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 $1 with your name/address to P.O. Box 70, Woodsfield, OH  43793.


<Junior High Students Make Outdoor Classroom a Reality
skyvue-outdoor-classroom.jpg (437023 bytes)
This group of Skyvue Elementary students have spearheaded the Skyvue Outdoor Classroom project which includes a nature trail, tree identification markers, benches, foot bridges and wildlife boxes and food plots. Shown, from left, with their pamphlet explaining their venture are Melissa Stimpert, Jennifer Hayes, Madison Bettinger, Kelsey Parks; back, Rodney Pittman, Daniel Matz and Cass Clift.
Photo by Martha Ackerman

by Martha Ackerman
Staff Writer

It's a project that had gone by the wayside until some industrious young Skyvue Elementary students and an advisor decided to make a difference. The result is the Skyvue Outdoor Classroom project which has made great strides in the last two years because of student leaders.
Last year's seventh grade students, Melissa Stimpert, Jennifer Hayes, Rodney Pittman and Cass Clift, along with eighth grader Zack Matz, initiated the project with their advisor Brad Miller, a teacher at Skyvue.

Now eighth graders, Melissa, Jennifer, Rodney and Cass have chosen three seventh grade students, Madison Bettinger, Kelsey Parks and Daniel Matz, who they feel will help them achieve their goals and continue enhancing the project. The students have already cleared the existing nature trail which was covered with briars and weeds. They have big plans for the area which has already been expanded and they ultimately want to extend the trail farther into the seven acre area around the school.

According to the brochure the students have developed, their vision for the outdoor classroom includes a mulched nature trail free of brush and debris, tree identification markers, concrete benches, refuse cans, foot bridges where needed, forest management planning, wildlife habitat enhancement including squirrel, bat and butterfly boxes, bird nesting boxes, wildlife food plots and a bird and butterfly garden. Plans include a pavilion with seating and writing surfaces for 50 students and a sign recognizing all the donors.

Sounds like a large project for just a few students but, so far, they have raised approximately $5,500 for their project. They attribute much of their successful fundraising to Tammy Jones of Monroe Soil and Water. Chad Hammond and Carl Davis, also of Monroe Soil and Water, are also helping out. But Jones credits the students for their efforts.

"When I pictured this project, I never imagined how much the students were getting out of it. It is truly a student-led project," said Jones, who has helped the group receive grants from Buckeye Hills Resource Conservation and Development and Wal-Mart. The students also received a $2,500 donation from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. A representative from this organization had attended the 2006 Soil and Water Annual Meeting where students spoke and explained their project and asked for support. "I think they got the donation because this man saw how involved these students are in the project," added Jones. "They are developing good communication skills with this project.
"The students had a kick-off day, made contacts and attended training sessions at Oglebay's Nature Center for ideas and guidance," said Jones. They have two more sessions planned at Oglebay. The tree identification markers were done by MACO Workshop and the brackets were made by the Swiss Hills welding class. Rich Libby of Industrial Paint and Strip had the brackets coated and even sent them away for finishing.

With the use of a Wayne Township truck, Carl Davis, a former member of the Monroe County Flood Crew, hauled seven dump truck loads of mulch to the area. The students have also received help from Sharon Mallett through the Talented and Gifted Program. According to the student organizers, the pavilion will be constructed by Bob Dougherty's Swiss Hills Junior Construction Class. The funds raised are administered through Kevin Robertson, Switzerland of Ohio Local School District treasurer.

"These kids are doing a tremendous job," said their advisor. "They organize and lead the other kids and have accomplished so much!" Students will be out and about soliciting additional funds soon. They appreciate any help they receive for their Outdoor Classroom which will be utilized by kindergarten through eighth grade teachers at Skyvue.

The facility will also be used for various activities including math and science, language and visual arts and social studies. This interactive environment will give students an opportunity to learn through a hands-on medium.

All this has been accomplished through the vision and hard work of a handful of students. What a wonderful example of determination and foresight they have exhibited to the whole county!

<Duffy Emergency Route Slips
 lee-twp.-slip.jpg (649036 bytes)

This photo, taken March 5, shows the slippage of Lee Township Road 2758, an emergency route for residents of the Duffy Run area, which is shut off during flooding. The slide took an estimated 80 feet of roadway over the hill and covered a portion of Baptist Ridge Road (CR96) with mud, rocks and debris. According to Lee Twp. Clerk Kevin Winkler, earth was still moving on March 9.
Photo courtesy Lee Twp. Trustees

A Lee Township road used as an emergency ingress -egress is closed due to a slide and county commissioners have directed township trustees to take immediate action regarding repair.
Pat Martie and Dave Cay-wood, Lee Township trustees, reported at the commissioners' March 8 meeting that about 80 feet of TR 2758, including a culvert, slid down the hill and covered Baptist Ridge Road (CR96).

