Youth group reaches out
Teens from church and JDC relate to each other
Mia was sent to the Central Ohio Youth Center (COYC) for grand
auto and domestic violence in Hancock County.
Gabe, from Auglaize
County, is in for aggravated menacing and graffiti.
Both youths admit they
made some wrong choices, but despite their
misdoings they are finding love
and support from the outside world.
The Our Lady of Lourdes youth group WALK
(Working to Attain the Lord's
Kingdom), led by Dave and Carrie Bezusko, meets
with the COYC kids one
Sunday a month to pray with them and talk about Bible
"Although we talk about scriptures with the kids, we try not to
preachy," said Dave. "The point for us is to just reach out and let
know someone cares about them."
Carrie recalls the last meeting. "One
of the kids asked, 'Why do you
guys come out here and do this?'"
told him - you need just as much support as we do, as any of us
do, we all
need support," said Carrie.
The fellowship got started as a result of a
meeting Dave had with COYC
Superintendent Vikki Jordan. Dave is the campaign
and public relations
director for United Way of Union County and had come to
to take part in the local United Way campaign. After Jordan
gave him a
tour of the COYC facility, Dave was surprisingly
"What struck me the most was when I saw the kids, they looked
from our youth group," Dave remembers. "There was nothing stamped
their foreheads that said, 'I do drugs.'"
According to Jordan, the COYC
kids are in for a variety of reasons,
ranging from drug and alcohol issues,
running away, breaking and
entering, robbery, attempted murder and sexual
offenses. She said 70 to
80 percent are in for drug and alcohol
"Our goal is for our kids to be exposed to other teens who know how
have fun and enjoy themselves, attend school, and who just can have
without drugs and crime," Jordan said.
Carrie said the first meeting
between the two groups of kids was intimidating.
"I have to admit, when we
first met, I was super nervous," said Carrie.
"I wasn't nervous because of
the kids' criminal backgrounds, I just
didn't want them to perceive our kids
as the goody-goody youth group
kids, and I didn't want our kids to look at
them as just bad kids."
She was happy to discover neither group judged one
COYC teen Robert, said he appreciated how the WALK kids have treated
and the others in COYC.
"Most people are watching their backs when
they come in here, and they
treat us like criminals. You don't do that," he
COYC teen Steffan agrees.
"We're instantly stereotyped and judged by
most people, but you guys
don't," he said.
WALK teen, Leslie Albanese said
she enjoys the opportunity to talk with
the COYC kids.
As she sat face to
face with them Friday in the COYC gymnasium, she
explained to them, "You feel
so happy when you're sharing your faith
with other people."
group's goal stems from Bible passage Matthew 25:35-36 which
reads: For I was
hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave
Me drink; I was a
stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you
clothed Me; I was sick and
you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.
Dave said he considers
the COYC kids an extension of the WALK youth group.
Talking with them he
said, "We care about you, we pray for you, and we
consider you our honorary
He hopes other local church groups can come out and minister to
kids as well.
Jordan said she has been pleased with the
"We're just thrilled with it," she said.
made at local bar
From J-T staff reports:
After months of investigating,
law enforcement came down on criminal
activity at Lee Dog's Locker Room in
The Marysville Police Department has been working with the
Investigative Unit in an ongoing investigation into illegal activity
the local bar and grill. The result was numerous arrests on
Police indicated this morning that more charges are expected to
According to reports, at approximately 10:30 p.m. officers from
police department and agents from the Ohio Investigative Unit
warrants for trafficking in drugs, a fourth degree felony, on the
of Lee Dog's Locker Room, Lee Alderson, 37, of 18205 Harmon
Road. Also arrested were Sheila L. Wyatt, 36, of 21302 Peoria Loop
in Raymond, for second-degree felony trafficking in cocaine; Dennis
Smith, 33, of 321 W. Third St., for second-degree felony trafficking
cocaine; and Ricia Cain (AKA Ricia Marrs), 32, of 569 E. Tenth St.,
141, for fourth-degree felony trafficking in cocaine. Cain was
Saturday morning in Marion on local charges there.
arrested on Saturday were held for bond and taken to the
Tri-County jail," a
police release stated. "The cases are expected to be
referred to the Union
County Grand Jury in the near future."
The Ohio Investigative Unit also
served Alderson, as owner of the bar,
with several civil permit violations
that will be filed with the Ohio Liquor Commission.
"The establishment was
temporarily closed while agents conducted a
permit inspection of the premises
and the employees were arrested,"
police reported. "The investigation spanned
several months and was made
possible with the cooperation of the Ohio
Investigative Unit working
closely with Marysville Police investigators. The
investigation will be
continuing with additional charges expected to be
Marysville Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol said that despite
closed during the arrests, the business remains open for
Pilot program aims to fix sidewalks
Plan would see city match up to $500 per
By RYAN HORNS
The old warning goes: Step on a crack and break your
mother's back. But
a new city program could help make sidewalk cracks hard to
At Thursday night's Marysville City Council meeting an ordinance
introduced to start a sidewalk replacement program to help make it
affordable for residents to maintain their sidewalks.
codes, it is the responsibility of property owners to make
sure the sidewalks
are in a safe condition, to reduce property owner
liability for accidents and
help improve the appearance of neighborhoods.
Councilmen Mark Reams and
David Burke pointed out that the issue has
been talked about for years and
they have now reached the point where
something needs to be
"This is a pilot program," Burke explained. "Hopefully as years
go by we
can slowly replace sidewalks that need improvement."
the ordinance, the city will have to track the results of
the program and
review it at the end of the year. Consideration will
have to be made for
continuation, expansion and funding for 2008.
The ordinance states that
Marysville would allocate matching funds, with
a $500 maximum, to help raise
as much as $1,000 for residential sidewalk
repair jobs. For example, if the
repair job of a disfigured sidewalk
requires $750 to fix it, the city would
pay $375 and the property owner
$375. That also means if a project costs
$1,500, it would cost the city
$500 and the property owner $1,000.
pilot program, Burke said, for now it is only being focused on the
The program language explains that the current estimate to
repair a 4
foot by 4 foot section of sidewalk costs about $200 to replace.
that, each project could include a maximum of about five square
sections of concrete.
Burke said that to determine if a property owner's
for repair under the program, a rating system is in place,
meaning no problem and "5" meaning severe damage. The more damaged,
sooner the program will work to fix it. It also states that those
0, 1 or 2 "will not qualify for matching funds, but the scoring will
included to determine rankings for funding."
However, the program is
resident initiated and locals are encouraged to
do the repair work on their
own. In addition, the program explains
driveway sidewalks are not eligible
for matching funds.
The legislation states that residents in the Uptown
Renewal area will
want to consult a Sidewalk Repair Program Application Form
City Hall, 125 E. Sixth St. They must also get an estimate from
licensed and approved contractor, as well as get the required
permit. The cost for those two stipulations was not addressed.
approved through the rating process, the city would waive the permit
and then assign a deadline for the project completion and final
to be made.
The ordinance also explains that if the repair job
isn't approved the
resident may keep submitting the project until it
qualifies for city
funding. Those that do qualify can submit for new projects
Once the repair work is completed the final contractor invoice
submitted to the city. The city will approve the amount and mail
matching funds to the property owner, who is ultimately responsible
paying the contractor.
The city has already foreseen questions critics
may raise about the
program, such as "I thought the city took care of
sidewalks" or "why do
I have to pay for it?"
The city's response is that
"cities throughout Ohio may handle sidewalk
maintenance differently. The city
does not maintain sidewalks adjacent
to private property and/or along a
public street. This decision allows
the city to commit more of our limited
funds to road building, expansion and maintenance."
City officials also
have an answer for those who ask "what happens if I
don't repair my
Those enforcing the code may issue notices to those who have
participated in the program or have not completed the sidewalk
repairs on their own.
Apartment complexes are not eligible for funding,
but duplex homes would
be considered. If a sidewalk is made of brick and
needs repairs, the project would
County turns over presidential
By RYAN HORNS
Friday afternoon representatives of Ohio's Secretary
of State's office
came to Union County to oblige a court order to collect and
ballots from all 88 state counties for the 2004 presidential
According to Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's press release
visit, on Sept. 11, 2006 the U.S. District Court for the
District of Ohio ordered state boards of elections "to preserve
ballots from the 2004 presidential election, on paper or in any
format, including electronic data, unless and until such time
instructed by the court."
Brunner explained in the release that
the "ongoing expense and space
limitations of maintaining all ballots from
the 2004 presidential
election have created hardships for many boards of
elections. In order
to alleviate this hardship and to insure the ballots
remain secure until
the resolution of the court proceeding, our office has
permission from the federal district court to take custody of
ballots and remove them to a secure location in Columbus."
1:30 p.m. representatives Katherine Thomsen and Curtis
Mayhew arrived to work
with Union County Board of Elections
administrators to load the boxes of
ballots into a van for transport.
Bob Parrott of the Union County Board of
Elections explained that the
2004 presidential campaign was highly contested
and after the election
federal lawsuits were filed to check the validity of
the election. Ohio
being a swing state in that election, all counties were
brought into the
lawsuits. He said in one of the federal cases, the judge
all ballots from the 2004 presidential election be preserved
lawsuits were resolved. He said that after county boards of
conducted an unofficial count, an official count and a recount
by the Green Party, the boards boxed up all the ballots, ballot
and related records and sealed the boxes.
In Union County those
boxes have since been stored in a secure ballot
room since the 2004 election
"The ballot room is a secure room which has two locks - one lock
only be opened with a key from the Democratic staff members and
other lock can only be opened with a key from the Republican
members. This means that no one can access those records without
parties being involved," Parrott said.
Regarding the problems of
storage, which resulted in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District
of Ohio ordering the collection of
ballots, Parrott said that issue was not a
problem in Union County.
"In our case, we only have nine cardboard boxes.
None of these boxes
pose any problem for us to store. Regardless, since the
judge ordered us
to give our original ballots to the Secretary of State, we
with his order," he said.
Parrott did have a few points of
concern over the collection of the ballots.
He said the local office has
never given up original records before.
Also by removing the ballots it takes
away the security of having both
Democratic and Republican representatives
work together making sure the
ballots are not tampered with, altered or
Marysville implements pay for
All-day, every day kindergarten option to be offered at a price
Marysville School Board members approved all-day, every day
at Northwood Elementary by a 3-1 vote Thursday night.
all-day, every day option will cost parents $225 per month for 10
(August through May), with a $75 commitment fee due May 4. The
will help defray the cost of implementing the program,
according to school
Board member Scott Johnson cast the negative vote, and board
Roy Fraker was absent. Johnson has previously expressed discomfort
charging for the program in a public school system.
have completed intent forms expressing an interest in
children in the all-day, every day option, said Carla
literacy coordinator. Of those families, 22 have paid
That is enough for one class; a class will be formed with each 20
enrolled. If fewer than 20 pupils enroll, those pupils will be placed
a waiting list until the next class is formed.
The board also hired
Tonya Ramey as assistant high school principal. She
will succeed Matt
Chrispin who was named MHS principal at the Feb. 26
board meeting. Chrispin
succeeded longtime high school principal Greg
Hanson, who is retiring at the
end of this school year.
Ramey received a bachelor of arts degree in English
Cedarville University. She holds a master's degree from the
of Dayton in educational administration and is pursuing
superintendent's license at the University of Dayton.
She spent six
years teaching middle level language arts in Hilliard City
Schools, and also
taught English at Worthington Kilbourne and Dublin
Coffman high schools. For
the past three years, she has been assistant
principal at Dublin
Ramey and her husband, Rob, reside in Marysville with their
Kaylor, 9, and son, Kyle, 6, who both attend Edgewood Elementary
Her employment is effective Aug. 1. Her hiring was approved
The board also officially adopted Superintendent Larry
elementary, middle school and intermediate
The elementary attendance areas were
outlined at a special April 11
school board meeting. The middle and
recommendations will go into effect when the new
school on the old Bunsold property on Route 4 just east
of Boerger Road
opens. Those attendance areas will be as follows:
and East attendance areas would attend the new middle and
school. The Millington Avenue area also will be assigned to
Mill Valley, Northwood, Raymond and Navin attendance areas (except
Millington Avenue area) will attend Creekview Intermediate
Marysville Middle School.
In other business, the board:
retirement resignations from teachers William Finley, Lisa
Lazenby, Christine Erwin, Judith Price and Amber
Halvorsen, and the
retirement resignation of Janet Shonebarger, director
.Granted an unpaid leave of absence to Lisa Poling for the
school year so she can pursue a doctorate.
limited contracts to 58 teachers, speech/language
MacConnell and Kimberly McClincy, occupational
Riley-Williams, counselor Ed Starling and ESL tutor
(as needed) Alice Ahlers;
four-year limited contracts to 22 teachers and
speech pathologist Marcia
Easton; and 15 continuing contracts to 14
teachers and speech pathologist
.Accepted donations of $7,830 for weight equipment, $1,000
replacement mirror in the weight room, $350 for a timing clock and
in general items from the Quarterback Club; $800 for windscreen
padding, $400 to sod a field and $2,000 for uniforms from the
Monarch Softball Boosters; $1,100 from the Track Boosters; the
of three glass display cases valued at $400 each from Bob and Judy
and donations from Rhonda Tipple and Jenine Bertke to the Michael
Padovano Scholarship Fund.
.Awarded supplemental contracts to Kim
Andrews, district department
chair for health care consultants; and Lisa
Subler, middle school track.
.Employed Tammy Cooper, high school summer
school director; Chris Hoehn,
middle school summer school director; and Carol
Lentz and Shelly Maag,
K-6 summer school co-directors.
executive session for the discussion of personnel
Council overrides mayor's veto
When it comes to land use and business planning, Marysville City
has made its decision clear.
At Thursday night's meeting members
voted to overturn Mayor Tom Kruse's
veto of a companion resolution to the
water rate hikes. Council's vote
to override the veto passed with six members
approving and member John
Marshall voting against the override.
resolution, drafted by councilwoman Leah Sellers, proposed a
timeline for the
city to create both business and land use plans in
order to deal with future
growth. That resolution was passed unanimously
by council members at the
April 12 meeting.
In his statement explaining the veto, Kruse said, "It is my
the resolution is flawed on its surface" and "encroaches on
principle of separation of powers, clearly defined by the
Marysville City Charter."
Kruse added that the city does have plans for
business and land use
planning, which are constantly being reviewed by the
the economic development director, "with the thought in
ultimately updating it at an appropriate time."
Kruse said that
his problem with the companion resolution was that it is
not council's place
"to attempt to legislate how and when the
administration implements its work
Councilwoman Leah Sellers said from here city administrators will
to look at the issue of creating a business plan and have something
present to council in three months.
"Ultimately the goal is to get
rates down ever further," Sellers said.
Regarding the land use plan, she said
administration has six months to
make progress on that aspect of future
growth management. Throughout the
process, Sellers said she will ask for
updates on the work being completed.
In other discussions Thursday
. The first reading was held on an ordinance to appropriate $88,300
re-pave three city parking lots, which are currently "in
condition." The project will be included in the overall 2007
. The second reading was held on an ordinance to rezone
one acre of land
located near Route 38 at Walker Woods Lane from Agricultural
to Low Density Single Family Residential. Discussion on the issue
extensive because of a dispute between lot owner Myron Gallogly
Debbie Lutz, the developer of Walker Meadows.
Lutz explained that
Walker Meadows property owners, were worried about
what may happen to
Gallogly's one acre of land near their homes and that
it could possibly lead
to a decrease in value of their property. The
issue is expected to be
discussed further at the May 10 council meeting.
No fowls hurt in fire at
Daylay Egg Farm
From J-T staff reports:
Despite plenty of jokes about free
chicken dinners, a fire at Union
County's Daylay Egg Farm ended safely
"No chickens were killed," Liberty Township fire chief Lloyd Segner
this morning. "Thank goodness it was uneventful."
At 3:14 p.m.
dispatchers reported a working fire at the egg farm in
Raymond, located at
26586 Route 739.
The building where the fire occurred was the chicken egg
facility, Segner said.
"The important thing is that none of the
animals were harmed," Peter
Mumm, director of operations and marketing for
Daylay, said this
morning. "We were just amazed when we went in there, that
none of the
animals had died from smoke inhalation."
