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Local Archived News  June 2006



     GI Plastek nearer to settling up with workers

     Ticks in area found to carry RMSF bacteria


     County ready for bridge work

     Fair issue resolved


     Indiana to get new Honda plant

     Suspects appear in common pleas court

     Fairbanks parents show support for coach

     Magnetic Springs plans mini-fest

     Fourth of July concert canceled


     Bus incident draws concern 

     Richwood drowns pool regulations

     Fourth of July activities scheduled


     Growing character

     Safety committee witnesses demands on fire staff


     Reservoir will edge into county

     A new breed of burger

     Ostrander man killed in crash on U.S. 42


     Hospital to open new facility

     City to use TIP money for wastewater plant construction


     Unionville Center to host festival Saturday

     Production at Honda stops

     Grand jury hands down arson indictment


     Monumental boost

     Hazmat training exercise a success

     Making your Company Human


    Kaffenbarger given new contract 

     Jerome Twp. approves pair of developments

     Marysville man killed in motorcycle accident


     Arson is cause of fire


     Youngster goes to Washington as advocate for hospital's care


     Businesses suffer from closure of railroad crossing


     City plans to help with Greenwood flooding


     Local program benefits children, dogs

     Third Fridays return for summer


     Extra money may finance more projects

     JA Board approves fee schedule for facility use


    New restaurant carries local flavor 

    Business projects expected to advance in coming months


     Union County man receives Purple Heart

     School board awards bids for Northwood construction

     Amish influence nearly gone from Plain City


     Electrical worker critically injured

     Adena Pointe project adds to South Park concerns

     First English Lutheran Church to install new pastor


     Prosecutor: Dublin official can sit on LUC Commission

     North Union graduation scheduled for Friday


     Uptown dreams

     Brown gets two life sentences

     Fire board appointments fuel disagreement at North Lewisburg


     Wetland woes

     Jerome Township looks for legal advice


     Holliday earns Eagle Scout award

     Grease fire contained at Plain City McDonalds


     Officials discuss need for another  fire station


     Farewell to MMS 

     Hospital to host seminar on alternatives to suicide

     The 'new' crossword


      The final house call

      Chemical spill after crash snarls U.S. 33 traffic

GI Plastek nearer to settling up with workers
When Marysville's GI Plastek gave staff members a half an hour to pack
up their things and get out, employees demanded answers. Six months
later those answers have never come, but recent information may show
some light at the end of the tunnel.
Employees of the former plant location at 648 Clymer Road remain in the
dark about why the company suddenly shut down its Marysville operations
on Jan. 13, especially after plant managers led them to believe
otherwise. Some employees had given more than two decades of their lives
working at the local plastic parts molding plant.
Marysville United Steelworkers Union Local 843L delegate John Rutherford
represented GI Plastek union members until the plant closed. He said
Wednesday that GI Plastek officials have finally promised to give back
vacation payouts and medical coverage withheld from its plant employees.
He said the payments to employees are expected to be made before the end of July.
Besides former factory workers, Rutherford has been the only company
representative to speak publicly on the GI Plastek plant closing. He met
with Marysville GI Plastek Human Resources Director Mike Flavin the day
before the plant closed. He said Flavin told him the company might be
consolidating and taking funds from different operations to keep
Marysville's operation afloat. Some laid off workers might even be
called back to work. The next day the plant was closed without explanation.
"They were being very elusive and misleading," Rutherford said at the
time. "It was just a show. They were just playing dirty with us."
Rutherford said that since then his contact with GI Plastek has been
limited to discussions with its attorney. Company officials have refused
to contact him since the January closing.
"I called (the GI Plastek) office in Connecticut and they have not
called me back," Rutherford said. "No one wants to have any contact."
Employees have reportedly received the same reception.
Former employee Darlene Combs said no one associated with G/I Plasteks
has ever responded to her phone calls since the lay off. The Marysville
Journal-Tribune also put in numerous calls to former Marysville plant
managers and to officials at the company's other branches in Wolfeboro,
N.H. and Baltimore, Md. None of the calls have been returned and no
official explanation was ever provided for the Marysville shut down.
The only official word to the public has been Flavin's answering machine
message stating the plant closed, "So I'm no longer here."
To former employees, it was not the closing of the plant that bothered
them, but rather how they were treated.
Since her lay off, Combs said the doctor bills for her diabetes
medication "have stacked up." The past six months have consisted of
trying to get in touch with people who refuse to take her phone calls.
"I've been so depressed over this," Combs said.
On June 22 GI Plasteks held an auction at its former plant, selling off
the remainder of materials left behind in the quick departure.
Rutherford said when the company closed its doors it owed back rent and
electric bills. He said much of the modern equipment left behind had
been leased from other agencies, which later came and took the machines
back. The equipment that remained was primarily out-of-date.
"What they had left was nothing worth standing in line for," Rutherford said.
Combs said GI Plastek officials were expected to be at the auction and
she hoped to finally talk with them about employee health insurance and
vacation payouts.
Rutherford said he learned that none of those officials showed up for the event.
Combs said that she heard GI Plastek had finally resolved its issues
with Rutherford and the union.
GI Plastek reportedly had been withholding union fees from workers'
paychecks since February 2005 and had not been distributing the money to
the United Steelworkers Union. It meant Rutherford had been representing
the workers for free. When the company refused to work out payment
options, the International United Steelworkers Union leaders took over
and placed a Pittsburgh lawyer in charge of handling the case.
Rutherford said Wednesday that GI Plasteks officials have since agreed
to make full restitution of the $18,000 owed from withholding the union
fees, but those fees are not going to be pursued by the union until
vacation and medical payments are made to the former workers.
He also wanted to make clear that throughout all of the controversy over
the GI Plastek plant closure, at no point was the situation created by
the employees. They had been willing to make sacrifices to save their
jobs and keep the company afloat in Marysville.

Ticks in area found to carry RMSF bacteria
From J-T staff reports:
The Union County Health Department confirmed the presence of the
bacteria that causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) in two ticks
Monday. The ticks were found near the subdivision of Milford Estates.
The ticks, specifically the American dog tick, were submitted to the
Ohio Department of Health labs earlier in the month and the results
confirmed this week.
"Though no human cases of RMSF have been reported, early discovery of
the bacteria provides an opportunity to improve prevention and reduce
risk," said Martin Tremmel, health commissioner.
The tick is the primary transmitter of spotted fever in Ohio. Symptoms
of RMSF appear three to 12 days after tick bites. The sudden onset of
symptoms include fever, headache, and aching muscles. A rash typically
develops around the wrists and ankles on the second or third day of
fever, but soon spreads to the rest of the body including the palms and
soles. If you experience fever following tick contact, see your physician.
"The disease (RMSF) is transmitted when an infected tick bites a
person," said Paul Pryor, director of environmental health for UCHD.
"The best protection from the disease is to avoid contact with an infected tick."
To prevent tick bites, the UCHD advises:
. Stay out of weedy, tick-infested areas. Keep grass and weeds cut short
in lawns and gardens
. Make frequent personal inspections
. Examine children at least twice daily for the presence of ticks; pay
special attention to the head and neck
. Check clothing for crawling ticks
. Keep dogs tied or penned in a mowed area as they may bring ticks into
the home or yard. Check them daily. If ticks are found, follow tick
removal instructions.
. If exposure to tick-infested area in unavoidable, tuck pant cuffs into
socks or boots. Wearing light-colored clothing makes it easier
to find crawling ticks.
Repellents containing permethrin can be sprayed on boots and clothing
and will last for several days while repellents containing DEET can be
applied directly to the skin, but should be used with caution on
children. Adverse reactions have been associated with the
use of DEET on children.
To remove attached ticks, the UCHD advises:
. Use fine-tipped tweezers or notched tick extractor and protect your
fingers with a tissue, paper towel, or latex gloves. Persons should
avoid removing ticks with bare hands as bacteria can pass from the tick
through breaks in the skin.
. Grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible and pull
upward with steady, even pressure. Do not twist or jerk the tick; this
may cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin.
. After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash
your hands with soap and water.
. Do not squeeze, crush, or puncture the body of the tick because its
fluids may contain infectious organisms. Skin accidentally exposed to
tick fluids can be disinfected with iodine scrub, rubbing alcohol, or
water containing detergents.
. Save the tick for identification in case you become ill. This may help
your doctor make an accurate diagnosis. Place the tick in a scalable
plastic bag and put it in your freezer. Write the date of the bite on a
piece of paper with pencil and place it in the bag.
. Do not use petroleum jelly or hot matches. Such folk remedies will not
encourage a tick to detach from the skin and may make matters worse by
irritating the tick and stimulating it to release additional saliva or
regurgitate gut contents, increasing the chances of transmitting the
bacteria that causes RMSF.
Another common cause of the spread of RMSF is the deticking of dogs. The
bacteria can be spread similarly to other diseases by contact with open
wounds, eyes, nose, or mouth. A person plucking infected ticks from an
animal without proper protection opens themselves up to infection.
If you are bitten by a tick, you may bring the live tick to Union County
Health Department for identification and testing. Only live ticks may be
tested for disease. For more information, please contact the Union
County Health Department at (937) 642-2053 or on the web at

County ready for bridge work

A decades-old covered bridge will soon be moved and an aged-steel truss
bridge dismantled to make room for two new covered bridges that will
span Big Darby Creek.
The county engineer's department has orchestrated two major bridge
projects in western Union County totaling $3.3 million. The steel bridge
is located on Buck Run Road and the covered bridge is on North Lewisburg
Road. Because the Big Darby is a protected waterway, all work is
scheduled around fish spawning season, Dec. 1 to  June 30. Another
environmental issue affecting the projects are trees that could have
been habitats for the endangered Indiana bats.
Work is to begin next week to prepare the North Lewisburg bridge for its
move to a spot about one mile down the road on a yet-to-be-built bike
path between Inskeep Cratty Road and the village of North Lewisburg.
"This is exciting for us," said assistant county engineer Jeff Stauch
about finding a new use for the old covered bridge.
Stauch speculates that it will take approximately two weeks to prepare
the North Lewisburg bridge for the move and a couple days to move it to
the bike trail location. The two-mile bike trail is to begin on East
Street in North Lewisburg and end just after the covered bridge at
Inskeep Cratty Road. The 10-foot wide bike path is to be built in the
fall along an old railroad bed right-of-way acquired by the village of
North Lewisburg.
Once in its new location, the single-span covered bridge will get a face
lift and be strong enough for maintenance and ambulance vehicles. The
bridge's floor system will be replaced and the trusses repaired. A new
roof and paint are also planned.
The engineer's staff plan to keep the community updated on the covered
bridge move on the county website, Stauch said.
Buck Run Road was closed last week and is expected to remain closed
until December when a single-span, two-lane, 28-foot wide, covered
bridge will replace the iron-truss bridge built in the 1900s.
Both of the new covered bridges are designed to handle today's traffic.
The new covered bridge on North Lewisburg Road is projected to cost $1.6
million and the covered bridge on Buck Run Road is expected to cost $1.7
million. Federal funds will cover $3 million of the costs, while the
Union County Commissioners appropriated $300,000 for the project.
Planning began more than two years ago for the bridge projects.
The new covered bridges will depart from the style of the four existing
bridges in the county. The older covered bridges were designed and built
by Reuben Partridge and based on a design patented by him in 1872.
Stauch said the new covered bridges will use the Pratt Truss combining
timber and steel.
The county website states that Union County has four covered bridges,
all built in the late 1860s or 1870s, and all are part of the county
highway system. A fifth structure, the Reed Bridge once the longest
built in 1884, collapsed in 1993.
The original Union County covered bridge designer, Partridge died in
1900 as a result of a fall from a bridge he was building north of
Marysville. The Union County covered bridges all have windows cut into
the siding, although this was not original. The windows were created
after the advent of automobile traffic to increase visibility.
The four bridges are located on North Lewisburg Road over Big Darby
Creek, Inskeep Cratty Road over Spain Creek, Winget Road over Little
Darby Creek and Axe Handle Road over Little Darby Creek. The Winget Road
bridge was moved to that location many years ago, but no one seems to
know where it came from originally, states the web site.

Fair issue resolved
Danny Westlake and his family have been cleared of all wrong doing by
the Union County Fair Board.
An undated statement signed by fair board president Dale Madison and
Westlake states that "without further hearing ... its previous findings
should be, and hereby are, rescinded and held for naught."
Minutes before the July 28, 2005 junior fair lamb show began, a meeting
was held before the Union County Senior Fair Board banned the three
Westlake children from showing their projects. On Aug. 2, Madison said
the Westlakes were banned from exhibiting for three years because a lamb
was drenched during the fair. Drenching, according to veterinarian
Margaret Masterson, is a process to force animals to drink any liquid.
Records of that meeting, which were not available until Oct. 18, state
that two unnamed people - a 4-H member and an adult - saw an individual
drenching a sheep with a syringe with a substance that looked like
orange juice. Westlake told the Livestock Committee members that he did
not drench the lamb.
The recent statement from the fair board states that Westlake has
submitted a "substantial amount of information and identified a number
of witnesses, several of whom are experts in the field and all of whom
are willing to testify if further hearings were to be held that the
actions of Mr. Westlake did not constitute drenching. This information,
not available to the Board at the time it reached it's previous decision
on July 28, 2005, has been extremely helpful to the Board coming to an
understanding what really happened."
Westlake said today that he appreciates all those people who have stood
by him and looks forward to seeing everyone at the 2006 Union County Fair.
"I appreciate the dedication and hard work of the many people who have
worked with me and the fair board and to set the record straight on what
happened last July during the 2005 Fair. As I said then and as the fair
board has now found, I never drenched a lamb or cheated in any way. I
gave the lamb Probios which is a natural substance administered for the
health of the animal and clearly allowed by the rules. It does not
enhance an animal's appearance or weight so as to affect the
competitiveness of an animal in a show," Westlake said today. "What is
important, though, is that folks know that I never cheated and would never cheat."
Madison's signed statement states that the fair board concluded that
Westlake administered a natural substance for the health of the animal,
accepted Westlake's public apology for his part in the controversy and
upheld the family's exclusion during the 2005 fair.
Madison and fair board secretary Kim Butcher were contacted for comments
about the recent turn of events. Madison did not respond to a message
left at his home and Butcher said she didn't know anything about thematter.

Indiana to get new Honda plant

From staff and wire reports:
Honda today announced plans to build a $550 million automobile plant on
a 1,700-acre tract in Decatur County, Ind., near Greensburg, 50 miles
southeast of Indianapolis.
The plant will begin mass production of fuel efficient four-cylinder
vehicles in fall 2008, with an annual production capacity of 200,000
vehicles and employment of 2,000 associates.
The new Indiana plant, Honda's sixth auto plant and 14th major plant
overall in North America, will help boost Honda's total North American
auto production capacity from 1.4 million units to more than 1.6 million
units in 2008, grow Honda's employment in North America to more than
37,000 associates and increase North American capital investment to more
than $9 billion.
Communities in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin have all
vied for the plant but with a large employment rate in the area, Union
County Commissioner Gary Lee said, expectations were low for another
factory in central Ohio.
Yet today's announcement is still good news for Ohio, agree Lee and
Union County Economic Development Director Eric Phillips.
"We are pleased Honda of America is growing and a viable economic force.
We are thrilled for their success," Lee said.
While admitting it would have been nice to have seen another Honda
factory built in Ohio, Phillips said local suppliers should still
benefit dramatically with the expansion. In fact, he said two suppliers
have already applied for expansion plans. He said today's announcement
shows how important Ohio and the midwest are to Honda's production operations.
"We're blessed to have Honda's presence ... and I believe the company
made the best decision they could make," Phillips said. "Honda is very
strong in Union County."
In 2005, American Honda achieved record U.S. sales of 1,462,472 new
Honda and Acura cars and light trucks, the ninth straight year of record
annual sales. In order to meet growing demand, Honda plans to build the
new Indiana plant in approximately 24 months, with construction expected
to begin in fall 2006.
"Honda's success in America has been based on our strong commitment to
our customers," said Koichi Kondo, president of American Honda Motor
Co., Inc., and chief operating officer of Honda's North America Region operations.
"We believe the great state of Indiana has what we need to continue this
success -- an outstanding community of people, excellent transportation
systems, and the necessary infrastructure to support industry. It is an
ideal location in the Midwest both for our network of parts suppliers
and as a central location for all of our customers across the
country."Honda will announce additional details of its vehicle
production plans at a later date. The new plant will have the same type
of flexible New Manufacturing System that is found in Honda's other auto
plants in the U.S. and Canada, with advanced technologies that provide
the flexibility to produce different models more quickly and
efficiently. Major processes performed at the Indiana plant will include
stamping, welding, painting, plastic injection molding and assembly
operations. Hiring plans will be announced in the coming months.
Honda will make a significant commitment to limit the environmental
impact of the new Indiana plant. Already, every major Honda plant in
North America has met the ISO 14001 international environmental
management standards except the new transmission plant in Georgia that
opened in May 2006, which is now working toward certification. The
Indiana plant will employ advanced methods of energy and emission
reduction with the goal to become a "zero waste to landfill" factory.
 "Our commitment to the environment is not based just on regulations or
testing standards," said Akio Hamada, president of Honda of America Mfg.
Inc., and head of Honda's manufacturing operations in the North America
Region. "Our goal is that this plant in Indiana will have the smallest
environmental footprint of any Honda auto plant in North America."
As part of an infrastructure improvement package developed in
cooperation with local and state government officials, the state of
Indiana and the community will make various highway improvements in the
area, provide site and infrastructure improvements and funds to train
new Honda associates.
The Anna, Ohio Engine Plant, Honda's largest engine facility in the
world, will provide four-cylinder engines to the Indiana plant. With
annual capacity of 1.15 million engines, the Anna Plant has the
flexibility to produce both four-cylinder and V6 engines, as well as
numerous engine and brake components.
Honda first announced its plan to build a new auto plant as part of its
May 17 announcement for the advancement of the company's "2010 Vision"
for North American automobile operations. In addition to the new auto
plant in Indiana, Honda's North American plan also included the
following new corporate initiatives:
. Construction of a new engine plant in Canada to begin production of
four-cylinder engines in 2008 with an investment of $140 million and
employment of 340 associates.
. Expansion of U.S. engine, transmission and powertrain component
production in Ohio and Georgia, with additional investment of $125
million and additional employment of 80 associates.
. Introduction in the U.S. and Canada in 2009 of a new, more affordable,
dedicated hybrid car.
. Introduction in the U.S. and Canada within the next three years of new
four-cylinder diesel engine technology that meets U.S. EPA Tier 2 Bin 5
emissions standards.
. Establishment of a voluntary goal to improve American Honda's
Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) by five percent over 2005 levels
by the year 2010.
Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary.
Honda began U.S. production operations in 1979. The company has two
plants in Ohio, and one each in Alabama, Canada and Mexico.
Prior to today's announcement, Honda had invested more than $8.5 billion
in its North American operations with 13 major manufacturing plants,
employment of more than 33,000 associates and the annual purchase of
more than $16 billion in parts and materials from suppliers in North
America. Nearly eight of 10 Honda and Acura cars and light trucks sold
in America are produced in North America.
Honda and its larger rival, Toyota Motor Corp., have been rapidly
expanding their North American manufacturing capacity to keep up with
demand even as U.S. automakers General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.
are cutting thousands of jobs and closing plants as their market share declines.
Honda has considered sites east and west of Greensburg, a community of
10,500, which has been compared to what the Marysville area was like
before Honda.
Planning officials in Decatur County were already scheduled to meet
Wednesday to discuss rezoning the western 1,656 acres for the plant
Honda officials hope to have built by 2008.
The company this spring collected options on land near Greensburg, 50
miles southeast of Indianapolis, offering to buy property at 75 percent
more than its assessed value. The deal included a $6,000 signing bonus
to landowners who agreed to sell, regardless of whether the land was used.
"Everybody would kind of like to know one way or another," Mayor Frank
Manus said. "All we're doing is just waiting for the signal."
County officials said Honda has asked for an exception to local rules
governing the size of signs and building heights, and permission to
store fuel on the property.
"They basically want a site that's ready to dig," said David Nueman,
Decatur County's area plan director and building commissioner.
Catherine Madden, a senior automotive analyst at Waltham, Mass.-based
Global Insight, said the new plant will help Honda increase its capacity
in the U.S., and in turn, boost sales.
"I certainly think that ultimately it's a great opportunity for Honda," she said.

