Local Archived News October 2002

Middle school girls get lesson in self defense

Candidates' plans for court differ

Burglars may have ties to crimes in county

Allen Twp. residents call  for referendum

Mt. Victory suspects arraigned
Health levy is only county-wide issue
Richwood swears in new council member
Richwood looks to make elections non-partisan
Marysville's Stratton finds time for helping others
Shooter arraigned
Mount Victory woman murdered
Mount Victory murder Search for missing persons ends
County commissioners consider land purchase
Police, fire officials tell of need for funds
Local shooting victim dies
Honda Parkway will be renamed
Patrolling Ohio's highways is all in the family
Husband, wife find calling in Ohio State Highway Patrol
Sex offenders reside in county
County department seeks accreditation

County budgets to tighten up
Memorial project expands to include all county veterans
M.C. Council eyes unsafe buildings
Shooting victim received quick care
ORW unveils new communication system
Man charged in shooting of mother
School board hears of coming renewals
City officials discuss flooding issues
Local forum shows both sides of Iraqi invasion debate
Urbana professor: war must be determined by several factors
Boggs' secret for success - put one foot in front of the other
Skateboarders search for a permanent park
Mayor makes case for income tax
Halls share their journey with cancer
Hospital offers a softer mammogram
Economic Development plan unveiled
Honda East Liberty Plant to halt production for two days
Citizens unite in quest for senior center
Jerome Township trustees try to iron out complaint
The erosion of a township
For North Union's Dettra, diversity is the spice of life
Spooky author visits town
Says Union County is dead zone of haunted activity
Health snacks to be part of school day
Local man attends Republican Senatorial Inner Circle
Magnetic Springs approved for an Ohio historical marker
Plans for Darby Refuge withdrawn
UCSO switches to new sidearm

Middle school girls get lesson in self defense
That is the first response any female should use if she finds herself in
danger of physical assault.
That was also the first lesson that Marysville Middle School eighth
grade girls learned Wednesday during self-defense classes conducted by
the Union County Sheriff's Office and the Marysville Police Department.
This is the first year for such a program at the middle school, said
physical education instructor Lenard Andrews.
The course, which is being conducted in conjunction with physical
assault awareness studies in Janet Dunn's home economics class, will
reach 220 students during the current school year.
The program is coordinated by sheriff's deputy Kim Zacharias, who is a
certified self-defense instructor.
An instructor for the past year, the four-year law enforcement veteran
learned how to conduct classes at the National Self Defense Institute.
Zacharias said females need to learn self-defense. National law
enforcement statistics reveal that 6.2 women are assaulted every five
minutes in the United States. An attack on a woman can happen anytime,
The introduction to self defense began with students watching a video
They then learned how a yell can sometimes ward off an attacker.
"You have to learn how to yell the right way," Zacharias told the
students. "If you yell just from your throat, nobody is going to take
you seriously. You have to yell from the diaphragm  - that's where you
have the most power."
After working their vocal chords for several minutes, Zacharias
proceeded to show the girls different physical aspects of self defense.
The first one was the defensive stance that can be used when an
anticipated assailant gets too close.
"If someone invades your space, take a step back," Zacharias said.
She then showed the students a couple of defensive strikes with the hand
and leg that can be used to render a potential attacker helpless.The
girls were broken into groups with teachers and law enforcement
personnel helping with showing the girls the various techniques.
Those assisting Zacharias were sheriff's deputy Chris Skinner and
Marysville police officers Katie Archer, Kelly Eirich and Jason Nichols.

With every demonstration, there has to be a "guinea pig."
The perfect person for that job was Andrews, who donned a considerable
amount of padding in order for students to practice their defensive
skills without nflicting any physical damage.
Andrews had made the initial contact with the sheriff's office to
institute the program and volunteered to be a punching bag of sorts for
the demonstrations.
With the national crime figures for assaults against women alarmingly
high, Zacharias said she hopes these middle school girls come away from
the introductory class with a greater appreciation of the art of
"We want them to have the confidence that they can defend themselves if
they need to," she said.

Candidates' plans for court differ
 Eufinger, Schulze vying for Union County Probate/Juvenile Judge seat
The only contested race countywide for the Nov. 5 election is Union
County Probate/Juvenile Judge.
Local attorneys Dennis Schulze and Charlotte Coleman Eufinger are
seeking the seat held since 1979 by Judge Gary McKinley. McKinley
announced in February that he would not seek reelection.
At first glance, both candidates have a lot in common.
Neither has held an elected office. Each has 30 or more years of law
practice with law degrees from The Ohio State University. They both have
long ties to the Marysville community, are married, members of Trinity
Lutheran Church and have two children - a son and a daughter, plus
Eufinger and Schulze both emphasize that fairness will be an important
part of their court.
Both ran unopposed in their respective primaries, Coleman Eufinger in
the Democrat Primary and Schulze in the Republican primary.
There are differences, though, beginning with their vision for the
court's future.
Schulze's philosophy of justice is accountability tempered with
compassion. Eufinger said she wants the court to help maintain a healthy
environment for our families.
Schulze said, "The primary goal of the juvenile system is to
rehabilitate. Those running the system must have compassion,
understanding and patience, However, young people and their parents need
to be aware of their responsibilities as citizens. They must recognize
the limits set by the law and agree to abide by them. They must also
understand the consequences for violating the law and must be convinced
that improper behavior will be dealt with in a timely, firm and fair
Eufinger said, "I will develop new means of protecting our children and
encouraging good parenting in order to prevent problems before they
reach the court."
Their visions for the court are in some ways a reflection of their past
professional experience and community service.
Eufinger's experience and service has centered on families, education
and helping young people. Most of her legal career has focused on
representing families - adoptions, child support cases, protecting
senior citizens and establishing guardianships for people with mental
and physical handicaps.
A trained teacher, she is a longtime advisor to the Marysville High
School Mock Trial team and has 13 years of administrative experience on
the Ohio University Board of Trustees and Foundation Board. In addition,
she helped establish Union County's first professional day care center
and the MHS Alumni Scholarship Foundation. For 21 years, she has worked
with the Union County Memorial Hospital Association to provide
scholarships for nursing school students.
"The Union County Probate and Juvenile Court is our family court. My
background in family law has prepared me to help meet the community's
needs," Eufinger said. "My volunteer service, as well as being a
fourth-generation native of Union County, gives me a deep understanding
of the needs of our community."
Schulze believes his experiences as an attorney, commanding officer in
the Army and leader in the community uniquely qualify him.
"My record of service to the country and community have demonstrated
that I have the qualities necessary to serve as Probate and Juvenile
Judge," Schulze said. "I also have vast administrative experience. As a
colonel in the United States Army, I commanded a unit of more than 90
soldiers spread over a three-state area. We not only accomplished the
mission, we were commended for our performance."
Describing himself as decisive, fair and having the strength of
character to deal with the many difficulties and sometimes
heart-wrenching issues facing the court, Schulze said he will demand
accountability from the juveniles and parents who appear before him.
"I will bring conservative, not liberal, judicial values to the bench.
The court is an enforcement agency, not a social agency," he said. "As
judge, I will not tolerate disruptive students. Schools should be a safe
place to learn and grow."
Schulze served in the U.S. Army for nearly 30 years including 4 1/2
years active duty and 25 years as an Army Reservist. He is a retired
colonel in the United States Army Judge Advocate General Corps. He has
been president of the Union County Mental Health Board, vice president
to his church, a legal advisor for the Charles B. Mills Center, ADAMHS
Board ,Union County Building Industry and Marysville Board of Realtors,
has taught elder care and estate planning classes and is a founding
member of the Partnership in Education Project. He has served as a YMCA
board member and president, Junior Achievement instructor, Cub and Scout
master and high school mock trial coordinator.
"The court will be conducted in a timely manner with service to the
public foremost in our minds. This is vitally important to all of us,"
Schulze said.

Burglars may have ties to crimes in county
>From J-T staff reports:
A few Union County burglaries may be solved in the near future.
A joint press release from the Ashland, Delaware, Knox, Richland and
Vinton County sheriff's departments indicated they are conducting an
investigation into a multi-jurisdictional group of burglaries that
resulted in the arrest of two Columbus area men. Local authorities
believe the men may have burglarized homes in this county as well.
The Vinton County Sheriff's Office reported that the two men were trying
to gain entrance into an Vinton County residence and the information was
relayed to the Vinton County Sheriff's Office.
As a result, Jeramee I. Hudson, 23, of Columbus and Robert W. Carsten,
22, of Grove City were apprehended after a pursuit in Vinton County. The
men were incarcerated at the South Eastern Ohio Correctional facility in
Athens County.
On Wednesday representatives from sheriff's offices in Ashland,
Delaware, Franklin, Licking, Richland and Union Counties, Ohio BCI&I,
Columbus Police Department, Genoa Police Department, Madison Township
Police Department, Newark Police Department and Union County
Prosecutor's Office met at the Union County sheriff's office because of
its centralized location.
According to Union County Sheriff John Overly, it was an information
sharing meeting and the investigation is expected to continue as new
leads develop.
 "It is possible (the suspects) might have been involved in burglaries
in our county," Overly said.
Lt. Jamie Patton of the Union County Sheriff's Department reported that
six burglaries which occurred in Milford Center between Sept. 23 and 26
are being looked into.
He said while it is still too early to tell if the burglaries are
related, there are similarities to the other crimes.
An inventory of the vehicle the two men were apprehended in provided
Vinton County authorities with a written note on the back of a piece of
paper that indicated the two had been in Ashland County.
In addition, there were other items located in the vehicle that were
missing from burglaries in Ashland, Delaware, Knox and Richland
Counties. Numerous items such as jewelry, watches, rings, cellular
phones and other items were taken into custody as evidence.
Also located in the vehicle were pawn shop receipts with recent dates,
which officers took into evidence.
Information gathered also provided the location of a residence that was
used to harbor stolen items from the burglaries. The residence, located
on Three Rivers Drive in Groveport, was placed under surveillance and
contact was made with a male who lives there. A consent to search was
obtained from the male to search the home and further consent was
obtained from a female to search a bedroom which she and Hudson were
living in. Found in the home were numerous items, including stolen
doctor and dentist office payroll checks, prescription medications not
belonging to any of the residents of the home, a doctor's medical house
call type bag containing medical supplies and a purple jewelry box
containing numerous items of jewelry that had been brought in by Hudson,
according to the female.
The garage area provided investigators with even more evidence that
included part of the interior wall of a safe, other items of jewelry,
broken jewelry boxes, pillow cases, gun cases and other materials, which
were removed from the outgoing trash. All of the items removed from
Three Rivers Drive and Columbus residences were transported to the
Richland County Sheriff's Office and held as evidence.
According to Overly, the investigation is expected to continue as
investigators are still finding out where the items recovered were
stolen from.
Those agencies will be made aware of the investigation as it progresses,
he said.

Allen Twp. residents call  for referendum
>From J-T staff reports:
Allen Township voters will have their say about the rezoning of land
along a portion of Allen Township Road next year.
A referendum received by the Union County Board of Elections on Oct 15
has enough valid signatures to put the matter before voters in November,
Allen Township trustees approved rezoning 135.96 acres at 17740 Allen
Center Road owned by Leonard C. and Barbara E. James from U1, rural
district, to R1, low density residential district, on Sept. 23. Minimum
lot sizes and frontage requirements are the same for both districts. U1
districts are suitable for agriculture, conservation and very
low-density residence. On-site water and sewer facilities are permitted.
R1 is for single family housing. Group or central water and sewer
facilities may be required.
Louis Bonasso of Tartan Fields is proposing a development that could
include 40 homes, although he said the exact number will be determined
by the Union County Soil and Water Conservation District and Union
County Health Department. He said a previous development, Buck Allen I,
petition requested 14 lots, but only 10 lots were approved.
Neighboring property owners voiced concern, sometimes boisterously at
several zoning commission meetings, against the proposed subdivision on
the property. Their primary concern was against two-acre lots in an area
where the majority of existing properties are five acres.
The referendum had 124 signatures with 118 valid. Three were not
registered voters, one was not from the area and two had signatures that
did not match. To go before voters the referendum needed 41 valid

Mt. Victory suspects arraigned
Pair held on lesser charges as murder investigation is conducted
>From J-T staff reports:
Two suspects in the murder of a Hardin County woman were arraigned
Monday morning in Hardin County Common Pleas Court.
According to a Hardin County Prosecutor's Office spokeperson, no charges
of murder have been filed yet in connection with the death of Evangeline
Bealer, 71.
Bealer was reportedly found strangled to death in her home Thursday
evening. She had not been seen for several days and was found when
neighbors went to check on her.
Scott Mosbacker, 31, of Mount Victory was charged with two felony counts
of theft and complicity for receiving stolen property Monday morning.
Although he has not officially been named a suspect in the murder,
Mosbacker had reportedly stayed in Bealer's home while she was away in
Union County caring for a dying friend. After the friend died, Mosbacker
continued to live in an upstairs bedroom and helped Bealer around the
After Bealer was found in her home, Mosbacker was discovered missing.
He was arrested Friday in Dayton, along with Robin Lynn Gibson, after
Bealer's missing mini van was found in a car lot. Deputies found the two
at approximately 2 p.m. and were involved in a brief pursuit while
apprehending the suspects.
Gibson, 27, was charged with one count of complicity for receiving
stolen property.
Both Mosbacker and Gibson are being held on separate $100,000 bonds by
Hardin County authorities at the Multi-Purpose Correctional Center in
A preliminary hearing for both suspects is scheduled for Nov. 4

