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Local Archived News May 2005

Guard  commits suicide  at ORW
Scottslawn rail crossing scheduled for repairs
Wastewater plant project gets a boost
Hospital board considers transferring property
Officials hatch water, sewer deal
Ten enter pleas on drug counts
Howard puts energy into performance
Festifair lineup slated
United Way has new member agency
Richwood administrator announces retirement
Standoff ends in shooting - Michael Ropp was shot after charging deputies
Millcreek Township feeling the squeeze
Community sets slate of Memorial Day activities
In memory of their service
Officials unravel circumstances  of man's death
Local lawmen  join seatbelt campaign
MHS grad has beetle mania
Teen offender changes plea to guilty
Marysville decides on ballot issue
Fairbanks OKs teachers agreement
Triad approves  later start time for upper grades
Jerome clerk has words for trustees
Law Enforcement Memorial
Road to close for dedication
Chamber supports Taft tax plan
First leadership institute class graduates
Police pursuit ends after crash
Uptown revitalization rolls forward
Oberlin to be inducted into Hall of Fame
Applebee's and Mary  Kelly's coming to the city
Happy Friday the 13th
Smoothing  the bumps
North Lewisburg deals with two new hires, one departure
Lt. Gov. visits Scotts
Bomb squad called for object found in yard
Seniors use Yoga to stay limber
Prospective Richwood employees could face new procedure
Whittle while you work
Jail wipes off inmate fees
Man found guilty  in crack cocaine possession case
Talk of TIFs dominates committee meeting
A sigh of relief at Triad
Area to celebrate National Day  of Prayer
Jerome Trustees decide on road improvements
Teen found guilty in armed robbery
Mother sees link between autism, diet
Disorder remains a mystery
Hiring process questioned in Jerome
City may whiff on TIFs - State tax changes could leave Marysville without new funding source

Guard  commits suicide  at ORW
From J-T staff reports:
The circumstances that led a Marysville ORW guard to commit suicide at
the Ohio Reformatory for Women early Friday morning are being
investigated. The Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed Friday
afternoon that a suicide had occurred at the women's prison.
ORW Public Information Officer Elizabeth Wright reported that guard Gary
Kirby, 52, of Marysville was found dead in his prison perimeter vehicle
at 4 a.m. Wright said Kirby had been a guard at ORW since April 18, 1991 and had a
clean record. "He has had no disciplinary problems," Wright said.
She reported that Kirby was doing his regular rounds, patrolling the
perimeter of the prison grounds.
Wright would not specify why they believe Kirby committed suicide or
what kind of weapon he used. She only explained that every perimeter
vehicle is equipped with a .38 revolver and a shotgun.
It is unknown if Kirby had a prior history with suicide attempts. He
reportedly has a family in the Marysville area.
The Marysville Police Department reported that they have had no prior
involvement with Kirby in any form.
Wright said the OSP is now handling the investigation into Kirby's death.

Scottslawn rail crossing scheduled for repairs
By RYAN HORNS
It may not sound too exciting for some people, but for others it may the
best thing to happen all year.
According to city administrator, Kathy House, the city has plans
underway to fix the railroad crossing at Scottslawn Road in Marysville.
The section of road has been a problem for many years. Traffic was
forced to a crawl as vehicles attempt to maneuver through crevices
between the rails and ground. Councilman Dan Fogt has mentioned the
problem numerous times during council meetings.
According to a city press release on the project, work to replace the
Scottslawn Road railroad crossing will begin approximately May 31 and be
completed around June 17.
The replacement is part of a combined effort between several entities.
Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse said during Thursday's council meeting that
CSX Railroad, Marysville and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company have all
come together to cover the cost and efforts to complete the job.
"We are very pleased with that," Kruse said.
The press release states that the crossing will be significantly
upgraded. Concrete panels will be installed in each component of the
crossing, which will greatly enhance the ground level for motorists. The
use of concrete in the crossing replacement will also ensure greater
durability and longevity.
From June 6 through at least June 17, drivers and others will be unable
to travel over the Scottslawn Road crossing during repairs. Local
motorists should plan an alternate route that best meets their needs.
Through traffic will be directed by detour signage using Industrial
parkway and Routes 42 and 736 to Scottslawn Road.
The city asks all motorists to select alternate routes carefully as
travel through some portions within the corporate limits is challenging
due to ongoing street repair work and imminent repaving.
But it seems the issue of railroad crossing is one that has other
offenders across town. During the recent city council meeting,
Councilman Nevin Taylor asked Kruse if it would be possible if the
crossing at Delaware Avenue at U.S. 36 could be repaired as well. He
said a resident reported the alignment of her car was "thrown out of
whack." Kruse said the crossing at East Fifth Street by 84 Lumber is another one
that needs to be addressed. He is concerned about the safety at the
crossing as Coleman's Crossing will open up more traffic in the future.
Kruse said he discussed repairing this crossing with CSX and questioned
different modes of addressing that issue. At this time no plans have
been made to repair those sections of road.

Wastewater plant project gets a boost
$1 million in federal money may be set aside for project
By RYAN HORNS
The price tag for the future Marysville sewer plant might be a little
smaller. Although a "little" may be an understatement.
John McClelland, of Representative Deborah Pryce's office, reported
recently that Marysville could be receiving $1 million in grant money
for its sewer project. He said Pryce allocated the money for the project.
Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse mentioned the news to council members at the
Thursday night meeting. New information he reported revealed that the
city was able to get $1 million for this year and $2 million for next
year from budget appropriations.
McClelland explained that the FY2006 House, Energy and Water Development
Appropriation Bill will hit the senate floor for a vote. From there the
bill will go to a subcommittee and then have a vote in front of the full House.
Kruse also reiterated what McClelland said, adding that the bill has not
been finalized yet.
"We feel really good," Kruse said. "We have gotten very strong support
from Deborah Pryce's office."
Marysville projects have also received similar support from the offices
of Mike Dewine and George Voinovich, he said.
McClelland said the appropriations bill puts funding into projects for
the Department of Energy operations, It can include anything from
nuclear research, site clean ups, EPA projects, etc. For example, $2
million is funding a project at The Ohio State University to study using
lasers more extensively in surgery.
But McClelland admitted the $1 million grant is not much on the grand
scheme of Marysville's wastewater project.
"It's actually just a drop in the bucket from what I hear. It's not a
huge chunk," he said. "But $1 million is better than nothing."
He said numerous Marysville business such as The Scotts Miracle-Gro
Company, Honda and Goodyear were strong supporters of the Marysville's
sewer plant project. "They all have a vested interest in this," McClelland said.
City administrator Kathy House said she has heard the news of the
potential $1 million grant, but also knows that it is not a done deal
yet. The process for seeking state help on the sewer plant project began
after House began contacting all of the city's federal representatives.
She said she sent letters detailing the project, cost, timeline and
engineering reports. House said the city originally requested $50,000 to do the project. But
said the city would be happy for any help that could be provided during such a budget crunch.

Hospital board considers transferring property
From J-T staff reports:
The Memorial Hospital of Union County board of trustees is considering
giving one of its properties to the village of Richwood.
Board members met Thursday night at their regular monthly meeting. They
discussed the property, located on the south side of Richwood, which
formerly housed a physician's office. The building is currently home of
the village government and is leased for $1 a year from the hospital.
Chip Hubbs, hospital administrator, said the village has expressed
interest in owning the one-story building and adjacent land.
The village has requested the hospital donate the property. But Hubbs
said the hospital is more interested in a trade.
The hospital would like access to property at the edge of Richwood's
industrial park to erect a sign advertising services the hospital
offers. It also would like to involve the village in the sign's design.
The board also discussed a second piece of property located at Plum and
Fifth streets. The commercial property is valued at $160,000, and Hubbs
said the hospital is interested if the right financial package can be arranged.
In other business, the board:
.Heard a report from hospital auxiliary president Barbara Guess, who
said the auxiliary raised $30,000 for the MRI/CT suite renovation. Guess
also said the auxiliary purchased 10 new wheel chairs for hospital use.
.Recognized Sharon DeZarn, director of the medical/surgery unit and
Morey Center ICU; Mareva Page, director of diagnostic services; Randy
Moore, director of physical, occupation and speech therapy; and Doug
Grown, manager of plant services.
.Approved medical appointments to Linda Manley, department of medicine,
Allied Health, initial; and Robert Kessack, department of medicine,
Allied Health, conclusion of provisional privileges.
.Accepted resignations from Steven Nelson, cardiology, department of
medicine, consulting staff; Cindy Swart, family practice, department of
medicine, active staff; and Anita Wantz, family practice, department of
medicine, courtesy staff. .Entered into executive session to discuss employment and compensation
of an employee. Hubbs said no additional action was anticipated.

Officials hatch water, sewer deal
By CINDY BRAKE
After years of disagreement and dissatisfaction, officials from the city
of Marysville and Union County are proposing a new way of providing
water and sewer services to unannexed areas that benefits both entities.
If approved the deal would mean services to unannexed areas, lower rates
to county customers and a guaranteed growth area for the city.
"Both Marysville and Union County knew that we must create a working
agreement that would do several things," said Gary Lee, president of the
Union County Board of Commissioners during a meeting earlier today with
trustees from Dover, Paris, Millcreek and Jerome townships.
The agreement, he said, creates a system that is cost efficient for all
customers; is environmentally sound to improve water quality and
wastewater treatment; provides services to the rapidly growing areas of
Industrial Parkway in Millcreek, Jerome and Dover townships; defines a
reasonable growth area for Marysville and provides an exclusive area
which Marysville would be required to service without annexation; and
enhances economic stability for our community.
Specifically, the city would cover the county's debt of $4 million on
existing water and sewer lines along Industrial Parkway. The county
agrees the city of Marysville will be the exclusive service provider in
a defined growth area that includes all of Paris Township and portions
of Millcreek, Jerome and Dover townships.
Tap fees for unincorporated areas would be reduced, as well as monthly
sewer rates. Water rates would remain the same. Lee said average monthly
sewer rates would drop from $63 to $54. Tap fees are currently $10,400.
Under the new agreement, tap fees for county residents drop to $7,200.
These rates are locked in place under certain conditions and as city
user fees increase, which is a certainty with construction of a new
wastewater treatment plant, the county user fee would never be more than
10 percent higher. Lee said the city to county ratio is better than any
other rural area in central Ohio.
Other pluses for county residents who are now on package plants is the
opportunity to hook into the city's lines when available with no tap
fee. What all this means is an expanding customer base for the city,
increased assets and more revenue.
Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse this morning said he is excited about the
deal. "I think it will be wonderful for the whole county," he said. "It
clearly gives the townships much more say on how things develop in their
areas." Kruse added that he was pleased at the cooperation he received while
working with Union County Commissioners on the issue but it didn't come
easy. "There has been some hard bargaining," he said. "I think this is one of
the more major things that has happened in Union County for some time,"
Kruse said. "The opportunity for cooperation was just an opportunity we
couldn't pass up." Trustee comments at today's meeting were mostly positive.
Dover Township trustee Barry Moffett said his township is coming out
better than expected with an answer to the "time bomb" issue of an aging
package plant. Speaking as a business owner along Industrial Parkway, Millcreek
Township trustee Jim Schrader called it a "fantastic deal for me and my
neighbors. I can't imagine why anyone would want to annex into Dublin."
Paris Township trustees Steve Westlake and Don Lowe said the proposal
may relieve current development pressures on their township by expanding
the city's service area.
Jerome Township Trustee Ron Rhodes commended the board of commissioners
for their efforts, while trustee Sharon Sue Wolfe called it a "sweet
deal for Marysville," and not for people in rural areas.
Commissioner Tom McCarthy assured the group that this agreement takes no
rights away from township residents. Attorney Mark Landis noted that it
offers rural residents "more options."
Rick Shortell, president of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, called
it a "fantastic proposal" that will open the door to quality, controlled growth.
Lee said Marysville City Council has been presented the proposal and he
was told their reaction has been favorable.
A contract is now being written. Council will hold three readings on the
proposal and the commissioners will also vote on the resolution. Lee
said there is no time frame to finalize the deal, although estimates it
will be within three to four months.
McCarthy credited mayor Kruse, Union County engineer Steve Stolte and
commissioner Lee as instrumental in resolving the long-term water/sewer issue.
"The logjam has been broken," McCarthy said about the city and county
working together to resolve common issues. "Marysville has opened the
door for townships to protect rural development."
Lee agreed, saying that he hopes this agreement will open the door to talks about other issues.
Benefits of the plan
For the county
1. No annexation requirement outside the city's growth area.
2. Existing township residences within the city's growth area will be
allowed water or sewer service without any requirement to annex.
3. City shall provide water and sewer service for new developments
outside the city's growth area if approved by the county.
4. Customers see a reduction in monthly sewer rate.
5. Customers see a reduction in sewer tap fees.
6. Customers see a reduction in water tap fees.
7. Water rates stay the same as for customers inside the city.
8. Customers served by county package sewage plants will not pay a tap
fee to connect to city sewers when the package plants are phased out.
9. City's 24-hour operation provides better service for emergency
response to water main breaks, pump station problems.
For the community
1. Major step toward meeting OEPA mandate for 208 area-wide planning for
water quality management.
2. Improves county/city cooperation and efficiency in providing
wastewater and water service to residents of the city of Marysville and
to residents of the unincorporated townships.
3. Environmentally sound, improves water quality by providing state of
the art wastewater treatment and reducing the reliance on small package
plants and on individual septic systems in outlying areas.
4. Enhanced economic stability for Union County, creating jobs and
expanding tax base for future generations.
For the city
1. City may require annexation or agreement to annex for new customers
within the city's growth area when properties are contiguous to the city.
2. City is exclusive service provider in growth area and exclusive
service area to guarantee that tap fees in these areas will not be
directed  to other service providers such as the city of Columbus or Delaware County.
3. As city infrastructure expands and county-owned package plants are
phased out, existing county customers will increase city revenues.
4. Sewer rate for customers outside the city will be capped at 10
percent higher than for customers inside the city.
5. Tap fees for county customers will be 20 percent higher than a city
customers in the short term and 10 percent higher over the long term.
6. Increased revenue from water and sewer tap fees.
7. City water revenue will be higher.
8. Expanded city customer base will help support the $212 million in new
wastewater treatment plant and sewer improvements which will help to
stabilize the city's long-term water/sewer rate structure. Premium rate
for areas annexed to another municipality.
9. City acquires $8 million in infrastructure while assuming $4 million in debt.

Ten enter pleas on drug counts
Sentencing dates set for some defendants

By RYAN HORNS
The man known among the drug community as "Speed Racer" came before the
Union County Common Pleas Court Wednesday and decided to plead guilty,
rather than take his case to trial.
Ronald L. Donahue, 60, of Taylor Road faced some 13 felony drug charges,
all dealing with trafficking in cocaine out of his Union County home.
Wednesday he pleaded guilty to three charges in an agreement with
prosecution. The plea included two fourth-degree felony trafficking in
cocaine, one third-degree felony trafficking in cocaine charges.
Donahue will have his sentencing hearing on July 13 at 1:45 p.m. The
event will mark the last steps in a drug sweep that took place in Union County on April, 6.
The war on drugs in Union County is far from over though, Union County
Sheriff Rocky Nelson said.
Lt. Jamie Patton of the Union County Sheriff's Office, said this morning
that some of the investigative work has not been completed on evidence
found in the homes that were raided. The Bureau of Criminal
Investigation and Identification is still verifying chemical evidence
which could confirm a possible crystal meth lab found in a home during one of the raids.
Throughout the day Wednesday, face after face of criminals who made
headlines from the drug sweep arrests came before the court. For the
most part, those charged decided to change their plea to guilty and let
justice take its course. A small few decided to take their chances with a trial.
Jonathan P. Curtiss, 23, faces two fifth-degree felony counts of
possession of drug, one third-degree felony aggravated trafficking in
drugs and one fourth-degree felony aggravated trafficking in drugs. His
crimes mainly deal with selling Oxycontin. His trial has been set for
June 30 and July 1 at 9 a.m.
An interesting side note, court files show that for those who agreed to
plead guilty, their decision could put a little extra pressure on the
others hoping for a trial to keep them out of jail.
As part of the stipulations for pleading guilty to less charges, Union
County prosecutor David Phillips requested that they agree to testify
against any of those who took their case to trial - if they may hold any
related information on any of the individuals.
Phillips was unavailable for comment on the cases this morning.
Out of 10 people who came before the court Wednesday, two others kept
their not guilty plea and are looking at a trial. Randy W. Smith Jr.,
27, faces five felony drug charges for trafficking cocaine and will have
his trial on July 7 and 8 at 9 a.m. Melissa A. Mazon, 30, faces less
charges than many in the drug sweep. She kept her not guilty plea on one
fifth-degree felony permitting drug abuse charge. Her trail will be held July 5 and 6 at 9 a.m.
A total of 32 suspected drug dealers were arrested during the drug
sweep. Dates on when the remaining cases will reach court have not been
announced. An additional 10 similar drug sweep cases will come before the court on Friday.
Others who pleaded guilty include:
Randy D. Hill, faces six felony drug charges. He pleaded guilty and will
be sentenced on July 13 at 2 p.m.
Terry J. Vlies, 34, faces five felony charges for dealing crack cocaine.
He pleaded guilty and will have his sentencing hearing on July 13 at 2:15 p.m.
Jesse A. Rosales, faces 11 felony drug charges and pleaded guilty. He
will be sentenced on July 13 at 2:30 p.m.
Charles E. Hill, II, 28, pleaded guilty to three felony counts for
trafficking in marijuana. Sentencing is set for July 13 at 1:30 p.m.
Donald I. Adams, Jr., 34, pleaded guilty to two third-degree felony
trafficking in cocaine, two fourth-degree felony possession of cocaine,
one fifth-degree felony trafficking in cocaine, one fifth-degree felony
possession of cocaine and one first-degree felony engaging in a pattern
of criminal activity. Sentencing is set for June 29, 2 p.m.
Jeannine A. Phillips, 52, pleaded guilty and will be sentenced on June 29 at 3 p.m

Howard puts energy into performance
Editor's note: The following review is submitted by Kay Liggett, a
member of the Union County Community Concert Association.
???
Arnett Howard and Friends were in town Wednesday night with his "Little
Bit o' Jazz, Little Bit o' Funk and Great History" for the Union County
Community Concerts Association 2004-2005 Golden Series.
He never sounded better and the crowd loved the Capital University music
department graduate.
Arnett is a master showman of music, entertainer, humorist and
historian. He loves to be a story teller, as well as musician.
We cuddled down to share his tales and talents with his four musicians.
They include guitarist Kraig Phillips, owner and builder of the Phillips
Guitars, bass guitarist David Hampton, drummer Ron Henderson and
keyboardist Robert Davis,  a nationally traveled musician. They were in great form last night.
And then there was Arnett Howard - unique character and superb musician.
Last night he showed his talents at keyboard, trumpet and vocally.
He oozes music from his every pore and hones his craft, loving his art
and collector of songs, especially songs written by Ohioans.
Jazz, creole, blues and funk - it was a wonderful concert event - and
Howard gave 110 percent. Songs included "I Just Called To Say I Love You," "Fire," "I Can See
Clearly Now," and "Amen." The grand finale was "When the Saints Go Marching In."
This was a wow show. The 2005-2006 season schedule is complete. Included are a
well-known acapella vocal group; an internationally
acclaimed organist, some Dixie land, a Mandolin group of traditional and
contemporary music and an extraordinarily-talented ensemble of musical
finesse and humor who sounded like something our audience would enjoy.

