Top local stories listed
Overdose deaths, subsequent charges top list for
From J-T staff reports:
A lot happened in Union County in 2006, but
what was the most important
to local citizens?
Journal-Tribune newsroom staff pulled together a list of
19 possible top
stories for the year and struggled with the question of
what were the 10 most
important. Noah Webster defines important as
"valuable in content." The
problem is that nearly every one of the 19
topics was valuable to our
In many years sensational stories of tragic murders or fires
dominated headlines. What the newsroom found this year is that,
tragic incidents still made the list, many of the stories are driven
development and growth in Union County.
In the end, earning 57 out of
70 possible points, the most newsworthy
issue was a series of stories about
recent overdose-related deaths among
teenagers and three women being charged
as a result. The stories showed
a dangerous trend among young
Union County Prosecuting Attorney David Phillips said the
community has had a rash of so-called diversion cases. Diversion
when someone gets a prescription medication and then sells it on
street. On Dec. 12 local law enforcement met with area health
officials to discuss how to deal with the growing problem of this
In March, Marsha Shoemaker, 45, of Union County was found guilty
drug-related death of Justin Phelps, 21. She was sentenced to 14
at the Ohio Reformatory for Women for deception to obtain
drugs, aggravated trafficking in drugs, involuntary manslaughter
complicity to aggravated possession of drugs. The Third District
of Appeals unanimously confirmed the conviction.
"This is an
important case and important decision," said Phillips. "The
affirmed what I told the jury, the person who was
responsible for trafficking
in these drugs is responsible for the death
pain, Shoemaker was reportedly prescribed morphine sulfate
by her Marysville
doctor. Her son testified that she gave that morphine
to Phelps in exchange
Later in the year, two other Union County women pleaded guilty
charges that they were responsible for the morphine overdose death
15-year-old Corey Simpson. Hope Gordon Fisher, 37, of Marysville
guilty to permitting drug abuse and involuntary manslaughter. She
be sentenced Jan. 12. Wyndi S. McDonald, 37, of Marysville was
to eight years for aggravated trafficking in drugs and
Following are the remaining
newsroom choices, beginning with No. 2 and
continuing through No. 10.
Couple faces 63 counts of child abuse
A Springfield couple, who once lived in
Union County, are facing more
than 60 charges associated with endangering
children, child abuse and
A December trial for Vonda
Ferguson, 43, was rescheduled for February
after her attorney withdrew
stating that she was not cooperating. James
E. Ferguson, 46, is also
scheduled to go to trial in late February.
Both are accused of using
"torture" and "excessive abuse" toward their
five adopted children.
Ferguson is also being charged with first-degree felony rape. She
to undergo a psychological evaluation.
3. Water rate hike
Earlier this month Marysville City Council voted down an ordinance
raise water rates over the next two years. The increase would
generated funds to construct a future reservoir.
caused some residents to ask why the city's water rates
are the highest in
"I used to live in Dublin and I thought the rates were
said Deer Crossing Drive resident Gary Little. "I came to
they are double. So, you can only imagine what I think about
rates here. I find it very difficult to even be amicable about a
percent raise in our water."
4. Thanksgiving day murder
Timothy Conley, 46, was charged with allegedly shooting and
neighbor on Thanksgiving night. He is being held at the
Jail in Mechanicsburg on $1 million bond. No court
date has been set at this
time. Conley has pleaded not guilty to the
According to official
reports, at 10:59 p.m. police responded to 220
Greenwood Blvd., building No.
1, for a reported shooting. The victim,
Charles E. Frazell, 53, of 220
Greenwood Blvd. Apt. 1A was found with a
gunshot wound to his chest. He was
pronounced dead soon after being
At his arraignment at the
Marysville Municipal Court, Conley said he had
an ongoing dispute with
Frazell. He told Marysville Municipal Judge
Michael Grigsby that Frazell had
made fun of his beard and that his
family feared for their lives.
Fifth Street rail crossing
In September, the Marysville City Council learned
that warning devices
for the East Fifth Street railroad crossing will be
installed at no cost
to the city and the crossing could be reopened in a
little more than a
The crossing was closed in April by Mayor Tom
Kruse who feared it was
Questions then arose about where the
crossing ranked on a repair list.
Kruse said it fell at number 5,075 out of
6,100 projects. City
Councilman Dan Fogt discovered those numbers came from
an April 26, 2005
letter. Since then the East Fifth Street repair project had
to 352 out of 6,500 projects for unknown reasons.
businessmen also questioned the administration's decision, adding
closing had created more traffic problems in an already
"We shut off a road that people used. That's what bothered me,"
Tykes employee Tiffany Sobas said. "I think we have made a big
The crossing currently remains closed.
6. Wedding reception
ends in stabbing
One local event made international headlines when a father
and son, Rick
Diamond Jr., 18, and Rick Diamond Sr., 45, of 21244 Liberty
were stabbed a combined 13 times during an April wedding reception
Eric D. Adams, 36, of Plain City claimed self defense, but was
with felonious assault. In August, a jury found him not
Adams' attorney said the Diamonds were "incredibly violent hoodlums"
"you couldn't trust them as far as you could throw them. Juries can
right through cases for what they are." The attorney added that
tried to leave the party and the Diamonds wouldn't let him.
Ground broken for County Veterans Monument
Ground was broken Nov. 11 for a
memorial to honor all Union County
"Today it is a
national holiday to honor all veterans, past, present and
future. I want to
emphasize all veterans. It is meant to honor and thank
all who served
honorably in the military - in wartime or in peacetime,
and that is what this
county memorial is meant to do, especially for all
veterans who have ever
lived in Union County," said retired Maj. Gen.
Oscar Decker during the 11
a.m. ceremony on the courthouse lawn where
the memorial will be located. The
memorial will be dedicated on Armed
Forces Day, May 19.
Decker said there
are several memorials in the county, but each has been
for a specific group
of veterans. This will be the first to honor all
county veterans. He said
approximately 9,000 Union County citizens have
served since the Revolutionary
The idea for recording and memorializing all county veteran
was started a number of years ago by Max Robinson when he was a
commissioner, Decker said. The idea lay dormant for several years
Ross Ingram, a World War II Merchant Marine veteran, was looking
information about the WWII board that had been up in Milford Center
the thought of re-incarnating it for Union County. That led him
search for the WWII board that had been on the courthouse lawn.
could be found. After talking with other veterans, and with
encouragement of a number of people and the county commissioners,
search suddenly became a countywide effort to begin back at
Revolutionary War and honor all who served - past, present and
8. Marysville schools construction plans
Growth continues to be
the number one challenge in the Marysville School
District, according to
Superintendent Larry Zimmerman.
During a 10-year period between 1993 and
2003, the district built three
new schools and nine building additions.
Currently, the new Northwood
Elementary School in the Mill Valley subdivision
is under construction
and a new intermediate/middle school building is
planned at Route 4/U.S.
36 near Southard Road. Marysville High School will
soon undergo its
Zimmerman said in August that
first-day-of-school totals would reach
Northwood Elementary will open in the fall of 2007 and
is being built on land
donated by Dominion Homes. It is sited adjacent
to Creekview Middle School on
Marysville's northern edge and was named
by Marysville Middle School
The intermediate/middle school is scheduled to open in fall 2008 on
acres purchased from the Bunsold family. By combining intermediate
middle school populations into one building, the school district
save money, according to Zimmerman. The two age groups will be
into different wings, but one kitchen will service the entire
as will one heating/cooling system. The media center and
auditorium also will be shared.
The newest high school addition
will total 100,000 square feet and will
open in the fall of 2008. It will
include additional classrooms and
administrative space, a new media center, a
field house and an enlarged
It is the second addition to the
16-year-old building; an addition in
2000 added 65,000 square
Zimmerman said the new buildings and additions will provide for
through 2012 when he predicts additional classroom space will
9. Coleman's Crossing expands/City Gate announced
the expansion of Coleman's Crossing underway and the announcement
future City Gate under construction, retail development was a key
Marysville's 2006. Both retail developments are located on the
east side of
Marysville along Delaware Avenue.
At this time last year infrastructure and
roadways were being completed
for the burgeoning Coleman's Crossing
Development. Businesses expected
to open within the complex were nothing but
rumors. Over the past year,
construction was completed and stores such as
Home Depot, Applebee's and
Wal-Mart Supercenter opened and the structural
framework for the future
Best Buy has begun.
Current and prospective
tenants for the shopping center at Coleman's
Crossing include: Office Max,
Petland, Maurices, Fashion Bug, Jackson
Hewitt Tax Service, Papa Murphy's
Pizza (take & bake pizzas), Saturday's
Hair Salon, Sally's Beauty Supply,
GNC, Dollar Tree and Mattress Mart.
Most on this list have already opened in
City Administrator Kathy House reported earlier in the year that a
of 16 or 17 storefront businesses are expected to be included,
anything from entertainment, dining or business
"Coleman's Crossing is the largest commercial development the
ever seen," Economic Development Director Eric Phillips has
"It should offer something for everyone."
Much like 2005, the
close of 2006 has brought more rumors of additional
businesses expected to
add on to Coleman's Crossing.
After much discussion over zoning issues,
ground was finally broken in
October on the future City Gate commercial
development on Marysville's
east side. Located just across Delaware Avenue
and the expanding
Coleman's Crossing commercial development, City Gate is
bring in even more retail and business opportunities to the
Connolly Construction is owner and developer of the project.
Connolly reported that the current list of businesses committed to
project include: White Castle, Walgreens, Bob Evans, Delaware
Bank, two medical office buildings and an unnamed hotel. The
businesses are scheduled to open in the summer of 2007.
the city administration has secured state grants for
landscaping plans to
freshen up the roadways and grassy areas heading
from U.S. 33 to the area of
Coleman's Crossing and City Gate.
On Dec. 11, more
than a month after the general election, incumbent
Deborah Pryce was
confirmed as representative for the 15th District,
winning over Democrat Mary
Pryce ended election night ahead of Kilroy by 1,055 votes. Because
the close margin, Ohio law required the district's three counties
recheck results. The three counties include all of Union and Madison
portions of Franklin.
Recount results showed a gain of 25 votes for
Pryce to 110,739 and 18
votes for Kilroy for 109,677 - or a seven vote gain
In addition to resolving the race's outcome, the recount was
perhaps the largest and most significant effort thus far
matching up electronic results against totals collected
voter-verified paper audit tapes.
The official recount tally for Union
County is 10,966 for Pryce and
5,623 for Kilroy. Write-in candidate Bill
Buckel received 21 votes. The
recounted total in Madison County was 5,076 for
Kilroy and 8,341 or
Pryce. The recount took approximately six hours for both
the Madison and
Union County board of elections.
Other top picks
headlines that made our top list included:
. Construction of the Marysville
sewage treatment plant
. Marysville and county officials sign a water
. The moving of the MacIvor medical building
. Changes in city/county
. Construction beginning on the U.S. 42 bypass project
Marysville Schools changing the kindergarten schedule
. The Brown Internet
child porn case
. Dealing locally with Issue 5, no smoking in public
. GI Plasteks shutting the doors on employees.
Goodyear contract approved
Spokesman says local workers may return
From staff and AP reports:
Some Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
workers said their new contract with the
world's third-largest tiremaker is a
bittersweet ending to a 12-week strike.
About 10,000 out of 14,000
striking United Steelworkers members from 12
Goodyear plants in 10 states
voted Thursday night on the three-year
agreement, which includes plans to
close a Texas tire factory but
creates a $1 billion health care fund for
The contract was approved by all locals and by the overall
a two-to-one margin, the union said early Friday. Exact totals
released. The contract needed to be approved by a majority of the
- seven out of 12 - plus a majority of the voters.
The vote means
the strike that began Oct. 5 is officially over. Strikers
plan to return to
work beginning Tuesday, the union said.
"They're ecstatic to get back to work
and to get caught up on some
financial obligations," said Darryl Jackson,
president of the union
local in Fayetteville, N.C., where membership voted
1361-95 to approve the contract.
Employees will return to work as soon as
possible, said Ed Markey, vice
president of public relations and
communications at North American Tire,
The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.
don't know what Marysville's schedule is like vis-a-vis a New Year
Markey wrote in an email today.
He added that the Marysville facility has
been operating as the other
strike-affected plants by using salaried
associates and temporary
workers. He is unaware of any residual effects from
the strike to the local operations.
When asked if there have been
retirements by older employees and if
their are openings, Markey wrote that
"that will be sorted out in the coming days."
"It took a strike, but we
achieved a fair and equitable contract that
protects quality health care for
active and retired members," USW
executive vice president Ron Hoover said in
a statement. "And by winning
major capital investment expenditures, it
secures our jobs for the future."
Workers at four Goodyear plants in
Ontario, where about 400 union
members are striking four plants, planned to
vote Thursday and Friday on
a separate company proposal.
The contract with
U.S. workers would allow the tiremaker to close a
plant in Tyler, Texas, but
not immediately. It provides for a one-year
transition period in which the
workers will have the opportunity to take
advantage of retirement buyouts.
The plant employs 1,100 workers who
make unprofitable wholesale private label
"It's a bittersweet outcome," said Kevin Johnsen, a union
coordinator. "We wanted to win Tyler protected status like the
plants, but we only got it for 2007."
The union in Tyler also OK'd
the deal and took down its picket line
Thursday night, said Harold Sweat,
vice president of USW Local 746L.
Another key issue during the strike had
been over a company proposed
health care fund for retirees.
ultimately agreed to put $1 billion into the fund for retired
medical benefits, higher than the company's previous $660
million offer but
less than the union's call for roughly double that amount.
said the pact will help it significantly reduce its costs.
"The end result is
Goodyear will be a stronger company, a stronger
employer and a stronger
overall global competitor," chairman and CEO
Robert Keegan said.
the vote, some union members at halls across the country
about the proposal, saying they feared the retiree
health care fund was
underfunded and that they questioned job security.
But many of them said they
believed the pact was the best deal they could get.
Terry Huddleston, a
14-year Goodyear worker in Akron, said he voted for
the agreement but with
some reservations, saying he believes the
rank-and-file have had to sacrifice
"It's unfortunate," Huddleston said. "I love all these guys. God
them. We've managed to stick it out for three months, but a lot
families are suffering."
The new contract covers plants in: Akron; St.
Marys, Ohio; Marysville,
Ohio; Gadsden, Ala.; Tonawanda, N.Y.; Lincoln, Neb.;
Fayetteville, N.C.; Danville, Va.; Tyler, Texas; Sun Prairie,
Union City, Tenn.
During the strike, Goodyear made tires at some
of its North American
plants with nonunion and temporary workers as well as
some managers. The
company counted on production at its international plants
to help supply
North American customers, but some dealers said there was a
some specialty Goodyear tires.
Goodyear has about 80,000
employees and makes tires, engineered rubber
products and chemicals in 29
Pedestrian killed on U.S. 33
Victim walking with wife after their car was
From J-T staff reports:
A Marysville man was killed after trying
to walk across U.S. 33
Rodney Spradlin, 68, of 289
Redwood Drive, was reportedly struck and
killed instantly by a westbound 1998
Honda Odyssey minivan driven by
Martin J. Moran, 46, of Columbus. No charges
have been filed and none
are expected, according to Marysville
Marysville Assistant Chief Glenn Nicol said Spradlin was walking
his wife along U.S. 33 westbound between Route 4 and U.S. 36 East
their vehicle had become disabled in the eastbound lane of U.S. 33.
approximately 7 p.m. Spradlin attempted to cross the roadway when he
struck. His wife was not injured.
Marysville Police responded to the
scene and continue to investigate the
crash, along with the Union County
Coroner's Office. Troopers from the
Marysville Ohio State Highway Patrol Post
also assisted at the scene.
Nicol said both westbound lanes of U.S. 33 were
closed for approximately
one hour and 15 minutes while evidence was gathered
at the scene. The
closure caused traffic to back up for miles along U.S. 36
and Route 4.
