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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 $1.25 with your name/address to P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793.

Oct. 29, 2009

October Proclaimed Breast Cancer Awareness Month 

by Myrtle Smith
Staff Writer

At the request of representatives of the American Cancer Society, county commissioners proclaimed October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month at a recent meeting. From left are Amy Magorien, ACS health promotions coordinator; County Commissioners Carl Davis, Tim Price and John Pyles; and Shirley Brown, ACS volunteer.      

Photo by Myrtle Smith

Commissioners recently proclaimed October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Monroe County.

Shirley Brown, a key volunteer for the Cancer Research Center, and Amy Magorien, ACS health promotions coordinator, were present at the meeting when officials signed the proclamation.

Commissioners encourage all women to learn about the signs of breast cancer and ask all women over the age 40 to have a yearly breast exam and monitoring.

This disease also affects men, and they need to be aware of the signs as well. The Cancer Resource Center, located in the Chamber of Commerce building, has information on all types of cancer. They also have cookbooks, an outreach transportation program, and as part of their Look Good, Feel Good program, quality wigs are available to cancer patients.

According to discussion, there are three beauty shops in Woodsfield who will wash and style the wigs for a small fee. The transportation grant allows the Cancer Resource Center to provide transportation to and from treatments for cancer patients. They are currently helping 14 people in Monroe County get to their treatments.

The VFW recently purchased and donated gas cards that are available for cancer patients through the Cancer Resource Center. The resource center will focus on getting more donations of gas cards. Anyone who is interested in donating or volunteering can contact Shirley Brown.  

H1N1 Confirmed In Monroe 

The Monroe County Health Department has confirmed three cases of H1N1 (Swine Flu) in Monroe County.

According to Linda Masters, administrator at the health department, three school-aged children have been diagnosed with H1N1. She said the schools are working to contain the disease and reinforce prevention.

Although both Masters and  School District Superintendent Larry Elliott declined to say which school is involved, Masters said all three children are Monroe County residents and all attend the same riverfront school. Masters said school district principals are using all avenues of prevention.

According to Elliott, hand sanitizers are located in all schools and staff members have been instructed to encourage hand washing. He said the custodial staff has been instructed to clean door knobs, hand rails and water fountains. Elliott noted that “anything students touch” is to be cleaned to help prevent  the spread of flu.

“We do anticipate more cases,” said Elliott. “Swine flu is present in the Ohio Valley and it’s a matter of time until it works its way through the system.”

The superintendent said an “all call” has been made to parents reminding them to keep sick children home as we go through the flu season.

Elliott said he’d met with school principals to discuss ways to accommodate students with make-up work if they are absent for as long as a week. He said the nursing staff  has been instructed to record attendance rates.

According to Masters, the health department is waiting for a supply of vaccine to start immunizations in the Monroe County schools. She noted Powhatan Elementary is already scheduled for vaccinations through the Belmont County Health Department.

Our Readers Write 

Dear Editor,

Does it matter who is elected in the Nov. 3 school board election? Absolutely! These individuals will make decisions affecting the quality of life in our communities, the education of our children and grandchildren, and the spending of our tax dollars. School board members set the direction for public education for our state and nation.

Serving on a school board is a tremendous responsibility. By law, school board members are charged with providing educational opportunities for your community’s youth. School board members should conscientiously work in the best interests of all students and all citizens. That’s why voters in every community should take the time to educate themselves about the candidates and vote for the candidates who are right for the job.

If you want to have a say in who will make the decisions affecting your local schools, your children and the spending of your tax dollars, then learn about the issues and cast your vote for the responsible, qualified person who you believe can do the best job serving on your local board of education. Your community deserves the best. Our students deserve nothing less. Vote on Nov. 3.

Tawana Lynn Keels, Pres.
Ohio School Boards Association Member, Princeton City and Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development, Cincinnati



22-Month Old Gavin Matz:
He Takes It All In Stride

Gavin Matz


by Arlean Selvy

Although his daily play is closely monitored and he goes through periods when he cannot take food by mouth, Gavin Matz is a happy and pleasant child.