While the fire
destroyed several sections of tin paneling, he said that
the integrity of the
building was still intact and they were able to
keep the chickens in place
for now. The birds were expected to be moved
in the coming weeks.
said that his department was in charge of the scene and received
from Marysville, Allen Township, Leesburg Township, Northern
Union County and
West Mansfield fire crews. The Union County Emergency
Management Agency was
also on hand.
He said fire crews were on the scene for more than two hours
flames and dealing with heavy white plumes of smoke pouring out
of the walls.
Segner explained that contractors for Daylay were busy
grinding on the
metal walls, as they attempted to install a new conveyor belt
feed to the chickens. The grinding caused sparks to shoot into
insulation, which resulted in the fire spreading in the walls.
flames then moved toward the roof.
He estimated that the building
suffered $3,000 to $5,000 in damages.
Mumm said that insurance
representatives have not had a chance to view
the damage yet, but the overall
damage was not serious.
Ultimately, the company's concern was focused on the
safety of the birds.
"We were very nervous," he said.
still in process of planning for future
Hubbs says officials are not
advocating new facility
By CORINNE BIX
Memorial Hospital of Union County
wants to allay assumptions that the
hospital has plans to build and finance a
brand new facility.
On Monday, Chip Hubbs, CEO/President of Memorial Hospital
County (MHUC), along with board chair Dennis Stone and vice-chair
Hoffman, met with the county commissioners and discussed concerns
regard to the future of MHUC.
Several months ago the hospital signed a
contract with AMDC, a strategic
facility planning organization, aimed at
improving the hospital as a whole.
AMDC made a presentation at February's
regular board meeting and
explained the process by which it will arrive at
recommendations to be completed in July.
"We are not advocating
a green field hospital but we do want to explore
all of our options," Hubbs
said in February. "We have to be careful not
to limit ourselves."
hospital has been working closely with AMDC by taking an integrated
when exploring future options for the hospital's growth.
The hospital has put
together a planning committee which consists of
physicians, community leaders
and board members. The 45-member committee
and the AMDC team have been
interfacing on a monthly basis.
The group is exploring many options,
including improving on and
rebuilding at the current site versus building a
new facility at a green field site.
Commissioner Charles Hall commented in
February that he felt that AMDC's
presentation was leaning towards building a
Last night, Hubbs reiterated what he said earlier this year:
hospital would be exploring all options, even those that
unobtainable, as they go through the process with AMDC.
emphasized the importance of looking at all possible scenarios.
"We have to
be willing to have the difficult conversations," Hubbs said,
"There isn't an
agenda in mind and we want to make sure we get it right
rather than make the
wrong decision early in the process."
Hubbs added that the hospital chose to
enter into discussions regarding
the hospitals' future using an inclusive
approach - almost to the point
of being cumbersome - to ensure that all
facets of the community were involved.
Hubbs, Stone and Hoffman said the
meeting with the three county
commissioners was positive in that they were
able to communicate that
the hospital would not present a facility plan
without a financial plan to back it.
Hoffman said the commissioners wanted
the hospital to be reminded and
made aware of the county's financial
limitations early in the process.
Hubbs said that although historically MHUC
has used general obligation
funds backed by the county, there are other
funding sources that
wouldn't impact the county at all.
advocating for anything right now because we are too early in
After adjourning into executive session, the board reconvened and
a resolution authorizing the hospital to lease up to 9,000 square
of space in the future Mill Valley medical building. The building
expected to be anywhere from 10-11,000 total square feet.
also agreed to a 15-year lease of the property and authorized
CEO/President to make decisions on the project.
Hubbs said the $1.5 to 2
million project will be paid for by the
developers; there will be no
construction cost to the hospital. Once the
building is up and running the
hospitals' only cost will be to lease and
that cost has yet to be
Hubbs also updated the board on information presented at last
meeting in regard to the hospital's behavioral health unit.
March, Gwen Janeczek, nurse director, presented a factual based
the current 10-bed locked in-patient behavioral unit located
hospital's Morey Center.
Hubbs followed up by explaining that overall, the
unit along with the
Mobile Meals program, is subsidized by the hospital at
It has been brought up that the behavioral unit is the wrong
therefore limiting its ability to grow and improve as a
It has also been suggested that expanding the unit to
16 beds or moving
towards an outpatient model might be better at meeting the
needs of the community.
The Ohio Department of Health recently completed
its annual five-day
survey of The Gables at Green Pastures nursing facility.
The ODH had no
findings or deficiencies.
The board adjourned into
executive session to discuss two matters of
pending litigation, one matter to
discuss the compensation of an
employee and a county hospital's trade
The next regular board meeting will be May 24 at 8 p.m.
action, the board:
.Approved operational team, finance committee and joint
.Approved the initial appointment Dr.
Jeffrey Kneile, pathology,
department of medicine ? consulting provisional;
and Dr. Dale Yu.
hospitalist, department of medicine ? active
.Approved the conclusion of provisional status for Dr. Steven
plastic surgery, department of surgery - consulting.
the modification of privileges for Dr. Mahmoud Qadoom.
.Approved the Allied
Medical Manual ? Appendix C.
.Approved the CNM core/non core.
the Memorial Hospital of Union County Annual Report.
customer service data.
.Received information about an upcoming board meeting
at The Gables to
be held on June 28.
.Heard the annual presentation on the
Development Council as presented
by Jesse Conrad.
Burke to run for state rep.
Will not seek to retain city council seat
Marysville city councilman Dave Burke is hoping to soon become
Representative David Burke.
After four years serving on Marysville
City Council, Burke, a local
pharmacist, announced that he will not be
running again for his council
seat - instead opting to run for State
Representative of the 83rd
District of Ohio. The seat is currently held by
Rep. Tony Core, who will
be ineligible to run for re-election due to term
Sitting in his pharmacy office Wednesday morning, Burke explained
the allure of public service came after talking with his wife one
about the future. They agreed it was time to get involved with
that affect the community. He said they did not want to look back
several decades and regret not getting involved because of sticking
the routine aspects of life.
"I thought, 'I'm not going to sit still
anymore'," Burke said.
Since then he has realized that public service is
where he can make an impact.
"This isn't a career, it's a passion. There
is a difference," he said.
What initially led him to seek out his council
seat were issues such as
water and sewer. It worried him that if the areas
were not handled
correctly, the results could limit Marysville's future and
standing in the region.
"These were difficult issues," Burke said. "I
tried to set up an
environment that was positive for
Ultimately, he said, council worked with administrators to
resolution to water and sewer issues and as a result, the city will
its future needs met.
"I have supported projects and polices that
raise the standard of living
and attract employers and jobs," Burke said. "I
have found the work of
government very rewarding and I want to continue my
service to our community."
Burke said that he is in a unique position that
allows him to dedicate
his time to public service. As owner of his own
business, he has been
lucky enough to work with his wife and several
Although he likes to think he is the main force behind
the store, he
also knows that his employees are there to fill in without him.
elected to the state representative seat, he plans to still be
in his pharmacy by working part time.
But when he realized that
not one state representative has experience in
health care, he said he was
shocked. He said that health care is too
important; it takes up 30 percent of
the state's budget. As a result,
those elected to the position have no
guidance on the issue and often
succumb to lobbyists who don't have the
community's interests in mind.
He said with all that has been done in the
past, the cost of health care
remains out of hand.
Burke said there is an
even bigger problem the state faces in regards to
its population. Ohio has
six cities ranked in the top 15 diminishing
population areas in the nation.
The state is losing its younger working
tax base, who are opting to move
"As a result, the population gets older," Burke said.
So as the
population gets older, he said, Ohio communities become more
health care. He said the state needs someone
"knowledgeable and informed" on
health care issues helping guide the
future. He would like to be that
"It is a disturbing trend and a cycle we cannot allow to
Burke said. "Ohio has a rich history and an amazing number of
assets I believe we are incorrectly leveraging in a competitive
market. By focusing on job creation, education and health care, I
to create a flourishing economy that will keep our children in
In under a year from now, Burke said the 83rd District in the
legislature will have its primary election for what will be an open
in this primarily Republican district.
"I anticipate a competitive
primary election and it is crucial that I
demonstrate the strength of my
campaign early through fundraising," Burke said.
for having sex with student
By RYAN HORNS
A Jonathan Alder High School
tutor will spend the next six months in
prison for allegedly having sexual
relations with a 17-year-old student.
Angela A. Koppes, 38, of Plain City
"reluctantly" pleaded guilty to two
counts of fourth-degree attempted sexual
Union County Prosecutor David Phillips said that the crimes stem
relationship Koppes had with one of her juvenile students.
to light because the teacher went to the mother and said she
was 'in love'
with her kid," Phillips said.
He said the two "began having relations," which
led to two documented
sexual encounters between December 2004 and February
2005. Koppes was
initially charged with two counts of third-degree sexual
battery and was
set for trial Tuesday, due to the fact she was not willing to
guilty plea agreement.
Phillips said that the case was not
clear-cut because the victim is now
an adult serving five years in prison for
first-degree felony aggravated
robbery. Phillips added that the former
student was not willing to see
Koppes go to jail.
"He was reluctant to
testify," Phillips said, because of their relationship.
Because of a
"variety of juvenile issues" Phillips said the victim had
been kicked out of
school and was being tutored by Koppes, who was
assigned by the Jonathan
Alder school district.
Phillips became involved in the Madison County case
husband works in the Madison County engineer's
Defending attorney Ron Parsons, claimed Koppes was not guilty by
of insanity. She reportedly suffers from both bi-polar disorder
multiple sclerosis, which may have led to her criminal behavior.
result of her guilty plea, Koppes will serve two concurrent
sentences for the two felonies, will then serve five years on
control and will have to register as a sexually orientated
offender for the
next 10 years. Koppes also will not be allowed to hold
a teaching certificate
"She could have faced three years," Phillips said.
was reduced upon her guilty plea, he said, and added that
she may never have
served that long because she had no previous criminal record.
'Positive results' seen in Route 4 focus
By RYAN HORNS
officials named Union County's Route 4 the most dangerous
road in Ohio, local
law enforcement has been trying to rectify the situation.
Union and Marion counties announced Tuesday that the
multi-agency task force
assigned to the Route 4 safety project has
yielded "very positive results" in
its 30-day enforcement period. But
while the extra enforcement period has
ended, the attention is expected
to continue to keep the roadway
Union County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Chris
said the project was aimed at lowering speeds, increasing seat
usage and creating safer following distances along the Route 4
between Marysville and Marion.
Skinner said the governor's Office
of Highway Safety provided funding to
the task force, which was made up of
the Marion County Sheriff's Office,
the Marion and Marysville Ohio State
Highway Patrol posts and the Union
County Sheriff's Office. The task force
also utilized the services of
the Ohio Department of Transportation in
posting additional signs and
automated message boards used to educate the
motorists of the dangers of
the roadway and to alert them of the task force's
Skinner said the hope was not to just start writing traffic
instead opting to let drivers know of the problem.
release stated that the road averages nine crashes a month and
four fatal crashes in the past 12 months. Excessive
following too close and improper passing often cause
the crashes on this
particular stretch of roadway. In addition to
targeting these offenses, the
agencies also looked to increase the rate
of seat belt usage to lower the
rate and severity of injuries stemming
from any crashes. In the 30-day
enforcement period the agencies
initiated 558 traffic stops. In these stops
352 citations were issued
with 215 of those for speed, 19 for following too
close and 76 for not
wearing a seat belt.
"Simply writing tickets was
never the goal of the enforcement period,"
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson
said. "Our intention was to make the
roadway safer and I think the numbers
speak for themselves."
Nelson is referring to the crash data for the month of
There were five crashes on the road over the past month of extra
which is a decrease of more than 40 percent of the normal
average. The speed of drivers went from an average 60.6 to 57 miles
hour and the seat belt usage rate went from 78 to 87 percent.
very encouraged by these numbers, but mostly because there were
crashes and no fatalities during the month," he said. "That was
the number we
were most interested in."
Nelson said that even though the primary
enforcement period is over, the
attention to Route 4 will not end.
signs are down, but our efforts to improve the safety of citizens
on State Route 4 will continue," he said. "We are pleased with
results of the campaign, but for all of the agencies
involved, it is just a
strong beginning ... not the end."
Truck traffic a concern in Richwood
Officials try to ensure that vehicles
bound for reservoir avoid village
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
are keeping an eye on an imminent reservoir project,
fearing increased truck
traffic in the village.
Village administrator Larry Baxa told council Monday
night that he met
last week with one of the consulting engineers which will
be working on
the Columbus Upground Reservoir Project. Work on the project
early next year and about 150 acres of the initial reservoir will
into Union County near Tawa Road.
The reservoir will be the first of
three which are to be constructed on
2,500 acres of land in northwest
Delaware County to supply water needs
of central Ohio. The structures will be
owned by the city of Columbus,
but will also serve the Del-Co Water
The reservoirs will range in size from 857 acres to 349 acres. The
million project will eventually allow 18.3 billion gallons of water
be stored. By comparison Hoover Reservoir in Delaware and
counties holds 20 billion gallons of water.
Richwood officials, however, is the increased truck
traffic in the area as
Baxa said Rockhold Quarry in the Raymond/York Center
area will provide
some of the construction materials, leaving Richwood
between the quarry
and the work site.
Baxa said he has been assured that
trucks will only use state routes.
Council members had feared damage to
village streets caused by the flow
of heavy trucks during the 2 1/2-year
In other business, council:
.Learned that the village
began its chipping program on Monday. Baxa
said the service is only intended
for downed limbs and that
professionally trimmed clippings should be handled
by the company which
did the trimming.
.Learned that grass clippings and
trash are adding to problems with slow
drainage of storm water in some areas
of the village. Baxa noted that
recently a jacket was pulled from a plugged
drain on George Street.
.Learned that the engineering firm Zandee and
Associates will be meeting
with village officials on April 26.
to contract with the Walter H. Drane Company to organize and
village ordinances. The cost for the service is $9,500. The
print 15 copies of the ordinance books, will help update
the codes in the
future and could put them online.
.Learned that the deadline for Community
Development Block Grant
applications has been extended until May 1. The
village will reportedly
be seeking money to repair streets through the grant
.Heard from police chief Monte Asher that digital recorders for
officers would cost $324. The department is looking into replacing
miniature tape recorders with the more computer friendly digital
.Learned that the first three payments, totaling $7,900, have
requested by Levan Construction. The company is
infrastructure work at the village industrial park.
council member George Showalter that he was incorrect in
representative of the Union Soil and Water Conservation
Showalter had said a member of the organization had
commented about the
deteriorating condition of the Richwood Lake.
Showalter said it was not a
member of the organization who made the comment.
.Learned that the street
committee recently met and prioritized which
roadways in the village are in
need of repair.
.Heard a resident complaint about a flooding problem on
.Heard a citizen comment that the concrete junks at the
village park are
a safety hazard. The chunks will eventually be placed into
the lake to
slow bank erosion.
.Heard from council member Von Beal that he
has received a request from
a resident urging the village to repeal the
ordinance that outlaws
parking against the flow of traffic. Beal said he
would like solicitor
Victoria Stone-Moledor to review the ordinance and he
may act on the
request at the next meeting.
.Heard an update on the
process of trying to get a downed tree limb
removed from a home on Lynn
Street. Village officials are reportedly
having trouble locating family
members of the former owner of the home.
Universal blood type at
critically low levels
From J-T staff reports:
The local supply of type O
blood is shrinking, according to the American Red Cross.
blood cell type inventory in central Ohio dipped to just
seven units on
Thursday, well below the desired one-day supply of 100 units.
generally brings a dip in blood donations as many people are
the weather, and fewer people are inside giving blood.
Current levels of
O-negative blood are lower than usual for this time of year.
O-negative inventory in central Ohio is concerning," said
spokesperson for the Central Ohio Blood Services Region
of the American Red
Cross. "One seriously injured trauma patient can use
up to 20 units of
O-negative blood in the first half-hour of treatment.
With only seven units
on our shelves, type O donors are greatly needed
to stabilize the
The shortage of type O-negative blood has touched all of Ohio
Michigan, with only 99 units of the type on Red Cross shelves across
two states, which generally needs 448 units per day to meet
"Your type O donation could mean life for a newborn baby,
or another day
for an accident victim," Wilson said. "The hour of time it
donate blood could mean a lifetime for a patient in need."
donors are critically needed to help avoid an emergency situation.
urge type O donors to give their unique gift now. If you don't know
blood type, donating is a great way to find out," Wilson said.