Festifair lineup slated
Tonight's appearance by Arnett Howard will not be the only time the
Plain City native visits Union County this spring and summer.
Howard will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Marysville High School
auditorium. His performance, "Arnett Howard - A Little Bit 'O Jazz, A
Little Bit 'O Funk & A Lot of History," will be the final production of
the 2004-2005 golden series of the Union County Community Concerts
Association.  But the musician, broadcaster and teacher also will appear at
"Festifair: A Celebration of Arts and Aircraft" Sept. 9 at the Union
County Airport from 6 to 9 p.m.
Festifair will kick off Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. with a hot air balloon
competition, aircraft displays, music, food and beverages. Union Rural
Electric Cooperative, Touchstone Energy, is the presenting sponsor.
On Sept. 10, at 7  a.m., the hot air balloons will take to the air,
followed by a 5-K run on the airport's tarmac. Run proceeds will benefit
the Union County Family YMCA. Proceeds from a pancake breakfast will
benefit the Marysville High School Band's trip to New York City.
At 9 a.m., Festifair arts and crafts will begin in the streets of Uptown
Marysville. The Marysville Fire Department will host its seventh annual
open house from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This year's open house will include
the presentation of the new ladder truck with the latest technology.
Other special exhibits and activities are planned, including rescue
demonstrations. Promoters said Festifair: A Celebration of Arts and Aircraft reunites
the All-Ohio Balloon Rally and Festifair all in one weekend just as in
years past. In addition, the balloons and static air displays will be
back at the Union County airport.

United Way has new member agency
Marion shelter may receive funds in 2006
Editor's note: The following information is provided by the United Way of Union County.
The United Way of Union County Board of Trustees is furthering the
organization's commitment to meet the emergency housing needs of area
residents, adding the Marion Shelter Program to its family of Member
Agencies at its May meeting.
The decision ensures that those in an immediate housing crisis will have
a roof over their heads by making the homeless shelter eligible for
annual funding from the United Way's fall campaign, beginning with
payouts in January 2006.
"We don't have a homeless shelter in Union County," said Dr. Charita
Cooper, one of two United Way Board Members who visited the shelter this
week and recommended that the shelter become a member agency. "They're
our neighbor and they are taking care of the residents of Union County,
so we should support them."
Twelve Union County residents utilized the shelter in 2004 for a total
of 205 nights. But increased referrals from Union County social service
agencies has led to increased usage, as 11 residents have already spent
180 nights in the shelter in 2005. The Marion Shelter Program serves 14
counties and is the only immediate emergency alternative for Union
County's homeless population.
"I don't know if we're a tip-of-the-iceberg agency, but if we're seeing
a dozen people a year from Union County, my assumption is that there are
probably upwards of a hundred that are technically homeless," said Mark
Lovett, Director of the Marion Shelter Program.  "I think we've
accomplished raising awareness of that need, but this is another
opportunity. We have a very well-known agency (United Way) with our name
in their pamphlet. There is a homeless shelter that Union County has
access to, that it can use and support."
The United Way of Union County partnered with the Marion Shelter Program
in each of the last two years, awarding grants totaling $9,484 to cover
the cost of housing Union County residents there. United Way and the
shelter have also been partners on the Union County Housing Coalition,
which is working to meet the shelter and housing needs of low-income
residents. Often, the long-term solution for these families and
individuals involves much more than giving them a short-term place to stay.
"They are not only taking in homeless people, but changing the lives of
the clients they serve," Cooper said. "They're not just putting them up for the night."
The shelter, which serves about 25 to 30 people a day, is not a
"flop-house." The difference between what the Marion Shelter Program and
traditional homeless facilities provide is profound. In a residential
neighborhood, it looks like any other home on the street. It's not a
warehouse with cots, but a home with rooms, beds, a kitchen, and a
living room.  There are requirements that residents stay no more than 90
days, look for work daily and save money they earn to get them back into
their own permanent housing.
Besides giving homeless people a place to stay and food to eat, the
shelter provides a structured environment to learn social skills, job
skills, and money management skills. A new program at the shelter allows
residents to access more than 12,000 educational lessons through
computers and software that all but tests users for their Graduate Equivalence Degree.
With no shelter in Union County, homeless residents are sometimes leery
about crossing the county line to another community for their immediate
help. Mark Lovett, Director of the Marion Shelter Program, understands
the fears they have of leaving their hometown and concerns about the
inconvenience of being 30 miles away. But in most cases, it beats the alternative.
Transportation to the shelter has also been a concern, but the shelter
is working with area organizations to arrange getting those in need to
the facility. Folks don't need a formal referral to enter the Marion
Shelter Program. They need only to show up at the 365 East Fairground Street location.
With the Marion Shelter Program on board, the United Way of Union County
now has 25 Member Agencies. It is the first added since April 2004 when
The Salvation Army's Union County Homeless Prevention Program became a Member Agency.
"It's a validation of our program and the services that we provide to
people who are homeless," said Lovett, whose agency also became a
partner agency of the United Way of Delaware County last week.
For more information, those interested may visit
www.unitedwayofunioncounty.org or call United Way (937)-644-8381.

Richwood administrator announces retirement
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Despite recent conflicts, Richwood Village Administrator Jim Thompson
insists his retirement has been planned for a long time.
"I'm at the point now where I want to slow down a little bit," Thompson said.
Mayor Bill Nibert told village council at Monday's meeting that Thompson
had announced he would be retiring on May 31. Since that meeting,
Thompson has agreed, at the request of the mayor, to stay on as acting
administrator until a replacement can be found.
 Thompson has worked for the village for 10 years and became village
administrator in June after Ron Polen left the position.
Almost from the outset Thompson's time as administrator was marked by
controversy. During his selection process some council members felt that
the village needed to hire an administrator with higher certifications
in water and sanitary sewer plant management. Thompson's certifications
did not allow him to operate the village's plants without help from an
additional engineer.
More recently, council had informed Thompson that an applicant he had
decided to hire would not become a village employee. According to the
notification Thompson received, council felt a drug screening and
physical exam should have been performed.
Thompson maintains that the village handbook did not contain such
stipulations at the time, although council recently passed legislation
mandating such tests. "I didn't do anything wrong," he said.
Thompson was told that future employees should have their applications
reviewed by council. He said one of the administrator's duties is to
interview and hire village workers and he feels council may be
circumventing that process. "It seems like some of them have been against me from go," he said. "But
that wasn't the reason (for retirement)."
Thompson said his plan all along had been to retire when he turned 62,
which will be next month. He said conflicts aside, it was time for him to step down.
Thompson has been working to obtain his real estate license and said he
plans to pursue that interest, as well as leisure activities such as
golf. He also added that he would like to stay on as village zoning
inspector, but isn't sure if he will be allowed to do so.
Thompson said he intends to stay in the village and would also be
available to help out village crews in a pinch. At Monday's meeting he
offered to stay on as a contracted employee until a replacement can be
found, but council took no action on the offer.
Council is now in the process of searching for a new village
administrator. It was noted that advertisements will be run in area
newspapers, as well as Ohio Municipal League publications

Standoff ends in shooting - Michael Ropp was shot after charging deputies
By RYAN HORNS
A broken window and tire marks in the grass are all that's left behind
at a home on U.S. 36 where a Union County sheriff's deputy shot a man
after a standoff just west of New Dover Monday evening.
Michael P. Ropp, 24, of 14159 U.S. 36  is listed in serious but stable
condition at Grant Medical Center in Columbus after he was shot by
sheriff's deputy Thomas "TC" Underwood.
Circumstances surrounding the situation are still being investigated,
however, the biggest dispute lies with whether Ropp was armed at the
time of the shooting, whether he even posed a threat to officers, or if
he was just trying to flee the area.
At a press conference this morning in the Union County Commissioner's
hearing room, Sheriff Rocky Nelson, BC I&I investigator Brian Carlson
and Prosecutor David Phillips filled reporters in on the events of last
night. At approximately 6:19 p.m. the sheriff's office received a cellular
phone call from Delaware County's 911 Center.
The Journal-Tribune listened to a tape of the call this morning. In that
tape, the caller identified himself as Larry Ropp, Michael's father. He
said his son had been drinking and acting erratic, screaming and
yelling. At one point, the son reportedly tried cutting his wrists,
although his father said the wound was not bleeding.
Larry Ropp was calling from a cell phone outside the home. Occasionally
muffled voices could be heard on the tape, voices which apparently came
from Michael Ropp's mother, brother and sister, who Larry Ropp also said
were outside the home. At one point Larry Ropp said he feared for his son's safety. He also
said, "I just don't know what he (the son) is going to do when the
deputies get here." It was also reported that Ropp had threatened to hurt other family
members at the residence.
Deputies responded to the scene and attempted to make contact with the
younger Ropp, who refused to come out of the house. It was reported that
he was holding his girlfriend Emily Marshall hostage and had barricaded
the doors to the home.
Nelson said that a hostage negotiator arrived on the scene and was able
to speak with Marshall via a cell phone. After several conversations
with Marshall and the suspect, Marshall was allowed to leave the house
safely. Ropp, though, refused to leave.
Nelson explained that while deputies were attempting to set up another
telephone communication with Ropp, the suspect suddenly ran from the
back entrance of the home toward officers.
At that point, deputies ordered Ropp to stop and get down on the ground.
As he reportedly kept running toward officers, Underwood fired once,
striking the suspect in the abdomen.
Paramedics from the Marysville Fire Department, who were already at
scene, transported Ropp to Grant Medical Center.
This morning, family members declined to comment on the shooting.
However, in the neighboring home immediately east of the house, a
female,  who refused to identify herself, spoke to the Journal-Tribune.
The woman said she was not home at the time of the shooting but later
learned of the events from family members. From what she was told, she
felt the shooting was "unjustified."
She said she heard that Ropp had run out of the back door of the home.
"He wasn't trying to charge the police," she said. "He was just trying
to run from the house. He definitely wasn't armed."
The woman said she didn't know Ropp as well as her husband does.
"He was always a happy go-lucky kind of guy," she said.
The woman said Ropp couldn't have been armed because his family had
reportedly removed anything in the home that he could have used to harm
himself due to previous alleged suicide attempts. However, a search of
the home revealed a machete and several knives.
Piecing together the events of the night for media representatives,
Nelson said that when Ropp ran from the residence he was headed straight
for Underwood. The sheriff said Ropp had previously spoken with the
deputy during hostage negotiations.
"I felt (Ropp) knew exactly where he was going," Nelson said of the run
toward officers. Nelson said deputies are taught how to respond to situations like this
in their training. In many cases the training states that if a deputy
feels his life may be in danger, he or she may respond in any way
determined necessary.
Nelson said Underwood has been with the department for 10 months and had
previous experience in law enforcement while working at the Tri-County
Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg and the Urbana City Schools. The
sheriff's office has had no previous complaints about him.
Nelson said since becoming a deputy in Union County Underwood has earned
nothing but praise. He added that Underwood had never before fired his
weapon in the line of duty. The officer is currently on administrative
duty until the investigation ends. Nelson said he did not know how long
the investigation would take.
Phillips said potential charges against Ropp may include felony
obstructing of official police business and abduction.
What pushed Ropp to the point of the alleged suicide is not known at
this time. He had only one previous arrest in 2001 for failure to comply
with police orders. It was reported he had made previous suicide
attempts but Nelson could not comment on how many or when those occurred.

Millcreek Township feeling the squeeze
Officials discuss growth in surrounding areas
By CINDY BRAKE
Now is the time to talk in Millcreek Township as increasing development
pressures squeeze the area.
The Millcreek Township Board of Trustees met Monday in special session
to discuss a variety of development and zoning issues with a focus on
scheduling more meetings.
Millcreek Township is bordered by the city of Marysville, Delaware
County and Jerome Township - all areas experiencing growth. U.S. 33 also
cuts through the township. The city of Marysville recently purchased
land in Millcreek to build a multi-million-dollar wastewater treatment
plant. While the township is powerless to stop the city's sewer plans,
Millcreek has hired Dick Noland, a township resident, to assist the
township in negotiating what the plant looks like. Noland is an engineer
who was involved in the design of sewer plants for many years.
Noland announced that an informal meeting for residents living near
property purchased by the city of Marysville is planned for 7:30 a.m.
Saturday at the township hall. He hopes people will share what they
would like to see as far as architecture. His plan is to conduct several
more meetings in the next three weeks to include more and more township residents.
"It's time to get started," Noland said. "I believe they are further
along than they are saying."
Noland said the sewer planning process is currently at 30 percent and by
June it is to be 60 percent completed.
"I think it's getting down to specifics," Noland said, adding that the
township needs to voice its concerns sooner rather than later in the planning process.
Township trustee Bill Lynch suggested the city's property take on a
parklike appearance with native flowers and trees. Noland said at an
open house, the plans showed buildings modeled after Dutch barns. Both
also mentioned mounding can be configured in a variety of ways.
Noland said he would like to attend a June 14 meeting with Marysville
officials and their consultants. He said that if that is not possible,
the township should ask the city's consultants to meet with the township.
Another meeting of note is on June 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. when an open house
is planned about the trunk sewer line. Speculation is that the sewer
line will go down Adelsberger Road and effluent will follow Beecher
Gamble Road to Mill Creek.
An anti-degradation hearing will probably occur in July, Noland said.
Switching to a different topic, trustee Jim Schrader asked for thoughts
about Dublin's announcement to create a technology park.
Bill Schrader, a township resident, predicted that the park will bring
5,000 new homes to Millcreek with no jobs or tax base.
"We're under the gun as a township," trustee Lynch said.
He suggested that the township's "highest priority" in comprehensive
land use planning is to create guidelines for zoning districts.
"We no longer have the luxury to sit back," he said.
The Millcreek Township trustees have scheduled special meetings for June
20 and July 18 to discuss development and zoning issues.