Suspects appear in common pleas court
Tuesday afternoon several suspects appeared before Union County Common
Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott.
Eric D. Adams, 36, of Plain City was indicted in late May for two
second-degree felony assault charges and two second-degree felony
aggravated assault charges.
Adams received international attention after he allegedly stabbed a
father and son at a wedding reception in Raymond on April 22. Witnesses
on the scene had reported the violence was brought on by his impatience
for the family to cut the wedding cake so he could leave.
Union County Prosecutor David Phillips' office reported that Adams did
not enter a plea during his Tuesday afternoon hearing. This means he
will go before a jury in a three-day trial expected to take place
between Aug. 7-9.
According to law enforcement officials, the stabbing took place shortly
after 4 p.m. at the wedding reception being held at the Liberty Township
Community Center at 21463 Main St. in Raymond.
Adams could receive a sentence of two to eight years in prison and up to
a $15,000 fine on each of the second-degree felony charges and one to
five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for each third-degree
felony charge.
The woman who allegedly drove the getaway car for a recent prison escape
also came before Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott
Tuesday afternoon.
Gidget Moore, 38, of Bellefontaine, was charged with aiding and abetting
an escape on May 8, after her husband Johnny A. Moore, 46, of Lakeview,
walked away from the West Central Community Based Correctional Facility
on Route 4.
Johnny Moore was on a cleaning detail outside of the prison when Gidget
Moore allegedly picked up him in a Dodge Shadow. The two drove off and
were believed to be heading to Florida with two children. The next day
the Union County Sheriff's Office was notified by the Jasper Police
Department in Marion County, Tenn., that both Moores were arrested and
taken into custody without further resistance.
Phillips' office reported Gidget Moore did not enter a plea for the
charge against her and will have her next hearing on Aug. 10.
In another case before the court Tuesday, Joseph M. Morgan, 48, of
Raymond, was arraigned on two third-degree felony gross sexual
imposition charges and one fourth-degree felony gross sexual imposition
charge for alleged sexual contact with juveniles less than 13 years old
between Nov. 1, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2002.
Morgan reportedly pleaded not guilty to the charges and a scheduling
conference was set for July 24.

Fairbanks parents show support for coach
A number of parents and nearly a dozen student athletes pleaded for the
Fairbanks school system not take away their varsity baseball coach
during Tuesday evening's regular meeting of the board of education.
Joe Hackney, parent of two Fairbanks High School baseball players, told
board members that it had recently come to his attention that head
baseball coach Barry Keith may lose his job to assistant coach and high
school intervention specialist teacher Richard Rausch.
Rausch, who served last year as volunteer assistant for the team, has
reportedly expressed interest in becoming head coach. And, according to
the Ohio Revised Code, 3313.53, he has every right to have the job.
The code says that if a licensed faculty member in the school system
desires a coaching position, he or she has the first opportunity at it,
as long as they have a background in the sports.
If no such person exists, a licensed teacher outside the school system
(who also has a background in the sport) may be considered.
Community members and people outside of the school system receive the
final consideration.
Keith, who has been head varsity coach at Fairbanks for eight years,
operates as a community member outside of the school system.
Rausch, who will be begin his second year as an educator at Fairbanks
this fall, has the first opportunity at the coaching position, according to the law.
Rausch previously served as assistant baseball coach at North Union
before coming to Fairbanks.
Hackney calls the situation an "injustice."
"Barry has done something for these kids that shouldn't be torn down
because some individual decides that he can come in and take over," he
said. "He's (Keith) taken this baseball program from shambles to first-class."
Fairbanks superintendent Jim Craycraft said that all supplemental
contracts, whether it be teaching or coaching, are by law one-year
contracts. They must be renewed each year, therefore, individuals know
that their contracts aren't guaranteed for longer than a year.
Hackney said that he spoke with members of the Ohio Board of Education
who have reportedly said that the Fairbanks School Board could write its
own criteria for the position and, in a sense, override Ohio Revised Code 3313.53.
Hackney spoke for the seven parents and nearly a dozen baseball players
present when he said, "Our appeal is that the school board speak to Mr.
Rausch individually and ask him to do what any other freshman does and
pray for his day on the field... ask him to gain a little humility and wait his turn."
Craycraft reassured those in attendance that no action would be taken
Tuesday night and that the board is researching all options and avenues
in regards to the issue.
"Mr. Keith has not been fired," he said, assuring that a decision won't
be made until later in the summer.
"We'll try to make the decision that is in the best interest of the
school district and the community," he continued. "We certainly
understand Barry's longevity and his influence in the school district,
but we also have to comply with the law."
Senior baseball player Dean Rogers then read a speech he'd written,
saying that, "without Coach Keith, there is no baseball program at
Fairbanks... If Coach Rausch thinks he can come in and take Coach
Keith's position, then I don't think anyone will play next year... we
won't play for anyone else but Coach Keith."
Later in the meeting, Craycraft discussed the school's attempt to
develop a wellness policy which he will present to the board in August.
The program will incorporate a breakfast program in the middle school
and high school. He said the breakfast program was successful in the
elementary school last year, as profits amounted to $2,400. Plus, he
said teachers noticed a major difference in kids who ate breakfast in the morning.
Craycraft also reported that the board is working to develop a cell
phone policy and a vehicle policy, which will allow only coaches to
drive athletes to and from athletic events in appropriate vehicles.
He also reported that all phones in the high school and middle school
will be replaced the second week of July. The cost is $21,000 to replace
the phones. The fire and tornado warning system will also be replaced, he said.
The board planned a special meeting for Friday, June 30 at 11 a.m. to
discuss the hiring of a second grade intervention specialist teacher.
The next regular meeting will be held July 17.
In other action, the board:
. Approved fleet and property insurance through the Ohio School plan at
the cost of $19,185.
. Approved temporary appropriations for July and August of fiscal year
2006-07, not to exceed 25 percent of 2005-2006 expenditures.
. Did not approve a contract with the Delaware ESC for special education
services in the amount of $196,827.54.
. Approved the sale and disposal of two district mowers.

Magnetic Springs plans mini-fest
From J-T staff reports:
A mini-fest is planned in Magnetic Springs for Aug. 12.
Activities will include games, food, entertainment, a flea market and
classic/vintage car show at the village's north end.
"We are working hard to bring this together. We passed our 5-mil levy in
May, things are turning around and after all of the negative press that
was given to the paper in October, we want the people to know that our
community does care and we are working hard and with God's help we will
continue to be a village," writes Kathy Cantrell in an e-mail. "We have
had a great response from the residents since last October. Council is
just trying to have positive things going on rather than the negative."
Anyone interested in participating as a flea market vendor should call
Cantrell at 348-2342. Individuals interested in participating in the car
show should contact Dean Bowsher at 348-2371.
Trophies will be awarded to best of show/most original, people's choice
and vintage. The public will vote on the cars and cash prizes will be
awarded with the amount to be determined based on the number of entries

Fourth of July concert canceled
The Union County Singsations will not be singing July 4 after all.
Information about Fourth of July activities on Tuesday's front page
incorrectly listed an event by the Union County Singsations. The event
has been canceled.
A representative of the group contacted the Marysville Journal-Tribune
last week about a planned event and also scheduled ads. According to a
caller today, the group canceled their event after learning that a
significant number of members would be out of town on the day of the
scheduled event. While the advertisements were canceled, the group
failed to contact the news room about the change.

Bus incident draws concern
Marysville board is told students were injured

The mothers of two Creekview Intermediate School pupils who were
allegedly injured in a bus incident this spring spoke to Marysville
School Board members Monday night at the regular board meeting.
Jackie Schertzer and Sharon Puntney of Raymond, told board members that
their daughters were injured when bus driver Sharon Kissling
unexpectedly applied her school bus' brakes.
Schertzer said Kissling would "hit the brakes to get the kids'
attention." This spring when she did so, several children on the bus
were allegedly injured, Schertzer said, including her 11-year-old
daughter, who suffered a bruise over her left eye. She had her
daughter's eye examined by a professional to make sure there was no
permanent damage, Schertzer said.
In the same incident, Puntney's 10-year-old daughter also was allegedly
injured, suffering whiplash requiring medical care.
Attempts by the Journal-Tribune to reach Kissling this morning were not successful.
Neal Handler, Marysville School District assistant superintendent, told
the newspaper this morning that the school district handles "very precious cargo."
It transports 3,000 pupils a day, twice a day and covers a distance of
148 square miles, he said, with 1,500 stops made.
"We're proud of our transportation fleet," he said. "We have very fine bus drivers."
Puntney reiterated Schertzer's assertion that Kissling applied the
brakes to get her passengers' attention. She added, "That is not the way
to get the kids' attention."
Puntney said her daughter is undergoing treatment for whiplash which
means, "She can't have fun. She can't jump on the trampoline
and can't go swimming."
"Whiplash can last a very long time and a 10-year-old cannot spend the
entire summer on the couch," Puntney said.
While her mother was talking, the 10 year-old sat beside her crying. At
one point, Schertzer also cried. It was, she said, a very emotional issue for her.
Schertzer said it had been a "long, scary thing for a parent.  A long,
scary process ... I shouldn't have to worry about her bus driver."
Schertzer said she needed reassurance that Kissling would be reassigned
and that her daughter would be safe riding a school bus. If not, she
said, she was willing to move or withdraw her daughter from
school to  insure her safety.
Marysville Superintendent Larry Zimmerman assured Schertzer that
Kissling would be reassigned and "would receive additional training."
"My hope is we never have to worry about this again," Zimmerman said.
"(We) do not expect it nor will we tolerate it. The safety of the kids is utmost."
Puntney also expressed concern about medical bills the family has
incurred. Zimmerman said the school district's insurance provider would
work with Puntney's insurance company.
Board members unanimously voted to suspend Kissling for 10 days without
pay. The days of suspension are to be May 8-10 (which she has already
served), Aug. 21-25 and Aug. 28-29.
Earlier in the meeting, board members received a construction update
from Andrew Maletz of Steed/Hammond/Paul.
Maletz said the proposed intermediate/middle school on the former
Bunsold property on U.S. 36/Route 4 has moved into the design
development phase, and next board meeting he should be able to provide a
computer's rendering of the structure.
Friday he met with Union County watershed authorities, Maletz said, and
addressed concerns regarding water runoff into Buck Run and
ultimately Big Darby Creek.
"I think it's going to be a much improved site," he said.
Maletz also said work on the second addition to Marysville's high school
will begin this fall with construction of a new parking lot and bus
drop-off area. During spring break 2007, he added, the current front
parking area will be removed, a construction fence put up and a new side
entrance "punched in."
The idea is to limit contact between contractors and students as much as
possible and to avoid student traffic mixing with large trucks.
As soon as school ends in 2007, the student parking lot will be removed
and new student parking constructed. A second construction area will
then be blocked off while additional work begins.
June 2008 should find the construction crew "buttoning up" remaining areas.
"The school year of 2007-2008 is going to be a challenge," Maletz said.
In other action, board members rejected a bid for the replacement of the
East Elementary air handling unit. The only bid received was from Vaughn
Industries and it exceeded the bid estimate by 10 percent. Based on the
Ohio Revised Code, treasurer Delores Cramer said it is necessary to
re-bid the project.
Board members then authorized Cramer to contact contractors who
originally picked up bid packages and request those interested to
re-bid. Board members also declared the project an urgent necessity
because of the "significant immediate need of the air handling unit."
Board members also unanimously approved a resolution to remove and
replace sections of the roof at Marysville High School through a
contract in existence between the Ohio Department of Administrative
Services and Duro-Last Roofing Inc

Richwood drowns pool regulations
Also hires new administrator, solicitor
While snow was still on the ground, Richwood Village Council member
George Showalter began working to ensure that swimming pools in the
village were safe for youngsters.
At Monday's council meeting the issue finally came to a vote ? with all
swimming pool regulations being wiped from the village codes.
Showalter's original concern, voiced several months ago, was that the
village code was vague about what could be used as fencing around pools.
The village code stipulated that any pool holding more than 18 inches of
water or more than 100 square feet of water must be enclosed in a fence.
But the code allowed for plastic fencing to be used and Showalter did
not feel that would be sufficient to keep children away from the
backyard structures. Showalter feared that with the popularity of
cheaper, deeper pools, a Richwood-area child would drown.
Showalter brought the issue before council and it was later put into the
hands of the village safety committee, comprised of council members Jim
Thompson, Peg Wiley and Von Beal. Thompson reported on the  committee's
recommendation Monday.
Thompson said the village had been approached by the Union County
Engineer's Office about assistance on the matter. The engineer's office
offered to enforce Union County's swimming pool guidelines within the
village of Richwood.
Thompson said the county's guidelines were very specific about fencing
and electrical sources, so much so that a $40 building permit and a $40
electrical permit would be required of anyone installing a pool that
held water more than 24 inches deep.
The county would then keep the permit fees, a fact that Beal said he
opposed. Thompson said he has seen numerous pools around the county that
do not hold to the county's fencing guidelines. Thompson said he
understands that the county would take responsibility in the event of an
accident in such an unsecured pool.
Wiley then moved that the village erase all swimming pool regulations
from its codes, stating that safety issues should be the responsibility
of the pool owner.
The issue passed 5-1 with Showalter voting no.
Later in the meeting, councilman Wade McCalf noted that council should
revisit the issue in the future to place some mandates on where
residents may install pools.
Council also installed a new village administrator. Larry Baxa,
administrator and water superintendent for the village of McComb was
approved by a 6-0 vote.
Baxa has served the 1,700-resident village for five years, overseeing
infrastructure improvements, grant applications and zoning issues. He
recently secured his EPA Wastewater Class III certification which is
required to operate Richwood's facility.
The village also parted ways with its solicitor. Richwood mayor Bill
Nibert said that the relationship with solicitor Rick Rodger has deteriorated.
"I think it's time we make a change," Nibert said.
Council voted 6-0 to remove Rodger from the position.
With that, he proposed that Marysville attorney Victoria Stone Moledor
take over duties, effective July 1. Appointing a solicitor does not
require council approval.
In other business, council:
.Heard an update on village projects from Ed Bischoff of Bischoff and Associates.
.Heard from Thompson that the safety committee would like to hear
complaints about the village police department quickly so they can be
investigated in a timely manner.
.Heard councilman Scott Jerew's concern about miniature motorcycles
being driven on the village streets. Jerew said the vehicles are
difficult for other motorists to see. He said he would like to see the
police department ticket drivers of the vehicles.
.Briefly discussed holding a retainer from the fees of Bischoff and
Associates in a similar manner to retainers required of other contractors.

Fourth of July activities scheduled
According to the American Legion Post 79, the 2006 Fourth of July
celebrations will be held Tuesday.
The events will kick off with a decorated bicycle contest at 9:45 a.m.
and a parade at 10 a.m. The bike contest and pride line up will be held
at the Union County Office Building, 233 W. Sixth St.
The holiday fire works will take place at the Union County Fairgrounds
at dusk. Rest rooms will be open and some food concession stands as
well. No activities will take place on the fairgrounds between the
parade and the fireworks.
The Union County Singsations will present "The Spirit of America in Song
and Dance" on the Marysville Middle School lawn July 4 at 7:30 p.m.
The concert directed by Delores Winters and choreographed by Miriam
Carson will be presented before the fireworks. "Pass-the-hat" proceeds
will benefit the Veterans' Memorial monument.
Those attending should bring their own lawn chairs or blankets for

Growing character
Young offenders learn patience, responsibility through gardening program

The five juvenile girls hunched over the soil, shovels and gardening
tools in hand. For over a month now, they have planted, watered and weeded.
Clad in blue T-shirts, each with an identity number sketched on the left
sleeve, the troubled young women said they can't wait to reap the
benefits of their hard work.
"It'll be great to finally see something we've helped create," said
Theresa, 20, who is serving time in the Central Ohio Youth Center
(COYC), 18100 Route 4, for a severe drug addiction after violating her
juvenile parole.
With the help of Master Gardener Charita Cooper, the center has provided
an opportunity for level three juveniles (those in the final days of
their sentence) to plant and take care of their own garden in an effort
to promote teamwork and teach kids responsibility.
"It encourages the kids to work together and cooperate," said Vikky
Jordan, COYC superintendent.
The garden, located on the center's grounds, is also meant to provide a
therapeutic outlet for the youths, Jordan said.
"Research has shown that gardens are effective in working with kids who
have post-traumatic stress disorder and helping them recover from it,"
she said, indicating that a good number of children at the center have
been diagnosed with the disorder.
Research also indicates that children participating in gardening
programs have greater self-esteem and are more likely to gain better
nutritional habits and eating behaviors, an article from the University
of Minnesota Extension Service reported. Gardening helps to nurture
children's curiosity and allow youths to develop patience and
responsibility as they wait for the flowers to bloom and the vegetables
to mature, researchers say.
Betsy Hauck, activities specialist at COYC, agrees with the findings.
"The garden is meant to show the kids that there is no instant
gratification in life. You can't just plant a seed and get instant
results," Hauck said. "You have to work at it."
Eight young women were involved in the initial planting of the garden
about a month ago. Three of them have left the center since then.
The women take care of the garden about once a week. Plus, they get to
eat the products when they're done, as cooks at the center are planning
to use a variety of the fruits, vegetables and herbs in meals. Green
peppers, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, honeydew and watermelon are
among the items planted in the garden. Some of the products might also
be taken to the local food pantry, Jordan said.
Cooper, of Marysville, went to the center several weeks ago to show the
youngsters how to properly plant and tend for a garden. She said she'll
continue to  provide ongoing instruction every three weeks or so.
Brittany, 15, who is serving time at COYC for a drug addiction and being
a runaway, said the project has taught her that her life is kind of like a garden.
"I have to water and take care of my life. And every once in a while
there might be a few weeds, but I just have to pull them out," she said.
Theresa, who is set to be released from the Center this August, said the
garden is something she can do to relax and calm down. Brittany said
it's also just fun.
"We get to be outside, get some sun, and even water each other at
times," Brittany said.
The COYC has completely funded the gardening project. Jordan said next
year the center might look for a grant to help fund the project.
The facility houses 35-40 girls and boys from all over the state of
Ohio. Each juvenile is required to serve a minimum 90-day sentence.

Safety committee witnesses demands on fire staff
Meeting ends when officials have to respond to calls
During the Thursday Marysville Public Safety Committee meeting the local
fire station cleared out because of multiple emergency runs. Officials
say the occurrence highlighted the need for increased staff and services
that was addressed during the May meeting.
Assistant Fire Chief John Meyers said the station received three
emergency calls in a 45 minute period while the meeting was going on. It
showed how often the station ends up with no firemen available and
leaving the city to rely on mutual aid from outside departments.
One by one firemen cleared out of the station in order to respond to
local emergencies brought on by heavy storms, as the committee met with
fire chief Gary Johnson to go over the status of the fire department and
tour the facility.
As the tour began, the full staff of firefighters  showed committee
members around the department. Some committee members had not seen
upgrades to the facility, especially since changes were made possible in
recent years by federal grants.
Johnson said he has taken a lot of flack for a federal grant which
enabled the department to have a full weight and exercise room on the
second floor. But at the time the grant was given to the department, he
explained that many people do not know that firefighters have an
increased vulnerability to heart attacks because of the stress of the
job. Exercise can reduce this trait. Since then, he said many local
firefighters have improved their health.
Then a call came out for a fallen electrical wire on a tree. Half of the
firefighters left the station for the emergency. Soon after, a call came
for a house fire on Ninth Street and the rest of the department cleared
out. That was when the meeting ended.
Before the emergencies occurred, Johnson explained to committee members
that response time for local fire and medic runs has become a problem
for his department. It should take a fire department crew no longer than
one minute to suit up and leave the station for an emergency call. It
should take them less than five minutes to get to the scene.
"We do not meet those standards," he said.
It takes time to get to a fire in Mill Valley, Johnson explained. Even
dealing with downtown traffic is an issue. Although the funds do not
exist in the current city budget to staff a second department, he hopes
to be able to have at least nine firefighters working each shift so
there can at least be enough people on staff to deal with multiple emergency runs.
Johnson said the Boston Globe newspaper did a study on emergency
response times in 2005. Among Ohio fire departments, the Marysville Fire
Department was given a 65 percent listing for being able to respond to a
fire within 6 minutes. He asked committee members to think about how
they would feel being told they had a 65 percent chance of surviving
before going into the hospital for surgery. He said it is not a
reassuring percentage.
As Johnson spoke about the lack of response time, he played a movie the
department made which documents a fire growing in a living room.
Essentially it recreates a typical fire caused by a cigarette left on a
couch. The arm of the couch catches on fire first, then the flames
spread up the back of the couch. He explained that as the radiant heat
in the room increases, soon the entire room will fill with fire. He
pointed out this trait as the fire from the couch suddenly jumps to another couch.
Johnson explained that a "flashover" is the sudden ignition of all
flammable material in a room. As the fire burns and heat is generated,
it is possible for the heat to accumulate faster than it can use fuel.
Once this reaches a critical level, the heat then turns all the
flammables in the room into fuel at once. Despite protective gear, a
firefighter has less than two seconds to evacuate a room that has a
flashover. For a resident asleep inside the home, it is even more dangerous.
"Without a smoke or fire detector . ," Marysville Chief of Police Floyd Golden said.
"You're done," Johnson finished.
The film showed how quickly a fire can get out of control in five minutes, Johnson said.
Situations like this can be prevented with faster response times.

