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740-472-0734 P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793   monroecountybeacon@sbcglobal.net

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 $2 ($2.50 if the issue is over 3 months old) with date of paper requested, your name and address to P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793 and we will send you a paper.

June 24, 2010

Baseball Field Dedicated

Hannibal has a new ball field. A dedication ceremony was held June 10 and the first game was held. Shown, from left, are: Ronnie Smith, Ohio Township Trustee; Brenda Miracle, Hannibal Little League Association; David Walters, Hannibal Lockmaster; Amy Eggleston, Ohio Township Clerk; and Col. Mike Crall,
Army Corps of Engineers.              
Photo Courtesy of Connie Irvin

by Taylor Abbott
Staff Writer

Hannibal welcomed a new attraction and addition to its riverfront on June 10 with a large crowd present. 

At 5:30 p.m. Col. Michael Crall, Commander, United States Army Corps of Engi-neers, threw out the first pitch at the newly dedicated Han-nibal Locks and Dam Baseball Field. Following the throw, the first official game was held.

Hannibal has eight Little League baseball and softball teams that often share one field behind Hannibal Elementary.  Scheduling conflicts were always a hassle. 

In 2006, Dave Walters, lockmaster of Hannibal, first met with those representing the Hannibal Baseball Association

to discuss land acquisition for new fields. The site currently occupied by the dam and new field was owned by the government. For those wanting this dream to become a reality, red tape was encountered almost from the start .

After two years of work and with the help of Crall, the dream was finally realized. Enough land was set aside for the new field, along with a softball field being constructed adjacent to the baseball field.

Work on the softball field will begin in the near future. Once completed, it will not only be able to host Little League games but also high school softball. 

Volunteers from the town, with the assistance of the Ohio Township Trustees and Walters, have constructed an excellent field at a prime location. Both fields rest along State Route 7 with parking available by the fields and at the dam’s parking facilities.

It was a week of reminiscing for Bob Prickett and former Air Force buddy James ‘Buzz’ Martins. The two met in 1954 when they were stationed at an Air Force base in Alexandria, Louisiana. The men were reunited through Monroe County Veterans Services Officer Gary Lake. Shown, from left, are “Snuggles,” Shirley and Bob Prickett and Judy and Buzz Martins.    
M. Ackerman Photo

Air Force Buddies Reunite

by Martha Ackerman
General Manager/Editor

It was 1954. The location was Alexandria Air Force Base, Louisiana. Two young men were members of the 366th Installation Squadron working as water purification specialists. Robert ‘Bob’ Prickett was from Graysville, Ohio, and James ‘Buzz’ Martins was from Willmar, Minnesota. They became roommates and in a short time, best buddies.

“We used to chum around a lot in the service,” said Martins.  “We drank a lot of beer together. We were in town almost every night.” 

“We even bought a car together,” said Prickett. “It was a 1940 Chevrolet.” They each chipped in $20 each. “We each drove it once,” added Prickett. “It wouldn’t start so we left it in the base parking lot.” He added that if each of them had a longer tour at the Louisiana base, they might have fixed it up, but that was not the case.

Prickett was transferred to Okinawa for a 16-18 month assignment. Martins’ orders were for Korea, where he did a year tour of duty.

The men never kept in touch.

Martins applied for disability through his local  veterans services officer in Minnesota. “There’s a buddy system,” said Martins. He needed to contact someone he had served with and he thought of his friend from many years ago. He didn’t know if Bob was still alive but he knew he was from Ohio.

Martins’ veterans service officer started looking for Prickett. The first call she made was to Monroe County’s Veterans Service Officer Gary Lake. She hit the jackpot! Lake definitely knows Prickett. His son is married to Prickett’s granddaughter!

The two made contact and Buzz and his wife Judy made the trip to Woodsfield last week to visit and reminisce with his long ago best friend.

What had the two been doing over the years? After serving four years in the Air Force, Bob worked at Republic Steel in Canton, worked road construction and retired in 1984 from Conalco where he worked as a caster (metal pourer). He then worked for about five years in the oilfields for Harlan Billman until he had a heart attack. “I mow the yard now,” said Prickett.