Donors must be
at least 17 years old, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and
be in general good
An appointment may be made by calling (800) GIVE-LIFE or at
www.BloodSavesLives.org or calling the
Union County Chapter of the
American Red Cross at 642-6651.
bloodmobile visits include the Catholic Community Center, 1033 W.
Thursday between noon and 6 p.m. and the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day
Saints, 740 W. Third St., May 22 from 1 to 7 p.m.
.Type O-negative blood is the universal red blood cell, and
can be given to patients of any type.
.Seven out of every 100
people have type O-negative blood.
.O-negative blood is used frequently to
treat premature babies and trauma victims.
.200 donations of type O blood
are needed in Central Ohio each day to
meet local demand.
.75 percent of
the blood used at Columbus Children's Hospital is
.O-negative patients normally can't receive any other
type of red blood cells
Crime reports grow with county
By RYAN HORNS
Year-end reports completed by
area crime and traffic enforcement
agencies show signs of growing pains for
The increase in crime is apparent by the case load in Union
Common Pleas Court.
Judge Richard Parrott released the results of
cases which passed through
his court in 2006. The number of cases since 2005
notes a slight
increase, which is an annual trend over the past 10
A total of 199 criminal felony cases came through which is slightly
from 180 in 2005. The increase is more notable when compared to the
cases reported in 1996.
Parrott reported that the civil caseload in
Union County has
dramatically increased incidents over the past 10 years. In
2006 a total
of 585 civil and foreclosure cases were reported. Just 10 years
the court system only dealt with 92 cases.
Growth may be a
contributing factor, but making sure deputies are out
and about is another
reason for increased 2006 incident reports at the
Union County Sheriff's
"Obviously, that's a byproduct of growth," sheriff Rocky Nelson
In 2005 the sheriff's office saw 15,236 calls for service, he said.
2006 that number rose to 22,916. Traffic crashes went from 395 in
to 510 in 2006. A total of 64 of those incidents were injury
The big jump in service has more to do with Nelson taking a look out
front door one day after a car crash near his home. He noticed one
his deputies waiting for Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers to get
the crash scene. It made him realize that the two law
agencies could be working together better to benefit the victims
"We offer full service law enforcement to the community,"
"That includes responding to crash reports. There has been no
Nelson said with the Marysville Ohio State Highway Patrol
care of three counties, state patrol troopers have more of a
respond to a crash scene. He realized sheriff's deputies were
closer and able to respond first, especially in terms of minor
and injury crashes. He said the OSP is still better equipped to
large-scale injury crashes.
In other areas of sheriff's law
enforcement, the figures stayed
relatively stable. There was only a small
jump in arrests, from 87
felonies in 2005 to 94 in 2006. There was a similar
jump of 405
misdemeanor citations in 2005 to 436 in 2006. Drunk driver
actually went down from 88 arrests in 2005 to 80 in
Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden said that 2006 saw a continued
trend of increased demands for service.
Golden said a quick review of
some statistics shows a 9 percent increase
in overall incident reports, to a
total of around 2,500 incidents. The
calls for service handled by the
department increased slightly from the
previous year, to more than
In other crime, Golden said that drug abuse cases increased in
with the most noticeable type of investigations involving
prescription drug abuse.
"Thefts in general were the most noticeable crime
increase, with thefts
from vehicles increasing along with business break-ins
Golden said. "More forgery fraud cases were reported than
previous year as well."
Golden said the department encourages residents to
help reduce thefts by
locking cars, removing valuables from plain sight and
suspicious people or conditions immediately to the police
He added that officers initiated more traffic citations by 36
As a result, the department may have assisted in reducing crashes
percent, according to crash reports filed from 2005. The number for
was listed at 414.
"There has been a general increase in overly
Marysville Ohio State Highway Patrol Post Sgt. Kristine
There were four fatal crashes in the county in 2006, she said,
2005 there were a total of six.
"It's been a pretty bad year
already," Bennet said.
Already this year there have been two fatal crashes,
she said, which
could be a sign of what is to come. This news follows the
naming Route 4 in Union and Marion counties as the most
in the entire state. The total fatal crashes occurring on that
of road in 2006 surpassing all others.
Union County Sheriff's
officials and Marysville Post commanders said
they will use federal funding
to help pay for overtime hours used in
patrolling the road. Marysville's post
covers the region of Madison,
Union and Logan counties.
Bennett said the
past year has also seen a slight increase in injury
crashes and dangerous
drivers in Union County. Problem areas seem to be
Route 4, Honda Parkway,
Streng Road and U.S. 33.
The total number of traffic crashes troopers
responded to in 2006 was
481, including the four fatal. Out of those, 134
were injury crashes.
It's big decrease from the 658 total crashes in 2005,
Bennett said, but
explained that the significant difference is due to Union
Sheriff's deputies responding to more crashes than it has in the
Regarding general traffic stops and citations, she said that
made 7,372 stops in 2005, which rose 8 percent in 2006 to 7,987.
show that a total of 336 drivers were stopped for drunk driving in
The patrol issued 2,156 citations for not wearing seatbelts in
which increased to 2,533 in 2006. A total of 1840 citations were
out in 2005 for aggressive driving, which jumped a significant
percent to 2,509 in 2006.
Commissioners set annual budget
By EMILY MASTERS
The Union County
Commissioners have approved the annual appropriation
budget for the fiscal
year which ends December 31.
The new budget, which totals $19,666,056 in the
general fund and
$64,699,170 in other funds, did include some increases this
according to Commissioner Charles Hall.
"One of the increases this
year was due to the Main Street Building," said Hall.
The old Carney's
variety store, which later became Heilig-Meyers, will
be renovated to
include: storage for county records, a home for the
probation departments through the sheriff's office, an
incubator for a new
business, and a small conference room for public use.
Hall said the
commissioners are currently looking through proposals from
have estimated the cost of the renovation will be $1.8
million. Some of that
money will come from the county budget, and some will be borrowed.
attributes growth in the county as the primary reason for the
purpose. He said the county has simply run out of room to store its
Additionally, the entire justice system department will be getting
more money this year.
"With the way the county has grown, more and more
cases are coming
before the courts," Hall said. "The cases in the municipal
court have just sky-rocketed."
Hall said last year, Judge Michael Grigsby
became a full-time judge due
to all of the cases coming in.
The Council on
Aging will get $140,000 additional, said Hall.
"Our seniors in the county are
growing by leaps and bounds, and so much
more needs to be done for them," he
said. "The county under the general
fund isn't able to keep financing
Hall said he for-sees another seniors issue on the ballot this
since it came so close to passing last time. He also said that he
Union County can someday support seniors at the level that counties
Franklin, Delaware and Marion do.
The county budget this year will
help fund an additional planner for the
LUC (Logan Union Champaign) Regional
Planning Commission. Hall said
80-percent of the workload coming out of LUC
was by Union County. With a
lot of projects happening, $50,000 was added into
the budget to help
off-set that cost, he said.
increase is for children's services.
"Unfortunately, in this county there are
a lot of children in harms
way," Hall said. "I applaud the efforts of the
people who help out and
take on these children."
The budget has spiked
considerably from 5 years ago, according to Hall,
but he said that Union
County is fortunate to have a good economy to
support the general fund.
new businesses move in, the county does get a small percentage of the
tax. Hall said the county has a good economy, but he wouldn't
above average by any means. He said although the county is
growing in the
number of people, it's not growing as much in businesses.
"Still a lot of
people go to Franklin County to shop, so that money goes
to Franklin County,"
The cost of insurance for county employees went up slightly,
to Hall. The number of county employees is presently
Diagnosed with autism, young boy
By EMILY MASTERS
Three and a half years ago, Mark and April
Van Kirk of Plain City,
became proud parents to a baby boy they named
Reed was a typical baby who developed right on schedule. He
walked and even said words such as "Elmo" "ball" and "up." However,
Reed reached his first birthday, April started noticing a decline in
"There was very little progression in his language," she
said. "He was a
picky eater, resisted cuddling and affection, didn't sleep
scream and cry a lot, and was sick all the time."
became increasingly alarmed, Mark admits he was in denial
that anything could
be wrong with his only son.
"I just remember when we had our kids, they both
had 10 fingers, 10
toes, and everything was fine," he said. "I never had a
April said she sensed something was wrong because she
didn't have the
same mother-child bond with Reed that she did with the
5-year-old daughter, Sophie.
"I would pick him up from daycare,
and he could care less," April said.
Reed wouldn't make eye contact and
stopped responding to his name. April
said he began retreating into his own
Later, he developed bright red cheeks. The redness wouldn't go
April wondered if he had an immune disorder.
At 21-months, Reed was
diagnosed with autism at a Children's Hospital behavior clinic.
horror, disbelief, terror, denial," April said. "You have to
grieve the loss
of the child who you imagined you would have."
Mark had big plans for his son
before the diagnosis.
"My thought was he was gonna be an OSU football player
smiled. "That thought immediately changed to just will he ever
have a friend."
It is now estimated that one in 150 children born will
have autism, a
complex neurobiological disorder that generally appears during
the first three years of life.
According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, it is four
times more prevalent in boys than in girls
and is spread throughout all
racial, ethnic and social groups.
impacts development in the areas of social interaction,
While it's not clear what causes autism, most
researchers believe there
is a strong genetic component with a variety of
possible external or environmental triggers.
There are no medical tests
for autism, according to Union County Board
of Developmental Disabilities'
Kaleidoscope. An accurate diagnosis is
based on observation of the
individual's communication, behavior, and
developmental levels by a
multi-disciplinary team of professionals.
Treatments vary and are categorized
by medical, biomedical, therapeutic,
behavioral, and educational.
Kirks, both teachers, heard about two treatments that could
their son. One was early intervention, the other was a
change in diet. They
were determined to help Reed.
"We had a window of opportunity for early
intervention," said April. "We
jumped on it right away and tried
Although costly, the Van Kirks persevered.
the local Help Me Grow program and began the early intervention
Soon after, Reed's service consultant and a nurse at the Harold
Center introduced the Van Kirks to information on the
biomedical approach to autism.
"We will always be grateful to Union County
for all they did for us," said Mark.
began a casein-free and gluten-free diet. All foods containing
wheat were eliminated. He was given rice milk in place of
cow's milk, and in
just two weeks, the Van Kirks saw progress.
"Strangely enough, he said, 'up'
and slowly began to say other words,"
said April. "Diets are huge in the
world of autism."
The Van Kirks started a daily log, jotting down everything
eat in a day and how his behavior was. Reed continued with
and speech therapy. The Van Kirks visited a DAN! (Defeat Autism
physician and started Reed on vitamins and supplements.
Mark and April, chelation helped rid Reed's body of heavy
metals and toxins
that it was not eliminating on its own.
"I believe autism is not just
neurological, but it affects the
physiological, as well," said April.
Van Kirks studied all of the variables in Reed's day and looked at
possible environmental triggers. They don't use chemicals on their
switched to more natural cleaning products, and have a water
system in their home.
"We'll try anything, because it may help," said
The Van Kirks and Reed's speech therapist have been amazed by
"He is a whole different kid than 19 months ago," said
Reed presently attends pre-school in Plain City. He still
occupational therapy to work on overcoming his sensory
"He still every once in awhile, will use his peripheral vision or
use one eye instead of two when he plays," said April.
The Van Kirks
have found it exciting that Reed now asks questions, plays
with others, and
When Mark walks in the door at night, Reed will now yell
excitedly, "Daddy's home!"
"You just learn to love them in a whole new
way, and they teach you so
much through the struggle," said April.
Kirks say they believe there is a genetic disposition for
autism, but they
also believe there are environmental factors that
contribute to the
"The numbers are just astounding for this to be a genetic
said April. "There is something happening in the world, and we
devote some time, money, and effort and not let our kids fall to
The couple has not ruled out the theory of vaccines contributing
Reed, like other children his age, received the MMR (measles,
rubella) vaccine around 12 months which coincided with his
"We don't know if they were the cause of it, but
they could have pushed
a fragile kid over the edge," April said.
family continues to look ahead in hopes of a bright future for Reed.
concern is just when he enters real school and all of the social
will he meet the demands," wonders April.
Until that time, the Van Kirks say
they will keep doing what works. Even
Sophie helps with her brother by
letting him snuggle in with her at
night, since autistic children often have
"Sophie helps out with Reed in so many ways," said April.
"She is a
great role model, so involved, caring, nurturing, maternal, she's
just truly an angel."
Mark and April say they're not sure if they can
point to just one thing
that helped Reed progress to what appears to be a
"We have a great support system and a great family," said Mark.
added, "We'll never know if it was just divine intervention."
though there has been a drastic improvement in Reed, the Van Kirks
days of relaxing are over.
"We'll be forever different due to this," said
Mark. "We'll always be
over-analyzing and worrying."
Even so, they are
thankful for how far Reed has come.
Mark offers advice to other parents who
may be experiencing autism in their families.
"Understand there is hope,
there are positive outcomes, and early intervention is key
The red flags
(Provided by Laurie Heifner, Union County Board of
These are the "red flags" that indicate your
child should be screened to
ensure that he or she is on the right
.No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6
months or thereafter
.No back and forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or
expressions by 9 months or thereafter
.No babbling by 12
.No back and forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching,
waving by 12 months
.No words by 16 months
.No two word meaningful
phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
.Any loss of speech
or babbling or social skills at any age
More information can be obtained by
contacting the Union County Board of
Developmental Disabilities at (937)
645-6733 or the Union County Autism
Support Group at (937)
Triad looks at preschool program
By CORINNE BIX
be a preschool program in the future for Triad Local Schools.
elementary principal, reported to the board Thursday
night about a recent
meeting with the Ohio Department of Education in
regard to the Early Learning
The program allows pre-kindergarten children living in households
165 percent of poverty to receive pre-school services at no
Children in families up to 185 percent of poverty would have
If implemented, the program would accommodate about 20
Meredith estimates that four to five children who are
attending other schools would have high incident disabilities.
would be 14 or 15 slots available for qualifying typically
The district has asked the ODE to help
prepare a survey that will be
available at kindergarten registration, which
is scheduled for next
week. The survey will also be sent home with students
in grades K-4.
The survey will help the district gather information as to
community's level of interest.
The district would only provide the
space for the program while all
other aspects would be state
Meredith said to accommodate a pre-school unit the district would
to look at reducing the size of the oversized kindergarten classrooms
putting in divider walls.
Superintendent Dan Kaffenbarger reported that
the district will need to
add back 1 1/2 positions, including a math teacher
at the high school
and a library aide.
The current elementary/middle
school library aide splits her time
between the two buildings. The district
would like to hire a full time
library aide for the elementary school.
current full-time elementary/middle school library aide would then
time between the middle school library and as a literacy
literacy associate position is completely grant-funded.
told board members that the district would need to
hire a science teacher at
the high school next year to better fulfill
state mandates as required by the
Ohio Core curriculum.
This would then force the district to more than likely
cut a non-Ohio Core position.
Kaffenbarger said that since the initial 16
positions were cut two years
ago the district has only added back four
"Unless something changes at the state level and there is an
money we will have to cut another position," he said.
meeting, Kaffenbarger said he didn't want to see the district
financially to where they were before.
Kaffenbarger also reported that the
social studies curriculum, which was
approved in December, ended up costing
less than originally anticipated.
The district budgeted $80,000 and the
end cost was just over $56,000. In
addition the district will receive more
than $51,000 in free teacher and student materials.
It was announced that
artwork by Triad High School students will be on
display on the Ohio
Department of Education's Web site within the next several months.
Ferryman, middle school social studies teacher, reported to the
board on the
seventh grade class recent Cedar Bog field trip and Night
with the Ancient
Stars Event in Champaign County.
Ferryman, along with student Larry Storer,
shared with the board
information about the seventh grade's study of the five
field trip will provide a culmination of activities to tie
that the students have been learning over the past school
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss consideration
employment of personnel. No action was taken.
