Local Archived News December 2002

Area shootings top story of 2002
Former attorney charged locally
Mary Kerns enters not guilty plea to two theft charges in Union County
New radio system in operation
Union added to list of counties for disaster assistance
FHS student makes driver safety his focus
Mayor refutes claims made in meeting
Adds that he was not invited to attend
Pair arraigned in N. Lewisburg murder
Accidents on Orchard Road are topic of meeting
Fraser didn't duck difficult votes
Outgoing commissioner recalls eight years of tough decisions
Search begins for new health dept. boss
City council, commissioners open dialogue for betterment of area
Jail committee adopts temporary budget; drops inmate costs
Firefighters receive new funds
Bank names CEO
Eufinger spends most on judge race
Marysville FCCLA group hosts Christmas party for children
United Way nears goal; extends annual campaign
Jerome Twp. firefighters still without  new contract
MV, F'banks boards handle routine business
NU board approves treasurer's salary
NU's Bumgarner takes camping to extremes
Council cuts $500,000 from Marysville budget
Students get lesson in the real world
ORW inmates create toys for the holidays
Care Train Auction will be held Saturday
Authorities issue warning about new drug
Health commissioner leaving
MHS grad honored for commanding ship
Scotts opens new research facility
Arson charges dropped
Richwood Council hears parking complaint
JA's Baldwin in tune with musical side
City lays out odor fighting methods
Quilts to warm the heart
Group donates what it makes to less  fortunate infants
Study: City needs cuts or new revenue
Despite additional needs, library forced to make cuts
'If you're a drinker, someday you're going to be me'
Red Ribbon campaign underway
Group holds first meeting on city needs
Flag chosen for county
Murder suspect enters not guilty plea
Focus groups help shape vision of Job and Family Services
Jerome Twp. Trustees nearly leave something out of public hearing
Public comment almost overlooked on zoning issue
Travels give Bishop a fresh perspective on teaching

Area shootings top story of 2002
Journal-Tribune intern
The Journal-Tribune newsroom staff has voted on the top 10 local stories
of 2002. The votes were based on the effect the topic had on Union
County residents.
The top story of the year was the high number of shootings. From Aug. 21
through Nov. 15 four shootings took place in Union County and its
surrounding areas.
The second place spot goes to a group of stories about the new
construction in Union County. The construction included Navin Elementary
School, the YMCA addition, Scotts Research Center and the Glacier Ridge
Metro Park.
In third place is a group of stories about important elections that
occurred this year, including the defeat of a city income tax increase,
the passage of a school construction levy in the North Union school
district after several defeats at the polls and the election of Union
County's first female attorney as probate and juvenile judge.
The fourth place story is the ever-present odor of around Marysville.
Other stories making the top 10 include juvenile cancer in Union County,
the sentencing of attorney Mary Kerns, the anniversaries of Memorial
Hospital of Union County and Honda of America, the tornadoes of Nov. 10
and the problem of city flooding.
1. Shootings in Union County and surrounding areas
This fall an unusual number of shootings occurred in the area.
On Aug. 21 Kenneth W. Sperry, 36, of northwest Columbus shot himself in
the temple with a  handgun outside the Union County Courthouse at 10
a.m. He was pronounced dead a short time liter. He was to appear in
court that day on charges relating to a sex offense.
On Oct. 15 at 11:50 a.m. Eric A. Jackson, 29, of Riverwind Drive
allegedly shot his mother, Donna Levan, 56, in the parking lot of
Heartland of Marysville. A slug from Jackson's sawed-off 12-gauge
shotgun went through Levan's right hand and into her abdomen. Levan died
on Oct. 24.
Jackson was charged with first degree felony aggravated murder and fifth
degree felony unlawful possession of dangerous ordnance. He is currently
undergoing psychiatric evaluations. The next court date has not been
On Oct. 25 Evangeline Bealer, 71, a Mount Victory councilwoman was found
dead in her home. The cause of death was found to be strangulation and
police placed the time of death between Oct. 19 and Oct. 24.
Two suspects, Scott Dean Mosbacker, 31, and Robin Lynn Gibson, 27, were
arrested after a brief car chase. Mosbacker was charged with two counts
of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and other lesser counts. Gibson
was charged with obstructing justice as well as other lesser counts.
Both entered not guilty pleas in court and are awaiting trial.
On Nov. 15 at 12:04 a.m. Sandra J. Furrow, 59, was found in her North
Lewisburg home with a single gunshot wound to her chest. Her daughter,
Jennifer Rebecca Furrow, 21, of North Lewisburg and Daniel Parker, 51,
of Delaware have been charged with the offenses.
Furrow was charged with one count of aggravated murder, tampering with
evidence and abuse of a corpse. Parker was charged with complicity to
aggravated murder, tampering with evidence and two counts of having
weapons under disability.
2. New construction in Union County
This year was a time of growth and construction in Union County.
Construction at Glacier Ridge Metro Park began in May and the park
officially opened Sept. 22. It is located on Brock Road and runs south
along Hyland Croy Road past Mitchell Dewitt Road. The 1,000-acre park
includes a bridle trail, a multipurpose trail and a nature trail, as
well as roads, shelter house, restrooms and 120-foot high tech windmill.
Solar and wetland education centers will be added.
Scotts opened a new $5.2 million research facility. The state of the art
18,000-square-foot green house was officially dedicated on Dec. 10 and
has four times more space than the company's previous green houses.
According to John Bosser, senior specialist of corporate communications,
the facility, which can duplicate nearly any environmental condition, is
the most advanced of its kind in the country.
An indoor community swimming pool was opened this year at the Union
County Family YMCA. The $5.48-million addition also includes a fitness
center, locker rooms, nursery, multipurpose activity room, service area
and soon-to-be-completed aerobics studio.
 Navin Elementary School became the third new school built in the
Marysville school district in five years as the school population
continues to grow at the rate of 4 to 5 percent per year. Mill Valley
Elementary School was built in 1997 and Creekview Intermediate School
was built in 2000.
3. Important elections
Residents of Union County spoke out this year at the voting booth. City
voters slammed down a proposed city income tax increase while voters
countywide elected a probate and juvenile judge. The third try was a
charm for the North Union school district, as a construction levy was
Citizens voted down the proposed city income tax for a 60 percent
increase. Eighty-one percent of voters opted against the increase. The
levy would have raised an additional $3.3 million per year which would
have been used for a police and administration building, fire apparatus,
parks and streets.
 Charlotte Eufinger was elected Union County Probate and Juvenile Judge.
Eufinger, a Democrat, became the second woman to hold the position and
the first female attorney to hold the position.
North Union school district residents voted in May to pass a 7-mill
construction levy and a .5-mill maintenance levy. With the help of state
funding the levies will be used to pay for a new elementary school, a
new middle school and an addition and renovation project at the high
school. The elementary school should be ready for the 2004-2005 school
year and the entire project could be finished by 2010-2011 school year.
4. City odor
The city suffered from an almost constant odor this summer due to the
sludge at the sewage treatment plant on the north side of town. The
smell was aggravated when the sludge was stirred for farmers to use on
their fields as fertilizer.
Currently the city is completing a study to select the best method for
eliminating the problem. The first option is to expand the treatment
plant and the second is to relocate the plant outside of town. The study
should be completed sometime next month.
5. Juvenile cancer in Union County
In September the Union County Health Department formally announced that
the rates of leukemia among Union County youth are higher than expected
for a community this size.
A population the size of Union County was expected to have 2.3 cases. A
comparative analysis found eight cases in people under the age of 25
from 1992 through 2001.
The Ohio Department of Health is working with county officials to find a
cause by interviewing families. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
set up monitors on top of East and Edgewood Elementary schools to test
for cancer-causing compounds. The first set of samples didn't find
anything of concern, although investigators caution that it is too early
to draw definite conclusions.
6. Mary Kerns
On March 12  former local attorney and  former Richwood Village
Solicitor Mary Kerns was sentenced to four years and 11 months after
pleading guilty to charges of theft and misappropriation. She allegedly
stole more than $1.2 million from her clients' estates in Marion and
Union counties.
On Tuesday two new charges of grand theft, a felony of the fourth
degree, and one charge of theft, a felony in the fifth was heard at the
Union County Court of Common Pleas. Kerns entered a plea of not guilty
on all of the new charges.
7. Anniversaries
Two area landmarks celebrated special anniversaries this year.
Memorial Hospital of Union County marked its 50-year anniversary while
Honda celebrated its 20-year anniversary.
March 15 was Memorial Hospital's big day and the public joined in the
The ground for the hospital was broken in June 1950 and enormous
community support helped to raise the walls.  Nearly half of the
original $600,000 construction cost came from donations. After nearly
two years of construction the doors opened on March 15, 1952.
Nov. 1 marked the 20-year anniversary of the construction of Honda's
auto-plant in Union County with more than 150 community members
gathering for the event. The Marysville Auto Plant was the first
Japanese car assembly plant opened in the United States. Today 13,000
associates work at Honda's area plants.
8. Storms/Tornado
Tornados and high winds destroyed homes in northern Union County on Nov.
Winds were estimated at 158 to 206 mph, tearing off roofs, crumbling
walls and over-turning modular homes.
According to Brad Gilbert of the Union County Emergency Management
Agency, 13 homes and properties were destroyed or damaged.
Recently disaster assistance was made available to Union County
residents whose homes were damaged in the storms.
9. Readiness Center
In October the Ohio National Guard announced its desire to build a
Community/Readiness Center in both Marysville and Delaware. Prior to the
announcement, it was believed that only one facility would be built in
either Marysville or Delaware.
The planned center will merge community needs with guard space at a
30,000-square-foot facility off Delaware Avenue. The building will have
an assembly hall, classrooms and a mess hall.
Because federal funding has not yet been awarded, construction will not
begin until 2005.
10. City Flooding
Portions of Marysville were flooded after four to six  inches of rain
fell in an hour on July 19. Due to the flooding, raw sewage was reported
in the basements of residents of Hickory Drive and the Barhaven
addition. The citizens voiced their concern at the City Council meeting
on July 26.
The city completed a study of the drainage system.  Also dye tests,
which show illegal sanitary sewer connections, have been completed. It
was found that during rains the amount of water in the town run is more
than 10 million gallons of water. Normally, 4 million gallons of water
are in the town water run. To help aid the process, retention basins
will be dug to give extra water a place to go during storms.
Currently the city is planning to form a storm water district and
eventually have a storm water utility. Residents will be charged per
house based on how much area a building covers which may divert storm
water around it.
Others: Other stories receiving votes but not making the top ten
include: the conflicts in Jerome Township; the city budget cut; the
notable deaths of Dr. Malcolm MacIvor and Mary Elizabeth Gaumer Behrens;
the memorial statue planned to honor fallen area lawmen; the movement to
have blind crosswalks installed around the city; the presence of the
West Nile Virus; the uncertain future of the Juvenile Detention Center;
the School redistricting and complaints about new cemetery rules at

Former attorney charged locally
Mary Kerns enters not guilty plea to two theft charges in Union County
Former area attorney and Richwood solicitor Mary Kerns appeared in the
Union Count Court of Common Pleas today to answer to new theft charges
in this county.
Kerns has been locked up at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, serving a
four year and 11 month sentence, after her conviction for stealing at
least $1.2 million  from the estates of some of her elderly clients in
Marion and Union counties.
Kerns' attorney Kevin Conners entered a plea of not guilty today before
Judge Richard Parrott, regarding the two new charges of grand theft, a
felony of the fourth degree, and one charge of theft, a felony in the
fifth degree.
Conners, of the law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP in
Columbus, reported today he had just been signed to the case this
morning along with an additional attorney named Jim Phillips from the
According to Detective Jon Kleiber of the Union County Sheriff's
Department, the two additional Union County victims "were not discovered
until well after the initial investigation."
The names of the victims have not been disclosed.
The day Kerns was incarcerated, he said, attorneys were placed on the
case to study her existing estate files for discrepancies. Kleiber said
it was during this investigation that the additional victims were found
and reported to the Union County Sheriff's Office.
Union County Prosecutor Alison Boggs reported it was after the sheriff's
investigation that the matter was referred to her office. The indictment
was filed on Dec. 18 regarding the new theft charges.
One other Union County victim had been found previously. Kleiber
reported that the charge concerning the that victim was consolidated
with the other Marion victims.
She has been in custody since Jan. 7 and began serving time at the Ohio
Reformatory for Women on March 27.
Assistant Union County Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Schrader asked to waive
bond, as Kerns is already incarcerated and has not sought an early
release. Kerns was eligible to file for early release on probation
starting on Sept. 23.
"Neither Mary Kerns nor her attorney have made any attempts to seek an
early release on probation," Marion County Prosecutor Jim Slagle
reported. "If a motion for early release were filed, we would
immediately notify all victims."
Slagle had initially sought a five-year sentence for Kerns to prevent an
early release. This was denied by Judge Davidson of the Marion County
Common Pleas Court.
Kerns' has been making restitution to her victims over the past year.
On July 9 Slagle filed a motion for contempt with the Marion Common
Pleas Court which addressed an apparent delay in the disposition of
items of Kerns' personal property in order to pay back some of the money
she took from their accounts.
On July 29 the court issued a notice of a hearing scheduling the motion
for contempt for Sept. 25.
 In response to the motion for contempt being filed, much of Kerns'
personal property was sold at public auction on Aug. 24

New radio system in operation
The Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS) has now been
installed and activated in emergency management agencies in 11 central
Ohio counties.
"This completes the first phase installation of this critical
communications system," Dale Shipley, director of the Ohio EMA, said.
According to Brad Gilbert, assistant director of the Union County EMA,
the Union County system is being used as a model for other counties.
MARCS is now installed at county emergency management agencies in
Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Perry,
Pickaway, Ross counties, as well as Union County.
Local EMA offices in eight north central Ohio counties including
Crawford, Erie,Huron, Ottawa, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca and Wyandot are
next in line for installation by the Ohio EMA.
MARCS is being constructed by the Ohio Department of Administrative
Services throughout the state. It will provide both state and local
county EMAs with many significant capabilities beyond what currently
exists, including expanded coverage, much larger capacity, digital
encryption, interoperability, computer-aided dispatch and the ability to
move data to and from vehicles.
As designed, MARCS will provide reliable all-weather voice and data
communications to more than 97 percent of the state.
All Ohio counties should have the system operable by late 2004.
"If there is a disaster in Union County there will be channels for areas
such as debris removal and search and rescue," Gilbert said.
MARCS users will operate independently on a day-to-day basis. However,
in the event of an emergency, units from various agencies can be joined
Under the system state departments of Natural Resources and
Transportation, the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Ohio national Guard can
cross-communicate on an assigned talk group and coordinate their
Similar talk groups would exist for security, search and rescue and
damage assessment on both state and local levels.
Communications between and among the groups, including local government
use, can also be encrypted.
More than 900 MARCS units have been in use for months at state prison
facilities. Patrol officers used the hand-held units at the 2002 Ohio
State Fair.
Patrol posts at Circleville, Delaware, Lancaster and West Jefferson
currently are testing the mobile voice system. At the Ohio EMA, MARCS
radios are now being installed in the agency's vehicle fleet.
For local government, MARCS managers are working with Union County on a
pilot project to provide voice-only services throughout the county.
There has been criticism of the cost of the communications system.
Gilbert said the hope was to implement the system in Union County in
order to display its effectiveness and dispel those critics. He also
reported that a federal terrorism grant was initially used to fund the
project in this county.
Union County Sheriff John Overly was unavailable today for comment on
the project.
Gilbert said the system will allow the sheriff's office, local police,
fire fighters, emergency medical specialists, Union County EMA and other
county response agencies to coordinate their efforts better.
MARCS was begun in 1987, when the state patrol began a study of its
exiting radio communications system. Better technology and more complete
coverage was needed.
Three years later, a flash flood at Shadyside in Belmont County
emphasized the need for better communications systems among state
government agencies. The next year, in 1991, the state government formed
the Interagency Telecommunications Task Force.
The Emergency Operation center in Union County transmits from the
basement of the hospital