Martins also served four years and joined a brick layers union, working as an apprentice for four years. He then started his own masonry business with a friend. He retired in 1996. He does a lot of fishing, hunting, raises a big garden and likes to travel.

Buzz married Judy on March 7, 1957. He had met her while serving in the Air Force in Oklahoma. The couple has three sons, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Bob married Shirley, a hometown girl, on March 9, 1957. Bob and Shirley have three children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren with another on the way.

With the Martins’ visit to Woodsfield, old friendships have been renewed. They spent the week reminiscing, site seeing in the county and in West Virginia and shopping.

Buzz and Judy Martins left June 19 for their return trip to Minnesota. The Pricketts are planning a trip to visit the Martins next summer. “God willing,” said Bob. 

Former service buddies “Buzz” Martins, left, and Bob Prickett, right, had a chance to catch up on each other’s lives when Martins visited Woodsfield last week. Also shown is Monroe County Veterans Service Officer Gary Lake, who helped Martins find Prickett

Our Readers Write... 

Dear Editor,

I am writing to thank Kyle Yoho and his parents, Doug and Helen, for all of the hard work that they have done for the civil war event last weekend. Your community has been blessed with a young man that is interested in community service, keeping history alive and promoting your area. This day and age there are so many negative news stories concerning the youth of America. This is awesome.

I thank the community for their support concerning this event. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. I hope that you continue to support the event.

Rose Branham
Rush, Kentucky

Dear Editor,

My wife and I attended the Civil War Encampment held on the weekend of June 13-14 at Shadow Lake. This was a great way too see how the soldiers of the North and South lived during the mid nineteenth century.

We want to thank Kyle Yoho, organizer of the event, and all the sponsors who helped make the event possible. Events such as this help make Monroe County a wonderful place to live.

Jay Heslep




~ Marmie OUE Graduation Speaker ~

Beallsville native and deputy project manager of NASA’s LCROSS (Lumar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission John Marmie was the keynote speaker at the 2010 Ohio University Eastern Honors and Recognition Convocation held June 4.

911 Problems Voiced
by Taylor Abbott
Staff Writer

Monroe County Commissioners met Jun. 7 with a full agenda that began with a visit from Woodsfield Elementary’s fourth grade classes.

Around 50 students packed into the commissioners meeting chamber where many posed questions to the elected officials.

Commissioners were amused by the intelligent group of youngsters who were very quick to respond to some of the comments made by commissioner and courthouse tour guide John Pyles. 

While entering Treasurer Judy Gramlich’s office, one student peered up at the sign over her door that reads, “Treasurer.” As he read it aloud to himself he said, “Treasurer...eww! Money!” Needless to say it was amusing for all on the tour.

The group wrapped up their tour in Judge Julie Selmon’s courtroom where John Yocca, court reporter, explained the different aspects of his job and that of Selmon’s.

Following the tour, Teri Knowlton, EMS treasurer, updated commissioners on the EMS’ budget. She reported a balance of $39,337.76 in the general fund.

Commissioner Pyles reported that Judge Walter Starr transferred a 1995 Ford Taurus over to the county for its use. 

“The commission appreciates Judge Starr’s generosity in transferring this vehicle over to the county. With the limited funding that we have, this has been a great help to us,” said Pyles. 

At 11:30 a.m., bids on the County Road 29 bridge replacement project in Camer-on were opened. Only one bid was made. 

U.S. Bridge, Cambridge, made a bid of $532,500. County Engineer Lonnie Tustin said that the bid came in below his estimate and was pleased with the bid.

The bid will cover the costs associated with the removal of the bridge and installment of a new and bigger span.

According to Tustin, the bridge will be 159 feet long and be four feet wider than the current bridge. Tustin said the bid will officially be awarded after July 1.

Mary Jo Westfall met briefly with commissioners to discuss a paving project in Stafford and bathroom facility upgrades at Brownsville’s township hall.  

Parnell & Associates was awarded the paving project contract at $19,330. 