The next regular board
meeting will held May 17 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.
action, the board:
.Approved certified one-year contract renewals for Liz
Ferguson; Amanda Goodwin; Erick Grasley; Jason
.Approved certified three-year contract renewals for Norma
Leslie Bradley; Terra Byrd-Grupe; Melissa Lasley; Annette
.Approved certified five-year contract renewals for Mike Braun;
Detling; Jan Ferryman; Jason Malone; Rob McNutt; Janet Mroczkowski;
Perry; Tammy Walls; Lori Moore.
.Approved classified two-year
contract renewals for Mandy Alexander; Kim
Kerns; Kim Geer; Phil Paxman; and
.Approved a classified continuing contract renewal for Terri
.Approved an administrative certified three-year contract renewal
for Kyle Huffman.
.Approved administrative classified five-year contract
renewals for Matt
Alexander and Nathan Bails.
.Approved employment for the
2007-2008 school year - Patrick Johnson,
social studies; Don Moore,
intervention specialist; and Jennifer Underwood, tutor.
classified substitute employment for the 2006-2007 school year
Cauleg, bus driver; James White, bus driver; and Edita Ankrom,
custodian and secretary.
.Approved classified supplemental employment for the
year - Paula Hill, cheerleading basketball and football
Herron, cheerleading JV basketball.
.Approved the middle
school handbooks for the 2007-2008 school year,
.Approved the tentative list
of graduating seniors for 2007 and
three-day early release for the senior
class for May 25, May 29 and May 30.
.Approved the FFA's overnight trip to
attend the state convention from
May 3 to May 5.
superintendent to sign any and all documentation
concerning the U.S.
Department of Agriculture in regard to the
Conservation Reserve Program
.Approved the policy updates as presented by the superintendent
NEOLA (a group that specializes in guiding school districts
.Approved the MEC Cooperative to advertise and
receive bids for one
71-passenger school bus chassis and body for fiscal year
.Approved agreement with K9 Resources to provide services for
2007-2008 school year.
.Approved Aug. 22 and Jan. 22 as waiver days
for the purpose of value
added professional development for the 2007-2008
.Approved Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Sept. 14, Nov. 14, Dec. 12, Feb. 13
April 9 as late start days for the purpose of professional
for the 2007-2008 school year.
.Approved the financial report
as presented by the interim treasurer
along with a revised certificate of
estimated resources; appropriation
amendments; and a fund to fund transfer
from the general fund to the
bond fund in the amount of $62,409.60 for the
purpose of paying the
OASBO (Ohio Association School Board Officials) loan
.Approved the use of facilities for the following
(organizations will be
responsible for the any extra custodial work if
needed): Youth wrestling
to use the field house on Sundays form 6 p.m. to 8
p.m. for the purpose
of practice; Northeast Champaign County Fire and EMS to
use the field
house and parking lot from 8:30 a.m. to noon on the following
April 29, May 27, June 24, July 29, Sept. 30, Oct. 28 and Nov. 25;
Start childcare and learning center to use the elementary as
evacuation site in the case of emergency.
.Approved Julian and Grube to
perform a GAAP conversion for a three-year
agreement in the amount of $3,900
per year for fiscal years 2007, 2008 and 2009.
.Adopted a resolution
approving, in collaboration with the Jefferson
County ESC Virtual Learning
Academy, an Internet-based educational
delivery system designed for grades
two through 12, providing
alternative educational options for credit
programs, students being schooled at home, summer
school programs, and
Generations apart, but buddies at lunch
Big Brothers Big Sisters program
blends mentoring and meals
By EMILY MASTERS
This week is National
Volunteer Week, and Big Brothers Big Sisters
(BBBS) is remembering community
"They are the heart and soul of BBBS," said Marian Jacques,
program manager. "We would not have the great reputation that we have
it were not for each and every one of them."
One program that has
become increasingly popular is the Lunch Buddy
program. Coordinated by Barb
Howland of Community and Seasoned Citizens
(CASC) and Jacques, the program
uses volunteers to meet with and mentor
students during their lunch
Presently, there are six matches in the program in the Marysville
One of those is Justina Jones and 6-year-old Tony
Woodworth who attends
Although most volunteers visit
their lunch buddy every two weeks, Jones visits Tony weekly.
time we met, he seemed cautious, but now he is very relaxed," said
She is using her talent as an artist while mentoring Tony.
him something different for art each time we meet," she said.
"It looks like
he's really going to blossom with art."
Jones says she enjoys volunteering.
She serves on the CASC board, is the
art chairman, and is co-historian. She
also serves as secretary of the
local Clothes Closet and is a member of
Beloved Babies of Ohio.
She says getting to know Tony through the Lunch Buddy
program has been
one of the most rewarding volunteer activities.
first get there and he sees me, he gets a big smile on his
face," she said.
"It's like I'm supposed to be here."
According to Tony, his time with Jones
has been enjoyable, as well.
"When I first met her, she showed me some
pictures she did of painting," he said.
Jones even gave Tony one of her
paintings to keep at home.
"She gave me some Easter stuff," Tony
Jones gave him colored pencils, because he mentioned to her that he
never used them.
"I really like him," she said. "I think it's
important that kids see
more than just a parent and a teacher."
Renz also volunteers for the Lunch Buddy program.
"I think it's a great idea,
and it seems to work," she said.
Renz mentors a young girl who she says is
"I just try to get her to open up a little bit," she said. "When
is over, we go back to her room, and she'll read books to
Children in the Lunch Buddy program are referred by teachers
guidance counselors, but there is no specific criteria for kids to
involved in the program.
"Lunch Buddies isn't for kids at risk, it's
just a program for kids who
would benefit from having another adult in their
life," said Avanelle
Oberlin, CASC volunteer director.
She, too, has
enjoyed volunteering in the community.
"So much can be done through volunteer
work, " she said. "It's like
paying back for all the things that were done
for you, when you didn't have the time."
Oberlin retired 12 years ago from
the Marysville School District and has
been keeping busy ever since through
programs like CASC and lunch buddies.
"It gives you a good reason for
getting up in the morning," she said.
Interviews and background checks are
done for those wishing to volunteer
for the Lunch Buddy program, and
volunteers have training or an orientation session.
"Lunch Buddies is a
program that we would like to see grow into all the
school districts," said
Jacques. "Of course, the more we do,
the more funding we need."
looking forward to this weekend's Bowl For Kids Sake,
"Approximately 40 percent of our funding comes from United Way,
event is vital to us," she said.
There is still an opportunity to
gather pledges and form a team of four
friends, family members or co-workers.
The teams can choose the hour
they wish to bowl Saturday at Marysville Lanes.
Teams which raise large
amounts of money are eligible for large incentives,
according to Jacques.
Everyone will receive a door prize, and there will
be several raffle
items, including two Jim Tressel autographed
Those interested can call the BBBS office at (937) 642-2157 or
online at www.marysville-ohio.org/bbbs.
releases funds for rail crossing
From J-T staff reports:
Although it may
be coming later than expected, state funding has become
available and the
deadline set for upgrading the railroad crossing at East Fifth Street.
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved a stipulation
directing CSX Transportation to upgrade the active warning
devices at the
Under the terms of the agreement, PUCO will pay for 20 percent of
total costs, the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) will pay
percent and CSX will pay the remaining 10 percent, plus the costs
ongoing maintenance. CSX must submit site plans and cost estimates
the project to PUCO by July 18 and will be responsible for
construction of the upgrade by April 18, 2008.
administration and council are extremely glad this order has
issued and we're looking forward to working with all of the
in facilitating the installation of the desperately
needed safety upgrades,"
Marysville city administrator Kathy House said.
"I am very happy that the
PUCO has issued this order and that the
funding is as stated. That is more
than I had expected," said Marysville
city council member Dan Fogt, who has
been pushing for this funding
since March. "As a result, the crossing will be
very nice and safe."
Fogt added that he is disappointed at the timetable it
has taken to
receive the funding.
"It is my understanding that the legal
department at CSX held up the
paperwork from November until now," he
Fogt said that the order was previously expected to have been issued
November 2006 and the improvement would have been done
"The businesses along the closed East Fifth Street are
suffering and an
extra five months will hurt them more. It is my
understanding that the
CSX crew will be installing similar safety devices
near Marysville this
summer. I would hope that the East Fifth Street crossing
would be fixed
at the same time, but it is not likely."
explained how numerous people in the community have been
Mayor Tom Kruse closed down the East Fifth Street throughway.
needed was some minor improvements," he said. "The railroad ties
needed repaired, which has been done. The brush needed
trimmed back, which
has been partially done. Improved stop signs and
warning signs could have
been posted at minimal expense."
Fogt added that he feels having East Fifth
Street open would reduce the
traffic congestion on Delaware Avenue and would
provide another access
for emergency vehicles to the area east of the
railroad, such as
Coleman's Crossing, the YMCA and more.
public safety during the construction of this upgrade, PUCO
will assist the
local government with the cost of improvements such as
illumination, improved signage, or other safety
enhancements at the project
location. Funding for these improvements
will come from the State Grade
Crossing Safety Fund and will not exceed $5,000.
PUCO is responsible for
evaluating Ohio's public grade crossings to
determine the need for installing
active warning devices. In 2006, PUCO
ordered railroad companies serving Ohio
to perform safety upgrades at 74
grade crossings throughout the state. Since
2000, the number of crashes
at highway-rail grade crossings is down 18
The Ohio Rail Hotline, at (866) 814-RAIL (7245) provides Ohioans
toll-free resource for all railroad crossing questions. For
information regarding these crossings, access the Ohio
information system web-site at www.gradecrossings.puco.ohio.gov.
to crack down on underage drinking parties
From J-T staff reports:
County Sheriff Rocky Nelson announced recently that his office
stepping up its efforts to fight the growing problem of
parties within the county.
The Sheriff's Office recently received a grant
from Ohio's "Drug-Free
Action Alliance" to support the "Parents Who Host,
Lose The Most"
campaign, but Nelson said the effort to stop underage drinking
use won't stop there.
"We will be looking for these parties and
taking appropriate actions
against the individuals there and anyone involved
as a host," he said.
"This program will begin with education, but will lead
to enforcement if needed."
He said the first step of the "Parents Who
Host, Lose The Most" campaign
will be a pair of Town Hall meetings beginning
April 30 at 6:30 p.m. in
the North Union Elementary cafeteria. Parents are
encouraged to attend
and engage in a dialogue about the dangers of these
parties for their
children, as well as the legal consequences for hosting
them. A second
meeting will be held on May 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the St. John's
on Route 736.
Nelson said he is hoping that all parents of
Middle and High School
students as well as concerned members of the community
will choose the
meeting closest to them and engage in this informative town
Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Sgt. Chris
Skinner said that
the meetings will be the first step in the educational
other efforts are planned.
"You will see our message in many
locations in several different
formats," Skinner said. "We really want
parents to understand this issue
and become a partner in keeping all of our
students safe this prom and
Amended water rate plan approved
Mayor vetoes council's mandate for business
and land use plan
By RYAN HORNS
What a difference six months can
Thursday night, Marysville City Council unanimously passed amended
rate increases during a special meeting. Instead of being criticized
residents, which has become standard over the past six months,
received support from the audience.
Councilman David Burke has
explained that the original water rate
increase proposal called for residents
to pay a five-year 8 percent
increase. City Council's Ad Hoc Committee then
decided to recommend a 6
percent, two-year increase.
Tuesday night council
voted to increase the average 500 cubic feet
monthly bills by a total of 3.3
percent by June, a 3.4 percent increase
by January 2008, a 5.4 percent
increase by January 2009 and a final 5.5
percent increase by January 2010.
The average current bill would go from
$40.50 to $48.10 by 2010. A recent
amendment added another section
stating that the rates will be reviewed in
two years for a possible
reduction based on additional funding.
that by having bulk rate users pay a more even share,
residents would not
have to pay such drastic rate increases. He said no
one should forget that
the bulk rate users benefit the city by providing
a rich tax base, jobs and
more. But they were also being charged for
water at below cost rates. The new
rate scale will result in the minimal
impact of cost on both residents and
larger consumers over a 10-year period.
With the ordinance passed, Burke
said council will continue to seek
additional funding so that they may be
able to reduce the rates sooner.
Most importantly, he said, the city will be
able to continue its
wastewater treatment project and build its reservoir -
opening up the door for progress that will benefit future
and make Marysville a "major player" in economic
Councilman Mark Reams said Thursday afternoon he attended a
the Union County Chamber of Commerce, where he explained the
utility improvements and water rate changes to area business
"There were a lot of good questions and a lot of good
discussions," Reams said.
"The chamber feels that the reservoir and the
treatment plant should go
on as scheduled," Dave Thorbahn, president of the
Union County Chamber
of Commerce said. "After looking at the information
today, we are very
supportive of the amendment."
Former critics to the
water rate increase also voiced their approval.
"I commend council for its
work over the past six months," resident
Lloyd Baker said.
stressed the importance of finding ways to cut the cost for
water utility and how savings should be used to help pay
off the city's
"It's a crucial part of the nemesis we're dealing with," Baker
"Paying down the debt is very important to me," resident Esther
added. "No household could operate that way. We're a
An important aspect of city council's recent
decisions, Baker said, has
to do with the resolution asking city
administrators to create both a
business and land use plan. The resolution,
drafted by councilwoman Leah
Sellers, proposed a timeline for the city to
create the plans in order
to deal with expected growth. That resolution was
passed unanimously by
council members at the April 12 meeting.
Sellers said, the legislation has faced a new roadblock.
"The mayor has
decided to veto my resolution that council passed
In his statement explaining his veto, mayor Tom Kruse said, "It is
opinion that the resolution is flawed on its surface."
use planning, Kruse said the resolution "encroaches on
the principle of
separation of powers, clearly defined by the Marysville
City Charter. The
city has a comprehensive plan incorporating a land use section."
said the city's plan is constantly being reviewed by the
the economic development director, "with the thought
in mind of ultimately
updating it at an appropriate time."
"While council may make a recommendation
in this regard, I feel it is
totally inappropriate to attempt to legislate
how and when the
administration implements its work schedule," he
Under the business plan portion, Kruse said he takes issue with
implication that one does not exist.
"The Water Master Plan formulated
with council and public input at a
cost of $260,000 clearly qualifies as a
water utility business plan," he said.
Kruse also reiterated that this
part of the resolution also encroaches
on the separation of powers.
speaking with council," Sellers said, "I am confident we will
veto (at the April 26 city council meeting)."
Sellers explained that even
Malcolm Pirnie engineers, creators of the
city's Water Master Plan, have
agreed that a business plan was not
included in their study.
the resolution would help future council members overcome
"learning curve" by providing them a clear plan to follow.
John Gore said Marysville residents elected seven council
members to voice
their opinions toward city government. He said he was
saddened in recent
months after city council was criticized in certain
circles for doing just
"I am hopeful that they can see the democratic process is working
this city," Gore said.
Wastewater treatment repairs needed at Fairbanks
By KARLYN BYERS
need to be made to the Fairbanks Middle School/High School
treatment facility and to delay those repairs could delay
construction/opening of a planned elementary school at the
school/high school site.
So reported Fairbanks Superintendent Jim
Craycraft during the school
board's regular monthly meeting Monday
Craycraft said he had consulted with Clean Water Service
Environmental Inc. and the Ohio EPA.
"(We) can't progress on the
elementary until the system is fixed and it
can be determined whether it can
handle the new elementary," Craycraft said.
He asked the board to pass a
Resolution of Necessity authorizing the
rebuilding of the wastewater
treatment plant from its inlet to the
effluent pump station. Work is
scheduled to begin Wednesday or Thursday
and should cost $41,717.
that price may increase, Craycraft said, if the existing sand
in the facility
needs to be replaced.
The board passed the resolution 4-0 (board vice
president Star Simpson was absent).
Board members also passed a resolution
4-0 authorizing a lease-purchase
agreement not to exceed $1.45 million to
install air conditioning in the
middle school/high school. Installation is
slated to be completed this
summer and will be paid off in three to five
equal installments over the next five years.
Craycraft also reported on an
anticipated athletic department deficit.
He said donations from the local
Eagles organization have declined
recently, and that, coupled with the
addition of more sports teams and
increased expenses, has created a tight
Pupils currently pay $25 per student per sport to
athletics, and the board supplements the athletic program with
year. Should the board increase its support or look at adjusting
participation fees, Craycraft wondered.
