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Local Archived News  11/2005



     Phelps resigns from Fairbanks board

     Robert Chapman  Sr. dies at age 97

     Former deputy indicted on sex charges

     Marysville police seize marijuana during search


     Richwood Council discusses parking fines

     Charges filed in overdose case


     Charges filed against owner of local bar

     Hospice provides support in patients final days


     Plain City business wins award


     Robbery suspect arrested in Marysville

     Civic named Motor Trend Car of the Year


     Traveling at his own pace

     Winner of Richwood Council race picked by coin flip


     MR/DD superintendent to retire

     NU faces rising diesel prices

     JA to go back on the ballot

     Art show draws attention to drug use among area teens

     Fire damages home on Harmon Patrick


     Unionville Center has new council member

     Salvation Army keeps roofs over families' heads


     Judge may soon be full-time position


     Repeat domestic violence offender gets three years in prison

     Residents could be double-dipped for new Industrial Parkway water line


     Area Christmas activities planned

     Flu clinic to be used as exercise

     Care Train auction is Dec. 10


     Tap-in fee increase eyed

     Area holiday meal enters 12th year


     Richwood votes down policy


     United Way campaign critical

     Suspect caught in Union County after injuring Hilliard lawman


     Non-support case nets three-year prison sentence


     Musician gives lessons in harmony


     Flu shot clinic has healthy turnout

     Sewer plant money clears hurdle


     New face to join council

     Senior levy goes down

     Fairbanks voters defeat tax issue

     Two incumbents voted out in Jerome Township

     Three of four charter changes approved


     'Ketch' 22

     Local turnout varies


     Levy will not give immediate help to Magnetic Springs

     Red Cross benefits from United Way dollars

     Some voting locations change

     Candidate identified


     Voters to decide on charter changes

     Jon Alder going for income tax levy

     Incumbents, challengers face off in Marysville City Council races


     City eyes water rate increase

     North Lewisburg asking voters for  operating dollars

     Group looking for approval of senior levy

     Triad, Jonathan Alder see contested school board races


     Area pastor charged in sex sting

     Pre-election campaign finance reports filed

     Referendums put before voters in two townships

     Fairbanks voters to decide fate of bond/tax issues


     Room service at the hospital?

     School, village voters have choices to make


     Township voters will have full slate of candidates

     Production of 'Harvey' worth seeing

Phelps resigns from Fairbanks board
Fairbanks School Board members accepted the resignation of board member
and vice president Alan Phelps at their rescheduled meeting Tuesday
Phelps said in an e-mail message to board president Kevin Green that his
resignation was effective Nov. 16 and that he had "many personal issues
and matters that I need to spend my time on."
Phelps began serving as a board member in January 2000. He was
re-elected once and resigned just short of his sixth year.
Fairbanks Superintendent Jim Craycraft responded to Phelps' message,
telling Phelps that the "school district is a better school system
because of all you and your family have done for us." He also said
Phelps had been an "excellent board member with a lot of insight about
the community."
Board member Star Simpson was elected to fill Phelps' position as vice
president. She will serve in that capacity until Jan. 1.
Board members also adopted the Union County Chamber of Commerce's
Economic Development Incentive Policy. The policy spells out exactly
what types of abatements businesses could expect when locating in Union
County. It has previously been adopted by the county government and
Marysville Exempted Village Schools. It was voted down Nov. 14 by the
Richwood Council.
Board member Jaynie Lambert said the policy is "in our benefit. It
really is."
In other business, the board:
.Approved a payment of $2,725 to Concept Buildings Inc. for the cost of
consulting, plans and material charges for considering a new press box
for the football stadium.
.Approved a high school choir and band trip to New York City to attend
two Broadway musicals and a New York Philharmonic concert April 27 to
May 1 and an overnight trip by the high school boys basketball team to
Youngstown for a scrimmage game with Warren Howland on Nov. 25.
.Approved athletic contracts for the 2005-2006 school year to Scott
Coon, seventh grade boys basketball coach, and Larry Morris, eighth
grade boys basketball coach.
.Heard Craycraft say he had met with Glacier Ridge development personnel
recently and they had expressed an interest in attending a board
meeting. It might suit the school district's interests to meet with the
Glacier Ridge people before Feb. 16, the filing deadline for the May
election, it was decided.
.Heard Craycraft say new playground equipment will be installed at the
Milford Center Elementary. Plans are to lay the footers Friday, he said,
and assemble the equipment Saturday. Volunteers are welcome.
.Discussed mailing a levy survey to a random sampling of Fairbanks
voters seeking input before the board makes a decision on facility
upgrades for the district's schools.
.Heard that the high school boys basketball team will play against
Worthington Christian High School's team on Jan. 7 at the Jerome
Schottenstein Center's Value City Arena and that the annual staff
breakfast will be held Dec. 16. Administrators will serve the meal.
.Entered into executive session to discuss the appointment of an
official. No action was taken.

Robert Chapman  Sr. dies at age 97
Was a co-founder of Airport Authority
From J-T staff reports:
Longtime Union County businessman, pilot and co-founder of the Madison &
Union County Airport Authority, Robert E. "Bob" Chapman Sr. died this
morning at Carriage Court. He was 97.
In 1936, he acquired the Plain City Ford business his father, George
Butler Chapman, a local grocer, began in 1913. Over the course of his
career, he branched off from the Ford business by adding Firestone,
Chrysler, motor home manufacturing, aviation training and sales and a
couple of Taco Bell restaurants to his business portfolio.
In 1978, the Chapman family moved the Ford agency to Marysville, where
it remains. He continued to work there even after his 90th birthday.
Chapman's great love was flying. He began flying at the age of 10 and
continued until 1995, when he lost his medical certificate. He was a
charter member of the Madison & Union County Airport Authority and was
chairman of the board from 1970 to 1994. He was instrumental in
acquiring federal funding for the expansion of the Union County Airport
runways and hangar facilities.
He was a member of the Flying Nobles, a group of pilots in the Aladdin
Shrine. A longtime member in the Aladdin Shrine Temple in Columbus, he
began as a Mason at age 21.
He also was a charter member of the Union County Community Improvement
Corporation, where he held various positions from 1978 to 1985,
including chairman. He helped attract new businesses to Marysville and
to bring jobs to Union County.
He worked to acquire land and secure funding to build older adult
housing as a member of the Pleasant Valley Seniors Citizens Development
Board. He also was fund-raising chairman for the Union County Republican
Century Club for many years.
He was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame and was
nominated for the honor by the Union County Airport Authority which
lauded him for his vision, energy and ability to accomplish the
seemingly impossible for his community.
He was awarded the "Lifetime Service Award" by the Plain City United
Methodist Church. The award recognized his service on all the church
boards and for 60 years service as a Sunday school teacher.
Ferguson Funeral Home, Plain City, is handling arrangements. A complete
obituary will appear in Thursday's Journal-Tribune.

Former deputy indicted on sex charges
A former Union County sheriff's deputy has been indicted for allegations
that he forced himself sexually on three female juveniles, one as young
as nine years old.
Terry Wertz, 47,  of 310 S. Oak St. was officially indicted this morning
on three counts of gross sexual imposition associated with the
accusations made by the victims' families.
The investigation was conducted by the Marysville Police Department and
special prosecutor Casey Clark of Delaware, because it involved an
employed, but, inactive Union County sheriff's deputy.
According to the indictment, Wertz has been charged with one
third-degree felony gross sexual imposition count for allegations that
between the dates of June 1, 2004 and July 31, 2004 in Union County he
had sexual contact with a 9-year-old female.
The second charge references a 16-year-old female and he is charged with
a fourth-degree felony count for allegations that in Union County,
between March 30, 2003 and Oct. 2004, he "did compel such sexual contact
by force or threat of force." The indictment states he is accused of
forcing the female to touch him in a sexual manner.
The third count involves a fourth-degree felony gross sexual imposition
charge for allegedly forcing sexual contact on a 14-year-old female
between the dates of July 1, 2004 and Oct. 31, 2004 in Union County.
Originally, only two female victims had been identified in Clark's
indictment preparations. During the grand jury hearings, a third victim
was discovered. That resulted in the third charge.
Marysville assistant police chief Glenn Nicol said local officers began
an investigation in October, 2004 "into alleged sexual offenses, after
an eight-year-old female disclosed to a counselor she was touched
inappropriately by a family member."
Nicol said further allegations arose from other family members during
the course of the investigation. The alleged misconduct occurred between
the spring of 2003 and early 2005.
He said the case was then referred to the Union County Prosecuting
Attorney's Office, who sought the appointment of Clark as special
The investigation was presented to the Union County Grand Jury upon
completion and the indictments were handed down today.
Union County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Tom Morgan reported this morning
that Wertz was hired by the sheriff's office on a part-time basis in
November 1982. He was hired full-time in May of 1983 and continued in
this capacity as patrol deputy and detective.
Wertz resigned his full-time position in April of 1994 and then
continued to serve as a reserve or special deputy from that time until
October of 2004, Morgan said.
"In October of 2004, the Marysville Police Department notified the
sheriff's office that they had received a complaint and were
investigating Terry Wertz for an alleged criminal violation," Morgan
wrote in a statement. "On October 26, 2004, Mr. Wertz was placed on
administrative leave and an internal investigation was initiated by the
sheriff's office."
Morgan wrote that Wertz currently remains on administrative leave as a
special deputy and does not perform any functions of a deputy sheriff.
Nicol said Wertz has not been employed in any law enforcement positions
since the investigation began.
According to Wertz's personnel file at the sheriff's office, he worked
as an organized crime investigator throughout the 1980s. The only
disciplinary actions filed against him during that time were three
violations concerning alleged "inappropriate" contact with a female rape
victim whose case he was investigating.
Wertz eventually was placed on administrative leave without pay for 10
days on Nov. 12, 1992 after he was found guilty for inappropriately
associating with her while on assignment. He had reportedly gone to her
home on several occasions while on duty.
He was also given three days suspension for the associated violation of
being absent from his post without authorization on Nov. 12, 1992 and
given another three days suspension for neglect of duties because of the
longer time it took him to respond to emergencies because he was absent
from his post.
For these violations, Wertz was later demoted to deputy patrol duties,
until he resigned in April 0f 1994 to take another position elsewhere.
He stayed on in a reserve deputy capacity.
The personnel file also states that Wertz was very involved with the
community while employed in Union County, often attending fundraisers
and performed drug demonstrations for public safety.

Marysville police seize marijuana during search
From J-T staff reports:
While trying to locate a wanted person, Marysville Police Department
officers seized about six pounds of marijuana early today.
Drug paraphernalia was observed in the area of an apartment on Kenny
Lane and a search warrant was obtained. This morning at 12:15 a.m., the
search warrant was executed at 756 Kenny Lane.
"What appeared to be six pounds of marijuana was located in the
apartment and confiscated," Marysville Police Department Assistant Chief
Glenn Nicol said. "(The marijuana has) a street value of $6,300."
Two males and one female are being investigated for the marijuana.
Charges are expected to be sought at a later time.
"We've been increasing patrol response in that area due to recent
criminal activities such as theft of motor vehicles and theft of items
from motor vehicles, and we believe this seizure will curtail much of
the related criminal activities," Nicol said. "We will continue our
proactive patrol in that area."
Anyone who may have information  concerning criminal activities are
asked to contact Marysville Police Department's tipline at 645-1082.

Richwood Council discusses parking fines
From J-T staff reports:
In the coming week, Richwood Village Council may look to increase its
fines for parking violations.
At council's regularly scheduled meeting Monday night, officials were
discussing several parking issues when the talk turned to enforcement.
Council member Scott Jerew said that any discussion of parking issues is
moot unless the village police department is willing to write tickets.
Other council members agreed.
"People in town, especially the younger generation, have no respect for
the police department," council member Arlene Blue said.
It was also noted that the village's current fine schedule of $5 of a
parking violation does not do much to deter residents. On a third
offense the fine jumps to $100.
Council, which is trying to deal with a growing problem of resident
parking vehicle's in the village tree lawn, discussed increasing the
first offense fine significantly.
Council decided to bring the issue up at a future meeting when it could
be discussed with village solicitor Rick Rodger and police chief Rick
In other business, council:
.Voted 5-0 (council member Jim Ford was absent from the meeting) to
purchase health insurance coverage for village employees for from
Medical Mutual. It was noted that premiums increased 12 percent for
2006, but out-of-pocket expenses for policy holders will decrease
.Discussed a problem with a contractor who has not been paid for work
performed in the village. Village financial officer Don Jolliff
explained that the village has not approved the release of grant funds
for the work, because Bischoff and Associates, the engineering firm
overseeing the work, has not sent an detailed explanation on the
.Learned that the planning commission approved a zoning change for
manufacturing for 21 acres in the Richwood Industrial Park.

Charges filed in overdose case
A Union County jury will have to decide early next year if the drugs an
Irwin woman sold to a Marysville-area man were the cause of his eventual
overdose and death in July.
Marsha A. Shoemaker, 45, of 24159 Route 161, was arraigned this morning
in the Union County Common Pleas Court on five felony charges related to
her alleged involvement in the death of Justin Phelps. Specifically, she
is charged with the sale of morphine which may have caused the overdose.

Shoemaker is charged with fourth-degree felony deception to obtain a
dangerous drug; third-degree felony aggravated trafficking in drugs;
first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter; third-degree felony
aggravated possession of drugs; and third-degree felony complicity
aggravated possession of drugs.
On July 2 at 10:37 a.m., Madison County sheriff's deputies responded to
11675 Debolt Road on a call about a non-breathing male. Phelps, 21, of
Maple Ridge Road, was found and transported to Memorial Hospital of
Union County by medics. He was pronounced dead about one hour later.
At the time, Madison County Sheriff's Sgt. Eric Semler labeled the death
suspicious and stated an investigation would begin. An autopsy later
revealed the cause of death was from a morphine overdose - now known as
the drug Avinza.
Madison County authorities later turned the investigation over to Union
County detectives.
At the arraignment this morning, Union County prosecutor David Phillips
requested that since the indictment involves "the alleged death, caused
by Shoemaker's trafficking of Avinza" and because of the serious nature
of a first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter charge and mandatory
incarceration, that bond be set at $100,000. Common Pleas Judge Richard
Parrott set bond at that amount.
A July 5 search, reportedly held three days after Phelps' death,
resulted in Shoemaker's indictment filed on Nov. 22. She was arrested
Monday at Community Markets on Milford Avenue, where she was employed.
Phillips said in court today that Shoemaker has held eight different
residences in the past four years, all within Union County. Up until her
arraignment, her last known address was listed in Milford Center.
Out of five charges filed by the sheriff's office, Shoemaker could face
a long prison term for the most serious charge of involuntary
 Parrott explained to Shoemaker that, if convicted, she could see
anywhere from 10 years in prison for concurrent sentences, to more than
25 years if the sentences run consecutive.
According to the indictment papers, the first count is a fourth-degree
felony deception to obtain dangerous drugs charge. On or about Feb. 18
through July 2 in Union County, Shoemaker allegedly obtained or used "an
uncompleted preprinted prescription" used for writing a prescription to
purchase a dangerous drug.
The second is a third-degree felony aggravated trafficking in drugs
charge, filed because of evidence that on or about June 15 through July
2 in Union County, Shoemaker "did knowingly sell or offer to sell a
controlled substance . in an amount exceeding bulk amount, but less than
five times the bulk amount."
Parrott reported that the drug Shoemaker reportedly sold is known as
Avinza, or morphine sulfate, which is listed as a Schedule II illegal
controlled substance if obtained without a valid prescription.
The third count against Shoemaker is a first-degree felony involuntary
manslaughter charge, which has to do with on or about June 15 through
July 2 in Union County when she allegedly "did cause the death of
another . as a proximate result of the offender's committing or
attempting to commit a felony."
The charge essentially means that a jury will have to decide if, by
selling the drugs to Phelps, Shoemaker ultimately caused his death.
The fourth charge handed out by the Union County Sheriff's Office, has
to do with the same time period in Union County when Shoemaker allegedly
illegally obtained the Avinza drug. For this she has been charged with a
third-degree felony aggravated possession of drugs.
The final charge against Shoemaker is a third-degree felony complicity
to aggravated possession of drugs. This count stems from the same time
period, when she allegedly "did aid or abet another in committing the
offense." In this case, to purchase or obtain the Avinza drug for future
Shoemaker said she does not have a lawyer at this time, although her
family is seeking one for her.

Charges filed against owner of local bar
From J-T staff reports:
Local bar Steppin' Out is in trouble with the Ohio Department of Public
Safety after it was raided by state law enforcement earlier this month.
Steppin' Out owner, Charles D. Freeman, 48, of 225 E. Fifth St. now
faces two counts of theft, two counts of contributing to the delinquency
of a minor, one count of receiving stolen property and one count of
illegal possession of alcohol for sale.
The Department of Liquor Control raided the bar located at 225 E. Fifth
St. on Nov. 10 with the cooperation of local police. A search warrant
was used at 6 p.m. that day for the investigation of possible liquor
violations. No charges were filed at the time, while violations were
Marysville Police Department Assistant Chief Glenn Nicol said the
investigation concluded with charges he was able to release to the
public today.
Nicol said the misdemeanor criminal charges all stem from a period over
one month last year when Freeman allegedly stole alcohol from the
Community Market state liquor store. He then reportedly sold the liquor
from Steppin' Out for profit.
Nicol reported this morning that Freeman's 16-year daughter has also
been charged with two counts of complicity of theft for her involvement.

Ohio Department of Public safety liquor control administrators are now
looking into revoking the Freeman's liquor permit.

Hospice provides support in patients final days
Editor's note: This is the 14th in a weekly series of articles submitted
by the United Way of Union County that will run during the course of its
annual campaign. Each week will feature a different United Way program.
This week's article features Loving Care Hospice.
When the fear and suffering of death are near, it's nice to know a
helping hand and caring heart are also close by.
For five years, the hearts and hands of the staff and volunteers of
Loving Care Hospice have provided that support in Union County. The
United Way Member Agency offers 24-hour, seven days-a-week services for
families who care for their terminally ill loved ones.
By providing compassionate medical care in a patient's home or nursing
facility, hospice ministers to the needs of the dying and their families
in an environment that is familiar and comfortable.
"We're there when new memories are made and past ones are remembered,"
said Meredith Queen, a licensed social worker with Loving Care Hospice.
"We get to know their families, visit in their homes, and learn about
their lives past and present. It has become our privilege because the
resiliency, faith, love and courage of our patients and families inspire
each one of us."
Queen is one of a handful of staff members and dozens of volunteers who
work out of Loving Care's Marysville office to serve more than 100
families a year. They assist patients coping with the physical ailments
of cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, emphysema, multiple sclerosis,
and Alzheimer's disease. Perhaps even more importantly, they assist with
the social, financial, emotional and spiritual aspects of the experience
as well, growing close to the families they serve.
"It would take a book to tell you all of my stories," said SueAnn
Dillahunt, a registered nurse with Loving Care Hospice. "One instance
that comes to mind is of a family that left their home and job with no
income or savings and moved in with their parent to provide end-of-life
care. They were able to provide a dying man the dignity and privilege to
go to his home to die with his family at his side. This is a scenario
that we see frequently: families putting their own financial and
material needs on the back burner to meet the needs of their loved ones.

"I was able to be present when a young father, the night before he died,
thanked his family, told them how much he loved them and asked them to
carry on. Later that night, he was able to tell his small son the same
thing in a very private and meaningful way."
United Way funds are used at Loving Care Hospice to serve those without
insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid coverage in Union County.
"We never turn down someone for care because they are without insurance
and Loving Care, to this point, has not sent a bill to an individual or
family," Queen said. "Loving Care will see the patient without getting
paid and we rely on the United Way to allow us to continue that."
In addition to caring for the sick, Hospice provides respite for
caregivers as well as bereavement support to the family for up to a year
or more after a patient's death.
Dealing with death on a regular basis isn't easy, but helping patients
to live their remaining days with dignity, comfort, and control keeps
Hospice staff upbeat and positive.
"The needs of our patients are very intense and it can drain your
energy," Dillahunt said. "Many times we are the bearers of bad news that
death is rapidly approaching. Helping families with financial matters is
often difficult as they face life without their loved one. It turns
their world upside down and it is frustrating to not be able to fix it
for them. But helping families to be able to work together and draw on
their strength to do what they thought wouldn't be possible is what I
like most about this job."
.2005 United Way allocation was $22,055.95 (or 1.4 percent of its
.Serves about 110 Union County families each year.
.Based in London, Loving Care Hospice has a Marysville office and staff
that has been serving Union County since 2000.
.A patient's physician must authorize hospice care and physicians,
hospitals and discharge planners provide most of the referrals. But
family members, clergy, and the patients themselves can request service.

Plain City business wins award
From J-T staff reports:
A Plain City business is one of 10 Ohio companies awarded an Emerging
Technology award by the state.
The award recognizes Velocys Inc.'s valuable progress in either
advancing existing technolgies or pursuing cutting-edge, emerging
technological developments.
A press release states that Velocys is developing revolutionary
processing systems that will provide chemical and energy companies with
substantial capital cost savings, improved product yields and greater
energy efficiency.
Other winners are:
. Applied Sciences, Inc. (ASI), Cedarville, is a leader in manufacturing
technology development that complements the scientific breakthroughs
demonstrated with carbon nanofibers and nanotubes.
. entrotech, inc., Columbus, is a cutting-edge, creative and proactive
technological leader in developing film from advanced material solutions
for a variety of high-tech industries.
. Imaging Systems Technology, Inc., Toledo, has developed the world's
first flexible plasma display using gas encapsulated micro spheres
(Plasma-SpheresTM) as the pixel element.
. Midwest MicroDevices, Toledo, provides silicon foundry services for
state-of-the-art MEMS products, which are silicon-based sensors with
feature sizes a tenth the diameter of a human hair. MMD is one of four
such foundries in North America.
. NanoSperse LLC, Akron, is a leader in design, development and supply
of nanocomposites, including thermoplastic, thermoset and elastomeric
. Peerless Technologies Corp., Dayton, provides expert business and
logistics, intelligence, and financial management services and
. Queen City Forging Company, Cincinnati, a metal components producer,
utilizes Rapid Infrared Heating (RI), a revolutionary thermal
technology, to increase processing speed and reduce costs while
providing improved mechanical properties in aluminum components.
. Transmissions LLC, Cincinnati, an international software publisher,
works with translation agencies and marketing groups to streamline the
localization of Photoshop and Illustrator based material such as
packaging, marketing collateral, and websites.
. Zethus Software, Youngstown, is committed to bringing advanced
computing solutions to businesses, focused on computer modeling for
technology and engineering companies.
Gov. Bob Taft today announced that Battelle, a Columbus-based global
leader in innovation, will receive the 2005 Thomas Edison Award.
"This year's winners continue to build upon Ohio's legacy as a worldwide
leader in innovation," Taft said. "These businesses have demonstrated a
strong commitment to product development and job creation in Ohio,
paving the way to a stronger, brighter future for Ohioans and the world
at large. I commend these companies on their outstanding achievements."
Each year the state presents an Ohio company with the Edison Award, to
recognize global leadership in fostering or implementing innovation and
in positively utilizing technology to impact its operation and the
The award has been presented annually since 1993.
This year's winner, Battelle, has been a global leader in innovation for
more than 75 years. Headquartered in Columbus with several locations
throughout Ohio, Battelle develops and commercializes technology and
manages laboratories for customers.
The organization is committed to "simultaneous excellence" in science
and technology, laboratory operations, and community service. As a
non-profit, charitable trust, Battelle returns 20 percent of its annual
net income to the community.
"In an increasingly competitive and technology-based economy, the
success of our award winners proves that Ohio has the right business
climate to help companies develop and commercialize new products," added
Lt. Governor and Director of the Ohio Department of Development Bruce
Johnson. "From world-class research institutes to a highly trained
workforce, we continue to demonstrate to observers around the world that
Ohio Means Business."

Robbery suspect arrested in Marysville
From J-T staff reports:
A man on the run from police for kidnapping a woman during a robbery was
arrested in Marysville Wednesday without incident.
At 7:29 p.m. Josh Leach, 21, of West Jefferson, was arrested in the
parking lot of Community Markets on Milford Avenue by Marysville police
Leach has been charged in Hilliard with one first-degree felony
aggravated robbery charge, and a second-degree felony kidnapping charge.

According to the Hilliard Division of Police, Leach kidnapped a
24-year-old CVS pharmacist at 6300 Scioto Darby Road in Hilliard on
Marysville police reported that Hilliard law enforcement put out an
advisory to be on the lookout for Leach in the Marysville area, because
he could possibly be going to his parent's home. The address of his
parents was listed as unknown in police reports, so officers were
keeping an eye out for the vehicle make.
Police positioned cruisers around Milford Avenue on Wednesday and set up
surveillance. Leach's vehicle was then observed driving through the area
and he was stopped and arrested without a struggle.
Leach was pinpointed as the suspect after surveillance video of the
robbery and abduction was aired on television news stations early this
On Tuesday afternoon law enforcement recovered Leach's vehicle at his
West Jefferson home. It was suspected to have been used to commit the
robbery. Fingerprints later confirmed this.

