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


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January 24, 2008 Edition

<Seven File for Seat on Board of Monroe County Commissioners

Seven individuals have filed for seats on the Board
of Monroe County Commissioners, including incumbents
Francis E. Block (D) Woodsfield, and Bill Thompson (D)
of Sardis. Others filing were Jon C. Gramlich (D)
Beallsville; Paul D. Ferguson (R) Jerusalem; John S.
Christman (D) Woodsfield; Carl Davis (D) Lewisville
and Tim Price (D) Sardis.
Others filing for office are:
Judy Gramlich (D) Beallsville, treasurer; Walter
Starr (D) Lewisville, probate judge; Chuck Black
(D),Woodsfield, sheriff; Lonnie Tustin (D) Woodsfield,
engineer; Beth Ann Rose (D) Graysville, clerk of
courts; Martha Louise Reid (D) Woodsfield, recorder;
Lynn Riethmiller (D) Clarington, prosecuting attorney;
William Moore, Woodsfield, State Central Committee.
The following have filed for Democratic Central
Certified candidates: Ann Block, Malaga West; Danford
Carpenter, Seneca; Stanley Carpenter, Franklin; Rose
Marie Hyer, Ohio N; Manifred Keylor, South A; Cheryl
J. Piatt, South C; Herman Zerger, South B.
Filed/not certified: James P. Beaver, Benton; Jon L.
Gramlich, Beallsville; Dale L. Parks, Bethel; John V.
Pyles, Lee S; Carl R. Wayt, Green; John O. Curtis, Lee
N; Dean Gramlich, Sunsbury; Scott O. Hartshorn, Wayne;
Mark A. Forni, Center S; Heber D. Piatt, Washington;
Christine L. Kilburn, Summit; Dale W. Dietrich,
Benton; Amy S. Brown, Perry; Lois Luikart, Ohio S;
Rita McCaslin, Center N; Sandra Dietrich, Salem;
Virgil Ritchie, Jackson; Carol Hehr, Woodsfield N.
The following filed for the Republican Central
Certified candidates: Betty Edgington, Washington;
Norma Williams, Perry.
Filed/not certified: Roger W. Claus, Malaga West;
Pere F. Seward, Seneca; Betty A. Schultheis, Lee N;
Wayne Smith, South A; Mitchell Schumacher, Woodsfield
N; Paul D. Ferguson, Malaga East.

< Members Named to Monroe County Airport Authority

Sworn in as members of Monroe County Airport
Authority last week were, from left, Larry Fisher,
Charlie Brooks, John Curtis and Tom LaFollette
(inset). Administering the oath was County Court Judge
Jim Peters.  Photo by Arlean Selvy

by Arlean Selvy
Tempers may not have been flying at the Jan. 15
meeting of Monroe County commissioners, but
allegations were. A delegation of persons interested
in the airport attended the meeting, and County Court
Judge Jim Peters administered the oath of office to
newly appointed airport authority board members.
Appointed and sworn in were Charlie Brooks and John
Curtis. Reappointed was Larry Fisher. Later in the
day, Tom LaFollette was appointed to replace Gary
Cook announced his resignation to officials,
commenting that as long as Fisher is on the board
there will be problems.
John Fogle, who operates J&S Flying Service, located
at the airport, spoke to commissioners about the
original appointments. He said he did not believe they
were in the best interest of the airport. He did,
however note that Brooks may do a good job. He also
told officials that he will be able to work with the
board members.
"John [Fogle] has done a lot [for the airport] and
saved us a lot of money," said Cook. He said Fogle
has spent his own time and money and even changed the
locks with his own money. Cook said Fogle is the
greatest asset of the airport.
According to Jeanette Harter, who works with the
airport in the capacity of secretary-treasurer, a high
percentage of the fuel sales at the airport are from
Fogle's customers.
With attendees indicating that some airport board
members are not pilots, Commissioner John Pyles said
he called other airport boards and not all members of
those boards are pilots either. "We made the choice,"
he said, with regard to appointments.
Some of those attending were unhappy with the
reappointment of Fisher. There were allegations that
he has caused discontent.
Pyles read a list, submitted by Fisher, of airport
projects with which he said he'd worked.
"I think the airport is going in a pretty good
direction ..." said one commissioner.
"I have faith in Curtis and Brooks and the rest of
the board," said Pyles, noting there is an agenda and
a five-year plan.
"This is a mistake," commented Fogle.
Also speaking to commissioners were Don Pollock, who
served on the airport authority for 15 years; a
licensed mechanic with J&S Flying Service, Tom
LaFollette, a pilot who keeps his plane at the
airport, and Wayne Forshey, a pilot and owner of an
airplane business.
Forshey distributed brochures describing the value of
a local airport and voiced complaints about Fisher's
Pyles apologized to Fisher. "I hate it you had to sit
through gang-up-on Larry day, he said, adding,
"Larry, I think you'll do well."
"I hope we can work together and make good things
happen," said Block.