According to Westfall, bathroom facilities at the Browns-ville Township Hall will undergo remodeling which will make it handicap accessible.

Following Westfall’s meeting, Sheriff Chuck Black and Matt Brake, Swiss Valley Associate engineer, met with officials to discuss problems plaguing the new 911 system. 

According to Brake, Staley Communication Inc. has been working on equipment upgrades for the past several months.

Black voiced his concern with Staley’s saying, “My only concern is that we are not operational. To put it bluntly, we have a high-tech answering machine that we’re sinking thousands of dollars into and it isn’t working.”

Further commenting on the lack of progress, Black said that he is very disappointed with Staley’s and added, “Construction of the 911 project began in 2004. In six months its going to be 2011 and we’re no better off now than then aside from new drywall and security upgrades at the sheriff’s office.”

Commissioner Tim Price asked Black about communications which Black described as “a total loss in some areas.”

“By the time this project becomes operational Chuck will be in the fourth year of his term and it may not even be operational then,” said Pyles.

Brake apologized and said that he understands the frustration voiced by officials. He said that Staley’s is called to the sheriff’s office several times a week for technical problems. 

“The citizens of this county are being shorted by not having access to 911. Everyone surrounding this county is operational but we aren’t,” said Black.

At the conclusion of the meeting, commissioners and Black requested that Staley’s meet with them immediately to solve this problem in a timely manner. If the problem is not solved, a contract renewal with Staleys is likely not to occur, noted Black. 

Tom Scott, community developer, offered a suggestion that a temporary moratorium be put in place until the matter is solved. Officials previously discussed that possibility and are now considering it pending a meeting with Staley’s. 

Pyles ended the dialogue saying, “We’re paying them [Staley’s]. We just want what we’ve paid for.”

In a special session on Jun. 9, commissioners appointed Dr. Fred Shoff, D.O. to fill the county coroner position vacated by Dr. Jay Seidler.

Walking the Red Carpet for a Cure
Monroe County Relay-For-Life July 16 & 17

Relay-For-Life began in 1985 with one man who walked and ran around a track for 24 hours and raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society.

This year, Relay-For-Life will take place in nearly 5,100 communities in the United States and 20 other countries and will raise funds to support the Society’s mission of saving lives by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures and fighting back. One of those communities is Monroe County.

The dates are set and planning is underway for the 2010 Monroe County Relay-For-Life. This year’s theme is “Walking the Red Carpet for a Cure.” Help make a difference by attending the July 16 and 17 event at Swiss Hills Career Center. Opening ceremonies will begin at 4 p.m. Friday, July 16. There will be entertainment and activities for everyone including a dunk tank, bounce house and Uno tournament for the kids. Entertainment will include local bands, Southbound and Not So Rich and Famous, along with the talents of former Miss Ohio Karissa Martin and Gary Jones.

Survivor, caregiver and team laps will begin at 7 p.m. and the Luminary Ceremony is set for 9 p.m. Also on the agenda are the Newspaper Evening Gown, Ms. Relay and Cutest Kid contests. Events and activities will be held throughout the night and things will wrap up Saturday at 10 a.m.

“Our goal is to further the American Cancer Society’s vision of creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays. “Join us July 16 and 27 to make this happen. Good food, good people and a good cause,” say organizers.

Around the Burnside  

It’s fun going to class reunions, but it’s strange seeing all those old faces and new teeth.

You’re getting older when every move you make is a joint effort.

I didn’t have room to quite finish my story last week. My movement after the second day almost for an hour, Esther likes to get to appointments plenty early. My path was as follows: first a large waiting room, a smaller room to look into a machine, to another room, to a smaller waiting room, another room, back to the small waiting room, finally to a small room for final instruction and headed for Ryan’s. Surprise, only a couple or so in the big waiting room.

They are really good at what they do but it seems as though you are playing musical chairs without the music.