Health levy is only county-wide issue
The only county-wide issue on the ballot Tuesday is the Union County
General Health District's for a .5-mill 10-year replacement levy.
That levy would replace a 10-year levy which currently pays $402,000 per
year and is due to expire in December 2003. That levy costs the owner of
a $100,000 property $9.70 a year. If passed, the new levy would generate
about $498,000 per year beginning immediately, according to Union County
auditor Mary Snider. The owner of a $100,000 property would pay $15.32
The additional $96,000 would be collected because the levy is a
replacement, not a renewal, and will be collected on current valuations
of homes instead of those in place in 1993.
In 2001, the health department had total receipts of $1.8 million
dollars against expenditures of $1.4 million, according to figures
supplied by fiscal officer Jim Damask. Including the 2001 surplus, the
carryover fund now totals just more than $1 million.
Damask said the carryover is needed for the first quarter's expenses
each year and for anticipation of revenue decreasing during the last
five years of a levy's duration.
Health commissioner Anne Davy said the funds are needed for several
expenses. One of those is the cost of relocation.
In January or February, the department will move from its location on
South Plum Street to quarters in the county's new facility at the old
Kmart building on London Avenue. Davy said most of their furnishings and
equipment are outdated and will be left behind.
That new location will help with issues of productivity, communication,
privacy and confidentiality issues and accessibility of the health
department's various agencies to each other.
Davy said the county's population has grown by 21 percent since 1993 and
the levy money is needed to support the department's programs and add
personnel for those programs.
Davy said the department's role has changed greatly since Sept. 11,
2001. Since then, she said, senior staff have been on call 24 hours a
day as fellow responders in scenarios that are dangerous to the
population and the department has a much higher demand on its services.
The department is now part of a bioterrorism team and even though the
department has received a $94,000 grant which will pay for staff
training, a supervisor and equipment, the present staff will have to
take more on, Davy said.
She said they have been on a hiring freeze since the beginning of the
year and if the levy passes, more personnel can be added.
Nursing supervisor Dee Houdashelt said expectations from the public and
the state department have greatly increased. Emergent diseases and new
immunizations present themselves often.
"It's always more," Houdashelt said.
Director of environmental health Paul Prior said his department did
2,800 inspections in 1995, the year he started, and has done 7,000 so
far in 2002. He said he has added one fulltime sanatarian and a
part-time clerical person since 1999.
The health department has one other levy on the books, a .75-mill
10-year levy that was passed in 1999. In 2001, the two levies provided
59 percent of the department's total revenues, the rest coming from
fees, permits and licenses, grants, contracts, reimbursements and other

Richwood swears in new council member
James Ford will take over seat created by death of Bill Griffith
Filling the shoes of Bill Griffith is no easy task, so when trying to
find a replacement on Richwood council, officials looked for someone
with strong ties to the village.
James Ford, 34, 701 Forest Lane, was selected from six candidates who
applied to fill the seat created by Griffith's death. Ford was sworn in
at Monday's meeting after being selected by council at a special Friday
Griffith was one of the more recognizable face around Richwood, with
interests in everything from harness racing to North Union basketball.
Ford was raised in Richwood and spent a period away from the town before
moving back in 1992. He has a great deal of family in Richwood who
stretch back generations into the history of the village.
"Richwood has always been home," he said.
Aside from knowledge of the village and its residents, Ford also has a
strong knowledge of the workings of council, having reported on meetings
for the Richwood Gazette for the past three years.
The Marion Sears employee said he feels that he can do good things for
the village by taking an active role in the workings of council.
Ford said he is committed to assisting in the development of the
industrial park. He said the village needs to build its tax base and get
past the mentality that Richwood is a farming community.
"We've got to get some business and industry into our village," Ford
He said he will be looking into a feasible solution for the restoration
of the municipal building."We don't want to lose a piece of history,"
Ford said.
Ford will carry out Griffith's unexpired term through the end of 2003.
In other business, council:
. Learned from police chief Rick Asher that the department has gotten
much-needed assistance with the department's transportation woes. The
Union County Sheriff's Department has donated a 1999 cruiser to the
village which requires only a radio and new striping in order to be
ready for the road. Village resident Jack Kirby is assisting the
department to refurbish worn parts on the other two cruisers.
. Heard an update on village projects from Ed Bischoff of Bischoff and
. Agreed to give Ruth Cowgill $500 for startup money for the village's
bicentennial celebration.
. Discussed the village's insurance plan.
. Reminded residents that Thursday from 6-8 p.m. is trick or treat in
the village and drivers should exercise caution.
. Discussed the coming election and whether voters fully understand what
they are being asked to vote on

Richwood looks to make elections non-partisan
Editor's note: This is the first installment of a weeklong series of
stories looking at issues and candidates that will appear before voters
during the Nov. 5 election.
>From J-T staff reports:
Voters in the village of Richwood will decide the fate of an important
issue Tuesday.
The problem is many of the residents may not realize it.
Richwood Mayor Bill Nibert said he hasn't fielded any questions about
the village's attempt to take the politics out of the election process.
Voters will be asked to vote on a ballot issue Nov. 5 that would make
elections in the village non-partisan.
This would mean candidates would not have to file as a Democrat or
Republican and there would be no primary elections.
"I haven't heard anyone say anything about it," Nibert said.
If the issue is passed by voters, preliminary elections will be
eliminated, saving the village some money. Preliminary elections can
cost the village up to $2,500 if there are no other issues on the ballot
to share the cost.
The move would also save some headaches for those seeking election.
Candidates would still be required to obtain 50 signatures on a petition
to run for office but those signatures could come from registered voters
of either political party. Currently, candidates can solicit signatures
only from registered voters of the political party they represent.
Nibert said the election marks an opportunity for residents to eliminate
what equates to a political speedbump.
"I've wanted to do this since I first came on as mayor," he said.
Nibert said the village of Richwood is not a political hotbed. He said
people in the village want elected officials who will work for the
people's best interest, regardless of the political affiliations.
Nibert said he intended to address the issue with council members at
tonight's meeting. He said council may decide to advertise information
about the issue so voters can make an informed decision.

Marysville's Stratton finds time for helping others
Not all high school students would have the patience or dedication to
volunteer every day to aid students with multiple handicaps.
Marysville senior Alicia Stratton is not your typical student.
Stratton has been volunteering as an aide for the past two years in the
multiple handicapped (MH) class at Marysville High School. She became an
aide her sophomore year as part of her IEP or individualized education
During her freshman year, Stratton found that high school was not all
she had hoped it would be. Stratton moved to Marysville with her mother
and brother in 1996. As a sixth grader, she experienced intense teasing
by fellow students.
"I had trouble fitting in and I was being picked on relentlessly,"
Stratton said.
She had hoped that the teasing would stop once she entered high school
but instead found that it continued daily, creating mental and emotional
"I would cry almost every day at school," Stratton said.
She was diagnosed with depression in the eighth grade and it was
suggested by the school administration that Stratton take a leave of
absence or "mental health" break for the rest of her ninth-grade year.
In the spring Stratton was tutored and she was able to work on catching
up in English and European history.
"I came back in 10th grade to school and I was on a half day schedule,"
Stratton said. It was determined through testing that she was on a
sophomore level with most classes, yet performed to a college level in
It was then suggested by the IEP teachers that Stratton could work with
the MH students as an aide for one period each day. She said she wasn't
sure at first but after the first day, she was hooked.
"In the beginning we worked at lot with Alicia on improving her self
esteem and dealing with her anxiety," Tammy Cooper, intervention
specialist at the school, said. "She has overcome a lot."
Starting her junior year, Stratton increased her schedule to a full day
of classes and is continuing full days as a senior.
Cooper said Stratton is now mainstreamed in every class.
This year Stratton has moved from IEP English to senior English and she
volunteers everyday with the MH class.
"I help them read and write," Stratton said.
She also helps them with classroom chores and playing educational games.

The physical demands of working with these students takes it toll.
Stratton has helped calm students down along with helping to lift a
student back into a wheelchair.
Stratton finds her work with the MH kids to be very rewarding.
"Alicia treats all the kids like her equal but at the same time has
their respect. I can count on Alicia to make sure the kids are
behaving," Laura Stackhouse, high school MH teacher, said.
She added that the kids think of Stratton as a friend and they all know
her by name and give her a hug when she arrives each morning.
Currently, Stratton maintains a 3.9 GPA and enjoys her English classes
the best.
"I like writing. I am taking journalism this year and working on my
second article for the Monarch Vibe," Stratton said.
Cooper said journalism is a very appropriate place for Stratton, given
her gift for writing.
Her plans after graduation include attending Columbus State for two
years. She then plans to transfer to Ohio State where she hopes to
double major in education and communication.
Cooper is not surprised by Stratton's high aspirations, considering her
turnaround in the last three years.
"Alicia has become so very successful and outwardly she just shines,"
Cooper said.
Stratton lives in Greenwood Colony and has a paper route for the
Marysville Journal-Tribune.

Shooter arraigned
The video arraignment was held Friday morning for a Marysville man who
allegedly murdered his mother outside a local nursing center .
The voice of Eric A. Jackson, 29, came out across the courtroom from a
computer speaker and screen on Judge Richard Parrott's desk in the Union
County Court of Common Pleas. Jackson remained in custody at the
Tri-County Jail in Mechanicsburg.
Jackson allegedly shot his mother Donna Levan, 56, also of Marysville,
outside the Heartland of Marysville Oct. 15.
Jackson told Parrott he had attempted to have a lawyer with him at the
proceedings but due to some confusion the lawyer was not present.
Because he was without representation, Parrott entered a "not guilty"
plea regarding the two charges Jackson faces.
Those charges include one count of aggravated murder with a firearm
specification and a count of unlawful possession of a dangerous
Aggravated murder is a felony of the first degree with a possible
penalty of life in prison. Unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance
is a felony of the fifth degree with a possible penalty of 12 months in
Parrott recommended that Jackson fill out another affidavit proclaiming
he could not afford to appoint his own attorney.  He can then be
assigned one by the court.
The two charges facing Jackson were read, stating that the murder was
completed purposely and with prior calculation and design to take the
life of another.
Citing the severity and the effect of his crime on the community, Union
County Prosecutor Allison Boggs requested his bond be raised to $250,000
from the initial $100,000 set on Oct. 16 by Marysville Municipal Court
Judge Michael Grigsby.
Parrott agreed and raised the bond to $250,000. Jackson said he
understood the bond, but said he could not afford to pay it.
Parrott explained that a conviction for this murder charge could mean 20
years incarceration before eligibility for parole and five years of
post-release control.
Jackson asked Parrott if it would be possible to be incarcerated at home
instead of prison.
He requested to be shackled at home and asked if he could keep his
driving rights in case his children needed something.
Parrott reminded him that what he said could be used against him and
advised him to let the question pass, but Jackson asked the question
A scheduling conference was set for Nov. 22 at 1:30 p.m.

Mount Victory woman murdered
Former Union County resident was member of village's council
>From J-T staff reports:
The death of a Mount Victory council woman, who was reportedly a native
of Union County, is being treated as a murder by Hardin County
Union County detectives are assisting the Hardin County Sheriff's Office
in the homicide of Evangeline Bealer, 71. Pending autopsy results,
Hardin County Coroner Dr. Larry Kuk speculated the cause of death as
strangulation. Kuk could not pinpoint the time of death but the homicide
could have occurred anytime within the last week, according to sources.
Bealer, who was reportedly a 1949 graduate of Byhalia High School, was a
retired school teacher and was last elected to the Mount Victory Village
Council in 1999. She was single and had never married.
According to the Hardin County Sheriff's Office, a search is underway
for Scott Mosbacker, 30, who had reportedly lived with Bealer from time
to time. It is uncertain of Mosbacker's relationship with the victim.
Mosbacker is missing, along with Bealer's vehicle, a champaign-colored
1996 Chrysler minivan with Ohio reg. BJ99ZM.
Also reported missing to the Union County Sheriff's Office is Robin Lynn
Gibson, 27, of the 20000 block of Treaty Line Road, West Mansfield,
which is near Byhalia.
Gibson was last seen leaving her home on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. with her
boyfriend, who is reportedly Mosbacker. They were seen leaving in a
tan-colored minivan.
Gibson is described as being a white female, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 100
pounds with blonde hair and hazel green eyes.
BCI&I is assisting in the investigation.

Mount Victory murder Search for missing persons ends
By J-T Staff reports
The search has ended for two missing persons Hardin County sheriff's
deputies believe may be connected to the murder of a Mount Victory
According to Hardin County sheriff's deputy Keith Everhart, Robin Lynn
Gibson, 27, and Scott Mosbacker, 30, were taken into custody Friday at
approximately 2 p.m. by Montgomery County authorities.
Gibson was last seen leaving her Byhalia-area home on Oct. 19 at 3:30
p.m. with her boyfriend, who was believed to be Mosbacker.
Evangeline Bealer, 71, was found dead in her home Thursday afternoon in
Mount Victory and was believed to be the victim of murder.
Neighbors said she had not been seen for days and that they had gone to
her home to check on her.
Hardin County Coroner Dr. Larry Kuk had speculated the cause of her
death as strangulation. He believed the homicide could have occurred
anytime within the last week.
Everhart reported that Gibson and Mosbacker were not found driving the
missing 1996 Chrysler Mini Van with the Ohio reg. BJ99ZM which was owned
by Bealer.
The deputies discovered them in a late model GM, Everhart said.
He could not confirm whether a police pursuit was involved in their
Bealer was reportedly a 1949 graduate of Byhalia High School. She was a
retired school teacher and was last elected to the Mount Victory Village
Council in 1999.
She was single and had never married.
According to an article in Kenton Times, Hardin County Sheriff Craig
Leeth said he would not call Mosbacker a suspect.
Bealer's neighbors told the Kenton newspaper that she had allowed him to
stay in her home while she cared for a dying friend in Union County.
After the friend died, reports stated, Bealer reportedly continued to
allow Mosbacker to live in the upstairs of her home and that some of her
personal checks were found to be missing a few weeks ago.
Sheriff's detectives are continuing their investigation.

County commissioners consider land purchase
With a purchase contract sitting on the table before them Monday, Union
County's three commissioners discussed at length whether the county
should agree to pay $300,000 for 14 acres that could or could not be the
future home of an Army National Guard Readiness Center.
"It may be the most speculative thing we have done," said Union County
Commissioner Tom McCarthy about signing the contract.
He likened it to the Alaska land purchase, also known as Seward's Folly,
when the state of Alaska was purchased for about 2 cents an acre and the
public began to insult the purchase as a worthless piece of real estate
with its cold temperature, frozen wasteland and rugged terrain.
On the flip side, Union County Engineer Steve Stolte said that "if that
land gets away then there will never be an armory there."
But who else would want the ground and at that price?
All three commissioners - McCarthy, Don Fraser and Jim Mitchell -
however, voiced concern about whether the land is this valuable to
anyone but the county. The county is currently considering a price tag
of $21,000 an acre.
They had originally stated they would pay $18,000 to $20,000 an acre.
With the uncertainty about the Guard's decision, timetable and ability
to finance the readiness center, the commissioners decided Monday to get
an appraisal of the property's value.
The Guard approached the city of Marysville in February with plans to
locate a training and community center in either Marysville or Delaware
by 2007. The city then brought the county into the talks.
County officials are expecting the decision to arrive in November and be
for both the Delaware and Marysville sites.
The reality of the situation, according to officials, is that while the
idea is novel and enticing, the Guard has no money now to follow through
- except with an act of Congress.
"It may never happen ... it may be 10 years," speculated the county's
three commissioners as they wrestled with the idea of allocating a
substantial sum of money for land located east of the Union County YMCA.