The township road is used as an emergency route for 35 to 40 residents of the Duffy Run area. According to Caywood, when Duffy Run floods, the township road is the only way out for those residents. Likewise, if emergency vehicles are needed when the run floods, the township road must be used. It is also used by mail carriers.

The township road leads into Duffy from Baptist Ridge Road. County Commissioner Mark Forni directed the trustees to contact Larry Bicking of the Ohio Public Works Commission, with regard to emergency funding. Trustees were urged to draft a letter describing the situation, including information about the site and the work that must be done to replace the portion of roadway.

County Commissioner John Pyles, who viewed the site earlier, estimated the cost to be at least $25,000. An official estimate cannot be obtained until the land stops moving. It was noted that a contractor has been notified to inspect the area and report cost estimates.

According to an employee at the County Garage, Baptist Ridge Road had been cleared by Friday (March 9) but remained closed due to safety concerns. Employee Bruce Jones said there are still some "big rocks" that may come down, and there remains the possibility of more slippage. Jones said the county hauled 130 dump truck loads of debris off Baptist Ridge Road. He noted, too, that there were (on Friday) still some large rocks that would "have to be busted to haul away."

<Abele Assigned to Monroe

wildlife-officer.jpg (320466 bytes)



State Wildlife Officer Jared Abele began his assignment in Monroe County in November, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. Jared filled the vacancy left by the promotion of Jay Abele to Wildlife Officer Supervisor. Officer Jared Abele, a graduate of the 2003 Wildlife Officer Academy, was previously assigned to Erie County as well as an at-large officer in southwest Ohio. The move to Monroe County brought Jared and his family closer to home.

He is a graduate of Philo High School and Hocking College. He began his employment with the Division of Wildlife while working as a range attendant at the Woodbury Wildlife Area Shooting Range.

Growing up on a farm with deep traditions in hunting and fishing, Jared has always known he wanted to work with wildlife. Why did he choose to become a wildlife officer?

"Watching my brother and cousin become officers and hearing how much they enjoyed their work helped to guide my decision to apply for the Officer Academy," said Abele.
An avid bowhunter, he enjoys checking hunters in the field and getting the chance to meet and talk with Ohio's sportsmen.

"A Wildlife Officer has a unique position in the community, working to uphold and pass along the hunting heritage," said Jared. "I am enjoying my assignment in Monroe County. The people and the County and the court has been very easy to work with," added the wildlife officer. Officer Abele can be contacted at 740-589-9989.

<Fairboard Projects Described

by Arlean Selvy

Commendations and information concerning the fairgrounds were brought to county commissioners last week by officers of the fairboard, who gave an extensive report on projects.

John Ackerman, fairboard president, thanked commissioners and Woodsfield's Municipal Power and Street Departments for their cooperation. Noting a recent meeting attended by himself and Jason Clutter, fairboard vice-president, Ackerman said,
"This spirit of cooperation is not seen throughout the state." Ackerman commented that the cooperation of the village, its utilities, county officials and the people is what keeps the fair going.

Commissioners appropriated $9,249.60 to the fairboard this year. Ackerman and Clutter told officials they are not asking for the funding until after the first quarter. "It will make the cash flow better for county, and we really don't need [the money] right now," said Ackerman.

He said about $16,000 will be needed in April to pay insurance. With regard to other financial matters, it was reported that the fairgrounds are now in EPA compliance. The over $50,000 project to bring it into compliance involved removing hundreds of tires and reclaiming an area near the horse arena. The board is still paying on a $24,000 reclamation loan.

Ackerman said the board is considering mobile type restrooms that look like semi trailers. Noting it is not feasible to purchase the units and use them only a few months a year, he suggested a joint purchase and the units could be used for events such as firemen's festivals. He explained the units are custom built, self contained and can be moved.

They reported the restrooms in the Show Barn will be cleaned and painted and hand sanitizers and dryers will be installed. The Henri Coulson Building is being renovated. The project includes a new roof, a modern heating system which can accommodate air conditioning in the future, remodeling of the kitchen, non-slip floors and new tables and chairs. Ackerman indicated the work is being done in part "through the efforts of 4-H, " which holds fundraisers. Other projects on the agenda include placing handrails at the grandstands and painting the inside fence silver. Ackerman also mentioned the need to replace the board's old truck.

Ackerman commented on the recent loss of Paul Rowley. "We lost an important member when Paul died," he said. Rowley had served on the fairboard for 34 years. "He had a project list for the next five years," said Ackerman, noting the group had discussed the list at their last meeting in January.

