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

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March 11, 2010

Broadband Extension Coming Soon 

by Taylor Abbott
Staff Writer

Broadband coverage in Monroe County will soon be extended by way of a federal grant opportunity.

Gary Ricer, GMN Tri-County CAC, Inc. CEO, met with commissioners on Mar. 8 to discuss the extension plans.

Broadband has limited coverage in Monroe County currently. This is achieved through repeaters and towers throughout the county. Repeaters have even been placed on top of water towers and farm silos in order to maximize coverage, noted Ricer.

According to Ricer, Monroe County is the only place in the United States to receive a federal broadband grant. To date the county has been awarded two.

“Marcs towers are already in use in the county. We have four operational at this time. With these Marcs towers, the county will have broadband coverage extended to almost 90 percent or better,” said Ricer. 

“The county and tax payers will not absorb any of these costs because the federal grant covers this project,” said Ricer. 

Commissioners adopted a resolution to approve a letter of support for GMN Tri-county  CAC, Inc. to pursue this grant.  

Ricer thanked the commissioners for their vital support.


Around the Burnside    

Lettin” the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin” it back in.

It don”t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

Ain”t it ever going to quit snowing? Or are we still going to complain about it snowing on July 4? Don”t count it out.

Just when I thought I knew something about curling I find  I do not understand all I know about it. So if you want to learn more about curling don”t ask me. I still don”t know why I enjoy watching curling on TV and now it will be four years before I”ll get to see it again. I guess I”ll have to wait until Phil gets the Wii game.

I do enjoy watching the Olympics and I”ve watched my share. There was something I forgot to mention last week.

I realize TV commercials are what pays for most of what we see on TV. I would say NBC has it down pat. I called it two slides and five or six commercials. I once counted seven commercials between slides. Funny thing. I”ve never watched many that advertised anything we use. Maybe a Coke once in a while and a Subway or maybe a quarter pounder.

Guess what? It”s still snowing and a promise of more. Why can”t the weather folks be wrong? I bet the skunks are getting a big surprise. I think this is about the time they come out looking for other skunks. I saw and smelled a couple on the road that should have rested a bit longer. On the other hand, I”ve figured out the reason for our snow. Mr. Groundhog, way back on Feb. 1, thought “I”m going to show all the wise guys who think I cannot predict the weather and those who think I can be replaced by a robot. So there, take that.”

A reader sent me something the other day I really appreciated. It was what they call an Adventorial section of the Marietta Times in honor of FFA Week, unheard in Monroe County. FFA week is the week that contains Washington”s birthday.

The section contained a report of the activities of the six, yes, six FFA Chapters in Washington County. It sure brought back a lot of memories. Here we sit with no FFA chapter and probably little chance for one. Noble County has two active chapters. I am not sure about Belmont County but I know of two next door to us. Oh well, no one seems to care. What else is new?

Sudden thought, maybe our horseshoe pitchers in the county need one of those fancy things they use in curling to determine which rock is closest to the center. I guess it would need to be smaller. On the other hand, the horseshoe pitchers I”ve talked to around here tell me they throw ringers most of the time any way. They don”t need to measure them.

Actually, there doesn”t seem to be a great deal of difference between horseshoes and curling except you only throw two horseshoes each time and not all those rocks and you play for score without ten ends and you have to get so close to the peg and not the center of 12 foot circle. It”s also warmer to pitch shoes.

Thought I heard someone say, “When I was a boy I walked two miles to school every day. Then the government taxed us for a school bus. The bus got us to school in five minutes. Then the government taxed us to build a new gym so the kids could get exercise.”

Wow! USA hockey team is ahead four to zip and they have only played about ten minutes. Five now as they scored while I was writing this. Sorry it”s six now. The expert said it was going to be a low scoring game. I think they should save a few of those goals for the game against Canada more than likely.

Very little in this old world is free. Some things that are free are not worth the trouble to bother with. I do get something free in the mail four times a year. It is the Wild Ohio Magazine published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. It you have any interest at all in wildlife you will enjoy the magazine. It will only cost you forty-four cents to mail a request for a subscription to: ODNR Division of Wildlife, 2045 Morse Road Bldg. G., Columbus, OH 43229-6693.

Question: Which end of a fishing worm is the head and tail? Does anyone care except a worm?

I see by the clock it”s time to go out and take care of the cows. I hope the snow isn”t too deep and I want to be nice to them this evening On second thought, I think I”ll just stay here in my easy chair watching TV.

Remember: Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

Be happy, go to church Sunday.

