honors employees for outstanding service
By RYAN HORNS
While it may be
their job to help people, sometimes law enforcement
officials are recognized
for going above and beyond the call of duty to
help keep the community
Because of this, on Wednesday, Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson
two of his deputies for their efforts.
Dan Maurer was presented the Sheriff's Office
Certificate of Merit and Deputy
Kelly Nawman received the Sheriff's
Office Life Saving Award.
fortunate to have such dedicated and caring people like this in
office," Nelson said. "It is a pleasure to serve alongside them."
of her family, friends and co-workers, Nawman was recognized
for helping to
save the life of a newborn baby girl in an emergency call
earlier this year.
Nelson said that on June 13 a woman called Sheriff's
to report her daughter was in labor in a car along the
side of a road in
northern Union County.
"Deputy Nawman was dispatched to
assist and arrived to find the child
had been born in the front seat of the
motor vehicle, but was cold, gray
and did not appear to be breathing," Nelson
said. "Nawman gave emergency
care, including rescue breathing and when the
EMS crew from the Liberty
Township Fire Department arrived, the baby was
breathing and her color
was returning to normal. Medical professionals later
said that Deputy
Nawman's actions kept the baby from suffering further trauma
likely saved her life."
Nelson said that Nawman's award was
filled with mixed emotions. Earlier
this week Nelson learned that the baby
Nawman helped save had later died
from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS),
unrelated to the night of the birth.
"My heart goes out to the family for
their loss," Nelson said.
He said it was difficult to know how to address
actions, after learning this week of the child's recent
Ultimately, he said it was important to recognize Nawman for
save the child on the night she was born.
During the awards
ceremony, Nelson then took time to highlight the
efforts of Maurer, whose
award was also presented in front of his
co-workers and family
Nelson said Maurer's Certificate of Merit was for keeping calm
professional in the midst of chaos.
"On the night of Jan. 13, 2007 the
sheriff's office experienced a night
that all 9-1-1 Centers hope never
happens," Nelson said.
He said beginning at 2:50 a.m. that day dispatchers
received a call for
the first of two commercial structure fires in the
county. The first was
for a warehouse in Marysville and the second was a
business in Jerome Township.
"A combined 12 fire departments, from three
different counties were
called upon to fight these fires," Nelson
But while these emergencies were going on, dispatchers received a
for a fatal car crash on Route 4 and then a domestic violence call to
residence north of Marysville. In addition, there were several
calls for law enforcement asking for service at the same
Nelson said throughout the entire day, Maurer rose to the occasion.
had every available fire and law enforcement resource called out
providing active service.
"During this stressful time, (Maurer)
demonstrated excellent leadership
and performance under pressure," Nelson
said. "Calling upon his
experience and knowledge of area fire and EMS
agencies, he was able to
quickly identify which agencies were available to
give assistance and
called upon them accordingly."
Nelson said the
professionalism that day was nominated by dispatcher
who was on duty that night with Maurer.
"Thanks to Dan everything came out
better than it might have,"
Construction forces reduction in speed limit
From J-T staff
The city of Marysville announced that the speed limit will be reduced
a local roadway to provide safety to construction crews.
Thursday the speed limit on Columbus Avenue and Industrial
Dunham Avenue and Scottslawn Road, will be reduced to
35 miles per
City administrator Kathy House said that construction crews in that
have begun installation of the Trunk Interceptor Project (TIP), which
the gravity sewer line which will ultimately connect the
wastewater plant to Marysville's new Water Reclamation Facility
(WRF) off U.S. 33.
She said construction along the stretch of road is
expected to continue
into summer 2008.
"This change will remain in effect
until further notice and is being
made as a safety measure for both motorists
and construction crews
working along this roadway," House said.
she hoped motorists would exercise patience while the work is completed.
Marysville schools honor classified employee
Editor's note: The following
information is supplied by the Marysville
Gray, a classroom aide assigned to the Marysville School District
education department, was recently named the district's
of the Year.
Now in her seventh year with the school district, Gray was
the recent all-district staff meeting that kicks off the new
year. She is one of more than 750 individuals employed by
Specifically, Gray works with the eighth grade
emotionally disturbed (ED) class.
"It takes a special personality to do
this work," said Carrie Romine,
the special education teacher to whose
classroom Gray is assigned.
"Trudy is outgoing and displays a respectful
compassion for our kids.
Her patience is unquestioned. Neither I nor our kids
would be as
successful without her."
Students assigned to the ED class
typically struggle with peer group or
home life issues, are challenged by
routine or social connections, or
may wrestle with anger management.
Ultimately, the goal of the teacher,
aide and youngsters is to transition the
students back into the school
population, attending classes with the rest of
their classmates. The
teacher and aide focus their attention on modifying
improving social skills while still maintaining the
preparedness that will bring each student success.
"Our kids seek
Trudy out for advice and guidance when something is
troubling them or they
don't understand, whether its related to the
classroom or their personal
lives. They trust her and value her
opinions. For many of these kids, that is
a huge step," Romine said.
Prior to her middle school assignment, Gray served
special education students at East Elementary and at
When asked about what she liked best about her
job, Gray quickly said,
"That's easy, the kids. Watching each one of them
the year, and being witness to the moment that a kid
'gets it' after
having struggled for so long to understand."
lived in Marysville all her life, graduating from Marysville
High School in
1982. She shares a home with her husband, Troy. Her son,
Nick, is now a
junior studying Biblical studies and Christian psychology
Christian University. Her daughter, Olivia, is an active
Each month the district recognizes a single classified employee.
in support roles such as classroom aides, mechanics, bus drivers,
service workers, custodians, maintenance staff, school nurses,
and business services are eligible for nomination by others
the district. The selection committee is comprised of various
with representatives from each building and service division. At the
of the school year, an annual winner is then selected.
selected from amongst the more than 250 classified
employees in the district
in the 2006-2007 school year included:
September - Kathryn Wacker, East
Elementary special education aide
October - Terri Sproull, middle school
special education aide
November - Barbara Snodgrass, secretary to the
December - Ed Burdett, Mill Valley elementary
January - Phyllis Simpson, high school secretary
Kelly McGraw, payroll
March - Andy James, mechanic
April - Joe Smith,
May - Trudy Gray, middle school emotionally disturbed
UCBDD gives out Starfish Award
As part of its August Board
meeting, the Union County Board of
Developmental Disabilities (UCBDD) honored
the Rev. Paul Whiteford with
the Starfish Award for his dedication and
numerous contributions to the
board, its mission and those it serves.
newly implemented Starfish program was developed to recognize those
employees, consumers, community contributors and individuals who
go above and
beyond to make a positive impact in the lives of others.
Serving as a UCBDD
Board member for the past five years, Whiteford has
outstanding professionalism and exhibited an
overwhelming passion for people
with developmental disabilities.
Whiteford has been involved with organizing
awareness activities during
March Awareness Month.
"Through his commitment
of time, talents and energies Union County has
truly benefited from Reverend
Whiteford's leadership" said Kim Miller,
UCBDD Superintendent. "He has
sincerely made a difference and we are
grateful for his many contributions to
The Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities is
being the primary community force that ensures individuals
developmental disabilities have access to the services and supports
need to become full citizens in the community.
For more information
on UCBDD and its programs, its services, and
volunteer opportunities contact
Carol Scheiderer at 645-6733 or
Sales tax won't go before voters
Commissioners miss deadline to put issue on
By MAC CORDELL
Union County residents will have the
opportunity to vote on several tax
issues during the November
However, one they will not be voting on is the one-quarter percent
tax used equally for senior citizens in the county and for
the engineer's office.
"Basically, we missed the deadline to get it
filed," said Union County
Commissioner Charles Hall.
The sales tax, which
they announced in early August would be going on
the ballot, would have
generated anticipated revenue between $1.7 and
$1.9 million per year.
levy would run for five years and would need public approval
The deadline for filing any type of tax issue to go on the
Thursday. However, before it could go to the board of elections,
request would need two public hearings.
"We were working so
diligently on the language, we were not able to get
both hearings in before
we needed to be filed," said Hall.
Dick Douglas, director of Union County
Senior services, said he was
informed the sales tax was not going on the
ballot until March, but no
discussion was held regarding how he was to meet
needs until he can begin collecting the sales tax
"We have not talked about how my needs for money are going to be
until then," Douglas said.
Union County Engineer Steve Stolte could
not be reached for comment.
Hall said the commissioners could simply place
the sales tax in effect
but didn't want to do that.
"We could just enact a
sales tax if we so chose, but we are not going to
do that" said Hall. "We are
going to put it before the electorate to vote on."
Hall said there is
minimal difference between passing the tax in
November, versus passing the
tax in March. The new tax would not become
effective until the first day of
the first new quarter, a minimum of 65
days following the election
certification, typically 10 days after the
election. Given those parameters,
if the sales tax passed in November,
it would have become effective April 1,
2008. If it passes in March, it
will become effective July 1, 2008. Money
will begin flowing into the
county about three months after it is
"We are talking about three months," Hall said. "Yeah, we would
liked to have had this in November, but we want to make sure
everything is done right."
Douglas said he is not sure the commissioners
realize how this may effect seniors.
"It is going to make a difference for
us," said Douglas.
He said the silver lining may be that county officials can
efforts on passing the countywide 911 property tax
enough going on in the November election that we need to work
The March election will also be heavily watched as it will serve
presidential primary for both Republicans and Democrats.
three-month delay will give the commissioners additional time to
voters about the need for the sales tax.
"We really want everybody to have
all the information we could before we
went to the voters with it," Hall
Currently, sales tax in Union County is at 6.5 percent. If the levy
passed, the tax would increase to 6.75 percent, bringing it even
Franklin, Delaware and Logan counties.
On a $100 taxable purchase,
the increased tax would have cost the
consumer $0.25. On a $20,000 purchase,
it would cost the consumer $50.
Levies approved for November
Some candidates file faulty petitions
By MAC CORDELL
County Board of elections has certified more than a dozen
issues for the
November election. It has also removed several issues and
a candidate from
the potential ballot.
Approved for inclusion are a pair of Union County Tax
levies. The first
is a 0.5-mills replacement levy to provide money for the
mental health services and facilities. If passed, it would not
effect until 2008, but would last 10 years. Currently the owner of
$100,000 home in Union County pays $10.50 for the levy. If the
passes, the same homeowner would pay $15.32. The levy will
approximately $585,000 per year.
The second levy is 0.75-mills
replacement with an increase for the
operation of the countywide 911 and
public safety communications system.
The five-year levy would be effective in
2007 if passed. Currently the
owner of a $100,000 home pays $14.18 for the
911 levy. If the levy
passes, the same homeowner would pay $22.98. The levy
approximately $835,000 per year.
Marysville Exempted Village
School District voters will have the
opportunity to vote on a 4.75-mills
operating levy. If the five-year
levy passes, the owner of a $100,000 home in
the district would pay an
additional $145.48 per year. The levy will raise
$3,300,000 per year.
School district voters will have one
less person to chose from in the
race for two school board seats. The board
of elections ruled that David
A. Perry did not have enough signatures on his
petitions to be included
on the ballot. He could have withdrawn his petition
and filed as a write in.
"He had the option to attend the meeting (of the
elections board) and he
chose not to," said Karla Herron, director of the
Union County Board of Elections.
She added that under the new law, Perry
can not file as a write in once
his petition has been rejected.
Roy Fraker, along with Gregg Buck and John Freudenberg will be
Three candidates - Phil Rausch for Unionville Center Village
Martha Cantrell for Magnetic Springs Village Council and Scott Jerew
Richwood Village Council - were certified as write-ins.
Levies to help
cover police protection from the Union County Sheriff's
Office will be on the
ballot in both Jerome and Millcreek Townships.
Jerome Townships levy is an
additional 1.2-mills tax, to last five
years. If the five-year levy passes,
the owner of a $100,000
Jerome-Township home would pay $36.76 annually. The
levy will raise
approximately $202,000 per year.
In Millcreek Township,
voters will be deciding on an additional 2-mills
tax levy. If the five-year
levy passes, the owner of a $100,000 home in
Millcreek would pay $61.24
annually. The levy will raise approximately
$69,000 per year.
protection will be the subject of levies in Liberty and Taylor
both to begin in 2008. If passed, the fire levies would be
used for the
maintenance of fire apparatus, appliances, buildings as
well as water sources
along with the payment of firefighters and other fire companies.
Liberty Township, the proposed 5.75-mills replacement levy would last
years. Currently the owner of a $100,000 home in Liberty Township
$137.58 for the fire levy. If the replacement levy passes, the same
would pay $176.10. The levy will raise approximately $392,500 per
The Taylor Township levy is a 5.75-mills replacement and increase,
last five years, beginning in 2008. Currently the owner of a
home pays $130.70 per year for the fire levy. If the levy passes,
same homeowner would pay $176.10. The levy will raise
$222,000 per year.
Union Township, including the village of
Milford Center, and York
Township each have 1-mill levies on the
Union Township's is a five-year renewal, to begin in 2008.
generated will be used for the operation and maintenance of the
cemeteries. Currently the owner of a 100,000 home in Union Township
$30.52 for the levy and would see no change if the levy passes. The
will raise approximately $31,000 per year.
York Township's levy is to
cover current operating expenses. It is a
five-year replacement levy to begin
this year. Currently the owner of a
$100,000 York-Township home pays $17.96.
If the replacement levy passes,
the same homeowner would pay $30.62. The levy
will raise approximately
$24,800 per year.
The board of elections approved
the placement of several alcohol-related
initiatives on the ballot. Old Stone
Haus Tavern, in Taylor Township,
precinct 1, will have two issues on the
ballot - weekly sales of
spirituous liquor and Sunday sales of beer, wine and
Voters in Marysville's 12th precinct will have the
opportunity to vote
on Sunday sales of beer, wine and mixed beverages at
Buffalo Wild Wings,
Little Tony's Pizzeria and Wal-Mart. In Marysville's
17795 Mill Valley LLC. will be on the ballot requesting
sell beer, wine and mixed beverages on Sunday.
in Liberty Township, Woody's BBQ in Jerome Township and
Adamo's Pizza and
Carryout also petitioned the board of elections for
inclusion on the ballot
with alcohol related issues. Their petitions
were rejected, either for
insufficient signatures or an invalid petition.
Those wishing to be
included on the ballot as a write-in candidate must
file with the board of
elections by 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5.
To participate in the Nov. 6
election, voters must register by Tuesday, Oct. 9.
Absentee voting begins
Tuesday, Oct. 2.
Marysville schools eye cuts
District prepares to deal with levy defeat
Reducing the number of middle school athletic teams, increasing
price of school lunches, charging for extra-curricular
eliminating field trips and class trips and eliminating scheduled
bus purchases - these are some of the cost-cutting
pondered by Marysville School Board members Monday
Members listened to a presentation by superintendent Larry
about why the Nov. 6 passage of the district's 4.75-mill,
operating levy is necessary.
That levy is a duplicate of an
operating levy defeated by voters Aug. 7.
In a special meeting Aug. 21, board
members Roy Fraker, Bill Hayes and
Scott Johnson voted to place the November
levy on the ballot, citing
growth factors in the school district and reduced
Those issues are not going away, Zimmerman said. Opening day
in the school district was 5,422 pupils, he said. That is an
922 pupils since fiscal year 2002, according to a Power
presentation shown to the school board.
The school district has
already implemented about a dozen
savings/reductions in an effort to trim its
And it is in the process of implementing more, Zimmerman said.
further steps include implementing a hiring freeze except for
positions, reducing or postponing textbook purchases, limiting
reducing bus routes and stops, increasing the number of pupils in
class, and reducing classroom paper usage, copier costs, district
expense, computer usage and purchases, setting temperature controls
higher levels and eliminating all classroom
The hiring freeze would include not immediately
superintendent Neal Handler, whose resignation board
"with regret" Monday night. Handler resigned Aug. 17 to take
as coordinator of human resources at Dublin City Schools.
the district's levy doesn't pass Nov. 6, Zimmerman said the
non-mandated programs and staff positions could occur.
The eliminations could
affect AP classes, foreign language, math, social
studies and science classes
not mandated by the Ohio Department of Education.
Cuts also could reduce
or eliminate school police/resource officers and
crossing guards, postpone
opening of the new middle school/intermediate
school currently under
construction on Route 4 and result in a
salary/benefit freeze or reduction
for staff members.
The pay-to-play fee could increase to the actual cost of
the activity or
downsizing of extra-curriculum activities could occur. Bus
transportation stops could be further reduced.
would be made to extra-curricular programs first,
always err on the academic side. Extra curricular has the word
front of it for a purpose," he said.
The district has been "very blessed,"
Zimmerman said, in that it hasn't
had to implement cuts "like this" for 20
years. But the district's
operating budget does not have a lot of flex in it,
and the lack of
state financial support and the district's growth issues
are "significant," he said.
Zimmerman reminded board members of cuts and
reductions that have
already occurred within the school district. These
principal Trent Bowers at Northwood and Navin elementaries,
duties within the administrative team, eliminating one teaching
each at Raymond and Edgewood elementaries, reducing office aides at
and Edgewood elementaries and one-half office aid at Navin,
four teaching positions, reducing hours in four positions,
planned building/improvement/repair projects and reducing building
department budgets by up to 20 percent.
In other action, the
.Voted 4-1 to suspend the contract of bus driver Jerry Martino
pay from today through and including Sept. 11. Board member
Brower was absent.
.Employed Maxfrancis Corbett and Aaron Peitsmeyer as
Sheckler as health care consultant; Loretta Weeks, payroll;
Wiechers-DeWalt, Lori Penrod and Tameka Washington as bus
Hillary Overfield, Latchkey staff; and Gina Howard and Sheri
.Approved the 2007-2008 tuition rate, as determined
by the Ohio
Department of Education, as $5,313.25 per year. Hayes noted
Marysville does not accept open enrollment pupils, as was
stated in a letter to the editor published in a recent edition of
.Granted enrollment on a tuition basis to Lance Wayne
Meeks at the state
mandated rate for the 2007-2008 school year.
into an exclusive pouring rights contract with the Pepsi Cola
effective Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, 2012. Proceeds will benefit
district, Zimmerman said, whether the athletic fund, building
fund or food
service. Eighty percent of the products sold in vending
machines are not soft
drinks, Zimmerman added, but water, juices and
vitamin beverages and products
conform to the school's wellness policy.
.Approved a construction agreement
with Brazenwood Homes LLC to build a
press box at the high school soccer
field. The projected cost is
guaranteed not to exceed $25,000 and will be
financed by money set aside
when the field was built five years ago,
.Accepted the resignation of building aide Beth Spurling;
Woerlein, OBI; and the supplemental contract resignations of
Robertson, high school choir coach; Evan Smith, assistant
football coach; and Jonathan Weithman, freshman football
.Approved an unpaid leave of absence to Jodi Robertson,
leave dates of Nov. 26 through Dec. 19
PCPD to step
up patrols around schools
By MAC CORDELL
With Jonathan Alder students
returning to school today, Plain City
Administrator/Police Chief Steve
Hilbert took a moment at Monday night's
village council meeting to warn
He said police would be patrolling around the schools.
have much tolerance for speed or traffic violators, especially
zones," Hilbert said. "You have to drive defensively when you
are out there.
You have to expect kids to make some mistakes."
A group of citizens
interested in the construction of a park on the
south end of Plain City came
to the council meeting, also to discuss children.
Committee members said
they had some ideas for the park, but no specific locations.
still is in the very preliminary stages, the current working
name for the
park is South Park
Mayor Sandy Adkins thanked the group for its concern and
interest in the progress of the park.
"We have made no
decisions, but we realize the importance of South Park
for the people living
in the southern part of the town," said Adkins
Group members said that before
they decide on a specific location, they
would like to know where the
regional bike trail system would come
through the village.
"We don't know
yet what rails-to-trails or Metro Parks or whoever puts
it in is going to
do," Adkins explained. "We are trying to work with
them and they say they are
Councilman Bob Walter said the village is looking to establish
routes within the village. He said officials want to create
routes, to bring bicyclists in and out of the village, and
routes, to run through the residential areas of the village.
are not convinced that we want to route a whole bunch of out-of-town
through our residential areas with a whole bunch of children," Walter
South Park committee members said they knew there was $180,000 set
for the project. They wondered if there was any additional money.
said at this point there was not.
The group asked if there was any
opposition to holding fundraisers.
Adkins said there was no opposition, but
"the village won't head that up."
The mayor said South Park proponents
should put together a sort of wish
list, with the understanding that, "the
village is going to have to draw
the line somewhere."
Walter suggested the
group put together a master plan with incremental improvements
have the end product in mind and you can have an evolutionary
He added that money can come out of several years'
Group members asked about new playground equipment for Pastime
Hilbert said playground equipment has been ordered, but cannot
installed yet because of ground hornets.
"They are one of the hardest
things to get rid of," Hilbert said.
Village solicitor Michael McCarthy said
a trial date has been set for
the zoning violation lawsuit against a Mechanic
Street resident who has
blocked off an alley and parked several junk vehicles
in the alley.
McCarthy said the trial is set for 9 a.m., Oct. 15, in the
County Court of Common Pleas. He said the village is preparing to
depositions and issue subpoenas.
"Nothing's been moved out," said
Ella Speakman, a neighbor. "He never
goes by any zoning codes, that we know
Richwood collects portion of past due bills
From J-T staff
The village of Richwood is making some headway in collecting
$12,000 in past due utility bills.
Village financial officer Don
Jolliff told council that he had recently
received payments of more than
$2,600 from the Union County Auditor's
Office. Jolliff said the payments
breakdown to $850 in past due water
bills, $860 in past due sewer bills and
$952 in liens for overdue accounts.
Jolliff said in total the village has
been able to recover nearly $4,000
of the $12,000 due the village.
added that the village will be placing additional liens on pieces of
Council member George Showalter noted that several improvements
slated for the village park.
He said playground equipment resembling a
fire truck would be repainted
and installed this fall. The equipment was
donated by the North Union School District.
Showalter said a new, small
slide has been ordered and should also
arrive this fall. Old railroad ties
and telephone poles used to line the
parking areas will also be removed and
new recycled plastic parking
stops will be installed.
Showalter also noted
that a $400 donation from a recent softball
tournament at the park will be
used to purchase additional trees.
