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


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June 12, 2008 Edition

Friday Night Summer Fest Series Begins in Woodsfield

        Entertaining at the municipal building with the rhythmic tapping on drums were, from left, Lois Bowman, Barb Mann, Susan Lehosky and Annette Yonally. Those stopping to listen were invited to select a musical instrument and join the fun.


        Monroe Singers entertained from the courthouse steps
during the June 6 Friday Night Summer Fest held in Woodsfield. At the piano is Charlene Sims and Andrew Emrick, who plays trumpet. Directing is Suszanne Pollock and singers, front row from left, are Karen Frank, Rachelle Emrick, Robyn Bishop and Karen Binford. Second row: Valerie Paulus, Susan Ferguson,
Janice Emrick, Carol Bonsall and Alice Perkins. Top row: Bob Hines, Paul Ferguson and Scott Emrick.      
                  Photos by Arlean Selvy

        Visitors to the first Friday Night Summer Fest, held
June 6, may have been sparse, but the aroma for a
successful season is definitely in the air. From free
ice cream and music at the  First United Methodist
Church to a DJ and karaoke at Happy Days Ice Cream
Shoppe, the mood is set. Whether visitors gather to
listen to concerts, check out the quality crafts or
just visit, it’s an enjoyable place to spend a Friday
        Monroe Singers were in tune and on time for the first
concert on the square. The group gathered at the
courthouse and, as always, performed delightfully
under the direction of Susan Pollock.
        Meanwhile, near the opposite end of  Main Street, a
group of four gathered to beat their drums. Perhaps
“beat their drums” is not quite accurate – the drums
are not the type used in a marching band. The solemn,
rhythmic tones of these tom-tom type drums were rather
soothing to the soul. The group had various size drums
and small musical instruments tucked in a nearby
basket. They offered their audience, every age group,
an opportunity to share the experience. Marcia Haren
did just that. She pulled up a chair, positioned the
drum, and was immediately part of the group. Group
members at the site included Rev. Susan Lehosky, Lois
Bowman, Barb Mann and Annette Yonally.
        According to Lehosky, a Community Drum Circle is
being organized at Woodsfield Presbyterian Church,
where she is pastor. “If you’re curious, come and
listen, then join in,” say the women. “If your heart
beats, you can drum”
        In addition to the arts and crafts and baked goods
lining the street, many of the merchants stayed open
late and set up tables outside their stores.
        In addition to ice cream, the fest offered hot dogs
for a buck, sold by Relay For Life; cotton candy
offered by the Presbyterian Church; and free popcorn,
donated by United Country, Realty Done Right. Baked
goods were made available by Jason and Tina Smith,
whose stand was located in front of the former theatre
building; and St. Paul ’s United Church of Christ
whose stand was set up at Bellwood Drugs. Soft drinks
were located at Ace Hardware and made available by the
Monroe County Dog Warden, Ronda Piatt.
        Many items of interest were spotted, crafts by Jake
Jones and Bernie Miller; baskets by Jerri Clegg;
woodcrafts by Betty Ischy; magnetic jewelry by Becky
Highman and many others, including informational
        These and other talented countians are certain to
claim a spot to display their merchandise alongside
local businesses. Farmers are also expected to join
the fest, showing and selling fruits and vegetables
and, thus, help grow the Friday Night Summer Fest.
        The “Not So Rich & Famous Band” will perform June 13
at the courthouse. There will be no concert at the
municipal building due to the Woodsfield High School
Alumni Parade.
        Gary Jones will perform at the courthouse on June 20
and Robert Hall will perform at the Woodsfield
Municipal Building
        Scheduled for June 27 are Don Adams at the courthouse
and Karissa Martin at the municipal building; July 11,
Joy Trio at the courthouse and happy Heart Singers at
the municipal building;
        July 18 will feature Gary Jones at the courthouse.
There will be no Friday Night Summer Fest on July 4
due to the holiday.
        Individuals you can thank for organizing the Friday
Night Summer Fest include: Ruth Workman, Carol Hehr,
Ashley and Mick Schumacher, Hattie Byers, Peg Behmer,
Pat Lewis and Mark Landefeld.
        Success of the Friday night summer series hinges not
only on the organizers, but on the merchants who agree
to stay open and display merchandise, those who set up
booths, those who entertain and, of course, those of
us who simply have the privilege of walking our way
around Woodsfield and taking advantage of a fun
evening close to home.