Reservoir will edge into county

Part of one upground reservoir planned by the city of Columbus will be
built in northern Union County.
Three reservoirs will be built in Delaware County along the Scioto River
in Thompson Township with approximately 150 acres of the largest
reservoir  to be located in Union County near Tawa Road. Crossing the
county line, the 857-acre reservoir will be located along the south side
of Delaware County's Taway Road west of Mooney Road. It can hold 9.6
billion gallons of water.
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte said he and other elected officials
including representatives from the Soil and Water Conservation District
have met several times over the past two years with Columbus
representatives to discuss the impact the reservoir will have on local
properties. For Union County the biggest impacts will be road damage
during construction and drainage concerns from damaged tiles.
The Union/Delaware reservoir will be the first of the three proposed
reservoirs to be constructed. Slated to begin the summer of 2007, it is
to be completed in 2009, Stolte said. According to printed reports, all
of the reservoirs will be fenced and not open to the public for
recreational use.
The upground reservoirs are reportedly an alternative to an initial plan
that called for construction of a dam on the Scioto River near
Bellpoint. Approximately 400 homes would have been affected. Planning
began in 1993 when Columbus began buying approximately 2,500 acres.
The Columbus reservoirs will vary in size. The smallest is 349 acres
south of Grigsby Road east of Ohio 257 and can store 4.4 billion gallons
of water. The third reservoir will be built on 398 acres north of Smokey
Road and east of Mooney Road. It can hold 4.3 billion gallons.
The Union/Delaware reservoir is projected to cost $21.3 million. The
estimated cost for all three reservoirs is $94.6 million.
In total, the new reservoirs will store 18.3 billion gallons. The Hoover
Reservoir, by comparison, in Delaware stores about 20 billion gallons,
stated Lynn Kelly, supply and treatment coordinator for Columbus.
Columbus officials have projected that the city's water supply will fall
short of demand by 2020.
A public open house is being planned and comments will be welcome. For
more information go to
Water from the reservoirs will supply Columbus' Dublin Road Water Plant
where it will be treated by conventional treatment techniques and
distributed to the west and northwest portions of the Columbus area.
Del-Co Water Company will also receive 8 million gallons per day from
these reservoirs, which will supplement the supply to the water plant
they have scheduled for construction in the near future.

A new breed of burger
Local business offers Kobe Beef
American Kobe Beef is coming to Union County.
The beef is like no other, say those in the know. In fact, "prime," the
highest U.S.D.A. grade for beef cannot define the quality. Japan's
system of grading meat has three levels for the American prime rating -
bronze, silver and gold. Kobe is gold.
"Lean and skinny, it is not," states a Web site about the meat. With
intense marbling, Kobe beef has a higher percentage of unsaturated fat
than any other breed known in the world. What that means to the taste
buds is intense flavor and supreme tenderness.
Burgers of the specialty beef will be available the week of June 26 at
Barry's Perch 'N More located along Industrial Parkway. Steaks can be
special ordered. Business owner Barry Moffett said he has received
several inquiries from customers about Kobe beef, adding that he is
always looking for new items at his meat market.
"There ain't anybody in town that has what we have," Moffett said about
his store's wide selection of specialty meats that not only includes
American Kobe Beef, but also antelope, rattlesnake, bear, wild boar,
crawdad and frog legs.
Kobe beef has its origins in the Kobe region of Japan from the Wagyu
breed of cattle. Because of Japan's limited land mass, the confined
cattle are massaged to keep their muscles tender, brushed with sake to
keep their coats soft and healthy and fed beer to increase their
appetite and maintain higher levels of fat.
Their American cousins, which are crosses with the Waygu and American
Black Angus, are free to roam the western plains, thus they miss out on
the massages, special brushes and beer diet. Instead, the American
cattle feast on potatoes, alfalfa hay, wheat straw and barley.
Besides genetics, the American breeders have continued the tradition of
a slow-paced, all-natural production method used in Japan. No growth
hormones or animal by-products are used. The typical American Kobe steer
can take up to four times as long as traditional U.S. feeding productions.
Individuals who decide to give the American Kobe a try should bring
their wallet and get a lesson or two about proper cooking methods.
Prices range from $5.99 a pound for burgers to $50.99 a pound for strip
steak. Rib eyes sell for $35.99 a pound and top sirloin costs $23.79 a
pound. This compares to regular beef rib eye steaks that sell for $9.99
a pound and top sirloin that sells for $4.99 a pound.
Quick sear, open flames and preheated cast iron are friends to the Kobe
Beef. One Web site says the meat is a "fragile creature under heat ...
well done and Wagyu are not words that go well together." Seared and
crispy on the outside and rare to medium rare inside will yield the most
delicious flavor and texture, states a brochure from American Kobe Beef.
Moffett said he is looking forward to sinking his teeth into a Kobe beef burger.

Ostrander man killed in crash on U.S. 42
From J-T staff reports:
A crash on U.S. 42 near Harriott Road killed an Ostrander man Friday.
Jack A. Severance, 48, of Ostrander, was southbound in a 2001 Honda
Civic on U.S. 42 at 6:20 p.m. Friday when the accident occurred.
Severance was stopped in traffic, attempting to make a left turn onto
Harriott Road when he was struck from behind by a 2001 Sterling
commercial tractor trailer driven by Rigoberto V. Moreno, 45, of Olmito, Texas.
Severance's vehicle traveled off the right side of the roadway and
struck a traffic sign and telephone box. The tractor trailer traveled
off the right side of the roadway striking a culvert and coming to rest
in a corn field.
Severance was pronounced dead at the scene. Moreno was not injured.
U.S. 42 was closed for four hours during the investigation of the crash.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

Hospital to open new facility
New urgent care services will be available at Medical offices at YMCA building
Memorial Hospital of Union County is set to open a new urgent care
facility on Sept. 1.
The urgent care will operate during evening hours and on weekends out of
the orthopedics and sports medicine offices located at the YMCA
building. Convenient care services will continue out of the emergency room.
"We want to keep care in the community and keep access close to home,"
Spence Fisher, vice president of physician relations and business
development, said during Thursday's board meeting. "At this time we
don't know the impact that the new urgent care facility will have on
convenient care."
Board members received information about a four-day conference in
Scottsdale, Ariz. Hubbs said that the exact cost of the trip has yet to
be determined and will be budgeted for in the 2007 fiscal year. It is
expected that anywhere from 10 to 22 board members, administrative staff
and medical staff will be in attendance.
The board of trustees were informed that the $3.675 million purchase of
MPI real estate properties located at 388 Damascus Road and 660 London
Ave. is moving forward. A three-year-old appraisal estimates the fair
market value for both properties at $3.9 million. 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. Hubbs
explained at the April meeting that given the offices are physician
owned it would be non-compliant for a county hospital to pay more that
fair market value because it would look like an inducement to referral.
In addition it was estimated in April that the buildings were found to
need between $100,000-$150,000 in capital improvements. The hospital has
been consulting with its legal counsel, Bricker and Eckler, as to how to proceed.
Hubbs explained that the difference in the two appraisals was largely
based on occupancy rates. The buildings are currently 70 percent occupied.
The hospital officially rolled out its new uniforms and dress code
policy for all 750-hospital employees.
The new uniforms use a color code to identify different departments. For
example, cardio-pulmonary employees are dressed in light blue while
occupational health employees are dressed in red. The new uniforms are
intended to promote professionalism and better customer service. The
intent is to post charts and/or maps around the hospital and in patient
rooms that explain the color code system.
The board was informed that the hospital along with Drs. Frank and
Norman Raymond are all finalists in the Columbus Business First Health
Care Heroes Awards. The award ceremony is scheduled for July 13 in
downtown Columbus.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss pending
litigation. No action was taken. The next board of trustees meeting will
be July 27 at 8 p.m.
In other news, the board:
. Approved a capital expenditure of $20,520 for software upgrades
. Learned that the 19th annual golf outing raised $26,000
. Approved committee reports for quality review, finance and joint conference.
. Approved the conclusion of a provisional period for Nagah Elarossi,
MD, internal medicine, department of medicine, active status; Alan
Kover, MD, anesthesiology, department of surgery, consulting status;
Trista Schrickel, MD, OBGYN, department of surgery, active status; Jon
Veith, CRNA, department of surgery, allied health; Cathy Hoffman, CRNA,
department of surgery, allied health

City to use TIP money for wastewater plant construction
Plans for the future wastewater treatment plant moved forward at the
Marysville City Council meeting Thursday night with the introduction of
several new ordinances.
The first reading was held on an ordinance to request funds to begin
work on the future Marysville Water Reclamation Facility planned for
construction in Millcreek Township.
Legislation was passed on May 11, authorizing the city to access $75
million in bonds to start work on the Trunk Interceptor Project (TIP)
linking the future plant to the current treatment plant. Bids for the
project will be opened July 12 and remain open for 60 days.
City finance director John Morehart explained that the city remains tied
up in acquiring easements for that project. Instead of waiting, he said
the city plans to use the TIP funds toward building the future plant
instead. But the cost of the future plant is more than the trunk
project. As a result, the city needs to increase the amount of the bonds
to $95 million in order to have the money to put out bids on the future plant.
Morehart said the city will then go back to acquiring the funds for the
trunk sewer project when the issue with easements is resolved.
Councilman David Burke explained that the higher price tag is not only
due to the switch in projects, but also because the city has decided to
go with constructing an 8 million gallon per day (MGD) facility instead
of the originally proposed 6 MGD plant. He said the move will help
ensure the city will not have to add on to plant for a longer period of time.
In other related ordinances, an additional $160,614  in appropriations
was sought for some 14 easements for the wastewater project.
Council members are also seeking two appropriation ordinances for needed
city maintenance projects.
Mayor Tom Kruse noted that the extra money in the city's reserves does
not mean there is a "surplus" in funds.
"The city, by no means, has a windfall of money," he said.
At the Monday finance committee meeting Morehart had said there was
enough extra reserves in the bank to complete the entire $645,000 list
of projects city department heads had requested. The projects had
previously been included in the city budget - but were later removed in
lieu of more important items. Kruse said there is no assurance those
extra funds will be there again next year. Because of the city's
increased focus on income tax collection and an overall reduction of
expenses by department heads, they ended up with increased funds and
were able to go back to those department requests.
The first ordinance requests $444,000 from general funds to pay for a
new salt barn, pave city parking lots and complete concrete panel
installations for some railroad crossings.
Council president John Gore said items have been known to fall off of
the salt barn's structure and into salt spreaders, causing damage to the
trucks. He also said that originally the proposal for city railroad
repairs did not include the East Fifth Street crossing and he had
suggested adding East Fifth Street to the list. The crossing had not
been included because the city was still waiting to hear back on a
traffic study for the crossing. Ultimately, East Fifth Street was
included into the legislation before it reached council. He said the
repairs to city crossings would be much like those done on Scottslawn
Road last year.
The second ordinance requests $88,360 to pay for upgrades to the city
financial systems (check signing software, network storage software) and
to purchase speed monitoring radar equipment and mobile radar units for
the Marysville Police Department.
Councilman Burke supported the legislation, adding that he was surprised
to hear about the hours of time city administrators have to waste by
hand signing so many checks.
Other topics touched upon:
. Kruse noted the increase in traffic coming down Route 38 to Main
Street. The reason is because the state is repairing the Route 4 bridge.
He said for some reason the state detoured traffic across Route 161 to
Route 38. It is leading drivers right through the downtown area. He
would have preferred the traffic take Route 161 to Route 42 and then
connect to U.S. 33. The work is expected to take 90 days and the extra
traffic is going to be a problem for the city, especially with Honda
Homecoming approaching. He has spoken with some state officials to see
if this can be changed.
. Marysville City Council will hold a joint June 26 meeting with the
city planning commission to discuss drainage issues in town.

Unionville Center to host festival Saturday

From J-T staff reports:
The third annual Charles W. Fairbanks Family Festival on Saturday in
Unionville Center, will be a family oriented day of free activities and entertainment.
The festival will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude with a street dance from
7-10 p.m. All activities will take place on The Green located at Main
and Cross Streets.
  Free parking is available at the Darby Township Building and the
Unionville Center United Methodist Church.
The festival is named for Charles W. Fairbanks, who served as
vice-president of the United States under Theodore Roosevelt from
1905-1909. Fairbanks grew up on a farm just outside of the village.
Activities will include children's carnival games, a climbing wall,
horse rides, and hay rides. Groups on the live entertainment schedule
include Justin Wilcox, Mollie McIntyre, Charlie Tatman, Tradin' Up, Many
Many More and ACACIA. Bill Adkins and the Borrowed Time Band will play
in the afternoon and during the street dance. The DJ will be Andy Nickelson.
Registration for the Classic Car Show will be accepted between 11 a.m.
and 1 p.m. with judging to begin at 3:30 p.m. There is a registration
fee.  Dash plaques will be given to the first 25 entries.
Trophies awarded will be for the oldest vehicle, farthest distance,
entrants' choice, mayor's choice and best of show selected by the
Festival Committee.
A variety of crafters will have their wares for sale. Additional
crafters may register Saturday morning until 8 a.m.
No one will go hungry because there will be a variety of food vendors
including Leon's Homemade Ice Cream which is back by popular demand.
Additional information may be obtained by contacting Michelle Blevins at

Production at Honda stops
From J-T staff reports:
Operations at the Marysville Auto Plant were canceled today because of a
supplier chain interruption.
Spokesman Ron Litzky was unable to provide details on which supplier or
the exact problem, except to say that the interruption was not caused
because of bad weather.
He admitted that this doesn't happen very often and thought the last
time was approximately three years ago when U.S. ports were shut down.
The Marysville Auto Plant employs 5,300 associates and produces 1,800
vehicles during the first and second shifts. Models under production
include Acura TL and Honda Accord.

Grand jury hands down arson indictment
Two recent indictments filed by a Union County Grand Jury could end up
sending two men to prison.
Harold D. Wolf, 46, of 277 Magnolia Drive was charged with one
first-degree felony aggravated arson charge, one fourth-degree felony
arson charge, one fifth-degree felony grand theft charge, one
fifth-degree felony possessing criminal tools charge and one
fourth-degree felony insurance fraud charge.
In another indictment filed on Tuesday, Joseph M. Morgan, 48, of Raymond
faces one third-degree felony gross sexual imposition charge, one
fourth-degree felony gross sexual imposition charge, and one
third-degree felony gross sexual imposition charge. The charges stem
from an alleged sexually-related crime that occurred in Union County
sometime between Nov. 1, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2002.
Wolf was indicted Monday on arson and insurance fraud charges after
allegedly setting his mobile home on fire last year.
Union County prosecutor David Phillips said that Wolf could face up to
10 years in prison for the aggravated arson charge because of the
substantial risk of harm to other people the fire may have caused ?
namely, the firefighters who were called to the scene. If convicted
consecutively, he could face up to 18 months for the arson charge, 12
months for the grand theft charge, another 12 months for the possessing
criminal tools charge and up to 18 months for the insurance fraud.
Phillips explained that the theft and insurance fraud charges stem from
Wolf filing an insurance claim of up to $5,000 on the damaged caused by
the alleged arson.
According to original reports on the incident, the investigation began
on Oct. 9 when the Marysville Fire Department received a call about a
fire at 277 Magnolia Drive. At the scene, Wolf had suffered minor
injuries after he claimed his mobile home had been set on fire "by an
unknown person." He was then transported to Memorial Hospital of Union
County for treatment and was later released from care.
Marysville assistant police chief Glenn Nicol also reported at the time
that Wolf claimed he had returned home at about 10:40 p.m. on Oct. 9 to
find that a "sudden fire" had started inside.
Police reports show that sometime during the fire, Wolf's car had also
been stolen from the property. The vehicle was later found at 6 a.m. on
Oct. 10, a couple blocks away on Spruce Drive.
Marysville Fire Department arson investigator Keith Watson said on
Tuesday that the indictment was the result of a cooperative
investigation between Marysville Police Detective Doug Ropp, himself,
and the State Fire Marshall's Office. Between the work each had
contributed they were able to find that the evidence pointed toward
Wolf. Now, a jury will decide if the evidence is enough for a conviction.
Phillips said that Morgan was allegedly involved in sexual contact with
a female under the age of 13. He said Wolf is scheduled to be arraigned on July 3.
"Typically it involves an unlawful touching for purposes of sexual
gratification," he said.
Morgan could receive up to five years in prison for both third-degree
felony gross sexual imposition charges and another 18 months in prison
for the fourth-degree felony charge.
Phillips said Morgan will be represented by Springfield-based attorney
Greg Lind and is also scheduled to be arraigned on July 3.

Monumental boost
$175,000 in federal money is set aside for veterans  memorial; needs
Senate approva
From J-T staff reports:
Congresswoman Deborah Pryce has helped the Union County Veterans
Remembrance Committee surpass its fundraising goal to construct a
veteran's memorial at the Union County Court House with a House bill.
Pryce (R-Columbus) announced Monday her successful inclusion of $175,000
in the House version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Transportation,
Treasury, and HUD Appropriations bill (TTHUD). The bill, H.R. 5576, was
approved by the House on June 16. It now awaits consideration in the Senate.
The funding amount secured by Pryce would allow the Remembrance
Committee to surpass its fundraising goal of $500,000 to construct the
memorial. According to a veterans monument fact sheet, the granite
monument will be 26.5 feet wide and 10.5 feet high, with up to 6,000
brick and granite pavers in the surrounding plaza.
The memorial will honor the more than 1,200 U.S. veterans from Union
County killed in action, missing in action and taken prisoner of war
since the Revolutionary War. All names will be listed on the monument,
along with a searchable database of more than 15,000 Union County
veterans available to the public for research at the Veterans Plaza.
"It's terrific to realize that Pryce is a strong supporter of honoring
this community and its veterans of the past, present and future," said
retired Army Maj. Gen. Oscar Decker, chairman of the Remembrance
Committee. "I'm bordering on ecstatic."
Fundraising for the memorial commenced in November 2004. According to
Decker, as of June 13 approximately $378,000 in cash and pledges had
been raised. He said the committee will not stop fundraising, though, in
case the bill falls through the Senate.
Pryce commented on her support of the memorial in a press release.
"Upon its completion, the monument will serve as a befitting honor to
the heroic Union County servicemen and women who defended our nation
from tyranny and oppression to preserve the liberties we now cherish,"
she said. "This will be such an important resource for current and
future residents to better understand and appreciate the triumphs and
sacrifices of the generation that preceded them."