Our Readers Write



Free tours of June and Hugh Hyre’s classic sugarhouse and sugar bush is scheduled for March 13 and 14, and also March 20 and 21, from 10 am. to 5 p.m. each day. June is shown at the Leader Max Revolution evaporator.                Photos Submitted


Hyres’ Sugarhouse Tour Set

The Misty Mountain Estate sugar camp will be the only camp offering free tours in southern Ohio during the Ohio Maple Producers Association’s 2010 March Maple Madness Drive-It-Yourself Tour.

The free tours of June and Hugh Hyre’s classic sugarhouse and sugar bush is scheduled for March 13 and 14, and also March 20 and 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all four days.  

Hugh and June use the sugar camp to educate others on this renewable use of their woods and have helped many local individuals set up their own sugar bush.

June’s grandfather made syrup in northern Ohio gathering sap with a horse drawn sled.  Hugh’s grandfather made syrup in a large iron kettle, which is now used to demonstrate historical methods of syrup making. 

Visitors should wear good boots and layered outerwear for a day in the country learning how Pure Ohio Maple Syrup is made, tree to bottle.   See, hear, smell and taste the thick rich golden syrup being made over a roaring fire in a traditional wood fired evaporator by third generation sugar makers.  The sugar camp features a rough sawn sugarhouse with a new Leader Max Revolution evaporator, the newest, fastest design in evaporators, and a sugar bush combining a variety of traditional hand gathering methods along with modern tubing collection.  

Activities for every age include hands-on, how-to demonstrations from school projects and backyard hobby production to small scale commercial sugar making, demonstrations on the history of sugar making, antique bucket and tap displays, real and fake syrup taste comparisons and maple syrup grade taste comparisons.  

“Visitors can tap a tree, gather sap and learn from our growing group of Monroe County syrup makers who will be on hand to interpret at various displays,” said Hugh Hyre.  

One trail has been set up to show a variety of ways hobbyists can collect sap.  Free hand outs on hobby sugar making, making maple confections, cooking with maple and maple recipes will be available as long as they last.  Fresh syrup and gifts will be available for sale.  More information is available at: www.mistymtnestate.com, www.ohiomapleproducers.com or 740-567-3852.

According to the Hyres, good friends and family helped raise the sugarhouse with lumber they culled from the sugar woods and hand sawed.  Every spring these friends gather to help June and Hugh collect sap and boil it down to syrup.  When the day’s work is done, all relax around the glowing coals with a hearty meal that always includes homemade bread and wine.    

Hugh is a Director for the Ohio Maple Producers Association and has hosted OSU’s Maple School.   

Lee Twp. Selected for CDBG Revitalization Grant 

The Monroe County Commissioners selected Lee Township as this year’s Investment Area under the CDBG Neighborhood Revitalization (NR) program. Under the NR program, citizens from the area will be asked to come up with at least five activities to address the community’s needs.

Mary Jo Westfall of the Ohio State University Extension Office stressed the need for citizens to attend the two public hearings scheduled. “This grant is very competitive and the more people that show up at the public meetings, the more points the application will receive,” Westfall said. The meetings are scheduled for April 17 at 5 p.m. and May 1 at 5 p.m. Both hearings will be held at the Sardis Elementary School. Food and refreshments will be served by the Sardis Volunteer Fire Department on both nights for donations that will benefit the fire department.

The county can ask for a maximum of $300,000 from the NR program. Westfall pointed out that the $300,000 must be divided up between a minimum of five different types of activities - the money cannot go to one project. “We have invited the Lee Township Trustees, the County Engineer, the Monroe County Park District, Ohio-Lee Water, the Sardis Volunteer Fire Department, and the Sardis E-Squad to the meetings to talk with the citizens about projects they would like to see become part of the application. But the final decision lies with the people of the area,” Westfall said. The county must show that the opinions of the citizens were taken into consideration when selecting projects for the application. A failure to do so would result in points taken away from the application.

A survey was mailed to as many homes as possible in the area. Westfall stated that it is important to fill out and return the surveys. The more surveys returned, the more points received for the application. Anyone not receiving a survey in the mail should call Mary Jo Westfall at the OSU Extension office at 472-0810.

The county has received this grant four times in the past: Perry Township in 2003; Bethel Township in 2005; Woodsfield Village in 2006; and Summit Township in 2008. “A lot of good projects resulted from this grant program and we very much want to duplicate that success in Lee Township,” Westfall said.

Daffodil Days Are Week of March 15

The Monroe County Unit of the American Cancer Society will hold its annual Daffodil Days during the week of March 15.

Daffodils will be sold at schools, churches and businesses throughout Monroe County. They can be purchased by the bunch of 10 flowers at $7 and pots, which can be planted out, for $12.

