Local Archived News January 2004 


Pleasant Valley fire truck rolls - Driver is transported with minor injuries
Injured baby removed from home - Charges not yet filed
Hospital trustees view work on new wing
A time of change - Herron to replace  Davenport at board of elections
Elderly are targets of sweepstake scams - One local man was conned out of $100,000
Four Chaplains service set
Teen critical after fire
Three generations continue to work Lee Farms
Richwood to use CIC in property sale
City, county mending fences
Joint meeting runs smoothly
Snow, ice blanket county
Tree farm provided more than a nest egg for Whitesides
County saw 'unbelievable' 2003
Commissioners set budget figures for 2004
Groat pushes for 'First Responders Day'
The balance of power
Boggs will seek re-electio
Railyard could be in place by 200
City may keep tax collection in house
Richwood police catch attackers
Milford Center woman convicted in cancer hoax
For Mabrys, integrity is cornerstone of good business
Flu vaccine still available
M.C. OKs water meter, trash service upgrades
Abused child critical
Ice causes numerous weekend accidents
Working with family members rewarding  for Jerry Burns
Respondents add comments to questionnaire
Survey:  Jerome Twp. residents want growth
Voter registration deadline approaching
Convicted child rapist gets 40 years
Judge also orders him deemed a sexual predator
Update given on reservoir project
Costs more than double original projections
Common pleas court sees record number of casesParents get taste of testing
To search for drugs, police lock down schools
Chapman family roots run deep in Union County
Triad brings suit on firm
Kruse makes first appointment
Fairbanks offers contract  to Craycraft as superintendent
Richwood moves to expand enterprise zone
Poland enjoys digging into history of Civil War
Plain City man survives crash with train
City council shows support for URE
Appears ready to vote for electric company to service Coleman's Crossing
One judge will remain on Tri-County Jail board
City begins to mend fences
Marysville restores money to economic development department
Filing snafu leaves Richwood with wrong tax levies
Problem appears to be correctable
Candidates, issues line up for primary
Local officials support gun bill
Trustee feels meeting was illegal
Other two officials believe he is wrong
North Lewisburg subdivision moves forward
Secretary of State makes local stop
Says state is spending too much money
Marysville band returns from trip to national title game
Employees are family at the Richwood Bank
Mother enters not guilty plea
MHUC names new CEO
Jerome trustees vote to increase number of meetings
Area man released from hospital after ATV accident  in Columbus
Romanian trip was learning experience for college student
A century of family ownership
The newspaper history of Union County
Teen killed in New Year's Day accident

Pleasant Valley fire truck rolls
Driver is transported with minor injuries

From J-T staff reports:
Pleasant Valley Fire Department medics transported one of their own
Friday afternoon after one of the department's tanker trucks rolled over
while responding to a call.
Scott D. McCain, 21, of Plain City was transported to Memorial Hospital
of Union County after the 1982 tanker truck he was driving rolled over
at the intersection of U.S. 42 and Route 736. McCain was alone at the
time and was responding to a call for service on a car fire.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol report of the crash McCain
was responding to a call at 4:15 p.m. He was northbound on U.S. 42 and
failed to negotiate the left turn onto Route 736.
The tanker truck slid off the right side of the road, stuck a milepost,
a fence and then rolled over onto its top.
The speed of the truck at the time of the mishap has not been
determined. Snow and ice are not listed as contributing factors in the
crash, however, investigators believe the full load of water the truck
was carrying may have played a roll.
Route 736 was closed off for about an hour as the accident was cleaned
up.
McCain, who had minor head and neck injures, was taken back to the
Pleasant Valley station after the crash and was later transported to
Memorial Hospital as a precaution.
No citations have been issued, but the accident remains under
investigation.

Injured baby removed from home
Charges not yet filed
From J-T staff reports:
A 7-month-old baby brought into the Memorial Hospital of Union County
emergency room with severe injuries has been released from care.
According to Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol, the child
was released from the hospital on Jan. 23 and has reportedly been doing
better.
On Jan. 16 hospital emergency room personnel notified police of a
possible child abuse victim. The boy had been brought in by his mother
at around 8:30 p.m. that day where he had remained in critical condition
until his release.
The boy reportedly suffered numerous broken bones. No explanation of the
injuries has been provided by authorities. The child lived with his
parents in the 600 block of Meadows Drive.
Marysville Chief of Police Eugene Mayer said Friday that the child has
been taken from his parents since the incident and is in foster care. He
said the Union County Office of Jobs and Family Services handled that
aspect of the boy's case.
"All I can say is that he is out of danger," Mayer said.
Nicol said no charges have been filed at this time and that the case is
being reviewed by the office of Union County Prosecutor Alison Boggs.
Boggs said her office has not had a chance to review the case, but
expects to soon. She said any possible charges are pending the review of
the case.
Mayer said his office will be working with prosecutors and providing
updates on their investigation until a decision is made on charges.
To date, police have not released the names of the child and the parents
because no charges have been filed.

Hospital trustees view work on new wing
From J-T staff reports:
Members of the Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees toured the new
women's wing at the beginning of their meeting Thursday.
The new wing, which will connect with the existing OB department,
includes four labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum rooms, six postpartum
rooms, a 16-cot nursery with a circumcision room and isolation room,
four triage rooms and two nurses stations, along with offices, waiting
areas and support areas. A mammography center will be located on the
lower floor, along with bedroom/lounges for on-call doctors.
The project is expected to be completed in the late summer.
Other topics covered in the building and grounds committee meeting
included the new annex building on Plum Street. Medical records are
being relocated to the building and offices will be located there in the
future.
Sue Dill, vice president of legal affairs, reported that the situation
with the Marysville Floral property will not be cleared up for several
months because of problems with a bankruptcy and title transference. She
also reported that requests for proposals have been sent out to
insurance agencies for hospital coverage.
Interim president/CEO Laurie Whittington told the board that the
hospital has received accreditation from the Joint Commission after the
June survey. In a separate press release, Whittington reported that the
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations awarded
Memorial Hospital the Gold Seal of Approval.
Whittington reported that there are plans to add two beds to the sleep
clinic. Financial officer Jeff Ehlers reported that he and Whittington
had met with the commissioners to receive their approval to renew a
one-year general obligation bond.
At the request of various committees, the board approved the purchase of
a $3,214 refrigeration unit for the lab and network hardware for the
annex at a cost of $10,119; approved Robert Baeder, D.O., for
provisional staff privileges in ER/CC; approved the addition of
arthrocentesis to core privileges for convenient care and participation
in the Safe Medical Devices Act Tracking Program.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss personnel issues
and contract due diligence.

A time of change
Herron to replace  Davenport at board of elections
By CINDY BRAKE
2004 appears to be a year of change for the Union County Board of
Elections.
Like county boards throughout the state, the four-member board is
preparing to update the voting system and will re-organize in March. The
biggest change, however, may be the retirement of Rose Davenport of
Plain City, who has overseen every election in the county for the past
16 years.
"It's time," said Davenport about her decision to retire effective May
31. As for the future, Davenport said, there are a lot of things she
plans to do.
The local board of elections has two Republican and two Democrat
members. They are Democrats Jack Foust and David Moots, and Republicans
Robert Parrott and Max Robinson. The office's day to day operations are
conducted by a Republican appointee and a Democrat appointee. Davenport
is the Republican appointee and Bonnie Spriggs is the Democrat
appointee.
Karla Herron has been hired to replace Davenport.
Herron, like Davenport, has never held an elected office, although both
say they have always had a keen interest in politics.
Davenport recalls that she was a stay-at-home mom when she went to the
courthouse to see election results. She believes her mother was on the
ballot for mayor of Unionville Center that year and there was a petition
to remove Unionville Center's incorporation status. While waiting for
results, she said, Walter Burns, then a member of the board of
elections, asked if she would be interested in working part-time at the
board. By January, the part-time position became full-time when
Republican appointee Becky Wilson retired.
Herron has a similar story.
As the owner and operator of Herron's Deli, 123 E. Fifth St., for 13
years, she said a customer mentioned the board's search to replace
Davenport in December. Herron said the position interested her. She
began working for the board on Jan. 1 and the deli is now under the
management of her sister-in-law, Stephanie Riley.
"Politics have always interested me," Herron said.
Over the years, both said, they were avid observers of local and
national politics.
Another similarity the two women share is their husbands' professions.
Both are married to contractors.
Herron said they also share a similar work ethic and passion that the
voter is number one.
During Davenport's tenure much has changed in the board's operation.
She said the county had approximately 12,000 registered voters when she
began. That number now stands at 26,700. The number of precincts has
shifted between 46 and 48 precincts over the years and she has seen
computerization become a part of the election process.
She recalls several memorable events, including a 1996 election when the
final count was not completed until 3 a.m. She said a glitch in the
system resulted in the sheriff meeting the Marion County sheriff to
borrow a piece of equipment. During another election, she said, the
sheriff had to drive to the southern end of the county to pick up
ballots after snow and ice made the roads impassable.
When asked for an opinion about punch cards, Davenport said, "There is
nothing wrong with punch cards."

Elderly are targets of sweepstake scams
One local man was conned out of $100,000

By RYAN HORNS
International Internet scams have become notorious for bilking money out
of the unsuspecting elderly. For one Marysville resident it happened to
the tune of almost $100,000.
On Friday police received a report of theft by deception from the 200
block of Residence Drive. A family had recently discovered their
82-year-old father had been sending money to an unknown person in
Canada.
"He lost everything," Marysville detective Don McGlenn said, who is
assigned to the case.
After more digging, he discovered the exchanges had been happening for
months. The father had reportedly sent $91,000 to $100,000 in money
orders and credit card payments to con artists in Montreal between Oct.
24 and Jan. 20. The family did not know until a friend noticed a $400
phone bill on the victim's table listing a couple of dozen calls made to
Canada.
The victim on Residence Drive, McGlenn said, is both embarrassed and
devastated by the scam. Out of his entire life savings, insurance will
only pay him back $1,100.
But he is not the only one to be taken in the schemes. Four other
Marysville residents have been swindled in Canadian scams since June.
Unfortunately, McGlenn said, when police try to find out who is behind
the con they learn their hands are tied.
"The chances of people recovering their money is zero to none," he said.

The scams out of Canada are so prevalent and so profitable for con
artists that authorities there started an entire department, Phone
Busters, to deal with them.
Some people believe they would see through a scam like this immediately,
McGlenn said, but the con men are affective.
He said people may have a subscription to Reader's Digest or some other
magazine and will enter the sweepstakes in the back. Con artists can
access the sweepstakes forms in Canada with information on those entered
and call them, saying they have won.
McGlenn said they often target the elderly because oftentimes they don't
have much outside contact with family and friends. Con men build their
trust by being friendly and telling them everything they want to know.
"Over the next couple days they call them a lot," McGlenn said.
"Sometime five to seven times in one day."
He explained that some elderly victims actually begin to depend on the
calls. It can become their only social contact and they begin to look
forward to them.
"I've even had people tell me to stay out of their business because it
will ruin their chances of getting the money," McGlenn said. "A lot of
times they won't believe it's a scam.
Police explained that the con starts out simple and then snowballs. They
tell their victims to send money for insurance purposes and taxes in
order to collect their money. Then they ask for courier fees and start
making up other fees.
McGlenn explained that the con artists work in groups, using different
names and telling their victims they work with different companies. If
anyone begins to question the legitimacy of the calls they are referred
to another person in the group for confirmation. That person tells them
the sweepstakes is all on the level.
Victims are asked to send Western Union money-grams, and con men can
pick up anywhere from $1,700 to $2,800 a day.
McGlenn said the reason the scams are so hard to solve is because
victims provide the control numbers on their money-grams. With the
control numbers criminals can pick up the money-grams from any Western
Union location in the entire Montreal area.
Marysville assistant police chief Glenn Nicol said there are ways
residents can avoid falling into the sweepstakes trap.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," Nicol said. "People
with elderly parents that they don't see very much should talk to them
about it and keep track of their finances."
McGlenn said many senior citizens can become engrossed in entering
sweepstakes in the mail or the Internet and may not understand that they
can be conned. McGlenn said he has responded to calls on elderly
residents and found stacks and stacks of mail all over their apartment
from different sweepstakes they have become involved in.
"The key thing is that if you ever win a sweepstakes you will not have
to pay for anything," McGlenn said. Any taxes will come out of the money
you win.
Another clue to look for is people contacting you from other countries
about sweepstakes, he said. The biggest locations are Canada and
Nigeria.


Four Chaplains service set
From J-T staff reports:
Four Chaplains Sunday services will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the
Union County Veterans Memorial Auditorium, presented by American Legion
Union Post 79 and coordinated by retired Maj. Gen. Oscar C. Decker Jr.
The first Sunday in February has been designated Four Chaplains Sunday
in memory of four chaplains who gave their lives on the U.S.A.T.
Dorchester when it sank in February 1943.
In November 1942 four young men met while attending Chaplain's School at
Harvard University. George Fox, Clark Poling, Alexander Goode and John
Washington had entered military service from different areas of the
country.
Fox enlisted in the Army from Vermont. Poling was from Ohio and was
pastoring in New York when World War II broke out. He accepted a
commission as a chaplain. Good had joined the National Guard in York,
Pa., and chose to serve as a U.S. Army chaplain. John P. Washington was
one of nine children in an Irish immigrant family from Newark, N.J.
The Rev. Fox was a Methodist minister, Father Washington was a Catholic
Priest, Rabbi Goode was Jewish and Poling was a Dutch Reformed minister.

The U.S.A.T. Dorchester was an aging coastal liner that was no longer
luxurious and was being used as a transport ship. When the soldiers
boarded in New York on Jan. 23, 1943, the Dorchester was filled to
capacity. In addition to the Merchant Marine crew and a few civilians,
young soldiers filled every available space ? 920 in total, including
the four chaplains.
The Dorchester would be sailing through an area that had become infamous
as "Torpedo Junction," the site of 100 ship sinkings per month by German
submarines.
On Feb. 2, the Dorchester was within 150 miles of Greenland. Shortly
before 1 a.m., a submarine which had been following the ship fired a
torpedo. It was a dead hit, tossing men from their cots with the force
of its explosion. A second torpedo followed, instantly killing 100 men
in the hull of the ship. The ship began to sink rapidly.
The four chaplains worked at getting soldiers out of the hold and onto
the deck. In the chaos, life boats floated away before men could board
them and others capsized as soldiers loaded the crafts beyond limit.
On deck, the chaplains handed out life jackets and directed men to
safety. In a little more than 20 minutes, the Dorchester was almost
gone. In the last moments of the transport's existence, the chaplains
took their own life jackets off and put them on the men around them.
As the ship sank, the four chaplains prayed together The Lord's Prayer.
 Of the 920 men who left New York on the U.S.A.T. Dorchester on Jan. 23,
only 230 were saved. Had it not been for the chaplains, the number of
dead would certainly been much higher.
At Sunday's commemoration, music will be provided by a brass ensemble,
directed by Robert Sements, and the Marysville Middle School vocal
ensemble, directed by Mike Robertson. Speakers will be the Rev. Gerald
M. Koster, a retired Methodist pastor; the Rev. Patrick Toner of Sacred
Heart Church in Plain City; the Rev. Scott Campbell of the Ostrander
United Methodist Church; and the Rev. Jack Heino of St. John's Lutheran
Church.

Teen critical after fire
By RYAN HORNS
A Marysville teen was in critical condition this morning after being
burned when he accidentally set his home ablaze Tuesday night.
According to the Ohio State University Hospital, Mike Rider, 19, of 936
Van Kirk Drive was listed in critical condition at OSU's Surgical
Intensive Care Unit.
Fire reports state that at 11:12 p.m. Tuesday crews were called for a
single-story house fire at the Van Kirk Drive location, with heavy
flames showing from the road. Fire crews from Marysville, Jerome
Township, Union Township, Allen Township and Liberty Township battled
fierce winds and low temperatures as they attempted to put out the
flames.
The strong winds whipped across the home and forced the flames to spread
quickly. The fire spread to a vehicle in the driveway.
Marysville Fire Chief Gary Johnson and fire investigator Ron Masters
reported this morning that the fire allegedly started after Rider had
attempted to use a flammable liquid on logs to get a fire going in the
fireplace.
"It looks at this point that it was an accidental fire," Masters said.
Both Marysville Police Chief Eugene Mayer and Johnson confirmed that
Rider's father reportedly transported him in a private vehicle to
Memorial Hospital of Union County.
Masters said the victim's father does not live at the Van Kirk address
and was reportedly on his way to the home to help start the fireplace
after Rider called him. When he arrived he saw flames.
Mayer said at this point police do not know the father's name. He said
the investigation of what happened is still going on.
"We haven't had a chance to talk to everybody yet and get all the
details," Mayer explained this morning.
According to reports, the home belongs to the Speicher family. Rider
allegedly lives in the home with two adults and their three children. He
was the only one injured in the blaze.
Mayer said the police fire investigator is currently working with the
fire department investigator and they are hoping to speak with any
witnesses of the incident. Mayer said that family members have been in
Columbus at the OSU hospital and are unavailable for comment.
Reports state that the fire was contained to the room of origin, the
living room, which sustained heavy damage. Smoke damage was reported in
the remainder of the home.
The Union County Red Cross chapter reported this morning that they are
providing assistance to the family.

Three generations continue to work Lee Farms
Editor's note: This is another installment of an ongoing series of
stories highlighting multi-generational family businesses in Union
County.
The origin of Lee Farms dates to 1843 when Addison Lee moved from
Virginia to a farm on Blues Creek Road.
His son, Henry, born in 1849, inherited the farm. Henry and his wife,
Sara, had a son, Dewey, in 1898.
When Dewey was 15 his father died and he was forced to quit school in
eighth grade to provide for his mother and sister. Although he had a
limited education, Dewey was eventually appointed director of the First
National Bank of Marysville and elected to the Marysville School Board.
During his school board tenure a new high school was built on West Sixth
Street which is now the Union County Administration Building.
Dewey and Irene Amrine married in 1918 and had three sons, Lutrelle,
Louis and Donald, and one daughter, Charlotte. Lutrelle and Louis began
farming in the early 1940s with a concentration on grain. Lutrelle and
Kathryn Rupprecht married in 1943. The Rupprecht family roots in Union
County date to 1837. In the 1870s the Rupprecht family operated a
livestock, dairy and grain farm on Waldo Road known as Buckeye Stock
Farm. The current daily operations of Lee Farms occur at the Waldo Road
location.
Lutrelle and Kathryn had two children.
Gary helped his father and uncle throughout high school and returned to
the farm in 1969 upon graduation from the Ohio State University College
of Agriculture. He married Marcia Rausch, the daughter of dairy farmer
Robert and Janice Rausch of Plain City, in 1970. They had two sons, Ryan
and Greg. Ryan and his wife, Kristin, have three daughters. Greg and his
wife, Christi, also have three daughters.
Both sons graduated from Ohio State with degrees in agriculture, one
with a major in agribusiness and the other in applied economics.
In 1998 the family created a formal partnership known as Lee Farms.
Lee Farms is now twice the size it was in 1990. Most of the farmed acres
are around the northern and eastern edges of Marysville. The long term
growth plan for the operation is to continue to expand its grain
operation at a pace to allow the family to maintain profitability and
efficiency.
Being in a low margin market environment, Lee Farms has embraced the use
of global positioning technology. The family has been yield mapping for
five years and uses the data to lower input costs by managing fields in
zones.
The Lees consistently look for value-added markets and have been
specializing in contract growing of seed since Dewey Lee began farming.
In fact, they delivered the first load of seed corn to Scotts Farm Seed
upon their opening in late 1930s. The Lees have built a statewide
reputation among seed companies in top quality seed production. Lee
Farms presently produces wheat and soybean seed stock for three seed
companies.
Soil conservation and related practices have always been a significant
commitment of the family farm. Every generation has been involved in
improving and promoting soil and water conservation. For the past two
years Lee Farms has grid soil sampled almost half of its farmed acres
and as a result has reduced commercial fertilizer applications on
several fields. Ryan Lee presently serves as chairman of the Bokes
Creek/Mill Creek watershed partnership.
The Lees have been featured in articles about their innovative practices
and grain handling facilities in several national farm publications. The
most recent was in John Deere's publication, Innovations. The article
centered on the Lees' use of global positioning technology on the farm.
Over the years each generation has made time to serve the community.
Some of these commitments include serving on the board of elections,
local bank boards and farm bureaus. All family members are active at
Trinity Lutheran Church and School.
There are presently four generations living on the family farm.
Lutrelle, who retired in 1987, still mows all of the lawns, nearly eight
acres, and runs errands. In his first term as Union County Commissioner,
Gary, the senior partner, oversees the farm operation. Ryan and Greg
share the day-to-day management of the farm. Ryan specializes in
marketing the grain while Greg focuses on agronomy and handling the
business end.

Richwood to use CIC in property sale
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Richwood Council continues to steam along, preparing for the first
resident of the village's industrial park.
With a deal to bring Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber to town, council passed
several resolutions Monday to join the Community Improvement
Corporation, which will act as an intermediary in the sale of the
property. The company, based in Delaware, could bring 35 jobs to
Richwood as it expands its acoustical fiberglass production operation.
While officials are quick to point out that no deal is set in stone, the
wheels are in motion to make the decision easier for Midwest. At a
council meeting earlier this month council moved quickly to expand its
enterprise zone, a move that will make for a more favorable tax
abatement for the company.
The move to bring the CIC into the mix will allow the village to sell
8.28 acres in the park to Midwest without setting up a bid program for
the land. The village will be able to give the land to the CIC, which
can in turn sell the land to the company at an agreed-upon price. The
village would then receive the sale money.
Council paid $8,500 per acre for the land and it was mentioned Monday
that it will be sold to the company for the same price.
The issue was stalled briefly as some of the resolution language
mentioned a fee charged by the CIC for the sale. Mayor Bill Nibert
attempted to call several member of the CIC and could not determine the
exact charge, however, he was told by several members that the fee was
not substantial.
Council passed the resolutions to join the CIC unanimously.
A measure to raise the salary of the chief and sergeant of the Richwood
Police Department was tabled. The move is apparently designed to
compensate the two positions for picking up the duties of a dispatcher's
position which will not be filled.
It was noted that no other village employees received raises in the 2004
budget and the issue was tabled until it could be discussed with police
chief Rick Asher.
In other business, council:
. Learned that a broken fire siren at the village hall may be covered
under the insurance of the joint fire division.
. Heard that the park committee opted to increase the shelter house
rental fee from $25 to $35. In the past, churches, schools and other
public bodies were not charged the rental fee but this will no longer be
the case. Only charity events will not be charged for rental.
. Council members also discussed electrical repairs which are needed on
the first floor of the village hall. The repairs would cost an estimated
$1,600 and council opted to approve the work.
. Held an executive session to discuss personnel.

