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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 $1.25 with your name/address to P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793.

June 4, 2009

BTC Board Adopts Higher Education Plan 

Belmont Technical College is governed by a nine-member board of trustees. They are, seated from left: Bill Hunkler, Elizabeth Gates, Marshall Piccin, Dr. Lorrinda Saxby. Second row: Terry Carson, Marcia Bedway, Pandora Neuhart, Suzanne Pollock and Charles Jobe

Photo by Arlean Selvy

“We’ve been looking for years to bring higher education to Monroe County,” said Joseph Bukowski, president, Belmont Technical College.

The BTC Board met May 28 in Woodsfield and unanimously adopted a resolution to support the proposed plan to bring Higher Education to Monroe County.

The college, in January of 2007, formed a partnership with the Ohio Department of Development and Monroe County Commissioners for a feasibility study. Later, with the encouragement of Team Monroe, a Memorandum of Understanding between the college and commissioners was signed.

Bukowski commended Team Monroe and its community developer, Tom Scott, and Debbie Haney, former director, Monroe County Job and Family Services. He said they supported the MOU 1000 percent.

John Pyles, president of the board of county commissioners thanked the BTC Board on behalf of the commissioners and the county. He noted with appreciation the college’s passion to bring higher education to Monroe County.

The proposed plan is based on the principles of the MOU. Elements of the Plan:
• Strategy 1
– Initiate a P-16 Council
• Strategy 2 – Collaborate with area high schools and career centers in meeting the new CORE requirements and in expanding articulation agreements.
• Strategy 3 – Develop multiple pathways to higher education in Monroe County
• Strategy 4 – Develop an extensive program of community engagement through expanded marketing efforts highlighting both college opportunities and student success.
• Strategy 5 – Establish a funding base for Monroe County Higher Education.

Several initiatives are listed under each strategy. The complete body of the higher education plan may be found on the Beacon website.

Assisted Living, Airport on Agenda for Commissioners 

by Arlean Selvy

Resolutions concerning the proposed assisted living unit at Monroe County Care Center were adopted May 26 by Monroe County Commissioners, who also discussed a grant for over $248,000 for the airport.

On a motion by John Pyles, commission president, a contract with DSI Architects was signed pending the approval of the prosecuting attorney, in the amount of $66,000. The amount is based on a $1.2 million construction contract for an assisted living unit and improvements at Monroe County Care Center. According to discussion, the cost will be lower if results of surveys and core samples already done can be used.

According to Bob Reed of Share, the Columbus-based company which administers the care center, preliminary plans call for 12 single rooms and three semi-private rooms in assisted living and the conversion of a four-bed ward to two semi-private rooms in the care center.

Two resolutions were adopted. The first, for reimbursement, authorizes use of a portion of the proceeds of care center bonds for construction and improvements.

The second authorizes issuance not to exceed a maximum of $1,750,000 for constructing an assisted living unit and improvements at the care center.

Gary Cook of the Monroe County Airport Authority told commissioners the airport has been approved for a Federal Aviation grant in the amount of $248,840.90 for paving. Cook said the board must know by June 11 if they can get the needed $13,624 local share and do the project.

According to Cook, the grant would allow for paving the taxiways, ramps, areas behind the hangars and for sealing the pavement.

Pyles said he would hate to lose the grant. Officials will explore possibilities regarding the local share.

Wayne Forshey, Always Flying Aircraft Restoration, LLC, Woodsfield, approached officials about rental of the airport maintenance hangar.

He said he believes his company is being economically discriminated against by the airport authority and/or county commissioners.

Forshey told officials he has contacted the offices of senators George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown, as well as U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson’s office and the FAA Airport District office.

Forshey said he feels the authority is not meeting “every grant assurance” and, in a letter dated April 22, asked the FAA program manager to “review the grants and if found in non-compliance, to seek redress up to and including repayment of grant monies and disqualification from further FAA airport grants for the county airport.”

Gary Cook said the board had offered land to Forshey but had been turned down. According to Forshey, land was offered but not by the board. He said Charlie Brooks had made an offer. Concerning his rejection of the proposal for ground, Forshey said the airport was constructed to state standards not FAA regulations. He said the present buildings are all closer than 250 feet from the runway centerline. He said he did not believe the authority has sufficient land for development that would make construction of a hangar economically feasible for a small aviation maintenance operation.

