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March 18, 2010

School Projects Ongoing
Informational Meeting Held at RHS

Gary Balog, architect, is shown with concerned citizens as they look over the site plans for the River High School campus.


The pink portions of this map indicates the proposed location of the combined Hannibal/Sardis elementary school. The white outline north of the pink section is River High School.

By Taylor Abbott
Staff Writer

Switzerland of Ohio School Board members and administrators held their regular meeting on Mar. 4. Meeting with officials to discuss the new schools projects was architect Gary Balog, Balog Steines Hendricks & Manchester (BSH&M) architect firm.

Although winter has taken its toll this year, notable progress is being made at each new school site. Activities and projects are ongoing but have faced minimal challenges, particularly due to the poor weather conditions. Currently, the focus of all activities is centered on planning and preparing for the upcoming construction in the summer months. 

The following are occurring in the school district:

• Beallsville complex is currently in the final stages of document construction with Monroe Central and Woodsfield K-8 closely following.

• Construction at both sites is projected to begin in May.  Current plans call for all three buildings to be under roof by next winter with interior work beginning thereafter.

• Design documents are being drawn up for the new combined Hannibal/Sardis K-8 facility at the River High School campus.

• PCS, school project construction managers, are developing bid packages for all phases of construction. Bids will be advertised in late March or early April. 

• Drilling sites for geothermal heating and cooling systems will begin in the near future at the Beallsville and Monroe Central/ Woodsfield sites. 

• Work at the Han-nibal/Sardis/River and Pow-hatan sites are currently in the  process of development.

Rick Milhoan, project manager, reported that the new Powhatan and Skyvue K-8 schools are currently in the conceptual phases and will begin schematic design phases within the next month. Both site surveys have been completed with soil borings expected to be complete within two months. 

The design development phase for the Beallsville K-12 is progressing with the  construction document phase beginning within the next month. BSH&M is currently finalizing building specifications, design and layout of the site and building. Most site work has been completed with the exception of the entrance road, minor details on the softball field and installation of temporary culverts.

At the Monroe Central and Woodsfield site, the design development phase has begun. Project engineers and architects are meeting regularly with school board members and administrators to keep them abreast of the design and layouts of these buildings. Site work is complete except for the access road and track areas. Soil borings will be complete within in the next two months. 

“Although you are seeing limited construction taking place, much planning and design is being completed. It is important to bear in mind that unforeseen circumstances can occur, causing dates and time frames to be adjusted. With the weather situation constantly changing this time of the year, work can only begin when weather permits it,” said Marc Ring, Switzerland of Ohio School District director of support services.

In a related meeting, over 50 people, including teachers, residents, and school officials attended the Mar. 9 informational meeting at River High School concerning the placement of the new combined Hannibal/Sardis K-8 school. Many voiced concerns with school board superintendent Larry Elliott and  Balog. 

According to Milhoan schematic design phase has already begun on River High School and the combined grade school. Due to poor soil boring results, the combined Hannibal/Sardis K-8 is being held up temporarily until new borings can be reviewed.  

Balog presented a new design and building location proposal during the meeting. He said that the initial plan called for the new K-8 facility to be located in the vicinity of the baseball field parking lot. READ MORE IN THE March 18 BEACON

Around the Burnside    

Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. I’m disappointed. They promised us one to three inches snow Saturday and we got only a little dusting. We were also promised up to three inches on Sunday and so far none. What’s wrong with the weatherman? We had over 47 inches back in November 1950. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Have you read or heard about a school where the teachers were all being fired because their school was the worst in the state? Wow, wouldn’t that shake your boats? I also think I heard California has passed a law that will allow a community to come together and fire a teacher or teachers.