Gavin is the son of Lewis W. “Ogg” Matz and Lisa Matz of Woodsfield.

“He’s the happiest and most pleasant kid,” said his mother,  “I can’t believe it.”

Gavin is 22-months old and a victim of VACTERLS association.

VACTERL is an acronym in which each of the letters stands for one or more types of malformation.

The ‘V’ stands for vertebrae, which are the bones of the spinal column. Gavin has 14 sets of ribs instead of the normal 12 sets. According to his doctors, Gavin’s case is unique in that most youngsters with VACTERL only have one extra set of ribs. This set is located in the lumbar (bottom of spinal column). Gavin also has an extra Cervical set of ribs (top of the spinal column)  - which is a rare condition. The cervical set is near the nerve complex and paralysis is a possibility if the child should suffer an injury. For this reason he is watched closely.

The ‘A’ if for imperforated anus or anal artresia, or an anus that does not open to the outside of the body. Gavin has a malrotated colon.

‘C’ - cardiac defects. Gavin has two superior vena cavas, vessels, which carry blood to the heart. He also has a heart murmur.

‘T’ stands for tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), which means an abnormal connection between the trachea (windpipe) and the esophagus (food tube to stomach). Gavin was born with TEF and developed another one a few month ago, which is very rare.

‘E’ - esophageal atresia. Gavin’s esophagus did not connect to the stomach when he was born.

Gavin has a feeding tube that connects to his stomach and to his intestine.

Although Gavin has periods of time when he can eat by mouth, he is currently a patient in Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, where he is connected to a feeding tube.

“He doesn’t understand it when he can’t eat,” said Lisa. “And he doesn’t understand why he has to be in the hospital.”  His mother noted also that Gavin “... kinda takes things in stride.”

The 22-month old has chalked up 21 hospital admissions in his short life. His current hospital stay is due to complications from his most recent surgery. According to his mother, Gavin’s esophagus read more in the Oct. 29 Beacon

County Budget Revisited;
Offices to Cut Employee Hours

In order to balance the 2009 budget by the end of the  year, Monroe County commissioners have cut department funds, increased revenue receipts and three offices will cut hours.

Jeanette Harter, who works with the county budget, told commissioners a reduction of $90,000 was made from the sheriff’s prison housing appropriation. She said they now have about $17,000 to operate on from now until the end of the year. Harter noted that, “In light of them having more prisoners in the past few weeks, $17,000 is probably not going to get it.” According to discussion, prisoners are currently housed in both Noble and Belmont counties.

At the Oct. 13 meeting officials transferred $5,000 from the auditor’s budget to the treasurer’s budget. The action was taken following discussion about Auditor Pandora Neuhart giving two of her employees rate increases.

Harter found, while looking for ways to balance the budget, that there were increases for two of the auditor’s employees in 2008. She said that in January, 2009, there was no change but that on or before October of 2009, each of the two employees received a $3,120 increase per year. It was noted the raise is equivalent to $1.50 an hour. Harter said the increases came from the real estate fund as opposed to the general fund allocation.

According to information obtained from Neuhart, the real estate fund is generated from certain fees such as appraisals and is not money allocated by commissioners from the county’s budget. She said the money can be used for certain things, such as reappraisals and pay for those who work with that area.

Neuhart, at the commissioners’ Oct. 26 meeting, asked that the $5,000 be returned to her budget. She said she currently has $784.50 in the em-ployees’ salary line item to pay for all payroll and budgetary work until the end of the year.

Neuhart read a statement concerning previous cuts in her budget and explained the raises for the two employees. She wrote: “ ... in the past we have paid our appraisal company to input information into the computer, which generally costs $10,000 to $15,000.” She said she and the two employees talked it over and the two decided they would do the work done by the appraisal firm in order to realize a savings for the county. “I felt if they were willing to save the county that much money, they should be compensated for read more in the Monroe County Beacon's Oct. 29 edition

Resolution Signed, Project Labor Agreement Possible

by Myrtle Smith
Staff Writer

A resolution authorizing Monroe County commissioners to execute a Project Labor Agreement was adopted at the Oct. 19 meeting of commissioners

William Hutchinson, business manager, Parkersburg-Marietta Building and Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO, and other union representatives presented commissioners with the resolution. The document authorizes the board to execute a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Upper Ohio Valley Build-ing and Constructions Trade Council and its affiliated local unions for certain construction projects undertaken by commissioners. It also allows them to establish responsible contracting standards for contractors and subcontractors performing work in construction projects in Monroe County.

