Local Archived News July 2006
Goggles give fairgoers a hazy perspective
By NATALIE TROYER
"I feel stupid," said Andrea Payne as she struggled to place the blue
checker piece on its corresponding blue dot on the checker board.
She placed it on a green dot instead.
"It's making me sick to my stomach," said the 23-year-old as she slid a
pair of goggles off her eyes. "I can understand how this would be hard
if you're drunk."
Payne was one of many who slipped on a pair of the "drunk goggles" this
week at the Union County Fair. The program, sponsored by the Union
County Sheriff's Office, is intended to show people the dangers of
drinking and going to work or doing everyday tasks, said Deputy Kim Zacharias.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, between 10 and 20 percent of
the nation's workers who die on the job test positive for alcohol or other drugs.
Another study from Workplace Managed Care found that 57.5 percent of 437
individuals who were subject to violence-related injuries in the
workplace reported alcohol consumption within six hours prior to the
injury. It also showed that substance-abusers are 2.5 more likely to be
absent eight or more days a year and that substance abusers are
one-third less productive.
The task before Payne and others at the fair was to take 50
multi-colored checkers and place each one on its corresponding,
matching-colored dot on a checker board.
Sounds easy enough.
Without the goggles, Payne completed the task in one minute and two
seconds. Her time increased to four minutes and 15 seconds with the
impaired vision goggles. And she placed two of the checkers
on the wrong colored dot.
The goggles simulate the effects of binge drinking, or how a person's
body and mind would be affected after drinking between two or three
times the legal limit of alcohol, Zacharias said.
"A person's thought processes are completely different when he or she is
intoxicated," she said. "Your fingers won't work the way you want them
to; you see double; your production is affected; you get frustrated
easier; and your depth perception is off."
Barry Dunn, 47, felt the effects of the goggles after only a few seconds.
"I had to close one eye because I had no depth perception," he said.
The activity is a dexterity test given to Honda applicants to test
hand-eye coordination. It's also used by Adecco.
The test is ultimately meant to teach people that drinking in excess and
coming to work can hurt both themselves and fellow coworkers, Zacharias said.
"Let's pretend you work in a factory and the guy next to you had been
drinking all night long," she said. "He gets behind the wheel of a
forklift and he could run over you or someone else and not know the difference."
The program is being held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. until Sunday in Merchant Building II.
Red Cross hires new executive director
From J-T staff reports:
The Union County Red Cross Chapter has named Lynne Whatley executive director.
Most recently, Whatley of the Rosedale area has been a teacher in the
Jonathan Alder School District.
She has 10 years of experience in managed care, network
development and business start-up.
Involved in the Union County community for a long time, she graduated
from Franklin University with honors in business and leadership and is
currently pursuing an MBA. She is a graduate of Fairbanks High School
and has worked as an office manager at the combined offices of the Union
County Chamber of Commerce, Hardin Realty and James Hunter-Nationwide
Insurance agency.During high school she worked at the Ohio Orchard
Company, Heflin Caterer's and Frieda's Fashions.
Her family includes husband Mark, five children and three grandchildren.
Doctor's group a mess for all involved
Parties connected with Memorial Physicians Inc. all claim losses
By NATALIE TROYER
A number of local physicians are claiming that when a Marysville medical
corporation dissolved almost a year ago, they were left to pick up the
pieces and swallow their personal debt.
"I'm out over $100,000," said Dr. Thomas McConnell. "And I didn't get
paid for the last three weeks I saw patients."
He is not the only physician who is owed money.
When Memorial Physicians Inc. (MPI) went out of business in September
2005 after nearly 10 years of service in the community, McConnell said
it wasn't a friendly disbanding.
"I feel like we (physicians) have been let down by the hospital board
and Union County Health Systems," he said.
MPI, founded in 1996 as a wholly-owned entity of Memorial Hospital, was
formed to provide high quality, cost effective medical care for the
community through a primary care group practice that would focus on
enhancing the delivery of its own services and coordinating primary care
service with the hospital, according to MPI's mission statement.
Union County Health Systems, a hospital-devised entity, gained ownership
in the corporation in 1999.
In short, MPI was formed "to help the hospital," said McConnell, who was
MPI president when it disbanded. The corporation would benefit the
hospital by allowing it to control its primary healthcare base, he added.
The benefit to large group ownership for the physicians was that, as a
group, they could get better discounts on insurance and other benefits,
said Dr. Patrick Snyder, who served as a board member for MPI from 1999
to its closure. The board consisted of eight persons elected in
proportion to ownership interest in MPI.
"It was supposed to be a win-win situation for both the hospital and
physicians," said Dr. Daniel Badenhop, a former MPI physician. "We could
pool our assets in order to provide more avenues of care for the small community."
Original intentions didn't work out as expected, though. Subsidies from
the hospital to MPI were not repaid as expected and eventually the
hospital had to write off advances of $8 million, according to Olas
"Chip" Hubbs, Memorial Hospital of Union County president/chief executive officer.
In 1999, Memorial Hospital agreed to transfer its ownership of MPI to
physicians and a not-for-profit foundation. Ownership was divided 50-50
between physician shareholders and Union County Health Systems.
Since then, the hospital has had no ownership or operational authority
of MPI, Hubbs said.
Hubbs, who has been president/CEO of Memorial Hospital of Union County
since March 2004, succeeded Danny Boggs, who was
president/CEO when MPI was formed.
Hubbs said he is aware that "a small number of physicians and nearly a
dozen other secured creditors are owed money."
The hospital is one of those creditors, he said, although he wouldn't
identify the amount of money it is owed.
To some degree, the blame for MPI's dissolving rests on the physicians
themselves and the hospital, Hubbs said.
"If we take $100,000 and invest it in something, we have no guarantee
that we'll get it back," he said. "There's risk involved."
Others say they weren't aware how big that risk would be.
When the Ohio State University Heart Center was opened at 660 London
Ave., the location of several offices of physicians who were part of
MPI, in September 2003, Snyder said that even though it wasn't earning a
profit, MPI kept feeding it money.
But it did so because MPI was misled by Health Serve, he said.
The management firm Health Serve, hired in the late 1990s to take care
of billing and purchasing for MPI, decided to switch to accrual
accounting in the early 2000s because members of Health Serve said it
was a "better way to do accounting," Snyder said.
"In reality, it was just a better way to hide losses," he added.
With accrual accounting, income is realized in the accounting period in
which is it earned and expenses are recorded as they are owed instead of
when they are paid.
"We were being fed fictitious numbers," Snyder said. "Money that should
have been going to MPI and physicians was instead going to the heart center."
From Jan. 1, 2005 to Sept. 1, 2005, all the MPI physicians decided to
voluntarily give up ten percent of their salary in order to "make ends
meet and keep services going," McConnell said. There were also six or
seven physicians who took out personal loans.
"We were told by Health Serve administration that we'd get the money
back," said Snyder, who took out a $10,000 loan.
"But I haven't seen the money, yet."
Badenhop said that a miscommunication between the hospital, Health Serve
and physicians led to the failure of MPI.
"Physicians weren't made aware of MPI's money situations," he said. "We
weren't given actual numbers so we couldn't see dollars coming in and out."
In September 2005, MPI went into receivership because "there were more
liabilities than assets," McConnell said. Reg Martin, who was appointed
the court receiver for the case, said he is in charge of collecting
outstanding receivables and liquidating the assets in order to
distribute funds accordingly.
A proposal is also currently on the table for Memorial Hospital of Union
County to purchase properties located at 388 Damascus Road and 660
London Ave. from MPI Real Estate LLC, the corporation that owns the two
properties, for $3.675 million. The price is supposed to be a compromise
of sorts in the hopes of settling any outstanding disagreements between
the hospital and MPI and to help avoid possible future litigation and court costs.
The two corporations, MPI and MPI Real Estate LLC, are separate
entities. According to Martin, MPI Real Estate LLC is not in receivership.
If the purchase is finalized, the money will be given to members of MPI
Real Estate LLC, and they will decide how to divvy it out, said Spence
Fisher, vice president of physician relations and business development.
Some still express disapproval at the way things were handled.
Physicians are owed a lot of backpay while Union County Health Systems
walked away debt free, McConnell said.
"They (Health Systems) were a 50 percent owner. I don't understand how
they can walk away with no debt and leave the other 50 percent
(physicians) to pay the burden," he said. "Legally, sure, it's fine. But
ethically, no way."
Dr. Arthur Pellegrini said he is owed $100,000. He also expressed
disapproval in Health Systems.
"I don't know if we're dealing with naives or crooks," he said. "No one knows."
David Allen, who has served as president of Union County Health Systems
for two years, said that as a shareholder, Union County Health Systems
only agreed to be responsible for a very small part of the debt from
MPI. He said he can't understand why any physicians would be upset.
"Union County Health Systems allowed the doctors to run MPI as they saw
fit," he said. "We were simply acting as a help to the doctors in
getting the corporation going, and we guaranteed some debt because the
doctors asked us to."
Pellegrini and other physicians say they don't expect to be repaid for money lost.
"Technically, on paper, I'm owed money. But will I ever see it? Probably
not," Badenhop said.
At this point, Martin said all the assets have been sold and he is
working on cleaning up the receivables.
He assured that, "All physicians' offices are operating as before and
patients are still getting taken care of."
Honda to begin sales of very light jet
From J-T staff reports:
Honda plans to enter the innovative HondaJet in the growing very light
jet market, with the process of accepting sales orders expected to begin
in the U.S. in fall.
Toward this goal, Honda will establish a new U.S. company to hold
FAA-type certification and production certification. Honda's goal is to
complete type certification in about three to four years, followed by
the start of production in the U.S.
Making the announcement at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)
AirVenture 2006, the world's largest annual aviation gathering, Honda
also revealed plans to form a business alliance with Piper Aircraft,
Inc. to collaborate on sales and service, and to explore opportunities
in engineering and other areas within general and business aviation.
"Aviation has been an important dream of Honda for more than four
decades," said Satoshi Toshida, senior managing director of Honda Motor
Co., Ltd. "Our goal is consistent with the philosophy of other Honda
products -- to provide convenient and efficient transportation that
will make people's lives better. We are excited now to enter a new
dimension of mobility."
Toshida adds, "In Piper we believe we have a partner we can collaborate
with in our effort to bring new value to customers in the very light jet market."
"Honda is a company with a rich heritage of bringing high quality,
innovative products to market," said James K. Bass, president and CEO of
Piper Aircraft, Inc. "This business alliance is a perfect fit given the
commitment both Piper and Honda have to providing our respective
customers with world class products and services. Piper is very excited
about this alliance and the way it complements our vision for the future."
HondaJet features several innovations that help it achieve far better
fuel efficiency, larger cabin and luggage space and higher cruise speed
than conventional aircraft in its class. The announcement to
commercialize HondaJet comes one year after the plane made its world
public debut at EAA AirVenture 2005 in Oshkosh, Wis.
The result of 20 years of aviation research, key HondaJet innovations
include a patented over-the-wing engine-mount configuration, a
natural-laminar flow (NLF) wing and fuselage nose, and an advanced
all-composite fuselage structure.
"We want to create new value within the aviation market through the
unique new design of HondaJet," said Michimasa Fujino, HondaJet project
leader and vice president of Honda R Americas, Inc. "Our goal is to
deliver three key attributes -- performance, quality and comfort --
beyond what people currently expect from light business jets."
HondaJet's NLF wing and NLF fuselage nose were developed through
extensive analyses and wind-tunnel testing. These designs help HondaJet
achieve low drag. HondaJet's patented over-the-wing engine-mount
configuration helps eliminate the need for a structure to mount the
engines to the rear fuselage, maximizing space in the fuselage for
passengers and luggage. Further, by determining the optimal position for
the engines, the over-the-wing mount actually reduces drag at high speed
to improve fuel efficiency.
The advanced all-composite fuselage structure consists of a combination
of honeycomb sandwich structure and co-cured stiffened panels. It was
developed to reduce weight and manufacturing costs. This aircraft is
also outfitted with a state-of-the-art all-glass flight deck with an
integrated avionics system that displays all information digitally on a
high resolution flat display, and also has an autopilot function.
To date the prototype six-to-seven seat HondaJet has completed more
than 240 hours of flight-testing since December 2003. So far, the
prototype HondaJet has achieved an altitude of 43,000 feet and a speed
of 412 knots and is on course to meet or exceed all of its design specifications.
Piper Aircraft, Inc., headquartered in Vero Beach, Fla., is the only
general aviation manufacturer to offer a complete line of aircraft for
every general aviation mission, from trainers and high-performance
aircraft for personal and business use to turbine-powered business
aircraft. In its 70-year history, Piper has produced more than 144,000
aircraft and developed more than 180 different models. Piper covers the
global marketplace with 80 sales and service centers worldwide.
Honda is one of the world's leading producers of mobility products
including its diverse line-up of automobiles, motorcycles and ATVs,
power products, marine engines and personal watercraft. Honda is the
world's preeminent engine-maker, with annual worldwide production of
more than 20 million engines. On a global basis, Honda has more than 130
manufacturing facilities in 29 nations.
Honda began operations in North America in 1959 with the establishment
of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary.
Honda began assembling motorcycles in America in 1979, with U.S.
automobile manufacturing starting in 1982. Honda now employs more than
28,000 Americans in the design, manufacture and marketing of its
products in America. Honda currently builds products in 13 manufacturing
plants in North America, with three major R centers in the U.S.
For more information, and for access to HondaJet photography and video
footage, please go to hondanews.com. For additional information on
HondaJet, please go to world.honda.com/hondajet.
District appellate judges visit Union County court
From J-T staff reports:
Appellate judges from the Ohio Third District Court of Appeals heard
oral arguments in the Union County Common Pleas Court Tuesday.
Presiding Judge Thomas F. Bryant said the court visits each of the 17
counties in its district over an 18-month period. The court, based in
Allen County, covers an area from Dublin to Defiance. He said the
reasons for the tours are to find out what everybody is thinking.
Members of the court include Bryant, Robert R. Cupp, Richard M. Rogers
and Stephen R. Shaw. The judges work in teams of three. Cupp, Rogers and
Bryant heard Tuesday's two oral arguments.
Cupp likened the appeal's court to assembling legal puzzles.
"We look at the law," he said, and then apply the correct law to the case.
Bryant added that the court never decides the truth of anything.
"We decide what the law is to this truth," he said.
The appeals court has the authority to affirm, amend or reverse a trial
court's judgment, remand a new trial or order a different sentence,
Bryant said in answer to a question after the one-hour of hearings.
In his final term due to his age, Bryant estimates he has heard 6,000
cases since joining the court in 1989. He said all the cases are
memorable and important, adding that capital cases "try the souls of
judges as well."
Approximately 5 percent of the district court's cases are accepted by
the Ohio Supreme Court.
The two matters before the court Tuesday involved the civil matter of
Hall et al. v. Memorial Hospital of Union County, et al. and the
criminal complaint of State v. Shoemaker.
At the end of each 30-minute hearing, Bryant said a
decision will be forthcoming.
Parents complain to Marysville board
By KARLYN BYERS
Marysville School Board member Bill Hayes urged an impromptu executive
session Monday night after a district mother asked questions about one
of the school system's bus drivers.
Sharon Puntney of Raymond, asked the board if bus driver Sharon Kissling
had ever admitted to any wrongdoing. Board members unanimously voted at
their June 26 meeting to suspend Kissling for 10 days without pay
following an incident that happened this spring. In that incident,
several children on Kissling's school bus, including Puntney's
10-year-old daughter, were allegedly injured when Kissling unexpectedly
applied her bus brakes.
When Puntney began to talk, Hayes, who is board vice president, moved
the board enter into executive session. Board member Jeff Mabee seconded
the motion, and the room was cleared.
The executive session lasted about 25 minutes. When the open board
meeting resumed, Puntney and two other mothers, Jackie Schertzer and
Debbie Gilbert, left.
Schertzer and Puntney attended the June 26 meeting. Gilbert, who said
she was unable to attend that meeting because of family obligations,
said Kissling had "no business being around children. Period."
At the June 26 meeting Marysville Superintendent Larry Zimmerman said
Kissling would be reassigned and would receive additional training.
Gilbert took exception to that.
"What kind of human being would I be or what kind of parent if I allowed
this bus driver to be around other children?" she asked the
Journal-Tribune after a newspaper article about the June 26 board
meeting appeared. The mother of children aged 16, 15, 14 and 11 said
incidents involving Kissling have "happened more than once" and she
didn't think reassigning the bus driver was enough.
Marysville School Board President Roy Fraker said Monday night the board
was monitoring the situation.
The board also voted to increase the price of school lunches after
hearing a report from Lisa Goodman, executive director of food service operations.
Prices will increase from $1 to $1.25 for breakfasts; $2 to $2.25 for
lunches K-4; $2.25 to $2.50 for lunches 5-12; $2.25 to $3 for adult
lunches; 40 cents to 50 cents for milk; and 40 cents to 65 cents for adult milk.
The food service has operated in the red for several years and there has
been no price increase for the past three years, according to Goodman.
Goodman said she has managed to close the gap in the deficit - from
$85,000 to $44,755 she reported in a May board agenda item - with recent
innovations, including changing the menu and adding more variety and
adding a pasta bar and restructuring for easier and faster service at
the high school.
Other cost-saving measures included ordering only what the department is
going to use in a week's time - food setting on shelves costs money,
Goodman said - , purchasing more government commodity goods - which are
cheaper - and utilizing substitute help more efficiently.
