< P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793  <


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April 10, 2008 Edition

<Honored for 30 Years of Service

Ron and Julia Wright of Marietta were recognized with
a plaque for being licensed foster parents in Monroe
County. The Wrights have accepted 91 children into
their home over the last 30 years and have adopted two
of those children. Shown at the plaque presentation
are, from left: Debbie Haney, director of Monroe
County Job and Family Services; Jeanette Harter,
deputy director; Ron and Julia Wright, and case
workers Dottie Paxton and Magruder.                             
              Photo by Martha Ackerman

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer
        It takes very special people to be foster parents and
two of those people were honored by the staff of
Monroe County Job and Family Services recently. Ron
and Julia Wright of Marietta have opened their home to
foster children for over 30 years. Ninety-one children
who needed caring, loving people to help them through
difficult times were welcomed into Wrights’ home and
        Staff members at Monroe County Job and Family
Services recognized their dedication with a plaque
presented “for your love, kindness and caring since
Nov. 28, 1977.”
        The couple has two of their own children, but they
yearned for a big family, especially a daughter.
Seriously thinking about adopting, but not sure they
could love someone else’s child as much as their own,
they decided they would try foster care first. Ron’s
sister was already a Monroe County licensed foster
parent at the time.
        The Wrights serve as foster parents in Monroe,
Hocking, Washington and Belmont counties. They have
taken in children from two days old to 19 years old,
even some babies with heart monitors. Most of them
have been girls because they thought it better since
Julia is a stay-at-home mom and before retirement,
Ron, working as a chemical operator for GE Plastics
for 25 years, was away from home working and commuting
14 hours a day. “When I wasn’t working 12 hour shifts,
I took as much overtime as I could,” said Ron. “When
you have a large family, you have to work overtime.”
        Teresa was the Wrights’ first foster child. They fell
in love with the 11-year-old little girl and she with
them. When they could, they adopted her. She is their
pride and joy. Teresa has her master’s degree and is
an investigator for Hocking County Children’s
Services. She is married with two children and teaches
at the Lancaster Branch of Ohio University. She also
trains foster parents and case workers in her “spare”
        Their second child, a son, will soon be 14. He has
been with the Wrights since he was 10. Brandon, an ADD
child, asked the Wrights to adopt him. They had
reservations at first only because Ron is 68 and Julia
is 64, but they asked Teresa if she would take over
Brandon’s care if something were to happen to them.
She and her husband readily agreed to do so even if
they had to build another room onto their house.
Brandon is now legally Ron and Julia’s.
        “You have to learn as you go,” said Julia.
        “We tell the children not to leave until they are
comfortable with it and have a place to go,” added
Ron. One foster daughter came back to them with her
baby after leaving her husband. She and the child
stayed with the Wrights eight to nine months. “When
you’re their family, you’re their family,” said Julia.
        The mother of another foster child came and stayed
with the Wrights for three days so the baby could get
used to the biological mother. The judge who granted
permission thought it was wonderful, said Julia, who
noted that it only took a few days for the baby to
recognize its mother. They kept in contact with the
mother and child until the child was 12 years old.
        The Wrights have allowed all their foster children to
take part in anything they wanted, within reason,
added Ron. He and Julia were 4-H advisors; the
children played sports, took piano and swimming
lessons, and went on family vacations. All the time,
the Wrights were there to love, nourish and encourage
each child. “It was hard when we had four of them
going to three different schools,” laughed Julia.
        “Many of the children have such low self esteem,”
said this foster mother. “You have to tell them how
well they do, and eventually they figure out they can
do things well.” They told of one little girl who had
been abused. She thought she was the bad one. Julia
explained to the child that she was little and
couldn’t control what happened. “It doesn’t make you
bad,” she told the child. “You are just little.”
        “We have always encouraged the children to get an
education,” said Ron. Some have gone on to college.
“We also tell them that people will judge those who
come after them by their behavior.” They recounted an
experience with a school principal who told a child
that foster children were nothing but trouble. Ron and
Julia paid the school a visit and that principal did
not have a job very long!
        The Wrights also found time to volunteer. Ron is
former president of a foster parent group, was a
volunteer fireman and an ambulance driver. Julia was a
licensed advanced EMT for 20 years and taught Sunday
        According to Ron, foster care has changed over the
years. It was originally mom and pop foster homes, but
then the state came up with 600 rules and regulations.
The state did not want foster parents to treat the
children as their own. It’s finally swinging back to
the mom and pop foster homes, noted Ron. “And that’s a
good thing.”
        “Kids do better if they have a caring case worker,”
said Ron. When the Wrights first became foster parents
they remember  case workers were Mildred Flieh-man,
Nina Yoss and Barbara Jeffers. Dick Oehler was the
director. Mary Rose Robison was the case worker when
Brandon came to them. “We consider her a friend,” they
        Julia noted that Mildred Fliehman made her husband
late for a reunion because she attended the wedding of
the Wright’s adopted daughter.
        The couple delights in the fact that many of the 91
children still keep in touch with them. They are
Grandma and Grandpa to many of their children.
        “There have been some rough times, but we enjoy it,”
said Ron. “It’s our children; they’re our future,”
added Julia.