In other business, council:
about the police department's citizens on patrol program.
.Learned that a
finance meeting will be held in September to discuss the
.Learned that Park Day made a profit, but the total will not be
until the next council meeting.
Candidates file for November
By MAC CORDELL
While the petitions for inclusion on the November
ballot will not be
certified until later today, it appears as though a
majority of the
local races will be uncontested.
If all petitions are
approved by the Union County Board of Elections,
just 10 of 49 contests will
have more candidates running than open
seats. The deadline for filing was
Three races, including the ones for Magnetic Springs mayor,
Springs fiscal officer and Unionville Center village council, have
no one filed to run.
"The consensus is, for this kind of year - an off
year general election,
its a little higher than normal," said Union County
Board of Elections
Clerk Gary Wallace of the number of individuals running
for office. "It
has been trending upwards the last couple of
Wallace said the public needs to be better educated about what
are up and when. He added that as more people run, more people
become aware of the races and the more aware people become, more
will participate in the process.
"It really boils down to
involvement," he said. "How involved do people want to be?"
he expects more participation as the county grows.
"As the population
increases and new people move in, with new ideas,
hopefully they will get
Wallace also hopes more voters will get involved as
"I hope a lot more people vote in November than voted in the
election," Wallace said. "We had about 20 percent vote in August.
certainly would like to make that a lot more, a whole lot more."
added, "the message is, people need to get out and vote. That is
constitutional right and their responsibility, I believe."
Exempted Village School District's board of education could
be the most hotly
contested race in the county as four individuals run
for just two seats.
Incumbent Roy Fraker, along with Gregg Buck, John
Freudenberg and David A.
Perry will seek that pair of positions.
City officials will not have as much
competition. The races for mayor
(Chris Schmenk) and all four council seats
(incumbent John E. Marshall
in ward 1, incumbent Daniel E. Fogt in ward 2,
Deborah Groat in ward 3
and Nevin L. Taylor in ward four) are
Fairbanks Local School District will have a race for its two
as current board members David S. Huber and Mark A. Lippencott
challenge from Joe Hackney.
North Union Local School District School
District residents will see
just a pair of names (incumbents Bryan Bumgarner
and Jon Hall) on their
ballots for two seats.
In Richwood, Mayor Bill
Nibert is being challenged by former
councilwoman Wanda A. Blue and Cynthia
K. Blackburn, but council will
have two people (Von R. Beal and William S.
Jerew) running for two seats.
Plain City residents will not be held in
suspense as incumbent Sandy
Adkins is the one running for mayor and incumbent
council members Chris
Johnston and Bob Walter are the only two running for
Current Unionville Center councilman Denver B. Thompson Jr., is
for mayor unopposed and Tracy Rausch will be unopposed in her bid to
Unionville Center fiscal officer.
In Allen Township, Dan Fancy
(incumbent) and Don E. McCreary will vie
for one trustee position. Jerome
Township residents will get to cast
ballots between current trustee Ron
Rhodes and former trustee Freeman
May. The Darby Township trustee race will
pitt Douglas J. Alderman
(incumbent) against Alfred L. Short. In Dover
Township, Russell Conklin
(incumbent) and Ron Miller are both running for one
trustee seat. Taylor
Township residents will see three names - Dean E. Cook,
(incumbent) and John H. Marshall - on their ballot for one
trustee position. Union Township voters will also see three names -
Clark, Bradley Herron and Randy C. Poland (incumbent) - on their
for one seat. In York Township, Donald Mathys (incumbent) and John
will run for one trustee seat.
Other uncontested races include;
Allen Township fiscal officer
(incumbent Cande S. Brake), Claibourne Township
Jeffery L. Swartz), Claibourne Township fiscal officer
Price), Darby Township fiscal officer (Mary Dick), Dover
officer (incumbent Wallace Snyder), Jerome Township fiscal
(incumbent Robert Caldwell), Jackson Township trustee (incumbent
Patton), Jackson Township fiscal officer (Jan Oldham), Leesburg
trustee (incumbent Gary L. Cunningham), Leesburg Township fiscal
(incumbent Annette Jill Chapman), Liberty Township trustee
Randy L. Trapp), Liberty Township fiscal officer (incumbent David
Gwilliams), Millcreek Township trustee (incumbent William E.
Jr.), Millcreek Township fiscal officer (incumbent Joyce Beaver),
Township trustee (incumbent John M. Eufinger), Paris Township
officer (incumbent Kristy K. Rowland), Taylor Township fiscal
(incumbent Patricia J. Laird), Union Township fiscal officer
Mary Lou Ryan), Washington Township trustee (incumbent Richard
Anderson), Washington Township fiscal officer (incumbent Valerie K.
and York Township fiscal officer (incumbent Timothy Paul
Information about several elections involving Union County, but
place predominantly in another county was not yet availiable.
Sheriff's department to expand K-9 bureau
By MAC CORDELL
The Union County
Sheriff's Office is looking to create a K-9 bureau, and
trustees want to help.
The new unit would include three dogs and two new
sheriff's office has one vehicle already equipped to transport
a police dog.
This endeavor will not be cheap, potentially costing the
county as much
as $70,000, according to estimates from the sheriff's
The Jerome Township Trustees have expressed their support for the
program and have committed $8,500 from estate tax funds to help get
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson noted that since the
recent death of
Jordy, the sheriff's office's former canine unit, it has
how valuable a canine unit is. He said his office works well
law enforcement agencies which have offered the use of their
said he appreciates their cooperation, but feels Union County
needs its' own dogs.
Jerome Township officials have also become aware of a
"We realize that Jerome Township is in close proximity to
metropolitan areas and we don't want the township to be a
for drug activity," said Jerome Township Trustee Ron Rhodes.
loss of Jordy, we just felt it was time to give back to Union
order to keep this program up and running."
Nelson expressed his
appreciation saying, "It is nice to know that we
have this kind of support
from the Jerome Township residents and
trustees and that they realize the
importance of the canine program."
Nelson has agreed to allow the children of
Jerome Township, through a
contest, to name one of the yet-to-be-purchased
"My goal is to have two dogs on the street by the end of the year,
then a third canine team in service in 2008," Nelson said. "It
always been my goal to have a strong canine bureau in this county and
think we can make this happen if we can continue to get this type
support from the residents and businesses in the county."
A pair of
deputies selected for the program will leave for a training
Pennsylvania the second week of September. Once at the center,
they will be
paired with a dog matched specifically for them based on
personality. The training will last 13 weeks.
"If we buy two dogs, it is
cheaper than buying just one dog," Nelson said.
He added that it would be
more cost effective to train two deputies at a
time rather than
At a recent meeting of the Union County Commissioners, Nelson
a worst-case-scenario report estimating a $70,000 cost to implement
bureau. He said money brought in by the fund for former police dog
will be used to offset the costs.
County Commissioner Tom McCarthy
questioned whether federal Drug
Enforcement Agency grants could be used for
the purchases. Nelson said
it was possible, as was the use of money seized
following drug-related arrests.
"We took our drug seizure money and bought
our first dog," Nelson said.
"That didn't come out of our general
The sheriff said the prosecutor's office and several local
have offered to make donations for the purchase of a
Nelson said the state could tell him how much money the sheriff's
should have coming its way for drug seizures, but there is no way
tell when, if ever, that money would be received.
McCarthy said the
county could advance money to the sheriff's office in
anticipation of that
"If that money doesn't come into play, we will take it from
contingency fund," said Union County Commissioner Gary Lee.
said it is important to keep money in the sheriff's office
as those dollars are often used to fund undercover operations.
give you money to support your drug buys because it is very
He said he is very pleased with the drug enforcement efforts of
sheriff's office and the Marysville Police Department.
said money spent on the canine unit would be an investment.
"That is the nice
thing about the dogs," Nelson told the commissioners.
"You are bringing on
two new deputies and you don't need to pay them
PERS (retirement) or
anything. They are the hardest working deputies you will find."
County Sheriff's Office Lt. Jeff Frisch said he is excited about the new
"It is going to make such a drastic change in the way we are able to
thing ands in the things we are able to do," Frisch said. "We will
known for our canine presence in Union County. It is going to
Future of local gaming parlor uncertain
By MAC CORDELL
The Games People
Play may not be playing much of anything anytime soon.
The Marysville arcade
is filled with the gaming machines that have
grabbed headlines lately and
even though the paint on the window and a
sign on each machine announces
these are games of skill, the governor
has said otherwise. And to be fair,
they seem to be doing a nice business.
How long that business will be able
to stay open is in some doubt.
Gov. Ted Strickland signed an executive order
Wednesday that both
clarifies the definition for games of chance and games of
authorized the attorney general, along with local law
officials, to take immediate action to enforce the state's law
A judge's ruling late Friday stopped officials
from enforcing the order.
"Illegal gambling machines have become more
accessible in Ohio's
communities because the laws do not adequately define
what is and what
is not a 'skill-based amusement machine' and some people
advantage of the ambiguity," Strickland said. "By making
clarifications, law enforcement authorities will have the tools
need to take immediate action against those bringing illegal
machines into our state."
According to a release from the
governor's office, the newly enacted
definition of skill-based amusement
machines is "any mechanical or
electronic game that awards merchandise
prizes, not cash or vouchers for
cash, based on the successful accomplishment
of the object of the game
or on a player's score."
Also defined is what is
not a game of skill.
"Winning the game cannot be dependent on a
pre-programmed number or
percentage of wins, and the machines cannot be
controlled by any other
source, including chance, beyond the actions of the
person playing the
game," according to the release.
The executive order
was passed as an emergency and will last 90 days.
Strickland says he hopes
legislators will also approve the definitions
when they return from their
"There is a big difference between playing a video game at an
and winning a toy for the effort and playing a machine that bears
striking resemblance to a slot machine and receiving cash,"
said. "We are going to make the difference crystal clear
administrative rule until the legislature can take more
This makes things much easier for Union County
Prosecutor Dave Phillips.
He said he was informed by letter from Ross
Ventures Inc. that a gaming
parlor, The Games People Play, would be opening
in Marysville. The
letter included information from the company's lawyer and
manufacturer of the machines, assuring the prosecutor that the
to be included were legitimate games of skill.
"At that time, I
wrote a letter to law enforcement in which I expressed
the opinion that the
games were, in fact, illegal gambling devices,"
Prosecution, however, was not that simple.
"Due to the way the
law was written, it was virtually impossible to
enforce without seizing,
disassembling and testing each machine," Phillips said.
law enforcement officials have needed to destroy the
machines before any
charges or civil suits could have been filed.
Software from the machines
would need to be analyzed to determine if the
payouts were the result of
skill or of luck.
"Prior to the governor's executive order, we would have to
expert to determine how the machines were engineered," Phillips said.
did not think it appropriate for the taxpayers of Union County to
tens of thousands of dollars in expert witness fees to disassemble
test the machines. Not only would this be prohibitively expensive,
would subject the city and county to potential civil liability if
seizure was ruled improper by a court."
Officials in Union County
decided to watch legal proceedings in two
other Ohio counties before they
"Unfortunately, the cases were conflicting and the law
unsettled," Phillips said.
That is until the governor's
"Really, this makes it a lot easier," said Phillips. "It is going to
a lot easier to enforce this new definition."
He added, "If it kicks
out cash, it's illegal. If it kicks out a
voucher, it is illegal."
Games People Play, gamblers give their money to a host or hostess and
machine is activated. For every nickel, gamblers receive 1 credit.
can cost as much as 16 credits. A first push of the play
button starts the
digital tumblers. A second push and the bars stop.
While it seems as though
the player halts the machine, it is already
programmed with a certain number
of wins and a certain payout. That's
what makes the machine a game of chance.
If a player has money
remaining, they can cash out with the hostess, though
payouts will be
rounded down to the dollar, that is to say, if a player
cashes out with
39 credits, worth $1.95, they receive only a dollar.
none would go on the record with their name, interviewed patrons
of The Games
People Play said the governor's order was a waste of time,
most wondering if
the governor didn't have more pressing matters of
Phillips said there are two ways to go about shutting down
arcades. The first is to bring a civil action against the company
violating the Consumer Sales Practices Act. In a lawsuit filed
enforce the CSPA, the Attorney General may seek a civil penalty
$25,000, plus reimbursement of investigative and enforcement costs.
second possible action is to file criminal charges. The charges can
brought against the owner of the business, the business employees and
the patrons of the business.
Under the Ohio Revised Code, "Any person who
plays a game of chance or
scheme of chance at a business or other public
place, or who recklessly
allows their business or public premises to be used
in such a manner can
be charged with public gaming. A first offense public
gaming charge is
punishable by up to a $150 fine, a second offense carries a
penalty of up to 30 days in jail and up to a $250 fine. A
convicted of a first offense of Gambling or Operating a gambling
is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days
jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A person convicted of a second
of Gambling or Operating a gambling house is guilty of a fifth
felony, punishable by 6 to 12 months incarceration and a fine of up
The county could file a civil case against the business. It
would be up
to the city to file criminal charges if it deems appropriate.
enforcement officials have the right to take immediate action
these arcades, Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden said he will not
"We will work closely with the city attorney and county
determine our course of action," Golden said. "We are still
it. We will operate under the guidance of the city attorney and
Golden said the only uncomplicated matter in the
whole issue is his
responsibility to the public.
"Our position on it is it
is legal or it is not," Golden said. "Our
sworn duty is to uphold the law
Phillips said closing gaming facilities is not a moral
decision or an
effort to badger a local business.
"It violates the law,"
Phillips said. "That is a policy decision that
the legislature and the people
of Ohio have made."
Man sentenced for possession of photos of teenage
By MAC CORDELL
A London man will spend nearly a year in prison after
pictures of a 17-year-old girl.
Matthew W. Perry, 41, of
134 Maplewood Lane, in London, was sentenced
Friday to 11 months in a state
Earlier this month, Perry pleaded guilty to one count of
illegal use of
a minor in nudity oriented material or performance, a felony
fifth degree. In exchange for Perry's guilty plea, prosecutors dropped
fifth-degree felony charge of possessing criminal tools.
attorney Howard Lowe opened the hearing with a request to
client's guilty plea.
Union County Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard E.
the motion. The judge explained that Lowe had approached
him off the
record when he learned that his client would need to register as
sexually oriented offender.
"Under the old law, which was in effect
until July 1, 2007, it was not a
registerable offense," Parrott said.
added there isn't anyway around the law, even though the law took
after the offense.
"You or I, or the prosecutor can't do that," Parrott said.
"We have to
follow the law. We cannot bend that for our purposes. I don't
can do that."
"Even though I do not agree with the retroactive
qualifications, I am
sworn to follow it," Parrott added
The judge said
under the new law, violators of the offense were
classified as Tier 1
offenders, the lowest classification. Lowe again
urged that his client should
not be classified, but agreed that if
classification was mandatory, Tier One
Under the new law, Perry must register annually, in person,
sheriff of the county in which he lives, works and goes to school.
must do this for 15 years.
During the sentencing phase of the hearing,
Lowe told the judge the
victim in this case was a 17-year-old girl which his
from, "living in squalor." He added that the girl, "has had
many sexual encounters."
"This is not a situation where you take an old
man and a young girl and
he takes advantage of her," Lowe said.
the girl were living together in a Union County motel. It is
unclear if the
man took the nude picture with his cell phone or received
it in a picture
message. Perry sent pictures of himself to the girl.
Parrott said the man has
failed to abide by the terms of probation on
several occasions. The judge
said Perry neglected to tell Union County
investigators about a current
probation in Franklin County. He also
failed to tell Franklin County about
these charges. Both are probation
violations. Parrott also reviewed the
record of the defendant, which the
judge called, "substantial." It included
more than 10 convictions
including thefts, assault on a police officer,
violence along with drug and alcohol offenses.
involved in drugs," Parrott added.
"I guess I am not willing to let that kind
of thing go on," the judge
said, adding that the man's criminal record and
violations, "Tell me you don't pay attention to what the
court tells you."
Parrott said a prison term was necessary to protect the
"You pose a threat to the public," he told Perry.
Lowe asked if
his client could wait a week to report to prison so he
could put his affairs
"No," said Parrott. "He is done right now. This thing occurred on
1, 2007. He has had all that time to get done whatever he needed to
Lowe said his client did not expect to be going to
Parrott said he couldn't put the man on community control, given
defendant's history of disregarding court orders.
annexes land for development
By RYAN HORNS
Despite the protests of
residents of an adjacent neighborhood, the path
has been cleared for a large
scale retail and residential development on
land known as the Cook
Marysville City Council voted on Thursday evening to accept
annexation of more than 171 acres of land from Paris Township. The
is located in the area of Route 4 at County Home Road and Scott
Boulevard. A plan for the spot calls for a large retail
residential areas and new office space.
Five members of council
voted to accept the annexation with councilman
Mark Reams voting
Before the vote was held, Clark Addition resident Bob Muth asked
to refuse the annexation. He said after the public hearing on the
he was able to sit down with landowner representative David E. Cook
members of city council to go over their long list of worries about
negative aspects may come from having a large-scale development going
next door. Then there was another meeting with Cook after
"Unfortunately, we did not have a lot of progress," Muth said.
said too many issues still remain.
"Mr. Cook's development is not willing to
bear any of the costs," Muth said.
He said the Clark Addition residents
have met with their attorney and
they are asking council to either deny the
annexation, or at least delay
it until more concessions can be made to its
Councilman John Marshall presented a brief summary on a
about the proposal. He said Clark Addition residents feel they
given proper notification about the future of the Cook Property.
would like to work with the development, but they cannot afford to
into Marysville sewer and water services, which they understand
cost up to $700,000. The residents have numerous other worries -
from zoning to traffic concerns - they wanted addressed before
property annexation was approved.
"That's where we stand at this
point," Marshall said.
Councilman Dan Fogt said the city has had three
opinions and all of them say it's legal.
understand it, but they say it's legal," Fogt said.
He also addressed the
city services cost for sewer and water.
"It costs nowhere near $700,000,"
Fogt said. "It's not going to be that much."
He said all the other issues
the Clark Addition residents have can be
addressed through the city Planning
Commission and/or the city Design
Reams said that even if
the city services were half of what the
residents feared, at $400,000 the
price is still too high for them.
"It is still a pretty big issue for a small
neighborhood," he said. "I
guess I hoped something would have been resolved
more completely in
In other discussions, Lee Alderson,
owner of the downtown bar Marysville
Lee Dogs Locker Room, was recently
sentenced to nearly six years in
prison for gun and drug charges. As a
result, the liquor permits for his
business could soon change
Council clerk Connie Patterson reported that his mother,
Alderson, has requested the transfer of the D1, D2, D3 and D3a
permits for the establishment to her name, due to the criminal
against her son.
"We would object," councilman Ed Pleasant
Marshall said he knew a local businessman was making attempts
purchase the business and wondered if voting against the transfer
interfere with that attempt. He was told it would not.
"I think it
is the transfer within the family," councilman John Gore
said. "I support the
police department's request not to support the
transfer of the liquor
Council then voted against the transfer to Rosemary Alderson's
which essentially calls for a hearing to be held on the matter with
Ohio Division of Liquor Control.
In other topics addressed:
first reading was held on a resolution to accept the Strategic
Plan for the
city of Marysville.
. The first reading was held on an ordinance to amend
zoning codes in relation to Portable On Demand Storage Units,
known as PODS.
Mill Valley medical center could open by April
Memorial Hospital of Union County plans to have the Mill Valley
building completed as early as April.
Chip Hubbs, MHUC
president/CEO, updated board members Thursday evening
about the Mill Valley
project which is expected be done no later than June.
The Union County
Design Review Board has approved plans for the 10,000
square foot medical
Currently, various legal counsels, including the county
office, Bricker and Eckler, MHUC counsel and lawyers
HealthPlex, the building developers, are reviewing the
Hubbs informed the board that the hospital is in a holding pattern
regard to gathering proposals from interested organizations to
the financial, legal, cost, benefit and organization of a
change in legal structure.
Last month, the board decided along
with the county commissioners to
explore the possibility of MHUC becoming a
non-profit charitable organization.
The deadline for submitting
proposals is Aug. 30. The selection
committee is expected to meet in early
September to review proposals
Board members Chris Schmenk and Rick Shortell
will serve, along with
Hubbs, as the hospital's representation on the
committee along with all
three county commissioners.
A public meeting will
be held at the end of September at the county
commissioners' office to
finalize and further discuss the upcoming
informed board members that the Union County Hospital Association
private non-profit group might need to change its designation to
comply with the Ohio Revised Code and the Internal Revenue Service.
group may likely change its status from a type I supporting agency
to a type
III which would give the MHUC board authority to appoint at
least 50 percent
of UCHA's board members.
Hubbs explained that the UCHA board unanimously
approves the hospital
board's direct involvement.
Current UCHA board
members include Dave Allen, Jesse Conrad, Norm
Renner, Jim Mayers, Karen
Long, Norm Herron, Kathleen Sehnert, Henk
Berbee and Jerry Born.
County Hospital Association (UCHA) officially merged with the
Health System (UCHS) in October 2006.
The UCHA has been in existence for more
than 50 years and was originally
formed as a fundraising arm to support
construction of the hospital.
The group's sole purpose is to support MHUC and
has partial ownership in
Health Partners, The Marysville Surgery Center and
The Morey Medical
Building, among others.
Hubbs updated the board on a
seniors services sales tax levy to possibly
be on the spring ballot.
passed, the proposed levy could allocate up to 20 percent of funds to
directly towards the Mobile Meals and Home Healthcare programs
subsidized by MHUC.
Within the last three years, the hospital has shouldered
operating expense subsidy for the two meal programs.
was informed about the upcoming board retreat tentatively
scheduled for Oct.
The board adjourned into executive session to discuss trade secrets of
county hospital. No action was taken.
The next regular board meeting
will be Sept. 27 at 8 p.m.
Red Cross issues call for blood
From J-T staff reports
The American Red
Cross of Union County is issuing an urgent appeal for
blood donors. Recent
extraordinary patient needs and consistent low
donor turnout in August have
caused the local blood supply to drop to
critically low levels, said Lynn
Whatley, executive director of the
Union County Chapter.
Wednesday began with seven of the eight blood types below
inventory standard required to meet needs at the 56 local
served with blood products.
