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Local Archived News  January 2006

 

1/31/06

     Answers about Medicare plan are available
Information session, council on aging aim to help seniors  make right choice

1/30/06

     City, county to sign water deal today

     Sex offender sentenced in court of common pleas

1/28/06

     'Bun' for  the money

     Medicare  drug benefit workshop planned

1/27/06

     Mayor turns optimistic eye toward 2006

     United Way member agencies face lean year

1/26/06

     Life saving intuition
Acting on an urge, bus driver may have kept young girl from being crushed

1/25/06

     A culture of abuse

     Holbrook & Manter has new home

1/24/06

     Marysville schools to buy land

     Stormwater plan eyed in Richwood

1/21/06

     Police recover $12,000 worth of stolen items

1/20/06

     Post election campaign finance reports certified

1/19/06

     Glacier West adds high-powered developer

     Union County evolves

1/18/06

     N.L. council to show need for levy

     Jerome trustees approve zoning map

1/17/06

     High speed pursuit ends in arrest

1/14/06

     Even the sheriff needs training
     
Rocky Nelson and Marysville Asst. Chief Glenn Nicol have each completed FBI program

     State Supreme Court rules on local issue

1/13/06

     Officials discuss street improvements

1/12/06

     FHS eyes change in career planning

     'Just a regular dog'
    
Area owner has canine competing in national championship

     Man gets five years for assault

1/11/06

     More housing growth slated

     Post office lobby to be renovated

1/10/06

     Richwood  Council continues work on budget

     Triad School Board sets committees

     Fraker remains school board president

     Unionville Center Council meets; mayor doesn't attend

1/9/06

     Marysville names 'Good Apples'

1/7/06

     Taylor Road rail crossing  to receive upgrades

     A year later and no arrest
     Investigators still trying to find out who started fire that killed two boy

1/6/06

     Generator a top priority for jail officials

     Local D.A.R.E. program gets boost $47,000 grant received from state

1/5/06

     Man sentenced for role in standoff

1/4/06

     Two new trustees on board in Jerome Township

     North Lewisburg mayor delivers state of the village address

1/3/06

    Drunk driving crackdown results in arrests


Answers about Medicare plan are available
Information session, council on aging aim to help seniors  make right choice

By CINDY BRAKE
Dick Douglass would like to help Union County's senior citizens save money.
And so far, everyone who has called Douglass, director of the Union
County Council on Aging, about Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage has
realized a savings. The savings has ranged from $100 to $900 a month
depending upon the medications, Douglass said.
"We'll do whatever we can," Douglass said.
The prescription drug plan also referred to as Part D helps pay for
prescription drugs. Coverage is available to all with Medicare. Extra
help is available for those who need it most. The program was created to
protect seniors from losing their life savings and homes if they are
battling an illness and need costly medications.
 He said no senior in Union County should not be informed about the new
prescription plan. With a trained staff, Douglass said transportation is
available to bring seniors to the office and if someone is homebound,
his staff will go to them. He adds that his staff will even go to the
pharmacy with a senior to better understand the program.
Since November the Union County office has been helping to explain the
program to seniors. In spite of printed reports about problems, Douglass
said his office has had no major problems. "It's been really painless," he said.
The free local service is available by calling 644-9629. Office hours
are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Douglass isn't the only person who wants seniors to make informed
choices - so does U.S. Congresswoman Deborah Pryce who came to
Marysville Monday to lead an afternoon session at the Windsor Senior
Center. This was the third such meeting in two weeks that she has led,
according to a staff member. Approximately 65 people attended the
two-hour Marysville program.
Pryce personally thanked local pharmacist Dave Burke. Burke said he was
surprised how well the new prescription drug plan has worked. He
encouraged seniors to bring their paperwork to the pharmacy.
"The more the person participates, the smoother the process," Burke said.
Dave Winslow, a senior citizen and Medicare Outreach Specialist with the
Central Ohio Area on Aging, opened the 2 p.m. meeting by offering a
personal perspective, as well as basic information about the program.
He encouraged all seniors to:
. Be informed and make a decision by the May 15 deadline.
In addition to the Union County Council on Aging, information is
available at the following Web sites -
www.medicare.gov, www.ssa.gov and
www.coaaa.org or by calling (800) 868-1578, the Ohio Senior Health
Insurance Information Program; (800) 772-1213, Social Security; (800)
MEDICARE or (800) 589-7277, Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging.
. Read and save their mail.
. When in doubt, fill it out. The program may not be for everyone
depending upon their personal situation. "It is available, not mandatory," Winslow said.
. Make a list of all prescription drugs, dosages and costs. This will
help in choosing a prescription drug plan.
. Watch their mail for "Medicare & You 2006" this fall. It will list
available prescription drug plans.
Winslow admitted that the process has not been seamless and that he ran
into a problem with one of his medications. The matter was resolved but
it took a few telephone calls and some patience, he said.
"This is a really important decision to make," said Doug O'Brien with
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "When looking at Part
D the only thing that matters is you. You don't have to know everything."
O'Brien encouraged the group to look online at the medications they take
and compare what is covered and what pharmacies are providers. He also
said seniors should talk with the doctor about their medications and if
there are any that could be substituted. If not, an appeal could be
filed with a letter from the doctor. "Nobody will go without needed drugs," he said.

City, county to sign water deal today
Agreement should allow government entities to manage growth

From J-T staff reports:
Industrial Parkway residents may not have noticed any difference around
1:30 p.m. today when they flushed their toilets or turned on a water
faucet, but that is when elected officials officially transferred the
county water and sewer lines to the city of Marysville.
Everyone involved states that the agreement is a good thing.
"This guarantees services to township residents at a reasonable rate,"
said Union County Commissioner Gary Lee, and without the threat of annexation.
Better yet, "it lays groundwork for the city and county to pursue other
endeavors," Lee added. In particular, he points to merging 911 services
and solving sewer issues in the Raymond and Peoria areas.
Lee predicts that this individual agreement will have the most impact on
economic development and cooperation for the future. The old agreement
didn't allow for services without annexation, he explained.
"Economically, this is the most important things to happen in a long
time," Lee said. Mayor Tom Kruse concurs.
"This is one of the most important events that has been accomplished
through cooperation between the city and county governments. It will not
only benefit the city and county but also the townships. We are looking
forward to continued cooperation between these groups as we move forward
in 2006. That cooperation will benefit all of the people in Union County."
Millcreek Township Trustee Marian Jacques said the agreement is a positive.
"Millcreek Township will have so much more control of its destiny.
Without it we could face a lot of annexation issues that could be
devastating to our township. It's better than what we had before."
Marysville city councilman Ed Pleasant said, "The signing of this
agreement is the culmination of a process where the county and the city
worked together for the mutual benefit of all.  The commisioners, mayor
and council worked hard to make this a win-win for both sides. This is
the start of an opportunity for the county and the city to work together
for the good of the community,"
Specifically, the agreement means a drop in fees for township residents.
County customers will see a reduction in sewer tap fees, water tap fees
and their monthly sewer rate. For the city, the agreement creates an exclusive service area, plus
increased revenue from water and sewer tap fees. The expanded city
customer base will also help support the planned wastewater treatment
plant and sewer improvements.
In addition, the city will acquire $8 million in infrastructure while assuming $4 million in debt.
Talks began in earnest between the two entities after the county filed a lawsuit in 2004.
County officials describe the lawsuit as a "long-run misunderstanding"
involving the previous sewer/water agreement. During court-ordered
mediation the general principles of today's contract were hammered out
between Kruse and Lee. Marysville Councilman Ed Pleasant was also
instrumental in formulating the agreement, Lee said.
Commissioner Tom McCarthy said the county got into the water business in
the early 1990s out of fear that Columbus and Dublin would extend
services to southern Union County. He explained that the "charged
political environment" at that time included talk about building an
upground reservoir in Millcreek Township and construction of an
interstate that cut through Union County. The county's decision was made
to keep the townships in control rather than having things happen to them.
With those threats gone and new proposals of development on the horizon,
Lee said, local officials began looking at the "big picture" and who
could provide services more economically. Lee said the reality is that the city can do it cheaper.
"This takes a layer of government out of it," McCarthy said.

Sex offender sentenced in court of common pleas
From J-T staff reports:
Union County Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard Parrott sentenced a
Union County man to three years in prison for sexually molesting a 6-year old girl.
Dale Allen Depp, 50, of 8367 Mitchell DeWitt Road in Plain City, was
convicted of Gross Sexual Imposition and also found to be a sexually
oriented offender. He will be required to register with the Union County
Sheriff's Office as a sexual offender for 10 years after his release
from prison. He also cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school.
According to Union County Common Pleas Court reports, Depp was accused
of "fondling the girl while at her home."
"Depp was a friend of the girl's family," Union County Prosecuting
Attorney David Phillips said, "and was at their home drinking. After the
girl disappeared, her father went looking for her."
Phillips said that the father found Depp in the bathroom, but didn't see his daughter.
"Depp told the victim's father that she had gone outside. In fact, the
girl was in the bathroom with Depp. He pretended to be using the restroom," Phillips said.
He explained that the father found the girl leaving the bathroom a short
while later and confronted Depp.
"The girl told her father Depp had touched her inappropriately," said
Phillips. "The matter was reported to the Union County Sheriff's Office for investigation."
According to reports, Depp minimized the situation when interviewed by
Union County Sheriff's Detective Jon Kleiber.
"At first, Depp said the girl was playing hide and seek. Ultimately,
through the persistent work of the detective, Depp admitted to the
sexual activity," Phillips said.
Depp also told the detective that he had stopped only when he heard the
father looking for the girl. The case was set for a jury trial on Dec.
16, but Depp reportedly avoided trial by entering a guilty plea to the
charge the day before. Depp's story changed after the guilty plea," Phillips said.
"After he pleaded guilty, Depp told the investigator that the little
girl had 'jumped on him' knocking him down and offered 'what he wanted,'
implying sex," he said. "Apparently, Depp was trying to get the court to
believe that this 6-year old developmentally delayed girl tackled him and began kissing him."
"I think Depp's story shows that he has absolutely no remorse for his
crime or empathy for the victim. It was simply outrageous," Phillips said.

'Bun' for  the money
MHS grad's picture of pastry a phenomenon on eBay; lands him more work
By RYAN HORNS
A New Jersey art gallery wants to talk with a former Marysville man -
about a holy cinnamon bun.
The story begins in 1996 as Bongo Java coffee shop employee in Nashville
was about to indulge in a cinnamon bun, until he noticed that the pastry
had a likeness of Mother Teresa. Excited about the discovery, he
promptly preserved the bun in shellac and placed it on display for
customers. It remained that way for years - until this past Christmas
when someone stole it.
Meanwhile, 1987 Marysville High School graduate Kelly Croy, 36, of Oak
Harbor happened to hear about the stolen "Nun Bun" while watching MSNBC
news. He said the story made him laugh and in a moment of inspiration,
ended up sketching an image of the historic pastry as a joke for his
family to enjoy. It was a drawing that, strangely enough, went on to
earn him national attention.
The colorful, digital rendering of Croy's Nun Bun turned his sketch into
an Andy Warhol-styled four framed image, with the Biblical commandment
"Thou Shalt Not Steal" on top.
In order for his family to enjoy the joke, he decided to sell the art
for kicks on the on-line marketplace eBay. The result was something he
never thought would have happened.
On Jan. 2 the winning bidder paid $300 for the art.
Croy's message for eBay users: This is a pop art creation of the stolen
cinnamon bun bearing the likeness of Mother Teresa. The bun has been
reported to the authorities as stolen. How sad! Many people traveled
great distances to view this cinnamon bun. The shop at one time sold
T-shirts and mugs with the likeness of the cinnamon bun until Mother
Teresa wrote them and asked them to stop . I am not trying to make money
from this auction. The news report I read said it was stolen and that
blows me away. That is why I have titled the artwork, "Thou Shall Not
Steal." My auction is a message for the thief.
Initially Croy just e-mailed his family to let them in on the joke. But
the next day he found out the joke had exploded. The item became one of
the most-watched sales on eBay, with a total of 6,980 views from people
all over the world - including one of his former students serving in Iraq.
"I am hoping to raise enough money from this auction to purchase one
pound of coffee from the coffee shop that had the nun bun stolen from
them," Croy wrote to viewers of his auction site. "Their coffee sells
for $9.50 a pound. I believe this would be bittersweet irony. If it
sells above $9.50 then I will buy cinnamon buns."
Croy's father in Marysville, Richard Croy, said his son has always been
fond of pursuing his artistic side, as well as enjoying his current role
as Oak Harbor High School assistant varsity football coach.
Richard Croy said the family got a kick out of the attention his son
received and hoped it led to good places.
Since the Nun Bun art hit the Internet, Kelly Croy began receiving
attention nationwide by art galleries hoping to showcase his work. A
gallery in New Jersey has asked Croy to present a showing of his work.
Others have contacted him to commission original designs.

Medicare  drug benefit workshop planned
From J-T staff reports:
Congresswoman Deborah Pryce Announces Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit
Workshop in Marysville
On Monday Congresswoman Deborah Pryce will host a workshop in Marysville
to discuss the new Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit.
From 2-4 p.m., Pryce will be joined by officials from the Social
Security Administration, the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA),
and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Windsor
and Community Seniors Center, 376 Rosehill Drive, to help provide anyone
interested with information on the new Medicare drug benefit and answer
questions about the program. The event is open to everyone and no
appointment is necessary.
Congresswoman Pryce is hosting workshops in central Ohio to discuss the
new benefit.  While seniors will have obvious reasons to attend,
families, caretakers, health care providers, and anyone concerned with
the long term health care decisions facing family members and friends is
also encouraged to attend.
Area residents with specific concerns about enrollment in a plan or
problems they have encountered since enrolling will have their concerns
addressed directly by a representative from Medicare.
For more information about the workshop, those interested may call the
district office of Congresswoman Pryce at (614) 469-5614.