City, county mending fences
Joint meeting runs smoothly
By RYAN HORNS
"This may be a historic moment," council vice president John Gore said.
"I hope it's the first of many."
Monday night members of Marysville City Council, mayor Tom Kruse, the
Union County Commissioners, representatives of the Union County Chamber
of Commerce and Marysville Economic Development Director Eric Phillips
met at city hall to discuss combining efforts in the name of economic
growth. Meetings like this will be held twice a year from now on.
"Now we can do what we need to do collectively," Kruse said.
Chamber of Commerce president Chris Schmenk said the new title for the
group will be the Union County-Marysville Economic Development
Partnership. Together they will "champion economic development,
community improvement and business viability for the betterment of Union
County."
Kruse said the entities in the room had been butting heads for so long
that it is strange now that "all of a sudden we are agreeing with each
other an awful lot."
Schmenk said she hoped the partnership could focus on the implementation
of the 2004 Strategic Plan. Part of the plan focuses on creating a tax
incentive portfolio for businesses looking at Marysville.
Phillips said they will create a tax abatement formula so companies know
where they stand. One negative of this formula, he said, is that there
may be a company that would greatly benefit the area and the partnership
may want to waive certain variances.
He said the other part of the plan is for all county entities to decide
which companies are best for the area, whether that means industrial,
commercial or residential growth.
Kruse said that coming up with a formula will be the easy part. The hard
part will be deciding on which types of companies are best. Gore said
sports coaches often see what another team is doing right and then adapt
their ideas and it would be a good idea to look around at other
communities.
Phillips said he knows that entities in Xenia work well together and
discussions with them might be good.
Kruse added that he remembers that the rules always seem to change each
time you go to the table for a business. He suggested not showing all
the city is willing to give at first in the portfolio.
"I want to be sure we keep flexibility," he said.
Phillips said with each business he will present the portfolio and the
partnership will decide the priority and then he will go back to the
negotiation table. He said he hopes to have the tax incentive policy
draft completed by March 1. He also reported that on March 15 the city
and the county officials will meet with the school district to discuss
ways economic development could benefit each other.
Gore told Phillips that explanations may be needed to show residents
what tax abatements are all about.
"It is imperative this community understand," he said.
Phillips agreed, noting that many residents believe that Scotts and
Honda don't pay any property taxes. However, he said, Honda paid around
$8 million property taxes in 2002 and Scotts paid around $1.6 million.
"There is always going to be somebody that won't be happy," Kruse said.
"It is just the way it's going to be. Sometimes their arguments will be
valid, sometimes not so valid."
Resident Joe Duke suggested that all the details in these tax abatement
deals be ironed out before reaching city council hearings.
"Never bring it to council unless you know you will have that support,"
he said.
Throughout the night, Schmenk kept the issue of communication to the
public on the table. As a result, Kruse suggested keeping all meetings
associated with the partnership and business open to the public.
Residents will be able to attend workshop meetings but will not have the
chance to speak on issues until committee meetings and council hearings.
This way, work can be completed and everyone can stay up-to-date.
"It will hurt at first," council president Nevin Taylor said. "But it
may help more."
During the discussions it was also revealed that meetings will be held
throughout the next several months on topics ranging from speaking with
Scott's and Jerome Township regarding rail lines in Union County and
discussing super centers locating to the county in February to reviewing
the tax incentive plan in March. The Marysville Business Association
will meet on issues in April and in July the second meeting between
county officials will be held

Snow, ice blanket county
Level one snow emergency put in place by sheriff
From J-T staff reports:
A thin layer of ice coated three inches of snow which fell overnight
Sunday, making the Monday morning commute hazardous for local drivers
and canceling classes for all the county's school districts.
With the threat of ice and snow, school districts throughout the county
began canceling classes Sunday evening.
According to the Marysville Water Plant three inches of snow fell on the
county Friday evening and was topped by another three inches Sunday
night. Freezing rain fell on top of the snow, leaving drivers with a lot
of scraping this morning.
More than 30 trucks were working on Union County Roads overnight Sunday
in an effort to ease the Monday morning commute.
Virgil Reisinger, transportation manager for the Marysville post of the
Ohio Department of Transportation, said 15 trucks were working on state
highways. He said drivers took to the roads at 2 p.m. Sunday, spreading
salt and brine on the roads.
Brine is a salt and water mixture that is used to make traditional road
salt work more effectively. Once snow began to fall the trucks also
worked to plow the roadways.
Reisinger said state drivers work in 12-hour shifts on the weekends and
16-hour shifts during the work week.
While Union County Engineers Office had 17 trucks on the roads Sunday
night, that number of vehicles lessened in the overnight hours.
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte said the trucks took to the county
roads at 6:30 p.m. to put down salt and stone chips. Stone chips are a
more cost effective way to provide drivers with traction, Stolte said.
In the overnight hours the number of trucks on the road dropped to less
than five. Stolte said the county does not have the resources to keep
all of the trucks on the road 24 hours a day.
"We don't have enough people for that," he said.
Stolte said his drivers were also instructed to leave a small amount of
snow on county roads because of the predicted freezing rain that was
forecast for this morning. Leaving a small amount of snow under the ice
makes roads less treacherous, he said.
But that may not be an option for county crews today as more freezing
rain is predicted and then a layer of snow may be dropped on top of
that. That scenario is more dangerous for drivers, according to Stolte.
Road conditions have not resulted in many crashes for Union County
residents.
The Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported this
morning that crashes caused by the weather were not a problem. Drivers
who reportedly went off the road were mostly those also arrested for
drunk driving.
Only one non-injury crash was reported by Marysville police from over
the weekend.
Randy Riffle, director of the Union County Emergency Management Agency,
said Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson declared a level one snow
emergency at 8:40 p.m. Sunday and his office received no calls for
assistance.
This morning the sheriff's department reported the level one emergency
is still being enforced.
Lt. Floyd Golden, support services commander with the sheriff's
department, said Sunday was a quiet night with no out of the ordinary
calls to the local 911 center. He said the department's community
service officers who work in the schools were pulling road duty today.
The sheriff's department can  declare a snow emergency and temporarily
close county and township roads within their jurisdiction in the name of
public safety.
----
The emergency level guidelines are:
Level one (roadway advisory)
Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads are also
icy. Drive very cautiously.
Level two (roadway warning)
Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Only those who
feel it is necessary to drive should be out. Contact employers to see if
work will be open the next day.
Level three (roadway emergency)
All township and county roads are closed to non-emergency personnel. No
one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely
necessary. All employees should contact their employer to see if they
should report to work. Those traveling on the roadways may subject
themselves to arrest

Tree farm provided more than a nest egg for Whitesides

By CORINNE BIX
Allen and Debra Whiteside started Whiteside Evergreens in 1978 and their
tree business has been growing strong ever since.
Whiteside Evergreens was started to create a nest egg for their
children's college educations. However, the nest egg has become more
than a financial venture, as the Whiteside family has met and made
friends with many of their customers, employees and business associates
over the past 25 years.
The Whitesides grew up in Union County and graduated from Marysville
High School and have lived at their Boerger Road home since getting
married in 1978.
Mr. Whiteside is a machinist at Denison Hydraulics and Mrs. Whiteside
works as the assistant director of Home Healthcare at Memorial Hospital.
They began their evergreen business after purchasing 115 acres of land
in Harrison County just east of Cambridge.
The family's Harrison County property sits between Salt Fork State Park
and Piedmont Lake. Since the Whitesides are avid hunters, fishermen and
gardeners, the land proved to be perfect to host their family hobbies.
Of the 115 acres, 20 were cleared and Allen and Debra decided to make
use of it by planting evergreens.
"I went to school and took some horticulture classes," Mr. Whiteside
explained. The family began to officially sell trees at their Boerger
Road home in 1984.
The Whitesides have grown evergreens on both family properties over the
years. Behind their Boerger Road home sit two acres of evergreens where
customers can cut their own trees. In recent years they have also
started to access 10 acres of land on Southard Road where they also
harvest evergreens.
The family also specializes in landscaping by offering evergreen screens
and evergreen windbreaks. Mr. Whiteside explained that screens are used
to hide undesirable sights on one's property, for example a commercial
building, while windbreaks, which are usually planted on the west or
northwest side of a home, help to break up winds and ease heating bills.

"When you plant a tree it will be good for several generations," Mr.
Whiteside said.
In addition to enjoying their work in harvesting and caring for the
evergreens, the Whiteside family has been lucky enough to meet and work
with some outstanding people.
"I enjoy meeting people, and it's been amazing now many people we have
met and become friends with over the years," Mr. Whiteside explained.
He has been particularly touched by the ongoing support of 10 to 12
young men who have helped every year since they were in middle school
with the elder Whiteside son, Jarad.
"Every year they will call me and say, "Do you need me?" and I always
tell them, "What kind of a question is that. We can't get along without
you," Mr. Whiteside said, "It's really a family atmosphere."
The Whiteside children are involved in the business. Jarad and younger
brother Luke have helped since they were six years old and daughter
Meredith helps mow the rows between the evergreens.
Mrs. Whiteside takes care of all the advertising for the business.
The family motto is that excellent service is top priority and they
pride themselves on providing individualized personal attention.
Mr. Whiteside said there is work to be done with the trees from about
March to December. It begins with hand planting around 3,000 seedlings
in mid-March to frequent fertilization and mowing throughout the spring
and summer. In early fall the trees to be cut are tagged and the actual
cutting of Christmas trees begins the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Mr. Whiteside spends his time away from the family farm as an umpire and
referee for area baseball, softball and basketball events.

County saw 'unbelievable' 2003
Commissioners set budget figures for 2004
By CINDY BRAKE
Union County's Board of Commissioners agree that last year was an
"unbelievable year" financially for Union County, especially the fourth
quarter sales tax revenues.
Sales tax revenues set a new record, generating $7.4 million for the
county's general fund. Property taxes also increased by $500,000, said
Union County Auditor Mary Snider. The only dark cloud was interest
earned, which decreased by $232,000.
Commissioner Jim Mitchell said there were three separate months when the
sales tax revenue topped $1 million.
"We're blessed," said Commissioner Tom McCarthy about the income totals.

The flush figures have meant that the county has been able to keep up
with increasing operating costs and avoid going into debt for the
remodeling of the former county nursing home along Route 4 which will be
known as the Union County Ag Center.
The 2004 overall temporary appropriations this year total
$50,867,601.22, down from $54,125,663.94 in 2003.
The increasing general fund costs are due in part to an additional pay
period that will require almost a 4 percent increase in expenditures
before any wage increases. Health insurance costs for county employees
also increased by 11 percent. Added to that are across-the-board pay
raises of 3 percent or more for each of the county's 462 employees and
increasing operation costs at the Tri-County Jail, Central Ohio Youth
Center formerly known as the Joint Detention Center and sheriff's
department.
A healthy carryover fund has allowed the county to pay for its latest
construction project without debt. The renovation of the Union County
Agricultural Services Center began with $1.6 million in cash and the
commissioners have since applied an additional $1.2 million toward the
project.
Temporary general fund budgets for 2004 are listed below with the 2003
appropriations listed in parentheses:
Commissioners - $542,027 ($418,099)
Env. Engineer - $48,900 ($40,800)
Auditor - $350,919 ($334,834)
Assessing personal - $48,000 ($42,745)
Treasurer - $147,475 ($143,178)
Prosecuting Attorney - $340,387 ($347,805)
Board of Revision - $200 ($200)
Bureau of Inspection - $63,000 ($62,000)
County Planning - $10,973.24 ($10,858.44)
Data Processing, County Office - $222,500 ($201,800)
Economic Development - $106,067 ($102,977.86)
Risk Management/EMA - $196,948 ($133,743)
Court of Appeals - $15,000 ($14,200)
Common Pleas Court - $411,535 ($366,064)
Jury Commission - $840 ($820)
Juvenile Court - $348,879.94 ($312,617.32)
The commissioners explain that the increasing cost for all courts is
due, in part, to an increasing number of cases filed. The
Juvenile/Probate Court also added two new part-time positions.
Detention Home - $584,760 ($316,660)
Probate Court - $163,723.91 ($141,143.96)
Clerk of Courts - $233,688.50 ($215,553)
Coroner - $82,349.36 ($85,708)
County Court - $67,000 ($67,000)
Election Board - $249,862.24 ($183,384)
Commissioners explained that the main reason for the significant jump in
the Election Board fund is due to the retirement of one employee and the
cost of training for a new employee. The presidential and primary
elections also add to the operation costs of the office.
Capital Improvement - $600,000 ($500,000)
Maintenance & Operation - $1,481,500 ($1,234,500)
Airport Operation - $55,752 ($55,752)
Sheriff - $385,891.04 ($244,800)
Sheriff, law enforcement - $1,488,543.75 ($1,835,846)
Sheriff, communications - $215,492.60 ($184,910)
Sheriff, jail - $1,304,046.61 ($1,150,265)
Sheriff, investigations - $422,457.09
Sheriff, community service - $292,549.70
The overall sheriff's budget increased by approximately $500,000. The
commissioners said the increasing costs are due primarily to significant
wage increases under the union contract, the 27th pay period and
increasing jail costs, especially for health care. A comparison to last
year's budget shows that the sheriff now has two new line items -
investigations and community service. The commissioners said this is
just a bookkeeping change. Overall, they said the sheriff's budget
increased by 3 percent or $500,000.
Recorder - $197,027.15 ($158,484)
Humane Society - $40,000 ($40,000)
Agriculture - $443,596 ($419,165)
Tuberculosis - $1,000 ($1,000)
Reg. Vital Statistics - $1,000 ($1,000)
Other Health - $50,000 ($90,391.48)
Senior Link, Council on Aging - $82,156 ($62,156)
Soldiers Relief - $450,000 ($474,000)
Public Assistance - $511,074 ($511,074)
Engineer - $112,500 ($105,300)
Law Library - $32,800 ($31,000)
Historical Society - $20,000 ($18,500)
Board of Education - $10,000 ($10,000)
Co. Parks & Recreation - $30,000 ($30,000)
Endowments - $395,200 ($505,200)
This line item has funded local grants. Last year's number was higher
than usual when the county contributed to the construction of a pop
shack at the Joint Recreational Park along County Home Road. This year
the county plans to enlarge the park's parking area.
Insurance, property - $227,000 ($227,490)
Insurance, persons - $1,769,993 ($1,755,150.28)
Miscellaneous - $15,000 ($15,000)
Attorney Fee, indigent - $270,000 ($265,400)
Equipment - $300,000 ($400,000)
Contingencies - $465,929 ($416,900)
Other funds (this funds are generally pass through money that come from
state and federal sources, as well as independent levies):
M&G fund - $5,001,000 ($4,288,000)
Public Assistance - $3,419,804 ($4,151,000)
Dog & Kennel - $79,231.77 ($68,617.89)
Sanitary Sewer - $997,500 ($795,900)
Mental Health - $2,164,000 ($2,229,600)
Food Service - $83,240 ($94,332)
Central Ohio Youth Center - $1,743,166 ($1,609,457)
Health - $2,267,786 ($2,078,442)
Board of Mental Retardation - $8,901,466.04 ($8,249,600)
Real Estate Assessment - $530,150 ($500,911)
Soil & Water Conservation - $357,795 ($359,004)
Sheriff, police rotary - $51,520 ($428,839)
This fund used to take and disperse funds that township's paid toward
their public safety officer costs. These funds have now shifted to the
sheriff's overall budget.
Safe Community Health Grant - $45,145 ($43,974)
Community Education - $46,824.88 ($46,200)
Co-Ordination Transportation - $304,634.34 ($280,671.28)
Bond Retirement - $450,302.50 ($486,488)
Airport Operating - $165,650 ($26,670)
The jump in the airport operating fund centers on a change in
operations, said the Union County Commissioners. The airport's fixed
based operator went out of business, which means a loss in revenue for
rental of the corporate hanger and the local board having to pick up
expenses.
Road & Bridge Fund, $71,900 ($55,900)
Litter, health - $88,206 ($88,089)
Youth Services Grant - $218,402,86 ($294,612)
Sanitary Sewer Replacement - $57,000 ($40,000)
Child Support Enforcement - $924,800 ($1,033,000)
Children Services Fund - $1,384,527 ($1,280,000)
Trailer Park Fund - $10,439 ($8,481)
Water System Fund, $53,829 ($59,115)
Swimming Pool Fund - $12,176 ($10,270)
Sales Tax Debt - $493,485 ($495,745)
911 Fund - $504,757.24 ($478,901)
DTAC, treasurer - $50,305 ($54,400)
DTAC, prosecuting attorney - $57,294 ($46,639.78)
Treasurer Prepay Interest - $8,802 ($7,500)
LEPC Fund - $32,995 ($32,320)
Indigent Guardianship - $6,732.59 ($6,690)
DUI - $8,377 ($8,377)
Airport Federal - $387,400
Airport Construction - $126,200
Airport Hanger - $111,060
These three new airport line items are for projected grants that would
assist in moving the taxi way and improving the east end of the runway.
Preschool Grant - $19,274.91 ($19,805)
School Lunch, MRDD - $72,638 ($55,076)
ABLE - $92,844.22 ($98,931.16)
Alcohol & Drug - $430,000 ($413,000)
Community Support - $579,000 ($910,000)
Probate & Juvenile Computer - $7,000 ($7,000)
Probate & Juvenile Research - $2,000 ($2,000)
Certificate Title Admin. - $185,879.68 ($181,171.83)
MRDD Title VI-B - $154,295 ($24,566)
CFHS Grant - $102,813 ($77,463)
Water District Operating - $581,300 ($447,900)
Tobacco Planning - $84,042
Union County Family/Children - $68,366 ($80,073.51)
Building/Development - $920,100 ($757,000)
VOCA Grant - $110,688.60 ($110,618)
VAWA Grant - $18,662 ($17,982)
Help Me Grow - $210,910


Groat pushes for 'First Responders Day'
By RYAN HORNS
Retired reverend John Groat spent decades organizing his congregation
toward one goal. Now that he is retired he has his eyes set on
organizing  the entire Union County - at least for one day out of the
year.
For the past two months Groat has been before the Union County
Commissioners, the Paris Township Trustees and spoke before Marysville
City Council Thursday night trying to make Sept. 11, "First Responders
Day" in Union County. All entities have voted their approval.
Thursday night Marysville council members waived readings and voted
unanimously to create the day in the city.
Groat said he has wanted to do something like this for local emergency
responders for some time. Last September he was watching the news on the
television and at the time government officials were trying to decide
how to make Sept. 11 a day of remembrance.
"It came to me right away," he said. "I said right to the T.V., 'First
Responders Day.'"
The thought planted a seed in his head.
That same month he went to a school in Union County and the children
were celebrating local law enforcement. In Pennsylvania, where he grew
up, Groat was a volunteer fireman and is an army veteran.
"The schools did a little program and it made me feel so good," he said.
"And it didn't cost any money."
 Groat told council members Thursday night that there are days to honor
veterans such as Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day and Veteran's Day. But
at the same time, he said, there are men and women fighting fires,
engaging in law enforcement, or on emergency calls as medics in our own
towns, who have no special day when the community is encouraged to
respect and remember their service.
In the age of increased homeland security, he said, they are the ones
who will be called for action.
"It must be remembered that the first line of defense against
international terrorism, our current enemy, are the first responders,"
he said.
As a member of the local American legion, Groat invited members of the
Marysville Fire and Police departments to their meeting Sept. 11.
"Suppose terrorists hit our water tower or something," he asked the
group at the meeting. "Who would be the ones to respond?"
He said the local fire and policemen raised their hands. He asked them
how long it would take them to respond and they said pretty much as soon
as they got the call they would be there, even if they are off-duty.
Groat said cities and townships depend on their first responders for
protection at all hours of the day and there are no days set aside to
honor them.
He said the day will give people in the county a chance to get to know
the men and women associated with their fire and police departments, as
well as the Union County Sheriff's deputies.
"My desire was for Union County to honor their first responders," he
said.
Now that "First responder Day" has become a reality in Union County,
Groat said he hopes the day becomes celebrated not only in Union County,
but also around the state of Ohio. His next step is to send a letter
explaining his quest to Ohio Senator Larry Mumper.
"You haven't heard the end of this," Groat said, smiling.