The Red Cross had no O-negative, A-negative,
B-negative and AB-negative
in its inventory, and only a half-day supply of
O-positive. The minimum
inventory standard is a three-day supply with
anything less being a
serious cause for concern.
"Now we are actually down
to zero pints in four of the eight blood
types," Whatley said in a Wednesday
An increase in the need for blood to treat recent trauma
drained the local supply.
"We desperately need help," Whatley
said. "At this point, we're
concerned about meeting routine needs. We are not
to support an extraordinary need that can occur at any
In the Central Ohio Region, about 650 donors are needed each day to
ongoing needs for 56 local hospitals and medical facilities, and
have a supply on hand for emergencies. Severe weather and
across parts of Ohio this week have added to the strain on the
supply, as many are unable to keep scheduled appointments to give
The affected area is scheduled to collect 422 blood donations by the
of the week, but flooding has caused a 50 percent drop in donor
for many drives in that area.
"Many are unable to keep
appointments to give blood in the flood
affected areas," said Rodney Wilson,
spokesperson for the American Red
Cross. "This couldn't come at a worse time,
since the current blood
supply is already at a critical level. We urge
everyone who can to
please donate blood immediately."
She said, " ...
particularly if you are type O-negative or O-positive."
To find locations for
donating blood, go online to the Union County
Chapter of the American Red
Cross at redcross.org/oh/unioncounty or call 642-6651.
A bloodmobile will
be located at the Catholic Community Center today,
Memorial Hospital of Union
County Friday, and the Marysville Church of Christ on Saturday.
for the commitment of volunteer blood donors, the lives of
patients would be
in jeopardy," Whatley said.
Donating blood is one way individuals can find
out their blood type.
Blood donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh a
minimum of 110
pounds and be in general good health.
owner sentenced to nearly six years
By RYAN HORNS
The owner of Lee Dog's
Locker Room will spend almost six years in
prison, after pleading guilty to
numerous criminal charges Wednesday.
Lee Alderson, 38, gave an emotional plea
for mercy to Union County
Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott over a
live video feed from the
Tri-County Regional Jail.
"I understand that this
is the result of my actions and this is my
fault. I am so, so sorry for what
I have done," Alderson wept. "I'm
going to be losing everything. I'm trying
to hold it together here. It's my life."
But Parrott said Alderson has not
taken proper responsibility for any of
the charges against him.
talking about putting a gun up to someone's neck," Parrott said.
not do that, your honor," Alderson said.
Parrott said that Marysville's
Police Department was called 300 times
for crimes at Lee Dog's Locker
"If that isn't a nuisance, then I don't know what is," Parrott
"It's not like it was a situation where you were unaware or not in
situation to do something about it . I think you should be
everything that you deserve."
The charges against Alderson are
from two separate criminal cases. A
third civil case, brought on by the city
of Marysville, could result in
Alderson losing his bar.
In July a jury
found Alderson guilty of one fifth-degree felony illegal
possession of a
firearm in a liquor permit premises and one third-degree
felony carrying a
concealed weapon charge. The charges stemmed from
Alderson walking across the
street from his bar, into Stephen's Lounge,
where he put a small caliber gun
up to a man's throat during an argument.
A trial was set to begin today
for the second set of charges against
Alderson, including one fourth-degree
felony aggravated trafficking in
drugs charge, two fifth-degree felony
permitting drug abuse charges and
one first-degree felony engaging in a
pattern of corrupt activity
charge. The trial was canceled due to Alderson
changing his plea to guilty.
Assistant Union County Prosecutor Terry Hord
said that Alderson faced up
to 14 1/2 years in prison when combining both
cases and their maximum sentences.
Prosecutor David Phillips and
Alderson's attorney J.C. Ratliff made a
joint sentencing recommendation that
Alderson receive a combined three
years for the drug charges. For the
gun-related charges, Alderson
received another two-year and 11 month
Despite being vocal about his disagreement with the
recommendation, Parrott ultimately agreed to the terms. He set the
groups of sentences to serve consecutively with one another,
in the five year, 11 months overall sentence.
that a longer prison term may have been possible, but
Alderson did not have a
previous criminal record. And despite all the
drug activity that went on at
the bar, Alderson was only convicted for
selling $26 in prescription drugs to
an undercover police officer.
"We accomplished what was necessary," Phillips
Ratliff said that Alderson will lose his bar, possibly his home,
not be able to keep a good relationship with his 11-year-old
while he is in jail, and will not be able to help his parents who
suffering from medical problems.
Alderson said that he hit rock bottom
when his wife divorced him and
that he did not think his life could get any
lower, until all of the
criminal charges came down on him.
"I am learning
from this experience," Alderson said. "You won't see me
(in court) again. I
want to be a productive citizen."
"He didn't think he could go any lower, so
he said that there is no
other way to go but up," Ratliff said. "He wants to
get his life
together. He wants to let prison be a positive thing so he can
productive member of society again."
Ratliff said that Alderson's
mother now has power of attorney in regards
to Lee Dog's Locker Room.
don't want this bar to be a blight on the city of Marysville," he said.
Urbana man gets 55 months for nonsupport
By MAC CORDELL
juvenile record and a blossoming record as an adult has
lead to a prison
sentence for an Urbana man.
Earnest Lee Nichols Jr., 21, of 231 W. Court St.
in Urbana, will spend
the next 55 months in prison, a sentence that came as a
surprise to the man.
In July, Nichols pleaded guilty to five counts of
dependents, all felonies of the fifth degree, for failing to
child support payments between April 2004 and February of this
As part of his deal to plead guilty, prosecutors agreed to
community control and not a prison sentence. That recommendation is
binding on the judge, however.
Nichols appeared before the judge from
Tri-County Regional Jail in
Mechanicsburg, by way of a video system. He is
being held as a result of
a probation violation out of Champaign
"Please give me a chance," Nichols requested of the judge. "That is
all I can say."
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E. Parrott
man about his probation violation. Nichols said he failed to
probation department with proof of compliance with a drug and
"Your honor, I messed up," the defendant said. "I am
Yeah, you did," Parrot told him.
"I am just trying to get my life
straight," Nichols said.
The judge then began to review the defendant's
beginning with a theft conviction at age 8 and which
includes more than
15 arrests as a juvenile and several as an adult.
don't even remember," Nichols said when asked if the record
"That's the problem," the judge concluded.
rejected the recommendation and sentenced Nichols to 11 months
on each of the
five charges, to be served consecutively.
"You have an extensive juvenile
record and an adult record and you lied
to my questioning," Parrott
In addition to the 55 months in prison, Nichols must also
restitution of $6,191.73, pay court costs and reimburse the
$2,500 for his public defender.
After Parrott announced the more
than four-and-a-half year sentence,
Nichols questioned what the sentence
"Am I getting probation?" he asked.
"No, no. You are going to
prison," the prison announced.
Nichols began to cry.
"For how long?" he
When informed that he would spend 55 months in prison, the man began
to cry harder.
"I've got to go to prison for 55 months? My god. I'm done,"
Parrott then asked the defendant what he thought should be
"Do you think you should be let out so you can assault people and
pay your support?" Parrott asked the man. "I don't think so."
turned his anger on his attorney.
"I thought you was a good lawyer," he
yelled into the video arraignment system.
Governor helps unveil
By MAC CORDELL
Local dignitaries, Honda officials and Gov. Ted
Strickland gathered on
Court Street Tuesday evening to celebrate the
unveiling of the 2008
Honda Accord and the autoplant's 25 years in Union
"What is evident here today, is that designs and features may
Strickland said. "What is unchanged, my friends, is the pride we
have in the great Ohio-built Honda Accord."
The governor noted that
Honda has built not only great cars, but also
"great families, great
partnerships and great communities."
Tim Garrett, Honda of America
vice-president, thanked the state for its
support, both politically and
"Regardless of who was governor, regardless of who was in
have maintained a great relationship with the state," he
Strickland said that for every dollar the state or local government
given Honda, the company has invested 67.
"That is a pretty good
investment," the governor said.
He added that Honda's impact reaches beyond
"The significance of this plant in Marysville is that more than
companies supply parts to Honda in Marysville," Strickland
Akio Hamada, Honda of America president and chief executive
said the prosperity of the company is attributable to the
support and the associates.
"When people talk about Honda, they
often talk about our technology,"
Hamada said. "But our success is because
Honda has surrounded itself
with great people."
He added, "We have been
building cars in Ohio since 1982. This has been
possible because we have
grown together with communities like Marysville."
Marysville Mayor Tom
Kruse credited Honda as, "the fuel that energized
the economic engine that
was Union County and Marysville."
"While the rest of Ohio, most of it, was
experiencing a time of lost
jobs and lost business and so forth, we were
prospering and we continue
to prosper in Union County because of the
partnership we have fostered
with Honda," said Kruse, who noted he was a city
councilman when Honda
located to Marysville.
The mayor said more than the
economic impact, Honda has brought new
people to the region.
have brought with them new talents, new ideas, new
thinking," said Kruse.
"They have become involved in our communities,
our churches, our schools and
that has meant as much to me as anything else."
Hamada said it has taken
many people and groups to make Honda successful.
"Your belief in Honda,
the foresight and planning of the local and state
leaders, and the hard work
of our associates, suppliers, contractors and
dealers has been a combination
that equals success," said Hamada. "That
is why I want to say 'Thank you.
Thank you to everyone who has played a
role in our success."
it was a risk for a Japanese auto manufacturer to move a
plant to America,
but, "that risk has paid big dividends."
He noted that people see Honda as a
"We don't see 28 years (since it was decided to build
the plant) as a
long time," Hamada said. "We see it as a good
Honda officials have not released a date when the new Accord will
sale or a final price for the vehicle.
Marysville to try again
It's back to the voters for the Marysville School Board.
Roy Fraker, Bill Hayes and Scott Johnson voted Tuesday evening
in a special
meeting to place a five-year, 4.75-mill operating levy on
the Nov. 6 ballot.
Board members Tom Brower and Jeff Mabee were absent.
November's ballot issue
will be the same issue voters defeated Aug. 7 by
an official margin of 2,234
to 1,224. (Total votes cast were 3,458;
voter turnout was 20.12
That was the first defeat the school district has experienced
1998, according to superintendent Larry Zimmerman.
issue is growth," Zimmerman said. He said pupil enrollments
at the high
school, middle school, Navin Elementary and the newly open
Elementary are greater than anticipated.
"Our numbers are maintaining above
what we expected them to be," he said.
Members briefly questioned
decreasing the millage, but Zimmerman said
"Any lower and we couldn't
maintain what we are doing right now."
"I think we have to stay with 4.75
(mills) and we have to move forward,"he said.
"I don't see any other
way," said Hayes.
Also present at the meeting was Mary Snider, Union County
certified the ballot issue. She and school treasurer Delores
Cramer discussed the disbursement of public funds.
"Here we are 60
days into this fiscal year and we're still behind,"
Cramer said, adding that
she still doesn't know the dollar amount of
funds the school will be
"They have got to have all this stuff done so we will know
(funding) is going to be."
Financial picture tightening for Fairbanks district
By KARLYN BYERS
January, Fairbanks School Board members will have to take a good
district finances, Fairbanks Treasurer Aaron Johnson told the
Second half expenses have been worse than predicted, he said, and
lack of growth in state aid has been felt.
The state eliminated "cost
of doing business" funding, added
superintendent Jim Craycraft, which meant
the district lost roughly a
quarter million dollars.
Craycraft said, the phasing out of the personal property
tax and a flatter
housing market have contributed to a decrease in
district finances. Those
have been coupled with the hiring of three
special education instructors and
an additional science teacher - both
necessitated by state
"(And) we didn't get a dime of the 3 percent increase in state
Gov. (Ted) Strickland has been talking about," Craycraft
"It's not the best forecast in the world," said board member Dave
"I just don't want us to get in the position of getting a new school
pushing a levy right on top of that."
Ground was broken May 30 on the
district's new elementary school on
Route 38. Its anticipated completion is
Board members also made plans to attend the Central Ohio School
Association Fall Conference, at which Gloria Werline,
curriculum coordinator, and Milford Center resident Ray Chappelear
be awarded "excellent employee" and "friend of education"
The recognition will be held Sept. 26 at Villa Milano
Chappelear, a retired teacher and individual respected by the
community - according to board members - was nominated by board
Mark Lippencott. Werline was nominated by board vice president
In other business, the board:
.Rehired Werline, beginning
Sept. 1 and continuing through July 31,
2009. Werline retired at the April 16
board meeting. She will make the
same salary she was previously being
.Approved a stipend of $500 in lieu of providing a cell phone
.Approved a transfer of $12,500 from the general fund to the
.Approved a change order for the high school/middle school
project in the amount of $31,069.
.Hired Rhonda Fairchild,
Larry Nicol, Steve Garrabrant and Mark A. Nicol
as substitute bus drivers;
Kimberly Bowen as substitute bus driver and
substitute custodian; Paula
Nicol, volunteer bus driver; Nelson Mills,
full-time bus driver (one-year
contract); Kelly Hall and Karen
Bennedict, substitute secretaries; Brandi
secretary, substitute cook; Linda Lemaster and Candace
substitute cooks; Connie Nicol, substitute cook and
educational aide; and Lester Robinson, substitute
.Authorized supplemental contracts to Karen Saffle, Mock Trial
Fred Johnson and David Saffle, volunteer Mock Trial advisors;
Ackley, fifth grade team leader; Kristi Payne, sixth grade team
IAT team member; Joe Newell, seventh grade team leader, IAT team
Beth Morse eighth grade team leader, eighth grade Power of the
advisor, middle school Student Council advisor; Lisa Studenmund,
team coordinator; Pat Lucas, IAT team member; Claudia Bartow,
Junior Honor Society advisor; Sarah Scott, seventh grade Power of
Pen advisor; Chip Fillman, outdoor education coordinator; John
Washington, D.C. coordinator; and Matt Humphrey, middle school ski
.Approved athletic contracts for Angela Crosley, assistant
volleyball coach; Rachel Harney, band camp assistant; Monica
reserve volleyball coach; and John Moore, assistant athletic
.Approved Panther Paws staff members Michelle School, coordinator,
$12 an hour; and Janet Bardin and Janice Hovis, staff, at $10 per
.Authorized rates for the Panther Paws Program for the
year as follows - Kinder Paws, $12 per day (one-two days per
Kinder Paws, $60 per week (three or more days per week); Panther
$8 per day (one-two days per week); Panther Paws, $35 per week (three
more days per week); registration fee, $25, non-refundable.
20-day extended service contract for Ed Rebmann for the
.Accepted substitute teachers that are approved by the
Education Service Center for the 2007-2008 school
.Accepted the resignation of Julie Sheckler, R.N.
invited to Honda party
New Accord will be unveiled
By MAC CORDELL
is having a party and the community is invited.
Today at 5 p.m., Honda of
America Mfg. is scheduled to unveil the 2008
Accord at a ceremony on the lawn
of the Union County Courthouse.
"We feel like we want to share this with them
(the community)," said Sam
Harpest, Honda of America Mfg. vice president and
plant manager. "Without their support, we wouldn't be
here probably. To
give them the first chance to see the car was important to
Ron Litzke, Honda of America Mfg. spokesman, said in the past,
models were unveiled at the plant and community leaders were invited.
added that the unveiling was never meant to be a media event, but was
be a chance for community residents to see what their friends
neighbors have been working on at Honda.
"Given the impact of the 2008
Accord, and the 25-year milestone of the
auto plant in Marysville, we thought
it might be nice to take it to the
community and let them participate in the
"This is an opportunity for people to see the new Accord and get
to talk to the new design team and the plant officials."
officials and community dignitaries will offer brief remarks, but
they will be concluded in about 23 minutes.
No party is complete without
refreshments and they will be available
too, but the star of the show is
clearly the car.
Harpest said the car is the biggest Accord Honda has ever
made. He said
the increased size is an effort to attract a new market
specifically empty nesters and those who like the size, but
do not want
to drive a mini-van. Vehicle specifications indicate that with
millimeters added to the back seat, riders there will have nearly
much room as those in the front seat.
In addition to the size, Honda
officials think the first thing to catch
the eye will be the car's
"I think the overall styling is what they will notice," said Harpest.
think that has changed drastically."
He said the car is more sporty and
will hopefully allow the Accord to
appeal to a wider buyer demographic. He
added that customers will also
notice several new and different colors for
Harpest said the driver will notice a better drive with a lot
"I think you are going to see a car with a lot more room and
drive. Hopefully we have made it an overall more comfortable car
them," said Harpest. "I think it is an exceptional ride."
that features have been added and an emphasis was placed on
and comfort for the driver and passengers.
"This Accord certainly takes
luxury to a new level for the Accord," Litzke said.
All the changes in the
car meant changes at the plant as well.
"It is a bigger vehicle so it did
need some plant changes to accommodate
production," Harpest said.
that it has been the associates that made the transition smooth.
we have made a lot of improvements," said Harpest. "The new
model team has
worked really hard on this new vehicle and the associates
have really stepped
up the plate in producing this model.
The associates have made the 2008
Accord to "the highest quality we have
ever been able to introduce a car
Harpest said officials at the Marysville auto plant have made changes
help make the model transitions easier for the associates.
"We did a
lot of innovations in the past seven years,' Harpest said.
"This new model
was a lot easier to bring on than models in the past."
include items like extending the line, use of magnets
to hold items in place
so associates can work from outside the car
without getting in and out, as
well as robotics that hold the vehicle
frame and adjust to the height of the
associate working on the vehicle
rather than the associate reaching or
Honda officials have not released a date when the new Accord will
sale or a final price for the vehicle.
Harpest said he hopes
community members will come out and enjoy the unveiling.
"We wanted to
thank the community for all its support," said Harpest.
"Hopefully a lot of
the community members will become Honda owners if
they are not
Local woman saves Prospect family from fireBy RYAN HORNS
Marysville woman's fateful decision to turn around and help after
couch fire in Prospect may have saved an entire household.
midnight on Aug. 4, Mary Bond was on her way home after
visiting family in
Prospect when she noticed a couch burning on the
front porch of 212 S. Main
St. in the Marion County village.
The house was being rented by Cherrelyn
Pierson, where she lived with
her children Bethany, 14, and Dustin, 18. Both
children were asleep
inside at the time. The mother was not at home.
looked like vandalism and I thought, 'I bet they don't know about
said. "The flames had already begun going up the porch wall."
front door, she called out to anyone inside and saw Bethany,
who said she
wouldn't leave without her brother. Bond said the two went
awaked him, but when they all tried to leave, the fire had
become out of
"About two minutes had gone by and we started to choke from the
and we tried to get back downstairs but we couldn't," Bond said.
was then that she decided to get a blanket, wrap it around them and
rush out of the house.
"I told them, 'We gotta run downstairs as fast as we
can,'" Bond said.
The three ran and were able to make it outside to the front
lawn in safety.
Looking back, Bond said if anything had gone differently
there was no
telling how the fire could have ended. Knowing that she and the
children had all begun to choke on the smoke and barely made it out
front door in time, she said it is possible the children may not
made it out if she hadn't seen the fire early.
Ever since the fire
the Pierson family and Bond's own family has called
"I'm thankful I turned around and went back," Bond said. "I don't
to think about what could have been."
Minutes after making it out to
the lawn safely, she said, Pierson and
other residents began arriving on the
scene. Everyone slowly began to
realize how serious the situation
Pierson told fire officials that she was down the block when she
hearing sirens and fire trucks. Rushing to her home out of worry,
saw her house on fire and soon found her children among the
gathered on the street.
"The little girl was hysterical and the boy
was almost in shock and I
started to get choked up too," Bond said.
house eventually burned to the ground and the Pierson family
"All they have are the clothes that they had on their
back," Bond said.
Efforts to help the family have been started. The Pierson
Fund is established at any United Bank branch to assist in the
of clothing, household items and furniture lost in the fire.
wishing to help with clothing may drop off items at the Prospect
of the United Bank. The mother wears size 14 slacks and a large
shirt or blouse. The son wears size34/32 pants and large shirts and
daughter wears size 7 pants and a medium shirt size.
Bond said she
recently had lunch with Pierson, who continues to express
how thankful she
Honda to unveil new Accord
By MAC CORDELL
Last week Honda associates went
into full production mode for the 2008 Accord.
"It is a celebrated event
because there is a lot of work that goes into
this that the general public
doesn't see," said Steve Atwell,
engineering coordinator at the Honda of
America Mfg. automotive plant in Marysville.
Part of that celebration will
be held Tuesday as the 2008 Accord makes
its global debut at the Union County
Courthouse. The work the public
doesn't see began years ago when Honda
officials decided to change the
look of the Accord. The company offers a
major redesign of each of its
models about every five years.
lived in Japan for two years while he helped work on the
design for the new
vehicle, said that is a pretty standard schedule.
Ron Litzke, spokesman for
Honda of America Mfg., said changing the look
of the Accord comes with some
"This is a huge gamble," said Litzke. "This is Honda's best
model in the U.S. and you are making big changes to it."
said the company does its homework to minimize the risks.
"It is a gamble,
but it is a gamble based on feedback and analysis,"
Atwell said. "We get
feedback of what the public wants and what they are buying."
designers talk to current customers as well as perspective
customers to see
what they like and don't like about their cars.
Officials gather information
about their potential customers - what they
buy, when they buy and most
importantly why they buy.
"It is a people driven process," Litzke
"They start by looking at what the customer wants and what they use
for. They create an image of what the Accord should be."
Market data is
gathered, summarized and analyzed. Based on that
analysis, a conceptual
design is completed and a one-quarter scale clay
model is made. Designers,
engineers and other officials discuss the
model and make decisions about the
"The model is changed, based on where the decisions are going,"
Once those changes are made, a full-size clay model is made.
discussions are held, pieces of the model taken off, clay added,
"It goes through several approval stages before it is
locked in and the
clay model goes through lots of changes in that clay model
-sometimes unnoticeably, sometimes radically," Atwell said.
each department and official has had their say and a design is
every piece and angle of the car is measured and entered into
"Once the design is fixed, data is provided based on that model,"
said. "Every millimeter is translated into digital data that we
From that digital data, individual components of the car are built
groups in the automobile plant.