Well, the Olympics are over and I’d say USA did OK winning medals. I guess I’ll have to go back to watching the old but good TV programs. Some of the new TV programs they’re promoting do not appear to hold much promise. I just wish the snow would melt so I could get outside and just look around, although the temperature on the north side of our house is 44 degrees and the west side 40 degrees. To be honest I’m going nuts working Find and Seek word puzzles. I’m also getting tired of thinking and talking about the weather. Have you seen one of the smartboards schools are trying to hang in every classroom? I haven’t and probably do not care a great deal, only to be glad I retired before I got one hung in my classroom. I bet a nickel to a doughnut hole, many of you had a smartboard in your classroom. Back then it was called a blackboard. Remember how you had to go to the board to work on a problem or something? It was kind of fun to watch someone make a mistake. You could also sneak around and write Johnny loves Mary or things like that. As I remember we got a lot of good fun out of the blackboard. It also made a good place to draw a little circle and hold your nose in it when you had been bad. I never used this. I just had students hold up the wall with their hands. So much for the smartboard. Have fun kids.

I would have been lost if I had been without a blackboard when I was teaching. You know sometimes you do things you cannot explain or know why. I guess during February you would blame it on the weather or whatever. I admit I know little about a computer. In fact, I wonder why I even have one. I know how to turn it off and on and send and receive e-mails and look for things I want to know. I guess maybe I know how to do other things I don’t want to know. Just one other thing I’m happy it wasn’t in widespread use until after I retired. I wish I had taken typing when in high school. Probably a year or more ago the wife of a fellow I was in the service with joined Facebook and suggested I join. I had heard about Facebook and didn’t think much about it. I thought no way do I want anything to do with something like that. Well, a couple of weeks ago I got to fooling around on the computer and for some reason I wondered about Facebook and thought I’d check it out. I’m really not sure how or why, but I ended up with a page on Facebook; I really do not understand all I know about Facebook, however, it wasn’t very long until I received a list of others who wanted to be my friend.

You have to confirm you want this person as a friend. Who could ignore someone wanting to be your friend? So I have a number of friends. So far it’s been kind of interesting. I guess maybe when I learn more about what’s possible and how to do it, I’ll be OK and maybe spend more time at the computer. I did notice there don’t seem too many old duffers like me on Facebook. So now I have a page; tell me why. Sometimes you have to make a choice. The USA and Canada are mixing it up and the US is down one to zip. In that I know very little about hockey and to me watching hockey is like trying to watch grass grow. I turned to the basketball game in the final five minutes and it went down to the last eight seconds. I am  now watching Michigan State and Purdue. If Michigan State wins, OSU has a chance to be a co-champion in the Big 10. I hate to root for them but I hope Michigan State wins. I can’t believe USA tied in the last minute. Well, we didn’t make it; we lost the hockey gold metal in overtime. Happy people all over Canada. All is not bad as Michigan State won the game. By the time you read this it will be old news, Go Bucks. No curling for four whole years. Remember: Every path has some puddles. Happy people go to church.


Our Readers Write



This Marcellus well is being drilled on the Harry Cisler property by Beck Energy, Inc. The Marcellus wells are drilled to depths of over 6,000 feet.      
Photo by Martha Ackerman

Marcellus Wells Being Drilled 

by Martha Ackerman
General Manager/Editor

With a lull in oil and gas drilling last fall due to falling oil and gas prices, new wells are now being drilled. The extreme cold weather and snow have caused natural gas prices to rise, which makes drilling more profitable. According to Becky Sims, local agent for Beck Energy, these Marcellus wells are new in this area because the drilling depth is approximately 6,100 feet. The cost of drilling exceeds one million dollars.

Gordon wells, which are common in this area,  are drilled to about 2,500-2,700 feet at costs in the neighborhood of $200,000.

Tapping into the Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Field Formation, which extends through parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia, is a part of the Devonian Black Shale Field. This formation is being found to hold huge amounts of natural gas. 

Previously, the depth which needs to be reached to access the oil and gas in this formation has not been economically possible for most oil and gas companies. 

Beck Energy has drilled four of these Marcellus wells. According to Sims, the first two were drilled in the summer of 2008 near Brownsville, in Washington and Monroe counties. The other two are in Monroe.

In February of this year, a Marcellus well was drilled in Fly, where huge amounts of gas have been found. According to Sims, the Marcellus wells  produce large amounts of gas but the really high pressure usually makes it too costly to be installed in homes. 

