< 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.



March 19, 2009
As “Taps” sounded, a final salute.

~ A Comrade is Laid to Rest ~

        As a final tribute, the tones dropped and a voice rang out,  “Last call for George Zonker. We thank him for his services.” A prominent face in the community was laid to rest March 13. H. George Zonker, Jr. served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II, served as a councilman, mayor and police officer for the
Village of Woodsfield and was a founding member of the Woodsfield Emergency Squad. Dan Jones, surgeon, Woodsfield VFW Post 5303 and Cliff Rush, post commander, Beallsville American Legion Post 768, folded the American flag which draped the coffin of a fellow serviceman. Rod Watters, of Post 5303, presented the flag to the family. A final salute was given by members of law enforcement personnel as the sound of “Taps” resonated through Oaklawn Cemetery following a 21-gun salute.                Photo by Martha Ackerman      

Team Monroe to Continue Under Developer’s Watch

From left, Ruth Workman, Monroe County
Chamber of Commerce, Kiven Smithberger, president,
Team Monroe, Tom Scott, and Suzanne Pollock,
Monroe Arts Council.

        What had been planned as an appreciation party for former County Workforce/economic Developer Tom Scott turned into a celebration of continuity for Team Monroe.                Announcement was made at a dinner party held March 16 at Traditions Restaurant that Scott had been hired, effective March 18 as Team Monroe Community Developer. His duties under Job and Family Services ended March 17.
        Scott will be paid with private funds and donations solicited from citizens and businesses. During the first year he will also seek grant funding to sustain his position.
        “I’ve been a believer for a long time in the power of positive people and what they can accomplish,” said Suzanne Pollock of Team Monroe. Pollock told attendees that development “... doesn’t take just one, it takes many.” She said she believes private funds can fund community
development. “
        Kiven Smithberger, president, Team Monroe, announced a plan to keep Scott for another year with private funds. “What that means is we’ll have to do a fund drive,” he added.  He told the over 40 individuals in attendance that unifying the county is the greatest thing Scott has brought to the county. He noted the many projects saying, “We know he’s started a lot of projects and we want to see those developed and completed. That’s one of the reasons we’ve asked him to stay.” Current streams of work through Team Monroe committees are centered on infrasructure/transportation, education, business incubator and tourism.                    Because members do not want to go back to the people for more money to fund a second year, grants will be sought to make Team Monroe self sustaining.
        Team Monroe will use the Monroe Arts Council’s 501c3 until it obtains its own tax exempt status - which is in the works.
        The chamber of commerce has agreed to rent space at $100 a month for Scott to set  up an office at the chamber.
        “It’s a big leap of faith, folks,” said Pollock, adding, “When people feel committed, they come through.”
 Donations may be sent to Friends of Team Monroe, Monroe Arts Council,
Box 634, Woodsfield, OH 43793

<Monroe County Commissioners Proclaim MRDD Month

Five employees of he MACO Workshop attended last weeks meeting of county commissioners. At right, holding the “Just like You!” poster is Tracy Cisler and seated is Stephan January. Standing from left, John Pyles, president, board of county commissioners; Commissioner Carl Davis, Michael Kanzigg, Kevin Kraft, Commissioner Tim Price, Supt. Helen Ring, MACO employee Yvonne Craig and Director Dan Lollathin.

        Monroe County Commissioners last week proclaimed March as MRDD Awareness Month. Submitting a resolution for signatures were Helen K. Ring, superintendent Monroe County MRDD Board, and Dan Lollathin, MACO transportation and workshop director.

        Monroe County Board of MRDD and related organizations celebrate MRDD Aware-ness Month in March. They invite citizens to consider the true meaning of this year’s theme, “Just like You!”
        Statewide, and across the nation, organizations devoted to serving individuals with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities have special events in March to raise public awareness of the many abilities people have, regardless of disability. “Just like you!” encourages people to bring diversity to their communities by welcoming people with disabilities into local neighborhoods, workplaces, houses of worship and schools.
        “This is the time when our organization focuses on encouraging the public to better understand the individuals we serve,” said Helen K. Ring, superintendent, Monroe County Board of MRDD.
        “During MRDD Awareness Month, we encourage people to learn more about the people in this community who have disabilities. For example, when you see a child who uses a wheelchair - see the child, not the disability. And when you see the man with mental retardation working at your local supermarket, see the man, not his disability.”
        MRDD Awareness Month officially began with a kickoff celebration the first week of March at the statehouse in Columbus. Monroe County Commissioners have proclaimed the month of March   MRDD Awareness Month.
        The Board of MRDD serves over 130 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Services and supports are provided from infancy through retirement. An Early Interven-tion Program is available for eligible infants and their families through home visits. Monroe Achievement Center serves children preschool through age 22. MACO Workshop provides jobs and habilitation activities for adults with developmental disabilities. These jobs are supported in-house and in community work settings.
        For more information, call 740-472-1712.

