< P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793  <


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January 8, 2009

<Scott Shares Vision for Solid Infrastructure, a Better Life

        Workforce and Economic Developer Tom Scott shares his two-year vision for Monroe County with county commissioners during the Dec. 23 meeting. To his right is Jeanette Harter, who was named director of Job and Family Services on Dec. 23. Seated are several members of Team Monroe, active citizens, business and community leaders dedicated to positive progress in Monroe County.

by Arlean Selvy
        County budgets were discussed with Jeanette Harter during the Dec. 23 meeting of Monroe County commissioners, who also heard  the routine monthly report by Tom Scott, workforce and economic developer.
        Scott revealed his two-year vision for workforce and economic development.
        Following his report, commissioners commended Scott for the job he is doing.
        Scott said, “The Vision calls for the continuation of some efforts initiated in 2008, regarding a much needed commitment to create a solid foundation of infrastructure, directly tied to an enhanced quality of life ...”  He noted in his Vision that, “Achieving the goals and objectives disclosed within this Vision will require the combined efforts of our elected and appointed officials, business and community leaders and private citizens within a bipartisan team approach that embraces, endorses and prioritizes application of both compromise and vision.”
        Current  projects include efforts toward the re-opening of the abandoned rail line south of Powhatan Point, extension of the Black Walnut Parkway, utilization of the Black Walnut Center as an events facility, water line and sewer extensions and/or creation, airport expansion, excursion boat, incubator kitchen, enhanced educational and library facilities, creation of horseback riding trails and pursuit of federal funding.
        Proposed projects include the creation of expanded lodging facilities within the county and increased workforce in the recruitment and/or retention of warehousing, manufacturing, servicing or retail entities.
        With regard to the rail line project, Scott said it is vital to the fiscal health of an existing company and to potential expansion of economic development along the riverfront.
        Extension of Black Walnut Parkway is not expected to evolve before 2018. Scott said the project will be kept in the forefront, and an open dialogue maintained with government entities vital for success. “The parkway extension is needed to enhance ingress and egress to the Commerce Park,” said Scott. He noted it will enhance potential for the park to begin fulfilling its potential possibilities.
        Concerning the Black Walnut Center, located in Commerce Park, Scott’s Vision notes the continuation of efforts to market the facility as an incubator for businesses to utilize (as needed) in transitioning to Commerce Park. He said offering the facility to “for profit” promoters will serve to enhance the cash flow of the CIC, increase tourism and awareness of the  Black Walnut Center.
        In his Vision for water line and sewer extensions and/or creations, he mentioned Grizzle Ridge and Sardis areas.
        About airport expansion, the Vision notes: “while dialogue has been established with FAA, this project can only evolve when FAA requirements for pre-determined volume of flights are achieved. Meeting those requirements can be enhanced by recruitment/expansion of businesses that rely on aviation as an integral part of their transportation needs.”
        Concerning an excursion boat, the Two-Year Vision notes this project “... represents a valuable asset in enhancing tourism within the county. Dialogue continues, with a proposed timeframe of Spring 2009, as the start-up date.”
        The incubator kitchen, a project which opened in 2008, represents potential for a myriad of benefits to current and/or potential county residents/business es for expansion or creation of operations.
        “The kitchen provides opportunities to utilize an  inspected and licensed facility and potential for additional facilities; plus mandated labeling, co-op and mobile meat processing/packaging as well as creation of ‘Made Exclusively in Monroe County’ recognitions,” wrote Scott.
        Another success in 2008 was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)  between Belmont Technical College and county commissioners.
        Members of the Team Monroe Education Committee with support from the leadership at BTC developed the MOU for higher education offerings. 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.
        Scott wrote in the Vision that the committee “must prioritize improved public school facilities and the expansion of the number of library facilities within Monroe County.”
        A dialogue with representatives of Wayne National Forest re-opened in 2008 about the creation of horseback riding trails. Trails  would serve to enhance probability of increased tourism as well as create potential for creation/expansion of smaller commercial entities to service those who  utilize the trails.
         Regarding federal funding, Scott wrote in his Vision statement that: “if the new Washington administration follows through on initial indications that previously required local matching funds requirement will be reduced, this may signify pursuit of stagnant projects that had been shelved due to inability to provide matching funds.”
        Scott wrote that he, as Work-force and Economic Developer for Monroe County, will continue to be the facilitator and driving force in establishing, enhancing and maintaining relationships with groups and organizations that have provided support or advisement for Work-force and Economic Develop-ment.
        Proposed projects include the creation of expanded lodging facilities within the county and increased workforce in the recruitment and/or retention of warehousing, manufacturing, servicing or retail entities.
        Scott said  he could not guarantee success in every project. He added, however, that, “A promise that an exhaustive effort will be maintained in the relentless support in the areas of enhanced Workforce and Economic Development for Monroe County is provided with the presentation of the Two-Year Vision.”
        Visitors attending the Dec. 23 meeting included several members of Team Monroe, which is facilitated by Scott. Team members  present were: Marjorie Baumberger, Ruth Ann Ridgeway, Wayne and Karen Forshey, Hugh and June Hyre, Aaron and Charlene Miller, Kiven Smithberger, Joe Urbanek, Joel Davis, Helen Carpenter, Dan Greenlee, Charles R. Storey, Merry Vargo and Dennis Ward. Also attending were Carl Davis, commissioner-elect; Jason Harter and Jim Williams.