Hazmat training exercise a success
In the real world, hazardous material disasters are not rewarded with pizza parties.
But the Union County Emergency Management Agency made that a reality
Tuesday afternoon for a mock emergency response exercise held in Marysville.
Just off Morey Drive on Professional Parkway, the Marysville Fire
Department blocked off the roadway. At about 4 p.m. county dispatchers
sent out emergency crews for "some type of accident involving a school
bus and some drums, possibly a hazmat situation."
The event was to simulate a tragedy at the Ranco North America business,
actually located on U.S. 42. But the Marysville location was more
realistic in order to create the exercise.
On the scene, fake smoke poured out of the bumper area of the school
bus, as dozens of juvenile volunteers acted as victims.
EMA Deputy Director Brad Gilbert said "38 children served as victims
who, when riding a school bus, collided with drums containing sulfuric
acid." The children wore makeup to allow the responding EMS units to
triage the victims and transport them to the hospital.
They were helped out of the bus by medics and told to lie down on nearby
blankets to receive medical treatment. The victims were smeared with
fake blood to simulate what mock injuries they faced.
The juveniles were culled from such places as county schools and Boy Scout troops.
Gilbert said that the EMA worked with the Union County Local Emergency
Planning Committee for its annual hazardous materials exercise in order
to plan the training exercise. The event included participants from 12
area agencies including fire, law, EMA, the Union County Red Cross and
health department which tested the county Hazmat and mass casualty
plans. The event also tested the abilities of Memorial Hospital of Union
County disaster plans.
At the same time as the event, crews were called to a real crash
involving a truck on its side along Johnson Road.
Participating in the mock disaster were Jerome, Allen, Liberty, and
Union township fire departments; the Northern Union County, Northwest
Union, Southeast Hardin fire districts; the Union County EMA, the Union
County Red Cross, the Union County health Department, the Union County
Sheriff's Office, the Marysville Division of Police and Memorial
Hospital of Union County.
Gilbert said the exercise came off as planned.
"I didn't hear of any problems," he said. "Everything went fine. As
usual we found some areas to improve upon so we are taking some
corrective actions on those. Overall I was pretty pleased with how
everything went. The kids did a great job."

Making your Company Human
Former Scotts CEO Le Herron writes book
In a post-Enron age of business distrust and deceit, a Marysville man
has written a book that encourages CEOs to establish a different
mentality ? one of servant leadership, not "me-first."
Le Herron, 85, who served as chief executive officer of O.M. Scott &
Sons (now Scotts Miracle Grow) for 16 years, has co-authored the book
"Making your Company Human: Inspiring Others to Reach Their Potential,"
which was released June 8. Herron, who came to Marysville from
Pennsylvania in 1965 with his wife, Betty, and two children, started the
168-page book three years ago with the help of longtime friend and
professional writer, Sherry Christie.
One purpose of the book is for people to realize that businesses can be
honorable, Herron said.
"All we read about is corruption, fraud and greed in today's businesses.
If we're not careful, that's the impression we get of all of them," he said.
In order to "make a company human," he said that leaders of an
organization need to realize that a company is more than the products it creates.
"A company is not a machine. It has character and value, just like a
human being," said Herron, who graduated from the University of
Pennsylvania with a degree in civil engineering in 1942.
But being the leader of a company involves making a choice ? whether
they use the position to serve others or boost their own ego. The
latter, he said, leads to destruction.
And to be an effective leader, some traits must be inherent, he said.
"It has to be part of your being. You have to have confidence, trust and
faith in human beings," Herron said.
One chapter is even dedicated to discussing why time clocks should be
eliminated in the workplace because they show that employers don't trust
their employees.
A Christian, Herron said his faith serves as a backbone for his book.
His idea of servant leadership stems from Mark 9:25 where Jesus
addresses his 12 disciples saying, "If anyone desires to be first, he
shall be last of all and servant of all."
Herron said one of the biggest inspirations for his book came from his
experience as second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers during
World War II. Herron, who went into the Army three days after his
college graduation, said he was coming in one evening after a hard day
out with the troops and food was the only thing on his mind. He was
approaching the mess line when the sergeant took him aside.
"Lieutenant," he said, "When your men have been fed, if there's any food
left, then you will eat." And he added, "And after all your troops have
been bedded down, if there's a place for you to lie down, then you will sleep."
The book, Herron said, is dedicated to that sergeant. And a tribute to
Scotts employees.
After serving 31/2 years in the Corps of Engineers, Herron came back to
Philadelphia and worked for Franklin Hardware & Supply. In 1957, he
became general manager of American Hardware Supply. He was then
recruited in 1965 by O.M. Scott & Sons, a national manufacturer and
marketer of lawn care products. He became CEO after one year on the job
and remained there for 18 years before retiring at age 62.
As CEO, Herron said he worked to make sure his associates knew they were
appreciated and that their work was valued.
"The idea is to stimulate and encourage your employees to help them
develop their individual potential," he said.
The book, which Herron said is aimed at young professionals, can be
purchased locally at Lighthouse Christian Books and Gifts or The Book
and its Cover. The price is $24.95.

Kaffenbarger given new contract
riad board approves five-year renewal

The Triad Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a five-year
contract renewal for superintendent Dan Kaffenbarger.
Kaffenbarger also was approved to receive a 4 percent  raise for the
coming school year and a 3 percent increase for the 2007-2008 school
year. This mirrors raises for certified and administrative staff.
Kaffenbarger's annual salary as superintendent with the approved
increase will be $98,760 for the 2006-2007 school year.
The board also corrected a contractual technicality that still listed
Kaffenbarger's job responsibilities as both superintendent and high
school principal. Kyle Huffman has been serving as high school principal
for the last year. Prior to that Kaffenbarger was serving in both
capacities to help with district costs. When Huffman took over, the
board rescinded Kaffenbarger's principal stipend.
The board heard a presentation from Joel Strom of Joel Strom and Associates.
Strom's company assists schools in becoming more efficient and cost effective.
He explained that the initial assessment process would take three days
at a total cost of $3,000 and include working with as many employees as
possible who are involved in the day-to-day operations of the district.
In addition, various parents and teachers would be asked to provide
feedback to give the customer perspective. Strom stressed that the goal
of his company is to focus on operations only not education orcurriculum.
On the final day of the assessment, he and the superintendent would then
review all the feedback and data collected and work on creating an
action plan to better serve the district's operational needs.
Strom said he has officially worked with four districts over the past
several years including North Union. His company is in talks with three
to four more districts to set up similar assessment plans. He said most
districts find that after an assessment there are savings in everything
from copying costs to specific changes in how jobs are performed. After
the initial assessment fee is paid, the district can then decide if they
want to use the Strom team to implement the plan at an additional cost.
No final decisions was made on the proposal.
Bill McDaniel, former athletic director, was presented with a retirement
clock and a plaque commemorating his years of service to the district
spanning from 1984-2006.
Board members were updated on the awarding of $70,852 in grant funds
from the Ohio Department of Education for the Ohio Integrated Systems
Model (OISM.)
Craig Meredith, elementary principal, explained that the district was
one of 29 districts that received the grant. He reported that more than
100 districts applied and Triad was the only school in the West Central
Ohio SERCC (Special Education Regional Resource Center) awarded funding.
The money will be used for professional development, stipends and
supplies to help expand the literacy initiative along with increasing
special education services.
The board approved a policy change to the school's athletic policy which
closes a loophole.
The addition to section XI: 12 states the following: If a student is
currently not participating in a sport; the penalty will be enforced
during that athlete's next sport season. If there are fewer than 10
percent of the contests left in that season, the penalty will carry over
into that athlete's next sport season. The athlete must finish the
season that the 10 percent penalty is enforced or the penalty is null
and void and will then be applied to that athlete's next sport season.
The board approved the resignation of Vinnie Spirko as eighth grade
social studies teacher, eighth grade trip advisor and junior high
football coach. Spirko will be taking a position as assistant principal
at Indian Lake high school.
The board also accepted the resignation of Crystal Burgel as
kindergarten teacher effective at the end of the 2005-2006 contract.
Janet Mroczkowski was approved to transfer from first grade teacher to
kindergarten teacher beginning with the 2006-2007 school year.
Initial one-year contracts for the 2006-2007 school year were approved
for Erick Grasley as science teacher, Amanda Goodwin as 1/7 social
studies teacher and Becky Creighton as 1/7 math teacher.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss negotiations with
the Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE). These employees
include bus drivers, cooks, secretaries and custodians. The next session
with the OAPSE is scheduled for June 29.
The next regular board meeting will be Monday, July 17 in the boardroom.
There will be a work session on July 6 from 8-10 a.m. to discuss pay
increase schedules for district employees.
The first day of school will be Thursday, Aug. 24, and Wednesday, Aug.
23 will be a waiver day to be used for teacher's professional development.
In other news, the board:
.Approved Carol Nance as summer intervention reading teacher.
.Approved Bill McKenzie as soccer coach for the 2006-2007 school year.
.Approved memorandum of understanding ? Article 14.09, item 3 in the
OAPSE negotiated agreement.
.Approved 2006-2007 high school student and staff handbooks
.Approved temporary appropriations, amended appropriations, amended
certificate of estimated resources and five-year forecast as presented
by the treasurer.
.Approved policy additions and revisions as prepared by NEOLA and
presented to the superintendent.
.Approved memberships with the Western Ohio Computer Organization and
the West Central Ohio Special Education Regional Resource Center for the
2006-2007 school year.
.Approved 2006-2007 student insurance program plan as underwritten by
Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company
.Accepted donation of $2,000 from KTH Parts to Triad FFA for improving
the Triad Land Lab.

Jerome Twp. approves pair of developments
Applications for two housing developments received the green light from
the Jerome Township Board of Trustees at Monday's regular meeting.
The two developments are known as Woodbine Village and The Reserve at Sugar Run.
Woodbine Village is a planned unit development to be located on 76.4
acres at 10045 Brock Road and 9346 Industrial Parkway. It will include
128 single family lots, sidewalks, buffers along the main roads, a turn
lane, 17 percent green space and a round-about on Brock Road. Paul
Phillips, representing Cambrian Development, said no street lights are
planned, at the request of the township zoning board. He projected a
three-year build out on the property.
The Reserve at Sugar Run is a planned unit development that will include
250 single family lots and 100 condo lots on 167 acres at the northwest
corner of Taylor Road and Industrial Parkway. It will include a left
turn lane and 35 percent open space. Build out is projected for five years.
One neighboring property owner said she was very pleased with The
Reserve plan, especially because it does not include any commercial
development. The developer has agreed to correct drainage problems on
bordering properties. One concern was raised about the wooded area. An
individual who pastures cattle nearby was concerned about dead trees
falling and damaging a fence, as well as drivers of four-wheel vehicles
cutting the fence and trespassing.
Trustee Robert Merkle said the condominiums will provide an affordable
housing option for township residents.
Both applications were unanimously approved after separate public
hearings. Approximately 50 individuals attended the hearings.
Township resident Jesse Dickinson, who has circulated referendum
petitions for years and stalled development, spoke in support of both
developments. He said The Reserve at Sugar Run was "satisfactory" and
the Woodbine Village "is the best proposed."
During Monday's regular meeting, trustees Merkle, Andy Thomas and Ron
Rhodes again voiced concern about the actions of the township's zoning
appeals board.
"We need the board to do their job," Thomas said.
The board of zoning appeals' chairman reportedly refused to allow a
board member to participate or vote on a variance application. The
application submitted by Ken and Lynn Farmwald concerned a barn size.
The trustees originally agreed to make a decision about refunding the
resident's $1,000 application fee at this meeting, but decided Monday to
table the matter for two more weeks until they get an opinion from the
prosecuting attorney's office.
Clerk Robert Caldwell said the refund was precedent setting and even
questioned whether the applicant ever requested a refund. He said
minutes of the board of appeal's meeting state only that the board
directed the refund. Caldwell questioned whether BZA had the authority
to direct refunds. 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.
In other business, the trustees:
. Unanimously agreed to hire attorney Don Brosius to assist the township
in land use issues.
. Appropriated $25,000 to hire a professional consulting firm to
continue development of a comprehensive plan.
. Agreed to contact the Union County Prosecuting Attorney about
recouping funds from planners Burns Burtsch and Harris. BBH submitted a
letter stating that the company could not complete a comprehensive plan
after receiving more than $50,000 for the project.
. Learned that well water at the U.S. 42 rest area needs to be
chlorinated and water at the cemetery is potable.
. Approved the purchase of two display cabinets for maps at the township hall.
. Approved a retroactive raise for the township zoning officer.

Marysville man killed in motorcycle accident
From J-T staff reports:
The Delaware County post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is
investigating a fatal motorcycle crash that took the life of a
Marysville man.
According to the patrol, Aaron Humble, 22, of 20010 Orchard Road was
killed after his 2005 Yamaha sport motorcycle collided with a car on
Route 37 in Delaware County at 10:25 a.m. Monday.
Humble was reportedly headed eastbound on Route 37. At the same time a
2001 Toyota Camry driven by Betty J. Deel, 61, of Delaware was
attempting to turn south onto a private drive.
Deel was headed westbound prior to her attempt to turn left. Humble's
motorcycle struck the front of Deel's vehicle at the entrance to the
private drive.
Humble and his motorcycle came to rest partially on the driveway.
Humble was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he was
pronounced dead. Deel was also injured and transported to Grady Memorial
Hospital where she is currently under evaluation.
The Delaware Post reported that the motorcycle crash remains under
investigation and no citations have been filed against Deel.

Arson is cause of fire

From J-T staff reports:
Marysville Fire Department has listed a fire that started early Friday
morning at 640 Glen Oaks Drive as a case of arson.
Fire investigator Keith Watson said this morning that law enforcement
officers are looking for information leading to the arrest of the person
responsible. No suspects have been named.
Watson said that the fire was first reported at 7 a.m. by the job
supervisor for the home which was under construction. The man had
noticed smoke coming out of the roof vents. When crews arrived the fire
had mostly gone out on its own and minimal water had to be used to put
out the rest.
He said investigators immediately suspected arson because of the odor of
possible gasoline. Marks were also visible on the floors inside
indicating that some type of flammable liquid had been poured to ignite
the house. Investigators found a gasoline can, which had been left
inside. Samples were taken for evidence.
Fire Chief Gary Johnson said the cause was obviously arson, which is why
he is able to release more details to the public. He said the hope is to
find anyone who has information which can help investigators find who
set the fire.
Watson said that the arson is now associated with the Ohio Blue Ribbon
Arson Committee, which awards up to $5,000 for anyone who can help with
the investigation.
People with information are asked to contact Watson at the Marysville
Fire Department 642-2065 or Marysville Police Detective Don McGlenn at

Youngster goes to Washington as advocate for hospital's care

Like most 12-year olds, Robert Balsiger of Raymond enjoys playing
sports, rooting for the Cleveland Indians and spending time with his
friends at Trinity Lutheran School. But he is unlike the average
pre-teen when it comes to his health and advocating for children's health issues.
A leukemia survivor, he traveled earlier this week to Washington D.C. as
a spokesperson, for Columbus Children's Hospital. He was chosen, along
with his family, to attend the National Association of Children's
Hospitals (NACH) Family Advocacy Day.
"Robert is a fabulous young man," Niki Lombardo, Columbus Children's
hospital senior government relations specialist, said. "He is very
articulate and to watch him interact with members of Congress and their
staff was like watching a pro."
Robert was diagnosed in March of 2002 after his parents, Theresa and
Willie Balsiger, became concerned that his flu-like symptoms were not
going away. Cheryl Groehl, family friend and a registered nurse,
suggested that they run blood tests. Tests confirmed a parent's worst
nightmare. An emergency squad took Robert to Columbus Children's
Hospital. He has undergone chemotherapy, 22 spinal taps, countless blood
draws, EKGs and bone marrow tests since the age of 8 years old.
Today, Robert celebrates 18 months in remission. Chemotherapy stopped in
2005. He will be considered cured in 2007. He returns to Children's
every two months for routine blood work and a physical.
The Balsigers said the trip to DC was a surreal experience.
"It was fantastic and very well organized," Mrs. Balsiger said.
The family of four, including younger brother Andrew, had time to tour
the nation's capitol on Tuesday before meeting with legislators on
Wednesday. The family spoke with Ohio Congresswoman Deborah Pryce and
Congressman Dave Hobson. Specifically, they discussed concerns about
keeping Medicaid funding and the need for more government funding in
research and training.
"I had a great time," Robert said, "I feel the representatives really
heard what I had to say."
Robert hoped to meet President Bush while in Washington and have the
chief officer sign his presidential academic award presented several
weeks ago at the close of his sixth grade year. Robert didn't get to
meet with Bush, but Pryce told him that she would have President Bush
sign his award certificate. Pryce was impressed by Robert's 4.0-grade average.
"I was really excited," Robert said.
Overall, the family was impressed with the experience commenting that
all the families that were asked to participate were well prepared
before meeting with legislators and the flow of the schedule was smooth.
"It was very positive for us," Mrs. Balsiger said.
The Balsiger family has a busy summer ahead, including plans for their
annual golf scramble with proceeds benefiting Columbus Children's
hospital hematology floor.

Businesses suffer from closure of railroad crossing
City still studying its future

It has been more than two months since Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse closed
down the railroad crossing on East Fifth Street beyond the Five Points
intersection for safety reasons.
Since the crossing closure, numerous businesses surrounding the crossing
have reported losing money.
"(Business) has been affected a lot," Marysville Supply owner Rex
Eubanks said. "It's been pretty hard."
He said sales have dropped "drastically" at his store, located at 839 E. Fifth St.
According to the April 13 City Council meeting minutes, president John
Gore referred the issue to the Public Service Committee and said that
the committee would come back within 30 days with a recommendation and
an actual plan that explains exactly why the city cannot proceed with
upgrading the crossing or how it is going to proceed with upgrading the crossing.
A special committee meeting followed and a traffic study on the Five
Points/East Fifth Street area was ordered. Some 65 days later, the city
waits for that traffic study to be completed.
City administrator Kathy House updated the issue this morning,
explaining that the study is half completed and the work was expected to
take around two months.
"We expect it to be done around the middle to end of July," House said.
She added that once the study is completed it does not mean the crossing
will open right away. The results of the study will need to be evaluated, she said.
Until then, some business owners have expressed hope that the crossing
will be re-opened and the roadway finally repaired.
Eubanks said the railroad crossing needs to be opened again for the sake
of nearby businesses. He has spoken with other shops and they have also
complained about sales slumps.
Regarding the city's stance that the crossing was unsafe and might cause
a death, Eubanks said that was not the issue.
"All it takes is common sense to stop and look both ways," he said.
He said the main problem was the condition of the roadway.
Family Time Video at 895 E. Fifth St. has also heard plenty of
complaints from customers. Manager Jennifer Pummell said the railroad
closure has been a problem for the store, especially during daytime hours.
Pummell said customers routinely come in the store complaining of
traffic being backed up along Delaware Avenue. The store also runs a
tanning salon and many customers end up missing their appointments,
often blaming the congested roads. Many customers never come back.
"They just end up avoiding the area altogether," she said. "Lunch hours
are dead around here during the day. They can't get through."
With the recent opening of Applebee's Restaurant, Pummell said, the
traffic "has been awful."
She feels the main problem with the East Fifth Street crossing was not
safety, but how the roadway became damaged by neglect from the city. She
said there are other crossings in town which have no safety gates or
lights and drivers know they have to stop and look both ways. What
worries her is that Delaware Avenue has become so congested that cars
are getting stuck sitting on top of the railroad tracks. Cars in front
of them are not moving forward and cars block them in from behind. If
someone isn't paying attention they are vulnerable to oncoming trains.
In addition, Pummell said, some customers are not even aware that they
are still allowed to access East Fifth Street because they are confused
by the large railroad closure signs erected by the city. They do not
know the sign just refers to the railroad crossing, not the entire roadway.
One of the more vocal complaints from local residents and some
Marysville City Council members have been the concerns that 84 Lumber
may suffer from the East Fifth Street closure. Salesmen at the store
said their main concern has been the reduction of customer traffic.
"Obviously less traffic in front of your store means less sales,"
salesman Chris Percell said.
He said another ongoing problem has been with delivery trucks having
difficulty finding their way into the store parking lot as they try to
unload merchandise.
"I can watch them on the other side of the crossing, trying to figure
out how to get over here," Percell said. "Mainly, it's just an inconvenience."
Salesman Rudy Hrovatic said the East Fifth Street closure has not helped
84 Lumber, especially after the opening of Home Depot earlier this year.
Both salesmen agreed the closure has probably led to some customers
choosing to shop elsewhere. Anyone deciding to take Northwest Parkway to
access the store will more than likely end up shopping at Home Depot
because it's closer, they said. Those accessing Delaware Avenue to get
to their store have to deal with congested traffic.
These businesses are not alone. Representatives from Kentucky Fried
Chicken, Lil' Tykes Daycare and Natural Accents Florist have all spoken
negatively about the railroad closure at past city council meetings.
House said that if the study reveals the crossing will need to be opened
again, then the city will work with CSX to complete concrete panel work
on the crossing and repair the condition of the crossing.