Hutchinson said, “This would guarantee local area people who are skilled in their trades to have a chance to do the job.” According to Hutchinson, the resolution has to be in place in order to enter into a PLA.

 It was noted that the bid process for the Monroe County Care Center’s assisted living project has already been completed; therefore the resolution would not affect the project.

Matt Brake, E-911 project coordinator, gave an update on the system. The E-911 system is located at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and the back-up system will be housed at the EMA offices at the county airport. 

Equipment for the backup system has been delivered and is waiting for electrical outlets to be installed.

Sheriff Charles Black voiced his concern about the problems with software equipment and repair services. He said there are software issues that need to be resolved. Black strongly suggested contracting with Staley’s Communication, the previous provider, since they have a maintenance repair service included in their cost.

“Out of necessity for public safety, we can’t shortcut this,” said Black. “If the system crashes, we won’t have communications.”

Commissioners met at the proposed gas well site with Beck Energy. The well will be located near the Woodsfield soccer field; however, the soccer field will not be affected.

According to Jeannette Harter, director, Job and Family Services, there was a meeting with laid-off Ormet employees on Oct 14 to discuss the services JFS has available to them. She also provided commissioners with an updated listing of childcare providers as well as a resolution to approve the contract with JFS for child care. The resolution was approved.

Approval was given for a snow removal agreement between JFS and Woodsfield Greenhouse, which submitted the lowest quote.

Commissioners adopted a resolution submitted by Harter which would remove the education supplemental pay for degree employees. This change would not affect current employees who hold a degree and are getting the supplemental pay. However, it would apply to future hires, including rehires not holding a position with children’s services. Those who are hired or rehired into a children’s services position would be eligible for the education supplemental pay; all other positions would not be eligible. The resolution was approved.

An executive session was held between commissioners and Harter regarding contracts. No action was taken.


Around the Burnside

Nothing is harder than getting down from your high horse.

To share with a friend is to see twice the beauty.

The following editorial was in the Journal-Leader 70 years ago. “The worst form of propaganda now being disseminated in the United States is wholly fallacious and entirely malicious suggestion that this country cannot stay out of war. The United States can and will stay out of war if the patriotic men and women of this country actively and faithfully perform their patriotic duty.” I was a freshman in high school at this time. How a few years can change things.

“Thar’s gold in them thar hills.” at least that seems to be what TV commercials try to make us believe. Get all your old gold junk you do not want and carry out the money. Buy and sell gold you keep hearing,;sounds like fun. One old boy sold what looked like a class ring and got a hundred and fifty dollars for it. Sounds a bit hard to believe. I’m half tempted to sell my old class ring if I hadn’t lost it while spreading bedding under my heifer I was showing at the Smyrna Fair.

Do any of you remember the Smyrna Fair? It was what they called a three county fair as Guernsey, Belmont and Harrison counties joined close by. It was held near where Route 800 meets 21.

I think we only took part a couple of years. The first year we had some fun. A friend, who had a number of cattle to show, decided he lived close enough to the fairground to lead or drive his cattle to the fair. He asked me to help. I did. We sure had fun and no trouble. He even had a bull we could ride every once in a while. Kids just don’t have any fun nowadays.

Speaking of gold, you can ride around and see gold everywhere. First it was Goldenrod and now the trees turning. Folks living in the city ride around this time of year, take pictures and say “how beautiful.” We ride around and complain about the road.

This is one of my favorite times of the year. The leaves turn, drop off, trees seem dead and come spring they come to life and grow leaves that turn the hillsides green. You can’t tell me this just happens.

Before I forget it, I understand at one time our county had four Vocational Agriculture Classes along with four FFA Chapters. I was acquainted with the teacher who taught at Lewisville and even received mail addressed to him when I  taught at Skyvue. How do I know they were active? They had six who received the State Farmer Degree and one receiving the American Farmer Degree, which is the highest award an FFA member can achieve.