Civic named Motor Trend Car of the Year
Editor's note: The following information is provided by Honda of
The all-new Honda Civic earned "Motor Trend" magazine's prestigious 2006
Car of the Year award, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced this
week. The award extends to the entire Civic Sedan and Civic Coupe lineup
including the environmentally responsible Civic Hybrid and
high-performance Civic Si models.
The Motor Trend editorial staff selected the Honda Civic from a field of
28 new or substantially revised models - the largest to date -
recognizing it for exceptional value, superiority in its class and the
most significant development on the new-car scene for 2006. Testing took
place over a two-week period that included thousands of miles of
on-track driving and on-street evaluation, along with several days of
walk-around appraisals.
"For 2006, the Civic underwent the most radical transformation in its
33-year history," said John Mendel, senior vice president of American
Honda. "It is a cornerstone of the Honda lineup, and we're delighted
that "Motor Trend" has recognized the new levels of styling,
performance, technology, safety and value that characterize the new
Civic. Customers have validated our direction too, as evidenced by
strong sales of the new model."
The 2006 Honda Civic establishes new segment standards for safety,
technology and performance. Clean and efficient i-VTECT engine
technologies deliver more power than ever before while still achieving
an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 40 miles per gallon. In keeping
with Honda's "Safety for Everyone" initiative, the Honda Civic features
advanced standard safety equipment, including side curtain airbags,
front side airbags and the Advanced Compatibility EngineeringT (ACET)
Body Structure, regardless of price or trim level.
The most noticeable features of the 2006 Civic include its expressive
exterior styling, a high-tech and spacious interior, and fun-to-drive
performance. The Civic further rewards drivers and passengers with as
many as seven ways to enjoy audio entertainment - including XM®
Satellite Radio, MP3 and WMA support and an accessory Apple® iPod®
adapter that connects the popular music player to the Civic's audio
The Civic Hybrid provides the ultimate in clean and efficient technology
with a 1.3-liter i-VTEC engine and a new generation of Honda's
Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) technology that helps the hybrid achieve
an estimated city/highway fuel economy of 49/51 miles per gallon and an
Advanced-Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) rating.
Additionally, the Civic Hybrid can deactivate all four of its cylinders
and operate using only the electric motor in certain low-speed cruising
The Civic Si showcases the high-performance potential of the Civic
platform and offers a 197-horsepower, DOHC 2.0-liter i-VTEC engine
connected to a 6-speed manual transmission and a limited slip
The majority of Civics are produced and assembled using domestic and
globally sourced parts in the United States and Canada. Civic Coupe and
Civic Si models are solely produced and assembled at the Honda of Canada
Manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ontario. Civic Sedan models are
primarily produced and assembled at the Honda of America Manufacturing
plant in East Liberty. Civic Sedans are also produced and assembled at
Honda of Canada Manufacturing in Alliston, Ontario. Some Civic Sedans
and all Civic Hybrid models are produced and assembled in the Honda
Motor Co., Ltd., Suzuka, Japan, manufacturing facility.
A list of previous Honda winners in Motor Trend polling includes:
.1994 Honda Accord - Import Car of the Year
.1988 Honda CRX Si ? Import Car of the Year
.1984 Honda Civic CRX ? Import Car of the Year
.1980 Honda Civic ? Import Car of the Year

Traveling at his own pace
At just 4 mph, Gene Glasscock has covered 20,000 miles
American long rider Gene Glasscock is an elderly man with a unique way
of summing up complex issues. For example, how does he explain traveling
a circle around the entire United States, visiting every single capital
city, at nothing more than a leisurely stroll?
"A person's last words should never be, 'I wish I had a...'," Glasscock
said. "By the grace of God my kids will never hear me say that."
He sat in the home of John and Beth Crabb in Irwin Tuesday night, his
boots off, sipping on some hot tea and scrolling through computer images
of his horseback travels. On his face is a small cut. Every now and then
he stops, frustrated that a picture isn't showing up fast enough. He can
lead a horse anywhere, but computers are not his strong suit.
For a man who just traveled 20,000 miles at 4 mph, his frustration is an
interesting irony. But the images are something he hopes will remind him
of people he met and American landscape he will treasure.
On Sept. 17, 2002 he started the longest ride he ever took. It began in
Denver, took him east to Maine, then wound clockwise south to every
capital from Tallahassee to Sacramento. The road kept going east across
the Dakotas to Michigan and down to Ohio where he ended up on Nov. 14.
A similar path was taken in 1912 by George Beck and Frank Heath and so
he named his horses "Frank" and "George" in their honor. His third horse
"Buddy" also took the trip. Together, the group created a scene in every
Glasscock looks at a picture of himself standing with his horses on a
California beach. The giant wave coming in from behind almost knocked
them all down. A picture from Oregon shows his silhouette, with a large
sun going down in the distance. It's pretty, but the temperature was 7
degrees below zero.
The journey wasn't his first. Glasscock earned fame and a spot in the
Guinness Book of World Records after traveling 12,000 miles on horseback
from the Arctic Circle in Canada to the equator in Ecuador between 1984
to 1986.
Glasscock isn't just a horse enthusiast, he's a man on a mission and a
master of public relations. If anyone ever wonders why he does this,
they might be disappointed to learn that it was all about the publicity.
But the real reason is much deeper than that.
Originally from Texas, he found his way north to Alaska and lived there
awhile. A former hi-rise construction worker, business man, and janitor,
he has played a lot of roles in life. Most people buy sports cars in
their middle age, but Glasscock started his life over by becoming a
While doing work helping the poor in Mexico, he became very ill and it
took two years to recover. When he was finally ready to get back into
his work again, the missioners asked where he wanted to go next.
"I just said, 'Paraguay,'" Glasscock said. "It just popped into my head.
The good Lord must have put it there."
Just saying the word completely changed his life. He ended up teaching
the English language and bible studies to young students in Paraguay.
To put the importance of his work in perspective, he said simply knowing
how to speak English in Paraguay can take a person out of poverty. He
said it is a culture that is spiritually and economically unstable.
"It needs a kick in the pants," he said.
With pride, he talks about a student of his that went on to college in
the United States and is now studying to become a lawyer. The affect of
providing this knowledge is something that motivated each prod of the
horse across the United States and motivated his Arctic to equator
The whole point of his travels has been to raise money and awareness for
the Philip Scholarship Fund, which he started in conjunction with the
Pensacola Christian College in Florida. Every dollar he raises goes
straight into the fund and pays to bring Paraguay students to college in
the United States. In order to receive the scholarship, the students
must sign a contract stating they will return to Paraguay to use their
knowledge to educate its people.
On a saddle since he was in diapers, Glasscock said riding on horseback
was a great way to get people talking - more so than simply riding a
bike or walking.
"The Lord gave me the young people in Paraguay to love," Glasscock said.
"It's the only reason that I ride. Well, I mean, I love to ride. But I
wouldn't ride for any other reason."
Glasscock said he will hole up for a few days outside of Columbus with
friends and supporters, then will ride high down Broad Street into
Columbus to visit the very last capital city and finish what he started.
The Ohio Horseman's Council then plans to hold a large celebration in
his honor.
Years of staying the night in thousands of homes will earn someone a lot
of new friends. Many of them will be in Columbus to witness his ride
into town. But just who is expected to show up is being kept a secret
from Glasscock.
"I probably won't remember everyone I met," he said.
One person he will definitely remember: A little girl in New Jersey
named Ashlee who became fascinated with his journey. She fell in love
with his horse "Buddy" and her family ended up handling his email and
Web-site at When she comes to Columbus for the
celebration, she doesn't know it but she will be going home with the
gift of her favorite horse "Buddy."
Another issue that Glasscock rides for is one that centers on his old
age. With three daughters and three sons, all at ages 50-years-old and
younger, he gets a lot of people telling him to be sensible and stop
"One of the greatest hurts a young adult can do to their parents is
telling them 'don't do this' because of what might happen," he said.
"People need to live life to the fullest every day and let the Lord take
care of all of these 'mights.'"

Winner of Richwood Council race picked by coin flip
From J-T staff reports:
A flip of a coin determined one member of the Richwood Village Council
on Monday.
The Union County Board of Elections met Monday to certify the November
general election results.
After adding provision ballots the four-member board determined that two
candidates - James K. Thompson and Cynthia K. Blackburn - had each
received 253 votes.
With the board of elections charged with determining a winner, chairman
Robert Parrott flipped a quarter. After hitting the table and dropping
to the floor, the coin landed on tails and Thompson was declared the
official winner.
An automatic recount must be conducted within 10 days and is tentatively
set for Monday at 9 a.m.
Unofficial election results on Nov. 8 showed Thompson had received 250
votes and Blackburn had 248. They were vying for the fourth open seat on

MR/DD superintendent to retire
Buerger will step down in July
From J-T staff reports:
The Union County Board of MR/DD accepted the resignation of
superintendent Jerry L. Buerger Monday.
Buerger's retirement is effective next summer, July 28, 2006, however it
appears he is interested in seeking another position with the local
board once he retires.
"It has been a great pleasure to work in the field of mental retardation
for over 30 years and especially with everyone in Union County for the
past 19 years. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this agency,
about all the people I've encountered in my years of service with the
board and most of all the persons with disabilities whose lives have
been touched by the valuable services provided by one of Ohio's leading
programs. Leadership, quality, staff and community support has taken
this agency to new levels," Buerger said.
He has worked in the field of mental retardation for more than 30 years
with more than 19 in Union County.
Minutes from Monday's meeting when his resignation were accepted show
that MR/DD employee Cheryl Gugel spoke to the board voicing concern that
the board "did not offer Buerger the vacant position of Program Policy
Director should he wish to continue to be employed with the agency after
his retirement."
Richard E. Morris of Bucyrus wrote a letter in support of Buerger's
"I am disappointed that his board does not have the vision nor the
fortitutde to see the benefit of the people they serve to place him in
the capacity in the position of which he is noted for, and looked up to
throughout the entire State of Ohio, by offering him the position of
Policy Program Director."
A partial listing of his accomplishments include serving as an
officer/member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, United Way,
Council for Union County Families, Rotary, Kiwanis, Care Train of Union
County, Ohio Association of Superintendents of County Boards of MR/DD,
Professional Association for Retardation, Council for Exceptional
Children and Ohio Association of County Boards of MR/DD.
He was selected as an Olympic Torch Bearer for Union County in 1996 and
led more than 14 MR/DD campaigns, as well as the Union County Board of
MR/DD to a five-year Ohio Department of MR/DD five year accreditation
with accommodations.
Buerger has volunteered for the Ohio Special Olympics statewide events
for more than 30 years and Care Train of Union County for 16 years. He
has served as area coordinator for Ohio Special Olympics for eight years
and established the First Special Olympics program in Hancock County.
His career includes working eight years as a physical development
specialist in the Hancock County and principal of the Marimor School in
Allen County.
Buerger's future plans include vacationing this summer and seeking a
consulting position.

NU faces rising diesel prices
When commuting to Columbus for work each day, a fuel price increase is
When that drive is the equivalent distance from Union County to Las
Vegas every day, a fuel price hike is crisis.
That's the situation the North Union School District is facing as it
tries to cover 1,900 miles in bus routes each day. The district's school
board members were informed of the situation at Monday night's regularly
scheduled meeting.
According to district treasurer Scott Maruniak the district has been
told by state sources to budget an additional $150,000 for diesel fuel
costs for this school year, above last year's $90,000 in fuel costs.
Maruniak said last year the district purchased fuel at an average of
$1.19 per gallon. This year that price has jumped to more than $3 per
While natural gas and electric prices are on the rise as well, the fuel
cost leaves the district with little room to cut costs. While some cost
saving measures have been implemented, each child must still be picked
up and dropped off in a district that covers a huge geographical area.
"We might have to drive 10 miles to pick up one child," Maruniak said.
The district has joined a fuel purchasing consortium to take advantage
of lower rates for purchasing in higher volume. It has also mandated
that some drivers leave buses at the district garage rather than take
them home because the first scheduled pick-up is closer to the village
of Richwood.
The district is also facing an additional $200,000 in natural gas and
electric costs this year. Conserving those resources, however, has
proved an easier task.
The district sent notice to parents recently that the thermostats in
district buildings will be set at a lower temperature this winter.
Because one degree in reduced temperature is estimated to save 3 percent
in heating costs, the district will be setting thermostats at 69
degrees, down from 71 degrees last year.
North Union superintendent Carol Young said students who notice the
cooler temperature are encouraged to wear a sweater or sweatshirt to
The district is also instituting tougher restrictions on shutting down
computers, monitors and lights in its buildings.
In other business, the board:
.Heard about a possible replacement project for the bleachers at the
high school football field.
.Learned that the final inspection for the high school addition is
scheduled for next week.
.Heard a featured presentation from the elementary school's music and
physical education teachers and students.
.Congratulated student Megan Smith on being named winner of the Union
County Junior Miss pageant.
.Learned about $750 in wellness grants the district has received from
the Ohio Department of Health will be used to implement walking
.Approved the purchase of a 71-passenger conventional school bus from
Center City International for $62,450 and a $73,940, 72-passenger
handicapped-equipped bus from the same company.
.Approved several policy additions and revisions.
.Voted to approve an agreement with the Madison/Champaign Educational
Service Center for a student in need of special education services
outside the district.
.Approved an agreement with the Cleveland Municipal School District for
the education of a student with disabilities while hospitalized in the
Cleveland Clinic.
.Approved maternity leave for teacher Natalie Loose beginning Jan. 10.
.Voted to employ several certificated individuals on one-year limited
expiring supplemental contracts for the 2005-06 school year. Those hired
were: Morgan Cotter, JV boys basketball; Luanne Dunham, technology lead
teacher; Pam Ensign, technology lead teacher; Kathy Johnson, technology
lead teacher; and Amy Mosier, freshman girls basketball coach.
.Voted to employ several non-certificated individuals on one-year
limited expiring pupil activity contracts for the 2005-06 school year.
Those employed were: Jason Asher, assistant varsity wrestling coach;
Carl Conrad, assistant softball co-coach; Todd Hoffman, eighth grade
boys basketball coach; Matt Rankin, freshman boys basketball coach;
Ashley Robinson, varsity coordinator for girls and boys basketball; and
Kristi Smith, JV girls basketball coach.
.Approved Ron Tingley and Eric Shields as volunteers working with the
boys basketball program.

JA to go back on the ballot
The Jonathan Alder School Board approved a resolution Monday night to
put a 0.5 percent income tax on the Feb. 7 ballot.
Earlier this month, district residents voted down the 0.5 percent income
Steve Votaw, board president, said he thought despite the loss that
everyone involved on the campaign gave it their all.
"I thought overall everyone worked really hard and was well organized,"
Votaw said, "We got a lot of yes votes out there and that's important."
Other board members echoed Votaw's sentiments, as did  Superintendent
Doug Carpenter.
"Most people I talked to said we should try it again and that it was a
fair tax," Carpenter said.
He added that it is usually harder to pass an income tax, especially on
the first time because people are more accustomed to property taxes.
The choice to go with the income tax over the property tax is for
balance between those with high property value and those with high
incomes as well as inflationary growth.
Brian Lapp presented the board with several questions during the public
comments portion of the meeting.
Lapp, an Alder alumni and district resident, said although he voted for
the income tax had mixed emotions on the issue.
He brought several issues to the board including the rehiring of retired
teachers and administrators.
Votaw and Carpenter explained that by rehiring retired employees the
district wins out two ways, by keeping the talent and saving money.
Rehired retirees move down on the salary schedule and the board doesn't
have to pay out insurance benefits.
Lapp also raised concerns with the location of the district offices
within the new high school.
John Adams, board member, said that since the state will not fund office
space for school administration it made the most sense to build on six
additional classrooms at the high school.
The additional classroom space is currently being used for district
offices by way of temporary walls. However, as the district student
population grows the rooms can very easily be converted back to
classroom space.
Adams said that by including the extra classroom space in the first
phase of building the district saved approximately $1 million down the
line in construction costs.
Carpenter also added that it is helpful to have the administration
housed within the high school to help head off any problems etc.
Next, Lapp brought up the student parking fee at the high school.
Students who wish to drive and park on school grounds are charged a $20
fee each semester.
Principal Phil Harris said that this money is used to fund student
activities from guest speakers, reward programs and drug awareness.
Harris commended Lapp for bringing his questions to the board.
Lastly, Lapp raised concerns about junior high athletic event admission
pricing. Principal Judd Ross said the current admission costs have been
in place for some time and are commensurate with other school districts.

It also was brought up that despite coverage in several newspapers,
head football coach Barry Blackstone has not officially tendered his
letter of resignation.
It was reported on Friday that Blackstone would be stepping down from
the position he has held for the past five years. Blackstone is aware
that he needs to formally submit his letter.
The district accepted the resignation of Bridget Adelsberger as Canaan
library aide effective Oct. 21.
The board also took time out to give accolades to many students and
staff who have achieved great things academically, athletically and
otherwise over the first three months of this school year.
"I think we've had a great fall," Votaw said.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss the appointment,
dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion or compensation of a public
employee. No action was taken.
The next regular board meeting will be Dec. 12.

Art show draws attention to drug use among area teens
One mother has seen enough young people die in Union County of drug
overdoes this past year and she has done something about it.
"It could happen to anybody's kid. We are all responsible by not being
involved," Kathryn Walkowicz said. "I just care about the kids."
In her own way she is trying to reach the living with a message that
life undiluted is far more interesting. She wants kids to stop taking
drugs and parents to be a little less naive.
Walkowicz said the deaths of Corey Simpson, Justin Phelps and Andy Daum
"knocked the stuffing right out" of her.
None of them wore uniforms identifying their dangerous dance with drugs,
she repeatedly says. They didn't wear signs.
Corey Lee Simpson was 15 when he died Dec. 23, 2004, of an acute
morphine overdose, according to his death certificate at the Union
County Health Department. Justin Alan Phelps was 21 when he died of the
same thing on July 2. A third boy, Andrew Daum, 19,  died Sept. 8 at the
Kobacker House in Columbus. Information on the cause of his death is not
available from the Union County Health Department. Simpson was 15 and
got lost through the cracks, Walkowicz said. He died after administering
morphine patches.
Walkowicz said she didn't know Phelps, but his death still affected her.
From all outward appearances, he was a kid who had it all, Walkowicz
She saw Daum everyday. He was a good friend to her son and her niece's
boyfriend. On Aug. 26 Daum slipped into a coma after taking Oxycontin,
she said. He died on Sept. 8. The days in between were "horrifying... We
kept hoping that he would wake up."
It was during the days of Daum's coma that Walkowicz, an artist, decided
to do something about the drug issue in this community. A notebook holds
her thoughts about creating an art show featuring young artists from the
area, as well as her own work.
The show is called Ripples.
The name comes from the analogy that we all are part of a big pond and
when a pebble drops the ripples effect the whole community.
She believes the underlying drug issue for teens is not about
availability but about kids trying to self-medicate to escape an
imperfect life that the world cannot see. She acknowledges that a
certain percentage will experiment with drugs or give in to peer
pressure, but believes chronic users have underlying issues.
Ripples includes four pieces of art by Daum who was a graphic arts
student at Columbus State. One is a self portrait.
The show also includes four interactive pieces. The largest piece in the
show is titled "7234." Each detail of the display from its size to the
music and lights is carefully thought out and filled with meaning,
Walkowicz explains.
Another area for small children allows them to create art. It is titled
"When I Grow Up." Walkowicz adds the thought behind this area is that no
one grows up planning to be a drug addict.
A Thumb Print Board reinforces the ripple theme while a hands-on Thought
Mobile encourages visitors to think.
As a cigarette smoker, Walkowicz said she can empathize with people who
struggle with addictions, but believes that moderation is the key to all
pleasures in life.
Ripples opened earlier this month for a one-day show with proceeds from
a silent auction benefiting the Kobacker House. The show is available
for future viewing, but none are scheduled, Walkowicz said.
"I just care about the kids. I do not want to see another one die or
become vegetative."

Fire damages home on Harmon Patrick
From J-T staff reports:
A family is being housed by the Union County Red Cross after a fire
destroyed its home last night.
According to Liberty Township Fire Department, at 5:50 p.m. dispatchers
reported a house fire in the 1700 block of Harmon Patrick Road.
According to firefighter Jamie Wilson, the blaze appears to have started
from an electrical problem in a back room of the home. The fire spread
into the kitchen and then vented through the ceiling and through the
No one was seriously injured in the fire, although a female resident was
treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
Wilson said the fire cause is being investigated today to verify its
cause as electrical problems.
Details on the exact address of the home and the name of the family
involved were not available from fire reports before press time, Wilson
He added that destruction to the home did not result in a total loss,
but that the family will not be able to live there because of "extensive
damage." They will be housed courtesy of the local Red Cross until
repairs are made and electric problems are fixed.
Wilson said Liberty Township firefighters were assisted by the
Marysville and Richwood fire departments.
Crews remained on the scene until 7:45 p.m., when the fire had been

Unionville Center has new council member
From J-T reports:
A special meeting of the Unionville Center Village Council called by
council members Ron Griffith, Denver Thompson and Becky Troyer was held
on Friday.
According to the Ohio Village Officers' Handbook, "special meetings may
be called by three village council members."
Council members present were Griffith, Thompson  and Troyer and
clerk-treasurer Karla Gingerich. A quorum was present as defined by the
Ohio Village Officers' Handbook.
The purpose of the meeting was to fill the council seat vacated by
Norman Rice. Rice's resignation was dated Oct. 19. The Ohio Village
Officers' Handbook states that "when a vacancy in the village council
membership occurs, council has thirty days from the date the resignation
was tendered to fill the vacancy."
Phil Rausch was nominated and elected to fill the vacant council
position. Rausch was sworn in by council president Becky Troyer who
presided at the meeting.
The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 5 at 6:30
p.m. at the council building. The public may attend.

Salvation Army keeps roofs over families' heads
Editor's note: This is the 13th in a weekly series of articles submitted
by the United Way of Union County that will run during the course of its
annual campaign. Each week will feature a different United Way program.
This week's article features The Salvation Army.
It's been a tough year for Amber Conn.
The mother of two recently moved to Marysville and discovered that she
needed surgery to treat cancer. After recovering from a pair of
operations that left her virtually unable to stand up, she returned to
her workplace only to find that she no longer had a job.
"I started working there via a temporary service," Conn said. "Before I
left for my surgery, they'd asked for my application. On the day that I
was supposed to be officially hired by the company, I got fired. They
told me I'd missed too many days. Everything was fine until I came back,
so it was pretty devastating."
Without an income, the bills started piling up and Conn soon found
herself unable to make ends meet. In August, the gas and electric
utilities were to be turned off and an eviction notice for her family's
apartment wasn't far behind. That's when Conn contacted The Salvation
Army, which helped her get through the month by picking up the tab.
The Salvation Army's Union County Homeless Prevention Program was
established in 2004 to help the growing number of local families finding
themselves in financial straits that could cause them to lose their
housing. Through direct, one-time financial assistance to pay the rent
or utilities and case management that includes advocacy with landlords,
budgeting classes, and referral to job training for increased
employability skills and income, The Salvation Army has filled its own
niche in the community.
"Without the Salvation Army, I don't know what I would have done," Conn
said. "I didn't have any money and I didn't have a job. Without them, we
would be homeless."
So might 303 other area households that have been assisted by the United
Way Member Agency since the year began, begging the question of why so
many people are truly on the verge of becoming homeless. An analysis of
the households assisted shows that there are children in 74 percent of
the households. In two-thirds of those cases, the head of the household
is working. But in these instances, the jobs aren't paying enough to
cover expenses.
"In general the reason a household cannot make all their payments on
their rent or utilities is because they don't make enough money," said
Kara Hill, Director of Housing for The Salvation Army. "Many people
struggle from month to month and they may not pay a utility bill one
month so they can pay rent instead. For the most part, people do a great
job of juggling everything. But something as simple as a day care issue,
an illness, a death in the family, a separation, or a domestic issue can
set a household back and put them in a position where they need
But Hill warns that an even larger issue is facing Union County: a lack
of affordable housing for the growing number of people working the
growing number of low wage jobs in the community. Hill, who oversees The
Salvation Army's housing programs in Franklin, Delaware, and Union
Counties, says that housing costs should not exceed 30 percent of a
household's income. That said, there aren't many options for families
whose major breadwinners work in retail or service positions. A typical
two-bedroom apartment rents for about $600 a month.
"The major difference that I see in Union County is the lack of
subsidized housing," Hill said. "That is housing based on a household
income. There is no housing authority in Union County, like there is in
Franklin and Delaware, which distributes subsidized housing vouchers and
helps bring money into a community to produce subsidized housing. The
lack of affordable housing is greater in Union County and this effects
people that are working in low wage jobs, causing a lack of housing
Hill says the population boom expected to continue in the county will
only worsen the problem, overwhelming The Salvation Army's ability to
fill a social service gap that will have grown to a gaping hole if not
addressed. She suggests that along with subsidized housing, a Federal
Housing Authority in Union County is needed. Additional needs include
housing assistance for those who are already homeless and special
housing options for people coping with mental illness or drug and
alcohol issues.
"People need and deserve to have access to safe, affordable housing,"
Hill said. "This community needs to invest in affordable housing and low
income housing. Affordable housing needs to be available for the single
wage earning household that works at McDonald's or Wal-Mart."
In the meantime, The Salvation Army continues its role providing help
for households that qualify.
"The best part about any of it is knowing that when you're down and out,
there's somebody that will actually help," Conn said.
.2005 United Way allocation was $21,500.
.During the first three quarters of 2005, 304 households had been
assisted, totaling more than $123,000 in aid.
.The program was founded in October 2003 when the United Way of Union
County became its first local funder and opened its doors in January
.It is the direct result of two years of collaboration among members of
the Union County Housing Coalition to provide a coordinated approach to
housing assistance in Union County.
.It is based on a successful program The Salvation Army operates in
Delaware County.

