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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.

 
September 16, 2010

~ Ohio Valley Community Credit Union Celebrates 50 Years ~

 

A grand celebration was held in Hannibal Sept. 13 as the Ohio Valley Community Credit Union celebrated 50 years of service to the community. Shown, from left, are Marilyn Ashcraft, district rep for Ohio State Auditor Mary Taylor;  Ann Block, district rep for Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner; Nick Gatz, district rep for Senator George Voinovich; State Representative Jennifer Garrison; U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson; State Senator Jimmy Stewart; OVCCU President and CEO Gregory Harper; State Senator Jason Wilson; OVCCU 33-year employee Kathie Bayes; and Robyn McGuire, OVCCU Human Relations. Also speaking were Mark Fawcett, board member; John Pyles, Monroe County Commissioner; Chris Predieri, Ohio Credit Union League; Rusty Atkinson, president, Monroe County Chamber of Commerce. Watch next weekís Beacon for more information on this 50th anniversary celebration.   Photo by M. Ackerman

~ Beallsville Branch of WesBanco Bank Robbed ~

Officers from Monroe County Sheriffís Office responded to an armed robbery at the WesBanco bank in Beallsville at 9:41 Friday morning, Sept. 10. According to Lt. Tracy Truax, officers were on scene within 15 minutes. Bank employees advised two suspects entered the bank wearing full face motorcycle helmets. One of the suspects produced a handgun and ordered the employees to the ground. The suspects cleaned out the teller drawers and left the bank within three minutes. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken from the bank. Following witness statements, officers were able to determine that two individuals matching this description were seen both before and after the robbery on a red/orange ATV. Video footage from the bankís surveillance system is being reviewed for more definitive descriptions. There were no injuries to bank employees during the robbery.                

In late breaking news  Monday evening, two males are in custody in connection with the Beallsville WesBanco bank robbery. At left, Adam Thompson, 22, of Belmont Ridge (SR145), Beallsville, and (below) Michael Kelly, 34, Sandy Ridge, Barnesville, were arrested Monday, Sept. 13.

According to Monroe County Sheriff Charles Black, he, an FBI agent and a deputy went to Wheeling Monday where Thompson was with his girlfriend. ďHe cooperated and came back voluntarily,Ē said Black. Thompson is being housed in the Noble County Jail.

Kelly was arrested by an FBI agent and Belmont County officers and is being held in the Belmont County Jail.

ďI commend all my officers,Ē said Sheriff Black. ďThey have beaten the streets, gotten information and have tracked the subjectsí movements from 6 p.m. Friday until they checked out of a hotel Sunday at noon and arrived back in Wheeling about 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Some of the money was recovered but Black said he feels a large amount was spent this past weekend.

Heated Discussions at School Board Meeting

by Taylor Abbott
Staff Writer

Public participation yielded several heated discussions during the meeting of the Switzerland of Ohio Local School Districtís Board of Education Sept. 2. Over 30 residents attended the meeting.

Heather Dornan, resident and teacher, approached the board concerning their hiring practices. According to Dornan, she has interviewed with Switzerland of Ohio Local School District (SOLSD) five times. She said that each time, she has been passed up by less experienced applicants. 

"For the students of this district to be successful, they need the right tools and good teachers. I have been interviewed by SOLSD five times and each time, I am passed up by inexperienced applicants. Can you tell me what I can do to correct this or tell me why these individuals are getting the job when I am qualified with a five year license and five years of experience certified to teach in various subjects?"

Board president Scott Dierkes said the hiring process is based on principal recommendations and a panel of interviewers who each have a "checklist." After each interview, the panel compares their checklists.

Howard Spangler, retired teacher, encouraged the board and school district to start employing people who reside in the district. He said that he was a transplant to the county years ago, adding he loves rural life, but said the district needs to consider keeping the county's younger generation in the county to secure a better future.

Following the remarks and questions regarding the hiring of teachers, local resident and business owner Gary Rubel spoke to the board and said he was, "here to represent the tax payers of Monroe County."

Rubel expressed his anger and frustration with the board regarding the awarding of a bid to Scurlock Excavating. He said that he missed the Beallsville bid package by $700.

"I missed the Beallsville job by $700 but my taxes went up $10,000," said Rubel.