 <School Bus Involved in Three Vehicle Accident on SR 800

        Monroe County emergency personnel were called to an accident March 11 involving a Switzerland of Ohio Local School bus and two vehicles. The children, who sustained bumps and bruises, were treated and released to their parents.                       Photo by Martha Ackerman

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
        “We’re thankful for the quick response of our emergency personnel,” said Switzerland of Ohio Local School District Superintendent Larry Elliott, after a school bus was involved in an accident on March 11.
        Bus driver Keith Jones, 50, was stopped and had his red lights flashing when a vehicle ran into the front of the bus.  According to Elliott, the child who was exiting the bus was not out of the seat when the impact occurred.
        According to Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Brian McFarland, the bus was headed north on State Route 800, just north of Woodsfield around 3:30 p.m. The bus was transporting approximately 26 students home from Monroe
Central High School, Swiss Hills Career Center and Woodsfield Elementary. After Jones had stopped and activated the red flashing lights to allow students to exit the bus near their home, a 2001 Hyundai Accent, driven by Graysville resident Keith Dunn, 63, stopped in the southbound lane.
        While Dunn and his passenger, wife Cynthia Dunn, were waiting, a southbound 2006 Chrysler 300, driven by Woodsfield resident Stella Crum, 82, approached the Hyundai from behind. The Crum vehicle struck the rear of the Hyundai, forcing it to strike the front bumper of the school bus and spin around.
        “The kids were all treated and released to their parents,” said McFarland. “A few of them suffered some minor bumps and bruises and the bus driver was not injured.”
        According to McFarland, Keith Dunn was taken to Wetzel
County Hospital in New Martinsville where he was diagnosed with a broken clavicle, Cynthia Dunn was taken to Wheeling Hospital with her condition unknown, Stella Crum was transported to Barnesville Hospital and Paul Crum went to Wetzel County Hospital. McFarland noted that Mr. and Mrs. Crum suffered only minor injuries.
        Both the Hyundai and Chrysler sustained heavy damage.
        This was the second time this bus, these children and this bus driver were involved in an accident. Jones was driving the bus two years ago on the same stretch of State Route 800 when a car ran into the bus. At that time the driver of the car was killed.
        “It’s bad enough [for the children] to get over the first [accident],” said Katrana Hall, who had three children riding on the bus. She noted the first time her oldest child was sent to the hospital and all her children were bruised for a week. “It’s not just physical, it’s the mental part,” she said.
        “Our number one concern is for the safety of our students,” said Elliott. “It is always unfortunate when there is an accident.
        “We’re very blessed to have such wonderful men and women who answer the call when people are in need,” said Elliott. “We want to extend a big ‘thank you’ to the emergency personnel who turned out.” Emergency personnel on scene included Woodsfield, Antioch, Beallsville and Bethel-Graysville.




< Obituaries

H. George Zonker, Jr., 83, 224 Center St., Woodsfield, died March 10, 2009, at Barnesville Hos-pital. He was born Oct. 25, 1925, at Woodsfield, a son of the late Homer George Zonker, Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Harper Zonker. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com.

        Vernon “Sonny” Huffman, 78, Fifth Ave., Sardis, died March 13, 2009, at home. He was born May 6, 1930 in Wetzel County, the son of the late Boyd and Opal Crawford Huffman.     Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com

        Carl Grossenbacher, 79, Benwood Rd., Sardis, died March 13, 2009 at Wetzel County Hospital, New Martinsville, W.Va. He was born March 2, 1930 in Sardis, the son of the late Thomas and Clara Indermuhle Grossen-bacher. Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com

William A. Johnson, 84, Cuyahoga Falls, formerly of Monroe County, died March 10, 2009, at the Cardinal Retirement Village in Cuyahoga Falls. He was born Aug. 8, 1924 in Cuyahoga Falls, a son of the late William H. Johnson and Josephine Boeglin Johnson. Condolences can be expressed at www.bauerturner.com

Sylvia Jean Howell Stein-hoff, 70, Monroe County Care Center, Woodsfield, formerly of Rinard Mills, passed from this life March 16, 2009, at the center after a hard fought battle with Alzheimer’s. She was born June 11, 1938 near Rinard Mills, a daughter of the late Clifford and Martha Jones Howell. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com.