<Clarington Council Begins Year With New Mayor, New Members

Clarington Village Council held its Jan. 10 meeting
with a new mayor, two new council members and, most
importantly, good news about the Sykes Ridge - Fish
Pot Water Project.
Lida Conn was administered the oath of office as
village mayor on Dec. 18 by County Court Judge James
Peters. The ceremony took place at his office in
Woodsfield. Conn replaces long-time mayor Jeff Morris,
who opted not to run for office.
Sworn in at the Jan. 10 meeting as council members
were Joe Smigill, a local businessman; and Marvin
Jacobs, a retired professor.
Council accepted the resignation of Dan Koher as
councilman. He had served as council president pro
tempore. Elected to serve as council president pro tem
was Jan Dierkes.
Judy Wiggins, retired, a former business office
employee at Ormet, is currently serving the village as
According to Bill Brake, project manager, Brake
Engine-ering, Sardis, the Sykes Ridge - Fish Pot water
project is nearly completed.
According to Mayor Conn, persons wishing to have
water hook-ups should sign up with Mary Jo Westfall at
the OSU Extension office, located on the ground floor
of the courthouse. According to Mayor Lida Conn, there
is a tap fee. However much of the fee will be paid
through a grant and the cost is determined by
household income.
The next regular council meeting is scheduled for 7
p.m. on Feb. 7. Meetings are held at the Municipal

<By-Laws Adopted for EMS Assn.

Ohio Billing, which submitted the only bid for
billing for emergency squad runs, was hired last week
by Monroe County commissioners, who were also given a
copy of the by-laws accepted by the EMS Association.

Dave Kuhn, EMSA coordinator, recommended Ohio
He said the association will pay the set up fee of
$2,770 which is equal to $462 per squad. Ohio Billing
will be paid $35 per run with entry to the State and
$30 if the run is not submitted to the state. Runs not
submitted for the State Reporting System by Ohio
Billing would have to be submitted by the squad making
that particular run. Otherwise, according to
discussion, the squad would not be eligible for grant
Kuhn reported the EMS association by-laws were
accepted at the recent meeting. The vote was five
squads in favor and Beallsville Squad abstained.
Concerning the association, Kuhn requested an
executive session to discuss personnel with regard to
disciplinary action. The meeting, which included Larry
Paine, lasted 35 minutes. No action was taken.
A contract for rental of space in the fire house for
Sardis E-squad was approved. Rent will be $200 a
Matt Brake, E-911 project coordinator, Swiss Valley
Associates, Sardis, spoke to commissioners about
implementation of Phase I Wireless E-911.
He reported the county has updated the computer aided
dispatch (CAD) software and is in the process of
installing the computer premise equipment. Training on
the equipment is scheduled for Feb. 19-22.
In other business, Commission President John Pyles
was named to the Issue 2 sub-committee and
Commissioner Francis �Sonny� Block is alternate.
Names to the Buckeye Hills public sector committee
was John Curtis. It was noted Curtis has served on the
board for 21 years.
Named as alternate on the RC&D Board was Brad Miller.