Board member Scott Johnson said he had "a hard time" paying 50 cents for
an 8-ounce container of milk. But Goodman responded, "If you go through
McDonald's, that milk is 99 cents."
Board members had tabled the May agenda item that would have authorized
the increase. They voted Monday night to bring it back to the table and
amended it to exclude an automatic 5 cent per year
increase Goodman had requested.
Village tables parking fine hike
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Richwood Village Council was all set to quintuple its parking fines
Monday night, the only problem was figuring out what to do with all the
money - literally.
Apparently the previous system of collecting traffic fines is not an
option because Police Chief Rick Asher said he is not bonded to handle
that much money. In fact, Asher admitted at the council meeting that he
should not have been collecting the fines in years past and said he may
have been taking in the payments illegally.
Council was prepared to hear third reading on an ordinance bumping
parking fines in Richwood from $5 to $25. Asher has said in previous
meeting that the $5 fine does not serve as much of a deterrent for offenders.
But when Asher voiced concerns about collecting the money, council could
not come up with a quick solution for the dilemma of the fines.
Village solicitor Victoria Stone Moledor told council that Marysville
entrusts the collection of parking fines to its director of finance. If
the fines are not paid, the matter goes before Marysville Municipal
Court. Moledor said she would have to check with Municipal Court to see
if it could handle traffic cases from the village.
Moledor also noted that the village needs to update its codes regarding
parking issues, as many references to mayors court, which was last held
in the 1990s, are still found.
Moledor said she would report back at the next meeting with a
recommendation on a new fine collection process. Council tabled third
reading on the ordinance until the details were agreed upon.
Council also learned that the sanitary sewer line in the Richwood
Industrial Park may be completed at no cost to the village.
Union County Chamber of Commerce CEO Eric Phillips told council that
there is $130,000 in grant money left from the initial construction of
the park that could be used to extend the line down the length of Ira
Bean Parkway. Sewer lines currently only extend to the park's only
tenant, MAI Manufacturing.
The only constraint is that the money must be spent by Oct. 31.
In other business, council:
.Learned that the Norris and Wood streets repaving project may be
completed after all. The $32,000 project appeared dead after no bidder
came forward to complete the project. A new contractor has recently
expressed interest in the work.
.Learned that no employee of the village is currently licensed to
perform mosquito spraying in the village.
.Agreed to forgive a portion of a large water bill after council members
were convinced that the reading of 63,000 gallons may have been an error.
.Heard that the village will be purchasing a new $8,000 mower.
.Approved the purchase of a new $21,000 police cruiser. It was noted
that two of the village cruisers have more than 200,000 miles on them
and frequently break down. The issue passed 5-1 with Scott Jerew voting no.
.Held an executive session to discuss a possible land sale.
City repaving program begins
From J-T staff reports:
The 2006 Street Repaving Program began Monday according to the city of Marysville.
Grinding began on Wagon Wheel and Surrey Lanes and is scheduled to
continue onto Lantern Drive and Buerger Court through approximately Wednesday.
It is estimated that grinding work will move on Thursday to Greenwood
Colony on Fairfield Drive, Toby Court, Rosewood Drive and Collingwood
Court, where grinding will continue through the following Monday.
During the week of July 31, grinding will move to Maple Street and final
paving preparations will take place on the previously ground streets.
New asphalt pavement will follow the final prep on each street.
The city administration will keep residents updated as work begins on
additional streets or as schedule changes are made.
As a reminder, streets to be paved in addition to those mentioned above are:
.Bay Laurel Drive (Millwood Boulevard to pavement change)
.Beech Drive (off Collins Avenue)
.Cherry Street (Five Points to Fourth street)
.Chestnut Street (Sixth to 10th streets)
.Court Street (Third to Eighth streets)
.East Fourth Street (Main to Cherry streets)
.Elm Street (Eighth to Ninth streets)
.Fairwood Drive (off Collins Avenue)
.Fox Drive (off Beech Drive)
.Grove Street (Collins Avenue to Sherwood Drive)
.Hickory Drive (Vankirk Drive to Sherwood Drive )
.Linden Street (Seventh to Collins Avenue)
.Olive St. (Fourth to Fifth streets)
.Park Avenue (Fifth Street to concrete)
.Sherwood Drive (Grove to Hickory streets)
.Lee's Place (Third Street to Fifth Street)
.Mary Place (Third Street to Fifth Street)
.Mulberry Street (Seventh Street to Collins Avenue)
.Weaver Road (Airport South to city limit)
.Third Street (Maple to Main streets
Union County Fair opens
By CINDY BRAKE
The Union County Fairgrounds is alive with the sounds of sheep, swine,
steers, poultry, goats, horses and rabbits.
Junior fair livestock moved into the barns Sunday for the 160th annual
fair that runs through Sunday. Each day is filled
with competitions and entertainment.
Harness racing kicked off the fun today at noon in front of the
grandstand, while judging for special interest projects, weigh-ins and
skill-a-thons were going on at the barns.
Rides open at 5 p.m. and the parade starts at 5:30 p.m. with line-up at
the county parking lot, 233 W. Sixth St.
The fair queen and king will be crowned in the show arena following a
ceremony that begins at 6:20 p.m. Swine showmanship starts at 6:30 p.m.
in the show arena, as well as the horse opening ceremonies in the horse
arena. Paige Richie, Indiana's idol winner, will be performing at the
pavilion at 7 and 9 p.m.
Tuesday's junior fair activities begin bright and early with the rabbit
show at 8 a.m. Other morning activities include skill-a-thons and
nutrition judging in the armory. Rides open at noon and the swine show
starts at 6 p.m. Truck/tractor pulls are planned to begin at 7 p.m., as
well as entertainment by Debbie Walton and the
Rock My Soul Band at the pavilion.
Wednesday morning activities include the junior fair horse and goat
show, clothing judging and the general livestock judging contest. Events
for senior citizens include a 9:30 a.m. pancake breakfast, 12:30 p.m.
cookoff and 2 p.m. bingo. Other day events include the quilt show that
opens at 10 a.m. and the 1:30 p.m. pie contest. The 4-H Style Review
starts at 7 p.m. in the pavilion. Motorcross is planned in front of the grandstand.
Thursday is filled with sheep activities including a celebrity cook-off
at noon, guys and gals lead at 2:30 p.m., showmanship at 5 p.m. followed
by the market lamb show. Grandstand events include a tractor rodeo at 1
p.m. and bull riding at 7:30 p.m.
Open class competition takes center stage Friday, as well as the dairy
and market steer and heifer shows. It is also cloverbud day beginning at
10 a.m., while at the horse arena a fun show is planned along with horse
musical fantasia. The animal costume contest returns again at 2:30 p.m.,
while local vocalist Mollie McIntyre will perform at 7 p.m. at the
pavilion. Other evening entertainment includes a tractor, semi and truck
pull in front of the grandstand at 7 p.m.
All animals are released Saturday at 6 a.m., except sale animals. A 4-H
pancake breakfast is served from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the pavilion,
followed by an awards program at 9:15 a.m. A 4-H fun dog show starts at
11 a.m. The two-part livestock sale starts at 2:30 p.m. in the show
arena and continues at 5:30 p.m. Child safety seat checks will be
offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dancing entertainment is also planned, as
well as a demolition derby in the evening.
The final day of the fair includes a lunch for veterans at the pavilion
at noon, kiddie tractor pull, baby contest and kid's day activities.
Mud runs start at 5 p.m.
For more information about the Union County Fair, go to
www.ohiounioncountyfair.org. The senior fair office can be reached by
calling 644-8736 and the junior fair office telephone number is 642-0469.
Admission is $5 for anyone 6 years and older. Ride tickets cost 50 cents
each or $10 for an all-day pass.
Senior fairboard members include Amanda Grove, Billie Jo Humble, Brandon
Nance, Crystal Ropp, Cynthia High, Dale Madison, Tony Bowersmith, John
Ropp, Kay Griffith, Dave Cook, Dwayne Smith, Gene Kirby, Kim Butcher,
Marcia Dreiseidel, Marge Gillenwater, Ron Schilling and Sharon Walls.
The board of directors of the Union County Agriculture Society includes
21 members, one from each township, Marysville corporation and six
at-large members who serve three year terms. Directors are elected on
the last day of the fair.
U.C. Foundation nationally accredited
From J-T staff reports:
The Union County Foundation recently took a step forward into the
national realm with a new accreditation.
Executive Director David Vollrath said the foundation is being
recognized for having organizational and financial practices that are in
accordance with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.
He said the leaders in the field, represented by the Council on
Foundations, created National Standards in 2000 to aid community
foundations in establishing legal, ethical, and effective operational
practices that would show the foundation's transparency and financial
responsibility in light of the increased public scrutiny of foundation practices.
Vollrath said in order to achieve Confirmation of Compliance with
national standards, community foundations must undergo an extensive
review of their organizational and financial policies and procedures.
The review is performed by trained and experienced
community foundation practitioners.
By being accredited by the national council, he said it "represents a
two-year process and the submission of hundreds of pages of documents."
"Adopting and adhering to high standards is the best way we can
demonstrate our ongoing commitment to maintaining the trust of our
donors and the entire community," Dan Fitzgerald said, Chairman of the
Union County Foundation. "We are committed to reaffirming the honesty
and integrity that are a hallmark of our foundation."
Vollrath said there are 43 national standards which address six key
areas of community foundation operations:
. Mission, structure and governance
. Resource development
. Stewardship and accountability
. Grant making and community leadership.
. Donor relations
U.S. Community Foundations serve tens of thousands of donors and
administer more than $39 billion in charitable funds. Of the nearly 700
community foundations in the country, more than 500 have pledged to
comply with national standards. To date, some 150 of those have been
found in compliance with those standards. Union County Foundation now
joins a group across the nation whose size and assets range from the
smallest to the largest in the field. Currently, compliant community
foundations represent more than $9 billion in assets or 28 percent of the field.
The Union County Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) not for profit organization
which assists people and organizations with the accumulation, investment
and distribution of charitable dollars. It was incorporated in 1993 and
currently houses more than 35 named funds that support a wide range of
Union County causes and organizations. Located in Marysville at 126 N.
Main St., the foundation is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The foundation is governed by a 15-member volunteer board of Union
County civic and community leaders. More information can be found at its
Web-site www.emarysville.com/unioncountyfoundation or
by calling 937-642-9618.
The Council on Foundations is a Washington, D.C. nonprofit membership
association of more than 2,000 grant making foundations and
corporations. Together they provide opportunity, leadership, and the
tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and
sustain their ability to advance the common good. For more information
on the council visit www.cof.org.
History of Balloon Festival lives on
Editor's note: This is the first in a four-part series which will run
each week leading up to the All-Ohio Balloon Festival on Aug. 18 and 19
By NATALIE TROYER
It was 1974 when Jack Scott went to his first balloon rally in southern
Ohio. In awe, he returned from the weekend event with one thing on his
mind - that Marysville needed the same celebration.
So he and seven other members of the Union County Chamber of Commerce
contacted balloonists, gathered sponsors and booked entertainment, and
on Sept. 13 and 14, 1975, the first All-Ohio Balloon Rally and Air Show
was held at the Union County Airport.
Thirty-one years later the tradition still lives on, although minor
changes have been made along the way. The purpose is still the same, though.
"The rally is meant to bring together the community of Marysville," said
Anna Jean Scott, 81, wife of Jack who passed away last August. "That was
always his (Jack's) goal."
The 1975 All-Ohio Balloon Rally and Air Show consisted of 21 balloonists
from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania. A team of
skydivers from the Kings Island-Firestone International Air Show and the
National Guard also performed. Dan O'Brien, of Dublin, was the first
balloonmeister, whose job was to help contact balloonists and make sure
everything ran smoothly.
An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people attended the first rally, according
to an article in the 1975 edition of Ballooning magazine. There was no
admission cost and car parking was $.50.
Throughout the years, the goal has been to have at least 30 balloons at
the rally, Ms. Scott said. Two or three of them are usually special shaped balloons.
And while most rallies have come and gone without a problem, others
haven't been so flawless.
Ms. Scott recalled a frightening incident in the 1980s when a pilot's
balloon got caught in a power line. The Pilot Jim Jackson, of Columbus,
was carrying the Balloon Rally queen, when his balloon suddenly shifted
toward a power line. The queen escaped with only a burned sash and no
one else was injured during the incident, Ms. Scott said.
Other surprises have been joyous.
"One couple actually took a preacher up in one of the tethered balloons
and got married," Ms. Scott said.
And then there was the thrill of the air acrobatics and skydiving teams.
But because of increased air traffic at the airport, liability issues,
and high cost for the air show acts (between $3,000 and $4,000) the
decision was made to end that portion of the balloon rally after the
1987 show. In 1988 the event, which became "Balloon Festival," was moved
from the airport to Frontage Drive, by Shiloh Chapel.
In 1989, the event was then moved to the Union County Fairgrounds and
was held there until 2005 when it was moved back to the airport.
The Balloon Festival was never intended to be a money-making event, said
Mike Witzky, who helped with the event when the Marysville Lions Club
sponsored it from 2000 to 2003.
"We were never worried about making a big profit," he said. "We just
wanted to break even and, if we were lucky, earn enough money to get us
started the following year."
To pull off the rally, Witzky said it cost about $30,000. Each balloon
is also sponsored by a local business in the community to help offset the costs.
The event would usually net about $8,000 to $10,000 in profit, he said.
Some proceeds would be given back to the community in the form of
scholarships, while the festival committee would try to keep at least
$5,000 to get started the following year.
From 1975 to 2000, the event was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.
There was no rally in 2004; the Chamber took over again in 2005; and the
Marysville Journal-Tribune is sponsoring the event this August.
For Witzky, who's been attending the Balloon Festival since 1984, it's nostalgic.
"The festival is a step back into a period of time that's quiet, rural
and old-fashioned," he said. "It's like 1950 again."
Pilot Bob Scobee, 47, said he looks forward to the rally all year.
"Marysville is a very balloon-friendly community," said Scobee who's
been flying in the Balloon Festival for 17 years. "I always enjoy flying here."
This year's All-Ohio Balloon Fest will take place August 18 and 19 at
the Union County Airport. A weekend pass to the event is $5, with free
admission from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday night. Children 12 and
under are free all weekend.
A vanguard of the righteous
First United Methodist pastor has military background
By KARLYN BYERS
The Rev. Kenneth Daft brings a deep abiding faith and a fervent belief
in prayer to his ministry at First United Methodist Church.
He also brings 30 years of military service to the pulpit, the last two
as state chaplain for the Ohio Army National Guard.
"I am a colonel and I'm going to be the vanguard of the righteous," Daft
said of his two vocations.
As chaplain he served in the 112th Transportation Battalion out of
Middleton, the 737th Maintenance Battalion from Newark, the 112th
Engineer Battalion out of Portsmouth, the 134th Engineer Group from
Hamilton, and the 112th Medical Brigade out of Columbus. Despite his
commitment to the chaplaincy, he felt the timing was right to come to
First UMC. He began serving the Marysville church July 1, after
previously serving a variety of churches in the West Ohio Conference,
most recently at Groesbeck, Cincinnati.
"This is my primary responsibility," Daft said as he sat in his Court
Street office. "We know Jesus wants us here. We really do, and so far
it's been a fine match."
The "we" Daft talks about includes Linda Daft, his wife of almost 35
years. The two raised four sons, all of whom are Christians and three of
whom also serve in the Ohio National Guard.
"I've been following Jesus 42 years and he's helped me along a lot,"
Pastor Daft said.
He is passionate about winning souls, about "getting men and women, boys
and girls ready for heaven. That is what I'm all about because Jesus
wants them and I will do what I can to help (Him)."
He's also passionate about prayer. He counts among his favorite authors
E.M. Bounds, whom Daft describes as a "prolific prayer book writer." It
is Bounds he quoted when he said, "You cannot talk to men about God
until you talk to God about men."
Daft created a prayer nook in his office, a little altar of sorts where
he can kneel and have easy access to his prayer Bible, where he can gaze
upon a picture of Jesus, and where a shepherd's crook stands ready.
The shepherd's crook is to remind him that he is his congregation's
shepherd and he is to lead his flock "lovingly and tenderly," he said.
Daft was born near Circleville and graduated from Teays Valley High
School. His military career began in January 1968, following his May
graduation. A Pershing Missile Guidance and Control Repairman, he served
two years with the 1/81st Field Artillery Battalion in Neu Ulm, Germany.
While he was on active duty, he felt he was being called to the ministry
and enrolled at Asbury College after his discharge. He attended Asbury
Theological Seminary and was ordained a United Methodist minister.
It was then that Daft also felt a call to be a military chaplain, and in
February 1979 he received a commission in the Ohio Army National Guard,
serving two weekends a month and two weeks a year. In March 1995 he was
appointed state chaplain by Brigadier Gen. John Martin.
A chaplain administers to the Armed Forces in uniform, insuring that
their First Amendment rights of free speech are protected, Daft said.
Chaplains are expected to accommodate religion practices of all types.
In April 2004, Daft was appointed by Major Gen. John Smith as the first
full-time state chaplain in the history of the Ohio Army National Guard.
As state chaplain, he had to be ready to travel anywhere to perform his
duties. For example, he spent five months in Washington, D.C.,
performing Active Duty Special Work, coming up with emergency response
practices for all 50 United States and four U.S. territories.
It was work that prepared the chaplains for the extreme demands of
Hurricane Katrina in August of last year. Daft traveled to the Super
Dome in New Orleans to supervise and assign the 64 chaplains arriving in
the devastated area. That meant getting up at 5 a.m. for days on end,
only to collapse into his sleeping bag about midnight each night.