We sat near three kind of old golfers early and listened to their tales. A lady who had a problem with her eyes as she held her phone close to her eyes and spent a lot of time texting. Another lady came in and started texting as soon as she settled in a chair. Then if that wasn’t enough a fellow came into the smaller waiting room and started texting right away. I assume they were texting. I guess they could have been checking soccer scores, their bank account, watching TV or playing a game or whatever you can do on a cell phone. I had my phone fixed so I can neither send or receive a text message. End of my boring story.

How about SR 78 from Lewisville to the Noble County line? they are now putting down the finishing touches. It’s been a long time, but worth it, I guess. I was a bit disappointed they didn’t have some blacktop left over and dumped it in the holes in the Dollar General parking lot. Man, some of those holes are nearly as deep as the swimming hole we had as kids.

You know I think we have at least three stop signs in Lewisville you might say are useless or maybe drivers can’t read or know what they mean.

I grew up in a time when most every one sat out on their front porch every evening. A couple of reasons. To visit with neighbors and keep up with the latest gossip in town. Probably the main reason was no air conditioning or TV and the house was too hot until bed time. Because of this I like to sit on our deck many evenings during the summer. I can see three stop signs from where we sit.

The other evening after a ball game I was watching folks leave for home. I could almost count on one hand the cars that actually came to a complete stop at one of the three stop signs. Yes, several came to what is called a rolling stop. I’m talking a complete stop. Question, doesn’t a stop sign mean come to a complete stop regardless? Maybe they should paint whoa instead of stop.

While I’m still on the box. I saw a picture some time ago of a 7th grade basketball team called the Ohio Valley Hoops. They must have had the pick of the crop and you can bet the team was not connected to school in any way shape or form. The reason. Their record was 39 wins and 4 losses. This team played 43 basketball games. Isn’t this overdoing it? High school teams are limited to 20 games a season plus a few practice games. The high school coaches asked permission to schedule 22 games a season this year. They were turned down by the Ohio Athletic Board.

I saw something you just don’t see very often. We were headed west on SR 78 on a kind of a rainy day. I thought maybe they were not working on the road because of it. I was wrong. We had not gone very far until we read the sign saying “flagger ahead”. They used to read “flag man ahead; times change.

As normal, we were stopped by the flagger, a flag man in this case. Time to wait and relax as we allowed for being held up by the work crew.

When the flag man turned his sign around he said to us, “Take it easy as the roller is in the ditch.” I thought maybe he was joking, but sure enough down the road the large roller was there with the large back roller well down in the ditch. As you know a roller such as that does not have much traction.

I’m not sure but I’m guessing the road was a little slanting and the rain made it a bit slippery. When something of that size and weight starts to slide it keeps sliding until something stops it. The ditch and bank did the job. I would have liked to stop and watch them get it out but I just smiled and drove on down the road.

I would guess most everyone had a good time during the recent alumni celebration. Although I probably didn’t know there was a Woodsfield when I was in high school, I still enjoyed having a little part and enjoyed the celebration. I enjoyed the pictures on the windows at Weber’s Drug taken in 1960; that was 50 years ago, wow.

I thought the ladies were whistling at me until I discovered it was my hearing aid.

You can attend church, even on vacation.

■  6-24 Classifieds


Richard Lee Schreiber, 58, Beallsville, died June 13, 2010 at his home. He was born Oct. 24, 1951 in Chicago, Ill., a son of the late Robert and Betty Petersen Schreiber.

He worked as a heavy equipment loader for Tital America, served in the Navy and was a member of the VFW and American Legion.

Surviving are his wife, Theresa Carter; two step-sons, Julius Carter of Barnesville, Kenneth Carter of Beallsville; two brothers, Donald Schreiber of Michigan, Craig Schreiber of Florida and a step-grandson, Chase Carter.

Services will be announced at a later date. Campbell-Plumly-Milburn Funeral Home, Barnesville, is in charge of arrangements.

Condolences may be expressed at: CampbellPlumlyMilburnFuneralHome.com

Blanche G. Vianelli,
71, Beallsville, died June 14, 2010 in Medical Park Hospital, Wheeling. She was born March 1, 1939 in Helena, Montana, a daughter of the late Harlan and Thelma Swan Jones. 