Gordon wells may produce 25 mcf per day, while the the new Marcellus wells have the potential of producing 200-500  mcf per day, if, Sims noted, you are lucky enough to hit the right vein. Unlike the Gordon wells, to use the gas from a Marcellus well in one’s home would require the lines be fitted with various pressure gauges to reduce the pressure for in-home safety. The benefit comes from the production end of the venture with the landowner receiving a big one-eighth cut of the proceeds before expenses. This gives the landowner a big slice of the pie.

The most recent Marcellus well drilled by Beck Energy is on the Harry Cisler property near Brownsville.

The drilling process is relatively the same as the Gordon well drilling, except the depth. The first step is attaining a lease for the property. At least 40 acres is needed for the Marcellus wells but, according to Sims, they like to see at least 100 acres plus. If the wells are drilled in close proximity, she explained, the wells deplete too fast.

The next step is sending the survey plat to Columbus to READ MORE IN THE March 18 BEACON

~ Democratic Executive Committee Donates New TV to Westwood Landing ~

In appreciation for allowing the Democratic Executive Committee to meet in Westwood Landing’s meeting room at no charge, the committee has purchased and presented a new 42- inch color television set to the assisted living facility.

“This is great,” said Lee Winland. “It’s such a big improvement.”

Westwood Landing residents are shown with members of the Monroe County Democratic Executive Committee. Shown, from left, front are: Robert Weisend, formerly of Lewisville; Ada Schumacher, Woodsfield; Barbara Jeffers, Laings; Lee Winland of New Martinsville; back: committee members, vice-chairman Dean Gramlich, treasurer Manifred Keylor, central committeeman and county commissioner John V. Pyles, chairman Herman Zerger, and resident Wilbur Jeffers, Laings.



Bertha Mae Cline, 83, New Matamoras, died March 9, 2010 at the Monroe County Care Center, Woodsfield. She was born Sept. 4, 1926 in Benton Township, Monroe County, the daughter of the late George William and Mary Jane Stacy Hensel. She was a member of the Harmony Hill Baptist Church in Brownsville; also a member of the Women’s Auxiliary VFW Post 6387 in New Matamoras. She had been employed as a cook by the Washington County Community Action and had also worked for Pool’s Grocery and Wrights Restaurant.

Surviving are two sons, Thomas Jr. (Debbie) Dye of Trail Run, Loren E. (Kay) Cline of Ashland; three daughters, Linda S. Piatt and her companion Bill McBride of Ashland, Nancy L. Dye, Teresa Cline of New Matamoras; seven grandchildren, Marlene L. (Scott) Batdorf, Francis E. (Virginia) Piatt, Richard W. (Tammy) Piatt, all of Ashland, Stacy T. (Kim) Dye of Clarington, Christopher R. (Deanna) Simon of Trail Run, Melissa M. Cline of Ashland, Amanda J. Cline of North Carolina; eight great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Francis Mearl Cline, Sept. 28, 1984; four brothers, James Ralph, Clarence Delbert, William Harold, Henry Edgar Hensel; and a sister, Goldie Gladys Graham. Friends were received March 12 at Hadley Funeral Home, New Matamoras, where funeral services were held March 13, with Ron Weber officiating. Burial followed in Unity Cemetery.

BENJAMIN R. LARGENT Benjamin R. Largent, 94, 41405 SR 145, Lower Salem, died March 9, 2010 at his residence. He was born Nov. 4, 1915 in Springfield, a son of the late Edward and Ella May Wilson Largent. He was a retired laborer from Roadway. Surviving are two sons, John “Jack” R. Largent of Akron, James C. (Laura) Largent of Lower Salem; a daughter, Emma Jean Russell of Pennsylvania; a brother, William Largent of Akron; a sister, Irene of Columbus; and several grandchildren. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Edward, Wemona, Evelyn, Very, Marcellus, Fayen, Eva and Donna.