<Commissioners Approve Election Board Move to BWC

by Arlean Selvy
        The move of two offices was approved at a June 6
emergency meeting of Monroe County commissioners. A
contract must now be approved by the prosecutor and
the Board of Elections was expected to vote June 10.
        The elections office is to move to the Black Walnut
Center and the prosecuting attorney’s office is to
relocate to space in the courthouse currently occupied
by the board of elections.
        The move is necessary because the prosecuting
attorney’s office is housed in a building slated to be
razed to make room for KFC and Taco Bell. The
elections office is expected to relocate within a
        Prior action had been taken to move the election
board to the Senior Center Complex in offices occupied
by Monroe County Works. The board later learned that
area will not work due to size and security needs.
        According to discussion, extensive remodeling would
be needed. Only minor changes will be needed to move
the elections office to the Black Walnut Center.
        The area, 1,550 square feet, will be leased from the
CIC at $8 per square foot per month.
        Commissioners still are considering the eventual
relocation of Monroe Works offices to the Department
of Job and Family Services building.
        A motion to contract with D&L Storage, Lewisville
Road, was approved. The storage building will be used
to store files from the prosecutor’s office.
        More moves are in the offing as County Court Judge
Jim Peters plans to move his  office from the second
floor to the first floor, occupying the office
currently housing county commissioners as well as
other space on the first floor.
        Notice of a jail inspection was read at the June 3
meeting of  commissioners, who thanked the Ohio & Lee
Water and Sewer Board of Trustees for their generosity
to the park district.
        Commissioner John Pyles read a letter written to Jim
Heimann, of the park district, from Ray-mond Walker,
president, Ohio & Lee Water and Sewer Board. Walker
noted the board voted to provide normal water service
to the Hannibal Pool Complex at no charge during the
2008 pool operating season. This service begins with
the initial fill-up. He said that any abnormal usage,
as determined by the board, will be handled as it
        “We are happy to do our part in helping to ensure the
Hannibal Pool remains open and available for use by
all Monroe Countians,” Walker wrote.
        According to Pyles, notification has been received
that a jail inspection will be held June 25 at 10 a.m.
        Officials of the Ohio Depart-ment of Rehabilitation
and Correction will tour and conduct a brief interview
with administrative jail staff. They requested the
annual data items form be made available. The form
includes critical incidents and jail population data.
A self-inspection form listing improvements since the
last inspection, as well as other items, are also to
be made available.
        Matt Brake, E-911 project coordinator, reported on
Phase I of the cell phone portion of the E-911
telephone project.
        Mary Jo Westfall, OSU Extension, grants
administrator, reported a total of $3,624.72 left in
Woodsfield’s distress grant. She said Mike Young,
Woods-field fire chief, requested the monies be used
to pay for the caution lights to be erected at the
intersection of Airport Road  and SR78 and the
remainder of the monies for foam for the fire
        On a motion by Commissioner Francis ‘Sonny’ Block,
$2,712.29 will be used for lights and the remaining
$912.44 will be used toward foam.
        Debbie Haney, director, Jobs and Family Services,
reported on bids for four projects planned by JFS:
Career Camp, Build Your Own Computer, Early Child-hood
Literacy for preschool to kindergarten; and a K-4
summer literacy program.
        In another matter, Haney said she has doubled the
amount on gas cards from $100 twice a year, to $200
twice a year for qualifying low income persons. She
noted the cost of fuel and that low income families
need to be able to keep their jobs.    
        Haney also reported that 269 families signed up for
free family pool passes. Passes were given for Monroe
Memorial Pool and Hannibal Pool.
        She said also that 1,013 children are eligible for
the clothing for school program.

<Commissioner Pleads Guilty

        Monroe County commissioner Francis ‘Sonny’ Block
entered a plea of guilty last week to charges of
operating a vehicle while under the influence and
leaving the scene of an accident.       Charges are the
result of a one-vehicle accident that happened in
November. Each charge is a misdemeanor of the first
        Block, 64, 36389 CR2 East, Woodsfield, previously
entered not guilty pleas and also requested a change
of venue.
        Block appeared before County Court Judge Jim Peters
June 3 with his attorney George Cosen-za, Parkersburg,
and entered the guilty plea.
        Block was sentenced to 43 days in jail with 40
suspended. In lieu of three days in jail, he will
report for three days in a residential program of
counseling. He was fined $450 on each of the two
charges in addition to making restitution and paying
$62 in court costs.
        According to Block, restitution for damages has been
made by his insurance company and himself.
        The commissioner’s driver’s license was suspended for
one year commencing Nov. 21, 2007, with suspension
reduced to 180 days upon completion of the residential
treatment program.
        He is not to consume or possess alcoholic beverages,
nor be in places where alcoholic beverages are sold
for consumption.
        Block, in February, had requested a change of venue
in the case, but with the pleas entered this week, a
hearing on that request was not held. If a trial had
been held, the state had no objection to the change.
        Representing the state was Ray Dugger, special
prosecuting attorney, of Marietta. Monroe County
Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Riethmiller withdrew from
the case due a conflict as he represents the board of
county commissioners.
        Block was cited by  Deputy  Rick Shipp following the
accident, which happened Nov. 21 12:24 a.m.
        Block was driving his pick-up truck on CR2 when it
went off the right side of the road, struck a mailbox
and continued on, striking a water meter and an
electric pole, which was snapped at the base.
        Block continued through a field and turned onto
        In the citation, Block’s blood alcohol content is
listed as .110. Blood alcohol content for
intoxication on an intoxilyzer is anything over .08.