A readiness center at the selected site would cost approximately $12.1
million with partial road construction for the YMCA site and $14.6
million for Industrial Parkway and Delaware Avenue widening.
The city's cost would be $700,000 for partial road construction and $3
million for the road project.
Initially, the Guard said they would buy the land and build a facility
within three years.
Space would then be available for community partners to use on a daily
basis since the Guard's use is limited to a couple of times a month and
a couple of weeks a year.
Agencies that have voiced an interest in sharing the space with the
Guard are the YMCA, senior center, day care center, physical therapy,
higher education center and library.
The question of allocating $300,000 for land that may not be used in
years also seems to be balanced against the county's current budget and
building conditions.
Union County appears to have a surplus of property with the former Union
Manor Nursing Home sitting vacant along Route 4 and acres of land known
as the county farm surrounding it. In addition, the commissioners
announced last week that the general fund carryover is shrinking. Fraser
said expenditures are ahead of revenue projections plus carryover.
The county had a $2.7 million carryover last year and $14.3 million in
general fund appropriations.
Union County Auditor Mary Snider is projecting that the county will have
a $2 million carryover by the end of this year. Officer holders have
been asked to keep their budgets flat for the coming year with salary
increases to be no more than 3 percent. Even with pay raises, the
commissioners are speculating that some employees may actually have less
take-home pay because of increasing insurance costs.

Police, fire officials tell of need for funds
Marysville police and fire officials addressed the wants of both
departments to Marysville City Council members Thursday night.
Both departments could benefit from the new facilities proposed in the
plans for funds that would be generated from an income tax  should that
be passed by voters on Nov. 5
Police chief Eugene Mayer relayed the needs of his department in a brief
He said conditions are becoming cramped at the department. Areas he said
which are lacking in space or man power are the locker rooms which,
though now expanded, are located on two floors.
The lockers themselves were donated by Marysville High school 20 years
The evidence room is also difficult to get into, Mayer said.
The city has 10 marked cruisers and five unmarked cruisers, he said.
This may seem like a good amount, he said, but the engines get steady
Cruisers average 1,000 miles per week or around 50,000 miles per year.
There are now six cruisers with 50-70,000 miles on them, two cruisers
with 70-90,000 miles and two cruisers with 95-120,000.
Mayer said the idea is to phase the older ones out for safety and
efficiency but that could pose a problem with the lack of funding.
The department receives more than 12,000 service calls per year. Already
there are 270 more reports this year than last year.
Twenty percent are being handled by the department's three
To have two officers per 1,000 people in a city is recommended, Mayer
said. The city currently has 30, two of whom are funded by grants.
This is close to the average, Mayer said, although 32 would be better.
Councilman Dan Fogt said he was thankful for the quick apprehension of
the man who shot his mother outside of Heartland of Marysville on Oct.
"I was real proud of the safety forces that day," Mayer said.
>From the medics and the Union County Sheriff's Deputies to the Heartland
staff providing food and aid, no one panicked and every facet of the
operation worked like an orchestra, he said.
Marysville Fire Chief Gary Johnson provided some insight into the needs
of the fire department.
The community, he said, would benefit from having a station north of the
railroad tracks.
Councilman John Marshall said he saw a medic responding to a call with
lights flashing stuck waiting for a train. He said he could only imagine
how bad it would be if there was a heart attack victim whose life may
have been on the line.
Marshall also hopes that tragedy does not have to happen in order for
the public to support a northern end fire station. It would help
response times to Mill Valley and provide better access on and off the
highway for crews. Restaurants on the north end of Marysville would also
benefit if a fire were to occur in their facilities, Johnson said.
He also surmised there are probably not many people in the city driving
vehicles that are more than 30 years old but this is the case of the
fire department and its ladder truck. He said the truck has failed two
annual inspections.
If new vehicles are purchased the current facilities would not be able
to provide storage of them, which is another reason for an updated
Currently there are 28 full-time fire personnel, he said, and the living
quarters are overcrowded
At times the amount of personnel is enough and other times it isn't, he
During the incident of the shooting at Heartland, Johnson said, crews
were responding to three calls at the same time. The only reason the
response time in getting to Heartland was good was because a patient had
just been dropped off at the hospital and the call was nearby.
"I work with the finest group of professionals I know," Johnson said.
"On a daily basis they go above and beyond what others do."
He said he is determined to educate the community on the needs he has
addressed so they can make their decisions on the levy.
During Mayor Steve Lowe's report to council he addressed the history of
borrowing by past administrations. Part of the current debt began from
an idea to borrow money every other year and then pay it off in the
middle years in order to make street repairs at the time. It was not a
good idea.
He said in 1995 the city was able to reduce its debt $895,000, however,
in 1997 the debt was increased by 370,000.
In 1998 the debt was increased by $5,480,000 in one year. The debt went
up $1 million in 1999 and then another $2 million in 2000.
Under a policy of not borrowing at all, Lowe said, the city was able to
reduce the debt $236,000 in 2001 and begin reversing the process.
Already this year, Lowe said, the city has reduced the debt by
This is partly due to the no borrowing policy and to RITA and the
mandatory tax filing.
"We are catching people who are not paying taxes," Lowe said.
"The city would be hurting without mandatory tax filing," he said.
Lowe said residents are currently getting police, fire, park, street
lights, snow removal, cemeteries, courts and more for $400 a year in


Local shooting victim dies
>From J-T staff reports:
Charges against a Marysville man for shooting his own mother will
reportedly be changed from attempted murder to murder.
Donna Levan, 56, of Marysville died this morning at 1:03 a.m. after
surviving for more than eight days in critical condition at the Ohio
State University Hospital.
She was shot Oct. 15 in the parking lot of Heartland of Marysville
Nursing Center by her son Eric A. Jackson, 29, also of Marysville. He
fired one slug from a 12 gauge sawed-off shotgun into her hand and
abdomen at approximately 11:50 a.m.
According to an OSU hospital public relations spokesperson, Levan was
transported to the Franklin County coroner this morning for an autopsy.
The coroner's office reported they should know the official cause of her
death later this afternoon.
Jackson was scheduled to appear before a grand jury at 10 a.m. today at
the Union County Courthouse on charges of attempted murder, a first
degree felony.
As Marysville police chief Eugene Mayer was headed for the hearing this
morning, he said he expected the charges against Jackson would be
changed to murder.
After the grand jury indictment hearing, Mayer said, the police
department presented its evidence against Jackson to the court.
Mayer reported that the official ruling to switch the charges to murder
may not take place until around 2:30 or 3 p.m. today.
He said Jackson's bail remains set at $100,000 as ruled by Judge Michael
Grigsby upon the request of Union County Prosecutor Alison Boggs at the
initial Marysville Municipal Court arraignment hearing.
Jackson is being held in the Tri-County Jail in Mechanicsburg and Mayer
said he was not present in court this morning.
Although rumors have been circulating, no official report has been
provided by police on Jackson's motive for killing his own mother.
"It's too premature to say anything right now," Mayer said.
Levan was reportedly talking with her son outside the nursing center
while he was seated in his vehicle. She has been an employee of the
nursing center for the past 18 years. At some point during the
conversation, Jackson raised the gun against her and fired. He was
apprehended by a Union County sheriff's deputy within minutes on
Industrial Parkway and did not resist arrest.

Honda Parkway will be renamed
Honda Parkway will soon be known as the
James A. Rhodes Memorial Parkway.
The Union County Commissioners are renaming the approximately two miles
of roadway also known as County Road 165 to recognize and honor James A.
Rhodes, former Ohio governor, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of
automobile manufacturing in Ohio.
A resolution to be signed Thursday states that on Nov. 1, 1982, the
associates of Honda of America Mfg. Inc. produced the first automobile -
an Accord sedan - in its Marysville plant, the first automobile made by
a Japanese automaker in the United States.
Rhodes' vision, leadership and friendship with Honda Motor Company
founder Soichiro Honda is credited in large measure for Honda locating
the plant in Ohio, states the resolution.
The Union County Engineer has been directed to erect an appropriate sign
to signify the designation. A formal ceremony to recognize the renaming
is planned for Nov. 1.

Patrolling Ohio's highways is all in the family
Husband, wife find calling in Ohio State Highway Patrol

A husband and wife team have made the Ohio State Highway Patrol their
life and have made Marysville their home.
Bo and Robin Schmutz may have a little trouble mixing up hats and
equipment in the morning, but their jobs within the patrol are certainly
different. They were eacg recently named to new positions and received
accolades from their association with the highway patrol.
Robin was named the new spokesperson for the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
She started the position on Oct. 7 after being transferred to the Public
Affairs Unit from her previous spot with the Administrative
Investigation Unit at the patrol's General Headquarters in Columbus.
She joined the Ohio State Patrol as Robin Teets in May 1995 as a member
of the 127th Academy Class and received her commission the following
November after being assigned to the Findlay post.
In October 1999 she transferred to General Headquarters to serve as an
investigator, where she later received her promotion to sergeant in
March 2001.
A native of Marysville, Robin graduated from Marysville High School in
1987. She earned her bachelor's degree in business administration from
Franklin University.
She met her husband, who is originally from Blufton, when he was working
at the Union County Sheriff's Office.
Bo reported in as one of the Ohio State Patrol's newest troopers
recently at the Marysville Post.  He will be part of 44 new troopers
aiding in Ohio's Homeland Security efforts launched by President George
W. Bush after the terrorists attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
According to Robin, Bo is among troopers who have undergone expanded
training to be placed in state buildings for extra security when needed.
The new training has included an extra focus on hazardous materials.
"They were trained to be more aware," Robin added, when facing security
issues of today's increased threat of terrorism.
The fact that Bo was able to serve in Marysville, where he lives, was an
added bennefit, but it was something he had to work for.
"It is based on class ranking" he said. "I ranked high enough where I
could choose where I wanted to go."
As one of four graduates of the 139th Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy
Class who received special honors, his specialty revealed itself behind
the wheel of a cruiser. Bo excelled in maneuvering through the 12
driving courses.
All of the 44 new troopers Bo was in training with will spend their
first 60 working days in field training under the guidance of a veteran
officer of the highway patrol.
The aspect of a couple working within the same profession has proven to
be a smooth transition, Robin said.
"Although sometimes I'll accidentally grab the wrong name tag when I'm
getting ready for work," she joked.
The couple lives in Marysville with their 14-year-old daughter Alicia.

Sex offenders reside in county
No sexual predators listed, but number of offenders rises
About three years ago Union County residents flooded the phone lines at
the Union County Sheriff's Office after letters went out to homes about
two registered sexual predators who moved into the county.
Today there are no registered sexual predators living in the county, but
there are several other lower grade sex offenders here.
Lt. Floyd Golden, who handles registration of sexual offenders for the
Union County Sheriff's Department, said the department received hundreds
of calls three years ago from concerned parents wondering if their
children might be in danger. The predators who lived here have since
moved away or returned to prison.
Golden reported there are 12 sex offenders living around Union County
today. The list of sex offenders is constantly updated.
The difference between registered sexual offenders and registered sexual
predators is important to note.
A sexual predator is defined as a person who has been convicted of
committing a sexually-oriented offense and is considered likely to
commit a similar offense in the future.
A sexually-oriented offender, on the other hand, is a person who has
been convicted of committing a sexually-oriented offense but has not
been designated as a sexual predator or habitual sex offender.
Sexually-oriented offenses include kidnapping of a minor for sexual
purposes, abduction of a minor, rape, sexual battery, corruption of a
minor, gross sexual imposition, compelling prostitution, aggravated
murder, murder, involuntary manslaughter to satisfy sexual needs,
endangering children, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a
minor, unlawful restraint, felonious assault for sexual purposes and
illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance.
Individuals who broke any one or more of these laws are currently listed
at Union County residences on Route 739 in West Mansfield, two people on
Cypress Drive, Route 47 in Richwood, Butternut Countryside Mobile Home
Park, Stocksdale Drive, Route 4 in Marysville, Nutmeg Drive, North Maple
Street, Kinney Pike in Richwood, Main Street in Raymond and Cherry
Street in Richwood.
They are annually subjected to the registration requirements for a
period of 10 years. They are not under conditions of neighbor or
community notification because judges have decided they are not a risk
to commit similar crimes in the future.
The listed people must contact the sheriff office seven days before they
move to a different location.
Golden said the only reason the public would be notified by letter of
sexual offenders in their area is if a judge chose to include that
specification in their sentencing.
Unless it is specifically listed in their probation or sentencing, the
offenders cannot be told where they can and cannot live.
Golden said citizens curious about addresses and locations of sex
offenders in Union County may call the Union County Sheriff's department
or stop in and submit a public records request.
He said that if someone calls asking if one lives on his street he will
usually tip them off with a "yes" or "no" answer to save them the
One drawback about the list, Golden said, is that it includes only those
offenders who were released from prison after July 1, 1997, when the Sex
Offender Registration and Notification law (SORN) went into effect.