As a result of drivers trying to avoid the crash, traffic
Marysville also became backed up as cars flowed onto Delaware
Woman changes plea in overdose case
From J-T staff reports:
woman allegedly responsible for a Marysville teenager's drug
opted to plead guilty on charges instead of going to trial.
Gordon-Fisher, 37, of 690 Milford Ave. was indicted on Aug. 25 for
fifth-degree felony permitting drug abuse charge and one
Sometime Dec. 22, 2004 to Dec. 23, 2004,
15-year-old Cory Simpson of
Milford Avenue reportedly ingested Roxynol
generic Morphine while
staying at Gordon-Fisher's home. He died later in the
night allegedly as
a direct result of taking those drugs.
Prosecutor David Phillips had reported that Gordon-Fisher
faced more than 11
years in prison if found guilty and if the sentences
were to run
According to court files, on Dec. 15 Gordon-Fisher changed her
guilty on the involuntary manslaughter charge and her second charge
permitting drug abuse was dismissed.
Details of why Gordon-Fisher
changed her plea were not available before press time.
Wyndi S. McDonald,
37, of 700 S. Plum St. who allegedly sold the drugs
to Simpson was sentenced
earlier this month to serve the next eight
years in prison by Union County
Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott.
Parrot gave McDonald three years
in prison for one third-degree felony
aggravated trafficking in drugs charge
and another five years for the
first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter
charge. He ruled that both
would be served consecutively resulting in the
eight-year term. She
faced a possible 23 years in prison.
the case against Gordon-Fisher was set to go to trial on
Tuesday and today,
but those dates were canceled.
Court files show that Gordon-Fisher will be
sentenced on Jan. 12 at 1:45 p.m.
VOCA has new leadership
By RYAN HORNS
New faces heading up the Union
County Victims of Crime Assistance
Program (VOCA) are expected to bring extra
diversity and growth to public service.
Union County Prosecutor Dave
Phillips recently announced the appointment
of Nancy Benedetti as the new
program director for VOCA.
"The program needed some change," Phillips said.
"She is someone with
experience and enthusiasm."
Benedetti has more than
20 years experience in the legal field,
including serving as the former
director of the Logan County
Victim-Witness Program, criminal paralegal with
the Logan County
Prosecutor's Office, security management and investigations
at Honda and
executive assistant/ accreditation manager with the Union
County Sheriff's Office.
"We always want to make sure that the victim's
advocate has a great
working relationship with law enforcement," Phillips
said. "She definitely has that."
Working for Benedetti in VOCA are Connie
Sabins and the county's first
male victim's advocate Mike Palumbo. Another
part-time advocate will be
added in 2007. Sabins has more than 25 years law
with the Union County Sheriff's Office as a detective
Palumbo comes to the program with more
than 20 years of service in the
U.S. Army, several years working with the
Union County Sheriff's Office
and 10 years working in search and rescue and
deployment in Ohio Task
Force 1 which responded to the World Trade Center
disaster on Sept. 11, 2001.
Benedetti said that VOCA is there to help
victims of crime rebuild their
lives and have a voice in the justice
"They need someone to be there from the beginning," she
Phillips and Benedetti said the vision they have for the future of
includes not only meeting the statutory requirements of the program,
also to expand its services. VOCA personnel help prepare victim
statements, gather restitution figures and provide support for
victim when they appear in court.
"The landscape of domestic violence
and rape has changed over the years
in that our culture is seeing more and
more males becoming victims,"
Benedetti said. "Having both male and female
advocates will allow us to
better serve our changing community needs."
will give us a little more diversity," Phillips said.
Benedetti said VOCA
programs were created to focus on the victims; Their
needs and rights
throughout the criminal justice system; Their physical,
financial recovery; and to help restore their sense of
security and control
over their lives.
Phillips said that another way they are expanding VOCA
services is by
having victims advocates go out and hold meetings with the
public as a
way to educate them on preventative topics such as abuse of the
Internet crimes and more.
Perspectives on an American Christmas
Some from other cultures find U.S.
gift giving overwhelming
By CINDY BRAKE
Christmas is for children in Japan
and a celebration of family in the
Marysville residents May
Speicher, a native of Yokosuka, Japan, and
Lorli Patterson, a native of Ormoc
City, Philippines, both share their
childhood memories of much different
festivities than the traditional
American buying bonanza.
first Christmas in the United States, both said they were
overwhelmed by the
generosity of gift giving.
"Too generous," Speicher said about all the gifts
purchased by her
husband's family in 2005. She was also surprised at the
number of family
celebrations they attended.
In Japan, Speicher explained
Christmas is just another work day for
adults with a special evening meal
that might include sushi, miso soup
and maybe chicken or turkey.
usually under the age of 10, are the only ones to receive a
gift - usually
one - when they awake on Christmas morning. Santa Claus
will leave the gift
near their pillow. Speicher remembers receiving a
bicycle and Barbie
Christmas is similar to Valentine and White days, she said.
Christmas, parents give gifts to children. On Valentine's Day, a
gives a gift to a boy; and on White Day, March 14, a boy gives a gift
to a girl.
Patterson, who is director of the International Family Center,
Ohio in the 1980s. She said her first Christmas in America
depressing and overwhelming with all the gift giving.
Coming from a
family of 10, she said her childhood holidays were filled
worship, family, friends and food.
"It's fun," she said.
officially began on Dec. 1 with carolers coming to your door
and expecting to
receive a gift of $1. It was not unusual to be
approached for money
throughout the month.
"People think, it's Christmas time, you'll be generous
come out of the woodwork," Patterson said. "They expect gifts
clothing or food, perfume, soaps."
The 12 days of Christmas
were also observed. Members of the immediate
family would exchange names and
then do something special in secret for
each other. The identity of the giver
was discovered at midnight on Christmas eve.
Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 were
holidays with no work. Patterson remembers her
family usually going to the
beach around noon on Dec. 24, then to church
in the evening before attending
four or five parties in the evening
hosted by friends. Fireworks were
everywhere. She said it was always
important to end at your family's home
with everyone trying to stay
awake to see Christmas arrive. The night was
filled with music and
games. She and her siblings would play guitar, piano,
drum, violin and even spoons.
Then at midnight, parents
would present one or two gifts to their
children - usually something they
needed. Children would give their
parents a gift they had made.
good rest, the family would gather on Dec. 25, Patterson said,
Day Mass and a special meal that might include roast pig,
empanada or flan. She said it was a much quieter day.
While both Patterson
and Speicher have now adopted American traditions,
they find support at the
International Family Center, 18000 Route 4
Suite C. IFC has more than 100
members who trace their roots to
approximately 20 countries including
England, Ukraine, Thailand, South
America and Korea.
Water rate increase voted down
By RYAN HORNS
Thursday night Marysville
City Council voted down an ordinance to raise
water rates over the next two
Against the increase were council president John Gore, Dan Fogt,
Pleasant and Leah Sellers. Voting for the increase was David Burke
Mark Reams. Councilman John Marshall was reportedly working out of
and could not attend. The increase would have generated funds
construct a future reservoir.
What the decision means for the city and
the reservoir remains to be seen.
Reams said many people are going to read
about how their water rates
aren't going up and they will be happy.
the same people will be complaining a year from now that we can't
the future," he said. "We don't have the guts to stick to
Reams said he took issue with how the rate increase has become
drawn between two sides. If someone supports the rate increase they
"on the mayor's side" and if they don't they are "on the
"This is the city's plan," Reams said. "We've chosen the
route as a city."
He said Malcolm Pirnie engineers created a 2004 Water
Master Plan at the
cost of $260,000. Out of all the options that plan
and the administration agreed that increasing rates 5
percent the first
year, then another 8 percent the two remaining years was
the best route
to keep costs low for residents. He said other options would
worse, such as an increase of 7.3 percent for every year, or
proposing double-digit increases.
Reams and city finance director
John Morehart also said some statements
against the rate increase are not
true. It has been pointed out in the
Water Master Plan that a drought
situation would not become dire in
Marysville until 2020. Both men said that
in 2020 the plan actually
refers to a second reservoir need. The plan is
assuming that the city
would already have constructed its reservoir by
Reams said the need for the reservoir does not solely lie on
water supply purposes. The cost of treating well water is 10 times
cost of treating stream water and the reservoir would provide
quality more efficiently.
Burke said for everyone who voted "no" on
the rate increase, he hopes
that they will be able to produce ideas to bring
the city out of its problems.
"I will energetically work with anything
they bring forward," he said.
Fogt said that people tried to find a middle
ground on the rate increase.
"Some members of city council have
recommended cost saving ideas within
the water department and we've offered a
compromise of a 5 percent rate
increase for 2007 and 2008, while still
beginning construction for the
reservoir," Fogt said. "But the bottom line is
that Mayor Kruse has
rejected all these suggestions and it seems like there
is no compromise there."
Kruse said he agrees with what Reams said,
regarding how the rate
increase is a city issue, not a council or
administration issue. He said
they had all worked together on the Water
Master Plan over the past few
years. Everyone adopted increasing rates as
presented in that plan.
"It was a cooperative effort," Kruse said. "It's
important that the
public understands that."
He said the real question is
why anyone would adopt a plan and then not follow it.
Reams said someone
at work told him that everyone was waffling on the
water rate issue and that
during the next election the man was not going
to vote for any of the
Both Reams and Gore then accused one another of choosing to vote
against rate increases based on how it would get them elected
Residents in attendance at the meeting spoke about the original
why the rate hikes had been questioned.
Esther Carmany of Rosewood
Drive said "reasonable people" are asking why
the city's water rates are the
highest in the region.
"The proposed water rates are too high," Carmany said.
"And I'm asking
you to keep the lid on it. Make all development pay its own
Deer Crossing Drive resident Gary Little said he is against any hike
"I used to live in Dublin and I thought the rates were
Little said. "I come to Marysville and they are double. So,
you can only
imagine what I think about the water rates here . I find it
difficult to even be amicable about a 5 percent raise in our
"Many of the existing residents need your help now and into the
with their water bills," Carmany said. "It is no small thing to
In other business discussed, the first reading was held on
ordinances to permit the annual indexing of the sewer and water
Burke has said that indexing tap-in fees will help
future growth pay for itself.
"I think this is very good legislation,"
Burke explained that the finance committee has determined that
water and sewer tap-in fees need to be reviewed and adjusted on
annual basis to keep up with inflation. Any adjustments to both will
effective annually by May 1 and will only affect new development.
feasibility study will be completed at least every five years by
outside source to determine if the tap-in fees are adequate to
sewer capital projects and the city will make appropriate
based on the study.
Hospital sets 07 budget, buys
By CORINNE BIX
Memorial Hospital of Union County announced on
Thursday that the
purchase of 660 London Ave. and 388 Damascus Road is
The two properties were purchased for a reported $3.675 million and
formally owned by the now defunct MPI real estate group.
physicians who occupy these buildings are valuable to our community
our organization, so contributing to their stability, security
viability is important to us all," Chip Hubbs,
CEO/President said in a
hospital press release announcing the purchase.
The hospital plans to make
capital improvements to both buildings. In
addition the hospital is in the
process of hiring a management company
to lease and manage the day-to-day
operation of each facility.
Additional information about the purchase may be
found in a related
story on page 7B of today's newspaper.
The board voted
to approve the 2007 operating budget and the 2007 capital budget.
consolidated operating budget total was $2,133,026. The capital
was $2,618,800. and included a $100,000 contingency fund.
The board voted to
approve the final policy recommendations for the
tobacco free campus as
presented at the November meeting.
Carman Wirtz, vice president of human
resources, explained last month
that a short term plan was put in place to
comply with the passage of
state Issue 5 for a smoke free Ohio, as well as a
long-term plan to
promote a healthier lifestyle with a tobacco-free campus by
Jan. 1, 2008.
Before State Issue 5 passed, Memorial was already smoke-free
buildings, although patients, visitors and staff could smoke
2008, no smoking will be permitted on or immediately around the
Wirtz said a yearlong program is in place to help educate
patients and visitors about the tobacco free initiative. The hospital
in the process of constructing a "smoking hut" to be accessed
the emergency room entrance to aid in the transition. The "smoking
is located approximately 30 feet from the hospital building.
exterior signage as approved in October should be in place by Jan.
8. The new
signage reflects the hospital's updated logo introduced last year.
hospital is working on a proposal with AMDC, a consulting firm
strategic planning for facility construction.
Hubbs said the hospital wants
to explore how best to utilize space.
Robin Slattman, new chief nursing
officer, was formally introduced at
last night's meeting.
replaced Jackie Haverkamp, former vice president of nursing.
in October that only the job title has changed and that
Slattman will have
the same duties. Slattman formerly worked for
Community Memorial Hospital in
Defiance. She officially started working
at Memorial earlier this
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss two pending
cases, trade secrets of a county hospital and compensation for
employee. No action was taken.
In other action, the board:
the following committee reports: operational team report,
finance and joint
.Was updated on the upcoming Estes Park retreat to Scottsdale,
for the board and administrators.
.Approved the initial appointment
of the following: Dr. Michael Borunda,
emergency medicine, third year, urgent
care ? ERUC provisional; Dr.
Jonadab Uzoho, family medicine, third year,
urgent care, ERUC provisional.
.Approved modification of privileges for
Dr. Mahmound Qadoom to add
pulmonary core and non-core.
staff bylaws and related manuals as done annually.
.Approved Dr. Victor
Trianfo as medicine vice chair.
.Approved capital expenditure for an
ultra-sound machine in the amount of $40,000.
Vote on water rates set for tonight
By RYAN HORNS
The hike on water rates
will officially go to a vote tonight during the
Marysville's City Council
The water rate hike ordinance was tabled at the Dec. 7 council
so the Finance Committee could meet Wednesday to pursue
opportunities that would offset the water rate costs for residents.
according to engineering firm Malcolm Pirnie, the likelihood of
any of those grants is grim.
In a Dec. 7 letter to Marysville
Public Service Director Tracie Davies,
Malcolm Pirnie Senior Project Engineer
Chris Hill listed a summary of
funding sources for public water and
wastewater projects in Ohio. He
listed the Community Development Block Grant
Water and Sanitary Sewer
Program, the Economic Development Administration
Grants and Loans, the
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers of Ohio Environmental
Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development
the Ohio Public Works Commission Grants and Loans.
is unlikely to meet any of the criteria demonstrating
financial need," Hill
A second letter sent to Council President John Gore from Hull
Associates government and community relations leader Kara Allison
with Malcolm Pirnie's evaluation.
"Marysville is not of the
distressed criteria," Malcolm Pirnie grant
writer Betsy Bowe said. "It will
be very hard for you to get a grant."
Hill explained that the grants
available to help are usually based on
economic need and the medium household
income. According to the
Marysville 2000 census, the average income per
household is $47,000
which exceeds the threshold for the grant programs.
level is at 5.5 percent, compared to levels such as 23
percent in Dayton
or 14.8 percent in Columbus.
Committee members Gore, Dan
Fogt and David Burke said the point is that
they at least need to
Gore also wondered if Mayor Tom Kruse's administration had ever
Malcolm Pirnie to pursue grants.
"We were not asked to," Hill said.
"There was no grant application for
the water reservoir."
He said Malcolm
Pirnie was not asked to look for grants until Dec. 4.
Gore said he was
disappointed that the water rate hike was already well
into its readings and
no one had even looked into extra funding. His
problem with the words
"unlikely to be eligible" is that he heard the
same thing from the
administration when it came to finding grant funding
for a city railroad
crossing. He said councilman Fogt finally "made a
few phone calls" and got
the city a $180,000 grant.
"There are rocks out there that need to be turned
over," Gore said.
He said it has become clear that the existing water
situation is not as
dire as is being pushed on council. He does not disagree
needs to construct the reservoir. If the city has as long as
10 years to
put off the reservoir and can use that time to put aside money
construction, then they should look into that.
Fogt said he is
disappointed he did not ask the right questions until it
was three or four
years too late.
Burke disagreed that anyone was at fault.
"That is why we
are having this meeting," he said.