Each year Woodsfield Greenhouse is instrumental in the success of this American Cancer Society fundraiser. “Andy and Rebecca Copley have graciously provided refrigerated storage for the 200 pots and 200 bunches of daffodils,” said Carol Hehr, one of the organizers of Monroe County”s Daffodil Days. “Without their help this fundraiser would not be possible.”

For more information, contact Carol Hehr at 740-472-5214 or Karen Harper at 740-472-0969. All proceeds from the sale of the daffodils go to the American Society and the local unit.




Rare Cancer Afflicts Dany
Maryella aka “Dany” Ollom

Doctors and hospitals have become a way of life for an 11-year-old Clarington girl. Maryella aka “Dany” Ollom has a rare form of cancer. She is the daughter of  Steve and Kim Ollom.

Dany was diagnosed with Ewing”s Sarcoma in August 2009.

According to her mother, doctors first believed Dany had pulled a muscle when she started having pain in her legs. But it kept getting worse to the point Dany could hardly walk.

Through trips to the doctors, she was referred to a chiropractor, who sent Dany for an MRI. Unfortunately, the child could not lay on her back for the test. She was then sent to Marietta Hospital. From there, Dany was transferred to Children”s Hospital in Columbus, where the tumor was found.

Here is a letter she has written to the Beacon ...

“Hi! My name is Maryella aka “Dany” Ollom. I live in Clarington. I am 11 years old. I have a rare cancer called Ewing”s Sarcoma. The cancer was wrapped around my spine and I could not walk.

“Thanks to my doctors and the special people at rehab at Children”s Hospital in Columbus, I can now walk on my own again.

“My doctor says I'm doing great! I finished radiation the end of February. My chemo will continue until the end of May or June.

“I miss school and my friends and family back home. “Hopefully, I will return in June cancer free!”

Dany is a fifth grade student at Hannibal Elementary. She loves to play soccer and basketball, swim and ride her bicycle. After treatments are complete and she is cancer free, Dany hopes to be doing all those things she loves.

According to Karen McKendry, who is assisting with several fundraisers to help with medical expenses associated with Dany”s treatment, a basket bingo is being scheduled in July. For more information, contact Mc-Kendry at 740-472-1399 after 6 p.m.


Margaret P. “Polly” Cline, 76, 106 Duper Dr., Woodsfield, died March 2, 2010 at Barnesville Hospital. She was born Feb. 9, 1934 in Michigan, a daughter of the late Clifford Howell and Velma Piatt Howell Clark.

She was a former school bus driver for the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District and M.A.C.O.; an avid lover of horses and a member of the Circle M Riding Club.

Surviving are a son, Wayne (Laura) Cline of Woodsfield; a daughter, Sharyn (Brian) Crum of Lewisville; a brother, Ray (Drucilla) Howell of Florida; two sisters, Helen (Paul) Kinney of Woodsfield, Sue (Tom) Smith of Bucyrus; four grandchildren, Benjamin (Angie) Cline of Woodsfield, Adrienne (Michael) Shelton of Grove City, Brianna (Bryan) McConnell of Lewisville, Amanda Crum of Jerusalem; two great-granddaughters, Chloe and Kynlie Cline of Woodsfield; a great-grandson, Carter McConnell of Lewisville; and several nieces and nephews

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Kermit Cline on Oct. 14, 2000; two sisters, Doris Griffith, Thelma Haas; a brother, Bill Howell; a step-sister, Belva Rucker; a step-brother, Bill Clark and step-father, George Clark.

Friends were received at Watters Funeral Home, Woodsfield, until time of services March 6, with Rev. Frank Lehosky officiating. Burial followed in Moffett Cemetery, near Woodsfield.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com.

Willis E. Gehrig, 95, Long Rdg. Rd., Clarington, died March 4, 2010 at Wetzel County Hospit-al, New Martinsville. He was born May 22, 1914 in Clarington, a son of the late David Earnest and Anna Catherine Thonen Gehrig.

He was a lifelong farmer; a retired storeroom clerk at Consolidated Aluminum; a U.S. Army utility infantry veteran of WWII; a Purple Heart recipient; a pallbearer for Franklin D. Roosevelt; and a member of the Hannibal United Methodist Church in Hannibal.

Surviving are his wife of 64 years, Ann Elizabeth Clark Gehrig; four sons, Harry Gehrig, Don Clark (Jean) Gehrig, William David Gehrig, Mark (Mariann) Gehrig, all of Clarington; two daughters, Jo Ann (Bill) Novoa of Mendham, N.J., Barbara (Stephen) Phillips of Stow; 12 grandchildren, Christina (Jason) Henthorn, Andrew Novoa, Brian (Billie) Gehrig, Matthew Gehrig, Michael (Andrea) Gehrig, Marka Gehrig, Mitchell (Ali) Novoa, Natalie Gehrig, Jessica (Robert) Hunnell, Gregory (Leanne) Gehrig, Jamison Gehrig, Ryan Gehrig; and two great-grandchildren, Jaysa and Joby Henthorn.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Dale and John Gehrig; and two sisters, Hazel Myers and Corrine Bott.

