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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.

May 27, 2010

~ A Look Down Main Street in the Early Years ~

The Columbia Hotel, originally named Hotel Smith, is shown to the right with a glimpse of the courthouse. The building served as a hotel for almost a century. The center building was the First National Bank, which was built in 1900. The second and third floors were used by the bank. The Woodsfield Post Office and the Monroe Gazette were on the first floor with a barber shop in the basement. The Opera House occupied the fourth floor. (Information from Maienknecht’s “Monroe County: A History.”) More about the Columbia Hotel on Page 6.    Photo Courtesy of John Ogden

Drug Investigation Results in Arrests 

Sheriff Charles R. Black, Jr. reported on May 21 an ongoing drug investigation was concluded with the execution of two search warrants. The warrants were executed on two residences located in Clarington. During the execution, eight Monroe County residents were taken into custody:

Melissa Labuda, 30, of Holiday Ave., Woodsfield is charged with four counts of complicity and two counts of trafficking in drugs with specifications. Labuda is currently held in the Belmont County Jail.

James Henning, 39, of Sykes Ridge, Clarington, is charged with four counts of trafficking in drugs with three of those having specifications. Henning is currently held in the Noble County Jail.

Rickie Talbot, 26, of Sykes Ridge, Clarington, is charged with four counts of trafficking in drugs with three of those having specifications. Talbott is currently held in the Belmont County Jail.

Augustina Chambers, 28, of Sykes Ridge, Clarington, is charged with one count of trafficking in drugs. Chambers was released after investigators conducted interviews.

Jason Chambers, 33, of Monroe Drive, Clarington, is charged with one count of drug paraphernalia. Chambers was also released after investigators conducted interviews.

Joshua Potts, 22, of Monroe Drive, Clarington, is charged with one count of trafficking in drugs and one count of possession of drugs. Potts is currently held in the Noble County Jail.

David Pedelose, 24, and Dustin Pedelose, 23, both of Monroe Drive, Clarington, are each charged with one count of possession of drugs. Both are currently held in the Noble County Jail.

All incarcerated are expected to be arraigned on May 25 in Monroe County Court. Additional charges are expected after consulting the Monroe County Prosecutor Lynn Riethmiller. During the searches, a variety of items were seized. Items range from drugs, cash, firearms and drug paraphernalia.


Our Readers Write

Dear Editor,

One of the topics we plan to exhibit and are currently developing for our temporary opening of the Monroe County River Museum is about showboats that stopped along the shores of Monroe County, Ohio. If any of your readers have photographs or memories they are willing to share, we hope they will contact us or send their written memories to us for use as we build on our Showboats visiting Monroe County theme. In order for us to have the exhibit preparation complete, we need these items as soon as possible.

The new river museum will hold a temporary opening with limited hours during the upcoming Clarington Sunfish Creek Festival, June 12 and 13. (Hours will be from noon - 3 p.m. on Saturday; noon - 4 p.m. on Sunday during the festival.) We hope everyone will stop in to view our museum. Of course, the exhibits will be limited to what we have available, telling the story of visiting showboats in the area, featuring the stages of Clarington’s boat-building history, with hopes of expanding this as we collect other items, and several wonderful surprises we think the public will truly enjoy.

Our committee has done a magnificent job preparing the facility for this early opening and we applaud our many wonderful volunteers and businesses who have generously donated their time, talent and money to make this opening a reality. We are just in the beginning stages of our development, and hope to have information on our Foundation available for membership during the upcoming months.

Anyone who has an item or memories to share, is urged to contact me to make appropriate arrangements for the Monroe County River Museum committee to obtain your information. We are looking forward to seeing you at our limited opening on June 12. We think you will be pleased with our first public exhibit.