Craycraft said he anticipates
no action being taken in the coming school
year, but he is looking down the
In other action, the board:
.Heard Craycraft say construction
equipment should be moved to the new
school site in mid-May with construction
anticipated to begin June 5.
Concrete and brick work should begin in
.Approved Julian & Grube for the 2006-2007 audit and GAAP
services for a
fee of $19,700.
.Granted a voluntary reassignment for Steve
Conley as dean of students
and supplemental head athletic director for the
2007-2008 school year.
.Accepted resignations from Carlton Cotner, dean of
supplemental head athletic director, and Pam Hammond,
teacher, effective at the end of the 2006-2007 school year; Luke
reserve baseball coach, for the 2006-2007 school year; and
Werline, curriculum coordinator, effective July 1.
Michelle McCartney for Family Medical Leave beginning today, April
.Authorized an eighth grade field trip to Washington, D.C., May
.Accepted Richard Rausch as spring weightlifting coach for the
2006-2007 school year.
.Approved the following athletic contracts for the
2007-2008 school year
- Jennifer Rife, volunteer assistant high school
Kristina Moder, volunteer assistant high school
Patty Pease, freshman volleyball coach; and Morgan
Cotter, high school football coach.
.Approved a list of almost 300 media
books for the middle school and high school.
.Adjourned into executive
session for the discussion of personnel. No action was taken.
By CORINNE BIX
There was much ado about cheerleading
at Monday night's Jonathan Alder
school board meeting ? 90 minutes to be
The board approved, in concept, to hire an additional competition
with a cost to the district of $1,500 to $2,000 annually. The
salary will be determined after a qualified applicant is found.
think they need a separate coach because it's a whole different
it comes to coaching a competition team," Linda Beachy,
board member and
cheerleading parent, said.
Athletic director Jim Albanese has been talking to
advisors in addition to the 27 current cheerleaders over the
months to find solutions to better serve the program.
presented to the board a summary of his findings and a proposal to
It was brought up that there have been issues with lack of
between advisors and cheerleaders in regard to practice times
and other issues.
Currently, the district employs two cheerleading
advisors who each
oversee fall cheerleading and winter cheerleading.
two advisors currently work together to coach the competition team.
advisor is paid according to her contracts, said Phil Harris, high school
This morning, Harris said each advisor receives somewhere between
and $2,400 annually. In addition, each advisor also has one
The two assistants split a $1,000 annual stipend.
also agreed, in concept, that those participating could only
maximum of six days a week for no more than 2 1/2 hours each day.
board also agreed the competition squad could have a maximum of four
competitions including state finals.
Finally, the board concurred that the
$65 cheerleading participation fee
would be waived.
The board is still
discussing the total number of cheerleaders and how
they will be divided
among the various squads; also, if they will be
required to cheer on a spirit
squad in order to participate on the competition team.
Carpenter said he
would work on summarizing the board's dialogue and
presenting a more concise
proposal at next month's meeting.
Cheerleading tryouts begin next
The board received petitions and instructions to circulate on behalf
"Getting it Right for Ohio's Future" constitutional amendment.
amendment is aimed at repairing the lack of school funding at the
The "Getting it Right for Ohio's Future" Web site summarizes
amendment as one that will protect students, jobs and workforce by
following: Guaranteeing accountability with public reports;
the cost of quality education and requiring the state to pay a
portion of the bill; reducing the number of new local property
levies; cutting property taxes for senior and disabled
protecting state funding for school facilities, local safety
services and colleges and universities.
The board approved Kelly Hicks
as the new principal of Plain City
Elementary effective this fall.
will replace outgoing principal Lynne Farmwald who announced her
in December. Farmwald will officially retire at the end of
Hicks has taught in the district since 1989 and is a Jonathan
She currently is a teacher leader at Plain City Elementary.
reading and math intervention for third and fourth graders.
am looking forward to the challenge," Hicks said.
The board approved the
policy regarding the admission of homeless
students originally presented in
The Ohio Department of Education's McKinney-Vento Homeless Children
Youth program ensures that all homeless children and youth have
access to the same free and appropriate public education as those
are not homeless.
In January, Elizabeth Beach, director of teaching
and learning and
district liaison for homeless students, explained that the
encompassed a larger scope of people, including those living
temporary housing or with relatives.
The need for a program initially
became apparent after many students
were displaced from their homes during
The board approved the following resignations: Kimberly
speech language pathologist; Hazel Williams and Florine Hamlin as
high math teachers; Jenna Meyer as high school math teacher, on
Teresa Veith as cafeteria/playground monitor at the junior
The board also approved a large slate of employment. A full list will
included on Friday's education page.
The next regular board meeting
will be May 14 at Tolles Technical and
Career Center at 7:30 p.m.
eyes parent mentor program
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Special needs students have
specialized lesson plans developed by
skilled teachers at North Union.
who meets the needs of their parents?
Seeking to bridge the gap between the
students' school and home lives,
North Union has developed a parent mentor
program for the families of
special needs children. Members of the board of
education were briefed
on the new program during Monday's regularly scheduled
While the needs of students with disabilities are scrutinized,
Education Supervisor Ed Kapel explained that the parents of
students also have question and needs that must be addressed.
Gorsuch, parent mentor volunteer, said mentors will be parents of
with disabilities within the district. Those mentors will
support and information to other parents of special needs
Gorsuch said the mentors will help families explain their needs
concerns to the school district.
Literature for the program lists its
.Guide families through the special education process, including
rights and responsibilities.
.Listen and provide support for
families and educators on an individual basis.
.Provide information and
resources for families and school personnel
including education laws,
district programs and services, and community resources.
Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and other
meetings at parent
or staff request.
.Organize and conduct information sessions or workshops
based on the
needs of families and professionals.
partnerships between families, schools and
committees for the benefit of
students with disabilities.
.Confidentiality of personally identifiable
information will be protected.
Kapel explained that all mentors are
The board also heard updated details on the district's move
weighted class ranking system for the high school.
system classes would be assigned a quality point value based
difficulty. That value combined with the student's grade in the
determine the student's quality point score for the class.
Those points are
accumulated over a student's career to determine class rankings.
this system it would be possible for a student who takes
difficult classes to
attain a higher class ranking than a student with a
higher grade point
average. Quality point and grade point averages will
continue to be developed
High school principal Eric Holman said the goal of the quality
system is to encourage students to attempt more challenging
even late in their high school careers. Holman said
students schedule easier course in their senior year.
had some people try to protect their GPA," Holman said.
Holman said teachers
within the various departments would develop the
class values within their
areas. He said he would then like to put the
plan in place and make values
retroactive for current students, meaning
upper classmen would receive
quality points for classes already completed.
The weighted class ranking
system idea will be sent to the policy
committee before it makes its way to
the board for final approval.
Pursuit ends with arrest
From J-T staff reports:
A car chase through
Marysville ended in an arrest over the weekend.
According to Union County
Sheriff's Office reports, Kevin Earles, 26, of
Springfield, was arrested for
felony fleeing and eluding, operating a
vehicle while intoxicated, driving
outside of marked lanes and running a
red light. More charges are expected to
Friday at 9:25 p.m., deputies learned about a car heading north on
4 that was perhaps driving recklessly. Officers caught up with the
as it headed east into Marysville.
Sheriff's public information
officer Chris Skinner said this morning
that Earles then took off, starting
off a pursuit that went through
suburban streets of the city.
reportedly drove at speeds between 50 to 60 mph down Fifth
deputies threw down stop sticks that punctured both driver side
Skinner said Earles continued driving until those two tires had
reduced to the rims. He said Earles eventually stopped on U.S. 36,
east of Marysville.
As deputies approached the car, Skinner said,
Earles locked himself
inside. Marysville Police also assisted by providing
coverage for deputies.
Officers were forced to break both windows on the
car to get Earles out, Skinner said.
Additional charges are pending on
possible drug paraphernalia items
found inside the car
Kay Liggett to be inducted into Senior Hall of Fame
By KARLYN BYERS
no saint, Kathryn "Kay" Liggett is quick to say of herself. But
admit to being a woman who has been incredibly blessed throughout her
She's also a woman who has been incredibly active in her community,
for that she will be inducted into the 32nd annual Central Ohio
Citizens Hall of Fame on May 16.
Mrs. Liggett, 83, is the Union
County inductee. She will be recognized
along with 10 other inductees from
Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette,
Franklin, Licking, Madison and Pickaway
"I can't believe it," she said. "Think of all the people who
in this town. I don't know why I got chosen."
Mrs. Liggett is
a longtime member of First United Methodist Church,
where she taught Sunday
school for many years and was a diligent worker
in charge of "many, many
dinners" so the church could earn enough money
to remodel its original "in
the round" sanctuary.
Lately, though, she's gone on to other things.
worked hard my first 25 years," Mrs. Liggett said of her church
"Now, I'm resting on my laurels."
She's appeared on the Central Ohio lecture
circuit, speaking to various
women's organizations, at Ohio State University
Marion, and most
recently at Bluffton College.
"My strength is that I'm a
story teller like my dad," She said. "You
name a topic and I can lecture on
Her mother died when she was 3 years old, and she grew up amid
kitchen help and under the tutelage of housekeepers and two "dear
ladies who worried about me when I was in elementary school." It
those ladies who trained her as a milliner. They wanted to ensure
she would be able to take care of herself when grown.
those skills, teaching tailoring in and around Union County
and serving as a
4-H project judge in Madison, Logan, Clark and Union
counties. Mrs. Liggett
also creates bridal headpieces for friends and their daughters.
delights me to be able to do this as my wedding gift," she said.
It was from
the hired help that Mrs. Liggett and her younger brother
developed a penchant
for foreign languages. He parlayed his into a
career with the FBI; Mrs.
Liggett has used hers to learn Chinese and even Russian.
She serves on the
Friends of the Marysville Public Library Board and the
Union County Community
And Mrs. Liggett still finds time to be a passionate gardener.
fall, she planted "hundreds" of bulbs from Berbees that she can
wait to bloom this spring and decorate her yard with a rainbow of
But perhaps it is her volunteer work at Literacy United she finds
gratifying at this stage of her life.
She teaches English in the
general education program (GED) in the Adult
Basic Literacy Program in Union
"What a rewarding experience this program is!" Mrs. Liggett
It was Cheryl Hagerty of Literacy United who nominated Mrs. Liggett
the Seniors Hall of Fame.
"Kay engages the students with stories the
minute she sets foot in the
door," Hagerty wrote in the nomination form she
submitted. "She shares
her life experiences, passion for learning, and
eloquence in writing.
The class spends time looking at the newspaper. Kay
uses it as a
textbook to lead the discussion of politics, geography,
vocabulary and current events."
"After the newspaper, the students chat
about language and writing,"
Hagerty continued. "Kay works with each and
every adult student creating
an individualized lesson about language. The
students ... always talk
about how much working with Kay increases their
A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, Mrs. Liggett has been
educator most of her life. She taught two years at her alma mater
about 25 years in the Marysville School System.
It was to teaching
that Mrs. Liggett turned at a very dark time in her
life after the untimely
death of her husband, Luther L. Liggett,
attorney and former juvenile and
She decided to go to China to teach English through a program
by Princeton University. She left in 1990, and taught there for
"It was a remarkable, humbling experience for me," Mrs. Liggett
"My classroom had one wall of blackboards to write on - and me
lecture. The Journal-Tribune sent me a pack of newspapers (and) we
wore them thin."
Her "dear Methodist friends" sent two postal bags of
books and paid the
$300 per bag postage expense.
Mrs. Liggett said she
knows the college photocopied those books on its
sixth floor printing press.
Mao Tse Dong had burned all the books and
killed all the teachers, so there
was a severe scarcity of learning
materials and people to impart that
Mrs. Liggett is the mother of four children, twins Luther Jr.
Dorothy, Mariah, and Sarah Liggett Schmalenberger. Dorothy
Pelanda took over her father's law practice in Marysville, and
Liggett is with Bricker & Eckler Law Firm in Columbus. Mariah
Ph.D. in physiology from Ohio State University and was a World
Women's Power Lifter for 15 years. Sarah holds a Ph.D. in music and
professor of music at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn.
Liggett also has five grandchildren - three of whom attend school
Marysville and two at Dublin High School.
"I have loved living in Marysville
and Marysville has been good to me
and my family," Mrs. Liggett
Providing support and resources to families with
children 12-years and
older, who have developmental disabilities, is the goal
of an upcoming summit.
It will be held Thursday from 4-6:30 p.m. at the
Union County Services
Building, 940 London Ave.
The event is being
sponsored by the Union County Board of Developmental
Disabilities and the
Central Ohio Special Education Regional Resource Center.
More than 20
informational exhibits will be set up with representatives
on hand to talk
Information will be available regarding the following
guardianships, estate planning, elder law, wills, independent
employment, college, recreation, camps, YMCA, social security, SSI,
Additional information can be obtained by contacting Joe
Fury at the
Central Ohio Regional Special Education Center (614) 262-4545 or
Kreeger (937) 645-6787.
Summit exhibitors will include the
General Information: Parent Advocate Group, COSERRC, UCBDD,
Union County DJFS/Council for Union County Families, Ohio DJFS
Security), Special Olympics/Autism Support Group,
Employment: ORSC Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR),
WorkNet, U-CO Industries,
Crew/Lunch Bunch Job Clubs.
Columbus State Community College,
Tri-Rivers, Tolles Technical Center, Ohio
Hi Point Project SEARCH.
Recreation: Union County Family YMCA, Marysville
Recreation Unlimited, Camp Nuhop.
County Sheriff Department Project Lifesaver, Interim
Water rate plan changed
share some of the burden in new proposal
By RYAN HORNS
Last minute changes
to the proposed water rate increases may have helped
Marysville City Council
move forward on paying for needed projects.
Essentially, council members
supporting the change explained that it
would help lower costs for residents,
by raising costs for big business.
Council members agreed to meet again
for a special hearing on Tuesday at
7 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall,
125 E. Sixth St. At the meeting
they will hold the third reading on the water
rate increase and associated amendments.
Council member Ed Pleasant said
that although the special meeting is the
third reading, public comment will
Essentially, David Burke, John Marshall and Mark Reams offered a
minute proposal, changing the entire direction of future water
hikes for residents. They expressed hope that the change will
everyone satisfied - from residents currently paying the highest
in the state, to city administration requiring a solid funding plan
pay for the wastewater projects and a reservoir.
everyone that the original water rate increase proposal
called for residents
to pay a five-year 8 percent increase. That figure
was then changed after
council's Ad Hoc Committee decided to recommend a
6 percent, two-year
increase to buy the city time and allow council to
seek grants to keep the
rates down the remaining years.
Mayor Tom Kruse, however, did not support the
two-year plan because it
would not provide the solid plan banks
So under the Burke/Reams/Marshall proposal, residents would face a
percent increase on their average 500 cubic feet monthly bill by
That would then go to a 3.4 percent increase by January 2008, then a
percent increase by January 2009. The final increase would be
percent by January 2010. Through the plan, the average current
rate bill would go from $40.50 to $48.10 in 2010.
"I think this is a
good compromise," Reams said.
Burke explained that their proposal is like a
residents on one side and commercial customers on the
"How do you tilt this teeter-totter before somebody yells 'ouch',"
He said the problem is that businesses pay bulk rates for
means a cut in cost for them. Meanwhile, residents pay the full
for their water. By leveling out commercial bulk rates to a more
share, residents would not have to pay such drastic rate increases
as previously expected.
The amendment also calls for administration and
council to "work
together with government entities in southern Union County
to develop a
good growth plan, which also would provide financing for
improvements for water and wastewater services."
explains that the mayor, administration and council must work to
financial output from future developments which use city
water and wastewater
services - helping growth pay for growth.
Council Clerk Connie Patterson also
will attain training and knowledge
of grant writing to assist the city in
identifying other funding
resources; in order to avoid future water rate
Council members in favor of the plan reiterated that previous
called for much higher increases for residents. However, not everyone
council was convinced.
Members Leah Sellers and John Gore explained
that by having the
wastewater plant and reservoir projects fully funded, they
longer be able to convince the Union County Commissioners to
partner a deal for those projects. The county would have no incentive
help out. They said that it would also become harder to get grants
the projects were already paid for. The new plan would essentially
off any way to reduce the rates through creative financing.