Friends were received March 7 at Grisell Funeral Home, Clarington, where funeral services were held March 8, with Rev. Richard Wilson officiating. Burial was in Mount Vernon Cemetery, Clarington.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hannibal United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 187, Hannibal, OH 43931-0187.

Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com

Ralph M. Pittman, 91, Woodsfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, formerly of Beallsville, died Feb. 28, 2010 while a patient in Barnesville Hospital. He was born Sept. 5, 1918 near Beallsville, a son of the late Ira and Carrie Piatt Pittman.

He was a farmer all his life, working the family farm along with his father, his son, and grandsons. He was also a mail carrier, bus driver, township trustee and he worked with the Monroe County Soil Conservation District. He was a member of the East Sunsbury Baptist Church where he served as Sunday School Superintendent and teacher for many years.

Surviving are a son, Roger (Dolly) Pittman of Beallsville; four grandchildren, David (Jennifer) Pittman of Beallsville, Rebecca Pittman of Baltimore, Mary (Josh) Harris of Quaker City, Nathan Pittman of Beallsville; five great-grandchildren, Carrie, Madison and Daniel Pittman and Abigail and Aaron Harris.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Vera Kinzy Pittman on Sept. 16, 2002, whom he married Oct. 12, 1940; a grandson, Daniel Pittman on Sept. 24, 1973; and a sister, Laura Hilda Balfantz on Feb. 9, 2010.

Friends were received March 2 at Harper Funeral Home, Beallsville. Funeral services were held March 3 at East Sunsbury Baptist Church near Beallsville, with Pastor Myron Guiler officiating. Burial followed in East Sunsbury Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Harper Funeral Home to help defray the cost of the funeral expenses.

Online condolences may be sent to www.harperfh.net

Elizabeth Monica Brooks, 85, Navarre, died Feb. 28, 2010 at the House of Loreto, Canton. She was born May 4, 1924 in Woodsfield, a daughter of the late Roman and Clara Burkhart Wahl. She was born in the house her grandfather built and her father was born in that house and her three sisters.

She rode a horse named Mack to and from school  from the first to seventh grade. She put him in the neighbor”s barn through the day while in school. When she was in the eighth grade, she walked a mile to meet the bus to attend St. Sylvester”s School. She played violin in high school; also studied home economics and took sewing and excelled at both. She graduated in 1942 and went to work at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. She typed up the plans for the Pentagon Building in Washington, D.C.

She met her husband, Frank Brooks, who was from Woodsfield, at the Air Force Base in Dayton where she worked. He was an airplane mechanic. They fell in love and were married in 1947. They spent 52 beautiful years together. Sadly for her Frank passed away in 1999. She was always grateful for the loving friendship she had with the Brooks family.

When she could no longer manage after Frank”s passing, she moved to Navarre with her youngest sister, Estella. When her health failed she went to live with the nuns at the House of Loreto in Canton. She could go to mass and communion every day there.

All the nuns loved her. She kept Frank in her heart with his picture on the wall and one on her dresser.

God’s last gift to Elizabeth, a loyal daughter, was Mass and Holy Communion. Later that day Frank came and took her to be with him once more on Feb. 28. She will always be remembered in our hearts.

Graveside service was held March 8 at St. Sylvester Catholic Church Cemetery, Woodsfield, with Rev. Fr. David Gaydosik officiating.

Condolences may be expressed at 

Dale Leroy Stewart, Sr., 75, Sardis, died March 6, 2010 at his home. He was born March 5, 1935 in Sardis, the son of the late Harry E. and Mary L. Stewart.

He was a retired crane operator for Ormet Corporation; and a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in New Martinsville.

Surviving are two daughters, Cindy Stewart of Sardis, Candy (Willie) Maynard of Toronto; three sons, Dale (Barbara) Stewart, Jr. of Shadyside, Rick (Patricia Lyons) Stewart, Larry (Susie) Stewart, both of Sardis; a brother, Richard Stewart of Sardis; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Charlotte Louise Stewart; a sister, Betty Kan-nard; two brothers, Sterling and Leonard Stewart; and a granddaughter, Angela Renee Stewart.

Friends were received March 9 at Grisell Funeral Home, Sardis, where funeral services will be held March 10, at 11 a.m., with Pastor Bruce Taylor officiating. Burial will follow in Mount Olive Cemetery, Sardis.

Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com