<Our Readers Write:

Dear Editor,
        I have been hearing from different church members that when you get baptized at a particular church you have to go to that church.
        When we are saved and baptized we make a commitment to God. Then we become a member of God’s church, a Christian church.
        We are the church. We should be Christlike after getting baptized and show God’s love.
        The Golden Rule - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor as yourself. Don’t put stumbling blocks in people’s paths. Go the extra mile. If someone does you wrong make them a pie or do something nice. Then scripture says we will be heaping hot coals on their head. If we say we are christians then we better act like one.
        Just because we go to a church, and were baptized, it doesn’t make us a Christian.
        If we read and obey scripture 100 percent God will give us the desire of our heart and put us in the right path. It also says to assemble ourselves together so we can go to a
church of God’s choice. Let Jesus guide you.
        I went to a lot of churches but when I opened the door at Duffy I knew in my spirit I was home and when we don’t have services I go to others to hear God’s word. They are my brothers and sisters too in Christ Jesus.
        Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called children of God and it’s not the name over the door.
In Christ’s Love,
Geraldine Petersen

Dear Editor and citizens of
Monroe County and the Switzerland of Ohio School District,
        I would like to respond to a recent letter to the Editor which appeared in the March 12, 2009 issue of the Beacon. The author of the letter, like every other citizen, is certainly entitled to his opinion; however, he makes assertions which are (unfortunately) not based on fact(s). While he is entitled to his opinions, he is not entitled to his own facts. This type of misinformation does not serve any positive or useful purpose, and actually hurts our community and children.
        The author correctly points out that the people of this county and school district, like all people everywhere, need to be educated. That is obvious, but, the idea that the money from the proposed school levy will somehow be added to teachers’ salaries is incorrect. The author cites no source of authority for such assertion. FACT: the money from the school levy will be used for one purpose - to build new school facilities within the entire Switzerland of Ohio School District. That’s it. The local Board of Education and the school district could not unilaterally change the State-approved “Master Plan” for construction at this point even if they wanted to. The author also mentions “field houses.” FACT: If you simply look at the school construction “Master Plan,” it is abundantly  clear that sports “Field Houses” are not mentioned.
        The FACT is that the construction of the proposed facilities will create approximately 1,500 jobs in our communities. All of the construction jobs will be filled with union workers, and at least half of the union workers will be from our local areas. Passage of the school levy is really like our own local “stimulus plan.” We all get better schools, job creation, and the pride in belonging to communities that make the education of its children a priority, not an afterthought. Especially in these tough economic times, poor schools are like an “anchor” threatening to drown our communities. It is increasingly difficult to attract new industries to our area given the poor condition of our schools.
        It is very important to the children and our communities to have school facilities which are modern, safe, energy efficient, and which facilitate academic excellence. Our kids deserve up-to-date schools which include labs for chemistry and biology so that they will be fully prepared for the challenges of higher education and life in general.
        Our decaying and out-dated schools are like having a 15-year-old car with 200,000 miles on it. The old car may be “paid for” but the cost to keep such an old vehicle on the road is simply not worth it at some point. Likewise, our existing school buildings cost a lot of money to heat, maintain, and repair. Our “portable” buildings are certainly not free and will not last forever. Who wants to keep paying for portable buildings, or spending money on old buildings which really should be torn down?
        The author of the March 12 letter, like many others, appears to be an enthusiastic proponent of providing our children a better education, and has much to say about the school levy issue. As is commonly known, however, talk is
cheap, and rarely accomplishes much of anything worthwhile. He should, as others like myself and the school Bond Committee have done, find a way to “practice what he is preaching” by getting involved, informed and better educated about the exact specifics of this very important issue, and what it means to our community as a whole. Actions speak louder than words and joining in the process is certainly preferable to writing letters. This letter is not written in an effort to engage in any type of ongoing letter writing with anyone but merely to set forth some of the facts.
Bill Williams

Dear Editor,
        This letter is to inform the public that the US Postal Service is conducting a study to move the Mail Processing at Zanesville to Columbus
        This will affect all mail service within the 437-438 zip code areas. We know the Postal Service, as a result of this consolidation, will no longer be as efficient or capable of meeting delivery standards set by Congress in late 2006.
        Example: Mail processed at Zanesville going to Steubenville or Canton is now next day delivery from Zanesville. When it goes to Columbus for processing, it changes from overnight delivery into two-day delivery because of the geographic delivery distance. Basically, the farther north, east, or south you live from Zanesville, the longer it will extend return delivery to your town after being processed in Columbus
        That is what we want the public to know, your one-day delivery standard will change to two-day delivery standard, a logistical and service change we do not feel serves your area’s best interest. Although mail volumes are down 20-25 percent in every post office in the district, we feel the Postal Service is using the economic downturn as the reason to pursue the AMP Study again. The previous AMP Study was denied in 2007.
        Please take the time to write or email your local Representatives. This is not about jobs, it’s about the service you deserve as a customer to have your mail delivered in a timely manner.
Gerald Corns, president American Postal Workers Union Local #535