There was no visitation or services. Inurnment will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements have been entrusted to Watters Funeral Home, Woodsfield. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneralhome.com

Carles L. “Dick” Thomas, 81, 42065 West Union Rd., Sardis, (Antioch Community) died March 11, 2010 at the Woodsfield Nursing and
Rehabilitation Center, Woodsfield. He was born Dec. 7, 1928 at Dawes, W.Va., a son of the late Stewart and Addie Stover Thomas. He was a retired aluminum worker at the Conalco Corporation, Hannibal, and was a former employee of Pure Oil Company, Charleston, W.Va. He was a member of the United Steelworkers Union Local 5760, Clarington, and was a Methodist by faith. Surviving are two daughters, Deloris Thomas of Woodsfield, Joan (Shan) Michener of Woodsfield; a son, J.R. (Tina) Thomas of Woodsfield; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and numerous friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Erma A. Thomas on Jan. 17, 2010; three brothers, John, Charles and James Thomas; and a sister, Laura Durbin. Friends were received until time of services March 15 at Watters Funeral Home, Woodsfield. Graveside services followed in Antioch Cemetery, with Rev. David Hull-Frye officiating. Online condolences may be expressed at www.wattersfuneral home.com

Ruth Eleanore Agin Barnard, 92,
Lorain, died March 12, 2010 at the New Life Hospice Residential Center in Lorain. She was born Feb. 20, 1918 in Woodsfield, where she was reared, a daughter of the late John and Maude Balas Agin. She lived n Jackson Ridge before making Lorain her home for 57 years. She was a member of Toledo Road Church of Christ in Lorain where she served as a Sunday School teacher. She was a homemaker who loved and invested her life in her family and home. Surviving to cherish her memory are a son, Stanley O. Sr. (Helen) Barnard of Elyria; a daughter, Gail Clark of Elyria; six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Everett Odell Barnard on Nov. 25, 2003; two brothers and two sisters.

Friends were received March 14 at Hempel Funeral Home, Amherst, where funeral services were held March 15, with Ministers Bob Eddy and Jim Hiser, pastors of Toledo Road Church of Christ in Lorain, officiating. Burial followed in Ridge Hill Memorial Park, Amherst Township. Express condolences at www.hempelfuneralhome.com

JANINA “NINA” JONES Janina “Nina” Jones, 51, Cambridge, died at home surrounded by her loving family on March 13, 2010, after a long illness that she fought with courage and valor. She was born in Clarksburg, W.Va. and lived in Woodsfield and Land O’Lakes, Fla. for many years until moving to Cambridge. She was training to become a medical technician, but was unable to complete her studies due to her illness. She was an avid NASCAR fan, and enjoyed scary movies, classic rock and country music. She loved animals and leaves behind her dogs, cat and bird. She was loved by all her family and friends and will be sadly missed. Surviving are her husband, Rick, of Cambridge; a daughter, Jamie (Adam Rossi), of Pittsburgh, Pa.; a son, Kyle, of Cambridge; mother, Virginia Robbins of Cambridge; brothers, Jim, John and Jack; sister, Regina; mother-in-law, Midge Jones; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, her extended family and friends. She was preceded in death by her father, James L. Robbins of Land O’Lakes, Fla. A memorial service will be held at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions may be made to the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, The James Development Office, 660, Ackerman Rd., P.O. Box 183112, Columbus, OH 43218-3112. Thorn-Black Funeral Home, Cambridge is handling the arrangements.

Mary Eva Hayes, 94, Quaker City, died March 12, 2010 at the Cambridge Health and Rehabilitation Center, Cam-bridge. She was born Feb. 29, 1916 near Calais, a daughter of the late John and Clara Ackerman Christman.