City plans to help with Greenwood flooding

Residents of Greenwood Colony may or may not get the pond they were
hoping for at South Park, adjacent to London Avenue (Route 38), but the
city plans to help with the flooding anyway.
At Tuesday night's Parks and Recreation Commission meeting,
superintendent Steve Conley agreed to spend a portion of his $75,000
budget to fix drainage tiles that exist underneath South Park - some of
which have been blown out since around 1915.
Conley said city crews are tied up right now fixing sidewalk ramps
around the city, but after they complete those projects they can get
started on the tile work.
City engineer Phil Roush explained that by fixing these tiles the
flooding at South Park could be controlled. Until then, the city would
pursue the final EPA wetland permit. He also explained that Adena Pointe
developers have incorporated stormwater flood control into their own
project. Between the tile work and the drainage from the development,
the flooding at South Park could be controlled.
Local engineer Jim Page said the permit process could take up to six
months and they need to get started right away. He said there is no
doubt in his mind that South Park is a wetland, but its location near a
residential area and its heavy flooding make it a good candidate for
relocation and support from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Ohio
EPA. He said there are ways to fix the drainage tiles without disrupting
the land at South Park. He suggested going east and digging down to the tiles.
The meeting was sometimes full of heated debate as residents, commission
members and city officials argued over the details of the wetland situation. Adena
Pointe developers initially had promised several city entities that a retention pond
and walking trails would be constructed at South Park. It was expected to help
control the flooding and finally end nearly two decades of complaints from nearby
residents asking for the flooding to be controlled. Developers then discovered that
sections of its own development had been declared wetlands by the Army Corps of
Engineers. The fear was that South Park was also wetland and the plans for the pond
were put on hold.
Roush reported that Adena Pointe was able to work around its own wetland
areas, but the cost to deal with three acres of possible wetlands at
South Park may be too expensive. It can cost up to $19,000 an acre to move wetland areas.
"To repeat what I've said many times," Conley said. "I wish we had never taken (South Park)."
Not all residents at the meeting were happy with the city fixing the
drainage tiles, but everyone could agree it is a step in the right
direction. Some voiced their hope that the retention pond could finally be constructed.
Roush said everyone will need to be patient as they work with the Army
Corps of Engineers and the Ohio EPA to see if creating the retention pond will be possible.
One resident, who did not identify himself, said that if the developer
didn't want the area to be named a wetland then it wouldn't be.
"We've already done what you're worried about," the man said.
He said years ago South Park was bulldozed and trees were knocked down.
There was no discussion about wetlands back then. Everyone is trying to
protect the land now, but the city already disrupted the area years ago
with underground tiles and dirt moving. Now that it could save
developers money if it were a wetland, the city is suddenly trying to support that.
Conley said that he resented that comment.
"I have never in my life given anyone special treatment for anything," he said.
"Why stick your head in the sand and let Adena Pointe tell you what to
do?" another member of the audience said. "Do the right thing."
 "We're trying to figure out what the right thing is," Roush said.
Councilman and Todd Court resident Dan Fogt raised another issue
concerning animal life that currently exists in South Park. Residents in
Greenwood Colony already have had problems with snakes. He said the land
gets wet and the animals move in, but once it dries out "they have to
find a place to live. I'm not looking forward to that."
Fogt also warned about the potential of increasing the mosquito population.
Another Greenwood Colony resident agreed, adding that if he were to hold
a barbecue the mosquitoes "would run you out."
Conley said that the city has no intention to create a wetland. There
are no plans to build walls to contain water.

Local program benefits children, dogs

Take a troubled child, add a homeless dog and get Project TREAT.
Project TREAT is a program between the Union County Humane Society and
the Central Ohio Youth Center. TREAT stands for "teaching respect,
empathy and trust."
Weekly, shelter dogs - along with enrichment programs coordinator Kym
Jarvis - trek across a grassy lawn behind the Humane Society to the
center for juvenile offenders. After clearing security, the dogs meet up
with youth who have reached level three and are making progress with
their treatment goals.
Recently, Sprinter, Evan and Vince got a chance to work with Lacie,
Shacovia, Jayde, Heather, Shandyn and Natay. This was the first time for
everyone to work together. Betsy Hauck, COYC activities specialist, said
the program matches juveniles with animals that demand and keep their attention.
"Who or what else could teach them skills that apparently haven't been
effectively demonstrated in their lives?" Hauck said. "When they
interact, even though no conversation takes place, the lessons learned
are nothing short of amazing."
Equipped with clickers and treats of cheese and hot dogs, the youth get
directions from Jarvis about teaching respect, adoptable behavior, leash
walking and play during a 45-minute session every Thursday. With short
attention spans and lots of energy, the dogs are rewarded for positive
behavior by the youth who "capture" the animals when they do something
right. There is no forcing and everyone works on watching their space.
Rachel D.K. Finney, executive director of the Union County Humane
Society, said the program is based loosely on similar programs in other
correctional facilities.
"This is truly a win-win collaboration for both of our organizations,"
Finney said. "The dogs love the extra individual attention and they are
learning so many wonderful new skills. We are thankful to have such a
successful community partnership."
Teah Bishop is also thankful.
Her daughter has had an opportunity to be part of the program.
Teah said she was petrified and ashamed about what her daughter had done
to be placed at COYC. But it has now been "the best thing that God could
have done." And project TREAT is one of the reasons for her daughter's
success, Bishop said.
"These people really care about these kids," Bishop said.
She hopes that COYC will expand on programs like Project TREAT to teach
troubled youth more positive behaviors through other community
organizations such as the Union County Humane Society.
Project TREAT is made possible through a $2,500 grant from the American
Society for the Prevention to the Cruelty of Animals, Finney said. She
explains that the objectives of Project TREAT are to:
. Catalyze positive interaction in a non-threatening environment.
. Foster a mutually beneficial relationship based on respect.
. Embrace the advancement of each lesson learned as a life skill.
. Instill a sense of empathy and responsibility in each participant of the program.
. Increase overall quality of life for all who participate.
. Give each participant new opportunities based on their acquired skills.
"Project TREAT is a tool to build on other learning tools," Hauck said.

Third Fridays return for summer
Court Street will be full of activity this week as Marysville kicks off
its 2006 Third Fridays Uptown events.
Music, food and more will line Court Street, between Fifth and Sixth
streets, filling the lawn at the Union County Courthouse. Activities run
from 5 to 9 p.m. Food vendors will include Rick's Grill, Grampy's
Backyard BBQ and Sweetooth Confections.
Special to the event is the second annual rib cook-off, with local
judges granting the winner rights to the phrase "Marysville's Best Ribs" for the year.
A press release states that the biggest change for the 2006 events is
the entertainment. Regional bands who have graced large festivals around
the state are scheduled to perform. This Friday will feature the group
The Challengers. July will feature The Reaganomics, with a DJ providing
music during the afternoon and early evening hours. Direct Energy will
entertain for the August Third Friday event.
Third Fridays Uptown is organized by the promotions committee of the
Marysville Uptown Renewal Team, which is a division of the Union County
Chamber of Commerce.
Sponsorship is provided by Marysville's auto dealers, including Bob
Chapman Ford, Honda Marysville, Nelson Auto Group and Roby Auto Group.
Additional help was provided by Dave's Pharmacy, Dayton Power and Light,
the Marysville Business Association, Union Rural Electric and other
local businesses. The sponsors made it possible to provide musical acts for the events.
Proceeds benefit the Uptown Marysville renewal projects, allowing the
city to match funds for grants to assist businesses and building owners
in the Historic Uptown District.
"This year's events will be bigger and better than last year's with
great entertainment and an extra hour to enjoy the festivities," the
city press release stated.

Extra money may finance more projects

Because of extra money in its reserves, the city of Marysville is
planning on completing some additional projects long on the back burner.
The discussion at Monday's Marysville Finance Committee meeting centered
on proposed additional appropriations for 2006. Attending were city
administrator Kathy House, councilmen John Gore, David Burke and Dan
Fogt, along with city finance director John Morehart and assistant John Green.
House said that in the past department heads compiled a 17-item wish
list amounting to $665,444 in costs. Some of the items were ultimately
cut from the 2006 budget because of lack of priority. Morehart explained
that the city attempts to keep $1.5 million in reserves.
"We're well above that," Morehart said.
He said there is enough in the bank to complete the entire $645,000 in
projects, but the committee should think about each item and decide what
is more essential. The prices range from a low of $2,700 for office
furniture for police investigators to $270,000 for a new city salt barn.
A project to install concrete panels to repair some city railroad
crossings was on the list. House suggested spending $30,000 to repair
Delaware Avenue at Main Street, $36,400 on Industrial Parkway and
$11,600 at Cherry Street's crossing. Gore said that he does not want to
ignore the repairs needed at the East Fifth Street railroad crossing
which the city closed in April to much debate.
House said that the East Fifth Street crossing was not included in the
list because a traffic study is pending. She does not want to spend the
$6,800 to repair that crossing if the traffic study suggests the
crossing should remain closed. Gore said he did not want to leave East
Fifth Street off the list and that he would approve the railroad
projects only if that crossing was included. Ultimately, committee
members hoped to go over the list, item by item and study the need for
each project.
Numerous other projects were also mulled over during the committee meeting.
House said the city salt storage barn is in bad shape and has been for
some time. If the funds are available, a new one needs to be built.
In the past, public service director Tracie Davies has complained of
wood from the rafters falling into the salt piles. When the salt is
being dispersed on the roads in the winter, the wood gets caught in the
machinery and can damage the trucks.
House also suggested an $80,000 project for repaving city-owned parking
lots. Everyone at the table agreed that the lots are in poor condition.
The work would re-pave lots at City Hall, Main and Sixth streets, Plum
and Sixth streets, and Fourth and Plum streets.
Burke explained another project that would allocate $10,000 to create a
sidewalk replacement program. Currently, city code places the cost of
fixing sidewalks solely on residents and property owners. But many
cannot afford to do the work on their own. The sidewalks program would
meet residents halfway, by matching $500. The resident would get $1,000
in sidewalk repairs by only paying half that. The city would then take
all the requests and order a company to do the work all at once, so the
cost is even lower at a bulk rate. Burke also wondered if this was a
project residents would even support. He hopes to find out.
Other projects committee members supported:
. The city has an opportunity to purchase two vehicles at a discount
rate through the state, both for $17,800. If they can get this deal they
hope to purchase a four-wheel drive car for the police department and a
staff vehicle for the fire department. If they cannot get the deal, they
plan to spend up to $28,000 to purchase the police car.
. Also for the police department, there is a project outlined to spend
$3,735 on computerized speed radar devices, which are attached to
utility poles. They can covertly take averages on speeds on specific
city streets. The information can be posted on-line to show residents
speeding problem areas in the city.
. Technology is advancing and the city could use a network storage
upgrade for $30,000, a software and hardware upgrade for check signing
security. Checks are currently signed by hand and it could lead to
abuse. Another $37,000 would upgrade the payroll and financial systems.
. In other discussions, the committee discussed a System Capacity Fee
Incentive Policy, which Burke explained could help make Marysville more
attractive to larger corporations hoping to locate in the city. The
policy would set standards for the size of water meters and tap-in
costs, which could be waived to allow a company to hook up to the city
lines. The policy is just an idea now and is expected to be discussed

JA Board approves fee schedule for facility use
Following a lengthy discussion, the Jonathan Alder Board of Education
passed a fee schedule for building rental/community use of facilities.
The policy needed to be revised to include the new high school.
In April, Superintendent Doug Carpenter said the board might want to
consider charging higher rental fees for use of the high school's main
gym and/or auditeria in light of the building's newer technology. In
May, the board was presented with a proposed fee schedule that broke
rental fees down into which groups would be using the facilities and
what aspects of the district facilities would be in use.
Carpenter explained that higher fees were proposed for use of areas such
as the new high school auditeria given time needed for set-up and tear
down and the possible use of the high-priced lighting and sound system.
Costs for the various facilities will range from $750 to $100 for a block of time.
All board members agreed that rental fees could be decreased if various
groups agreed to take on various rental components including event
preparation, event clean-up and routine custodial duties. The board also
changed policy wording from charging per hour to charging for blocks of
time hence rental of a baseball diamond would be for a three-hour block.
The approved fee schedule breaks proposed events into three categories.
Groups including all Jonathan Alder tax-paying residents would not be
charged the flat rental fee. Costs come into play for groups with
non-taxpaying members and the highest fees would be charged to
non-community/for-profit groups.
The board discussed also having a Jonathan Alder employee or
principal-approved designee on site at all times when the facilities are being rented.
The board approved a student wellness program policy as mandated by the
state. It will take effect with the coming school year. The policy will
create a plan to authorize a wellness committee to work on various goals
aimed at improving the overall nutrition and physical activity of
district students. It was suggested that the committee include mental
health education to tackle issues such as bullying and school violence.
The next regular board meeting will be July 17, the third Wednesday of
the month rather than the second Wednesday due to the July 4 holiday.
In other news, the board:
. Approved the employment of Cindy Wolfe as superintendent's secretary
to begin July 3 with up to three days of training for the 2006-2007 school year.
. Approved the following resignations: Deborah VanOtteren, intervention
specialist; Cindy Wolfe, pep club advisor; Shauna Huff, high school
student council advisor; and Debra Berry, head cook at Canaan.
. Approved the employment of Ryan Swinehart as math teacher for the
2006-2007 school year.
. Approved the employment of Shannon McConaughy as fifth grade
intervention teacher for the 2006-2007 school year.
. Approved the increase of lunch prices by $.25 for the 2006-2007 school year.
. Set final inspection of the field house for late June. All athletic
facilities are expected to be finished for the start of the fall sports season.
. Commended Kevin Kilfian from Scott's for all materials donated for athletic fields.
. Commended Lauren Pearson for being selected May student of the month
at Tolles Technical and Career Center.
. Approved the revised foreign language curriculum.
. Approved the treasurer's requests including the May financial report,
transfers, final appropriations, temporary appropriations, contract and
membership with MEC  and contract with Marsh, Inc. for liability,
property and fleet insurance at $45,911.
. Approved the request by a district employee, Tina Opatt, to allow her
daughter, Alyssa to attend kindergarten at Monroe Elementary.
. Approved membership in the OHSAA for the 2006-2007 school year.
. Accepted donation of 80 band raincoats purchased by the Jonathan Alder
band booster organization at a cost of $4,530.
. Approved six people for the summer painting crew at $10 per hour.
. Approved AEP request to work on the easement in conjunction with the
ODOT road project on U.S. 42.
. Approved the annual request by the Plain City church fellowship to
have a voluntary religious class for third grade for the 2006-2007 school year.

New restaurant carries local flavor

The smiling face of Marysville Fire Chief Gary Johnson beams down on
customers who enter the new Applebee's Restaurant in Marysville, while
legendary Fairbanks High School football coach Frank Spurlock is
memorialized with a pencil drawing just around the corner in the main dining area.
Applebee's opened today at 1099 Delaware Ave. after more than a year of planning.
"We're glad to be here," said general manager Cinda Brauchler.
The family-oriented restaurant's 51,021 square feet features memorabilia
from local schools and groups with room for more.
The waiting area includes an extensive display of items from the
Marysville Fire Department including a signed fire coat, boots, ax,
helmet and a wooden emblem plus the photo of Johnson and other employees.
Photographs of historic buildings line the entrance door while high
school items from Fairbanks and Marysville cover the main dining area.
Contributions for Fairbanks include a football helmet, bat, basketball
jersey, band shirt plus emblems and golf. Marysville items include a
photograph of the 1989 Mock Trial team which took third place in the
state finals, plus a framed FFA jacket and picture of teacher John Carl
with a student. The current Show Choir is also displayed in their green
and lavender splendor, as well as actors in the school play "Once Upon A Mattress."
In addition to the local paraphernalia, the 215-seat restaurant includes
items from Ohio State University, Ohio Wesleyan, NASCAR and professional sports teams.
A ribbon cutting is planned for Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. and the restaurant
officially opened for business today at 11 a.m.
Pre-opening events were held throughout the weekend to give the
approximately 125 employees a chance to train. Donations will benefit FosterFriends.
Restaurant hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to midnight;
Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday from 11 a.m. to
11 p.m. The "World Famous Half and Half Happy Hour" is Monday through
Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. with half-price off on selected items.
Appetizers are also half price from 10 p.m. to closing Monday through Friday.
Reservations or carry-out orders can be made by calling 642-2352.
This is the 85th Applebee's store to be opened by Thomas and King, one
of the larger Applebee franchises. In addition to Ohio, other stores are
located in Arizona, Kentucky and Indiana. They also own three Johnny
Carinos restaurants in the Lexington and Cincinnati area. It is
described as an Italian-style Applebee's.
Brauchler said the response from Marysville residents has been
overwhelming. She estimates that she has interviewed three-fourths of
the residents of Marysville and the message she has gotten is that this
restaurant is very important and great.
The slender six-foot blond Brauchler of Hilliard admits that her
favorite items on the menu include the Weight-Watchers Tilapia and the
Triple Chocolate Melt Down. She has been with the Applebee organization
for five years in Grove City.

Business projects expected to advance in coming months
With spring comes construction season and new businesses around
Marysville are about to sprout.
Several projects, in the planning stages for more than a year, are
expected to move forward in the coming months.
The City Gate development, expected to bring in more retail and business
facilities across from Coleman's Crossing Boulevard, was approved by the
Marysville Planning Commission at the June 5 meeting.
Project developer Phil Connolly said details of what businesses are
expected to sign into his project must remain under wraps for now. He
said struggles with the planning commission over road designs set City
Gate back initially. A couple businesses, originally expected to be
included in this project, pulled out while the city held extended
discussions over how Coleman's Crossing Boulevard will lead into City Gate.
Connolly said it was finally decided that a four-lane road would lead
into the business area, then make a 180 degree loop and head back out.
They will decide later if the roadway will be for one-way traffic or for two-way.
After the development passed through Planning Commission, Connolly said
he has finally been able to get his plans moving again.
A retail center, to be located at the northwest corner of Route 31 North
at Mill Road/Cobblestone Drive, faced a similar setback as City Gate.
Developer Jim Casto said that his shopping center for Mill Valley
residents remains tied up with Union County inspectors, as he tries to
obtain a building permit. The process has taken longer than he hoped.
As far as the initial halt in the project, Casto said months ago the
Ohio Department of Transportation found a problem with his project
cutting the curb at the Route 31 intersection. So McDonald's, which owns
the land, had to complete a traffic study - which took time.
Casto said the next hurdle was the lull caused by the city's temporary
restriction over sewer line tap-ins. He had several businesses waiting
to sign to the project, which later pulled out in lieu of waiting for
the city to resolve the sewer tap-in halt.
Not only did the restriction stop his project, he said, but many
developments throughout the city were also forced to wait, including
residential construction in Tartan Fields and Bearcreek Capital retail
developers in Coleman's Crossing.
Casto said Wednesday that the financing for his Mill Valley project is
complete and as soon as the permits clear with the county he can break
ground the very next day. His project will contain 2,000 square feet of
business space to create a "great neighborhood shopping center."
He said AmeriStop has signed a letter of intent to add a convenient
store to the development. That company is currently looking for a
franchisee to run the store in Marysville.
Casto said he is "actively pursuing" new lease applicants for the future
neighborhood shopping center. Once the project gets moving, he said, it
will offer Mill Valley residents shopping opportunities and convenience
that does not currently exist. His hope is to bring in businesses the
residents can use, such as "mom and pop" stores, video rental, a hair
salon or even a children's clothing store.
For the past year there have been talks about a second McDonald's added
near Mill Valley on Route 31. Work has recently begun in the
construction of the business. Details on a timeline for the new
restaurant were unavailable. Numerous calls placed to McDonald were not
returned before press time.
Trucks have also begun clearing the land for the second phase of
Bearcreek Development's Coleman's Crossing Boulevard strip mall. An
update on the project was unavailable before press time. Numerous calls
to the company were not returned.