Union added to list of counties for disaster assistance
Local residents and business owners now have the opportunity to get back
on their feet after tornadoes ripped through Union county, leveling
numerous homes and severely damaging others last month.
Disaster assistance for 12 additional Ohio counties has been made
available, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced
Based on a review of damage data by state disaster recovery officials,
FEMA director Joe M. Allbaugh said assistance has been approved for
those who suffered storm damage in Union County as well as those in
Ashland, Auglaize, Coshocton, Franklin, Henry, Huron, Lorain, Medina,
Sandusky, Wayne and Wood counties. These are in addition to Cuyahoga,
Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Seneca, Summit and Van Wert counties which
were previously approved for aid under the major disaster declaration
issued by President George Bush on Nov. 18.
Allbaugh said affected residents and business owners in the declared
counties may apply for assistance immediately by calling the toll-free
application number (800) 621-FEMA, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday
through Friday until further notice. Those who are speech or hearing
impaired may call TTY (800) 462-7585. Applications must be made by Jan.
Calling these numbers is the only way to apply for a wide range of state
and federal disaster assistance programs than can include funding for
temporary disaster housing assistance; U.S. Small Business
Administration low-interest loans for individuals and business owners to
repair or replace real or personal property and housing repair;
replacement grants to help meet serious disaster-related needs and
expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs; and
disaster unemployment assistance.
Allbaugh reported that callers should have the following information
available to help speed up the application process:
. Current phone number
. Social Security number, if available
. A general list of damages and losses suffered
. If insured, the insurance policy number or the agent's company name
. General financial information
. Bank account code in order to speed up the assistance with direct
Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not
normally compensate residents for their entire loss. For those with
insurance, the government may help pay for basic needs not covered under
a victim's insurance policy.
Residents should contact their insurance agent first, then if there are
unmet needs they should call FEMA to apply. Some disaster aid does not
have to be paid back, while other forms of help may come in the form of
loans. The FEMA representative will explain the details during the call.

When disaster strikes, FEMA administers a number of disaster assistance
programs and coordinates the efforts of many other federal agencies that
provide services to help people through the recovery process. The types
of assistance that are available include:
. Federal Emergency Management Agency Programs
A. Individual and Housing Program: Housing assistance to individuals and
families whose permanent homes were damaged or destroyed by tornadoes or
server storms. Types of aid include grants for (1) temporary rental
housing, (2) essential repairs needed to make a residence safe, secure,
and sanitary, (3) to help meet serious disaster -related and expenses
not covered by insurance or other assistance programs and disaster
unemployment assistance.
B. Disaster Unemployment Assistance: Weekly benefits to individuals out
of work due to the disaster including self-employed persons, farm owners
and others not usually covered under regular unemployment insurance.
. U.S. Small Business Administration Programs
A. Home/Personal Property Disaster Loans: Disaster loans to homeowners
and renters for restoring or replacing underinsured or uninsured damaged
real or personal property, which is available in the above declared
B. Business Disaster Loans: Disaster loans to repair or replace
destroyed or damaged business facilities, inventory, machinery,
equipment, etc. not covered by insurance. This is available to large and
small businesses in the declared counties. Loans also may be available
to small businesses for working capital to assist them during the
disaster recovery period, which is also available to the declared


FHS student makes driver safety his focus
Next time you get behind the wheel and head down Orchard Road, remember
that Johnathan Rankin wants you to slow down.
The vice-president of Fairbanks High School Student Council is working
with a group of students and staff to raise driver awareness.
"There have been about three or four accidents involving Fairbanks
students on Orchard Road in less than a year," Rankin explained. "The
road is winding with a lot of hills."
Karen Saffle, student council advisor, gathered officers at the
beginning of the school year to brainstorm for ideas on improving
student life. Rankin, a junior, felt that attention needed to be called
to Orchard Road and overall driver awareness.
In order to get the driver awareness campaign into gear, Rankin and
fellow students met with sheriff's deputies to discuss the problem. The
students were told the accidents on Orchard were mostly due to driver
error. The speed limit on Orchard is 45 mph but Rankin explained that
local law enforcement recommends 35 mph.
Saffle said deputies have been urging students to be aware at all times
no matter what road they are driving on.
"Our goal is to get drivers to slow down," Rankin said.
The plan to convey this simple but very important message began Thursday
at a school wide safety program.
The program featured a new driving awareness video entitled "Signal 30 -
Part 2: Tragedy and Hope" provided by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The 20-minute video was completely filmed in Ohio. Saffle said she feels
the familiar terrain in the film hit home with students.
Due to the graphic nature of the film, parents received letters
explaining the safety video and program. The letters were signed by the
student council president, principal Rich Petersen and student resource
officer Deputy Chris Skinner.
In addition to the video, Skinner was on hand to talk to the students.
The goal of Saffle, Rankin, student council and sheriff's deputies is to
make students aware of the need to be safe behind the wheel.
"The student council members have told me they just don't want to see
anymore hurt or injured friends," Saffle said.
Random seat belt checks will also be part of the campaign. On Thursday,
students were observed when arriving at the school parking lot. Belted
students were entered into a raffle for a prize.
Rankin was pleased to report that about 90 percent of the students were
wearing their seat belts. As for the safety assembly, Rankin said, the
response was wonderful.
"I was really pleased that the students were attentive and respectful
and took the message to heart," he said.
In November Rankin made the Fairbanks school board aware of the student
project. He said he is getting a lot of positive feedback from everyone.

"I'm getting a lot of support from both the student body and student
council," Rankin said. "The project has really opened my eyes as to what
can happen and that I'm not invincible."
The current plan is to continue with the driver's awareness campaign
throughout the school year, including follow-up assemblies in the
"Johnathan is a very nice young man," Saffle said. "He is very concerned
about his fellow students."
She added that Rankin will be a wonderful future leader.
In addition to the campaign, Rankin is in charge of prom planning.
"It's a big job and very, very stressful" he said. "But I want to have a
really great prom."
This year's prom theme will be Athens, Greece. Rankin is responsible for
all of the fundraising for the event and the assigning of prom
So far this year, he has helped to organize three fund-raisers including
two raffles and a pizza sale.
"I have my plate full right now but I like keeping busy," Rankin said.

Mayor refutes claims made in meeting
Adds that he was not invited to attend
In a passionate speech to Marysville City Council, Mayor Steve Lowe used
his meeting report to discount information exchanged between council and
the Union County Commissioners concerning the Joint Recreation District
and other hot topics.
"I wasn't invited to that meeting," Lowe said Thursday night. "Basically
we were told to stay away."
He did not like the idea that people are insinuating he avoided a
meeting that Marysville administration was never asked to attend.
Lowe then gave a brief history of the Joint Recreational District, its
funding problems and Marysville's involvement to council.
"I started the Joint Recreation District," he said. He said the district
was intended to pay for itself between townships, Marysville and county
Lowe said the townships have gone above and beyond their duty in support
of the district and have equaled the county. Marysville fell behind at
first in its share of the funding but was able to start its yearly
contributions and get on track.
He also said Marysville contributed more than $160,000 to bring water
and sewer into the parks.
"The county didn't make a contribution like that," he said.
Lowe said the best gift anyone could give to the budding district was
sewer and water hookups so the district could become ready for growth.
"This city should be praised for what it has done," Lowe told council.
"Now they're saying I'm trying to tear it apart."
He said focus needs to be directed on funding Marysville.
"We're the biggest economic mover and shaker in this county," he said.
He said he had asked the county to start collecting fees for the use of
the district from entities such as the YMCA, soccer programs and Heart
of Ohio. However, he said, the county never tried to collect and now
they wonder why there are funding issues.
On the topic of the open 911 county dispatcher position at the
newly-constructed Justice Center, Lowe also had some comments.
"They built a palace over there and now they are saying they have open
seats," he said.
Council president John Gore commented on Lowe's speech at the end of
Thursday's meeting. He explained that the meeting council attended came
about after they were invited by the commissioners.
"We talked about issues facing the city," he said.
He added that if Lowe wanted to know the details of their discussions in
the public meeting he could have read the minutes.
Regarding the recent rumors that Lowe planned to cut economic
development funding, he explained that his stance was that if it came to
keeping funds going to that department or to another city worker between
2003-2004, he would just as soon keep a street worker on the payroll.
The theory of economic development in Marysville is flawed right now, he
said. In order to provide for businesses to set up in the city there
must first be amenities to attract them. The city does not have the
funding for the department in order to sufficiently support its goal.
The city passed the third readings on the annual appropriation
ordinance, adopting the operating budget for 2003 and adopting the
capital budget for 2003. Councilman John Marshal was the only member of
council to vote against the ordinances.
Gore asked Marshal why he had missed so many meetings and then voted
against the ordinances.
"I tried to get in touch with you before the meeting," Marshal said. He
did not comment on his reasons for voting against the budget ordinances.

The first reading was held on a resolution to accept a mutual aid
contract with the city of Dublin for fire and EMS services. City
administrator Bob Schaumleffel reported that mutual aid contracts such
as these are being drawn up statewide in case of natural disasters. He
added that Marysville probably has more to gain from the contract than
Dublin does so it is a good idea to move forward on it.
"Hopefully, we will never have to use it," Schaumleffel said.
In other topics discussed:
. Lowe awarded Ralph Doebert with a plaque praising his 25 years spent
as a city employee before recently retiring. Doebert ended his career as
a city employee working with the cemetery.
. Parks and Recreation Director Steve Conley reported to council that
the city ice rink has been set up and joked that it is filled with water
right now. He wanted to remind residents there is no ice skating on any
other body of water in the city. The rink gates will be open when the
ice is strong and locked when it's not. The rink will be opened every
morning and locked at around 10 p.m. every night.

Pair arraigned in N. Lewisburg murder
A North Lewisburg woman and Delaware County man were arraigned today at
11 a.m. for the Nov. 10 murder of Sandra Jean Furrow of North Lewisburg.

Jennifer Rebecca Furrow, 21, of North Lewisburg and Daniel Parker, 51,
of Delaware were indicted by the Champaign County Grand Jury Thursday.
Jennifer Furrow was indicted with one count of aggravated murder,
tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. Parker was charged with
complicity to aggravated murder, tampering with evidence and two counts
of having weapons under disability. He has previously been convicted of
a felony offense, namely a 1992 conviction in Delaware County for two
counts of gross sexual imposition. He was released in 1993 after serving
four months of a four-year prison sentence.
Champaign County Prosecuting Attorney Nick Selvaggio declined to specify
how Parker provided assistance. According to reports, Selvaggio said
Parker and Jennifer Furrow worked with Sandra Furrow for a food service
company at the Honda plant in Marysville.
On Nov. 14 the body of Sandra Furrow, 60, was found in her home at 151
Audas St. by deputies after a co-worker contacted the sheriff's office
to ask deputies to check on her well being after she had not been to
work all that week. The deputies discovered that she had been shot in
the chest.
Jennifer Furrow has been in custody since Nov. 14 when she was picked up
on a probation violation. She is being held in the Tri-County Jail in
Mechanicsburg. Parker was served with his indictment Thursday afternoon
and taken into custody by Delaware County authorities. He is currently
being held in the Delaware County Jail.
Jennifer Furrow's aggravated murder charge includes the elements of
purposely causing the death of another with prior calculation and
design. Because the sheriff's department did not discover evidence of
any aggravating circumstances, a conviction will carry a sentence of
life imprisonment with parole eligibility after 20 years of
imprisonment. There is a firearm specification attached to that count of
the indictment. This specification carries an additional three-year
mandatory prison term. Tampering with evidence is a felony of the third
degree and has a potential one to five year sentence and up to a $10,000
fine. Abuse of a corpse is a misdemeanor of the second degree. This
offense carries a sentence of 90 days in a county jail and a $750 fine.
Upon conviction, the same criminal penalties would apply to Parker as
applied to Jennifer Furrow concerning the charge of complicity of
aggravated murder by way of aiding and abetting and tampering with
evidence. Additionally, the two counts of having weapons under
disability  are fourth degree felonies which are punishable by up to 18
months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The first count of having weapons under disability is alleged to have
taken place in Champaign County on Nov. 9 and 10. The second count is
alleged to have taken place in Delaware County on Nov. 14.
A merits hearing on the violations is scheduled for Monday at 8 a.m

Accidents on Orchard Road are topic of meeting
Orchard Road has seen more than its fair share of car accidents.
"It's a nice little road and it's fun to drive, with its curves and
hills, " Union County Engineer Steve Stolte said. "But you have to obey
the rules of the road."
According to Ohio State Patrol records, it has caused 14 accidents in
the past three years in which eight people have been injured.
The accidents seem to have one common trait. Young drivers all reaching
excessive speeds as they travel to and from Fairbanks High School have
hit embankments, ditches, a tree, a mail box, road signs, a pole and,
especially, guardrails.
Focus heightened on the road's safety after a fatal accident on May 31.
The county engineer's office has been working on the problem much
longer, according to Union County Engineer Steve Stolte.
He said work began in late 1999 on two phases of corrections to the
Phase one widened the road two feet on each side from Route 4 to Sam
Reed Road. Stolte said studies have shown that widening a road can
reduce accidents up to 20 percent.
In other changes, the sharp curve was removed and a hill drivers used to
jump was cut down for safety.
Stolte said phase two of the project has not yet begun and has no set
starting date. It will focus on Orchard Road from Sam Reed Road to Route
38 and will involve the same type of work.
The only thing stopping the project is funding, he said.
Union Township trustees have submitted two applications for the project
but no funds have been received.
Critics of the phase one project have said the changes on Orchard Road
have had an adverse affect.
Deputy Chris Skinner of the Union County Sheriff's Office said that with
lowered hills and wider lanes, drivers feel more in control and speed at
which people travel on the road have actually increased.
Now instead of accidents at 45 mph there are accidents between 55 and 65
While it is still too soon to tell from accident statistics if phase one
has made things worse, Stolte agrees that drivers seem to be going
faster on the road now.
"I do feel that the road is safer today than it was two to three years
ago," he said.
Thursday Skinner told students at Fairbanks that they must choose the
level of safety when they are driving. If engineers have decided 35 mph
is safe then they should take their word for it.
He also dispelled a possible misconception that drivers feel they can
brace themselves on steering wheels in accidents.
A man who weighs 180 pounds would have to be able to bench press 4,500
pounds to avoid injuries, he said.
"But it is not just Orchard Road where you need to be careful," Skinner
said. "While it's on everyone's mind right now it's important to note it
is not the only road with problems."