The balance of power
Council holds second reading on URE/DP&L ordinance
By RYAN HORNS
Debate over opening competition between Union Rural Electric and Dayton
Power and Light received attention from Marysville City Council Thursday
night.
Members of council and representatives of Union Rural Electric continued
their clarification of an ordinance which had its second reading and
public hearing at the meeting. Council president Nevin Taylor said the
ordinance is not directed at DP&L but is geared only toward offering
natural gas service to Coleman's Crossing.
Derek Isaacs, developer of Coleman's Crossing, said he initially
approached URE for services and was informed that the development was
outside their service area.
"It's almost a monopoly. well, it is a monopoly," he said, referring to
DP&L's service area in the community. "We would like to have a choice."
Roger Yoder, president of URE, spoke at the meeting and said the
ordinance specifically refers to providing electric services to
Coleman's Crossing.
"We do appreciate parties interested in our services," Yoder said. "But
it's not something we pursued."
He explained that the intent of URE's involvement with Coleman's
Crossing was not to create conflict. URE has always had a good working
relationship with DP&L, he said, and they want that to continue. The two
services have even provided mutual aid to each other in emergencies.
That said, Yoder said, he did not expect DP&L to "accept the idea with
open arms."
Local realtor Meg Michel asked council for clarification on the
ordinance. She said the ordinance refers to the city of Marysville and
does not specifically reference Coleman's Crossing. She asked if her
real estate company will be able to have the same service choice between
URE and DP&L in order to strike the best deal.
Council vice-president John Gore said that there is always that option.
He added that the ordinance language does refer specifically to
Coleman's Crossing. He said it even describes the property lines. Taylor
reported that the public meeting on the issue will be held during the
Feb. 12 council meeting.
Council also discussed first reading of an ordinance concerning a
portion of land owned by Vernon and Jennifer Morrison off Route 38. The
ordinance has its first reading to rezone 1.801 acres located at the
southeast corner of Route 736 where it meets Route 38, from Agricultural
Zoning District to Service Business Zoning District.
Alan Seymour of the city planning commission explained that the core
intent of the ordinance is to make the land more marketable for the
owners to sell. He said anyone wishing to buy the land would have to
rezone it to B-1 anyway, if they intended to develop the land for
business.
The ordinance states that the area is also the site of the possible
relocation of routes 736 and 38. Council member John Marshall said that
if the Morrison land is ever bought and a development goes up, it could
get in the way of the plans to re-direct Route 736.
The next discussion of the rezoning issue will be held at the March 11
council meeting.
In other discussions:
. Marysville Parks and Recreation Superintendent Steve Conley reported
that the Frozen Nose 4-miler on Jan. 10 was a success. There were a
total of 61 runners and the city raised $600. Conley also reported that
the public ice rink at Eljer Park is open. He warned that children
should stay off retention ponds and other larger bodies of water for
safety reasons and instead use the public rink. It will be open every
day from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Boggs will seek re-election
 CINDY BRAKE
Union County Prosecuting Attorney Alison Boggs has announced her plans
to run for a second term.
"I have demonstrated a 'tough but fair' approach to the Union County
Prosecutor's Office. I promised in 2000 to be accessible and available
to all of Union County. And I kept that promise," Boggs said.
During this term, Boggs tried the first aggravated murder case in the
county in more than 30 years.
"I did not plead the case away. We took it to a jury and convicted Eric
Jackson. I tried and convicted Union County's first corrupt activity
case, the 'Sweetheart Swindler' from ORW. I took the Steve Horch case to
a jury and convicted him of complicity to rape and several pandering
sexually-oriented matter charges. These three trials were in the same 35
days last summer, and the defendants received a total of over 55 years
in prison."
Boggs said there is a difference between 'prosecuting' a case - and
taking a plea and taking the case to trial.
"I have tried aggravated murder, rape, gross sexual imposition,
harassment by inmate and other major crimes in the last three years. We
have had fewer plea bargains and more trials, demonstrating that I am
tough on criminals," Boggs said.
The prosecutor's office oversaw the forfeiture of more than $300,000
worth of drug money and property to Union County and the Union County
Sheriff's Office.
Boggs states that in addition to the major felony trials she represents
the townships and other boards and agencies.
"I like working with them, from Memorial Hospital to the Health
Department, from Allen Township to York Township.
"On behalf of the Union County Veteran's Service, I saved them and the
county over $40,000 plus in PERS charges in a dispute with the state."
Boggs successfully represented Jerome Township BZA on a zoning issued in
the Union County Common Pleas Court and the Third District Court of
Appeals.
Working with Tony Core, Union County's state representative, Boggs
testified before a sub-committee of the Ohio Legislature in legislation
to criminalize psychedelic mushroom spores. The legislation is still
pending in the House of Representatives.
"With the assistance of Det. Mike Justice, we approached Rep. Core about
sponsoring legislation criminalizing the spores of psychedelic mushrooms
after Det. Justice discovered these spores were being sold in Union
County. Rep. Core agreed to sponsor the legislation and we both headed
off to the Statehouse to testify."
Boggs graduated from Mount Union College in 1983, receiving a bachelor
of arts, majoring in both speech and communications with dual minors in
education and philosophy. She received her juris doctorate from the
University of Akron School of Law in 1991.
"I have been practicing in Union County since being sworn in as an
attorney. I served Union County as the Child Support Enforcement
Attorney from 1991-1996. During that same time frame through 2000, I
practiced criminal defense work in Union County. I also taught at
Columbus State Community College from 1995-2000," Boggs said.
"I am committed to the people of all of Union County. My family and I
continue to attend community dinners, such as the Claibourne United
Methodist pancake and sauerkraut dinner, the New Dover turkey dinner and
the Union Township Fire Department pancake breakfast, to name only a
few. We support the youth of our community every year at the livestock
sales at the Union County Fair and the Richwood Independent Fair. We
enjoy going to events like Springen Fest and Keith's (her son) favorite
activity is going to the library. I've always enjoyed being a part of
Union County, from 4-H, FFA, church and community, starting before I was
prosecutor and since, not just when I'm running for re-election."
Boggs is a member of the Union County Bar Association, the Union County
Farm Bureau, the Union County Township Association, the Union County
Historical Society, the Safe Communities/Safe Kids Committee and the
Safe Schools Central Stakeholders.
She has been involved in the community through her association with the
Union County Bicentennial Wedding Committee and being involved in Scott
Underwood's community productions of "Annie" and "The Music Man."
Boggs served on Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Council from 1995-2000 and
was the president of the Union County Bar Association in 2002.
Boggs, her husband, Bob, and children, Frances and Keith, live in
Marysville.
"I remain committed to being your full-time prosecutor," she said.

 

 

Railyard could be in place by 2007
By CINDY BRAKE
For now, a $30 million intermodal rail yard in Union County is just
talk, but by 2007 it could be a reality.
Mike Bradley of the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) said Union
County is being considered as a serious site for a new CSX Intermodal
Rail Yard. Conceptually, he said, the yard would include approximately
200 acres and be located west of The Scotts Company facilities and north
of Scottslawn Road to the Union County Airport.
While the rail yard is still just a concept on paper, Bradley said, the
proposal has received a "recommended" rating from the federal government
to do environmental and engineering studies. CSX is now conducting a
rail freight capacity study which is expected to be completed early this
year, said Bradley. The "true scope" of the project should be complete
in August, he said.
Bradley said COTA has been invited to a Feb. 4 meeting at 7 p.m. in the
Jerome Township Hall by trustee Sharon Sue Wolfe to share plans for the
proposed project. Wolfe said she had received several calls from
residents who had heard rumors and wanted to know how close the proposed
rail yard would be to them.
Intermodal means different mode, explained Bradley, and refers to a
truck to rail yard utilizing double-stacked containers. Classified
yards, on the other hand, specialize in handling freight cars that carry
lumber, tankers and box cars with freight. Bradley added that intermodal
transport is more efficient.
He speculates that the proposed yard would have 120,000 lifts a year. A
lift refers to how many times a single container is moved. Estimating
that a single container may be moved twice - once when removed from the
train and again when a semi arrives - Bradley said the yard could expect
219 trucks a day. Many, he said, are already traveling Union County
roadways making deliveries to businesses.
The new intermodal yard would replace an existing CSX Intermodal Rail
Yard located on the west side of Columbus off of Roberts Road.
"Moving the rail yard will increase efficiencies in yard design and
drayage and gate times, as well as reduce the number of CSX trains
through Columbus. This project compliments the Advanced Logistics
Initiative underway with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce for a new
Norfolk Southern Intermodal Yard at Rickenbacker," states a Fast Trax
website about the history of Vision 2020 Plus.
Vision 2020 Plus is looking at a number of transit enhancements designed
to meet the transportation demands of a growing area. Partners include
COTA, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Columbus community
leaders and residents.
The proposed intermodal is part of a $501 million project, Bradley said,
that includes developing the first light rail transit in Ohio. The idea
originated from a 2000-2001 Regional Rail Study.
Other parts of Vision 2020 Plus include expanding bus service, building
eight rail lines, intelligent transportation systems, an arena terminal
and downtown circular system to eliminate the need for a car for
short-length trips and connect downtown centers.
Bradley said the new rail yard would bring a lot of community benefits
to the area by attracting companies and bringing jobs. He also said it
is better for the environment because it reduces truck traffic and costs
of transport.
In late December, Ron Barnes, COTA president and CEO, met with the Union
County Commissioners and said COTA was expanding its board to include
contiguous counties as nonvoting members. He explained that the COTA
board meets with him for lunch every fourth Wednesday of the month from
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., then holds committee meetings from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
and holds a 30-minute board meeting at 4:30 p.m.
He suggested that the commissioners visit other rail facilities to get a
better idea of what is being proposed and discussed several scenarios
for a proposed tax levy to assist in the project's funding.
Open houses are planned for 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 27 at the Columbus Urban
League; Jan 28 at the Thomas Worthington High School; and Jan. 29 at the
North Broadway United Methodist Church. For more information on the
public meetings call the project management team at (866) RAIL-COTA.


City may keep tax collection in house
By RYAN HORNS
An ordinance before Marysville City Council tonight could see local
government parting ways with the Regional Income Tax Agency.
The new resolution is sponsored by mayor Tom Kruse and several council
members. The tax service, which operates a branch in Columbus, has been
collecting income tax locally since 2002.
A second ordinance to have first reading on Thursday will ask council to
allow the creation of a tax administrator position under the supervision
of the city finance director. The new position would handle all aspects
of income tax collection for the city.
Ordinance language states that the tax administrator's salary would
range from $40,000 to $55,000 annually. The money is not included in the
2004 operating budget, so a third ordinance will transfer $57,863 from
unappropriated general funds for this use. The city has to appropriate
more than the salary to make up for Medicare and P.E.R.S. expenses
associated with the new hire.
"The city of Marysville can more efficiently manage these
responsibilities by employing a person, full time, to oversee tax
collection responsibility and meet the demands in a timely and orderly
fashion," the ordinance states.
Wednesday morning Kruse explained that the switch could not only mean
better customer service for residents but could save the city money in
the long run.
"I think residents would prefer to talk to someone locally," Kruse said.

The new department would initially consist of the administrator and a
clerk, working under the department of finance.
Kruse said he is not aware if any council members intend to speak out
against it. Council president Nevin Taylor, vice-president John Gore and
members John Marshall, Dan Fogt and Ed Pleasant signed the ordinance.
Many residents have voiced their concerns about dealing with a company
located outside the city, Kruse said. The idea is to bring back income
tax services to the city so that residents can take their questions to
city hall instead of calling or driving to Columbus or Cleveland.
With a price tag of around $200,000 for RITA's income tax collection,
Kruse said, the city could do better by collecting in-house.
"Even if it costs us $100,000, we're still coming out ahead," he
explained.
If passed by council, the change would go into effect Jan. 1, 2005. City
finance director John Morehart said the city is contracted with RITA
through Dec. 31. Notification must be given to RITA of the city's
intention to go in-house no later than June 30.
Morehart said gross expenses for RITA were $182,000 during the 2003
collections. RITA collects three cents out of every dollar they
collected.
The city received a $25,000 to $26,000 tax rebate from the agency, he
said, which resulted in a net expense of around $156,000 for their
services.
"Overall RITA has done pretty good in terms of bringing dollars in,"
Morehart said.
The only change residents will notice, Morehart said, from the switch
away from RITA will be small. Instead of mail with "RITA" at the top,
they will receive tax documents from "The City of Marysville."
Kruse said that over the next year his administration will have plenty
of time to focus on organizing and purchasing the needed computer
software for income tax collection. He said new forms for filing will
also be created. The software could cost around $15 to $20,000.

Richwood police catch attackers
From J-T staff reports:
A Richwood Cardinal employee was robbed Saturday night by two men
dressed in black, after being struck with a tree limb.
Later that night officers arrested two suspects they believe were
involved.
According to Richwood Police Chief Rick Asher, at 10:27 p.m. that night
Jessie Faine, 20, left work with $446.97 in cash and $2500.03 in checks.

Asher said he believes suspects had scoped out the supermarket and might
have known he would be leaving with money.
Two men in black and wearing black scarves around their heads reportedly
demanded the money from Faine. He refused, Asher said, but one suspect
reportedly struck him with the tree limb repeatedly until he gave up the
cash.
Asher said the suspects led Faine to a field behind the supermarket and
fled on foot from the scene, leaving a trail of their footprints in the
snow.
When police responded, They discovered two men dressed in black in the
Farmer's State Bank parking lot fitting the height description of the
suspects. As a result, police arrested Joseph Magana, 18, and a
17-year-old juvenile for aggravated robbery after they confessed to
robbing Faine.
Asher said his officers, along with three Union County Sheriff's
deputies, were able to find more suspects in the robbery by following
footprints in the snow to 13 N. Fulton St. Deputies reportedly found a
juvenile looking out the door at that location who they recognized as
being wanted on outstanding unruliness charges and who was a reported
missing person.
Asher said they are investigating the remaining suspects' involvement
and charges could be pending on two more people. He said it was thanks
to officers arriving on the scene quickly and the help of the Union
County deputies that made for a successful arrest.
Asher said police recovered $439 in cash but thieves reportedly burned
around 64 checks they had stolen. A total of around $3,000 was taken
from the store.
Richwood Cardinal owner James Luscaleet is now asking shoppers who wrote
checks for items at his store between 11:53 a.m. and 7:55 p.m. on
Saturday to come forward. They should stop payment on their checks and
contact the Richwood Police or Luscaleet at the store to report the
amounts they purchased.
Asher said he believes most people in town will be honest about what
they spent that day but not all the money stolen will be recovered.
Luscaleet reportedly said in the 20 years he has worked with the store
this was the first time any employee has been threatened or robbed in
this way.  Police reportedly suspect the thieves involved may have
gotten word of how and when employees leave with cash.
Asher said in a small village like Richwood, it is easy to know how and
when stores drop off their money. His department offers police escorts
for employees transporting cash after-hours and he recommends all
businesses take advantage of the service.
"A lot of people say they don't want to bother us with things like
that," Asher said, "But that is our job. It's service we provide. it
makes it safer for them."

Milford Center woman convicted in cancer hoax
From J-T staff reports:
A Milford Center woman's deception that bilked co-workers out of more
than $6,000 apparently did not spill over into Union County.
Rumors of Katrina Combs, 31, having cancer were common knowledge among
Milford Center residents for several years, although no fund raisers
were ever held in the community.
"I was totally surprised," said village mayor Cheryl DeMatteo about news
that the wife of council member Josh Combs pleaded guilty to grand theft
in the Champaign County Court Thursday.
Union County Prosecuting Attorney Alison Boggs said her office was
unaware of any criminal activity involving Combs occurring in Union
County.
According to printed reports, Mrs. Combs had claimed over a three-year
period to have several types of cancer, including cervical, colon and
optic nerve. She admitted that she had dyed her skin and shaved her head
to substantiate her claim. When she claimed to have Hodgkins-Lymphoma in
April 2003, one of the victims called the sheriff to investigate.
Authorities then subpoenaed her medical records which revealed she was
not ill.
Co-workers at a Woodstock nursing home had donated money to her and a
community-wide chili supper was held in 2001, as well as bake sales
every week. One nurse allegedly took out a $5,049 personal loan, of
which $2,000 was paid off by another co-worker's church. In all, Combs
is charged with taking $6,049.90 in cash, stated printed reports.
Judge Roger Wilson sentenced Combs to community control for three years,
three days of jail beginning immediately and a fine of $500, 400 hours
of community service in a cancer treatment center and restitution,
stated printed reports.
This is the second incident in Champaign County of someone claiming to
have cancer in order to collect money. Robert and Teresa Milbrandt
claimed that her 7-year-old daughter Hannah had terminal cancer and
collected $31,000. In September the Milbrandts were sentenced to prison
for theft and endangering their child's life.
Published reports state that Mrs. Milbrandt gave her daughter sleeping
pills, shaved her head and enrolled her in counseling to prepare her for
death.
Allegedly after details of the Milbrandt case emerged, Combs' coworkers
became suspicious


For Mabrys, integrity is cornerstone of good business
Editor's note: This is the third installment of a continuing series
highlighting family businesses in Union County.

From J-T staff reports:
In 1973, Roger Mabry moved his family to the Milford Center area and
renovated a house for them to live in. Soon, neighbors and others began
to ask the Mabrys to do work for them ? windows, doors, roofing, etc. By
1978, Roger was building new homes with his sons Victor and Tracy joined
them full-time in 1981. Since then, the Mabrys have built more than 110
homes, along with restaurants and other businesses.
After Roger retired in 1995, Victor and Tracy incorporated the Mabry
Construction Co. and joined the Better Business Bureau. They said the
building trade has changed over the years. Formerly, there were only a
few local builders who respected other builders' ethics but the trade
today seems to be more cut-throat. The Mabrys support local businesses
as much as possible.
The Mabry Construction Co. believes that honesty, integrity, respect and
honor are the most important parts of a business. They advise their
clients to be realistic and prices and tell them what their home will
worth when it's finished. They ask that clients check them, as well as
other builders, out for their reputation.
The Mabry Construction Co. builds four to five homes a year in order to
keep mistakes and misunderstandings down. They have built homes as large
as 4,000 and as small as 1,000 square feet. The majority of their homes
are for empty nesters who want to downsize to a quality-built home.
Many people think that custom builders are too pricey, but the Mabrys
price their work competitively. They remind anyone who is planning to
build to start their planning and financing in the early months of the
year so they can avoid the backlog that develops in the summer months.
Victor serves as president of the company and Tracy is vice president
and secretary. Mabry Construction is located at 19930 Orchard Road in
Milford Center and the phone number is 349-3221.


Flu vaccine still available
The Union County Health Department still has a limited amount of flu
vaccine available. Flu shots will be given during health department
morning hours from 8 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday at 940 London Ave.,
Suite 1100.
The cost of the shots is $14 for county residents and $19 for
non-residents. Medicare Part B and Medicaid cover the cost.
Questions may be directed to 642-0801.

M.C. OKs water meter, trash service upgrades
By CINDY BRAKE
New water meters and a recycling/trash program appear to be in the
future of Milford Center residents.
During Monday's regular meeting, the village council passed a motion to
create a bid package for new water meters and heard first reading on an
ordinance to create a "Pay As You Throw" (PAYT) recycling/trash program.
Consulting engineer Gary Silcott estimates it will cost $90,000 to
purchase and install 400 new  meters. He said a study last year found
that the village is paying for 60,000 gallons of lost water every day.
The new meters will help the village account for the loss and are
expected to generate enough savings to pay for any debt in their
purchase. The village has $57,000 in the water and sewer fund that can
be used toward the purchase.
Council discussed the need to address backflow concerns, but decided to
not take action at this time.
The PAYT ordinance states that the village will provide solid waste
collection from single family dwellings on a schedule to be determined
by the village. Multi-family dwellings, commercial, institutional and
industrial waste generators will be unaffected by the ordinance.
The self-sustaining service will cost each single family dwelling $8 a
month for one collection of solid waste and recyclables per week,
transport of the materials and the management of the recyclables.
Homeowners will be required to separately purchase PAYT bags or may
subscribe their own container for disposal in lieu of PAYT bags. The
cost is 95 cents for a 30-gallon bag and 60 cents for 12-gallon bags.
The monthly cost is $3.60 for each 30-gallon standard can with a
village-provided sticker or 12 cents per month per gallon of capacity
for non-standard container.
Bulky item tags will cost $5 and monthly PAYT charges for single family
dwellings will be suspended automatically by the village utilities staff
whenever water usage falls below minimum-occupied levels for any billing
period.
In other business:
. Newly elected council members Josh Combs and Russell T. Clark were
administered the oath of office by solicitor John Eufinger. Eufinger
said mayor Cheryl DeMatteo was sworn into office prior to the end of the
year.
. Council established their regular meetings for the third Monday of
every month at 7:30 p.m. The finance committee will meet at 4 p.m. every
Wednesday preceding a council meeting.
. Total appropriations of $345,182.53 were approved with checking
balances in the following funds - general, $28,116.35; street
construction maintenance and roads, $6,388.78; state highway,
$10,305.13; grant construction, $128,459.18; water operating,
$11,876.39; sewer operating, $21,460.55; street improvement, $339.37;
sewer reserve, $77,214.15; water reserve, $58,989.13; and water deposit
refund, $2,033.50.
. Clark was elected council president.
. Approved the following appointments by mayor - to the board of zoning
appeals, Jane McCarty and Carolyn Michel; to the planning commission,
Tom Shockey, Ron Harder, Howard VanDyke, Doug Trimble and Josh Combs.
. Mayor DeMatteo said she does not expected to appoint anyone to the
position of village clerk for another month. Utilities clerk Kathy McCoy
is acting as interim clerk. DeMatteo and Eufinger said they have had no
response from the former clerk Tammy Hardy, who resigned. Eufinger asked
village officials to give him a list of items they need from Hardy.
Council authorized Eufinger to proceed with appropriate action if Hardy
does not respond.
. Second reading was heard on an ordinance approving a contract with
Time Warner.
Present at Monday's meeting were council members Jeff Parren, Ron Payne,
Chris Burger, Combs and Clark.

Abused child critical
From J-T staff reports:
Police have reported a serious incident of child abuse over the weekend.
On Friday at approximately 8:30 p.m. Memorial Hospital of Union County
emergency room personnel notified police of a suspected child abuse
case.
Staff reported that a 7-month-old male had been brought into the
hospital by his mother with severe injuries.
The child, listed in critical condition, was transferred by MedFlight to
Children's Hospital in Columbus.
The child and parents reportedly live in the 600 block of Meadows Drive.
No arrests have been made and the case is under investigation by the
Marysville Police Department and Union County Children's Protective
Services.
The department has not released the names of the child or parents
involved.