Union County man receives Purple Heart
38 years later
Was wounded in Vietnam

More than 38 years after he was wounded in Vietnam, a Milford Center man
will be pinned with a Purple Heart Sunday at a special service at
Marysville Free Will Baptist Church.
Robert H. Allen of Reed Road, and his battalion were going into the
Black Virgin Mountain of Hobo Woods in South Vietnam on Dec. 1, 1967,
when he was injured by enemy fire. It was exactly one year from his
entrance into the Armed Forces.
Allen was driving an armored personnel carrier and had dropped back from
lead to the third tank. He was shot in the spine area and received
medical assistance from his sergeant, Robert Galas, before being flown
to the medical unit compound.
Galas, of Illinois, will be one of the people attending Sunday's service
to watch Maj. Gen. Oscar Decker (retired) of Marysville pin the Purple Heart on Allen.
Galas and Allen had lost touch with each other after Galas also was
wounded in action. It's possible one of the reasons Allen's Purple Heart
was delayed was because Galas was unable to process the necessary
paperwork, Juanita Allen said.
Juanita Allen, Allen's wife of 37 years, has tried for many years to
secure the Purple Heart for her husband.
"I kept working on it for such a long time and never forgot about it," Mrs. Allen said.
She made contact with the Veterans Administrations in Cleveland, St.
Louis, Cincinnati and Columbus, and the Department of Defense in
Washington, D.C. The Veterans Administration in Chillicothe, gave her
the most support until David Cook of the Union County Veterans
Commission stepped in. With Cook's help and guidance, the Purple Heart
commendation arrived on March 28.
A private man according to his wife, Allen was reluctant at first to
participate in any special Purple Heart ceremony. But he's come around,
and has rejoiced in the e-mail messages, phone calls and letters from
those with whom he has served, even though they have brought up bittersweet memories.
"It's been an emotional roller coaster for him, for them, but it's been good," Mrs. Allen said.
Especially moving was a message from former soldier Allan Azary who
lives in Tampa, Fla. Azary found a photo album of Allen's that had been
tucked away behind the personnel carrier's radio.
Allen, originally of South Shore, Ky., was drafted into the United
States Army on Dec. 1, 1966. He went through basic training at Fort Knox
and was transferred to Fort Polk, La. He shipped out to Vietnam in May
of 1967 and saw combat for a year, serving mostly with the 1st Battalion
5th Mechanized Infantry Regiment 25th Division in Cu Chi. He was an M-60
machine gunner, point man, track driver and "tunnel rat."
As  Allen explained it, tunnel rats crawled into the many passageways
that ran under Cu Chi, looking for munitions and Viet Cong. Allen
remembered one tunnel actually containing a functioning hospital which
housed several wounded American soldiers.
"Of course we got them out," Allen said.
Allen's wound temporarily paralyzed him, but after only 12 days in the
hospital he was sent to Saigon for security duty with the military
police. He was literally carried onto the job, positioned in a chair,
and carried back to the barracks.
He was told he would never walk again.
"But he had faith enough to believe that God would grant him the ability
to do it," said Mrs. Allen. "Little by little ... he was able to walk again."
The Purple Heart is yet another medal in a collection of many Allen also
has been awarded, including the Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze
service stars, Combat Infantryman Badge, Army Good Conduct Medal,
Meritorious Unit Commendation, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with
Palm Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal and
First Class Unit Citation.
According to a military Web site on the Internet, the Purple Heart
commendation was established by Gen. George Washington at Newburgh, N.
Y., on Aug. 7, 1782, during the Revolutionary War.
 It was reestablished by the President of the United States per War
Department General Orders in 1932, and is awarded in the name of the
President of the United States "to any member of an Armed Force or any
civilian national of the United States who, while serving under
competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services
after April 5, 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may
hereafter die after being wounded."
Editor's note: Marysville resident Scott Underwood contributed to this
article and has assisted Mrs. Allen with putting Sunday's service
together. He also plans to videotape the presentation for Allen's family.

School board awards bids for Northwood construction
Central Ohio Building of Hilliard submitted the lowest bid for
construction of Northwood Elementary, Marysville's newest elementary
school building, Friday during a special board meeting.
Board members Jeff Mabee and Scott Johnson and board president Roy
Fraker voted to accept the $2,673,580 bid, as well as six other bid
packages for the school's construction.
Kirk Brothers' Masonry of Findlay submitted the winning concrete bid of
$1,339,100, with Humble Construction of West Liberty submitting the
winning bids for structural steel and roofing at $702,000 and $512,800
respectively; Carl's Plumbing & Heating of Marion submitting the winning
HVAC with plumbing bid of $1,569,890; and the Vulcan and Gaylor
companies submitting the winning fire protection and electrical bids at
$105,373 and $1,185,200 respectively.
All together, the bids totaled $8,087,943. That price included alternate
packages that added four additional classrooms to the school.
Board members could have put off constructing the additional classrooms,
but with construction prices rising at an alarming rate, waiting didn't
seem the best thing to do.
"We'll never see $105 a square foot for those classrooms again," said Mabee. "Never, ever."
Mabee then added that prices might decline to that price again, "but not while we're alive."
"Construction prices are really, really crazy right now," Superintendent Larry Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman added that he had been told that construction prices were
increasing 1 percent a month, and that the demand for steel and copper was "at a premium."
Higher fuel prices also were driving some of the increases, he said.
Construction should begin on the new elementary within a couple weeks, Zimmerman said.
In other business, the board:
.Employed Jason Adelsberger and Jason Jensen as network technicians
under one-year limited contracts, and Michael Ball, Laura Browne, Kendra
Burris and Lori Clark as teachers on one-year limited contracts.
.Accepted the resignations of teachers Stephanie Williams and Matthew
Fockler and building aide Mary Jo DeGood.
.Granted an easement to Dayton Power and Light at Northwood Elementary.
.Contracted with Naomi Shaw to provide speech and language therapy to
district pupils on an as-needed basis for the 2006 extended school year.

Amish influence nearly gone from Plain City
A disappearing way of life
Esther Hochstedler flipped on a solar-powered light in the two-story,
Plain City farmhouse she shares with her sister, Rachel. The rays
illuminated her fragile body, clothed in a tattered, light blue cape
dress, white head covering and black sneakers.
Her plain attire was once a familiar sight in Plain City. Now it's a rarity.
Born and raised in the Amish tradition, Hochstedler, 85, is one of only
10 Amish left in Plain City.
"They are the remnants of the Amish movement in this community," said
Valentine Yutzy, 72, a Plain City native and self-taught historian of
the Amish church.
It might not look like it now, but years ago Plain City was inhabited by
a multitude of horse and buggy toting Amish.
Who are the Amish?
A tight-knit religious and ethnic group of Swiss-German ancestry, the
Amish separate themselves from outside society for religious reasons.
They do not vote, hold political office, join the military, draw social
security or accept any form of assistance from the government. And they
are known for restrictions on the use of modern devices such as
automobiles and electricity.
"The Amish believe that if they connect with the outside world, they
might start making adaptations," explained Yutzy. "So, rather than
letting the world rub off on them, they just don't associate with it."
The moral beliefs of the Amish Church are based on the Bible and most of
their views stem from literal translations of the teachings of the Bible.
The 10 Plain City inhabitants are known as conservative Old Order Amish,
the kind that avoid technology, but there are many New Order Amish,
Beachy Amish and Mennonite groups with a more modern lifestyle that
still consider themselves Amish.
The first group of Amish settled in Plain City in 1896. And by 1904,
there were three large Amish churches, made up of 20 to 30 families.
Sarah Miller's family was one of them.
Miller, 74, (who requested the Journal-Tribune not use her real name)
said her parents grew up in Plain City, both of them farmers.
She, her parents, and nine siblings lived what Miller calls a "slower pace of life."
"We stayed at home a lot," she said. "And we did everything by hand,
none of this push-button, electronic stuff."
But by the 1940s, worldly inventions began to alter the Amish mindset.
The invention of the automobile brought a newfound sense of worldly
freedom for youngsters, to the point where it initiated the beginning of an exodus.
The exodus
The automobile allowed Amish youth the freedom to go to Columbus and
other places the Church wouldn't sanction, Yutzy said.
"It was a liberating avenue that young men and women could use to get in
trouble," he said. "A lot of people began looking for a more isolated
place to live so that young folks wouldn't be exposed to this type of temptation."
Around 1944, a number of Amish families left the community, Yutzy said,
followed by another group in 1966, and yet another in 1975. Some went
west to Wisconsin and Missouri. Others went to Holmes County and Belle
Center - communities where less worldly distractions existed.
But some couldn't bear to part from their home turf.
"[Plain City] just seemed like where I was supposed to be," Miller said.
A majority of the remaining Amish became more liberal in their theology,
or decided to leave the Old Order Amish altogether. For Miller, the
decision was easy.
"I had no reason to be dissatisfied with the Amish church," she said. "I
believed, and still believe, in the Church's teachings." The remaining
At 74, Miller is one of the youngest Amish in Plain City. Of the nine
women and two men remaining, the youngest is 67 and the oldest is 89.
Because of their age, none of the 10 drive horse and buggy. But all
still maintain a very conservative lifestyle.
Miller, who lives with her sister in the home of her deceased parents,
never married. She went to school through the 10th grade and she has
never owned a car, a television, a radio, or any other form of modern
technology. She does have an electric-powered washing machine and a
phone which, she says, is necessary for communication with family and friends.
While she's never been to a movie theater, sporting event, or shopping
mall, Miller said she's perfectly content.
"We see what's happening to the world with its fast paced lifestyle, and
they are not much happier than we are," she said.
But between yard work, cleaning, gardening, and sewing, day-to-day life
keeps her busy. Miller owns about 15 dresses, all of which she's sewn
herself. She also makes her own head coverings. She has a gas
refrigerator and a gas stove that she uses to do all her cooking, and
the hardwood floors in her house make it easy to clean since she doesn't
own a vacuum.
Miller also works three days a week at a local Christian bookstore.
Since she doesn't own a car or have a drivers license, a friend takes
her to and from her job.
Because of her beliefs, Miller said she's never been to a hairdresser.
The Amish take seriously the words of 1 Corinthians 11:5-6, which says,
"And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered
dishonors her head - it is just as though her head were shaved. If a
woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if
it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she
should cover her head." Therefore, she never cuts her hair and always
bundles it up in her head covering.
She and the other nine Amish still meet regularly for worship in a
small, shed-like building, located adjacent to the Hochstedler
residence, 10700 U.S. 42. Because the last of the ordained men left
Plain City in 1966, ministers come from either Holmes County or Belle
Center to lead the services.
Services are held bi-weekly and are typically done in German. Songs are
taken from the Ausbund, a German song book and there are no instruments
used in the worship. Men also sit separately from the women, Miller said.
The services begin at 9 a.m. and are usually over by noon. Following
worship, the group moves aside the wooden pews and brings in tables and
chairs so they can eat lunch and fellowship together.
On their off weeks, the group has Sunday school. Future of the Amish
Estimates of the total number of Amish in North America vary. The total
Amish population is estimated at 134,000, but only adults are counted as
full church members, according to the Web site,
Three quarters of all Amish are located in just three states: Ohio,
Pennsylvania, and Indiana. And Holmes County has the world's largest
Amish population.
When it comes to Plain City, Yutzy estimates that there are 400 to 500
families of Amish descent - Beachy Amish, New Order Amish, and
Mennonite. But for horse and buggy Amish, the future looks bleak.
"There is no support group or community here for them," Yutzy said.
"They're all going to quieter, less worldly communities."

Electrical worker critically injured
A reported 7,200 volts almost took the life of an electrical worker who
was working on power lines Thursday afternoon in Plain City.
Robert Carnahan, whose age and address were not available, was flown by
medical helicopter to the Ohio State University Hospital burn unit where
he remains in critical condition.
There have been conflicting reports on what injuries Carnahan sustained
and what led up to the accident. Reports on the accident were
unavailable through the Union County Sheriff's Office.
The initial emergency call came in 3:51 p.m. and reported an
electrocution at 14179 Adams Road. The dispatcher said that the male
victim was dangling 25 feet in the air. The victim soon began talking to
people on the scene, indicating that he was still alive.
A press release today from Union Rural Electric Cooperative reported
that Carnahan is a member of one of its contracted crews. He made
contact with one of its electric lines along Adams Road at around 4 p.m.
One media report incorrectly stated that the shock allegedly blew off
his right foot. A conflicting report stated that he may have only
sustained injuries to his hand.
The Ohio State University reported this morning that Carnahan was in the
Surgical Intensive Care Unit, but they were not allowed by law to clarify on the injuries.
"Officials are working to make contact with his family," URE reported in
a statement released Thursday evening.
Pleasant Valley Fire District Battalion Chief Brent Smith said that the
victim was working up on the pole when he became distracted and backed
into one of the power lines with his shoulder. He heard the voltage may
have been 7,200. He also said that reports of the victim's leg being
blown off, were untrue. His reports indicate that the man suffered burns
on both arms and his ankle was seriously injured.
URE reported that "(Carnahan) was performing line upgrade construction
in the area of the Route 736 and Adams Road when he received the
electrical charge. Service to several hundred members was shut off to
allow URE technicians to perform a safe rescue. The injured man was
evacuated by helicopter from the area around 4:30 p.m. and power
restored shortly thereafter."
According to the Marysville URE, the injured crew member was an employee
of Robert Henry Company, a company which has provided line construction
services to URE in recent years.
Several calls made this morning to Robert Henry Company's representative
Steve Henry were not returned.
Smith said this morning that emergency crews were able to coordinate
their efforts with URE workers in order to get the victim down from the
lines. He said it was fortunate that fire crews did not attempt to
retrieve Carnahan from the wires because, although the lines were not
active, there were still electrical back flows which could have injured firemen.
Also responding to the incident were the Marysville and Jerome Township fire crews.

Adena Pointe project adds to South Park concerns
As construction begins on the Adena Pointe development in southeast
Marysville, the work has added more concern to the future of South Park.
During the Thursday Marysville City Council meeting, councilman John
Marshall noted that crews had broken ground on a project off of Weaver Road.
City administrator Kathy House and planning commission member Alan
Seymour confirmed the work was for the Adena Pointe development.
Marshall wondered why the development was moving forward when "we don't
know what we're doing with South Park?"
House explained that South Park is not tied to the Adena Point
development, the park work they plan to do is "above and beyond their development."
Seymour said the work only marks Phase One of the project.
Marshall said that on Tuesday, June 13, the city Parks and Recreation
Commission will meet to discuss the South Park issue. He said during the
previous meeting members and the public had "considerable discussion about (South Park)."
He recommended people attend the meeting to learn more about the issue of wetlands.
"It's not a mud puddle and it's not a swamp," Marshall said. "It's worth
everyone becoming educated on the process."
The commission will have speakers, specifically an environmental
engineer, to address the wetlands issue. The commission may also write
up a South Park resolution for a future city council agenda.
House said that the city is awaiting information from its own
environmental engineer who was brought in to look into the South Park wetlands issue.
Planning Commission director John Cunningham invited city council to a
joint meeting with the commission to discuss issues affecting the city such as this.
After a week of heavy rain, the rest of the city fared much better than
the currently flooded South Park.
Despite the weather, House said, the city received no complaints about
water in homes and the city Wastewater Treatment Plant handled the
increase in stormwater "very well."
House also asked that residents help out the city by clearing out
stormwater drains and catch basins near their homes, in order to prevent blockage.
In other discussions, updates were provided on numerous ongoing city projects:
. House gave an update on the east side railroad crossing closure. She
said the traffic study at the East Fifth Street and Delaware Avenue
intersections began earlier this week. When the study is completed,
engineers will proceed with compiling their analysis to determine
whether or not the railroad crossing should remain closed, or if it
should reopen for repairs and expansion.
. The Ohio Department of Transportation will soon begin to make repairs
at four different railroad crossings, including Delaware Avenue,
Industrial Parkway, Main Street and Cherry Street. The work will include
replacing some railroad ties and some rails, along with asphalt and
possibly concrete additions. Work will be completed in early July before
Honda Homecoming comes to Marysville.
. House provided an update on the second phase of paving the streets of
Marysville, to run from August to October. She said the work would begin
later than it did last year because street department workers are still
doing preparation work to make city crosswalks handicap accessible.
. Legislation was added to the consent calendar allowing the city to
apply for the Job Ready Sites Program.
Economic Development Director Eric Phillips said millions of federal
dollars help cities take a potential area and prepare it for
development. It could mean up to $5 million to run sewer and water lines
to the west of the Scotts Company along Scottslawn Road and widening the lanes.

First English Lutheran Church to install new pastor
Fresh out of seminary and newly ordained, the Rev. Paul Schultz is ready
for installation Sunday as new leader at First English Evangelical
Lutheran Church, 687 London Ave.
His installation ceremony will be held during the 10:30 a.m. Sunday
Communion service. The Rev. Terry Morgan, assistant to the bishop,
Southern Ohio Synod, will officiate.
Schultz, 32, and his wife of 10 years, Jennifer, were drawn to the
Marysville community because of its large-city conveniences - good
retail stores, health care and a good school system - coupled with its
small-town atmosphere and the rural character of the nearby farming community.
Marysville also is located halfway between Miamisburg - where Schultz is
from - and Massillion where Jennifer grew up.
The two met as students at Bowling Green State University. They are the
parents of Madison, 9, Hannah, 7, and Tommy, 4.
Shortly after their marriage, Schultz dropped out of college to support
his growing family.
"But I couldn't get away from this intense feeling of ministry," he said.
He enrolled at Wright State University and attended year-round,
finishing three year's worth of studies in two years. He literally
finished college one day and started seminary at the Lutheran
Theological Seminary of Gettysburg (Pa.) the next.
Attending the historic school was "really neat," Schultz said. "The
Civil War battle of Gettysburg actually began on the seminary grounds
and Schmucker Hall on the campus still has a cannonball from that battle
lodged in its side."
From Gettysburg, the young family moved to North Dakota to a town of 160
residents so Schultz could complete his residency.
"It (was) a wonderful place to visit," Schultz said, emphasizing the last word.
The temperature was 40 degrees below zero "before the wind chill," he
said. Milk sold for $5.50 a gallon, and the nearest "large city"
consisted of about 1,000 people.
Still, "it helps to have a required internship," Schultz said. "It gives
a fledgling pastor the opportunity to integrate book learning with
actual ministerial work. "
Schultz said he is thrilled to be at First English.
"I'm just excited to see this new chapter in the life of the church.
It's going to be fascinating to see how we write the first few sentences."
He said he will bring a keen sense of humor to his ministry.
"I'm a pretty lively preacher. I try to keep (the sermon) under 15
minutes and try to keep (the congregation) awake the whole time," he joked.
He also will encourage those in the church family to become more active
with their faith, to share it in every aspect of their lives.
"I really think that if we have the Gospel and keep it all bottled up
we're not doing what we should," he said.
Schultz plans to be involved in community functions, to show up at
football games, basketball games and at women's softball events.
"We want to share the good news. We don't want to keep it to ourselves," he said.
He would like to rename the church exit "servants' entrance." When asked
why, he responded, "Because it's when we leave here that we're actually
going out to serve."
He also hopes to keep regular office hours, probably from 9 a.m. to noon
or 1 p.m. It is during those times he will schedule appointments,
counseling sessions and other church business, he said.
Schultz said the church has a "dedicated group" of young people he hopes
to nurture and encourage in their faith.
"As I get settled in and develop a relationship with the youth, their
programs will begin to develop," he said.
He will be helped along the way by church administrative assistant
Jeanne Haynes, by church members and by his wife.
"I'm convinced I wouldn't be able to do what I do if she didn't do what
she does," Schultz said of his spouse. "She's the most important person in my life."
He added, "We both really view our marriage as a vocation. Our marriage
is one of the signs of grace for me."
He also will be assisted by his children, who have happily settled in.
Schultz remembers a remark Madison, a fourth-grader, made as the family
came into Marysville. She noticed the "Marysville - where the grass is greener" sign.
"It really is! It really is," she said.
Schultz succeeds the Rev. Richard Genzman, who is serving as a chaplain
in Iraq. Genzman, who was recently commissioned a colonel, is on active
duty with the Ohio Army National Guard.
Genzman's achievement is "something we're proud about here," said Schultz.
Genzman is providing a valuable service, he said, and the men and women
who serve in the Middle East are fortunate to have there.