Barbara L. Rush, Curator








~ Monroe Memorial Pool Opens May 28

The Monroe Memorial Pool is set to open for the season on May 28 at 4 p.m. Chris Tamasovich, manager, says the pool will be better than ever this year. There will be a free swim June 10, 2-8 p.m. weather permitting; moonlight swims, aerobic classes and more. Swimming lessons will be available in July. Easy up canopies will be available for rent and new lounge chairs will be in place.  A solar cover has been ordered to help keep the water at a consistent 80 degrees and will help prevent evaporation of water and chemicals. Jackie Roberts-Krider, a physical therapist and massage therapist, will have aerobics classes. Fundraisers will be held to pay for additional equipment. Lifeguards include: Roberts-Krider, Eve Lindamood, Colton Lindamood, Ryan Richter, Mariah Marley, Mandy Reed, Phil Stephen, Richele Ricer, Coleton Pritchard, Liz Schuerman, Emma Betts, John Eddy and Cody Pittman. Shown, from left, are: Don Harmon, recreation board president; aerobics instructor and head life guard Jackie Roberts-Krider; and Chris Tamasovich.          
Photo by Martha Ackerman

Veteran Enjoys Trip to D.C.

George Tremblay enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps soon after his 18th birthday, a few months after Pearl Harbor was attacked and brought the United States into World War II. Serving from 1942-1945 and attaining the rank of corporal, Tremblay was a gunner on an amphibious tank, armorer, prepared weapons for his platoon and was in combat in the Marshall Islands, Guam and Okinawa.

Last weekend through Honor Flight Columbus,  Tremblay enjoyed a trip to Washington, D.C. to see the World War II Memorial.

The day was one of the most emotional ones that he has ever spent. He was so impressed with the gratitude expressed to the veterans by the Honor Flight volunteers and the civilians whom they saw throughout the day. Honor Flight Columbus made Tremblay and the other veterans feel very honored and special. “The day was a great day and I’m glad I was chosen by Honor Flight Columbus,” said this Marine Corps veteran.

Twenty-nine veterans, each accompanied by a guardian, made the trip May 22. On returning to Columbus, family and friends waved flags and greeted the veterans as they came from the plane. There were even bagpipes playing patriotic songs.

He reports that all the details of the trip were well planned and carried out according to the schedule that had been provided. All travels plans were made to accommodate the veterans. There was a mail call where each veteran received mail, letters and notes, handwritten and typed, from kids and adults alike thanking them for their service. The pilots on the Southwest planes and the bus drivers all welcomed the veterans on their trip, as did all the civilians around. Unex-pectedly, their bus had a motorcycle escort into D.C. Honor Flight Columbus recognizes and celebrates World War II veterans by flying them to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials dedicated to their important service. This trip is free to these veterans, who are provided this tour-of-honor experience as a token of gratitude and respect for their service to the United States

“The World War II Memorial was dedicated in May 2004. It is a long overdue tribute to the men and women who sacrificed so much for our freedom, and a memorial to those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” say Honor Flight Columbus organizers.

“Regrettably, many of these aging veterans have been unable to visit their memorial in a conventional way on their own due to the lack of funds or travel impediments. Through volunteer guardians who pay their own way, we overcome many of the problems and escort them on this ‘trip of a lifetime.’ These all-expense paid, one-day trips to the Nation’s capital occur April through November as donations permit. All flights are made on commercial airlines.”

U.S.Marine Corps veteran George Tremblay is shown in front of the Iwo Jima memorial in Washington, D.C. while participating in Honor Flight Columbus, which recognizes and celebrates World War II veterans. Below is a picture of George Tremblay while he was in boot camp in 1942.                      
Photos Submitted


Court Ruling Ends Year-and-a-Half Dispute in County

by Taylor Abbott
Staff Writer

A year and a half long dispute between Commissioner Tim Price and Auditor Pandora Neuhart ended after a court ruling by Common Pleas Judge Julie Selmon.

Price had worked for a period of 23 years as a deputy sheriff prior to running for Monroe County Sheriff in 2004. He was sheriff for one term prior to running for Monroe County Commissioner.

The dispute began in late December of 2008. At that time, Price, then sheriff, retired on Dec. 23 and was subsequently elected as     Monroe County Commissioner.