Lloyd Baker also pointed out that updates in water rates around
show that Marysville residents continue to pay 104 percent
higher water rates
than the average of other communities.
Gore also addressed the issue of trust
toward city leaders. He said that
over the past seven years as a council
member he has always placed his
trust in the different administrations that
come through, when perhaps
he shouldn't have. He said that trust needs to be
earned back. From now
on he wants to see these issues addressed "in black and
"I feel this is a make or break proposition," Burke said at one
"I wish I would have thought of this in November."
If the city does
not move forward, he said, then some entity like
Columbus was going to fill
the void. It would result in a smaller
customer base for Marysville and less
Sellers and Gore finally agreed to support the plan, but only if it
two years instead of four. Later on they were convinced that four
was all right, as long as it was amended to state that after two
council would revisit the rates and factor in any extra funding
have been able to find through grants or partnerships.
to enter that proposal into the plan. The amendment was
unanimously by council. The third reading will take place
during next week's
special meeting, and will allow the public to offer opinions.
"We need to
resolve this sometime over the next week," Reams said.
Kruse also offered his
support, saying that any plan that meets the
criteria of allowing him to have
a fully funded course of action "I'm not going to oppose."
Fogt said that
by passing the plan it does not mean he is going to stop
looking for other
funding options. Many others on council vocally agreed with him.
Development Director Eric Phillips said that council should
commercial companies that may soon be paying more for water bulk
"You don't want to upset business," he said.
City asked to
Plans would set up retail/commercial development
A new annexation proposal could open up more than 171 acres
potential business in Marysville.
During Thursday night's Marysville
City Council meeting, two pieces of
legislation were held to seek the
annexation of land from Paris
Township. Both were presented by councilman
The first reading of a resolution was held to offer city
services to the
area. An ordinance was also read which would consent to
applying for the
annexation of the land. Both pieces of legislation state
proposal was agreed to by 100 percent of the landowners in
territory - 15 different people, mostly consisting of the Cook
David E. Cook of Marysville was appointed as agent for the
Although the first reading for the services resolution was
emergency measure tacked on to the legislation was ultimately
until water rate issues can be resolved. This means that at the
council meeting on April 26, the second readings and public
will be held for the services resolution and for the
ordinance. At that meeting council members may also reconsider
the emergency clause to expedite the plans for the land.
pieces of legislation also explain that the land in question
along Route 4 north of Marysville, to the west boundary
along the west side
of Route 31, also north of Marysville. It shares a
contiguous boundary with
the city. Visually, the land surrounds what is
popularly referred to as the
The ordinance explains that the 171 acres would be divided into
of retail land, with a large retail site; 29.5 acres for
oriented commercial site, 29.25 acres for 350 multi-family
homes; 14 acres of right-of-way land; and 13 acres of open
The resolution for services states that Marysville would provide
service, sewer service, solid waste collection, fire and
medical service, police protection, cemetery, parks and recreation,
pickup, street maintenance/snow and ice removal, planning and zoning
"I support that (annexation)," Burke said.
He said the
annexation and future commercial and residential use would
offer more tax
payer funds to Marysville, resulting in "users to help
revenue to the city
and positive growth."
There was some debate over the annexation proposal,
different points being raised by other council members and
Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse.
Councilman Dan Fogt said that he has issues
with the annexation possibly
creating an "island" or piece of city land,
surrounded by township land.
Dave Cook was at the meeting and explained
that the property does not
"completely" create an island, although it may
appear that way. So the
annexation remains possible by zoning codes.
said he has a problem with supporting the annexation because the
a "solemn promise" to provide services to that area.
"As it stands right now,
we will not have the ability to provide water
to that area," he
Unless the issue of water rates is addressed, which will provide a
plan to fund wastewater and reservoir needs, he said the city
ultimately be "promising something it can't deliver."
Later in the
council meeting members took a step forward to resolve the
predicament within the next week. How this would effect the
or Kruse's support of that was not addressed again.
School redistricting plan set
By KARLYN BYERS
The final recommendation was
made Wednesday evening on elementary
attendance areas in the Marysville
The recommendation will go into effect in August when the
Elementary in the Mill Valley subdivision opens. It was made
superintendent Larry Zimmerman following a series of meetings
parents, community members and staff over the past four
Zimmerman said the public meetings were "amazing."
administrators took a lot of the feedback received in those
"tweaked" it and incorporated it in the redistricting plan, he
Previously, he toyed with the idea of maintaining only five
and utilizing East Elementary as a career center for high
students and adult learning.
"But I think the best long-term
solution is to (go with) that sixth
elementary," he said.
having six operating elementaries will give the growing
school district more
elbow room and more flexibility in the long term.
In general, the
redistricting recommendations will move approximately 40
pupils from the East
attendance area to Navin Elementary (Cherry
Street/Connolly addition); move
about 120 pupils from the Navin
attendance area to Northwood Elementary (Mill
Valley north area, North
Main Street/Third Street/Arbors apartments/Elwood
Avenue areas); move
approximately 60 pupils from Edgewood Elementary to
(Millington Avenue area at corner of Milford Avenue and U.S. 36);
move about 35 pupils from Mill Valley to Northwood Elementary
across from Creekview Intermediate, including Creekview Drive,
- north of Fawn Meadow - and Edgewater Drive).
Zimmerman said he
also would like to see all-day, every day kindergarten
housed at Northwood.
Housing the all-day, every day kindergartners at
Northwood is logical,
Zimmerman said, because buses are transporting
pupils to Creekview
Intermediate School and Northwood is located
adjacent to Creekview.
further suggested moving the extended Latchkey program to Northwood.
help the district from a transportation standpoint,
Parents enrolling their children in the all-day, every day
pay roughly $250 a month. A recent survey of parents and
registering their children for kindergarten and conducted by
Marysville School District indicated 34 individuals were willing to
the monthly fee for the all-day, every day kindergarten option.
still think there is enough interest that we need to do this,"
said. He added that the district is already losing between 70
kindergarten pupils a year to Dublin schools because their
parents want them
to attend kindergarten all day, every day
"I'd just (as well) that we offer
it ourselves," he said. "To ignore the
kindergarten issue is not the right
thing to do."
With the final recommendation being made, the district will
process of staffing its school buildings for the 2007-08 school
Zimmerman said in an e-mail message to the Journal-Tribune this
In other business, the board accepted construction bids and
contracts for the new high school addition.
Adam Drexel of
Ruscilli Construction said bids received April 3 were
more than $256,000
under estimates. Those submitting the lowest and most
included: Performance Site Management, site work,
$1,886,048; Central Ohio
Building, general trades, $4,265,000; Steveco
Inc., masonry, $1,685,000;
Humble Construction, structural steel,
$1,308,000 and roofing, $844,800;
Vulcan, fire protection, $213,840;
Slagle, plumbing/HVAC, $3,052,000; and
Gaylor, electrical, $2,210,000.
Several of the contractors, including
Performance Site Management,
Central Ohio Building, Humble and Gaylor have
been involved in the
construction of Northwood, said Drexel.
business, the board:
.Accepted the resignation of teacher Melanie Garvin,
effective at the
end of this school year.
.Hired Brenda Zimmerman and
Larry Ball as certified substitutes.
Scotts company to be featured on
From J-T Staff reports:
History Channel watchers will see
a familiar face on television tonight.
The Scotts Miracle Gro Company
will be featured on the series "Modern
Marvels: Lawn Tech" at 10 p.m.
episode was shot at Scotts' Corporate Headquarters in Marysville and
the latest research in turf-grass science.
According to the History Channel's
website, for the 21st century, turf
grass is the number one crop grown in the
When suburbia exploded after World War II, turf became the
characteristic of nearly every yard.
The piece features the
greenhouse facility at Scotts and explains how
grass seed is bred for special
Several Scotts employees will be featured including Ashton
Nelson, and John Marshall.
Mayor Kruse will not run for re-election
From J-T staff
Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse reported Tuesday that he will not
re-election later this year.
"It is with mixed emotions, that I
announce today that I am not going to
seek a fourth term as Mayor of the City
of Marysville," Kruse wrote in a
statement. "As a citizen and business owner
in Marysville for the last
36 years, I have strived to contribute to
Marysville with the sole
purpose of improving the quality of life in the
community where I have
chosen to raise my family."
Although Kruse never
officially announced his intentions to run for
re-election, he had indicated
he had plans to seek another term. He had
previously served as Marysville
Mayor from 1988 to 1996. In 2004 he was
voted back in, after winning against
candidates John Gore and David Creviston.
Kruse explained that as mayor
for the last 3 1/2 years, it has been his
objective to put forth a
"responsible plan to address the current and
future needs for our community
which are both complex and at times, controversial."
He said that he feels
his administration has accomplished a great deal
and has had success toward
this objective. He cites his staff's support
and dedication as factors in the
"I feel one of my most significant accomplishments in my last term
mayor has been motivating city staff to do their job and be
to the people in the community they serve," Kruse said. "I did
providing them with the direction and resources they needed."
date the only candidate who has officially announced intentions to
Marysville mayor is resident Chris Schmenk.
Kruse said he has enjoyed his
time as mayor, but hopes to pursue other
"While I find what I
do enjoyable and rewarding, I feel it is time to
discover new horizons,"
Kruse said. "After discussing this with my
family, I feel it is time to spend
more time traveling and enjoying time
with my family and finding other
meaningful service activity."
He said over the course of his political
service, "experience has taught
me true service is not about political gains,
it is not about me, but it
is about serving the public to the best of my
Kruse said he acknowledges his staff and those within the community
have supported him over the years in office.
smoking ban, Honda workers head to the highway to have a puff
At Honda of America smoke breaks are turning into road trips.
Smoke-Free Ohio law that went into effect Dec. 7 meant that workers
facility could not smoke in or near the company buildings, but
the auto maker
took it a step farther, banning smoking on Honda property on Feb. 8.
Honda associates are using 10-minute breaks and the half-hour lunch
hustle to their cars and drive off company property. Each day
vehicles park along the side of Honda Parkway as workers smoke during
"Our number one concern for our associates is their safety," said
Miller, Honda Public Relations. "We obviously would like to see
the situation eliminated."
Sheriff Rocky Nelson said his office has been
in constant communication
with Honda about the problem.
"We certainly can
see both sides of the issue, and the last thing we
want to do is have people
feeling like we're coming down on them," said Nelson.
According to Nelson,
meetings between his office, the county
prosecutor's office, the county
engineer's office and Honda have taken place.
To eliminate the safety
concerns of the parked vehicles, Honda plans to
first try and educate within
by communicating with associates. Miller
said the communications plan is in
According to Nelson, if that fails, the engineer's office will be
to mark the roads with signs that indicate no stopping, standing
parking unless it's an emergency.
"Our main concern is safety," said
Nelson. "It's a view obstruction
concern and a smoking area is not what it's
designed to be."
Nelson said he hopes Honda associates will comply.
a tough situation we don't like to be in," he said. "We have more
things to do than worrying about kicking people out."
Miller explained that
the choice to ban smoking on Honda property was a
Honda is a 3.8 million square foot facility, so for associates who
in the center, it would take 10 to 15 minutes just to walk outside for
smoke break. By then, the 10 minute break would be over. That's why
was decided to make the entire Honda campus smoke-free, Miller
Miller said communications to associates started two months prior to
smoking ban. Since that time, Miller said several associates have
"We do have a wellness program at Honda," he said. "We want
to take care of themselves, this is consistent with our
Honda offers classes that teach how to stop smoking,
and those who
attend are offered nicotine patches. The classes run eight
cost $3 for associates. Also available is acupuncture, hypnotism
general lectures about smoking.
According to Miller, nearly 10,000
people come and go each day at the
Marysville Auto Plant, and approximately
3,000 of them are smokers.
"This is a relatively small number of people we're
talking about," he
said. "Although the scope is small the problem of traffic
safety is the real issue."
Ohio is the 15th state to pass a strong
Details of fatal crash released
From J-T staff
A two-car crash in Union County took the life of a Urbana woman
The Ohio State Highway patrol is currently investigating
a fatal crash
that killed Mercedes G. Maley, 54.
Tuesday at 8:24 a.m.
Maley was reportedly eastbound on Route 161 in a
2001 Hyundai when she lost
control and crossed the center line, going
into westbound traffic.
show that Maley's car was struck by a westbound semitrailer
driven by Steven
D. Miesse, 62, of Westerville. His semi then went off
the north side of the
roadway and rolled onto its right side. Maley's
car then came to rest off the
south side of the road.
Maley was reportedly not wearing a seat belt during
the crash. Miesse
was wearing one and suffered no injuries. Both vehicles
were towed from the scene.
The OSP reported that the crash remains under
Union County Coroner Dr. David Applegate said this morning
what caused Maley to veer into oncoming lanes remains
He said that there were no signs Maley used evasive action once
entered the oncoming lanes.
"The other driver said he tried to get out
of the way, but she just kept
coming," Applegate said. "Right now we're
trying to determine if there
was a medical cause or if she just fell
He said preliminary autopsy results are expected to be announced
around noon. The final autopsy results will not be completed for
two or three months.
Applegate said that if Maley suffered a
stroke or heart attack, he would
know later today. He is also checking her
medical records for signs of seizures.
House burns; body found
Officials believe victim set blaze then shot
By RYAN HORNS
Union County law enforcement officials found a body
inside the charred
remnants of a large house fire in Washington Township
"It appears to be an apparent suicide at this point," Union
Coroner Dr. David Applegate said late Monday.
Sheriff's Public Information Officer Chris Skinner said
when the fire was
extinguished at 21255 Lingrell Road, law enforcement
found the body of Shawne Goodrich, 24, in the back
of the fire-damaged
basement of the log cabin.
Applegate said that Goodrich appeared to have
"died from a single bullet
wound to the head."
Officials said a gun was
located near the body and that the fire appears
to have been started with the
use of accelerants such as gasoline -
which were detected by the Sheriff's
Office K9 unit "Jordy." Officials
did not specify what accelerant was
Skinner said dispatchers received a call at 11:33 a.m. from an
man who said there had been a murder at a home on Lingrell Road
Route 31 and north of Byhalia.
Union County Sheriff's Lt. Jamie
Patton said this morning that the 911
call was traced and made from the same
Lingrell Road home.
"I need to report a murder at 21225 Lingrell Road," the
man said in the
recorded 911 call.
The dispatcher asked him to clarify if
he said murder, and if so, who
had committed the murder.
"Yes ma'am. The
Department of Jobs and Family Services of Union County .
thank you," he
The man then disconnected the phone, as the dispatcher attempted to
him to explain further.
Unconfirmed reports have indicated that
Goodrich may have been under
investigation by the Union County Department of
Job and Family Services
office for allegations of child abuse.
the department's director, said this morning that "I couldn't
comment on that
at this time."
He referred the matter to Union County Prosecutor David
comment, although Phillips was not available at press
Skinner said what followed were five more 911 calls between 11:37
and 11:44 a.m. in which residents around Lingrell Road reported that
log home was engulfed in flames. One female neighbor told
that someone may be inside.
"There is somebody inside. His
truck is still there . please hurry," she said.
Applegate said that the
state fire marshal's office is investigating the
fire and a full report on
Goodrich's death is pending an autopsy.
Currently, the cause is being listed
due to the gunshot wound.
Skinner said that deputies on the scene were
reporting gunshots, which
could have been from someone firing a weapon or
ammunition stored in the
home exploding from the fire. By this time the house
was engulfed in
flames and fire crews from around the area were arriving. He
said by 3
p.m. fire fighters had the flames extinguished and the
At that time, Skinner said investigators were waiting
for the house to
cool down so they could go in and investigate.
reports of the incident were masked with confusion.
Area television media had
already begun reporting the fire as a possible
"murder cover-up." Law
enforcement officials could not immediately
confirm that there had been a
death in the fire.
"We're still trying to account for all the residents,"
Skinner said. "It
sounds like the female and the children who were in the
been accounted for."
Council looks at future of
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
Securing the future of the Richwood Lake
was discussed at village
council Monday night.