"We slept on a chapel floor in a sleeping bag and my 56-year-old bones
were having a hard time doing that," Daft said.
As state chaplain, he was in charge of 40 other chaplains throughout
Ohio. He also had responsibility for military personnel returning from
deployment, assisting their families and assigning the chaplains under
his care to overseas duty, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
The latter, Daft said with tears in his eyes, was the hardest.
"I'd rather go myself," he said. "That is the hardest responsibility of
being the leader and a colonel."
Whether in military uniform or in the pulpit, Daft takes his leadership
responsibilities seriously. Another of his favorite authors is John
Maxwell, described by Daft as "the best ... quality leader in American
Daft says churches need to focus more on creating quality leaders.
"We ask people to do things in the church but we never train them," he
said. "We have to train people how to serve Christ."
He also hopes to empower his leaders by helping them "find their passions."
"You help them find their strengths, their passions, and then you
encourage them to follow those passions," he said.
MHUC may buy former medical offices
By CORINNE BIX
Memorial Hospital of Union County is offering $3.675 million to Memorial
Physicians Inc. for properties located at 388 Damascus Road and 660 London Ave.
The price, over the current appraised value, is a compromise of sorts in
the hopes of settling any outstanding disagreements between the hospital
and MPI and to help avoid possible future litigation and court costs.
A three-year-old appraisal estimates the fair market value for both
properties at $3.9 million dollars and the board approved a
do-not-exceed price of $3.9 million at a prior board meeting. A more
recent appraisal showed a fair market value of $2.95 million. In
addition it was estimated in April that the buildings were found to need
between $100,000 and $150,000 in capital improvements. Hubbs said the
two buildings' locations are worth the most to the hospital.
"They have a greater value to us because they sit in front of the
hospital and in front of The Gables at Green Pastures, " Hubbs said.
Both are county owned facilities. Hubbs said the hospital has received
approval from both the county commissioners and county prosecutor to
purchase the properties.
In a related issue, on or around late 2002/early 2003, the hospital
signed a lease guarantee with MPI stating that if the two properties
weren't fully occupied that the hospital would subsidize the vacancy.
Hubbs, who became CEO/President in March of 2004, explained that since
then, the hospital has been instructed by legal counsel that the lease
guarantee is unenforceable because the hospital which is a government
entity cannot legally subsidize the for-profit real estate group. Hubbs
said the hospital board is sympathetic to the MPI investors who believed
the lease agreement to be valid.
The hospital is in the process of hiring staff for the urgent care
center to open Sept. 1 as reported at Thursday's board of trustees
meeting. The center will be located at 1140 Charles Lane and operate
out of the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Inc. offices during evening
and weekend hours. An open house is set for Aug. 31 from 4 to 7 p.m.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss pending litigation
and trade secrets of a county hospital. No action was taken. In addition
a private non-public meeting of the Union County Health System members
followed the adjournment of the board meeting. Union County Health
System is a private non-for-profit organization.
The next board of trustees meeting will be Aug. 24 at 8 p.m.
In other news, the board:
. Approved the conclusion of provisional period for Joanna Williams, MD,
pathology, dept. of medicine, consulting
. Approved initial appointment of: Justin Krueger, MD, Internal
medicine/pediatric, dept. of medicine, active provisional; Neil Niemi,
MD, OB/GYN, dept. of surgery, active provisional; R. Mark Stover, DO,
orthopedics, dept. of surgery, courtesy provisional effective Aug. 1;
John Tzagournis, MD, gastroenterology, dept. of medicine, consulting provisional
. Approved committee reports for quality review, finance and joint conference.
. Approved a revision to minutes of the June 22 board of trustees
meeting in regard to the purchase of the two MPI real estate properties.
. Approved the policy for disaster utilization of non-licensed
independent practitioner (LIP) volunteers.
. Approved the United Way proposal for speech and hearing funds for 2007
from Randy Moore.
. Approved a capital expenditure reallocation of funds originally slated
for cardiology to Information Services for $124,941.36.
. Approved the core and non-core curriculum for the urgent care.
. Introduced Mary Walker as the new director of customer service.
Honda unveils new Acura SUV
By CINDY BRAKE
Imagine an "urban running back" with "athletic armor" in a "modern
downtown loft" with "a strong architectural feel."
Imagine SUV function with sedan image.
Honda associates did just that and created the "all-new turbocharged 2007 RDX."
News about the sport-luxury SUV was launched Thursday at the Marysville
Auto Plant. Media and area government officials got to see, hear about
and drive the first Acura light truck to be assembled in the Marysville
facility. The RDX is also the first time that an American engineer has
headed a Japanese development team in creating a new Acura vehicle,
states a press release.
The five-passenger RDX began rolling off an assembly line this week. It
officially goes on sale Aug. 10 with a manufacturer's suggested retail
price of $32,995. Estimated mileage is 19/24 mpg (city/highway).
With a console big enough to lock away a laptop computer and a trunk
that can handle two golf club bags or two bicycles, the "entry premium"
RDX is aimed at "high-energy urbanites that spend the work week in the
confines of the city and then decompress on the weekends by getting away from it all."
Associate Tim Grabor of Marysville, who is part of the model team that
saw the RDX from development to manufacturing and sales, said Thursday
that he is "very happy ... to get to this point is really special." He
is looking forward to finding out what the market thinks about the RDX.
"We want to be the best," Grabor said.
As a driver and regular customer, Grabor said he is most excited about
the vehicle's drive train and engine.
"It has outstanding performance ... feels like a sports sedan ... tuned
to deliver," he said.
Precedent-setting engineering features include Acura's first
turbocharged and intercooled engine plus the first adaptation of a
trademarked Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. It also offers
Acura's first standard 18-inch wheels and tires. Other features include
state-of-the-art communications, navigation and audio entertainment.
Honda of America Mfg. Inc. president Ako Hamada said the new Acura is
all about passion.
"Passion makes it unique," he said.
Appellate court will travel to Union County
From J-T staff reports:
Every few years, the Ohio Third District Court of Appeals travels to the
counties within its jurisdiction to offer students and community
residents an opportunity to view an oral argument session before the
Court. On Tuesday, the Court will travel to the Union County Courthouse,
Common Pleas Courtroom where the appellate judges will hear oral
arguments in two pending cases.
Appellate Judges Thomas F. Bryant (presiding), Robert R. Cupp and
Richard M. Rogers will hear the cases on that date. The court's fourth
judge is Stephen R. Shaw.
The oral argument session on will begin at 10 a.m. and run for
approximately one hour. Visitors planning to attend must be in their
seats before the arguments begin. A civil and a criminal case will be
heard, both originating from Union County.
In the civil case, Hall et al. v. Memorial Hospital of Union County, et
al., the judges will hear arguments on the denial of a motion for
summary judgment. At issue is whether the county hospital and its
employees are entitled to statutory immunity on claims relating to a
former employee's termination from employment. In the criminal case,
State v. Shoemaker, the defendant convicted in a jury trial appeals the
trial court's denial of her motion for acquittal as to the charges of
involuntary manslaughter and deception to obtain a dangerous drug.
After the oral arguments, at approximately 11 a.m., the judges will
conduct a question and answer session with audience members. The Court
will conclude its visit with a lunch hosted by the local bar association.
Alleged Burger King robbers indicted
From J-T staff reports:
A husband and wife who allegedly robbed a local Burger King at gunpoint
were indicted on Tuesday.
Dwanna S. Penix, 37, c/o the Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg,
was indicted for one first-degree felony aggravated robbery charge; one
fourth-degree felony safecracking charge; one fifth-degree felony
possessing criminal tools; and five second-degree felony kidnapping charges.
Husband John E. Cox, 35, c/o the Tri-County Regional Jail in
Mechanicsburg, was indicted on one first-degree felony aggravated
robbery charge; one fourth-degree felony safecracking charge; one
fifth-degree felony possessing criminal tools charge; and five
second-degree felony kidnapping charges.
According to Union County Prosecutor David Phillips, charges for
kidnapping were brought down because the couple used a weapon to order
five people in the Burger King store during their robbery to go into an office.
He said the charges refer to the specification of "restrain the liberty"
of another person which aided their crime.
Teen girl escapes from custody
Is later shocked by Taser and caught
From J-T staff reports:
A teenage girl reportedly escaped from custody Wednesday night, but was
Union County Sheriff's deputies responded to London Avenue at Memorial
Hospital of Union County at around 11:30 p.m. for a report that a female
juvenile inmate of the Central Ohio Youth Center had escaped from care
while being treated for unlisted reasons at the emergency room.
Sheriff's Lt. Jamie Patton reported this morning that the 17-year-old
female had fled from the hospital's observation room, where her
handcuffs had been removed and she was wearing a hospital gown.
Deputies and officers from the Marysville Police Department searched the
area for the female after her escape. A Marysville police bike patrol
officer eventually found the girl hiding behind a van at a home on Ninth
Street. She struggled with officers, who then used a Taser weapon in
order to get the handcuffs back on her.
Patton said the girl was taken back to the hospital where she was
released from the emergency room back to the Central Ohio Youth Center.
Charges are pending for escape and theft, after it was discovered the
girl had also stolen a cell phone from one of the guards.
Plain City under boil alert
From J-T staff reports:
Plain City residents are under a precautionary boil alert today after a
water line was damaged.
At 11 a.m. Wednesday, a construction crew working on the U.S. 42 bypass
bored a 5-foot-diameter hole into an unknown waterline that was buried
about six to seven feet deep. Water/Wastewater superintendent Pat
Hickman said prints did not show a waterline on an old abandoned
railroad crossing at Jefferson Avenue.
The village's water system - approximately half-a-million gallons - was
drained in 1 1/2 hours, Hickman said. Water reportedly flooded the
parking lots of Richwood Banking Company and McDonald's Restaurant.
Service was restored by 6 p.m. Private lots and streets are being cleaned today.
The village is currently under an "ongoing boil alert," Hickman said,
and the water conservation order has been lifted.
He added that the alert is precautionary and required by the
Environmental Protection Agency. The alert could be lifted by noon
Friday. Under the alert, residents are asked to boil any water that will
be used for drinking, cooking and making ice or baby formula.
Wednesday's major break followed another "nasty" water main break the
day before that had village crews working from 7 a.m. Tuesday to 2:30
a.m. Wednesday, Hickman said. On Wednesday a total of 12 men were
working on both water lines.
An exhausted Hickman said today that the cooperation of Ohio Edison and
Miller Pipeline has been appreciated in dealing with the problems.
In printed reports, Mayor Sandra Adkins said the village phones rang
most of the day with confused people wondering if they had forgotten to
pay their water bill.
Workers find ways to beat the heat
By NATALIE TROYER
As the heat blazes on, herds of youngsters swarm the local pool while
outdoor laborers seek shade and hydration.
Wearing a white baseball cap and sweat-soaked T-shirt, Clayton Rainey
said he's been feeling the effects, especially on Monday when
temperatures reached 89 degrees.
"I've been drinking at least a gallon of water a day," said the
54-year-old Ohio Department of Transportation employee who's been laying
asphalt on Route 245 all week.
Rainey, who works 10-hour days beginning at 6:30 a.m., has other
strategies for beating the heat.
"Sometimes I'll water down my hat or roll up my jean legs," he said.
"And I sit in the air-conditioned truck on my breaks."
Aside from drinking water and taking breaks, Leonard Ferrell said he
knows what his body needs to avoid heat exhaustion.
"I eat early in the morning before I go outside because the heat takes
my appetite away," said Ferrell, 45, who's been laying bricks for the
new McDonald's building on Route 31 all week.
He said he notices a change in his coworkers' attitudes and work ethic
with the high temperatures, too.
"Everybody gets a little cranky and irritated when it's hot," said
Ferrell, who works from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. He said
he gets two breaks per day.
One of his coworkers, Terry McElroy, was in need of
a rest by 11 a.m. Wednesday.
"This heat just wears you down is all," said Mcelroy, 52, as he smoked a
cigarette in the 88 degree weather. "I sweat a lot more than usual."
He and his eight coworkers went through ten gallons of water Tuesday.
Not everyone is fretting about the scorching sunshine, though.
Jackie Underwood, assistant manager of the Marysville Pool, said the
number of pool attendees has been up in the past several days. Sunday,
when temperatures peaked at 91 degrees, she said "people
were standing in line to get in."
Business is booming for others, as well.
Bob Titus, an employee at Printz Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in
Marysville said, "Probably 80 percent of the calls we've been getting
this week are from people wanting air conditioning units installed," he
said. "Particularly in apartment complexes."
While Chief Gary Johnson of the Marysville Fire Department said he
hasn't noticed an increase in heat-related injuries this week, he did
provide a few tips on how to keep cool and safe in hot weather.
"If you're participating in any outdoor activity, drink lots of water
and take frequent breaks," he said. "If it's extremely hot, and you have
no compelling reason to participate in an outdoor activity, then refrain
from doing so. And, as always, if somebody is ill or injured, call 911."
Maddie Frendberg said the soaring temperatures don't bother her at all.
"I get to come to the pool and the water is cold," said the 8-year-old
Wednesday right before she jumped off the low dive at the Marysville Pool.
Weekend temperatures will offer some relief, dipping into the low to mid-80s.
Triad board settles legal issue
Will receive $150,000 from architectural firm
By CORINNE BIX
It seems that the long and winding road leading to a legal settlement
does have an end and Triad schools are glad it's finally here.
On Monday evening the Triad School Board accepted the settlement
agreement with the architectural firm of Blunden, Barclay, and Robbie as
presented by district legal counsel, Jack Rosati of Bricker and Eckler,
LLP in the amount of $150,000.
In January 2004, the Triad school board authorized the law firm of
Bricker and Eckler to file suit against the firm that assessed the Triad
school building for the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) in
1999. OSFC hired Blunden, Barclay and Robbie to assess properties as
part of a state mandated-appraisal program. The original assessment of
$16 million for a new high school and renovation of two existing
buildings was given to the school district and dictated the amount put
on the ballot in November 1999.
After the issue passed, the construction manager and the Triad hired
architectural firm concluded that there were many costs not addressed in
the original assessment. These items totaling more that $5 million
included on-site sewage treatment, fire protection, a sanitary piping
upgrade, propane service loop and improvement of site circulation.
The district was forced to borrow $2.3 million in 2002 due to the
incomplete assessment and a decision by the board to locally fund other
areas not included in the scope of the original OSFC proposal.
"We are excited to simply have this lawsuit come to an end," Dan
Kaffenbarger, superintendent, said.
Kaffenbarger explained that the lawsuit was originally filed under a
tight time constraint. The district's legal counsel's hope was to
recover in a best case scenario $450,000. However, Rosati explained
during the discovery process it was determined that at best the district
could only recover $200,000 due to the fact that the district was
originally only responsible for funding 20 percent of the building and
Kaffenbarger said the board also looked to the outcome of a similar
lawsuit filed in 2003 by the Wellston City Schools in Jackson County
against another OSFC hired architectural firm as a result of errors in a
1998 assessment regarding the renovation of their elementary building.
The law firm of Bricker and Eckler also represented Wellston City Schools.
The Wellston case went to court and although the school district
triumphed it only recovered $56,000 which didn't even cover legal fees.
"I know when we started this 21/2 years ago this amount is less than we
originally anticipated," Kaffenbarger explained, "However based on the
fact that we would have spent a great deal more in legal fees to try the
case, the $150,000 settlement is in the best interest of the district
and we are going to realize more money this way then had we taken it to court."
The board ratified the contract for the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school
years concerning the wage and health insurance items in the contract
between the Triad Board of Education and the Ohio Association of Public
School Employees for July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2008.
The contract allows for a 1.25 percent wage increase for the first year
and a 3 percent increase for the second year. The board will also pick
up any insurance increases for the first year and any increases will be
shared equally between the board and the employee for the second year.
Kyle Huffman, high school principal, reported that a FCCLA team from the
high school competed in and received one of six medals awarded at the
FCCLA National Competition in Nashville, Tenn. The team included
students Kristen Ross, Tracey Boystel and Brittany May. May was unable
to make the trip to Nashville. The award-winning project focused on
The next board meeting will be Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. in the modular boardroom.
In other news, the board:
. Approved consolidated continuous improvement plan for fiscal year 2007
as presented by the superintendent.
. Approved a one-year contract for Diana Ferguson as first grade teacher
for the 2006-2007 school year
. Approved a one-year contract for Amanda Goodwin as social studies
teacher for the 2006-2007 school year
. Approved the resignation of Amanda Goodwin as one seventh social
studies teacher for the 2006-2007 school year.
. Approved supplemental positions: Roxie Nauman, eighth grade tour
organizer; Liz Carder, junior class advisor and assistant volleyball
coach; and Harry Alltop, middle school football coach.
. Approved membership with the Ohio Coalition of Equity and Adequacy for
the 2006-2007 school year.
. Accepted the resignation of Debbi Castle as middle school cook.
Township will seek levy to continue PSO program
By RYAN HORNS
Millcreek Township trustees recently announced they will place a levy on
the November ballot to continue the local Public Safety Officer Program.
During the July 7 trustee meeting members unanimously agreed to pursue
the levy and set out to inform residents of the benefits the PSO program provides.
"The trustees believe the PSO program is very important for our
community," trustee Keith Conroy said.
He said that the Millcreek Township trustees agreed to place a levy on
the November ballot for police protection payable in 2007 with a tax
rate not to exceed 3.3 mills. The funds would go directly to support
Millcreek Township's share of up to five PSOs to patrol the area for the
next five years.