Fraser didn't duck difficult votes
Outgoing commissioner recalls eight years of tough decisions

Union County isn't the same place it was eight years ago when Union
County Commissioner Don Fraser took office.
Back then, there was no water or sewer line down Industrial Parkway, the
county jail was condemned, the city of Marysville was 2,880 acres
smaller and Veteran's Memorial was nothing but a former high school
auditorium with broken seats and missing lighting fixtures.
Fraser's term has been packed with sometimes difficult and many times
dynamic decisions. Through it all, Fraser said, he attempted to be fair
and impartial and to follow the law.
Fraser did not seek re-election this year. He said he has no plans to
seek any other elected office, planning instead to dedicate more time to
his Main Street law practice, family and other business ventures.
Fraser said he believes the main mission of the three-member county
commission is to facilitate cooperation between government entities and
provide better services to the public. Early in his term, however,
facilitating cooperation didn't always mean a unanimous vote.
Back in 1995 in his first term and as the junior commissioner, Fraser
made headlines several times when he found himself standing alone on at
least three pivotal issues.
Fraser was the only vote in favor of a 2,880-acre annexation by the city
of Marysville, the only vote against a tri-county jail and the only vote
against borrowing money to renovate the Veteran's Memorial Auditorium.
"Ultimately, I believe I did what the law required me to do," Fraser
said about his vote in favor of the annexation. "It was a very difficult
time for me. I voted against the townships that I serve."
Knowing it would be an unpopular act, Fraser said he spent at least two
weeks researching the annexation issue in his office at night before
deciding that the law clearly supported one of the largest annexations
in the state of Ohio.
The annexation issue eventually ended up in court, with the appeals
court finding in favor of the city and affirming Fraser's opinion.
A second controversial vote that Fraser recalls concerned the county's
Two months after being sworn into office, Fraser said, the county jail
was closed down because of building violations.
Soon after, the commissioners created a citizen's committee to seek
public opinion about building a single county jail or a multi-county
As the county delayed making a decision and allowed the citizen's
committee to make a decision, Fraser said the county was 14,000 bed days
in arrears and had 600 people waiting to serve time. Meanwhile, the
county was under increasing pressure from the other counties for an
answer. Literally within a day, the committee recommendation arrived and
favored building a single county jail. Meanwhile the other involved
counties needed an answer immediately.
With no time to talk to the citizen committee, the three-member board
voted 2 to 1 to join the alliance. Fraser was the lone vote against the
tri-county jail. He said he voted against it because he believed the
citizen committee deserved to be heard after working months on the
"We were put in a box," Fraser said about that situation. "They (the
other two commissioners at that time) made the right decision."
Once the decision was made, Fraser became a supporter of the tri-county
idea and currently is Union County's representative on the board.
A third difficult vote for Fraser centered around renovating the Union
County Veteran's Memorial Auditorium in the County Office Building on
Sixth Street.
While in favor of the renovation, Fraser said he was against borrowing
money. He also believed that the 11th hour vote should have been delayed
until the county's two commissioner-elects took office. The senior
commissioners, however, proceeded with a vote and Fraser stood alone
against putting the county into debt.
That vote was later overturned by the newly-elected commissioners - Tom
McCarthy and Jim Mitchell - and Fraser. All three then voted to renovate
without borrowing.
Fraser describes the memorial as a "wonderful facility and fitting
tribute" that was paid for ultimately through a partnership of public
and private monies.
Other memorable votes, that Fraser said he was glad to be a part of,
have included:
. Reaching an agreement with the city of Marysville for water and sewer
services that eliminated the possibility of Dublin's annexation
. Creating the Discipline Rehabilitation Center as a stop-gap jail
measure which eliminated all sentencing backlogs by the time the
Tri-County Jail opened with significant savings to the tax payers.
Fraser credits the success of this innovative approach to the
cooperation of judges and the sheriff.
. Preserving the Courthouse dome.
. Establishing the Joint Recreation District with Paris Township and
. Expanding the Union County Airport with a new hangar and replacing the
fuel system.
. Assisting in the construction of a new County Engineer's Garage.
. Assiting in significant road and bridge projects throughout the
. Improving and renovating the Richwood and Union County fairgrounds
. Assisting with infrastructure improvements at the Richwood Industrial
. Keeping The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital in Union County
. Providing land and financial assistance to the Humane Society.
. Funding Senior Outreach, Union County Agency Transportation System and
grants for Public Safety Officers.
. Constructing the Justice Center.
. Purchasing and renovating the old Kmart Building on London Avenue.
. Opposing the Darby Refuge.
. Making significant infrastructure improvements in the county's data
. Purchasing 14 acres behind the Union County YMCA for a future
Readiness Center
. Approving the renovation of the former county nursing home.
. Establishing the Community Improvement Economic Development grants.
. Encouraging local industry to stay in Union County and grow. Projects
include The Scott Company's warehouse, world headquarters, millions of
dollars in renovations to the chem plant and state-of-the art greenhouse
research facility, as well as numerous projects by Honda, Nestle's and

Search begins for new health dept. boss
Journal-Tribune intern
The Union County Board of Health began its search to fill the recently
vacated position of health commissioner with the creation of a search
committee during its regular meeting Thursday.
The necessity for a search committee arose after a three-month
negotiation came to a head with a special meeting Dec. 9. At that
meeting, current Union County Health Commissioner Anne Davy and the
board could not find common ground in the renegotiation of her contract.

The search committee is comprised of board members Dr. Carol Karrer, Al
Channell and Gary McDowell who will initially work to appoint an interim
commissioner and then continue their search to fill the commissioner
The first meeting of the search committee was held immediately after the
regular meeting and the board plans to have an interim commissioner by
the time Davy's contract expires.
The board, however, has no time table for hiring a commissioner.
"It could take one month, two months, three months," said Gary McDowell,
president of the seven-member board. "We will not hire just to fill a
The board is confident that the staff is capable of day-to-day
operations until an interim has been appointed.
"I don't foresee any cutting in the level of service provided," McDowell
Marysville Mayor Steve Lowe was on hand to commend the level of work
performed by Davy during her time as county health commissioner.
"My work with Anne has been fantastic," Lowe said. "Anne is the most
professional person I have ever worked with."
Members of the board agreed that Davy had done good things while holding
the position.
"No one on this board ever said we were dissatisfied with the level of
work," McDowell said. "It was a question of the contract,"
The first phase of the smallpox vaccination was also discussed. Phase
one will be a voluntary program to vaccinate doctors, nurses and other
public health officials. The Ohio Department of Health plans to
vaccinate between 5,000 and 13,000 individuals in phase one beginning in
A survey will be given to area hospital and emergency personnel in order
to determine who will receive the vaccination when it is available.


City council, commissioners open dialogue for betterment of area
A new day appears to be dawning for the citizens of Marysville and Union
County - and it began last night.
Six members of the Marysville City Council met with the Union County
Board of Commissioners and commissioner-elect for two hours to discuss
common issues and how the two entities can work together.
This meeting comes after three years of gridlock as the county attempted
to work with the city administration. Conspicuously absent at
Wednesday's meeting was Marysville Mayor Steve Lowe or any member of his
administration. The meeting, however, appeared to be a priority to the
10 elected officials present. One commissioner was missing his child's
Christmas program and one council member had to leave early to get his
wife from the hospital.
No action was taken, however, the group discussed partnering in several
projects. They also agreed that this should be the first of more such
Tom McCarthy, president of the three-member board of commissioners,
suggested four areas of opportunity - economic development, water and
sewer services, the Joint Recreation District and countywide 911
John Gore, president of the Marysville City Council, threw out five
areas of concern for the city. They include the Readiness Center, waste
water odor problems, streets, fire protection and cramped police
Officials also used the forum as a way to clear the air on
misunderstandings and rumors that have plagued the two entities.
McCarthy challenged the city to sift through the topics and return with
a couple of topics that could be handled in small groups. Council and
the board of commissioners also discussed meeting on either a quarterly
or semi-annual basis.
"Let's focus on immediate issues that matter and we can move on,"
McCarthy said.
Gore opened the meeting by saying he believed the success of the city
and county are tied together.
Union County Commissioner Jim Mitchell added that the board of
commissioners and city are representing the same people. The city's
15,932 residents are part of the 40,909 county residents represented by
the three commissioners.
"Our goals should not be a lot different," Mitchell said.
The board of commissioners asked about council's specific role in city
"Very gray," Gore said.
He said the city administration is responsible for the day-to-day
operations of facilities and business. Council's main duties are
legislative, however, he said it should be more involved in providing
resources. Gore also explained that while the mayor has veto power,
council can override his vote with a two-thirds majority.
McCarthy pointed out that in the past three or four years the city
appears to becoming more and more autonomous. Mayor Steve Lowe took
office in January 2000.
"I'm not here to bash them (the administration)," McCarthy said. "I've
got concerns."
Gore said he has heard rumors that the city administration said they do
not plan to contribute financial support to economic development after
2003. Gore said he was opposed to this move.
"It's ridiculous," Gore said. "We need to share resources."
McCarthy then asked if the city has funds for economic development next
year. Gore said council made no cuts to economic development in the
proposed city budget to be presented at tonight's regular council
Concerning water and sewer, McCarthy suggested that the city "think
bigger and out of the box" to solve current problems. He suggested the
city has three choices - treating the county like a true customer, like
a partner or creating a new entity.
The future of the Joint Recreation District Park along County Home Road
was also discussed.
"We're worried about the future of that facility," McCarthy said.
"Either this is a joint facility or its not."
The city has withdrawn recent funding after saying its contribution was
covered by running water lines to the property. Paris Township is also
considering a cut in its support of the park.
McCarthy pointed out that it appears that the park is used mostly by
Marysville residents, yet the county is making the greatest
Commissioner Don Fraser pointed out that the county has had to deal with
criticism from throughout the county because of the park's proximity to
the city.
"People in the county don't feel it is their facility or they benefit
from it," he said.
Commissioner-elect Gary Lee said the park is not used enough.
"Let's get as much out of the land as we can," he said.
McCarthy suggested that countywide 911 levy money could be better used
if dispatching services were not duplicated by both the city and county.
Fraser said that the county's state-of-the-art facility has room right
now for another dispatcher.
"The chair is already there," Fraser said.
Gore ended the meeting by saying council is committed to working with
the county.
"I want to go forward," he said.
Present at the meeting were council members Nevin Taylor, Barb Bushong,
Gore, Ed Pleasant, Mark Reams and Dan Fogt, commissioners McCarthy,
Fraser and Mitchell and commissioner-elect Lee.

Jail committee adopts temporary budget; drops inmate costs
The Tri-County Regional Jail Facility will be entering 2003 with a
temporary budget and a new price tag for inmate housing.
The Mechanicsburg-based prison adopted the roughly $2.79 million
proposed budget plan during its recent regular meeting and voted to drop
its inmate pay-to-stay cost from $55 to $45 per day.
In one of Union County Commissioner Don Fraser's last acts as
representative to the Tri-County Jail board, he made the motion for the
price change and the board agreed.
Fraser turns over his position to Union County commissioner-elect Gary
Lee on Jan. 1.
Tri-County executive director Dan Bratka reported that based on the 2002
budget, the cost of housing individual inmates a day ranges from $46 to
By sticking with the $55 cost it was felt the prison would be profiting
too much from Champaign County which has regularly sent more prisoners
to the jail than either Union or Madison counties. Fraser said it is
time to be competitive with other jails, because if Champaign doesn't
use them, the beds would sit empty.
At the last count, Champaign County had 62 inmates in the jail, whereas
Madison had 32 and Union 39 inmates. Champaign is also housing another
nine inmates outside the jail at a rate of $45 per inmate.
The Tri-County Jail regularly is at maximum capacity, which is what the
board expects. As a result, no county should be losing money based on
the actual cost of an empty bed compared to a full bed.
All three counties currently pay an equal rate of $937,000 toward the
temporary jail budget.
The jail will be entering 2003 with a temporary budget because payroll
and wages cannot be defined until union negotiations are completed.
"It will be several months before we actually get to the point of
knowing wages," Bratka said. As a result, no raises will be granted
until after the union wage talks end and the board is able to approve
its budget.
The board authorized Bratka to contract in legal services with Downes,
Hurst and Fishel for the negotiations.
Bratka one of the main issues confronting Tri-County right now is
medical costs eating away at finances.
The Chandler Group, which is offering a medical savings program to help
reduce inmate medical costs, gave a presentation on its services at the
board's October meeting. Commission members decided at that time to look
further into the company's services.
In a vote at a November board meeting, members approved going with the
company although questions still remained regarding the length of the
contract, as well as the inclusion of a possible out-clause in case the
jail would like to substitute another medical group later on. These
topics were to be investigated in further talks with the Chandler Group
before the December meeting. Bratka reported he has not heard those
results yet.
Other topics discussed:
. The board approved the transfer of $6,200 from unappropriated funds to
pay off Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) benefits for jail
employees until the end of the year. Executive assistant Sandra Marsh
reported that after this transfer the jail's financial status will
remain stable until the beginning of 2003.
. Bob Stallman of DPL Energy spoke to the board about a possible
agreement to secure jail electric rates until 2005. The company is a
subsidiary of Dayton Power and Light.