Mayor turns optimistic eye toward 2006
By RYAN HORNS
The key word for Marysville in 2006 is "Optimistic."
Mayor Tom Kruse gave his state of the city address during Thursday
night's city council meeting. In the speech, he stressed that a lot of
progress was made last year, but that there is still a lot ahead.
"While conditions have gotten progressively better each year, let's not
be lulled into complacency and think that we are out of the woods," Kruse said.
The past year was one that had Kruse dealing primarily with wastewater treatment issues.
"We were able to complete our wastewater master plan and to move forward
into the design stages of a new wastewater treatment facility and the
interceptor sewer necessary to utilize it," he said.
Kruse explained that Malcolm Pirnie is designing the new treatment plant
and that DLZ Engineering is designing the interceptor sewer project.
"We are looking toward beginning construction on both of those projects
in the early or middle part of this year - with completion, hopefully,
by the end of 2007," he said.
Kruse also touched upon problems with planning the route for the
interceptor sewer lines, traveling between the future and former plant
sites. The lines were set to go through a property that turned out to be
protected by a state agricultural perpetual easement.
"But those issues are very close to being resolved at this point and
will be resolved without causing any inconvenience or disruption of
anyone's way of life," Kruse said. "It has been our goal all along to be
sure that we are in a position where we work as cooperatively as
possible with those even remotely affected by installation of this sewer
plant and sewer line." Council members expressed some hope that the price tag for the
re-routing won't dip into the pockets of the residents.
"I hope we do that in some way that does not create an additional burden
on the citizens of Marysville," councilman Mark Reams said. He stressed
that the new route should be paid for with new funds.
What the city specifically intends to do was not addressed. In a related
discussion, Kruse said the pride of 2005 was the agreement the city
reached with Union County for providing sewer and water services down
Industrial Parkway. Kruse also highlighted the financial condition of Marysville. The
General Fund reserves were $1,046,127 higher at the end of 2005 than
they were in 2004. This was in spite of $548,00 in additional
appropriations throughout the year. Two main reasons added to the success.
He said the income tax service was brought back in-house and because of
Becky Arnott and Rose Penhorwood in the tax collection department, the
city was able to save more than $70,000 in operating expenses and saw an
increase of 12.4 percent in tax collections.
The second reason was making 2005 expenditures $1.1 million under
budget. He said this was done by streamlining departments and divisions
as much as possible. Kruse's thoughts also touched on what to expect in 2006. In a large
project, the city will begin planning the construction of a reservoir.
The night also saw the first reading on an ordinance to issue the next
$1 million for the 2006 phase of resurfacing streets.
City administrator Kathy House said the list of streets is not
finalized, although it will be before the Feb. 2 council meeting.
Kruse focused more of his discussion on the need to create a better
situation for the Marysville Fire Department and creating an additional
fire station, but he said financially it is not possible.
"What we are looking at is building a new station and moving the fire
division to a new location," he said. "The idea is that we can better
serve all areas of the city with a new fire station in a more suitable location."
Another issue that faces the city is what will happen when development
starts outgrowing the existing capacity of the streets.
Councilman Dan Fogt said Marysville schools may purchase land on Route 4
at Milford Avenue for new schools. The traffic might become out of hand
and he suggested the need to prepare intersections.
Kruse agreed and added that perhaps the schools should be looking at
"putting something in the pot."
He also touched upon the newly proposed City Gate development going in
across from Coleman's Crossing. The two developments may create traffic
problems in the area - that will have to be addressed in 2006.
In other business:
. The first reading was held on a resolution to sell .1500 acres of land
at the end of North Walnut Street, for a bid of $9,300.
. Discussions focused on possible amendments to the Planned Unit
Development Planning and Zoning Code. Council members and planning
commission members decided to solve the issue in special meetings.

United Way member agencies face lean year
By CINDY BRAKE
United Way of Union County has approved the distribution of more than
$500,000 to 24 member agencies.
A total of $527,795.16 will assist in four areas - emergency and basic
needs, youth services, senior services and heath and human services.
"This funding will provide programming and care that will have a
positive impact on thousands of lives in our community. You have to feel
great about those results," said Brian O'Kane, chair of the budget and admissions committee.
While this is the fourth consecutive year that United Way (UW) has
allocated more than $500,000, the amount falls short of this year's $775,000 goal.
"Corporate giving was down," said Dave Bezusko, spokesman for United Way
of Union County. He explained that there are two primary reasons for the shortfall.
Specifically, during the 2004 campaign UW received a significant
one-time gift from Honda which was celebrating its 25th anniversary in
Union County. The other reason for decreased giving in 2005 was
competing interests. Bezusko said one major campaign occurred the same
week of Hurricane Katrina.
Even though overall giving was down, Bezusko said the campaign had
bright spots. In particular, he said 28 work place campaigns realized
increased giving of $500 or more each and 24 new businesses participated
in the 2005 campaign. The local organization is projecting that it will raise $715,000 in
pledges and donations. Administrative costs amount to $129,194.48 or 18
percent of money raised during the 2005 campaign.
Top corporate contributors to the 2005 campaign and the amount of their
donation as of today include:
Honda of America Mfg., $240,183; Nationwide, $81,787; Scotts
Miracle-Gro, $67,835; Nestle R&D, $27,313; Memorial Hospital of Union
County, $24,246; State of Ohio CCC, $19,416; residential mailing
campaign, $14,868 (individual donors giving from home, retirees);
Marysville Schools, $13,000; Parker Hannifan, $6,776; Honda Transmission
Mfg., $6,084; Midwest Express, $4,599; Invensys Controls, $4,338;
Wal-Mart, $4,090; Union County Board of MR/DD, $3,969; Kroger, $3,967;
Industrial Ceramic Products, $3,876; Union County Department of Job and
Family Services, $3,825; Fairbanks Schools, $3,632; Union County Engineer's Office, $3,548.
Bezusko noted that UW is awaiting reports from Ashland Chemical which
will place them in the top 10. Last year the company gave $31,679. UPS
also has yet to report its contribution. In 2004 UPS gave $8,912. He
adds that a new, large local business has pledged, but not yet made the
gift that would be approximately $15,000.
"We have a very generous community that is doing its very best to
support the United Way of Union County," said Derric Brown, a UW
committee volunteer. Because of this year's shortfall, funding cuts were made to most
programs. Some member organizations, however, did realize increases
because of donor designations and the UW board increased funding to the
Marysville Victory Center and Mental Health Association of Union County
because both agencies' budgets rely so heavily on UW dollars.
The bulk of this year's UW donations, $197,929, go to the emergency and
basic needs impact area with the American Red Cross receiving $104,677.
A new member agency, Marion Shelter Program, was also added this year
and will receive $6,000.
The youth services impact area received a total of $155,259.53 in funds.
With the Child Assault Prevention Program was released from membership,
funds for child assault/abuse prevention services have been directed to
Consolidated Care. Funding for the Child Care Network was also
re-evaluated, Bezusko said, with eligibility standards changed.
Only two other UWs in communities of similar size to Union County raised
more money than Union County's UW. Shelby County reached their goal of
$1.2 million while Logan County fell short of their goal. Bezusko said
63 of 80 UWs across the state did not make their goals.
United Way is a non-profit organization that meets one of the charitable
accountability standards of the Better Business Bureau if 35 percent of
the money raised goes toward administrative costs.

Life saving intuition
Acting on an urge, bus driver may have kept young girl from being crushed

By KARLYN BYERS
The "rest of the story" behind Jennifer Luke's selection as Marysville
School District's December Employee of the Month began way back in August.
It was then while picking up a special needs pupil in the Raymond area
that Luke, a bus driver of three years, responded to an inner urge that
most likely saved a child's life.
Luke was recognized at Monday night's Marysville School Board meeting
not only for the enthusiasm, dedication and commitment most employees of
the month exhibit, but also for " ... being extra cautious and following
her instinctive feelings," according to the resolution denoting her
employee of the month status.
"As a bus driver, Jennifer Luke went above and beyond the normal safety
practices and procedures of a driver. Because of Jennifer's actions a
young student's life was saved," the resolution reads.
Luke is just glad she responded to that inner prompting.
On that August morning, she picked up a high school student with special
needs, one who has a younger sister who attends Creekview Intermediate School.
As Luke and a bus aide were loading the special needs student onto the
bus, Luke noticed the younger child under the school bus trying to
retrieve the family cat. Luke recovered the errant animal and took it
back up the driveway out of harm's way - or so she thought.
Luke then got back on the bus and prepared to leave. The aide said the
special needs student was secured, so Luke checked her mirrors, put the
vehicle into gear and released the bus brake. Because she had taken the
time to rescue the cat, she knew she was running late. She also knew the
bus the Creekview pupil rode would be arriving shortly. But she couldn't move.
Again, the aide indicated it was OK to go. Again, Luke hesitated.
"Did you hear that?" she asked the aide. She swore she heard a voice
telling her something was wrong.
She put the bus back in park and set the brake. She exited the bus and
headed directly to its rear passenger side.
There she found the Creekview pupil wedged against the vehicle's right
rear wheels, trying again to retrieve the family feline.
Luke said she had done everything "by the book," but still things could
have gone horribly wrong.
She doesn't remember how she got the child out. All she remembers is
feeling sick to her stomach with relief.
As to the voice she heard, Luke said it could have been the child's
guardian angel or her own. "I guess it doesn't matter what it was ... If
I had rolled (the bus) an inch ahead, it could have killed her."

A culture of abuse
Prison is the latest stop in Michael Dodd's cycle of using prescription drugs

By RYAN HORNS
Sitting in prison, addicted to pain killers and knowing his marriage of more than 12 years was over, Michael Dodd said he knew it was time to take control of his life again. At the worst state of his addiction, Dodd of Marysville said he was spending $250 a day on prescription painkillers like Oxycodone, Vicodin, Percocet and Fyntanol patches. His weight dropped considerably and people started asking questions.
"All my friends noticed it and they told me, but I didn't care," he said. Dodd, 44, served 59 days in the Tri-County Regional Jail and was released two weeks ago. Since then he has been trying to rebuild his
life. But first he had to face another drug-related crime. On August 4 Marysville Police pulled Dodd over in a traffic stop and found five Oxycodone pills and a handgun inside the car - giving him a fifth-degree
felony possession of drugs charge. Tuesday morning Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott sentenced Dodd to serve six months in state prison for the crime. "I'm going to go to the judge and thank him for sending me to jail," Dodd said before going in. "He saved my life." Parrott, however, was not convinced that Dodd deserved another chance. He cited a string of drug and alcohol-related arrests spanning from 2000 to 2005. He also said that the state and the county were both willing to send Dodd to serve his time at the West Central Community Based Correctional Facility. But the rules and conditions stated the prisoner had to stay drug free. Parrott said Dodd told them that he didn't want to do that and therefore wasn't accepted to the program. "If you are looking for someone to blame," Parrott told Dodd, "look in the mirror." The decision highlights the difficulties addicts have when it comes to prescription drugs. They need something for their diagnosed pain, but the medicine alleviating the pain is also what is causing the problem.
Dodd's attorney, Michael Streng, said that although his client is not prescribed for Oxycodone anymore, his current medication falls under the program's disqualifying drugs. Days before the hearing, Dodd said he was prepared to go to jail. But he knew that the longer he stayed in, the worse it would be for his job and
family. Prescription drugs are easy to find, easy to buy and Dodd said he has watched their abuse become a growing trend among Union County teenagers and adults. Now he wants to tell his story.
"I just want to get the word out. How you can fall into a trap," he said.
Dodd then pulled out a list of three Union County teenagers who died recently from prescription drug abuse.
"I see these kids' names and I could be right there on that list," he said. "I came that close to it. Now I won't do them ever again. I'm that positive about myself. When they sent me to jail . it just opened my
eyes." Until then, Dodd said he had been living a double life. He had a lucrative job as a concrete worker and everything going for him. "None of my family knew how bad I was in," he said. "They knew I was
doing something, but only one of my friends knew how bad it was." Looking back, Dodd said he could see where a series of decisions led him down the wrong path. His marriage ended after going to jail for drug
abuse and he was able to stop using crack cocaine. But it was the combination of depression and chronic back pain that left him with a void he continued to fill with painkillers. It started after a friend
gave him some Vicodin. "Then I started getting Percocets because I wanted something stronger. I started getting all I could from this person. I knew when they would get their prescription at the beginning of the month, the middle of the month and at the end of the month. I still wanted my pills. Sometimes I
wouldn't go home until I found them," he said. He almost overdosed by mixing Oxycodone and a Fyntanol patch, so he decided to stop cold turkey. But it was short-lived. "I felt so bad with my friends telling me how bad I was looking, that I said 'To hell with this. I'm going to get off of these,'" Dodd said. "I detoxed myself and it was the hardest thing I ever did in my life. I was in the recliner and I was sweating and my son was the one who helped me through this." Dodd said he spent 12 days clean. But just when he was beginning to gain control, he decided to take two Vicodin for the pain in his back. "That pulled me through and it made me feel better again," he said. "So
I started doing them again." The only option that finally worked was being sent to jail. When he failed to show up for a hearing at the Union County Common Pleas Court, Parrot immediately ordered him to jail.
When Dodd got out, he said the first step toward staying sober was to start being honest with himself. He confessed to his physician, Dr. David Applegate, that he had been abusing his prescriptions.
By admitting it, he hoped it would make it too difficult to keep abusing prescriptions because everyone would be on to him. Applegate said that addiction to pain killers often forms in people who
may have addictive personalities. "They may be depressed and there is some void they are trying to fill in their life," he said. "Some people are more prone to addiction than others, much in the same way that not everyone who drinks alcohol becomes an alcoholic." Instead of dropping him as a patient, Applegate decided to send Dodd to a pain specialist for his back because there are numerous ways to treat
pain without resorting to addictive drugs. Applegate said ultimately people who abuse prescription medication place a burden on their doctors. With only a small percentage who may be lying, it's not worth it to distrust the majority.
"It can be difficult. You'd like to believe your patients," he said. Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol said investigators apply "diversion" tactics at pharmacies and hospitals in order to catch
abusers but even with increased attention in 2005, police saw a general increase in prescription drug arrests. "We check local pharmacies and look for patterns of abuse," Nicol said. "There are so many different areas people choose to obtain drugs." He said abusers might choose to steal prescription pads, deceive their doctors, sell their legitimate prescriptions for cash or break into cars, homes and pharmacies to find drugs. Part of this rising trend in abuse is because modern society tends to be over-medicated, Nicol said.
Dodd said drugs were always around him because he was involved in the culture of abuse. What makes prescription drugs so dangerous is how easy it is to get them. A circle of buyers and sellers are always working in conjunction with one another. He has one piece of advice for those addicted to prescription drugs - avoid the people who are keeping you in the culture of drugs. "I know a lot of people and they knew I had money all the time and I'd know when they got their prescription filled and they'd call me up. I'd get all the pills they got," Dodd said.
The names of addiction
Prescription drug abuse has been on the rise locally and nationally. The following are some of the medications being abused on the streets. Police and physicians ask that if these medications are being stored in bathroom cabinets or in drawers at home, to immediately secure them in locations unavailable to children, teenagers or burglars. Vicodin: Essentially made up of Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen. Often used to treat moderate-to-severe pain caused by ailments such as broken legs. It is possible to become physically and/or psychologically dependent on the drug. When mixed with alcohol, or altering the drug by crushing, dissolving or snorting, it has been known to cause overdose and death. The drug ends up hitting the brain all at once, causing respiratory depression, stopping the brain's ability to tell the body how to breathe.
Percocet: Contains Oxycodone and Tylenol. It is prescribed for pain in general and works by blocking the brain's response to the pain. Like Vicodin, there are no severe risks when used in the correct dosage. But
when people abuse the drug by increasing the dosage or mixing it with other drugs, it can cause addiction or death. It also can result in respiratory depression.
Oxycodone/Oxycontin: It is listed among the strongest prescription drugs. The medication is similar to heroin and has been known to be abused by people who crush up the pills. The drug is meant to be taken
once every 12 hours. Pills issue delayed dosages while dissolving in the stomach. By crushing or dissolving the drug and ingesting it, the delayed response mechanism is destroyed. Abusers are not aware of how
strong the drug is. A pill of 80 milligrams of Oxycodone is equal to roughly 16 Percocet pills. It can very addictive and can result in death.
Fentanyl patches: Also known as Duragesic. It is a manmade compound that relieves pain when taken orally. It is on the list of highest controlled substances and is in the same family as Morphine or Heroin, but
stronger. Its danger is caused by the fact that patients are often slowly introduced to the drug in the treatment of severe pain. They are then slowly taken off of the drug when treatment has concluded. This
cannot be assured when abused on the street.