Community sets slate of Memorial Day activities
Editor's note: The following information was supplied by Major General
(Ret.) Oscar Decker, chairman of the Marysville Memorial Day Committee.---
As we pause from our daily activities this Memorial Day, Monday, it is
time to remember all who have fallen in battle serving our Country in an
unbroken line from the bridge at Concord to Little Round Top to San Juan
Hill to Chateau Thierry in Word War I to the cliffs overlooking Utah and
Omaha beaches at Pont-du-Hoc in World War II to Pork Chop Hill in Korea,
the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam and the latest battles in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This year is a reminder that it has been 60 years since the end of World
War II and 30 years since the end of the Vietnam War.
Memorial Day is much more than just a weekend off. It is a day of mixed
emotions, thinking about those who sacrificed so much and the families
they left behind. At the same time we honor them by remembering them and
what they did. It is a special day to celebrate the memory of our
honored dead and express our thanks to those family members who have mourned for them.
As we remember and honor the past, we need to remember that many of
Union County's own have been on active duty during the past year and
some remain on active duty this Memorial Day. They are standing in for
us in the defense of our freedoms. They need our support and
encouragement. Our military personnel and their families know that
freedom has a price and we need to also recognize and remember them for
the price they pay. The parade marshall and guest speaker will be Lt. Col. Richard Genzman,
pastor of First English Lutheran Church. Student speakers will be
Kristina Short and Julie Vandre.
Marysville Memorial Day activities on Monday are planned as follows:
. 9 a.m. -Ceremony on North Main Street Bridge to honor the dead lost at
sea. Rev. John Groat will be the Chaplain. There will be special music
by Elizabeth Ward and Scott Underwood who will play the Navy hymn.
Attendees will be asked to join in singing. You are invited to come and
pay your respects and add your voices.
. 9:30 a.m. - Parade starts on Plum Street at Fifth and will proceed up
Fifth Street to Oakdale Cemetery. In case of inclement weather the route
will be shortened to go to the Veterans' Auditorium where the ceremony
will be conducted. WUCO, 1270 AM, will announce if the inclement weather
route and location will be used. The Marysville High School Band will
furnish music in the parade and at Oakdale. Organizations desiring to
join the Parade may contact VFW Post 3320, which sponsors the Parade.
Individuals are encouraged to participate. The 148th Infantry of the
Ohio National Guard will have several vehicles and military personnel in the Parade.
The Parade Marshal will be Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) Richard Genzman
who returned last year from Kuwait.
Scouts will hand out flags to the children at the Parade courtesy of
American Legion Post 79. Please encourage your children to stand proudly
when the flag of our great Country passes by and place their right hand
over their heart to show proper respect. That flag which waves "over the
land of the free and the home of the brave," has flown proudly over the
many blessings, and tribulations, that have been felt in these United
States. It continues to wave proudly and millions of people throughout
the world would like to live under it.
. 10 a.m. -Ceremonies at Oakdale Cemetery (Veterans' Auditorium on Sixth
Street if inclement weather prevails) The Marysville Middle School Band
will give a pre-ceremony concert at Oakdale beginning at 9:30 and the
combined bands will play during the ceremony. Honored guests will be our
former Prisoners of War, World War II Veterans, Anti-terrorism War
Veterans, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. Each group will be asked to
stand to be recognized during the ceremony at Oakdale. WUCO will
broadcast the ceremonies. Lawn chairs are appropriate for additional seating.
The guest speaker at Oakdale will be Genzman, who is Pastor of First
English Lutheran Church in Marysville. He was mobilized in February 2003
with the 371st Corps Support Group based in Kettering. He was sent to
Kuwait where he was stationed at Camp Virginia. That gave him the
opportunity to interact with many of the troops who deployed to Iraq. He
returned safely from Kuwait in March 2004. His awards include the Bronze
Star for Meritorious Service, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary
Medal and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device (indicating
mobilization). Keron and family have been his strong support in his
second career in the Army. Their son, Matt, is a student at Rochester
Institute of Technology. Sara is at Capitol University and Jonathan is a
student in Marysville High School next year.
The Memorial Day Committee is pleased to have two outstanding local high
school students participate in the ceremonies. Kristina Short will
present Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Kristina is the daughter of Alfred
and Annie Short. She was a Senior at Fairbanks High School where she was
a member of the track team and 4-H Club. Kristina was elected Governor
of Buckeye Girls State in 2004. She will be attending Capitol University
in the fall where she was awarded a full tuition scholarship.
Julie Vandre will present General John Logan's Order issued in 1868.
This is the first written order establishing Decoration Day, the
forerunner of Memorial Day. Julie is the daughter of Jim and Marlene
Vandre of Marysville. She just finished her junior year at Fairbanks
High School. She has been involved in varsity track and cross country,
Fellowship of Christian Athletes, student council, drama club, class
representative, National Honor Society, Mock Trial, and is President of
FFA. She is a member of St. John's Lutheran Church, makes regular visits
to nursing homes and has been involved in community projects with her
school. She most of all thanks God for all of His blessings, and her
parents for their unconditional love and support.
Wreaths will be presented to honor the veterans of the wars in which the
U.S. has been involved and the VFW sponsored Honor Guard will provide
military honors. Following the ceremonies at Oakdale Cemetery, there
will be short services at the Catholic and Amrine Cemeteries conducted
by the VFW and American Legion.
Marysville Memorial Day Ceremonies are sponsored by the Memorial Day
Committee composed of representatives of American Legion Post 79,
American Veterans Post 28, Blue Star Mothers Chapter 41, Disabled
American Veterans Chapter 55, Hanna Emerson Dustin Chapter of the
Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3320.
Other area activities
American Legion Post No. 258 will sponsor two parades and conduct two
services on Memorial Day.
The first parade, in Woodstock, will form at 8:30 a.m. on Burnwell
Street beside the Community Church. At 9 a.m., the parade will proceed
west on West Bennett Street to the cemetery, where a service will begin at 9:30 a.m.
The second parade, in North Lewisburg, will form on West Townsend Street
in front of Carter's Garage. At 10:30 a.m., it will proceed east on
Route 245 through the business section to South Gregory Street. A
service will follow at 11 a.m. at Maple Grove Cemetery.
The Triad High School band will play and Frank Summerfield, U.S. Army retired, will be the speaker.
The Marysville Public Library and the Raymond branch will be closed for Memorial Day.

In memory of their service
Hundreds turn out for unveiling of Law Enforcement Memorial

By CHAD WILLIAMSON and RYAN HORNS
Thursday night's rain streaked the base of the new Union County Law
Enforcement Memorial giving the appearance of tears dripping from the
bronze statue of a kneeling lawman.
"I always say it's the angels crying when it rains," said Cindy Wolfe,
wife of Steven Wolfe, the son of slain Union County Sheriff Harry Wolfe.
"It's very apropos." Hundreds of people braved the wind and rain to view the unveiling of the
$86,000 statue to honor fallen peace officers of Union County, including
Wolfe and Sgt. Roger Beekman. Tents were erected so the ceremony could
be held at the monument despite the weather.
The bronze life-sized statue is of a law enforcement officer kneeling
down on one knee, holding his head in mourning. It rests on a granite
base, which in turn rests on an area of brick paving, with the names
donors on each stone.
The event was not flawless. In addition to the bad weather, a microphone
failed to work and a recorded song stopped playing. But it was a
reminder that despite the best of preparations, bad things can happen.
Officers receive extensive training but they cannot plan for every
situation. The two names engraved on the statue attest to that. Sheriff
Rocky Nelson said honoring the two made all the work raising money and
organizing the memorial worthwhile.
Chaplain Jack Heino spoke about the events of how the two officers died
in the line of duty. Sgt. Roger Beekman was responding to a burglary
alarm with lights and siren on September 19, 1979 at 9:31 p.m. He was
westbound on Industrial Parkway when he entered the intersection at U.S.
42 and was struck by a northbound tractor-trailer rig. The fully-loaded
semi overturned after striking the left side of the cruiser, pushing it
off the roadway by about 50 yards into a field. A citizen near the
intersection witnessed the accident, then ran to assist at the scene.
Noticing it was a sheriff's cruiser, the person called for help over
Beekman's radio. Both vehicles were demolished.
Heino said Beekman was only 29 years-old and had joined the Union County
Sheriff's Office as an auxiliary officer in August of 1977. He was hired
on full-time in April 1978 and served as a plainclothes officer for
nearly five months. He had requested road deputy status because he said
that was where his heart was. Beekman had been promoted to sergeant just
over two months before his tragic accident.
Sheriff Wolfe had described Beekman as "a perfect example of what a
deputy sheriff should be."
The circumstances of Wolfe's death were another story Heino touched
upon. He explained how Wolfe was returning to Union County from Columbus
on Jan. 21, 1982 where he had earlier delivered a prisoner to the Ohio Penitentiary.
When a burglary alarm on Robinson Road rang into the Sheriff's Office
shortly after noon, Heino said, Wolfe radioed headquarters and responded
to the call. On the scene, a 1973 silver Cadillac was parked in the
driveway. When Wolfe got out of his cruiser, shots were heard over the
alarm system telephone line into the dispatchers and other officers were
sent. Wolfe was shot three times in the chest, abdomen and head. His
body was lying in the driveway near the right front of the cruiser.
Heino said that when Wolfe took the position as sheriff he had just
retired from the Ohio State Highway Patrol after 21 years of service. He
was elected sheriff to complete the post held by former sheriff Edward
Amrine, who died in 1972. Wolfe was "an honest, hard-working sheriff. He
was a man who loved his family and a man who loved his work," Heino said.
Nelson said the vision of what would become the Union County Law
Enforcement Memorial, started with former Sheriff John Overly - now
Executive Director of Ohio's Homeland Security Department. The plan for
a monument began during the time the Justice Center was being added to
the Union County Courthouse. Funding for the project was a huge obstacle
that many felt was daunting.
Because of years spent on fund-raising, a much needed $43,000 grant and
tireless efforts dedicated to making the monument a reality, the vision was realized.
"Little did we know back then, when Harry Wolfe was sheriff and when
Sgt. Beekman patrolled our county, that we would be here today, on this
site, remembering them and dedicating this monument in their memory in
honor of their sacrifice in the line of duty," Nelson said.
It was a grand occasion. Officers wore their dress uniforms, Taps was
played, a 21-gun salute was held and people remembered.
It was appropriate to hold the memorial unveiling during National Law
Enforcement Memorial Week, Nelson said, to keep their names forever in granite.
"We live in a compassionate community," Nelson said. "The fine people of
Union County have shown that they care about their law enforcement
officers and the desire to protect and defend our children, our parents,
our homes, our farms, our business, our families and ourselves."
In an ideal world, he said, officers would not need to use the training
and instruction they have received. In an ideal world, their preparation
to enforce the laws would be useless.
"But this is the real world," he said, "and although we have handcuffs
on our belts, we would rather keep them secured on our waists. We may
bear guns, but we would rather keep them in our holsters. We carry Mace,
but would rather look friendly citizens clearly in their eyes."
The inscription on the memorial reads, "I never dreamed it would be me -
my name for all eternity - recorded here at this hallowed place - Alas,
my name, no more my face." "Our hope and prayer is that we never have to engrave a name on this
stone again," Nelson said.

Officials unravel circumstances  of man's death
From J-T staff reports:
When investigators responded to a potential suicide on Sorenson Road,
they discovered the death of a Marysville man might have been from
homicide. After further investigation, officers learned the true events.
According to the Marysville Police Department, Mell Taylor, 37, of 280
Sorenson Drive reportedly shot himself in the heart with a shotgun at
around 6 a.m. Thursday in his backyard. The call into dispatchers was placed at 10:30 a.m.
Union County Coroner Dr. David Applegate said when medics and law
enforcement first arrived at the scene they found a confusing situation.
While only one shot to the chest was visible, investigators found two
shot gun shells on the ground next to the weapon.
"It is impossible to have two shells," Applegate said. "It looked very suspicious."
With only one shotgun wound, only one shell would be produced. He said
another twist in the scene was the way the shotgun was positioned - very
different from usual suicide scenes.
Adding both of those clues together, Applegate said, the suicide was
turned into a potential homicide investigation.
He explained that as law enforcement contained the scene, Taylor's body
had not been touched for about an hour. Later, they discovered the
explanation for the second shot gun shell.
Taylor had first shot himself in the stomach, but was not killed.
Another shot was made to the chest.
It was also reported that Taylor was left-handed, which also explained
the odd positioning of the shotgun.
Applegate said an autopsy will be held this morning. Taylor reportedly
suffered from schizophrenia and had a prior history of suicide attempts.

Local lawmen  join seatbelt campaign
From J-T staff reports:
Joining forces with the nationwide Click it or Ticket mobilization local
law enforcement officers across the state will increase enforcement of
the safety belt laws. The boost will run from May 23 to June 5. The goal of the effort is to
step up the state's safety belt use rate and reduce fatalities, with a
special emphasis on young adults. Motor vehicle crashes continue  to be
the leading cause of death for every age, 3 through 33, in the United
States. The past few years have shown a significant increase in safety
belt use, but more must be done to sustain and grow these gains.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, safety belt use saves lives
and prevents injuries. Between 1975 and 2000, safety belts prevented
135,000 fatalities and 3.8 million injuries, saving $585 billion in
medical and other costs. If all vehicle occupants had used safety belts
during that period, nearly 315,000 deaths and 5.2 million injuries could
have been prevented - and $913 billion in costs saved.
"Because we've seen first hand the sever injury and death that often
result from not wearing a safety belt, we will be showing zero tolerance
for anyone not buckled up. Unless you want to risk a ticket - or worse,
your life - remember to wear you belt, "Lt. C. L. Spinner, Marysville
Post Commander said. "We want everyone on the road to remember to buckle
up - every trip, every time." The Union County Sheriff's Office reported that there will be a "No
Tolerance" approach to seat belt and child restraints.
For the past several years, the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration has helped states implement the Click it or Ticket
program across the country, aiding law enforcement agencies in
conducting intensive, high-publicity Click it or Ticket campaigns with
increased enforcement of safety belt laws.
These Click it or Ticket efforts are an effective tool in raising safety
belt use rates. In 2004, the mobilization efforts helped to increase the
national belt use rate to a record high of 80 percent. The combination
of active law enforcement, coupled with paid advertising and the support
of government agencies, local schools, community organizations and
others, continues to be an extremely effective means for increasing
safety belt use, and saving lives, across the country.
More than 12,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states, the District
of Columbia and Puerto Rico will conduct safety belt checkpoints and
other special law enforcement activities as part of the effort.
In Champaign and Logan counties, law enforcement will step up patrol
hours to specifically target seat belt safety efforts.

MHS grad has beetle mania
Quentin Wheeler named new discovery after President Bush
By RYAN HORNS
If you are the captain of a boat and want to honor someone, you name
your boat after them. If you are a songwriter, you write them a song.
But a former Marysville resident received national attention recently
after he honored President George W. Bush the best way he knew how - by
naming a beetle after him. Quentin Wheeler grew up in Marysville and is a 1972 graduate of
Marysville High School. Since then he has gone on to become one of the
world's most respected scientists in the field of Entomology - the study of insects.
While his stature has mainly resulted in reverence among fellow
scientists around the world, Wheeler recently received a surprise phone
call that ranks as one of his most memorable.
"Imagine my surprise, picking up my phone and hearing the words 'Please
hold for the President,'" Wheeler said. "(George W. Bush) made me feel
completely at ease and was incredibly gracious and friendly. That he
took time from his schedule to thank me personally was truly an honor."
The reason for the call is the same reason Wheeler has recently received
international media attention.
Along with his co-author, Dr. Kelly Miller, Wheeler's research unearthed
65 new species of the slime-mold beetle. His work entails reviewing all
species of a specific insect since naming animals and insects began in 1758.
During the process, he classifies any new species discovered. The
slime-mold beetle was first documented in 1880 and was revised again in
1934. In that time the known species had doubled. Wheeler was able to
double the number again.
The work was published in March as two issues of the "Bulletin of the
American Museum of Natural History." But it was naming three of those
beetles after President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that attracted attention and
prompted a presidential phone call.
Wheeler said he still finds the media reaction odd, considering he also
named a species after Darth Vader - due to its large black helmet-like
hood. But if anyone thinks that "Agathidium bushi," "Agathidium cheneyi"
and "Agathidium rumsfeldi" were named out of spite, Wheeler insists the
names were a sign of respect.
"This was meant seriously as an honor," he said. "I have devoted twenty
years of my life to studying these beetles, so I obviously think they
are interesting and important. If any further evidence is needed that it
was genuinely intended as an honor, I also named a species after my
wife, Agathidium marae Miller & Wheeler."
Wheeler said academia leans so far to the left, that he received a
strong reaction from quite a few of his liberal colleagues over the presidential beetles.
"I think that is a sad commentary on our society. In the 19th century,
liberal arts institutions were the place where divergent views were
tolerated and where civil discourse was used in an earnest attempt to
understand other points of view," he said.
Ohio State University Entomology professor John Wenzel said Wheeler
became well known in his field through a graduate student paper he wrote
at Ohio State. The paper explained a method of reconstructing
evolutionary relationships among plants and animals, part of which is
now universally used by researchers everywhere.
"(Wheeler) was always enthusiastic about promoting younger scientists,
very cheerful and humorous in his conversations, and helpful with
scholarly advice,"' Wenzel said. "He did not shy away from conflict, and
provided an interesting perspective on many topics. He was a great
person to talk to regarding half-baked ideas, or views that seemed to go
against the status quo because he could find the kernels of good."
Wenzel said Wheeler later became widely known for his work on
documenting characteristics of evolution - which is now used by an even
wider audience. "For many younger scientists, it is rare to find someone like this who
is in a position of renown at a different university and will take the
time to cultivate the newcomer," Wenzel said. "I think he helped many of
us find those important stepping stones that lead from being a student
to being a colleague." Wheeler said he finds slime-mold beetles to be fascinating and
surprisingly complex animals. It is part of an obsession with bugs that
began as a  child growing up in Marysville.
His sister, Janice Kent, now an employee at The Scotts Company, said her
brother was drawn to bugs at an early age. At around three or
four-years-old he could be seen wearing a lab coat his mother had made,
by sewing together two of his father's white shirts.
"Marysville was a wonderful place to grow up as a budding naturalist and
I have many fond memories of hours spent in fields and forests
collecting," Wheeler said. "From very early childhood, however, my real
passion was for finding species I had not seen before. So when I
encountered entomology at OSU, it was a perfect match."
Wheeler said that 90 percent of the insect species on earth remain to be
discovered and it is possible to recognize new species simply by
standing in a rain forest, rather than a laboratory.
"I have had the opportunity to conduct field work in the U.S., Canada,
Mexico, Sweden, England, Panama, Peru and Chile, and am planning more
field work next year, possibly in Madagascar. I have been so fortunate
to be in a position to contribute to taxonomy in many ways," he said.
"And now, at the Natural History Museum in London, I am directing the
best collection and insect taxonomy research institute in the world.
After graduating from Marysville High School, Wheeler received his
Bachelor of Science degree in 1976, his Masters in 1977 and his Ph.D. in
1980 degree from the Ohio State University. At the age of 25 he was
offered a position teaching at Cornell University in 1980, even though
he still had a year of work left at OSU. He stayed on as a Cornell
professor for the next 24 years.
In September, Wheeler moved to London to begin a new phase of his career.
"I had visited London several times over the years to work at the
Natural History Museum or to attend meetings, but moving here was quite
a different experience. I have only been here seven months, but I am
enjoying the city very much and particularly my world-class colleagues
at the museum," he said. Wheeler said he controls millions of specimens, including those
collected by Charles Darwin and by Sir Joseph Banks on his voyage on the
Endeavor with Captain Cook. "As the first foreign keeper of entomology at the museum, I am obviously
deeply honored to have been entrusted with this treasure," he said.

