufener Kernen. Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com

        Donald “Don” Eugene Griffin, 72, Paw Paw Creed Rd., Lower Salem, died Jan. 25, 2009, at Marietta Memorial Hospital. He was born March 8, 1936, at Rinard Mills, a son of the late Clarence “Mac” and  Bessie Hall Griffin.
        Online condolences at hadleyfuneralhomes.com.

Virgil L. Tisher, 79, 36588 SR 78, Lewisville, passed away peacefully at OSU-Ross Heart Hospital, Columbus. He was born Oct. 7, 929, a son of the late Freda and Wesley Tisher of Hannibal.
        Condolences may be ex-pressed at:


Leah L. Carpenter, 79, of Summit Acres Nursing Home, Caldwell, formerly of Calais, died January 26, 2009 at the nursing home. She was born near Summerfield on April 20, 1929, a daughter of the late Lloyd E. and Versa Brown Leach. Online condolences may be expressed at:

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<Around the Burnside

Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape.
        No one has more driving ambition than the boy who wants to buy a car.
        A heat wave? If it keeps up we’ll be getting up to freezing. Remember when you heard a number of people complaining about the hot weather last summer when it was in the 90’s?
        Well, the Steelers have made it to the Super Bowl. Go Steelers. According to our TV stations Steeler fans are going nuts. They are buying Steeler merchandise like mad and people are offering their unbelievable houses at unbelievable prices. I even heard folks are buying the largest flat screen TV to watch the game. This sounds like a good idea because this would last for years.
        I expect I’ll watch the game even if several of the Super Bowls have been a bust. I’ll be rooting for the Steelers even though our state bird is the cardinal.
        Sometimes it’s a popular thing to follow sports and our favorite teams. I like to follow high school basketball during the winter although I do not attend as many games as I used to. I did attend the Monroe Central ball game the other evening and I witnessed something outstanding.
        It was not the ball game, but the Monroe Central cheerleaders did their show at halftime and it was great. It would be impossible for me to describe their routine as it moved so fast. I understand they won the contest at Waterford a while back. I think they will win more.
        The thing I thought about was how much work, time and practice it took to get their routine down pat. These young ladies have put in countless hours, some for years, to develop their program. What can you say, except they did an excellent job. I’m no judge but I thought it was number one.      
        Kind of tough to think of something to write about. You’ve probably read this in the paper. I hope to put a little different slant on it.
        Many businesses in the county are having a rough time. The Ohio liquor business is not one of them. According to their report they sold 10.5 million gallons of liquor, 21 percent or more alcohol in 2008. This amounted to 719.2 million dollars.
        The most popular brand was called Kamchatka Vodka, 380,465 gallons of this vodka was sold. To me, it’s tough to put this figure into something I might understand. The following might help.
        You probably didn’t know that 10,300 gallons of water is required to freeze an inch of ice on the hockey rink in the Value City arena on the Ohio State campus. If the vodka sold was water it would freeze a layer of ice 36.9 inches thick on the hockey rink. This is just a tink over a yard thick.
        Take it a step farther by using the total liquor sold. The ice would increase to 1,019 inches or 84.9 ft. of ice. I’d say this would be a large chunk of ice. Seems to me it’s a lot of liquor too.
        You know times change. Pretend something like this happened: Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the parking lot with his shotgun in his truck’s rack.
        1957: Vice principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car gets his shotgun to show to Jack.
        2007: School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors are called in for traumatized students and teachers.
        I did see something on TV that might be a possibility for our fair. It took place in England so I don’t expect it to happen around here. It was a truck race with each truck pulling what looked like a small house trailer. Believe me, they were really busting things up. It would put the demo derby to shame. I wish they would have shown more of the race than showing all bad characters and what they’ve done. Some news I get sick of watching.
        Fast food. Seems as though fast food is everywhere. We have our share in our county with the opening of KFC and Taco Bell. Grab a bite and go.
        What was the fast food when you were growing up? First of all we didn’t have the money even if we did have fast food. There was one restaurant, Sip & Bite, but a dime would go far. If we did have a dime or so, we would splurge and buy a slice of baloney or longhorn cheese, pick up a few crackers and eat away. If you were lucky you might get a nehi grape or rootbeer and really pig out. It didn’t happen too often as we only had enough for some penny candy.
        Even when we had to stay after school because of a basketball game we had to settle for a can of little weiners or so. I still like them. Sometimes the big boss would take us home to supper.  We got along OK. I don’t even recall them selling hot dogs at our games. I had to eat a hot dog for luck before each game when I was attending all Skyvue games. It worked a lot of the time. I’ve found now Shenan-doah has the best hot dogs and the largest bag of popcorn of any school around.
        One final question. What is an honest mistake? I’ve made many a stupid mistake. But an honest mistake?
        There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity.
        Church Sunday? I hope so.
        Bible readings: From II Samuel (Mon.) 11:1-5; (Tues.) 11:6-13; (Wed.) 11:14-21; (Thurs.) 11:22-27; (Fri.) Psalm 51:1-9; (Sat.) Psalm 51:10-19; (Sun.) II Samuel 12:1-7, 13-15.