Union County Auditor Mary Snider said the levy is expected to raise
about $113,000 per year for the PSO program and will cost the owner of a
$100,000 home roughly $100 in annual real estate tax.
Conroy said the Millcreek Township trustees are committed to collect
less than 3.3 mills if the full amount is not needed to support the PSO program.
They also agreed to continue with the same PSO cost-sharing agreement
with Jerome Township.
He explained that Union County originally received federal grants to
help create the Public Safety Officer Program.
The grants helped place cross-trained officers in local communities
lacking full-time police and fire departments. But the federal grant
funding was set to decrease gradually until townships would eventually
be paying the full cost. That time has come.
The cost of the PSO officers was split between the townships
participating in the program and the county, Conroy said.
A few years into the program, Millcreek and Jerome created a PSO
district to share the cost of the officers between the two townships. It
allowed for greater coverage, in addition to being more cost effective.
"Due to federal grants now expiring, the township cannot support the
program through our general revenue fund alone," Conroy said. "I believe
for the townships, where houses are further apart, the first responders
to an emergency are key for the health and safety of the residents. In
many cases it is the PSOs who are able to arrive on the scene of an
emergency first, thereby making the difference between life and death."
Union County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Tom Morgan said that throughout the
history of the PSO program in the Millcreek/Jerome township areas, PSOs
have been needed in many serious crime and medical emergencies. The
officers nabbed a residential burglary suspect hiding in a soybean field
on State Road and seized more than $280,000 in drugs from a bust on
At the time it was the largest recorded drug seizure in Union County.
Morgan said PSOs were even able to respond first to a fatal crash,
driving one of the injured victims to the hospital for care.
Conroy said the feeling among trustees was that most of the residents in
Millcreek Township support keeping PSOs in the area.
"They like the fact that these officers are trained not only to be
police officers, but are also trained firemen, as well as EMS and
medical safety personnel," Conroy said. "They can help work a fire hose,
perform on-the-scene emergency medical services, in addition to keeping
our roads safe."
Storms cause power outage
From J-T staff reports:
A severe thunderstorm yesterday caused the interruption of electricity
to more than 2,400 homes and businesses served by
Union Rural Electric Cooperative.
URE members, including the businesses in Coleman's Crossing, were
without power from 4:50 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. The storm produced severe
lightning which damaged equipment at URE's Watkins substation. Rick
Shortell, vice president of business development, said in a press
release that the storm caused additional scattered outages,
most around Leeper-Perkins Road.
The high heat and humidity that the area is experiencing is causing high
demands for electricity.
URE members are encouraged during these hot days to shift activities
such as laundry and cooking to hours other than those between 4 p.m. and
8 p.m. This helps the Cooperative avoid additional costs in what it pays
for wholesale power.
NU may break ties with Coalition
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
With a new elementary and a high school addition completed and a new
middle school coming, the North Union School Board may be dropping
membership with the organization that helped make it possible.
The board voted 2-2, with board president Jon Hall absent, on a motion
to renew membership in the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of
School Funding. Board members Kevin Crosthwaite and Don Tumeo voted
against the measure while Bryan Bumgarner and Dennis Hall voted for it.
The tie means the issue failed.
The Coalition is credited for filing the landmark DeRolph Case in 1991
which led to school funding reform when the court ruled in favor of the
plaintiff in 1997, and again in 2001 and 2002.
"The mission of the Coalition is to secure high quality educational
opportunities for all Ohio school children without diminishing
opportunities for students who reside in high capacity districts," the
Coalition Web site says.
Part of the change brought about by the DeRolph case was the inception
of the Ohio School Facilities Commission Expedited Local Partnership
Program. This program allowed school districts to construct new
buildings taking advantage of state-matched dollars.
The new North Union Elementary School as well as the addition to the
high school have been built with money secured by the program. A new
middle school planned in the future will also take advantage of the program.
Crosthwaite, who has voted against renewed membership in the past, said
he believes the Coalition has accomplished its goal with the victory in
the DeRolph case. He said state officials have come to the table with
money for districts across the state and he feels the Coalition now
lacks a clear objective.
"It's kind of like they will never be happy," Crosthwaite said.
He added that the cost of 50 cents per pupil was not a determining
factor in the decision, but saving every penny helps with district finances.
Incoming NU superintendent Richard Smith Jr. said he is unsure what
ramifications will come from the lapsing membership in the Coalition. He
said he would research the topic to learn those answers.
Outgoing North Union superintendent Carol Young, who has worked closely
with the Coalition, said she feels like the district has received the
benefits of the group and is now jumping ship. She noted that North
Union has been a member of the Coalition since its inception.
"I almost feel like a traitor," Young said.
Young said the district will see the benefits of the Coalition's
lobbying efforts, however it will not be allowed to provide input to
help guide the group.
Young said that the Coalition's efforts are not complete simply because
the DeRolph case is settled, though they are less visible. She said the
group continues to work with the legislature to find a school funding
formula that provides better parity for districts which do not have a
wealthy tax base.
The issue could come back for a vote at a future board meeting.
In other business, the board:
.Learned that investment earnings for the year should top $371,000.
.Learned that the football stadium bleacher project should
be completed by July 28.
.Acknowledged the work of members on the district's six strategic
.Voted to revise the administrative salary schedule for some district officials.
.Approved the realignment of the Tri-Rivers Career Center Board of
Education to transfer representation for the seat currently held from
the Delaware-Union ESC to the North Central Ohio ESC.
.Voted to award high school diploma's to Joshua Lutz and Marcus Taylor.
.Accepted the resignations of Joseph Jude from his administrative
contract, Natalie Loose from her teaching and supplemental contracts and
Teresa Baker from her classified contract as a bus driver.
.Set compensation for administrators.
.Voted to employ several certificated and non-certificated applicants
for supplemental contracts. Tumeo voted no on the contracts for the
non-certificated individuals, noting that he did not believe the
assistant football coaches had enough experience.
Fairbanks loses board member
By KARLYN BYERS
Fairbanks School Board members accepted the resignation of board member
Sherry Shoots Monday night during their regular monthly meeting.
According to superintendent Jim Craycraft, Shoots said that her decision
had been made after serious consideration and that she thought her time
would be better spent with her family.
Craycraft said this morning that Shoots was "a good citizen for the
community" and she represented the board well.
"The board certainly appreciates everything she's done," he said. "She's
been a very positive board member."
Her resignation was effective July 11. The district is now accepting
applications to fill Shoots' vacancy. Resumes and a letter explaining
why the candidate seeks the board position should be submitted to the
district office no later than Aug. 4.
Board members also heard from Dustin Francis, Joe Hackney and Mac Hill
regarding the varsity baseball coach position held by Barry Keith.
Community members and players also spoke on Keith's behalf at the June
school board meeting after they learned that assistant coach and high
school intervention specialist Richard Rausch was interested in Keith's job.
"You guys are making the biggest mistake if you change coaches," said
Francis, a paid assistant varsity coach during the 2005-2006 school year.
Francis and Hackney both spoke of the "life lessons" Keith has taught
those playing under his leadership. Hackney presented board members with
more than 200 signatures supporting Keith.
Hackney also presented board members with a sample policy which he said
they could adopt, effectively changing Fairbanks' compliance to Ohio
Revised Code 3313.53 which says that if a licensed faculty member in a
school system desires a coaching position, he or she has the first
opportunity as long as he or she has a background in the sport.
If no such person exists, a licensed teacher outside the school system
who also has a background in the sport may be considered. Barring that,
community members and people outside of the school district receive the
Hackney said he had talked with Ohio Representative Tony Core recently
and Core "cautiously agreed with me" that it was the board's option to
enact its own policy regarding preference given a faculty member.
Craycraft said this morning the board already has such a policy in place.
"If you look at just the law the law is pretty specific," Craycraft
said. "But as in most cases, the board may write its own policy. The law
says 'qualified,' but board policy says 'most qualified.'"
"We already have the policy in place for the board to choose the best
candidate. The board is going to go after who they feel is the best (choice)."
Craycraft also said the Collective Bargaining Agreement says that staff
members need to be considered.
Hill said at Monday's board meeting that any decision made by the board
could have far-reaching consequences, not only on the baseball program
but also on the school soccer program, which also is coached by a person
in a non-faculty position.
Hill handed board members three sheets listing all the improvements made
to the high school baseball program under Keith's tenure. They included
everything from "repaired and improved fencing on batting cage," to
"worked with Dugout Club to purchase bleachers," and "teams outside of
league refused to play at Fairbanks due to inadequate facilities." He
also listed the 2002 season record which tied for the most wins ever in
Fairbanks' history. That year the team made it to the district final
four and ranked in the top four in the Central District.
Now, according to Hill's printout, the baseball program is successful
enough that sufficient players should allow the creation of a junior varsity team.
Craycraft said the board will not make a decision until August.
In other business, the board:
.Accepted the resignation of elementary teacher Laura Young effective
the end of the 2005-2006 school year.
.Employed Rick Davis as middle school football coach for
the 2006-2007 school year.
.Approved an unpaid leave of absence for Pam Hammond during the
2006-2007 school year for the birth of a child due Oct. 1. Hammond plans
to return for the 2007-2008 school year.
.Approved Lori Phelps as Standing Request Substitute Teacher for the
2006-2007 school year with no expectation of renewal.
.Approved the disposal of more than 150 elementary media books because
they contain outdated material or are duplicate copies that are in very
poor condition. Books in decent condition will be available to pupils
and given to charity.
.Adjourned into executive session to discuss personnel. No action was taken.
Rite Aid robbed
From J-T staff reports:
A man claiming he had a gun robbed the Marysville Rite Aid pharmacy
Monday afternoon and escaped with prescription drugs.
According to police reports, a male suspect entered the pharmacy in the
800 block of Delaware Avenue at around 4:08 p.m.
Reports state that the man "demanded OxyContin and stated he was
carrying a firearm."
The suspect was described by Rite Aid employees as a white male with a
dark complexion, with short curly hair and a full beard. He was wearing
blue jeans and a white t-shirt.
This morning Marysville Police reported an undetermined amount of
OxyContin was stolen and the man fled the store. The drug, also known on
the street as "Hillbilly Heroin," is a prescription time-released pain reliever.
The robbery is currently under investigation.
Jerome officials deal with BZA actions
By CINDY BRAKE
The Jerome Township Board of Trustees righted two wrongs at Monday's
Trustees Bob Merkle, Andy Thomas and Ron Rhodes voted unanimously to
refund two $1,000 application fees to township residents who had applied
for Board of Zoning Appeals for a variances.
After a 70-minute executive session with Union County Prosecuting
Attorney David Phillips and his assistant Terry Hord, the trustees
returned to open session and said they had been advised that the
township's board of zoning appeals had acted inappropriately twice. BZA
members are chairperson Jeanette Harrington, Lou Bedford, Bill Milesky,
Robert Seely and Scott Sonnenberg. Clair Jane Smith is an alternate.
"We had no choice but to be fair to the people," Rhodes said.
The trustees said Phillips had advised them that the BZA did not have
authority to request one applicant to withdraw his variance. In the
other situation, the trustees said the BZA had denied an applicant due process.
"This is not how we want to treat residents of the township," Merkle said.
At a previous meeting, Thomas pointed out that the BZA had expended $960
and wasted five hours of a man's time with no decision.
"The whole meeting was inappropriately handled," Thomas said Monday.
In a turn of events, developer Paul Phillips asked the board to
reconsider and vacate the June 19 approval for the Cambrian Development.
The board had unanimously approved a planned unit development for
approximately 76.4 acres located at 10045 Brock Road and 9346 Industrial
Parkway, Plain City. Proposed density is 1.75 units per acre and is
entirely residential with 13.12 acres of open space for parks,
playground and other open space uses.
At that hearing, Phillips had said he planned to build a roundabout and
local activist Jessie Dickinson said he did not intend on submitting a
referendum. Since then, Phillips said Union County engineer Steve Stolte
has written a letter supporting the roundabout concept and Dickinson has
begun the referendum process. A new hearing is set for Aug. 21 when
Phillips will resubmit his plan with the roundabout included.
"We've all spent a lot of time and money to get to this point," Phillips said.
In other business, the trustees:
. Agreed to compensate township board members and employees who attend
the AIA Columbus Livable Communities Roundtable I - Debating Density on
Wednesday. Officials will be paid their regular meeting rate.
. Appropriated funds for payment of general legal counsel in addition to
the Union County Prosecutor's Office. Merkle estimated the total cost
will be less than $1,000 and be used primarily for a hearing officer.
. Agreed to mail the Jerome Township Journal to all households in the
township at a cost of $700.
. Agreed to purchase a sign for the Pleasant Hill Cemetery at a cost of $709.
. Approved the transfers of approximately $9,000 for a new heating and
air condition unit at the township hall.
Jon Alder takes aim at bad check writers
By CORINNE BIX
The Jonathan Alder School district discussed ways to curtail bad checks
during Monday's regular meeting.
Treasurer Janis Thom explained that the district received 27 bad checks
over the last year - up from 14 the year before. She presented several
ways to combat a problem, explaining that the increase might be due in
part to the cafeteria debit system, which was recently introduced.
The debit system allows parents to create cafeteria accounts for their
student. The accounts can be accessed by entering a code. Most parents
deposit money into these accounts via check.
Carpenter said aside from this problem, the debit system has been a
successful program by allowing the district to track state mandated
statistics that eventually determine per student ratio funding on the state level.
Another issue that contributes to the problem is when coaches and
advisors inadvertently hold onto student checks for team/organizational
fees, field trips and fund-raisers.
Thom said that at this time the district doesn't charge a fee for
returned checks. She presented the board with information from
E-Collect, collections agency. The agency claims they have a 99 percent
success rate. She has spoken to several districts in Ohio that have
utilized E-Collect and all of the feedback was positive.
The board asked that Thom create a standard form letter informing those
that have written bad checks to resolve the matter within a 48-hour
period before further action is taken and a fee is incurred.
Board members also agreed that coaches and advisors needed to be
reminded that checks need to be brought to the main office in a timely
manner. The board also asked for more information on how much is charged
per check returned by E-Collect before a final decision is made whether
or not to use the collections agency. Thom said to her knowledge the
agency charged a $30 flat fee per check but she would double check.
The board approved 98 students for open enrollment for the 2006-2007
school year. Carpenter said this was the first year that the district
had to turn more than a few students down. He said there was close to 12
ninth grade students on the waiting list. Carpenter said the high number
of freshman is more than likely due to establishing athletic eligibility in the district.
The board will meet for a work session on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 8:30 a.m.
to discuss routine matters as they prepare for the upcoming school year,
including new staffing needs, district goals and the budget.
Carpenter said in the event the property tax levy doesn't pass on Aug.
1, the board will use the work session to start finalizing budget cuts.
The district has an emergency property tax levy of 5.9 mills on the August ballot.
Dr. John Adams, board member, reported on facilities. The field house
lockers are being installed along with work on irrigation for the athletic fields.
James Phillips, board member, reported on the Tolles Technical and
Career Center. At the June board meeting at Tolles, a number of
textbooks were adopted and a universal uniform was approved for all students.
Phillips also reported that the Tolles board approved a new teacher for
the culinary arts program which will facilitate the expansion of food
services at the center.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss the appointment,
dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion or compensation of a public
employee. No action was taken. The next regular board meeting
will be on Aug. 14 at 7 p.m.
In other news, the board:
. Approved the employment of Emilie Schmid as an
elementary teacher at Monroe.
. Approved Mike Baird as high school summer physical
education teacher for 2006-2007
. Approved an increase to Wendy Hall's contract from its current level
(.55) to full time as high school science teacher.
. Approved the following positions: Ashley Craig - winter cheerleading
advisor; Shannon Gatsch - JV volleyball coach; Gwen Troyer - freshman
volleyball coach; Chris Cooper - assistant girls soccer coach;
Brian Stoker - paint crew
. Approved the financial report for June 2006.
. Agreed to advertise for bus bids.
. Approved the list of open enrollment students as verified with the
. Approved the state-mandated student wellness policy.
. Heard the second readings of the following policies: school district
credit and purchasing cards; telephone services; expense reimbursement.
. Approved request by Jim Albanese for his son Tyler to attend the high
school under the open enrollment/child of an employee policy.
Buerger in last week as MR/DD head
From J-T staff reports:
Jerry L. Buerger is retiring as superintendent of the Union County Board
of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities program Friday.
"The ability to touch the lives of thousands of individuals and families
that helped make a difference in their road to community independence is
something I will always cherish," Buerger said in a press release.
Kim Miller will replace Buerger as superintendent of the local program.
He was extended a two-year contract on April 17. Miller holds bachelor
and master degrees in special education from Bowling Green State
University and has 28 years of experience in the field of developmental
disabilities. He has worked as a superintendent of the Hardin County
MR/DD program and six years as a consultant with numerous statewide
organizations including the Ohio Association of County Boards of MR/DD.
Miller was selected from 18 applicants after a four-month search
conducted by a Dublin Management Group.
Buerger lists the following as his proudest moments:
. Advocating for services for people with developmental disabilities
. Developing cutting-edge programs in Ohio by implementing and
designing effective policies and procedures, recruiting and training
highly qualified staff
. Being selected a torch bearer for Union County for
the l996 Atlanta Summer Games
Under disappointments, Buerger cites the inability of the Union Co.
MR/DD and Children's Inc. to forge an effective partnership in
developing a program for typical children and those individuals with
disabilities. However, he noted that "construction resulted in a much
needed day care program for typical children and their families."