County department seeks accreditation
People at the Union County Department of Job and Family Services have
decided it is time to take a closer look at what they do and how they do
"Ultimately, we hope this process will provide the citizens of Union
County the highest level of social service," said director Joseph Float,
who was appointed to the position earlier this year.
Union County's department is one of eight departments in the state that
will be seeking accredidation.
Float said the accreditation process will take two years and is a
process by which peers access every aspect of the department's work
including the quality of services provided, policy and procedures and
customer satisfaction.
As a first step, The Union County department has begun "environmental
scans" or information gathering.
Float said members of his management team are meeting with all 20
community partners for at least an hour for perceptions and to "access
how we're doing." The community partners include court services, foster
parents, law enforcement, child care providers, churches, United Way,
schools, the Union County Health Department and consumers.
Guiding the information gathering are eight questions. They are:
. What is the role of social services in the Union County community?
. What types of services would you like to see that are not presently
available to children, adults and families in need and to those needing
job assistance?
. What assets/county strengths are available in the county that could
assist in the development and provision of these additional
. What do you see as the biggest barriers preventing these
services/programs in being developed/offered?
. From your perspective, do you think the Union County Dept. of Job and
Family Services is providing the level of service support needed in our
. What assets/strengths do you recognize in the programs at the Union
County Dept. of Job and Family Services:
. What weaknesses or barriers to services do you recognize in the
. What would you/your organization be willing to do to partner
differently with UCDJFS to provide enhanced services and supports to our
county's most vulnerable and to those who need workforce development
Float hopes to complete the interviews by Oct. 31, then begin compiling
the responses and look for patterns. These concepts will guide the staff
when they meet Nov. 18-20 with independent consultant Ann Kipplen of the
Institute for Human Services in Toledo. At this meeting, the local
department mapping a path to reach them.
The goal is to not just meet state-mandated policies and procedures, but
to personalize the strategy to meet local needs.
To date, Float said, a common comment from community partners is that
the department needs to help people further and go beyond the minimum.
Overseeing the process will be project manager James Dmitrovich, who has
facilitated the Ohio Reformatory for Women and other state institutions
in obtaining accredidation.
The Council on Accreditation is an internationally recognized and
independent organization that promotes the best practices of social
service delivery. COA will ultimately determine if the county department
meets accreditation standards. According to COA, the accretitation
process is four-fold. Phase 1 is application; 2, self-study; 3, site
visit; and 4, accreditation decision.
Float was not able to provide a cost estimate for the process. He did
say that the state of Ohio will reimburse portions of the cost and offer
incentives in the future to those counties who are accredited.
Accreditation is also not a one time shot. Float said it is a continuous
process that will involve re-evaluations regularly.
Float said the local department has six primary business units. They
. Protective Services provides protection for children from dependency,
neglect and abuse, as well as resources and programs for those children
and intervention to attempt to restore families. In addition, the
department provides services for adults who are at risk of exploitation,
neglect or abuse. This department also oversees foster care licensing
and day care certification. At any one time, Float said, the department
has 20 to 25 children in foster care. It receives approximately 700
referrals of neglect or abuse a year with 100 resulting in court
intervention. There are 11 employees in this unit.
. Child Support Enforcement collects approximately $6 million a year
with an 82 percent collection rate. There are 12 staff members.
. Family Support works to help families maintain independence in the
community through food stamps, medical coverage and short-term cash
assistance. At any given time, the department provides Medicaid to 3,000
individuals, cash assistance to 100 families and food stamps to 750
residents. There are 12 employees in the unit.
.Workforce Development offers job seekers, workers and employers a full
range of employment-related services. The purpose of the program is to
promote career growth and self-sufficiency. The unit has three
. Business Office oversees the day-to-day business of the office
including fraud investigation. There are 10 employees.
. UCATS (Union County Agency Transporation Service) receives
administrative services. It has 10 employees and 18 vehicles

County budgets to tighten up
A monetary carryover may be a thing of the past for Union County's
general fund next year.
Elected officials or their representatives met with the Union County
Commissioners over pizza Thursday to discuss next year's budgets.
Union County Auditor Mary Snider is projecting that the county will have
a $2 million carryover by the end of this year and $12.6 million for the
general fund. Last year's general fund appropriations were $14.3 million
and the carryover was $2.7 million but if budgets remain the same the
carryover could be gone.
A glance at the numbers show expenditures are ahead of revenue
projections and carryover, said Union County Commissioner Don Fraser.
Another fact that must be dealt with in the upcoming budget is the fact
that the expenses outside of the county's control are increasing
Commissioner Jim Mitchell explained that the county will spend an
additional $100,000 and probably more next year toward the Juvenile
Detention Center, an additional $100,000 toward the operations of the
Tri-County Jail and is expecting a 30 percent increase in the county's
share of health insurance. Mitchell estimates a 30 percent increase
would amount to $150,000.
Mitchell speculates that the county will have a $500,000 hit and has no
control over the increases.
Realizing that to retain quality employees some sort of pay increase is
expected, the commissioners recommended overall wage increases of no
more than 3 percent.
When asked if office holders should present flat budgets in all line
items, except salaries, all three commissioners nodded their heads yes.
Commissioner Tom McCarthy also speculated that it may be very likely
that even if county employees see some pay increase, the employee's
portion of health insurance costs may surpass the pay increase.
"We're not in a position to absorb it all," McCarthy said.
"Theoretically there will be no carryover next year," said McCarthy.
"This is a different environment .... We don't want to cry wolf."
Fraser said that in comparison to other areas of the state which are
considering layoffs, Union County really has a positive picture.
"I don't think its doom and gloom here," Fraser said.
McCarthy explained that the county has been told to expect a 6 to 8
percent reduction of local government funds from the state, which is
good news. The commissioners had thought the county could lose all of
the funds, which amount to $1 million. Snider, however, is a bit more
cautious about state promises and believes the county will have a better
idea of just what they can expect after the election. Currently,
estimates are that the state has a $3.8 billion shortfall in this year's
The commissioners said they will begin discussing individual budgets
soon, beginning with the sheriff's department which is one of the
largest. They expect to complete the process by the end of the year,
McCarthy said.

Memorial project expands to include all county veterans
>From J-T staff reports:
A simple project to honor veterans from the former Union Rural School
District is getting more complicated.
Originally, several residents in the Milford Center area were attempting
to locate a picture of a wooden board that listed the names of men and
women who served in World War II from the Union Rural School District, a
district which no longer exists. While the original board had been lost
over time, a photograph of the board was located in early September with
plans to recreate it.
Using information about the names on the board, the photograph was dated
to sometime between July and September of 1944.
But when Ross Ingram began searching for names that might have been
added after this date, he got more than he bargained for.
"The question came up about who to include," Ingram said.
People not from the Union Rural School District were saying, 'I want my
name on it' and "rightfully so," said Ingram, who believes all veterans
in the county deserve to be honored for their service.
Ingram said there is no complete record of who has served in the armed
forces from Union County in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam
wars, although he is hopeful to compile a list from discharge records at
the Union County Recorder's Office.
Ingram said the Union Rural School District board is now on hold with
plans to expand the project to include all veterans from the county.
All veterans and anyone interested are invited to a 2 p.m. meeting
Sunday at American Legion Post 79 to discuss the potential building of a
Union County Veterans Memorial listing the names of all veterans in the
county who fought during any war since WW II.
Ingram said he has no idea how many names this could include, but
estimates that it could be 4,000 or more.
Ingram is enlisting help in the project and has only one hope  - that
the memorial will be permanent, "in stone and anchored in the ground,"
so it will not be lost in time as the original memorial was.

M.C. Council eyes unsafe buildings
Unsafe buildings in the village of Milford Center may someday be a thing
of the past.
Members of the Milford Center village council passed a second reading on
an ordinance authorizing the demolition of unsafe buildings in the
village at Tuesday's regular council meeting. A third reading is
required before the ordinance becomes effective.
The ordinance has seven sections - definition; notice to owner;
agreement to repair or remove; posting of signs; permits; right to
demolish; and unsafe conditions, reports.
Unsafe buildings are defined as "all buildings or structures needing
repair, or which are structurally defective or unsafe ... and declared
to be public nuisances." Unsafe buildings are to be repaired and
rehabilitated or demolished in accordance with the procedure of this
The procedure begins with an examination of the building or structure
reported or believed to be unsafe and then a 30-day written notice by
certified mail is sent to the property's record title holders and
lienholders of the property. If an emergency exists, notice may be given
by other means less than 30 days prior.
The record title holders and lienholders of the property may enter into
an agreement with the village to repair or remove the unsafe building.
The building inspector is to post signs at each entrance of the building
that state "Do Not Enter. Unsafe to Occupy. Division of Building
Regulation, Village of Milford Center, Ohio." The notice will remain
posted until repairs are made or demolition is completed. It is unlawful
to remove the notice without permission.
In all cases of construction or repair, permits shall be obtained as
In the case the owner of record or the purchases under a land contract
fails, neglects or refuses to comply with the notice to repair,
rehabilitate or demolish and remove the building, either the owner of
record or purchasers under land contract are subject to penal
provisions. The building inspector shall proceed to have the building or
structure demolished and removed, leaving the premises in a clean, safe
and sanitary condition. Cost shall be paid by the village. If the
village is not immediately reimbursed, the total cost shall be collected
as provided in RC 715.261 (B) (1) or (2).
In addition, owners, managers, lessees or occupants of buildings are
required to report dangerous conditions to the building inspector within
24 hours. If the building inspector cannot be located, the report is to
be made to the village administrator.
Council member Jeff Parren was the only person to vote against the
ordinance and voice concern. Voting in favor of the ordinance were Josh
Combs, Ron Payne, Bob Mitchell and Chris Burger.
In other business, council discussed extensively concerns about tree
removal for public safety, illegally parked vehicles along East Center
Street and hours worked by the public safety officer. Another concern
parking along East Center Street is permitted on only one side and cars
are apparently parking in the opposite direction and against the flow of
Concerning the public safety officer's hours, council members said they
want patrolmen to be present in the village from 3:15 to 4 p.m. Monday
through Friday during Honda shift changes.
Council also accepted a revised lease submitted by solicitor Charlotte
Eufinger which includes a right to amend and hold harmless agreement.
The lease is for three years and concerns village property that is
leased as a parking lot to an area church. In other action, council
authorized the clerk to pay electric bills prior to meetings in order to
avoid late fees.
Trick or treat will be held Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. A walk through of
the water plant is slated for Oct. 29 at 9 a.m.
Councilman Payne updated those present about the Union County/Marysville
Economic Development Plan and said he would be attending a RITA board
meeting on behalf of the village.

Shooting victim received quick care
>From J-T staff reports:
When a local woman was shot Tuesday by her son in Marysville, two mental
health consumers immediately sprang into action to help her.
Donna Levan, 56, of Marysville was shot Monday outside of Heartland of
Marysville Nursing Center by her son, Eric A. Jackson, 29, of Riverwind
Drive. Jackson has been charged with attempted murder, a first degree
felony. His mother is listed in critical condition at Ohio State
University Medical Center.
It was just coincidence that brought Laurel Labadie, a former nurse, and
Don Bailey, a Gulf War veteran, to a group meeting at Wings Enrichment
Center Tuesday morning, said Mike Witzky, executive director of the
Union County Mental Health and Recovery Board. Wings is located across
the parking lot from where the shooting occurred and has a window that
opens to the parking area.
Witzky said that after the shot rang out, Bailey immediately ran to the
victim, with Labadie close behind. He reached Levan before Jackson's car
sped off. Witzky speculates that Bailey's presence may have prevented
Jackson from firing a second fatal shot.
"His training just clicked in," Witzky said about Bailey's reaction.
Bailey immediately tore off his shirt and removed his belt to create a
tourniquet to stop the bleeding from Levan's hand. He instructed Labadie
to call 911 and told Levan, who was still standing, to lie down. Bailey
then began using his shirt to apply pressure to the entrance wound on
her abdomen and continued to provide first aid until emergency medical
crews arrived.
"The real impact of the story is that without regard to their own
disability and illness they stepped forward to help," Witzky said
Tuesday afternoon.

ORW unveils new communication system
The Ohio Reformatory for Women has taken a giant stride toward improving
communication with other state agencies.
On Wednesday morning the women's prison unveiled the installation of the
Multi-Agency Radio Communication System (MARCS), a digital radio system
now linking the ORW to other participating agencies within the state.
Maralene Sines, public relations director for the prison, said the ORW
is now one of 13 prisons participating in the use of MARCS.
ORW Capt. William Merrill provided a demonstration that highlighted the
effects MARCS now has on in-house communication. The ORW encompasses
more than 30 acres of land full of concrete rooms above and below
ground, which at times blocked the signals from the old radios.
Merrill used the new system to communicate with a staff member in a
basement at the prison.
"It is a part that was once dead (on radio)," Sines said. "In the past a
food service member of the staff was injured down there and tried to
radio for help but couldn't be heard."
Sines said previously that when the prison would communicate with prison
work crews on the road in Mechanicsburg it had to do so by cell phone,
known for its spotty reception. This problem has also been fixed by
Other demonstrations included clear transmissions made to the Marion
Correctional Institute and to the Marysville post of the Ohio State
Highway Patrol.
MARCS allows corrections staff to communicate directly with other
prisons and agencies statewide, both during routine inmate
transportation and during critical incidents.
"It enhances safety for the correctional staff and for the public as a
whole," Sines said.
In time it will help agencies communicate across the nation, she said.
At the media event, OSP Marysville post commander Lt. Marla Gaskill
explained the advantages of the new system.
The patrol has already been hooked up to the MARCS system and Gaskill
reported the switch has been a revolutionary change.
She explained that the new digital network has brought patrol technology
into the 21st Century and in the process has improved both officer
safety and efficiency.
Prior to the use of MARCS, the patrol used an antiquated radio system
with crowded frequencies and interference which made it difficult to
determine what was being said. The previous radio coverage was also
spotty, leaving some areas of the state and county with dead air.
"MARCS will be especially helpful during emergencies and large events,"
Gaskill said. "However, troopers and dispatchers enjoy the clarity of
the new system during day-to-day operations."