The prototype parts are put together
and a prototype car is built. As
the car is being put together, special
attention is paid to how the
parts fit together and how the process could be
made simpler and more
efficient. Everything is considered, from what type of
be used at specific spots on the vehicle to how metal should
"What you are trying to figure out at that point is what's the best
do that," Litzke said.
He said input from those manufacturing the
parts is essential because
the best design is useless if it cannot be mass
produced in an expedient
or cost-effective manner.
The newly built car is
analyzed and changes documented. New prototype
parts are designed and made.
The new parts are used to build a new prototype vehicle.
The new vehicle
is tested and evaluated.
"Generally it goes through about three phases of
that, give or take," Atwell said.
When Honda officials are pleased with
the way the parts come together,
tools are made for machines at the plant,
using the final prototype parts and data.
Usually done over the weekend
when the plant is not in use, tools are
pulled off actual production machines
and replaced with the newly made
tools. Parts are made using the new tools.
The parts are put together
and a complete car is built.
complete cars are built as Honda officials and associates
go through the
entire production process.
"We want to know how easy the new parts are to
handle, attach, load and
put through the normal production sequence," said
Litzke. "We want to
make sure everything comes together just
He said that during tool trials, minute changes can be made to
the fit and finish of the vehicle or its individual
The new tools are not the only variable in the
"During the process, you have over 5,000 associates learning to make
new car," Litzke said. "They need to learn their process as well."
said it is important for tools and associates to produce the exact
"We want 100 percent every time," Litzke said.
Before the car
goes into mass production, it is allowed to "mature."
Some vehicles are
tested on tracks and some are camouflaged and driven
on the roads and
highways. The drivers evaluate the vehicle's
performance and provide
The reaction of other drivers who see the vehicle is also
"We want people to go 'Wow. What was that?'" Litzke said.
the bugs are worked out, "we start building cars for
"That is a big event here," he said. "It is a slow phase in of the
model so everyone learns to make the new model and as that goes,
number we produce grows."
The plant, based on its versatility is
quickly ramped up to full
production. Once the vehicle is unveiled, it will
be another several
weeks before it goes on sale and a price is announced. A
cache of the
vehicles is produced and shipped to dealerships so they will
not sell out and frustrate customers.
Work does not stop once
the new vehicle is unveiled. A concept for the
next model of Accord is
already underway in Japan.
"Feedback from the customers is ultimately what
will determine where the
next generation of the Accord will go," Litzke said.
Marysville losing its asst. superintendent
Handler takes job in
From J-T staff reports
As the Marysville School District readies
for the start of classes next
week, it says goodbye to assistant
superintendent Neal Handler.
"It is with such mixed emotions that I leave
this wonderful school
district," Handler said. "The students, staff, parents
have made my nine years here very fulfilling."
accepted the position of Coordinator of Human Resources with
"I love what I do in Marysville, but this provided an opportunity
to take on a new challenge," he said.
"Our friends in Dublin are
getting one of the best administrators in the
business," Larry Zimmerman,
superintendent of Marysville Schools, said.
"We will miss him dearly."
assistant superintendent in Marysville, Handler served as the human
director, policy director, and legal liaison, as well as
of curriculum and assessment and handling custody
"All one has to do is look around at the quality of our staff and
overall district test scores to see the positive influence Neal
had," Zimmerman said. "He has a great sense of what it takes to be
good teacher and to promote quality learning."
Through 34 years in
education, Handler has been involved at nearly every
level. Fresh out of
college, he first served as a high school English
and speech teacher at
Circleville Schools. From there he was a high
school guidance counselor with
Teays Valley, a curriculum supervisor for
the Union County Schools, the high
school principal at Fairbanks, and
middle school principal at North
"Just before coming to Marysville, Neal was with Olentangy High
as their assistant principal" Zimmerman said. "That prior experience
valuable to us as we sought to understand growth and the impacts
would have on our district."
"Marysville is an exceptional school
district and I am proud to have
been a part of such an important period in
its timeline," Handler said.
"I will not forget this place I have called home
for so long, nor its
amazing people. The fine accomplishments our students
have made thanks
to the hard work and guidance of our staff partnered with
parents is to
The board of education has not yet advertised
a position to replace
Handler. Zimmerman said that the administrative team
and board will take
some time to weigh its options and develop the position
that best suits
the need of the still growing school district.
meantime, the responsibilities of the assistant superintendent
will be picked
up by others in the district's central office.
"We already run a slim staff
and this will overfill many plates in our
office for a time, but we want to
take this opportunity to evaluate the
best solution for the void created,"
Zimmerman said. "Neal has carried a
unique mix of responsibilities and he
will not easily be replaced."
Far from home
Steve Atwell and his
family lived in Japan for two years as
part of a work
assignment for Honda
Editor's note: This is the second in a four-part series
on Honda of
America leading up to Tuesday's unveiling of the 2008
By MAC CORDELL
Steve and Carol Atwell, along with their
daughter, are from America,
However, are they not
strangers in Japan either.
Steve has made several business trips to the Asian
island for business.
Carol lived in Japan for several years as a preteen and
teen while her
father was in the military.
Recently the Marysville family
returned from a mission from Japan. The
mission, not religious but rather
business, led them to Utsunomiya,
Japan for two years. In the prefecture of
Tachigi, Utsunomiya is about
an hour north of Tokyo by train.
engineering coordinator at the Honda of America Mfg. automotive plant
Marysville, Atwell was sent to Japan to help engineer the bumper
instrument panel on the soon-to-be-released 2008 Honda Accord.
probably two of the most challenging and rewarding years of my
life, at least
my career at Honda," Steve said.
Since joining the automotive giant straight
out of high school 25 years
ago, Honda has been a large part of Steve's life.
With no college
education, he said he considers himself, "one of the lucky
ones. I feel
pretty fortunate to land a job like this."
Steve Atwell was
selected for the overseas project about three years ago
as Honda officials
looked for someone to help design the new Accord and
to act as a liaison
between engineers in Japan and manufacturers in
Marysville. Plant officials
sought qualified individuals who may be
interested in spending two years in
Japan. Atwell said he would be
interested and after an interview process, was
"I have had extensive past history going back and forth from Japan
business trips and I guess I had what my department was looking
Atwell said his commitment to the challenge was prompted by his,
to support the company and see it succeed."
He added, "it has been
a career-long desire for me to follow a new car
from design to actual
production of it on the floor."
Carol was not as initially eager as her
"At first, my wife was a little apprehensive and then she realized
benefits, she was ready to go and my daughter was ready to go,"
His time in Japan was not a vacation. It entailed 10, 12,
even 15 hour days.
"Spending that time in Japan is not an eight hour a day
Atwell said. "At points it involved not seeing much of my family
lot of 12 to 15 hour days, television conferences, telephone calls,
to get the smallest of details worked out."
The time was not without
"It is exciting to develop a car from a sketch design," Atwell
"Everyday, I came home from work with a sense of accomplishment
completing some little something.
"It definitely fosters a sense of
He said it helped to think that his work in the Far East was
friends and co-workers in Marysville.
"That was always
something that was in the background, that was always a
priority " to make
the best car and to make installing and making these
parts as easy and as
consistant as possible."
While Steve worked many hours, Carol spent her time
being part of an international ladies club. She had a class
of 12 she
taught English. In response, those women taught Carol about
"I was more interested in making relationships and
learning about other
people and culture than in making money," said
In a foreign country, relationships become very important Carol
She added she still corresponds with about 25 of her Japanese
and she believes that bond will not soon fade.
culture, once you develop a friend, you develop a friend
for life," Carol
said. "They take friendship very seriously."
Now 15, Brittany was
homeschooled while in Japan.
"Once she started branching out and meeting
people, it was a very
positive experience for her. She made a lot of friends
she keeps in
contact with," said he father.
"It was new and it was a good
experience," Brittany said. "I miss it
sometimes, but overall, I am glad to
The family went to amusement parks and to cities as well as
cultural and religious centers.
"We kind of gave her a mixed culture
of western, but also of rural Japan
where it wasn't so western " kind of new
Japan versus what Japan used to be."
Steve said Brittany, a quiet girl,
"learned how to hang out with kids
her own age at the mall and learned what
Japanese teen culture is all about."
Both Steve and Carol said they would
be on a plane tomorrow if they were
given the opportunity to return.
all had a really, really good experience," Carol said.
"The culture shock
coming back to your own culture is worse than going
to the other
She said the courtesy, respect and perspective of the Japanese
remind her of, "the way Americans used to be."
Steve said it has
been an interesting transition back to American customs.
"It hasn't been
bad," Atwell said. "It has been different. We were
treated exceptionally well
over seas. The Japanese culture goes out of
its way to be courteous and
polite to people. That is not always the
case in the U.S.
"Once you have
been to Japan for a while, you kind of get used to it and
participate in that
courteous society. It took some time to get used to
Carol compared the Japan of her youth with the one she just
from saying, "It is getting very westernized, which I don't like.
you go to another country you want to see their culture. If it all
like America, it ruins their culture."
She said older Japanese
citizens are also struggling with the
westernization of their
Carol said while in Japan she learned there were a lot of things
could do without, the family gave its entire collection of VHS tapes
Carol's English students so they could practice.
"You learn to simplify
your life," Carol Atwell said. "I think our
family needs to get back to the
simple life. Family is the most
important thing. Material things are not all
Now the family has hundreds of pictures to remind them of
Traditional Japanese style flags hang around the Atwell house,
any number of other Japanese items displayed prominently.
helps them remember another land they call
District OKs on the spot drug testing
The Triad board of education approved an addendum to the high
student handbook giving school officials the right to administer a
saliva drug screen if a student is suspected of being under
influence of illegal drugs.
The addendum has been added as a result of
an incident that occurred in the spring.
A pair of students suspected of
drug use were questioned and one of the
two admitted outright to being under
the influence. The other student
denied the use and agreed to a drug test 24
hours after being
questioned. It was rumored that the student flushed their
system in the 24 interim.
Dan Kaffenbarger, superintendent, said that by
using an on-the-spot
saliva drug screen, any future issues could be resolved
both quickly and accurately.
Kaffenbarger added that the test would only
be used in instances when
drug abuse was suspected by both a teacher and a
In most cases the student would be showing outward
signs that they were
under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
reminded board members that due to a definitive change as
granted by the Ohio
Department of Education, school will start next week
on Thursday, August 23,
not Wednesday, August 22, as previously released.
The next regular board
meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 20,
in the elementary
In other news:
- Accepted the resignation of Kimberly Geer as two
hour cook effective immediately.
- Approved the certified employment of
Brittany Whitt as a 4/7 math
teacher for the 07-08 school year.
the classified employment of Tammy Bullard as a bus driver
for the 07-08
- Approved the following classified personnel as substitute bus
Terry Donohoe, Melissa Eckemeyer, Kim Geer, Lori James, Jim
Caroline Wolford and James White; as substitute secretaries:
Coleman, Janet Kaffenbarger and Mindy Pelfrey; as substitute
staff: Deb Castle, Grace Corbet, Oma Gregg, Carmen Huffman and
Wells; as substitute nurses: Treasa Donay, Karla Mayberry and
Watkins; as custodians Jon Simonelli and Mike Wagner.
various certified personnel, dates and rates for professional
- Approved Doug Kitchen in the certified supplemental position
- Approved Jack Stout as the virtual learning academy
teacher for summer
2007 at a rate of $150 per student.
- Approved the
lists of substitute teachers, aides and nurses as
presented by the
Madison-Champaign ESC for the 07-08 school year.
- Approved the addition of
the high school fee of $15 for a calculator fee.
- Approved the fiscal
year 2008 CCIP for grant allocations.
- Approved the 07-08 Triad elementary
- Approved the agreement with the Logan County ESC for vision
services for the 07-08 school year in the amount not to exceed
- Approved the Type A and a la carte lunchroom prices for the
school year. The type A or basic school lunch is $1.75 the same price
as last year.
- Approved the student insurance program administered by
Agencies, LTD., underwritten by Guarantee Life Trust Insurance
- Approved the student activity purpose and practice statement for
A quarter century of making cars
note: This is the first of a four-part series about Honda of
up to the unveiling of the new Accord on Tuesday.
By MAC CORDELL
November, Honda of America Mfg. and Marysville, will celebrate a milestone
The Japan-based manufacturer's automotive division has been
Marysville for 25 years and produced more than 8 million cars.
Union County Commissioner Glenn Irwin says he remembers the day
30 years ago
when a contingent of Japanese and their attornies showed up
courthouse. He said the Japanese came with "great humility."
"They sat in a
semicircle around the commissioners' table," said Irwin.
As a first year
commissioner he said he kind of followed the lead of the
County officials learned that on a trip to Japan, then
Rhodes had met Honda founder Soichiro Honda and identified the
as a good match for Ohio.
"It was really the first time we had the
state or the department of
development come to us wanting to put up anything
more than a stop sign
or something," Irwin joked.
Shortly after that
initial meeting between the commissioners and company
officials, Rhodes made
an announcement that the Honda Motorcycle Plant
would be built in Union
During a reception at the Marysville Country Club, the
commissioners got a message from the governor.
"He put his arm
around the three of us as far as he could," Irwin said.
"He told us, 'Now
boys, we promised these boys a tax abatement and it is
up to you to make that
happen.' That was kind of where the rubber met the road."
commissioner said some community members were not pleased
about the tax
abatement going to a Japanese company.
"Some of the things they said and
wrote about our giving the tax
abatement was not very complementary," said
Irwin. "The thing you have
to remember is that at that time, we had double
numbers in this county, you had a lot of young men in this
working, milking cows for their fathers. We had a high interest
that had killed off any construction in this county."
Irwin said "the
gods" had aligned for economic conditions in Union
County to facilitate the
"When Honda told us they would not hire anyone from more than a
radius from the plant, it was a real positive for us."
it was only the motorcycle plant that was to be built in Union County.
that time they weren't sure about the automobile plan, but it was
talked about as a possibility," Irwin said.
On Sept. 10, 1979, the first
motorcycle came off the line in Marysville.
The very next day, Honda
officials in Japan confirmed plans to proceed
with the automobile
"They wanted to see if we could build a car as well as they could
a car," Irwin said. "We showed them very definitely, we
Irwin said the plant offered high wages for the day. The
rate fell and a housing boom began, jump-starting the local
Akio Hamada, president of Honda of America Mfg. Inc. says the people
Union and the surrounding counties have done as much for the company
it has done for them.
"On the outside, the Marysville Auto Plant is 25
years old," wrote
Hamada. "But on the inside, our associates have used their
knowledge to keep their plant at the top of the global
In 1976, when the Japanese-built Accord made its debut for a price
$3,995, it had such industry leading and revolutionary features as
light indicating when fuel was low, two speed windshield wipers,
inside hood and hatchback releases, and a control post on the
column that not only controlled the vehicle's turn signals, but
served as the high/low beam switch for the headlights.
At that point,
Hondas, while many were assembled in America, were
foreign cars using mainly
imported parts. Today, most parts, including
the engine, are made in America
using 525 U.S. based suppliers.
While many of innovations on the first Accord
are now standard on most
vehicles, Honda officials say the next generation
Accord, set to be
unveiled Tuesday in Marysville, is as innovative as the
"The all-new 2008 Accord will arrive in dealerships this Fall -
while it is too early to disclose many details, I can tell you that
will serve as a clear expression of Honda's clean, safe, and fun
values," John Mendel, American Honda Motor Co., senior vice
for auto operations, said in January at the 2007 North
International Auto Show.
He said the 2008 Accord will come to
market with unique technology in
the areas of fuel economy and body
Local government officials say Honda has provided the same
civically that it has industrially.
"Honda has been a great
corporate and community partner for 25 years,"
said current county
commissioner Gary Lee. "They continue to address the
needs of the community
and certainly have added tremendous employment
opportunities for the people
not only in Union County but in central Ohio."
Even officials at the
federal level recognize the impact the Honda auto
plant has had in the
Triad eliminates bus passes
Parents must designate one pickup,
one drop off location
By CORINNE BIX
At Thursday's meeting, the Triad
board of education was reminded of the
district's new transportation policy,
which requires parents designate
only one pick-up location and one drop-off
location for students that
utilize the bus system.
The new policy
eliminates bus passes except in the case of an emergency.
In the event of an
emergency, parents or guardians should contact Carole
coordinator, and she will field the request and
make the necessary
Dan Kaffenbarger, superintendent, said the primary reason for the
policy is to ensure student safety. In past years, it has
commonplace for many students to request bus passes at the end of
school day, increasing chances that a mistake could be made and
student would be dropped off at the wrong location or not picked up
the correct location the following morning.
The district is in the
process of laying a new floor in the high school lobby.
On July 26, the
board held a special meeting and approved the project to
be classified as
that of "urgent necessity" so the bid process could be eliminated.
original concrete and tile was laid incorrectly and was repaired in
after the building had been opened. The lobby is 3500 square feet.
approved a do not exceed amount on the project of $40,000.
The board approved
to employ Jack Stout as a retire/rehire as a
4/7-transition teacher for
upcoming school year. The motion passed three
to two. Chris Millice and Randy
Moore voted no.
Grant dollars will cover 75 percent of Stout's salary with
25 percent to come from the general fund.
adjourned into executive session for the purpose of
consideration of a
employee discipline. No action was taken.
He also updated the board on the
newly released state report card
ratings. Overall, Triad was rated a
continuous improvement district. The
elementary received an effective rating,
the middle school a continuous
improvement grade and the high school was
Kaffenbarger reminded board members that due to a definitive
granted by the Ohio Department of Education, school will start next
on Thursday, August 23, not Wednesday, August 22, as
City may call for traffic study
By RYAN HORNS
As the repair of Marysville
streets and wastewater projects moves
forward, the focus of the city has
swayed toward fixing the
ever-increasing problem of traffic.
At a Public
Service Committee meeting earlier this week, Marysville City
Roush said that his office received the Marysville Traffic
Study draft plan
on Friday from the engineering, architecture and
planning firm MS
Roush said the draft includes three tasks: A thoroughfare
spot studies on specific roads and intersections, and a traffic
evaluation. Essentially the study would eventually update the
2000 Marysville Thoroughfare Plan, use other existing information
then predict issues expected to arise within the next 20 years.
Consultants placed the price tag to conduct a plan for all three
including additional optional studies, at roughly $152,500.
"I'd like to talk
about this and try to determine how much we'd like to
do," Roush said.
said the funding is not set aside for the traffic study until autumn,
committee should plan to meet together soon with MS Consultants
and go over
No date was officially set at the meeting, although the next
meeting is set for Sept. 17.
MS Consultants will prioritize
traffic areas within the city, review
existing traffic studies, go over
traffic counts and projected traffic
volumes, look at ways of reconfiguring
routes, prospects of new turn
lanes, decide which roads need to be widened,
and will factor in
pedestrian traffic and phasing traffic flow.
residents looking forward to the opening of East Fifth Street, the
shows MS Consultants will look at a realignment for the
roadway, west of the
CSX railroad crossing. One alternative would be to
remove East Fifth Street
from the Five Points intersection altogether,
instead providing access to the
road via Columbus Avenue at Dunham Street.
Spot studies listed in the
Draft Plan also look at the interchange of
Route 4 at Route 31. Consultants
plan to conduct two-hour night and day
peak hour traffic counts at the four
ramp terminal intersections in that
area, review crash reports, develop two
alternatives for how the roads
and ramps could be realigned and how signage
could be corrected. An
individual report would be made in all aspects of
their findings for the
interchange. The same goes for the intersection of
Route 4 at Milford
Avenue, and Milford at Maple streets.
One large project
defined in the draft study is to finally take a full
look at the Delaware
Avenue Corridor. The consultants plan to do traffic
counts "because of the
very recent development in the Coleman's Crossing area."
A total of six
intersections in that area (Five Points, Charles Drive,
U.S. 33 eastbound and westbound ramps, and Watkins
Road) will be counted for
one hour during both morning and nighttime peak flows.
discussed an issue raised in 2006, that of turning one road
downtown Marysville to Delaware Avenue into a one-way route
heading east and
another one-way road heading west. The prospects would
be to make either
Fourth and Fifth streets into one way pairs, or making
Fourth and Sixth
streets into one-way pairs. They have recommended
Fourth Street become
westbound one-way in both scenarios.
Roush said that turning Fifth Street
into a one way may not work as
well, because of all the businesses on the
"Fourth and Sixth seem more workable," he said.
were made in the discussion to rework the Five Points
intersection, such as
removing the garden blockade where it cuts off
Cherry Street's connection
toward Dunham Street. The plan details taking
a look at traffic signal
phasing, adding additional lanes for left hand
turns and clear up congestion.
The consultants even plan to see if Five
Points would work better as a
Councilman Mark Reams wondered how traffic is going to flow off
4 into the new schools currently being constructed. Would there be
hand turn lanes to make access easier?
Roush said there would be and
that the roadway would be widened at the
entrance of the school to
incorporate those lanes.
Councilman John Gore asked to have a copy of the
draft made for everyone
on Marysville City Council to review.
Service Director Tracie Davies agreed, saying that at some point
will need their approval anyway.
Council member Dan Fogt said that he hoped
the traffic signal
evaluations would be placed high on the priority
Gore pointed out that when he looks at all the focus areas "almost
of them should be at the top of the list."
Reams agreed, adding that
all of the traffic and road projects are
connected to one another in some
Sheriff to kick off traffic enforcement campaign
From J-T staff
With summer quickly approaching its end and children getting ready
return to school, many people begin to plan their last summer
and barbecues. The Union County Sheriff's Office is taking this time
remind everyone that as people plan their parties, to keep safety
The Union County Sheriff's Office, along with law enforcement
across the country, will be participating in the annual
enforcement campaign known this year as "Drunk Driving . Over the
The sheriff's office will kick off this year's
campaign at the
"Mocktail-Gate" which will be held Friday from 10 a.m. until
2 p.m. at
the Union County Services Building on London Avenue. The event is
to the public and features such things as an alcohol free drink
or "mocktail," a cookout, and various activities intended to educate
motoring public about the consequences of alcohol impairment
"We believe in education first, and we look forward to the
to begin this campaign with an informational and yet
event," Sgt. Don Eubanks, project coordinator for the Union
Sheriff's Office, said.