Firefighters receive new funds
From J-T staff reports:
The Marysville Fire Department was recently awarded $60,525 in grant
money from a bill passed by Senator Mike Dewine.
The new money is part of Dewine's Firefighter Investment and Response
Enhancement Act (FIRE), providing competitive grants to assist local
fire departments.
According to assistant fire chief John Myers' grant application, the
department was having difficulty finding city money for fitness and
wellness in the wake of widespread budget cuts. It was not considered a
priority area.
Marysville Fire Chief Gary Johnson reported that many people are not
aware that 39 percent of fire fighters die from heart attacks directly
related to the high stress level of their job.
Myers said that according to studies, firefighters have a life span 10
years shorter than the average person.
Johnson said the grant money will enable the department to send out
three firemen to become certified physical trainers. The men will start
health programs for each shift, focusing on nutrition and exercise.
The money will also be used to provide physicals to department
employees, which had been possible only once every other year.
The grant requires the department to match 10 percent of the $60,525
grant out of its budget.
Myers said that $6,725 will have to be redirected out of the
department's training budget to cover the cost.
The grant will also provide new workout equipment and will refurbish the
department's workout facility, benefiting the Marysville police
department as well as city employees who have access to the room.
In the long run, Johnson said, the increased fitness and health provided
to Marysville fire fighters may cut down on future costs relating to
injuries, sick leave and overtime hours.
Myers said the grant is a one-shot deal and must be spent during 2003.
The grant stipulates that the money must be used in addition to existing
funds, thus, additional cuts cannot be made by city administration.
Johnson said the press release from Dewine's office came as good news.
Myers originally sent out the grant application on March 28, hoping
Marysville would receive aid to keep its health and fitness programs
afloat at the department. Its fitness and health program funds before
the grant consisted of roughly $8,000 for 2003. He said he had assumed
the department was passed over again this year as grant distribution was
nearing an end.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Dewine helped secure
funds from the FIRE Act during the fiscal year 2002 appropriations
"I am pleased the Marysville Division of Fire will receive these funds,"
Dewine said. "I worked to ensure that this legislation was passed into
law and it is my hope that these funds will allow our local fire
departments to better meet their needs and continue to protect our
The funds were awarded for fire operations and firefighter safety and
can be used for training, wellness and fitness, fire fighting equipment
and personal protective equipment.
The FIRE Act funds are part of more than $360 million in grants to be
distributed by FEMA to fund firefighter training and enhance emergency
medical; service delivery. More than 19,500 fire departments applied for
grants this year and FEMA expects to award 5,500 grants. The
applications from departments are processed by the U.S. Fire
Administration and reviewed by 300 fire service representatives from
across the United States.
Ohio cities received $8.34 million of those funds.

Bank names CEO
The Delaware County Bank and Trust Company formally introduced its new
president and chief executive officer, Jeffrey T. Benton, today at its
headquarters in Lewis Center.
The board of directors appointed Benton after a two-month search which
began on Oct. 3 when the board voted not to continue the contract of
previous president Larry Coburn .
"Jeff Benton not only grasps the concept of community banking, he is a
sound, high caliber banker with the job skills necessary to increase the
profitability of our company," said Dr. G. William Parker, chairman of
board of the DCB Financial Corp., parent company of The Delaware County
Bank and Trust Co.
 Benton, a Delaware native, comes to the bank with more than 20 years of
experience with Bank One and Community First Bank and Trust. Previously
he served as the executive vice president of the Community First Bank
and Trust, a $700 million operation with 20 locations serving northwest
Ohio and eastern Indiana. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford
and is a certified public accountant.
"It will be an honor to return to Delaware and lead The Delaware County
Bank and Trust Co.," said Benton. "We have a tremendous opportunity to
become one of the premier financial institutions in the state of Ohio."
The Delaware County Bank and Trust Co. operates 16 banking center
locations in Delaware, Union and Franklin counties and currently has
more than $535 million in total assets.

Eufinger spends most on judge race
Campaign finance reports filed with Union County Board of Elections
Union County Probate and Juvenile Judge-elect Charlotte Coleman Eufinger
was not only the big winner, but also the big spender in the November
general election.
According to reports filed with the Union County Board of Elections,
Eufinger spent more than $8,500 and had in-kind contributions totaling
more than an additional $15,000.
A committee funding the campaign of Coleman's competitor, Dennis
Schulze, listed expenses of $518 and $4,900 . Another committee, the
Union County Republican Judicial Fund, also threw support to Schulze's
The Union County Republican Central Committee, supporting multiple
canidates, spent in excess of $26,000. Most of the early spending was
for a Family Fun Day held in October.
Post-election campaign finance reports were filed Oct. 13 with the Union
County Board of Elections for expenses through Dec. 6.
Total expenditures:
Charlotte Coleman Eufinger; treasurer Cande S. Brake - $5,285 with
$15,920 of in-kind contributions
The Friends of the Union County Health Department, Joseph A. Morris,
treasurer - $12,284
Union County Republican Central Committee; treasurer Marvin Gilbert -
Schulze for Judge; treasurer Marvin C. Gilbert - $518.30 with $4,922.77
in outstanding debt
Marysville Taxpayers Association; treasurer Stephen C. Ormeroid - $2,058
with $500 in forgiven debt
Union County Republican Judicial Fund; treasurer Marvin Gilbert -
Gary Lee for Commissioner; treasurer Jim Westfall - $581.77 with $1,400
in forgiven debt.
Committee to Reelect Judge Parrott; treasurer Jeffrey L. Evans - $181.72

Union County Democratic Party, Kathryn S. Hook, treasurer - no expenses
Mary H. Snider, Union County Auditor - no expenses
Pre-election campaign finance reports filed Oct. 24 with the Union
County Board of Elections for expenses through Oct. 16.
Total expenditures:
Eufinger - $3,387 with $4,094 of in-kind contributions
U.C. Democratic Party - $73
U.C. Republican Judicial Fund - $1,506
U.C. Republican Central Committee - $17,789
Lee - $1,400 with $1,800 outstanding loan
Friends of UCHD - $10,247

Marysville FCCLA group hosts Christmas party for children
>From J-T staff reports:
The Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) of
Marysville High School held its 30th annual Christmas party for less
fortunate children on Tuesday.
According to advisors Nancy White, Faith Still, Loren Traucht and Nancy
Streng, 35 children attended. Each child received a large gift from
Santa, a personalized filled stocking, hats and mittens, a coloring book
and crayons, tree ornaments, a dozen cut-out cookies that they decorated
and frosted, a present from an FCCLA member, a candy cane Rudolph and
reindeer dust. Each family received a turkey, a bag of apples, a bag of
oranges and a picture of their child with Santa from the party.
While at the party the children made cards for their parents and snowman
puppets, frosted and decorated their cut-out cookies, sang songs, played
Put the Nose on Rudolph and got to sit on Santa's lap.
A total of $1,510 was donated for the cause. The following contributed:
Nelson Auto Group, $200; Moose Lodge, $300; Foster Friends, $400;
Lutheran Brotherhood, $360; Anonymous donor, $100; Mother's Study
League, $50; and Pat and Jim Niple, $100.

United Way nears goal; extends annual campaign
>From J-T staff reports:
The United Way of Union County is encouraging residents to remember
those less fortunate this holiday season by making a donation to the
annual campaign.
The United Way Board of Trustees has decided to extend the campaign
through the end of the year. To date, donors have shown their generosity
by contributing $631,629 to help their friends  and neighbors here in
Union County. That's 90 percent of the $700,000 goal for the 2002
"The United Way is hoping to extend the Christmas spirit to the needy in
Union County by extending the campaign through the end of the year,"
executive director Shari Marsh said. "This will give all those who wish
to make a contribution an opportunity to do so."
Last year the campaign was also extended to the end of the year due to
the Sept. 11 attacks that caused United Way to get a slow start. Last
year's goal of $650,000 was met.
According to Marsh, there is an uncertainty in the economy causing
people to be leery of giving. Franklin County was short of its goal for
the first time in 20 years.
"We're making progress and staying positive that we can reach the goal,"
Marsh said.
Those who would like to make a  contribution can call the United Way at
644-8381 for a pledge form or go to the website at
United Way of Union County serves  20,000 residents through 23 member
agencies each year, including American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big
Sisters, Boy Scouts (Simon Kenton Council), Child Assault Prevention
Project, Child Care Network, Community Services Association,
Consolidated Care, Inc., Girl Scouts (Seal of Ohio Council), Habitat for
Humanity, Legal Aid Society, Loving Care Hospice, Memorial Meals
Program, Mental Health Association, Personal Needs Pantry, Pleasant
Valley Seniors, Richwood Civic Center, Speech, Language and Hearing,
Turning Point,  Union County Cancer Society, Union County Family YMCA,
Union County Special Needs Council, Windsor and Community Seniors and
Wings Enrichment Center


Jerome Twp. firefighters still without  new contract
The Jerome Township Board of Trustees ended the year much like it began
- divided.
This came despite a letter from president Susie Wolfe given to township
officials saying she wishes for unity on the board and a good working
relationship with the zoning and zoning appeals boards.
Unity, however, appeared to be lacking on several issues discussed
during the lengthy meeting.
With the firefighters' contract due to expire in 14 days, the township's
three trustees discussed for more than an hour a proposed contract
negotiated by township clerk Robert Caldwell.
Caldwell said the 5 percent pay increase and increase in longevity pay
are in line with surrounding townships. He also mentioned wording
changes recommended by the township's administrative attorney Susan Kyte
of Columbus. Fire Chief Scott Skeldon said Kyte's recommendations are
already a part of the department's procedures. The firefighters were
also seeking to change their insurance contribution from 25 percent to
10 percent.
The trustees voted the contract down with Wolfe and Freeman May voting
against the proposed contract. Ron Rhodes voted in favor.
The trustees then continued to discuss the contract.
Wolfe and May both said the township should not be asked to pay for more
of the insurance cost.
"I believe they're good guys, but I don't want them robbing the bank,"
Wolfe said, adding that the decision was not hers alone.Wolfe offered an
amendment that the contract state that the firefighters continue to pay
25 percent of the insurance cost. Caldwell informed them that that is
exactly what the contract states and the 10 percent proposal was only
Wolfe withdrew her motion.
After discussing overtime and compensatory time, the fire chief informed
the trustees that only three of the township's firefighters take
insurance through the township. Currently, insurance costs $30 a month
for an individual; $50 for an employee and spouse; and $70 for an
employee and family.
For a second time, Rhodes moved to accept the contract as written and
authorize the clerk to negotiate modifications as recommended by Kyte
concerning wording. This time the motion passed unanimously.
The contract discussion continued when Wolfe proposed changing wording.
The approved contract states a flat fee to be paid by firefighters,
rather than a percentage.
Rhodes called the motion "nitpicking" and was the lone dissenter.
Another motion was then passed unanimously to permit the clerk to
negotiate the amendment.
Wolfe assured the sparse crowd that the trustees would make sure a
contract was in place before the end of the year, even if it requires a
special meeting.
A routine request from the clerk to transfer $800 to cover the cost of a
burial turned into a long discussion. The request shed light on the fact
that one trustee has been going beyond his duties by hiring outside help
without the approval of the board.
May admitted that he has contracted grave diggers and planned to
continue to do so on a regular basis. Rhodes had been called to task at
a previous meeting for hiring outside workers to perform township work
without the approval of May or Wolfe. Rhodes asked that the same
standards apply across the board. He also asked why the township was
hiring help now that they have a road crew that was supposed to know how
to run a backhoe. He questioned if the township had hired qualified
May offered no answer to the question. The trustees eventually passed a
motion authorizing May "to hire whoever he can get a hold of to open and
close graves if the township has no one trained or available." It is to
cost no more than $700.
The three-member board was not able to reach agreement on procedures for
appointing alternates to other boards. Pointing out that it is not a
pressing matter, Rhodes asked to table the discussion until January so
he could address in writing his concerns with a document prepared by
Kyte. Wolfe and May, however, appeared ready to move on the matter.
Numerous times May said he believed the only requirement for a candidate
is that he is a resident of the township for six months. Wolfe said she
agreed with May.
"I don't care who you are or where you come from," May said.
No action was taken before the meeting adjourned.

MV, F'banks boards handle routine business
The Marysville Board of Education set Jan. 13 as the date of the budget
hearing and organizational meeting.
The hearing will begin at 6:50 p.m. and the meeting will be held at 7
In personnel matters, the board:
 . Approved as substitute teachers Michelle Ford, Dave Hubert, Paula
Mooney, Catherine Reynolds and Jaime Strahm; and as a home instructor,
Karen Hyland.
 . Accepted the supplemental contract resignation of Whayne Pack as
freshman girls softball coach.
 . Approved supplemental contracts for Amber Halvorsen and Sandy Jones
as middle school musical directors; Susan Lykins as Navin Destination
Imagination team manager; and Christopher Terzis as assistant swimming
In other business, the board:
 . Accepted a donation of $5,000 from Fifth Third Bank of Central Ohio
to Navin Elementary School; $360 from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
United Branch 8487, $100 from Pat and Jim Niple and $100 from an
anonymous donor for the FCCLA Christmas party; and a donation of 192
pencils to the guidance department for use during proficiency testing.
 . Reappointed Dr. Rodney Hurl to a seven-year term of the Marysville
Public Library Board of Trustees.
 . Approved a contracted service agreement with Dr. Bob Stinson on an as
needed basis to work with a student at the middle school with behavior
problems, cognitive delays and deafness. . Approved trips for the show
choir to Cuyahoga Falls Feb. 1 and 2; Twinsburg Feb. 22 and 23;
Fairfield March 1 and 2; Virginia Beach April 24-27.
 . Approved a trip for the jazz ensembles for April 11-13.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss personnel. No
action was taken.
The Fairbanks Board of Education set the 2003 budget hearing for 6:30
p.m. Jan. 13 and the organizational and January meeting at 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 13.
In other business, the board:
 . Appointed member Star Keith to the Tolles JVS board for a two-year
 . Adopted as textbooks, "Agriscience," "The Science of Agriculture,"
"Agricultural mechanics Fundamental," "The Science of Animal
Agriculture," "Leadership," "Communication in the Agriculture Industry,"
"Introduction to Agribusiness," "Effective Business Speaking" and "The
How in Parliamentary Procedure."
 . Approved membership in the Northwest Central Ohio Conference for the
2003-04 school year.
 . Approved continuing membership in the Ohio School Boards Association.

In personnel issues, the board:
 . Approved as substitute teachers Jane Dean, Kisha Frantz, Shauna
Hershberger, Keith Turner, Don Kane, Scott Bruning and Stephanie
 . Approved supplemental contracts for Darla Hall-Barrett, elementary
student council; Ann Arthur, intervention assistant team leader; Nancy
Bowman, Heather Galsterer, Debbie Hegenderfer and Mark Lotycz,
elementary IAT team; and Kevin Franke, middle school wrestling coach.