It was at that time that Price requested payment of his earned and accumulated, but unused vacation pay that was accrued. The money had been carried over as a liability by both the sheriff’s and auditor’s Offices. 

However, in March 2008, Neuhart removed Prices' hours as a liability to the county. Neither Price nor the sheriff’s office had knowledge of this. Court documents show that the sheriff’s office continued to submit budgets providing for payment of the money owed to Price under the appropriate line item.

It is undisputed that Neuhart never notified Price or the sheriff’s office that he had to withdraw his vacation paywithin three years of the time that he became sheriff. 

In court documents, it is further undisputed that Price was not made aware that his vacation pay had been removed from the books by Neuhart in March 2008.

On Dec. 28, 2008, Monroe County Prosecutor Lynn Kent Riethmiller sent a letter to Neuhart’s office authorizing the payment of the accrued vacation pay. In the letter, it also indicated that Rieth-miller’s position was supported by Ohio Auditor of State Mary Taylor.  

Court documents show that Neuhart refused to pay Price his vacation pay and instead requested the opinion of Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray. His office responded in a letter dated Apr. 27, 2009 but provided no conclusive opinion to solve the matter.

Following this, special prosecutor Clifford N. Sickler, Noble County, was appointed to further handle the matter on behalf of the State of Ohio.

Price requested that the 491.92 hours of vacation pay totaling $9,035.98 be paid to him. Neuhart claimed that he was not entitled to this vacation pay since he failed to collect it within the three year time frame. 

Through Sickler, the State of Ohio’s position sided with Price by saying that he was in fact entitled to the money he had requested. 

The court found that Neuhart was obligated to pay this money when due at that time of Price’s retirement. It is undisputed that he had earned and accumulated the amount requested. 

Neuhart consistently claimed that she did not want to be held responsible or liable for paying Price what was owed to him, despite being authorized to complete the transaction by Riethmiller and Taylor. 

In June of 2008, Taylor set forth guidelines and duties of a county auditor. In them, she states, “When a county auditor questions an expenditure, officers and employees of the county need to understand that the county auditor has a statutory duty to ask such questions and verify amounts. If the board of county commissioners, tribunal or officer believes that the amount should be paid despite the county auditor’s concerns, the county officers or employee should send the order to pay in writing. Upon receipt of the order to pay, the county auditor’s duty is discharged and only the board, tribunal or officer authorizing the expenditure will be named in and finding for recovery for any loss of public money which results from their approval.” 

Selmon’s ruling finally declared that Price was entitled to fully collect the $9,035.98 lawfully owed to him. The court also ordered that costs of the within matter be assessed in full to the auditor’s office.

The ruling came on May 17. Monroe County Commission-ers met on May 24 to discuss payment of the court order. 

Price abstained from all votes and motions dealing with the matter. During the session, debate centered on where the $9,035.98 should come from.

Commissioner John Pyles phoned Neuhart and requested that she meet with them to  discuss payment options. Neuhart declined and said she had no money in her budget to pay it. 

Price commented, “When I first requested payment of my vacation time, the money was there at that time. At the time I retired, I deferred my vacation time due to budget constraints.”

After a short discussion with Price and Commissioner Carl Davis, Pyles again phoned Neuhart. Speaking to her about payment options he said he favored a budget reduction from her office to pay the settlement. Neuhart responded by saying that he could not legally do that.

At the conclusion of the call, Pyles then phoned John Leutz, Esq. and Senior Policy Analyst for the County Commissioners Association of Ohio. Leutz was informed of the situation over speaker phone. 

Pyles asked about the legal options the commission could take to solve this matter and asked if a budget reduction could be used to make the payment. 

Leutz responded by saying, “I think the county auditor made a mistake by pulling the hours off the book without notifying Price. Legally, I think right now it would be best to take it from the county budget or unappropriated funds.”

Pyles responded by saying, “This mistake made by Auditor Neuhart has been a burden to the county. It is unfair and disrespectful to Tim for this to have been drug so long.”

“I really would like to apologize to Tim for any embarrassment or discomfort he has experienced through all of this,” said Davis.

Price responded by saying, “It would have been taken care of a year and a half ago and it’s unfortunate that it had to go before the court.”

Davis refused to second Pyles’ motion to have the money pulled from Neuhart’s office due to legal concerns. Pyles refused to second Davis’ motion to have the money pulled from the county budget citing, “This was a mistake made by Auditor Neuhart. She should be the one responsible for it. We [board of commissioners] did not cause this.”

At the conclusion of the lengthy debate, Pyles made a motion to pull the full $9,035.98 from the county’s unappropriated funds and was second by Davis

Both Davis and Pyles agreed that there may be cuts in budgets at the end of the year should this payment affect the county budget. 

While interviewing Neuhart, she said, “When the GAAP audit was being done by the State Auditor’s office, they asked me to remove it [Price’s hours] from our books.”

She spoke of Price not turning his vacation time in by saying, “He did not turn it in when he was transitioning from deputy to sheriff. I never said the money was not owed to him. The question was whether or not it was legal for me to pay him that money.”

When asked about the duration of the case and the effects of it, Neuhart said, “I am only doing my job. All I wanted was the court to tell me what to do. There were so many varying opinions in this case.”

At the conclusion of the interview she said, “I ran my campaign on three things: truth, honesty, and integrity. I hope nobody ever criticizes me for doing the job I was elected to serve.”

Timothy Haught, attorney for Price, called the Beacon and said, “The auditor refused to pay Mr. Price but all of the findings showed that he was entitled to the money he has earned.”

The judgment further said, that Price, through his counsel Timothy Haught, questions Neuhart’s motive and suggests that her failure to act is a result of either a mistake, incompetence, or purposeful act against Price. The court documents indicate that no ruling regarding this matter will be made as it would, “serve no purpose by inquiring into the potential motives of the Auditor Neuhart concerning why she continued to refuse to pay Price his accrued, earned vacation pay.”

“I have no hard feelings towards Tim through all of this. I hope he has none towards me,” said Neuhart. 

Around the Burnside  

Laughing is good exercise. It’s like jogging inside.

You can knock the chip off the other person’s shoulder by patting him on the back.

Well, I guess we will have a new top on Rt. 78 between Lewisville and the Noble County line. They have a number of pass, no pass signs along the road plus several no edge signs. This means two things. They are going to paint over the white edge lines or cover them with blacktop. I’m reasonably sure they will cover it with blacktop. A couple of places are marked which I expect means they need extra work. Happy day.

Seems like about every day we hear about something we should not eat or maybe should eat that causes something bad or maybe good. I guess it gives them something to do. Right or wrong who knows what. I’m probably wrong, but it seems that just about everything that tastes good is bad for you.

I’m kind of glad they were not around when I was growing up. We didn’t have anyone except Mom saying anything about what we ate. As long as I ate plenty of bread and butter she never said much. We seemed to have plenty of meat and potatoes to keep us from going hungry.

We were outside most of the time and  there seemed to be a lot of things to nibble on and eat. A few I recall included green apples, rhubarb, a ripe tomato, sometimes dig up a potato, any kind of a berry in season, sheep sorrel, and probably other things I don’t remember. Oh yes, we had what we called white grapes, although they were green and good; this plus the regular grape vines were favorite spots. Did I miss green onions? Then most of us drank raw milk of probably five percent fat. While in Japan we were ordered not to eat with a Japanese family. Some of us did. Most was good eating although I had no idea what it was. Raw fish?

Then I get to thinking. Is this the reason I take five pills each day plus rat poison, have worn out two pacemakers and bothered with A Fib? Plus it takes about five minutes to get in gear when I get up in the mornings. I wonder.

I had heard it was going to happen but I didn’t know it was done. I was driving to the bank and saw the old Columbia Hotel was just a pile of bricks. Kind of reminded me of someone who had a front tooth knocked out. I know a few more buildings that need to take the trip.

Then again maybe they are nearly as bad as the building housing the Health Department in Lancaster. I read that fleas were taking over the building. The roof leaks, windows are broken, fleas everywhere, plaster falling and chipmunks are running around in the hallways. Sounds like fun, huh? I guess it is an old building.

Esther and I once again enjoyed my alumni banquet even with chicken for the last four years. I was wrong. I thought a buddy of mine who grew up in Fairview would be the only one from the class of 1943. A little old lady from Florida came up and I didn’t recognize her from Adam. She was a member of our class, way back when. As I remember, she was always talking when we were in school. She’s still at it. We had a good visit.

The most pleasant surprise was a cousin whom we hadn’t seen for two years. We had an enjoyable visit.

A lot of fun to visit with former classmates, friends and a few former students. Hope I can make it next year.

You know you’re getting old,if you happen to fall down and start wondering what you can do while you’re still down there.

Seems as though the weather is very cooperative. We have a couple of not so pleasant days giving the grass a chance to grow, then a day of sunshine and everyone gets to mow their lawn. The cycle starts all over again. Who could ask for more? Is it going to keep this up all summer? I’d like a good day when I didn’t have to mow. Why am I complaining? It only takes a little over an hour to do the job and I can sit on my mower and ride. The alarm in my watch just rang. Time to take my rat poison.

Baseball season is in full swing now. High school and college winding down and major leagues go at it all summer. I’m not much of a baseball fan, although I did get with it when Skyvue was state bound. I expect if I lived close to OSU I would attend most of their home games.

I do have kind of a favorite team. I kind of lean toward the Cincinnati Reds. They have been so lousy the last several years and I paid little or no attention to them. Something put a burr under their saddle blanket and they are now in first place. I’m not getting too excited as it’s a long time to October.

Someone who would pay ten bucks, maybe more, to sit in the hot sun, drink beer watching millionaires play baseball four hours might be considered a true fan. Not me! Well, back to mowing the yard.

Remember: No matter how hard you try you cannot baptize a cat.

Going to church is an excellent habit.

May 27 Classifieds
Garage Sales
■  May 27 Garage Sales


Roselva “Dolly” Darlene Irvin, 69, Mound St., Sardis, died May 20, 2010 at Wetzel County Hospital, New Martinsville. She was born April 11, 1941 in Wheeling

She was a Baptist by faith. Surviving are her mother, Hazel Heddleston Livingston of Sistersville; a son, Michael (Deanne) Irvin of New Matamoras; two daughters, Shelly (Dean) Wohnhas, Joannie (James) Wells, all of Sardis; two brothers, Kenny (Becky) Livingston of Sistersville, Greg (Becky) Livingston of New Martinsville; 11 grandchildren, BreAnne (Joe) Nixon, Travis Wells, Lexy Wells, Ariel Wells, Danielle Irvin, Jared Irvin, Mandy Wohnhas, Megan Wohnhas, Skylar Wohnhas, Michael Wohnhas, Alex Pyles; a great-grandson, Ashton King and great-grandson to be, Bryce Chandler Nixon.

She was preceded in death by his father, Charles Livingston; husband, Michael E. Irvin; and a brother, Sonny Livingston.

Friends were received May 23 at Grisell Funeral Home, Sardis, where funeral services were held May 24, with Rev. Lee Ann Dunlap officiating. Burial in Sardis Cemetery.

Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com.

Nelson O. Lyons, 71, Belmont, died May 19, 2010 at his home. He was born April 12, 1939 in West Virginia a son of Harold and Jewiney Monroe Lyons.

He was retired from Red Hill Farms and Blaney Lumber.

Surviving are three grandsons, Kelsie (Phyllis) Westfall of Elizabethtown, Ky., Rick (Mary Jo) Westfall of Lewisville, Brian (Jennifer) Westfall of Summerfield; seven great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; a brother, Larry Chapman; seven sisters, Louise Mifsud, Gaorgie Lyons, Brenda Whetzel, Irene Carmeron, Darlene Perrine, Gloria and Rhonda Lyons; and a special caregiver, Betty Hashman.