Judge may soon be full-time position
Municipal  court Judge Michael Grigsby clears hurdle
Marysville Municipal Court Judge Michael Grigsby is one step closer to
being on even ground with the rest of Ohio municipal courts.
On Sept. 8 Marysville City Council passed a resolution, which requested
the creation of a full-time judicial position for the Marysville
Municipal Court. The issue was then sent on for consideration at the
state level.
In a recent release from the state House of Representatives, House Bill
336 for the Marysville Court was passed in a unanimous 88-0 vote on
Grigsby said that from here, the issue will have to go to the senate
floor for consideration and then it will have to be introduced for
Governor Bob Taft to sign. Then there will be a 90 day waiting period
until the change will be effective.
Grigsby said his court is one of only four left in the state that has a
county-wide jurisdiction and yet only has a part-time judge. He said the
issue is primarily a conflict of interest being both a lawyer and a
Although Grigsby will have to close his law office on North Main Street,
he said, not much will change regarding his role as judge. He will still
continue to do his job each day as he always does - until the cases are
The back history on the switch from part-time to full-time has been
gradual since 2000.
In a letter Grigsby wrote to Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas
Moyer, he stated that that when he began as Municipal court judge in
2000 the population of Union County was 40,909. Today it is 45,233.
"We continue to grow at a rate of 1000 new residents per year," he
wrote. "I estimate by the election in 2011 the county's population will
exceed 50,000."
In that time, his job has moved from three mornings a week to five days
a week. He additionally makes himself available throughout the day to
hear search warrants, temporary protection order motions, sign driving
privileges, and meet with staff and attorneys.
"In effect, the court is a full-time court, with part-time status,"
Grigsby wrote.
But the main issue for the switch in job status has more to do with a
part-time judge's conflict of interest.
"The judge must recuse himself from the cases that involve his clients,
his acquaintances or associates on a regular basis. Every lawyer who
becomes a judge expects conflicts."
Grigsby explained that the longer a part-time judge serves the more
frequent the conflicts of interest become.
Conversion to the full-time status will not result in any staff increase
or expansion of court facilities. The judges salary will be the only
increase in expense because of the change.
To date, Grigsby has received the support of the Union County
Commissioners, Marysville City Council, Marysville Police Chief Floyd
Golden, Marysville Mayor Thomas Kruse, City Administrator Kathy House,
Marysville City Law Director Tim Aslaner, Richwood Mayor William Nibert
and Plain City Mayor Sandra Adkins.

Repeat domestic violence offender gets three years in prison
From J-T staff reports:
 A Union County jury deliberated two and a half hours before convicting
David A. Shaffer, 13571 U.S Route 36, Marysville, of domestic violence
on Wednesday.
Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard Parrott sentenced Shaffer, 38, to
three years in prison following his conviction.
"I think he knew he would be convicted," said Deputy Aaron McKinnon, the
arresting officer.  "After the jury went out to deliberate, Shaffer
asked the dispatcher to call the Tri-County jail and asked them to keep
a dinner for him. I guess he knew he was going back."
Shaffer was accused of assaulting his live in girlfriend on July 18 at
approximately 7 p.m. at the couple's home. Shaffer had allegedly been
drinking since 9 am that morning. After the two became involved in an
argument, Shaffer allegedly became enraged, throwing beer bottles, wood
and a chair at the victim, striking her twice. Shaffer then allegedly
grabbed a steak knife, raised it over his head, advanced on her and
threatened to kill her. The victim escaped the residence and called a
friend, who called 911. Because Shaffer had been convicted of two prior
domestic violence offenses in the State of Virginia in 1998, he was
charged with a third degree felony, which carried a maximum penalty of
five years in prison.
"This case was difficult, because the victim declined to fully cooperate
in the prosecution," said David Phillips, Union County Prosecuting
Attorney. "I give credit to Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Terry
Hord, and VOCA director Kathy Nichols for their perseverance in seeing
this prosecution through. The victim made herself unavailable to us. We
were told that she'd moved out of the State of Ohio. They persisted and,
with the assistance of the Union County Sheriff's Office, tracked her
Phillips noted that his office is tough on domestic assault cases,
despite the difficulties often encountered in prosecution.
"We've adopted a 'no drop' policy ? victims of domestic violence are
often under pressure not to pursue these cases, whether it's financial
pressure, guilt, remorse or use of threats against the victim," said
Phillips, "But, we'll prosecute the case if at all humanly possible.
Prosecution protects the victim from this pressure, and helps break the
cycle of violence in the family."
In this case, Phillips noted, the defendant and the victim had hours of
phone calls and visits he was in jail.
During the trial the victim was declared to be a 'hostile witness' by
the judge.
"Having the victim declared to be hostile let me introduce the victim's
prior testimony and statements from when she was cooperative with law
enforcement," Hord said.
Hord noted that this, in addition to the testimony of a neighbor and
friend of the victim helped secure the conviction.
"Fortunately, some of this crime took place outside the home where a
neighbor witnessed it" Hord said. "The victim also made statements to a
friend about the assault.  That friend also came forward to testify"
Hord said. "This cooperation was the key to the successful prosecution
of this crime."
Hord also said Schaffer had run away after the assault.
"When the deputies arrived, Shaffer had fled into the woods," Hord
reported, "So a dog had to be used to find him. The dog located him
hiding a few hundred yards away in a muddy patch of weeds.  Deputy
Robinson, the K-9 handler, threatened to let the dog loose to bite
Shaffer to get him to surrender and eventually he did.  But, it was not
until Cpl. Warden threatened to use his Taser on Shaffer that he
The defendant was taken into custody without further incident and was
held in the Tri-County jail until his trial. Shaffer will be transferred
to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to serve his prison

Residents could be double-dipped for new Industrial Parkway water line
The delicate balance of trying to bring Marysville into the future,
while trying to alleviate the price tag for existing residents, received
a lot of discussion at the Thursday night Marysville City Council
A topic that received the most attention was a section in the 2006
Capital Budget ordinance, which was up for second reading. On pages 102
and 103 of the budget it describes how $800,000 will be going toward
installing a water line down Industrial Parkway. The line will go in
right next to the $110 million sewer line project set to connect the
city with the future wastewater treatment plant.
Council members Dan Fogt, David Burke, John Marshall and Mark Reams all
expressed some concern about how the $800,000 price tag is going to be
paid for out of the city's water tap-in fee funds.
Essentially, Fogt said, that fund came out of residents' pockets when
they first tapped into city service lines. So not only will they have
paid for the tap-in fee but also will end up paying for the service rate
hikes brought on by future development.
Burke said it is double dipping from residents' pockets.
Mayor Tom Kruse explained that the main issue is that the city will be
digging 45 feet into the ground in order to install the sewer lines to
the future plant. The line is going through numerous easements that have
to be paid for, including farms, private property and even digging
across Route 33. If the water line doesn't go in at the same time, the
city will be forced to dig into the ground a second time, disturbing the
same easements. It would be very expensive and bad for the property
owners. Doing it all at the same time just makes sense.
Council president John Gore said no one is opposed to doing both lines
at the same time, it is just the way the city intends to pay for the
water line. Between council members and city administration, suggestions
were given for how to handle the situation:
. Include the $800,000 price tag within the $110 million cost for the
wastewater treatment plant project. That way there will be a specific
way to fund it.
. Go ahead with the water line project as planned and have future
development pay back the cost of the project. This is the route Kruse
proposed, although it was noted that it could take 15 to 20 years before
that money would come back. This could be done by creating a surcharge
for new developments in order to tap into the water service line.
Council members finally suggested adding the issue onto the Dec. 7
special council meeting agenda so they can discuss it further.
In other business, an issue that brought some previous complaints from
council members was discussed again. The public hearing was held on an
ordinance creating a five percent monthly water rate hike for city
During the last meeting, council members finally decided to proceed with
the public hearing and then table the third reading until the Water
Master Plan is completed in early December. At that time they would have
more information on how to proceed. The third reading will take place at
the Dec. 15 meeting.
Gore said that a special council meeting will be held Dec. 7 at 6 p.m.
in council chambers to discuss the issue in more detail.
Fogt raised the issue of apartment complexes and other facilities that
have multiple residences tapped into a single water meter. It equals out
to "quite a discount" and should be looked into further.
In other discussions:
. The resolution authorizing Marysville to purchase the water
distribution and sewage collection facilities serving portions of Union
County was passed in the final reading.
Reams said he still had concerns about the agreement. Namely, the city
would give up its rights to require annexation for connecting to the
city's utilities. He said developments could go up just outside of the
city limits in areas not included in future plans and then tap into
facilities. Then Marysville would be stuck dealing with the development,
but without adequate funding.
Councilman Ed Pleasant said the Union County commissioners unanimously
approved the agreement during a recent meeting. He said the way the city
and county came together was impressive and he urged members to pass the
resolution, which council ultimately passed.
. The ordinance to limit the powers of eminent domain use in Marysville
will go back to a public hearing at the next council meeting.
Fogt requested amendments to the language, which would only allow the
use of eminent domain for the purpose of economic development with an
affirmative vote by six out of the seven council members. Governor Bob
Taft recently placed a moratorium on eminent domain until 2007,
effective immediately. Kruse said the amendment for the three-fourths
vote was "a reasonable approach." The amendment passed council and will
return for second reading at the Dec. 1 meeting.
. Council received letters from a second grade class at Edgewood
Elementary, concerning the issue of smoking in the Marysville community.

Gore read one of the letters, in which a student explained how second
hand smoking in restaurants is harmful to the human body and should not
be allowed in public places. He said there were numerous letters
addressing similar concerns, written by other students and submitted to
Gore referred the letters to the city Public Safety Committee for
review, adding that the state of Ohio is making a statewide smoking ban
a future ballot issue. Then he thanked the students for taking the time
to write the letters to council.
. Councilman Nevin Taylor expressed his goodwill toward the future city
council members, as he will not be returning to council next year as a
result of the recent elections.

Area Christmas activities planned
From J-T staff reports:
With the Thanksgiving turkey expected next week, Christmas celebrations
are soon to follow.
Santa Claus is scheduled for several holiday visits throughout the
county beginning Sunday, Nov. 27 at the 1 p.m. parade in Milford Center.

Uptown Marysville businesses will open their doors from 5 to 8 p.m. on
Monday, Nov. 28 for the traditional Christmas Walk. A Christmas tree
will be lit at 6 p.m. in front of the Union County Courthouse.
Santa, elves, toy soldiers and even Mr. and Mrs. Frosty the Snowman are
expected, along with dancers from the Patty Beery School and carolers.
Carriage rides from Plum to Court streets will also be available, along
with a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to be redeemed at a
participating business. Visitors can stroll from business to business
and even fill out a wish list.
Rick's Grill will be serving pulled pork sandwiches along with hot
chocolate and coffee while other refreshments will be available at
various businesses.
Area business owner Kim Hott said the traditional walk is a chance for
residents to enjoy a small town event and get to know their neighbors
and see what  Uptown has to offer.
"It's a time to slow down, to say hi to your neighbors," Hott said.
The next Santa sighting will be Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Richwood Area
Business Association's Christmas parade beginning at 4 p.m.
Christmas Under the Clock in Plain City is Saturday, Dec. 3 from 5 to 8
The Elks Christmas Parade in Marysville is Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m.
"Forever Christmas" is a special two-day celebration of Christmas
anthems and lighthearted collection of favorite traditional Christmas
songs with dancing. The program is one of two major concerts presented
by Dee Winters' Singsations. The Singsations are a community-based group
of 65 singers that were originally formed for the state's bicentennial
The free program begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9 and 4 p.m. Saturday,
Dec. 10 in the Union County Veterans Memorial.
The Care Train Auction is slated for Saturday, Dec. 10 at McAuliffe's
Other area holiday events include the Alum Creek Fantasy of Lights, a
display of more than 1 million lights on Hollenback Road. It opens
Friday, Nov. 18  and runs through Friday, Dec. 30.
This year, holiday seeker's can expect to see more than 125 displays
including some with animation.
"It is a combination of beautiful works of art in lights, giant
twinkling sculptures, brilliant tunnels, cascading arches and
unbelievable animated themed areas - truly a spectacular Fantasy of
Lights," says Mike Howard, president of Midwest Display Inc., producer
of many of the displays.
Once visitors reach the Marina they can get out and stretch, munch on
free cookies and warm up with hot chocolate, donated by Nestle's of
Marysville, while their little ones visit with Santa. The Marina shop
which is transformed in true holiday fashion offers many unique gift
items and photos with Santa. All proceeds from the photos along with a
portion of the gate benefits Recreation Unlimited.
For more information, directions, or sponsorship opportunities call
Steve Cross at (714) 369-2900 before the show begins or 740-548-6056
during show times.
In Logan County, Castle Mac-A-Cheek, one of the historic Piatt Castles,
will be decorated for the holiday season and open for tours Friday, Nov.
25 through Sunday, Jan. 1 from noon to 4 p.m. daily. The Castle will be
closed Sunday, Dec. 25.
Join the Castles in December at Mac-A-Cheek for a special holiday
program: Traditions Over Time. Discover how present day traditions
developed over time while enjoying the antique ornaments and lights from
the collection of John Carl Giosi.
In addition to the decorated Castle, on Friday, Nov. 25 there will be
Caroling in the Castle, a concert by The Schola Camera, an acapella trio
at 7:30 p.m. at Castle Mac-A-cheek. The cost is $8 per ticket, seating
is limited and reservations are required.
On three Saturdays, Dec. 10, 17 and 24 at 10:30 a.m., Castle Mac-A-Cheek
will present Christmas Mornings, a time for storytelling, Victorian-era
games and holiday activities from the past. Cost is $8 per person.
For more information on the Christmas at the Castles or to reserve your
seat for Caroling in the Castle, please call (937) 465-2821. You can
also visit for more information. The Piatt Castles
are located one mile east of West Liberty on Route 245.
Marmon Valley Farm, 7754 Route 292 in Zanesfield, will once again be
hosting their Country Christmas on Fridays, Dec. 2 and 9 from 6:30 until
9 p.m. and Saturdays, Dec. 2 and 10 from 5:30 until 9 p.m.
Spend an evening on the farm and enjoy a unique wagon ride tour that
captures the true Christmas Story put to life in a dramatic
presentation. See costumed characters re-enact the event leading up to
the birth of Jesus Christ, complete with live animals at the manger.
Afterwards warm up with hot cocoa and Christmas cookies...and join in on
a few Christmas carols. Tours leave every fifteen minutes.
Reservations are strongly recommended. The cost is $5 per person or $20
per family. Come early and enjoy pony rides and indoor activities at 5
Marmon Valley Farm is located just off Route 33 at the 292 exit, 10
minutes from Bellefontaine. To reserve your space, call (937) 593-8000.
For more information on A Country Christmas or on Marmon Valley Farm,
visit or call (937) 593-8000.
Christmas at Orr Mansion will be celebrated through an open house on
Saturday Dec. 3 and 10 and Sunday, Dec. 4 and 11 from 1 to 5 p.m.
Come to the Orr Mansion and Logan County Museum to learn more about
Logan County's history while strolling the museum and mansion filled
with Christmas decor. Many of the Christmas trees in the museum and
ballroom are decorated by local Logan County organizations and school
The Orr Mansion and Logan County Museum is located at 521 East Columbus
Ave., in Bellefontaine. For more information you can call the museum at
(937) 593-7557 or visit them online at
The Holland Theatre will again be offering a selection of Delft china
Christmas ornaments for sale. The purchase of an ornament will help the
operation and restoration of your historic Holland Theatre. This year's
collection will include a bell, star, windmill, snowman, angel and a
heart ornament, as well as the return of some of the more popular
ornaments from last year. The ornaments made their debut at the Logan
County Art League's Winter Faire in early November.
The ornaments will also be available for purchase at all of the
performances during November and December in the lobby of the Holland
Theatre. Or you may stop in at the Holland office at 127 East Columbus
Ave., on Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to make your
purchases. For more information please call the Holland Theatre at (937)

Flu clinic to be used as exercise
From J-T staff reports:
The Union County Health Department will use its Saturday flu clinic at
Navin Elementary School to execute a mass vaccination exercise. The
exercise will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
During the clinic, health department staff and volunteers will process
and vaccinate attendees according to mass vaccination protocols.
"We have received calls from residents asking what the health department
is doing to address the threat of a possible avian flu pandemic," said
Martin Tremmel, Union County Health Department health commissioner.
"This exercise is an answer to those questions."
Tremmel is calling on all Union County residents to help the health
department prepare for a potential pandemic.
"The more residents who attend the Nov. 19 flu clinic, the more
successful the exercise will be and the readier we will be to respond in
an emergency," Tremmel said.
Avian flu, commonly known as "bird flu," has spread rapidly spread
across bird populations in Asia during 2004 and 2005.
While the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control
monitor the situation on a global level, local responses are necessary
too, according to the health department, and have begun as well.
Those who would like more information on the exercise or avian flu
should contact the health department at 645-2047.

Care Train auction is Dec. 10
From J-T staff reports:
The Care Train of Union County will hold its annual fund-raising auction
Saturday, Dec. 10, at McAuliffe's Ace Hardware.
The auction will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants and
supporters will place bids on different auction items donated from area
businesses and individuals. Activities will be captured live on the
local TimeWarner Cable news channels 6 and 9. Master of ceremonies will
be Mike Ramsey.
Donations of toys may be brought to the main drop-off point at
Marysville Honda, which is one of the presenters this year.
Honda MotorSports also is a presenter.
Care Train leadership sponsors are The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company,
Memorial Hospital of Union County and the Medical Staff of Memorial
"Everyone gets involved from politicians to community leaders who
definitely support our mission," said Dave Laslow, Care Train founder.
For almost two decades the Care Train has been working with volunteers
to provide children and their families with food and gifts during the
holiday season.
Working in cooperation with the Community Action Agency of Union County,
the mission of the Care Train is to identify those who are facing
financial difficulties and provide them with toys, food and other
essentials to help bring a sense of joy during the holiday season.
 "When people ask me why I do this, I can simply say my goal is to make
every child and family smile and enjoy the holidays together," Laslow
It's also a great way for businesses to show involvement and take an
active interest in making sure everyone's holidays are memorable,
according to Laslow.
Care Train volunteers hope to surpass last year's fund-raising efforts
of $50,000.
Sponsorship information may be obtained by calling 642-4986.
Those interested in additional information about the Care Train may
visit the Web site

Tap-in fee increase eyed
Developers may help pay for infrastructure improvements
Tuesday night Marysville city officials tried to come to some common
ground on how to make future development pay for itself.
City council's finance committee, made up on administrator Kathy House,
councilmen Ed Pleasant and Dan Fogt, along with finance director John
Morehart and his assistant John Green, went over several ideas to make
this a reality.
In the end they agreed that putting legislation before council this
Thursday is too soon to start raising tap-in fees or to create impact
fees for new developments in the city. The committee also agreed that
residents are not happy with recent rate increases in wastewater and
water services over the past year and something needs to get moving.
"The public wants to see action now," Fogt said.
On city council, Fogt has been a strong proponent of increasing tap in
fees, which developers pay to the city in order to connect with water
and sewer service lines. Creating impact fees would require that
developers create infrastructure improvements to the areas future
developments are going into.
Pleasant said he understood mayor Tom Kruse is "not excited about the
idea" of raising tap-in fees, mainly because the mayor is concerned with
the legality issues and what surrounding cities are doing.
Morehart said one problem with the new fees is that the city could risk
"pricing yourself out of the market. It gets to the point where it's too
Fogt said he is not concerned with what developers have to pay.
"I think there are people out there looking to see what we're going to
do," Pleasant said about the issue. "Our frustration is that we want to
see some kind of direction."
Fogt said councilman David Burke suggested using inflation to base what
annual tap-in fee increases would be.
What they all agreed upon is setting up a five-year plan as a schedule
to look at rate changes.
But House said the question is how soon do they do something about
tap-in fees? She prefers waiting to look into tap-in fees because the
city sits on vague ground right now. A new wastewater treatment plant is
going to be built in 2006, but the size is still up in the air. The
initial plan was for a 6 Million-Gallon Per Day facility. But if the
price is right they may build an 8-MGD facility. The city won't know the
answer until spring 2006.
House recommended waiting two months until putting any funds into
studying the current and future tap-in charges. The city may have more
information on the treatment plant size to go with then and will also
have the information on the Malcolm Pirnie Water Master Plan, expected
to come out in early December.
Pleasant said he could agree to that, but at the same time, dialogue
should remain open.
"Let's pursue this," he said. "Read it as a hot issue."
Although Fogt still prefers enacting tap-in fee increases and creating
impact fees as soon as possible, he said he is willing to support
waiting another two months.
But he would also like the city to look into the issue of multiple
housing units and the tap-in fees tied to those facilities, such as
condominiums or apartment complexes. If eight condominiums are sharing
one meter, he said 1/8 is "far less than regular tap in fees."
Morehart said meter size plays a significant role in the tap-in price
for developers, so lower rates may not be the case.

Area holiday meal enters 12th year
A Thanksgiving meal replete with all the trimmings will be offered to
members of the Marysville community Nov. 24, beginning at 11 a.m. and
continuing until 2 p.m.
The meal will be served at the Catholic Community Center at Our Lady of
Lourdes Church, 1033 W. Fifth St., and is available to those who have no
one with whom to share a meal or who are financially in need.
Supported by various churches and community volunteers, the meal has
been going strong for about 12 years, according to Julie Whipple, one of
the organizers.
Last year, more than 1,200 of Union County's shut-ins, seniors and those
who were struggling financially took advantage of the roasted turkey,
green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, canned fruits, mashed
potatoes, dinner rolls or bread that were served. The meal also included
homemade pumpkin, apple, cherry or peach pies made by a dedicated group
at First Presbyterian Church.
Another 500 took advantage of the carryout service.
"The main thing is the dinner was started with the intention of helping
shut-ins, and those who are in need," Whipple said.
She said she is trying to discourage those who do not have financial
need, who are not homebound or who are not seniors from taking advantage
of the meal.
"Lonely is a different thing," she said. "That's what I want."
There is no charge and take-out and delivery options are available.
Those wishing meals are encouraged to sign up early, Whipple said.
Those partaking of the meal also will be given a bag of groceries,
including candy donated by Nestles, she said.
"People in Marysville really know how to step up to the plate. They
really know how to take care of each other," Whipple said. "It brings
tears to your eyes."
Donations are welcome and may be delivered Monday through Nov. 23 from 8
a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Catholic Community Center. Frozen turkeys are
still being accepting and may be delivered Sunday between 1 and 7 p.m.
and Monday up to 9 p.m.
Volunteers also are needed, Whipple said, to cook, deliver meals, serve
and clean up from Monday "all the way through Friday."
"You would not believe the number of people who turn out and give their
time. Young, old, teenagers, senior citizens, everybody. It's a
beautiful thing," she said.
Cash donations of course are appreciated, Whipple said. Checks may be
made payable to Community Thanksgiving Dinner. And the Kroger Co. will
hold any gift cards that donors may choose to purchase. The cards are
slipped into the bags of groceries given away.
"What a generous, generous thing," Whipple said.
To receive meals, call Linda Tipple at 644-9072; to volunteer for meal
delivery, call Nancy Padovano at 644-6331 or Elizabeth Grisham at
642-4125; or to make monetary donations, contact Beth Marshall at
246-6125. Other volunteers should call Whipple at 642-9795.
Whipple said she has hopes to create a non-profit agency to oversee the
community Thanksgiving in the future.
"As one of the founding members, it's like a baby you've helped raise,"
she said of the event. "You want to see it continue ... it allows a lot
more growth."