<Opinions, Pro and Con, Expessed About Improvements at Old WHS

by Arlean Selvy
Switzerland of Ohio school board and district
administration were targets of both cheers and jeers
as attendees of the Jan. 17 meeting expressed opinions
about improvements made to the former Woodsfield High
Among the thank you notes was a letter written and
signed by the seventh graders at Woodsfield
Elementary. It was read to the board by Dick Yoss, who
also presented a check in the amount of $957.32, from
volunteers who participated in a Haunted House at
Woodsfield High School. The check represents the
amount donated by visitors to the event. A letter from
Richele Brown, representing the volunteers, was also
read by Yoss. Volunteers asked that the money be used
for �something that can be visually seen in the
auditorium.� Brown wrote, �This would allow the
efforts of the volunteers, and donations of the
visitors to the Haunted House, to be proudly displayed
and may help lead to similar events for additional
facility improvements.�
In a letter read by Jack Keylor from the WHS Alumni
Association and concerned citizens, board members were
thanked for accepting the responsibility for
maintaining the WHS facility. �Granted, we would all
much prefer a new facility for our students,� they
wrote, �but since we are unable to pass a building
levy as of yet, we must maintain the facilities that
are being used by our students. It is time that the
WHS building gets its fair share of maintenance.�
The letter notes approval for the new roof at the
facility as well as ongoing repairs and painting being
done by volunteers. He cited the building�s use by
Woodsfield Elementary and Monroe Central High School
The letter also noted grievances filed by individuals
who work for the district. �We�re not sure we
understand the reasoning behind this,� they wrote.
�The district is not spending any money on labor, they
are not laying off anyone, and no jobs are in
jeopardy.� The letter questioned how the volunteer
work is different from the work done through the
summer youth program. �We would like to publicly ask
these individuals to reconsider,� they wrote. �All the
district is doing is making a building safer and more
attractive for our students with as little cost as
possible to our taxpayers, since the labor is free.�
In response to the question about grievances, Harold
Dietrich, OAPSE Local 41 president, said the volunteer
work is work district employees would otherwise be
Ryan Caldwell, principal at Beallsville High School,
said that new buildings are a dream. �We�ve made a lot
of improvements at Beallsville,� he said, noting it
has been done by volunteers. He said this goes a long
way and makes you feel better.
�Why stop a volunteer?� he asked.
Speaking against permanent improvement expenditures
at WHS was Linda Josefczyk. �I am an employee of the
Switzerland of Ohio school district and a taxpayer of
the district,� she said. �If any of you have ever seen
the movie Money Pit, I think that would summarize what
I think about the [WHS] building. I understand the
students deserve a real building ?and I am aware this
building is still in use by many groups ? but I think
the decision to open it for use by Monroe Central
ninth graders is a poor choice.�
Josefczyk advocated new schools for each area of the
district. �After several months of work by groups of
citizens in all of the communities, a proposal was
adopted by the board almost a year ago outlining the
cost of new buildings ? and what type bond issue would
have to be approved by the voters.� She said no one
has heard anything else about it.
�We have good teachers and good things going on in
the schools that we have, but we don�t have the
opportunity or ability to offer extras to the
students, so that they, [as students in surrounding
school districts], will have an edge on others when
they reach the outside world.� said Josefczyk. �If the
board and others in the community would spend as much
effort on passing a bond issue as they have in trying
to split the schools or reopen WHS, I feel that there
wouldn�t be a question if a future bond issue would
Wilma Winkler thanked the board for replacing the
roof on the Cameron Annex.
Kim Hawthorn spoke to the board about the size of the
third grade class in Beallsville. Larry Elliott,
district superintendent, said it is his intent to
split the class and hire a long-term substitute
teacher for half of the students. The teacher, he
said, was scheduled to start Jan. 22.
Approved was an overnight field trip for Monroe
Central marching band to New York City from June 12
through June 16. In addition to the band director,
Jack Skidmore, and Missy Skidmore, about 26 students
are expected to attend along with 15 parents who will
An overnight field trip was also approved for the
Talented and Gifted class to the 2008 Ohio Legislative
Summit competition on April 10-12 at Salt Fork Lodge
in Cambridge. The Summit is a simulation of the Ohio
House of Representatives, and is a competition for
sixth through eighth grade. It exposes students to the
inner workings of the legislative system.
The board was notified by the office of the Attorney
General that the cost of a BCI background check has
increased from $15 to $22 effective Jan. 1.
According to Kevin Robert-son, treasurer, the
district charges $20 for the check. It was recommended
that the fee be increased to $30. The fee is paid by
the person whose background is being checked.