Holbrook & Manter has new home
From J-T staff reports:
Holbrook & Manter, CPAs, a professional services firm, has announced the move of its Marysville office to 103 Professional Parkway.
A new 4,800 sq. ft. office building will house the firm's growing team. The firm has partnered with local businessman Robert Conklin as an investor in this project. "Through the physical extension of our Marysville office, Holbrook & Manter will be in a much better position to meet the needs of our
existing and growing client base and to expand the scope of services we provide to the business community" said Robert "Bob" Buckley. "We are fully committed to the Marysville area and excited to be able to support the imminent growth throughout the county."
Joining Buckley in overseeing the new office are E. Frederick Manter, Bradley H. Ridge, Brian Ravencraft and Stephen Smith, other principals of the firm. With more than 100 years combined accounting experience, the principal partners are fully focused on providing cost-effective, high quality professional services combined with personal attention. Holbrook & Manter is one of the largest independent firms in central Ohio with offices in Marysville and Marion. It is a full-service professional business firm dedicated to providing accounting, tax, payroll, business services and management consulting advice to both
businesses and individuals since its origination in 1919. With more than 30 team members, Holbrook & Manter offers its clients extensive expertise in traditional service areas, including general
accounting, compilation, review, audit, tax preparation, tax compliance and tax consulting services.
"Going beyond the expected and customary services of a CPA firm, we accommodate a diverse client base while remaining focused and responsive to the personal attention that each client deserves," said Buckley. "We are well-equipped and anxious to continue to grow our professional management advisory services, business development and consulting, technology assistance, healthcare consulting, individual financial planning, business valuations, mergers and acquisitions, and succession planning."

Marysville schools to buy land
Purchase of 162 acres would allow room for four schools

By KARLYN BYERS
Will 162 acres in Paris Township become the location of Marysville
School District's second middle and intermediate schools?
School administrators and board members hope so.
Monday night, board members Roy Fraker, William Hayes, Tom Brower, Jeff
Mabee and Scott Johnson unanimously passed a resolution authorizing
Marysville Superintendent Larry Zimmerman, Treasurer/CFO Dolores Cramer
and Fraker to enter into a contract with trustees of the Edgar Bunsold
trust to purchase land located at Route 4 and Southard Road. The agreed
upon purchase price is $12,000 an acre, or $1,944,000.
Zimmerman said the deal was struck only 20 minutes before Monday's 7
p.m. board meeting began.
It also falls on the heels of an unsuccessful attempt to purchase 41.376
acres of the late Malcolm MacIvor's Oakland Farm for $1,861,930 in
September. Board members voided that contract in December, after an
engineering study uncovered an underground high pressure gas line,
possible traffic congestion and low water pressure.
While the Bunsold property is destined to house a combined
middle/intermediate school, it is large enough for another elementary
and a second high school, Zimmerman said.
"We've laid it all out in such a way as it will work," he said.
Zimmerman called the site "an excellent location." Located two or three
miles from Fifth Street, it not only offers access to Route 4 but also
to U.S. 36 and U.S. 33.
As with the MacIvor property, there will be a period of "due diligence"
when the school district will conduct an engineering survey to determine site suitability.
" ... and we can choose to back out if something is discovered," Zimmerman said.
With a building site selected, the school district can now go forward on
planning for construction of a joint middle/intermediate school with a
fall 2008 opening in sight. District officials estimate the school
district could save $1.3 million on construction costs and $175,000 in
operating expenses each year with two schools built on one location.
Zimmerman said the school district also is looking at heating the
buildings with geothermal energy and using "gray" water to flush commodes.
In other action, the board:
.Approved three resolutions dealing with the consolidation of two issues
for bonds into a single bond issue to achieve cost savings. This was the
second phase of a procedure begun in October, in which the school
district is trying to "maximize" its financial position, according to Zimmerman and Cramer.
.Heard a presentation from Kim Kinsey, high school foreign language
department chair, about the high school foreign exchange program. Every
other year students travel to France or Spain, Kinsey said. This year,
36 students will travel to Segovia, Spain, from March 16 to April 1.
Kinsey said the program is "amazing." It not only immerses participants
in a foreign language and exposes them to different cultures, it
instills self-confidence in each and every participant.
.Heard a presentation on the school district's planning/evaluation
process by Colene Tracy, Edgewood Elementary principal; Greg Stubbs,
administrative assistant; and Tim Kannally, Creekview Intermediate
principal. Board member Bill Hayes said he would like to see future
reports include plans being implemented at the middle and high school
levels to be presented every six months.
.Named the new elementary building Northwood Elementary School. It is
located at 2100 Creekview Drive. The name was selected from suggestions
submitted by pupils.
.Adopted the 2006-2007 school year calendar, which was selected by a
majority of staff members. School will begin Aug. 21 and end May 31,
2007, with graduation scheduled June 3, 2007, at 2:30 p.m.
.Accepted the resignation of Maryann Sweeney, middle school principal,
effective at the end of the current administrative contract.
.Accepted the resignation of teacher Eric Pearson, effective Jan. 6.
.Employed Dustin Green, intervention specialist, and Charles Hughes,
maintenance, under a one-year limited contract, effective Jan. 13 and Jan. 3 respectively.
.Took no action to withdraw recognition of the high school Model United
Nations as a voluntary organization and to withdraw recognition of Len
Baldwin as a volunteer for the organization. Zimmerman said there have
been differences regarding out-of-state travel.
.Employed Andrea Brinker, Heather Brownlee, Lauren Fowler, Erica Hill,
Jerri Knaul, Julie Martin, Nancy Orosz, Howard Smith, Richard Wunderlin,
Lisa Subler, Jason Hardin and Audra Chamberlain as certified
substitutes, and Roberta Baldwin, Danyal Brogan, Nikki Rinehart, Robin
Hurt, Frances Jackson, Diane Jacobs, Melissa Johnson, Vicky Landreth,
Diana Payne, Kathy Robinson, Rebecca Sparks and Emily Thissen as classified substitutes.
.Awarded supplemental contracts on an as-needed basis to Arianne Torka,
high school student light and sound technician; Adam Kunkle, middle
school wrestling; and Anthony Blumenschein, Joe Spaulding, Ryan Young
and Matt Beany, middle school baseball.
.Contracted with Karen Feltham to provide occupational therapy services
to the school district effective Feb. 1 through June 2.
.Contracted with I-Force to provide for the placement of temporary
classified employees on an as-needed basis, effective for three years beginning Jan. 23.
.Approved payment for a 0.5 additional high school assistant wrestling
position due to an increase in students numbers for 2005-2006.
.Recognized as volunteers Darren Martindale, high school girls
basketball; Randy Ianni, high school baseball; Randy Coder, Larry Fox,
Sarah Knox and Bob Luzenski, high school softball; and Timothy Preston,
van driver to transport equipment.
.Accepted the donation of $200 from J&D Home Improvements Inc., DBA J&D
Basements Systems, The Basement Doctor, Reynoldsburg, for Special
Olympics; a $200 donation from C.T.'s Pizzeria to support positive
behavior incentives at Raymond Elementary; a donation of book bags from
Good As Gold for families in need at Creekview Intermediate School; a
$1,592 donation from the Creekview PTO to purchase library books; and a
$100 donation to the middle school language arts department from the
Fraternal Order of Eagles No. 3506.
.Approved an overnight trip for the East Elementary Third Graders to the
Columbus Zoo for "Zoo Camp" on May 12.
.Approved the sale of DVDs of Creekview's winter and spring concerts;
the sale of Creekview Ski and Snowboard Club T-shirts; and approved
Melissa Dahlman as a volunteer. She is interning with Creekview guidance
counselor Molly Balch.
.Approved Jane Martinez as a high school student teacher from Ashland
University for the second semester of this school year.
.Entered into executive session to consider the employment/re-employment
of personnel. No further action was anticipated.

Stormwater plan eyed in Richwood
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Flooding in Richwood is a problem.
From the Richwood Cardinal on East Blagrove being flooded out to Ash Run
regularly spilling its banks, business and home owners alike have been
affected by the village's lacking stormwater system.
Those days may be nearing an end as the village is looking at a program
to improve the village's stormwater management.
Ed Bischoff of the village's engineering firm Bischoff and Associates
presented the members of Richwood Village Council with a draft outlining
a program to generate money to improve the system. The program would
charge property owners a stormwater fee based on runoff created by their
homes and property. During Monday's regular council meeting, Bischoff said single family
homes are the basic unit in the program and would pay a set fee.
Additional money would be charged for things such as larger lot sizes
and paved parking lots for businesses. Bischoff said open lots with no
home would pay a percentage of the single lot fee.
Council member Jim Thompson asked if the program addresses runoff from
farm fields outside the Richwood limits that drain into the village.
Bischoff said the village can not charge those outside the village under the program.
He added that by addressing the runoff within the village, the water
coming in from outside the limits should have a lesser affect.
Councilman Scott Jerew asked if residents will be able to hook
downspouts into the stormwater system. Without answering the question
directly, Bischoff said that if the plan is implemented the village
should be able to handle any runoff generated within the village.
Although exact fees were not discussed, Bischoff noted a similar plan
adopted by another town in which a $3 per month fee was assessed for an average home.
Bischoff asked council to review the plan and bring comments and
questions to the next council meeting on Feb. 13.
In other business, council:
.Learned that the current water line improvement project should be
completed this month.
.Heard that village crews will be learning how to order and install
chimney seals for manholes in the village.
.Learned from village administrator Ray Miller that village crews have
been seeing an increase in sewer line backups because people are
flushing inappropriate materials.
.Learned that village crews had recently repaired a water main break on
Blaine Avenue and replaced a $2,000 pump at the wastewater plant.
.Held first reading on a resolution to vacate a small portion of an
alley between 690 and 727 W. Ottawa St.
.Voted 6-0 to add mayor Bill Nibert's name to village financial
documents so that a second person, other than the finance officer, is
able to access village financial records.
.Held an executive session to discuss pending litigation.

Police recover $12,000 worth of stolen items
From J-T staff reports:
Marysville Police recovered thousands of dollars in stolen items after
investigators searched a home in the Meadows Apartments.
As a result of obtaining a search warrant, officers arrested Nicholas E.
Fair, 25, of 742 Meadows Drive. He was jailed on one count of felony theft.
According to Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol, additional
charges are expected to be filed against Fair once the investigation is completed.
Nicol said that at 9:45 a.m. on Friday detectives executed a search
warrant at Fair's home on Meadows Drive for suspected stolen property inside.
"Several items, believed to have been obtained using stolen identities,
were found inside the apartment.," he said.
The list of stolen property includes a Dell 50-inch screen plasma
television, a home theater system, Dell laptop computers, printers,
cameras and related equipment. All of the items were seized and
detectives estimate a combined value of more than $12,000 in stolen
items were recovered. Officers also found a stolen license plate in
Field's apartment, as well as suspected ecstasy drug tablets.
In the parking lot at the front of the apartment, Nicol said police
recovered a stolen 2006 Acura TL vehicle bearing a stolen Michigan license plate.