Teen offender changes plea to guilty
By RYAN HORNS
In the first case involving a Serious Youth Offender in Union County,
the suspect changed his plea to guilty in court Wednesday afternoon.
The 14-year-old male implicated reportedly changed his plea to guilty on
two first-degree felony rape counts and one third-degree felony gross
sexual imposition charge.
After pre-trial negotiations between the juvenile's attorney, Perry
Parsons, assistant prosecutor Rick Roger requested the dismissal of a
fourth charge, which was third-degree felony tampering with evidence.
The Union County Sheriff's Office first reported the case when deputies
responded to the 11000 block of U.S. 36 on the evening of  March 22. The
charges stem from sexual contact the male allegedly had with a
4-year-old female victim, who was reportedly a friend of his family.
In court Wednesday, the prosecution side also consisted of Union County
Sheriff's detective Kevin Weller. The 14-year-old's mother sat by his
side during the hearing.
At first, the judge asked the 14-year-old to confess to the
circumstances of the rape. The male found it difficult to admit what he
had done out loud. Instead, after discussions at the bench between the
court and the attorneys, it was agreed that Roger would read the
allegations contained in the complaints. The juvenile then admitted to
the allegations as they were read.
The male juvenile's sentencing hearing will be held June 17 at 1:30 p.m.
in the Union County Juvenile Court. On Wednesday, Juvenile Judge
Charlotte Coleman-Eufinger informed the 14-year-old that he could
receive more than 20 years in prison if he is sentenced consecutively on
the three charges.
According to juvenile court administrator Erik Roush, this would be
according to the adult portion of the disposition. As a juvenile, the
male can only be held in custody until he turns 21, which is less than
seven years away. After serving until he turns 21, it is possible he
could be ordered to serve the remaining adult sentence in a state prison.
Roger said that in cases of SYO that involve both adult and juvenile
sentences, the process can be treated differently from county to county.
With two rape charges and one gross sexual imposition charge, the three
would be dovetailed into one juvenile court sentence. Once that sentence
is served, it would then be decided how the adult sentence would be issued.
The case against the 14-year-old suspect has reportedly opened an
entirely new area of law enforcement for the Union County Juvenile Court
system, Union County Prosecutor Dave Phillips has said.
He explained that by charging the male as a Sexual Youth Offender it
became the first such case in Union County.
"It was our belief that this type of allegation merited this procedure," Phillips said.
Roush said the SYO stipulation essentially opens options for dealing
with juvenile crime. Delinquent juveniles would be subject to "blended
sentences." This means Coleman-Eufinger is open to both juvenile and
adult sentencing options.

Marysville decides on ballot issue
Will go for combined debt restructuring,  high school addition on Aug. 2
By KARLYN BYERS
Marysville School District voters will be asked to approve a 5.2-mill
bond issue Aug. 2 to refinance the debt load carried by the district and
to finance a second addition to the high school.
The school board voted 4-0 Tuesday night, board member Mike Guthrie was
absent, to authorize treasurer/CFO Delores "Dee" Cramer to put the issue
on the ballot. The filing deadline is Wednesday.
Superintendent Larry Zimmerman said the board anticipated asking voter
approval for a high school addition in 2006. But pushing the issue
forward could save taxpayers money.
If passed in August, the high school addition will cost taxpayers of a
$100,000 home about $61 a year. Waiting another year or so would likely
increase that amount to $100 on each $100,000 home.
Overall, the district should see a $5 to $7 million savings by pushing
it forward, he said.
It also assures there will be only one high school in the district "for
a long time," Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman said he hopes enough money will be left over from the high
school addition to complete other projects within the school district.
Zimmerman announced at April's board meeting that because of Gov. Bob
Taft's tax code changes and the new state budget bill, the school
district would lose one-third of its local revenues Jan. 1.
Those changes eliminate the personal tangible property tax paid by
industries and businesses on equipment, machinery, inventory and
furnishings. They also hit Marysville taxpayers with a "tax shift" of
$20 million to pay for debt on already constructed school buildings.
Zimmerman said he learned the board can offset that lost tax revenue by
restructuring its debt load, which it voted to do Tuesday night.
The board chose the third of three tax options presented at a special
meeting April 29. The first option dealt with refinancing the district's
debt load. The second option financed the high school addition, and the
third combined the two.
"Doing (the issues) separately is a horrible idea," said board member Steve Ader.
Board member Jane McClain said she didn't think the combined issue would
be any more difficult to explain to the public.
It's a complicated issue, Zimmerman said. He has been asked to testify
before the senate finance committee next week. Without a doubt, he said,
the current tax proposal is "the most significant tax change in 50
years" and its implications will be felt by almost every school district in the state.
In personnel action, the board:
. Hired Kenny Chaffin as head boys basketball coach. A complete story
appears on page 6 of today's Journal-Tribune.
.Accepted the resignations of teacher Juanita Conklin, who is retiring
at the conclusion of the 2004-2005 contract year; teacher Kristen Urmson
Scott, effective with the 2005-2006 contract year; teacher David Lewis,
effective at the end of the 2004-2005 contract year; guidance secretary
Belinda Adams, effective with the completion of the 2004-2005 contract
year; and network engineer Kevin Daly, effective May 20.
.Employed the following teachers under a one-year limited contract,
effective Aug. 18 - Kristopher Crawmer, Melisa Faist, Cliff Lewis, Ian
Muir, Kathy Savage, Sarah Tondra, Karen Tran, Lori Mesi, Kathryn Earl
and Heather Sherrick, and part-time teacher Linda Curry; Connie Martin
and Meredith Rausch as intervention specialists; and Karen Collins as interpreter/aid.
.Approved two-year limited contracts for Anthony Eufinger, MDA assistant
director/communication; Sue Hallman, Kelly McGraw and Debra Kelbaugh,
fiscal support; Debra Beany and Josie Anspach, health care consultants;
Elizabeth Young, Laurie Davis, Kathy Hall, Barbara Morris Terri Sproull,
Tara Gilbert, Randy Spain, and Joellen Webb, aides; Valerie Davis,
custodian; John Durand, Christopher Gordon, Charles Jolliff and Phyllisa
Rinehart, transportation; and Susan Smith, transportation aid.
Awarded supplemental contracts to Richard Weiskircher, football head
coach; Jim Gannon, Chris Shirer, Brent Johnson, and Christian Barnett,
football assistant coaches; Dave Fleming, Kevin Brandfass and Fred
Bruney, football freshman coaches; Morgan Cotter and Jessie Miller,
football assistant coaches; Dave Herrmann, girls golf head coach; Karen
Brown, girls golf assistant coach; Bob Ludwin and Jim Kaufman, boys golf
co-head coaches; Joe McSwords, girls soccer head coach; Melissa Schwabb
and Nicole Noteman, girls soccer assistant coach; Stephanie Schupp,
girls tennis head coach; John Merriman, girls tennis assistant coach;
Maggie Rausch, volleyball assistant coach; Wendy Eggleston, fall
cheerleading head coach; Stephanie Williams, fall cheerleading assistant
coach; Tom Borawski, cross country head coach; Will Kirby, cross country
assistant coach; and Weiskircher, Miller, Cotter and Johnson, weight
room supervisors.
.Granted continuing contracts to Gregory Miller, district programmer;
Melissa Arnold and Ruth Mauk, TEC secretaries; Tracy Henault, Lori
Savage, Sheila Bill, LaTonya Smith, Denise Beery, Michele Coder, Heather
Romesburg, Cindy Beil, Susan Wyman and Lewis Rayburn, aids; Elizabeth
Claggett and Denise Kouri, , library aides; Richard McDole, Scott Ortman
and Jerry Bell, custodians; Melanie Blumenschein, secretary; Lorri
Mowery, Vicky Robinson, Tamera Inskeep, Gloria Etherington, Sherri Gibbs
and Doris Woodson, food service; Jennifer Luke and Vicky Stokes,
transportation; Edward James, mechanic; and John Marshall, maintenance.
. Awarded one-year limited contracts to the following on an as-needed
hourly bases for the 2005-2006 school year - Gloria Etherington, Susan
Johnson, Theresa Kaminski, Debby Logsdon, Andrea Lotycz, Ashley Lotycz,
Jodean Lowry, Linda Sergent and Jennifer Valentic, Latchkey team
leaders; and Jennifer Diamond, Darla Lewis, Karen Long, Ashley Masters,
Jennifer Sommers, Fran Stiles and Candice Woodford, Latchkey staff.
.Employed Carol Lentz as K-6 summer school director; Chris Hoehn as
middle school director; Connie Strebe as high school director; and
Carrie Weller as a summer school teacher on an as-needed basis.
.Employed Nancy Schrock as an auxiliary tutor assigned to Trinity
Lutheran School on an as-needed basis for the 2005-2006 school year.
.Granted an unpaid extended leave of absence to Lois Lowry, anticipated
effective dates of May 16 through May 27, and an unpaid leave of absence
to Andrea Graham, anticipated effective dates of May 17 through June 6.
.Employed, on an as-needed basis, the following certificated people for
the summer 2005 autism program - Lindsay Williamson, Alison Hlopick,
Kara Socha, Kristen Mucci, Josh Montgomery, Cindy Gordon, Katie Hritz,
Ryan Young and Jenny Wing; and the following classified personnel -
Terri Sproul, Randy Spain, Teri Shuler, Anna Wilson, Gwen Sondles, Adam
Brown, LaTonya Smith, Judy Hermmann and Laurie Davis.
Awarded extended time to the following staff members for the  2005-2006
school year - Elizabeth Adams, high school student support services
coordinator, 20 days; Carla Baker, middle school athletic director, 15
days; Molly Balch, fifth student support services, 15 days; John Carl,
vocational agriculture, 50 days; Ellen Carter, gifted coordinator, 15
days; Janet Dunn, middle school home economics, five days; Chris Hoehn,
seventh grade student support services coordinator, 15 days; Carol
Isaacs, high school student support services coordinator, 20 days;
Deborah Josefiak, middle school home economics, five days; William Keck,
vocational agriculture, 50 days; Nicholas Nietz, sixth grade student
support services coordinator, 15 days;  Mary Ann Poff, middle school
librarian, 10 days; Linda Proehl, high school student support services
coordinator, 20 days; Carmen Riddle, CV Library, 10 days; Judith Romich,
high school library, 25 days; Edwin Starling, high school student
support services coordinator; Carla Steele, literacy coordinator, 30
days; Faith Still, Nancy Streng and Nancy White, high school family
consumer science, seven days; William Thissen, band, 20 days; Nancy
Weiskircher, eighth student support services, 15 days; Richard
Weiskircher, high school work coordinator, 20 days; and Nancy White,
high school family consumer science.
. Approved additional days beyond their contracts to Teri Niswonger,
four days; Shawn Williams, 10 days; and Judy Guthrie, Sherri Mabee and
Kristi Rausch, five days.
.Approved the move of Gloria Erdy from her current position of guidance
assistant to guidance secretary, effective with 2005-2006 school year.
.Employed Rebecca Shaffer and Shawn Andrews as home instructors on an
as-needed basis and Michele Austin, Trish Rich, William McConaha, Sara
Bell, Katey Rowland, Kimberly Bower, Lisa Dye and  Lauren Young as classified substitutes.
.Employed Nick Adams, Steve Fannin, Dave Monk, Katey Rowland, Joe Jones
and Casey Palivoda as seasonal workers.
.Approved Bridget Rhoades as crossing guard for the 2005-2006 school year.
.Approved Jason Isaacs, Gary Murdock, Tom Powers and Brad Rine as
voluntary advisers for the middle school Fellowship of Christian
Athletes organization.
In other action, the board:
.Approved a concert and jazz band trip to the American Music Festival in New York in April 2006.
.Authorized the school district's 2005-2006 membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
.Approved the formation of a Fellowship of Christian Athletes voluntary
organization at the middle school for the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 school years.
.Approved the sixth grade CIS Outdoor Education Program fro the
2005-2006 school year. Pupils will attend Camp Templed Hills-Nature's
Classroom in Bellville from Sept. 12-16.
.Accepted the donation of $400 from North Main Motors to cover expenses
for the recent senior citizens breakfast; the donation of a 6-foot by
9-foot American flag from Florence Lentz in honor of her husband, John M. Lentz Jr.
.Accepted donations of $930 each from Fifth/Third Securities, Ruscilli
Construction and Fifth-Third Investments; $465 from National City Bank,
Thomas & Marker Construction, CBIZ and Peck, Shaffer, Williams; and $200
from Met Life (Derik Kessig) to the district's Destination Imagination
program; and $200 from Barry Shanks to be used for the special education program.
.Approved a resolution of real property tax exemption for the Scott
Farms and The Legends residential developments.
.Passed a resolution of "recognition and appreciation" as tribute to the
Destination Imagination teams and managers.
.Approved the sale of summer activity books by TIME for Kids. The sale will run through May 23.
.Approved a PTO fund-raiser, which will run Oct. 6-17, with Big Yummy Foods.

Fairbanks OKs teachers agreement
By KARLYN BYERS
Fairbanks School Board members approved a new teacher agreement Monday
night, one that will define the district's certified staff policies for the next three years.
Under the policy that passed 4-0, the base salary for beginning teachers
will increase $1,155 to $31,947 in the 2005-2006 school year. In year
2006-2007 it will increase to $33,145 and to $34,388 in the 2007-2008 school year.
The maximum salary for teachers with 28 years experience and a master's
degree with 20 additional hours of training will be $64,108 the first
year and $66,512 and $69,006 respectively the following two school years.
The increase in compensation is meant to keep the school district
competitive with surrounding Central Ohio districts, said superintendent
James Craycraft.
Board member Jaynie Lambert, who served on the negotiating committee
with Craycraft, was absent from Monday's meeting. Teachers Scott Coon
and Patty Pease also served on the committee.
The agreement passed after the board reconvened from an executive
session. It addresses numerous policies, including those regarding
maternity and child care leaves, personal leave, tuition reimbursement
and professional development time.
Craycraft said the negotiating process "went very well." The group was
able to iron the details out in only four sessions, he said, for a total
time commitment of 10 to 12 hours.
"That is highly unusual," he said, complimenting the teachers' union for
its cooperative nature.
The board also accepted the resignation of Tom Goodney, high school
principal, effective July 31. Goodney, who has been at the school
district one year, resigned to take a position with the Franklin County
Educational Service Center.
In other personnel action, the board:
.Accepted the resignations of Bill Frye, middle school guidance
counselor; Claudia Bartow, middle school language arts teacher; Joanna
Chapman, Fairbanks Elementary Extended Days (FEED) team leader,
effective April 18; and Tamara Bowers, FEED coordinator.
.Granted an unpaid leave of absence to teacher Dena Komula for the 2005-2006 school year.
.Approved Eric Penka, Joseph Weaver, Tina Hall, Julie Carter, Sondra
Weist, Katie Mabry and Kathy Handley as substitute teachers for the 2004-2005 school year.
.Approved contracts for classified personnel Wilma Moats, substitute
cook; Tamara Bowers, FEED team leader, effective April 15, and summer
Paws team leader; Sandy Spletter, FEED coordinator, effective April 18,
and summer Paws coordinator; Lori Lacella, FEED team leader and summer
Paws team leader; Janet Bardin, FEED team leader and summer Paws sub
team leader ; Amanda Lotycz, summer Paws team leader; Caitlin Herron,
summer Paws team associate; Michelle Burnett, summer Paws team leader;
Cody Burnett, volunteer summer Paws team associate; Jerry Newell, summer
Paws team associate; and Caitlin Chapman, summer Paws team leader for
the 2004-2005 school year,
.Employed Gastin Green, Greg Dellinger, Joey Newell, Jerry Newell, Abby
Stillings and Andy Pinkerton as 2005 summer maintenance/custodian
personnel for $9.21 an hour.
.Approved a supplemental contract for Tina Hall, preschool story hour
coordinator, for the 2004-2005 school year.
.Approved athletic contracts for the 2004-2005 school year for Kurt
Grunert, reserve baseball coach, and Roy Adams, volunteer softball coach.
.Approved athletic contracts for the 2005-2006 school year for Carleton
Cotner, athletic director, head high school football coach and fall
weightlifting; John Moore, assistant athletic director; Joe Newell,
assistant high school football coach; Tim Wood, assistant high school
football coach; Joe Patterson, Chris Instine and Jason Heard, middle
school football coaches; Ron McGlone, volunteer middle school football
coach; Jenny Harral, head high school volleyball coach; John Finney,
head cross country coach; Andy Pinkerton, head soccer coach; Matt
Humphrey, high school assistant soccer coach; Larry Morris and Nevin
Taylor, head high school golf coaches; and Bob Williams, head high
school wrestling coach.
. Approved extended service contracts for the 2005-2006 school year for
Jennifer Harral, 10 days; Barbara Croft, Ben Keller, Carleton Cotner and
Ed Rebmann, 20 days; and Nevin Taylor and Rob Riddle, 60 days.
In other action, the board:
.Discussed staffing needs, including a new elementary teacher, a reading
specialist, middle school part-time teacher, high school special needs
person, school nurse, and middle school part-time guidance, full-time
middle school language arts/social studies teacher and a high school English teacher.
Board member Alan Phelps said the first two needs should take priority.
.Changed the June board meeting to June 27. The meeting was originally scheduled for June 20.
.Approved open enrollment capacities for the 2005-2006 school year as
kindergarten, second grade and third grade maximum 63; first grade
maximum 62; fourth grade maximum 66; fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and
11th grade maximum 75; ninth and 10th grade maximum 125; and 12th grade maximum 100.
.Passed a resolution approving membership in the Ohio High School
athletic Association for the 2005-2006 school year.
.Approved wages for the 2005 summer Paws Program as coordinator, $11.50
an hour; team leader, $9 an hour; and team associate, $7.69 an hour.
.Approved the sale of an old special education bus to Don Combs for $200.
.Approved the May 17-20 eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C.
.Conducted the first readings on a board policy change concerning
support staff vacations and holidays and on the adoption of textbooks
and materials for the 2005-2006 school year.