Burke said the problem is that every time
council switches members or
administration changes, there is a "lack of
continuum." The water plant
was purchased in 1993 and he is surprised at how
much of that debt has
not been paid off. The city could lower water rates 20
percent if that
debt were paid off. He said the finance committee has already
lessen the burden on residents.
Burke spoke about the Malcolm
Pirnie Water Master Study completed in
2005. The study suggested increasing
tap-in fees, which the city has
done. It also provided the city with numerous
rate increase options. The
study pointed out that if the rates are not raised
by 2009 or 2010
residents could see a double-digit rate increase. He said the
hope is to
raise the rates for two years and then pursue any additional
sources of funding.
Burke said that ever since the Water Plant was
purchased, nobody has had
a plan to bring water rates down. When the Water
Plant is paid for then
they can lower the rates.
"The citizens need a firm
commitment to do that," Burke said. "Eliminate that debt."
Fogt said the
Ohio EPA essentially promised to help Marysville find
funding options for the
wastewater treatment plant and they didn't.
Perhaps now they could help with
the reservoir. Not only does Marysville
have its own water problems, but the
city is also dealing with Raymond
and Peoria adding to Mill Creek.
asked what the committee plans to present to city council. Are they
have a compromise amendment to vote on, or are they going to
let the water
rate increase go to vote?
Burke and Fogt both agreed that they are
comfortable with allowing
Malcolm Pirnie to pursue grants and the water rate
increase will go to a vote.
Gore said it is up to the administration to
ask them to pursue grants.
"Yes, there may be something else out there," Bowe
said about finding
funding. "But there is not a whole lot to impact a
facility this size."
Bowe said she will re-do the list of grants available,
another section of how they specifically relate to Marysville.
also ask people within the Ohio EPA who have some 20 years
and invite the Ohio Department of Development to join
Malcolm Pirnie's Senior Associate Tom Bulcher said that he does not
to make everyone too optimistic.
"If the effort was made and we can't
get the money, then the effort was
made," Gore said.
He just wants to be
able to look people in the eye and assure them that
every rock was turned
MR/DD considers name change
From J-T staff reports:
County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental
Disabilities is talking
about changing its name.
The change, to remove the term mental retardation,
is part of a national trend.
"Agencies with a national perspective have
recognized this as an issue,"
said superintendent Kim Miller.
informed the board that the premier national organization in the
formerly known as The American Association on Mental
Retardation had recently
voted to eliminate the wording from its
organizational title. That
organization is now called The American
Association on Intellectual and
"As a parent of an individual with developmental
disabilities, the word
mental retardation carries a certain stigma to it that
is demeaning to
both the individuals and their families." said board member
Streng. "We have a chance to make a difference in our
because we're not adding credibility to that title. We're on the
Board member Jim Kouri suggested that the board consider
what the name
change would mean to the organization's business operation and
"We need to look at the effect of a name change on our
operation and community identity. We need to gather more information
this issue," Kouri said.
Superintendent Miller recommended seeking
input from various
stakeholders and citizens and then bringing it back to the
suggested talking with both Delaware and Washington Counties Boards
Developmental Disabilities who had gone through this process. The
"We need to hear from consumers, advocates and public
leaders on this
issue to assess its potential impact," Miller said.
other business during the regular December meeting, Miller reported
toward a new strategic plan is progressing.
The management team had held one
planning session since the last board
meeting and had identified core values
related to the mission and
vision. A second meeting of the team will be held
in the very near
future. A presentation to the Board is planned for March
expected in April. The planning process of the strategic plan
will then commence.
Collaborative plans for school to work options are
the Union County School Districts and the Union County
MR/DD Adult Services.
"We're looking at a transition fair on April 9 to
resource opportunities to parents, guardians and potential
said Jesse Roberts, adult services director, said.
plans for infants to preschool and kindergarten are moving
forward with the
Marysville Exempted Village School District, Help Me
Group, Fairbanks School
District Head Start and the Union County Board
of MR/DD. On-time transition
is a point of emphasis to comply with
federal regulations. Another meeting
with a group of parents/guardians
had been held and plans are underway to
involve other groups in this forum.
The first joint MR/DD Board and U-CO
Industries Committee met Tuesday.
Miller said the committee is new for Ohio
with U-CO purchasing a new
facility without tax dollars. This purchase has
organization in meeting future needs of adults with
special needs in Union County.
In other business:
. Steve Streng,
Bruce Davis, and Paul Whiteford have all been
reappointed by the Union County
Commissioners for four year terms.
. The toddler group project with the
YMCA, Help Me Grow and the Harold
Lewis Center will begin an eight-week
session beginning on Jan. 9 with
two additional sessions by the end of the
. November expenditures totaling $591,423.20 were approved.
series of routine contracts were approved for Medicaid management,
report, U-CO Industries,
Custom Staffing, dental insurance, ODMRDD Contract
Addendum and a
supplemental newsletter contract.
Due to Martin Luther King
Day holiday in January, the next regularly
scheduled board meeting will be
held on Jan. 22 at 4:30 p.m. in the
Amrine Room of the Harold Lewis Center,
1280 Charles Lane.
Local man allegedly steals car, rams police cruiser in
From J-T staff reports:
A Marysville man was nabbed by Columbus
police officers after he rammed
a car he allegedly stole locally into one of
Tahar Ramani, 21, of 17886 Woodview Drive, was arrested early
morning by Columbus Police Department officers. He reportedly tried
damage police cruisers in an attempt to escape.
Marysville's Assistant Chief Glenn Nicol, a resident in the
700 block of
North Main Street reported his 1993 Buick Skylark was
stolen from his
residence today at 3:40 a.m. The notice was sent out to
area law enforcement
to be on the lookout for the car.
Nicol said the car was later located in
Columbus at 4:20 a.m. and Ramani
reportedly tried to avoid his arrest.
may have run into a Columbus cruiser in an attempt to flee,"
He said details on the crime are pending through the Columbus
Department. Ramani was arrested and auto theft charges are
Arrest made in Richwood area stolen TV ring
J-T staff reports:
Law enforcement officials released information this
morning on an
investigation of stolen high definition televisions being sold
Franklin County Sheriff Jim Karnes reported this
morning that his
deputies were investigating a grand theft report from
He said on Nov. 16, Ryan Logistics Trucking Company, located at
Fishel Road in Dublin, commissioned driver Asad Aziz to deliver
freightliner truck filled with 68 high definition televisions
Douglassville, Ga., to Indianapolis. The televisions never
Karnes reported that the man known as Aziz was actually named Rodney
Geiger, 33, of Kentucky, who took the freightliner and trailer to
unknown location. The truck was later reported stolen to the
"When questioned by sheriff's detectives (Geiger) stated
that he left
the trailer at the (Ryan's Logistics) lot and when he came back
gone," Karnes reported.
He said the total value of the televisions
stolen is approximately $80,000.
Karnes said that on Dec. 12 the Union
County Sheriff's Office contacted
Franklin County with information that lead
to the recovery of 27 of the
68 stolen televisions, believed to have been
sold by a local resident of
Richwood to residents in the area - some rumored
to be prominent area
figures. Because the Richwood man is still under
investigation and has
not officially been charged, his name has not been
Union County Sheriff's Lt. Jamie Patton said this morning that
investigation has been a joint one, involving Union County, the
County Sheriff's Office and the Richwood Police Department.
would like to encourage anyone that may have purchased one of
televisions to contact the Union County Sheriff's Office," Patton
"Local agencies are focusing on trying to recover as many of the
televisions as possible."
He said he can be contacted at the Union
County Sheriff's Office at
(937) 645-4129 for information.
One killed in crash on Route 4
From J-T staff reports:
A Richwood woman
was reportedly killed Tuesday in a four-car crash south
According to OSP reports, Sherry Fields, 55, of Richwood died as
result of injuries sustained after being a passenger in one of the
Reports show that at 3:30 p.m. driver Gerald Foreman, 47,
of 13390 Route
347 was traveling north on Route 4. Behind him was a vehicle
Pamela Shaffer, 51, of Prospect. Driver Randy Lee, 42, of
followed behind the other two vehicles.
As Foreman and Shaffer
stopped for traffic, Lee reportedly could not
stop and struck the back end of
Shaffer's car, which caused her to
collide into the back end of Foreman's
car. Shaffer's vehicle then
continued across the center line and into the
path of minivan driver
Joseph VanCraft, 60, of Richwood with Fields, who was
headed south on
Route 4. VanCraft reportedly struck Shaffer's car in the
right side. All
the cars went off the sides of the roadway, with Shaffer's
car striking a utility pole.
Fields was injured and transported by
Marysville medics to Memorial
Hospital of Union County, where she later died.
VanCraft suffered minor
visible injuries and was transported there as well.
Shaffer was taken to
the same location by Northern-Union Township medics, and
transported to Grant Medical Hospital in Columbus. Foreman and Lee
reportedly not injured.
Troopers are currently investigating the
crash and Union County
Sheriff's deputies assisted at the scene.
reported that this is the fifth fatal crash in Union County
Area Christmas services listed
United Church of Christ, 124 W. Sixth St., will
hold two worship services
Sunday, Christmas Eve.
The first, a family service at 4 p.m., is designed for
children of all
ages. Weather permitting, live animals from the manger will
participants at the church entrance. Many Christmas carols will be
and special music will be featured. The highlight of the service will
costumed actors recreating the events of the first Christmas. The
Richard Flynn's homily is titled "Changing the Baby."
candlelight service will be held at 7 p.m., with the
Christmas story told in
song and scripture. Rev. Flynn's Christmas
homily will be "People of the
Cave." The service will climax with the
lighting of the Christ candle, the
passing of the Light of Christ to
those attending and the singing of "Silent
Night, Holy Night."
Christian Assembly Church, 1003 N. Maple St., will hold a
Christmas Eve Communion service in addition to the 10:30 a.m.
Delaware Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Emerson House, 290
Sandusky St., Delaware, will celebrate with the Christmas Eve
"Christmas Eve in the Morning," during the 10:30 a.m. service.
selections of instrumental music will be provided by an adult trio
cello, flute and piano. Christmas songs will be sung and
readings will give candlelight deference to peace and hope.
will remain in the service.
First English Lutheran, 687 London
Ave.: The Sunday school will present
the Christian message of the "12 Days of
Christmas" as the sermon at the
10:30 a.m. worship service with Communion at
the Christmas Eve morning
worship. The evening Communion worship will be at
First Presbyterian Church, 210 W. Fifth St.: The 10 a.m. worship
on Christmas Eve will be the Service of the Nativity. Through
children, teens and young adults of the church, the Nativity
will bring together Mary, Joseph, the Christ Child, the shepherds,
the angels. And even though the wise men probably did not appear at
manger, they are an important part of the Christmas story and will
included to tell the full story of the birth of Jesus. Carols will
sung to highlight the retelling of the babe born to Mary in
A carols and Communion service will be held at 4 p.m. Christmas
Sunday. Carols will include "O Come All Ye Faithful," "O Little Town
Bethlehem," "The First Noel," "Good Christian Friends, Rejoice" and
to the World."
The 11:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will
include music and
scripture as presented by high school and college
musicians. This time
celebrates the birth of Christ as heralded by the
tolling of the bells.
Those attending should bring their favorite bell, any
quietly in a bag or purse. At midnight, the congregation will
the birth by ringing and singing. High school and college youth
offer the special music for the evening.
Marysville Grace Brethren
Church will hold a Christmas Eve day service
at 10 a.m. and a candlelight
Christmas Eve service at 5:30 p.m. The
church meets in Navin Elementary,
16265 County Home Road.
New Dover United Methodist Church, 16637 Church St.,
New Dover, will
hold a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 5 p.m. Morning
be held at 11 a.m.
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 1033
W. Fifth St., will hold a
Christmas Eve Mass on Sunday at 4 p.m. A children's
Mass will be held at
6:30 p.m. and a solemn Midnight Mass with caroling will
begin at 11:30
p.m. A Christmas Day Mass will be held at 9 a.m.
also will be held Saturday, Dec. 23 at 4:30 p.m. and Christmas
Eve day at 9
and 11:30 a.m.
St. Paul Lutheran Church, 7960 Route 38, will hold its annual
Christmas Eve program, "From Heaven Above," Sunday at 7 p.m. A
Day worship will be held at 10 a.m.
Springdale Baptist Church,
18881 Springdale Road, will hold a Christmas
Eve candlelight service at 7:30
p.m. Sunday school will be held at 9:25
a.m. Sunday, followed by morning
worship at 10:30 a.m.
Trinity Lutheran, 311 E. Sixth St., will hold a family
service with a
children's presentation at 10 a.m. Sunday. At 11 a.m., a
for Jesus will be held, with crafts and snacks. A traditional
will be held Sunday at 7 p.m., followed by a contemporary service at
p.m. and a second traditional service at 11 p.m. A Christmas Day
will be held at 10 a.m.
Unionville Center United Methodist Church,
127 W. Main St., Unionville
Center, will hold a candlelight service of
worship at 6:30 p.m.
Christmas Eve. It will include Christmas carols and Holy
Morning worship will begin with hymn singing at 9:15
Vineyard Church, 913 W. Fifth St., will hold Christmas Eve services
9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. A brief children's program will be presented
both services and Communion will be celebrated.
showcased in 'The Messiah'
From J-T staff reports:
musicians will present the Christmas section of G.F.
Handel's "The Messiah"
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The oratorio will be held in the
First Presbyterian Church sanctuary,
Fifth and Court streets, and will
feature Scott Underwood as conductor
and Caroline Ohnsman on piano and organ
and Grant Underwood on the harpsichord.
The chorus will include voices
from the church and community with
soloists from around the area, including
Kylee Pfarr, Susan, Erin and
Ben Bunsold, Carolyn English, Mike Robertson,
Elizabeth Neer and guest
soloists Andrea Weaver, David Wilson and Adrian
Other vocalists and musicians will include Delores Winters,
Marysville Schools music teacher; Tom McLaughlin, tenor; George
trumpet, Brass Band of Columbus; Brandon Koehler, trumpet,
Youth Symphony; Taylor and Katie Davis, Columbus Symphony Youth
Natalie Bowshier, music education, Otterbein College; the Rev.
Strohm, Westminster College, music education; Ryan
pianist/organist; Duane Hammer, speech and theater, Capital
Sarah Clark, flute major; Elizabeth Ward, violin; Betty McVey,
and viola; Jennifer Dutter, clarinet; and Jan Thompson, mezzo
"The Messiah" is Handel's most famous work. Although the text is
to resurrection and salvation and the work was conceived and
performed for Easter, it has become traditional since Handel's death
perform "The Messiah" oratorio during Advent.
often feature only the first section of "The
Messiah" plus the "Hallelujah"
Chorus which is the most famous movement
of the piece. In many parts of the
world, it is accepted practice for
the audience to stand for this section
during a performance.
The harpsichord used in this presentation of "The
Messiah" is owned and
handmade by Ben Bechtel of Columbus. It will be played
Underwood, an Ohio State University music major.
is a musical instrument whose strings are "plucked" from
a keyboard and which
sits on a table or stand while being played. This
was the instrument for
which the Couperins, J.S. Bach, Handel, Haydn and
Bechtel's harpsichord has been used for many years in churches
theaters throughout the central Ohio area, including the Ohio,
and Palace theaters.
Tobacco use will be off limits on Marysville school property on Jan. 1
Tobacco use of any kind is off limits on Marysville School
property - or it will be as of Jan. 1.
Board members unanimously
passed a policy amendment Monday night that
will prohibit the use of all
tobacco products, including smokeless
tobacco, on district premises,
including all school buildings, property
- including the stadiums and any
outside locations on district property
- and vehicles which are owned, leased
or contracted by the district as
well as school approved vehicles used to
transport pupils to and from
school or school activities.
This goes beyond
mandates in the Smoke Free Workplace Act passed as
Issue 5 in the Nov. 7
general election. That law says that any
establishment, including schools,
that has employees or which invites
members of the public to enter its
facilities will be completely smoke
free. Smoking outside of buildings is
permitted, provided all smoking
areas are far enough away from doorways,
windows and ventilation systems
that smoke does not enter a building.
think it's the right thing to do," said superintendent Larry
sends a whole different message."