Post election campaign finance reports certified
By CINDY BRAKE
The Union County Board of Elections has certified campaign finance
reports for the November general election.
It appears that this year's big spenders were in Jerome Township with
the two winning candidates listing expenses that total more than
$11,000. Listed below are the total expenses filed in pre and post
election reports, along with individual donations of more than $100.
Robert Merkle of Plain City reported $5,361.98 in expenses with
donations of $1,500 from the Industrial Parkway Association, $500 from
John Berend and $250 from Robert Smucker. Andrew Thomas reported
$5,758.38 in expenses with donations of $1,500 from the Industrial
Parkway Association, $250 from Ralph and Lisa Smucker and $250 from John E. Berend.
Merkle and Thomas were successful in their races to unseat incumbents
Freeman May and Sharon Sue Wolfe. May reported expenses of $366.08.
Wolfe filed a letter informing the board that she was terminating her
political action committee and had no expenses or donations.
Expenses filed by other candidates or groups with the board are:
Townships
Allen  - Karen A. Foli, an in-kind contribution of $1,174.60 and $128.47
from Dan Fancey; Ronald D. Chapman, $912.24; Jack E. Rausch, $761.09.
Claibourne - Jim Wiley, $98.77; Douglas Wilson, $0.
Dover - Barry Moffett, $97.20.
Jackson - Richard Carpenter, form left blank
Leesburg - Jeff Robinson, $0
Liberty - Dave Thornton, $1,340.79; Karen C. Johnson, $399.13; Pamela A. Jones, $300
Millcreek - Marian Jacques, $148; Keith Conroy, $0.
Paris - Stephen Ormeroid, $3,127.75 with a donation of $500 from Shirley
and Carroll Ormeroid of Marysville; Donald R. Lowe, $602.92.
Union - Dick Brake, $632.36; Jeff Clark, $473; Dwight Robert Thompson, $460.21
Washington - Thomas J. Meister, $610.63; Ron R. Jones, $167.74
York - Joe Ewing, $275; Mike Brake, $192.54; Judy Christian, $105.12;
Kenneth Lee Etherington, $0.
Levy Campaigns
Fairbanks Levy Campaign - expenses of $6,591 with contributions of $600
from AG Edwards and Sons Inc.; of $500 from Jim Craycraft; of $250 from
Pat Lucas; of $170 from Jeff Parker; of $150 each from Sherry Shoots and
Mark Lotycz; of $125 each from Nancy Dunn, Alan Phelps and Gloria
Werline; $100 each from Aaron Johnson, Kacey Williams, Ruth Nicol,
Joetta Shellabarger, Matt Murphy, Heather Galsterer, Ed Rebman, Nevin
Taylor, Sandy Bunsold, Nancy Bowman, Darla Hall Barrett, Marion Boggs,
Renee Matusik, Brenda Brill, William Thaman, John Moore.
Union County Senior Services Levy - $3,283.70 in expenses with
contributions of $300 from Richard L. Douglass; $250 from Tom McCarthy;
$200 from VRI, Underwood Funeral Home, Scotts Co. Interim Health Care,
Cannizzaro Fraser, Bridges and Jillisky, and Tim Garrett; $150 from SJF
Enterprises of Delaware; and $100 from Cindy Farson, John Gregory, David
and Mary Applegate, Robert and Carol Whitman, Lee Farms, Plain City
Druggist, Scioto Corp, Buckeye Alliance Inc., Sharon L. Devore and James W. Cesa.
North Union Levy Committee - $3,035.57 expenses with a donation of $700
from CM Educational Consultants and $100 each from Dennis Hall and Carol Young.
Political Action Committees
Industrial Parkway Association, a political action committee - Donations
totaling $3,020. Donating $500 each were J&J Land Development Ltd.,
Pagura Co., all of Plain City; Bedrock Stonecreek of Columbus; and Allen
S. Shepherd III of Dublin.
Allen Township Residents for Responsible Government (candidates Ron
Chapman and Jack Rausch) received $243 from Wayne Eastman.
Committee for the Preservation of Rural Living - $4 expenses.
Yes on Rezoning-Responsible Growth for Jerome Township, $23,100 in-kind
contribution from Cambrian Development of Columbus.
Political Parties
Union County Democratic Party - $1,479.98 expenses with contributions of
$300 from Thomas Kruse and $120 each from Lloyd Short, Leigh Ann Moots
and Ronald G. Payne.
Union County Republican Central Committee - $28,646.87 expenses with
contributions of $2,965 from contributions of $25 or less; $1,000 from
Allen Shepherd II; $500, Steve and Mardy Stolte; $450 from the Ohio
Republican Party of Columbus; $250 from Jim Westfall, Richard Parrott,
Brent Sheares, Charles and Judith Walk, David Weaver, Scott Westfall and
Steve Yurasek; $125 each from 134 individuals; and $100 each from James
Patton, William and Sally Parrott and Robert Merkle
Union County Republican Party (Judicial Fund) - $0 expenses.
Union County Republican Restricted Fund - $0 expenses.
Councils
Marysville - John F. Gore Jr., $3,443.54 with contributions of $100 each
from Bob Lewis, Ed Pleasant, Susan Pleasant, Kevin Pelanda and Donna
Burke, $250 from David Applegate, $500 each from Annette Trembly and
Scotts PAC and $750 from the Union County Republican Central Committee;
Leah Sellers, $1,359.79 with contributions of $750 from the Republican
Party; Mark Reams, $1,161.83 with in-kind contribution of $2,009.40 from
the Ohio Republican Party and $100 from Robert Lewis; Nevin Taylor,
$1,975 with contributions of $200 from Nancy and Bob Lewis, $100 from
Donna Burke and $500 from Scotts; Brian Elmore, $443.02; Todd A. Dibble, $0.
Milford Center - Jeff Parren, $0 expenses
Richwood - Jim Thompson, $74; Julie Tumeo, $72.26.

Glacier West adds high-powered developer
By CINDY BRAKE
Glacier West, a much-talked about developer with land holdings south of
Marysville, has a new partner.
Forest City Enterprises, a Cleveland real-estate company, has joined
Glacier West Group LLC as a partner in the development of a large master
planned community. Forest City has approximately $7.8 billion in total
assets and operates under three strategic business units - commercial,
residential and land development.
"The 1,600 acre parcel of land near the intersection of U.S. 33 and 42
in Union County will bring housing, commercial and industrial space, and
much needed infrastructure improvements to the growing Marysville and
surrounding area," states a press release from local attorney Dennis
Schulze, a spokesman for the group.
Infrastructure construction is reportedly to begin this year.
A year ago representatives of Glacier Development announced plans for a
master community on thousands of acres under option in the Fairbanks
School District within Millcreek and Jerome townships.
"We're excited about what this development will offer to Union County,"
Schulze states in the recent press release. "Glacier Ridge will boast
fresh housing, new roads, green spaces including park facilities, bike
and walking trails, and retail, commercial and industrial facilities.
The increased tax revenue generated from the community will be used to
further improve the local infrastructure as well as schools in the
Fairbanks district. To maintain the developers' vision and community
integrity, a set of standards and land use restrictions are being
considered for all construction, making the community stable, predictable and secure.
Meanwhile, various officials and public employees say they have seen
nothing official about the proposal.
Union County Economic Development Director Eric Phillips told Marysville
Council on Jan. 12 that he was "surprised" at recent news about the
Glacier Ridge development. He said he did not know anything about a
future meeting on the development.
"We've seen nothing," said Jerome Township Trustee Chairman Robert
Merkle at this week's regular meeting.
Schulze writes that updates about the project will be provided as they
are developed and approved.
"Because a community of this size and stature requires significant
authorization from multiple government and civil authorities, the amount
of factual information and project timeframes that can be divulged to
the public at this point is limited," Schulze states.
A Web site for Forest City Enterprises states that the company's largest
business unit is the commercial group with 82 completed retail, offices,
hotels and mixed-use properties including 12 regional malls, 29
specialty retail centers, 33 office buildings and eight hotels with
2,937 rooms. The residential group owns and/or manages 123 apartment
communities with more than 35,000 units. The land development group
reportedly works with major corporations and individual landowners in
developing master-planned communities and land for residential,
commercial and industrial use. Target markets are listed as Boston, New
York City, California, Washington D.C. and Denver.
Forest City began in 1921 when the Ratowczer family emigrated to the
United States and began a lumberyard business. The company went public in 1960.

Union County evolves
City Gate adds second retail development on Marysville's east side
By RYAN HORNS
A new deal in the works may create a new commercial draw to Marysville's
growing "Gateway" district. Local developer Phillip Connolly has invested more than $4 million in a
project dubbed "City Gate." Connolly's construction company filed zoning
papers Friday for a quality commercial/retail development center set to
go in north of Delaware Avenue and west of U.S. 33.
Connolly said people can expect medical offices, condominiums, hotels,
restaurants, banks, retail stores and more.
He said the buildings and land will be razed throughout January, in
order to have infrastructure completed in time for business construction
to begin in early fall. "Several lots are yet to be committed to with a letter of intent,"
Connolly explained. "I expect to have businesses sign on the dotted line
by early summer." City Gate encompasses properties formerly owned by Kevin Cowgill, Jeff
and Steve Mohr, Greg Hawkins, John and Sandy McBride and the Charles B.
Linzinmeir estate. Regarding specific businesses planning to build within City Gate, he
said it is too soon to say. There are no official contracts signed right
now. Offers have been made and several letters of intent have been
written up, but nothing is set in stone. Rumors about what businesses are going in have been abundant.
"I'd like to categorically deny any rumors of a Lowes," Connolly said.
"Everybody keeps saying Lowes"
He explained that the lot sizes for City Gate average between 1 and 4
acres, whereas Lowes needs about 15 acres of space. According to the
sketches, a total of 19 lots are drawn out in sizes ranging from .92 to
3.49 acres. The total space of City Gate is listed as 37.712 acres,
zoned traffic orientated commercial.
Initially, he said, potential big box stores had expressed some interest
in the property before lots were drawn, but he said that plans changed
with the coming of the Coleman's Crossing commercial development on the
other side of Delaware Avenue. Connolly added that some retailers also
did not want to meet the architectural standards he has set for the City Gate project.
Connolly said business owners have the choice of buying land and then
constructing their own buildings to City Gate zoning standards, or have
Connolly Construction do the work and then lease the building back to
potential owners. As far as zoning, he said the idea for City Gate incorporates "our own
architectural standards." The plan is for "higher quality" designs - not
as strict of zoning as Easton, but more like a Lennox-style development.
"There will be brick and stone and nicer street signs, sidewalks and
curbs," Connolly said. Connolly submitted a preliminary sketch plan to the Marysville city
zoning office on Jan. 13. The plan shows Coleman's Crossing Boulevard
extending across Delaware Avenue into City Gate. Frontage Road is
scheduled to be removed. All City Gate streets will be contained in the development to help
control traffic and retain a residential feel.
To gather up ideas for the City Gate plan, Connolly said he met with the
contiguous landowners and asked them what they would like to see developed.
"The design incorporates comments out of that meeting," he said.
Connolly explained that the ProRite Muffler building will be up and
operating throughout April. Owner Greg Hawkins reportedly reached a deal
with him to buy a lot on Ninth Street near Scioto Industrial, so he
could continue his auto repair operation.
Connolly said the idea for City Gate came about seven years ago when he
wanted to create what he called an "eye-opening gateway" to the city of
Marysville, from U.S. 33. He purchased the land from seven different
owners and already owned the old Connolly Construction office and barn
property, which had been in his family for the past 50 years.
After being securing options on the land for the past seven years, he
began the process of forming what was is now called City Gate.
Meanwhile, the city of Marysville is running with the same idea an has
already secured state grants for landscaping plans to freshen up the
roadways and grassy areas heading from U.S. 33 to area of Coleman's Crossing and City Gate.

N.L. council to show need for levy
By CORINNE BIX
Before going back to the voters for an income tax levy, North Lewisburg
Village Council is doing some homework.
During a special meeting Tuesday, Council voted to create a cost
reduction committee after several members raised concerns that a levy is
only warranted if there is data to back it up. Council had reconsidered
placing a 0.5 percent income tax levy back on the ballot. Residents
voted down a 0.5 percent income tax in November.
"We have to show them that we are spending their money wisely," Curtis Burton said.
Steve Wilson, council president, said that before he could even consider
supporting an income tax increase he would have to see in writing a cost
reduction plan along with financial data.
The cost reduction committee will have six members. Susan Spain, Dave
Scott and newly elected Jason Keeran will represent council. Mayor Dick
Willis, Administrator Barry First and Village Clerk Diane Davis will
attend committee meetings.
First was in full support of the committee and commented that it would
give council a "true understanding of what is coming in and out of the budget."
Council members said before initiating another tax other cutbacks should
be considered. Members suggested cutting wage increases for village
employees from 4 percent to 3 percent, along with eliminating the 0.5
percent tax credit for residents who work outside of the village and pay
income tax to another municipality.
Willis and First said that in order to keep the current levels of
services more funding is necessary. Currently, the village budget is
consumed by policing and administration payroll. Willis named the
painting of the village water towers as a cost not currently covered in the budget.
At present, the village receives 1.2 mills, approximately $17,000, from
real estate property tax. First explained previously that the village
also collects a 1 percent income tax for general operations. It began in 1994.
In other business, council approved 12 new masts, lighting and
appropriate hardware to improve the overall street lighting. The village
will also change out 21 existing bulbs to increase light output by
almost 60 percent. The additional cost per month to the village will be $165.
Gary Silcott, village engineer, offered an update on the wastewater
treatment plant. Silcott said the village is hoping to bid the project
in March with construction to begin as early as May.
The latest request by the Ohio EPA to lower the temperature of water
discharged into Spain's Creek had been tabled. Silcott, on behalf of the
village, had told the Ohio EPA that the request to change the
temperature of affluent discharge was outrageous given the lengthy
checklist already imposed on the plant project. The village has already
lost grant money because of holdups by the Ohio EPA which has changed
the distinction of Spain's Creek to an exceptional cold water habitat.
Concerning the water meter project, Silcott said the original estimates
for materials and labor are approximately $200,000 over budget because
of the cost of installation. Silcott said given the village size, small
companies are unable to complete the job in the original six month time
frame allotted in the contract and the job is too small for larger
companies. Silcott suggested approving an under budget bid for materials
which would buy 487 water meter units at $185,000 as opposed to the
original $230,000 allotted for materials alone.
Council approved purchasing water meters, increasing the engineers
estimate for installation of the water meters and the time allotted for
installation from six months to one year.
Susan Castle, area resident and multi-unit property owner, had concerns
about the future water meters.
Currently, each and every property owner pays a flat rate of $55 per
month for water and sewer. The introduction of water meters will charge
property owners for the water they actually use.
Castle said as a multi-unit property owner she will have to pass that
cost off onto her tenants. In multi-family complexes only one to two
water meters will be used to gauge the water usage for the entire
building. She would like an option were landlords can choose to include
water and sewer rates in a tenants monthly rent or the landlord could
choose to have the village individually collect water and sewer charges from the tenant.
First said that individual billing would only be possible if
multi-family property owners chose to bear the cost and change out
plumbing in their buildings allowing for individual water meters for separate units.
Council tabled an initial proposal to expand the current municipal
building to better accommodate the Northeast Champaign County Fire District (NECCFD.)
The NECCFD is based out of the village's municipal building. The NECCFD
is a taxing entity subdivision that serves North Lewisburg, Woodstock,
Rush Township and Wayne Township. The fire district rents space in the
building at $500 a month or $1.20 a square foot.
For some time the fire board has been discussing ways to expand on
already cramped quarters. The village has offered to donate to the fire
district three acres of land north of the park along East Street to
build a new fire station. However at an estimated cost of $1 million to
$1.5 million for construction and maintenance the fire district has
explored alternate options, given that a new building would ultimately
tax area residents. First and Willis suggested a plan to expand on the current municipal
building on the west and east ends.
The fire district would be responsible for the east expansion and the
village would pay for the west expansion increasing rent from $1.20 a
square foot to $4 to retire the cost of the addition.
Jason Keeran, council member and firefighter, said this is just a quick
fix for now and five years down the road they will be back at square one.
Susan Spain and Wilson suggested that an open dialogue be started
between council and the fire board. She suggested that all council
members attend the Jan. 30 fire board. The next regular council meeting will be Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Jerome trustees approve zoning map
By CINDY BRAKE
Jerome Township has an official zoning map.
During Tuesday's regular meeting, the three trustees unanimously
approved a map approved by the zoning commission.
Trustee chairman Robert Merkle explained that the map was created by
reading minutes of zoning and trustee meetings back to 1959 when zoning
was established in the township. Merkle explained that the possibility
of error existed on previous maps which were created when zoning
inspectors colored in the maps. The approved map will be placed on a
data base with the LUC Planning Commission and filed with the Union County Recorder.
Following a 55-minute executive session, trustees Ron Rhodes,  Merkle
and Andrew Thomas unanimously appointed Bill Milesky of Plain City to
the January 2006 term of the board of zoning appeals. He fills a seat
formerly held by Thomas. Thomas' term ended December 2005.
Merkle said applications on file were first considered in filing the open seat.
Zoning coordinator Kathleen Crowley was also unanimously appointed as
the township's representative to the LUC Planning Commission.
Rhodes said the 911 Executive Committee is wrapping up and preparing for public hearings.
In other business, the board:
. Unanimously agreed to purchase high speed Internet services for the
township building. The current dial-up service allows only one computer
to operate at a time. The township has three computers and a fax machine
which require Internet connections.
. Approved $338.67 in repairs to the pickup truck hood at Lyons Body
Shop in Plain City and the removal of "zoning inspector" decals.
. Discussed future road and development projects. Rhodes said he was
visiting two major develops. Merkle noted that the township has "seen
nothing" from the developers, but will have the opportunity to either
work with them for a good quality development in the township or the
development will happen in Marysville.
. Responded to questions from the public about the zoning coordinator
position; a previous decision concerning pay rates for the zoning and
zoning appeals boards and their secretary; costs for Internet services;
and the appointment of Milesky. Former trustee Freeman May made a verbal
public records request to see Milesky's application.