Ice causes numerous weekend accidents
From J-T staff reports:
Icy conditions caused more than a dozen vehicle accidents and several
injuries around Union County over the weekend.
The Marysville Ohio State Patrol Post reported today that 16 vehicle
accidents occurred Saturday as a result of ice on the roads. Three of
those accidents resulted in injuries.
Saturday at 10:30 a.m. John C. Lucas, 52, of Dublin was reportedly
traveling southbound on Highland Croy Road when he lost control of his
vehicle and went left of center. He struck the vehicle of Juventino
Lopez, 37, of Galloway who was traveling northbound. The collision was
reportedly near head-on. Both men were injured in the accident and
transported by Jerome Township medics to Riverside Hospital in Columbus.
No condition information was available for Lucas but he was still in
patient care. Lopez was treated and released.
Saturday at 4 p.m. Donzella Mulholland, 39, of 13685 Hinton Mill Road
and her 8-year-old son Matthew were traveling on Hinton Mill Road near
Wildwood Lane when their vehicle went off the left side of the road and
hit a utility pole. They were transported for injuries to Memorial
Hospital of Union County by Marysville medics.
Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Mebane McMahon, 42, of 12670 Watkins Road was
traveling eastbound on Watkins Road near Scottslawn Road when she went
off the right side and struck a telephone pole and fence. She was
transported to Memorial Hospital by Marysville medics for her injuries.
Marysville police reported one ice-related accident which occurred
Saturday at 7:28 p.m.
Donald R. Egan, 71, of 981 Coventry Place had reportedly just turned
north onto Route 38 from Timberview Drive when he lost control and drove
down into a ditch. He then attempted to drive north through the golf
course parallel to Route 38 and struck a tree. Egan was cited for
failure to control his vehicle and was transported by medics to Memorial
Hospital.
Patient information on victims transported to Memorial Hospital was not
available before press time.

Working with family members rewarding  for Jerry Burns

Editor's note: This is the third installment of the Six Degrees of
Separation series.

By CORINNE BIX
Jerry Burns has proven that when you combine hard work and the strength
of a family anything is possible.
Burns, 52, along with his brother Bernard, have worked together since
1975 improving on the family swine production farm started by their
father 60 years ago. In recent years Burns' two sons have joined the
family business and today the farm produces 20,000 hogs per year.
The Burns farm, on Homer Road, has been in the family since 1929.
Farming traces back to the family's roots in Germany. Burns' father,
Louis, dealt in various livestock including cattle, horses, dairy and
hogs before retiring in 1975.
Burns graduated from high school in 1969. After school he worked for
five years at Westreco (currently Nestle's Research and Development) in
Marysville.
"My father had a heart attack and wanted to retire," Burns explained. He
quit his job and came back to the family farm to work with his brother.
Burns' return to the family business was one of choice, not obligation.
"I enjoy the lifestyle of a farmer, the independence and the ability to
decide day to day what you are going to work on," Burns said.
In the mid-seventies the Burns brothers began by selling 600 hogs a
year. Every year their numbers climbed and the farm operation over the
last 30 years can be broken down into four stages.
When they eclipsed the 10,000 hogs-per-year mark, in the mid-nineties,
changes had to be made as to how the farm operated. Burns said it was at
this stage that the family stopped furrowing hogs and began buying
2-week-old weaners.
"We officially became a wean-finish farm in 1996," Burns said.
Burns and his wife, Ann, have three sons: Eric, 25; Curtis, 22; and
Nathan, 21. Both Eric and Curtis are also partners in the family
business.
"Eric has worked here since 1999 and Curtis has been here for two
years," Burns explained.
Their youngest son, Nathan, is a firefighter and is working on his medic
certification.
Burns said there are both challenges and pleasures associated with
working with your family on a day to day basis.
"Our days are intense with the hogs" Burns said. He added that it is
important to separate work and family when moving through the chores of
each day.
Burns begins his days Monday through Friday at 5:30 a.m. He starts off
with paperwork and phone calls before beginning the daily routine at
7:30 a.m. The Burns family spends the day checking on equipment,
grinding feed and caring for the hogs.
"We always put in a 12-hour day," Burns said.
The hogs are housed in curtained confinement buildings that are
naturally ventilated in the summer and power ventilated in the winter.
The hog nurseries house the piglets from two to seven weeks and are
completely power ventilated. All hogs are raised until 6 months old when
they are then sent off to a packing plant in Indiana.
The family works shorter hours over the weekend, however, the
maintaining of the farm and the livestock is a constant process.
Burns said he is proud of his family's accomplishments and he doesn't
think much about retirement.
Although leisure hours are rare, in his spare time, Burns enjoys
traveling to NASCAR races. He has had the opportunity to work in the
Winston Cup garage during the annual race in Atlanta for the past six
years. Burns has also attended races in Daytona, Bristol and Michigan.

Convicted child rapist gets 40 years
Judge also orders him deemed a sexual predator

By RYAN HORNS
A man who allegedly raped his pre-teen family member several times will
spend the next 40 years in prison.
 Donnie E. Lemaster, 34, of McGuff in Hardin County was sentenced today
by Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott for his crimes.
He was arrested on Oct. 8 for one third-degree felony count of gross
sexual imposition and four first-degree felony counts of rape.
Lemaster sat in court with his legs and hands in shackles, next to his
defense attorney Jeffrey Holtschulte.
According to court files, Lemaster allegedly had sexual contact with a
juvenile girl, referred to in court documents as "Jane Doe," around
August 2001. Files do not state what her relationship is to Lemaster and
how he came to know her. The crime allegedly occurred at his home at 548
North Main Street, lot 283.
The first instance of the sexual assaults occurred during August 2001,
files report, although the prosecution stated that actual sexual
intercourse did not occur at this time.
On numerous other occasions in 2003 between January and August and
during two weeks in September, Lemaster allegedly had sexual intercourse
with the girl at his home. These charges make up the rape counts against
him.
Court documents state that Lemaster "rewarded Jane Doe with money, hair
cuts, ear piercing or compact disks."
Before his sentencing, Lemaster's sexual offender hearing was held.
During the hearing, Parrott ruled Lemaster a sexual predator who will
have to file with Hardin County authorities upon his release. In court,
Parrott told Lemaster that his crimes were serious, considering the age
of the victim and his relationship to the child.
Union County Prosecutor Alison Boggs initially asked the court for the
highest sentence of 45 years. The time stems from a total of three to 10
years and a $20,000 fine for the four rape counts and another one to
five years and a $10,000 fine for the charge of gross sexual imposition.

In response, Holtschulte said both he and his client understood the
seriousness of the rape charges and they would not want to take away
from that. However, he said, Lemaster is 34 years old and the sentence
prosecution recommends "is just extremely harsh."
"A sentence of 45 years, at his age, is a life sentence," he said.
Parrott then handed out a total of nine years in prison on each of the
four first-degree felony rape counts and an additional four years on the
third-degree felony gross sexual imposition count. The time will be
served consecutively, meaning Lemaster will be in jail for the next 40
years.

Voter registration deadline approaching
The deadline for voter registration is 9 p.m. Feb. 2. Qualifications for
registration are that the person be a native born or naturalized citizen
of the United States; a resident of Ohio 30 days immediately prior to
the date of the election; a resident of Union County; and 18 years of
age on or before Nov. 2.
Registration can be done by calling the board at 642-2836 and asking
that forms be mailed or visiting any of the following locations:
 . Board of elections office ? 940 London Ave., suite 1000
 . Marysville Public Library ? 231 S. Plum St. - Monday, Tuesday and
Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
 . Richwood North Union Public Library, 4 Ottawa St. ? Monday through
Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 9
a.m. to 3 p.m.
 . Raymond Public Library ? 21698 Route 347 - Monday, Wednesday and
Friday, 1 to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
 . Bureau of Motor Vehicles ? 940 London Ave., suite 1200 - Monday, 8
a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and
Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon.
Union County registered voters who have changed addresses and or changed
their names within the count should notify the board of elections in
writing or in person by Feb. 17 to avoid delays at the polls.
Questions may be addressed to the office.
Regular office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Extended hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Jan. 20 and 26 and Feb. 2; and 4 to 6
p.m. Jan. 21 and 27.

Survey:  Jerome Twp. residents want growth
By CINDY BRAKE
If a third of Jerome Township's respondents are any reflection of the
majority, they appear happy with their quality of life and are in favor
of growth.
In December approximately 1,055 comprehensive plan surveys were mailed
to township residents and 315 were returned.
The highest percentage of respondents have lived in the township for
less than five years, are part of a two-member household without school
age children or senior citizens. Most are not employed in the township.
When it comes to quality of life, the highest percentage, 43.2 percent,
believe the quality of life in the township is remaining the same, while
32.7 percent said it was declining and 24.1 percent thought it was
improving.
Ironically, growth was the top reason people listed for why the quality
of life is both improving and declining.
Reasons given by those who considered growth as a positive include new
construction, quality housing, more residential growth, more commercial
growth/conveniences and industrial development is relieving the tax
burden on individual homes. The other top reasons were Glacier Ridge
Metro Park, good/improving zoning and building regulations, increasing
property values, water and sewer available in more areas, improved fire
department and new high school.
Individuals who considered growth as a negative listed loss of green
space, new high school, new housing developments, high density housing
and lowering of water table. The other top reasons were traffic, the
political environment of the township, poor planning/lack of direction
for future growth, poor road maintenance, environmental
degradation/pollution and lack of growth.
Responses from those who considered quality of life remaining the same,
the most listed no major changes. Other responses were slower
growth/limited development, political environment of the township, new
metro park, no major utilities available and improved services.
Concerning growth over the next 20 years, moderate growth won out for
residential, commercial and industrial development. The results showed
58 percent for residential; 48.7 percent for commercial and 40.3 percent
for industrial.
To the question about growth, 46.2 percent said the township is growing
at the right pace; 40.4 percent said the township is growing too
quickly; and 13.4 percent said it is growing too slowly.
Concerning annexation to Dublin, Plain City, Marysville and Columbus,
47.6 percent said they were very concerned, 33.7 percent were somewhat
concerned and 18.7 percent were not concerned.
It appears that the majority of respondents have no preference about
where residential growth should be concentrated, while the next highest
response was for it to be evenly distributed throughout the township.
Single family housing is the preferred type of residential development,
with 84.6 percent in favor. Apartments/townhouses were the least
preferred, followed by duplexes/triplexes and condominiums. A third of
the respondents marked not preferred for assisted living.
When asked to list additional types of housing they would like to see in
the township, responses included senior apartments, agri-communities,
patio/cluster homes, conservation development, business/home
combinations, golf course community and HUD housing.
The majority strongly agreed that the size of residential subdivisions
should be controlled, the number of residential subdivisions permitted
in the township should be controlled, homes in subdivisions should be
individualized in style and as subdivisions are developed they should be
designed in a manner to preserve natural resources. More than 46 percent
felt strongly that subdivisions should be placed in areas where central
water and sewer are readily available, while 32.5 percent agreed that
the township should meet the housing needs of the aging population.
The highest percentage (24.8 percent) marked .5-acres are the preferred
average lot size in subdivisions that occur in areas where central water
and sewer services are readily available. Where central water and sewer
services are not readily available, the highest percentage (30.1
percent) were in favor of average lot sizes in subdivisions of one acre.

Concerning businesses, the highest percentage (36.2 percent) said
business growth and development are very important to the future of the
township, while 27.8 percent marked somewhat important.
Most respondents listed the Industrial Parkway corridor/U.S. 33 corridor
as the preferred location for commercial growth. The next highest
response was no preference, followed by major intersections, U.S. 42,
major highways/roads and commercial areas presently concentrated.
The top pick for where industrial growth should be concentrated was
Industrial Parkway/U.S. 33, followed by no preference, U.S. 42, away
from residential development, near existing industry, U.S. 42/33
intersection, Route 161 and toward Marysville.
The majority of respondents strongly agreed that the township should
promote only environmentally friendly businesses and industries (52.1
percent); adopt strict standards regulating the scale of commercial and
office uses (54.1 percent); permanent landscape buffers should be
provided as a separation between non-residential districts (excluding
agricultural) and residential districts (68.1 percent); industrial
development should be required to preserve green space (61 percent); and
commercial and industrial development should be concentrated in areas
with adequate utility services and roadway access (68 percent).
Top concerns center on groundwater resources (61.4 percent), mature tree
stands (57.9 percent) and wildlife corridors (53.2 percent).
The preservation of farmland was very important to 33.9 percent,
followed by 26 percent who marked important and 26 percent who marked
somewhat important. When asked why, the highest number of responses (70)
was to preserve the rural character/country atmosphere. Other comments
in favor of preservation were because it would control growth and
development, farmland is necessary to produce the food we eat and it is
an irreplaceable resource.
Thirty surveys stated that farmers should be able to sell to whomever
they want because the area is changing; it is becoming a more urban
area; and families are unable to make a living farming only. One survey
stated that residents should pay for preservation, while another stated,
"I believe that in our part of the township, the land is best served as
residential development."
Responses to four statements about lot sizes were mixed.
To the statement that smaller average lot sizes should be permitted in
exchange for the permanent preservation of conservation areas - 26.3
percent disagree; 26 percent agree; 23.1 percent strongly disagree; 15
percent were neutral; and 9.7 percent strongly agree.
To the statement that the township should permit development at higher
densities where appropriate - 29.2 percent strongly disagree; 22.3
percent disagree; 22.3 percent agree; 17.3 percent were neutral; and 9
percent strongly agree.
To the statement that a minimum lot size of either 20 or 40 acres should
be established in agricultural preservation areas - 28.9 percent were
neutral; 24.6 percent agree; 18 percent strongly agree; 14.3 percent
disagree; and 14.3 percent strongly disagree.
To the statement that lot size should be a determining factor when
evaluating the appropriateness of residential development - 41.9 percent
strongly agree; 30.8 percent agree; 14 percent were neutral; 7.5 percent
strongly disagree; and 5.9 percent disagree.
The survey also asked for concerns about the conditions of 14 township
roads.
Speed limits were the biggest concerns for Brock, Converse, Crottinger,
Hyland Croy, Jerome, Mitchell Dewitt, Route 736, Taylor and Watkins
California roads. Roadway width was the greatest concern for Weldon and
Wells roads. Pavement condition was the top concern for McKitrick Road,
while roadway congestion received the highest percentage for Industrial
Parkway and U.S. 42.
The highest percentage found road maintenance, snow removal, police
protection and fire protection good; said they didn't know about
cemetery maintenance; and found planning and zoning fair.
Concerning newspaper readership, the highest percentage of respondents
said they read the Columbus Dispatch daily and Dublin News and Dublin
Village as weeklies.
More than 51.2 percent agreed that the township should explore the
feasibility of creating a township-owned and operated central water and
sewer system, while 69.8 percent did not think the township should
explore the feasibility of creating a township police department.
More than 56 percent said the township should not explore the
feasibility of creating a limited home rule government in order to give
the township similar powers as municipalities.
New services or programs suggested include water/sewer (19), leaf pickup
(5), community center/recreation facility (5), bicycle and jogging lanes
along roads (4), mosquito control (3), natural gas service (3),
recycling (3), senior citizen center, housing, outreach, etc. (3),
improved parks (3), community outreach (2), new grocery (2), trash
pick-up (2), better cable TV/broadband (2) and lower property taxes for
senior citizens (2).

Woman sentenced for theft from ball association
By RYAN HORNS
With a tearful apology to her friends and family, a Marysville woman who
pleaded guilty to stealing from a local baseball league explained in
court why she took the money.
Carla Rine, 42, of 989 Lora Lee Rive tearfully told the court that she
never intended to steal the money.
"I did write the checks," she said. "I wrote the checks to pay for
personal bills . I planned on paying that back."
Rine explained further that as soon as her new job started, she planned
to return the money.
Rine was given the minimum sentence of six months in the Ohio
Reformatory for Women Friday afternoon for stealing around $7,000 from
the Marysville Junior Baseball and Softball Association. She was charged
with one fourth-degree felony theft count.
Up until the theft, she reportedly had no prior criminal history.
"It was more than the theft of money," Randy Hellmann, president of
MJBSA said in court. "It was the theft of trust."
He said the association is a non-profit organization geared toward
providing athletic activities to juveniles 6 to 16 years old. The
organization is based upon the trust of volunteers and community
donations in order to work. It is this trust that has been built up over
many years, Hellman said, and it has been violated.
"She didn't just steal some money," Hellmann said. "She stole all of our
money."
He asked the court that Rine never again be allowed to work with the
MJBSA and that she make no contact with the association, including going
to games, throughout 2004.
According to court files, Rine allegedly took money from the association
without consent sometime between July 26 and Sept. 8 this year. Her
husband was reportedly in charge of the association's funds and Rine
admitted she wrote checks out of the account until nothing remained.
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott wanted to make
clear that citizens should hold nothing against her husband.
"I am absolutely convinced that her husband had no knowledge of the
crime," he said, "until after it was discovered the association had no
funds left."
He said the baseball group is a big part of her husband's life and it
should stay that way.
"None of what you have done should be held against him," Parrott told
Rine. "Out of all justice and fairness that should be said."
Defense attorney Michael Streng told the court that since being charged,
his client has paid all the money back except for $972.78. He said she
brought the check to court with her to pay the rest.
Parrott said that it doesn't matter that Rine has since paid the money
back.
"It would be like robbing a bank only to go back later and give it
back," he said.
Parrott said the theft is estimated to have affected up to 3,000
citizens associated with the local league. He also told Rine that he did
not believe she planned to pay it back because in prior testimony she
didn't know how much she had stolen.
"How could you have planned to pay it back when you didn't know how much
you stole?" he asked.
Rine was expected to receive only a sentence of community control but
Parrott said that would be a mistake. Rine reportedly could have faced
up to 18 months in prison.
According to court reports, Union County Prosecutor Alison Boggs and
Streng planned to ask the court for three years on community control and
200 hours of community service work, with a 12 month suspended sentence.

While Parrott said he believes Rine has already suffered enough and that
she is genuinely remorseful, she must be made an example of to others
who might someday commit similar crimes.
"I am very, very sorry to my husband and to the baseball association,"
Rine said tearfully. "I only hope they can find it in their hearts to
forgive me someday."
Streng said Rine has three young children at home and that she has
always tried to teach them right and wrong.
"She realizes that she let them down," he said. "She is very sorry for
what she has done."

Respondents add comments to questionnaire
By CINDY BRAKE
Several of the 315 individuals who returned the Jerome Township
Comprehensive Plan Surveys had plenty to add.
Most of the comments were about township officials and preserving the
area's rural character. Other topics touched on the need to ticket and
remove abandoned cars, clean trashy yards, high taxes, creating a
village-type community, upgrading the water, concerns about exhaust
fumes, enforcing zoning, speed limits, the need for a strict zoning code
to "prevent being run over by vinyl-sided housing," a street sweeper,
concerns about stone quarry expansions and the need for natural gas
lines.
A few comments about preserving the area's rural character include:
. "I am of Native American descent; the Earth and green space are of
great concern to me. This all was Mingo land at one point in history. I
live here to preserve the land and ways of my ancestors. Our tribal
headquarters is here. We have watched the so-called growth. When the
economy is good the newly developed buildings flourish, but when the
economy is bad with fickleness of people. There is a population shift
and the buildings stand abandoned and empty as with the retail space at
Northland, Westland and Eastland. Now is the time to develop innovative
ways that generate revenue without destroying the green grass and trees
with asphalt and concrete, but utilizing what is already here."
. "We moved to Jerome Township to live in a rural low density
environment. If we want to shop we can drive to Marysville or Dublin. We
don't need a Wal-Mart or Kroger down the street. We recognize that some
industrial commercial growth means money for the township and for that
reason it should be allowed, but limited to designated areas. The
township needs an effective mechanism for negotiation with developers in
order to reduce annexation. It needs a zoning code that is sufficiently
detailed that it can be reasonable enforced. Also, some type of building
inspection process needs to be implemented for existing properties to be
maintained.
. "I love living here. I want to keep as much of the country feeling as
possible. Large housing developments would ruin this."
. "I would love to see Jerome Township preserve its rural character.
That is why we moved here 16 years ago (into an existing older home with
five acres). I realize that growth is inevitable, but it can still be
controlled. I have had to live without water and sewer in order to live
in the country. It can be expensive and a hassle to treat our water and
maintain our septic system, but in the long run it is worth it to not
live in the middle of a crowded city. I feel safer on my property, not
being surrounded by hundreds of homes. I read the crime reports in the
Dublin papers and see the amount of small crime that takes place in the
subdivisions, mainly theft. I would gladly live without some
conveniences and wait longer for my road to be cleared of snow, in order
to live in a rural area. That's what we choose...."
. "I moved to the area because of the rural atmosphere. I am really
concerned about over development and do not want this most of all. New
residential area should have larger lot sizes, three or more acres to
preserve the rural/country feel and standard of living."
. "Jerome township is growing too fast and allowing Dublin to rule."
. "I moved to Jerome Township for breathing space. It would be very
disappointing to see it evolve into Dominion or M/I developments and
cheap apartment complexes and condos. While it is somewhat disappointing
that water and sewage doesn't look likely in the near future, it is a
small price to pay for the rural atmosphere that Jerome offers. I ask
that we exercise restraint when considering growth in our township. Our
present character is what makes us unique. This includes the parks,
trails and low amount of traffic in the region."
A few comments about officials include:
. "If the township trustees and zoning board did the job they are
supposed to do, much of this survey would not be necessary.
Unfortunately, they often follow their own agendas, ignoring the wishes
of their constituency."
. "Residents should be allowed to voice opinions at township meetings
without being silenced when not agreeing with certain trustees or their
supporters. Those in authority should not dictate who can speak or not
speak. Officials are voted in by the very civil-minded people who take
the time to vote. Contrary to this is dictatorship."
. "Please stop the circus show at the trustee meetings. Go there. Get
things done. Do the right/fair thing to all parties. Go home. Let it go.
All three trustees need to get a book and read it on emotional
intelligence. We are on the outskirts of a massive land hungry city.
They are going to eat us up. We need to look at other townships that
have already gone through this and see the results so we can decide how
to go forward. My solution is this: On our southwest wall, build up
commercial and residential developments to serve as a wall to keep
Columbus out. also, contact all large acre parcel owners and let them
know when the time comes Jerome will let them develop their land and do
not annex to Columbus or Dublin. Also keep in mind the township doesn't
own the land, people do. They have worked very hard to buy and keep
their land. They work hard to pay their taxes."
. "The trustees need to work together with less fighting among them."
. "Trustees need to work together for the good of the township, putting
personal differences aside. All the infighting has made Jerome Township
a joke."
. Stop video taping those who attend trustee meetings and allow for free
and open discussions. No employment of legal council without vote of all
residents."
. "Do away with the township trustees. We have another New Rome...."
. "The scariest part of living here is the out of control township
meetings. It is an embarrassment to live here when the front page of the
Tribune describes the chaos and lack of cooperating among the trustees.
My children have better skills cooperating in a group than they
exhibit."
. "The current township trustees cannot get anything done. They lack
respect for township citizens and thwart their input. Ignorance,
arrogance and continuous activities are the hallmark of meetings and
Jerome township is regularly denigrated on the front page of the
Marysville newspaper. While they have arguments about whether to fog for
mosquitoes, the city of Dublin has steadily annexed land and are within
50 yards of our property. We need informed leadership and a planning
process. We are disgusted with these trustees and only hope that
reasonable educated people will not be deterred from running in the
future because of the present outrageous state of affairs."