“I will work with Mr. Forshey as much as I can,” said Cook.

Dave Kuhn and Terry Knowlton, Woodsfield EMS, talked to officials about extending the EMS contract and coverage responsibility.

The EMS contract, which expires June 11, was extended to June 17. Contract changes were discussed and Kuhn said he will bring those changes to commissioners on June 15.

With regard to the contract, the EMS Association has made a recommendation that the first $4 of the mileage payout go into the Capital Improvement Fund and the remainder to workers’ compensation until it is paid off. Arrangements were made should the price of gasoline go above $3 per gallon.

Tom Scott, Team Monroe Community Developer, asked officials for their thoughts about his proposal to institute a bed tax. Pyles said the assisted living facility told him they don’t want it.  Scott noted that in preparing the tax, you can exclude the  the assisted living facilities.  “If we can write exclusions, I have no problem with it,” said Commissioner Tim Price.

Scott also mentioned formation of a Planning Commission that may one day replace Team Monroe. 

Pandora Neuhart, county auditor, and Denise Stoneking, deputy auditor, were in executive session with commissioners and Rick Schuerman, county EMA coordinator, from 9:20  to 9:50 a.m. The reason given was security arrangements. No action was taken with regard to the session.

 Auditor of State Declares Jerusalem “Unauditable 

Auditor of State Mary Taylor on May 29 declared the village of Jerusalem unauditable for fiscal years 2007 and 2008. An unauditable designation means that records and documents necessary to conduct a routine financial audit are missing, incomplete or inaccurate.

“Village officials must maintain proper records of their financial activity in accordance with state law and established record retention schedules,” said Taylor “The failure to do so increases the potential of misspending or theft of public funds.”

In a letter sent to the village on May 22, Taylor indicated that she declared the village unauditable because many financial documents were incomplete or inaccurate and certain accounts were not balanced.

Taylor said the Auditor of State’s Local Government Service section is available to assist village officials in correcting record keeping deficiencies if needed.

The letter also said that the Auditor of State reserves the right to pursue legal action if village officials fail to revise financial records and provide information necessary to complete the audit.

The village will remain unauditable until all financial documents are obtained and the final audit report is released publicly.

~Judges Scholarship Recipient ~

Kyle Cox, a home schooled student from Beallsville, was the recipient of a $500 Judges’ Scholarship. Kyle has consistently placed in the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen contests. This past year he competed at the state level. Judge James Peters and Judge Julie Selmon, who offer the annual scholarship, presented the check to Kyle, who is the son of Jeff and Laurie Cox.              

Photo by Martha Ackerman

Beallsville Mini Relay Breaks State Record 

The high point of Beallsville High and Elementary schools’ Mini Relay-for-Life was the survivors’ walk, which was followed by a balloon release. Over 300 balloons, remembering and honoring cancer patients, were released into the clear, blue sky. The schools raised over $18,000, breaking a state record, which included schools of all sizes.   Photos Submitted

Trey Taylor won the “decorate a t-shirt” contest, held during Beallsville’s Mini Relay-for-Life. 

Beallsville High and Elementary schools held their second Mini Relay for Life on May 21. To say that it was a success would be an understatement. With much support from the community, the students and faculty over $18,000 was raised. This broke the $17,000+ state record in Ohio. This record included schools of all sizes.

Many students worked to raise the money for their donations. The young entrepreneurs planted flowers, created crafts, washed dogs and cars and collected pennies. The General Business class sponsored a lemonade stand, the seniors and eighth graders washed over 100 cars and the sophomore class helped with the flea market. The younger students were entertained with carnival games and field day activities supervised by high school students who donated their time. Several teachers became targets in the dunk tank or served a sentence in the “jail” to raise money.

Winner of the “decorate a t-shirt” contest was third grader Trey Taylor, whose lollipop-covered shirt displayed the message “Help Us Lick Cancer.” He sold the lollipops for a quarter each and donated the money.