Man charged in shooting of mother
She remains in critical condition;
he is being held on $100,000 bond

>From J-T staff reports:
Police are trying to determine why a man shot his own mother outside of
the Heartland of Marysville Nursing Center late Tuesday morning.
Eric A. Jackson, 29, of Riverwind Drive in Marysville has been charged
with attempted murder, a first degree felony, in the shooting of his
mother, Donna Levan, 56, also of Marysville.
He fired what police believe to be one shot from his vehicle using a
sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun at approximately 11:50 a.m. Levan was able to
inform police her son was the shooter prior to being transported by
Jackson was arraigned this morning in Marysville Municipal Court. He sat
in orange prison issue clothing with his head hung low during the short
proceedings. He is being held in the Tri-County Jail in Mechanicsburg.
Bail was set at $100,000 by Judge Michael Grigsby, upon the request of
Union County Prosecutor Alison Boggs.
When asked if he could afford an attorney, Jackson replied, "I can't
even afford to pay my light bill." He then requested that an attorney be
appointed to him.
According to police reports, Jackson fired a slug from the shotgun. The
bullet hit Levan in her hand and abdomen.
She was reportedly talking with her son outside the nursing center while
he was seated in his vehicle prior to the shooting. She has been an
employee of the center for the past 18 years.
Marysville medics transported Levan to Memorial Hospital of Union County
and she was later flown to Ohio State University Medical Center by
She was listed in critical condition this morning.
According to Marysville police, no one else was involved or injured in
the attack.
After Jackson fled from the scene, he was apprehended within minutes
through teamwork between the Marysville Police Department and the Union
County Sheriff's Office. A sheriff's deputy took Jackson into custody
without incident after noticing a vehicle matching witnesses'
descriptions on Industrial Parkway.
The investigation is ongoing and police have been unable to determine
what the motive was for the attack.

School board hears of coming renewals
>From J-T staff reports:
The Marysville Board of Education held a special meeting to talk about
three issues Monday, including the need to discuss several levies which
are due to expire in the next two years.
Superintendent Larry Zimmerman listed the levies:
 . An 8.9-mill five-year operating levy which was originally passed in
1993, then approved for another five years in 1998 with expiration in
2003 and is currently being collected at 6.74 mills for
residential/agricultural and 8.27 for commercial/industrial.
 . A 5-mill five-year permanent improvement levy which was passed in
1998 with expiration in 2003. It is currently being collected at 3.79
mills for residential/agricultural and 4.65 mills for
 . A 6.56-mill five-year operating levy which was passed in 1994 and
approved for another five years in 1999, expiring in 2004. It is being
collected at 3.50 mills for residential/agricultural and 6.1 mills for
The school district also has a 18.6-mill permanent operating levy which
was passed in 1969, currently being collected at 8.09 mills for
residential/agricultural and 15.16 mills for commercial/industrial.
Zimmerman and district treasurer Dolores Cramer are preparing several
options for the board to consider and work sessions are planned in the
next several months in preparation for placing a levy on the ballot in
In other business, the board:
 . Voted to continue its property insurance coverage with Cincinnati
Insurance Co. and accept a bid for fleet insurance with the Ohio School
Insurance Program.
 . Approved the five-year forecast.
 . Adjourned into executive session to discuss personnel.

City officials discuss flooding issues
The Town Run Ditch may not be the most exciting topic but for residents
who find a small pond instead of a basement after every storm, it is
certainly enough to bring them out on a Tuesday night.
Mayor Steve Lowe, along with city engineer Phil Roush and city service
director Tracie Davies, held a public meeting addressing the flooding
issues in Marysville and to update residents on what is being done to
minimize their water woes.
Roush said the recent study is the most comprehensive one ever done
regarding the city's water run. It covered about 1/3 of the city's
entire area.
The dye tests identify illegal sanitary sewer connections, Davies said.
The tests completed have shown numerous violations.
The Ohio Reformatory for Women had four violations out of 21 areas
checked. Davies said those four violations included 12 downspouts tied
in to the sewer system, making them worse. The prison has been working
with the city to solve the problem.
Households that are in violation will receive letters from the city
telling them how to correct the problem.
Lowe said the city town run study has been completed at a cost of around
$50,000 and it was determined that the only way to fix the problems
outlined in the results is to find a way to raise money. Without it,
nothing can possibly be done.
Outlined in the study are project costs of $5,505,162  to correct
flooding problems with just the Town Run Ditch.
Ditches have been cleaned out over the past couple of months, Davies
said, which has helped a little.
However, Lowe added, it is too expensive for the city to take over
ownership of drains and ditches often found on county or residential
property, so residents and county leaders must do what they can as well.

"We recommend that the city develop a stormwater master plan to define,
estimate the cost of and schedule stormwater projects," Roush said.
"Unless we can develop the money, nothing is going to be done."
All three city officials commented that nothing has been done by past
administrations to fix Marysville's drainage problems and the situation
has been getting progressively worse as the town grows. Urbanization
creates water running off additional concrete instead of straight into
the ground.
Roush said some areas, such as the Barr Haven community, were built in
areas not meant to be constructed on as they were once covered in marsh
During rains, Lowe said, the town run goes from receiving a normal four
million gallons of water to 10 million or more.
Lowe said plans are underway to create a storm water district.
Eventually the city will have to form its own storm water utility. Much
like the manner in which residents are charged whenever they run water
for showers or dishwashers, they will be charged per house based on what
is being called "impervious space."
This space refers to how much area a building takes up, including
asphalt, which may divert storm water around it. A business such as
Wal-Mart with acres of asphalt would be charged more than a homeowner.
Money from the utility will be used specifically for storm water issues,
instead of using money sporadically taken from the city's general fund
as individual problems arrive.
As further studies are enacted to determine problems in the rest of the
city, the fees would have to be raised to accommodate the new problems
discovered in the process.
Lowe said the new utility would have happened anyway.
The Ohio EPA has been enacting similar districts in larger cities such
as Columbus and Toledo and eventually it would have come to Marysville.
The issue of flooding has been a problem all across the country.
"We are being proactive instead of reactive," Lowe said.
Lowe said that in order to help aid the process, retention basins will
be dug to give extra water a place to go. He asked that residents keep
an eye out for clogged drains and problem areas. If a drainage path is
obviously blocked, call Roush or Davies at 642-6015. The mantra of the
night was "Leave your name, address and phone number."
"All I ask is just don't wait until you are so mad you can't see," Lowe
Lowe said that if something is to be done about the flooding residents
should support and work with the city.
For those residents with raw sewage in basements after heavy rains,
Roush said, the problem is a direct result of storm water infiltrating
the sewer system. If the drainage can be fixed, it would take care of
that problem as well.

Local forum shows both sides of Iraqi invasion debate
"Would a U.S. invasion of Iraq enhance the security of Americans?"
That was the question posed at the Marysville Library's public issues
forum Monday by Guy Shroyer, Ph.D., of Urbana University, who has
doctorates in international relations and political science.
Shroyer said he has been following developments closely. American
citizens need to inform themselves of what is happening concerning Iraq,
decide their stance and make it known to their political leaders,
Shroyer said.
At Monday's talk, he listed the people in the pro-invasion group and the
anti-invasion group and showed how they agree and differ.
The pros include President Bush ("apparently"), Vice-president Dick
Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Assistant Secretary of
Defense Paul Wolforwitz, National Security Advisor Condaleeza Rice and
civilian consultant Richard Perle.
The anti-invasion group includes Secretary of State Colin Powell ("sort
of"), CIA analysts, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and national
security advisors.
Shroyer said those in favor of invasion claim that Saddam Hussein's
government has chemical and biological weapons; they have used those
weapons on Kurds and in war with Iran; and Iraq has not complied with
U.N. inspection agreements.
The anti-invasion group agrees with these claims.
The pros also claim that Iraq could have nuclear weapons within six
months and that Iraq supports and cooperates with terrorist groups like
al Qaeda.
The antis do not agree with these claims, Shroyer said.
The anti-invasion group is split on two other issues raised by the pros
-  that Hussein is determined to increase his arsenal of weapons of mass
destruction and that he has regional ambitions that threaten Kuwait, the
Gulf states, Saudi Arabia and Israel.
"No one has provided any evidence that Hussein plans a preemptive attack
on the U.S.," Shroyer said. "He would be crazy to do that."
Shroyer then listed several paths that could be taken. These include
unilateral U.S. invasion; U.S. invasion with multilateral support which
would include NATO and Japan; and U.S. invasion with U.N. backing.
Also possible are U.N.-backed coercive inspections which would involve a
military presence and the act of removing scientists and officials who
have knowledge of Iraq's weaponry to another country so they could feel
free to give information.
U.N.-backed unlimited inspections; the U.N.-backed current inspection
program; economic and military containment; or a course of doing nothing
are other courses of action that could be taken. Shroyer said these last
three are very unlikely.
He said there is a possibility that the Iraqi people would not fight too
hard because there is very good evidence that they are not loyal to
their leader.
"He is a thoroughly not nice guy," Shroyer said.
Shroyer listed the positive consequences of a U.S. invasion of Iraq as
replacement of Hussein and his government with a compliant puppet
government; long-term stabilization of the world oil market; and
long-term increase in U.S. leverage in the Middle East.
Negative consequences, he said, could include U.S. casualties; Iraqi
casualties; Iraqi revenge attacks on the U.S. and Middle East; regional
war instigated by Iraq; long-term U.S. commitment to occupy and rebuild
Iraq; short-term and long-term negative economic consequences for the
U.S.; and short-term oil shocks.
Another negative would be that the U.S. could become an international
pariah, especially to Muslims, if it goes in without U.N. backing,
losing influence in the international community.
Perhaps most important, Shroyer said, is that unilateral war would
undermine the U.N. charter which forbids such action.
"Anyone could attack anyone (once that rule is broken)," he said.

Urbana professor: war must be determined by several factors
As the possibility of war with Iraq looms, Monday night's public issues
forum at the Marysville Public Library was timely.
Steven Cooley, Ph.D., who holds degrees in Christian history and
comparative religions, spoke on the coming war at the library. He is a
professor at Urbana University.
Cooley explained the Just War Doctrine, a guideline by which Christian
countries have attempted to live since the third century A.D. It is made
up of two parts: whether to go to war and how to fight the war.
In deciding whether to go to war, five factors must be taken into
account. The first is to have the proper authority to wage war, which in
modern times is a country or sovereign state. However, Cooley said, with
the rise of democracy, the people believe they should decide.
This issue is the cause of debate in the present situation, Cooley said.
He said that in 1990, then-President Bush enlisted the United Nations as
the proper authority.
Just cause must be established as the second factor. The entity to be
attacked "must have done something," Cooley said, to cause an attack.
Just cause could include self-defense, protection of the weak or
correcting an injustice.
Right intention is the third factor and that should not include revenge,
conquest or territorial or economic expansion.
"Remember Pearl Harbor or remember9/11 have no place in a just war,"
Cooley said.
The fourth factor is that going to war should be the last resort,
perhaps for the purpose of causing the least amount of suffering in a
given situation.
Factor five is that there must be a reasonable hope of success. No
suicidal efforts should be made.
In deciding how to fight the war, the prime concern is that there be no
consent to do evil. This includes no intentional targeting of
noncombatants, even if the other side fights "badly," Cooley said.
Civilian casualties are to be expected, such as were caused by
obliteration bombing at the end of World War II, but can be accepted
only if the war can be shortened.
The other defining issue in how to fight the war is the principle of
"Don't use a baseball bat to kill a fly," Cooley said.
He said prudence, judgment and wisdom must be exercised by both leaders
and soldiers.
The Just War Doctrine, Cooley said, has its weaknesses and is not the
only criteria to be considered.
"It looks good on the blackboard, but it makes it too easy to justify
He said the doctrine is a useful tool to use in following the present

Boggs' secret for success - put one foot in front of the other
Running has been a part of Andrea Boggs' life for the past six years.
Boggs, a senior at Triad High School, began running in the seventh
grade. At the time there were the only two girls on the team.
"As we moved on, more girls have joined through the years," Boggs said.
She explained that running isn't something that comes easily.
"It's hard work for me and I am usually in the middle of the pack,"
Boggs said.
Running season begins for Boggs in the spring with track. Once the track
season winds up in early summer, she usually takes a few weeks off to
"I run on my own in July," Boggs, who averages a couple of miles almost
every day, said.
In August practice begins for cross country and by the end of the summer
Boggs builds up to eight miles a day.
On average, Boggs runs eight to nine minute miles during the summer
months and a normal run is anywhere from four to five miles.
"My best time is 24 minutes in a cross country run race which is 3.1
miles or a 5K," Boggs said.
"I like cross country because it is a team sport but a lot of your goals
are individual goals. Running requires no special equipment and you can
do it by yourself or with a group, it doesn't matter," Boggs said.
Even though she has been active in track and cross country, Boggs
prefers the fall sport.
"I like cross country better because it is a more close-knit team since
everyone is doing the same thing as opposed to the varied events in
track," Boggs said.
Partial to distance running, Boggs runs the longer relays, miles and 800
meter during the track season.
Mike Edwards has coached Boggs since the seventh grade.
"Andrea has been a coach's dream," Edwards said.
He names her leadership skills and willingness to always help out as
some of her best attributes. Edwards said he has enjoyed watching Boggs
mature as both a runner and person and she will be definitely missed
next year.
Boggs is not planning on pursuing competitive running after high school.

"It's going to be hard to leave. I have a lot of good friends on the
team along with friends made through meets from other schools. I hope to
come back and watch some meets next year," Boggs said.
No matter what, she knows running will continue to be a part of her
life. She hopes to keep running a couple of times a week to stay in
shape and relieve stress.
"Running helps you focus and think things out," Boggs said. "Sometimes
it helps to get me out of a bad mood."
Boggs is in the process of applying to four area colleges. Wittenberg is
currently at the top of her list.
"I want to go into education or English and they have a very good
education program," Boggs said.
When Boggs is not practicing or running in meets, she enjoys evening
runs around her home in Cable. She lives with her parents, Barbara and
Charles, and younger sister Jessica.
"I've lived here my whole life. We moved into our current home when I
was one. This is the only place I remember living," Boggs said.
 If she ends up at Wittenberg, she likes that she will be a short
commute from home, not to mention close to her favorite place to run.
"Buck Creek near the reservoir in Springfield is a pretty fast course
and over the years I have done pretty well there." Boggs said.
While at Triad, Boggs has received the coach's award as a sophomore and
the most improved award as a freshman.
In addition to cross country and track, Boggs is involved with the band
and student council and is president of National Honor Society at Triad
High School.

