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


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April 10 Commissioner Meeting Update:
Monroe Public Transportation Program Running into Trouble

by Arlean Selvy

Gary Ricer, executive director, GMN, and Michelle Hollins GMN, Monroe Senior Center director, spoke with Monroe County commissioners at length during an executive session held during the April 10 commissioners meeting.
Following the closed door session, Ricer spoke to the board about the Monroe County Public Transportation program, which is experiencing financial woes. MCPT Director Denise Potts told commissioners during a March 27 meeting that when GMN took over the administration of the Senior Services, her program lost $10,826 to GMN.
A subsequent meeting revealed more questions than
answers. That meeting, held in public session,
included Boyer Simcox, director, Buckeye Hills, a
representative of ODOT, Potts, Ricer, Hollins and
Potts appeared before commissioners a couple times prior to the April 10 meeting concerning funding. It appears the program has run into some trouble. Ricer noted the MCPT budget was in the black by $17,000 over the past two years and is in trouble the first quarter of 2007.
At the April 10 meeting, Ricer explained that GMN
pays MCPT $14,400 annually. We wont be changing it, he commented with regard to paying more. He said GMN is paying $2,000 more this year than last, and indicated that GMN is willing to take over the transportation program. According to Ricer, GMN would supply its own buses and indicated the same service would be available. At a prior meeting, Ricer suggested MCPT could reduce its number of days in service, thus reducing the number of drivers. Regarding the transportation program, Ricer told commissioners, Francis Sonny Block and John Pyles, that Simcox recommended GMN do it all or MCPT do it all because its becoming very complicated.
Asked by Pyles if Simcox would entertain taking over the transportation program if push comes to shove, Ricer said it is his understanding that Simcox would recommend that be done.
(GMN is contracted by Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District to administer the county's Senior Citizens program)
I think we may be able to find a solution under
the MCPT budget, said Pyles. I think we're missing
He called attention to MCPT having ten employees and 12 cell phones costing $10,000 a year.
It was agreed that MCPT Director Potts should meet with ODOT and find out what she can do to make her program work using funds available. It was recommended a second meeting be held with Potts, a representative from ODOT, Ricer, Simcox and one commissioner to sort it out. They would then come to a commissioners meeting with a recommendation.
Other business included a 45-minute executive session requested by Deb Haney, director, Jobs and Family Services, Action was taken following that session to promote Jessica Haines from eligibility referral specialist to eligibility referral supervisor. The promotion is effective April 30.
Officials entered into executive session with
Jeanette Knuchel, deputy auditor, for the purpose of
discussing personnel with regard to compensation. The meeting lasted 15 minutes and no action was taken at its conclusion.
On a motion by Pyles, a quote from Ferguson
Waterworks, Marietta, was accepted for additional
culverts in Seneca Township. The remaining culverts were possible because the companys bid for larger culverts was well under the Formula Grant amount of $20,000. The larger culverts were bid at $7,811.95 and the remaining culverts at $11,351.20. Monies left unused for this grant activity can be spent on another project and totals $836.85.
Bethel Township playground equipment also came in under estimate at $3,665.
On a motion by Block, a quote from CLV Creations,
Brunswick, for $1,135 for an extra swing set was
approved, bringing the total playground project to
$4,800. According to Mark Landefeld OSU Extension, the project was still under budget by $189.
On a motion by Pyles the additional monies will be
transferred to the Bethel E-Squad project, as that is
the only project left incomplete in a previous grant.

<New Commissioner Takes Oath
commissioner.jpg (308345 bytes)
“I am looking forward to serving the people of Monroe County and working with all the hard-working people striving to make a difference in our communities,”
said Bill Thompson, who took the oath of office of Monroe County Commissioner on April 16. Judge Walter Starr administered the oath as Thompson’s wife,
Kristine, held the Bible. Photo
by Martha Ackerman

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer

Bill Thompson of Sardis was chosen to serve as Monroe County Commissioner, replacing Commissioner Mark
Forni, who resigned to accept a position with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Thompson took the oath of office, administered by Judge Walter Starr, April 16.
The Democratic Central Com-mittee, made up of 29 Democratic elected representatives, selected Thompson to fill Forni’s unexpired term which ends
Dec. 31, 2008.
Thompson, former owner of Sardis Market and Boat Inc., is a graduate of River High School and Wheeling
Jesuit University with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
He and his wife, Kristine Miller Thompson, daughter of Jim and Ruth Ann Miller, are expecting their fourth
Thompson is a member of the Sardis United Methodist Church, a member of the Clarington Masonic Lodge and a
member of Laborer’s Local 1149, Wheeling.
His first meeting as an elected official was April 17.