<Scott Dierkes Elected School Board President

On a motion by Ron Winkler, Scott Dierkes was elected
at the Jan. 7 organizational meeting to serve as
president of the Switzerland of Ohio school board.
Jeff Williamson, also nominated by Winkler ,was
elected to serve as vice-president.
The board agreed to continue holding regular meetings
on the third Thursday of each month at the Central
Office, Mill Street, beginning at 6 p.m.
Winkler was appointed to serve as 2008 OSBA
Legislative Liaison. He was also appointed to serve as
Student Achievement Liaison.
The Bridgeport firm of Fregiato, Myser & Davies,
Attorneys at law, was hired to provide legal counsel.
Following are board committees, with the chairperson
listed first: police, Ed Carleton, Teresa Gallagher;
transportation, Dier-kes, Winkler; finance/audit,
Williamson, Dierkes; labor management, Williamson,
Dierkes, athletic, Winkler, Williamson; curriculum and
textbook, Dier-kes, Gallagher; business advisorye,
Dierkes, Williamson; insurance, Winkler, Williamson;
negotiations, Dierkes, Winkler, Carle-ton, Williamson;
communications, Carleton, Williamson; levy strategy,
Dierkes, Gallagher; discipline, Gallagher, Winkler;
technology, Carleton, Gallagher and building and
grounds committee, Carleton and Winkler.

<Our Readers Write

Dear Editor,
Response to Mr. Hilbert (Monroe County Beacon, Jan.
16, 2008).
Mr. Hilbert, it appears you have fixed blame for the
current budgetary issues on the employees of the
Switzerland of Ohio School District and their unions.
Are you suggesting that the employees here are
A little research on your part would have revealed
that employees in our school district are among the
lowest paid in the state and that pay raises over the
last 25 years are largely a result of retirement and
resignations that have not been filled. In fact, the
percent of the school budget paid for salaries has
remained roughly the same since union officials began
bargaining contracts for the employees nearly 40 years
ago. All of this in a county where property taxes are
among the lowest in the state and in a district where
no new taxes (only renewals) have been levied in 20
years. How much sacrifice do you desire? I think your
tax dollars have been extraordinarily well spent in a
district that is geographically the largest in the
state and where the last new construction in the
district took place in the early 70�s. Do you really
think, Mr. Hilbert, that rescinding recent pay raises,
amounting to little more than the cost of living, will
somehow increase the employees� motivation?
Thankfully, the state legislature has begun to
address the unconstitutionality of the funding for
schools in Ohio and new monies have found their way
into the district. Otherwise the proposed budget
deficits would be even larger. The majority of the
monies in our school budget are from state and federal
sources. Local financial support for our school
district has been on a continual decline for the last
30 years and with it local control as well. Because of
this, the solutions you so critically desire must be
found with our state legislators who have assumed the
major responsibility for our district�s well-being.
Local board members and administration have little
flexibility in plotting the course of instruction.
It also appears, Mr. Hilbert, that your financial
wishes will soon be fulfilled. Enrollment in our
district continues to decline. Communities continue to
dry up. The demand for education resources is bound to
decline and your tax dollars will be preserved.
Clearly, families wishing to provide their children
with the best of opportunities will continue to leave
Monroe County and graduates will leave for better jobs
elsewhere. Ironically, they only need to look a short
distance to find communities who have invested in
their youth. I applaud the communities Bridgeport,
Martins Ferry, Bellaire, Barnesville, Frontier and
Union Local who have provided outstanding facilities
that are bound to attract businesses and families to
locate there.
I also applaud the loyal employees of our school
district who sacrifice daily for this community since
salaries are almost higher anywhere in the state. The
expression greedy school employee in our mind is an
oxymoron. It is through their dedication that students
graduating from our district continue to be
competitive with other students, but for how long.
We have tolerated conditions in Monroe County by
saying to ourselves: �It�s a good place to raise
kids.� But I suggest to you, there are many places
left in Ohio where this is true and also have
tremendous facilities as well. Places where the youth
of our society can be proud of the opportunities their
community have given them.
As a recent retiree of the school district (a
wonderful 35 years), it is difficult to continue to
endorse the conditions that exist for students in our
district and sadly, as others (future teachers and
parents) inquire of me, I must say to them: �You can
do better elsewhere.�
Mark Miracle

Dear Editor,
Monroe County Sheriff�s Department is to be praised
for their quick response. In December on Saturday
night at 10 p.m., the siren was gong off at a house on
SR 255 of a possible robbery.
The Sheriff�s Department and I were notified.
Deputy Truax arrived within a few minutes. Everything
was checked out and the problem taken care of.
Dale Riggenbach

< Obituaries (read the full obituary in the paper) 

Clyde Victor Merckle, 92, died Jan. 1, 2008, at his
home in Surprise, Arizona. He was born April 25, 1915
at Fly, a son of Samuel J. and Blanche Hissom Merckle.
He married Margaret Evelyn Lehman, Dec. 28, 1936. She
died June 2, 1971.