Update given on reservoir project
Costs more than double original projections
By RYAN HORNS
About 50 curious people came to hear an update Wednesday morning on the
proposed water storage reservoir slated for construction off the west
side of Raymond Road.
Residents near the site reportedly walked away with confidence that
their properties will be spared by developers Gannett Fleming out of
Westerville.
"I'd seen most of this before," said Bob Bowen, a land owner near the
site. "But I felt a little better about it from what they said."
Bowen said the main issue is how the reservoir will affect drainage off
nearby properties. He said the area is prone to flooding. Other concerns
raised during the meeting centered on how the surrounding environment
will be affected.
According to Gannett Fleming spokesman Mitch Weber, the group plans to
begin construction in the spring of 2005 and will complete the project
around 2007. The cost is currently expected to be $8 million for the
above ground reservoir and another $8-9 million for the dam, intake
system, pump stations and pipelines.
Councilman Dan Fogt reported that this figure is "much higher than the
original estimate when the land was purchased in 1999. It is even higher
now than when they made a presentation to Council several months ago."
Marysville city engineer Phil Roush said the cost for the whole project
was originally expected to be $8.8 million but that was before all the
details had been researched.
The discussion on the reservoir was held during the Bokes/Mill Creek
Watershed Partnership regular meeting. The group is a watchdog for water
quality within the watershed and members encouraged everyone to keep
coming to their regular meetings. The next one is set for Feb. 11 at
9:15 a.m.
Weber said the reservoir is needed because the population in Marysville
increased 65 percent from 1990 to 2000, according to census results. The
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission expects the local population to
increase another 77 percent by 2020.
"We're focused on taking Marysville to 2020," Weber said.
He said the reservoir is a 1.4-billion-gallon project on a 180-acre
site. It will consist of the reservoir, an inflatable dam in Mill Creek
and a pump station. The reservoir will be surrounded by a 35- to
50-foot-high embankment covered in grass. Examples of how it may look
can be seen at the Alum Creek or Bucyrus reservoirs.
The inflatable creek dam is proposed to be located about 1,500 feet
south of the ball diamonds and soccer area near Mill Valley Elementary
School. When fully inflated, it would be 4.5 feet high and would not
force water out of the present creek bed. When deflated, it would allow
the Creek to flow normally. The pump station will take water from Mill
Creek to the reservoir and is proposed to be located near the dam and
east of the trail.
All pipes will be underground. A resident wondered if those pipes were
going to go through private property, as an earlier design had showed.
Weber said they would not, as pipes are now following the tree line
along the creek. There will be no clear cutting of large areas, he said.
Trees will be cut only where the pump station and dam will be. In
addition, the reservoir will not be built in wetlands areas on Raymond
Road, as residents initially worried.
Strict environmental permits set up by the Ohio EPA, the county and the
Ohio Department of Natural Resources will not let work begin until
engineers can prove the affects on local wildlife and property will be
slight, Weber said.
"We can't move one shovel of dirt until we have permits in hand," he
said. Gannett Fleming is entering into final design stages for the
project and is about 50 percent through the permit process.
Regarding flooding in the area, Weber reported that the Mill Creek dam
project will neither cause nor alleviate flooding. He said the reservoir
will not affect neighborhood wells and won't impede the migration of
wildlife.
One man asked that the city and Gannett Fleming try to work with
landowners around the projects on a personal level.
"I have no reason not to do that," Weber said.
He told them if any landowners could give him their contact information
he would come to their homes and talk about it at their convenience. He
said it is illegal for construction workers to put dirt or any materials
on neighborhood properties and if that occurs, the city should be
contacted.
Roush said that if any landowners have issues, they can call his office
in city hall at 642-6015 or the office of public service director Tracie
Davies at 642-0116.

Common pleas court sees record number of cases
From J-T staff reports:
More cases were filed with the Union County Clerk of Common Pleas Court
in 2003 than in any other recent year, reports Union County Common Pleas
Judge Richard E. Parrott in his annual report.
The Union County Common Pleas Court reports a record number of criminal
and civil cases, as well as divorces, dissolutions and domestic reopens
for purposes of changes or custody, visitation and/or support during
2003.
Topping the list were civil cases, including foreclosures, with 471
filings. That compares to 333 in 2002; 295 in 2001 and 236 in 1000.
The next most frequent number of cases filed were new divorce and
dissolution at 278, also a new high. The most recent high was in 2000
with 273 new cases filed.
The 2003 calendar year ended with 150 criminal felony cases, up from 147
in 2002 and 124 in 2001. From 1995 to 2000, the number of criminal
felony cases rarely topped 100. Parrott reports that this number does
not include extradition cases arising out of and from the Ohio
Reformatory for Women.
Domestic reopen cases, for purposes of changes of custody, visitation
and/or support also increased significantly to 170, up from 165 in 2002
and 123 in 2001.  Parrott states that this number does not include
administrative changes of support or agreed entries needing court
approval.
The total pending caseload of civil and criminal cases pending in the
county as of Dec. 31 was 215, as opposed to 193 in 2001 and 173 in 2002.
The pending domestic relations caseload at year end is 103.
"I do not believe that anyone can level criticism that the Union County
Common Pleas Court caseload is not kept active and moving," Parrott
stated in his written report. "... if the parties want a bench or jury
trial within 60 days, one can get it in Union County simply by jointly
making the request."
Throughout 2003, Parrott served in six other counties.
A mediation program, began in 1998, resulted in the successful
conclusion of civil cases without jury or bench trial at almost 81
percent.
"We are finding the parties much more satisfied with the court and their
own situations," Parrott said.
Mediation is being expanded beyond filing suit and at no cost by simply
making a request.
Concerning the West Central Community Based Correctional Facility,
Parrott said, "I am already using far more than the spaces allocated to
Union County. We still need a facility where we can send women in need
of a CBCF and this is being solved by the state grant of funds for a
50-bed facility and an additional 32 beds for men."
While the state has authorized the capital funding for the WCCBCF
expansion, Parrott said no operating money is available at present.
"Our board has determined that we will go ahead with the capital
project," Parrott said.
Since 1999 with the acquisition of federal funding, the local court has
entered into a contract with the Child Support Enforcement Agency to
provide a magistrate. Parrott points out that funds expended for the
magistrate are less than the total income.
Night court began once a month in Richwood and Plain City and was
expanded to Marysville two years ago.

Parents get taste of testing
Fourth grade questions are no walk in the park

By JUDY BOEHLER
Synonyms, antonyms, homophones, homonyms and homographs.
Simple, compound and complex sentences.
Tables, bar graphs, line plots and line graphs.
These are just a fraction of the facts and concepts fourth graders are
expected to know, according to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).
Tuesday night, a group of fourth grade parents met at Edgewood
Elementary School to learn more about the test their fourth graders will
take in March.
The parents also had the opportunity to take a small portion of last
year's test. One of the questions was "Keesha scored 39 points in a
game. The high score was 92. Estimate the difference using rounding."
The answer choices were 50 points, 60 points or 130 points. The correct
answer is 50.
Another series of questions related to information contained in a short
reading.
Other questions require the student to explain a math answer in
narrative form. Kip Bisignano, a math consultant for ODE who was at the
school to present the program, said those answers are graded very
liberally. He said that as long as the numbers are correct, it doesn't
matter how the child explains it.
Edgewood principal Colene Tracey put the testing prospect into
perspective. She said her times of greatest stress when it came to
taking tests was when she was an undergraduate at Ohio State. At the end
of each quarter, she said, she faced three or four tests which lasted
from 60 to 90 minutes and were taken over a period of one to three days.

In comparison, Tracey said, fourth graders in the state of Ohio will
take five tests lasting two and one half hours each between March 8 and
17.
"We're asking a lot of these 10-year-old kids," she said.
Edgewood's fourth grade teachers told the parents that the proficiency
tests are not pass or fail exams but rather are guidelines to show which
children need help in which subjects.
"I tell my children the tests tell me what I should be working on with
them," one teacher said.
Another said practice tests are given throughout the school year and
when the actual testing is given, it should be just a continuation of
everyday work.
Bisignano explained Ohio's testing program in relation to the federal No
Child Left Behind Act, or the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
(ESEA), which requires that 100 percent of students must meet
grade-level requirements by the 2013-14 school year in reading and math.

To accomplish that, the state of Ohio is initiating a new series of
reading and math tests which will be given in fifth through eighth
grades and the Ninth Grade Proficiency Test is being replaced by the
Ohio Graduation Test to be first administered in the 10th grade.
Pre-kindergartners will be tested to see if they are ready for
advancement and children in kindergarten through grade two will be given
diagnostic tests.
Bisignano said there is only one measure of accomplishment: Is every
child learning? He said a big part of the ESEA is local control for
local challenges, leaving each state to develop its own testing based on
its own needs. Federal funds will be made available and one component of
the ESEA is teacher training.
One of Ohio's initiatives is to close the achievement gap between
minorities and non-minorities, wealthy and poor, male and female and
handicapped and non-handicapped.
Bisignano told the parents that, aside from helping their children with
their studies, there are other ways they can help. He said parents are
needed to work on the committees that develop the content of Ohio's
tests. For example, he said, one committee decided that the word
"backyard" should not be used in a question because many city children
live in apartments and do not have backyards.
ODE's website, www.OhioAcademicStandards.com., with links to test
results, teacher certification and resource materials.

To search for drugs, police lock down schools
By RYAN HORNS
While drug searches are a touchy subject with some parents, Marysville
school superintendent Larry Zimmerman said that results show that the
shakedowns seem to be working.
Searches have been ongoing over the past several years and occur about
once a month, he said.
Despite the positive results, some parents reportedly complained Friday
morning after they were unable to drop their children off at either
Marysville Middle School or the high school.
From 8:30 a.m. to around 9:15 a.m. the schools were under an
administrative and police-issued lock down. Motorist were told by a
police officer to turn around.
The inspection on Friday morning was pretty standard, Zimmerman said.
The only difference was that they searched the two schools at the same
time.
The result meant that the searches may have caused more of a commotion
than usual. Parents may have come to the wrong conclusion of what was
actually going on.
Assistant police chief Glenn Nicol reported this morning that no charges
have been filed against students from Friday's search. He said dogs
trained to find illegal drugs did make some "hits," meaning they smelled
remnants of drugs in certain areas.
"But no illegal substances were found," he said. "It basically means
that if you had smoked a marijuana cigarette on the way to work one
morning the dogs would detect in on your clothing or bags."
Marysville police chief Eugene Mayer said parking lots to the school
were blocked for 45 minutes, while officers prevented anyone from coming
in or exiting the property. Parents trying to get to work on time put in
calls to the front office or waited outside the parking lots.
Book bags, lockers, classrooms and vehicles in the parking lot are all
fair game, Zimmerman said. Police bring in canine units to sniff out the
location of illegal drugs on school property.
Mayer said six dogs were used to patrol the schools on Friday. During
the lock downs students are asked to go into the hallway while the rooms
are searched.
"There were a couple indications," Mayer said, about the dogs picking up
illegal scents. "And they are being investigated by the school resource
officers."
Zimmerman said searches will occur occasionally and schools are picked
at random.
"Once we go into a lock down situation no one is allowed in or out," he
said. "It's pretty standard. You don't want anyone leaving or entering
the site. The main reason is that it creates manpower issues .we have no
other choice. If you allow any movement, you might as well not do the
search."
Zimmerman said there are two things he is concerned about when doing the
lock downs. The first is that the schools are kept drug free and the
second is that students are treated well when the searches are going on.

He said he apologizes to parents and students inconvenienced during the
inspections but, he said, the searches must be done in order to keep the
schools focused on education instead of fighting crime.
"Are there drugs in the community? Yes," Zimmerman said. "But we don't
want them in our schools"

Chapman family roots run deep in Union County
Editor's note: This is the second installment of a continuing series of
stories highlighting multi-generational family businesses in Union
County.
The Bob Chapman Ford family has participated in the development and
economic success of Union, Madison and Franklin counties since the mid
1800s.
The family has been major supporters to non-profit organizations, local
businesses and community endeavors throughout the 90 years of success.
The Chapmans have been among the first doctors, dentists and Ford
dealers in Union, Madison and Franklin counties, respectively. They have
influenced this area for more than 200 years with great visionaries such
as Dr. Albert Chapman (Albert Chapman Elementary - Dublin), Dr. Calvin
Robinson (Plain City Dentist) and Robert Evans Chapman (entrepreneur).
In 1913 George Butler Chapman, a local grocer, acquired the Ford
franchise and began selling and servicing Model Ts along with other
vehicle needs. He began his venture in a small, dusty garage on Main
Street in downtown Plain City with roughly six employees. At that time
cars would arrive in railroad containers and the dealers would assemble
the cars themselves. If the dealer needed a part he would make it
himself.
The car business was just beginning for the Chapmans.
The entrepreneurial spirit of the business caught the attention of
George's son, Robert Evans Chapman, known to local residents as Bob Sr.
He had an untamed passion for business and took to selling cars
naturally. In 1936, Bob Sr. acquired the Ford store from his father. His
ability to be an operator was instinctive. Over the course of his career
he branched off from the Ford business by adding Firestone, Chrysler,
motorhome manufacturing, aviation training and sales and a couple of
Taco Bell restaurants to his business portfolio.
In 1978 the Chapman family moved the Ford agency to 1255 Columbus Avenue
in Marysville. A few years prior, Robert "Bobby" Goodrich Chapman had
returned from California, having worked for Hughes Aircraft. He was an
Ohio State engineering graduate and had grown up in the business. At one
point he was the top mechanic for the business. His financial strategies
allowed the business to weather tough times of the 80s and he continues
to invent new efficiencies in the day-to-day operations.
He most recently found a passion for racing in the SCCA club and has
become a true champion in the sport.
In 1999 Joseph "Joe" Butler Chapman, the son of Bobby Chapman, returned
from college after studying finance and business management. He too has
grown up in the business and has had experience within each department,
eventually landing in sales.
At 27, he is the fourth generation of Chapmans in the car business and
has a bright future ahead of him. He recently acquired his pilot's
license and flies as much as possible.
Today Bob Sr., Bobby and Joe work together at the dealership each day.
They are all private pilots and enjoy keeping life fun. Whether it is
selling cars, flying planes or watching Bobby bring home the checkered
flag at Midohio Raceway, they are always together and smiling.

Triad brings suit on firm
District claims architectural company assessed building needs
incorrectly
By CORINNE BIX
The Triad School Board, at Monday's meeting, authorized the law firm of
Bricker and Eckler to file suit against the architectural firm that
assessed the Triad school buildings for the Ohio School Facilities
Commission (OSFC).
The suit will be filed today in Champaign county. The board adjourned
into executive session before approving the authorization to file suit.
After the meeting adjourned, superintendent Steve Johnson explained the
reasoning behind the legal action.
"It cost several million dollars more to renovate the current elementary
and middle school buildings then what was originally assessed," he said.

In 1999, an original assessment of $16 million was given to the school
district. The numbers generated from this assessment dictated the amount
of the levy put on the ballot in November 1999 to cover the renovation
of existing buildings and the construction of the current high school.
After the issue was passed, the OFSC came back to inform the district of
other costs not accounted for in the original assessment. These added
items totaling more than $3 million dollars included on-site sewage
treatment, fire protection, a sanitary piping upgrade, propane gas
service loop and improvement of site circulation. These additions forced
the school district to have to borrow money to allow for necessary
funding not addressed in the original assessment.
In other board news, the members discussed issues with Champaign
Landmark in regard to the district-owned fuel tank. Water was found in
the tank and the district paid more than $2,000 to replace bus fuel
filters. The cause of the water in the tank is unknown. Champaign
Landmark said it could be the district's problem in that water
condensation gathered in the tank. Board members found this unlikely,
given that two inches of water were found in the 6,000-gallon tank.
Board members also suggested looking into other fuel suppliers.
The district is starting to delay payment on some bills due to the lack
of funds. Williams said the district has only around $458,000 dollars in
reserve and would like to keep these funds available for as long as
possible. Treasurer Jill Williams explained to the board that she would
be putting some bills on hold and asking for an advance on the
district's real estate tax money in February to help ease the financial
situation.
The school district's advisory council will meet Wednesday to continue
discussions of the upcoming levy campaign. Johnson is also putting
together a detailed newsletter to be sent to all district residents
explaining the logistics behind the levy campaign.
The school board approved a resolution authorizing settlement agreement
with Harleysville Ins. Co. in the amount of $11,000. These funds will
cover the legal fees charged to the district last year connected to the
Badger Excavating litigation with Chem Cote Asphalt. Both Badger and
Chem Cote were contractors for the district. Triad was pulled into the
lawsuit and sought payment of legal fees.
The next board meeting will be Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.
In an organizational meeting held before the regular school board
meeting, members elected Rick Smith as board president and Jim Reid as
vice president.


Kruse makes first appointment
Former school principal is tapped as director of administration
By RYAN HORNS
This morning in his office at city hall, Marysville mayor Tom Kruse
announced Kathy House as his new city administrator.
House is the former principal of Trinity Lutheran School who resigned at
the end of the last school year.
The reasoning behind choosing a professional associated with a local
school system, Kruse said, was based on certain criteria he held for the
role. He was interested in finding someone who shared similar beliefs
and goals for the city. He found that person in House.
"You cannot be a principal of a school for a number of years and not be
able to work well with employees and understand how to treat them
fairly," Kruse said, "You can't run something as demanding as a school
without having significant management skills."
It was the combination of her public relations and administrative
experience that made her an obvious choice, he said.
Regarding the rest of Kruse's administrative council, he would not
comment in detail on what other changes he plans to make. In an
interview after winning the election, he had stated he would have his
staff chosen before taking office.
Kruse was also asked to comment on the future of his parks and
recreation staff, his financial department and who will replace police
Chief Eugene Mayer after his retirement later this year.
"Everything is under review," he said. "By and large I am pretty
satisfied with the people in those positions. There may be one or two
changes yet."
He said if there are changes it will be because those positions are
discontinued. It would not be because he is disappointed in their
services.
Regarding who will fill Mayer's spot after his retirement, Kruse said
specifically that assistant police chief Glen Nichol "certainly has the
edge. I know him better than anyone else."
He said he will accept and look over all applications that come in.
Kruse said he expects to make announcements on any changes in his staff
"probably in the next two or three weeks."
As for why House decided to make the switch from the school system to
city management, she said that since her resignation from Trinity
Lutheran School she has been focusing on her family as a stay-at-home
mother. She reportedly resigned because she would have liked to see the
school head in another direction than it was currently headed.
However, she said, now with her children in school and plenty of time on
her hands, she was looking for other ways to challenge her professional
skills.
"Then the mayor ended up on my doorstep after the first of the year and
asked me," she said.
House explained that as a former principal she does not come from a
history of experience in government. She said her top priority in life
is learning and she feels the process of discovering city management
will come quickly to her.
"A school is really a microcosm of every facet of life," she explained.
House said Marysville is her home and she has lived inside the city for
the past 22 years. She intends to work with Kruse on repairing streets
and solving "the most glaring" proble"s on their list.
"It will be exciting to work with him' House said. "I think he is a man
with principles."
"One of my goals was to heal up some of the wounds and scars the city
has experienced over the last few years," Kruse said. "I think Kathy has
the ability to do that."
House is currently not under contract for any specific length of time,
he reported. She will be his administrator until it is deemed
unfavorable to both of them.
Council will vote on the appointment on Jan. 22.
Her salary will reportedly be $70,000, which he admitted was slightly
less than what was set aside in the budget for the job.


Fairbanks offers contract  to Craycraft as superintendent
BY JUDY BOEHLER
Fairbanks interim superintendent Jim Craycraft has been hired as
superintendent under a 3 1/2-year contract. Craycraft, who has been with
the district since early August, replaced Steve Weller who had been
there 19 years.
Craycraft is a graduate of Capital University and holds a master's
degree in education administration from the University of Dayton. He was
an educational consultant in Richland County, principal at Plymouth
Local Schools, superintendent at Ridgedale Local Schools and Tri-Rivers
JVSD and interim superintendent at Mount Gilead.
Craycraft holds a part-time position as coordinator of continuing
education at OSU Marion. His salary at Fairbanks will be $91,209 per
year.
The board continued its discussion of open enrollment. Craycraft said
that 17 students have left the school district since August, costing the
district $85,000 in State Foundation money. With the new Dublin high
school and Jonathan Alder planning to participate in open enrollment,
Craycraft said, Fairbanks has no option but to take that same path to
try to make up for those lost students and funding.
Craycraft said he is soliciting input from staff and the community and
he proposes a marketing plan to attract students into the district. In
the meantime, he presented the board with a sample open enrollment
policy. He recommended that the board make a decision and vote on the
topic at the May meeting.
Before the regular meeting, the board held its organizational meeting
for 2004. Treasurer Aaron Johnson administered the oath of office to
Sherry Shoots who was elected to the board in November and the board
established its regular meeting time as 7:30 p.m. the third Monday of
the month. Kevin Green will serve as president and Alan Phelps as vice
president for the year.
The board also authorized the superintendent to employ temporary
personnel as needed in emergency situations and to serve as the
purchasing agent for the school district.
Johnson was authorized to secure advances from the county auditor;
invest funds when available; to pay bills within the limits of the
appropriations resolution; and maintain and operate all accounts held at
banks. The board approved the revenue estimates for FY 2004-05.
In regular session, the board:
 . Approved Courtney Nicol and Tetyana Eads as substitute teachers.
 . Approved participation in the Ohio School Boards Association 2004
Workers Compensation Group Rating Program.
 . Approved the Athletic Boosters, Music Boosters and Touchdown Club as
eligible adult organized groups that function for the sole purpose of
giving support of official school programs.
 . Heard first reading of a list of books for the media center.