<Public Servants Sworn In

~ Davis Sworn in as County Commissioner ~
Carl Davis was sworn in as Monroe County Commissioner at ceremonies held Dec. 30 in the Monroe County Common Pleas courtroom. Administering the oath of office was Common Pleas Court Judge Julie Selmon. Holding the Bible for Davis is his wife, Michelle.

Photo by Arlean Selvy


~ Price Sworn in as County Commissioner ~
        Tim Price was sworn in as Monroe County Commissioner at ceremonies held Dec. 30 in the Monroe County Common Pleas courtroom. Administering the oath of office was Common Pleas Court Judge Julie Selmon. Attending, from left, are Price’s daughters Lauren and Leanna Price, and his wife, Rhonda Price, who held the Bible for her husband.

~ Tustin Sworn in as County Engineer ~
        Lonnie Tustin was sworn in as Monroe County Engineer at ceremonies held Dec. 30 in the Monroe County Common Pleas courtroom. Administering the oath of office was Common Pleas Court Judge Julie Selmon. Raising his right hand, Tustin placed his left hand on a Bible held by the Judge.             

~ Black Sworn in as Sheriff ~
        Chuck Black was sworn in as Monroe County Sheriff at ceremonies held Dec. 30 in the Monroe County Common Pleas courtroom. Administering the oath of office was Common Pleas Court Judge Julie Selmon. Black’s wife, Michelle, held the Bible for the ceremony.                               

~ Beth Rose Takes Oath of Office at Skyvue ~
        Monroe County Clerk of Courts Beth Rose took her oath of office at Skyvue Elementary, where her son Jared is a student. Judge Julie Selmon administered the oath of office. Students are studying government and Judge Selmon held a question/answer session. “They had some good questions,” noted the Judge.           Photo Submitted