Ruth B. Young, 81, Ravenna, died Jan. 21, 2008, at
Bonnie McClusky�s Care Home in Rootstown. She was born
Jan. 14, 1927, in Beallsville, a daughter of the late
Arlie and Bertha Stoehr Hudson.

Vera Viola Fankhauser Logs-ton, 90, Clarington, died
Jan. 18, 2008, in Wheeling Medical Park Hospital. She
was born May 10, 1917 in Clarington, a daughter of the
late Harry and Viola Berkey Fankhauser.

<Around the Burnside

By Denny Easterling

Justice is a joy to the godly, but it causes dismay
among evildoers.
The person who strays from common sense will end up
in the company of the dead.
I am not a fan of professional football, in fact, I
watch very little until play-off time and I think,
according to those who check on this, the Super Bowl
has many million folks turning on their TVs.
Then again, I�m not a big fan of any professional
sport, even watching race cars speeding around in
circles does not do much for me. Nothing against those
who do, as everyone to their own enjoyment.
I am, however, a fan of high school and college
sports and as you know Ohio State�s Football team is
probably the top of my list as college teams go.
As strange as it might seem, when I was attending
OSU, I can remember attending only one football game,
even the year I purchased a season ticket for $11.50.
I think I attended one game. I made the trip back home
nearly every weekend because a little old country boy
didn�t care for the big city.
I remember one weekend a prof required our class to
stay over the weekend and set out head lettuce. A few
roots got pinched off during our planting.
I guess I�m kind of a nut when it comes to the
Buckeye teams. In fact, I have a sweatshirt and a long
sleeved T-shirt I sleep in that has �I�m Nuts About
Buckeyes� printed on the front even if those who live
in that state up north say that buckeyes are worthless
nuts. They may be almost correct about the buckeyes
growing on trees but I still carry a couple in my
pocket for good luck.
The Buckeyes lost the BCS Championship game for the
second year in a row. A disappointment, yes, the end
of the world, no. Just about every team in Division I
would give anything to trade places.
Little things made a difference. If the Buckeye
player had blocked the punt, he came close and ran for
a touchdown things might have turned out differently.
He didn�t, so who knows.
Sunday both of the teams picked to win by just about
all the so called experts lost. In both games a
mistake causing a penalty might have influenced the
outcome. These are professional players making
salaries in the six or seven figure area, they too
make mistakes.
Why do some sportswriters make such a big deal when a
young man who has been out of high school a couple or
so years be such a terrible thing? It didn�t happen on
purpose although I wonder sometimes about professional
The thing I enjoyed was four so called experts during
the pre-game show all picked Dallas Cowboys to win and
told why they would win. After the game nothing was
said except why they lost.
It�s all right to sit on your pity pot every now and
then. Just be sure to flush when you are done.
Where were these guys about 65 years or more ago? A
couple of state lawmakers gave testimony this Tuesday
regarding House Bill 406.
What is this bill? It would outlaw paddling as a
means of punishment to discipline students. I
understand there are only 17 districts in the state
still administer the paddle. I�m not sure if
Switzerland of Ohio is one of these districts.
I do know it was in effect when I taught at Skyvue.
There were times when even a high school student felt
the board of education. I even recall at the first
school I taught, a senior who had already received his
diploma felt the board on the last day of school
during an all school picnic.
Even in high school we could hear a whack, whack,
whack coming from the office. I was lucky I never got
One thing those who are giving testimony call it
beating a student. I never considered a paddling a
beating. I�m not sure how you feel regarding the use
of the paddle, right or wrong it was an effective
method of keeping me and my buddies on the straight
and narrow. (Most of the time.)
One of the legislators in favor inducted 500 students
were paddled last year compared to 68,000 twenty years
ago. I guess 29 states have this law at the present
You know you are living in 2008 if you pull up in
your driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone
is home to carry in the groceries.
The weather man is at it again. He�s telling us more
snow and a couple of days of low, low temperature.
Very little you can do about it except talk. Some say
the older you get the deeper the snow gets and the
farther you had to walk to school.
Surviving and living your life successfully requires
courage. The goals and dreams you�re seeking require
courage and risk-taking. Learn from the turtle, it
only makes progress when it sticks its neck out.
Attend church Sunday? OK!
Bible readings: (Mon.) Psalm 78:1-4; From Luke
(Tues.) 9:1-20; (Wed.) 10:1-3; (Thurs.) 10:4-7; (Fri.)
10:8-12; (Sat.) 10:17-20; (Sun.) Psalm 66:5-12.