The first Beallsville Mini Relay 300 had cars entered from each of the high school classes. The cardboard cars, designed and built by the students, traveled a three-lap course around the football field complete with obstacles and a ramp. The sophomore class won the trophy and will defend its title at next year’s relay.

The high point of the day was the survivors’ walk followed by a balloon release. Over 300 balloons remembering and honoring cancer patients were released into the clear blue sky. Many special thoughts and prayers ascended with the balloons. As the balloons floated away, everyone was invited to join the students in a cancer awareness walk.

A special assembly was held May 22 to recognize everyone who helped to raise the record-breaking amount and to present checks to the American Cancer Society and to five local cancer patients. 

Lou “Scooter” Tolzda, chairman of the event, had promised the student body that he would dye his hair blonde if they surpassed the state record. The assembly ended with the gym becoming a beauty salon and Tolzda, true to his word, allowed his hair to be lightened.


Ellen L. Brubaker, 74, Wooster, died May 18, 2009 at Wooster Community Hospital. She was born May 9, 1935 in Martins Ferry, a daughter of Thurmond G. and Mildred Mae Davis Thomas.

Online tributes may be made at www.robertsfuneralhome.com

Lillian Frances Smith, 92, 205 Wood Terrace Rd., Woods-field, died May 26, 2009 in Monroe County Care Center, Woodsfield. She was born Feb. 3, 1917 in Blackfork, a daughter of the late Warren and Elizabeth Garey Evans. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com.

Louise M. Evans, 81, New Matamoras, died May 26, 2009 at Barnesville Hospital. She was born May 13, 1928 in Monroe County, a daughter of the late Hershel and Lucille Conley Ritchie.

Condolences can be expressed at www.bauerturner.com.

Helen G. Smith, 83, 30386 Bracken Rdg. Rd., Lewisville, died May 30, 2009, at Woodsfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was born May 1, 1926 near Somerton, a daughter of the late Everett and Verna McMurray Mann.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com

“Term” Thurman W. Longwell, 88, Sardis, died May 31, 2009 at New Martinsville Health Care Center. He was born Oct. 8, 1920 in Duffy, a son of the late William and Cory Longwell.  Expressions of sympathy may be made online to www.jarvisfuneralhomes.com.

Charlene E. Patton, 75, Columbus, died May 29, 2009.

Our Readers Write:

Dear Editor,
A beautiful four-lamp-pole was erected over the filled-in well, on the Woodsfield square, around 1942. The light pole was donated by Davy Crawford, a respected, caring citizen of Woodsfield and Monroe County. It is pictured in 1989 in Monroe County History by Theresa A. and Stanley B. Maienknecht, cherished as a Woodsfield Heritage.

The light pole was removed for repair a few years ago with a promise it would be placed back in its original space. I, with many others ask, “When?”

People say they avoid the Woodsfield Square, since the light pole is no longer there. They are unable to know which line of traffic to follow.

If more space is needed for large vehicles to turn around the light pole, remove a few feet of each flower bed.

Flowers are one of God’s gifts. They wilt and die-even with regular care but are not a heritage for the generations. The light pole is.

Bertha Burkhart

Dear Editor,

Campus Martius Matters! The Campus Martius Museum and the Ohio River Museum in Marietta along with 16 other Ohio Historical Society sites are in danger. Because of budget cuts, these special places may close after June 30. The citizens of Ohio must do something.

These museums should not close down because they show how people lived long ago. Museums not only hold our past, they keep history alive and interesting. One last reason is that Marietta was “the start of it all.” It was the first American settlement west of the Ohio River. Campus Martius represents the start of Ohio.

As fourth graders we were appalled when we heard that museums across Ohio could shut down. These sites are places that so many people go to experience history. We think that there should be money set aside to keep Ohio Historical Society sites open.

Everyone can help by writing letters to officials throughout the state to let them know that these sites matter and need financial support. Visit saveohiomuseums.org for more information.

Fourth Grade Students
Skyvue Elementary

Dear Editor,

I really appreciate the veterans group that is responsible for the Civil War memorial recently erected by the Court House.