Richwood moves to expand enterprise zone
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
The Village of Richwood has opened its arms to businesses and now it's
opening its boundaries.
The village council voted unanimously Monday to approve a new boundary
for the enterprise zone serving the municipality. Enterprise zones
within municipalities allow them to offer prospective businesses a 75
percent tax rebate for 10 years.
Rumors of a new business planning to move into the village industrial
park have led village and county officials to step up efforts to offer
the company a lucrative deal. Village officials seem extremely confident
that the company will commit to build in Richwood.
While Richwood has had an enterprise zone for many years, it has not
grown with the village. When the village annexed land in 1990 the
enterprise zone was not expanded to include the additional land.
As such, the land currently set aside for the Richwood Industrial Park
off Tawa Road does not lie within the enterprise zone and is not subject
to the  tax incentive. In fact, new businesses in the annexed land would
be subject to no tax abatement.
The entire township of Claibourne is an enterprise zone but the tax
relief is available at two levels. New businesses within the village
boundaries could receive the 75 percent abatement, while land outside
Richwood would receive a 65 percent 10-year abatement.
But because the village expanded without redrawing the enterprise zone
lines, the newly-taken-in village land would be subject to no tax break.

Because of this, Eric Phillips, CEO of the Union County Economic
Development Department, is working to redraw the village enterprise zone
to include the industrial park and the site of a new North Union
Elementary School near the existing high school.
The council approved the move 6-0 and, later Monday night, the North
Union School Board passed a resolution in support of the expanded
enterprise zone.
Phillips said the issue will go before the Union County Commissioners
Thursday for approval. If that passes, the measure will go on to the
state where it will require action within 60 days.
Council also learned from village solicitor Rick Rodger that two tax
levies for the March ballot have been corrected.
In December, the council voted to put a 1-mill five-year park levy
renewal and a 3.2-mill five-year operating renewal on the ballot. Those
levies were submitted to the Union County Board of Elections as
replacements, meaning they would generate more money because current
property values would be factored into the equation.
Rodger said county auditor Mary Snider certified the paperwork Monday
and it will be turned into the board of elections today.
In other business, council:
. Learned that the Richwood post of the VFW will celebrate its 25th
anniversary on Jan. 18.
. Elected Peg Wiley as council president for the coming year.
. Signed off on plans for phase III of the water line improvement
project.
. Learned that the Hastings Street issue which went to court recently
has been resolved. The three involved parties will share the land as a
common driveway.
. Learned from Rodger that the village traffic codes need to be reworked
to comply with changes in the state code.
. Voted 6-0 to approve increasing the retainage for the Regional Income
Tax Authority. Village financial officer Don Jolliff said the costs for
the company have been running in excess of the 3 percent retainer,
causing the village to experience a lump sum payment. Council voted to
increase the retainer to 5 percent.
. Learned from council member George Showalter of a problem with the
physical description of a piece of land near Richwood Park that was
recently donated to the village. Apparently the pins marking the
property do not match the map descriptions.
. Voted 6-0 to increase the rental fee for park shelter houses from $25
to $35.
. Learned that residents are still putting trash in village trash cans
in the downtown area. It was noted that this is against the law.
. Heard mayor Bill Nibert state that he wants to see bids solicited to
fix the doors, windows and wiring at the village hall.

Plain City man survives crash with train
From J-T staff reports:
"Well, I'm alive," Rick Baker said this morning from his hospital bed in
Grant Medical Hospital.
The Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reportedly
investigating an injury crash involving Baker's GMC 1500 suburban and a
CSX train. The crash reportedly occurred Saturday at 10:10 a.m. on
Taylor Road, west of Crottinger Road in Union County.
Reports state that Baker, 48, of Plain City was traveling westbound on
Taylor Road and failed to yield the right of way. As a result, his
vehicle was struck by a southbound train. Once hit, the vehicle
continued off the left side of Taylor Road, went through a guardrail and
overturned.
Baker was found trapped inside his vehicle with his legs pinned when
medical crews arrived. He was transported by MedFlight to Grant Hospital
for his injuries.
This morning Baker said he does not remember much about the accident.
"I just remember a bunch of people looking over me," he said.
A condition report was not available from the Grant Hospital medical
staff. Baker said he was roughed up in the accident but did not break
any bones.
He denies reports that he was attempting to out-run the train. Police
reports do not report that as the cause.

Poland enjoys digging into history of Civil War
Editor's note: This is the second installment of the second series of
Six Degrees of Separation. The idea of the series is to interview a
person and then have that individuals suggest an interesting subject for
the next story.
By CORINNE BIX
Randy Poland has been a history buff for as long as he can remember.
For the last several years Poland, 52, has researched the history of
local Civil War veterans.
He grew up on a farm on U.S. 36 and can remember finding Native American
artifacts and arrowheads on the family land as a child. Throughout
school, Poland said. he was always drawn to history lessons and became
particularly interested in the Civil War as he got older.
"It (Civil War) had such a dramatic change on what the United States is
now," Poland said.
Poland's roots in the Civil War link back to veterans in his own family.
He relates the story of ancestors on his mother's side, the Church
brothers. Of the four brothers, one joined the Union army and the other
three fought for the Confederacy.
"Unbeknownst to them, they fought each other at the battle of Cedar
Mountain and one of the boys was killed," Poland said. "It divided the
family and is an example of a firsthand account of brother against
brother in the Civil War."
Currently, Poland and a friend are attempting to log every Union County
Civil War veteran's gravesite in addition to researching information on
their personal history.
Poland explains that his passion for this process comes from a desire to
have the stories of the Civil War veterans told.
"There is no place you can go to find out what the common everyday
soldier went through because so many of the accounts were never written
down," Poland said. "Every soldier has a story and there is so much to
learn."
In May of 2003 Poland helped to re-dedicate the Civil War monument in
Milford Center. The monument, located in the Union Township Cemetery,
was originally dedicated in May of 1873 and is one of the oldest in the
state.
Poland served as vice-chairman of the monument committee that worked for
a year to restore the  memorial. The monument was sent to a company in
Columbus that specializes in restoration and the piece was completely
resurfaced. Many of the words and adornments were re-cut or
re-constructed by hand.
He said working on the committee was a labor of love because everyone
involved was so dedicated to the cause. The monument stands 17 1/2 feet
tall and is made of Vermont marble. The names of 39 Union Township
soldiers who lost their lives in the Civil War are engraved on the
monument.
Poland said his hope is that his Civil War findings will be passed on to
his children. He and his family have spent many vacations visiting Civil
War battlegrounds in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia,
Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri.
Poland works in construction consulting. He lives with his wife Cindy
and youngest daughter Ashley. He and his wife also have two older
daughters, Heather and Sarah.

City council shows support for URE
Appears ready to vote for electric company to service Coleman's Crossing

By RYAN HORNS
Marysville City Council has its cross-hairs on Dayton Power and Light
and would like to offer citizens a choice for their electrical services.
At Thursday night's city council meeting vice president John Gore spoke
on an ordinance he sponsored attempting to amend city code to allow
Union Rural Electric Cooperative Inc. to provide electrical services in
DP&L territory.
URE spokesman Roger Yoder said the whole concept of offering citizens a
choice came from the Coleman's Crossing project on seven parcels of land
situated between East Fifth Street, U.S. 33 and the edge of Columbus
Avenue. He said developers specifically requested service by URE.
Yoder said it made sense in this case because URE services would be more
susceptible for hook-up because of their location. However, he said,
according to a 1977 territorial act, gas and electric service providers
got together and mutually agreed on set service areas to prevent
competition.
"I didn't think we could do it," Yoder said.
 But after the law was looked at by lawyers, he said, they determined
the city's contracts with DP&L were "not exclusive agreements."
According to the ordinance language, on Feb. 25, 1988, Marysville
granted a franchise to URE to construct, operate and maintain electric
facilities within portions of the city.
"It is in the best interests of the city to encourage the economic
development and to permit competition between such franchises for
electric service to the land area described in this ordinance," the
ordinance states.
Yoder said the same situation happened in Dublin when a development was
set for construction in the northern end of the city. That area was in
Ohio Edison territory and developers wanted nearby services from AEP. In
the end, AEP was given the green light to provide services.
Gore said that during his time on council he has been very disappointed
with DP&L and the lack of service they provide. He said the city clerk
has documented complaints received from citizens about the quality of
service they receive.
"I feel they deserted this community when they moved out," Gore said.
In contrast, he said, URE is very active in the community.
"Union Rural Electric is located in the city and provides good
services," he said. "They believe in Marysville."
Yoder said all the legislation before council will do is offer citizens
a choice. He said not every service is perfect.
"Even we get complaints," he said. "But it's just easier in this case."
URE Vice President of Business Development Nicholas Shortell wrote in a
letter presented inside the ordinance that when a city opens up
competition if could help or harm either electric service.
"Someday the shoe could be on the other foot," he wrote. "(URE) could
find itself in a position where it holds a franchise to serve within a
municipality but the municipality for some reason has granted a
franchise to another electric supplier and the customer may desire to
take service from that other electric supplier."
Shortell also stated that offering service to the Coleman's Crossing
development should not be construed as a recommendation for "wholesale
efforts to take customers within the certified territory of another
electric supplier."
"The intent is not to turn everything over to URE," Gore clarified
Friday morning. "But I think the city deserves better service than what
we are receiving from DP&L."
If the legislation is passed by council, Gore said, the issue will then
go before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for a final decision.

One judge will remain on Tri-County Jail board
By RYAN HORNS
Not all county judges on the Tri-County Corrections Commission have
decided to resign.
Before Thursday's monthly meeting, jail director Dan Bratka reported
that Champaign County judge Roger Wilson has decided to remain on the
jail commission.
The decision comes as a surprise after both Madison County Judge Robert
Nichols and Union County Judge Richard Parrott resigned on Dec. 18 after
they learned that being on the jail commission was considered unethical
by the Ohio Judicial Conference.
Bratka and Champaign County Sheriff David Deskins reported that they
heard Wilson had viewed the judicial opinion in another light.
"He is going by the Ohio Judicial Board memo that was sent out, which
told judges 'don't resign until we get this worked out'," Bratka said.
He added that he asked Parrott and Nichols if they were sticking to
their resignation despite the memo and they reported they were.
In fact, Bratka said, Parrott had even requested to stop receiving the
jail board minutes.
Wilson has not been able to attend the past two jail commission meetings
due to his current court docket but is expected back at the February
meeting.
In other topics discussed, the jail commission voted to adopt a final
2004 budget. No significant changes had been made in the budget since
their last report. Members had decided to go with a temporary budget in
lieu of a pending medical services proposal from Memorial Hospital of
Union County.
Union County commissioner Gary Lee reported that he and Bratka will hold
a closed-door meeting with the hospital's new CEO, Olas "Chip" A. Hubbs,
Jan. 20. Lee said the intent is to go over their proposal with hospital
staff in order to have the details ironed out before the jail board's
February meeting. At that time, the proposal will be placed before the
commission for approval.
Memorial Hospital will offer increased accountability concerning future
medical bills. Their next step will be to arrange for private medical
transportation from the jail to the hospital.
Looking over the final 2004 budget, Lee commented that the jail
commission should "strive not to have a 10 percent increase in the
budget in 2004."
Madison County commissioner David Dhume said the commission has always
tried to watch costs but sometimes unforeseen expenses jump up, such as
medical costs.
"It is out of our hands in a lot of areas," Champaign County
commissioner Bob Corbett agreed.
Concerning the jail commission's inmate overages, the 2003 fourth
quarter bill was handed out at the meeting. The results of the bill
were:
. Union County owes $674 and will be paid back $82,321.49
. Madison County owes $12,780 and will be paid back $32,724.33
. Champaign County owes $103,410 and will be paid back $1,819.18

City begins to mend fences
Marysville restores money to economic development department
By RYAN HORNS
Mayor Tom Kruse's first action of the New Year creating support for
Marysville's Economic Development Department.
The first reading of a resolution was held at Thursday night's city
council meeting to re-establish contracts with the Union County Chamber
of Commerce to provide economic development services and to establish
economic development offices.
In the 2004 budget, as presented by former mayor Steve Lowe, funding for
economic development services were cut. Kruse said this ordinance would
reverse that situation and help put the chamber's economic development
plan into action.
"There is clearly an optimistic air out there," he said. "I assure you,
we're going to work with that group."
Kruse, along with council members John Gore and Nevin Taylor, sponsored
an ordinance asking to appropriate $14,162.50 from unappropriated
general funds as a quarterly payment on the annual contract for economic
development services between the city and the chamber.
"Everyone at this table supports this agreement," Gore said, referring
to the rest of council.
Developments off Route 38 were also a topic of discussion. The third
reading was held on an ordinance rezoning 45.11 acres at Boerger Road
and Route 38 from Agricultural Zoning District to Residential Zoning
District. The intent of the ordinance is to change lot sizes from one
acre to 1/2 acre. The result of the change is that it will make
developer S/B Marysville wait longer to get their design plans in order.

Developer Debbie Lutz said her company has tried to do everything that
has been asked of her but time is of the essence.
Gore explained that two pieces of legislation are required before
developers get the green light on the Boerger Road project. The first is
to set the zoning requirements and the second is for the design plan.
They must be handled separately, he said.
City law director Tim Aslaner said that the zoning must be in place
before the plan can get to council. The ordinance was tabled until the
Feb. 12 meeting when, Aslaner said, council must take action for or
against the zoning requirement.
A blast from Kruse's past also came attached to discussion of the
Boerger Road/ Route 38 area. Myron Gallogly, a resident of Route 38,
said his property was annexed when Kruse was first mayor and Lowe was
council president. As a result of that annexation, he was promised sewer
and water services from the city but those services never came and he
has been waiting for more than a decade.
Gallogly has approached council numerous time for something to be done
on the issue.
"My questions are as they were before," Gallogly said. "What is the plan
of the city to live up to that?"
Gore said there are other properties in Marysville that were annexed in
the 19790s that still don't have services. He would like to identify all
those properties and deal with them.
"I was solicited to become part of that annexation and I was induced by
the offer of sewer and water," Gallogly said. "That has not happened.
That has not been delivered."
"I'm trying to think back 12 years, Myron," Kruse said. "I agree with
Mr. Gore that we take a look at commitments that were made."
In other discussions:
. Council member Nevin Taylor was elected president and Gore was
selected as vice president of council for 2004.
. Council member Mark Reams reminded everyone that the Frozen Nose Five
Miler is scheduled for this weekend on Saturday. He said
pre-registration is up from last year.

Filing snafu leaves Richwood with wrong tax levies
Problem appears to be correctable

By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Somewhere between the village of Richwood and the Union County Board of
Elections, two levies changed.
Copies of board of election ballot language show that the village will
be placing two five-year levies before voters on March 2, one a 3.2-mill
replacement levy for operating expenses and the other a 1-mill
replacement levy for park operations. The problem is that at a Dec. 4
special meeting the village council voted unanimously to place the
measures on the ballot as renewals.
But the village may be off the hook because it appears the mistake may
be fixable.
While renewal and replacement may sound similar, they are very
different. Both types of levies are meant to renew tax measures
previously passed by voters, but that is where the similarity ends.
A renewal levy would generate the same amount of money annually that it
did when previously passed.
Replacement levies keep the millage the same as the previous levy but
calculate the tax dollars by using updated property values.
The difference can be substantial.
The 3.2-mill operating levy previously passed by Richwood voters
generated $41,200. A renewal levy would continue to generate that amount
but the replacement levy voters will see on the ballot would generate
$67,500 annually.
The 1-mill park levy currently generates $12,900 but a 1-mill replacment
levy would generate $21,360 per year.
Council minutes from the Dec. 4 meeting show that council voted 5-0 to
put both levies on as renewals, with one council member absent from the
meeting.
Council member and finance committee president Arlene Blue said the
council never intended to have the levies generate more money. She said
council had voted to place new levies on the ballot but rescinded that
order and later decided to simply seek the renewals.
Council had also raised the village income tax and Blue said the
officials did not want to further tax village residents.
"We had said we wanted to play it safe," Blue said.
Richwood Mayor Bill Nibert agreed that council had intended to keep the
levies the same and felt perhaps there was a miscommunication with
village solicitor Rick Rodger who filed the paperwork for the levies.
Rodger called the incident a typographical error and said it would be
corrected at Monday's council meeting.
At first it appeared that correcting the item would not be an option.
Rose Davenport of the Union County Board of Elections originally
reported that the Secretary of State's office had said the levies would
have to appear as replacements or be yanked altogether.
At that point village council officials appeared ready to pull the plug
on the levy and try to pass the levies as renewals in November. Nibert
said council would discuss the issue but stressed a desire to be upfront
with the voting public.
"I don't want to lie to the people," Nibert said.
But the Secretary of State's office then amended its stance on the
levies, reporting to Davenport that the issues could be amended by
council and resubmitted as renewals.
The issue is expected to be discussed at Monday's village council
meeting.

Candidates, issues line up for primary
From J-T staff reports:
Candidates and issues that will appear on the March 2 primary:
County offices -
Republican
Commissioner, term commencing 1/2/05, incumbent Tom McCarthy of
Marysville; Commissioner, term commencing 1/3/05, Charles A. Hall of
Marysville, Jack E. Rausch of Marysville and Steven C. Westlake of
Marysville; Prosecuting Attorney, David W. Phlilips of Marysville and
incumbent Alison Boggs of Marysville; Clerk of Courts of Common Pleas,
incumbent Paula Pyers Warner; Sheriff, incumbent Rock W. Nelson of
Marysville; Recorder, Teresa L. Markham of Richwood; Treasurer, Tamara
K. Lowe of Marysville; Engineer, incumbent Steve A. Stolte of
Marysville; Coroner, incumbent David T. Applegate II of Marysville.
Questions and Issues include one countywide issue for the Union County
MR/DD and several other local issues.
Richwood Village, a five-year 1-mill replacement for park operating
expenses, commencing 2004. A certificate of estimated property tax
revenue, prepared by the Union County Auditor, states that the levy is
calculated to generate $21,360 for the life of the levy.
Richwood Village, a five-year replacement 3.2-mill for current operating
expenses, commencing 2004. A certificate of estimated property tax
revenue, prepared by the Union County Auditor, states that the levy is
calculated to generate $67,500 throughout the life of the levy.
Marysville Public Library, a five-year additional 1-mill levy for
current expenses, commencing 2004. A certificate of estimated property
tax revenue, prepared by the Union County Auditor, states that the levy
is calculated to generate $633,600 per year.
MR/DD, six-year replacement 2.4-mill levy for programs and services,
commencing in 2004. A certificate of estimated property tax revenue,
prepared by the Union County Auditor, states that the levy is calculated
to generate $2.459 million each year throughout the life of the levy.
North Union Local School District, five-year renewal of a 1.9-mill levy
for emergency requirements, commencing in 2004. A certificate of
estimated property tax revenue, prepared by the Union County Auditor,
states that the levy is calculated to generate $210,000 per year.
Triad Local School District is seeking a five-year renewal of a
.5-percent income tax for current operating expenses.
Jonathan Alder Local School District is seeking a five-year 2.4-mill
renewal levy to provide for improvements and renovations to school
facilities including fire safety, sanitary sewage, sound proofing,
heating systems and roof and window reconstruction and providing fixed
equipment and site improvements for school facilities.
Plain City village is seeking a 5-mill replacement levy for a continuing
period for police protection. A certificate of estimated property tax
revenue, prepared by the Madison County Auditor, states that the levy is
calculated to generate $236,447.45 annually.
Buck Ridge Golf Course, 17483 Robinson Road, is seeking a local option
on Sunday sale of liquor.
County Central Committee candidates to be elected at the primary
election for two-year terms (one to be elected in each district) -
Democratic
Allen, incumbent Joe Bell of Marysville; Richwood #1, incumbent Kathryn
S. Hook of Richwood and Ila L. LaRue of Richwood; Richwood #2, incumbent
Robert L. Redmon of Richwood; Claibourne North, incumbent John A.
Hoskins of Richwood; Claibourne South, Amy Kirby of Richwood and
incumbent Barbara J. Matteson of Richwood; Dover North, incumbent Bonnie
Spriggs of Marysville; Dover South, James F. Moots III of Marysville;
Jackson, incumbent Donna M. Flach of Richwood; Jerome Central B,
incumbent Mildred Pace of Plain City; Jerome East A, Norm M. Puntenney
of Plain City; Jerome West, incumbent Jack E. Mercer of Plain City;
Leesburg, incumbent Richard Flynn of Marysville and Christel Noel
Koltenbah of Marysville; Liberty North, incumbent Steve Karl Merriman of
Marysville; Liberty South, incumbent Nathan A. McCoy of Marysville;
Millcreek, incumbent Michael Alan Stemkowski of Ostrander; Marysville
#1, Cheryl L. Robinson of Marysville; Marysville #4, Roger L. Rowlett,
543 Quail Hollow Dr.; Marysville #5, John Long of Marysville (former
incumbent for Marysville #4); Marysville #6, incumbent Steven C. Dunton
of Marysville; Marysville #7, David R. Moots of Marysville (former
incumbent Marysville #8); Marysville #10, Kathryn Liggett of Marysville
and incumbent David R. Moots Jr. of Marysville; Marysville #11, Thomas
W. Russell of Marysville; Marysville #12, incumbent John M. Eufinger of
Marysville; Marysville #14, Kathy Ann Robinson of Marysville; Paris
North B, incumbent Stephen Clark Davisson of Marysville and Robert G.
Rusiska of Marysville; Paris South, incumbent Rose Anna Coleman of
Milford Center; Taylor East, incumbent Arthur Bruce Anderson of
Marysville; Union North, incumbent Patrick C. Riggs of Marysville; Union
South, incumbent John P. Ryan.
No candidates have filed for Darby North A, Darby North B, Darby South,
Jerome Central A, Jerome East B, Magnetic Springs, Marysville #2,
Marysville #3, Marysville #8, Marysville #9, Marysville #13, Paris North
A, Taylor West, Milford Center, Washington and York.
Republican
Allen, incumbent S. Susan Irwin of Marysville; Richwood #1, incumbent
Leanna Cereoli of Richwood; Richwood #2, incumbent Georgeann Charles of
Richwood; Claibourne North, incumbent Jeff Evans of Richwood; Claibourne
South, John R. Bell of Richwood; Darby North A, incumbent Roger  Nicol
of Marysville; Darby North B, incumbent Brian Wade of Marysville; Darby
South, incumbent Walter M. Burns of Plain City; Dover North, Teresa T.
Freshcorn of Marysville; Dover South, incumbent Marvin C. Gilbert of
Marysville; Jackson, incumbent Bethel L. Temple of Richwood; Plain City,
incumbent Belva Lathan of Plain City; Jerome Central A, Bob Fry of Plain
City; Jerome Central B, incumbent Jim Mitchell of Plain City; Jerome
East A, incumbent John Woerner of Plain City; Jerome East B, incumbent
Kermit Morse III of Plain City; Jerome West, incumbent John E. Berend of
Plain City; Magnetic Springs, incumbent Malcolm Manville of Magnetic
Springs; Leesburg, incumbent Max E. Robinson of Marysville; Liberty
North, incumbent Donald G. Russell of Raymond; Liberty South, incumbent
Bruce Tillman of Marysville; Millcreek, incumbent Ernest Bumgarner of
Marysville; Marysville #1, Theodore B. Byus of Marysville; Marysville
#2, incumbent Scott Underwood of Marysville; Marysville #3, incumbent
Carl Robert Coe of Marysville; Marysville #4, Marjorie D. Scheiderer of
Marysville; Marysville #5, Donald M. Howard of Marysville (former
incumbent of Marysville #4) and incumbent Phyllis Scheiderer of
Marysville; Marysville #6, incumbent James D. Westfall (former incumbent
of Marysville #7) of Marysville; Marysville #7, Karen W. Haller of
Marysville and Barbara J. Timmons of Marysville; Marysville #8, Mary Ann
Hyland of Marysville; Marysville #9, William Rutherford (former
incumbent of Marysville #13); Marysville #10, incumbent Robert William
Parrott of Marysville; Marysville #11, incumbent Maryilyn C. Botkin of
Marysville and Robert H. Lewis of Marysville; Marysville #12, incumbent
Nanciann Sawyer of Marysville; Marysville #13, John E. Marshall of
Marysville; Marysville #14, Joseph M. Altizer of Marysville; Paris North
A, incumbent Wanda L. Gwilliams of Marysville; Paris North B, incumbent
Gary J. Lee of Marysville; Paris South, incumbent Stephen J. Yurasek of
Marysville; Taylor East, incumbent Dean E. Cook of Marysville; Taylor
West, incumbent James W. Shaw of Marysville; Milford Center, L. Jean
Thiergartner of Milford Center; Union North, incumbent Mary Lou Ryan of
Milford Center; Union South, incumbent incumbent William F. Gorton;
Washington, incumbent Wayne Howard Rickard of West Mansfield; and York,
incumbent Dallas W. Dowell of West Mansfield.