She was a homemaker; loved to quilt and garden; was a member of the former Seneca Valley Church of Christ near Calais and was a 1934 graduate of Calais High School. She loved to visit with family and friends. Surviving are two daughters, Marjorie (John) Ryan of Searcy, Arkansas, Brenda (Pimm) Hiller of Virginia Beach, Va.; two sons, Carl (Carol) Hayes of Quaker City, Tim (JoEllen) Hayes of Cambridge; two sisters, Cleo Carpenter of Lewisville, Helen Starr of Gahanna; two sisters-in-law, Edna Truax of Caldwell, Margaret Christman of Quaker City; seven grandchildren, Julie Litchfield, Kevin (Kelly) Ryan of Arkansas, Dave (Lee) Hayes of Lewisville, Tammy (Craig) Reynolds of Quaker City, Lee Ann Hayes of Washington, Todd Hayes of Colorado, Evan Hayes-Hodge of Virginia Beach; five great-grandchildren, Wesley, Wyatt and Walker Reynolds of Quaker City, Tyler and Parker Ryan of Arkansas; several nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, David Grant Hayes on March 30, 1997, whom she married Nov. 11, 1937; a sister, Esta Burkhart; four brothers, Gilbert, Lee, Howard and Herbert Christman; an

infant brother, Lester Vearl Christman; and many sisters-in-law and

brothers-in-law. Friends were received March 16 at Watters Funeral Home, where

funeral services were held March 17, with John Ryan officiating. Burial followed

in Calais Cemetery. Online condolences may be expressed at




Paul J. Dick, 71, Woodsfield, died March 11, 2010 at the

Barberton Citizens Hospital. He was born June 8, 1938 in Lewisville, a son of

the late Joseph G. and Catherine Sorg Dick. He was a member of St. Sylvester

Catholic Church in Woodsfield. Surviving are his wife, Rose Mary Griffith Dick,

of Woodsfield, whom he married April 23, 1966; two sons, Donald (Bev) Dick of

Sterling, Richard (Rachelle) Dick of Woodsfield; a daughter, Rita (Jim) Smith of

Columbus; two brothers, Cletus Dick of Antioch, Bernard (Linda) Dick of

Woodsfield; a sister, Thelma Baker of Woodsfield; seven grandchildren, Jessica

Dick, Daniel (Carrie) Dick, Danielle Dick, Cory Dick, Megan Dick, Derek Dick,

Brandon Smith; and three great-grandchildren, Nicholas Dick, Hailey Jay Lynn

Knott and Ayden Dodley. Friends were received March 14 at Bauer-Turner Funeral

Home, Woodsfield. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated March 15 at St.

Sylvester Catholic Church, Woodsfield, with Rev. Fr. David Gaydosik officiating.

Burial was in Neuhart Cemetery near Woodsfield. Vigil services were held March

14 at the funeral home. Online condolences may be expressed at



Betty E. Howell, 81, Wood St., Sardis, died March 14,

2010 at her home. She was born Aug. 7, 1928 in Sardis, a daughter of the late

Fred and Eva Mae “Katie” Hayes Jones. She was a member of Mount Olive United

Methodist Church in Sardis where she served as pianist and custodian for over 40

years. She was a member of the Fountain of Live radio broadcast for 21 years;

and a Sunday School and Bible School teacher. Surviving are two daughters,

Sheila Clark of Sardis, Lisa Goddard of Clarington; two brothers, Dale (Norma)

Jones of Ravenna, Donald (Lila) Jones of Clarington; two sisters, Alberta

(Lester) Lohri of Antioch, Delores (Larry) Romick of Sardis; four grandchildren,

Casey Clark, Stephanie Thompson, Lindsey Goddard, Mackenzi Goddard; and two

great-grandsons, Jesse and Jacob Goddard. In addition to her parents, she was

preceded in death by her first husband, Sterling Hinderlong; second husband,

Anthony Howell; a son-in-law, Steven Goddard; four brothers, Harris, Harold,

Wilbur “Cub” and Darrell Jones; and a sister, Dorothy Frieden. Friends were

received March 16 at Grisell Funeral Home, Sardis. Funeral service was held

March 17 at Mount Olive United Methodist Church, Sardis, with Pastor Lou Verdi,

Rev. Frank Conley and Pastor Darla Schnegg officiating. Burial followed in Mount

Olive Cemetery, Sardis. Memorial contributions may be given to Mount Olive

United Methodist Church, 39220 Mount Olive Rd., Sardis, OH 43946. Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomescom.