Local Archived News July 2004


Lighting up the night
   Riders come from far and wide to take part in Honda Homecoming

Meningitis cases reported
Fashions at the county fair
Suspect enters  not guilty plea
Dr. Atkins never had to  deal with a deep fried Oreo
Ground  broken for Walker Meadows
Honda riders roll into town
Camp Cluckers ready for guests
Fair an unlikely party spot
Honda expects 15,000 visitors
Darby moves closer to 20-acre rule
PTO embezzler released from  jail after 50 days
School board OKs abatement
Former  fireman indicted for rape
Richwood unhappy with RITA fees
Levies set for August ballot
At least 1,500 homes go dark in Marysville
Poliafico takes over at Our Lady of Lourdes
Can city avoid future threats?
Council looking at ways around new issues like railyard
Local fitness center financially out of shape
Smoke testing begins in Marysville
Union County Airport taxiway being widened
Two attain rank   of Eagle Scout
North Union Veterans Memorial reaches first goal
Fairbanks will try for levy
Doing it right
NU project $1.8 million under budget
A dangerous day on U.S. 36
Ballinger Funeral Home a staple of northern Union County
Funding of new meters discussed
Triad  continues to gear up for levy
Knox County teen hangs himself at juvenile facility
Information vague on suicide attempt at juvenile facility
Officials discuss decommissioning school
Plans for railyard scrapped?
Citizen group not convinced issue is dead
Candidate loses election complaint
Gore claimed advertising during mayoral race was unfair
U.C. Fair will get back to its roots
Classic grandstand entertainment is on the card
Area doctor is tops in state
Leaders learn about revitalization
Some general funds flirt with danger
The high side of the funding game
A Day in the Park set for  Saturday
Magnetic Screw began as one man, one machine
Richwood reconsiders annexation
Steam Threshers festival begins Thursday
Taking care of Teela
Fire forces evacuation of plant
Traffic to be affected by work
Pothole!
City repaving project will wait until next year
Students learn cartooning during summer art program
Support group lends a hand to Richwood family
Scotts cleanup effort spelled out
Groups to honor Miriam Hildreth
N.L. council discusses rights of way
Jerome Township meeting turns into question and answer session

Pool regulations also apply to some portables
Report notes room for improvement
Seventh Street School demolition a step closer
Milcrest Nursing Center has new owner

Chief reminds residents to lock doors, windows
Farewell to Father Bentz

Lighting up the night
Riders come from far and wide to take part in Honda Homecoming
By JOEY SECREST
Journal-Tribune intern
They've come from everywhere to celebrate with their bikes.
Motorcycle riders traveled from all over the nation to Marysville to
help Honda celebrate 25 years in Ohio.
Chapter X2 of Gold Wing Road Riders Association located in Middletown
brought Phil and Sandy Yaple of Trenton and Ron and Connie Walters of
Cincinnati. Staying just for Friday, the couples spent their day touring
the Honda plant, socializing, eating and checking out the vendors.
"We might just find a new piece of chrome we have to have," Mr. Yaple
said.
They said that their bikes are not decorated in lights so they are
planning to just watch the light show Friday night.
Although the light show is the big finale ending the day of festivities,
four friends from Anderson, Ind., took vacation days from work and
didn't even stay to watch.
"We came to go through the Honda plant and see all the bikes," said Roy
Meredith, 52, who has been riding a Honda Gold Wing for 36 years.
While in town, Meredith is getting accessories put on the signal of his
motorcycle by one of the vendors and then will head home.
The light show is a ninth annual event for six men from Lancaster, Pa.
Lynn Wenrich said it took seven and a half hours on their Gold Wings to
get to Marysville.
"We can't ride anything else," he said.
Wenrich and his clan are staying at the Red Roof Inn in Worthington
because it is the closest hotel where they could get a room.
They spent Friday touring Honda and spending money at the vendors.
Wenrich had to replace a tire on his motorcycle because it wore out on
the trip.
"We didn't come to watch the show," he said. "We came to participate.
Our wives didn't come this year so we're going a little crazy."
Wenrich said he also goes to Americade in New York, but he had only
compliments for Marysville's Honda plant.
"It's a real good thing Honda has for these people," he said adding that
the people are extremely friendly in town.
One rider wasn't just here for the light show. His family-owned business
has a venue on Sixth Street. Terry Bowles, owner of Tour King in
Abilene, Texas, made his debut at the Marysville show.
He said he likes Marysville because of the people. He compared it to
going to the city park or a picnic.
"The people here wave and smile and stop to talk to people," he said.
According to Bowles, the city welcomed him upon his arrival, directing
him where to go and providing an opportunity for the vendors to tour
Honda Friday morning.
"This year we have tried to increase the number of shows we go to and
one of the quality shows is Homecoming," Bowles said.
Bowles and Jim Hays travel the nation to motorcycle shows from early
spring to October.
 "Anything to do with Honda and Honda riders is a good show with good
people. Generally we go to shows that are of similar orientation. Our
first priority is to work Gold Wing venues," Bowles said.

Meningitis cases reported
From J-T staff reports:
The Union County Health Department has investigated four cases of viral
meningitis, a relatively common but rarely serious infection.
According to Union County Health Commissioner Martin Tremmel, the case
were found in children aged 7 to 9 and all the children are all right.
He said no common link has been found among the children.
Cases of the virus are most common during the summer and fall and are
spread through direct contact with respiratory and throat secretions and
infected stool. Most infected persons are carriers, possessing no
symptoms or developing only a cold or rash with a low-grade fever. Fewer
than one in every 1,000 infected persons develop meningitis.
Common symptoms of bacterial and viral meningitis are high fever,
headache and stiff neck. Other symptoms might be nausea, vomiting,
discomfort from bright lights, confusion or sleepiness.
There is no curative treatment for viral meningitis and it usually
resolves on its own within one to two weeks. There is no lasting effect
and no vaccine is available.
Bacterial meningitis requires antibiotics and can be fatal if not
treated. Infection can result in brain damage, hearing loss or a
learning disability. A vaccine is available for use in communities where
meningitis is more prevalent, for example, college students living in
dormitories.
Michele Weatherbie, communicable disease nurse with the health
department, offers these tips to prevent the spread of meningitis and
any other communicable disease:
 ? Use separate drinking cups and eating utensils.
 ? Wash hands after using the bathroom and more often if allergies or a
cold cause coughing and sneezing.
 ? Don't share anything placed in the mouth, such as toothbrushes,
straws, candy, etc.
More information on meningitis may be obtained by calling Weatherbie at
642-0801. Appointments for college students to receive the vaccine may
be made by calling the same number.


Fashions at the county fair
By JOEY SECREST
Journal-Tribune intern
A high fashion Paris runway has nothing over styles seen along the Union
County Fair's midway.
Cockeyed hats, shorts with barn boots, orange vests and bellies galore,
plus a uniform T-shirt or two were standard attire at this year's fair.
Standing out from the crowd were brothers Nick Adams and Logan
McWilliams with their stylized Mohawks.
"I just want to be different. I don't want to look like everyone else,"
said Adams, a guitarist with the band Shattered Existence and a 2004
graduate of Marysville High School. This is his third Mohawk since last
summer when he styled his blue Mohawk with Elmer's glue. Around
snowboard season he dyed his second Mohawk green. The current Mohawk is
black and styled with "Got to be Glued."
The brothers say their punk look is influenced by their music. Besides
the unique hair styles, their style is signatured with black T-shirts
and tight blue jeans which McWilliams said he wears every day and washes
on the weekend.
The brothers weren't the only eye-catching people on the midway.
Michael Ryan and Daniele Brentlinger, both 18, were decked-out in their
own style. Ryan was wearing Brentlinger's pants with very wide legs, a
ripped fish net shirt and a spiked wrist cuff. Brentlinger was wearing a
black T-shirt and jeans. They said people describe them as freaks,
Gothic or weirdos but they are comfortable with the clothes they wear.
They both have an undercut with their head shaved up the sides and
longer jet black hair that hangs over the top.
"We're just being ourselves," Brentlinger said. "We don't care what
people think."
Another fashion statement was made from two Marysville High School
juniors.
Kyle Stidam chose to wear his John Deere trucker cap in his own unique
way with the hat sitting lightly on the back of his head and the bill to
the side.
"My hair doesn't fit it very well," said Stidam, who sported a shaggy
hair cut.
Stidam said he doesn't always wear his hat this way. When playing ball,
he dons the traditional look.
Stidam's friend, Brett Kennedy, was wearing a white knitted
toboggan-style hat that a friend's grandmother had knitted for him. He
said this was the first time he had worn the hat.
Dylan Wright, a 2003 Marysville High School graduate, believes every
person has his own style and he defined his look as "bling, bling."
Wright was wearing black jeans and a black jersey shirt and a head wrap
that covered his head and hung over his neck.
Other bold looks along the midway included green and fire-red hair, a
young teenage boy sporting a pink headband with a matching shirt, Mardi
Gras beads and black, Gothic, zippered attire.
Footwear ran the gamut from glittery flip flops to functional tennis
shoes and from cowboy boots to chunky heeled shoes.
Standard accessories that crossed all ages were cell phones attached
either to the ear or waist and sunglasses.
On the other side of the creative fashion spectrum was the conservative
uniform look with firemen in their navy blue T-shirts and slacks, black
belts and boots. Children from the YMCA were a bit brighter with their
electric yellow T-shirts. Other youth groups wore DARE and QUAKE
T-shirts and there was the business casual style that included a lot of
aprons on food vendors.
With competitions of every kind, it's amazing the fair board hasn't
created a category for midway fashion statements.

Suspect enters  not guilty plea
By RYAN HORNS
The retired Marysville firefighter indicted for rape pleaded not guilty
during his arraignment Thursday afternoon.
Harold Horch, 65, of 12701 Route 4 was indicted on one first-degree
felony rape charge. His alleged victim is a 4-year-old female relative,
not a 2-year-old as originally reported.
During the arraignment Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Rich
Parrott set a $20,000 bond. He decided payment of 10 percent would be
acceptable, allowing Horch to be released for the time being.
But Horch's defense team maintains that they are confused at why the
case even came to an indictment. The whole situation came as a big
surprise to them. Their client was arrested and they were not even
notified.
"We just can't figure it out," Max Kravitz said.
He said his client has done nothing wrong. According to court files, the
sex crime allegedly occurred around March 15 in Union County. But he and
co-council Paula Brown reported that Horch has had minimal contact with
the family of the victim and the crime could not have occurred.
"He is in complete denial of any inappropriate activity," Kravitz said.
"We were told that the case was not going anywhere. There were DNA tests
that were done which came back negative and the case was not going to be
pursued. We are completely mystified."
Kravitz said this morning that Horch is in the middle of an "acrimonious
divorce" and the charges may have something to do with that. But they do
not wish to reveal too much of their defense.
"We will see what the prosecution provides us," he said.
During the arraignment, Brown represented Horch. She said there was no
contact with the alleged victim during the dates the prosecution
reported.
"My client hasn't seen anything of that family since March," she said.
Horch has been living in his home and quietly running his lawn care
business.
She filed his plea of not guilty and a discussion was held on whether
Horch was a risk to flee if set free on bond.
"Your honor, my client has been a resident of Marysville all his life.
He was a firefighter in town for the past 30 years," she said. "He is
not a flight risk."
In the end, Parrott ruled Horch could be trusted not to flee and set
bond.
Horch was set to have his video arraignment in the Union County Court of
Common Pleas Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. His defense attorneys were not able
to make the hearing and it was postponed until Thursday.
"I will not answer any more questions without legal counsel," Horch had
said, via the computer on Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard
Parrott's desk. Instead he reportedly chose to wait another day in jail
until he could be properly represented.
He is currently locked up at the Tri-County Regional Jail in
Mechanicsburg.

Dr. Atkins never had to  deal with a deep fried Oreo
From J-T staff reports:
Food is always a big part of county fairs and some people look forward
all year to indulging their taste buds with food that is seldom seen
outside the summer season.
Recent years have seen the addition of some pretty far out food concepts
to the Union County Fair and almost all of those are ? guess what? ?
deep fried.
Almost everyone likes Oreos, Twinkies and cheesecake but a lot of people
shy away from them because of the caloric content. Now, we can add
insult to injury by eating deep-fried Oreos, Twinkies and cheesecake.
Baked potatoes have long been an American favorite and now they are
available in a deep-fried version. Turkey legs were made popular at
Renaissance festivals and they have turned up deep fried at fairs.
Crunchy dill pickles and ice cream are coated and fried.
Nutritionists advise eating five servings of vegetables a day. Does that
include deep-fried mushrooms, onions and broccoli?
People on the Atkins diet will have a hard time sticking to it at the
fair. They can immediately discount all the deep-fried foods, the
elephant ears, funnel cakes, Belgian waffles, popcorn, taffy and cotton
candy. So what can they eat?
Meat.
"Let me have three Whammy Burgers, please, without the buns."
Dieters can choose pizza without crust, gyros without pita bread, frozen
chocolate-covered banana without the chocolate, candy or caramel apples
without the coating, lemon shakeup without sugar, corn dog without the
cornbread and sweet corn without the corn. They can also choose from
bunless Italian sausage, brats, hot dogs, steak burgers, fried bologna
and walleye.
"I'll take a burrito and a fajita, without the tortillas."
No fair is complete without several versions of fried potatoes: crinkle,
ribbon and plain old french fries. Atkins dieters probably can't go
there but they can try. "Do you have any non-carb potatoes?"
There's no reason to be so serious about this carb thing. The fair comes
only once a year, so go for it.
"Let me have one of each."


Ground  broken for Walker Meadows
By RYAN HORNS
Developers finally broke ground on Walker Meadows home and luxury
condominium community Thursday afternoon.
The development, located where Route 38 and Boerger Road meet, is
expected to provide much-needed executive housing to keep top level
businesses leaders in the city. The 45-acre residential development will
include 56 custom built homes and 26 luxury condominiums by Daystar
Development. Homes will be priced between $300,000 and $450,000, while
condominiums will go for $225,000 to $325,000.
City officials, developers and neighbors surrounding the project were
invited for the groundbreaking. Virginia Walker, whose family inspired
the development's name, was also in attendance.
"Mrs. Walker actually grew up on this land," Walker Meadows developer
Debbie Lutz of Lutz Enterprises said. Her partner in the project is Don
Saul of Capital Procurement Ltd.
Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse said he couldn't miss coming out to the
groundbreaking before heading out for a ride in the Goodyear blimp which
is in town for Honda Homecoming. He said it has taken time and a lot of
tedious work to get to this point but the city is proud of the result.
"Good things can happen when good people get together and cooperate," he
said.
The development has been before Marysville Planning Commission and City
Council several times since last year and has changed a great deal from
its original design. The altered drafts had a lot to do with input from
future neighbors of the project as well as from planning commission
members who pushed for more green space and larger lots.
Lutz said that nearly eight acres of grass land and four ponds were
added to the project. Walking trails were also included.
She said the development will be built in two phases. The first phase
will include the site development of 31 lots, expected to be completed
by mid-November. The building of the homes will begin the same month.
The construction of 26 condominiums is slated to begin in early January.
Phase two of the project is slated to begin by the spring of 2006.
Lutz said lot sizes range from 1/3 to 2/3 of an acre, which will give
builders and buyers the ability to construct the houses they want with
ample land between estates.
According to Economic Development Director Eric Phillips, 37 percent of
people who work in Marysville actually live in the city. The majority
live in Columbus and commute. That is a fact they hope to change.
Phillips said he has begun selling the idea to businesses in the area to
let them know about the future development and how it could benefit
their employees.
Another aspect that will make Walker Meadows beneficial to the city,
Lutz said, is that Marysville is the third fastest growing community in
Ohio. This creates a big opportunity for housing diversity.
"There is a dire shortage of executive housing," she said.
Page Engineering in Marysville, Faris Planning and Design in Grandview
and Corna-Kokosing in Westerville are all involved in the development.
Financing was provided by Peoples Bank of Marietta.
Lutz said a sales office for Walker Meadows is located at 1040 Columbus
Ave.

 

Honda riders roll into town
Camp Cluckers ready for guests
By CINDY BRAKE
Fun rules at Camp Cluckers during Honda's Homecoming celebration and no
reservations are required.
Wearing white chicken hats during Friday's light parade, the group of
strangers from around the world have become fast friends, thanks to the
generosity and backyard of Dori and Russ Watson.
The Watsons decided seven years ago to open their two-acre yard along
Allen Center Road to Homecoming visitors for free camping during the
Honda Homecoming celebration.
"We do it just because we do it," said Russ, a 22-year Honda employee.
"We have a lot of fun here."
 Dori adds that this is their way of thanking people for purchasing
Honda motorcycles.
Earlier this week, they had no idea how many people would be arriving to
pitch tents for the weekend event, however, they were expecting 15
indoor guests who were arriving by motorcycle, car and plane from North
Carolina, Oklahoma and Colorado. The Watsons are even expecting "Elvis
from Pennsylvania" on his Gold Wing motorcycle with his wife. All they
know is that his real name is George and he is an Elvis impersonator.
As many as 44 tents and 75 people ranging in age from 19 to 64 have
camped in their yard at one time with the furthest coming from
Yugoslavia, Dori said. They believe they've had people from Canada and
almost every state except Hawaii stay in their yard over the years.
"They come and go," Russ said about the camp out that has taken on a
life of its own over the years.
He said they've had more than one guest wonder if the offer is for real.

It all began by pure coincidence.
The Watsons were working the gate at the Union County Fair, something
they had done for years, when a group of six North Carolina
motorcyclists stopped to ask for directions to "Belly Fontaine." Dori
invited them to camp in her yard for free the next year after hearing
about the less than perfect camping conditions that included a high
price tag, mosquitoes, noise from passing trains and no facilities after
9 p.m.
It was an instant friendship.
The next year the Watsons set up a port-a-john in their backyard and
posted homemade signs declaring free camping in their yard. They even
planned a hog roast which their southern friends called a "pig picking"
party.
The free Friday night cook-out before the light show now includes the
campers plus many locals who pitch in with covered dishes. The Watsons
estimate they've had as many as 150 people at the cookout that ends with
the chicken dance.
Dori said the chicken hat tradition began after she had been to a
wedding where the bride's mother made chicken hats. She got the pattern
and made 17 chicken hats. She and Russ then headed to North Carolina to
surprise one of the North Carolina friends who was celebrating his 60th
birthday.
"The rest is history," Dori said.
The Watsons now jest that their guests really do have to pay to camp in
their yard by joining in the group chicken dance that involves wearing
the chicken hat and clucking around the campfire. While some guests
appear hesitant at first, most quickly enjoy the privilege of wearing
the chicken hat during the light parade. After the parade all hats are
returned to the Watsons for next year.
All hats, that is, except one.
Dori said one man actually sold his hat for $40 a few years ago and the
money was donated to the Ride for Kids event.
After working at Honda for years and hosting the free campout, the
Watsons didn't own a motorcycle until last year. They used to joke about
their lack of a bike but are looking forward to joining the Cluckers in
this year's light parade that will travel through the Union County
Fairgrounds at 9:30 p.m.

Fair an unlikely party spot
From J-T staff reports:
Question: What do 12-year-old 4-H'ers do when their birthday falls in
the middle of the fair?
Answer: They party!
Packing a party between photography and livestock projects, Sarah and
Emily Jacobs, members of the Millcreek Minors 4-H Club, celebrated their
12th birthdays at the fair Wednesday with five friends and lots of fun.
From the day of their birth, their mom, Carla, said she realized the
identical twins would have to share their birthday with the fair. She
said the thought first crossed her mind when her nephew came to the
hospital to see the newborn twins after he had just finished showing his
pigs at the fair.
"This is how it's always going to be," Carla recalls thinking to
herself. "They are farm raised."
Until this year the family has held parties on a different date to avoid
any fair conflicts, but this year Mom decided to have a sleep over for
the girls and their friends at the fair. The only rule was "no boys,"
which meant that their dad and 14-year-old brother had to stay home.
After borrowing their Grandpa Carl Smith's camper, the Fairbanks seventh
graders invited five friends to share the celebration that officially
began Tuesday evening after the twins showed their dairy feeder 4-H
projects in the showmanship competition.
The highlight of the campout has been a late night game of whiffle ball,
say all the girls, along with riding the Screamer along the midway. By
noon Wednesday, the twins had opened presents and every girl's face was
appropriately made up with quite a bit of mascara and eye shadow. Each
was also anxiously awaiting another round of fair rides. Tacos and a
birthday cake were to follow.
Mom, on the other hand, was looking forward to the end of the day when
the "older kids" or adults were planning a cookout and she could relax.
By Friday the birthday festivities will be but a memory as the girls and
their brother, Kyle, get back to the business of the fair when they
will  show their dairy calves called Nemo, Popeye and Sirloin in the
junior fair competition.

Honda expects 15,000 visitors
There will be a special party atmosphere at the 2004 Honda Homecoming
that kicks off Thursday at the Marysville motorcycle plant.
A bigger-than-usual crowd, perhaps approaching 15,000, is expected as
motorcyclists return to see not only where many of their bikes were
born, but also where Honda began its manufacturing history in America
nearly 25 years ago.
"We're excited to have loyal motorcyclists and community visitors join
us during this anniversary," said Dane Espenschied, Honda of America
vice president and Marysville Motorcycle Plant manager. "We've grown
from 64 associates who started building the CR250R Elsinore off-road
motorbike in 1979 to 750 associates at what has become Honda's 'Big Bike
Plant'."
Those big bikes include the plant's signature Gold Wing GL1800 touring
motorcycle, the Valkyrie Rune, VTX 1800 and 1300 cruiser models, and
Shadow custom bike models.
Admission to the Honda HomeComing is free and the public is invited.
This year's event includes Honda motorcycle demo rides, plant tours, and
special displays of historic motorcycles built at Honda of America.
A $10,000 prize will be awarded to the winner of the VTXperience Bike
Show on Friday. The Goodyear Airship returns this year. Tethered hot air
balloon rides will be available. Light parades, block parties and vendor
expos also will be featured in nearby Marysville and Bellefontaine.
The Marysville Motorcycle Plant is among four plants in Ohio operated by
Honda of America Mfg., employing more than 13,000 associates.  The other
plants are the Marysville Auto Plant, where the Honda Accord and Acura
TL are assembled; the East Liberty Auto Plant, where the Honda Civic and
Element light-duty truck are produced, and the Anna Engine Plant, which
produced more than 1.16 million engines last year for Honda auto plants
in North America.

Darby moves closer to 20-acre rule
By CINDY BRAKE
The one township in Union County that has lost the least amount of
agricultural land since 1994 is one step closer to creating the most
restrictive zoning regulations to limit residential development.
After two years of meetings, the five-member Darby Township Board of
Zoning unanimously voted last week to replace U1 (undeveloped) districts
with an A1 (agricultural) district that limits one dwelling for every 20
acres in a parcel. The proposed zoning changes also create an FR (farm
residential) district that permits one house for every five acres.
The new township map does not include any farm residential districts.
Property owners will need to rezone if they want that classification.
Elected officials say the push to preserve farmland comes from a citizen
survey and board chairman David Gruenbaum has voiced a desire to prevent
developments that line the road such as that on Hawn Road.
The facts, however, reveal that Darby has actually lost the least amount
of agricultural acres of all townships in Union County since 1994 and in
fact ranks among the highest in agricultural acres in the county.
According to information from the Union County Auditor's office the
following agricultural acres were lost since 1994 by the 14 townships in
Union County: Jerome -1,298; Allen - 1,216; Paris - 1,157; Millcreek -
693; York - 686; Liberty - 528; Dover - 469; Leesburg - 327; Washington
- 324; Jackson - 281; Claibourne - 242; Taylor - 219; Darby - 122. Union
actually gained 65 acres.
Total agricultural acres per township are: York - 22,303; Union -
21,744; Liberty - 20,593; Claibourne - 20,272; Jerome - 18,742; Darby -
18,055; Leesburg - 17,772; Washington - 17,255; Jackson - 17,085; Paris
- 15,942; Taylor - 15,608; Allen - 15,147; Dover - 12,590; and Millcreek
- 11,388.
Darby's proposal now goes to the three-member board of trustees for a
public hearing within 30 days.
Darby isn't the only township in the county wrestling with development
issues. Allen, Jerome, Taylor and Millcreek townships are holding their
own meetings. Numerous elected officials have also met twice to discuss
how to manage future development along the U.S. 33 corridor from
Marysville to Dublin.
"Future generations will judge us by how we deal with this region," said
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte during a July 15 meeting in
Marysville that drew officials from the municipalities of Shawnee Hills,
Dublin and Marysville, Union and Delaware counties and the townships of
Jerome, Dover, Millcreek, Darby, Paris and Washington. "U.S. 33
represents the lifeblood of this region."
During the round table discussion, Union County Commissioner Jim
Mitchell noted that the properties which lie primarily in Jerome
Township are prime for development with the most tillable ground
receiving the greatest pressures.
Union County Commissioner Tom McCarthy noted that green and open spaces
"just feel better" whether they are parks or corn fields. Saying that he
doesn't want that area to become a "concrete jungle," he encouraged the
group to not compromise on the intangibles.
Focusing on practical matters, Union County Commissioner Gary Lee said
managing storm water is a critical issue with more and more flooding
occurring when the city meets the country.
Marysville City Council members Mark Reams, John Marshall, Dan Fogt,
Nevin Taylor, Ed Pleasant and John Gore, as well as city administrator
Kathy House had their own list of concerns to share.
House is concerned about managing the change to live more harmoniously,
while Reams said he is interested in "shaping our own destiny." Marshall
said his goal is to create a place where people live and work in the
same community. Pleasant listed sewer and water concerns as primary
issues, while Taylor and Gore pointed to road development.
"The future is now. Either we are or we aren't," Gore said.
Township officials voiced other concerns.
Darby Township trustee Dan Alderman said he wanted to keep development
from spilling over into his township, while Jerome Township trustee
Sharon Sue Wolfe said she is concerned about being annexed.
"I don't want to lose my township," said Jerome Township trustee Freeman
May.
Millcreek Township trustee Jim Schrader encouraged cooperation.
Delaware County Commissioner Deb Martin encouraged the group to learn
from their mistakes and work together.
"Regionalism is a reality," Martin said.
The U.S. 33 corridor group is planning to meet again Aug. 17 at 6:30
p.m. to review development tools.

PTO embezzler released from  jail after 50 days
By RYAN HORNS
The former PTO treasurer of East Elementary School in Marysville was
sentenced in June to serve one year jail time for stealing thousands
from the organization she managed. Tuesday afternoon she was released
from jail early.
Lori E. Showalter, 28, of 228 Vine St. was given a judicial release from
her 12-month sentence Tuesday by Union County Common Pleas Court Judge
Richard Parrott. But his decision did not come easy.
Showalter was convicted of stealing $13,000 meant for children's
activities at the school during her stint as PTO treasurer from October
2001 to August 2003. She received a fourth-degree felony theft charge on
March 24 and originally pleaded not guilty. She changed her plea to
guilty on May 5 and was sentenced on June 7.
During the hearing Tuesday, Showalter's attorney, Michael Streng, said
his client was ready for release. She has taken character development
classes in prison and has had no infraction while serving her time. He
added that prior to her arrest she had no criminal record.
"She's had a lot of time to think about this," Streng said in court. "It
has been the worst experience she has ever had in her life . she has had
the loss of trust, respect and the loss of friends as a result of this."

Streng asked Parrott to grant the release so that Showalter could begin
showing the community she could be a law-abiding citizen.
A pregnant Showalter appeared in court and explained to Parrott why she
should be released. Her husband and family sat in the audience behind
her.
"I have had 50 days to sit alone, pregnant, and think about this," she
said.
Assistant Union County Prosecutor Yvonne Watson said she did not oppose
judicial release but that the East Elementary School PTO still wanted
full restitution made.
"I don't understand how much restitution she can make if she is in
prison," Parrott asked.
CO-presidents of the PTO Tina Murdock and Brenda Reedy were in court for
the hearing and asked if Showalter's family could pay the restitution
but Parrott said he could not make them pay for her mistake.
"The family didn't commit the crime," he said.
Parrott said Showalter still owes the PTO $17,008 and that she could
make payments if she was released and got a job.
"We don't trust her to be out," Reedy said. "What if she flees?"
Parrott said that would be very difficult for her. Showalter cannot
obtain a passport and would have all of law enforcement after her.
Besides, if she is released and cannot make payments she would go right
back to prison
"I have yet to have anyone escape or flee that didn't get picked up," he
said. "And I've been at this since 1981."
Parrott also said he was thinking about the good of the PTO and what
they could do with that $17,000 if it were returned.
"I've sent her to prison," Parrott said. "I didn't let her walk. I feel
I have made a statement to the community. You don't steal money from
anyone and walk away."
"Like we have said in our victim statement," Murdock said, "our ultimate
goal is to get the money back . in a timely fashion."
But Murdock wondered if Showalter would be able to find a job.
"You've never seen me operate," Parrott said. "I've got the world's best
job agency. I just ask them to find a job and they keep it."
If they don't, he said, they go back to prison. Once they violate their
parole he makes sure it is not easy for them to get back out. He said a
man just tried for his third judicial release hearing that morning.
Violating his parole is what sent him back to prison.
"I just tell them tough," Parrott said.
Showalter's husband told Parrott that he would help and that together
they plan to sell their home and use that money to make restitution.
Parrott gave Showalter three years of community control probation and
200 hours of community service to be completed within the next 180 days.
But he said she must find a job.
"I don't want any Mickey Mouse employment. I'm talking full employment,"
he said.
Parrott wished her good luck in paying the restitution and maintaining
the terms of her release.
Afterward, Streng said he felt Parrott's decision was fair.
"She does feel sorry for what she did," he said. "She has tasted the
bitter wine of immorality."

 

School board OKs abatement
By JUDY BOEHLER
The Marysville Board of Education voted to approve an enterprise zone
tax revenue sharing agreement between the city of Marysville and the
school board for the Honda Lock of America Inc. project.
Honda Lock is a Logan County business which is building a facility in
Marysville. The company will build an 8,000-square-foot research and
development facility in Marysville Square Business Park and will bring
19 jobs.
The city has offered a 10-year 75 percent tax abatement on real property
and by Ohio law, the school district must approve any such abatement.
Other taxes which will be paid by the business will be shared by the
city and the school district. Superintendent Larry Zimmerman said that
will amount to about $90,000 per year for the schools.
The board also accepted the donation of 1.739 acres next to Creekview
Intermediate School from Dominion Homes. Zimmerman said it will square
off the property around Creekview.
Zimmerman said much work has been done on the levy in the form of
house-to-house visits and personal phone calls. The 5.6-mill five-year
renewal levy is on the ballot in the special election Aug. 3. The levy
brings in $3 million per year and costs the owner of a$100,000 home
about $105 a year. Since the levy is a renewal, Zimmerman said, there
will be no increase in taxes.
In other business, the board:
 . Approved payment in lieu of transportation for students Katelyn and
Madison Morgan, Aaron Conn and Aisha Mohiuddin.
 . Approved the updated Student/Parent Athletic Handbook.
 . Approved new hourly rates for bus drivers. Substitute drivers will
earn $11 per hour to start and $12 per hour after 30 days of work, an
increase of $1; bus driver trainers will earn $13.50 per hour, up from
$13; and guaranteed bus drivers will earn $12.50 per hour, an increase
of 50 cents.
In personnel matters, the board:
 . Approved the re-employment of Barbara Rea as art teacher at Raymond
Elementary School; Edwin Starling as high school guidance counselor; and
Richard Weiskircher as MHS teacher after their elected retirement.
 . Approved one-year contracts for Elizabeth Hohenfield and Allison
Jordan as teachers; and Nancy Shrock as auxiliary aide tutor for Trinity
Lutheran School on an as-needed basis and based on availability of fund.

Other personnel lists will be printed on Friday's Education Page.
The Aug. 23 meeting will be held at 5 p.m. at the school administration
building.

Former  fireman indicted for rape
Former  fireman indicted for rapeWas father of  man charged with
similar crime in 2003
From J-T staff reports:
A retired Marysville firefighter is now in jail after being indicted for
allegedly raping a 2-year-old girl.
Details on the case are minimal at this time but Union County Sheriff
Rocky Nelson reported this morning that Harold Horch, 65, of 12701 Route
4 was arrested Monday.
According to court files, on or about March 15 in Union County Horch
allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with a two-year-old girl identified
as "Jane Doe." The offense constitutes a first-degree felony rape
charge.
Horch was named a defendant in the case in an indictment handed down by
the grand jury on Friday.
In 2003 Horch's son, Steven L. Horch, 36, also faced rape-related
charges.
On July 3, 2003, Steven Horch was sentenced to serve 27 years in prison
for rape-related charges and for video recording his now ex-wife, Lara
Swonguer, 33, having sexual relations with her young son. Horch was also
accused of raping a 5-year-old female family member around 1991 or 1992.
He was not found guilty on this charge.
Swonguer is also serving prison time for her involvement in the crime.
According to assistant fire chief Johnie Meyers, Harold Horch retired
from the department around 1998.
The city of Marysville Human Resources Department reported that Horch
had been associated with the Marysville fire department since the 1970s
starting as a volunteer and serving as a full-time fireman throughout
the 80s and 90s.
He is now known to be running a lawn mowing business in Union County.
Horch is scheduled to have his video arraignment today at 1:15 p.m. in
the Union County Common Pleas Court. He is being represented by
attorneys Max Kravitz and Paula Brown of the Columbus law firm Kravitz &
Kravitz.


Richwood unhappy with RITA fees
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
When a bill for service doubles in cost over the previous yea, eyebrows
are raised.
When it triples, it's time to set up a meeting.
Richwood Village Council invited members of the Regional Income Tax
Agency to attend Monday's meeting to discuss a fee hike. The agency,
which collects the village income tax and distributes it back to the
village, charged the village about $5,000 in 2004, but that fee jumped
to about $15,000 for 2005.
In 2003 RITA collected $471 million in income taxes for its members and
$191,000 of that went  to Richwood.
Christy Price, interim director of RITA, said the increase in fees was
to help offset the cost of an updated computer network the company has
installed. Price said the old tax collection software was developed in
1972.
Councilwoman Arlene Blue asked Price why the village should be
responsible for paying for the company's computer upgrades, as money for
such costs should be set aside in a capital improvements fund.
Price said RITA, as a non-profit government agency, is not allowed to
have any carryover funds at the end of each year. She added that the
village, in signing the agreement to join RITA, agreed to share
operating costs with the other members of the group.
Any extra revenue is returned to the members at the end of the year but
if a deficit exists, that cost is billed to the entities.
Blue said she is troubled by the fact that after a small jump in fees
last year RITA representatives told council that such fees would not
become the norm. One year later the fee nearly tripled.
Blue asked if the fees would return to previous levels next year and was
told they would not. Price said the fees would probably stay about the
same and said she could also not rule out the possibility of future
increases.
"I can't make promises of things I don't know," Price said.
Blue said if the costs continue to rise beyond the current level, she
would like to see Richwood collect the tax on its own. Price was ready
or the statement and offered a list of costs the village could expect to
incur if it set up its own tax collection system.
Price said she would send the village an estimate of the fees for the
following year so the council may be more prepared when setting the
budget for 2005. She also said RITA could work with the village to set
up some type of payment plan for the additional fee incurred this year.
In other business, council:
. Appears to be nearing a resolution with developer Jeff Wills on a
subdivision he is building. The project has been stalled for many months
as the village was not satisfied with some details of the plan. After
discussions Monday it appears the problems have been ironed out and the
village could sign off on the plans at the next meeting.
. Learned that James Dew has been appointed to the village planning
commission.
. Heard an update on Sunday's Park Day at the village park.
. Discussed an earth mound topped with trees to be built at the
industrial park.
. Heard mayor Bill Nibert say that the new door installed at the village
hall looks very nice. It was also noted that Howard Grose and his
daughter volunteered time to paint the structure.

Levies set for August ballot
From J-T staff reports:
Psst .... a special election will be held Aug. 3 with two levy requests
on the ballot.
Whether it is the summer lull or just a change in tactics, the Union
County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and
the Marysville Board of Education have kept relatively quiet about their
upcoming levy requests.
MR/DD
This is the third time since November that county voters are being asked
to approve a 2.4-mill, six-year replacement levy for the Union County
MR/DD. The levy failed in March by 564 votes and in November by 102
votes.
In response to the defeats, the MR/DD board created a list of cost
containment measures. If the levy fails this time around the board plans
to close the Harold Lewis Center early intervention and preschool in
2005. MR/DD spends more than $1 million each year to operate the
preschool program. Approximately 70 children would then receive services
from other local institutions if the MR/DD program is closed. School age
children attend local public schools.
The board would also place the levy on the November ballot.
The current levy generates $1,893,500 or 28 percent of the 2004 MR/DD
budget. The replacement levy would be based on new property values and
generate $2,459,000 a year.
To the owner of a $100,000 valued property the current levy means $45.95
a year out of their pocket versus $73.50 a year under the replacement
levy. The Union County Auditor explains that property owners can figure
their own amounts by multiplying the current rate of 1.4931 with the
value of their property values as recorded by the county. The
replacement levy rate is 2.4.
MR/DD superintendent Jerry Burger explained that additional funds are
needed because of uncertain funding from the state. He added that if
state funding would come through, local funding could be adjusted with
another levy that expires in 2006.
"It's hard to project budget needs when there are so many unknowns,"
Buerger said.
The three-members of the Union County Board of Commissioners unanimously
approved placing the MR/DD levy on the ballot after raising a few
questions about the need for a replacement levy rather than a renewal.
The Union County MR/DD gets most of its revenue from local property
taxes. Funding is as follows: 28 percent or $1,893,500 from the 2.4-mill
levy that runs out this year; 55 percent of $3,597,000 from a 3.8 mill
levy that runs out in 2006; 8 percent or $565,000 from federal sources;
6 percent or $405,264 from state sources; and 2 percent or $121,380 from
other sources. Total revenue is $6,582,144.
Most of the program funds, 25 percent, go toward adult services through
U-CO Industries.
Other costs are administrative/program wide costs (20 percent), early
intervention/preschool programs (19 percent), transportation (17
percent), support services such as crisis intervention, consumer
advocacy and service coordination (13 percent), and building services (6
percent).
MR/DD provides services and support to approximately 400 county
residents who have mental retardation or developmental disabilities.
Eligible people of all ages receive services through the Harold Lewis
Center, U-CO Industries, WorkNet and/or support services.
The board's mission is to "increase opportunities for a quality of life,
community membership and personal achievement for people with
developmental disabilities."
Marysville Schools
The Marysville Exempted Village School District is asking voters to
renew a 6.56-mill, five-year operating levy.
Because it is a renewal, there will be no increase in taxes, said
superintendent Larry Zimmerman.
"This levy allows us to maintain what we have," he said.
The levy currently costs the owner of a $100,000 property about $105 a
year and brings in about $3 million per year.
The levy was first passed in 1989 and renewed in 1994 and 1999.
The levy represents 8.5 percent of the district's $39 million budget for
2005. The Marysville school district serves 4,900 students in grades K
to 12 and employs 562 people.
The polls are open Aug. 3 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

At least 1,500 homes go dark in Marysville
DP&L still unsure of cause
Approximately 1,500 Dayton Power and Light customers in the western part
of Marysville were without electricity late Thursday.
A DP&L spokesman said two lines went down and created a short of the
entire circuit around 11:30 p.m.
The area effected was West Fifth Street at Maple Street to Milford
Avenue.
Power was restored by 12:30 a.m. to 1,300 customers. Full power was
restored by 3 a.m.
It is unknown what caused the outage or where the downed lines were
located.
Marysville Fire Department responded to a Dayton Power and Light
substation Thursday night at 11:19 p.m. at 1329 Milford Avenue. Sparks
were seen shooting from a transformer in the area.
After DP&L crews arrived, they reportedly determined the sparks were
caused after a lightening arrestor exploded on the transformer. It is
unknown if this played a role in the power outages in the area.


Poliafico takes over at Our Lady of Lourdes
By JOEY SECREST
Journal-Tribune intern
Father David A. Poliafico is the new pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes
Catholic Church, 1033 W. Fifth St. He succeeds Father J. Barry Bentz who
served in Marysville for 11 years and has gone to Sacred Hearts Parish
near Cardington.
A native of Parma, Poliafico earned a bachelor's degree in music
composition from Cleveland State University. Poliafico was called to the
priesthood while he was attending college. He said he took a bus through
poor sections of Cleveland and he started to question what he could do
for the Lord.
Poliafico compared his calling to become a priest with the calling that
some people have to get married. He said it is similar to people knowing
that they are supposed to be together. He knew he was supposed to be a
priest.
After many prayers and much meditation, Poliafico attended the
Pontifical College Josephinum of Columbus and earned a master of
divinity degree. He was ordained in the Roman Catholic priesthood June
24, 1995, by Bishop James A. Griffin at St. Joseph Cathedral in
Columbus.
Although this is Poliafico's first full pastorate, he has served a
number of other churches.
While he was earning his master's degree, Poliafico had an internship
for a year in Zanesville and spent four years as the associate pastor at
St. Joseph Cathedral. He also served as associate pastor for St.
Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Pickerington for two years and three years
at St. Paul in Westerville.
Poliafico applied to be pastor in Marysville and was appointed by
Griffin, however, this is not his first experience with Our Lady of
Lourdes. In 1992 while he was earning his master degree, he worked in
Marysville as a seminarian in preparation of becoming a priest. During
that time he also worked at the Ohio Reformatory for Women.
Poliafico and Bentz share enjoyment in prison ministry. Poliafico worked
at Marion Correctional Institution in 1991 and Bentz was very dedicated
to ORW where he visited the women every Thursday.
According to Poliafico, he wanted to come to a growing parish that he
saw potential in and he saw that in Marysville. Our Lady of Lourdes has
800 families.
"As Marysville continues to grow, so will the parish," Poliafico said.
"I hope to bring a lot of life and enthusiasm to Our Lady of Lourdes and
encourage people to discover their own gifts and talents and make this
parish its own active community."
He added that first and foremost he hopes that during his pastorate in
Marysville people will grow in their faith.

Can city avoid future threats?
Council looking at ways around new issues like railyard
By RYAN HORNS
Now that it appears COTA has no interest in planting an intermodal
railyard in Marysville green space, the next question is whether the
city should take precautions for the future.
Phil Shandle, of Citizens Against Intermodal Railyard, spoke to council
about the issue at Thursday night's meeting.
"We may be free for now," he said. "I feel like we have achieved some
sort of small victory, even though it doesn't feel like it."
Shandle said that Marysville should be looking into ways to make it
harder for a similar development to come back. He recommended that the
city modify the zoning codes or come up with a land use development plan
that would explore other development ideas more agreeable to citizens.
"There is legal research going on right now," city council president
Nevin Taylor said.
Council member Dan Fogt reported that the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning
Commission is meeting Aug. 19 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss and update
officials on the intermodal railyard issue.
In other discussions, city economic development director Eric Phillips
explained two new resolutions regarding an enterprise zone agreement
between the city and Honda Lock of America Inc.
A 10-year 75 percent tax exemption on real property is proposed, he
said. Personal property taxes for the business would still be paid in
full.
Phillips said the company is out of space in its current Logan County
location and plans to construct a 6,000-square-foot research and
development facility on a parcel of the Marysville Square Business Park.
The company plans to relocate nine jobs and create 10 new jobs, as well
as invest around $700,000 into the facility.
Phillips said the Union County-Marysville Economic Development Action
Plan cites research and development businesses as being highly desired
due to the increased payroll and the addition of a facility and jobs to
the city. The company would also add to the existing base of research
and development companies in the area.
"These are the kind of jobs we want," he said. "A good use. A good
company."
The resolution states that the project will begin construction on Aug. 1
and be completed around April 30.
The second resolution takes the tax revenue generated by the company and
splits it evenly between the city and the Marysville Exempted Village
School District.
Over 10 years, Phillips said, the city and the school district would
each receive $90,000 in new taxes.
He said the school board will discuss the business with superintendent
Larry Zimmerman Monday, although the word is that they are looking
favorably at what Honda Lock of America, Inc. has to offer.
In other topics:
. The Eagles fraternal organization recently donated $2,970 for the
city's police and fire departments to split.
Fogt reported that the police department intends to put the donation
toward its bike patrol unit and the fire department will direct its
donation into the command box module. He said it is a great thing that
local citizen organizations were raising money for city needs.
. Council member John Gore congratulated city parks and recreation
superintendent Steve Conley for organizing A Day in the Park over the
weekend. He said it was well attended and about 1,500 free hot dogs were
served, despite the threat of rain.
"It was a very successful event," Gore said. "Steve Conley did an
outstanding job."

Local fitness center financially out of shape
Around 200 Cardio Connection members find door to facility locked
By RYAN HORNS
When members of the Cardio Connection fitness center showed up for a
workout after the July 4 holiday, they were in for a surprise. All they
found was a locked door and a sign posted by the landlord stating the
property had been abandoned. The owners had allegedly hightailed it to
Canada.
With membership fees already paid by around 200 gym members, many were
upset they had been scammed. The incident left police investigators
wondering if this was a criminal or a civil case.
Marysville police currently have no criminal case against the absent
owners of Cardio Connection at this time. But a total of six complaint
reports have been filed by gym members and police are still
investigating.
Cardio Connection owner Cyndi Chancey explained over the phone from her
home in Canada that the store closed because of financial problems. She
and her husband, Shane, had planned to do renovations to the gym the
morning of July 3 when they finally realized that the cost to renovate
and pay the landlord was too much for them.
Cyndi said she had placed a sign explaining the reason for the business
closing on the front door but it was removed by the landlord.
Cardio Connection landlord Debbie Lutz said that on May 14 the Chanceys
had renewed their lease for an additional year and part of that new
lease was to change their rental space from 4,500 square feet to 3,000.
The reduced size was reportedly to help provide the Chanceys with a
lower rent.
Lutz said the week before the Fourth of July holiday Shane called and
said they were coming down from Canada to make the renovations needed
for the downsizing. On July 3 Lutz got another call from Shane who said
he and his wife had removed their equipment and were not going to
continue their lease.
"We were surprised," Lutz said.
Cyndi said she is working with an attorney who is reviewing all the
Cardio Connection records. She plans to reimburse membership fees to
customers in the next 90 to 120 days. She is trying to find a job in
Canada to help pay for the costs but finding work has proven difficult.
"The cost of the equipment will more than be enough to reimburse the
membership fees," she said.
If the equipment does not cover the costs, Cyndi said, it could take
longer but they will attempt to personally pay for what they owe. It is
not known whether they will file bankruptcy at this time.
"My husband and I have put in over $60,000 in the last four years just
to stay afloat," she said. "It all just hit me that it is never going to
get any easier. I told a majority of the staff by July 4th evening. Some
I couldn't get a hold of right away."
Cyndi said her husband had moved to Canada to relocate his business
while she stayed behind in Marysville for six months.
Then in January she also made the move to Canada and found herself
trying to raise her two young children in another country and keep a
business afloat in Marysville.
"I really feel badly about this," Cyndi said. "We did what we could to
it until we didn't have any money . My husband put his last $6,000 into
it and we finally just couldn't do it anymore."
If the Chanceys spent $6,000 toward the renovation, Lutz does not know
where it went. She said only some shelving seems to have been altered.
"I do want to note that the landlord has locked the doors and we still
have not been able to remove all of our property. Simply by locking the
door and laying claim to it, they have kept several items that do not
belong to them," Cyndi said. "They sent a letter stating that they would
be keeping it."
Lutz said Shane was there when the doors were locked and he told her
that all their equipment was removed. She said nothing remains that
could be theirs aside from mirrors affixed to the walls and well worn
floor mats.
"I grew up in Marysville and feel personally responsible for the members
that put their trust in our club," Cindy said.
She is recommending that her 200 former members sign up at the Union
County YMCA.
"I encourage you to support them because it has been a long struggle for
them as well.  They need community involvement.  After all, it is your
YMCA.  Its success relies on community involvement through volunteers
and a demand for quality on your part as a member."
Cindy also recommended that any former members with questions about the
gym closing can contact her at
cyndichancey@hotmail.com.

Smoke testing begins in Marysville
The city of Marysville has contracted with Woolpert Inc. to conduct
smoke testing in some of the city's sanitary sewer lines. The tests
began Thursday. The smoke is harmless to individuals but those with
respiratory problems should notify the city so precautions can be taken.
For further information, residents should contact the Division of
Wastewater at 642-1036.
Areas to be tested include:
. First, Second, West Third, West Fourth, West Fifth and Main streets as
well as the side-streets connected to these.
. West Eighth, West Ninth, Collins, Fairwood, Vankirk, East Seventh,
East Sixth, 10th, 11th and Morey and connected side-streets.
. Chestnut, 10th, East Ninth and connected side-streets.
. Greenwood Colony, London Avenue, The Links Apartments and connected
side-streets.
Residents will be notified by door flyers a few days in advance
indicating the areas the crew will be working in.

 

Union County Airport taxiway being widened
From J-T staff reports:
The east taxiway at the Union County Airport is being relocated, widened
and lighted.
A $250,000 project to meet safety requirements began July 6 and should
be completed within 60 days. The county is picking up 10 percent of the
cost, while a federal grant will cover the balance.
James Carney, one of six volunteer members of the Union County Airport
Authority, estimates that the new taxiway will be widened by 60 feet.
He said the old taxiway was too close to the centerline of the runway,
making it difficult for larger airplanes to pass each other.
"It didn't happen often, but you never know," Carney said.
Igel and Co. Inc. of Columbus is in charge of the construction, while
R.D. Zande & Assoc. Inc. is the project engineer, Carney said.
The west taxiway was improved a number of years ago.
Plans for the 24-hour, 365-day-a-year airport began in the early 1960s
when then-governor James Rhodes proposed that every county should have
an airport to encourage industrial development. Carney credits the local
airport for playing a part in attracting Goodyear and Rockwell to Union
County.
The 4,200-foot long runway was constructed in 1966 and in 1970 the
Authority built the administrative/maintenance hanger which is receiving
a face lift with a new roof, carpet and interior paint, Carney said.
Other facilities on the approximately 200-acre facility include a
15,000-square-foot hanger built about eight years ago and 42 t-hangers
for individual airplane storage. Tie-down rental space is also
available.
Future plans include tree removal, overlay of the runway, rehabilitating
the ramp area and possibly extending the runway in both directions
making the airport more accessible for heavier airplanes.
Members of the Union County Airport Authority include Robert E. Chapman,
who has been a member since the authority was formed; Robert G. Chapman,
who is president of the authority; Robert B. Cahill, Carney, Walter
McPherson and John Popio.

Two attain rank   of Eagle Scout
From J-T staff reports:
Paul Lundstrom and David Monk will be presented with the Eagle Scout
Rank at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints.
Lundstrom is the son of Mary and Jeff Lundstrom. Born in California, he
became a Cub Scout at the age of 8 in Hartford, Conn. He moved to
Marysville when he was 12 and was active in Troop 287 until his 18th
birthday. He served as senior patrol leader, patrol leader, librarian,
scribe and assistant patrol leader and is an Order of the Arrow Ordeal
member.
His Eagle Scout project was the organization of a Red Cross blood drive
at the Marysville Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints.
Lundstrom is a graduate of Marysville High School where he was an honor
roll student and played saxophone in the marching and symphonic band,
wind ensemble, Blue and Red Jazz band and swing choir combo. He is a
sophomore at the Ohio state University and is studying electrical and
computer hardware engineering. He plans to serve a two-year mission for
his church.
Monk, the son of Michael and Karen Monk, has bee active in Troop 287 of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since the age of 8. He
served in leadership roles and participated in Scout High Adventure
activities to the Boundary Waters in Ontario, Canada, and white water
rafting in West Virginia.
For his Eagle Scout project, he constructed a portable lockable shelving
unit for the church nursery.
Monk is a senior at Marysville High School where he plays football and
basketball and runs track. He is a member of the national Honor Society,
a D.A.R.E. Role Model and the high school delegate to the Marysville
Parks and Recreation Committee. He enjoys playing bass and electric
guitars.
He plans to attend Brigham Young University-Provo or BYU-Idaho to study
engineering or medicine.


North Union Veterans Memorial reaches first goal
The North Union District Veterans Memorial group reports that more than
$10,000 has been raised for the monument to be built at Richwood Park.
According to project manager Gail DeGood-Guy, 103 veteran bricks, three
stars, two sidewalk bricks and six pavers have been purchased and many
pledges have been made.
The cost of the memorial is estimated at $90,000. Applications for
bricks can be found at many Richwood businesses.
The architect's design for the memorial will be on display in Merchants
Building II at the Union County Fairgrounds July 29 and at Richwood Park
Day Aug. 1.
Questions about the project may be directed to (740) 943-3604.

Fairbanks will try for levy
By JUDY BOEHLER
The Fairbanks Board of Education approved a resolution of necessity for
the renewal and increase of an emergency tax levy at Tuesday's meeting.
The levy was approved in 1995 and renewed in 2000 for collection years
2001 through 2005. Because the district would be operating in the red by
2007 without the renewal and increase, the levy will be placed on the
November ballot and, if passed, would be collected beginning in January
2005. The existing levy, which brings in $640,000 per year, would cease
being collected at that time and the new levy would bring in $1.339
million per year.
The renewal levy was passed for 7.13 mills and is now being collected at
4.6 mills. The millage of the increase is 4.9. That increase, according
to superintendent Jim Craycraft, would cost the owner of a $120,000
property about $206 per year.
The board's resolution will be certified by the county treasurer to the
county auditor for calculation of rates and the board will vote for
approval at the next meeting.
Craycraft informed the board that both furnaces in the elementary school
are in need of repair. He explained to the board various ways to take
advantage of House Bill 264 which provides low interest loans to school
districts for improving building infrastructure, with the condition that
the improvement pay for itself in 15 years.
Board members decided against replacing the furnaces because of the age
of the building, saying that if one or the other needs repairs, they
will be taken care of at that time.
The board also approved Smith Roofing to complete the emergency repair
of the elementary school roof for $49,988. A month ago, the roof was
determined to be unsafe during an inspection. Craycraft said the work
started this week and will be completed during the first week of August.

In other business, the board:
 . Approved Jim Jicha as tutor for summer 2004 and the 2004-05 school
year and Renee Matusik as Spanish tutor for summer 2004.
 . Increased the contract for Kathryn Phillippo to increase her 30
percent contact to 50 percent.
 . Approved athletic contracts for Tim Wood, middle school assistant
football coach; and Kathy McCoy, middle school cheerleading advisor.
 . Approved supplemental contracts for Janet Nicol, high school show
choir advisor; Gail Rosser, high school Drama Club assistant; and Amanda
Risner, volunteer band assistant.
 . Approved a yearbook workshop trip to Kenyon College Aug. 2 to 4.
 . Agreed to assume half the cost of the sheriff's department Student
Resource Officer program for the next school year at a cost of $25,000.


Doing it right
NU project $1.8 million under budget
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
In an era when governments are said to spend taxpayer dollars without
regard, it's refreshing to learn that one entity is being frugal.
At Monday's North Union School Board meeting it was announced that the
district's new elementary school building project, which began in April
2003, will be finished ahead of schedule. Even more surprising is the
fact that the project is expected to come it at about $1.8 million under
it's projected $13 million budget.
When voters in North Union voted two years ago to pass a levy to fund
the new elementary school, located at 420 Grove St., they did so with
the knowledge that the state had agreed to kick in the money for a new
middle school and a high school expansion and renovation. With the
elementary scheduled to be dedicated on Aug. 21, the district is now
waiting for the state money to perform the other two phases of
construction.
Mike Schornach or MKC Associates updated the board members on the
progress of the project and stopped just short of calling it a dream
construction job. He said new associates at the engineering firm are
shown the North Union project as a model of a how a project is to
progress.
NU superintendent Carol Young said building projects that run this
smoothly are a rarity.
"We're taking it for granted but I think on Aug. 21 it will hit everyone
right in the face," Young said.
She added that during conferences with other administrators, she is
generally  the only one having a positive experience with a building
project.
"This is the most fantastic project I've ever been associated with," she
said.
Young said the fact that the project will be finished under budget could
help with a future project that will have a real impact on students. She
said the administration had considered what to do should the project
have money left over.
While projects such as new tile for the high school were considered, the
$1.8 million will allow the district to do considerably more.
"We just didn't envision this much money," Young said.
She said that sum of money could be used to jump start the high school
expansion before any state money comes in. With nearly $2 million to
play with, the district could look at construction of a new science wing
or library for the high school.
Young said the money left over would not simply be used to add bells and
whistles onto the planned construction projects.
Once the state money comes in, the other two building projects will be
completed as planned. Should the district be fortunate and the other
projects be completed at or under budget, the savings could be passed on
to taxpayers.
Young said she has not explored the issue fully but said that should the
district have funds left over there is a process by which the 27-year
bond issue voters passed can be paid down. This would mean taxpayers
would experience a reduction in their tax bills.


A dangerous day on U.S. 36
Two accidents injure three, force traffic delays
From J-T staff reports:
Two crashes in Dover Township resulted in injured drivers and traffic
delays.
This morning a semi rolled over, causing a diesel fuel spill on U.S. 36
near the Delaware County line.
Driver Terry J. Perkins, 40, of Piqua was injured in the roll over and
was MedFlighted to Grant Medical Center where he remains in stable
condition. The crash is under investigation.
According to Ohio State Highway Patrol reports, at 5:30 a.m. today a
1998 commercial tanker truck from Earhardt Petroleum Inc. of Troy was
traveling eastbound on U.S. 36 when it went off the right side of the
road into a ditch. As the driver attempted to gain control, the vehicle
came back onto the roadway as the tank portion remained in the ditch,
causing it to dig into the soil and overturn onto its right side. The
750 gallon tank reportedly ruptured, spilling approximately 200 gallons
of "off road diesel fuel" into the roadway.
The Union County Sheriff's Department and the Ohio Department of
Transportation rerouted traffic around the scene for several hours. The
Union County Emergency Management Agency, EPA and PUCO authorities
responded to the scene to assist in the clean-up efforts. There was
reportedly no waterway contamination.
Another accident in Dover Township resulted in two injuries.
Tuesday at 1:05 p.m. Jody Miller, 36, of 13616 U.S. 36 was traveling
eastbound on U.S. 36 when she slowed to turn left into a private drive.
Gary L. Phipps, 51, of Columbus was traveling behind Miller's vehicle
and as she stopped he struck the back end of her vehicle.
Miller was injured and transported by medics to Memorial Hospital of
Union County, along with her passenger Ashley Pierce, 16, of the same
address.



Ballinger Funeral Home a staple of northern Union County
Ballinger Funeral Home has served area residents for more than 100
years. The family-owned business was founded by B.C. Ballinger in 1902
when he established a funeral home in West Mansfield. His son Cletus
continued the operation, followed by the third generation funeral
director, Bert C. Ballinger, who moved with his family to Richwood when
Ballinger's purchased the former Sanders, later Hastings, Funeral Home
in 1952.
Richard Ballinger continued the family tradition at the Richwood
facility and now the fifth generation owner/operator, Greg Ballinger, is
serving the area.
As the Ballingers look back on the family's history, they are proud of
their heritage. The patriarch, B.C. Ballinger, operated a thriving
furniture store in addition to the funeral home. The inventory was
changed to include carpet when Cletus was in charge of the operation in
West Mansfield.
This carpet business was expanded to Richwood when Bert built what is
now known as Nauman Carpet Shoppe on East Blagrove Street behind the
funeral home.
In the early years it was typical for funeral homes to also provide
ambulance service which meant that businesses maintained a 24-hour
on-call staff to serve the public.
As fire departments began to add emergency squads to their response
teams, Ballinger Funeral Home stepped forward to help organize the
Richwood Emergency Squad, supporting the effort to keep Richwood's
emergency squad operational in the early years. Before the 9-1-1 system
was implemented, Ballinger's personnel manned the emergency fire and
squad telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This dedicated funeral home family was not immune to sadness. They faced
life's unexpected tragedies just like their clients.
Cletus and his wife lost a child in infancy and a 16-year-old daughter.
In 1969, their son Bert was killed in an automobile accident, leaving
his young family without a father.
Richard, the oldest Ballinger son, stepped in to carry on the family
business as a recently licensed funeral director. He and his wife, the
former Janet Johnson, raised their family of three in the private
quarters of the funeral home and operated a memorial business next door
known as Ballinger Memorials. In 1972, they purchased the former Gehm
Funeral Home which enabled them to serve families in nearby Marion
County. Gehm-Ballinger Funeral Home continues to operate in Prospect.
The family was forced to deal with personal grief again when Rick was
diagnosed with cancer. His death in 1988 put the funeral home's
responsibilities on Janet's shoulders until such time as 17-year-old
Greg could make a lifetime decision to either pursue another career or
continue the Ballinger tradition.
In the meantime, the local funeral home continued operation with the
help of licensed directors and dedicated employees.
"I was truly fortunate to have had the support of so many," said the
mother who was forced to raise three children alone.
Her oldest son, with high school graduation still ahead of him, worked
alongside his mother and funeral home employees.
"There was no pressure whatsoever. I always knew that it was up to me to
decide my own career," Greg explained. After careful consideration, he
chose to follow in the footsteps of his forefathers and completed two
years at Ohio State University and received his bachelor's degree from
the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.
The fifth generation Ballinger son has served as funeral director since
1993. He is grateful for legacy left for him but is sorry not to have
been able to spend more time with his father and grandfather.
"Even though I never got to know my grandfather, I feel as though I know
a lot about him from his many friends who have shared funny stories
about the man they all loved and admired," said Greg, who feels
fortunate to have had at least 17 years with his own father. Ballinger's
younger siblings, who were 14 and 10 years old, unfortunately did not
have that privilege.
The funeral business has seen many changes through the generations.
Locally, however, families continue to welcome friends during calling
hours and funeral services. The nationwide trend toward memorial
services and cremation has reportedly not impacted small-town Ohio.
Ballinger Funeral Home's purpose continues to provide an atmosphere for
the living to share grief and experience closure at the time of loss.

Funding of new meters discussed
By CINDY BRAKE
Finances topped the agenda at the July meeting of the Milford Center
village council Monday night.
Council member Ron Payne reported that the village could borrow $35,000
through a limited tax general obligation note for 4.3 percent over five
years. The loan will be used to pay for installation of new water
meters. During the April meeting, council accepted a $64,980 bid from
Ohio Water and Waste of Plain City.
While the interest rate sounded good to council, as compared to a loan
recently obtained for the water tower, several members voiced concern
over the additional cost for bond council which was estimated to be as
much as $5,000. The water tower loan was through a quasi-public fund at
an approximate rate of 4 percent, said council members.
Mayor Cheryl DeMatteo suggested the village look into a lease option
which would not require bond council. Council agreed this was something
to look into.
It was noted that the water reserves fund has a balance of $72,000 and
the sewer reserves fund has a total of $89,000. The village is making
$43,000 payments twice a year for the new water tower. One council
member stated that the village is required to keep a year's balance on
hand.
Payne then raised the larger concern about overall village finances.
"Some way we have to increase our revenue," Payne said. "Costs have
caught up with income."
He noted that while the village is not in danger of "going out of
business," the absence of any property taxes has meant that the village
needs to increase mileage, increase taxes or drastically cut expenses.
"Why don't we have a property tax to support the village?" Payne asked.
"Because nobody voted for it four times," DeMatteo responded.
Councilman Bob Mitchell said he had not had time to look into the
history of why the village no longer has a property tax.
A sheriff's spokesman explained that monthly reports for over a year may
have been incomplete because of a computer glitch. At the May meeting,
he voiced concern that the report listed no warnings and only one
citation.
He explained that the reason for the disparity in calls between Darby
Township and the village was due in part to a school district in Darby.
The May report showed seven calls for service in Milford Center; nine in
Union Township; and 37 in Darby. The village pays 50 percent of the
officer's salary and the fewest calls were listed in Milford Center.
Council members voiced concern about more and more individuals driving
non-street-legal vehicles on public roads. The deputy said ATVs are
never legal on the street, while dirt bikes and golf carts can cross
streets if they are going from one point to another.
Present at Monday's meeting were mayor DeMatteo, clerk Kathy McCoy,
solicitor John Eufinger and council members Bob Mitchell, Jeff Parren,
Chris Burger and Payne.
 In other matters:
. Payne had nothing to report on the proposed Pay As You Throw
trash/recycling program. Payne, Burger and councilman Russell Clark
agreed in April to create a question and answer sheet to better inform
the public.
. Burger reported on street repairs that should alleviate flooding
problems.

Triad  continues to gear up for levy
By CORINNE BIX
Triad superintendent Dan Kaffenbarger told the board of education at
Monday's meeting it would be helpful if the board could put together
information for the levy committee so they can be better prepared when
it comes time to inform voters.
"We have to remain in the black," Kaffenbarger said.
The board also moved forward with the income tax levy process, passing a
resolution on Monday evening moving one step closer to the November
ballot.
Triad students will be paying a little more for their lunches this
coming school year. The board passed an increase in lunch prices at all
three school buildings.
The elementary lunch will increase from $1.50 to $1.75 and the middle
school and high school lunches will increase from $1.75 to $2. Milk will
increase from 25 cents to 35 cents and adult lunches will increase from
$20 to $2.30.
The Triad boys varsity baseball team was recognized for its placement as
state runner-up. Coach Will Nichols was also recognized for being named
the Division I co-coach of the year.
All the board members took time to individually commend the team on
their outstanding achievement.
"You guys definitely put us on the map," said Chris Millice, board
member.
A levy meeting will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the high school lobby.
The next regular school board meeting will be on Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. The
board members will take a walk-through of the district buildings prior
to the meeting.
Triad School Board members will meet for a special work session Aug. 2
to discuss potential budget cuts if the November income tax levy doesn't
pass.
In other business, the board:
 . Approved the transfer of Peg Green from 4th grade social studies
teacher to 5th grade social studies teacher for the 2004-2005 school
year.
 . Approved Olivia Frost as Spanish teacher for the 2004-2005 school
year.
 . Approved the following supplemental personnel: Doug Kitchen, senior
class advisor and Richard Kraemer, SADD advisor.
 . Approved a certified contract for Kyle Huffman for the 2004-2005
school year.
 . Accepted the resignation of Justin Louck as assistant varsity
football coach.
 . Approved Chris Franke as assistant varsity football coach.
 . Approved Melissa Masters for employment as fourth grade social
studies teacher.
 . Approved a permanent appropriations and estimated resources
resolution.
 . Approved the following grants for FY05: Title II-D Technology for
$1,574.50; Title IVA Drug Free for $3,726.60; Title V Innovative for
$4,430.83; Student Intervention 1-4 for $21,576.49; Title II-A Improving
Teach Quality for $52,943.13; Title I for $59,478.66 and Part IDEA-B for
$181,592.52.
 . Accepted a dairy bid from Prairie Farms for the dairy products and a
bid for bakery products from Nickles Bakery for the 2004-2005 school
year.


Knox County teen hangs himself at juvenile facility

The name of the juvenile male who committed suicide in his cell room at
the Central Ohio Youth Center was released Monday afternoon.
Christopher Probst, 17, of Knox County was reportedly found hanging from
his neck by a bed sheet, just 10 minutes after he was last checked on by
detention center guards.
Law enforcement are now investigating the incident at the detention
center, which houses juvenile criminal offenders from nearby counties.
COYC director Victoria Jordan reported that her staff had tried to
resuscitate Probst immediately after he was found, while an ambulance
was on its way. The teen was transported to Memorial Hospital of Union
County and then Medflighted to the Ohio State University Medical Center
where he later died.
The Union County Sheriff's Office reported this morning that they did
not know what the teen had been charged with or how long his sentence
was.
Jordan reported Monday that no more information would be released on the
suicide upon request of the victim's parents.

Information vague on suicide attempt at juvenile facility
From J-T staff reports:
The Union County Sheriff's Department is investigating the possible
suicide of a male juvenile at the Central Ohio Youth Center over the
weekend.
According to COYC director Victoria Jordan, a 17-year-old male was found
hanging in his cell at 11:35 a.m. on Saturday.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that the youth died, but the newspaper was
not able to substantiate that information at presstime.
Union County Coroner Dr. David Applegate said the victim reportedly hung
himself with a bed sheet secured seven feet off the ground in his cell
at the detention center. It was unknown what the victim had been
arrested for.
"At this point, out of respect for the family's wishes, we are not
releasing any more details of the incident," Jordan said.
Jordan said the victim was cut down after he was found and CPR was
immediately initiated. From there he was transported to Memorial
Hospital of Union County.
Applegate said the victim was last seen by detention center staff 10
minutes before he was found hanging from the sheet. He was later
transported by MedFlight helicopter from Marysville to the Ohio State
University Hospital, where medics continued their attempts to
resuscitate him.
This morning sheriff's deputies would not release the name of the victim
or any further details such as the time of the incident or if the victim
had indeed died or was still alive.
As of this morning, Applegate did not know the name of the victim and
the Franklin County Coroner's office would not provide further
information without the victim's name.
The victim's family was expected to make an announcement today at 11
a.m. By press time there was no report on the announcement.

Officials discuss decommissioning school
By CINDY BRAKE
Demolition plans for the county-owned Seventh Street building move
forward.
Union County Commissioner Gary Lee and Robert Parrott, president of the
Union County Historical Society, met Thursday to discuss a
decommissioning ceremony, as well as salvaging of specific items.
The county obtained the 89-year-old brick structure at 220 W. Seventh
St. in the early 1990s after the Marysville school system abandoned the
obsolete building. Since then, various county offices have used the
building temporarily while the county commissioners have struggled with
exorbitant costs to bring the building up to zoning code regulations.
Union County Commissioner Gary Lee estimates the cost of making the
building usable and safe could reach $5 million. Adding to the cost were
heating bills of $5,000 a month this past winter. Lee said the cost to
demolish and remove the building, then construct a parking lot is
estimated to cost the county approximately $300,000.
Faced with a need for additional parking, the three-member board of
commissioners decided earlier this year to tear the building down. All
three attended the school at one time and admit that it has been a
difficult but necessary decision.
"Sometimes you do things because it makes the most sense, not because
you want to do them," said Union County Commissioner Tom McCarthy.
Parrott, speaking on behalf of the historical society, said the group is
always in favor of preservation first with salvage being a second best
choice.
"We'll never be in favor of destroying that building," Parrott said.
With that said, he then discussed details of walking through the
building to determine what might be of historical value to salvage and
agreed to assist in planning a ceremony for the public to formally say
goodby to the building. He also agreed to store items at the historical
society property during the demolition.
The commissioners said they are planning to erect a memorial on a corner
of the new parking lot that will include the building's limestone
entrance. Parrott agreed this was a good idea, especially because the
property has had a school located on it since 1861.
All agreed a plaque honoring first principal Rachel Hoopes should be
saved, although it is uncertain where it will be kept. A war plaque has
also been removed. Other items to be saved are keystones above doors.
The commissioners plan to make bricks available to the public and host a
walk through.
Parrott said he would also arrange for the building to be photographed.
Earlier this week during a staff meeting, Union County Prosecuting
Attorney Alison Boggs questioned why the building could not be used as a
storage building.
"Why spend money to buy something for storage?" she asked.
McCarthy explained that the cost to make the building safe and secure
for storage is excessive, plus the parking problem remains.
"If a group wants to take that project on, we're willing to listen,"
McCarthy said. "I want the school there ... but everything becomes
difficult. It needs to be safe if people are in there."
The decommissioning ceremony is expected to be held in September.


Plans for railyard scrapped?
Citizen group not convinced issue is dead
By CINDY BRAKE
COTA seems to be getting out of the intermodal railyard business before
it even gets started.
"We are no longer planning to build a new intermodal center ...," said
Michael A. Bradley, director of rail development for the Central Ohio
Transit Authority, in a letter dated July 9 to the Union County
Commissioners.
In January COTA announced plans to build a 200-acre railyard in Union
County along the rail line that runs parallel to Industrial Parkway
south of Marysville from the Union County Airport to Scottslawn Road.
The $30 million intermodal yard was to be the key to extending light
rail north from downtown Columbus. COTA wanted to trade the planned
railyard for an existing CSX rail line in the Buckeye Yard near Roberts
and Trabue roads.
A recent decision by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) appears to
be behind the change in direction.
Bradley wrote that COTA's federal funding partner, the FTA, "determined
that construction of an Intermodal Center is not a direct transit use,
and thus is not eligible for federal transit funding participation."
Bradley stated that COTA would instead attempt to purchase the freight
railroad right-of-way with CSX and Norfolk Southern Railroads, then
decide how to use any proceeds.
A CSX official said his company has no plans to construct an intermodal
railyard.
Neal Zimmers, CSX resident vice president, said his company has
cooperated with various studies but is neither an advocate nor opponent
of the Columbus mass transit initiative. He added that CSX has been paid
to provide COTA with information for an ongoing Freight Capacity Study.
The capacity study will determine federal funding eligibility and is
anticipated to be completed in late 2004.
"The findings of this study will be used to determine the impact of
COTA's project on the operating railroads based on the railroads'
current and future projected train movements. These findings will be
used as the basis for determining the necessary infrastructure
modifications required by the railroads as a result of implementing the
North Corridor Light Rail Transit Project," Bradley states.
Local officials have officially opposed the railyard's location south of
Marysville and pledged funds to hire an attorney. In light of the recent
COTA letter, the Union County Board of Commissioners said the "challenge
doesn't go away."
Bob Beck, a spokesman for Citizens Against Intermodal Railyard, a
grassroots group that opposes the railyard, said, "We're still
concerned... It just goes on and on."
Beck noted that Union County is still the most logical place for a
railyard with its proximity to Columbus, open land, low population
density and highway systems.
Adding to his concerns are recent documents CAIR obtained through an
open requests request.
Beck said it appears that CXS has considered moving a large percentage
of its Chicago railyard to the Union County site and an Environmental
Impact Statement shows there is no problem with excluding a known
polluted area.
"It's pretty scary," Beck said.

Candidate loses election complaint
Gore claimed advertising during mayoral race was unfair
By RYAN HORNS
During the 2003 Marysville mayoral campaign that resulted in the
election of Tom Kruse, one candidate felt slighted by a local citizens
group and its advertising campaign against him.
On Nov. 6, city council member John Gore, who ran for mayor along with
Kruse and Bill Symbolik, filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections
Commission (OEC) against the Marysville Taxpayers Association and one of
its principals David Moots. After months in limbo, the complaint was
finally dismissed in a 3-3 split vote after a hearing in Columbus
Thursday afternoon.
The Marysville Taxpayer's Association ads stated that as a council
member, Gore voted for a 60 percent tax increase and then later a 40
percent tax increase. In a highly contested mayoral campaign, some felt
that the accusation in the ads about raising taxes have stuck in the
minds of voters and influenced their decision.
Gore eventually lost the 2004 election to Kruse by 250 votes and accused
the Marysville Taxpayers Association of running a false and misleading
campaign. He alleged that the ads ultimately led to his defeat in the
election.
Gore described the ads as a "political ploy to try and discredit me.
Right is right and wrong is wrong and people who know me know where I
stand on the (tax) issue."
He said he did not vote for the tax issue or for raising taxes. He voted
to give residents the opportunity to have a choice on the matter by
voting with other council members to put it on the ballot. The tax issue
was heavily defeated and the residents were able to voice their opinion.

"If voting to put a tax on the ballot is the same as voting to raise
taxes then I will withdraw my complaint," Gore said prior to the hearing
on Wednesday. He continues to stand by this statement.
But Marysville Taxpayer's Association representative David Moots said
Thursday that Gore voted "yes" on the two tax increase measures when put
before him on council and this is what the ad referred to. What Gore
"meant" to vote on is of no consequence, Moots maintains.
Gore said the OEC hearing lasted an hour and 15 minutes. He emphasized
that with the commissioners voting in a three to three split decision,
half of the members agreed his complaint was justified.
Moots questioned calling it a split decision.
"He failed to get a majority and he lost," Moots said. "You have to have
a majority to win."
Moots said he saw nothing wrong with Gore filing the complaint and can
appreciate the forum of an open debate. But he was offended by Gore's
language in court "calling us liars and untruthful."
"I'm disappointed, to tell you the truth," Gore said after the hearing
Thursday. He saw the advertising campaign as a political move that
ultimately hampered the election process.
"Our community has a nonpartisan election process," he said. "I think it
really discourages folks who are your average citizen who want to get
involved."
Now nine months after taking office, Kruse's administration is well
underway. So, what did Gore hope to gain from his grievance?
"It was a false statement," Gore explained prior to the hearing. "I just
want them to acknowledge it was a false statement."
Gore also made clear that his complaint was not meant as a slight
against Kruse. He said it is only toward the taxpayer association and
their ads, with which Kruse was not involved.
But Kruse said Thursday that Gore allegedly made reference to him and
Moots in court, alluding to their Democratic ties and how Kruse and
Moots are both former Union County Democratic party chairmen.
"My opinion, and it's something (Gore) needs to understand, " Kruse said
Thursday, "is that he lost the election fair and square and he needs to
get over it and move on and leave it at that . I am the mayor and the
elections committee reaffirmed that today."


U.C. Fair will get back to its roots
Classic grandstand entertainment is on the card
By CINDY BRAKE
The 2004 Union County Fair is coming soon and returning with many
traditionally favorite events.
"I love every bit of it," said Kay Griffith, who is chairman of
sponsorship marketing for the Union County Fair Board of Directors.
After last year's spectacular fair which included a bell casting for the
state's bicentennial, Griffith said this year's fair is a return to
tradition with salutes to three fair supporters which are marking their
own landmark celebrations. They include Honda's 25th anniversary in
Ohio, Champaign Landmark's 70th celebration and the Marysville
Journal-Tribune's 100 years of ownership by one family.
July 26 through Aug. 1 promises to be packed with something for
everyone, regardless of age or interests, with midway and grandstand
entertainment and junior and senior fair competitions. Special days are
planned for seniors, children and veterans.
Anyone hoping to get an early look at the fair for free need only join
the Monday, July 26, parade that leaves the County Office Building
parking lot at 6 p.m. All parade participants enter the fairgrounds
free.
"Just come and get in free," Griffith said. Gate admission will remain
the same as in the past with free grandstand and parking.
A first for the fair is Classic Tractor Pulling, while the action-packed
thrill show spectacular is returning after an absence of a few years.
Griffith said she has even been contacted by a couple from Marion, Neb.,
who are planning to come to Union County for the big rig pulling
competition on Friday, July 30. Mud runs and bull riding are also on the
schedule. One change this year is that the demolition derby will start
one hour earlier than in the past.
Griffith adds that this year's draft horse show is new and revised. It
is under the supervision of the Union County 4-H Council and will
include a new judge.
Early risers who likes pancakes should mark their calendars for
Saturday, July 31. The 4-H Council will against host an all-you-can eat
pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Pavilion. All proceeds
benefit the county 4-H program. Junior fair awards will be distributed
at 9 a.m. at the grandstand.
The entry process for senior fair competition has been changed this year
to make the process smoother. All entries will be taken at the fair
office or pavilion this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday from
noon to 3 p.m., Tuesday or Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. Each individual
entering must pay 75 cents for each item entered. Flower entries will be
accepted Sunday, July 25, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Visitors to the fair may notice a few improvements including additional
bleachers at the show arena, new windows in the Ag. Ed. Building and
remodeled booths under the grandstand.

 

Area doctor is tops in state
From J-T staff reports:
Dr. David T. Applegate II of Marysville has been selected the Family
Physician of the Year by the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians.
Selected from among 4,400 academy members, Applegate is founder and
president of Marysville Primary Care, Inc., where he practices family
medicine with his partner and wife, Dr. Mary S. Applegate.
"It's difficult to realize this honor since I still feel that many of my
dreams and goals remain yet to be started," Appellate said in a press
release. "I am proud of my professional accomplishments but am most
proud of my family."
A father of three, Applegate is the county coroner, emergency medical
service medical director for local fire departments and the county
sheriff's office, football team physician at Marysville High School and
medical advisor at Marysville Exempted Village Schools.
"My staff and I can always depend on him to be very professional,
knowledgeable and cooperative... When duty calls, he is always prepared,
despite the short notice and doesn't hesitate to offer emotional support
to officers dealing with a fatality," wrote former Union County Sheriff
John G. Overly in a letter of support for the nomination. "We all have
the utmost respect and admiration for him and are very fortunate to have
him as a part of our community."
Additionally, Applegate is on the medical staff of Memorial Hospital of
Union County, an instructor at Wright State University School of
Medicine in Dayton and is a clinical assistant professor for the
Department of Family Medicine at The Ohio State University College of
Medicine and Public Health in Columbus.
A pilot, he has combined his interest in aviation and medicine to become
a senior aviation medical examiner and member of the Volunteer Pilots
Association which provides free, medically-related air transportation
for the needy as well as emergency and disaster relief. Applegate
regularly transports patients for specialized care or picks up and
delivers donor organs for transplant surgeries. Following the Sept. 11
terrorist attacks, he flew supplies and blood, as well as search dogs,
from one destination to another.
In September 2003, Applegate received the National Aeronautical
Association's Public Benefits Flying Award for his relief efforts after
the Sept. 11 attacks.
Applegate receive a doctor of medicine degree from The Ohio State
University College of Medicine and Public Health and attended residency
at Riverside Methodist Hospitals' Family Practice Residency Program in
Columbus, where he served as chief resident in his final year. He earned
undergraduate and graduate degrees in biochemistry from OSU.
The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians annually presents the Family
Physician of the Year award to individuals who meet and exceed the
criteria of being outstanding family physician role models; maintain
high professional standards and service orientations; provide
high-quality, family-centered, continuing healthcare; and are active in
community, education or other public affairs. Candidates must have 10
years of post-residency (or equivalent) experience and currently be in
practice and a member of the academy.
Applegate will receive the award at an Aug. 7 luncheon in Dublin.
The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians is a statewide professional
association that includes practicing physicians, family medicine
residents and medical students. The scope of family medicine encompasses
all ages, both sexes and every disease entity. Family physicians provide
comprehensive continuing care to all members of the family.


Leaders learn about revitalization
By RYAN HORNS
The idea was to get three communities in Union County to begin
revitalizing their downtown areas together.
Representatives from Marysville, Richwood and Plain City met Wednesday
afternoon at the Union County Chamber of Commerce building to start the
process. Community Development specialist Linda Hall, of the Poggemeyer
Design Group informed the attendees on up to $400,000 in state grants
they could be getting and how to go about applying.
Hall recently wrote the grant request that was responsible for getting
Richwood $350,000 for their Richwood Industrial Park.
Marysville Economic Development Director Eric Phillips said that all
three municipalities have groups set up to address their goals.
Marysville has already paid $1,000 to have a DART review of the downtown
area and now Plain City has made plans too.
Phillips also announced that the Marysville Uptown Renewal Team was
formed to help guide the process.
Hall explained that there are Community Development Block Grants, known
as CDBGs, that offer a "big umbrella of downtown funding."
The grants are made up of three tiers of opportunity. The first includes
planning, which provides a maximum of $15,000 per grant. The second is
for downtown revitalization, offering up to $400,000 per grant, and the
last is targets of opportunity, which offers grants to pay for 50
percent of a revitalization project. There are guidelines on how and
what cities must do to attain the grants. She also explained secrets of
how administrators can look like better grant applicants, the most
important of which is to have the majority of businesses in the downtown
area involved in revitalizing their buildings.
Hall said the state is offering $24 million in six grants for projects
next year. Applicants find out in June how many cities applied and who
their competition would be. She also pointed out that the Poggemeyer
Design Group wrote five of the applicant requests out of nine cities
that applied this year and to date the company has never had a request
denied.
One issue directly affecting Marysville's downtown development is how
businesses can open up the second floor levels of their buildings to
apartment living. Building official for Union County, Sonny Montgomery,
said "the buck stops here."
Every county building application ends with his signature.
His simple recommendation for Marysville was for business owners to hire
an architect, listen to his recommendations and follow his directions.
But most important, Union County Engineer Steve Stolte said, business
owners need to meet with Montgomery before, during and after their
project.
Phillips added that Montgomery does not want to be the "bad guy." His
job is to uphold state codes and he is not allowed to use common sense
on approving complicated permits - that is what the appeals board is
for.
Montgomery explained that the Elevator Company building owners used what
is called a Chapter 34 to get their project approved. Every building
owner in Marysville who wants to open up their top floor to apartments
will need a permit but they may need two stairwells leading up and
handicapped access to the second floor through an elevator or some
device.
The Chapter 34 process, however, includes finding creative ways to meet
these state zoning codes within a point system. This means meeting
zoning requirements in other areas can increase points, such as
installing a sprinkler system to prevent fires. But Montgomery and the
architect should always be working with each other before anything
begins.
To fully get a handle on how Marysville, Richwood and Plain City can
learn more about meeting state zoning codes and earn grants, they must
meet more often. On Oct. 5 representatives will meet at 5:30 p.m. at the
chamber office again. In addition, the Marysville Uptown Renewal Team
will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 30.


Some general funds flirt with danger

Editor's note: This is the second of a two-part series looking at the
general funds of local governments which were questioned by the Union
County Budget Commission. Today's story looks at entities with
dangerously low general funds.
By CINDY BRAKE
Milford Center
The Milford Center finance committee met Monday to discuss the village's
dangerously low general fund.
The village collects no property taxes and operates on only income tax
revenue. Since losing the property tax revenue, reserves in the
village's general fund have been drawn down each year.
Village officials plan to contact the budget commission about increasing
their inside millage and have discussed placing a property tax levy on a
ballot, although it will not be before voters this year, said councilman
Ron Payne.
Payne noted that the council is attempting to do the best it can with
what it has. As a goodwill gesture, council rescinded a franchise fee
recently and is in the process of installing new water meters. The cost
of the meters is being paid out of a water fund, not the general fund.
Estate tax distribution in Milford Center has been the lowest among
corporations. The village received nothing from 2002 to 2004.
Magnetic Springs
The village of Magnetic Springs is "skimming along," said one council
member, who added that the council did discuss dissolving the village
about a year ago.
Faced with cutbacks in government funding and voters who have repeatedly
turned down levy requests, the village is not even able to apply for
grants because it lacks matching funds.
The budget commission described Magnetic as "running on fumes."
Pressing needs in the village include maintaining the drainage system.
Council meets Thursday to discuss the situation.
Union Township
Low money is also a problem for Union Township's general fund, said
clerk Mary Lou Ryan.
The board of trustees has discussed the possibility of changing funding
for the public safety officer and carriers for health benefits but is
still faced with fixed costs. Ryan said the general fund pays for 40
percent of the trustee salaries,100 percent of the clerk salary,
maintenance of township buildings, 40 percent of a fulltime employee's
salary, salaries for the zoning boards and liability insurance.
Going to the voters is a last resort, Ryan said.
"We don't think taxpayers pass levies for money to sit in CDs."
The good news for Union Township is that the general fund balance is
healthier than it was in 2000. In 2000 the township's general fund
balance was $46,348 and it was $81,141 this year. Other sources of
revenue, however, have been on the decline.
Since meeting, the Budget Commission members said they are not concerned
with the township's totals which they now describe as "conservative."

The high side of the funding game
Some townships have swelling general funds
Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series looking at the
general funds of local governments which were questioned by the Union
County Budget Commission. Today's story looks at townships with
significant increases in funds that appear to be stockpiling monies.
Tomorrow's story will feature local governments on the oppposite side of
the spectrum that have dangerously low general funds.
By CINDY BRAKE
There is a good reason why the York Township general fund has increased
over the past few years - frugal spending.
 "We're doing everything to save money. It's the taxpayer's money. We've
been conservative," trustee Donald Mathys said, adding that the three
York Township trustees do not take their full salary allowed by law and
also pass up health benefits.
In June the Union County Budget Commission reviewed township budgets
since 2000 and questioned if some might be stockpiling funds. The reason
for the review began when York officials decided to withdraw from the
public safety officer program after some officials said the township
lacked funds. Mathys said that was never the reason for the board's
decision.
"We didn't believe the benefits equaled the cost."
Mathys invites anyone wondering about his township's finances to "look
at our place." The board meets in half of a house basement. The township
sexton lives in the house. Mathys adds that last year the township
needed to rent a tent for York Township History Days because there is
nowhere to have a function in the township.
"We're getting by," he said.
York Township's general fund has increased from $287,279 to $454,578
from 2000 to 2004, reports the budget commission, meanwhile, the road
and bridges fund dropped from $8,179 to $7,708, the gas tax fund
decreased from $46,917 to $15,321 and the motor vehicle fund decreased
from $9,650 to $3,930.
Mathys said the biggest need in York Township is a garage. Currently the
township's two trucks do not fit in an open-sided garage with the snow
plow. Another project on the radar is to build a meeting room. Fire
protection is also an ever-increasing expense, Mathys said. He said the
township will have to dip into the general fund to cover increasing fire
costs because the current fire levy does not generate enough to cover
the three contracts.
Darby
Darby Township needs to fix some drainage problems and would like to add
a kitchen to the township hall, said clerk Judith Scheiderer.
Union County Auditor Mary Snider said Darby has "sat on too much too
long," posting large general fund balances consistently since 2000. In
2000, Darby had a general fund balance of $311,029; 2001, $269,841;
2002, $368,118; 2003, $367,321; and 2004, $428,454.
One of the reasons for the large balances is the unexpected windfall of
estate taxes.
Darby received the second highest total - $137,437 - of all townships in
the county from 2000 to 2004. Because the amounts vary considerably from
year to year, they cannot be depended upon for general fund expenses,
Snider explained. The totals ranged from a high of $76,950 in 2003 to a
low of $361 in 2002.
Budget commission member and Union County Prosecuting Attorney Alison
Boggs described estate taxes as "gravy."
She said estate taxes should not be counted on as an ongoing revenue.
Dover
Clerk Wallace Snyder points to estate taxes and interest on investments
for the reason his township's general fund balance has jumped by
$224,746 from 2000 to 2004. In 2000, Dover Township's general fund was
$136,489. In 2004 the total was $361,235.
Dover received no estate taxes in 2003 or 2004. From 2000 to 2002 the
township received $37,913 in estate tax distribution, according to the
Union County Auditor.
Snyder said he invested a substantial amount of general funds so he can
be exempt from training requirements by the state. At one time these
funds generated from $2,300 to $2,400 a month, although it has since
dropped to $300 a month.
Snyder said the board of trustees have discussed building a shelter
house and making improvements to the cemetery.
Jerome
Estate tax distribution accounts for a good portion of the increased
general fund in Jerome Township.
From 2000 to 2004 Jerome Township has received the highest amount of
estate tax distribution among all townships in the county. Jerome
received a total of $224,421 with a high of $166,046 in 2002 and a low
of $0 in 2004.
Since learning of the excess funds, Jerome Township's board of trustees
have been creating a wish list of projects they would like to
accomplish.
"It's high time ... to spend the money in that kitty ..." said Jerome
Township trustee Freeman May during a regular township meeting.
He thinks the township needs a new truck, backhoe, mower and salt barn,
plus a fence around the cemetery. Trustee Sharon Sue Wolfe also has a
few ideas. She would like to see an addition to the township building
that includes an additional meeting room and storage, as well as more
land for a cemetery.
Clerk Robert Caldwell, in a memo to the trustees, estimates the township
has between $630,000 to $787,000 to spend.
Millcreek
Millcreek Township may not need all the money it is collecting.
Jim Schrader, chairman of the Millcreek Board of Trustees, said the
budget commission has been invited to the Aug. 2 meeting to discuss all
options including a reduction in inside millage. A decision must be made
by Oct. 1.
Millcreek's general fund jumped by $254,936 from 2000 to 2004. The gas
tax and motor vehicle fund have also increased.
Millcreek received the third largest total of estate taxes among
townships, $123,778, from 2000 to 2004. The amount has varied from a
high of $53,312 in 2002 to $0 in 2004.
Washington
Washington Township's general fund has increased because the board of
trustees have been planning several significant projects, including the
demolition of the deteriorating Byhalia school building.
With the assistance of the Union County Commissioners, the township
secured a $55,000 grant that will help with the $78,600 contract. The
balance will be paid from the township's general fund.
After the removal, Meister said, the trustees plan to remodel the block
ag building that was a 1955 addition to the aging school. After bringing
it up to code, he said, the trustees hope to convert it into a community
center.
Another big ticket item for the general fund has been plans to pave the
township's active cemetery.
"There are many things we want to do," Meister said.
Other projects waiting for funding include sidewalks for downtown
Byhalia and refurbishing park equipment.
One project that may not cost the township anything is naming the park.



A Day in the Park set for  Saturday
By RYAN HORNS
The person who said there's no such thing as a free lunch has apparently
never been to A Day in the Park.
For the past four years local businesses and citizen groups have come
together to offer a day of free food and entertainment in July. The
event has been set for this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at the American
Legion Park located at Fifth Street and Park Avenue.
According to Marysville Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Steve
Conley, July is Celebrate the Parks Month and the event is held to show
appreciation for the many parks and open fields in the City of
Marysville.
What many Union County residents may not recall is that the birth of A
Day in the Park was sparked out of the desire to squash intolerance.
Conley said that in 2000 the Ku Klux Klan contacted Union County
officials about holding a rally at the Union County Courthouse. The
thought of such an event going on in town made residents and city
officials get together and schedule another event the same day to
compete. The idea was that if there was something else to do, no one
would even show up at the rally even out of curiosity or boredom. The
Parks and Recreation Department offered free food and entertainment, and
the result was that the Klan canceled its rally.
Conley said after the success of that first Day in the Park, he decided
to keep it going and the event has since come to be known as
Marysville's annual celebration of the city's numerous parks.
Live entertainment, clowns and balloons, free food and water, free ice
cream and free swimming at the Municipal Pool from noon until 5 p.m.
will be offered thanks to the donations of city businesses and resident
groups.
City council members and other city officials will be cooking and
serving hundreds of hot dogs. This year many United Way affiliated
nonprofit organizations will be on hand to provide information and games
for all ages.
Arnett Howard will be entertaining from noon till 4 p.m., coming out of
retirement for this special appearance.
Other things to catch this Saturday include retired Maj. Gen. Oscar
Decker and the Union County Military Family Support Group who will be on
hand to give away free cotton candy.
A Day in the Park 2004 is sponsored by the City of Marysville Parks and
Recreation Department, Nestles R & D, the Marysville Kroger Store,
Kinetico Water, United Way of Union County, Home City Ice, McAuliffe's
Ace Rental and The Scott's Company.


Magnetic Screw began as one man, one machine
Quality products and continuous dreams for expansion have led a local
manufacturing business to success in Marysville for more than 30 years.
Robert D. Bayes founded Magnetic Screw Machine Products, Inc. in 1971.
The name was derived from the combination of the town's name and the
type of business, being a manufacturing job shop near Magnetic Springs.
Before starting his own business, Bayes spent several years training
with Eljer's in Marysville and then Delo Screw Products located in
Delaware. The first location of the business was an abandoned fire
house/ city council building in Magnetic Springs.
Bayes started with one single spindle Brown & Sharpe screw machine and
as the sole employee began a career that has spanned 33 years and seen
several milestones. In 1974 the company moved to a new 4,000 square foot
building, dwarfing the original 2,400 square foot. The location for the
new building was 23241 SR 37 in Marysville and is the current location
to this day. As the customer base grew so did the company's reputation
as a quality manufacturing facility. Some of the notable items supplied
in the infancy of the company were special stainless steel screws used
on the General Dynamics F-16 and F-18 electric panels as well as the
newly built Space Shuttle.
Other components supplied related to the plumbing, automotive,
electronics and aerospace industries. With a growing customer base, the
building was again increased by an additional 4,000 square feet in 1985
and 6,000 square feet in 1995.
Bayes' dream of having four screw machines in his garage had grown into
a 14,000 square feet building, hosting 33 automatic screw, computer
numerically controlled machines and 15 full-time employees. His son
Bryan joined the business in 1980 and has been working with his father
for the last 24 years and is currently the acting president for the
company. Robert Bayes has plans to retire at the end of this year and
Bryan Bayes wills step in to continue the operation of the business.
Bryan has taken steps to insure the longevity of the family company by
meeting the current demands placed on the manufacturing industry for
lower cost, improved quality and short delivery times.
In May, 2002, the company was certified to the ISO9001:2000 standards
and is committed to continual improvement.
Magnetic Screw Machines, Inc. is also investing in new state of the art
equipment to meet customer's requirements and further diversify the
company's customer base. The business is able to run volumes as low as
tens to qualities virtually in the millions and in a size range from as
small as a 1/16-inch to as large as 2-3/8-inch in all manner of
materials including brass, steel, stainless steel and plastics. Magnetic
Screws Machine Products, Inc. also offers plating, heat treat, grinding
and assembly processes to its capabilities. The products manufactured
are distributed both nationally and internationally. The company's goals
for the future is to be a reputable manufacturer of competitively priced
quality products utilized worldwide

 

Richwood reconsiders annexation

By CHAD WILLIAMSON
With the property owners in attendance, Richwood Village Council
reconsidered its stance on a proposed annexation at Monday night's
meeting.
Beatty Avenue residents Michael and Patty Hamilton were on hand to
answer concerns raised by council at a June 24 meeting. At that  meeting
council voted 3-2 against accepting the 2.14 acres of land into the
village.
Michael Hamilton addressed council and said his primary reason for
seeking annexation into the village was to lower his water and sewer
rates. Currently Hamilton has village water and sewer services but pays
the out-of-village rate, which is roughly double the rate of Richwood
residents.
Hamilton also told council that if it accepts his property into the
village, a business will come along with it. A garage on Hamilton's
property is serving as the headquarters for Total Tennis, a tennis court
resurfacing operation which has eight employees.
Hamilton noted that those employees would pay city income taxes if the
property is annexed.
Attorney Jeff Holtschulte, who handled the annexation paperwork for the
Hamiltons, said the couple have been longtime area residents and are
active in the Richwood Business Association.
"I can't imagine what more the village would want than people like
this," Holtschulte said.
Village council member George Showalter asked if the couple had future
plans for the property. Mike Hamilton initially said there were no
future plans but later added that he would be building another garage to
house a recreational vehicle.
Council voted 5-1 to reconsider the annexation application, with Arlene
Blue casting the dissenting voted.
Council also appears to be nearing an end in a dispute which has kept
the village from signing off on the final plat of a proposed housing
development.
Jeff Wills of Wills Construction was on hand at the meeting to request
that the village approve the plans. The project has dragged on for more
than a year after engineers at Union County and Bischoff and Associates
had concerns over some aspects of the plans. There was also a lingering
issue about a bond secured for the proposed street to be installed in
the 20-home development. The work is to be completed in two phases, the
first of which will include 10 to 12 homes.
Mayor Bill Nibert said he talked to engineers at Bischoff and Associates
recently and they reported that their concerns with the plat have been
corrected.
Wills said the county's concerns with the plans have also been
rectified. Council member Peg Wiley said if the village had written
proof that the county engineer's office is behind the project, council
can sign off on the plat.
The parties agreed to try to have a representative of the county
engineers office at the July 26 council meeting.
In other business, council:
. Heard an update from village financial officer Don Jolliff on the
situation with the Regional Income Tax Agency. The agency has hiked its
fee for collecting the village income tax.
. Learned that Showalter is securing estimates for a concrete walkway to
be installed between the shelter houses in Richwood Park.
. Heard from acting village administrator Jim Thompson that the sinkhole
on Route 47 was repaired, thanks in part to the assistance of area
resident Jim Reece who allowed the village to use a piece of equipment
from his excavating business to complete the project.
. Learned that road construction on the village industrial park began
Monday.
. Set Tuesday, July 20, as a joint meeting of the village, LUC and
county engineer's office to discuss the village's proposed subdivision
regulations.

Steam Threshers festival begins Thursday
From J-T staff reports:
The 55th annual Miami Valley Steam Threshers Show will be held Pastime
Park in Plain City Thursday through Sunday.
The show features Minneapolis Moline and related equipment ? historical
and modern, large prairie tractors, antique equipment, steam engines,
gas engines, saw milling, drag saw, threshing, bailing, draft horses,
model engines, operating blacksmith shop. Flea market and craft booths
will be on the grounds and live entertainment, including West Virginia
Bluegrass Connection, will perform Friday and Saturday.
General admission is $5 and children under 16 are free with an adult
paid admission. Senior citizens pay half price Thursday. Gates open at 7
a.m. at Pastime Park on U.S. 42. Those interested may contact (614)
873-8317 for more information.
Thursday evening activities begin at 7 p.m. and include blindfolded
tractor driving, tractor with wagon backing, tractor barrel rolling,
ladies skillet throwing, children's wheel barrow racing and bale
throwing. Winners will receive gift certificates to Bob Evans and the
Stampede Band will perform.
Activities Friday will include a grand parade downtown beginning at 6
p.m. followed by entertainment by the West Virginia Bluegrass
Connection.
Saturday's festivities include Ohio State tractor pullers, scale tractor
pullers, children's activities and entertainment by the West Virginia
Bluegrass Connection at 3 p.m. and Buckeye horse pullers at 7 p.m.
Festivities Sunday begin at 10 a.m. and include antique tractor pull,
scale tractor pull and kiddie tractor pull.

 

Taking care of Teela
By RYAN HORNS
The road to recovery for Marysville teen Teela Hubbard will be a long
one but her friends and relatives have been pulling together to help her
family prepare for the day she is released from medical care.
On May 5 at 5:45 p.m. Teela was severely injured in a motorcycle crash
on U.S. 36 at Burnt Pond Road near Ostrander. The crash left Teela, 18,
and her boyfriend, Kyle Caldwell, 24, also of Marysville, in critical
condition at the Ohio State University Medical Center. The motorcycle,
which was fleeing police at the time and traveling an estimated 102 mph,
struck another vehicle that had stopped to make a turn. Teela and her
boyfriend were thrown 200 feet from the crash.
Since then, Caldwell has come home from the hospital but Teela has
remained in a borderline comatose state. The collision caused extensive
damage to her left side. Doctors removed a portion of her skull to
alleviate the pressure from swelling in her brain and she broke her
clavicle, a finger and a toe and lost her spleen.
Her mother, Penny Hubbard, said seeing her daughter go from being a
good-hearted, fun-loving girl with a bit of a wild side to being
confined in a hospital bed has been hard. A 2003 graduate of Marysville
High School, Teela will turn 19 later this month. She had plans to
become a home health care nurse.
What they have to prepare for now is the cost, training and lifestyle
changes it will take to care for Teela. The family will need to buy a
special wheelchair for Teela's neck support, move into an apartment that
is wheelchair friendly and will need to purchase a van that can
accommodate a wheelchair. Medical bills and equipment costs will quickly
add up.
Penny Hubbard said she will take a training class to learn how to
properly care for her daughter. She said friends of the family have come
forward to offer their support.
Several benefits have been scheduled to help Teela and her family. On
July 25 a bake sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Wal-Mart,
sponsored by the Living Water Church of God. A combination yard sale and
bake sale will be held at the local Moose Family Lodge from 8 a.m. to 4
p.m. Aug. 7 and the local Brothers of the Wheel motorcycle club plans to
hold a poker run.
Penny Hubbard said she is moved by the support the community has been
showing for her daughter. When Teela was first transported by medics to
OSU, she walked out of her daughter's hospital room and found a waiting
area full of people.
"Half of them were there to see Teela," she said. "She has a lot of
friends."
Thankfully, she said, her daughter is showing signs of improvement. "She
opens her eyes a lot now and is moving her fingers," she said. "The most
we've been able to get out of her - well, we have these 'yes' and 'no'
cards and she can point to them and answer questions that way. But she
can't do that for very long because it wears her out."
They do not know for sure when Teela will be released from care, Penny
said, but she has been moved from OSU to a nursing home. The doctors
have also elevated Teela's condition from comatose to what they describe
as a state of stupor.
There had been some speculation in the beginning that law enforcement
had initiated the chase and that may have led to the crash. Those
accounts were cleared up after reviewing the trooper's cruiser video.
Penny said she does not believe the crash was caused by law enforcement
for a minute.
"I don't blame him at all," she said about the trooper involved. "102
mph - that's too fast."
What Penny is most concerned about right now is dispelling rumors  that
Teela had died in the crash.
"I just wanted people to know that she is alive," she said.


Fire forces evacuation of plant
From J-T staff reports:
Early this morning a fire caused the evacuation of the Honda Motorcycle
plant in Marysville.
Honda spokesman Don Hensley reported that at 9:25 a.m. a smoldering vent
fire was discovered and the fire department was called. No injuries were
caused from the incident.
The fire resulted in the evacuation of both the production and support
teams of the plant in order for employees to escape smoke still inside,
Hensley said. Just after 10 a.m. employees were starting to be allowed
back inside. Fire crews were still cleaning up after the fire and
clearing the plant of smoke.
"I would say it was a small fire that was contained to the air handling
unit," Captain David Hawkins of the Allen Township Fire Department said.
"Honda followed their protocol and evacuated the plant."
He said that Allen, Marysville, Raymond, Liberty, Perry, and Northeast
Champaign fire departments responded with equipment to the scene, but
left soon after arriving.
 "The were canceled pretty quickly," Hawkins said. "Honda has their own
fire brigade who had the fire extinguished before we arrived."
He said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, although
they are sure it was accidental.


Traffic to be affected by work
The Marysville Division of Water will be installing a new 8-inch ductile
iron water main in the westbound lane of West Fifth Street between Maple
Street and Grove Street during the months of July, August and September
2004.
The new Main and water services will be replacing a 4-inch and 6-inch
cast iron water main that has serviced the residents of Fifth Street for
a number of years and has begun to deteriorate in the last couple years.
This is the start of a project that will culminate with the pavement
being replaced on West Fifth Street. The planned waterline improvements
will ultimately improve water quality and fire flows in the older part
of Marysville.
During installation, resident's water service could be interrupted at
any time during the workday. Normal shut downs for tie-ins at the end of
the block will be scheduled and our personnel will be around to homes to
give notice so residents can make provisions for water.
Traffic flow on West Fifth Street will be shut off during all of the
workday, which is approximately 7:45 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Water Division personnel will move equipment to let you in and out of
driveways as needed.
On Wednesday morning, July 14 the city Division of Water will be cutting
in a tee into the 12-inch waterline that goes from Fourth Street to
Grove Street. This operation will begin the waterline replacement
project for West Fifth Street.
Since the work will be in the center of the intersection of West Fifth
Street and Grove Street, the work will be completed at night. The city
will start the work at midnight with asphalt patching of the street cut
being tentatively completed by Noon that day. When the patching is
complete, traffic flow at the intersection should be back to normal.
For any questions about this project, residents may contact Water
Distribution Foreman Dan Daum at 644-9858 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Monday-Friday

Pothole!
City repaving project will wait until next year

By RYAN HORNS
Marysville's plans for street repaving in 2004 have met a few bumps in
the road.
Mayor Tom Kruse announced that the city will have to wait until next
year to begin dedicating $1 million toward street repairs.
"We are strategizing where we are going with the whole street paving
program," he said at Thursday night's city council meeting. "We did open
bids but they came in $250,000 higher than the estimates we had."
Kruse explained that he was not willing to spend hundreds of thousands
of additional city funds just to begin work six months earlier.
Two of the three bidders for the project, he said, have all the work
they want at this time. This left the city with one bidder and Kruse
said he was not comfortable being left without a choice.
"The direction we're heading in isn't a pleasant one," he admitted. He
said the city would start bids earlier next year and pursue completing
the paving project by June 30.
City administrator Kathy House previously reported that the contract for
the work was expected to be signed by July 1. She said repairs were set
to be completed by October or November.
Kruse said one problem with this timeline was that bid requests were
opened too late in the year. In addition, troubles in the Middle East
made oil prices go up, which in turn affected the price of asphalt.
Bids will open up earlier next year, he said, hopefully to more
favorable options. A company might be more willing to start the year
with a $1 million contract already in its pocket, which makes sense from
a business perspective.
City council president Nevin Taylor asked Kruse if this change in plan
meant that $2 million would now go toward repairs in 2005.
"If we can put together the $2 million then we'll do it," Kruse
answered. But he added that he does not know if that will be possible.
Shirley Rouse of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission addressed
council on a related resolution authorizing Kruse to submit an
application on behalf of the city to the Ohio Community Development
Block Grant small cities program for $71,000 of fiscal year 2004 grant
funds.
The CDBG funds previously went through the county but now they will come
directly to the city, bringing in more money. The grant is for making
infrastructure improvements in low to moderate income areas. Previously
the grants have been used in Marysville to install water and sewer
lines.
Rouse explained that the grant would be used for street resurfacing on
Maple Street from Eighth Street to Collins Avenue.
In other topics discussed:
. The city is hoping to repair the roof of the Public Service Center.
The roof been on only since 1998 and Kruse said it was obviously
installed wrong and with inappropriate materials. He said employees have
to close the windows on city vehicles parked inside the building during
rains so that the insides of the vehicles don't get wet. He is asking to
appropriate $3,000 from general funds to fix the damage.
Taylor expressed his disappointment and asked Kruse what company was
responsible for the work and Kruse said the company can "no longer be
found."
Council member John Gore said he remembered that it was city workers who
did the work.
"I'm not sure there was a contractor," he said.
Kruse and council members were quick to point out that they were not
involved in the planning of that project.
The city plans to look into the matter further.
. Chamber of Commerce President Rick Shortell introduced Rebecca Stanley
as the new director of business development. Her role will now be to use
private funds to move the city's economic development plan forward.
. Council and administrators agreed unanimously to continue the D.A.R.E.
drug prevention program for the 2004-2005 school year.



Students learn cartooning during summer art program
By JOEY SECREST
Journal-Tribune intern
Art teachers at Marysville schools are introducing cartooning and art to
students during a summer class.
A summer art workshop taught by Doug Weller, art teacher at East
Elementary and Creekview Intermediate schools, and Kelly Rock, art
teacher at Mill Valley Elementary, gives children an opportunity to use
their artistic creativity during the summer.
The workshop is for children between second and eighth grades and
sessions were held in the morning and afternoon this week. In addition
to cartooning, painting and drawing classes are offered. In the second
year of existence, the workshop is planned to take place every summer in
effort to develop a strong summer arts program in Marysville for the
children of the community.
"One reason why we wanted to do this is to give the kids something
artistic to do over the summer," Weller said. "It gives the kids
something to look forward to who are interested in the arts."
Weller has never taught a full course on cartooning in Marysville or had
time to teach the technique in-depth to students during the school year.
Developing comic strips is a very new project for the students. He
teaches it during the morning session for students from fifth to eighth
grades.
According to Weller, cartooning is a challenge for the children. They
have to create something original, think of something funny and produce
a nice finished work. Weller added that the children are responding
phenomenally to the program. By the end of the week, each student should
have one final semi-professional looking comic strip.
The class began with each child creating original characters and
stories. The next step of creating a comic strip is to put the
characters in stories and develop what the characters are going to do.
Then the children had to sketch what the stories look like. The final
step will be transferring the sketches to paper using pen and ink.
Weller said that coming into the class, the students underestimated
themselves because they believed they couldn't draw. He said after he
showed them a few tricks and gave them some positive reinforcement they
started to be much more confident in their artwork and cartoons.
"My overall goal is to give kids an opportunity to express themselves
artistically over the summer," Weller said. "Hopefully a couple are
interested enough in cartooning to continue."
Although cartooning is new to the students, it is not new to Weller.
He said that he has always been interested in cartoons since he was
young. He began is education attending Columbus College of Art and
Design because he wanted to be a cartoonist then transferred to Ohio
State University to become an art teacher.
During his education at OSU he put sketches together and took them into
the student newspaper, "The Lantern." The newspaper published his comic
strip and told him to bring more sketches for the next week. His strip,
called "I Dig Doug," continued to be printed for two and a half years.
"Ever since then I have been really intrigued in cartooning," he said.
"It's something I continue to do even though I'm not currently being
published."
Weller added that he wants to help guide his students and give them the
opportunities he was given.

Support group lends a hand to Richwood family

Retired Maj. Gen. Oscar Decker co-founded the American Legion Union
County Military Support Group to help out Union County families in need
while their families members are away fighting the war in Iraq. It is
something he cares deeply about.
So in one Richwood neighborhood the sounds of hammering and sawing have
finally come to an end. The noises were the combined generosity of Union
County businesses and residents lending a hand for a family in need.
Spc. Mike Clausing, 26, started a remodeling project at his home but
never got a chance to finish. He was called away to Iraq unexpectedly
this year with the 216th Engineers Battalion, Company B Equipment Heavy
of the Army National Guard.
One day Clausing's wife, Rachel, and their two young children got a
knock on the door from members of the military family support group.
They had noticed that although Clausing was able to get a lot of the
remoldeling done before he left, there was still work to be done.
So Decker and other members made it their mission to complete the
project for the family with the help of the Union County Building
Industries Association.
UCBIA president Jim Wing and member Bill Bowman negotiated the price for
materials needed to finish Clausing's project through Dave Zimmerman of
the Palmer Donavin Manufacturing Company of Columbus. The building
supplies were delivered through the Judson Lumber Company of Plain City.

The funds for the project came from donations collected by the women of
the Marysville First United Methodist Church, the Ladies Aid of St.
John's Lutheran Church, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 55, VFW Post
870, American Legion Post 79 and  private donors.
Volunteer laborers and assistants involved in the project were Wing and
Bowman of the UCBIA; Tom Liedtke and Jon Wing from the Wing Builders of
Marysville; Norman Detweiler Builders of Plain City; Michael Vallery of
AC&R Servicing Company Inc. of Marysville; Randy Sorg and Don Bays of
Sorg Siding & Windows of Marysville; Suzanne Juzwiak of the Marysville
Association of Realtors; Khempco Builders Supply of Marysville; Brian
Lewis of Union Rural Electric; co-chairman of the UCMSG, Decker, Colonel
(Ret.) Don Bailey and his wife Marg of Marysville and other members of
the group, Doug Barker, Mike Barker, Rob Buckley, Joyce Buckley, Rue,
Robin and Megan Lambes, Jim Peterson and Jane Bergwall.
Clausing, who has been in the National Guard for six years, said he and
his family were excited for the work that was put in and the generosity
of volunteers around Union County.

Scotts cleanup effort spelled out
By CINDY BRAKE
Buried within reams of paper peppered with multi-syllable words are the
simple facts about pollution at The Scotts Company facility south of
Marysville, as well as the multi-million dollar remedies.
The company's environmental department recently published a fact sheet
that lists the problem areas and explains remedies. The remedies are to
be completed by 2006. The restored sites will then be monitored for a
minimum of 30 years, states the report, which was edited by senior
program manager Rebecca Clarridge.
A decision document prepared by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
in 2003, however, goes into much more detail about pollution in ground
water, five landfills, two broadcast areas, five former ponds and
Crosses Run. Technical documentation and more can be read at the
Marysville Public Library.
The most startling finding is that there are areas on the 745-acre
campus which are so toxic as to harm a "maintenance worker, future site
worker or adolescent trespasser."
Security measures are to be installed to prevent "trespasser access" to
two landfills, a field broadcast area and the south branch of Crosses
Run. The security measures are to remain in place until the toxic sites
are improved.
"The purpose of requiring the security measures is to prevent direct
contact exposure risk to potential trespassers," states the decision
document.
The Ohio EPA also proposes standard binding restrictions for some of the
sites. The restrictions can range from keeping the sites mowed to
limiting their use to industrial purposes.
These findings come more than two years after a final judgment was filed
in the Union County Common Pleas Court. In that judgment, Scotts agreed
to "institute measures necessary to control or prevent releases to the
environment from specified areas of the facility including Crosses Run."

Since then, Scotts evaluated the environmental conditions of 13 waste
management units. The investigation, conducted by outside firms and paid
for by Scotts, found numerous chemicals in water and soil samples that
exceed approved limits.
Proposed remedies come with a hefty price tag - $6.8 million.
Remedies include capping landfills and field broadcast areas, including
two former ponds; rerouting the south branch of Crosses Run and an
unnamed tributary to the south branch; and excavating and removing
contaminated soil. Contaminated stream sediments will be removed to an
offsite hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility in
accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Results of soil
sampling from the southern hot spot will determine which soils can be
placed in the landfills and which must be transported to an offsite
facility. In addition, ground water is to be monitored from two
landfills for 30 years.
Scotts officials did not with to comment on the findings.

Groups to honor Miriam Hildreth
Miriam Hildreth, an inductee in the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging,
will be honored at a luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. July 12.
The Union County Commissioners and the Council on Aging are hosting the
free luncheon in the large conference room of the Agricultural Services
Building at 18000 Route 4.
Hildreth was born in Pharisburg and graduated from Magnetic Springs High
School. She and her husband owned and operated Hildreth's Jewelry Store
in Marysville until it was destroyed by fire in 1995. She now manages
her family farm and Hildreth's Gift and Antique Granary.
Hildreth is a vital member of the Pharisburg United Methodist Church.
She is a philanthropist who has been involved with 4-H and community
projects and her contributions of time and money have bettered the lives
of many. She is a musician, songwriter and poet and shares her talents
by playing at nursing homes, senior centers and churches.