Buerger lists the following biggest challenges for the future of
services in Ohio:
. Funding at the federal, state, and local level
. New state of Ohio Administration
. Tangible Property Tax - Buerger explained that Tax Increment
Financing in Union County will result in lost revenue of $2 million
dollars in the next five years
Buerger is a graduate of the University of Findlay with a bachelor of
science degree in science and physical education. He obtained his
masters degree in administration at the University of Toledo.
With aspirations of teaching science at the junior high level, Buerger
taught as a substitute teacher in the Kenton City Schools before moving
into special education at the Hancock MR/DD Program as an adaptive
physical education instructor.
During this time, he also started the local Special Olympics program and
served as a volunteer coach in basketball, bowling, track and field and
swimming. Six of his athletes went on to compete at International
Special Olympics Games in basketball, swimming, bowling and track and field.
Following an eight-year tenure in Findlay, Buerger worked as a principal
and transportation supervisor at Marimor School in the Allen County
MR/DD for three years. He assisted the program in its first Ohio
Department of MR/DD PREP Review.
In 1987, Buerger became superintendent of the Union County MR/DD
program. During this time, he also served for two and a half years as
interim superintendent of the Hardin County MR/DD.
Under his leadership, the Union County MR/DD received CARF accreditation
at Worknet, a three to five-year Ohio Department of MR/DD accreditation
with accommodations, passed 11 of 13 countywide levy campaigns and
achieved wide recognition around the state for innovative programming
and policy practices.
In addition to his career posts he has been involved in numerous
field-related and service/civic organizations including:
. Involvement with the Special Olympics Ohio Program for 30 years
including currently serving on the board of directors
. Member of the West Central Ohio Network including being past treasurer
. Care Train of Union County board of directors, 17 years
. Former board of trustees member for the Ohio County Boards
Association, 4 years
. Former member of the Union County United Way and Chamber of Commerce Boards
. Charter member of the Rotary Club of Marysville
. Member of the Marysville Kiwanis Club
. Member of the Ohio Association of Superintendent's County Board
Association, including being a Region 2 alternate representative
Buerger will continue to reside in Union County and work as a consultant.
"I appreciate all of the support of Union County over the years in
allowing the mission of our program to continue meeting the special
needs of citizens of Union County. I would like to encourage everyone to
continue that level of support in the future to enable persons with
disabilities to become tax-paying citizens and members of the community.
What a rewarding career I have had," Buerger said.
Local pastor injured in motorcycle crash
From J-T staff reports:
A local pastor was critically injured in a motorcycle crash Friday night
in Dover Township.
According to Ohio State Highway patrol Marysville Post reports, Martyn
S. Scheckler, 46, of 10900 Leeper Perkins Road remains in critical
condition today at Ohio State University Hospital's Surgical Intensive
Care Unit. Sheckler is a pastor at Marysville Christian Church.
On Friday at 11:20 p.m. Sheckler was driving his motorcycle eastbound on
County Home Road at Waldo Road when a dog ran across the road.
He struck the dog and lost control of his bike, which caused him to
overturn and was ejected into a ditch nearby. He was not wearing a helmet.
The dog was reportedly killed on impact.
City releases results of retreat
By RYAN HORNS
A month and a half ago city administrators and council members met for a
two-day strategic planning retreat at the northern Ohio Sawmill Creek
Resort. On June 30 the results of that meeting were released.
During Thursday night's Marysville City Council meeting the minutes of
the retreat were approved by members.
According to retreat minutes, the event focused on combining the goals
between Marysville City Council and administration as they prepare to
handle future city growth. Discussions on development, challenges,
finding a common vision and objectives were held.
"It became clear that communication - between these two groups as well
as with the public - was first among the important issues needing
attention," the minutes stated.
"The fruits of that (meeting) have already been born," City
Administrator Kathy House said earlier this week.
She explained that by taking the meetings out of the city it ensured
staff would "have dedicated time to give to the process" of strategic
planning. In Marysville they would have more opportunity to slip away or
Minutes show that the staff goals were to begin discussions on a
combined action plan, then back at home create the action steps they
should take to follow through.
One result of the retreat was creating a new vision statement for
Marysville: "The safe, friendly hometown where families and economic
opportunity grow together. We are committed to community pride, healthy
families, well-planned neighborhoods and a vibrant economy."
Participating in the Huron retreat were Marysville City Council members
John Gore, David Burke, Dan Fogt, John Marshall, Mark Reams, Leah
Sellers and Clerk Connie Patterson. City administrators participating
included Mayor Tom Kruse, Law Director Tim Aslaner, Public Service
Director Tracie Davies, Human Resource Manager Brian Dostanko, Police
Chief Floyd Golden, Fire Chief Gary Johnson, Finance Director John
Morehart, Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director Eric
Phillips, City Engineer Phil Roush and Director of Administration House.
The retreat was facilitated by Karl Runser and Robert Gordon, of the
Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University.
Morehart reported that the city spent a total of $7,621 on the retreat.
The two facilitators were paid $4,354 of that cost, leaving $3,072 which
went toward the cost of hotel rooms and meals, then an additional $195
went toward gasoline. A sunset boat cruise on Lake Erie was also
planned, but canceled. The cruise was set to be paid for without using
city funds, Morehart said, but never occurred. City council unanimously
passed a resolution in April allowing up to $9,000 to be spent on the retreat.
House said subcommittees were formed during the retreat to further
discuss themes back at home such as: communication, infrastructure,
planning, economic development and finance. Many of those subcommittees
have already met. House said the meetings are not open to the public and
no minutes will be made available about what has been discussed.
She said the results of the subcommittees will be spoken about when the
full group of council and administrators meet again sometime in August.
House confirmed that the next meeting will be held in Marysville,
instead of a resort.
Hospital, doctors honored
From J-T staff reports:
Memorial Hospital of Union County along with local
gynecologists/obstetricians Dr. Frank Raymond and Dr. Norman Raymond
were recognized at a Thursday breakfast for making a difference in
health care by a Columbus business journal.
Business First recognized Memorial Hospital with the employer award and
the Raymonds with the provider award. A total of 90 applications were
received for five categories that include employer, innovator, manager,
community outreach and provider. This was the first year for the awards.
Specifically, Memorial Hospital's dedication to employee health and
benefits programming was recognized. For nearly 10 years, the hospital
has offered a Working on Wellness or WOW program to encourage employees
to keep health and fitness part of their daily routines. In 2005, the
program was expanded with health risk appraisals and insurance discounts
"A lot of organizations, particularly a lot of hospitals, have health
centers and try to encourage people to work out and offer them
incentives to do it," remarks Chip Hubbs, President/CEO of Memorial.
"But we've put together a formalized program where there are resources
to help people achieve their wellness goals and incentivized by tying in
deductions for health insurance."
The Raymonds of Marysville Obstetrics and Gynecology, Inc. were
recognized for their dedication to not only their patients in seven
counties, but also for their international reach.
Combined the Raymonds have delivered more than 10,000 babies at Memorial
Hospital. They have offices in Marysville and Urbana. In addition, the
pair have been awarded full professorship at Ohio University. With that
position, they welcome medical students into their practice to complete
their training in the OB/GYN specialty.
Through their service on behalf of the Salvation Army, Dr. Norman
Raymond traveled to New York City in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001
terrorist attacks to provide medical support at Ground Zero.
Nine years ago, the two brothers teamed up with a Cleveland cardiologist
and Westerville OB/GYN to provide medical care in the aftermath of
Hurricane Mitch in Honduras. Since then, they have visited the Central
American country annually delivering medical services to nearly 3,000
people in one week.
Sponsors of the 2006 Health Care Heroes Awards Program include Fifth
Third Bank, Health Design Plus, Schottenstein Zox & Dunn Co., LPA and
association partner, the Columbus Medical Association Foundation.
City has nearly all easements
When final one is secured, sewer plant plans can move forward
By RYAN HORNS
Marysville is only one easement away from finishing plans for its future
wastewater treatment plant projects.
City council approved a total of eight easements in the process of
clearing a path for the Trunk Interceptor Sewer Line, connecting the
current Wastewater Treatment Facility to the future Marysville
Wastewater Reclamation Facility. The ordinances consist of temporary and
permanent easements the city has acquired from landowners.
During Thursday night's meeting, councilman Dan Fogt asked Marysville
Mayor Tom Kruse where the city stands on purchasing the last of the
easements and ending that process of the future plant.
"Are there any more to work on?" Fogt said.
City Law Director Tim Aslaner said the city only needs to complete the
purchase of one more easement.
"It's not easy," Aslaner said. "But we're working on it."
He said the difficulties lie in the fact that the property for the
easement has multiple owners. Most of the recent easement issues have
been settled in court.
At the June 22 council meeting, members appropriated $160,614 toward 14
easements for the Trunk Interceptor Sewer line project. Kruse also
announced that bids would be opening on the wastewater treatment plant
project on July 12.
City finance director John Morehart reported at that meeting how the
city was going to switch projects and focus on building the new
wastewater plant first, instead of the Trunk Interceptor Project. It
just made sense to get started on one of the projects, instead of
waiting for the easements to be resolved. The future wastewater building
in Millcreek Township will cost $95 million and is scheduled to be an 8
million gallon per day facility. It should have no need for upgrades for
another seven years after construction.
In other discussions, economic development director Eric Phillips
reported that the Uptown Renewal Team was able to raise $5,000 from the
private sector through activities such as the Third Friday events. In
addition, URT was approved to receive a $2,370 grant from the Ohio Arts
Council in support of improving Marysville's historic districts.
Phillips also said that the Union County Chamber of Commerce applied to
"Ohio Magazine" to be listed as one of "Ohio's Best Hometowns."
He said a local committee has worked on a compilation book, which
details all the best attributes of Marysville. A total of five Ohio
regions will be listed, with a hometown highlighted in each one. If
chosen, Marysville would represent the Central Ohio region.
In other news:
. The first reading was held on an ordinance to rezone 6.4 acres of land
on Route 4 from Office Residential to Suburban Residential.
The issue brought out some criticism from council members. Months
earlier potential developers of that land brought in a plan and promised
to stick to it.
"Here we are looking at a change already," councilman Mark Reams said.
Planning Commission member Ken Kraus said the new ordinance would ensure
that no developers can come in, buy the property in that area, tear the
houses down and put up apartments.
"We should have done this the first time," councilman John Marshall
said. "Frankly, I think we got duped."
He thanked planning commission for its work in resolving the issue.
. Council held the second reading and public hearing on appropriating
$88,360 for the purchase of software upgrades for city financial
computer systems and the purchase of police speed monitoring radar
equipment and mobile police radar units.
A separate ordinance asked for $444,800 for the construction of a new
salt barn, the paving of city parking lots and concrete panel
installations for certain railroad crossings within the city.
The ordinances are up for third and final readings at the July 27 city
. Kruse said that the Marysville Municipal Pool would be holding an
invitational swim meet on Saturday. He said it could create potential
traffic and parking issues in that area. Because of this, the city has
made arrangements for additional public parking at WECU Credit Union,
Connolly Construction and at the nearby Catholic church. Marysville
residents are asked to use these areas to allow for the swim meet
traffic to access the pool parking areas. The meet is expected to be
over by 4 p.m.
Honda R&D goes green
By CINDY BRAKE
The walls may be gray but the building is green, green, green with a big
ice cube below.
Building 10 at the Honda Research and Development central plant is the
first facility in Ohio to be presented the Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design gold certification.
"A green building is healthy, energy efficient and a pleasure to be in,"
said Elaine Barnes, executive director of the Cleveland Green Building
Coalition Thursday morning. Certification, on average, takes two years
and is based on a 26 to 69-point scale conducted by a third party.
Barnes said a small portion of applicants reach the gold level.
"This is a benchmark set in Ohio," she said.
From the toilet to the roof, the building was designed with the
environment in mind.
Rain water is used to flush the building's low-flow toilet, reducing
water usage by 46.83 percent. And to mitigate the heat island effect,
the building's roof is a stark white thermoplastic polyolefin membrane.
Steel is recycled and the building's base is recycled pulverized concrete.
Another factor in planning the 14,400-square foot, "green" building was
the decision to purchase 73 percent of materials within a 500-mile
radius to reduce truck traffic emissions.
One of the more unique features of the building is an eight-foot deep
pit that measures 30 by 60 feet where 40,000 gallons of water is frozen
during off-peak utility hours when the temperature is cooler. Chillers
cool a salt-based solution down to 22 degrees Fahrenheit and it is then
circulated through coils in the water pit, causing ice to form on the
outside of the coils.
"This ice making system is a much more efficient and less costly way to
provide cooling and has the capacity to cool additional buildings in the
future," states Allen Bickel, senior engineer.A 1,200 kilowatt,
emergency power generator is fueled in part by bio-diesel, a plant-based
renewable resource. Emissions are reduced up to 75 percent when compared
to petroleum-based diesel.
Planning to become a green building began before construction started in
2004, said Louise Schlatter of the architectural firm SSOE Inc. The
building was completed in 2005.
Charles Allen, senior vice president/general manager of Honda R&D
Americas, said Thursday during the award presentation that Honda didn't
build a green building to win awards, but to be good stewards of the
environment. He listed other decisions the company has made to reduce
environmental impact. For example, in October the company began shipping
discarded food and coffee grounds from the cafeteria to a local
composting facility. As a result, about 12 tons per year of solid waste
is being recycled instead of going to landfill.
Recycling has also been made easier and more convenient for all
associates. For instance, all associates were given a water bottle and
travel mug to reduce use of disposable cups and bottles. In the fiscal
year that ended in March, Honda R&D doubled the amount of recycled
office materials and reduced waste to landfill by 11 percent.
Tony Core, a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, added that
being environmentally friendly is good business ? good economics and
good for the environment.
"This is a really neat project," Core said.
The Union County building apparently will not be the only green building
for Honda. A new Acura Design Studio is planned in Torrance, Calif.
"Building green facilities is another important part of Honda's
environmental commitment and our effort to be a company that society
wants to exist," said Hirohide Ikeno, president of Honda R&D Americas
Inc. "This is a great honor to receive this plaque and certification."
Steam Show begins today
By NATALIE TROYER
Clad in jean overalls and steel toed boots, the men boast about their
tractors and tell stories of days past.
For them, this weekend marks one of the most anticipated events of the
year - the Steam Threshers. It's four whole days of awing over antique
tractors, gawking at equipment they wished was theirs, and feasting on
German fried bologna and homemade ice cream.
"I've been coming to this since 1972," said Doug Obert, 52, who has
served on the board of directors for the event for 15 years. "It never gets old."
Held in Pastime Park, in Plain City, and open to the public, the 57th
annual Miami Valley Steam Threshers steam show and reunion kicked off
this morning at 10 a.m.
This year, the event is featuring a display of 25 rare and unique
tractors and horse-drawn equipment, such as bandwagons, covered wagons,
town coaches, and hearses from the 1800s and early 1900s.
The display features a 40-foot long horse-drawn fire truck, a vegetable
wagon and a Yellowstone National Park wagon, built in 1905, that was
used to take people on 2, 3, or 4-day tours of the park in the early 1900s.
The oldest item is an 1880 child's hearse, said Willi Green, 72, of
Orient, who owns all of the rare and unique tractors and equipment.
Aside from the display, Obert said people can check out a variety of
tractor pulls, such as the mid-season classic tractor/truck pull
Saturday night, scale tractor pull Sunday morning, and kiddie tractor
pull Sunday afternoon.
He said there will also be special demonstrations throughout the
weekend, such as wheat threshing, corn shelling and wood shingle making.
"There's also an operating sawmill where people can actually see lumber
being sawed," said Tim Calvin, 41, of Radoner, also on the board of directors.
Obert estimated that a total of 11 steam engines and 400 tractors would
be featured on the park's grounds this weekend. Most of the tractors, he
said, were built in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, while the oldest steam
engine on the grounds was built in 1907.
For youngsters, a variety of games and activities will be held Friday
and Saturday at 1:30 p.m., such as bubble gum blowing, a fishing pond
and water balloon races. And for those who like folk and gospel music,
Jim Greer and The Mac-Ochee Valley Folks Blue Grass and Gospel Music
band will perform Friday at 8 p.m.
A favorite event among attendees is the grand parade, held Friday at 6
p.m. in downtown Plain City, which will feature a variety of the
tractors and equipment seen on the grounds, Obert said. The total route
for the parade is approximately two miles long.
For those who might not be interested in tractors and equipment, there's
always flea market shopping and "lots of good food," Obert said, noting
that the kettle corn and fried bologna are among his favorites.
And there's also the steam engine spark show, held each evening at 10
p.m., where cinders are blown up in the air to simulate a fireworks show.
The Steam Threshers steam show and reunion began in 1949 at the farm of
Elmer Egbert in Anna, where it was held for five years. The event has
since been held in Greenville, Bellefontaine, Mechanicsberg, Urbana and
London. Since 1987, it has been in Plain City.
General admission is $5 at the gate, and children 12 and under are free
with an adult.
Site gives info on Marysville
From J-T staff reports:
A new feature to keep residents informed about local activities and
business has been added to the Marysville city Web-site.
City administrator Kathy House explained that "Marysville 411" will
offer news briefs on new businesses coming into town, road work expected
to be completed and other information that might interest residents. A
link to the feature can be found on the front page of
This week the city reports that a Dari-Barn is being proposed for 722
Milford Avenue, next to Stockdale Plaza. The business will serve ice
cream and other food items.
The next Third Friday event will be held July 28 in conjunction with
Honda Homecoming and will include a variety of food vendors. Real McCoy
DJ Service will provide entertainment from noon until 7 p.m. Music by
the Reagonomics will be performed from 7 to 10 p.m. The Honda Homecoming
Light Parade will begin at approximately 9 p.m.