<~ Family Dollar Opens in Woodsfield ~

        Members of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce
welcomed Family Dollar to the county recently. The new
store is located on Eastern Avenue, adjacent to
Mor-For-Less. According to manager Susie Cunion, the
Family Dollar, carrying a variety of moderately priced
items, is a new concept store with wider aisles and is
more handicapped accessible. Similar to a small Target
store, merchandise includes a nice variety of clothing
labels such as Bugle Boy and other popular brands,
health and beauty items, food items, home decor and
much more. The Family Dollar was stocked in 10 days
and permanent employees will be hired from the
temporary hires who set up the store. Kim Palmer, of Woodsfield, has been selected as one of the two
assistant managers. Other employees will be named soon. Shown, from left are Chamber members,
Sam Moore, Kiven Smithberger, Jo Eddy, Melissa Smithberger; store manager Susie Cunion; and
Chamber secretary Ruth Workman.                              
Photo by Martha Ackerman


< REX Signs Ag Impact Agreement

        David Hanselmann, Chief of the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources Division of Soil and Water
Conservation, signed an Agricultural Impact Mitigation
Agreement with the Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) for
Ohio lands on Jan. 28. This agreement creates a
minimum set of standard guidelines that REX will
follow while crossing 14 Ohio counties or 220 miles
for the purpose of installing a 42 inch diameter
natural gas pipeline.                   Although the intent of the
AIMA is to protect agricultural and forestland from
any negative long-term impacts caused by the
construction of this pipeline, landowners should  also
consult with their local Soil and Water Conservation
District or other local experts to identify any
additional resource needs that should be negotiated
individually with REX. In the AIMA, ODNR was careful
to stipulate that landowners are free to negotiate
with REX representatives how any such additional
resource issues are handled.
        As proposed REX is a 1663 mile long pipeline system
that will transport natural gas from areas in Colorado
and Wyoming to the Eastern United States. When
complete, the pipeline will carry between 1.5 billion
to 2.0 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. The
pipeline will cross portions of Butler, Warren,
Clin-ton, Greene, Fayette, Pickaway, Fairfield, Perry,
Morgan, Mus-kingum, Guernsey, Noble, Bel-mont and
Monroe counties.                The Federal Energy Regula-tory
Commission (FERC) is the lead federal agency
responsible for conducting the environmental review.
REX is being developed under three separate FERC
certificates. Although construction has begun in the
western United States, REX is still seeking its
certificate for the Rockies Express-East, which
includes Ohio. REX plans to start construction in Ohio
during the spring or summer of 2008.
        The AIMA is the first of its kind in Ohio and is
intended to help preserve the integrity of any
agricultural land that is impacted by pipeline
construction. The AIMA was developed in cooperation
with agricultural agencies, organizations, landowners,
tenants, drainage contractors, and pipeline companies.
Some of the topics covered in the AIMA include:
minimum pipeline depths, topsoil removal and
replacement, repair of tile lines, compaction
mitigation, erosion control, and a three-year post
construction monitoring and remediation period.
Regarding pipeline depth, the AIMA requires a minimum
of five feet for all agricultural soils. This should
be adequate depth to accommodate most subsurface
drainage systems; however, where five feet is deemed
inadequate, landowners can negotiate greater depth.
        Landowners and tenants that will be impacted by the
construction of REX may wish to contact their local
Soil and Water Conservation District to schedule a
site visit or further discuss ways to minimize any
long term impacts to  their property.
        A copy of the AIMA may also be obtained through the
SWCD. In Belmont County, contact Chad Turner,
Urban-GIS Specialist at 740-425-1100 ext. 112.