High speed pursuit ends in arrest
From J-T staff reports:
Union County Sheriff's Office deputies dealt with a high speed chase this weekend.
After the chase was over, deputies arrested driver Jonathan R. McComas,
24, of 414 S. Main St., for fleeing and eluding law enforcement,
operating a vehicle intoxicated and super concentration blood alcohol
content, speeding and driving under suspension.
According to reports, Sunday at 2:43 a.m. in the Richwood area a deputy
witnessed a gold Honda Accord driving, which then stopped abruptly. The
car then squealed its tires and sped off at 62 mph in a 25 mph zone,
running several stop signs in a row.
The officer followed and radioed for other deputies, who later located
the driver heading south on South Franklin Street  toward Route 37. The
driver was traveling at speeds of more than 100 mph.
Deputies then reported that the vehicle suddenly stopped on Route 37
north of Bethlehem Claibourne Road and gave up the chase.
Law enforcement officers drew their weapons and removed McComas and a
passenger from the car. McComas was arrested and the passenger, who was
not identified, was not charged.

Even the sheriff needs training
Rocky Nelson and Marysville Asst. Chief Glenn Nicol have each completed FBI program

By RYAN HORNS
Although serving different agencies, Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson
and Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol have something in common.
Both men are graduates from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National
Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Out of all law enforcement in the nation,
only 1 percent are fortunate enough to have been accepted to undergo the
training. Many officers have been waiting years for the chance.
Both men know of some officers who applied in 1995 and are still waiting to go.
"It is very competitive," Nelson said. "We are very fortunate."
Internationally recognized for its academic excellence, the National
Academy Program offers attendees 11 weeks of advanced investigative,
management and fitness training for selected officers having proven
records as executives or future leaders of their agencies. This is only
after the application process, background investigations and selection
by the local FBI field office. In the case of Union County law
enforcement, centered in Cincinnati.
The National Academy will only accept officers with the rank of
Lieutenant or higher and officers who attend represent less than one
percent of all law enforcement officers in the nation.
Nicol said he waited three years before he was accepted to take the
program in April, 2003. He ended up being the first in the area to undergo the training.
"The networking is phenomenal. You can't put a price on that," Nicol said.
He said he still speaks with other officers he met from the program, one
of which works out of the Cincinnati FBI office.
Nelson said he heard of the program after Nicol was accepted and soon
applied himself. After Nelson was accepted, his session began on Oct. 2
and he graduated on Dec. 16.
He ended up receiving course instruction in topics such as management
for law enforcement; Legal issues for law enforcement executives; labor
law; stress management; evidentiary photography; microcomputers in law
enforcement; managing transitions and physical fitness.
He is the first member of the Union County Sheriff's Office to attend
the bureau's National Academy.
The program Nelson went through was made up of law enforcement
executives from 49 of the 50 states and 25 executives from 23 foreign
countries to include Egypt, Norway, Belgium, Jordan, Austria, Belgium,
Australia, Switzerland and more.
Nelson's roommate was an Interpol officer from Madagascar, who spoke
four different languages. Nelson ended up inviting the man to his home
for Thanksgiving dinner and to meet the family.
"He said he'd like to go," Nelson said. "And then he asked, 'What is Thanksgiving?'"
Nicol said what he remembers about the program in 2003 was the focus on
physical training. The National Academy Fit Challenge consists of running triathlons,
undergoing the Marines infantry course, runs anywhere from two or five
miles at a time. Then there is the infamous "Yellow Brick Road" run - a
6.1 mile course. Nicol said many of these runs were done in the pouring rain during his
Spring 2003 session. "Afterwards everyone would just throw their shoes in the trash because
they knew they were ruined," he said. Nelson said for the most part he was able to run things smoothly at the
Union County Sheriff's Office via the Internet.
"I am fortunate to have a great staff," he said. "A sign of a good
leader is if you can step away and things can still continue without missing a beat."
Both men said one of the more difficult aspects of the lengthy training
sessions was being away from family for so long.

State Supreme Court rules on local issue
By CINDY BRAKE
The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ordered Union County Common Pleas
Judge Richard Parrott Friday to appoint members to the Union County
Veterans' Commission Board.
The Supreme Court opinion, posted on the court's Web site, states, "...
we grant a preemptory writ of mandamus to compel Judge Parrott to
appoint a qualified person as a commission member representing the American Legion..."
Concurring were Chief Justice Thomas Moyer and Justices Alice Robie
Resnick, Paul Pfeifer, Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Maureen O'Connor,
Terrence O'Donnell and Judith Ann Lanzinger.
Contacted late Friday afternoon, Parrott said he did not know what the
decision was and offered no comment. Gail DeGood-Guy, representing the
Veterans' Commission, referred all calls to attorney Bill Owen.
Owen said the writ is simply an order from a superior court ordering a
lower court to comply with a ruling. He also noted that the order is
specifically against only Parrott and omits Union County
Juvenile/Probate Judge Charlotte Eufinger.
Because it is the highest court in Ohio, there is no option to appeal
the decision, said Union County Prosecuting Attorney David Phillips, who
had removed his office from the controversy because of a conflict of interest.
The seven justices offered no specific timeline for Parrott to make the
appointment although two appointments have expired since Parrott's
decision. The Supreme Court decision directly concerns two appointments
that have been held over - that of Clarence Durban of Plain City, who
represents the American Legion and Robert Jordan of Marysville, who
represents the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Owen said the commission would be forwarding names to Parrott next week for appointment.
In 2003 Parrott informed the Union County Commissioners that he would no
longer appoint board members to the Veterans' Service Commission and
other boards, saying that he believed it would jeopardize his license to practice law.
"It's not my problem," wrote Parrott in a July 2004 letter to the
Governor's Office of Veterans' Affairs. He did not appoint a qualified
candidate by Dec. 31, 2004, when the term of one commission representative expired.
Parrott based his inaction on an opinion issued by the Office of
Disciplinary Counsel, Ohio Supreme Court. The opinion stated that a
judge should not serve or be a member of the Board of a Community Based
Correctional Facility since participation would be a breach of judicial
ethics. He reasoned that the opinion also meant he could not appoint
individuals to a policy-making board which could have litigation coming before his court.
The dilemma escalated to the point that the local veterans' commission
filed an "original action in mandamus" with the Supreme Court of Ohio on
June 29, 2005, against Parrott and Union County Probate/Juvenile Judge
Charlotte Eufinger, who is also authorized to make appointments.
Jim Forster, present acting director for the Governor's Office of
Veterans' Affairs, had said that no other judge in the state had taken Parrott's position.
The local five-member commission includes Leo Speicher of Byhalia,
Hubert Fry of Richwood, Clarence Durban of Plain City and Robert Jordan
and Max Amrine of Marysville. The commission's goal is to serve
veterans, spouses and/or survivors in all matters pertaining to veteran
benefits, to provide emergency and temporary financial assistance,
assist in the preparation and submittal of claims, follow-up on claims
and transport veterans to medical facilities.

Officials discuss street improvements
By RYAN HORNS
Streets and development were two of the biggest Marysville discussion
topics in 2005. The first city council meeting of 2006 proved to be no different.
Marysville City Council touched on plans for resurfacing more streets
this year. Members also heard more about the future Glacier Ridge development.
Concerning city streets, residents who felt left out of the 2005 street
repairs may be happy in 2006.
"The list is being refined," City administrator, Kathy House said about
the plan for $1 million going toward local streets in 2006.
"We will be opening bids in March," she said, "so we can have the
contractors ready to go in the spring."
Until then, House said, the city will be going over the first phase of
roads to get resurfaced and the list will be released to the public when
that process is complete.
House also gave some information on the combined Marysville/Ohio
Department of Transportation urban paving roadwork.
She explained that Elwood Avenue to Echo Drive on Route 31; Elwood
Avenue to Main Street; Elwood Avenue, down Main Street to Eighth Street
will get work. Currently, House said, handicap ramps are also being installed in the
downtown intersections. She said Mayor Tom Kruse would give his State of the City address at the
Jan. 26 council meeting, because he could not attend the meeting on Thursday.
House then provided an update on repair work for City Hall's leaking
roof. She said contractors started the job on Tuesday.
In another discussion, further details on the future of the Glacier
Ridge development were addressed.
Councilman Mark Reams said he wanted to know if economic development
director Eric Phillips knew any details about the Glacier Ridge
development slated for southeast section of Marysville.
"I was surprised,"  Phillips said about recent news.
He said he did not know anything about a future meeting on the
development, which may be in the works.
"It might be with Millcreek Township," he said. "The city and the county
officials have not been invited. So I was surprised to see that paragraph in the article."
In other topics, Phillips reported that the Design Review process of the
city planning commission is almost completed and will be presented to
council in February or early March.
In other discussions:
. City council's leadership reorganization took place during the beginning of the meeting.
John Gore was re-appointed as council president; Ed Pleasant was named
vice-president; and Connie Patterson was again made clerk of council.
Gore said that during the Jan. 26 council meeting, council members would
be appointed to committees such as parks and recreation and public service, among others.
. The meeting marked the first day for newest council member Leah
Sellers. She spent a portion of time asking questions about Planned Unit
Development (PUD) zoning, which the city planning commission has been
working on. The result was a possible amendment to the PUD ordinance,
matching up sections 1145.12 and 1145.21, with what documents city council has.
. Sean Cunningham, a junior at Marysville High School, told council that
he is a part of the foreign exchange program that would be going to Spain this year.
Cunningham said that the class would be holding a "Celebrity Dinner" at
the school on Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. in order to raise finances for the trip.
. Reams reported that the Frozen Nose 4-Miler race held in Marysville is slated for Jan. 21.
. Council then went into executive session, which city law director Tim
Aslaner said was for "pending litigation." It was not discussed whether
it concerned a recent $5 million lawsuit against the city filed by resident Myron Gallogly.

FHS eyes change in career planning
By KARLYN BYERS
Changing career planning strategies at Fairbanks High School was like
going "from a screwdriver to a power tool," said high school vocational
agriculture teacher Nevin Taylor.
Taylor and high school guidance counselor Barbara Kroft discussed the
Kuder Career Search at Wednesday's monthly school board meeting. Taylor
said the plan, which accesses individual student's skills and matches
them to suitable vocations, will replace the Career Passport, a
vocational charting document which is being used by a majority of schools throughout Ohio.
Taylor called the Kuder program "a beautiful system." Records are stored
off site, he said, and can be accessed from anywhere.
"I would be glad to say I came up with it but I didn't," he said.
The system is being funded by a federal career grant that is
administered through Tolles Career Center. Fairbanks is the only school
district in the county using the Kuder program, said Superintendent Jim Craycraft.
Through Kuder, students can apply to colleges and search for
scholarships online. They can even use the system after graduation from
college to plot their careers. "We're giving our kids an edge up," Taylor said.
Board members also heard treasurer Aaron Johnson say the district is six
months into the fiscal year and 12 months into the levy and doing OK. He
said food services and athletic accounts are doing well and the school
district should be able to finish the year with a small balance.
Johnson said "nothing significant" was discovered in the recent state
audit. "We seem to be in pretty good shape," he said.
Board members held the district's organizational meeting prior to the
monthly board meeting. At that organization meeting, Kevin Green was
re-elected board president, a position he has held since January 2000.
Star Simpson was elected vice president. She previously served as vice
president after the November resignation of then-vice president Alan Phelps.
 Johnson administered the oath of office to Green, Simpson and Jaynie
Lambert who were re-elected in the November general election, and
newcomer David Huber. Huber was selected in December to fill Phelps' unexpired term.
In other action at the organizational board meeting, members:
.Set the time and date of 2006 board meetings as the third Monday of
each month at 7:30 p.m.
.Set board compensation at $125 per meeting.
At the regular board meeting which followed, superintendent Jim
Craycraft discussed community survey results. He said 15 percent of
those receiving surveys about the district's facilities returned them,
which was "pretty high" in his estimation.
But, he added, no clear-cut trend emerged. Sixty-four percent of those
returning the surveys favored construction of a kindergarten through
eighth grade facility, however.
In other action, board members:
.Approved the payment of $1,977.08 as the district's share for new baseball bleachers.
.Heard a report from high school principal Jeff Parker, who said he has
enjoyed the first 6 1/2 months of his employment. Parker said the
"overall respect of the students is refreshing and unexpected."
.Approved the Ohio School Board Association membership fee of $2,419 for
the 2006 calendar year.
.Authorized Johnson to pay the Ohio School Boards Association Legal
Assistance Fund $250 for renewal of a contract for legal assistance
consultant services for the 2006 calendar year.
.Approved athletic contracts for Andy Pinkerton, assistant high school
track coach; Jeff Powell, Rich Rausch, Joey Newell and Carleton Cotner,
volunteer power lifting coaches.
.Accepted the donation of outdoor playground equipment from the Fairbanks Elementary PTO.
.Moved into executive session to discuss personnel. No further action was taken.