<Crowned Mrs. Ohio U.S. 2007

MrsOH.jpg (200072 bytes)
Keri (Fussell) Schmelmer, the daughter of Dan and Sue
Fussell of Lewisville, was crowned Mrs. Ohio United
States 2007 on March 11. She will represent the state
of Ohio in the nationally televised Mrs. United States
pageant held in Las Vegas in July. She is shown with
her husband, Erik, and daughter, Kaylee.
Photo submitted


Crowned Mrs. Ohio U.S. 2007
Schmelmer Has Roots in Monroe County

Keri (Fussell) Schmelmer, a former Monroe County
resident, was crowned Mrs. Ohio United States 2007 on March 11 at Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington. She will represent the state of Ohio in the nationally televised Mrs. United States pageant which will be held in Las Vegas in July.
“During the next year I will implement my platform of "Exercise Bulimia,” said the new Mrs. Ohio. “Although I am a certified coordinator for the National Eating Disorder Association which permits me to put on seminars, discussing ALL eating disorders, my preference is Exercise Bulimia due to my personal experiences.
“Eating disorders affect more than 10 million
American people, which is an astounding number of
individuals. I talk about living a healthy lifestyle
through balanced, nutritious meals along with a
healthy amount of exercise. Most people, including one judge, have never heard of Exercise Bulimia or
realized it is a type of eating disorder. Also, I feel
like the first year college student needs more
education and encouragement to address their eating styles as this age group is often overlooked. For the fear of gaining the freshman 15, I became obsessed with burning more calories than I took in in a days time. It was probably one of the most difficult times of my life, facing up to the fact that I needed help. It becomes a mental condition and a disease, just like alcoholism. It is easy to deny that you have a problem but it takes a strong individual to accept her weakness and seek help for it. Without proper treatment, it can destroy ones life.  Our motto is ‘Be comfortable in your own GENES!’”
The new Mrs. Ohio and her husband, Erik, live in
Powell, Ohio, with their daughter, Kaylee. She is the daughter of Dan and Sue Fussell of Lewisville. Her grandparents are Clara Lee Leasure of Woodsfield, the late James Leasure, and the late James and Artie Fussell.
She is a graduate of Shenandoah High School, has a
undergraduate degree from Marietta College, a master’s degree from University of Dayton and is currently finishing courses for her principal’s license.

<Former Resident Honored in D.C.
cathy-jones-us-marshal.jpg (166062 bytes)
Former Monroe County resident Cathy Jones was one of
two United States Marshals Service employees who
received national recognition April 11. Shown, from
left: United States Deputy Attorney General Paul J.
McNulty, Assistant Chief Deputy Cathy J. Jones, and
United States Marshals Service Director John Clark.

Former Monroe County resident Cathy Jones was one of two United States Marshals Service employees to
receive national recognition during the April 11 U.S. Marshals Service Director’s Awards ceremony in
Washing-ton, D.C.
Assistant Chief Cathy Jones was awarded the “Leadership Beyond the Standard Award.” The award is
one of the highest awards bestowed within the United States Marshals Service.
Jones, a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Marshals Service, was recognized for her outstanding leadership and participation in the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program in the Northern District of
The national initiative focuses on preventing youth crime and gang involvement by developing a positive
relationship among law enforcement, families and young people. Currently, two deputies in the district are
certified and have worked with more than 1,500 students in five school districts.
Chief Jones has fostered relationships in support of the GREAT program with non-profit, corporate, faith-based, local law enforcement and educational
agencies. She also developed the U.S. Marshals Service budget process for the program in both Northern Ohio
and nationally.
One of the program’s most notable achievements includes a 13 percent decrease in violence as reported
by GREAT families in northern Ohio.
Recently, Chief Jones worked to help revitalize the program in New Orleans, in collaboration with the U.S. Marshals Service in the Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans Police Dept, Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office, Progressive Baptist Church, Boys and
Girls Clubs, Cal Ripken Sr. Founda-tion and local schools.
“I am truly honored to be recognized as a leader with our GREAT collaboration in the Northern District of Ohio,” said Chief Jones. “As we teach our students, we
all can be leaders professionally and personally when we dedicate ourselves to improving our leadership skills and genuinely caring for our surrounding
Chief Jones is the daughter of Keith Jones of Sardis and the late Belva Jones. She is the sister of Terry Jones of Sardis and Diana Jones of Columbus.
She is a 1987 graduate of River High School and a 1991 graduate of Ohio Dominican University, Columbus.