A question about dumped
concrete at the south end of the lake raised by
council member Von Beal at
the meeting led the group to discuss issues
with the body of water.
chairman George Showalter said the concrete is eventually going to
be used to
rebuild the banks of the lake and help prevent future
erosion. He said the
water level is currently too high to perform the work.
that the high water level at the park is one of the
problems plaguing the
He said the lake has no system in place, such as a drainage tile,
maintain a constant water level. A tile which previously served
purpose has broken down and does not drain.
When the water level
remains high the banks of the lake erode more
quickly. Showalter said he has
been told by experts that if corrective
measures aren't taken the lake would
more closely resemble a wetland in
10 to 15 years.
Showalter said the
issue could be compounded in the coming years as the
North Union School
District plans to construct a new middle school in
the area. This would
create additional runoff that could find its way to the lake.
administrator Larry Baxa was told by mayor Bill Nibert to work
officials to ensure that runoff from the new facility flows
away from the
Council also heard from Lynn Street resident Debbie Baldwin about
condition of some of the playground equipment at the village park.
said the slide for young children at the park is broken and the
should be covered in gravel to keep it from getting muddy.
Showalter said he
has been trying to order replacement parts for the
slide, which he claims was
damaged by older, heavier children using it.
In any event, a new piece of
playground equipment, which should arrive
in May, has been ordered and will
include a new slide for young children.
He also added that gravel will be
placed around the playground.
In other business, council:
pre-applications for Community Development Block Grant
funds are due by April
20. Council may look into having an engineer
prepare an application for funds
to assist in repaving village streets.
.Voted 5-0, with council member Wade
McCalf absent, to close some
downtown village streets for the annual
Springenfest event from June 14 to 16.
.Learned of two new incidents of
vandalism at the village park.
Showalter said he is researching new
surveillance equipment for the park.
.Heard a request from village
solicitor Victoria Stone Moledor to
purchase digital recorders for Richwood
Police officers. Apparently
making transcriptions and copies from the tape
recorders currently used
is tedious and the digital recorders could quickly
be downloaded into a computer.
.Voted 5-0 to purchase a new street light
for Edgewood Drive.
.Heard from Baxa that the village was unable to begin the
program because of mechanical problems.
.Learned that a
water well on the north side of the village is back in
use after failing
.Learned from Baxa that the Ohio Department of Transportation Route
repaving project is scheduled to be put out for bids later this
The resurfacing project is to take place in the spring of
Milford Center deals with water pump problems
Milford Center is in need of a new generator at its water plant
a back-up pump has stopped working.
The issue village council had
to resolve Monday night was if the village
should apply for emergency money
through the Ohio Public Works
Commission, which comes in the form of an
interest-free loan for up to
30 years, or if they should apply for a
Community Development Block
Grant (CDBG) which would be free
According to Gary Silcott, the village's consulting engineer, the
application is due April 20. Notification of qualification would
come in July, and final approval and funds would come sometime in
fall. That time frame concerned council members more so than
emergency money turnaround which could come within a month.
had a power outage, there would be nothing we could do," said
village administrator. "We don't have a hook-up now for
any kind of
If a catastrophic event took place in the village, residents
a two-day water supply, according to Blevins. The water tower
about that much.
Council members decided to ask Silcott to apply for
the CDBG and revisit
the issue in July once it finds out if the village is
qualified for the grant.
Silcott said there wouldn't be any harm in
applying for both the grant
and emergency funds.
The cost of the new
generator including the transfer switch and concrete
pad would total
Recycling to be made easier for county residents
From J-T staff
Rural residents in the county will now find recycling a little
convenient due to a new program funded by the North Central
Solid Waste District.
Union Recyclers has been open to recyclers
county-wide for several
years, and now a truck will be set up in various
spots in the county on
a routine basis to accept aluminum beverage cans;
metal food cans; glass
food and beverage bottles; jars; No. 1 and No. 2
plastic bottles; and jugs.
Also accepted will be paper products such as
telephone books, and office-type paper.
items should be rinsed out but they need not be separated,"
coordinator of the waste district's Madison and Union
The recycling truck will be in Milford Center for all Union
residents on the second Monday of each month from 9 a.m. until
a.m. It will be in Unionville Center for all Darby Township
on the second Monday of each month from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Township residents can bring their recyclables to the truck when it
be parked at Jerome United Methodist Church on the second Saturday
each month from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. or when it is parked at the park
from the Jerome Township Hall from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
and Claibourne Township residents can continue to bring recyclable
to the Union Recyclers truck when it is parked at the
Fairgrounds on the fourth Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.
noon. The truck will be parked along the park across from the
hall in Magnetic springs for all Leesburg Township residents on
fourth Saturday of the month from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
engineer's office will host the recycling truck from all
residents on the third Thursday of every month from 12:30
to 3 p.m.
Residents of Liberty Township will be able to drop off
recyclables in Raymond
when the truck joins the township trustees for
Dumpster Days on May 4 and 5.
Beginning in June the truck will be
parked in the lot behind the community
center in Raymond on the third
Thursday of each month from 9 a.m. to 11:30
All residents of the county may bring their recyclable items to any
these drop-off spots, but items dropped off during times not
will be considered illegal dumping, Steele said.
first two months at each collection site, Steele will be
participants into a raffle for prizes made out of recycled materials.
information can be obtained by contacting Steele at (740) 852-3800
Goodbye 'Mr. Funny Pants'
Adelsbergers have sold the Old Town Inn
The uptown Marysville community will be losing a little
After 15 years, Dan Adelsberger, owner of the Old Town Inn,
113 W. Fifth St., recently sold the restaurant to new owners who
keep the torch going for the community.
On April 15 the Old Town
Inn will be operated by new owners Jesse and
Sarah Hardy. The two were
previously involved with Jason's in Dublin and
Brio and Bravo restaurants in
Dan and his wife Judy said that the new owners have more youth,
and kitchen experience on their side and will do a great job carrying
the Old Town Inn tradition.
"We feel proud of it," Dan said. "And we're
hopeful that it will carry on."
Regular customers will be happy to know
that the Hardys plan to continue
such popular entrees as the Prime Rib, but
will expand from the current
menu using their experience in Italian dishes
April also marks the restaurant's 15-year anniversary in
To many residents, Dan was much more than a business man. He said
have been around so long they have seen children grow into
"We've seen kids go from diapers to college," Judy said.
a lot of regular customers," Dan added.
Judy said they received a letter the
other day from a little girl who
addressed it to "Mr. Funny Pants." The girl
was sad to hear Dan was
leaving the restaurant and wished him good
Those pants the girl is referring to are just one reason many
their visit to Old Town Inn. To some it has been a mystery why Dan
been known for wearing different types of brightly colored
Adelsberger said he started wearing wild pants just to bring
"Lots of kids come in," Dan said, "People like to see
He said he would also bring in stuffed animals, wear
aprons and more. In fact, he said most of the pants have been
him by friends and regular customers over the years.
"I used to
do a lot of crazy things," he said.
Dan and Judy sat in the restaurant
Thursday afternoon, just after the
lunch rush. On the walls around them are
layers of photos, with such
"historic" advertisements as Bartles and James
wine coolers, fake road
signs, stuffed animals and more. The decor is just
another part of the
Old Town Inn experience.
Dan said the stuff all over
the walls just began accumulating. Some of
the items they thought would be
fun to hang. Then as the attention grew,
people began donating more. People
would go on trips and bring things
back for him to hang up, and of course he
Dan said he has been involved in the restaurant business since
He started at Borden Burger back in 1975, worked at Chi-Chi's for a
time and spent five years at Colorado Rose in Columbus. He moved back
Marysville in 1986 and ended up starting the Old Town Inn around
"I enjoy the food and I like talking to people," he said, explaining
run in the restaurant business.
But after more than three decades, Dan
and Judy said they want to try
"We just want to be
out of the food business" Judy said.
"We want to slow down," Dan said. "I've
been in the restaurant business
for 34 years. That's long enough. plus, now
we're all old."
"Old and worn," Judy joked.
The Adelsbergers hope to say
goodbye to their customers throughout the
month and introduce everyone to the
new owners. Much of the staff will
stay on after the changeover.
called a suicide
From J-T staff reports:
The man who committed suicide
Friday morning has been identified as a
Mill Valley resident.
Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol reported late Friday
afternoon that the
man found was Paul D. Griffith, 41, of Marysville.
Reports also indicate that
Griffith may have made the 911 call to
dispatchers before committing suicide
with a gun near a pond off of
Route 4, by the Scott Farms
Marysville Police reported that at 8:11 a.m. Friday the Union
Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from a man who said, "There's
dead body in the pond across from Cook's pond."
The line was
disconnected and when dispatchers tried to call the number
immediately went to voice mail.
Police did not specifically indicate whether
the call may have been made
by Griffith before choosing to end his life. But
their reports show that
when police arrived at the scene they located a
silver Humvee with a
warm engine, which was parked in a lot across from the
pond on private
property. The car registration information was the same as
phone owner information.
Nicol said Griffith died of "a single
gunshot wound to the head." His
body was found mostly submerged just inside
Griffith reportedly was divorced and lived alone in Mill
"The preliminary investigation indicates the individual died as a
of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," a police
reported. "A note indicating a suicide was found on the body
messages were left with a co-worker and an ex-family member."
suicide remains under investigation by the Marysville Police
the Union County Coroner's Office.
Local students grill
Third graders ask governor tough questions
Third-graders in Bethany Hill's class at Navin Elementary School
and impressed Gov. Ted Strickland Thursday afternoon with questions
asked of Ohio's visiting head of state.
"When you were a kid, did you
ever think you would be governor?" asked a
young man in the
Strickland responded by saying he wanted to be a cowboy because he
raised very close to where cowboy hero Roy Rogers grew up.
who was born in Lucasville, said he got to know The King of
Cowboys, who was
born in Cincinnati, as well as his wife, Dale Evans.
However, he added, he
never got to know Roger's Palomino horse Trigger,
his dog, Bullet, or his
sidekick, Gabby Hayes, a statement the older
members of the tour seemed to
appreciate more than the third-graders.
A more serious question was asked by
a young lady, who wanted to know
why college tuition is increasing each
"That's a good question!" Strickland said. He added that Ohio
has increased 9 percent every year since 1998. But, he continued,
got a plan in my budget and if I can get the legislature to pass
budget, there will be zero increases in my tuition next year and then
can start slowing down these increases."
"I don't think we can sustain
that and still have college as an option
to most of our students," Strickland
later said in the Navin library, as
he again addressed tuition
He has proposed that universities join a "compact" which will
facilitate "efficiencies" in purchasing energy supplies,
etc. And he has challenged Ohio's colleges and universities to
their own efficiencies "and hold tuition increases to
Strickland said Navin was probably the eighth or 10th school he
visited in the past two weeks. He first began visiting schools when
was a congressman, dropping in on two or three schools a month.
Navin has been the only school Strickland has visited that has
designated as "excellent" (by the Ohio Department of Education),
Strickland praised the "obvious accomplishments" the staff
administrators of Marysville Exempted Village Schools have made
congratulated those present for investing in the future of Ohio and
He said he is trying to drum up support for his proposed
budget. That budget includes the smallest increase (2.2
according to Strickland) of any state budget submitted to
legislature during the past 42 years.
Strickland said he wants to
boost the "flat growth" the state has been
experiencing because economic
growth can boost academic achievement.
Under Strickland's proposed budget, no
public school will receive fewer
state funds than it received last
If passed, Strickland said, his budget would give Marysville Schools
increase of more than 9 percent in state funds, which should
compensate the school district for the "significant growth" it
Marysville Treasurer Delores Cramer, who was along on the
Marysville has received a zero percent increase in state funding
past couple years.
Turning to Cramer, Strickland praised the efforts
of school districts'
"financial geniuses and wizards who take a dollar and
make it go a long, long way."
But stretching the money will not pay for
all-day, every day
kindergarten in most school districts, and school
looking to the state for help.
Kindergarten pupils in
the Marysville School District currently attend
school on an all-day, every
other day schedule. But district
administrators and school principals have
been outspoken proponents of
all-day, every day kindergarten and have even
discussed the feasibility
of making all-day, every day kindergarten an option
to those who can
afford an estimated $250 a month cost.
district is not eligible for any state funds to finance the
day option. Those funds are reserved for districts which
have a high poverty
level or are located in urban areas, Marysville
Zimmerman has said.
Strickland said his budget does not include any money for
day kindergarten programs.
The only way to fund all day,
every day kindergarten as a statewide
measure would be through a tax
increase, Strickland said. And right now
Ohio's economy is not strong enough
to support an increase.
Should the resources become available, however,
Strickland said, "All
day, every day is a goal we have set for our
Body found near pond off Route 4
By RYAN HORNS
The body of
a man was found this morning on the shore of a pond off
Route 4 in what
appears to be a possible suicide.
Marysville Police investigators were trying
to determine the identity of
the man at the Journal-Tribune's press time.
Police said he appears to
have killed himself either overnight or early this
morning, according to initial reports.
"It is an adult male, in an
apparent suicide," Marysville Police Sgt.
Jeff Groat said. "I can't release
the name yet, because we haven't
confirmed his identification or notified his
Groat said police received a call at 8:15 a.m. from someone
there was a body located just off Route 4 near the Scott
"The caller said 'There's a body in the water' and we
went from there," Groat said.
Law enforcement and medics would not explain
why the man's death is
believed to be caused by suicide.
"It just looks
like a suicide," Groat said.
He would not explain if the man had shot himself
or had used any other
specific means which may have caused his own
Union County Sheriff's deputies, Marysville fire crews and medics
situated on private property near the pond, separated by green
Police had to cross the field, climb over a fence and go through a
tree line to find the man's body.
Union County Sheriff's K9 unit
"Jordy" was reportedly used to initially
track the body's location.
said that a Hummer vehicle parked on the private property is
belong to the deceased male.
The dark gray-colored utility vehicle had Texas
license plates and
stickers on the windows indicating the U.S. Army and
Other stickers specifically noted El Paso or Fort Bliss as
the victim's possible home.
On the dirt ground in front of the vehicle
were footprints leading out
toward the pond and where Marysville fire crews
had parked an inflatable
boat they planned to use to retrieve the body.
around 9:35 a.m., Union County Coroner Dr. David Applegate arrived to
the death and Union County prosecutor David Phillips also
arrived at the
The investigation of the death is being conducted by the
Local sculptor will be remembered
A long-time Marysville resident, known for her talents in
sculpting, has died.
Ann Entis, 79, formerly of Marysville, died Wednesday
in Port Charlotte,
Fla., where she retired with her husband, Wyn 10 years
Entis died in her sleep at the Port Charlotte Hospice House.
Entises moved to Marysville in 1956 for his job as advertising
the Scott's Company.
They raised their two children, Christine and Glenn, at
their home on 20
acres of wooded land just west of the city on Northwest
In 1962, Entis opened her own professional studio there
"Shagbark." The name was inspired by the hundreds of shagbark
trees that surrounded the property.
Her sculpting specialty was
children, and many of her commissions were
for schools, churches, and
According to friends, Entis got started using her own children and
friends for inspiration to create the terra cotta clay works which
eventually gain her worldwide acclaim.
Entis sold her first pieces
to Helen Winnemore's in German Village. Her
work is now in collections in
every state and many countries.
Former Ohio Sen. John Glenn owns some Entis
pieces, one was presented to
former President Ronald Reagan when he was in
the White House, and an
Entis angel was presented to former President Bill
Clinton for the
Clinton's Christmas tree.
According to friends, some of
her work is still being sold on the Internet.
Friends remember Entis not
only for her sculptures but her personality.
"She was just a delight to be
around and so talented," Kay Liggett of
Marysville said. "She could always
see the humor in things."
Liggett said Entis was passionate about the
betterment of humanity, and
she loved animals.
"She was the kind who would
call and say, 'Kay, can you take a cat?'"
she remembers, laughing.
loved horses and enjoyed daily horseback rides in Marysville with
favorite mare and the two foals she helped deliver and train.
"She was always
interested in the outdoors," Bernie Stewart said. "We
used to go on many
trips together including boat trips."
Stewart remembers Entis' sense of
"She was so quick-witted and fun to be around," she said. "She was
a very good friend."
Entis retired from full-time sculpting in 1996
when she and her husband
moved to Florida. There, she was able to pursue her
passion for kayaking
In accordance with her wishes, there
will be no scheduled memorial
service. A private family service will be held.