'Just a regular dog'
Area owner has canine competing in national championship

By KARLYN BYERS
A "regular" dog is bound for a national competition in Florida this
weekend, where she'll compete against other canines in the AKC/Eukanuba
National Championship.
Champion Highlanders Emma of Lennoxlove, more commonly known as "Emma,"
is a 16-month-old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. She is trained by
Marysville-area resident Ellen Jackson, with whom she resides, and
co-owned by Jackson and Rochester, N.Y. breeders John Hamilton and Marile Waterstraat.
According to Jackson, "Tollers" were accepted as an established breed by
the American Kennel Club on July 1, 2003.
The breed traces its Canadian bloodlines back to the early 19th century.
A true retriever, Emma loves to swim and fetch. She is described by
Jackson as "a good family dog" who's "just a regular dog."
The AKC/Eukanuba invitation-only national championship will be held
Saturday and Sunday in Tampa, Fla. It will be simulcast live on Animal
Planet and Discovery Channel, starting at 8 p.m. both nights.
Dogs will compete for a total purse of $225,000, with the top dog receiving $50,000.
"It's a big deal," Mrs. Jackson said.
This is the second time Jackson has owned a dog which qualified for
national competition. The first time, in 2003, her male Toller "Piper,"
qualified for a trek to Long Beach, Calif. But Jackson said that was too
far to drive and she wasn't comfortable transporting her champion animal
by air travel. But this year, facing just a 17-hour drive, Jackson is packing her bags,
gathering together Emma's cargo and going. She will be accompanied by
her husband, Phil, who while not as enamored of dog shows according to
his wife, nevertheless will lend support to Mrs. Jackson and Emma.
 "We're never going to get this chance again ... ," Mrs. Jackson said.
She added she was looking forward to it "because of the experience."
Mrs. Jackson admits to being a little nervous, mainly because of the
importance of the event and Emma's youth. She's probably the youngest of
her breed invited to the show, Mrs. Jackson said.
But she is determined "to do the best I can and have fun with my dog and
see that she has fun." Invitations are issued to canines ranking in the top 25 of their breed
based on year-long competition in other AKC (American Kennel Club)
events. Any dog receiving an all-breed "Best in Show" at an AKC event
held during the qualifying period also receives an invitation.
In addition, the top-ranked dog in each AKC-registered breed is invited
from other countries around the world. About 140 dogs from 20 countries
and continents, including Asia, Europe and South America, are expected
to compete. A total of 2,648 contenders is anticipated.
Emma qualified by winning each "bred by exhibitor" class in which she
was entered. She's also "in training" for agility classes, although
she's not far enough along to compete.
The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship also will feature the AKC
National Agility Championship and AKC National Obedience Invitational.
This is the third year the three have been featured at one venue.
Mrs. Jackson also owns Emma's mother, "Cailin," (Champion Lennoxlove
Highlanders Cailin), the aforementioned Piper and an aging Australian
shepherd named "Sydney." Each dog has its own unique personality and characteristics.
Although Jackson admits to a deep affection for the Australian shepherd breed,
Tollers have captured her fancy at the moment. "They are my favorite right now," she said,
gazing affectionately at the three golden dogs milling about their owner.

Man gets five years for assault
From J-T staff reports:
A Union County Common Pleas Jury needed less than 45 minutes to reach a
guilty verdict against a Marysville man on Monday.
Zachary Alexander, 24, of 650 Third St., was found guilty of felonious
assault stemming from a June 25 incident.
Following the conviction, Judge Richard Parrott sentenced Alexander to five years in prison.
According to Union County Prosecutor David Phillips, the 23-year old
victim and several of his fellow employees were attending a social
gathering at 215 N. Court St.
"During the party, Alexander apparently became upset with the victim,
and later assaulted him. The defendant apparently took offense to some
things he thought the victim was saying about him," Phillips said.
"Alexander grabbed the victim off the front porch of the home and the
two began fighting in the front yard. When the property owner and
another man realized what was happening, they broke it up."
According to reports, the victim retreated back to the porch and was
leaning against the porch rail. Alexander came up on the porch and
allegedly struck the victim again.
"When everyone thought this was over, Alexander punched the victim in
the eye. The punch fractured the victim's orbital bones - the bones
around the eye socket," Phillips said. "The injury was very serious and
the victim had to have the plates and screws implanted to repair the
fractures. The surgery required the victim to be cut from ear to ear
over the top of his head, and surgeons had to peel the skin down to put
the plates in place. The victim testified he could still feel the surgical screws under his skin."
A large scar is still visible across the victim's head, Phillips said.
Represented by Marysville attorney Mike Streng, Alexander was ordered to
pay $22,000 for the victim's medical bills.
Phillips said he was pleased with the verdict and sentence handed out by Parrott.
Alexander was also convicted in 1999 for a similar incident.
"It was déjà vu," Phillips said. "Alexander was convicted of felony
aggravated assault under similar circumstances and the victim suffered a
similar blow-out injury to his eye." Alexander was sentenced to 18 months in prison for that prior crime.

More housing growth slated
By RYAN HORNS
Two new residential developments are in the works for Marysville's southwest side.
Galbury Meadows is a Planned Unit Development (PUD) that is expected to
add another 76 single family homes and 140 condominiums to a section of
land at the intersection of Routes 38 and 736. The project was filed by
Mid-Ohio Holding Company.
According to Tammy Penhorwood in the Marysville zoning department, the
development will have a main road connecting the new lots that is
expected to dead end near the Eastman PCP property.
Penhorwood said the residential area will offer a clubhouse and picnic
grove for future residents as added features.
The preliminary plat design for Galbury Meadows was approved at the Dec.
5 Marysville Planning Commission. More reviews will be coming up for
approval on the project during the February meeting.
Penhorwood said developers are hoping to get approval on Galbury Meadows
in March. She said because the project is zoned a PUD, it means the plans must
come before the Marysville City Council for further approval.
At the Dec. 5 Planning Commission meeting project representatives
indicated key points they have tried to meet: Providing a safer exit
from Boerger Road; Providing large lots along the Boerger Road
properties; Making condos a transition area from the commercial zone to
the single family community; Providing a preservation along the natural
tree row; Adding a collector road to connect the properties on the east
side to the west side; And providing a unique community feature and
providing quality homes by custom builders.
Developers stated that the average lot sizes are 23,660 sq. ft. and
prices for homes are expected to range from $300,000 to $400,000.
Project planners also reported that Galbury Meadows should have a unique
feel to it for prospective homeowners. This was accomplished through
adding the club house and the picnic grove.
At the planning commission meeting they indicated there will be a deck
going over a pond, a few indoor driving ranges in the lower level of the
clubhouse, pool tables, card tables, TVs , computer stations and more.
In the picnic grove there will be a shelter with barbecue grills,
horseshoe pits, driving range and play areas. Both of these amenities
are accessible by walking paths and sidewalks. Residents will not have
to drive if they don't want to.
The second development planned for the southwest area is The Oaks. It is
expected to add another 50 single family lots and a 22.126 acre
condominium lot. It is to be constructed on the east side of Route 38 at Route 736.
Penhorwood said the sketch plan for the project went through the Oct. 3
Planning Commission meeting and just recently developers brought in the
preliminary plat designs into the city zoning offices.
The Oaks is also a PUD and will therefor eventually come before
Marysville City Council for final approval. Until then, the project is
still set for more hearings at the Planning Commission sometime in February.

Post office lobby to be renovated
From J-T staff reports:
The Marysville Post Office has a request: Pardon the dust.
On Tuesday employees reported that there will be an extensive renovation
of the post office lobby area. It will start this Saturday and is
expected to take anywhere from six to eight weeks to complete.
As a result some changes will take place, the post office explained in a media release.
Post office customers can only retrieve their mail until noon on
Saturday and will not have access to their post office box again until
Tuesday at 8 a.m. due to the construction. The post office is already
scheduled to be closed on Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
The post office reported that beginning on Tuesday post office box
customers will have access to the boxes Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to
5 p.m. and on Saturdays, from 8 a.m. until noon.
Customers will still be able to receive full service at a temporary
station that will be set up in the parking lot.
"The long anticipated lobby renovation will provide Marysville customers
with a beautifully expanded lobby that will include an additional 200
post office boxes," the office wrote in a statement.
The new expanded lobby will have installed the new Automated Postal
Center (APC) to enhance customer service. The APC is an interactive
machine that helps take care of almost all of the customer's shipping
needs automatically: Ship packages, buy stamps, print labels. It allows
customers to purchase stamps or mail packages anywhere in the United
States simply by using a credit or debit card. The APC will be available
24 hours as an added convenience.
During the construction period all retail window services will be
available in the trailer in the north parking lot. Vacation hold mail
may be picked up at the dock at the rear of the building by ringing the
bell at the back door. Customers may request delivery of such mail by
their carrier. Requests for delivery can be made on-line at
www.usps.com
or the help line at (800) 275-8777.
Many services at the Marysville Post Office are available at the on-line
Web site. Customers can purchase stamps, use the Click-N-Ship service to
print mailing labels, pay for postage on-line and confirm delivery. They
can even request a package pick up at a home or office location.

Richwood  Council continues work on budget
From J-T staff reports:
Richwood Village solicitor Rick Rodger swore in four council members to
open Monday night's meeting, including one new member.
Former village administrator Jim Thompson took the oath of office along
with re-elected council members Wade McCalf, Peg Wiley and George
Showalter. Showalter was later approved as council president for the coming year.
Council continued to pour over figures for the annual budget, trying to
bring the numbers into line.
Figures provided by village financial officer Don Jolliff showed that
projected expenditures are outpacing projected revenue by $22,947.
Projected revenue for the year is $2,385,408 with an additional $205,849
in carryover funds, while annual appropriations are set at $2,614,205.
Jolliff reported that had the village not decided in past years to
repeal an income tax credit for those working outside the village, the
financial picture would be even more dark.
Showalter, who heads the village park committee, reported that vandalism
to the lighting display at the park was minimal over the recent holiday.
He also reported that the village garden club has volunteered to
decorate the town hall Christmas tree next year.
He also reported on the final figures for shelter house rental fees at
the park. A total of $1,407 was collected in fees.
Mayor Bill Nibert said he is currently creating a list of committee
assignments for the coming year and is looking for input.
Council held an executive session to discuss personnel before adjourning the meeting.

Triad School Board sets committees
By CORINNE BIX
The Triad Board of Education elected Chris Millice president and Randy
Moore vice president Monday evening.
New members Annette Rittenhouse and Brad Wallace were given the oath of
office and received committee assignments. Rittenhouse will serve on the
athletics, curriculum, and negotiations committees. Wallace was
appointed to curriculum and building and grounds. Both will serve as
OSBA (Ohio School Board Association) liaisons as well as OSBA student achievement liaisons.
Jackie Watson, most senior board member, was appointed to athletics,
finance and negotiations. She also will serve as board representative at
Ohio Hi-Point JVS. Watson is beginning her sixth year on the board.
Millice was appointed to finance and special committees. Moore will also
serve on special committees, along with building and grounds.
Board member compensation was set at $125 per meeting, the maximum
allowed by the state of Ohio, with a maximum of 20 meetings per year.
Superintendent Dan Kaffenbarger said the state maximum per meeting has
been in effect since January of 2004.
The board accepted with the resignation of payroll administrator and
cafeteria supervisor Martha Donohoe, who is retiring Aug. 1. Donohoe has
been with Triad for 34 years.
Kaffenbarger said the district improvement team is working to identify
district strengths and weaknesses using academic data. Areas identified
as weaknesses would become the focal points for building improvement initiatives.
With hopes of reducing worker compensation premiums by 20 percent,
Kaffenbarger said the district would undergo a safety audit later this
month. Annual premiums are $88,000.
Kaffenbarger also clarified the reduction to the pay-to-participate plan
that was approved in December. The pay-to-participate fee per sport, per
athlete was decreased to $50 effective for the 2006-2007 school year. He
emphasized that all academic organizations were exempt from the pay to participate fee.
The district is scheduled to have a new bus as early as March. One of
the older busses in the district fleet will be sold once the new bus is in.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss pending legal
action on two separate issues. The first in regard to personnel, and the
second in regard to the district's lawsuit against the architectural law
firm of Blunden, Barclay and Robbie that assessed the Triad school
buildings for the Ohio School Facilities Commission in 1999.
The suit filed in January of 2004 claims that an incomplete assessment
didn't address many necessary costs totaling more than $5 million,
including on-site sewage treatment, fire protection, a sanitary piping
upgrade, propane service loop and improvement of site circulation.
Kaffenbarger said he had a client privilege letter to share with board
members in regard to the lawsuit against the architectural firm and that
they continue to be in negotiations.
The next regular board meeting will be Feb. 20 in the high school library.
In other action, the board:
. Accepted a $2,700 professional development grant from ETech; $500
entry-level teacher grant; and $12,928 SchoolNet Plus FY06 grant.
. Accepted donations of books for the high school library from Kyle
Huffman valued at $400; and $200 from Middleburg United Methodist Church to purchase clothing.
. Set regular school board meeting rotation for 2006 - middle school
library in January, April and October; high school library in February,
May and November; elementary school library in March, September and
December; and board room modular in June, July and August.
. Approved Triad FFA to travel overnight to Xenia for the Winter Swine
Show at the Greene County Fairgrounds.
. Approved Leslie Coleman as substitute secretary.
. Heard two presentations from eighth graders Addie Dixon and Nathan
Cooper highlighting the job-shadowing program.

Fraker remains school board president
From J-T staff reports:
Roy Fraker was re-elected Marysville School Board president Monday
evening during the board's organizational meeting.
Bill Hayes was re-elected vice president.
Board members also established board meeting days for the 2006 calendar
year, which will remain the fourth Monday at 7 p.m. An exception will be
the February meeting, which will be held Tuesday Feb. 28. All meetings
will be held in the administrative board room unless otherwise determined.
Board members also set board compensation at $125 per meeting up to 12
meetings. The board service fund was established at $7,500. This fund
pays for conference registrations, etc., and is never fully spent,
according to Marysville Treasurer/CFO Delores Cramer.
Assignments were made to standing committees. They include: Fraker,
superintendent's advisory council, public relations and senior citizens;
Hayes, acting secretary in treasurer's absence, negotiations and
partnership in education; Tom Brower, Ohio School Boards Association
(OSBA) legislative liaison, finance/audit and tax abatement; Scott
Johnson, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center representative and Jobs for Ohio
Graduates; and Jeff Mabee, athletic/extra-curricular council, business
advisory council and facilities planning committee.
The date for the 2007 organization meeting also was established. It will be held Jan. 8.
In other business, board members also viewed a presentation by
architects from Steed/Hammond/Paul on district building projects. Work
is progressing on an addition at Creek View Intermediate School, with
remaining projects to be completed in the next few years. They include a
new elementary school, a second middle school/intermediate school, and
renovations to Marysville High School.
The school board is currently searching for property on which to build
the middle/intermediate school.