NU board approves treasurer's salary
>From J-T staff reports:
The North Union School Board bumped up the treasurer's salary and
handled routine business at Monday's regularly-scheduled meeting.
Scott Maruniak was moved to step five of the salary schedule, increasing
his pay to $64,323. The increase will take effect at the district's
organizational meeting on Jan. 13.
The board also heard a presentation on programs being used at
Leesburg-Magnetic and Jackson elementaries. A group of students showed
the board how they use the Power Point computer program in their reading
and social studies classes.
Also covered were presentations on the Literature Circle reading program
and new ways teachers are working to keep parents informed on the
happenings at the schools.
In other business:
. Board members were honored early by the Ohio School Boards Association
as part of January's School Board Recognition Month.
. The board set times for the annual organizational meeting, budget
hearing, finance committee meeting, board work session and policy
committee meeting. A special meeting of the board was set for Thursday
at the Union County Common Pleas Courtroom. The meeting will be held
almost entirely in executive session and will deal with labor
negotiation issues.
. The board accepted a contract with Labor Relations Solutions of
Columbus for negotiations in 2003.
. Bids were authorized for a 71-passenger school bus.
. Bruce Davis was appointed to a seven-year term on the Richwood-North
Union Library Board.
. The board approved the a trip to a band festival in Hershey, Pa., for
the high school band.
. Margo Shipp's request to attend the International Reading Association
Conference May 4-8 was approved.
. Tara Spicer's resignation as cheerleader advisor was accepted. Later
in the meeting Louanna Wykoff was tapped to fill the position.
. The board approved an unpaid leave of absence for Walter Everly.
. Additional individuals were added to list of substitute personnel.
. The board renewed membership with the Ohio School Boards Association
and authorized participation in the Ohio School Boards Association Legal
Assistance Fund.
. Board member Kevin Crosthwaite was selected as president pro tem for
the 2003 organizational meeting.
. The board held an executive session to discuss personnel.

NU's Bumgarner takes camping to extremes
Luke Bumgarner has taken the concept of camping to a whole new level.
The North Union senior attended three camps this past summer to expand
his horizons and better prepare him for his leadership roles in student
council and FFA.
He began his camp tour in June with 4H camp. This year marked his fourth
year as a counselor. At the end of July, he attended Camp Muskingum with
"I love FFA cam," Bumgarner said. "It's one of the best camps I've ever
He explained that the FFA retreat focused on traditional activities
along with honing debate skills.
"The organized debate was great in that we got to see different points
of view," he said.
However, Bumgarner got to experience an even more extreme point of view
when he traveled to Japan at the beginning of July. He spent a week at a
Christian camp called Hi-BA.
He said the idea to travel abroad was suggested by a classmate, Christa
Ransome. Ransome and her family had lived in Japan for three years while
her father was on a Honda work assignment.
"She had invited several friends to come but I was the only one who was
allowed to actually go." Bumgarner said, "My parents were very
He said his biggest challenge upon deciding to go was knowing Ransome
would be the only familiar face abroad.
"However, I was happy to take the opportunity to get to see Japan after
hearing her talk about it for so long," Bumgarner said.
Upon arriving in Japan, Bumgarner stayed with missionaries for his first
night. He then traveled to Hi-BA camp which is located near the ocean.
"It was a trip of firsts for me - the first time on a plane and the
first time swimming in the ocean," he said.
Bumgarner's family was concerned that he wouldn't find much to his
liking while he was away because of his picky eating habits. Bumgarner
found the opposite to be true. He enjoyed Japanese curry and learned how
to use chopsticks.
Hi-BA camp activities included daily devotions, sermons and morality
plays performed by camp staff. The campers also enjoyed praise music
each evening.
Bumgarner's last day abroad was on his 18th birthday. Ransome and her
friends took Bumgarner to the Sunshine City Mall.
"The name is ironic because the entire mall is underground," he said.
He was treated to a traditional karaoke bar and enjoyed the unique
sights and sounds of the mall, including a fountain display with music.
Overall, the camp was an enlightening experience.
"Campers came from Japan, India, China and America." Bumgarner said, "It
just opens your mind to different points of view when you see all these
people from different backgrounds come together for five days for one
common reason - to worship and grow."
He said FFA camp was similar in that people from across the state are
brought together to celebrate FFA. He feels his unique and varied summer
camp experiences have better prepared him for his role as president of
both student council and FFA.
Bumgarner is also a member of National Honor Society and a reporter with
the school newspaper.

Council cuts $500,000 from Marysville budget
 Marysville City Council met Wednesday night in the second of two
special sessions to finalize cuts across the board in the 2003 budget.
The original goal of council was to rid the overall budget of a least
$500,000. After Wednesday's amendment votes, it appears council met its
Council president John Gore said Thursday that money cut from the
departments will be used to deal with problems with city streets and the
Marysville wastewater treatment plant.
Departments originally under the ax were recreation, materials and
supplies, training, and a proposed hiring freeze on new city workers.
While these areas did see cuts, they were not hit as hard as originally
expected. No action on the hiring freeze has been taken at this time.
Council president John Gore said council tried to be consistent in all
departments. He said council looked at consolidating materials and
supplies, technical services and money set aside for dues, conferences
and training. Materials and supplies budgets were cut in every
department and funds marked miscellaneous and discretionary were also
carefully examined and trimmed.
The parks and recreation budget dropped from $40,000 to $30,000, after
having first been cut from $46,000. Councilman Dan Fogt proposed to cut
the entire $40,000 which would have eliminated the concerts in the park
series and other summer recreation activities. He suggested running
summer recreational programs through donations.
The police and fire departments both had already undergone cuts in Mayor
Steve Lowe's original financial strategy plan and the only further cut
will be in the police department's school crossing guard fund.
Gore said Marysville is one of only a few cities funding school crossing
guards, as the positions are usually handled by school districts. As a
result, the fund was dropped from $47,000 to $11,000, allowing the
guards to continue their service until the end of the school year.
The fire department saw no amendments to its 2003 budget.
Council members cut the city newsletter fund from the mayor's personal
budget. Plans are being made to produce a newsletter covering both
council and administrative issues.
The cemetery fund remained relatively stable, with only one amendment
cutting its technical services department from $10,000 to $5,000 for
removal of old or dying trees in the cemetery.
In other public service issues, public service director Tracie Davies
had also recommended cutting the funds for mosquito spraying which has
not been proven to work. Instead, $1,500 was allotted toward a new
program geared toward preventing the growth of mosquito larvae.
There were concerns that the cuts may be ill conceived.
"I think we may be cutting this year at the expense of our future,"
councilman Mark Reams warned.
He felt cutting in areas such as training for city employees would hurt
the city because training could save the city thousands of dollars in
the long run.
Lowe was not in attendance at either special meeting.

Students get lesson in the real world
From J-T staff reports:
Time Warner Cable and Pepsi presented "Welcome to the Real World" for
ninth grade students at Marysville High School today. About 17 students
from Fairbanks High School also will attend.
The experience will give students the opportunity to learn about:
 * Earning a wage and paying bills
 * What it actually costs to run a household
 * How buying decisions affect earnings
 * Adult responsibilities.
About 375 students traveled down a life-sized "Life" game board that was
assembled in the school gym. Along the way they visited 19 tables,
sponsored by local businesses, to learn how to juggle finances, pay
bills and experience the real world of money management and
Some of the stops will include choosing a profession, having children,
buying a home and car, paying taxes, acquiring insurance, credit
counseling and paying utility bills. The students were provided with a
calculator and checkbook.
The project is designed to give students a better understanding of what
"makes up the game of life" and a head start into the world of fiscal
Businesses who took part in the program were ATS Transmissions, Burger
King, Dave's Pharmacy, Donatos Pizza, Marysville Public Library,
Memorial Hospital of Union County, North Main Motors, Richwood Bank,
Servicemaster, Union County Employment, Union County health Department,
Union Rural Electric, UPS, Pepsi and Time Warner Cable.

ORW inmates create toys for the holidays
From J-T staff reports:
Inmates at the Ohio Reformatory for Women volunteered to handcraft toys
and Christmas decorations for the second annual toy contest sponsored by
the Community Stitching Post.
The Community Stitching Post is a residential program which gives
inmates the opportunity to do community service inside house walls.
Community service allows inmates to pay back their debt to society and
use their time positively. ORW requires a minimum of 30 community
service hours a month.
According to Maralene Sines, administrative assistant, it makes the
inmates feel good to contribute to society.
Eighty inmates participated in the contest beginning in September. The
inmates made 351 toys, an increase over the previous year. The toys were
judged by ORW staff members on Dec. 3. Each category of toys had a
first, second and third place award along with honorable mention. The
top three winners received prizes of baked goods.
 The toys and decorations were made for a broad range of age groups from
babies to teens. The toys consisted of stuffed animals, crocheted items,
dolls, doll clothes, rocking horses, ornaments and a variety of other
The charities that were designated to receive the items are Children's
Hospital in Columbus, Appalachia which helps poverty stricken families
in Kentucky, Warm Up America in Wisconsin, Tupelo Children's Mansion
Ministries in Mississippi, Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Dublin and
the Jesus Wept Ministries, a prison program in Texas.

Care Train Auction will be held Saturday
The 17th annual Community Care Train Auction will be held Saturday from
9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McAuliffe's Ace Hardware.
Dave Laslow, chairman of the volunteer organization, said that one of
the greatest things about this cause is that people donate because they
want to and this year, the need seems to be greater.
"This is our day," said Laslow. "This is the day we make a decision on
how we will affect the lives of those less fortunate in Union County."
The goal of the Community Care Train is to raise $30,000 from donations
and the auction. This money will be used to distribute toys and food
vouchers among eligible families from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 19 at the
former Heilig-Meyers building.
"There are 150 items to be auctioned," Laslow said. "The community has
poured their hearts out."
Some items up for bid this year include Columbus Blue Jackets tickets,
autographed items, gift certificates for food, Longaberger baskets, an
OSU jacket, art work, a decorated Christmas tree and two trip packages.
Last year a total of $22,000 was raised. The majority of the donations,
$14,600, was raised from the auction alone.
According to Jim Cesa, executive director of Community Action, there are
more than 450 children and 200 families who are eligible to receive
donations from the Community Care Train. On top of that, 80 to 90
elderly and disabled people are also eligible for donations. Families
who feel they qualify for Care Train help may contact Community Action
at 642-4986.
Community Action identifies people who are eligible.
The auction will be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable on channels 6
and 9 and WUCO 1270. Those unable to attend can participate in the
auction by phone.
More information about the auction may be obtained by calling Laslow at

Authorities issue warning about new drug
A new drug may possibly be circulating around the city, according to
officials of the Marysville Police Department.
Officer Don McGlen said  a drug called Alpha-Methyltryptamine (AMT) is
reportedly being abused in the local community, as well as in most of
the country.
The police department became aware of the presence of the drug in
Marysville after a female resident received a package in the mail with a
small plastic baggy inside containing the substance. Glen said the
resident contacted the department about the package, saying she did not
know who it came from or why she received it. It was sent from an area
in New York state, Nicol said. McGlen said the amount of AMT in the
package, its potency and street value are being studied.
It is the only documented report of AMT in Marysville. The police have
been working with the Drug Enforcement Agency in investigating potential
trafficking in the drug.
"It's not a serious problem but we just want to make the public aware
that it is out there," assistant police chief Glen Nicol said. "Our main
intent is to keep parents up to speed."
AMT is an off-white powder primarily ingested in soft capsule form,
McGlen said. Reports indicate that it can also been added to tobacco
products and smoked. Users can experience such symptoms as increased
energy, empathy, nausea, headaches and vomiting.
The drug's effects are primarily hallucinogenic in nature, similar to
Ecstasy or LSD, which are labeled as popular club drugs.
One capsule commonly has a street value of approximately $20.
Alpha-Methyltryptamine was originally introduced for cancer research but
is no longer being used in that capacity.
The drug is not a scheduled drug in Ohio, meaning it is not technically
illegal and has not been extensively studied for its potential hazards.
Nicol said federal courts have already prosecuted cases involving the
drug. The state of Illinois recently amended its Controlled Substance
Act to include the drug AMT as illegal.
However, due to the abuse of AMT, the DEA is preparing for an emergency
hearing to classify it as a schedule-one hallucinogen.
Anyone with information related to this drug is asked to contact the
Marysville Police Department.

Health commissioner leaving
Davy, board of health can't agree to contract terms
Union County Health Commissioner Anne Davy is leaving.
After three months of contract negotiations, Davy rejected the board's
latest offer at a special meeting Monday, said Gary McDowell, president
of the seven-member board of health. After Davy's rejection, McDowell
said, the board voted unanimously to withdraw its offer.
The two sides appear unable to agree on wages, vacation time and a
termination clause.
Davy's current contract ends Dec. 31. She has been Union County Health
Commissioner for six years.
McDowell said the board will begin advertising for the position and will
probably name an interim commissioner. He assures the public that in
spite of the health commissioner's departure, the department will
continue to maintain operations.
"It is unfortunate and regretful that we find ourselves in this
position," McDowell said. "We live in a community that is dynamic and
growing and I think the health department has done a good job of keeping
up with the demands and needs of the community."
In a written statement, Davy said she has gone the extra mile at every
opportunity and done exactly what the board requested during past
contract negotiations.
She questioned whether the board "ever intended to negotiate seriously."

"Why would the Board have started out by reducing my vacation from 20
days to 10, offered me a salary for less than staff I supervise and
added a termination clause which has never been necessary?" Davy said.
She noted that she supervises a director who is paid $61,360.
Davy's current salary is $58,000 and the board's 2003 salary proposal
was $60,000. Davy was seeking $63,000 for 2003, $66,000 for 2004, a
two-year contract and the removal of the termination clause. She also
was seeking 25 vacation days.
"The board failed to make the health commissioner's salary commensurate
with the position," Davy said. "Every other employee's salary was raised
to a more competitive rate in 2002.
"I should not be working for less than the people I supervise and still
carry all risk and responsibility for the Health Department."
McDowell said a 90-day termination clause was added by the board because
the commissioner's contract was to be extended from one to two years.
"My job security and the organization's stability at a time of immense
transition is compromised by such a clause," Davy said. "It was my
desire to have it stricken from the contract."
Davy said 2002 was a year of great productivity on her part, beginning
with planning and negotiations related to relocation, successful grant
writing for bioterrorism preparedness, investigation of public health
concerns related to leukemia cases and communicable diseases. She also
noted the passage of a levy for the department.
"Our system depends on the passage of levies," Davy said. "The
leadership for the campaign was on my shoulders."
Davy is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Nursing
Master's program in Community Health and a member of Sigma Theta Tau
Nursing Honorary. She was voted Outstanding Graduate student in
Community Health in the fall 1995 and received the 2001 Humanitarian
Award from Union County Juvenile and Probate Judge Gary McKinley. In
fall 2002 she was elected President-Elect of the Association of Ohio
Health Commissioners. She spent 25 years in pediatric nursing before
completing her master's degree in 1995.
Davy said she plans to stay in public health.
"I have no plans for the moment because I was hoping to be retained as
health commissioner by the board," Davy said. "I am terribly
disappointed that the board has failed to recognize my efforts and
retain my services.
"It has been my pleasure to serve the residents of Union County," Davy
continued. "I feel I will have left the Health Department better than I
found it in September of 1996."
The Union County Board of Health includes Mike Brake, James "Al"
Channell, Dr. Carol Karrer, Dr. Anita Wantz, Marge Myers, Eric
Milholland and McDowell.