The general public, staff and parents will
be notified in various ways,
including the school district's Web site,
building newsletters and
through the Journal-Tribune. Smoking cessation
programs also will be
advertised, including those available through the Union
Department and Memorial Hospital of Union
Information about the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line is available at
http://www.ohioquits.com or by calling (800)
QUIT-NOW. The service is free.
"We're not looking to wrestle (smokers)
about this. We'll just looking
to make them healthy," said Neal Handler,
assistant superintendent. "We
want to offer them (help)."
In other action,
.Recognized Barbara Snodgrass as November Employee of the
Snodgrass is Zimmerman's secretary. She was lauded for her
dedication and commitment to the school district.
advertise for bids for proposed construction of the new
.Awarded supplemental contracts to Harold "Sonny" Green,
assistant wrestling coach; Brock Walden, assistant varsity
coach; and Ryan Sawmiller, freshman baseball coach.
Marysville Education Association certified contract and
handbook to reflect changes in health insurance benefits,
.Approved high school show choir overnight trips on Feb. 3-4 to
High School, Elletsville, Ind.; Feb. 24-25, Twinsburg High
Twinsburg; and March 15-18 to Nashville, Tenn.
By RYAN HORNS
A city-owned residential property was
demolished today, marking a
reminder of a now defunct plan to build a city
office complex in that area.
Marysville city administrator Kathy House
said that the property at 410
S. Main St. was purchased on March, 11, 2002
for $70,000. The first
reading of an ordinance requesting $25,000 in order to
and tear the structure down was read at the Dec. 7 city
The issue was passed on emergency.
House said the 2002
ordinance accepting the purchase agreement states
"the city desires to
purchase the real estate. as a site for a City
Administration Building to be
erected in the future."
Former mayor Steven Lowe's administration reportedly
bought the property
for plans to purchase other homes nearby in hopes of
constructing a new
city Justice Center. It was to be the home of court,
police and city
offices. The plan was later scrapped so the city could get to
repaving streets and planning for the future wastewater treatment
"We have no plans at this time for use of the lot after the house
gone," House said.
Resident Ken Braden said he is disappointed the
house is being
demolished because he had plans to purchase the building
rehabilitate the structure. He said he offered the city $40,000 to
the home but the offer was declined.
"I felt it was really crazy to
turn down that amount of money," Braden said.
He said between the $70,000
purchase price, the $25,000 cost to demolish
it and his own $40,000 offer, it
looked like the city may have wasted $135,000.
City councilman Dan Fogt
said the house had been advertised for sale for
more than a year, even though
most city council members had wanted to
sell the property three years
"The house continued to crumble over the years," Fogt said.
back roof of the house caved because of heavy autumn rains,
Mayor Tom Kruse
finally requested it be torn down. City officials
determined it was time to
get rid of what many felt was a health hazard.
Fogt said the options were
either to sell the house and risk having it
remain unsafe and unsightly, or
tear it down and improve the look of the street.
"Our concern was that
(the house) would be moderately rehabilitated and
be rented out and would be
an eyesore on South Main Street," Fogt said.
He said the person who offered
the $40,000 might have done a wonderful
job of cleaning up the house and it's
possible council and
administrators may have made a mistake.
"If the house
would have become an eyesore, we did the right thing," Fogt
E-textbooks may be in future for NU students
In the future, pages in school will be turned with a mouse instead
of a finger.
North Union Curriculum Coordinator Bruce Hoover gave school
members food for thought Monday night as he outlined the idea
e-textbooks. The future of learning, e-textbooks provide all of
information of a traditional textbook in a digital format.
being driven by technology," Hoover told the board.
Hoover said the
information provided to students can be viewed on
computers as well as a
number of other electronic devices, although
pages can be printed into hard
copy form. The information is accessed
through the Internet.
also has advantages over traditional books in that key text
highlighted, interactive maps are incorporated and practice tests
streaming are also used. The text can also be read to students
computer or provided in different languages to meet the needs of certain
The cost savings to the district would also be substantial. While
district currently spends about $220,000 per year for
E-textbooks, which offer a per pupil subscription fee, cost
percent less, according to Hoover.
But the issue of access is a
concern. A survey of students in all grades
of the district found that 80
percent of students have computers while
73 percent have Internet
Third grade teacher Helen Anderson said her quickly gathered concern
that it puts students without computers at a disadvantage.
are a level playing field," Anderson said.
Hoover noted that devices called
digital readers would have to be
supplied by the district for students
The issue of how the new idea would be filtered into the
also addressed. Hoover said he would probably look at initially
e-textbooks in a high school class outside of core subjects like
and science. He said a course like business would be a good fit
technology components factor into the course.
Board member Kevin
Crosthwaite said, if approved, he would like to see
the district implement
the e-textbooks in the elementary classrooms so
students grow up with the
technology and see it as the standard, rather
than a new teaching
Hoover said that currently 25 percent of the textbook market
comprised of electronic offerings, with 1,000 districts
subscribing. He added that seven of the eight major textbook
Superintendent Richard Smith noted that the
move is not something the
board needs to consider immediately, but as the
district's new buildings
become more and more technology friendly it is
something to watch.
Hoover noted that even if the district opted to the move
it would take
three to five years to implement.
The board also revisited
the issue of the eighth grade's overnight trip
to Hale's Farm and the Great
Lakes Science Center in Cleveland. The same
issue died for lack of a second
two months ago as some board members
felt a trip to New York, Washington D.C.
or other area would hold more
At that time the board
was told that financial and security constraints
made other trips
unappealing. Since that meeting, middle school
officials have analyzed the
issue and decided to put it before the board
again. Smith noted that a survey
of parents showed the Cleveland trip was favored.
The issue failed by a
3-2 vote, with Dennis Hall, Crosthwaite and Bryan
Hall said he still believes the $270 per pupil cost is too expensive
for the cost.
"I'd like to see us aim a little higher," Hall said.
board also heard a complaint from Anderson about the school
said the board's decision to accept a school calendar
which required classes
to meet until the Friday before Christmas had
upset some members of the
She noted that the all-male board may not be sensitive to the
duties of the female staff members, including preparing meals
and purchasing gifts.
Smith said the district put a great deal of thought
and time into the
decision to accept the current calendar. Board president
Jon Hall also
noted that the current calendar was one of many suggested by
He also mentioned that the calendar was accepted earlier in
when the district was under the direction of a woman,
previous superintendent Carol Young.
In other business, the
.Heard a proposal for a $24,000 upgrade to the high school
field. The project would be funded by district, NUAC
.Learned that it may be financially viable to purchase new
classrooms, rather than leasing them. The difference in price would
be less than $10,000.
.Heard an update on the Project Lead The Way
program, which introduces
students to engineering classes.
contract with Labor Relations Solutions Inc. for calendar
year 2007 for labor
.Voted to approve payment in lieu of
transportation for Tom and Susan
Gray for their three children to attend
Delaware Christian School.
.Heard Anderson voice support for Smith and his
performance this year as superintendent.
.Heard a concern from current
student/athlete Emily Davis involving a coach.
.Voted to employ Dawn
Draper, head softball coach, Chad Russell, head
baseball coach, and Jessica
Temple, co-JV softball coach, to limited
.Voted to employ Ryan Powell, JV boys basketball coach, and
Setser, co-JV softball coach, as non-certified individuals to
limited expiring pupil activity contracts.
.Voted to approve Carl
Conrad, softball, Hannah Hoffman, softball, and
Rusty Lowe, boys basketball,
as volunteers working with sports programs
for the 2006-07 school
.Renewed participation in the Ohio School Boards Association
Assistance Fund for 2007.
.Voted to renew membership in the Ohio
School Boards Association for
2007 at a cost of $3,218.
.Set the board
organizational meeting for Jan. 2.
with Crosthwaite acting as president pro
.Held an executive session to discuss personnel.
details omitted from Jerome board minutes
By CINDY BRAKE
Township Board of Trustees rewrote their past Monday and
offered no reason
for the action.
The three-member board passed minutes for the Dec. 4 meeting
deleted details from a resolution.
On Dec. 4 the board voted to go
into executive session to discuss
personnel and imminent court action. The
ORC states that an attorney
must be present to go into executive session for
imminent court action.
No attorney was present when the board
The approved minutes state that the board recessed into
session only to discuss personnel matters. The board did not
resident Jesse Dickinson, who raised the question.
announced that no action was expected Monday when they went
session, however, after a two-hour session the board
returned to open session
and passed a resolution.
Meeting with attorney Terry Hord to discuss imminent
Merkle and Andrew Thomas passed a resolution that the
township will not
be involved in a legal matter filed against trustee Ron
Rhodes in the
Marysville Small Claims Court. Rhodes abstained. Merkle
that no township funds will be expended in the matter.
Earlier in the
meeting, Dickinson said a complaint was filed against only
questioned if public funds were being used.
Thomas offered an
update about a recent meeting with the city of
Marysville concerning a
"non-annexation agreement." He said the land use
subcommittee has met, but no
details are available. Thomas is a member
of a multi-governmental group
holding unannounced meetings.
Boy Scout Ben Karn discussed building a bridge
over a drainage stream to
a pond in the Harry Wolfe Park along Industrial
Parkway. The bridge
would be an Eagle Scout project for the 16 year-old
Marysville High School.
"Great idea," said Rhodes. Trustees
Merkle and Thomas agreed, adding
that the bridge will remove an unsightly
portion around the pond. The
trustees agreed that the township will pay for
Karn said he is working with an architect on the bridge design
meet the American Disabilities Act standards.
The trustees said
they would approve a resolution when Karn returns with
concerning the pond, Merkle said he had released 12 White Amour or
Grass Carp to control pond plants.
In other business:
. Clerk Robert
Caldwell was absent from the meeting. Minutes were taken
by Merkle and the
meeting was tape recorded. Numerous financial
transfers were approved without
discussion and as submitted in writing.
. A record number of burials were
observed in 2006 at the township
cemetery. Merkle said 26 burials were
completed with an additional one
scheduled for Wednesday.
. The township
hall interior is being painted.
. Ketch Road work is completed, however,
there remains a question about easements.
. A tree on Weldon Road has been
. Community Service workers have cleaned all township ditches.
No public safety officer was present, nor was a report available.
chief Scott Skeldon was not present, but offered a written department
. The board set their organizational meeting for Jan. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
regular meetings will continue to be held on the first and third
of the month in 2007 unless it falls on a holiday and then the
will be held on the following Tuesday.
Business prospers at ORW
Shop is in high gear to meet heavy demand for OSU
By CINDY BRAKE
Santa's elves can't be any busier than offenders at
the Ohio Reformatory
for Women who work in the prison's flag shop.
October the women have cut, hemmed, appliquéd and trimmed nearly
featuring The Ohio State University for The Flag Lady in
Leavitt Watson, The Flag Lady's daughter, said the
business entered into a
contract with the prison system Oct. 1. She
supplies the materials and
training for the offenders.
With OSU's national championship year plus a
growing custom business,
Leavitt Watson said, "We could no longer keep up
with the business. It
is delightful to work with the ladies ... they sew with
OSU flags being constructed at the Marysville facility
include Block O,
Alumni, Go Bucks and garden.In addition, the shop supplies
all U.S. and
Ohio flags for federal, state and county offices in Ohio. In
there are special orders for Ohio University and Hilliard
"People love our flags," said trimmer Susan Luff who has been
flags for four years.
Others say they feel a sense of pride on game
days to see their flags waiving.
One of the biggest OSU fans, seamstress
Janet Larosa tells herself, "I
made that" when she sees a flag waving on
The ORW flag shop is unique for prisons in Ohio and one of the
Ohio Penal Industry Shops. It has been in business for approximately
Each flag is handmade from beginning to end by the women who
age from 21 to 60 years of age. Their crimes include murder,
robbery and drug possession. They work Monday through Friday from 8
to 4 p.m., although last week they worked 11 to 12 hours one day
catch up on their orders.
Some, like Joyai Powell, had never touched a
sewing machine before being
hired. Others, like Larosa, have years of
Trimmer Marisel Sandoval said the job is a wonderful
although there are times she gets "scissor excited" and nicks
She has been working on flags since July.
Tom Frank, penal
industry manager, oversees the shop's operation.
The seamstresses are all
minimum or medium security inmates who have
either a high school or general
equivalency degree. They must also
complete a formal interview and 30-day
probation period to earn $30 to
$70 a month, ORW spokesman Elizabeth Wright
No information released on fire
Information on a structure
fire over the weekend in Liberty Township was
to Marysville Fire Department reports, Sunday at 6:04 a.m.
assisted Liberty Township Fire Department in responding to a
fire at 18393
Liberty Township Fire Department staff refused to provide
the fire due to the chief not being in the office.
information was available on the type of fire, whether any injuries
or if property was lost.
Pro hoops team introduced
By TIM MILLER
"We're only 80 days away from
With those words, Marysville Meteors owner Charlie Mitchell
members of the community to the city's first-ever professional
franchise. The unveiling of the team's new logo and introduction
players and coaches came Friday afternoon at Marysville High
The Meteors, a team which played the 2006 International
Association season as the Columbus Cyclones, will play 12 of its
regular campaign games at MHS.
Mitchell moved the franchise after
its inaugural season in Columbus in
order to get out from under the shadow of
the Ohio State Buckeyes.
"We did an economic study and we feel that
Marysville and Union County
can support a professional sports franchise,"
Mitchell said. "We will
field a very competitive team and will represent the
city well. We hope
the community will wrap itself around the Meteors."
IBL, which will begin its third season in just a few months, is
spring-summer circuit which attracts high caliber athletes.
"Many of our
players are currently with Continental Basketball
Association (CBA) teams or
are playing professionally in Europe," said
Mitchell. "They will be joining
IBL teams once their seasons are over."
The Meteors will tip off the 2007
campaign on Thursday, March 8 by
hosting the Jackson (Tenn.) Titans.
home games (see schedule) will begin at 7:15 p.m., with the
exception of a 2
p.m. start on Sunday, March 25 against South Charleston (W. Va.)
says local hoop fans will be attracted to the fast pace of IBL games.
have a 22-second shot clock (compared to the NBA's 24 seconds),
eight-second time line (compared to the normal 10 seconds) and each
is only allowed one timeout per quarter," he said. "There is also
immediate in-bounds policy. IBL games are always fast and
as teams average about 130 points per game."
owner said the IBL is extremely fan friendly, with
"Our players have soft spots in their hearts, especially for
he said. "Our players will stay after games (which generally last
hours) to sign autographs."
Mitchell introduced several of the Meteor
players, including Marysville
High School boys varsity coach Kenny
Chaffin, who played one year of professional basketball in France
his graduation from Mount Vernon Nazarene, will join the Meteors
the Monarchs' high school season concludes.
Chaffin had played for
summer teams sponsored by Mitchell in years past
and helped pave the way,
Mitchell said, for the franchise to relocate here.
introduced included former Ohio State Buckeye Shun
Jenkins, Michael Bradley
of the University of Charleston, Larry Drake
from Miami of Ohio and former
high school all-star Estaban Weaver.
The Cyclones were coached by former Ohio
State assistant coach Dave
Cecutti during the 2006 season.
direction, the 'Clones posted a 20-3 record and lost in the
championship finals to the Elkhart (Ind.) Express.
Mitchell decided to go
another coaching direction with the shift of the
franchise. As such, he
introduced former Buckeye Shaun Smith as the new
"It is an
honor to be the new coach of the Marysville Meteors," Smith
said. "Thank you
for welcoming us to your home."
The following is the 2007 regular
season schedule for the Marysville
Meteors of the International Basketball
League (all games begin at 7:15
p.m. unless noted):
March 8: home vs.
Jackson (Tenn.) Titans
March 9: home vs. Jackson (Tenn.) Titans
home vs. S. Charleston (W. Va.) Running Wild (2 p.m.)
March 30: home vs.
