P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH 43793
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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
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
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
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.
Commissioner Takes Oath
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
said Bill Thompson, who took the oath of office of Monroe County
Commissioner on April 16. Judge Walter Starr administered the oath as
Kristine, held the Bible. Photo
by Martha Ackerman
by Martha Ackerman
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
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.
Mrs. Ohio U.S. 2007
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.
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
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
Resident Honored in D.C.
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
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
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
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
Chief Jones has fostered relationships in support of the GREAT program
with non-profit, corporate, faith-based, local law enforcement and
agencies. She also developed the U.S. Marshals Service budget process
for the program in both Northern Ohio
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
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
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
to Host an Open House
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
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
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
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.
(read the full obituary in the paper)
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.