OK you say, this was in the forties and things were much different. You're right, but some things do change. For example, we got a few oranges around Christmas time; now we can get them any time. We have it so good we forget that about 40 percent of the jobs are related to agriculture in some way. Agriculture Education isn’t important?

I sometimes wander here and there when I write each week as my forgetter seems to work overtime any more and I need to get it out before I forget, unless I jot it down. I used to carry a note pad with me and jot down a note when I thought of something; then I kept losing my note pad. I then have to fill the page with something that is not interesting.

The election coming up is interesting. Actually all elections are interesting and important. We even get to vote for a council member in Lewisville this year. This hasn’t happened for a while.

Three issues on the ballot 1,2,3. I expect most of you know how you are going to vote on these issues so there’s no need for me to try to influence your vote. You already know how I’m voting.

There is one item to be voted that I think is very important to the total county. The renewal levy for the extension service and soil conservation service is important to pass again this year. These services touch all areas of the county and there is no additional cost. We’ve been paying this for several years. I know you know how I feel about our FFA Chapter, the 4-H program and the youth in the county. I also know I can’t tell you how to vote, only suggest you give serious thought to the benefits to the county when you mark your ballot.

You know I attended OSU. In recent years I have become one of those who have become almost nuts about the Ohio State University. Just about everything I’ve received for Christmas the last few years had OSU on it somewhere. Am I nuts? I sometimes think so. I even said a few choice words and turned to another game just like George our barber did when I was a kid. A real true blue fan? Hardly!  It grows on you. I remember when attending OSU I purchased a season ticket for $11.50. Know how many games I attended? Only one; how’s that for a true fan?

I think what brought this to mind was a little thing I read in the paper a few days ago. As the man says, “There’s more to the game than just winning.”

It seems that a small high school up north had a manager who was blind. Even being blind he practiced with the team. During a game the coach sent him in the game. He fumbled his first chances. The second time he went in, a couple of teammates helped him score a touchdown. You probably think the team has the game well in hand but it’s really great to think of what it meant to this blind young man and the rest of the team, school and fans. I’ll bet they went wild when it happened.

The best way to win is to forget to keep score.

You didn’t forget to go to Church Sunday, did you?

Maybe we’ll get an active FFA Chapter back in the county some day.



Betty J. Larrick, 83, Cambridge, died Oct. 19, 2009, at Red Carpet Health Care Center. She was born Sept. 14, 1926 in Monroe County, Lewisville, a daughter of the late William T. Hines and Mable C. Highman Hines.

She worked at Kresge and Port Arthur Home Health in Port Arthur, Texas. She was a member of the Bible Baptist Church.

Surviving are two daughters, Ruth (Larry) Young of Cambridge, Linda (Roger) Bennett of Vero Beach, Fla.; a step-daughter, Ila Carpenter of Caldwell; a son, James W. (Frances) Kaiser of Beaumont, Texas; a step-son, John K. (Helen) Larrick of Cambridge; three sisters, Rose Robinson of Woodsfield, Darlene Taylor of Woodsfield, Mary (Jerry) Lindemood of Miltonsburg; a brother, Leland D. (Marge) Hines of Cambridge; 16 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews including a special niece, Jeanie (Pete) Weyrick of Lewisville.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, John R. Larrick in 2002; a son, David Kaiser; a daughter, Sharon Rominger; a sister, Lola Cleveland; and her loving pet, Bocephaus.

Friends will be received Oct. 22, from 4 - 8 p.m. at Bundy-Law Funeral Home, where service will be held Oct. 23, at 1 p.m., with Pastor Steve Leathley officiating. Burial will follow in Guernsey Memory Gardens.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Guernsey at P.O. Box 1165, Cambridge, OH 43725

Online condolences may be sent to www.bundy-lawfuneralhome.com.

Mildred E. Kenney, 76, Antioch, died Oct. 16, 2009, at Laurels of Coldwater, Coldwater, Michigan. She was born Dec. 13, 1932, in Mechanicsburg, Monroe County, a daughter of the late Howard Hooper and Hilda Dillon Hooper.