She was a member of the East Sunsbury Baptist Church near Beallsville. She was known throughout the community for having a compassionate and nurturing spirit, having served as a caregiver for many years.

Surviving are three daughters, Cindy (Mark) Coburn of Beattyville, Ky., Melody (Mike) Inbody of Findlay, Rosemary (Scott) Lieberth of Beallsville; son, Louis (Rachelle Wollard) Vianelli of Beallsville; 12 grandchildren, Katie, Kristen and Isaac Coburn, Brandon and Brittany Barnes, Adrianna and Xavier Lieberth, Michael, Bray, Montana, Jacob and Donovan Vianelli; several sisters and brothers including three sisters, Hilda (Rudy Palmer) Perkins and Nelda (Neil) Hamilton, both of Beallsville and Lorna (Dale) Brownfield of Jerusalem; a brother, Jim (Mary) Perkins of Florida.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Louis in 1992.

Friends were received June 16 at Harper Funeral Home, Beallsville, where funeral services were held June 17, with Blanche’s son-in-law, Pastor Mark Coburn and Pastor Jeff Cox officiating. Burial followed in Beallsville Cemetery.

Elizabeth Anne Myers Larrick 
Elizabeth Anne Myers Larrick, 86, died June 14, 2010 at Woodsfield Nursing and Rehab Center

Surviving are three daughters, Mary (Bill) Schmertz, Patty Lane, Julie (Steve) Casto; son, Miles (Gail) Larrick; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Jennie (Seth Josephson) Scheinbach and their children, Moshe, Ruth and Dov; Andy Scheinbach, Charlie Lane; Erin Lane (Rush) Beam; Paula Conner and her children Trey, Kiera and Makenzie; Matt Connor, Lizzie Casto and Jessica (Roger) Sandoval and their daughter Evie.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Dr. Robert Larrick, whom she married in 1945 in Washing-ton, D.C.

After attending Wilson Teachers’ College in Wash-ington, Ann graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University where she was a member of Kappa Delta Pi education honorary and Pi Beta Phi fraternity. 

Following graduation she served as a correspondent for the American Red Cross during WWII. At the end of the war she married Bob Larrick from Wilmington, Ohio and they moved to Charleston, S.C., where he attended medical school. From there they went to Colorado for a year and then, after her husband’s service in Korea, they moved to Columbus

From 1973 to 1981, Ann was a member of the Grandview Heights City Council and served as a representative to the Mid-Ohio Regional Plan-ning Commission, Mid-Ohio Health Planning Federation, Animal Control Board, and Grandview Heights Library Commission. She and her friend Win Keller founded the Grandview Heights Historical Society in the mid 1970s. She and her husband moved from Grandview to Friendship Village of Dublin in 1995.

Ann was known for her wry sense of humor and her fabulous ability to remember the name of everyone she met. She played a great game of bridge and instilled a keen sense of independence in her children. She will be sorely missed.

Friends were received June 18 at Deyo-Davis Funeral Home, Columbus, followed by a memorial service.

Clarence Vanness 
Clarence Vanness, 100, Woodsfield Nursing and Rehab Center, formerly of Center Ridge Rd., Beallsville, died June 15, 2010 at the center. He was born Feb. 5, 1910 near Beallsville, a son of the late William and Lulabelle Palmer Vanness.

He was a farmer and he attended the Woodsfield Church of the Nazarene.

Surviving are a brother, Carl Vanness of Beallsville; several nieces and nephews and also several very special friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Russell, Ralph and William Vanness; four sisters, Emmie Vanness, Dorothy Phillips, Elsie Vanness and Martha McGinnis.

Friends were received June 17 at Harper Funeral Home, Beallsville, where funeral services were held June 18, with Pastor Bill Moran officiating. Burial followed in Beallsville Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in Clarence’s name to East Sunsbury Cemetery Fund, c/o Wanda Aberegg, 50235 Mellott Rdg. Rd., Beallsville, OH 43716.

Online condolences may be offered at www.harperfh.net.