< Clarington Council Meets

by Arlean Selvy
        ATVs at Clarinda Park, flowers at the cemetery and
water service were topics of discussion at the April 3
meeting of Clarington Village Council. Council took
action in March to hire a clerk-treasurer,
administrative assistant and an attorney.
        Residents of Clarington’s Fish Pot and Sykes Ridge
areas who wish to have village water are to  sign up
for that utility on April 19 between 10 a.m. and 2
p.m. at the municipal building.                        
Potential customers are to sign a Water User Agreement and pay the
mandatory tap fee of $750. According to the Water User
Agreement, the total fee must  be paid at, or by, the
time of sign up.
        In a matter concerning the Fish Pot/Sykes Ridge Water
Project, council voted 5-0 to move forward with a
project to relocate the booster station. Although the
original proposal was to place the station at an
elevation of 770 feet, it was later revised for easier
access and placed at an elevation of 800 feet.  The
booster station will not work at 800 feet.
        Council set April 19 as the date for all decorations
to be removed from the cemetery.
        Officials, on a motion by Councilwoman Bev Miller,
contracted with Riverfront Landscaping to mow the
        Discussion was held regarding ATVs and damage done at
the park area due to thoughtless riders. Officials are
considering ways to deter the riders and lessen or
eliminate damage to village property.
        Concerning properties on Church Street where refuse
has been allowed to accumulate, it was noted that the
EPA has been notified. The property owners have not
responded to requests to clean the properties.
        Following discussion about trailers on the former
Leek property, it was agreed to give them to Randy
Albus along with a building on the property. He will
have ten days to remove them. According to discussion,
another individual was to have removed the trailers
but failed to do so. Council, in March, sent a
certified letter informing him that he had 10 days to
remove the trailers, and they still were not moved.
        Lisa K. Armann-Blue was appointed March 6 as
clerk-treasurer at $750 a month and Michelle Williams
was hired as a part-time administrative assistant at
$375 a month. Also hired was Attorney Megan Banker to
advise on the booster station situation and other
village issues. The vote was unanimous.

<Our Readers Write

Dear Editor,
        I read the excellent article covering the Kiwanis
talent show. I’d like to congratulate all the winners,
but more importantly encourage those that did not so
call “win.”
        My daughter, Kirstin, has participated in that for
several years and did quite well.
        However, I’m not a big fan of “judged” events as it
may discourage a lot of talent we may never see.
        How would it be to do an article on some old guys
from Monroe County that have played music
professionally for over 30 years? I remember the
Beacon did an article about our band in the early 80’s
called Cliff Palace. Well, our present band, Street
Talk, has three members of that band still working
together, myself, my brother Joe, and Don Martin, all
from Monroe County.
        This makes 28 years of playing together. A fourth
member, Danny Hooper, is also from Woodsfield, and has
quite a history of playing music in the valley.
        I thought such an article could maybe encourage young
talent in the valley somehow.
        This area is terrible in encouraging and promoting
live music.
        For more information on our band, feel free to check
out our website: www.streettalkmusic.com
Mark Repco

Dear Editor,
        I believe only in Woodsfield can the person on the
parking committee be the cause of the most hazardous
and potentially deadly parking situation in the
county. I am talking about Pauline Delbrugge, of
course, allowing cars to be parked on Reservoir Hill
in front of her house.
        This is a one-lane street on a steep incline with 18
wheel tractor trailers coming straight down at you.
        When I personally approached the engineer about this
the response I got was, Pauline lives there, and her
husband parks on the street sometimes so council
allows parking there. I guess it’s all in who knows
who around here. Sad that someone is going to have to
be killed before Mrs. Delbrugge wakes up.
Michael Yonak, Jr.