N.L. council discusses rights of way
By CORINNE BIX
 The North Lewisburg village council is standing behind its May 5
decision to require all property owners and residents to move any
obstructions in and on streets or alley right of ways.
Paul Rutan, street superintendent for the village, addressed the council
on Tuesday evening in regard to properties that impede the right-of-way
by means of the actual building structure, such as porches or steps, or
in the case of landscape rock walls. Rutan suggested that the council
make a minimum foot requirement to eliminate these issues.
Council discussed the issue for some time but came to the conclusion
that they could not contradict what is already on the books as far as
what is the village owned right of way.
Many residents have resorted to placing large obstructions between their
property lines and the village right of way or alley to deter vehicles
from parking or cutting into the village owned grass area that is
maintained by the property owner.
Rutan brought up the point that an old horse hitching post stands in one
of the village's right of way. The council agreed that since the village
dates back almost 150 years issues such as this are going to arise,
especially with older structures built before the current roadways.
Rutan contended that the biggest problems regarding obstructions in the
right of ways occur in the village alleyways. He said he would do his
best to work out the issue.
The village settled its lawsuit against RLI Surety Bonding out of court.
During phase three of the Route 245 project, the village contracted Gene
Hazen and Sons from Zanesville. Hazen and Sons walked out on the job
which was to have been insured by RLI Surety Bonding. The bonding
company agreed to pay for the cost of construction but did not pay other
fees including engineering costs.
The village was looking to recoup various fees associated with the
project. The final financial awards are still being determined.
Gary Silcott, village engineer, reported to the board in regard to
continued progress on the village's multi-use path project and work on
the wastewater treatment plant improvement. He reported that plans for
the fire station are also moving along, including selection of an
architect and the application for grant moneys.
Last month, council voted to secure Henderson Aerial to provide an
aerial photo and topographical survey of the village and surrounding
areas. After checking with the Champaign County engineer's department,
it was learned that an aerial photo had been taken in 2000 and could be
used by the village. The village will save $1,460 by not having to
employ Henderson.
Officer Glenn Kemp gave the Champaign County Sheriff's office report for
the village. In June 2004 there were four traffic citations issued, four
warnings issued for traffic violations, 23 incident reports, 25 cases of
assistance given to citizens, 12 arrests made, four civil and criminal
papers served, 36 follow-up investigations, five instances of juvenile
contact and one auto accident report taken.
In other business, council:
 . Passed the estimated budget for 2005.
 . Passed an ordinance to adopt and authorize a lodging tax.
 . Passed an ordinance adding gambling, awards, wagering, lotteries and
prizes to the municipal income tax.
 . Authorized a $1,000 donation to the Triad Baseball Association for
fireworks.
 . Heard a letter from Mrs. Leiter addressed to council commending the
Triad Baseball Association on their work in improving the village parks.

Jerome Township meeting turns into question and answer session
By CINDY BRAKE
Trustee Freeman May seemed to have a question about everything for
everybody at Tuesday's Jerome Township Board of Trustee meeting.
May had a question for the clerk about a bill, a question for the fire
chief about an obsolete fire vehicle, a question for the sheriff about
shooting in the country and a question for the engineer about Ketch
Road. All the answers seemed to satisfy him.
Trustee Sharon Sue Wolfe had little to say during the night and trustee
Ron Rhodes was absent.
Clerk Robert Caldwell explained the township accounting process to May's
question about a bill for $1,320. May thought the road department was
being billed for AOL services. Caldwell explained that they were not.
Fire Chief Scott Skeldon explained that firemen uniforms are purchased
from approved distributors and each distributor provides a different
item of clothing. May wondered why bills were paid out of the uniform
line item to more than one company. Skeldon also explained the details
on life insurance costs for one officer who had not been covered for six
months.
In answering another question, Skeldon told May that an obsolete vehicle
used by the fire department was purchased with tax payer dollars. The
vehicle, a former sheriff's cruiser, has 245,000 miles on it and needs
front-end work, Skeldon said, adding that he recommends it be donated to
a volunteer fire department in Logan County. After learning the cruiser
was originally purchased with taxpayer dollars, May said he thought
taxpayers should have a chance to purchase it first. Skeldon said he is
unaware of any public auctions planned in the near future and said he
believed that advertising costs for sealed bids would cost more than the
vehicle is worth.
May then questioned the sheriff about individuals who are trap shooting
on personal property near his home. The sheriff said it is legal as long
as the shooting is done in a safe manner and safe direction. "It comes
down to common sense," Nelson said. Stating that he has been hit by
buckshot and knows the range, May said he is concerned that visitors to
the Glacier Ridge Metro Park may be injured. May said his son-in-law,
Kent Anders, called the sheriff's department recently and was told the
shooting is legal as long as the shells are on the personal property.
Consulting engineer Mark Cameron explained to May that Ketch Road will
not be dropped two feet as originally planned in order to save
excavation costs. Cameron said pavement grinding will begin soon and
approximately seven inches of tar and chip buildup will be removed,
leaving a 13- to 18-inch road base.
When the agenda turned to new business, May and Wolfe voted to hire
Joshua Page of Plain City as a part-time road maintenance worker and
purchase a new medic unit for $168,000 through the state bidding
process.
During this discussion, May had a few questions.
May asked Clerk Caldwell what pay rate was established in a resolution
for part-time road maintenance workers. May wanted to pay Page $12 an
hour but Wolfe said he should be paid whatever the resolution stated.
May responded by saying that the township has "got all this money
sitting around because people are too tight to spend it."
Before voting to approve the purchase of a new medic unit, May wanted to
confirm that the money came from the fire department's equipment fund.
Skeldon explained that the unit is an upgrade planned 10 years ago by
the department.
May had one question that no one seemed to be able to answer. He
questioned whether a property maintained by the township belongs to the
Dublin School Board.
On another topic, May said delaying the purchase of a truck will cost
the township $50,000 more.
Prior to adjourning the meeting, Wolfe said she had contacted the Union
County Prosecuting Attorney about trustee Rhodes' concerns of the
township violating the Sunshine Law. Wolfe said the prosecutor said the
meetings were legal.
The board's next meeting is July 14 at 10:30 a.m.

 

Pool regulations also apply to some portables
By CINDY BRAKE
It's a fact. Kids drown in swimming pools and that is the reason why
Union County Zoning Official Sonny Montgomery wants people to be careful
when purchasing a pool.
"I don't want a preventable one on my watch," Montgomery said Thursday
while explaining local zoning regulations for swimming pools. He has
received approximately six complaints this year about swimming pools. He
added that all complaints are investigated
Montgomery is especially concerned with the recently popular inflatable
above-ground pools that are considered portable. The installation of
these pools, as well as all pools, is regulated by city, township and
building department zoning.
"The city of Marysville has ordinances requiring fences for pools and
some, if not all, township zoning requires fencing for pools,"
Montgomery said. "Our (county building department) regulation for fences
is for pools more than 24 inches deep. The city and some townships
regulate more than 18 inches."
Montgomery and Marysville zoning official Barb McCoy realize that pool
purchases are often impulse purchases but they encourage anyone thinking
about buying any pool to talk with them before installation.
"They can save a lot of money and frustration," Montgomery said.
Union County's regulations are all national standards and focus on
fencing and electrical shock prevention.
The county building department's requirement is fences must be four foot
high and all gates must be self closing and self latching. Marysville
and some townships require a six-foot fence.
Montgomery noted that because of the water, pool areas are particularly
hazardous for electrical shock injuries. The county building department
regulates electrical installation connected with and in the vicinity of
the pool.
Reportedly 700 children under the age of 7 drown every year in the
United States. That is an average of nearly two children a day.
"Many of these drownings could be prevented if the proper precautions
were taken," Montgomery said. "Let's keep the kids from getting in
unsupervised."
For more information call Montgomery at 645-3018.
.

Seventh Street School demolition a step closer
By CINDY BRAKE
After a few comments of discontent, the Marysville Architectural Review
Board unanimously gave its stamp of approval Thursday for the demolition
of an 89-year-old brick structure that seems to have outlived its use.
The three-story brick structure at 220 W. Seventh St., built in 1914 and
called West School, will be replaced by a parking lot.
Review board member Emily Wren Hawkins said that she personally was
troubled by the demolition and had heard similar comments from other
citizens.
"Public opinion should count in a small sense," Hawkins said. "Good
towns don't tear down history."
Calling the building "very solid," Union County Commissioner Jim
Mitchell said that when he took office eight years ago he thought the
building should be used but has since discovered that bringing the
building to code is costly. Handicap accessibility would cost up to
$400,000 and the county paid $5,000 a month to heat the building this
past year.
Union County Commissioner Gary Lee said the county has taken a "long
hard look" at what they could do with the building and realized that it
was not economically feasible to remodel. He estimated remodeling would
cost $3 million and said that the structure, while located in the city's
historic district, was specifically excluded in 1977.
Lee also pointed to the county's track record of trying to salvage
historic buildings. The county office building along Sixth Street was a
former school that the county remodeled into offices. Most recently, the
county remodeled the former county home into the Union County Ag Center
and an old retail building along London Avenue into the Union County
Services Center.
Lee said the commissioners plan to sell a Fifth Street property that
housed the Union County Extension Office. He said it would cost the
county $200,000 to bring the former house up to code.
"That is not a good use of public dollars," Lee said.
Marysville zoning officer Barb McCoy told the review board there are
three issues to consider for demolition. The issues are that the
structure has no feature of historic significance to the character of
the district; there is no reasonable economic use or feasible
alternative; and that deterioration has progressed to the point that it
is not economically feasible to restore the structure.
"I hate to see it go ... but it is better than seeing it deteriorate,"
said board member Wendy Nuspl.
Board member Pete Griffin added, "If we're going to make a change, I
want it to be the best it can be."
Lee assured the board that the parking lot would be an addition to the
neighborhood. He added that the county plans a decommissioning ceremony
with historic items salvaged and bricks available to the public.
"We're trying to mitigate the loss," Lee said.

Milcrest Nursing Center has new owner
From J-T staff reports:
Milcrest Nursing Center is under new ownership and will soon be sporting
a new look.
Saber Healthcare Group of Cleveland has purchased Milcrest from Nursing
Care Management, NCM, of Cincinnati and renovations are underway.
Milcrest was the vision of Donna Crawford, its first administrator, and
opened its doors in 1968. It was locally owned until the mid-1980s and
Mrs. Crawford continued as administrator until her retirement in 1991.
Saber's plans are to renovate the building and grounds while keeping the
home-like appeal this 50-bed skilled nursing center offers.
"Our goal is to maintain the high quality of care that Milcrest has a
reputation of providing," George Repchick, a partner in Saber Healthcare
Group, said. He said it is important to his partner, Bill (Weisberg),
and him to be involved in the community and get to know the people of
Marysville and Union County.
"Often community members never see or meet the owners of large
corporations. Bill and I have worked in that type of organization and we
operate quite differently," he said. "We realize the importance of the
community in providing care and services at Milcrest and our other
facilities."
Weisberg said the community has placed its trust in the Milcrest staff
in providing the highest level of care and services for mroe than 35
years.
"As Milcrest's new owners, we have made a commitment to continue to earn
that trust," he said. "By increasing the therapy staff, looking at other
health care services that we may provide and being more involved with
the community, we believe that we will be able to exceed the
expectations that most people have of nursing and rehabilitation
centers."
"The quality of the care is equal to the longevity of the care team.
Milcrest has been able to retain quality staff who work well together
and it shows in their satisfaction surveys and Ohio Department of Health
survey history. While a provider may promote one deficiency-free survey,
Milcrest can report three," Repchick said.
Saber Healthcare Group looks forward to a long and successful future at
Milcrest and with the Union County community.
Milcrest offers rehabilitation/short-term care, respite care, long-term
care and hospice services.

Chief reminds residents to lock doors, windows
A string of burglaries has hit Marysville in the past few days and
almost all were through an unlocked entry.
In the 200 block of Residence Drive early Thursday morning thieves
entered a home through an unlocked front door and stole a purse off the
kitchen counter. The residents were believed to be home at the time.
In other reports, suspects cut the screen on a window of a home on
Emmaus Drive and opened an unlocked window Thursday between 1 and  8
a.m. A purse was stolen from inside the home.
An unlocked garage was entered in the 100 block of Riverwind Drive
Wednesday night, although nothing has been reported stolen at this time.
Golden said too many instances of burglary, theft or breaking and
entering are the result of unlocked entryways.


Farewell to Father Bentz

Father J. Barry Bentz will celebrate his farewell Mass at Our Lady of
Lourdes Catholic Church on July 11 after 11 years of serving his
parishioners.
Bentz will go to Sacred Hearts near Cardington where the parish numbers
200 families. Our Lady of Lourdes has 800 families.
"I'm going into semi-retirement," he said.
He said it is always hard to say good-by and it is especially hard for
him to take his leave of the women at the Ohio Reformatory for Women
whom he visited every Thursday. He pointed out a starched crocheted
angel made for him by inmates and displayed on the dining room table in
the rectory.
Bentz, a native of Newark, was born to a German father and Irish mother.
He said he first began thinking of becoming a priest when he was a
senior in high school. He said priests must have a "calling" and that is
when he first felt called.
He worked for a year after high school, then attended college at St.
Charles Bartolomeo and earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy
and languages. After that, he spent four years at St. Mary's in
Cincinnati. Both of those institutions are now defunct, he said.
His first charge was at Immaculate Conception in the
Dennison/Uhrichsville area. He later served at St. Augustine and St.
Gabriel, sister parishes in Columbus, and St. Phillip's in Columbus. He
came to Marysville in 1993.
Bentz has two sisters and a brother who live in Newark. He said he's the
"black sheep in the family."
Bentz said there is a very spiritual atmosphere among his parishioners
and it is that atmosphere that enabled the congregation to undertake a
huge construction project in 2000. From 500 families in 1993, Our Lady
of Lourdes had grown rapidly and the number of worshipers necessitated
four masses on Sundays. The addition to the church doubled its size.
A Catholic congregation was first established in the 1850s in
Marysville. The first building was a white frame church on South Oak
Street, built in 1866 and remodeled in 1900. The present church was
built in 1954 and the Catholic Community Center went up in 1977.
Bentz said that when he reaches retirement age, he will live at his
property in the Hocking Hills, serving as a guest priest when he is
needed.
"It's time for me to slow down," he said. "It's the journey of life. We
move on."
Father David Poliafico has been assigned to Our Lady of Lourdes. An open
house in honor of Bentz will be held at the Catholic Community Center
following the 4:30 p.m. Mass today.

Report notes room for improvement

Report notes room for improvement
By RYAN HORNS
The results of the Downtown Assessment Resource Team's look at
Marysville's downtown area have finally come in.
Economic Development Director Eric Phillips said the DART assessment is
essentially how the group sees Marysville after spending time in the
city. The key point is that the review is a "living document that can be
changed."
"This report is a base from where we go from now," he explained.
Phillips said the city will hold a meeting July 14 at 5:30 p.m. to
discuss the details of the DART document. He said downtown business
representatives are encouraged to attend. The meeting is also expected
to include Plain City and Richwood representatives.
Phillips said that a consultant will be on hand to figure out what
grants they could pursue for revitalization needs. A building inspector
will also advise on the best way to convert upper floors of downtown
buildings into residential apartment space.
The DART team spent a couple of days in town in mid-April to find out
the positive and negative aspects of downtown growth in the city. They
were also trying to determine if the organization's Main Street Ohio
Program could be of any benefit.
What they learned was that "there is talent within the community, but
perhaps not a full-blown consensus of what to do about Marysville's
revitalization needs," the report stated. The need for fundraising to
make downtown revitalization possible was also discussed.
The DART team was made up of executive director Kevin Kuchenbecker and
director of Downtown Revitalization Pauline Eaton, both of Heritage
Ohio/Downtown Ohio Inc. in Columbus. Joining them were Joyce Barrett,
program associate with the company, and J. J.. Fields, program manager
for the Downtown Development Association of Van Wert.
The team formed its opinion of Marysville through personal interviews,
meetings with city groups, walking and driving tours through the city
and citizen comments, along with their own experience working with other
Ohio cities.
Marysville's downtown area is described as Maple Street to the west, Oak
Street to the east, the railroad tracks to the north and Sixth or Eighth
Street to the south.
"This is not a short-term project," the report states. "You must plan
for it to be operating for the next 50 years and beyond."
The DART team pointed out that the city should focus on financial
support, promotion, aesthetic design renovations, communication with the
public and economic restructuring to make it happen.
Barrett compiled the 36-page DART document and observed 12 main points
for city officials to begin looking into:
. There is talent within the community but perhaps not a full-blown
consensus of what to do about Marysville's revitalization needs.
. There was great community participation at the DART visit but it was
surprising that no Union County representation was there, no banks and
no Union County Foundation members present. There was not representation
from the four large employers, Honda, Scotts, Goodyear and Scioto Corp.
They need to be at the table.
. The strong Chamber of Commerce is an asset but revitalization
responsibility has to come from the community at large. People cannot
expect the Chamber to bear the entire burden.
. Immediate goals are going to be figuring out what the organizational
structure for the Marysville revitalization effort should be and that it
is  appropriate for Marysville.
. Some city councilmen were present but the mayor must be on board 100
percent.
. The Marysville Business Association is an asset; they also need to be
behind these revitalization decisions.
. It is a plus that Marysville is the county seat and that the core
public services are located adjacent to the downtown: post office,
library and city hall. This guarantees a certain amount of traffic to
capitalize on.
. Proximity to Columbus and Franklin County is also an asset; the city
can reasonably expect to draw some customers/participants from a larger
base.
. Tourist attractions currently are weak. The city needs to
promote/develop what already exists, for example, the historical
society, whose sites are adjacent to downtown. The more they draw, the
more it will compliment business to the downtown area.
. The redevelopment of the theater could be clustered with restaurants
that could easily draw business from Dublin/Columbus.
. Great 19th century architecture!
. Low vacancy rate but first floors are filled with service-oriented
space, rather than retail. The city should see what shifts can be made
to filling the upper floors.
If Marysville city officials decide to pursue the Ohio Main Street
Program, applications are due by Oct. 8 and letters of intent are due on
Sept. 1.