Local officials support gun bill
By RYAN HORNS
A controversial bill allowing Ohioans to carry concealed weapons passed
Wednesday and is expected to get the signature of Governor Bob Taft.
Ohioans who apply for permits to carry concealed weapons would have to
pay a fee, undergo background checks and be trained in the use of a
weapon.
Locally, citizens wishing to apply for concealed gun permits will have
to go through the Union County Sheriff's Department.
According to Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson, he has been a public
supporter of the controversial bill. Even during his interview process
for taking the sheriff's position, the concealed-carry law was a
question on the minds of county commissioners.
"I am a supporter," Nelson said. "It will mean extra work for the
sheriff's office but that is a service we're willing to perform to the
people we serve."
The highly controversial nature of the bill has kept the topic of
concealed-carry laws in the news over the past several years. Nelson
explained his support of the bill.
"People out there can be dangerous with a remote control," Nelson joked.
"What I understand is that there are going to be background checks,
tests and everything done, in order to weed out those who shouldn't have
guns."
Stipulations against those with past criminal records are just one
example, he said.
"It is controversial," Nelson said. "But you have to take a stand one
way or another. I don't want to stand in the way of allowing the
community to protect themselves."
Marysville Police Chief Eugene Mayer said he also supports the bill as
long as those applying are made to undergo gun training and have
criminal background checks. A wide-open and lenient registration is
something he feels would be dangerous. He also believes that
communication between permit holders and law enforcement will be
important.
"If anybody is carrying a weapon and they are pulled over, whether it's
on foot in the downtown area or in an automobile, they should let the
officer know immediately," he said.
Essentially, Mayer said, the bill will give citizens a choice to carry a
weapon or not carry one.
House Bill 12 also makes the names of permit holders in each county
available to media representatives from local sheriff's departments.
Taft's inclusion of this provision reportedly kept the bill from passing
last year after legislators disagreed.
House Speaker Larry Householder reportedly agreed to go along with the
requirement this week and the Ohio Senate informally agreed to the
compromise.
Taft has said he would sign the bill only if law enforcement supported
it. He had received that backing from every facet of law enforcement
except for the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The state patrol reportedly dropped its opposition once the bill
included provisions stating that weapons in vehicles must be locked away
or holstered in plain view.
Ohio would become the 46th state to allow carrying concealed weapons in
some form.
The issue has been in state legislature since 1995, creating a hot topic
for debate. The bill was sponsored at that time by Sen. Joseph Vukovich,
a Youngstown Democrat. It was stalled by opposition from Republican Gov.
George Voinovich and former House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson, a Columbus
Republican.
During Taft's election campaign he had promised that he would sign a
bill if supported by law enforcement.
"House Bill 12 balances the Second Amendment rights I have strongly
supported with public safety and public records concerns. I look forward
to signing it," Taft said in a statement.
Sen. Eric Fingerhut, a Cleveland Democrat, a longtime conceal-carry
opponent, voiced his disapproval.
"The governor's decision is a complete cave-in to the gun lobby,"
Fingerhut said. He is predicting that proponents of gun rights will chip
away at the bill, especially the public records and background check
provision.
Household said changes in the law by future legislatures were likely.
"It is something each sheriff's office will have to deal with
individually," Nelson said. "It'll be interesting to see how it will be
. I imagine there will be a lot applying at first and that it will
fizzle out after a little while."

Trustee feels meeting was illegal
Other two officials believe he is wrong
By CINDY BRAKE
Two Jerome Township trustees met for the township's first official
morning meeting Wednesday, while a third trustee watched from the back
of the room, claiming that the meeting violated the state's open
meetings act.
The open meetings act is intended to require public bodies to take
official action and to conduct deliberations on official business in
open meetings. The notice requirement for a regular meeting is that
public bodies must establish by rule a reasonable method that allows the
public to determine the time and place of regular meetings.
Trustee Ron Rhodes was troubled that a meeting notice was not posted at
the township hall prior to the meeting. On Monday, during an
organizational meeting, trustees Freeman May and Sharon Sue Wolfe voted
to begin holding work sessions, discussions and decisions every
Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Wolfe justified the daytime schedule by saying
Claibourne Township held their regular meetings the second and fourth
Wednesdays of the month at 9 a.m. Rhodes and clerk Robert Caldwell both
stated that the day meeting was inconvenient because of their work
schedules.
Quoting from the township's Code of Conduct, Wolfe said that "every
endeavor will be made to directly notify and inform any person or
persons who may have a direct personal or pecuniary interest in any
matter set forth in the agenda ... at least 48 hours before the time and
date of the meeting."
She acknowledged that that would have been impossible because the board
just passed the resolution on Monday evening, less than 48 hours prior
to the Wednesday morning meeting. She also said the clerk is responsible
for posting meeting notices.
Caldwell said the township has never posted notices for regular
meetings.
Rhodes arrived at the meeting Wednesday and sat in the back of the room.
Prior to the start of the meeting, Wolfe asked Rhodes if he was joining
them and Rhodes told her that he was not present as a trustee because of
personal conflicts which he did not elaborate.
"I am not participating in the meeting," Rhodes said.
Also not present at the Wednesday meeting was elected clerk Robert
Caldwell. Wolfe served as acting clerk and chairman.
Wolfe voiced confusion about how she should record Rhodes's presence. He
then excused himself and left the building. Wolfe opened the meeting
officially and immediately called for a recess to consult with legal
counsel. She returned approximately 25 minutes later and called the
roll, listing Rhodes as absent.
Rhodes returned to the building at 11:30 a.m. and again sat at the back
of the room. During the interim he could be seen sitting in his vehicle
across the road from the township hall.
After the meeting, Rhodes said, "I could not participate because I would
violate the open meetings law. I would have knowingly participated in an
illegal meeting,"
As for his attendance at future Wednesday meetings, Rhodes said he
believes May and Wolfe have "gerrymandered" the meeting schedule to
prevent him and the clerk from attending because of their work
schedules.
"I feel the new meeting schedule was deliberately manipulated to
eliminate my participation and the clerk and that of the public," Rhodes
said.
No agenda was available prior to the meeting, although Wolfe did have an
order of business which she said would be the standard for future
Wednesday meetings.
The hourlong Wednesday meeting between Wolfe and May included
discussions on the need to erect a fence around Jerome Cemetery and a
board appointment.
No action was taken, to May's dismay. He said he saw no reason for these
meetings if the board was not going to take action. Wolfe said she did
not want to create the appearance that they are trying to sneak
something through.
The dissension on taking a vote centered on the appointment of Robert
Seely to the board of zoning appeals, where he has served as an
alternate.
At Monday's meeting, Wolfe and May voted against reappointing long-time
BZA member Robert Neill and instead discussed appointing Seely to the
seat. The problem was that they had not yet received a letter of
resignation from Seely for the alternate position.
Concerning Jerome Cemetery, May said he was digging a grave when a
resident stopped and said he wanted a fence around the cemetery. Wolfe
said she has also received a lot of requests for a fence, adding that it
would "look so much nicer."
May added that kids regularly smoke crack cocaine with aluminum foil
pipes in the cemetery or are "necking and loving every evening after
dark." In addition, he said, it appears that someone drove through an
existing fence to dump stones on an adjoining property.
Wolfe recommended looking into the type and cost of a fence. May said he
believes the work could be completed by prison labor or volunteers.
In other matters, May said he ordered six high-water signs. He said the
township borrowed high water signs from the Concord Fire Department
after recent flooding on Currier and Ketch roads. The signs cost $32
each.
Wolfe said she has drafted a letter to be sent to a Ketch Road resident
concerning the township's request for an easement.
She estimated that a monthly newsletter would cost the township from
$5,520 to $5,824 annually. At Monday's meeting, Wolfe proposed a
resolution for the township to print a yearly newsletter at a cost of no
more than $10,000. Clerk Caldwell and trustee Rhodes questioned whether
12 newsletters could be done for that amount.
Wolfe suggested two other options to disseminate information - e-mail or
distributing a newsletter in an advertiser. Resident Barbara Long
suggested that the township consider a website. Wolfe said the clerk is
looking in the cost. Long also suggested that any newsletter editor not
be involved or working for the township.
COTA is planning to hold a public meeting about a proposed Fast Trac
Light Rail project sometime this month, Wolfe said, although she was not
certain whether it would be Jan. 15 or Jan. 29.
The trustees will hold a special meeting Monday to pay bills at 7:30
p.m., Wolfe said.

North Lewisburg subdivision moves forward
By CORINNE BIX
North Lewisburg City Council passed a motion on Tuesday night to pass an
ordinance allowing zoning in the Jackson's Landing Subdivision along
Route 559.
The public hearing on the sub-division zoning began at 8:30 p.m. at the
end of the regular council meeting. The issue had been brought up at the
Dec. 9 village planning committee meeting, at which time the committee
voted unanimously to recommend that council pass the zoning.
City administrator Barry First commented that it was addressed at the
planning meeting that more information needed to be provided to all
parties in regard to the extension of utilities to future homes in the
sub-division.
First explained that with the passage of the zoning ordinance, there
would still need to be more information presented in regard to obtaining
building certification for the housing development. Representatives from
Jackson's Landing agreed to provide more information regarding proposed
implementation of utilities in the sub-division.
New mayor Richard Willis presented to council members the state of
village address. He commented on the many accomplishments by council in
2003, including the completion of phase four of the Route 245 project,
the completion of the library project, the new tractor obtained for the
street department and funds raised for a new police cruiser.
Willis hopes that council will pass a wage increase in 2004 for city
employees, continue the improvement of the village's wastewater system
and complete the bike path. Willis also hoped that the council would
eventually develop and pass an ordinance specifically outlining the
rules for how an issue would be brought up to council  by the public.
Willis ended by saying, "We can solve any problem we have, for the
better of the village."
Dwight Thompson was nominated as council president for 2004. The group
was also updated on various committee appointments.
Gary Silcott reported from engineering. He informed the council about a
grant being pursued from ODOT that would provide money for the village
to improve the sewer system among other things. It is unclear as to how
soon the money will become available if granted, however, the hope is it
would be as early as later this year if not within the next two to four
years.
Silcott also reported that the video from the sewer inspection came
back. A piece of vitrified or clay tile was found in the system along
with rocks and sand. Both Silcott and First recommended to the council
that some type of sewer examination be done on an every-other-year basis
to prevent against greater problems in the future.
First also suggested to the council that they consider proposing a 3
percent increase on monthly water and sewer bills. In regard to the need
for wastewater improvements, he said, it is important that the council
be thinking of going forward rather than waiting. Council members
requested a summary of water expenses from the fiscal officer for more
background information.
Council approved resolution No. 1-6-2004 (A) which authorized the mayor,
administrator and/or fiscal officer to apply for, accept and enter into
agreement with the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (W.P.C.L.F.)
First explained that the village will request about $2 million from the
W.P.C.L.F. In turn, the village will also sponsor the Nature Conservancy
program which will work to preserve the Big Darby headwaters. By
sponsoring the program, the interest rate on the W.P.C.L.F loan will be
reduced and the state of Ohio will advance the interest paid on the loan
to the Nature Conservancy.
The village's finance committee is tentatively scheduled to meet Jan. 27
at 2 p.m. The next council meeting is scheduled for Feb. 3 at 7:30 at
the municipal building.
In other business, council:
 . Passed Ordinance No. 228 allowing a five-year service agreement with
Dayton Power and Light
 . Passed Ordinance. No. 229 adding section 94-15 codified ordinances as
an emergency for a snow emergency
 . Officer Kemp gave the Champaign County Sheriff's Office report.
Monthly activity in the Village of North Lewisburg included 10 traffic
citations, 13 warning issues for traffic violations, six incident
reports, 34 cases of assistance to citizens, seven arrests, nine civil
and criminal papers served, 26 follow-up investigations completed, two
instances of juvenile contacts and zero auto accident reports taken.
 . Heard a reminder of a retirement open house for Max Coates and Don
Woodruff from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the municipal building.

Secretary of State makes local stop
Says state is spending too much money
By CINDY BRAKE
The bottom line, for Ohio's Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, is
that state government is spending too much money.
Blackwell, in Marysville Tuesday for a luncheon sponsored by local
Edward Jones representatives, championed the repeal of a 20 percent
sales tax increase.
At the end of the 2003 fiscal year, Blackwell said state spending
increased by 11 percent while tax revenue increased by 5 percent. He
said the current state budget is conducted on the "scare" measure and
state government needs to get out of programs they don't belong in.
"As we begin the debate over the sales tax increase, here is a list of
the top 10 reasons Ohioans should ... repeal the sales tax increase,"
states a paper distributed at the meeting and paid for by Citizens For
Tax Repeal, an organization led by Blackwell.
The reasons include:
. Ohio is one of six states suffering a brain drain because it exports
more college graduates than it imports.
. Ohio is one of two states that lead the nation in the loss of 25- to
39-year-olds and their future economic potential.
. The Small Business Survival Committee named Ohio one of the worst
states when it comes to creating a small business and ranked Ohio 39th
in the 2003 Small Business Survival Index.
. The Tax Foundation listed Ohio as having the fourth worst state
business tax climate in the nation - hostile to capital, business
formation and job creation.
. Ohio is third in the nation in the number of bankruptcies.
. Ohio is first in the nation in the number of mortgage foreclosures
with 2.7 percent, almost double the national average.
. Ohio's 70 percent increase in spending over the last 10 years - with
an11 percent increase in this current budget - is the largest increase
in the nation.
. Ohio lost 118,000 manufacturing jobs just last year.
. Ohio's 20 percent sales tax increase is the largest tax increase in
state history.
. The governor promised the voters that there would be no broad-based
tax increase without a vote of the people.
Of particular concern to Blackwell is the statement that this recent tax
is temporary. He said history shows all temporary taxes have become
permanent.
Blackwell said he believes in a single tax rate across the board and
eliminating the death tax.
"Do away with it, period, over, out," he said.
Blackwell singled out the Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS)
as one of the top spending agencies in the state (41 percent).
Calling it "tough love," he said that the agency needs better management
in claims and he proposes a $400 million cut in funding that would not
effect services. Blackwell claims that the Medicaid program, managed by
DJFS, currently has 20 percent more recipients than poor people in the
state of Ohio. He points his finger at subsidized nursing home beds for
a large part of the cost, as well as individuals who choose the
state-funded program over private coverage.
Another area of savings is OhioReads, a volunteer program that costs the
state $138 million. The program's goal is to lower illiteracy, however,
two university studies have found that it has had no impact on
illiteracy reduction, Blackwell said.
Blackwell said the political culture must also change.
Blackwell's public service includes terms as mayor of Cincinnati,
undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development,
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and
treasurer of the state of Ohio.
He is currently  a vice president of the National Association of
Secretaries of State and a member of the board of directors of the
Campaign Finance Institute in Washington, D.C. He holds bachelor of
science and master of education degrees from Xavier University.

Marysville band returns from trip to national title game
Packed hotel, moody celebrity were just some of the memories
By RYAN HORNS
The brisk cold of Ohio was a rather unwelcome greeting to the Marysville
High School marching band members as they arrived back home from New
Orleans Tuesday morning.
The band was invited to perform with 20 other high school bands from
across the United States for the Nokia Sugar Bowl National Championship
for collegiate football. The event pitted the Louisiana State University
Tigers against the Oklahoma State Sooners.
From 78 degrees in Louisiana, Marysville's 10 degrees was a rude
awakening. In the high school parking lot, students walked around in
shorts and blankets, suddenly cast from the heated buses into the cold
air to pick up their instruments and look for their parents.
"I had shorts on yesterday," band director Bill Thissen said, bundled up
in his coat and sitting in his office at the school.
A total of 189 Marysville students, 35 adult chaperones and seven high
school staff members piled into buses Dec. 31.
According to Thissen, the experience provided a lot of memories for
everyone. With the interest in college football rising so much over the
past decade, many college bowl games are treated more like NFL games
now. From their excitement from walking down Canal Street surrounded by
almost 200,000 people to dealing with a national star acting huffy, he
said, it was a full week.
Thankfully, he said, LSU won the game. It was the first bowl game the
school had won since 1958. The win made dealing with the Louisiana
crowds a little easier because they were in a better mood. He said
people went out of their way to make the out-of-towners feel welcome,
but it didn't start out that way.
Thissen said only 75 percent of the Marysville group was able to check
into their rooms at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel when they arrived
Thursday. The reason had to with hung-over New Year's partiers choosing
to sleep in late the next morning instead of checking out at noon. At 5
p.m. band members were still waiting. All the marching bands, as well as
both football teams, were registered at the hotel.
"The hotel was a nightmare," Thissen said. "It was jam packed."
A taxi driver told Thissen that the 150,000 to 200,000 people who
invaded the city for New Year's and the Sugar Bowl were nothing compared
to the more than one million who come down for Mardi Gras.
Because of recent terrorist alerts raising the national security to the
orange level, Thissen said, security in New Orleans was tight. Bands had
to walk six blocks to the stadium because streets were blocked off. Each
member was then searched and given blue identification wrist bands
before they were allowed to enter.
Saturday was set aside for their practice. Band members were given the
music to memorize in early December, so the practice centered around how
directors were going to organize 20 bands on the football field.
Instead of grouping them together by school, he said, it was decided to
"confetti" the groups by mixing up their uniform colors. The bands,
along with their flag holders, filled the entire football field from end
zone to end zone.
A brush with a music and television personality after practice didn't
turn out too well for anyone, Thissen said.
The bands arrived at the LSU stadium for their five-hour practice at 7
a.m. and promoters had scheduled National Anthem singer Jessica Simpson
to sound test immediately afterward. By that time it was well past noon
and the bands were hungry, tired and ready to go.
"Over the loud speaker someone kept saying, 'Stay away from the
entertainment'," Thissen said, referring to Simpson. "They said it so
many times it became a joke to us."
Simpson kept messing up her song, he said. The bands had to stay longer
and eventually started giggling every time she flubbed. It soon led to
an angry singer and a stadium full of annoyed musicians.
But it wasn't all work. Thissen said the school tried to pack a lot of
activities for the students to give them an opportunity to really
experience the city.
"We gave them a lot of sightseeing time so they could enjoy themselves,"
Thissen said.
When asked how the students took to the experience of performing in
front of hundreds of thousands of people, Thissen said he doesn't know
yet.
"That will probably come later," he said. "I think once it sinks in for
them, after a week or two, they will realize what they actually did. it
had a certain electricity to it."

Employees are family at the Richwood Bank
Editor's note: This year the Journal-Tribune celebrates its 100th year
of family ownership and in turn the newspaper will salute other family
owned businesses in Union County. This is the first installment of a
year-long series of stories highlighting certain multi-generational,
family-owned businesses. A new business will be featured each Wednesday.