In other business news, the local Kentucky Fried Chicken, located at 839
Delaware Avenue, is proposing a combined KFC/Long John Silvers facility
at its current location. The plan is to replace the existing building
with a new structure.
Former Marysville business Maurice's will be returning to the city in
the shopping center currently under construction on Coleman's Crossing
Boulevard. Fashion Bug will also be relocating to the same shopping center.
The city Wastewater Department will replace 30 feet of sewer line on
Maple Street between Sixth and Seventh streets. Distribution crews are
also replacing the water main on West Ninth Street, between Maple and
Ash streets. Both projects will begin this week.
County roadwork program to begin
From J-T staff reports:
The county's annual chip and seal program begins Monday, July 17.
The three to four week program will cover 27 miles of county roads and
32.50 miles of township roads in southern Union County. Some roads may
be temporarily closed during the actual sealing operations, however,
local traffic will be maintained.
County roads include: Kile, Kramer, Hawn, Lombard, Sabine Bigelow,
Irwin, Long, Delaware County Line, Mackan, McBride, Dover County Line,
Westlake Lee, Inskeep Cratty, Shortees, Kaiser and Rapp Dean.
Township roads include:
. Jerome - Weldon, Warner, Currier, Mitchell Dewitt, Arnold
. Allen - Coleman Brake, Poling, Holycross Epps, James Watkins, Smokey
. Dover - West Darby, Jolly
. Darby - Rittenhouse, Sam Reed, Debolt, Herchanhahn, Trail End, Hidden
Farm, Fladt, O'Harra, Abandoned 161, Unionville Cemetery, Burns Road Cemetery
. Union - Coleman Brake, Champaign County Line
. Paris - North Darby Coe, Cradler Turner, Blues Creek, Payne, Dog Leg and Barker
A complete list of roads to be chip sealed can be seen at
Motorists are encouraged to drive slowly.
"Slowing down on freshly sealed roads is a good idea for two reasons,"
states Union County Engineer Steve Stolte in a press release. "Sliding
on loose stone is minimized and less tar is likely to end up on vehicles."
N. Lewisburg may form own fire dept.
By CORINNE BIX
The long-term future of The Northeast Champaign County Fire District
(NECCFD) and the village of North Lewisburg is uncertain.
On Tuesday night the village council passed a motion by a four to two
vote to allow the mayor to appoint a six to 10 member committee to study
the concept of creating a village-only division of fire and emergency
medical service (EMS).
Steve Wilson, council president, and Curtis Burton were the two no votes.
Currently, the village is part of the NECCFD, which is a tax-entity
subdivision that serves North Lewisburg, Woodstock, Rush Township and
The mayor will appoint members to the committee at the next council
meeting. The committee will conduct a six-month feasibility study.
First said a village-only fire and EMS division is very possible since
the village currently supplies the space, water and the majority of the
manpower for the NECCFD.
"We've been a dynamic and aggressive community for the last 15 years and
we are going to continue on that path," Barry First, village
The council also passed by majority ordinance 192(A) which formally
removes the names of former mayor Max Coates and former council
president Don Woodruff as the village fire board representatives since
they are no longer members of legislative government.
The amended ordinance also allows the mayor to serve on the fire board
and to appoint the second representative.
Wilson and Burton voted against the amended ordinance. Both men
expressed last month that they feel the village representatives on the
fire board should be voted on by council.
"The majority of council feels comfortable with how the village is
represented on the fire board," First said.
The council passed by majority to amend the fire district lease from
four years back to three years. Wilson and Burton voted against the motion.
This original rent increase was passed in April and more than doubled
the NECCFD's annual rent from $6,000 per year to $12,500 retroactive to
Jan. 1 of this year when their last contract expired.
The rent will gradually increase to a $25,000 annually by 2008. The
NECCFD operates out of the village municipal building and utilizes 5,286
square feet of space including rental of the garage area, office space,
restrooms and use of community room/kitchen facilities.
At $25,000 a year, the NECCFD will be paying about $5 per square foot of
space used which is in line with standard rental rates of business properties.
First reported that Woodstock officials are questioning charges for
wastewater treatment services. Several copies of quarterly invoices as
well as the original contract have been requested. North Lewisburg
provides wastewater treatment services and some wastewater treatment
support to Woodstock. He explained that Woodstock officials state they
should be billed based on flow rates. North Lewisburg interprets the
contract as specifying a capped amount. North Lewisburg discontinued
long term wastewater maintenance in Woodstock last year.
Water and sewer rate structure set to take effect in January of 2007 are
still being fine tuned. Close to 500 water meters were installed
village-wide last month. All village residents currently play a flat
rate of $55 per month for water and sewage. Beginning this fall village
residents will begin to receive preliminary bills to give them a sense
as to how their water usage will affect their payment once the village
officially adopts the new pay schedule.
In other news, council:
. Passed certification of local match and authorized application for
Route 559 reconstruction to the Ohio Public Works commission in the
amount of $572,000
. Reviewed skate park drawing and background information
. Approved notice of covered bridge relocation from North Lewisburg Rd.
to the multi-use path from July 12-19 tentatively.
. Approved 2007 proposed budget
. Deputy Glenn Kemp gave the sheriff's monthly report for the village in
July - eight traffic citations issued, 10 warnings issued for traffic
violations, eight incident reports, 22 cases of assistance given to
citizens, four arrests, five civil and criminal papers served, 26
follow-up investigations completed, one open door, three instances of
juvenile contact and two civic activities.
Plain City's 'Cove' to expand
By NATALIE TROYER
It took a slew of Ecuadorian street kids to convince Anthony Lyndaker
that Plain City youth needed a place to call their own.
It was 1998 when Lyndaker, now 31, of Plain City, was doing missions
work in the South American country of Ecuador. His task was to meet,
play, and talk with street kids in the hopes of ultimately leading them
to the Lord.
"God opened my eyes to the needs of people around me," Lyndaker said of
When he returned to Plain City a year later, he felt a burden on his heart.
"There was so much trash going on in Plain City. Kids were resorting to
drugs, alcohol and sex basically because there was nowhere to go and
nothing to do," said Lyndaker, who grew up Mennonite and graduated from
Shekinah Christian School in 1993. "I saw the needs and knew God wanted
me to do something about it."
So, with the help of his parents, Arthur and Emma, he started The Cove,
a hang-out place for teens and young adults, in June 1999. Renting a 700
square-foot space at 168 West Main Street, Plain City, Lyndaker and his
parents set up couches, a video game system, ping-pong table and a
television set. They decorated it like a 50s diner, built a cafe to sell
soda and snacks, and recruited volunteers.
Lyndaker said he named it "The Cove" because he wanted it to be a place
"Basically, we wanted to provide a fun atmosphere for youth to come,
make friends, and hopefully stay out of trouble," said Lyndaker, who
graduated from Cedarville University in 2001.
The strategy worked. Kids came - and they're still coming.
To the point where, seven years after its inception, the need to expand
is inevitable, said Zach Miller, 22, who became the new director of The
Cove at the end of April.
Open Saturday evenings from 7 to 10 p.m., The Cove attracts
approximately 15 to 20 kids each week, most of them 14 to 15-year-olds.
But they're working on recruiting more, and the new building should be
somewhat of an incentive, Miller said.
Located down the street, at 249 West Main Street, the new area is 4300
square feet and has two stories. The building, which used to be a movie
theater and a video store, will have a room for video games and movies,
a separate room with pool tables and ping-pong, and a cafe. The upstairs
will be reserved for concerts and large group activites. The target
opening date for the new building is July 22.
Miller, who also grew up Mennonite and graduated from Shekinah in 2002,
said he got involved with The Cove because he, like Lyndaker, saw a need
in the Plain City community.
"There are a lot of kids who don't see any love in their lives," he
said. "I just want to show them that we legitamately love and care about them."
Both Miller and Lyndaker volunteer their Saturday nights at The Cove.
When the new building opens, Miller said they might need more help
manning the grounds.
Although both are men of faith, Miller said they try not to preach or
push their beliefs on the teens. The volunteers occasionally read
passages from the Bible and do devotions with the teens, but Miller said
they "subtly speak the Gospel."
"We work at establishing friendship and trust as a way to speak into the
childrens' lives," added Miller, who works as a full-time electrician.
The mission of the organization, "It's all fun and games until you lose
your soul," which is plastered on the walls and windows, should speak
for itself though, he said.
Miller estimated that about 80 percent of the teens who come aren't Christians.
For some, it's like a second home.
"I like hanging out here, and it gets me away from my parents," said
Benjamin Roberts, 14, of Plain City, who's been coming to The Cove every
Saturday night for about two or three years.
For others, The Cove helped spark a desire to learn about God.
"It was a safe place to go and talk about your struggles," said Joe
Freeman, 22, who went to The Cove as a teenager. "The volunteers gave
me a lot of encouragement in my Christian walk."
Funding for The Cove comes mainly from local business people and area
churches. A number of businesses have donated lumber, paint and labor,
Lyndaker, whose full time job is in construction, said he'd like to
become more involved in the kids' lives on a day-to-day basis, not just
"We're working on starting up a Tuesday night Bible study or some sort
of after-school programming," he said.
Interested volunteers should contact Lyndaker at (614) 560-4530.
Eagle found in northern Union County dies
By CINDY BRAKE
An injured bald eagle found in the front yard of Jeff Wheeler on Woods
Road Thursday evening died Tuesday.
Lisa Fosco, director of the Ohio Wildlife Center, said today that the
Ohio Division of Wildlife decided to euthanize the wild bird.
"At some point we had to make a decision," Fosco said.
The animal had spinal trauma and very toxic levels of lead poisoning.
Fosco added that the bird was paralyzed and had no use of its legs even
after five days of treatment. She added that the eagle had been revived
four times before the decision was made to put the bird down.
No one knows exactly what happened to cause one of the state's largest
birds to be grounded. Some have speculated that the bird's back was
injured by high tension wires near the Wheeler home. The lead poisoning
was caused by something the bird ingested, Fosco said.
Union County Wildlife Officer Ryan Peterson said this is the first call
he has received for an eagle in Union County. Peterson speculates that
this eaglet came from a nest along the Scioto River in nearby Delaware County.
The eaglet is thought to be between 1 and 2 years. Bald eagles have
mottled brown and white feathers under their wings and on their head,
tail and breast. The distinctive white head and tail feathers do not
appear until the eagles are about 4 to 5 years old, states the American
Eagle Foundation Web site.
The bird's sex was undetermined. It had a wing span of six feet.
Saying that he lives in the middle of nowhere, Wheeler said he had been
seeing a large bird flying in the area for the past two to three weeks.
A call from neighbor Ellen Carter alerted him to the bird's presence
Thursday around 7:30 p.m. in his front yard. He said she had been
walking along the road. Wheeler said he wasn't sure what the bird was
and originally thought it might be a hawk. He said he began calling
everybody he could think of to get help, including Tom Ross, president
of the local Pheasants Forever chapter. Ross identified the bird as an
eagle and quickly informed the group that they couldn't touch it because
of it's protected status. It is illegal for anyone to collect eagles and
eagle parts or nests without a permit. Possession of a feather or other
body parts of a bald eagle can lead to a fine of up to $10,000 or
imprisonment, states the American Bald Eagle Information Web site.
"He's beautiful," Ross said Tuesday about the injured animal.
The bald eagle was officially declared the national emblem of the United
States in 1782 and officially declared a threatened species in 1995.
Bald eagles are found in North America from Alaska and Canada to
northern Mexico. About half of the world's 70,000 bald eagles live in Alaska.
Youths to spend night on the street
From J-T staff reports:
Youths from New Beginnings Church in Marysville will get a taste of life
on the street this weekend when they camp out on Fifth Street beginning
at 3 p.m. Friday.
The incoming freshman are preparing for a trip to Atlanta, Ge., in
August where they will minister with an inner-city mission called
Church on the Street.
"We hope to develop their sense of compassion as they go to minister to
the homeless and needy individuals and families of Atlanta's inner
city," writes Linda Wilms of the church.
Church on the Street is one of the largest missions of it's kind. While
there, the group will hand out food, clothing, blankets, personal hygiene
supplies and share their faith.
Bins will be available for donations of the above items, as well as new
or lightly used Bibles (pocket-size Bibles are especially useful as
they can be kept in a baggie to protect them from weather damage) or
Richwood works for free money
Meeting dominated by grant related issues
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Free money doesn't come without a cost.
Richwood Village Council is finding that although grants provide the
village much-needed dollars, the headaches created by government
mandates, tight timelines and complicated funding schemes can be almost
Council spent 90 percent of Monday night's regularly scheduled meeting
talking about a grant-funded Ottawa storm sewer project and another
grant for street repaving which must be modified.
Council members and Ed Bischoff of Bischoff and Associates, the
engineering firm which represents the village, squared off in a
sometimes heated exchange. Council members were upset that the total
cost of the project was not covered by an Ohio Public Works Commission
(OPWC) grant and a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
When bids for the project were opened earlier this month, the low bid
for the two-phase project came in at $314,000. Couple that with $27,000
in engineering costs and $22,000 in inspection fees and the total
project comes in at more than $360,000.
Many council members felt that Bischoff had told them in previous
meetings that the village had nearly $400,000 in grant funds to work
with, so covering the cost of the project was not an issue. Bischoff
told them that the cost was an issue.
The OPWC money comprises the biggest chunk of the funding, but carries a
local match. OPWC grants cover 74 percent of costs if the local entity
invests the other 24 percent. Essentially for each 25 cents of local
money invested, the village gets another 75 cents.
The village's local match money is provided by a CDBG grant for $78,000.
With that money making up the village's 26 percent, roughly $225,000, or
the remaining 74 percent, of OPWC money is released.
This gives the village a little more than $300,000 to work with, well
short of the total project cost.
"Dag gone it," council member George Showalter said. "You said we had
$409,000 to spend.
Showalter said that council has been told since initial discussions
about the project that the full cost would be covered by grants.
"Ed, I just think you're hosing us," council member Scott Jerew said.
Bischoff maintained that the grants were secured using material costs
from 2004. Since the grant was secured, the price of plastic used in the
needed pipes has risen 35 percent.
"A project two years ago doesn't cost what it does today," Bischoff said.
Bischoff said that council had two choices. It could opt to contract
only one phase of the two-phase project or it could offer up another
$17,000 of its own money.
By putting out another $17,000 into the pool of the local match money,
enough OPWC money would be released to complete the full project.
Showalter said too much time and effort has been spent on the project to
stop short over $17,000.
After confirmation from village financial officer Don Jolliff that the
village could afford to put the money toward the project, council voted
4-0 to spend $17,000 so the total project could be completed. Council
members Jim Thompson and Von Beal were absent from the meeting.
Council also found itself in a pothole over a $29,500 CDBG grant-funded
street paving project. No bids were returned for the project and council
had to decide what to do with the money.
Mayor Bill Nibert said he received word from the Union County
Commissioners that the village could put the money toward improvements
in the park, put the money toward a Northern Union County Fire District
project or return money.
Council members agreed that they did not want to give the money back,
but that was all they could agree on.
Showalter, the park committee chairman, was ready at the meeting with
design plans for additional playground equipment that could be purchased
with the money. Jerew said he was not in favor of putting more money in
the park. He said the park already has nice equipment and also noted
rampant vandalism at the park.
Jerew said the fire department is currently trying to purchase a used
emergency squad for $15,000 and he would like to see the money go toward
Nibert said he needed to present the village's decision to the
commissioner's office today. Jerew said he did not like having to make a
decision with little notice.
"This is a 20-minute decision to spend $30,000," Jerew said.
In the end council authorized Nibert to see if the money could be
divided between the two projects. If dividing the money was not an
option, the village will pursue the park project.
In other business, council:
.Learned that Debbie Williams replanted and restaked swamp white oak
trees at the village park after a recent vandalism. Wayne Apt also
helped out at the park, spraying evergreen trees for bagworms.
.Learned of an upcoming meeting between village officials and Union
County Engineer officials over changes in zoning enforcement.
.Learned that village zoning officer Jim Dew has submitted his resignation.
Standoff ends peacefully
From J-T staff reports
A man with a gun held county law enforcement officers at bay in a
standoff Monday morning. Ultimately, the man gave himself up without
harming himself or anyone others.
Steve Farley, 19, of 7118 Scioto Road was finally apprehended and
transported to the Union County Memorial Hospital for a mental health
evaluation. He is expected to be initially charged with one felony count
of having weapons while under disability.
According to the Union County Sheriff's Office, the case remains under
investigation and additional charges are pending. Law enforcement was on
the scene dealing with the standoff for about three hours. The
investigation lasted until 5:20 p.m., when the scene was finally leared.
The Union County Sheriff's Office and the Union County Prosecutor's
Office are investigating what led up to a domestic dispute at the home
on Scioto Road, which involved Farley.
Reports show that at approximately 11:32 a.m. Monday the Union County
Sheriff's Communication Center received a cellular 911 emergency
transfer call from the Delaware County dispatch center.
"The caller stated her son was out of control and had obtained a
weapon," a sheriff's press release said. "The female caller fled the
residence to a neighbor's house."
Deputies from the sheriff's office responded to the scene and attempted
to make contact with Farley inside the home. A perimeter was established
around the building and deputies began negotiations from outside in
order to get him to give up his gun and surrender.
Special Response Teams from the sheriff's office and the Marysville
Police Department were able to take the suspect into custody without incident.