Roger Claus, surveyor,  stepped into the conversation and questioned the contract specifications with hiring local operators and workers. Both engaged in a lengthy discussion with the board and administrators. 

Rubel accused PCS of being in "cahoots." At that point, Kevin Green, PCS vice-president, engaged in a heated exchange with Rubel.

"In 'cahoots' with who sir? Who are we [PCS] in cahoots with? I'm going to tell you something, if you're going to start making accusations like that, you'd better have facts, sir," said Green.

Rubel shook his head and, referring to the Woodsfield project site, said, "You haven't completed the job. The land up there still has mounds of dirt on it. That land isn't even ready."

Green said the project ran into problems, beginning with the uncovering of an old compost dump on the Woodsfield site. He said that a school could not be built on it. Adding further, Green said the site has been under excavation since December.

"All these extensions on deadlines and such are going to cost the taxpayer a third more because of all of these delays," said Rubel. "The local people pay the taxes, you [Green] don't...Yet the local people didn't get the jobs."

Dierkes acknowledged Rubel's submittal of bids, affirming that Rubel did, in fact, lose the Beallsville package by $700. Dierkes said that his bid for the Woodsfield project site was outbid by a significant amount, thus giving it to lowest bidder, according to the Ohio Revised Code.

Claus said that the Woodsfield site would never have faced the problems it has had they listened to him when he made suggestions during surveying. 

"It's aggravating when I know what went wrong yet no one listened. Gary could have had the equipment in there and solved the problem instead of having all of these delays," said Claus. 

Following more discussion, Dierkes ended the discussion citing time limits for public participation. He said others who were there to talk needed the chance to do so. 

Ed Vargo, resident, questioned the board about overseeing the school projects and asked who was in charge of the money for those projects.

School district treasurer Janet Hissrich said the fund is reviewed not only by her on a daily basis, but also the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC). Green said that PCS oversees the contract money.

Stacey Thomas, a representative from the OSFC, addressed the bid award concerns and the firms hired to complete the work. 

"Yes, the district has input and the firms can, but the OSFC picks the firms used for construction, It's sort of a checks and balances system," said the representative, adding "I will stand up for the school board, the architect firm, and the construction firm and tell you that they did nothing wrong."

Following the OSFC representative's comments, a resident asked about the benefits of hiring retired teachers instead of young people with qualifications. 

Dierkes said that he believed in the six or seven years he has served on the board, the board had not hired retired individuals if there were other qualified candidates available.

Before public participation ended, Vargo asked about the hiring of maintenance crews to oversee the buildings.

Marc Ring, director of support services, said that a maintenance consulting firm was being utilized. Ring said that each school will have a state-of-the-art maintenance system in place with sensors that will alert maintenance workers of problems. The system, dubbed "School Dudes," will give weekly updates and alerts. He said the district's own maintenance workers will be trained with the new system and operate it. Ring added, "This new system will protect our schools for years to come."

New business began with the individual approval of eight motions. Before a motion was entertained, board member Ron Winkler asked if all motions concerning the new school projects had the money there to complete them. After being told yes, Winkler made a motion to accept the following resolutions:

Resolution A: awarding contracts for the new Beallsville K-12 school project. 

Resolution B: rejecting bids received for kitchen equipment at both the Beallsville and Woodsfield sites. 

Resolution C: approve technology bid package for the new Beallsville K-12, Woodsfield Elementary and Monroe Central High School and authorization of bids for the work to be completed.

A motion to consider the employment of Alesa Fisher, Powhatan Elementary teacher, by Janet Schwall, second by Teresa Gallagher. Motion passed with Ed Carleton voting no. 

Bid openings for the Monroe Central, Woodsfield Elementary general trades rebid will be held Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. Also at that time, bids for Beallsville, Monroe Central, and Woodsfield Elementary technology and food service packages will be opened.

The Board of Education will hold their next meeting Sept. 16 at 6 p.m.

Footnote: In a Sept. 7 interview with Superinten-dent Larry Elliott and Marc Ring, Support Services director, Elliott noted that the Ohio Revised Code requires the board to award the lowest and most responsible bidder the contract. He added that the board could be sued if that requirement was not followed because the company that received the bid is a well known, reputable company with a good track record.