MHS grad honored for commanding ship
Parrott receives Bronze Star for leading crew  of the McFaul
>From J-T staff reports:
A former local man was recently honored by the United States Navy for
his service during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Cmdr. Neil R. Parrott was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious
achievement in connection with combat operations while assigned to the
nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Enterprise Battle Group.
Capt. Daniel P. Holloway, commander of Destroyer Squadron 18, made the
presentation aboard Parrott's ship, the guided missile destroyer McFaul
in Norfolk, Va.
Parrott, the son of Union County Common Pleas Judge Richard Parrott and
Sonie Convers Tron of Marysville, has been commanding officer of the
ship since Aug. 31.
During Parrott's first month aboard, McFaul served as a guardship in the
northern Persian Gulf, providing food, water and medical supplies to
more than 20 diverted vessels.
Parrott received the medal for McFaul's actions as part of the
retaliatory strike into Afghanistan and also a nighttime high-speed
chase of smuggling vessels, air defense operations and precision
Tomahawk land attack missile strikes.
Parrott said his commanding officer surprised him with the medal.
"It was really a medal earned by the crew, not me," he said. "We did our
job as tasked leading up to Sept. 11, 2001, and then in the weeks and
months following the attack on our country, proudly led the first
counterstrikes in the war on terrorism."
Parrott was born and raised in Marysville and graduated from Marysville
High School in 1979 and from Miami University in 1983 with a bachelor of
science degree in systems engineering.
After attending Surface Warfare Officers School in Coronado, Calif., he
reported to USS Okinawa in San Diego where he was assigned to the
operations and engineering departments. Following department head
training in Newport, R.I., he reported to USS Elrod in Charleston, S.C.,
as engineer officer and his follow-on engineer officer tour was in USS
Preble, homeported in Norfolk.
Parrott spent two years at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey,
Calif., earning a master of science degree in systems engineering in
1992, majoring in electronic warfare. He was transferred back to Norfolk
where he served in the operations directorate on the staff of the
commander of Cruiser-Destroyer Group Eight.
>From April 1995 through November 1996 Parrott was on the staff of the
commander-in-chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, where he was the first
officer-in-charge of Tomahawk Afloat Planning and was responsible for
staffing and training Tomahawk mission planning detachments in support
of each deploying battle group.
Parrott served as executive officer in USS Caron from March 1997 through
May 1998. His last tour was at the Navy Personnel Command in Millington,
Tenn., from June 1998 to August 2000, where he was the surface ship
placement officer.
Parrott's personal decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious
Service Medal with one gold star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy
Commendation Medal with two gold stars and Navy Achievement Medal.
Parrott is married to the former Sarah Evans of Chagrin Falls and they
have one son, Donald.
Editor's note: Some of the information in this story was taken from an
article published by Ensign Leo Mendwez.

Scotts opens new research facility
Greenhouse can recreate nearly any climate
>From J-T staff reports:
While it may feel like winter in Union County, the temperature is more
like southern Florida in the state-of-the-art Scotts Company research
greenhouse facility that was dedicated earlier today.
The 18,000-square-foot climate controlled facility is the most advanced
of its kind in the country, said John Bosser, senior specialist of
corporate communications at The Scotts Company located on Industrial
Its four primary greenhouses, divided into 12 separate environmental
rooms, can be adjusted to replicate the temperature and humidity of any
climate in the world ranging from the Amazon rainforest to the Sahara
desert to the Canadian Rockies.
Dr. Bruce Augustin, director of field biology at The Scott Company, will
oversee the operation of the $5.2-million facility that uses 14,400 amps
of power for lighting. This compares to a home that has service of 200
All research will be consolidated under one roof, Augustin said, and a
wide spectrum of plants will be grown including turf grasses, flowers
and vegetables. Research will also include traditional kinds of
fertilizer, potting soils and control products that include growing
weeds and killing them or infecting plants with insects.
Augustin said this research greenhouse is "very unique in the lawn and
garden industry" and can simulate just about any climate on the earth by
controlling light, temperature and humidity.
The new facility offers four times more space than the previous
greenhouses that were 30 years old. It also offers total control of the
environment, Augustin said.
Bosser said this most recent investment is another reflection of The
Scott Company's "great commitment to the future" of the lawn and garden
industry and Union County and a "perfect" compliment to the company.
Since The Scott Company merged with Miracle Gro eight years ago the
company has invested $100 million in facilities.
Today's dedication included comments by Scotts President and Chief
Executive Officer James Hagedorn, as well as tours with research
associates available to answer questions about the facility's systems,
design and capabilities.

Arson charges dropped
J-T staff reports:
Arson charges were dropped Monday against a second volunteer firefighter
accused of setting a series barn fires in the Ostrander area.
Seven arson charges and one count of attempted arson against David
Jeremy Miller, 21, of Ostrander were dropped at the request of
prosecutors. Last week, two arson charges were dismissed against another
volunteer firefighter, Brandon Dilley, 20, of Ostrander.
Both men were volunteer firefighters for the Scioto Township Fire
Both were indicted in March in connection with fires that destroyed six
barns in western Delaware County between March and August 2001.
Miller's trial was set to begin Monday. Prosecutors asked for a
continuance, but were denied by visiting Judge Richard E. Parrott of
Union County.
Assistant county prosecuting attorney Dane Gaschen said Miller's charges
were dropped because time was running out on his right to a speedy
Prosecutor W. Duncan Whitney said earlier that Dilley's charges were
dropped as a result of further investigation. He described Dilley as a
potential witness in the case, but would not elaborate, according to

Richwood Council hears parking complaint
Residents of the east side of North Franklin Street voiced concerns to
Richwood Village Council Monday night about recent changes in parking
Pat Titus, 172 N. Franklin St., served as spokesperson for residents in
the area who were concerned that the village has eliminated parking
along the east side of the street. Titus said limited driveway parking
at many of the homes has left friends and family forced to look for
other places to park.
Actually the regulations on parking are not new but come from a 1995
ordinance that mandates no parking on the east side of North Franklin
Street from Oak Street to the northern corporation line.
Council members could not determine why the parking restriction was
enacted but promised to investigate the matter. Mayor Bill Nibert turned
the issue over to the street committee, which in turn decided to meet
Jan. 7 to look over the area and the parking guidelines.
The budget crunch in Richwood has apparently reached out to the Village
Hall. Several areas of the village government have been forced to
tighten belts in the face of decreasing tax revenues in the coming year.

The most recent move to beef up the general fund came Monday when
council voted to filter inheritance tax money into the general fund
where previously it had gone into the Village Hall Renovation Fund.
It was noted that last year inheritance taxes taken in by the village
totaled $18,000 but that figure was higher than totals from previous
It was noted that residents could still set aside money for the
renovation fund, but the actual tax money collected would now go into
the general fund where it could be used for various village services.
The measure passed 5-1 with Arlene Blue casting the no vote. Blue also
noted that council had previously discussed making the move applicable
for only one year but the wording as passed makes it permanent.
In other business, council:
. Learned from Ed Bischoff of the engineering firm Bischoff and
Associates that the village had been awarded grant funding for the Ohio
Public Works Committee for phase three of the village water line
. Approved water and sewer connections for 95 Dudley Circle, which is
the first lot being completed in the second phase of the Greenwood
Addition. Jeff Wills, who is the developer of the project, gave
preliminary plans for the first portion of the project.
. Learned from village solicitor Rick Rodger that Memorial Hospital of
Union County is willing to rent the village administration building to
the village for the next five years for $1 per year.
. Learned from council member Wade McCalf that anyone having trouble
making new reduced toll calls to Marysville should call 1-800-483-5000
and report the problem to Verizon.
. Heard from council member George Showalter that the north shelter
house at the village park has been rewired.
. Learned from Showalter that the FFA and art classes at North Union
High School had created an American flag from colored bulbs that will be
added to the park Christmas light display.
. Learned from village administrator Ron Polen that he is working to
correct a chlorination problem at the village water treatment plant.
. Heard reminder from Showalter that no one is allowed on the ice at the
village lake.
. Learned that the village received a Community Improvement and Economic
Development grant for $30,000 to work on grading at the village
industrial park.
. Held an executive session to discuss personnel.

JA's Baldwin in tune with musical side
Imagine hiring a musician, talented enough to play three instruments and
sing. Crystal Baldwin of Jonathan Alder High School is an accomplished
vocalist, violinist, pianist and saxophonist.
"I enjoy music a lot," Baldwin said.
She began with piano at the age of 6 after a friend encouraged her to
play. She said she begged her parents for piano lessons and from there
her love of music was born.
In the fifth grade, Baldwin started with the clarinet in the school band
program. She switched to saxophone in high school, however, her
instrument of choice is the violin.
"While visiting Branson, Mo., with my family, I saw a lot of shows with
fiddle players and it really sparked my interest," Baldwin explained.
She began violin lessons more than three years ago.
"It has been hard to keep up because it's not part of the school program
but I really enjoy it," Baldwin said.
She is able to play at her family church in Dublin and her violin
teacher is her pastor's wife.
"I accompany the church choir sometimes. My favorite violin piece
overall is 'Orange Blossom Special'," Baldwin said.
She said she is drawn to classical pieces for violin and piano whereas
jazz is a favorite when playing sax.
When it is time to sing, Baldwin is a fan of Italian music.
"I love singing Italian because it is a lot of fun and it is a different
language," she said.
Baldwin's voice coach of two years recommends that all her students
learn Italian because the language is the base for all music.
Baldwin has been in various choirs since she was little. She began voice
lessons in high school to help prepare her voice for work in musicals
and show choir.
"There is no feeling like being in a musical. You learn all the music
and choreography and then when you're up there under the lights with
everyone watching, there is nothing like it," Baldwin said.
As a sophomore she played one of the leads in "Bye Bye Birdie." This
year she plans to try out for "Brigadoon." Baldwin has also participated
in the Madison County Arts Council production of "Pirates of Penzance."
"I'm more of a singer than a dancer," Baldwin said. "I've become better
with experience."
Baldwin will be participating Tuesday in the Community Christmas Concert
at Jonathan Alder which will feature area bands and choirs. She said she
is looking forward to performing a rendition of "Frosty the Snowman"
with the show choir.
As far as life after high school, Baldwin would like to attend college
in Ohio. She is currently thinking about Cedarville University and wants
to be a music education major.
Baldwin lives on Hickory Ridge Road outside of Plain City with her
parents Denise and Jim and her three younger siblings. All three are
musically inclined and her brother Chase, a freshman, performs alongside
his sister in show choir.

City lays out odor fighting methods
The winter cold may have suppressed most of the odor at the Marysville
wastewater plant but some people have not forgotten.
Tuesday Marysville Mayor Steve Lowe and public service director Tracie
Davies informed residents where the city stands on its promise to get
the smell out of Marysville. A total of four residents from Cypress
Drive and Buerger Street were in attendance at the meeting, along with
city engineer Phil Roush.
Lowe reported that an engineering study is almost complete regarding the
options of either expanding the treatment plant or relocating it outside
of town. Relocation has been the direction Lowe said he has been pushing
for since he came into office in 2000.
He said the engineering study is expected to be completed sometime next
month and he will present the study to Marysville city council members.
Lowe said it will be at least four to five years before something will
be built.
While residents did not show up in great numbers, Lowe said those who
did attend seemed to be pleased that relocation is still an option. The
city does not yet have any possible sites chosen.
At the meeting, Lowe and Davies reported that the plant has enacted a
new treatment system that does not allow the waste to sit around in
tanks to settle. Because of this bypass there is less opportunity for
the sludge to remain stagnant and create odors.
The sludge is reportedly transported directly to the landfill in Marion
within one week of being processed. In the past, Davies said, sludge may
have stayed at the local plant for up to four months until the waste
could be applied to farmer's fields as crop fertilizer.
A study introducing new chemicals has been used at the plant to cut down
the odor, although the results have not yet been determined. No septic
waste is being accepted at the plant.
Lowe said the city has budgeted $150,000 in 2003 for its own sludge
truck, which will allow for an even more regular removal schedule. It
may also mean sludge could be loaded directly onto the truck instead of
into beds for a week.
The topic of the truck caused some debate at Thursday's council meeting
after councilman Dan Fogt questioned the high price of the vehicle,
especially after it was reported that it would be driven only 500 miles
a week.
Fogt said he understood that planning cuts at the treatment plant was
probably not going to be popular, due to residents pushing for the mayor
to get rid of the odor. He told Davies that the truck price was rather
high and needed to be looked into at the two upcoming 2003 budget
meetings scheduled in council chambers for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and 7 p.m.
Davies said another item budgeted in 2003 includes a new enclosed
building for sludge storage and transfer.
"This would keep all the sludge out of the weather," Davies said. "The
drier the sludge, the less the smell."
The city is currently using an aerobic digester that was designed to
handle sludge from only one treatment process, not the entire plant. A
second digester has been out of service but will be repaired in 2003,
Lowe said.
Having the second digester working will allow for more time and space to
digest the waste materials.

Quilts to warm the heart
Group donates what it makes to less  fortunate infants
"Love and comfort to at-risk babies through handmade quilts is the goal
of the Christian Quilters Guild," Barbara Ramm explained.
Ramm is a member of the guild which meets monthly in the basement of the
First United Methodist church. The group was started at the church in
1995 by Avanelle Oberlin.
"I had always wanted to learn how to quilt since I was a child, but
never really had the time I decided to start a quilting group through
UMW (United Methodist Women) after learning about the ABC (At-Risk Baby
Crib) quilt program," Oberlin said.
ABC Quilts was started in 1988 by Ellen Ahlgren and Ann White in New
Hampshire. Their goal was to start a program to provide baby quilts to
any child who is born alcohol or drug affected, left as abandoned or is
infected with the HIV/AIDS virus. In fourteen years the program has
groups nationwide and has delivered 450,000 quilts to babies worldwide.
"By the end of the first summer, our local group had 35 quilts ready
from 10 quilters," Oberlin said. "For the next several years, we would
complete about 30 some quilts each year.
 "Then as new quilters joined our group, we were able to make about 50
baby quilts per year."
The quilts are delivered to the Quilt Pox in Hilliard for distribution
to local hospitals. In total, the local group has donated more than 300
quilts since their beginning, explained Ramm.
Oberlin said the group members have not actually been present when a
baby receives a quilt. However, a former church member, who is now a
nurse in Columbus, often sees firsthand the importance of the ABC Quilt
She sent us a letter telling about how well the quilts are received and
how they are used," Oberlin said. "We also received pictures of babies
in the operating room, covered with quilts to protect their eyes from
the bright lights.
"The feedback and photos are so heart warming to us."
Oberlin said the estimated cost of each quilt is about $25 with some
nearing $50. The group welcomes donations of fabric, equipment and
Each month Oberlin sends a newsletter to guild members informing them
about what quilt pattern or project they will be working on at the next
Currently, the Christian Quilters Guild has about 25 members. The group
is open to anyone.
"There are no dues or rules of membership, just a group of people who
enjoy quilting and want to practice the skill," Oberlin said. "We like
to share the interest with others, get to know wonderful people, and
have a sense of accomplishment when a quilt is finished."
Ramm said the friendship and camaraderie shared at the meeting is quite
"Each member will tell you that the satisfaction they receive of knowing
they are helping a child somewhere in need, greatly outweighs the time
and effort put into each quilt," Ramm said. "No one need fear that their
sewing skills are lacking."
The end of the year Christmas brunch will be held on Dec. 16 at 9:30
a.m. at the church. The group will be sharing current quilting projects.
For more information on the Christian Quilters Guild, those interested
may contact Avanelle Oberlin at 644-4750

Study: City needs cuts or new revenue
Lowe says study shows need for income tax; Gore calls it 'a setup'
As when any discussion turns to money, voices often go up a few octaves.
Such was the case at the Marysville City Council and its focus on the
2003 city budget.
Paul Tischler of Tischler & Associates Inc. spoke to council Thursday
night regarding his company's Fiscal Impact Analysis of Residential and
Nonresidential Land Use Prototypes in Marysville.
The analysis provides an understanding of what type of land uses
generate net revenues and net deficits to the city.
The study did not have encouraging words for the city's financial state.