Traffic enforcement program will run from
Friday through Labor Day on
Sept. 3 and its primary focus will be to remove
impaired drivers from
the roadway. But traffic violations will also be
strictly enforced with
an emphasis placed on excessive speed, aggressive
driving issues, and
those not wearing seat belts.
According to the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),
the average person
who operates a car while under the influence, commits
approximately 80 times a year, putting other drivers and
their families at
great risk of personal harm.
"As always, the sheriff's office will take a
zero tolerance approach
toward impaired drivers. Our message is simple - If
you drive over the
limit, you will be under arrest," Union County Sheriff
Rocky Nelson said.
He said violators can lose their licenses, spend time
in jail, and pay
high fines and court costs. If someone refuses a blood
concentration test, they will lose their license on the spot and
their car impounded.
Nine out of 10 Americans who participate in
social events where alcohol
is served feel that people should use designated
drivers. Some simple
precautions can save loved ones from a lifetime of
JA leads way on school report cards
Marysville falls from excellent to
By MAC CORDELL
Schools around the state got grades of their own
Tuesday as the Ohio
Department of Education released its annual report card
for local schools.
The news was mostly good for five local school
Jonathan Alder received the only excellent district designation
Fairbanks, Marysville and North Union each earned effective
designations while Triad received a continuous improvement
Alder Superintendent Dr. Doug Carpenter credited the faculty and
of the district for the excellent rating.
"We have a lot of people
in the trenches working hard to make sure
student performance is where it
needs to be," Carpenter said.
He said his teachers take a "high-touch"
"Our teachers slow down and help students when they had questions
listen to the students," Carpenter said. "A lot of our employees
extend themselves to the kids and that pays high dividends."
Alder had the highest designation and the highest performance
100.6 out of a possible 120, and met 29 of the state's 30
Fairbanks was the only district to make adequate yearly
progress according to
"I am very pleased that we met our AYP," said Fairbanks
Jim Craycraft. "There are a lot of good districts out there
that did not
meet their AYP so it is very encouraging that we were able
Many individual buildings locally met their AYP, but those that did
pulled their entire district down.
Dr. Daniel Kaffenbarger, Triad
superintendent, said a historic look at
the adequate yearly progress shows
there is a problem. He said several
years ago, about 65 percent of districts
statewide met their AYP. For
the 2006-2007 school year, less than 30 percent
of Ohio districts met their AYP.
"When you look at the trend, there is
something wrong with the AYP
formula," Kaffenbarger said.
"That is going
to be become increasingly more difficult each year for
districts to meet AYP.
Each year they ratchet it up. More and more
districts are going to get caught
up in the AYP problem."
Fairbanks remained an effective district, but
increased its number of
state indicators met, 23 of 30 this in the 2006-2007
compared to 21 of 25 in the 2005-2006 school year, and its
index score from 95.8 to 96.5.
"I am pleased to be effective,"
said Craycraft. "We would like to be
excellent. The fact that we are
improving is good. That was our plan, to
improve a little bit each
"I think it is good. First, I think we are showing progress. Second,
am pleased that we met AYP and importantly, we are keeping up the
Marysville and Triad both dropped designations and failed
adequate yearly progress. Marysville fell from an excellent
in 2005-2006 to an effective rating in for 2006-2007. The
increase the number of state indicators met from 24 to 26, but
performance index score fell nearly three points from 99.2 to 96.5
of a possible 120.
"Overall I was very pleased with the improvement in
reading writing and
math," said Marysville Superintendent Larry Zimmerman.
"We continue to
improve in those areas. It was the new testing areas that
kind of got us.
"When you look at the test areas that were the same as
last years, we
made progress. We would have been an excellent school district
without the new testing areas. I can't be disappointed because
progressed in the areas we were prepared for. If we had not
in the testing areas from last year, I would have been
Zimmerman, like several of the other superintendents, said his
prepared for concepts in science and social studies. The test, he
tested the students' knowledge of specific facts in those areas.
are going to have to back to the drawing board in those areas,"
said. "Where are kids fell down was on the specific questions.
We are going
to have to go back and take a look at our instruction. I
would expect our
kids to score very close in these areas to our reading
scores. That is what I
expect from our kids."
Zimmerman said he has "great pride" in what the
district is doing.
"We will get there," he said. "We have terrific
Triad dropped from an effective district in 2005-2006 to a
improvement designation for 2006-2007. Triad also improved its
state indicators met from 16 to 19 in 2006-2007. The performance
fell from 92.6 to 92.5.
"We are pleased that we have seen another
year of improvement in most
areas," said Kaffenbarger.
He said Triad High
School was rated excellent for the third year and the
elementary school was
"We were actually expecting our students to perform better
at the middle
school," Kaffenbarger said.
"We want to be continue to move
things forward and we want to be able to
move resources around to be able to
North Union Superintendent Richard D. Smith was as pleased as
superintendent about his districts scores. For the second
year, the district earned an effective rating, meeting 24 of the
indicators, up from 22 in 2005-2006. The district's performance
score fell only slightly from 95.9 in 2005-2006 to 95.4.
pleased that for the second year we are rated effective," Smith
picked up a couple of state standards. We are excited that
some of the things
we implemented curriculum-wise are paying off. We are
He said he the scores show the district's progress.
district has come a long way from five years of continuous
improvement to two
years of effective," Smith said. "I think that shows
real improvement and
that we have invested the taxpayers money wisely.
We look forward to
continuing to improve."
He added that he was disappointed that North Union
did not meet its
annual yearly progress as a district but noted that all
buildings in the
district did meet their AYP.
Triad schools to
introduce Mandarin Chinese program
By CORINNE BIX
Triad officials are
looking for innovative ways to prepare their
students for the global
marketplace of tomorrow.
Including Chinese as a foreign language option is
how they plan to start.
Triad Local schools wants to be one of the first
districts statewide to
take advantage of the Ohio Department of Education's
teacher program to jump-start a Mandarin Chinese
In June, Superintendent Dan Kaffenbarger presented to the board
proposal to include Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language option
grades K-4, beginning as early as the 2008-2009 school
Kaffenbarger explained that studies have shown the benefits to
far exceed presenting another option other than French and
"The study of foreign language is an excellent way of
student learning because it demands higher order skills,"
explained, "This program will differ from our traditional
teaching a foreign language because it will begin that training
elementary level when students have better language acquisition
Kaffenbarger said research has shown students who learn a
language earlier in their education are more than likely to
increased test scores, higher levels of cognitive development and
better prepared for post-secondary education.
The district approximates
that 32 percent of its high school students
took a foreign language during
the 2006-2007 school year. The state
average is 45 percent and the national
average is 51 percent.
Compared to other countries, US students fall short
when it comes to
foreign language. It was determined in 2005 that only nine
Americans speak both their native language and another
Among European nations, half of the citizens know two
eight out of 10 students ages 15-24 can have a normal
conversation in at
least a pair of languages.
In China, 110 million
primary and secondary students are studying English.
"Our students are no
longer competing against just other students in the
neighboring districts or
for that fact just against other students in
the U.S.," Kaffenbarger said,
"They must be given the skills to compete
in this global economy because our
students and their preparation is
critical to the success of our nation's
It has been recommended by The Asia Society, the Business
the Council of Chief State School Officers that Chinese
be expanded so that five percent of American high school
studying Mandarin Chinese by 2015.
In June, Kaffenbarger
received board approval to begin preparing for the
The district is in the process of creating a parent survey, which
lead to roundtable discussions in the fall to gauge parent support
the Mandarin program.
"I hope parents will see the benefit of
introducing the study of foreign
language at this early age," Kaffenbarger
If the district gets the go-ahead from parents, Kaffenbarger, along
Curriculum Director Brenda Boyd and Elementary Principal Lee
will attend a Chinese language symposium in December.
"I will be
meeting with Lee later this fall to determine if it would be
take teachers from the primary grades," Kaffenbarger said.
Cost to the
district to participate in the ODE program will be
approximately $20,000 per
year. The district's responsibilities will
include securing a host family and
transportation for the visiting
teacher along with providing health and life
Between 2008 and 2016, the district would like to slowly add
and grade levels to be included in the Mandarin Chinese
After the ODE's two-year program ends at the conclusion of the
school year, the district would then hire two teachers to continue
program along with adding grade five in the curriculum.
2016-2017 school year all grades would be included in the program
to four teachers would be teaching Chinese.
clerk-treasurer will stay with village
By AUDREY HALL
At Monday night's
Unionville Center Village Council meeting, Mayor
Denver Thompson announced
that Tracy Rausch will continue as clerk-treasurer.
Rausch, who was
appointed to fill the unexpired term of Karla Gingerich
when she moved out of
the village last year, indicated her desire to
resign several months ago but
never officially resigned. At a special
meeting on Aug. 7, council
interviewed potential candidates.
One candidate was offered the position but
refused it because of the
salary. The salary is $1.000 per year.
urging of council because of her competency, Rausch agreed to
clerk treasurer. The position is up for election in November
and Rausch also
agreed to run for a full term.
Citing a change of work schedule, council
member Jim Weese submitted a
letter of resignation. Those interested in
serving on council should contact Thompson.
The Golf Cart Inspection
Program as approved by the Union County Sheriff
Department was discussed.
The inspection guidelines comply with
requirements of the Ohio Revised
The Village can add more requirements but they cannot delete
requirements. All golf carts must pass an inspection conducted by
sheriff's department before a license can be issued.
An ordinance to
allow golf carts within the village will be voted on at
meeting. Residents who want to read the guidelines can
contact any member of
Council for a copy. Questions or discussion points
should be addressed to the
Fire district representative Phil Rausch reported that there
been any problems with the reciprocal agreement with Jerome
Fire Department during the replacement of the bridge over U.S. 42 at
intersection with Route 161. The bridge construction is on
The biennial audit is being conducted by the Ohio Auditor of
office. Clerk Treasurer Rausch stated that all village records are
the possession of the auditors.
Pending approval from the Ohio EPA to
install an aeration system,
Wendell Beachy is planning to purchase a vacant
lot on Railroad Street
to construct a new house. He asked for permission to
tap into the storm
sewer system. Council delayed permission until approval is
received from the EPA.
Council members present were Ron Griffith, Mary Lou
Morris, Phil Rausch,
Brenda Terry, Peggy Williamson, Thompson and Clerk
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 6:30
Man caught after foot pursuit
From J-T staff report
Police officers chased and caught a man found hiding in the
garage of a
woman's home in Green Pastures on Tuesday.
Police have charged Aaron M.
Kastein, 27, of 561 Dove St. with burglary,
trespassing and obstructing
official police business.
According to reports, at 11:50 a.m. a woman in the
600 block of Rainbow
Drive came home for lunch and found Kastein hiding
inside her garage.
Police reported that the woman yelled at the man and then
and called for a neighbor to dial 911.
"She had been yelling
at him," Sgt. Bo Spain said. "But when he heard
that, he bolted."
officers soon arrived and chased Kastein to Carmel Drive. He was
near Garden Drive.
Nothing was reported stolen from the home in the
Marysville terminates mechanic
Robert Fraker's attorney calls situation a
By KARLYN BYERS
In a 4-0 vote Monday night, Marysville School
Board members voted to
terminate the contract of head mechanic Robert
Board members Tom Brower, Bill Hayes, Jeff Mabee and Scott Johnson
for the termination; board president Roy Fraker was absent.
decision followed a more than four-hour executive session that
briefly twice. Fraker's termination was effective immediately
following reasons: Violation of written rules and regulations as
set forth by
the board of education, incompetence, inefficiency, immoral
of duty, "misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance and/or
other good and just
In a statement read by Brower, the school board stated
inappropriately touched at least one female employee, used
verbal commentary relating to employees' bodies, made "repeated
jokes and flirtations" toward female employees and employed
derogatory terms in reference to females. He also allegedly allowed
son to sell scrap metal from the bus garage and failed to deposit
proceeds from that transaction with the school treasurer.
statement further stated that Fraker used his position to gain a
the purchase of tires for his personal use.
Fraker said he plans to appeal
the board's decision. He also expressed
gratitude to the school district
employees who attended the board
meeting Monday night to support him and
referred the newspaper to his
attorney, Vincent DePascale of
DePascale called the board's investigation a "witch hunt"
originated from Fraker's testimony in a federal discrimination
against the school district earlier this year.
The board's decision
was made at the recommendation of superintendent
Larry Zimmerman, who
according to the statement read by Brower, had
informed Fraker of the charges
levied against him and had given Fraker
"full opportunity" to rebut those
grounds or otherwise explain his
action on Aug. 9.
"Bob was in a position
of trust and he broke that trust," Zimmerman said
in an e-mail message to the
Journal-Tribune this morning. "What started
out as a investigation into
improper Internet usage at the bus garage
area became bigger than that when
other issues were found. The
Marysville Police and the county prosecutor's
office (were) called in to
assist with the investigation. The issues which
were uncovered needed
addressed and that is what we did. What was found could
not be tolerated
within this district or at any workplace. Termination of
no small matter, but unfortunately it needed to
DePascale said allegations of "misfeasance, malfeasance,
and/or other good and just cause" that occurred over the past 2
years were unfounded, and that the woman who was allegedly
abused didn't even want to testify against Fraker. DePascale said
only reason she did was because she was subpoenaed.
"I don't think
there is any evidence," DePascale said, other than that
manufactured by the board.
Fraker and DePascale were two of several people
included in Monday's
executive session, in which Phillips conducted the
included was the school board's attorney, Krista Keim of
Peters & Kalail, and several school employees who
important to the investigation, according to
In other action Monday night, the board accepted the retirement of
Overly as teacher, and accepted the resignations of teacher
Lewis, building aide Tonya Stevens and bus drivers Roberta Widman
and Jennifer Luke.
Richwood officials want to reopen lake to
Are also working to get clock tower working
Richwood two most prominent sources of identity could soon
The Richwood Lake and the village hall clock each drew
discussion at Monday night's village council meeting. Village
appear determined to make each operate the way they did in the
For the lake that means restoring the beach and allowing swimming
For the clock it means possibly setting up a new electronic system
to control mechanism.
The village appears ready to move forward with
re-opening the beach to
swimmers. Council members believed the last time
swimming was allowed in
the lake was the early 90s.
Council member Scott
Jerew ask how such a move would impact the
village's insurance premiums.
Councilman Von Beal said the village
premiums would not change.
extra dollar," Beal said.
Council member George Showalter said that was not
his understanding when
he approached the insurer four years ago about the
issue. He said the
insurer said the village would experience see an
Showalter also noted that the water quality in the lake has been
an is suitable for swimmers.
Beal said the insurance company made
several recommendations to ensure
that the village did not see an increase in
cost. The company suggested
posting no lifeguards, but rather signs
stipulating that individuals
"swim at their own risk." The company also said
an emergency phone in
the area would be a good idea.
Beal said the village
would still take a financial hit by opening the
lake up for swimming. He said
the beach would be prepared and the lake
bottom would have to be cleared of
Beal said the village could pursue a Natureworks grant to pay for
of the rehab costs.
The cover the annual costs of opening the beach
the village could choose
from a couple of funding sources.
A one-mill park
levy is set to drop from the books next year. The levy
was put in place years
ago and only generates about half of the money
that a mill at current
valuation would pull in. If the village opted to
put the levy before voters
as a replacement rather than a renewal, the
measure would generate one mill
at current valuation which could mean up
to $14,000 more annually for the
village if passed.
Mayor Bill Nibert said council could also look at putting
an extra 1/4
or 1/2 percent of income tax on the books. The finance committee
expected to meet soon to decide on a funding source for the
Beal said he would like to see the issue move quickly so
that the lake
could be opened for swimming as soon as July of 2008.
resident Ted Reynolds approached council about the Richwood Clock.
been tinkering with the clock to see if he could get it
Reynolds said instrument is powered by a 1903 Seth Thomas
connects to faces by a driveshaft. Over the years the tower has
slightly putting torque on the driveshaft and causing the clock to
not work properly.
Reynolds said the clock mechanism itself is a wonderful
history. Nearly three feet tall, only six such clocks were
three of which are in the united states.
Reynolds said he fears
if the tower itself continues to age and crumble
the clock could be
"It would be a real shame if the town lost it," Reynolds said.
said the village could opt to install a small electronic timing
would operate the clock faces on the tower.
If the village went that route
the Seth Thomas clock could be put on
display somewhere in the village. He
also noted that some museums have
inquired about acquiring the clock, but the
village probably wouldn't
want to go that route.
Jerew asked Reynolds to
get some cost estimates to converting the tower
over to an electric
Rail crossing should open by April 2008
By RYAN HORNS
everything goes as planned Marysville's East Fifth Street railroad
could be open for traffic by next April.
City administrator Kathy House said
that CSX is scheduled to have its
work on the crossing completed "no later
than April 18, 2008."
House stressed that they will have to depend on the
staying on schedule.
"CSX has to have their work
finished," she said.
House discussed the issue with members of city council,
and streets officials at the Monday night's Public Service
meeting held at the city service center on Maple Street. The group
to discuss numerous city issues.
Earlier in the meeting, councilman
John Gore said he was "disappointed"
that House didn't provide an update on
the crossing issue until resident
Harold Green brought it up at the previous
city council meeting. He
hopes council will be kept up to date.
engineer Phil Roush said that he has been working with Robert
Rossman, a CSX
Transportation engineer out of Jacksonville, Fla., on the
company will be doing the design work.
Marysville administrators have said
that once East Fifth Street opens
for traffic, the roadway would need to be
widened to support the high
volume of cars which will most likely access the
Originally, Roush said, CSX only planned to redo the crossing at
the same width of 18 feet which it currently is. Their design plans
since been altered to widen the crossing to 24 feet, in order to
room for traffic.
He said the city's street superintendent plans
to begin preparatory work
by adding a two feet tall berm on each side of the
24 feet wide pavement.
In an Aug. 13 e-mail to Rossman, Roush said the
timetable "is to start the widening work in September. He
arranging for a CSX flagman during the work period."
Marysville officials had to push the issue.
Assistant engineer Brian Palmer
said that he and Roush made sure to
widen the roadway leading up to the
tracks first, so that CSX would have
to design for the wider crossing "if it
"You said 'If,'" Gore said. "You mean 'When.'"
say 'When'," Scott Martin said, owner of Blue Jacket Taxi Service.
said the only reason he came to the meeting was to hear an update
"I understood that it was supposed to open last spring," he
Gore explained that was the case, but once the city was able to
funding for the crossing another timeline was set by those providing
Martin said that if the crossing were opened again, he knows
many would use it.
"It would revitalize the Five Points area," Martin
businesses over there would appreciate the extra
"Your hopes are the same as ours," Gore said.
crossing is such a mess," Martin said. "Especially at 2 p.m."
Officials to update transportation plan for area
By MAC CORDELL
County officials are taking steps to ensure they meet future
state and federal transportation funding.
Federal law now requires the
establishment of a locally developed,
coordinated public transit and human
services transportation plan for
communities to be eligible for certain
federally funded transportation
programs. The plan must be specifically
designed to meet the needs of
the elderly, the disabled and those with low
A steering committee of stakeholders from Union County gathered
to begin the process of creating that plan.
Jim Cesa, of
Community Action, simplified the mission of the group
asking, "Does our
system of today meet our needs of tomorrow?"
Dick Douglas, director of the
Union County Council on Aging added, "if
it doesn't, let's change it to meet
our needs and let's look to the
future at what our needs are going to
Union County has a transportation development plan, completed in
Carla L. Lakatos, of the consulting firm The Lakatos Group, said
County is already ahead of most counties because of the plan.
are going to start from that and see where we go," she said.
mandate requires counties to assess the transportation needs
of the elderly,
the disabled and those with low income; assess available
a strategy to address the unmet needs; and
prioritize implementation of those
strategies with feasibility in mind.
"With the current growth mode Union
County is in, it is a good time to
address transportation in our county,
because we do have transportation
issues in Union County and they are only
going to grow," said Douglas.
Lakatos said because the federal money comes
through the state, the
federal requirements become mandates for the state
dollars as well. She
noted that counties are dealing with "a very short
window" to have their
plans completed. She said initially the state wanted
plans complete by
August, but has realized that is an unreachable
"We are looking closer to the end of the year, but even the end of
year is a short window," Lakatos said.
She added, "we are going to
The federal government requires the plan to be updated every four
State requirements have not been established.
The plan must make
funds available to any agency providing
transportation, regardless of whether
that agency is public, nonprofit
or private. Members of the general public
must also be able to comment
on the plan and be part of its formation.
Lakatos said the Ohio
Department of Transportation has provided a list of
local people and
groups which may want to give input on the plan.
Additionally she said
the county should place a copy of the plan on its Web
Members of the steering committee wanted to see surveys sent to
income residents and a more aggressive approach to making the
plan available to seniors.
"It has got to be where they are,"
said Avanelle Oberlin of Community
and Seasoned Citizens. "A lot of our
consumers don't have access to Web
sites and maybe don't have access to
computers or know how to use computers."
Lakatos asked for specific
suggestions of how to reach the public,
especially those to be targeted by
the service plan.
Group newsletters as well as mobile meals deliveries were
The committee identified several areas of need in Union County
fixed transportation routes, transportation during the nights
weekends, coordination and consolidation of overlapping services
proactive identification of service gaps.
Douglas said UCATS is a
coordination service - an agency that
coordinates and schedules rides from
one point to another point based on
the specific need of the rider. Ohio
Department of Transportation
funding regulations will not allow the
establishment of fixed routes for
a coordination service. ODOT only allows
transit authorities to make
scheduled, established routes. Douglas said with
Union County's need for
those routes, the establishment of a transit
authority needs discussed.
A county cannot have both a transit authority and
a coordination service.
"This is an issue we need to address and sooner
rather than later," said Douglas.
"There is more funding available," he
said. "You get more money, but
there are more requirements. It is more
Lakatos acknowledged the group for its work and said she would
working to compile information for the next steering committee
and to complete tasks assigned by the group. She said she would push
have assessment and interest surveys mailed this week.
"From what I
have heard, you have a really strong basis from which to
Douglas thanked the county commissioners for their support of
process saying, "it isn't cheat, but they realize it is
The group hopes to have public surveys returned and evaluated in
September. Those wishing to complete a survey or to participate in
creation of the plan are encouraged to contact Lakatos at (937)
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
than 1,000 attend Farmer's Market Festival
(Information supplied by the Union
County Convention and Visitor's
An estimated crowd of more than
1,000 people attended the inaugural
Union County Farmer's Market Community
Festival held Saturday on Sixth
Street and in the city parking lots between
Main and Plum streets.