Dear Editor,
        $104 billion is not small change, especially in our
current economic environment. It is the kind of money
that should make every American take pause, every
politician take a stand and everyone who cares about
children rethink the way we, as a country, think about
child abuse and neglect. A study released in January
by Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) and the
Pew Charitable Trusts calculated the economic impact
of our failure to prevent child abuse and neglect at
$103.8 billion for 2007 alone. It begs the question,
“Why aren’t we focused on preventing abuse, rather
than responding after it has occurred?” Isn’t that the
right thing to do for our children, our country and
our economy?
        The costs associated with the pervasive and
long-lasting effects of child abuse and neglect are as
undeniable as our obligation to prevent - not just
respond to - this problem. In 2007, $33 billion in
direct costs for foster care services,
hospitalization, mental health treatment, and law
enforcement were supplemented by over $70 billion in
indirect costs like loss of individual productivity,
chronic health problems, special education, and
delinquent and criminal justice services. It’s time we
re-think our public policies on prevention and child
well-being both because it makes good common sense and
because it makes ‘cents’ for our country and economy.
        What does “prevention” really mean? It means stopping
child abuse and neglect before it ever occurs. While
critical to our country’s children, we must do more
than respond to abuse and neglect through prosecution
and intervention. We must initiate and support
services and policies that focus on early child
development, and allow communities to create
conditions best suited to them that allow parents to
be the kinds of parents they want to be. Programs such
as voluntary home visiting, parent education, mental
health services and substance abuse treatment must be
in place for all families regardless of wealth, to
provide safe and healthy environments in which
children can grow.
        Prevention priorities have historically lagged behind
abuse response measures, but the winds of change
clearly have begun to blow. As our nation recognizes
April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, please take
note of the nearly half a million pinwheels that have
been distributed across the country as part of PCA
America’s national Pinwheels for Prevention campaign.
The pinwheels represent the changes that are occurring
in the belief that we know child abuse and neglect can
be prevented.
        Through its chapters in 43 states and Healthy
Families America sites in over 400 communities, PCA
America works to provide healthy, safe and nurturing
experiences for more than 100,000 families every year.
Let’s ask ourselves the same question every time we
see a pinwheel for prevention …what do we need to do
differently to stop more children from ever being
abused or neglected? We know the answer; the research
is clear. Now it’s time to do something about it. Be
part of the solution and help us create healthier and
stronger communities. For more answers, please visit
www.preventchildabuse.org and
Debbie Haney, director
Monroe County Department of
Job and Family Services

Dear Editor,
        Friends in Woodsfield. Greetings from Lower Salem
with the hope that you have wintered well and the wood
pile is holding out.
        I write to express my appreciation for your efforts
to spotlight the young people of the community in the
recent talent show. I didn’t tally pictures against
comments on the performers but it appears that
everyone got to see their name in print. Not just a
good gambit to sell newspapers but a lovely way for
kids to share of their success with family at a
distance. Whole lotta scrapbookin goin’ on.
        Thanks for the efforts and generous spirit shown.
Those who support the “Beacon” with their advertising
dollars should feel that they really got their money’s
worth this week.
        Keep up the good work of the community building.
Regards, Dave Hawkins
Lower Salem

< Obituaries (read the full obituary in the paper) 
        Ray B. Potts, 92, Sardis, died April 4, 2008, in
Wetzel County Hospital, New Martinsville, W.Va. He was
born April 12, 1915 in Duffy, a son of the late Melvin
and Anna Morrow Potts. Sympathy expressions at
        Willie F. McClennan, 92, Columbus, formerly of
Woodsfield, died March 29, 2008, in the Scioto
Retirement Community, Columbus. He was born Sept. 20,
1915, in Monroe, Tennessee, a son of the late Leslie
McClennan and Alice Borin McClellan.
        Mary Lou Gatten, 69, Woodsfield, died March 31, 2008,
at her home. She was born April 17, 1938, in Monroe
County, a daughter of the late Charles Lucas and
Bessie Piatt Lucas.     Online condolences can be
expressed at www.bauerturner.com
        Mary Jane Nalley, 90, Graysville, died April 6, 2008,
at her home. She was born Nov. 30, 1918, in Monroe
County, a daughter of the late Lorenzo Piatt and Alice
Luke Piatt Schrody.     Online condolences can be
expressed at www.bauerturner.com