Triad approves  later start time for upper grades
BY CORINNE BIX
It was decided at Monday night's board meeting that Triad middle and
high school students would be starting their classes each day after the
elementary school classes begin next year.
The actual start times have yet to be set but the change will help
alleviate district transportation problems.
All the board members and superintendent Dr. Daniel Kaffenbarger took
time at the beginning of the meeting to thank the community and the tax
issue chair persons from the last two campaigns for all of their hard
work in passing the levy issue for the schools.
Kaffenbarger thanked the board for their upfront involvement. He also
emphasized that the district would not see the full value of the levy
until January of 2007. Therefor, the district needs to continue with its
conservative financial outlook.
It was with regrets that the board accepted the resignation, for the
purpose of retirement, of athletic director, William McDaniel.
McDaniel has been employed with the district for 38 years.
The district issued a public notice today in accordance with Section
3307.353 of the Ohio Revised Code that McDaniel, currently employed in
the district as athletic director, will be retired and is seeking
employment with the district in such position following retirement.
The Board of Education will hold a public meeting on the issue of
McDaniel being employed in the district at 7 p.m. on June 20in the board  room.
Treasurer Jill Smith updated the board on House Bill 66 currently in the state senate.
If passed, the bill will require that all health insurance for public
school employees be mandated by the state.
Triad is currently part of a health insurance consortium, which is
comprised of several school districts with fewer than 5,000 members.
If House bill 66 becomes law, only those districts which are members of
consortiums with 5,000 or more members will be exempt from being part of
the state-mandated health insurance pool.
Smith said the benefits and/or repercussions of state-mandated health insurance is unknown.
"It's making schools nervous because we just don't know enough at this point," Smith said.
Kaffenbarger updated the board on district's lawsuit against the
architectural firm of Blunden, Barclay, and Robbie that assessed the
Triad school buildings for the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) in 1999.
The suit filed in January of 2004 claims that an incomplete assessment
didn't address many necessary costs totaling more than $5 million,
including on-site sewage treatment, fire protection, a sanitary piping
upgrade, propane service loop and improvement of site circulation.
Mediation in the lawsuit is set for June 16.
Kaffenbarger also reported that the district would be adding a multiple
disabilities unit at the high school next year.
The unit will be paid for by the Madison-Champaign Education Service
Center. The district will only supply the space and some administrative support.
The space will be rented so the district will make money on the project
as well as saving some Triad students from being bussed to another facility.
The success of the multiple disabilities unit will assessed after one
year to decide if it will become a permanent fixture.
Middle school principal Scott Blackburn announced that the middle school
had been awarded the Buckeye Best Healthy schools gold level for the
third consecutive year. The award showcases schools that excel in
educating students about healthy living habits through good nutrition,
exercise and tobacco awareness.
Kyle Huffman, who is the incoming high school principal, asked the board
for permission to plant a tree in the memory of Howard Edly.
Edly, who passed away last month, was a 32-year employee of the
district. He served as a custodian and bus driver.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss compensation of
employees and pending legal action. No action was taken. The next board
meeting will be June 20 at 7 p.m.
In other news:
.Recognized tax issue chair persons from the fall 2004 and spring 2005
campaigns: Mandy Alexander, Lee Claypool, Joe Linscott and Payton Printz.
.Approved 35-day regular contract for Norma Bottom to be in compliance
with Ohio Revised Code 331910-employment and status of substitute teachers.
.Approved a three-year contract renewal for Carole Combs as transportation coordinator.
.Accepted the donation of Linda Hixson's microwave to remain at the high school.
.Authorized the superintendent to advertise to sell the choral seated risers.
.Approved the amendment to certified estimated resources and amended
appropriations.
.Approved the high school student and faculty handbooks for the
2005-2006 school year.
.Approved the 2005-2006 high school fee list.
.Accepted a donation from the Triad PTO in the amounts of $1,414,33 and
$890.01 for the purchase of fourth and fifth grade math books and third
grade science kits respectfully.
.Approved 2005-2006 membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
.Approved the 2005-2006 fund raising calendar.
.Approved a four-day/three-night trip for the high school choir. The
actual dates to be determined at a later time.
.Approved the NEOLA updates and additions as presented by the superintendent.

Jerome clerk has words for trustees
By CINDY BRAKE
The Roberts ruled Monday night at the regular Jerome Township Board of Trustees meeting.
Clerk Robert Caldwell opened the meeting with a sound scolding and
rebuttal to the township's three trustees. Presenting a copy of Robert's
Rules of Order, Caldwell suggested that the trustees read it because
they are typically in "constant violation of each paragraph."
Caldwell's comments came two weeks after trustee Ron Rhodes said the
clerk and board president Sharon Sue Wolfe denied him records, secretly
conducted interviews, ordered drug tests prior to a board decision and
denied him the right to speak prior to a vote.
In his statement, Caldwell said Rhodes received copies of applications
on April 25. Four applications were received on April 14, 20 21 and 22.
Rhodes requested to see an application at the April 18 meeting when it
was passed openly from trustee Freeman May to Wolfe. Wolfe promptly put
it in her brief case and left the room, telling Rhodes she would get it
to him when she had time.
Concerning the secret interviews being conducted on April 22, Caldwell
said a "preliminary interview process" was conducted and "pre-qualifying
applicants only seems prudent. The pre-qualifying process in no way is a
deliberate action to keep the public blind to any decision."
The board, however, never discussed or voted to conduct preliminary
interviews. Wolfe, Caldwell and James Medvec, the township's road
division supervisor, interviewed each of the applicants before Rhodes
received the applications. Medvec made a recommendation of which
candidates he felt would be best suited for the position, Caldwell said.
Caldwell said he and board president Wolfe decided to send
"pre-qualified candidates for drug testing" after they decided that it
was an administrative task not requiring a resolution of the board of trustees.
The board never voted that ordering drug testing was an administrative task.
Referring to the claim that Rhodes was denied the right to speak before
a vote, Caldwell said the clerk's job is to call the role and it is the
chairman's responsibility to adhere to the rules that include allowing
each trustee to speak after a motion and second.
The township will be digging into their capital improvement funds to repair roads.
The board voted 2 to 1 to contract with the county engineer for cold-mix
applications to Wells, Hill and Weldon roads at a cost of approximately
$110,000. Voting in favor were May and Wolfe. Rhodes suggested that the
township seek Issue II grant funds for the Weldon project which is
estimated to cost $50,000 and apply hot mix to Wells and Hill. Rhodes
and May voted to not repair Currier and Mitchell Dewitt roads. May said
township employees will repair roads in Arnold.
In other business:
. Consulting engineer Mark Cameron said rain has hindered wetland
reclamation work with the Ketch Road project.
. Wolfe said "propaganda is alive and well today" in the Marysville Journal-Tribune.
. Rhodes commented about an announcement that Dublin is planning a
research park south of Jerome. He said that he believed a similar
facility could happen in Jerome Township.
. Columbus attorney Ben Hale Jr. informally approached the board about
allowing Washington Township fire services to be the first responder to
65 acres in the Hyland Croy and McKitrick roads area. He said the land
owners want to be annexed to Dublin, but under current zoning laws the
land will remain in Jerome Township. Wolfe and May said they had no
problem with the proposal. Rhodes said he couldn't commit.

Law Enforcement Memorial will be revealed Thursday
From J-T staff reports:
For the past month, it has stood guarded under a white cover, at the
north lawn of the Union County Courthouse and Justice Center.
After years of planning and months in the making, the Union County Law
Enforcement Statue will be unveiled Thursday at a 6:30 p.m. ceremony.
The monument memorializes those who have died  in the line of duty as
law enforcement officers serving Union County.
"From the first conception of the memorial, to the present culmination
of the project, the minds, the hearts and hands of many have aided in
the forming of this monumental work," a recent press release from the
planning committee said.
The dedication event is titled "In the Line of Duty" as it honors those
who have served to protect and those who continue to serve and protect.
The dedication and unveiling of the memorial coincides with national
Peace Officers' Memorial Week, the nation's tribute to law enforcement
officers who have died in the line of duty.
Officers from the Union County Sheriff's Office, Ohio State Highway
Patrol, Marysville Division of Police, Plain City Police Department and
Richwood Police Department will be in attendance.
The press release also notes that other law enforcement agencies, such
as the Dublin Police Department, and many other contributors, have made
the memorial a possibility for the area residents.
In particular, the memorial will pay homage to two Union County law
enforcement officers who gave their lives in the line of duty.
Sheriff's Sergeant Roger Beekman died Sept. 19, 1979 and Sheriff Harry
Wolfe was killed  on Jan. 21, 1982.

Road to close for dedication
According to the Marysville Police Department, road closings will occur
during the Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony Thursday evening.
Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol reported residents should be aware
that West Fifth Street, from Maple to Court streets, will be closed at
4:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Thursday.
Parking will also be prohibited on West Fifth Street from the alley west
of the Union County Justice Center/ Courthouse to Court Street all day
Thursday. He said parking is prohibited on the west side of Court Street, from 4 to 9 p.m.

Chamber supports Taft tax plan
By CINDY BRAKE
The Union County Chamber of Commerce supports tax reform for the state
of Ohio which could improve state funding mechanisms and governmental efficiencies.
"Something has to be done to turn the economy of the state," said Union
County Chamber president Rick Shortell. "We need tax reform, no question."
He and other chamber board of trustees passed a resolution supporting
Governor Taft's tax reform proposal taking into account five considerations.
The considerations are:
. Assurance that local governmental entities receive an appropriate
amount of flow back dollars through the collection of the newly created
commercial activity tax (CAT). . Allowing reasonable inflationary property tax base growth not to
exceed a maximum annual level. . Assurance that there will be no "back-draft" legislation that will
alter the purpose and intent of the Taft tax reform legislation.
. All governmental entities promote efficient operations.
. Assurance that the Tax Increment Financing District laws are not
altered in any fashion that prevents communities from using TIFs as
economic tools. If any changes are made to the TIF laws, the changes
should not affect existing TIFs retroactively.
This is the first time the local chamber has taken a position on a state issue, Shortell said.
The Union County Chamber has 525 members and is one of the largest
chambers in the central Ohio region, states the chamber's website.
Shortell said the chamber's action is not a "token" support.
The resolution points out that the number of jobs in the state has
declined by 4 percent since 2000; Ohio's job growth has trailed the
national average for 106 consecutive months; Ohio's household income
continues to decline and three of the nation's poorest cities are now in
Ohio including Cleveland topping the list, followed by Cincinnati at
15th and Toledo at 20th.
In 1991, Shortell said Ohio ranked as the second most desirable place to
locate a business. It now ranks dead last at 50th. He adds that local
industry pays an inordinate amount of taxes. The chamber resolution
points to an existing and antiquated tax structure that is higher than
neighboring states.
"The current business tax structure is not working. Ohio currently has a
very high corporate franchise tax, but due to aggressive and creative
accounting, collections are very low. What this means is that a very
small percentage of companies that do business in Ohio are paying the
vast majority of taxes," Shortell said in an April hearing at the Union
County Service Center. "The actual statistics are that less than 3
percent of all the companies doing business in our state pay about 70
percent of the corporate franchise taxes collected.
Taft's proposal would reduce personal income tax by 21 percent;
eliminate the personal property tax; reduce the state's inheritance tax;
reduce the sales tax rate from 6 to 5.5 percent; and eliminate the
state's corporate franchise tax replacing it with the CAT tax.
Shortell describes the CAT tax as fair, broadbased and low rate to
reflect all of Ohio's economic activity.
"This will effect everybody ... differently," Shortell said about the proposed changes.
Citing the Ohio Department of Tax, Shortell lists benefits of the proposed tax reform plan:
. 5.3 million Ohioans will see a cut in their personal income tax. The
average family of four in Ohio will see a drop in their state personal
income and sales tax of $555.
. 550,000 low-income Ohioans will have their income tax eliminated
. 300,000 small Ohio business owners who pay taxes through the personal
income tax will see their tax rate cut by 21 percent.
 . 13,000 Ohio businesses will no longer pay the tangible personal
property tax, also known as the machinery and equipment tax, benefiting
manufacturers who directly or indirectly employ half of all Ohioans
. 250,000 small and emerging Ohio businesses will pay only the $100
minimum fee of the new CAT tax, which will encourage Ohio's economy to
grow and expand. "When we look at the name of our county, 'Union,' it signifies entities
working together on a united front. The Chamber of Commerce hopes that
we can live up to our name and present a united front on Gov. Taft's tax
reform proposal so that Union County and Ohio can achieve the strong
economy of which we're capable," Shortell said in his presentation.

First leadership institute class graduates
From J-T staff reports:
The first Union County Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Institute class
graduated May 2. "It is our hope, that the class members will become servant leaders at
all levels in Union County," Whitman said.
The institute's 10-month format was developed by members of the
chamber's CEO Executive Roundtable and Bob Whitman, institute director.
Acceptance is by invitation only, however applications are available
from the chamber by calling 644-8422 or (800) 642- 0087.
"Executives felt that evolving leaders in the county should get to know
one another, study the issues that affect the county and to better
utilize their leadership skills not only in the workplace, but in the
community as well," said Whitman.
Classes were held one full day a month from September through May on
issues that affect the quality of life in Union County. Students
utilzied conflict resolution, collaboration, consensus building,
mentoring, facilitation, deliberation, education, safety and justice,
government, health and quality of life. A hands-on-program, class
members completed research projects, developed topics of study and selected speakers.
Members of the class of 2005 include:
Sue Banks, Marysville Public Library; Adam Bauman, Jacqueline Haverkamp
and Nancy Conklin, Memorial Hospital of Union County; Kevin Behrens,
Marysville Newspapers Inc.; Trent Bowers, Marysville Exempted School;
Marilee Camron and Randy Winkle, The Scotts Company; Patrick Cooper,
Buckeye Sports & Family Chiropractic; Joe Duke, Joe Duke Insurance
Company; Chris Franke, Franke's Wood Products; Suzanne Glover, Goodyear
Tire & Rubber Company; Robert Hiss, Huntington National Bank; Ellen Holt
and Patricia Williams, Uinon County Department of Job & Family Services;
Kathy House, city of Marysville; Marian Jacques, Big Brothers Big
Sisters; Shari Marsh, United Way of Union County; Charles Sattler,
Select Sires Inc.; Dennis Schulze, Schulze, Howard & Cox Attorney at
Law; Evan Smith, National City Bank; Rebecca Stanley, Union County
Chamber; Jeff Stauch, Union County Engineer; and Martin Tremmel, Union
County Health Department. Whitman said interest to participate has been overwhelming and next
year's class is already filled, however applications are being accepted for 2007.

Police pursuit ends after crash
From J-T staff reports:
Union County law enforcement joined together to stop an alleged high
speed drunk driver over the weekend in a pursuit that ended in a crash.
Saturday at around 2 a.m. Nathaniel Kidd, 23, of Richwood was arrested
for fleeing police, operating a vehicle intoxicated, speeding, driving
under suspension, running a red light and failure to control his vehicle.
According to Marysville Police reports, an officer on routine patrol
observed Kidd in a black Chevy peel his tires in the Fifth Third Bank parking lot.
He then went north on Fourth Street and ran a stop sign, almost striking
another vehicle. He then reportedly stopped halfway in the road.
At that point the officer turned on the cruiser lights for the driver to
pull over. Kidd allegedly fled north on Fourth Street.
Officers documented his speeds up to 90 mph in a 25 mph zone.
Kidd drove outside of Marysville limits and Union County Sheriff's
deputies joined the pursuit as he headed up Route 4.
He passed a vehicle, struck a concrete divider and continued north.
Officers dispatched Richwood police with word that Kidd was heading in
that direction. As  a Richwood officer approached the vehicle, Kidd
turned off onto Trout Road, where he drove into a ditch and struck a telephone pole.
Kidd reportedly kept driving to Sandusky Road, even though his vehicle
had a damaged rear right tire and another left front tire that had been reduced to rims.
The vehicle finally died on Sandusky Road, near Snyder Road, and Kidd was arrested.