Unionville Center Council meets; mayor doesn't attend
From J-T staff reports:
Routine business matters were conducted at Monday night's Unionville
Center Village Council meeting.
Mayor Gary Drumm was absent from the meeting. He did not notify any of
the council members that he would not attend. The meeting was delayed
briefly while a phone call was placed to Drumm. There was no answer.
Newly elected council members Ron Griffith, John McCoy, Becky Troyer and
Peggy Williamson were sworn in by council member Denver Thompson. Troyer
was elected council president and conducted the meeting in the mayor's absence.
Phil Rausch was elected village representative to the Pleasant Valley Fire District.
Council reviewed the 2006 budget then passed the annual appropriation ordinance.
Mandatory mediation in the Third Street extension lawsuit will be on Jan. 19.
The delay in snow removal service in December prompted a discussion of
contractual expectations. Rausch suggested that prior to any future contractual work, there should
be a pre-bid meeting with companies planning to submit bids in order to
avoid confusion about requirements for the work. Council was in
agreement and will incorporate pre-bid meetings for spring contracts.
Clerk-treasurer Karla Gingerich reminded council that they will have to
make a decision later this year to either replace or renew the current
2.9 mill property tax levy. The levy will need to be on the November 2006 ballot.
The next regular meeting will be on Monday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m.

Marysville names 'Good Apples'
From J-T staff reports:
Schools in the Marysville district presented their annual "Good Apple"
awards Friday night between the high school girls and boys varsity basketball games.
Each year every building recognizes a community leader, parents or
organizations that have been particularly generous with their time or
resources. The selection is made based on nominations from staff
members. Recipients were guests at a reception prior to the Friday's
game in the high school library/media center.
The following people received awards Friday night:
Kathy Karcher and Cathi Alexander were candidates from East Elementary.
Karcher has been very active in the parent teacher organization, serving
as secretary. She has shown leadership in many projects such as winter
carnival fund-raising activities; helps with classroom parties, field
trips and many other school events, especially the art show; and
contacted area businesses to get donations for the art show prizes.
Karcher has helped tutor students in reading and is always willing to
take on school projects. She has helped organize staff dinners and
appreciation week. Karcher is a very positive person who is easy to work
with and very organized. Her organization has helped to make many East
activities a success. Alexander is very active in the parent teacher organization and
currently the vice president. Her leadership has been crucial to making
fund-raising activities successful. She has been involved in the "Three
for Me" program which is an incentive program to get more parents
volunteering. She works closely with classroom teachers -  helping with
parties, crafts, copying, organizing meals for conferences, attending
field trips and helping provide coats to students.
Alexander and her husband, John, helped install the new playground
equipment this summer. She is always looking for grants and new ways to
help make East a great place for kids.
Dorothy Husband and Stacia Rosebrook were nominated by Edgewood Elementary.
Husband is serving her second year as the Edgewood PTO president. Her
leadership has enhanced a variety of opportunities for the student body
at the school. Rosebrook has been a diligent member of the Edgewood PTO
for six consecutive years. Currently, she serves as the treasurer of the
organization. Her passion for staff, students and families highlight the
list of reasons she is being honored.
Mill Valley has been fortunate to have Aaron Brown as a volunteer,
according to school personnel. While at Marysville High School, he
returned to his former fifth grade teacher for a career shadowing
experience. Throughout his high school years, Brown volunteered, helping
with the HOSTS program (Helping One Student to Succeed) and tutoring
math students. He is an education student at Bowling Green University
and returns during his breaks and free time to volunteer.
Linda Yutzy and Jay Birdsong were honored by Navin Elementary.
Yutzy organizes staff volunteer work. She spends hours each week helping
prepare copies and visuals for the classrooms and building. She helped
every day last year and everyone on the teams. She is efficient and
careful and does everything just right.
Jay Birdsong goes above and beyond to help the school PTO and teachers
set up, organize and run errands. He picks up large items with his truck
and sets up signs all over town for festivals. Birdsong also built the
soccer goals for the playground. He videotapes almost every musical and
was a big help with the Artist in Residence program. He works all day at
the school's fall festival, bringing a truck load of pumpkins to make
this a fun event. Birdsong is there all day as well to help with the super games in the spring.
Raymond Elementary's Good Apple recipient is Jennifer Biddinger. She was
nominated by the fourth grade team. Last year, Biddinger volunteered to
work with a group of interested fourth graders to develop and run a
school newspaper. She taught the children all about newspapers, from
brainstorming ideas to interviewing, writing articles, editing and
publishing. She also taught the children about cartooning and  provided
instruction on public polling. Biddinger also supplied the materials
needed, including the cost of printing.
Ann Langlois is Creekview Intermediate School's award recipient. She can
be seen often at Creekview doing volunteer work with both the students
and staff. She is always smiling and sharing encouraging thoughts and
kind compliments. Langlois was very active in Destination Imagination
last year, having helped her son's team which was a winning team at the
national competition. She is also a very active and supportive member of
the PTO. She headed up a fund-raiser this year with total sales of
$65,000. She has also helped to make Muffins with Moms and Doughnuts
with Dads a success at Creekview.
Janet Eng and Joan and Dan Daum received the Good Apple Award from
Marysville High School. Eng's son was class president last year and is president of the class of
2006 this year. Despite the fact that her life is extremely busy with
her family, Eng is readily available to help no matter what the kids
need or what time of day or night. She is creative, easy to work with
and ever ready to take on a challenge. She has been nominated by the
class of 2006 as an honorary member of the class.
Joan and Dan Daum were relentless in the construction of the soccer
stadium. They physically were out there with Mr. Daum's equipment,
moving dirt sometimes in the rain, dark and on weekends and holidays.
They visited other school's soccer stadiums, figured out what Marysville
needed and campaigned until the stadium became a reality.
They spent countless volunteer hours for the site preparation,
measuring, using personal equipment and tearing down the scrub trees on
the property. They poured the pad for bleachers and either implemented
the drainage tiles or improved what was already there. The new field
would not have been ready for the first game without them. Mrs. Daum
also did a photo journal of the whole process of stadium prep and building.
She turned the booster club into the organization with all that it does
to feed the team, organize and distribute uniforms, special events like
the homecoming dinner and the photos that she took. She was at every
practice, games and every event with her camera and her organizational
skills. She conducted parent meetings and wrote newsletters and sent
E-mails daily to keep parents, players, coaches and administration all connected.
None of this stuff existed before Mrs. Daum became the senior parent
rep. Mr. Daum learned how to "call" at bingo, so he could donate all of
his earnings (caller is a paid position) to the booster club.
The Middle School Good Apple recipient is Ben Lewis of Timberview Golf Club.
Lewis is a 1992 graduate of Marysville High School. He along with the
Lewis family has been very generous with their facilities and resources
in a variety of ways in serving the school. Lewis is married to Heather
Shirer and they have two children, Braden and Brody. He is the son of
Bob and Nancy Lewis of Marysville, both Marysville alumni who have also
been very supportive of Marysville schools throughout the years.
As manager of Timberview, Ben Lewis has been instrumental in promoting
MMS golf by allowing the golf team to practice and play its matches on
the course. He has allocated financial contributions for the students
and has supplied equipment that has benefited many student projects in a
variety of ways. In addition, Timberview donated a golf cart for
academic and athletic needs. They also have maintained some of the
athletic equipment by supplying materials and labor free of charge.

Taylor Road rail crossing  to receive upgrades
From J-T staff reports:
A railroad crossing on Taylor Road is scheduled for new, state-of-the-art lights and gates.
The Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) has given the go-ahead to
proceed with construction for seven railroad grade crossing improvement
projects in six  Ohio counties. The other improvements are in Richland,
Erie, Madison, Medina and Wayne counties.
"This continues an important effort ORDC began in the mid-1990s to
increase safety at Ohio's many grade crossings," says ORDC Executive
Director Jim Seney.  "It has had a significant impact on reducing deaths
and injuries at grade crossings, but there is still an on-going need to
continue this program as we have over 6,000 railroad crossings in Ohio."
In 2003, grade crossing crashes and fatalities hit a 20-year low of 112
car-train crashes and 11 fatalities. Those numbers went up slightly in
2004, with 117 crashes and 13 fatalities. From January through September
of 2005, Ohio recorded 88 crashes and five fatalities.
ORDC averages around 100 grade crossing upgrades per year. The Grade
Crossing Safety Program is funded through the Ohio Department of
Transportation and Federal Highway Administration. Historically, Ohio
has received an average of $15-million dollars annually for the
program.  ORDC works closely with local and county transportation
officials, grade crossing safety advocates and other state agencies to
identify grade crossing problems and work on solutions. In some cases,
that involves actually closing grade crossings permanently in exchange
for funding improvements to other nearby crossings. Since 1999, ORDC has
worked with local officials and other interests to close 77 grade crossings.
Typically, grade crossing projects take anywhere from eight months to a
year to complete, depending on engineering needs and construction
requirements. The average cost for a typical grade crossing upgrade is around $200,000.
The Ohio Rail Development Commission is an independent agency operating
within the Ohio Department of Transportation. ORDC is responsible for
economic development through the improvement and expansion of passenger
and freight rail service, railroad grade crossing safety and rail travel
& tourism issues. For more information about what ORDC does for Ohio, those interested may
visit 
http://www.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail/

A year later and no arrest
Investigators still trying to find out who started fire that killed two boy
By RYAN HORNS
It has been more than a year since two young boys lost their lives in a
Richwood fire, later declared a double homicide.
On Dec. 8, 2004, the fire at 10510 Fulton Creek Road in Richwood claimed
the lives of William "BJ" Channel, 9, and his brother Brett Channel, 8.
The bodies of the boys were found in an upstairs bedroom. The rest of
the family was able to escape in time.
The state fire marshal's office sent out a Dec. 22 report indicating
that the cause of the fire was an act of arson.
Union County Coroner Dr. David Applegate reported last year that
laboratory studies from his autopsy showed that toxic and nearly lethal
levels of cyanide were also found in their systems. He explained that
cyanide is produced by the burning of plastics and other synthetic
materials commonly found in homes.
Questions regarding how the fire was started, why law enforcement
officials believe it was an arson, who the suspects might be and where
the fire started in the home were never made public. One year later,
those questions still remain.
In the days following the announcement of arson, officers hinted there
was a suspect. However, a name was never given and no arrest was ever made.
Lt. Jamie Patton of the Union County Sheriff's Office said on Thursday
that he does not know anything about an initial suspect, just that
investigators have never stopped working on the case.
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson now wants the public to know that the
fire is still being "actively investigated." Along with the county and
state, the Union County Prosecutor and the Northern Union County Fire
District have also been involved.
For detective Kevin Weller, the past year has meant tirelessly following
leads that have unfortunately taken law enforcement no closer to the answer.
In the past year, Weller said he has interviewed 57 different relatives,
friends and people associated with the Channel family.
"There are still some interviews pending," he said. "One is coming up this month."
Nelson has commented that Weller's investigation has been a display of
going "above and beyond" the call of duty. Patton said Weller has compiled 60 to 80 pages to add to the
investigation from his interviews.
Weller reiterated that investigators still cannot release information on
why they think it was arson. "I can't go into the evidence," he said, "but I can tell you it was set
deliberate and it was incendiary in cause."
Weller said the deaths of the Channel boys hit everyone hard, from the
area community to the sheriff's investigative department and the State
Fire Marshal's' office. "Maybe it's because it was so close to the holidays, or maybe it was
because of the ages of the children," he said. "We have taken it close to heart."
He said many of the investigators have children the same age and can
only imagine what the family must have gone through. He reported that
the Channel family still resides in Ohio.
But Weller said they need the help of the public to learn the truth about the homicide.
He said the Blue Ribbon Arson Committee is still offering a $5,000
reward for any tips leading to the arrest of the person or persons who
set the fire that killed the young boys.
"No matter how small people think it is, we encourage them to call," Weller said.
Residents with any information can call the Union County Sheriff's
Office tip line at 642-7653, or call the Ohio State Fire Marshall's Fire
and Explosive Investigative Bureau at 1-800-598-2728. The sheriff's
office can also be contacted on-line at
www.co.union.oh.us/sheriff.

Generator a top priority for jail officials
By NATALIE TROYER J-T intern
The need for a new emergency generator is a top priority for the Tri-County Jail.
When a power outage occurred within the past month, jail director Bob
Beightler said he had a chance to see the current generator in operation.
"I'm a little concerned about it, to be honest with you," said Beightler
yesterday during the Tri-County Corrections Commission meeting.
Along with a scarce amount of lighting, there was no freezer or cooler
operation during the power outage. Recalling a situation in the past
where nearly $10,000 in food items was lost with a power outage,
Beightler said it's probably time to start looking into a new one.
In addition to estimates on a new generator, Tri-County administration
will be looking into estimates for a new digital computer system to
replace the current analog system. The current system, Beightler
reported, is six or seven years old, making repair parts often hard to
find. A new digital computer system is estimated to cost between $22,000 and $30,000.
Beightler, director of Tri-County Jail for nine months, then discussed
problems with the jail's current heating and cooling system. Repairs are
estimated to cost about $1,295.
"I'm afraid these issues are just the beginning," said Union County
commissioner Gary Lee. "I'd like to see administration lay out future
problems we'll be facing... We need to get a handle on this in the budget."
Another issue on the agenda was the current process of medical billing.
Each county is currently taking care of its own medical expenses for the
jail, which Beightler said is quite time consuming.
Lee questioned whether it would save time, and make more sense, to have
one person who handles medical bills for all three counties. The topic
was placed on the agenda for next month's meeting.
Beightler then proposed billing a service charge of $50 for inmates that
stay  one night in the facility. He said the jail occasionally - about
six times a year - houses an inmate being transported by an outside
company overnight in the facility. Tri-County isn't currently charging
for this service. As a source of revenue, Beightler proposed charging a
service fee of $50 per inmate.  The proposition passed unanimously.
Beightler also reported on the recent purchases of chairs, bed pan
units, food trays, tools and eight new computers for administration. An
inter-office e-mail system was also recently established and a grinder installed.
As of Thursday morning, the Tri-County Jail housed a total of 130
inmates - 110 males and 20 females. The average December population was
138.8, and the average meal cost per inmate was $1.56.
A motion to move the now-monthly Tri-County Corrections Commission
meetings to bi-monthly was passed unanimously. The next meeting is set for March 2.