Battle Creek (Mich.) Knights
April 6: at Grand Rapids (Mich.) Flight
7: at Battle Creek
April 14: at S. Charleston
April 28: at S.
May 4: at Elkhart ((Ind.) Express
May 5: at Chicago Heights
May 6: at Lake County (Ill.) Lakers
May 12: at S.
May 17: home vs. Grand Rapids
May 18: home vs. Grand
May 24: home vs. S. Charleston
June 7: home vs. Chicago
June 8: at Battle Creek
June 9: at Grand Rapids
June 10: home
vs. Chicago Heights
June 15: home vs. S. Charleston
June 22: home vs.
June 23: home vs. Elkhart
Area family recalls
Lived near site of plane crash that killed 70 members of
football program in 1970
By TIM MILLER
It was a story that
impacted an entire West Virginia community for a
long, long time.
entire nation will learn of the story surrounding the worst
disaster in American history.
For one Marysville family, though, it is a
tragic walk down memory lane.
The movie "We Are Marshall" premiered in
Huntington, W. Va., earlier
this week. It will be released nationwide on Dec.
The film, which features Matthew McConaughey at the head of an
cast, chronicles the Nov. 14, 1970 chartered jet crash that killed
than 70 people associated with the Marshall University football
People in Union County at the time read the front page news of the
in the Nov. 16, 1970 edition of the Journal-Tribune. It was,
overshadowed by the banner headline proclaiming a merger of the
Company and ITT.
For a present-day Union County family, that
fateful night in Huntington
was the major news of the day ... and the
memory lingers even 36 years later.
Dave and Jan Canterbury, who reside on
Boerger Road, lived near
Huntington in the small community of Sweet Run. At
the time, they were
the parents of two young girls, Linda (6) and Becky (3)
and they had
just welcomed a son, Dave, to their home a few months
Father and daughters were at home, about a mile from the Huntington
States Airport, that evening.
Mom was staying at the Huntington
Hospital with their four-month-old
son, who had just undergone
"It was around 8 p.m. and I remember the weather as being rainy
dreary, just foul weather," said Dave Canterbury, who moved his
to central Ohio when he was transferred to this area as a
manager for Ashland Chemical. "But I don't remember it
No one in the Canterbury home heard the plane
approaching the airport
as the Thundering Herd football team was returning
from an afternoon
game at East Carolina.
"What I heard was the sound of
wood breaking," said Canterbury. "It
sounded like a truck-load of axe handles
had been dumped on dry asphalt.
I really don't know why it sounded like that,
since it had been raining.
But I can still hear that bouncing sound."
remember the windows of our home started to rattle," said Linda
Fleisher). "I remember it was disturbing enough to Dad that his
Shortly after hearing the noise and witnessing the
Canterbury went outside.
"I looked to the western horizon
and saw a familiar glow of a refinery
that was in the area," he said. "Then I
saw another glow and some
embers, but no flames. That glow shouldn't have
been there and I knew
then that something was wrong."
Although father and
daughters had been playing and watching television,
there were no 24-hour
cable news channels in operation.
Still, it did not take long for viewers to
learn of the tragedy.
"First, there was news crawling across the bottom of
the screen," said
Canterbury. "It couldn't have been more than 10 minutes
after the crash
and that's when we knew it was the Marshall football
A 1963 Marshall graduate, the news struck Canterbury very hard.
his last couple years as a student there, he tutored football players
math and science, although that was several years before members of
1970 squad were in school.
The next day, Canterbury and his daughters
attended church. Law
enforcement officials had opened up their road to allow
However, debris from the wreckage lingered for days.
remember seeing debris in the trees," said Becky (now Craig). "I
think it was
one of my earliest childhood memories."
Over the years, there has been much
speculation about what caused the crash.
Canterbury, who had flown into
the Huntington airport numerous times in
the preceding years, said he doubts
weather had much to do with it.
"I think the pilot may have been confused by
the lights from the
refinery," he said.
"I know they didn't have any
approach lights at the airport before the
crash," said Mrs. Canterbury. "They
installed them shortly after."
Although Jan Canterbury wasn't home that night
with her husband and
daughters, she witnessed first hand the agony that
"I remember being at the hospital with
our son and it was very quiet,"
she said. "I saw some nurses coming down the
hallway and they were
crying. I asked what was wrong and they told me about
the team plane
going down. The team doctor who was killed in the crash worked
at the hospital."
Mrs. Canterbury remembers that an injured Marshall
player was in a
hospital room just down the hall from her son.
undergone surgery and of course didn't make the trip," she said.
remember his name but I believe he was one of three surviving
played on the next year's team."
That 1971 team is the focal point of "We Are
Marshall." The movie
depicts how the school picked up the pieces from the
tragedy and went on
to field a team the following season.
At the time of
the crash, Marshall wasn't as renown of a program as it
would become in the
"I believe they were (NCAA) Division I-A at the time of the crash but
they were rebuilding, they downsized to I-AA," said Canterbury.
didn't win a lot in the 1960s. Back then, basketball was the sport
The rebuilding process gradually enabled Marshall to become
The success included 20 consecutive winning
seasons (two of them
undefeated), eight conference championships, two I-AA
five bowl victories and numerous players who went on to the
receiver Randy Moss of the Oakland Raiders, and quarterbacks
Pennington (New York Jets) and Byron Leftwich (Jacksonville Jaguars)
among the Marshall gridiron alums.
In the movie, McConaughey plays
Jack Lengyel, who became the head coach
after the crash. Lengyel, who later
went on to serve as athletic
director at Navy for 13 years, was a driving
force in getting the story
to the silver screen.
Production wrapped up
this past summer on location in Huntington.
"A lot of the filming was done
within the sight of my sister and
brother-in-law's (Ron and Linda Maynard)
home," said Mrs. Canterbury.
"They could see Matthew McConaughey from their
Members of the Canterbury family plan to watch the movie. They
may do so
privately, if it can be worked out at the Marysville
"The owner told me that if he can obtain a copy of the movie, he
give us a private showing, as long as we have at least 10 people
said Linda Fleischer.
Although they anticipate viewing the movie,
each family member admitted
it won't be easy.
"I've watched some of the
(movie) trailers on my computer and I've
cried," said Canterbury.
some, the film may open emotional wounds that were a long time in
they ever had.
"For me, it never has completely healed," said Canterbury. "It
always be there and I think about it every time I watch a
"However, I think the movie is very laudable," he added.
company went to Huntington and gained the confidence of the
"They didn't besmudge the school and its people and they did not
on the dignity of the movie."
The family agrees the movie could
provide a catharsis for those who
lived through the nightmare.
"I think it
will be healing," said Mrs. Canterbury.
"I believe it will provide some
closure," agreed her husband.
"I'm sure it will help people deal with their
feelings," said Linda
Fleischer. "Back in the 1970s, people weren't
encouraged to deal with
them. Hopefully, this movie will allow them to do
City gets huge grant
$3.5 million will go toward site development
near Scotts facility
By RYAN HORNS
Marysvile officials received word
Thursday afternoon that the city will
receive a $3,568,000 grant from the
Ohio Department of Development.
"This is great news for the city of
Marysville," Economic Development
Director Eric Phillips said.
Ready Sites (JRS) Program grant is for infrastructure
improvements to the
Metro Equities Industrial Park property located on
the north side of
Scottslawn Road and west of Industrial Parkway and the
Company's manufacturing facility. The property is
currently being used for
agricultural purposes, but has already been
zoned for manufacturing
Phillips said that the grant will open up 277 acres of
land in Marysville and assist in the demolition of any
including an abandoned farmhouse; replacement of the existing
potable water main with a 16-inch main; installation of a new
sanitary sewer line; extension of electric and natural gas to
property; and engineering fees. Project costs are estimated to be
Phillips reported that Marysville originally applied for
dollars of JRS funding, but ODOD reduced the award, removing the
widening project on Scottslawn Road. He said the reduction was true
a number of the applications that were submitted.
Marysville Mayor Tom
Kruse said the grant work will prepare Marysville's
development for years to
"The grant will serve as a catalyst for economic
opportunities in Marysville and clearly is in tune with our
Development Action Plan," Kruse said. "Our main goal is to create
and investment in Marysville, which will in turn lessen the tax
on our residents."
Voters approved the JRS grants in the November
2005 election as part of
the State Issue 1 "Jobs for Ohio Bond Initiative."
The Marysville grant
is one of 18 recommended to receive more than $51.5
million in funding
through the inaugural round of the JRS Program. Pending
the approval of
the Ohio Controlling Board, the funds will assist local
prepare sites for large-scale industrial and business
Other cities and businesses approved for the JRS grant
Springfield, the Columbus-based Science and Technology
Corporation, Cincinnati, Dublin, Fayette County, Van Wert,
Lima, Middletown, the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port
Wooster, the Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority,
Cleveland's Matrix Centennial, Akron, the Tuscarawas County
Improvement Corporation, and the Northwestern Water and Sewer
ODOD provides grants in five identified high-impact project
categories, including: Mega manufacturing operations of at least
acres; technical center/research laboratories; manufacturing
of at least 200 acres; existing industrial buildings and
complexes. Within three years after receiving a grant award,
projects must be certified as satisfying the site attributes
to accommodate one of these categories; the property will then be
to a statewide inventory of available sites.
ODOD reported that the
JRS program will provide up to $150 million in
grants over seven years to
eligible and qualified applicants across the
state interested in developing
job-ready sites. Grant recipients are
eligible to receive up to $5 million
per project site, not to exceed 75
percent of the total project cost. Funds
can then be applied to any
number of projects associated with the development
of the property. Once
completed, the sites will be certified as possessing
development attributes" and will be marketed specifically to
Mental Health Board buys armory
By CINDY BRAKE
The historic red brick
building which once housed the state's first
national guard armory at 124 S.
Fourth St. has a new owner.
In November, the Mental Health and Recovery Board
of Union County voted
to purchase the building now known as the Victory
Center for $186,500.
Former owner Teresa Roshon said it was an answer to
prayer when Mike
Witzky, MHRB executive director, called two days before a
contact a realtor. The Roshons had mailed 250 letters seeking
take over their nonprofit ministry to at-risk youth. No one
Then Witzky called.
Unaware of the Roshon letter, Witzky
explained that he was working on a
Saturday in August in his office at the
corner of Fourth and Main
streets when he glanced out his large window and
saw the Victory Center.
He had met with both Keith and Teresa Roshon over the
years and even
heard before summer that they were thinking about not
ministry - a ministry he describes as one that reaches kids
things to do. Kids that aren't reached by the "normal kinds
After learning of the Roshon deadline, Witzky immediately
went to his
board. A committee was created to look at the building. In
committee recommended the board purchase the
Witzky said the purchase price was a decent real estate investment,
the real value is in programming.
Families and children are the
fastest growing programs for the mental
health and recovery
Immediate plans are to begin offering a free, supervised,
program similar to the one begun by the Roshons. Prevention
from Consolidated Care Inc. will staff the program from 3 to 5
Monday through Friday.
The Roshons said the ONG on the building's
facade, which once stood for
Ohio National Guard, now stands for Our Next
Generation. Teresa Roshon
said the Victory Center averaged 60 youth daily
during the winter with a
maximum of 85 ranging in ages from 8 to 20
"Keith and Teresa Roshon have been the inspiration and movers
this vital program for nearly 10 years. Their vision and work
created a treasure to the community," Witzky said in a press
An advisory group is forming to look at ways to continue
programming and services to the community from this facility,
said. Anyone interested in participating in this vision should
Witzky at 642-1212.
"It is the Mental Health Board's hope that the
Victory Center can become
a hub of activity for the community - especially
for those who need
opportunities to grow and achieve their full
Law enforcement, medical officials discuss prescription drug
By RYAN HORNS
Local law enforcement recently met with area medical
to help combat prescription drug abuse in Union
At the annual Memorial Hospital of Union County medical staff
Tuesday night, more than 100 physicians, pharmacists and law
officials brainstormed with prosecutors, pharmacists and
Enforcement Agency agents to get to the bottom of the problem.
featured speakers included representatives from the Ohio State
Board, a drug manufacturer and the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. The
seminar is scheduled for March.
"Several Union County residents have
died from overdosing on
prescription medications, tragically including
several young people."
Union County Prosecuting Attorney David Phillips said.
"We've seen an
upward trend in deception as well as in the illegal
trafficking of these drugs."
Marysville Police Detective Don McGlenn said
the seminar was important
to help law enforcement meet face to face with
"The way the community is growing like it is, it is
everyone to be on the same page," he said.
As a result of
several recent related deaths, Union County Coroner Dr.
David Applegate met
with Phillips, Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden
and Union County Sheriff
Rocky Nelson to find a strategy to deal with
the misuse of prescription
"Almost every overdose death I have dealt with has been related
prescription drugs and not to so-called 'street' drugs," Applegate
"People think that prescription drugs are safer than other drugs.
truth is, if these medications are abused, they can be lethal."
figured once the cases got to our respective offices, it was too
need to find a way to try and prevent the abuse and hopefully
said Phillips. "To do that, we need the cooperation of the
- the doctors and pharmacists working together with
law enforcement to
identify potential abusers and traffickers."
Phillips said that locally, the
drugs are being abused by teenagers. One
of the recent deaths was a 15-year
old boy who overdosed on liquid
morphine. He said there is an assumption
that "prescription" means
"safe," which is not true. He has also become
concerned over reports of
teenagers "Pharming," which entails the sharing,
trading or mixing of
medicines at parties. Often, youth add drugs and alcohol
to the mix. He
said one out of every ten high school seniors has reported
prescription pain killers.
"It's extremely dangerous, and can and
will lead to more deaths,"
Phillips said. "We've had cases where teenage
friends come over and
steal drugs from the medicine cabinet. The drugs are
then sold or taken
by the teens. Securing medication is simple."
parents can help by storing all prescription drugs in a place
to teens or their friends.
McGlenn said a man formerly convicted of
prescription drug thefts spoke
to the audience, helping to provide insight
into how criminals get their
hands on these drugs. The man told the group how
he had lied to doctors
to get prescriptions over a several year period by
claiming false back
pain. He told the doctors how easy it was for him to get
doses of Vicodin to feed his addiction from up to seven doctors
that time. When asked what helped him beat his addiction, he said
to jail helped turn his life around.
Applegate said Mike Hilton gave
an emotional story of how he was finally
caught abusing prescription drugs
and was able to turn his life around.
Once sentenced to serve jail time,
Hilton spent four days withdrawing
from his addiction. It was then he knew
that he had to change.
"He actually gave a very touching story," Applegate
said. "It took a lot
Union County Sheriff Detective Mike
Justice and McGlenn spoke to the
group about cases they have investigated and
shared their techniques
needed for successful investigations.
said more intensive training on combating abuse will be offered
and law enforcement early in 2007. The Sheriff's Office
has made arrangements
with Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the often
illegally abused OxyContin,
to offer intense training to law enforcement
and medical professionals to
help combat prescription drug abuse. The
company offers the training
nationwide at no cost.
Applegate said the State Medical Board has told
doctors not to be afraid
of treating patients for pain. The idea is for
doctors to look for
warning signs and follow their instincts.
going to be fooled occasionally," he said.
Applegate said the State Pharmacy
Board also spoke about a new
monitoring system in which doctors can view
every controlled substance a
patient has been prescribed in the past two
years, what the drugs were,
which doctors provided the medication and
He said it is a good way to weed out the people using fake names to
"doctor shopping" and trying to get as many prescriptions for drugs
BZA debates Mill Valley sign issue
By RYAN HORNS
Can the success of a
development hang on the size of its sign?
As the future Mill Valley Plaza on
Route 31 makes its way through zoning
meetings toward construction, the
development may have hit a snag when
it comes to the size of its sign. Monday
night the Marysville Board of
Zoning Appeals (BZA) tabled a variance request
filed by Sign Com, Inc.
of Columbus, for owner/developer Jim Casto, to place
a 70 square foot
sign at the entrance. The issue was the sole item agenda for
The problem is that Casto's designers originally proposed a
foot sign and board members have been trying to scale that
According to Marysville zoning codes, signs are not permitted to
larger than 40 square feet.