Uptown revitalization rolls forward
By RYAN HORNS
The master plan to revitalize the uptown Marysville area continues to make strides.
Economic development director Eric Phillips reported at Thursday night's
Marysville City Council meeting that he and city administrator Kathy
House will be interviewing applicants to hire a consultant for the
renewal program. The person will help form plans and help the city
acquire grant money for the uptown area.
Phillips said they have narrowed the applicants down from five to two
choices and the next interview process will take place on Tuesday.
As far as plans already underway, due to the Uptown Renewal Team, known
as URT, the first of several "Third Fridays" event will take place on June 17.
House explained that the event's theme is going to focus on food and live music.
She said the events will be held the third Friday in June, July, August and September.
Phillips said other upcoming events include the Honda Homecoming,
scheduled for the last weekend in July, and Festifair and the Balloon
Rally to be held on Sept. 10.
There are also plans underway to highlight what Phillips called "The
Bridges of Union County." A scenic byway is being planned, in
conjunction with the state of Ohio. The drive will stretch from North
Lewisburg, heading southeast along the Big Darby Creek, passing through
the covered bridges in the county.
In other discussions, the hot topic of the future of Tax Increment
Financing (TIFs) in Ohio was broached during the meeting.
The second readings on ordinances intended to set up economic
development plans for the Scott Farms and The Legends Incentive
Districts was read. First readings were also held on two ordinances,
which will serve to follow up on the economic plans, by turning the two
districts into TIF areas. Andy Brossart, bond underwriter for Fifth Third Securities, was at the
meeting and went over TIFs with council members.
Councilman Dan Fogt asked Brossart his opinion of how long TIFs may be
around as a money-making option for smaller cities.
Brossart said House Bill 66, which has a section dealing with the TIFs,
has been pulled out and is being reviewed again.
He said some of the issues state legislators will be looking at include
making existing TIFs retroactive and how the end of the tax loophole
could affect city schools. In the next two to three weeks, Brossart said, legislators could come
back with improvements. However, what they decide remains to be seen at this time.
In other discussions:
-The first reading was held on an ordinance appropriating $110,000 from
unappropriated general funds to pay for roof repair work at city hall,
125 E. Sixth Street. The existing roof leaks and needs to be repaired.
Although patching work has been completed in the past, the
administration plans to use the money for a full repair.
-The first reading on an ordinance asking the city to vacate a portion
of Charles Lane from the property line, between the former Skating
Palace and McDonald's was read.
Landowner Carl Drumm sent a letter of request to city administrators,
adding that developers would participate in the cost of improvements to
widen the eastbound right turn lane on Route 36 and will construct a
sidewalk connecting the southwest corner of Route 36 and Coleman's Crossing Boulevard.
Councilman Nevin Taylor requested an appraisal of the land. He wants to
be sure the value of improvements the developer plans to do equals out
with the cost of the property. He said he would like to hear more
details on the subject by the second reading of the ordinance.

Oberlin to be inducted into Hall of Fame
From J-T staff reports:
Marysville resident Avanelle Oberlin will be inducted into the Central
Ohio Area Agency on Aging Hall of Fame Wednesday in a ceremony at the
Martin Janis Center in Columbus.
She was nominated by Mary Scheiderer for her exceptional leadership in
humanitarian and community endeavors. Oberlin serves on a number of
advisory boards, including the Ohio Reformatory for Women, the United
Way of Union County, and the Marysville Community Concerts.
As an advisory council member for the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging
(COAAA), she is an advocate for the concerns of older adults. In 2002,
Gov. Bob Taft appointed her to the Cemetery Dispute Conflict Resolution
Board for the state of Ohio.
Currently, Oberlin has a leadership role as president of the local
chapter of the Ohio Child Conservation League and of the P.E.O.
Sisterhood, as well as past director of District VI of the Ohio Retired
Teachers Association. New in 2005 are appointments to the Charter Review
Committee for the city of Marysville and the Legislative Committee for
the Union County Chamber of Commerce.
She also supports the United Methodist Church where she has served on
the staff parish relations committee, the administrative board, and the
special events committee. She was president of the United Methodist
Women from 1995 to 1997. In addition, she formed the Christian Quilters
who have made and contributed nearly 500 quilts to children "at risk."
The Cookie Cutter Club, which Oberlin also organized, sent 20 packages
of cookies to service men and women in 2003 and 16 packages of nine
dozen each in 2004.
When Oberlin graduated from Wittenberg College in 1954 with majors in
chemistry and biology, the Nestle Control Laboratory in Marysville
offered her a position. She married Bob Oberlin in 1955 and continued to
work at the lab for another six years before starting their family of
three sons and twin daughters. After her children reached school age,
she taught in the Marysville Exempted Village School System for 25 years
and earned a master's degree at the Ohio State University. The Oberlins
have four grandchildren.
In 1995, Oberlin became a Marysville City Council member. During her
five years of service, she was involved with the renovation of downtown
Marysville, the revision of zoning codes, and the ordinance change for
the Mill Valley housing division project. She also served on the school
facility committee for the design of new buildings and chaired the
committee to revamp Raymond Road at Fifth Street and the cemetery entrance.
From 1994 to 2001, she served on the advisory board of Centrada (drug
and alcohol abuse), which merged with the Mills Mental Health Center
Board. About two years ago, she joined with other interested residents
to organize a senior group, the Community and Seasoned Citizens (CASC),
for the promotion of activities of interest to seniors. As director of
CASC, she is working to structure a solid foundation for future growth.
Wednesday's induction ceremony will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. and will be
followed by a reception featuring harp music and light refreshments.
Those who would like to attend and who need transportation may call the
UCATS office at 542-5100 to reserve a seat. Space is limited.

Applebee's and Mary Kelly's coming to the city
By RYAN HORNS
Restaurants and incoming new businesses abound with two developments
slated for construction in Marysville in 2005.
Developer Jim Casto is in the beginning stages for work to finalize a
strip mall style project to be located on Route 31, directly across the entrance at Mill Valley.
Casto has been unavailable for comment and has not returned phone calls
regarding the project.
According to the Marysville Zoning Department, the development will
contain numerous businesses. The architectural drawing shows a post
office branch, a business with a drive thru, a restaurant, photo store,
computer store, cellular phone store, a hair salon and a video store.
One business potentially slotted for the development is the Dublin-based
restaurant Mary Kelly's.
"We're working on it," owner Dick Hammond said. "We're in the preliminary stages."
Hammond said that he has signed a letter of intent to open his
family-owned restaurant in Casto's development. As far as a time-line,
he said it's too soon to tell. The establishment is described as a
casual dining experience for families and resembles an Irish pub.
Casto's strip mall development has already gone through the city Design
Review Committee and is slated to go through approval for utilities,
site plans and stormwater layout.
Just across from Casto's development, the fast food restaurant
McDonald's has also committed for another branch to serve the east side of Marysville.
McDonald's representatives were not available for comment on Friday as
to when the facility is scheduled to open.
According to Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse, McDonald's will be going into
the spot that currently holds a vacant business at the entrance of Mill
Valley, just across Route 31 from Casto's development.
According to architectural drawings, an Applebee's Restaurant, is
possibly set to go into the former Skating Palace building, located east
of the existing McDonald's on Charles Lane. The project is being
developed by Doppco Development. The land is owned by Carl and Luella
Drumm, former owners of the Skating Palace.
While Applebee's is expected to place a branch in Marysville, what is
not clear is whether the business will be going into the Skating Palace
or into the Coleman's Crossing retail development going in on Coleman's
Crossing Boulevard.
Representatives from Applebee's Corporate office in Lexington, KY. were
unavailable for comment on Friday.
Zoning officials have confirmed that the business has gone through the
city Design Review Committee and is set to go through the Shade Tree
Committee on Wednesday.
According to the city, all developments described are gearing toward
construction in 2005, but any timelines are unknown at this time.

Happy Friday the 13th
Strong storm causes damage in Marysville
From J-T staff reports:
A crack of thunder.
The rumble of a trash can rolling down the street.
The ping of hail hitting a metal roof.
Sirens.
The crack of a tree limb.
The beeping of a power truck backing up.
Chainsaws.
Those were the sounds of Marysville Friday night when a short, but
powerful, storm blasted the area shortly before 6 p.m.
While National Weather Service rain gauges recorded modest amounts of
precipitation, hail, lighting and strong winds sent trees into houses
and knocked out power to some areas.
A huge tree fell into a home at 135 Grove St. causing a slight amount of
damage while a slightly smaller one hit a home at 303 W. Sixth St. but
did significantly more damage.
A pine tree snapped in half and fell on the roof of a structure on East
Eighth Street and nearby a tree fell into a home at 502 W. Ninth St.
A tree fell across Elwood Avenue taking power lines with it and causing
a power outage in the area. The outage postponed a dance at the
Marysville Middle School.
Another large tree was toppled at Collins Avenue and Beach Drive. A
metal shed was flattened in the area of the Certified Gas Station.
A window at the Union County Courthouse was reportedly shattered.
The roof of the In Step Dance Studio in the downtown area was also
reportedly damaged. A lighting strike knocked down several limbs of a
tree on Wagon Wheel Lane.
Numerous other limbs of all sizes laid in streets and yards around the
city. Residents took to the streets to collect trash cans, recycling
bins and lawn furniture tossed about by the winds.
The weather service rain gauge in Allen Center showed the most rain in
the county at .63 inches. Pharisburg recorded .40 inches of rain while
Byhalia and New California each showed just .04 inches.

Smoothing  the bumps
City announces summer street repair list
The coveted list of street names that will be the first slated for
repairs has officially been released.
Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse and city administrator Kathy House reported
that there will be two phases of road repairs and paving that are scheduled.
The first list is to be completed by June 30 and will paid for by the
first million dollars set aside for the project.
Kruse said street crews are currently busy raising manholes and doing
storm drain work. But once the paving work begins he said residents will
be happy. "It's going to be a big difference (around town) by the end of the
summer," he said. "A big difference."
Scheduled roads are:
1. Fifth Street from grove Street to Court Street and from Plum Street
to Cherry Street, including the Five Points Intersection.
2. Collins Avenue from Route 4 to pavement change just east of Beech Drive.
3. Maple Street and Collins Avenue intersection.
4. Main Street from Elwood Avenue to the Route 4 off ramp.
5. Scottslawn Road at the U.S. 33 overpass.
6. Tenth Street from Chestnut Street to the east end.
7. Mill Wood Boulevard from Route 31 to the west end.
8. Hickory Drive from Collins Avenue to Edgewood Drive.
9. Edgewood Drive from Hickory Drive to Grove Street.
10. Greenwood Boulevard from Clover Knoll Court to the east end.
The second schedule of road paving and repairs is set to be completed by
Oct. 15. The roads include:
1. Collins Avenue and Milford Avenue from Maple Street to Eighth Street.
2. Collingwood Drive from London Avenue to the south end.
3. Columbus Avenue from Five Points to Dunham Avenue.
4. Delaware Avenue from Coleman's Crossing project, east to the ramps.
5. Eighth Street from Maple Street to Grove Street.
6. First Street from Main Street to Elwood Avenue.
7. Fourth Street from Maple Street to Main Street.
8. Grand Avenue from Fifth Street to the concrete roadway section.
9. Mill Road from Mill Park to Cobblestone Drive, Sections 1-3.
10. Morey Drive from London Avenue to the new pavement.
11. Mound Street from Third Street to the north end.
12. Oak Street from Sixth Street to Seventh Street.
13. Quail Hollow Drive from Route 31 to the west end.
14. Seventh Street from Main Street to Chestnut Street.
15. Sixth Street from Grove Street to Cherry Street - Section 1-4.
16. Third Street from Maple Street to Grand Avenue.
17. Timberview Drive from London Avenue to the west end.

North Lewisburg deals with two new hires, one departure
By CORINNE BIX
Patty Woodruff, village clerk, choked back tears as she read her
resignation before Village of North Lewisburg council on Tuesday evening.
Woodruff will retire with 33 1/2 years as clerk at the end of next month.
Woodruff said she will greatly miss the work but wants to spend more time with her family.
The council regretfully accepted her resignation and retired into
executive session to discuss personnel.
After reconvening, Diane Davis, was approved as the new fiscal officer
to begin immediately.
Diane Davis, a village resident, has worked as court clerk and
administrative assistant for the municipality for the past four years.
She is also retired from the Champaign County auditor's office where she
performed similar tasks in payroll and finance.
The council also accepted the employment of Bart Stokes as street
superintendent for the village to replace Paul Rutan who passed away
unexpectedly in February.
Stokes is a lifelong resident of North Lewisburg. He has worked for the
Northeast Champaign County Fire Department and EMS for the past 10 years
serving North Lewisburg.
Barry First, administrator, informed council of an upcoming work session
with the Ohio EPA on May 24 at 7 p.m.
The work session will be held to discuss stream restoration in Spain's
Creek in respect to discharge limits.
Last year the village was awarded grant money through the Ohio EPA
through a program that allows municipalities to sponsor the preservation
of waterways in exchange for a lower interest rate on money borrowed for
wastewater treatment.
The EPA has since tested and changed the classification of Spain's Creek
to an exceptional pristine cold-water habitat, which creates strict
discharge limits specifically in the case of ammonia, which has been
decreased by 150 percent.
The village hopes to work with the EPA to create more reasonable
discharge limits that are both environmentally sound and feasible to obtain.
The village will team up with Union County to be a part of the Big Darby
Plains Scenic Byway.
The scenic route will go through a section of Champaign County and
intersect the future bike path.
Champaign County Commissioners have already supported the village's
participation by resolution.
First said they also anticipate support from both the Champaign County
Chamber Of Commerce and the mayor's association to be a part of a route
that will promote the area waterways, scenery and historical landmarks.
In other business, council:
.Is continuing in its efforts to clean up unsightly area properties. It
is currently working on cleaning up 405 N. Sycamore and 100 W. Townsend.
First reported to the council that he did observe one of the properties
being cleaned up since the last council meeting.
.Learned that mayor Dick Willis will be attending the Ohio Association
of Mayors meeting in Toledo from June 1-3.
.Heard Gary Silcott, village engineer, report that plans for the
wastewater treatment plant have been officially submitted to the Ohio
EPA. It is protocol that the EPA holds a public hearing in regard to
upcoming projects within a designated municipality. The EPA's public
hearing on the future wastewater treatment plant will be held on June
29. Officials will be on hand to record citizens concerns.
.Heard Silcott report to the board that he would be researching a
long-term drinking water plan for the village.
.Learned the village is also working on investigating sanitary sewer
upgrades with the potential to install a manhole on Sycamore at Gunn
Street. First will be researching possible land acquisitions for the
village to assist with the multi-use path and wastewater treatment plant projects.
.Heard the Champaign County Sheriff's report from deputy Glenn Kemp. For
the month of April for the village there were 27 traffic citations
issued, nine warnings issued for traffic violations, nine incident
reports, 22 cases of assistance given to citizens, nine arrests made,
seven civil and criminal paper served, 48 follow-up investigations
completed, two open doors and one instance of juvenile contact.
.The next council meeting will be Tuesday, June 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Lt. Gov. visits Scotts
Makes announcement on Third Frontier Project
By CINDY BRAKE
Ohio Lt. Gov. Bruce Johnson came to Marysville Tuesday to announce the
creation of the Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center and six other Third
Frontier Project awards totaling $77 million. The center and projects are expected to strengthen Ohio's role in the
knowledge economy. "Through the Third Frontier Project, we are reclaiming Ohio's culture of
innovation," Johnson said. "These grants build upon Ohio's research
strengths and focus on the development of new products in order to
strengthen our economy and create good jobs."
A total of three Union County businesses are among many collaborators to
The Wright Centers of Innovation (non-biomedical), Ohio State University
Research Foundation for the creation of the Ohio Center for
Multifunctional Polymer Nanomaterials and Devices. Union County
collaborators include Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Honda and Scotts
Miracle-Gro. The center will receive $23 million over three years to develop new
materials that will improve the strength and durability of components
that will be part of automobiles and other manufactured products.
Products may include plastic bumpers that could be stronger and dent
resistant, T-shirts made from corn and biodegradable packaging that use
soybean byproducts, said Merle Madrid, a spokesman for the lieutenant governor.
The lieutenant governor made his announcement at Scotts Miracle-Gro to
demonstrate the Third Frontier's impact on all types of agriculture,
Madrid explained. The Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center will develop
chemical conversion technologies to produce products such as lubricants
and adhesive from raw materials grown in Ohio, including corn and
soybeans, states a press release.
"Ohio soybean growers have invested in their futures to develop new uses
and markets for soy products. The opportunity to work with Ohio State
and Battelle is exciting for all farmers in Ohio, especially soy
producers, and we are honored to be part of today's announcement," said
Amy Davis, chair of the Ohio Soybean Council. The Ohio Soybean Council
and Battelle are two of the Center's Ohio collaborators.
Funding for the recently announced projects comes from the state's
general revenue fund and the governor's discretionary fund, Madrid said,
after voters turned down a Third Frontier initiative. To date, the state
has distributed $330.91 million since 2002 for commercial research
initiatives. The Third Frontier initiative will return to the ballot in November. The
new $2 billion Third Frontier issue would be distributed over 10 years
to local governments for road, bridge and other projects ($1.35
billion), Third Frontier projects ($500 million) and to prepare "job
ready" sites for industrial and business expansion ($150 million).

Bomb squad called for object found in yard
From J-T staff reports:
Everything turned out to be fine, after a possible explosive device was
found in a Marysville yard Tuesday afternoon.
According to Marysville Police, a woman at 425 E. Seventh St. was doing
yard work when she accidentally kicked what turned out to be a
projectile from an old military round. The bullet was not in a casing and was corroded.
Safety forces were not able to determine how the object ended up in the
yard. Police responded to the scene at 4:10 p.m. and closed off the
surrounding streets. It was unknown if the bullet was the kind that explodes on contact.
The Marysville Fire Department was then called to investigate the possible explosive device.
Crews were unable to determine how dangerous the object was and called
the Columbus Bomb Squad. The squad investigated the object and determined it was only a solid
projective and it posed no explosive threat.