Richwood votes down policy
Council votes 3-2 against adopting county-wide incentive plan
Richwood Council made it clear Monday night that when it comes to luring
in new businesses a level playing field is not what's best for the
Council voted 3-2 against adopting the Union County Chamber of
Commerce's Economic Development Incentive Policy, a document a year in
the making that would have spelled out exactly what types of abatements
business could expect when locating in the county.
Union County and the city of Marysville are already on board with the
policy, as are the  Marysville and Fairbanks school districts. The issue
was to go before the North Union School Board next Monday, but that will
not happen now that Richwood has opted out of the plan.
Economic development director Eric Phillips touted the document as a
professional approach to dealing with prospective businesses. When
approached by a business looking for incentives the document would have
clearly spelled out what could be offered.
"This is our portfolio of incentives that we can present to businesses,"
Phillips said.
Phillips said the plan would have eliminated the need to bring affected
school districts and municipalities together with the county to iron out
what type of abatement package would be offered.
He noted that MAI Manufacturing, the first occupant of Richwood's new
industrial park, would have received the same 75-percent, 10-year
abatement which it currently operates under if the plan were in place.
Phillips noted that the village council had the right to not extend an
abatement to any business it did not approve of.
But Richwood council members voiced concerns over setting uniform
economic incentives. Councilman George Showalter asked why the village
would want to offer the same incentives as Marysville, when the city has
a better location.
Council member Arlene Blue said that with the abatements set, the
village has few options when trying to lure in a new business.
"The only thing we have to offer is cheap ground," Blue said.
Phillips said the plan would benefit the entire county by eliminating
early negotiations, which could span up to four weeks. He also noted
that Richwood did have lower employee and payroll limits, meaning a
smaller business could receive a larger incentive in the village.
"The goal is not to pit village against city," he said.
Peg Wiley moved to adopt the policy and Jim Ford seconded the motion.
Wiley and Ford then voted to adopt the policy while Showalter, Blue and
Wade McCalf voted against the issue. Councilman Scott Jerew was absent
from the meeting.
Phillips then asked the council where it stood on the issue. He asked if
the village wanted to try to iron out its issues with the policy or
simply forget it.
"I can't see why we wouldn't want this," Wiley said.
Other council members felt differently and said their vote stood as the
answer to Phillips question. Phillips said he would proceed with the
policy as if it covered other areas of the county, but omitted Richwood.

In other business, council:
.Heard from Phillips that he will be applying for a grant that would
allow for the development of the second phase of the Richwood Industrial
Park. He said the remaining 21 acres of the park would need to be zoned
for manufacturing rather than its current agricultural designation to be
eligible for the grant. Council voted 5-0 to begin the process of
rezoning the land.
.Learned from village administrator Ray Miller that a blower at the
sewer plant quit working and could cost more than $3,000 to bring back
.Learned that the village chipping program is finished for the season.
.Viewed new signs that will be installed at the Richwood Park which will
list the rules.
.Discussed a problem with untagged and junk vehicles found around the
village. It was decided to send the village zoning officer and a police
officer around the village to deal with the problems.

United Way campaign critical
Organization hoping to bridge gap as fund drive nears completion
Editor's note: This is the 12th in a weekly series of articles submitted
by the United Way of Union County that will run during the course of its
annual campaign. Each week will feature a different United Way program.
This week's article features the progress of the current United Way

There are just more than two weeks remaining in the annual United Way
campaign and the local non-profit finds itself scrambling to reach its
ambitious goal of raising $775,000 to support local social services in
Pledges totaling 54 percent of that amount have been received in the
United Way office. Projections for workplace campaigns still being
conducted or yet to report take the estimated 2005 campaign tally to
If the $65,000 gap between the projected results and the campaign goal
does not close, funding cuts will have to be made among United Way's 25
Member Agencies. The projected shortfall comes during a time of growth
in Union County and many United Way agencies are already being stretched
to the limit to provide services to the increasing number of people
accessing them.
"United Way programs have been there to help people through hard times
for the last 46 years," said Dave Bezusko, Campaign and Public Relations
Director for the United Way of Union County. "This year, we need someone
to help United Way out of a hard spot."
Citing the fact that Union County's population continues to increase,
Bezusko lamented the fact that the growth of giving had not yet caught
up to the growth of the need among United Way agencies. Between July and
September alone, The Salvation Army assisted 304 families to maintain
their housing, providing rent, utility assistance, and budget
management. Since June, the Union County Cancer Society has cut in half
the amount it can provide for reimbursement to cancer patients for
various services. The most extreme case of need is at the Union County
Personal Needs Pantry, where usage ballooned to nearly 500 families
served in October, up from an average of 400 a month at the start of
2005. The pantry has run out of money for the year and plans to close
its doors in December before reopening in January.
"Another one of our Member Agencies sold its van to pay the heating bill
from last winter," Bezusko added. "Robbing Peter to pay Paul, they now
have no transportation. In two-thirds of those households assisted by
Salvation Army over the summer, there is a person working. These people
our agencies serve are not deadbeats. They're honest, hard-working folks
who have fallen upon hard times. Most of these families include
children. Or they're senior citizens on fixed incomes. But the bottom
line is that they don't bring home enough to make ends meet.
"I think a lot of people think we're crying wolf when we say the sky is
falling for some of these social services," he said. "But the fact of
the matter is that it is. Many of these agencies operate hand-to-mouth,
year-to-year with United Way funding. We haven't made goal for three
years. That goal is not just a fancy number. It's an actual amount
that's needed to keep these places up and running. Money is starting to
run dry and we're seeing the effects when one of our agencies has to
close its doors."
If United Way doesn't make its goal this year, it won't be because of a
lack of generosity or a lack of trying. Giving is up at 19 of the 25
workplaces that have reported where employees give via payroll
deduction. Associate giving to United Way of Union County was at an
all-time high at Honda of America, where $160,122 was pledged and
matched by a $80,061 corporate gift. Record levels of giving have been
reported at Nestle R&D, Memorial Hospital of Union County, Marysville
Schools, Honda Transmission, Fairbanks Schools, the Union County
Engineer's Office, the Board of MR/DD, National City Bank, Select Sires,
Sky Bank, and the City of Marysville, where volunteers worked hard to
spread the United Way's message.
But Bezusko says those gains have been countered by large, unanticipated
decreases in giving at a handful of supporters and competing charitable
interests stemming from Hurricane Katrina relief, which diverted money
and attention away from local needs at the start of the campaign.
"If this were a football game, I'd tell you we're down by two touchdowns
at the two-minute warning," Bezusko said. "It doesn't look good on the
scoreboard right now. But there are more than 30 workplace campaigns yet
to report. We have about a dozen new businesses working on campaigns for
the first time. And there's always hope that a $50,000 check will fall
from the sky. As long as there's time on the clock, we're going to keep
working and see if we can't recover an onside kick. Or score a really
big check."
.United Way raised $740,805 during the 2004 campaign.
.The money raised by United Way stays in the local community to support
its Member Agencies, unless designated elsewhere by individual donors.
. United Way's funding decisions are recommended by a committee of
volunteers comprised of local donors. These volunteers review funding
requests, visit each member agency, and determine how to allocate the
undesignated funds of each campaign. The United Way's volunteer board of
trustees votes to approve these recommendations in January.
.United Way's administrative and fundraising percentage is 14 percent.
The Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio's Standards of Charitable
Accountability state that percentage should not exceed 35 percent.
.Businesses interested in making tax-deductible corporate gifts to
extending the giving opportunity to their employees by conducting a
workplace campaign can contact United Way at 644-8381 for more
information. Individuals can invest in the United Way campaign by
sending a check to United Way of Union County, P.O. Box 145, Marysville,
OH, 43040, or by calling 644-8381 for more information. Information is
also available online at

Suspect caught in Union County after injuring Hilliard lawman
From J-T staff reports:
A Bellefontaine man sits in jail after injuring a police officer with
his car and then fleeing police across two counties.
Bryan Coulter, 35, was arrested Saturday and charges are pending for
fleeing and eluding police and felonious assault.
According to Union County Sheriff's deputies, a radio report went out at
2:30 p.m. Saturday that the driver of a vehicle had struck and injured a
Hilliard police officer and then fled the scene on Route 161.
The call went out to Union County deputies and alerts went to local
village police stations.
Sheriff's deputies Scott Anspach and T.C. Underwood soon located the
suspected vehicle in the area of Industrial Parkway at Corporate
Boulevard. The suspect came swerving up behind Anspach's cruiser and
struck its rear end and then veered off the road, striking a a utility
At that point Coulter was arrested by Union County sheriff's deputies.
Medics from Washington Township arrived at the scene for possible
injuries, but Coulter refused treatment.
Lt. Bob Parkey of the Hilliard Police Department reported this morning
on the initial incident that caused the chase to begin. He said Hilliard
officer Kris Settles, a five-year veteran of the department, had stopped
Coulter's vehicle on Route 161 at 2:14 p.m. for suspicious conditions.
Parkey said that when Settles asked the suspect to step out of the
vehicle, Coulter accelerated, dragging officer Settles along the ground.

"(Settles) estimated that he was dragged about 15 feet," Parkey said.
When Coulter accelerated, the movement threw the officer to ground at a
fast speed, and he suffered trauma wounds. He was transported from the
scene by medics to Riverside Hospital in Columbus.
Parkey said he is expected to come back to work in a few days, but
remains in hospital care for observation and tests.

Non-support case nets three-year prison sentence
From J-T staff reports:
Jeffrey Feucht didn't pay his court-ordered child support for four
On Wednesday, he was sentenced to prison for three years for that crime.

"He owed over $30,000 in support to his three children," Union County
Prosecuting Attorney, David Phillips said, "Judge (Richard) Parrot was
right when he told the defendant that, 'He'd begotten them, and then
forgotten them.'"
The sentence was handed down after a Union County Jury convicted Feucht
of 11 counts of criminal non-support.
The case was tried by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Melissa Chase.
 "At one point during the trial, Mr. Feucht testified that he'd suffered
from amnesia, and forgotten that he had children," Chase said. "I found
this testimony unbelievable, though he surely forgot to adequately
support his children."
"We've made criminal prosecution of child support a priority case,"
Phillips said. "This case was one of the 'Union County Child Support
Round-Up' cases indicted in September of this year. The success of this
prosecution is a direct result of the cooperation between law
enforcement, Child Support Enforcement Agency and the prosecutor's
office. Mr. Feucht was one of the first arrested by the police in the
"I hope this case sends a message to those who won't pay their child
support," said Joe Float, director of the Union County Department of Job
and Family Services. "Our agency does everything it can to enforce the
court's orders, and we have an excellent success rate.  But some parents
won't comply, and our only option is to ask the prosecuting attorney to
file a criminal case. We are very pleased that Mr. Phillips' office is
representing the agency, it streamlined the enforcement process, so that
parents who don't pay are brought to justice."


Musician gives lessons in harmony
The harmonica has always held a special place in the hearts of blues
lovers. But local music teacher Frank Bard is quick to point out the
instrument can fit into any genre.
Bard should know, because the man has dedicated the past dozen years
perfecting his performance on the portable instrument. These days he is
passing that knowledge on to budding musicians in Marysville.
The musician began playing music at the age of twenty, first picking up
the banjo, later adding guitar and harmonica. Working in a factory
full-time, he gave banjo lessons for several years. Only when he retired
from his factory job did he begin exploring music full time.
Bard of Columbus is now offering his teaching services on harmonica and
a whole range of instruments he has excelled in at Marysville's newest
music store, J & L Music in downtown Marysville.
Articles have been written regionally on the man known as a championship
harmonica player. He has been teaching harmonica, dobro and banjo at J &
L Music for the past several years in Urbana and made the move with them
to teach at the Marysville store.
Bard has the distinction of being 2004 Blues Harmonica Player of the
Year, first place winner of the Ohio State Harmonic Championships in
both 2002 and 2003 and is part of the national harmonica League of Great
He met up with the J & L owners, Jeff and Linda Richards, several years
ago and has enjoyed lending his talents to the store.
J & L opened in Marysville on Oct. 1 and has already filled a niche in
town by offering an array of modern equipment for both professional
musicians, beginners and school marching band students.
Within minutes at the store, Bard was pointing out little known facts
for better harmonica performance - focusing on individual holes for
notes is easier than trying to go for several chords and hitting a full
Jeff Richards said J & L Music sells guitars, mandolins, violins, drums,
bass guitars, and pretty much any other instrument anyone could want -
aside from full pianos and organs. Music lessons are also available for
almost every instrument they sell, including piano.
"From the beginning we always hoped to open a store in Marysville,"
Linda said. "Even when we opened up in Urbana."
She said the process has involved waiting for the right opportunity to
find a proper location to open up in downtown Marysville that would
serve their needs. The idea of being the local "Mom and Pop" music store
in town is something the Richards have always looked forward to.
In Urbana, J & L Music opened in May 2003 and quickly became known as
the place to go for all kinds of music needs.
Aside from equipment and music lessons, Linda said her husband is well
known as the man to go to in Urbana for instrument repairs.
Even as Linda spoke, Jeff asked about a place in town where he could buy
clear nail polish he uses in a mixture to fix cracks in guitars. She
joked that perhaps he shouldn't let everyone know he is looking to buy
nail polish.
The time and energy the two have spent gearing up for expanding their
store to the Marysville area has already begun to pay off.
Customers have been coming in steady, Linda said, to the point that more
people might be added to mind the store during the day. Music lesson
classes have also grown to 30 to 40 students and are filling up fast.
Linda said the growth started at the Urbana store much in the same way.
J & L Music started with one lesson room and soon expanded to include
four more rooms in order to keep up with customers.
New this year is Bard's recently published harmonica instructional book.
For the price of one private lesson, $16, his newest harmonica book is
included. It is a 64-page book complete with tabs and an audio CD with
guitar rhythm backup.
Other services offered at J & L Music are PA rentals and sound system
rentals. The Richards will also match regional prices.
"We try to keep local business local," Linda said.
Another option for local musicians is the Richard's own Riversong
Recording, a professional recording studio located in Urbana. Musicians
looking to make recordings can contact J & L Music in Marysville at 124
N. Main St. or call 644-2191.

Flu shot clinic has healthy turnout
From J-T staff reports:
The Union County Health Department vaccinated 420 people Monday during
its first flu clinic of the season.
"I am extremely happy to see that so many of our residents took the
first step toward protecting their health this flu season. I encourage
the rest of our residents, especially the elderly, very young, and
anyone with a chronic medical condition, to come to a future clinic or
contact their physician and get a flu shot," said Martin Tremmel, health
commissioner of the health department.
 Monday's flu clinic was the first of several public clinics offered by
UCHD in partnership with Memorial Hospital of Union County. Unlike years
past, the Centers for Disease Control lifted restrictions on flu vaccine
prior to the first open clinic, allowing many more people to attend than
in previous years. By the official start, nearly 150 people had already
amassed, according to a health department press release. Nursing staff
from UCHD and the hospital worked together during the course of the
three-hour clinic.
"On behalf of all health department staff, I want to thank those who
came to the clinic for their patience and understanding. Goodwill on
behalf of the attendees is a vital part of efficiently vaccinating
hundreds of people in a few short hours," Tremmel said.
The next clinic will be Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Union
County Services Building, 940 London Ave. The clinic is open to anyone
age 9 years or older. Flu shots and FluMist nasal spray will be
available.  Anyone is eligible to receive a flu shot.
To be eligible for the FluMist nasal spray, you must be age 9 to 49
years, healthy, and not pregnant. The next child clinic will be
Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Union County Health Department.
Those interested may call the health department at 642-0801 for
additional information.

Sewer plant money clears hurdle
From J-T staff reports:
Congresswoman Deborah Pryce announced Tuesday that Marysville will be
receiving a $1 million for its future wastewater treatment plant.
Pryce reported the information on the grant is included in the
Conference Report to the FY2006 Energy and Water Appropriations bill,
which is expected to pass the House and Senate this week before being
signed into law by President George W. Bush.
The $1 million in funding was announced as a good possibility earlier
this year by Pryce's office.
Marysville City Administrator, Kathy House, said that at the time the
funding had just been designated as an appropriation from the House of
Representatives. Since then it survived the Senate Appropriation
Committee, as well as the Conference Committee (which resolves conflicts
between the House and Senate appropriation budgets) and is nearly a
"shoe in" to be signed by the President.  After his signature Marysville
will receive the check.
"This is an enormously important project to Marysville and I'm proud
that the federal government can play a small but meaningful role in
meeting the community's needs," Pryce said. "I know that the wastewater
facility has been a top priority for both city and county officials and
the many businesses and industries that rely upon this utility. Despite
the comprehensive planning and smart growth practices employed by
community leaders, projects such as these are extremely expensive and I
am pleased to see that Marysville will not have to go it alone."
House thanked Pryce for her efforts in securing the funding.
The continued growth of Marysville over the years has put significant
strains on the city's aging wastewater facility, which becomes
particularly evident during heavy rains. The current plant was designed
to accommodate a daily flow of four million gallons of water, but during
significant rains the facility has been inundated with up to 20 million
gallons of water in one day.
"The City of Marysville greatly appreciates Congresswoman Pryce's
diligence in seeking this appropriation toward our vital wastewater
infrastructure needs. As our residents are keenly aware, the
construction of a new wastewater treatment plant and the accompanying
sewer are critical to meeting (Ohio EPA) mandates for a safer Mill Creek
watershed in Union County. This $1 million will assist in facilitating
the necessary new construction and eliminate passing along as much of
the costs to our current residents through user fees," House said.

New face to join council
Leah Sellers gets most votes in all precincts;  Gore, Reams re-elected
From J-T staff reports:
After official election results came in Tuesday night, it was known that
a new face would be joining Marysville City Council.
Newcomer Leah Sellers ended up winning with a solid lead over all other
candidates to take one of the three open council seats. Incumbents John
Gore and Mark Reams were re-elected to their posts on council.
Sellers  earned 26.3 percent approval, or 1,969 votes from Marysville
voters. She tallied the most votes in every Marysville precinct.
"I was surprised," Sellers said this morning about her new spot on
council. "But I received a lot of positive feedback during my campaign."

Born and raised in Marysville, Sellers is currently an assistant
prosecutor for Delaware County and is counsel to the Delaware County
Board of Commissioners. With this experience, she said the impact of
rapid growth is something she has witnessed firsthand.
Going door-to-door throughout Marysville, Sellers said everyone she
encountered seemed like very hardworking and good people.
"I'm optimistic about Marysville's future," she said.
Following Sellers in votes, incumbent Mark Reams earned 19.06 percent or
1,442 votes. Current council president John Gore received 18.7 percent
or 1,415 votes.
A strong door-to-door campaign throughout Marysville is said to have
resulted in a good turnout for Reams and Gore.
Reams and Gore were not available for comment before press time.
With six people running for three open spots, it was no surprise that
Marysville's council might see some change.
Current council vice president Nevin Taylor was one of those upsets. He
was voted off of council with 18.03 percent of the votes or 1,364
"I have no ill feelings," Taylor said this morning. "I just wish the new
council good luck."
Taylor said he still plans on being involved in local events as much as
he can and that he has enjoyed his time on Marysville city council.
Other newcomer candidates, Todd Dibble and Brian Elmore, received 8.68
percent and 657 votes and 9.49 percent and 718 votes, respectively.

Senior levy goes down
From J-T staff reports:
Union County voters defeated a 0.9-mill operating levy for the Union
County Council on Aging Tuesday by an unofficial vote of 5,891 against
and 5,451 for.
The levy would have generated about $848,000 a year. Approximately
$250,000 of that sum would have funded Council on Aging staffing needs,
including a director, two case managers, an office manager and a
part-time media specialist.
The remainder would have funded services such as home renovations,
caregiver respite, personal care assistance, adult protective services,
visitations to isolated seniors, transportation to medical appointments
and homemaking services.
It was defeated by a an unofficial margin of 51.9 to 48 percent.
"Obviously I am disappointed that the senior services levy did not
pass," Dick Douglass, Union County Council on Aging director said in an
e-mail to the Journal-Tribune this morning. "But I am encouraged that
approximately 48 percent of the voters in Tuesday's election recognized
the need for our county to provide for and protect our seniors."
Union County is the only county in central Ohio which doesn't have a
seniors levy. Douglass said of 61 counties in the state which provide
senior services, 59 have senior levies and two have "social services"
levies which fund senior needs.
The Union County Commissioners will decide what the next step is,
according to Douglass.
"The county commissioners put the levy on the ballot and (its future)
will be decided by them. I'm sure they'll take some time to talk about
it," Douglass said earlier this morning.
"We fully support the county commissioners in any decisions they will
make regarding the future of senior services in Union County. Until that
time we will continue to serve the seniors of Union County to the best
of our ability by coordinating and working closely with other county
agencies who are also dedicated to serving our seniors," Douglass wrote
in his e-mail message.

Fairbanks voters defeat tax issue
It's back to the drawing board for Fairbanks School Board members and
administrators after voters defeated a combined bond issue/income tax by
an unofficial vote of 1,234 against to 1,066 for.
"My feeling all day yesterday was that we had done everything we could
to communicate the need," Fairbanks Superintendent Jim Craycraft said
this morning.
It just might have been the packaging, he said. He and board members
will discuss the failed issue and see if it needs to be presented in a
different way, perhaps dropping the income tax.
"We've got the word out and that is a major step. Now we've got to go
back and tweak it a bit," he said.
Passage of the 7-mill bond issue would have generated about $17.7
million which would have been used to construct a new pre-kindergarten
through eighth-grade facility and renovate the existing middle/high
school complex on Route 38.
The 0.25 percent income tax partnered with that would have funded
furnishings and technology.
Craycraft said voters recognize the need to replace the aging and
deteriorating Milford Center Elementary. The 90-year-old building has
cost the district $150,000 in recent years, as short-term repairs were
made to the roofing, academic area furnace and exterior brickwork and
the gymnasium boiler was replaced.
It will cost 20 percent more to renovate the existing school than to
replace it, according to The Ohio School Facilities Commission, and the
building does not meet the district's educational needs. It also does
not meet current building codes and Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) regulations.
School districts in areas neighboring Fairbanks have upgraded or are in
the process of upgrading facilities, Craycraft noted, including
Mechanicsburg, Triad, Jonathan Alder, Dublin, Buckeye Valley, North
Union and Marysville.
And each year the district delays replacing the Milford Center building
is going to cost taxpayers more in construction costs and delay much
needed educational improvements for the district's pupils, according to
If the board decides to put an issue on the next ballot, which is May,
board intentions must be filed with Union County Auditor Mary Snider by
Whatever happens, Craycraft said, "This is still an excellent community.
The people are supportive of the school district and the kids are great.
The teachers will still do a good job, and we'll do everything we can to
keep the (Milford Center) building in shape."
"It's a good district ... I know (voters) will eventually do the right
thing. The thing is to wait. But how long?"