Skateboarders search for a permanent park
Local skateboarders may finally get a new concrete jungle if things work
out or they may just have to go back to perfecting the art of avoiding
the police.
Plans are coming together to make a public skate park after Marysville
resident Randy Fox sought help from city council members. He thinks the
skaters need one because they are not about to stop doing something they
obviously enjoy.
"I'd say there are at least 100 kids who skateboard in town," Fox told
Marysville City Council at its Sept. 26 meeting. "And I think these are
good kids."
The skaters themselves tell the story of being stuck without a place to
Baldy's Indoor Skate Park, once located near the Marysville Post Office,
closed its doors years ago. It wasn't until September 1995 that the idea
of a skatepart at the Union County Family YMCA was conceived. Local
skateboarders at that time were reportedly creating problems for police
and downtown business owners and they felt the park was a solution.
To help make it a reality, the YMCA, along with several businesses,
individuals and the city of Marysville, donated land, equipment, in-kind
services and money. The James C. Michel Community Skatepark was built
only to be removed a few years later to make way for the new pool
complex construction which started over a year ago.
"From that, it's been this," Nick Mudgett said. He and several other
skaters stood around behind the West Coast Video store off Plum Street,
skating down a metal handrail they placed off of a concrete loading
The closing at the YMCA led skaters back to the streets full time. But
after a city ordinance was voted through by city council, it became
illegal for skaters to ride in the downtown area.
They have not exactly been considered public enemies since then.
"I heard police weren't being as aggressive now," councilman Mark Reams
said at the council meeting.
One reason is because signs warning the skaters not to skate downtown
have not been put up, Mayor Steve Lowe said.
Marysville Parks and Recreation Director Steve Conley reported his
stance on the park idea to the council members after being approached by
Fox to construct one.
"I agree with (Fox) completely," Conley told council. "We do need some
place for them."
He also added that there are still some issues keeping the park from
At around 3:30 p.m. every day, Conley said, about a dozen or so
skateboarders congregate behind West Coast Video. He also cited a police
report which was filed concerning vandalism that occurred to the
Conley said if a park is going to be built, graffiti is not the way to
go about getting it.
"(The police) told us we could skate here as long as this didn't happen
again," young skater Logan McWilliams explained. He pointed to the large
words "Build a Park" spray-painted in black across the brick wall behind
the video store.
"I know it may only have been one or two of the kids," Conley told
council. "But you know what they say, that one or two bad apples spoil
the whole bushel."
He said he would like to do something about making a park but there is
no money in his budget to do so right now.
Conley offered Fox three sites as possible locations for the future
skate park, if Fox could build it himself. Those sites are the
basketball courts at McCarthy Park, Lewis Park and Legion Park which
have not seen much use over the past year. The courts are considered
ideal locations because they are already concrete.
According to Fox, two spots look ideal: McCarthy Park and Lewis Park.
The latter is favored because it is less secluded than McCarthy Park.
The fencing and other items initially donated to the now defunct YMCA
park were donated to Fox for the cause by Meg Michel of King Thompson
Realtors. Fox has been seeking advice on the project from an employee of
Sunsports in Columbus, who helped the city of Dublin put together its
own skate park.
City administrator Bob Schaumleffel said the city's view on the park is
positive. Its insurance carrier reported a skate park would not be a big
issue, as it would cost only another $100-200 in premiums.
City council president John Gore said the city will keep working with
Conley and Fox on the matter in order to have something for the kids in
the spring.
"Some of the kids, the way they get around on those, I'd like to see
them have some place to go," Gore said.
While no official stance has been released by the Marysville Police
Department, it has been implied that policemen are supporting the idea
as it may solve problems some residents have with the skaters.
All of the skaters behind West Coast Video on Tuesday said police have
indeed been cracking down on where they do their thing.
McWilliams said just about every one of them has been warned two or
three times by officers that they could end up at JDC for breaking the
downtown laws. However, to date, none have been charged.
It sheds light on the balance between police and skaters that both try
to respect. Police and city officials understand the skaters have
nowhere to go and the skaters understand that vandalism won't get them
anywhere. In fact, the skaters aren't too happy about whoever spray
painted the wall. They have already agreed to paint over it, with paint
the video store is providing.

Halls share their journey with cancer
Charles Hall of Marysville knows what it is like to have cancer, even
though he has never had it.
Hall's wife, Peggy, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000.
"We had cancer," said Mrs. Hall about the experience she shared with her
husband of 39 years.
He went with her to every doctor's appointment inspite of a hectic work
schedule that involved a lot of travel.
"Regardless of when, I was going to be there," he said about her doctor
appointments. "I never thought of being anywhere but by her side."
He also had colleagues across the country praying for his wife.
For the first time in their married life, though, he found that this was
one thing he couldn't fix.
"You are kind of helpless," Hall said. "She had the surgery, but I was
there through every step of it."
He recalls going to the doctor's office hearing the word cancer. He
recalls the tears . . . the talking . . . and supporting her decision
for a mastectomy . . . waiting with family during her 3 1/2-hour surgery
... then feeding her orange jello . . . helping with her drain tubes . .
. and learning that there were things he could do that he had never
imagined doing.
"I was at it 24/7," he said.
Peggy adds, "We did this together."
 He also admits that at times it was difficult as a spouse to look on.
"Hour after hour and day after day, lending care and concern and trying
to remain up and strong, you get almost burnt out and so you need the
support not only for the cancer victim, but for the spouse as well."
"I know he was hurting," said Peggy about her diagnosis. "Charles has
been so good. He's wonderful. He's my best friend."
Those days, however, are now behind the Halls as they celebrate two
years of being cancer free.
Since her surgery, Peggy admits she has had a scare or two and wondered
if certain ailments are signs that the cancer may have returned. It
hasn't and the ailments have proven to be signs of arthritis.
She, like Charles, believes that God is in charge of their lives and
they like to live each moment to its fullest.
"I know the Lord gave me this cancer to help us," Peggy said. "Our faith
got us through this. I had no doubt that His healing was the best
They both are also amazed at the number of people who have had the same
Now that she has retired after 30 years from Memorial Hospital of Union
County, Peggy said she is busier than ever enjoying her family that
includes children Brian, Shari and Judy and six grandchildren, along
with weekly visits to her 90-year-old mother, Mildred McNeal, in
Prospect. Peggy said she is also more involved than ever with the
Pharisburg United Methodist Church where she has been organist for 35
years, serves on the Love Committee and works with the Community
Children's Program.
She also has participated in the Marysville Cancer Walks and finds it
humbling to see the
"God is still in charge," she said.

Hospital offers a softer mammogram
Memorial Hospital of Union County in Marysville announces the
introduction of a new product that dramatically eases the pain that
many  women feel when they get a mammogram.
The FDA-cleared foam cushion, called the Woman's Touch MammoPad T, is
designed to provide a softer, warmer mammogram.
By making it more comfortable to get a mammogram, the hospital hopes to
increase the number of women complying with recommendations for regular
"The discomfort that many women experience during mammography is widely
known to be a reason that some don't come back as often as they should,
or  at all," said Charles Muncrief, DO, radiologist at Memorial
Many women report that the procedure can cause painful compression,
pinching and skin stretching.
The cold surfaces and hard edges of the mammography device can make the
experience even more uncomfortable for some patients.
"The MammoPad answers these complaints by cushioning the breast during
mammography," explains Dr. Muncrief.
A single-use, adhesive-backed foam cushion, the MammoPad attaches to the
compression plates of the mammography device.
 It was developed by Stanford University breast surgeon Gale Lebovic,
M.D., who understood mammography  discomfort from both a physician and
patient's point of view.
The MammoPad not only provides a soft, warm surface for breast
positioning, but also helps lessen skin pulling.
The MammoPad is "invisible" to x-rays and does not interfere with the
image quality of the mammogram.
Made from a proprietary material, the MammoPad is also free of
image-clouding artifacts.
"At Memorial Hospital we're dedicated to offering optimal patient care.
We understand the discomfort some women experience with a mammogram and
we want to do what we can to minimize the discomfort for our patients,"
Dr. Muncrief provides.
A new analysis by the American Cancer Society demonstrates that women
can reduce their risk of death from breast cancer by more than 60
percent if they receive regular mammographic screens.

Mayor makes case for income tax
The push for passing the additional .6 percent Marysville City income
tax has started up again as November elections approach.
Mayor Steve Lowe brought the issue back to the forefront of discussions
at the Marysville City Council meeting Thursday night.
Lowe asked said the reasons additional money is needed are many. He said
the last time the city bumped its income tax up was in 1968 when the tax
initially started at 1 percent.
He said that when comparing Marysville to its surrounding areas, only
London shares the position of still having a tax so low.
"All of them have higher income taxes," Lowe said. "And many are going
back to their voters for more."
"This is not something that Marysville administration messed up," he
said. "It's just the facts of life - prices go up."
Lowe also went into the specific areas he would like to see the levy
serve. The list has been considered controversial by some and right on
the money by others.
He began by addressing the need for repairing streets, adding that he is
not happy with their current state.
"We need to do it." he said. "We haven't done anything (to them) in the
past three years."
The Fire Department needs also were addressed, as Lowe reminded council
that crews are driving a 29-year-old ladder truck badly in need of
The department is still in need of a second station on the other side of
the railroad tracks.
One was located there in the past, he said, but it was only for
volunteer crews and the building contained no facilities for living such
as beds or a kitchen.
Lowe also acknowledged what he felt has been the most controversial
issue for levy money - the justice center.
"My feeling is that you have to plan for the future," he said. "We want
to do a facility that's done correctly."
Schools are made to go back to voters time and time again, he said, but
the city cannot.
"I don't want a situation where before you are finished you have already
outgrown them and have to build more," he said.
Lowe said he would rather look to meet the city's needs for the next 20
years, rather than the short term.
"All aspects of city government will have just one floor," Lowe said.
"This is not just about an office for the mayor."
The municipal court has seen a large increase in cases and is in serious
need of another court room.
Addressing the size planned for the justice building, Lowe again
reminded council that he is looking to the future.
"Cheaper only means smaller," he said.
The proposed building is planned to contain around 100,000 square feet
of space. Constructing two buildings is not feasible because it will
cost 40 percent more for the same square footage because they require
two heating/cooling systems, two security systems, etc.
The police chief and his officers will have one floor, the judge will
have a floor and the growing city administration is in dire need of more
space, he said.
The police department evidence room, which he gave as an example, is so
small it's straight out of a cartoon. The door opens and evidence
basically  falls right out.
Regarding parks in Marysville, he reported that Mill Valley Park could
not open its soccer fields this year because there was no money to build
parking lots.
Another aspect in need of levy money is the city reserves.
"The state has gone through all or most of its reserves - we don't have
a lot and that doesn't make me comfortable," Lowe said.
Lastly, he reminded citizens that it would not be as hard of a hit
monetarily as they may believe.
Senior citizens who are currently retired and not working part time jobs
will see no change in their taxes.
He added that the results of the last income tax collection showed that
only 33 percent came from Marysville residents. The other 67 percent
came from non-residents.
To close his income tax discussion, Lowe reported there is already a
group against the proposed income tax levy.
"That's too bad," he said. "Because we really have some definite needs."

Economic Development plan unveiled
Editor's note: This is an overview of the Economic Development Action
Plan created for the county. Stories focusing on certain aspects of the
document are planned for future editions of the Journal-Tribune.
It isn't a crystal ball but it might be the best predictor of where
Union County is headed economically in the next 20 years.
The Union County/Marysville Economic Development Action Plan was
presented to the public Wednesday night.
A year in the making, the 176-page document takes a close look at future
economic development in Marysville, Plain City, Richwood, Jerome
Township and five areas in the U.S. 33 corridor.
While the future looks bright, the plan recommends that Union County
needs to diversify and not be overly dependent on any one employer or
industry, said consultant Donald T. Iannone of Cleveland during a
presentation at the Union County Veteran's Memorial Auditorium.
The economic vision statement is:
"Union County, Marysville, Richwood, Plain City and Jerome Township want
balanced and high quality growth for their areas in the future. To
achieve this vision, collaborative leadership, a knowledge-based and
focused plan, effective citizen input and support, strategic public and
private sector investment and the flexibility to adapt to change are
essential," Iannone said.
He points out that key words in the statement are "balanced" and "high
It also means that community leaders may have to say "no" to some
economic development incentive projects, instead using the incentives to
encourage other industries identified in the plan to come to the area.
First priorities for new business recruitment are new technology
businesses and back office/call centers. Consultant Mark Waterhouse of
Connecticutt said back office/call centers can be located anywhere. He
defined them as inbound, outbound or technical service.
Union County seems to have a competitive edge in back office/call
centers, Iannone said.
In the short term, Iannone said, the plan's primary concern is
supporting existing business and industry, along with mounting an
effective effort to diversify the local economy in new value-added
industries and businesses in both manufacturing and service-based
A key concern is the need for cooperation among communities.
Union County Economic Development Director Eric Phillips dubbed it
"coop-a-tition." Joe Duke, owner/president of Independent Insurance
Specialists Inc., called it a "tremendous plan" that needs a lot of
Another high priority is downtowns.
"Downtowns are very important to the character and identity of
communities," Iannone said.
The next step is to adopt the plan "conceptually," said chairperson Rick
Shortell of Union Rural Electric. "Now the work really begins."
Phillips said copies of the final plan will be available at the Union
County Chamber of Commerce, 227 E. Fifth St., the chamber's website and
local libraries.
"This is a framework," Iannone said. "A lot still needs to be looked at
in detail."