Seniors use Yoga to stay limber
By CORINNE BIX
What do the New York Giants football team and local senior citizens have
in common? You might find the answer strange but yoga is everywhere
being used as a tool to keep people from all different walks of life more flexible and more relaxed.
Jeannene Henault is a certified fitness instructor.
"I received special training for yoga fit senior which consisted of a
home study and an eight hour class in order to properly instruct active
older adults," Henault explained. Henault teaches yoga once a week at the Elks Lodge to members of
Community and Seasoned Citizens (CASC).
Elsie Kandel, 80, is a regular at Henault's class.
"I like to exercise," Kandel said, "I've been active my whole life."
This past January, Kandel underwent a hip replacement surgery. She feels
yoga has aided in her recovery. "Yoga just gives you a good feeling and a different outlook on life,"
Kandel said, "It makes me feel so much better and it just gets
everything all limbered up." Henault begins each hour-long session with a focus on upper body
movement. Class participants remain seated during the first 25 minutes
of class for "chair yoga." Then if able, Henault does standing poses with her students using a
chair for added support. Participants who feel more comfortable staying
seated can perform modified poses.
"I think yoga helps to relieve stress and build strength," Henault said,
"It also helps especially in the older folks to improve mobility and agility."
Each class also focuses on breathing exercises and ends with quiet relaxation.
Avanelle Oberlin, CASC director, really enjoys Henault's class and finds
she misses it when she is unable to attend.
"Jeannene is well qualified because she is certified and does a good job
working with us," Oberlin said. Oberlin said the use of the Elks building has helped CASC which was
founded three years ago this fall. "The Elks have been really great to us by allowing us to meet in their
banquet room," Oberlin said.
Henault said her classes have doubled in size since starting in January of last year.
"They love it and I love working with them," Henault said, "They are so
kind and seem to really genuinely appreciate the health benefits that yoga can provide."
To learn more about CASC and upcoming activities, those interested may contact 644-9801.

Prospective Richwood employees could face new procedure
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Richwood Council is taking steps to make sure that village workers have
an able body and clear head.
Council voted at Monday night's council meeting to mandate new village
hires undergo a physical and drug screening.
Council member George Showalter initiated the issue saying he felt the
village needed to protect itself from hiring workers with pre-existing
physical limitations. Showalter piggybacked that by saying he felt a
drug test should be included in that examination.
Mayor Bill Nibert asked about the cost of such an examination but
village solicitor Rick Rodger said standard screenings are not expensive.
Council voted 6-0 on first reading to implement the new procedure to
potential employees.
The group then went on to discuss random drug screening for current
village employees. Rodger said if such a move is made, workers would
need to receive written notification of change before it is added to the
village employee handbook.
Council member Arlene Blue said she thought the village had added random
drug tests to the handbook years ago, noting that the practice has never been used.
Showalter asked if council would also be subject to the tests and the
consensus of the group felt that they would be.
Councilman Jim Ford felt that any worker involved in an accident during
work should immediately undergo a drug test. It was noted that such a
procedure could be handled by Memorial Hospital of Union County.
Council voted 6-0 on first reading to approve the random drug tests.
In other business, council:
.Voted 6-0 to approve new park rules for the village.
.Learned that two to three new garbage cans will be place in the
Richwood Park specifically to collect aluminum cans.
.Heard Showalter revisit the topic of protecting the banks at the
Richwood Lake. High water levels have been eroding the banks recently.
.Decided to allow a curb cut for a property at 251 W. Ottawa St.
.Voted to approve payment for nearly $13,000 in repairs to village pumps
and wells. .Voted 6-0 to approve a county engineer's resurfacing project in the
village at a cost of $28,385. .Heard second reading on the village council's new code of conduct.
.Heard a complaint about vehicles parking on the village tree lawn.
.Received first payment from proceeds of a bait machine at the village
park. .Heard a request to make Lynn Street changed to one-way traffic.
.Received a fund status report from village financial officer Don Jolliff.

Whittle while you work
Plain City area man brings blocks of wood to life
From J-T staff reports:
With a few whittles of his wood-handled knife and gentle pokes with his
gouges, carver Rex Kenyon of rural Plain City brings to life a small
piece of Bass wood from a Linden tree.
At least a couple nights a week he can be found in his basement
whittling away with his Band-Aids never too far away and a pad on his
thumb for protection. Pot-bellied cowboys, sleek dolphins, a bulging-eye donkey and a
five-person piece titled Group Therapy each exhibit their own
personality, while silently standing on Kenyon's fireplace mantle and counter.
The wooden figures, along with a variety of bowls and other carvings,
are for his own amusement, Kenyon said.
Kenyon began carving six years ago as a way to relax.
After flying hot air balloons from 1985 to 1993, Kenyon said he was
ready to move on to another interest. He enjoys kayaking, along with wood turning.
His wife, Beth, says the woodworking began with the need for a laundry room shelf.
He and his wife, Beth, both enjoy woodworking. She has created three
blanket chests, a tea box, spice box, table and lap desks.
Because of their shared interest, the Kenyons enjoy buying each other
tools for Christmas and birthday gifts. One of his wife's treasured
gifts is a table saw. They also enjoy an annual vacation with other
woodcarvers where they learn different woodworking techniques.
Originally, Kenyon tried his hand at caricature carving. He explained
that caricatures generally follow basic guidelines with the hands, head
and feet out of proportion.
Now, his favorite subjects are realistic because they are a little more
precise. Kenyon has bought books and taken classes to help him create
expressions. He likes to look at people, especially their ears and
noses, for ideas. Kenyon said he struggles with a figure's eyes.
"Women, are difficult - to carve," Kenyon says with a grin.
Looking to retirement, the Kenyons both hope to turn their avocation into a profession.

Jail wipes off inmate fees
By RYAN HORNS
New Tri-County Jail Director Robert Beightler said there is slight
problem in the jail's Pay to Stay program.
He told jail commissioners during Thursday afternoon's meeting that
there are 88 pages of Pay to Stay fees that inmates never paid. That
comes to a total of 4,000 inmates who never paid. Some individual fees
date back two years ago and reach as high as $13,000.
His question to commissioners is whether they would prefer to "wipe the
slate clean" or be aggressive about collecting those fees.
At this time Union County is the only member of the jail to still have
its Pay to Stay program in effect.
Union County Commissioner Gary Lee said for jail staff to collect the
fees would likely be "counter-productive."
The commissioners then voted to not only wipe the slate clean on
remaining fees, but declare the end of the program for now.
Among numerous programs Beightler has initiated since coming on as jail
director is a committee to look at keeping inmates more productive. It
is widely agreed among jail commissioners that inmates with plenty of
leisure time is not a good thing.
Tri-County Jail Commissioner David Dhume joked that the busier an inmate
is, the less time he will have to flush clothing down the toilets, which
was a previous problem.
Beightler said his staff also had to take out the ladders and scrape off
butter pads that inmates had thrown and stuck to the high ceilings.
He has been checking around to see if any area vocational schools would
be willing to volunteer time to teach classes to inmates. He is also
looking into community service projects in which inmates can become
involved. There are four large rooms available in the facility to
accommodate such programs. Programs are already in place such as GED,
Alcoholics Anonymous, religious programs and anger management.
"It would be good if we can provide them with something they can utilize
when they get out of here," Beightler said.
One in particular is training for industrial cleaning, he said. Having a
work field to go into will keep many from coming back to jail.
There is also the option of a program called Community Connection, in
which ex-offenders and others offer motivational seminars to inmates.
In other items, a full-scale fire drill is a daunting task for a jail,
but Beightler said it's about time they looked into having one. He has
walked around asking jail staff what they might do in case of a large fire.
"The responses I was getting weren't real reassuring," Beightler said.
He said the state requires a fire drill, not necessarily a full
evacuation, but he said one should be scheduled. The help of law
enforcement to monitor the practice evacuation would be needed. The idea
is just to make sure everyone knows their responsibilities and be prepared.
If it can be arrange with county judges, inmates may be wearing some new
odd-looking belt buckles - outside of the prison walls.
Beightler said he has been discussing the option of electronic
monitoring programs, so that inmates charged with lesser crimes can
serve their prison time under house arrest.
Inmates would be forced to wear an ankle bracelet and a belt monitor,
which are equipped with Global Positioning Systems. Software enables
prison staff to monitor everywhere an inmate goes throughout the day.
Once a week they would report into the prison so staff can monitor where
they went. Beightler said if an inmate is scheduled to be home from work at 4:30
p.m. and he shows up at his door at 5 p.m. an alarm goes off, indicating
a curfew violation. Then a call will go directly to Beightler's cell
phone in order for him to be made aware of the problem.
The house arrest program in discussions with the jail would charge five
dollars per day, per device.
"The idea is to reduce the overall population number and save us money in the long run," Dhume said.
Beightler added that it would also enable a convicted criminal to continue being employed.

Man found guilty  in crack cocaine possession case
From J-T staff reports:
When police pulled over a vehicle driven erratically by an Indiana
female in February, they ended up nabbing a passenger with a large amount of crack cocaine.
The result of that stop on Delaware Avenue was the arrest of Matthew J.
Morales, 22, of 984 Coventry Place. On Wednesday at 9 a.m. Morales had
his trial and was found guilty of one second-degree felony possession of
crack cocaine. Marysville police reported that on Feb. 22 an officer noticed a vehicle
moving erratically on the road and he suspected it was a drunk driver.
It turned out to be a woman who had never driven a stick shift before
and did not know her way around Marysville streets. But in the back seat
was Morales, reportedly hiding his face from the officer which raised suspicion.
It turned out Morales had been stopped by police earlier that week and
had fled. When the officer asked him his name and information, Morales
gave his brother's name. When photos  arrived at the scene, police knew
who to arrest. But during the arrest Morales asked officers to take his coat to his
mother. That raised suspicion again, because it was winter.
Police later found 18.99 grams of crack cocaine hidden in the coat
lining and indicted him.
Union County Prosecutor Dave Phillips reported that the street value of
the amount of crack cocaine equaled $100 to $150 per gram.
Wednesday morning the Union County Common Pleas Court found Morales
guilty. He was represented by attorney Dorothy Liggett-Pelanda and
Phillips represented the state. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered by the court and no date has
been set for the sentencing. Morales could face up to eight years in prison.
Phillips said that Morales has pending indictments in Indiana for
possession of drugs and has a previous arrest for armed robbery out of
that state. Those factors could weigh on the amount of time he serves in prison.

Talk of TIFs dominates committee meeting
By RYAN HORNS
Just like any homeowner might, city officials sat around the table at
City Hall and talked about fixing the roof and how to make ends meet with finances this year.
The Marysville Finance Committee met Tuesday night to look over issues
such as stormwater funding, alternative financing and city hall roof repair.
The shaky future of Tax Increment Financing districts was one topic touched upon.
City finance director John Morehart said that if the state makes TIFs
retroactive it would essentially bankrupt the existing ones in Marysville.
"I think everyone agrees TIFs will be eliminated," Morehart said. "It's just a matter of when."
City councilman Dan Fogt said he wondered why the state would do that.
"They can do anything they want," councilman Ed Pleasant said.
"To change the rules in the middle of the game is terribly unfair," city
administrator Kathy House said.
Fogt expressed his concern over the recent council legislation, which is
starting the procedure to create two more residential TIF districts.
Would the legislation even be ready before TIFs disappear? Are they a waste of time?
Taylor was a bit more optimistic in his view. He said if the state gets
rid of TIFs this year, it would have very negative affects on the cities
of Dublin, Cleveland, Cincinnati and others that already have them in place.
"I don't foresee them doing that," Taylor said. "Not on such short notice."
He is expecting that Marysville will be able to implement the next two
TIFs and see the revenue established before the end of the year.
They all agreed that there is quite a bit riding on the Marysville TIFs.
City councilman Ed Pleasant said that he is concerned about the
priorities of the stormwater repairs and he would like for the committee
to revisit the list of projects. Pleasant said if smaller projects are going to be included, such as
filling in ditches, he would like that work set at a specific priority
so that major issues can be addressed first.
He said those areas would be the south ends of the Union County Airport,
Hickory Drive near Kenny Lane and Edgewood Elementary School.
Pleasant also mentioned that he was unsure if the city was planning on
borrowing funds to complete the projects or if enough money was available.
City finance director John Morehart said that the city stormwater fund
is receiving $30 - $35,000 per month in revenue. He explained that when
the stormwater legislation was originally passed in 2003, it was only
established for a five-year period and set rates for only two years
(2004-2005). At that time it did not provide for borrowing capacity.
That aspect was changed last year when the ordinance was amended and the
rates were established indefinitely, making borrowing funds an option.
Whether the city intends to borrow, has not been decided.
Overall, Morehart said the city's general, water, sanitation and sewer
funds are all in good shape. The city is spending more than it did last
year, but government departments are keeping within their budgets.
"I'm not interested in borrowing unless there is the revenue to pay it off," Taylor said.
Both he and Pleasant agreed that now is the time to plan for stormwater
work because the roads will be torn open anyway due to water line
replacements and storm sewer installations. Then they can begin paving.
Taylor added that any stormwater repairs that occur should be lasting.
"If they are only lasting five years, that's not the right improvement," he said.
House agreed that they should look back into the priority list of major
projects and meet again with the results to discuss the options.
In terms of finding alternative financing for projects, councilman Dan
Fogt said he is in favor of implementing raising impact fees for new
development. He reported that he read Delaware City Council has
discussed raising their impact fees by $826 per new house to benefit
parks, police, fire and municipal fees. They also discussed the
possibility of raising the income tax rate. No decisions were made.
Fogt said the plan in Marysville seems to be shortsighted.
"Mayor Kruse has said that Marysville will grow ourselves out of
financial problems. It hasn't worked in the past. Residential
development and retail development does not pay for itself. They've
found that out in study after study."
 Looking at the tiled ceiling in the city council chambers, the stains
make it obvious a roof repair is in order.
City Public Service Director Tracie Davies said she contacted a business
about making repairs. Already the office of the Human Resource Director
has its own periodical waterfall and pools of water gathered on the roof
have infiltrated other offices. But it was agreed the roof over the
council chambers was the worst.
Price ranges span from $60,000 for only partial repair work that will be
guaranteed to last another two years, to $110,00 to guarantee repairs on
all flat roof sections for 12 to 15 years. With only around $17,00 in
the city hall maintenance fund, council will have to appropriate
unbudgeted money for the work.

A sigh of relief at Triad
Income tax issue passes on third attempt
From J-T staff reports:
A hearty cheer could be heard at the Champaign County Board of Elections
Tuesday night when it became official that the Triad Schools' .5 percent
income tax levy had passed 56.2 percent for and 43.8 percent against.
The third time proved to be the charm for the district with a total of
721 votes for the levy and 562 against in Champaign County. The measure
also passed in Union County with a total of 65-48 and in Logan County
47-22."It's a relief and we are elated," superintendent Dan Kaffenbarger said.
Kaffenbarger said he is looking forward to beginning his second year as
district superintendent with only those responsibilities.
Due to severe budget cuts, he has served as both high school principal
and superintendent for the current school year.
Kaffenbarger said the first priority by the school board would be to get
district teachers a raise after they had worked the past two years
without a pay hike. The district will also look into restoring funds for
instructional supplies, which have also been cut for the last two years.
Since the collection of the income tax money will be delayed, the
district will currently keep in place many of the cuts already made
including the pay to participate program. This may change as more
funding becomes available. The district will not see the full value of
the levy until January of 2007.
"The district could beforehand borrow up to half of the money that will
be generated but the administration and board would only use this as a
last resort," Kaffenbarger said.
The superintendent said the difference between the last levy campaign
and this one was the commitment of the school board to get answer voter
questions. "They were very active in this campaign," Kaffenbarger said.
District officials are thankful the community came in support of its
school. "We want to be very prudent and cautious with how we spend the money
because that is what the community expects," Kaffenbarger said. "It's
exciting to be getting back to the focus of educating our students."