The event featured activities for the entire family.
Local farmers sold
fresh home-grown produce, the Union County Master
demonstrations and answered questions, the Union County
Department sponsored a health walk and cooking demonstrations were
Youths participated in a bike rodeo, milk bottle game, Mr.
garden toss, Big Mac Train and a hand washing activity by
Hospital. Scooby Doo was a hit with the children - some families
from as far away as Johnstown, just to meet Scooby.
entertainment, including Ray Pauken, banjo player, and the Piano
strolled the aisles.
Heritage crafters demonstrated chair caning, broom
making, wool spinning
and leaf castings. Adults and gardeners surrounded Tom
McNutt of WCMH-TV
4 and asked questions.
The event was sponsored by The
Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, the Union
County Convention and Visitors Bureau
and the Union County Farmer's
Market, with active participation from the
Marysville Police Department
and the Union County Health Department.
Fit for a hero
City moving to make portion of Fifth Street "General Beightler
By RYAN HORNS
Marysville's Fifth Street may go back to the year 1969
in order to honor
a legendary native soldier.
The first reading was held
at Thursday night's Marysville City Council
meeting to designate Fifth Street
at Main as "General Beightler Way" and
to declare Sept. 28 as "Major General
Robert S. Beightler Day" in the
city. A ceremony would take place that day at
11 a.m. in downtown Marysville.
Economic development Director Eric
Phillips said that changing the
street name will actually right a wrong.
Years ago a sign existed naming
the same roadway General Beightler Way.
Marysville Journal-Tribune article that ran on Aug. 22, 1969 declares
Marysville City Council resolution to name the same streets after
and honor his legendary service to the armed forces. The
announced there would be a parade and a recognition
program. A follow-up
story on Aug. 25, 1969 told of hundreds of
residents who attended the
Phillips said the sign was eventually removed during the
renovations of the Marysville's downtown streetscape. He hopes
honorary title will return.
"They never officially gave it an honorary
name," Phillips said. "I
think it's a worthwhile endeavor to recognize Gen.
He said he first learned about the achievements of Beightler when
attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the city's future Ohio
"I learned that he was one, if not the most
successful, master National
Guard generals of all time," Phillips
According to the resolution language, Beightler was born in
on March 21, 1892, and graduated from Marysville High School in
Throughout his lifetime, he ended up serving his community, state
country in many ways but was most remembered for his achievements as
Beightler rose in rank to command the 37th Ohio National Guard
Division in World War II. He then became the only National Guard
to lead his division through all of its pre-war training and
operations in World War II. The division fought in the South
Theater, winning battles in New Georgia, Bourgainville and
Philippines. In August 1945, Beightler was promoted to Major General
the Regular Army, one of only two National Guard Generals chosen.
his death in 1978, after succumbing to his ninth heart attack,
buried in Marysville Oakdale Cemetery with full military honors.
the 1969 celebration, Beightler attended and spoke to the crowd
years growing up in Marysville and his military career.
"With you I lived
many of my greatest moments from which I have many of
my fondest memories,"
Beightler said, as reported on Aug. 25, 1969.
He also recalled jobs he had as
a boy, such as being a newspaper
carrier. He worked in the Union County
surveyor's office as a young man,
which eventually led to him starting a
successful career as an engineer.
He was with the Ohio Highway Department
when his National Guard unit was
ordered to duty in 1940. Beightler also
reminisced about his high regard
for Gen. Douglas McArthur who he served
under five times.
Phillips said there are only four Ohio historical markers
County and one will now be in Marysville. He said out of 45
applicants for an historical marker idea, 10 were chosen -
that of Beightler's roadway sign.
He said the entire application
process cost around $2,500 and numerous
local agencies helped donate their
time and money. Eight or nine of
Beightler's relatives are expected to
attend, along with the state
"It's going to be a great
day," Phillips said. "We can recognize one of
Residents of Central Ohio Youth Center help with local school
By CORINNE BIX
Courtney knows first hand that it feels
good to receive school supplies
from the United Way's annual school supply
Courtney, 17, is currently serving a court sentence at The Central
Youth Center (COYC) on Route 4 but she making good use of her time
helping sort school supplies for children who really need them in
"I feel really happy," Courtney said, "I know how it feels
to get school
supplies and I'm happy to help other kids."
activities therapist at COYC, worked with 10-12 youths who
school supplies as a way to earn community service hours.
"Courtney has been
my lead foreman on this project," Hauck said.
This is the first year the COYC
and the United Way have partnered on the
annual school supply drive.
10 years, United Way has been conducting Union County's largest and
comprehensive school supply drive," Dave Bezusko, United Way public
and campaign director said. "Prior to 1998, teachers in
reach into their own pockets to buy items for students
who didn't have a
pencil, paper, or other needed supplies."
The county-wide event involves the
collection of school supplies for a
total of 19 area school buildings.
Aug. 4 United Way volunteers conducted the bulk of this year's school
drive, Bezusko said. "Shopping lists" of needed items were
five shopping centers throughout Union County.
"Shoppers were encouraged to
pick up an item as they went through the
store and dropped off their
donations on their way out," he said. " In
addition, the Marysville
Huntington branch and the Marysville Public
Library collected supplies
through the month of July."
Vikki Jordan, superintendent of COYC, said that
six truckloads of
supplies were delivered to the center and a large part of
gym floor turned into an assembly line to divide necessary
between the various school districts including, Marysville,
North Union and Jonathan Alder.
"These kinds of projects give
the kids a feel for giving back to their
community," Jordan said.
a secure facility therefore any community service hours have to
be done at
the facility which can limit opportunities.
Jordan said if juveniles can get
some or all of their community service
hours met while they are detained at
COYC it becomes one less obstacle
they have to worry about upon their
Hauck said she really enjoys her job as the center's
therapist and working with Jordan who allows for a caring
"I like the kids and I like to bring
unconventional ideas to youth that
may have lost their zest for imagination,"
Together the youths worked a total of about 50 hours on the
a three-day period
"The event was financially sponsored by
the Marysville Association of
Realtors for the second straight year," Bezusko
said. "Their support is
critical because they allow us to purchase items of
need that come up in
short supply through the collection."
supplies will be delivered directly to the schools before the
start of the
school year. The United Way encourages those needing
supplies to contact
their school guidance counselor.
Bezusko said distribution to students is
done privately so that no one
is made to feel awkward or ridiculed by other
Residents raise concerns over
By RYAN HORNS
The proposed Cook property development
brought out several worried
residents who had a lot of questions.
concerned about the impact on the homes," Clark Addition resident
Conrad said at Thursday night's Marysville City Council meeting.
neighborhood is made up of Glen Ellyn, Lombard and Echo drives.
the public hearing on an ordinance to accept the annexation
of 171.531 acres
in Paris Township, known primarily to residents as the
"Cook property," as it
is owned by David E. Cook. The land is located in
the area of Route 4 at
County Home Road and Scott Farms Boulevard. A
plan for the spot calls for a
large retail center, residential areas and
new office space.
concerned neighbors read off their check lists of worries about
development. As a result, council members proposed the Cook family
the Clark residents next week and work through any issues. No
date has been
set for that meeting.
Councilman John Marshall volunteered to help in any way
"We'll be glad to talk with them," owner David Cook said. "We're
willing to communicate."
Several members of Marysville City Council
also urged the residents to
think about the prospect of annexing into the
"It would just make things a whole lot easier," councilman David
Clark resident Bob Muth said one of the biggest problems his
face has to do with the price of annexation. He estimated that it
cost a total of $700,000 for 11 houses to be annexed into
That doesn't include possibly $70-80,000 in city service
costs. Muth said if they are going to consider annexation,
something has to be done about sharing the price tag.
another issue is that if they don't annex the development, it
would turn the
Clark neighborhood into an island of unique zoning in the
city. He said the
legality of that is questionable.
"This could have been avoided if we had
been initially contacted," Muth said.
Marshall said he is concerned more
troubles would arise if the residents
do not annex.
"We need to be all in
or all out," he said.
He wondered specifically about the future if the
residents don't annex.
How would the island be resolved? Would it be one
"But I don't want to tell you how to spend your money," Marshall
Several more residents brought up issues such as drainage affects
that they do not want two existing easements to be used for
One man, who did not offer his name, said that the
issue is not about
trusting the Cook family. He has known them for a long
time and is not
worried about their intentions. He is more concerned with the
of the land being bought by another developer. The original plans
be scrapped for something else entirely. It is that unknown future
has many worried.
Conrad stressed that she would like some type of
buffer to separate the
development with their neighborhood.
concerns for what might be in store for the roads," she added.
has already become an issue because of the new McDonalds and
planned to be built, Conrad said.
"I just kind of drove around town the other
day and I saw more than 40
empty stores," she said. "Maybe we should fill
what we got, instead of
adding more. Is it going to sit there and go downhill
and make an eyesore?"
Clark Addition resident Chuck Day
said he thinks about the repercussions
and their affect on their "way of
"It's a wonderful setting out there," Day said. "It's a great place
to raise kids."
He talked about how people get along and children play in
without the worry of traffic.
"I'd hate to see something like
that change," he said.
In other business discussed:
. Economic Development
Director Eric Phillips said that upcoming
weekends are going to be filled
with events. Saturday a benefit will be
held at the A+ Childcare and Learning
Center on Damascus Road from 10
a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will help raise
medical costs for local
10-year-old Nick Golden who is fighting leukemia.
There will be live
music, games, face painting and food.
Friday, Aug. 17, marks the beginning of the All-Ohio
Balloon Festival as well
as the newest Third Friday event on Court
Street in Marysville.
Kruse honored Rose Penhorwood as Employee of the quarter. He said
managing the business of the city income tax department was
stellar and that
she is a benefit to the city.
Airfield relocation idea grounded
Scott officials politely decline Union County interest
By MAC CORDELL
Scott Airfield authorities thanked Union County officials for their
and politely declined their advances to move the airport out of the
"Its a location issue," Doug Hammon, director of the airport, told
group of representatives from Union County on Thursday.
Airfield, in Columbus, has no room for growth because it has
by residential growth. It has taken criticism recently
from its residential
neighbors and surrounding communities voicing
opposition to expansion and
even to the current level of activity. Union
County officials seized the
opportunity to try to entice airport to
locate to less populated Union
Hammon told representatives from Union County that he appreciated
interest, but said the airport was prepared to deal with a
amount of criticism and had no desire to change locations. He did
to allow Union County Airport personnel to participate in training
Don Scott. He also provided some advice for Union County
Hammon questioned Union County's ability to build a new
facility for the airport.
"One concern about a new airport is where would
you put it," said
Hammon, who helped identify a site for the Logan County
Airport. "I am
not certain where you're going to find land where you can
won't be built up on in 10 years."
He said he believes any land
between Dublin and Marysville would put the
airport surrounded by houses in
the next decade. To avoid that, the
airport would need to be built west of
"To there really becomes too far," Hammon said.
He added that
most of the airport clients are from the Columbus or
"We don't have tenants that are down in Licking County or over
Marysville," Hammon told Union County officials. "People really
want to drive that far, especially corporations."
He did say The
Scotts Company is on the waiting list for hangar space at
Don Scott Airfield,
along with 100 other companies and individuals.
Hammon said the best thing
for Union County might be to improve its
current airport. The longest runway
at the Union County Airport is 4,200
feet long. For larger jets to land,
runways need to be at least 6,000
feet. Development around the airport, along
with surrounding roads make
adding the 1,800 feet difficult.
He asked if
Union County Airport had a master plan filed with the FAA.
there was a plan that called for an additional runway.
They added that Union
County's airport was becoming surrounded by
residential growth and did not
have the traffic to need a new runway.
Hammon said the Federal Aviation
Administration would help build a new
runway, "if you can justify
"Push the FAA," he said, adding they should get the
support, "in writing, that's the only way to get anything
Hammon said of Union County, "that is where the growth is going
hopefully the FAA will want to be ahead of the curve."
Union County officials on their foresight.
"You are doing it right," Hammon
said. "You are thinking now for the future.
"The pressures on your airport
aren't going to get less."
Hammon said he did not consider Union County
airport as competition.
"If your airport grows, it will not be because
someone here wants to go
out there, it will be because there is a need
there," Hammon said.
He added that Union County Airport needed to bring
services, expected by
corporations from their airport, along with the
"You can't leave the services aside and think the facilities alone
bring them," Hammon said.
Union County Commissioner Gary Lee called
the meeting, "helpful."
"We would like to keep an open dialog in the years to
come," Lee told
the Don Scott officials.
He asked them to keep Union
County in mind, if they do decide to
relocate in the future.
definitely," Hammon said, reiterating his offer to allow Union
officials to participate in training and security exercises at Don Scott
"We can help if there are ever any questions," Hammon said.
North Lewisburg to sue Woodstock
By CORINNE BIX
The North Lewisburg
Village Council voted to proceed with litigation
against Woodstock for
failure to pay for wastewater treatment services
the past year.
members of council unanimously agreed to file the lawsuit after an
session to discuss the matter at Tuesday night's regular
Council member Steve Wilson was not in attendance.
The village and Woodstock
have an agreement for water treatment services.
"There is a dispute
regarding the interpretation of the intermunicipal
administrator Barry First said. "We have attempted
to negotiate and resolve
the issue ourselves but no progress is really being made."
will employ the law firm of Albers and Albers of Columbus
in environmental issues.
"It's time to motivate," First said.
The case is
expected to go before the Champaign County Common Pleas
Court in the coming
In addition, council discussed the pending retirement of First
about Nov. 1.
Andy Yoder, water and sewer superintendent, was appointed as
village administrator upon First's retirement.
Yoder will be paid
$39,000 a year as village administrator. He is
currently paid $35,000 as
The village has hired Jennifer Ganson to replace Yoder at a
salary of $30,000.
Ganson is currently completing the necessary licensure
to run both the
water plant and the wastewater treatment plants. She is
working under Yoder as the operator-in-traning while Yoder is
First to make for a easier transition later this fall.
worked for the village for 30 years as of October of this year.
also voted to bill the Northeast Champaign County Fire District
its 2007 rent.
Council passed the motion four to two to invoice the NECCFD
Council members Steve Wilson and Curtis Burton voted no.
NECCFD currently operates out of the village municipal building and
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 contract expired.
Village council also voted to gradually
increase the annual rent to
$25,000 by 2008 which averages out to $5 per
square foot of space used.
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
Last November, council agreed to sell the village municipal
the NECCFD for the appraised value of $300,000. However, the
it wasn't fiscally possible to purchase the building
In April, the NECCFD said they wouldn't pay rent until an
agreement was reached between the two entities.
In May, the
NECCFD asked if council would be open to reviewing a
for the municipal building upon which council agreed.
The village has not
yet received a lease/purchase proposal and the
NECCFD has not paid any rent
Mayor Dick Willis and First said that they wouldn't recommend
lease/purchase because it would unfairly tax village residents,
funds would have to be borrowed with interest to build another
North Lewisburg participates along with Woodstock,
Rush Township and
Wayne Township in the NECCFD, which is a tax entity
Mayor Willis asked council to consider eliminating the income
given to residents who pay income tax in another
If the income tax credit was removed the village could collect
additional $50,000 in income tax funds.
Wilson said before he would
consider eliminating the credit the village
would have to undergo a cost
reduction analysis to see if funds could be
cut in other areas.
village still plans to hold a public hearing to discuss implementing
water utility fee.
The fee would be added onto resident water bills at a rate
of $1 to $2
per month, with all money generated to be kept in a storm water
fund intended to head off storm water runoff problems.
such a program would be pre-hazardous in that a system and
funding would be
in place to help alleviate future problems due to storm water.
creates storm water, everyone is part of the problem" First said.
along with council member Gwen Beech, is expected to research
utility programs in neighboring municipalities in the coming weeks.
other action, council:
.Heard Deputy Glenn Kemp give the Champaign County
Sheriff's report for
the month of July. It included 13 traffic citations,
issued for traffic violations, 20 incident reports, 35 cases
assistance given to citizens, six arrests made, six civil and
papers served, 67 follow-up investigations completed, two open
four instances of juvenile contact and one civic
.Authorized RITA to a file small claims hearing to collect
approximately $40,000 in resident unpaid taxes.
.Decided the village
will hold a contest to create a village slogan to
appear on the Web-site www.nlewisburg.com. The winner will be
at the Sept. 4 regular council meeting and receive a gift
All entries should be brought to the municipal building and
"Attention: Jason Keeran."
.Heard the Multi-Use Path celebration
and potluck is scheduled Saturday at 11 a.m.
.Heard The Random Acts of
Kindness Community event raised $835 for
Children's Hospital Oncology
Department and collected supplies and pop
tabs for the Ronald McDonald
County developing new employee handbook
County employees will soon have a new set of guidelines to govern
Union County elected officials and department heads got a
look Monday at
the first portion of a revised personnel manual.
commissioners said they wanted to make sure county leaders and
a say in the guideline creation process.
"That is why we involved the office
holders, so it is not just the
commissioners dictating policy," said
commissioner Charles Hall. "It is
a coordination of all the office holders.
We have extremely good
relationships in this county and this is how we keep
them that way, by
working together and sharing ideas."
A recent set of
changes in the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Civil
Service required changes
in the personnel manual. Recent rulings by the
Internal Revenue Service
regarding personal use of county property also
needed to be written into the
manual. Since the personnel handbook had
not been reviewed or really revised
since 2000, county officials decided
this would be a good
County officials were presented with the first four chapters of
manual for their review.
John Krock, of Clemans Nelson and Associates
Inc., the human resources
consulting company hired by the county, said the
entire manual is
complete but was unavailable due to an office issue. He said
complete the copies and have them delivered to county officials
Wednesday. He asked county officials to read the manual and come to
next meeting with revision suggestions.
Krock said when the manual was
revised in 2000, it was a committee
representing county office holders and
departments that did the majority
of the work before bringing the revised
book to the entire staff.
He said the committee meetings, in addition to
streamlining the process,
can act as a quasi-training session.
"There is a
lot of questions that come up, but there may be a certain
policy that comes
up that people don't fully understand," Krock said.
"So we take time to go
over them. That way, when we are done, we have
not only a fully completed
document, but also one that everybody
understands who was at the
He said those at the meetings can relay the information to staff
Krock said it is important to understand the handbook
will need to be
modified slightly for each county department, based on the
function of that specific office.
"The commissioners understand
the policy manual can't be the same for
every office," said Krock,
specifically noting office hours, call-ins and overtime.
Lee said the commissioners hope to have the new policy
manual in place within
60 days. Krock said the review process can be
tedious, but hopes it will move
quicker than 2000, when the manual need
more substantial work.
he uses Union County's cooperation as an example for
"There are very few other counties where 10 or 12 or 14
officials can get together and agree on anything, let alone a
manual," Krock said
Engineer says area bridges are
By MAC CORDELL
Despite some need for repair, Union County bridges
remain safe, Engineer
Steve Stolte informed county officials at Monday's
staff meeting of
elected officials and department heads.
Commissioner Gary Lee called it "great" news.
"I am not afraid to drive over
any one of them," Stolte said of the
county bridges. "You shouldn't be
either, as long as you obey the posted load limit."
Those posted load
limits are not as drastic in Union County as they are
counties. Stolte said Union County has 321 total bridges
- 18 of them have
load limits. All the county bridges can support a
loaded school bus or fire
equipment. Commissioner Gary Lee said that is
not the case in many
Lee said county officials had been working to address
even before the collapse of the bridge in Minnesota.
do have some bridges that need repaired and replaced," Stolte
Commissioners said the needed repairs are hopefully on the way.
in Union County have a tradition of maintaining our bridges and our
Lee said. "I think it is our duty as commissioners and Steve
Stolte's duty as
engineer to try our very best to maintain that kind of a standard."
past, county officials have tried to include two or three bridge
replacements in the budget for each year. Several years ago,
in a response to
rising costs throughout the county, commissioners
decreased the engineer's
office budget by $450,000 so they could better
fund other departments. The
funds had been used by the engineer for
bridge and road repairs in the
Since the reduction in funding, the engineer's office has reduced
number of bridge projects it can work on. Lee said there are six
projects planned for the next five years.
"Some of the projects
will involve total replacements," Lee said. "If it
can be rehabbed, they will
Adding to the financial strain will be decreased opportunities
funding assistance from the state. Lee explained that in the past,
County officials have funded about 80 percent of individual
projects using federal money. Issue II dollars from the state have
used to fund the remaining 20 percent of the project.
"It appears at
this time that none of these bridges will qualify for
state funding," Lee
He added that there is no guarantee they will qualify for federal
but it appears they will.
Lee said county officials have not
determined a cost for the bridge projects.
Marysville levy defeated
By KARLYN BYERS
Voters in the Marysville Exempted
Village School District defeated a
special ballot issue Tuesday night, voting
2,305 to 1,263 against the
4.75-mill, five-year operating levy proposed by
the school board,
according to unofficial Union County Board of Election
Defeated by a 64.6 to 34.4 percent margin, the issue passed in two
the city's 25 precincts.
"It was a very disappointing night for the
Superintendent Larry Zimmerman responded in an e-mail
message to the
Journal-Tribune this morning.
"Growth has been a challenge
for us and we tried to present that to our
voters. We received no new state
funding over the past two years, yet
gained 300 new students. We also had to
deal with the 2005 tax code
change passed by the state legislature and this
community lost $300
million dollars in tax base when tax on equipment,
inventory was eliminated."
That growth and the tax code
change really hurt this community and
school district," Zimmerman continued.
"With the schools expecting even
more kids when the school doors open in a
couple of weeks due to
community growth and with little or no additional
state funding expected
again to offset the increased enrollment, I am very,
Zimmerman said residential growth is hard on school
districts because it
never pays for itself.
"We'll work to do the best we
can for kids, but clearly we will have to
make some cuts in program(s), in
transportation and also charge higher
fees because we have no choice but to
balance our budget."
Also, as a public school, he said, Marysville must
arrives at the school doorway.