Union County Sheriff's Public Information Officer, Chris Skinner,
reported this morning that the family dispute may have started over an
argument about Farley living in the home.
"It just kind of blew up from there," Skinner said.
He said law enforcement had been speaking with Farley over the telephone
several times and they felt he was going to come out and turn himself
in. Farley ended up walking out and turning himself in without resistance.
Unionville Center has new council member
By AUDREY HALL
Brenda Terry was sworn in as a council member at the Unionville Center
Village Council meeting Monday by Mayor Denver Thompson.
Terry will finish the three and a half years remaining of John McCoy's
term. McCoy resigned at the June meeting. One council seat vacant. Ron
Griffith was elected president pro tempore.
Following a lengthy discussion to determine the wording of an ordinance
permitting golf carts within the village, council decided to table the
topic to allow for more research. The Union County Sheriff's Office has
not completed criteria for golf cart inspection to comply with Ohio
Revised Code 4503.10 according to Deputy Matt Warden.
Saturday, Aug.19, is the date of the annual Community Yard Sale. Council
voted to share the cost of advertising with the Unionville Center United
Methodist Church which will be selling food during the sale.
In other business, council:
. Tabled the addition of gravel to the alley that dead ends at Third Street
. Heard a complaint about weeds at the former school property
. Approved payment for Clerk-Treasurer Karla Gingerich to attend
mandatory training by the Ohio Auditor of State in September
. Will repair the floor of the council building
. Will inquire about having the storm sewer drops cleaned
. Refused to share the cost of a survey to determine the exact property
line between Third Street and a private drive
The next regular council meeting will be on Monday, Aug. 14, at 6:30 p.m.
Walking to raise cancer awareness
Hiker is visiting all 88 Ohio county seats
From J-T staff reports:
Don Stevenson of Auburn, Wash., set out June 5 to hike to all 88 county
seats in Ohio. Monday he walked his way to Marysville.
The 70-year-old Stevenson, a native of Ohio, has dedicated his 30 to 40
mile-a-day walks to a friend diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. He hopes
to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society.
The journey began in West Lafayette, the home of Stevenson's friend,
Regis Shivers, who is an ultra-marathoner. He plans to complete the
16-week journey Sept. 26 at Coshocton. Today he is headed to Logan
County and Wednesday, he will cover Hardin County. Stevenson will return
to Delaware County on Friday from the Relay for Life event.
"I walk for those who cannot walk; I give love and support to those who
truly need and appreciate it," writes Stevenson in a flyer he shared
about this journey.
"I love walking and find it invigorating, inspiring and rewarding in
Stevenson began the habit of walking for health and meditation in
September of 1996. Since then he has walked thousands of miles for
various causes including Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, the
American Lung Association and the Maria Federicci Trust Fund.
He has walked 3,000 miles from Seattle to Portland, Maine; to
lighthouses in the state of Washington; from Tijuana, Mexico to
Anchorage, Alaska; climbed to the 12,300-foot level of Mt. Rainer; and
hiked blindfolded across the Cascade Range; as well as thousands of
miles over 12 of Washington State's mountain highway passes.
Stevenson is a Christian author with a new book, "Death With a View." He
is also a former school teacher, pastor, volunteer firefighter, truck
driver and United States Marine.
"I'm very healthy for my age," Stevenson writes. "God has blessed me
with good health and out of gratitude I've tried sharing that blessing
with those who are less fortunate. I'm a happy, wealthy man. I don't
possess much of this world's goods, but I do possess that which money
cannot purchase - love, joy and peace."
I've got one more call in me'
At 60, St. John's principal is heading to school in Texas
BY CORINNE BIX
Herb Mock is not your typical 60 year old.
"I'm going completely against what you would think someone of my age
would do," Mock said.
Mock has been the principal of St. John's Lutheran School for the past
18 years. However, retirement is not in his near future.
On July 17, Mock and his wife Eunice will do what most people half their
age would do: start a new life and a new job at St. Mark's Lutheran
School in Houston, Texas.
"I felt the Lord was calling me there," Mock said.
He has worked as a principal for 35 years, and although common sense
tells him to stay put, he is listening to a greater voice that is
anything but common.
"I've got one more call in me," Mock said. "I really feel that I am
supposed to be there and that the Holy Spirit is calling me to this school."
In 1970 Mock began his career in Thorndale, Texas. He taught there for
one year and served as principal for 11 years.
In Thorndale he wore several hats, including youth director and athletic
director. In his time there he watched the student population grow from 35 to 85.
From 1982 to 1988 he was principal at Port Huron Trinity Lutheran School
in Michigan, before coming to Marysville.
Mock and his wife of 37 years have enjoyed their life in Union County.
"I've really appreciated the opportunity to live in Marysville," he
said. "It's a great place to raise a family."
The Mocks two grown sons Aaron and Joshua attended St. John's through
grade eight and continued onto Marysville High School.
Mock said one of the many advantages to Marysville are the options
parents have when choosing education for their children.
"Marysville and Fairbanks are both great high quality schools, and the
only difference is that St. John's can combine quality education with
the opportunity to teach Jesus Christ throughout the day," he said.
Mock added he has been thankful for the good relationship he has had
with both neighboring school districts over the years.
He said the challenges of his new school excite him. St. Mark's has been
through some changes in the last couple of years, with enrollment
numbers dropping from 530 to 340.
"They are just starting to stabilize, and they are looking for an
experienced principal to help," Mock said, "I hope that I can do that
through God's guidance."
Mock credits his wife as his greatest supporter. Mrs. Mock works as an
executive assistant for Union Rural Electric.
"She's the love of my life and God has truly blessed me through her, "
her husband said.
Mock said he and his wife will both miss both work colleagues and friends.
"The congregation is family to me," Mock said. "The children here are
fantastic; you don't find them any better than St. John's, very easy to love."
Mock was honored for his years of service on June 25 during church
service at St. John's. A "roast" was held later in the day that took a
lighter approach to bidding Mock farewell.
"Marysville is very unique," he said "I don't think we will ever duplicate it."
He thanks God for the chance to serve and work here.
"All glory goes to God for what we have accomplished together," Mock said.
Williams earns rank of Eagle Scout
From J-T staff reports:
Matthew Williams of Boy Scout Troop 101 received his Eagle Scout Award -
the highest honor a Boy Scout can receive - at an Eagle Court of Honor
recently at Marysville First United Methodist Church.
The son of Randy and Kris Williams of Marysville, Matthew is a junior at
Marysville High School, where he actively performs in marching band,
wind ensemble and jazz band. He also participated in JV tennis for two
years and is a scholar athlete. He is a member of Marysville First
United Methodist Church.
Matthew began his scouting career in 1996 as a Tiger Cub in San Antonio,
Texas. He continued with scouting in San Antonio, Altus, Okla., and in
Marysville. While part of Troop 101, he has held the leadership
positions of troop guide, senior patrol leader, instructor and is
presently the junior assistant scoutmaster. For the past five summers he
has participated in summer camp at Seven Ranges Scout Reservation and
received the coveted "fifth year pipestone" award there last month.
Matthew's Eagle service project was organizing and supervising the
refurbishing of 11 of the city park signs located throughout Marysville.
He was assisted by fellow scouts in Troop 101, his family and friends,
and by the parks department and McAuliffe's Ace Hardware which provided
the paint and painting supplies, respectively.
Waiting for an assignment
Historical structures in Unionville Center, including schools, wait for
By CINDY BRAKE
Three turn-of-the-century school buildings and a one-room church located
in Unionville Center are still for sale.
"We still own it," said owners Chic Foust and Ralph Smucker of Darby
Partners. "We like challenges."
The Plain City natives say they have no plans for the property located
three miles from their hometown. In the real estate business for many
years, they purchased the property in November. The property includes
five buildings in different stages of construction on approximately five acres.
The buildings date from 1865 to 1926, said Robert Parrott of the Union
County Historical Society.
More than 20 years ago the late Ronald W. Hilbert, who was a long-time
clerk/treasurer for Unionville Center, purchased the Chuckery Darby High
School after the Fairbanks Board of Education decided to close the building.
Parrott said Hilbert was in the antique business and ran antique shows
across the state.
"I believe it was his original intention to use the school building for
auction sales and storage," Parrott said in an e-mail.
Later, Hilbert acquired and moved the 1914 Darby School from across town
to the property. He also purchased the one-room Davis School Building
originally located at the end of Industrial Parkway. This building was
built in 1865. Soon to follow was a one-room Davis Chapel Church that
had been located next to the school. Both were disassembled and moved to
the Unionville school grounds. One other building - a barn - was later
added to the grounds.
"Ron Hilbert planned to turn the school grounds into a historic village
focused on the history of Darby Township, Unionville Center and Charles
Fairbanks. The 1926 school was to become the Darby Center Building for
various private and community functions," writes Parrott. "He planned to
build an inn and general store, depot with railroad tracks, jail, smoke
house, doctor's office, blacksmith, post office and wagon shop. Many of
these would be replicas of ones that had previously existed at Unionville."
Parrott said he has no doubt that Hilbert would have completed his
project, but it was brought to an end when he died suddenly on June 18,
1993, from a heart attack. At the time of his death, the project was
The 1926 school needed expensive repairs, including a new -roof. The
1914 school had been moved onto a temporary foundation, but nothing else
had been done to it. It even lacked stairs to the classrooms. The
foundation and walls of the 1865 school were built, but the roof and
floor had never been constructed. The foundation of the old church was
started, but nothing else was completed.
Hilbert's will left the property to a group that was to be established
and known as the Hilbert Historical Society, a private foundation that
would run and maintain the historic town. The executor, according to
Parrott, attempted to put the collections together and establish the
Hilbert Historical Society, but too much was left undone at the time of
his death. In addition, the estate lasted from 1993 to 2000 because he
had many other properties, mostly rentals in Unionville and Marysville,
plus a large collection of antiques.
After many years, the executor determined that the project could not be
completed and went to the court and provided evidence showing that the
costs to repair and complete the unfinished buildings would be too great
and the Hilbert Historical Society could never be established. The Court agreed.
A contingent provision in the will stipulated that if the Hilbert
Historical Society ever dissolved or failed to come into existence, then
all of the assets would go to the Union County Historical Society,
explained Parrott. He adds that the Historical Society never intended to
keep the buildings because that organization lacked funds to make the
building repairs. The large school was used for storage and after
sorting through items, an auction was held.
The property was also, reportedly, offered to the village
"No one wanted it," Smucker said.
While the roof is leaking, the basketball court is in great shape and
there are still assignments written on a blackboard, Smucker said about
the largest building. After acquiring the property, Smucker and Foust
quickly realized the place needed cleaned out before any improvements
could be made. They said they offered to give away the contents, but no
one wanted them. So an auction was held on May 20 with all the proceeds
benefiting the Plain City Presbyterian Church's mission trip to New Orleans.
At the auction a tentative offer for the property was received, but the
offer has since been withdrawn.
The current owners say they are open to suggestions and believe the
buildings will someday find a new use.
"It could be a nice building," Foust said.
Parenting in a penal system
Nursery program at ORW allows mother and child to bond
By NATALIE TROYER
The fresh scent of baby powder, mixed with the stench of tobacco, wafts
through the prison corridors. Colorful, painted seals, bears and horses
decorate the off-white, concrete walls.
Inmate Renee Poling, 21, sits, cradling her 13-month-old daughter
Madison in her arms, whispering "I love you's" in the little one's ears.
The youngster's eyes are glued to a television set, where a Baby
Einstein video emits a soothing lullaby.
Within the walls of this unusual nursery at the Ohio Reformatory for
Women, incarcerated moms, like Poling, have a chance to do what a number
of inmates only dream about - bond with their babies while serving time
for their crime.
"I never imagined I could be as close as I am with (Madison)," said
Poling, straining to hold back tears. "She's like my best friend."
June marked the fifth anniversary of the Achieving Baby Care Success
(ABC'S) Program which, since 2001, has allowed pregnant moms behind bars
to maintain custody of their infants after they are born. The ORW
operates Ohio's only nursery program within an institution. Others exist
in Washington, Nebraska and New York.
Poling, serving time for theft and failure to appear in court, is one of
seven inmates with children in the nursery. She and the other women live
in bedrooms, painted in pastel colors, with their babies. The nursery
includes a day-care center, a visiting room, a kitchenette, an infant
bathing station, a laundry room and 11 bedrooms. A boot camp and an
assistant living center for older inmates are in the same building, but
the infants and mothers are in a separate wing.
Operating off a federal grant, the nursery program provides the moms
with wipes, diapers, clothes, baby food and other supplies to take care
of their newborns. There are also five nannies, other inmates, who help
out around the nursery, particularly while mothers are away at medical
or dental appointments.
To qualify for the program, inmates must meet certain qualifications,
said Jeannette Steward, who oversees the nursery unit. They must be
incarcerated for a non-violent felony, have minimum to low security
status, have a favorable child services background check, be serving
sentences of 18 months or less, have no escape charges and be pregnant
upon admission to the ORW.
Before the nursery existed, incarcerated, pregnant moms had no choice
but to give their child over to foster care or a family member until
they got out.
The nursery provides a positive alternative to this option, Steward said.
"It promotes early bonding between mother and infant in the hopes of
reducing recidivism rates for that population of inmates," Steward said.
So far, the strategy is working
Of the 98 women who have gone through the nursery program since its
inception, only four have returned to the prison to serve additional
time on similar or separate charges. Some, however, have been asked to
leave the nursery program because of inappropriate behavior. Steward
estimates about 10 such cases. She recalled one case when a mom
threatened another mom to fight. Other involved aggressive behavior
For first-time mothers, the program is meant to be a learning
experience, Steward said.
"They learn what to do for and with their children," she said, noting
that all women are encouraged to take a responsible family life skills
seminar. Other programs and classes, such as CPR and first aid, car seat
training, and power of a praying parent are available for the moms.
Others, like Poling, have gone through childbirth before. For those
moms, Steward said, the program allows them to be an active part of
their baby's life during the infant and toddler years when interaction
is most crucial.
Child development experts have determined that infants must bond with
their mother in the first few months of life or their emotional and
intellectual functioning is impaired, according to the ORW Web site.
Poling, a native of Dayton, has two other children, boys ages 6 and 3,
who are currently living with Poling's mother. Poling admits that she
hasn't been an active part of her boys' lives.
So this is her chance to do parenthood right.
"This program has changed everything," said Poling, who gets out Aug.
21. "I see what I want now for my children. I've taken parenting classes
and I recognize the mistakes I've made in the past ... I want my
children to have stability."
Others, like Traci McGairk, say being with their baby 24-7 makes them
want to clean up their act.
"I'm ready to do what I'm supposed to be doing for myself and my
children," said McGairk, 36, of Dayton, who is serving time for
counterfeiting checks. "I want to clean up, get a job and just live life."
McGairk, who resides in the nursery with her 2-month-old daughter
Royal-t, was at ORW from 2000 to 2003 for similar fraud charges. She
also has a 17-year-old son back in Dayton.
"But I'm not coming back again," she said.
She wants to get a "fresh start" in a new city once she and Royal-t get
out next June.
"If I go back to Dayton, I might get back into criminal activity," she
said. "And I'm not going to subject my daughter to the things I've been
Jail's surveillance network put to use
By RYAN HORNS
The new digital surveillance system at the Tri-County Regional Jail
wasn't installed more than a day before earning its price tag.
On May 4, the Tri-County Corrections Commission approved a $30,000
appropriation to upgrade the jail's video surveillance system from VCR
tape to digital format. The tape system had been disabled for several
years, which was posing a threat to employee safety.
Tri-County Regional jail director Robert Beightler told the commission
at Thursday's afternoon meeting that no sooner was the new digital
system installed on June 15, than it caught a fight between two inmates.
"We have a demonstration we'd like to give you today," Beightler said.
"We had an incident in which an inmate alleged he had been struck by
Of course, he said, the other inmate denied having anything to do with it.
"We were able to view the tape from the disk and find it," Beightler said.
Using a computer, jail captain James Davis played back the video
recording, showing the men's prison sleeping quarters where the fight
took place. He said the system works in time lapse photography, taking
approximately six pictures per second.
"You'll see the inmate start here," Davis pointed out. "What we recorded
was actually a 30-minute segment to find out what happened. This is
narrowed down to 1 1/2 minutes."
In the video an inmate walks across the room toward another inmate
sitting down on a bed.
"There is a conversation and you can see the punch or slap," Davis said.
He said the disk had the evidence the jail needed to prove which inmate
was lying and which had been assaulted.
"This took place not even 24 hours after we (installed the system),"
Davis said. "So it started paying off real fast."
Davis said the inmates had no idea the new system was working yet and
didn't believe jail administrators when they said they had video footage
of the assault.
Beightler said one of the issues they are dealing with now is that some
of the cameras are too old and are not operating well. The price of the
entire video system upgrade was $10,000 less than planned, so he hopes
to use the extra funds appropriated to begin replacing an additional
four or five cameras that have poor film quality. A few of those cameras
had already arrived and were to be installed.
In another update, Beightler said that negotiations between the jail and
the union have been resolved.
As a result of the agreement, officers will receive a 4 percent wage
increase in 2006, a 3.5 percent increase in 2007 and another 3.5 percent
increase in 2008.
Other additions, such as providing officers with a replacement uniform
and offering two more personal leave days per year were given. The
agreement also updated vacation days allowed per years worked,
bereavement leaves of absence, and mileage pay.
Alleged drug supplier caught
From J-T staff reports:
A major supplier of illegal drugs to the Marysville uptown area may have
been apprehended following a Monday arrest.