Two incumbents voted out in Jerome Township
Election roundup
From J-T staff reports:
In this off-year election, county voters were asked to vote on numerous
issues and candidates.
One of the more hotly contested races was in Jerome Township where
incumbents Sharon Sue Wolfe and Freeman May were handily upset by
newcomers Andy Thomas and Robert A. Merkle. In Magnetic Springs voters
defeated an operating levy request by just five votes. Village officials
have proposed dissolving the community and said Tuesday's vote would
sway their decision.
The Union County Board of Elections will meet Monday at 9 a.m. to
certify the official results.
Countywide turnout for the election was 11,784 ballots cast or 41
percent of the county's 28,462 registered voters.
Listed below are the names of candidates and issues that appeared on
Tuesday's ballot with the number of votes received. Results do not
include provisional votes.
Candidates elected are the top two vote getters in each township.
Allen - Jack E. Rausch, 415; Ronald D. Chapman, 381; Karen A. Foli, 330
Claibourne - Joe Wiley, 562; Jim Wiley, 536; Douglas L. Wilson, 413
Darby - Dennis Blumenschein, 511; Roger L. Davenport, 485
Dover - Barry T. Moffett, 345; Danny Westlake, 345
Jackson - Larry L. Anderson, 148; Charles Ehret, 131; Richard D.
Carpenter, 124
Jerome - Andy Thomas, 1,136; Robert A. Merkle, 1,097; Freeman E. May,
424; Susie Wolfe, 410
Leesburg - Jeffery L. Robinson, 326; William R. Lowe, 248
Liberty - Dave Thornton, 410; Karen Johnson, 317; Pamela A. Jones, 222
Millcreek - Keith A. Conroy, 328; Marian Jacques, 276
Paris - Steven C. Westlake, 2,016; Donald R. Lowe, 1,876; Stephen C.
Ormeroid, 1,343
Taylor - Guy L. Green, 306; Ronald W. Steele, 284
Union - Dick Brake, 392; Rob Thompson, 355; Roy Burns, 238; Jeffery L.
Clark, 168
Washington - Randy G. Sullivan, 175; Ron R. Jones, 122; T. Jeff Meister,
York - Judy Christian, 214; Michael W. Brake, 160; Kenneth Etherington,
108; Joseph T. Ewing, 93
Elected to the following village councils are the top four vote getter.
Milford Center  - Christopher W. Burger, 166; Ron Payne, 160; Robert G.
Mitchell Jr., 132; Aimee M. Robles, 101; Jeff William Parren, 78; Howard
H. VanDyle, 75; Dale M. Pyles, 56
Richwood Village  - Peggy P. Wiley, 311; Wade McCalf, 278; George E.
Showalter Jr., 261; James K. Thompson, 250; Cynthia K. Blackburn, 248;
Julie Tumeo, 216; Wanda Arlene Blue, 188
Unionville Center - Becky G. Troyer, 55; John P. McCoy, 52; Ronald E.
Griffith, 51; Peggy Williamson, 49; Nancy J. Rice, 28
Liberty Township additional levy for fire and emergency services - 387
for; 166 against
Millcreek Township replacement levy for fire protection - 300 for; 166
Paris Township replacement levy for fire protection - 280 for; 170
Taylor Township additional levy for fire protection - 290 for; 104
Taylor Township replacement levy for cemeteries - 258 for; 145 against
Washington Township replacement for operating expenses - 115 for; 88
York Township (excluding Northern Union County Fire District Area)
replacement levy and additional levy for fire protection - 125 for; 124
Richwood renewal levy for operating expenses- 299 for; 236 against
Richwood additional levy for streets - 173 for; 351 against
Magnetic Springs replacement levy and additional levy for current
operating expenses - 36 for; 41 against
North Lewisburg income tax levy - 95 for; 223 against
North Union Local School District levy renewal - 1,113 for; 970 against
Jonathan Alder income tax - for 1,334; against 1,589
Delaware Area Career Center levy renewal - 0 for; 2 against
Local option for Sunday sale of liquor at Darby Creek golf Course - 139
for; 94 against
Darby Township - 331 for; 370 against (proposed zoning changes and map
Jerome Township - 615 for; 785 against (proposed rezoning for new
housing development was denied)
Boards of Education
Elected are the top three vote getters.
Fairbanks - Kevin Green, 1,405; Jaynie Lambert, 1,299; Star Simpson 15
(write in)
Marysville - J. Scott Johnson, 2,886; Tom Brower, 2,854; Jeffrey A.
Mabee, 2,633
Jonathan Alder - Linda S. Beachy, 1,536; John Edward Adams II, 1,247;
Terry Graber, 1,172; Sean A. Martin, 688
Triad - Annette M. Rittenhouse, 676; Brad Wallace, 608; Don Thurman,
357; Charles Keeran Jr., 338
North Union - Dennis W. Hall, 1,300; Kevin Crosthwaite, 1,236; Donald J.
Tumeo, 862
Delaware-Union Education Service Center - R. Gene Wiley, 2,415; Thomas
E. Zimmerman, 2,170; and Edward A. Bischoff, 1,740
Municipal Court Judge Michael J. Grigsby - 8,993
Marysville Law Director - Tim Aslaner - 2,255

Three of four charter changes approved
Amendments to the Marysville charter were generally met with approval by
With four issues to decide upon, local residents agreed upon all but
A proposed amendment to Section 6.01, requiring the Marysville Director
of Administration have a masters degree was voted down. The issue
received 1,654 and 54.59 percent votes against. Voting for the issue
were 45.41 percent of voters, and 1,376 for.
The changes proposed for the director of administration job requirements
was the only one of four proposed amendments that received criticism
from the public.
Marysville mayor Tom Kruse was open in his dislike of the change. He had
indicated that if the changes were in place before he ran for office, he
would not have been able to appoint current city administrator Kathy
House to his administration. He said it is important for a mayor to be
able to fill the position with someone that shares the same views and is
someone they can fully trust to do a good job. Placing the proposed job
requirements might have made finding someone more difficult.
The Marysville Charter Review Board reviewed the current charter for
needed changes over more than a dozen meetings. No comments were
available before press time from board members.
Although the first issue did not receive voter approval, three other
proposed amendments were let through.
Contrary to the job requirement inclusions for the Director of
Administration, residents felt it was important to require prospective
Marysville Finance Director nominees to have certain job requirements.
The new amendment will ask that future finance directors have "at
minimum a bachelor's degree in accounting, economics or finance from a
nationally accredited university."
Residents approved the change with 51.31 percent and 1,546 people voting
for the change and 48.69 percent and 1,467 people voting against.
Another amendment that was approved by voters, is expected to make
business easier for the Board of Zoning Appeals. The change to
Marysville Charter, Section 9.03.03, will bring back the five person
board to having seven members. With the possibility of members on
vacation or unavailable for certain meetings, having more people on hand
will help the board reach a quorum. Residents approved the amendment
with 1,659 voting for and 1,308 voting against.
The final proposed charter amendment was also passed by residents, with
1,672 voting for and 1,336 people voting against the issue. As a result,
all gender-specific pronouns such as "He" will be replaced with
gender-neutral language.
The Marysville Charter is review for possible changes every four years.

'Ketch' 22
Drainage project snarled by lack  of easement
The Jerome Township Board of Trustees learned Monday that something is
missing from the long-troubled Ketch Road project ? namely one easement.

During the regular meeting, consulting engineer Mark Cameron repeatedly
apologized as he explained how one easement was not obtained from Tim
Kaiser, 9173 Ketch Road.
Adding to the project's string of woes is the fact that Kaiser has now
allegedly filled in a "swale" and raised an elevation. Cameron predicted
the changes will alter the water flow of the whole project.
"This is a serious situation," said trustee Ron Rhodes about the missing
easement and possible legal fees.
Trustee Freeman May said he believed there was "underhanded stuff" going
on since the project began. He referred to a wetland issue that arose in
the middle of the project requiring new easements and resulting in
$30,000 of additional costs to taxpayers. May said Kaiser has allegedly
filled in the manmade wetland with dirt from the road project.
Meanwhile, trustee and project manager Sharon Sue Wolfe, who signed off
on the project, had little to say except that she has heard Rhodes
"chirp" on for two years about Ketch Road.
Cameron said he planned to meet with the Union County Engineer for
suggestions on how to resolve the matter.
Later in the meeting a discussion about purchasing a welder dissolved
into fingerpointing and accusations.
Wolfe proposed purchasing a welder for $492 because it would save "a lot
of money" for the township. When a resident asked how much money, Wolfe
could provide no answer. Instead she called for a 10-minute recess for
the clerk to check files. Clerk Robert Caldwell said the township had
paid $276.60 this year to one vendor for welding. He did not explain if
that cost included materials.
Rhodes asked Wolfe several other questions about the welder. She offered
no answers.
"I don't want to hear your song and dance," Wolfe said in response to
Rhodes's questions.
The motion passed 2-1 with Rhodes dissenting.
Another discussion about repairing a dump truck led to the clerk calling
trustee May out of order.
Caldwell reminded the trustees that they decided to purchase a new truck
to avoid repairing the old truck.
May then began talking about how much the new truck cost, blaming the
$80,000 figure on Rhodes and Caldwell.
Eventually, May and Rhodes agreed to repair the old truck with costs not
to exceed $2,000.
Without explanation, May and Wolfe now want to extend the public safety
office contract beyond Dec. 31. A motion passed unanimously to extend
the contract to Nov. 30, 2006. The township will have to use reserve
funds to pay the costs.
The contract originally expired Sept. 30. At the Oct. 3 meeting Wolfe
and May voted to extend the contract through the end of the year in
spite of financial concerns. Jerome pays approximately $150,000 annually
for three sheriff's officers to patrol their township for 16 hours a
day, seven days a week. One day of the week - Saturdays - the township
has 24-hour coverage.
In previous meetings Wolfe has stated that officers are spending more
time serving the businesses in the community, rather than residents.
Data however shows that service calls to businesses from Sept. 1, 2004
through Sept. 1, 2005 were 470. Calls for service to other areas of the
township during the same time were 2,849.
Referring to a campaign mailer paid for by Wolfe, Rhodes asked for the
township's web site address. Caldwell, who has overseen the project,
said the township does not have an address.

Local turnout varies
Union County voter turnout this morning has been varied, according to an
informal telephone poll of voter precincts by the Journal-Tribune.
Voter turnout in Darby Township North B at the township hall was "pretty
heavy" according to presiding judge Sue Lucas. There was a line waiting
when voting began at 6:30 a.m. and it had remained fairly constant all
morning, she said.
Lucas reported a 19.8 percent turnout at 10 a.m., with 109 of 606
registered voters turning out. She added that 10 of those voters had
voted absentee.
By contrast, voter turnout in Magnetic Springs was described as "light,"
by Fae Manville, presiding judge. As of 10 a.m., 19 people had voted out
of 100 registered voters.
"I think people should register their right to vote," Manville asserted.

Voter turnout also was "pretty steady" in Millcreek Township, according
to presiding judge Liz Neds, who said 141 votes had been cast by 10 a.m.

Neds said generally at least 50 percent of those eligible cast ballots,
and she anticipated nothing less this year.
"They'll be in sooner or later," she said.
Voter turnout at Jerome United Methodist Church also had been steady in
408 East A and B, according to longtime poll worker and presiding judge
Marie Faulk.
By midmorning almost 100 ballots had been cast in East A, with East B
registering a similar number, she said. Faulk estimated there were 800
eligible voters in the two precincts.
Faulk added that the longer ballot language in issues 1 through 5 didn't
seem to be slowing the process down.
"Most everybody is kind of prepared," she said.
Voter turnout in Marysville 13, 14 and 9 was running "pretty low" for a
November election, according to Gary Wallace, one of three presiding
Wallace guessed that about 150 people out of more than 2,000 eligible
voters had cast ballots in all three precincts.
Those casting ballots in Marysville 6 precinct at the commissioners
hearing room were turning out in steady numbers, according to Glenna
Edgar, presiding judge.
"Our four booths are full and six people are waiting," she told the
newspaper this morning.
Edgar, in her first year as presiding judge, said she wasn't sure of any
numbers. "I haven't had time to look," she said.

Levy will not give immediate help to Magnetic Springs
The struggling village of Magnetic Springs will continue to face money
woes next year even if residents pass Tuesday's levy request.
Even if passed, the additional revenue from the Magentic Springs levy
will not be collected until 2007.
Rick Moledor, deputy auditor/finance manager of the Union County
Auditor's Office, said the village will receive no new levy funds next
year because the council's motion was to collect funds from 2007 to
The levy is to replace 5.0 mills current operating with an additional
10.0 mills.
The current 5.0 mill operating levy brings in $9,800 and costs $126.40
for the owner resident of a $100,000 property. It will continue to be
collected in 2006.
Tuesday's levy, if passed, would generate $32,800 and cost  $459.38 for
the owner resident of a $100,000 property.
On Oct. 2 the Magnetic Village Council and Mayor Robert L. Baughman
voted to request for the state to step in and dissolve the village.
Struggling finances and citizen apathy led to the drastic move. However
at an Oct. 17 meeting Baughman said it would take a vote of the people
to dissolve the village.
Baughman also suggested that the council would wait until the Nov. 8
election to see if a levy passed. If the levy fails, he recommended
beginning the dissolution process.
Other issues before voters include:
Liberty Township is seeking a two-year, 1.75-mill additional levy for
fire and emergency services. The levy will generate $98,130 and cost the
owner resident of a $100,00 property $53.60.
Millcreek Township is seeking a three-year, 4.8-mill replacement levy
for fire protection. The new levy will generate $156,000 and cost $147
for the resident owner of a $100,000 property. The previous levy
generated $152,000 and cost $143.20.
Paris Township is seeking a four-year, 4.6-mill replacement levy for
fire protection. It currently collects $157,800 and costs $122.10 for a
$100,000 resident. The replacement would bring in $178,000 and cost
$140.88 for a $100,000 resident.
Taylor Township is seeking a three-year, 1.5-mill additional levy for
fire protection and a four-year, .5-mill replacement levy. The 1.5-mill
levy would bring in $50,000 and cost $45.94 for a $100,000 resident
owner. The .5-mill replacement would generate $16,500 and cost $15.30
for a $100,000 resident. Currently the .5-mill levy brings in $15,600
and costs $12.88 for a $100,000 resident.
Washington Township is seeking a five-year, 1.8-mill replacement levy
for current operating expenses. The replacement levy would generate
$19,600 and cost $55.14. The current levy generates $18,400 and costs
York Township (excluding Northern Union County Fire District Area) is
seeking a five-year, 2.5-mill replacement levy and a 3-mill additional
levy for fire protection. The new millage would generate $101,000 and
cost $183.76. The previous levy generated $41,200 and cost $73.90.
North Union Local School District is seeking a proposed tax levy renewal
providing emergency requirements of the school district. The 5.8-mill,
five-year levy will collect $680,000, the same amount as in the past.
Cost to the resident of a $100,000 property will drop from $184 to $178
The village of Richwood is seeking a 2-mill, five-year additional levy
for street maintenance. It will generate $43,500 and cost $61.26 for the
owner resident of a $100,000 property. A renewal of a 1.5-mill,
five-year levy for current operating will continued to generate $27,000
and costs $36.36 for the owner resident of a $100,000 property.

Red Cross benefits from United Way dollars
Editor's note: This is the 11th in a weekly series of articles submitted
by the United Way of Union County that will run during the course of its
annual campaign. Each week will feature a different United Way program.
This week's article features the American Red Cross Union County

Hoping to make a small difference in her community, Renee Hatfield
signed up to volunteer with the American Red Cross Disaster Services
Team three years ago.
After taking classes in Marysville and becoming certified through the
Union County Chapter, she responded to a few fire runs, helping to meet
the needs of local residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed. She
also participated in mock disasters conducted by the Emergency
Management Agency.
Ten days after one of the most devastating storms in American history
swept through the Gulf Coast and the Marysville accountant, wife, and
mother of three found herself in the eye of Hurricane Katrina relief
efforts, in charge of operating one of the two largest emergency
shelters nearest New Orleans. In total 1,800 residents and hundreds of
rescued animals called the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales,
Louisiana home when she arrived on the scene as Shelter Manager. Her
training in Marysville put her in position to assume a coordinating role
of such great responsibility.
"When I signed up to be a volunteer, I wanted to be able to learn as
much as possible to be able to help wherever I was needed," Hatfield
said. "I hoped that if a disaster ever hit Union County, that I would be
able to put my training into place and help run things in as smooth a
way as possible. I didn't think I would be assigned so close to New
Orleans, let alone in charge of a very large shelter."
Watching the devastation on television caused Hatfield to confer with
her family and decide that she should sign up to help with this
disaster. She figured she'd simply be asked to help process paperwork in
Texas, Arkansas or even Columbus. But a series of unusual events led to
her assignment at such a key post.
The plane she took from Columbus had to make an emergency landing
because it had run out of fuel. That caused her to arrive late to
Jackson, Mississippi, where she ended up being sent to the wrong shelter
overnight. From there, she was sent to Brandon, Miss., where she and
other Red Cross volunteers from around the country awaited a trip to
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, headquarters of relief efforts.
"When arriving in Baton Rouge headquarters, it was in an old Wal-Mart
and was quite large and overwhelming at first," Hatfield said. "I went
through the check-in process, which took several hours before I was
given my assignment. When they found out I had shelter operations and
mass care certification along with my own income tax business, that's
when they asked me to be a shelter manager. The group that had traveled
with me had asked if they could continue to be with me wherever I was
assigned and they were assigned as my crew."
Hatfield was originally given a shelter that housed 282 residents, but
was switched the next day to the much larger facility she called home
for three weeks.
"When I first said 'hello' to the shelter residents, there was a blank
stare on all of them, as if I were speaking a foreign language or they
didn't hear me," Hatfield said. "I knew right then that they needed to
have every ounce of compassion and listening skills I could muster. Over
time, I would interact with as many as I could and talk with them, sit,
or just listen to their fears, concerns, and most of all, their needs.
"Some told me how they arrived there and what they went through while
awaiting the hurricane and the break in the levy. Sometimes I would take
care of their babies while they took a break to use the rest room or
walk outside for a little bit. I helped arrange for a male volunteer to
help an elderly man take a shower because his daughter couldn't do it.
Many of the residents did get to know me and started to smile or say
'good morning' back."
Hatfield described her typical day in the shelter as non-stop from 6
a.m. to about midnight, with coordination of meals and activities to
keep the shelter's residents occupied. School busses actually picked up
school-age children for classes and the local YMCA offered
weightlifting, running, and organized basketball for adults.
"When the children hadn't been able to go to school, we would have
activities for them by specific age groups with a volunteer coordinating
these events," Hatfield said. "FEMA checks were delivered at noon with
armed military personnel standing right next to us as we handed them
Hatfield also handled media requests and access for major outlets
covering stories at the shelter, including CNN, the Associated Press,
the Washington Post, Dallas Morning-News, and international outlets from
Japan and Finland. She even arranged for a pair of weddings to take
place in the shelter.
"My experience is one that will last my lifetime," Hatfield said. I
couldn't sign up for the war but from the Vietnam Vets I worked with,
they equate the devastation, pressures, and human emotions as that of
wartime. I feel so humbled and truly blessed that I made an inkling of a
difference to the people I came in contact with."
Most of the evacuees have since found permanent shelter, been placed in
a hotel, or been reconnected with relatives. But many have relocated to
other parts of the country, including here in Union County. The local
chapter of the Red Cross reports that it has assisted eight families who
have settled here or passed through on their way elsewhere. Like the
training that Hatfield received, the money to assist those families, as
well as the other services the local chapter provides, comes from the
annual United Way campaign, which continues through November.
"People may not know that their donation to the United Way also funds
many local classes that the Red Cross hosts," Hatfield said. "Without
certain monies targeted for that, it would be costly to the person
wanting to take those classes."
 Times are hard and money doesn't grow on trees but maybe for the
strength of the local services, people could find it in their hearts to
help continue to support the United Way and the Red Cross so if and when
another disaster hits here, we will be able to deploy all of the
necessary personnel immediately because of the training they received
from the monies given."
.2005 United Way allocation was $106,930 (more than any other Member
Agency) or 62 percent of its budget.
.Safety training courses include first aid, CPR, water safety and
lifeguard, babysitting, and sports safety. These courses are taken by
local emergency response personnel, local lifeguards, child care
providers, local Latchkey personnel, sports trainers, officials and
other Union County residents.
.Provided assistance last year to 64 individuals after their homes
suffered damage from tornado, flooding, fire or other disasters.
.Conducted 79 bloodmobiles throughout Union County last year with 4,639
donors producing 4,143 productive units of blood.
.Each blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives.
.Assisted 34 military families last year.

Some voting locations change
Polling locations have changed for 11 precincts, while 36 remain at the
same location as the past.
Listed below are the precincts and where voters should go for Tuesday's
general election.
New locations
Marysville No. 1, No. 2, No. 3. No. 10 and No. 11 - Union County
Services Building, 940 London Ave.
Marysville No. 13 - Church of Christ, 18077 Route 31.
Paris North (A) and (B) and Paris South - Ag Services Center Building,
18000 Route 4.
Union South - Milford Center Lions Club Building, London Street, Milford
Plain City - Pleasant Valley Fire District, 650 W. Main St., Plain City.

Other polling places
Other precincts which remain at the same locations as the past include:
Allen - Allen Township Building, Allen Center Road.
Richwood No.1, Richwood No. 2, Claibourne North and Claibourne South -
Secretary's Office Richwood Fairgrounds.
Darby North (A), Darby North (B) and Darby South - Darby Township
Building, Unionville Center.
Dover North and Dover South - Dover Township Building, New Dover.
Jackson - Jackson Township Building, Price Mather Road.
Jerome Central (A), Jerome Central (B) - Jerome Community Hall, 9777
Industrial Parkway.
Jerome East (A), Jerome East (B) - Jerome UMC, 10531 Jerome Road.
Jerome West - Cornerstone Church, 8280 Rickard Road.
Magnetic Springs - Magnetic Springs UMC.
Leesburg - Pharisburg United Methodist Church.
Liberty North and Liberty South - Liberty Township Community Building.
Millcreek - Millcreek Township Building, Watkins.
Marysville No. 4 , Marysville No. 5 - Nazarene Church, 1126 N. Maple
Marysville No. 6 - Commissioners Hearing Room, W. Sixth Street.
Marysville No. 7 , Marysville No. 8 - School Administrtion Building,
1000 Edgewood Drive.
Marysville No. 9 and No. 14 - Church of Christ, 18077 Route 31.
Marysville No. 12 - VFW Hall, 15237 Industrial Pkwy.
Taylor East and Taylor West - Taylor Township Building, Broadway.
Milford Center - Milford Center Lions Club Building.
Union North - Trinity Chapel Church, 77 W. Center St., Milford Center.
Washington - Byhalia Friends Church, 31654 Rt. 31.
York - York Towns

Candidate identified
Leah J. Sellers, of 1477 Hickory Gate said her goal in running for
Marysville City Council is to bring together a rapidly changing town.
"When I look at Marysville today, I see a place rapidly changing from
the town I grew up in. New houses, new businesses and new people have
begun to make their mark here, and it has become not just my home but
their home too. I believe that we can all work together to make
Marysville a better place to live. I will bring energy and optimism to
City Council," she said.
Born and raised in Marysville, Sellers graduated from Marysville High
School and planned to become a lawyer. She graduated from Ohio
University, then worked as an accountant for the Lincoln Electric
Company in Cleveland. Next, she graduated from the University of
Michigan Law School. Following law school, she worked first for the
Jones Day Law Firm in Cleveland and then took a position with the
Delaware County Prosecutor's Office, which she holds today. She is also
a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Union County; Operation
Military Pride; Cleveland Bridgebuilders; Business Volunteers Unlimited;
and Volunteer Trustee Institute.
"Although I loved working for a law firm and solving tough legal
problems for my clients, I left Jones Day because I felt the call to
public service. I also wanted to come home and raise my family in
Marysville," Sellers said. "I can't imagine raising a family anywhere
else. My entire family lives in or near Marysville, including my three
siblings and their families."
As an assistant prosecutor for Delaware County and counsel to the
Delaware County Board of Commissioners, she has seen the impact of rapid
growth. Providing legal counsel to county leaders who are responsible
for building roads and sewer systems for a growing population.
"We need a new sewer system and there are not enough fire and EMS
stations to efficiently serve the entire city. Having observed similar
growth in Delaware County, I have learned that solving these problems is
exponentially more expensive as time goes by. Because the need for these
services is being created by new development, the developers should also
help find solutions for these needs. Some of our recent growth has been
problematic because the developments use available land and public
services as selling points, but the developers have not helped build our
community assets because we have not consistently required that from
them in the past. I will work to correct these problems and prevent them
from happening again," Seller said.
If there are any questions or comments residents have for Sellers, she
provided her e-mail address at

 Voters to decide on charter changes
Every four years a committee is appointed in Marysville to review the
city charter and look for any needed updates or changes.
The form of government provided by this charter sets up Marysville as a
"mayor-director-council form of government." All powers the city has are
enforced by the charter, by ordinance and resolution consistent with
this charter, or through the general laws of Ohio.
The Marysville Charter Review Board is made up of council-appointed
residents, usually from different back grounds and professions. Current
members are Anne Daniel, Bart Jackson, Avanelle Oberlin, Dough Smith,
Mindy Stice and Grant Underwood. Throughout March 15 to July 27, the
members held 14 different meetings. During that time four different
proposed article changes to the city charter were recommended.
On Nov. 8 Marysville voters will be asked to vote individually on these
four proposed changes.
As listed on the election ballot, the changes include updating job
requirements for the positions of Director of Administration and the
Director of Finance, switching the Board of Zoning Appeals back to
having seven members and the last would go throughout the city charter,
changing all gender specific pronouns to non-gender specific.
To date, the changes proposed for creating job requirements for the
Director of Administration have been the only amendments openly
criticized. The current charter describes administrator job requirements
simply as, "should have executive and administrative experience."
The Director of Finance position currently has no language in the
charter for job requirements.
Critics claim that the job requirements do not belong in the city
charter and should remain in the City of Marysville human resources job
description handbook.
Mayor Tom Kruse said that if the proposed changes were in effect when he
took office he would not have been able to hire current city
administrator Kathy House. He said the changes would take hiring options
away from the future mayor, risking a drastic increase in the starting
salary and potentially leaving the post vacant for a long period of time
while a candidate is found. It would also exclude many local candidates
who have grown up in the city.
He said if a local Fortune 500 businessman decided to step down for a
bit and help out the city, under the new changes the person may not be
qualified. Besides that, ultimately council must approve of anyone who
is chosen for the position, so the checks and balances are already in
Charter Review Board members explained on Wednesday that none of the
changes made to the charter regarding administrative positions were
directed specifically at those currently serving roles, namely City
Administrator Kathy House or Finance Director John Morehart.
Chairperson Oberlin said that job requirements for the Director of
Administration and Finance Director positions have already been in place
within city Human Resource documents. However, the descriptions have not
been followed or enforced, so by placing the job requirements within the
city charter they hope to give the requirements "more teeth."
Daniel said adding job description language will ensure that the city
has some form of protection. With growth such a prevalent issue, future
city administrators would all have the same basic level of experience.
It would also make city council's decision in approving the position
easier, knowing the person is already qualified without needing
extensive research.
Jackson said that Marysville currently has a city budget involving
almost $50 million. He said it is important that future administrators
have the experience to handle a budget that large.
If residents approve the changes, the job requirements would go into
effect during the next mayoral elections.
Charter Review Board members also commented on the reasoning behind the
three other proposed changes.
Daniel said that the changes for the Director of Finance job
requirements fall under the same rationale as changes to the Director of
Administration position.
It also sets a minimum educational requirement, that members feel is
important to the future of the city.
The changes regarding the Board of Zoning Appeals are also proposed.
Charter review members said the board was originally set for seven
Over time that requirement switched to five board members.
Daniel explained the problem with having five members is that the board
has been having a hard time reaching a quorum because members might be
on vacation or others unavailable for important meetings. Going back to
seven members is expected to ease the situation.
The final proposed change to the city charter is an update to provide
gender neutral language. Committee members said it is a change that has
been needed for the sake of updating city positions, which can be filled
by male or female applicants.