My great-great-grandfather, Moses “Fletcher” Starr served in the 116th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and was mortally wounded at the Battle of Lynchburg on June 18, 1864. His body was never returned to his wife and children, and his final resting place is unknown. I feel that he, and the other soldiers who gave their “last full measure of devotion”, deserve to be recognized for their sacrifice. It is a comfort to me that his name has a place of honor in Monroe County and will remain for future generations.

Mary Ann Starr Tomlin

Around the Burnside

Middle of the road politicians get hit by traffic from both directions.

It’s more tempting to be ruined by praise than to improved by criticism.

Well, Esther and I attended our alumni banquet a week or so ago. Kind of fun to get together with a number of older folks again. Seems as though every one is so much older. There were three ladies attended who graduated in 1935. That’s a long time ago. I didn’t know them as I was attending two room school only in the 5th grade, I think, I was still wearing bib overalls back then.

I did enjoy seeing several fellows I had in class when I taught school there in the middle ’50s. They are starting to look old now. On the not so happy side, the memorial roll contained the names of three fellows I had in class back then. Only one other member of my class attended and we grew up in Fairview so we had a good visit.

I tend to listen to Fox news some of the time; I get tired of hearing our two stations reporting on riff raff in the Ohio Valley over and over.

I did hear something on Fox the other day how teachers can get their students to buckle down and really study. This teacher told her students for each student who got 100 percent on a test she would eat a worm. Know what? All 30 students got 100 percent on the test. She had to eat 30 worms.

Made national TV. She even had three students with her to tell what they thought and they all ate a worm or two. Wish I had thought of this when I was teaching.

Thinking a little more about this, I knew a kid in Lewisville that would gulp down a worm or two.

The teacher did say the raw worm had no taste. I’ll take her word for it. I bet a nickel to a doughnut you know of someone who has eaten a worm.

Well, the weather is still playing games. We had a nice stretch of good weather; now we’re in the middle of a rainy spell. I thought I’d mow as the sun was shining. By the time I was headed for my mower, it started raining. Now the sun is out again. So let it grow.

You know, this time of year it’s tough to think of something to write about. This plus when you get older you do not seem to get around to see what’s going on.

It’s a bit like a graduate course I took at OSU a long time ago. Like most summer courses the professor really lays it on in a short time.

Well, exam time rolled around and our instructor asked only one question. I read the question and I read it several times and realized I did not have the slightest idea what he wanted for an answer.

I finally got the shovel out and wrote out about everything he had talked about in class that I could remember. It must have been what he wanted because he bragged the next day what an excellent job I had done on the exam and I received an A grade. Maybe the only one I received at OSU except maybe phys ed class. I don’t remember what the course was.

I had a friend who learned the hard way that different professors at OSU had different ideas. Our English class had little to do with grammar except we should use correct grammar when writing about the junk we were assigned.

My friend had a friend who received an A grade on his composition with only a red mark or two. Knowing they had different instructors he copies his friend’s work, corrected his few mistakes, and turned it in. Well, you’ve guess it; he got his paper back with red marks every where and an E grade. It looked as though his teacher had worn out a red pencil, pointing out his mistakes.

I made it through the three quarters although I didn’t set the world on fire. Those ladies who taught my English class didn’t understand most of us in Southeastern Ohio have a different way of expressing ourselves.

I drive by some of our schools today and see all kinds of playground equipment near the school. I think maybe we had a swing or two and maybe a homemade seesaw. If you happen to pass by during break time or noon hour you might see a bunch of students outside letting off steam. You will also see a teacher or two maybe three keeping an eye on the students to see the kids do not let off too much steam.

Maybe it was because there were only a few of us our teacher didn’t bother us during recess or noon hour. We were kind of on our own. I guess maybe they looked out the window a time or two.

This was our time and we decided what we wanted to do on our own. I still carry a scar on my knees from playing “king of the hill” on a rather large ash pile in front of our school. I wasn’t king anymore that day. We played a number of games. Kids do not play nowadays. Plus the fact our sex education class was held around the rather large girls’ and boys’ buildings out back of the school house. I don’t know how we ever made it through.

Remember: Try to be able to afford the way you’re living now. 

Good things happen after Church is over.