"That is where growth
really hurts because without additional state aid
for those kids we have to
turn to the public. Also, we are mandated by
law to provide all types of
special programming for kids with special
needs. Providing those needs is one
of our fastest growing costs. We
have some kids who cost the district $40,000
each to educate; many
others well over $20,000," Zimmerman said in his e-mail
District voters last passed a new operating levy in August 2003.
five-year levy was for 5 mills. Since then, voters approved a
28-year bond issue in August 2005 and renewed a five-year,
operating levy, according to information from the board of
Zimmerman said there will be a recommendation to place the levy on
"If the levy isn't passed in November, it will be
2009 before any
additional funding can be realized. With our community's
and the opening of the additional buildings due to growth,
will look very different and have less opportunities without
funds," he said.
The school board will hold a special meeting
Aug. 13 at 5 p.m. "for the
purpose of considering the employment, discipline
and/or dismissal of a
public employee, as provided in Section 121.22 of the
The meeting was scheduled before Tuesday's levy
County to put sales tax on Nov. ballot
By MAC CORDELL
Union County Commissioners announced Monday that they will be
one-quarter percent sales tax on the ballot in November.
They announced the
increased sales tax would generated anticipated
revenue between $1.7 and $1.9
million per year, to be used equally for
senior citizens in the county and
for the engineer's office. The
commissioners are expected to vote on the
issue next week, formally
placing it on the ballot.
The levy would run for
five years and would need public approval for renewal.
"It is a big thing,
but it really is a maintenance issue," said Union
County Commissioner Gary
Currently, sales tax in Union County is at 6.5 percent. If the
passes, the tax would increase to 6.75 percent, bringing it even
Franklin, Delaware and Logan counties.
On a $100 taxable purchase,
the increased tax would cost the consumer
$0.25. On a $20,000 purchase, it
would cost the consumer $50.
Lee said that as the city of Marysville has
grown, the county has lost
some income because of the city's residential tax
incentive programs. As
money has been lost and costs in other departments
have gone up, money
has been taken from the engineer's budget, Lee said. He
rising fuel costs have meant the engineer has lost about 40
his buying power in just three years.
"We are just going to get
the engineer's office back to where it should
be three years ago," Lee
Union County Commissioner Tom McCarthy added, "the need to improve
road system in a growing community cannot be funded entirely from
a gasoline tax."
Dick Douglas, director of Union County Senior Services,
said 66 of
Ohio's 88 counties already have a levy to fund senior
For 2007, the commissioners provided $265,000 to Union County
Services to fund both the office operations and the provided
"The commissioners have agreed to continue funding the
budget and pledged that all of the funds that come in through the
levy, that are designated for senior services will go to
providing services," Douglas said.
He specifically mentioned home
health care, respite care, transportation
and mobile meals as senior programs
that need funded. Douglas said the
mobile meals program is growing faster
than the hospital can afford to fund it.
"If that program is to continue
and increase, there will have to be
another revenue source found," Douglas
In 2005 county voters turned down a property tax request to help
senior citizen programs.
"That was a property tax," Douglas said. "I
am very optimistic this time
for several reasons, but mainly because it is a
Future plans are uncertain if the levy is voted down.
doesn't pass, I am not sure what will happen," Douglas said. "I
what the commissioners will decide to do, but I know I don't
want to think
He said seniors in the county have been "overwhelmingly
the proposed levy. That was not the case with the 2005
which failed 52 percent to 48 percent.
The commissioners are
also convinced the sales tax is better than the property tax.
tax is a fairer tax and a more equal tax to raise these
funds," Union County
Commissioner Charles Hall said. "It doesn't just
hit the property owners,
everyone pays. Even those outside the county
will be paying on it."
state does charge a fee to administrate the sales tax.
The commissioners said
the county auditor has assured them that money
dedicated to this levy can be
broken out of the sales tax collected by
the county already.
we get a lot is 'How do we know it is going to be used for
McCarthy. "Well it can't be used for anything else."
Under the Ohio Revised
Code, the county commissioners have the option of
simply imposing additional
sales tax of up to a half of one percent.
"Our pledge has always been that we
do not wish to enact any tax that
the voters do not have the opportunity to
vote on," Hall said.
Additionally he noted the commissioners do not want to
use their entire
tax ability. He said they want to be able to reserve the
quarter percent for a possible emergency.
"We need to have a
little protection here," said Hall. "Something could
come down the road and
cause us real heartburn and we might need that protection.
commissioners said they want to make certain voters understand the
the levy's passage.
"You are going to see a lot more visible campaign,"
Chasing the wind
Editor's note: Several Journal-Tribune
staff members accompanied Bob
Scobee and Trent Bishop on a recent balloon
flight. Some staffers rode
in the balloon while other served on the chase
crew. Corinne Bix
documented the event. Scobee's balloon and several others
will appear at
the Union County Airport for the 2007 All Ohio Balloon
Friday, Aug. 17 and Saturday, Aug. 18.
I think hot air balloons are cool. I liken spotting one to finding
shiny penny heads up smack dab in my path or a perfect rainbow after
a spring rain.
When we moved to town in 1999, we had all of our friends
and family over
the third weekend in August for a barbecue.
New to the
area, we were unaware of the All Ohio Balloon Rally, and we
surprised to see balloons dotting the evening sky as our
guests enjoyed the
I recently had the opportunity to get up close and personal with
balloon as I was given the chance to be an official balloon chaser.
arrived at the Union County Airport about 6:15 p.m. for a scheduled
at 6:30 p.m. I didn't know what to expect. I had heard stories
actual balloon preparation time was quite lengthy.
Just the opposite proved
to be true. Bob Scobee, owner and operator of
Fly Ohio Ballooning, and his
crew worked diligently and expertly getting
the balloon ready to
Within minutes, the four by six-foot basket had been loaded off the
of the company's 15-passenger van, the balloon unfurled and the
safely attached. A high powered fan was hard at work blowing cold air
fill the balloon envelope as the van served as an anchor during the
The passengers, including Bob Chapman, owner of Bob Chapman
Behrens, general manager of the Marysville Journal-Tribune and
Dundr, Journal-Tribune photographer, were asked to sign waivers
insurance purposes and briefed on their ride.
Trent Bishop, Scobee's
colleague, was the pilot. After everyone was
loaded up and shown where to
stand and hold on, the burners were fired
and the balloon started its
Together, the two propane burners fire a total of 32 million
Chapman commented that an average home furnace has a capacity of
100,000 BTUs which equates to less than 1 percent of the
Chapman said he was looking forward to what would be his
balloon ride. His first ride had taken place at an All Ohio
Rally in the early 1990s, and he most recently had the opportunity
take a ride in Sedona, Ariz.
His hope was to get some great photographs
and move more than the 200
feet that he traveled on his Arizona ride, which
took place on a very still day.
Scobee predicted that the wind would take
the flight to the south.
During the 20 minutes that it took to get the
balloon safely off the
ground, the wind direction had changed several times
so Scobee couldn't
exactly pinpoint the balloon's destination.
balloon was aloft, we loaded into the van and headed off like
little kids on
an exciting mission.
Scobee drove while colleague Jim Cusick rode shotgun. I
rode in the back
with Marie Woodford, Journal-Tribune advertising manager,
King, Journal-Tribune graphic designer and photographer.
headed south on Fifth Street through town, Scobee's 17 years and
of experience piloting balloons gave him an idea of where
the balloon was
"I know essentially where it's headed," Scobee said. "My intention is
get ahead of them."
From Fifth Street, we took a left onto Weaver Road,
at which point the
three novice passengers almost said in unison "Where did
"It's right behind us," Scobee said.
We all turned together as
the black and white Swan Cleaner's balloon
appeared in the rear window.
took Weaver Road to Scottslawn and followed it north to Route 736.
pulled over halfway between St. John's Lutheran Church and Route
38 to allow
us to watch from the side of the road.
King, in pursuit of a great picture,
risked poison ivy and chiggers as
she lay down in the ditch to get the
Before we knew it we were off again, this time taking a left on
and left on Rausch Road where we made another quick stop.
balloon appeared to be high in the sky, and I inquired about the
Scobee radioed to Bishop for the coordinates.
It was 30 minutes
into the ride and the travelers were at 1,400 feet AGL
Little did I know their trip was almost over as we got back into the
and headed back to Route 38 and pulled into the driveway of Roger
and Lisa Nichols.
Woodford explained that she knew the family and offered
to make our
surprise visit known.
She hardly had time to knock on the door
before the balloon had been
calmly landed on what appeared to be a perfect
landing strip between two
fields of crops on the Nichols' property.
Nichols, who was mowing at the time, took the opportunity to
Nichols told us later that this was not the first time he
had hosted a balloon landing.
Scobee said land/owner relations are vital
to ballooning. Balloonists
are very grateful for the hospitality shown to
them when looking for a
good place to land.
"We always try to avoid crops
and livestock," Scobee said.
Scobee said he enters the names of all
landowners into a drawing for a
free balloon ride at the end of each
When the balloon landed and was re-tethered to the van the comments
the passengers included "Very fun" and "Very cool."
Behrens said he
expected more of a roller-coaster effect in the air but
was happy to find
that while in the basket there is no sense of
movement, and it feels as if
the world beneath you is the only thing
"You cannot get motion
sickness or sea sick in a balloon," Scobee added.
Dundr got aerial shots
of the Union County Airport and a photo of the
shadow cast on the ground by
the towering 105,000 cubic foot balloon.
Just as quick as the balloon went
up, the balloon came down. Scobee and
Bishop used a tool called a "squeezer"
to push all the air out of the balloon.
The squeezer is a large smooth
steel loop that can be brought down the
length of the envelope to gently
release any remaining air.
About 15 minutes after landing, we were headed
back to the airport to
pick up our cars.
As we rode to the airport,
Behrens, Dundr and Chapman seemed calm and
couldn't help but smile. Despite
only traveling four miles in 45
minutes, they seemed relaxed by the complete
silence only experienced
2,000 feet above the earth.
As Scobee said, it's
not the distance but the journey that matters.
I certainly enjoyed the
journey, learning more about a 250-year-old
pastime that always brings an
unexpected smile to my face.
For more information on Fly Ohio Ballooning
visit the Web site
www.flyohioballooning.com or call
Sky Bank to close
Merger means local Huntington location
will serve customers
By MAC CORDELL
The Sky Bank in Marysville will be
The closure is the result of a corporate merger of Sky Bank
Columbus-based Huntington Bank.
"Customers are being notified that the
Marysville branch of Sky, at 1055
W. Fifth Street, will be consolidated on
Sept. 21 with the Huntington
Branch on the same street," said Maureen Brown,
a Huntington Bank spokesman.
Officials from both banks are working to ease
the switch for account holders.
"Merger integration efforts are proceeding
well," wrote Marty Adams,
former Sky Financial chief executive and newly
president and chief operating officer. "Assuring a
smooth transition for
all Sky Bank customers is our highest
Accounts for the two banks are similar and Brown said she does not
customers will even notice the change, beyond the name and
"We do not anticipate any change in service for
customers," said Brown.
"We think this consolidation will be seamless."
is uncertain what will happen to the building, but employees of the
Bank will have jobs with Huntington.
"We also welcome the former Sky
Financial associates to the Huntington
family and are looking forward to
their continued local leadership," Adams wrote.
Marysville Sky Bank Branch
Manager Ellen Pond could not be reached for
comment, but a local customer
service associate confirmed employees will
move from that location to the
Huntington Bank Location beginning Sept. 24.
Brown did note there would be
at least one benefit of the merger for
former Sky Bank customers.
Huntington branch will be open longer hours during the week," Brown
"There is going to be an extra hour during the day for Sky
customers to go to
She said the Sky Bank is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Huntington
open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend hours are the same for both
Sky Bank customers will also be able to access Huntington ATMs free
A company Web site indicated Sky and Huntington will work to
Bank direct deposit accounts.
"We are working on ways to
convert this process automatically for you
once the merger is completed,"
read the Web site.
The site also informs Sky Bank customers that general
likely be coming, though what those changes are is still
"We will provide you with information well in advance of any
the site reported. "Please know that we will be working very hard
mitigate any inconveniences. We also want to provide additional
and value-added services so that you continue to consider us your
According to Huntington Bank officials, the merger makes
24th largest U.S.-based bank, with assets over $50
"This merger positions Huntington as a more formidable competitor in
markets," Thomas E. Hoaglin, chairman and chief executive officer
in an announcement.
Under terms of the merger agreement, Sky Bank
shareholders at the close
of trading June 29, are entitled to receive 1.098
shares of Huntington
Bank stock, plus cash of $3.023 for each share of Sky
Sky Financial Group is headquartered in Bowling Green and Sky Bank
headquartered in Salineville
From Home Depot to eBay
From J-T staff reports
A former Marysville Home
Depot employee was sentenced Friday for
stealing thousands of dollars in
store merchandise and selling it on eBay.
Christopher H. Manz, 27, of 525
Three Oaks Drive, was spared time in
prison, but was ordered to pay $4,586.68
in restitution to Home Depot.
He also was fined $1,000, ordered to pay court
costs and supervision
fees, placed on probation for three years, and he must
of hours of community service.
Defense Attorney George
Wolfe argued that the restitution number was too
high. He said law
enforcement officials counted several items twice.
Wolfe said the actual
amount taken totaled $3,299.68.
Union County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard
E. Parrott told Wolfe he
was going to order restitution in the full amount.
The judge told the
defendant to prove the lower amount to his probation
"If he tells me it is correct and just to lower that, I am going to
ahead and adjust it on his say so," Parrott said.
"We are not going to
take anything out of their pocket that they don't
deserve," Parrott added,
regarding defendant restitution. "On the other
side of that, we don't want a
The judge said prison was not ordered because the defendant has
criminal history. Parrott also explained that if he failed to meet
of the conditions of his probation, which include the payments,
would be sent to the penitentiary.
"I know what I did was wrong and I
am sorry," Manz said.
Parrott said actions speak louder than words.
tired of people coming in and saying they are sorry and then when
I ask them
how much money they have paid in restitution to the victim
and they say,
'nothing,'" Parrott said. "I get pretty tired of it. I
Manz said he had the money, but did not know who to pay.
July 20, Manz admitted to stealing several Dyson vacuum cleaners and
tools. He sold the items on eBay.
He pleaded guilty to theft and possession
of criminal tools, both
felonies of the fifth degree. He could have received
a sentence of as
many as 24 months in prison.
In exchange for the guilty
plea, prosecutors dropped a felony charge of
According to court documents the crimes were committed between May
2006 and Nov. 11, 2006.
"The Loss Prevention Department at Home Depot
discovered that the
shipping papers and on-hand merchandise did not match up
inventory," court files state.
An investigation began and was
concluded with "Manz admitting to helping
himself to merchandise while
working the night shift in the receiving
department," according to court
Citizen calls for officials to quit
By RYAN HORNS
Liberty Township man is looking for some answers in what he claims
violations of Ohio Sunshine Laws and township trustees not doing
Resident David Basil said he is prepared to file a petition
township officials be removed from office.
Assistant Prosecutor Rick Roger is currently looking into
the issue and is
seeking an opinion from the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
"If you can't
get the job done, you need to step aside," Basil said to
zoning inspector Don
Russell at the trustee's regular monthly meeting Monday night.
have a problem," Russell said, handing him a form letter. "Fill
that out and
file a complaint. This is the process."
Basil said he has been trying to get
trustees to take care of what he
calls nuisance properties in the township.
He said he has taken photos
for months to document run-down homes, tall grass
and other zoning
violations, but claims township officials have done
He said the current township officials have lived here their whole
and don't want to "honk off" their friends and neighbors who are
violation of zoning laws.
Basil also said he takes issue with a
township meeting on July 2, which
he claims was held without proper public
notification. He requested a
copy of the meeting recording, but was denied.
The next day he learned
that the tape was destroyed.
"I think the people
of this township should be able to hear what is on
those tapes," Basil said.
"I made a request for the tape and I've been
told that it is not for public
Liberty Township trustees said that the meeting was posted on
bulletin board outside of the township hall.
"How am I to be
reasonably notified under the Ohio Sunshine Laws?" Basil
said. "Just sticking
it on a board doesn't tell everybody."
He wondered why trustees did not post
the meeting on its Web site and
why they do not advertise meetings in the
During a July 2 meeting Basil said trustees discussed doing
several roads. But he said the meeting minutes do not accurately
roads they discussed.
"I find it interesting that out of the seven
roads you approved, two of
which (some of your members) live on," Basil
"That is your opinion," trustee chair Randy Trapp said. "Are you
"You're my public official and I find it suspect,"
Trustee Karen Johnson told Basil that there is just a difference
opinion. On July 2 trustees discussed repairs on numerous roadways,
order to take care of problems across the entire township. But the
County engineer's office outlined all of the roads for repairs, and
are only going by his recommendation. She said no vote was held
Johnson added that with just 11 miles of township roads, the
good a township trustee may live on one.
Basil said that tape
is public record and should not have been
destroyed. It should be made
available to the public.
"My understanding is that . (the recordings) are
strictly for note
taking," Roger said. "But there appears to be some gray
He has contacted the Ohio Attorney General for a final opinion on
"So when we get that opinion," Roger said, "I'll let you
Liberty Township clerk David Thornton said he personally owns the
recorder used to document the meeting and is only using it to help
to write the actual minutes.
"Your minutes have to reflect what was
discussed," Roger said. "But that
doesn't mean that has to be word for
Basil said the township should just buy a tape recorder and some
and make the recordings available to the public.
"It's not a big
expenditure," he said.
Until the issue is resolved, Basil requested that
trustees hold the
tapes and do not erase them. He said the Ohio Sunshine Laws
no matter what type of mixed media the meetings are documented
they are still subject to disclosure under the Public Records
Thornton said Basil is welcome to bring his own recorder and tape
At one point township assistant zoning official Randy
Johnson walked out.
"I've got better things to do in life then listen to
this," he said.
Residents reminded to lock doors and windows
J-T staff reports
Marysville Police Department would like residents to double
garage doors and windows to make sure they are locked before
work and before going to bed.
Police Chief Floyd Golden said
Monday morning that there have been many
recent incidents of thieves breaking
into garages to steal cars and
items inside cars. He said about 20 attempted
theft incidents were
reported over the weekend.
Golden said that often
garages are an easy way for criminals to attempt
to gain access inside homes
or steal items without being noticed from
the street. He said if any
residents witness suspicious activities in
their neighborhoods, they should
contact local authorities.
Since Sunday night a car has been stolen from a
garage on Boerger Road,
a dirt bike was stolen from a garage on North Maple
Street and bikes
were stolen from a property on Meadowlark Lane. In addition,
was take out of a car on Chestnut Street, a wallet was stolen from
on Caddie Drive, CDs and more were taken from a car on Cinnamon
an Ipod was taken from a car on Mill Road and someone smashed out
window of a car on Charles Lane and stole a book bag.
Danger Brothers: 26 years and counting
Will be featured act at All Ohio
By CORINNE BIX
Not many bands can boast more than 25
years playing together but The
Danger Brothers are going on year 26 and
things couldn't be better.
The Danger Brothers have been rocking all over the
state of Ohio since
the early 80s and they will be center stage on Saturday,
Aug. 18 at the
All Ohio Balloon Festival at the Union County Airport.
more we play the more we love it," Tommy Smith, drummer/vocals, said.
band started after members Smith and Dave Hessler,
living in Los Angeles and decided to move back
home to Ohio in 1978.
pair had previously worked together in an all-original trio band but
they wanted to return home to their buckeye roots.
"We just wanted to go out,
have fun and play rock and roll," Smith said.
The Danger Brothers were
born after bandmates Mike Thompson, lead
vocals/guitar, Bill Bendler,
organ/trombone/vocals and Tom Beougher,
bass/vocals joined the
"Little did we know when we started that the group would become
machine that it is today," Smith explained.
That machine includes
close to 60 live shows statewide per year, a road
crew, and 100,000
The group has played Heiny Gate after all the Ohio State home
games at the Holiday Inn on the Lane since its start in 1983.
Danger Brothers are credited with giving the largest tailgating
springboard that it needed to grow from 500 people to around
"We've met so many great people over the years," Smith
The cover band works hard to put its own personal stamp on its more
500 song play list.
"We try to pump it up and it's so much fun to
pull the crowd into the
show," Smith said, "The live moment is so
Smith said he and his bandmates attribute their quarter century
to a combined passion for rock 'n' roll and the importance
The group practices regularly year round with its busy
season from May
The guys are all in their 50s and have
families and children ranging in
age from pre-school to college
The group most recently played Benny's Pizza on July 13. Smith
group is looking forward to returning to Marysville for the
Smith said what the group has become is beyond what any
of he and his
fellow bandmates imagined.
The group has several original
songs in addition to its cover song play
list. For more information about the
band check out their website at
Man dies from injuries sustained
From J-T staff reports
A young Plain City man died as a result of
injuries sustained in a crash
in Darby Township.
The Marysville Post of
the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported this
morning that crash victim David
L. Klump, 21, died at Grant Medical
Center in Columbus Friday at 11:23
At 2:57 a.m. Friday morning, Klump was traveling northeast on Hawn
in a Ford sedan, when he lost control and went off the right side of
roadway. He reportedly overcorrected and went back off the left side
the road and struck a tree.
Patrol reports state that Klump was
partially ejected from the car after
hitting the tree and was not wearing a
seat belt. He was taken to Grant
Medical Center, where he was initially
listed in critical condition.
The crash currently remains under
Offender gets four additional years in prison
By MAC CORDELL
A local man,
already serving a 34-month prison sentence, will be
spending additional time
Cordell J. Hicks, 20, was sentenced Friday to four years in
was convicted July 11 of one count of gross sexual imposition, a
of the third degree, and one count of corrupting another with drugs,
felony of the fourth degree.
The jury acquitted Hicks of a second count
of gross sexual imposition.
Moments before his trial began, Hicks pleaded
guilty to four counts of
unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, all felonies
of the fourth degree.
Hicks is currently serving a 34-month sentence in
prison for convictions
earlier this year on charges of theft, receiving
stolen property and
tampering with evidence.
Prior to the sentencing,
Union County Court of Common Pleas Judge
Richard Parrott held a sexual
offender hearing. A new law went into
effect July 1, a portion of which will
not be effective until Jan. 1. In
addition to calling for different
classification of sexual offenders,
the new law has new reporting
requirements for those offenders.