Elliott said that the Beallsville project has come in under budget. He added that every school has its own budget and they have to stay within that budget. They canít spend any more than is allowed on any building.

Ring noted that all the site survey work was done at all locations by Biedenbach Surveying. Elevation work is in progress.

Delays, said Elliott, have been due to the bidding process.

The goal, said Ring, is to have 50 percent local labor (specifically Monroe, Noble and Belmont county  workers) working on the schools projects, noting there are no related local labor construction halls in Monroe County but added there are residents who belong to local labor unions in neighboring counties. They said that some local companies have been hired to do work on the schools. 

A ceremonial groundbreaking for the Beallsville schools is being planned for mid-October.

post dump on the Woodsfield site. He said that a school could not be built on it. Adding further, Green said the site has been under excavation since December.

The 2010 Homecoming festivities at Beallsville High School will be held Sept. 17 with the parade beginning at 6:30 p.m. and coronation at 6:45 prior to the Beallsville-Cameron football game. Shown, from left, are sitting: junior attendant Tiffany May, freshman attendant Gwendolynn Otto, sophomore attendant Karissa Morgan; standing: queen candidates: Alyssa Tavoletti,  Jessica Campbell, Paige Atkinson, Lacey Lucas and Caity Moore.

 Photo by Paul Krajnyak, PSK Innovations

Beallsville Homecoming Sept. 17

Itís that time of year again ... football and homecoming. Beallsville High School Homecoming festivities are set for Friday, Sept. 17 beginning with a parade at 6:30 p.m. Queen coronation is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. The young lady who selects the blue rose will be crowned Beallsville High Schoolís 2010 Homecoming Queen prior to the Beallsville vs. Cameron football game which begins at 7:30 p.m.

Candidates include Paige Atkinson, daughter of Chip Atkinson and Misty and Lou Tolzda; Jessica Campbell, daughter of Ray and Kris Campbell; Lacey Lucas, daughter of Shannon Lucas and Dianne Trigg; Caity Moore, daughter of Trevor and Dawnell Moore; and Alyssa Tavoletti, daughter of Mike and Nina Tavoletti.

Attendants  include: junior Tiffany May, daughter of Sally and Brian May; sophomore Karissa Morgan, daughter of Mark and Rodawna Deaton; and freshman Gwendolynn Otto, daughter of Rhonda and Jamie Otto.

Around the Burnside   

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Well, a little cold snap causes you to move around a bit faster and turn the air conditioners down. It does seem Labor Day is the signal for cool weather to move in. We are in for a mild winter; remember you read it here.

The Morgan County fair is always Labor Day week. I can remember several times the weather turned cool during the fair. Pennsville lunch stand had excellent vegetable soup. Once on a cold day I purchased a bowl for supper. I noticed on their stove a large pot of soup with hot soup around the edges of a large chunk of frozen soup in the center. Everyone was wanting soup. It worked.

The football season is well underway and weather should be cool. Our teams didnít fair too well this past week. This will change.

I watched the Monroe Central game played at Steubenville on WTOV. It isnít as much fun to watch when you know how the game is going to end. Three hours is a long time to show us less than an hour of actual football. I guess maybe the jingle of money has something to do with the length of the telecast.

Ohio State can pay a half to a million and a half to get a team to Columbus for the Buckeyes to play an hour of football. I get a couple of letters and sometimes a phone call asking me to donate money to the university. Donít get me wrong, Iím still a big fan of OSU but I remember when I paid $11.50 for a season ticket. We even had to have our picture on the ticket. Oh well, times change.

This is going to be quite a week. Holiday to start things followed by three days of trips to a doctorís office and Friday nothing planned. This growing old is fun, so they say. I remember when I was a kid I thought some one 85 years old was really old. You know something? It is! Thereís no way to stop it. Thatís not exactly right as my pappy used to say, ďYou donít grow old; you just grow up.Ē This again isnít exactly true as some of us grow out. Step on a set of scales if you donít believe me.

Seems as though as you get older trips to the doctors often dominate our conversation. Itís tough to talk to anyone and not mention a trip or trips to some kind of a doctor. You remember when a kid you had very few or maybe never went to the doctor. I donít  remember trips to the doctor when growing up.