Friends were received May 21 until time of service at Campbell-Plumly-Milburn Funeral Home, Barnesville, with Rev. Ed Emory officiating. Burial followed in Belmont Cemetery. www.CampbellPlumlyMilburnFuneralHome.com.

Jamie Joy Moore Gehrig, 31, 50105 Minder Rd., Jerusalem, died May 22, 2010 at the Cleveland Clinic. She was born Dec. 16, 1978 at Wheeling, W.Va., a daughter of Eugene and Melody Marshall Moore of Jerusalem.

She was an employee at Emerald Pointe Rehabilitation Center, Barnesville; was a member of the Laings Church of Christ, and also a girls’ basketball coach for the third  grade Woodsfield Redskins. She enjoyed crafts and growing flowers.

In addition to her parents, surviving are her husband, Douglas Michael Gehrig, whom she married July 8, 2000; two daughters, Halle Gehrig, Gracie Gehrig, both of the home; a son, Daleyn Paul Gehrig of the home; a brother, Josh (Bethany) Moore of Barnesville; maternal grandmother, Bernice Marshall of Rinard Mills; a niece, Addyson Moore of Barnesville; a nephew, Braydon Moore of Barnesville; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Lewis and Susan Gehrig of Woodsfield; a brother-in-law, Darin Gehrig of Woodsfield; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Paul Marshall, Judson and Frances Moore; a brother, Matthew Moore; and a sister, Elizabeth Moore.

Friends were received May 25 at Watters Funeral Home, Woodsfield, where funeral services will be held May 26, at 1 p.m., with Mark Tonkery officiating. Burial will follow in Oaklawn Cemetery, Woodsfield.

Memorial contributions may be made to her children, c/o WesBanco, 101 N. Sycamore St., Woodsfield, OH 43793.

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

Olive Glista Baters Gorby, 69, Ferry St., Clarington, died May 23, 2010 at Ohio Valley Medical Center, Wheeling. She was born Feb. 16, 1941 in Rockwood, Pa., a daughter of the late Orlin Dempsey and Edna Gertrude Henry Barron.

Surviving are two sons, Mike (Jayne) Baters, Shannon Baters, both of Clarington; a daughter, Linette (Joe) Chizmar of Rocky Point, N.C.; two brothers, Norman Barron of Somerset, Pa., Orlin Barron, Jr. of Rockwood; five sisters, Emma Gean Emert of Ligonier, Pa., Kathryn “Susanne” Mullins of Uniontown, Bonnie Blough of Rockwood, Violet Barron of Meyersdale, Pa., Linda Zearfoss of Listie, Pa.; seven grandchildren, Christopher Baters, Cody Baters, Erin Baters, Jani Baters, Kate Baters, Branden Chizmar, Stephanie Chizmar; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, Carl L. Baters; second husband, Kenneth H. Gorby; three brothers, William, Charles and George Barron; and a sister, Bettie Jane Singo.

Friends will be received May 26, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at Grisell Funeral Home, Clarington, where funeral services will be held May 27, at 11 a.m., with Rev. Richard Wilson officiating. Burial in Clarington Cemetery.

Sympathy expressions at grisellfuneralhomes.com



A man walked down the street the other day,
The ladies of the Auxiliary came his way.
He took a Poppy and gave them a dime,
He mumbled, “Why do they take up my time?”
He put the poppy in the buttonhole of his coat,
Next to some pencils and other notes.
When he got home he placed the poppy on the table,
That red paper flower with a little white label.
As he looked at the flower, as if inspired,
He wondered “Who put this flower on this wire?”
He’s probably a m an, who once stood tall,
And for his country he gave his all.
He might once have piloted a plane,
Now gives his all just to walk with a cane.
His strong hands were a sense of power,
Now he makes this little red flower.
In our world we are busy with money and power,
While this man’s job is this little red flower.
He still takes pride in what he has to do,
Petal by petal he makes this flower for you.
This year when it comes to “Poppy Day”,
I’ll be glad to see the Auxiliary come my way.
I’ll cheerfully give to them generously,
For the veteran making this flower could have been me.

Unknown Author