City zoning inspector Barb McCoy said that
some members of BZA felt that
the request for the larger sign may not be in
the best interest of
residential housing located behind the development. She
variance request doesn't exactly set any precedents, but the board
going to take some time to see what can be done.
The BZA will meet
again on Jan. 8 at 6 p.m. to discuss the sign again.
In the meantime, Casto's
designers are going back to the drawing board
to make a new
McCoy said the BZA hopes to find a compromise between sizes, but
compromise does not ensure the variance would be granted.
city councilman John Marshall, who presides over Mill
Valley's Ward One
district, the current city sign limits should be respected.
personally not in favor of allowing the variance," Marshall wrote
in a recent
notice to Mill Valley residents.
According to the city code, variances can be
authorized by the BZA.
However, members will not grant a variance "on the
convenience or profit, but only where strict application of
provisions of this zoning ordinance would result in
Sign Com designers explained their hardship at the
Nov. 13 BZA meeting,
stating that the Mill Valley Plaza development has a far
set back from
the roadway and the sign would lack visibility unless it was
be larger. Nearby McDonalds also prevents visibility from the
They said the sign has different components and the section
the names of the businesses joining into the development falls
the allowable 40 square foot limits. The remaining square footage
be broken up and utilized for plaza identification and some
Meeting minutes also show that some BZA members not only wanted
smaller sign, but suggested designers change the development name
Mill Valley Plaza to the abbreviated "MVP."
Sign Com, Inc. designer
Bruce Somerfel said it is important to get some
visibility for the plaza
tenants out on the major thoroughfare. If the
sign is reduced, it would give
limited visibility to traffic and drivers
would miss the sign and the turn,
then would be forced to backtrack.
While a 20 square foot sign would be
appropriate for a single use,
trying to identify 12 tenants within 100 square
feet is hard enough.
Trying to identify them within 40 square feet is
"Neighbors are concerned about the signage in the
area," BZA member
Nevin Taylor said. "No signs would be great to
Taylor said a good saying he heard was that "less signs are the
signs." For that reason alone, he said he cannot support anything
than the standard 40 square foot.
JA updated on Battelle program
By CORINNE BIX
Jonathan Alder School board
members viewed a video presentation from
Battelle for Kids at Monday night's
Battelle for Kids is self described as a non-profit
committed to enhancing student learning by bringing clarity to
Jonathan Alder's elementary students have been
participating in the
Battelle for Kids program for the last five years and
the high school
has recently become involved with a pilot project through
The organization offers educators nationwide an array of
development training and consulting, innovative school
solutions and research and evaluation services.
presentation "Survive or Thrive" focused on creating a better
environment and re-examining the traditional curriculum as a
means to prepare
students for the global marketplace.
The video urges educators to think
globally and act locally to help
shape students that will be successful as
well as adaptive to changes in
a highly competitive and technological
Elizabeth Beach, director of teaching and learning, and Bobby
principal Canaan Middle School, provided the board with a
showing how the Battelle for Kids data is being used to better
student progress and make changes.
The board approved Jim Phillips
to serve as Tolles Technical and Career
Center board of education member for
the following two-year period
beginning Jan. 1, 2007. Phillips is the current
from Jonathan Alder. Phillips explained that his
Jonathan Alder school
board term is up in 2007 so if he were not re-elected
he wouldn't be
able to complete the two-year Tolles term.
principal Lynne Farmwald will be retiring in June after 32
years with the
district. The position will be posted internally within
the next several
months and if the position isn't filled it will be
posted externally in the
The board commended the football team, Coach Coate and coaching
for a history-making season, regional championship and a state
The board adjourned into executive session to consider
dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion or compensation
of a public
employee. No action was taken.
The next regular board meeting
will be Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. A
work session will precede the meeting
at 5 p.m.
In other news, the board:
. Approved the financial report for
. Approved the resignations of Gail Bates as fall cheerleading
and Chris Neptune as freshman boys' basketball coach
. Commended various student athletes for fall sports
. Commended Megan Dowdell for winning a $750 grant for her
from the Union County Chamber of Commerce. The Business
Workforce Team Grant Committee selected her multiple
. Approved maternity leaves for Erin Farmwald, Rene
Cramer and Molly Sperling.
. Approved a contract with the Franklin County
Center for a student with autism.
. Approved in-lieu
of transportation request for Alexandra and Charles Phinney.
moves toward building skate park
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
A group of motivated
parents and teens met with Richwood Village Council
Monday night and left
with the answer they wanted to hear.
Debbie Skaggs spoke on behalf of the
group and told village officials
that the youth of the town need a skate
"They have absolutely no place in town to develop their skills,"
Skaggs said that the children in town have very few places to
nowhere to find equipment commonly used in the pastime. She
council with photos of skate parks in Marysville and Marion, noting
Richwood would not need facilities as elaborate as those.
presented council with a four page petition containing the
those who would support such a project.
Council member Jim Thompson informed
the crowd that council was actually
already working on such a project. He
said the village is attempting to
get grant funding for construction and then
design work will begin.
He encouraged members of the group to participate in
the planning phase
if funding is secured.
Village financial officer Don
Jolliff said solicitor Victoria Stone
Moledor has found that going after
residents who owe back taxes is no
easy task. Currently, about $19,000 in
back taxes are owed by village residents.
Jolliff said the solicitor has
discovered the process to be overwhelming
and feels the job could be better
performed by experts in the field.
Jolliff said the Regional Income Tax
Authority (RITA), which collects
the village income tax, has an agency which
specializes in pursuing back taxes.
Jolliff noted that the agency would
take a percentage of the collected
money as a fee, but he was unsure what
that percentage would be.
Thompson noted that the village is currently
receiving none of the money
owed, so any portion which is collected would be
Council voted 6-0 to authorize RITA to pursue those who owe
In other business, council:
.Heard second reading on an
ordinance establishing village building
second reading on an ordinance authorizing the Union County
Department to enforce the building codes established by
.Voted 6-0 to update the village pay ordinance to reflect a 3
pay increase for village employees for next year.
.Voted 6-0 to
authorize numerous transfers within village funds.
.Heard from Thompson that
the police department has started writing
parking tickets under the village's
newly updated codes. He said
warnings have been issued in some cases and also
noted that new focus on
parking code enforcement comes at the direction of
.Learned that a new village police cruiser should be in service
the first of the year.
Learning across the pond
students interact with counterparts in England
By KARLYN BYERS
backgrounds, curriculum and hobbies might be dissimilar in many
Fairbanks middle schoolers and pupils at Knowles Hill
School in Newton Abbot,
England, found they also had many things in common.
The schoolmates talked
to each other for 20 minutes Monday on a computer
linkup engineered by
Garrett Davies, a vice-principal/teacher at the
Knowles Hill School located
in the southwestern part of England. Davies
has been a guest of Fairbanks
Middle School Principal Pat Lucas and her
husband for the past six
He is participating in a Fulbright Administrator Exchange Program.
January, Lucas will travel to England for a six-week stay with
and his family as part of the same program.
What do the pupils on
the two continents have in common? The weather for
one thing. Both locations
registered temperatures in the mid-50s on
Monday, although the pupils in
England said it was "freezing," and the
Fairbanks pupils were enjoying
unseasonably warm temperatures.
Like the Fairbanks middle schoolers, pupils
at Knowles Hill enjoy
"hanging out with our mates." They also enjoy munching
on fast food,
including that found at McDonald's, Subway and KFC.
Hill School houses 1,150 pupils ranging in age from 11 to 18 or
19. It is
located near Plymouth, England, near the English Channel.
visit occurred about 1:45 p.m., English time - 7:45
a.m. at Fairbanks Middle
School. The English pupils taking part in the
project ranged in age from 11
to 16. Fairbanks participants were Jeremy
Noland, Ryan Rausch, Samantha
Robinson, Lyndsey DeRoads, Angel
Wilkinson, Shelly Trivisonno and Matt
When the Fairbanks pupils were asked to describe their school,
replied, "It's small and out in the middle of nowhere."
pupils were shocked to find that one of the Knowles Hill
students, a thin,
dark-haired youth named Adam Jones, walked a
considerable distance to school
"I live a half hour away from school so I walk," Adam
Other English pupils said they rode public transportation - buses or
train - or school buses owned by a company which the school
hired to transport students.
The English pupils were blown away
by the fact that the Fairbanks pupils
had lockers. They have to carry their
books "everywhere," the Knowles
Hill pupils said.
The Fairbanks pupils
were envious of the double-decker buses the English
youths get to
All the pupils discovered Christmas is celebrated similarly in
countries, with Christmas trees, "lights and decorations everywhere"
the sending of Christmas cards.
But the British pupils don't share the
Americans' passion for shopping.
"You're rich and constantly going shopping,"
"We're 20 minutes from the mall and there are four malls around
countered two Fairbanks females.
The British pupils also found little
common ground with their Milford
Center counterparts when it came to the
discussion of sports.
"We just play sports, we don't celebrate them," one
Knowles Hill pupil said.
They were curious about rodeos - "Have you ever
been to one?" and "What
are they?" the English youths asked - and said dog
shows were about the
closest thing England offered that compared with 4-H,
Speaking of livestock, the English
youths said "sheeps in the road ...
get the right of way because they are
more important than the drivers."
"All of the animals who walk on our road
get hit on the road and die,"
answered a female Fairbanks pupil.
groups exchanged e-mail addresses and the Fairbanks males were
the ages and names of the English girls.
The English asked about
Thanksgiving. And the Fairbanks pupils didn't
know that Tony Blair was prime
minister of Great Britain. There was a
lot of giggling on both sides, and
brief silences when the two groups
ran out of things to say.
educator for 26 years, has continued to teach his class at
through the computer hookup. He is scheduled to leave for
England today and
will resume classes at Knowles Hill on Thursday.
As a vice principal, he
wears two hats - he teaches classes in
literature and linguistics in
additional to his administrative duties -
a practice that is common in all
English schools. Principals in a
majority of English schools also teach
classes, Davies said.
Educators in England are paid slightly more than in the
to Davies, although that is hard to distinguish because of
rate between the English pound and the American dollar.
now, the pound is stronger than the dollar, a fact that caused
Davies to do
"some serious shopping" last weekend at several Columbus malls.
at Fairbanks was the first time Davies has traveled to
region. Previous journeys have taken him to
California, Florida, New York and
"Everybody has been extremely welcoming," he said of his
"The teachers have been very happy to have me in their
the students have been great."
Council has special visitor
By AUDREY HALL
Santa Claus was a special
visitor prior to the Unionville Center Village
Many village children stopped in to tell Santa Claus what they
like to have him bring them for Christmas and receive a candy
Refreshments were also served to the parents who accompanied
Chairman of the Charles W. Fairbanks Family Festival
Blevins informed council about plans for the summer
Entertainment will be provided by Arnett Howard, Joe Boxer from
Mollie McIntire and a band named 3 Wheel Drive. The children's area
feature a rock climbing wall and inflatables. There will be a Corn
Tournament but no car show or street dance this year. In an effort
avoid conflicts with other same day events, the date for 2007 will
Saturday, May 19.
Council has appropriated $1,000 in the 2007 budget
toward the festival.
The entertainment and children's activities will remain
free and family friendly.
Sheriff deputy Matt Warden and
deputy-in-training Chris Catalonga
explained that the county policy on golf
carts is being finalized. All
golf carts will have to meet the same safety
requirements as vehicles
according to state law. The village has tabled the
enactment of a golf
cart ordinance until the county policy is
Public safety officer Pete Lenhardt is now assigned to Darby
and Milford Center.
In answer to a resident inquiry about
children being out late at night,
Warden said there is a curfew for children
under the age of 18. The
curfew is 11 p.m. on week nights and midnight on
Friday and Saturday.
The council building has a new look. Lawns Plus
completed the partial
floor replacement and removed the old, unused chimney
from the middle of the room.
Fairbanks Elementary School fifth grade
student Kailin Wile told council
members about the People to People Student
Ambassador program instituted
by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. She was
nominated to participate
in the program and will be joining 40 other central
Ohio students for a
20-day trip to England and Scotland in late June. As a
ambassador, she must raise $6,000 to cover her expenses.
soliciting sponsorship from organizations and businesses.
Council was unable
to commit to a sponsorship at this time but will take
it under advisement.
Kailin is the daughter of Mark and Angie Wile.
In other business, council
approved the 2007 budget.
The next meeting will be on Monday, Jan. 8.
Ferguson trial delayed
From J-T staff reports:
The child abuse trial
expected to last five days this week for a woman
accused of using "torture"
and "excessive abuse" toward her five
adoptive children was
Vonda Ferguson, 43, of Springfield and her husband, James E.
46, are both facing more than 60 charges associated with
endangering children, third-degree permitting child abuse,
Vonda Ferguson was also being charged
with first-degree felony rape, and
her trial was expected to begin today at 9
According to the Union County Common Pleas Court, Vonda
attorney George Wolfe asked to formally withdraw his services for
"due to a failure to cooperate with counsel and other reasons."
trial is reportedly set to be continued to Feb. 26 at 9 a.m. In the
Vonda Ferguson is expected to undergo an psychological evaluation.
Ferguson has reportedly declined to cooperate with Wolfe, making
abilities to defend her in court impossible.
"Presuming Mrs. Ferguson is
competent, she and the undersigned have a
fundamental disagreement about what
is in the client's best interests.
Mrs. Ferguson refuses to follow the
reasonable advice (come and review
the evidence) and simple requests (keeping
appointments) of counsel,"
court reports show. "Such a situation cannot
result in competent
representation and will deprive Mrs. Ferguson of a fair
Reports also state that Ferguson has failed to pay her obligation
her initial retainer for Wolfe's services. He reported she failed
meet with him on three separate occasions.
"Not only is this conduct
not in the client's best interest," court
papers report, "it places an
unreasonable burden upon the attorney, who
has done his best to prepare a
defense despite the limitations.""
The third reason for withdrawing his
services, Wolfe reported to the
court that if he stays on as her attorney "it
will place an unreasonable
financial burden" upon him. This would be equal to
him working for free
during the entire week-long trial, not including jury
well as travel and other expenses such as exhibits, experts
and witness fees.
"No lawyer and no indigent client facing life
imprisonment should have
to go to trial unprepared," Wolfe wrote.
Surgeon saying goodbye
Dr. Timothy Pelfrey leaving private practice
After more than 20 years of caring intimately for the people of
County, Dr. Timothy Pelfrey is retiring from private
"Medicine should be practiced as a form of friendship," Pelfrey
this week as he walked the halls of Memorial Hospital of Union County
Marysville. Frequently he was stopped to get a hug from a former
or share a kind word with a hospital employee. "It's important to
part of the community."
He figures that one way or another, he has
gotten to know just about
every family in the county after averaging 400
surgeries a year. He
remembers his first patient - an older lady from
needed a skin graft. He also operated on her daughter and a
His favorite type of surgery is "any kind where the patient does
Every case is different, he said, and that is the challenge and fun
of his work.
"Surgery can be very, very intense .... patients need to
trust you," he said.
He said he has seen some miracles along the way and
believes life is
about leaving a place better than you found it.
Lord takes care of us ... we're just instruments."
Pelfrey also knows what it
is like to be on the other end of a knife,
although he doesn't quite remember
the procedure - he was two months
old. Rattling off the clinical name of the
medical problem, Pelfrey
explains that he had an enlarged stomach muscle that
vomiting. Much has changed since his infant surgery. After
documents about the surgery, he discovered that the doctor used
and Paregoric as the anesthetic. The use of silk sutures, rarely seen
modern hospitals, has also left a marked scar.
Pelfrey says he doesn't
want to sound sappy or whine, yet he repeatedly
returns to thoughts about how
nice the people of Marysville have been to
him and his family.