Approved for employment on the Flood Crew, with the recommendation of Janet Henthorn, WIA director, were John Pitts, Brian Thomas, Burl Collins, Tracey Mellott, Christine Eilert, Duane Potts, Randy Albus, Ray Ault, Kyle Rush, Ocie Carpenter, Michael Conger, Leona Lucas, David Allison, William Covert and Mickial Morris.

According to Commissioner Mark Forni, the crew will work for only a short time. He noted there is expected to be some training by the Fish and Wildlife Dept.

An executive session lasting an hour and 20 minutes ended with the hiring of a Social Services Worker II employee for the Department of Jobs and Family Services. Hired was Barnesville resident Heather Stephensen. Employment is effective March 4 pending successful background investigation. In addition,

Board President Francis 'Sonny' Block signed documents which place Debbie Haney in the full-time position of JFS Director effective March 5.

Officials read a letter of resignation from Sylvia Bowen Koogler as a member of Monroe County District Library Board of Directors. In her letter, Koogler suggested two individuals who would do well in fulfilling the remainder of her term.
Commissioners thanked the county Park District Board of Directors for not charging rent for storage of county records at the Park Board's facility.

< Obituaries
(read the full obituary in the paper) 

denotes veteran

<Janet Rose Keevert, 68, 851 Westview Dr., Woodsfield, died March 2, 2007, at Wetzel County Hospital, New Martinsville. She was born Jan. 29, 1939, at Woodsfield, a daughter of the late Tom and Helen Feiber Keylor.

<Dempsey H. Farnsworth, 77, 47300 Bean Rdge. Rd., Summerfield, died Feb. 26, 2007, at Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center, Cambridge. He was born March 4, 1929, near Calais, a son of the late Hobert and Florence Stephens Farnsworth.
<Dorothy F. Lyons, 72, Belmont, died Feb. 27, 2007, at OVMC, Wheeling, W. Va. She was born Nov. 21, 1934, in Spencer, W. Va., a daughter of the late Willie and Mary (Runions) Hughes.
<Laura R. Hamilton Bach, 95, Woodsfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Woods-field, formerly of Lewisville, died Feb. 28, 2007, at the center. She was born July 1, 1911, at Jackson's Ridge, Woodsfield, a daughter of the late Thomas Roy and Evaline May Wohnhas Hamilton.

<Lenzy R. Darrah, Jr., 85, Boltz Hill Rd., Clarington, died March 3, 2007, at home. He was born July 6, 1921, in Powhatan Point, the son of the late Lenzy and Cora Saner Darrah.
<Everett A. "Bud" Riel, 91, New Martinsville, died March 4 2007, in New Martinsville. He was born Jan. 10, 1916, in New Martinsville, the son of John and Rena Pyles Riel.
<Guy H. Dye, 74, died peacefully after a prolonged illness with Multiple Myeloma on Feb. 21, 2007, in Colorado Springs with his family at his side. He was born Oct. 8, 1932, in Graysville, a son of Ida Pearl Cline Dye and the late Lewis Dye.
<Martha E. Schafer, 79, Spartanburg, SC, formerly of Hannibal, died March 4, 2007, in Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. She was born Aug. 14, 1927, in Hannibal, the daughter of the late Fred and Esther Rufener Berger.
<Thelma Pabst, 96, Circleville, formerly of Woodsfield and Canton, died March 4, 2007, at the home of her cousin, Bill Wittenbrook, with whom she resided. She was born Aug. 31, 1910, at Shadyside, a daughter of the late William F. Wiley and Gussie Wittenbrook Mallett.

<Donald Dean Hess, 78, 342 Holiday Ave., Woodsfield, formerly of Wadsworth, died March 4, 2007, at his home. He was born Nov. 13, 1928, at Rittman, a son of the late Ernest and Mary Kasserman Hess.
<Trella M. Moore, 92, Woodsfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Woodsfield, formerly of Jerusalem, died March 5, 2007, at the center. She was born Feb. 4, 1915, in Belmont County, a daughter of the late Jeff and Ada "Ello" Dyer Phillips.

<Thelma Pabst, 96, Circleville, formerly of Woodsfield and Canton, died March 4, 2007, at the home of her cousin, Bill Wittenbrook, with whom she resided. She was born Aug. 31, 1910, at Shadyside, a daughter of the late William F. Wiley and Gussie Wittenbrook Mallett.

<Alice Leah Stoffel, 81, Canton, died Feb. 27, 2007, at Mercy Medical Center, Canton. She was born Nov. 11, 1925, in Woodsfield, a daughter of the late Raymond Wiggins and Mildred Straight Wiggins.