"Quite frankly, I think the new law is
going to be found
unconstitutional," Parrot said.
"I am thinking that I am
going to protect myself and do it both ways,"
Parrott said of the
classification differences between the old law and
the new law. "I don't see
any way around that."
Parrott classified Hicks a sexually oriented offender
under the old law
and a tier II offender under the new law.
oriented offenders must register with the sheriff's office in
their county of
residence, as well as any county they work or go to
school in, once a year
for 10 years.
Tier II sex offenders are required to register every six months
years and must appear in person to verify their address and
registry information and for update of the required photo.
made certain both the defendant and his attorney understood the
"I don't want down the line in the future, someone to prosecute
because you didn't think you had to report and you do," the judge
During the sentencing phase, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Terry
explained that Hicks has been convicted of having sex with at
three girls, age 13 or under.
"Obviously, all of the juvenile
victims lives have been drastically
impacted permanently," Hord said.
said one of the victims has moved to a different state, "basically it
get her away from this defendant."
Defense attorney Kerry Donahue said his
client has had some physical
developmental issues and did not hit puberty
until late. Donahue said
his client looked up to his brother, who was two
years younger, but more
"He may be 20 years old now, 18
and 19 when this happened, but
physically, he is much younger than that,"
The defense attorney said that because of his physical
his convictions for sexual activity with teen and preteen
time in prison, "is going to be hard to do."
acknowledged that his client had made, "some really, really
decisions," but added, "I think the court should look at this
a 35-year-old teacher with a 13- or 14-year-old girl."
The attorney said he
doubted his client would continue to offend later
think he fits that profile," Donahue said.
Hicks asked the judge for
"I thought life was have fun, do what you want, whatever and I
have time when I was older to make up for my mistakes," Hicks said.
didn't realize I was playing with my life."
He added that he is trying
to better himself, enrolling in college and
other classes through the
Hicks continued to deny the offenses the jury convicted him
Before imposing the additional four years, Parrott said he took
defendant's age into consideration. He later said Hicks will still be
young man when he is released.
"I think if he is going to be
rehabilitated, I think he needs another
chance, but it isn't going to be
Donahue asked if his client could be enrolled in a prison boot
would teach military-style discipline.
Parrott said no. The
judge said the prisons are extremely overpopulated
and he feared the
department of rehabilitation and corrections would
release him early if any
type of program was allowed.
"I am not going to give the department the
opportunity to kick him out
early and him not serve the days I've given
In December of last year, Hicks was convicted of misdemeanor
imposition with a 14-year-old girl.
The charges Hicks pleaded
guilty to stemmed from a March 2006 incident
involving Hicks and a
13-year-old girl which occurred in Marysville.
The case that went to trial
began after a teacher at the Marysville
Middle School took a note from a
friend of the victim. In the note, the
victim, who was 12 at the time,
detailed events that had happened at a
local motel in January 2006.
trial, the victim testified that on that day she had stolen $100 from
mother. She said she gave the money to Hicks to pay for a room at
where the couple and several others spent the night. The girl
that once at the motel, she and Hicks engaged in several
She also testified that Hicks left at some point to purchase
When he returned, the group smoked the newly purchased
The defendant, 18 at the time of the offense, chose not to take
Following the verdict, which took five hours over two days for
six-man, six-woman jury to reach, Parrott said he was going to
sentencing. The judge said it is customary for him to
defendants immediately following a guilty verdict, but wanted to
sure he was in compliance with the new sexual offender law.
said he requested forms for the new requirements in June. When
he had not
received them at the start of the trial, he called the Ohio
General's Office and learned the forms had not been mailed.
Marysville's newest school, Northwood Elementary, is ready to
the district for 80 year
By KARLYN BYERS
A school built to last
80 years is set to be previewed by the community
Sunday, as Marysville School
District opens the doors of its newest elementary.
"We built a school for
80 years," said Northwood Elementary Principal
Trent Bowers as he conducted a
tour of the district's newest facility
for the Journal-Tribune.
is the third school Bowers has opened. He was first principal
Intermediate and then at Navin Elementary.
"It's really an honor to do that,"
Bowers will continue principal duties at Navin, splitting his time
Northwood. The schools are located just a few miles from each
"I think it makes sense," Bowers said.
He added that 60 or 70
pupils will be coming from Navin Elementary to
Northwood as a result of the
district's recent redistricting. Bowers
knows these pupils and is familiar
with their families.
Many teachers also will be moving into the new facility
from Navin, and
art, music and physical education instructors, as well as the
psychologist, speech pathologist, and counseling and nursing staff,
will be shared.
"We have a working relationship," he said.
was built on 14.7 acres donated to the district by Dominion
builder whose houses surround the site. It is located on the
north end of
Mill Valley and next to the district's Creekview
Intermediate School and
offers 69,446 square feet of space. The total
cost of the project, including
furniture, technology and all equipment,
is $10.4 million.
pre-kindergarten through fourth grade building will combine the best
of the district's previous elementaries, as well as many new
.Two separate wings of classrooms for division of kindergarten
second grades and third and fourth graders;
.Automatic lights that
come on only when the room is used to conserve
energy and related
.Sloped classroom ceilings to allow for larger windows and
natural light, resulting in decreased lighting costs;
located common areas, including the library, cafeteria,
gymnasium, and school
.A lobby ceiling treatment known as "clouds" to control noise in
.Bused, drive-in and walking students will enter the
opposite sides but to a common central lobby where they can be
daily by school administrators and teachers;
.Locked gates at the
entrance/exit to the busing area so that the bus
drop-off area can also be
used as the hard surface play area;
.A new cafeteria student flow that allows
for increased food choices,
self-service and a faster process;
computer stations in each classroom;
.Keycard access to track movements into
.Security cameras inside and outside;
.Resonant flooring in
the rest room facilities that is more cost
effective than traditional tile
with the added benefit of easier
maintenance and a reduction in the use of
chemicals for cleaning;
.Common hand washing areas outside boy and girl rest
room areas for
monitoring of proper hand washing behaviors and reduced
.Autoflow water at hand washing stations to save water and reduce
opportunity for accidental overflows;
.A wooden gym floor with
bleachers and regulation basketball hoops and a
scoreboard to allow community
use of the facility.
"People started calling me months ago to reserve gym
time," Bowers said
of the latter feature.
Two features that Bowers
especially likes are egress directly to the
outdoor playground from the
cafeteria and doors with locks that secure
the classroom wings after hours
when the common areas may be used by the public.
Northwood is built to
accommodate 550 children, but is intentionally
"opening small" with about
half that capacity, said superintendent Larry Zimmerman.
"Dominion is expecting to add 80 more houses out there this year,
another 700 before they're done. You can bet a large number of
houses will provide us with young children to push us to capacity in
years to come," Zimmerman said.
The redistricting process relieved
some of the crowding pressure being
felt by Marysville's other five
elementary schools. Projections call for
all six buildings to be filled to
capacity by the year 2012, according
to the school district.
peek" open house at Northwood will be held Sunday from 2 to 5
p.m., with a
formal dedication planned for 3 p.m. in the gymnasium. Food
and games will be
provided, along with tours of the new facility.
The school grounds will not
be lush with thick, green grass by Sunday's
preview. The decision was made
not to try to attempt to grow grass
during this summer's drought.
school is) not going to look as nice as we would like it to, but
sense from a financial standpoint," Bowers said.
A formal open house for
Northwood students and their families will be
held the evening of Aug. 21.
The district's five other elementaries also
will host similar events.
first day of school in the Marysville School District will be
Twins honored for dousing fire
twins Steven and Tyler Huff were a little embarrassed by
all the attention
they received Thursday afternoon.
"Do you guys have anything you want to say
about how you put out the
fire?" Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson
"No," they answered in unison.
Nelson gave them both commendations
in the library at the Union County
Sheriff's Office for averting what could
have been a serious fire.
According to the sheriff's office, on June 21 the
Huff twins were riding
their bicycles in Unionville Center, when they saw
smoke coming from the
rear of a house at 506 Fourth St. They quickly rode
around to the back
yard and found the porch on fire, with flames reaching as
high as seven
or eight feet.
"They grabbed a nearby garden hose to
extinguish the fire and had a
neighbor call 911," a sheriff's statement read.
"The house is a duplex
and one of the residences had children at home at the
time, with no idea
what was happening just outside their back door."
boys were quick to point out that they had help from their friends,
helped bring buckets of water.
Sheriff's deputy Adam Haycox was the first
officer on the scene and was
at the commendation ceremony to honor the
"I believe this could have been tragic if the house would have
fire," he said.
The parents of the twins had to surprise their sons
by not telling them
why they were being taken to the sheriff's office. The
sons teased them,
saying they had technically been lied to. The parents joked
that it was
the only way to get them there.
"We take this very seriously,"
Nelson said, before handing out plaques.
"You deserve a whole lot of
The owner of the duplex, Jim Ambos, was out of town for the event,
wrote a thank you letter to the Huffs and gave them movie
"I would like to commend both of you for thinking
quickly and going out
of your way to help others," Ambos wrote. "It shows me,
as well as many
others, that you are both responsible young adults."
said that if the boys had not seen the fire, "it could have
Man injured in crash
From J-T staff reports
young Plain City man was seriously injured early this morning after
into a tree in Darby Township.
Marysville's Ohio State Highway Patrol Post
reported that at 2:57 a.m.
David L. Klump, 21, of Plain City, was driving
northeast on Hawn Road in
a Ford sedan when he lost control and went off the
right side of the road.
Klump apparently over corrected and drove off the
left side of the road,
striking a tree before coming to a rest.
state that he was partially ejected from his car after colliding
tree. He was transported by medical helicopter to Grant Medical
he remains in critical condition.
"Klump was not wearing a seat belt at the
time of the crash," a patrol
Neighbors reportedly were
awakened by the crash and called 911.
The Union County Sheriff's Office,
Pleasant Valley Fire Department and
MedFlight EMS all assisted at the scene.
The crash remains under
Standoff ends peacefully
By RYAN HORNS
It took almost six hours for a man
to peacefully end his potentially
suicidal standoff Wednesday with
"We just can't get him out," Union County Sheriff's Office
Information Officer Chris Skinner said on the scene.
Richardson, 26, of Milford Center, had locked himself inside 89
W. State St.
and refused to come out or communicate with law
Union County Sheriff's Department blocked off West State Street at
intersection of Railroad Street to protect the public from a "worst
"We're going to have to make some decisions here pretty soon,"
said. "We have not seen him or had any contact with him for two
We are trying right now for yet another method of communication to
established from the outside."
In the 96-degree heat, officers stood
watch outside for hours, while
down the street media waited for updates.
Rumors among Milford Center
residents spread fast, as television news
reported a "hostage situation"
and residents talked about how the wife was
still inside and some people
heard a gunshot go off - neither of which proved
to be factual.
Sheriff's deputies denied those rumors this morning.
situation was actually the second day deputies were called to
Richardson. The night before sheriff's deputies responded to West
Street after Richardson was reportedly outside a neighbor's
threatening to kill himself. Deputies arrived and were able to
him to voluntarily sign in for treatment at Memorial Hospital of
County where he stayed overnight.
But Skinner said around 11 a.m.
Richardson just disappeared.
"He walked out of the facility against doctor
recommendations. They were
unable to locate him and called us because they
believed, as we did,
that he was possibly a danger to himself," he
At 11:44 a.m. the medical staff called deputies who soon
Richardson to West State Street. Skinner said initially deputies
unsure if anyone was inside the house or if he had a weapon.
said Richardson has children and a wife, although none of them
were home at
the time. He was apparently alone inside but had his dog.
"A lot of the
response was geared toward a worst case scenario because
we didn't know,"
Skinner said. "We took every precaution."
Eventually sheriff's deputies
called upon the Marysville Police
Department for help and the two departments
forced their way inside the
residence and found Richardson unharmed.
was just lying in bed," Skinner said.
Whether any charges will be filed
against Richardson is currently up to
the Union County Prosecutor's Office,
"He has not been charged as of right now," Skinner said.
confirmed that deputies found no weapons inside the home.
was able to take possession of the dog.
UCSO K-9 officer
From J-T staff reports
The recent death of a four-legged Union
County hero has led local
officials to look back on the life of
On July 20, Lucas, the Union County Sheriff's Office's former search
rescue canine, died at the age of 12 1/2 years. In that time the
Labrador retriever had led countless missing person searches
joining Ohio Task Force 1 in 1996.
Local Pastor Jack Heino said that
from searching the rubble of buildings
in New York after the 9/11 attacks to
looking for victims in Xenia
tornadoes to searches during the Falmouth, Ky.,
floods, Lucas was
considered an asset to the Union County Sheriff's Office.
The dog even
met President George W. Bush and New York Mayor Rudy
The New York mission in 2001 ended up being Lucas' last mission,
sheriff's department reported. He was retired from working service
"He loved all people," wrote Mike Palumbo, Union County
Office, who was owner and handler of Lucas. "He entertained
audiences wherever we visited."
Palumbo said Lucas conducted "an
enormous amount" of school visits, site
visits and 9/11 presentations.
list of achievements Lucas collected during his time with search and
.Receiving an award for heroism from the Ohio State Fire
Office for his service at the World Trade Center.
profiled in the book "Dog's Most Wanted" for canine search
.Leading numerous missing person searches.
career as a Cadaver Detection dog, which was later changed
to a Live Victim
.Being certified with the Ohio Search Dog Association and
Management Services, and North American Police Work Dog
Marysville levy attempt explained
By KARLYN BYERS
Voters in the Marysville
Exempted Village School District are being
asked to approve a 4.75-mill,
five-year operating levy on Tuesday's ballot.
If passed, the levy will
cost the owner of a $100,000 home $145.47 per year.
District voters last
passed a new operating levy in August 2003. The
five-year levy was for 5
mills. Since then, voters approved a 5.2-mill,
28-year bond issue in August
2005 and renewed a five-year, 6.56-mill
"For the amount of
growth in student enrollment and (the) number of
additional buildings -
utilities, staff, etc. - we have had in that
time, the district has done a
nice job of managing things," Zimmerman
said in an e-mail message to the
Journal-Tribune. "The community has
understood the issues of growth and how
that has impacted the district."
Also impacting the school district was
House Bill 66 and other state
funding changes which passed in 2005. Under
H.B. 66, the personal
tangible property tax was eliminated, a tax which
represented more than
30 percent of the total taxable property in the
"To be honest, it was our plan to wait until at least
2008 or beyond
before we asked for another operating levy" Zimmerman said.
our growth and with Ohio's tax change in 2005 we just couldn't
Voter passage of the August 2005 bond issue saved the school
$27 million in construction costs over a 26-year period, Zimmerman
This was because the school district took advantage of a
opportunity offered by the state following the 2005 tax
Marysville was the only central Ohio school district to act on
opportunity, Zimmerman said, adding "If we hadn't reacted in
(2005) the community would have lost $27 million."
"But on the
operating side of the fiscal picture, we essentially have
the same monies now
that we had in 2005," Zimmerman said.
The school district has demonstrated
fiscal responsibility, he said, by
securing $3 million in state and federal
grants, including a $437,000
grant from the United States Department of
Education for improving
student health and physical fitness.
to all day, every other day kindergarten the district has
saved an estimated
$150,000 in transportation costs. It also saved
$900,000 in health care
premiums in 2005-2006 and an additional $230,000
between 2004 and 2006,
thanks to negotiations with health care providers
for the district's more
than 600 employees.
By combining the new intermediate and middle school under
on Route 4 on the city's south side, the school district is
least $1.3 million in construction costs and projected operating
When Zimmerman was asked about placing the issue on
a special election
ballot in August, he responded, "Generally it comes down
to making sure
if the levy fails the district has a chance to come back in
But a huge factor is also how the state fiscal year ends (on) June
Often the school district has not known what state funding it
receive until late spring, he said. Then, the school district has had
react quickly because of those funding changes.
"We don't want to take
a step backwards now; we want to get even better.
But we will not be able to
maintain ourselves without local support
since the state isn't helping,"
Zimmerman said. "Our kids deserve great
instruction and programs ... As a
community we want them to succeed. If
they don't, we don't."
owners 65 years old and older and those under age 65 who are
disabled qualify for a property tax discount through the
state of Ohio's
Homestead Exemption. Those interested may call the Union
office at 645-3003.
Donna Rausch to run for Union County
From J-T staff reports
Union County resident Donna Rausch
recently announced she will run as
the Republican nomination for Union County
The office is currently held by Tamara Lowe, who will retire
four-terms as treasurer.
"I'm eager to add to the successes we had
under Tami's strong
leadership," Rausch said about Lowe. "Her office is
efficient and responsible. I will work to maintain this level
performance, while continuing to incorporate new programs to move
Rausch said she has almost 34 years of experience in
profession. She joined the treasurer's office in 1989, where she
recently served as the chief deputy treasurer. In this role she
as acting treasurer in the absence of Lowe; represents the office
various boards, committees and conferences; trains employees and
in office management, among other duties.
Rausch has been endorsed
by Lowe, who said that Rausch has a deep
commitment to the treasurer's office
and to the community. Adding that
the knowledge Rausch would bring to the
table is unmatched.
"(Rausch) has served in nearly every capacity at the
office," Lowe said. "This experience has given her a keen
of the office's duties and processes and will aid her in
protecting county finances."
Prior to working with Lowe's
office, Rausch held positions at the Union
County Federal Savings and Loan
and the Banc Ohio National Bank, both
located in Marysville. Her duties with
these positions ranged from
developing expense and account reports to
completing audit tasks and
On a community level, Rausch
is a member of the First United Methodist
Church and the Union County Farm
Bureau. She is vice-president of the
Marysville City Union of the
International Order of the King's Daughters
and Sons, a Christian service
organization. She also served as the
President of the Mayflower Circle
Rausch was raised on her parent's farm in Raymond. Married to Tom
the past 28 years, the two have lived in Marysville since 1979.
have two children: Aaron, 21, a student at Capital University
Meredith Burkhart, a teacher at Marysville's Creekview
Plain City to host annual car show
A growing tradition will continue this weekend in Plain City.
village will host the Fifth Annual Plain City Classic Car Cruise-In
beginning at 11 a.m. with the trophy presentations between 3
"It is a lot of fun," said Shirley Aldrich, one of the
organizers. "It is like a carnival."
In the past, the car show has
had about 100 cars and about 500 attendees.
"This year, we are looking for
more cars because we were able to get out
and talk to more people with cars,"
She said one of the attractions of Plain City's show is its
"We usually have a diverse crowd when it comes to cars," Aldrich
"We have people come from several states around."
That variety has
sparked 27 awards for the show. This year's "Best of
Show" winner will take
home a special prize - a custom designed trophy,
created specifically for the
show by Petar Brown and Steve English.
Even those that do not take home a
trophy will be winners. The first 100
show entrants will receive a dash
plaque and the first 50 show-goers
will receive a goodie bag. The "carnival"
atmosphere will be provided by
food and merchandise vendors along with a live
disc jockey for the
event. The show will also host a prize raffle and a 50/50
One of the items for auction will be a class at the Mid-Ohio
Course. A Mid-Ohio car will be on display at the show.
"There will be
a lot to do, plenty to eat and plenty to buy," said Julie
Weaver, with and
one of the show's organizers. "Plus, we are working on
a few surprises for
Registration will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Edward Jones,
Lovejoy's Plaza, on U.S. 42 half a mile south of Route 161. Cars will
displayed in the plaza parking lot.
Village Administrator Steve Hilbert
said he appreciates the car show and
what it brings to the village.
car show seems to continue to get better each year," Hilbert said.
enjoy seeing this type of event come to town. They really
awareness of Plain City and everyone seems to have a good time."
past, the Plain City Business Association has benefited from the
year, while PCBA will continue to be involved, proceeds from
the event will
go to the Uptown Plain City Organization.
For more information on the show,
those interested may contact Julie
Weaver at (614) 561-3322.
officials look back on HomeComing 2007
Editor's note: The following
information is supplied by Honda of America.
Despite overcast skies
and threatening rain, enthusiastic motorcyclists
rode hundreds and even
thousands of miles for the 2007 Honda HomeComing
and Ride for Kids
Thousands of motorcycling enthusiasts and other guests participated
three days of events at Honda of America Mfg.'s Marysville
Plant that included motorcycle demonstration rides, ice cream
seminars and motorcycle light parades. Most riders also participated
events in Marysville and Bellefontaine and other areas of Union,
and other surrounding counties.
Motorcycle plant tours were the most
popular attractions again this
year, where Honda associates guided more than
4,900 guests to see Gold
Wing and VTX motorcycles in production. Associates
with riders about their Honda motorcycles, and
explained how they assure
quality throughout the manufacturing
"This event gave us plenty of opportunities to share ideas and
firsthand what customers expect in our products," said Bob Axe,
manager of the motorcycle plant. "Connecting with our customers is
important to Honda and all our associates."
Guests also met with
associates at motorcycle plant displays, where they
got a close look at
welding, painting, assembly and other manufacturing
engine assembly. They also saw displays developed
by associates at the
Marysville Auto Plant, East Liberty Auto Plant and
Anna Engine Plant that
included videos of their manufacturing
operations, plus the products built at
Cledith Farris from Grover Hill, Ohio, was the winner of
custom-painted VTX 1300 motorcycle in a drawing at the end of
farewell banquet. Tim Cattell, an associate in the paint
developed the design that took first place in the motorcycle
design competition. Fellow associates brought the design to life
their custom painting and decaling skills.
light parades also were popular attractions. In
motorcycles rode in the Thursday parade, while 614
participated in Marysville
the following night.
More than 250 bikes participated in the 16th Ride for
Kids event for the
Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation held Saturday morning in
with HomeComing. The riders raised $81, 273 to fight the number
killer of children among cancer diseases. Associates from Honda
America Mfg. and Honda R&D Americas, Ohio Center raised nearly
Honda matched this amount by 50 cents on the dollar, increasing
total to nearly $33,000.
The only motorcycle plant in Ohio, the
Marysville Motorcycle Plant has
the annual capacity to produce 75,000 of
Honda's largest and most
complex motorcycles, the Gold Wing GL1800 touring
motorcycle and the VTX
1800 and 1300 cruiser models. Associates also assemble
engines in the plant.
Marysville Journal Tribune
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