Prosecutor: Dublin official can sit on LUC Commission

Dublin's city engineer has every right to sit on the local planning commission.
During a May meeting all three members of the Jerome Township board of
trustees voiced concern that a member of the Logan Union Champaign (LUC)
Regional Planning Commission's executive committee, representing Dublin,
might have a conflict of interest concerning their community.
 The 19-member LUC committee reviews zoning and development amendments
for the three-county region and offers recommendations to township
zoning boards, as well as subdivision platting authority for
unincorporated areas. The planning commission is established by the Ohio
Revised Code with the group's bylaws determining who sits on the
executive committee. Because Dublin is a city it is entitled to have a
voting representative, said LUC Director Jenny Snapp.
Trustee Bob Merkle said his board's concern is that everyone is
represented and there is a level playing field on the advisory board.
Townships do not have representatives on the voting committee.
Plain City, like Dublin, is another community that straddles county
lines but has no voting member because it is a village. Dublin has
residents in both Franklin and Union counties. Dublin joined the LUC in
2005. Dublin also belongs to a Delaware County planning commission, Snapp said.
Trustee Ron Rhodes said Paul Hammersmith, a paid employee of Dublin, had
recently opposed two Jerome projects while sitting on the LUC committee
and voiced opposition to a third during a meeting with the Union County Engineer.
Snapp said it is unfair to single out Hammersmith. She said the LUC
committee unanimously voted against two recommendations in April because
of a lack of information.
Responding to verbal requests after an article appeared in the
Marysville Journal-Tribune, Union Prosecutor David Phillips wrote a
four-page letter in June stating that Hammersmith "may lawfully serve as
Dublin's representative to the Logan Union Champaign Regional Planning
Commission." The letter was sent to Rhodes, Snapp and the Dublin City law director.
More importantly, Snapp said, LUC is just a recommending authority,
townships are free to do what they want.
"LUC makes recommendations. The legislative authority lies with the
township. They are the final say on an recommendations of zoning
amendments," Snapp said.
In spite of the legal opinion, Trustee Rhodes said he is still concerned
"with the amount of influence Dublin has managed to gain within Union
County and in particularly what is about to happen in Jerome Township."
Dublin city manager Jane Brautigam said, "It is important for Dublin to
be represented on this commision, just as it is for other surrounding
jurisdictions. Part of Dublin is in Union County and we want to work
cooperativly with all jurisdictions along the U.S. 33 corridor to ensure
positive growth for all our communities."

North Union graduation scheduled for Friday
North Union High School will hold its graduation ceremonies Friday at 7
p.m. in the high school gymnasium.
Eighty-five seniors are tentatively scheduled to receive diplomas,
including valedictorians Rebekah Delp, Jamie Goddard and Justin Morone
and salutatorian Bethany Grose.
Delp, the daughter of Nejla Bodine and Jeff Delp, will attend Ohio
Northern University and major in English.
During her high school years, her extra curricular activities included
History Club, In The Know, the school newspaper, News For You, prom
committee, guidance aide, office aide and teacher's aide.
Her accomplishments have earned her straight A's throughout her high
school years. Also, Academic Letter (ninth), Academic Gold Bar (10th),
Academic Gold Star (11th); TAD program, four years; DuPont Science Essay
Award, Who's Who Among American High School Students for two years; gold
medalist in Spanish I, Spanish II, Spanish III, Algebra I, geography and
Computer Applications II; silver medalist in world history (ninth) and
biology (10th); bronze medalist in word processing, Computer
Applications I and received the McElheny Book Award/Chemistry.
She also was active in her church's teen activities for two years.
Jamie Goddard is the daughter of Rod and Carol Goddard. She plans to
enroll at Ohio State University and is undecided on a major.
Goddard's extra curricular activities included volleyball, four years -
JV Award, JV captain, most improved award, varsity captain award; second
team MOAC, varsity letter, three years; honorable mention MOAC, Wildcat
Award; basketball, two years; varsity letter, one year; softball, four
years: varsity letter, three years; Second Team MOAC one year; Captain
Award; FFA, 4 years - Creed Contest; Parliamentary Procedure two years;
Greenhand Award; Chapter Scholarship Award, State Convention three
years; horse judging two years, National Convention, FFA Camp, petting
zoo three years; Spanish Club, two years.
Her academic accomplishments earned her Straight A Honor Roll throughout
her high school years and membership in the National Honor Society;
Franklin B. Walter Award; MOAC Scholastic Excellence Award three years;
TAD program all four years; perfect attendance; academic letter, bar and
star; gold medals in English (ninth), geometry (ninth), health (ninth),
vocational agriculture three; Spanish II, Spanish I; silver medalist,
keyboarding, physical science (ninth), Vocational Agriculture I, Algebra
II, foundations of business, Vocational Agriculture II, American world
studies; bronze medalist: biology, Art I, current issues and chemistry.
Goddard's community activities include youth camp, two years; B.I.T.S
4-H Club, two years, fair clean-up, three years; Springenfest set-up,
four years; vacation Bible school, two years; softball summer league,
two years; softball traveling teams, three years; basketball summer
league, two years; Park Days, two years; Big Brothers-Big Sisters, three
years; United Way Community Care Day, Ohio Reads, Richwood Independent
Jr. Fair princess, fourth grade basketball coach.
Daniel Justin Reese Morone, the son of Dan Morone and Lisa Morone, plans
to attend the Ohio State University main campus, majoring in civil engineering.
His high school extracurricular activities included baseball, In The
Know, National Honor Society, History Club and French Club.
Honors awarded to Morone included the Honda/OSU Partnership Math Medal
Award, OSFC Dream School 2006 Student Design Finalist and four years perfect attendance.
Academically, the co-valedictorian received straight A's throughout his high school years.
He earned gold medals in world history (10th), American history (10th),
American/World Studies II (11th), biology (10th), French I (10th) and
French II (11th); silver medal Health (9); Daughters of the American
Revolution History Award (11th); Scholar Athlete Award (ninth, 10th and
11th) and perfect attendance, (ninth, 10th and 11th).
Morone's community activities include North Union Athletic Boosters
volunteer, four years; Kans for Kids to help Children's Hospital
volunteer, four years; American Heart Association volunteer, four years,
and Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund volunteer (12th).
Career related medals include: Gold, Industrial Technology I (ninth),
physical science (ninth), Algebra II (10th), English II (10th),
Industrial Technology III (11th), Advanced Math (11) and Chemistry (11);
Silver, geometry (ninth), Engineering Foundations II (10th) and
Honda/OSU Partnership Math Medal (12th).
Bethany Grose is the daughter of Lynn and Mary Grose. Her academic
achievements and honors include all A's honor roll throughout her high
school years. She also had perfect attendance as a freshman, sophomore and junior.
She received the Academic Letter (ninth), Academic Bar (10th) and
Academic Star (11th); National Honor Society, (11th, 12th); MOAC Scholar
Athlete, (10th, 11th); National Student Athlete, (10th, 11th); gold
medal, foundations of business (10th); silver medal, chemistry (11th)
and current issues (11th); bronze medal, French II (10th), Algebra II
(10th), American/World Studies II (11th), French I, (11th) and C.P.
English (11th); McElheny Book Award, American World Studies II (11th);
Better Business Bureau Student of Integrity Honorable Mention (11th) and
Buckeye Girls State Alternate (11th).
Her extracurricular activities included marching band, pep band, band
council, cheerleading, - where she served as JV captain and varsity
captain; Student Council four years - where she served as spirit chair
for two years; and senior class president; History Club, French Club,
Mock Trial, Drama and In The Know.
Grose's community service activities included the National Honor Society
Highway Clean-up (11th, 12th) and was a blood donor (11th, 12th).
This year's senior class officers included Bethany Grose, president;
Paige Bumgarner, vice-president; and Morgan McMahan, secretary-treasurer.

Uptown dreams
Organization seeks to bring charm back to Plain City

Michael George remembers how different Plain City Main Street looked
when he was a young boy in the 1960s.
"There were two drugstores, two hardware stores, and two dime stores,"
he said. "Anything you could think of, you could get in Plain City."
Now, 40-some years later, with a multitude of empty storefronts and "for
rent" signs plastered in window after window, passersby might think the
town looks uninhabited. But George and the other five board members of
the Uptown Plain City Organization (UPCO) say that Main Street can, and
will, be revived of its former appeal.
And it could take as few as a couple of years.
"We want uptown to be a place where people can walk, feel safe and
secure, and also get what they need," said Jason Milligan, UPCO board
member and president.
UPCO (previously known as the Downtown Improvement Committee)
incorporated March 23 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the
economic restructuring and historic preservation of uptown Plain City,
which consists of about 55 to 60 buildings. The area runs (north and
south) from the United Methodist Church on North Chillicothe, to the
Plain City Administration building on South Chillicothe, and (east and
west) from Church Street on East Main Street to the Plain City
Elementary School on West Main Street.
There are currently more than 40 businesses operating in the historic
uptown Plain City district, Milligan said. But most of these are
professional businesses, such as real estate agents, a dentist, a bank,
and a veterinarian.
Not the kind that attract walk-in traffic.
Improvements can be made by recruiting new businesses, rehabilitating
buildings and expanding parking, as well as creating events that entice
people back to the area, Milligan said.
And once the Route 42 bypass is constructed, by October 2007, some of
the town's charm should return.
"When Route 42 became an avenue for heavy trucking, it brought noise and
dust, and caused a lot of retail businesses to leave the area," Milligan
said, noting that several coffee shops, an antique store, a video store
and restaurants have come and gone in the past several years.
Now that the bypass project is underway, numerous businesses have signed
on to plant themselves in Plain City, including Pioneer Mortgage,
Clayton Ross Real Estate Investments, Verizon Wireless, and Match Point
Volleyball Systems. A high-end meat shop has also expressed interest,
and a new owner is renovating the former "Sister's Restaurant" building
for occupation soon.
What the village needs is one or two more restaurants, said Sandra
Adkins, mayor of Plain City.
"A deli would be good to draw the lunch crowd," she said. "And a coffee shop."
UPCO is following a model set by the Ohio Main Street Program,
administered by Downtown Ohio, Inc. Since 1997, the Ohio Main Street
Program has been working with communities across the state to revitalize
their historic or traditional commercial areas.
According to the Web site,, the goal of the program is
to get Main Streets back to the way they were before World War II when
people "thronged the streets on Saturday nights to meet friends, see a
movie and window-shop."
More than 1,600 communities have adopted the Main Street approach.
"The approach is like a pattern," Milligan said. "It shows us how
everyone else has done it successfully and gives us resources and ideas
that will be successful for Plain City."
Adkins said she has high expectations for the village.
"We want to work really hard to make uptown Plain City inviting and
pleasing... so that it draws the type of businesses that encourage not
only our people to go downtown, but tourists, as well," she said.
UPCO is currently working out of the village's budget of $5,000 per
year. It has applied for 501 non-profit status from the state which
would ensure them grant money. The balance of the budget will come from
donations and volunteer labor.
The Plain City renovation process will take time and patience, Milligan
said. With the help and backing of local businesses, owners,
proprietors, and local government, he said the village could see a
turnaround in as few as a couple of years. But the process will be ongoing.
"It's kind of like a marriage," he said. "You get in early on and
continue to work at it."
Above all else, he said, UPCO wants to help retain Plain City's heritage.
"We want to keep our identification as a rural, Mennonite community," he
said. "We want our uptown to be a source of pride."
UPCO holds quarterly meetings that are open to the public. The next one
will be held Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Plain City Public Library.

Brown gets two life sentences
A Marysville man and former Little League coach was given more than two
consecutive life terms in prison for sexual material he sent to troops in Iraq.
Dwight Brown, 41, 13664 U.S. 36, was led out of the Union County Common
Pleas Court in tears, with his feet chained at the ankles, after his
sentencing hearing Tuesday afternoon.
Based on the sentencing he will not be eligible for parole until he is
about 70 years-old.
After a child porn film was discovered on an American military base
computer in Iraq, an investigation led to a Union County suspect. That
investigation determined that the man depicted in the video footage was Brown.
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson reported that on March 30, detectives
executed a search warrant at Brown's home and found evidence to make the
arrest. The film was allegedly created at home, according to Union
County Sheriff's Lt. Jamie Patton.
 Brown initially faced 11 charges but ended up pleading guilty to two
first-degree felony counts of rape and one count of pandering sexually
oriented materials involving a minor.
In court Tuesday, Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott
also declared Brown a sexual predator.
Brown was given an opportunity to address the court and explain his
actions, but he used the time to discount the charges against him. He
specifically spoke to the community and to the parents of all the
children he has coached over the past seven years.
"Remember me as who I am and not as the monster that the media portrays
me as," Brown said. "I could never or would never hurt a child."
Brown said the crimes he has been convicted of have all been a
"misunderstanding." He said he has never committed sexual abuse and did
not sell pornography to anyone in the United States or outside of the United States.
Union County prosecutor David Phillips said the statement was indicative
of the Brown's denial for the crimes he committed. Phillips pointed out
that Brown pleaded guilty and admitted to investigators that the abuse
had been going on for years. He said Brown appeared to have minimized
and rationalized the sexual abuse he was committing until it made sense to himself.
"He really never admitted to the depravity of his conduct," Phillips said.
Regarding how Brown claimed the crimes were a "misunderstanding,"
Phillips said it was far from that.
He said that inside Brown's confiscated computer were hundreds of child
pornography videos, and in some of the home videos Brown discussed other
sexual acts he had previously committed.
"In my estimation, he is a pedophile," Phillips said. "I don't know that
he totally understands. how wrong this conduct was."

Fire board appointments fuel disagreement at North Lewisburg
A difference of opinion regarding who should appoint fire board
representatives created a tense start to Tuesday night's village of
North Lewisburg council meeting.
Steve Wilson, council president, moved that the village amend an
ordinance about the village's participation in the Northeast Champaign
County Fire District fire board.
Barry First, village administrator, explained that the ordinance also
acknowledges and recognizes that two village representatives serve on
fire board. The ordinance doesn't have specific language as to who
appoints the two council members to the fire board.
It has been village policy that the highest elected official, the mayor,
appoint representatives to various committee assignments.
By default, it has become practice that as in the case of internal
village committees, the mayor would also appoint representatives to
serve on the joint fire board which incorporates representatives from
participating municipalities including North Lewisburg, Woodstock, Rush
and Wayne townships.
Wilson said that since former mayor Max Coates and former council
president Don Woodruff no longer wish to serve on the fire board, now is
the time to change the language as to who should be making these appointments.
"I think it should be the majority of council, not just one person," Wilson said.
Mayor Dick Willis responded by saying that he felt as mayor that it was
his job to appoint all committees.
The motion to amend the ordinance to include specific language stating
who would appoint fire board members was seconded by Curtis Burton. The
vote was defeated four to two, Burton and Wilson were the two yes votes.
Susan Spain then moved that council opt to discuss the issue further in
a work session and accept an amended ordinance until the issue can be
resolved. The amendment removes the two current members, Coates and
Woodruff, from fire board given that they are no longer members of
legislative government.
The amendment also allows the mayor to serve on fire board and to
appoint the second representative. The vote was passed five to one,
Wilson voted against.
A work session was scheduled for June 13 at 7 p.m.
At the work session, council will also discuss the rate structure to be
used once all of the water meters are installed and construction
concludes on the wastewater treatment plant project.
Gary Silcott, consulting engineer, said that 438 of 487 water meters
have been installed. Silcott suggested that after the rate structure is
created that the village send preliminary bills to customers to give
them a sense as to how their water usage will affect their payment once
the village adopts a new pay schedule.
Currently, property owners pay a flat rate of $55 per month for water
and sewer. It is expected that bills based on actual water usage will
take affect by January 2007.
In other news, council:
.Changed the next meeting to July 11 at 7 p.m. due to the July 4 holiday.
.Approved parking limits of trailers, RV's and certain motor vehicles on
streets, right of ways, public property, roads and highways with a
24-hour time limit.
.Approved purchase of nine new conference-style chairs to replace
current council chairs. Cost is $3,156
.Heard a presentation on the proposed Skate Park.
.Approved Shelly Company to complete village paving project at $59,217
.Received information on Old Time Vacation, a three-day, 43-mile horse
and wagon round-trip to take place Aug. 16-19 with a stop in North Lewisburg.
.Heard that Mayor Willis will be attending the Ohio Mayors Conference on
June 15-16 in Sidney.
.Deputy Glenn Kemp gave the Champaign County Sheriff's report for March.
It included 19 traffic citations issued, nine traffic violation
warnings, 12 incident reports, 25 cases of assistance given to citizens,
one arrest, four civil and criminal papers served, 20 follow-up
investigations completed, one open-door, two instances of juvenile
contact, two auto accident reports taken and one civic activity.

Wetland woes

No one seems to know what will happen with the Adena Point

Greenwood Colony residents have some questions: Is the proposed South
Park going to exist in Marysville or not? Is there going to be a pond to
control the continued flooding in the Adena Pointe development? Is the
land going to fill with stormwater and become a swamp? Is this going to
create a health issue for nearby homeowners and negatively impact
property values? Why are the developers and the city still trying to
find out if the area is a wetland, when it was already decided in 2004?
For the past 18 years residents around Greenwood Colony have been
waiting for something to be done with a flooded area recently dubbed South Park.
So when Adena Pointe developers came into the picture last year, they
planned to place 334 homes on 133 acres of land adjacent to the
city-owned South Park, just off Route 38 by the Timberview Trails Golf
Course. Developers promised the Marysville Planning Commission and the
Marysville Parks and Recreation Committee that they would turn the flood
area into a retention pond, with walking trails for residents. It was a
move that neighbors felt might finally end their years of waiting.
But the project soon fell into confusion. Residents are now fighting
back against the possibility that the city and developers are trying to
avoid constructing the pond, in order to save money. A petition opposing
the wetland option gathered the support of more than 50 neighbors, who
requested the area become a park as planned.
Marysville Planning Commission co-chairman Alan Seymour said Adena
Pointe developers insist they intend to construct the pond and park - if
they are allowed to.
City engineer, Phil Roush, explained that people seem to think the city
wants a wetland on the property.
"We don't want it to be a wetland," Roush said. "It either is or it isn't."
He said the conditions in the soil will dictate whether the land is a
wetland or not. If it is deemed a wetland, then developers say they
cannot build the retention pond as planned because of possible
environmental laws.
Adena Pointe attorney, Dennis Schultz, confirmed this opinion as well.
However, sections of the Adena Point development were already declared
wetlands three years ago.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is the federal entity that
grants, denies or sets conditions on declaring wetlands. The Ohio office
is located in Huntington, W.V.
Representative, Kimberly Courts-Brown, said that despite the wetland
designation, developers can go ahead as planned. She is aware of the
project because Adena Pointe developers were granted a wetland permit
June 29, 2004. The permit also specifies the wetland areas.
She said Adena Pointe developers received a national No. 39 permit,
which granted them the ability to fill in 3.2 acres of wetlands with
dirt. They also agreed to preserve 0.040 acres of wetland in the layout.
She said the land developers agreed to preserve could very well be the
spot where residents want the pond.
Roush said to his knowledge, the Corps of Engineers had yet to become
involved in the project. The worry was that its engineers may halt plans
for the retention pond at South Park in favor of protecting the wetlands.
"We've been involved for a long time," Courts-Brown said. "I don't know
how he didn't know about that."
Meanwhile, the city of Marysville and Adena Pointe developers are still
wondering if there are wetland areas, despite what the Corps of
Engineers already decided in 2004. Roush said the city has asked an
outside engineer to do a study on the area. A report is expected back in
the next few weeks. Whether this is necessary is now the question.
Courts-Brown said developers are allowed to construct the retention
pond, as long as they work with the Army Corps of Engineers on getting a
permit to divert flood waters. She said there are several options
developers can use in order to control the flooding. One option would
not even require a permit.
According to Ohio EPA's Laura Fay, there are two permits needed to
declare a protected wetland area. Ohio's Clean Water Act states that the
Ohio EPA issues a 401 permit and the US Army Corps of Engineers issues
the 404 permit.
Fay said that Adena Point developers applied for a 401 wetland permit on
Dec. 2005 and the process was going through the motions, until the
permit request was canceled. Developers had decided to change the layout
of Adena Pointe, making less of an impact on the wetlands.
Neighbor to South Park and Marysville Parks and Recreation member,
Rowland Seymour, said that the Corps of Engineers and EPA may not know
the whole history of the area. Namely, that the flooding is allegedly man-made.
He said the South Park land floods because the city buried a drainage
tile there in 1915 to divert water from the west side of Route 38. It
allegedly collapsed and drainage there has been a problem ever since the
mid-1970s. When the Timberview Golf Course was added, the flow
increased. Then in 1999 the city installed another section of drainage
tile about 1,000 feet in length to help control the flooding. But the
project was not engineered correctly and could have made flooding even worse.
Rowland Seymour said the problem is that the city has no records of this project.
Contractor Pearl Drumm said he knows the second drainage tile exists,
because his company put it there.
The Army Corps of Engineers' "Wetlands Delineation Manual" states that
"a presence of a tile system to promote subsurface drainage" is not a
characteristic of wetlands. The manual also states that specific soils
and plant life need to be present to be listed as a wetland.
Rowland Seymour said the city has been very quiet about the wetland
issue, refusing to talk about the details in public meetings. The
silence has led many Greenwood Colony residents to suspect that
developers are using the wetland issue to avoid the cost of building the park.
He said the cost to build the pond and improvements may be too much and
could kill the Adena Pointe project, which would then prevent the city
from collecting Tax Increment Financing funds when the developer begins
selling properties.
Planning Commission's Alan Seymour said whether the area is a wetland or
not, Adena Point is already approved for its first phase. The project
could end up fully constructed, leaving the South Park flood area to
fill deeper with the increased floodwater, eventually becoming a swamp.
Roush said this morning that there is still confusion surrounding what
options the city and developers have regarding the pond at South Park.
He said they hope to look at all the options and pick a route that
"makes the most sense for everybody."
He said that patience will be needed on the issue, and the city plans to
work along with residents, developers and environmental groups to get it resolved.