Jon Alder going for income tax levy
There will be a 0.5 percent income tax levy on the November ballot for
Jonathan Alder School District residents.
The temporary levy, if passed, will last five years and generate a
little more than one million dollars annually for the district.
Superintendent Doug Carpenter explained the choice, by the school board,
to put on a temporary versus a permanent levy was in hopes that things
will change with state funding in the future.
The district is projected to get no additional funding for the next two
years, in the state budget, except for newly enrolling students.
Carpenter said if the levy doesn't pass the district will have to
continue to try in subsequent elections.
"If we are able to get this passed then we will be fine," Carpenter
said, " However, if we wait until we see what we get in the next state
budget then will have dug too big of a hole."
Carpenter said the trend on the state level is far from encouraging.
"We don't know what will happen at the state level in the future," he
said, "Currently legislation is being passed to help businesses through
tax breaks which takes away from what schools might receive in future
In addition to lack of state funds, Jonathan Alder cites other factors
that have made a levy necessary.
"It costs more to operate five buildings than it did four," Carpenter
The district recently opened a second elementary (Monroe) to accommodate
the growing student population.
Carpenter said the district has grown by more than 180 students in the
last five years, which contributes to the need for more funding.
Also, the district has lost local revenues to the closing of the Ranco
Additional needs include the rising costs of health care, for district
employees, along with the increasing operation costs.
The district cites that they have stretched tax dollars and managed them
wisely over the past 20 years. Over the past two decades the district
completed many projects totaling more than $3 million at no additional
cost to taxpayers.
Some of these include the purchase of land (45 acres) for new school
buildings, a new bus garage, two additions at Canaan, a multipurpose
room at Monroe along with infrastructure improvements and computers.
Carpenter said the reasoning behind putting an income tax levy versus a
property tax levy on the ballot was to create a balance.
"It balances taxes between those with high property value and those with
high incomes," he said, "It also provides for inflationary growth."
Carpenter said this also proves generally beneficial to farmers because
farmers tend to large parcels of land, which could become costly, if a
property tax were passed.
According to district handouts, income that can not be taxed includes
social security benefits, disability, survivor benefits, railroad
retirement, welfare, child support, workman's compensation, and bequests
or inheritances. People over the age of 65 who are taxed get a $50 tax
"In the recent past our community has been supportive," Carpenter said,
"We've only gone to them when we really needed the money."
Jonathan Alder prides itself on an excellent academic reputation,
Carpenter said.
"Test scores are always very good, exceeding state averages, and we want
to be able to keep our fine academic programs, " he explained,
"Students, parents and staff were surveyed and three-year survey results
continue to indicate high satisfaction ratings from all three groups."
Other districts around Alder have passed multiple levies, Carpenter
said. Nearby schools like Fairbanks, West Jefferson and London all have
income taxes in place.
"In the last 20 years we've asked the community for only 1.4 additional
mills to operate our school system," he said.
The overriding hope of Jonathan Alder district officials seems to be the
same as other Ohio public schools, that something will change for the
better funding of education at the state house.
"Our hope is that something is going to be done in the near future on
the state level as mandated by the Supreme Court that would shift the
burden of additional funds away from local residents," Carpenter said.

Incumbents, challengers face off in Marysville City Council races
Three seats are open for Marysville City Council this election and
joining in the race are three city council members looking for
re-election and three new faces. Incumbents John Gore, Nevin Taylor and
Mark Reams will face challengers Todd Dibble, Brian Elmore and Leah
Todd A. Dibble, of 1672 Curry Lane said he would bring to Marysville
City Council the necessary business/accounting qualifications and
experience to ensure Marysville's future growth and expansion is
accomplished in the most efficient and economical way available.
With an MBA degree and a Certified Managerial Accountant accreditations,
Dibble has more than 15 years of accounting and finance experience. It
is work that has included overseeing acquisitions, mergers and
expansions in business. He would also bring to the table extensive
auditing experience.
Currently, Dibble is employed in the accounting department at Honda of
America . Past offices he has held include a role as treasurer of the
First Presbyterian Church in Marysville.
Another new face to the council race is Brian Elmore of 1453 Westbrook
"I have always been interested in politics, as is evident with my two
degrees in politics from Ohio Northern University and New Mexico State
University," Elmore said. "I am also interested about being involved
with the community in which I live. While at college and graduate school
I undertook several community service and philanthropy activities."
Elmore has been employed at Honda Transmissions Mfg. for the past seven
Although he said he does not have past experience with city government,
he is excited about the opportunity to serve the public.
"I enjoy the parks and friendliness of Marysville, along with the
closeness to Columbus - but still having that small town feeling where
many people know each other and are willing to go out of their way to
say hello and lend a helping hand," Elmore explains. "This drives me to
want to use my interests to help Marysville. I would like to help
improve the leadership of our city council and with the help from you,
the citizens of Marysville, make changes to our town that will to make
it a home for all families. I feel that with proper leadership and
planning we can continue to improve our city without raising taxes. Good
leadership will also allow us to manage our growth in a sustainable
manner, where the future generations in Marysville won't have to
experience fee and tax increases."
Current city council president and incumbent John F. Gore, Jr., of 875
Lantern Drive, said he is hoping to continue his role in city leadership
- one that has spanned the past five and a half years. Three of those
years he spent as president of council and one year as vice president.
Gore said he has been a resident of Marysville for 27 years and has been
involved in community service for more than 25 of those years. He has
filled leadership roles with the Jaycees, American Heart Association,
Union County YMCA and Marysville and Fairbanks High schools where he has
been coaching girls basketball for the past 12 years.
"I have given countless hours to the various community service roles I
have undertaken for one single reason," Gore said. "To make Marysville a
better place to live."
Gore said the coming years are important ones. The city of Marysville
has been faced with the challenges of responding to significant growth
as more families move in. He said while the growth has been mostly
positive, along with it comes demands on the city infrastructure and the
community as a whole.
"Marysville will need strong leaders who can see past today to envision
the improvements and enhancements our community and residents deserve,"
Gore said. "As a member of city council, I have been a driving force to
better our community, focusing on improving and enhancing its
infrastructure. This has been and will continue to be an ongoing
comprehensive process that demands leadership and team work."
Gore said he hopes to continue building relationships of cooperation
with the Union County Commissioners.
"I look forward to seeing these projects through as your councilman,
knowing that there will be difficult decisions ahead. I am confident
that I can make those decisions for the betterment of Marysville and
feel my past experiences in leadership roles will attest to my ability
as a community leader," he said. "I take pride in our community."
Incumbent council member, Mark A Reams, of 354 Restoration Drive said he
has enjoyed his time associated with city council. He has also been a
representative of the city parks and recreation commission for six years
and spent two years on the city planning commission.
"Everything worth doing should be enjoyed," Reams said. "I was asked
repeatedly by citizens to run for council again. Since this is something
that I enjoy doing, it was not a difficult decision for me to make.
There is still work to be done."
Reams shares the concern for smart growth in Marysville. Quality of life
for residents is his focus on dealing with the issue.
"Everyone has a different perspective on how that impacts them
individually," he said. "For some, it means planning to improve traffic
conditions. Others want to maintain that friendly 'small town'
atmosphere that they've enjoyed. We have to maintain focus on existing
areas of Marysville. That's why I worked to re-create our Community
Development Area, expanding it to include more of the older areas of the
city. This program provides an economic incentive for residents and
business owners to invest in improving their properties. There are areas
where our sidewalks have decayed from years of neglect. It's my desire
to utilize our grant program funding to make improvements."
Leah J. Sellers, of 1477 Hickory Gate said her goal in running for
Marysville City Council is to bring together a rapidly changing town.
"When I look at Marysville today, I see a place rapidly changing from
the town I grew up in. New houses, new businesses and new people have
begun to make their mark here, and it has become not just my home but
their home too. I believe that we can all work together to make
Marysville a better place to live. I will bring energy and optimism to
City Council," she said.
Born and raised in Marysville, Sellers graduated from Marysville High
School and planned to become a lawyer. She graduated from Ohio
University, then worked as an accountant for the Lincoln Electric
Company in Cleveland. Next, she graduated from the University of
Michigan Law School. Following law school, she worked first for the
Jones Day Law Firm in Cleveland and then took a position with the
Delaware County Prosecutor's Office, which she holds today. She is also
a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Union County; Operation
Military Pride; Cleveland Bridgebuilders; Business Volunteers Unlimited;
and Volunteer Trustee Institute.
As an assistant prosecutor for Delaware County and counsel to the
Delaware County Board of Commissioners, she has seen the impact of rapid
growth. Providing legal counsel to county leaders who are responsible
for building roads and sewer systems for a growing population.
"Marysville is not alone in grappling with a sudden influx of people:
Dublin, Powell, and Delaware, for example, all have grown explosively in
recent years. We can learn from their experience. Many of us look at the
growth to the southeast with apprehension, saying 'We don't want to be
another Dublin.' But we need to recognize that if we want a certain
outcome we will have to take responsibility for managing our own
destiny," Sellers said. "Being an attorney has taught me how to work
creatively, negotiate and achieve results for my clients. As city
councilwoman, I will work the same way for the people of Marysville."
Sellers explained that she stands for intelligent growth, community
involvement and financial responsibility.
"We need a new sewer system and there are not enough fire and EMS
stations to efficiently serve the entire city. Having observed similar
growth in Delaware County, I have learned that solving these problems is
exponentially more expensive as time goes by. Because the need for these
services is being created by new development, the developers should also
help find solutions for these needs. Some of our recent growth has been
problematic because the developments use available land and public
services as selling points, but the developers have not helped build our
community assets because we have not consistently required that from
them in the past. I will work to correct these problems and prevent them
from happening again," Seller said.
If there are any questions or comments residents have for Sellers, she
provided her e-mail address at
 Incumbent Nevin L. Taylor, of 232 West Fifth Street has spent the past
four years on Marysville City Council. With this experience, her also
offers time served in leadership roles such as 20 years as a member and
officer of the Union County Fair Board and served as State President of
the Teacher's Association. In addition, Taylor has served on several
state boards and committees concerning education and finance.
"I would say that being on council is a learning experience and it does
take some time to learn ins and outs of how to do city business," Taylor
said. "Do I think it gives me any edge? No, just an experience time edge
over newcomers."
Taylor said he watched growth running the future of Marysville prior to
"For the past four years I have worked to slow it down and make the city
control its own destiny," he said. "My prime reasons for running in 2001
were to fix the streets, get a better control on growth instead of it
controlling the city, and get the odor problem fixed from the sewer
He said it took four years for council to get funds in-line to fix
streets but the city is on track for repairs and plans to maintain the
streets are now in the budget.
"Growth is still an on-going concern," Taylor said. "But controlling it
has become a group effort with planning, zoning, council, chamber of
commerce and citizens all voicing their wants, needs, and concerns . I
see the need for constant monitoring of growth in order to insure our
city is what we all want to call home."
Taylor explained that planning and finding the means to fix the city's
sewer plant problems has been a big issue.
"Our problems didn't start last night and it won't be fixed in the
morning," he said.
The city will need funding to build and keep a watchful eye on the steps
of construction of the new wastewater plant, in order to put it on-line
in time to make the EPA happy while serving the citizens of Marysville.
"I believe Marysville is a great place to live and we need to continue
to improve our community to serve its citizens and their families,"
Taylor said. "Whoever wins the race for councilman at Large needs to
realize citizens of Marysville expect the best from the council to run
the government and stand ready to hear the citizens."

City eyes water rate increase
Administration says it's necessary; council members have concerns

Marysville City Council members expressed their concerns to city
administrators over another proposed rate increase for citizens. This
time around it would be for water services.
The first reading on an ordinance to amend city water rates for the
Public Utility Divisions was held at council's Thursday night meeting.
The result could mean a water service rate increase of 5 percent for
residents in 2006. The increase comes on the heels of a recent hike in
sewer rates.
According to the ordinance language, the city needs to construct an
upland water reservoir. It is a project that has been in discussions for
the past 20 years.
Mayor Tom Kruse, along with a representative of Malcolm Pirnie and city
engineer Phil Roush and Public Service Director Tracie Davies, all
proposed that if the city doesn't raise water rates now, residents will
be forced to pay much higher increases later on.
The ordinance states that construction costs and related debt service
for the reservoir will exceed the available and projected future
revenues of the water treatment, distribution and capital improvement
"It is necessary to ensure funds are available for repayment of the
city's long-term obligations of providing this utility," the ordinance
Councilman Nevin Taylor said that he understood the need existed for the
increase, but that it would have made more sense to bring the issue
forward before the city budget was approved. The meeting also saw the
first reading of adopting the annual operating budget for 2006. Council
may have passed a budget it will immediately have to amend.
One of the main problems council president John Gore said he has with
the rate increase ordinance is that it is "like playing poker." They are
taking the word from Malcolm Pirnie and administrators that a 5 percent
increase is needed, even though the Water Master Plan has not been
Davies said that the plan is expected to be completed by mid-November,
but now officials are looking at an early December finish date.
Instead of tabling the issue, Gore recommended they go ahead with the
second reading and give Malcolm Pirnie the time to complete the master
plan by the Dec. 1 council meeting. At the latest they could also wait
until the Dec. 15 meeting for the final vote. By doing this they can
view the completed plan and still have the ordinance passed before the
end of the year. Going ahead with the public hearing would also provide
residents a chance to voice their opinions on the matter.
Until then, Taylor recommended that the mayor and administration start
preparing an easy way to explain the need for the increase to the
public. People living on a fixed income, such as retired residents, will
want to know exactly what the increase will do  or they will never
support it.
Councilman Ed Pleasant also requested that the city prepare what water
rates are for an average household and how much the increase would
affect such bills in 2006.
In other discussions, Union County Commissioner Gary Lee provided a
presentation on the water/sewer purchase agreement between Marysville
and the county.
Lee explained that in the long term sewer rates for customers outside of
Marysville will be 10 percent higher. Tap-in fees will be 20 percent
higher for these areas in the long term.
Lee said in the short term, monthly sewer rates will be frozen. There
would be a 15 to 20 percent reduction in monthly sewer bills and sewer
tap-in fees will be reduced from $10,400 to $7,080 for a typical home.
But in the end, the water/sewer purchase agreement will end up helping
both the county and the city. Marysville will see an increase in revenue
from the agreement. County residents will pay the same rates,  have
24-hour emergency service in case of water main breaks and townships
would not have to annex in order to receive the service.
Jerome Township trustee Ron Rhodes said the township is "very excited
about what is happening. It is nothing but positive."
It was reported that the purchase agreement would be in effect no later
than Jan. 1, 2006.
In other business:
. Concerning State Issue 1, Roush said the Ohio Public Works Committee
met on District 11, which contains Union County. They approved a list of
five Union County projects to be funded in 2006 and 2007. The projects
include Ottawa Street Storm sewer repairs in Richwood; North Avenue
sewer work in Plain City; concrete work on Collins Avenue in Marysville;
road projects in Union County; and a loan request for water line work at
Cherry and Ninth streets in Marysville.
Roush said it was a combined investment of $2,377,000 in projects that
Issue 1 would bring into Union County.
. Mayor Kruse awarded Marysville Streets Superintendent Joe Tracy with a
commendation for his dedicated work for the city, especially during the
recent repaving process.

North Lewisburg asking voters for  operating dollars
North Lewisburg is in need of a financial boost and the hope is that
village residents will hold out a helping hand.
The village of North Lewisburg will be placing a 0.5-percent income tax
levy on the ballot November 8.
Barry First, village administrator, said the main purpose of the
proposed levy is for law enforcement. If passed, the levy funds may also
supplement fire and emergency medical services.
Mayor Dick Willis said the need for more money is inevitable as costs
rise for everyone, including the village.
"It's just like everything that goes up," Willis said, "Passing the levy
is necessary in order to keep the current level of services for our
At present, the village receives only 1.2 mills from real estate
property tax as is required by law. The 1.2 mills collects approximately
$17,000 per year.
"We initiated a 1 percent income tax in 1994 to be used for general
operations," First said, "In exchange for that we agreed to let expire
the current 6.2 mills that was being collected in full by 1997."
Therefore, the village only receives the state-mandated minimum in real
estate property tax along with a 1 percent income tax from its
The need for the additional 0.5-percent income tax is two-fold ? rapid
growth and increased operating costs.
"Since 1990 we have been the fastest growing municipality in Champaign
County," First said, "Our population has nearly doubled since 1990."
According to the 2002 census, First recalled, North Lewisburg was at a
37 percent growth rate behind Marysville and Delaware.
However, in regard to state and federal funding, growth has helped the
In total, the village has received $10.8 million in capital improvement
funds since 1985. First said about $4 million had to be paid back.
The village has had seven annexations totaling more than 400 acres since
"Our first annexation was 192 acres which, at that point, was the
largest in the history of Champaign County," First said.
First said the village has always tried to be innovative in ways to
secure government funding.
"Good management practices and planning on the part of the council and
administration is why we are proactive," First said.
Willis and First said if the levy is not passed, changes in the economy
coupled with the demand for services will make the need for additional
funding change from important to critical.
"If costs continue to escalate and climb the way they have we will be
hurting next year if this doesn't pass," First said, "We don't want to
wait until this slaps us in the face."
If the levy fails, the village will more than likely begin to cut
services such as leaf pick-up, mosquito spraying, composting and
applying salt and sand to roads and walkways in the winter months.
In total, the village employs 10 full and part-time employees. This
number includes policing.
"We have less policing and less employees, in general, as compared to
neighboring communities of similar size and operation," First said, "We
also have the lowest real estate property tax."
First cited St. Paris and Mechanisburg which each collect a 1 percent
income tax in addition to between 7 and 12 mills of property tax.
Currently the village is working on two large projects.
The first is the $3.3 million wastewater treatment plant. This project
has been largely funded through the state's Public Works program. The
plant will be supported locally via resident utility bills.
The second project is the bike path and park improvements. In total the
project will cost $553,000, of which $30,000 will be the responsibility
of the village.
"There's been a lot of changes since 1990," First said, "The community
has allowed this through their support."
During the 2000 census, the village contested the initial population
numbers. Upon going door to door, village officials took the opportunity
to survey residents on their approval of local services.
First said 60 percent of residents responded and 80-85 percent of
respondents were favorable.
"That tells us that we are doing a fair job," he said, "To keep the
level of services that we provide we have to pass this levy on Nov. 8."

Group looking for approval of senior levy
The Union County Council on Aging is asking for voter approval of its
0.9-mill operating levy Tuesday.
The five-year tax issue will cost the owner of a $100,000 home an
additional $27.56 a year, according to the local council. Funds will
support independent, healthy and secure living for the roughly 5,700
seniors who live in Union County.
The levy should raise about $848,000 a year. Approximately $250,000 of
that sum will be used to fund the agency's staff, including a director,
two case managers (nurses or licensed social workers), an office
manager, and a part-time media specialist, according to Dick Douglass,
Union County Council on Aging director.
Funds raised will not be used to construct a building.
"We don't really need another senior center. We really don't," Douglass
said. "We're currently in the ag services building, and we'll remain
The funds also will pay for any new recipients of the Mobile Meals
program, Douglass said. Presently, approximately 224 homebound citizens
are served by the program which operates out of Memorial Hospital of
Union County, according to Douglass.
The total Mobile Meals program costs more than $200,000 a year to
operate, he said, and the hospital subsidizes about $147,000 of that.
The remainder is covered by grants which have to be renewed every year.
The seniors levy would pay for any additional people who enroll in the
Mobile Meals program.
"Our greatest need right now is service to keep seniors in their own
homes as long as possible. (And) they might just need a little help to
stay there," Douglass said.
Those services might include expansion of current services such as home
renovations (widening a door frame to allow wheelchairs or scooters,
putting up handrails, installing a handicap ramp), caregiver respite,
personal care assistance, adult protective services, visitation to
isolated seniors, transportation to medical appointments and homemaking
The local Council on Aging receives three to five calls a week from
seniors living in their own homes who need help, Douglass said. The
council presently refers these people to the Community Action
Organization, but Douglass said that group currently doesn't have the
money to fund such requests. The only other option, he said, is to
solicit help from service organizations such as the Lions Club.
Union County is the only county in central Ohio which doesn't have a
seniors levy, Douglass said. Of 61 counties in the state which provide
senior services, 59 have senior levies and two have "social services"
levies which fund senior needs, he added.
Union County also has, percentage-wise, the second fastest growing
senior population in central Ohio, according to Douglass. It is second
only to Delaware County.
The Union County Council on Aging was formed last year by authorization
of the Union County Commissioners. It is charged with looking at the
needs of the county's senior population and coming up with a plan to
address those needs.
The local agency is presently funded by the Central Ohio Area Agency on
Aging and the commissioners.
Douglass, a retired Church of God minister, also is director of the
Union County Agency Transportation Service (UCATS).
He said he's asking Union County voters to "make an educated decision;
not one based on rumors."