Jamie Ladue, 24, of 126 N. Main St. was arrested at his apartment at
11:15 a.m. on a drug trafficking warrant.
Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol said this morning that
only one charge has been filed at this time, but more drug trafficking
charges are expected to come regarding the alleged sale of marijuana,
cocaine and prescription drugs. An additional charge for illegally
selling a revolver to undercover police is pending.
Nicol said Ladue has been under investigation by police since March. He
said detective Don McGlenn has spent the past few months coordinating
the efforts leading up to the arrest.
He said Ladue is being held on a $10,000 bond and was arraigned in
Marysville Municipal Court on Wednesday.
Police reportedly seized six ounces of marijuana, $800 in cash, drug
paraphernalia and a digital-drug scale along with drugs such as Ecstasy,
Aderol and Valium. The drugs seized have been sent to a crime laboratory
Nicol said Ladue's arrest will put a damper on illegal drug activity in
Marysville's uptown area.
"Quite a few of our juveniles were receiving drugs from him," he said.
Australian visits Marysville, pays tribute to war hero
By CINDY BRAKE
Australian politician Gerry Wood says his trip to Marysville is about
completing a journey begun more than 60 years ago when one American
soldier died in an early morning Japanese raid over Darwin Harbor.
Lila Dodd, 500 Parkway Drive, cherishes the recent honors by the
citizens of the Australian Northern Territory for her older brother,
Captain Allison Strauss who was a pilot with the U.S. Army Air Force
during World War II, as well as the new friendship with Wood.
A representative to Parliament, Wood was instrumental in organizing a
memorial service that recognized Strauss's sacrifice. Strauss is
memorialized with a Northern Territory air strip and cricket field.
Two members of the Dodd family, Strauss' niece Judy Green and namesake
Allison Paden Green, both of Marysville, went to Darwin for the special
ceremony and cricket match which honored their family member.
Until the family received a letter from Wood, they were never aware that
Strauss had been honored by the Australians for his sacrifice.
Dodd said the family never received much information about her brother's death.
"It was a mystery for us," she said.
Wood's letter arrived shortly before Thanksgiving Day after originally
going to a small town in Indiana where Strauss grew up. Dodd said her
brother was quite a hero in her hometown. He was the first to die in
World War II and had "buzzed" the town once before leaving the states.
She remembers everyone saw him and then ran to the airport to pick him up.
Immediately after receiving the letter about the special ceremony, Judy
and Paden Green decided to make the 17-hour trip to represent the family.
"We were so moved by the whole thing, that my mom and I decided that we
would make the trip to Australia for the whole thing. Plus, my first
name is Allison, so I wanted to know more about the person I was named
after," writes Paden Green in an e-mail about the experience. "We were
treated like celebrities, really. We were on Australian TV, newspapers
and interviewed by the BBC."
Paden Green and her mother attended the Anzac Day memorial (our
equivalent of Memorial Day) with a special ceremony and cricket match
between the local cricket club and the Australian Army. One of the most
moving parts of the program for the Greens involved an unveiling of a
monument and then a bugler's serenade before all the high school
students said in unison "lest we forget." The monument is a large rock
with a plaque that includes Strauss' name.
Wood explained that his interest in Strauss began more than 10 years ago
with a failed attempt to acquire property for a free-range poultry
business. While walking an overgrown bush property, he discovered
something that appeared to be a cricket pitch. With an interest in
history and as mayor of a shire, he was aware the number of dirt air
strips carved out of the "bush" during the war, as well as the sacrifice
of many. He thought it was important that future generations remember
all of the sacrifices made to protect their land.
Since the ceremony, the family has communicated frequently via e-mail
with Wood, especially when the air strip was threatened by a proposed
road widening. Thanks to Wood's intervention, legislators agreed to move
the road in a different direction and protect their American alliance.
Honoring and protecting the Strauss Field has "taken a good hunk out of
my life," Wood said, including a three-week trip to the United States -
the first time he has left the continent of Australia.
His time in Marysville is part official and part pleasure. While here he
plans to visit the West Central Correctional-Based Facility, Ohio
Reformatory for Women, Union County Sheriff's Department, a nuclear
power plant and Strauss's burial site. He hopes to share some of the
innovative ideas he is hearing about with his fellow politicians.
He jests that Marysville is very much like his home, except that people
drive on the wrong side of the road, play this game called football,
chew too much gum and speak a quaint version of English.
New support group or depression and bipolar disorder forming
Beginning Tuesday, people living with depression or bipolar disorder
will have a new place to find hope, help, and support in Union County.
The new local chapter of the National Depression and Bipolar Support
Alliance (DBSA) will host regular, confidential, peer-led, self-help
support group meetings on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. at the Marysville Library
DBSA support groups are open to anyone who is diagnosed with a mood
disorder, has a family member who is diagnosed, or who thinks they might
have depression or bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression).
DBSA support groups are not run by professionals, but instead offer
peer-to-peer support which is an important component of recovery from
mental illness for many people.
The group's mission is to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders.
DBSA is the nation's leading patient-directed organization focusing on
the most prevalent mental-illnesses ? depression and bipolar disorder.
The organization has over 400 independent local chapters that operate
over 1000 self-help support groups around the United States.
The Mental Health Association of Union County is sponsoring the local
chapter as an independent affiliate of the Depression and Bipolar
Support Alliance, 730 N. Franklin Street Suite 501, Chicago, IL 60610.
www.DBSAlliance.org For further information or questions, contact the
Mental Health Association of Union County at 937.642.0935.
Robbery suspects restrained bystore employees
From J-T staff reports:
Employees at a local Burger King overpowered armed robbers over the July
4 holiday, after discovering the weapon wasn't real.
Dewanna S. Penix, 37, and John E. Cox, 35, both of Columbus, were
arrested for aggravated robbery. They were both jailed and arraigned in
Marysville Municipal Court this morning.
According to Marysville Police, on Tuesday at 11:13 p.m. the two
reportedly walked into the Burger King at 1044 Delaware Ave. brandishing
what appeared to be a handgun. They were wearing latex gloves, panty
hose over their heads to disguise their faces, Ohio State University
winter hats and they demanded money.
"The store was closed and the suspects confronted an employee at the
back door," reports stated.
Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol said that after talking with the
suspects the Burger King employees soon realized that the weapon was
actually a pellet gun. At that point they began struggling with the
suspects and were able to overpower them.
Nicol said that when officers arrived Penix and Cox were being
restrained on the ground by the employees.
He said one of the suspects is a former employee of the same Burger King
location on Delaware Avenue.
Police are also investigating a report that the two had purchased all
the materials to commit the robbery, from the panty hose to the pellet
gun, in one stop at a local Wal-Mart. The purchase was allegedly caught
Pursuit reaches speeds of 110 mph
From J-T staff reports:
A high-speed pursuit Monday resulted in the arrest of a Columbus man and
17-year-old runaway female.
Lewis R. Hodges Jr., 25, of Columbus was driving a 2002 Lexus on Route 4
near Route 347 just outside Pharisburg, at 8:49 p.m. when he was stopped
by a Union County Sheriff deputy.
According to a press release, while the deputy was investigating the
vehicle and occupants, the driver sped off leading deputies on a pursuit
that reached speeds of 110 miles per hour. The vehicle continued south
on Route 4 towards U.S. 33. Hollow spikes strips were deployed on Route
4 near County Home Road, however the suspect was able to steer around
the strips as he continued southbound.
The vehicle then drove onto U.S. 33 westbound with cruisers from the
Marysville Police and sheriff's office close behind. Another attempt to
deploy hollow spikes was made by the Ohio State Patrol on U.S. 33. The
attempt was successful and disabled the vehicle which came to rest on
the U.S. 33 ramp at Route 739. The two occupants were reportedly taken
into custody without incident.
Hodges now faces charges of failure to comply with the order of police,
endangering children, numerous traffic related offenses, reckless
operation of a motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle without properly
working taillights, driving under suspension and fictitious plates.
Pending charges include receiving stolen property and drug charges as
well as contributing charges. He was to appear in the Marysville
Municipal Court today.
The juvenile was taken into custody after she was determined to have
been a runaway from the Columbus area since June 4.
Master Gardener's tour to feature Green Pastures' best
From J-T staff reports:
With original art and live music, the 10th annual Union County Master
Gardener's Tour of Gardens set for Sunday features 10 properties in the
Green Pastures development.
The event is from 1 to 5 p.m. and titled "A Gallery of Urban Gardens."
Visitors can take a walking tour of the private gardens or ride a
shuttle bus to each location. Each garden is marked by original
paintings created by high school students.
The tour ends with live music by the all-volunteer Cardinal Health
Chamber Orchestra. The summer concert theme is romance, marches and the
silver screen. The one-hour concert begins at 4:30 p.m. near the
Lakeside Apartments at Green Pastures. Individuals are encouraged to
bring a lawn chair. Refreshments will be available for purchase.
Area individuals performing with the orchestra include Ron Reich, Derek
Harrah, Paul Townley, Julie Whipple, Joseph Float, Elizabeth Ward, Betty
A. McVey, Jill Mizikor, Marc Woerlein, Brad Dellinger, Grant Underwood
and Fred Alborn.
Townley, who plays the bass clarinet and alto saxophone as well as
piano, said he enjoys making music that people like listening to, as
well as the friendships he has gained by being part of the group. A
nine-year Cardinal Health employee, he has played in the orchestra for
five years. He is also affiliated with the West Central
Ohio Community Concert Band.
Whipple said she loves playing with the orchestra because of the
diversity of classical and contemporary.
"I love playing for really young people and for the senior citizens.
Music has always been an important part of my life. This orchestra has
such a great group of music enthusiasts who are always welcoming and
encouraging." Whipple plays the flute and piano and is learning the
cello. She has played with the Cardinal Orchestra for two years and is a
member of the West Central Ohio Concert Band.
Other post-tour activities include an art auction and drawing for door prizes.
The garden descriptions include: visions of the past; a palette of
perennial bloom; pretty as a picture; framing the home; a canvas of
color; drawing inspiration; the art of gardening; a visual masterpiece;
a composition of nature's beauty; and brushstrokes.
For more information about the event, go to http://union.osu.edu.
Pre-sale tickets can be purchased online. The day of the event, tickets
are available at 340 Damascus Road.
The event will be held rain or shine.
MHS grad author tells of long road to being published
By CINDY BRAKE
With his first book now in print and on book shelves, Marysville High
School graduate Scott Harper is on his way to making a childhood dream
His first published novel "Winter's Rite" takes readers into a
blizzard-filled world of fantasy with gnomes, water nix, hobgoblins and
trolls. The 175-page tale follows the journey of a male water nix who
comes of age while trying to find and defeat the dark magic that is
causing an early and extreme winter to enter his world. Along the way,
the young nix finds help and friendship, as well as danger and enemies.
Harper, 31, of New Port Richey, Fla., graduated from MHS in 1993 and has
been writing since he was a youngster living at 623 Sixth St. in Marysville.
He responded via E-mail to several questions about his new book and his
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing since I was very little. I remember once, when I was
something like 6 or so, I informed Mom and Dad (John and Laura Harper)
that I was going to go work at the library. When they broke the news to
me that I was too young to be hired, I said, "Fine! I'll open my own
library!" They asked where I'd get the books, as I didn't have any
money. My answer was, "I'll write them myself!" And I started writing
short stories and stapling the pages together into pseudo-books.
I've collected comics books for years and used to very much want to get
into that industry. I think that's one thing that led me to writing
novels. I can't draw well enough, consistently enough, to do comics and
have never known anyone else who could, either, on a level where we
could become creative partners. So, I ended up dropping the
illustrations and creating the images with words.
Any suggestions for budding authors?
The same thing that everyone kept telling me - don't give up. I had 162
rejection letters from publishers before I finally had my first short
story accepted for publication back in 2002 by Morbid Outlook, an
How long did it take for the book to become a reality?
Years. I started work on it as the final assignment for the course I
took with the Institute of Children's Literature back in 1998. I didn't
work on it consistently all that time, though. I'd put it aside and not
do anything with it for long periods of time. But it went through a lot
of changes over the course of several drafts.
Who is your favorite author?
I have to name two - Terry Brooks and Michael Crichton.
Who was your high school English teacher?
Mrs. Jack was my English teacher my sophomore year. That was the last
year in school that I had an English class, I think.
What kind of training have you had - formal and informal?
Other than classes in school, the only other formal training I've had
writing was a course in children's literature from the Institute of
Children's Literature. I got my diploma from them in 1998.
Now about the book, what was your inspiration? And why would a guy who
lives in sunny Florida be writing about a wicked winter? Do you miss winter?
I started "Winter's Rite" years ago, while still living in Ohio. I was
taking a course in children's literature and began work on it for the
final assignment of the course. It's actually a radical mutation of an
older idea I had. Mythology is a long-time hobby. I try to stay as true
to the myths and stories as I can and take as few creative liberties
with them as possible.
As for me missing winter, I don't miss driving in the bad weather. But I
do miss the snow, yes. Even after eight years down here, I don't deal
well with the heat and humidity. Still, after having the entirety of
"Winter's Rite" set in blizzard conditions, I don't think the words
snow, ice or cold are used in Book Two, "Well Wishes," at all. "Well
Wishes," which will be out in October of 2006, bounces between several
climates and settings. But none of them are cold and snowy.
What else have you written?
I've had 15 short stories published and a 16th has been accepted for
publication sometime next year. Most have been fantasy. One was science
fiction - a time travel story. Another was a Halloween-themed piece for
What else have you done?
I'm doing covers for two magazines now. Both publications are quarterly.
My covers will begin with the August issues of both. The magazines are
"Twisted Dreams and "Worlds Within - Worlds Beyond." Both are published
by Andrea Dean VanScoyoc. If you read the dedication page of "Winter's
Rite," you saw her name there. She's a horror author who helped me to
get "Winter's Rite" into print. While trying to self-teach myself
graphics software, I decided a cover for "Twisted Dreams," as it's
easier for me to have an end goal in mind rather than simply play around
with the software and see what I end up with. On a lark, I e-mailed the
cover design to Andrea. She liked it and said she'd use it for the
magazine. I was shocked, but told her that I had other ideas for more
covers. She told me to do them and send them to her. I did so. She then
told me that, if I wanted it, I would be her official cover artists for
"Twisted Dreams." About a month ago, she then e-mailed me, requesting
that I take over cover duties on "Worlds Within - Worlds Beyond," too.
Currently, six covers for "Twisted Dreams" and one cover for "Worlds
Within - Worlds Beyond" have been written and accepted.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I'm doing book signings now. I've done two already. A third is planned
for July 8 in Florida.
Where is the book available?
With the ISBN number for "Winter's Rite" (1-4116-5816-7) anyone should
be able to order it through most major bookstores anywhere. It can also
be found on Amazon.com and through the online store I was given on the
publisher's site - http://www.lulu.com/sjhlhjh.
Firefighters and police join forces for Guns-N-Hoses campaign
From J-T staff reports:
Not everyone can put out a fire or catch a bad guy, but those who donate
blood with fire and police officers in July may save lives.
Central Ohioans who donate blood during July's annual Guns-N-Hoses
campaign also will be entered in a free drawing for a 42-inch plasma TV.
Blood donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds
and be in general good health.
Guns-N-Hoses began in 1996 as a friendly competition between police and
fire officers to see who could bring in the most blood donations. Donors
during July's month long campaign can make their donation a vote for
either firefighters or police officers. In the end, central Ohio
patients will benefit from the available blood products. And, for
participating in the campaign, every presenting blood donor at
participating drives will receive a campaign sticker and a chance to win
the plasma TV.
Members of key law enforcement and firefighters organizations - Local 67
of the International Association of Firefighters, the Fraternal Order of
Police Capital City Lodge No. 9, the Ohio State Troopers Association and
the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association - are expected to donate more
than 1,000 units of blood in July. Nearly 14,800 additional blood
donations will be needed to collect the 15,800 units of blood required
to meet the region's collection goal for the month.
Blood drives will be held at the following locations in Union County:
Marysville YMCA, 1150 Charles Lane, today from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. (call
800-GIVE-LIFE); St. John's Lutheran Church, 12809 Route 736, today from
noon to 6 p.m. (call 642-6651); Trinity Lutheran Church, 311 East Sixth
St., Friday, July 14, from noon to 6 p.m. (call 642-1616); Union County
Sheriff's Office, 221 W. Fifth St., Tuesday, July 18 from 11 a.m. to 5
p.m. (call 645-4100); Marysville Cinema, 121 S. Main St., Friday, July
28, from 1 to 7 p.m. (call 800-GIVE-LIFE); and Jerome UMC, 10531 Jerome
Road, Saturday, July 29, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (call 800-GIVE-LIFE).
"The blood supply is particularly fragile during the summer months when
the demand for blood to treat trauma patients rises and the supply
dips," said Rodney Wilson, communications specialist for the Central
Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. "Guns-N-Hoses
blood donors can be heroes to patients in need alongside local officers,
and possibly win a plasma TV in the process."
This campaign collects life-saving blood during the critical summer
"trauma season" when the demand for blood often exceeds the supply.
Trauma season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, is characterized by an
increase in motor vehicle crashes and related injuries. People are more
active during the summer months and more likely to sustain serious
injuries. At the same time, busy summer schedules mean people are less
likely to give the "gift of life."
The demand for the "universal" type O-negative blood, generally safe for
all patients, is constant. But because it is used to treat trauma
victims in urgent situations when there is no time to determine the
patient's blood type, the demand for O-negative is even greater
throughout the summer.
Marysville Journal Tribune
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