<Around the Burnside

By Denny Easterling

We do not remember days, but moments. Life moves too
fast, so enjoy your precious moments.
        I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find I
have lived the length of it. I want to have lived the
width of it as well.
        I doubt if you’re interested, but I’m going to write
about kites again this week.
        Not everyone has forgotten about flying kites. In
this month’s Country Living magazine in the “Where the
action is” section I learned that on April 26 the Zane
Grey Museum is holding “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” day. The
museum is located near Norwich, Ohio.
        You can fly your own kite or try your hand at making
a kite. The cost is $7 for adults and $3 for kids. If
I needed to pay $3 to fly a kite when I was a kid, I’d
have never gotten off the ground. At any rate they
will accept donations for kite-making supplies. I
doubt if I’ll attend.
        On April 5 and 6 at West Chester, Ohio, in southwest
Ohio, the town held an “Airwaves Kite Fest.” they must
have had some expert kite flyers as they conducted
choreographed kite performances, whatever that is -
maybe dancing kites to music, who knows? They also had
big kites and make your own. No charge listed.
        Every so often I come across something I did not know
or even know existed. I like to share these things
every so often.
        Several days ago I was walking around Riesbeck’s
while Esther was going around spending our money, when
I noticed they had their seed display in place for all
those wanting seeds. One section of the display had
just about every kind of gourd you could think of and
a bunch I’d never heard of. I was not interested in
buying any seed; I’ve never planted a gourd seed in my
life. While looking over the different seed packages,
I spotted a package with the picture of a cat laying
in some grass. There it was, “Cat Grass” seed. I never
dreamed that cats loved to eat and lay in the grass.
That’s what it said. I know our cats at home would
enjoy it when I squirted milk at them when I was
milking. They held their mouth open while I squirted
the milk. They didn’t mind getting milk in their
faces; they kept coming back for more.
        I can never remember any of our cats eating grass
although I will admit I’m not what you call a cat
lover. Our cats at home made their homes in the barn
and multiplied. We did have a beautiful white cat
adopt us many years ago. One day someone came speeding
down Back Street and that was it. No more cats for a
        The Cat Grass package indicates you should plant the
grass in something flat for your cat to enjoy. I could
be wrong about cats and grass but I just can’t picture
a self-respecting cat laying in a box of grass unless
it’s waiting for a mouse to try sneaking by. Maybe the
theory is working,;you can put just about anything in
a bag with a pretty picture and someone will purchase
it. You can even buy cow manure all done up in a neat
        I mentioned something the other day about getting an
overdose of basketball; now I’m afraid withdrawal will
set in. OSU is done this evening, and the final four
is over this weekend. All that is left is
pro-basketball and I wouldn’t even waste the wear on
my TV for pro-basketball. Maybe the Know Show will
        Be more concerned with your character than your
reputation. Your character is what you really are,
while  your reputation is merely what others think you
        Well, the basketball season is over for all practical
purposes. Ohio State Buckeyes have played their last
game of the season. After an up and down year they
ended up winning their last five games and the NIT
Champion-ship. May not be the greatest thing in the
world but a good start for next year. We saw a player
in the high school tournament and he looked good plus
they also have another seven footer joining the team.
Go Bucks.
        Sixty Minutes the other evening had a section on the
question, “What is the most important thing to save
for the future?” I was a bit surprised by the answer.
It was seeds. With the modern methods of producing
crops a variety of seeds are cross bred to improve
production, and through this process the original
variety could be lost.
        For example, they indicated that approximately 80
percent of the different apple varieties have been
lost. I got to thinking, we had an apple tree in our
back yard. I have no idea the variety,;however, they
were really good eating pies and everything else you
can do with apples. We kids even started eating a few
when they were green. No belly ache. I never see these
apples anymore so I’m guessing this variety is lost
and so goes many varieties. Luckily seeds are  being
stored where there is very little danger of their
being destroyed or harmed. Lucky for us.
        Remember: The most important things in your home are
the people.
        Excuse #7: Relatives will be in attendance for those
who like to go visiting on Sunday.
        Bible readings: (Mon.) Psalm 121:1-4; From Daniel
(Tues.) 3:1-7; (Wed.) 3:8-15; (Thurs.) 3:16-23; (Fri.)
3:24-27; (Sat.) 3:28-30; (Sun.) Psalm 121:5-8.