In his presentation, Tischler noted that the city's current capital
budget is minimal and does not address large infrastructure projects
such as those on the capital needs list.
The city relies on income tax and real property taxes to fund its
operations, he said.
"As the fiscal results show, the current level of service cannot be
supported by the present revenue structure and may be evidence of a
structure problem. This could result in either the need to raise revenue
rates (such as income tax), identify new sources of revenues (such as
impact fees), or decrease the current level of service since several of
the prototype land use categories cause deficits," the Tischler study
Lowe used this statement to recall offhandedly his reasoning for pushing
for the income tax raise, which was defeated by residents in November
and met with council opposition.
"Is this some kind of a setup?" council president John Gore asked Lowe.
Lowe said it was actually the first he had met Tischler.
Tischler said the city had the three options in terms of raising the
income tax, raising impact fees or making cuts across the board in
services in order to help its financial state.
"It is clear you do need to address this issue," Tischler said. "The
faster you grow the worse off you are going to be."
He said if residents don't want to pay an increase on the income tax
then they need to consider what services they want to reduce. One area
most often cut is recreation.
Gore applied similar tactics as the mayor and asked Tischler if he is
saying the city needs to work together and to compromise its goals
instead of having one person dictate how things will go.
Tischler said he was not trying to dictate anything to anyone but is
reporting the results of the study. Lowe said he has been pushing for
similar issues and accused council of being lazy.
"This is a council meeting," Gore said, "and you are out of order."
Concerning city finances, Gore said the goal of council is to have the
2003 budget prepared by the end of the year.
To do this two special meetings have been scheduled. The first is to be
a work session Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The second will be a special council
meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m. to hold public hearings and second readings
on the annual appropriation ordinance, adopting an annual operating
budget for 2003, adopting a capital budget for 2003, setting
compensation for all Marysville city employees and authorizing the
finance director to make required transfers as approved in the annual
appropriation ordinance.
A problem with these meetings is that they may go against the city
charter. This issue was raised by resident David Creviston, former
member of the charter review board, at the first public hearing on the
budget held on Nov. 26.
The charter states in section 10.07, paragraph (d), under Council
Action, that the budget must be handled in "regular" meetings.
"After the required separately advertised Public Hearing Special
Meeting, Council shall place on the regular meeting agenda all three
ordinances . and adopt them no later than April 1 of the next fiscal
year," the charter states.
Creviston urged council to operate on a temporary ordinance as it was
not worthwhile to hurry a budget, especially as citizens are speaking up
and the budget is being watched more than ever.
Gore reported he was personally opposed to starting the new year with a
temporary budget.
Council members noted several items concerning the budget that they
planned to question in detail at the meetings. Some questions focused
specifically on the COPS grant, pool rentals, a $150,000 semi truck for
the Marysville wastewater treatment plant, city landscaping, cable TV
fees, discretionary accounts and the desire to do away with the
widespread use of outside resources.
The mayor also reported that a freeze in city employee salaries is being
looked at. He said the freezes will apply only to those employees
"already on the top of their steps and management."
Other issues discussed Thursday night included:
. Lowe reported that several citizens have asked to join the city needs
committee. Those interested were asked to call the city office's main
line at 645-6015 and ask to be transferred to clerk of council Connie
. City finance director John Morehart requested an ordinance asking for
the appropriation of additional funding to complete the Ninth Street/
London Avenue traffic light project. Costs are higher than initially
projected. Bids on the project ranged from $93,000 to $105,000, he said.
The winning bid went to a local company who offered the $93,000 price.
. Economic development director Eric Phillips reported that the Ohio
National Guard Readiness Center will indeed be built in Marysville, as
well as Delaware. Gore congratulated Phillips on all his hard work on
the deal. Phillips said proposed partners for the project may include
the library, a senior citizen center, day care and the YMCA. It is
expected to be built sometime around 2005 and 2006.

Despite additional needs, library forced to make cuts
The Marysville Public Library's needs are growing and its income is
A levy might be needed and, in the future, a new library might be built
at another location.
Changes are coming and the first of these is closing the library at 6
p.m. on Fridays and not opening on the first Sunday of the month during
the winter. The library board and director Sue Banks made this decision
and it will take effect Jan. 1.
"The closures are extremely painful for me and my board," she said.
"Once the income is at an adequate level, the library will be open every
Sunday, even if I have to do it myself."
Banks said these measures will save the library about $10,000, one step
in the process of making up the predicted $75,000 shortfall caused by
the loss of state funding.
The state legislature has frozen the Libraries and Local Government
Support Fund (LLGSF) through June 2003. That freeze and general economic
conditions have reduced the library's income. The LLGSF accounted for 95
percent of the Marysville Public Library's 2002 revenues.
What the staff and board must do now is focus on how to give the best
service to the public, Banks said. She said they will determine the
needs of the community and find the resources to fill those needs.
Circulation was up 20 percent this year over 2001 and 600 to 700 people
use the facility on an average day.
Another cost-reducing measure is not filling the position of assistant
director which was left vacant when Kay Glassburn retired recently.
Technology director Arleen Leslie has taken over those responsibilities.
Banks said the staff will also step up its grant writing which in 2002
brought in $10,000.
Banks said the Marysville library is in a better position for developing
local sources of funding. She said the library partners with many
businesses, other organizations and the schools and she is hopeful that
those partnerships can bring in some extra funds.
The possibility of a levy is real, Banks said. As of now, the library
receives no local public funding. Banks said a decision will be made
soon because there are several steps to take before a levy can be placed
on the ballot. Ohio law specifies that libraries cannot ask for money,
therefore, a separate entity will have to be created to conduct a levy
Several months ago, the idea of building a new facility at a different
location arose when the Ohio National Guard announced that it was
considering building a Readiness Center in either Marysville or Delaware
in 2005. Marysville's application included plans for a senior citizen
center, child care center and library to take over part of the
construction of the center behind the YMCA.
This is a long way down the road, Banks said, but it is one solution for
the library's space needs. The library encompasses 13,000 square feet on
the main floor and the lower level could be developed into an area of
the same size. This option would keep the library at the same location
but the parking problem would not be solved.
Building a new facility of 24,000 square feet with 2,000 more square
feet of shared space would be financed largely with selling the present
building which will soon be 16 years old.
But, Banks said, she doesn't have the right to move on either option
now. The library has two aging buildings, Marysville and Raymond, with
no capital funds to improve them and insufficient funds to continue
running at current levels.

'If you're a drinker, someday you're going to be me'
West Central inmate tells his story
Charles Honker of Marion will be marking the new year in the West
Central Community Correctional Facility on Route 4.
"If you're a drinker, someday you're going to be me," Honaker warns.
"I've had a good life and realize now how it can be taken from you in an
This 40-year-old union carpenter who is a father and husband arrived at
West Central Sept. 17. He is serving time for driving under the
influence and felony fleeing. This is his third DUI charge.
Honaker said he has been drinking and driving for years. He didn't drink
daily, but found himself drinking when he was around certain people or
"I was very drunk that night and don't really know what happened," he
That night was in April. He remembers having a few beers at home before
going to a buddy's house and having a few more. He estimates that by the
end of the night he had between 10 and 13 beers before he got into his
car and headed home. At around 10:30 p.m., Honaker said, his car hit a
house that had people in it. He left the scene and a police officer
attempted to stop him because one of his car lights was out. Ignoring
the officer, Honaker arrived home to find at least eight cruisers
waiting for him.
As a result of that evening, Honaker was sentenced to the four to six
month program at West Central, will have his license suspended until
April 2005 and must pay $25,000 in restitution - and yet he counts
himself fortunate.
He realizes how easily a life could have been lost when he was
intoxicated and driving.
"People need to stop thinking about themselves. Think about people on
the road. They could be your children."
Reflecting back on what got him here, Honaker said he minimized the
first charges.
After drinking for years and driving, Honaker said he got his first DUI
two years ago after drinking fewer than six beers.  He refused to be
tested for his blood alcohol level and received a $400 fine, was ordered
to attend a three-day jail alternative and his license was suspended for
six months. A year later, on Memorial Day weekend, he was out with his
brother at a buddy's house drinking. After being stopped, he again
refused the breathalyzer. This time he sat in jail 10 days, had his
license suspended for a year except to drive to work and paid a $600
In spite of the penalties, Honaker admits he continued to drink and
drive right away after both his first and second DUI charges.
This time, though, he has had a real opportunity to look at himself.
"It's been a real eye opener," he said. "I've had it. I've gotten myself
in enough trouble."
Honaker said he is done fooling himself and believes now that anyone is
in trouble after the first time alcohol gets them in trouble.

Red Ribbon campaign underway
The majority of this article was submitted by Lt. Marla K. Gaskill,
Commander of the Marysville Post of the Ohio State Patrol.
The holidays will not be as enjoyable this year for the more than 300
families in Ohio who will be without loved ones who were killed in
crashes caused by impaired drivers this year.
December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month and
troopers are giving impaired drivers notice, "You drink and drive. You
lose." In conjunction with the trooper's campaign, a local coalition of
Victims of Crime Assistance Program, Safe Communities/Safe Kids,
Allstate Insurance, area law enforcement agencies, schools and
businesses will launch the MADD Red Ribbon "Tie One On For Safety"
The national MADD campaign encourages people to become actively involved
in the fight against drunk driving.
"Everyone has a role to play in the fight against impaired driving,"
said Amy Reinhard, Safe Communities coordinator of the Union County
health Department."
Union County resident may become involved by tying a MADD Red ribbon to
a visible place on their vehicle, such as the antenna, door handles or
side mirror. The MADD Red Ribbon serves as a symbol of the motorists
pledge to drive safe and sober during the holiday season and it reminds
motorists to do the same.
 This month, the Patrol will target impaired drivers in an effort to
save lives by preventing alcohol-related crashes. Impaired drivers
caused the untimely death of 375 people last year in Ohio.
Now is the time to address impaired driving as a serious crime that
costs Ohioans millions of dollars each year in emergency care costs,
lost property and, most importantly, precious lives. The tragedy is that
these deaths caused by alcohol-related crashes are very preventable.
They are not accidents.
This holiday season, the Patrol has joined law enforcement agencies
across the country to intensify the fight against impaired driving by
joining the public education campaign "You Drink & Drive. You Lose."
The Patrol hopes to save lives in Ohio and help reach the national goal
of reducing alcohol-related deaths nationwide to no more than 11,000 by
the year 2005.
Last year, impaired drivers were responsible for almost 16,000
fatalities nationwide, accounting for 305,000 reported injuries and an
estimated 1.5 million arrests. The Patrol wants to get the word out that
impaired driving is a dangerous and deadly crime.
In addition, the Patrol will participate in the Operation CARE National
Holiday Lifesaver Weekend, Dec. 20- 22, by increasing the number of
troopers on Ohio's roadways. Also in recognition of 3D Prevention Month,
troopers throughout Ohio will continue to participate in the MADD Red
Ribbon campaign to remind Ohioans to designate a driver.
More than a year has passed since West Jefferson Patrol Post Trooper
Frank Vazquez was killed by an impaired driver. However, our commitment
to honoring his memory by vigilantly removing impaired drivers from
Ohio's roads has not faltered.
Tpr. Vazquez was killed while he was outside his cruiser issuing a
traffic citation. A Patrol toxicology report revealed the driver that
struck Tpr. Vazquez's cruiser had a 0.318 percent blood alcohol level
(BAC). Driving with a BAC of 0.10 percent is a crime in Ohio. The
impaired driver was convicted on a second-degree felony charge
aggravated vehicular homicide and sentenced to eight years in prison.
Troopers know all too well that Tpr. Vazquez's story is not unique.
Hundreds of lives are lost each year on our highways as the result of
alcohol-related crashes, and thousands of loved ones are left to grieve.
Designate a sober driver, hire a taxi, call a safe ride program, or make
arrangements to spend the night where you are drinking. Don't drink and
drive, and don't let your friends or loved ones drink and drive, either.
Because if You Drink & Drive. You Lose.
It's about safety.

Group holds first meeting on city needs
Is Marysville a community anymore?
What began as a meeting to assess the city's needs after the failed
income tax levy in November soon tackled larger issues such as this to
get to the bottom of energizing progress.
"A sickness exists right now in Marysville," said committee member
Debbie Bevington. The lack of communication between Marysville
government and its residents is the largest problem to tackle, she said.

Community pride has dwindled, she said. Soon situations which have
ruined other small towns near Columbus such as Pickerington from not
preparing for growth financially will come to Marysville and there won't
be a community at all.
That has already begun, according to Bevington.
Bevington expressed the concern that those living in the Marysville
perimeter have no idea that a thriving business community exists or
needs to be nurtured. They simply go to Dublin or Columbus as consumers.