Triad, Jonathan Alder see contested school board races
Triad Board of Education
There are two seats up for grabs on the Triad School Board.
Rick Smith, board president and Jim Reid, vice-president, are saying
good-bye to the board after 32 combined years of service. Both men
started on the board in 1990.
Four residents have put their hats in the ring.
Brad Wallace, 38, isn't new to the election process. He explained that
when he ran two years ago, he lost by approximately 13 votes to current
board member Randy Moore.
Wallace, a Honda employee, has lived in Woodstock with his family for
the past 11 years. He has two children who are students at Triad Middle
Wallace said he feels he can make a difference and bring good issues to
the table.
"First thing we need to focus on is the education of the children,"
Wallace said. "Starting in January the community will be paying an extra
0.5 percent income tax and since we've been entrusted with these funds
we need to be wise and watchful."
Don Thurman, 5214 Bowers Road in Cable, helped with the fall 2004 Triad
income tax levy campaign.
Thurman, 43, has lived in the district for 19 years with his family. He
and his wife have two children, a fifth grader and freshman in Triad
"We came to this district because of the education and my kids have done
well," Thurman said.
He is employed by Honda.
Thurman said that managing district finances is a tough balancing act.
"I want to continue to look at pay-to-participate and see, if in steps,
it can be adjusted and possibly eliminated as long as education remains
the top priority," Thurman said.
Charles Keeran Jr., 47, of North Lewisburg, wants to increase his level
of involvement with the schools.
Keeran's wife, Melissa, serves as the president of the Triad PTO.
Together they have two sons, a second and fifth grader.
Keeran graduated from Triad High School in 1976 and works for the
Northeast Champaign County Fire Department as a full-time firefighter
and paramedic. He also owns Kare Medical Transport.
"I think there are some issues at hand that need to be watched in regard
to financing and cost saving," Keeran said.
He would like to see more interactions between district students and the
community in the form of camaraderie.
"I would like to see a lot more participation from the school in regard
to the community for example from adult education classes at the schools
to students volunteering for community events, etc.," Keeran said.
Annette M. Rittenhouse, 45, graduated from Triad in 1979.
Rittenhouse and her family reside on McCarty Road in Woodstock. She has
three children, one in the seventh grade at the middle school and two
Triad alumni.
"Basically I want to get more involved in the school system,"
Rittenhouse said.
She has worked with area youth over the last 20 years via coaching
baseball and softball along with serving as president of the Triad
baseball and softball association.
Rittenhouse has been a 4-H advisor for the last nine years and served as
secretary for the Triad Alumni association for eight years.
"The main issue to be tackled at Triad is the finances," Rittenhouse
said, "We need to find more resources besides the state and our local
She is part owner of Rittenhouse show pigs.
Rittenhouse also wants to see the continued improvement of test scores.
"I want to make sure we aren't teaching just to the test and that we are
accommodating many different learners." she said.
Jonathan Alder Board of Education
There are two seats and four alumni running for Jonathan Alder School
Terry Graber and Sean Martin are both new to politics and eager to serve
the district. Linda S. Beachy and Dr. John Edward Adams II, are both
seeking re-election on the board.
Beachy, 42, is in her ninth year as a Jonathan Alder school board
"I'm currently finishing up my second term," Beachy said, who was
appointed to her first year in office.
She is married with three children including a freshman and junior at
the high school, along with a JA graduate.
Beachy, a JA alum, said she enjoys serving on the board. She is a
stay-at-home mom and a sales representative for a jewelry company.
"I view it as a community service, and I enjoy serving our district,"
Beachy explained.
If elected, her goals for her third term in office would be to continue
to manage the growing district along with helping to provide the best
resources to continually improve student test scores.
"I think it's great the way the community and school district have
worked together to get our new buildings up and running and I want to
see that continue," Beachy said.
Graber, 44, of 3900 Little Darby, is also a Jonathan Alder graduate,
class of 1979.
He received his BS in business from The Ohio State University in 1983.
Graber and wife, Lori, have three children, who have all been educated
in the Jonathan Alder School system.
Graber is a native of Plain City and is the founder and owner of
Integrity Computer Solutions. He feels his business background makes him
a good candidate.
"My business experience has taught me that a clear vision, proper
planning and continued communication are vital to successfully manage
the district's continued growth," Graber said.
Graber said his goals for office would include ensuring quality programs
for students in all areas, along with ensuring that district
administrators maintain and seek out quality teachers, staff and
Graber also feels it's essential to hear the voice of the community.
"We need to be open to ideas from the community, carefully review and
evaluate the recommendations from our administrators and provide sound
judgment and leadership for the future based on this input."
Dr. John Adams, 48, is seeking his second term on the Jonathan Alder
School Board.
Adams, of the Adams Family Medical Center in Plain City, was raised and
has settled his own family in the Jonathan Alder district.
Adams, a JA graduate, received his medical degree from The Ohio
University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
He resides on Route 42 with his family. Adams has two children at the
high school and two that are Alder alumni.
Adams is seeking re-election because he is eager to continue the work of
the past four years in regard to the development, review and support of
policies and programs.
"I want to continue to represent the board and the community during
Phase two of the design, construction and renovation of our facilities,"
Adams said.
He currently is in charge of the facilities report on the board.
"As a Plain City physician and Alder's team physician, I will bring to
the Board direct contact with all members of the community we serve as a
school district ? our students, their families and our staff," Adams
Sean Martin, of Mojave Circle in Plain City, is a senior and full time
student at The Ohio State University.
Martin, 21, is studying geography which he feels will be a great benefit
if elected. He is a 2002 JA graduate.
"My course studies in mapping and demographics will be a great aid in
planning for this coming growth, making it possible to plan rather than
react," Martin said.
He works as a part-time manager at the Plain City McDonalds.
"As the Jonathan Alder school district goes through its transition from
rural to suburban, efficient spending practices will be essential to
managing the growth in student population that will occur," Martin said.

He said with proper district policy, JA could maintain its tradition of
fiscal responsibility and academic excellence in the face of growth.
"I feel I would serve the community well by making those decisions."
Martin said.

Area pastor charged in sex sting
A local pastor  has been charged for allegedly using the Internet to
have sexual relations with a minor.
The Rev. Roy B. Burton, 55, pastor at Victory Baptist Church in Milford
Center, was arrested Tuesday in a Dayton suburb and accused of trying to
have sex with a 15-year-old girl he had met over the Internet. Law
enforcement has reported that the girl was actually a Fairborn police
officer involved in an undercover operation.
Burton faces two charges from the Fairborn Municipal Court ? a
fourth-degree felony attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and
soliciting sex with a minor, also known as importuning, a fifth-degree
Sgt. Paul Hicks of the Fairborn Police Department reported this morning
that Burton's alleged crimes were discovered after a local police
officer was investigating on-line for Internet sex crimes. Locally, the
Union County Sheriff's Office has reported it conducts similar Internet
investigations in the search for sexual predators.
"Over a five-day period," Hicks said, "(Burton) solicited the undercover
officer who was posing as a 15-year-old girl."
Hicks said Burton discussed holding a meeting with the person he
believed was a minor. He also arranged a spot to meet at. Then on
Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. police were waiting when Burton arrived at the
designated location on Dayton Yellow Springs Road.
Hicks said Burton had brought a camera with him, that he had indicated
on-line was to be used to take nude pictures of what he believed was the
15-year-old female.
On Wednesday Burton was reportedly hospitalized late in the afternoon,
after suffering from chest pains. He was transported by Marysville
medics to the Memorial Hospital of Union County. The affliction came one
day after learning of potential charges against him.
Victory Baptist Church is located at 25 W. State St. in Milford Center,
where Burton holds services on Sundays. He reportedly lives in Milford
Center with his wife and family.
Hicks said Burton will be arraigned at the Fairborn Municipal Court on
Tuesday. The crimes he is charged with hold punishments from parole to a
year in jail for the fifth-degree felony and anywhere from 1-3 years for
the fourth-degree felony.
According to Union County Sheriff's Office and the Marysville Police
Department reports, the only trouble Burton has previously had with the
law was during the late 1990s when he allegedly was performing or
solemnizing marriages with an expired license.

Pre-election campaign finance reports filed
Pre-election finance reports filed last week show two committees for
school issues on the November ballot are financed largely by people
affiliated with the schools, while the first senior levy appears to have
a broader financial support base.
Individuals residing outside of Union County appear to have an interest
in financially supporting the two school and one county-wide issues.
With 54 contributions ranging from $25 to $99 to the Fairbanks issue,
most were noted as payroll deductions as well as the 26 contributions
ranging from $100 to $600. Contributors listed addresses from Dublin,
Gahanna, Columbus, West Mansfield, Mechanicsburg, Plain City,
Springfield, London, Raymond, Pataskala, Westerville, Hilliard, Eaton,
Powell, Milford Center and Marysville.
The Fairbanks Levy Committee reports contributions of $6,434 and
expenses of $3,190.50.
Contributors of $100 or more were from:
$100 - Kacey Williams of West Mansfield; Ruth Nicol, 200 Taylor Ave.;
Joetta Shellabarger of Plain City; Matt Murphy, 416 Gallery Drive;
Heather Galsterer of Powell; Ed Rebman of Westerville; Nevin Taylor, 232
W. Fifth St.; Sandy Bunsold, 18721 Boerger Road; Nancy Bowman, 15303
Maple Ridge Road; Darla Hall Barrett of Columbus; Marion Boggs, 18211
Brown School Road; Renee Mutusik of Dublin; Brenda Brill of Milford
Center; William Thaman of Hilliard; John Moore of Hilliard; Alan Phelps
of Milford Center; Aaron Johnson of Dublin.
$125 - Nancy Dunn of Hilliard; Gloria Werline of Powell.
$150 - Sherry Shoots, 19160 Boerger Road; Mark Lotycz of Plain City.
$170 - Jeff Parker of Eaton.
$250 - Pat Lucas of Columbus.
$600 - Ag Edwards & Sons Inc. of Columbus.
North Union Levy Committee reports contributions of $1,280 with the
majority, 65, coming in $5 increments from individuals listing addresses
in Marysville, Marion, Delaware, Prospect, Dublin, West Mansfield, Mount
Vernon, Lewis Center, Kenton, Upper Sandusky, Sunbury, Larue, Plain
City, Raymond and Richwood. Most appeared to be school employees.
Only two contributions of more than $100 were listed - $700 from CM
Educational Consultants of Columbus and $100 from Carol Young of
Expenses were listed at $2,885.
The Union County Senior Services Levy committee lists contributions of
$2,375 and expenses of $335.25.
Contributions of more than $100 were listed from:
$100 - Cindy L. Farson of columbus; John Gregory of Worthington; David
and Mary Applegate of Marysville; Richard and Peggy Douglass of
Zanesfield; Robert and Carol Whitman of Marysville; Lee Farms of
Marysville; Plain City Druggist of Plain City; Scioto Corp. of
Marysville; Buckeye Alliance Inc. of Woodstock; Sharon L. Devore of
Marysville and James W. Cesa of Marysville.
$200 - VRI of West Carrollton; Underwood Funeral Home of Marysville; The
Scotts Co. of Marysville; Interim Health Care of Columbus; Cannizzaro,
Fraser, Bridges & Jillisky of Marysville; and Life Care Alliance of
Pre-election finance reports are required of any campaign committee
that: accepts contributions of more than $2,000; accepts more than $100
from any single individual contributor; or has expenditures of more than
$2,000. Reports were due Oct. 27 to the Union County Board of Elections.

Other commitee reports are as follows -
. Gore Campaign Commitee - contributions of $100 from Bob Lewis, 722
Wedgewood Drive and a $1,000 loan from John F. Gore Jr.; expenses of
. Committee to Re-elect Nevin Taylor City Councilman - contributions of
$1,000 with $200 from Bob and Nancy Lewis, 722 Wedgewood Drive and $750
from Nevin and Deana Taylor, 232 W. Fifth St.; expenses of $822.71.
. The Committee to Elect Brian Elmore to City Council - contributions of
$2,300 from a self-loan by Elmore; expenses of $2,112.83.
. Andy Thomas for Jerome Township Trustee - contributions of $2,311.35
from a self-loan by Thomas and in-kind donations of $500.50 with $447.50
from caterer Larry Clark of Plain City; expenses of $2,311.35.
. Merkle for Jerome Township Trustee - contributions of $1,675 with an
outstanding loan of $1,500 listed as other income, $500 from John E.
Berend of Plain City and in-kind contributions of $895 from Larry Clark
of Plain City; expenses of $2,881.39.
. Thomas Jeff Meister of Richwood - contributions of $610.19 from
himself; expenses of $610.19.
. Union County Democratic Party - contributions of $2,980; expenditures
of $1,479.98.
. Union County Republican Central Committee - contributions of
$28,169.55; expenses of $24,409.60.
. Union County Republican Restricted Fund - contributions of $19.84;
expenses of $0.
. Citizens to Re-elect David Phillips Prosecutor - contributions of $0;
$446.57 brought forward; expenses of $315; outstanding loan of $2,775;
balance on hand of $131.57.
. Union County Republican Party (Judician Fund) - $912.40 brought

Referendums put before voters in two townships
Darby Township residents must decide Tuesday if they are in favor of
creating the most restrictive zoning in Union County or whether they
want things to stay the same.
A yes vote puts the changes in place. A no vote will keep the current
zoning passed in 1980 and amended in 1988, 1996 and 2000.
A referendum before Darby Township voters asks whether they agree with a
new map drawn up by township officials and a private consulting firm, as
well as the creation of new zoning districts and other changes to the
zoning resolution.
The most significant changes will be to land currently zoned undeveloped
or U1 - which is the majority of the township. Darby trustees voted to
eliminate the U1 districts and replace them with A1 Agricultural
Districts and FR Farm Residential Districts.
Gary Greenbaum, who filed the referendum, said the changes devalue land
prices and disrespect land owners.
"As it is now, our existing concept of zoning is good. What we've got in
place is fine. It's working," Greenbaum said.
Data from the Union County Auditor verify his statement. Darby has lost
the least amount of agricultural land among all townships in Union
County. A search in 2004 found that Darby had lost 122 acres of
agricultural land since 1994. This compares to Jerome losing 1,298
acres; Allen, 1,216; and Taylor, which was the next lowest, at 219
acres. Union has the second highest number of agricultural acres in the
county - 21,744. Millcreek has the least - 11,388.
Trustee Doug Alderman wrote in a newsletter to township residents
recently that the zoning changes are "designed to manage development
pressures in the township."
Bob Beck said there are better ways to control development which will
benefit the community such as impact fees that benefit schools, fire and
police services.
"The purpose of the changes were to conserve land, but instead it is
doing just the opposite by requiring larger lots. You can get a variance
to reduce or change them after paying a $2,000 fee and maybe getting an
OK," writes another concerned citizen Jim Scheiderer.
 Also concerned about the changes are the executive committee of the
Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission.
LUC executive director Jenny Snapp said some of the "language is
confusing" and questions whether the zoning changes are "manageable."
She adds that these changes would create the most restrictive zoning in
Union County and the first to implement agricultural zoning.
"Agricultural zoning is often a controversial and tedious process, which
makes consensus building all the harder and necessary," Snapp wrote.
Also of concern, Snapp said in a telephone conversation, is that many of
the township's decisions seemed to be based on opinions rather than
facts. Snapp adds that the township zoning inspector is very
knowledgeable and capable of making necessary zoning interpretations.
She adds that LUC commends the efforts of the township in its attempts.
During the planning process Union County Engineer Steve Stolte said he
foresaw problems with planned district regulations.
He said that in his opinion the planned district regulations may be too
complicated, too sophisticated, maybe too difficult to manage, may
require too much professional input to manage and interpret.
Alderman states in his newsletter that "areas preserved as open space
can be owned and managed by the township ...."
Stolte questioned who will manage the conservation easement issues and
what will prevent someone from vacating the easement in the future. The
township letter does not explain.
Greenbaum and Beck voice similar concerns as they look to Millcreek
farmer Arno Renner who donated a $3 million perpetual agricultural
easement to the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2003. Two years later
the city of Marysville is planning to dig a 40-foot trench similar to
strip mining through the Renner farm ground for a 78-inch sanitary
sewer, in addition to creating concrete pads and manholes on the
protected property.
The Marysville Journal-Tribune attempted to contact an individual
supporting the zoning changes, but did not receive a response.
This is the first referendum to appear before Darby Township voters.
Jerome Township voters will be treated to one referendum on the November
Originally it looked like Jerome voters would have two zoning
referendums to consider, however the Union County Board of Elections
ruled in September that the circulator, Jesse Dickinson, had submitted a
"defective brief summary" and the referendum was found invalid. That
referendum involved 108.315 acres on the west side of Industrial
Parkway. Zoning was changed from rural to planned unit development.
Jerome voters will have the final say on the rezoning of 41.836 acres at
10045 Brock Road from rural to planned unit development. The PUD,
submitted by Cambrian Development co., LLC, is identified as Woodbine
Village and includes 65 houses. A yes vote will allow the rezoning.
Woodbine Village is described as a "new community of upscale homes"
starting at $350,000 and built on large lots with landscaping and common
green space.

Fairbanks voters to decide fate of bond/tax issues
Voters in the Fairbanks School District will decide the fate of a
combination bond issue/income tax Tuesday.
The bond issue will generate about $17.7 million which will be used to
construct a new pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade structure and
renovate the existing middle/high school complex on Route 38.
The 28-year bond issue will be for 7 mills according to ballot language.

The 0.25 percent income tax will fund furnishings, technology and more.
According to Ohio law, bond issue revenues can fund only "bricks and
Bond money will not be used to build football bleachers and the high
school band program will still be located in the high school, Craycraft
said, addressing two community misconceptions.
Voter approval of these two issues will solve the two biggest problems
the school district faces, Craycraft said; namely replacement of the
aging, deteriorating Milford Center elementary, and help with district
It was a solution determined after board-sponsored community meetings,
sub-committee meetings and an open house.
"The entire decision actually has come from the community and all the
different meetings we've had," he said.
District enrollment currently stands at 960 pupils. The current
facilities were built to handle 825.
The new and renovated facilities will be able to handle 1,166 pupils,
which will allow for future growth.
The new facility will contain general classrooms, specialty classrooms,
a new competition gymnasium, safety improvements to comply with fire and
ADA standards, energy efficient heating and cooling systems, increased
building security, a full-service kitchen, and a combination
auditorium/multi-purpose center for elementary and high school use. (An
"auditeria," a stage with a limited amount of fixed seating adjoining  a
The bond issue will cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional
$168.44 in property taxes per year, or $14.03 a month. Cost of the
income tax is harder to calculate because of the variances in individual
However, according to district figures, the average individual income in
the Fairbanks School District is $37,000 per year. Using that figure,
the 0.25 percent income tax would cost the taxpayer an additional $92.50
a year.
Right now is the absolutely best time to pass a tax issue, Craycraft
said. The cost of constructing a new facility will not get any lower,
and a Nov. 7 passage will insure bids will be let in February or March
when builders are eager for projects.
If the levy passes and the construction phase goes according to
schedule, the new elementary could open in the fall of 2008. However,
that date does not take into factor weather and construction delays.
The Milford Center Elementary will continue to be used during the
construction phase which will take about 2 1/2 to three years. It was
recommended at an Oct. 13 community meeting to tear down the academic
part and save the gym.
It also was recommended to add office/meeting space and restrooms so
what remains of the old school can be used by the community and school
That school, now 90 years old, was originally a building which housed
first- through 12th-grade pupils. It was built to accommodate 312
students and now houses 339 pupils. Twenty-four fourth-graders are
housed in two modular classrooms, another fourth grade class is housed
in a basement locker room, pre-kindergarten and latch key children are
located in the Milford Center United Methodist Church and art and music
classes are held in the cafeteria.
The building also does not meet current building codes and Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.

Room service at the hospital?
New feature at MHUC gives patients a choice, cuts costs

From J-T staff reports:
 Memorial Hospital of Union County is serving up a whole new dining
experience for its patients with the introduction of its new room
service program.
"Today's healthcare customer wants a service that will 'wow' and delight
them," said Memorial Hospital CEO/President Chip Hubbs. "Higher
expectations for service, selection and the healthcare experience exist
and we're here to deliver."
In classic hotel style, hospital rooms are now equipped with an
extensive room service menu. Patients who prefer to eat lunch early or
who are hungry for a snack, for instance, may call in an order whenever
the need arises. And what makes it even better than the finest hotels'
meals? There's never a charge for a patient's meal.
The hospital menu features a broad selection of culinary choices for all
tastes and appetites. There are made-to-order deli sandwiches,
create-your-own personal pizzas, selections from the grill, hearty
salads, homemade classics, daily specials and delicious desserts.
Patients are not asked to place menu selections the day before service
as has been customary for years in hospital food service. Instead, they
can order what they are hungry for, when they are hungry for it. A
simple call to 3663 (FOOD) on any Memorial Hospital telephone connects
the caller to a kitchen hotline. There, the requested meal is checked to
confirm it fits within any special dietary orders. The new service comes
with a promise for delivery in 45 minutes or less.
Orders can be placed between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. without restrictions
on menu selection.
"If you'd like scrambled eggs, bacon and toast for dinner, then that's
what you will have," said Marilyn Hassinger, hospital director of food
and nutrition services. "We want our patients' stay with us to be as
much like home as it can be. Open meal selections help us achieve that."

Meal orders are tracked by hospital staff, and patients who have not
ordered, do not have a family member who can order on their behalf, or
are unable to order by phone, are visited and assisted in person by
volunteers or nursing personnel.
"Medical experts note that when people have access to foods they prefer,
they tend to eat better - and eating well usually has a positive effect
on recovery," Hassinger said. "Ultimately, that's what we're all here
for - to get our patients better fast - so this new program fits in
perfectly with that common goal."
Patients are not the only ones taking advantage of room service.
Patients' family members and guests are also welcome to call in an
order. For a nominal $6 fee they are able to order off the same
extensive menu as the patient with the same quick delivery.
The hospital has been serving on-demand meals since August. Patients
have raved about the convenience, the extensive menu and the hot, fresh
food, according to a Memorial Hospital press release announcing the
The hospital's bottom line is appreciating the change, too, according to
the release. So far, food waste is reduced by about 20 percent and
overall costs are cut. Couple that with enhanced patient satisfaction
and improved nutrition, and it looks like room service is here to stay
at Memorial Hospital of Union County, according to a hospital spokesman.

School, village voters have choices to make
Editor's note: The Journal-Tribune continues its week-long series on
election issues and candidates today. This installment looks at
candidates for local councils and school boards. A story detailing
candidates for Marysville City Council will appear later in the wee