<Commissioners Approve 2009 County Appropriations

by Arlean Selvy
        Permanent appropriations for all county budgets with the exception of the General Fund were approved last week by Monroe County  commissioners, who also approved the temporary budget for the General Fund.
        The temporary General Fund budget for the first quarter only is $1,036,695.61.
        Total 2009 permanent appropriations for all other budgets, including Monroe County Care Center and Job and Family Services, total $16,800,650.37. Of that amount the JFS budget totals $3,498,325 which includes $2,771,325 in Public Assistance; $205,000 for the Child Support Enforcement Agency and $522,000 in Children's Services.
        Prior to approving the budgets, officials discussed payment of bills with Jeanette Harter, who handles the general fund budget, and Katrina Carothers, deputy auditor. Officials agreed that only the bills with late fees will be paid.
        Carothers indicated she had given the various departments “a heads up” on what’s being done. Commissioner John Pyles requested a memo be sent to department heads.
        Patty Schoonover, Sardis EMS, approached commissioners regarding a rental contract for the building housing an emergency vehicle. The contract, between commissioners and the fire department, was renewed at $200 a month.
        Schoonover said there is a leak in the roof and indicated tile is falling She said they haven’t looked at the top of the squad to see if there’s any damage. According to discussion, ceiling tile has fallen due to the leak.
        Schoonover noted the retirement of Cora Weyman from Sardis E-Squad. Weyman has served the squad for 33 years.
        Officials commended Weyman for her years on the squad. “That’s a lot of dedicated service,” said Pyles.
        In other business, commissioners signed contracts for HMO and PPO health insurance plans with the Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley.
        A resolution was adopted authorizing commissioners to file an application with the state to participate in the Industrial Site Improvement Fund program.
        Wage increases were given to Adam Lehosky, Jack Riley and Christina Gallagher to comply with the minimum wage scale. The three work in janitorial positions at the courthouse.
        The Dec. 30 meeting started at 8:30 a.m. and recessed at 8:55 a.m. when Pyles left to attend a meeting of the board of elections. He returned at 9:35 a.m. and the meeting resumed.                     An executive session was requested by Ronda Piatt, dog warden, for personnel with regard to hiring. No action was taken after the session, which ended at 9:50 a.m.
        Officials immediately went back into executive session with Mike Seyer with regard to contracts at Monroe County Care Center. According to Pyles, Seyer gave an update on the progress. The session ended at 10 a.m.
        From 10:40 until 10:53 a.m., officials were in executive session with Jeanette Harter as director of Job and Family Services, with regard to firing. Following the session, Commissioners Francis ‘Sonny’ Block and Pyles authorized Harter to complete the unemployment forms for Debbie Haney.
        The meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m. as Pyles had to leave for the day. Commissioner Bill Thompson was not in attendance at the meeting.


< Obituaries

        Ronald J. “Ron” Markey, 52, 40921 Kindall Rd., Woodsfield, died Jan. 4, 2009 at his home. He was born March 24, 1956 in Akron, a son of Dorothy Griffin Markey, Lower Salem, and the late John R. Markey. Online condolences may be express at www.wattersfuneralhome.com.

        Janet L. Griffin, 92, New Matamoras, formerly of Rinard Mills, died Jan. 3, 2009, at Marietta Memorial Hospital. She was born on Feb. 20, 1916, in Monroe County, a daughter of the late James T. “Tony” and Matilda J. Graham Scott.   Condolences may be offered at www.mslfuneralhome.com.

        Donald J. Cline, 73, 41208 Pleasant Ridge Rd., Graysville, died Jan. 1, 2009 at Woodsfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Woodsfield. He was born Feb. 1, 1935 near Rinard Mills, a son of the late Earl and Pearl Holland Cline.

        Clarence R. “Butch” Hunts-man, 66, Beallsville, formerly of Woodsfield, died Jan. 1, 2009, at Wheeling Hospital. He was born Oct. 5, 1942 in Marietta, a son of the late Russell Conner and Mabel Huntsman.
        Condolences may be expressed online at: www.bauerturner.com

        Eleanor Weber, 81, Woods-field, died Dec. 21, 2008 at Woodsfield Nursing and Rehab-ilitation Center. She was born Aug. 23, 1927 in Monroe County, a daughter of the late Richard Bates and Leona Dougherty Bates.
        Condolences can be expressed at www.bauerturner.com.

        Clarice L. Anderson, 64, 45067 SR 7, New Matamoras, formerly of Graysville, died Dec. 30, 2008, at Arbors of Marietta. She was born Dec. 22, 1944 near Graysville, a daughter of the late Luther James and Laura Wanda Harmon Anderson. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com.