Expanding this to city goals, Bevington said a majority of those
residents don't really care about what goes on in city politics because
they don't consider themselves as part of a community.
As a result, she said, the process of defining Marysville's identity has
to be determined in the process of discovering what can aid progress.
"It's now or never," Bevington said.
Co-chairman Ed Pleasant defined the focus of the group. The group will
meet monthly or as needed to decide what the financial status of the
city is, what is needed and why. Then members will compare those results
with what residents want and why.
Pleasant said there will be guest speakers from the police and fire
departments, as well as from city organizations who will help committee
members understand all angles.
Included in the new city needs focus group formed by Marysville City
Council are Deborah Groat, Larry Zimmerman, Chris Schmenk, Bevington,
Roger Yoder, Harry McMannis, Aaron Story, Avanelle Oberlin, Jim Wimmers,
Jr., Ginny Rosette, Dr. Tim Pelfrey, Peter Griffin, Tony Coder, Danny
Boggs, Stephen Ormeroid, chairmen Pleasant and John Gore and ad hoc
member Bob Schaumleffel.
As soon as the meeting began, Pleasant said the size and scope of the
group should be expanded in order to have a better cross-section of
citizen representation. He asked the committee members to get friends
and neighbors to join in.
Some have said the group of volunteers reflects more personal interest
groups than a true cross section and expanding those involved could
rectify the issue.
Committee member Groat proposed that a survey be made to facilitate
spreading the question of city needs to more people.
Gore felt a good way to do this was to make it available to residents on
the city website at www.marysvilleohio.org. The proposed 2003 budget is
also available on the site.
Tuesday night's goal was to start the process of educating the committee
members on the financial aspects of the city. Those involved will
receive "cheat sheets" on numerous issues in easy to understand formats
so they may better inform other residents.
The issue of the financial strategy proposed by the city administration,
as well as the failed income tax levy did cast a shadow over the night.
Gore wanted to avoid focusing too much on the financial strategy figures
in favor of starting over fresh.
Boggs felt it was important to learn from history and avoid problems
where initial financial strategies may have gone astray.
Other committee members address a wide array of issues which were thrown
on the table of discussion.
Zimmerman, Marysville school superintendent, said he was not even sure
where to begin because of all the details that need to be fully
understood, such as how money is directed in city government.
"Anything that relates to additional costs, no one will be for,"
Ormeroid said. However, he believes people do understand that rising
city costs do exist. Sometimes city administrations in general feel that
what they think is important may not be as important to the residents.
This may have been a jab at the proposed $17 million police and
administration building which was a major reason the levy was voted
down. Ormeriod explained that he felt he was speaking from the business
side of the community.
Schaumleffel reminded people that there are already approved land plats
for 5,000 additional residents and one issue needed to keep a community
alive is to have residential areas closer to the downtown area.
Memorial Hospital of Union County Administrator Danny Boggs said the
reality of what Marysville is now is that 60 percent of those who live
here actually work someplace else.
This is why the idea of communication is so important as the committee
begins to sit down and define what Marysville needs and expands of the
process of accommodating both its growth and financial needs.
Ormeroid said one issue some in the business community felt was odd
about the income tax levy was that the money it would have collected was
geared for specific needs, yet it was a permanent levy. What would have
happened when the buildings and streets were paid for?
"That's like giving someone an open checkbook," he said.
The business community understands that when things are tight you make
cuts, Ormeroid said. The city needs to be run more like a business and
follow suit.
Committee members believe the process of discussing city needs should be
communicated to residents as much as possible.
 "I'd like this group to be cheerleaders . and make communication a
priority," Groat said.
The next citizen meeting is scheduled for Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. in council
chambers, 125 E. Sixth St.

Flag chosen for county
>From J-T staff reports:
Union County has an official flag.
Designed by Fairbanks High School student Jeremy Bolin, the flag's
background includes three stripes of red, white and blue with the
county's outline in the center. An ear of corn and stalk of wheat are to
the left and right of the outline. Below the outline is the county's
name and the date it was established.
Bolin's design will fly at the Ohio Statehouse during 2003 for the Ohio
Bicentennial celebration.
Selected from 103 entries, Bolin's design was judged by three graduates
of the Columbus School of Art and Design - Diane Ryan of Powell, Sammi
Porter Flynn of Worthington and Stephanie Herd Romo of Ostrander.
The judges preferred Bolin's design because "the wheat and corn elements
were strong representations of Union County," said Crista Miller,
co-chairman of the Union County's Ohio Bicentennial Committee.
Bolin and the second and third place winners each received a $50 savings
bond, compliments of the Union County Chamber of Commerce. Bolin also
will receive a Union County Flag, compliments of the county's Ohio
Bicentennial Committee.

Second place winner was Brandon Hensley of North Union High School.
Third place winner was Erica Burkitt from Marysville Middle School.
Organizing the contest were Sharon Heaps, Marysville Middle School
teacher, and Charlene Conrad of Magnetic Springs.
The Union County Commissioners signed a proclamation to adopt Bolin's
design as the county's official flag Sunday.

Murder suspect enters not guilty plea
>From J-T staff reports:
The suspect in the murder of a 71-year-old Mount Victory council woman
has pleaded not guilty.
According to the Hardin County Prosecutor's office, the arraignment of
Scott Dean Mosbacker, 31, took place Monday at 10:30 a.m. The
arraignment had been continued from Nov. 25 at the request of
court-appointed attorney Brad Bailey who needed more time to review the
indictment against his client.
Hardin County Prosecutor Terry Hord was unavailable for comment on the
No additional court date has been set at this time for a possible jury
Mosbacker was charged with two counts of aggravated murder in the death
of Evangeline Bealer, a council member and unofficial town historian in
Mount Victory. Bealer was found strangled to death in her home at 210
West Taylor Street on Oct. 24.
Additional charges against him include two counts of possession of
criminal tools, two counts of aggravated robbery, possession of heroin,
theft of a motor vehicle and alluding police.
Hord previously reported that the charges regarding the stolen personal
checks will be consolidated with the other 20 counts. The bond set for
Mosbacker will remain set at $100,000.
Both Mosbacker and his girlfriend Robin Gibson, 27, of West Mansfield
were arrested the in Montgomery County after a brief police chase the
day after Bealer's body was found. The two were considered suspects in
the murder as Mosbacker was living in an upstairs room at Bealer's home
and police believed he and Gibson had stolen her personal checks. The
suspects were found with Bealer's stolen vehicle.
According to the prosecutor's office clerk, Gibson was not scheduled for
a court hearing on Monday and no future dates have been set regarding
her case.
Gibson's court-appointed attorney, Scott Barrett, pleaded not guilty to
the 13 charges against her, including receiving stolen property,
possession of heroin, obstructing justice and forgery. Bond remains set
at $50,000 for Gibson.

Focus groups help shape vision of Job and Family Services
>From J-T staff reports:
The Union County Department of Job and Family Services has a VISION.
The VISION defines what is worth fighting for.
"The agency hopes all Union County services and citizens embrace this
vision so collectively we  can create a brighter tomorrow for all
members of Union County," states Joseph Float, executive director of the
Union County Department of Job and Family Services, in a press release.
The agency met Nov. 20-22 with planning facilitator Stacey A. Saunders
to craft a two-year strategic plan after meeting with 30 community focus
The plan incorporates the feedback of the community so that it can move
forward in providing excellence in service to children, adults and
families in need of their services, Float states.
Float said the agency refined its mission statement to reflect the needs
of the county and identified a set of strategic initiatives.
The refined mission is:
"We serve children, adults and families who are at-risk of abuse;
neglect; dependency or exploitation, and persons in need of financial
and economic support. In partnership with the community we provide
strength-based intervention; education; and employment services. While
preserving the dignity and privacy of all we serve, we use best practice
methods to provide an accessible process. Our collective effort results
in safe; healthy; responsible and self-sufficient residents of Union
The strategic initiatives identified by the agency as a result of the
community feedback are:
1. Responding to needs through collaboration. (Working with our
collaborative partners to respond to unmet needs of the county's
2. Excellent customer service. (Enhancing our customer service approach
to exemplify excellence in service.)
3. Communication/Education/Marketing (Working to educate our citizens on
the services we provide and communicating effectively in all that we
4. Accreditation (Achieve accreditation through the national Council of
5. Staff success (Training, teamwork, Morale building to support staff
in doing their good work.)
The agency will be sharing progress updates with the community on a
quarterly basis.
"It is our full intent to partner with the community so that together we
assure our children are safe and live in stable homes with families;
adults are safe, self-sufficient and living up to their potential; and
families are stable, economically self-sufficient and healthy," Float
said. "The agency ... is fully committed to excellence in service."

Jerome Twp. Trustees nearly leave something out of public hearing
Public comment almost overlooked on zoning issue
The Jerome Township Board of Trustees held a public hearing without
including the public Monday night.
Only after the three trustees had discussed and voted on three zoning
sections and were considering a motion to close the public hearing did
board president Sharon Sue Wolfe acknowledge someone from the audience
who pointed out that the public should be entitled to speak prior to a
vote during a public hearing.
After raising the point of order, Fred Neuschwander, a member of the
audience, questioned whether the zoning changes left a zoning gap
between water features of less than 150 square feet and the minimum pond
size of 10,000 square feet. Administrative attorney for the township
Susan Kyte said no gap exists.
The three zoning sections concerned the zoning of ponds and had been
recommended unanimously by the township's zoning board and the Union
County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The trustees unanimously approved code definitions; established UCSWCD
to determine what soils are acceptable and drainage that is adequate;
and established a three-acre minimum lot size for the minimum pond size
of 10,000 square feet. The original recommendation had been for a
two-acre minimum lot size, but trustee Freeman May said the Union County
Health Department requires properties to have enough space for two leach
beds. He said this leach bed requirement does not allow enough room for
a quarter-acre pond on a two-acre lot.
During the regular meeting, the trustees discussed allowing a resident
priest to live in a Hindu Temple on Industrial Parkway, grudgingly
agreed to pay a bill they tabled at a previous meeting and, in a split
vote, created two alternate positions each on the board of zoning and
zoning appeals.
Sidestepping the issue of whether a priest can reside in a Hindu Temple
and Cultural Center that is located in an M-1 area, the trustees voted
to send the question to the township's zoning appeals board.
Zoning Inspector Norm Puntenney said the township's M-1 area does not
specifically say someone cannot live in an M-1 area and the Union County
Prosecuting Attorney has said she does not want to prosecute the temple.
Trustee Ron Rhodes said the township should leave the question alone and
suggested that if the board decided to prosecute the temple they could
be opening the township up to questions about rights to worship.
Crager Brothers Trucking LTD will be receiving payment for their $1,945
bill after all.
At the Nov. 18 meeting, May and Wolfe refused to pay the bill saying
Rhodes should be personally responsible
"If anybody owes the bill, Mr. Rhodes owes the bill," Wolfe said at the
previous meeting, adding that he had been warned repeatedly not to take
things in his own hands.
Rhodes explained that he had been given the go-ahead to begin the
cleanup from Wolfe at an earlier meeting and administrative attorney
Kyte had said a motion was not necessary because the bill would be paid
by the property owner. Wells Fargo, which owns the property because it
is in bankruptcy, is now refusing to pay because they said they should
have received a 10-day window to perform the work prior to the township
taking action.
Wolfe, however, changed her position Monday after Kyte said the township
should pay the bill to clean up the Canter property on U.S. 42 and that
the contractor should not be penalized. In spite of changing her vote,
Wolfe grumbled after the meeting about Rhodes and wasting public funds.
May voted against paying the bill.
Rhodes suggested that if an error was made, the bill should be turned in
to the insurance company.
Resurrecting an old issue that had raised a lot of controversy earlier
in the year, Jeanette Harrington, a member of the audience who sits on
the zoning board of appeals, suggested the township appoint two
alternates each to the zoning board and zoning board of appeals.
Rhodes called it an unwise move that was taking the township back nine
months, while May called it a good thing. Wolfe favored the
appointments, saying the law allows it and the alternates cost the
township nothing unless they are called on. She also argued that someone
who pays $1,000 to have a matter considered deserves to have a full
board of five present.
Saying the action looked like a railroad, Rhodes began responding to
Wolfe's comments but was cut short with the rap of her gavel and the
calling of a vote. Kyte defended Wolfe's right to call the vote and did
not allow Rhodes to speak further.
The motion passed with May and Wolfe in favor and Rhodes against.
Immediately after the vote, May announced that he thought anyone should
have the right to be on the board. He then said the township ran a
notice on June 25 seeking candidates for alternates and that the
township shouldn't "go through the hassle" of advertising again, instead
accepting four applications submitted this summer. Rhodes disagreed,
saying the township should advertise for the newly-created positions.
Before taking action, Wolfe suggested that Kyte draft a recommendation
for procedures in appointing alternates to boards.
In other action, the trustees:
. Accepted the Southeast Corridor Land Use Plan with amendment as
submitted by the zoning board.
. Passed a resolution for the Union County Engineer to prepare plans for
the Ketch Road improvements
. Appointed May to look into using leaf removal equipment from the city
of Dublin next year.
. Appointed Rhodes to look into improving township phone services.
. Removed a $150 burning fee for old houses and barns.
. Approved expending no more than $60 to put a timer on a new light
behind the fire department.

Travels give Bishop a fresh perspective on teaching
When Kay Bishop tutors a student on one of the seven wonders of the
world, chances are she saw it firsthand.
"I have traveled to every continent except for Australia," Bishop, an
intervention specialist at Marysville High School, said.
Born and raised in Union County, Bishop and her husband John lived in
South America for 15 years after they were first married.
"John is involved in international agriculture and that is what took us
there," Bishop said.
In the early 1980s Bishop and her family returned to Union County.
"We wanted to introduce our children and teach them about U.S. culture."

In 1989, Bishop decided to go back to school for her master's degree in
education. She received her bachelor's degree in secondary science
education from Ohio State in 1964 and taught chemistry for three years
in Southwestern City Schools before traveling abroad.
"I completed my master's in special education from Ashland," Bishop
She is currently in her 13th year of teaching at Marysville. As a
special needs tutor, Bishop works with students that have varied
"I run the gamete," Bishop said. "I work with students who are learning
disabled, attention deficit, vision impaired and hearing impaired, along
with health related and behavioral disorders.
"What I try to do is teach the students strategies to compensate for
their disability," Bishop explained.
She tutors every subject at the high school and sees her worldly
experience as a true asset.
"You can make things come alive for your students when you have
traveled," she said.
Bishop describes her classroom as very tropical. There are many plants
including a banana tree, a bubbling fountain, artwork and wood carvings
from Africa and South America.
"I think my classroom is fun, but my students definitely know what I
expect from them. It's an extremely challenging job but I like that it
is always changing," she said.
More than half of Bishop's students go on to post-secondary education.
She said the key is finding out how each student learns and the best
strategy to efficiently help them "move material through the brain."
An example of this is in the case of a blind student. Bishop will use
puffy paint to create a raised graph when explaining a science
assignment. For some students flash cards or the physical act of writing
out information is the best way to communicate with their brain.
"I also try to use a lot of humor in the classroom to help put a
person's disability in perspective," Bishop said.
She considers herself extremely fortunate to get tremendous feedback
from her students and their parents. Despite the fact that the job can
be emotionally draining and very high energy, there is a lot of job
satisfaction, Bishop said.
"There is nothing better for a teacher then to see the blossoming and
transformation of a student. I want to try and help them achieve their
greatest potential," she said.