<Art Show in Progress at Library 

art-show.jpg (215124 bytes)

Don Jahn of Graysville, artist and helper of the Arts
Council, distributed the winning ribbons before the
“Meet the Artists” event held at the Monroe County
District Library April 7. Winning first in photography and “Best of Show” was “Morning Walk” by Guy Strickling of Woodsfield. Shown from the junk art category are Don Safreed’s “Yard Bird” which received honorable mention and “The Bird,” fashioned by Harry Moore of Clarington. There are 42 pieces of art which will be on display at the library throughout April.

Photo by Martha Ackerman

<JFS to Host an Open House

jfs-open-house.jpg (252319 bytes)
Monroe County Department of Job and Family Services will be open to the public Tuesday evening, April 24,
from 5 to 7 p.m. as the director and staff host an open house. The event has been set to better acquaint
residents with the services, for young and old, available at the agency. Shown, from left, seated:
Bill Frank, interim assistant director; Debbie Haney, new director; standing: Chris Ward, Shared supervisor; Bill Long, income supervisor; Cassie Wells, Public
Children’s Services Agency supervisor; and Michelle
Speelman, Human Resources officer. Not shown is Jeanette Knuchel who will become the new assistant
director on April 24.

Photo by Martha Ackerman

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer

The director and staff of the Monroe County Department of Job and Family Services will host an open house Tuesday, April 24 from 5 to 7 p.m.
According to Debbie Haney, recently hired director of JFS, the event is being held to better acquaint residents with the services, for young and old, available at the agency.
The public will also have the opportunity to meet the employees of Jobs and Family Services.
JFS is a combined agency and consists of four departments: Child Support, Children’s Services, Income Maintenance and the Shared Section. All
departments will be open and a representative from each department will be available to answer any
Haney will also be available for questions and comments.
“Please plan to attend our open house,” said Haney. Refreshments will be served.

< Obituaries
(read the full obituary in the paper) 

denotes veteran

< Dane Frederick Snively, 48, Powhatan Point, died April 10, 2007, at his home. He was born June 12, 1958, in Bellaire, a son of the late Fred Snively.

< Mary L. Brock, 99, Canton, died April 1, 2007, in the Canton Christian Home following a brief illness. She
was born Feb. 10, 1908, in Beallsville, a daughter of the late James R. and Evalena Stidd Thornberry.

< Mary P. Rosenlieb, 81, Bethel Rdg. Rd., New Matamoras, died April 17, 2007, at Barnesville Hospital.
Arrangements pending at Bauer-Turner Funeral Home, Woodsfield.

< Donald E. Lafferre, 78, 41601 Sandbar Rd., Lewisville, died April 12, 2007, at Marietta Memorial Hospital. He was born March 28, 1929, at Lewisville, a son of the late Howard and Wilma Stoffel Lafferre.

< Shirley Ann Swindaman, 72, Ashland, died April 7, 2007, at Hospice House in Ashland. She was born March
4, 1935, the seventh child of the late Reason W. Parks and Lavinia Scott Parks.

< Sara M. Jacobs, 67, Church St., Clarington, died April 13, 2007, at Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown,
W. Va. She was born March 13, 1940, in New Martinsville, the daughter of the late Walter Ferdinand and Lillian Elizabeth Fraley Marty.