Fairbanks Local Schools
Three seats are open on the Fairbanks Local Schools Board of Election.
Two candidates are running for those vacancies.
Kevin Green, 10944 Darby Blvd., Plain City, is seeking re-election to
the Fairbanks Board of Education.
An assistant manager at Honda of America Inc., Marysville Auto Plant,
Green has served two terms with the board of education. He said he wants
to "continue to move Fairbanks' positive direction." Currently, he said,
the focus needs to be on "improving our current facilities."
Jaynie Lambert, 20160 Coleman Brake Road, also is seeking another term
on the board. A teacher for 14 years, she has served on the school board
for four years.
"I believe that Fairbanks Schools provide a quality education, with
quality teachers and a strong community involvement. I would like to
continue that legacy as the district makes important decisions during
the next four years by remaining on the board," she said.
Marysville Exempted        Village Schools
Longtime Marysville Exempted Village Schools Board members Jane McClain,
Steve Ader and Mike Guthrie are retiring. Three candidates are seeking
election to those vacancies.
Tom Brower, 22722 Holycross-Epps Road, graduated from Virginia Tech
University with a bachelor of science degree in business administration
and from Franklin University with a bachelor of science degree in
accounting. A manager at Honda of America Mfg., his work experience has
been primarily in accounting and management.
Brower has held numerous offices at First United Methodist Church,
including chairman of the administrative council and board of trustees,
finance committee member and staff parish relations committee member.
"My intention is to contribute to and strengthen the educational system
in Marysville, which I already consider to be quite strong," he wrote.
My four children graduated from Marysville Schools where they received
an excellent education that prepared them well for higher education and
their post-graduate careers. I hope that my position on the school board
will contribute to outstanding educational opportunities for members of
the community for many years to come. Having lived in the Marysville
area for over 20 years, I view this as a great opportunity to serve my
J. Scott Johnson, 1628 Meadowlark Lane, also is seeking a position on
the Marysville School Board. His professional experience includes a
position as senior systems manager at Ohio State University's Office of
Information Technology.
He has been a volunteer in the Marysville School District since the
1999?2000 school year. He also has volunteered in the following
capacities: PTO President Mill Valley Elementary (2000 -2001 and 2001
-2002), volunteer coordinator (2002 ? 2003), Good Apple recipient
2004-2005, and superintendent's advisory council 2004 ?present.
"I am very impressed with the current levels of excellence our schools
have been able to achieve over these past two years. With three children
in the Marysville school system, I have a vested interest maintaining
that level of quality. This will be a greater challenge as our community
continues to grow while at the same time, the state funding model
continues to shrink. I believe that my managerial experience and
training while at the university will be a benefit that I can bring to
the board as it works to address these and other issues over the next
few years," he wrote.
Jeffrey Mabee, 1457 Pepper Lane, is a software developer and development
team leader.
"I am proud of the education both of my kids have received from this
district and I felt this was a great opportunity for me to give
something back to the community," he wrote. "I have come to know many of
the teachers and administrators in this district and have personally
witnessed at many different levels the commitment to a 'Children First'
philosophy. I want to help continue to give our kids the highest quality
public education possible. As our district continues to grow we are
going to face more complex and challenging issues.  I believe I have the
problem solving and leadership skills to help this district to set high
goals, plan for our future and wisely managing our growth."
Delaware-Union County Education Service Center
There are three vacancies on the Delaware-Union County Education Service
Board. Two candidates filed petitions; only one, R. Gene Wiley,
responded to the Journal-Tribune's letter seeking voter information.
The other candidate is Thomas Zimmerman, incumbent, 15130 Middleburg
Plain City Road.
R. Gene Wiley, 1 Edgewood Drive, has served 19 years on the ESC board
and 16 years as a board member on the North Union Local Board of
Education. Wiley was employed in management at the Hydraulic Control
Hose Manufacturing plant.
He hopes to continue assisting in providing necessary services to school
districts that further the education of our children and grandchildren,
he said.
Milford Center Council
(Four open seats)
Robert Mitchell, 63 E. Center St., Milford Center, has served three
terms as mayor of the village prior to his retirement and has more than
30 years in law enforcement. He has also served a councilman.
Mitchell said he is seeking office because he hopes that his past
experience may benefit the village.
Ronald "Ron" G. Payne, 173 W. State St., Milford Center, believes every
citizen should fulfill his civic responsibility by serving in the public
interest. He was appointed to council and is seeking to be elected.
He was a United Methodist pastor for 40 years and is now retired.
Jeff William Parren, 6 Reed St., Milford Center, is an independent
broker for life, health and disability insurance for individuals and
small groups.  His family has had an insurance agency in Columbus since
1982, which he joined in February 2000.
Parren moved to Milford Center in February 1998 and says that he intends
for this to be his first and only home purchase.
"I am an active member of the Milford Center United Methodist Church.
In addition I enjoy being active in many local charities including the
American Red Cross to which I give blood thru Aphaeresis Donation every
four weeks. I am serving my second term as President of the Dublin Lions
Club of which I have been a member since 2001. I am also a member of the
Capital Area Humane Society - Young Professionals Group.  We raise money
for the Second Chance Fund to help animals that the Society could not
otherwise afford to treat.
"I am currently interviewing to sit on the Board of Directors with The
Union County chapter of Habitat for Humanity and I am seeking
re-election to the council in Milford Center.
"I hope to continue serving my community as a liaison between citizens
of Milford Center and the village council.  The future of our village
depends upon responsible decision making, especially with regards to
capital expenditures. My voting record clearly shows fiscal
responsibility.  I have always urged the council to do what is best for
the Earth, the Community and the Citizens of Milford Center. I have
often asked the Council to consider refurbishing village equipment to
save money and to keep from being wasteful. In example several years ago
when ODOT advised council about the Routes 36/4 bridge deck replacement
in 2006, a former council member and I persuaded ODOT to allow
refurbishing of the existing decorative railing.  We felt, and the
council agreed, that this would be a much more attractive gateway to our
Village.  In addition to preserving the familiar look of the 50 year old
bridge the refurbishing is projected to save taxpayer money.
 "I sincerely hope to continue serving the village in some capacity as
long as I live in this community," he writes.
Howard H. VanDyke, 263 W. State St., Milford Center is a project
engineer at Tool Technologies in Milford Center and a proud Marine Corps
veterans, awarded the Navy Achievement Medal while serving as a howitzer
Assistant Section Chief in 1995.
"I am seeking the council office because I can make a difference. My
determination for the village of Milford Center to meet the current
needs of its residents while planning for the future will not fade," he
VanDyke states that his position as a project engineer has allowed him
to work with many people and industries throughout manufacturing.
"In this field, problem solving skills, communication and team work are
all skills used daily."
Other candidates are Aimee M. Robles, Christopher W. Burger and Dale M.
Pyles. They did not respond to a letter requesting information.
Richwood Village Council
There are seven candidates vying for four positions on Richwood Village
Incumbents Arlene Blue, Wade McCalf, George Showalter and Peg Wiley are
seeking re-election and are being challenged by Cynthia Blackburn, James
Thompson and Julie Tumeo.
Cynthia Blackburn is the owner of Creations hair salon, which has been
in operation in the village for 12 years. She is a member of the VFW
ladies auxiliary and previously served as secretary. She is also a
member of the Northern Union County Fire and EMS ladies auxiliary.
She is a high school graduate and received a degree from the State
Beauty Academy. She feels she has received valuable insights from
running her business.
She said she is seeking a seat on the council because she feels it's
time for a change within the village government. She said she is willing
to work hard and will bring fresh ideas to the job.
"I know first hand how it can be a struggle to survive in a small town,"
Blackburn said. "I believe I can make a difference with new ideas."
She added that she is willing to listen to citizens for their input.
"We have a great town and I would like to have the opportunity to help
keep it alive," she said. "My being on council will show you how we can
have a difference of opinion, but still come together to get things
"We desperately need this for Richwood to grow and become prosperous,"
she continued. "I have always said that if you want something done, get
up and do it yourself."
Wanda Arlene Blue has operated a tax accountant business in the village
since 1969. She has a combined 21 years of experience working on village
council and Northern Union County Fire District, serving on the finance
committee for both including being chairman of the finance committee for
the village.
She is a Richwood High School graduate and has earned college credits
from continuing education programs from the Internal Revenue Service.
Blue said she is seeking re-election to ensure the financial stability
and realistic budgeting of tax dollars for the people of Richwood. She
added that she wants to work to solve everyday problems of her
"As a lifelong resident, I want to see a little growth with new homes
being built," Blue said. "It is important for residents to be proud of
their homes and community and keep their properties free of debris and
junk vehicles and the streets and park clean.
"I would like to see the day when I could feel comfortable taking a walk
alone after dark. I would like to have our resident be the kind of
people who look out for one another and respect the rights of others."
She said village council is the best place to affect change and steer
the village in the right direction.
"I would like our local government to go by the rules and let it be
known that we have pride in our town and truly care about it," Blue
said. "Elected officials should set an example and ask everyone to do
the same."
She added that Richwood is a great place to live and it can get better
with the right leadership.
"I have always said that Richwood is a great place to raise a family and
I want to be able to say that with conviction, to any and all
Wade McCalf works for Richwood Cardinal, is a 1995 graduate of North
Union High School and is a 2002 graduate of the Ohio State University
with a bachelor's degree in criminology. He has served on village
council for five years, serving two years as the utilities chairman and
three years as safety chairman.
"In these five years I've met many people and learned many things,"
McCalf said.
He has also been a member of the Community Improvement Corporation for
two years and is a three-year member of the Ohio Municipal League.
McCalf said he is seeking re-election to continue working with the
citizens of Richwood to make the town the best it can be.
"My favorite part of being a member of council is talking with my fellow
citizens and listening to their concerns," he said. "Although I know you
can't make everyone happy, I have confidence that the decisions I've
made in the past and the decisions I will make in the future will be
best for the village as a whole."
McCalf said he keeps the fact that he is a representative of the people
in mind.
"The governing body doesn't run Richwood - the people do," he said. "I
have the same characteristics as the majority of the people in Richwood
"I come from a blue-collar family and work hard. I know I can help the
people make Richwood what they want it to be and keep it the way it
should be kept - a great place to live and to raise a family."
George Showalter is retired and has earned a bachelor of science degree
from the University of Kentucky, majoring in personnel management with a
minor in business management. He has been active within the village
government since 1990.
Showalter said he is seeking re-election to serve the village to the
best of his abilities using the Ohio Revised Code and village
ordinances. He said he also researches information to make the best
decisions for the village.
"I will continue to work in the future as I have in the past, suggesting
and implementing improvements to be made in the village," Showalter
said. "These can only be accomplished with good planning, execution and
property management.
"Using guidelines such as these will continue the growth of our
He said that the government must act as a partner with other interested
parties in guiding the village.
"My feelings are that with the combined efforts of village residents,
businesses and council working together, these endeavors will continue
to assure a brighter future for the village of Richwood."
James K.  Thompson, a Realtor in the village, is a 1962 graduate of
Richwood High School and earned class I wastewater certification in
1997. He attended Marion Technical College where he attained his real
estate license in 2005.
A former chancellor commander of the North Start Lodge #452 Knight of
Pythias, Thompson is former president of St. Joseph Parish Council in
LaRue and was St. Joseph's representative to the Marion Catholic High
School Board of Education. He was also St. Joseph's representative to
Vicariate Council.
He served nine years as wastewater treatment plant operator, one year as
Richwood Village Administrator and four years as Richwood Zoning
Thompson said he wants to bring new ideas to council, encourage
community involvement and restore public confidence in village
"In years past, many people have remarked to me 'we need a change on
council,'" Thompson said. "But no one will run against the present
Thompson said those concerned residents now have a choice.
"The challengers are doing their part to make these changes occur," he
said. "Now it is up to the voters to do their part to make these changes
take place.
"I would like to have the opportunity to serve the village as a council
member. I feel my ten years experience can benefit the village in this
Peg Wiley is retired and graduated from Mt. Victory High School. She has
served on village council for nine years, three of which were as council
Wiley said there are several projects that she would like to see
completed in the next four years and she would like to be a part of
seeing those goals to fruition.
"We need as least another company in the Industrial Park," she said.
"Two would be great."
Wiley also said an upgrade to the sewer plant could be crucial to growth
in the village.
"We need to keep a close eye on the sewer plant with the possible
development of houses and new industry," she said. "This could mean a
larger plant, therefore we would have to have grants.
"This may also present a problem for the water plant since both of these
plants are old. We repair and replace all the time, which is great, but
that will not work after a while."
Wiley said she is also dedicated to managing the growth that is coming
to the area.
Candidate Julie Tumeo did not to respond to requests seeking background
North Union School Board
Three candidate will be running unopposed for seats on the North Union
Board of Education. Those candidates are Dennis hall, Kevin Crosthwaite
and Donald Tumeo.
Dennis Hall is an assistant professor at the Ohio State University
College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. He has a
bachelor of science degree in agricultural education and agricultural
economics and a master's degree in agricultural education. He is also a
graduate of North Union High School.
He has 24 years of educational experience and has directed several
educational programs that have been recognized nationally. He is a
partner, along with his father, in Hallwood Farm.
Hall said he wants to help the district focus on key issues in
education, including student achievement, fiscal responsibility and
effective leadership.
"The 'magic' of education is still the work of our teachers," he said.
"I am committed to seeing that our teachers have the resources and
training they need to grow in their profession."
He added that he believes the key to school improvement is parent and
community involvement, to which he is co-chair of the community
involvement committee of the districts strategic planning process.
"To better conduct our business, I proposed a new streamlined board
agenda that allows the board and guests more time to focus on important
educational topics during meetings," Hall said.
Candidates Kevin Crosthwaite and Donald Tumeo did not respond to
requests seeking background information.

Township voters will have full slate of candidates
Editor's note: The Marysville Journal-Tribune offers a preview of
candidates seeking two seats on each township board of trustees. Stories
on additional races will appear each day this week.

Leesburg Township
Jeff Robinson, 22451 Route 4, is seeking re-election after serving 12
years as township trustee.
A farmer, he has previously served 15 years on the Richwood Fair Board,
president for five years and a number of years with the North Union
Girl's Softball summer program.
Robinson said he would like to continue to serve the people of Leesburg
Township with a main goal to continue to maintain the volunteer fire
William R. Lowe did not respond to a letter seeking information.
Liberty Township
Karen Johnson has lived her entire life in the Peoria and Raymond area
and been on the Liberty Township Fire Department for 25 years.
While working at Pleasant Valley Fire District, she served as a
firefighter/paramedic, EMS coordinator and administrative assistant.
Johnson has owned her own business since 1995.
She has attended trustee meetings for the past two years to stay current
on township issues.
"I feel my past experience with the fire department budget and payroll,
along with owning and operating my own business give me a better
understanding of the financial aspects of the township," she writes.
"It is also important to obtain grants whenever possible to help with
the financial needs of the township. I would like to help ensure that
the future growth of our community is managed through intelligent
planning while keeping in mind the well being of the people. I sincerely
believe that by following the will of the voters that together we will
preserve for future generations our rural heritage while allowing for
orderly growth."
Dave Thornton, 25516 Coder Holloway Road, Raymond, is currently serving
as a trustee and a former member of Liberty Township zoning commission.
He retired after 36 years in the information services department at The
Scotts Co. Currently he is working for a local Honda supplier and is a
board member of the Top of Ohio RC&D. Thornton is a former member of the
Mental Health Association of Union County and Keckley Rural Life Center,
FFA State Officer and attended The Ohio State University.
As a township trustee, Thornton has served as chairman and vice
chairman. He is currently serving as vice president of the Union County
Association of Township Trustees.
"I have enjoyed serving as a member of the Liberty Township Board of
Trustees... As a near life-long resident, I am proud to have raised my
family in this community."
Pamela Ann Jones did not respond to a letter seeking information.
Millcreek Township
Keith A. Conroy, 10181 Watkins Road, is a current township trustee and
has 11 years experience working in government, nine years with the state
of Ohio.
Conroy writes that he has experienced working with nearly every state
agency in Ohio, is a member of the board of trustees of the Japan
America Society of Central Ohio, an ex-officio board member of the Ohio
Water Development Authority, a graduate of Ohio University and former
school teacher, growing up on a family farm.
"I am proud of the last four years. I believe I and my fellow trustees
made great progress in guiding the township, some of the highlights
include: with support of the zoning commission and scores of citizen
volunteers the township's first land use growth plan is nearly complete;
the trustees recently approved funding and are working closely with the
zoning commission, the board of zoning appeals, volunteers and an
outside consultant to update the township's zoning resolution; the
township zoning map is now digitalized and available online; and
expanded the public safety officer program and formed a district with
Jerome which helped keep the costs down."
Marian Jacques is program manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Union
A 17-year township resident, Jacques served as trustee for Millcreek
Township from 1998 to 2002 and prior to her first term as a trustee was
active in township politics by forming a citizens group to oppose the
city of Columbus' plan to put an upground reservoir in the township.
"We also worked in opposition to the city of Marysville's plans to annex
part of our township. More recently I completed the Leadership Institute
through the Union County Chamber of Commerce. This was a yearlong
program which provided many opportunities and exposure to the workings
of our county," she writes.
She said that she decided to run for trustee again after becoming
involved in a movement to prevent the wastewater treatment plant from
being placed in Millcreek Township.
"I discovered that I missed the involvement and wanted to again
contribute to the township. With development pressures coming from
Marysville and Dublin, we will face many challenges in the coming years.
It is my hope that we, as trustees, will work with all entities to make
sure that whatever happens in our township, we will continue to look out
for the best interests of our residents and our community and hopefully,
find a balance that does not impact our quality of life."
Paris Township
Donald R. Lowe, 209 Fairview Ave., is currently chairman of the Paris
Township Trustees.
Lowe states that he would like to continue to support the following
projects that have been started in the township: the Joint Recreation
District that provides athletic fields for area youth and adults; making
the township roads safe by widening and improving them; providing EMS
and fire protection to Paris North A and B, and Paris South precincts;
and providing financial support to the city of Marysville's Department
of Parks and Recreation for the improvement of the parks.
Recent improvements under his watch include building restrooms at
McCarthy Park and the American Legion Park, contributing to the building
of the parking lot at the soccer fields in Mill Valley, the handicapped
ramp at the Marysville swimming pool and purchasing equipment for the
city parks.
"All of this has been accomplished while keeping a balanced budget,"
Lowe writes.
He owned and operated the Sohio/BP service center for 37 years in
Stephen "Steve" Ormeroid, 629 W. Fourth St., is the retired owner of
Carroll's Electric Inc. after 30 years of providing electrical service
and contracting in the Union County area.
He is a founding member of the Union County Builders Association and
administrative vice president of the National Speleological Society, a
501(c) 3 conservation and land management organization with more than
12,000 members nationally and internationally.
"As a local businessman and contractor who has worked with the city of
Marysville and Union County, I understand the importance of cooperation
and communication between different levels of government. Paris Township
has the ability to work with the city to help provide many important
benefits for the citizens of this community. My goals, as township
trustee, will be to improve cooperation with the city and county and to
insure that township revenue benefits our growing community," he writes.

Steven C. Westlake, 19055 Route 4, is completing his twelfth year as a
Paris Township Trustee.
"Continuity is important in any governing body. We currently have three
township trustees from different walks of life who have proven time and
again that through compromise and leadership we can continue to serve
all of the residents of Paris Township with equal care and concern."
Union Township
Richard "Dick" Brake, 19851 Orchard Road is seeking re-election after
serving four years on the board of trustees with two as president.
"I am just completing my first term as Union Township Trustee and I have
enjoyed the challenges and being a part of the decision-making process
that manages our township business. I think my past work experience has
added another tool that is useful as our township moves forward."
Brake is retired from The Scotts Co. where he was a purchasing manager.
He is a member of the Milford Center United Methodist Church, currently
a member of the finance committee and pastor parish relations committee
and past chairman of trustees. He is vice president of the Milford
Center Lions Club.
"Township and local governments in the future will face even greater
challenges as we enter a period of higher costs and reduced funding from
the state. We have already started programs to reduce costs by
implementing new spending policies, rewriting job descriptions and
adjusting our work force to better fit our seasonal work load.
"The township cemetery has always has been a priority for me since it
represents all township residents past and present. I represented the
township and was an active working member of the Monument Association of
Union Township that was responsible for the restoration of our local
Civil War Monument. (This was one of the most rewarding projects I have
had the opportunity to work on.) We are also proud of the other
improvements and the overall maintenance of the cemetery in the past few
years. We have more improvements on our agenda and will continue to make
residents proud of the cemetery.
"Of equal importance is my commitment to support the maintenance and
snow removal of our 15 miles of township roads, to continue to build
sensible zoning to control growth as well as protect the rights of the
landowners and to support the needs and excellence of our fire
"We have had a good cross section of experience on our board and I would
like to continue to represent all township residents as your trustee. I
promise sound common sense decision making and conservative spending
Roy Burns, 21283 Sabine Bigelow Road, Milford Center, is a lifelong
resident of Union Township and has a genuine interest in this community.

"I have served as trustee for one term in the past and have some
knowledge as to how the committee functions and some of the goals of the
community. I have served on the OHHA Board of Directors for the past 16
years. If elected I understand the responsibilities and plan to fulfill
them to the best of my ability," he writes.
Burns farms and trains standardbred racehorses.
Rob Thompson, 10200 Streng Road, Milford Center, has worked for the city
of Marysville, water division, for six years.
Thompson writes "it is important to incorporate his willingness to serve
and his leadership qualities by actively serving in the community. As a
leader, it is essential for a trustee to listen to the residents that
they represent and then make a responsible decision that is not only
best for the township today, but also for the future.
Jeffery L. Clark did not respond to a request for information.
Washington Township
Ron Jones, 31289 Route 31, Richwood, is a Honda of America associate. He
is a 1980 graduate of North Union High School.
He is seeking this office to serve the residents and try to open more
lines of communication between the residents and trustees.
Jones has lived in the township for 19 years and currently serves on the
Board of Zoning Appeals.
"I would like to help maintain the current lifestyles that the residents
of Washington Township are accustomed to. I plan to keep this a rural
community, but be open to new ideas to improve our township. I will be
here to listen to concerns and assist the residents of our township when
Thomas "Jeff" Meister writes that "when I originally ran for trustee, my
intent was to affect some change in areas of the township that I felt
were being overlooked or neglected far too long. After my election, we
formed the Washington Township Improvement Association and concurrently
working with the Union County Commissioners I was able to secure a
$55,000 grant from the County." The grant is assisting in revamping the
Byhalia School and grounds. The school has been removed with a rear
portion being refurbished and remodeled. It will become a new township
hall. Presently the trustees meet in the Byhalia Friends Church on the
last Monday of every month at 7 pm. The surrounding school ground will
become Falcon Memorial Park.
Other improvement projects include revitalizing the main township
cemetery with the straightening of more than 156 tombstones and
revamping zoning ordinances which have had no attention since 1970.
As suggested by one of our citizens at a past township meeting, I would
like to see sidewalks in downtown Byhalia. I would like to see our
cemetery driveways paved and state routes through Byhalia, for the
safety of our children and all residents, need additional vigilance.
The Public Safety Officer is an addition to the other deputies already
in the county. The difference is that the officer patrols our township
only, along with Jackson and Claibourne. He can be at a needed site or
rescue in minutes and does not need to be called from a distant
 Prior to marrying, my lovely wife, the former Nancy Ballinger, I was
and remained an engineer and Corporate Director of Application
Engineering for a division of the Curtiss Wright Corporation. In
layman's terms it meant that I and the divisions under my direction
sought out and solved problems of metal failure/fatigue for our
customers. Since taking the position of trustee, the people of
Washington Township are now my only customers and it is my job to
address issues and problems of and in the community to the best of my
ability. Working with my fellow trustees, Randy and Richard, we have
become a real team and I would like to continue our joint efforts asking
again for the vote of the Washington Township residents. I believe it
was President Reagan who said, "We're half way across the stream this is
no time to turn back and start over."
Randy G. Sullivan, 31781 Route 31, West Mansfield, is a grain and
livestock farmer. He also is a bus driver.
"I have been a resident of the Byhalia area for over 38 years. I own a
farm where my wife, Barbara, and I currently live. My parents are
Darrell and Joyce Sullivan of Washington Township.
Sullivan is a 1986 high school graduate and has served four years as a
He was the township zoning officer and served as director of the
Richwood Independent Fair, in addition to holding offices in the North
Union Young Farmers Chapter.
"I would appreciate the opportunity to serve you and our community as
trustee. I will do my very best to make myself readily available and
want to make our township one we can all be proud to live in," he
York Township
Michael Brake, 30298 Osborne Road, owns and farms land in northern Union
County. He is also employed by Day Lay Egg Farm as a feed mill operator.

"I am seeking the office of York Township Trustee to ensure current
services are continued for the residents in the township. I feel it is
also important for York Township to have a representative on the board
from the agricultural sector," he writes.
Brake earned a high school diploma from Fairbanks High School and a
bachelor of science degree in agricultural education from The Ohio State
University in 1970.
He has served on various committees, including: the Union County Health
Board, the Union Soil and Water Conservation Board, the Farm Service
Agency Community Committee and the Richwood Junior Board Sale Committee.
He also instructed agriculture for five years, including three years at
North Union High School.
"I have been a resident of York Township for nearly 35 years, and am
dedicated to the community in which I live, my children live and now my
grandchild lives. I feel my past experiences as a member of community
service boards may shed new light on the decisions made by York Township
Board of Trustees. The York Township land owners and farmers should have
input into the decisions made by their Board of Trustees, and feel I am
an appropriate candidate to represent these people."
Judy Christian, 28302 Route 739, West Mansfield, has attended every
trustee meeting for the past six years, including every meeting for the
two years prior to her election in 2001. She is seeking re-election so
she can continue to serve the residents and work with the other board
members for the good of York Township.
In addition to being a representative to the Logan, Union, Champaign
Regional Planning Commission, she attends many other meetings that help
her obtain information that will be useful to the township.
One of the accomplishments of the trustees during her first term has
been a spring clean-up day for which she has obtained grants for funding
the past three years.
She worked with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Union
County sheriff's department to secure a 45 mile per hour speed limit in
York Center.
In the future, Christian would like to start publishing a township
newsletter, keep the zoning code up to date and involve township
residents in any major decisions.
Kenneth Etherington, 29817 Hoover Moffitt Road, West Mansfield, is a
part-time farmer and full-time building inspector for the city of
He is presently the zoning inspector for York Township and has been for
several years.
"I have witnessed first hand the responsibilities of the trustees and
feel I could be a good replacement for one of the existing trustees. I
feel my experience as a farmer will help me relate to many of the local
residents and my experience as a building inspector will give judicial
experience for township matters of business," Etherington writes.
Joseph T. Ewing, 30200 Route 31, Richwood, is retired from Procter &
Gamble after 30 years in various management positions.
"I am seeking this office so that I can utilize my business and
educational experiences in order to continue to keep York Township as a
great place to live. During my youth, many people in the community
contributed to my development and I feel it is time to try to repay that
generosity," he writes.
Ewing graduate from Byhalia-York High School and has a bachelor of
science in accounting from the University of Cincinnati.
"We all pay significant tax dollars and I believe that any government
organization should insure that those dollars are spent wisely. York
Township has and will continue to see signficant increases in
development and population growth. I plan to enjoy many years of living
in the community. I want to insure that the growth is managed in a
professional manner. My professional and educational background gives me
the experience to help guide York Township into the future."

Production of 'Harvey' worth seeing
Editor's note: The following review is submitted by Kay Liggett of the
Community Concert Association.

"Harvey," the 1945 Broadway show which won a Pulitzer Prize, is being
presented by the Spotlight Theater at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium
of Union County.
The show, which also was made into a movie starring Jimmy Stewart, gives
the audience a lot to think about in this age of speed and materialism.
The cast really enjoyed its roles and does a good job presenting the
play. The set is one of the finest theater sets. Lisa Nicol is perfect
for the part of Ethel Chauvenet. She has honed her stage talent over the
years, beginning with the production of "Harvey" in 1974. That
production was directed by Kathy Demchak in the old high school, which
is now Veterans Memorial.
In this age of television, CDs, movies and computers, it is a delight to
see actors on stage, playing out the lines of an author about real
humans speaking thoughts, ideas, humor, angers and pain.
Elwood P. Dowd is the lead character who has disarranged himself from
the real world. He is shrewd as he is gentle. In his world, he is at
peace. His friend "Harvey" is an invisible white rabbit more than 6 feet
tall whom he calls his "Pooka" (old Celtic mythology; a fairy spirit in
animal form who is benign, but mischievous).
Harvey attaches himself to Elwood, the only person who can see him.
Other, therefore, think Elwood is a loony, even though he is a regular
dude - he plays cards and drinks a bit (Well, maybe more than a bit!)
But as the show develops, we begin to wonder just who are the loony ones
- and which category are we ...
One of Elwood's best lines is, "Years ago, my mother used to say 'In
this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.' I recommend
pleasant." No denying the appeal of this philosophy in our increasingly
complex and stressful world!
For the past 60 years, audiences continue to find Elwood's outlook on
life comforting and reassuring, though naive. Kevin Porter, as Elwood is
outstanding in this difficult role. Kathy Sturm as mother of pubescent
daughter and sister to kooky brother Elwood does a fine job with her
The cast is all good. You really should see this show - just where do
you fit in the chaos of this world? Come see the show and think about
it. Turn off the TV and come see alive production.
"Harvey" will continue Friday, Saturday and Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. and
Saturday, Sunday and Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will go
to the Marysville Food Pantry and to the Union County Commissioners for
repair and update of the auditorium.
To provide the citizens of Union County and areas beyond an opportunity
to experience the enjoyment of live theater and to teach the basic
fundamentals of live performance theater are two of the missions of the
Spotlight Theater.