Area to celebrate National Day  of Prayer
From J-T staff reports:
A local group plans to mark the National Day of Prayer on Thursday at
the Union County Courthouse from noon to1 p.m. The public is invited to
attend and prayer suggestions will be distributed.
Heidi Orahood  is the local coordinator of the event. The theme is "God
Shed His Grace On Thee." The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of America's heritage.
Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress
asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to
prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln's
proclamation of a day of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" in 1863. In
1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman,
declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended
and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first
Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation,
encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.
 The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation.
It enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding
fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It
stands as a call to us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance
for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage
of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event,
signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.
Last year, local, state and federal observances were held from sunrise
in Maine to sunset in Hawaii, uniting Americans from all socio-economic,
political and ethnic backgrounds in prayer for our nation.
It is estimated that more than two million people attended more than
40,000 observances organized by approximately 40,000 volunteers.
At state capitols, county court houses, on the steps of city halls, and
in schools, businesses, churches and homes, people stopped their
activities and gathered for prayer.
The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans. It is a day that
transcends differences, bringing together citizens from all backgrounds.
Shirley Dobson, NDP chairman, reminds us: "We have lost many of our
freedoms in America because we have been asleep. I feel if we do not
become involved and support the annual National Day of Prayer, we could
end up forfeiting this freedom, too

Jerome Trustees decide on road improvements
By CINDY BRAKE
With $80,000 appropriated for road improvements, a $169,000 price tag
caused the Jerome Township Board of Trustees to reconsider projects at
Monday's regular meeting.
The three trustees considered estimates submitted by the Union County
Engineer's Department. The estimates were based on a list submitted by
trustee Freeman May. The estimates were: Weldon Road, $75,000; Hill
Road, $35,000; Wells Road, $25,000; and township parking lot, $34,000.
Trustees Ron Rhodes and Freeman May voted to make improvements on Wells
and Hill roads. Sharon Sue Wolfe voted against the measure without comment.
Rhodes suggested that the board needs to keep some funds in reserve to
complete the Ketch Road project. May said, that as far as he is
concerned, "This township is not going to pay anymore in Ketch Road."
Rhodes asked if the board intended to respond in writing to a Ketch Road
resident's concerns about damage to the wetlands. Wolfe said she had no new information.
May proposed $9,000 in costs to trim and remove trees at the Jerome
Cemetery. The other two trustees agreed, although Rhodes raised a
concern that May's resolution was presented at the last minute and did
not follow the township's code of conduct.
Words were exchanged about who will represent the township on two
committees within the Route 33 Corridor planning group.
Jenny Snapp, LUC director, said today that she was contacted by Kent
Anders of the Jerome Township zoning committee about someone from his
group serving on the Route 33 Corridor land use subcommittee. The zoning
board nominated Michael Buchanan to the subcommittee and Snapp said he
was welcome to attend.
In addition, Snapp said she sent a letter to Jerome Township Clerk
Robert Caldwell seeking a township representative to a newly created
executive committee. The executive committee will include one
representative from each jurisdiction. She said other townships have
nominated trustees, but representatives do no necessarily need to be trustees.
Rhodes volunteered to serve on the executive committee, pointing out
that he has attended more corridor meetings than the other two trustees.
"I will be there. I will sit at the table," Rhodes said.
Wolfe assented, but said no vote would be taken to name Rhodes as the
township's representative.
A sheriff's representative responded to a citizen's concern about
overloaded vehicles traveling on Hickory Ridge Road. He said a permanent
weight reduction requires a study of all county roads in the area. He
said the sheriff's department will monitor the road for overloaded vehicles.
Sheriff Rocky Nelson and crime prevention officer Kim Zacharias
presented information about the neighborhood watch program. Watch captains are being sought.
Discussion about an updated zoning map was tabled. Rhodes said he needed
to contact the prosecutor about a couple of issues.
A new medic unit has been delivered and staff is now in training. Jerome
Township Fire Chief Scot Skeldon said the unit should be in service in a couple of weeks.
Skeldon said he received his NIMs training which should help in future
grant requests, attended the State of Ohio Homeland Security Symposium
and is casually talking with Millcreek Township about future fire
contracts. Skeldon said he has been invited by the city of Columbus Bomb
Unit to participate in training along with representatives of the Union
County Sheriff and Memorial Hospital of Union County. He said a couple
sites in Union County have been identified as possible areas that could be bombed.
Wolfe announced an Issue II funding meeting on May 17 and a stormwater
utility seminar that the zoning officer will attend.
The following transfers were approved: $220 to cover public safety
office costs for the quarter; $1,000 to cover the $50 deposit for
building rental; and $65,454 in grant funding for new equipment for the
fire division. Receipts to date are $804,039 and expenditures are
$871,050. The meeting ended with a citizen complimenting the efforts of two trustees.

Teen found guilty in armed robbery
From J-T staff reports:
A Marysville man faces decades in prison after a jury came back with
guilty verdicts Tuesday evening.
Lance Grimes, 18, 606 Chestnut St. was found guilty on one third-degree
felony abduction charge with a gun specification and on two counts of
first-degree felony aggravated robbery. Grimes was found not guilty of
the charge of kidnapping the juveniles victims.
Assistant Union County prosecutor Terry Hord said Grimes faces up to
five years in prison for the charge of abduction and up to 10 years each
for both aggravated robbery charges. Because he used a weapon in the
crime, an additional mandatory three years will be tacked on to each
charge, totaling up to more than 30 years..
This morning, Hord said that the charges stem from a Feb. 16 incident,
when Grimes allegedly robbed two 15-year-old males at gun point, taking
cash, illegal drugs and a pair of boots.
Hord said the trial began on Monday at 1 p.m. and ended on Tuesday. The
jury went into deliberation at around 3 p.m. and came out just after 6 p.m. with a decision.
A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered by the court, however, no
date has been set at this time.
Hord was prosecutor in the trial, representing the state. He called the
two juveniles to the stand, one of their adult friends and Union County
Sheriff's detective Jeff Stiers to testify. Grimes testified on his own behalf.

City may whiff on TIFs - State tax changes could leave Marysville without new funding source
By RYAN HORNS
As Marysville city administrators prepare to establish two more Tax
Increment Financing districts, there is the possibility the whole
foundation of TIFs could be yanked out from under them by state
legislators. It's an eventuality that could throw a wet towel over
progress in Marysville and other burgeoning cities.
Two ordinances had first readings before Marysville City Council on
Thursday, to approve an economic development plan for Scott Farms and
The Legends Incentive Districts. These TIF locations would join areas
such as Mill Valley North, Galbury Meadows, Walker Meadows, Adena Point,
Keystone Crossing, Chestnut Park and The Links. All have been created as
TIF residential districts.
For a quick education on the issue, Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse explained
that the TIF money comes from the state school funding formula. The
whole idea behind creating TIFs has been to make development pay for
itself by directing property taxes from new developments going into TIF
zones back into city infrastructure projects. By doing this, cities are
able to avoid raising fees on services and taxes.
What it all boils down to, he said, is that tax cuts on the federal
level have been passed off through the state level, reducing the amount
of money that comes to the local level.
Kruse said TIF legislation was already set to expire in July 2007.
Legislators are now taking measures to make TIFs expire this year
instead. The kicker is that they also want existing TIFs to be retroactive.
"Obviously, that is unacceptable to us," Kruse said. "There's no
question, if those TIFs aren't allowed we're going to have to raise
sewer rates. And instead of 10 or 12 percent, they're going to be 30
percent plus per year for the next three years - which is essentially a
hundred percent increase over three years . Clearly the state budget is
a concern at this point."
Kruse said the state is also planning to cut the local government fund,
which makes up 4 percent of Marysville's budget.
"They've just shifted the responsibility," he said. "Sooner or later
we're going to have to raise taxes here to make up that difference.
There's no question about it, if it keeps up."
Marysville city administrator Kathy House added that state legislators
are focusing on trying to get rid of the TIFs, instead of fixing the
real problem: The school funding formula and its overhaul that the
supreme court has recommended.
The Marysville school district also stands to lose funding if the TIF
legislation is approved by the State.
Superintendent Larry Zimmerman said, "I believe strongly that growth
should pay for growth.  TIFs, even though there are some disadvantages,
allow more local taxes to stay local.  Without these types of "tax
incentive" programs, communities that are growing, like Marysville, will
lose tax money to the state of Ohio.  And what the State does with that
money, who knows, because little if any of those dollars find their way
back to Marysville."
Even though how TIF funds would be split between Marysville and the
schools has not officially been decided, both entities have agreed "in
principal" that the city would receive around 65-percent and the schools
would get about 35 percent.  The schools have further agreed to discuss
further divisions with other local agencies such as MR/DD and the public
library from dollars coming in from the state school funding formula.
If the state chooses to make TIFs retroactive, Zimmerman said, then all
of Marysville and the local agencies stand to lose out. It will be June
before state legislators decide on the future of TIFs. Until then,
schools are in a tough spot of trying to plan the next school year's
budget, which begins in July.
"If this goes through, all growing Ohio communities will be hurt.  A tax
incentive program that keeps 'local tax dollars local' will be
eliminated. It will really discourage commercial and business growth,
plus make residential growth more expensive for the City of Marysville
and the school district. And if that growth is not paying for itself,
other taxpayers will suffer due to higher tax and fee increases," Zimmerman said.
On the other hand, city leaders agree that if legislators keep TIFs
going on schedule, Marysville will be better prepared for growth.
"By this time next year, we ought to have some pretty exciting things
underway - you know, with the WWTP and the reservoir," Kruse said. "If I
have my way we're going to do another million dollars on the streets. If
I get some of this other stuff out of my hair, I'm going to work on
getting the firehouse built."
Kruse said he does not plan to stop preparing for the future of Marysville.
"We don't have any choice. We have to keep moving with this and if the
people are upset with that then now is the time to talk to your state
legislator and tell them, 'Look you can't be passing all these short
falls on to the local government.'" he said. "The bad part of it is the
uncertainty. We counted on certain things. We knew what the rules were
and now all of a sudden they changed the rules we were playing under."

Hiring process questioned in Jerome
By CINDY BRAKE
The rubber stamp of approval bounced and bounced and bounced at the
regular Jerome Township Board of Trustee meeting Monday night.
Trustees Sharon Sue Wolfe and Freeman May appeared to have already made
up their minds about hiring two part-time maintenance workers and
changing the job requirements and pay scale for the positions before the meeting started.
Trustee Ron Rhodes said the clerk and one trustee deliberately denied
him records, secretly conducted interviews, ordered drug tests prior to
a board decision and denied him the right to speak prior to a vote.
"It was a package deal going in," Rhodes said today about the Wolfe/May
vote. "The record shows definite duplicity and complicity to circumvent
the law. It was a deliberate breach of the public trust."
Rhodes attempted to read a prepared statement to explain his concerns
after a motion was made and seconded to go into executive session for
personnel reasons. Wolfe ordered the clerk Robert Caldwell repeatedly to
call for a vote and cut Rhodes short.
Later in the meeting, Rhodes read his nine-point statement which
explained his decision to not go into the executive session.
"My participation in the scheduled executive session for this evening
would not only be fruitless because decisions have already have been
made outside a proper meeting. It would also mean I would be complicit
where it is quite evident the intent of the public records act and open
meetings act were willingly circumvented by deliberate manipulation and
coordination," Rhodes said. He offered the following facts, which no one denied.
Fact One - Rhodes was denied access to any and all applications on
record until after interviews were conducted by Wolfe, Caldwell and
maintenance supervisor Jim Medvic on or about April 21-22.
"I was not informed that any such screenings or meetings were to take
place. I could not verify these meetings had taken place until this
morning when I talked with Mr. Caldwell and he acknowledged his participation."
Fact Two - On April 25 Rhodes said he was informed by e-mail that a
special meeting was called for the following night to screen and interview applicants.
"This had already been done without my knowledge. This became a farcical
meeting for appearances only," Rhodes said.
Fact Three - The April 26 meeting was canceled on the advice of the
Union County Prosecutor because the public was not properly notified.
"I was never notified of the cancellation, but others were," Rhodes said.
Fact Four - Rhodes said he was denied the applicants records until
approximately 2 p.m. the day of the scheduled meeting. The Marysville
Journal-Tribune received the records a week after they were requested.
"I had even asked to look at these records and was denied," Rhodes said.
Fact Five - Rhodes said all applicants had been interviewed and possibly
two had been selected for the position.
"This was done without my knowledge. It was done with deliberate
coordination and intent to circumvent my participation and to keep the
public blind to the fact the decisions were already made," Rhodes said.
Fact Six - At least one and possibly two applicants have already taken
their required drug tests without Rhodes being informed.
"How could this be without a resolution as we have done in the past?
Here again a decision ... was made directly as a result of a meeting not
open to the public or even myself as a trustee," Rhodes said.
Fact Seven - All candidates interviewed did not meet the job's minimum requirement.
"Selecting the candidates or even calling them in for an interview bears
witness to the fact that a decision was made outside of our regular
meetings that all candidates did not need a CDL-Class A," Rhodes said.
Fact Eight - The scheduled executive session for "employment
interviewing" is a "cover-up for what has already transpired."
Fact Nine - "Somewhere, sometime in the last two weeks a conscious
decisions was made by our chairperson and others to circumvent the law
by having these meetings. This I abhor," Rhodes said.
Prior to going into the executive session, trustees Wolfe and May voted
to no longer require a commercial driver's license for maintenance
workers and create a four-tiered pay scale. Wolfe presented the
resolutions at the beginning of the meeting. Rhodes said he was troubled
that he was being asked to make a decision in 10 minutes. He pointed out
that the board's code of conduct states that all resolutions will be
available 72 hours prior to a vote. Wolfe justified her actions by
saying Rhodes ignored the code of conduct at previous meetings.
The pay scale begins at $12 an hour for employees with no CDL. Employees
with a CDL B license earn $14 an hour and an employee with a CDL A
license and highest seniority receives $15 an hour. The maintenance
supervisor is required to have a CDL A license and receives $17 a hour.
All positions include vacation. May and Wolfe discussed increasing the
$12 an hour pay to $13 an hour after a 90-day probationary period. No
vote, however, was taken on this.
Trustees Wolfe and May and clerk Caldwell went into executive session
for 20 minutes to interview two candidates. Upon returning to open
session, Wolfe and May voted to hire Jerry Moore of Plain City and
Michael A. Bing of Plain City. Bing currently works part-time for Toys
'R' Us in Columbus as a floor associate. Moore works full-time for PK1
Construction in Columbus as a carpenter.

Mother sees link between autism, diet
 By CINDY BRAKE
Mickie Daniel doesn't know why it works.
She just knows that a gluten free/casein free (GF/CF) Diet has
dramatically helped her 5 year-old son, Cannon, who was diagnosed with
pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) two years ago. PDD is a form of autism.
Mickie, a kindergarten teacher, explained that she began noticing when
her son was 2 years old that he was not developing like other children.
"We were not communicating," she recalls.
She would point to something and he wouldn't look. He kept saying
"grrrr" over and over, but no one knew what he was saying. Eventually,
the family realized he was talking about his blanket. Then there were
the time she walked into a room and he had lined up his countless
Matchbox cars  perfectly. Then she walked into another room and found
that he had selected similar puzzle pieces and lined them up.
"It was so bizarre," she said about walking into room after room and
finding objects her 2 year old had sorted and lined up. He would also
become very upset when strangers would touch him.
Initially, Mickie enrolled her son into speech therapy. It was the
speech therapist who first suggested that Cannon may have PDD.
"It was heartbreaking," Mickie said. She had worked with students that
had PDD and was aware of their challenges.
She immediately went to the local library and found a book, "Unraveling
the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder," by Karon
Seroussi. The author mentioned managing the disorder with diet. While it
doesn't work for everyone, statistics show the diet has a positive
influence on 80 percent of the individuals who follow it.
Mickie said it was the first time she had heard about the GF/CF diet.
"I knew I had to do all I could for my son to be more successful," Mickie said.
She read all she could about the special diet. What she learned was that
certain proteins in some people overstimulate nerves and block normal
transmissions to the brain. The proteins were like opioids - a drug -
that made her son "go to his own little world."
She saw dramatic changes within three days of starting the diet.
Overtime his symptoms have diminished.
Mickie faithfully creates a separate grocery list just for Cannon and
shops at health-food stores for specific brands of food, toothpaste,
soap and playdoh. He even has a gluten-free vitamin.
On a recent family cruise, Mickie packed her largest suitcase with
Cannon's food including dry ice for his special kind of ice cream. She
never leaves the house without a snack bag for emergencies and always
keeps a supply of his cupcakes in the freezer.
Like most preschoolers, Cannon enjoys his Happy Meals at McDonald's
restaurants. His, however, include a burger without the bun, apple sauce
and apple juice. The fries are off limits because they are fried in the
same oil that the chicken nuggets are fried in. Chicken nuggets are
breaded in a gluten flour.
Mickie said there have been a couple times in the past year when someone
has given Cannon a gluten or casein food. Both times she saw PDD
behaviors return. After being rewarded with mini M&Ms once, he began to
repeat phrases. Another time, after a cookie he was fussier.
She said it breaks her heart that he can't enjoy birthday treats brought
to school by other children. Instead, she supplies his teachers with
snacks and cupcakes for those special occasions. Mickie smiles as she
recalls him innocently asking if a certain food is "gooten" free or when
his little classmates ask if something has "glue" in it. For Cannon, the diet seems to work.
Cannon no longer takes speech or occupational therapy. He participated
in kindergarten screening last week and scored slightly above average,
said his proud mother. Like many mothers preparing a child to enter
kindergarten, Mickie admits a bit of anxiety as Cannon prepares to go
off to school next year, but believes he is ready.

Disorder remains a mystery
One thing has remained the same about autism since it's first published
accounts in 1943 - the cause is still a mystery.
The mystery of autism is largely unsolved with experts often disagreeing
on possible causes and treatment options.
While the cause remains a mystery, the diagnosis has changed over the years.
From the 1940s through the 1960s, the medical community believed that
people who had autism were schizophrenic. Early accounts of children
with autism described them as being "unable to entertain normal
affective relationships with people." During the 1960s, people began to
more precisely identify autism symptoms and treatments. Nearly twenty
years later, professionals identified a continuum of related disorders,
called autism spectrum disorders or pervasive developmental disorders.
Now, the word autism may be related to several syndromes. The symptoms
vary widely, which explains why autism is currently referred to as a
spectrum disorder. Autism is a brain disorder that affects a person's ability to
communicate, reason and interact with others.
Most researchers believe that there is a strong genetic component with a
variety of possible external or environmental triggers. It is clear that
children are born with the disorder or the potential to develop it.
Children with autism may have some or a few of the following signs:
little or no eye contact, impaired social interaction, fixated on
inanimate objects, spin objects, severe language deficits, difficult
expressing needs, resistance to changes in daily routines,
oversensitivity or undersensitivity to pain and/or may not want cuddling or act cuddly.
The current incidence rate of autism is 1 in 166 children and is four
times more prevalent in boys than in girls. Treatment options vary
widely, including behavioral interventions, dietary interventions, a
host of different types of therapies and medications. The success of
each type of treatment varies depending on the child.
In Union County, a support group exists to help families by providing a
supportive environment and offering education on autism spectrum
disorders to all families in Union County. Meetings are held the third
Tuesday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Shiloh Chapel. Free
childcare is available. For more information, contact Lynda Nietz at 644-1010 ext. 2224.