He is originally from Cold Spring, Ky. When he was young, he said,
wanted to be a missionary doctor. But his plans changed when he was
high school freshman and his father died of a heart attack. He went
college - the University of Cincinnati - where he earned a
degree from the College of Education and Arts and Sciences. From
he became a teacher of German and Math at Woodard High School located
the inner-city of Cincinnati and known as the oldest high school west
the Allegheny Mountains. He also coached baseball and basketball.
years into his teaching career, his dentist asked what had ever
his plans to become a doctor. The dentist then added that if
tried, he would always regret it. Pelfrey took his advice
and began pre-med
courses at night.
After sending out applications, he recalls opening letters
from two medical schools and wondering what he should do.
wife Betsy, he said, he could never have done it. The "long,
process" of medical school at the University of Kentucky included
butter sandwiches, chips and coke every day for lunch for four
Five more years followed at Wright State University where he served
surgical residency. "You don't eat that much," he joked about
years. So when he began practicing general surgery at Memorial
he said, he gained 10 pounds the first month because the homemade
was so good.
Along the way to becoming a surgeon, the Pelfrey family
grew with son
Todd born when he was in medical school and daughter Tess born
was in residency.
Pelfrey said he originally thought about
entering family medicine, but
time spent on a surgery rotation made him see a
group that was having
fun. It also was a form of medicine where he said
"people get better"
and "you could do something" to help people.
planned to return to Kentucky and practice in a small community,
plans changed when Marysville Dr. J.W. Sampsel began looking for
a new doctor
that wasn't committed. The Pelfreys came to Marysville and
have never looked
back. Long-time members of the Lutheran denomination,
Pelfrey said he and his
wife felt like they had "died and gone to
heaven" when they arrived in Union
County to find four Lutheran churches
and three Lutheran schools.
official last day is Dec. 18. The Pelfreys are planning a move to
Ind., where he will work for the Veteran's Administration
and forever say
goodbye to the 24/7, 365-day schedule he has known
Water rate increase tabled
Residents will have
to wait two weeks before knowing if their water
rates are going up.
Thursday night's regular meeting, members of Marysville City Council
table a water rate hike ordinance until council meets again on
Dec. 21. The
ordinance proposes to raise the current water rates 8
percent in 2007 and
then another 8 percent in 2008. The rates were
raised 5 percent in
Councilman David Burke proposed tabling the issue so the
Committee can meet Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers to
additional sources of funding that could help offset the rate burden
residents. The committee will hire someone to seek out the grant
double check the Water Master Plan.
Burke said that it is a concern to
have to table the water rate
ordinance again. Councilman John Marshall said
he hopes they don't all
come back in two weeks and have the same exact
In order to table the ordinance, councilman Ed Pleasant first had
withdraw his amendment proposal. He requested a compromise by
the rate increase to collect 5 percent in 2007, subsidizing the
percent from the General Fund for one year. The rates collected
equal the 8 percent proposed by the Water Master Plan During that
council could pursue grants and other sources of revenue needed
Mayor Tom Kruse said he would veto Pleasant's proposed
amendment if it
passed. He explained that without a plan guaranteeing two
steady funding, banks would not provide the money.
tabling of the water rate ordinance did not come without
plenty of discussion
? discussion that sometimes became heated.
Kruse reminded council members
that they had agreed last year on the
rate hikes proposed in the Water Master
Plan, after the city paid some
$260,000 to have the plan created. Two council
members were on the
committee that voted to approve it. He said not following
the plan would
be like "pouring $260,000 down a rat hole. Not passing these
is a formula for disaster."
Gore said he remembered the
meetings. He also understood that the city
would pursue ways to help offset
the costs and keep the rates down.
"As far as I know, we did not," Gore
Gore said he has not seen one copy of a grant application that the
has sent out to find more funding. The situation has deteriorated
an issue of trust.
"Recently a lot of things we've been told by your
out to not be true," Gore said.
comment, resident Lloyd Baker reiterated his recent talk
with a Columbus
water official. He said Columbus does not subsidize
water costs from its
General Fund, as the mayor has said.
Baker said that even if Marysville
doesn't pass the water rate hikes,
his water bill will be 97 percent higher
than in Columbus. Factoring in
Marysville's proposed rate changes, that goes
up to 120 percent.
"I feel concern about what would account for that much of
a margin of
difference given that there is no subsidy involved in Columbus,"
Councilwoman Leah Sellers shared her concerns that all funding
have not been explored.
Kruse said that the water rate increase is
not for growth purposes as
critics have said, it is for capital improvement.
The reservoir would
get the city through a possible nine-month drought. He
said the city
wells have "been dropping at times."
After the meeting,
Sellers said central Ohio is known as having some of
the highest rainfall in
the nation. She also pointed out that the city's
own Water Master Plan states
that a drought in Marysville would not be a
big concern even by 2020
Resident Esther Carmany said Marysville's rates have gone up so
is causing "reasonable people to ask why."
"I just feel we need
to find ways to save money," Councilman Dan Fogt
said. "That is why I am not
supporting the ordinance."
Kruse warned that if they put off the reservoir
general cost of it would go up.
"When council bought the
land to build the reservoir, the estimated cost
was $10 million to $12
million," he said. "The cost now is up over $22
million to build that same
reservoir and it will increase next year."
Without rate increases, he said,
the city will not be able to build the
reservoir. If that happens he will
suspend hook-ups to the city's water
system for areas outside the city
limits. Since the only thing
Marysville brings to the table in discussions
with other political
entities is possible water and sewer services, any
with these entities would be useless.
Baker said that the mayor has spoken about the
repercussions of altering the
proposed water rates, stating that local
industry would shut down and that
the city wouldn't be able to pay for
"Many of those
things can also happen to individuals," Baker said.
When residents can't
afford something, he said, they have to save or do
without. But when
governments can't afford something they make the
residents pay for it
In other news:
. Council voted to pass an ordinance appropriating
$25,000 to pay for
the demolition of the city-owned abandoned house at 410 S.
Main St. It
has become a public safety hazard.
. An ordinance was read for
the annexation of 114.007 acres in Paris
Township to the city of Marysville
for the future school property.
Questions arose from the audience and council
members about who will
have to maintain Route 4 in that area.
asked about how students in nearby areas will walk to
school ? are there
Kruse said those were not in the annexation agreement and
the city has
no say about that.
Sellers said it was fully within the
city's rights to have sidewalks or
walkways included in the annexation
Ohio workplaces go smoke free
Voter-approved act takes effect
Editor's note: The following information is supplied by the Union
The Smoke Free Workplace Act, better known as
Issue 5, takes effect
today, bringing an end to smoking in public areas
across the state.
While the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) continues to
specific rules that smokers and business owners will have to
Issue 5 officially became part of Ohio law this morning.
means almost all businesses, organizations, and associations that
employee(s) will be required to:
.Post "No Smoking"
signs that include the telephone number for reporting
.Remove all ashtrays and all other smoking receptacles.
are confident the business owners in our community will put forth a
faith effort to comply with the spirit of the law," said Martin
Union County Health Department health commissioner. "And since
57 percent of
Union County voters voted in favor of Issue 5, I think our
will be pleased at the support they are going to
receive from happy
The Union County Health Department presented general information
Issue 5 at a meeting sponsored by the Union County Chamber of
Monday evening. The meeting was designed to help local business
understand what implications the new law will have on their
Approximately 25 attendees were given templates of acceptable
Smoking" signs, a summary of the law, and a fact sheet on
asked questions state and local health officials have been
Health officials also discouraged businesses from making permanent
or structural changes until ODH finalizes the rules and
specifics of the Smoke Free Workplace Act. ODH is expected to
draft of the rules ready for public comment by the end of January,
hopes to have the rules completed by June 2007.
"The Smoke Free
Workplace Act is a big step in protecting the health of
Ohioans, and we are
eager to work with our community to achieve the full
legislation offers us," Tremmel said in a Wednesday press release.
Union County Health Department will make another presentation
Smoke Free Workplace Act on Thursday, Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m.
at the North Union
County Fire Department, 602 N. Franklin St.,
Richwood. The meeting is open to
businesses and the public.
Additional information on the Smoke Free Workplace
Act may be obtained
by contacting the Union County Health Department at
Trial of Vonda Ferguson will begin Monday
A lengthy trial will begin Monday in a case involving parents
prosecutors alleged used graphic "torture" and "excessive abuse"
their five adopted children.
The trial for Vonda Ferguson, 43, of
Springfield is set to begin Monday
and is expected to last through
Vonda Ferguson and her husband, James E. Ferguson, 46, are both
more than 60 charges associated with second-degree endangering
third-degree permitting child abuse, second-degree felonious
first-degree rape against Vonda Ferguson.
The crimes allegedly
took place during a four-year period between July
24, 2000 through Nov. 19,
2004 between any of three homes in Union and
Clark counties, namely 1126 N.
Fountain Blvd. in Clark County, 23237
Holycross-Epps Road and also 1505
Patricia Drive in Marysville.
Union County prosecutor David Phillips reported
that Union County Common
Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott decided to turn
the cases against the
Fergusons into two separate trials. The trial date for
has not been set.
Vote looms on water rate hike
By RYAN HORNS
Thursday marks the final
reading of a water rate hike some critics say
will ensure Marysville's place
as having the highest water rates in the region.
The reading will be held
at the 7 p.m. Marysville City Council meeting.
The ordinance was tabled after
criticism arose from residents. On
Monday, Nov. 27, city council and
administration officials met at a
finance committee meeting to take a hard
look at proposed water rate hikes.
Mayor Tom Kruse stands by the hike,
citing debt service payments for
numerous large scale projects in the works
as well as continued and
ever-increasing operational costs.
The 2006 water
rate increase is currently set at 5 percent. The
ordinance proposes to raise
that another 8 percent for 2007, increasing
another 8 percent for 2008. Based
on a 500 cubic feet per month average
usage rate, a water bill would be
$40.58 in 2006; $43.81 in 2007; and
$47.32 in 2008.
Reports show that
Marysville water rates top the list when compared to
those in other cities.
Marysville's average monthly water rate is
$48.28. Lancaster is next at
$38.94; Columbus at $31.55; Delaware County
at $31.11; Delaware City at
$27.21 and Urbana at $13.09.
Kruse said comparing Columbus to a city like
Marysville is comparing
apples to oranges.
"I disagree with that
approach," he said. "Columbus subsidizes their
water and sewer rates out of
the general fund."
Kruse added that Columbus has a higher income tax than
"I am unfamiliar with where the mayor is going with that
Assistant Director of Columbus Public Utilities Rick Tilton
said on Thursday.
Tilton said Columbus does not subsidize its water rates
general fund, as the mayor said. It comes from its own
enterprise fund, which is operated and funded outside of the
According to recent reports, Columbus approved a 15 percent
its water and sewer rates.
Marysville resident Lloyd Baker
said he spoke with Tilton about
comparing Columbus water rates to those in
Marysville and learned that
even including the 15-percent increase,
Marysville still pays 120
percent more on water and sewer rates than Columbus
does. It is this
drastic difference that has him concerned for people living
on fixed incomes.
Tilton said he worked with Baker to come up with those
City Council president John Gore told the mayor that
repeatedly asking the city to make growth pay for
"That's a great buzzword for everyone to say: Growth needs to pay
itself," Gore said. "Every time there is a need to expand we go back
the people who have been here 20 or 25 years and we raise
Gore recommends using some of the $3.5 million in reserves
offset the water rate impact by transferring cash into the water
The general fund crosses more of a segment of all Marysville
even the non-residents who only work in town.
Kruse said he
"vigorously opposes" that option. The reserves are used to
on debt service payments so the city can construct its
wastewater plant and
reservoir. He has to pay for city services such as
emergency, police, fire,
streets and other costs that go up every year.
"Past councils were reluctant
to make the lower rate increases that were
needed at the time because the
public got noisy," Kruse said.
Because they didn't, he said, the city's needs
Gore said he supports the development going on in Marysville
projects such as the reservoir.
"I'm just trying to find a way to stop
the bleeding for the folks that
have lived here, that continue to pay for the
new houses that are going up," he said.
Gore said reserve funds keep
growing and he wonders what the point of an
8 percent water rate increase
would serve over a 5 percent increase ?
other than build the reserves up
Councilman Dan Fogt said they need to come up with $150,000 to make
for the difference between the 5 and 8 percent rate increase.
trying to take a different approach and that's to reduce spending," Fogt
An example, he said, is a semi truck that the city plans to buy.
focusing on finding a used semi truck it could mean the
between spending $80,000 and $138,000. By doing things like this,
city could offset the rates.
Kruse warned that it won't solve the
overall problem of paying down the
debt services and paying for the
reservoir. He said that if anyone has
any questions about where he came up
with the recent water rate increase
proposals, they may check out the minutes
to a Dec. 7, 2005 special city
council meeting, which included a presentation
from the engineering firm
Malcolm Pirnie. The company's study indicated
certain rate increase
percentages. The presentation included three
alternatives for rate
increases and city council members voted for
City finance director John Morehart said that in 1993
purchased its water system. Prior to that it was privatized.
purchase price was in excess of $12 million. One of the major
why the rates are higher than in other communities is because the
has had to pay about $900,000 per year for the debt service on
Morehart said that Malcolm Pirnie ran scenarios, based on what
happen if the city enacted a 5 percent, 6 percent or 7 percent
over the next several years. They determined that if the city went
5 percent, then by 2009 they would need to raise the rates to more
11.5 percent. At 7 percent, rates would need to be 9.1 percent by
Gore said he is trying to think of Marysville's senior citizens
on fixed incomes and then having to deal with rate increases they
not be able to afford.
"I get a little nervous about all the looking
at this thing and what the
impact is on the senior citizens," Kruse said. "I
happen to be one ? for
some time now. I'm fully capable of paying my water
"You have been fortunate," Gore said.
Kruse said the majority of
senior citizens in the city have the ability
to pay their water bills.
a visitor to the recent committee meeting, Baker said he was
public did not get a chance to speak. He was also
offended by the mayor's
remarks toward senior citizens.
"I think he is pretty removed from reality,"
Gore said that he knows people who live on fixed incomes, who
a hard time affording the rate increases. These people also have
with expensive medications and putting food on the
North Lewisburg workers to get wage increase
North Lewisburg Council members unanimously passed a 4 percent
increase for all eight village employees during their
scheduled meeting Tuesday night.
Barry First, administrator,
said the total cost to the village would be
just under $5,900. The pay
increase will be reflected in the first pay
period of 2007.
will host a hometown Christmas Sunday, Dec. 10 at 3 p.m.
with a tour of
homes. Other activities planned include caroling, a live
nativity, horse and
wagon rides, cakewalk and parade. There also will be
food, a visit from Santa
and a holiday concert at 7 p.m.
The council passed a resolution which
requests an amendment be made to
the county all hazard mitigation plan. The
amendment would request that
a shelter or emergency operation center be
considered for North
Lewisburg in the case of a weather related or homeland
First explained that the request would be the first
applying for funding for a multi-purpose building which would
serve as a
emergency operation center for residents in northeast Champaign
Council was updated on the wastewater treatment plant project,
installation of water meters. The new water meter rate schedule
planned to take effect in the late winter or early spring, about
months later than originally expected.
The bike path is open and the
final phase of the project is almost
complete. Signs and motorized traffic
barriers still need to be installed.
The village will receive between
$5,000 and $6,000 in state emergency
management agency funds for the December
2004 snowstorm and ice and
flooding in January 2005.
First thanked council
for its combined efforts during 2006.
"We've had a challenging year with lots
of projects constantly going,"
he said. "I want to commend council for being
supportive and keeping
things positive in the community."
The next regular
council meeting will be Jan. 2 at 7 p.m.
In other news:
.Heard the monthly
North Lewisburg activity report for the month of
November: 10 traffic
citations issued; 10 incident reports; 23 cases of
assistance given to
citizens; 20 arrests made; four civil and criminal
papers served; 24
follow-up investigations completed; one instance of
juvenile contact; one
civic activity completed and four auto accident
From J-T staff reports:
Union and Madison counties recounted
votes Tuesday for Ohio's 15th
district representative, while the recount
continues in Franklin County today.