Local D.A.R.E. program gets boost $47,000 grant received from state
From J-T staff reports:
A grant from Attorney General Jim Petro's office will ensure the Union
County D.A.R.E. Program is free to grow in 2006.
As a co-sponsor of Ohio's D.A.R.E. Program, Petro awarded a $47,506
grant to the Union County Sheriff's Office for the 2005-2006 school
year. The grant is a portion of more than $3.5 million being divided
amongst 216 law enforcement agencies across the state. The grant money
will be used to pay up to half of the specially trained D.A.R.E. officer's salaries.
Mike Arens, Regional Director of Public Affairs for Petro's office,
presented the check at the sheriff's office this morning.
Arens commented that the grant was "one of the largest amounts given out
for the Ohio D.A.R.E. Program."
"This is the most we have ever received," Union County Sheriff Rocky
Nelson said about the grant amount.
He said it is a sign of the generosity of the state and the hard work of
his grant writer Idella Feeley. To date, she has brought more than $2
million in extra funding to the Union County Sheriff's Office.
Petro and the D.A.R.E. Grant Advisory Board reported that the reason for
the large amount awarded was to fully fund every law enforcement agency
that applied. Union County can use the funds to help take the cost out
of its financial plans for the year.
Arens said the amount of the grant money for each agency is calculated
in part by the funds requested along with the size of the agency. Of the
216 agencies, 50 are sheriff's offices and 166 are police departments.
Out of 88 of Ohio's counties, 66 are participating in the program.
Petro's office reported how Petro has been a visible supporter of the
D.A.R.E. Program. When Ohio's funding was in jeopardy, he testified
before the General Assembly in support of restoring that money.
"I appreciate the dedication of the officers at the Union County
Sheriff's Office to Ohio's D.A.R.E. Program," Petro said. "The success
of DARE is a direct result of the officers who work diligently to
empower Ohio's children with the knowledge and self-confidence to steer
clear of drug and alcohol abuse."

Man sentenced for role in standoff
By NATALIE TROYER J-T intern
A man who held police at bay for four hours by holding a gun to his head
pleaded guilty to three felony counts Wednesday in the Union County Court of Common Pleas.
Michael B. Queen of 1520 Valley Drive pleaded guilty to trafficking in
cocaine with gun specifications, a third degree felony; possession of
marijuana, a fifth degree felony; and inducing panic, a fourth degree felony.
On Oct. 27, Queen threatened to shoot himself and police officers during
a standoff. The incident began when authorities attempted to serve a warrant on a drug charge.
Union County Prosecutor David Phillips reported that Queen was given a
one-year  mandatory sentence and an additional 22 month sentence for the crime.
Phillips said Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott
accepted the prosecution's sentencing recommendation.
The incident began after a traffic stop outside Queen's home on Valley
Drive. Officers took Queen inside the house to interview him during
their investigation on alleged drug charges. During this time, he was
handcuffed and remained cooperative. But when officers were in the
process of moving him to the kitchen, Queen bolted up a flight of stairs
to a hidden handgun in his bedroom. Officers fired a Taser, which did
not effectively connect, and for the next four hours, Queen held a
handgun to his head, threatening to shoot himself or law enforcement
officers. He eventually laid the gun down on the floor, then was stunned
with a 12-gauge bean bag round (fired from a shotgun) when it appeared
to officers that he might pick it up again.
Following a search of the home, law enforcement officers found two
pounds of marijuana, 28-30 grams of cocaine, along with numerous
weapons, steroids and syringes and almost $1,000 in cash.
During Wednesday's hearing, the court accepted the sentence
recommendation as presented by Union County Prosecuting Attorney David
W. Phillips. The recommendations to be imposed is:
. Count I - one year and a mandatory fine of $5,000
. Count II - 11 months and a $1,000 fine to be served consecutively to Count I
. Count III - 11 months and a $1,000 fine to be served consecutively to Counts I and II
Queen is also ordered to make restitution to the Marysville Police
Department for $3,105.98 and the Union County Sheriff's Office for
$2,630.16; ordered to forfeit a three vehicles, a Brinks floor safe and
numerous guns plus $1,094. In addition, Queen's drivers license is
suspended and he shall not acquire, have, carry or use any firearms.

Two new trustees on board in Jerome Township
By CINDY BRAKE
The Jerome Township Board of Trustees had a new look and style when the
three board members met Tuesday for an organizational and regular meeting.
The new look included two new members, Robert Merkle and Andrew Thomas.
The new style included an orderly business meeting where much was accomplished.
For years the three-member township board has been riddled with chaos
and drama. Things appear to have changed with incumbent Ron Rhodes
seeming to be on board with Merkle and Thomas. Former trustees Freeman
May and Sharon Sue Wolfe attended the meeting, but had little to say as
they sat on the other side of the table.
The first order of business for the new board was electing Merkle
chairman and Rhodes vice chairman. Both nominations were made by Thomas
and unanimously approved.
Rhodes suggested that regular meetings continue to be held the first and
third Mondays of the month beginning at 7:30 p.m. and that special
meetings be set by resolution at a regular meeting. If that is not
possible the special meeting will be advertised and a notice posted on
the township building's door. The motion passed unanimously.
In other business, the board unanimously:
. Agreed to attend summer and winter township conferences as well as a
fire convention in Indianapolis.
. Set copy fees, as recommended by fiscal officer Robert Caldwell, at 15
cents for color and five cents for black and white.
. Reappointed Kermit Morse to the zoning board.
. Adopted Section 125 Flexible Benefit Plan for township employees.
. Approved an easement for the Union County Engineer at U.S. 42 and Industrial Parkway.
. Passed temporary appropriations.
. Approved a contract with the Union County Engineer to maintain
township signs. Merkle and Thomas said that they had no doubt that the
township road crew could perform the task, but there was a question of liability.
. Approved paying for an employee to attend an educational seminar that
will enable her to make the township Web site viable.
. Agreed Merkle will be responsible for cemeteries. Rhodes and Thomas
will share oversight responsibilities for fire and roads.
. Agreed that meetings will be conducted according to Roberts Rules of Order.
Tabled were discussions about filling a seat on the board of zoning
appeals and a fire contract.
Following a 50-minute executive session the board returned to open
session and approved a 3 percent pay raise for the township road crew.
They also agreed that all board members of the zoning and zoning appeals
and their clerk will receive $60 for each meeting they attend. The
trustee salaries and that of Caldwell will be set by the standards of the state auditor.
A special meeting will be held Monday, Jan 9., beginning at  6 p.m. to
pay bills and go into executive session to discuss personnel matters
including the firefighters union contract, fire chief's contract and
various employment including zoning inspector.

North Lewisburg mayor delivers state of the village address
By CORINNE BIX
North Lewisburg mayor Dick Willis ushered in the New Year with his
annual state of the village address and swearing in of council members.
Recapping village highlights for 2005, Willis also paid homage to the
loss of former street superintendent Paul Rutan who died in February.
"He will be missed by all of us," Willis said.
Willis said that the securing of $550,000 through grants for the
multi-use pathway would be awarded to the village this summer. He also
said that although slow, things are progressing with the wastewater
treatment plant barring any future hold-ups from the Ohio EPA.
New council member Jason Keeran was placed on the building and zoning
committee along with the audit committee. Councilwoman Nancy Stuart was
added to the streets committee and the audit committee. All other
committee assignments remained the same.
Steve Wilson was elected to continue as council president.
Council members passed a 4 percent wage increase for village employes
per the finance committee's recommendation. This will be at an
additional cost of $12,500. There were two exceptions to the increase.
Bart Stokes, street superintendent, will instead recieve a $1 an hour
raise and Ruth Suddth, part-time contractural employee for utility
collections, will recieve a raise of $8 per month.
Dave Scott, council member, gave an update on the proposed increase in
street lighting. Last month the members heard an initial proposal from
Miami Lighting. At the end of last month, Scott along with Barry First,
village administrator, and other members of the street committee drove
the streets with poor lighting.
Scott, who has spearheaded the project, prioritized the project,
focusing on the use of existing utility poles in dark areas. Scott said
this would be the most cost-effective first step with immediate
improvement. He specifically named East Street, Tallman Street and the
curve around onto Maple as three prime areas.
Council members brought up various concerns as to costs with the
proposed project that may have not been addressed in Miami Lighting's
initial proposal. Council members will explore the issue further at a
special council meeting scheduled for Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
In addition at the special meeting, council will discuss contracts along
with putting the income tax levy back on the ballot to cover emergency
services for the village. Voters defeated the issue last November. Gary
Silcott, village engineer, will also update council on various projects.
Council agreed to table a proposed utility rate increase for water and
sewer at 3 percent similar to what was passed in 2004 and 2005. The
matter will be discussed in more detail at a later date. The revenues
are part of a long-term plan to increase funding for the wastewater treatment project.
Council members passed the countywide all natural hazards mitigation plan.
Officer Glenn Kemp gave the Champaign County Sheriff's report for the
month of December for the village. There were seven traffic citations
issued, five warnings issued for traffic violations, seven incident
reports, 25 cases of assistance given to citizens, 10 arrests made, 12
civil and criminal papers served, 32 follow-up investigations completed,
six open doors, four instances of juvenile contact, two civic activities
completed and one auto accident report taken.
The next regular council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Two new trustees on board in Jerome Township
By CINDY BRAKE
The Jerome Township Board of Trustees had a new look and style when the
three board members met Tuesday for an organizational and regular meeting.
The new look included two new members, Robert Merkle and Andrew Thomas.
The new style included an orderly business meeting where much was accomplished.
For years the three-member township board has been riddled with chaos
and drama. Things appear to have changed with incumbent Ron Rhodes
seeming to be on board with Merkle and Thomas. Former trustees Freeman
May and Sharon Sue Wolfe attended the meeting, but had little to say as
they sat on the other side of the table.
The first order of business for the new board was electing Merkle
chairman and Rhodes vice chairman. Both nominations were made by Thomas
and unanimously approved.
Rhodes suggested that regular meetings continue to be held the first and
third Mondays of the month beginning at 7:30 p.m. and that special
meetings be set by resolution at a regular meeting. If that is not
possible the special meeting will be advertised and a notice posted on
the township building's door. The motion passed unanimously.
In other business, the board unanimously:
. Agreed to attend summer and winter township conferences as well as a
fire convention in Indianapolis.
. Set copy fees, as recommended by fiscal officer Robert Caldwell, at 15
cents for color and five cents for black and white.
. Reappointed Kermit Morse to the zoning board.
. Adopted Section 125 Flexible Benefit Plan for township employees.
. Approved an easement for the Union County Engineer at U.S. 42 and Industrial Parkway.
. Passed temporary appropriations.
. Approved a contract with the Union County Engineer to maintain
township signs. Merkle and Thomas said that they had no doubt that the
township road crew could perform the task, but there was a question of liability.
. Approved paying for an employee to attend an educational seminar that
will enable her to make the township Web site viable.
. Agreed Merkle will be responsible for cemeteries. Rhodes and Thomas
will share oversight responsibilities for fire and roads.
. Agreed that meetings will be conducted according to Roberts Rules of Order.
Tabled were discussions about filling a seat on the board of zoning appeals and a fire contract.
Following a 50-minute executive session the board returned to open
session and approved a 3 percent pay raise for the township road crew.
They also agreed that all board members of the zoning and zoning appeals
and their clerk will receive $60 for each meeting they attend. The
trustee salaries and that of Caldwell will be set by the standards of the state auditor.
A special meeting will be held Monday, Jan 9., beginning at  6 p.m. to
pay bills and go into executive session to discuss personnel matters
including the firefighters union contract, fire chief's contract and
various employment including zoning inspector.

North Lewisburg mayor delivers state of the village address
By CORINNE BIX
North Lewisburg mayor Dick Willis ushered in the New Year with his
annual state of the village address and swearing in of council members.
Recapping village highlights for 2005, Willis also paid homage to the
loss of former street superintendent Paul Rutan who died in February.
"He will be missed by all of us," Willis said.
Willis said that the securing of $550,000 through grants for the
multi-use pathway would be awarded to the village this summer. He also
said that although slow, things are progressing with the wastewater
treatment plant barring any future hold-ups from the Ohio EPA.
New council member Jason Keeran was placed on the building and zoning
committee along with the audit committee. Councilwoman Nancy Stuart was
added to the streets committee and the audit committee. All other
committee assignments remained the same.
Steve Wilson was elected to continue as council president.
Council members passed a 4 percent wage increase for village employes
per the finance committee's recommendation. This will be at an
additional cost of $12,500. There were two exceptions to the increase.
Bart Stokes, street superintendent, will instead recieve a $1 an hour
raise and Ruth Suddth, part-time contractural employee for utility
collections, will recieve a raise of $8 per month.
Dave Scott, council member, gave an update on the proposed increase in
street lighting. Last month the members heard an initial proposal from
Miami Lighting. At the end of last month, Scott along with Barry First,
village administrator, and other members of the street committee drove
the streets with poor lighting.
Scott, who has spearheaded the project, prioritized the project,
focusing on the use of existing utility poles in dark areas. Scott said
this would be the most cost-effective first step with immediate
improvement. He specifically named East Street, Tallman Street and the
curve around onto Maple as three prime areas.
Council members brought up various concerns as to costs with the
proposed project that may have not been addressed in Miami Lighting's
initial proposal. Council members will explore the issue further at a
special council meeting scheduled for Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
In addition at the special meeting, council will discuss contracts along
with putting the income tax levy back on the ballot to cover emergency
services for the village. Voters defeated the issue last November. Gary
Silcott, village engineer, will also update council on various projects.
Council agreed to table a proposed utility rate increase for water and
sewer at 3 percent similar to what was passed in 2004 and 2005. The
matter will be discussed in more detail at a later date. The revenues
are part of a long-term plan to increase funding for the wastewater treatment project.
Council members passed the countywide all natural hazards mitigation plan.
Officer Glenn Kemp gave the Champaign County Sheriff's report for the
month of December for the village. There were seven traffic citations
issued, five warnings issued for traffic violations, seven incident
reports, 25 cases of assistance given to citizens, 10 arrests made, 12
civil and criminal papers served, 32 follow-up investigations completed,
six open doors, four instances of juvenile contact, two civic activities
completed and one auto accident report taken.
The next regular council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Drunk driving crackdown results in arrests
From J-T staff reports:
Area law enforcement made numerous drunk driving arrests over the
holiday weekend thanks in part to stepped up enforcement.
The Union County Sheriff's Office and The Ohio State Highway Patrol
promised that law enforcement would be out in full force during the
holidays and officers would be looking for drunk drivers. News releases
to the media announced the plans.
Sheriff's deputies ended up arresting eight drunk drivers over a two-day
period. One alleged drunk driver went off the road, launching his car
into an icy pond on Route 287 at Stokes Road. The man was not injured
and the vehicle was expected to be removed from the water this morning.
The Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported that
troopers arrested five intoxicated drivers over the weekend.
The Marysville Police Department arrested one person for driving
intoxicated. Officers reportedly spent the majority of the weekend
dealing with suspects who were intoxicated and causing disturbances in
homes and in local bars. A complete listing of the holiday weekend arrests can be found in the
police beat on page 2 of today's newspaper.