Jerome Township looks for legal advice
With development pressures coming from all directions, Jerome Township
trustees voted Monday to hire an attorney for land use issues.
During Monday's regular meeting, trustees Bob Merkle, Andy Thomas and
Ron Rhodes unanimously voted to set aside $18,500 to pay an attorney on
an as-needed basis. Merkle said the hourly rate is $185, which the
prosecuting attorney told him was reasonable.
Rhodes said he hoped the attorney would help bring the township's zoning
code into compliance with state law. All board members said they expect
the additional legal representation to assist them in dealing with a
proposed Accord.
Rhodes explained that several municipalities and townships are talking
about creating an accord that would direct land use along the U.S. 33
corridor with the majority of the ground being in Jerome Township.
Of special concern, to the three trustees, is the involvement of the
Franklin County city of Dublin with the accord and the omission of the
Union County village of Plain City. Rhodes pointed out that Dublin holds
no territory in the area, while Plain City is part of Jerome Township
and would be directly affected by any decisions.
Rhodes explained that Dublin has offered $250,000 to the accord, cutting
the estimated costs by half.
"Whose controlling who?" Rhodes asked. "We feel like we're being manipulated."
Saying there are reasons to talk, Merkle said he didn't know if Jerome
Township's plans are working into Dublin's plans.
"Our priority is Jerome Township," Merkle said. "It's a one shot thing.
We need to do it right."
Thomas said a lot of questions need answered about the proposed accord,
including what the $500,000 price tag includes.
"We want to make sure to do the best we can," he said.
Rhodes suggested that Merkle and Thomas attend a June 27 U.S. 33
Corridor executive committee meeting at 6 p.m. The meeting location has
not been announced.
Besides the accord, the trustees voiced concern about another pseudo
group dubbed an "intergovernmental" meeting which is telling developers
they must first meet with them before going to township zoning boards.
Another topic of concern discussed during the regular meeting was the
actions of the Board of Zoning Appeals chairman.
The chairman reportedly refused to allow an alternate board member to
participate or vote on a variance application.
"We had a board member that was denied the right to speak," Rhodes said.
Quoting the Ohio Revised Code, Merkle said the law states alternate
board members may take the place of regular board members and may vote.
Thomas called the chairman's actions "real troubling."
He pointed out that the BZA had expended $960 and wasted five hours of a
man's time with no decision.
The board unanimously agreed to turn the matter over to the Union County
Prosecuting Attorney and make a final decision about reimbursing the
$1,000 application fee by June 19.
In other business:
. Public hearings for two planned unit developments will be held June
19. The hearing for the Cambrian Development Company begins at 7 p.m.
and the Reserve at Sugar Run will start at 7:45 p.m. with the regular
board meeting to follow.
. Fire Chief Scott Skeldon reported that he has been involved in talks
with two developers, Glacier West and Jerome Village, and the Marysville
Water Department; the arrival of new equipment; and his department's
participation in Memorial Day festivities and a Boy Scout flag disposal
ceremony. He also said the second firefighting class graduated from
Tolles Technical School.
. Thomas agreed to represent the township at a 6:30 p.m. meeting today
with the Fairbanks Schools to discuss development issues.

Holliday earns Eagle Scout award

 Nicholas Holliday, son of Richard and Joanne Holliday of Marysville,
has earned the highest award in scouting, Eagle Scout.
A member of Troop 634 which meets Mondays at Our Lady of Lourdes
Catholic Church, he has been involved with Boy Scouts since the third
grade. Nicholas also has been a member of a venturing crew in Findlay.
While being involved with the scouting program, he obtained his
lifeguard certification and also has been on the staff at Camp Berry at
Findlay for two years, teaching archery. He has earned 65 merit badges,
including some in atomic energy and chemistry.
Nicholas' Eagle project consisted of building tree identification signs
along the Mill Creek trail in Marysville.
"My goal was to try to get people involved with the trail and nature but
also at the same time learn something while walking or running on the
trail," Nicholas said.
He credits his parents and the Marysville community for his success.
A Sousaphone player, Nicholas has been involved with the Marysville High
School Marching Band for four years. He also was a member of the high
school jazz band for four years.
As a MHS graduate, he will attend The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, were
he will major in visual effects and motion graphics. He plans to become
a special effects supervisor for movies.

Grease fire contained at Plain City McDonalds
From J-T staff reports:
Customers of the Plain City McDonalds had some disappointment at
breakfast time Saturday after a kitchen fire in the business.
According to the Pleasant Valley Fire Department in Plain City, fire
trucks responded to McDonalds at 200 S. Jefferson St. at 6 a.m. for a
report of a working fire.
The department reported that a grease fire began in the kitchen french
fry pit, causing heavy smoke to fill the building. No damage was caused
to the structure of the building, but the pit area was damaged. When
crews arrived the fire was still going.
Crews had some overhauling to do inside the McDonalds. The department
was on the scene for 45 minutes to an hour cleaning up and clearing smoke.
A Pleasant Valley fireman reported that the fire was an accident and
that the department was provided mutual aid by Jerome Township. Other
agencies from Washing Township, Marysville, Norwich and Jefferson
townships also responded but were canceled enroute.

Officials discuss need for another  fire station

With Marysville ready to burst at the seams with growth, the extr
population coming in will mean having to take a new look at the status
of local fire and police departments.
"The bottom line is that we're being stretched just about as much as we
can be stretched," Marysville Fire Chief Gary Johnson said.
During a recent Public Safety Committee meeting, Johnson laid out the
current status of his department to committee members. He said with
calls for emergency services increasing every year, the department is in
need of expansion.
"We needed two stations a long time ago," Johnson said.
He explained that over the past five years the department has been
depending more and more on other stations' mutual aid. But even that
relief is becoming less dependable.
Just an hour and a half before the Public Safety Committee meeting,
Johnson said his department had three calls taken by mutual aid because
his medics were tied up with other emergencies. During the most recent
fire that occurred in a Marysville mobile home park, only one fireman
was available to respond. The nearest company available for mutual aid
was an all-volunteer department. The full organized response to the fire
was not able to get to the fire scene until 15 minutes after the 9-1-1
call came in. Normally, response time is around two minutes.
"That's pretty telling, that we can't even rely on mutual aid like we
used to because (other departments) are getting too busy also,"
Assistant Fire Chief, John Myers said.
City administrator Kathy House focused discussions during the meeting on
how the city can give emergency services more attention. With numerous
expensive projects already in the works - from the future wastewater
treatment plant, to the reservoir plans and more - funding is scarce.
House said the options are either to build a satellite fire station
closer to a highway exit, or to build an entirely new fire department
station that is big enough to allow for growth. The second fire station
could be built at a site next to the Ohio Reformatory for Women. The
second option is to build a station off of Raymond Road at Fifth Street
on a 17-acre site across from the Oakdale Cemetery.
She said both spots have quick access to roadways, which bypass downtown
Marysville. The current station often faces threats of slower response
times because of downtown traffic and firefighters having to deal with
the 23 trains per day coming through town.
However, House said, the Raymond Road location is a "very valuable
commercial property."
She explained to Johnson that the city already owns the property there
and they could sell it for a good price and have more money to develop
the station at ORW.
While paying for the satellite station is more realistic, Johnson said,
the real cost in that situation would be hiring enough firemen to staff
the second building.
"Being able to staff two stations is a long way off," House said.
"Something dramatic would have to change in our finances."
That dramatic change might be an emergency services levy, she said.
Members of the Public Safety Committee discussed how the next step is
focusing attention to the Marysville Police Department, which is in the
same situation.
House said that if the fire department vacates its Main Street building,
the city could move the police department there. Or the city could
create a new fire station, which includes the police department in its
general design.
Committee members decided to keep pursuing options for both the Raymond
Road and ORW station locations.
But House noted that, even if the city currently had the money to build
the new station, it could take more than two years before the fire and
police departments could see any relief.

Farewell to MMS
Marysville Middle School principal retiring
After 33 years as an educator - 26 of them at Marysville Middle School -
Maryann Sweeney will retire this summer.
She will leave behind her "fun and energetic" middle schoolers, the ones
she said which have keep her young and amazed her with their poise and talent.
Seventh and eighth graders are "awakening to all the possibilities life
can bring," Sweeney said.
"Are they a challenge? Of course. That is the beauty of working with
this group," she added.
A Columbus native, Sweeney began teaching at Delaware's Willis School,
working in the same sixth grade classroom she attended as a sixth-grader.
She served as assistant principal for two years in the Hamilton Township
School District near Scioto Downs before coming to Marysville in 1980.
Sweeney is the daughter of Ruth Tarpy, longtime principal at Ashley
Elementary - now Buckeye Valley East Elementary - and the old middle
school in Radnor - now Buckeye Valley North Elementary. Tarpy also
served on the Delaware City School Board after her retirement as an administrator.
Tarpy's solid work ethic influenced her daughter, who often helped her
mom at school. In fact, said Sweeney, she was helping her mother one
August day at the Ashley School when her future husband, Larry Sweeney,
a Fairbanks High School graduate, walked in. He was the new English teacher.
Sweeney was teaching in Delaware at the time. She and Larry Sweeney had
both graduated from Bowling Green State University, although neither
noticed each other in college.
Larry Sweeney now teaches at Olentangy High School and coaches cross
country and track. They will be married 27 years in July.
Maryann Sweeney also holds a master's degree from Ohio State University.
She said she learned "a lot of good organizational skills" from her
mother, including how to set up schedules, get things ready for the
start of a new school year, and how to maintain a school building.
The main focus in education is instruction and curriculum, Sweeney said,
but "you're also maintaining a building."
She's working with a staff and student population that has grown
considerably since the middle school was first housed in the old Seventh Street building.
When Sweeney first arrived in Marysville, the Seventh and Sixth Street
buildings were both in use. A blacktop area separated the two
structures, one of which - the Seventh Street building - has since been
demolished. (The old Sixth Street building - originally the old high
school - now houses Veterans Auditorium.)
"That was an unusual setup, to have two buildings that were one school
but not connected," Sweeney said.
No intercom linked the two buildings. When there was a thunderstorm,
classes would be held over until the pupils could safely cross the open
area. And in the wintertime, "You can imagine the great temptation to
make a snowball," Sweeney said.
The middle school was relocated to its current location on Route 31 in
1990. Since then, two additions have been added to  accommodate the
growing pupil/teacher population.
"There are 80 adults in this building," Sweeney said, adding that just
putting names with faces and matching job descriptions keeps her on her toes.
In 1980, student enrollment in grades six through eight was 660 pupils.
Enrollment this year for just seventh and eighth grades was 785 pupils,
and Sweeney said in the 2006-2007 school year, the population will be
more than 800 pupils.
"Starting next year we will be getting our first class coming in that
will be over 400 (pupils)," she said.
But that will be the responsibility of Sweeney's successor, Kathy Lynn
McKinniss. The Marion City Schools administrator was hired in April and
will begin Aug. 1. Sweeney officially retires July 31.
"I'll miss the people, the students, the staff, those kind of
interactions," Sweeney said. "I won't miss getting up so early in the
morning and coming in on bad weather days.
Sweeney normally rises at 4:45 a.m. and arrives at school no later than
6:15 a.m., using the early hours to get a head start on her day.
She plans a trip to England, Scotland and Ireland this summer, a gift to
herself. While in England, Sweeney, a self-proclaimed Beatle fanatic,
plans to take a side trip to Liverpool, so she can retrace the steps of
the "Fab Four." (Sweeney is quick to mention she shares her Oct. 9,
birth date with John Lennon, and she is left-handed like Paul McCartney
- although the late George Harrison was her favorite Beatle.)
Long-term plans include volunteer work, joining a book club or two and a
fall trip to New England.
"Some day I'll finally see New England in the fall. That has been a
dream of mine for years and that is not a possibility when you're
working in school," Sweeney said.
 A mystery and history buff, Sweeney hopes to visit some of the Civil
War battlefields near her older son, Jim, 25, who works in Washington,
D.C., and who lives in northern Virginia.
Her other son, Joe, 21, is a senior at Miami University majoring in
mechanical engineering.
And yard work beckons. After years living at Sixth and Mulberry streets,
the Sweeneys built a new home on Watkins Road on the farm where Larry
Sweeney was raised.
"I have an idea I won't be idle. If you are bored in retirement that is
your fault; there is plenty out there to do. You just have to get out
there and do it," Maryann Sweeney said.

Hospital to host seminar on alternatives to suicide
From J-T staff reports:
Alternatives to suicide is the focus of a free seminar on June 6 at
Memorial Hospital of Union County.
Dr. Ed and Mary Schreck of Athens, whose 22-year-old son committed
suicide, will talk about the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program
from 8 to 11 a.m. The program identifies existing community resources.
"Everybody from the average adult to the professional, to teens and
children can understand and follow the simple steps that may save a
life," writes Deloris Bills of the Union County Mental Health
Association. "This program teaches another vital emergency life skill
... stay, listen, get help."
Additional information about the Yellow Ribbon program is available
online at or by e-mail at
Ed Schreck is a professor of family medicine at Ohio University and
medical director of the University Osteopathic Medical Center in
Nelsonville. Mary Schreck is a registered nurse and president of the
Ohio Osteopathic Association.
The seminar is sponsored by the Metal Health Association of Union County
in partnership with Behavioral Health Department of Memorial Hospital of
Union County.
Space is limited; reservations can be made by calling 642-8338 or by
e-mail to

The 'new' crossword
Sudoku puzzles catch on, will be featured in Journal-Tribune
You might call it the 20th century crossword puzzle.
It doesn't require knowledge of historical or current events. You don't
have to know how to spell. In fact, all you really need to know are the
numbers one through nine.
And, with a little logic and reasoning, you can complete a Sudoku puzzle.
Sudoku, also known as "Number Place," is a logic-based placement puzzle.
There are nine rows and nine columns, made up of nine 3 by 3 subgrids.
According to the Sudoku Web site,, the puzzle's single
rule is to "fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every
3 by 3 box contains the digits one through nine." Each row, column, and
region must contain only one instance of each numeral. Some cells
already contain numerals, known as "givens," and those digits cannot be changed.
Brittany Lambert, 19, said Sudoku is becoming especially popular among
young people. She even claims to be slightly addicted herself.
"They're fun, challenging, and perfect for road trips," she said.
Lambert, a college sophomore, said she started doing Sudoku puzzles in
May after she saw a group of her friends doing them. She bought a Sudoku
puzzle book at the Bookmark, 105 N. Main St., where she is employed this
summer, and has been doing them since. But she hasn't advanced beyond
the "easy" level yet.
Sudoku puzzles are ranked in terms of difficulty (easy, intermediate,
hard, and challenging). Surprisingly, the number of givens does not
always reflect a puzzle's difficulty. A puzzle with a minimum number of
givens may be very easy to solve, and a puzzle with more than the
average number can still be extremely difficult. The difficulty of a
puzzle is based on the positioning of the given numbers rather than their quantity.
Lambert said the puzzles take her about 15 minutes to complete. And
every puzzle has just one correct solution.
When asked if she has a strategy, Lambert said, "It's more of a process
of elimination... there's usually one or two slots that are easy to
figure out, then you go from there."
The Sudoku puzzle was designed anonymously by Howard Garns, a
74-year-old retired architect and freelance puzzle constructor, and
first published in a U.S. puzzle magazine in 1979. It didn't attain
international popularity until 2005.
According to the Web site, the name "Sudoku" is the Japanese
abbreviation of a longer phrase, "Suuji wa dokushin ni kagiru" meaning
"the numbers must be single" or "the numbers must occur only once." The
puzzle was introduced in Japan by Nikoli, a Japanese publishing company,
in April 1984 and was named by Maki Kaji, the president of Nikoli.
The popularity of Sudoku puzzles seems to be catching on in Marysville.
Jayne Lambert, owner of the Bookmark, said she sells about three Sudoku
books each week. Book prices range from $4.99 to $9.99.
The Journal-Tribune is also providing readers with a way to try out the
puzzles. The newspaper will run an "easy" Sudoku puzzle every Monday and
a "hard" puzzle every Friday.
The first Sudoku is located on page 8A today. Solutions will run with
the following puzzle.

The final house call
Former doctor's office makes trip to new location

The young, the old and even dogs flocked to Court Street early today to
witness the moving of the former medical office of Dr. Malcolm MacIvor.
Marysville businessman John Bunsold, with the help of several friends,
city officials and utility employees, relocated the historic building to
Boerger Road where it may become a museum.
Dawn Brannan of Marysville said her family arrived at 6 a.m. to watch
the lowering of a traffic light and utility lines. The house began
moving shortly after 8 a.m.
Fans of the "Mega Mover" television show, Brannan said, "It's not
something you see everyday."
With her were husband, John, and children, Robbie, 5, Lance, 2 and
2-month Annastasia, along with friend Gerard Lesperance III.
Robbie planned to share details of the move with his friends at school
this afternoon, said his mother.
The Brannans were among approximately 100 people lining Court Street to
watch the house weave through the street as utility lines were lowered
and lifted while an occasional tree limb was cut.
As the 21-foot brown cottage moved slowly past the First United
Methodist Church parking lot, Walter Staley, 88, of West Mansfield sat
in his car with his wife, Frances.
"I've spent a lot of time in that building," said Mr. Staley who said
Dr. MacIvor was his physician.
Mrs. Staley voiced the sentiment of many along the route that the move
was a good thing.
"I'm glad they didn't destroy it," she said.
Most people said this was the first time they had seen a house being
moved. That included 79-year-old Robert Scheiderer of Plain City.
Leo Burns, 83, of Marysville remembered when the cottage was moved years
before. According to local historian Robert Parrott, the structure was
originally built as a home in the 1870s and has been moved twice. The
most recent move was necessitated after Fifth Third Bank purchased the
property with plans to build a drive-through and add more parking. The
bank donated the building to anyone who would move it at their own
expense. Bunsold accepted the offer in spite of a projected cost of $40,000.
"Marysville has been good to us," Bunsold said.
The house was still on the move at press time today, but everything
seemed to be running smoothly as utility workers dotted the route and
flashing police cruisers directed traffic.
Nathan Ormeroid, 11, of North Lewisburg, thought the move was "pretty neat."
On the opposite side of Court Street, Maggie and Murphy, two wheaten
terriers, wagged their tails as their owners, Charyl and Tim Dean, sat
on their front door steps watching the cottage pass by.
"It's not every day you see a house going down your street," said Mrs. Dean.

Chemical spill after crash snarls U.S. 33 traffic
An accident involving two semi-trailers yesterday morning on U.S. 33
left the eastbound lane closed for nearly 9 hours after what was thought
to be an oil spill.
At 8:03 a.m. Wednesday, after a rear-end collision between two
semi-trailers on U.S. 33 and Avery Road, officers on the scene noticed
some kind of liquid leaking from one of the vehicles. The eastbound lane
of U.S. 33 was then shut down.
Proterra, a professional hazardous materials agency, later identified
the liquid as a mixture of red and clear coat paint, as one of the semis
had been hauling paint cargo.
The eastbound lane was reopened around 5:30 p.m.
No injuries were reported in the crash.



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