In lieu of flowers,
donations may be made in her memory to either the Duke
Tumor Center, DUMC Box 3624, Durham, NC 27710 or to the
House, 1144 Veronica Street, Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Somebody deserved to get it back'
Local resident is turning over more than
$100,000 in bonds he found
By RYAN HORNS
When Marysville's James Sparks
found someone's life savings buried in a
small metal box by a railroad track,
he had no idea what he was in store for.
Sparks and two other railroad
workers, Ethan Davis and Harrison Brown,
were working in Ashland leveling
railroad tracks for CSX. Sparks found a
box buried in the dirt with more than
"That's when I noticed something there. All you can see is
of a box sticking out of the dirt. But when I kicked it, it was
heavy. So I picked it up and when I was getting the dirt off it
He was amazed at what was inside: Dozens of $1,000 bonds,
bands, a death certificate, old photos, jewelry and other
information that appeared to belong to an old man.
attorney James Adair wants people to know that instead of
going out to buy a
fancy fur coat or new sports car, Sparks turned the
money in and unknowingly
solved an unsolved burglary that happened years ago.
"I was just impressed
with their integrity and honesty," Adair said.
"There is no reward for them
out of this."
Adair just wants people to know that the Sparks family did the
thing and made something positive out of a negative.
that the minute he saw the photos of an elderly couple
inside, it made him
think of his own father.
"When I saw the wedding bands in there and the
pictures of them, that
changed everything quick . Somebody deserved to get it
back. I thought
that they may really need this," Sparks said. "I know if it
my father I would want him to have it back."
But working on
the railroad there is a limited amount of time, he said.
So the men closed
the box up and went back to work with their minds
racing. That night they
opened the box again and began adding up the
bonds to a stunning
Sparks said they got little sleep that first night, calling each
back and forth from their different homes across Ohio. Each one was
searching the Internet for the owner.
"We called all these people
with the same name," Sparks said. "Of
course, they had no idea what we were
Adair said out of the blue he got a call from Sparks' wife
March 28, who told him the story about the found money. He said
didn't know what to do, what rights they had to keep it, if they had
the lottery or if they were about to deal with troublesome legal
for finding it. The call intrigued him so much that he helped in
search to find the owner.
Sparks and his wife said they were just
grateful to find a rare lawyer
who helped them for free.
"He thought it
was a joke at first," Sparks said, "But once we started
telling him the
serial numbers, he knew we had something."
Adair said Sparks helped end the
mystery of the box, once owned by
former Delaware resident Wayne L. Thomas.
Because he died in September,
Thomas never knew that his savings had been
found. The contents are
expected to be given to his surviving
The Delaware County Probate Court told Adair that the box had
stolen in a burglary three years ago. After the theft, the
assigned to the Thomas family estate was forced to work in
with the state Department of Treasury in order to protect the
from the burglar.
However, Adair said, no one was ever sure what
exactly was in the box
until now. In fact some of the bonds may have doubled
in value, bringing
the total closer to $200,000.
"If it had been buried
just a few yards down," Sparks said, "it would be
in the ditch and under the
water. No one would have ever found it."
He was surprised to learn that
Thomas only lived a few hundred yards
away from where the box was found.
Whoever stole it, took only $9,000 in
cash that was supposed to be inside.
Not knowing what to do with the
bonds and other items, the person must have
ditched the rest by the
Adair said law enforcement closed
out the police report as recently as a
few weeks ago, because they assumed
they would never know the answer to
where the box went.
planned around Easter holiday
The Marysville Area Ministerial Association
(MAMA) will sponsor a
community Good Friday service from noon to 1 p.m. at
First Presbyterian Church.
The Rev. Ken Daft, senior pastor at Marysville
First United Methodist
Church, will deliver the sermon. Special music will be
presented by the
Marysville Interdenominational Children's Choir under the
direction of Barbara Demming.
Those interested in participating in an
introit choir may show up for a
short rehearsal in the church choir room at
Easter egg hunts
Several area churches will hold egg hunts
Saturday. Included are:
Marysville Grace Brethren Church - 11 a.m., Eljer
New Dover United Methodist Church - 1 p.m.;
Unionville Center - 11
Shiloh Chapel Evangelical Friends Church, 16435 Square Drive,
sponsor a "Community Resurrection Egg Hunt" Saturday at 10 a.m.
event open to toddlers through fourth-graders will include a
show, refreshments and prizes for each age group.
weather may affect the outdoor activities. When in
doubt, contact the
individual church offices for confirmation.
Living in fear of foreclosure
Many in Union County, and across Ohio, are
trapped in a financial
By EMILY MASTERS
Home foreclosures have
steadily been on the rise in Union County, as in
much of the state.
leads the nation in foreclosures, and according to a study by the
Bankers Association, Ohio has ranked No. 1 since 2004.
The Friday, March 23
edition of the Marysville Journal-Tribune listed 36
legal notices for
"Sheriff's Sale of Real Estate." Eight years ago,
Union County might have had
10 listings in a year, according to the
sheriff's office. Now, the county
averages 15 to 40 notices each month.
In 2006 Union County handled 269
foreclosures, according to Paula Pyers
Warner, Union County Clerk of Courts.
That number was up from 2005's 241
foreclosures. The most have occurred in
Mill Valley and the
Richwood-area, according to Warner's records.
in Union County and the surrounding areas, the fear of
forclosure is becoming
a fact of life.
Puting a face on foreclosure
Last year was not a good one
for Jake and Dilys Coil, who do business in
Marysville but live in West
After working almost 12 years for the same construction company
framed new homes, Jake, without warning, was told he was out of a
The construction company folded immediately, he said. The
61-year-old was in shock.
To make matters worse, wife Dilys lost her job.
Then, the real blow
came. Dilys had to have surgery for throat cancer.
were in an awful lot of trouble," said Jake. "You just never know."
picked up odd jobs here and there, but it wasn't enough.
"If it weren't for
our two boys and friends helping out, we would have
ended up on the streets
like in those big cities," he said.
The Coils built their log cabin home back
in the late '80s, Jake doing
most of the construction himself. The cabin once
served another use
before the Coil's bought all of the pieces and then
re-built it. Dilys
appreciates its rich history.
"It's called a log
fortress, completely knotched and stacked," she said.
"The front room floor
was once used to hide slaves, we found the trap door."
Soon a smile turns
"December 28, we got this notice of sheriff's sale," she said,
reaching for a tissue.
The delivered notification was handed to the Coil's
granddaughter, who they are raising.
"She has been through so
much, she didn't need this, having to worry
about us," Dilys said.
the loss of their jobs, the Coils were struggling to pay back a
loan they had
received to finish up work on part of their home. They
were told the loan
company had a hardship program and all they had to do
was fax in paperwork
explaining their situation.
"We faxed in the papers just like they told us to
and we never heard a
thing back," Dilys said. "Next thing we know we're
getting a foreclosure
letter from the loan company."
The Coils felt they
had just one option left if they were going to save their home.
to John to help us," said Jake.
Attorney John Cannizzaro of Cannizzaro,
Fraser, Bridges, Jillisky, and
Streng, in Marysville, concentrates his
practice to the area of consumer bankruptcy law.
"The Coils are typical of
many people who seek bankruptcy relief,"
Cannizzaro said. "They have been hit
by adversity and have tried their
best to overcome it, and when all else
failed, they turned to bankruptcy protection."
In a matter of hours,
Cannizzaro drew up a plan for the Coils, which
they will need to complete in
five years. They will be required to make
monthly payments and are now
protected from creditors suing them. Also
in the arrangement, Cannizzaro
notifies the court to stop the foreclosure action.
"I feel a lot better,"
said Jake. "We'll make it work, I don't give up,
I keep plugging
Now that Jake has stable work, he said he's a lot more confident, but
knows first hand how quickly a family's finacial security can
"Anyone could lose their job at anytime," he said. "I just
people realize that."
According to Cannizzaro, loss of a job,
medical bills, credit card debt
and divorce or dissolution are the four major
reasons people file for bankruptcy.
The foreclosure process
Broker/Owner of Remax, regularly attends sheriff's auctions.
It's there that
foreclosed homes are sold, usually with the bank buying
them back. According
to Michel, it takes about a year for a house to
reach foreclosure, so the
homeowner can live in it that year, completely free.
homeowners will file for bankruptcy in that year they're
living in the home
for free," Michel said.
She says there's a pattern she has noticed with
"People borrow more than what they paid for their house," she
"Many times that comes in the form of an equity line."
generally doesn't try to sell the house, because they owe
more than what it's
Also, based on the auctions, Michel believes that it's the banks
over-lend, not the mortage companies.
"In the past, about eight years
ago to be exact, it was impossible to
borrow more than 80 percent of the
appraised value of a home," she said.
A lot of buyers on the fringe -
those with low incomes, bad credit, or
those who wouldn't qualify for a
traditional, fixed-rate mortgage - were
pushed into creative
Many of these buyers already had financial problems and now that
periods for adjustable-rate and interest-only loans taken out
years ago are ending, the higher monthly mortgage payments are
people over the edge, she said.
Michel also said foreclosures come
when there is an over-supply of
homes, which has happened in
"An over-supply of houses are in subdivisions where most of the
builders have been turning out so many homes," she explained.
County has an over-supply of homes priced in the $160,000 to
According to Michel, the sheriffs auction process
generally means the
bank will buy back the home, evict the former homeowners,
mortgage insurance money, and then put the home up for sale. At
two-thirds of the homes that go to auction have never been listed
Impact on neighborhoods
High foreclosure rates lower home
values, because the market becomes
flooded with underpriced houses. That
makes it harder for people who are
selling their homes to get top dollar,
according to Michel. Also,
borrowers in neighborhoods with price declines
might owe more on their
mortgage than their house is worth, making
Each foreclosure in a neighborhood lowers the
property value of nearby
homes by about 1 percent, according to the Center
for Responsible Lending.
According to nearly half of Ohio's sheriff's
offices, which regulate
pre-foreclosure sheriff's sales, predatory lending
was noted as the
leading reason for foreclosures in their counties.
spring, the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation aimed at
predatory lending practices that have contributed to Ohio's
said Amy Hanauer, Executive Director of Policy Matters Ohio.
A special task force has been aimed to look at ways to cut down
foreclosures in Ohio.
The task force will include representatives from
state and local
government, lenders, and non profit consumer groups,
according to a news
release issued by Gov. Ted Strickland. The task force
will be chaired by
Kim Zurz, director of the Ohio Department of
"This problem demands a comprehensive response," Strickland
Additionally, the task force will assist homeowners struggling to
payments and will educate people buying homes.
On April 1, the Ohio
Housing Finance Agency made available fixed-rate
refinancing to homeowners
whose current loans are not appropriate for
their financial conditions. Bonds
will be sold to cover the cost, Strickland's office said.
Village, fire district still trying to come to
By CORINNE BIX
It appears that things have still not been
settled between North
Lewisburg village officials and the Northeast Champaign
District as evidenced at Tuesday night's village council
In November, council agreed to sell the village municipal building
the NECCFD for the appraised value of $300,000.
participates along with Woodstock, Rush Township and
Wayne Township in the
NECCFD which is a tax entity subdivision.
Mark Westfall, of Rush Township and
NECCFD representative, explained to
the village council that the fire board
would like to hold a joint work
session to discuss the future of the NECCFD
specific to rent increases passed last year.
The NECCFD currently operates
out of the village municipal building and
pays rent on 5,286 square feet of
space. The village voted in April 2006
to more than double the NECCFD's
annual rent from $6,000 to $12,500
retroactive to Jan. 1, 2006 when the last
Village council also voted to gradually increase the annual
$25,000 by 2008 which averages out to $5 per square foot of space
The village found this rate to be in line with standard rental rates
of business properties.
There have been many debates over the past several
years between village
officials and the fire board regarding what is in the
best interest of
each entity in relation to housing the ever growing fire
The NECCFD said in November that without taxpayer support,
opts to buy or continue to rent the municipal building the outcome
be the same, debt.
Tuesday night, Westfall said the fire board has
agreed that it will not
agree to any increases over $12,500 annually until
both the NECCFD and
the village council hold a work session to discuss
Jason Keeran, council president, said it is time for the two
come together and explain to the taxpayers why an increase in
necessary to maintain the current services that the NECCFD
"We all have to be in agreement," Keeran said.
residents pay 5.5 mills for the NECCFD. It was projected in
about 9 mills would be needed to keep the level of service
equipment costs and the need for more full-time
employees to balance a
The NECCFD has not received an increase in millage since
Currently, on a $100,000 home at 5.5 mills the average homeowner
$173.25 annually. If a 3.5 mill levy were to pass, the same
would pay $283.00 per year.
Barry First, village administrator,
presented Westfall with another
option to fund the rent increase.
option would charge each cooperating entity a per resident cost for
EMS services as provided by the NECCFD. The proposal was based
numbers taken from the 2000 census and averaged $4.22 per
for the first year and $5.63 per resident annually for the second
First explained after the meeting that the village of North
contribution would be through use of the municipal
Westfall said he would share the information with the fire
Currently, the NECCFD's interim fire chief is Dick Bishop of
Lewisburg. Former fire chief, Dave Spain, retired last month. Spain
been chief since 1992 when the NECCFD was originally formed.
concluded that a work session would be arranged between the
and the NECCFD fire board in the coming weeks.
N. Lewisburg council loses
From J-T staff reports:
North Lewisburg village council accepted
the resignation of council
member Nancy Stuart at Tuesday night's meeting. It
was accepted "with regret."
Stuart has served on the village council since
1998. Her resignation was
effective March 31.
She had completed one year
and three months of her current four-year
term. Council has 30 days to find a
replacement to fulfill the remainder
of Stuart's term.
Stuart resigned due
to personal and family reasons.
Village council agreed to fine tune Ordinance
No. 241, which deals with
new water meter rates passed earlier this
The council unanimously passed an amendment that clarifies how
yet occupiable single units will be charged for water and
The new base rate for water and sewer is $45 per month per
account. That cost will stay the same for all single units whether
not they are currently being lived in or used.
In the event a resident
or business owner chooses to have the water
turned off while on a prolonged
vacation, for example, or in the case of
a rental property, the base rate
will go down to $15 per month.
Council also agreed to require new builds in
the area to purchase all
necessary materials for water meter installation.
The property owner
would be responsible for installing the water meter pit
and yoke. The
village will then assume the cost of installing the water meter
The property owner will be able to purchase the water meter
from the village at cost which is estimated at around $150.
Silcott, village engineer with R.D. Zande and Associates, reported
wastewater treatment plant project is progressing on schedule
and is on track
to be completed in July.
The park rest room project will go out to bid in the
next two weeks. The
projected completion date of that project is on or about
The village will pursue applying for Community Development Block
Barry First, village administrator, asked council
for project ideas to
be included in the application. Council suggested
further enhancing the
multi-use path by adding handicap parking and/or an
In other business, council:
.Heard members were
invited to the ribbon cutting at the Urbana Simon
.Was reminded of spring cleanup from May 1-8.
reminded of the Activate Champaign County Event on April 14 at
.Was reminded of the multi-use path ribbon cutting on June 21 at
Jerome Twp. to have new recycling option
From J-T staff reports:
Township residents will soon have another option for recycling.
Waste Authority approached the trustees recently about a new,
that allows community members to recycle in one location on
a monthly basis,
as part of new EPA guidelines. A Union Recyclers truck
will be brought in the
second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to
12:30 p.m. beginning in April
or May. Residents will be able to dispose
of items such as newspapers,
aluminum, plastics, glass, and other
recyclables. The truck will be located
in the township park's parking
lot. No hazardous waste will be
Josh Hostetler, a Tolles Technical Center student from Plain City,
hired to do maintenance work this summer in the township.
decided on a project for the United Way Community Share
Day. To improve the
safety of the playground at Harry Wolfe Park, the
trustees voted to spend
$3,500 to have shredded rubber tires, which
serve as padding, placed on the
ground. United Way volunteers will help
complete the project.
Warden, gave the Public Safety Officer report, and reminded
the trustees that
spring brings out a lot of bicyclists. He said Jerome
Township roads make up
popular routes for cyclists, and the deputies
plan to keep a close
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