<Around the Burnside

It is better to be poor and godly than rich and
How much better to get wisdom than gold, and
understanding than silver.
Isn’t Mother Nature just great. Just let a few early
warm days come around and it’s out on the deck
enjoying the warm evening.
On the other hand, blades of grass have been laying
around all winter just waiting. Just let a couple or
three warm days roll around and the grass seems to
say, “Come on gang, let’s get going and make the old man get the mower out and start cutting our hair!”
I was extremely lucky this year, as I turned the key
and pulled the choke, my mower started right up. I
better not brag as this was the first mowing.
Then what happens? The old boy up north sees what’s happening and decides to slow things down and give the old man a little delay with his mower. He throws in a number of days, near freezing, to disrupt several well made plans and also throws in a few dips of snow for good measure.
This isn’t all bad because it gives us something to
talk about for years to come plus there will be plenty of time to mow our lawns.
Well, we had our Easter snow just about everyone said was coming. Now maybe things will be starting to warm up, then we can complain how hot it is and how fast the grass is growing.
Basketball season is over except for the pros and I
don’t bother with it as it isn’t really basketball.
The boys high school State tournament was probably the best for the last several years, if a close game makes it interesting.
I have watched and been involved in boys high school basketball games over the last 35 plus years. I wouldn’t even try to figure how many. During the boys tournament this year something happened I’d never seen before and it really made me feel good.
In Division IV, Harvest Preparatory was one of the
four teams to make it to the final four in the
division. I understand it is a school of the American
Harvest Church with 77 boys in the upper three grades. They came to the tournament undefeated.
Their semi-final game was against Holgate, a team
from northwest Ohio, averaging in the 30’s both on
offense and defense.
The game was well played by both teams as the lead changed several times and ended 40 all. After two overtimes Harvest Prep was the winner 55-51. Then it happened.
The Harvest team joined the Holgate team in a circle, with their arms around each other for a prayer. Would you believe, the fans who were still in the stands talking, saw what was going on, got quiet and there was not a sound until the prayer was over. What an experience. This and we have a few who object to “under God” in our pledge and have a prayer in school and some think the roof will cave in. Whatever happened to majority rules?
The Harvest team lost to Georgetown 76-66, an
undefeated team that was overlooked in the state
rankings. They have 121 boys in the upper three
grades. However, they were fortunate to beat Hiland 41-40 in the semi games.
A little note regarding the captain of the Harvest
team who moved back to the area with his mother
because of his loyalty to the school and his friends.
They had moved out of the area due to his father being re-assigned to another area. He indicated as captain, it was his job to prepare and share a sermon with the team before each game.
Some might say this is carrying things a bit too far
but how in the world could you criticize something
like this? Yet there are those who want to fire the
coach when he joins the circle of his players offering a prayer.
Teacher: boys and girls, there is a wonderful example in the life of an ant. Every day the ant goes to work and works all day. Every day the ant is busy. And in the end, what happens?”
Johnny: ‘Someone steps on him.”
Caution is a most valuable asset in fishing,
especially if you are the fish.
Question of the week; How many tons of food do
Americans throw away each day? 44,000 tons.
Do you wear a wrist watch? If you do and are like me
and happen to forget to wrap it around your wrist, I
feel I’m not fully dressed.
I’ve owned a talking wrist watch for years. In fact
when I was teaching at Skyvue I had the alarm, a song,
set exactly when the bell rang at the end of the
eighth period. This caused some interesting happenings
over the years.
I’m not sure how long I’ve owned my present talking
watch. I think I’ve worn out a couple of bands and one
battery over the years. I know this sounds stupid but
I become attached to my watch, it’s like an old
friend. What happens if your watch goes kaput, which
mine did. I’m running out of space. See next week.
The person whose conscience never troubles them, must
have it pretty well trained.
Bible readings: (Mon.) Colossians 1:3-8; (Tues.)
Psalm 121; (Wed.) Psalm 3; (Thurs.) Psalm 34:1-10;
(Fri.) Revelation 3:7-13; (Sat.) Revelation 7:1-3,
9,10; (Sun.) Revelation 7:11-17.