River’s Duke Wins D-3 Shot

        River High’s D.J. Duke receives his gold medal after winning the Ohio Division III shot put title June 6 at the Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus.
Photo by Seth Staskey,
courtesy The Times Leader

by Seth Staskey
Courtesy Times Leader

        Some say state champions are born. D.J. Duke believes
state champs are made.
        And judging by how the River High junior went about
his quest for Ohio High School gold, there’s a good
reason to believe that theory to be true.
        Duke - who had never placed in the sate track and
field competition - bypassed the first seven steps of
the award stand and took the top step at the Jesse
Owens Memorial Track on the campus of The Ohio State
University on the opening day of the state track meet.
        The River High standout not only won the state title,
but did so in resounding fashion.
        Setting an early tone with a throw of more than
58-feet in the preliminaries, Duke erased any doubt
who the premier shot putter in the Buckeye Sate is
when he unloaded the iron ball to a mark of 60-feet
even to win the gold by nearly four feet.
        “I am just thrilled and I’m glad my hard work has
finally paid off,” an elated Duke said smiling
ear-to-ear after receiving his medal.
        Duke came into this weekend’s  competition with the
best mark by more than two feet, so he knew that
barring something unforeseen he’d be right in the
thick of the chase, but he and his veteran coach, Tim
Frye, knew he still had to perform.
        “We worked all week on being dominant and in control
of the competition,” said Frye, who’d never coached a
state champ. “He came in so confident this week and I
think he demonstrated his confidence.”
        Duke’s season was an incredible one. In early April,
he established a new all-time Ohio Valley record,
throwing better than 60-feet, but he never got back to
the mark until his last throw of the season, but for
Frye, it was better late than never.
        “He hit that 60 feet early in the year and had been
chasing it since then,” Frye point out. “He's been
around it a lot of the season, but for some reason
that 60-feet sounds a lot better than 59-feet 11 and a
half doesn’t it?”
        This was Duke’s third straight appearance at state
but he never reached the podium. So as last year’s
competition went on, both in his own division and the
others, he noticed something in common with the
throwers who were having great success.
        “He told us he was going to learn to spin (for this
year),” said Frye. “He worked on it on his own. He
pays attention to details of the sport and he’s not
afraid to work hard at it and  it’s really made a nice
difference for him.”
        All of them were using the spin rather than the glide
through the circle, so Duke not only noticed, he look
it upon himself to learn it, perfect it and then use
it all season., which was an undefeated season no
        “I stated in the summer and worked throughout the
winter on learning the spin,” said Duke. “I worked the
entire year on shot put and it paid off.”
        The reason for the shift to the spin was a simple one
for Duke.
        “It allows you to throw farther,” Duke admitted.
“It’s less consistent, but you can get better throws
with it.”
        A lot of athletes have different superstitions and
Duke isn’t to be left out. He actually wears two
different shoes, but he’s got a good reason for it.
        “My right foot is for a hard sole, which allows me to
spin better and the left shoe lets me go slower out of
the back (of the circle) to get a better power
        Duke, who is a first-team all-Ohioan on the football
field, won’t by any means rest on his laurels as
off-season training for football begins soon and he’s
already thinking about next track season.
        “I’m hoping to come back and win both the shot put
and discuss next year,” said Duke. “I’ve been
practicing the discuss more and it’s coming along.”:
        For Frye it was one of the crowning moments of his
highly-successful track coaching career. He and his
Pilots have had their fair share of heartbreak at
state, so Duke’s achievement is big for the entire
        “We’ve had a couple of weird things happen (at the
sate),” Frye said. “It’s especially sweet for D.J. and
the entire program for that matter. Our younger kids
can now look at D.J. and model themselves after him.
He’s a great kid who deserves everything he’s gotten.”

< Obituaries (read the full obituary in the paper) 


        Kelley Lynn Anderson, 45, died May 26, 2008, after a
courageous battle with cancer. She was born Jan. 21,
1963 in Wheeling.

        Allen Dale Hess, 53, Jerusalem, died June 8, 2008, at
the Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus. He
was born Feb. 9, 1955, in Bellaire, a son of Dora May
Hudson Decker of Jerusalem, and the late Delbert Hess.
Online condolences can be expressed at

        James Coy Hogue, 71, died June 8, 2008, at
Bellingham, Washington.
        Arrangements are pending at Bauer-Turner Funeral
Home, Woodsfield.