Mom or Dad had something to take care of your problem. Then again, I doubt if I would be sitting here writing ďAround the BurnsideĒ if it were not for doctors. On the other hand, if I hadnít quit smoking 45 or 50 years ago I probably wouldnít be around either. While growing up it seems we did about everything they tell us today is bad for our  health.

Well my picture made it this week with the Burnside. Handsome dude ainít it? Ha! There is one problem. The picture was taken when I was on my way to pick up my new glasses. You probably wonít be able to recognize me with my new specs.

We made it through the doctor visits OK and in each case made a date to visit them again. So it goes. One more visit next week and that does it for this month, the October dates are in the book. Iím really not complaining, just canít think of anything to write about.

I did see in the paper the contracts for the new Beallsville school have been signed. Maybe it took a little more time to get this completed but it will not be long after the building is completed. Most will forget all the questions and perhaps complains as the process moved along. Oh thereís always a few. Itís tough to please everyone.

Looks as if they are rolling an outfit into the community building to work on the ceiling. Itís kind of tough to live so close and not know whatís going on. I guess I could go over and nib a little bit. Iíll just wait and see the results.

You know I always kind of looked forward to this time of year. Back to school meant we had a little break from work although there was corn to cut and the old cows had to be milked night and morning as well as other chores. We didnít have time to do much on our computer or ipod or cell phone or video games or anything else of this type. We didnít have them to keep us occupied. As Iíve mentioned before our smartboard hung on a nail driven in the frame of the blackboard. It worked for us. We made do because we didnít know any different. Believe me our smart board brought out the best in us even if it wasnít used very often. One use and you got the idea.

Church attendance should pick up now.

Thought for the day: If you think there is good in everybody, you havenít met everybody.

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OBITUARIES  

HILDA P. SWICK
Hilda P. Swick, 84, 44975 Road Ford Rd., Caldwell, (Carlisle Community) died Sept. 7, 2010 at her home. She was born July 24, 1926 in Zanesville, a daughter of the late Paul and Hilda Adams Horton.

She was a former secretary and a former co-owner of Swickís General Store in Carlisle. She was a member of the St. Michael Catholic Church, Carlisle, where she sang in the choir for over 50 years. She was a member of the BPW in Zanesville, and was also instrumental in the organization of the Samaritan House, Caldwell.

Surviving are her husband, Lewis F. Swick, whom she married Jan. 4, 1951; a son, Greg (Elsie) Swick of Canal Fulton; a daughter, Lorna (Jeff) Hannahs of Sarshaville; two sisters, Dorothea Upshaw of Richmond, Va., Loretta Joe Adams of Willoughby; 12 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Dick Horton and Charles Horton.

There was no visitation. A memorial mass was celebrated Sept. 11 at St. Michael Catholic Church, Carlisle, with Rev. Fr. Thomas Hamm as the celebrant. Interment will be held at the convenience of the family.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Samaritan House, 307 Main St., Caldwell, OH 43724.

Arrangements by Brubach-Watters Funeral Home, Summerfield.

Helen Gertrude
Thomas Ray
Helen Gertrude Thomas Ray, 78, Canton, went to be with the Lord on Sept. 6, 2010. She was born Feb. 26, 1932 in Beallsville, a daughter of the late Martha Margaret Adair and Elmer McKinley Thomas.

She graduated in 1950 from Beallsville High School as class valedictorian and she played clarinet in the school band.

After moving to Canton, she worked for Timken Company and Union Metal. She met and married Kenneth Ray, a minister for the Church of Christ, and raised their two sons Bill and David. She was an avid writer and wrote many short stories and poems. She was a member of the Northwest Church of Christ.

Surviving are two sons, Bill (Bev) Ray of Canton, David Alan Ray of Texas; two granddaughters, Sandi Kocar of Canal Fulton, Jordan Ella Ray of Texas; a sister, Paulina Willis of Canton; and other relatives and friends including local nephews and niece, John, Roger, Larry and Steve Willis and Kathy (Brett) Isaacs.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth, in 2006; a sister, Verda Ball and two brothers, Robert and Richard Thomas..

Friends were received Sept. 8 in Arnold Funeral Home, Canton, where services were held Sept. 9, with Minister Lance Lindenberger and Minister Keith Kull officiating. Burial was in West Lawn Cemetery.