<Around the Burnside

        The simpleton is clothed with folly, but the wise person is crowned with glory.
        If you plot evil, you will be lost; but if you plan good, you will be granted unfailing love and faithfulness.
        Wow! I turned on the air conditioner in our car a couple or three times the last couple of days. Now they are talking about colder weather.
        My new atomic clock seems to do a better job forecasting the weather than TV. It has clouds, sunshine and an up arrow and a down arrow. These indicate what’s gong to happen weatherwise. When rain is expected, little lines come out of the clouds to indicate rain is on the way.
        The Monroe Central girls basketball team did it. I guess you know they made it to the “Sweet Sixteen.” Only 16 teams left in their division in the state. As the man says, “they have a tough row to hoe” Oak Hill team has only lost one game and I understand highly rated in the state. By the time I finish we will know the outcome. Hopefully they can make it to the next eight.
        A little history of Monroe County as  reported in the Journal 70 years ago:
        “Woodsfield - In the report of Monroe County’s children home for 1938 it is shown that the total cost of operating the home was $5,078.06. Forty-one children were clothed, fed and taken care of. This made the average cost per child for the year $123.73. The report shows a cut of over $39 in living expenses for each child over the year 1937.” How times change! This wouldn’t supply a kid today with a cell phone and an iPod, which seems to be standard equipment many of our kids have.
        I was in the eighth grade in 1938 with four other boys and no girls. There were three other grades in our room. This didn’t make much time for each class, so we had to work a lot on our own. This was about the time schools changed from eight months to nine months. We were on the nine-month system but had to take the eighth grade exam a month early because some schools were still on the eight-month schedule. I guess we didn’t have so much to learn as all five of us were in the top 25 percent of those in the county who took the exam. We had to pass the exam to get into high school.
        I can kind of understand the figures in the county home expenses. We did not get new clothes to start school each year. We had what you might call good clothes, school clothes and work clothes. We had more work clothes than any of the others, as clothes were moved down the line. It was a happy day when I graduated from bib overalls. They told me I didn’t have the hips to hold up the overall pants, as they were called back then.
        Mom only washed clothes mostly on Monday, so I guess we might have worn the same overalls all week. I remember when I started high school Mom thought I should dress better and she made me wear a pair of corduroy pants. I hated corduroy pants. I couldn’t stand the swish, swish when I walked. The first day of school I spotted the president of the senior class wearing a pair of overall pants. No more corduroy pants for me.
        No one wore shorts when I was in high school. I don’t know why. Even the girls wore dresses. I don’t know why, but I didn’t wear shorts until I started going to FFA camp and during later years all wore shorts.
        As tough as it is, the man says “all good things will come to an end.” That end can be tough to take and a big disappointment. As you know the trip to the State, by the Monroe Central Girls’ Basketball team, was brought to a halt at Lancaster last week.
        A tough finish for an outstanding group of young ladies. I must be honest. I never attended one of their games as there comes a time you have to cut down on your activities. I’m also not acquainted with any of the players as all of them were born since I retired from teaching.
        This doesn’t mean I haven’t followed their progress over the years. I guess maybe you get more sensitive or something like that when you get older. I have to be truthful. I almost lost it when I saw the picture of the players sitting on the bench near the end of the game.
        Girls, we all are proud of your accomplishments over the years. You can hold your heads high and be proud. You have represented your school, Switzerland of Ohio School District, and our county in an excellent manner. After all, there are 200 plus schools in your district that would give just about anything to match your accomplishments. We can only say one thing: We are proud of you!
        In case any of the team happens to read this; you might be interested to know this. Sonce the first time I learned about girls basketball, you can say the game has changed. Girls wore blousey outfits we called bloomers. there were six girls on a team. three offensive and three defensive players. The offensive and defensive players were not allowed to cross the center line so you would have six players on each half of the court. I forget any of the other rules. Maybe your grandma could fill you in.
        Nothing is accomplished unless you try.
        Bible readings: (Mon) Isaiah 1:12-17; (Tues.) Titus 3:1-7; (Wed.) Hosea; (Thurs.) Psalm 1; (Fri.) John 4:7-15; (Sat.) Revelation 22:12-17; (Sun.) Ezekiel 47:1-12.