<Our Readers Write:

Dear Editor,
        With regard to the Dec. 11, 2008, letter to the editor submitted by Scott Fisher, I feel that I must respond. While Fisher’s letter contains too many factual errors to address individually, I will attempt to set the record straight on the most egregious.
        The current Ohio Supreme Court is made up of all Republicans and only three of the nine of the U.S. Supreme Court are Democrat appointees.
        Not only is President-elect Obama half-white, he has publicly praised his white mother and grandmother for the job they did in raising him. Not only is he a lifelong Christian, a fact that no credible source disputes, but he recently selected an ultra conservative pastor to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. And perhaps Fisher could enlighten your readers as to when Obama “proclaimed he would stand with our enemy.” Who is that enemy and when did Obama make such a proclamation?
        Shame on Fisher for accusing the auto workers for the economic problems of that industry who have had no voice in determining the types of cars the companies chose to make. And shame on him for portraying miners as uneducated robots who are incapable of independent thinking. Blue collar workers have been the backbone of our economy since we became industrialized.
        Perhaps the most absurd claim is that bankers are somehow victims of regulation. While some of them were hoodwinked, most of them took advantage of loose regulations to line their pockets and retirement accounts. As for Clinton and Carter being the architects of this collapse, Republicans have held the Congress for 12 of the last 15 years, six of which they also held the White House.
        While some would say that it is patriotic to speak up for what you believe (no matter how wrong it is), I think that it is quite another to manufacture scapegoats for every ill in society. How about some positive solutions, Fisher?
Ellen Graham Day

Dear Editor,
        I read with sadness the news of the possible closing of Woodsfield High School, but I also found myself fondly reminiscing about the three years I spent there under the tutelage of several tireless and dedicated educators.
        Ms. Smithberger and Mr. Swisher tackled math problems with the zeal of Roman gladiators. Mrs. Phillips and Piatt inspired us with their love of literature and proper sentence structure. Ms. Brown had so immersed herself in all things French that she could have worked as a double agent. Doc Conner could recite the periodic table backwards and never despaired in his efforts to explain to us mysterious things like black holes. And no list would be complete without saluting “the man of a thousand instruments,” Mr. Podlasiak, who ran the music program like a battlefield drill sergeant. I would be remiss to not mention my Dad, the custodian, who cut off dozens of locks for absentminded students and fronted lunch money for other forgetful souls.
        I am extremely proud to be a graduate of WHS, and I know that I speak for hundreds of former students in extending our deepest gratitude to all those professionals who gave so much of themselves to us.
Ellen Graham Day
Dear Editor,
        Is the bookmobile in jeopardy? On Dec. 9, 2008, a motion was made to renew the contract for bookmobile services to Monroe County residents, and the vote was 4-3 in favor of keeping the service. The three (3) dissenting votes were Frank Ellis, Alice Kingry and Rodney Rufener. It would appear that they feel eliminating the bookmobile would free up enough funds to operate a branch library in Sardis. Would this action be fair to all other outlying areas of Monroe County? No, I do not think it would be fair to cut the bookmobile to Monroe County.
        It is my understanding that there have been some added stops for 2009. Please check out the schedule to see when it will be in your area. Also, teachers, please check the schedule to see when it will be stopping at your school and check out the many services available to you by the bookmobile.
        I urge every resident that utilizes the bookmobile to contact the Monroe County District Library Board of Trustees and urge them to continue this service.
        Also keep in mind all are welcome to use the Monroe County Library services and the services of the bookmobile.
Sylvia Bowen