From J-T staff reports:
The Richwood Banking Company was organized in 1867, doing business under
the name The Bank of Richwood.
In May of 1906 the bank was reorganized as a state bank and the name was
changed to The Richwood Banking Company.
At that time the bank occupied a single building at the corner of
Blagrove and Franklin streets in downtown Richwood. Since that date the
original structure has experienced several remodeling projects. The
buildings that were once Jim Price's Barber Shop, the Kyle Drug Store
and the Kerns Grocery were soon things of the past.
In 1938 a second building was added and twenty years later the financial
institution expanded into a third building. During this construction
project in 1958, the bank operated from the local American Legion hall.
In 1973 the business expanded operations again to include a fourth
building and added drive-in service as a convenience to customers. In
1995 contractors remodeled the upstairs of all four original structures,
installed an elevator and refurbished the main floor of the facility.
In 1977 the Richwood Banking Company expanded even further with a Plain
City branch. In 1997 a Marysville branch was added and one was set up in
Larue the following year.
Over the years the Richwood Banking Company has had 11 presidents. It
has been in the same family for the last fifty years starting with K.D.
"Kenny" Kyle, who took over operations in 1954. In 1977, after being in
the banking business for 52 years, it was time for Kenny to retire and
his son Dan B. Kyle took over the company.
The current president, Nancy Kyle Hoffman, daughter of Kenny, has been
president and CEO since 1994 following the unexpected death of Dan in
1993. Kenny's wife, Freda Kyle, a granddaughter, Carla Hoffman Moser,
and a grandson, Kenyon Kyle, are all relatives that have helped out
along the way. Adding to that list is a grandson, Chad Hoffman, a third
generation employee who currently holds the titles of vice president and
comptroller.
From 1954 until now the bank has grown from a $4 million bank to a $154
million bank. The Richwood Banking Company currently has the largest
number of total deposits in Union County.
The company employs 65 employees throughout four locations who are
regarded as family. On top of that the business has 396 stockholders who
all share a part of the great family business.
The company has four locations, each headed by a different manager:
.Richwood Office, 28 N. Franklin St., 740-943-2317, Nancy Hoffman.
.Plain City branch, 601 W. Main St., 614-873-4671, Bruce Bullerman.
.Marysville branch, 249 W. Fifth St., 937-642-5757, Mike Karcher.
.Larue branch, 26 S. High St., 740-499-3633, Todd Hoffman.

Mother enters not guilty plea
By RYAN HORNS
A young Milford Center woman accused of leaving her newborn baby boy to
die on the banks of a local creek was arraigned today.
Amy L. Detlor, 19, walked into the Union County Common Pleas courtroom
with her family and local attorney Michael J. Streng and pleaded not
guilty to the charges against her.
Specifically, Detlor is facing one first-degree felony count of
involuntary manslaughter, one third-degree felony count of endangering
children, one third-degree felony count of reckless homicide and one
fifth-degree felony account of abuse of a corpse.
Union County assistant prosecutor John Heinkel represented the state.
During the arraignment, Streng immediately requested that Union County
Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott extend the date for Detlor's
first hearing another two months. He said his defense will have to
prepare its medical tests and consult with experts for evidence in her
favor.
"I ask the court to let me investigate the case fully," Streng said.
"The state had a total of six months and I ask that in the mindset of
fairness we be given time."
Parrott granted his request and set the next hearing for March 3 at 9:15
a.m.
Detlor has still not been arrested for the crimes she has been accused
of. The Union County Sheriff's Department has not reported if her arrest
will be ordered before the trial. Details in the case against her have
been kept quiet since sheriff's deputies found the body of Baby Boy
Detlor by Treacle Creek on July 1.
Details of how deputies knew where to locate the newborn body or
evidence about how and why the baby was placed there have not been
reported. In addition, no scenarios or details concerning Detlor's
defense have been provided.
"I have no comment on that right now," Streng said. "I can tell you that
there are two sides to every story and hers will come out. This case is
going to be focused on a tragic set of circumstances and a family that
is dealing with the loss of a child."
The prosecution has also been very quiet about releasing any reports
that could jeopardize their case. Two autopsies and DNA tests have been
conducted. At one point those results were expected to be released to
the public but have been kept secret.
Streng said Detlor has been finding comfort from the community of family
and friends supporting her, is currently working two jobs and is a
student. Streng has asked her family not to comment on the case in
public.

MHUC names new CEO
Will take over duties in March
From J-T staff reports:
The Board of Trustees of Memorial Hospital of Union County has announced
that Olas "Chip" A. Hubbs III has been named president and CEO of the
hospital.
Hubbs, who is in his early 30s, has been CEO of Community Memorial
Hospital in Hicksville for the past four years. He replaces Danny Boggs
who left Memorial after 17 years to assume the CEO role at Samaritan
Regional health System in Ashland. Laurie Whittington, a vice president
at the hospital for 13 years, has been filling in as interim CEO since
September. She will retain her position as vice president with the
hospital.
"While we were fortunate to interview many outstanding candidates, we
felt that Chip best matched the combination of leadership, competence,
interactive skills, work ethic, energy level and service orientation
that we sought," said Ann Allen, chairman of the board of trustees. "He
is well-known and respected, both within Ohio and nationally and we look
forward to a very bright future under his guidance."
Hubbs is a graduate of Indiana University where he earned a bachelor of
science degree in public health and a master's degree in health
administration. Following graduate school, he completed a postgraduate
fellowship in health care administration at Mount Sinai Hospital Medical
Center in Chicago, then served as evening administrator for the
University of Chicago Hospitals. He served in a variety of senior-level
positions at the Lutheran Health Network located in Fort Wayne, Ind.,
prior to assuming his role in Hicksville. In September 2002 he was named
one of "Modern Health Care" magazine's 13 Up and Comers under the age of
40.
Hubbs will move to Marysville from Fort Wayne with his wife, Staci, and
two daughters. March 8 will be his first day in his new position.
"I am privileged and humbled to have been selected by the board of
trustees to lead Memorial Hospital," Hubbs said. "I can think of few
other professions that can provide the sense of fulfillment and ability
to give back to a community as health care."
He said his family is eager to become a part of the Marysville
community.


Jerome trustees vote to increase number of meetings
By CINDY BRAKE
Meetings are multiplying in Jerome Township.
The three-member board of trustees will now meet as many as seven times
a month. The board will continue to hold its twice monthly nightly
meetings on Mondays and add daytime Wednesday meetings to the schedule.
During Monday's organizational meeting, trustee Sharon Sue Wolfe
proposed that the trustees continue to meet the first and third Mondays
of every month, plus every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. for "work sessions,
discussions and decisions." Her original motion also proposed changing
the start time of the Monday meetings from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. After
being challenged by trustee Ron Rhodes, Wolfe amended the motion to
return the Monday meeting start time to 7:30 p.m.
"This is a deliberate manipulation to exclude the public," Rhodes said.
"This resolution was not made to serve the people."
In response to Wolfe's motion, Rhodes suggested moving the Monday start
time to 7 p.m. and dispense with the Wednesday meetings. Trustee Freeman
May concurred with Rhodes and said that he preferred the 7 p.m. start
time for Mondays, rather than Wolfe's idea of beginning at 8:30 p.m.
Wolfe said she had recommended the Monday time change because some
individuals told her they have difficulty making the 7:30 p.m. meeting
after working all day and taking care of their families. She justified
her morning Wednesday meeting time by saying the Claibourne Township
trustees hold their regular meetings at 9 a.m. the second and fourth
Wednesdays of every month.
She added that Rhodes' accusations were unfounded, untrue and false.
Wolfe's resolution also states that any single future meeting may be
canceled at a previous meeting. Cancellations will be posted at the
township hall.
Rhodes voiced concern that special meetings were not advertised in the
local media.
"Special meetings should be advertised ... What we're saying is, folks,
if you don't check the board, it's tough luck," Rhodes said.
Later in the meeting after inviting the public to speak, Wolfe informed
resident Barbara Long that she was not permitted to speak about a recent
survey mailed to residents.
Ignoring Wolfe's orders, Long voiced concerns that questions were
altered on a land-use survey approved by the Public Outreach
Subcommittee. Long is chairman of the subcommittee.
Specifically, Long said, the subcommittee, which created the survey,
never included "no growth" options. She added that the township's
consultant stated that the no-growth option was not acceptable.
Quoting from a Sept. 17 e-mail to Marion Franken, another subcommittee
member, from consultant Stacey Boumis of Burns, Bertsch and Harris
(BBH), the e-mail states that "a no-growth option is not acceptable for
this survey. In addition, I have deleted the lot size question. I
understand your concerns regarding a referendum. However, this process
is about developing a deeper understanding of the issues as well as all
sides. It is inappropriate to blanketly ask for a preferred minimum lot
size."
Boumis, contacted by the Marysville Journal-Tribune after the December
meeting when Long first pointed out the discrepancy, stated that Long's
subcommittee only recommended survey questions and the final decision on
questions was another committee's responsibility.
Rhodes said the consulting firm owes the township an explanation about
what is going on.
Earlier in the meeting, Rhodes abstained from a vote showing support for
the work of the firm because he and others found the survey questions
leading in nature and some questions simply to be a rewording of a
survey distributed by township resident Jesse Dickinson.
Rhodes said he also was told that some residents refused to respond to
the numbered survey out of fear of retaliation.
"The jury is still out," Rhodes said about the township's $55,000
expenditure to BBH.
Bob Merkle, a member of the zoning board who was present in the audience
at Monday's meeting, said he would contact the firm about the concerns.
 The trustees approved $1 an hour increases for road employees and fire
inspector and a 25 cent an hour increase for the assistant clerk. Wolfe
and May voted to return a recommended work agreement to the zoning board
for their clerk. Wolfe said the zoning clerk should not receive the same
pay as the board members for attending meetings or receive two-weeks
vacation. The zoning clerk had no pay raise.
Wolfe and May voted to rehire zoning inspector Norm Puntenney, who
several months ago announced his plans to resign on Dec. 31, 2003. After
the resignation announcement, Puntenney then ran unsuccessfully for a
seat on the board.
The zoning inspector salary was increased by 40 percent to $14,000. In
answer to a question about a practice adopted last year where Puntenney
received $40 for attending meetings at her request, Wolfe said he would
not be paid for attending meetings.
Robert Neill, a board of zoning appeals member for more than 40 years,
was not reappointed after Wolfe and May voted against him.
"It's time to let him retire," Wolfe said.
May proposed appointing alternate board member Robert Seely. Seely's
appointment was delayed because he must first resign as an alternate.
Michael Buchanan was reappointed to the zoning board by Wolfe and
Rhodes. May voted against Buchanan and had submitted the name of Tracey
Guerin.
Wolfe and May passed a motion requesting board chairmen to attend the
township's first Monday meeting of every month and provide updates to
the trustees. Wolfe said the chairmen will be paid for attending the
meeting.
Wolfe presented a motion to publish a monthly township newsletter for
$10,000. The motion was tabled after Rhodes and clerk Robert Caldwell
questioned the cost figure.
"The general fund is very tight," Caldwell said.
Also tabled was a resolution to establish zoning and cemetery fees after
Rhodes and May said they would like to see changes. Wolfe told the other
trustees to submit suggestions at the next Monday meeting.
In other business:
. A 2004 budget was approved. The budget lists $2.1 million in
anticipated receipts and $2.3 million in expenses. Caldwell reported
that the 2003 actual budget had $1.7 million in receipts and $1.3
million in expenses with a year-end balance of $2.4 million.
. Consulting engineer Mark Cameron provided an update on the Ketch Road
project and recommended that the township not provide a compensation
offer to one resident. Cameron said the Steve Rausch property is at a
high point in the road and the township may not need an easement from
him.

Area man released from hospital after ATV accident  in Columbus
A Marysville man who was seriously injured after an ATV collision with a
fire truck in Franklin County was released from Grant Medical Hospital
Monday.
David K. Schultz, 20, of Marysville was sent home Monday after he was
admitted for care on Sunday morning. At that time he was listed in
critical condition.
According to reports, Schultz was a passenger on an ATV traveling south
on Fernhill Avenue in Prairie Township at 1:45 a.m. Sunday. The vehicle
was reportedly driven by Joshua P. Seiler, 23, of Columbus.
Police reports state that Seiler allegedly ran a stop sign and collided
with a fire truck. Schultz was the only one injured in the collision and
was reportedly not wearing a helmet.

 

Romanian trip was learning experience for college student
By JOEY SECREST
Journal-Tribune intern
A 2001 Fairbanks High School graduate went to Romania to teach children
but instead the children taught her a thing or two.
Lindsay Reed, an early education major at Mount Vernon Nazarene College,
studied abroad with three of her classmates in Sighisoara, Romania, last
semester.
At age 20, she observed lifestyles that some people may never get the
opportunity to experience.
"I definitely have a different perspective now," Reed said. "I didn't
know what it meant to be from America."
Reed said she learned many lessons during her stay in eastern Europe.
"I think the kids taught me more Romanian than I taught them English,"
she said.
Although she had no formal language training, Reed worked in two schools
? one English speaking and one Romanian speaking ? and was able to work
hands-on with the students in both schools. She taught the students
English lessons to enhance their vocabulary and understanding of the
language. She mostly observed in the school where the students spoke
only Romanian and was able to teach lessons through a translator.
Reed also worked in a hospital for small abandoned children. The
hospital volunteers held and played with the children.
"It was one of the most rewarding experiences," she said, "even though
it was the most difficult."
The program that allowed Reed and her classmates to travel to Romania
for a semester was set up by a Christian organization. She said that all
Nazarene colleges have access to the foundation.
Reed lived with a host family of four in Sighisoara. The parents spoke
no English and the two high school-aged children spoke only a little.
She said families in Romania have close relationships with one another.
According to Reed, the size of Sighisoara could easily be compared to
Marysville but unemployment was higher than it is in the U.S. She said
Romanian meals consisted of a lot of breads, soups and cabbage and are
prepared with oil. It is more difficult to find a variety of things to
eat in the winter because they don't have access to fresh foods as
readily as in the U.S. The women are creative in the kitchen and prepare
the same foods in a number of ways.
Reed not only learned about another culture, she learned about herself.
"Material things seemed arbitrary," she said. "One of the biggest
lessons that God taught me over there is that I have a lot more to
learn."

A century of family ownership
Journal-Tribune plans a year full of events to mark 100 years of
ownership by the  Gaumer-Behrens family
From J-T staff reports:
This year the Journal-Tribune will be celebrating a special milestone in
family ownership.
The Gaumer-Behrens family has had a stake in Union County newspapers
since 1904 and this year the family celebrates 100 years of bringing
news to area residents. The newspaper plans a year of special promotions
to celebrate the achievement and the achievements of other family-owned
businesses in the county.
Although newspapers have been printed in the county since 1839,
Cornelius S. Hamilton began the Marysville Tribune in September 1849.
The Gaumer-Behrens family dipped into the local print business in
September 1904 when Bruce B. Gaumer purchased the Union County Journal,
which was founded in 1874, from Albert J. Hare. Gaumer was the son and
nephew of three brothers who had owned Democratic newspapers in
Zanesville, Mansfield, Middletown and Urbana.
The Journal was printed weekly until 1915 when it was increased to two
printings per week from its offices at 121 W. Fifth St.
In December 1950 Gaumer purchased the daily Marysville Tribune from two
Iowa men, Dean Carey and James Goodwin, and consolidated the two
newspapers on Jan. 1, 1951, into the Marysville Journal-Tribune.
Gaumer died in December 1956 and passed the paper on to his son, F.T.
Gaumer, and daughter, Mary Elizabeth Gaumer Behrens. In August of 1960,
Mrs. Behrens and her husband, Winfield E., bought her brother's interest
in the paper.
Their two sons, David G. and Daniel E. Behrens, joined the business
about 10 years later.
The family also purchased the Richwood Gazette on Jan. 7, 1980.
Winfield Behrens died Dec. 8, 1994, and David Behrens was named
publisher. When he died Feb. 18, 1997, Daniel Behrens was named
publisher, a post he still holds today.
Daniel's son, Kevin, went to work for the newspaper in 1996. He is the
fifth generation of the Gaumer-Behrens family to be involved in the
newspaper business and the fourth generation to be involved in
newspapers in Marysville.
To celebrate the 100 years the newspaper will feature weekly tributes to
family businesses, the free press and county heritage.
Throughout 2004, stories detailing the histories of certain
multi-generational family businesses will appear on the front page each
Wednesday.
On Thursdays the newspaper will dedicate a full page to reprinting a
front page from 100 years ago, a popular feature the newspaper provided
several years ago.
On Fridays a large two-column advertisement will appear on the education
pages listing quotes from famous individuals about the freedom of speech
or the free press. The first such item appears on page 5B in today's
newspaper. It is our hope that the advertisements will spark discussion
in classrooms around the county about the importance of freedom of
speech.
Also later in the year a special edition of the newspaper is planned to
celebrate the 100-year anniversary. The edition will detail the history
of newspapering in Union County, the history of the newspaper industry,
staff biographies, a photo essay detailing the workings at the
Journal-Tribune over a 24-hour period and numerous other features.
An open house will also be scheduled to celebrate the milestone.
Readers will notice a new logo commemorating the anniversary which will
appear at the top of page one each day. The logo, designed around a
triangle to signify the Gaumer-Behrens family merging two county papers
into one, will appear on various items generated from the
Journal-Tribune.

The newspaper history of Union County
Editor's note: The following article, "History of Marysville
Newspapers," written by the F.T. Gaumer on the 10th anniversary of the
merger of the Union County Journal and the Marysville Tribune, was
published March 7, 1961.


While not the largest firm in Marysville, the newspaper business is
certainly the oldest. Its antecedents go back before the Civil War to
1839 ? 120 years ago.
The first Marysville newspaper was founded Feb. 20 of that year and was
published under the imposing title, "Our Freedom and Union County
Advertiser." This was just 18 years after Marysville was started and the
first publishers were Stephen McLain, Robert McBratney and William C.
Lawrence.
The only copy of "Our Freedom" still known to be in existence is owned
by Mrs. Dan Longbrake of Raymond. She found it a few years ago while
going through a box of old papers. Since she did not know how to protect
it from exposure to the air, the old fragile paper was partially
destroyed. The date and volume number are missing but the name is still
there.
After running part of the year, the printers evidently got tired of
setting the type for all that name by hand, so it was changed to the
"Union Star."
On May 1, 1841, it was changed to the "Union Gazette," and a year later,
the press was moved to Bellefontaine, with the papers being sent back to
Marysville. In May 1843, the press was moved back to Marysville and the
"Union Star" was printed until May 1844 by one John Cassil, who ran a
Democratic newspaper.
There is one copy of the paper still in existence which was found in the
"Journal-Tribune" office two years ago. It is dated in 1844 and has been
turned over to the Union County Historical Society.
Cassil sold the "Gazette" to P.B. Cole and W.C. Lawrence in May 1844 and
they changed the name to the "Argus" and the politics to the Whig party.
In a few weeks, it became the "Argus and Union County Advertiser."
Cole and Lawrence ran the paper a year, sold it to James S. Alexander
who ran it for six weeks and Cassil was back in control again. The
politics switched back to the Democratic party.
In June 1846, Cole again assumed control and changed it back to Whig
politics. He ran it until September 1849 and sold to C.S. Hamilton who
established the "Marysville Tribune."
During the 1850s, the succession of editors and newspapers was even more
frequent than in the period prior to that time. Cassil came in and out
of the picture several time. Apparently, what was happening was that the
community was not prosperous enough to actually support a paper, so
these various gentlemen would run it until their funds were exhausted,
then go into something else to replenish the exchequer.
Some of the early papers included "The Eaglet," which lasted only three
months and was one of Cassil's ventures; the "Union Journal;" the "Union
Press;" and the "Union County Democrat." All were short lived.
Finally, to bring order out of the confusion, John H. Shearer Sr. bought
the "Tribune" from Hamilton on Oct. 1, 1858. He was later joined by his
sons and they built the building on South Main Street which was removed
in 1957 to make way for the Marysville parking lot.
That building was erected in the 1870s, the first ever built in
Marysville specifically for a printing plant and by that time, the firm
was known as Shearer & Sons.
John H. Shearer Sr. died in 1896 and his two sons, W.O. and John H.
Shearer Jr., continued the business. They started the "Daily Tribune" on
Sept. 26, 1898, but it was not the first daily in Marysville, although
the first to continue.
The first daily had been tried a few years earlier by C.M. Kenton with
the "Union County Journal" as a fair week feature.
W.O. Shearer died in 1913 and John H. Shearer Jr. continued to print the
"Tribune" until his death of a heart attack on the old Marysville golf
course on Memorial Day of 1924.
Ownership then passed to the Huber Brothers and Walter Otte and they
continued until 1949, when they sold to some people in Iowa. It was the
Hubers who built the present building on North Main Street where the
"Journal-Tribune" is now published. That was in 1921.
Meanwhile, there was another paper established in Marysville which was
also destined to become successful.
Founded on firm principles and with some financial backing by C.M.
Kenton, the "Union Country Journal" came into being on June 4, 1874.
Kenton published it until 1887 when he sold to A.J. Hare.
He, in turn, sold the newspaper to Bruce Gaumer in 1904 and Gaumer came
to Marysville in September to take possession of it. The "Journal" was a
weekly until 1915 when Gaumer made it into a semi-weekly.
In December 1950 Gaumer purchased the "Tribune" and consolidated the two
papers under one ownership on Jan. 1, 1951.
Down through the years, the newspapers have always been operated in
connection with a job printing service and still today a large volume of
job printing is done. The plant is prepared to do nearly every kind of
printing, from a calling card to a book, including color printing.
The largest job printed annually at the "Journal-Tribune" is the local
telephone directory.
Publishers of the "Journal-Tribune" have one goal: to give the people of
Union County as good a newspaper as the community will support and to
give the local merchants the best advertising medium possible.
Also, through the years, the newspaper has attempted to produce
top-quality job printing.
There have been difficulties in achieving the high quality of newspaper
desired by the publishers and the community plus the handicap of
publishing a daily paper in a small town but the management and staff
are constantly trying to improve.


Teen killed in New Year's Day accident
From J-T staff reports:
A fatal accident claimed the life of a Marion teen on New Year's day.
At approximately 4:35 p.m. Thursday Melissa L. Greear, 17, was traveling
eastbound on Miller Road when she reportedly drove off the right side
edge of the roadway, overcorrected and then veered back off the right
side of the road.
According to patrol reports, her vehicle struck a ditch, went airborne
and then struck a tree before coming to a rest on the driver's side. She
was fatally injured in the crash.
The Marysville post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating
the accident.
Passenger Randy K. McElroy, 17, of Richwood was injured in the accident
and was flown by MedFlight to the Ohio State University Hospital where
he remains for observation. He was listed in fair condition at the
hospital this morning.