Honda East Liberty Plant to halt production for two days
Port lockout creates shortage of parts
Because of port worker lockout on the Pacific Coast, Honda of Ohio
announced this morning it not produce cars at its East Liberty
manufacturing plant on Thursday and Friday.
Ron Lietzke, head of Honda of Ohio company communications, said that due
to the backlog of ships stuck waiting on West Coast harbors, the East
Liberty plant has faced a problem receiving essential parts needed for
the production of its Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe vehicles.
Honda was utilizing cargo planes and was trucking parts in from the west
coast since ports closed two weeks ago, which stopped all commerce into
the country from that area. The West Coast halt has hindered the
company's product exchange from Japan.
"It's become very costly to get parts by expediting," Lietzke said. "It
has been successful for the most part, but we are starting to see
The West Coast ports were slated to open today after Judge William Alsup
of the Federal District Court in San Francisco ordered a temporary
restraining order to end a labor dispute that has choked the U.S. -
Asian trade.
The tie-up has already cost the struggling U.S. economy an estimated $2
billion a day.
President George W. Bush sought a court order under the Taft-Hartley Act
to force operators of 28 ports from Seattle to San Diego to reopen to
dockworkers, the same dockworkers who had earlier accused their
management of being in cahoots with the government.
The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 was designed as a presidential tool of last
resort to force workers back on the job if a strike threatens the U.S.
economy or national security. Presidents have used the act 35 times,
although it reportedly has not been invoked since a coal miners strike
in 1978.
The East Liberty plant produces around 240,000 vehicles annually and up
to 950 vehicles on a daily basis, Lietzke said. By stopping production
on Thursday and Friday, the company stands to stop around 1,900 cars
from being made.
"We're going to be impacted," Lietzke said.
The East Liberty plant has up to 2,550 employees who will be affected by
the closing. Instead of staying at home, he said, employees will have
the option to come to work in different areas.
Lietzke added that one area they may be placed is in preparation for the
production of the new Honda Element set to hit markets.
While ports have reopened today, another worry now facing U.S. economy
is that dockworkers will engage in a work slowdown.
On Sept. 29 the Pacific Maritime Association accused workers of engaging
in a slowdown after it shut ports and locked out the longshoremen. Union
officials said the workers were just observing safety precautions, due
to five of their workers who already died on the job this year.
As a result of this uncertainty, the question of when the East Liberty
Plant will reopen is being looked at on a daily basis, Lietzke said.
"We are not looking at next week," Lietzke said, regarding any answers
to production starting back up.
He said daily statements from Honda may shed light on when the Honda
vehicles will be back on the assembly line.

Citizens unite in quest for senior center
The senior citizens of Union County are uniting.
 Spearheaded by George Freeman and Mary Scheiderer, senior citizens have
formed a group, Community and Senior Center. They have filed articles of
incorporation as a non-profit organization and elected officers and are
setting their sights on the development of a community center for
The possibility of an Ohio Army National Guard readiness center, or
armory, being built in Marysville by 2006 is one reason for this
organization. Monday, a meeting was held at the Marysville Library to
acquaint senior citizens with the options available should Marysville be
the site chosen by the Guard.
Eric Phillips, development director for the Union County Chamber of
Commerce and the city of Marysville, explained that the Guard will
decide by the end of the month whether it will build in Marysville or
Delaware. Presentations have been given by both cities. The location in
Marysville would be behind the Union County Family YMCA.
Phillips said there is indication from the Guard that another armory
will be built in the city which does not get the nod the first time
around, but that would be at a later date.
The Guard would build a 30,000-square-foot facility with an assembly
hall, classrooms and a mess hall. They encourage community groups to add
space according to their needs, to "partner" with the Guard and give the
building a purpose other than the only occasional use the Guard would
have for it. When this opportunity arose, senior citizens saw in it an
opportunity to have the senior center they have wanted for a long time.
They envision a space of about 3,000 square feet.
If the armory comes to Marysville in four years, the senior citizens
will have to find a way to fund their portion of the building. That is
one reason they are now organizing: a levy for senior citizen needs will
probably be proposed soon.
Other partners who are planning to take advantage of the chance to move
and expand are the Marysville Main Library and Children Inc.
Library director Sue Banks said the present building is rapidly filling
up and adapting the building to technology is very expensive. She said
the sale of the present library, along with the probability of a levy
for the library system, would make a 23,000-square-foot addition to the
readiness center affordable.
"It's a marriage made in heaven," Banks said.
Brian Ravencraft, speaking for Children Inc., which a non-profit daycare
facility, said his group is also outgrowing its space. Children Inc.
rents space at the Harold Lewis Center from MR/DD, which needs the space
for its own programs. Its space requirement would be about 7,000 square
YMCA Director Bob Commings said the Y would welcome a senior center
nearby. He said the Y needs more older members.
"You could go to the senior center, stop at the Y for a workout and
check out a book on the way home," he said.
Commings told the senior citizens at the meeting that if the Guard
decides on Delaware, they should plan to build a center themselves, an
idea that was seconded by Marysville Mayor Steve Lowe.
"Don't count on the Guard building two armories," he said. "We could all
be dead by the time that's done."
Lowe said Freeman needs to get some politicians on board to push for the
armory in Marysville.
At the end of the meeting, officers were elected for Community and
Senior Center. They are Avanelle Oberlin, president; Verna Griese, vice
president; Phyllis Gaskins, secretary; and Mary Rogge, treasurer. Anyone
interested in obtaining more information about a senior citizen center
may call Oberlin at 644-4750 or Freeman at 246-2021.

Jerome Township trustees try to iron out complaint
The Jerome Township Board of Trustees met in executive session Monday
night for 88 minutes to discuss mediation over outdoor advertising.
Going into executive session at 7 p.m. were trustees Ron Rhodes, Freeman
May and Sharon Sue Wolfe, members of the board of zoning appeals Andy
Thomas, Bob Neal, Mike Raley and Scott Sonnenberg, clerk Robert
Caldwell, Union County Prosecuting Attorney Alison Boggs, the mediator
from the Union County Common Pleas Court and representatives of the
American Outdoor Advertising Company of Columbus.
The complaint, filed June 21, 2002, seeks a declaratory judgment against
the township stating that the Ohio Revised Code does not authorize a
township to impose rules and regulations relating to outdoor advertising
devices that conflict with Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5516; regulations
of ODOT and the ORC permit a 25-foot setback from the right of way of
U.S. 33 supersede the Jerome Township zoning resolution that requires a
200-foot setback for the proposed billboard; and American Outdoor
Advertising is entitled a building permit from Jerome Township for a
25-foot setback for its proposed billboard.
The trustees opened their regular meeting at 8:38 p.m. and considered
several routine matters with no reference to the executive session.
The trustees accepted minutes from three special meetings held Sept. 10,
18 and 23 and a regular meeting held Sept. 16; approved allocating
$2,500 from tranfers into insurance; accepted a draft agreement for
public service officers from the Union County Sheriff's department; and
received cost estimates for salt from the city of Dublin and Union
County Engineer's department.
Joe Sullivan, chairman of the Land Task Force Committee, presented a
land use study with development standards for the trustees to forward to
the zoning commission for review.
Sullivan said the plan focuses on approximately 1,000 acres in the
Hyland Croy corridor and includes the U.S. 42 and U.S. 33 interchange.
"I feel this is a very good first step in building consensus for a
common vision for our township," Sullivan said after the meeting.
He said the committee unanimously agreed that their goal is to maintain
the rural character of the township through management of development
and preservation of natural resources. He added that the committee would
like to expand the study and that some of the land considered in this
study has already been annexed into the city of Dublin.
The study cost $15,000 with $12,000 from a Union County Economic
Development grant.
In other business the trustees:
. Unanimously approved changing locks at the township building for a
cost of $163.95
. Approved upgrading electrical wire to a light pole. The light pole and
trenching will cost $3,025. The upgraded wire will cost $213. Rhodes
explained the upgraded wire will made it possible to provide electricity
to a future shelter house.
Fire Chief Scott Skeldon said 200 people attended an open house Sunday
and a new tanker is to be delivered Oct. 21.
Glen Hochstetler, representing the Industrial Parkway Business
Association, said the group will be meeting with state representatives
Wednesday to discuss concerns about traffic congestion at the Route
161/U.S. 33 intersection.

The erosion of a township
Couple's struggle gives insight into why Dublin is growing at the
expense of Jerome Township

Les Gates crossed the line from Jerome Township to the city of Dublin
this year - permanently when he decided to have his land annexed into
the Franklin County community.
The farm land he lives on and owns perhaps reflects the story of
struggle for many property owners in this southern Union County region.
Many are wrestling with their right to choose what is best for their
land, while being held captive by referendums when they attempt to
rezone the land. As a result, more than 1,000 acres has been annexed
into the city of Dublin and removed from Jerome Township, with hints
that more development is on its way.
In 1939 Gates was a 1-year-old when his family moved to a 113-acre farm
on Brock Road, although the road was called Jerome New California Road
back then. He is now 64 and has lived all his life except for 20 years
on the family farm. The 20 years that took him off the farm were because
of his career.
When Gates and his wife, Mary, decided to build a new home on the family
farm in the spring of 2000, he realized that more had changed than the
road name in this rural area that once was home to active farming, but
now is dotted by new homes and driveways, rather than cornfields.
Gates recalls that in his youth neighbors worked together and shared
equipment. Now his neighbors ignore property boundaries and don't answer
telephone calls. An elected official warned him that his plans to set
aside 11 acres to build four houses for himself and his three grown
children would probably be met with a referendum, as many other rezoning
requests have been met.
The couple, however, went ahead with their plans to return to the land
which he had grown up on in spite of the changes. They picked a site and
spent many evenings after work walking the property and enjoying picnics
in the middle of a field, the same field where he proposed marriage to
As a "city girl," Mrs. Gates understands the fascination of many new and
small property owners with the wide open spaces. What she doesn't
understand is the opinion that others know better than the land owner
what is the best use.
At first, Gates had hoped to work with other members of his community.
Unfortunately, that has not been an option.
A frustrated Gates has problems in particular with township resident and
activist Jesse Dickinson who remains an enigma to many, not just Gates.
"Nobody knows him. Who is Jesse Dickenson? I challenge Dickenson to be
open," Gates said.
While he has never run for office and speaks infrequently at meetings,
Dickenson is a presence at township meetings with his video camera. He
has an "unofficial" website and is involved in political action
committees that have spearheaded many of the referendums and has
distributed newsletters sporadically in mailboxes.
Dickenson, while tight-lipped about his personal and professional life,
defends his actions by saying everything he has done is legal and it is
a right of residents to have a voice in rezoning. He says he is just
bringing the question before voters through referendums and the majority
of voters are saying no to change.
Gates points out that in a small community most people know a little
something about each other. For example, he knows that former trustee Ed
Kauffman is a plumber, trustee Freeman May worked at Denison Hydraulics
and trustee Ron Rhodes is self-employed. But no one seems to know
anything about Dickenson.
"The bottom line is this: If I cannot control the land that I pay taxes
on the way I want, then I would rather have the city of Dublin tell me
what I can or cannot do, than Jesse Dickenson through referendums,"
Gates said in a letter to the township's trustees. "As you may or may
not know, all of the land that recently annexed to Dublin, except the
Gates Farm, is under contract with developers. So - the development
still came, the tax revenue now goes elsewhere and Jerome Township still
has referendums."
The couple believe that Jerome Township is becoming "irrelevant" and it
is common knowledge that because of the township's referendums, the
developers are proceeding with their plans to eventually annex 2,000
more acres or roughly three square miles that will stretch north to U.S.
Gates said he has no immediate need or desire to sell his land, although
he believes he should have the right to sell to anyone he wants to.
"When I think of selling, I get a lump in my throat. It's like losing a
family member," he said.
Scanning the horizon, Gates looked at the bean fields behind and beside
his home and predicts that there will be roof tops past the tree line in
the next couple of years. He said surveyors were working in front of his
home recently for a sewer line, although they would not say who they
were working for.
Gates says he has considered building on his land. He feels that a
preschool is much needed in the area and that would fall under a light
commcercial use. He has initiated talks with Dublin and the Ohio EPA.
"If I want to do something neighborhood friendly, I don't want him
(Dickenson) telling me how to control my land."
While Gates no longer is a Jerome Township resident, he is still
concerned about the fate of the township's fire department.
As land is annexed into the city of Dublin, it is also transferred into
Franklin County's Washington Township. Fire protection is then provided
by Washington Township which receives levy funds from the newly-annexed
"If this keeps up, it's done," predicts Gates.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Gates believe the "politics of envy" is eating away at
Jerome Township.
"Now there are political agendas based on envy of those who own land and
those who don't. How I know that this is a fact is based on those who
have no acreage claiming to love the township more than those who were
raised and farmed a family farm for generations. To assume that a house
owner is more rural minded than a farmer is ludicrous and proves the
point that other factors are at work there," Mr. Gates said.

For North Union's Dettra, diversity is the spice of life
Charlene Dettra is always open to explore all the options.
Dettra, a senior at North Union high school, has spent the last three
years in a variety of leadership positions.
"I was the historian for student council my junior year along with
serving as the president of my class both my sophomore and junior year,"
Dettra said.
She is currently student council vice-president and vice-president of
the senior class. Dettra also serves as president of National Honor
Society. She feels her varied leadership opportunities have been a great
asset for future plans.
"I'm a stronger person and I am better able to handle things based on my
leadership roles," Dettra said.
She recently received the Humanities and Social Science Award from the
University of Rochester, opening her eyes to yet another possible
"I will probably go somewhere where I can get a scholarship and
somewhere that I like," Dettra said.
The 17-year-old is looking at a variety of schools, including Ohio
Northern, Heidelberg, Otterbein, University of Toledo and Adrian College
in Michigan.
Over the summer, Dettra had the chance to explore yet another
opportunity. She began work with Dr. Charlotte Agnone's ophthalmology
office on Morey Drive near Memorial Hospital of Union County.
"Last spring our school had a summer job pamphlet for youth," Dettra
She looked over the brochure and circled area jobs that caught her
interest. These included including several medical offices.
She submitted her resume and, by the second interview, began to work out
a schedule with Agnone's office.
"I worked 16 hours a week over the summer and now I work 18 hours a
week," Dettra said.
She decided to increase her hours because she enjoyed the job.
Originally hired as office support staff, Dettra started giving GDX
tests to patients three weeks ago.
"It is an optic nerve fiber analyzer, a sophisticated computer-assisted
medical device that helps monitor and treat optic nerve diseases
including glaucoma," Agnone said.
"It took me a little while to learn how to conduct the GDX test," Dettra
She also does filing and charting for the office.
Her positive experience with Dr. Agnone has made her look seriously at a
career in medicine. Dettra said she would like to someday watch Dr.
Agnone operate.
"Charlene is a delight to have in the office. She is mature enough to
interact with people in a medical setting and intelligent enough to work
with sophisticated medical equipment," Agnone said.
Dettra is still keeping her options open and is considering a variety of
fields: elementary education, criminal justice and medicine.
"I would consider ophthalmology or obstetrics," Dettra said.
At this point, Dettra is enjoying life as a high school senior. She is
not too worried about leaving home next fall.
In the sixth grade she served as a People to People Ambassador to Alaska
where she spent three weeks away from home. Last year Dettra went on a
week long conference to Denison University as a Hoby Ambassador.
Dettra lives in Marysville with her mother, Pam, and sister, Danielle.
Her father, Danny, lives in Richwood.