<Around the Burnside

        Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.
        Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks?
        Another one of our young ladies passed a milestone the other evening. Aleisha Guiler, a member of the Monroe Central basketball team, scored 33 points and surpassed the 1000 point mark. As I mentioned a few weeks ago this is no little accomplishment. An excellent example of the type of youth we have in our county. We have some of the best.
        To those of you reading this - Happy New Year and the best in 2009. It’s time to make those new year’s resolutions. You will never break your resolutions if you never make’em. I don’t know why the first of the year is so special for making resolutions. Can’t you make them during other times of the year? I’m making one resolution, I’ll tell you about it later.
        We stayed up to watch the ball drop in New York City once again. Dick Clark has been doing it for over 30 years and I think we’ve watched many of those years.
        The celebration is not for those of us who have been around for a few years. How can anyone enjoy standing around waiting for the ball to drop, some since 10 a.m., with the weather at 20 degrees and the wind chill factor at zero degree, and have fun? As I am writing, our thermometer is standing at eight degrees. I’d just love to be hopping around having fun outside. They said there was a million on the streets which I think, may have been a high estimate. Made you chilly just to watch.
        I spent most of the last day of the year watching basketball and football on TV. I think from 12 noon til about 10 p.m. there are four or five football games on the first day of 2009 so I’ll have something to watch the first day of 2009. It’s six hours into 2009 as I write. Nothing much better to do when it’s rather chilly outside. I recall many years ago standing outside a store window watching a TV set wondering how they could do this. Now they have it full of programs not worth watching.
        You do realize how old you are when you watch a program such as the celebration from Times Square. They usually bring out some of the so-called top singers to do their thing. It’s probably just me, or my hearing aids are wearing out. I just can’t understand or make out more than one or two words of the song they are singing, or should I say yelling or screaming. I wouldn’t call it singing. A group of four or five ladies in Hollywood wearing, not much clothing, jumped, screamed and wiggled around all over the stage. Man, if this had happened back in my days, they would have hauled them all off to the hoosegow. What I missed growing up!
        Did you know that in China cats are fair game? I understand they have catnappers. As a result, if you have a pet cat you must keep it inside or a close watch on it or the nappers will have it. Why?
        As you probably know during the Olympics they removed dog meat from their menus. I didn’t read about cats until just a few days ago. As I understand, cats are a bit tougher than dog meat but, none-the-less, a stray cat doesn’t stand a chance. The article I read said that cat was used in a famous soup in China.
        My new year’s resolution? If I buy any canned soup or eat soup in a restaurant, I am going to be certain that it is not a famous Chinese soup or even from China. This from a person who once ate crow. Wasn’t bad either.
        New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day is over so we can settle down until a new president is sworn in. Did I read there were rumblings in our U.S. Capitol they should increase the tax on gasoline 50 percent? Sounds about right.
        I’ve decided that you can over do watching TV. I started at 11 a.m. watching the Rose Parade. I could remember watching it and saying, “Wouldn’t it be great to watch it in color?” I watched most of it on the RFD channel. They had the same view as the big boys and did not stop every three or four floats to show a commercial or interview some big shot.
        After the parade comes the football games, four, maybe five. I lost count. What makes it worse, every team I wanted to win, except one, lost.
        I can start my withdrawal today as there are only a couple of games and then one a day until the college season is over. I think it ends the day you get this in the mail. I ended my TV watching with the news. I don’s watch much pro-football as my favorite teams are the Ohio teams and they sucked. Go Steelers.
        I don’t know why I think of things like this but I remember one year we decided to have a modern Christmas tree and we purchased an aluminum tree, color wheel and all. I think we might have used it a couple of years. It was supposed to be the latest thing in Christmas trees. Did not seem like Christmas so we went back to the white pine. Now we have a tree in a box with the lights al ready attached. Don’t even need to string the lights on it. Just plug it in. It is now in our living room void of all decorations. I guess boxing it up is a job for today. Actually it doesn’t look all that bad standing there. Maybe if we had a couple  little birds perched on some of the limbs we could, aw forget it.
        Signs on a church: There is no key to happiness. The door is always open. Come on in. Good idea?
        Bible readings: (Mon.) Joshua 1:10-18; (Tues.) Hebrews 11:23-31; From (Wed.) Joshua 2:8:11; (Thurs.) 2:15-21; (Fri.) James 2:21-26; (Sat.) Matthew 1:1-6; (Sun.) Joshua 2:1-4, 11-14; 6:22-25.