Democratic candidate Mary Jo Kilroy
gained an additional six votes -
three in Union County and three in Madison
County, while incumbent and
Republican Deborah Pryce picked up seven votes in
The official recount tally for Union County is 10,966 for
5,623 for Kilroy. Write-in candidate Bill Buckel received 21 votes.
recounted total in Madison County is 5,076 for Kilroy and 8,341
Pryce. Kilroy trails Pryce by 1,055 votes in the 15th
congressional district race.
The recount took approximately six hours for
both the Madison and Union
County Board of Elections.
recount is reportedly expected to be completed by Dec. 24.
recount was triggered when the difference between the
candidates is less than
one-half of one percent. Three percent of the
ballots in Union County were
handcounted to verify the tabulating
machine. The official count resulted in
Pryce receiving 50.2 percent or
110,711 votes. Kilroy received 109,657
The Kilroy campaign has sued one of three elections boards conducting
recount in her race, asking for the names of voters whose
ballots were rejected.
The campaign doesn't want to view the
roughly 2,600 ballots, but check
whether the Franklin County Board of
Elections rejected them in error,
attorney Don McTigue said. The suit was
filed Tuesday in Franklin County
Common Pleas Court.
The board follows a
federal law that shields voters' identities, rather
than a state law that
tells elections officials to compile a list of
rejected voters' names,
director Matthew Damschroder said.
Woman sentenced for role in teen's death
By RYAN HORNS
The woman who
allegedly sold the drugs that took the life of a Union
County teenager will
spend the next eight years in prison.
Wyndi S. McDonald, 37, of 700 S. Plum
St. was sentenced to serve those
years in the Ohio Reformatory for Women
Monday afternoon by Union County
Common Pleas Court Judge Richard
Parrot gave McDonald three years in prison for one third-degree
aggravated trafficking in drugs charge and another five years for
first-degree felony involuntary manslaughter charge. He ruled that
would be served consecutively resulting in the eight-year term.
faced a possible 23 years in prison.
In August McDonald was indicted
on three felony counts related to the
death of 15-year-old Cory Simpson, of
According to court papers, on or about Dec. 22, 2004 to Dec.
McDonald allegedly sold Roxynol generic Morphine to Simpson. Police
reported that Simpson died as a direct result of using those
In a letter to the court, Simpson's mother Crystal issued a statement
be read by her niece Sara Hecker. In the statement, Crystal wrote
she is still looking for closure after the death of her son.
to know everything about that day," she wrote.
Cory Simpson's father, John
Simpson, also provided a statement to the
court, as read by his wife
"You had everything to do with his death," he wrote.
said that the look on Cory's face when he lay there dead
will be forever
stuck in their minds. Because of heavy snows the night
of his death, medical
crews had difficulties getting to the home.
"How could you have not thought
what that drug would do to those kids
you sold it to?" he asked
Defense attorney Perry Parsons said Cory Simpson was a friend
McDonald's daughter, which is why the boy was at their home.
asked her if she had any response for the court on the death of
"I'm sorry that this happened," McDonald said.
Court files also
show related charges have been filed against Hope
Gordon-Fisher, 37, of 690
Milford Ave., who was also indicted on one
fifth-degree felony permitting
drug abuse charge and one first-degree
felony involuntary manslaughter
charge. She allegedly permitted Cory
Simpson to take the morphine in her home
and faces more than 11 years in
prison if found guilty and the charges run
Union County prosecutor David Phillips said the case
Gordon-Fisher is still pending. The next court date is set for Dec.
26 and 27.
Jerome trustees questioned about access to meetings
A former Jerome Township trustee is questioning whether the
board is following the law when it comes to notifying the public
Freeman May asked the three-member board about a special
last week with the Marysville council and administration.
Jerome Township Board of Trustees and Marysville City Council and
Nov. 29 to discuss future development along Industrial Parkway
from the city
limits to Route 42. The two full boards approved a
recommendations to hire a consultant. A land use
subcommittee, with members
from both jurisdictions, has been gathering
in unannounced meetings to work
out an annexation plan.
Members of the subcommittee include Jerome Township
Thomas, city council members Dan Fogt and Dave Burke and mayor
Kruse. Also involved in the subcommittee are Jerome Township
officer Kathleen Crowley and Marysville planner Greg DeLong.
answering May's question, Jerome Township Trustee Bob Merkle Monday
meeting notice did appear in the Marysville Journal-Tribune, but
legal notice appeared because there was not enough time to get
prior to the meeting.
May questioned why a notice had not been posted on the
bulletin board or why an e-mail had not been sent to him. He
he has a request on file with the township office to receive
notice of all meetings.
The Ohio Revised Code states that "the notice
requirement for a special
meeting is that public bodies must establish by
rule a reasonable method
that allows the public to determine the time, place
and purpose of a
special meeting. The rule must require at least 24 hour
notification to all media outlets that have requested
notification," states information in an "Ohio Sunshine Laws
distributed by Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro.
Merkle said today
that notification was not given because meeting was
not confirmed until the
day before Thanksgiving, township staff was out
of the office and he was
The joint subcommittee has since held another unannounced
Monday. Minutes are not yet available, said council clerk
Patterson, who added that she had been advised by legal council that
subcommittee meetings did not require public notice.
Monday's regular trustee meeting, trustees Merkle, Ron
Rhodes and Thomas
approved a recommendation by clerk Robert Caldwell to
transfer and accept
Fire Chief Scott Skeldon said his department has been involved
pandemic flu planning, parades and training. He said the
request for funds from the federal fire act were turned down. He
also acted as a state representative to update Governor-elect
Strickland about homeland security . The trustees approved
recommendation from Skeldon to accept a mutual aid contract
Washington Township Fire Department, Franklin County.
recessed into executive session to discuss personnel matters
court action. The ORC states that an attorney must be
present to go into
executive session for imminent court action. No
attorney was present Monday
when the board recessed.
Merkle said today that no action was taken after the
session and no discussion took place about imminent court
legal council was not present.
Child support roundup held
By RYAN HORNS
A statewide roundup of deadbeat
parents resulted in several local arrests.
Union County Prosecutor David
Phillips reported this morning that his
office issued nine criminal
nonsupport indictments and sought the arrest
on 20 civil and felony warrants
for men and women who owe child support
totaling $355,022.53. He said seven
of the nine people indicted were
arrested by law enforcement over the weekend
and appeared in Union
County Common Pleas Court this morning starting at 9
a.m. The names of
those arrested are expected to be released later
Phillips said one defendant pleaded guilty during court sessions and
sentenced to 11 months in prison at his arraignment.
choose not to support their children are facing the
wrote in a press release.
He said his office was joined by the Union County
Enforcement Agency, the Union County Sheriff's Office and the
Police Department in looking for the suspects.
like to have the deadbeat parents pay their court-ordered
said. "But, as a practical matter, we exhaust most
civil remedies prior to
indicting the cases. The Union County Child
Support Agency aggressively
pursues contempt and other civil remedies
before requesting criminal
Joe Float, of the Union County Department of Job and Family
also took part in the roundup and agreed that the indictments are
"We do everything we can before seeking felony charges," he
caseworkers suspend parent's driver's licenses, freeze bank
report obligors to credit agencies, suspend passports, intercept
tax refunds and through Mr. Phillips' office, seek
Float said that law enforcement officials were
very cooperative and
always are willing to participate, despite their busy
Phillips explained that parents under court order to pay child
can be charged with a felony if they fail to pay for 26 weeks out of
two-year period. Each count carries a 12-month sentence. A
for felony nonsupport means that future indictments can be
level from a fifth-degree felony to a fourth-degree felony -
lead to more prison time for each new conviction, or 18 months
instead of 12.
Counties participating in the Ohio nonsupport roundup
Butler, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Fairfield, Franklin,
Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Harrison, Henry, Huron, Knox,
Lawrence, Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Marion,
Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Muskingum, Ottawa, Pickaway, Richland,
Scioto, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Union, Van Wert,
Wayne and Wood.
Last year 359 people were reportedly arrested
during the roundup. Ohio
collected around $2 billion in child support in
state fiscal year 2006.
There are nearly 1 million child support cases in the
state. Ohio has
the third largest child support caseload in the nation. It
in total collections and first in collections for non-public
The pride of two counties
Loss in state finals doesn't detract from what JA
By TIM MILLER
Although the 2006 high school
football season ended on a disappointing
note for the Jonathan Alder Pioneers
on Friday, there is plenty for
which the school and community should be
"The kids certainly came to play," said boys athletic director
Piper as he watched the waning minutes of JA's 26-12 loss to
Cardinal Mooney during the Division IV state championship game
Piper said the Plain City area easily embraced the
"The night we got back late from the Oak Harbor game, people lined
streets as the team buses returned," he said.
Scanning the crowd which
was announced at 7,840 at Paul Brown Tiger
Stadium, Piper said, "Just about
all of Plain City is here."
Indeed, it would have appeared as though a
"Closed" sign should have
been posted on the front door of the Union-Madison
"Everybody believed in these kids," Piper said. "We've
been to the
playoffs for six straight years and all the kids' hard work paid
with a trip to the state finals."
"I don't think this is the last time
folks will see us in the playoffs,"
he added. "The coaches just do a great
job of filling in the holes (from
players who graduate)."
Head coach Steve
Coate said he believes the program is on very solid
footing. However, he
added the challenge for next year's players has
become even stiffer.
team raised the bar of expectations for future Jonathan Alder
teams," he said. "The standard is now a lot higher."
"We'll enjoy this season
for a couple of weeks but then we've got to get
back to work."
and season should be a tremendous motivater for us to get better."
Pioneers will lose 21 seniors from this year's team. Two of them,
Fleming and Tim Beachy, offered their thoughts during a post-game
They both agreed that being underdogs to Mooney motivated them to
as hard as they could in their final high school game.
disappointed with the loss but it was amazing to get here,"
"It's been an amazing run," said Fleming. "Jonathan Alder has
playoffs six straight years and we seniors have been a part of it
for four years."
"We've been a family the entire time."
Nation will say good-bye to Fleming, Beachy and the other
they may not be waving adios to a continued
Hospital grounds to go smoke free
Memorial Hospital of Union County will be a completely smoke-free
by Jan. 1, 2008.
Carman Wirtz, vice president of human resources,
said that a short-term
plan is in place to comply with the recently passed
State Issue 5 for a
smoke-free Ohio, as well as a long-term plan to promote a
lifestyle with a tobacco-free campus.
Currently, Memorial is
smoke free within the buildings although
patients, visitors and staff can
smoke outside. Modifications will be
made to the current policy in order to
comply with the Dec. 7 deadline.
By 2008, no smoking will be permitted on or
immediately around the
The only exception will be for
residents at The Gables at Green Pastures
nursing facility. Issue 5 allows
smoking inside only if it's within a
residence. All staff and visitors to the
Gables will be restricted to a
designated area away from entrances and
Wirtz said a year-long program is in place to help educate
patients and visitors about the tobacco free initiative. By Dec. 7,
hospital will construct a "smoking hut" to be placed outside of
emergency room entrance to aid in the transition. In addition,
hospital will continue to offer smoking cessation classes.
hospital board of trustees and the medical staff awarded checks to
organizations as part of the second annual holiday
The board agreed to reallocate $8,000 in gift
funds to support local
charities. Robin Wright accepted a check for $800 on
behalf of Special
Olympics, Dave Laslow accepted a $4,000 check for the Union
Train, Barb Snodgress accepted a check for $1,200 for the
Pantry and $2,000 was donated to the Union County Family
The hospital has decided to shift to a new advertising agency
almost two years with Sterrett Dymond marketing. Storandt Pann
marketing and communications will now represent the
Chip Hubbs, CEP/President, said it was time to make a
"We just weren't on the same page," Hubbs said, "We feel with the
firm we will be spending our money more wisely along with taking
marketing up a notch."
The board adjourned into executive session to
discuss three issues
dealing with pending court action and to discuss a
matter required to be
kept confidential by federal law and/or state statutes.
No action was taken.
The next board of trustees meeting will be Thursday,
Dec. 21 at 8 p.m.
In other news, the board:
.Accepted committee reports
for quality review, finance and joint conference.
.Was updated on the
upcoming Estes Park retreat to Scottsdale, Ariz.,
for the board and
administrators. The hospital will pay for 15 people to
travel and attend the
four-day conference in January. Board members were
given some initial
.Discussed whether to have a meeting in January given
the scheduling of
the Estes Park conference. Board members discussed meeting
purpose of medical credentialing only while in Arizona or
telephone-conference. Hubbs said he would need to consult the
Revised Code before a final decision could be made.
resolution 11.30.05.02, which gives authorization to finance
National City Bank for the purchase of 388 Damascus and
660 London Avenue.
This repeals an earlier resolution that allows the
use of bond financing to
purchase the two properties.
.Approved completed practitioners applications
for Dr. Christine Hudak,
Dr. Mahmoud Qadoom, Dr. Saul Scott Polsky and Rene
Stover, scrub tech.
.Approved Dr. Victor Trianfo to sit on the credentials
committee as a
representative for inpatient care.
.Approved the capital
expenditure of $33,148 for an ENG machine for the
speech and hearing
.Approved the bidding procedures and purchasing policies with the
commissioners which allows the hospital to enter into contracts with
state of Ohio. No changes were made from last year's
City to award CHIP grants
From J-T staff reports:
city of Marysville is once again looking for homeowners ? in need of
The city has again been awarded the Community Housing
Program (CHIP) state grant to provide housing assistance for
who qualify based on their income. For those who apply and meet
standards, it could mean free funding for home repairs.
Kathy Werkmeister, director of Housing and Weatherization
Services for the
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, last year the
CHIP grant helped some
27 Marysville families make roof repairs, update
plumbing, complete new
electric systems or replace heating systems and
more. Homeowners may receive
a grant up to $5,000 to make those needed
but expensive repairs.
are a first-time buyer looking to buy an existing home, down
rehabilitation assistance are also available to purchase
within the city limits," Werkmeister wrote.
She said to qualify, homes must
be valued at less than $144,000 for all
programs. If a home is in need of
major rehabilitation, residents may
qualify for a forgivable loan for up to
$35,000 to repair or replace all
major systems in the home, including roof,
plumbing, electrical and
structural and will address lead-based paint if
present. The loan is
made at zero percent interest and requires no monthly
funding for these programs is provided by the Ohio Department
Development and the city must pass out the funds by Aug. 31,
Werkmeister said there are guidelines: A family of four must make
than $51,000 per year. Applicants are required to provide
documentation for all household income and the determination is made
gross annual income. Self-employed applicants are allowed to
For more information and to see if you
qualify, call Kimberly Kellogg at
1-800-886-6772 Monday through Thursday from
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The
program is administered by the city and the Mid-Ohio
Regional Planning Commission.
Man arraigned on five counts of contact
with a minor
From J-T staff reports:
A Union County man could spend 25
years in prison if convicted of
charges for allegedly having a sexual
relationship with a minor.
Ramon J. Francis, 27, of 10045 Ketch Road, was
Tuesday on five third-degree felony counts of unlawful
with a minor in the Madison County Common Pleas Court. The
allegedly occurred in Plain City against a 14-year-old female
Francis has also been charged with misdemeanor offenses such
contributing to the delinquency of a minor and obstructing of
business in Union County, the Plain City Police Department has
It was also reported that Francis has not had prior felony
and has pleaded not guilty. He was reportedly arrested Oct. 17 by
City Police. Their investigation began earlier that month after
truancy complaint was filed by Canaan Middle School. The victim's
then followed up that complaint with a missing persons report after
was discovered to be missing from home.
According to a article, Plain
City Police investigated and learned
Francis may be a suspect. They arrived
at his Union County home on Ketch
Road, where Francis answered the door. He
denied that the victim was inside.
Reports show that when Francis' mother
arrived home soon after, she
allowed police to search inside. The victim was
then found hiding in the basement.
Francis has been released from custody
on his own recognizance. A trial
date has been set for Jan. 29.
Marysville Journal Tribune
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