She was a member of the Mechanicsburg Church of Christ.

Surviving are a son, Joseph (Brenda) Hooper of Sherwood, Michigan; six sisters, Lucy Blake of Beech Bottom, W.Va., Elsie Butler of Woodsfield, Mable Belford of Zanesville, Jean Dale of Gratiot, Alice St. Clair of Byesville, Connie Eddy of Zanesville; four grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.

Friends were received Oct. 19 at Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield, where funeral services were held Oct. 20, with Minister Tim Fleeman officiating. Burial was in Antioch Cemetery, Antioch.

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

Eleanor Conner, 93, Lewisville, died Oct. 24, 2009 at St. Joseph Care Center, Louisville. She was born March 21, 1916, in Monroe County, a daughter of the late A. Ross Smith and Katie Ann Oden Smith.

She was an active member of the Woodsfield Church of the Nazarene and SOMA.

Surviving are a son, Joe (Kathy) Conner of Mineral City; a daughter, Patty King of North Canton; five grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Edward W. Conner Dec. 1985; a daughter, Beverly Roberts  Aug. 2009; two brothers, Ned and Herbert Smith; and four sisters, Helen Marshall, Mabel Denbow, Marie Frank and Carrie Newcomer.

Friends were received Oct. 27 at Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield, where funeral services were held Oct. 28, with Rev. William Graham officiating. Burial in Friendship Cemetery, Lewisville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Church of the Nazarene, 223 Maple Ave., Woodsfield, OH 43793.

Condolences may be expressed at www.bauerturner.com. 

Louis ‘Lou’ Tolzda, 82, Powhatan Point, died Oct. 23, 2009, in Belmont Community Hospital, Bellaire. He was born Feb. 9, 1927 in Glen Dale, W.Va., a son of the late Alexander and Josephine Budahawski Tolzda.

He was retired from Conalco of Hannibal, a member of St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Powhatan Point, a member of the VFW Post #5565 and American Legion Post #228, both of Powhatan Point, a WWII Navy veteran and an avid sports fan.

Surviving are his wife of 54 years, Shirley Ondayko Tolzda; two sons, Lou M. ‘Scooter’ Tolzda of Beallsville, Timothy Neil (Sandra) Tolzda of Mission Viejo, Calif.; a daughter, Jamie (Gary) Destifanes of Marietta; six grandchildren, Casey, Zack, Caitlin, Kristen and Bradley Tolzda and Courtney Destifanes; two great-grandchildren, Brooke Ann and Ethan.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Adam, Alex and Joe Tolzda; and three sisters, Kathryn Vanek, Mary Makris and Sohie Farrar.

Friends were received Oct. 26 at Bauknecht-Altmeyer Funeral Homes and Crematory, Powhatan Point.

Funeral Liturgy with Mass was held Oct. 27 in St. John Vianney Catholic Church with Fr. Samuel Saprano as Celebrant. Burial in Powhatan Cemetery. Vigil service was held Oct. 26 at the funeral home followed by Powhatan Veterans service. Powhatan Veterans Honor Guard conducted military graveside services.

Memorial contributions may be made to Powhatan Emergency Squad.

Condolences may be expressed at www.altmeyer.com.

Frances Wheatley, 96, Antioch, Ill., formerly of Beallsville, died Oct. 17, 2009, in Aurora Medical Center, Kenosha, Wisc. She was born Oct. 2, 1913 in Moundsville, W.Va., a daughter of the late William and Anna Taylor Frazier.

She worked as a cook for many years at Beallsville High School.

Surviving are two daughters, Joann Scott of Poca, W.Va., Barbara (Earl) Quirk of Antioch, Ill.; nine grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren and 19 great-great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Chester Wheatley in 1985; a son, Charles ‘Chick’ Wheatley in 1980; a great-grandson, Craig Laurent; and a sister, Mary Mallot.

Friends were received and funeral services were held Oct. 22 at Harper Funeral Home, Beallsville. Burial followed in Beallsville Cemetery.

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