Spooky author visits town
Says Union County is dead zone of haunted activity

Are there really such things as ghosts?
Chris Woodyard thinks so ? she sees them.
Woodyard is the author of several books on ghosts in Ohio and she spoke
to an audience of about 80 people Thursday night at the Veterans
Memorial Auditorium in a program sponsored by the Marysville Public
Library and The Friends of the Library.
Woodyard said she has been terrified of ghosts all her life, however,
since she has the ability to see them, she is of value as a "ghost
hunter." She has investigated ghostly doings in many public buildings in
Ohio and is called upon by people who feel something or someone
unexplained is present in their homes.
Union County has been a dead zone for her, she said. She has visited
several buildings in town and felt nothing but she said she felt
"something" present in the County Office Building and auditorium. By the
end of the evening, several members of the audience had given her tips
on supposed hauntings in a woods near Raymond and in the school and
church there.
Woodyard said she had her first experience when she was very young but
all through her childhood she was told she was imagining things. At a
family reunion when she was in college, her grandfather casually
mentioned the presence of deceased family members and she realized that
she had inherited her ability from him. He told her that his father also
could see ghosts.
Woodyard's daughter Sarah, who is now 17, accompanies her mother on some
of her investigative trips. Woodyard first realized Sarah had the family
gift when she came to her one day, asking who were all those people
dressed in old-fashioned clothes in the living room. Woodyard told her
they were probably ancestors checking up on them.
Woodyard, who lives in Beavercreek (in an unhaunted house) with her
husband and daughter, has a degree in medieval history and has been an
antique clothing dealer, writer and editor of children's textbooks and
church organist.
Her career in writing about ghosts began at the request of librarians
with whom she worked. They told her there aren't enough ghost books
available and those that are get stolen.
Woodyard started out by looking for the collection of notes and
clippings about ghosts which she had started as a child.
"It was gone," she said, "never to be found again. Someone didn't want
their stories told."
Woodyard said ghosts are around for a variety of reasons. Some have a
purpose, such as the ghost of a man in Champaign County who haunted a
house until, during remodeling, hair and bones were found in a sealed
fireplace, indicating that a murder had been committed there. The ghost
apparently wanted someone to know.
Other ghosts have messages. She told of a jewelry store in Bellefontaine
which is haunted by the ghost of a previous owner who supposedly
committed suicide. Woodyard was asked to investigate after a mirrored
wall holding shelves of glassware and porcelain shattered and fell to
the floor. She said she saw a huddled faceless man who cried piteously
and asked that someone tell his wife how sorry he is.
Some ghosts choose to stay to watch over their turf, Woodyard said.
Others don't seem to know they are dead, she said, perhaps because they
died suddenly or in their sleep.
She told the story of a house in Dayton that had been restored but,
mysteriously, the furnace would shut off at night. On the first very
cold night, the man who lived there felt someone crawl into bed and curl
up with him. He was so terrified that he couldn't move.
Later, a neighbor told him that a "crazy lady" had lived in the house.
One winter, she forgot to pay her bills, the gas was shut off and she
froze to death. Apparently, her ghost is still trying to find warmth.
Woodyard said there is a ghost in one of the Piatt Castles and she
mentioned well-known hauntings at the Buxton Inn in Granville and the
Worthington Inn. She said the most haunted area in Ohio is Waynesville
where there are two to three dozen haunted houses.
When Woodyard investigates a haunting, she does not use any equipment.
She tries to go into the situation knowing nothing about the activities
taking place. She takes notes, then talks to the owners. Sometimes she
sees something and sometimes she doesn't. She doesn't enter abandoned
houses and she won't investigate demons.
"I don't try to convince anyone of the reality of ghosts," she said.
Are the stories in her books true?
"They're true ? in spirit," she said.
Editor's note: Woodyard's books are the four-book "Haunted Ohio" series;
"Ghost Hunter's Guide to Haunted Ohio;" and the children's book, "Spooky
Ohio: 13 Traditional Tales." Her website is www.invink.com.

Health snacks to be part of school day
Children at Mill Valley Elementary School will soon learn that not all
snacks come wrapped in cellophane and have icing on them.
Thanks to a new program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, funds
will be made available to the school to provide fresh and dried fruit
and fresh vegetables as snacks.
School nurse Hollie Moots heard about the pilot program at an American
School Health Association meeting in August. When she returned to her
office, she found an application for it on her desk.
She wrote a proposal, went over it with Pam Marshal, food service
manager for the Marysville schools, and sent it in.
"I didn't think we would get it," Moots said. "I only had one week to
write it."
The object of the program is to find ways to combat the epidemic of
overweight and obesity among American school children. USDA hopes that
introducing students to healthful snacks will lead to more healthy
lifestyles. The 2002 Farm Bill provided $6 million to study how
increased consumption of fruits and vegetables affects other eating
Out of 800 applications submitted, 100 schools, representing a mix of
rural and urban settings in Indiana, Iowa, Ohio and Michigan, along with
six schools in the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico, received funds.
Moots said she is very excited about the program.
"Our students are very busy and they eat a lot of fast foods. I would
love to be the one to introduce them to healthy foods," she said. "We
want to show them there's more to life than cheeseburgers, french fries
and chicken nuggets."
The food can be distributed in a number of ways. Moots said she will
offer to provide a fruit or vegetable tray for birthday and classroom
"The parents won't have to buy snacks and the kids will get fresh fruits
and vegetables. Everyone wins," she said.
Moots plans to provide a snack each month to each classroom,
accompanying it with a talk on nutrition. In the cafeteria, she wants to
feature a fruit or vegetable each week, perhaps showing five ways to
enjoy the food. That food will be offered in addition to the usual fare.

Moots also plans to introduce unusual fruits, perhaps using a tropical
theme, and feature vegetables by their color.
Moots said she, the cafeteria staff and Marshall will work together on
procuring the fresh foods, using resources already available.
The only restriction is that the food must be grown in this country.
"Except the bananas," Moots said.
Payment from the government will be on a reimbursement basis.
Moots will have to file an interim report in February and a final report
in April. USDA will analyze the information from all the schools and
submit a report to Congress in May.


Local man attends Republican Senatorial Inner Circle
Dale Benedict of Marysville attended the eighth annual Republican
Senatorial Inner Circle Sept. 24-25 in Washington, D.C.
The event, a birthday gift from his wife of 44 years, provided the area
businessman an opportunity to join 350 other individuals from throughout
the United States to meet many Republican leaders and attend a dinner
with the President of the United States, George W. Bush.
Professionally, Benedict has traveled globally and is a patent holder,
so his focus tends to be more national than local. While he has been
interested in the government for many years, Benedict said a recent past
presidential administration prompted him to take a more active role in
national politics.
Highlighting both days were two dinners, Benedict said.
The first included the presentation of the Medal of Freedom to Sen. Fred
Thompson of Tennessee. Benedict said the Medal of Freedom is the highest
honor the Republican members of the U.S. Senate present to an individual
for a lifelong commitment. Past recipients include President Ronald
Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and retired
General Norman Schwarzkopf.
At the closing dinner, Benedict said, he was within 150 feet of
President Bush, who delivered a very powerful speech about issues
troubling America. According to Benedict topics included the fact that
no budget has been passed, as well as a lack of legislation for homeland
security and for prescription drugs.
Benedict said one issue mentioned several times was the fact that 120
judgeships remain open because they are not allowed to come to a vote by
certain legislators.
During daylong meetings, Benedict heard discussions about the war on
terror and economic security and open forums about malpractice insurance
and the effect on doctors, as well as the lack of Senate activity.
Benedict said the group was also briefed on every Senate race and he met
several candidates.
The diverse group ranged in age from 30 to older than 70, included many
women and a variety of nationalities including Hispanics, Chinese,
Muslims and African Americans.

Magnetic Springs approved for an Ohio historical marker
Just southeast of Richwood in Union County sits a historical landmark.
Magnetic Springs has been approved for an official historical marker by
the Ohio Historical Society. The marker will be placed sometime next
summer during Ohio's Bicentennial celebration.
The historical marker will be the first for Union County, Lynne Hall
said. Hall is an area resident who applied for the inaugural marker.
"It is being funded by a grant from the Longaberger Legacy Initiative of
the Ohio Bicentennial Commission. The state of Ohio is also contributing
funds, with the Leesburg Township Trustees and the town council
providing a small match," Hall said.
Hall said the marker will include text detailing Magnetic Springs'
vibrant past.
Local resident and historian Bob Parrott explains Magnetic Springs' rich
"Magnetic Springs began in 1879 when J.E. Newhouse discovered a magnetic
spring of water in his park, Green Bend Garden. Visitors to the park
found relief from a number of afflictions after drinking from the spring
and its fame began to spread," Parrott said.
Newhouse was told by a devout minister that he would be committing a
very grave sin if he did not put the water to use to "help heal
suffering humanity," Parrott said.
Newhouse and Company was then formed and the Magnetic Springs Bath House
was opened. The bath house began to give 500 baths daily and a tourist
brochure form the Park Hotel stated that invalids came from all over the
country seeking relief from such ailments as Bright's disease, diabetes,
rheumatism, paralysis, kidney disease and nervous disorders.
The Park Hotel was one of eight hotels that was built to accommodate up
to 10,000 guests and invalids who came to the resort town during the
summer. Of the eight hotels, four remained standing until the 1980s. The
second Park Hotel was torn down in 1986.
The town continued its long run of success until World War II .
"As a resort town, Magnetic Springs offered an amusement park called
Maple Dell, boating, horseback riding, golfing, hunting and slot
machines," Parrott said.
Early 20th century visitors also could enjoy trolley rides, hot air
balloon ascensions and even boxing matches.
Perhaps the Magnetic Springs' most impressive claim to fame is that
Pres. Grover Cleveland had the magnetic water shipped to Washington,
D.C., to be served at the White House, Parrott said.
After World War II, advances in medicine and drugs made mineral bath
treatments obsolete and many of the hotels closed, Parrott said.
"The Park Hotel was converted into the Magnetic Springs Polio Clinic for
a time, but closed after a vaccine was discovered for the disease. In
1985 Spring Water Park was created at the site of the old Incor Hotel
and the spring was reopened," Parrott said.
The historical marker is designed to be permanent and highly visible. It
will be one of more than 200 markers to be placed during Ohio's
Bicentennial year.
"We are currently in discussion with the Union County Bicentennial
Committee to see if we can coordinate our historic marker dedication
with the wagon train that will be traveling through Union County for the
Ohio Bicentennial next June," Hall said.

Plans for Darby Refuge withdrawn
From J-T staff reports:
It's official - and soon to be part of the Federal Register - a national
wildlife refuge plan is going away after five years marked with tension,
controversy and misunderstandings.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has withdrawn its proposal to
establish a 50,000-acre refuge that would have included portions of
Union and Madison counties after a majority of community members voiced
their opposition to the federal plan.
"Our proposal to establish the refuge is ending with the community
taking responsibility for local conservation initiatives rather than
creation of a new national wildlife refuge," stated regional director
William E. Hartwig in the final report. "In completing this final
report, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is saying that we heard you
and we acknowledge your commitment to local efforts to conserve
agriculture and natural resource .... I wish you great success with your
future conservation efforts."
In March the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced their intentions
to complete an environmental impact statement for the proposed refuge
project and identify a new preferred alternative focused on local
conservation action. Since them, planners have decided not to complete
the EIS. Instead, a final report documents the reason a refuge was
proposed and discusses various programs that could assist the community
in pursuing local conservation efforts in the watershed.
The final report includes 11 chapters and 97 pages. It is available in
libraries in Union, Madison, Champaign, Franklin and Clark counties and
available online at: http://midwest.fws.gov/planning/ldarbytop.htm
"Many people in the local community were concerned about a Federal
presence in the area and contended that they had been good stewards of
the land and did not need a national wildlife refuge to preserve the
natural resources," said Thomas Larson, chief of ascertainment and
planning in Region 3 for the Service. "... the Service decided to take
the community at its word. The final report is intended to serve as an
aid for those wishing to pursue agricultural and natural resource
conservation in the Little Darby Creek Watershed."
The Little Darby Creek Watershed has been declared a State Wild and
Scenic River by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and on the
federal level by the National Park Service. The Nature Conservancy had
declared it as one of the Last Great Places in the Western Hemisphere.
The federal agency's final report points out that urbanization is
definitely a challenge facing the Little Darby today with downtown
Columbus just 25 miles east and the greater metropolitan area less than
15 miles away.

UCSO switches to new sidearm
Deputies at the Union County Sheriff's Department have a new tool to
help to put criminals in their place.
The department recently exchanged its .45 caliber Smith and Wesson
handguns for a newer model Glock 31, a .357 caliber weapon. Both are
semi-automatic pistols.
"I believe we've been using the .45 caliber Smith and Wesson for the
past 15 years now," Union County Sheriff John Overly said.
The change is not necessarily about increasing fire power, but rather
about concentrating on safety and accuracy. Overly explained that the
Glock excels in the way it handles, with its lighter weight and smaller
rounds, allowing for more shots.
The decision to switch over was initially suggested by firing range
instructors Sgt. Eric Yoakam and reservist Scott Wagner who believed it
was time to look into replacing the weapons.
Reportedly, complaints had been made during deputy fire practice of
weapons jamming and misfiring. Since the switch over to the new weapons,
qualification scores have reflected a difference between deputies using
the Smith and Wesson and those using the Glock. Scores from the firing
range have shown a significant increase in accuracy.
According to Overly, deputies have already completed a training course
on how to use, take apart and clean the weapons, as well as take part in
a review of the use of force laws.
"Many of the female officers who shot with (the Smith and Wesson),
because of their smaller hands, had a hard time gripping them and now
with the new ones they have better control," Overly said.
Overly met on several occasions with representatives of the Fraternal
Order of Police, patrol officers and instructors to try different guns
and come up with a recommendation.
The total cost of the weapons and extra gear was $13,397. The update
money had already been set aside in the 2002 budget.
The cost for the switch-over, Overly said, was less than originally
expected because the department traded in the older guns for a discount.
Other gear included in the upgrade were holsters for the new pistols and
updated bullet proof vests for deputies.
"We bought extra guns this time around because we have a larger
department than before," Overly said. "I think we made a good decision."