Randy Allen Platz, 48, Woodsfield, died June 8, 2008,
at his home. He was born Nov. 19, 1959, in Barberton,
a son of Margaret and Robert Platz of Crossville,
Tenn., and Kathleen Smith of Woodsfield.
        Online condolences can be expressed at

Forty-seven-year Torrance resident and longtime
community leader DoloresIolene (Tiny) Gates
Wittenbrook died June 5, 2008 after a valiant two-year
battle with cancer. She will be remembered by family
and friends for her warmth, strong faith, unyielding
positive attitude and generosity, never meeting a
stranger who didn’t become a friend.


<Around the Burnside

By Denny Easterling

Disaster strikes like a cyclone, whirling the wicked
away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.
        Lazy people are a pain to their employer. They are
like smoke in the eyes and vinegar that sets the teeth
on edge.
        I watched the Metal of Honor being presented to the
mother and father of a soldier who had given his life
to save four of his buddies.
        You just couldn’t keep from saying a prayer for that
mom, dad, their son and all the service men and women.
I also again added a thank you for my getting home
without a scratch.
        Last week I shared a story about a rose. I also have
a book of stories about animals. I read one the other
day I want to share with you. I hope you enjoy it as
much as I did.
        This is a Korean story regarding the pig:
        Long ago Hanumim, who stands in judgment of all
creatures, commanded chicken, dog, and pig to help
people in some way and then report back. On their
return, chicken proudly proclaimed that she had
informed the people of the time, crowing at sunup, and
had provided them with eggs to eat. For this effort,
Hanumim gave chicken a red ornament to wear on her
        Dog reported that he had guarded people’s homes at
night and slept only when they were awake. For this
service and since dog had been created with only three
legs, Hanumim gave dog a fourth leg, which dog still
raises when he urinates so as not to ruin it.
        But pig only grunted and then finally admitted that
he had thought of things to do but chicken and dog
were already doing them, so instead, he lay around
sleeping and eating scraps people gave him. Hanumim
was so displeased that he sliced off pig’s long nose.
That is why pigs have a flat nose and hungry pigs
grunt and sniff for food. (From Korean Folk and Fairy
Tales, by Han, Suzanne Crowder)
        Have you ever tasted anything better than a large,
ripe, red strawberry? I think it’s near the top for
me. No sugar, just the strawberry. I’m talking about
the kind we have around here, not those shipped in
from who knows where.
        I look at the price of a quart of strawberries and
remember I picked them for two cents a quart. It sure
was a tough way to make a buck when the boss wanted
each quart to be heaped up. I think we got four cents
for picking red raspberries.
        More about plastic bottles and chemicals: consumers
are advised to not reuse store-bought bottled water
bottles, or even plastic bottles made for refilling
due to the dangers of leaching chemicals.
        Research shows that clear bottles made of
polycarbonate plastic (such as original 32 oz.
Nalgene) can leach bishenol - A(BPA), an
endocrine-disrupting chemical that acts like estrogen
in the body.
        Since BPA has been linked to low sperm count and an
increased risk of breast and prostate cancer,
scientists suggest avoiding bottles made from plastic.
I’m not sure if this applies to just clear plastic
bottles or whether all plastic bottles are affected.
        I can remember when just about everything came in
glass bottles from castor oil to whiskey.
        Famous quote: The government is like a baby’s
alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and
no responsibility at the other. - Ronald Reagan.
        Correction, in the rose story last week it should
have read, Venus gave him arrows tipped with bees not
beer. I should have taken typing in school.
        It certainly can rain when it takes a notion. I guess
we are in for some hot weather the next few days. I
hope it won’t be as hot as it was when I was a kid. It
happened later on in the summer. It got so hot the
corn started popping in the field and it got so deep
we had to call a snow truck to plow out our lane. Our
poor old donkey thought it was snow and froze to
death. I was going to tell you our chickens laid hard
boiled eggs, but I knew you wouldn’t believe that.
        I read where they are looking for bee keepers in our
area. I’ve had some experience with bees, mostly bad.
I’m one who swells like a balloon when stung.
        Dad always kept a couple or so bee hives in
operation. I can’t actually remember having a lot of
honey to eat, but I guess the bees were helpful to the
orchard nearby.
        I also think Dad kept them around for medicinal
purposes. When he had a problem with joints hurting
from rheumatism he would catch a bee or so and allow
them to sting him where it hurt. I’m sure glad I
didn’t have that problem when I was growing up.
        I see where school facilities plans are on the
program and are getting dusted off so efforts are
getting underway to set them in motion again. As I
look at them they should please just about everyone.
There’s only one problem I won’t mention.
        Unlike school, churches keep operating during the
        Bible readings: (Mon.) John 4:21-26; from Hebrews
(Tues.) 9:11-15; (Wed.) 9:15-24; (Thurs.) 9:25-28;
(Fri.) 10:1-10; (Sat.) 10:11-14; (Sun.) 10:15-18.